Chapter 460 – The Past is Easy to Forget
“People aren’t perfect. All we can do is strive for the better.” Li Qingshan shrugged. Suddenly, a gentle voice rang out in his ear.
“You owe me this time.” Ru Xin’s lips curled into a slight smile as she spoke to him secretly.
I owe you this time? Li Qingshan tried to think, but his memories were like sand sculptures on the beach, collapsing under the waves. He furrowed his brows and pressed his hand against his forehead. He was afraid to recall anything else.
What was going on? He clearly knew the answer, yet he was afraid to think too much about it.
A while earlier, Ru Xin held Li Qingshan’s hand. After a while of consideration, she shoved a tiny bottle into his hand. The bottle rippled with golden fluid. It was the Water of Oblivion Ru Xin had only refined recently.
Li Qingshan widened his eyes slightly and glanced at Ru Xin before looking towards Fu Qingjin below.
It was almost up to him.
He could no longer care about the effects and side-effects of the Water of Oblivion. He grabbed Ru Xin’s soft hand and tightened around it slightly, expressing his gratitude. Her hand was warm, smooth, and gentle, but he had no time to properly appreciate it.
He changed his posture in a very natural manner, placing his elbow on the table as his hand covered his mouth. The Water of Oblivion flowed down his throat in a scorching manner.
Because Li Qingshan sat towards the back and everyone’s attention was gathered on Fu Qingjin and the questioned cultivators, Li Qingshan did not attract any attention with his subtle movements.
In the beginning, Li Qingshan did not sense anything strange when the Water of Oblivion reached his stomach. He raised his head and did find the resplendent ceiling lights rather dazzling.
When he lowered his head again, Fu Qingjin had already returned to the platform in the centre, standing beside Liu Zhangqing. The danger had already passed by.
“The large-scale invasion of daemons will be a great danger to Clear River city as well as us. The oath of the Daemon Suppression alliance, the responsibilities of the academy, will completely depend on this battle. We must pour our strength together and defeat the daemons, fighting side by side!” Liu Zhangqing waved his hand in an enthusiastic manner.
What beautiful spring scenery! Li Qingshan sighed inside.
Through another pair of his eyes, he currently stared at the Clear river that flowed east. It just happened to be the end of spring, where the weeping willows on the two banks were shrouded in mist. The weather had already grown very warm, but it had yet to reach a level where it was scorching.
As he walked through the spring breeze, he felt like he had just drunken some good liquor. He felt tipsy.
What was I doing? I can’t think about it! It’s useless even if I do think about it. Is this called getting lost on the road of life?
Li Qingshan plucked a willow branch out of pure boredom, breaking his shadow in the water.
Nearby on a road, there was a banner labelled “Tea” swaying in the wind.
Old man Liu had already run this tea stand for thirty-one years. This was a road that everyone had to use if they wanted to enter the prefectural city from the west. Merchants and visitors flowed to and fro. If they became thirsty or tired, they would sit down at his stand to rest and have a bowl of tea. Business was still booming.
Since three years ago, business gradually took a turn for the worst, but he was very content with what he already had, at least compared to those who had fled here with their entire family. He was located on the edge of the prefectural city. The greatest city within fifteen hundred kilometers watched over his tiny tea stand from behind.
There were no daemons that would come to make trouble here. Even if a few ignorant ones appeared, they would be dealt with quickly and cleanly by the sirs in the city.
Business today was alright. In threes and fives, over a dozen customers sat at his tea stand, conversing among themselves leisurely. Among their discussions, they could not avoid mentioning the horrors of daemons.
Old man Liu smiled as he listened along. He did not feel pressured at all. Suddenly, he saw the vegetation on the river bank rustle, and a person seemed to sit down. He called him over, “Sir traveller, you must be tired from all the travelling. Why don’t you come here and have a cup of tea and quench your thirst!”
The other customers all looked over too. All they saw was a person standing up, and the first thing they noticed was his head of fiery, long hair, which seemed to burn. His scorching, scarlet eyes could make people shiver even under the light of day.
Everyone shuddered inside. None of them were unfamiliar with the word daemon, but they had only heard about daemons that could assume human forms. Never had they seen one before. It was said that all those who had seen one were dead. And, it was said that even the great sirs in the cities who could use magic were not their opponents. They had no idea whether that was true or not.
Old man Liu was tempted to slap himself across his face. With his unlucky mouth, what was he calling out for? He immediately turned around to flee.
However, with a scarlet flash, the daemon had already arrived right in front of him. He lowered his head and said to old man Liu, “Alright!”
“It’s been a while since I’ve had…” Before Li Qingshan had even finished speaking, he heard a thud, and old man Liu’s legs gave way, falling onto his knees. He soon remembered this was a daemon and pleading for mercy was useless, so he just straightened himself out to play dead!
The other customers all shrieked and howled as they scattered.
Li Qingshan curled his lip and poured himself some tea, drinking a cup. Unsatisfied, he picked up the entire teapot and directly poured it into his mouth.
The tea was not particularly good tea, but over the past few years he spent cultivating, he had almost forgotten the feeling of being “human”. Having some tea once more was quite the sensation.
Gazing at Clear River city in the distance, a thought crossed his head. I probably want to go there, right?
As a result, Li Qingshan made his way towards the city at a leisurely pace with a teapot in one hand and a willow branch in the other.
In the Parlour of Clouds and Rain, everyone had become riled up with Liu Zhangqing’s motivational speech. They were eager to get a piece of action. There were not people who could be fooled with just a few words, and they understood the dangers of war too.
Actually, in the past three years, millions of regular people had lost their lives. Countless Qi Practitioners had too, but when it came to Foundation Establishment cultivators, there were not a lot who died at all. If the moon demon had not emerged, it would have only been ten or twenty percent at most.
