Chapter 956 – A Blood Oath on the Nether River, a Promise of Five Hundred Years
Within the roaring wind and thunder, Li Qingshan’s resolute voice rang out.
The King of Southern Yue and everyone else on the Silver Dragon King was stunned. Since when did the world possess someone so foolish that they would rather be obliterated than lower their heads?
All of them were kings that stood at the very apex of the world, but none of them found it particularly embarrassing to lower their heads towards a true god, let alone the fact that Qiongqi had already demonstrated enough sincerity. Receiving such attention from a god could definitely be regarded as a form of honour.
Only the Great Banyan Tree King had a vague idea, but all he did was sigh inside.
Qiongqi was taken aback too. He had told Li Qingshan to not waste time, but even he had never expected him to be so resolute, actually leaving no room to maneuver about at all. He lowered his head and grinned. “How foolish! And how bizarre! Li Qingshan, do you really think I won’t kill you?”
“Then come!” Li Qingshan spread his arms, accepting death enthusiastically.
“You’re very interesting too, but I won’t let you stab me with that sword.” Qiongqi suddenly turned his head and gazed at Xiao An.
The sword in Xiao An’s hand trembled involuntarily. Originally, she had wanted to use the opportunity Li Qingshan created to launch a sneak attack and assassinate Qiongqi. She was already prepared to strike. The power of the Buddha Slaying sword should have been enough to heavily injure Qiongqi’s clone.
She clearly had not moved, nor did she give off any murderousness, but Qiongqi saw through it with a single glance. The enemy was no longer simply powerful. He basically had no openings.
Li Qingshan’s heart sank. Qiongqi really gave them absolutely no opportunities at all. Was he really going to die here today?
“Do you recognise this sword?” Xiao An lifted up the Buddha Slaying sword and said in thought.
“Not only do I recognise the sword, but I also recognise your flames. The path you walk is not just unacceptable to immortals and buddhas. Even the Demon domain cannot accept it. Go. I’ll spare your life!” Qiongqi’s voice rolled out, drowning out the booming thunder and howling wind, crashing down like a mountain.
Xiao An swayed about. Her clothes buffeted, and her long hair drifted through the air, but her expression remained the same. She only tightened her grip around the Buddha Slaying sword.
Li Qingshan’s eyes were narrowed. He gathered the power of tremors, preparing himself for one last struggle.
Even if there was no chance, even if it was certain death, he wanted to put up a fight!
“Li Qingshan, it’ll be far too boring if I just crush you. Do you want to live, or do you want to die?” Qiongqi changed the topic of the conversation. The interest in his eyes grew heavier.
“Do you even need to ask?” Li Qingshan bellowed.
“Then let’s make a bet!”
“What are we betting?”
“I am picking on someone smaller than me today, which you must find unacceptable, so I’ll give you some time…” After a pause, he continued, “… five hundred years will do. Come to Qingqi mountain in five hundred years, and we’ll fight again. If you lose…”
“Alright, five hundred years. If I can’t overturn your Qingqi mountain, I’ll serve you willingly!”
Li Qingshan’s eyes lit up. He never expected something as great as this to happen. Just how much room for maneuver did he have with five centuries? He could definitely ascend and venture beyond the heavens. By then, even if he still was not Qiongqi’s opponent, what could Qiongqi do to him as long as he did not go to the Demon domain?
“That’s what you said! Let’s seal the promise with a clap! If I lose, I’ll do the same!” Qiongqi sniggered away. His body rapidly shrank, assuming a human form. He was as distorted as a figure from an abstract painting, encased in a layer of demonic light that blurred his facial features. He extended his twisting, distorting right hand towards Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan felt like he had just been duped, but there was no more room for regrets. He took a step forward and sealed the promise with Qiongqi through clapping their hands together.
Clap! The moment their hands struck, the atmospheric winds and lightning in the surroundings all settled down. It was as if an invisible force isolated the wrath of the world from them.
In a daze, Li Qingshan saw a tranquil, rippleless river, meandering through the void. It was vast and bankless as if it had transcended space and time. He struggled to estimate its dimensions using the usual measurements.
Thunder gradually swallowed Qiongqi’s flagrant laughter, filled with the delight of success. The invisible laws of the world distorted his body.
With a boom, he suddenly dispersed as a great cloud of demon qi, surging hundreds of kilometers away and swallowing the entire swamp, even reaching the Silver Dragon King in the distance.
In that instant, the lightning and wind stopped as if the wrath of the world had been pacified.
The Twelve Citadel Demon Formation of the Ominous consequently collapsed as well. Li Qingshan felt his entire body ease up. He checked his palm, and the river appeared in his mind again. He could vaguely sense that this oath was probably not as simple as it seemed. He felt like he was forced to pay a visit to Qingqi mountain.
Was this another trap?
At the same time, twelve pillars towered over a certain place within the Demon domain.
It was as if the situation the Twelve Citadel Demon Formation of the Ominous emulated had become a reality. The twelve supreme Demon Gods of the Demon domain dwelled on the pillars as they discussed something. Words like “the Desireless Heavenly palace… Zhenwu… the Demon Purging Heavenly Venerable… the seven stars of the north” were vaguely mentioned.
“Hahahaha!” Qiongqi’s laughter rolled out, catching the attention of the other Demon Gods. They asked, “Qiongqi, what are you laughing about?”
