Chapter 535 – The Raging River
If the Clear river that passed through the Clear River prefecture was a vine, then the lakes would be like ripe fruit on the vine.
Since the vine was his, what would be the difficulty in harvesting the fruit?
Refining bodies of water had always been relatively difficult when it was a small river merging with a large one and rather easy when it was a large river swallowing up a small one.
Without even leaving the waters of the Clear river, Li Qingshan simply passed by the mouths of the river and used the Water God Seal to constantly devour the major and minor rivers and lakes in the Clear River prefecture. Given the circumstances, no one could stop him anymore.
Even deliberate obstruction would barely be of any use. Unless they guarded the place and constantly contended with the waters of the Clear river, they were unable to cause too many problems.
And, Li Qingshan could simply give up on the region of water temporarily and take over other water systems. Surely the Marquis of Ruyi could not send several dozen Golden Core cultivators to watch over every region of water in the Clear River prefecture!
And, once they were alone, they faced the risk of being slain.
Perhaps the Marquis of Ruyi had realised this too, so it had been extremely easy for him to refine the waters along the way. He basically ran into no obstacles at all.
The Water God Seal constantly extended and changed. Li Qingshan spread out his arms. His heart raged with the river water.
In the Ruyi commandery, in the same, dim room, the Marquis of Ruyi stared at the map on the wall with an extremely twisted expression. An extensive, twisted shape had appeared on there, bright red in colour.
The redness continued to extend, infiltrating and dyeing the surrounding bodies of water. It moved extremely quickly, like the rapid spread of poison.
In a daze, the red colours turned into a smiling face. The Marquis of Ruyi recalled how the wretched daemon had humiliated him and clenched his fist. He was tempted to obliterate him. He turned around and looked at Gu Yanying. “If you had intervened back then, this wretched daemon would have never succeeded with your speed.”
If she had intervened, Li Qingshan’s effort would have fallen apart before he even made it to the end, but he still would have faced the risk of being killed.
Gu Yanying laid out her hands. “I never expected a Daemon General would be so difficult to deal with either!”
The Marquis of Ruyi felt like his face was on fire. As the marquis of the Ruyi commandery, a Golden Core cultivator with a Seal of Mountains and Rivers in hand, he could not even capture a Daemon General.
“We can’t let him run free anymore.” Killing intent appeared in Han Anguo’s eyes. At that moment, the temperature in the room seemed to plummet.
The cultivators who busied about in the surroundings all shivered inside. The people with weaker cultivations even stiffened up as their hairs stood on end.
“Then let’s kill him!”
Gu Yanying said easily, but something else weighed on her mind.
The Dark Queen is on tour in the north because she wants to come to the Ruyi commandery and see me? Not only is the conflict between humans and daemons gradually intensifying right now, the turmoil of the Green province and the conflict between the Sword Collection palace and the Umbral Yin sect can erupt at any time too. Why is she risking her life to enter the range of influence of the Sword Collection palace at a time like this?
Logically speaking, she should have a great entourage around her, surrounded by guards, if she’s going on such a public tour. Even the Sword Collection palace would not dare to act rashly, but that’s still something you have to guard against!
Most importantly, even she had not been informed of the Dark Queen’s true objective behind this visit, which highlighted many issues with the visit. Combined with how Feng Buquan had left the Ruyi commandery to visit South Hub city, there was profound significance behind all of this.
Feng Buquan had called out that he wanted to see the Dark Queen after he tried to predict Northmoon’s location for the Marquis of Ruyi. Was this related to him again?
Li Qingshan, oh Li Qingshan. I really find it more and more difficult to see through you.
Originally, she treated him as a regular half-daemon. At most, he had some potential, but it would take a century at the very least before he would truly be of use. Never did she expect him to rise up so quickly, basically soaring up into the sky in a single stroke.
However, the trees that protrude from the forest are always the ones that get blown down. Do you understand this principle?
The waters of the Clear river raged along for millennia without ceasing.
Cities and villages scattered densely and prospered on the two banks of the river. It was like a silver ribbon that threaded together the most resplendent pearls of the Clear River prefecture. All lives and production were unable to exist without the word “water”.
Several thousand years ago, the banks of the river had once been littered with temples. Regular people offered up incense to avoid floods and pray for rain. Only when the Great Xia empire was established and the world became godless did the practice gradually fade away. But today, it showed signs of revival again. Many places underwent construction.
The name of “Northmoon” had shaken up the cultivation world of the Clear River prefecture before reaching the world of mortals through various channels and avenues. The “moon demon” became the “moon god”.
A temple with red walls and green tiles stood on the shore of Moon Court lake. Wisps of smoke from incense curled about, filling the entire room with fragrance before leaking out through the doors and windows.
There was a hubbub of noise outside, with the deafening sound of gongs and drums and the roar of firecrackers.
A person who seemed to be in charge of the temple called out and thousands of mortals dropped to their knees and bowed, bowing towards the statue shaped from wood and clay in the depths of the temple.
The statue had scarlet hair, red eyes, and heavy facial features. His face was shaped auspiciously, with a full forehead and a round jaw. He stared ahead with a piercing gaze. His chin even had a few dignified wisps of long hair. As he stood there majestically, he was dressed in colourful armour, with a large, bright-red cloak around him.
In the moment everyone lowered their heads, Li Qingshan who resided in the depths of the Clear river suddenly sensed something. He took out the Water God Seal and took a look. Many specks of light had appeared in it. They were extremely small, so small that he would have never discovered it if he had not looked carefully.
