Ancient Strengthening Technique - Chapter 979-980
AST 979 –Yan Ling`er Cried, Thousand Crane Slash, Six Lotus Flowers
“Qingqing!”Guo Polu rubbed his head and stood before Qingqing. There was surprise, love, as well as some slight happiness and unease.
Qingqing was wearing a snow white pleated dress and snow white boots. Her beautiful hair was tied up high. With her exquisite beauty, as well as her eyes which were like a pair of Black Treasured Stones, she wouldn’t lose out even if she were to stand amidst Yiye Jiange and Canghai Mingyue. Qingqing didn’t have same the domineering aura that they had, but she had a stubborn and soft disposition.
“You look so foolish!”Qingqing smiled and chided Guo Polu, causing him to be dazed.
“Young Master Guo, isn’t my Sister Qingqing beautiful?”Qing Bei teased Guo Polu.
“Beautiful, beautiful!”Guo Polu said straightforwardly. He was a devoted person and wasn’t one who would flirt around with other ladies. He didn’t even know how to coax a girl and had fallen in love with Qingqing at first sight, falling hopelessly in love with her. Even though she had been in a plight, he had still fallen in love with her. It was also this aspect that made Qingqing touched. She knew about all the things he had done for her. It was just that back then, she didn’t even have freedom.
For so many years, only a few people had truly entered her life. Her father, Qing Shui, her mother, the people from Qing Clan, and then Guo Polu.
Qingqing had even thought of marrying him. At least, if she were to get married, it would have to be to this guy. She hadn’t expected for him to wait for so many years, waiting just for her.
This might be fate. Therefore, this time around, she didn’t resist but was a little happy. It was because she saw that the women around Qing Shui were very blissful. Whenever she thought of Yan City, she would feel very sad. However, this guy had left a deep imprint in her heart.
The group headed toward Guo Clan. This was Yan City and everyone could remember what had happened here in the past very clearly. After all, many of them couldn’t forget what had happened.
After the marriage to Guo Clan has been decided, the news spread out in Yan City within a few days time. Some people said that Guo Clan must have accumulated good karma from their previous life. There were also people who said that Qing Clan didn’t judge people based on their background and there were fewer clans who were like them these days.
These words were especially prickly to the ears of the other clans in Yan City. Most aristocrat clans would always try to use their children’s weddings as tools to form relationships. Therefore, when they heard people saying things like this, they felt a little weird.
Yan Clan knew of Guo Clan’s wedding when it was decided. Right now, Yan Haoran was the one in-charge of Yan Clan. He was Qing Shui’s and Qingqing’s grandfather, but Qing Shui didn’t recognize him as his grandfather.
Right now, there were many people in Yan Clan’s hall, and Yan Ling`er was around too. Many of them were sighing deeply. Many other people, if placed in the same situation, would do the same as the Yan Clan. However, now that Qing Clan had soared, Yan Haoran would not dare to do anything shameless.
Back then, he had also felt helpless, very helpless. He couldn’t let more people from his sixth branch be killed just for a single granddaughter. Yan Haozheng had lost his mind. However, Yan Haoran was very happy to see that his granddaughter was living the life of a phoenix right now. It was better than her staying in Yan City and leading a tough life.
“I feel that no matter what, Yan Clan would still have to go once to offer gifts and congratulations. After all, you’re still Qingqing’s grandfather and Qingqing knew that we were left with no choice. We aren’t asking for more, but just for quiet and safety. We won’t suck up to Qing Clan. Qingqing was Zhongyue’s child and had grown up in Yan Clan. We let her lead a hard life. This is good as well. We have to start somewhere.”An old man sighed and said as he thought about Yan Haoran.
Yan Clan’s sixth branch was under Yan Haoran, since he was ranked sixth amongst his siblings. Yan Haozheng’s branch had been eliminated by Qing Clan and Yan Clan’s clan head had committed suicide to end the problems between Qing Clan and Yan Clan.
Lai Jiutian looked at his son who was becoming increasingly mature. He had never expected that his son had managed to get to befriend such a powerful character. He smiled before saying, “Chusong, remember to bring a big gift on the day of the wedding. Let Qing Shui and his family come stay at our place for two days so that we can play host to him.”
