Chapter 297 – Two Ants
“It’s all just a lesser path of cultivation, a lesser path I say.” Liu Chuanfeng failed to notice it. Instead, he spoke rather proudly. He even glanced at Li Qingshan and noticed his amazement as he carefully studied these beauties. It only made Liu Chuanfeng even happier. His objective was to lead Li Qingshan down the school of Novel’s… greater path of no return.
It was true. Li Qingshan was studying these conjured women. Their plump, milky-white buttocks could suck in the attention of all men, but he did not just look at that. While these women were smiling, their eyes were hollow, without the slightest liveliness at all. They were like the beauties on game posters generated by computers in his past life, or some kind of detailed blow-up doll.
Of course, they were much more realistic than those. They were probably characters from Liu Chuanfeng’s smut novels. Perhaps, their performance in bed would be very impressive too!
However, what was the point of that? He would be much better off by going for an easy session in a brothel. At the very least, it would be with a living person.
Li Qingshan felt deep sorrow from this. No wonder so many people looked down on the school of Novels. He spent all day using his abilities from the school of Novels to do something so degrading. It was so bad that even the primary disciple from his own school of Novels wanted to beat him up, not to mention the fact that Xiao An was still watching curiously from one side.
Li Qingshan’s voice sank. “Liu Chuanfeng, you’d better know when enough is enough!”
Liu Chuanfeng was annoyed. He was actually treating him so rudely before an outsider. Did he really think his position as a school leader meant nothing? However, when he met Li Qingshan’s furious eyes, he immediately thought of the knifehand strike he had swung down with earlier this morning. His straightened chest shrunk back again, and he said awkwardly, “We’re all intellectuals, right? So can’t we just talk over this? Look at you and what you’ve become. You’ve embarrassed yourself in front of commander Hua! Let’s eat!”
Li Qingshan had already grown accustomed to fighting over the slightest disagreement. Combined with Liu Chuanfeng’s behaviour, he found it all very difficult to adjust to, as if he had done something wrong. He fought the strong, not the weak. There really were not a lot of tenth layer Qi Practitioners as weak-willed as Liu Chuanfeng.
Hua Chengzan shook his head. It really was uncommon for a school leader for god’s sake to end up like this.
Sun Fubai just happened to walk in at this moment. As soon as he saw the conjured women, he frowned too. “Junior brother, what are you doing?”
Liu Chuanfeng opened his mouth. “I’m…”
“You’re screwing around! Why don’t you hurry up and stop the technique?” Sun Fubai’s snowy-white eyebrows had almost scrunched up together. His junior brother was quite a talent when it came to cultivation. It was already very impressive of him to have reached the tenth layer despite how much the school of Novels had declined, but sometimes, he was not particularly clever. He did not know how to handle situations.
Liu Chuanfeng dispersed the women in a hurry. With a clatter, the bowls and chopsticks in their hands fell to the ground. He picked them up in a hurry, conjuring a stream of water to clean them. He set up the table himself with a frown and a pout, like a young wife who had been wronged.
Hua Chengzan clasped his hands. “Elder Sun, long time no see.” There was an additional sense of closeness and sincerity in his voice now.
“What elder Sun? Just call me Fubai.” Sun Fubai grabbed Li Qingshan’s hand. “Young man, we meet again. I never thought you’d actually come here.”
“I didn’t think you’d be a person of the school of Novels either, Fubai.” Li Qingshan hinted at something else. This old man’s plans sure ran deep.
Sun Fubai said, “Sigh, you’ve seen the situation for yourself. The school of Novels isn’t going through a very optimistic situation right now. Surely you don’t blame me when I made you fill in those three words!”
Li Qingshan asked, “Why would I? If it weren’t for you, Fubai, I’d have nowhere to go right now. Although it’s a bit below standard here, it’s quiet, so it’s good for cultivation.”
“You can eat now,” Liu Chuanfeng said quietly.
Sun Fubai raised a hand. “Please!”
At the feast, they exchanged toasts and poured alcohol for one another. Xiao An said nothing, and Liu Chuanfeng could not butt in either, but with Hua Chengzan and Sun Fubai’s presence, there was plenty of talking. Combined with the beautiful scenery of the bamboo, it was possible to say that everyone was delighted.
In the afternoon, Li Qingshan arrived by the edge of the lake with Hua Chengzan.
The expansive mist stretched as far as the eye could see.
Hua Chengzan thought about how he would say it before telling Wang Pushi’s warning to Li Qingshan euphemistically. There was so much euphemism that if Li Qingshan had not been listening carefully, he would have believed that Wang Pushi was giving him words of encouragement.
Li Qingshan said, “Even if he didn’t warn me, I wouldn’t waste my time on something like that. Oh right, what’s going on with He Yishi?”
Hua Chengzan told him the entire truth, about how He Yishi had hinted at Li Qingshan being the murderer in his statement to the Hawkwolf Guard.
Li Qingshan was furious. “What a scoundrel! I saved his life time and time again, yet not only does he not know to show any gratitude, but he has actually stabbed me in the back instead. It’s no wonder why he was afraid to talk to me earlier.” He was not a generous and forgiving person. Letting his enemies go without exacting revenge was not in his blood. He would definitely find an opportunity to teach He Yishi a proper lesson and get his revenge.
Hua Chengzan reminded him. “Killing is forbidden in the academy. If you kill someone here, no one will be able to protect you.”
Li Qingshan said, “I’ll just throw a sack over his head and give him a beating.”
