Chapter 772 – Focused Cultivation, Sword Refinement, Uproar
The Lair of Demons of Savage mountain, in the first cave master’s dwelling.
White light flashed in the dark, illuminating Yu Wufeng’s face. He opened his eyes and stared at the Fogbow sword in his hand. He could sense that his wounds had already recovered, but his eyebrows remained firmly locked.
How much time has passed? Two months, three, or even longer?
With his cultivation, he should have never lost track of time, but the impact of that battle had been far too great to him. The plan he had been preparing and following for all this time had completely fallen apart. Originally, he should have taken another step forward and undergone the third heavenly tribulation before refining the Blood Oath Scroll, unifying the Lair of Demons under him and becoming the “King of Savages”!
But in the blink of an eye, he had instead become someone else’s slave, and he was unable to break out of this situation through his own power. Even now, his head was still in a bit of mess.
Although the original blood oath covered all aspects too, there was something that could never be included in the oath, which was preventing the cave masters from increasing their cultivations and undergoing the third heavenly tribulation. The first generation of cave masters would have never severed their own paths of cultivation for this. Instead, they secretly reached an agreement that whoever underwent the third heavenly tribulation would become the “King of Savages”. They would be able to unify the Lair of Demons and establish their own sect.
However, why would Xiao An keep this flaw around? The moment Yu Wufeng tried undergoing the third heavenly tribulation, he would immediately set off the curse of the blood oath. The blood oath was not a fair, reasonable “treaty” among the eight cave masters anymore either, but well and truly a “slave contract”. It had returned to being used for its original purpose.
Even without this restraint, he would never try to face the tribulation recklessly. The third heavenly tribulation was extremely dangerous. Even the slightest mental perturbation could claim his life.
Yu Wufeng exhaled deeply and made his way out of his dwelling. He gazed towards the south and said quietly, “Master, do you know about your disciple’s current circumstances?”
Of course, contacting others without permission also broke the blood oath, and even if he had permission, he could not divulge Li Qingshan and Xiao An’s secret. The conditions were like invisible shackles, binding him firmly such that he could not take a single wrong step.
“All I can do is wait for the news of Savage mountain being taken to spread. Once it reaches the South sea, there’ll still be a chance for a turnaround!” Yu Wufeng glanced in the direction of the hall. “Li Qingshan, you have no idea what you’ve provoked. That’s definitely an existence you cannot defeat!”
Li Qingshan had no idea someone was muttering his name. He currently placed all of his focus on the Traitorous Demon sword on his knees. The straight, slender edge shimmered with a dim glow, while the hilt happened to be a mass of flesh, wriggling about around a huge eyeball. It seemed rather disgusting.
Under Li Qingshan’s control, the eyeball swiveled and met his eyes.
In that moment, he used his eyes to look at the Traitorous Demon sword while making the eye look at him. The two figures overlapped.
He practised the technique from the Sword Collection palace, tempering the Traitorous Demon sword again while tempering his heart of the sword at the same time.
He was not a sword cultivator. Condensed within his body was a demon heart and not a sword cultivator’s sword embryo, sword seed, or a sword nascence after they had undergone the third heavenly tribulation. These were two completely different paths of cultivation, but it did not stop him from comprehending the path of the sword and tempering his heart of the sword.
Although he was doing multiple things at the same time, refining the Traitorous Demon sword, tempering his heart of the sword, and practising the Demon Suppression Statuary were actually all the same.
His body produced a demonic flash, and he turned back into his Demon Commander form. After three months of cultivation, his outer appearance had changed slightly too. The smooth, flowing lines now became a little jagged.
Unlike regular cultivation methods, the Demon Suppression Statuary was a cultivation method that accepted great diversity. Whether it were humans, demonfolk, or daemons, they could all practise it and convert their cultivation into demon qi. As a result, their appearances after demonifying constantly changed too.
Originally, he stood three meters tall, clad in heavy armour. That was the will within the Demon Suppression Statuary he had comprehended without digesting. It was merely an empty husk. Afterwards, his slender stature and flowing figure came from the influence of the Arts of the Boundless Ocean and the Ocean pearl. Now, the effects of the heart of the sword began to manifest too.
Regular cultivation methods focused on a single aspect, but the Demon Suppression Statuary was different. It did not care about the cultivator’s past, nor did it place any conditions on the cultivator’s future. It really was all-inclusive. Wanting to unleash its full power instead required dabbling around and drawing parallels.
A demonic light flowed out of the eye, enveloping the hilt and sword and becoming brighter and brighter, denser and denser. Only after a very long while did this light dim. The iris of the eye had vanished. It had depleted another demon heart.
Li Qingshan recovered his usual form. He exhaled deeply and got up to move about a little. All he saw was that Xiao An had turned into a shiny skeleton, also sitting with her legs crossed. Her bone hands formed the buddha’s seal as she sat in the raging flames, solemn in bearing.
Li Qingshan had given all the corpses he had amassed over the years to her. There were many existences that had undergone the second heavenly tribulation among them. Especially after the battle in the Demon Suppression hall, he had collected a mountainous pile of demonfolk corpses, which she completely converted into the Samādhi Flames of White Bone.
Probably because of undergoing the second heavenly tribulation, the flames seemed to become more pure, no longer giving off a single hint of evil. Even if other cultivators saw it, they would only think it was holy fire. They would never imagine that this kind of fire fed off flesh, blood, and souls.
