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Ancient Strengthening Technique (Portraits of Beauty) is a Webnovel completed by I Am Superfluous (我是多余人). This lightnovel is presently Ongoing.
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AST 791 – Seventh Level of Soulshake Bell, A Valuable Treasure
Elementary Martial King was ten times stronger than a Peak Xiantian martial warrior. This was no difference for the promotion of each cultivation stage – Houtian, Xiantian, Martial King and Martial Saint – as a cultivator would always gain ten times the power after breaking through to the next cultivation stage. The benefit was irresistible but it would be extremely difficult and costly for a cultivator to reach a breakthrough.
Qing You erupted in laughter after he had been saturated with an abundance of energy from the surroundings. Not only had his wounds completely healed, the increase of his power had made him seem more masculine as well.
“I have reached a breakthrough, Brother Qing Shui.” Qing You’s eyes shone with a fire of excitement as well as the display of a modest yet unreserved love between two brothers.
Qing Shui was undeniably happy for Qing You. There was no need for words of grat.i.tude between a family as it would be deemed disrespectful towards each other. The feelings of grat.i.tude should always be kept inside the heart instead. There was a reason why parents would never say words of grat.i.tude towards their children but would do anything to protect them in dire situations and why true lovers would die for each other – it was because of love, a form of extreme affection that could overpower a person beyond comprehension.
The love of a family was priceless!
The only one thing Qing Shui would never sacrifice was the love for his family, which was why he would always cherish each member of the Qing Clan for eternity. Romance and friends.h.i.+p would eventually be on the same level of as family love when they had reached the highest level of affection.
“Try to stabilize your power in the meantime, don’t rush for another boost to your power too quickly.” Qing Shui patted on Qing You’s shoulder as he gave advice. Qing You was now half a head taller than Qing Shui. Both him and Qing Zi were now the tallest members of the Qing Clan.
“Okay, I understand.” Qing You was almost carried away in a moment of excitement.
After a week had pa.s.sed, Cang Wuya, Fei Wuji and Bai Gui had finally made it back to the Heavenly Palace. They sighed a breath of relief when they saw that the Heavenly Palace had completed its restoration. Having witnessed Qing Shui’s ability to destroy the entire Eastern Palace Aristocrat Clan, they had no concern about the potential subjugation of the Baima Aristocrat Clan on the Heavenly Palace.
With Fei Wuji’s personal matters solved, Elder Ge organized a grand feast in the Heavenly Palace as a celebration of the defeat of the Eastern Palace Aristocrat Clan. He had also approved a three-day holiday for everyone in the Heavenly Palace as they continued to celebrate with great food and tasty wine, hoping that the late Old Ancestor would be able to rest in peace with this final closure.
Everyone felt cheerful as they celebrated with a gleeful heart. To be honest, Qing Shui wasn’t worried at all. Luan Luan had finally become of great a.s.sistance to Qing Shui, which was what she had aimed to achieve. He could rest a.s.sured knowing that he wouldn’t be fighting alone in future battles anymore.
Qing Shui could still remember what she said to him after her demonic beasts had a breakthrough: “Am I good enough to help daddy now?”
When she finally had Qing Shui’s approval, Luan Luan hugged him immediately with a happy expression. She kept on saying that Qing Shui wouldn’t have to be very tired most of the time and that he wouldn’t have to try extremely hard to protect the whole family by himself……
Whenever he thought about that conversion with Luan Luan, he would feel a pang in his heart. All this time, she knew what he had done for his family. She couldn’t say it even though she could clearly see how much effort he had put on to make himself stronger for everyone’s sake. Luan Luan kept those thoughts in her heart, until one day when she had finally become powerful enough to a.s.sist her father in the battle, she expressed her feelings to Qing Shui, hoping to share the burden he had to protect the Qing Clan.
Three days had pa.s.sed by so quickly. The days of calmness would always go by in the blink of an eye. Qing Shui had been home for more than half a month already but the Baima Aristocrat Clan hasn’t shown up to look for him. He didn’t ponder over it too much as he had been filling his days playing with his children. It was a period of happy and blissful moments.
Qing Shui held Qing Yan in his arms while s.h.i.+ Qingzhuang played with her as they walked around the Heavenly Palace Mountain together. The little girl’s giggles echoed in the air as she continued to do so in a distinctive laugh.
Qing Shui took a glance at his daughter before he looked back at s.h.i.+ Qingzhuang. He still couldn’t believe that he had a daughter with a cold woman like her. Qing Shui recalled the first time he had met her in the Qing Village many years ago.
She had a fiery red cavalier uniform underneath the cold exterior of her overwhelming beauty. At that time, Qing Shui would never have thought that he would end up with her like this one day.
“What are you thinking about, smiling all weirdly like that?” asked s.h.i.+ Qingzhuang when she saw a cheeky expression on his face.
“I was thinking about the first time I met you in the Qing Village. Back then, I didn’t think we would have a daughter like this one day.” Qing Shui looked contently at Qing Yan in his arms before he turned to look at s.h.i.+ Qingzhuang with a smile.
s.h.i.+ Qingzhuang was also smiling when she heard those words. She extended her hands and gently rubbed her daughter’s cheeks. Qing Shui was showing a satisfied smile on his face when she turned to look at him. Ever since she had given birth to her daughter, she realized that she was now living a more substantial life than before.
“Thinking about home?” Qing Shui asked in a casual manner.
s.h.i.+ Qingzhuang was stunned by his question. She seemed confused for a while, as if she was waiting for Qing Shui to continue the conversation.
“If possible, let’s go back to the Qing Village this coming New Year’s Day. That way, you can go back and visit your home.” Qing Shui continued.
“Really?” s.h.i.+ Qingzhuang looked at Qing Shui with a shocked expression.
“Of course. After things are settled here, we can go back immediately. When has your husband ever lied to you?” Qing Shui chuckled.
“That’s great. Qing Shui, you are wonderful.” s.h.i.+ Qingzhuang showed a joyful smile as she grinned.
She had missed her grandfather dearly. If she could go back, then she could finally introduce her daughter to her grandfather formally.
When it was already afternoon, Qing Shui went into the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal straightaway. He had no choice but to enter the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal during the day to continue his cultivation. At night, he would be busy as he had planned to spend his time accompanying either Canghai Mingyue or Huoyun Liu-Li.
The Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal that used to feel boundless seemed more compact than before. He had gained quite a few demonic beasts and some had even grown larger, occupying the s.p.a.ce inside the realm. Qing Shui now wished that the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal could increase in size as soon as possible so that it wouldn’t seem too crowded.
Speaking of which, the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal hadn’t been upgraded for a very long time after the last breakthrough to the sixth level. Qing Shui couldn’t quite feel the next breakthrough coming up. He would only be able to sense it when the moment of breakthrough had approached.
He pondered for a while, knowing that the breakthrough could not be forced. It was best to allow this sort of stuff approach in a natural way. In any case, the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal was of a heaven-defying treasure or to be precise, the rarest and most valuable treasure he had ever owned.
He took out the violet Soulshake Bell that that had already increased by two levels since the last time he took it out to glance at it. Those who took a glimpse at the bell would think that this was a valuable treasure based on the shocking appearance of the color that exuded the aura of utmost pureness.
Exquisite and magnificent, yet Qing Shui didn’t manage to use it once in such a long time, even during the time he had clashed with a group of wild demonic beasts. Back then, he decided against using it due to its ineffectiveness over the the countless demonic beasts. The Soulshake Bell would not be of any help even if he had used it that time.
He continued to temper the Soulshake Bell every day in the same manner, even to this day. The violet color of the Soulshake Bell gleamed in an enchanting light that was faint and gentle.
After he was done tempering the Soulshake Bell for the day, the bell suddenly shook in an abnormal manner in Qing Shui’s hand. The violet light enveloped the entire bell, slightly increasing it from the size of a fist to the size of an infant’s head. The Soulshake Bell felt more solid and heavier with added quality to its l.u.s.tre, making it seem like the violet was an embodiment of the bell itself, instead of just a color of the appearance.
