Chapter 702 – Qingshan’s Death, Phoenix’s Nirvāṇa
No, there’s always a chance!
Li Qingshan glanced down and discovered that before he knew it, the landscape below had already become different from the Green province. The dense vegetation formed a verdant sea, covering the rising and falling land. It was filled with a primitive, wild feeling.
Huge, strange birds soared through the air lazily. Mist coiled through the dense jungle, giving off waves of daemon qi. If there were daemons bold enough to openly fly in the air and run along the ground in the Green province, the cultivators would butcher them very quickly.
Have I reached the Mist province already?
Li Qingshan had been flying in the south west direction the entire time. By now, he had already crossed over five thousand kilometers, entering the lands of the Mist province. The spiritual qi in the Ocean pearl was close to running out, and his body was utterly exhausted. The killing intent was staring him right in the face.
He flew for a while longer and suddenly saw a stream of black smoke rise into the air. His eyes narrowed, only to see mountains appear on the horizon. However, these mountains were very different in appearance. They were barren, not covered in lush vegetation, and they lacked peaks. The stream of smoke originated from one of the mountains as rivers of fire flowed out from the opening.
It’s a volcanic cluster!
Li Qingshan’s heart skipped a beat. He felt like he had experienced a flash of inspiration, but he was unable to describe specifically what this inspiration was.
His phoenix wings folded backwards, and he left the layer of atmospheric wind. He turned into a straight streak of scarlet light and threw himself towards the erupting volcano. The flowing lava scorched brilliantly. The phoenix wings became even more magnificent within the burning fire.
The Strength of the Earth began to come into effect. Strength surged into his body, and the feeling of exhaustion vanished completely. Li Qingshan was relieved, but he dared not stop at all. He passed through the magma and dove into the depths of the volcano.
Li Qingshan had experience cultivating in the magma underground. He used the powers of the Tremors of the Ox Demon ingeniously and carved out a path in the magma. The Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa greatly diminished the damage that the scorching heat and flames could cause him, and his ox hide could endure the remaining damage.
Most importantly, while the surging magma did possess the underground magnetic field, it was not as powerful as deep underground. If this were underground, he never would have been bold enough to dive deeply into the magma.
As he had expected, there was a huge chamber of magma beneath the active volcanoes. As he continued to flee through the magma, he flapped his phoenix wings and gathered the fire spiritual qi, using the flames to wash away the ink on him.
Sure enough, the ink faded much faster, but his speed as he travelled through magma was like a snail to a bird compared to travelling through the atmospheric winds. He was unable to unleash the wings of wind to their full potential, and the underground magnetic field would disturb him.
With every moment he took, the Dragon King of Ink Sea would press several hundred kilometers closer.
A while later, he reached the end of the magma. He needed to make a choice, either to stay in the magma to clean off the ink and gamble that he could clear off all the ink on him before the Dragon King of Ink Sea caught up, or return to the surface and continue to use his speed to buy time.
However, Li Qingshan understood very well that regardless of the choice he made, he could not escape the fate of the Dragon King of Ink Sea catching up to him. The latter could just let him live a little longer.
He had entered the magma because of that strange flash of inspiration, but what was the point of it? Was it only for him to waste some time for nothing? Or was it telling him to downright finish himself off quickly in the magma?
To the south west of the volcanic cluster, hot springs of various sizes gurgled away, rising with white steam. With a rumble, flames burst out of the hot springs, and Li Qingshan rushed into the air again. He continued off in the south west direction, flying towards deeper depths of the Mist province.
A while later, a swathe of dark clouds shot over the volcanoes, straight off into the south west direction.
The ink was being cleansed bit by bit, with only a final part remaining, but Li Qingshan showed no joy. Suddenly, he looked back, only to see a black line appear on the horizon. The black line rapidly spread and expanded. A pair of dragon eyes that were as deep as ink locked onto him from hundreds of kilometers away.
That happened when he was speeding through the sky. If he had stayed put, the black line probably would have swept through the sky in the blink of an eye.
Li Qingshan turned around and faced the front. He clenched his fists. The time to decide life or death was about to arrive!
Of course, the only thing being decided was his own life or death.
As a result, he stopped running away and dove towards the boundless earth. With a rumble, the ground shook. Countless towering trees were ripped apart and blown away, allowing the sun to illuminate his face. He stared into the distant sky with his scarlet eyes. The black clouds blotted out the sun, weighing down heavily. A dragon head the size of a mountain drooped down, staring at him.
There was no hysterical hatred. There was no gushing killing intent. He was like a god overlooking the lowly, ant-like common people.
Li Qingshan stood with his head and chest high. He stature pulled up from the ground, three meters, fifteen meters, thirty meters, sixty meters, a hundred and twenty meters!
There was no panic from reaching the end of the road. There was no fear from the arrival of death. There was only battle intent that rushed into the air.
“You’ve done something you shouldn’t have!” the Dragon King of Ink Sea said.
The Dragon King of Ink Sea was in no hurry. His voice was like the clouds that loomed down from the sky, formidable and boundless. Within a range of several hundred kilometers, whether man or beast, they all heard the voice. If they possessed some intelligence, they all stared at the horizon blankly. An existence that was far too overwhelming, overwhelming beyond belief, had instead lost its ability to strike fear. However, the more powerful the daemons and cultivators were, the more they could feel the trembling from the depths of their souls.
