Chapter 289 – The Cloudwisp Island
Li Qingshan sprang up. “W- what’s the time right now?”
It was as if Juechenzi had been expecting him to ask this. “The tests for the other schools have all ended already.”
Li Qingshan fell back down again. He had been toyed around by this ox nose. The alcohol was far too strange. If this was the case, he could not remain in the academy any longer.
Juechenzi said, “You don’t have to worry too much. There’s still another school you can join.”
Juechenzi pointed below his feet. “Here.”
Li Qingshan was slightly surprised. “But I’ve lost the gamble, and your master dislikes me too.”
Juechenzi smiled. “But you’ve still technically passed the test. My master has a fiery temper, but he also treasures talent. Do you know just how much the jar of Thousand Days Drunk you drank is worth? He doesn’t even have enough for himself most of the time. If he just wanted to screw you over, why would he take that out? As long as you plead to him properly so that he regains some self-respect, he’ll definitely accept you.”
Li Qingshan said, “Plead? How am I supposed to plead? Are you saying that only he has self-respect and I don’t?”
Juechenzi said, “What do you think?”
Li Qingshan sighed heavily. He stood up again. Self-respect was earned through strength, not by flapping gums. Just how could a Qi Practitioner be compared to a Foundation Establishment cultivator?
Juechenzi said, “Come with me! Master is giving sermons before the new disciples.”
With no other choice, all Li Qingshan could do was follow him.
Along the way, Juechenzi educated him. “No matter how master insults you, just endure it. The mountain path was for overcoming your fears, while now is for overcoming your pride. Only with tolerance can you achieve greatness.”
Li Qingshan remained silent. He arrived at the front. The slovenly daoist priest sat high up, while the new disciples sat in the hall. Yu Zijian sat the closest to him.
With Li Qingshan’s appearance, everyone cast their gazes over. The slovenly daoist priest continued his lecture, as if he was not there.
Li Qingshan went up and said reluctantly, “I’ve lost the gamble.”
The slovenly daoist priest said, “If you know you’ve lost, then why don’t you piss off?”
Li Qingshan suddenly raised his head, but he saw Juechenzi standing behind the slovenly daoist priest, mouthing a few words. “Endure it.” Li Qingshan clenched his fist.
The slovenly daoist priest sneered. “What, you refuse to accept your defeat?” As a result, he began to mock and curse Li Qingshan in front of everyone.
Everyone showed disdain for Li Qingshan. So much for showing off. There’ll always be someone who’ll get you.
Yu Zijian could not bear with it, so she said, “Master…”
Juechenzi looked over. “Zijian!” He understood his master’s character. The more a person tried to calm him down, the more carried away he would become.
The slovenly daoist priest became more complacent as he cursed on. “You’re just a piece of trash in my eyes. You managed to climb up the mountain out of sheer luck. Kneel down right now and prostrate three times, and I’ll…”
“Shut up!” Li Qingshan roared, cutting off the slovenly daoist priest.
The hall fell completely silent. He was actually bold enough to speak to a school leader like this. Moreover, it was the strongest school leader, the leader of the school of Daoism, at that.
The slovenly daoist priest’s expression changed. This kid still needed some more verbal thrashing so that he would understand just who was in charge of the school of Daoism.
Li Qingshan said loudly and clearly, “If I’ve lost, then I’ve lost. I, Li Qingshan, admit defeat. But why must you keep prattling on, you ox nose? Your words are like flatulence, foul to the senses. What’s so impressive about the school of Daoism anyway? I’ll just not join.” With that, he turned around and left.
Juechenzi called out, “Sir, please be careful with what you say! Master!”
The slovenly daoist priest’s expression darkened. “Let him piss off!”
Without any obstructions, Li Qingshan made his way to the bottom of the mountain in one breath. His anger eased up slightly. He leapt into the air and took off, flying into the Lake of Dragons and Snakes. For a moment, he was rather frustrated. He had no idea where to go.
