AST 898 - Matters impossible to unravel, Mu Qing’s Musings
“Third Brother!” Dong Yan and Sun Yan both called out.
“Big Brother, Second Brother and Elders, you’re all here!” Qing Shui grinned at Dong Yan, Sun Yan and the old men surrounding him. Qing Shui was very familiar with all these old men.
“It’s great that you’re back! It’s great!” the old men all laughed heartily.
“Third Brother, Lady Mu and the others have been waiting here for you for two months.” Sun Yan said, smiling at Qing Shui.
“Alright, let’s not talk about that. Aren’t you both the same? We all hoped for his safe return.” Mu Qing smiled light-heartedly but she could not help but over-think what Sun Yan had said.
Qing Shui could see that there was a large tent not far from them and they all walked into it. The relationship between Dong Clan and Mu Clan was originally not bad but somehow, due to Qing Shui’s influence, there was a subtle change between them.
This subtle change wasn’t a game-changer but it was indeed weird. Each time the members of the two clans met, their conversations would revolve about whether Qing Shui had obtained the Sky Penetrating Grass.
“Third Brother, what rewards did you gain from your trip to the Sky Penetrating Mountains?” Dong Yan smiled but the underlying meaning of his words was clear from his tone.
Mu Qing couldn’t help but feel a bit startled when she heard Dong Yan’s words. She also had an indescribable curiosity about the matter. She wanted to know if Qing Shui had obtained a Sky Penetrating Grass.
“Well, I’ve gotten quite a few items and my luck was quite good, I found it.” Qing Shui laughed.
Everyone was happy for him. Even though he had only known Dong Yan and Sun Yan for a short period of time, their friendship was still true. People like them rarely befriended others but when they did, they would treat them like brothers.
No one could really explain what fate was but Qing Shui valued it and so did Dong Yan and Sun Yan. The phrase bird of a feather flock together accurately described their relationship.
“Third Brother have you fulfilled your purpose of coming to the Eastern Victory Divine Continent?” Sun Yan smiled at Qing Shui.
“Yes, I think so.” Qing Shui felt unusually relaxed as he said this.
“Good, then, we three brothers should travel around Eastern Victory Divine Continent to see all the famous landscapes around here.” Dong Yan said to Qing Shui with a chuckle.
“Qing Shui, you promised that you would stay at my residence for two days. You can’t go back on your words.” Mu Qing said to Qing Shui with a smile, looking very natural.
Actually, everyone present was very surprised but they did not say anything and acted as if nothing had happened. Mu Qing blushed as she quickly realized that her words could cause some misunderstandings. She was a woman inviting a man to stay at her house...
The residence she mentioned was not the Azure Cloud Pavilion but her Mu Clan’s manor. She did not think too much about it when she said those words casually, but now she noticed how romantically ambiguous she sounded.
“Sure. The Mu Clan is a family of famous Demon Refiners. It’s my honor.” Qing Shui replied kindly after noticing Mu Qing’s embarrassment.
Mu Qing felt rather conflicted. She could not explain her feelings, it was as if she was in a reverie and everything around her was unreal.
“Since Lady Mu has brought this up, Third Brother should go to visit the Mu Residence first, we have time.” Sun Yan grinned at Qing Shui then turned to look at Mu Qing who was still blushing.
Mu Qing took a few glances at Qing Shui. She could feel that this man was different from before, his eyes seemed to be profound and more importantly, he gave off a different feeling and she could not really pinpoint what it was.
Qing Shui took out the Nv`er Hong from his collection and brought out a large piece of piping hot barbecue meat. He had roasted it in his Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal and had not found the time to eat it previously so he heated it up now.
Since he already brought out meat and wine, he laid out them out. The tent was instantly filled with the smell of meat and wine.
“Nv`er Hong? How can it smell so good?”
Everyone looked with amazement at the vat of Nv`er Hong that was just opened. They were all shocked by the aroma of the liquor. However, their shock wasn’t unusual, this wine was over 2000 years old after all...
As long as one was able to keep a wine for 1,000 years, even wine of the poorest quality would become a ‘god-level’ wine. At the very instant that the vat was opened, many people actually suspected that it was wine which had aged for 1,000 years.
Among them, there were definitely people who have tasted 1,000 years old wine but they definitely had not tasted aged Nv`er Hong of that vintage since no one would use Nu`er Hong for that because its quality was too low. Furthermore, this Nv`er Hong that Qing Shui brought out smelled even better than those expensive wines, who could imagine how many years it was kept? What extravagance...
Actually, there was another reason for its aroma. Due to the fact that Qing Shui’s Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal was filled with Spiritual Qi, the smell of the wine had become even more fragrant.
Everyone ate and drank happily. Many of the Elders ate and drank heartily because they had never eaten such delicious meat and this was probably their only chance to drink a wine like this once in their lifetimes.
As they drank, they looked to Qing Shui.
“Dear Elders, don’t worry. Even though I don’t have much, I have enough to share some vats of wine.” Qing Shui could understand their expressions.
The Elders were extremely happy when they heard Qing Shui’s words. They were trying to drink sparingly before as Qing Shui had only given them a vat each, which was only about 300 jin. Now that they knew that they could have more, they drank wantonly.
