Chapter 235 – Another Year of Heavy Snow
Li Qingshan sighed gently. He pushed off his knees and stood up, like a boxer who had been forced into another match before he had even recovered from the previous one.
However, there was no fear in his eyes!
This should be it!
At a certain time, great flakes of snow began to fall from the sky once again. Numerous figures flickered through the snow as their magnificent, silken robes fluttered gently. They did not leave behind a single mark on the snowy ground as if they were ghosts in the snow.
The ghosts looked at Li Qingshan like hunters who had found their prey. They were relaxed and satisfied with themselves. If they were slightly cautious, as they were worried that their prey might escape.
The “first senior brother” pointed at Li Qingshan and asked, “Junior brother Song, is this the person you were searching for?”
Song Ming said with hatred, “That’s him, first senior brother!”
“A fourth layer Qi Practitioner?” The first senior brother curled his lip in great disdain.
“Song Ming, you’re far too useless. You’re a sixth layer Qi Practitioner, yet you were defeated by someone weaker than you. And I had thought you had met someone powerful.”
The disciples of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain all mocked him. They became even more relaxed and cheerful. They did not take Li Qingshan seriously at all.
Song Ming’s face reddened. “First senior brother, his cultivation as a Qi Practitioner isn’t particularly great, but he’s a Body Practitioner too. He was completely unscathed when I hit him with a palm strike. We can’t be careless.”
Li Qingshan closed his eyes and sensed his surroundings. A ninth layer Qi Practitioner, two eighth layer Qi Practitioners, five seventh layer Qi Practitioners, and ten sixth layer Qi Practitioners. Was this the strength of a sect?
He could only match them in battle if he transformed, but fighting here would probably attract the attention of their seniors.
“Look, he has closed his eyes. Has he accepted his fate?” A disciple of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain laughed.
A dense mist rose up after that, surging everywhere like the tide. Li Qingshan vanished in the mist.
“Oh no, it’s a Great Mist talisman. He’s trying to escape!” Song Ming cried out.
As if someone had plucked a cloud from the sky and thrown it onto the ground, the mist pervaded the entire valley very soon. The pure-white mist was extremely thick, reducing visibility to basically zero. It contained water spiritual qi, so even the vision of Qi Practitioners would be heavily affected.
The first senior brother snorted coldly. “Mere trickery!”
With a wave of his hand, he used a technique quickly, and a great gust of wind arrived, dispersing the mist.
Wild winds whistled through the valley, causing everyone’s clothes to ruffle violently. Li Qingshan immediately appeared again. He had already made it to the slope in the distance and was fleeing with great speed.
Since he could not fight, he could only run!
“First senior brother’s Wild Wind technique sure is powerful!”
“Did he really think he can escape using tricks like that? How naive.”
The disciples of the Pheasant’s Grace mountains all sang praises, but they all moved quickly. With their sleeves fluttering in the wind, they chased after Li Qingshan.
Back when Song Ming rushed into the Proud Sword manor, he seemed extremely graceful, but here, there were at least a dozen people more graceful than him. They would cover several hundred meters with each glide.
The first senior brother was arrogant. Only after his junior brothers had taken off did he take off with a jolt of his sleeve. Despite moving later, he caught up and overtook them all, charging ahead and rapidly closing the distance from Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan used the Tiger Demon Climbs the Mountain, and with a leap, he climbed up to the top of the mountain. Hearing the whistling sounds from behind, he suddenly looked back.
The first senior brother reached a height even greater than the mountain peak and bellowed out, “Peck of the Golden Pheasant!” His right hand curled into the shape of a pheasant’s head as he lashed out at Li Qingshan from afar. He was like a golden pheasant pecking the bugs on the ground with indescribable ease.
However, Li Qingshan felt like he faced an imminent catastrophe, as he was playing the role of that bug on the ground.
A huge, golden beak pierced through the sky. He had used one of the greatest techniques of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain. All the disciples of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain were amazed. Although all inner disciples learned this technique, none of them could use it as skillfully as their first senior brother. They never thought that their first senior brother would use an ultimate move like this right from the beginning. The kid was dead for sure.
Li Qingshan felt like he was unable to dodge the simple beak no matter how he dodged. He raised his right hand, and the Whale’s Ingestion of Water gathered light, suddenly emitting a fist-sized ball of water.
The Gui Water blast collided with the pheasant’s beak in the air.
Rings of light radiated outwards as the violent wind made the forest ripple like wheat.
The first senior brother exclaimed, “The Gui Water blast!” With a jolt of true qi, he scattered the incoming wave of air, but he paused slightly as well. How could a mere fourth layer Qi Practitioner use the Gui Water blast? Suddenly, he noticed the spiritual artifact in Li Qingshan’s hand and came to an understanding, A high grade spiritual artifact. Song Ming was right. This kid was extremely wealthy. He was a good prey worth the hunt.
The other disciples on the ground were not as relaxed as he was. Many of them had been blown backwards by the violent wind due to their insufficient cultivation. They could only swallow the praises they were about to sing. They were in complete surprise. How did a fourth layer Qi Practitioner manage to block their first senior brother’s Peck of the Golden Pheasant?
Only Song Ming called out, “I said this before, this guy is tough to deal with!” He actually felt elated inside, while he hoped that Li Qingshan could unleash some stronger moves and last a little longer against their first senior brother, which would demonstrate it was not because he was useless, but because the enemy was just too powerful back then.
