Chapter 308 – The Seventh Layer
Li Qingshan’s mind lightened up. At the same time, the spirit turtle completely suppressed the sword qi in his sea of qi.
Even with that being the case, traces of tears appeared in several of his meridians. His meridians stung. If he were a regular Qi Practitioner, this would have been an extremely severe injury, requiring the expertise of the school of Medicine to treat.
However, Li Qingshan just transformed slightly and released his daemon qi, washing away the residual sword qi. Before long, these injuries had gradually recovered. As a powerful daemon infinitesimally close to the realm of Daemon Generals, he possessed extremely powerful self-healing. He could basically recover from any wound as long as he had enough time.
After recovering, Li Qingshan immediately got to work, comprehending the path of the sword within the Cursive Sword Calligraphy. Under the control of the spirit turtle, he released the sword intent bit by bit, slowly feeling and comprehending it.
But clearly, it was much more difficult this time around. Li Qingshan opened his mouth and asked, “Xiao An, teach me your sword style.”
Xiao An immediately stopped cultivating and began studying it with him.
Time flew, but no one noticed.
This time, it had taken him even longer than last time. Three months passed in the blink of an eye.
Li Qingshan wielded the two fragments of the Cursive Sword Calligraphy together and channeled true qi into them. When the true qi transformed into sharp sword qi, it flowed back into his body, but it had already become subdued, unable to cause him anymore harm.
He had finally comprehended the entirety of the path of the sword within the second Cursive Sword Calligraphy. Now, he wanted to merge these two Cursive Sword Calligraphies together in his sea of qi.
The two groups of sword qi of different strength gathered in his sea of qi and began fighting; it was as if they did not come from the same place and were mortal enemies instead.
Li Qingshan did not use the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression to forcefully suppress them. Instead, he used all of his will to control them. Gradually, the stronger group of sword qi gained the upper hand, devouring the weaker group. The two fused together completely, turning into over a hundred strands of extremely sharp sword qi.
Because they had been completely refined, the cluster of sword qi was enough to rival the supreme grade Cursive Sword Calligraphy, and he could wield it as he wished, which made it even more wondrous. Just how many people would be able to block it if he suddenly unleashed this move in the middle of a battle?
A streak of golden light appeared behind Li Qingshan. The huge vajra sword swung down on him.
Li Qingshan wielded his fingers like a sword and lifted them above his head.
The vajra sword and sword qi clashed together, producing a long screech.
The vajra sword pressed down bit by bit. Li Qingshan knocked it away and rushed forward. “You’re launching another sneak attack on me.” In order to increase his control over the sword qi, Li Qingshan had asked Xiao An to launch sneak attacks against him at any time so that he could unleash the sword qi when he felt threatened. This was quite a good idea for someone like Li Qingshan who was accustomed to battle. However, she seemed to have become addicted to it.
“Didn’t you want to defeat me with sword qi?” Xiao An giggled and fused with the sword. The vajra sword turned into a streak of golden light and whistled over.
“You’re underestimating me!” Li Qingshan fished out a low grade spiritual artifact sword and swung it.
The tips of the sword collided. Li Qingshan let out a roar, and the sword qi in his dantian channelled into the sword. The vajra sword cracked.
As it shattered, the guardian king avatar collapsed too, revealing her petite figure. He scooped her up and pinched her cheek viciously while tickling her. “Why don’t you keep being naughty?”
Xiao An let out a burst of laughter that sounded like silver chimes.
Li Qingshan sat down right where he was and placed her on his knee. “You weren’t holding back, were you?”
Xiao An leaned against his chest, raised her head, and looked at him. Her eyes seemed to twinkle like stars as she shook her head firmly. Her seaweed-like hair swayed from side to side like waves.
Li Qingshan asked, “Really?”
Xiao An nodded with a smile. “Really.”
The Guardian King’s Scripture of Demon Subdual was a wondrous buddhist cultivation method, but just a cultivation at the first layer was indeed insufficient to block sharp sword qi that was almost on par with supreme grade spiritual artifacts.
Li Qingshan laughed aloud. “I said I would defeat you with sword qi, yet you insisted that I couldn’t.”
“Okay, I admit that you’re good. Are you happy now?” Xiao An pouted.
However, for guardian kings to subdue demons, it required a heart of fury, while for the path of the sword to defeat opponents, it required the intent to kill. When she faced Li Qingshan, she obviously did not feel that way, so whether it was the demonified guardian king or the unmatched path of the sword from the Cursive Sword Calligraphy, she was unable to unleash even half of their power.
“It’s about time now. Let’s get ready to emerge!” Li Qingshan said. The time he had spent in secluded cultivation this time had truly exceeded his initial estimates.
“I still want to cultivate for a little longer. Can I?” Xiao An bit her lip and looked at him with her large eyes filled with eagerness.
Just who in the world could say no to a gaze like that?
Li Qingshan lowered his head and pressed his forehead against her head. “Alright, whatever you want. I don’t have any pills left, but it’s not too bad if I practise qi here.”
Xiao An smiled. To her, there was no difference in where she cultivated, but being able to cultivate with him always brought her the most joy. They would not be disturbed by anything. In this sealed dwelling, they could spend every single moment together without being separated at all; it was like a tiny haven that allowed them to shelter from the storm of the outside world.
Li Qingshan raised his head deep underground.
