AST 1645 - Waking Up, Clothes Getting Looser Yet Without Regrets
When Qing Shui saw the two women who were worried sick by his side and discernibly thinner, he smiled back at them: “Have I been asleep for very long?”
Qing Shui was touched and asked because he did not know how much time had passed.
“Forty-nine days. Forty-nine days have just passed.” Tantai Lingyan said as tears welled up in her eyes. It was well into the wee hours of the night so the day should have just passed.
Qing Shui noticed the bloodstains on his body and also caught a whiff of the pungent bloody smell. He hurriedly sat up: “I’ll go wash myself up and change my clothes.”
Tantai Lingyan lightly cradled his neck and asked with concern: “How are you feeling?”
Qing Shui held her gently and said: “I’m fine now. Completely fine. Moreover, I got something out of this misfortune. I broke through to the next realm!”
Qing Shui was pleased right now and let go of Tantai Lingyan. Looking at Qin Qing and her body, Qin Qing’s eyes were also glistening with tears. He held her tightly without a word.
Tantai Lingyan was at the side and did not feel it odd. Although she was indifferent, she still understood many things. Moreover, she had spoken and interacted with Qin Qing so they knew how each of them felt about Qing Shui. Additionally, this near-fatal injury Qing Shui suffered made them see the light in many matters and nothing mattered more than Qing Shui.
When Qing Shui’s eyes weren’t open previously, he had heard what Tantai Lingyan said and he grinned at her: “Little Yanyan, although I couldn’t move nor speak earlier when my body felt terrible, I heard what you said. You said you wanted to be my wife. Those words truly gave me a lot of motivation. Perhaps it was those very words that allowed me to recover, so we must definitely honor it.”
Tantai Lingyan blushed a bright red. Her incomparable coolness, as well as the blush on her face, caused Qing Shui to turn glassy-eyed, in turn, causing Tantai Lingyan to droop her head in an embarrassed smile.
Thereafter, he turned and smiled at Qin Qing before heading to the bathroom to wash up. After Qing Shui went in for a while, he heard a knock on the door and heard Tantai Lingyan say: “I left your clothes outside.”
These brand new clothes were brought by Feng Xi. While Tantai Lingyan believed that they would not be used, knowing that Qing Shui surely had other clothes, she thought it was better to bring them over since Feng Xi brought them.
Qing Shui heard Tantai Lingyan’s voice and he was actually feeling quite happy in his heart. Waiting on someone to this extent was probably her first time and an ineffable sense of achievement filled him with joy.
“Do you want to come in and help me in washing up?” Qing Shui boldly asked.
There was no sound outside except the footsteps leaving faster than usual. Qing Shui grinned as he knew that she was not angry and since she would not say anything, he needed to take the opportunity to reach for a yard when given an inch.
There were a lot more people when Qing Shui finally went out. Previously, the rippled of Qing Shui’s aura stunned quite a number of people. Although it was late in the night, many still came.
Seeing that not only was Qing Shui perfectly fine, but his strength was so terrifying that even Feng Xi could not ascertain, they stared unbelievably at Qing Shui and asked: “Did you become a Divine already?”
Although they asked again, the answer was obvious.
“Not dying from the tribulation this time and receiving great fortune thereafter, this is indeed a breakthrough.” Qing Shui smiled.
“After destroying and reconstituting, your strength has amplified considerably. Why don’t you reveal the true extent of your strength?” Feng Xi smiled lightly while rubbing Qing Shui’s head. The concern in her eyes was genuine and since Qing Shui has recovered, she was happier than everyone else. If he hadn’t recovered, she would not have been able to forgive herself.
Qing Shui laughed: “I, myself, am not very sure. Perhaps a thousand Dao or so worth of strength.”
The Old King also said: “The youth truly should be regarded with respect. The step you’ve taken this time is massive. Today should be the happiest day as such a great thing had occurred when the day has only just begun. It is a joyous occasion now that you’ve woken up, Qing Shui. I shall go make some delicious food. Today, everyone should eat and make merry! Look at them, everyone has lost a little weight.”
Qing Shui halted the Old King: “King Uncle, let me do it. I have made you guys worried all this while. Since everyone is here today, I shall go and whip up some of my best dishes and let everyone enjoy a bit.
“I shall accompany you. I would like to see your culinary skills. Hope you don’t mind!”
“If you want to learn, I can always teach you.” Qing Shui never really stopped anyone from learning his abilities since he had too many skills for anyone to finish learning.
“Uncle, I was unable to treat your injury for so long. Seems like my nights for the next one or two months will be taken up by you.” Qing Shui chuckled towards Yin Tian.
“You recovering is more important than anything else. We were all extremely uneasy and worried. These two lasses basically did not sleep nor eat much.” Yin Tian intimated.
“Uncle, I’ve gained a blessing out of this misfortune. Let us not be so formal with each other anymore. I am not the kind who treats others courteously without any sincerity. I don’t have many friends but I treat all of you just like family.” Qing Shui said to Yin Tian.
“We are the same as well. I, Yin Tian, originally had only one friend but now, I’ve gained a few more. We are not just friends but family now.” Yin Tian looked at Qing Shui, his two women, and the Old King.
Qing Shui went to the kitchen to prepare the dishes. The Old King also followed him since the kitchen was very large. There were others present who also lent a helping hand and soon enough, a sumptuous feast was ready. Qing Shui also retrieved the likes of Plum Blossom Wine and Tiger Bone Liquor secretly. All of them were aged for at least a thousand years or more. Opening them up and saying it was brewed by immortals might not even be far from the truth.
