Chapter 500 – The End to Mad and Arrogant
No one came to visit Chu Tian, whether it was his senior and junior brothers of the school of Confucianism or the women he had a relationship with in the past.
If Chu Tian had been an amiable person, even if his cultivation regressed drastically, he would not end up like this. At the very least, he would still have received some sympathy and respect.
However, he had never been a likable person. Normally, others were only polite with him because of his talent. They were probably all hiding deep envy aside from that.
Thoughts like “Even an idiot like him can cultivate so quickly, so why can’t I? The heavens sure are unfair!” were unavoidable.
As a result, when they learned about his qi deviation, they all secretly rejoiced. “To think you would have today!” No one was willing to waste time on a cripple anymore.
There was only one person who cared for him without abandoning him—Qian Rongzhi.
However, seeing how concern alone would be useless, a sliver of pity suddenly appeared in her eyes. “Little Tian, even if you can’t cultivate anymore, I’ll look after you for the rest of your life.”
Like a cat that had its tail trodden on, Chu Tian responded emotionally, “I still can cultivate! Those people who look down on me will definitely live to regret it!” However, Qian Rongzhi’s pity only deepened. Suddenly, he fell silent, sinking into his thoughts before saying, “Rongzhi, there’s a secret I want to tell you. I’ve never told anyone about this secret before.”
“What?” Qian Rongzhi was uncertain.
“Watch carefully!” Chu Tian extended his right hand, and a verdant vine grew from the centre of his palm bit by bit. It was tiny, but it gave off a feeling of strength that came with age.
Qian Rongzhi experienced a strange feeling. The vine grew in Chu Tian’s palm, but it led to another world.
“Little Tian, is this an arcane treasure?”
This had exceeded her expectations somewhat. In the past, she had plenty of chances to capture Chu Tian alive and then interrogate him through torture. However, she never did that because she had no idea what Chu Tian’s trump card was and what powers he possessed. She acted as such just in case all of her efforts ended in vain and caused her more harm than good.
As a result, she bided her time, just for this moment.
“No. This is a Heaven Climbing Vine. Its seed was buried in my soul when I was born. As long as I have it, I’ll definitely be able to recover my cultivation!”
“That’s fantastic, little Tian!”
Qian Rongzhi’s eyes sparkled as she thought, Thank you, Xiao An.
It was late, in the middle of the night.
Chu Tian lay on his bed, motionless, with his eyes wide open and staring directly upwards. A colourful little snake slithered across his face, climbing onto a fair-skinned arm.
Qian Rongzhi opened her hand, and the tiny snake spat out a seed, falling onto her palm like a droplet of water before melting away.
She patted the tiny snake’s head. “If I didn’t have you, fetching the seed of the Heaven Climbing Vine sure would have been difficult.”
Chu Tian had never been a particularly clever person. Since he had divulged his greatest secret, Qian Rongzhi learnt everything about the Heaven Climbing Vine very quickly too. She also finally understood the secret to why Chu Tian could cultivate so quickly.
Qian Rongzhi opened her hand, and the Heaven Climbing Vine grew slowly. The verdant stalk was so slender and fragile, yet it could clearly overcome the invisible obstacles between spatial realms, leading to another world.
Immediately, extremely pure spiritual qi flowed through the vine and into her body. Even for a blessed land like the academy that had been improved on for thousands of years, its spiritual qi was nowhere near as dense as the spiritual qi from the vine.
Probably because the Heaven Climbing Vine was still very young, there actually was not a lot of spiritual qi. It could not even rival the spiritual qi drawn from a spiritual stone. However, this was no longer merely a difference in quantity, but a difference in quality too.
As the spiritual qi circulated through her body and melded with her, she felt like she had returned to that night when she slaughtered the entire Qian family. She felt indescribable delight.
You had something so wondrous and it still took you so many years to establish a foundation! You really do have the brains of a pig!
Qian Rongzhi glanced at Chu Tian on the bed in disdain. Even regular people without any talent at all could cultivate relatively quickly as long as they had the Heaven Climbing Vine to constantly nurture their bodies.
And, the Heaven Climbing Vine had appeared on him from the moment he was born, yet it was still so feeble. This clearly meant that Chu Tian only knew to extract spiritual qi with it. He had not properly nurtured the vine itself.
From a certain perspective, the Heaven Climbing Vine and the tiny, colourful snake were extremely similar. If the tiny, colourful snake was a curse from hell, then the Heaven Climbing Vine would be a blessing from heaven.
This was also where her opportunity came from. If she had been anyone else, then she would not have been able to remove the Heaven Climbing Vine from Chu Tian’s body so easily. The Heaven Climbing Vine was an ethereal existence such that no others could even touch it apart from Chu Tian. They could only sense its existence.
At most, they would only be able to coerce Chu Tian into letting them make use of the spiritual qi extracted by the Heaven Climbing Vine. However, this would be completely different from right now. They could even be stabbed in the back if they were not careful. The Heaven Climbing Vine was not only for cultivation. It could also bypass all defences and directly penetrate the opponent’s body, sucking away their spiritual qi or even life force. This was what Chu Tian had been relying on when he tried to challenge Li Qingshan as a Qi Practitioner the other day. And, if Chu Tian really ran out of choices, he could even directly destroy the Heaven Climbing Vine.
The tiny snake slithered along Qian Rongzhi’s hand and entwined around the Heaven Climbing Vine, hissing and flickering its tongue.
One was brightly-coloured, while the other was subdued and elegant. One was lively, while the other was serene.
They were polar opposites, yet they contrasted perfectly off one another.
“Thank you, little Tian.” Qian Rongzhi withdrew the snake and vine, gently caressing Chu Tian’s face. The smile on her face became more and more sincere as the killing intent in her heart grew heavier and heavier.
