Chapter 842 – A Clash Between the Demonic and Divine, a New Ability
The meditative nature within the Chant of Deva-Nāga seemed to cause Li Qingshan great discomfort. He sucked in a deep breath and roared at the sky!
Roar! It was an earth-shattering sound, but the vast dragon’s cry was unending. Even when it had been drowned out by the tiger’s roar, it never stopped.
This is… Xiao An’s voice!
His sea of consciousness was a frenzy, but Li Qingshan still maintained a sliver of clarity in the depths of his mind. The spirit turtle could not keep the demonic nature of the ox demon and tiger demon suppressed, so it hid away and maintained a region of tranquility.
Another Asura Commander arrived, but it was smashed to a pulp by a punch. It could not regenerate no matter how powerful its vitality was. Li Qingshan’s daemon qi ran out very quickly, but the Strength of the Earth continued to support him. As such, he continued to stubbornly battle the invisible enemy, the entire world, and himself.
No, this can’t continue. I need to maintain the balance in my mind, or I’ll really lose myself. I even tried to attack Xiao An just then. That’s some different kind of madness!
However, the demonic nature had spiralled out of control like a wildfire. It could not be contained. Evil thoughts were nurtured endlessly, multiplying again and again.
Rumble! Boom! Boom! Boom!
Li Qingshan knelt down on his knees and furiously struck the ground. The entire Asura Field shook as if it could not contain his frenzy anymore.
With his final sliver of clarity, the Demon Suppression statues appeared in his mind, and he forcefully used the Demon Suppression Statuary.
“Demon suppression!” Li Qingshan roared.
Jangle! Chains of Demon Suppression appeared from thin air like dragons and wrapped around Li Qingshan’s colossal body. They basically dug into his ox hide that resembled black iron.
An enormous Demon Suppression Tower descended from the sky and slammed down, enveloping Li Qingshan.
The ground shook violently before immediately falling silent. The place where the Demon Suppression Tower had landed had almost become a basin. The ground in the surroundings shattered.
Within the Demon Suppression Tower, Li Qingshan’s scarlet eyes recovered a sliver of clarity. However, his huge mouth filled with teeth roared unyieldingly, and his body struggled uncontrollably. He wanted to give into his desires! He wanted to do whatever he wanted! He wanted absolute freedom!
With the furious roar, a thick Chain of Demon Suppression forcefully burst apart. Soon afterwards, the other Chains of Demon Suppression became riddled with cracks.
Such a simple and crude method of suppression no longer works. I’m better off redirecting it than blocking it outright! Remorselessness of the Demon Heart! Li Qingshan thought.
The demon heart shone with resplendent light, sucking in the surging demonic nature and growing brighter and brighter. His progress with the Demon Suppression Statuary advanced at a startling rate, comprehending and mastering the Demon Suppression statues.
With a crack, a tiny fracture appeared on the demon heart.
Fortunately, I comprehended the Remorselessness of the Demon Heart from the first Demon Suppression statue and not the Initial Remorse of the Demon Heart, abiding by my demonic nature. If I tried to suppress it blindly, the demon heart would have shattered already.
Li Qingshan felt slightly fortunate, but he refused to drop his guard at all. He unleashed the Demon Suppression Statuary at full strength, but he was still unable to prevent the cracks from spreading.
With a ping, the demon heart shattered, directly blasting open a huge hole in Li Qingshan’s chest. His flesh and blood was obliterated, only leaving behind his metallic bones.
If it were not for this tough body of the demonic and divine, Li Qingshan would have died already. He gritted his teeth. “Again!”
Demon qi gathered once more in the hole in his chest, whistling and revolving as it condensed into a demon heart again. It was even more pure than his original demon heart, having removed all traces of the Ocean pearl now, a true demon heart. However, the cracks began to spread again.
Boom! The demon heart shattered!
Shattering, condensing, shattering, condensing…
As this process repeated itself for who knew how many times, the hole in Li Qingshan’s chest constantly grew larger. Even the metallic lustre of his bones dimmed, and even they began to crack.
At the same time, Li Qingshan had completely broken free from the Chains of Demon Suppression. He leapt up and threw a punch at the Demon Suppression Tower.
The Demon Suppression Tower shook violently, holding on barely without collapsing. As Li Qingshan constantly tempered and refined his demon heart, he pushed the Demon Suppression Statuary to a higher realm of cultivation. The Demon Suppression Tower had become mightier!
However, a second punch soon followed, then a third and a fourth… The Demon Suppression Tower lasted all the way until the eighth punch before collapsing heavily. Before absolute power, so-called restraint was just a joke.
Li Qingshan panicked inside. Although he had found some relief for this violent demon nature through the Demon Suppression Statuary, his tiger bones would probably give way first if he continued to let his demon heart shatter like this.
The almost-indestructible tiger bones had a limit too. They still seemed complete on the surface, but the cracks had already reached his spine. The only reason why they had not shattered suddenly was because of his strenuous control.
Once the tiger bones shattered, he would not be able to condense them again. By then, all that awaited him was phoenix nirvāṇa, but even if he underwent Nirvāṇa Rebirth, the demonic nature existed in his mind. It would not vanish with his body. Instead, it would take root even deeper, or even completely merge with his consciousness after undergoing rebirth.
By now, not only had the tiger bones reached their limit, even the spirit turtle was unable to remain in hiding anymore. It only relied on its turtle shell to block the waves of attack from the demonic nature.
Once the spirit turtle gave way, then the battle between the demonic and the divine in his mind would come to an absolute conclusion. The demonic nature would gain an absolute upper hand.
Li Qingshan would not die. It was even very likely for the tiger demon to break through to the fifth layer, except he would probably have to abandon the daemon core that possessed the powers of the spirit turtle and the phoenix. There would be even less reason for him to keep the Demon Suppression Statuary. He would probably condense a new daemon core through his demon heart. It would be very difficult to say whether his strength would increase or decrease, but his future path of cultivation would probably be much easier than right now. The extremes had always been a form of power itself.
But that’s not the path I want to take! The extremes do offer temporary benefits, but in the long run, it’ll sever my path to the Nine Heavens. That’s completely unacceptable. Qiongqi, that bastard, doesn’t understand anything!
However, Qiongqi’s plan was about to succeed. Just like how defence could never warrant victory, an opening finally appeared on the perfect defence of the spirit turtle. The demonic nature ate away Li Qingshan’s last slither of clarity.
At this very moment, a magnificent cry rang through his sea of consciousness. Right when the spirit turtle had become powerless, the phoenix flapped its flame-like wings and soared.
Li Qingshan had only reached the second layer of the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa so far, and he had not even comprehended the second innate ability. It was the weakest transformation out of the four he had practised so far, so Li Qingshan never thought it could be of any use either. Right now, it was only fighting back instinctively. Unlike the spirit turtle’s patience and forbearance, the phoenix’s noble heart could not allow for such disgrace.
However, the phoenix was far too weak. Pressed by the ox demon and tiger demon, it was like a candle in the wind, ready to be put out at any time. However, the flames of the phoenix constantly dispersed the endless darkness, singing away at the top of its voice!
The Phoenix Undergoes Nirvana Rebirth, with an Undying Heart! I also have a bit of the so-called noble heart. Li Qingshan seemed to realise something. He said, “All in the world has a concept of beauty. Herein lies ugliness. All recognize a concept of good. Herein lies evil. Good and evil exist together. Beauty and ugliness go hand in hand. I face such dire straits today, but it can instead reflect the beauty and good within my heart. How wondrous!”
TL: This comes from the Dao De Jing again, chapter 2.
Li Qingshan smiled. Suddenly, the phoenix wings that had vanished unfurled behind him once again in a beautiful and glorious manner.
However, what he comprehended did not alleviate his current situation.
He had gained a deeper comprehension of the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa, but it was still at the second layer after all. The divine nature it possessed even paled drastically in comparison to the spirit turtle, so how could it stand a chance against the ox demon and tiger demon that had been enhanced by Qiongqi?
The flames of the phoenix that flew through his sea of consciousness had only just grown a little brighter before being immediately suppressed, about to be extinguished. The phoenix wings behind him fell as individual feathers too. It was only a moment of glory.
With a crack, a rib in the hole in his chest shattered. Like a set of dominoes, it set off a chain reaction, and the bones all cracked and shattered.
Looks like I’m forced to undergo nirvāṇa again. Thankfully, the phoenix is a little stronger now. Hopefully the demonic nature doesn’t corrode me too much and directly destroy the divine nature during the period when I’m unconscious. That way, I can still slowly recuperate and recover after rebirth. It’s just a pity that I’ll waste this opportunity. The Tiger Demon Transformation and the Demon Suppression Statuary could have been even more powerful.
With various feelings of pity and worry, Li Qingshan took out a tiny bottle from his sumeru ring. That was the medicine that could balance fire and water refined by Ru Xin. He glanced at it before tossing the entire bottle into his mouth. He balanced fire and water at a time like this to add an additional layer of guarantee to the rebirth.
His daemon core had already run out of daemon qi, and balancing the two powers went surprisingly smoothly. As the effects of the medicine moved through his body, azure-blue and scarlet-red rapidly merged together. It was because he had gained a deeper comprehension of the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa, but also because the spirit turtle had exhausted its strength in contending with the tiger demon and ox demon, thus reducing its rejection of the phoenix’s powers. They still stood on the same side after all.
In the moment he balanced fire and water, Li Qingshan finally comprehended the second innate ability of the Phoenix Transformation.
By then, the cracks had already spread across most of the tiger bones. Even his skin became riddled with cracks.
Death was already right before his eyes!
Li Qingshan listened to the mighty dragon’s cry and felt a hint of warmth. He silently comprehended the new ability.
Huh? It’s not an offensive ability. It doesn’t seem to offer much defence either. Looks like I can’t directly use it, but it doesn’t have any auxiliary effects either. Just what is this ability? Hmm? Don’t tell me…
The cracks crawled over Li Qingshan’s face, but they could not hide his puzzled expression. His thoughts suddenly stopped there, and his body shattered loudly.
Xiao An cried out outside the Asura Field. She clearly knew he could undergo Nirvāṇa Rebirth, but her heart still ached.
She was already prepared to go in and accept the phoenix egg, but her eyes suddenly widened. All she saw was Li Qingshan’s scattered flesh, bones, and blood all turning to flames, gathering together once more and forming his body.
Li Qingshan widened his eyes, gazing at his intact hands in wonder. He could sense that he had already recovered from all his wounds.
As it turned out, the second ability of the phoenix was still Nirvāṇa Rebirth! And there was no need for him to turn into a troublesome egg again! It was rebirth on the spot!