Li Qingshan glanced back at the Soaring Clouds terrace before turning around again and smiling mysteriously. Hmph, today is a joyous occasion, so I’ll let you have some fun then!
“Qingshan, are you fine?” Han Qiongzhi approached him.
“I’m fine. His highness treated me very well. He even gifted me something!” Li Qingshan showed off the black hoop in his hand with a smile.
Han Qiongzhi was bewildered. Li Qingshan said, “Let’s go!”
“I still have to maintain order. You better go and see prefect Liu. We can take a look around together later.”
The White Wolf guards patrolled the surroundings in groups of two. The woman in the uniform of White Wolf guards standing nearby waited for Han Qiongzhi. Seeing Li Qingshan gaze over, she nodded at him in acknowledgement, and Li Qingshan returned the gesture with a smile. “You better go! Your friend is waiting for you!”
Before the Soaring Clouds terrace was a huge square divided into nine groups. They were led by their respective prefects, while the Scarlet Hawk commanders and generals stood to the left and right. Each group was further divided into over a dozen different colours, which were the attires of the disciples of each school of thought. Coupled with the spectating cultivators from sects on the side, there were over ten thousand people, yet it did not feel crowded at all.
This was also the first time Li Qingshan had seen so many cultivators standing together. He could not help but be amazed. “It really is a grand gathering!”
He passed through the square and discovered that the group from the Clear River prefecture was the smallest among the nine provinces, nowhere close to the flourishing numbers of the other prefectures. However, having been baptised by war, the disciples of the Clear River prefecture possessed a different bearing and edge about them.
Everywhere would fall silent when he passed by. Everyone stopped their conversations and gathered their attention on him. At first glance, he did not seem special at all. He still seemed very young with his bronze face, but having been weathered by wind and frost, it gave off a sense of level-headedness that exceeded his age. However, it was still chiseled, making him seem so resolute that it was almost arrogant and unyielding.
He had a tall and sturdy frame, walking along calmly. His expression was not as arrogant as it was rumored to be. His head was slightly lowered as if he was in thought. However, his gaze drifted about. Everyone could sense that he was not taking any of them seriously, like a vicious tiger silently prowling through the jungle, possessing a natural ease about him.
The school leaders of the various prefectures were all rather worried. If the Clear River prefecture has him, the grand exhibition match at the end probably won’t look very good! In particular, the leaders of the schools of Novels were racking their brains about how they could restrain this person’s strength during the exhibition match of the school of Novels.
As for the regular disciples, they thought, Just a few years ago, he was still a backgroundless nobody. If he can achieve this, why can’t I? As a result, some lofty aspirations were ignited within them.
“Qiongzhi, your Qingshan is basically at peak Foundation Establishment already, right? He sure does cultivate at an alarming speed. I heard back then that you were the one who proposed the marriage, junior sister Han. Your insight sure is admirable! You got any clever tricks you can teach me? Recently, my family is also pressuring me into getting married. They’re clearly looking down on me!”
Ding Min said in distress. Ever since Han Qiongzhi became a White Wolf guard, she had been the one who led her around to familiarise with the surroundings. As a result, the two of them became good friends. She also came from an aristocratic clan. If she were unable to advance any further on the path of cultivation, then she would be burdened with the responsibility of fostering descendants for the clan.
“What insight could I have? I just liked him, that’s all.” Han Qiongzhi drew her gaze back from Li Qingshan and smiled valiantly. “You know how I’m like, Ding sis. If something catches my heart, I stop caring about everything else.”
“Then that’s your good fortune. I sure am jealous of Qian Rongzhi! Gu Yanying actually accepted her as a disciple. Your Qingshan is favoured by the commander too, so why don’t you just beg him to ask commander Gu to accept you as a disciple too! Guiding one is no different from guiding two after all!”
“I hate begging people the most, and I don’t want him to beg others for me either.”
Li Qingshan arrived among the ranks of the Clear River prefecture and nodded towards Chu Danqing, expressing that all was fine. Afterwards, he stood beside Liu Zhangqing and waited quietly for the ceremony to begin. The people beside him could see he was in thought and had no interest in talking, so they did not disturb him. He readily embraced this peace and placed all of his focus on his clone.
Under Northmoon’s enthusiastic request, Si Qing arranged for some female dancers to perform. He did not have any interest in such things, but Jiang Fu had kept quite a lot of people like that in the estate. When he inherited the position of Marquis of Ruyi, they had come in the process, so he was able to gather enough people on the spot, albeit after some difficulty.
Northmoon continued to sit with Si Qing, crossing his legs without the slightest amount of self-consciousness, picking up Si Qing’s alcohol cup and drinking from it without even batting an eye. Though, he did not use Si Qing’s chopsticks, just directly using his bare hands to grab the food. He watched attentively as he drank, his eyes glued to the dancers’ special parts as if he wanted to swallow them all in one gulp.
Si Qing was unhappy inside, but seeing how Northmoon behaved, he exchanged glances with Jia Zhen and E Dan and exhibited a sense of joy like his scheme had succeeded. Whether it was humans or demons, they could be controlled as long as they had desires.
Gu Yanying laughed inside. This kid sure knows how to act!
Big sis, you said Northmoon is impressive, but he doesn’t seem special at all to me. You better be careful just in case he gets pulled to Si Qing’s side and works with him to deal with you! Si Bao said to Gu Yanying with some worry.
“I know what to do.”
“Heh. Big sis, as long as you flaunt your beauty a little, you’ll make this Northmoon change sides mid-battle!”
“You’ll be underestimating him a little too much if that’s what you think.”
E Dan smiled at Northmoon. “How are these women? Are any to your liking?”
“The women aren’t bad, but the songs they sing are all so soft. It’s completely powerless. I feel drowsy from listening to it!”
“Oh? I didn’t think you’d understand music so well? Then what has a sense of power? Don’t tell me it’s the roar of wild beasts?” Si Qing smiled.
The cultivators could not help but smile. To think that even uncivilised daemons would blindly criticise the music of humans. He was basically asking to be humiliated. The moon demon was very powerful, but they still possessed a natural sense of superiority as humans. They only treated him as an extremely-powerful wild beast.
Northmoon acted like he was unable to tell Si Qing was mocking him. He leapt up from his seat. “Speaking of which, when I was refining the river that night, I looked up and saw the stars, which put me in a great mood and I sang this song. I’ll broaden your horizons today!”
He arrived beside the musicians in a flash. The musicians were also all female, scattering in fright.
He completely ignored them. He picked up a zither and casually plucked a few strings before shaking his head and throwing it by his feet. Afterwards, he picked up a reed-piped sheng and blew it blindly a few times before tossing it aside.
TL: A sheng a Chinese wind instrument made from reeds. You can read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheng_(instrument)
The cultivators looked at one another, communicating secretly through their soul sense, “Is the moon demon serious?” “Forget it, just treat it as a monkey show!”
Northmoon’s eyes drifted out the window before suddenly lighting up. He flew out before flying back in, carrying the huge drum used to report time in his hands and placing it on the ground with a thud.
Afterwards, he swung the drumsticks, thumping away. A fast-paced rhythm suddenly appeared.
Northmoon sang happily at the top of his lungs, “East flows the river! The stars shine ‘round beidou! Hey! Hey! ‘round Beidou ah! Friendship in a bowl of wine ah!”
Or, you can listen to some “English” versions: https://youtu.be/MSov6ACvKjw?t=225
The moment he bellowed out, it echoed through the clouds and reached kilometers away. Let alone leaving Si Qing and the others dumbfounded, even Gu Yanying felt like she had just quivered.
I have no idea what it means, but it seems very powerful!