Chapter 379 – Meeting the Spider Queen
Li Qingshan sighed emotionally. Without the civil engineering of the school of Mohism, only otherfolk had the ability to build such structures, and only daemons had the patience for it.
On the outskirts of Cobweb city, the relatively flatter surface below the mountain formed an extremely complicated urban area. The structures of night roamers rose and fell endlessly.
There actually were no streets designed. Li Qingshan felt like he was crossing through a series of buildings. The space was completely sealed up there.
Black rain pitter-pattered against the roofs. That was the only sound here. There were not even whispering conversations like in Blacklustre city. The only thing they exchanged were gestures and aura or the points of their daggers.
The night roamers here were clearly much more powerful than those in Blacklustre city. Shadows flickered passed him silently, and they would even pass by a matriarch like Ye Mingzhu without any acknowledgement.
“Isn’t this the territory of the Shadow Spider clan?” Li Qingshan’s voice disturbed a huge region. Pairs of eyes gazed over in the darkness, as if he had done something unprecedented, but they were slightly hostile too. Only when they spotted the pair of horns on his head did they look away.
“This is a mixed region of the outskirts. You can find people of every single clan here.” Ye Mingzhu still chose to communicate through her aura.
Apart from their usual business, the main priority of the night roamers who resided here was to find opportunities to assassinate night roamers of other clans. This was a battlefield of assassins. Every night roamer only had the right to enter the inner city and become a middle level member of their clan once they had gone through the test of this place. “They sure don’t have a lot to do.” They clearly hated each other to the core, yet they just had to choose to reside together. He could imagine a scene that came right out of a book occur here—Among the stall owners, the craftsmen, the pedlars, and the children, they all suddenly draw their weapons and try to kill you.
They sure were pitiful to be born as night roamers, but it was rather funny too. Spider Queen Lolth’s scheming was probably not everything. The inherent, dark nature of night roamers was at work as well!
Only after entering the inner city did the situation take a turn for the better. The clans were divided into a few major regions. Of course, every corridor and hall was still filled with killing intent and unease.
Walking around inside Cobweb city, Li Qingshan marvelled at the grandeur and detail of the structures. Every rock seemed to have been carefully polished by a craftsman before undergoing long periods of wear and use, allowing them to become even smoother and more stately.
The markings of spiders were littered everywhere, like some primitive form of worship. He even saw the existence of sacrifices that were almost religious. The power of Daemon Commanders was close to gods in the eyes of regular people.
Li Qingshan was very curious about what the Spider Queen would be like as someone who reigned over this region. Could she see through his mirror clone? Should he tell her about what had happened to the three elders?
His various questions were all waiting to be answered.
The only thing that brought him relief was that daemons were unable to replicate the complicated administrative formalities of humans. Ye Mingzhu’s request to see the Spider Queen was passed along very quickly.
Climbing up the spiral staircase, they arrived at a higher level in Cobweb city before passing through a long, twisted pathway. A stone door opened silently, and a huge, trapezoid terrace unfurled before Li Qingshan. It stood like a cliff, or more accurately, it had always been a cliff.
A woman with a long, red dress that dragged along the ground stood by the edge of the cliff with her back towards them. Only when Li Qingshan approached her did she turn around, revealing her magnificent appearance.
However, the first thing that Li Qingshan felt was not magnificence, but undisguised, venomous cruelty. Her lips were scarlet red, like she had just drunk human blood, and her eyes seemed to ripple with venom.
Humans, no matter how wicked they were, would still try desperately to mask this. They would find various excuses to complain about the degeneration of human nature in the darkness of society, or mention opinions that sounded very philosophical to justify their actions. The thought processes of both geniuses and madmen would always be bound to the stigmas of the society. There were no exceptions.
She was not. She had no sense of morality, no humanity. She did whatever she wanted. Apart from power, she was not shackled by anything, forming true, undisguisable wickedness.
Even in human form, living in human-sized structures, she was still a huge, brightly-coloured spider. She was just smarter, stronger, and even more vicious, dwelling at the centre of her web and quietly awaiting the arrival of prey.
However, none of this damaged her bearing that was as noble as a queen. Instead, it gave her a strange charm that humans did not possess.
Li Qingshan felt like he had experienced this before. The figure he thought of was actually Gu Yanying. Yes, that was acting without restraint, absolute freedom. Had he fallen in love at first sight back then exactly because of being drawn to this bearing, desiring to break free from all shackles?
“Are you the new Daemon General? What’s your name?”
The person who asked this was not the Spider Queen. Only then did Li Qingshan notice the existence of three Daemon Generals by her side.
One of them was a pale, handsome man with a cloak. He had short, messy hair and sunken eyes, which immediately made Li Qingshan think about vampires that appeared in legends.
One of them was a bald man swollen with muscles. He stood as tall as two men and his body seemed to flow with endless strength. A mighty battle intent flowed from his eyes constantly.
The last one was an old man with a hunched back. He was extremely thin and small. As he sat there, he bent over like he was giving way to a huge burden. The hunch that bulged through his clothes became his most prominent feature. Every single movement from him was very slow, and even his voice was extremely slow. Li Qingshan had already taken three breaths in the time it took for him to finish asking the questions.
