Chapter 320 – One Step at a Time
“Did you really write this?” Liu Chuanfeng held the thick draft and said in disbelief. Even at a minimum, there were a few hundred thousand words there, but Li Qingshan had only used a few days.
“Don’t tell me you copied it from somewhere?”
Li Qingshan said with no confidence at all, “How can you say that? Have you ever read something remotely similar to this?”
Liu Chuanfeng said, “Plagiarism won’t net you the slightest power of belief, no matter how well you’ve copied it.”
Taking the Divine Talisman of Merit as an example, the merit would never misidentify its target no matter how far the cultivator who did the good deeds were, even if there were people who shared the same name and appearance as them. This was the wonders of divine talismans.
Li Qingshan became uncertain. He had copied something from his past life, which belonged to another world. In this world, it should be an original work.
“Alright, then allow your master to take a look and edit it for you.” Liu Chuanfeng leaned over the table and began reading.
Li Qingshan strode away. In the past few days, he had been either copying or editing. Even with Xiao An’s help, it still made him dizzy.
After editing this “maiden work” of his, the One Thought master sent someone to call Xiao An back to the Anāsravāṃ temple. Apparently, she had to make preparations for the upcoming assembly of dharma.
Xiao An only said she would find a way to get some more pills before leaving in a hurry.
This instead made Li Qingshan rather apologetic. After dealing with the matter regarding the school of Novels, it was time for him to properly gather some resources and prepare for that final step.
Although he called it the final step, Li Qingshan refused to underestimate it. It was very likely that this step would be even more difficult to take than any other steps of the past.
There were many living examples around him of the difficulty. Liu Chuanfeng, Hua Chengzan, Ru Xin, and so on were all at the tenth layer.
There was a dangerous heavenly tribulation involved too. He could not afford to be careless at all.
There were still quite a lot of resources left from his massacre underground, but getting rid of the spiritual artifacts and talismans would be rather difficult, even if the spiritual stones were easier to deal with.
After arriving in the academy, he had once asked Sun Fubai about the school of Miscellany that focused on this business. As it turned out, rarely did they ever purchase these items, and even if they did, they would only pay extremely low prices for them.
The world had been in a state of peace for so long. Fighting and struggling became extremely rare. Without a demand, there was no market for them. And, compared to this, the price of high level pills was constantly on the rise due to the increase in Qi Practitioners and the increasing rarity of spiritual herbs.
And, Li Qingshan had quite a lot of qualms over these items too. He had not exactly obtained them legitimately. If he sold them en-mass, he would probably attract the attention of observant people.
Through his contact with people like Qian Rongzhi and Hua Chengzan, Li Qingshan deeply understood that there were many clever people in the world. Deducing facts from small clues was basically a form of instinct for certain people. He personally believed he did not have this ability. All he could do was be as careful as possible, without leaving behind anything that might give him away.
After a while of thought, Li Qingshan’s gaze gradually became determined. I’ll take one step at a time!
The first step were the missions issued in the Missions hall on Contention island.
Li Qingshan’s eyes constantly darted around the bulletin board. Very soon, he locked onto a mission. It came from the school of Agriculture. It was a mission for watering their fields of wheat. It sounded simple, but it clearly stated towards the end that it required the Spiritual Rain technique.
The Spiritual Rain technique was a wide range healing technique. Not only could it heal injuries, but it could also allow people to recover their true qi. In battle, it was something that could play a decisive role. Due to how difficult it was to learn, rarely were there any people who knew it in this day and age.
If it were not for the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression, which allowed him to master any water element technique with ease, he probably would have never bothered with this technique either. Perhaps it was exactly because of this reason that the rewards for the mission were quite plentiful.
It was clearly winter, but Longevity island of the school of Agriculture was brimming with life.
Earth elder Huang sat on a ridge in the fields, smoking his pipe. He circled out a region in the vast fields of golden wheat before him.
“Give me 3.9 centimeters of rain in this region. I’ll deduct a spiritual stone for every millimeter you miss, understand?” He did not give Li Qingshan any special treatment, even with his outstanding performance lately.
Li Qingshan said politely, “Understood.” He closed his eyes and prepared for a moment. A streak of light rose up from his hands and flew into the air, turning into a large region of spiritual drizzle that fell from the sky. The slightly droopy wheat immediately straightened out, as if it was absorbing the spiritual rain.
Earth elder Huang was slightly surprised. Originally, he thought Li Qingshan would have to use the Spiritual Rain technique several times to water such a larger region, but Li Qingshan only used it once. The area he covered was simply startling. And, at a closer glance, the spiritual rain was not off by a single millimeter. It was 3.9 centimeters exactly.
Li Qingshan smiled and accepted the spiritual stones. It sure had been easy for him to make spiritual stones. All he had to do was use a technique once. Apart from watering the wheat fields, there seemed to be missions for watering the medicinal gardens of the school of Medicine too in the Missions hall.
“You want to learn alchemy from me?” Ru Xin studied Li Qingshan with a strange gaze. His face was filled with sincerity, and he even held a watermelon in his hand.
“This is just a gift for taking me on as a student. If you agree, I can pay you spiritual stones too. Of course, you can’t go overboard with the price.”
This was Li Qingshan’s second step, grasping alchemy as quickly as possible. As for the watermelon, earth elder Huang had picked it from a neighbouring melon field and given it to him for completing the mission perfectly.
“The school of Medicine has classes for alchemy. It won’t cost you a single spiritual stone.”
“It takes too long.” Li Qingshan shook his head. The classes held by the professors were nice, but in consideration of every single disciple’s ability, they purposefully slowed down the process. They explained complicated concepts in simple words. While it was interesting, it would take too much time. And, the ability of the professors probably paled in comparison to the person before him.
