The black-robed and white-eyebrowed man looked all around him. This city wall was covered in blood and the nicks from hacking and thrusting of many weapons. Meanwhile, below the city wall, there was a great amount of corpses. It was very clear that Jiangning County had just suffered a calamity. The man couldn’t help but be startled. “That Blind Swordmaster, Tie Wu… It’s rumoured that he has long since already attained the Emptiness Realm Culmination. Among those who have attained the Emptiness Realm Culmination, he is also considered as one of the best. Yet he actually returned without any achievements? This Huhe, he——”
“Clan Head Zhuge, this person is a close friend of mine. He has come from afar.” Teng Qingshan looked at Zhuge Yuanhong with a smile. “I’ll first return to my residence and attend to him.”
“Yes, that’s fine.” Zhuge Yuanhong smiled while nodding. “However, Senior Jing Yi, you must definitely return for the celebration feast.”
Being addressed by his own master as ‘Senior Jing Yi’ made Teng Qingshan feel somewhat awkward. However, this was something he could do nothing about.
“Senior Jing Yi, thankfully you were here this time.” Elder Ni, Elder Yan, and the others looked at Teng Qingshan with gazes filled with reverence and gratitude.
Having faced an Emptiness Realm expert, they were of course grateful.
Teng Qingshan could only smile as he departed from the city wall rapidly while carrying the black-robed, white-eyebrowed man.
At the Martial Elder’s residence in the Gui Yuan Sect:
Two streams of light dropped into the residence and turned into two people. One was the white-robed Teng Qingshan, and the other was the black-robed Sovereign of the Sword Sect, Li Chao.
“Brother Li, please take a seat.” Teng Qingshan led Li Chao to a nearby pavilion. “This time, I’ve troubled Brother Li to come over from afar.”
“Haha,” the Sovereign of the Sword Sect, who was always cold and detached, was at present laughing heartily without restraint. “Oh, Brother Huhe, stop teasing me… This time, the Gui Yuan Sect managed to drive out Qinghu Island. Although I ran over from afar, I wasn’t of even a little bit of help. It’s no wonder that you, Brother Huhe, dared to use the alias of ‘Jing Yi’ to provoke that Blind Swordmaster, Tie Wu. So, it turns out that highly skilled people are bold.”
Knowing that Teng Qingshan could drive away the Blind Swordmaster without help, some thoughts began to stir up in the mind of the Sovereign of the Sword Sect, Li Chao.
“Brother Li,” Teng Qingshan continued to say, “I just so happened to have a breakthrough at the battlefront. Otherwise, why would I have let Little Jun write a letter to the Sovereign?”
“True.” Li Chao nodded.
He had also realized Teng Qingshan’s aura was now different from when they’d last met. However, it was very difficult to make a complete judgement of Teng Qingshan just by looking at his aura. For example, the Blind Swordmaster’s aura was a sheet black primal chaos. Moreover, as he had the Emptiness Realm Culmination, his aura could also be any color under the sky. This was related to the comprehension of many people.
Some people would first comprehend two or three kinds of minor Dao. After that, they would fuse these two or three kinds of minor Dao together to comprehend a kind of major Dao, for example the Dao of life.
The aura could only give a vague judgement of a person’s strength.
Exclaiming in admiration, Li Chao asked, “Brother Huhe, your progress rate is truly astonishing! As far as I know, back then when you were at the Great Prairie, you still hadn’t stepped into the Emptiness Realm. It has only been a few years since then… Perhaps, you’re already close to the Emptiness Realm Culmination?”
“Brother Li, you’re seeing how impressive I am now, but you didn’t see how miserable I was before I broke through.” Teng Qingshan laughed while shaking his head. “I didn’t have a teacher, so I made a big mistake when I broke through to the Emptiness Realm.”
“Big mistake?” Li Chao was startled.
“Mm.” Teng Qingshan nodded. “I didn’t study each Dao meticulously. Instead, I cultivated several Dao simultaneously. From time to time, I would cultivate this one, then other times that one.”
Li Chao replied hastily, “You really shouldn’t have done that! A person’s life span is limited, but Dao is endless. To distribute your energy into cultivating a few different kinds of Dao simultaneously… I’m afraid you won’t have culminated even one Dao by the time you reach the end of your life span.”
“I didn’t have a teacher. No one taught me that.” Teng Qingshan smiled as he shook his head again. “So, I cultivated blindly by myself. During the days when I was cultivating painfully out at sea, I was completely engrossed in my cultivation. I didn’t even know what circumstances to cultivate up to for it to be considered stepping into the Emptiness Realm. However, effort doesn’t turn its back on resolute people. I finally culminated one Dao!
