Chapter 604 – Master and the Snake
“What is this wind?”
Qian Rongzhi’s heart was in turmoil. She actually possessed a way to deal with the hell snake. In that case, killing her only became even more difficult.
“You can actually sense it. You truly are my disciple after all. Within the vast, boundless Hell realm, there’s a hell called ‘Hot Wind’. This is your master’s trump card, so don’t tell anyone without good reason, or I’ll make you taste the power of the Hot Wind hell. You’re not the pioneer of using the power of the Hell realm to cultivate. Instead, it’s what the school of Legalism is skilled in the most.”
“In other words, you…”
Surprised, Qian Rongzhi had even forgotten to call her master. She recalled what she had said, “I still haven’t tried the sensation of the Venomous Snake hell yet.” If that were the case, she was the same as her. She also endured the torture of hell.
Everything made sense now. That was why she could remain unfazed when the venomous snake bit her. It was impossible for people who had not been through such pain to remain so composed.
Gu Yanying did not describe what the punishment of the “Hot Wind hell” was or what kind of pain she had to endure from it. However, through her behaviour earlier, the pain definitely was not lighter than the “Venomous Snake hell”.
“As long as there are benefits, enduring some hardships is nothing, don’t you think so?” Gu Yanying blinked her eyes and smiled brightly. However, Qian Rongzhi understood very well that there were no hardships at all. It was basically the worst pain there was in the world.
“You think you’re very special and very unfortunate. That’s very normal. Young people are always under that impression, but actually, it’s not just you and me. The school of Legalism has a supreme cultivation called the Illustrations of Naraka. The cultivation method you practise right now is an extension of it, but it only imitates its form and does not bear its true essence.”
When Qian Rongzhi heard that a cultivation method so suitable for her existed, she did not react on the surface, but thoughts filled her mind rapidly.
“Do you know what the prerequisites are to practising the Illustrations of Naraka?”
“That’s right. It’s to draw the power of hell into your body, just like how you’ve drawn the venomous snake into your body. After that, you need to temper yourself through great pain. But if you want to cross through realms and find the true power of hell, it’s anything but simple. Although it’s unfortunate you obtained a hell snake, it’s also your fortune. Right now, your soul and soul sense completely exceeds a regular Foundation Establishment cultivator’s.
“You’ve experienced how it feels, so of course you know it isn’t easy. However, you’re not the only one with such resolve. Throughout history, there have been countless people with great willpower. Your master happens to be one of them.”
“I don’t understand. Why did you choose this cultivation method?”
Qian Rongzhi was confused. To her, Gu Yanying was blessed by the heavens. She was born with everything. All she had to do was open her mouth, and she would obtain any resource or cultivation method that she wanted. Having inherited half of the Hawk God’s bloodline, her talent was already startling. As long as she cultivated step by step, overcoming the third heavenly tribulation would not be too difficult for her.
Why did she have to practise a self-mutilating cultivation method like this? Once she drew the power of hell into her body, it would basically erode away all the pleasures of life even if she could endure it, yet she still managed to smile most of the time.
“Because this cultivation method is powerful enough!” Gu Yanying gazed at the sky. Her sharp gaze seemed to reach an extremely high place. “The hawk wants to fly high. Apart from its own strength, how can I give up on this gust of powerful wind?”
Qian Rongzhi gazed at her beautiful face and finally felt a shred of respect towards this “master” she had obtained so strangely. She said calmly, “Commander Gu, you clearly know I’m not a kindhearted or docile person, so why do you still want me as your disciple? Is it just to amuse yourself?”
All acting and disguises were useless before this woman. Since she already knew about her past, she might as well just lay it bare and directly get to the bottom of this.
Gu Yanying lowered her head and tapped her folding fan on Qian Rongzhi’s head gently. “Why have you stopped calling me master?”
It brought Qian Rongzhi great discomfort. Those who knew her true colours either feared her like snakes and scorpions or despised and detested her. Why would she behave with such intimacy? For a moment, she had no idea how to face her. All she could do was say obediently, “Master.”
Gu Yanying said seriously, “I don’t hate you. As a cultivator, you are more qualified than most people I’ve seen. Just this aspect alone earns you the right to be my disciple. And, you do bring me a lot of amusement.”
“Then all I can do is serve as master’s amusement.” Qian Rongzhi thought to herself, Everyone who dares to amuse themselves with me is dead.
“From the perspective of a human, you’ve killed your parents and your siblings. You’ve already committed all great sins, but you’re still missing one, which is killing your master. If the opportunity ever presents itself in the future, you’re welcome to try!”
Gu Yanying patted Qian Rongzhi’s shoulder with a smile. Within her large, round eyes, she seemed to be already imagining the scene of her baring her fangs at her when her feathers had grown out fully. By then, would the hawk devour the snake, or would the snake rip the hawk to pieces?
When others accepted a disciple, they were tempted to make their disciple swear a stern oath to show eternal loyalty, but she did the exact opposite. Danger to her was a crucial part to the game. The White Lotus Mother had been expelled from her domain a long time ago, while Northmoon who was supposed to pose the greatest threat to her had instead become an important ally.
Qian Rongzhi smiled as meekly as she could. “I’ll just do whatever I can to fulfil master’s request.”
Gu Yanying smiled extremely widely. “Logically speaking, I need to give you a gift since you’ve become my disciple, but this gift isn’t particularly easy to obtain, so I need to prepare a little.”