Ru Xin’s mouth was quite foul, but she was still a decent person. After that time, he had asked for Water of Recollection from her two more times, but she refused to accept any spiritual stones at all. And, despite being a great beauty, she had no air of arrogance about her either. She obviously became his first choice.
Ru Xin said, “Let me consider it. Let’s eat the watermelon first!”
They cut open the watermelon, and the red pulp gave off a special fragrance. Li Qingshan took a bite, and it melted in his mouth. It was as sweet as honey, and the spiritual qi within it merged with his sea of qi too.
Li Qingshan thought about how wondrous the school of Agriculture’s arts were. The effects were no worse than regular pills. It was just a pity that he was not a disciple of the school of Agriculture. Compared to refining pills, he preferred farming much more.
Ru Xin was still staring at Li Qingshan. She had produced a notch in the watermelon with her teeth as her pink lips were dyed red. Afterwards, she let out a loud slurp, which interrupted Li Qingshan’s thoughts.
“Can’t you eat a little more quietly?”
Ru Xin said, “Little kids know nothing at all. When you eat watermelons, you need to slurp it.”
Li Qingshan rolled his eyes and placed down the watermelon round. The huge watermelon had vanished into her belly in the blink of an eye.
Ru Xin wiped her mouth with her sleeve. “I refuse!”
“I’ve considered it, and I refuse. I’ll see you out!”
“Then spit out my gift if you won’t take me as a student!” Li Qingshan was very tempted to choke her.
“You really want it?” Ru Xin acted like she was about to stick her hand into her mouth, as if she would actually spit it out if he wanted it.
Li Qingshan was slightly disgusted, but he ground his teeth. “Spit it out!”
With a ptui, Ru Xin spat out a melon seed. “You can go back and plant it yourself. What an idiot. Hahaha!”
Li Qingshan caught the melon seed and revealed a look of pity. He shook his head with a sigh. “What a pity, what a pity.”
Ru Xin asked, “How’s it a pity?”
Li Qingshan said, “Originally, I wanted to pay you with a True Spirit pill, but it’s a pity someone doesn’t want it. I’ll go find Juechenzi instead. When it comes to alchemy, the school of Daoism is still the best.”
“Hold on, you said a True Spirit pill?” Ru Xin was fazed. True Spirit pills were critical for reaching Foundation Establishment. She was currently at the tenth layer and was toeing this threshold. She could not help but become interested.
Li Qingshan said, “Yeah!”
“You have a True Spirit pill? I don’t believe you!” Ru Xin recovered her composure and shook her head with a faint smile.
There was basically no supply of True Spirit pills in the cultivation world right now. The most important medicinal herb for refining True Spirit pills, the Blue Butterfly flower, was basically extinct. Blue Butterfly flowers only grew on top of spiritual stone veins. It was impossible to cultivate them in Spirit Gathering formations.
Across the entire Clear River prefecture, there were truly just a handful of sects and clans with spiritual stone veins. Over many years of mining and excavating, they produced precious little amounts. They did not even have enough to refine the flowers into pills themselves, so it was even more impossible for them to sell them. Despite all the years she had spent in the school of Medicine, she only possessed two True Spirit pills right now. It was impossible for Li Qingshan to be in possession of something like that with his background.
However, little did she know that not only did Li Qingshan possess True Spirit pills, but he possessed more than one too. He was sitting on a great pile of Blue Butterfly flowers as well, and he had even been in possession of a Blue Butterfly flower field in the past.
Li Qingshan did not bicker with her. He casually fished out an embroidered box from his hundred treasures pouch. With a thud, he opened the box and displayed the True Spirit pill inside.
Ru Xin held her cheek and sighed. “In order to pursue your senior sister, you’ve even taken out a True Spirit pill. Your senior sister is very touched by this gesture…”
Li Qingshan said, “Cut it with the acting. Are you going to teach me or not?”
Ru Xin extended her hands and closed the embroidered box gently. “I’ll teach you, but you should probably keep the True Spirit pill for yourself! With how quickly you cultivate, you’ll probably need it in just a few years. You can’t reach Foundation Establishment without this.”
Li Qingshan was slightly surprised. He did not think there was an understanding and considerate side to her.
Ru Xin smiled. “Let’s just do spiritual stones. A hundred spiritual stones per a day. I will teach you with great, great care and detail.”
“You can just directly say you’ll be dragging it out a lot. I am a man of my word, so when my alchemy is enough to refine True Spirit pills, I’ll give this True Spirit pill to you. What do you think?”
If he refined all the Blue Butterfly flowers in his hundred treasures pouch into True Spirit pills, they would be worth far more than those spiritual artifacts and talismans, and he had no need to worry about demand either. This was the most important step for his breakthrough to Daemon General.
Li Qingshan extended his right hand, and Ru Xin placed her hand atop it gently. She smiled. “Deal!”
Actually, an agreement like this was like a challenge. Originally, they were supposed to produce a written pledge on Contention island with a witness present, but Li Qingshan was quite unclear with this process, and Ru Xin had not mentioned it either.
Around dusk, Li Qingshan returned to Cloudwisp island and let out a soft sigh. He felt rather exhausted. This was not only because he was learning alchemy, but also because Ru Xin would say some weird things from time to time, giving him a headache. However, under the temptation of the True Spirit pill, she basically put in her best effort to teach him. Her guidance was extremely efficient too, with no need for him to make time to attend formal classes. It had resolved one of the issues troubling Li Qingshan.
As soon as Li Qingshan stepped into the courtyard, Liu Chuanfeng rushed over and grabbed Li Qingshan by the collar.