Chapter 321 Frenzy at Night
In the evening, it was windy at West Lake.
The breeze and the Curtain of Night spread at the same time. Under the faint sky, the wind wrinkled the lake. Lonely Mountain reflection in the clear water wave spread with the ripples and became greener and greener.
Lonely Mountain was no longer a tourist attraction of West Lake.
After Li Honghe took the surviving Li family’s veterans to Lonely Mountain, Lin’an official soon announced that the interior of Lonely Mountain should be reorganized and renovated.
Then they left the things as they were.
Lin’an City Office reported the situation of Lonely Mountain to the provincial capital of Jiangzhe.
The provincial government reported to the Cabinet.
The Cabinet kept silent.
So the provincial government and the city office were silent at the same time.
The ticketing point of Lonely Mountain was canceled, and the surrounding areas were quietly removed from the sightseeing area of West Lake. The whole Li family began to take root in Lonely Mountain in the silence of the high-level figures of Zhongzhou State.
The high-level figures were still silent.
Just as everyone seemed to have forgotten Li family and Lonely Mountain, everyone, including Kunlun City, had expressed no views on Li Honghe’s occupation of Lonely Mountain.
Silence often meant the acquiescence.
But more often, it could also be an excuse.
However, it was evident that as long as Li Honghe was still alive, the High-level of Zhongzhou State would not raise any objection to Li family’s occupation of Lonely Mountain.
There were no tourists on Lonely Mountain, and Spiritual Qi had replaced the popularity. When Li Tianlan came to the foot of Lonely Mountain, the lush green mountain was located in West Lake under the gray night sky. It seemed that the grass and trees had an ambiguous spiritual quality.
The flowers were in bloom on Lonely Mountain.
Li Tianlan got off the boat and went straight along the quiet mountain road.
It was quiet on Lonely Mountain.
Li Tianlan gradually became more relaxed.
He was relaxed but perturbed.
It was almost three years since he had left Li family’s campsite in the beginning.
However, Li Tianlan still did not make any achievements.
He entered into Invincible Realm in Heaven Capital and today was ranked in Divine List, known as Heavenly Sons of Zhongzhou State.
That was at the expense of his own Martial Arts Foundation.
The reason why he became Young Governor of Sigh City was that the Li family had a good relationship with Sigh City.
He established East Emperor Palace.
But now East Emperor Palace was still small and weak.
Li Tianlan suddenly felt a little terrified inside.
For three years, he seemed to have done a lot, but sometimes he felt having done nothing.
He was still in a state of just getting started.
His Martial Arts and sword intent had achieved some accomplishment.
But the Li family’s glory was still bleak.
Li Tianlan would like to tell the uncles and aunts, who were always on the side of the Li family, pinned all their hopes on himself and still insisted on it, that he was doing well outside.
But was that true?
Three years and everything today…
They were slow.
After all, they were still too slow.
He felt that he was not doing well.
If he didn’t do well, he would not dare to go up the mountain.
In the twilight, he gradually slowed down his footsteps and even dragged his feet a bit.
There were only the sounds of the night wind blowing the treetops on Lonely Mountain.
There were no guards on Lonely Mountain, and there was no need for guards.
Those who were hostile to Li family would not go up the mountain, and those who insisted on going up the mountain would not be stopped by guards in the mountain.
Therefore, on the blocked Lonely Mountain, there was only a cold and somewhat lonely path for the most time.
At the end of the path appeared a woman in coarse clothes.
The woman’s face was beautiful. Although there were some wrinkles in the corners of her eyes, the stubbornness and persistence between the eyebrows made her whole person give out an indescribable taste.
At both ends of the road, one went up, and the other went down.
The woman saw Li Tianlan.
Li Tianlan also saw her.
The two stunned at the same time.
A surprise appeared in the eyes of the woman who was no longer young.
Her delicate eyebrows raised unconsciously, which made her look a little valiant suddenly.
