Book 3, Chapter 118
Even the third level qi refining Diao Fei had palms oozing with cold sweat. You would simply not have the time to trigger any talisman at all when faced with such an enemy within a distance of three steps. He was incomparably glad he didn’t fall out with Li Qingshan. The three of them climbed the stairs of the pavilion under the guidance of a green-clothed attendant, Diao Fei and Qian Rongzhi conscientiously following behind Li Qingshan. Then they went through a long aisle where over a dozen Dark Wolf guards stepped aside of their way. Li Qingshan could clearly see men and women among them. There were twenty-something young men, but there was no lack of middle-aged people either, or even elderly ones.
They were observing Li Qingshan. Their various expression muddled into one indistinct whole inside Li Qingshan’s mind amidst the dusky weather and a gloomy rain. He couldn’t remember them; he could merely estimate their powers in silence. The majority of them were at the third level of qi refining. Second level and fourth level ones were in the minority, while he didn’t see any fifth level qi refining warrior. In conclusion, there was no one therein especially worth his attention.
Power was a qi refining warrior’s best calling card. Without noticing it, Li Qingshan also learned to use strength to assess a person. Zhuo Zhibo and Zhou Wenbin radiated a formidable aura when they finally came in front of them, making him unable to neglect their presence.
Zhuo Zhibo’s gaze swept across the three of them, stopping slightly on Li Qingshan’s face. Then he said with a kind smile, “Congratulations to all of you, you’re a member of the Eagle Wolf Guard starting from today, you did very well… The welcoming banquet will be held a little later. Little Ge, take them to get their things.”
A short but plucky qi refining warrior answered, “Yes captain!” He had a somewhat baby face, but he kept a mustache strip over his lip. It seemed a little funny but also very charming.
Zhou Wenbin said, “Captain Zhuo, I won’t bother you any further then, I’m leaving first.” He didn’t even mention the matter of the spirit stones, because he knew that Zhuo Zhibo would naturally send him the spirit stones when he went back. It would be much too aggressive and too much of a slap in the face if he were to ask about it in front of the crowd of Dark Wolf guards.
Zhuo Zhibo insincerely detained him for a while then politely accompanied Zhou Wenbin downstairs. Zhou Wenbin didn’t forget to tell the three of Li Qingshan’s before leaving, “Right, don’t forget to come report to the county offices.”
The county magistrate was still nominally the highest authority in Blessed Peace with the right to dispatch the Eagle Wolf Guard and provide assistance, hence every newly joined Eagle Wolf guard had to report in the county magistrate’s offices. The Eagle Wolf Guard had a supervising privilege but still couldn’t directly ignore orders from the county magistrate, hence they formed a mutually restraining relationship. In practice, who was strong and who was weak still depended on each party’s finesse and power.
His words were directed to the three of them, but everyone could tell he was especially exhorting Li Qingshan. Magistrate Zhou was very interested in him.
Li Qingshan was finally able to penetrate inside the interior of the Eagle Wolf Guard under the guidance of “little Ge.” Lavish exquisite pavilions and kiosks appeared one after another, as if they were in a noble mansion or an imperial palace rather than a governmental office. The green-clothed attendants on the way didn’t show any haughtiness any longer, acting reverend and deferential instead.
Little Ge was quick with jokes. He introduced them to the names and functions of the the various buildings on the way, to various anecdotes and tales. He chatted away thoughtlessly, and he kept inquiring with much curiosity about how Li Qingshan trained.
“Mere coincidence,” said Li Qingshan with a smile. He already learned that “little Ge’s” name was Ge Jian. His actual age was already above thirty. That he could be so amiable had certainly something to do with the power Li Qingshan had manifested earlier. His guards were still left up, but it was a comfortable thing to be treated as an equal in any case.
Ge Jian said, “It’s rare nowadays to see someone cultivate this. There are some body cultivation techniques inside the library but they’re all about to get moldy. I didn’t expect the might would be so great though, even I am tempted to try cultivating them. When the time comes you have to properly teach me.”
