AST 812 - Trivial Matters, Revisit The Ten Thousand Turtle Swamp
After he pondered for awhile, Qing Shui gave a firm nod and said: “If Liu-Li is willing, then I will bring her to the Demon Gate. To be honest, Liu-Li has always been thinking of you and your wife. Both of you are like real parents to Liu-Li, for all the love and care you have given to her to become who she is now.”
The man laughed out heartily after he heard Qing Shui’s words. Then, he looked at Qing Shui and said: “We aren't wrong about you. I thought hard about it at first before I finally told her the truth. Now I'm still unsure whether that was the right thing to do or the worst thing I’ve ever done.”
Huoyun Liu-Li’s foster father let out a heavy sigh as he questioned his own decision.
“I can understand how you feel. I have a daughter too, who is currently 21 years old. You see, I'm actually not her biological father. The life of her parents were taken from her during her early age, leaving her with a deep vengeance that she never knew. She was brought up by her aunt after that. I had to act as a husband to her aunt in order to show the love of a family to my dear daughter. Till this day, I still lack the courage to tell her the truth about her true identity. I fear that she might lose it if she knew about her true past.” Qing Shui forced a smile as he thought about Luan Luan’s tragic past.
The foster father was shocked about what he had just learnt from Qing Shui. Nevertheless, he gave a comforting smile to Qing Shui and said, “That girl Liu-Li is lucky to have met you in her life. I'm very happy and pleased to know that.”
“You're wrong, uncle. It is me who is lucky enough to have met Liu-Li. We have been together through everything for about ten years already.” Qing Shui recalled the time in the Southern City where Liu-Li almost lost her life. He could still feel the jitters crawling up to his spine whenever he thought about it.
In the afternoon, Qing Shui and Huoyun Liu-Li went for a stroll around the Hundred Miles City since both of them have free time to pass leisurely. Huoyun Liu-Li was happy, she was already satisfied as long as she could always be by Qing Shui’s side.
After a while, they arrived in front of the Qing Clan’s Medicinal Store. Back then, the Qing Clan had allowed the Shi Clan to look after the estate before they left, so the medicinal store could still be opened. The Qing Clan had also thought that one day, they might be able to come back and stay again for a certain period of time.
“Liu-Li, let’s go inside and take a look. It’s been a long time since we’ve been here. I feel nostalgic looking at this place.” Qing Shui signalled with a smile to Huoyun Liu-Li. He wanted to go inside the Qing Clan’s Medicinal Store to see what had changed after a long period of his absence.
“Alright, I missed this place too.” Huoyun Liu-Li smiled gleefully.
When they entered, there were three people inside the medicinal store. The medicinal garden was still in great condition, as the herbs seemed to be thriving healthily. The three people he met were the ones who had mended the garden and meticulously took care of the thriving herbs.
Even when he had not checked the garden for a long time, there were no stray grasses to be seen. The people hired by the Shi Clan had regularly performed housekeeping to this place, as evident by the clean appearance of the garden as well as the structure of the building.
Qing Shui and Huoyun Liu-Li greeted and introduced themselves to the three caretakers before they entered the building. The rooms were remarkably clean but the bed frames were laid bare without comforters as they had already been kept inside the cabinet before they left.
“Qing Shui, how about we stay here for the night?” said Huoyun Liu-Li as she blinked her eyes seductively at him.
“Is it because this place is quiet, and no one will hear you if you make a lot of noises?” Qing Shui chuckled.
“You scoundrel. Is that all what you think about every day?” Huoyun Liu-Li scoffed shyly.
Huoyun Liu-Li was wearing a violet dress that complemented her exquisite beauty. She was naturally a woman with a flattering figure, in which Qing Shui had found irresistible. From the first time he saw her, he knew she was special. The first impression she gave wasn't of a beauty that could captivate an entire city but merely a lady with a beautiful and attractive face. But as time went by, her inner beauty and seductiveness began to show through her elegant aura, which had caused him to be unable to resist her seduction.
Qing Shui then abruptly pulled her and left the medicinal store as he called her as a succubus. If they continue to stay in that building, he had a feeling that they would end up having sex with each other in the next second.
When it was almost dark, he hopped onto the Fire Bird with Huoyun Liu-Li and headed back to the Qing Village. On their way back, Qing Shui caught a glimpse of the scenery below and became stunned for a good while.
The Ten Thousand Turtle Swamp!
