Legend of the Great Saint
Book 3, Chapter 116
Zhou Zhibo’s brows wrinkled tight. His eyes when he looked once more at Li Qingshan became more careful. Li Qingshan’s casual attitude seemed to fit this conjecture.
The carcass of the dead qi refining warrior had already been carried away at this time, and the sequence of the contest once again rearranged. A Dark Wolf guard personally came down and took charge.
The qi refining warriors both envied and loathed Li Qingshan, but they didn’t dare speak too much nonsense. This guy was an Eagle Wolf guard starting from now on, not an existence that could be casually provoked.
The Dark Wolf guards on the pavilion also each harbored their own thoughts as they looked at Li Qingshan with contemptuous or perhaps inquisitive eyes. Arrogant newcomers weren’t well liked no matter the community. Not to mention, it was tantamount to Li Qingshan taking the place of a former colleague of theirs, Feng Zhang, and he only had a strength at the first level of qi refining to begin with, hence it made them even more disdainful. Quite a few of them were considering how to teach a lesson to this kid from the mountains who didn’t know the vastness of the sky and the depths of the land.
Li Qingshan stood just like this under the pavilion, watching the field with an attitude even more relaxed than that of the gambling Eagle Wolf guards, as if the many gazes thrown his way were nothing at all. He found out that standing outside the field and watching them kill each others was indeed better than being on the field and seen as a gambling pawn.
Two qi refining warriors walked to the centre of the field, separated by a distance of ten steps.
The one on the left was aged above twenty, dressed in green casual clothes with a clean white beardless face. He stood empty-handed without any weapon on him. Li Qingshan remembered he’d bought two talismans from him, one bottom-level and one lower-quality, hence he clearly had a little wealth. He probably came from an aristocratic family.
The one on the right was much older, at least thirty to forty years old, dressed in gray close-fitting clothes with a very prominent red scar on his face. He brimmed with a swift and fierce aura from head to toes, a sword hanging at his waist. If he wasn’t guessing wrong, this should be a former martial artist who’d transformed his internal strength into true qi.
Both of them were at the second level of qi refining. Li Qingshan couldn’t judge on the spot which one was stronger and which one weaker. That green-clothed qi refining warrior certainly had a few talismans with decent power in his hands. He held the advantage when it came to assets, but his experience in real combat ought to be lacking, and even if he had some it would mostly be through bullying the weak from a position of strength.
That gray-clothed qi refining warrior had killed his way out of wilderness of the martial world with genuine swords and spears. His fighting experience was certainly extremely rich. Moreover Yan Song once said that those who came from a martial art background were often stronger among lower level qi refining warriors.
The two of them confronted each other inside the drizzle. A clang rang up. The first fight began.
The gray-clothed qi refining warrior moved his body and became a beam of gray light rushing toward that green-clothed qi refining warrior. He pulled out his sword at the same time, the entire movement smooth and natural, flowing into one whole. One moment they were still ten steps apart, the next moment a sword glinting with cold sharp light stabbed its way toward the green-clothed qi refining warrior’s throat.
Li Qingshan cried out in praise inside his mind. Indeed worthy of someone coming from a former martial artist.
The green-clothed qi refining warrior stayed calm and collected. He unfolded his arms like a great bird gliding in the sky and stepped backwards. He revolved the true qi in his body and moved his hands. A ball of fire as big as a fist shot out.
Li Qingshan immediately focused all of his attention. He’d already learned from Yan Song that true qi wasn’t a simple enhancement. Apart from increasing speed and reinforcing strength, it could also allow one to use many mystical spells. Those talismans consisted in essence of spells sealed into symbols that could be triggered at any time.
The heat from the ball of fire vaporized the rain until even the ground became dry, sizzling a cloud of white steam. The might of the fireball was obvious for all to see. It would probably instantly ignite a body of flesh and bones into a torch at the first touch.
The gray-clothed qi refining warrior seemed to fear it very much, but he didn’t panic in the least. He used a profound footwork, his body shaking east and swaying west, and actually bypassed the ball of fire by a hundredth of a hair. His hair and eyebrows were singed into a mess, but his speed didn’t slow down much.
The green-clothed man exposed nervousness on his face. He’d obviously underestimated the vigor of a former martial artist struggling with his life on the line. His chess opening to force the gray-clothed man back and open the distance between them came to nothing. The true qi inside his body hadn’t recovered yet and he didn’t have time to use the next spell. He clenched his teeth and took out a talisman then slapped it on his body. A breeze rose from under his feet, immediately increasing his speed by a great margin.
Li Qingshan understood then that the might of a spell was high, but the speed of use wasn’t. It would have been alright if he’d met with a qi refining warrior the same as him, since their reaction speeds would both be limited, but it was more than he could handle now that he met a former martial artist.
The green-clothed qi refining warrior pulled away, ball after ball of fire coming from his hands. Great patches of white mist soared from the field. Suddenly a fire ball flew in Li Qingshan’s direction. A wind blade slashed through the air just as he was about to dodge and cut the ball of fire. Waves of heat assaulted forth and flapped Li Qingshan’s clothes in jitters.
Li Qingshan looked up. A Dark Wolf guard sheathed his blade back in its scabbard, coldly snorting in contempt when he saw Li Qingshan look his way.
The gray-clothed qi refining warrior looked miserably battered from head to toes in the wide stretch of steam, traces of roasting singes all over his body, but none of them were lethal. He locked onto the green-clothed qi refining warrior with both viciousness and cautiousness, not letting him go away.
