Chapter 350 – Qian Rongzhi’s Disappearance
Li Qingshan’s love life was not a blank piece of paper, but it was not a lot better than Chu Danqing’s. Only that startling glimpse of Gu Yanying under the snowy pine tree outside Qingyang city had allowed him to experience what love at first sight was.
However, he was not Hua Chengzan. No matter how deep of an impression Gu Yanying had on him, no matter how great of an oath he had sworn because of her, she was nowhere near as important as the beloved woman in his arms right now.
As a result, when he saw the painting, the memory was just a pitifully short recollection. What appeared in his head was her posture sitting back against the nose of the boat, natural and graceful, making him admire her from the bottom of his heart.
“You’re in my arms, so why would I still be thinking about a painting?”
“Qingshan.” Han Qiongzhi felt like her heart had been melted. She felt as giddy as a cloud, about to fly off into the air.
The two of them leaned against one another above the blue waves. They were both filled with utter satisfaction.
Even Li Qingshan had never expected a single word from him to achieve something like this. The tip of his finger slid past her plump lips, and he smiled. “Are you satisfied now?”
“That’s more like it.” Han Qiongzhi shot a glance at him. Her limpid eyes rippled as a rosy glow filled her cheeks. She was extremely charming.
“Is there a reward for me?” Li Qingshan poked her supple chest.
“Here, the gift I promised.” Han Qiongzhi knocked his hand aside and pulled out an item from her hundred treasures pouch.
“This…” Li Qingshan was taken aback; this could not be wrong. It was the high grade spiritual artifact pill cauldron he had taken a liking to in the school of Miscellany. The alchemy cauldron was not forged from metal. Instead, it was a rare cauldron completely carved out of jade. There was a long dragon coiled around the mouth of the cauldron. Its full name was the Jade Sculpted Cauldron of the Coiled Dragon.
Weren’t men supposed to be the ones to buy things that women took a liking to? Their roles seemed to have reversed. Li Qingshan’s heart melted.
“How’s it? You like it?” Han Qiongzhi asked in concern. Although she originated from an aristocratic family, the last thing Han Anjun did to this daughter of his was spoil her. It took up all her past savings and her contribution in the Hawkwolf Guard converted into spiritual stones to gather enough money to make this purchase.
Li Qingshan said nothing. He placed down the alchemy cauldron and directly kissed her on her cherry lips.
“I’ve already said…” Han Qiongzhi struggled weakly, but this man embraced her almost forcefully, preventing her from putting up any resistance at all. He kissed her lips, and her mind immediately blanked out. She hugged him subconsciously.
The tip of Li Qingshan’s tongue pried open her lips and extended in, tasting her to his heart’s content. He forcefully pulled her body that almost seemed to melt away into his embrace. His heart had already been completely filled by her. Wasn’t a woman like her worth him doting on with everything that he had?
A while later, their lips parted, but they were still connected by a string of saliva.
Han Qiongzhi’s eyes were lost. Her lips were slightly agape, still remiscincing the first kiss of her life. The feeling lingered for a very long time.
Returning to her senses, she was met with Li Qingshan’s smiling gaze. “So you really are so afraid of being kissed, Qiongzhi!” He could feel earlier that the woman in his embrace seemed to have crumpled, completely collapsing in his arms, allowing him to do whatever he wanted.
“You’re not a man of your word. I gave you a gift with such kind intentions, and you instead used the opportunity to bully me. You were even so forceful with me. Your embrace was killing me.” Han Qiongzhi’s face was completely flushed as she grumbled flirtatiously. She did not blame him for his actions driven by passion at all.
“For you.” Li Qingshan stowed the alchemy cauldron into his hundred treasures pouch before taking out the Heavenly Maiden Scatters the Blossoms. He felt like he had been completely substandard as a boyfriend. All he cared about was enjoying himself, and she ended up giving him a present first.
Han Qiongzhi refused it. “I’m not trying to exchange things with you. You won it, so just keep it!”
Li Qingshan shoved the painting into her hands. “This is a token of love, you understand?” Actually, even he himself did not understand this too well. Compared to those gestures of romance like tying a knot with a strand of hair, their tokens of love were much more pragmatic. However, this was the exact woman he liked, one who had no idea what romance was.
Only then did Han Qiongzhi understand the implication of the painting in her hands. She was utterly delighted, and she immediately began to admire it fondly. She looked at it again and again, as if the painting in her hand was no longer the same one from before.
A while later, she suddenly closed her eyes and raised her head, puckering her lips slightly.
Li Qingshan asked, “What’re you doing?”
“You idiot. I want to try it again. It’s quite a nice feeling.” Han Qiongzhi opened her eyes and grumbled happily. “Don’t use the opportunity to toy with me.”
Li Qingshan shook his head and sighed. Since when were there women who would demand for kisses when they had just kissed for the first time? If he treated her as a shy beauty, then he really would have misjudged her. “Thank you for reminding me.” He lowered his head and kissed her. His left hand wrapped around her slender waist, gently touching her as his right hand landed on her perky bottom, massaging it hard.
Han Qiongzhi moaned gently and writhed her body subconsciously. Her mind was completely taken away by the hot, sweet kiss with him. She only focused on dealing with the foreign object that had invaded her mouth, without any concern for anything else. She just let him do what he wanted.
After these few moments of intimate contact, Han Qiongzhi turned down Li Qingshan’s suggestion of going boating with a smile. Her red lips brushed past his cheeks, stopping by his ear and whispering, “You sex fiend. Stop thinking about this all the time.”
