Chapter 354 – No Title
Looking at her like this, killing intent surged within Li Qingshan for some reason. She had already recovered her wounds, turning back into that pretty Qian Rongzhi, but she felt even more inhumane than the “monster” he saw earlier. He asked nonchalantly, “Does that include me too?”
Qian Rongzhi asked, “Are you a person?”
Li Qingshan was slightly aback. He sneered disdainfully, “As long as I can live to my heart’s content, does it matter if I’m a person or not? I didn’t want to get my nose in your business, but Xiao An divined that there was a chance for you to survive, which was why I paid a visit here.”
Qian Rongzhi glanced at Xiao An deeply. Xiao An remained composed the entire time, just like she was usually. She was expressionless.
Qian Rongzhi smiled, “Keep the items I had you to hold onto. You can treat it as a gift of gratitude.”
Li Qingshan took off on a cloud, returning to Clear River city with his “mission item”.
When Qian Rongzhi appeared before Han Qiongzhi in one piece, even Han Qiongzhi became surprised. After learning about her encounter with the White Lotus Mother and spending all that time tending to her heavy injuries in the forest, Han Qiongzhi smiled. “You have quite the luck. So much for my worries for you.” Even Han Qiongzhi had no idea about the role Qian Rongzhi had played in the mission to trap the White Lotus cult last time.
“Thank you for your concern, second senior sister,” Qian Rongzhi replied politely. Though, did she really have good luck?
Maybe she did. After receiving treatment from Xiao An, the benefits of the venomous snake of hell gradually presented itself. After the pain, her thoughts would always become especially clear. Her body and soul seemed to go through a few changes too.
Qian Rongzhi’s return caused quite a disturbance within the Hawkwolf Guard. Despite her usual manner of taking advantage of everything within her reach, she turned down Han Qiongzhi’s banquet for welcoming her back.
During those three months, she seemed to have established a slight connection with the venomous snake that burdened her. She gained a slight control over the time of the “punishment”, but she needed even more time before she could merge with it properly. The path of the future was within her grasps once more.
Returning to her residence alone, a familiar figure stood at the entrance. Qian Rongzhi said in surprise, “Little Tian, what brings you here?”
Chu Tian said with great concern, “I heard you returned. Where have you been all this time? I was very worried for you. There were many times when I wanted to search for you.”
Unfortunately, he never tried searching for her, not even once. Qian Rongzhi was not surprised by this at all. It was not because he was insincere towards her. She still held great confidence in her ability to manipulate and influence people. It was just that to certain people, nothing was more precious than their own lives.
As Chu Tian extended his hand over, her eyes lit up. If she held the hand right now, he would probably end up dropping to his knees, begging her to spare him, no matter how much of a genius he was. She would be able to find out about anything he was hiding, including any trump cards he possessed.
However, she hesitated before pulling her hand back in the end. Chu Tian was a genius that many people kept an eye out for. If he died mysteriously, the entire academy would definitely be shaken up. At a time like this, it would be much better for her to avoid causing any incidents. He had already become hers anyway.
She suddenly felt delight inside. She was still a sixth layer Qi Practitioner, but she now possessed a pair of fatal, venomous fangs that could harm these so-called geniuses.
Chu Tian was disappointed, but he felt ashamed too, so he just remained silent. When he heard how it was Li Qingshan who brought her back, he felt even more depressed inside. Why was that guy everywhere?
When Qian Rongzhi “accidentally” mentioned she had lost her hundred treasures pouch during the mission and was worried about her future cultivation, Chu Tian immediately gave her many pills and spiritual pills with great generosity.
Qian Rongzhi tried to decline the offer before accepting it in the end. “Thank you, little Tian. I will return all of this to you.”
Chu Tian stared at her face in fascination. He felt like no one was more charming and enchanting than her.
With a gentle cough, Wu Gen emerged from the darkness. He too had once considered searching for her, but as the descendant of a clan, he obviously could not risk his life and go to that forest where the White Lotus Mother might have been hiding. Afterwards, he began to believe her death was certain, and he slowly stopped thinking about her. After hearing about her return, he hurried over to see her. He greeted her in an unnatural manner.
Qian Rongzhi shot a glance at Chu Tian and smiled. “Brother Wu, you’ve come.”
Seeing how she did not resent him at all, Wu Gen felt even more ashamed. Having heard she had lost her hundred treasures pouch, he too gave some spiritual stones and pills to her in a hurry. As a descendant of a clan, he was very well-off in this aspect, much wealthier than Han Qiongzhi.
After saying a few words dripping with jealousy to Chu Tian, the two of them parted unhappily.
Qian Rongzhi let out a heavy sigh. It really was quite a pity that she could not gulp down all the food laid out right before her. If only this world was a little more chaotic, chaotic enough for no one to care if a person or two died.
Qian Rongzhi was not exactly a prominent figure in the academy, but she was on very good terms with many people. She had visitors during the next few days. Not only were there legalist disciples, but there were many disciples from other schools too. None of them had come empty-handed, so her hundred treasures pouches began to swell up again.
All of them said junior sister Qian’s bearing had changed drastically after returning, becoming even more beautiful and enchanting than before. However, none of them knew she would tie up her entire body in the dead of night every single day and begin a routine journey to hell.
Under the nurturing of pain, the colourful, venomous snake slowly grew.
Summer went and autumn came. Li Qingshan roused in the small bamboo loft. His true qi had already gradually reached the peak of the seventh layer. Before long, he could break through once again.
