Chapter 451 – Jiaping City, Strongboulder Emerges
In a daze, he saw a person wielding a sword, stabbing it right towards his face.
Li Qingshan’s eyes shone, and a spirit turtle appeared in his sea of consciousness, suppressing the sword intent. The figure wielding the sword was reduced to ink strokes before dispersing.
Only then did he make out the rugged ink strokes scattered on the scroll. A stroke of the sword was a stroke of the brush, and a stroke of the brush was a stroke of the sword. In that instant, the hundred swords had struck out together, dancing and weaving into an earthshaking sword style. However, there were still flaws unfortunately. It was not everything.
However, those few strokes alone were like the horns of kylins and the claws of dragons. He could already sense the power of its original form.
Li Qingshan was utterly delighted. This was an arcane artifact through and through.
“It might just be an inferior arcane artifact, but it’s probably no weaker than regular low grade arcane artifacts. As I repaired it, my understanding of the Five Absolutes Immortal’s epoch-making talent only grew deeper. Qingshan, your strength will definitely increase tremendously with this.” Chu Shidao sighed.
“Thank you, senior.” Li Qingshan stowed the Cursive Sword Calligraphy away and bowed deeply.
Chu Shidao waved his hand with a smile. “There’s no need to thank me. I’m a little tired. You’re welcome to leave, the two of you!”
After Li Qingshan and Ru Xin had left, Chu Shidao said, “Danqing, I can tell that this child Qingshan is valiant and courageous, placing great emphasis on debts of gratitude and grievances. Now that this has been done, seek help from him if you encounter any problems. He shouldn’t turn you down.”
“Master…” Chu Danqing’s heart warmed up, unable to say anything more. As it turned out, he had done all of this for him.
“None of your senior brothers and sisters are easy people to deal with. You must confront them slowly. There’s no need to search for the location of the Painting Tomb in a hurry.”
As if he was speaking his last words to him, tears immediately pooled in Chu Danqing’s eyes.
Chu Shidao smiled. “My dumb child, don’t be sad. Life and death are all set by fate. You should go. I want to talk to your mistress a little.”
Leaving the school of Painting, Li Qingshan said to Ru Xin, “I didn’t think you’d actually refine it. Why have you been ignoring me the whole time?”
Ru Xin looked back and asked in confusion, “Who are you?”
Li Qingshan was taken aback. He went up and tugged her sleeve. “What do you mean?”
“It’s not like I know you, so please stop pestering me.” Ru Xin shook him off in displeasure and took off on her artifact.
Li Qingshan caught up to her in a flash, flying alongside her. He pointed at himself and said, “I’m Li Qingshan. Don’t tell me you don’t recognise me anymore!” Seeing how unfamiliar Ru Xin was with him, he said in surprise, “Don’t tell me… you drank the Water of Oblivion!”
“I may have. I forgot. However, since I’ve forgotten it, it’s not worth remembering. No matter what we had going on between us, none of it matters anymore. Goodbye, fellow Qingshan.” Ru Xin clasped her hands as soon as she said that and sped up resolutely. She flew away.
Li Qingshan watched her grow further away as he remained stunned for quite a while. Suddenly, he returned to his senses and began cursing aloud, “None of it matters my ass! You damn woman! You took all those spiritual herbs from me! You better spit it all out right now!”
In the distance, the corner of Ru Xin’s mouth curled into a smile. This bastard is getting more and more clever. Fooling him is really quite difficult now.
Li Qingshan used tremendous effort, almost attacking Ru Xin’s very dwelling, before finally getting everything he needed from her. However, Ru Xin stuck to her statement the entire time. “I don’t know who you are, but since you insist these are yours, I’ll give them to you.”
Afterwards, even Li Qingshan began to wonder a little whether she had actually drunk the Water of Oblivion and forgotten about him. After receiving this batch of pills, Li Qingshan cultivated for a few more days in his dwelling, converting it all into his own cultivation. When he had nothing to do, he would study the sword intent within the Cursive Sword Calligraphy together with Xiao An.
Yu Zijian’s group set off once more, and Li Qingshan could not help but take to the road again as their babysitter. The missions allocated to them this time were clearly much more difficult than the last. The group encountered many dangers. If it were not for Li Qingshan’s secret protection, they probably would have sustained a few injuries and losses already.
Li Qingshan knew Hua Chengzan was placing pressure on Fu Qingjin with this, and he had probably even included Hua Chenglu’s confession and Yu Zijian’s reaction in his calculations. He wanted to force Fu Qingjin into yielding.
Winter had already passed now. The ground began to heat up again.
Yu Zijian flew above the Clear river on her sword. The two sides were both lush with vegetation.
“Junior sister Yu, up ahead is Jiaping city.” Sun Yi closed the distance between them.
“Yep.” Yu Zijian nodded. After facing life-threatening danger again and again, she had become more and more composed, and her halted cultivation finally broke through again, having reached the eighth layer now. With a supreme grade spiritual artifact, the Nine Yang sword, in hand, she had basically become the strongest among them. No one dared to brush her aside anymore.
Gazing at the city that appeared in the distance, Li Qingshan was slightly touched. I never thought I’d get the opportunity to come back here.
The flowing river suddenly made a turn, and the two banks turned into human settlements, replaced by households. With the three years of war, Jiaping city no longer possessed its former prosperity, but its influence remained, still possessing some of the scale of the past.
