Chapter 1129 – Painted Dragon
The world fell silent. The sounds of wind, rain, and waves all merged with the painting. What constantly churned and changed was the inky person and dragon.
Their movements left behind extremely fast, long, and inky trails. Only a pair of forceful, graceful smears were visible, darting around, meeting and parting, growing faster and faster. In the end, they seemed to become stuck together, forming a rapidly-spinning spiral. The entire painting was a mess.
Everyone watched this alarming battle. Only Chu Danqing focused on the canvas before him, blood flowing from his wrist down to his fingers, then to the tip of the brush, dancing freely on the canvas.
The Jade Blood of Vermillion and Black, using blood as ink.
His face gradually paled, but he brimmed with energy, such that he seemed slightly crazed. He cast everything in the world to the back of his mind, such that only the painting before him existed.
Gu Yanying glanced back in surprise before turning around and focusing on the battle again.
After who knew how long, there was a sudden crack. It was extremely gentle yet extremely clear as if it had rung out in everyone’s minds. It broke the silence between the sea and sky.
A figure fell out of the sky, falling into the Ink sea with a plop before floating back up. It was Li Qingshan. His eyes were firmly shut as he floated on the sea without moving at all. His long, scarlet hair spread out on the surface of the water, and he was missing his left leg and right arm. He was covered in wounds, except they were not red with blood, but black with ink.
Gu Yanying exhaled, but it turned into a sigh when it reached her mouth.
“The outcome has been decided!”
“He’s died in battle?” Si Bao said in some disbelief.
Gu Yanying shook her head. “He’s won.”
Suddenly, Li Qingshan opened his eyes and gazed at the sky quietly. His lips curled into a smile. “Dragon king, you’ve lost!”
Before he could even finish, the sound of cracks merged together, going from a soft murmur to a rumble. It deafened the entire Ink sea.
The painting gradually collapsed, all falling into the sea. The world regained its colour, which happened to be the final glow of the setting sun.
All of the spectators were in a trance. As it turned out, the battle had only lasted for such a short period.
Abruptly, Mo Wuhen appeared again, standing over the sea. He was only inches away from Li Qingshan’s head, lowering his head and gazing down at him.
“What? You want to keep fighting?” Li Qingshan raised his head and met his eyes.
The spiritual qi of the world flooded into his body as the Strength of the Earth bestowed him with endless strength. The flames of the phoenix burned away, purging the ink and healing his wounds. Even his severed limbs began to regrow within the curling flames.
“A Thousand Autumns in a Painting is indeed an extremely powerful move, especially above the Ink sea, but it still stands no chance against my fist.” Li Qingshan raised his right fist that had just regrown within the flames. The power of tremors truly was very effective against a move like that. The Frenzy Flower Blade of Path’s End let out a gentle thrum, which made him add, “Oh yeah, and my blade!”
The Dragon King of Ink Sea said nothing, nor did he do anything.
He understood something extremely well. Even with the entire Ink sea behind him, he could not overwhelm Li Qingshan. It would only allow him to last a little longer, preventing him from being defeated so soon.
In simpler terms, the Dragon King of Ink Sea’s destructive power was not enough to penetrate the turtle’s shell and ox’s hide, to crush Li Qingshan’s tiger bones and extinguish his phoenix flames.
“Strange. You don’t actually have an innate ability,” Li Qingshan remarked.
The Dragon King of Ink Sea had used many different moves, but none of them could be truly regarded as an innate ability, and to daemons, their innate abilities were everything.
If the Dragon King of Ink Sea possessed an offensive innate ability, any offensive innate ability, and truly unleashed it with the Ink sea’s colossal power, then the outcome of this battle would have been a mystery.
However, a certain fact puzzled him—the crown prince of the Green province daemons, Mo Yu, a guy who knew how many times weaker than the Dragon King of Ink Sea, possessed innate abilities.
“That’s because I’m not a daemon,” the Dragon King of Ink Sea finally said.
“Oh. You could help turn Mo Yu from a painting into a daemon, but you’re unable to help yourself? That sure is maddening. So the one that I’ve viewed as a powerful enemy the entire time is really just a painting, or should I say, a painting spirit!”
