Chapter 225 – Sword Qi Calligraphy
Shi Peipei’s wrinkles seemed to ripple. “Then I’ll write up an agreement for you right now, sir.” They had obtained another valuable item for the auction this time. They could attract even more Qi Practitioners now.
“Sir, it’s best if you hold onto some spiritual stones. I will prepare a private box for you. Quite a lot of wondrous treasures will appear in this auction. If something catches your eye but you miss out on it due to insufficient funds, that’ll be quite the pity.”
Li Qingshan’s heart stirred. “May I ask what treasures will there be? Is there a catalogue?” Perhaps he could find the second half of the Arts of the Boundless Ocean. Although he knew the chances were very slim, it still piqued his interest.
Shi Peipei said, “It’s inconvenient for us to reveal the exact lineup to you, but we will soon advertise a few items of great value, including the daemon core. You can ask Ruping about this.”
“Feel free to ask me, sir.” Liu Ruping smiled gently and gracefully. Her gaze towards Li Qingshan was very much affectionate.
If it were not for the fact that Li Qingshan had seen how quickly she could turn hostile, he would have almost been fooled by her.
Shi Peipei passed a jade token to Li Qingshan. “Please be careful, sir. You must not lose this. We only look at the token and not the person. If someone else comes to us with this token, we’ll give the spiritual stones to them.”
Li Qingshan focused on the token, and an agreement immediately appeared. “I’ll take good care of it!” Afterwards, he extended his hand towards little Zhang.
Little Zhang placed the Whale’s Ingestion of Water into Li Qingshan’s palm in a hurry. Coldness pierced his body, but it was extremely comfortable as well. As true qi flowed into the spiritual artifact, he immediately experienced a sensation like his blood vessels were connected to it. However, it was slightly sluggish, as if something blocked his blood flow.
Little Zhang said, “If you want to achieve the most optimal effects with high grade spiritual artifacts, you’ll need some time. Only when you refine it with true qi can you truly wield it freely as a part of your own body.”
Li Qingshan nodded. He did not stow it away into his hundred treasures pouch. Instead, he held and played around with it, seeping it with strands of true qi. The transparent, crystal ice whale was as exquisite as a piece of art. No one would have believed it was a weapon.
Shi Peipei took her leave, while Liu Ruping said gently, “If there’s anything else you require, sir, feel free to tell me.”
Li Qingshan asked casually, “What if I said I required you?”
Liu Ruping blushed in embarrassment. “Oh my, how can you say that, sir? And, what’s so good about me?”
Little Zhang chuckled to one side. He had clearly seen this plenty of times in the past. He was extremely happy after selling a high grade spiritual artifact as well, so he joked, “With how much you’ve spent today, how can our Ruping decline if you want her to do something for you?”
“Old man Zhang, if you keep babbling nonsense, I’ll rip off your mouth!” Liu Ruping shot a glare at little Zhang, but she was not annoyed at all.
When Li Qingshan and Liu Ruping returned to the lobby, the other women downstairs had already heard everything that had happened. They all raised their heads at the same time.
Liu Ruping held her head and chest up high. She acted completely different from her usual aloofness. She purposefully remained very close to Li Qingshan, almost tempted to press against him as she walked. Her fragrance tickled Li Qingshan’s nose.
Although Li Qingshan had heard plenty about gold diggers and sugar babies across his two lives, he could not help but be surprised when he realised he had become a ‘sugar daddy’, Women can actually stoop so low. Is there still a difference between women like this and prostitutes?
The other women in palace wear were all envious. Just why did Ruping end up so lucky? If they had gone up to receive him earlier instead…
Their gazes towards Li Qingshan were completely different compared to before. There was respect that could enchant the hearts of all men.
Li Qingshan suddenly understood. Now this is the treatment that the strong receive! No matter what age, no matter what world, the strong will flaunt their strength, and the weak will attach themselves to the strong. When the strong gains something, the weak will lose something.
Only failures would lament about the fickleness of human nature. Only the weak would grumble about the cruelness of society. Meanwhile, the strong only needed to grit their teeth and become even stronger.
Upon understanding this, the slight uneasiness completely vanished. He fiddled around with the ice whale as he smiled pointlessly. In Liu Ruping’s eyes, he seemed to be utterly charming. Of course, this was charm only the strong possessed.
Li Qingshan brought Liu Ruping to the tea table and pulled out a chair for her. Liu Ruping was obviously flattered, and she smiled in an extremely reserved manner. After taking a sip of tea, Li Qingshan began to ask her about the auction.
Liu Ruping obviously told him everything that she knew. She told him everything about the items to be auctioned this time, which included various spiritual herbs, spiritual stones, rare treasures, and strange beasts. As expected, there was a huge assortment of items. Just the number of high grade spiritual artifacts amounted to seven or eight.
Liu Ruping even disclosed to him secretly that the ultimate treasure for the auction this time was a supreme grade spiritual artifact. The starting price would be five thousand spiritual stones, and it was estimated to fetch over ten thousand spiritual stones.
While Li Qingshan was interested, he knew that was not something he could afford. Even if he could afford it, he would not be bold enough to buy it. The people who were able to produce so many spiritual stones were Foundation Establishment cultivators like the sect masters of the three mountains at the very least. He would just be looking for death if he tried to snatch food from the tiger’s mouth. He would probably be crushed to a pulp the moment he set foot out of the town.
“Aren’t there any cultivation methods in the auction?”
