Chapter 923 – Purging Demons (One)
The sun was beaming. Even with the thick, lush foliage, specks of light filtered through.
Li Qingshan spoke casually as if he was not talking about demonfolk that had thrown the world into turmoil, but regular nobodies. That was not out of arrogance. He had developed this confidence through personally slaughtering his way through them. In the past, when he could not use his daemon powers in the Demon Suppression hall, he had relied on the Demon Suppression Statuary alone to slaughter tens of thousands of demonfolk.
And after so many years, it was not like his arduous cultivation was a sham. Coupled with the fact that he could freely use his innate abilities, he personally believed he stood a chance no matter who he was up against!
Under the great banyan tree, the people who had yet to disperse all raised their heads in shock. Everyone knew about the horrors of the demon plague. Part of the reason why Savage mountain could develop to its current size was because of the demon plague. Shamans and cultivators in precarious situations came here to seek refuge.
Hearing that, they all gained a better understanding of the King of Savages’ arrogance.
“Purging the demons, what for?” The great banyan tree swayed gently. The sunlight flickered as a result too.
“Obviously to uphold justice on behalf of heaven!” Li Qingshan smiled. Xiao An’s Path of White Bone and Great Beauty was far too heretical in nature. Similar to his Nine Transformations of the Demonic and Divine, he did not want anyone finding out about it, so there was no need for him to go into so much detail.
“That’s true. When a foreign domain invades, they destabilise the world. If you can accomplish a few deeds, then you’ll render a meritorious service to the world.” The Great Banyan Tree King did not ask about it any further, switching over to soul sense.
“It’s a pity that the world won’t give me benefits in return.”
“Not necessarily. The will of heaven is obscure and unfathomable. It is different from living creatures, but it has its own rules and principles. Haven’t you heard of being blessed by heaven before?” the Great Banyan Tree King said with veiled words.
For thousands of years, the Great Banyan Tree King’s branches had reached towards the sky and his roots had wormed into the ground. He had an extremely deep comprehension of this world’s heaven and earth. He struggled to explain its wonders to others.
“The godfolk fended off the demons for all those years, so doesn’t that count as a meritorious service? Yet in the end, their divine kingdoms still collapsed, and they were still reduced to being otherfolk. I don’t see any blessings from heaven!” Li Qingshan was not convinced.
“The heavens above have their will, and the people below have their matters. Deal with the matters of people before dealing with the will of heaven. Blessings from heaven aren’t direct grants or graces. It can’t directly interfere with the events of the world either, but it is omnipresent.”
“I can’t see it, I can’t touch it, so I better just rely on myself!” Li Qingshan shrugged.
The Great Banyan Tree King smiled. “You can’t go wrong with relying on yourself. Since you have the intentions, I’ll obviously lend you a hand. However, you need to think it through. The more demon caverns you clean up, the less pressure the King of Yue faces, so he’ll be able to devote more of his forces to the north. The King of Chu probably does not wish to see this.”
“I’m still a disciple of buddhism, a White Hawk commander, at the end of the day. I’ve always had a duty to this, so why would I care about their disputes? I refuse to believe the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga will blame me for this. Speaking of which, when I return to the Green province, I have to find a way to deal with the locusts too. I might as well alleviate both of them of their menaces and let them fight each other to the death,” Li Qingshan said.
Xiao An had mentioned this before, but no matter what, cultivation always came first. As long as Xiao An and he both underwent the third heavenly tribulation, why would they care who was pissed off? The King of Chu would be all too eager to rope them in!
“Ah, the Soaring Locust King! He had been suppressed by the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga for far too long, and he’s still feeble even right now, but his cultivation is still there, and he’s most skilled in devouring everything to recover. He won’t be an easy opponent. Also, you better not forget that the lowest floor of the Demon Suppression hall is a demon cavern itself. It probably wasn’t a coincidence that the locust plague and demon plague erupted at the same time.”
