Chapter 450 – The Water of Oblivion, Success with the Calligraphy
Li Qingshan leaned against the ridge of the roof and took out a gourd of alcohol with a smile, tilting his head back and taking a sip. He stared at the clear moonlight and watched as the blue bird took off into the horizon.
“Be careful, Zijian!” Hua Chenglu cried out. A wild boar daemon that stood as tall as several adults charged towards Yu Zijian with a pair of long, curved, snowy-white tusks, just like a huge elephant.
They faced a real daemon in the mission this time. The level of danger could not be compared to the previous missions. Sun Yi and the others launched shining techniques, but they only left behind shallow marks when they landed on the wild boar daemon.
Wherever the wild boar daemon passed by, the buildings and structures collapsed with a rumble, directly paving a path. Its might made everyone’s expressions change drastically except for Yu Zijian, who was right in its path. She seemed extremely composed. The Nine Yang sword in her hand turned into a streak of white light and shot towards the wild boar daemon.
The sword pierced the wild boar daemon’s blood-red right eye, and the boar let out a violent squeal. It shook its huge head violently, wanting to stab its tusks through Yu Zijian. It was willing to throw its life away to drag her down with it.
Even at a time like this, Yu Zijian did not show the slightest hint of fear. Instead, she was composed and relieved to a certain extent. She had experienced much more terrifying situations than this before. This was her choice. No matter what the consequences of her choice were, all she could do was accept it.
The wild boar daemon’s swinging tail suddenly became taut, but no one noticed this detail because its colossal body completely blocked their vision. They just saw the wild boar daemon come to a sudden halt.
The Nine Yang sword pierced its head through its eye, turning its brain into mush. Yu Zijian used this opportunity to leap up over the wild boar daemon, and its colossal body struck the ground heavily. Due to all the momentum it possessed, it slid for another dozen or so meters, taking down a small building with it before finally coming to a stop.
“Zijian, are you fine? The strike just then was just too risky.” As soon as Yu Zijian landed on the ground, Hua Chenglu rushed over, both concerned for her and also grumbling to her.
“If we let it run amok any longer, who knows how many more buildings it’ll destroy and how many more people will die. This bit of risk is worth it.” As Yu Zijian said that, she felt rather puzzled. During the critical moment earlier, no one sensed how the wild boar daemon halted clearer than her. It did not seem like the wild boar daemon had lost its balance due to becoming heavily injured. Instead, it felt like something else had interfered with it.
Li Qingshan stood nearby with his arms cross, smiling. Earlier, he had casually tugged the wild boar daemon’s tail.
“Zijian, nicely done!”
Sun Yi and the others gathered over. Through the past few missions, their impression of Yu Zijian had changed drastically. They did not find her as timid as the rumors said she was at all. Instead, she was extraordinarily decisive and courageous. Many of the times, even they could not help but sigh over how much better she was than them.
“But you shouldn’t take risks like that again in the future. The lives of regular people cannot compare to the value of ours.” Sun Yi frowned.
Just like every other time, everyone emerged from their hiding places like startled rats or rabbits after the daemon had been slain, gazing over from afar fearfully.
“But they don’t seem any different from us at all.”
“I’m not looking down on them. I was born as a regular person too. However, only when we survive can we kill even more daemons and save even more people,” Sun Yi said righteously.
“Senior brother’s got a good point. Zijian understands.” Yu Zijian lowered her head without disputing what he said, but she had no intentions of changing what she believed.
It was just like how people were most likely looking down on you when they say something along the lines of, “I’m not looking down on you”. To cultivators, treating regular people as ants seemed to be a form of talent. Even the weakest of Qi Practitioners could achieve this with ease. However, she was unable to. It was just too difficult for her. It pained her when she saw others shedding tears. This was her weakness, but also her choice.
At this moment, a familiar bird song appeared in the sky. A blue bird circled around as it descended, landing on the mountainous corpse of the wild boar daemon.
Yu Zijian smiled. “You’ve come again!” The blue bird seemed to bring her good luck. She looked at the sky. The bird was like a protector god, watching over her silently.
The people of the city overcame their fears and gathered over. They gazed at her like they were looking at a god.
They received a message from the academy, telling them to return and rest up. They eased up. After spending all this time outside, they could finally embark on their return journey.
Li Qingshan wondered, Is it because Fu Qingjin has made a response? With this period of cultivation, he had made great progress with the Arts of the Boundless Ocean.
After reaching Foundation Establishment, the effect that the body played gradually shrank, and the effects of the meridians and acupoints had basically become negligible. What mattered more was the comprehension and connection with the spiritual qi of the world, as well as a person’s mentality and character.
Yu Zijian waved her hands at the cheering people. She sat down on the Nine Yang sword and shot off in the direction of the academy. She said seriously to the blue bird perched on her shoulder, “You better not poop on me!” She had recovered much of her former radiance and cheeriness.
The hearts of people might have been delicate, but it would constantly grow stronger and firmer through trials and training.
Returning to the academy, they all returned to their respective schools. Yu Zjian and Sun Yi returned to Wuwei island. Halfway up the mountain path, they saw the slovenly daoist priest standing in the pavilion on the mountainside. Yu Zijian said in surprise, “Master, why are you here?”
Sun Yi clasped his hands. “Greetings, master!”
The slovenly daoist priest waved his hand to dismiss Sun Yi. He said to Yu Zijian happily, “To wait for you, obviously. How do you feel? Do you feel better after going out for some air? You definitely do look better.” He studied Yu Zijian and smiled in satisfaction.
