Ancient Strengthening Technique - Chapter 690-691
AST 690 –Living in a dream, To be familiar with the unfamiliar
Very quickly, Qing Shui found out that Hai Dongqing lived here alone. As for her husband, Qing Shui had heard discussions about him before. It was unlikely that she had a husband.
Which meant that she lived here on her own!
Qing Shui followed Hai Dongqing and walked to a small courtyard. There was a brocade house and a pavilion in the courtyard. The brocade house had three floors. It should be the place where she lived. As for the pavilion, it also had three floors, but there was a high probability that it was used as a storehouse or a backup.
Actually, that brocade house alone was already more than enough for her to live in. There was a living room and a kitchen in it. Everything was complete. This further convinced him that the pavilion was used as storage.
The snow covering the ground of the courtyard had already gotten to about half a foot thick. Whenever Qing Shui stepped on it, it would make crunching noises. Without further delay, Hai Dongqing brought Qing Shui to the brocade house.
The brocade house was colored pink and looked really beautiful. People could tell that a woman lived in it with just one glance. As soon as Qing Shui entered the house, he found himself in a small living room. Taking into account its small size, this shouldn’t be the place where Hai Dongqing greeted her guests.
The room was really clean.Despite it being really cold outside, the room felt warm as if they were in Spring.
"Make yourself at home!" Hai Dongqing smiled.
There was a wooden tea table, two single couches, one three seater couch and one double seater couch. They were all snow white in color and had no trace of dust on them. The couches were placed around the tea table with both of its sides touching the walls, taking up almost all the space in the room. Even though the room was small, it felt really warm.
Qing Shui felt that this woman actually felt really insecure on her own, or rather, she lacked security. This triggered Qing Shui's curiosity.
Qing Shui responded with a smile. After that, he sat down on a single seater couch. Actually, it was only halfway through the morning now but the sky outside looked so dark, as if it was about to approach nighttime.
"What’s the purpose of you coming to Cold Ice City? I don’t mean anything by that, I just want to see if I can be of help." Hai Dongqing said with a smile. It might be because she was afraid that Qing Shui would get the wrong idea.
Humans were like this. If they meet acquaintances from their hometown in a place that they are unfamiliar with, they would feel very close to them.
Just like the present Qing Shui and Hai Dongqing. At this moment, Qing Shui felt as if Zhao Dongqing was a friend she hasn’t seen in years.
"Why would you take me home so boldly today? Are you not afraid that you might be inviting a wolf into your den?" Qing Shui sounded really calm when he was asking her. Instead, he smiled while looking at the wise woman.
"Inviting a wolf into my den? If you truly are a wolf, guess I’ll have no choice but to submit." Her fresh pupils had a kind of fatal attractiveness to them.
Qing Shui turned his head to avoid looking at the beautiful woman. He shook his head and said: "I’m here to see if I can find a Three-tailed Immortal Fox. I need its blood."
"Three-tailed Immortal Fox? This kind of spiritual being is kind of rare." Hai Dongqing knitted her brows and said gently to Qing Shui, who was sitting across from her.
"Yeah, that’s why I’m here in Cold Ice City, to test my luck. I never thought that I'd run into you. It seems like I’m quite lucky this trip. For all you know, I might be able to find the Three-tailed Immortal Fox in no time." Qing Shui said casually.
"The Three-tailed Immortal Fox is at least a Martial Saint demonic beast. It specializes in speed and has high intelligence. Hence, it wouldn’t be that easy to catch it." Hai Dongqing raised her head and looked at Qing Shui. It seemed like she didn’t get Qing Shui's humor.
"Yeah, I have come up with a way to capture it. As long as I’m able to find it, I’m sure that I’ll be able to get it." Qing Shui sounded really confident.
"Is that so…… Cold Ice City is near Ice Sea. At the shore of Ice Sea, there is Ice Cloud Mountain. It’s said that there is Immortal Fox Valley in the middle of the mountain. Legend has it that Immortal Foxes exist there. But I can’t tell you for sure that it will be there, maybe I’ll bring you there a bit later," Hai Dongqing told Qing Shui after thinking for a while.
Qing Shui thought it over for a while. For now, the most important thing for him to do was to find the Immortal Fox. At most, he could just give her some rewards for the things she did for him, hence, he nodded: "well then, thank you Miss Hai."
"You don’t have to thank me. I can’t say for sure that we will be able to find one anyway." Hai Dongqing smiled and said casually.