As a result, a few days later, still in the Waterside Pavilion of Listening Wind, Gu Yanying took out the gift she had prepared. “My disciple, look at what this is.”
Qian Rongzhi trembled, and all her hairs stood on end. Gu Yanying had taken out several dozen hell snakes sealed in amber. Even though she personally believed she could already withstand the pain of venomous snakes biting away at her, the consequences of becoming entangled with all these venomous snakes were still unimaginable.
She could only grit her teeth and say reluctantly, “Thank you for your great kindness, master!”
“It really hasn’t been easy for your master to find so many hell snakes for you. Try it out quick.”
Gu Yanying said with an eager gaze. Her smile possessed the naivety of a child’s, which made Qian Rongzhi shiver even more. She actually wanted Qian Rongzhi to accept the several dozen snakes into her body at once, not one by one in an orderly manner.
Qian Rongzhi was unable to turn her down. The moment before her mind became completely governed by pain, she heard Gu Yanying say, “If you can survive, I’ll teach you the Illustrations of Naraka.”
Han Qiongzhi woke up, only to discover that Li Qingshan was no longer by her side. She could not help but feel like she had lost something. Putting on her clothes and getting out of bed, she arrived outside the dwelling. Gazing into the distance, he currently stood within the small lake between the mountains.
The surface of the lake had become as smooth as a mirror, without the slightest ripple.
Han Qiongzhi tidied her clothes and arrived by the lake. “What are you doing so early in the morning?”
Li Qingshan smiled. “So early in the morning? You’ve slept for an entire day.” A scarlet smear swept past the bottom of the lake below his feet. He split his focus to control his clone, erasing all of his aura as he swam towards the entrance of the lake. With Han Qiongzhi’s cultivation, she obviously struggled to notice this.
Han Qiongzhi glanced at the sky, and only then did she realise the sky was already glowing with the rosy colour of dusk. When she remembered their entanglement last night, she could not help but redden slightly. She had truly used up every bit of strength in her. It was not only because of the desire she had built up over these years, but also because of the worry and unease she was unable to put into words.
“What’s wrong? You seem all distracted. Are you still thinking about those pessimistic words your father said? Weren’t you very energetic last night?” Li Qingshan pulled her into his arms gently and smiled lovingly.
At the same time, his clone left the small lake and accelerated, entering a large river very soon. This was one of the water regions Li Qingshan had already refined. The Water God Seal glowed brilliantly, connecting with all the water again.
His mirror clone did not stay put at all. Instead, he accelerated again, swimming in the direction of the Clear River prefecture. Having been gone for so long, he wondered how the night roamers under his command were doing. He wondered if the sisters Ye Liusu and Ye Liubo were doing well.
When he thought about the intimate contact he had with them in the past, he felt like it had already become an extremely distant matter. Of course, this was not actually a long time ago at all to cultivators.
Although he had also once fallen in love, he would only focus on the thing right before him once he left. Rarely did he ever have time to reminisce about the past.
Like what Ma Buyi had said, a person’s energy would always be limited. He spent most of his time with his head buried in cultivation or gazing up at the Nine Heavens. He could not become overly distracted by matters of love.
“You went too far last night!” Han Qiongzhi rebuked and randomly pinched Li Qingshan’s waist. Towards the end of the ravishing pleasure last night, she had become completely submerged in the sea of desire, allowing him to do whatever he wanted.
Li Qingshan laughed. “You can’t satisfy your husband, so don’t blame him for finding someone else!” Through the entanglement last night, he had yet to release all of his desires, so now that he embraced her, it roused his desires again. A certain part of his body immediately responded.
Li Qingshan originally thought she would lose her temper like she did in the past and make him swear he would never have a second woman in his life. However, he never thought she would push him again. “Then go find some pleasure in the Parlour of Clouds and Rain by yourself. Don’t come and bother me. I don’t have the spare time to do something like that with you. You saved the great boss Qiu of the parlour, so she’ll make sure it’s free. You can pick the disciples from her sect as you please. Who knows, she might even accompany you personally!”
Li Qingshan had no idea that as soon as the period of watching over the grave of Han Anguo ended, Han Anjun had forcefully ordered Han Tieyi to openly take on concubines. Because it was not a formal marriage, it did not really defy the rule of three years of mourning. He could procreate as much as possible and extend the Han family’s lineage.
Li Qingshan instead became rather embarrassed. “Don’t misunderstand. I had only lost my temper in the moment. It’s not like I’m actually interested in her or anything.”
“Hmph, men!” Han Qiongzhi’s face was filled with doubt.
Li Qingshan began to daydream. Qiu Haitang was definitely a stunner. If she insisted on pledging herself to him in order to pay him back for his kindness, it would probably be very difficult for him to turn her down. However, when it came to matters like this, he had to admit that the Spider Queen was definitely the one who proceeded the most smoothly and left him the most satisfied.
Right as his thoughts ran amok, he received a punch in the gut from Han Qiongzhi. Li Qingshan put on a painful expression obediently before lingering for a few more days in Han Qiongzhi’s dwelling. After deciding when they would meet up again, he returned to the Clear River prefecture in search of a certain person.
This person was also endowed with startling talent, understanding the nature of water extremely well, and she had probably even grown up in water.