Legend of the Great Saint
Book 3, Chapter 113
Li Qingshan ate the two qi condensing pills left once he went inside his room. However the [Innate Qi Refining Secrets] was also harder the higher one cultivated, and the feeling of growth wasn’t very obvious anymore this time even with the two pills. Of course, one couldn’t not mention the snatching and tempering from the monster core and the Sumeru ring.
He wasn’t aware that Qian Rongzhi also had come to the great hall after his departure. She lowered her head when she saw Diao Fei and concealed the hatred in her eyes before also leaving her name behind. She thought Diao Fei had been the one to kill Qian Rongming; one who could kill a qi refining warrior was naturally another qi refining warrior. She didn’t go ask however.
Diao Fei was innocent but he didn’t offer any explanation either. It would look as if he were afraid of her if he did.
Li Qingshan went to the rear hall at noon. It was more or less fully filled with people sitting there. The exquisite pear wood tables were so smooth they could reflect a man’s face. A faint flowery fragrance came from somewhere. Every window was open, and outside the windows were garden views resembling landscape paintings quiet and beautiful in their extreme elegance.
Pleasing dishes were carried out one after another and laid on long tables. Everyone could help themselves to them, like the buffets of his former world. But the quality of the food was actually very good, comparable to the Manchu Han imperial feast of the legends1. Li Qingshan had eaten quite a few dishes made by so-called great chefs on his way out of Suncheer, but they were simply apprentices compared to this Eagle Wolf Guard chef. Many dishes made from rare and precious ingredients spread all over the long tables.
Li Qingshan understood increasingly better why so many qi refining warriors wanted to join the Eagle Wolf Guard. Not to mention anything else, just the food was an enjoyment fit for kings and emperors. He ate without restraint, once again attracting quite a few supercilious looks. Many qi refining warriors came from great clans or sects, so they naturally wouldn’t be so inexperienced in the ways of the world like him. Even if Li Qingshan was already keeping a lid on the amount of food he took in order to make him appear like a human, others still secretly despised him as a hungry ghost.
Li Qingshan was in the middle of eating a dish made from some unknown fish when a figure flashed in front of him. Diao Fei sat opposite him and organized his words. “Your aura restraining technique is very brilliant. I couldn’t tell anything at first.” He seemed to be much more relaxed now and not so much on his guards, perhaps because he was confident no one would dare violate the rules of the Eagle Wolf Guard.
Li Qingshan said with a smile, “It’s mostly because I’m too weak!”
Diao Fei’s mouth twitched. One who could kill a qi refining warrior of the second level with no sound or breath and leave only a frightful skeleton behind, could he truly be weak? He had suspicions Li Qingshan cultivated techniques from the way of the demons, hence he didn’t want to expose himself to others. Pity that Qian Rongming who believed he was a genuine pushover and tossed his life away therein.
Li Qingshan said, “Looking at your appearance, it must not be your first time here!”
Diao Fei said, “Keen vision, this is my second time.”
Then he fell silent.
Li Qingshan said, “Right, do you have qi condensing pills?”
Diao Fei said, “Of course I do, why?” Qi refining pills were the most commonly used pills by qi refining warriors. If talking about precious of course they were very precious, but they were very commonly seen.
Li Qingshan wiped his mouth and pushed the tableware to one side. “How about you sell them to me?”
Diao Fei said, “If you’re talking about silver, then I’ll have to excuse myself.”
It indeed wasn’t outside of Li Qingshan’s expectations. Mundane silver and gold were already mostly meaningless for qi refining warriors.
Li Qingshan said, “Of course it’s not silver, I’m talking about talismans.”
“What!” Diao Fei was astounded. There wasn’t any qi refining warrior who didn’t carry a few talismans on them. Even more so for this contest for which he’d made the most ample of preparations. These were qi refning warriors’ trump cards, or even a second life for them. Selling talismans on the eve of the contest was the same as selling the weapons on one’s hand before the start of the war, it was simply outrageously unimaginable.
Li Qingshan immediately took out all the talismans from the Hundred Treasures Bag and spread them on the table one by one. He was also very confident in the security offered by the Eagle Wolf Guard. He asked, “How about it?”
This immediately attracted the eyes of everyone inside the hall, not only Diao Fei.
Diao Fei’s breathing marked a faint pause. Apart from two dreg-level talismans, the others were all low-quality, and the most surprising was that there was even a medium-quality Thunder Strike Talisman. This was a divine item that could overturn the tide and transform defeat into victory at a crucial moment! Even a qi refining warrior of the third level would sustain heavy injuries with a slight moment of carelessness, or even be directly killed.
“One talisman for one pill.” Diao Fei immediately stretched his hand to take the talismans. He could be guaranteed to obtain victory as long as he had these talismans.
Li Qingshan took the talismans back and said with a faint smile, “This price seems a little low.”
“I’m offering fifteen qi condensing pills to buy all your talismans.” A green-clothed qi refining warrior beside them suddenly opened his mouth. He was young but wore luxurious clothes. One could see at a glance he came from an influential clan.
Li Qingshan spread out his hands at Diao Fei and said, “Look, someone raised the price.” The reason he chose to do business in a public area with many people present was precisely because he was unaware of standard prices.
Just as this qi refining warrior’s voice fell, someone else said, “I bid fifteen qi condensing pills for a single talisman of yours.”
Li Qingshan was a little flabbergast. He looked at that talisman in his hands. He knew spiritual qi was richest on such a talisman, but he still didn’t think it could be worth so many qi condensing pills.
Many qi refining warriors surrounded them. Their eyes each glittered with bright light. Li Qingshan was confident he would already be under siege were it not for them being inside the Eagle Wolf Guard. Now no one even dared to say malicious words to his face. There were even two people among those who’d mocked him earlier who thickened their facial skins and came forward as well.
