Chapter 65 – Climbing High and Seeing Far
After killing the three evils of Yao, Li Qingshan rushed through the forest, no longer hindered by anything. If he came across a river, he would cross it. If he came across a mountain, he would traverse it. His usage of the Tiger Demon’s Fist of Bone Forging became even more ingenious. He arrived below the eastern rock face of the Dragon’s Gate mountain in under two hours. The tall mountain stood like a sharp sword before him. After a moment of consideration, he sped up and rushed towards the rock face.
Since he was several hundred meters in the air, fierce wind whistled in his ears, but he ignored it completely. His eyes narrowed as he nervously searched the rock face for something he could grab. Even if it were the slightest protrusion, he could use it for grip, and when there was nothing for him to grip onto, he would just viciously grab at the smooth surface.
If the precipice was rotated ninety degrees, then Li Qingshan would have his back hunched and all four limbs against the ground, just like a tiger. Aside from that, it would seem like he really was on flat land, moving about freely and easily. Only he knew that he was basically treading on thin ice, facing constant danger. Even the slightest mistake would make him fall from several hundred meters in the air. Even with his tough muscles and bones, his body would still shatter. This was no less dangerous than when he had rushed into the Black Wind stronghold alone.
However, he was fearless. Instead, it got his blood pumping. The extreme danger squeezed out all of the potential in his body. His mind, his willpower, and his might had reached unprecedented levels.
He finally understood the joys of the mountaineers who risked their lives to scale great cliffs, and he realized why people would like extreme sports. Challenging difficulties and dangers to achieve what others could not achieve had always been the nature and instincts of hot-blooded men.
He ignored the constant signals of exhaustion from his body, as well as the creaking of his bones from overwork. He overburdened his body, which instead gave him a delight similar to releasing his soul. He felt like he was flying.
Suddenly, a ravine appeared before him. He leapt as hard as he could, and only when he saw the various structures did he realise that this was not a ravine, but the peak of a mountain. The world tilted in his eyes once more, and he landed on the cliff on his knees. He stood up and back. The mountains were as numerous as beasts in a herd.
The tiny Qingyang city was located in the embrace of the herd as if it were constantly in danger of being ripped to shreds. This was not a world where people could live peacefully. It was filled with unimaginable danger.
He had once had countless complaints about the years he spent in the Crouching Ox village. He missed the comfortable room of his former life, his easy lifestyle where he could eat various things and spend an entire day in front of the computer. Even after the black ox had appeared and granted him supposedly great power, he had been hesitating inside, comparing the two lifestyles to see which one was better.
Only tonight did he suddenly find the answer, severing his last shred of doubt. Spreading his arms as if he were hugging the world, he said, “This is the life I want! Here is the wonderland of adventurers!”
The chilly winds buffeted the teenager’s clothes. On this cliff, he brought an end to the matters of his past life and the old dream that haunted him for fifteen years.
I am Li Qingshan, the Li from wood and child, and the Qingshan from sufficient are the green mountains overgrown.1
Xiao An also crawled out from the porcelain jar and stared at Li Qingshan blankly. Although Xiao An did not know what he was thinking, he seemed to be able to feel Li Qingshan’s resolve. He thought to himself, No matter which path you take, I will walk to the end of it with you!
Li Qingshan turned around with resolution and made his way towards the structures. That was where the Dragon’s Gate sect resided.
It was already quite late, but lantern light still illuminated the Soaring Dragon hall of the Dragon’s Gate sect.
The sect master, Yang Anzhi, sat at the front, and beside him was the pale-faced Yang Jun who was filled with resentment. The elders and core disciples formed two rows on the sides. All of their faces were sunken, and none of them uttered a word.
Even the roaring flames of a forge could not warm up their hearts.
Li Qingshan had destroyed the Black Wind stronghold. This piece of news weighed on everyone’s chests like a boulder. The Dragon’s Gate sect was still rather impressive. Li Qingshan had only returned to Qingyang city at dusk, and by night, they had already received the news. It was fast.