“Since it’s already done, why do you still say ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’? Come!”
Li Qingshan spread his arms. His wings were glorious. He stood in high spirits as he said this.
The Dragon King of Ink Sea seemed to be rather intrigued by his courage, or perhaps better described as stubbornness. He sensed the influence of the ungraspable fate again and fell silent for a moment.
Without even waiting for the Dragon King of Ink Sea to respond, Li Qingshan flapped his wings and rushed into the horizon. The closer he was to the Dragon King of Ink Sea, the more he could sense the powerful pressure.
This battle was truly hopeless! It was certain death!
He smiled and swung his fist at the dragon head!
A few droplets of ink pierced through the air, but he no longer possessed the strength to dodge, so he did not dodge. His body ignited, first the glorious wings on his back, followed by his scarlet, fire-like hair. His blood filled with vigour turned into flames too, permeating his skin. Everything was set alit, turning into a ball of majestic fire.
Like a rising meteor that pierced through the sky, he rushed into the sea of clouds that blotted out the sun!
He shone! Followed by subsidence…
The Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, in the main hall.
Xiao An sat with the buddha in silence, striking a wooden fish.
Thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk…
The steady, unchanging sound of the wooden fish seemed like it could continue for a millennia. The buddha statues would remain unchanged even for ten millennia.
Thunk! The wooden fish broke!
Suddenly, Xiao An looked back. Her heart palpitated with fear, which appeared on her beautiful face. Ever since she entered the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, she had been known for meditative silence. She would speak with no one. But right now, she cried out.
The firelight shone in the sea of clouds, dimming and extinguishing very quickly. The sky full of dark clouds gathered together and turned into a man in inky, navy robes. He stood with his hands behind his back as he sank into his thoughts for a moment.
Everything had returned to peace. He had already gotten his revenge, but he did not see a daemon core or any other items. An Asura Field obviously should have been here too.
There was nothing strange about this. He clearly knew he faced certain death, so he obviously did not want the opponent to benefit. He had probably cast them away on the way here!
If the soul nascence of a Soul Nascence cultivator had fled, then they still had a chance at repossession and rebirth, but a measly daemon core was useless. His body had been completely destroyed, and even his soul had been incinerated in the flames.
Northmoon is already dead!
The Dragon King of Ink Sea was absolutely convinced about this. He could still distinguish between his original body and his clone. He could clearly sense the severance of a sliver of fate. Although there were still parts he could not see through, just who could completely understand fate? Perhaps only the gods and buddhas in the Nine Heavens could do that! Perhaps they could not as well. There was no way he could know about this.
At this moment, he suddenly remembered that according to his senses, Northmoon had slowed down over a region of volcanoes. It was very likely that he had left his daemon core and items there.
The Dragon King of Ink Sea returned to the volcanic cluster and leisurely searched around with his soul sense, entering deep into the magma. The further down he went, the stronger the interference from the underground magnetic field. In the end, he found nothing, so he stopped caring. He turned into a black dragon and vanished into the horizon.
A daemon core and an Asura Field would never make any difference to him.
Unbeknownst to the Dragon King of Ink Sea, as long as his soul sense ventured another five kilometers deeper, he would have found a daemon core. However, at this depth, the combined interference from the underground magnetic field and the magma was already great enough to prevent even a powerful Daemon King from using his soul sense easily. The Dragon King of Ink Sea would only find it if he ventured in there personally, but under the circumstances where his senses were suppressed to the limit, this was not an easy feat to achieve either.
As a result, the daemon core just floated in the magma and flames quietly. Nearby, the ownerless Asura Field produced a ring of blood-red light, protecting itself from the magma.
A short while ago, Li Qingshan was in the magma, stuck between a rock and a hard place and facing imminent death. He tried his best to search for the flash of inspiration in his head.
In the rolling flames, he instinctively channeled the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa, absorbing the fire spiritual qi and letting it circulate through his body for a full cycle before gathering in the daemon core.
At this moment, the tenth innate ability he was simply unable to understand suddenly appeared before his eyes. It was actually in a state where he could understand and use it.
Li Qingshan’s mind shuddered. So this is the phoenix’s innate ability!
Legends had it that whenever a phoenix was close to the end of its life, it would throw itself into fire and be reduced to ashes, rebirthing in flames. People called this “nirvāṇa”, symbolising unending life. The full name of the Phoenix Transformation was the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa!
As a result, when he left the magma and continued fleeing, he had already left his daemon core and Asura Field in the magma. At the same time, he stored his Ocean pearl, demon heart, and Divine Talisman of Great Creation, as well as his Water God Seal and hundred treasures pouch, all in the Asura Field.
Under his control, the daemon core and Asura Field sank into the depths of the magma together.
The moment Li Qingshan burst into flames and disintegrated into ashes, the daemon core flashed with light that rapidly subsided.
Only now did it begin to shine again, producing rings of scarlet light, gathering the flames of the earth and slowly revolving.
The daemon core spun faster and faster, and the scarlet-red flames gradually solidified, turning into a fire-red embryo of a phoenix.
PS: And that’s the end to the ninth volume, “Phoenix’s Nirvāṇa”. I’ve just reached two million characters as well. We’ll be setting off on a new journey very soon, so please look forward to it! When you look forward to it, don’t forget to cast some votes and so on!