Chapter 524 – Mid Foundation Establishment
If cultivation was about fetching water, then talent would be equivalent to the water bucket. A larger water bucket would obviously lead to fewer trips. The resources would be the water. If the water could not fill the bucket, then it would be a waste of talent.
All of these efforts would be for the final objective of pouring the water into the water tank. Insufficient comprehension was equivalent to an incomplete tank. No matter how much water was fetched, it would all be pointless.
The matter of comprehension had nothing to do with intelligence, but an ability to understand. If they could comprehend it, then they would comprehend it. If they could not, then they could not. It would be useless even if someone explained it to them till their jaws ached.
Li Qingshan’s ability to understand obviously could not be regarded as impressive. At the very least, there was no way for him to compare with Xiao An. However, comprehension was also about luck. He had his own luck, which was this vast Moon Court lake. As the god of Moon Court lake, he could naturally comprehend the feeling of the “boundless ocean” to a certain degree.
And that was enough.
Talent, resources, and comprehension were all present, establishing a foundation. However, the Arts of the Boundless Ocean had another issue. It was a rare cultivation method that focused on both qi and the body. If the body was not tempered, it would be very difficult to use Ocean Wielding or unleash the true power of the Arts of the Boundless Ocean.
Li Qingshan’s body had already been tempered to the realm of Daemon Generals, so this was obviously not something he had to worry about. He cycled through the Arts of the Boundless Ocean again and again as the spiritual qi in his sea of qi increased bit by bit until it was full.
His sea of consciousness had also begun rippling indefinitely. After who knew how long, a rumble resonated through his head.
Li Qingshan had finally reached the fifth layer of the Arts of the Boundless Ocean, reaching mid Foundation Establishment. He opened his eyes and felt his soul sense become clearer and more sensitive, and the spiritual qi in his body had become more and more vast.
“It’s time I went back and took a look.”
Li Qingshan called Xiao An and used the Invisibility technique, returning to the Chain mountains silently.
Large flakes of snow drifted down freely, coating the Chain mountains in a silver glow.
Right in front of the Qing Xiao dwelling was another perilous mountain. A figure sat with her legs crossed on a protruding face of the mountain. Yu Zijian was covered in snow, but her eyes were as determined as always.
The news that Zhou Tong had become a guest elder of the Sword Collection palace had spread through the academy. There were many disciples of the school of Daoism, but Zhou Tong only took her with him.
Juechenzi had to remain behind as the leader of the school of Daoism, and even if regular disciples wanted to follow along, the Sword Collection palace might not necessarily want them. As a result, she became someone that everyone envied. Not only did she have a powerful Golden Core cultivator as a master, but she could even directly join one of the powerful sects of the Green province. Heaven seemed to favour her as she climbed to the very top in a single step.
However, she did not leave with Zhou Tong happily and immediately for the Sword Collection palace. Instead, she left the academy and arrived before the entrance of the Qing Xiao dwelling. She did not knock on the door either. She simply sat there, and before she knew it, five days had already passed.
Countless rumors ran amok, but she was completely unconcerned.
She wanted to wait, to wait for him to emerge, to wait for an answer!
Fu Qingjin urged her to go to the Sword Collection palace as soon as possible; she turned him down. Hua Chenglu wanted to accompany her and wait here; she chased her away. Zhou Tong simply let her be, in absolutely no hurry at all.
“Zijian, what are you doing here?”
The formation twisted, and the door to the dwelling opened loudly. Li Qingshan stepped out of the dwelling and asked in surprise. He knew the matter of Yu Zijian accompanying Zhou Tong to the Sword Collection palace had already been set in stone, and he had no intention of obstructing it either. This was her luck, or perhaps, fate.
Seeing Li Qingshan, Yu Zijian’s heart quivered, and she stood up slightly. With a flash of white light, the snow on her melted away, turning into curling wisps of white smoke. She cut right to the chase. “May I ask if you’re Niu Juxia or not?”
“Of course not!”
Li Qingshan let out a sigh inside. Before he knew it, the klutzy, kind-hearted girl had also developed such a determined gaze, but his answer was extremely firm.
In the current day and age, there was no longer a need for Niu Juxia to exist. He would be better off existing as a memory in her head!
Yu Zijian smiled complacently. She smiled like a little fox that had managed to steal a chicken. It was slightly clear, yet also slightly relieved.
It made Li Qingshan think about when he first met her several years ago. He frowned. Have I given myself away? My acting should have been flawless!
When Yu Zijian lifted her right hand from behind her back, Li Qingshan immediately understood. The xiezhi’s horn shone in her hand.
Li Qingshan rubbed his nose, lowered his head, and smiled bitterly. The lie he had upheld for all these years had been seen through. It really was quite embarrassing.
Yu Zijian’s gaze trembled. She suddenly rushed up and gave Li Qingshan a hug. “I’m going to be leaving. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, I believe you’re a good person!”
Li Qingshan was touched. Her thoughts had ceased to be as simple as the past a long time ago. Through his identity of “Niu Juxia”, she could deduce far, far too many things, but she did not mention it, nor did she ask about it.
“Go. Go do what you want to do and go be the person you want to be. Don’t be afraid of pain and don’t be afraid of sacrifice. As long as you make it high enough and far enough, there will be a day when we can meet again!”
Li Qingshan patted her back before pushing her away gently.
Yu Zijian backed away and glanced at Li Qingshan deeply again before turning around and taking off, vanishing into the snow.
Li Qingshan felt slightly melancholic. He laughed at himself for that and turned around, returning to the dwelling. He rubbed Xiao An’s head. “We have to prepare to set off too. I wonder whether Qiongzhi has succeeded with establishing a foundation.”
