Chapter 825 – Scripture of the Ghost King
Xiao An was the daughter of the Fierce King of Chu and the Dark Queen. She had great expectations placed on her from a young age, arduously practising the various methods of the Umbral Yin sect. She could freely read and view the cultivation methods and secret manuals that regular disciples could not come into contact with.
The Umbral Yin sect had a Scripture of the Ghost King, which was a secret method for ghost cultivators they always kept within the sect. It was similar to the Scripture of the Guardian King from the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga. Once someone reached the third heavenly tribulation with the Scripture of the Guardian King, they could conjure the avatar of a guardian king depending on the different direction they took, such as the Dauntless Guardian King, the Unraging Guardian King, the Guardian King of Raging Flames, the Unshakeable Guardian King, and so on.
After reaching the third heavenly tribulation, the Scripture of the Ghost King could produce Evil Eye Ghost Kings, Blood Drinking Ghost Kings, Plague Treading Ghost Kings, Poison Assimilating Ghost Kings, Soaring Body Ghost Kings, Thousand Eye Ghost Kings…
TL: The names for these Ghost Kings all come from Chapter 1 and 8 of the the Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva Pūrvapraṇidhāna Sūtra, which is one of the more popular scriptures in Chinese Buddhism.
The latter had a selection even more vast than the former. No matter what path the cultivator took when they were still alive, they could find a corresponding pathway once they became a ghost cultivator.
Xiao An had originally read through the cultivation method without paying much attention, but with how clever she was, she obviously had extraordinary memory. She said, “I’ll pass the Scripture of the Ghost King to you. With your cultivation, you can switch to the path of ghost cultivators very quickly and become a Poison Assimilating Ghost King. Perhaps your skill with poison might even surpass the past.”
“Thank you, ma’am!”
The Myriad Poison Ancestor rejoiced. He was subservient to Li Qingshan now, having become a haunt, but he retained his intelligence, and he still felt the same emotions as before.
“It won’t cause you any trouble?” Li Qingshan asked Xiao An. To large sects, a cultivation method like that was definitely a secret they wanted to keep among themselves.
“Compared to the places we’ll be going to, this is insignificant,” said Xiao An.
“Fair enough.” Li Qingshan smiled. Gazing down from beyond the Nine Heavens, what was the Umbral Yin sect or even the nine provinces supposed to be? There were many matters that did not need so much caution at all. If they could do it, then they could do it.
Li Qingshan’s expression suddenly changed; he said to Xiao An, “The tree king is calling for me. You pass the cultivation method onto this old man.” Then he said to the Myriad Poison Ancestor, “From now onwards, you treat her like how you treat me.”
The Myriad Poison Ancestor obliged politely.
Li Qingshan arrived outside, and the ten cave masters bowed together, chanting loudly, “Greetings, my king.”
Li Qingshan glanced around. He did not give off any particular bearing intentionally, but every single cave master felt pressured, lowering their heads involuntarily.
Li Qingshan was thinking about when he could try the new ability developed from the Subservience to the Tiger on them. If only he could make living people succumb to him with that. It would be equivalent to a Blood Oath Scroll with infinite use, and it would not be that troublesome either.
“The Myriad Poison Ancestor has already submitted to me, choosing to join my side. From today onwards, we no longer have any opponents in the south apart from Fire Melt mountain.”
The ten cave masters became stunned at the same time. If Li Qingshan said he had killed the Myriad Poison Ancestor, that would already be as unbelievable as it could get, but this news was without a doubt even more shocking.
After virtually annihilating the Myriad Poison cult, the Myriad Poison Ancestor actually submitted to Li Qingshan. That was basically ridiculous.
“My king, forgive me rudeness, but the Myriad Poison Ancestor is cunning, so you must remain wary of him, just in case his surrender is just a ruse,” said Yu Wufeng. There were no Blood Oath Scrolls in the world that could keep a great cultivator bound.
The other cave master said nothing, but they also considered this to be very likely. They only found it difficult to bring up out of respect for Li Qingshan, but since Yu Wufeng had already brought it up, they all chimed in. They paid close attention to Li Qingshan’s response at the same time. If the Myriad Poison Ancestor suddenly turned against them here and now, it would even cost them their lives.