Even with the layers of formations and the thick earth separating him from the surface, he could still clearly sense the unique pulse of spiritual qi of the world clearly. This was what his spirit turtle’s daemon core told him as a daemon.
Xiao An pressed her thumb against the joint on her middle finger and calculated a little before saying confidently, “It’s snowing.”
Li Qingshan said, “Wanna go out for a snowfight?” Xiao An replied, “Okay!”
As a result, the stone door to the dwelling opened loudly.
On the Cloudwisp island, in the courtyard within the bamboo.
The entire courtyard was filled with snow, with no one to clear it away. Probably only the school of Novels would face a predicament like this, but it also managed to maintain the purest, most uncontaminated snowfields.
The bamboo stood like noble people, completely unfazed and just as graceful as before. However, some of them bent over from the accumulated snow, like they were trying to pick up a snowflake from the ground.
The door and windows were wide open. The gentle, cold breeze blew snowflakes onto the bamboo floor, and the shine of the snow dimmed in the darkness too.
It was like the most beautiful landscape painting there was. Of course, only cultivators were able to take their time and appreciate this sight quietly without fearing the cold.
Liu Chuanfeng wore a single, bluish-green gown as he leaned against the table, writing diligently. Neither the cold nor the scenery seemed to be able to faze him.
The Cloudwisp association had already begun to unleash a startling effect, and his flame for writing novels seemed to be reignited. He wrote stories painstakingly.
Of course, these stories no longer possessed any sexual content at all. Instead, they were elegant and refined.
Li Qingshan’s words had given him extremely deep inspiration. He was completely aware that he was not trying to win over those educated scholars right now.
Without anyone’s advice, those iconic stories of young men falling off a cliff and finding a rare treasure or young misses eloping with poor scholars emerged from the tip of his brush. Beautified by the storytellers and bards, they reached the ears of thousands of regular people. The rate at which his power of belief gathered suddenly jumped.
Of course, it was not entirely smooth sailing. He faced quite a lot of uncertainty and hesitance during the process. In order to increase his efficiency, he would write many openings before asking the Cloudwisp association for feedback. If he could gain recognition, then he would keep writing, but if he could not, he would change it immediately. He devoted all of it to serve the readers.
Right now, he was writing exactly one of these novels that had been developed half way. Out of his many novels, this one had garnered the most recognition and support. The name, Master of Wind and Moon, began to accumulate some renown.
It had been a very long time since he last visited the Parlour of Clouds and rain, and it was not because of Li Qingshan’s warning. Rather, he simply had no time at all. His deadline to hand in the draft was approaching. He had to make time for the storytellers to familiarise themselves with the story.,
He wrote and wrote like his life depended on it. If it were possible, he wanted to continue this story forever—one book, two books, three books and so on. He was not fighting alone. He was not fighting for just himself. The entire school of Novels was currently reviving in his hands.
Thump! Thump! Thump! “Anyone home?”
Liu Chuanfeng suddenly raised his head. Because his mind was still submerged in the story, his eyes were in a daze, so he seemed rather bewildered. However, he gradually made out the person standing in the corridor, blocking the light from the snow. It was his primary disciple that he thought of day and night.
“My dear disciple, you’ve finally returned!” Liu Chuanfeng threw himself towards him.
Li Qingshan swatted him aside and called out to the snow, “Xiao An, come on in!”
“Why were you in seclusion for so long? Don’t tell me you were actually afraid of Chu Tian? If you were afraid, why didn’t you tell me earlier? You made me lose so many spiritual stones, do you know? He has already reached the seventh layer, and it’s said he’s going to break through again soon. It’s utterly infuriating with how good he is at…” Liu Chuanfeng lifted up the teapot and poured some tea as he rambled on. Suddenly, he stopped and widened his eyes.
“Y- you’ve reached the seventh layer.” He finally sensed the aura from Li Qingshan. Sure enough, it was at the seventh layer.
“Exactly!” Li Qingshan smiled. He placed the cup into Xiao An’s hands. “When I was practising qi, there was a small accident, which was why I took a little longer.”
Liu Chuanfeng was filled with disbelief. Just what accident could allow a sixth layer Qi Practitioner who had just broken through to reach the seventh layer in just a few months?
The path of cultivation became more difficult the further a person went. After condensing the sea of qi, it would be quite fast if a person could open the three remaining meridians, the Penetrating, Conception, and Governing meridians, within a decade, before spending another decade to open the twelve standard meridians throughout their body, reaching the peak of Qi Practitioners, the tenth layer.
Afterwards, they could use two or three decades to slowly comprehend the final step, or should one say the first step, Foundation Establishment.
People would be considered as elites if they reached the tenth layer before the age of fifty, outstanding if it was before the age of forty, and geniuses if it was before the age of thirty.
This was the path that most talented Qi Practitioners and many Foundation Establishment cultivators took. Plenty of geniuses like Hua Chengzan would emerge on the path too, but they were all the renowned geniuses.
Li Qingshan was just seventeen. If he continued at this pace, he could easily make it into the category of geniuses.
If he knew about the exact time Li Qingshan had spent cultivating, his eyes would probably fall out from shock. He had spent just three months, not the nine months that Liu Chuanfeng thought.
Although he could absorb spiritual qi of the world to no end, practising qi was not about just absorbing spiritual qi. Originally, he should not have reached the seventh layer so quickly, but he ended up finding another wondrous use for the sword qi in his dantian.
Forcefully splitting open meridians.