Chapter 230 – The Truth-seeking Society
“Benevolent be the first senior brother!” “No wonder senior brother is already destined to become the future sect master!” “Our Pheasant’s Grace mountain will definitely end up leading the three mountains!” “What leading the three mountains? With first senior brother’s talent, it’ll be a piece of cake for him to condense a golden core and turn the Pheasant’s Grace mountain into a mid level sect.”
Among all the flattery, Song Ming also said in a hurry, “Thank you, first senior brother.” However, he knew very well that if it were not for the sake of a hundred treasures pouch worth several thousand spiritual stones, his arrogant first senior brother would have never stood up for him. If the first senior brother even had a minute of spare time, he would spend it all on cultivation.
The snow began to fall again.
The spring water gurgled, flowing beneath the frozen snow, which was why it was called the Quiet Spring.
Under the embrace of the snowy mountains, several delicate houses sat within a small valley. It seemed like a settlement in wonderland. A few Qi Practitioners with loose robes and tight sashes walked around elegantly and gracefully, talking and drinking with one another. They were as cheerful as they could get.
Suddenly, everyone turned around. A huge figure emerged from the forest. His steps were heavy, completely lacking the elegance and grace of Qi Practitioners. Just like a vicious beast had emerged from the forest, the Qi Practitioners all raised their guard.
“Who are you? This is the base of the Truth-seeking society.”
Li Qingshan said loudly, “I’ve come to see Han Xiong.” His voice boomed through the entire valley.
Han Xiong emerged from a hut and beamed with joy as soon as he saw Li Qingshan. “Fellow Niu, you’ve finally come!”
Li Qingshan nodded. “I’ve come to take a look.”
Han Xiong introduced him to the Qi Practitioners in a hurry. When they heard he was the infamous Niu Juxia, all of them were amazed. They looked at one another and smiled before gathering in the largest hut with Li Qingshan.
The hut had a timber floor. Everyone sat on the ground. There was a charcoal fire at the centre, which currently heated some alcohol and cooked some food. Warmth and a delicious fragrance filled the entire room.
To be able to find such a place in this snowy weather, even Li Qingshan relaxed slightly.
Han Xiong said, “Please wait, sir. I’ll go fetch the leader of our association.”
A while later, even more Qi Practitioners entered, approximately twenty of them. A group of Qi Practitioners all chattered away at Li Qingshan at the same time, filled with great enthusiasm. Two female cultivators even delivered a bowl of warm alcohol and a serving of soup filled with meat.
Li Qingshan sniffed it and praised, “Nice alcohol!” He drank all of it and ate all the meat, but he said nothing more.
The Qi Practitioners saw how he was reluctant to speak, so they did not force him to. They all began to chatter among themselves. Most of them spoke about the Herb Gathering ceremony. As it turned out, they planned on forming a small group to venture underground together, but their gazes constantly hovered around Li Qingshan.
However, Li Qingshan seemed to ignore all of it. He sat by the fire like a statue, allowing the swaying firelight to project his shadow onto the wall.
Before long, Han Xiong brought an old man over. The old man was as skinny as a monkey, but he wore a set of large, spacious robes for a daoist priest. He really did seem like he had stolen them from somewhere. Han Xiong had to bend over in order to whisper into his ear.
However, the independent cultivators all seemed to respect him very much. When they saw him enter, they all called out, “Leader!”
Li Qingshan looked over as well. A seventh layer Qi Practitioner was quite a rare master among these independent cultivators. Apart from the old man, there were two sixth layer Qi Practitioners too. The three of them seemed to be the leaders of these people.
Han Xiong said in a hurry, “Fellow Niu, this is the leader of our Truth-seeking society, priest Qiu.” Seeing how Li Qingshan had no intention to greet him, he became slightly awkward.
Slurp, slurp. Li Qingshan had his head lowered to drink the alcohol. Who knew what he was thinking.
Priest Qiu conveniently closed the door, and the whistling wind and snow from outside immediately subsided. This room seemed to have become a sealed world of its own.
Afterwards, he chuckled. “You must be fellow Niu, right? Most esteemed greetings from this lowly priest!” He was completely unfazed by Li Qingshan’s rudeness.
Li Qingshan nodded slightly. “Hi.”
Priest Qiu said, “Your presence truly is an honour to our humble Truth-seeking society. We’ve gathered many people of virtue today as well, so we definitely won’t disappoint you.”
Li Qingshan said, “I’m just taking a look.”
Priest Qiu also sat down by the fire. “Hehe, it’s fine if you just want to take a look. Let me tell you about our Truth-seeking society’s purpose. By truth-seeking, we mean…”
He went on a long ramble, giving an impassioned speech. He said something like everyone was brothers and sisters, as well as how evil sects were, harassing and abusing our brothers and sisters. As such, everyone needed to band together.
The shifty-looking old man seemed to become surrounded by a halo as he spoke, filled with absolute charm. As he spoke, he seemed to incite everyone on. The independent cultivators all raised their heads and were moved by his speech.
Li Qingshan had a heart of steel, so he could not be moved so easily. However, he found this to be somewhat familiar.
Priest Qiu suddenly stopped and asked Li Qingshan, “Fellow Niu, don’t you think so too?”
Immediately, over twenty pairs of eyes locked onto Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan replied, “It is?”
