Chapter 269 – Giant Lumberman
Actually, Li Qingshan had no intentions of insulting Qiu Haitang, as these words originated from the bottom of his heart. Qiu Haitang was obviously a supreme beauty, and just like any regular man, he became interested in her, but that was it. It was nothing compared to his familial bond with Xiao An.
However, probably the only person present who approved of this idea was Qian Rongzhi.
“I’m willing to serve as the wager!” A tender voice suddenly rang out. Xiao An had suddenly spoken up after so much silence.
“Xiao An!” Li Qingshan reprimanded.
Xiao An shot a glance at Li Qingshan. “And what will you be wagering?”
The anger in Qiu Haitang’s heart was temporarily repressed by this wonderful news. She said coldly, “I’ll wager this.” She took out an embroidered box and opened the lid, revealing a jade-green pill.
Haze-like mist dispersed, permeating the entire room. Li Qingshan found the jade-green pill to be extremely familiar. It was what Xuanyue had fed him originally. This was the exact type of pill that had saved him from a lengthy period of accumulation, allowing him to directly condense a daemon core.
“A Virtue Accumulation pill!” Han Qiongzhi cried out.
The other disciples of legalism all stared straight at the pill in interest.
In essence, Virtue Accumulation pills were the same type of pills as Qi Condensing and Qi Amassing pills. They were helpful for cultivation. They were called Virtue Accumulation pills because ingesting one was equivalent to a year of accumulating virtue, which was also a year’s worth of cultivation.
Time was the greatest enemy of cultivators, and Virtue Accumulation pills could save an entire year. A pill like that was extremely precious to all cultivators.
“You’re actually willing to take out this pill?” Hua Chengzan furrowed his brows. It was not a small wager for her to risk a Virtue Accumulation pill for a sixth layer Qi Practitioner’s life. As a matter of fact, it was just too great of a wager. This only demonstrated just how determined she was to go forward with this gamble.
Qiu Haitang ignored Hua Chengzan. She said to Li Qingshan, “I don’t want your head. If you lose, then you will have to remain in my Sect of Clouds and Rain and serve as a slave for the rest of your life.”
When Li Qingshan and Xiao An had glanced at each other earlier, they had already made up their minds. If he lost, was he really supposed to cut off his head? He would obviously take off immediately and flee. The only reason why he was willing to wager Xiao An was because he was not wagering anything at all.
Qiu Haitang had obviously considered this too, but she refused to believe that a sixth layer Qi Practitioner could slip away under her watch. This gamble was just to shut up Hua Chengzan.
Li Qingshan acted like he was hesitant before finally agreeing, “Alright!”
“Wait here. I’ll go make some preparations.” Qiu Haitang turned around to leave, but she heard Li Qingshan call out, “Hold on, leave the wager here!”
Qiu Haitang shot a vicious glare at him before tossing the Virtue Accumulation pill to Hua Chengzan. “You can be the eye witness!”
After Qiu Haitang left, the disciples of legalism all gathered over. None of them dared to look down on Li Qingshan anymore. Although he was labelled as arrogant and ignorant to be bold enough to challenge a Foundation Establishment cultivator, his courage was quite admirable at the same time. However, everything aside from the admiration was deep disgust.
Even Li Qingshan was not capable enough to sway all these people that Qiu Haitang had spent many years familiarising with over to his side in just a few words.
Wu Gen whispered, “Brother Hua, why’d you fall out with big sis Qiu over this kid?”
Hua Chengzan only smiled. Why would anyone take what he had said earlier seriously anyway? He said to Li Qingshan, “It’s still not too late for you to back out. As long as I’m here, she can’t do anything to you.”
Li Qingshan said, “But I have some confidence in these three areas.”
Wu Gen sighed. As it seemed, Hua Chengzan was determined to support this kid.
Han Qiongzhi suddenly slapped Li Qingshan’s shoulder. “Nice one, kid. I think you can do it. Win over that Virtue Accumulation pill and make the Hawkwolf Guard proud.”
An hour later, Qiu Haitang returned, “Come with me!” She had already recovered her grace, without any resentment or anger anymore.
The cloud landed on the rooftop slowly. With a series of mechanical whirlings, huge beams of wood glided about, colliding in the air and opening up the top floors of the Parlour of Clouds and Rain.
It made Li Qingshan think of what he saw in the Town of Flowing Clouds. Clearly, the Parlour of Clouds and Rain was also designed by mohists. When the last two large beams merged together, it formed a huge, empty space. In the several floors around the space, there were at least several hundred Qi Practitioners leaning against the railing, watching on.
It was almost time for the entrance examination to the Academy of the Hundred Schools. Most of the non-local Qi Practitioners would choose to check out this renowned parlour within the prefectural city, while Qiu Haitang had already set up a round of betting for everyone. Not only could she make money off it, she could have everyone serve as an eye witness too.
This place seemed like a huge arena.
Li Qingshan landed in the arena and stepped on the ground. He felt that it was firm enough. Afterwards, he had Xiao An wait to the side as he walked into the centre of the space alone. He called out, “Sect master Qiu, where’s the person who will be competing against me?”
Qiu Haitang clapped gently, and Li Qingshan saw a huge door open loudly. A massive figure slowly walked out with heavy steps, along with a series of clatter.
Hua Chengzan said, “Oh no, it’s an otherperson!”