Li Tianlan slightly accelerated his footsteps and came to the woman. Before he started to say something, the woman had already spoken with a smile. “Young Master, you are back.”
Li Tianlan nodded and called her Aunt Qingye.
Not many women followed Li Honghe and left Youzhou back then, fewer for the womenfolk of a family. Qingye was both the womenfolk of a family and a cadre of the Li family. Besides, she was a relatively young one. She was Li Wangsheng’s mother and had experience with taking care of children. Therefore, during the infancy of Li Tianlan, Qingye took care of him. Although Li Tianlan called her aunt, he regarded her as his adoptive mother.
Qingye reached out her hand and subconsciously wanted to touch Li Tianlan’s head. Before she could touch him, she took her palm back.
Her smile seemed to be more beautiful than before. “Wangsheng had just returned once last week. How I wish you could come back a few days earlier.”
“I will see Wangsheng soon.”
Li Tianlan said with a smile.
He has not seen Li Wangsheng since he returned.
However, the final maneuver of the two houses was about to begin. Li Wangsheng, a Spirit Tortoise in Four Spirits of Zhongzhou State, was likely to be present in person.
“Where are you going?”
Li Tianlan asked.
“I will go down and fetch some things.”
Qingye smiled and said, “Several years ago, we came here. Soon Yu Donglai, Senior Yu, came here once. He arranged some local people to send some fruits, vegetables, and meat every day. Young Master, we have a much better life than before.”
“Not good enough.”
Li Tianlan said with a low voice.
He looked at the mountain road that seemed to have no end. He whispered, “How have you been these years?”
“We are all good.”
Qingye was silent for a while before she said those words. She was still smiling. But her smile was very complicated.
It was a kind of emotion with both pleasure and anxiety. It was so intense that Li Tianlan could not confirm her mood as sad or joyful for a time.
“Just His Highness is in bad condition of health this year.”
Li Tianlan felt shocked.
Li Honghe’s health would become worse and worse as his uncontrollable power increased. This was a fact that could not be changed. But he did not expect it would happen so fast.
It was only the third year.
He took a deep breath and said, “I will go up first, aunt, and I will chat with you later.”
Qingye smiled and nodded, brushing past Li Tianlan.
Li Tianlan stared at her back.
Compared with the face in memory that was beautiful but full of numbness and despair, now her face had been filled with more smiles. When she mentioned her grandfather’s body, she was sad and anxious as before. But Li Tianlan only felt her braveness by looking at her back.
The Li family regained their emotions.
All emotions were combined together and became hope.
This was the status quo of the Li family.
It was the best situation.
But the best had nothing to do with him.
Li Honghe changed.
So the Li family changed.
Li Honghe’s health was getting worse and worse. Therefore, everyone in the Li family was worried. But this hope never disappeared.
Even if Li Honghe died tonight, the Li family’s hope would naturally fall on Li Tianlan.
Li Tianlan turned around again and walked up the mountain quickly.
He dragged his feet but was full of determination.
Some small wooden houses were built on the top of Lonely Mountain. The number of buildings was about twenty or thirty. The road on the mountain was repaired. The road conditions were not good. At most, it could only be described as flat. Twenty or thirty small wooden houses were located among the bright flowers and green trees, just like a small village built on the top of the mountain.
The former Li family ‘s campsite became the current Li’s Village.
The only constant was the vast and horrible graveyard.
The graveyard was built on the site of Qingyun Temple.
Mount Qingyun and Lonely Mountain were one entity before. After the disappearance of Qingyun Temple, Mount Qingyun became a lonely mountain. The highest peak on Lonely Mountain now became the graveyard of the Li family.
Nearly a thousand tombstones were lined up one by one, neatly arranged. The graveyard did not seem gloomy in the night but a bit tragic and lonely.
There were no people on the top of the mountain.
There were only a few lights in these small buildings.
Standing on the top of the mountain, Li Tianlan could clearly hear everyone’s breathing that were long, smooth, and full of rhythm.
