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Chapter 631 – The Battle of the Schools of Novels (One)
Several days later, following a large auction that combined the nine stores of miscellaneous goods, the competition between the schools of Miscellany came to an end.
However, due to the toll from the war, the Clear River prefecture ranked last in the end, but that was expected. What came next was the competition between the schools of Music. As the graceful music rose up, the raucous and lively town turned into a grand concert.
The Exhibition Matches of the Nine Prefectures continued in an orderly fashion, and Li Qingshan and Han Qiongzhi spent all of their time together by each other’s sides as if they had returned to when they were passionately in love. Under Li Qingshan’s intentional honesty, Han Qiongzhi gradually learnt about his secretive past, which brought her great joy.
Of course, he refused to mention anything along the lines of having another woman outside again.
Finally, the competition between the schools of Novels formally began. The matches between the regular disciples came first. They all pushed their Divine Talismans of Great Creation to the limit, turning fiction into reality and making their imaginations come true. They unleashed an endless variety of attacks, which left the spectating cultivators amazed. Sure enough, the school of Novels had its specialty for the founding emperor to designate it as one of the ten standard schools.
However, these matches were merely appetizers. When the matches between the disciples ended, it was time for the Foundation Establishment cultivators to take the stage, and the atmosphere suddenly became tense. Avoiding Liu Chuanfeng, the leaders of the schools of Novels from the eight other prefectures all exchanged glances. They seemed to be communicating through their soul sense.
“The first match, the Clear River prefecture against the Lecheng prefecture!”
Under Liu Chuanfeng and Sun Fubai’s encouraging gazes, Li Qingshan smiled at Han Qiongzhi and made his way onto the stage, leading to a series of cheers. However, he waited a while, but he did not see his opponent appear. He glanced around, and the disciples from the schools of Novels all trembled.
“No, this is unfair!”
The school leader from the Lecheng prefecture, Wang Luocheng, called out. Originally, he was supposed to face Li Qingshan in this match, but after personally witnessing Li Qingshan’s clash with caretaker Zheng, he felt like he had absolutely no chance at victory at all. Fortunately, they had already come up with a plan to restrain Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan asked in surprise, “What’s unfair about this?”
“The Exhibition Matches of the Nine Prefectures are about competing with the specialties of each school. You’re armed to the teeth with arcane artifacts, so won’t you just completely overwhelm us? How can we still exhibit the specialties of our school of Novels? This is completely missing the main point, which is why it’s unfair.”
The disciples from the other prefectures all agreed. “Yeah. Even if you win like this, you’re just winning because of your arcane artifacts. Any cultivator can win like that. Does that still have anything to do with our school of Novels?”
“If you want to compete, then compete with your own strength.”
Liu Chuanfeng was furious. “Wang Luocheng, you better stop with the nonsense. None of the matches in the past were like this!”
In the past, the schools of Novels were all broke. They would be doing quite well if they could whip out a single inferior arcane artifact. Even though the situation now had improved drastically, there were no school leaders armed to the teeth with arcane artifacts like Li Qingshan.
Wang Luocheng shook his head like a rattle drum. “The past is the past and the present is the present. The rules have to be changed. If you won’t agree to it, we’ll have the marquis make the decision!”
The disciples from the other prefectures all called out, “Have the marquis make the decision! Have the marquis make the decision!”
Liu Chuanfeng wanted to continue arguing, but Li Qingshan waved his hand. “Alright, then I won’t use arcane artifacts.” As he said that, he stowed away all the arcane artifacts on him. “Are you happy now?”
If Si Qing ends up getting involved, that kid won’t favour me anyway. Do I even need arcane artifacts to deal with a group of measly people like you?
“It’s still unfair! Your cultivation is at late Foundation Establishment, already the highest among us, and you’re skilled in water element techniques. When we start fighting, you can easily defeat us even if you don’t use the Divine Talisman of Great Creation. It completely defies the point of the exhibition matches.”
Seeing how easily Li Qingshan agreed to his demands, Wang Luocheng rejoiced inside and continued making demands. So much for being arrogant. You’ve offended the marquis, so you’re completely at our whim now.
The disciples from the Clear River prefecture were indignant. Since when were there any battles where cultivators were supposed to fight without even using techniques?
Li Qingshan said, “Alright, then I won’t use techniques!”
“It’s not just techniques. Apart from the arts of the school of Novels, you’re forbidden from using all other battle skills and techniques!”
“Alright!” Li Qingshan happily agreed to him once again.
“You seem to have practised the arts of Body Practitioners…”
Li Qingshan smiled. “Don’t tell me I’m supposed to be tied up when I fight against you? I have practised the arts of Body Practitioners, and my body is relatively tough. What? Am I supposed to stab myself and suffer some heavy injuries first before it’s fair to you?”
It led to a roar of laughter. Even the cultivators from the hundred schools from other prefectures found these demands rather unreasonable. Their eyes were filled with disdain as they felt sympathy for Li Qingshan. How did someone like him end up in the school of Novels?
The school of Novels was renowned for their obscenity. The “Smut Novel technique” was not Liu Chuanfeng’s original creation. None of the Academies of the Hundred Schools were particularly fond of it.
The school of Novels in the Clear River prefecture had primarily been revived through Li Qingshan. Although the schools of Novels in other prefectures copied the Cloudwisp association’s management and strengthened themselves, their status was still not particularly impressive. Some disciples even showed signs of developing the “Smut Novel technique”, even replicating Li Qingshan’s partnership with the school of Paintings by paying hefty prices to invite disciples of the schools of Painting and inventing something like the “Erotic Comic technique”.
