Legend of the Great Saint
Book 3, Chapter 114
Diao Fei originally meant to save it in order to unblock the Yang Linking Meridian and break through to the fourth level of qi refining. But no matter what he couldn’t allow this Thunder Strike Talisman to fall into the hands of a rival. He could only resign himself to part with his beloved treasure.
Li Qingshan said to Diao Fei, “Let me take a look!”
Diao Fei poured the Pearl Dew Pill in his hand. A small medicine pill transparent like a drop of dew released dazzling luster. All the qi refining warriors around them struggled to hide the greed inside their eyes. A top-notch pill could help break through to a new realm at a critical time. It had indeed great uses and wasn’t something qi condensing pills could compare to.
Li Qingshan was suddenly very regretful. Why didn’t he get rid of those two back on the boat. Temptation of the devil, temptation of the devil! He said with a faint smile, “That’s passable.”
Passable? Diao Fei was very dissatisfied with this evaluation. This is a Pearl Dew Pill, you ever seen such a good pill? The other qi refining warriors also thought Li Qingshan was putting on an act.
How could he know that Li Qingshan had not only seen but also eaten many. Only now did he realize increasingly clearer how good Halfmoon had been to him. He didn’t know the names of those pills Halfmoon had given him, but any one among them was much better than this Pearl Dew Pill that sent this group of qi refining warriors into a frenzy of greed. Sigh, how was that gal doing by now?
A black spirit cat lying in a serene blue embrace sneezed ten thousand miles away. A jade hand gently caressed her fur glossy like flowing moonlight.
A soft and gentle voice anxiously said, “Little Moon, did you catch a cold?” She tightened her embrace at the same time and hugged Halfmoon close in her arms.
“I’m a cat monster, can cat monsters catch a cold? Use your head a little, meowstress!” Halfmoon struggled with all her might but couldn’t manage to get away.
“As long as you’re fine. Your body is too weak, come, better eat a pill!” Slender jade fingers took a spiritual pill and sent it to Halfmoon’s mouth. A pure and limpid spiritual light sparkled within as if it were crystal. Compared to it, qi condensing pills were pills of mud, and Pearl Bead Pills were stones.
“Not eating not eating not eating!” Halfmoon shook her head left and right, struggling even more.
“Alright alright alright, not eating not eating.” She took back the spiritual pill, her pampering voice a little helpless. Just like a mother seeing her most beloved child, even her unruliness became a wonderful virtue in her eyes.
Halfmoon raised her head. She suddenly felt sad when she looked at that beautiful mien that seemed still clotted with sorrow even when faintly smiling. She’d caught her after escaping, but there hadn’t been a single word of scolding coming from her mouth. Instead she showered her with even more heartfelt care, such as illuminating her with moonlight or using endless amounts of spiritual pills. She was the one allowed her to transform into a monster capable of changing into a human shape from a small trivial spiritual cat.
Her heart suddenly remembered that tall figure carrying her on his back as he climbed that ice cliff in the middle of endless snow and wind, shedding two crystalline trails for her. I’m probably not a good pet!
Just like how a child could only understand the mind of a parent after having a child themselves, understand after investing time and effort how much it’d taken for them to obtain everything they’d obtained.
“Mistress, I’ll tell you a story!”
“Alright, I most like listening to Halfmoon telling stories!”
Mountains and clouds spread for ten thousand miles outside the windows. Two exotic beasts dragged the carriage, stamping over the sky.
Back to Blessed Peace, Li Qingshan had already gone back to his own room. He leisurely lay on his bed and calculated the day’s profits.
More that fifty qi condensing pills, enough for his cultivation to break through to the third layer of the [Innate Qi Refining Secrets] during these three days, while that Pearl Bead Pill could be used to break through to the fourth level of the [Innate Qi Refining Secrets]. That was precisely the boundary between the first and second levels of qi refining, the unblocking of the first meridian.