The Soulshake Bell had been upgraded!
Qing Shui stared blankly at the Soulshake Bell that had just increased in size. The appearance of the bell remained the same, except for the minor change in the color, as well as the size itself. He didn’t expect an upgrade to happen so soon, much less after he had finished tempering it today.
Qing Shui couldn’t wait any longer and used the Heavenly Vision Technique to a.n.a.lyze the reformed Soulshake Bell.
The Seventh Level of the Soulshake Bell could be used against demonic beasts that were no more than ten in number. The bell would emit a terrifying sound that would frighten those who heard it. There would be a 30% chance of causing the demonic beasts to flee in frenzy and a 20% of driving the targeted beasts into absolute madness and attack everything around them disregarding whether they were friends or foes. There would also be a 10% chance of causing the targeted beasts to die instantly while ignoring the ranks or levels of the targets. However, some special demonic beasts may be able to decrease the success rate of the Soulshake Bell. This bell could be used once per 15 minutes.
Qing Shui was still dumbfounded by what he saw. Even though the effect of the Soulshake Bell ability did not change, there were other minor changes to the number of targets and the success rate – maximum ten targets and increase in success rates. This bell was essentially the beast tamers’ kryptonite.
Of course, when an artifact had become stronger, the limitation of use would be enforced. Once per 15 minutes wasn’t a big issue for Qing Shui – he could use it again after tossing it into the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal for a breath of time…….
With that in mind, there was essentially no problem if he were to face a powerful demonic beast in the future. He wouldn’t have to worry for his opponent’s demonic beast anymore. Moreover, the Soulshake Bell could now store a greater amount of power, so Qing Shui wouldn’t need to worry about replenis.h.i.+ng the power after a few uses.
Suddenly, the thought about the supreme sect – the Lion King’s Ridge – popped into his mind. Most of their members were beast tamers with demonic beasts largely hailing from Northern Sacred Lu Continent. The majority of the beast tamers out there were considered amateurs but those with extraordinary talents, including some beast tamers and the beast tamer clans, were not far behind in number. The Lion King’s Ridge was the best among the beast tamer clans in the world.
Did G.o.d just sent a preparation for him to take over the Lion King’s Ridge one day……?
Nevertheless, Qing Shui continued to temper the Second Level Demon Binding Ropes and the Third Level Blackjade Poisonous Spiderweb next. He wasn’t particularly insistent on their respective upgrades right now, especially the spider web, because he wanted to cultivate the toxicity of the poison to a proper level first before using the web during the battle. If he could temper the spider web to the next level, he might be able to strengthen the poison infused in it as well.
The Blackjade Poisonous Spiderweb was obviously poisonous in nature. The greater the level of the spider web, the higher the toxicity of the poison would be – perhaps a few time stronger than the previous level. Qing Shui had a hunch that if the Blackjade Poisonous Spiderweb was able to breakthrough to the seventh level, then it would be able to display a power on par with the Five Colored Poison. He decided to temper the spider web sufficiently every single day until it had acc.u.mulated to the point of a breakthrough.
Thousand Hammer Technique!
Sword of Sixth Wave!
Hidden Weapon Technique!
Another half a month had pa.s.sed. Ironically, when Qing Shui had almost forgotten the existence of the Baima Aristocrat Clan, they finally showed up again in the Heavenly Palace. Qing Shui was playing with Qing Yin in the courtyard when one of the disciples of the Heavenly Palace came to report of their arrival.
“Patriarch, the people from the Baima Aristocrat Clan had arrived at the Heavenly Palace. They have requested a meeting with you.” A young disciple swiftly gave a report to Qing Shui.
“How many are there? Where are they at?” Qing Shui picked up Qing Yin and asked the young disciple of the Heavenly Palace.
“They are at the square in the mountain peak. There are about ten of them in total.”
“Hmm, understood. You may go back now.” Qing Shui smiled, allowing the disciple to go back to the Heavenly Palace swiftly.
“Yin`er, go play with your mother. Daddy will come back soon and play with you, okay?” Qing Shui put down Qing Yin and knelt on his knees to speak with the little girl.
