Chapter 523 – The Game Ends
The wings of wind lifted him high into the air. The fierce wind carved out long trajectories over the surface of the lake. Li Qingshan arrived before Fu Qingjin in the blink of an eye, kicking up a colossal wave.
Fu Qingjin squinted his eyes. The splashing water dispersed as Li Qingshan’s figure with drifting scarlet hair appeared.
Everyone on the Soaring Dragon ship watched on from afar.
“Isn’t that Fu Qingjin?”
“With how powerful the moon demon is, regular Foundation Establishment cultivators aren’t his opponent at all.”
“It’ll be troublesome if a disciple of the Sword Collection palace dies here.”
“I’ve waited quite some time for you!” Li Qingshan sneered and strode over, throwing a punch.
Fu Qingjin did not dodge. He only said two words flatly, and the fist stopped before his face. The fierce wind blew away his black hair.
“What did you say?”
Li Qingshan raised his eyebrows in great surprise. Only after closely studying Fu Qingjin did he notice how he had changed. Although his appearance and attire were still mostly the same, he seemed like a different person in Li Qingshan’s eyes.
The change in his bearing could not be described with words, but if a description was absolutely necessary, then his condescension had vanished, and his constantly-sighing gaze had become clear and certain.
“I’m not your opponent. You’ve won this game of chess.”
When Li Qingshan dispersed the colossal wave, Fu Qingjin knew he had lost, and not simply in terms of strength.
“What the hell are the two of you doing? I only casually spared the lives of a few mortals, didn’t I? Do you really have to overreact like this?”
Li Qingshan pulled back his fist. He could not help but experience a feeling of, “I haven’t even shown you my true strength, and you’ve already been defeated.”
“How hilarious. Even a daemon can show benevolence. What have all my actions of the past been in comparison then?”
Fu Qingjin said in a self-deprecating manner. Upon breaking free from the influence of the Green Ruins sword and looking back at everything he had done, he found it all ridiculous. He was like a child under the influence of adults, forcefully trying to imitate the mature tone of adults, yet losing his most-important shred of innocence.
Suddenly, there was a wild gust of wind, and Fu Qingjin returned to his senses. A fist had already landed heavily on his face, sending him spinning. He smashed through several walls before finally coming to a stop.
“I don’t know what you’re saying, but I do feel much better.”
Li Qingshan clasped his fist, turned around, and made his way back to Moon Court lake.
Fu Qingjin laid in the fragmented brick and tiles in a bad shape and gazed at the night sky filled with stars. He said softly, “Thank you!”
Li Qingshan stopped. When Fu Qingjin finished, he turned into a scarlet smear and swept over.
“No need to thank me!”
With a boom, Li Qingshan stomped down on Fu Qingjin’s chest, immediately creating a great pit. Rock fragments flew everywhere.
Fu Qingjin coughed up a mouthful of blood and stared into Li Qingshan’s eyes. He raised his right hand and pointed at the sky. “Northmoon, your trouble is coming.”
“I don’t need you to tell me!”
Li Qingshan obviously understood. When one side admitted defeat, that was the end of the chess game.
There would not be any more rules that prevented powerful cultivators from interfering. By refining bodies of water, he must have crossed the bottom line of certain people. They would never simply leave the matter be.
When he possessed an absolute advantage, he did not make use of it to hunt down everyone; instead, he dragged out the game of chess and earned himself more room to develop.
Now that Zhou Tong had given up and Fu Qingjin had admitted defeat, there was no point in continuing with this game of chess.
Li Qingshan’s face became stern. “Then I might as well kill you and eliminate any future problems!”
“And what benefit would that bring you?”
Fu Qingjin smiled. He personally believed he was not the moon demon’s opponent, but after comprehending the true intent behind the Green Ruins sword, he was not without some life-saving measures. And, he obviously had made ample preparations given how he was bold enough to come to Moon Court lake.
There was a flash of lightning in the sky, followed by booming thunder. Zhou Tong said, “Moon demon, release him!”
Li Qingshan looked at Zhou Tong before looking at Fu Qingjin. He sank into his thoughts. Zhou Tong had a fiery temper, and he never had a good impression of Fu Qingjin, so why would he specially rush over to save him now?
Looking at Zhou Tong’s expression, he was not completely willing either. There was a hint of reluctance.
Fu Qingjin said, “Senior Zhou has already agreed to become a guest elder of our Sword Collection palace.”
Becoming a guest elder of the Sword Collection palace brought extremely great benefits, and they basically had no responsibilities either. Even the master of the Sword Collection palace could not order them around without good reason. They only had to promise a single thing, which was to provide assistance when the Sword Collection palace faced devastating peril. However, as a large sect of sword cultivators with such deep foundations, the Sword Collection palace probably would not encounter something like that even in the next few millennia.
Coupled with an extremely precious Origin Spirit pill thrown into the deal, Zhou Tong had no reason to turn this down. The Sword Collection palace was not receiving the short end of the stick either. If Zhou Tong ascended in the future or fell in battle, the Lightning Slaughter sword that possessed extremely great potential would definitely be left behind on Sword Collection peak. Perhaps it might enter the ranks of the Ten Renowned Swords in the future.
Their further objective was so that the successor of the Violet Clouds sword, Yu Zijian, could formally join the Sword Collection palace. Having reached this step on the chessboard, Fu Qingjin had admitted defeat, but the Sword Collection palace had not lost.
Li Qingshan furrowed his brows before loosening them again. He had also obtained everything he wanted from this game of chess. He obtained a region of water that he could treat as a foundation, he had pushed all three transformations of the ox, tiger, and turtle to the fourth layer, and he had also found a way to gain a grasp over the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa.
