Chapter 1005 – The Power of the Affliction Severing Blade
“No, I’m definitely the elder brother!” The little phoenix was particularly staunch about this.
“Alright, whatever you want.” Li Qingshan looked away and continued his conversation with Xiao An.
“Father, I want to find her!” The little phoenix grabbed Li Qingshan’s arm.
“Do I even need a reason? We’re siblings!”
“I think you’re just sick of this place.” Li Qingshan smiled.
“I spend my time here like it’s a prison. It’s so boring. At least I still had some skeleton monsters to fight in the beginning, but now I only sit around doing nothing. I might as well go out and toughen up instead. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be completely pointless for me to come to the Green province? Please, father, I’m begging you. Just let me go!” the little phoenix pleaded.
“I promised your second father that I’d take care of you. If you end up being butchered or eaten, how am I supposed to face him?”
“Then that’s because I deserved it. If I’m still afraid to go out and roam the world even with this strength, can I still be called a man? Father, when you wandered the world, you weren’t even as strong as me!” the little phoenix balled his fists and said in high spirits.
“You were never a man!” Li Qingshan leaned against his fist and expressed his disapproval.
The little phoenix was very overwhelmed by that.
“Just let him go!” Xiao An said.
Li Qingshan agreed to it after some consideration. Nothing here could provide any benefit to the little phoenix’s cultivation anymore, so going out and toughening up was not a bad idea. As for the issue of safety, he was not actually concerned with it much at all. The little phoenix had the heart of a child, but with the phoenix’s legacy, he was much smarter than the regular person. As long as he did not go out of his way in search of death, provoking opponents on par with the Dragon King of Ink Sea, he could always flee even if he could not defeat them.
The little phoenix let out a cheer and rushed out of the dwelling, turning into a streak of light and flying around. He vanished between the mountains.
“If he can undergo the third heavenly tribulation, he’ll be able to provide quite the assistance.” Xiao An passed a handful of phoenix feathers to Li Qingshan. She had come up with plenty of reasons to pluck his feathers during this time.
“I can’t depend on something like that. I better just reach the fifth layer of the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa quickly instead!” Li Qingshan drew the Affliction Severing blade from his waist and handed it to Xiao An. “Is this blade of any use to you? If it’s not, then I’ll keep it as an offering.”
“Affliction Severing!” Xiao An’s eyes lit up.
“You recognise this blade?” Li Qingshan asked.
“This monk’s blade is an heirloom wielded by past abbots of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga. It’s one of the greatest buddhist treasures in the world. It has even been regarded as the greatest treasure of buddhism. Afterwards, it fell into the Golden Cicada Spirit King’s hands. The Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga has always wanted to recover it, but they couldn’t find it.”
“Even if they can find it, it’s not like they can do anything to him! But in other words, the Golden Cicada Spirit King almost became the abbot of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga!”
“Yeah, the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga publicly offered a reward for anyone who recovered this blade, whether they’re a buddhist disciple or not. They’re willing to offer up any three items apart from the Chant of Deva-Nāga as a reward, whether they’re arcane treasures, cultivation methods, or pills.”
“It’s that precious! Then is it of any use to you?”
Li Qingshan had not taken the blade too seriously in the beginning. He only wanted to use this opportunity to resolve his matters with the Soaring Locust King. He never expected such a great story behind the Affliction Severing blade.
“Regular buddhist treasures are useless to me, but this blade, Affliction Severing, is different. It can assist me in balancing buddhism and the demonic. It can greatly benefit my cultivation.”
Xiao An gently stroked the edgeless blade, and a faint, holy glow emerged from the tips of her fingers, gradually enveloping the entire blade, seeping in and beginning the refinement process. She possessed the cultivation of a Monk King, and the Golden Cicada Spirit King had already removed his imprint on the blade, so she successfully refined it very quickly. The holy glow around the blade faded away, returning to how simply it seemed before.
Suddenly, she gathered her focus, and holy light flickered through her eyes. She swung the blade at Li Qingshan, and the holy glow turned into a sharp edge, putting on an impressive and forceful display as if it was about to slice Li Qingshan into two.
Li Qingshan did not dodge, allowing the blade to land on his head. With a rumble in his mind, something seemed to split open. A ray of light appeared in the darkness, and his mind opened up. He touched his head, but there was not a single mark on there, which left him rather puzzled.
“It’s said that this blade can sever three thousand strands of afflictions. How is it?” Xiao An asked with a smile.
To Li Qingshan’s surprise, his demon heart had actually become much clearer and brighter. He had forcefully elevated himself to Demon King through devouring the demon hearts of other Demon Kings. Although he had been selective during the process, it was unavoidable for some of the demonic natures of the other Demon Kings to be mixed in too. That was even more difficult to eliminate than the impurities in the demon energy. He never expected this blade to have such a wondrous effect.
“What a fine blade! But it’s clearly a buddhist treasure, yet it can assist demonic cultivators. How strange.”
“This blade is known to only sever afflictions, not people. what matters is not your moral alignment, but your own conscience. From this perspective, there is no difference between a demon heart and a śarīra.”
Xiao An placed the Affliction Severing blade across her knees and came to a realisation over something.
“I see.” Li Qingshan nodded gently. His battle-hungry and bloodthirsty demonic nature had merged with his demon heart. That was basically a part of his own conscience, his own nature. However, as a living creature, who didn’t have a hint of kindness and benevolence in them? It made him wonder whether the demonfolk who created the Demon Suppression Statuary had been struck by this blade or not, which allowed him to become true to his own conscience.
“No wonder the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga offered such a great reward. The Affliction Severing blade is basically divine for cultivation, and you can use it on others too. It can elevate the overall cultivation of an entire sect. If you bring the Affliction Severing blade back to the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, do you think the Dauntless monk will let you succeed him as the abbot?”
“That’s a possibility.” Xiao An smiled and said in thought, “Perhaps this was exactly what the Golden Cicada Spirit King was thinking, returning the Affliction Severing blade to the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga through my hand.”
“I’m just kidding. If you return it now, you’ll definitely attract suspicion from those monks. Hit me a few more times!” Li Qingshan pointed at his head.
In the blink of an eye, over a dozen days had passed, and the entrance to the dwelling opened up.
Li Qingshan stepped out of the dwelling, and Yue Bing was waiting right outside. He handed over an invitation from the Great General King politely, requesting Li Qingshan to come and take part in their plan against the Soaring Locust King.
Li Qingshan glanced at the invitation and asked, “Has Qiongzhi emerged?”
“Please have the Great General King wait a few days. I need to pay a visit back to the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, and then I’ll go to the Han estate to keep my appointment.” Li Qingshan took off after that.
All Yue Bing could do was smile wryly. The current Li Qingshan was obviously qualified to make the Great General King wait.
Li Qingshan soared through the air. During the past few days, he had refined those phoenix feathers. Although it strengthened his phoenix bloodline, he had not made much progress with the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa due to the suppression from the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression. All he could do was slowly balance fire and water first before breaking through.
Instead, the demon heart had become even more pure and transparent under the profound might of the Affliction Severing blade, allowing him to stabilise his foundations. He was returning to the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga this time to learn the ninth layer of the Demon Suppression Statuary.
Even if it could not be compared to the Nine Transformations of the Demonic and Divine, he was confident his strength would reach a whole new level once he completed this cultivation method.
Around dusk, under the rays of the setting sun, a great buddha sat among the mountains.
They had arrived at the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga!