Ancient Strengthening Technique Chapter 680-681
AST 680 – Village of Longevity, the Whereabouts of 'Qianji Wood'
"Come, come. Qing Shui, let me introduce these members of the Village of Longevity to you." Di Xuan called out to Qing Shui. Naturally, Di Xuan had to welcome them and play the role of an intermediary. Because the people from the Village of Longevity had a good reputation, Di Xuan felt a degree of elation. He knew that these people had come here personally because of Qing Shui.
Qing Shui walked over with a smile on his face.
"This is Old Master Ying, from the Village of Longevity." Di Xuan said to Qing Shui.
Qing Shui looked at the elder surnamed Ying. It wasn't any secret that the Ying family was the largest in the Village of Longevity, and Qing Shui naturally knew this.
"Old Master Ying, I am Qing Shui." Qing Shui greeted the elderly man with a smile. Only then did he size up the old man in front of him.
The old man was tall and, at his age, still burly. His white eyebrows drooped down to the level of his chin. In his wise-looking bright eyes were the hidden traces of his life experiences, the years of trials and hardship.
"These are Old Master Ying's brothers." Di Xuan introduced the other old men standing behind Old Master Ying.
The other men had all looked rather similar to Old Master Ying so Qing Shui wasn't surprised when Di Xuan introduced them as the man's brothers. Qing Shui also greeted them properly with a smile and the manners befitting a person of a younger generation.
"They always say that the young will surpass the old. I am glad that I am able to meet such an outstanding young man like you even at my age." Old Master Ying said gently. His kind tone would leave one with a pleasant feeling.
"Old Master Ying, you're too kind." Qing Shui replied courteously.
After that, everyone took a seat. The atmosphere became visibly more casual at this rather informal family feast. The people from the Di Clan knew that the representatives from the Village of Longevity had come because of Qing Shui. Thankfully, the Di Clan was also one of the Seven Stars like the Village of Longevity. Now that Qing Shui was considered to be somewhat a member of the Di Clan, the Di Clan could enjoy the benefits of his influence. In fact, the Di Clan's status and reputation was stronger now than it had been before the previous Old Ancestor had passed away.
This was all due to Qing Shui.
"The head of the Di Clan is fortunate to have such a pair of enviable daughters. Only a young man with Qing Shui's abilities would be compatible with them. This must be the best outcome and it is only a matter of time before the Di Clan becomes even stronger." Old Master Ying said slowly, smiling.
If this was said by another person, it might sound like mockery. The implication would be that the Di Clan had to rely on an outsider that their daughters had found to get them out of their crisis. However, the meaning totally changed when the old man said it. It was a compliment and did not cause any feelings of offence.
"Old Master Ying, you've over-praised us. With your best wishes, we also hope that the Di Clan will become stronger. Hopefully, we may someday have another expert within our clan just like you." Di Xuan said happily.
Despite his own high standing, Di Xuan replied in a manner unexpected from someone of his status. Even if the other party had indeed been mocking his Di Clan, it did not matter. He was a pragmatic man. As long as the Di Clan survived and more importantly, the Di Clan's family members survived, a few unpleasant words were really nothing to him.
Furthermore, it was his honor to have a daughter like Di Chen. Parents take care of their children when they are young and when they are old, their children take care of them. He knew that he was only able to receive such help because of his daughter. Without Di Chen, would Qing Shui have spent so much of his effort for the Di Clan?
"The Seven Stars Country isn't all that great in the Central Continent, but we are certainly quite famous in the other nearby regions. Since we are all influential people in the Seven Stars Country, we should go around more often, expanding our interests together." the old man said warmly, expressing his goodwill and hoping that the two clans could work together in the future.
"Of course, we are more than willing!" Di Xuan laughed.
Qing Shui smiled and nodded his head, saying nothing, which implicitly expressed his agreement with the matter. These types of matters were not uncommon. People in an advantageous position shouldn't look down on others who come to them seeking collaboration or a chance to share their glory. This was something normal. On the other hand, no one would look to form an alliance with someone in dire straits. When one reached a certain level, people of both higher and lower power would naturally begin to look for him. This situation seemed to be something the Di Clan would benefit from.
"Old sir, I know that the Village of Longevity controls one of the most valuable territories in the Seven Stars Country, rich in all sorts of medicinal herbs, rare items and special beasts. Would you happen to know where we might find some Qianji Wood and Three Tailed Immortal Fox Blood? I would be more than thankful if you could inform us."
Qing Shui's had obtained the alchemy recipe for the Everlasting Pellet some time ago. He now only lacked two ingredients: Qianji Wood and Three Tailed Immortal Fox Blood. The Village of Longevity was famous for its land richly infused with Spiritual Qi. Qing Shui had initially wanted to go visit the place at a later time. However, now that a person with high standing in the Village of Longevity was here, he saw that he could save some time.
"Fortunately, we do have some Qianji Wood. However, we do not have any Three Tailed Immortal Fox Blood because only fresh blood is useful. There is no way to store the blood unless someone manages to tame a Three Tailed Immortal Fox."
The Three Tailed Immortal Fox was a Martial Saint Demonic Beast. Though dealing with a Martial Saint Demonic Beast was not entirely impossible for Qing Shui, it was difficult to actually meet one, especially the Three Tailed Immortal Fox. Among all demonic beasts, it had a considerably high intellect and was further gifted with incredible speed and flight. It was definitely a difficult task to catch one.
Qing Shui was extremely pleased to hear that Old Master Ying had some Qianji Wood. He had only casually asked, hoping that the man would take note of it and help him find some in the future. He was surprised that Old Master Ying actually had some on hand. In that case, he would only need the last ingredient, the Three Tailed Immortal Fox Blood. Qing Shui decided that he would go into some of the dangerous deep mountains and forests to take a look. Perhaps, he would be able to meet one and with the current level of his Hidden Weapon Technique, he should be able to capture it.
Thinking of this, Qing Shui felt an impulse to immediately search for Three Tailed Immortal Fox Blood. If he could get it, he would be able to create the Everlasting Pellet. The wait to experience the powerful effects of the Everlasting Pellet was driving him crazy.
The Everlasting Pellet could double a person's entire base stats and clear the Zhongfu Accupoint!
Qing Shui could feel his blood boil with excitement as he thought of the effects of the medicinal pellet, which should allow him to become a Peak Martial Saint easily.
Nevertheless, he still felt a little dejected when he thought about the possible limitations of the Everlasting Pellet. Even before concocting the pellet, Qing Shui had already guessed that the medicinal pellet was a superior or even royal-level item from the potency of its ingredients. He only hoped that the effects were as stated.
Qing Shui was not certain about the limitations of the Everlasting Pellet but regardless, the most important thing was still his absorption rate. If he was able to absorb the medicinal pellet more completely, its effects would be stronger. The strength of his physical body also played a role. The stronger his body was, the greater his ability to absorb the pellet.
During this period of time when his strength had risen sharply, his physical body had became much stronger. When Qing Shui also took into account the changes in his Yin-Yang Image, he felt that he wouldn't have any problems with absorption.
Qing Shui's random thoughts actually took only a short time. He lifted his head and looked at the old man while smiling, 'I hope that Old Master Ying will be able to spare me some. Please state your conditions, as I greatly need that Qianji Wood."
"I don't have much use for it. I will send my people to bring it to you within the next two days." Old Master Yin chuckled as he waved his hands nonchalantly.
As the old man had spoken, Qing Shui did not pursue the matter further and just thanked the old man gladly.
The feast had been mainly set up for the two parties to build their relationship and so eating was secondary. The few old men from the Village of Longevity were easy to talk to and were very knowledgeable about many things in the Central Continent. Clearly, their level of exposure was a level above that of the Di Clan. They were approachable and compassionate despite being one of the Seven Stars. Even when the members of the younger generation in Di Clan asked many questions, the old men answered all of them patiently and amiably.
The presence of Old Master Ying at the event was an honor for both the Di Clan and Qing Shui. In fact, Old Master Ying was a very far-sighted man. He knew that the Di Clan would in the future surpass his Village of Longevity because of Qing Shui. Even if the Di Clan did not rise up immediately, it would only a matter of time. Taking the opportunity now while his Village of Longevity and the Di Clan were still relatively close in terms of power, he predicted that their friendship would be exceedingly beneficial in the future.
