Chapter 675 – The Heavenly Tribulation Descends Once More, the Forgotten Pearl of the Ocean (Two)
Li Qingshan leapt up and rushed out of the mountain to receive the first bolt of lightning that descended from the sky.
The scorching-white lightning immediately struck Li Qingshan, which filled him with a strange numbness. Even the depths of his soul trembled gently, shocked by the terrifying might of the world. Only afterwards did he feel deep pain.
These were lethal bolts of lightning, as well as the greatest test the obscure heavens put forth for creatures who refused to accept their current shape. It was a heaven-sent opportunity to rise up and break through.
The baptism of lightning rapidly depleted the spiritual qi in his sea of qi, but it removed the impurities at the same time, making the spiritual qi merge back together in a completely new way.
Unlike the first heavenly tribulation, tribulation clouds amassed in the horizon, countless times greater in both presence and pressure, hanging low above the Chain mountains. Bolts of lightning crackled in the clouds, continuing to build up without striking down. Under its rampaging surface hid the profound truths of the world.
The world flashed. The bolts of tribulation lighting were like the divine hammer of nature, striking down viciously on a piece of stubborn metal. If he could withstand this tempering process, then his will would become even better forged, but if he could not, then the only fate awaiting him would be obliteration.
Under the intense pain, Li Qingshan’s thoughts instead became extremely clear and calm. If most cultivators could undergo the first heavenly tribulation without facing too much danger, then the danger of the second heavenly tribulation would be multiplied. Who knew how many cultivators had died to this step.
But he felt no fear. Through practising the Nine Transformations of the Demonic and Divine, both his mental willpower and physical body had become extremely tough, reaching a level that far exceeded other Foundation Establishment cultivators. If he still could not survive the tribulation, then he well and truly deserved to die.
At the same time, Ru Xin sat in the Jade Melting cauldron and practised the Heavenly Tome of Cloud Furnace she had obtained from Chu Tian. Refining herself like a pill was not an easy feat, but she did not even frown. Completely bare, she was like a beauty carved from white jade.
As a cultivator’s foundation, the cultivation method was even more powerful than she originally believed it to be. She had undergone overwhelming changes in less than half a year of practising it, and her cultivation broke through to mid Foundation Establishment.
Apart from the cultivation method, her startling talent played a role too. The rare arcane artifact alchemy cauldron, the Jade Melting cauldron, played a vital role too. Compared to everything she had gained, the pain during cultivation was truly nothing.
Suddenly, she heard the rumbling of thunder. It possessed the might of the world, such that even her formations were unable to obstruct it.
Don’t tell me?
Ru Xin thought and stopped cultivating, putting on a set of clothes and making her way out of the dwelling. She spotted the figure currently contending with the heavenly lightning and experienced indescribable shock.
Although she knew his actual strength had already surpassed regular Golden Core cultivators a long time ago, strength alone could not make up for certain differences in cultivation and comprehension. By taking this step, he would reach a whole new realm and become a supreme genius of the cultivation community of the Green province.
The rumbling of thunder merged together like an endless roar, swallowing him whole.
Even Ru Xin was unable to stare right at it. She thought, It’s no wonder many cultivators die to the second heavenly tribulation. It really does come with great danger, but I don’t need to worry about him. I practise the Heavenly Tome of Cloud Furnace, so I have a pretty good chance too.
The radiance from the lightning reached a certain limit, and there was a rumble in Li Qingshan’s body. Spiritual qi gathered towards a certain point, forming a revolving, perfectly-round and azure pearl. It radiated with an aura that was vast and deep like the ocean.
The second heavenly tribulation—broken through! The Ocean pearl—condensed!
The clouds dispersed; the azure blue of the sky and the sunlight poured through.
He spread his arms and let out a bellow. The mountains answered back with echoes.
Suddenly, he raised his head and smiled at Ru Xin in the distance. In that moment, all the sunlight gathered on his face, making him seem extremely glorious. Having gone through dangers and hardship, he had finally taken another step forward.
“Congratulations on not being struck to death by lightning!”
After tidying himself up a little, Li Qingshan arrived in Ru Xin’s dwelling. Ru Xin served up tea and smiled gracefully.
“Even if you die, I won’t die. Oh yeah, you’ve changed quite a bit too!”
Li Qingshan studied Ru Xin up and down. Her skin had always been extremely fair and smooth, but now it began to shine with a jade-like gloss, which made her seem a little less lively and more transcendental.
Ru Xin hid nothing. She told him the entire story.
“The Heavenly Tome of Cloud Furnace. I didn’t think this kid would have a use like this. Please don’t tell me you’ll actually turn into a rock in the future, or what would be the point in that?”
Li Qingshan extended a finger and prodded Ru Xin’s cheek gently. Fortunately, it was still warm, soft skin.
“Move your dog paws,” Ru Xin said unflinchingly.
“Heh, if I were to capture him right now and give him a beating, do you think it’s possible to obtain even more useful things from him?”
Li Qingshan took it a step further, going from prodding to pinching, even extending his other hand over and pinching her other cheek. He pulled them to the sides, and her face that could be described as alluringly beautiful became rather strange, which made him laugh.