Chusong was very thankful toward Qing Shui. Back then, Qing Shui was the one who had cured his 'illness'. If he didn’t, Chusong wouldn’t know how he would live. Additionally, how could he explain it to his family? Impotence was worse than death for a guy.
“Mmm, I know what to do!”Lai Chusong nodded and said.
“Then that’s fine. Chusong, when you came into contact with Qing Clan, they weren’t what they are today. What’s important in a friendship is to keep an open heart. Don’t try to suck up to him, it’ll only put you in a bad spot. Let nature take its course, just like how it is for friends.”Lai Jiutian patted his son’s shoulder and said.
After staying in Guo Clan, Qing Shui would bring his children out to walk around and buy things. He would carry Qing Yu, and lead the other children, including Qing Zi’s child. Qingqing was around as well. She also wanted to take a look around Yan City.
Although this place held many sad memories for her, it was also where she had grown up and where Guo Polu had grown up as well. Furthermore, it was also the place that Qing Shui had brought her away from.
Qing Zi was around too. Qing Zi was now in his forties and was tall with a muscular build. He was still honest and straightforward, but now he gave others a feeling of maturity. Towards Qing Shui, he really was full of admiration.
“Brother Qing Zi, Changfeng has good potential. You must teach him well. He’ll be able to achieve big things in the future.”Qing Shui smiled and said as he looked at the few kids who were running around.
Changfeng was already over ten years old. Together with Qing Zun and Qin Yin, he was looking around the surroundings quietly while the other younger kids ran around the place, taking a look at anything and everything.
“Qing Shui, when you’re back at home, help me teach him. This lad only listens to you.”Qing Zi laughed and said.
Qing Yan tripped on a piece of brick as she was running and started to fall forwards. Qing Shui’s heart tightened. Although they were a distance away and there were people between them, he had the ability to catch Qing Yan before she fell down.
It was just that he was carrying Qing Yu, and it wasn’t suitable for her to perform the Nine Palace Steps. Qing Shui didn’t know Spiritual Confinement. If he did, he would be able to use it on Qing Yan and she would be fine.
Qing Shui was very anxious and could only rush over quickly.
However, just as Qing Yan was about to fall, a pair of arms grabbed her and carried her up. The lass lifted up her head to see a beautiful lady who was smiling as she looked at her.
“Thank you, aunty!”Qing Yan said happily.
Qing Shui only saw who this lady was after he reached forwards.
Right now, Yan Ling`er was much more mature than before. Her face was still very exquisite and she now had an additional graceful disposition. When she saw Qing Shui, she smiled and said, “Brother Shui!”
Qing Shui didn’t know what to say, but Qingqing smiled and said, “Ling`er, you came at the right timing. Otherwise, that lass would have fallen.”
After Yan Ling`er exchanged a few lines with Qingqing, she then looked at Qing Shui. In fact, she was slightly older than Qing Shui, but she was used to calling him 'Brother Shui'. When she looked at Qing Shui once again, there was a hint of sadness in her eyes.
“Brother Shui, I know that Yan Clan did the Qing Clan wrong, and did Sister Qing wrong. We had tried hard before as well, but it was useless. We were even beaten up a few times before. Back then, whoever was found to have given Sister Qing money or other things, they would have their legs broken.”Yan Ling`er sighed and said.
“Qing Shui, they are innocent. They’ve secretly helped me on several occasions as well. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t have managed to wait till you came for me.”Qingqing looked at Qing Shui and said softly.
“I hope that you don’t mention Yan Clan to me in the future. I don’t wish to hear it.”Qing Shui looked at Yan Ling`er and said calmly before reaching out his hands to take Qing Yan from her hands.
Tears quickly trickled down Yan Ling`er’s face. She took a look at Qing Shui before she quickly turned and ran off.
No one else said anything, and even Qingqing was silent. Back then, Qing Shui had already found Yan Clan unforgivable for abandoning their mother, and they even put a blade against their grandfather’s neck…
Someone had already paid the price for all of these things, a terrible price. Qingqing looked at Qing Shui. The anger he felt was also partially because of the hardships she had been put through in Yan City.
