Chapter 663 – The Lotus Seeds Have Already Rotted Away, I Am Still Me
Gu Yanying returned to the Waterside Pavilion of Listening Wind. When she recalled the Exhibition Matches of the Nine Prefectures this time, she still found it extremely interesting. A refreshing fragrance lingered around her nose, and a pretty figure lifted up the curtains, walking out. Qian Rongzhi held a white, porcelain bowl with both hands and smiled.
“Master, you’ve returned!”
“Looks like you didn’t waste this time either.” Gu Yanying’s eyes shone slightly and also smiled.
“Rongzhi would never let down the great lengths master has gone to to nurture me. Please try out my culinary skills.” Qian Rongzhi presented the bowl before Gu Yanying. The lotus seeds were glistening and snow-white, perfectly round and full. There was a small, porcelain spoon in the bowl.
Gu Yanying extended her hand to accept it when Qian Rongzhi suddenly said, “Ah, it’s the wrong bowl!” Tipping her hands gently, the bowl fell and smashed to pieces with a clank. The lotus seeds scattered across the ground.
Gu Yanying was mildly taken aback. Qian Rongzhi had already turned around and returned behind the curtains, emerging again immediately. She held another porcelain bowl in her hand, but when she brought it before Gu Yanying, it was a bowl of pitch-black mud. There was a small, porcelain spoon in the bowl too.
Qian Rongzhi smiled with a hint of cruelty and resolve.
Gu Yanying gazed at her and sighed. She suddenly felt rather exhausted. “Why won’t you give yourself an opportunity for your wounds to heal?”
“Thank you for your kind intentions, master, but it’s already too late. My wounds have already grown fetid, covering my body. If I were to shave away the rotten flesh, then nothing would remain!”
Qian Rongzhi lowered her head slightly, gazing at the bowl of mud. If lotus seeds could not bloom into lotus flowers, then they could only rot away into mud. Just how many despaired lotus seeds did this bowl of mud contain?
Gu Yanying was left momentarily speechless. Fleeing from suffering and sadness and pursuing happiness and joy was the instincts of all creatures. Even the buddha who had attained emptiness and non-self called the world he existed in “great joy”—paradise.
People were most welcome to suffer, but if they understood how they could obtain happiness and joy and possessed the ability to obtain happiness and joy, yet they chose to conquer this instinct, willingly sinking into the mud, refusing to admire the lotus flowers and refusing to search for the lotus seeds, then even the buddha would struggle to bring them salvation.
As a result, Gu Yanying said, “You’ll probably be even more talented with the Illustrations of Naraka than me!”
“Thank you, master.”
“There’s no need to thank me. I originally thought I saw the shadow of my past on you, so I did many boring things. Looks like I was wrong.”
After listening to the Unraging monk’s explanations, Gu Yanying originally believed Qian Rongzhi was extremely suited to practising the Demon Suppression Statuary. Now, as it seemed, that was not true. If she condensed a demon heart, she would only let it develop and go crazy until she entered hysteria, becoming a demon among demons.
“Fortunately.” Qian Rongzhi drank the entire bowl of mud in a single gulp and smiled resplendently. “I am still me!”
Ru Xin returned to benevolence island, passing through the long passageway underground. The white light lit up with her steps, extending into the centre of the underground room.
A man with a very ordinary appearance sat among a pile of books, meditating. He was Chu Tian. Through these several days of hard work, he had managed to squeeze his cultivation back to the second layer of Qi Practitioner.
This speed was basically unforgivably slow to him. One reason for this was because of the many hidden wounds left over from the destruction of his cultivation, and the other reason was because he had insufficient cultivation resources. He could not make bricks without straw.
“Fellow Ru, I need some pills.”
“I’m not your mother. I already give you food and shelter, so am I supposed to give you pills too? Will you show me filial piety in the future? I came to check on you to see whether you died or not. Since you’re not dead, you better just stay here then.”
Chu Tian smiled. “Fellow, you’ve got quite the temper. What happened during the Exhibition Matches of the Nine Prefectures this time?”
Ru Xin was mildly taken aback, noticing there was something wrong with her emotions. There was a ball of flames burning within her, spreading uncontrollably. She waved her hand.
“Alright, I can give you some regular pills, but if they’re too precious, it won’t do.”
Chu Tian bowed slightly. “Thank you. I’ve managed to recall many things recently, which includes a cultivation method that I think is very suitable for you.”
“Really? What’s it called?”
“The Heavenly Tome of Cloud Furnace, one of the Myriad Heavenly Tomes. It incorporates the arts of alchemy, placing your body into an alchemy furnace and practising both qi and the body. Combined with the Daoist Arts of Cloud Furnace, it can lead to endless wonders. Although you’ll have to endure quite a bit of torment and pain when you practise it, it’s definitely worth it. There’s probably only a small fistful of cultivation methods from this world that can compare to it. You can treat this as repayment to you and your master for saving my life.”
“What pills do you want? As long as you don’t go overboard, I can provide all of them to you!”
Ru Xin nodded. The value of a decent cultivation method went without saying to a cultivator, while a cultivation method that could be titled as a “Heavenly Tome” definitely was anything but ordinary. Compared to it, these pills were nothing.
“I do have another request!” Chu Tian pulled out a medical classic from beside him. “Please use the techniques of the school of Medicine to change my appearance. I want to go out and start over!”
Ru Xin remembered something. The school of Medicine did have techniques to change appearances, but they were not frequently used. Not only did it require extremely great skill, but it also touched on the physiognomic fate, so it could not be changed so easily.