Hence, Li Qingshan closed the door and once again began closed-door cultivation. This behavior of his was actually very commonly seen. Many qi refining warriors would use these three days on the eve of the battle to polish their spears and make their ultimate preparations, not stepping a single step outside the door.
Fifty qi condensing pills big and small went down his belly one by one. More than half of it was transformed into monster power, and the rest became a true qi pure to the extreme. He couldn’t expose his true form and take look at the result, but Li Qingshan was confident his monster incarnation had become even taller and more majestic. It would be very hard to attain the same speed even if he were to live in seclusion inside the mountains, breathing in and out that spiritual qi between heaven and earth. The cultivation speed of monsters and demons was indeed far from matching that of humans. This was nature’s sorrow, but Li Qingshan strove his best to use the ways of mankind to make up for this shortcoming.
Pills could be of assistance for cultivation, but they polluted true qi with dirt and made it lose its purity. Common qi refining warriors had to think of ways to temper their true qi in addition to refining medicinal power, hence the time they had to spend would naturally be much longer. Li Qingshan had the assistance from the Sumeru ring however, sparing him from this process, imperceptibly saving him who knew how much time. It actually increased the speed of his cultivation.
Li Qingshan quietly sat in meditation inside his room. Three days went past all of a sudden. He’d broken through the third layer of the [Innate Qi Refining Secrets] only after taking twenty four pills in one go, an amount that many a qi refining warrior would use during a whole year. He still wanted to continue cultivating at first, but the time of the contest had come and he had no choice but to stand up and go out. He noticed that a drizzle had unknowingly started to fall down from the sky.
He came to the location of the contest with the guidance of a green-robed attendant, a limestone plaza. The rules were very simple: the qi refining warriors were to go up one by one and duel. The winner went on and the loser was eliminated, all the way until the last 3. Those would be Eagle Wolf guards.
A crimson pavilion with cornices supported by interlocked beams stood at the end of the plaza, its color a little dimmed by the soak of the rain. Many silhouettes could be faintly discerned in that pavilion. The pitch black of the dark wolf uniform was a color Li Qingshan was familiar with. Li Qingshan finally had his first glimpse of this place’s genuine masters after coming here for three days.
Apart from the Eagle Wolf guards, there also a few persons wearing everyday clothes leaning on the railings, very relaxedly conversing and laughing among themselves, fruits and pastries were arranged to the side. They simply seemed to be watching a good show, or perhaps one could say a gambling party.
Because Li Qingshan clearly heard them talk about the degree of strength or weakness of the qi refining warriors, talk about how much money they’d gambled, so free and easy they seemed to be talking about racing horses or fighting dogs.
A Dark Wolf guard with a brandy nose held a list of names with the cultivation levels and life information of each and every qi refining warriors on it. “The two third level qi refining warriors are bound to be in the last three, the only thing worth betting on is which one out of the second level qi refining warriors can rise about others.”
The Dark Wolf guard beside him said softly while leaning on a pillar, “I bet it’ll be that woman.”
“Brandy Nose” looked at the list of names. “Qian Rongzhi? Why? Her strength can’t be said to be formidable.”
“A feeling,” said this Dark Wolf guard with a smile. He didn’t leak anything out, but his eyes were looking inside the pavilion.
“Brandy Nose” seemed to come to some sudden realization. He also started to smile in tacit understanding.
That Eagle Wolf guard suddenly said, “Hey, look at that kid, the one who’s looking at us right now, the one at the first layer of qi refining. We might as well bet when he’s going to die!”
“Then I’ll bet on his first fight.”
Two men sat face to face inside the pavilion. They could clearly see through the muslin curtains and observe the view of the field. A pot of green tea sat on the table, its clear fragrance permeating the entire room. Two beautiful maids stood beside.
