Chapter 605 – Chu Tian
Li Qingshan arrived in the Chain mountains first. He called out Ru Xin’s name a few times in front of her dwelling, but he received no reply, so he thought, She’s probably in the Academy of the Hundred Schools!
Turning around, he returned to his dwelling. As he gazed at the words “Qing Xiao”, he could not help but sigh. “I wonder how Xiao An is doing in the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga.”
Although he had already returned to the Clear River prefecture, part of his mind was left at the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga. When he recalled the past and contemplated the days to come, his mind became filled with an array of thoughts for a moment, unable to control his emotions.
He exhaled deeply and dismissed all his thoughts and feelings. Right now, she must be working hard towards her breakthrough to the second heavenly tribulation. They would probably meet again before long. He also had to focus on cultivation. He could not allow her to surpass him.
Without entering the dwelling, he turned around and made his way towards the academy. Rising up on a cloud, he arrived above the Lake of Dragons and Snakes in the blink of an eye. As he gazed at the rippling light, it brought him great ease, as he had already refined the Lake of Dragons and Snakes. All the regions of water here were like home to him.
He stood in the air, raising his head slightly and closing his eyes. The rivers and lakes all appeared in his head. The bodies of water he had refined were all like an extension of his blood vessels. He could sense their existence; they wrapped around him gently, enveloping him.
When he opened his eyes again, they became filled with confidence. This is what I’ve established through a decade of fighting. My time hasn’t gone to waste.
With this as a foundation, he could definitely comprehend the true meaning of water and climb to a higher level with his cultivation.
The cloud dispersed, and he leapt down. He moved faster and faster, the lake filling his vision as the wind whistled past his ears. The sight before him distorted; he had already passed through the Formation of Dragons and Snakes in the blink of an eye. He determined the location of the school of Medicine’s Benevolence island and unleashed the Wave Treading Form several times. In merely a few steps, he landed gently on the tallest structure in the centre of the island.
A group of disciples from the school of Medicine all raised their heads and looked at him. Admiration filled their eyes. Most of them had joined the Academy of the Hundred Schools even earlier than Li Qingshan. It could be said that they had personally witnessed how this unlucky disciple of the school of Novels underwent a meteoric rise and climbed to the position of Scarlet Hawk commander.
“Commander Li, are you looking for senior sister Ru Xin?” a young medical disciple asked.
“That’s right. Is she here?” Li Qingshan flew down and landed before this disciple.
“Senior sister Ru Xin is currently studying some medical classics with master Hua Ci. They’re preparing for the Exhibition Matches of the Nine Prefectures. No one is allowed to disturb them, so you might have to wait a while, commander. I’ll go make you some tea.” The medical disciple bowed in a hurry.
“That won’t be necessary. I’ll go take a look.”
Li Qingshan was unable to sense Ru Xin’s aura. She must have been in a formation. However, when he wrinkled his nose, he immediately caught her scent drifting through the air, and he strode away.
The medical disciple wanted to say something else, but in the blink of an eye, Li Qingshan had already vanished. He made his way around a fake mountain, passed through a park, and arrived behind the main hall, in front of a stone door.
Sensing the obstruction of a formation, Li Qingshan called out, “Ru Xin, are you in there? There’s something I want to discuss with you.” Meanwhile, he thought, Medical classics aren’t even that urgent. I’m giving you a mid grade arcane artifact alchemy cauldron, so why don’t you hurry up and receive me on your knees?
There was no reply even after a while. Right when Li Qingshan grew impatient, the stone door suddenly opened. He stepped in, and the door slammed closed again.
Before him was a long passageway. Milky-white light hovered on the walls, illuminating the utmost of details.
Li Qingshan followed the passageway all the way to the end and saw a spacious room. Books filled the numerous bookshelves, while the glass containers all held strange organs.
However, none of this managed to draw away Li Qingshan’s attention. All of his focus right now was on Ru Xin, no, the naked man behind Ru Xin.
The man was roughly in his twenties. His appearance was nothing special, and his stature could be regarded as sturdy.
Li Qingshan exclaimed, “Chu Tian!”
Indeed, the man was Chu Tian. His eyes were shut, and he did not move at all. It was like he was dead already. He was submerged in a large glass container, completely bare. A light-blue fluid filled the container, which Li Qingshan found slightly familiar.
A string of bubbles appeared in the container. The exterior was covered in inscriptions, reaching all the way to the ground. It was a huge formation.
Apart from Ru Xin, there was a dark-skinned, old man standing in the room as well, the original leader of the school of Medicine, Hua Ci. He currently frowned as he stared at Chu Tian in the container as if he had failed to sense Li Qingshan’s arrival at all.
Ru Xin exhaled gently and made her way over to Li Qingshan. She seemed slightly exhausted. A gentle smile appeared on her face. From her outer appearance alone, she was truly the best representation of “as gentle as water”, but Li Qingshan knew this was merely a false impression.
Ru Xin studied Li Qingshan from head to toe first before asking in complete surprise, “You’re still alive?”
The corner of Li Qingshan’s lips twitched. “I’m alive and healthy!”
Ru Xin said with plenty of pity, “The insight of the old monks from the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga truly isn’t that special then! I’d thought you’d be purged!”
“Even if I die, I’ll pull you down with me!”
“Even though you’re so infatuated with me, I can’t accept it because- because- I’ve already seen the body of another man!” Ru Xin’s eyes glistened as if she was extremely touched before turning her head away sorrowfully in the end.
At that moment, Li Qingshan felt like he had lost control over all the muscles in his face. He had no idea what expression to make, and his urge to choke her to death bloomed once again. He sucked in a deep breath and asked, “Just what is going on here?”
