Chapter 321 – Trial Mission
“D- Did you really write this?”
Liu Chuanfeng’s eyes were slightly red. Originally, he had read the draft with a mindset of giving Li Qingshan some advice and revitalising his dignity as his teacher.
Yep, martial arts practitioners. Seems to be a world without cultivators. It’s quite the setting, but isn’t it a little too literarily unsophisticated? There isn’t even an opening poem. Oh right, Qingshan comes from the mountains. Getting him to write poems would be asking too much of him. It’ll be up to his I, his teacher, to fix this.
Liu Chuanfeng read it slowly with an opinionated mindset. Afterwards, he gradually forgot about his original objective. The cohesive plot of the novel had sucked him in, turning page after page. By the time he had returned to his senses, he had already reached the end. The sun was already setting.
The writing style of the entire novel was vastly different from the ones he had read before, but it had a grand setting and portrayed everything to great detail. Even right now, he could recall the scenes vividly. This novel was not bad at all. Instead, it was unimaginably good, which destroyed his original plans.
Li Qingshan said, “Of course.”
“Impossible. That’s impossible,” Liu Chuanfeng muttered. He had been writing for so many years now, so he understood the difficulty that was involved.
“Hah, that’s because I’m a genius.” Li Qingshan patted Liu Chuanfeng’s shoulder. Sure enough, the story from a great master was powerful. Of course, he would have never been able to do this without Xiao An’s localising edits.
“Hmm? What’s this?” Li Qingshan peered into his body and discovered that a speck of light had appeared in the dim Divine Talisman of Great Creation. Suddenly, he raised his head and looked at Liu Chuanfeng. He appeared several times more pleasant to the eye now.
Originally, he had still been worrying about whether he could collect the power of belief with something he had plagiarised. Didn’t he already have his first reader?
Liu Chuanfeng was unable to come up with any appropriate responses to that. All he could do was accept Li Qingshan’s explanation for now. It was probably because he originated from the jianghu, which was why he could write matters of the jianghu so easily and with such vivid detail.
“Qingshan, you definitely won’t regret joining the school of Novels. I’ll send this off to the Cloudwisp association right now. Have you thought of a pen name?”
Li Qingshan immediately became stumped. He furrowed his brows in thought before thinking of something. He extended his index finger. “How about Jin Long, or Golden Dragon1?” He had considered the two authors he was most likely to plagiarise from and fused their names flawlessly.
Liu Chuanfeng reeled back, cringing. It really was quite difficult to come up with a name cruder than that. He bellowed, “Do you think you’re giving names to children in the village? We’re novelists. Our pen names are basically our second names.”
This was the first time Li Qingshan had felt so meek before Liu Chuanfeng. He muttered, “Golden Dragon sounds so awesome and auspicious.” He racked his brains hard again. As a great author who had “written” a million words already, it truly was quite awkward for him to be stumped over coming up with a pen name that was only a few words long.
“Wuji. Wuji is pretty good, right?”
“As a novelist, how can I have the same name as a character in my books? What will my readers think of me?”
“All you did was drop your surname. My dear disciple, please be a little more serious.”
Li Qingshan said, “I understand now. I’ll just be Li Qingshan!”
“What? Isn’t that your real name…”
“Yeah, it is my real name!” Li Qingshan smiled as he radiated with confidence. Recently, he had been caught up in far too many regular matters. He had almost forgotten this old dream of his.
There would be a day when he would spread the name “Li Qingshan” across the nine provinces, with millions muttering his name.
This was more like a fantasy that a child had while staring at the sky. If he mentioned it, people would only laugh. Even he himself found it quite amusing when he thought of it himself. However, it was called a dream exactly because of that.
Refining True Spirit pills was not a dream. Becoming a Daemon General was not a dream either, as they were too serious. If he did it, he would do it solemnly, while those who heard about it would be solemn too.
Bedding Gu Yanying could be regarded as half a dream. Although he was so serious about it, he had almost made a certain person collapse from laughter. Hmph, when lower people hear of the Dao, they’ll laugh aloud. If they don’t laugh aloud, it’s not the Dao2.
Who the fuck cares about what others think? I, Li Qingshan, will become the strongest, most famous man, or should I say daemon, across the nine provinces.
