Chapter 265 – Visiting the Parlour of Clouds and Rain Again
Qian Rongzhi was no longer the same Qian Rongzhi as before. She was not in a hurry to change her fate by seducing a superior officer like she had been when she first arrived in Jiaping city. She had the time to wait for the biggest fish now. She knew extremely well that all men were worthless creatures. It would be easier for her to achieve her objective if they could not obtain her.
However, all of this was established on the basis of cultivation. Only with her cultivation at the sixth layer did she attract Wu Gen’s proper attention, preventing him from resorting to more forceful methods.
In the past in Jiaping city, even if she wanted to control Zhuo Zhibo like this, it would have been impossible. Only with strength could she win respect. This was one of the most fundamental principles in the cultivation world.
Li Qingshan saw exactly what was happening, but he did not expose her either. Originally, he had some small grievances with Wu Gen, but now, he instead pitied him. He bowed. “Greetings to sir Wu.”
Wu Gen saw how Li Qingshan was at the sixth layer, but he did not behave particularly arrogantly, so Wu Gen casually returned with a bow. “Not bad. You have some talent. You can consider changing your uniform. Once you join the Academy of the Hundred Schools in a few days’ time, we’ll be one big family, so we’ll need to know each other better. Come with me. I’ll take you to see commander Hua.”
“May I ask where commander Hua is?”
“In the Parlour of Clouds and Rain, obviously. Let’s go together.”
Li Qingshan was slightly surprised, while Qian Rongzhi seemed troubled too. She had just been expelled from the Sect of Clouds and Rain. She had personally killed Wei Zhongyuan’s son, while her cultivation all came from the Method of Clouds and Rain too.
“Rongzhi, I’ve already told you before. That place isn’t like what you imagine it to be. There’s quite a lot of interesting stuff there. Almost all of the best chefs of the entire Clear River prefecture are there. You won’t be disappointed if you go.” Wu Gen had thought Qian Rongzhi was reluctant to visit a brothel, so he persuaded her softly.
Qian Rongzhi tactfully explained Li Qingshan’s grievances with the Sect of Clouds and Rain.
Wu Gen sized up Li Qingshan. “I couldn’t tell, but you sure know how to make trouble.”
Li Qingshan said, “Things never happen according to plan. I’ll stay here for the night and see commander Hua tomorrow.”
“Hold on!” Wu Gen fished out his Scarlet Wolf tablet and flicked it gently. With a flash, he actually began to talk through it, “Big brother Hua, there’s someone from Jiaping city called Li Qingshan who wants to see you, but he seems to have some disputes with big sis Qiu. Yep. Okay!”
Afterwards, he raised his head. “Just wait here. He said he’ll be here in a moment.”
Li Qingshan felt like he had transmigrated back to his previous life and fell into a trance for a moment. He wondered, Just who is this big sis Qiu?
Qian Rongzhi whispered, “The sect master of the Sect of Clouds and Rain, Qiu Haitang. A Foundation Establishment cultivator.”
Li Qingshan shuddered. The Hawkwolf Guard of the Clear River prefecture actually had such deep ties with the Sect of Clouds and Rain.
Wu Gen did not behave as arrogantly and recklessly as he did in the Quiet Spring valley in front of his own colleagues. However, he did have to fulfill his ego.
Li Qingshan and Qian Rongzhi thought of the same thing. They played along with him reluctantly while constantly looking at one another, which displeased Wu Gen slightly.
A while later, there was a long whinny, and a fine horse with a silver mane stopped at the entrance. It actually hovered above the ground, having galloped over on the wind.
The horse was a head taller than regular horses, and it was covered in fine scales. It was more than just a fine steed, but almost a divine steed. A robust figure dismounted from the horse. He was Hua Chengzan.
Wu Gen smiled. “Brother Hua, how about you sell me this Silver Dragon horse for a thousand spiritual stones?”