Everyone was delighted. Priest Qiu continued, “I’ve cultivated for a century, and from my observations of the cultivation world, the greatest issue is everyone’s selfishness. They treat cultivation methods like their personal treasures, only passing it onto their disciples. In the end, a lot of talented people live their whole lives in obscurity at the very bottom of the world. They are also directly responsible for a lot of cultivation methods becoming lost!”
The independent cultivators all nodded. They were the people with talent; it was only because none of them had inherited anything that they were reduced to independent cultivators.
“If we tear down the prejudices of clans and sects and share our cultivation methods and understandings with the entire cultivation world, such that all seniors serve as the teachers of juniors, wouldn’t the cultivation world prosper and develop? There would not be a lot of fighting and killing in the cultivation world either. In under a century, cultivators will definitely increase by a hundred fold in quantity and quality. By then, slaughtering all the daemons and demons in the world would pose no difficulty.”
His magnificent ideology made the independent cultivators extremely excited.
Li Qingshan was slightly surprised as well. Originally, he believed that this was just an alliance between independent cultivators, but never did he think that they possessed such a grand dream, and this dream was highly unrealistic. If it really did come true, it would not be far from eternal unity and peace.
Priest Qiu said sternly, “Of course, it’ll be very difficult, but as long as we work hard, there will always be hope. Our Truth-seeking society is the hope of the cultivation world!”
Afterwards was time for the independent cultivators to share their thoughts. A man stood up. “Originally, I was only a second layer Qi Practitioner. Ever since I joined the Truth-seeking society, I managed to benefit tremendously from the conversations with everyone else. I broke through recently to the third layer!”
There was a series of cheers and applause. The other Qi Practitioners all stood up and spoke as well. There would be cheering and applause after every single person. The room was immersed in the enthusiastic atmosphere.
In the end, it was Li Qingshan’s turn. He shook his head, expressing that he had nothing to say.
The independent cultivators refused to accept that. They all pressed him together. “Speak, speak, speak, speak, speak…”
Li Qingshan frowned slightly. Priest Qiu raised his hand, and the voices immediately stopped.
“Since fellow Niu is reluctant to speak, allow me to say something instead. No matter how the cultivation world wants to develop, or how each individual wants to improve themselves, the most, most crucial part of it all is forgoing your selfishness.” Priest Qiu extended a fist towards Li Qingshan before loosening it.
“Only by opening your fist can you hold even more. If you show others kindness, they will return it to you. In simpler words, only with sacrifice can you obtain more!”
Priest Qiu clapped his hands. “It’s time for everyone to share now. Let’s all take out our things! Fellow Niu, as long as you need anything, just mention it.”
The independent cultivators followed the same order as before, taking items out from their hundred treasures pouches to share. It could be spiritual herbs, or it could be pills. When it reached a female cultivator’s turn, she suddenly unbuttoned her clothes, revealing her full chest. She wanted to share her body. As long as someone needed to, they could visit her in her room. It utterly stunned Li Qingshan.
The female cultivator saw Li Qingshan’s expression and said proudly, “We’re all brothers and sisters. In this lonely world, we must seek comfort from one another. My body can bring satisfaction to you all, while I myself can find happiness too, so why not?”
It led to a series of praises. She raised her chest even higher, as if a much nobler spirit had replaced the unsophisticated beliefs of society. She seemed to rise up to the level of a holy maiden.
Li Qingshan grimaced. He said nothing. He just felt that he had sure seen a lot of strange things today.
The entire process unfolded in an extremely harmonious atmosphere. There were no disputes or arguments, holding goodwill to everyone else. When two or three Qi Practitioners wanted the same item, they would immediately take a step back and let each other have it. Probably even brothers connected by blood were not so friendly to one another.
Even across his two lives, Li Qingshan had never seen so many amicable, modest and polite people before.
Every single person smiled happily. In this lonely cultivation world, it was just fantastic to be able to treat each other warmly and lovingly.
In the end, it was Li Qingshan’s turn again.
Having remained silent throughout the entire process, Li Qingshan said again, “I have nothing to share!”
As if a bucket of cold water had been poured over the warmth and happiness, everyone’s faces changed. Over twenty pairs of eyes stared at him coldly.
Priest Qiu said, “Don’t forget what I said. Only with sacrifice can you obtain more. All you need to do is hand your heart to someone else, and they’ll hand their heart back to you.”
Han Xiong said, “Fellow Niu, didn’t you buy the version of the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi complete with comprehensions, and the Book of All? What’s wrong with taking those out and sharing with us?”
The eyes of all the independent cultivators lit up. The Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi complete with comprehensions was the holy grail among independent cultivators who practised Gui Water true qi, while the Book of All could be described as something that all independent cultivators required. However, these two books were just too expensive, so regular independent cultivators could not afford them.
Li Qingshan shook his head firmly. “I don’t want to share!” He had spent almost two hundred spiritual stones to purchase these two books, so there was no reason for him to share it with someone else for free. If all the books in the world really were just shared like this, Sun Fubai would have been put out of business a long time ago.
Though, he did not mind exchanging them with someone, but none of the items that the independent cultivators took out were worth much. Not a single one caught his attention. They were worth a few spiritual stones at most. These people probably did not try to keep anything good to themselves either. They were just poor.