Ximen Langyuan frowned upon hearing Qing Shui’s words. He stared at Qing Shui with a deep anger. However, he tried not to let it go over his head and composed himself quickly.
More and more people were beginning to surround the beach, which caused an obstruction to the traffic. The crowd was getting noisy as well; discussions and gossips were thrown around fiercely. On the other hand, Qing Shui had a malicious smirk plastered on his face.
“Young master Ximen has been buying things without paying. If he doesn’t pay you, it means he thinks ‘highly’ of you.” Someone from the crowd shouted fearlessly.
“Who said that? Come out if you don’t wish to die!” The expression on Ximen Langyuan’s face went pale in an instant.
“Haha, was it wrong to say that?”
“That’s right. Not only is he not paying you, he will hit you without mercy too. That means he also thinks ‘highly’ of you if he hits you.”
The crowd began to make more unintelligent noises as the conversation began to heat up. The sound was like an enormous amount of food frying wildly in a wok. After a while, Ximen Langyuan and his men slipped away quickly and left the scene. Before he left, he gave Qing Shui a menacing stare filled with hatred and ill intentions.
Qing Shui remained calm and collected. His heart was telling him to steer away from trouble by avoiding direct confrontations with other people. Otherwise, he would have easily killed someone and caused a ruckus in the beach.
These rich disciples were groomed from a young age to look down on others. Most people would start to avoid them at all cost and not cause a ruckus for their own sakes. Eventually, they have treated the rich kids as if their eyes were structured at the top of his head.
“I was wondering, is there anything I can trade for two of your Crystal Lions.” Qing Shui asked after Ximen Langyuan had gone far away from the stall.
“I want to trade as well. We are all civilized people, so state your price and we shall compete for the Crystal Lions fairly!” A man with a bulging belly walked towards the stall while putting his arms around the waist of a woman with big bosoms and wide hips.
“You are very shameless. Why didn’t you compete fairly with Ximen Langyuan just now when you had the chance?”
“Yeah, you have the nerve to talk about fairness right now. Your face is thicker than your ass!”
“If he competed with Ximen Langyuan, that woman beside him would probably flee to the Langyuan’s side even before the trading could even take place.”
Public opinion could be a powerful thing. Once the discussions had started, it would be unstoppable. Even if someone with a proficient persuasive ability intervened with the crowd, it would be hopeless because their words would not be able to reach the public’s ears.
That aside, it was more amazing that the fat man was able to handle all the bad-mouthings the crowd was throwing at him!
Qing Shui absolutely despised this kind of shameless man. He decided to ignore the fat man and focus on the two men who were looking for a trade.
“I would like some healing medicines and some medicinal pills that can enhance my cultivation base.” The scrawny man gave a welcoming smile to Qing Shui. He could tell that Qing Shui was reliable in many ways.
Qing Shui sighed in relief when he heard those words. He was able to at least show his Constitution Nurturing Pills, Spirit Concentrating Pills, and Tiger Vitality Pills for the scrawny man to choose.
“Fatty, show him your item quickly. What if that man managed to trade for two Crystal Lions?!” A woman with a sweet nasally voice nagged the fat man. Her voice gave Qing Shui some goosebumps.
He looked at the woman’s appearance. She was neither pretty nor ugly – she was quite average-looking. Her voice, however, was able to melt the hearts of all the men around her. It was a bit creepy, but it was undeniably seductive. Qing Shui wondered if her voice would intensify in bed because she reminded him of a frivolous woman who would sleep around with men.
“Wait, I have medicinal pills too. Take a look!” The fat man was determined to get a Crystal Lion, so he took out a delicate bottle and passed it to the scrawny man.
“Lohan Rosary Beads!”
The scrawny man gasped in surprise. But after pondering for awhile, he finally said: “Each of you will get to trade for one Crystal Lion!”
Qing Shui observed the scrawny man’s expression carefully. He could tell from his face that the Lohan Rosary Beads were an item of high value, perhaps even more powerful than the Constitution Nurturing Pills and Tiger Vitality Pills he had shown to the scrawny man.
