Chapter 895 – Before the Battle
“Do I look alright?”
Li Qingshan controlled the wind and emitted a hollow voice through his toothy mouth.
“As long as you’re not dead,” Gong Yuan said coldly, but she felt relieved inside. She said an ambiguous thanks.
“I told you to trust me, so I would never let you die! Anyway, you’ve done very well this time. It’s just a pity that we were still one step too slow, or we could have gathered even more power of Ruin’s End and perhaps forcefully taken on that strike! What a pity, what a pity!”
Li Qingshan shook his head and sighed. He felt a little embarrassed by Gong Yuan’s thanks. If it were not for the fact that he did not have a face right now, he might have even blushed.
That was because in the moment the Divine Ray of the Sun arrived, his instinctive response was to use Gong Yuan as a meat shield so that he could block the attack slightly. The first reason why he had dismissed that idea was because he had just told her to trust him, yet he would be using her as a shield in the next moment. He found that a little unacceptable. On top of that, the spirit turtle had calculated that this strike would not be lethal. If he did that, then it would diminish the tiger demon’s might.
The latter was clearly of greater significance than the former. If he knew taking that on the strike would cost him his life, then who the fuck still cared about whether it was acceptable or not? It was not like they were close. He was nowhere near fond enough of women to give up his life for one that loathed him.
“That’s right. Before the storm arrives, we need to get some practise together so that we can unleash the true might of the Heart of the Abyss and contend against the Divine Fire tablets of the fire devourers.”
“Hehe, dual cultivation doesn’t feel too bad, does it?” Even when he had been reduced to a set of bones, he could still give off the same aura that Gong Yuan loathed.
Gong Yuan frowned. “Don’t get the wrong idea. This is just to deal with Fire Melt mountain. You may have saved my life this time, but that goes without saying in battle. Don’t count on me paying you back!”
As she said that, Gong Yuan extended her hands and released a ball of azure mist that enveloped Li Qingshan. His vicious-looking skeleton gradually grew flesh.
“I didn’t get the wrong idea. I never counted on you paying me back!”
Li Qingshan instead found this much better. He was someone who kept clear tabs on his debts. Only a single whim separated pushing her away and using her as a meat shield. If Gong Yuan really treated him as her saviour, then he would instead find it awkward, feeling as if he had obtained something that he did not deserve.
Gong Yuan glanced at him deeply. His face that had just grown flesh without any skin covering it seemed extremely terrifying and grotesque, but she could not help but think of the moment when he swung the blade to receive the Divine Ray of the Sun. Illuminated by the scorching light, his figure had been so distinct, enough to make her heart skip a beat.
He might have been a loathsome, shameless, and lustful man, but it was not without reason that he could earn himself the title of King of Savages in a few short decades!
Li Qingshan calmly accepted Gong Yuan’s treatment. His body felt warm, and it was extremely pleasant. Suddenly, he felt a prick on his palm. Taking a look, Tiger’s Fang had extended the blood vessels and begun greedily drinking his blood. He could not help but curse, “Oh you!”
“Why don’t you let go of the blade?” Gong Yuan suggested.
“This is my treasure. As long as I have a droplet of blood, it has something to eat. Heh, why’s this so strange? Oi, what’re the three of you standing there and staring for? Get over here and help. You’ve arrived far too late. How was it possible to stop the three of them from leaving?”
Li Qingshan originally just treated weapons as tools. Even if he destroyed an arcane treasure like the Demon Dragon sword, he felt no pity. However, he had truly developed some feelings for Tiger’s Fang this time, allowing it to drink his blood freely. Then he called out and urged the three other Merfolk Kings to come over.
The three of them had personally witnessed Li Qingshan’s valiance as he held off the three fire devourers alone, so why would they still look down on him? They hurried over and used their techniques to heal him.
It had to be mentioned that the healing techniques of Merfolk were still quite impressive. With the four Merfolk Kings working together, they finally reconstructed Li Qingshan’s body after some effort, coupled with Li Qingshan’s own recovery ability. However, he was sickly thin and dreadfully pale as if he had caught some severe disease. However, Tiger’s Fang in his hand did recover around half of its glow.
“I think it’s a little smaller now!” Li Qingshan lowered his head and frowned.
“Do you know what shame is?” Gong Yuan asked.
“People are born into this world naked, and they leave this world naked too, so what shame is there? It’s not like I invited you to look. You sure care a lot!” Li Qingshan condensed a set of demonic armour again, but before he put on the helmet, he pointed at his curved horns and asked the Merfolk Kings, “Do you know what these two words are?”
“They- they seem like North and Moon?” “Granny” said with uncertainty.
“Don’t play stupid. I know you’ve investigated it before. I’m right, aren’t I, Gong Yuan?”
Li Qingshan knew that it was impossible for Gong Yuan to not delve into this matter after seeing the two words when he took off his helmet back then on Giant Ship island, so he just laid it out in the open.
“I know you were once hunted down by the Dragon King of Ink Sea. Don’t worry, we won’t disclose your identity.”
The Dragon King of Ink Sea pursuing Northmoon into the Mist province had caused quite a stir back then. It did not take Gong Yuan much effort before she understood that identity of his. She had considered using it to threaten him, but he had clearly joined the Great Banyan Tree King already. Even the King of Southern Yue had dismissed the idea of killing him, so not only would he probably not be threatened, but it would instead turn one of their allies into an enemy, which was a horrible deal. As a result, she ended up giving up on that thought.