After that, the two started talking about casual things. The two got along well with each other. Time went by really fast. In the blink of an eye, it was already noon. Even though the snow outside the house became lighter, there was still no sign of it stopping.
"You should rest for a while. I’ll prepare some dishes, otherwise we are going to starve for the entire afternoon." Hai Dongqing stood up and smiled. She sounded really charming and mischievous.
This somewhat muddled Qing Shui as he had never thought that a woman like her would cook for herself. Not only this, that gentle voice of hers made him felt unusually comfortable.
"Do you always prepare your own meals?" Qing Shui asked in confusion.
"Yeah, I prefer making them myself. I don’t really have many things to do here. Don’t worry, my cooking skills are quite decent." Hai Dongqing wasn’t really surprised with Qing Shui's expression.
"Well, let’s make it together then. I know how to cook too." Since Qing Shui was feeling rather bored and she looked quite confident in her cooking skills, Qing Shui wanted to tease her.
Hai Dongqing was stunned. After that, she smiled and said: "You can join me if you like!"
After she finished speaking, she turned around and walked to the kitchen.
Qing Shui also followed her to the kitchen. It was possible that because he felt it was a bit inappropriate for an extreme beauty like her to cook that he was being like that.
"Young Lady Hai. Let's compete to see if the food that I prepare tastes more delicious than yours, how about it?" Qing Shui smiled.
Qing Shui saw no traces of dust in the kitchen. The majority of the food in the kitchen was vegetables and wild herbs. There were also a few medicinal herbs and meats except the meat came in very small amounts.
"Sure!: Hai Dongqing smiled.
A beautiful woman would look beautiful no matter what she did. Even Qing Shui couldn't help but look at her a few times. He didn't actually thirst for her beauty, instead, he admired it. Other than that, it was also because he was curious to see a beautiful woman cook.
It seemed like Hai Dongqing hasn't noticed. The faint smile on her face looked so natural and elegant that it could bewitch people. As she cooked, she thought about the scene back when Qing Shui bought Hai Clan's house.
"Don't look at me like that, what are you so curious about, me? I'm here to buy the house." Qing Shui smiled at the extremely beautiful woman.
"Well indeed, I'm really curious about you. I'm curious with how you cultivate, you already have such a high cultivation level at such a young age. I doubt that there will be any more youngsters who are able to reach this kind of cultivation level at your age."
"I have warned you before. Don’t get curious with men. The more you want to know about them, the more attached you will grow to be. By the way, I’m not young."
"You vain brat. I have no interest in little boys." Hai Dongqing said with a smile.
As she thought about the incident back then, she felt as if it was something that happened a long time ago. When she finally got to reunite with him again however, she felt both familiar and distant to him. It was a feeling that couldn’t be expressed in words.
Qing Shui prepared a meat dish and a vegetable dish. He was considered average with his cooking skills. But since he relied on his spices, the room was filled with an inextricable fragrant smell from the very start.
By the time Qing Shui made his move, Hai Dongqing was already almost done with her dishes. By the time the room was filled with the fragrant smell, she was already done. She looked at Qing Shui in surprise, shocked by the fact that he was actually able to make his dishes give off such delicious smell with just vegetables and meat.
"It's almost done, let's go have our lunch!" Qing Shui said while carrying two dishes in his hands.
"Oh, alright!" A moment ago, Hai Dongqing was still dreaming while staring at Qing Shui. When she came back to her senses, she blushed and responded in a shy way.
He was totally different from before. He had become more mature and more like a gentleman.
There were already four dishes of food on the table. Now, Qing Shui had also prepared a bowl of soup. Very quickly, he carried the bowl of soup and moved it to the table.
"Qing Shui, I could already tell that yours tasted better just by smelling it." Hai Dongqing felt a bit embarrassed to say it. After all, before this, she sort of boasted about her cooking skills.
"You'll eat the one I made and I'll eat the one you made, is that ok?" Qing Shui said with a smile.
"Hmph! You are purposely trying to embarrass me with your cooking skill. You're not going to get anything to eat as a punishment." Hai Dongqing told Qing Shui in an annoyed tone.
"I'm wrong, I'll teach you how to do it later. I guarantee that it will be much better than mine in no time." Qing Shui smiled.
"Alright then, instead of not letting you eat anything, I’ll order you to finish all of those that I prepared as a kind of punishment. Do not ever say that it tastes bad." Hai Dongqing said with a smile. The way she spoke with her peaceful and elegant look felt unusually attractive. This was a kind of charm which belonged to a mature and graceful woman.