With their levels of cultivation, they would always possess a few methods to protect their own lives, whether it be talismans or arcane artifacts. As long as they knew how to respond to the situation without biting off more than they could chew, escaping from danger was not particularly difficult for them.
However, if they killed daemons, they would obtain precious daemon cores as well as their other remains like bones, flesh, and hide, all of which was extremely precious. It was possible to say that killing a Daemon General was equivalent to obtaining a treasure trove of items.
If the daemon cores they obtained matched their elemental affinity, they could even take a great step forward with their cultivation, earning them an opportunity to break through to higher realms that they originally had no chance at reaching.
Moving around alone might have been dangerous, but with so many people together, what were they afraid of? Even if they ran into the rock demon or blood demon, they had countermeasures against them. Everything would be fine as long as they did not get too unlucky and run into the moon demon.
“We’re well-informed on the enemy right now, and we have the advantage of striking first. If we plan carefully, we’ll definitely catch the daemons off-guard. I’m not particularly skilled in this aspect, so could you come up with some strategies for us, general Han?” Fu Qingjin requested politely.
Han Anjun, who had remained silent the entire time, accepted the responsibility and stood up, arriving in the centre with a flash.
The very aspects that the school of Military focused on had always been mobilising troops, battle formations, strategies, and the military law. Even Fu Qingjin could not claim he surpassed Han Anjin when it came to a large-scale operation of mobilising all the cultivators in the entire prefecture.
“There are only a few dozen Daemon Generals underground right now, and they lack organisation and a leader. The rock demon is dead, while the blood demon is injured. They’re nothing worth worrying about. Only the moon demon and the several dozen Foundation Establishment night roamers under his command are a problem.”
When they heard the moon demon being mentioned, everyone felt like a bucket of cold water had been dumped over them. Their enthusiasm was completely extinguished. If they ran into the night roamer army led by the moon demon, fleeing would not be as easy as running into the rock demon or blood demon.
Fu Qingjin let out a gentle sigh. He knew that this was an unavoidable obstacle. As he murmured, “Northmoon,” even he found him rather troublesome. He had never expected the Daemon race of the Clear River prefecture to produce such a powerful daemon.
Not only did he possess an extremely powerful cultivation, but he also possessed intelligence that regular Daemon Generals lacked, having united a great group of night roamers under his banner. Anyone who wanted to destroy this force would have to pay a heavy price.
As a member of the cultivation community in the Clear River prefecture, Qiu Haitang also listened along from a corner. She knew she would no longer be able to maneuver between the two organisations and remain uninvolved once the alliance was forged. As she watched how they reacted when the moon demon was mentioned, she found it rather funny, and she felt rather proud too.
She had seen the moon demon, no, Northmoon, in person before. She had even forced him into a heart-to-heart conversation on the Soaring Dragon ship. In retrospect, she sure was audacious back then! He was a cruel and vicious daemon after all!
However, he did not seem as terrifying as they described him to be in her impression. Although he was rather irritable, he was actually very mischievous or even rather gentle. Sometimes, he seemed more like a big child to her, also possessing feelings of love inside.
At this moment, a Scarlet Wolf guard responsible for surveilling the surroundings of Clear River city reported, “Commander, a daemon has entered the city.”
Was it about to begin? Everyone shivered and prepared themselves to purge daemons.
“It’s just a daemon, isn’t it? What’re you so flustered for?” Wang Pushi became displeased at how unsettled the Scarlet Wolf guard was.
“ I think… I think… it’s the moon demon!”
“What did you say?” Wang Pushi’s expression changed. It was not just him. The other Foundation Establishment cultivators were all taken aback too. Most of their motivation to purge daemons vanished into thin air.
Liu Zhangqing immediately fished out the Watermirror disc. Stroking across it, the scenery of the entire city immediately appeared on there. The west side of the city had descended into turmoil and people shrieked and fled.
Everyone could not help but raise their heads and look into the Watermirror disc.
Under the control of his spiritual energy, the scenery in the Watermirror disc rapidly expanded. A devilishly handsome face filled the entire disc. He seemed rather lost and lethargic. As if he had suddenly sensed something, he looked around before narrowing his eyes, locking onto Liu Zhangqing’s eyes.
“So there you are!”
Liu Zhangqing staggered backwards slightly in fright as he cried out, “Oh no, the moon demon is going to slaughter the prefectural city!”
“Why didn’t the formations respond?”
“The moon demon can conceal his aura.”
As it turned out, they had set up a formation within the vicinity of Clear River city when the war first began. It did not restrict the entry and exit of regular people, but as soon as it sensed even a hint of daemon qi, it would give off a warning, and the formation would activate. As the person watching over the city, Liu Zhangqing would be able to respond immediately. However, Li Qingshan had hidden his aura away completely, thus making his way in here with ease.
Fu Qingjin’s heart sank. He had personally witnessed the state that he had reduced Bronze Cauldron mountain to. The moon demon seemed to be able to cause earthquakes. If he really wanted to slaughter cities, he would probably be even more efficient than the rock demon or blood demon, and he would be almost unstoppable.
He could imagine just how many buildings and structures would collapse once he produced an earthquake. Clear River city would be reduced to ruins! This bastard rarely struck, but when he did, it would always be startling.
Li Qingshan had no interest in slaughtering the city at all. After drinking the Water of Oblivion, he had forgotten many things before he knew it. The more important they were to him, the more he was afraid to think of them, as he was afraid of forgetting. However, he could still remember that he wanted to come to the prefectural city, and he still felt angry inside.
Fu Qingjin you bastard! You’re trying to scheme against me again! I’ll show you what’s what!