The Green province was far too distant from the South sea after all. A distance of over a hundred thousand kilometers was enough for all the information that Gong Yuan received to just be some major matters. It would be very difficult for her to understand the exact details involved, so in the end, she could only stand from a perspective of her own interests and consider this. She would never do something that harmed herself. Since Li Qingshan was making it clear, she might as well give him a guarantee.
“Sure. As long as I have your word. I also trust you!” Li Qingshan smiled and asked, “Oh right, where’s Xiao An?”
He was outside fighting with people, yet Xiao An did not come and help out, which was far too strange. Only when he returned to the Crystal palace did he learn the actual reason, which left him clueless as to how to respond.
As it turned out, Xiao An had wanted to come, but the Divine Nun of the South Sea had stopped her.
The Divine Nun of the South Sea never wanted a part in this battle in the first place. In particular, after witnessing the combined strength of the three fire devourers, she stayed behind in the Crystal palace to watch the place. She said it was to prevent people from taking advantage of the situation while the Crystal palace was empty. At the same time, she grabbed Xiao An and said to her, “It’s very dangerous outside, so never leave the Crystal palace. The three Merfolk Kings have already gone to provide assistance. What can you do with your cultivation anyway? You might as well just stay here and listen to my sermons!”
All this care and concern left Xiao An feeling very helpless. After all, she could not unleash the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty and tell the old nun that she was actually very strong and did not need her to worry. The old nun was extremely stubborn too. She could not be swayed with words. After just a slight delay, the battle in the distance had already come to an end.
All Li Qingshan could say to the Divine Nun of the South Sea was, “Thank you for your great kindness, divine nun. However, as young people, we should still face our fair share of trials and tribulations. We’ve both been through many hardships in order to achieve our current cultivation.”
“That’s reasonable, but I think One Will’s temperament is enough to break through to the third heavenly tribulation. She can go through some trials and tribulations then. Wouldn’t that be a little more appropriate?”
The Divine Nun of the South Sea was solemn, refusing to back down at all. For the past few days, she had basically spent every single moment with Xiao An, discussing the buddhist dharma. She found her more agreeable the more they discussed. She appreciated Xiao An’s root of wisdom and affinity for comprehension very much, such that her positive impression increased vertically. If it had only been “love at first sight” in the beginning, then right now it was rather similar to “her or no one else”. She was determined to take her on as her disciple.
Xiao An did not have a suitable master either. Although she had once taken the Annihilum Light Chan Master as her master, they had not spent a lot of time together. With her current cultivation, the Annihilum Light Chan Master no longer possessed the right to be her master. Back then, the exact thing that the Annihilum Light Chan Master had done was skip over his own disciple and directly accept Xiao An as his disciple. If the Divine Nun of the South Sea cultivated in the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, then it made perfect sense for her to accept Xiao An as her disciple.
“Then… then Xiao An, why don’t you spend some time with the master for now and focus on cultivation?”
Li Qingshan had never imagined that possessing too much good fortune could be a bad thing too. With the Divine Nun of the South Sea watching, Xiao An could not use any of her methods from the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty. The revelation of his identity as Northmoon was not too troublesome, as the Mist province did not pay much attention to this aspect. Many people possessed the bloodlines of daemons. It had probably never even crossed the Divine Nun of the South Sea’s mind that this was forbidden by the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga. However, Xiao An’s Path of White Bone and Great Beauty gave off the aura of slaying buddhas and destroying the dharma. The Divine Nun of the South Sea would probably turn against her immediately if she found out.
“Alright. It truly is my good fortune to be able to meet with the master.” Xiao An’s words were not completely a lie to brush aside the Divine Nun of the South Sea. The old nun really was worthy of her title. Her knowledge of the buddhist dharma was vast and profound, possessing a style of its own.
The Divine Nun of the South Sea did not come from the “school of chan” like the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, but the “school of vinaya”, one that specially focused on studying and upholding rules and precepts. As a result, despite her powerful cultivation, she still lived the lifestyle of an ascetic, vanquishing evil and doing good among mortals and spreading the buddhist dharma.
It was just like how the advice of others could be helpful, regardless of their origins, not to mention that the status of the school of vinaya within buddhism was no lower than the school of chan in the first place. As she communicated with her, Xiao An gained great inspiration over the buddhist dharma. That was the foundation for practising the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty.
“Amitābha. It’s also my good fortune!” The Divine Nun of the South Sea revealed an understanding smile. Her gaze towards Xiao An was quite gentle, without her normal severity.
The school of vinaya focused on “an action, a precept; a precept, an action”. Their precepts and rules were extremely strict. Let alone mortals, even buddhist disciples flinched at the sight of them. She happened to have extremely high standards as well, refusing to take on disciples so easily. She had encountered a few decent ones in the past, but they had all failed her tests. Now that she had come across a suitable one for once, she obviously valued her very much.
Li Qingshan and Xiao An exchanged glances. Their eyes were both filled with quite a bit of powerlessness.
At this moment, a mermaid official walked over and bowed. “Great king Li, her majesty sends her invitations!”
Li Qingshan bade farewell to the Divine Nun of the South Sea and crossed through the long corridors of the Crystal palace with the mermaid official, making his way out. He saw Gong Yuan sitting on the edge of a cliff. Her deep-blue hair draped down to her waist, and her slender fish tail pointed into the sea abyss. She gave off a different sense of beauty, cold and deep.
“What’s the matter?” Li Qingshan asked.
Gong Yuan dismissed the mermaid official with a wave of her hand and answered with a question, “What do you think?”
“You’re in such a hurry!?” Li Qingshan shook his head and revealed the strange smile that Gong Yuan loathed very much.