Qing Shui admired mature, elegant and wise women the most. In his opinion, a real woman was a woman who had years of experience in life.
The food that Hai Dongqing prepared was still considered quite decent. Most importantly, the dishes were prepared by an extremely beautiful woman. Not to mention that there were numerous people who wanted to taste the dishes that Hai Dongqing prepared. However, no one other than Qing Shui managed to taste it.
Qing Shui complemented her skills in cooking with all of his heart. After all, the reason why he won was only because he had his ingredients.
"Yours tasted even better…… But I'm not going to let you eat them." Hai Dongqing said with a smile. Despite what she said, she still served him a bowl of soup.
After finishing their meal. Hai Dongqing wanted Qing Shui to teach her how to cook. However, Qing Shui immediately gave her his spices and told her to do it the way she normally did it. Just by adding the spices, her dishes ended up turning out better than Qing Shui's.
Now Hai Dongqing did not know whether to feel happy or disappointed. If her cooking could reach this level as a result of skills, she would be willing to learn. However, this needed special ingredients, without these ingredients, she would not be able to do it.
In the end, Qing Shui left behind a lot of spices for her. The amount that he gave her was enough for her to use for ten years. This made her so happy that she smiled.
"How has it been ever since you guys moved here? Why are you living here alone?" Qing Shui asked casually.
"This is the ancestral home of Hai Clan. The people from my grandpa's generations were the ones that moved out. Before he passed away, he mentioned that the future generations must come back here to acknowledge their clan. That's why we're back here. Since I really enjoy the peace here, I decided to come out and live here." Hai Dongqing smiled.
"This place isn't that bad after all. It isn't that bad to live alone. You can do whatever you like as long as you don't feel lonely." Qing Shui smiled looking at the surroundings.
"Well, it's good to hear that you have gotten used to it. You can stay here for a night. I'll bring you to Immortal Fox Valley tomorrow, does that sound ok?" Hai Dongqing said calmly.
"I'm going to stay here?" Qing Shui stunned and looked at Hai Dongqing.
"In your dream! Go stay in that building!" Hai Dongqing blushed and said angrily.
"Oh… You just scared me. I thought that you wanted to let me sleep here."
"Go and die……"
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AST 691 –Yearning
After spending some time with Hai Dongqing, Qing Shui realized that she was actually quite agreeable. Meeting her here made him feel as if he had reunited with an old friend he hadn’t seen in a very long time.
At that moment, a sharp voice suddenly rang out. Qing Shui could tell that it was Hai Shiya, that lady who had once been very close with Tan Yang.
Hai Shiya walked in and saw Qing Shui who was with Hai Dongqing. She was first alarmed before she broke into a smile and said, “Oh, Auntie is together with someone?”
Qing Shui looked at this lady who was tall, had a beautiful face, and was quite curvy. Her face was filled with a feminine charm and she gave off a blissful feeling.
With one look, Qing Shui could sense that she should be someone who had just gotten married. She was at the stage where the love between the couple was the strongest and there was also physical satisfaction.
“Hello. I’ve heard from Auntie that you’re someone she thinks very well of.”Hai Shiya smiled and greeted Qing Shui.
“You horrible lass, what are you talking about.”Hai Dongqing scolded Hai Dongqing in an irritated tone.
“Hello!”Qing Shui smiled and replied. Previously, both Hai Dongqing and himself had stood up. Now, all three of them sat down around the table.
They had a few polite exchanges. After all, Qing Shui wasn't familiar with either Hai Dongqing or Hai Shiya. However, as they chatted, they seemed to gradually know each other better.
Seeing that Qing Shui was around, Hai Shiya left after a short while. However, before she did, she blinked her beautiful eyes at Qing Shui, and said, “Recently, my Aunt hasn’t been very happy. However, she seems to be very happy today. Thank you.”
She left behind these words that puzzled Qing Shui and made him not know how to respond.
“Don’t listen to her gibberish. You must be tired as well, I’ll bring you to your room.”Hai Dongqing said casually.
Qing Shui agreed and followed her. The snow outside had already stopped, even though it was still a cloudy day. This was how the weather here was usually like. Normally, there would be a full sunny day once in a week.
Plowing through the thick layers of snow, they headed for the pavilion building.
“Sister, you’re already Misty Hall’s Palace Mistress and Sister Jiange is also Heavenly Palace’s Guardian.”Huoyun Liu-Li chuckled and said to Canghai Mingyue.
