Chapter 747 – The One Lamp Monk
“You’re Li Qingshan!”
The monks were astonished. They had heard about him a long time ago, but never did they think he was actually so powerful. He slaughtered the Demon Generals like he was slaughtering dogs. They all rushed over to thank him.
“Senior brother, did master send you to save us?” Duoge asked.
“I’m just passing by. I’m going to the eighth floor, so I’ll be going first.” Li Qingshan turned around to leave.
“The eighth floor! Do you know how many Demon Commanders there are?” the monks asked in astonishment.
“Wouldn’t I know once I take a look?” Li Qingshan smiled.
“Even senior brother One Lamp is only undertaking trials on the seventh floor. Wouldn’t you be seeking a death sentence by attempting the eighth floor?”
“Which one is senior brother One Lamp?”
“You haven’t even heard about senior brother One Lamp. He’s the strongest disciple of our monastery… probably!”
The monk glanced at Li Qingshan, and his voice became rather uncertain. No matter how great his reputation was, personally witnessing his strength still caused a greater impact.
Li Qingshan pondered. These monks had probably spent quite a lot of time undertaking trials in the Demon Suppression hall and had yet to hear about the matters regarding Xiao An and him. However, that senior brother One Lamp sure could be regarded as among the best of the best among the disciples of the monastery to undergo the second heavenly tribulation in his forties.
“How does he compare to One Will?”
“Junior sister One Will obviously has outstanding talent, but she’s still too young after all. She’s only undergone the first heavenly tribulation and hasn’t condensed a śarīra yet. She’s nowhere close to senior brother One Lamp!”
A monk on the side said, “If junior sister One Will really can emerge from her critical secluded cultivation and undergo the second heavenly tribulation, condensing a śarīra, now that’ll be impressive!”
Another monk shook his head in an exaggerated manner. “Condensing a śarīra is nowhere that easy. Moreover, senior brother One Lamp has practised the Scripture of Great Radiance arduously for many years, and he possesses a buddhist treasure. He’s the strongest one among the younger disciples, and he has quite the reputation across the entire province. Even if junior sister One Will condenses a śarīra, she won’t be his opponent!”
“Perhaps I might be seeing this senior brother One Lamp very soon, hehe. Duoge, lend me a prayer bead! Don’t be so stingy! Am I the type of person to take advantage of you? I’ll return it to you once I get back!”
Li Qingshan plucked a demon heart of relatively-better quality from the string of prayer beads around Duoge’s neck and placed it into the hilt of the Traitorous Demon sword. Sure enough, it merged with it.
“Senior brother, you have to come back!”
Amidst Duoge’s calls filled with worry and reluctance, Li Qingshan strode away. He arrived on the seventh floor of the Demon Suppression hall. It did not take long with his Demon Commandery form to reach the centre of the seventh floor. He did not come across the so-called senior brother One Lamp along the way, so he simply stopped worrying and pushed through the gilded door.
Dazzling light poured through the cracks in the door, colliding violently with Li Qingshan’s protective demon qi.
The gilded doors swung open completely. A monk sat before the Demon Suppression statue. He was quite ugly. His nose was flat and drooped down, his lips curled upwards, and he had a pair of flaring ears. From his appearance alone, Li Qingshan was not surprised at all by why he would become a monk.
However, his eyes shone brightly, and he seemed like a blazing fire. He was so dazzling and radiant that it was enough for people to neglect his appearance.
The monk had his palms together and an oil lamp placed on his left knee. Compared to the radiance he gave off, that was merely a tiny flare, but the tiny speck seemed like the only source of light in the pitch-black, eternal night. It contained infinite brilliance, which made it almost impossible to ignore.
Demon hearts were scattered in the surroundings of the Demon Suppression statue, but there were no remains or even a speck of blood in sight!
“Amitābha. I’ll send you off to the afterlife!”
The monk pushed his hands forward and scorching light enough to blind people filled the entire hall. The power it contained was omnipresent and all-pervasive.
Li Qingshan understood where the corpses of these demonfolk had gone now. It also roused his competitive spirit. He wanted to see what this “senior brother One Lamp” had in him.
He swung out with the Traitorous Demon sword that had just obtained a new pupil and sword qi whistled forth. A dim slash parted the brilliance, travelling right towards the One Lamp monk.
The One Lamp monk was surprised. The strength of the enemy exceeded his expectations a little. Such sharp and masterly sword intent only ever appeared on the most outstanding disciples of the Sword Collection palace and their elders.
He extended his index finger and pointed at the oil lamp gently. Immediately, a ray of firelight flew out and intercepted Li Qingshan’s sword qi, launching a counterattack.
Li QIngshan smiled. He pointed the Traitorous Demon sword at One Lamp and swung it gently.
He seemed to grow a thousand arms, where each hand wielded a Traitorous Demon sword. The cascading blurs constantly stacked together, pushing towards the One Lamp monk like a thick wall!
The ray of firelight seemed extremely feeble as if it could be put out with just a larger gust of wind, but it forcefully penetrated the wall and was reflected in Li Qingshan’s eyes.
However, it had already run out of power. A single slash cut it apart.
The One Lamp monk erupted with light, blocking the surging sword qi. With a single movement, he climbed to his feet. His eyes were no longer just filled with surprise, but great caution too.
This Demon Commander is startlingly powerful. The demonic artifact in his hand is impressive too. This will definitely be a bitter battle!
“May I ask if you are senior brother One Lamp? I’m Li Qingshan.”
The curved visor opened up, and Li Qingshan stowed the Traitorous Demon sword away, bowing.
