Chapter 220 – Smut
Li Qingshan rubbed her cheek and said seriously, “Look, just because you don’t know them, doesn’t mean that you can kill them!” When he said that, he immediately felt like he had ascended. He felt like he had completed his duty as an educator. As it turns out, I’m such a kind-hearted person!
Xiao An blinked her eyes. Who knows whether she had understood that or not.
However, Li Qingshan had already come up with a plan, so he no longer felt troubled. He arrived behind the screen and took off all of his clothes, revealing his healthy body that seemed to be chiseled from rock. He stretched his shoulders before leaping into the swimming-pool-like bath with a plonk.
Hot water spilled over the edge of the bathing pool and reached up to his chest. Li Qingshan undid his hair and leaned comfortably against the edge of the pool. He took out the jade slip for the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi and studied it closely.
The first layer was a simplified version of the Innate Method of Practising Qi, so he glanced through it and knew that he did not have to spend too much time on it. However, it became rather difficult when he began on the second layer. Originally, he believed that he only needed to convert his true qi into Gui Water true qi, but upon studying it closer, he discovered that it was not that simple.
It was also about cultivating the Yang Heel meridian, but the requirements were not as simple as opening the meridian. The five organs corresponded to the five elements, and the kidneys primarily focused on water. The Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi needed to resonate with the kidneys, allowing him to feel and draw out the essence of Gui water.
However, just how he was supposed to make it resonate and how he was supposed to draw it out was hidden within a passage of profound, archaic text. If it were not for the foundation that the Innate Method of Practising Qi had established for him, he would have absolutely no idea where to begin. Although it was slightly better now, he still found it to be extremely obscure and difficult to understand. Fortunately, he had bought the version with explanations. The notes and comprehensions from the past seniors made it much easier to understand. At the very least, he could make some progress as he fumbled about.
However, the contents of the notes were ten times more complicated than the mental cultivation method of the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi. After looking at it for a while, he felt rather dizzy. He had to admit that talent and intelligence had nothing to do with him.
He plunged his head into the water and bobbed up and down in the ripples. His heart calmed down as a result. He thought of something. His ability to understand might have been lacklustre, but wasn’t there a child prodigy right beside him that even the black ox praised?
Li Qingshan said, “Xiao An, are you done with eating? Come take a bath!” From drinking tea to eating, no matter what the enjoyment was, he would never forget about her.
Xiao An immediately arrived before him. She took off her clothes and leapt into the water too.
Li Qingshan passed the jade slip to her. “Help me take a look.” Afterwards, he took out the book that the shopkeeper uncle had given to him so carefully. He had taken it in a hurry back then. As such, he did not even have the time to see the name of the book.
He was rather eager. Just what could it be, seeing how the uncle had given it to him so carefully? Could it be some unique cultivation method or a secret manual that the uncle had specially given to him without accepting a single spiritual stone because he saw his outstanding talent and knew that he would have to bear the heavy burden of saving the world?
The binding of the book was extremely meticulous, held together by thread perfectly. It gave off the faint fragrance of ink. The paper used for it was the best of the best as well. It felt rather weighty in his hand. However, it was a little too new for it to be some divine arts or secret manual.
Whatever. I’ll take a look first. On the smooth, vermillion cover were three elegant, refined words—A Flower’s Slumber. The name seemed a little different from the names of secret manuals in Li Qingshan’s imagination.
He flipped a page and saw at the very top. “Chapter One, Hua Sanniang Mistakes her Lover.” Following that was a poem. The poem said, “Life never goes to plan. Endless longing begins with a moment of hatred. Who is willing to die for love? Enemies at first, only to convene later1.”
“The fuck is this?” Li Qingshan was taken aback. The book that the uncle had shoved to him in such a secretive and careful manner was actually a novel. He refused to believe it was just that, so he patiently read on. However, it was only a very boring story. If it were just boring, then so be it, but the further he read, the more he felt that something was amiss. The novel’s description of the matters in the bedroom were particularly bold.
Of course, to a transmigrator like Li Qingshan, the white steamed buns, purple violet meats or whatever was not stimulating at all. However, it did stand out like a sore thumb in the day and age he was currently in!
Flipping a dozen pages forward, basically all of the male characters in the novel “went at it” with all the female characters, but it did not make the novel any less boring. When he flipped to the fifteenth page, an exquisitely-drawn image was presented boldly before Li Qingshan.
Not only was the linework of the image meticulous, but even their expressions were life-like. Even for the well-experienced Li Qingshan, he found it to be a rather impressive piece of art. Afterwards, he lost the patience to go through it page by page. Flipping through it casually, he found many more images like that later on in the novel.
Li Qingshan was finally convinced. In his hand was actually smut.
But that made no sense! Why would the old man who seemed very well-respected, who treated people amiably, carefully give him smut?
Even the weakest cultivator possessed absolute authority among regular people. Instead of reading something like this, they could just go find a courtesan in a brothel instead. Wouldn’t it be much simpler and more straightforward?
Perhaps the old man was a book lover and appreciated some cultural aspects in the novel, which was why he wanted to share it with him, but maybe he was afraid that Li Qingshan would look down on the book due to its contents?