Xiao An continued practising the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty, tempering her white bones and consolidating her current cultivation. This process had already continued for several months now. Her white bones became even firmer and more glossy, while the White Bone śarīra seemed like it had been condensed by fire.
As a cultivation method that brother ox had personally passed to her, the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty was inferior to the Nine Transformations of Demonic and Divine, but it still surpassed all cultivation methods of this world. Several years ago, she had basically possessed the strength to sweep aside all second heavenly tribulation existences already. Now that she had undergone the second heavenly tribulation as well and condensed a White Bone śarīra, just how strong had she become? Li Qingshan was very much looking forward to finding out.
After gazing at her for a while, he sat back down and continued cultivating.
Time passed by in a hurry. Li Qingshan inserted the demon hearts Duoge had given him into the Traitorous Demon sword one by one.
The Traitorous Demon sword had always possessed the ability to devour demon hearts and strengthen itself. With Li Qingshan’s refinement, it gradually changed, shrinking by a third of a meter from being almost three meters long. Its slender blade had become much thicker too, while the fleshy structure on its hilt seemed to be hardening.
His demonified form changed as well, becoming much sharper and more distinct. Even the oval visor over his face bent up along the middle, just like the ridge of a sword.
He infused another demon heart into the sword, and Li Qingshan opened his eyes. Xiao An stood nearby, waiting for him to rouse.
Li Qingshan was mildly surprised. The white bone was covered in another layer of flesh and blood, turning into a great beauty. The issue was that she was completely bare. Only her draping, seaweed-like hair barely managed to cover up certain parts of her.
Seeing Li Qingshan rouse, Xiao An smiled and directly threw herself into his arms.
“You’ve finished cultivating?”
Li Qingshan smiled too, embracing her gently. He sensed the tremendous life force hidden within her petite body, together with the death that contained eternal silence. The two of them merged together in a wondrous manner, turning into this body that was as fair as jade.
It was said that “white bone” and “great beauty” was for people to understand that lust was all but an empty illusion. No matter how great the beauty was, it would still be reduced to a set of white bones in the end. Li Qingshan personally believed he did not possess such “great wisdom”. He had always been a very lustful person.
However, when he faced this alluring, enchanting beauty, his heart remained as placid as water apart from being mildly surprised earlier. He did not feel awkward either, as if this was all too normal.
It obviously was not because he had comprehended some profound buddhist principle from the conversion between white bone and great beauty. In the past, when he turned into a daemon for the first time and struggled to accept his hideous form, it was she who gave him her whole-hearted recognition. Afterwards, when he underwent the tribulation and transformed, she did not develop any additional liking towards him because he was handsome, as that had reached the limit a long time ago.
Whether it was gaining a hint of beauty or losing a chunk, it had never been important in the first place. To him, white bone and great beauty were both as beautiful as they could get. They were all the same.
“Yeah. I’m going to start refining the sword next,” Xiao An said as she took out the Buddha Slaying sword. Actually, it was still just a sword embryo.
“What a fine sword!” Li Qingshan took the Buddha Slaying sword from her and examined it. As his comprehension of the path of the sword deepened, his ability to appraise swords grew stronger too. He said in praise, “If this sword can truly be fully refined, those Ten Renowned Swords or whatever they’re called would just be scrap metal compared to this!”
“I wonder how much longer is needed before the Three Absolutes Calligraphy is repaired.” Xiao An adjusted her posture. In the past when she was still young, she had grown accustomed to sitting in his lap as a child. Now that she had grown much taller, it became slightly awkward.
“Yeah. If we can comprehend the path of the sword inside, our strength will definitely reach a whole new level. I’ll be able to go to the Ink sea and settle my debts with that old dragon sooner!”
Speaking of which, Li Qingshan was not lacking arcane treasures. The Asura Field was one, the Demon Dragon sword was another, and there was also the Blood Oath Scroll. The Fogbow sword in Yu Wufeng’s possession obviously belonged to him too. In the future, he could look forward to a demonic treasure from the Unraging Monk, a renowned sword from the Sword Collection palace—he swore he would pull out a renowned sword no matter what and make the Sword Collection palace suffer—as well as the Traitorous Demon sword he was refining.
He possessed seven of them if he counted them up. This was basically an impossible achievement in the cultivation community across the entire world. It was already very rare for a second heavenly tribulation cultivator to possess a single arcane treasure. Even among certain third heavenly tribulation cultivators, there probably were not too many that possessed arcane treasures.
However, the one he looked forward to the most was still the Three Absolutes Calligraphy. It was not only because of the path of the sword within it, but also because it probably surpassed regular arcane treasures in power as a piece of work left behind by the Five Absolutes Immortal. He had specially left a piece of jade with Chu Danqing for him to crush once he had completed the repair so that he could be contacted.
“Definitely!” Xiao An tightened her grip around the Buddha Slaying sword, and for once, a hint of coldness appeared in her eyes. She could still remember the devastating feeling back then. Then she said to Li Qingshan, “But you’re not allowed to take any risks.”
“I’ll have to take some risks no matter what, or wouldn’t that mean I can only go and find him when he’s about to ascend?” Li Qingshan pinched her delicate nose with a smile. The Dragon King of Ink Sea could basically be regarded as an apex cultivator of this world. If he went any higher than that, he would be ascending to another world.
“I’ll accompany you.” Xiao An bit his hand.
“Alright.” Li Qingshan looked at the teeth marks on his hand and said helplessly.
By now, the news regarding the battle of Savage mountain had already spread across the entire southern region, creating an uproar.