Chapter 302 – Reincarnated Celestial
Li Qingshan’s confidence swelled. After experimenting around for quite a while, he finally removed the eight corners of the piece of pine wood. However, the wood grain had cracked, reduced to a mess. Panicking slightly, he could not help but increase his input of true qi, and the wood piece immediately shattered with a bang.
He looked at Qian Rongzhi beside him. She was not doing any better either.
Qian Rongzhi casually crushed the piece of pine wood and smiled. “Looks like neither of us are geniuses.”
However, they were not doing too badly. Li Qingshan believed that as long as he was a little more steady, forming a sphere would be nothing difficult. However, he would still need to closely understand just how to avoid cracking the wood grain.
There were a lot of Qi Practitioners who even struggled with the first step, unable to imbue the objects with true qi even after numerous attempts, so they obviously could not mould the pine wood at all. If they rushed it, then they would shatter their piece of wood too.
Meng Xiqi sneered. “If you can’t achieve that, it means you have no talent for forging artifacts. There’s no need for you to attend anymore of my classes. Save yourself some time.”
The Qi Practitioners were all proud people, and this professor Meng was only a Qi Practitioner as well, so a few people stood up and left.
Afterwards, Meng Xiqi smiled. “Actually, I also failed when I tried the first time.”
Everyone was stunned. Meng Xiqi said, “Arrogance is your greatest obstacle to learning. If you’re not even patient enough for this, then there truly is no point for you to learn how to forge artifacts. Don’t forget, talent can be made up for with hard work. Alright, show me what you’ve achieved. Lift them up.”
Many wooden spheres were lifted up into the air. Of course, those who did too poorly were too embarrassed to show their handiwork. Meng Xiqi’s gaze landed on Chu Tian. His wooden sphere was perfectly round, with the wooden grain clearly visible. There was not the slightest crack; instead, it was like it had been carved out of wood.
“You there. Please stand up. What’s your name?”
Chu Tian enjoyed everyone’s gazes of admiration with pride. He thought, That’s a given. I’m a genius. What talent can be made up for with hard work? That’s all just to trick fools. He even glanced back at Li Qingshan.
Qian Rongzhi said to him secretly, “What’d I say!”
“These days, there really aren’t as many enemies that are so simplistically cute.” Li Qingshan smiled, but he was uncertain whether she understood him.
There was no break in between. Only after four hours did the lecture end, and only then did Meng Xiqi stop talking. He put his hand on the back of his head and yawned. “That’s all for today. I’m getting old. I get tired just from standing a little.”
He twisted his neck, and with a sudden crack, his head fell off his shoulders, rolling off the platform. Scarlet blood gushed out like a miniature spring.
The cozy classroom immediately turned into a terrifying murder scene. Cries rang out from everywhere. The female confucian disciple who had avoided Li Qingshan with disgust even screamed out.
Chu Tian’s expression changed drastically. He never thought he would personally witness a murder on his first day in the academy, and despite his cultivation, he failed to see who had done it or how they did it. He released his protective true qi instinctively.
Everyone felt threatened in the lecture hall.
Meng Xiqi’s body remained standing there, as straight as an arrow. The decapitated head on the ground began talking. “Oops, I’ve used too much force.” The headless body made its way off the platform, picked up the head. and placed it back onto its shoulders. With a click, it locked back into place.
The lecture hall was dead silent. Everyone was dumbfounded.
Li Qingshan grinned. He never thought this professor from the school of Mohism would have such a mischievous hobby. Not only did he teach a class using a puppet, but he even unleashed this move at the end.
He had noticed a long time ago that the thing teaching the class on the platform was not a living person, but a puppet. It seemed identical to humans on the surface, even giving off the aura of a Qi Practitioner, but the smell it gave off was extremely strange.
Drinking tea and coughing gently were all for creating a false impression, which fooled many people, but they were not enough to fool his senses. The substance that sprayed out in the end was not human blood either.
However, he was still amazed by how exquisite the puppets of the school of Mohism were. He must have done this to create an extremely deep impression in those new mohist disciples!
He also saw that Qian Rongzhi was completely unfazed. Even though her senses were not as sharp as his, he would instead be surprised if she had failed to see through the act. As for Chu Tian, who had become so complacent over the praises from a puppet, no one took him seriously anymore.
Puppet Meng Xiqi said, “Careful observation and calm and collected thinking is even more important than turning a piece of wood into a sphere for the path of forging artifacts. Anyone can achieve the latter with practise, but those who lack the former will struggle to become an artifact smith.”
The atmosphere in the room lightened up and laughter rang out. Although they knew they had just been toyed with, Meng Xiqi, who was hidden somewhere, still managed to win their admiration. However, quite a few female cultivators were still pale.
Chu Tian withdrew his protective true qi. His face was bright red. He felt like what Meng Xiqi had said earlier was purposefully directed at him, which filled him with resentment.
Puppet Meng Xiqi used his hand to point out the disciples that were not surprised earlier, asking them one by one about how they knew he was a puppet.
Li Qingshan did not believe the puppet had the ability to think, only the ability of judgement, such as which spheres were rounders and which people’s expressions remained mostly the same. All of this should have been due to a certain procedure for operation. This was a piece of cake to achieve compared to puppets made for combat. Its eyes that seemed no different from real eyes should have been the key to all of this.
