Chapter 262 – Cloud Riding and Mist Wielding
As for those Water Arrow techniques and Water Prison techniques, Li Qingshan had not even considered them. He was not lacking in terms of attacks.
Finally, his gaze landed on two images. Every single technique had a simple image like that.
One of the images depicted a cultivator standing on a thin, white cloud, while the other image depicted a cultivator surrounded with churning mist as if he was accelerating forwards.
What he wanted to learn right now was the Cloud Riding technique and the Mist Wielding technique.
These two techniques were both interlinked and independent of one another.
The Cloud Riding technique focused on hovering vertically, but it was not even as fast as a horse, while the Mist Wielding technique focused on movement, but it was restricted to flying along the ground. With the two combined, the user could ride clouds and wield mist, allowing them to fly freely through the air.
He did not have any particular reason for this. Flight was the dream of all people, and Li Qingsahn was no exception. And, the value of flight in battle was self-explanatory.
When he emerged from seclusion, he could directly fly into the sky and use the Glazed Mirror of Invisibility to hide himself. By then, even Foundation Establishment cultivators would struggle to find him in the expansive sky.
And, learning techniques could deepen his control over Gui Water true qi and consolidate his cultivation.
He did what he wanted to do and immediately began to study it. In the sealed room, Li Qingshan formed seals with his hands as he steadied his breath and controlled his heart. A white cloud began to gather in his hand.
In another dwelling for secluded cultivation, Qian Rongzhi began her own cultivation.
Diao Fei watched as the stone door closed slowly with a mixed expression. Qian Rongzhi waved at him with a smile. “I hope you have a safe trip back.” In the very depths of the stone cave were a pile of black bags. The items in there were round and even seemed to be moving, with fresh blood slowly oozing out. They should have been out right now, carrying out a mission.
The smile that could be regarded as gentle and kind instead made Diao Fei shiver inside. Qian Rongzhi did not accept any bribes from him. Instead, she only requested him to help her with something “small”. He had wandered the world for many years now, and he had never been soft-hearted when it came to killing people, but compared to how this woman killed people, he seemed as simple and cute as a child.
These people would vanish from the world forever, and no one would even suspect her.
The stone door closed loudly, and Diao Fei left eagerly, like he was running away from something terrifying. With Qian Rongzhi’s assistance, he managed to place his post in the Hawkwolf Guard on hold, allowing him to return to the Green Vine mountain to cultivate.
The verdant mountain that he once hated suddenly seemed like a wonderland to him, like a verdant pearl. At the very least, the Green Vine mountain was much safer compared to constantly residing with those two people on the Hawkwolf mountain.
Whenever he wondered about whether she would come for him after learning about her secret, he would struggle to find peace. Fortunately, he could finally return now.
The horse galloped for several days, and Diao Fei returned to the Green Vine mountain once more. Compared to its past prosperity, it seemed particularly quiet and lonely now.
Arriving in the main hall, the Green Vine Elder personally received him and gave him a few words of encouragement in an amicable manner. However, Diao Fei had already been through and seen too much of life, so his heart did not rile up over just a few words. He only put on an act that he was moved to tears out of gratitude.
Apart from him, there were a few other men and women he was not too familiar with. Some seemed slightly familiar, while he was completely unfamiliar with the others. However, none of them had a particularly high cultivation. With his cultivation at the fourth layer, he actually ranked third out of them.
They had all been elevated to internal disciples, and they were each allocated a position in the sect. Every single one of them were easy jobs that they could never get their hands on no matter how hard they tried in the past, but now, there were almost not enough people for all of these jobs. The resources and treatment that came with the jobs could almost rival what the first senior brother received in the past.
Diao Fei had been allocated the job of managing and guiding new disciples and their rudimentary cultivation method. This job seemed nothing special, but it was the most prestigious.
The Green Vine Elder gave them a few words of advice before returning to where he cultivated. The remaining disciples of the Green Vine mountain all greeted one another.
One of them was a man with a stubble. He stepped up and said, “I’m Yu Shukuang. Greetings, senior brother Diao.” Looking around and seeing how there was no one around, he stifled his voice. “Senior brother Diao, I heard you recently returned from the Hawkwolf Guard of Jiaping city, right?”
Diao Fei frowned slightly. Serving as the hawks and hounds of the government was not well-received within sects. He had basically touched on Diao Fei’s sore spot, but Diao Fei still affirmed the answer.
Yu Shukuang asked, “Then, are you familiar with Li Qingshan?”
Diao Fei immediately became afraid to cold-shoulder him. “You know him?”
Yu Shukuang said, “Who doesn’t know the great name of the Tiger Butcher?” Seeing how Diao Fei did not believe him, he added, “You can say that I’ve met him once.”
There was no point in hiding anything, so Diao Fei told him about Li Qingshan’s return.
Yu Shukuang seemed like a coarse person, but he was very quick-witted and careful. He maintained a neutral expression and naturally changed the topic of the conversation, going on about the daughter he took pride in.
However, he sighed gently inside. In the past, Liu Fengrui had placed the Proud Sword manor under the Green Vine mountain’s governance, so as the lord of the manor, he was basically half a member of the Green Vine mountain. However, the reason why he could come to the Green Vine mountain was all thanks to Yu Zijian.
After learning that Yu Zijian had a tremendously bright future ahead of her, the Green Vine Elder wanted to establish a positive relationship with her, which was why Yu Shukuang went from half a member of the Green Vine mountain to a full member of the Green Vine mountain, and an internal disciple at that.