Once the bottles were opened, the pure fragrance of the brew was certainly not inferior to the dishes. Moreso, both fragrances did not clash and were complementary instead. The entire room was filled with an incomparable fragrance that invoked a great appetite in everyone.
The Old King had previously obtained Qing Shui’s spices but differed too much from his cooking ability. There are many delectable dishes in Qing Shui’s culinary arsenal.
Most importantly, there was the wine. Even Feng Xi was profuse with her praise but no one ever asked Qing Shui where the wine came from.
To Qing Shui’s left was Tantai Lingyan and to his right was Qin Qing. Qing Shui helped them to the food and they were all very happy. The happiest among them all was Qing Shui. He had rested enough and it could be said that every cloud has a silver lining since he had obtained a great blessing from this misfortune.
Qing Shui’s raw strength now was about 3200 Dao because Divinity Spirit’s Jade Kirin Dragon Vessel Tyrannical Aura was a passive ability and thus perpetually raised Qing Shui’s combat abilities by a fold. All his offensive abilities were also raised by one fold but of course, skills like Emperor’s Qi were not counted. The formations and Battle God Halo were also excluded since only the active offensive abilities were affected.
Qing Shui knew that 3200 Dao worth of strength made him a Divine Grade 2 but he did not undergo a False God Tribulation nor a Divine Tribulation. The Destroying and Reconstituting this time caused the breakthrough and it was only after going through a phase of self-tempering that he reached the 9th Layer of the Ancient Strengthening Technique.
Qing Shui knew that the Ancient Strengthening Technique had nine layers and this was the final layer but the space to improve it even more was large. From now on, Qing Shui was considered to have reached the peak tier among the continents. The Divinities that seemed to exist only in the legends was something he now had come into contact with and had become one of them himself.
Yin Tian stood up and raised his wine cup: “Let’s not say anymore but instead, make a toast to Qing Shui and celebrate his recovery, as well as the great advance in his strength.
Qing Shui and everyone else stood up and raised their wine cups with Qing Shui cheerfully saying: “Let’s have a toast and not be overly formal with each other.”
All these people did not really have much of an appetite recently so this time, even if they finished all the food available, they would still need to call for more. Much less needs to be said for Qing Shui who had a whole table of food to himself and even then, nothing was left in the end.
As everyone finished their meal, they gradually left one after the other. By now, there was only Qing Shui and the two women remaining and the tables were all cleaned up.
Qing Shui leaned against the comfortable beast skin sofa in satisfaction and felt the feeling akin to a survivor of a disaster. This feeling was very strong and he looked at the two women before walking towards them. Holding each of them in one hand and sitting down, he said: “Accompany me later. I missed both of you so dearly. I’m worried I would suddenly die.”
“You’re not allowed to say such unlucky words!” Qin Qing murmured. Now that Qing Shui had recovered, they were starting to feel a little embarrassed instead.
“Life is woefully short, so one must learn to make merry while they can. Otherwise, once there is no more opportunity to do so, it would be too late to regret it.” Qing Shui sighed.
“That is absurd!” Tantai Lingyan lightly shook her head.
“All of you have lost weight during this trying period. Your clothes have loosened but it is without any regrets, the perseverance and undying love that have made you gaunt and sallow*.” Qing Shui looked at both women and lightly smiled.
(T/N: This line is complex but much more evocative in Chinese as the saying used here ‘衣带渐宽终不悔,为伊消得人憔悴’ refers to someone who is hopelessly in love and - probably sacrificing or pining - to the extent of becoming so thin that one’s clothes become very loose. However, there are absolutely no regrets.)
“Stop being so smug!”
Both women muttered in embarrassment.
Qing Shui said the words very casually. In his previous life, there was a famous saying and using it this time made him feel good. Whether it was appropriate or not was none of his concern.
“Give me some time and once my strength has stabilized, I will help both of you since I have the strength to do so now.” Qing Shui happily said.
Qin Qing and Tantai Lingyan, as well as Yiye Jiange and Yehuang Guwu were all False Gods. Although False Gods were not yet at the peak, they were considered very strong. Qing Shui wanted to raise their strength quickly since there were strong warriors on land and in the sea. Not having any strength while relying on one person instead was never going to suffice.
“Our strength has already risen quite quickly. If we continue any further, our foundation would be unstable.” Qin Qing said.
“No, it won’t. I have my ways. Tonight. both of you go to my chambers and rest while I stay here. Alright?” Qing Shui looked outside and realized there was still time. Both of them must have been exhausted.
The two women were taken aback and did not agree. However, neither did they disagree. Qing Shui smiled and pulled them up so that they can both go to his room.
Qing Shui did not follow but instead closed the doors. The bed in the room could fit two people but even then, three people would not be a problem. However, it might be a squeeze.
Qing Shui laid on the sofa outside, which could actually be considered a sofa bed. Putting down the backrest turned it into a bed and as he lay on it, he felt an incomparable tranquility that he had never felt before.
Now that he had strength, he felt safe. Previously, the chain of events caused Qing Shui to feel inadequate and weak but if Qing Shui were to battle Hong Hong now, he would not be able to injure Qing Shui even if Qing Shui did not raise a finger. The difference between then and now caused Qing Shui to be overcome with emotion.
Strength, it is an amazing thing!