Qing Shui knew the scrawny man wanted to trade with him because of his help earlier. But he also knew that scrawny man could not give up on trading the Crystal Lion for the Lohan Rosary Beads, which was why the scrawny man came up with this deal to satisfy both customers and his own desires.
Qing Shui smiled and accepted the trade on the spot!
“Ah, don’t be so hasty. Look closely, these are Lohan Rosary Beads. It won’t be a problem if I can trade this one for two Crystal Lions, right…..?” The fat man tried desperately to negotiate a trade.
“My wares, my rules. If you don’t want to trade, please leave.” The scrawny man cut straight to the point.
“Fatty, just trade it away. One for one isn’t bad. If you wait any longer, there won’t be anymore Crystal Lion to trade with.” The woman with a sweet nasally voice appeared once more. The surrounding people shuddered for a moment when they heard her voice as if their bodies had gone limped for a brief second. Qing Shui’s perverted thoughts were going wild; he imagined the woman’s overwhelming moans during her sexual intercourse with the fat man. The fat man would have crushed her if he was on top, but what if she was on the top instead….
“Trade, of course I will trade….”
The fat man’s eyes spunned around in reluctance for a while before he traded his Lohan Rosary Bead with the scrawny man. The scrawny man then handed a small cage with the Crystal Lion and said: “Don’t open this, or else you will get hurt, or even it might even run away. Don’t blame me if it runs away, yeah.”
“Alright, alright. I understand!”
After the trade had finished, the two man left in a hurry because they knew it wasn’t safe to stay any longer. Even the tent covering their stall was gone.
“Let me see, let me see!” The woman wiggled her hips and whined in a sweet nasally voice.
The fat man beamed with smiles as he was handed over the small cage to her. However, at that moment, a bunch of young men appeared and snatched the small cage from the fat man’s hand before running away hastily. The fat man was robbed in broad daylight.
“Those guys were Xiantian martial warriors!” Qing Shui laughed!
“Catch them, they stole my Crystal Lion!” The fat man screamed in a piercing tone, almost as if he wanted to instigate the surrounding people to catch those men.
However, not only did they stood by watching, they were also looking at the fat man with amusment as he shouted at the top of his voice. The way he screamed felt like his flesh has been chopped off with a knife.
“Whoever gets back my Crystal Lion will get a hundred gold, no, a thousand gold!” The fat man shouted with determination.
After he had mentioned a reward, a crowd suddenly went after the thieves without hesitation. It wasn’t clear whether they were in it for the gold or for the excitement of watching the situation unfolding. Even though a thousand gold sounded impressive, that amount of monetary value could only get a person one small-sized estate.
“I will go and take a look!” Qing Shui said to Lan Tong and the others before flying off quickly. He was more than willing to loot back the stolen Crystal Lion from those thieves.
Although there were a lot of people chasing the thieves, Qing Shui knew some of them did not intend to catch the thieves for the sake of returning the Crystal Lion to the fat man, but for the excitement of following the crowd. They didn’t chase the thieves because of the fat man’s gold, they chased the thieves because they could trade the Crystal Lion for a price higher than a thousand gold.
Money has value, items have none. “Money would always triumph over items. The better the item was, the more priceless it would be. Just like the medicinal pills Qing Shui had with him earlier – they are beyond valuable, because selling for a thousand gold would not justify their trading value.
Those without a heap of gold would not buy anything expensive, and those who were able to refine medicinal pills would not sell their wares. At this rate, no one would be short of anything, so they would rather trade their wares for better desired items.
At that moment, Qing Shui knew the young men who had stolen the Crystal Lion were sent by Ximen Langyuan. A lot of people distanced themselves away from the members of Ximen Clan as soon as their eyes met. Some people were curious as well, so they spectated the scene from far away.
Qing Shui didn’t want to stand out too much. After all, this was the Central Continent where a Martial Saint could appear anytime and give him the trouble of his life.
Buzz buzz buzz….