“You’re Li Qingshan? The Unraging master’s disciple? Do you have any evidence?”
The One Lamp monk was mildly surprised, but he did not drop his guard. He had entered the Demon Suppression hall several times for trials. He understood the viciousness and cunning of the demonfolk extremely well. Many demonfolk knew how to use illusions and charms. Seduction was basically the most frequent technique used. There were also some that disguised themselves as children or the elderly to attract sympathy, or others that expressed they had realised their errors and wanted to convert to buddhism.
However, the moment an opportunity presented itself, they would strike valiantly. Many disciples that had come for trials died to tricks and tactics like that.
In his memory, Li Qingshan should have been a young man in his twenties, so how could he possess such great strength? As a result, he was certain that this was a Demon Commander in disguise!
“If you don’t believe me, then move aside. I want to go to the eighth floor.”
Li Qingshan strode towards the Demon Suppression statue.
“Stop right there! If you take another step forward, I’m going to attack you!” the One Lamp monk called out. Suddenly, he tossed the oil lamp into the air, and it hovered over his head. His monk robes surged as his skin began to shine, turning into a man of light.
Li Qingshan burst out laughing. An oil lamp sat on top of the One Lamp monk’s huge, shiny, bald head as if he was about to become one with the lamp. It was hilarious no matter how Li Qingshan looked at it.
The One Lamp monk had cultivated for many years, so the enemy’s mockery could not faze him. He continued to shine, growing more and more dazzling and blinding. A great battle was on the brink of erupting.
“Alright, alright. This might serve as evidence!”
Li Qingshan thought about his request and took out a string of prayer beads, tossing it to the One Lamp monk.
The One Lamp monk accepted the prayer beads extremely cautiously and inspected them. The prayer beads were not some powerful arcane artifact or arcane treasure, but it did have quite the history and legacy. All the monks in the monastery who had some status recognised it. It also contained the aura that the Unraging monk had left behind, which was almost impossible to fake.
He raised his head and said, “You really are Li Qingshan who made a mess of the Courtyard of Secular Affairs! The Scarlet Hawk commander of some prefecture!”
“The Clear River prefecture. Can I go now?”
The One Lamp monk subsided his glow and tossed the prayer beads back. He had basically verified Li Qingshan’s identity. However, he was still in some disbelief. “Junior brother, have you undergone the second heavenly tribulation already?”
“Yeah, just recently!”
“Junior brother, you still haven’t reached the age of thirty, right?”
The One Lamp monk was amazed. “Junior brother, you really are a talented genius. Of course you would catch the Unraging master’s eye and be accepted as his first disciple. Have you come back this time to pay respects to the Unraging monk and undergo tonsure to become a monk?”
“I don’t have that plan for now.”
The two of them conversed a little in front of the Demon Suppression statue. Li Qingshan just found this One Lamp monk to be a little simple-minded and unskilled with handling people. He openly lectured him without mincing his words, persuading him to leave the secular world and become a monk. After Li Qingshan carefully rejected him, he both sighed and shook his head, exasperated at Li Qingshan’s reluctance.
Li Qingshan remained cheerful. He did not get angry. After all, he did not see the arrogance he usually saw on these “first senior brothers” from the One Lamp monk. Also, when he tried to persuade him to become a monk, his intentions were even slightly more pure than the Dauntless monk. He seemed to be in bitter hatred as if he was trying to say, “It’s such a great thing, so why can’t you understand it? I’ve spent several decades of my life as a monk, so how can I be lying to you?”
After learning that Xiao An had already undergone the second heavenly tribulation, the One Lamp monk’s eyes flashed. His heart stirred slightly.
After formally joining the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, every single disciple felt pressured, and the pressure he felt was especially heavy. He was an orphan, having grown up in the monastery. With his extraordinary cultivation talent, he received the attention and care of all, making him one of the potential successors of the abbot.
However, Xiao An had taken away a lot of his glory with her arrival. Whether it was his buddhist nature, his root of wisdom, or his ability to debate, he was nowhere close to being the opponent of this child who was several decades younger than him, let alone bearing and looks. Originally, he still possessed an advantage in terms of cultivation, but now, even his only advantage no longer existed. He could not help but become rather despondent, but his fighting spirit immediately became roused.
“Please wait here, senior brother. I’ll be right back!”
“Hold on, junior brother. The eighth floor of the Demon Suppression hall is extremely dangerous. There are many powerful and crafty Demon Commanders. The Unraging monk has once told me to never set foot on the eighth floor, so I’d advise you to stop here!”
Li Qingshan was just about to advance to the eighth floor when the One Lamp monk stopped him and gave sincere advice again.
“I entered the Demon Suppression hall this time to go to the eighth floor to study the eighth Demon Suppression statue. My master had agreed to it too.”
The One Lamp monk became rather uncertain inside, The Unraging master forbids me from entering the eighth floor, but he permits him. Is it because I’m weaker than him? But he has just undergone the second heavenly tribulation recently. Isn’t he underestimating me a little too much?
He thought of a possibility and asked, “Will you be disguising yourself as a Demon Commander and sneaking over to the Demon Suppression statue, junior brother?”
“Of course not. I’m naturally going to kill my way over. Only then can I show off the might of our monastery, right?”
Li Qingshan smiled as he flicked the Traitorous Demon sword. Too many battles had never been a worry to him. In order to cultivate the tiger demon, he had to make use of all opportunities to battle.
“If that’s the case, I’ll come with you. If we work together, you’ll have a better chance!” the One Lamp monk said enthusiastically.
At that moment, Li Qingshan shivered all over. He vaguely sensed danger lurking up ahead!