Sun Yi was filled with indescribable envy or even jealousy. As the person most likely to break through to Golden Core, the slovenly daoist priest, Zhou Tong, could be regarded as one of the most prominent figures in the entire prefecture. Normally, he spent his time in secluded cultivation for his breakthrough. Even the leaders of the other schools could not seek an audience with him whenever they wanted. Yet, he had specially come here to wait for her. What kind of honour was that?
It’s just a Pure Yang constitution. The world is so unfair. Sun Yi was sour. If he knew that a Foundation Establishment cultivator had been watching over her carefully the entire time, and it had nothing to do with her talent or cultivation, his feelings would probably become even more mixed.
“Fortunately, I didn’t disappoint you this time, master!” Yu Zijian pursed her lips.
“You’ve never disappointed me, including the mission last time. Others may think you’re soft, but this is exactly where you stand out. Those who don’t persevere and only focus on small gains obviously won’t be able to understand. What I was afraid of the most was having that compromise your character.” The slovenly daoist priest shook his head gently and gazed over the Lake of Dragons and Snakes.
“Divine swords can only be forged through thorough tempering, and fate has never been a good blacksmith. Sometimes, they go too hard and reduce something that was supposed to become a treasured sword into scrap metal. But seeing how you are right now, I don’t have to worry.”
“Girl, temper yourself properly. You’re not a piece of regular metal. Once I overcome the next heavenly tribulation, I’ll formally accept you as my disciple!”
Among the many disciples of the school of Daoism, only she had received a promise like that from him aside from Juechenzi.
Li Qingshan returned to the Chain mountains. The Skeleton Demons ran around and made trouble in the spacious cavern like monkeys. These Skeleton Demons were extremely interesting. They were like clones of Xiao An, which she could control as she wished, yet they were also self-conscious, even possessing their own intelligence.
After being taught a few lessons by Xiao An, they no longer dared to provoke Li Qingshan when they saw him. They moved out of the way obediently.
Xiao An waved her hand, and the Skeleton Demons turned into prayer beads, returning to her pale, slender wrist. There were exactly seventeen beads, just a single bead away from scaling to greater heights and using the eighteen Skull Prayer Beads to create a formation.
As for the skeleton under her flesh and blood, it had become even more crystalline, with its glow withdrawn and vaguely radiating with a buddhist nature. She had reached the juncture of the first layer of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty.
Li Qingshan smiled. “Looks like this game of chess is almost ending.”
Even though no one had realised that yet.
Once the time was right, the two of them would work together to annihilate Strongboulder, slaughter Bloodshadow, destroy the Daemon Suppression alliance, and kill Fu Qingjin, painting in a full stop to this drawing of war. Afterwards, he would be able to reunite with Han Qiongzhi and spend some more time with Xiao An, writing some novels, gathering some power of belief, oh right, and properly learning how to forge artifacts. He had obtained an arcane artifact like the bronze cauldron through sheer luck, so there was no reason for him to run around in such a busy manner.
Just as he daydreamed about the beautiful future, Xiao An interrupted his thoughts. “Yesterday afternoon, Chu Danqing came looking for you. He said your item has been completed.”
Li Qingshan beamed in joy. He lifted up Xiao An and gave her a kiss. He smiled. “My good thing is here.”
In the residence within the school of Painting, Chu Shidao had already become completely bedbound. Not only was his face withering, but even his eyes had begun to lose their shine. He stared at the fluid within a tiny bottle. Due to his trembling hand, the golden fluid trembled as well.
He was rather excited as he asked Ru Xin, “This… is…”
Ru Xin said, “That’s right. This is the Water of Oblivion you wanted, senior. I’ve tried it. It’s quite effective.”
“That’s fantastic. Lass, you truly are a master of refining medicines. It’s no wonder that that geezer Hua Ci praises you so much… Cough, cough, cough,cough.” Before Chu Shidao had even finished talking, he was hit by a coughing fit. His chest heaved violently.
“Master!” Chu Danqing was worried. He sat beside the bed and stroked Chu Shidao’s back gently, channeling spiritual qi into his body to steady Chu Shidao’s breathing.
“You dumb child, don’t waste your cultivation for nothing!” Chu Shidao grabbed Chu Danqing’s arm with his withered hand. In that instant, he became extremely stubborn. He was like a bottomless lake right now. They would be going nowhere no matter how much water was poured into him.
At this moment, he suddenly heard a voice from outside, “Junior Li Qingshan has come to visit.”
“Perfect. He’s come too.” Chu Shidao grinned, which was vaguely enough to make out he had basically lost all his teeth by now.
Li Qingshan entered the residence and was taken aback when he saw Chu Shidao’s state. Most of his joy vanished as he grew stern. He clasped his hands. “Thank you for your efforts, master.”
Chu Shidao fished out a scroll, not from his hundred treasures pouch, but from under his pillow. He handed it to Li Qingshan. “Why don’t you take a look?”
Just like the Cursive Sword Calligraphy Li Qingshan had first obtained from the Black Wind stronghold, the calligraphy scroll did not seem special at all. It did not give off any spiritual qi or glow at all. However, when he slowly unfurled the scroll, he suddenly shivered inside, and all his hairs stood on end. It was a reaction to danger.
He completely unfurled the scroll, but before he could even take a proper look, a sharp sword intent attacked his forehead.