“If you’re going to do it, do it cleanly. Don’t leave behind any evidence.” Hua Chengzan smiled.
Li Qingshan smiled too. “I don’t think that’s something a disciple of legalism should say.”
“Li Qingshan, as the Scarlet Wolf commander of the Clear River prefecture, I hereby declare your arrest! Prepare to be punished under the laws of the empire!” Hua Chengzan suddenly grew stern before smiling again, “Is that more like it?”
The changes in his expression were like going from winter to spring. The ice on the lake cracked, and the water spring’s water gushed out, melting the ice unknowingly and turning it into a lake of warm water.
Li Qingshan could not help but think about a saying from his past life. “There are no women in the world who can resist a smile from Jiang Feng, nor are there any heroes who can resist a gentle strike from Yan Nantian.” Hua Chengzan possessed Jiang Feng’s charms from the legends, while he probably could only develop his strength like Yan Nantian1.
“Tsktsk, there probably aren’t a lot of women in the world who can resist your charm. It’s no wonder that sect master Qiu is so infatuated with you.”
Hua Chengzan smiled. “We’re just friends.”
Li Qingshan said, “It doesn’t matter if you’re friends or not. If she’s interested in me, I would never turn her down.”
Hua Chengzan said, “If it’s not mutual, yet you stay together, it’ll only make you lonelier.”
Li Qingshan said, “I think you just have nothing better to do.”
Hua Chengzan smiled. “You can say that.”
Li Qingshan was helpless over how unperturbed he was. He thought of something and made fun of him. “Though, don’t tell me you have some special interests with how you went as far as to offend your friends to help me?”
Hua Chengzan replied seriously, “You overestimate yourself.”
Li Qingshan snickered. He studied him and said, “Surely I’m passable.”
Hua Chengzan could no longer stand it anymore either. “Someone told me to take care of you.”
Li Qingshan said, “You’re finally telling the truth. It’s Gu Yanying, isn’t it?”
Hua Chengzan was slightly stunned, or even rather irritated, by how he had suddenly called her by name. However, he had great control over himself, so he showed none of it on the surface. All he did was ask, “How did you know?”
Li Qingshan said, “I might not be the cleverest, but I do have some wits about me. It’s impossible for boss Wang to get you to take care of me. He utterly loathes me. The commander loathes me, yet you still need to take care of me. That means that the person’s status is even higher than boss Wang, such that even boss Wang has to listen to them. The only person I’ve seen who is as important as that is Gu Yanying.”
Hua Chengzan said, “Smart. Your analysis is impressive.”
Li Qingshan became carried away. “And, I’m confident enough to say that you’re interested in her.”
“Oh? How come?”
Li Qingshan said, “You’re not even fazed when someone as fantastic as sect master Qiu takes a liking to you, and you don’t like men either, so that can only mean you have someone else you like. Even I have only seen a single woman who completely surpasses sect master Qiu in terms of charm. Great commander Gu probably doesn’t treat me with any importance at all, so she probably just told you to take care of me without proper thought. Just a single careless word from her is enough for you to uphold it like strict orders, even going as far as to offend your friends for me. You can’t just call that loyalty to your commanding officer anymore.”
Hua Chengzan said, “You’re far too modest. You don’t just have your wits about you. You’re the cleverest.”
Li Qingshan said, “Then you really shouldn’t take care of me.”
Li Qingshan grinned. “Because we’re rivals.”
Even Hua Chengzan was left surprised for quite a while before erupting in laughter, laughing so hard that he had to lean on his knees.
“Alright you, Li Qingshan. It has been quite a while since I’ve laughed so hard. Pfft, rivals. Hahahaha! This is just too interesting.”
Li Qingshan looked at him with a smile. He was as firm as a rock excavated from a ravine. Clearly, he was not joking.
Hua Chengzan stopped laughing, but he continued to smile, “Do you know what we look like?”
“We look like two ants fighting over a mountain. Oi, go away, this is my territory. But we can’t even move a single rock.”
Li Qingshan said, “Even if we’re ants, as long as we climb as hard as we can, there’ll be a day when we climb to the top of the mountain.”
“Climb? Don’t you understand? The mountain is rapidly growing taller. By the time you take a tiny step, it has already grown ten times higher. Wake up!”
Li Qingshan said confidently, “You underestimate me.”
Hua Chengzan said, “Alright. Then I’ll definitely have to take even better care of you and see just how long you can climb for.”
Li Qingshan was instead surprised. “I’m obviously going to climb until I die. Don’t tell me you’ve turned pursuing a woman into everything there is in life?”
He had set himself a distant goal, and he would be doing all that he could to strive towards it, but he did not treat the goal as his absolute meaning of existence. Whether it was Gu Yanying or venturing beyond the Nine Heavens, if he died half way, killed off by someone, then all he would do was shrug and apologise to brother ox.
This was both an imprint from his past life and a deep impression he had gained from this life. The hunger and cold in the cowshed filled the boy cowherd’s mind with only wearing cotton clothes and eating meat. Right now, his goals were only equivalent to larger cotton clothes and more delicious meat. He understood the value of these two items more than anyone else. The warmth of cotton clothes to warm a person’s heart, and the delicious taste of meat surpassed all pills and medicines. They were not divine. He could strive towards them with his own two hands.
“I have nothing better to do, but you won’t understand this feeling.” Hua Chengzan smiled.
PS: Yep, just as expected, it doesn’t hurt anymore today. Haha, I’m so young and full of energy, so why would I develop any occupational illnesses- Ah, my hand, it’s so numb, I can’t feel any-