Chapter 773 – Ghost Shadow, the Demonic Sword Complete
The commandery city of South Sea, in the Marquis of Serene Sea’s estate.
The moonlight peeked through the dense leaves, casting down beams of silver light with difficulty that sprinkled across the courtyard in the canopy.
The Marquis of Serene Sea, dressed in luxurious robes, paced around under the moon. His eyebrows furrowed at times before easing up at others. His face slackened and tensed.
The entire time, he murmured a single name, “Li Qingshan!”
Ever since Li Qingshan’s arrival, he regularly felt uneasy. In the beginning, he felt anger and fury, wanting to find an opportunity to make him suffer, but he felt fearful and uneasy now, basically hoping he would never see him again.
That person had a vicious disposition and was extremely vengeful. He could not be provoked without good reason. Though, what kind of place was Savage mountain supposed to be? It was one of the handful of danger zones in the south. According to the news from his subordinates, the entire city had been flattened. Apart from the eight cave masters, all of the other demonic cultivators had been slain. Not a single one managed to escape.
However, the main peak of Savage mountain was enveloped in formations, locking down all outflows of information, so even he was not sure about the outcome of the battle. Had Li Qingshan died on Savage mountain, or… no, that was definitely impossible!
None of the eight cave masters of Savage mountain were weak. The first cave master Yu Wufeng was even a sword cultivator at the peak of the second heavenly tribulation, a genius disciple of the South Sea Sword pavilion in the past. He had slain countless powerful opponents with his arcane treasure, the Fogbow sword. His reputation boomed, even surpassing the Marquis of Serene Sea’s. Even third heavenly tribulation cultivators might not necessarily be able to kill him.
Yeah, that’s definitely impossible! Since Li Qingshan hasn’t returned, doesn’t that mean… he’s already dead? This conclusion filled the Marquis of Serene Sea with vigour.
“Marquis, long time no see.”
A faint voice rang out in the silent courtyard. The voice drifted about, sometimes like it originated from an extremely distant place, yet seeming like a gentle whisper right by his ears at other times. It was impossible to tell the age or gender of the speaker from the voice.
The Marquis of Serene Sea shivered inside. With a surge of light, he took out the Seal of Mountains and Rivers with a flip of his hand. He was secretly shocked. The estate is enveloped in formations, so how can someone infiltrate here silently? I even failed to discover him when he was so close to me.
Suddenly, he looked back, only to see the flowing moonlight and the surging darkness. There was not a single figure in sight. He could not sense any aura either.
“Third cave master?” The Marquis of Serene Sea asked hesitantly. He continued to stare at the darkness before him without lowering his guard at all.
“You’ve managed to tell.” The outline of a shadow emerged from the darkness, gradually forming a humanoid figure. It was a slender, masked man. His ears were long and pointed, and his unexposed skin was a deep blue colour.
“I don’t think there’s anyone else who can infiltrate my estate so silently in the south apart from the third cave master.”
The Marquis of Serene Sea smiled. His face eased up, but his aura was still tense, ready to erupt at any time.
Among the eight cave masters of the Lair of Demons, the strongest was obviously the first cave master Yu Wufeng, but the most dangerous was the third cave master. No one knew his name. They only gave him a nickname, calling him “Ghost Shadow”. He was a night roamer, but he left his race for some reason and joined Savage mountain. He was skilled at ambushes and assassinations, making him the most terrifying assassin of the south.
“Marquis, I only have one thing I want you to tell me about. Was the person who fought in the battle of Savage mountain the White Hawk commander Li Qingshan or not?” Ghost Shadow asked faintly.
Several months ago, he was lurking in the jungle, prepared to carry out an assassination, when he suddenly felt a sense of impending doom. It was so dangerous that only the battle when he escaped from “Deep Shadow city” could compare to it.
The bloody hand slammed down! The blood oath had been set off!
Although he had also been constantly at work like Yu Wufeng and the Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber, doing his best to dilute his connection with the Blood Oath Scroll, his cultivation paled in comparison to theirs. With impending doom right before him, he only managed to escape with his life intact with the innate ability of night roamers, surviving the hand.
After a period of rest, he had mostly recovered from his injuries. He was an assassin, yet he had almost been finished off like this, which was basically a huge disgrace. He could accept this disgrace, but he had to understand how this had happened in the first place. Just who had refined the Blood Oath Scroll and was trying to kill him?
He had yet to completely recover from his wounds, so he was still not bold enough to venture up Savage mountain. No matter who refined the Blood Oath Scroll, he definitely could not underestimate them, so he came to the marquis’ estate to investigate.
“That’s… even I’m not certain. Why would they contact me in regards to what they’ll do? It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen them too. Though, someone did see him and that woman called Xiao An heading off in the direction of Savage mountain.” The Marquis of Serene Sea mulled over how he would word it.
“Li Qingshan. Xiao An.” Ghost Shadow uttered those two words as if he was committing them firmly to memory. “Don’t tell anyone that I’m still alive, or I’ll come and find you again.”
Ghost Shadow said that as the darkness surged over, gradually swallowing him and turning into a blurry clump of darkness.
The Marquis of Serene Sea frowned. With his cultivation and status, he was not someone anyone could threaten, but the person before him did indeed possess that right. Moreover, giving Li Qingshan an additional, dangerous enemy would always be nice, even though it was very likely that he was already dead.
Ghost Shadow vanished into the boundless night. The next morning, someone discovered that all the White Wolf guards in the Hawkwolf Guard had died peacefully. It was like they were still asleep and had yet to realise they had already been killed.
