Chapter 917 – Emerging From the Shell
In that moment, Li Qingshan felt countless restraints appear on him. A tremendous force, well beyond what he could withstand, pressed over from all directions.
The phoenix’s nest distorted and changed in shape. The wutong tree branches danced around madly like demons.
“Calm down!” Li Qingshan raised his hand and bellowed, “Do you still want to hatch the egg or not?”
Only with that did Feng Xiwu gradually calm down. “What are you trying to do exactly?”
“Obviously, it is hatching the egg. Right now, the egg is in danger of shattering and exploding at any time. It needs to be suppressed. I’m only most confident when it’s inside my body. Stop being so impulsive all the time.”
“This is all your idea. You better succeed, or I’ll never forgive you!”
“Don’t worry. There’ll… there’ll be an outcome very soon.” Li Qingshan completely disregarded Feng Xiwu’s threat, lying down with his hands under his head. His tremendous body was like a small, black mountain, producing thunderous rumbles. He naturally gave off an aura of power and grandeur, something his human form lacked.
Feng Xiwu shivered inside. If I give him another decade, even the phoenix’s nest might not be able to restrain him! Li Qingshan, oh Li Qingshan. I really do hope we can be friends and not enemies!
Li Qingshan gathered his attention and sensed the scorching, unsteady phoenix’s embryo in his abdomen. He could not help but pat his belly and smile to himself. “I really do look like I’m ten months pregnant. Originally, I said I could do everything apart from birthing children. I can even birth children now, so doesn’t that make me omnipotent? Hahahaha!”
Feng Xiwu did not respond to Li Qingshan’s dry joke. He frowned and asked, “How does it feel? You better not ‘accidentally’ digest it.”
“Don’t worry, it’s already settled down. If you don’t believe me, why don’t you give it a listen?” Li Qingshan shivered. “Alright, I’ve really gone too far. Forget I said that.”
Under the illumination of the spirit turtle’s glow, the cracks on the phoenix’s embryo remained, but they did not grow any larger. It stabilised once again. The young phoenix inside grew slowly, gradually developing a full plumage.
Li Qingshan had spent an entire decade cultivating, advancing forwards valiantly without stopping at all. Now, even he felt rather exhausted, so he spread his limbs and snored away.
“He actually still has the courage to sleep!”
Feng Xiwu shook his head. He could also sense his aura become distant and steady as he slept. His mind seemed to have ventured deep into his sea of consciousness, becoming extremely serene. The phoenix’s embryo in his belly was under influence as well, no longer in danger of shattering.
It had already been many years since Li Qingshan last slept. As his cultivation increased, he no longer had to recover mentally through sleeping, so dreaming was even more out of the question.
It was said that people of eminence experienced no dreams. Dreams originated from unstable thoughts of the mind. Those who cultivated had minds of peace, so even when they slept, they would not dream.
However, in his daemon form, it was not just his power that completely relaxed. His mind eased up too, unwittingly activating the Divine Talisman of Great Creation that even he had almost forgotten about.
Suddenly, the Divine Talisman of Great Creation that was already out of power shone with multiple colours, weaving into a bizarre dream.
His past and present life, the ox, the tiger, the turtle, the phoenix, and his various attachments to the secular world were all present.
Suddenly, he woke up from the dream one day. He felt an intense surge in his belly. The phoenix’s embryo trembled violently, and the glow of the spirit turtle’s suppression emerged from every single crack.
Feng Xiwu sensed it too and appeared. Standing on Li Qingshan’s hill-like nose bridge, he asked frantically, “How is it?”
With a sweep of his soul sense, Li Qingshan discovered that the young phoenix was complete with a beak, claws, and feathers. They had all formed properly now. It flew about in the phoenix’s embryo, wanting to emerge. Over ten years of effort had finally paid off, so he could not help but be overjoyed. “It’s there.”
Before he had even finished what he was saying, there was a rumble in his belly like thunder. His stomach immediately swelled up and became scorching hot.
The phoenix’s embryo suddenly shattered, and a ball of fire flew out. It was only a few feet across, but it gave off a sense of unmatched nobility. It was the legendary divine bird. Its eyes were perfectly round, filled with wisdom and intelligence, searching for a way out of the cave.
Li Qingshan opened his huge, gaping mouth and yelled, “Come on out!”
The little phoenix let out a cry and spread its magnificent wings, moving through the long cave. A speck of light appeared before its eyes, and it rapidly grew in size. It flew between two rows of pure-white, sharp teeth and finally saw the outside world.
A strange thought appeared in its young but intelligent mind. Outside the eggshell were even more layers of “eggshells”, so what kind of a place would it be outside the outermost eggshell?
Feng Xiwu spread his arms to welcome the birth of the little phoenix. Ravishing joy filled his face. He was so excited that he almost cheered aloud.
The little phoenix nodded gently towards Feng Xiwu before letting out another cry, which was superior to all of the zither music Feng Xiwu had produced. It penetrated the phoenix’s nest clearly, such that even the divine wutong tree shook and glowed.
A great feeling of happiness immediately filled Feng Xiwu’s heart. It recognises me! It recognises me! Without any hesitation, he was certain right from the first glance that this phoenix’s nest that had spent ten millennia empty had a new owner. The phoenix did not perch unless it was a wutong tree, but if a wutong tree did not have a phoenix, how was it supposed to demonstrate its aloofness?
“My friend Feng, I haven’t let you down, have I? Are you satisfied now?” Li Qingshan laughed aloud. His voice was like thunder.