This was the breathing rhythm that only appeared when people fell in the deep state.
The whole Li family became obvious.
Everyone seemed to think about restoring their peak state after many years of silence, even surpassing the peak state.
Li Tianlan’s heart suddenly sank.
Finally, it sank to the bottom of the mountain, because everyone was meditating.
But there were so few people.
Li Tianlan’s face was pale.
Counting Qingye, only seventeen!
This was the current situation of the Li family.
Li Tianlan shook his body. An indescribable anger instantly took up all his consciousness. His eyes were full of scarlet.
When he left the border three years ago, there were more than a hundred people in the Li family.
After the border war, counting the wounded, there were more than 60 people surviving in the Li family.
Three years later, there were only less than twenty people left in the Li family?!
Where were they?
Li Tianlan looked at the vast graveyard in front and hesitated for a moment. Then he walked up with difficulty.
Out of the graveyard, an old hunched man emerged.
The older man was thin with gray hair. Because of the hunchback, he looked a little diminutive.
He had a broom in his hand and seemed to have just returned from the graveyard.
Li Tianlan stopped his footsteps.
The moment he saw the older man, he seemed to become incredibly calm.
The older man also saw Li Tianlan.
His somewhat turbid eyes quietly lit up. He said calmly, “You are back.”
Li Tianlan replied with an “Eh”.
This was a three-year reunion between the grandchild and the grandfather.
No excitements, no surprises.
It was calm like water and indifferent as night.
Li Honghe put the broom on the side and waved his hand, saying, “Walk with me.”
Li Tianlan walked over to Li Honghe.
He had too many words to say. But he did not know what to say for a while.
Grandfather became very thin, and his ever-straight backbone was also bent.
The God of War in Zhongzhou State, who was once full of high spirits, has disappeared.
With his twenty years of adherence to the border followed by the Li family, the older man who was tolerant and silent also went far away.
Today, he was old and went past his prime.
That was the weakness that he would be lonely for the rest of his life, with mighty power that was almost wholly out of control.
At this moment, Li Honghe seemed so powerful as to tear the world but might fall down the next second.
Li Tianlan hesitated. He wanted to speak but stopped at a second thought.
Li Honghe looked open-minded and peaceful. “It’s not the time for me to die. As long as I want to live, I can make it for at least two or three years.”
“What about you?”
Li Honghe glanced at Li Tianlan and said, “What have you gained in three years?”
“My… my body has changed.”
Li Tianlan said slowly, “And… Grandpa, I give up Twenty-fourth Blade now.”
In Heaven Capital, he had seen and used Li family’s famous unique technique, Twenty-fourth Blade, from the angle of Invincible Realm.
In three years, his sword has vaguely jumped out of the scope of Twenty-fourth Blade and gradually became his own kendo.
He has fully understood Twenty-fourth Blade and already reached the time of giving it up.
Li Honghe nodded casually and said, “Walk your own way.”
There was no light in the graveyard.
The father he went up, the darker it was. So the lights emitted from the wooden buildings in the graveyard were getting more and more dazzling.
“What about our people?” Li Tianlan finally broke his silence after a moment and asked.
Li Honghe laughed with a very complicated smile. “They have gone to the place where they should go. Those who stay here now are not willing to go. When I am dead, these people will follow you.”
“Where have they gone?” Li Tianlan continued to ask.
“It’s the place where they should go.”
Li Honghe’s tone was faint and emotionless.
Li Tianlan was trying to continue to ask; however, Li Honghe has already shifted the topic. “Talk to me about your experiences in those three years. Where have you been? How did you feel?”
It was very simple for Li Tianlan in three years.
But it was very complicated.
It looked like there was nothing to say, but there was too much to say.