If he was alone, then it would be easy. Perhaps he could go join a sect, or just go to another prefecture and join the Academy of the Hundred Schools there. The world was so large, so was finding a place to stay at really an issue? But now, Xiao An had already joined the school of Buddhism, so it was not like he could travel far away. Maybe he could go plead with the One Thought master and just become a monk. His destiny with the buddha sure had arrived quickly!
But with another thought, he knew that he would never plead with anyone. Even if he would, they might not necessarily accept him. Accepting him might actually offend the slovenly daoist priest through and through.
At this moment, he suddenly thought of something. Perhaps there was one test that was not over yet!
Last night on the ship, the instructor had given a rough explanation with regard to the order of the tests. The school of Daoism was the first stop, and the ship would travel in a clockwise direction, cruising to the various islands. They did not specially arrange the tests of the major schools to come first.
Back then, Li Qingshan could not help but ask, “Haven’t you missed a school?”
“The school of Novels.”
“You’ve enrolled for the school of Novels?” The instructor looked at him in disbelief, while the other Qi Practitioners looked at him with a similar expression.
The instructor pointed at the mental map in his hand. “Look, it’s here. It’s the final stop. You can go there by yourself when the time comes.”
Shouldn’t it be the fourth stop according to the clockwise order? And why do I have to go there by myself?
Li Qingshan did not think too much about these questions. He never took the school of Novels seriously anyway.
A while later, Li Qingshan set foot on this drearily peaceful little island. This was the Cloudwisp island that the school of Novels occupied.
An entire night had passed, but the test for the school of Novels, last on the list, might still be ongoing.
Though, he was wrong.
Li Qingshan followed the cobblestone path and crossed through a bamboo forest. He saw a simple courtyard. The courtyard was covered in fallen leaves, as if no one had swept it in a very long time. It did not seem like anyone lived there at all. He seemed to hear the moans of a woman.
He frowned, knocked on the door, and called out, “Is anyone here?”
A lazy voice rang out from the depths of the courtyard. “Who’s it?”
Li Qingshan said, “I’ve come for the test.”
With that, there was a swish, and a wild gust of wind kicked up the fallen leaves. A middle-aged man rushed out of the courtyard, arriving before Li Qingshan. He had a mustache on his face that was not exactly handsome. His clothes were ruffled, and he gave off a faint smell of cosmetics. There were several kiss marks on his face, and there was even a clear love bite on his neck. Combined with the moans from earlier, it was obvious what he was doing.
“It’s you?” Li Qingshan suddenly remembered how he had once met this person in the Parlour of Clouds and Rain three days ago.
“It’s you!” The middle-aged man remembered Li Qingshan as well. Various pieces of information drifted through his head. High jia for the water element. A seventeen year old sixth layer Qi Practitioner. A genius! A genius! He thought in an emotional manner, Senior brother, you really haven’t lied to me! You really haven’t lied to me!
“Are you the instructor of the school of Novels?” Looking at his age, he dismissed the possibility that he was a disciple. As for the possibility of him being the leader of the school, he had not even considered it. He had seen the various school leaders, and they all had a certain bearing about them. Even the slovenly daoist priest that utterly irritated him gave off the bearing of a school leader.
The middle-aged man tidied his clothes in a hurry and wiped away the kiss marks. He coughed gently and stood with his hands behind his back. “I am the leader of the school of Novels, Liu Chuanfeng!”
Li Qingshan was stunned. He wanted to turn around and leave immediately. No wonder no one enrolled for the school of Novels. But then he thought about how his priority right now was to find a place where he could stay, so he took the time to ask, “How are you going to test me?” Don’t tell me it’s essay writing.
Liu Chuanfeng scratched his head, as if he was even more confused than Li Qingshan.
He only seemed even more unreliable in Li Qingshan’s eyes. Don’t tell me the test has already ended?
Suddenly, Liu Chuanfeng’s eyes lit up. He grabbed Li Qingshan by the shoulders. “You’ve passed! You’ve passed!”
