Chapter 255 – Returning to Jiaping
Liu Ruping’s expression changed slightly, but she was afraid of retorting at Sun Fubai. She turned away to another table.
Li Qingshan made Xiao An wait outside as he moved through the town alone. The ancient structures in the surroundings folded up and transformed like the futuristic technology in movies; it was as if they had suddenly sprung alive.
He arrived outside the store of Miscellaneous Goods. He opened the door and light flooded out, landing on the dark street outside.
Li Qingshan heard a few familiar voices, and he also heard Liu Ruping. He raised an eyebrow, but he did not feel anything like intense hatred. All he did was find an obscure corner and wait quietly. The opportunity arrived sooner than he had imagined.
A few hours later, the entire town had collapsed down, with only the store of Miscellaneous Goods standing alone. Afterwards, it began to transform too.
The cultivators all emerged from the store. The last one to walk out was a plump, old madam, who also happened to be the owner of this store of Miscellaneous Goods, Shi Peipei.
As it turned out, there would be a gathering whenever the town closed up shop, but no one was in the mood for it anymore with the misfortune that had occurred.
In the end, the entire Town of Flowing Clouds collapsed into a small, wooden cube, landing in Shi Peipei’s hands. She returned it to her hundred treasures pouch before fishing out a small wooden ship. She tossed it into the air, and it expanded to a hundred times its size, hovering in the sky.
“I’m returning to the Clear River city to report back to the master of the school about what happened here. If you want to go to the Clear River city, please board the ship. If you have other matters you need to attend to, please take care of them yourself. Forgive me for being unable to see you off. The next time the Town of Flowing Clouds will be open for business will be in the warm third month, when the Academy of the Hundred Schools holds their entrance exams. Please don’t miss it.”
With a white sail on display, the winds surged, and the flying ship took off into the night sky like a gentle leaf. Just a while later, it became as small as a mustard seed. The ship sailed through a cloud and vanished.
Only a little over a dozen people watched the ship sail off with their heads raised on the open ground. They all lowered their heads again and bid farewell to each other.
Li Qingshan happened to be among them. Although he had already witnessed many wonders and miracles in this world, he was still amazed every time he saw a new one.
He lowered his head again and looked in the direction that Liu Ruping had travelled off in. Like a wild beast, he prowled through the night.
In the depths underground, the daemons formed a single group, colliding and roaring at each other. They brandished their claws and fangs, trying to frighten off their foes.
If they were humans, this would definitely evolve into a chaotic battle with a field littered with corpses. After all, they were creatures who could go from taking offence from a single glance to cursing aloud to stabbing each other to death.
Daemons were not intelligent enough for them to develop a complicated thought like pride, while anger was worth nothing before survival. If a great battle unfolded, the winning side would lose at least half of their daemon soldiers, no matter who won. Even the lives of the leaders could be under threat.
What kind of idiot was stupid enough to declare war? Humans? As a result, the four Daemon Generals chose to negotiate. However, their method of negotiation seemed very primitive and barbarous in the eyes of humans. There would be quite a lot of body collisions and brandishing of fangs and claws.
Among the daemons, the four Daemon Generals of varying appearances rapidly increased their daemon qi. Suddenly, a daemon soldier from a certain side came up to report a matter frantically.
“Great king, from below, she’s from below!”
Before he had even finished talking, eight lantern-sized eyes suddenly lit up in the dark cave. Each eye was filled with unimaginable cruelty and viciousness.
Under the gaze of those eyes, the daemons all trembled. Many of the large daemons who had originally been brandishing their fangs and claws now lay there, whimpering. Even the powerful Daemon Generals, enough to serve as nightmares to Qi Practitioners, showed fear. This was their nightmare.
However, what emerged from the darkness was a frosty but beautiful madam who dragged her bright, red dress along. Her scarlet lips parted slightly as she said icily, “Where’s Milliped?”
Liu Ruping grumbled inside about how Shi Peipei had refused to let her onto the ship. Otherwise, who knows how glorious it would have been if she returned to her clan in this great ship.
She sat on a silken carpet. The corners of the carpet shone with glyphs as it flew along the ground. Although it flew at a very low altitude, the treacherous terrain no longer posed a problem to her.
Just as she was wondering about what kind of greeting she would receive when she returned to the clan, a wild gust of wind suddenly blew over. Before she had even understood what had happened, a huge, invisible hand wrapped around her neck, lifting her into the air.
Li Qingshan appeared. He gripped the Whale’s Ingestion of Water and asked, “Do you recognise this blade?”
How could she not recognise it? Liu Ruping’s gaze immediately became filled with fear and pleas. Suddenly, she felt the grip around her neck loosen. “Y- you’re Niu Juxia? Thank the heavens that you’re fine. I heard the people of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain were hunting for you. It made me so worried that I couldn’t even sleep for several days.”
“Do you still plan on denying it after everything that has happened so far?” If Li Qingshan had not heard what she had uttered earlier in the lobby, he might have actually been fooled by her.
“Those are just their one-sided statements. Why would I do that?” Liu Ruping quibbled. She seemed completely reasonable, and she shed some tears as a beauty too. It was an indescribably moving sight.
Li Qingshan began to falter. Originally, he wanted her to die convinced, but he never expected her to deny it all. Apart from the single statement from the masked man, he did not have any evidence that proved Liu Ruping had backstabbed him.
Liu Ruping said, “As long as you spare me, I’ll do whatever you want.”
Li Qingshan suddenly mocked himself. “I’m not the court, so why would I need any evidence? Since you want me to die, then I’ll send you off first!” He raised his blade, and there was a splash of blood, but before it had even reached the ground, it had melded into Xiao An’s flames. All traces of her were removed.
The more beautiful a creature was, the more thrilling it was to destroy them. Probably only humans could understand such a complicated thought. Far too many connotations would always be attaching to killing. Daemons were much simpler. Most of the time, it was just a single word, eat.
Li Qingsahn did not want to become a deviant. Although he tried his best to make himself simpler, of course, he did not plan on eating.
As the east brightened, Li Qingshan stopped and gazed at the grand city that stood near the mountains and by the river in the distance. After several months, he had finally returned to Jiaping city once again.
Li Qingshan changed into the Black Wolf uniform and equipped his Wind-entwining blade, while Xiao An reverted to human form and put on a new set of clothes.
Li Qingshan held Xiao An’s hand and walked over to Jiaping city.
After all these months, he slowed down for the first time. He strolled leisurely. The snow on the sides of the path had yet to melt, while the structures on the two sides gradually became denser and taller. There were decorations everywhere.
It made Li Qingshan suddenly remember that it was the new year. Calculating the time, he had abandoned his old age. He had grown another year older. He was seventeen.
The crows of roosters rose and fell as smoke began to rise from chimneys into the sky. The entire city became enveloped in a grey haze.
What was he doing when he was seventeen in his previous life? He was still studying at school, living the dull, monotonous life of a high school student. Yet right now, he had already claimed the lives of several thousand people. He had to admit that the latter lifestyle was a little more interesting.
Perhaps some people would sigh sorrowfully that being ordinary was reality, or perhaps they would miss the peaceful lives of their past. However, Li Qingshan had none of these feelings. He was willing to undertake even greater danger, abandon even more ethics, just in exchange for how interesting it was.
At the foot of the mountain, Li Qingshan looked at the hawk forged from metal and climbed up the steps.