One of them had a slightly plump body and wore the Dark Eagle uniform on him. He was precisely the Dark Eagle captain of Blessed Peace, Zhuo Zhibo. His eyes were narrowed into slits as he said smiling, “Lord Zhou, let us also have a small bet to cultivate our minds, how do you say?” He still seemed of middle age, but his real age was at least over sixty. The reason he looked much younger was because he’d unblocked the four great Yin and Yang meridians and then broken through the Belt meridian, condensing a sea of qi.
Lord Zhou seemed even younger, looking not even thirty yet. He was dressed from head to toes like a scholar. A few strands of a long beard added a little gravitas to his appearance. He seemed just like an elegant scholar having gone through the great upheavals of life. He smiled and waved his hand, saying, “Not betting not betting. Wouldn’t I be making a rod for my own back if I were to bet with you in your domain?” There was no smile inside him however. This guy was again showing off his martial strength, it was truly too repulsive.
In Blessed Peace, there was naturally only the county magistrate Zhou Wenbin who could sit on equal footing with Zhuo Zhibo. There had never been any place in the world where two people with equivalent authority could become affectionate and intimate. The two of them both had things they feared however, hence they divided their labors as not to encroach on each other’s territory for the sake of preserving a superficial peace. Nevertheless they would still seize every opportunity to show off their own strength to the other party.
Zhou Wenbin ended up taking the register at Zhuo Zhibo’s repeated requests. Then he saw a name and an idea flashed in his mind. “Captain Zhuo, there’s even a first level qi refining warrior this time?”
“There’s someone who doesn’t know life from death every year.” Zhuo Zhibo had likewise noticed this strange type long ago, but he hadn’t taken it to heart. Not to mention anything else, the difference in strength was really too great. Wang Pushi had reprimanded him because of Feng Zhang and told him someone was coming to report for duty, but he’d simply not mentioned Li Qingshan’s name at all. Or perhaps even Wang Pushi thought that Li Qingshan didn’t have the ability to make off with his small life when faced with Feng Zhang. Moreover this was several months ago.
Zhou Wenbin concealed his smile. He didn’t have Zhuo Zhibo’s influence in Blessed Peace, but he came from Clear River City and he’d studied at the classic halls of the Hundred Schools of Thoughts. His connections and information network were much more efficient, and his memory was also very good. He faintly remembered a certain friend in Clear River City once mentioning an entertaining anecdote in a letter. There was a name mentioned on it, it seemed the surname was Li.
White Eagle Captain Gu Yanying was the woman with the greatest power and the greatest authority in the Ruyi region, the dream lover of every man. There was no one who wasn’t be tempted as long as they saw her. They could only drool about her however, unable to get any closer, but every information about her was a topic people discussed with enthusiasm, just like for the superstars in Li Qingshan’s former world.
Moreover, Clear River City’s old Wang had even lashed out at this old friend Zhuo Zhibo because of this matter, hence it had been even worth for him remembering the aftertastes of this interesting affair.
“Then I’ll bet ten spirit stones on this little lad. To dare come apply with a strength at the first level of qi refining, he certainly has something he can rely on to rise from obscurity and become an Eagle Wolf guard.”
Zhuo Zhibo’s eyes shrank. He said smiling, “And you were still saying you don’t like gambling. Isn’t this betting instinct of yours even greater than mine?”
A group of people stood above, betting on the life and death of people below. A group of people stood below, becoming the gambling stakes of people above. Qi refining didn’t change mankind’s urge for gambles. Fighting with each others and vying for supremacy, these primitive instincts merely manifested themselves in a somewhat different manner when embodied by mankind.
Li Qingshan stood beside the field, a group of qi refining warriors brimming with hostility against him. No one thanked him for selling them talismans and increasing their odds of victory; they merely hated him for seizing the opportunity for extorting them. Those who couldn’t buy any also harbored a grudge against him because their opponents had increased in strength. There was even less of a need to mention those who’d mocked him and then been mocked by him in turn.
TN: WordPress updates seemed to have bugged the Table of Contents, so it can’t be updated for now until my friend admin finds some time to take a look at it.