"Father is dead. If father was still around, it might be different if mother were to step out!" Qingqing sighed helplessly.
She reached out her hands to carry Qing Yu, letting Qing Shui carry Qing Yan.
“Qing Shui, can you never forget Yan Clan? The people in Yan Clan who deserved to die are already dead.”Qingqing asked softly.
“Unless that person comes back to life.”Qing Shui hesitated a little before he said with great determination.
Qingqing fell silent. She knew who Qing Shui was referring to. It was their father, Yan Zhongyue!
Yan Ling`er’s appearance caused Qing Shui to lose a lot of interest in shopping around and they returned after a short while. Qingqing’s and Guo Polu’s wedding banquet was to be held in two days. Although they had decided on a time in Qing Clan previously, it was only a rough estimation and it would still be dependent on when the members of Qing Clan arrived.
They would be issuing wedding invitations during these two days.
After returning, Qing Shui found time to enter the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal.
The flowers, grass, and even the pond in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal had all been surrounded by Qing Shui’s Spirit Gathering Formation. This would not only hasten their growth, but would also allow them to gain spiritual intelligence. However, Qing Shui’s mastery of formations was still quite low and he would be spending most of his time now studying them.
His main focus would be the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation. The other members of Qing Clan had also started to study about formations. Qing Zi and some other people would only learn the Duality Minutest Formation, how to survive in formations, as well as the Five Elements Minor Formation.
Currently, Qing Shui could only learn five formations. He didn’t know if it was because he would only be able to learn the remaining formations after reaching a certain level of mastery, or if there would be some special formations which would pop up.
His progress in the Tiger Form had increased a lot and his Roc Form had also reached a bottleneck. He hadn’t reached the large success stage for the Roc’s Might and there no new battle techniques had appeared. Therefore, right now, he still needed to cultivate the Heart of Roc, Roc Spreading Wings, and Roc’s Might.
The Elephant Form seemed to be mainly supporting techniques. There were also killing moves, but it shouldn’t Form Transformation. He hadn’t expected that the Tiger Form would be the first to Form Transformation. For this period of time, Qing Shui had managed to cultivate the Thousand Crane Slash to the large success stage. However, he hadn’t used it before and he hadn’t spend much time cultivating it either.
The other thing was the Blue Lotus Art. Qing Shui had been constantly cultivating this, but he hadn’t discovered any great killing prowess from it when he used it against high grade cultivators. It could be because he hadn’t reached a high enough mastery. With the tremendous change to his spirit energy, Qing Shui could now control the six golden lotus flowers with great mastery.
However, he could only use them as hidden weapons right now, from quite a good distance away. In the past, there was someone in Qing Clan who had managed to reach the 9th Lotus Manifestation Stage. Qing Shui felt that these golden lotuses which were the size of big basins could be used as more than hidden weapons and shields.
Compared to using them as hidden weapons, Qing Shui felt that they were better used as shields. These lotuses were controlled by spirit energy and would move wherever he willed them to. He could instantaneously create six barriers to defend himself from his opponents.
It was only recently that six lotuses had appeared, and he was only recently able to control them with ease. Right now, what he needed was more practice on his control. His spirit energy was many times stronger than before and it didn’t take much effort for him to freely control the six lotus flowers. He felt that this time around, he would be able to fully grasp control over them in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal.
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AST 980 –Wedding Banquet, Some Were Happy, Some Were Sad
It would never hurt to acquire more skills. He had the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal, so time wasn’t an issue. Qing Shui decided that he would continue his practice, hoping that his efforts would eventually lead to a surprising result. Even if it wasn't anything surprising, it would at least be useful to some degree.
Because of his surge in power and the strengthening of his spiritual energy, the golden lotus the size of a washbasin had become twice as large as before –or even more. The current diameter of the lotus was about two feet wide. It used to be a feet wide at most.
With both of his hands, he continuously struck out with the Blue Lotus Art and six golden lotus flowers flew out in a line. This was followed by a streak of black scratch marks behind the whistled glimmer. The force of each strike was decently strong, but it would be a bit difficult to match up against any Martial Emperor. The deadliness of this skill was quite lacking but the energy consumption was high.