Hua Chengzan glanced at Wu Gen. “More like just a leg of the horse.” He was clearly tipsy. His face was flushed from drinking, like he had put on rouge. It made him seem extremely beautiful, but his gaze was still clear. As soon as he saw Li Qingshan, his eyes lit up. He never thought the person mentioned by her would appear before him so soon.
After seeing through Li Qingshan’s cultivation, he was surprised. He clicked his tongue in wonder. “The sixth layer! Impressive, impressive!”
Li Qingshan said without being too polite or rude, “Greetings, commander Hua.”
Hua Chengzan waved his hand. “We’re not working right now, so you’re forbidden from calling me commander.”
Wu Gen said, “When I was his age, I was around the sixth layer too. What’s so impressive about that?”
Having reached the eighth layer at such a young age, Wu Gen was known as a genius even among Clear River city that was teeming with talented people. The only person he openly admired was Hua Chengzan. Hearing how he praised Li Qingshan’s cultivation, even doing it before Qian Rongzhi, he was rather unwilling to accept it.
Although Li Qingshan was only seventeen, he gave off a mature bearing. No one who saw him would treat him like a regular teenager. Instead, he was a man who possessed his own charm.
Hua Chengzan said, “How long did it take for you to reach the sixth layer?”
“Around ten years? What’s it got to do with this?” Wu Gen came from a prominent clan too. He had begun cultivating in his youth. He had been sent to the Academy of the Hundred Schools after developing a slight foundation.
Hua Chengzan raised a finger. “He only used one year.”
“Brother Hua, don’t kid around with me!” Wu Gen was immediately stunned. He looked at Li Qingshan in surprise and doubt. He was unable to tell that this slightly unrefined kid had such great talent.
Hua Chengzan asked Li Qingshan, “Am I right?”
Li Qingshan replied, “Basically.”
Wu Gen’s gaze towards Li Qingshan now became much more cautious.
Hua Chengzan wrapped his arm around Li Qingshan’s shoulder naturally. “Come! Let’s go take a look at the Parlour of Clouds and Rain with me!” He immediately felt Li Qingshan’s body stiffen. He smiled, revealing his pearly, white teeth. Although he was slightly tipsy, he seemed quite charming.
Qian Rongzhi thought, So that’s all there is to the man of so-called unmatched handsomeness! She was afraid of carelessly targeting this man, even though he had great value in being used, as she had personally witnessed the sect master of the Sect of Clouds and Rain, Qiu Haitang, before.
Li Qingshan never thought he would be immediately entering the den of his greatest enemy so far as soon as he arrived in Clear River city. There was a Foundation Establishment cultivator there, so was he not walking into the belly of the beast? He could tell how Hua Chengzan had close ties to the Sect of Clouds and Rain, so surely he was not working with the sect to screw him over, right?
Hua Chengzan said, “Don’t be so nervous. Relax. Women might be as fierce as tigers, but they’re not man-eaters at the end of the day. Right, Rongzhi?”
Qian Rongzhi let out a shallow smile. “Yeah.”
Wu Gen took an even deeper liking towards her. Now that’s a woman I would admire. Regular women would just ogle Hua Chengzan uncontrollably when they met him. They would never be able to deal with him as smoothly as Qian Rongzhi did.
Li Qingshan hesitated slightly. Hua Chengzan slapped Li Qingshan’s back. “Don’t worry, this is my territory, so I can guarantee that you’ll be fine. If there’s anything you want to say, you can spit it all out. As mighty Hawkwolf guards, we can’t just hide around every single day.”
Qian Rongzhi said, “Yeah, Qingshan. Let’s go take a look!”
“As the commander wishes.” Li Qingshan knew that he could not decline. Hesitating would instead attract suspicion, so he agreed firmly.
Qian Rongzhi had a sinister mind, but her insight was sharp too. Since she was bold enough to go, it meant she had already made a judgement. He trusted her judgement. The two of them were in the same boat for this matter. As a matter of fact, her crimes as a traitor were much larger than his.