Qing Shui understood these intentions, but he did not reject them. This was normal considering a human’s inherently selfish nature. There was no such thing as a completely selfless interaction. In fact, this opportunity was hard to come by for him as well. He did not know how much time he needed to become stronger, so it wasn't a bad idea to befriend the people from the Village of Longevity.
Oftentimes, a win-win situation would be the crux of a newly formed alliance.
Both parties agreed to interact and work together more often in the future. The four elderly men stayed at the Di Clan residence until the afternoon before leaving. This was a joyous event for everyone involved. Since the Di Clan was now collaborating with the Village of Longevity, they would gain a much greater status in Seven Star Country.
Three days passed peacefully…
Qing Shui enjoyed these three days, having peace of mind and experiencing tranquility. During Qing Shui's morning practice, Di Xian would look at him from the side as he practiced his Taichi Fist. Many other members of the younger generation were jealous of the special treatment that Di Xian had. Di Xian could rightly call Qing Shui her uncle, but the others couldn't.
Everyone yearned for Qing Shui's miraculous techniques. Many people were curious, and even the few elders from the Village of Longevity were no exception. However, they knew they could not ask about it, as such a topic was taboo among cultivators.
After Di Xian would practice for a while, she would look at Qing Shui's usage of the Taichi Fist. She would reflect on it and then attempt to imitate it.
"When you use your fist, you must also use your heart. Try to use your heart to feel the things around you. When the "eyes of your spirit" open, you will realize that everything will suddenly develop very quickly and that your overall constitution will also be raised." Qing Shui explained slowly.
After three days, Di Xian's Taichi fists were already very similar to his own. He could sense that she had good aptitude, so he was now advising her about the mistakes that people her age usually made.
"Eyes of your spirit?" Di Xian asked, perplexed.
"Yes. It is a sort of judgement based on your intuition. In fact, it is a very special sense of intuition that can even be more accurate than your eyes. You will understand in the future. For now, just try to use your heart to feel and sense everything around you."
Qing Shui's description referring to the feeling and the ability itself went into detailed precision. Qing Shui had come to appreciate the importance of such precision from his own experiences in the Taichi Fist.
These were his words of advice and even if she could not reach that level, it might help her. Perhaps she might benefit from that level of truly detailed precision.
"Come here little lass. Since you've called me your uncle for such a long time, I have a little something for you." Qing Shui laughed and gave Di Xian some fruits, Tiger Vitality Pills and other items.
"Uncle, Thank you!" Di Xian smiled happily, her exquisite little face filled with joy.
After the little lass left, Di Qing came over smiling at Qing Shui.
"What's making you so happy?" Qing Shui looked at Di Qing quizzically.
"Sister Su has decided to receive your medicinal treatment. Are you very happy?" Di Qing grinned a little craftily.
Qing Shui choked. He grimaced as he looked at Di Qing, "Am I really such a low-life in your eyes?"
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AST 681 – Di Qing's inner thoughts
"Am I such a low-life in your eyes?"
Qing Shui looked at Di Qing dejectedly. Ever since he had scolded her for being a 'foolish woman', she seldom missed the opportunity to make fun of him. It seemed like she still took it to heart even after such a long time.
Furthermore, he was the only one subject to this kind of a treatment from her. This made Qing Shui a little depressed.
"Of course not! Our Qing Shui is an outstanding talent, one truly strong and valiant. I think very highly of you." Di Qing laughed out.
Di Qing appeared easy going and seemingly true to herself in front of Qing Shui, she even acted like a 'little woman' at times. Her temperament and rare beauty helped her retain her elegance and poise, giving her an overwhelming aura of nobility.
"Fine. I was wrong before, I shouldn't have called you a foolish woman. You're actually a very kind-hearted and virtuous lady, one with a beauty which can overturn a state. Miss Di can you please forgive me? I am just an ordinary folk and you're the Jade girl of Lake Yao. Please let me off." Qing Shui said with a smile. He wasn't actually that concerned, but he still decided to apologize when this topic was brought up. He realized that she had been troubled by his comment and knew that it was necessary for him to explain himself…
Qing Shui thought of something, but he just shook his head. He might still meet her often in the future so he wished to interact with her normally.