Is this… the power of belief?
Then Li Qingshan inspected the Divine Talisman of Great Creation. Under close observation, he discovered they shared many similarities. Even the twisted, meandering shapes shared a hint of profoundness. However, the power of belief inside was similar in nature, yet also slightly different.
When Li Qingshan used his soul sense to inspect the specks of power of belief, he vaguely heard countless thoughts, voices, calls, and prayers. He took out the Watermirror disc and immediately found the temple on the shore of the lake.
When he saw the statue in the temple, he could not help but become stunned. Don’t tell me that’s supposed to be me?! Since when did I look so rustic? And I even have a beard!
However, with all certainty, on the plaque above the temple entrance were three large gilded words, “Moon God Temple”, which left him at a loss as to how to react. Clearly, this was the common folk’s primitive imagination of a powerful god.
When Li Qingshan stopped the wave, he had only done so because it was convenient, but it left behind an unforgettably deep impression among the common people. There was a great fear for his tremendous power, yet also a great joy from escaping with their lives intact, so they built the temple.
Li Qingshan could sense many prayers for rain from the power of belief, so with a wave of his hand, dark clouds surged over from the horizon and brought heavy rain.
There was a great cheer in front of the Moon God temple, and more specks of light appeared in the Water God Seal.
Li Qingshan burst out laughing. It was no wonder that the Marquis of Ruyi behaved like a cat that had its tail trodden on. Clearly, the position of a water god was not as simple as occupying a river.
If the Seal of Mountains and Rivers represented “political power”, then the Water God Seal would probably be a manifestation of “religious power”. If religious power were on the rise, then political power would naturally diminish and decline.
Although the power of belief did not seem to be of much use to him, it was fine as long as he could mess with the Marquis of Ruyi. If he continued with his great undertaking as a water god, he would definitely be able to erode away the Marquis of Ruyi’s power.
The terrors of the Seal of Mountains and Rivers was still fresh in his memory. He could not help but admit that if he fought alone, he really was not that bastard’s opponent.
After ingesting Wen Zhengming’s golden core, he converted it all into the strength of the ox demon. He had only managed to push away the Seal of Mountains and Rivers and avoid the fate of being crushed to death with the explosive power, but he still did not possess the strength to completely overwhelm the seal.
It was just a pity that he still could not break through to the fifth layer of the ox demon, or he would be absolutely confident that he could play around with the Seal of Mountains and Rivers like it was a toy. However, if he really did reach the fifth layer of the ox demon, he would have to worry about whether the spirit turtle could keep it suppressed or not.
Li Qingshan shook his head. His senses constantly extended, reaching every affluent connected to the water. He could feel boundlessly powerful surging through his body. While the power did not come from him, but the Water God Seal instead, he obviously had a way to convert it into a portion of his own power.
Li Qingshan took in a deep breath. The Water God seal shone with dazzling blue light and roaring water spiritual qi surged towards him, like rivers flowing into the ocean.
He continued with his original plan, practising the Arts of the Boundless Ocean. The first layer, the second layer, the third layer, the fourth layer, the fifth layer…
The sea of qi rapidly filled up, reaching its limit. At the same time, he sensed the will within the vast waters. He easily arrived at the peak of mid Foundation Establishment. He only needed to take another step forward and he would reach late Foundation Establishment.
Just like that, Golden Core no longer seemed so far away.
Foundation Establishment cultivators were already regarded as proficient cultivators in the cultivation world, having stepped through the gates of cultivation. However, they only possessed identities of disciples in large sects like the Sword Collection palace and Umbral Yin sect. No one knew how many Foundation Establishment cultivators there were in the Green province. Their reputation would only be limited to a single prefecture.
Golden Core cultivators, on the other hand, possessed some basic renown. There were not a lot of them throughout the entirety of the Green province, and they were all figures with a reputation. Even in large sects, they could hold positions of elders. With how large the nine provinces were, they would receive a degree of respect no matter where they went.
The lord of the Green province had a group of Foundation Establishment cultivators as guards, yet he treated Feng Buquan as an esteemed guest. Even though the highly limited number of practitioners of divination played a factor, it was still enough to demonstrate the tremendous difference between their identities.
It was possible to say that if Li Qingshan broke through to Golden Core before the age of thirty, he would be a rare, almost-matchless prodigy. The entire Green province would be stirred up as a result, and he would immediately become a target that various large organisations would want to rope in. It was even possible for him to be directly summoned to the Dragon province to take office in the imperial court, giving him a limitless future.
Apart from an increase in strength, there were countless external benefits too.
Within his sea of qi, the spiritual qi pulsed again and again, but he was unable to break through to the sixth layer of the Arts of the Boundless Ocean. He knew it would be pointless to continue like this, so he stopped absorbing the water spiritual qi.
Li Qingshan exhaled gently. Sure enough, the breakthrough to each cultivation realm was difficult. Even minor realms of cultivation were no exception. Breaking through to Golden Core would probably be even more difficult. Apart from water spiritual energy, he also required accumulation and comprehension.
However, he was not disappointed. As long as he continued to accumulate experience and constantly tried, it would be enough. He believed there would be a day when he succeeded.
After becoming the Lord of the Clear River Waters, the raging waters and endless spiritual qi had become his foundation. It had already become his greatest capital.
It was about time for him to return to the academy and research how to combine fire and water.