Li Qingshan used this time to leap off the mountain. He hurtled through the air; the world spun around him, and the chilly winds rushed into his face. He took out the underground mental map and unfurled it with both hands, studying it mid-air.
The cave leading underground closest to here was only fifteen kilometers away, below a mountain. If it were flat land, he could cover fifteen kilometers in just a moment, but he was in a mountain range, which meant he had to traverse a great mountain every few kilometers.
Although this was still the outskirts of the Boundless mountains and not actually the depths, the mountains still towered in an extraordinary manner. They were beyond logic. Any one of them could be regarded as a famous mountain if they appeared in Li Qingshan’s former life.
Even with the form of the Tiger Demon Climbs the Mountain, Li Qingshan’s speed was heavily affected. He conveniently stuck a mid grade Swift Breeze talisman on himself so that he could move slightly faster. The bare trees seemed to assault him as he ran through the forest, but even with that, Li Qingshan was unable to widen the distance between them. Every time he looked back, the ninth layer Qi Practitioner would be slightly closer.
However, he was not worried. He was not only thinking about how to escape.
The first senior brother felt extremely shocked. A fourth layer Qi Practitioner could actually erupt with such speed. He used the Golden Pheasant Flaps its Wings and spent most of his time gliding through the air, unaffected by the terrain, but he still struggled to catch up. This independent cultivator was truly a tough nut to crack.
The two of them crossed through the mountains, gradually pulling away from the disciples behind. The killing intent in Li Qingshan’s eyes grew heavier and heavier. He casually tossed aside a depleted spiritual stone before taking out another, rapidly replenished his true qi.
He had already taken out the Cursive Sword Calligraphy and placed it in his bosom. He could pull it out at any time and kill the enemy.
Li Qingshan glanced backwards at the first senior brother, who was only several hundred meters away from him. However, he looked past the first senior brother and at the sky even higher up. The sky had dimmed, filled with snow. Aside from him, no one else noticed a red star that rapidly flickered through the sky.
Xiao An stood on a large skull. She left behind a tail of scarlet flames as she sailed through the snow and wind. Her clothes and hair ruffled in the wind as a red light shone in her eyes. Her gaze pierced through the wind and snow as she gazed at the mountains below.
A snowy night like this, mountain terrain like this, and a sight like this. All of it seemed like deja vu.
Before they had even realised it, a year had already passed, but this time, she was no longer as weak and fragile like before. There was no need for her to watch on helplessly in despair as he traveled further and further away.
This time, she would definitely help him!
She was just waiting for a signal to attack!
Li Qingshan thought inside, A little further, just a little further!
The first senior brother had no idea that he had already fallen into a trap from above and below. The identities of the hunter and the hunted silently reversed. He had never even imagined that a mere fourth layer Qi Practitioner could pose any harm to him.
Li Qingshan climbed up another mountain peak. The first senior brother used this opportunity to pull within a hundred meters of him. He rejoiced as he raised his right hand, and a golden streak of light shot out, streaking through the raging wind and snow and leaving behind a golden stream.
Li Qingshan sensed danger. He could not look back in time, so he lifted the ice blade behind him.
Ding! The golden light stabbed deeply into the icy blade, and Li Qingshan’s hand trembled. Only then did he clearly see that the golden light was the golden plume of a pheasant. Even though the ice from the Ice Condensate water was as tough as a high grade spiritual artifact, the tiny plume actually managed to pierce into it. It was even more powerful than the West Gate Granny’s needle.
His protective true qi and any protective techniques were all as fragile as paper. Even defensive spiritual artifacts would probably be pierced all the way through by the attack if they were not high grade.
The first senior brother became even more surprised. He saw how the Peck of the Golden Pheasant could not kill Li Qingshan, so he did not use it again. Instead, he switched to this lifebound spiritual artifact, the Golden Pheasant’s plume, but he never thought it would be blocked by the ice blade.
The Golden Pheasant’s plume was no regular high grade spiritual artifact. All disciples of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain would nurture a spiritual artifact like this when they began practising qi. They would constantly channel it with true qi. Whenever their cultivation increased, they would forge it with essence gold, and in the end, it would result in this Golden Pheasant’s plume. The time and effort that went into it was immeasurable. However, it was terrifyingly powerful as well, and it could only be controlled by its owner using a specific method of the sect.
Li Qingshan did not leap down into the pitch-black valley. Instead, he stopped and turned around. The ice blade in his hand rapidly transformed, enveloping the Golden Pheasant’s plume in a great lump of ice.
The first senior brother stood on the tip of a lonely pine that swayed in the wind. He sneered. “You’re not running anymore?” He looked around. “This will be your tomb. It’s not bad at all!” He was completely unfazed by Li Qingshan’s actions.
Li Qingshan said, “Right back at you.” The Whale’s Ingestion of Water had released all the Ice Condensate water already, forming a sphere around the Golden Pheasant’s plume that he stood on.
The first senior brother sneered. “Now that’s pretty pigheaded of you! You want to try these mere tricks again? I’ll show you the power of our Pheasant’s Grace mountain. The Solar Radiance of the Golden Pheasant!”
The Golden Pheasant’s plume exploded with blinding light, completely piercing the ice sphere and dyeing it golden. It was magnificent.
However, Li Qingshan sensed the ice rapidly melt away, as if it was suppressed by the power within the Golden Pheasant’s plume and was unable to keep it trapped.
The first senior brother glided down. “Be a little more clever in your next life. Don’t offend the disciples of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain!”
Li Qingshan sighed emotionally. “Another year of heavy snow!”