The giant figure emerged from the darkness, arriving below the light. There were gasps from all floors.
Li Qingshan stood quite tall and straight, but when the figure arrived before him, he had to raise his head to see the latter’s fearsome face.
A messy beard covered most of the face, with a large nose protruding out and two deeply-set eyes, which gave off a vicious light.
He seemed human, but he stood over four meters tall, almost as tall as three people. His rippling muscles were a pale yellow, like freshly-cut lumber, but his arms, legs, and neck were all wrapped in chains.
Apart from regular humans, there were many “otherfolk” in the world as well. They seemed like humans, but they possessed many other, strange features, perhaps longer legs or four arms instead of two, and so on.
It was said that these otherfolk were originally widespread throughout the nine provinces, forming their own tribes and countries. However, with the rise of humans, not only had they purged daemons and demons, but these otherfolk had been expelled as foreign people too. Gradually, they vanished from the view of regular people. They only appeared in distant, remote lands rarely visited by humans.
This giant happened to be a type of the many otherfolk, called the Giant Lumberfolk. They lived deep within the mountains. It was rumored that they were similar to trees, able to extract nutrients from the ground and constantly grow larger like trees, which was why they were gigantic and called Giant Lumberfolk.
Hua Chengzan had never thought that Qiu Haitang would actually find a giant lumberman to compete against Li Qingshan either. The odds were truly against Li Qingshan this time. Just with this giants huge stature, Hua Chengzan believed that Li Qingshan would lose even without competing when it came to drinking and strength.
“Haiting, that’s almost like cheating to use an otherperson in the gamble.”
Qiu Haitang smiled indifferently. “An otherperson is still a person, and his cultivation as a Qi Practitioner definitely has not reached the sixth layer. Is there anything wrong with that? If he wants to forfeit, he can do it before the match. You can be quiet now.”
Although the giant had not reached the sixth layer, the amount of true qi his giant body could contain definitely surpassed sixth layer Qi Practitioners.
Han Qiongzhi was rather reluctant to accept this, but she had to admit that Qiu Haitang was crafty. She truly lived up to her identity as a sect master and a Foundation Establishment cultivator. Looking at Li Qingshan now, he seemed to be utterly frightened, and she felt some pity for him. He was quite brave to be bold enough to gamble against a Foundation Establishment cultivator, but he was a little lacking in the brains department.
The bit of admiration the other disciples of legalism felt towards Li Qingshan had completely vanished. All of them mocked and made fun of him now, like he was an idiot trying to break rocks using eggs.
Wu Gen said to Qian Rongzhi, “We really can’t blame him for this. He’s come from a small place after all. He doesn’t know the power of Foundation Establishment cultivators.”
Qian Rongzhi said instead, “You can’t be too sure about that.”
A person called out from above, “Sect master Qiu, are you playing a joke? How can you still call this a gamble?”
Qiu Haitang said, “Just cast your bets as you please. I’ll treat all the spiritual stones you win as gifts to you all.”
“Can I place a bet too?” Li Qingshan said suddenly.
Hua Chengzan was slightly surprised. There was no dejection in Li Qingshan’s voice. It was still filled with confidence.
Qiu Haitang’s gaze landed on Li Qingshan again, and she scorned, “As long as you’re bold enough!”
“I bet a thousand spiritual stones that I’ll win!”
A moment of silence descended on the entire place before it erupted with laughter.
Three floors up, two beautiful, young girls surrounded a young man in white clothes. One of the girls asked, “Big brother Tian, has that person lost his mind?”
“There has always been plenty of madmen in the world, but without these madmen, the world would be much duller.” The young man’s gaze circled around, glancing past Qian Rongzhi and Han Qiongzhi before landing on Qiu Haitang in the end.
A girl said unhappily, “Brother Tian, you’re being lustful again. Aren’t the two of us enough?”
The young man in white smiled. “You gotta experiment around when you’re young, y’know!”
“Sigh, I know that no one in the world can compare to brother Tian, nor can brother Tian be bound by societal norms. We don’t care how many women you have, as long as you don’t forget about us.”
The young man in white said with deep affection, “You will always be my precious babies!”
Qian Rongzhi felt the gaze from above, but she ignored it. All she heard was Wu Gen smile and say, “He still knows how to joke around. Though, if he loses, he’ll become a slave anyway. His possessions won’t be his anymore, so there’s no risk in betting.”
However, he heard Qian Rongzhi say, “I bet five hundred spiritual stones that Li Qingshan will win.”
Wu Gen was stunned. His face sank. “What are you doing?” He really suspected something was going on between Qian Rongzhi and Li Qingshan now.
Qian Rongzhi smiled,.“I feel like I can win the bet.”
Hua Chengzan suddenly said, “I’ll bet a thousand spiritual stones on him too. I also think I can win the bet.”
Qiu Haitang said, “Since you’re giving the spiritual stones to me, I can’t turn them down, can I?”
A while later, the bets were closed. The majority betted on the giant lumberman’s victory, including the young man in white who casually betted a thousand spiritual stones. Very few people betted on Li Qingshan winning, so the odds were startlingly large.
Qiu Haitang waved her hand, and the chains fell off with a series of rattles, flying into the air. The giant lumberman suddenly turned around and stared straight at Qiu Haitang. He leaned forward, as if he was ready to lunge at her at any time.