He was merely chatting away. The title of body cultivator seemed equal to that of a qi refining warrior, but that was merely body cultivators pasting gold on their faces. It wasn’t any sort of formidable hidden career path. Just like the daoist technique Strength of Nine Bulls and Two Tigers, the reason the ancient techniques were lost was in the greater part because they’d fallen behind the times.
Compared to the formidable might exhibited during battles, the drawbacks of body refining techniques were much more numerous. Every road was the sum of countless experiences from the men who came before. Li Qingshan wasn’t a man however, and he didn’t need to abide by the roads traced by these “men” who came before him.
They entered a stone building carved against the mountain as they reached the depths of the mountain peak. Ge Jian led the three of them through layers upon layers of stone gates, runes that couldn’t be broken even by spiritual devices etched above every stone gate. Here was the Eagle Wolf Guard’s treasury.
No gold or wealth would be worth such defenses when it came to the Eagle Wolf Guard, apart from these things that possessed spirituality.
Ge Jian first selected two sets of dark wolf uniforms from the treasury for each of them. Li Qingshan lightly stroked the smooth clothes. He’d learned from Ge Jian’s presentation they were manufactured from dark silk1. They could guard against fire and keep water away, impenetrable by strong crossbows. These were the best clothes he’d ever worn adding his two lives together. He didn’t care too much about them however; he didn’t fear any crossbow to begin with thanks to his Bull Demon Skin Refining.
It couldn’t help but make one disappointed if this were the sole advantage of joining the Eagle Wolf Guard. There was no trace at all of any disappointment on Diao Fei and Qian Rongzhi’s faces however. They hugged the dark wolf uniforms like treasures, their imagination roaming free inside their minds.
Qian Rongzhi’s mind was filled with rancor and ecstasy. If she wore this set of clothes and went back to Ancient Wind City, those old guys would probably know to show a little respect. All those who offended her and looked down upon her would pay for it.
The hatred she held for her close relatives was ten times, even a hundred times deeper than for someone who killed a relative of hers like Li Qingshan.
What Ge Jian took out shortly after attracted the entire attention of the three of them. Even Li Qingshan looked expectant. These were three exquisite Hundred Treasures Bags, definitely different from the tattered one he had in his possession.
Ge Jian gave the Hundred Treasures Bags to the three of them. “There are some things inside, those are all welcoming gifts when you join.”
Li Qingshan poured his spiritual energy inside. He felt the space inside the Hundred Treasure Bag was as big as a chest, ten times larger than the old broken Hundred Treasures Bag he got from Qian Rongming. It could accommodate weapons like swords and sabers. He could finally stuff that [Cursive Sword Script] of his inside.
There was also a bottle of medicine pills inside the Hundred Treasures bag. The tiny bottle was filled with at least thirty qi condensing pills, each of them only as big as a soybean, but each of them were perfectly round and translucent, filled with extraordinary spiritual qi, the medicinal power within superior to that of ordinary qi condensing pills. There were also three lower-quality talismans.
Li Qingshan sigh with emotion. The Eagle Wolf Guard was indeed rich and overbearing, worthy of a national agency with first-class privileges. The material benefits were truly good enough. It wasn’t for nothing that so many qi refining warriors tried to join in even at the risk of their lives.
He looked at Diao Fei and Qian Rongzhi beside him. Their faces also exposed delight as they held their own Hundred Treasures Bags.
It didn’t stop there however. Ge Jian took the three of them inside the arsenal after opening three stone gates in succession. A blinding light leaked through by the time he opened the last stone gate, blurring the scene in front of Li Qingshan’s eyes.
He saw every kinds of arms and weapons deposited in such a great weapon warehouse. Sabers spears swords or halberds, axes hatchets hooks or forks, everything that should be there was there, twinkling with spiritual light bright as a star. Every weapon was a spiritual device.
“There are so many spiritual devices here?” The spiritual devices Qian Rongzhi was seeing now were more numerous than even every spiritual devices she’d seen in her life added together. She grew up in Ancient Wind City feeling the Qian clan was a great first class clan under the skies, a colossus that couldn’t be toppled over, but she only realized after coming to the Eagle Wolf Guard she was viewing the sky from the bottom of a well.
Ge Jian explained, “We’ve done in quite a few enemies during these years, quite a few qi refining warriors among them. We gave away the spiritual devices we snatched from them if we had no use for them and got contribution in exchange. They all ended up tossed in here.”
Li Qingshan said, “What’s contribution?”
Ge Jian offered a patient explanation. It turned the Eagle Wolf Guard’s duties weren’t so busy. As long as you solved a few cases every month, you could act freely the rest of time. You could refine qi in the mountains or play outside, everything was as you saw fit. It was very carefree and relaxed.
Moreover, strength determined everything inside the Eagle Wolf Guard. You couldn’t obtain a promotion no matter how hard you worked if your strength wasn’t enough. Hence a contribution system was put in place to foster everyone’s enthusiasm for work. You obtained corresponding contribution for every case you handled and could exchange it for spiritual pills, talismans, or spiritual devices.
The Eagle Wolf Guard didn’t pay any salary in silver, not a single tael of silver, but it distributed ten qi condensing pills every month to provide for cultivation.
High wages, great welfare, much freedom, and work even brought you bonuses. You also received people’s veneration wherever you went. Apart from the boss who seemed a little pissed off at him, it was an almost perfect job. But he can stay pissed off. You deserve to be pissed off, sending someone to snatch my thing. If this gave birth to malicious intentions, then he better watch out when walking the streets at night, lest he met with a monster’s evil schemes.
Li Qingshan laughed despite himself, making Diao Fei and Qian Rongzhi both shiver all over.
Ge Jian said, “Everyone can take one and carry it along, whichever you fancy. If you have no confidence in your own judgment, I recommend the standard wind stitching blade. You guys hurry up a bit, we still have to go to your rooms after that.”
The three of them immediately started to make their choices in a hurry. Li Qingshan originally intended to choose a heavy weapon, the heavier the better. He originally already had his eyes set on a great axe with a long handle. But then his thoughts revolved in his mind; he came straight in front of the weapon racks on the western side and picked a wind stitching blade. He pulled the blade out of the sheath. Thick cold light enveloped it, while cloud patterns packed densely together. One could tell at first glance it’d never been used, flashing with a brand new glare. The hilt was engraved with runic patterns. You could release wind sabers and wind blades as long as you injected true qi inside. It was worthy of being called an excellently made lower-quality spiritual device.
Ge Jian gave him a thumb up, praising his choice. Li Qingshan also smiled, extremely satisfied with his decision. It wasn’t actually that he had no confidence in his judgment. There was a certain savoir faire about knowing which kind of weapon to use in which kind of situation. Now wasn’t the same as back when he had to go level the Black Wind Camp.
A weapon too long couldn’t fit inside the Hundred Treasures Bag. It wouldn’t be very suitable and convenient to carry it with him wherever he went. He’d began his career back then with a blade2, now it just happened he could go back to the ways of the blade. Moreover right now he lacked means of attacking from a distance. He couldn’t casually expose the Cursive Sword Script. The wind stitching blade also came with the Wind Saber art, and it fitted very well with his own plans.
Diao Fei and Qian Rngzhi both picked their own weapons. Diao Fei also held a wind stitching blade, but Qian Rongzhi actually set her eyes on a water splitting thorn3.
- Dark silk is a reference to the Dark Silk Clothes made from the silk of dark silkworms from the classic Wuxia novel A Deadly Secret by Jin Yong.
- The blade or dao shares the same Chinese character as the knife, which was the very first weapon Li Qingshan started using back in chapter 2.
- A water splitting thorn is a weapon that appeared in a couple novels and games. It’s described as something with a thin blade that can be easily used underwater. It can possibly look something like this: