Chapter 893 – To Trust or Not
Only then did Gong Yuan ease up the coldness slightly. “Please watch your words and actions. Don’t forget about your identity, King of Savages!”
Although she recognised his strength and identity, he also happened to be the least self-respecting person she had ever seen. Even the damned fire devourers had more of a bearing of a king than him.
“I haven’t worked hard to cultivate and to increase my strength to watch my words and actions. You can say it’s the exact opposite.” Li Qingshan smiled. Warmth flowed through his body, allowing his frozen body to turn back to normal very quickly.
Gong Yuan snorted coldly. She swung her deep-blue fishtail gently and swam towards the Crystal palace. She also moved extraordinarily quickly, downright turning into a meandering stream of blue light in the end.
Only then did Li Qingshan realise he had still underestimated her. She could move through water no slower than him in the sky. Now that they were moving through the deep sea, he could only barely keep up with her.
Gong Yuan had allowed Li Qingshan to come with him mainly because she wanted the cultivation method. She could not cast aside her identity and ask for it when she was before others, which was why she specially spent some time with him alone so that it was convenient for her to speak. Even if she showed some signs of weakness, it would not embarrass her as the Merfolk Queen. However, she had still ended up underestimating Li Qingshan’s unscrupulous nature where he did whatever he wanted.
Before long, the two of them returned to the region where the Crystal palace resided. Gong Yuan stopped and closed her eyes, sensing the ripples of the ocean.
Li Qingshan arrived right behind her. He said, “Let’s take a look at the situation first! Let’s not hurry over blindly.” He casually used the Profound Light Illuminates All, and the scenery hundreds of kilometers away immediately appeared right before them.
Sure enough, the Crystal palace was currently under attack.
The three Fire Devouring Kings swung the Divine Fire tablets and meteors rushed through the water, hurling towards the Crystal palace one after another.
The Crystal palace had completely activated their defences, shining with resplendent light that swept up the meteors gently like waves. They triumphed over brute force with flexibility, constantly weakening the attacks and blocking them all. For a moment, it did not seem like they would face any danger.
Merfolk were not skilled in attack, but they were quite good at defending. There were three Merfolk Kings present to maintain the formations and fight back a little too. This was different from Giant Ship island. Not only had Merfolk populated this place for many years now, but the crust was extremely thick too, keeping the underground magma deep beneath the earth.
Once again, Li Qingshan witnessed the importance of geographical advantage. It was no wonder the Fire Devouring Folk and Merfolk had gone to war with each other so many times, yet they had never managed to take each other’s home base.
The three Fire Devouring Kings worked together, and they wielded a divine artifact like the Divine Fire tablets, yet they still felt like their power was inhibited.
Of course, they had no time to adjust and unleash even greater powers from the Divine Fire tablets either. The ten days from before was only enough for them to recuperate and think about their successes and failures in the battle on Giant Ship island. Afterwards, they spent all of their time and effort on dealing with the Stoneheart virus, leaving them exhausted. Now that they had launched an attack out of anger, they were not as mighty as when they destroyed the Cloud Sail sect.
At the same time, Li Qingshan gained a deeper understanding about the difficulties of attacking Fire Melt mountain. If he did not have a siege weapon like the Silver Dragon King, it would be far too difficult.
As the old saying went, “Geography triumphed timing and unity triumphed geography.” However, the reality was the exact opposite. It was “Geography triumphed unity and timing triumphed geography.”
Gong Yuan was bold enough to mock the fire devourers and use the Crystal palace as bait because she was relatively confident. She suddenly turned around and stared straight at Li Qingshan as if she was very reluctant.
Li Qingshan said seriously, “What a great opportunity. Once they’ve exhausted themselves enough, we’ll pincer them from behind. We’ll have an opportunity to make them remain in the ocean for good, and then we can attack Fire Melt mountain. That’ll be as easy as taking candy from a baby.”
However, that was given they could enter the same state as back then on Giant Ship island, basically something akin to dual cultivation. Then they would need to power the Heart of the Abyss and gather enough power from Ruin’s End. Only then could they threaten the three Fire Devouring Kings. Otherwise, if they attacked them in two separate groups, not only would it be impossible to make them stay, but they would even face the danger of being separately defeated.
Gong Yuan was still the Merfolk Queen at the end of the day. Her hesitation only lasted for an instant. She was reluctant, but she still took the initiative and extended her hand, holding Li Qingshan’s hand. At the same time, she took out the Heart of the Abyss and began powering the All Water to Ruin’s End with her full strength.
Battle was imminent. Li Qingshan was not in the mood to joke around anymore, mainly because he was afraid the consequences might affect their mental compatibility. He tightened his grip around Gong Yuan’s hand as he powered the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression.
In that moment, the two of them experienced a powerful resonance of the mind. The two cultivation methods echoed with one another, drawing their auras together and gradually melding them together. Everything was difficult the first time and easy the second, no matter what. With their experiences from last time, they proceeded much more smoothly.
A black sphere rose up from the Heart of the Abyss. That was extremely pure water spiritual qi, the power of Ruin’s End, which gradually swallowed the two of them. The sea water immediately began to churn, gathering around them and merging with the black sphere.
Li Qingshan benefited tremendously from this. Last time, Gong Yuan had first pushed the power of the Heart of the Abyss to the limit. Only then did he lend a hand and help her control it. This time, he directly experienced the process of the Heart of the Abyss connecting with Ruin’s End. He felt a strong calling, like a mother calling for her wandering child to come home.
The pitch-black sphere rapidly swelled up, but its shape gradually changed, turning into the shape of a spirit turtle, except it still seemed unstable. And as the power of Ruin’s End grew stronger and stronger, their shallow level of mental union gradually became insufficient to control it.
“Don’t resist!” Li Qingshan said before trying to use the spirit turtle to suppress Gong Yuan’s consciousness again so that he could rule over everything.
However, Gong Yuan did not cooperate obediently this time. Not only did she fight back, but she even did so with great intensity, such that even the spirit turtle struggled to suppress her. The spirit turtle constructed from the pitch-black power of Ruin’s End immediately became very unstable, rippling away.
“What are you doing?” Li Qingshan frowned.
“I will do my best to cooperate with you, but don’t even think about controlling me again!” Gong Yuan replied coldly.
Last time, it was an emergency, which was why she was forced to accept Li Qingshan’s suppression. However, she did not want to experience that feeling a second time. It felt like she had completely lost herself and become dependent on him. She had gone from the cold and haughty Merfolk Queen to a small woman within his arms. That was basically a nightmarish experience.
And, it was likely that she needed to borrow his power many more times in the future. If it was like that every single time, then who knew what kind of influence it would leave on her as time went on. Perhaps she would be better off just being devoured by the will of Ruin’s End and dying from qi deviation.
This time, they had to wait until the fire devourers had used up most of their strength before striking anyway. They had ample time to adjust. They had to change the “posture” for dual cultivation.
Li Qingshan did not insist on it, as he had the vague feeling that it would probably be very difficult to prevent the three fire devourers from leaving this time. Their offence seemed fierce, and it seemed like an attack for the sake of revenge, but they gave him a feeling that they were not using all their strength.
“Have they really lost their minds to anger? Or are they putting on an act and waiting for us to take the bait before ganging up on us?”
“Stay focused!” A scolding from Gong Yuan suddenly rang out in his sea of consciousness. Li Qingshan grinned. “Yes, yes, yes, your majesty!”
He could sense Gong Yuan rapidly adjusting herself and matching his consciousness, but she would constantly end up dominating involuntarily, controlling Li Qingshan instead. However, even if Li Qingshan was willing to play along, she did not have that ability. At the end of the day, he was the one helping her suppress her inner demons and prevent the power of Ruin’s End from losing control and devouring her consciousness. Once she tried to take the dominant position, this balance would be broken.
Li Qingshan was forced to control such strong power of Ruin’s End carefully. Once it turned into a backlash, that would not be a joke. Let alone Gong Yuan dying, even he would end up suffering. He said impatiently, “Have you been a queen for too long? Stop trying to control me and use me all the time. How many times have I told you? Respect, respect!”
“Don’t I respect you enough right now?” Gong Yuan also became restless from constantly failing and said furiously.
“But you still can’t forget about your identity, your cultivation, and your race.” Li Qingshan understood that some “godfolk” had a natural sense of superiority when they faced humans and daemons. Gong Yuan also happened to be a king among godfolk. She had overcome countless difficulties and hardships before reaching her current position, so her sense of pride went even more without saying. At a time like this, that had instead become an obstacle.
Gong Yuan could not help but sink into her thoughts.
“Actually, I agree with you. The state we were in back then on Giant Ship island was not very good for dual cultivation, as the most important aspect of dual cultivation is about equality and not one-sided enslavement and control. That definitely won’t be beneficial to us in unleashing our greatest power. It’s just that I’m willing to be equal with you, but are you willing to be equal with me?”
“I’m sorry. In my eyes, you’re just an upstart who’s intoxicated by his own success and has an exaggerated opinion of his abilities. Apart from possessing great strength, you have nothing else. You don’t possess the bearing befitting of a great cultivator or Daemon King at all. You indulge yourself in alcohol, sex, greed, and pride, basically as despicable as a mortal.”
Set off by Li Qingshan, Gong Yuan just vented everything in a single breath and unleashed her venomous tongue.
But to her surprise, Li Qingshan did not become angry. Instead, he laughed. “That is a little extreme, but you’re roughly right. Yeah, I am a mortal with great strength. When I first began cultivating, the great wish I swore also happened to be to drink fine alcohol, to sleep with beautiful women, and to fight powerful foes. That’s exactly what it is, indulging in alcohol, sex, greed, and pride. Those essences of comprehension, life philosophies, or whatever are all just tools to make this come true. As for the bearing of a great master and the spirit of a powerful cultivator, that’s all just bullshit to me, but so what?”
The three things that brother ox had told him to do were to eat meat, to drink alcohol, and to kill people, all to his heart’s delight! Everything he pursued in life was no different, just for his heart’s delight.
Gong Yuan was mildly stunned. She said in contempt, “Nothing. I just look down on you!”
“Since when have I asked anyone to hold me in high regard? We’re dual cultivating, not dating. I have a wife!”
“Then what do you think I should do?”
“You practise the All Water to Ruin’s End, so what you borrow is the power of Ruin’s End. If that’s the case, why don’t you just let go of your thoughts and assimilate with the will of Ruin’s End? We’ll naturally become equals.”
“That’s easy for you to say. If I’m not careful, my consciousness will assimilate with Ruin’s End. I’ll be eternally doomed.”
Gong Yuan could obviously think of whatever Li Qingshan thought of, but the risk behind this was far too great.
“I’m here!” Li Qingshan said resolutely, “You’re not alone!”
Gong Yuan was taken aback. She furrowed her brows and sank into her thoughts.
At this moment, the power of Ruin’s End grew stronger and stronger, forming a huge whirlpool five kilometers across on the ocean. It continued to expand too as if it was trying to swallow everything.
The three fire devourers immediately sensed the pulses of the familiar power. Just as Li Qingshan had expected, they had not used their full strength to attack the Crystal palace. They even feigned weakness, waiting for them to appear.
Even without the giant god of fire, they were rather confident in killing Gong Yuan with a combined strike of the Divine Fire tablets.
They glanced at one another and abandoned the Crystal palace without the slightest hesitance. They swung the Divine Fire tablets and opened up the Gate of Divine Fire once more.
Li Qingshan placed his hand on Gong Yuan’s shoulder. “You don’t need to hold me in high regard, respect me, or like me. You just have to trust me!”
In Gong Yuan’s memories, she had always been alone ever since she had been “betrayed” by her sister. She never wholeheartedly trusted anyone again either, including her own clansmen, yet right now, she was supposed to trust a man that she did not even know was human or daemon.
The triangular Gate of Divine Fire suddenly appeared above the whirlpool. Three flaming figures appeared within it.
Yin Qing suddenly appeared, and a circular blade whistled out, flying towards the Gate of Divine Fire. A hand suddenly reached out and caught the circular blade firmly.
The three Fire Devouring Kings were unlike last time, where they were exhausted and their reactions were dulled. This time, they had maintained over eighty percent of their strength and had come with rage.
Yin Qing said to Li Qingshan, “My king, if you still can’t handle her, you better retreat!”
Li Qingshan shrugged. He was about to toss the power of Ruin’s End that was close to losing control at the Gate of Divine Fire. That would let him fend off the fire devourers slightly before running away with Gong Yuan.
Gong Yuan suddenly grabbed his hand and said with great difficulty, “I trust you!”