Chapter 392 – Conflict Arises
Fu Qingjin arrived alone in his old, shabby green clothes. He seemed like a depressed swordsman, but he attracted everyone’s gazes. Even tonight’s main star, Hua Chengzan, was unable to steal his glory.
Compared to the Sword Collection palace, the Hua family was more like a local landlord. Although they were known as the greatest clan in the Clear River prefecture, there were a total of eighty-one prefectures in the Green province, but only a single Sword Collection palace.
“That’s Fu Qingjin of the Sword Collection palace. The sword he wields is one of the Ten Renowned Swords of the Sword Collection palace, the Green Ruins sword. He’s a very powerful figure!” Han Qiongzhi introduced softly.
“Really? He just seems like an early Foundation Establishment cultivator to me, just like little Hua.”
“Don’t underestimate him. His Green Ruins sword is an extremely powerful arcane treasure. It’s said to possess the wills of past masters of the Sword Collection palace. Not only does he possess startling power, but his cultivation advances with amazing speed too. He’ll definitely become a prominent figure who can move freely through the Green province.” Han Qiongzhi introduced him seriously to Li Qingshan so that he would be on guard without looking down on him.
However, all she saw was a confident smile unfurling on Li Qingshan’s face. “Don’t worry, your man definitely won’t be any worse than him in the future.”
“I think you’re just ignorant. He’s the liaison of the Daemon Suppression alliance. Several dozen sects of various sizes in the Green province have already joined the Daemon Suppression alliance, all following his arrangements. With your cultivation, you don’t even have the right to carry his shoes for him!”
Suddenly, they heard a familiar voice. Li Qingshan and Han Qiongzhi turned around in surprise and saw Wang Pushi standing there.
“Commander, aren’t you going a little too far by saying something like that? Hey, you’re dressed pretty sharply today!” Li Qingshan saw Wang Pushi in a set of brand new clothes, having cleaned himself up meticulously. He was flashy.
“I’ve said you’ll have quite the accomplishment before.” Fu Qingjin studied Hua Chengzan.
“Then thank you for your auspicious words.” Hua Chengzan was polite but distant. Both of them might have been Foundation Establishment cultivators, but a huge difference still existed between both their strength and future accomplishments.
“Fellow Fu, you’ve come in person! It really is an honour for my humble abode!”
Hua Chengzan could no longer get a word in now. Hua Chengzan’s father, the patriarch of the Hua family, had personally come to receive him. He smiled from ear to ear. Behind him were a group of Foundation Establishment cultivators, both female and male, both young and old, who had come down from upstairs. They came from various sects in the Clear River prefecture, all important figures like elders or sect masters. They all greeted Fu Qingjin like they were verifying Wang Pushi’s previous words.
Even though they were not members of the Daemon Suppression alliance, they still had to greet him. In this region, Fu Qingjin had already become a person of great influence. He could determine the fate of a sect with a flick of his hand.
“Ah, isn’t that sect master Xiao of the Vermillion Clothes sect?” “And the Rose Cloud elders of Rose Cloud valley.”
The Qi Practitioners all cried out with the sudden appearance of so many Foundation Establishment cultivators and began discussing among themselves. Fu Qingjin seemed to be surrounded by a dazzling halo, while Hua Chengzan had instead become someone less important.
Li Qingshan smiled. “Commander, if he’s so powerful, why aren’t you welcoming him?”
“Welcome your head. The Daemon Suppression alliance is the Daemon Suppression alliance. The Hawkwolf Guard is the Hawkwolf Guard!” Wang Pushi shot a furious glance at him before turning around and storming off. He stood out very much among the group of onlookers. They all parted to form a path for him.
“What’s wrong with old Wang today? Why’s he so irritable?” Li Qingshan asked in confusion.
“You never pay any attention to matters of the Hawkwolf Guard, which is why you don’t know. There’s been a case recently that has to do with the Vermillion Clothes sect.”
The first time the disciples of the Vermillion Clothes sect left their sect, they would have to complete a trial mission known as “Dyeing their Clothes Vermillion with Blood”. They had to kill a hundred people with their own hands.