He had always thought Qian Rongzhi had already sucked Chu Tian dry, but it seemed he still had a breath in him.
Ru Xin laid out her hands helplessly. “Master said that since he’s on Benevolence island, he’s a patient of the school of Medicine. We have to uphold our responsibilities to the very end.”
The two of them walked over together. Li Qingshan asked in wonder, “It’s just healing the sick, so why’re you doing this all so secretively?”
“We’re obviously afraid of trouble from a certain person. She’s already great commander Gu’s esteemed disciple now. There’s a great future ahead of her. If she learns there’s still a possibility for Chu Tian to be cured, she’ll definitely pay him a visit.”
Li Qingshan agreed very much with what she said. With what that woman was capable of now, even if Chu Tian were alive and kicking, he probably was not her opponent, let alone when he was half-dead. He could not help but walk towards Chu Tian. “Have you always been trying to save him?”
“Yeah, we tried many ideas.”
“Spending so much effort to save an idiot really isn’t worth it.”
“You can treat it as studying medicine for us! And if he truly can awaken, he might not necessarily be an idiot. He might even become smarter than you all of a sudden. Have you noticed what the liquid in there is? Don’t you find it a little familiar?”
“This is… the Water of Recollection! You’re trying to make him recover the memories of his past life?” Li Qingshan suddenly remembered what it was. He had quite a deep impression of the function of the Water of Recollection. “But is it really that effective?”
“Yeah, we increased the dosage, but it’s probably still useless. I’ve checked many books. There have been many incidents of celestials recovering their past memories, but that’s only when their cultivation reached a certain level. I’m only doing what I can and hoping for the best. It might end up working. Who knows.”
“His mind has completely collapsed anyway. If he can’t find his past memories, then even if he awakens again, he’ll be like what you said, a complete idiot or an imbecile, the type that doesn’t even know how to handle his bodily instincts and functions.”
Li Qingshan turned around and asked, “Can it work?”
Ru Xin shook her head. “Who knows! Let’s go. We’ll talk outside.” Without even notifying Hua Ci, she told Li Qingshan that and made her way out.
Li Qingshan gazed at Chu Tian for a while longer. He waved his hand to bid farewell, about to turn around and leave.
Chu Tian’s eyes suddenly snapped open, staring straight at Li Qingshan. His gaze was so stubborn, completely fixed on him.
Li Qingshan called out, “Hey, hey! He’s awakened!”
Ru Xin had already entered the passageway. She said without even looking back, “This is merely a momentary reflex of his muscles. Let’s go. Stop dilly-dallying.”
Li Qingshan looked closely. Chu Tian’s gaze was blank and hollow, and his eyes closed up slowly again a while later.
He could not help but curl his lip and say to him with his soul sense, “You might have offended me a lot, and you well and truly deserved it to be reduced to such a state. However, I still hope you can come back to life. Hehe, I’m such a good person. Looks like I’ve already understood some of the true meaning of being ‘good-nature like water’.”
Li Qingshan turned around and caught up with Ru Xin, but unbeknownst to him, the voice expanded through the depths of Chu Tian’s sea of consciousness, kicking up a ripple in a pool of stagnant water.
Hua Ci and Ru Xin had also tried this method numerous times in the past to awaken Chu Tian, but it had never achieved anything. Li Qingshan’s soul sense was so powerful that even Golden Core cultivators paled in comparison. Ru Xin and Hua Ci’s soul senses were far inferior.
Hua Ci gazed at Chu Tian for a while longer before shaking his head. He had basically done everything he was capable of already. Although the school of Medicine had even more methods, this was all he could do with his current cultivation. He was not a stubborn old man who had to save Chu Tian no matter what. Just like how doctors could not cure death, he could only do his best.
The room dimmed down, and Hua Ci made his way to the entrance too. The milky-white lights on the two sides of the passageway gradually dimmed with his footsteps.
In the end, only the glass container of Water of Recollection remained behind, shining with a dim, blue light. Chu Tian was submerged there, without moving at all, just like before.
Of course, Hua Ci still did not know that the treatment they had persisted with for all this time was not all useless.
Li Qingshan arrived in Ru Xin’s alchemy room with her and took out the Jade Melting cauldron, tossing it at her. “Here!”
Ru Xin’s eyes lit up immediately. As someone skilled in alchemy, a cauldron like that was basically something she could only dream of.
“This is the Jade Melting cauldron!”
“How did you know? Oh, you must have visited the Arsenal of Arms in the commandery city too!”
Li Qingshan remembered that the Arsenal of Arms was only a store, and the Jade Melting cauldron had originally been one of their products for sale.
Ru Xin was extremely skilled in alchemy. In order to increase her efficiency, she had obviously spent plenty of time examining the various alchemy cauldrons available on the market. The Jade Melting cauldron was the best cauldron she could find, but it was far too expensive.
Although she had helped Li Qingshan refine pills and accumulated a sum of resources over the years, these renowned and precious pills could not be sold off so easily either. In particular, most of their original materials were spiritual herbs from underground, which made her even more afraid to sell them en-masse.
She fiddled around with the Jade Melting cauldron in surprise and joy. “You’re giving this to me!”
Li Qingshan said, “Of course not. I’m only taking it out to show you. I’ll be taking it back afterwards.”
“That’s fantastic!” Ru Xin ignored what he said and revealed a happy smile like a child. Just like that, Li Qingshan felt it had all been worth it. He smiled. “As long as you like it!”
Ru Xin stared at Li Qingshan. She controlled her turbulent emotions and seriously contemplated her next words.
“Filial piety… can truly even touch the heavens!”