Chapter 529 – Emerging From the Cocoon as a Phoenix (One)
Many years ago, he had also been searching for a person and there had also been many thanks.
The clash of heavenly secrets, the entanglement of ties of gratitude and grievances, was like yesterday, still vivid before his eyes.
The person he was searching for was like a kite hidden within a sea of clouds, with all of their heavenly secrets concealed.
He had managed to grasp a trace after so much difficulty, only for a fierce gust of wind to bombard him.
The string of the kite snapped, hurling into the sky and vanishing for good. Originally, he thought it had already fallen to the ground somewhere, becoming a regret he was unable to forget or correct.
Never did he think that the obscure string would appear before him once again today.
If it were not for these deep ties of fortune, he almost would have forgotten it. It was exactly because of such deep ties that he vehemently believed he had not mistaken it.
This was the will of the heavens!
“Fellow Feng, fellow Feng!”
The scholar in white called out his name several times, and Feng Buquan returned to his senses. He wiped away the tear on his face. Under the amazed gazes of the four grandmasters, he discovered that his twisted spine had straightened out before he knew it.
“With how overjoyed you were, have you discovered the location of the wretched daemon, fellow Feng?” Wen Zhengming asked in confusion. Surely he did not have to cry with joy over something like that.
“The wretched daemon? Oh right, I didn’t. All heavenly secrets that point to him have been shrouded. I can’t predict his location.”
Feng Buquan secretly felt some regret. He should not have lost his composure like that earlier, even calling out “her highness the Dark Queen”. If an observant person heard that, the consequences would be unthinkable.
“I’ve let down the marquis and the heavy responsibility he’s placed on me. I am ashamed to return, so please apologise for me, grandmasters!” He clasped his hands. Although he was as disfigured as before, his straight posture vaguely possessed some of his past gracefulness again.
Feng Buquan drifted away. The four grandmasters looked at one another as they were unsure what had happened with Feng Buquan.
However, they could not return like this and seek help from the Marquis of Ruyi again. They would come off as far too useless. As a result, they began to discuss among themselves.
“The night roamers must have fled underground. Why don’t we go underground and hunt them down so that we force the wretched daemon to show himself?”
“Demons are all heartless. Why would he risk his life for a few night roamers? It probably won’t be that simple.”
The scholar in white said, “That’s fine too. There are quite a lot of daemons in this underground region! The spider daemon Lolth passed down orders to massacre cities. She’s a great threat who’s committed many sins. Even if we can’t kill the moon demon, we can still report back to the commandery governor if we exterminate all the wretched daemons in this region and kill Lolth!”
Under Xiao An’s company, Li Qingshan returned to the lake of magma again. The fire spiritual energy was most intense there, which had a very powerful suppressing effect on the spirit turtle’s daemon core. It was most suitable for a breakthrough of the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa.
The heavy smell of sulfur and the surging, golden-yellow magma formed a never-changing landscape, and the violent fluctuations in the magnetic field were alarming.
If it were not for their past contact, Li Qingshan basically would have never believed that Golden Cicada could remain in a place like this.
The Golden Cicada Spirit King truly lived up to his name!
Li Qingshan waited for a while. No voice rang out in his sea of consciousness, so he nodded at Xiao An and leapt into the magma. He did not use his daemon qi to protect his body. In a place like this, even mobilising his daemon qi had become difficult.
The scorching sensation of the magma against his skin ached slightly, but it was extremely satisfying too.
It made him think of the sensation of a hot shower. At the same time, a power resonated with his bloodline. This was something he had not felt the last time he came here.
Li Qingshan simply spread out his arms and laid on the surface of the lake. His scarlet hair dispersed as the flames swept over like snakes, licking his body.
It swallowed and enveloped his body very soon.
It formed a fire-red cocoon of flames.
The day when he emerged from the cocoon would be the moment when he spread his wings.
Two stone lions crouched before one another. The door was wide open as a few chilly gales whistled by.
A person arrived before the steps and picked up the board by his feet. He rubbed it gently and filled the air with dust, revealing the three words “Proud Sword Manor”.
Yu Shukuang glanced inside. After a moment of hesitation, he did not end up entering.
Because there were many caves that led underground around Salt Mountain city, daemons ran amok and heavily destroyed the place.
The prosperous Proud Sword manor of the past had already been reduced to ruins, and the entire Salt Mountain city had been reduced to a ghost city. No one lived here anymore.
Yu Shukuang had come back to visit a grave. He wanted to tell his wife that Zijian had already found a new home. She had gone to the Sword Collection palace to cultivate.
However, when he arrived outside the city, he was shocked. He rushed over to the grave.
The gravestone still stood firmly, but there was a great pit behind the gravestone. The coffin inside had vanished too.
The coffin had already been buried for over a decade. It no longer gave off any smells that could attract the attention of wild beasts or daemons. And, from the traces of digging, it was clearly the handiwork of a human.
Even if it were graverobbers, they would not take the coffin with them. Who would spend so much effort to unearth a person’s remains?
Yu Shukuang’s face sank heavily. He suddenly remembered someone. Ma Chaoqun!
In a cave, a Daemon General shaped like a lynx pounced forward. With a gust of foul air, it moved with startling speed.
There was a white flash, and the Daemon General had been beheaded. Wen Zhengming grabbed the daemon core casually and stowed it into his hundred treasures pouch.
The four grandmasters could not find Li Qingshan, but finding other daemons was far too easy.