After his Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal reached the 7th layer, its area expanded so Qing Shui could put more wine into the realm. Furthermore, due to the current time ratio of the realm, it only took two and a half years in the real world to get a 1,000 years old wine.
Thus, he could spare each of them a few vats but he did not want to give them too many. He did not wish for the others to suspect him because of it. After all, having such a precious treasure could easily attract the obsessive envy of others.
Everyone agreed to stay for the night before leaving for the capital city the next day.
It was now evening and Mu Qing had not spoken much during this time. She merely watched Qing Shui, Dong Yan, Sun Yan and the others chatting and drinking. Dong Yan was the one that spoke the most.
Qing Shui said quite a lot too but most of the time he was just answering the questions that others asked to him.
“Qing Shui, let’s go for a walk. There is something I want to talk to you about.” Mu Qing smiled and said when everyone had finished their meals.
“Okay!” Qing Shui nodded. He nodded to the others to excuse himself and left with Mu Qing.
He did not know what Mu Qing wanted to talk about but he could sense that she was somewhat worried. He did not question her but instead continued walking beside her.
This was the second time that they found themselves in such a situation. When he first entered the Sky Penetrating Mountains it was like this and now on the day he left the mountains, it played out the same way. This was quite a coincidence but Qing Shui felt the situation was vastly different from before.
“Did you have any trouble when you were returning?” Qing Shui asked, referring to a few months back when Mu Qing and her people traveled back from 100,000 li into the mountains.
“No, everything was fine. We returned very quickly. I guess you must have gone through quite a few dangerous situation.” Mu Qing did not hear Qing Shui mentioning how dangerous Sky Penetrating Mountains was, he only briefly explained that he avoided a few encounters. However, she knew that Qing Shui had definitely met some troubles along the way.
“It’s alright. I am very talented at escaping so I manage to avoid harm.” Qing Shui answered without going into the details.
Mu Qing thought about how Qing Shui seemed to know a lot. He was not only intelligent but difficult to read. She did not expect that he could reach 300,000 li into the Sky Penetrating Mountains and leave at will. In addition to that, she thought about how her grandmother had predicted that his strength would soar greatly soon...
“Qing Shui, are you leaving soon?” Mu Qing’s brows knitted as she asked.
“Yes, I will be leaving soon. My journey has been quite long.” Qing Shui said as he noticed Mu Qing’s expression.
“Let me send you off when you leave!” Mu Qing laughed.
Qing Shui replied with a laugh and said to her, “Don’t you have something you want to say?”
“Not really. I didn’t really mean anything.” Mu Qing replied lightheartedly as she laughed it off.
Qing Shui knew that there was something on her mind but she had decided to refrain from telling him. He knew that because excuses did not match with her personality. Suddenly, Qing Shui remembered an issue.
Sky Prison Sect!
“Is this something to do with Sky Prison Sect?” Qing Shui couldn’t help thinking about that since there was no doubt that Sky Prison Sect was very powerful. Did they discover something?
“Do you not take me as a friend? Just tell me. If you need my help, I wouldn’t refuse you.” Qing Shui remembered how this woman had helped him out quite a bit. Especially what she gave him at the Deity Statue. No matter what, he was still grateful and admired her.
“Could you teach me a few easy methods to escape a formation?” Mu Qing hesitated for a moment before asking softly. She knew that it was taboo to ask this. Who would teach others their consummate skills?
Qing Shui thought for a moment and felt that his guess was correct. Sky Prison Sect must have gotten some sort of clue. Perhaps, she did not tell him the details because she did not want to drag him into the matter.
“I must have been too impulsive. I’m sorry.” Mu Qing quickly apologized when she saw Qing Shui looking blankly back at her.
“It’s not that. If you are willing to learn, I can teach you what I know.” Qing Shui replied, smiling as he knew that she had misunderstood.
Mu Qing lifted her head and looked at Qing Shui. After she confirmed that Qing Shui was not just agreeing to her request perfunctorily, she smiled. “Thank you!”
Qing Shui was not kidding either. Formations may be very powerful but they really depend on an individual’s cultivation and talent. If any of his friends wanted to learn from him, he would not reject them and would teach them whatever he could but how much they could learn was pretty much up to themselves.
Qing Shui did not pursue the issue of the Sky Prison Sect any further. Since she did not wish to talk about it, he did not want to pry. As she was interested about formations, he knew what he could teach her. He did not really care much for those formations that the Sky Prison Sect used. Some of the experts in the Sky Prison Sect may know more advanced formations but he doubted that those were really that powerful. If they were so powerful, those savages from the Sky Prison Sect wouldn’t stay contented just like that.
Qing Shui knew that he hadn’t really researched deeply about formations but that did little to hinder him from teaching others. With his photographic memory and the success of his Nine Palace Steps, he could basically see through many formations very easily. He might not be very proficient but he knew that it wouldn’t be long before he could set up formations himself. Using this opportunity, he could learn more about formations himself while teaching Mu Qing. How much she could really learn from him was otherwise dependent on herself.
Qing Shui handed her a picture with the Yin-Yang Image, The Four Symbols, Eight Trigram and a diagram of the Nine Palaces. There were also some written explanations. He even showed her the Nine Palace Steps but how far she could go with that technique could only be determined by her innate talent for it.
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