Chapter 916 – Crack
Having just completed its antenatal training and developed intelligence in its consciousness, the first heavenly tribulation immediately descended. Even Li Qingshan was shocked, before laughing aloud. It really was a divine bird, a phoenix. It was already looking down on everyone else before it was even born, which made him eager to see the phoenix soar through the heavens after it hatched.
“What do we do? What do we do?” Feng Xiwu paced around frantically.
“What’s wrong with this?” Li Qingshan placed down the phoenix’s embryo and backed up far away. The heavenly tribulation was a test from heaven. No one could take it in its place. If he was too close, he would instead get in the young phoenix’s way of undergoing the tribulation.
Surely nothing will go wrong, right? He was also a little worried inside. After several years of hatching, he had also developed some feelings towards this little, unborn phoenix. After all, he had also put in so much effort.
“It’s just an egg right now. If it fails the tribulation…” Feng Xiwu widened his eyes and gazed at the phoenix’s embryo nearby with a hint of fear. He was afraid of seeing the egg shattering and the phoenix dying.
With a rumble, lightning crackled and illuminated the phoenix nest.
The first bolt of tribulation lightning landed on the phoenix’s embryo. Electricity sparked and surged across its surface.
The phoenix’s embryo also shone brightly. The complicated, beautiful patterns seemed to swirl. Through the thin egg shell, they could vaguely make out the phoenix’s rudimentary form as it contended against the heavenly tribulation almost instinctively.
Feng Xiwu shuddered all over as if he was the one who had been struck instead.
Li Qingshan found this hilarious and patted him on the shoulder. “Tribulations have always come with danger. It’s the same for everyone.” Seeing how Feng Xiwu’s face became uglier and uglier, he comforted him. “Don’t worry, it’s just the first heavenly tribulation. It’s very weak. With the energy you’ve channelled into it, it won’t be a problem. It’ll only serve as a fantastic opportunity for it to refine its powers instead.”
Feng Xiwu was in mental disarray due to his concern. With what Li Qingshan said, he eased up slightly, but he still ogled at the phoenix’s embryo.
Li Qingshan shook his head and sat down beside him. Having reached this point, he had basically achieved his great cause of hatching the egg. It was up to the little phoenix itself now.
Given the strength of the first heavenly tribulation, even if it failed the tribulation, it would not be lethal to the young phoenix. It would only consume a tremendous amount of energy, which was not a bad thing. Only their plan to hatch the strongest phoenix chick in history would fall apart, so he was still relatively relaxed.
Listening to the rumbling of thunder, he dismissed his thoughts and sensed the new power in his body.
After reaching the fourth layer of the phoenix, both his soul and body radiated with vigour. The phoenix wings on his back became even larger and more magnificent. His entire bearing had changed in a subtle way too, losing some devilishness and gaining some nobility. This was not just from his increase in cultivation, but also because he had received the phoenix’s legacy.
However, he was different from the young phoenix at the end of the day. He was not a blank piece of paper. His personality had been far too strong. The ox demon’s stubbornness and the tiger demon’s battle-hungriness reached all the way into his bones, so the phoenix’s legacy had not achieved the effect of “looking back on your past mistakes and starting over” on him as Feng Xiwu had hoped.
The four transformations of the demonic and divine, the ox, the tiger, the phoenix, and the turtle, had always each possessed an extreme and intense spirit. If he inherited only one of them, no matter which one, it would lead to an extremely drastic change in his personality, so by combining them, they instead wore each other down and achieved a wondrous form of balance. In the end, they would only become a face of his personality, and he would remain true to himself.
Li Qingshan leaned against his arm and shut his eyes, imagining the soaring phoenix in his sea of consciousness. The rumbling thunder of the outside world gradually grew distant.
His cultivation and strength had reached an unprecedented height. He could clearly feel that he was only a step, no, half a step away from the third heavenly tribulation, the realm of Daemon Kings. He only needed to balance fire and water again, and he could become a Daemon King, where he could sweep through the world in an invincible manner.
He had the opportunity to directly reach Daemon King in the past, which was to directly push the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression to the fifth layer. However, not only would that influence his future cultivation, his foundation would be nowhere near as consolidated as now. Even if he became a Daemon King, he would only be slightly stronger than regular Daemon Kings.
Yet right now, before he had even undergone the third heavenly tribulation, he felt like he possessed the same strength. Once he underwent the tribulation successfully and obtained four new innate abilities, he was curious about what kind of strength he would possess.
It’s been ten years of arduous cultivation. It’s about time I get up and move about.
When the last bolt of tribulation lightning dispersed, Feng Xiwu let out a great sigh of relief. A glad smile appeared on his face.