Right when Ru Xin was about to fly into a rage, he let go. “Here, that’s the Water God Seal I promised, but it’s best if you use it when it’s still under my control. If its aura leaks out, or it mobilises the spiritual qi from the rivers and lakes, there might be great trouble!”
The Water God Seal with a texture that seemed like it was surrounded in dragons and snakes shone with an azure light, possessing powerful spiritual qi. However, Li Qingshan could clearly sense that during this period, someone was stealing from him, using another Water God Seal to wantonly devour his water territory.
Normally, he would not even have to visit in person. He only needed to power the Water God Seal and repel them. However, he knew with a bit of thought that this was definitely a trap the enemy had set down to lure him out, a so-called plan. Right now, even using the Water God Seal to gather spiritual qi for cultivation came with the risk of being exposed.
As a result, he completely tossed this to the back of his mind. He had only managed to unite all the lakes and rivers across the Ruyi commandery through the divine powers of the spirit turtle.
The founding emperor had forged most of the Water God Seals into the nine cauldrons, so even as a liberal estimate, it would be impressive if the other Water God Seal could even hold a tenth of the amount he had refined. Whether it was through large gulps or small nibbles, it would take them a few years at the very least before they could threaten his position as a water god, so he could let them run free for now. There would be plenty of time for them to cry in the future.
“Since there’s trouble, then you better be a little more careful. It’s fine if the Beast King rips you apart. Just don’t drag me into it.” Ru Xin rubbed her cheeks and said in resentment, “All of the pills I owe you are gone.”
In the past, Li Qingshan had brought many spiritual herbs he had collected from underground to her for refinement. She refined most of them into pills and split them with Li Qingshan, but a small quantity still remained. Perhaps because she had no time to refine them, or perhaps she could not gather the other corresponding spiritual herbs, it was a final payment that had yet to be settled.
“If you hadn’t mentioned it, I’d forgotten about it already. I might have prince Si Qing as a huge creditor and I’m not lacking those items, but you still have to pay off your debts. Why don’t you just pay it off with your body? You can experience what “fun in bed” means too before you turn into a rock.”
Ru Xin smiled. “I have four words to say!”
“Out of my mind?”
“Go fuck your grandfather!”
Li Qingshan laughed aloud. The Water God Seal flew out of his hand and produced two mist-like streaks of blue light, enveloping them. They both absorbed spiritual qi quietly and fell silent.
Time passed by as they stared at one another. A while later, Ru Xin closed her eyes. Li Qingshan smiled and closed his eyes too, gazing at the Ocean pearl he had just condensed in his body as it spun away. It swallowed the water spiritual qi that flowed in greedily. Then it was refined and converted into his own powers. It was like a bottomless hole.
The spiritual qi the Golden Core realm requires sure is frightening. If I didn’t have the Water God Seal and I had to ingest pills and absorb spiritual qi to cultivate, the time I spend would definitely be calculated in years. Once the spirit turtle breaks through to the fifth layer, the water spiritual qi required will definitely become astronomical. I really can’t go without the Water God Seal as my foundation.
Ru Xin opened her eyes again and stared at his face before closing them once more.
In the blink of an eye, several more days passed by. Just like how there was no concept of time to those isolated from the world, cultivation could always make people forget about the flow of time very easily. It felt like no different from a nap or a daydream.
Li Qingshan consolidated his cultivation at Golden Core, and at the same time, he comprehended the various changes that came with the second heavenly tribulation.
A breakthrough in his cultivation could not directly strengthen him by much. It would only temper his soul and body again, making his soul sense even stronger. After all, Northmoon who cultivated the Nine Transformations of the Demonic and Divine was far too powerful. The most important function of the Ocean pearl was helping him recover some of his daemon qi when it mattered.
However, crossing through this great boundary was of utmost importance, whether he was human or daemon. The higher his cultivation, the closer he was to the supreme principles of the world. No matter how many cultivation methods and wondrous abilities there were, their final objective was to make the heavenly tribulations descend again and again.
As if he had broken through a shackle, the ox demon, tiger demon, and spirit turtle that had come to a halt began to slowly grow in strength again. He gained a new understanding over the usage of his innate abilities too. Once he completely familiarised himself with this new understanding, it would give him a greater chance of victory against his opponents like Jia Zhen and Si Qing.
Ru Xin opened her eyes as well, which were filled with the exhaustion and delight that followed cultivation.
“You seem to be in quite the rush to increase your cultivation lately!”
Li Qingshan had noticed something amiss a long time ago. In the past, Ru Xin had never asked him to borrow the Water God Seal for cultivation. Although she had given it to him, Li Qingshan had gone through countless risks and dangers so that it could reach the current level. They were good friends, but she would never go out of her way to ask anything from him, let alone something as important as that.
“I remember a few grievances of the past, and I want to bring them to an end sooner.”
“What grievances? Let’s hear them!”
“It’s got nothing to do with you.” Ru Xin declined immediately.
Li Qingshan fell silent. He let out a sigh and placed his hand on her shoulder. “If you die, I’ll be sad.” Although they had agreed to not probe into each other’s secrets, it was unavoidable that they got to know each other more and more.
“Qingshan!” Ru Xin was touched. “Move your dog paws!”