Chapter 273 – Ninety Percent, A Hundred Percent
After embracing Han Qiongzhi, Li Qingshan knew that he could no longer get along with these elite disciples of legalism, so he did not stick with them either. He purposefully fell behind them. He was very interested in the giant lumberman, but he could not afford to have any distracting thoughts back then during the matches.
Now that the gamble was over, he could no longer hold back his curiosity after hearing Hua Chengzan’s introduction. There were actually such strange beings in the world? And there was more than just one, like those Fire Devouring folk or Featherfolk? What were they like?
Travelling to all corners of the world and taking in all the scenery that the universe had to offer was a part of his oath.
“Are all your clansmen surnamed Mu?”
Mu Kui nodded stiffly.
“Where’s your homeland?”
Mu Kui kept his mouth shut. He became extremely cautious. Was he even planning to target his clansmen?
“Fine then, I’ll change the question. Are there other otherfolk in your homeland?”
It was even less likely for Mu Kui to answer him now.
Li Qingshan suddenly extended his hand. Mu Kui almost struck him instinctively, but Li Qingshan only knocked against his wood-like skin. “So it isn’t wood.”
“Of course it isn’t!” Mu Kui said in a strange tone. He was left at quite a loss as to how to respond. The man who had been as vicious as a tiger earlier was now like a curious child, without any ill will or prejudice.
Li Qingshan said, “I’m definitely going to check out your homeland one day, whether you agree or not.” Just the thought of a group of towering Giant Lumberfolk was extremely interesting.
Mu Kui said, “If you don’t harbour any ill intentions, then I can take you there.” Though, just how far away was his home?
At this moment, Qiu Haitang suddenly appeared in front of Li Qingshan. Both Li Qingshan and Mu Kui were startled, almost lashing out instinctively. Before this common enemy, any ill will between them naturally resolved itself.
Hua Chengzan said, “Haitang!”
Li Qingshan said, “Looks like it hasn’t come true. I didn’t want to meet you again, yet here we are.”
Qiu Haitang ignored him. She looked at Xiao An again. “If this child follows you, she’ll just waste her fantastic talent all for nothing. As long as you agree, the resources of the Sect of Clouds and Rain will all go to her, and I can promise the position of future sect master too.”
Everyone was taken aback. This promise held far too much weight. Although Qiu Haitang had lost a match due to her misjudgement today, the Sect of Clouds and Rain was still a top sect within the Clear River prefecture. While the resources they possessed were not as much as the larger schools, such as the school of Confucianism and the school of Legalism, but their resources did surpass smaller schools like the school of Music and the school of Medicine.
Most importantly, the resources of the academy were not freely available to the disciples. The disciples needed to complete various missions or even contend against one another, and in the end, it would still be split among many people.
Even the resources that Hua Chengzan regularly received from the school of Legalism could not rival this promise of the Sect of Cloud and Rain. This was basically a sect pouring everything they had into a single person. All Qi Practitioners would be tempted by this.
Hua Chengzan was surprised too. Was the Aspect of Heavenly Fragrance and Beauty really that important to the Sect of Clouds and Rain?
He reevaluated Xiao An again. He had to admit that she was an extremely pretty child, the type where he could tell possessed the talent for practising qi with a single glance. However, no one could be certain just how great her talent was. He could only know after she was tested.
And to be honest, he did not like this child very much, as she did not seem like a child at all. Not only did she lack the liveliness and energy of a child her age, but the way she looked at people was chilling at times too.
Li Qingshan only smiled and rubbed Xiao An’s head before this great temptation. “I know her talents better than you. I can give her ten times, a hundred times the resources that you can provide to her.”
Even Hua Chengzan felt like he was boasting with that one. How could he rival a sect that had stood for centuries or millenniums alone? Little did he know that the various resources on Li Qingshan right now were already equivalent to a small sect. However, those were not the resources that Xiao An needed.
“And, even if she wastes her talent, it’s better than being a…” He stopped talking. There was not a single woman who would want to hear his upcoming opinion. He did not want to provoke a Foundation Establishment cultivator with that either.
Qiu Haitang fumed, and she no longer bothered with what she was about to say next. She glanced at Hua Chengzan before storming off. “You’d better talk once you have an inkling about what you’re talking about!”
Li Qingshan was slightly surprised. Qiu Haitang did not seem like someone who just had their soft spot touched. Instead, she seemed like she had been wrongly accused.
Han Qiongzhi asked, “Do you really not know, or are you acting like you don’t know?”
Leaving the Parlour of Clouds and Rain, everyone clasped their hands and bid farewell, dispersing individually.
Li Qingshan was just about to return to the Hawkwolf Guard to stay for the night, but he was stopped by Hua Chengzan. “It’ll be quite inconvenient for you to stay there. Come to the estate with me. There are some things I want to tell you.”
“Alright.” Li Qingshan agreed immediately. He was a person who drew a clear line between his debts of kindnesses and grievances. The only reason why he could stand up to Qiu Haitang today, even winning a Virtue Accumulation pill and several thousand spiritual stones, as well as a promise for no further trouble, was all because of Hua Chengzan’s assistance.
They left behind the lantern-lit Parlour of Clouds and Rain and stepped into the dark streets. The huge structures of strange shapes to the two sides were like towering beasts. The few remaining lanterns were like the open eyes of these beasts.
Wu Gen and Qian Rongzhi traveled together. When they separated with everyone outside the Parlour of Clouds and Rain, Wu Gen seemed extremely confident in the mischievous eyes of his junior and senior brothers. He had always been a confident person, whether it came to cultivation or women.