“I’m satisfied, I’m satisfied. From today onwards, you, Li Qingshan, are my friend.” A hint of solemnity appeared on Feng Xiwu’s excited face, which demonstrated just how serious he was about the word “friend”.
It was even harder to earn than the Great Banyan Tree King’s friendship. Those who stood aloof would never have too many friends, but once they treated someone as a friend, they would never disappoint their friend. Even if he had to face the Dragon King of Ink Sea, he would not hesitate.
Li Qingshan was about to say something when the familiar rumbling of thunder suddenly rang out by his ears. His face changed slightly. “A heavenly tribulation again!”
The sound of thunder gradually pulled closer, like a war chariot riding through the air. Before it had even arrived properly, its power already far surpassed the previous heavenly tribulation.
Not only did Li Qingshan uphold his promise of hatching the phoenix’s embryo, but he even upheld his promise of the strongest phoenix chick in history. The young phoenix had crossed the boundary of the second heavenly tribulation the moment it emerged from the shell, stepping into the realm of Daemon Commanders, except it had to survive the heavenly tribulation first.
“Qingshan!” Feng Xiwu’s expression changed drastically. Just the first heavenly tribulation had almost shattered the phoenix’s embryo, let alone the fact that it was the second heavenly tribulation this time. If the phoenix failed the tribulation, then all of their efforts would go to waste. Ten thousand years would be reduced to null and void.
Right now, the young phoenix was only equivalent to a newborn baby, yet it had to immediately challenge a tribulation from heaven. Just how dangerous would this be?
“This can serve as the first lesson in its life! No matter how much external assistance you receive, you still have to walk your path yourself. No one can replace you. Whether you succeed or fail, that’s all on you.” Li Qingshan smiled and roared at the little phoenix, “If you want to achieve the extraordinary, then how can you not challenge it with your life on the line? Go!”
The little phoenix lowered its head and listened as if it was learning. Then it raised its elegant head and gazed at the approaching lightning. A smear of determination flashed through its eyes, and it suddenly spread its wings, soaring into the sky to receive the first bolt of lightning.
The lightning produced a flash of seven colours. Its feathers that had just grown out fell through the air, like great, colourful flakes of snow.
Feng Xiwu’s heart suddenly tightened. Li Qingshan silently cheered it on too.
The tribulation lightning were like weapons, slashing against the little phoenix viciously and leaving behind horrific wounds. Although it was endowed with endless life and vitality, the rate at which the wounds closed was nowhere close to the tribulation lightning’s destruction.
However, its clear cries became even more determined and courageous, dancing through the lightning. As a result, even the sound of thunder failed to drown it out.
The corner of Li Qingshan’s lips curled into a smile. The little phoenix was still very inexperienced with the usage of its powers, but it was already different from when it was still an embryo. It possessed much more intelligence and flexibility, and it had a sense of courage and determination about it, unaffected by the life-threatening danger. It used its full strength to fend it off desperately.
Feng Xiwu noticed this too, which made him glance at Li Qingshan. Was it influenced by him? The phoenix possessed a noble heart, one that did not waver even at death, but it had never been known for being filled with valour and vigour.
After who knew how long, the final clap of thunder dissipated, but it continued to linger in Li Qingshan and Feng Xiwu’s ears. The scorching light was particularly blinding, dazzling both of them. Afterwards, all they saw was the little phoenix using its vermillion beak to gently comb through its new feathers, now with an additional sense of elegance and ease.
Li Qingshan grinned widely while Feng Xiwu shut his eyes gently and exhaled deeply.
Now that finally could be regarded as success!
The little phoenix flew down and transformed into the shape of a young child, around two or three years old. He was draped in colourful plumage as seven long tailfeathers dragged behind him. His face and eyes were bright, like they were carved from jade. Even when he assumed a human form, he did not lose the bearing of a phoenix.
“Fucking hell, that wasn’t easy at all. Fortunately, I was strong enough! Fathers, I haven’t disappointed you, have I?”
His voice was melodious and touching, filled with a sense of innocence, but it made Feng Xiwu shudder all over. The smile on his face stiffened.
Li Qingshan also scratched his head. “What did you just call me?”
“Father. Do you wish for me to call you mother instead?” The little phoenix blinked his eyes in an extremely adorable manner.
“No, he’s not your father. You’re a child of the phoenix. You have nothing to do with this bastard. You can, however, call me uncle. No, no, you’re a phoenix. How can you talk like that?” Feng Xiwu descended into disarray. This was far too different from what he imagined.
“Of course, I understand my identity and origins, but if it weren’t for your arduous care and hatching, there wouldn’t be the me of today. In the past, when the peacock swallowed the buddha, the buddha burst out from its back and also called the peacock mother, let alone the fact that there’s so much more kindness involved, so this term of address is most suitable, isn’t it? As for what I said, that’s just a mere trifle. There’s no need for you to pay any mind to it, father.”
The little phoenix said with his tender voice and waved his little hands in the process, coming off as even more adorable. However, even Feng Xiwu was unable to refute his words. With the phoenix’s legacy, he had basically been born with knowledge.
“Yeah, that makes sense. You can be my good son from today onwards! Hahahaha!” Li Qingshan picked up the little phoenix. He never imagined that he would become the father of someone else’s child, but it sure felt nice! He once again demonstrated his startling acceptability.
PS: The new year is over. I’m also going to emerge from my shell!