Originally, not a single sect would be willing to accept an adult like him. No matter how much the Green Vine mountain had declined, the Green Vine Elder would still much rather start with babies. Why would an experienced member of the jianghu like Yu Shukuang display any loyalty to sects?
Apart from being grateful in general, the main reason why he asked about Li Qingshan was because of Yu Zijian. Yu Zijian had returned safely from the Green Vine mountain and told her father about everything that had happened.
Although Yu Shukuang found that it was quite the pity for Yu Zijian to turn down the Sword Collection palace’s invitation, he still felt he had been quite lucky this year, so he held a great celebration in the manor. However, Yu Zijian always seemed to be in thought, becoming much quieter. She was no longer as lively as she was in the past. Yu Shukuang could not help but lament over how her daughter had grown up.
Before he came to the Green Vine mountain, Yu Zijian asked him to watch out for a certain person with great seriousness. This person was obviously “Niu Juxia” who had fallen silent after the Herb Gathering ceremony.
Yu Shukuang obviously knew who Niu Juxia was, so he leapt in fright. Surely he had not stolen his daughter’s heart, right? However, looking at Yu Zijian, she did not seem like a young girl falling in love for the first time either, so he added something.
“Under these circumstances, he’s probably already…. What are you going to do?” He was afraid she would say something along the lines of mourning for the rest of her life, never to fall in love again, or dying for love.
Yu Zijian lowered her head in silence for quite a while before answering, “I will definitely avenge him!”
The determination in her words made him wonder whether the person before him was still his daughter. He could not help but sigh inside, Zi’er, oh Zi’er, it seems like our daughter really isn’t as gentle as you.
Now that he had learnt that Li Qingshan had returned safely, he felt pained once again. How was he supposed to contact her?
Diao Fei said suddenly, “Li Qingshan is going to the Academy of the Hundred Schools to study soon. Perhaps he’ll be a fellow student of your daughter.”
Yu Shukuang was surprised inside, which was followed up with a bitter smile. As it seemed, there was no need for him to be pained over this. Though, was there really some destiny between them? Hopefully it was nothing bad.
“Li Qingshan is back.” Hua Chengzan tossed a document before Wang Pushi.
It was Fang Enshang’s report. Not only did it have Li Qingshan’s explanation of the case on Zhuo Zhibo’s death, but it also detailed Fang Enshang’s praise for him as well as a personal recommendation for Li Qingshan to join the school of Legalism.
This was not solely due to Qian Rongzhi. Li Qingshan had swept through several dozen older cases as soon as he had joined the Hawkwolf Guard, and he had brought back the head of the most wanted criminal on the blacklist, the Zombie Daoist, with the assistance of the disciples of mohism. He was truly capable. Although he was a little fierce, it matched the stern spirit of legalism to uphold the laws.
Wang Pushi saw and became slightly angered. “He’s actually bold enough to return. Does he really take us for idiots who can’t see through his tricks? Little Fang is far too inexperienced with the world. He has no idea about how vile human nature can get.”
Hua Chengzan said, “Old Wang, don’t get taken away by your first impression of him. Enshan has been telling the truth. You can definitely call Li Qingshan capable when it comes to the job, and he cultivates extremely quickly too. He’s quite a rare talent. He can expand the prestige and renown of our school of Legalism.”
Wang Pushi glanced at him in surprise. “Why do you have such a favourable impression of him all of a sudden? Forget it, let’s just go with that then. I can’t afford to be bothered by this kid. Destroying the remnants of the White Lotus cult is what’s important.” With that, he left in a hurry.
Hua Chengzan looked out the window. The winter snow had begun to melt, and the creatures were beginning to awaken. He did not tell Wang Pushi the real reason.
Back then on the Green Vine mountain, before Gu Yanying had left, she casually said, “If you meet him again in the future, feel free to keep an eye out for him and take care of him. After all, he’s still a person I’ve given guidance to.”
How could he not pay heed to something she had said? It was inappropriate to tell Wang Pushi this in the first place, or it would earn him quite the scolding.
As for the young man who was bold enough to directly ogle her, he was rather interested too, but it was impossible for him to feel any jealousy. Over all these years, who knew how many people she had given guidance to.
On the way back to Clear River city, Hua Chenglu said something to him that he believed to be the most mature thing she had said over all these years, “Brother, you’d better give up. She’s not someone I can imagine falling deeply in love with a man.”
Hua Chengzan could only smile even more bitterly after smiling bitterly. He could not imagine that either. She was as graceful and unrestrained as the wind, and she never demonstrated any emotions, whether it be joy, anger, or sorrow. Even now, he still could not see through her thoughts. She could be as gentle as the spring breeze or as cold as the frigid winds. She was just as unpredictable as the wind. Since she was the wind, why would she remain tethered to someone’s bosom?
Xiao An opened her eyes after rousing from meditation. She had condensed a third Skull Prayer Bead in her hand.
Soon afterwards, she heard Li Qingshan’s eager voice. “Look, Xiao An. I can fly.”
Xiao An looked over and burst out in laughter. Li Qingshan sat with his legs crossed and his hands in seals as white clouds appeared from beneath him, lifting him from the ground. However, he was only a foot off the ground, and he even tottered about. He was nowhere close to flying.
Li Qingshan was not embarrassed. He chortled and said, “This is the first step of a long journey. Just you wait for the day I fly beyond the Nine Heavens!”
Xiao An’s gaze became gentle. “Together.”