He didn't particularly see anything out of the ordinary in the swamp but he had suddenly thought of the powerful demonic beast that lived in the waters. He remembered the valuable items he had caught during fishing, as well as the personal belongings of the Art Maestro himself. Recalling this memory had given Qing Shui a new idea.
Back then, his cultivation was moderate. After he had received an attack from the demonic beast and survived, he concluded that the beast was not very strong, perhaps around the level of a Martial Saint.
With his current ability, the demonic beast of a Martial Saint level was nothing to him. So he decided that he should go fishing in the swamp after a few days, with the hope to find that demonic beast again.
To be honest, Qing Shui wasn't really curious about that demonic beast anymore, it was just an early-stage Martial Saint. However, because he had encountered the beast in the Ten Thousand Turtle Swamp, he was still a little bit curious of its ability and origin.
Most members of the Qing Clan had decided to stay in the Qing Village for a few days before they returned to the Heavenly Palace. They decided not to stay in the Hundred Miles City anymore. Besides, the only place Qing Luo had nostalgia for was the Qing Village, not the Hundred Miles City.
Those who still wished to visit the Hundred Miles City could do so by the means of a flying mount as it would be fast and convenient.
New Years had passed. Shi Qingzhuang went back to stay at the Shi Clan, whereas Huoyun Liu-Li had gone back to the Firecloud Blacksmith Store to spend more time with her foster parents. On the other hand, Mingyue Gelou, Canghai Mingyue, Yiye Jiange and Wenren Wu-shuang had went to stay in the Qing Clan’s Medicinal Store in the Hundred Miles City.
Qing Luo, Lin Zhanha, and the other members of the Qing Clan remained in the Qing Village. Qing Yi with a few uncles and aunts also stayed in the village.
Qing Shui had no preference, so he could stay wherever he wanted. The time to travel between the Qing Village and the Hundred Miles City was quite short anyway.
Besides the excursion between the Hundred Miles city and the Qing Village, he had nothing much to do. However today, Qing Shi went to look for Qing Shui to speak to him, only to stumble over his words. Qing Shi took a while before he had finally calmed himself and said: “Qing Shui, I need your help this time.”
He was surprised by Qing Shi’s approach. It was rare for him to behave like this, unless he had encountered a real problem. Qing Shui laughed and said: “Tell me. If it’s nothing ruthless, I will help you in any way I can.”
Qing Shi revealed a smile and expressed his concern: “Of course it’s nothing ruthless…… If Qing Shui can help me, then it will definitely work.”
“Do tell. What is it about?” Qing Shui urged with an unchanging smile. He was a bit curious as well.
“I want to marry Xiang Yuan from the Xiang Clan.”
Qing Shui was brought back to his memories of nearly past ten years, when he was still in the Hundred Miles City. There were two distinguished ladies in the Xiang Clan - the full-bosomed Xiang Yuan and the delicate Xiang Bao.
During those days, Qing Shi and Xiang Yuan would always play together. When the Qing Clan had to move away from the Hundred Miles City, Qing Shi was reluctant to part with Xiang Yuan. It seemed like he had reignited the spark of romance with Xiang Yuan during his few days in the Hundred Miles City.
“Then as your uncle, I will help you with the proposal of marriage.” Qing Shui happily agreed to help Qing Shi with a swift response.
“My words may have less influence to her family. Please, I beg a favor of you. You must help me with the proposal.” Qing Shi pleaded in distress.
Qing Shui said nothing more. He headed straight to the Xiang Clan and made a marriage proposal on behalf of Qing Shi to Xiang Yuan’s family. Naturally, the Xiang Clan looked forward to their marriage as they believed this virtue was blessed by their ancestor. After all these years, the current Qing Clan had become different than they were before - they had become stronger and more influential.
When he paid a visit to the Xiang Clan, he saw the girl he used to know who had become a fine woman - Xiang Bao. The delicate small face of the little girl had grown to an appearance of a delicate woman. She had grown taller, almost taller than an average woman, with an air of elegance to her demeanor. Xiang Bao had married and became a mother of two, after all, she was already 30 years old.
As long as a martial warrior had reached the strength of a Xiantian, 30 years old or even 40 years old, would still be considered as the age of a young adult. However, this would be different for the residents in the Hundred Miles City and the Qing Village. The youth of an ordinary human could only last before one could reach the age of 50, with the average lifespan of 160 years or above. Of course, some humans were able to live to the age of 200 but only a few could do that. Only those with the strength of a Peak Houtian level would be able to live past 200 years old.
