1507 - Two Years Later, A Spirit Fish
Sometimes, oblivion truly is bliss. Up till now, Qing Shui still couldn't understand the logic of some old freaks within these well-known clans. To them, affection seemed to have thinned.
While we found it difficult to abandon family, close relatives or the society, others reached some sort of epiphany and saw through the shallowness of things. Suddenly, that way of thinking transcended the comfort that they had lived in before and what used to be valuable to them no longer felt the same way. Thus they found it easy to let go.
Qing Shui could not do that now. He acknowledged that he was a mediocre person, and was willing to remain this way for the rest of time. He did not like such cold-bloodedness or fickleness. That wouldn't give him a sense of being.
"See that forest in the North? I will wait for you there!" The old man's voice rang out again, but only Qing Shui could hear it this time.
With a flash of a movement, Qing Shui disappeared from where he stood. He was excited because he had reached a new level, and could sense that the elderly should be powerful.
"Where's Miraculous Physician Qing? Why did he disappear when he had won?"
"He probably left. There was no need for him to wait around."
"He didn't say anything when he won the fight, but Se Clan is finished now. This time, they will have to retreat from the distinguished clans now."
"Elder, I've arrived!" Qing Shui did not see any signs of the old man when he approached the small plot of forest and began to call out slowly.
Just as he was done, Qing Shui felt a presence behind him and slowly turned to see an elderly who looked akin to a withered tree.
The elderly did not possess a sage-like appearance. He looked just like a regular old man in an ordinary garb. His beard was snow white in color and extended down to his waist, but he looked plain and clean.
His body exuded a strong yet obscured aura at the same time, but Qing Shui soon realized that the elderly was in his last moments of life, which meant that he might depart from this world at any time.
"Could it be you had sensed that I may kick the bucket anytime now?" Smiling, the elderly spoke with a lack of concern.
Qing Shui felt a hint of anger when the old man smiled. This was his own life he was talking about. He laughed, "You're joking. In fact, you will live for at least 10 more years."
"Ten years is just a snap of the fingers!" The old man sighed and pointed to a pile of stones not far away. "Let us take a seat over there."
It was when they got nearer that he realized a pot of tea rested upon the stones along with a few purple cups. Qing Shui poured the elderly a cup of tea before he did so for himself.
"Elder, I have just killed your successors but you do not seem angry." Qing Shui said with a smile.
"That is how life works; children will all grow up and make their own fortune. Why should I be angry?"
His words made Qing Shui feel a sense of bleakness.
"Could it be that you think I lack humanity, that I have no affection?" The elderly sipped the tea in his hand and spoke unhurriedly.
"If it had been in the past, I would have said yes. Right now, however, I'm not too sure." Qing Shui answered truthfully.
"The road is merciless. The mere existence of some behavior proves the basis of its existence. Some things can be changed, but there are others that cannot. You will understand in the future."
The old man's words left Qing Shui feeling overwhelmed but he did not probe any further. Besides, affection within these distinguished clans had always been weak, with some finding no qualms in killing each other. Regardless of brothers or parents, they could turn against each other at any time...
As he thought about it, Qing Shui no longer felt baffled and his mood relaxed as well. "Elder, I wanted to know if there is such a thing as Sea King's Palace within Ice Ocean Domain?"
The old man was surprised at Qing Shui's question, then laughed as he looked at him. "You already have the answer in your heart. Why do you ask me again? If my answer is different from yours, would you believe me or would you trust your own instincts?"
Qing Shui laughed as he heard the old man's answer, and wanted to agree with the old man. However, the old man added, "The Sea King's Palace exists and in fact, there are multiple Sea King's Palaces within Ice Ocean Domain."
"There are multiple Sea King's Palaces within Ice Ocean Domain?" Qing Shui was shocked to hear this.
"The sea area of Nine Continents is actually larger than that of land, since people are on land and the average person can only remain on land. It is different in the sea. The sea is too deep, with thirty-three types of Ocean Domains and a multitude of creatures in the sea. When a strong beast attains a certain level, it will also develop intelligence. The killers of the sea are innumerable."
"Do you know how to get to the Sea King's Palace?" That was what Qing Shui was most concerned about. Even if he might not set off for it now, he must know the method to approach Sea King's Palace.
"You are planning to go to Sea King's Palace?" The old man looked at Qing Shui with a strange look.
Qing Shui didn't understand the reason behind his gaze but still nodded and said, "Perhaps not now, but most likely so in the future."
"Sea King's Palace is Aquatic's formidable community, governing a side of the sea. The Aquatics does not have a good opinion of the humans hence, unless with invitations, it will be very difficult to enter Sea King's Palace." The old man said, his eyes fixed upon Qing Shui.
Qing Shui thought of Yiye Jiange. He didn't know why she had wanted to leave for Sea King's Palace, but she must have had her own reason. Besides, without the presence of an Aquatic leader, it wouldn't be that easy to get into Sea King's Palace neither.
"Then, does the Elder know how to get to Sea King's Palace?"
The old man shook his head, then said, "Apart from the Aquatic leader, the only way to Sea King's Palace is to follow a type of Spirit Fish. The Spirit Fish can enter Sea King's Palace as and when they please. Hence, by following the Spirit Fish, you'll be able to get to the palace."