“A daemon as a traitorous guide. Though, once your enemies reach a certain amount, you just stop worrying. It’s not like I can’t throw him on the list too. When I return to the Green province, I’ll obviously come up with a way to settle this,” Li Qingshan said resolutely. Then he thought of something and added, “I almost forgot to ask, but what’s your opinion on the incursion of demonfolk?”
Just like how daemons and demons were frequently written off as one, daemons did not possess morals and principles like humans. Even if this world became a part of the Demon domain, all the human cultivators would just become demonic cultivators. However, even the righteous cultivators right now butchered daemons like they were no different from demons. Even if the environment did not improve, it did not exactly worsen for daemons either. The ancestral god that the Bone Eating shamans worshipped happened to be a daemon god too after all.
“I’m already very old. I personally think I’m relatively tolerant, but I’ve already grown accustomed to the current environment. If this world becomes a part of the Demon domain, I’m afraid I’ll struggle to adjust!” The Great Banyan Tree King said slowly, “But I can’t just let the children throw their lives away stubbornly for an old man like me. Sigh, sure enough, old trees have roots aplenty, and old men have words aplenty. You don’t have to take any of this too seriously. It’s just conversation.”
“I see! You sure have hidden it well!” Li Qingshan burst into laughter. As it turned out, this Daemon King of the Mist province was against this. He opposed the invasion of demonfolk, but he maintained a facade of neutrality on the surface. In the past two years, he had gathered the daemons and led them away from the demon caverns, which made him seem indifferent over how the world turned out.
This touched on the game unfolding between humans and daemons yet again. After all, it was impossible for anyone to go without a standpoint. As long as they had a standpoint, then merits and demerits existed for them, which would always lead to planning and scheming. If the humans were severely weakened after this great turmoil, even if the daemons did not conquer the nine provinces again, their lives would still be far better off.
“The King of Southern Yue has bothered me plenty. He wants me to participate, so I might as well treat you as a subordinate I’ve sent out for the time being, just to appease him. How’s that?”
“Sure. Give me an order, and I’ll be there. Though, does this come with benefits?” Li Qingshan rubbed his hands.
“Kid, you sure know how to bite off more than you can chew. Just earlier you were asking for my advice, and now, you’re asking for benefits!”
“I’m merely making conversation. I knew you’d be unfathomable like the will of heaven, only offering blessings and no benefits!”
“As long as you understand. What are you waiting for? Take out your mental map of the Mist province!”
Under the Great Banyan Tree King’s guidance, he marked out the various demon caverns across the Mist province, as well as the situation at each demon cavern, such as the rough numbers of the demonfolk, their strength, who was suppressing them, and so on.
Li Qingshan felt admiration from the bottom of his heart. The old tree king was a spy satellite, computer for analysis, and battle strategist in one. He felt enlightened.
Li Qingshan and Xiao An discussed it slightly and agreed on what they previously decided, to go from easy to difficult. They chose a demon cavern in the south. They were about to set off when the Great Banyan Tree King’s voice rang out in his head again, “Don’t forget, I owe you a banyan fruit. Come to Towering city to collect it when you have the time!”
Li Qingshan grinned and patted the tree trunk. “I’ll never forget!”
The banyan fruit was the legendary “fruit of wisdom”. It was a crystallisation of the Great Banyan Tree King’s entire life of wisdom. It could unlock wisdom, all the while without influencing the mind. It was rather similar to the phoenix’s legacy and was extremely precious. Li Qingshan had once eaten one, and the effect was very impressive. It took a great toll on the Great Banyan Tree King to produce one too.
This cutting of the Great Banyan Tree King had already produced one. If he wanted to produce another, it would take a millennium at the very least, which was why he told Li Qingshan to collect it from his main body.
Li Qingshan had originally come to the Great Banyan Tree King for advice, so the “fruit of wisdom” basically came free. He really did enjoy very generous treatment.
Climbing down the great banyan tree, Li Qingshan did not stick around for any longer. He immediately flew away with Xiao An.