So in essence, the coming of age for ordinary humans would be 16 years old. Even though that was the legal age to get married and conceived children, most people would only achieve those at the age of 25 or above. Those who got married at the age of 30 or 40 were uncommon, so to speak.
When Xiang Bao saw Qing Shui after years of not seeing each other, she greeted him with a warm smile and said: “How are you, Qing Shui! It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other.” The cheerfulness could either be an automated response of a mother or the feelings of nostalgia to an old friend.
Qing Shui widened his smile. Her voice was pleasant as always but with an added hint of maturity. The man who was able marry someone as exquisite as her must be very lucky.
“I’m fine. How about you?”
Qing Shui greeted back with a genuine smile. He still remembered his time in the Hundred Miles City back then, especially the moments where he collided with her three times which had caused her to fall on the ground each time. It was nostalgic when he recalled that memory. Qing Shui couldn’t help but laughed at those unforgettable moments.
No wonder there was a saying, ‘Make more memories in your youth that will last forever’. Even if those memories were nefarious, one would never be alone when they had reached their prime as memories were all that were left to tell a story and relive those moments with unflagging patience. Memories were indeed wonderful things.
Xiang Bao had to leave before a small conversation was able to pass between them. Due to her current status, it wasn’t appropriate for her to be involved with Qing Shui for more than required. As he stared at the woman walking away, a subtle air of melancholy surrounded him in an instant.
A person would meet a lot of people in one lifetime. Most people would slip by, while a few would be able to cross paths and develop a relationship with one another. Some people might stay and some might go away, this was a fundamental pattern of a human’s interaction with one another. Parting would always be a melancholy experience, because as they said ‘Parting is such sweet sorrow’.
However, Qing Shui wasn’t greatly affected by Xiang Bao as much as he thought but their meeting did caused him to remember the people he had met throughout his life, like Yu He. Qing Shui only knew about her departure from the Yu Clan days ago after he had met up with Yu Donghao in the Hundred Miles City.
Then there was Qing Hanye, Elder Yun from the Feng Clan, Gongsun Jianwu and the sisters from the Jin Clan…..
After the marriage between Qing Shi and Xiang Yuan was confirmed, the Qing Clan organized a banquet ceremony to officially announce Qing Shi and Xiang Yuan as husband and wife. This time, Xiang Yuan would be leaving with Qing Shi back to the Heavenly Palace as an official member of the Qing Clan.
As relatives, Qing Shui would never forget to treat the Xiang Clan with respect. He left some gifts that were deemed valuable by the Xiang Clan, like some precious medicinal pills and beast skins.
Qing Yi had already went to visit Huoyun Liu-Li’s foster parents in the Firecloud Blacksmith Store to affirm the relationship between Qing Shui and Huoyun Liu-Li. Betrothal gifts had already been sent and the guest list had already been made. Of course, they would never forget to prepare a banquet to signify the official status of both Qing Shui and Huoyun Liu-Li as a married couple.
Qing Shi’s personal affair had been settled and as with Qing You’s matter, it was settled when they were in the continent’s capital. The lady named Chaoyang was now officially Qing You’s woman.
All members of the Qing Clan’s third generation were now capable to create a family of their own. The youngest Qing Bei was getting older too. Qing Zi, on the other hand, had already reached the age of 40. Good thing that the members of the Qing Clan were now above the level of Xiantian, so even if one were to hit 40 years old, they could still be considered young. However, in terms of cultivation, Qing Zi couldn’t go as far as the others did.
After Qing Shui had finished his preparations to go back to the Heavenly Palace, he decided to revisit the Ten Thousand Turtle Swamp and check out the place.
He departed to the Ten Thousand Turtle Swamp as soon as he had made up his mind. He wasn’t really concerned with his safety as there was nothing to worry about. A pinch of curiosity was all it took to push him to make his way to the swamp. Qing Shui also wanted to try fishing again anyway.
The Ten Thousand Turtle Swamp was a restricted area of the Hundred Miles City. He would never see anyone else inside the swamp area except himself. There were some who were as curious as he was and went into the swamp area just to throw away their precious lives. The demonic beasts inside the Ten Thousand Turtle Swamp were widely known by the people of the Hundred Miles City to be ferocious and unforgiving.
Qing Shui felt quite excited to revisit the swamp, he knew that he would get a lot of benefits as he had last time. The public had deemed this place as a danger zone but for him, it was a place of paradise.
Qing Shui hoped with a greedy mindset that he could reap more benefits this time.
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