Chapter 740 – Second Layer of the Phoenix, Letter by Flying Sword
Li Qingshan flew towards a crater that was currently erupting, passing through the sulfurous smoke and throwing himself into the scorching-hot magma. It swallowed him and kicked up a great, dazzling splash.
The volcano stopped erupting. Before long, the sky began to rain again.
A group of barbarians appeared at the bottom of the mountain. The old leader barbarian called out, “Boys, move fast! Don’t fall into the pits of fire and get roasted!”
“Alrighty!” the barbarians answered back loudly. They all carried a bamboo basket on their back, scouring the ground carefully.
If Li Qingshan had been conscious back then in the stone egg, then he would have discovered the barbarian that had picked him up was among them. He was much more mature now, and he had gained a son over the years. Although it was good news, the burden on his shoulders did become much greater. The barbarian who found the Asura Field was not so fortunate. A venomous snake had bitten him to death a year ago in the jungle.
The life of mortals was always a mixture between life and death, day in and day out. A few years was a very large part of a person’s life. Recalling what happened a few years ago was already a very distant matter.
But to cultivators that forgot about the concept of time when they cultivated in seclusion, did time weigh heavily or was it diluted? Probably nobody could answer that question!
Li Qingshan flapped his phoenix wings and constantly ventured deeper. The fire spiritual qi became denser and denser, but the influence from the underground magnetic field grew stronger and stronger too. The circulation of his daemon qi began showing signs of sluggishness, and he could not even open his sumeru ring anymore.
Although I have some of the phoenix’s bloodline, I still can’t dive into the depths of the magma like the Golden Cicada Spirit King. Legend has it that there are many earth bubbles deep within the mantle, which are far more powerful and dangerous than something like divine lightning when they explode!
Diving too deep was instead detrimental to cultivation, so Li Qingshan floated back up to an appropriate depth. He spun around, and the flames of the earth revolved around him, turning into an egg. He took out the pills he had purchased from Gu Yanying from the sumeru ring and ingested them one by one, practising the second layer of the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa.
In the depths of Cloud Dream marsh, it became extremely dim. The Water God Seal shone faintly, and the surroundings were tranquil.
“I should be able to maintain a basic balance like this!”
Ru Xin held the heart of the fire devourer, Zhu Lie, and murmured to herself. She gently cast away her legs, which suddenly turned into a blue fish tail. She swam towards even deeper depths.
The sun and moon interchanged in the sky. Time passed.
Slivers of fire spiritual qi merged with Li Qingshan’s body, converted into pure cultivation. With the experience from practising the first layer of the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa, he actually found the second layer a little easier in comparison.
Actually, the first two layers of each transformation were the foundations, so they were not particularly difficult. When Li Qingshan first began practising the transformations of the ox, tiger, and turtle, everything had progressed very smoothly too.
The Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa conflicted with the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression and had been suppressed, which was why it seemed particularly difficult. Now, he had already grasped the basics of merging water and fire, and he understood how to control the spirit turtle. He could prevent it from influencing the phoenix too much, so it obviously became easier.
During the process, he gradually grew larger too.
When he opened his eyes again, the lengthy cry of a phoenix rang out in his ears. He discovered in a daze that it was his voice.
He sucked in a deep breath and smiled in relief. He had finally reached the second layer of the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa!
However, after the Phoenix Transformation grew in strength, he encountered a new problem. The perfectly-round daemon core became sluggish again. The fusion between water and fire he had achieved after so much difficulty became riddled with many conflicts again.
Correspondingly, the second innate ability of the Phoenix Transformation did not appear either.
However, he had been expecting this, so he did not feel disappointed. He already knew how to go about it. All he needed was time to slowly feel his way around.
Most importantly, his stature and appearance had finally recovered completely!
Although he still needed around another year or two before he truly completed the phoenix’s nirvāṇa and balanced the various powers in his body, there was no need for him to be in too much of a rush.
He believed that once his phoenix’s nirvāṇa was complete and he merged water and fire together again, his strength would reach an unprecedented peak. There would not be many existences remaining among the nine provinces that could still threaten him.
The next morning, Li Qingshan stood on the boundary of the Mist province and gazed towards the north.
“Green province, I, Li Qingshan, am back!”
Hua Chengzan was currently cultivating on the mountain. Suddenly, he sensed something and made his way out the hall. A small sword circled about outside the formation with no way in.
“What’s this? A letter by flying sword!”
Hua Chengzan furrowed his brows. With a wave of his hand, the tiny sword flew over with a swish. He caught it with ease, and the tiny sword shone, crisscrossing with patterns. It was condensed with sword qi, which seemed like it had been thoroughly tempered. A line of tiny words were engraved on there.
“I’ve long heard about your name. You possess extraordinary talent, which fills me with admiration. I hope I can meet you and befriend you through the sword, where we can face the outstanding talents of the world together. Yours truly, Yin Xiaochou of the Sword Collection palace!”
At the end were a time and a location. It was rather polite, and every single word hid sword intent, making a full display of his powers.
This was a letter of challenge!
“So he’s still ended up coming!” Hua Chengzan sighed.
Outside the Qing Xiao dwelling, there was also a tiny sword nailed into the rock face!
Suddenly, the dwelling that had fallen silent for all this time opened loudly. Li Qingshan strode out and yelled, “I’ve emerged!”
Birds took off in fright, circling over the mountains.
Li Qingshan laughed aloud. Suddenly, he saw the tiny sword in the rock and reached over. The tiny sword flew into his hand, and he read the message on there.
“What’s the Sword Collection palace sending people over here again for? What the hell is this shitty name? Yin Xiaochou? I wonder how Fu Qingjin is doing. He does sound a little more annoying. Fucking hell, he even changed my Moon Court lake to Clear Court lake!”
Li Qingshan stowed the sword letter into his sumeru ring and flew towards the prefectural city of Clear River.
Hua Chenglu was currently handling the paperwork diligently in the Hawkwolf Guard. Suddenly, a pair of feet appeared before her, and she leapt up in fright inside, making her jump to her feet. When she saw the owner of the feet, she could not help but blurt out.
“Big brother Li! You’ve emerged!”
“I’ve troubled you for the past few years. I really don’t live up to my duty as a commander! It’s been a few years, but the little girl has become even prettier!” Li Qingshan grinned.
“I stopped being a little girl a long time ago!” Hua Chenglu said.
“Then big girl. Come, tell me what happened during the past few years!”
As a result, Hua Chenglu told him about what happened over the past few years. Li Qingshan had heard most of it from Hua Chengzan already. After so much time, roughly nothing had changed. The pace of the cultivation community was much slower than the mortal world. It lacked a lot of change. Rarely did they ever hear of someone dying in an accident, or someone marrying and having children. Most of it was just each other’s cultivation progress.
“What’s this about?”
Li Qingshan placed the tiny sword on the desk and asked the question he wanted to ask the most.
“You’ve received it too!” Hua Chenglu took out the exact same tiny sword. As it turned out, all of the Foundation Establishment cultivators who had earned a reputation for themselves in the Clear River prefecture had received a sword letter like this, inviting them to the greatest lake in the Clear River prefecture, Clear Court lake, for a gathering of outstanding geniuses in seven days’ time.
Li Qingshan rubbed his chin and said in thought, “That’s quite interesting. If you look at the time, there are still two days. I don’t seem to have missed it. It sure happens to coincide with my plans!”