“With how you’ve said it, I really am tempted to try it!”
Li Qingshan sneered viciously. His right foot suddenly turned into a hoof, and he stomped down hard. His daemon qi surged, turning into pulses of tremors.
Fu Qingjin’s body emitted rings of green light, enveloping Li Qingshan’s hoof and covering it in a layer of green moss. He felt his strength, daemon qi, and shockwaves all disperse.
The Green Ruins sword exited its sheathe as half a broken sword, sweeping past Li Qingshan gently. The bladeless sword left behind a layer of green moss on Li Qingshan’s chest, and the feeling of powerlessness immediately seeped in.
Li Qingshan snorted coldly. He opened his mouth and spat out a gust of wind that collided against the protective green light over Fu Qingjin. Sure enough, it was rapidly dispersed and worn away, while his breath was endless. In the blink of an eye, the green light had visibly thinned.
No matter how deep Fu Qingjin’s comprehension of the Green Ruins sword was, no matter how profoundly powerful the Green Ruins sword was, none of it was able to change his reality of being a Foundation Establishment cultivator. It was impossible for him to outlast Li Qingshan who had Moon Court lake as a support.
There was a bolt of lightning and the Lightning Slaughter sword shot past with a flash, severing the breath.
Scarlet hair drifted around, green light streak about, and lightning flickered on the pier. The three of them clashed, but all of them were holding back. Otherwise, just a few half-minded techniques and abilities would be enough to reduce the small city by the lake to a pile of rubble.
But a short while later, a streak of green light seemed to shoot away with the lightning following close behind, vanishing into the horizon in the blink of an eye.
Li Qingshan did not chase after them. After a moment of consideration, he turned around and dove into Moon Court lake.
Returning to his dwelling, Ye Liusu, Ye Liubo, and the night roamers immediately rushed over to him. Li Qingshan comforted them all before arriving in the small lake on the island, picking up the Watermirror disc, and peering at the image in the mirror.
He could vaguely sense that danger was currently approaching. He needed to increase his strength as quickly as possible, and only then would he be able to keep this water dwelling, no, continue to expand his territory.
Perhaps he should return and investigate exactly how the Ruyi commandery had responded and whether they would send any people over to cause trouble. If the Ruyi commandery did respond, then they would definitely require his cooperation as the Scarlet Hawk commander.
Knowing thyself and knowing thy enemy makes you undefeatable in battle.
But upon further consideration, Li Qingshan did not rush back in a hurry. That would be too much of a coincidence otherwise. Even if the Ruyi commandery were to respond, it would not be that quickly!
Thinking like that, Li Qingshan sat down again in the lake, taking out the Water God Seal.
The regions of water could provide him with endless water spiritual qi, but they still required time to generate it sliver by sliver. After his difficult battle against Lolth, the water spiritual qi in the regions had already become much thinner.
If he poured all of the remaining water spiritual qi into his daemon core, it would be nowhere near enough. It would only be stupid. Daemon cultivation had always consumed massive amounts of spiritual qi, not to mention he practised something as powerful as the Nine Transformations of the Demonic and Divine.
The power of the Nine Transformations of the Demonic and Divine would become greater the further his cultivation advanced, but the difficulty of cultivation would increase too. Breaking through to the fifth layer of the spirit turtle definitely could not be achieved overnight.
And without any suitable pills, his daemon cultivation was destined to slow down for a period of time. With that being the case, he would be better off cultivating in a different direction.
Li Qingshan placed his attention on his sea of qi. The spiritual qi in there was much more abundant than when he first established his foundation.
He had basically practised the Arts of the Boundless Ocean for two years now. Although he never placed much focus on it, he had never stopped practising it either.
Even though he would use the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression to enter a meditative state whenever he entered secluded cultivation, he would still divert some focus to this cultivation method. Actually, the amount of time and effort he had spent on his human cultivation was no less than regular cultivators, and the effects could be described as much better.
However, going from early Foundation Establishment to mid Foundation Establishment could not be achieved so easily. It required talent, it required resources, and it required comprehension. With the three combined, even spending a decade on the breakthrough was nothing surprising.
This opportunity just happened to be available for Li Qingshan.
The Arts of the Boundless Ocean had always placed a relatively higher requirement on the cultivator’s talent, but probably even the creator of the cultivation method had never imagined a person’s talent in the future would be so high.
After reaching the fourth layer of the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression, Li Qingshan’s body possessed the aura of the spirit turtle’s bloodline. His talent for water cultivation was so high that even many water exotic beasts paled in comparison. Using it for the Arts of the Boundless Ocean was essentially overkill.
Talent was not an issue!
Li Qingshan brought his hands together and pressed the Water God Seal against his belly. The Water God Seal that had always been both tangible and ethereal merged with the sea of qi, constantly gathering water spiritual qi.
The remaining water spiritual qi in the regions of water was inadequate for the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression, but it was more than adequate for the Arts of the Boundless Ocean.
Compared to daemon cultivation, human cultivation had always consumed far fewer resources, not to mention he was not making a major breakthrough either, and he had two years of cultivation as a foundation.
Resources were a small issue too!
The last part was comprehension.
This was probably a great problem to all cultivators. So-called bottlenecks were often caused by this one word.
For example, Hua Chengzan had been considered a genius of his generation too, and he had the supply of resources from his clan, yet just because of love, he was stuck at the tenth layer of Qi Practitioner for many years, unable to break through. In the end, he had almost gone to painstaking lengths before barely reaching Foundation Establishment. That was more than enough to demonstrate the importance of the word “comprehension”.