Chapter 1141 – The Surging of Clouds
Beneath the great banyan tree.
The wind blew through the leaves, making them rustle.
Xiao An’s hair flowed as she cultivated away quietly. The light speckled her bluish-white robes.
Suddenly, she opened her eyes and stood up. She looked around in a daze. She felt empty inside as if she had lost something extremely important.
Without any further thought, she muttered softly, “Qingshan?”
The only thing that answered her was rustling.
The Cloud Shadow Crane King was both surprised and furious. This was basically like a slap across his face, completely brushing aside a great Daemon King like him as nothing.
The featherfolk clustered around the Featherfolk King, spreading their wings that wove together and blotted out the sky. They gazed at him coldly. Right behind them was the majestic Clouded city.
Bai Jie said, “Does the Crane King plan on breaking several thousand years of peace and declaring war on Clouded city?”
The Cloud Shadow Crane King was aware that he had some prestige in the Cloud province, but he spent most of his time alone, withdrawn from other daemons. As such, he was not a king of myriad daemons like the Great Banyan Tree King. With his strength alone, he really would struggle to contend against the featherfolk outside Clouded city. On top of that, he was not acquainted with this phoenix at the end of the day. There really was no need for him to stand up for him. He could not help but grind his teeth.
“The phoenix is a divine bird blessed by the heavens, born with the five virtues. With all the sins you’ve committed against it, you’ll definitely be punished by the heavens!”
“He is a divine bird, while we are godfolk. It’s a pity that phoenixes have already become extinct, or we’ll all eat a few each and extend our lives a little,” a male featherfolk said proudly, leading to a series of approving laughter.
The Cloud Shadow Crane King’s expression changed. A few phoenix feathers drifted past his eyes, and he caught them with a swing of his hand. All he saw was a ball of wiggling white light on the Featherfolk King’s neck. It was as if he was chewing and digesting, yet also like the phoenix putting up a fierce struggle. He could not help but sigh. Reluctant to see any more of this, he turned around and left resolutely.
Bai Jie smiled. This was the might of the featherfolk. Even the Ten Daemon Kings that each dominated an entire province would have to yield before them. Then she turned around and asked, “Your majesty, are you fine?”
There was no reply, just the surging of white light.
Li Fengyuan had been swallowed by the white light, but never had his surroundings been so dark. Deep pain wrapped around him, plunging into him deeply like a thousand needles. The white light seemed tangible, squeezing and cutting into him recklessly. His feathers, his flesh, and his bones were all pulverised before being devoured and digested.
His naturally tenacious life force only seemed to exist so that he could experience this despair with even greater clarity.
All of his pride and stubbornness crumbled. He could not help but cry out for help.
“First father, it hurts so much! Save me!”
However, he received no reply. The pain grew even heavier, originating from his very own heart.
First father is no longer around because he tried to save me!
His soul began to shatter as well. His remaining consciousness said, Is this… just going to end like this?
In the final moment, a majestic voice rumbled through his mind.
That was not his voice, but the undying hope of the phoenix, Li Qingshan’s unceasing will, the legacy he had been born with.
As a result, in the instant he was about to be completely killed off, he provocatively burned away all of his vitality, reducing himself to ashes!
The Featherfolk King no longer seeped with spiritual qi. Devouring a phoenix truly did have extremely great benefits to his lifespan. He could clearly sense the scorching phoenix blood flowing through his body, filled with never ending vitality. It purged the sensation of death and filled him with delight.
Suddenly, all of the vitality was snuffed out, like the cinders left behind once flames had burned out.
The white light condensed a new head, just as old and close to death as before. Having lost the vitality from the phoenix blood, his face was overcome with fear.
What he worried about the most had happened.
Phoenixes could not be digested that easily, which was why he chose to ingest the blood slowly at the very beginning. However, due to the circumstances being far too urgent, he had no other choice but to do this. Originally, he planned on eliminating any potential problems slowly in the future, but he never expected something like this to happen.
He was filled with anxiety, but then he discovered that the spiritual qi had stopped seeping away, so he eased up slightly. Looks like it’s still had some effect and lengthened my life!
However, he soon discovered something wrong again. The spiritual qi stopped seeping away. Instead, it began gathering in his body.
The white light that was almost transparently white was like a round pearl. An orangey-red flame suddenly lit up between it.
A clap of thunder rang through the air. In the azure sky, a wisp of dark clouds suddenly appeared, circling and growing, rapidly spreading into the surroundings.
“What’s that?” The Cloud Shadow Crane King suddenly looked back.
The featherfolk all looked up, and Bai Jie shivered inside. Had the Cloud Shadow Crane King really jinxed it, where killing a phoenix would lead to punishment from the heavens? However, this was completely unheard of.
“Your majesty, are you alright?”
“A heavenly tribulation?”
The Featherfolk King gazed at the sky. He was also slightly confused, but he soon realised what was going on. He used everything he had in him to try and snuff out the flame, but the end result was like adding fuel to the flames. Pure-white light flowed in rapidly, only to assist the growth of the flame.
The tribulation clouds rapidly spread across the sky, and the thunder grew louder and louder. The Featherfolk King sensed that his aura had been locked onto. There were featherfolk clustered around him, such that even one of the Ten Daemon Kings, the Cloud Shadow Crane King, dared not face him, but he suddenly felt like he was alone in the world.
Failure or success were always possible with heavenly tribulations, but they could not be avoided. This was a test from the heavens!
The tribulation clouds gathered in the sky as a black mass, continuing to spread out.
A heavenly tribulation of ascension! The Featherfolk King is going to ascend right now? No, that’s not it. This is the third heavenly tribulation!
