Chapter 415 – Misjudgement
The green light moved with unmatched speed, following the same route that he had used last time to lure out Milliped. He rushed straight towards where Li Qingshan cultivated.
Suddenly, mist blocked his path. Fu Qingjin frowned and stopped.
The daemon was actually capable of such thought, enough to understand how to use formations? However, how could these formations stop him?
Fu Qingjin brought his fingers together, sliding across the Green Ruins sword slowly. The Green Ruins sword lit up with glaring light, containing startling power.
Li Qingshan was completely in the dark about all this. Even if he knew, there was nothing he could do. His mind was submerged in cultivation as time passed slowly. His cultivation as a Qi Practitioner advanced steadily as ebbs of Gui Water true qi burst through his acupoints one after another.
Suddenly, his mirror clone underground opened his eyes. As the person who had laid down the formations, he could clearly sense that the formations had been touched.
Were they here?
“Personal guards, gather!” Li Qingshan leapt up as his voice boomed out in all directions. Although only his clone was present, he possessed twelve powerful night roamers and an advantage in geography. That was enough to put up a battle. Just getting through the formations would cost them quite a lot of effort.
In just a while, twelve figures flew over. Leading them, Ye Liusu and Ye Liubo held their heads high. Some of the ten princesses were still reluctant to accept them, but they still followed behind them.
Working together, Ye Liusu and Ye Liubo had faced off against the princesses of the five other clans in a series of battles, two-against-two. Although it had not been completely one-sided, their combination and mutual understanding completely exceeded their opponent’s mutual disunity. Combined with Ye Liubo’s supreme grade spiritual artifact, they ended up dominating the battles easily despite how it seemed on the surface, consolidating their position as the leader of the guards.
What filled Ye Liusu with enthusiasm the most was when she told these princesses about her idea of unity, three of them agreed. Regardless of whether this agreement was sincere or fake, it was still an extremely rare step forward. Her respect for Li Qingshan increased.
“Master, may I ask why you’ve summoned us?”
Li Qingshan raised his hand, silencing them. He concentrated on the ship’s wheel in his hand and gradually became confused. The opponent seemed to be trapped in the formation, and they seemed to be trapped in the very first formation, the mist formation. It definitely was not Fu Qingjin.
With a flash, he arrived at the edge of the formation and saw a night roamer stuck in there. He let him in to question him.
A while later, Li Qingshan’s expression became strange.
The night roamer was the Spider Queen’s messenger. The Spider Queen urgently summoned him back to Cobweb city to discuss official business. The reason for that was a human cultivator had single-handedly killed four Daemon Generals and almost a hundred regular daemons before vanishing again. And, the territories of the four Daemon Generals were all around Li Qingshan’s territory.
Li Qingshan could basically imagine that the cultivator had chosen to actively avoid his region after running into the formations, killing all the Daemon Generals in the surroundings instead.
“Do you know what the human cultivator looks like?”
“I don’t. I only heard he was a green flash.”
Li Qingshan had no idea whether he should feel happy or disappointed.
Spider Queen Lolth leaned back on her throne in Cobweb city, propping herself up with her arm as she faced the four most powerful Daemon Generals under her command. She was relaxed. She had not become frantic or irritated from the loss of her soldiers and generals, nor did she feel sad or angry. Instead, she was brimming with interest, as if she was fascinated by this.
“You all must have heard about what had happened already!”
“Northmoon, I think he was originally looking for you!”
“He’s called Fu Qingjin, the liaison of the Daemon Suppression alliance in Clear River prefecture. I basically killed the Green Vine Elder right in front of him. I thought he would tear through the formations without any regard to fight me, but never did I think…”
“Fu Qingjin, a disciple of the Sword Collection palace. He really was something else. The four Daemon Generals did not even get the chance to blow up their daemon cores. If Bloodshadow had not made it in time, even more Daemon Generals would have died to his hands.”
Li Qingshan could not help but glance at Bloodshadow. He forced back Fu Qingjin? I think Fu Qingjin just didn’t want to become entangled in a battle underground.
“If it weren’t for the fact that I can’t venture above ground, I would definitely make this Fu Qingjin or whoever he is remain underground forever.” Bloodshadow was filled with self-restraint. The senses of daemons covered an extremely wide range, and Bloodshadow happened to be the best among the best. He changed the topic and questioned, “Northmoon, everything happened around your territory, yet you didn’t sense anything at all?”
“Northmoon’s daemon qi has never been greater than ours. Not to mention that what you see right now is just a clone. Northmoon, I’m very curious about where your main body is right now.”
Before Li Qingshan could answer, Dragonsnail had already cut him off slowly.
“Obviously above ground, spying on the Daemon Suppression alliance.”
“Is this how you spy on them?” Bloodshadow sneered.
“What’s there to bicker about? Can’t we just kill our way back?!” Strongboulder bellowed out, brimming with battle intent.
“Strongboulder is right. Northmoon, you killed four of theirs, so they’ve killed four of ours. It’s very fair. Bloodshadow, from today onwards, the Daemon Generals to the west will be under your command. Strongboulder, the east will go to you. Northmoon, continue to watch over the night roamers. Dragonsnail, you will be responsible for dispatching them. We can’t let them find an opening so easily again.”
Strongboulder and Bloodshadow both beamed. This meant that they could command around several dozen Daemon Generals now. Dragonsnail’s eyes flashed. He was not given any subordinates, but he would serve as the carrier of the Spider Queen’s commands, which was an extremely important role.
Li Qingshan sank into his thoughts. They were really declaring war with this kind of arrangement!