Qing Shui knew about the existence of Spirit Fish. They were similar to that of a Treasure Hunting Pig with the exception that one lived on land and the other in sea. Even so, Qing Shui's Dragon Slaying Beast was able to swim like a fish in water—he wondered if it was possible to use it like a Spirit Fish.
"Elder, what is the peak of a False God's strength?" Qing Shui had always been curious about this.
"There's no limit to the strength of a False God. Some might stay stagnant for the rest of their lives when they reach the stage of Peak False God, but even so, they can be more powerful than those in the initial stages of Divine cultivation. Still, they can only remain as Peak False God while the other had attained the cultivation realm of a Divine."
Qing Shui couldn't fully comprehend it. He could understand the bypassing of ranks, but to have the might of Peak False God which exceeded that of a Divine sounded outrageous. There should be a great disparity between the two, could such gap really be surpassed?
"However, in a real battle, a Peak False God would unlikely be able to win. Even if their might had surpassed the Divine, a Divine would still be able to suppress the Peak False God to a certain degree. Basically, a Peak False God would not be able to exhibit even half of their actual power in front of a Divine, although there are always exceptions."
Qing Shui understood now. This was the Heavenly Dao, Heavenly Might, just like how the officer could kill someone with a single punch in Qing Shui's previous life. The martial arts world had only changed in its disguise when in fact, they were just different methods leading to the same result.
Qing Shui left. While he did not gain anything more useful, he had still learned quite a bit from the old man. It was apparent that the road ahead of him was still long.
It was already past noon by the time he returned to the Imperial Cuisine Hall. The people in Ice Ocean Domain dispersed significantly, but there were still a few who lingered, engaged in a conversation.
Se Clan had really suffered a setback this time, but there were none with the courage to challenge them on such short notice. They were different from the Qing Shui after all, and Se Clan's patriarch was still there.
Seeing Qing Shui's return, he realized their gaze held something different. He just displayed such overwhelming might after all, to the extent that even a clan as dominant as Se Clan was helpless against him.
Above all, Qing Shui was still very young. Yin Tong and Lan Lingfeng had an indescribable feeling brewing in their hearts; they had all received the Battle God Inheritance and were both older than Qing Shui, yet how was it that the disparity between their strength could be this great?
Just like this, two years passed before they knew it.
Two years couldn't be considered a long time and neither was it short. Within the continent though, two years was seriously too short but for Qing Shui, it was different. He was in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal again and developed drastic changes within these two years.
Lan Lingfeng and Ziche Sha remained in the Imperial Cuisine Hall. Despite his best effort, Lan Lingfeng still did not manage to win Ziche Sha's heart in those two years, but he was able to make a friend out of her.
Lan Lingfeng had changed a lot as well; he was unconsciously influenced by Qing Shui. Now he was a little less flamboyant and a little more earnest. Qing Shui did not reveal it either, but not only had he become more powerful, he was even more skilled in the art of healing, and forging.
Qing Shui was a big blow to Yin Tong and Lan Lingfeng. It was indeed true that the dabbler in knowledge chatters away while the wise man stays silent.
In those two years, Qing Shui had only returned home twice and for a month each time. The clan went through great changes as well. The might of half the dozen of lads advanced by leaps and bounds, and their speed was incredible.
A few women's might advanced even faster. Everything was progressing in accordance with what Qing Shui imagined. Now the Qing Clan sat comfortably at the peak of Dancing Phoenix Continent.
Most importantly, it had been Qing Shui's woman who was supporting the clan all this time.
In the two years, the Imperial Cuisine Hall had secured a prominent spot in Linhai City and that was not all, even the Imperial Capital was aware of the existence of this Imperial Cuisine Hall.
Lan Clan and Ziche Clan had long aligned themselves with the same faction. Qing Shui was not opposed to their coalition. In fact, it was pretty beneficial; once an alliance was formed, their relationship would likewise feel a lot more amiable.
It also served as a kind of restriction; those who commit treachery will forever be viewed with disdain wherever they went, and so there was no one who would do such a thing.
Hua Clan had been laying low for now. Qing Shui hadn't known that Hua Clan was scheming; they approached Zheng Clan some time after but after seeing that the Imperial Cuisine Hall had already made its mark, Hua Clan did not bear much hope. After all, it was difficult to parry with the Miraculous Physician Qing.
Se Clan did not associate themselves much with the Imperial Cuisine Hall, but neither were they hostile. After what happened, it was difficult to be friendly with each other, though that was a fact that everyone was aware of. Se Clan had crossed the line this time.
Qing Shui would go fishing in the depths of Ice Ocean Domain in his free time; he caught quite a number of treasures and forms of medicinal herbs. While the frequency of his visit was sparse, he did manage to catch a Spirit Fish not all that long ago.
The Spirit Fish was one meter in length and about the thickness of a person's arm. Its body was as transparent as a sword, solid as a diamond with a sharp-shaped mouth; it would be able to penetrate a huge beast easily. Within its mouth were rows of densely-packed, razor-edged teeth. The Spirit Fish flowed with an incomparable and formidable aura.
Qing Shui left it within the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. He had initially been worried that all the other precious species of fish would be devoured by it, but soon discovered the Spirit Fish was a cowardly creature, and would only feed on small fishes and shrimps.