Chapter 699 – Victory Already Determined Both Inside the Painting and Out
The moment he was sucked into the painting, Li Qingshan saw a white world. He was unable to separate the sky from the ground, and it seemed boundless, yet also as cramped as a prison. He knew he had been trapped in the painting.
He frowned subconsciously, having discovered that he was immobilised. He could not even make the simplest of actions. But to his joy, he could still mobilise daemon qi and use innate abilities. He immediately unleashed the powers of the Tremors of the Ox Demon in an attempt to rip up the painting from inside out.
Black ink marks emanated away from him on the paper. They were shaped like cracks, but they rapidly dispersed.
In the world within the painting, his ability with the great destructive power had been reduced to a non-threatening animation. The way which the world operated, even the way he existed, had been changed from its very core, introducing new laws.
It went without saying that even if he used the flames of the phoenix, he would not be able to burn the painting. At most, he would produce a burning bundle of flame-shaped ink.
Is this the so-called second dimension? This doesn’t feel particularly great! Trapped in a difficult situation, Li Qingshan did not panic. Instead, he found a strange sense of novelty about it all, amazed by this wondrous move.
Mo Yu gazed at Northmoon in the painting with utter delight. Nothing was more satisfying than watching his enemy being reduced to a tiny painting. He looked into the west at Gu Yanying who stood in the pavilion.
Yanying, do you see this? I’ve won this battle! You may be the cleverest woman I’ve ever seen, but even you can’t anticipate everything.
Northmoon was far too fast. Mo Yu had no confidence in being able to suck him into the painting. He had bided his time for so long before grasping the opportunity and establishing his victory in a single stroke.
Li Qingshan observed the white world quietly and gradually noticed that it was not pure-white, but slightly yellowed, like an ancient painting that had stood the test of time.
Bah, doesn’t that go without saying? This has always been a painting!
He cursed inside. Suddenly, he realised that a few white figures existed in the white world. Compared to the yellowing environment in the surroundings, they were clearly much whiter. He could vaguely make them out as a bird perching on bamboo.
Don’t tell me these used to be in the painting? Bird, bamboo… Li Qingshan suddenly recalled the black bamboo flute that Mo Yu played. Don’t tell me this bird is a crow? The one trapped in the painting before was Mo Yu. No, he wasn’t trapped. He has always been a painting! I see! I see!
It’s no wonder that he can withstand my attacks time and time again. Logically speaking, with my current strength and the lethal power of the Tremors of the Ox Demon, any Daemon Commander who receives my attacks directly will be crushed to a pulp, yet he’s able to remain perfectly fine. Instead of saying his original form is a crow, I’d be better off saying he’s a cluster of ink. He’s never had flesh, blood, bones, a brain, or a heart in the first place, so he has no so-called vital points. Even if his body is shaken to pieces, he can reassemble!
Li Qingshan thought of this important point, but it did not seem to be of much help to his current situation. Now was not the time for him to think about the contents of the painting. Instead, he was supposed to find a way to break out. He had to make himself move first.
If it were the second dimension, then so be it. He had to be a moving picture at the very least!
However, when he tried to unleash his limitless strength to move his body, he felt an omnipresent force pinning him down on the spot. He could not even twitch his muscles.
The only thing worth rejoicing over was Mo Yu saying he would take him back to the Ink sea and hand him over to the dragon king. As it seemed, the painting could only suppress, and it was impossible to attack the suppressed target from outside the painting.
That went without saying, or the painting scroll would be a little too overwhelmingly powerful. All Mo Yu would have to do was teleport behind the enemy and suck them in. If he could do that, couldn’t he even butcher Daemon Kings as he pleased?
Little did he know that Mo Yu was currently hesitating as well. As his lifebound item, he could obviously enter the painting and launch attacks, but the strength that Northmoon demonstrated earlier left him shaken.
Li Qingshan would never wait obediently for others to handle him. He silently mobilised the power of the spirit turtle and began analysing the painting scroll.
In the painting, he produced ripples that vanished at the edge of the paper. He gradually came to a sliver of understanding. The restraint did not come from the scroll, but himself. He had yet to “adjust” to life as a person in a painting. This adjustment was not about becoming accustomed to it. Instead, it was about an understanding of laws.
Hmm? What’s this?
“Give up. All of your struggles are in vain. Today is the day you die.”
Mo Yu’s eyes were pitch-black, and his voice was hoarse and unpleasant, filled with a deathly aura. He used the Gaze of Death and the Death Bringer Curse at the same time, wanting to weaken Northmoon from outside the painting first. If he could snuff out his will to live, that would be for the best.
Li Qingshan’s blank pupils swiveled over suddenly, meeting Mo Yu’s. He could see the world outside the painting. He blinked his eyes at first before his entire face began to move. He sneered and moved his lips.
“Mo Yu, you better save your efforts. I was wondering what kind of daemon you were. Turns out you’re just a cluster of ink. This must be your final move already! Heh, what’s so difficult about escaping from a painting?”
Mo Yu was surprised. He never imagined Northmoon to adjust so quickly, so he immediately gave up on the thought of entering the painting. Although the world inside the painting was his territory and could place numerous suppressions on Northmoon, he really did not want to clash with him again. He would be better off bringing him back to the Ink sea!
“You can stop with the boasting. Do you think you can escape from the painting just by adjusting to the laws in the painting?”
“There are plenty of ways to break out. Let’s try this move first!”
An incomplete sword suddenly appeared in Li Qingshan’s hand. The sword was pitch-black like ink. At the same time, his body began to move. He swung the sword gently at Mo Yu, and a sharp strand of sword qi emerged from the paper.
Even when he took on Li Qingshan’s punches, Mo Yu was unafraid, but his expression changed when he saw the sword qi. He tilted his head in a hurry to dodge, but as it was last minute, a slash appeared on his pale-white face. Black blood flowed out, and the wound did not close up.
The incomplete, black sword was the strand of sword qi that Li Qingshan had nurtured in his body from refining the Three Absolutes Calligraphy. After condensing the Ocean pearl, the sword qi had become more and more consolidated. Originally, it was merely a strand of sword qi, but Li Qingshan was able to clutch it in his hand and wield it like a real sword in the painting.
When he analysed the painting scroll, Li Qingshan accidentally discovered a familiar seal, the seal the creator of this painting left behind. This painting actually shared the same origins as the Three Absolutes Calligraphy, so he naturally thought of the incomplete sword qi in his body.
With the strike being effective, Li Qingshan laughed aloud. The incomplete sword in his hand turned into inky strokes, like a high-quality animation of ink and watercolours. Sword qi shot out.
Whenever a strand of sword qi left the paper and turned into a proper strand of sword qi, Li Qingshan understood a little more. Although his sealing into the second dimension from the third dimension had been rather sudden, escaping from the second dimension was not exactly impossible.
Right now, he understood three things at the very least. First, Mo Yu should have been a creation of the Five Absolutes Immortal, which was why the incomplete sword in his hand could overwhelm him. However, if that were the case, was the Dragon King of Ink Sea supposed to be something from a painting too?
Secondly, as long as he destroyed this painting scroll, he would be able to heavily injure Mo Yu. If he could refine the painting scroll, there was even an opportunity to control him. The painting alone was an arcane artifact, and he could use it to threaten the Dragon King of Ink Sea. However, this was not particularly likely.
Thirdly, the Five Absolutes Immortal was absolutely awesome. It was no wonder that even brother ox would speak words of praises when he saw an incomplete fragment of the Three Absolutes Calligraphy that was merely a spiritual artifact. Of course, he only spoke with a tone along the lines of “this junior’s got something in him”.
The sword qi burst out of the painting strand by strand. Mo Yu seemed to be in an extremely tight corner. As long as the sword intent locked onto him, the sword qi would tail him relentlessly. He could only block it and not dodge it. If he had been some other Daemon Commander, then forcefully blocking a few strands of sword qi would have been nothing, except the sword qi overwhelmed him. Every strand that landed on him would definitely result in a wound.
As a result, he became stuck between a rock and a hard place. Outside the painting, he was unable to directly attack Northmoon; all of his attacks would be converted into ink when they landed on the scroll. This was the law that the creator had set down to protect his painting. After all, the painting never inherently possessed the ability to suppress enemies. That was the case unless the power of the attack surpassed the law, but that would directly destroy the painting scroll. Mo Yu would never be able to accept that.
If he rolled up the scroll, it would probably be ripped apart before long, and Northmoon would escape. After all, Mo Yu knew how the Three Absolutes Calligraphy had been ripped into so many pieces back then.
He could only wait for the incomplete sword in Northmoon’s hand to run out of power before immediately rolling up the painting, returning to the Ink sea, and handing him over to the dragon king.
As he slashed away, the incomplete sword in Li Qingshan’s hand became shorter and shorter. In the end, only the hilt remained. After all, it had only been condensed from sword qi. It was not inexhaustible.
Before Mo Yu could even catch his breath, Li Qingshan fished out the real Three Absolutes Calligraphy, and the incomplete sword in his hand immediately recovered, becoming even sharper and more consolidated. As long as his spiritual qi did not run out, he could continue swinging away forever until the scroll had been ripped apart.
Now, Mo Yu understood who had killed his subordinates and stole the Three Absolutes Calligraphy during the Exhibition Matches of the Nine Prefectures. He recalled Gu Yanying’s warning and considered letting out Northmoon and escaping.
However, when he recalled Northmoon’s various sneers and remarks, he made up his mind and took out a copy of the Three Absolutes Calligraphy too before leaping into the painting.
Under no one’s control, the painting fluttered down towards the lake. Gu Yanying’s gaze was as sharp as a hawk’s. She watched on from the pavilion, staring at the scene in the painting. They each wielded an ink sword and engaged in an intense battle. Clumps of ink dripped and danced about as they maneuvered through the yellowed paper. Their figures would overlap at times and separate at others.
Mo Yu was obviously better adjusted to the laws in the painting than Li Qingshan, and he could use the scroll to suppress Li Qingshan. This was the reason why he was bold enough to leap into the painting. He gained the upper hand with ease.
Si Bao constantly moved her head around, wanting to make out the front of the painting. “Big sis, who will win?”
Gu Yanying sighed. “Victory has already been determined!”
As the painting fluttered through the night wind and finally succumbed to the pull of gravity, about to fall into the water, Mo Yu suddenly leapt out of the painting. He was riddled in wounds, and his brows were firmly furrowed. His ink sword had vanished, and he clutched his chest with one hand and grabbed the painting scroll with the other, shaking it violently. Li Qingshan was shaken out of the painting, hanging onto a Three Absolutes Calligraphy with his mouth and holding another Three Absolutes Calligraphy in his left hand.
Mo Yu immediately unfurled his black wings in an attempt to flee. His hand tightened. He looked back, only to find Li Qingshan grabbing onto the other end of the painting.
Mo Yu roared, “Let go!”
Li Qingshan smiled, “Don’t even think about it!”