After all, only children liked to read fairytales, while this was suitable for both the young and the old. Simply reading it once would not be enough. They would even stow them away secretly and read them repeatedly. When they entered the mood, they were even tempted to replace the main character and enter the book to go at it. Sure enough, it led to a large quantity of power of belief, but their reputation obviously became even worse.
“If you’re willing to, then we obviously have no objections!”
Wan Luocheng shook his head as if he was invincible as long as he was shameless. After tasting the sweetness of the Cloudwisp association, he could already see a vast path of cultivation unfold before him. In order to claim the dominant position within the Greater Cloudwisp association, he had to tie up Li Qingshan with restrictions until he could not even move.
Li Qingshan was speechless. This bastard sure did resemble Liu Chuanfeng of the past. He thought about it and said, “How about this? In order to save time, I’ll take on all eight of you at the same time. I won’t use any arcane artifacts, techniques, or battle skills, but you can. Surely that’s enough to make you happy!”
The spectators were thrown into an uproar. These were all components to a cultivator’s strength. He was already taking the enemy a little lightly by forbidding himself from using them while permitting the enemy to use them, yet he still wanted to take on eight people at the same time? Wouldn’t that lead to certain defeat?
Although most of them had heard of Li Qingshan’s reputation, the only time they had truly witnessed him fight was above the marquis’ estate. His two clashes with caretaker Zheng were rather ingenious, but he could never have done that without his powerful arcane artifacts and clever usage of battle skills.
“You mustn’t, Qingshan!” Liu Chuanfeng called out in objection, but Li Qingshan turned a deaf ear to him. Sun Fubai said, “Junior brother, Qingshan knows what he’s doing. His decision isn’t something we can change, so let’s just wait and see!”
“Do you mean it?” Wang Luocheng’s eyes lit up.
Si Qing, who spectated from the Soaring Dragon terrace far away, smiled disdainfully. “Yanying, this subordinate of yours doesn’t seem to be particularly clever!”
Gu Yanying said, “Actually, he’s the same as you. He hates suspenseless fights without the slightest difficulty.”
“Do you think he can compare to me?” Si Qings squinted his eyes.
“I think his future accomplishments will definitely surpass yours. Of course, they’ll probably surpass mine too.”
Gu Yanying smiled. There were probably not a lot of people who understood better than her what kind of circumstances he had started off in and how far he had developed so far. She could feel that on the future stage of the nine provinces, he would definitely play the role of a relatively important character. He might even have the chance to stand with the many kings.
Even right now, a simple clone of his can cause an endless headache for a mighty prince like you.
Even Si Qing became slightly fazed by such a great evaluation from Gu Yanying. “Looks like you really do have a high opinion of this child, but most of the geniuses in the world all end up dying early.” Very soon, I’ll personally nip him in the bud.
“Geniuses who die early aren’t geniuses.”
Back to the stage, Li Qingshan said proudly, “Of course. Stop wasting time. Come at me!”
Wang Luocheng and the seven other school leaders all reached an agreement. “We’ll take down Li Qingshan first!”
Immediately, eight Foundation Establishment cultivators stood up and took out their spiritual and arcane artifacts, surrounding Li Qingshan. All of them were hostile, just lacking hideous grins to constantly express their complacence.
There was a hubbub in the surroundings, but they ignored it. Their thick skin had not been developed in a single day. Some of them were afraid Liu Chuanfeng would not accept the outcome of an unfair battle like this, so they called out, “School leader Liu, don’t forget about our original agreement!”
By now, all Liu Chuanfeng could choose to do was have complete faith in Li Qingshan. He said sternly, “I won’t forget about it.”
“Li Qingshan, I’ve heard about you a long time ago too. I want to thank you for coming up with ideas and reviving our school of Novels. However, there’s a saying that ‘arrogance leads to madness’. You might not have realised it yourself yet, but all mad people are like this. I’d advise you to quickly come to your senses. No matter how powerful you are, you’re merely a toothless tiger right now, so you better give up obediently, just in case we damage the relationship between the schools of Novels.”
Wang Luocheng smiled, wanting to sway Li Qingshan with words.
Li Qingshan smiled too. “It’s fine. Even if I can’t win, I won’t let you win either.”
Wang Luocheng’s expression changed slightly. If Li Qingshan truly launched a wild attack against just him, suffering some injuries would be unavoidable, which would become a great disadvantage in his matches against the other prefectures. So this was what he had been thinking. Wang Luocheng could not help but feel some regret. Why’d I have to be the one who stood forward? Why’d I say so much? He smiled shamefully.
“Don’t misunderstand. All of us discussed and agreed on the matter from before. It’s not just my decision, so there’s no need to place all the blame on me!”
“Really? May I ask who came up with such a wonderful plan then? I’d like to properly thank him!”
Li Qingshan glanced past the faces of the seven other people. They either held their heads high, expressing their innocence, or their gazes wavered, afraid to make eye contact. They were all afraid Li Qingshan would launch a mad and desperate attack and target them.
A guard struck the gong, echoing loudly in the surroundings.
“The match begins!”
Li Qingshan leaned forward. With a bang from below his feet, he produced two holes in the ground. He had already taken off, lunging madly towards Wang Luocheng. He was like a vicious tiger that had emerged from his cage. He was unstoppable!
He truly did not use any techniques or battle skills, but his murderousness tempered through a myriad of battles was faster than any technique or battle skill. He charged straight towards Wang Luocheng.
Wang Luocheng stiffened up as if he saw a beast in human form that wanted to rip him apart alive. Li Qingshan’s eyes shone with scarlet light, piercing him like two sharp swords and leaving him completely fear-stricken!
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