“I’m merely standing in for now. When Sister Chen comes back, I’ll pass back the position to her. Elder Ge promised me that.”Canghai Mingyue’s beautiful eyes were full of smiles as she looked at Huoyun Liu-Li.
“Each time he leaves, it’s for a long period of time…”Huoyun Liu-Li sighed unconsciously.
“Why, Liu-Li, do you missing him?”Canghai Mingyue smiled and looked at Huoyun Liu-Li.
Being stared at by Canghai Mingyue, Huoyun Liu-Li’s blushed. “Doesn’t elder sister miss him? Zun`er and Yin`er are both starting to recognize people. When that rascal comes back, the two of them won’t be able to recognize him.”
Saying this, Huoyun Liu-Li smiled.
At the mention of her two kids, a blissful smiled appeared on Canghai Mingyue’s face. “Liu-Li, we must learn to be more considerate of him. He has gone through more sufferings than anyone else for so many years. Even if he doesn’t mention it, even if other people are not aware, aren’t we aware of it?”
Hearing Canghai Mingyue’s words, a slight sparkle appeared in Huoyun Liu-Li’s eyes. “Mmm, I know. Sister, that’s why I’m very happy. The fact that we can all be together is better than anything else. We’ve seen a lot of what he had put in and experienced, but it’s also possibly that there’s much more that we’ve not seen. Everything will turn out fine for us in the future.”
At that moment, Qing Zun and Qing Yin ran over towards Canghai Mingyue and Huoyun Liu-Li. The two kids were around two years old and could already run around. It’s about the time when they would start to remember what was happening around them.
Canghai Mingyue felt very satisfied looking at her son and daughter. She reached out to carry Qing Zun while Huoyun Liu-Li carried Qin Yin.
The two of them were extremely good-looking, as if they were carefully carved from jade. Qin Yin looked very similar to Canghai Mingyue. Although she was still very young, her brows and eyes were just like Canghai Mingyue. As for Qing Zun, his brows were like Canghai Mingyue’s but his eyes and nose were closer to Qing Shui’s. For the other areas, they didn’t particularly look like their parents.
“You rascal, look at how dirty you’ve gotten yourself.”Canghai Mingyue smiled as she pinched Qing Zun’s cheek.
Qin Yin was not much better. Canghai Mingyue smiled as she rubbed Qin Yin’s head and spoke to her. The two kids replied with their loud laughter and reached out for Canghai Mingyue’s face.
Huoyun Liu-Li appeared to be very happy as well. It was just that she had an indescribable feeling!
It was actually not very lively in Qing Clan anymore. Yiye Jiange and Luan Luan were in the Heavenly Palace. Huoyun Liu-Li would be there most of the time too, but she would come back to stay in the Qing Clan once every few days.
Wenren Wu-shuang was also in the Heavenly Palace now and was an Elder of Misty Hall. Shi Qingzhuang was together with Wenren Wu-shuang while Canghai Mingyue stayed in Qing Clan to take care of her two kids. Mingyue Gelou and Yuchang also stayed at Qing Clan.
With the support of a Martial Saint cultivator, the Qing Clan was like the rising sun in Greencloud Continent. On the surface, there were no other clans who could stand up to them.
Heavenly Palace’s Patriarch was from Qing Clan, and there were also multiple Martial Saint level cultivators in Qing Clan. Moreover, there were also budding hopes in Qing Clan, as the abilities of the younger generation’s were soaring at a rapid speed.
This was especially so for Luan Luan, Qing Bei and Qing You. As the Qing Clan’s younger generation, they were already starting to show their shine. If other people knew of Luan Luan’s actual cultivation level, they might not just feel that she was just beginning to shine.
After they saw Qing Yi, the two kids ran over happily. After taking the Xiantian Golden Pellet, Qing Yi didn’t appear to age. She was already a grandmother now. Although Luan Luan and Yuchang also called her granny, they weren’t the same as Qing Zun and Qin Yin.
Everyone knew that Yuchang wasn't Qing Shui’s kid. Even though Qing Shui treated her as his own family, and Qing Yi did the same. Despite this, she still hoped that Qing Shui could have a child of his own.
Everyone in Qing Clan felt that Luan Luan was Qing Shui’s own kid, but she was unlike Qing Zun and Qin Yin whom everyone had seen growing up bit by bit. The feelings spent on them were different. Luan Luan had only come to Qing Clan after she was a bit older.
Qing Yi carried the two of them, one in each hand.