If even she was bold enough to go, why was he supposed to be afraid? Being able to resolve this issue of living in constant fear of being attacked would be good too.
“Didn’t I say not to call me commander? Though, agreeing is more like it.”
Then, Hua Chengzan crouched down and said to Xiao An beside Li Qingshan, “You must be the Xiao An that the Sect of Clouds and Rain is searching for!”
Xiao An ignored him. She only clung onto Li Qingshan’s hand.
Wu Gen laughed aloud. “Looks like even you have times when you are defeated.”
Hua Chengzan rubbed his nose. “Looks like my charm isn’t enough to affect girls at such an age. Grow up quickly. Then you’ll know just who’s better compared to this Li person.”
Wu Gen laughed aloud, while Li Qingshan grinned. It was difficult to develop any ill will towards him.
The five of them left the building. Li Qingshan looked at the Silver Dragon horse there. Up close, it was even more beautiful. Every single muscle of its body possessed rippling beauty, while the spiritual qi flowing through it was extremely pure too.
Li Qingshan knew this was a spiritual beast that had been tamed by humans. If he measured it according to the scale of daemons, it was already a rather powerful daemonic beast. The stirrups and horseshoes on the horse all shone with light. Together, they were equivalent to a high grade spiritual artifact at the very least. Along with the daily costs to feed and take care of it, it was not something that any regular Qi Practitioners could afford to keep. Even if they could afford to keep it, there was no need for them to keep one either.
However, these unnecessary aspects only demonstrated the Hua family’s strength.
“Do you want to try riding it? Come, I’ll lift you onto it.” Seeing Xiao An ogle at the Silver Dragon Horse, Hua Chengzan seemed to refuse to accept the fact that his charm had failed, so he smiled.
Xiao An refused again. Li Qingshan directly lifted her onto the horse and patted the side of the horse. “Just ride it. There’s still quite a long way!”
“Be careful!” Hua Chengzan warned in a hurry, but he saw how the Silver Dragon horse just stood there without moving. He seemed stunned. “That’s strange. This guy usually has a fiery temper. If I don’t tell him beforehand, he never lets anyone ride him.”
Horses might not be as clever as humans, but they had senses for danger that humans did not possess.
Wu Gen took out something like a tablet and summoned a fine steed. It was not as great as a divine steed like the Silver Dragon horse, but it was still an extraordinary spiritual beast. He invited Qian Rongzhi to mount it.
Qian Rongzhi thanked him with a nod before mounting the horse elegantly.
Hua Chengzan and Wu Gen walked as they led the horses along. The ground followed the main street towards the Parlour of Clouds and Rain. Along the way, Hua Chengzan and Wu Gen discussed the advantages of disadvantages of various mounts, not just horses. Sure enough, they were extremely expensive. Including the entire set of equipment, they would cost several thousand spiritual stones at the very least.
Li Qingshan was unable to chime in either. He felt like a kid from the countryside listening to the young masters of the city discussing which car to buy.
While he could afford one, he would never waste his spiritual stones on an aspect like this. He would convert every single spiritual stone in his possession into his own power so that he could fly to higher skies.
Of course, if he really wanted a mount, there were quite a few impressive ones among the daemonic beasts underground. Even if humans managed to catch these wild daemonic beasts alive, they would be impossible to tame, but it was perfectly justifiable for a daemon soldier leader to harass his subordinates.
However, if he wanted to return there, just his identity as a daemon soldier leader would be nowhere near enough. He needed to undergo a heavenly tribulation and successfully become a Daemon General. Only then could he return to the region and reclaim it.
Hua Chengzan would introduce the local customs, cultures, and stories of the prefectural city from time to time as well. He was full of witty remarks, such that no one found it boring.
They arrived before a glorious building. The four words, Parlour of Clouds and Rain, hung high on the building.