Qing Yin was still too young to be able to understand his words. He didn’t intend to make her understand either. As he was still talking to Qing Yin, Canghai Mingyue was already walking in his direction. He a.s.sumed that the others had already received the news as well.
“Qing Shui, go. Be careful!” Canghai Mingyue picked up the little girl and bid Qing Shui to stay cautious.
“Alright. Don’t worry, you can rest a.s.sured that your husband will do just fine.” Qing Shui replied with a smile and planted a kiss on Qing Yin’s cheek. He then gave a peck on Canghai Mingyue’s cheek as well, almost overwhelming her with mixed emotions.
“Daddy, I want to go with you.”
Luan Luan stepped forward and expressed her intention. She smiled and greeted Canghai Mingyue before reaching out her hand to touch Qing Yin’s small cheeks. After that she went up to Qing Shui and held him by his arm.
“Then let’s go!” Qing Shui wanted to refuse her request but thought about for a moment before replying to her with a rejection. Luan Luan had made up her mind to fight and she would be fighting with him in the future battles. He agreed to let her come along so she would be able to gain some experience if a fight were to break out between him and the members of the Baima Aristocrat Clan.
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AST 792 – Old Man’s Concerns, Conflict, Opposing Each Other Heads On
“Mingyue, then we’ll go over first and take a look.” Qing Shui said to Canghai Mingyue before he left.
“Mmm, be careful. When things are settled, come back earlier and inform everyone.” Canghai Mingyue smiled and said while carrying Qin Yin. Her elegant and beautiful appearance was something that still left Qing Shui heads over heels for her.
“Alright, Luan Luan, let’s go and take a look!” Qing Shui waved to Canghai Mingyue and then said to Luan Luan.
“Mmm, Aunt, we’ll head over first.” Luan Luan smiled and said to Canghai Mingyue.
“Ok. Qing Shui, take good care of Luan Luan.”
“Mmm, don’t worry!”
“Come, let daddy bring you along!” With that, Qing Shui grabbed Luan Luan’s wrist and leaped up while Luan Luan stepped on his foot as they flew toward Heavenly Palace’s public square.
Luan Luan was about to reach Martial Saint level. It was a pity that one would not be able to fly even if they were just a little bit away from attaining the Martial Saint level. Flying was an ability Martial Saints had.
There were many people at the public square but there were no hostile auras around. When he saw where Elder Ge was, Qing Shui flew over directly.
“Patriarch is here!”
“Patriarch is here!”
Many of Heavenly Palace’s disciples could not hold themselves back and cheered. It was heartfelt admiration that everyone felt. Even more so, it was a trust in him, as they entrusted themselves to his hands.
“Elder Ge!” Qing Shui didn’t look at the people from the other side but greeted Elder Ge first.
“Qing Shui, these are people from Baima Aristocrat Clan. They kept saying that they want to meet you and this is the third time that they’ve come.” Elder Ge smiled and said.
Qing Shui turned to look at the opposite side. There were four extremely old man, four who were slightly younger, as well as a younger male and female pair who seemed to be in their thirties.
The ones in the lead were the four oldest men. Two of them appeared very tall and powerful. Although they looked very old, they stood very upright and exuded a dominating aura.
The other two were slighter shorter, having a clean appearance, giving off a knowledgeable feeling.
The younger male and female pair stood in the middle. The guy was wearing snow white long clothes and his handsome face exuding softness. Such a disposition had a lethal attraction to some ladies.
And the young lady next to him… On his first look, Qing Shui thought of an expression.
No matter how pretty a lady was, she would eventually be left with nothing but a pile of bones!
This lady was the most coquettish lady he had ever met. Her almond shaped eyes were covered with a layer of mist and her neck was long and s.e.xy. Her body was extremely curvy and many would covet her. Matched with her slender waist, out of everyone Qing Shui had met before, this was a lady who was able to best exploit her body to its full potential.
A lady like this did not require any disposition. She would only need to rely on her body. It might be because the heavens are fair, that Qing Shui didn’t notice any disposition on her. At most, she could only be said to have a bit of elegance but this should be because she was brought up in a well-to-do family.
