Chapter 275 – Controlling Artifacts and Swords
Was Hua Chengzan actually interested in Gu Yanying? From a male perspective, this was as ordinary as it could get. It would only be abnormal if he was not interested. However, Li Qingshan had only just met him, so asking a question like that was going a little too far.
Hua Chengzan said, “Then I also hope you advance aggressively with cultivation and become the son-in-law of the Han family sooner.”
The two of them glanced at each other. They both shook their heads with bitter smiles.
Before they knew it, they had left the prefectural city and crossed through the invisible formation. The grass was lush, and the night birds chirped. It was the middle of Spring. Although it was night, the fragrances of various flowers continued to infiltrate their noses.
“Let’s travel together!” With that, Hua Chengzan summoned the Silver Dragon horse from his seal. With a tug of the reins, the horse raised its hooves and let out a long whinny. It took off on the wind, as if Hua Chengzan had cleared up his thoughts with this.
Li Qingshan flew with Xiao An, tailing closely behind.
The giant lumberman Mu Kui took great strides. He was not slow either.
In under fifteen minutes, they spotted a city that rose and fell in the embrace of the mountains. It flickered with lights in the darkness.
Li Qingshan was astonished. “Is this the Hua family?” Just the scale of the clan had surpassed Qingyang city, and when it came to the grandeur and elegance of the structures, even a hundred Qingyang cities could not rival it.
“The clan got a little big after a while.” Hua Chengzan drew his reins and stopped outside the city gates.
A group of guards passed by on top of the city walls. Every single one of them was brimming with vigour and vitality. Not only were they Qi Practitioners, but they also showed signs of being Body Practitioners too.
“The young master has returned!” someone called out from above the walls. After that, the city gates that stood over a dozen meters tall opened loudly.
Hua Chengzan rode in first. However, Li Qingshan could sense that the city gates were not the only thing that had opened. The entire formation over the Hua family had opened too. When he stepped through this formation, he immediately sensed the abundant spiritual qi in the surroundings. It even surpassed the cavern for seclusion in the Hawkwolf Guard of Jiaping city.
The Hua family was constructed on an extremely fine spiritual ground in the first place. Not only did the formation have defensive properties, but it was also a huge Spirit Gathering formation. It was possible to imagine just how much regular independent cultivators would benefit if they could cultivate here.
If regular people lived here, their bodies would be much stronger and healthier than those outside, resistant to many diseases.
Entering the city, a main road led straight to a structure that seemed like a tall tower in the centre of the city. Apart from this, there were no other particularly tall structures. The eaves were hidden within the shade of the trees. The entire city was like a huge garden, just with buildings interspersed across the entire place.
The vegetation was lush, open corridors winded around through the entire place, and there were both ponds and fake mountains. The scenery would basically change with each step, with just too much to see. However, the entire composition seemed to secretly abide to the principles of the five elements, resonating with the formation.
Pearls were embedded throughout the city, giving off dim light in the darkness and illuminating the paths.
Crossing a small bridge, Hua Chengzan brought them before a building. A small stream gurgled around the front, and a cluster of trees stood behind it.
Hua Chengzan said, “The place where I stay is close to here. It’s in that direction. Everywhere surrounded by the stream belongs to me. You can move around freely in there, but it’s best if you don’t wander around outside. It’s already late, so you should all go rest!”
Hua Chengzan explained this to them before bidding farewell politely.
Li Qingshan and Xiao An entered the building to rest.
Mu Kui arrived behind the building, standing with the trees. He stood on the ground with his feet bare as he stood dead-straight, closing his eyes.
The next morning, Li Qingshan sat before the small stream. The translucent stream glistened. Under the sunlight, the surrounding scenergy became even more pleasant. Looking around, all of it seemed picturesque.
The building hidden in the trees did not stand out at all. Instead, it added a sense of humanity to it all. It completely achieved the principle of humanity being one with nature.
Li Qingshan’s mind grew more tranquil too. He removed a single object from his hundred treasures pouch. It was a small, jade-green sword. Only the blade of the sword existed. There was no hilt.
The sword was as thin as a strand of hair, vaguely translucent. Detailed patterns of waves were engraved on it. Li Qingshan flicked it gently, and it rippled like water.
Since he had reached the sixth layer, he could now control artifacts. Li Qingshan had directly come to the prefectural city the moment he left seclusion, so he had not been able to refine his own flying sword.
After great thought, he had chosen this tiny sword from the hundreds or even thousands of spiritual artifacts available to him. Not only was it a high grade spiritual artifact, but it was even of the water element too. The sword did not come with any special techniques, but it was extremely light, extremely quick, and extremely sharp.
Li Qingshan held the sword in his palms. The pure Gui Water true qi flowed over in ebbs, filling the sword. The sword’s glow flickered rhythmically like breathing.
Hua Chenglu walked over from the small bridge. Behind him were Hua Chenglu and Yu Zijian.
Hua Chenglu was grumbling, “Gosh. Something so fascinating went down, yet you didn’t even call me over.” After learning about what she had missed last night, she was filled with regret.
Hua Chengzan hushed her silently. He pointed at Li Qingshan, who sat by the stream nearby.
“Li Qingshan! He has really reached the sixth layer!” Hua Chenglu was surprised. The last time she had met him, he was only at the second layer. In just a few measly months, he had advanced four layers. He was astonishingly fast. During this period, she had never stopped cultivating either, but she had only reached the fourth layer. Of course, that was already quite impressive at her age.