The iron hawk on the mountain continued to stare fiercely, like it was flying, but the other structures on the mountain were severely damaged. The branch of the Hawkwolf Guard here had already been dismantled. It was not under the protection of any powerful formations, nor were any powerful cultivators stationed here. They even struggled with regular daemons. It would just become a living target if it remained behind.
Li Qingshan landed on top of the Parlour of Clouds and Rain and gazed over the entire city. He remembered a few matters of the past and lamented slightly inside, but all of this happened in a single instant. He dismissed his thoughts and expanded his senses, but he failed to sense the existence of daemon qi in the city. As it seemed, the trouble-making daemon had already left. There was no need for him to keep such a close eye on them then.
However, he could sense a Qi Practitioner in the city. He leapt off the Parlour of Clouds and Rain, gliding over to a structure that seemed like a garden. He found the surroundings to be rather familiar. He thought about it and recognised it to be the district government.
Li Qingshan arrived in the garden silently and saw a person sitting beside a pond, cultivating. He revealed himself and smiled. “Sir Zhou, long time no see.”
Zhou Wenbin jerked to his senses and looked over. He saw a large man standing behind him. He was so close, yet he had actually failed to sense him at all. Even now, he did not give off the slightest aura at all. He found the face to be extremely familiar. Listening to how he spoke, he suddenly remembered. “You’re… Li Qingshan!”
The teenager of the past had completely become a grown man now. His bronze face, his tall nose bridge, his steady gaze, and his consolidated bearing gave off an indescribable presence. It inspired admiration.
“I heard you already established a foundation. Is that true?” Zhou Wenbin was well-informed. He had heard many rumors about Li Qingshan the entire time, but he was never really convinced Li Qingshan had established a foundation even right now. When he first saw him, he was only an insignificant first layer Qi Practitioner. Just how long had it been since then?
“It only happened recently. Sir, your cultivation has progressed drastically too, hasn’t it?”
“The younger generation will always surpass the older! The younger generation will always surpass the older. Compared to you, I’ve basically just been wasting away time.” Zhou Wenbin stood up in a hurry and invited Li Qingshan to sit down.
The two of them sat before one another and talked about what happened after they had separated. Zhou Wenbin was clearly slightly overcautious as he faced Li Qingshan. The difference in status between Qi Practitioners and Foundation Establishment cultivators was tremendous. Unless they had extremely deep ties, they basically never stood on equal footing.
No matter how old, no matter how much time spent cultivating, Qi Practitioners would always have to refer to Foundation Establishment cultivators as seniors. Even though Li Qingshan had not put on any airs, Zhou Wenbin still felt extremely unnatural. As he gazed at his junior of the past, he had leapt up in just a few years to a level he would never be able to reach. It was impossible for him to not feel even a hint of envy or reluctance to accept this.
Li Qingshan originally had nothing to do, so he revisited this old place to catch up with an acquaintance of his. However, with the conversation, he could not help but feel that the world remained the same around him while people changed. A chasm had already appeared between them, such that they could not even talk freely anymore. As a result, he lost interest in the conversation too, preparing to stand up and take his leave.
At this moment, Li Qingshan’s heart skipped a beat. He would develop a slight connection with the ground as long as he was standing on it, and at that moment, he could feel something emerging from underground.
Hua Chenglu held the Daemon Searching compass and moved through the streets and alleyways with Yu Zijian and everyone else, searching for traces of daemons. The needle on the compass would turn from time to time, sensing the residual daemon qi that daemons had left behind before reverting to its original position.
They continued searching until they reached a busy street. Originally, people flowed to and fro on the street, bustling with activity, but with their arrival, it immediately fell silent. The pedestrians all stopped and stared at them, while the bosses and shopkeepers in the stores by the street stopped too, making their way out to take a look. The existence of cultivators was not exactly a secret to them, but women as beautiful as them were not common.
Hua Chenglu had already grown accustomed to gazes like that, so she was completely unfazed. She just stared at the compass in her hand. Seeing how the needle refused to budge, she raised her head and said, “Looks like there’s nothing this time.”
“That’s good too. We can go rest.” Yu Zijian raised her head and looked at the sky, searching for the blue bird.
However, in complete silence, everyone’s gazes towards them changed.
Cultivators are all indomitable existences. With my status, all I can do is look at beauties like them. They’ll just end up in the arms of other men in the future. I hate this. Since I can’t obtain her, they can just go die. A spark of danger suddenly rose up in a waiter in front of a restaurant.
What beautiful women they are. Why must they be so beautiful? I’ve heard cultivators all possess eternal youth. This is completely unfair. I want to rip off their faces. Let’s see whether they can still smile like that. A middle-aged woman in a brothel ground her teeth enviously. Vicious thoughts emerged one by one.
Old Li next door has borrowed my money, but he still hasn’t returned it, even now. That’s completely unforgivable. This bastard is better off dead. An old man carrying a bird cage suddenly thought.
“Stop hitting me! I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you!” A child who had been pressed against a chair, viciously spanked by his mother, suddenly roared out furiously. He put up a desperate struggle as his eyes became blood-red.
Thoughts emerged. Killing intent bloomed.
In that instant, everyone’s eyes became filled with malice and killing intent.
Hua Chenglu checked the compass in her hand, and it began to spin wildly like a windmill. It spun faster and faster. “Everyone, be careful. There’s daemon qi approaching. It’s tremendous and very dangerous.”
Rumble! The ground shook gently, and wild laughter appeared from underground.
“Hahahahaha! Kill! Kill! Kill to your hearts’ content!”