“What?” It was true. Li Qingshan was wrong. It was not that the test of the school of Novels had not ended. Instead, it had never started to begin with.
What Liu Chuanfeng said next made Li Qingshan feel like he had been struck by lightning. “From now onwards, you’re the primary disciple of my school of Novels!” As he said that, he took out a waist tablet with the word “One” from his hundred treasures pouch, hanging it on Li Qingshan’s waist personally. He did not even try to ask which school Li Qingshan planned on choosing, wanting to accept him into the school just like this.
Li Qingshan sucked in a deep breath and asked softly, “Don’t tell me I’m the only disciple of the school of Novels!” Surely that’s not true! Surely not!
Li Qingshan removed the tablet from his waist expressionlessly before throwing it as hard as he could. With a swish, the tablet vanished into the bamboo forest. He turned around and immediately left.
Liu Chuanfeng roared out from behind, “Stop!”
Li Qingshan immediately raised his guard, but Liu Chuanfeng did not attack him. Instead, he took out an item from his hundred treasures pouch and tossed it before Li Qingshan.
“As long as you join my school of Novels, I’ll give you my specially-made Cloudwisp brush.”
Li Qingshan never imagined that there would be a moment where people would try to throw spiritual artifacts at him too. He was slightly interested. He lowered his head and took a look. A mid grade spiritual artifact. He completely gave up on hope now. Probably even a hundred of these could not be exchanged for a supreme grade spiritual artifact. Instead of calling it a bribe, it was more like an insult!
Li Qingshan did not say much. All he did was silently pull out ten mid grade spiritual artifacts from his hundred treasures pouch before stowing them away again. He clasped his hands and took his leave.
Liu Chuanfeng sobbed. “Sir, I’m pleading with you!”
Li Qingshan stopped, raised his head, and let out a long sigh. So be it. Being pleaded with was always better than pleading. Most importantly, this was a place where he could stay. It was so desolate here too, so it suited his cultivation instead!
He turned around and extended his hand.
“The tablet!” Li Qingshan heard how primary disciples would receive a lot of special benefits within the academy. They could freely enter a few places that regular disciples were forbidden to set foot in. It would be convenient for Li Qingshan to study in the other schools in the future.
Liu Chuanfeng beamed with joy. He never imagined that Li Qingshan would actually agree. Suddenly, he waved his hand, and a tiny dog appeared out of nowhere. It let out a few barks and rushed into the depths of the bamboo forest. A while later, it returned with the tablet in its mouth.
Li Qingshan accepted it, and the dog vanished, as if it had never existed in the first place. He could not help but be taken aback. “What’s this?”
Liu Chuanfeng said complacently, “This is the secret art of my school of Novels. It stretches beyond the imagination of most.”
Li Qingshan clearly noticed that the kiss marks on Liu Wenchuan’s face had vanished before he knew it. Even the smell of cosmetics was gone too. Perhaps the school of Novels really did possess extraordinary abilities.
Liu Wenchuan brought Li Qingshan into the house. This was a suspended house made from wood and bamboo. The smell of ink permeated the gloomy room as the paper-covered short table was in a mess. The papers were filled with a few thickly-dotted characters.
Liu Chuanfeng swept aside these papers, revealing the table surface. He invited Li Qingshan to sit down as he demonstrated great hospitality by pouring him tea.
Li Qingshan picked up a piece of paper soon afterwards and asked, “Did you write these?”
Liu Chuanfeng said proudly, “Yes. You can call me the Master of Wind and Moon. That’s my pen name.”
So familiar, it sounds so familiar. I must have heard it somewhere before!
Li Qingshan came to a sudden realisation. Wasn’t the name of the author on the book that Sun Fubai had secretly shoved into his hands the Master of Wind and Moon?”
He understood everything now, why Sun Fubai’s expression was like that, and why no one enrolled for the school of Novels! He shot to his feet and kicked over the short table.
Fuck your novels!