Qiongqi had originally been standing there in a daze. The other Demon Gods were not surprised by this, as they knew that he hated these long, solemn meetings the most. However, none of them dared to look down on him, as his thoughts were highly flexible and unpredictable. He would always be able to take them by surprise and often win battles by surprise.
Then they saw his lips curl into a smile, and a few spark-like bolts of lightning crackling around him; this was enough for them to realise that his consciousness had descended in some other world and something interesting had happened again. They knew that he was currently withstanding the rejection from the laws of the world. The other Demon Gods all scorned a waste of strength and energy like that, but they said nothing about it.
Only when Qiongqi laughed aloud and a great, meandering river flashed past his head did they ask in surprise, “You formed a Blood Oath of the Nether River with someone!”
Legends depicted the Nether river as the first river after the birth of the universe. Its flow demarcated time, which formed fate. Oaths sworn on the Nether river were highly constraining. Once a blood oath was formed, even gods could not change their lives. Even fate would be twisted as a result.
Qiongqi only smiled, which was filled with undisguised complacency. The Demon Gods stopped asking about it too, continuing their discussion.
Five hundred years was extremely short to him. The reason why it was not fifty years or five years, but five hundred years, was because the establishment of a Blood Oath of the Nether River required recognition from the bottom of the heart from both sides.
If the time was too short, Li Qingshan might have still agreed to it, but the end result would definitely be him dying instead of yielding, which was meaningless. Five hundred years was enough for the Blood Oath of the Nether River to become deeply engraved in fate. By then, all he could do was yield.
The establishment of a Blood Oath of the Nether River had many hidden, complicated conditions too. One of them was fairness. Just like a scale, both sides had to offer up something of sufficient value. Although some imbalance could exist, it could not be formed once all balance was lost, which was why he needed the five hundred years to balance this out. Qiongqi had even added at the end, “If I lose, I’ll do the same!”
Apart from that, there were a few other hidden stringent conditions, such as during the five centuries, not only was he forbidden from launching an attack proactively, he could not even intentionally make things difficult for Li Qingshan. These were all part of his side of the deal.
That was why the Demon Gods had been so surprised. The Nether river was not a tool that could be used carelessly. It came with many risks, and it was very easy for them to be impacted by it. Normally, only existences at their level required the Blood Oath of the Nether River to bind one another.
With weaker existences, they possessed many different oaths that could guarantee them an advantage at no risk. The Blood Oath Scroll in Li Qingshan’s possession was a method that had originated from the Demon domain. It could be regarded as a shoddy imitation of the Blood Oath of the Nether River
When he chose the Blood Oath of the Nether River, Qiongqi had made his considerations. A major reason was Xiao An’s appearance.
He could not help it. The White Bone Bodhisattva who had once tried to refine the Hungry Ghost realm was far too infamous. Although she failed in the end, she already deserved enough reverence for challenging the order of the six realms of saṃsāra. The Samādhi Flames of White Bone were renowned through the six realms too.
When Xiao An first appeared, Qiongqi had his doubts, as a legacy at that level could not be obtained through luck. It was basically impossible for it to appear in a world of such a level.
However, when Xiao An cut down the Kings of Yin and Yang with a single stroke and refined them into the Samādhi Flames of White Bone, Qiongqi became extremely certain. He could play around with the nine provinces, but he had to reconsider his actions when he faced a white bone successor.
He had never been able to see through Li Qingshan’s legacy either. This white bone successor was clearly affiliated with Li Qingshan, which only gave him even more things to think about.
If Li Qingshan and Xiao An were both successors of immortals and buddhas, then Qiongqi would not mind nipping them in the bud immediately. They were enemies anyway. However, they clearly were not. Li Qingshan transformed into a daemon and even implied the coexistence of the demonic and divine. Meanwhile, the White Bone Bodhisattva tried to incinerate all life, rendering all worlds she ventured to as a land of death, without a single blade of grass remaining. Even the Demon domain could not accept her. She was as wicked as she could get.
If he killed the successors of two prominent figures of the demonic path for a mere game, then it would not be his curiosity being too great, but something wrong with his head. Just like how curiosity killed the cat, he had lived to the present and become a Demon God because he could clearly differentiate between playing around and asking for death.
Although he had gone to such great lengths, going as far as to descend on the World of the Nine Provinces, it was all a showcase of bravado. He had absolutely no interest in killing Li Qingshan. It was only to force him into making this bet with him.
He chose the fair Blood Oath of the Nether River so that he would have room to maneuver about in the future. If no one cared about him, then that would be for the best. He would obtain a powerful assistant. If the White Bone Bodhisattva or an even more terrifying existence leapt forth, his actions could not be considered as going too far. He would release him at most.
He was not worried at all that he would lose the bet. It was a measly five centuries. Any great cultivator in the nine provinces had a good few centuries of cultivation, and the cultivations of Daemon Kings were calculated with millennia. No matter how powerful Li Qingshan’s legacy was, it was almost impossible for him to cross through so many major realms of cultivation in such a short time.
Five hundred years later, he probably would not even be able to make it to Qingqi mountain, let alone defeat him and overturn Qingqi mountain.
On top of that, the Blood Oath of the Nether River was hiding another huge trap. Once he truly set foot in this world, he would realise that the five centuries were not as lengthy as he imagined them to be.
“Qingshan, are you fine?” Xiao An asked in concern.
“I’m fine. Looks like I need to hurry up. I’m already far too impatient to give that damned evil god a beating!” Li Qingshan collapsed in Xiao An’s arms as soon as he finished with that. “But let me get some sleep first!”