When Qing Shui was looking at her, that lady blinked her misty almond shaped eyes not less than three times. As for what it meant, only she herself knew.
This kind of woman would be attractive to any man but she was more suited to be in a brothel. While it was good to enjoy a good time with people like her, as time pa.s.sed, her charm would be lost. This was unlike how it was for women with character, where one would find more and more of their charms as time pa.s.ses.
The other four behind them who looked slightly aged had half of their hair in white. However, their appearances seemed to be middle-aged at most.
When Qing Shui was checking them out, they were doing the same to him. They felt that Heavenly Palace’s Patriarch was too young.
However, they didn’t feel much about it, thinking that it was because there was no one who was strong that the job would be left to a young and ignorant lad. This was Greencloud Continent and there were no strong experts here. However, their attention was still on this young man. They were trying to see if there was something unique about him. After all, it was rumored that Zuos.h.i.+ Clan had died in his hands.
They were very familiar with Zuos.h.i.+ Clan as back then, they had escaped here after fighting with their clan for Huayang City. After so many years, their clan was forced out as well and they were here to look for Zuos.h.i.+ Clan, hoping to be able to join forces and fight back. However, they were not expecting Zuos.h.i.+ Clan to have been wiped out…
They did not know if this news was good or bad for them. They still had some confidence to convince Zuos.h.i.+ Clan but to convince Heavenly Palace, who had wiped out Zuos.h.i.+ Clan, to head to Huayang City with them them, it was practically impossible.
This was their plan when they first came here. They didn’t dare to be rash against them since they had the power to wipe out Zuos.h.i.+ Clan. Moreover, after staying in Greencloud Continent for half a year, they realized that the place was much better than Central Continent. Therefore, their ambition to return to Central Continent had gradually dimmed. This place was very suitable for a clan like theirs, unlike how it was in Central Continent, where those with power would be able to gain more and it was dangerous for those without.
“Why have the few of you been trying to look for me?” Qing Shui smiled and asked.
“You’re Heavenly Palace’s Patriarch?” Out of the four old men in the lead,a clean looking old man walked out and said, smiling.
“Yes. You guys are?” Qing Shui kept his eyes on their actions and silently observed their level.
These people were not as strong as Zuos.h.i.+ Clan’s Old Ancestor, nor were they as powerful as Eastern Palace Aristocrat Clan’s Old Ancestor. However, these few old men had the level of slightly over four stars. Even the slightly old men were at about three stars. And the young man and lady couple, were the same as Di Chen, at Grade Five Martial Saint. Qing Shui could not help but take a few more looks.
The guy had pretty good potential and the same went for the lady. However, Qing Shui could sense, through his Heavenly Vision Technique, that the martial technique the lady cultivated was Yin in nature and was one that replenished one’s Yin energy through Yang energy, slightly better than a martial technique which required her to absorb Yang energy from the male during s.e.xual intercourse. This martial technique would require her to absorb the Yang energy from guys, turn the energy into Yin energy and from there, raise her cultivation level.
So she was such a person. Qing Shui lamented over the thought of how many guys had fallen prey to her. But looking at how coquettish this lady was, there must have been plenty of people who immediately died after intercourse with her. She was like the peony in the idiom ‘If one were to die under the peony flower, one would be amorous even as a ghost’ .
Qing Shui didn’t have much thought over Duo Cultivation techniques and Duo Cultivation couples. Most people would choose a Duo Cultivation partner and they would basically be considered a married couple, where no matter what happened, usually the lady would follow the guy. Although there was equality in the world of the nine continents, Qing Shui still felt that it was about the same as how it was in his previous life. It was likely because ladies tended to be weaker than guys in general in the area of cultivation and thus it gradually led to having the guys to call the shots. Therefore, it could only be said that the equality was more than how it was for his previous life. When a man could have several wives, it showed that there wasn’t equality. There was no absolute equality, no matter where the place was.
In the books or some records in the world of the nine continents, there were places where the status of women was higher than men. In those places, there were fewer ladies and many men. Moreover, the legacy they held was different and thus the social status changed.