Under the detection of their soul sense, even night roamers who were skilled at concealing their auras and carrying out assassinations were as prominent as fireflies in the darkness.
They immediately kicked up a bloody storm underground. Wherever they passed by, whether it was night roamer or daemon, only the fate of death awaited them. They could not even block a single attack.
After all, Daemon Generals who could challenge those at higher cultivation levels like Li Qingshan were far too rare.
“Sister, our scout has been killed!”
Ye Liubo reported to Ye Liusu in a hurry. Under Li Qingshan’s orders, all of the night roamers had retreated underground. They did not know who the four grandmasters were, but they did know the four grandmasters were not people they could stop.
“Continue moving underground!” Ye Liusu ordered resolutely. She took the lead and continued migrating with the night roamers.
The scholar in white suddenly stopped and closed his eyes.
Wen Zhengming asked, “Senior brother Tang, what’s wrong?”
The scholar in white opened his eyes. “There’s a great group of night roamers below us, around ten kilometers away. None of them have undergone the second heavenly tribulation. They’ve currently travelling downwards. There’s also tremendous daemon qi twenty-five kilometers away on the same level as us. It should belong to that spider daemon.”
“Which one do we go for?”
The scholar in white said, “Dealing with the leader first ensures a quick victory. Let’s kill the wretched daemon first and then crush the group of night roamers.”
Ye Liubo said, “They don’t seem to be chasing after us!”
Several tens of thousand night roamers travelled in a hurry through the caves. The winding group meandered like a snake, but they did not produce any noise at all.
“We can’t be careless. Continue downwards. With the interference from the underground magnetic field, finding us won’t be easy anymore. Afterwards, we’ll split up.”
“Split up? Won’t we just be taken out one by one?”
“The enemy this time cannot be triumphed over through numbers alone. Otherwise, master would have never gotten us to retreat beforehand.”
Ye Liubo said with worry, “I wonder how master is doing.”
“With what master is capable of, protecting himself won’t be an issue. Let’s move quickly!”
Whenever they came across a branch in the road, they would split up. The group scattered very quickly until only Ye Liusu and Ye Liubo remained together in the end. The surrounding temperature had already become scorching while the rocks began to glow red.
A droplet of sweat fell to the ground, immediately hissing into a cloud of white mist. Ye Liubo was rather irritated as she cut down the stalagmite in front of her with a swing.
“Damn it! Only if I were a little stronger!”
“Don’t say anything more.”
Ye Liusu was in a similarly bad mood, but due to her level-headed nature, she did not show it. She had just established a territory on the surface, only to be forced underground again and even deeper underground than before. She had only just united the night roamers under one banner, yet she was forced to personally dismantle them again.
“But master will definitely deal with them!” Ye Liubo said with full confidence.
Ye Liusu was not particularly optimistic about this. The surface of the Green province belonged to humans. Even Daemon Commanders could not move about freely on the surface. However, since she had chosen to depend on him, all she could do was believe in him.
There was a great rumble from above. The cave shook violently as soil rained down.
“They’ve probably run into the Spider Queen. Let’s continue on our way!”
Li Qingshan curled up like an infant and lay in the huge cocoon of flames, awaiting his birth.
The surging fire spiritual energy condensed into a scarlet-red phoenix’s embryo in his body. It was covered in delicate, golden inscriptions, pulsing with light like it was a living creature breathing.
The rhythm of Li Qingshan’s heartbeat and breathing gradually synced with it, becoming closely related.
A thought suddenly crossed his head, Why does this feel like being pregnant?
But Li Qingshan soon discovered hatching this embryo was anything but easy. Probably even ten months of pregnancy would be nowhere near enough. It made him frown slightly. It was only the first layer of the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa, yet the difficulty had completely surpassed what he originally imagined.
The phoenix’s embryo constantly absorbed the fire spiritual energy like it was insatiable. According to the current rate of progress, even spending a year would be regarded as short.
This was not too long to a daemon, but the exact thing he happened to lack the most right now was time.
Suddenly, an extremely familiar voice rang out in his head. “I’ll lend you a hand. Get ready!”
In the depths of the magma, Golden Cicada watched this as he gently waved his tiny, tender hand. Great waves were immediately stirred up in the lake of fire as flames that were several meters tall flew towards Li Qingshan as fire snakes.
“Alright, much thanks!”
Li Qingshan was overjoyed. As soon as he said those three words, he could no longer spare the effort to talk anymore. He pushed the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa desperately, absorbing, converting, and leading the fire snakes into the phoenix’s embryo one by one.
The phoenix’s embryo devoured the flames happily, going from a scarlet-red to gold. The inscriptions on the surface became brighter and brighter too.
Li Qingshan was afraid of being careless. Just a single fire snake was enough to incinerate an entire city! If he lost control over even one of them and it erupted in his body, it could heavily injure him.
The fire snakes became more and more concentrated, wild and violent, but they did not exceed the limit of what Li Qingshan could withstand. It basically gave him a true demonstration of what a Daemon King was capable of.
After who knew how long, the lake of fire settled down again and fire snakes stopped flying out. The phoenix’s embryo flickered with dazzling light like a miniature sun. It had reached its limit.
Within the scorching flames, Li Qingshan felt like he was about to melt away. Suddenly, he felt his back itch. He pushed his shoulders back and two bones grew from his back, running into the barrier very soon and preventing them from spreading out.
He could not help but twist his body and swing his arms, punching the huge cocoon of flames around him.
With a crack, a fracture appeared in the phoenix’s embryo.