Suddenly, about a hundred Jade Emperor Bees swarmed above the sky in a fear-inspiring formation. After seeing this, the chasing mobs below ran away quickly in panic, including the people from Ximen Clan. The young men who had stolen the Crystal Lion also fled the scene and left the small cage on the ground.
The one responsible for holding the cage was smart. He knew the one who released the bees was chasing after him because of the Crystal Lion, so it would be mean death if he kept holding onto the cage. He quickly abandoned the cage to avoid confrontations in hopes to save his own life.
After the area was cleared of people, Qing Shui quickly fetched the Crystal Lion and ushered the Jade Emperor Bees back into the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. When he had stored both the Crystal Lion and the bees into the realm, he went back to the beach to meet up with Lan Tong.
“How was it?” Lan Tong asked with a beaming smile on his face.
Qing Shui returned the smile and said nothing. He then called everyone together and started teaching them the Tiger Form technique. As always, he would start guiding them to cultivate the Tiger’s Roar first.
Lan Tong and the others already had basic battle skills prior to their meeting with Qing Shui, so they were able to learn very quick. Qing Shui was particularly impressed by Lan Tong’s adeptness and proficiency in learning everything that was thrown at him.
Their training continued on for more than five days. Qing Shui had managed to gather 30 Crystal Lions by purchasing from stalls and from asking the locals. At the same time, Lan Tong and the other were already at a proper stage of their cultivation. They were noticeably stronger than before.
“Teacher, can we reach Xiantian with this Tiger Form?” Tian Yuan asked with eyes full of curiosity.
After a few days of Qing Shui’s guidance, the others had already started calling him ‘teacher’. There were many ways of addressing someone respectable in the World of Nine Continents. ‘Teacher’ was one of them.
Master: This would be a more serious title given to those who wished to establish a relationship similar to a parent and children.
Sir: This was a very common form of address worldwide. ‘Sir’ could be used to address someone unfamiliar but was respected. It was also a normal form of address used for those high up in the command chain.
Teacher: This would be a form of address that was between the margin of a ‘Master’ and ‘Sir’. It could be used for those who had given someone a certain impact, or had contributed something useful towards their learning and understandings.
In the current situation, Qing Shui had taught them some martial techniques, which was why he had received such a form of address from these youngsters. He was happy to teach them some techniques, but he had no idea how long he would be able to continue his teachings. Qing Shui also didn’t accept them as his disciples, so being called ‘teacher’ was more or less appropriate.
If Qing Shui grew up with them as a childhood friend, then that would be a different story. They would not call him a ‘teacher’ because it should be used for unfamiliar people who could provide help in any way.
“My little sister took a few years to master the Tiger Form until she reached Xiantian. My wife took two years to reach Xiantian, and now she was able to reach Martial King Elementary Grade in less than ten years.”
The others were staring blankly at Qing Shui except for Lan Tong, who was smiling from ear to ear. She had an unusual feeling about Qing Shui: “I see. So he already had a wife.”
For the next few days, there would be no Crystal Lion to obtain. However, they would be available to obtain once more after ten days, in which their availability would last for a duration of five days. After that, the Crystal Lions of this generation would cease to exist for another hundred years before the next generation emerged.
“I have some important business I need to attend to. If you guys have nothing else to do, feel free to train here. Take these medicinal pills and banknotes. I will come back in a few days time.” Qing Shui carefully instructed his pupils.
All of them nodded silently!
Qing Shui hopped onto Fire Bird casually, and slowly made his way to the Drunken Immortal Inn!
Qing Shui arrived at the Drunken Immortal Inn around evening. When he went inside the inn, he saw the woman from his last visit smiling and nodding her head as a sign of greeting.
“Sir, the boss said you should go see him as soon as possible when you come back to the inn.” The woman grinned as she walked towards Qing Shui.
Qing Shui gave her a polite smile as he went upstairs. It felt really weird for a woman like her to have an affinity with him. Her affection for him was quite uncomfortable as well.
“Brother Nian Feng!”
Nian Feng cameout from his room when Qing Shui came upstairs.
“Brother Qing Shui has come back, I see. Come, I will bring you to see my old man.” Nian Feng quickly led Qing Shui to the direction of the living room. It was the room he had been in before.