He possessed what it took to back up this confidence. With his talent and identity, he had already associated himself with countless women given how old he was now. Originally, he believed that she would be a piece of cake too.
But now that the two of them were alone, his confidence had suddenly evaporated. He only found her contemplating face right now even more difficult to grasp.
There were countless questions in his head. What was her relationship with Li Qingshan? Why did Qiu Haitang know her? However, when the words reached his mouth, he became afraid to ask. His mind had basically returned to that of a teenager who had fallen in love for the first time.
Qian Rongzhi suddenly stopped and smiled at him, which made his heart tremor. However, he heard her say, “I have something to do, so you should go back first, senior brother Wu!” Before he could respond, she had already turned around and left.
If any other woman treated him like that, he would definitely burst out with curses. However, he just stood where he was in a daze, actually unable to say anything. He just watched as she vanished into the darkness.
Qian Rongzhi raised her head. The lantern-lit Parlour of Clouds and Rain was reflected in her eyes. She had made up her mind. She had a ninety percent confidence in this gamble.
“You’re bold enough to return?” Qiu Haitang’s voice suddenly rang out from beside her ear.
Qian Rongzhi smiled. A hundred percent.
Under the guide of the voice, she advanced along the twisting and turning path. She did not run into anyone along the way. In the end, she arrived before a vermillion door, which she knocked on gently.
“Come in.” Qiu Haitang’s voice rang out from inside. The door opened automatically. There were a series of veils in the room, which drifted in the night wind. It seemed elusive and beautiful. Through the numerous veils was an enchanting figure, laying on a bed.
The door slammed shut. Qian Rongzhi glanced backwards before walking towards the veils.
Suddenly, the veils seemed to spring alive, wrapping around her like snakes.
She did not resist. Finally, she saw the figure behind the veils, but all she saw were a pair of mesmerising eyes. She was immediately thrown into a trance.
Qiu Haitang said to the dazed Qian Rongzhi, “Now, I’ll ask you a question, and you’ll give me the answer.”
“Yes,” Qian Rongzhi said numbly.
“Where did your Method of Clouds and Rain come from?”
“Just as I had expected. If it weren’t for the Vitality Devouring technique, how could you have cultivated so quickly with your talent?” Qiu Haitang snorted gently. She had sensed the changes with Qian Rongzhi right from the beginning.
However, her mind was preoccupied by Xiao An and her Aspect of Heavenly Fragrance and Beauty back then. She even confronted Li Qingshan for the sake of Xiao An. As a result, she did not lose her temper on the spot. Dealing with just Qian Rongzhi alone was easy anyway.
She was right.
“Who killed Wei Yingjie?”
Qiu Haitang’s face sank, “No one knows you’re here, right?”
“Then you can go die!” Her slender finger reached towards the top of Qian Rongzhi’s head viciously.
“Vice sect master Wei, you’re returned.” A female disciple bowed carefully in the Parlour of Clouds and Rain. Rarely had she ever seen the vice sect master with such a twisted expression.
Fortunately, Wei Zhongyuan completely ignored her and rushed past her. She sighed in relief. However, in the blink of an eye, Wei Zhongyuan appeared before her once again. He grabbed her shoulder. “Where’s sect master Qiu?”
Receiving the answer to the question, Wei Zhongyuan tossed her aside and went to find Qiu Haitang alone.
When Wei Zhongyuan lost track of Li Qingshan in Jiaping city and had flown into a rage, a trusted disciple of his contacted him through a high level Communication talisman. He told him, “Li Qingshan has come.”
He rushed back to Clear River city through the night. As soon as he returned to the Parlour of Clouds and Rain, he learned everything that had happened from his disciple. Not only had Li Qingshan appeared in the Parlour of Clouds and Rain, but he had even won a Virtue Accumulation pill and several thousand spiritual stones in a haughty manner. How could he accept this? He immediately flew into a rage.
The Sect of Parlour and Clouds had never been walked over by others like this, nor had he, Wei Zhongyuan, ever been toyed with like this either!
He basically barged into where Qiu Haitang cultivated. Only when he met Qiu Haitang’s gaze of displeasure did he suddenly recall his identity. He bowed, “Greetings, sect master. If I’ve been rude. I hope that the sect master can forgive me.”
Although sect master and vice sect master only differed by a single word, they were worlds apart. Only a single layer separated Foundation Establishment and the tenth layer, but it was a chasm.
“It’s so late already. What brought you here?” Qiu Haitang asked coldly.
Wei Zhongyuan fumed, “Li Qingshan behaved so brazenly, and he is definitely connected to Yingjie’s death. He’s a sworn enemy of our Sect of Clouds and Rain. Are you really going to let him go because of that Hua person, sect master?”
Qiu Haitang said, “The Hua person you speak of is a Scarlet Wolf commander. We’ve already irritated him when I let you go ahead with that last time. I’ve gambled on this and lost, so don’t say anything more. I’m weary.”
Wei Zhongyuan’s thoughts immediately coldened. He gritted his teeth. “If that’s the case, then I’ll show myself out first.” In the end, he studied Qiu Haitang viciously. His gaze revealed lust and greed. Once I reach Foundation Establishment, I’ll show you what’s what. As for Li Qingshan, he would never spare him.
After Wei Zhongyuan’s departure, a figure emerged from the wall screen. It was Qian Rongzhi. She bowed towards Qiu Haitang gracefully. “Vice sect master Wei’s mind is in disorder due to the pain of losing his son. It’ll be even more difficult for him to overcome that barrier, master.”