Chapter 274 – Seed of Suggestion
Qiu Haitang’s finger paused. Her long nail had already made contact with Qian Rongzhi’s skin. All she needed was another moment, and she would have pierced Qian Rongzhi’s brain.
Qian Rongzhi remained in a trance, as if she could not feel the tightening veils around her.
Qiu Haitang smiled in a self-deprecating manner. Her two miscalculations today actually made her doubt her arts of mesmerisation slightly, but how could a mere sixth layer Qi Practitioner resist her mesmerisation?
Then she asked, “And how did the two grannies of the East and West Gates die?”
Qian Rongzhi answered.
A while later, Qiu Haitang gained a rough understanding about everything. She stared straight into Qian Rongzhi’s eyes. “From today onwards, you will be my direct disciple. You must show absolute loyalty to me. You cannot deceive me.”
Her eyes sparkled, and the words turned into an unshakeable seed of suggestion, planted deeply in Qian Rongzhi’s heart. Afterwards, she sighed gently and became rather exhausted.
The veils receded, and Qian Rongzhi fell to the ground. Like she had woken up from a dream, she roused from her trance and shook her head. When she saw Qiu Haitang, she called out, “Master!” Afterwards, she covered her mouth in complete surprise. Not only had she been expelled from the Sect of Clouds and Rain already, but even if she was still a part of the sect, she could only call her sect master.
The arts of mesmerisation might have been nothing to people with special cultivation methods and abilities like Li Qingshan and Xiao An, but once its true effects demonstrated itself, it was terrifyingly powerful.
Mohists were only able to control puppets, while corpse refiners were only able to control dead corpses. However, those that cultivated the arts of mesmerisation could control living people. As a technique that placed great emphasis on talent, the fact that it had been passed down through the ages without becoming lost only demonstrated how impressive it was.
Qiu Haitang said, “Should I thank you?”
Qian Rongzhi said, “I can never accept that as your disciple. I only got lucky.”
“Then what about the two grannies of the East and West Gates? Did you get lucky too?” Qiu Haitang suddenly asked. She was overly suspicious, so she asked her questions from before again. Qian Rongzhi should not have had any memories from when she was mesmerised.
Qian Rongzhi frowned. “Master, you know that Wei Yingjie is completely useless, so how can he be compared to the two grannies? Only tenth layer Qi Practitioners or Foundation Establishment cultivators can kill the two grannies. In my opinion, vice sect master Wei is suspicious.”
“That’s not something you should say,” Qiu Haitang said sternly, but the corner of her lips curled into a smile. Her behaviour was no different from before.
She looked at Qian Rongzhi from above, No matter how heartless and cruel you are, no matter how many schemes you have, it’s all useless before absolute strength. From today onwards, your talent for scheming will all be mine.
Qian Rongzhi said fearfully, “Yes, master.”
However, she sneered inside, Show absolute loyalty to you? Cannot deceive you? I think Hua Chengzan is the one you want to say these wishful words to the most!
Everything went according to plan.
Everyone was accustomed to using what they were best at, such as how disciples of the Sword Collection palace had to use swords and how disciples of the Burial Mound mountain had to use zombies. Qiu Haitang was no different. She had to use her technique of mesmerisation.
Sure enough, sect master Qiu was still more accustomed to directly controlling her opponent’s minds compared to scheming and using her tongue.
Back when Qiu Haitang used her powers and unleashed the technique of mesmerisation.
Qian Rongzhi felt like her mind had collapsed, receding away like the tide. The superficial arts of mesmerisation that she had learned did not help her. The Pill of Calming she ingested before hand was completely useless too. Before the strength of a Foundation Establishment cultivator, her preparations and attempts at resistance were absolutely nothing.
However, all of this was just a distraction. What she actually depended on was the deep understanding of mesmerisation she had developed through the recent period of cultivation, which made her fearless.
It was impossible for Qiu Haitang to control her. Even she could not control herself.
She had grown up under the support of hatred that was as vast and deep as the sea, and for the sake of revenge, she was forced to put on masks upon masks, repressing her own ego and burying her hatred. Such a matter was not as simple as it sounded. Apart from absolute rationality, there was nothing that could repress flames of hatred.
But as time went on, all the developments had completely surpassed her expectations. Before she knew it, revenge was no longer the most important thing. If Qian Yannian was willing to make her the head of the Qian family back then, she could even continue to repress it. It would have just been so that she could become even more powerful. The flames of hatred that had burned her for almost a decade began to pale in comparison now.
Her rationality suppressed her hatred, the means surpassed the ends.
As a result, when she got what she wanted, succeeding with her revenge, she could finally peel off her many masks, but what she discovered was nothing. As a result, she cried bitterly, but she did not gain sudden enlightenment and ascend mentally, much less repent and achieve virtue. She only dried her tears and continued onwards with rationality.
Her desires and emotions continued to provide some meagre impetus, growing and entwining naturally like vines, even if the vines had no idea what the meaning of all this was.
Her trance was not an act. Instead, absolute rationality continued to impel her body. It was ridiculous how Qiu Haitang even tried to test her with such a simple method.
The seed of suggestion that Qiu Haitang had planted in the end was like the seed of hatred she had once planted for herself. It was completely insignificant. Even hatred was unable to control her.
“How can that old ruffian claim master’s pure body? I think no one is worthy of master apart from commander Hua.”