With just a few words, the Spider Queen had determined the situation underground. Afterwards, she stood up slowly. “Under his majesty the dragon king’s command, all the daemons under my command can move about freely and kill humans from here on out!”
At the same time, Fu Qingjin laid out a hundred daemon cores before the many Foundation Establishment cultivators in a meeting of the Daemon Suppression alliance. They varied in size and glimmered like pearls.
Daemon cores were the crystallisation of hundreds or thousands of years of cultivation of daemons. They were worth much more than regular spiritual herbs or pills. Apart from being able to increase cultivation drastically and assist with breakthroughs when ingested, they also served wondrous purposes in the aspects of forging artifacts and formations. Exactly because of how rare they were, it made them worth even more. As for the value of the daemon cores of Daemon Generals, it was completely beyond imagination.
It was like Fu Qingjin had laid out a hundred diamonds before a group of regular people, immediately drawing over everyone’s gazes. They all gasped in admiration at the same time before erupting in a buzz of activity.
Fu Qingjin stood with his hands behind his back, watching on coldly. In consideration of the bigger picture, he did not choose to attack the formation. Apart from his reluctance to waste time and energy, the biggest reason was because he did not actually have any grievances with Li Qingshan at all. Whether it were the three elders or Jiang Shancheng, if they were dead, then they were dead. There was no reason for him to take special note of their deaths.
Although Li Qingshan forcefully annihilating the Green Vine mountain had humiliated him and the Sword Collection palace, he had never cared about the concept of “pride” in the first place. All he did was undertake retribution according to the Sword Collection palace’s orders and bring back the daemon cores to stir the greed within these people. Since he would be killing no matter who he killed, why did he have to choose the most troublesome opponent?
“Fellow Fu, how did you achieve this?” asked a cultivator fervently.
Fu Qingjin could not be bothered with telling them, but upon considering the Sword Collection palace’s arrangements, he told everyone what he had gone through, immediately winning over another round of praise.
“Doesn’t this defy the Treaty of Kings?”
“From today onwards, all human cultivators can venture underground and purge daemons freely within the vicinity of the Clear River prefecture!”
After a series of cries, everyone fell silent. The priceless daemon cores, the spiritual stone veins hidden deep underground, and the century or millennium old spiritual herbs all seemed to be waving at them. Tempted by all that, even daemons no longer seemed so terrifying.
Only a handful of people became deeply worried. They looked around and took note of the situation around them, but they said nothing. Was everything really just this simple? There was no free lunch in the world after all.
“Hold on. Ma’am Spider Queen, I have a different opinion.”
In Cobweb city, Strongboulder and Bloodshadow just happened to rouse up in surprise and joy when Li Qingshan objected.
“Oh? What would be your opinion?”
“I don’t think we should let the daemons do whatever they want!” Li Qingshan could easily imagine the sight of countless daemons surging out from the underground world that they had been trapped in. He could also imagine just what kind of disaster powerful, bloodthirsty, and battle hungry Daemon Generals like Strongboulder and Bloodshadow could cause for regular people.
“Why?” The Spider Queen frowned. The most radical Daemon General under her command had suddenly said something like that, which confused her.
“Bloodshadow has doubts over my investigations, so let me tell you about it. That is, the humans aren’t actually completely united. There are two large factions among them, which are the Daemon Suppression alliance composed of various sects and the cultivators of the government, primarily based around the Academy of the Hundred Schools.”
“So what? They’re all our enemy!” Bloodshadow said.
“You’re not wrong. However, they aren’t necessarily friends with one another either. If we focus on the Daemon Suppression alliance only, it’s very likely for the Academy of the Hundred Schools to remain passive. At the very least, they will take their time. That way, our overall strength will greatly surpass the Daemon Suppression alliance, which would give us an extremely great advantage.”
“However, if we openly massacre everyone and pull regular people into the mix, we will force the Academy of the Hundred Schools to join the battle immediately, which is instead disadvantageous to us. All of this is for the bigger picture. Please give us your wise judgement over this, ma’am Spider Queen.”
Li Qingshan spoke calmly, backing himself up with reason. He only wanted to target the Daemon Suppression alliance. The Daemon Suppression alliance had been the ones who stirred up the war in the first place. As long as these radicalists were destroyed, perhaps it was possible for peace to return between humans and daemons.
Bloodshadow was speechless. He could not help but admit that Li Qingshan was rather reasonable. Strongboulder also studied him up and down like he did not know Li Qingshan at all. Someone who was bold enough to throw his own life at him was actually so meticulous.
“Northmoon, oh Northmoon, this is exactly what you excel in! I really need to praise you for your courage and your wits.” The Spider Queen clapped gently.
“You overestimate me, ma’am!” Li Qingshan smiled. He believed this suggestion that was beneficial to the war would be accepted by the Spider Queen.
Dragonsnail lowered his head and smiled mysteriously.
“Then I look forward to your future performance,” Spider Queen Lolth said.
Is that supposed to be accepting or declining? Li Qingshan stared at the Spider Queen’s vicious smile, and his heart shivered. Suddenly, he understood something. After misjudging Fu Qingjin, he had misjudged her.
She just wanted to watch the world burn!
PS: All my friends are back during the New Year’s break, so I won’t be able to avoid certain occasions. The releases might be a little slow, so please understand. However, this isn’t exactly a bad thing. I’ve just reached the choke point of coming up with the new plot. Having some fun and meeting some people will improve my condition. You can call it preparatory work! It’ll be even more fascinating in the future!