She had many ways to deceive everyone up her sleeve. Although he could no longer pose any threat to her, only dead people were the safest, right?
Just when she was about to strike.
Thump, thump, thump. There were a few knocks on the door.
Qian Rongzhi’s eyes, which were as cold as a snake’s, shifted slightly.
“Senior sister Ru Xin, I was just about to go and look for you. Little Tian is experiencing qi deviation again.”
The door opened. Qian Rongzhi’s face was filled with panic and worry as the corner of her eyes glistened with the trace of tears.
“Really? Don’t tell me he heard some good news from you again!” Ru Xin crossed her arms and ruminated.
“I shouldn’t have told him! I shouldn’t have told him!” Qian Rongzhi murmured to herself, her fist clenched in self-blame.
“If there’s nothing else, you can go for now! It’s so late. A lone man and woman spending a night together isn’t a good idea.”
“I’m not afraid! I want to take care of him!”
“I think you’ve already taken plenty of care of him. Let’s hope you don’t care for him to death and break the rules here.” Ru Xin smiled faintly.
“This… alright…” Qian Rongzhi shivered inside and lowered her head. She felt a terrifying presence from Ru Xin.
She clenched her fist even more tightly before glancing back at Chu Tian on the bed. Having lost the Heaven Climbing Vine, he seemed to have become a vegetable. His eyes remained wide open and motionless such that specks of dust had already begun to gather on there.
In truth, his situation was much worse than a vegetable’s. It was said that vegetables still possessed a degree of consciousness, but having undergone the painful torure of the hell snake, his sea of consciousness had completely collapsed. All he did was continue breathing.
No matter how impressive Ru Xin’s medical skills were, she would not be able to cure him anymore.
Thinking up to there, Qian Rongzhi moved over to the side, brushing past Ru Xin.
The door to the ward closed again, separating the two of them.
“Is this the end to the mad and arrogant?” Ru Xin shook her head as she murmured softly to herself. Behind her, a hideous, terrifying figure, humanoid yet also not, vanished with a flash.
Qian Rongzhi loosened her hand. The Heaven Climbing Vine and hell snake returned to her body. She made her way towards the end of the corridor resolutely. She would not be returning.
From that moment onwards, a curse and blessing existed on her at the same time. No one knew which direction she would be heading in the future.
After parting with Ru Xin, Li Qingshan discovered the sermon on Anāsravāṃ island was still ongoing.
The Annihilum Light Chan Master wanted to pass on a few extra things to his disciple before he left and have a closer relationship to her.
As for Xiao An, she stopped worrying after learning about Li Qingshan’s safety, placing all of her focus on the discussion of dharma with the Annihilum Light Chan Master to increase her comprehension of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty.
The Annihilum Light Chan Master could not help but become even more delighted. As it turned out, this disciple of his had not even unleashed her true “powers” earlier. He became even more afraid of becoming careless.
Just when Li Qingshan wanted to return to Cloudwisp island and slowly consider how he would use the Water God Seal, Wang Pushi sent him another message, telling him that he was waiting for him in the office in Clear River city.
When Li Qingshan had transformed into Northmoon, he had already ignored many messages. He had to go this time so he went.
Only when he arrived in the city did he discover that Wang Pushi was not the only one waiting for him.
In the large hall, Wang Pushi and Hua Chengzan sat in the centre. Behind them on the wall was a valiant hawk with its wings unfurled, forged from scarlet bronze. It gazed at Li Qingshan with shining eyes, which made him think of Gu Yanying.
Almost a hundred Hawkwolf guards stood to the left and right according to their positions and cultivations. This was basically all the Hawkwolf guards they could spare from the entire Clear River prefecture.
“Old Wang, don’t tell me you plan on denouncing and punishing me for what I’ve done with such a great group you’ve assembled!” Li Qingshan joked as the door behind him closed loudly.
“Li Qingshan, you deserted from the battle, hiding in your dwelling to cultivate. What crimes do you think you deserve?” Wang Pushi asked right in his face.
“I was at a critical juncture for cultivation, and I only broke through after so much difficulty. How can you call that deserting? Moreover, it’s not like I knew you would run into so much danger.”
Li Qingshan shrugged and shot a glance at Hua Chengzan. He asked secretly, “What the hell is old Wang doing?” Even if he missed a few messages, surely it did not warrant so much anger!
“You’ll know in a second.” Hua Chengzan studied Li Qingshan and noticed a sharp change in his bearing. He knew he was not lying. Who knew how difficult each breakthrough would be for a cultivator. No one was like him, entering seclusion almost every day for a breakthrough.
“How dare you talk back! Hell of Ice!” Wang Pushi leapt to his feet, and the temperature in the room plummeted.
Apart from Hua Chengzan, all of the Hawkwolf guards could not help but shiver, but they had only been indirectly affected. Wang Pushi’s true target, Li Qingshan, became covered in frost in the blink of an eye.
Li Qingshan felt bone-chilling coldness, freezing his flesh, blood, and skeleton such that he was immobilised. The coldness even penetrated his sea of qi, wanting to freeze it altogether.
Coupled with it was indescribable pain. The Ice hell was the same as the Venomous Snake hell, both one of the many minor hells. However, it was a fair bit off from the pain brought on by Qian Rongzhi’s true hell snake.
He became slightly irritated inside. He’s attacking me over the slightest dispute. Has he discovered my daemon form? No, that can’t be right. If that is the case, the line-up here is a little too weak. It’s not like Wang Pushi hasn’t witnessed the strength of the moon demon. Why would two Foundation Establishment cultivators bring a group of Qi Practitioners here to die?