“After culminating one Dao, it was then that I understood I had taken a roundabout route in the past.
“If I concentrated on one Dao, I would have saved several decades of time at the very least,” Teng Qingshan said.
“Indeed.” Li Chao nodded in agreement. How could he possibly know that Teng Qingshan was spieling a great lie?
Teng Qingshan continued, “However, when there is loss, there is also gain. My other Daos were all close to making breakthroughs. Very soon after the culmination of the first Dao, a second Dao also broke through. This time, just before I fought with that blind person, Tie, I achieved another breakthrough under an opportunistic coincidence and comprehended one more Dao. Fortunately, that blind person, Tie Wu, had brought Gu Yong along with him. This Gu Yong is Qing Hu Island’s greatest hope for attaining the Emptiness Realm. Tie Wu only has 20 years left in his life span. To him, Gu Yong’s life was more important than wiping out the Gui Yuan Sect. So, when he was waging war with me, he was distracted from having to take care of Gu Yong.”
“Mm, I understand.” Li Chao suddenly understood.
All this time, he had been very astonished. After all, the Blind Swordmaster had already been famous for a long time for having attained the Emptiness Realm Culmination. How could this Foreign Dignitary Huhe possibly drive the Blind Swordmaster away that quickly?
So, it turned out that it had been because of Gu Yong.
The Heavenly God Palace had plans to attack Yangzhou, so they were naturally very knowledgeable about Qing Hu Island and knew what Gu Yong meant to Qing Hu Island.
“Since the matter is already over, I won’t disturb you anymore.” Li Chao stood up.
“This time, I’ve really troubled Brother Li.” Teng Qingshan stood up as well.
Li Chao laughed loudly. “What trouble? It’s no trouble. After the Heavenly God Palace wipes out Hong Tian City, I’ll be a lot more idle then. When you have time, don’t hesitate to come find me. You have a wife who is the substitute cult leader. She is very clear on when I’m residing over there.
“Moreover, my teacher also really wants to meet with you. When the time comes, you can meet my teacher as well,” Li Chao said.
“The Sovereign?” Inwardly, Teng Qingshan was startled.
This formidable person who had founded the Heavenly God Palace… Although Teng Qingshan had never seen the Sovereign, he viewed the Sovereign with slight fear.
During a short period of several hundred years, the Sovereign had set up a foundation which was not inferior to that of Mani Temple. The Sovereign was someone with such a peerless talent… In Teng Qingshan’s eyes, the Sovereign of the Heavenly God Palace was ranked number one in the Land of the Nine Prefectures and also the Duanmu Continent.
“Mm, when the time comes, I definitely want to meet the Sovereign of the Heavenly God Palace. I view the Sovereign with reverence.” Teng Qingshan smiled.
Li Chao laughed, then he cupped his hands together, transformed into a ray of sword light, and flew toward the north.
That day, the celebration feast ran continuously from afternoon till very late at night. Clearly, after the calamity, there was renewed life. This made many people feel very excited and joyful. This time, although many soldiers and disciples of the Gui Yuan Sect had died as well, it wasn’t considered as a serious injury to the Gui Yuan Sect. In fact, this was already considered as the best outcome.
On the morning of the second day:
Zhuge Yuanhong and Teng Qingshan walked together in the streets of Jiangning County City. Teng Qingshan condensed their encompassing space, preventing their voices from transmitting out.
“Do you want to see your parents?” Zhuge Yuanhong smiled.
“Yes, I really want to see them.” Teng Qingshan.
“Have you prepared what you are going to say to them?” Zhuge Yuanhong asked. In Zhuge Yuanhong’s opinion, Teng Qingshan still couldn’t reveal his identity yet. In fact, Zhuge Yuanhong thought that it would be best for Teng Qingshan to reveal his identity after achieving the culmination of the Emptiness Realm and after the divine beast, the Undying Phoenix, returned.
“Just something to comfort my parents.” Teng Qingshan nodded. “These couple of years… They haven’t received any news of me and have always been very anxious and pained.”
Last night, Teng Qingshan had actually secretly watched his parents without speaking. He could tell that his parents’ hearts ached for him.
After all, their son had left home for over four years. During that time, they hadn’t heard even a
single piece of news about him. How could his parents not worry?
At the location of the Teng Clan:
Last night, the Gui Yuan Sect had held a celebration feast. The Teng Clan also had a celebration feast since the victory meant that the Teng Clan wouldn’t need to hide or flee. During last night’s celebration feast which had been held in the clan base, Teng Yongfan and his wife had also returned to stay. After all, they had a place to live in the clan base of the Gui Yuan Sect.
“Sovereign.” The moment the Sovereign entered the clan base, many juveniles, youths, and married women of the Teng Clan nervously greeted Zhuge Yuanhong respectfully.
“Hehe.” Zhuge Yuanhong laughed in greeting.
However, the clan members on the paths of the clan residence did not actually recognize that Teng Qingshan was ‘Jing Yi.’ That said, it wasn’t strange either. After all, very few people from the Teng Clan had joined the Gui Yuan Sect army. Those who had seen Teng Qingshan battle with the Blind Swordmaster had only been Teng Qinghu and a few others.
Standing outside a house, Zhuge Yuanhong smiled as he yelled, “Brother Yongfan!”
“Creak~” The courtyard door opened. It was Yuan Lan who opened it.
“Ah! It’s the Sovereign. Quickly, please come in. Please come in.” Yuan Lan smiled as she turned back to call out, “Fan, the Sovereign has come.”
“Oh? The Sovereign?” Teng Yongfan’s two hands rolled the wheels and arrived to the courtyard.
When Teng Yongfan and Yuan Lan, the husband and wife, saw Teng Qingshan beside Zhuge Yuanhong, they were both somewhat suspicious. Teng Qingshan’s appearance was different from the first time Teng Qingshan had returned to the Gui Yuan Sect. This was the appearance of ‘Jing Yi.’ Teng Yongfan and Yuan Lan didn’t recognize him, but they felt… that the mysterious youth before their eyes gave them a feeling a familiarity.
“This person is?” Teng Yongfan smiled.
“You’re Brother Qingshan’s father and mother, right?” Teng Qingshan said while resisting his bubbling emotions.
“Yes, yes.” Yuan Lan immediately became emotional. Teng Yongfan even wheeled his wheelchair over with a very emotional appearance.
“You know our Qingshan?”
“How is Qingshan?” Teng Yongfan was still alright, but Yuan Lan’s eyes were already tearing up. There was no news about their son who was outside. As a mother, she would worry, hope, and anticipate every night.
Looking at his parents who already had silver strands in their hair, Teng Qingshan’s mood became somewhat unstable. He resisted his bubbling emotions and said, “Mother and father, that’s right. I know Qingshan. I’ve seen him.”
“Really? How is Qingshan now?” Teng Yongfan and Yuan Lan, this couple got so emotional that their faces reddened.
“He is very well.” Teng Qingshan nodded. “Right now, he’s cultivating in secret on a tranquil island abroad. He asked me to tell you two, when I am in the Land of the Nine Prefectures, that he is living well. He hopes the two of you will take good care of yourselves.”
Teng Yongfan and his wife, the couple’s tears streamed down suddenly.
“That’s great. Oh, heavens. Qingshan is fine. He’s fine.” Yuan Lan’s tears flowed down without restraint.
“What are you crying for? Our child’s well!” Teng Yongfan said loudly.
Then suddenly, Teng Yongfan was startled. He looked at Teng Qingshan rather hesitantly. “Is Qingshan really on an island abroad? You—You’re not lying to us?”
Teng Qingshan nodded. “Qingshan even showed me a set of fist art he developed. He said that if I practice this set of fist art, you’ll believe me.” After saying this, Teng Qingshan immediately took two steps backward and took on the stance for Tiger Fist. This was the fist art Teng Qingshan had given to the Teng clan back then.
Teng Yongfan and Yuan Lan took one look at this fist art, and they overflowed with emotion.
Teng Yongfan and Yuan Lan left Teng Qingshan staring blankly for no less than two hours. After that, Teng Qingshan truly had no way of staying on. Afraid that he wouldn’t be able to control his emotions, he left the courtyard.
“Qingshan.” Zhuge Yuanhong looked at Teng Qingshan.
“I’m fine.” Teng Qingshan and Zhuge Yuanhong walked shoulder to shoulder. “Master, I’m prepared to accept a batch of disciples.”
“Mm?” Zhuge Yuanhong was startled, but soon after, he smiled. “This is a good thing. Tell me, what sort of qualifications are you looking for? Those who already have inner strength? And of what age?”
“They don’t need inner strength. Youngsters ten years old and under who don’t have much flaws to their physique will suffice,” Teng Qingshan said.
Inner strength wasn’t necessary? Zhuge Yuanhong heaved a sigh of relief. This kind of youngster, there were as many as one could want.
“First, help me find a thousand of them,” Teng Qingshan said.
Teng Qingshan believed that even if he were confronted with the Blind Swordmaster, he would have the strength to defend himself by relying on the 《Thirty-six Splitting Mountain Forms》. So, the development of a branch of Internal Martial Arts would start for real now.