Li Tianlan sorted out the thoughts and slowly confided. From leaving the Sky Academy to Sigh City, he had seen Universe Uselessness of Situ Cangyue, then to the virgin forests of Snow Country and the Volga River, and thousands of miles of ice in Polar Ground, as well as the mirage in the Pacific Ocean and Falling Stars outside the Hangu Pass…
He talked about the metamorphosis of his willpower, the sword intent that was hidden after the recovery, Golden Retriever that followed him, and the famous sword Divine Punishment that Lin Fengting gave him but was made completely broken in his hands…
In his story, there were Dongcheng Clan, Bai Qingqian, Dongcheng Rushi, Wang Yuetong, Samsara Palace, and even Purgatory of Heaven Capital and Wang family of Beihai…
He said a lot.
Li Honghe just listened silently, without expression, and did not express any opinion.
The Li family’s graveyard was very large.
The grandfather and the grandson walked up and down very slowly.
The whole Li family was still meditating.
Li Honghe returned to his small wooden house with Li Tianlan.
There was almost no decoration in the wooden house.
A hard bed, a wooden table, and a few stools were all the furniture.
However, they could take root in this place where climate change could be felt along with sunshine, rain, and snow. Compared to the previous situation for the Li family, it was already like a paradise.
Li Honghe turned on the light and sat down on the stool next to the wooden table. “So, you are now Young Governor of Sigh City and have already got the first investment for the founding of East Emperor Palace. Besides, you established a partnership with Jiang Shangyu. Just after the final maneuver is over, can you start everything?”
Li Tianlan thought for a moment and nodded.
“So, can you win the final maneuver of the two academies?” Li Honghe looked at his grandson who had been away for three years and asked with a smile.
“This is not a question of possibility, but I must win. I will win.”
Li Tianlan’s tone was dull.
“How I wish it could be as simple as that.”
Li Honghe whispered, “Tianlan, I am not sure that your current Martial Arts state. But I think that before you entering Invincible Realm, you might as well hide your strength. If you win the final maneuver, it seems that you can win for yourself. But your opponents are the Wang family of Beihai and Kunlun City. It is still challenging for you to develop further.”
Li Tianlan was stunned and could not make sure Li Honghe’s meaning for a while. “Grandpa, do you mean I should give up this final maneuver?”
Li Tianlan stayed silent.
Li Tianlan saw hesitation from his twinkling eyes.
The final maneuver has become the most crucial step for Li Tianlan since he entered the secular world. There would be two very different fates for his advance or retreat.
Li Honghe asked him to hide the strength, which was more conservative.
Li Tianlan had no intention to evaluate this kind of conservativeness. For him, he had no way to retreat.
“I will not give up.” Li Tianlan said blandly.
“Talk about your reasons.”
Li Honghe ‘s tone was calm.
“Wang family of Beihai and Kunlun City have long been my enemies. In any case, my existence is a threat to them. No matter who wins the final maneuver, it will not change their attitude towards me. If so, I would rather win it. So I can give more confidence to those who support me and intend to support me.”
Li Tianlan whispered, “Grandpa, you won’t understand. If I lose to Wang Shengxiao in the maneuver, everything I have done before will be a joke. The Li family will also become a joke. So I cannot retreat.”
“Have you ever thought about the attitude of the Wang family of Beihai and Kunlun City?” Li Honghe asked.
“They have shown a clear attitude.”
Li Tianlan said, “The reason why I am still alive is that Grandpa, you are still alive. If they want to hurt me, they must first kill you. I have received the news that Wang Tianzong should have been in Kunlun City by now.”
Li Honghe suddenly raised his eyebrows. He looked at Li Tianlan and said in a low voice. “If this is the case, then you should not come back.”
Li Tianlan stayed silent.
There were many things in the world for people to do as a duty, not as a choice.
“I have to come back.”
He uttered the words one by one.
Li Honghe was here.
Li family people were also here.
If the Li family was destroyed under the joint efforts of Wang Tianzong and Gu Xingyun, then what was the Li family he tried to guard? What was the point for the guarding?
Li Honghe looked at Li Tianlan thoughtfully and suddenly said, “If it were him… he would not come back.”