“His old man?” Qing Shui was skeptical, but he followed Nian Feng to the living room anyway.
When they entered the room, there was an old man standing in the middle all by himself. Qing Shui’s first impression of him was that the old man was an immortal being living in a mortal’s body. He felt like a real sage who had descended to the mortal world.
The old man was clothed in simple plain garments. It was difficult to guess his age with a glance. He had a full head of silvery white hair, which drooped down to his ribs. His long white eyebrows were about the same length as well. His face was flushed with a healthy pink glow, and he didn’t have any wrinkles either.
The old man had a pleasant face and a pair of kind eyes. His eyes were as bright as the gleaming stars in the sky. The glistening in his eyes was calming and serene. He also emanated a comforting aura from his expression. Despite his appearance, Qing Shui knew from his senses that he was a Martial Saint warrior.
“Hello, grandfather!” Qing Shui knew that the old man was part of Nian Feng’s family, but he would like to respect Nian Feng’s old man by greeting him politely, as he would greet his own grandfather.
“Good, good. You must be Qing Shui!”
The old man laughed happily.
“Grandfather, this is Brother Qing Shui whom I have acquainted with recently. The wine you kept drinking was hand-brewed by him, you know.” Nian Feng chuckled.
The old man lit up instantly and said in amazement: “Kid, you are the most outstanding young man I have ever seen in my entire life. Tell me, have you not had a breakthrough for a really long time?”
Qing Shui’s eyes widened. He already knew that the old man was a Martial Saint, but at that moment, he also felt that that old man was more powerful than a Martial Saint warrior. He might be even stronger than Qianyu Dingjun himself.
Perhaps he could help him surpass the bottleneck of his breakthrough……..?
“Grandfather, is it possible for you to help me?” Qing Shui bowed at the old man with respect.
The old man pulled Qing Shui by his wrist and said: “Come now, everyone sit down. I like you a lot. Maybe I can help you out a little.”
Qing Shui was getting excited. He had been seeking for a Martial Saint to ask for a few pointers in surpassing the bottleneck of the breakthrough. However, he had no such luck until now. Qianyu Dingjun was a Martial Saint, but unfortunately, he was unable to help Qing Shui any further.
Nian Feng had already gone to prepare food downstairs in the kitchen. The sun was setting and soon it would be night time. It was almost time for dinner!
“Qing Shui, do you know why you still couldn’t bypass the bottleneck? Your strength had already reached the pinnacle of the bottle neck, its almost time for a breakthrough to occur. There will only be one like you in every 500 years in the World of Nine Continents, you know.” The old man was smiling as he looked at Qing Shui’s eyes.
“Please tell me why, grandfather.” Qing Shui was getting worked up.
“Is there a stubbornness inside you that you can’t let go off?” The old man was still staring at Qing Shui when he asked the question softly.
“Stubbornness?” Qing Shui was puzzled. He couldn’t understand what this old man was getting at.
“Qing Shui, you are a special case. When I look at you, I can see a stubbornness in your heart. At times, your stubbornness will become impossibly hardened, which will often lead you to close your mind and heart. If you cannot come out of your stubbornness, you will never have a breakthrough ever again.” The old man said in a calm tone while maintaining his gaze at Qing Shui.
Qing Shui was shocked. His back was drenched in cold sweat, as if he had just woken up from a nightmare. He tried to cover his shocked expression by forcing a smile because he knew it would be difficult to simply let go of his stubbornness.
“Family love and romantic love!”
It was easy to let go of the stubbornness in a family love. ‘Letting go’ would be an overstatement because he could settle his stubbornness properly when it comes to family matters. He wasn’t particularly worried about the stubbornness of his love for his family, but the stubbornness in a romantic relationship would be difficult to resolve.
Qing Shui had approached a lot of woman in his life, but not once had he experienced an ‘equal’ romantic relationship from any of them. From the beginning, he had experienced a romantic love with Shi Qingzhuang, Wenren Wushuang, and after that, Huoyun Liu-Li and Canghai Mingyue. The others didn’t really count….