Chapter 1089 – Ascension
With Yue Wuyang’s announcement, Han Qiongzhi strode out from behind the hall without the slightest hint of shyness. She was not dressed in flowing robes and fancy ornaments, but in a set of valiant martial attire. She wore a fiery-red set of flexible armour on the outside with a blade on her waist. As she looked around, she only seemed even more valiant. She did not seem like a bride partaking in a wedding, but more like a warrior about to set foot on the battlefield.
She spread her arms and asked Li Qingshan, “How is it?”
“You’re absolutely splendid!” Li Qingshan said sincerely.
“Even compared to sect master Qiu?” Han Qiongzhi then asked.
“Prettier!” Li Qingshan said firmly. Now was not the time for him to hesitate.
“Even compared to commander Gu?” Han Qiongzhi smiled at Gu Yanying, and Gu Yanying smiled back.
“Prettier!” Li Qingshan rolled his eyes.
“Even compared to Ru Xin?” Han Qiongzhi continued to ask.
“Prettier!” Li Qingshan agreed without any reservation. He had no idea whether he should actually celebrate or not over the fact that Ru Xin was not attending the wedding.
“Even compared to Xiao An?” Han Qiongzhi asked after a moment of thought.
“She counts?” Li Qingshan was surprised.
“What do you think?” Han Qiongzhi refused to relent.
It led to a roar of laughter from the crowd. Cultivators were not bound by formalities and traditions, but rarely did they ever see something like this.
Li Qingshan also began to laugh helplessly. “Today, you’re the prettiest!”
“You’re just trying to avoid the question!” Han Qiongzhi blushed. Warmth surged through Li Qingshan as well. He could not help but hold her hand.
“Master.” Han Qiongzhi nodded towards Yue Wuyang as an indication.
Yue Wuyang’s expression did not change. He did not waste any time either, directly proceeding with the ceremony.
“A bow to the heavens and the earth!”
Li Qingshan became serious and bowed. Even cultivators needed to obey the heavens and respect the earth, and only by standing on the earth could he reach the Nine Heavens.
“A bow to the parents!”
Then Li Qingshan bowed deeply in the direction of Crouching Ox village. That was a place he had sworn he would never return to again, but he would regularly think of that place, the beginning of everything.
The two of them faced one another, and memories of the past flooded their heads. For a moment, they were unable to describe this feeling. They were both enveloped in happiness, about to bow towards each other.
Thunder suddenly roared out. It was so distant that it seemed to come from an entirely different world, making it extremely faint, but it was still enough to shock people. It was like the first sound since the formation of the world, destroying everything yet also creating everything.
“Tribulation thunder!” Li Qingshan abruptly looked back. A sound that he had only heard once in his life before rang out. “The heavenly tribulation for ascension!”
Yue Wuyang immediately abandoned his duties as the officiator, rushing outside first and gazing in the direction of the thunder. The other cultivators all surged out as well. Even Han Anjun, who sat high up at the front in the position for the parents, was no exception.
Ascension—across the nine provinces, there was nothing more curious and important than that.
In the blink of an eye, the hall had emptied out, only leaving Li Qingshan and Han Qiongzhi facing each other.
“Golden Cicada sure knows how to pick his times! Alright, let’s exchange bows. I can get that in before I go at the very least!” Li Qingshan bowed towards Han Qiongzhi and straightened himself out, only to see Han Qiongzhi staring at him with a strange expression. He asked in confusion, “Why aren’t you bowing?”
Han Qiongzhi broke out into laughter, laughing so hard that she clutched her belly with one hand and held onto Li Qingshan’s shoulder with the other.
“What are you laughing at?” Li Qingshan was puzzled. He felt the earth beneath his feet tremble slightly. The Golden Cicada Spirit King had already begun ascending.
“I’m laughing at you!” Han Qiongzhi grinned widely.
“What’s so funny about me?” Li Qingshan was serious. Another clap of thunder rang out in the distance as if it was urging him.
“I’m laughing at how you’re really good at pretending to be human!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Sigh. Weddings aren’t as interesting as I thought they’d be, but you’ve technically upheld your promise now!” Han Qiongzhi patted Li Qingshan on the shoulder, expressing her satisfaction.
“This is not just a promise, and it’s still not over. C’mon, let’s do the last bow.” Li Qingshan urged her.
“I’m already satisfied. Speaking of which, I suddenly don’t want to be your wife anymore,” said Han Qiongzhi.
“I might not be the prettiest woman in the world, but a daemon like you is not that charming either. I’ve changed my mind. Cancel the wedding, cancel the wedding!” Han Qiongzhi announced loudly.
The people outside all turned around in surprise. They had no idea what had happened. Some of them were worried Li Qingshan would go berserk, so they were already prepared to slip away.
Han Anjun, however, was relieved, while Gu Yanying smiled faintly. Hua Chengzan sighed inside. Qiongzhi, oh Qiongzhi!
“Qiongzhi!” Li Qingshan frowned slightly, clasping Han Qiongzhi’s hand firmly.
At the same time, the claps of thunder seemed to be calling for him.
“Don’t be like that. Give me a smile!” Han Qiongzhi rested her head on Li Qingshan’s chest as the corner of her eyes glimmered.
Li Qingshan shut his eyes before opening them again. “Alright, I understand!”
However, when he let go, Han Qiongzhi suddenly grabbed his hand again. She said, “Be careful.” before letting go slowly again.
Li Qingshan took a step back, glancing at her deeply and firmly imprinting her figure in his mind. However, then he turned around resolutely and spread his wings, sailing off into the air.
Gu Yanying, Jin Fugui, and Yue Wuyang followed close behind.
Han Qiongzhi watched their figures vanish off into the sky. She said to everyone, “Apologies, we’ve let everyone come for nothing. However, I won’t be giving back those congratulations! Don’t worry, there won’t be a second time.”
Everyone looked at one another. They had no idea what to say. Han Anjun said, “You’ve done very well!”
“I’m going to go and cultivate.” Han Qiongzhi tried to smile, but she seemed rather sad. She made her way out of the hall and arrived in the pavilion, gazing into the horizon as she thought to herself, Even though it’s just in name, it becomes a shackle to both you and me once the marriage has been completed. That’s not something you’d like, nor what I’d want. Go. Go to the place you want to go. Do the things you want to do!
Dark clouds amassed in the horizon, flickering with lightning. The rumbling followed close behind, growing louder and closer.
Li Qingshan spread his wings and used his innate abilities, flying at full speed. He arrived in the blink of an eye.
The tribulation clouds blotted out the sky, forming circular rings that enveloped hundreds of kilometers. The bolts of tribulation lightning building up inside gave off the terrifying might of heaven, but they were merely a prelude for what was to come.
Right below the centre of the tribulation clouds, a mountain several thousand meters tall protruded from the flat ground. The bolts of tribulation lightning slammed into the peak of the mountain—perhaps better described as electrical currents unintentionally given off by the tribulation clouds than tribulation lightning. They easily cleaved through the rock and soil, but the mountain continued to pull higher, reaching towards the clouds.
Right when the mountain peak and the clouds were about to touch.
With a flash of lightning, the world shook. Even Li Qingshan jolted. The towering mountain collapsed in an instant, and scorching magma and flames spurted out from the depths of the ground. Among them was a golden speck, an infant curled up in a fetal position shining with resplendent, golden light. Suddenly, it opened its eyes, revealing a pair of dark-golden eyes that were pure and deep. Then it opened its mouth, but what it let out was not a baby’s cry, but the sonorous cry of a dragon.
The Chant of Deva-Nāga—the Golden Cicada Spirit King!