Chapter 467 – A Dangerous Mission
Hua Chengzan said in thought, “Several Foundation Establishment cultivators have fallen in battle against him too, with countless Qi Practitioners dying at his hands. With his ability to control blood, it becomes extremely dangerous once you’re in close proximity to him, even though we have senior Ma’s divination and can roughly determine a few locations. We wanted to set up ambushes for him, but never did we expect him to be so vigilant. If we don’t concentrate our power, it’ll be very difficult to kill him.”
Li Qingshan listened along silently. He must have been recalled this time because of the blood demon. He too had heard about the various deeds Bloodshadow had done. Ever since the large-scale war began, Bloodshadow had become the greatest threat to human cultivators.
Bloodshadow’s strength was equivalent to the peak of Foundation Establishment. Apart from the slovenly daoist priest and a handful of other people, most Foundation Establishment cultivators were not his opponents. And, if they lacked any life-saving measures, running into him alone would basically be a death sentence. It would be difficult to escape before his unmatched speed.
Perhaps Li Qingshan’s luck had just been fantastic, or Bloodshadow was simply too lucky, as they actually had not run into each other at all in the past month.
The fifteen hundred kilometers of the Clear River prefecture was not exactly large, but it was not exactly small either.
Listening in, Li Qingshan managed to work out roughly what had happened. They had first made the leader of the school of Yin-yang, Ma Buyi, calculate which cities Bloodshadow could potentially attack before setting up ambushes there, but it ended in failure.
Wang Pushi frowned and asked, “Old Ma, could you narrow it down to a single city? If we set up a trap then, we’ll definitely be able to kill this scourge for good!”
Everyone’s gazes landed on Ma Buyi, some eager. Just as the saying “A foresight of three days could lead to wealth of millennials” implied, if they knew about the opponent’s movements beforehand, any person could become an unmatched general in battle.
Liu Zhangqing watched over the entire situation with the Son of Heaven’s Technique of Aura Observation, but all he grasped was the present. Ma Buyi’s divination could connect with the future.
Ma Buyi was dressed the same before. He wore a set of coarse clothing and a long hat, standing with his arms behind his back. Hearing that, he let out a long sigh and smiled helplessly.
“You sure have made it difficult for me. The matters of the world have always been mysterious and unpredictable. Moreover, I’ll have to predict what the blood daemon, such a powerful daemon, is doing, so how am I supposed to achieve that? This has already exceeded the capacity of Foundation Establishment cultivators like me.”
Everyone was disappointed. They could not devote too many of their forces into scattered ambushes like this, or it would weaken their other fronts and lead to severe losses, especially when they were not absolutely certain they could kill Bloodshadow.
Daemons were all extremely sensitive to danger, and Bloodshadow was extremely vigilant. Perhaps he would turn around and leave the moment he sensed something was wrong. By then, their ambush and arrangements would all go to waste.
The war between humans and daemons was like a wrestling match. They had to carefully utilise every bit of strength they possessed.
For example, Dragonsnail and Zhou Tong could have gone to other places tonight. It would be a death sentence for any opposing Foundation Establishment cultivators or Daemon Generals that ran into them. Yet, they wasted their time on a failed ambush in the end. The losses involved could not be directly estimated.
“But…” Ma Buyi glanced at Li Qingshan on the side and thought of an idea.
“If Xiao An has established a foundation, we should be able to work out a more precise location. Qingshan, how has Xiao An’s cultivation been going? Does she have a chance at breaking through to Foundation Establishment soon?”
As Ma Buyi said that, everyone looked towards Li Qingshan.
“The Xiao An you speak of is that genius of your academy, right? Even if she establishes a foundation, she’ll just be an early Foundation Establishment cultivator. How can she be compared to you? How can we place our hopes on a little girl?”
The sect master of Horned Rhinoceros mountain voiced his objections. He rippled with muscles, standing tall and wide. He seemed like a tower of metal. A bony spike protruded from his forehead like a horn, a manifestation of having reached an extremely profound realm with the Horned Rhinoceros’ Arts of Mountain Splitting. His cultivation had already reached late Foundation Establishment. As he spoke, his voice boomed out. He was extremely imposing.
As he looked towards Li Qingshan, his eyes would always be filled with undisguised scorn. He was a mere junior up on his luck, getting on the good side of the Han family and obtaining a powerful spiritual artifact, which allowed him to kill a few Daemon Generals. That was the only reason why he was highly praised.
A few years ago, Li Qingshan had humiliated Cheng Kaishan by defeating the first senior brother of Horned Rhinoceros mountain in public. Afterwards, Li Qingshan broke through to Foundation Establishment, while the first senior brother remained as a Qi Practitioner. He believed the battle had left behind a permanent shadow in his heart.
He did not hate Li Qingshan to the core, constantly thinking about revenge, but he was unable to take a liking towards him.
The others were very disappointed too. They had thought Ma Buyi had come up with a good idea. Even geniuses needed time to grow. Going from a regular person to a tenth layer Qi Practitioner in just a few years was startling enough, but she was just a Qi Practitioner.
“The Xiao An you speak of has never shown herself. As our disciples bleed on the battlefield, she’s hiding in a safe place. That’s not exactly appropriate, is it?” a madam questioned. She was the Cloud Elder of the Rose Clouds sect.
Li Qingshan frowned. He wanted to retort, but Liu Zhangqing spoke up before he could, “Xiao An has already been accepted as a disciple by the Annihilum Light Chan Master. We are in no position to dispatch her around. If she’s injured, we won’t be able to explain ourselves to the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga. I hope the Cloud Elder can understand.”