Liu Ruping shook her head. Li Qingshan lowered his head and sipped the tea as he sank into his thoughts. It made sense. He would not run into something like that so easily, or Sun Fubai’s efforts over all these years would have all just been a waste of time. However, he was not dejected. The world would never let down those who kept trying. He would definitely travel even further and even more extensively than Sun Fubai.
Liu Ruping saw Li Qingshan’s disappointment, so she added in a hurry, “There are no cultivation methods, but there is a piece of calligraphy.”
Li Qingshan asked absentmindedly, “What calligraphy?”
Liu Ruping said, “It’s called Sword Qi Calligraphy or something. Apparently, it was left behind by some ancient sword immortal, but it only seemed like a mid grade spiritual artifact to me. It’s just a great mess of calligraphy strokes. They must have come up with this description in an attempt to have it auctioned off. Only an idiot would fall for that and buy it. If you want a weapon, a high grade spiritual artifact is obviously better.”
Li Qingshan looked at the yellow, rippling water in his cup and saw his expression change slightly in the reflection. He asked without looking up, “That’s true. Only an idiot would buy something like that. However, since the Sword Qi Calligraphy is a mid grade spiritual artifact, what are its uses?”
Liu Ruping said with disdain, “Hmph, it’s just like its name. It can launch a few strands of sword qi.”
The tea rippled. Li Qingshan suppressed his inner joy and asked Liu Ruping a few more random questions. He learned that Liu Ruping came from a similar background to Qian Rongzhi. She had also originated from a small clan that was not even really a clan. Her talent was limited, so she did not receive a lot of resources. It led to quite a grumble from her.
Li Qingshan said, “I heard that the Hawkwolf Guard recruits anyone regardless of their background, as long as they’re Qi Practitioners. Why don’t you try joining?”
Liu Ruping said in surprise, “The Hawkwolf Guard? That’s killing and murder everyday! And, I’d have to rush around through the rain and wind. Not to boast, but even a bad month in the store of Miscellaneous Goods lets me make much more than what a regular Hawkwolf Guard makes.”
“Fair enough!” Li Qingshan understood that she was completely different from Qian Rongzhi. She was nowhere near as ambitious or vicious as that woman. However, if all the women in the world were like her, there was no point for men to exist anymore.
Liu Ruping could not help but ask, “Is there anything else you want to buy? Why don’t you get a high quality garment tailored for you? I’m very good at choosing clothes. I can choose quite a few good ones for you.”
Li Qingshan interrupted her with a smile, “No, I want to sell some more things!”
Liu Ruping was stunned.
In the end, Li Qingshan unloaded several hundred talismans, basically all of them on him apart from the high and supreme grade ones, onto the store of Miscellaneous Goods. He obtained another few hundred spiritual stones. The Herb Gathering ceremony of the three mountains was drawing close, so the value of talismans just happened to be high. It was a good deal.
Originally, Li Qingshan had wanted to buy a pill cauldron, but he gave up on that for now. It was not like he was in a hurry to refine pills at the moment.
If the Sword Qi Calligraphy was truly the item he was thinking about, really a part of the Cursive Sword Calligraphy, then he had to obtain it. He could not allow it to fall into the hands of others.
The Cursive Sword Calligraphy currently in his possession was basically between high grade and supreme grade. If he could find another piece of it and join them together, then it would truly be a supreme grade spiritual artifact worth over ten thousand spiritual stones.
As for the actual value of the Cursive Sword Calligraphy, it was probably much more than just that. It was enough to earn a few words of praise from the black ox. In the past, he might not have known what that signified, but he knew just how great the black ox’s insight was now.
Normally, a mid grade spiritual artifact would never exceed a hundred spiritual stones in price, but he could not afford to treat everyone else as fools. He could not be certain that others would not realise that something was amiss, so he had to ensure that nothing could go wrong. He had to gather as many spiritual stones as he could to guarantee that he would be able to win at the auction.
With that settled, Li Qingshan ignored Liu Ruping’s disappointed gaze and left the store of Miscellaneous Goods. He was prepared to leave the town.
On the raucous street, he glanced back at the verdant Green Vine mountain again. He wondered if Yu Zijian would be able to wait until Hua Chenglu arrived.
Not everyone was worth waiting for, so he chose to wait for nobody. However, he hoped that she could wait until the person she wanted to wait for arrived.
With the bamboo basket on his back, he bid farewell to Sun Fubai in the bookstore before checking out of the inn. He left the inn and suddenly stopped.
Yu Zijian stood under the sun outside the inn, smiling even more resplendently than the sun. She held a girl who was slightly smaller than her by the hand, who also seemed rather reluctant. It was Hua Chenglu.
Li Qingshan smiled in relief. This was what made trust among humans treasurable, wasn’t it?
If you could boldly trust in someone even if you had been fooled a hundred times, you would still end up with true friends one day. Although he walked a lonely path of determination and decisiveness, he also admired her bravery and resolve.
“Niu Juxia, this is Chenglu!” Yu Zijian basically dragged Hua Chenglu in front of Li Qingshan and introduced her to him happily.
Hua Chenglu was still the same cute little adult. She pretended to be natural and unrestrained as she clasped her hands towards Li Qingshan. She said with her child-like voice, “I never thought the people of the Green Vine mountain would be so audacious. Thank you for taking care of Zijian for all this time.” She had to tilt her head backwards to take in Li Qingshan’s huge frame. She wondered inside just how Zijian got to know such a strange person.