Chapter 793 – The Great Shifting Talisman
Suddenly, a sense of danger flooded Li Qingshan’s heart as a call rang out from behind. There was a flash of firelight right before him, and Zhu Yan blocked his path with his spear. His flames surged, as arrogant as he could be!
“Sir, what else do you have to tell me?”
Li Qingshan raised his eyebrows and glanced at Xiao An. Xiao An’s expression always seemed neutral in the eyes of others, but he could clearly tell she was not surprised at all. He thought, This girl!
“I’ve changed my mind. I’m willing to lend the divine wutong tree to you for cultivation!” Zhu Yan pointed his spear at Fire Melt mountain. The words “bad intentions” were basically spelled out on his face.
“Oh? I don’t need to give you the head of the Merfolk King in exchange? I even made up my mind about going to the South sea.” Li Qingshan laid out his hands and smiled.
“Haha, just by you? I can understand that you can’t produce the Merfolk King’s head. I’ve decided to be generous and lend it to you, so why don’t you kneel in gratitude?”
Zhu Yan was clearly toying around with him, like a cat playing with a mouse, a mouse that was overconfident and had an extremely loud mouth. However, Li Qingshan’s calm and unfazed demeanour made him raise his guard slightly.
“How can the fire devourers lend their treasure to an outsider? I’ve misspoken. I definitely won’t mention the word ‘borrow’ ever again!”
Li Qingshan glanced back at Fire Melt mountain. The divine wutong tree was located in the centre of Fire Melt mountain. Once the formation was activated, even Daemon Kings would be doomed. Even if Zhu Yan were truly willing to lend the tree to him in the beginning, he would have never been able to accept it at ease, let alone now when he was clearly filled with hostility.
Since he could not borrow it, then he would take it! Exotic treasures of the world were possessed by the strong. All he could do was fight for it.
“What? Just earlier you said you wanted to borrow it, yet now you don’t want to borrow it anymore. Are you toying with me? Today, you’ll be borrowing it whether you want to or not!”
Zhu Yan could see that Li Qingshan was not convinced at all, so he could not help but turn violent. His mouth sprayed with sparks, dancing around Li Qingshan.
“Hasn’t your mum taught you to not spit when you talk to others?” Li Qingshan waved his hand around in annoyance before smiling. “Moreover, I come and go as I please! I can’t be stopped by the likes of you!”
Li Qingshan conveniently fished out a violet talisman. Before coming to Fire Melt mountain, he had planned to see the divine wutong tree with his own eyes. If it truly was the real deal, then he would negotiate with the Fire Devouring King for the right to borrow the divine wutong tree. He had built up quite a lot of spoils from waging battles throughout the south. The violet talisman was one of them.
He never expected the Fire Devouring King to turn him down so flatly right from the beginning before launching a full-scale mockery. There was absolutely no way to negotiate at all, and he actually planned on attacking them now. However, he was not unprepared, or more accurately, Xiao An had specially warned him.
Of course, while violet talismans were powerful and rare, they could not pose any threat to Zhu Yan. Though, this violet talisman was not for battle.
“A Great Shifting talisman! You think you can leave?”
Zhu Yan recognised the violet talisman with a single glance. With a snap of his fingers, the sparks exploded violently, expanding to several hundred times their size. The energy they released could split apart mountains.
Li Qingshan spun around and pulled Xiao An into his arms. Within the rumble, the surging flames completely swallowed them. From the ground, it seemed like a flower had suddenly bloomed in the sky.
Zhu Yan produced a scarlet streak of light with the spear in his hand, thrusting it towards Li Qingshan with lightning speed. He gave him absolutely no opportunity to activate the violet talisman.
The lofty Demon Suppression Tower descended, enveloping Li Qingshan and Xiao An.
The tip of the spear collided with the tower and produced a sharp screech. Zhu Yan was slightly surprised. He had not put his full strength into the strike, but he never expected the Demon Suppression Tower to be so tough.
In that moment, the tip of the spear produced thousands of sparks like thousands of explosions. The tower only lasted for a split second before shattering and disintegrating.
However, by the time the flames had dispersed, Li Qingshan and Xiao An were already nowhere to be seen.
“Hmph, and I had thought you had something impressive that gave you the confidence to speak so boldly in front of me. It’s just a Great Shifting talisman. You better watch as I find you and skin you alive!”
Zhu Yan snorted coldly, and two streams of sparks rushed out of his nostrils. Afterwards, he looked around, closing his eyes and sensing.
Great Shifting talismans were not as great as violet Escape talismans, which allowed the user to escape five thousand kilometers away. It could shift the user to five hundred kilometers away at most. Coupled with the fact that two people were being shifted at the same time, they definitely were still within five hundred kilometers of him. That was nowhere near far enough to avoid his pursuit.
But a while later, he opened his eyes and frowned heavily. How can they hide their auras in such an absolute fashion, as if they don’t exist at all?
He did not hesitate. He chose a direction based on his gut feeling and turned into a ball of fire, shooting off in that direction. However, he flew back a while later, clearly having failed to find them.
Zhu Yan considered attacking Savage mountain, but he dismissed the thought soon after. Humans and daemons could do something like that, but there was too much taboo associated with otherfolk, preventing them from acting recklessly.
“They’ve endured that strike of mine, so they should be quite injured, costing them a great part of their cultivation. The third heavenly tribulation is like a colossal chasm, blocking the paths of who knows how many geniuses. Even if he manages to undergo the tribulation successfully one day, it’ll be a century in the future at the very least. Why would I be afraid of him? Though, the Merfolk of the South sea have been rather restless recently. They’re preparing for the next war!”
