Ancient Strengthening Technique - Chapter 389
AST 389 - She was forced by the Yan Clan to sell tea leaves...
’’Grandfather, Second Uncle, Mother, let's go!’’ Qing Shui said softly, looking away from the view.
Just then, two people walked into the Qing Clan Trading Company, Yu Donghao and Yu He.
Although Qing Shui had been back for about six months, he had never once stopped by the Yu Clan. He didn't get in touch with Yu He either. When he saw the complex look on Yu He's face, all his feelings built up in that instant.
’’Grandpa Yu, Sister Yu!’’
Qing Shui smiled, greeting them both.
’’I know you guys will be going on a journey soon, so I brought Little He to send you off!’’ Yu Donghao laughed wholeheartedly. However, Yu He just stared at Qing Shui and didn't say a word.
’’You are too kind, Grandpa Yu!’’
’’Little He, didn't you have something you wanted to say to Qing Shui?’’ Yu Donghao smiled as he faced Yu He.
Yu He glanced at Shi QingZhuang standing beside Qing Shui, then shifted her attention towards him and smiled. ’’Qing Shui, take good care of yourself!’’
’’Thank you, Sister Yu!’’ Qing Shui smiled back.
As he thanked her, Qing Shui felt the distance between them grow even more......
After receiving his courteous reply, Yu He smiled and then faced Yu Donghao and said, ’’Grandfather, let's go!’’
’’Brother Qing, we shall take our leave first!’’ Yu Donghao said to Qing Luo, then looked at Qing He. Qing Yi just nodded her head in acknowledgement.
Qing Luo and the others saw Yu Donghao out..
But before he could step on the back of Firebird, another shrill bird cry rang outt!
A large condor with golden wings flew down towards them in a flash with the speed of the wind!
Upon seeing the Golden Winged Thunder Condor, Qing Shui knew that Canghai Mingyue and Huoyun Liu-li had arrived. He also knew that this time they would join them on their journey to the Yan Clan.
He couldn't help feeling guilty, since he did tell them he would be going to Yan City with just his mother, yet now......
’’Auntie, we were supposed to arrive this morning as requested by Qing Shui. Sorry for being late.’’
Huoyun Liu-li jumped down from the Golden Winged Thunder Condor and warmly hugged Qing Yi's arm as she smiled sweetly. Her saucy demeanor was less charming than usual, but it was still graceful. She seemed a little cuter as well.
’’You weren't late. This kid didn't even tell me you were coming. I was wondering why he was dilly-dallying. I see now he was waiting for you two to arrive.’’ Qing Yi laughed quietly.
Qing Shui scratched his head. Gazing at her captivating smile, he wondered if he really did ask Huoyun Liu-li to come along. And what was all that about dilly-dallying...
’’Auntie, Qingzhuang, let's ride this together!’’
Huoyun Liu-li gave a sweet smile as she invited them onto the Golden Winged Thunder Condor. Her gracefulness made Qing Yi smile as she nodded her head. Qing Shui could tell from his mother's expression that she was very fond of Huoyun Liu-Li.
Firebird and Golden Winged Thunder Condor were both large beasts, so there would be no problem letting a few people ride on their backs!
’’Uncle, Aunt, we'll be going now!’’ Qing Shui bid farewell to Qing Jiang and the others.
’’Qing Shui, be careful. I believe in you, so come back as soon as you can.’’ Qing Jiang, Qing Hu, Qing Hai... all of them looked at Qing Shui with teary eyes.
Save for Qing Shui, Qing Luo and Qing He, the rest of the Qing Clan hopped onto the back of the Golden Winged Condor as they said their goodbyes.
After their farewells, the remaining three then leapt onto the Firebird.
Both beasts quickly dashed to the sky and vanished at the horizon!
’’Little He, if you want to cry, just cry. Don't hold it in!’’
Yu Donghao looked at Yu He beside him. She was gazing at the sky with a dazed expression, her loneliness apparent.
She was still smiling even when she left the Qing Residence. Yu Donghao knew his granddaughter well. He knew she was enduring her pain with all her might.
’’I told myself not to think about him anymore. I already knew I wasn't compatible with him, so I kept telling myself not to hope for something more. But it's been very hard, grandfather. What should I do...’’
She pleaded weakly to Yu Donghao, trying to hold back her tears as she looked at her grandfather.
’’That's love, silly. You have fallen in love with him. Love is a selfish thing....’’ Yu Donghao gazed bitterly at his beautiful granddaughter. Love should be bittersweet, but what his granddaughter felt was much more bitter rather than sweet.
’’Qing Shui, what do you plan to do when we reach Yan City?’’ Qing Luo asked with a smile as they sat on Firebird's back.
Qing Luo had once been slashed on the neck by a sword. As a martial warrior, it was considered a humiliation. He would never surrender even if it meant death because to persevere was a state of mind of a true martial warrior.