“Hmph, it’s not like we’re missing a measly Qi Practitioner anyway.”
Just when an argument was about to break out, Fu Qingjin shot a glance at the Cloud Elder, and she snorted coldly before dropping the matter. If Xiao An actually fell in battle and the Annihilum Light Chan Master came for an explanation, the Rose Clouds sect would not be able to bear the consequences.
Ma Buyi shook his head in an exaggerated manner. “Now this is something you don’t know about. Divination is different from other techniques. It places great emphasis on talent. Xiao An could wield yin, yang, and the five elements from the moment she began cultivating. Her talent for divination exceeds even mine. After teaching her the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots, I originally wanted to give her some proper guidance, but in the end, she basically comprehended everything I had comprehended over the years in a single afternoon. She basically needs no guidance from me.”
“Even without the Annihilum Light Chan Master of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, I still wouldn’t send her on any missions. Her talent definitely should not be used on dealing with a few daemons. Instead, it can be used to influence the entire war. As long as she has the time, she might even be able to influence the entire Green province. At the very least, I’m confident that her divination will exceed mine as long as she breaks through to Foundation Establishment!”
Everyone became hopeful once more with what Ma Buyi said. An extra, powerful practitioner of divination could play a role that even rivaled a peak Foundation Establishment master like Zhou Tong in a war like this.
Li Qingshan said, “Actually, Xiao An has already considered what school leader Ma is thinking. She has been attempting to break through to Foundation Establishment lately. She should have a good chance.”
Li Qingshan was not lying.
After killing Strongboulder, Bloodshadow became Xiao An’s next target, but Bloodshadow constantly moved around. It was impossible for her to search the entire world for him either. As a result, she tried to predict Bloodshadow’s movements with the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots, but a cultivation at Qi Practitioner was just too low. Hence, she wanted to break through to Foundation Establishment with her fleshly body before predicting again. However, she wanted to kill him alone. She never considered working together with these people.
Ma Buyi said, “Please give this True Spirit pill to her for me.”
Liu Zhangqing also said, “I have one on me too. I hope it can assist her so that she can assist us.”
In order to kill this great opponent of theirs, they did not hold back at all with precious True Spirit pills. They were extremely generous. In the blink of an eye, four True Spirit pills had been offered. One of them even came from Fu Qingjin.
“I must thank you all in Xiao An’s place. I’m certain she won’t disappoint you.” Li Qingshan did not hold back, accepting the True Spirit pills. Xiao An is going to be finishing off this great opponent of yours, so she deserves some remuneration!
“Qingshan, actually I’ve recalled you this time to give you a certain mission. This mission is extremely dangerous. You’re free to accept it or turn it down.” Han Anjun frowned gently and seemed slightly troubled.
“You have always issued military orders like they are absolute, never discussing with us when handing down missions, general, so why are you wavering today? Don’t tell me you plan on going easy on Li Qingshan just because he’s your son-in-law?” Cheng Kaishan said unhappily.
Han Anjun only mentioned a single question and that was enough to leave Cheng Kaishan speechless.
“Where is Han Tieyi right now?”
Han Anjun had also sent Han Tieyi to ambush Bloodshadow. The dangers involved in the mission were self-explanatory. He would be sucked dry by the blood demon with even the slightest carelessness. What he implied was, I’ve never even given special treatment to my own son, let alone a son-in-law.
“I’ve already killed five Daemon Generals. If I recall correctly, you’ve only killed two so far, right, sect master Cheng? What are your orders, general? Please be straightforward. I, Li Qingshan, am not a coward!” Li Qingshan understood they were approaching the main topic the moment Han Anjun spoke. He glanced at Cheng Kaishan before clasping his hands.
“I want you to venture underground and investigate Bloodshadow’s den!”
Han Anjun knew the ambushes could potentially end in failure, so he made new arrangements beforehand, which was Li Qingshan.
Everyone no longer looked at Han Anjun in the same light. They felt that it was not because he did not show nepotism, but rather he was very displeased with this son-in-law of his, wanting to push Li Qingshan to his death. This mission was not just dangerous. It was basically certain death.
“Han Anjun, I’ve misspoken. You’re a true man!” No matter how unhappy Cheng Kaishan was with Li Qingshan, he could not help but develop some admiration towards Han Anjun. Being tough on others was nothing. What was difficult was being tough on yourself.
“General, I don’t think that’s appropriate. No one has any idea what the situation underground is like. There’s the daemon queen underground too. Qingshan is just an early Foundation Establishment cultivator, so this is no different than sending him off to his death. We should wait until Xiao An breaks through to Foundation Establishment first!” Hua Chengzan tried to dissuade him.
Li Qingshan frowned slightly. Xiao An had also suggested in the past for her to directly venture underground and kill Bloodshadow, but he stopped her. Bloodshadow’s den was extremely deep underground and extremely close to Cobweb city. He would never let Xiao An take this risk.
This father-in-law had basically lost his mind. He doesn’t even view his son-in-law as a proper person! Sure enough, this Illusory Water Sword of Invisibility didn’t come for free!
“I can’t place all my hopes on a child. I’m not sending you to kill Bloodshadow. I just want you to use the Illusory Water Sword of Invisibility to investigate so that we can prepare for the worst. With risk comes reward. Of course, you’re welcome to turn it down.”
“I accept, but I might not be able to set off immediately.” Li Qingshan casually drew the Illusory Water Sword of Invisibility. Not only had the blade dimmed, it was no longer transparent anymore either. He tested it, and the sword could no longer conceal him completely.