“What did I say again? It’s just the first heavenly tribulation. It’ll definitely…”
Before Li Qingshan could even finish what he was saying, a crisp crack interrupted him. Feng Xiwu’s face hardened. Li Qingshan followed his gaze and looked over, only to see that a hairline crack had appeared on the top of the phoenix’s embryo. However, it was even more terrifying than a hundred bolts of heavenly lightning in their eyes.
Li Qingshan was not familiar with the exact process of a phoenix’s birth, but the baby phoenix had only recently taken shape. It should not be hatching so soon! Had it been damaged by the lightning?
He murmured, “Surely not!”
He was about to rush over when Feng Xiwu had already lifted up the phoenix’s embryo. He stared at the crack with widened eyes, channelling his power into the embryo furiously as he frantically tried to repair it.
However, the tiny crack completely ignored this great Daemon King’s demands. It spread without any regard.
Resplendent light poured out of the expanding cracks. The cracks continued to spread rapidly. Soon, they covered the entire phoenix’s embryo. It would probably shatter instead of hatching.
Let alone being the strongest in history, this “premature chick” would probably lose its life instead.
“Li Qingshan!” Feng Xiwu’s bellow echoed through the entire phoenix’s nest.
“Shut up! Give it to me!” Li Qingshan snatched over the phoenix’s embryo and circulated the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa in an attempt to mend the crack, but he was not confident about succeeding at all. Having spent several years hatching the egg, he understood the best that the phoenix’s embryo was a perfect whole. Its interior was almost a world of its own. What cracked right now was not the eggshell, but the miniature world. Just the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa was no longer enough. “The Spirit Turtle Suppresses the Seas, suppress!”
The spirit turtle’s figure appeared above Li Qingshan’s head, giving off a serene, gentle glow that forced back the light from the cracks. In the end, it wrapped around the entire embryo and formed a blue cocoon.
By now, the cracks had almost covered the entire shell. The beautiful, complicated patterns were completely torn apart. It was in an extremely unstable state.
“Why did this happen!?” Feng Xiwu grabbed Li Qingshan by the collar.
“Calm down!” Li Qingshan glanced at him and sighed inside. He had still underestimated the destructive power of the heavenly tribulation after all. In terms of power alone, the phoenix embryo was even more powerful than him when he underwent the second heavenly tribulation and broke through to Daemon Commander, but it was nowhere close when it came to intelligence. It still did not know how to utilise this power appropriately. It had basically used the very top of its eggshell to endure all of the attacks, which was why this happened.
All creatures had to go through a process where they grew from weak to strong, which really did happen for a reason. Excessive enthusiasm really did spoil things. This level of suppression still was not enough to maintain the phoenix’s embryo’s stability!
He said solemnly, “I’m going to do something next. You need to promise me that you won’t act impulsively!”
“Alright!” Feng Xiwu hesitated. He understood that now was not the time to stir up unnecessary trouble.
Li Qingshan expanded in size, assuming his daemon form. He swallowed the phoenix’s embryo in a single gulp.
“How dare you, you bastard! How dare you do that! Y- y- y- you can go die!”
A Late Happy New Year
Before I knew it, we reached the end of another year. I began writing this author’s note yesterday, and then you know what happened~
I regularly have to write under a state like this. I have a thousand things to say, but nowhere to start. It’s not that the plot is rough. It’s not that the writing style is lacklustre. I just can’t find a suitable mood, a way of expression from the bottom of my heart.
Frigid seemed the strings uttering notes sounding like springs cold and jolted, Cold and jolted it came to a halt. Muted was the music, yet gloomy was the stillness that had begun to regret manifest, Right then, no release could compete with what such a resounding release could carry.
TL: This is a parody of Ode to a Lady’s Pipa Play. Ode to a Lady’s Pipa Play is an ancient Chinese poem composed in the year 816 by Bai Juyi. The author only changed the last line of this part, which originally read as “Right then, no sound could compete with what such a resounding silence could carry.” I’ve borrowed the translation from here. You can read more about the poem from its wikipedia entry here. A popular Chinese song was composed to this poem by using it as the lyrics in 2017 (which is the only reason why I managed to identify it without further research). You can listen to it here.
Heh, what a great poem! I can even pass off missing releases in such a classical, elegant, and knowledgeable manner! I sure am impressive!
Though, if I didn’t know any passion, how could I write hot-bloodedness? If I didn’t know deep love, how could I write devotion?
If my desire for others to feel happiness didn’t come from the bottom of my heart, the happiness would just be a pale lie, going from emptiness to even greater emptiness. Better off without it.
As a guy who often feels unhappy and down, developing such great emotions really isn’t easy, so I need to properly build it up so that my mood takes a slight turn for the better.
Haaaaaa, deep breath in…
In the new year, may you possess the strength to face your hardships! May you possess the courage to find happiness! May you achieve happiness! No matter when or where, my words will be right by you, even if they can only offer you a moment of delight, even if they are only sincere for a moment. May they add a smear of colour to your life.
Best wishes, Dream Teller!