Li Qingshan shook his head and suddenly leapt up, shattering Mo Wuhen with a single punch. Ink splattered through the air.
“However, regardless of whether you want to fight anymore or not, I will never stop as long as I have not been completely obliterated by you!”
Mo Wuhen’s figure reappeared in the distant sky, nodding towards Li Qingshan. If he simply stopped here, then that would be the greatest humiliation. However, blindly throwing himself at the enemy even when he knew he stood no chance was not his personality either. The dragon pupils in his eyes faded away, becoming blank once more. His expression suddenly seemed rather bleak.
At this moment, Chu Danqing completed his final stroke. He had not painted the intense battle, but the scene when the dragon and tiger roared at one another in the very beginning. However, the battle that came next seemed to have been incorporated into the painting completely, enough to rouse boundless imagination among people.
He let out a pale smile. His aura had plummeted to an absolute minimum. Only then did he suddenly realise that the battle had already ended. He looked around for the Dragon King of Ink Sea’s figure, and a voice suddenly rang out from behind him, “A fine painting.”
Chu Danqing looked back. The Dragon King of Ink Sea studied the painting with his blank eyes and praised him.
“You’ve already achieved an understanding over some of the essence of Five Absolutes’ path of painting. You can study by yourself slowly now.”
“Master, you…” Abruptly, Chu Danqing realised something.
“I’ve spent all this time out here. It’s time for me to go back,” the Dragon King of Ink Sea said slowly.
Suddenly, with a wave of his arms, the Ink sea began to surge and churn again. The inky colour gradually faded away from the coastline, converging and gathering towards the centre of the sea. In the end, a single droplet of ink rose up into the air, hovering in the Dragon King of Ink Sea’s hand. It shot into Chu Danqing’s dantian, merging with his body, his limbs, his soul, and his sea of consciousness, surging through his blood vessels.
The Ink sea beneath them became azure. The Five Absolutes Immortal’s influence that had lasted for over ten thousand years had been erased, allowing it to turn back into an azure ocean. After doing all that, the Dragon King of Ink Sea’s figure dispersed with the wind. Chu Danqing extended his hand, but all he came into contact with was the warm sea breeze.
At the same time, within a distant space, an ink dragon gradually appeared on a snow-white mural. It was robust and powerful in bearing, yet its eyes were blank, which immediately made it seem so powerless, trapped in the wall against its will.
In a daze, there seemed to be two figures, a man in black and a man in robes of yellow.
The man in robes of yellow asked, “Fellow, why have you stopped here? You’ve only painted the dragon without dabbing in the eyes, which really limits the mood.”
The man in black answered, “If I dab them in, then that’ll be ascension, so let’s just forget about it!”
“Ah, fair enough, fair enough.”
The man in robes of yellow was still in disbelief. People would cultivate for an entire millennium, but even then, ascension would come with extreme difficulty. It was only a measly painting, yet he actually claimed it would ascend? That was utterly groundless.
The man in black seemed to sense something. He smiled at the dragon in the painting.
The sun fell, and the moon rose, shining with its clear glow.
Chu Danqing recalled everything they had gone through together over the past few years and could not hold back his tears. He used his sleeves to wipe them away, but his sleeves were splotched with ink, which stunned him.
“Danqing, are you fine?”
Li Qingshan made his way over and asked out of concern, only to see Chu Danqing completely covered in pitch-black ink. Standing in the darkness, he was almost invisible, well and truly pitch-black like ink. Even his eye whites had turned completely black.
Chu Danqing gazed at his hands. He understood that the Dragon King of Ink Sea had merged the entire Ink sea’s power into his body through his unfathomable ways, but it only saddened him even more. He sobbed bitterly.
“Hey, stop crying. It’s far too much of a waste.”
Li Qingshan understood that Chu Danqing could not keep this power under his control at all right now, let alone digest it.
“Qingshan, does your promise to me still hold?” Chu Danqing wiped away his tears and asked Li Qingshan.
“Of course.” Li Qingshan smiled.
“The Painting Tomb is almost going to open.”
“Then I’ll pay a visit with you!”