She curled back the middle finger on her right hand and flicked him below gently. She was not completely unfamiliar with a certain organ on a man’s body, except most of her contact came from dead people. Living and attached to her own man, she found the various phases it went through to be extremely fascinating.
With how she was like, she would never take his teasing lying down. If she had the opportunity, she would definitely return the favour and give him a taste of what she was capable of. She could not allow him to believe he could bully her whenever he wanted just because she had become his woman.
Li Qingshan suddenly widened his eyes before frowning. He shot a glance at her viciously. Once a tomboy gained a hint of femininity, it would be the end of the world. Her wild style of approaching things had almost driven him mad. Only when he secretly used the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression did he manage to suppress his restless desire. He had already grasped her weakness anyway, so there was no need for him to be so worried. She would be stripped, washed, and eaten sooner or later.
They arrived in the long-awaited Clear River city and strolled around together while holding hands.
Willows stood along the banks of the Clear river. Boats stretched across the river like silk. It was a scorching summer day, but the interest for outings continued to soar.
In this day and age, society was quite liberal. Particularly within a prefectural city like Clear River city that was directly under the control of cultivators, even the legendary heyday of the Tang dynasty was unable to rival its liberty.
After all, one of the three rulers of the Ruyi commandery was female. Women could practise martial arts and cultivate. They were not dependent on men. The one beside Li Qingshan was a living example of this.
Although Han Qiongzhi simply stood out too much, forcing Li Qingshan to deal with a few rascals taken away by her beauty, this long-awaited secular lifestyle and the hubbub of the streets made Li Qingshan reminisce for quite a while.
As he strolled past the tall structures and held the hand of this woman who gave off a sense of modernness, he felt like he had returned to his past life. When no one was around, she would peck him with a kiss before scampering to one side with a smile, looking at his helpless expression of being teased.
Around dusk, Li Qingshan bid farewell to Han Qiongzhi—it was obviously a kiss as she had completely fallen in love with this act of intimacy—before returning to Cloudwisp island. Sure enough, Xiao An was waiting in his room, reading a buddhist scripture quietly. She smiled as soon as she saw him and tilted her head. “Where’s my gift?”
Li Qingshan sat down right in front of her. After a moment of consideration, he still decided to tell her this piece of news in the end. After all, this was the last bit of news that woman had left behind in this world.
“Qian Rongzhi’s gone missing. She told me to give you these things.”
Xiao An was stunned. She stared at the pile of pills and spiritual stones before her.
Completely in love with Han Qiongzhi, Li Qingshan had almost forgotten about this woman’s existence completely. It was Han Qiongzhi who had mentioned this during their idle talk. Qian Rongzhi had vanished for three months now, and the Hawkwolf Guard had already sent out a search mission for her. It was basically confirmed that she was already dead.
Han Qiongzhi had already grown accustomed to death, so she only let out a sigh back then, and she no longer thought about it anymore. Unless there were special circumstances, the relationships between cultivators had always been so flimsy.
Li Qingshan sighed gently. Had she finally reached the end with her mad pursuit?
Xiao An suddenly recalled the woman who laughed madly among the pile of corpses and pools of blood. Her heart trembled. Was she really dead?
“I want to divine a trigram for her.”
“Fair enough.” Li Qingshan held no expectations at all. Qian Rongzhi’s final mission sent her southward to investigate a man-eating daemonic beast. She had basically left the boundaries of the Clear River prefecture. Her destination was a vast forest with countless daemonic beasts of various sizes thriving. There were countless venomous insects, and it was connected to the underground caverns. Just entering the place came with extreme danger.
There were even rumors that it was very possible for the place to be the White Lotus Mother’s hiding spot after she had escaped. However, even Gu Yanying never bothered to check, so who was bold enough to verify this? Even if they managed to find her, all that awaited them was death. As a result, although the Hawkwolf Guard had issued a search mission after Qian Rongzhi’s disappearance, absolutely no one was bold enough to venture there.
Xiao An closed her eyes and sat with her legs crossed. Her right hand brushed past the various items.
As a divining art of the school of Yin-yang, she had never given up on understanding and practising the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots. However, this was the first time she had used it.
At the same moment, the light from the setting sun weakly penetrated a canopy woven from leaves in a forest over a thousand kilometers to the south. The forest had already descended into darkness.
A fly buzzed and searched around. Suddenly, it caught a heavy, sweet, ravishing scent; it was a mixture of blood and rot. It often represented a corpse that it could lay eggs on and allow its descendants to thrive.
It fluttered its wings and flew quickly in that direction. It avoided a spider’s web and arrived before a small hill. The smell came from here.
It circled around before entering the cave that was almost covered in vines. It had already become pitch-black like night in there, but that was unable to stop it. Very soon, it found its target, a humanoid corpse lying on the ground.
Yes, humanoid was all it was. Its beautiful clothes had already been ripped apart, reduced to pieces of blood-soaked rags. It bore absolutely no resemblance to its former shape. Injuries covered the body like blood-red mouths, leaking with blood or even pus. They seemed like crying eyes or wailing mouths, trying to explain its indescribable pain.
The “corpse” did not have a single inch of intact skin. Even the gaps between the injuries were riddled with uneven scars, as if they had been viciously ripped open again just when they had healed.
The face was no different from the body. It was not even possible to distinguish its gender. Only a pair of eyes remained wide open, so widely open that the corners had almost ripped apart. They stared into the darkness ahead and were covered in a layer of grey dust.