“That girl next to you was the one who had killed someone from our Baima Clan.”The old man said as he looked at Qing Shui calmly, not missing out on any hint of fluctuation to his facial expressions.
When Qing Shui saw the old man’s reaction, he laughed. “She is my daughter. If she has killed someone from your clan, it’s because the person deserved to die. You guys should be clearer than me over what people from your Baima Clan have done. To think that you guys have come knocking on the door even though I didn’t go over to demand an explanation.”
Qing Shui’s tone was very calm but the words he chose were astonis.h.i.+ng. Although the people in Heavenly Palace knew that the other party was doing this intentionally, they had not expected Qing Shui’s reply to be so threatening.
However, Qing Shui felt that the other party was clear over the entire situation. Moreover, they knew well what their own intentions were. When dealing with such people, the more polite you are, the more they would feel that you are shrinking back. Therefore, he might as well push them into showing all their cards.
“Hahaha, it’s truly a case of the rise of a promising youngster. To think that you can remain so arrogant after having killed someone.” The elegant looking elder was not angered but broke into a laugh instead. However, his eyes had not left Qing Shui’s gaze.
“Let’s just cut to the chase. Why is there a need to be hypocritical? There’s no outsiders here. We Heavenly Palace are well aware of what people we have around us and I’m sure you guys are also clear about how your people are like, just like how we understand a little about the people from your clan. Let’s just talk and get to the point.” Qing Shui smiled and said, looking at the other party in complete disdain.
“Young man, I can’t see through you clearly, so I don’t wish to take any risks. I’m really curious over how you were able to wipe out Zuos.h.i.+ Clan.” The old man was not angered by Qing Shui’s words and he continued to say calmly.
“Do you believe that I’d be able to kill you instantly right now?” Qing Shui said softly as he looked at the old man. His tone was so gentle that many found it hard to believe.
The elegant-looking old man was also stunned by Qing Shui’s words. However, he regained his composure quickly. “Young man, don’t just rely on blind courage. Think through things before you take action.”
When Qing Shui heard the old man’s words, he smiled. The old man had already shrunk back. Qing Shui knew well what his words had meant, telling him that they had more people. Even if he could defeat the few of them alone, would he be able to defeat all of them? Getting him to think before he takes any action was to get him to think about himself and the people behind them, to see if everything was worth it.
“The fact that I can remain alive to this day, means that I’m not someone who depends blindly on my courage. But you guys have been standing on high ground for far too long. As time pa.s.ses, your brains have also turned dull.” Qing Shui said without showing any respect.
Qing Shui felt that he didn’t have to stand on ceremony with them. These people were very careful but were still mostly arrogant. This was also why it was normal for them to be forced out of the Central Continent. However, after they came over, they still didn’t know any better and it seemed that they’d probably only be able to realize their folly after they died.
“Young man, don’t push it too far. Baima Aristocrat Clan has never been scared of anyone.” The old man’s voice was louder now as he said to Qing Clan with gritted teeth.
“Across the nine continents, Greencloud Continent is the weakest and the poorest. There’s no way that you guys would be willing to move if you had not been forced out.” Qing Shui smiled as he said to the old man.
The old man was stunned for a while. Thinking of how Zuos.h.i.+ Clan had been wiped out by this young man… he wondered if Qing Shui also knew about their clan. He had not expected that the young man would point it out where it hurts, causing him to be unable to rebut. He felt that Qing Shui had probably heard it from Zuos.h.i.+ Clan.
“So what? After coming to Greencloud Continent, we’re the strongest here.” The old man said with a powerful disposition as he looked at Qing Shui.
“Zuos.h.i.+ Clan had said the same thing back then. Refugees know not how to treasure other’s acceptance and are still thinking of calling the shots around here. Rather than think of how to fight back to return to Central Continent, you’re trying to boss people around here. Don’t you think that you guys deserve to die?” Qing Clan said without a flinch as he looked toward them.
 A chinese idiom that has the meaning that even if one were to die for a beautiful lady, it would be worth it.
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