The Cloud Shadow Crane King’s heart skipped a beat. Originally, he thought the Featherfolk King was trying to ascend, but he soon realised the walls of the world had not been dispersed, and the colour of the tribulation lightning was intrinsically different too. However, in terms of scale alone, it probably matched the heavenly tribulation of ascension perfectly. The pressure it gave off was basically overwhelming, even making him feel rather stifled in the distance.
He was still perplexed. Just what was going on? The Featherfolk King clearly was not ascending, so why had it locked onto him? It was on such a grand scale as well, so was it…
“Your majesty, what exactly is happening?” Bai Jie asked in surprise.
The Featherfolk King’s face reddened and paled. He spat out a single word with difficulty, “Nirvāṇa!”
The phoenix underwent nirvāṇa rebirth, rebirthing in flames. Being reduced to ashes had always been a prelude.
Going from life to death, it involved great horrors. Nirvāṇa was akin to being snuffed out, to silence, which was even more terrifying than regular death. In the final moment, Li Fengyuan chose nirvāṇa, reducing all to silence, before springing up with new flames within. This was the so-called “rebirth”.
Bai Jie obviously had not seen anything like this before.
“Nirvāṇa!” The Cloud Shadow Crane King was amazed at first before letting out a great laugh. “I said you would be punished by the heavens. You really do reap what you sow. Payback is never nice!”
Actually, just how many of them present had guessed that the phoenix’s nirvāṇa rebirth had become a legend in the nine provinces a long time ago?
The primitive phoenix’s nirvāṇa rebirth was not actually an innate ability, but a capability that phoenixes were born with.
Li Qingshan’s phoenix bloodline was incomplete, and it was mixed with many other bloodlines. It was not pure enough, which was why it became an innate ability, constantly repeating and stacking on top of each other. He had to sacrifice all other abilities to push the strength of the phoenix’s greatest ability to the limit.
Yet at this moment, as the only true phoenix in the world, Li Fengyuan was demonstrating true nirvāṇa rebirth.
The new consciousness within the flames was filled with surprise and joy. This was the first rebirth he had undergone in his life, essentially verifying everything he knew from the phoenix’s legacy. However, he immediately discovered his current situation to be rather strange. He had not become a new phoenix. Instead, he had fused with the Featherfolk King as if they were conjoined twins. Neither of them could separate from the other.
This was both the result of the Featherfolk King’s efforts to devour him, as well as the special influence from the phoenix’s nirvāṇa rebirth. However, this definitely was not a stable condition. One of them would definitely completely devour the other.
As soon as Li Fengyuan’s consciousness awakened from the silence, he immediately faced the full-strengthened suppression from the Featherfolk King. He did not dare to use any spiritual qi. The two of them were basically a single entity. His power was their power. They could only clash through their soul sense.
Even with that being the case, the Featherfolk King still possessed an absolute advantage. There was absolutely no chance of failure for him when it came to both experience and strength. Once he succeeded, he would obtain the bloodline of a phoenix, and his lifespan would no longer be an issue.
The sky suddenly lit up.
A bolt of tribulation lightning slammed against the Featherfolk King like a dragon. He plunged several hundred meters before stabilising himself.
What might! The Cloud Shadow Crane King was secretly astounded.
“Your majesty!” The featherfolk cried out and rushed over, wanting to block it for him.
However, the bolt of lightning was like the first droplet of rain before a thunderstorm. Lightning began to pour down furiously.
“Back away!” The Featherfolk King only managed to say that before being swallowed by the lightning.
The other featherfolk were affected too. The lightning flickered and leapt around on their bodies like chains.
They had all undergone the third heavenly tribulation already, so they did not fear strikes from the tribulation lightning at all, let alone merely being affected by it. As such, they had the courage to linger around at such a close distance. However, the might of the heavenly tribulation was beyond their imagination. It actually numbed their bodies and was almost unendurable.
Meanwhile, their auras made the tribulation clouds swell even more.
Seeing how the situation was off, she returned to Clouded city first with a streak of lightning behind her. The lightning was obstructed by the half-transparent barrier of light. Even the tribulation lightning only stirred up a few ripples, demonstrating just how powerful the formation around Clouded city was.
However, her face suddenly changed drastically. “Oh no! Move the city quickly!”
The tribulation clouds had already spread over. Shadows enveloped the white palaces, and the featherfolk in the city all woke up. They had only noticed this now and had not realised what was happening yet.
Arcs of lightning rebounded and leapt around on the white barrier of light, producing ripples and growing denser and denser.
The featherfolk cultivators all realised what was happening too. Their faces changed.
“It’ll be troublesome if it gets sucked into the heavenly tribulation!”
“But only his majesty can move Clouded city.”
“Let’s push the city away!”
They made their decision after just a few words and all flew down, pushing the city against all the lightning.
Clouded city slowly moved, leaving the vicinity of the tribulation clouds. Bai Jie eased up. Fortunately, they could even move a mountain if they worked together with their strength, or they really would be in trouble if Clouded city was sucked into the heavenly tribulation.
The pure-white palaces swayed, and Clouded city suddenly halted, unable to be moved any further.
“Something seems to be blocking it!”
“Damn it! It’s that old crane!”
On the other side of Clouded city, the Cloud Shadow Crane King raised his hand and stopped the city with a single arm. His robes fluttered in the wind as vicious light flickered through his eyes. As one of the mighty Ten Daemon Kings, how could he just let others harass him as they pleased? Since they showed him no respect, he would show them no respect and see what would happen!
“Use your full strength!” Bai Jie called out, and the featherfolk all pushed together.
The Cloud Shadow Crane King felt a tremendous force. Abruptly, he spread his arms and turned back into his original form, a huge, red-crowned crane. Its wings were like clouds that blotted out the sky as it planted a foot on Clouded city. With a flap of its wings, the wind and clouds surged.