But for his daughter, he would endure. Because if he didn't, the Qing Clan would be no more.
He would do his best to endure, for the sake of his daughter and the Qing Clan!
He still cherished the hope that he would one day achieve Xiantian, but since he had to endure for the sake of his family, he knew how unlikely such a feat would be. Achieving Xiantian was not meant for him.
’’Grandfather, let me do it. When I go into the Yan Residence, I want to enter on behalf of my mother's name,’’ Qing Shui said softly.
’’Qing Shui, they are your father's family. Do you think you can do it?’’ Qing Luo asked nonchalantly.
Although he said it casually, Qing Shui knew his grandfather was still concerned about the matter at hand. Qing Shui knew his father was coward, but the old man was different. In Hundred Miles City, he was a respected person who was humiliated before. Even if he were to die, he would still brood about it.
That is why the old man hoped his family members could step into Xiantian. Or perhaps even become Martial Kings....
’’I am part of the Qing Clan. My surname is Qing. I have no relations to the Yan Clan whatsoever. And I will make them pay for tormenting my mother and grandfather,’’ Qing Shui said coldly, his tone clear and resounding.
Qing Luo was burning with righteousness. He was very proud to have a nephew like him!
’’Then what will you do about that person? He was your mother's past lover after all. Moreover, you are his flesh and blood...’’
’’That man is already dead.. even before I got the chance to question his past actions... now there's only one person in the Yan Clan that I care about. There's no one else that can tie me down anymore,’’ Qing Shui said harshly, but he was actually hurting inside. The pain he felt was heart-wrenching, not because that man was Qing Shui's father, but because he was his mother's lover.
Qing Shui's mother had suffered for twenty years, but when the day came to finally meet the love of her life, she couldn't even see him. Although Qing Shui's mother said she would not miss him, Qing Shui knew she wasn't being honest......
Qing Luo was momentarily shocked when he heard news of his death. He hadn't thought he would die so soon. But now, what worried him most was whether Qing Shui would try to kill the entire Yan Clan because of his father's death, because there was nothing else standing in his way besides his kidnapped sister.
’’Qing Shui, are you thinking of annihilating the entire Yan Clan?’’ Qing Luo asked, his feelings on this subject were complex. He didn't wish to see this kind of situation unfold because no matter what, Qing Shui was still connected to the Yan Clan by blood.
Qing Shui thought about his father's death. His mother had nobody else to miss. What's more, the person they cared for the most was forced to the big streets to sell tea leaves...
The more he thought about it, the more he couldn't suppress his anger. The burning hatred drove Qing Shui to thoughts of reducing the entire Yan Clan to shambles!
’’Maybe. It's been twenty years, Grandfather. It's been too long. You will know until then. And Grandfather, I did say I would give you a unique present by the end of the year.’’ Qing Shui smiled.
However, his smile belied intense murderous intentions.
’’Qing Shui, they are still.....’’
’’Grandfather, he's dead. This means that he has no relation with them anymore. Do you know how he died?’’ Qing Shui smiled as he interrupted Qing Luo.
Qing Luo was stunned. He understood what Qing Shui meant with his last sentence. He sighed. Qing Luo wasn't getting younger after all.
’’Grandfather, I couldn't bring myself to tell Mother. Do you know what Qing Qing is doing right now?’’
Qing Luo was shocked once again when Qing Shui mentioned Qing Qing!
He looked at Qing Shui in confusion.
’’Long ago, the Yan Clan drove her out, yet she never gained her freedom. Everyday she has to sell tea leaves by the streets in the Yan City... The only reason she's managed to hold up this long is because she believes her mother will take her away from there one day....’’ Qing Shui fell silent when he thought about her stick-thin figure and how desolate she had become.
Qing Luo's hands were trembling after hearing Qing Shui's words. He didn't ask Qing Shui how he knew the details, but one thing was certain, it was all true.
The speed of their flight was several times slower compared to when Qing Shui rode the Firebird to the Deity Cave of Immortal. Even with the slower speed of the Golden Winged Thunder Condor, it wasn't allowed to fly at its fullest because after all, Qing Yi Qing Luo and Qing You weren't Xiantian martial warriors and thus weren't able to withstand such a terrifying pace.
Mountain after mountain, peak after peak. Qing Shui inspected the mountain range below and felt a sudden urge to walk around their lofty peaks.
’’We have been flying for quite a while now. Let's go down and eat something! We will reach Yan City in a few days anyway.’’ Qing Shui hadn't spoken too loud, but Qing Yi and the ladies were able to hear him clearly.
Nine Peak Mountain!
This is one of the famous mountains in Cang Lang Country!
Qing Shui used to go to a college in Xi'an. But for unfortunate reasons, he wasn't able to climb up the Hua Mountain in the end. There weren't any mountains in his hometown either. So technically, Qing Shui had never climbed a mountain before.
But when he came to the World of Nine Continents, he realized that he had to climb up the Skysword Mountain to reach Skysword Sect, as well as climbing up the Heavenly Palace Mountain to reach Heavenly Palace. Even now, he felt the need to go and explore the Nine Peak Mountain for no particular reason at all.
Winter had arrived. Perhaps it had something to do with the altitude. Qing Yi had to wear thick clothing to protect herself from the cold atmosphere. Since she was not a Xiantian, she would not be able to fully withstand the harsh weather.
’’I need to prepare unique clothing that can withstand the coldness of winter when I get the chance,’’ Qing Shui muttered to himself.
’’I will go look for food. Rest up for now!’’ Qing Shui smiled as he informed everyone.
’’Brother Qing Shui, let me go look for food!’’ Qing You said quickly.
’’Hehe, just let me do it. I want to go look at this Nine Peak Mountain!’’ Qing Shui laughed and ran past Qing You towards the middle part of the Nine Peak Mountain, the highest point of the mountain.
Most of the plant life was bare on top of the mountain, with some traces of greenery on some trees and bushes. It was remarkable how they were able to stand tall despite the harsh winter.
Qing Shui went along the bumpy paths towards the peak, alarming many birds and small animals along the way.
He held two cobblestones in his hands. Qing Shui wasn't interested in killing the small animals as he intended to hunt for bigger animals like a wild goat or a wild deer, or something similar.
Just then, Qing Shui saw a foot tall ’’small tree’’ branching out like the shape of a palm. The six baby leaves were pale in color at their centre, and a small white flower bloomed on the tree. Looking closely, he didn't think it was very appealing. However, he was shocked when he realized what kind of plant it was.
Wasn't this the Immortal Fox Saliva?
It truly was the Immortal Fox Saliva!
’’Who would have thought the Immortal Fox Saliva would be here?’’ Qing Shui was puzzled. This was the highest point of the Nine Peak Mountain. Was there an ’’Immortal Fox’’ around here?
The Immortal Fox was actually a demonic beast level fox. Foxes were cunning in nature. Although they might be clever, their natural talents are limited. It was rare for a fox to evolve into the demonic beast level.
Evolution was also not a definite part of their nature. Theoretically, any animal could evolve into any stages in a particular order. The only problem was their chances of evolution!
Qing Shui collected the Immortal Fox Saliva and went into the Realm of Violet Jade Immortal. They were not expensive, but were scarce. Moreover, the chances of making the Immortal Fox spit out its saliva onto the unique ’’Azure Brim’’ were slim to none.
Qing Shui stood on the peak of the mountain, listening to the sound of the wind while gazing at the clouds. Although he felt brave, he still felt like he was missing something. Most importantly, Qing Shui could not feel excitement, even when standing at the highest point of the mountain.
He sighed and went back down the mountain.
Perhaps he was not feeling it yet. Perhaps it wasn't an appropriate time. Or perhaps he was missing a beautiful woman by his side?
A wild boar was unlucky enough to get caught by Qing Shui to become everyone's meal.
With some condiments at hand, some of the meat was grilled, and some made into stew. In the end, only half of the boar remained, since there weren't many people to begin with. Plus, some of the women had small appetites. Qing Luo, Qing He and Qing You ate a lot.
A week later
Qing Shui and the others finally made it to Yan City!
This would be Qing Shui's second time in the city!
Yan City was huge, even bigger than Hundred Miles City. The city lay in the heart of the Yan River. From a bird's eye view, the city resembled a golden swallow extending its wings.
They landed right within the public square in the city. The public square in Yan City could not even compare with the one in the Continent's Capital, where various types of beasts would constantly come and go. There were still many demonic beast level flying beasts around Yan City. However, when Qing Shui's Firebird and Canghai Mingyue's Golden Winged Thunder Condor landed on the ground, they garnered a lot of attention from the crowd.
’’Let's look for a place to stay first.’’ Qing Shui reminded himself.
As Qing Shui looked around, wondering where they could spend the night, he suddenly remembered his acquaintance who lived in the city.
He was the young man who had his ’’erectile dysfunction’’ cured by Qing Shui when he last visited the Hundred Miles City. Apparently he was also the young master of the Lai Residence!
’’Master, to the Lai Residence!’’
Qing Shui said to the coachman after they all sat inside a large beast chariot.
The others were confused, including Qing You, who was once here before.
The chariot sped along the wide, blue-rock pathway towards the Lai Residence. Qing Shui then realized that the Lai Clan was a well-known residence in the city, based on how quickly the coachman led them to the address with just the words 'Lai Residence'.
All the huge residential houses were situated in the most bustling part of the city the heart of Yan City. Because of the broad, smooth pathway lined with blue rocks, the beast chariot could travel as fast as eight hundred miles per two hours!
It had taken only four hours from the public square to the gates of the Lai Residence. When Qing Shui saw the splendid mansion in front of him, he knew right then and there that the Lai Residence was definitely one of the top families in Yan City.