Chapter 1668: Tally Stick
The Elder of Heavenly Tomes was talking about the G.o.ds, immortals, and emperors, but his expression was no different from an attendant receiving customers. His master had already arranged everything, specially sending an old caretaker to invite the esteemed guests, but it was not like he knew all the customs and manners for aristocratic clans. As such, he only pa.s.sed on a simple notice to let them know.
When the heavenly emperor sent out invitations, who dared to be absent?
Chao Tianjiao and Li Liehuo could only answer “yes” with their heads lowered.
Chao Tianjiao’s gaze towards Li Qingshan became mixed. Let alone them, divine generals, even proper G.o.ds of the heavenly palace could not necessarily earn the heavenly emperor’s good graces. The master who had fallen into her lap possessed an extraordinary status in the heavens. Even when the Zhenwu Emperor met him, he had to treat him politely. He was probably one of the close subjects of the heavenly emperor.
Li Qingshan was no longer the same as them anymore. When he went up to the heavens this time, he only needed to lower his head to the heavenly emperor slightly. If he did that, he would probably earn a status no less than the Elder of Heavenly Tomes’.
Sigh, power is everything in the cultivation community. As it turns out, even the heavens aren’t any different. As long as you’re powerful enough, so what if you fall as a demonfolk? Murder, arson, and enlisting bandits—this kid really does know what he’s on about!
Li Liehuo sighed, but he struggled to accept this. Just how many of his colleagues had been slaughtered by demonfolk outside Black Cloud city? And how many more fellow disciples had Li Qingshan killed in the city? It was actually all being made a matter of the past now, and he had even become the heavenly emperor’s honoured guest.
However, Li Qingshan neither looked at them nor the Elder of Heavenly Tomes. Instead, his eyes were fixed on the tally stick in the Elder of Heavenly Tomes’ hand. “What is this?”
The Elder of Heavenly Tomes’ eyes lit up, and he chuckled. “This is a tally stick bestowed by the heavenly emperor.”
ɴᴇᴡ ɴᴏᴠᴇʟ ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs ᴀʀᴇ ᴘᴜʙʟɪsʜᴇᴅ ᴏɴ ꜰʀᴇᴇwᴇʙɴoᴠᴇʟ. ᴄᴏᴍ
A tally stick was a tally wielded by envoys. Regular tally sticks could represent kings and the lords of countries, while this tally stick represented the heavens.
“I’m asking you, what is it!?” Li Qingshan asked again.
“Li Qingshan, don’t tell me you don’t even know what a tally stick is!” Chao Tianjiao said impatiently. She thought Li Qingshan was actively trying to stir trouble again.
Li Qingshan continued to question closely, so she glanced at the tally stick carefully again. However, the tally stick was far too ordinary, even crude. It was just a speckled, yellow bamboo pole, only three metres long, and it was engraved with some extremely simple designs.
A bronze bear head was embedded at the top of the bamboo pole. It was possible to tell that the craftsman tried his best to make it seem valiant and vicious, but the end result seemed slightly foolish. Under the bronze bear head hung a string of ornamental tufts of hair, but the colours were all different.
If it were not for the fact that the bamboo pole originated from the heavens and possessed some extraordinary special characteristics intrinsically, any craftsman in the Human realm could make something that was much more exquisite.
Chao Tianjiao could not help but develop some doubts too. As a tally stick bestowed by the heavenly emperor, wasn’t this a little too crude and simple?
However, Li Qingshan sensed an aura of slaughter that was even vaster and more intense than the Asura realm. The bear head roared away, wanting to devour the world.
Every single tuft of hair drooping down from the bamboo pole contained an extremely stubborn and extremely staunch will, lingering even after all these eons.
Within them seemed to be furious roars and laments, which stirred up Li Qingshan. As a result, he could not help but ask again.
“Impressive insight, little bro. The hair here has all been taken from the very end of the tails of oxen. Of course, they’re no regular oxen. It’s said that the Shennong tribe is skilled in farming, and their tribesmen often turn into divine oxen of great strength…” The Elder of Heavenly Tomes suddenly stopped talking and gazed at Li Qingshan deeply.
Li Qingshan’s expression changed.
“The Shennong tribe?”
Chao Tianjiao and Li Liehuo exchanged glances. They had never heard that name before, but it must not have been some particularly powerful tribe, or they would not have had so many tribesmen slain and made into a tally stick as a demonstration of authority. They had never heard about any sect or organisation renowned for being able to farm the land either.
However, they could sense that Li Qingshan was actually trembling gently with his head lowered, his face hidden by his hair.
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The Elder of Heavenly Tomes explained to them sternly, “Don’t underestimate the owners of these ox tails. In the current age, probably none of them are any weaker than this little brother Li!”
The Elder of Heavenly Tomes shrank back and bowed with his hands cupped again and again. “Calm down, calm down! I’ve misspoken! I’ve misspoken! Your majesty’s carvings are simple and unadorned, like a work of nature! They deeply conform with the principles of nature and the principles of the world, unlike the showiness of today’s work! It possesses the charms of antiquity!”
As such, the clouds parted and the thunder subsided. The sky became clear, without a single cloud in sight again. Only then did Li Liehuo feel like he could breathe.
However, the Elder of Heavenly Tomes silently communicated to everyone present, “Sigh, his spontaneous wrath can actually be so frightening! Not only does this majesty of ours possess horrible craftsmanship, but he’s even particularly petty too!”
Li Qingshan’s anger fell through. The heavens did not care about him. This only seemed to be a small joke between the lord and the subject.
“As a result, not only have I come this time under the decree of the heavens, but I’ve also come for the sake of my own life, little bro. As you’ve said, if you want a role in the government, be prepared to commit all sorts of crimes, whether it’s murder, arson, or enlisting bandits! Now, the order for enlistment has already arrived, so why not respect the will of the heavens?”
“This isn’t just for you. Have you ever heard that with one man’s enlightenment, his chicken and hound rise to the heavens too? If you become a proper G.o.d of the heavenly palace, the heavenly emperor will permit you to build a heavenly palace, directly answering to the heavenly emperor, on equal footing with the emperors of the four cardinal directions. By then, everyone connected with you will be brought under your wing, to enjoy eternal longevity and fortune.”
“By then, even when I meet you in the heavens, I have to greet you politely and call you ‘lord’!”
The Elder of Heavenly Tomes spoke earnestly and advised patiently. Even Chao Tianjiao and Li Liehuo were emotionally perturbed by that. They thought that Li Qingshan would only be made a G.o.d if he went to the heavens, but they never expected the heavenly emperor to favour him so much that he actually supported him in constructing a heavenly palace of his own and becoming an emperor!
Li Qingshan only stared at the sky.
“All the living creatures in the world will be able to avoid the pain of war too. This will merit limitless virtue.” The Elder of Heavenly Tomes waved the tally stick around in his hand. “No matter what I say, you don’t want to be hanging up on here, do you?”
Li Qingshan seemed to calm down. He looked back down and smiled. “Alright then. I’ll go up to the heavens with you and take a look.”
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