Just then, Mingyue Gelou and Little Yuchang came and called out everyone to that it was meal time. It was rarer now for everyone in Qing Clan to have their meals together. However, sometimes, Qing Luo, Lin Zhanhan and the other members of Qing Clan would come over for a meal.
Qing Yi’s place was now also considered a small branch of its own, with quite a number of people when everyone was present.
After the few Martial Saints from the Residence of the Sky Tyrant Lord submitted to Qing Shui, they had also started to live here. Everyone lived together harmoniously.
Hundred Miles City!
Everything in Hundred Miles City remained the same. It wouldn’t be changing just because a certain person was not around. It continued to grow as usual. Without the Night Fragrance Court, 花月楼 appeared;without Situ Clan, Zheng Clan appeared.
The Shi Clan was still the biggest clan and the Yu Clan was also a reputable clan. Due to Qing Shui’s reputation, Hundred Miles City had now become a special existence in Cang Lang Country.
Although Qing Shui wasn't in Hundred Miles City, everyone knew that a lady from the Shi Clan was his fiancee. This condition alone was sufficient to make the Shi Clan a special existence. Moreover, Shi Clan was Hundred Miles City’s strongest pillar.
“Lass, it’s been so long…You still can’t get over him?”Yu Donghao walked up to Yu He who was standing next to the pond.
“I want to forget him, but I can’t. Grandfather, what do you think I should do?”Yu He replied dejectedly.
“Lass, your cultivation level is quite good now. Why don’t you go out for a walk? Maybe you’ll be able to forget him and find the one that is right for you.”Yu Donghao gave it some thought and advised.
“Grandfather, I’m thinking of going to the 'Hundred Flowers Garden'. Back then, Granny Hundred Flowers said that I’m more suited to cultivate the Hundred Flower Secret Arts and said that if I’ve thought it through, I can look for her in Hundred Flowers Valley.”Yu He looked at this old man who had treated her the best…her closest kin.
“Are you sure you want to go?”
“Lass, actually, you can go look for him. I’ve lived for so many years and I have seen a lot. Qing Shui definitely feels something for you.”Yu Donghao sighed and said.
“Grandfather, no need to say anymore. A love that comes from pity and charity…I’d rather not have it.”Yu He frowned, feeling pained.
“Lass, you’re overthinking things. Why can’t you get over this point? You’re stubborn, but so is Qing Shui. If neither of you take the first step forward, you won’t be able to get together. Lass, have you thought about this before?”Yu Donghao felt pained when he saw Yu He like this.
“I can’t do this yet. In the future, maybe I can. Even if I were to appear before him, I can’t do so like this.”Yu He mumbled.
“No matter what you want to do, grandfather will support you. You must take care of yourself." Yu Donghao let out a long sigh.”
“Grandfather, I will. Don’t worry.”Yu He clenched her teeth and said.
“When are you setting off?”Yu Donghao knew that he wouldn't be able to stop this stubborn lass.
“Tomorrow. Grandfather, you’ll have to take care too!”
Qing Shui followed Hai Dongqing to the pavilion and saw that it was very clean here. It hadn't been treated as a storage place and was only treated as a backup home.
The hall was very big but just empty. Other than a few paintings of mountains and rivers on the walls, there were nothing else.
Hai Dongqing led Qing Shui up to the 2nd floor and stopped before a room next to the staircase. She then reached out with her hand and gently pushed open the door.
This was a small bedroom with a double bed which was two meters in both length and width. There were bedsheets, but no blankets.
There was a window at the back with a purple colored standing shelf made from altar wood. Hai Dongqing smiled as she walked up to it, taking out a thin pink-colored blanket and placinh it on the bed.
“You’ll have to put up with it and stay here for now.”Hai Dongqing said, feeling bad.
“Thank you. It’s very good here.”replied Qing Shui.
“Then have a good rest. I’ll be heading back as well.”After saying this, Hai Dongqing felt a bit weird but she smiled and turned to leave.
Qing Shui sent her out. The sky had just started to turn dark. Darkness falls earlier and the sun rises later here than in other places. Nightfall and daylight was split 50-50. However, there were still light stones, so there wasn't much difference between night and day. After all, the Cold Ice City was a city that never slept.
Returning to the room, Qing Clan laid down on the bed. It wasn't the time to enter the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal yet. After everything turned quiet, Qing Clan realized that it had been about a year since he had left Greencloud Continent. He couldn't help but think of his mother, Canghai Mingyue, and the other ladies, as well as the kids, especially those two children of his.
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