It sounded like a bloody mission, but there was nothing wrong with it, as it was about upholding justice. Across the fifteen hundred kilometers of the Clear River prefecture, there were countless bandits and thugs. They would basically never be in the wrong if they found any random sect of the jianghu and slaughtered the whole place.
But recently, there was a disciple of the Vermillion Clothes sect who had once served as a horsekeeper in a wealthy family during his childhood and suffered much abuse. As a result, he used this mission to return and slaughter the entire clan, but even when he included the women, the children, and the servants, they only amounted to seventy-one. Carried away by his killing, he slaughtered another thirty or so neighbours in the region, filling his quota of a hundred people.
He alarmed the Hawkwolf Guard in the city, which sent Black Wolf guards to arrest him. However, never did they expect the disciple to possess an extremely powerful cultivation. He killed another two Black Wolf guards before fleeing back to the sect.
He had basically committed the greatest taboo possible to the Hawkwolf Guard. Wang Pushi personally visited the Vermillion Clothes sect to ask them to hand him over. In the past, there was not a single sect bold enough to oppose the Hawkwolf Guard. As a result, handing over the suspect had always been their only option.
However, the Vermillion Clothes sect had joined the Daemon Suppression alliance. They had several dozen sects watching their backs. Coupled with support from the Sword Collection sect from behind, they no longer took a Scarlet Hawk commander like Wang Pushi seriously. The sect master denied he was a member of the Vermillion Clothes sect and told Wang Pushi to look elsewhere.
From Fu Qingjin’s side, the master of the Vermillion Clothes sect stared at Wang Pushi’s figure in the distance, and his lips curled into a sneer. The Hawkwolf Guard thought they were still riding around on a high horse like before, but they had misunderstood the situation. The other sect masters and elders were all complacent too.
Cultivators would always want to follow their hearts and do whatever they wanted, but they were constantly shackled down by the Hawkwolf Guard. It had been far too dissatisfying. Now, they could finally hold their heads high.
Everyone returned upstairs while remaining clustered around Fu Qingjin. Han Qiongzhi said, “It’s not just that. All the cases have been rather difficult lately. As long as they have to do with sects, none of them have come to a definite end. You really can’t blame the commander for being so irritable.” She looked around before communicating to Li Qingshan secretly, “Now that little Hua has emerged from secluded cultivation, there might be a large operation soon.”
Li Qingshan shivered inside. The war between daemons and humans had yet to erupt, but the battle on the surface had already begun. The surface probably would not be peaceful anymore.
The water surface that had remained still for thousands of years began to ripple. The conflict between humans and daemons was just the largest vortex among them, but it had produced countless more vortices as a byproduct, all with hidden undercurrents. Any single vortex could swallow up many lives.
“Don’t be afraid. I’ll protect you as your elder sister.” Han Qiongzhi could sense Li Qingshan grow nervous, so she rubbed his head with a smile.
The two of them teased each other, but Han Qiongzhi was wrong about one thing. Li Qingshan was not nervous because he was afraid, but because he was excited.
He did not dislike a life of peace, but he would much rather treat the world as a wonderland of adventures.
“Have all the guests arrived?” Hua Chengzan asked his sister.
“There are still a few missing, but they’re probably not coming. It’s about time too, so let’s go in!” Hua Chenglu checked the guest list.
Hua Chengzan raised his head and saw a huge ship cut through the clouds, descending from the sky. When he made out the symbol on the ship, his eyes lit up, and he ordered in a hurry, “Activate the formations!”
“Qiongzhi, look who’s come.” Hua Chengzan brought over a short, unattractive young man. He was dressed like a scholar, but he gave off no sense of grace at all. As he stood beside Hua Chengzan, he immediately made Li Qingshan think about Wu Dalang and Ximen Qing.
TL: If you remember from Chapter 2, there was a reference to a character called Pan Jinlin from Water Margin. She’s the treacherous wife of Wu Dalang, and she commits adultery against him with Ximen Qing. Wu Dalang is known for his short stature and unimpressive appearance, while Ximen Qing is a merchant with a pretty face. You should be able to see the comparison here.
However, no one dared to look down on this “Wu Dalang”, as he had already reached Foundation Establishment.
“Shancheng, you’ve come back from the Pine Sough academy.” Han Qiongzhi beamed; she was also surprised.