And, changing appearances required some extremely-precious materials. One of them was “merfolk muscle”. In short, it was flesh carved from the bodies of Merfolk of the South sea. Only then could the new appearance merge perfectly with the body. There were no regular cultivators who could afford these items.
“Alright. I’ll find a way to gather materials!”
Ru Xin pondered about this for a while. There actually was no need for her to go to the South sea and capture a merfolk or carve flesh from her body. As long as she was willing to pay a great price, she could basically purchase all of these materials. If she really tried to use her flesh, it would be a guaranteed failure, as she was not Merfolk through and through.
Fortunately, she had always been refining pills for Li Qingshan, so she built up quite a sizable sum of resources. Gathering the materials should not be too difficult.
“Then I’ll be waiting here for the news of your success. I’ll definitely pay you back once you help me with this!”
As a result, Chu Tian passed on the Heavenly Tome of Cloud Furnace and the Daoist Arts of Cloud Furnace to Ru Xin before explaining some of the important points. It was so wondrous that it left Ru Xin utterly amazed. The cultivation process was indeed difficult, basically refining herself like a pill. She required a top-of-the-line pill cauldron and even some supplementary materials.
The cultivation process was extremely laborious too. As she endured the pain, she also had to control the interaction between water and fire with great precision. Once the Heavenly Tome of Cloud Furnace was practised to a certain extent, she could turn her body into something akin to jade, making her impervious to damage and maintaining her youth forever. Her lifespan would be much longer than regular cultivators.
In the end, Ru Xin gave a few pills to Chu Tian, and Chu Tian handed a portrait he had personally drawn to Ru Xin. Ru Xin glanced at it and saw a relatively youthful and striking face, but it made her think of something.
“Even if you change your appearance, it’s still possible for her to see through your identity if you don’t change your stature. That woman has a lot of suspicions.”
“I’ll definitely be able to find a way to retrieve what I’ve lost.” Chu Tian smiled faintly, but it was filled with great determination that he would never allow to falter.
In the Qing Xiao dwelling, the Eight Gates Formation of Golden Locks continued to operate mindlessly, guarding an empty dwelling until a figure appeared on the horizon, flying over quickly and landing at the entrance of the dwelling. The formation obviously let him in.
Li Qingshan gently touched the three words “Qing Xiao’s Home” that Xiao An had personally written. He could not help but look in the direction of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, but his gaze obviously struggled to cross the many mountains. As a result, all he could do was look away before recalling everything he had gone through during the past few days.
Sure enough, Si Qing was unable to produce such a great sum of resources. Even when Li Qingshan recalled his expression where he almost went crazy from poverty, he still found it extremely hilarious. In the end, he only barely managed to pay up thirty percent of the spiritual stones, talismans, and pills.
Li Qingshan even wanted to put in a few snide remarks, but Jin Fugui’s gaze stopped him. He said, “You’ll receive what belongs to you sooner or later. The imperial clan won’t leave you unpaid, but you should also know when to stop. Even your master cannot necessarily handle everything. Unless you become a monk in the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, the world still belongs to the imperial clan.”
As a result, Li Qingshan stopped badgering on about this. Everything he had obtained already left him extremely satisfied.
After Jin Fugui took his leave, Si Qing immediately took off, rushing to the Dragon province to explain himself. He did not throw down any threats at Li Qingshan either, just glancing past him indifferently and saying, “Li Qingshan, I admit I’ve underestimated you, but this won’t happen again. One day in the future, I will make you understand just how fortunate it would have been for you to die here today.”
It was filled with absolutely irreconcilable hatred, which even made Han Qiongzhi shiver on the side.
Li Qingshan laughed. “Cut the bullshit. Hurry up and pay me back!” Si Qing left furiously.
Afterwards, Gu Yanying told Li Qingshan in private that Jin Fugui would be reporting this matter to the imperial court. With how prideful the imperial clan was, they would definitely settle Si Qing’s debt for him even if they dismissed him as a prince. The punishment that Si Qing would receive would be slightly heavier too.
Li Qingshan smiled. “With the size and prosperity of the Si clan, they’re obviously not lacking the small bit of change they owe me!” It led to quite a few eye-rolls from Si Bao.
However, Gu Yanying shook her head. “But this might not necessarily be good. The imperial clan is already in enough pain from losing the Asura Field. Now that you’re adding insult to injury, they just need to say something, and you’ll be in great trouble. Bottom lines are not to be crossed!”
Li Qingshan vaguely understood what Jin Fugui was trying to say, but he was not worried. There were two sides to everything, just like how good fortune followed disaster and disaster lurked within good fortune. Surely he could not be interested in receiving benefits while still being afraid of offending anyone.
He would handle the problems as they came. The only thing he was worried about was the imperial clan directly sending a third heavenly tribulation cultivator to wipe him off the face of the world. If that happened, then there truly was nothing else he could do. He could only take off and get out of here.
He also understood what Gu Yanying was trying to say. She was warning him against becoming complacent, just in case he dug a hole for himself.
As a result, Li Qingshan said, “After eating the Fruit of Wisdom. I think I’ve comprehended quite a few more things. I plan on going back and entering secluded cultivation so that I can make a push for Golden Core.”
“If you need anything, you’re most welcome to let me know.”
Gu Yanying nodded. She also had an outstanding debt to Li Qingshan. However, now that Li Qingshan had the identity of the first disciple of the Unraging monk, there was no need for her to hide it so much. She could easily write it off as a form of investment.
Li Qingshan said, “I want to buy a few Virtue Accumulation pills, the more years the better.”