Chapter 221 – The Arts of the Boundless Ocean
Li Qingshan wondered if he should buy a pill cauldron and pill formulas instead. However, his alchemy was limited to the bare basics he had learned from Qian Rongzhi, so there was no need for him to be so hasty. At the very least, he knew how to use these treasures now.
The Book of All covered a large range of random topics. Just a single area was enough to keep Li Qingshan busy for half a day. He felt that his horizons were broadening.
However, he slowly discovered that the information regarding people, culture, and geography in the Book of All was mostly limited to the Clear River prefecture. Beyond this range, the information would be extremely simple and broad.
However, it was already quite a feat to have gathered all this information about the Clear River province that spanned fifteen hundred kilometers. It truly was not an exaggeration to name it a book of “All”.
The nine provinces were so large that who knows how many kilometers it covered. Probably even the strongest cultivators could not visit every single place it had to offer, so how was it possible for a book to record everything?
It followed the same principle as mental maps. Even if a book like that really did exist, just how much would it be worth to a measly Qi Practitioner? Out of the thousands of cultivators, just how many could make it out of the Clear River prefecture? And, how many could make it out of the Ruyi commandery?
However, Li Qingshan believed that there would be a day when he used his eyes to take in everything the world had to offer.
Unknowingly, his mind returned to the brazen oath he had sworn in the tiny village.
“I want to travel through all corners of the world, across the entire universe! I want to taste all of the delicacies and drink all of the finest alcohol the world has to offer! I want to practise the fiercest abilities, fight the strongest foes, and sleep with the most beautiful women! Only then will this life not be a waste!
Looking at it now, it was just a person with nothing’s desire for everything. Perhaps it was very coarse, but that was the most primitive desire hidden within the hearts of all men.
As a spark lit up within a restless heart, it would impel the frail body to conquer, to destroy, to create!
The most beautiful woman?
Li Qingshan grinned. Originally, he had just said that half-heartedly, but the Book of All really did seem to list the ‘most beautiful’.
Out of the beauties on the beauties ranking, without any surprise, the one at the very top was the beautiful woman in clothes whiter than snow, the female hawk that gazed over the land.
Although the image on there failed to even capture a hundredth of her charm, it stirred Li Qingshan’s past memories. He sighed from the bottom of his heart. “Heh, what a beauty!”
Xiao An pulled her mind out of the Canon Depository and raised her head. “What beauty?”
“Nothing.” Li Qingshan stowed the jade slip away. Since he had seen the greatest and confirmed that there would not be any major changes to his objectives in the near future, there was no need for him to look at it ever again.
“Hmph!” Xiao An turned her head away from him.
“Hmm? You’ve even learned how to be angry.” Li Qingshan smiled as he pinched her beautiful nose.
Xiao An shook her head and put up a tough struggle in his arms, but she smiled from ear to ear.
Li Qingshan held her firmly and pinched down on her nose. “My Xiao An will definitely be a great beauty in the future.”
“Really?” Xiao An asked nasally.
“Didn’t you hear what the damned granny said? You’re some Aspect of Heavenly Fragrance and Beauty or something. It can’t be wrong. I think even the one surnamed Gu won’t be able to match you in the future.”
“The one surnamed Gu? Gu Yanying!”
Li Qingshan was surprised. “You know her?”
Xiao An nodded gently.
Li Qingshan leaned against his arm. “Though honestly, Xuanyue would do as well. Forget it. A kid like you won’t understand what I’m saying.”
Xiao An pulled a face.
Li Qingshan spent a night bathing comfortably in the water. It felt even more pleasant than lying on a bed. Water had already become as close as a friend to him. He began practising the second layer of the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi in there.
He used the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression to settle down first before slowly absorbing the spiritual qi of the world and using the mental cultivation method of the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi instead. The true qi in his body was converted into Gui Water true qi strand by strand.
By the time the sun had risen, Li Qingshan had already completed the second layer of the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi. For the first few layers, all he needed to do was convert his true qi, to cover up the Innate Method of Practising Qi with the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi, so it did not take him a particularly long time.
Li Qingshan grew restless once the sun had risen up. He leapt out of the bathing pool and put on his clothes. He wore the bamboo basket on his back and rushed straight to the bookstore with Xiao An.
The old man was still the same old man from the night before. He sat leisurely in the same rocking chair, reading the same book. When he saw Li Qingshan enter, he seemed to be surprised as he leapt to his feet, “Is there anything else you require, fellow cultivator?”
Li Qingshan got straight to the point. “Uncle, the book you gave me yesterday…”
“What book? How come I don’t recall anything like that?” The old man’s expression became unnatural.
Li Qingshan squinted his eyes and said slowly, “I used various different methods to study it for ages, but I found nothing, which was why I’ve come to seek guidance from you. Don’t tell me you’ve been messing with me?” He no longer spoke as politely as before either.
The old man coughed gently. “I- I think I remember now. H- how did you find it?”
Li Qingshan said, “The images were alright, but the book was horrible!”
The old man smiled bitterly, “If that’s the case, then forget that you had ever laid your eyes on it!” Junior brother, oh junior brother. You can’t blame me for not helping out. Originally, I thought he was a vulgar man and might not be able to tell that the book was absolutely horrible!
“In other words, you really were messing with me!” Li Qingshan thought about all the time and effort he had spent on it, and he grew hostile.
The old man faked a laugh. “Fellow, there was something I wanted to give to you, but I forgot yesterday.”
“Don’t tell me it’s trash like thi-” Li Qingshan suddenly halted. The old man had actually shoved the cultivation manual to the Arts of the Boundless Ocean into his hands. He hesitated, “Uncle, this is a little too precious. I didn’t come here to blackmail you…”
The old man raised his head. He smiled and shook his head. “Just who would be bold enough to blackmail me in these streets, unafraid of the street patrols of the school of Miscellany? I did actually want to give you this book yesterday. I made quite the profit on the two books you bought from me. No matter how precious a book is, if there’s no one to read it, it’s all just trash.”
He patted the “A Flower’s Slumber” before continuing, “No one reads this book because of how horrible it’s written, and that’s fine. However, that book was clearly written brilliantly, yet because everyone else lacked the ability, it ended up in such a sorry shape. It’s like the glamour of a pearl shrouded by dust, or the death of a beauty. Isn’t that just a pity?”
Li Qingshan was slightly touched as well. “Uncle, you really are someone who loves books.” The Arts of the Boundless Ocean definitely was not a mediocre cultivation method. However, it had far too high of a requirement on the reader, which was why its readerbase diminished.
The old man continued, “When I look at you, I have a feeling that perhaps you might end up finding the second half of this book someday, allowing this extraordinary cultivation method to be whole once more. By then, I’ll be satisfied if you just show me the second half of the book.”
Li Qingshan accepted the jade slip and clasped his hands proudly. “Uncle, if I happen to have the fortune in the future, I’ll definitely return the complete copy of the Arts of the Boundless Ocean to you!”
The old man said happily, “I’ll definitely live a little longer, waiting for you!”