“What’s he doing?” Yu Zjian asked curiously. Although it had only been a few months, everything she had gone through made what happened on the Island of Cherishing Flowers seem extremely distant. The young man seated there could only be regarded as a stranger to her.
Hua Chengzan said, “He’s refining a flying sword. Chenglu, don’t get jealous of him. He might have cultivated extremely quickly, but his foundation will be rather unstable, and his true qi won’t be pure enough. This step will become much more difficult as a result.”
The Hua family had plenty of methods that could boost Hua Chenglu’s cultivation to higher levels, but these methods of quick success would definitely lead to many consequences. And, with an unstable foundation and impure true qi, cultivation would become much more difficult too.
Before Hua Chengzan had even finished speaking, Yu Zijian pointed at Li Qingshan and said, “It’s flying.”
Hua Chengzan looked back in a rush. He saw the small sword in Li Qingshan palms take off into the air with a swish. After that, it turned around and flew back with a swoosh, silently piercing a fake mountain before returning to Li Qingshan’s side, hovering before him.
Hua Chengzan was as insightful as they came. Although the flying sword was still rather stiff when it came to turns, it was basically an unbelievable achievement if this was the first time he had controlled the sword. In particular, he had noticed that the flying sword had actually flown over a hundred paces away. That had completely surpassed the range of regular sixth layer Qi Practitioners. It was on par with seventh or even eighth layer Qi Practitioners.
There was only one explanation for this. Li Qingshan’s true qi was extremely pure.
Faced with Hua Chenglu’s doubtful gaze, Hua Chengzan rubbed his nose and smiled bitterly. How he cultivated was truly a mystery.
Even if there were a lot of pills that could increase the purity of true qi, they could not make it so pure. It would still require tremendous amounts of time for the Qi Practitioner to refine it to such a degree, and when it came to purifying true qi, it would mean stretching out the time spent on cultivation. He must have spent day and night cultivating for the past few months! To be able to catch her attention, he possessed a lot of extraordinary aspects, sure enough.
No matter how clever Hua Chengzan was, he would have never imagined that Li Qingshan possessed a sumeru ring that even Foundation Establishment cultivators did not possess. Moreover, he could absorb the spiritual qi of the world as a Qi Practitioner.
Li Qingshan had noticed their arrival quite some time ago. However, he had just been concentrating on controlling the sword, so he could not acknowledge them.
He formed a seal with his hand, and the sea of qi in his dantian churned endlessly. Using his obscure connection with the flying sword, he made the flying sword fly about freely, piercing rocks and wood. The power was startling. It demonstrated the power worthy of a high grade spiritual artifact.
His pure true qi played a decisive role in why he could grasp the art of controlling artifacts so quickly. Water was gentle in nature. It was not suited for attacks, but it was extremely mellow, making it easy to control. And, without his pure true qi, he would have struggled to refine a high grade spiritual artifact in such a short amount of time.
After a slight estimate, he noticed that the range of his sword control was around a hundred paces. He could actually behead someone from a hundred paces away now. Once the flying sword left this range, it would weaken significantly, and he would even lose control over it. Who knew how long it would take until he could behead people from a hundred kilometers away.
However, he was already extremely satisfied with this power right now. He also gained a better understanding of why the art of practising the body was in decline. Just how much effort did Body Practitioners have to spend to move faster than a tiny flying sword? And, under the blade of the sword, they were useless even if they were made of metal.
After refining the flying sword, Li Qingshan stood up and smiled. “You’ve come.”
With a flash, the small sword shot into his sleeve and wrapped around his arm like a bracelet. As the first flying sword he would be controlling, this would be his primary method of attack within the human world in the near future. He had to carry it on him constantly and assimilate with it until he could wield it as freely as a third arm.
Only now did the trio approach him. Li Qingshan greeted Hua Chenglu, “Young miss Hua, long time no see. I haven’t forgotten about the assistance you provided me in the past. I’m thinking about a way to return the favour right now.”
Thinking about it now, he realised that both siblings had backed him up before, and it was both against the Sect of Clouds and Rain.
Hua Chenglu smiled in a reserved manner. “It was nothing difficult, so you really can’t label it as kindness. There’s no need to call me young miss either. Just call me by my name. After tomorrow, we’ll be fellow students. I hope you can take good care of me then, Qingshan.”
Li Qingshan said, “Chengzan, your dear sister exceeds you in nobility!”
Hua Chengzan smiled. “Exactly! That’s what the others say too. I sigh over my inferiority too!”
Hua Chenglu had always been clever, so how could she not realise that they were making fun of her? She immediately became unhappy with it all.
Hua Chengzan felt powerless towards this younger sister of his too. Yu Zijian smiled. Only then did she demonstrate her past naivety again.
“And, long time no see to you too, miss Yu.” Li Qingshan saw how Yu Zjian still wore violet, but her aura was much calmer and steadier than before. With a sword on her waist, she seemed valiant in bearing.
She asked in concern, “B- big brother Li, I heard that the Sect of Clouds and Rain wanted to do things to you. Are you fine?”
“I’m fine.” Li Qingshan felt amazed inside. Back then underground, she had called him Niu Juxia. Now, she called him big brother Li.
At this moment, a series of heavy footsteps rang out from the woods. Yu Zijian thought of something and turned around in a hurry. When she saw the figure emerging from the woods, she became disappointed. Even Niu Juxia was not that tall!