The sun and moon interchanged. Time in the mountains passed by in a hurry.
Finally, only a single demon heart remained in Li Qingshan’s hand.
The Traitorous Demon sword had changed drastically. It was only around a meter and a half now, and the long blade had become extremely wide and thick, going from a strange sword to a huge sword. A layer of black, demonic light flowed through it with its powers hidden away, making it seem even more consolidated.
The flesh on the hilt had completely solidified too. The demon eye in the centre swiveled around, already possessing some intelligence. It was only a step away from becoming a true demonic treasure.
I’ve fed high quality demon hearts from several dozen Demon Commanders to it. It already has sufficient power. All it needs is one last battle!
Li Qingshan formed a seal with his hand and pointed at the Traitorous Demon sword. The sword leapt up from his knees, spinning around and plunging violently into his chest.
“One with the sword!”
The blade sank into Li Qingshan’s chest until only the hilt remained, but it did not emerge from the other side.
“My one with the sword sure is ugly!” Li Qingshan said in a self-deprecating manner. He gripped the hilt and pushed it hard. The hilt also vanished into his chest, leaving behind a huge wound flashing with dim light.
The wound closed up and healed very quickly, but the demonic light seeped out of Li Qingshan’s body, dyeing him a gloomy black.
Li Qingshan gathered his focus and powered the Traitorous Demon sword, taking that crucial step.
Quite a while later, the darkness receded, and his skin colour recovered. He smiled. “Success!”
However, before he could finish what he was saying, a sword extended out from his shoulder with a clang. In the blink of an eye, several dozen swords erupted from his body, turning him into a hedgehog.
In the past, when Li Qingshan stole the sword from the Demon General, the Demon General had become like this in the end, drastically increasing his strength, but the price he paid was the sword devouring him, going from the master of the sword to a sacrifice of the sword.
The swords trembled, producing a strange thrum. A series of eyes actually opened up on them, staring straight at Li Qingshan with a brutal and greedy light.
The Traitorous Demon sword that had always been as docile as a puppy in Li Qingshan’s possession had finally become a monster after devouring several dozen demon hearts and becoming a demonic treasure. It was even trying to devour Li Qingshan’s demon heart.
“You’re just a mere demonic treasure, yet you want to devour me? You’re getting far too ahead of yourself. Whatever, this is basically your instincts. I’ll let you devour it then. Withdraw!”
A demonic light flashed through Li Qingshan’s eyes, and the swords withdrew into his body.
Within the boundless darkness, the eyes stared at Li Qingshan’s demon heart. Dark power enveloped it in an attempt to eat and devour the demon heart.
Li Qingshan did not try to stop it. Instead, he opened himself up and allowed the Traitorous Demon sword to devour the demon heart. The power in his demon heart obviously could not be compared to several dozen demon hearts, so it was swallowed very quickly.
Li Qingshan bellowed out. The Demon Suppression Statuary kicked in at full strength, and the devoured demon heart shone brightly, dyeing the Traitorous Demon sword’s power instead.
Let alone several dozen demon hearts, even if the masters of the demon hearts had been revived, he could still suppress and kill them all, not to mention the fact that these demon hearts had merged with the Traitorous Demon sword through his hand. They all bore his imprint.
“It’s still a sword after all. Although it has developed some intelligence, it’s not exactly intelligent. It only knows how to act on instinct. In the past, I made a promise with you. If I wasn’t strong enough, then I would have nothing to say if I was devoured by you, which was why I named you “Traitorous”. Now that your betrayal has failed, only a single fate awaits you.”
A thrum of a sword rang out from Li Qingshan’s body, filled with fearful pleas, but it died down very quickly and finally vanished. The intelligence it had just developed had been directly suppressed and annihilated.
It was like an army of a hundred thousand running amuck. With a single imperial edict, the army immediately changed sides, slaying the leader of the rebels and offering up his head.
The heavy demon qi consolidated once more, turning into armour and revealing his brand-new Demon Commander form.
Li Qingshan summoned a piece of the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell to use as a mirror. All he saw was that black, demonic armour had completely covered his body. The lines were sharp and clean, making him seem even more powerful than before. His limbs were slender, and he seemed like a sword that had been drawn from its sheath, its powers on full display.
The arc-shaped mask only covered half his face, and a crystal that resembled an eye had condensed on the centre of his forehead. It was not just his forehead, but his shoulders, chest, knees, and even his back. All of these areas were peppered with many crystals, all with different hues. It seemed like the several dozen demon hearts, but it was also like several dozen demonic eyes, allowing him to observe his surroundings and see through everything.
“Doesn’t seem too bad, but it doesn’t seem too different from before! Is this supposed to be a sword seed?” Li Qingshan said in thought.
Originally, he wanted to use becoming one with the sword to transform the Traitorous Demon sword into a demonic treasure, and he succeeded. However, he never expected the Traitorous Demon sword to suddenly betray him, which he suppressed mercilessly. After losing its intelligence, it merged with him, and a small sword now hovered in his demon heart.
He had not been expecting this, but he was extremely satisfied with the result. The power of the Traitorous Demon sword had completely merged with his body. Relying on an external object could never surpass personal strength after all. If it were possible, he would like to fuse with the Demon Dragon sword too, but the Demon Dragon sword did not have the instinct to devour its master, nor could it fuse with its master, which was quite the pity.
Li Qingshan released his demonified form and touched his forehead. There seemed to be an additional, eye-like imprint now. He exhaled deeply. After almost a year of bitter cultivation, he had not made any breakthroughs, but his strength had increased by a sizable amount.