In the mist-shrouded forest, Li Qingshan and Xiao An walked together along the side of a small river. The trees in the surroundings stood like skyscrapers, their leaves woven together like the clouds and their roots gnarled together like snakes and dragons.
The mist was thick like milk, receding backwards as they advanced, which added quite an ethereal, otherworldly feeling to the place. However, if any mortals tried wandering through it, they would be reduced to a pile of bones immediately. The roars of daemons rose and fell inside as shadows paced around through the fog.
Li Qingshan could conceal his presence and existence perfectly, like a spirit turtle diving into the depths of the sea, while Xiao An’s Path of White Bone and Great Beauty had always been about the principle that life and death, form and emptiness, were the same thing. She was only a set of white bones, so what was there to sense?
Even if regular second heavenly tribulation cultivators could withstand the Fire Devouring King’s “Spark Explosion”, they would still be heavily injured, but Li Qingshan practised the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa. He was extremely resistant towards fire, leaving him basically unscathed.
However, he was not bold enough to take the Fire Devouring King lightly because of this. The attack was a probing strike at most. It could not even be considered as a proper attack. When it came to an actual battle to the death, it would be impossible for him to neglect the flames of the Fire Devouring King unless he reached the fourth layer of the Phoenix Transformation, not to mention the skill in battle and bodily strength that Zhu Yan had demonstrated through that thrust. It left him with a very deep impression of Zhu Yan.
“No wonder he’s so arrogant. When it comes to an individual battle, I’m probably still not his opponent just yet. Thankfully, you reminded me, so I prepared a Great Shifting talisman, or we really might be in a bit of trouble. I need to collect a few more somehow in the future. It’s just a pity that I don’t have an innate ability like Mo Yu’s, or I’ll be able to go wherever I’d like in this world.”
Li Qingshan told Xiao An in some pity. He had tried learning how to move through space from the asura Yin Qing, but even in the Asura realm, there were not a lot of people who knew this move. Not only did it require control over the spatial environment, but it also took up a great deal of time and effort too, so all he could do was give up.
“Not right now, but who knows about the future?” Xiao An smiled. Her hair that was long enough to reach the ground dragged behind her like seaweed floating on the surface of the sea.
“Hopefully. Fire devourers really do deserve their reputation of possessing a horrible temper. I definitely can’t just forget about this matter. I wonder if this bastard will go to Savage mountain or not.”
“Otherfolk have never been tolerated, viewed with hatred by humans, while you’re a White Hawk commander. The Great Xia empire has passed orders to cull fire devourers numerous times in the past, which was all carried out by the Hawkwolf Guard, digging out their hearts as evidence for their feats. Though, I do hope he can come to Savage mountain,” said Xiao An.
“As long as we sacrifice the ten cave masters, there should be someone who’ll deal with the problem of Fire Melt mountain for us,” said Xiao An.
A king of otherfolk would be attacking a blessed land of cultivation, slaughtering human cultivators en masse, all of which were second heavenly tribulation cultivators too. Were they supposed to be preparing to re-establish their divine kingdom and carry out revenge? How could the Great Xia empire allow that to happen?
Li Qingshan was taken aback slightly before smiling. “Everything is in your plans.” He never thought the Blood Oath Scroll could serve a purpose like that. “Actually, there’s no need for all ten of them. Just sending the Marquis of Serene Sea to die is enough.”
“Fair enough, but he probably won’t come. He hasn’t been taking us seriously.”
As soon as Xiao An turned around, Li Qingshan pinched her delicate nose and smiled. “You’ve been expecting the Fire Devouring King to respond like this the entire time! And you still told me to negotiate with him! Letting me be turned down right in my face, even wasting a violet talisman.”
“Nothing is absolute. Perhaps he really might have put out a request that we could accept and not demand the Merfolk King’s head. Moreover, you have to see the divine wutong tree for yourself before you can decide whether it’s worth the effort or not!” Xiao An pouted and said nasally.
“It’s worth it. It’s very much worth it. I’m basically determined to obtain it. Tell me what other fantastic plans you have!” Li Qingshan rubbed her head.
“Haven’t you thought of it already?” Xiao An said.
“That’s right. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. If I want to take Fire Melt mountain, I need assistance from the Merfolk of South sea. A lot sure goes on in that little head of yours.”
Li Qingshan nodded. If they could undergo the third heavenly tribulation, then trampling through Fire Melt mountain by working together would be nothing difficult. However, they still did not possess that strength, so they needed allies.
If they did not possess the Blood Oath Scroll, then they would probably be shut down in their faces yet again if they went to the South sea and told the Merfolk King, “We’re willing to help you out and annihilate Fire Melt mountain.” However, the two of them combined with the ten cave masters under the blood oath were twelve second heavenly tribulation cultivators. That was an important chip that could shift the balance between the two races. Perhaps they could even drag the South Sea Sword pavilion into the mess.
However, even with all the preparations they had made, how they were supposed to get these allies on their side was still a problem. They would definitely be cautious of him, and if he were careless, he could end up as an expendable.
“The most important part is how to motivate the Merfolk King to join our side. Merpeople aren’t as ill-tempered, but they’re unrivalled when it comes to being cut off from others. Merpeople hide in the South sea. The information the Hawkwolf Guard has on them is far less than the information on the fire devourers, so it’s really difficult to make a judgement. Hmph, if that rock fishwoman still doesn’t help us out, I’ll eat her,” said Xiao An.
“Rock fishwoman?” Li Qingshan was taken aback. He smiled. “You’re talking about Ru Xin! Don’t worry, she’ll definitely help me.”
At this moment, Li Qingshan’s expression changed, and he exchanged glances with Xiao An.
“Someone is attacking Savage mountain!”