Chapter 502 – The God of the River
Li Qingshan stroked the mental map with his hand, and the images changed. Rivers protruded out, turning into a bright, clear blue. They were like capillaries, crossing the entire Clear River prefecture.
The aorta among them was obviously the Clear river.
Although Li Qingshan did not aim to refine the Clear river right now, that was his still end goal. It had not changed.
As a result, the river he chose had to be connected to the Clear river. This was not difficult at all. Finding a river that was not connected to the Clear river in the Clear River prefecture was more difficult.
Following that was the choice of geographic location.
Li Qingshan’s finger traced along the Clear River prefecture from the Boundless mountains. He stopped halfway and drew a circle.
This place was relatively close to his territory underground. It was very likely for the underground river in the territory to be connected with the waters there.
He used only rivers to connect the two territories. At the same time, the underground river also led straight to Cobweb city.
And, there was a large lake within the circle.
The Clear River prefecture was littered with lakes of various sizes. Even if there were not ten thousand, there were still a few thousand of them. However, there were only three or four that were the largest. The Lake of Dragons and Snakes was among them, but it was not the largest in the prefecture.
The reason why the Academy of the Hundred Schools had been constructed there was mostly in consideration of the fact that the prefectural city was relatively close and spiritual veins ran through the region, which made it rich with spiritual qi. Under the circumstances of being unable to refine water systems, the size of these systems was not particularly important.
The lake that had caught Li Qingshan’s eyes was called Clear Court lake. It was truly the largest lake in the Clear River prefecture.
If the god seal was not enough to refine the Clear River prefecture, then he could take a step back. Refining Clear Court lake first was a good idea too.
This would all depend on the level of the Water God Seal Ru Xin had given him.
God seals were like cups, varying in size. Although water could be emptied out, the cup still remained. They could still hold water if they were taken elsewhere.
If the god seal had once refined a major river like the Clear river, then it would be able to hold the same quantity of “water” again. If it could not, that did not necessarily mean Li Qingshan would be forced to stick with creeks and streams in the future.
As long as he broke free from the restraints of the cauldrons of the nine provinces, he obviously could go from small to large and gradually increase the size of this container so that it could hold even more rivers and lakes.
Under the blue sky, the boundless Clear Court lake shimmered with light. The mountainous islands stood tall in the lake as water stretched as far as the eye could see. Pure-white water birds soared in the blue sky. It was a sight that could open the mind.
Regular people who saw Clear Court lake for the first time would stand on its shore and gaze out, probably mistaking it for a sea.
Li Qingshan sensed the dense water spiritual qi within the lake as soon as he arrived on the surface. As a water-elemented Daemon General, just cultivating in the lake could bring many benefits.
There were numerous cities and towns on the shore. He could tell with a single glance that they were populous places of prosperity in the past, but many settlements suffered from the experience of warfare. However, he could still see many fishermen floating on the surface as specks of light.
Li Qingshan had been confident when he first saw it on the mental map, but when he saw the lake for himself, he began to doubt whether the god seal in his possession could hold it or not.
“Forget it. I’ll find a river first and try with that!”
Li Qingshan unfurled the mental map again and found a large river that flowed into Clear Court lake. He flapped his wings of wind and arrived at the outlet in the blink of an eye.
However, he gave it some further thought and continued upstream. He found a smaller river that flowed into the larger river. It was a smaller river, but it was still over thirty meters across.
“Let’s try with this smaller river first!”
Li Qingshan dove into the water head-first, and the contents from all those books appeared in his head. Through their descriptions, he gained a rough understanding of the way to refine water systems. He possessed the Water God Seal, and he was refining a masterless body of water, so it should not have been particularly difficult.
Wielding the god seal, he channeled his daemon qi into it first. The god seal lit up, coiling and moving around like a dragon or a snake.
Then, Li Qingshan released his daemon qi. His tremendous daemon qi reached the riverbanks very quickly. The surface of the raging waters immediately flattened out to a mirror-like finish, without a single ripple. A while later, it turned back to how it was before.
Li Qingshan moved upstream as he constantly unleashed his daemon qi, immersing the surroundings.
Refining water systems was a delicate job. Although the god seal in his hand could save him a lot of trouble, he still had to traverse the entire water system and immerse every part of it with his daemon qi.
The affluent was not particularly long. Six hours later, Li Qingshan finally traced his way back to its source. A faint-blue, meandering track was left clearly in his sea of consciousness.
Li Qingshan withdrew his daemon qi and pointed at the Water God Seal in his hand.
The Water God Seal gave off a glow similar to water ripples. When the glow settled down, a small part of the seal lit up. The meandering track was exactly the same as the one in Li Qingshan’s sea of consciousness.
Li Qingshan was overjoyed. Only a small part had lit up, which meant the smaller river was nowhere close to the maximum amount the Water God Seal could hold. His confidence for refining Clear Court lake increased a little.
At the same time, he sensed that the entire water system was under his control. Water spiritual qi merged with his body through the Water God Seal. Although it was not very powerful, it triumphed in the fact that it was endless.
From that moment onwards, he had become the god of this river. Even without daemon qi, he could control the water there as he wished.
What came next was refining the main river.
The rain drizzled endlessly. An old fisherman currently sat on the nose of his boat with a straw rain cape and a bamboo hat in the centre of the river, fishing. He would pick up the flask of alcohol beside him from time to time and take a sip. He had as much leisure as he could have.