The lotus flowers continued to change its position, with three circling around Qing Shui to shield him from harm, and the other three forming an equilateral triangle before they swiveled outwards in the direction of the sky. The lotus flowers had the ability to change their forms in the air as well. Qing Shui waited until he had recovered some strength in his fists before he released the lotus flowers again, increasing the formidable force of the golden lotus flowers.
Two golden lotus flowers clashed with each other, instantly exploding into a burst of golden light. Qing Shui jerked a little when he felt an abundant amount of spiritual energy traveling to the surroundings from the earlier explosion. He was also surprised when he discovered that the golden lotus flowers could act as a barrier between him and his opponent as he could prepare his killer move without his opponent’s knowledge.
However, those were just some conceptual ideas he had at that moment. Qing Shui began to condense his energy once more. Controlling the golden lotus flowers required constant scheming, which was why he had decided to cultivate his Blue Lotus Art in the first place. Even though this technique wasn't as powerful as the Hidden Weapon Technique, it wouldn't stay like that forever. Moreover, he had a feeling that the Blue Lotus Art has a miraculous effect that he had yet to discover.
There might only be a slight difference from the growth of the Blue Lotus Art, but the difference was noticeable. This was especially true because he wasn't able to fully grasp the power of the Blue Lotus Art in the past. For that reason, he decided to continue the cultivation of this technique in an attempt to discover the depths of its power.
Suddenly, Qing Shui felt the three lotus flowers that had been surrounding him release a subtle amount of spiritual energy into his body, enveloping him in a warm sensation. He closed his eyes slowly and began to feel the warmth traversing through his body.
Qing Shui then abruptly opened his eyes, visibly shocked to see the three golden lotuses already shifting behind his back. He then took out a golden knife and slit a wound across his arms before he closed his eyes again. Even though his body and self-regenerating ability were strong, he could still feel the spiritual energy emanating from the golden lotus flowers traversing to his wound to regenerate his damaged cells.
Qing Shui pondered on what he had discovered for a while. He then realized the potential of his Blue Lotus Art. Not only could the lotus flowers act as barriers against his opponents, they could also be used to heal him as well. Moreover, these lotus flowers also had a subtle rejuvenating effect on his dantian qi, an effect that he had just realized a few moments ago.
Could this be a special effect that only the six golden lotuses had? Qing Shui was able to grasp the ability of the six golden lotuses, albeit barely. The effect of the golden lotuses would definitely become stronger in the future, and its current appearance of a dignified lotus would also become larger, enhancing its formidable power in the process.
The time inside the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal passed by slowly. Once he entered the realm, he would have to spend about 100 days inside, totaling to about three months. Because of that, he was able to train every day until he had reached a certain level of improvement to his techniques.
At the end of his time spent inside the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal, Qing Shui's golden lotus flowers had grown to about three feet in diameter, with its thickness being about two feet. He had grown proficient in controlling the lotus flowers, and he felt more powerful when striking with them, gaining an incredible amount of prowess in this particular skill.
Two days later, the wedding ceremony began. The entrance of the Guo Clan was flooded with carriages and guests made their way into the banquet. The earliest to arrive was Lai Jiutian, Lai Chusong, and their families from the Lai Clan. Qing Shui smiled and greeted them with the members of Guo Clan at the entrance door.
"Brother Lai, you've arrived!" Guo Yanglong and Guo Polu both greeted them sincerely as the Lai Clan walked in.
After a few words of politeness, Lai Jiutian, Lai Chusong, and the other members of the Lai Clan entered the residence happily.
Qing Clan were relatives by marriage, but the distance between their hometown and Yan City was quite far apart. But soon after the Lai Clan had arrived, the others guests soon followed suit. Among these guests were mostly those who came from the Continent's Capital. This was the wedding of the eldest daughter of the Qing Clan, which was also an opportunity to shower flatteries to the Qing Clan –an opportunity that they could never miss.
Although Qing Shui had expected such things to happen, he was still shocked for an entirely different reason –there were too many guests paving their way into the banquet.
In the end, Qing Shui and the other members of the Qing Clan had to come out to welcome the absurd number of guests into the residence.
"The Yan Clan has arrived!"