All of his down-to-earth hard work was for reaching this fantasy. Novels were just the first step to his grand plan, so why did he have to think so much about coming up with a fake name?
“The great novelist, Li Qingshan. Now I like this name! Get Fubai to broadcast it properly for me. I’ll personally shell out ten million taels of silver for this. Get everyone in the Clear River province to know my great name!”
“What great name?”
Just as Li Qingshan’s thoughts flowed in high spirits, Hua Chengzan rode the wind and arrived on the island.
Li Qingshan went to receive him. “What brought you here?”
Hua Chengzan heard about how Li Qingshan had actually written a novel. After hesitating, he hesitated some more before asking, “Don’t tell me it’s those, right? Old Wang hasn’t been in a good mood recently!”
Li Qingshan said, “Am I that kind of person?” It turned Liu Chuanfeng bright red, fuming.
“I wouldn’t think so. I heard you spent all afternoon on Benevolence island?” Hua Chengzan hinted with a smile. He had befriended the greatest female primary disciple in the entire academy in such a neat and quick fashion, and he had even managed to capture the tomboy Han Qiongzhi’s heart. His charm was so impressive that it was truly beyond anything Liu Chuanfeng possessed.
“Don’t misunderstand. I was just learning alchemy from her,” Li Qingshan explained in a hurry. Ru Xin could be a very good partner, but clearly, she was not interested in him. He did not want to damage his reputation either, nor could he bothered to use this opportunity to pursue her.
“Pursuit” always came with an element of “begging”. He just happened to utterly hate begging others. He was not born into this world to serve a woman. Even if it were Gu Yanying, this aspect would remain unchanged.
“Whatever. Let’s not talk about that. Do you have any spare time lately?” However, Hua Chengzan did not believe him. He too had a lot of first hand experience with that woman’s personality. She definitely was not someone who would spend time teaching Li Qingshan alchemy for no reason.
“A trial mission.”
This was a tradition that had always existed within the Hawkwolf Guard. Whether it were new Hawkwolf guards or promoted Hawkwolf guards, they all had to complete a trial mission to demonstrate that they had the ability to hold their post. Although it was more symbolic than practical now, it was still necessary. Having been promoted to Scarlet Wolf guard, Li Qingshan could not avoid this either.
“What’s the mission?” Li Qingshan only felt that receiving private lessons from Ru Xin was even more correct of a decision. Otherwise, who knew when he would be able to learn alchemy in its entirety and refine True Spirit pills with all these interruptions.
“One of our Nighthawks has been killed. It might be connected to the White Lotus cult. Don’t worry, it’s just an investigation mission. If you can find the murderer, then feel free to avenge our people, but if you can’t, just report back.”
Li Qingshan said, “My previous trial mission was also an investigation mission.” And, in the end, the entire Qian family was annihilated.
Hua Chengzan said, “As long as Altar Lord level figures don’t appear, regular Qi Practitioners probably won’t even be able to touch a hair on you. Through her various encirclements, commander Gu has just about killed off most of the Altar Lords from various regions. The remaining that managed to slip away are too afraid to show themselves too. And, there’ll be an additional reward for completing this mission.”
Hua Chengzan smiled. “It’s what you’ve been looking forward to all this time, which is going to the Ruyi commandery and meeting commander Gu!” This was also an ancient tradition of the Hawkwolf Guard. Newcomers had the right to see their commanding officer’s commander. If they were lucky and became chosen, there would be a lot of benefits.
“That’s not bad at all.” Li Qingshan smiled too. He also wanted to verify some thoughts of his and approach that half-a-dream of his.
1. Jin Long can be translated as Golden Dragon. The two authors Li Qingshan is thinking of are most likely Jin Yong and Gu Long. They are both highly reputed wuxia authors from the 20th century. They also form two legs of the Tripod of Wuxia (Basically they’re two of the three most reputed wuxia novel authors).
2. Comes from chapter 41 of Dao De Jing or Tao Te Ching. I can go on a tangent about why I avoid using Dao everywhere else, but end up using it here, but it’ll be too lengthy. You are welcome to ask me about it in my discord channel.