If it were not for the innate ability of the tiger demon, even Li Qingshan would have never believed that the Myriad Poison Ancestor had actually sworn fealty to him. He could not give too much of an explanation right now either. “You have nothing to worry about. I’ve taken everything into consideration and have my own plans. Anyway, the Myriad Poison cult has already fallen. Fire Melt mountain will be next!”
“Yes, sir!” The cave masters dared not say anything more. Only the strong were worthy of respect.
Yu Wufeng had no idea whether he should celebrate for his master and junior brothers in the distant South sea. Their mortal enemy of several thousand years had actually been defeated like this. However, Savage mountain that was on a meteoric rise would probably only be even more brutal and forceful than the Myriad Poison cult.
Li Qingshan arrived beneath the great banyan tree and sat down in a hidden tree hole. He told everything he went through in the Mirage sea to the Great Banyan Tree King, except he skipped over many details of the nightmare, not because he did not trust the Great Banyan Tree King, but because they were his private secrets hidden at the bottom of his heart.
After listening to Li Qingshan, the Great Banyan Tree King fell silent as if he was contemplating something. For a moment, only the canopy rustled in the wind.
Only after quite a while did he sigh in amazement. “I originally thought you had run into danger in the Mirage sea, but never did I think you would turn that into a blessing. So much for my concern.”
“I’ll never forget about the concern you’ve shown me, senior,” said Li Qingshan. Even though he had told him a bunch of lies, the Great Banyan Tree King had done it for his sake.
“No, this is your good fortune, and even more so, you deserved it. That black ox, no, that senior, possesses exceptional insight for talent. I believe there will be a day when you reunite with him.”
Through their many years of friendship, the Great Banyan Tree King had vaguely guessed the existence of the black ox, but he had always held doubts about Li Qingshan’s ambitions to reach beyond the Nine Heavens. Only upon reaching his realm of cultivation could he understand just how distant a place that was. However, after hearing about what Li Qingshan had gone through in the dream, he had the feeling that perhaps he might actually be able to reach that step.
His struggle and persistence was not a stubborn fixation. Instead, he often gave off the feeling of indifference. It was as if even if he could not reach beyond the Nine Heavens, it would not matter much. However, as long as he was still alive, he would continue along this path. Even if he failed in the end, he would just smile calmly and say, “No regrets.”
“Hopefully!” Li Qingshan shrugged. “Though, I’m very curious about whether the Clam King of Mirage Sea has ascended or not. If she’s undergone the fourth heavenly tribulation but hasn’t ascended, wouldn’t she be invincible?”
“Hasn’t she told you already? Shen Mengdie! What flew away was obviously her dream!” The Great Banyan Tree King smiled.
“In other words, her true body still remains in this world?” Li Qingshan was surprised.
“To her, perhaps the dream is real,” said the Great Banyan Tree King.
“Fine then! I’m just worried that I won’t be her opponent by then.” Li Qingshan really held onto his grudges.
“You don’t need to worry. The World of the Nine Provinces has its own laws and principles. Let alone someone who’s ascended, even visitors from higher worlds are bound by these laws and principles. They might even be suppressed by the entire world. Only those who have reached the same heights as that senior can truly be immune,” said the Great Banyan Tree King.
“But her powers are just far too wondrous. Even if she’s restricted to the peak of the third heavenly tribulation, she can still stir the Dragon province into a mess. Hopefully that fellow fox can overwhelm her!”
The Great Banyan Tree King seemed to have experienced the Clam King of Mirage Sea’s madness first-hand too, expressing worry for the future. Once she began making trouble, the overall situation would probably descend to a point even beyond what his “wisdom” could interpret and predict.
After a deep conversation with Li Qingshan, he added, “Since you’ve subdued the Myriad Poison Ancestor, you can send him to talk with Ru Xin. That’s his specialty after all. Even I don’t know everything.”
“Really? What is she doing exactly? Being so mysterious and all.”
“Sigh, you better wait until she tells you herself!”
“Alright, I’ll go take a look!”