After this announcement, Qing Shui looked into the distance and saw a group of people approaching the residence. The man leading the group was Yan Haoran, walking side by side with Yan Ling'er. When she saw Qing Shui at the entrance, she flashed a wide smile, as if she had forgotten the incident of that fateful day.
Guo Yanglong and Guo Polu glanced at Qing Shui with a smile before moving forwards to greet the Yan Clan. Regardless of the past, they were now guests of the wedding. Before Qing Shui could turn around and enter the Guo Residence, a voice called out to him and stopped him in his tracks.
Yan Ling'er smiled as she approached Qing Shui with eyes widely looking at him.
When this girl knew about his true identity, she had nothing else in her mind except a glimmer of hope that Qing Shui would eventually forgive the Yan Clan in the future. She hoped that he would stop looking at the Yan Clan with hatred, and stop looking at her with scornful eyes. When she saw Qing Shui leaving, Yan Ling'er took the chance and called out to him amidst the crowd surrounding the area.
Qing Shui stopped and looked at her.
"Bother Shui, today is sister Qingqing's wedding. You see, everyone's happy. I'm happy too." Yan Ling'er held onto Qing Shui's sleeves and let out a soft laughter. However, there was a bit of anxiousness in her eyes when she spoke to Qing Shui.
Qing Shui smiled and understood her meaning. He should have let Qingqing's wedding settle with a happy ending and prioritize Qingqing's happiness before his own selfish desires. This was a simple reason to stop delving into his family feud, so he stopped holding onto his hatred for now. He hadn't even noticed the same friendly greeting she had called him, even after all these years. How nasty had he become?
Qing Shui stood at one side so that the members of the Yan Clan could see him when they came in. They glanced at the man who should have 'Yan' as his surname and a flood of regrets and anguish flushed through their hearts. They recalled what Yan Clan had done to his family, and most importantly, his sister.
If he had kept his surname as Yan, perhaps the Yan Clan could have become what the Qing Clan was today. They were the ones who pushed away a prodigy to the Qing Clan, causing themselves to fall into this situation that they had wrought for themselves.
The members of the Qing Clan had become stronger than before, creating a great disparity between the strength of the Qing Clan and the strength of the Yan Clan. Back then, the members of the Qing Clan didn't even have what it took to reach Xiantian…
Yan Haoran sighed and continued his way inside. At this point, he seemed to have aged considerably. As Yan Zhongyue's father, he felt that he mistreated his own son as well as his grandchildren. Zhongyue would not rest easy if he knew how bad he had mistreated his children in the past!
Yan Haoran frowned as he passed by the members of the Guo Clan.
Qing Shui turned to look at his mother and noticed the depressed expression on her face as she stared at Yan Haoran's back blankly. He sighed and said, "Mother!"
"Qing Shui, he is your grandfather, after all. Regardless of whether you admit it or not, your father is gone. Aren't we a bit too cruel to them right now?" Qing Yi said softly.
"Cruel? Was it not cruel when they treated you like that long ago? Was it not cruel for Qingqing? Was it not cruel to the members of the Qing Clan?"
Qing Shui wanted to seek justice for that man his mother loved dearly, but he was no longer in the living world anymore. However, that did not stop Qing Shui from pursuing the others from the Yan Clan, including the late old ancestor as well.
"Only a few from the Yan Clan were cruel, and they have gotten what they deserved. I'm the luckiest mother to have a son like you, but the blood flowing in your veins are of the Yan Clan's. These people are victims like you too." Qing Yi said as she looked at her son with a confused gaze.
Qing Shui understood his mother's feelings, but he was still displeased that no one helped Qingqing when she was forced to suffer an uneasy life. His father was gone too, so Qingqing had no one to depend on. That kind of pain and loneliness, as if being one was abandoned by everyone in the world –Qing Shui understood these feelings clearly. If Qingqing didn't have an open mindset, she wouldn't be able to hold out on her own for a very long time.
"It's your decision, mother. Whatever decision you make, I will listen to you." Qing Shui smiled.
While they were talking, Yan Ling'er kept standing beside them with a face full of hope. At the same time, she showed a grateful expression as she glanced at the woman whom she called aunt.
