Chapter 61 – Murder and Arsony
Li Qingshan finally understood why the black ox looked down on the glowing knife while not even sparing a second glance at the Soaring Dragon sword that regular people treated as a divine weapon. Compared to true spiritual artifacts, they really were inferior, substandard items.
If Xiong Xiangwu had used this spiritual artifact, he would have been the one who died today. However, it was impossible for regular practitioners of martial arts to see this glow. The unsophisticated Xiong Xiangwu did not collect the antiques, paintings, and calligraphy here. The second boss dressed like a scholar had gathered these. He could tell that the calligraphy was rather extraordinary, but he failed to pinpoint exactly where.
Even if he managed to pinpoint exactly where, it was impossible for regular practitioners of martial arts to use spiritual artifacts with their inner force. Xiong Xiangwu managed to use the talisman because he had bitten the tip of his tongue and powered it with his essence blood. Moreover, when the scroll was rolled up, it did not emit any glow at all, so it became easy pickings for Li Qingshan.
The black ox said, “This spiritual artifact does not seem complete. Instead, it’s only a fragment.”
Li Qingshan glanced at it. As expected, many of the strokes were severed along the edge of the scroll as if someone had cut it off.
The black ox’s insight was extraordinary. “This spiritual artifact doesn’t seem like it was purposefully created. Instead, it’s more like it was casually written, imbuing the strokes with sword qi and sword moves, allowing them to be activated. If you want to, you might be able to comprehend a set of sword moves from the calligraphy. And, ordinary spiritual artifacts will all be destroyed once they’re split up. The person who wrote this really did have some skill.”
Li Qingshan understood the black ox. He was as arrogant as oxen would be, so describing the person as ‘having some skill’ was already an impressive evaluation. As a result, Li Qingshan studied the calligraphy with even greater care in an attempt to comprehend some sword moves.
Originally, he believed Shi Potian had managed to comprehend the Ode to Galantry that the entire martial arts society struggled to understand as an illiterate, so he should have possessed some advantages as an illiterate as well. However, no matter how he looked at it, he failed to find anything. He only found it more and more impressive the more he looked at it. He could only give up.
Xiao An stared at the painting scroll, and his blood-red flames danced around. Suddenly, he picked up a painting scroll from the ground and began swinging it around. Wind whistled through the treasury as the scroll blurred, piercing through the air with a series of swishes as if the item in Xiao An’s hand was not a painting scroll but a real sword.
It should have been a strange and funny sight for a little skeleton to dance around wildly with a painting scroll in its hand, but Li Qingshan vaguely saw a graceful swordsman who could shake the world with a swing of his sword. He could not help but murmur, “The fairy tales are all lies.”
What illiterates learn martial arts more quickly? It was all nonsense!
The black ox glanced at Li Qingshan and clicked his tongue. “That’s what you call comprehension!”
Li Qingshan personally believed his comprehension was not too bad. He had progressed rapidly with the Ox Demon’s Fist of Great Strength, and he even earned the praise of the black ox. If there was nothing wrong with him, the only explanation was that Xiao An’s talent for comprehension was just overwhelmingly high. Of course, perhaps it was due to the fact that he understood calligraphy.
Xiao An finished the final move and drew back the sword resolutely. The painting scroll became riddled with cracks before turning into fine powder. Afterwards, he looked at Li Qingshan. Although he could not make any facial expressions, his blood-red flames clearly flickered with an emotion of ‘Quickly, praise me’.
Li Qingshan rubbed his skull. “How clever!”
Xiao An immediately beamed. Seeing how Li Qingshan’s pride had been hurt, he wrote in his palm. “I’ll teach you!”
Li Qingshan smiled. “Alright then. It looks like there’s still a lot of things I need to learn. However, let’s find you a new home first!” He found a heavy, porcelain jar from all of the antique vases and considered it. “Seems a little too small.”
Xiao An disassembled into a series of bones again and flew into the jar with a series of clatters, making Li Qingshan leap in fright. He looked inside the jar and discovered a small skull and a pair of blood-red flames staring right back at him brightly.
Fine then. I originally thought nurturing a little ghost was already strange enough, but it seems to be getting even stranger now. He said, “Good night!” and placed the jar lid on.
Li Qingshan picked up the jar, shoved the silver notes into his bosom, and only took the painting scroll with him before sealing up the secret room again. In the end, he found some oil and doused the various buildings apart from the granary and store room with it. He set it all on fire.
Ever since the ancient times, murder and arsony had always gone hand-in-hand.
Even despite the wind and snow, the flames spread rapidly, and in the blink of an eye, it became a roaring fire, turning Li Qingshan’s face completely red from the light.
Then, Li Qingshan poured oil onto the pile of corpses. Who knows if anyone would find anything wrong with these corpses that had their essence blood extracted by Xiao An, so he just burnt it all.
On the mountain path, the group who had come to subdue the bandits finally approached the Black Wind stronghold after a difficult night of travelling.
Just when Huang Binghu thought they were too late, a red glow suddenly filled the entire horizon. He was startled, Don’t tell me? He ordered immediately, “Move faster!” After crossing over a ridge, Huang Binghu became stunned. Liu Hong became stunned as well, and everyone who had crossed the ridge with them became speechless.
The infamous, indomitable Black Wind stronghold was currently burning, roaring with a sea of flames.
Don’t tell me that person did this alone? Everyone thought of the same question inside.
After recovering from the shock, the group rushed down the ridge as quickly as they could, arriving before the Black Wind stronghold. They passed through the broken gate with hesitance before witnessing a sight that they would never be able to forget.
Within the sea of flames, the snow on the open area had been dyed red by blood and fire, covered in various, broken weapons. Li Qingshan sat in the middle, resting. Right behind him was the burning pile of corpses.
The entire group, four or five hundred people, stopped. Huang Binghu and Liu Hong were no exceptions either. The young man gave off an unapproachable aura like a demon god.
Li Qingshan opened his eyes. “You’re finally here!” The flames reflected in his clear eyes, but it seemed like the fire arose from within him.
No one answered him!
Li Qingshan had murdered, burned, and tried the spiritual artifact, so all of his strength and true qi was truly sapped. As soon as he sank down, he felt a deep wave of exhaustion, so he just began meditating. Within this sea of fire, the best place for him to rest was the empty piece of land where he currently sat. Even he himself had never thought he would form such an impactful sight.
As an ordinary person, Ye Dachuan had not gone through as much as Huang Binghu and Liu Hong. He went up and asked, “D- did you do all this?” However, he was unable to look directly at the pile of corpses behind Li Qingshan. The scorching sensation and the smell of burning flesh made him dizzy.
Li Qingshan nodded and leapt to his feet. “Li Qingshan has destroyed the Black Wind stronghold here and now. I’ve completed my promise to the people of the Crouching Ox village, to sir, and to myself!”
However, Huang Binghu and Liu Hong noticed the crossbows among the weapons scattered on the ground. They knew the terrors of these weapons the most.
Just what martial arts had granted him such strength!? Liu Hong personally believed he could not achieve what Li Qingshan had done. Even if the bandits stood still, forming a line for him to beat them, he would still run out of stamina, let alone the fact that they were wielding various weapons and being watched over by several masters.
Liu Hong’s gaze fell onto the gourd on Li Qingshan’s waist. He thought he had guessed something, but he quickly shifted his gaze when he made eye contact with Li Qingshan.