“Who is he?” Li Tianlan asked seriously.
He carefully looked at Li Honghe’s expression and didn’t want to miss any details.
Li Honghe was silent, only quietly watching Li Tianlan.
“I have some questions.”
Li Tianlan said, “I should have asked them three years ago. Grandpa, I hope you can give me answers.”
Li Honghe looked emotionless.
“Master of Samsara Palace and Weibai, are they related to you? Who is Master of Samsara Palace on earth?” Li Tianlan asked.
There could be no love in this world for no reason.
Samsara Palace protected him.
Qin Weibai’s affection for him…
Li Tianlan believed that there should be an explanation for all these.
Currently, it was only possible to get the answer from Li Honghe.
Li Honghe looked at Li Tianlan in silence.
His eyes were a little strange as well as troubled.
He watched Li Tianlan for a long time before he shook his head and said, “I don’t know.”
“You do not know?!” Li Tianlan asked him back.
“I really don’t know.”
Li Honghe said with a wry smile, “At the beginning, Master of Samsara Palace found me. At that time, you were still in the desert prison. My state was severe. At that time, unless I spared all my efforts, I would not defeat the Master of Samsara Palace. When she first found me, she didn’t have any interest in the Li family but you. I could see that she would not harm you. So when you left the border, I gave the contact information she had left to you.”
Li Tianlan took a deep breath and continued, “What about Dongcheng Clan?”
“Li family owed Dongcheng Clan.”
Li Honghe said faintly, “we have to continue to owe them.”
Li Tianlan frowned again.
He still did not know the identity of the Master of Samsara Palace.
Dongcheng Clan’s affairs became another answer in Li Honghe’s mouth.
The answer he got from Dongcheng Clan was that Dongcheng Clan owed Li family, not on the contrary.
“What else do you want to ask?” Li Honghe glanced at Li Tianlan and said.
Li Tianlan’s mouth muscles trembled. He suddenly smiled and said, “Grandpa, do you know the Purgatory of Heaven Capital?”
Li Honghe narrowed his eyes.
“Who is Deity of Purgatory of Heaven Capital on earth?” Li Tianlan looked at Li Honghe and asked.
Li Honghe quietly looked at Li Tianlan and looked calm.
“Deity… is he my father?”
Li Tianlan’s voice was a little trembling. “He should not be, right?”
He did not know who Deity was on earth.
But he recalled the words that Grandfather had said to him a long time ago… Deity ‘s unique skill that was formed by the frequent changes of Twenty-fourth Blade… Combined with his age and his dialogue with Wang Tianzong in Heaven Capital…
Li Tianlan did not want to admit.
But countless speculations in his mind showed that Deity of Purgatory of Heaven Capital was his father, Li Kuangtu!
Li Tianlan really did not want to admit this.
When he broke through into Invincible Realm in Heaven Capital, he could clearly perceive that whether it was Wang Tianzong or Deity, there was always a killing intent on him.
If Deity was really his father, why did Deity want to kill him in Heaven Capital?
“He is not.”
Li Honghe finally spoke and sighed softly. “Really not.”
Li Tianlan was slightly relieved and quietly looked at Li Honghe.
“So… Li family’s future still depends on you.” Li Honghe whispered.
Li Tianlan nodded. “Grandpa you can count on me.”
His tone was calm and confident. “Li family will regain his glory in my hands. For those who have owed Li family, whether it is Wang family of Beihai or Kunlun City, I will let them pay back little by little!”
“those who have owed Li family…”
Li Honghe’s eyes were filled with doubt. “Wang family of Beihai?”
For the first time, his eyes showed a bit of undisguised pain.
The pain was so clear and deep in his old eyes, like a scar carved into the eyelids.
He smiled and laughed at himself. “What if… if Wang family of Beihai did not owe Li family?”
Li Tianlan stunned.
“I mean if Li family owed to Wang family of Beihai in those years… What would you do?” Li Honghe asked.