That qi refining warrior who’d directly clashed with Li Qingshan cursed a “moron” in a low voice, his face unsightly as his heart became all the more vicious. “Let’s see how you die without these talismans.”
How would he know Li Qingshan’s intentions. He was simply not planning on participating in this contest at all. His brain would have to be flooded with water before he became ignorant of how to use the promise Wang Pushi made to him. Li Qingshan had enough trump cards in his hands in any case, hence these few talismans simply didn’t amount to much at all. The most important thing was to exchange them with spiritual pills and quickly transform them into his own strength.
Li Qingshan stood up and said in a loud voice, “Everyone please be calm. I’ll sell all these talismans, they will go to the highest bidder. We exchange pills in one hand and talismans in the other, fair trade for young and old alike. First is this Clear Breeze Talisman…” He separated the talismans on hand by levels following the amount of spiritual qi on them, from the weakest to the strongest. Then he actually started an impromptu auction on the spot.
The green-clothed attendants in the hall raised their eyebrows one and all, but no one interfered. They’d just really never seen talismans being sold in this place.
Someone immediately answered, “I bid one qi condensing pill.”
Li Qingshan said, “Is there someone offering more?” Someone offered three only after he asked for a while, and no one offered another bid after that. It looked like dreg-level talismans weren’t very valued by qi refining warriors. He collected three qi condensing pills and exchanged them for the talisman.
In fact, the price of this talisman was already far superior to its normal value. It would be difficult to obtain even a single qi refining pill in ordinary times, because everyone clearly knew that spiritual pills that could raise one’s fundamental strength were the way of kings compared to these external aids.
But the situation was reversed at such times. You couldn’t immediately enhance your strength no matter how many qi condensing pills you had. One more talisman, even a dreg-level one, could instantly lift your strength by a little and offer a little more guarantee in the contest to come. If you didn’t buy them yourself, they could very possibly be obtained by your opponents and become tools to defeat or even kill you. Even the lowest-level dreg talisman could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
On one side was a beautiful future awaiting after joining the Eagle Wolf Guard, and on the other side was the wretched misery of death or defeat. They truly couldn’t help but give it their all.
The atmosphere gradually heated up when Li Qingshan started selling low-quality talismans. The amount of qi condensing pills started to surpass five. Li Qingshan obtained nearly fifty qi condensing pills by the time he sold all the talismans except for the medium-quality Thunder Strike Talisman. He found out that the size of qi condensing pills wasn’t always identical. There were many that were only as big as peanuts, and one porcelain bottle could store more than a dozen of them.
It turned out that spiritual pills weren’t perfectly round pills when they were refined, but paste-shaped. Then pill refining masters would process them into pills according to the norm. Pills coming from pill refining masters without enough ability would have a weaker medicinal quality, so they had to make them a little bigger in order to ensure consistency in medicinal quality and adhere to the standards for qi condensing pills.
Many qi refining warriors hadn’t offered a single bid from beginning to end. Their eyes suddenly lit up when Li Qingshan took out the last medium-quality talisman.
“Ten qi condensing pills.”
The price broke through all previous records in an instant. This talisman was a talisman that could genuinely influence the tide of battle. It was also what Qian Rongming had counted on to challenge qi refining warriors at the third level. Whoever obtained this talisman would see their odds of success rise by at least a third. Many of them were determined to obtain it.
Li Qingshan’s face beamed in delight. It would be very easy to break through to the third layer of the [Innate Qi Refining Secrets] with the help of these qi condensing pills. He suddenly turned his head around and saw Qian Rongzhi stand in front of the door, watching him with a face full of venom. She of course very clearly knew what talismans Qian Rongming had in his hands.
Li Qingshan gave a faint cold smile. He didn’t get his way by bullying, hence he just came to kill. There was nothing to pity about Qian Rongming’s demise. If this woman didn’t know discretion, then he didn’t mind sending her to see Qian Rongming again and be his companion on the road to the netherworld.
“I bid one pill.” Diao Fei suddenly opened his mouth after staying silent for a long while. He was greatly regretful at this moment. It would have been so much better if he’d traded with Li Qingshan back on the boat instead, why did he have to come to this step.
The whole hall became quiet and everyone looked at Diao Fei. The one who’d offered the highest bid right now coldly said, “You can’t be joking right?” He was likewise a qi refining warrior of the third level and saw Diao Fei as a rival.
Diao Fei took out a porcelain bottle with extreme reluctance. “I bid one Pearl Dew Pill.”
“What, Pearl Dew Pill!” The crowd of qi refining warriors went into an uproar. It seemed this Pearl Dew Pill had quite a renown. Li Qingshan exposed much curiosity. He wasn’t aware that the value of a Pearl Dew Pill was truly too much above that of a medium-quality talisman.
The qi condensing pill was definitely not a top-notch medicine pill. However the ingredients it required were relatively easy to gather, the refining process was also relatively easy, and the medicinal quality was more or less stable as well. Those were the reasons it became popular and widespread, turning into an essential cultivation product for the great majority of qi refining warriors. The goal it pursued was decent quality at a bargain price.
There were in fact many better medicine pills. The only reason they were comparatively rare was perhaps because a certain ingredient was very difficult to collect, or perhaps because they required great skills from the pill refining master. However refining one of the them was comparable to several dozen qi condensing pills.
- The Manchu Han imperial feast was a grand feast during the Qing dynasty that occurred for three whole days and comprised of over 300 dishes. Held in honor of the Kangxi Emperor’s 66th birthday, as a way to resolve tension between the Han and the Manchu people after the conquest of China by the Manchus.