Di Qing blushed and humphed, "Those are just empty words, you don't think that way, but that last statement was true though. Do you really hate me that much?" Di Qing finished her sentence sounding downcast.
Her previous smile had disappeared and she gave Qing Shui a complicated look.
Qing Shui was puzzled by Di Qing's reaction and immediately explained, "You're overthinking this, how could I possibly hate you? I am being honest. Anyways, who would hate the prettiest woman in Seven Stars City? I'm really quite honored to know you…"
"You're lying!" Di Qing whispered as her expression regained its composure.
"Alright, let's just agree to coexist peacefully then, okay?" Qing Shui quickly jumped to his main point.
"Then promise me that you'll always give way to me. Also, if you have any good items, you'll have to remember to share them with me." Di Qing replied after some consideration.
"Of course, we are relatives!" Qing Shui chuckled.
"Okay, then let me ask you something. You must be honest though." Di Qing gave it some thought and spoke seriously.
"Sure, I will be honest with you." Qing Shui replied blatantly. He knew that it wouldn't be easy to answer truthfully. In any case, she wouldn't know even if he wasn't being honest.
"Will you think of me sometimes?" Di Qing asked softly.
Di Qing had always liked to compare herself with Di Chen from a very young age. She would like whatever Di Chen liked and would covet anything that Di Chen had. Now, she felt very comfortable in Qing Shui's presence.
In the past, she had already thought highly of the man that her elder sister had fallen for. It was just that she felt he was a little young. Furthermore, she had also seen him before.
After that, she slowly discovered that the man truly had a miraculous streak. He had incredible strength which allowed him to survive each time he underwent a life threatening situation. In addition, his strength had continuously increased at a spectacular rate.
When both of them returned together to the Central Continent, she had spent a few months with him during the journey. They had even faced an awkward incident when Di Qing had been hugged and scolded by Qing Shui. The man had somehow already gained a place in her heart though that incident.
She was anxious, so she forced herself to not think about it since Qing Shui was her brother-in-law. The matter with the Di Clan had triggered her heart, and her feelings for Qing Shui had begun to change.
She felt that among the younger generation on Seven Stars Country, even those considered top geniuses weren't qualified to compete with Qing Shui. She gradually realized that she had come to care about him and she started to tease him just to get noticed. She had always thought of herself as a very eligible bachelorette, but she felt that she had lost her previous attractiveness and confidence in front of this man.
She believed that she was in no way lacking compared to her sister, Di Chen. He treated her sister so well, she was like a goddess to him. Yet when he looked at her, there wasn't a hint of adoration even after turning from enemies to relatives.
Human nature is as such, entangling themselves in this sort of odd reverse psychology. Di Qing knew that she didn't feel this way because Qing Shui was cold to her. She was very rational, she knew what she should and shouldn't do.
Qing Shui wasn't aware of what Di Qing meant by those words. He saw Di Qing looking very out of it, as if she was engrossed in her own thoughts. He really didn't know how he should be answering her.
"Of course, I'll think of you. We're friends so it's normal that I would think of you." Qing Shui said softly after some consideration.
"Are you always thinking of my sister?" Di Qing asked looking at Qing Shui.
Even if he suddenly turned clueless about relationships, he could still tell what she meant. He looked dumbfounded at the beautiful woman who should've been calling him brother-in-law.
"If, and I only mean if, you weren't together with my sister…would you have…fallen for me?" Di Qing seemed to have difficulty saying these words, but she looked at Qing Shui bravely as her face started to blush.
Qing Shui really started to have headache now. Under normal circumstances, any man would be happy and elated. But there was no way he could be happy right now.
"What are you talking about? You sound happy!" Di Chen, who happened to be nearby, just walked over.
Qing Shui was relieved when he saw Di Chen approaching. He really did not know how to answer to Di Qing. From his perspective, he felt that he would've been wrong regardless of his response.
"Sister, you're here. It's nothing, I was just calling Qing Shui over for dinner. We were talking about Xian'er. That little lass just got a load of good items from Qing Shui, she was so happy." Di Qing laughed but felt a little guilty.
"Okay. Let's go have dinner. The food is getting cold." Di Qing smiled and hurried them.