Yang Jun roared with a twisted face, “This is impossible! It must be a rumor! It has only been a day. It’s not like the Black Wind stronghold is made out of paper! How could they be destroyed?!”
“Jun’er, don’t say anything more. It’s Qingyang city that raised an army, and Liu Hong and Huang Binghu worked together, so it’s no surprise that the Black Wind stronghold was destroyed. However, I never thought it would happen so quickly!” Yang Anzhi truly lived up to his position as a sect master. Despite the major news, he managed to maintain much of his composure.
An elder said, “Never had I thought that Liu Hong and Huang Binghu would work together to help this kid. Senior brother, what do we do now? Many of the aristocrats have summoned back their descendants.”
“What help that kid? They did it for the Black Wind stronghold’s wealth and treasure. They’re not going to spare the Dragon’s Gate sect. This is basically an unprecedented disaster for our Dragon’s Gate sect!”
The Dragon’s Gate sect had been established for many years. Although it had never been a large sect of the jianghu, it possessed a very deep foundation in the region of Qingyang. The combination of martial arts and authority formed the absolute power for domination. Right now, it was like the local tyrant who had it easy had suddenly received the news that the world was rebelling against them. It felt like the world was ending.
“Senior brother, I’ve been saying since a very long time ago to restrain our disciples; we needed to prevent them from running freely. This will end up provoking powerful enemies sooner or later, leading to a great disaster for our Dragon’s Gate sect.” Although the disciplinary elder was speaking to Yang Anzhi, he looked at Yang Jun. The others showed resentment as well.
“You old coot, what the hell are you saying? Your stupid son raped someone’s wife and daughter, and when they came knocking, who was it that stood up for him?!” Yang Jun was aggravated. Normally, he would have never spoken to his seniors like this, but now that he had suddenly lost his martial arts and the Dragon’s Gate sect that had always protected him might be done for, his mindset changed. He no longer cared about the consequences.
“You!” The disciplinary elder’s face became bright red.
“All of you shut up!” Yang Anzhi’s voice reverberated through the hall. His inner force could not be underestimated. “Is now the time for us to bicker between us? No matter what has happened in the past, the priority right now is for us to handle this crisis. I’ve already sent disciples to guard the mountain path and to spread news by lighting beacons. If anyone launches a large scale attack on the mountain, it’ll be impossible to hide from us. If we really can’t stop them, then we can only retreat through the secret tunnel in the ancestral hall first with our belongings, abandoning the Dragon’s Gate mountain and conserving our strength.”
At the end of the day, the Dragon’s Gate sect was still a sect that had remained for many generations. Apart from the young masters of those aristocrats, they had many other loyal disciples who would serve them with devotion. However, these disciples never would have imagined that their sect master was already ready to abandon them.
Abandon the Dragon’s Gate mountain! Everyone in the hall was shocked. They had already thought of this worst-case scenario, but now that they had suddenly heard it, they found it difficult to accept.
“I’m only talking about the worst-case scenario, and it’s a temporary measure. I’ve already sent messages to all of the other fellow practitioners of martial arts in the martial arts society, whether they are righteous or evil. Everyone knows about the spiritual ginseng already. Before long, Qingyang city will be filled with people of the jianghu. Not only will that kid be dead for sure, but it’s likely that Liu Hong and Huang Binghu will meet an untimely end as well. We only need to conserve our strength, and before long, we’ll make a comeback.”
“Impressive planning, sect master Yang!” Li Qingshan pushed open the heavy doors and stepped into the hall along with the frigid wind and snow. His gaze stabbed straight at Yang Anzhi. “I had thought you would flee, but I don’t have to worry now. It doesn’t matter whether I’m dead for sure, but you sure are.” It was as if he treated the hall full of people as lambs waiting to be slaughtered.
1. Li in Chinese is 李. If you haven’t realised it yet, Chinese is filled with homophones, characters that sound similar or exactly the same but hold completely different meanings. As a result, breaking up a character by its radicals is common in order to convey what word it is. 李 is composed of wood, 木, and child, 子, hence the Li from wood and child. As mentioned in chapter 1, his name, Qingshan, means green mountains, which is derived from the poem.