“If that’s really what you think, then I don’t have to worry.” Qiu Haitang eased up. She thought, Apart from being able to think like that, you won’t be able to have any other thoughts.
Sure enough, Qian Rongzhi said, “As your disciple, I will give master whatever she wishes even if I have to go through thick and thin. And, that Li Qingshan. I won’t spare him either. Although my cultivation is meagre, I’ll avenge master even if I have to drag him down with me.”
She had already won the gamble. It was time to collect her winnings.
Qiu Haitang pulled out a jade slip from her hundred treasures pouch. “No one must know about our relationship. I can’t guide you every single day either. In the jade slip are the cultivation notes and comprehensions for the Method of Clouds and Rain, as well as more powerful techniques of mesmerisation. You can go back and study them slowly. As for revenge, there’s no hurry for that.”
Afterwards, she took out a few bottles of pills and passed them to Qian Rongzhi. They were all pills crucial to cultivating the Method of Clouds and Rain and the arts of mesmerisation.
Even in the Sect of Clouds and Rain, rarely did anyone receive such special treatment. Not only did it require sufficient talent, but the disciple also had to go through many years of tests of their loyalty. Qian Rongzhi’s loyalty would obviously be no issue. Giving her some benefits would only propel the growth of this seed of suggestion.
Qiu Haitang was not worried that Qian Rongzhi would become powerful enough to destroy the seed of suggestion she had planted. Qi Practitioners that had the seed planted in them would have their minds twisted. Cultivation would become extremely difficult. Even if they could still make progress as Qi Practitioners, it would be impossible for them to break through to Foundation Establishment.
Qian Rongzhi beamed. “Thank you, master!”
Qiu Haitang said, “You can go!”
Qian Rongzhi bowed extremely politely. “Disciple will be taking her leave.” She turned around to leave, but she suddenly heard Qiu Haitang ask, “Do you like that Li Qingshan?”
Qian Rongzhi turned around. Her face was red from embarrassment as she bit her lip and faltered, as if she was too shy to speak. However, due to the seed of suggestion, she could not help but say, “I- I like master.” She knelt down fearfully. “Please forgive me, master!”
Qiu Haitang smiled. “You’re very honest, so how can I blame you?” Absolute loyalty would result in emotions similar to love. It would be strange if that was not the case.
Unknowingly, Qian Rongzhi had planted a seed in Qiu Haitang’s heart too. This woman is completely loyal to me. She won’t betray me. She poses no threat to me.
Qian Rongzhi stepped out of the Parlour of Clouds and Rain at ease. What a stupid woman. If you want to control others, mesmerisation is only supplementary! You’re not worthy of being Xiao An’s master!
Hua Chengzan, Li Qingshan, Xiao An, and Mu Kui walked slowly. They all had something on their minds, so they remained silent.
Hua Chengzan suddenly said, “There are some things that would be best if you knew, Qingshan.”
Li Qingshan asked, “Regarding the Sect of Clouds and Rain?”
“Yes. The disciples of the Sect of Clouds and Rain, regardless of gender, mostly cultivate by using practices of harvesting from the other gender, but that’s only for people with poor talent. The people that are actually talented will be specially picked out to cultivate alone. Compared to the promiscuous behaviour of the former, the latter basically practises severe abstinence to ensure that they don’t lose their virgin yin until Foundation Establishment.”
“Then, they’ll find another Foundation Establishment cultivator, and only then do they practise dual cultivation. And, once they choose their partner for dual cultivation, they can’t just choose someone else so freely. This lasts for centuries or even millenniums. It’s even more stable than marriages among regular people. This is the most orthodox method of dual cultivation within daoism. You can even call it a shortcut.”
Only then did Li Qingshan understand. He saw how Xiao An became slightly worried, so he just scooped her up and put her on his shoulders. “Don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. You just have to follow me. Don’t you trust me?”
Xiao An bit her lip and revealed an embarrassed smile.
Only then did she seem like a pure, naive child to Hua Chengzan. Even Li Qingshan had been infected by some of her childishness. He really wondered just how they ended up together. For some reason, the word “mutual dependence” appeared in his head. He became rather eager to see Hua Chenglu.
Li Qingshan asked, “Brother Hua, are you very familiar with Qiu Haitang?”
Hua Chengzan said, “If you don’t mind, you can just call me Chengzan. I met Haitang when I was still a child. The previous sect master had brought her to my home as a guest, and because we’re all in the prefectural city, we did maintain frequent contact with each other.”
Hua Chengzan had put it simply, but Li Qingshan could see the reminiscence on his face, and he knew that the two of them were not just very familiar. They were basically childhood friends. They were both cultivation geniuses, and there was not a large difference in their ages. It would only be strange if no sparks of affection ended up flying between them.
Li Qingshan smiled. “Then I hope you reach Foundation Establishment soon, brother Hua, and embrace a beauty. I think this sect master Qiu is very interested in you.” If his eyes still worked, then he could tell what Qiu Haitang was thinking. However, this young master Hua just happened to be rather unhappy with all of it. The reason truly perplexed him.
If Qiu Haitang wanted to do something like dual cultivation with him, he would agree a hundred percent of the time. Although he still thought about Gu Yanying, that was his long term goal. He still had to eat and drink in the meantime. Thinking up to this point, he seemed like he had suddenly understood something.