That was the only explanation that made sense. However, the contents of the book just happened to be extremely clumsy. There was not even a drop of cultural value to speak of.
Li Qingshan was utterly bewildered. He felt ten times more confused than when he read the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi earlier. There was definitely something amiss. There must have been a secret hidden within all of this. It was just purposely hidden with a trashy book.
As a result, Li Qingshan felt up the book. Nothing was hidden in there. He channeled true qi into it. There was no reaction. He brought it near a fire. No image appeared. He doused it in water. It became wet.
He looked through it inside out and tried various different methods, but it was just an ordinary book. Perhaps the contents of the book were hiding some kind of code? But even if it did, there was no chance for him to find it.
He would find Xiao An whenever he lacked the intelligence for something. He glanced at Xiao An and saw how she was focusing all of her attention on the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi. Then he looked at the book in his hands. If she discovered he read something like that, it would be utterly humiliating.
He immediately gave up on that idea. If it were not for the fact that Xiao An was beside him, he probably would have tried all the poses depicted in the images to see whether they were some method for circulating qi.
“What are you looking at?” Xiao An suddenly leaned over. Her damp, wet hair draped on her pale shoulders and floated on the water. It made them seem even more like a certain aquatic plant.
Smash! Li Qingshan slapped the book close and said unnaturally, “Nothing. Ah, you’ve finished studying it?” For some reason, he thought of the expression that the old man had when he gave it to him.
Xiao An glanced at the book in Li Qingshan’s hands curiously. She had already understood the entirety of the second layer of the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi, so she explained it to Li Qingshan using language that could not be any plainer.
Li Qingshan immediately felt enlightened. He pecked her and praised, “How clever. Why didn’t I think of this earlier?”
Xiao An blushed, vaguely revealing a hint of the great beauty that she should not have possessed yet through the steam.
Only then did Li Qingshan suddenly remember the difference in their genders. He smiled. “Once you get a little older, we can’t wash together anymore.”
Xiao An raised her head. “Then I’ll never grow older.”
“That’s nonsense? How can there be a person who never grows older?”
“I’m not a person.”
Li Qingshan did not take something so childish to heart. “Yep, yep. Neither of us are people. However, children will still grow up.”
Xiao An pouted.
Li Qingshan said, “You’ve said so much, but you seem to have forgotten the most important part. How do I convert true qi into Gui Water true qi?”
Xiao An said, “Can’t you just directly absorb the spiritual qi of the world?”
Li Qingshan scratched his head. “I’m really not that bright, am I?” His daemon core was of the water element. He could cultivate Gui Water true qi the same way he cultivated his daemon core. All he needed was the boundless world. Why did he have to be fixated on just himself?
He was not stupid. His mind had just been entrenched. He treated the cultivation method as all there was. The recommendations from the seniors who penned the notes were all directed at regular Qi Practitioners. They never would have thought that a Qi Practitioner who could absorb the spiritual qi of the world would actually exist.
Li Qingshan said, “Oh right, the uncle gave me a book. I feel like it’s definitely hiding something, but I just can’t find it.”
Xiao An asked curiously, “Was it the one just then?”
“Can’t I take a look?”
“Absolutely not.” Li Qingshan shook his head.
Xiao An said in disappointment, “Then can’t you just go and ask him tomorrow?”
Li Qingshan was stunned again. It was not like the bookstore would grow legs and run away. I can just pay a visit tomorrow.
“Why have I suddenly become so dumb today? It must be this damned book. It has impacted my intelligence!”
Xiao An faltered. She wanted to say, “But you didn’t read the book earlier,” but she managed to hold it back.
Li Qingshan said, “Oh right, this is for you.” He passed the jade slip called the Canon Depository to Xiao An.
Xiao An accepted it happily and bashfully. Li Qingshan took out the Book of All as well and looked up the information of a few spiritual herbs according to his memory. Just as he had expected, every single one of them could be used to refine pills. Out of them, the one worth the most were the flowers that turned into butterflies in Milliped’s dwelling. They were called Blue Butterfly flowers, and they were a crucial component for refining a precious type of pill.
The name of this precious pill was the True Spirit pill.
Li Qingshan then looked up the information regarding the True Spirit pill. He found it to be rather familiar, and he suddenly thought of something. Wasn’t the True Spirit pill the two unknown pills he had obtained from the two grannies of the Sect of Clouds and Rain?
The effect of the True Spirit pill was extremely simple. It converted true qi into spiritual qi. It was something crucial for Qi Practitioners when they tried to break through to Foundation Establishment. The two grannies must have set them aside carefully so that they could ingest them when they reached the peak of Qi Practitioner, but it ended up as easy pickings for Li Qingshan.
As for the value of the spiritual herb that Milliped described to be disgusting, it went without saying. Unfortunately, the Book of All only gave a simple introduction to the effects of the True Spirit pill, as well as how to use it, but it did not detail the formula or method to refine it. Information that actually possessed value would not appear in widespread books like this.
1. This is a parody of a novel written in the late Ming dynasty, Love-Hate. The poem is the same as the poem for chapter 1 of the actual novel.