Instead the green-clothed man became frenetic from the exhaustion of his true qi. The duration of bottom-level talismans was extremely limited and the breeze under his feet was gradually dissipating. He hurriedly took out a low-quality talisman.
Li Qingshan faintly shook his head. The outcome was already set. The right way would have been to use a power to overwhelm the opponent right at the start. This kind of wishy-washy wouldn’t do. He could also understand him however; one talisman used was one less talisman, and the chances for future victory would be be lower the more they were used at the beginning. It was very possible to come out empty-handed in the end, having only wasted talismans of considerable value instead.
A stern light flashed inside the gray-clothed man’s eyes. He’d also imperceptibly taken out a talisman in his left hand.
The talisman tore to shred and suddenly transformed into a patch of white light so dazzling one couldn’t keep the eyes open. The qi refining warriors on the sides turned their heads away one and all.
Li Qingshan actually clearly saw from outside the field that this talisman was a mere bottom-level on. It couldn’t cause any injury apart from blinding the eyes.
That green-clothed man’s spirit became flustered however, and a slight stiffness appeared on his body because of the fear.
In a fight between masters, one vied for but the slightest advantage.
Light flashed then died down just as fast, flashing together with the glint of a sword. Senseless gurgling sounds came from mouth of the green-clothed qi refining warrior. An iron sword flashing with spiritual light was impaled in his throat. His eyes were filled with unwillingness. He still had many talismans he didn’t use, and the one to win would definitely have been him if he’d used these talismans right at the start. Two trails of tears spilled from the corner of his eyes, drowned by remorse and death.
The Dark Wolf guard proclaimed in a loud voice, “Single Feat Liu wins!” He didn’t even mention the name of green-clothed man. You might amaze the world with a single feat, or you might die in nameless obscurity.
Rich fighting experience and decision-making became the keys to victory.
Li Qingshan understood even better that whether talismans or spells, they were used by men. A sheep was a sheep even if it had the fangs of a wolf.
It was unfortunate however that Single Feat Liu ultimately failed to amaze the world with a single feat. He encountered a third level master in the second round already, but fortunately he took an early opportunity to admit defeat and avoided throwing his life away in vain.
Thin strands of rain fell from a hazy sky. The contest progressed match by match. Not every match saw someone dead; you could admit defeat if you weren’t a match and the opposite side couldn’t pressure you too aggressively. At long last that could be seen as a little attempt by the Eagle Wolf Guard to reduce casualties.
What qi refining warriors employed were too formidable however, whether talismans or spells. Almost everyone had a strong offense and a weak defense, and oftentimes the possibility for admitting defeat simply didn’t exist. Being hit by a single move was a straight road to death. One walked but a thin line between victory and defeat, between life and death.
Four corpses already lay at the sidelines by the end of the second round. Noble qi refining warriors lay on mud without the slightest living breath just like this. Li Qingshan suddenly felt it was very stupid. They had everything before already, everything ordinary people couldn’t obtain in an entire lifetime, but they came to a risk for the sake of obtaining even more and thereby threw away their lives.
Then he suddenly remembered, wasn’t he also the same? He couldn’t very well say he followed his grand dreams and the others merely their stupid ambitions. He couldn’t help but shake his head in self-derision.
He still had no plan to change his mind however. The so-called to be satisfied with what one already had was merely self-consolation for the weak, the creed of life for those who lost their vital drive and the energy to forge ahead. Men should have the ambition to conquer the world. What use was there to talk about contentment when one’s aspirations weren’t achieved yet. Only the struggle to forge ahead was the root of happiness. It wouldn’t be a waste of one’s life even if it were to end in failure and death.
He cleanly swept the pretentious thoughts away from his mind. He looked at the field, his eyes no longer containing any derision or self-ridicule, but admiration instead, admiration at the qi refining warriors mobilizing their entire wisdom and power.
Fighting for supremacy against their opponents, beseeching victory from the jaws of defeat, seeking survival under the shades of death, the vibrant vitality revealed therein made even death seem insignificant. Fighting spirit and desire for battle flowed inside him.
Zhuo Zhibo was keeping an eye on Li Qingshan from the beginning and acutely sensed the intense fighting spirit on Li Qingshan. He noticed him watching the competition in the field with an expression close to praise and admiration. This was very unusual. The Dark Eagle guards on the pavilion didn’t dare to jeer in loud hubbubs as they usually did because of his own wrath, but they still maintained an arrogant attitude of looking down from high above as if they were appreciating a fight between beasts, even if they also had come from within the field of fighting beasts. Only Li Qingshan admired the battles and longed for killing.
Zhou Wenbin was also observing Li Qingshan. This young man, no, this man had a very different temperament from ordinary people. He restrained it in ordinary times and seemed ordinary, but it would break out of him at the slightest opportunity and reveal itself.
No matter how special however, everything was in vain without enough strength and a sufficient realm. A teenager at the first level of qi refining could be said to have some innate talent inside Blessed Peace, but he would be merely average if he were to be put in the entire Clear River province. He would only have the strength of a Dark Wolf guard for his entire life probably; his fate could be considered great already if he were able to form a sea of qi.
He threw a sidelong glance at Zhuo Zhibo and faintly shook his head. Under this man’s banner, even such a desire would probably be very difficulty to realize.
Li Qingshan had had very few genuine fights with qi refining warriors. He felt he benefited greatly from watching these matches. Odd and novel spells and moves appeared in his eyes one after another. He not only watched but also silently thought up countermeasures in his mind, so he could be guarded against them if he were to encounter them in the future.