Chapter 388 – Paying Respects to the Father-in-law (Three)
Li Qingshan saw the barbican below his feet rapidly shrink and grow further away. Within the blink of an eye, it was shrouded by the dark cloud of arrows, which soon collapsed and dispersed. Li Qingshan was secretly startled. If he had been a step slower, it would have been quite painful even if he emerged in one piece.
Cao Gan’s smile lingered, as if he had been expecting this.
“Be careful!” Han Qiongzhi felt no joy. Instead, she became worried.
In that instant, scorching, white light filled the night sky, dazzling Li Qingshan’s eyes. Only then did he hear a great rumble. Li Qingshan had been struck by a bolt of lightning, falling out of the sky.
Flying in the general’s estate was forbidden for members of the Han family, so the entire estate was enveloped by formations. Once they were formally activated, even Foundation Establishment cultivators could not come and go as they pleased. Neither Li Qingshan nor Han Qiongzhi had expected something like this.
Cao Gan raised his hand, and the rain of arrows stopped. “You’ll be bed bound for ten to fifteen days at the very least once you’re struck by that lightning. The general’s mobilised so many troops. He’s taking this kid too seriously.”
Li Qingshan landed in Han Qiongzhi’s arms. Seeing her concern and irritation, he said, “I’m fine. Looks like I really do need to get a little more serious.”
He leapt back onto his feet. Compared to the tribulation of lightning, this lightning strike felt more like a tickle.
“Do you still refuse to come to your senses? It’s impossible for you to pass through the barbican. You don’t even have a one percent chance. If you keep going, you’ll only injure yourself more for nothing.” Cao Gan frowned. He never expected the kid’s body to be so tough, such that he could even endure the lightning summoned by the formation.
“We’ll go right now. I don’t need my father deciding matters between us!”
“I’m a man. I don’t need a woman to teach me what to do!” Li Qingshan said proudly, casting a wide, dependable figure to Han Qiongzhi. He glanced back and smiled. “This isn’t for you, but for us!”
He smiled as resplendently as the sunlight, which left Han Qiongzhi speechless for a moment. She stood up and gritted her teeth. “What’re you boasting for? I’ll accompany you to wherever you want to go.”
Li Qingshan smiled and pointed at the battlements. “Cao, I was careless just then, so I’ll let you feel proud of yourself for now. I’ll give you a painful thrashing now!”
“Kid, those are some pretty big boasts! Release the arrows!”
“Leave here to me! You smelly man, I’ll show you the power of women!”
Just when Li Qingshan wanted to advance, Han Qiongzhi brushed past him, so he stopped with a smile.
Twelve Mechanical ballistae locked onto Han Qiongzhi, but five of them soon lost track of her. As it turned out, she did not go straight for Cao Gan. Instead, she flew towards the walls along the blind spots of the ballistae.
Swish! Swish! Swish! The giant bolts shot over, but Han Qiongzhi did not even look at them. She turned and leapt around on the walls like it was flat ground. The huge bolts brushed past her and deeply embedded themselves into the walls. As the first young miss of the Han family, she was extremely familiar with the target designation and method of attack of these ballistae.
She leapt up the wall and charged into a watch tower. Right in front of her lay a ballista with its gem eyes twinkling. Like a willow leaf in the wind, she leaned backwards with the flow, and the huge bolt brushed past the tip of her nose. She turned around and arrived behind the ballista. With a casual slam, the eyes immediately dimmed, and it was disabled.
From the two sides of the watchtower, soldiers charged up with all of their might. They flung the door open, and waves of heat rolled over. All of Han Qiongzhi’s true qi had turned into flames, dyeing the entire place red. She called out, “Move!”
Like a leaping ball of fire, she whistled towards another watch tower with a long tail of flames, leaving behind a trace of fire on the battlements.
In the blink of an eye, she invaded like fire and circled around the entire barbican, disabling all the ballista and landing before Cao Gan. She heaved slightly, and the fire on her weakened. Although Bing Fire true qi possessed great destructive power, it was exhausted very rapidly.
“Young miss, you’ve grown up.” Cao Gan let out a sigh as his fingers plucked the strings rapidly, producing confusing noises with the zither. The waves of sound turned into sharp blades.
Within the noise, Han Qiongzhi took a step back and swung her blade around, parrying the sound waves. However, a tiny cut still appeared on her face. She understood that Cao Gan’s cultivation was above hers, and she was exhausted. Meanwhile, he had been prepared the whole time, waiting for them here. If they dragged the battle out, there was no way for them to emerge victorious. As a result, she made up her mind and fire erupted from her body. Just when she was about to advance with her blade, a figure blocked her.
Cao Gan was slightly surprised. He saw how Li Qingshan was enveloped by a thin veil of water, and he felt scornful. How can a mere Water Curtain technique block my zither? He plucked the zither even more rapidly, which sounded like pearls falling into jade bowls.
However, Li Qingshan’s curtain of water was surprisingly tough. The sound waves kicked up countless ripples, but it failed to pierce it. After reaching the third layer of the spirit turtle, Li Qingshan’s water element technique had become extremely powerful. He strode over through the sound waves.
“Dance of the Heavenly Sound!” Cao Gan pressed down and tugged, pulling seven strings all the way to their limit. With a great clang, it erupted with an extremely fierce wave of sound and pierced the curtain.
Before Cao Gan could even celebrate, a black shadow enveloped him. Li Qingshan looked down from above as his eyes shone as two red specks of light.
Without any hesitation at all, Li Qingshan grabbed the zither, lifting it up and smacked Cao Gan with it.