The three of them walked towards the room, but Di Qing continued to blush whenever she unintentionally glanced at Qing Shui.
When Qing Shui locked eyes with Di Chen occasionally during dinner, he felt as if her mesmerizing eyes could tell everything. He didn't feel guilty however, he just felt that it wasn't right.
Di Qing left after they finished dinner, leaving only Di Chen and Qing Shui in the room.
"Qing Shui, Yuan Su agreed to let you treat her." Di Chen smiled at Qing Shui. Her eyes were calm, but the smiling expression within them were exceptionally attractive.
"Let me know if you are against it. I will reject it if that's the case." Qing Shui laughed and looked at Di Chen.
"It's none of my business. You should decide for yourself." Di Chen displayed a look of annoyance.
"Would you be upset?"
"Why would I be upset? I wouldn't be with you if I get upset over such a thing. I know that a bad guy like you already has a few other women." Di Chen laughed as if she didn't mind that Qing Shui was involved with quite a few other women.
Qing Shui fell silent. He didn't have the intention to actively pursue Di Chen from the very start. This was because he knew that he couldn't grow old with just one woman. With the fact that he had other women, he felt that he didn't deserve the right to pursue Di Chen. Even if he didn't have other women, Qing Shui still felt that he wasn't good enough for her. Initially, he had only respected her as a untouchable goddess, dismissing even a hint of profane thought.
Seeing that Qing Shui became silent, Di Chen reached out and massaged Qing Shui's head, "Don't be so small minded. It's impossible that a capable man only have one woman. I am not blaming you, you're an upright man after all. You must be confident, there is no one that can compete with you. You're the best and most outstanding in my heart. I like you…"
These few words spurred Qing Shui. The beauty of a woman could destroy cities. Qing Shui was experiencing the truth of that phrase now, he could give up a whole empire for this woman. Whether it was right or wrong, Qing Shui felt that she was worth it.
When she spoke those last lines, saying how he was the best in her heart and that she liked him—Qing Shui felt that these plain words were like the voices of immortals when spoken from Di Chen's mouth. He could die without any regrets.
"Do you really mean that?" Qing Shui embraced her. He didn't know how to show his love for her. He just hugged her tightly and hoped he could just assimilate her into his body or just consume her. He loved her so deeply that he didn't know how to express it.
"Ah, Qing Shui, don't be so uncivilized." Di Chen had already been forcibly kissed by Qing Shui.
"Chen'er, I feel that you're just like an extremely seductive demon. Actually no, you're an extremely mesmerizing goddess. I just want to eat you up."
His amorous words made Di Chen shy and happy at the same time. She reached up and pinched Qing Shui's nose twice. She then laughed, even that was very alluring. One could drown in her beauty.
Yuan Su came over in the afternoon. Even though Qing Shui had heard from Di Chen and Di Qing that she'd made a decision regarding the treatment, he could see that Yuan Su was visibly nervous.
Qing Shui didn't know what to say, it wasn't appropriate to say anything so he just waited for her to start the conversation. Di Chen and Di Qing had left Qing Shui and Yuan Su to settle the matter.
After Qing Shui commented, "You're here", Yuan Su replied with, "Yes". They didn't exchange a word after that. Qing Shui was waiting for her to make the decision.
"Qing Shui, I decided that I want to receive treatment." After a while, Yuan Su finally stated as she bit her lips.
"Are you sure?"
Yuan Su was an opinionated woman. Once she made a decision, she would always follow through. However, this matter had troubled her for two days because she couldn't think of any alternative solutions.
"Let's enter!" Qing Shui slowly said as he led her to the bedroom.
Since she had already made her decision, Qing Shui didn't say anything more. It was inappropriate to say anything more regarding such a matter. It was more important that he solved her issue.
Yuan Su followed Qing Shui into the bedroom. Her heart started to race. This was a difficult decision for a woman like her, she stood to lose a lot. She was engulfed by the feelings of nervousness, loss and worry.
When they were in the bedroom, Qing Shui said, "Please remove your clothes and lie down. I need to make some preparations. "
Yuan Su's heart started beat even faster. Even Qing Shui, who was two meters away from her, could hear her heartbeat.
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