“Commander, you’ve returned.”
Li Qingshan arrived in the office of the Hawkwolf Guard in Clear River city. All the Hawkwolf guards he came across along the way bowed towards him. Their gazes were rather surprised at first before becoming replaced by shock.
Only after Li Qingshan had walked past did they discuss quietly, “I haven’t mistaken it, have I? That aura’s… mid Foundation Establishment!?”
“That’s right, it can’t be wrong. I think so too!”
“Just how long has it been since he established a foundation!?”
“Looks like commander is also the type to hide his talent!”
If there were still people who were dissatisfied with his irresponsibility and tardiness, then this cultivation speed was enough for everyone to shut up before becoming completely convinced.
What were “cultivators”? The emphasis was placed on the word “cultivation”. As long as they could advance at an ungodly rate, then nothing else mattered anymore.
Li Qingshan arrived upstairs and saw Hua Chenglu standing beside the floor-to-ceiling windows in low spirits. He could not help himself as his eyes lit up. Hua Chenglu had truly inherited the fantastic bloodline of the Hua family. As she stood there, she looked quite like a saddened beauty. He approached her and smiled. “Girl, what are you thinking about? Where’s your elder brother?”
“Commander… you’ve already reached mid Foundation Establishment!” Hua Chenglu turned around and was also surprised.
“You sure have ended up pretty, girlie!”
“What girlie? And pretty, really?” Hua Chenglu curled her lip, objecting to how Li Qingshan described her. Li Qingshan might have been a Foundation Establishment cultivator already, but he did not behave arrogantly at all. She was happy to accept him as a good friend too.
“Don’t forget, I come from the country. It’s a pity I already have your elder sister Han. Otherwise, I’d buy some betrothal gifts and go to the Hua family to ask for your hand in marriage.”
Hua Chenglu’s face reddened. “Commander, you shouldn’t talk nonsense. Did you know that elder sister Han has already reached Foundation Establishment?”
“What! Where is she right now?”
Li Qingshan beamed with joy even though he had never worried for Han Qiongzhi’s safety. Foundation Establishment was as the cultivation realm suggested. It was only building a foundation for future cultivation, so normally, it should not have been too dangerous, not to mention she had someone as powerful as Han Anguo watching over her. However, hearing her succeed still brought him relief. One less thing weighed on his mind now.
“She’s still in the Ruyi commander. She’s remaining there to serve as a white wolf under commander Gu. Her post is even higher than yours now.”
“That’s good!” Li Qingshan nodded before suddenly turning around and leaving.
“Where are you going, commander?”
“To the Ruyi commandery, of course,” Li Qingshan said like it was common sense. In the past, she was in secluded cultivation, and he was unable to leave the Clear River prefecture. Now that nothing was stopping him, he obviously had to go and reunite with her.
“Hold on. Qingshan, you’ve emerged! Sure enough, you’ve made quite the progress yet again!”
Hua Chengzan also sensed Li Qingshan’s aura. He came out to take a look and could not help but experience a certain helplessness of, “I’ll just become depressed if I compare myself with you”. From the moment he had met Li Qingshan, he had never stopped advancing forward. If this continued, Golden Core would be nothing difficult at all for him.
Li Qingshan smiled. “I just got lucky, that’s all. I can see you’re close too.”
Hua Chengzan had always been a genius, and he had succeeded with Foundation Establishment a few years before Li Qingshan. In the past, he had been stuck as a Qi Practitioner for many years due to love, but it did give him an extremely firm foundation. He was close to breaking through soon too.
“Luck has never been a factor in cultivation. Though, you did miss another good show.”
“Really? Tell me about it.” Li Qingshan feigned interest.
Hua Chengzan told him about everything that had happened in the Clear River prefecture during the time he spent in secluded cultivation one by one.
“I think it’d be better to see fewer of these ‘good shows’. I didn’t expect the moon demon to become so powerful already. If he goes crazy, there’ll be quite the danger. I definitely won’t be loitering around near Moon Court lake before I reach Golden Core. Alright, I’m going to go. I’ll have to trouble vice commander Hua to continue with your efforts.”
Li Qingshan patted Hua Chengzan’s shoulder and was about to leave.
“Wait, there’s something else…”
Before Hua Chengzan could finish, a cold bellow rang out from the window, “To think such a timid and overcautious person would be worthy of becoming a Scarlet Hawk commander!”
When Li Qingshan first heard the voice, he had yet to sense the existence of an aura, but as soon as he had heard a few words, a small, thin, and tremendous figure had already appeared before him.
The small and thin was referring to his size. The tremendous was referring to his aura.
“Who are you? State your name!”
Li Qingshan shouted out, but he recognised this person with a single glance. He was slightly surprised. Wen Zhengming of Pine Sough academy! He’s come so quickly! Looks like he’s in a hurry to avenge his disciple. I really can’t leave even for a moment!
However, Li Qingshan had already clashed with a Daemon Commander like Lolth and a Golden Core cultivator like Zhou Tong, so he was not exactly afraid of this Wen Zhengming right now. He thought to himself, It’s not like I know this bastard. If I kill him, then I kill him. He should end up dropping some good loot.
Wen Zhengming completely ignored Li Qingshan. Hua Chengzan shot a glance at Li Qingshan and bowed politely. “I’m Hua Chengzan. Greetings, senior. May I ask where the other three seniors are?”
Li Qingshan bowed as well, but his heart lurched, Other three?! Seniors?!
In other words, it was not one person making trouble for him this time, but four. Four Golden Core cultivators.
What an occasion!