“Have you played enough?”
Cao Gan was sent spinning into a group of soldiers who had come to assist him, knocking them all over. Disbelief filled his eyes. How could a mere eighth layer Qi Practitioner block his Dance of the Heavenly Sound from such a close range?
Li Qingshan’s clothes had been reduced to rags, so he ripped it off, revealing his unscathed, bronze skin. The zither in Cao Gan’s hand trembled, as if it was trying to return to its master’s side, but how could it rival Li Qingshan’s strength? He frowned and tried crushing it with both hands. Although this was a rare high grade spiritual artifact zither, it was much more fragile compared to other weapons, so it was no opponent for Li Qingshan’s strength. It immediately produced a painful moan.
“My zither!” Cao Gan cried out.
“Qingshan.” Han Qiongzhi pressed down on Li Qingshan’s hand and studied his expression. “Are you mad? Didn’t I tell you to go easy?”
“I can’t just watch him harm you though!”
Han Qiongzhi touched her face. She had grown accustomed to scratches like that growing up in this household, such that even she did not take it seriously, but this made her smile. Being cared for really was quite nice.
“Uncle Cao, we’ve won this time, right?”
“You’ve won, you’ve won. Give me back my zither!” Cao Gan said in a hurry.
Han Qiongzhi elbowed Li Qingshan gently. Li Qingshan leaned back and raised his arm, making the perfect throwing posture. The zither turned into a black speck immediately, flying off the mountain.
“Kid, you!” Cao Gan rushed off in pursuit.
“You’re far too evil. That’s uncle Cao’s lifeblood,” Han Qiongzhi smiled.
“You’re my lifeblood,” Li Qingshan stroked her face, and the scratch vanished.
“How disgusting.” Han Qiongzhi reddened, and her heart sweetened slightly.
“I really don’t mean it like that this time!” Li Qingshan said like he had just been wrongly accused.
The two of them passed through the barbican, and after that, it was actually smooth sailing. They did not run into any more obstructions. Just a lot of people from the Han family whispered among themselves in the houses.
“Look, that’s Li Qingshan!” “I heard he’s very strong. It’s said that the gatekeeping army and the advisor have both been defeated by him.” “What? He’s just at the eighth layer though. The young miss must have helped him. You really can’t keep a grown girl around!”
With the same method of managing an army, Han Anjun managed the entire general’s estate into something like a military base. There was even a drilling field in front of the gates separating the inner and outer estates. Normally, it was used for drilling the people of the Han family. But right now, there were a total of three hundred soldiers there, either sitting or standing. Some of them even discussed among themselves quietly. There was no sense of discipline at all.
Only Han Tieyi stood dead straight with a spear in his hand, like a statue. Only when he saw Li Qingshan and Han Qiongzhi appear did he suddenly say,
“Prepare for battle.”
The soldiers only stood up and looked over. They still seemed like a messy group, without any sense for formation per se. However, something indescribable was connecting them, actually merging three hundred completely different people into one.
“This is my father’s personal army, the elites among the elites. You can’t be careless here!” Han Qiongzhi felt troubled inside.
“In other words, I can see your father once I defeat them!” Even without Han Qiongzhi’s warning, Li Qingshan would not be careless. These soldiers gave off a concealed sense of terrifying murderousness such that even he felt a hint of danger.
“We can’t win. We have to find a way to pass through here and reach the inner estate!”
Li Qingshan strode over and laughed aloud. “Brother-in-law, shouldn’t you greet the future husband of your elder sister when you meet him?”
“I don’t think the two of you will turn around no matter what I say, so let’s do it! Receive the enemy!” Han Tieyi sent out an order, and the three hundred soldiers silently surged forth like a flood.
At this moment, Li Qingshan and Han Qiongzhi worked together to launch the first strike.
Han Qiongzhi erupted with flames the moment she attacked, radiating with waves of heat, while Li Qingshan treaded on waves, spinning and agitating the streams of water.
Water and fire raced against one another charging forward together and merging as one. They sent all the soldiers in their way flying, but the other soldiers in the surroundings were unaffected. They brushed past them.
In just a few seconds, the two of them had penetrated the formation.
With a boom, Han Tieyi struck out with his spear like a dragon, colliding with a blade and a fist. The light from agitated true qi illuminated the dark night.
A tremendous force erupted from the fist. Han Tieyi actually found it rather difficult to bear with. He was secretly surprised. Just how long had it been, but Li Qingshan’s strength and speed had increased yet again. The bearing he vaguely gave off was chilling. If they were fighting against each other alone, he probably was not his opponent anymore. With his rate of improvement, it truly was strange that his father insisted on stopping them.
However, this thought only flashed through his head. Li Qingshan and Han Qiongzhi roared out together, pouring all their true qi and strength into the attack.
Han Tieyi was forced into staggering back. He reached the gates of the wall, with no room left for retreat. Suddenly, he abandoned his spear and punched both of them in the chest. At the same time, he called out, “Trap them!”
Li Qingshan blocked the punch with his arm, so he only shuddered slightly, but Han Qiongzhi was sent flying. Looking back, the three hundred soldiers had already fallen into the Military Formation of the Coiled snake before he knew it. A huge snake sat with its body coiled, pulling Han Qiongzhi into the formation. She called out, “Don’t worry about me! Just go! Go find my father and explain it to him!”
However, Li Qingshan killed his way back into the formation without the slightest hesitation at all, arriving beside Han Qiongzhi.
The two of them stood with their backs against one another with enemies everywhere.
Han Qiongzhi said, “You idiot, why’d you return?”
“What would be the point if I got in alone?”