Suddenly, he saw the float sink. He reeled his line in a hurry.
The thin fishing line became taut, but it refused to budge. Had he hooked onto a rock?
The small boat tilted slightly and the old fisherman could vaguely make out a huge shadow that swam by in the water. Shocked, he tossed down the fishing pole and retreated frantically.
With a splash, a carp leapt out from the water.
This should have been a sight that the old fisherman had seen his entire life, but he became stupefied with fright. His mouth hung agape. That was because the carp was even several times larger than his boat.
The carp also stared at him with widened eyes and opened its huge mouth in an attempt to swallow the old fisherman. It was covered in fiery-red scales, but there were ink-like splotches of black on its back, which slightly seemed like a black lotus.
“Fish monster, don’t even think about making trouble!”
The old fisherman’s reactions were fast. He kicked off the nose of the boat. The boat was submerged by the water before suddenly shooting back up due to buoyancy. He pushed off it to leap into the air, shooting towards the riverbank. He was actually a first-rate master.
The carp had crushed the boat to pieces as shards of wood shot in all directions. A huge hole appeared on the surface of the river, forming a whirlpool.
The old fisherman ached all over, as the wooden shrapnel had injured him. However, he could no longer worry about that. He lowered his head to check the surface of the water. The carp landed in the water before floating back up, opening its mouth, just waiting for him down below.
The old fisherman was a martial arts master, but he could not fly, much less know how to use some divine technique like pushing off his right foot with his left. He had nowhere to draw force from in the air, so all he could do was watch as he fell towards the fish’s mouth.
“I’m done for!”
At this moment, the carp suddenly closed its mouth and turned around, diving back into the water.
With a plop, the old fisherman landed in the water. Just when he was about to swim over to the riverbank, he noticed that the water surface upstream had suddenly become extremely smooth, drifting downwards like a mirror.
“What is it this time?” The old fisherman’s face changed drastically. Clearly, the fish had been frightened away by this.
In the blink of an eye, not a single ripple remained in the water around him. Something brushed past him. In that instant, all of his hairs stood on end as his mind froze up like it had fallen into a cavern of ice. His limbs all stiffened as he directly sank into the centre of the river.
A while later, the surface of the river turned back to normal, and the old fisherman reappeared on the surface. He spat out a mouthful of water and collapsed on the riverbank. He was in a sorry shape.
He wanted to eat fish, but he ate no fish. Instead, a fish had almost eaten him. The waters of rivers and lakes were too deep. As it seemed, he could only fish in streams in the future.
There seems to be daemon qi up ahead. I better catch up and take a look.
When Li Qingshan refined the smaller river, he did not come across a single proper daemon, probably because it was far too shallow, unable to support daemonic beasts that had transformed into daemons.
When he refined the larger river, he finally encountered a few. However, most of them had not even condensed a daemon core. However, they were much larger than other members of the same species. Their intelligence was lacking, having yet to properly evolve from beasts.
It made his plan to capture a few underlings to serve under him fall through. Now that he finally ran into one that bore some proper resemblance to daemons, he could not help but take special note of it.
“You sure flee quickly!”
Li Qingshan continued swimming forwards, but the daemon qi had already vanished. He could only advance slowly if he wanted to refine the water system.
The larger river was much wider than the smaller river and there was much more water. Although Li Qingshan had already gained some experience with refining water systems, he still remained rather slow.
However, upon further thought, he stopped worrying. Underground, the blackwater salamander and ice frog were both water-elemented daemons among the daemon soldiers under his command. By then, he could just dispatch them here.
Two days later, early in the morning.
Li Qingshan finally returned to his starting point, the end of the river and the shore of Clear Court lake.
Welcoming the rising sun in the east, he opened his hand, and the Water God Seal flashed. Light poured out like waves as a thin streak of light unfurled, implying that the regions of water under Li Qingshan’s control had expanded.
Only around a tenth of the Water God Seal had been filled. The god seal that Ru Xin had given him was truly of a higher quality. It was completely sufficient for refining Clear Court lake.
Li Qingshan no longer hesitated anymore, leaping into the vast Clear Court lake.
Clear Court lake was not circular. Instead, it was an irregular semi-circle. It was shaped like a running rabbit.
In the belly of the rabbit, which was also the centre of Clear Court lake, was a lone island shrouded in mist and illusionary formations. Only on some special occasions would the criss-crossing structures of various heights be visible, rising and falling with the terrain they stood on.
As a result, there were rumors that Clear Court lake possessed an immortal’s island, but that was only the belief of ignorant people. People who truly understood the cultivation world all knew this was where the sect of Clear Court lake stood.
As the saying went, deep mountains and great marshes hid figures of power. The island was abundant with spiritual qi, making it an excellent, blessed land of cultivation.
As a renowned sect of the Clear River prefecture, Clear Court sect was also an important member of the Daemon Suppression alliance of the Clear River prefecture. In order to fend off the attacks of night roamers, they too had moved to the Rose Cloud mountains.
However, Fu Qingjin was now heavily injured. He remained on Benevolence island to recover and he saw no guests, so the Daemon Suppression alliance became a group without a leader. The conflicts and disputes between the sects spiraled out of control, so the master of Clear Court sect brought his disciples back to Clear Court lake.