He saw Xiao An staring at him with widened eyes. Li Qingshan smiled. “You can stop looking at me. You better go and conduct the morning chanting, or your master’s going to grumble about me again.”
Ever since the dharma assembly, she became responsible for holding the morning chanting in the Anāsravāṃ temple, and she would then handle the allocation of matters for the day. This was obviously the One Thought master’s arrangements, and this had always been the job of the primary disciple too. Even she was unable to shirk away from it. Though, it came with quite a lot of benefits. She had already helped Li Qingshan earn many pills from the One Thought master.
Li Qingshan was not treating her as a child labourer either. In order to practise a high level ability like the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty, the major focus was on the cultivation of the mind. It was not something that could be resolved by reading a few buddhist scriptures and attending a dharma assembly. She also needed to build up her understanding through the various aspects of day-to-day life, whether big or small.
Having grown accustomed to her company, Li Qingshan was rather reluctant to see her go everyday, but after some thought, he realised it was akin to sending a child off to school. Coming into contact with a few more people and matters through her identity as a primary disciple would definitely bring great benefits to her future cultivation.
After Xiao An’s departure, Li Qingshan sat there for a little longer. He neither cultivated nor practised martial arts. Instead, he let his mind go blank, without thinking of anything at all. This was akin to his daily routine of getting up in the morning, brushing his teeth, and washing his face.
Only then did he leave the room. The sky had already brightened up completely. Two children played around as they swept and cleaned up the leaves on the path within the bamboo forest. They were both at the second layer. Channelling their true qi into the broom, they swung it casually and kicked up a fierce wind, causing the bamboo forest to sway gently.
The two of them began fighting against one another with their brooms, producing a loud crack every time they clashed. It actually seemed very choreographic. As they fought, they called out, “I’m the second senior brother! You’re the third senior brother!” Suddenly, they saw Li Qingshan, and they bowed in a hurry, greeting him politely, “First senior brother.”
Before the next entrance examination had even arrived, the school of Novels had already gained new disciples. These children chosen from various places were also given the opportunity to choose their schools after a period of nurturing.
These two boys chose the school of Novels. They both possessed an elemental affinity for water, except their talent was nothing special, though it still made Liu Chuanfeng grin from ear to ear for a few days straight. The school of Novels was finally prospering under his control.
Li Qingshan was finally no longer alone. He patted their heads. “Stop messing around. Go study!”
The large boy said, “We’re still sweeping this place!” The other boy chimed in, “If we don’t get this place clean, master will scold us.”
Li Qingshan knew that Liu Chuanfeng was having his moment as a master. In the past, he had never cared about the courtyard full of fallen leaves. Li Qingshan took a liking to the two of them. He smiled. “I’ll sweep it for you.”
A crystalline water dragon flew out from his hand. Winding about, it washed away all the fallen leaves, revealing the cobblestone path underneath.
The boys cheered. They were filled with admiration towards him. If only we could become as impressive as first senior brother one day.
“A’Jun, A’Sheng, you’re done with the sweeping, so why don’t you get over here?” Liu Chuanfeng’s dignified voice rang out from within the bamboo loft.
Li Qingshan shook his head with a smile and watched them bound away. Ever since they arrived here, Liu Chuanfeng seemed to have become a completely different person. He was radiating with the dignity of a teacher and a master.
“Qingshan, you should go soon and come back early too,” Liu Chuanfeng added.
Li Qingshan also said, “Yes, master.”
Liu Chuanfeng stroked his beard in satisfaction. Peering within himself, his Divine Talisman of Great Creation flickered with light. He had never accumulated so much power of belief before. He had been stuck at the tenth layer for many years, and now, he finally had a shred of confidence in reaching the gates that led to Foundation Establishment.
What mattered the most to a clan or sect? That was the presence of a Foundation Establishment cultivator. Otherwise, no matter how reputed they were, people would still look down on them. The school of Novels still depended on him, the school leader, at the end of the day!
In order to save some power of belief and prepare for Foundation Establishment, he was no longer willing to conjure women to go at it anymore. With his two young disciples here, he could not afford to tarnish his reputation either.
Li Qingshan arrived at the outskirts of the island and saw Li Long working there. It was all thanks to the various crops he had grown that Li Qingshan had managed to console Milliped, who remained in the bug pouch. He greeted him with a smile before taking off into the air.
Only when Li Qingshan turned into a tiny speck and landed on Great War island did Li Long lower his head, going back to tending his medicinal garden. Among the various crops, spiritual herbs were the hardest to grow. They had extremely strict requirements on the environment, but the process of growing them was most beneficial to agriculture disciples.
It was also because of the abundant spiritual qi on Cloudwisp island that Li Long had cleared away a small plot of land and tried planting a few hardier medicinal herbs. He had no idea how they would do, but his ability for planting and tending to crops and his cultivation experienced an obvious increase. He would be able to take another step forward very soon.
As long as the four crucial elements of cultivation—wealth, companionship, method, and environment—were all present, the first few layers were relatively easy to break through.
In a martial arts hall, Li Qingshan’s fist whistles through the air, flying towards Han Tieyi’s face. Han Tieyi’s body swiveled like a screw as the spear in his hand swept towards Li Qingshan’s legs like a black dragon that crawled along the ground.
Li Qingshan sniggered. Completely ignoring the attack from below, his fists moved about and conjured a series of blurs. To the military disciples on the side, it seemed like he had thrown several dozen punches at the same time, engulfing Han Tieyi’s face. Who said I couldn’t touch your face? He yelled, “Time to pay back your debt!”