Qing Yi smiled when she noticed Qing Shui's expression, but remained silent. She had only mentioned about them for a moment, but she knew that it would take more than a day or two for Qing Shui to forgive the Yan Clan for what they had done.
Time passed by slowly, and before they knew it, the sun was already high in the sky, shining brightly. This was the time when most of the guests would have arrived. Qing Shui preferred to stay at the entrance with Guo Polu to greet the guests, especially the people from the Yan City, and the people who came specifically for Qing Shui's sake.
Suddenly, a group of people approached the entrance. The Guo Clan could not recognize them at all. Qing Shui seemed like he didn't want to move forward to greet them, so Guo Yanglong approached them and asked with a smile.
The leader of the group was a middle-aged man who seemed calm and reserved. His eyes were focused on Qing Shui as he replied, "We are from the General Manor. You must be senior Qing. The old ancestor told us to bring a gift as a token of congratulation. Nice to meet you, my name is Ji Sha!"
Qing Shui turned to the leader and gave a respectful bow.
"Old brother is too kind. Mr. Ji, please come in!" Qing Shui was a bit shocked when he heard they were from the General Manor. He didn't think Ji Yunlang would go through the trouble to send someone to bring a gift to his sister's wedding.
The other members didn't have a big reaction towards their interaction. After all, there weren't many who knew about the strength of the General Manor itself, and those who knew them as a family of guardians were even less than a handful. In any case, they would never show their power in a place like the Yan City.
The banquet proceeded quite smoothly without any hastiness. Guo Clan was indeed powerful in the Yan City, but there was also the existence of the Lai Clan and Yan Clan. Most importantly, Qing Shui was a patriarch in the Heavenly Palace, a common knowledge that every household should know by now. Ever since he had annihilated the Xiao Clan and later on, the Sword Tower, no one had dared to cause trouble again.
Because his father was long gone from this world, Qing Shui took over his role and handed Qingqing's hand to Guo Polu.
"Even though I am just a brother, I feel the need to say something to you. You must have known about my sister's past by now. She had suffered a lot during her younger days, and I won't mention the rest for her sake. I don't wish to see her suffer anymore, and no one should make her suffer any longer. Qingqing likes you, so I believe you are the one who can bring her happiness." Qing Shui smiled as he calmly said to Guo Polu.
"As long as the Guo Clan lives, we will not let Qingqing suffer even for one bit." Guo Polu said with a stern voice.
"Good, I will remember your words. Initially, I had wanted Guo Clan to expand their influence in the Continent's Capital, but since it is hard to part from here, I will not force the Guo Clan to move. But your powers are too weak as of now. Go to the Heavenly Palace and train for a few days. That way, you can become stronger and protect those who you love." Qing Shui let out a smile.
"Thank you!" Guo Polu said emotionally. Man's craving for power could not be described with words.
"We are a family now. You're very welcome!" Qing Shui laughed.
Many people surrounding them felt envy towards Guo Clan because they had such a good son. After considering everything between the Guo Clan and the young lady from the Yan Clan, their love was deemed to be true and genuine. A lot of people from the Yan Clan were aware of Qing Shu's existence, and they were also aware of the mistreatment the Yan Clan had forced onto Qingqing, but none had the courage to profess their love no matter how much they liked Qingqing. Guo Polu was the only exception as he forged towards his love with Qingqing regardless of her history or the people around her. They were meant to be with each other.
A lot of people from the Yan Clan felt desolated after witnessing the love between the two souls, but they could do nothing. The Yan Clan had lost their chance of soaring to the heights of power. The elders could only sigh and blame their misfortune on Yan Haozheng……
A clash of toasts echoed around the banquet, which lasted until late evening. The banquet tables were covered with many servings of dishes, and some guests had to leave in between the servings because of urgent matters. All of the guests eventually left once the sky had turned dark.
Qing Yi and Qingqing were walking together while they had some casual conversation. Meanwhile, Qing Shui and the other brothers of the Qing Clan gathered together and chatted idly. The children, on the other hand, were playing nearby. Qing Jun and Qing Ying were sensible enough to be careful while playing, but Qing Ming was a bit troublesome as he was much more daring and reckless. Qing Shui had a bit of a headache dealing with this particular child –he was a bit different than the rest of his children.
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