Every single one of them was a unique, distinct existence, but Li Qingshan had almost missed them as they stood behind the Spider Queen. From the moment he stepped onto the terrace and spotted her, before he had even seen her appearance, his heart had already become entranced by the bright-red smear in the darkness.
Of course, he was no longer the same kid from the mountains anymore. He immediately composed himself. He just wondered whether he would have fallen in love at first sight too if she was the one he saw instead.
“Sir Dragonsnail, I’m Northmoon. I’ve undergone the heavenly tribulation recently, and I’ve come to see the Spider Queen.” Li Qingshan bowed. “Greetings to sir Strongboulder and sir Bloodshadow too.”
Before they came here, Ye Mingzhu gave Li Qingshan an introduction to the basic situation underground. There were several dozen Daemon Generals under the Spider Queen’s command, and some were stronger than others. The stronger ones among them were known as mighty Daemon Generals, who were equivalent to mid and late Foundation Establishment cultivators.
As for the strongest among the strong, they were the three right before him. Not only had they reached the peak of Daemon General, but they also possessed powerful bloodlines that differed from regular beasts. They possessed the power to completely surpass regular Daemon Generals.
It was said that every single one of them possessed the terrifying strength to hold off multiple regular Daemon Generals. In other words, if they worked together, they could dominate all the Daemon Generals in this region. They were a force to be reckoned with.
Even if Li Qingshan’s original body was here in person, he would not be confident about taking on any one of them. Of course, it would not be so easy for them to defeat him either.
“Why did you mention my name last?”
Spider Queen Lolth still showed no intentions to speak, studying Li Qingshan quietly. Instead, the pale-faced Bloodshadow questioned him first, and his face became even more sunken.
“Sir Bloodshadow, who do you think your name should come before? I can change it.” Li Qingshan raised an eyebrow. I just said something off the top of my head and that’s already enough for you to start trouble. You’re a fucking lunatic.
This was called setting a precedence in human language, and among humans, this was a method to demonstrate his authority. The monkey king did not necessarily steal food from regular monkeys to eat, but to show them who was boss. However, Li Qingshan would never back down.
“I think the order is perfect!” Strongboulder droned.
“You have quite the nerve.” Bloodshadow stared at Li Qingshan. In this territory, there were very few daemons, or people rather, who dared to speak to him like that.
Li Qingshan thought to himself, It’s just like what Ye Mingzhu said. The three Daemon Generals aren’t on good terms. Of course, that goes without saying. It’ll be strange if Daemon Generals with the same strength got along with each other.
“Why have you sought an audience with us this time?” Dragonsnail did not seem to hear the bickering. Among the three of them, they had already gone through four exchanges in the conversation, but this was only his first one.
“I’m the leader of the daemon soldiers under Milliped. I’ve specially come to ask for this piece of territory back.” Li Qingshan only replied to Bloodshadow after answering Dragonsnail’s question, “I’ve always had the nerve.”
“How’s your strength?” Strongboulder grinned.
“I obviously have the strength too!” Li Qingshan did not back down at all. Only the weak would back down, yielding to the strong so that they could avoid trouble. The modesty among humans was not prevalent among daemons. Displaying their strength, even if it were just a bravado, was critical.
“Oh, then I would like to try it,” Bloodshadow said coldly.
“I really want to know where you have been during this period of time.” Dragonsnail finally asked another question.
“I was cultivating arduously in the Boundless mountains.”
“I’ve never heard your name. You’re not an underground daemon at all, so how can you claim territory underground? Milliped has lost his identity as a Daemon General, so he’s no longer worthy of ruling over a territory. The territory has already been bequeathed to the night roamers.”
“The night roamers have already agreed to transfer the territory to me. I don’t think you’re the one to decide whether I can possess territory underground, right Bloodshadow?” Li Qingshan directly referred to him by his name.
“Very impressive.” Bloodshadow vanished and appeared behind Li Qingshan. His pale-white fingertips turned into sharp claws, sweeping over with lightning speed. He actually struck the moment he wanted to, without any hesitation at all. He moved with startling speed.
In that instant, even Li Qingshan had failed to grasp his movements or react. He felt five points on his back throb.
All Strongboulder did was grin viciously. If he wanted to provoke the strong, he would have to bear the consequences that came with it. If he could endure the consequences, then he would earn respect. If he could not, then he was an idiot. He would deserve to be viciously punished.
Dragonsnail was still constructing his sentence slowly, completely ignoring everything unfolding before him.
The Spider Queen finally showed interest.
Clang! The Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell rose up. It was a deep blue and slightly transparent. Countless hexagons formed a perfect, rigid structure that blocked the claws.
Bloodshadow’s face became even colder. His cloak ruffled as he turned into a black shadow and circled around Li Qingshan. In that moment, who knew how many attacks the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell had received.
A black tornado spun and howled, linking the ground to the ceiling and scattering the thick clouds. It was not some kind of ability or technique. It had just arisen from Bloodshadow’s movements.
Li Qingshan stood in the eye of the storm with his arms crossed, completely unfazed. He stood at complete ease, standing firm even after hundreds of attacks, allowing Bloodshadow to do whatever he wanted to.