Li Tianlan never thought about this problem.
He did not even know what to say for a while.
He remembered the words that his grandfather had told him in Lonely Mountain three years ago.
In my life, I have done a few things right and many things wrong. Many mistakes can eventually be made up, but some have been unable to make up so far. I can only leave them uncorrected and make the best of them.
Only leave them uncorrected…
What did the Li family do wrong in the past?
Li Tianlan’s brain was a bit confused for a while. “What did we do wrong in the past?”
“You did not do wrong.”
Li Honghe smiled helplessly and bleakly. “It was I that did the wrong thing. I was too weak. It was all my fault.”
A voice suddenly sounded and floated, as if it had drifted from the Ninth Heaven, covering the entire Lonely Mountain in an instant.
“You did not do wrong. Many things cannot be judged as right or wrong. Only success or failure can determine the outcome. Why did Senior Li you blame yourself?”
Li Tianlan suddenly stood up.
This was the voice of Wang Tianzong!
He subconsciously moved and was to walk out.
“Do not move!” Li Honghe suddenly roared.
Li Tianlan stunned and subconsciously stopped.
“He still comes here.”
Li Honghe whispered, “You finally come here.”
He slowly lifted his arm.
Li Tianlan’s pupils contracted suddenly.
In his sight, Li Honghe’s palm just lifted up and crossed the air.
But his entire arm seemed to be cut by a sword and a saber when being lifted up. After a simple movement, his arm even splashed fresh blood.
The fresh blood rushed out of the palm of Li Honghe, but it did not drip but suspended in the air.
It reddened the air.
The air seemed to have completely turned into a state of solidification.
Li Honghe gently swung his hand.
Numerous blood beads suddenly floated in the air, dyeing an ample space.
Li Tianlan’s pupils instantly contracted to the extreme.
Was there any air around him?
In the small house, on every corner, there were all Sword Energy unconsciously!
Sword Energy filled with every inch of space and became many delicate and sharp gas sword shadows.
“Follow me.” Li Honghe said and suddenly made a fist.
The tyrannical sword intent spread in Li Honghe’s whole body. Then Sword Energy that quietly emerged in the entire house was swept away.
Li Tianlan walked out of the door behind Grandfather.
He saw everything from the outside world.
In an instant, even with his willpower, he could not help but suffocate for a while.
There was absolute darkness everywhere outside the room.
The bright moon over Lin’an had disappeared entirely.
A vortex with a diameter of several kilometers appeared at the top of Firmament.
The vortex flowed slowly and completely covered the entire mountain.
The overwhelming sword intent was screaming and came into shape in the vortex’s flow.
In front of Li Tianlan, there were all swords!
The air was utterly torn and condensed into many delicate and sharp sword shadows.
The shadows of sword spread all over the sky, the earth, and Lonely Mountain.
Countless sword shadows, thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions!
Lonely Mountain was disappearing.
The world was disappearing.
The majestic shadows of sword appeared in any corner of Lonely Mountain, close and numerous!
Li Tianlan could not see Wang Tianzong.
Only his voice came out in the night sky.
“Senior Li, as long as you can get out of this sword screen tonight, the grievances of the Wang family of Beihai and the Li family in the past years can all be written off!”
Li Tianlan was breathing faster.
There was even a sword intent in his breath, making his internal organs severely painful.
This was the first time Li Tianlan had seen Wang Tianzong’s sword intent.
The sword intent was in the peak.
Grasses or trees, mountains or water, the whole world, as long as he needed, everything was the sword in his hand!
It was able to break everything.
The sword shadows that occupied the whole world were hanging.
But the entire Li family under the sword curtain seemed to have no place to retreat.
The sword shadows were like a frenzy all over the world, whistling and flowing.
This was Sword Emperor of Zhongzhou State!
They surrounded Lonely Mountain and became the strongest sword intent of the entire Dark World for decades!
Unique and unparalleled in the world!