When it was Li Qingshan’s turn, he stood up, moved his mouth a little, but produced no sound at all. He sat back down.
The puppet professor said with great sincerity, “Thank you.”
Li Qingshan smiled. As it seemed, he was right.
There was a roar of laughter, while Hua Chenglu secretly applauded him. She had basically gotten her revenge for being fooled earlier. Apart from being courageous, this guy really was rather sharp-witted too. She could not help but think about that rainy night in Lakeside city, where he clasped his hands gracefully in the dark alleyway whilst wearing a rain cloak.
This memory that had already become blurred suddenly became clear. Even if the circumstances worked against a man like that, even if he had accidentally ended up in the school of Novels, he would still probably become quite accomplished!
After asking everybody, puppet Meng Xiqi bowed deeply. “Thank you for your suggestions!” He pointed at his head. “I’ve already stored it all in here. I’ll have to keep improving it when I get back. I’ll give a box of pine wood pieces to all the disciples from earlier as a reward.”
The disciples that saw through the fact that the professor was a puppet climbed onto the platform one by one, collecting their box of wood.
“Don’t forget to practise.” Puppet Meng Xiqi repeated this.
When it was Li Qingshan’s turn, just when he wanted to collect the box of wood, the puppet professor grabbed him firmly. “I might be a puppet, but you can’t fool around with me.”
Li Qingshan understood that he was no longer speaking to just the puppet right before him. He smiled. “Yes, professor.”
Puppet Meng Xiqi released his hand and patted Li Qingshan’s shoulder. “I’ve heard Pingyang talk about you. You’re welcomed to come here more often in the future.”
Li Qingshan stowed his notes away and made his way out of the huge, spiral structure. The sun was setting already. Before he knew it, an afternoon had already passed by, but he felt extremely satisfied and at ease with the small box of wood in his hand.
This was his first class. He had finally taken another step forward.
Hao Pingyang and Zhang Lanqing were waiting below the streetlight across the road. Yes, it was a streetlight. The long pole held up a hazy yellow light, illuminating a large part of the road. There were already insects buzzing around the light.
“Li Qingshan, stop right there!”
Just when Li Qingshan wanted to make his way over, a roar rang out from behind him, which attracted quite a lot of attention.
He had almost forgotten about this fellow. Li Qingshan turned around and said to Chu Tian, “Kid, what do you want?”
Fighting without permission was forbidden in the academy, while the person who started the fight would be severely punished. And, it was not just physical pain for those who thought they could play the hero. It would include a penalty of spiritual stones too.
Initially, Li Qingshan had been searching for a peaceful environment, but he felt rather unhappy now. If he were in the wilderness, he would have crushed this kid to death right now. He wanted to see just what trump cards he had apart from his Five Elements constitution and whether they were more powerful than his own.
Chu Tian said, “I want to challenge you to a gamble. Are you bold enough to accept?”
Li Qingshan was overjoyed. “This is too good to be true!”
Chu Tian was instead stunned by Li Qingshan’s reaction and felt slightly anxious, but he soon settled down. Li Qingshan was just a sixth layer Qi Practitioner. Even if he knew some Body Practitioner techniques, there was nothing to be afraid about.
“Are you going to accept or not?”
“Alright? What are we gambling? Tell me.”
“It’ll be fighting, obviously. What, are we supposed to compete at who’s better at being a good-for-nothing glutton? If that’s the case, I’ll never be able to beat you. Haha!” Chu Tian laughed, but he discovered that no one laughed along, so he shut up awkwardly.
Li Qingshan said, “Alright, sure. Give me a time, location, and the wager.”
Chu Tian said, “The location will obviously be the Main Martial Arts stadium on Great War island. The wager will be a thousand, no, two thousand spiritual stones. The time- the time will be in three month’s time.”
He was tempted to teach Li Qingshan a vicious lesson right now, but he felt uneasy for some reason, which was why he pushed it back by three months. After joining the school of Confucianism, Liu Zhangqing had personally passed him the Great Palm of the Five Elements. He could practise five kinds of true qi simultaneously, giving him tremendous power. Three months were sufficient for him to attain a basic mastery of it.
By then, let alone the sixth layer, even Qi Practitioners of the ninth or tenth layer would be a piece of cake to deal with. And, Li Qingshan would definitely improve slowly in the school of Novels, so as time went on, victory would be certain for him even without using “that”. He could not help but feel slightly proud over his own cleverness, but he began to worry that Li Qingshan would turn him down.
“Alright. Then in three months’ time it is.” Li Qingshan agreed happily. What he lacked right now the most was time. Three months were enough for him to digest most of the pills in his hundred treasures pouch, and it was enough to push his strength as a daemon and human to a new level. Chu Tian gave him exactly what he wanted.
Just like that, they agreed on their gamble, and Li Qingshan turned around and left.
“Hey, Li Qingshan.”
Hua Chenglu rushed over and grumbled. “You won’t even greet me when you see me. So much for going through thick and thin together in the past.”
Yu Zijian said, “Big brother Li.”
Chu Tian saw how another two beautiful women gathered around Li Qingshan, which only made him even more jealous.
Hua Chenglu communicated with Li Qingshan. “You mustn’t fight him. You won’t be able to win!”
“He’s a Reincarnated Celestial!”