Chapter 968 – Reversal of Life and Death, the Life-saving Strike
Li Qingshan gazed at Xiao An in surprise. That blurry feeling had become extremely clear. She truly had changed! The Xiao An of the past would have never done something so “unnecessary”, nor would she care about the relationships of others. The Divine Nun of the South Sea’s deceased spirit would definitely be smiling gladly right now!
The Great Banyan Tree King blanked out for a moment. Suddenly, he let out a deep sigh. His eyes were slightly moist. There was actually a slight smile of relief on his face. “Fellow Xiao An, thank you for your advice. Can you help me out again right now?”
His great sleeves drifted in the air as the Great Banyan Tree King bowed deeply towards Xiao An. Even his long beard touched the ground.
Li Qingshan was stunned. Just who in the world could accept this bow from the Great Banyan Tree King?
However, Xiao An accepted it calmly. She waved her hand indifferently. “There’s no need to be so polite, senior. I’m not helping you either!”
“Oi, girl, that’s not something you should say!”
Li Qingshan felt even more surprised inside. The Xiao An of the past was unfeeling, but she was flawless when it came to manners. Even Feng Xiwu praised her. She would never be as disrespectful as right now.
Xiao An agreed with him, but she did not seem particularly convinced.
“You don’t have to say anything, Qingshan. I’ve been asking for this.” The Great Banyan Tree King waved his hand at Li Qingshan and smiled wryly.
Xiao An glanced at Li Qingshan as if she was asking, How’s that?
Li Qingshan shrugged. “Alright, alright!”
A Skull Prayer Bead turned into a skull from Xiao An’s wrist, spitting out a ball of Samādhi Flames of White Bone that burned away silently. Her seaweed-like hair drifted into the air. Two golden specks appeared in her clear eyes as she chanted softly, “White bone and great beauty, reversal of life and death!”
The almost-transparent Samādhi Flames of White Bone gradually consolidated, and madam Vine’s figure faded into existence. Her eyes were firmly shut with despair frozen on her face.
Li Qingshan widened his eyes. “This is possible?”
Xiao An said, “I told you. That strike of mine was not enough to claim her life. She was the one who let her mind fall into disarray, leading to qi deviation. If she was just let be, she definitely would have died.”
“So your strike saved her instead?” Li Qingshan found this unbelievable. Xiao An had shown him far too many surprises today.
“Since white bone can turn into great beauty, then a strike to kill can also save.”
Xiao An’s white clothes drifted in the air. A hint of benevolence appeared within her calmness, possessing an unrivalled beauty.
After balancing the buddhist and the demonic, she gained a brand-new understanding towards the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty. She had no idea whether she had taken the wrong path or not, but the White Bone Bodhisattva’s original intentions probably were not to kill people and slay buddhas either.
Madam Vine’s figure gradually consolidated, but she did not stabilise. This was Xiao An’s first time doing something like this.
All Li Qingshan saw was the Great Banyan Tree King with a face full of concern. His vast, distant aura diminished drastically, making him seem more like a regular person. He thought, He’s probably an old tree sprouting with new shoots right now—he’s in love!
“Qingshan, help me out!” With a flip of her left hand, Xiao An held a phoenix feather between her fingers, piercing it into madam Vine’s forehead.
“I’m coming!” Li Qingshan held her hand and circulated the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa as hard as he could. The phoenix feather shone with resplendent light, shooting into madam Vine’s body as a streak of light.
Xiao An eased up. Madam Vine’s figure stabilised. Her breathing was feeble, and she was unconscious. She fell into the Great Banyan Tree King’s arms.
The Great Banyan Tree King thanked Xiao An again. Xiao An said, “She’s heavily injured, both mentally and physically. Please do what you think is most appropriate, senior.”
The Great Banyan Tree King nodded and shut his eyes. He brought his forehead to madam Vine’s, and the tree heart above shone with rainbow light.
“Woah!” Li Qingshan widened his eyes. All he saw was the Great Banyan Tree King’s verdant beard wither away, revealing his true appearance. Right when he wanted to say something, the Great Banyan Tree King waved his hand without even looking up. The surroundings twisted and changed, having been moved away already, but he heard Xiao An spit out three words, “Law of Vinaya!”
Li Qingshan waited around for quite a while in Towering city before Xiao An was shifted to his side, remaining silent with her head lowered.
“What’s wrong?” Li Qingshan asked.
“If you want to scold me, then scold me!” Xiao An behaved like she had already mentally prepared herself for death.
“Why would I scold you?” Li Qingshan smiled.
“Really?” Xiao An blinked her eyes and asked carefully.
“Haha, what are you on about!” Li Qingshan pulled Xiao An into his arms with a great laugh, touching her hair and giving her a thumbs-up. “Speaking of which, you did magnificently! That’s the first time I saw the ‘old man’ behave like that with an expression like that! Oh how unexpected!”
“You’re not going to blame me for acting on my own?”
“My Xiao An has already grown up. It’s time for her to act a little on her own.”
Li Qingshan did not like madam Vine, but he did not hate her to the point of wanting to kill her. As such, he had confirmed with the Great Banyan Tree King again about whether he actually wanted to go forward with this before he had attacked the Mist Province cauldron. However, since the Great Banyan Tree King had made up his mind, there was nothing else he could say. In the end, it was for the best that they could have the best of both worlds.
What delighted him even more was Xiao An’s changes. Right from the beginning, he did not condone the White Bone Bodhisattva’s terrorism, nor did he want Xiao An to become a second White Bone Bodhisattva.
“I’m just pitying her a little.” Xiao An embraced Li Qingshan gently, gazing at the withered vines around the Great Banyan Tree King. She said like she was giving a guarantee, “I will never be stubborn like her!”
“I told you to not rope us in like this! I’m nowhere near as great or kind as the Great Banyan Tree King. You know me. I’m very selfish and greedy. I don’t ever want to let go of what’s mine. If you want to go somewhere where you can’t bring me along, I’ll never permit that!” Li Qingshan smiled.
“Yeah. I will definitely take you to beyond the Nine Heavens.” The corner of Xiao An’s lips curled as she gazed deeply at Li Qingshan. If I ever become an obstacle that hinders you, I will never make it difficult for you.
“Then I’ll be in ma’am Xiao An’s care!” Li Qingshan laughed aloud. Without her by his side, what was the point of it even if he made it to beyond the Nine Heavens? He would be better off clinging to his dream and dying in battle somewhere else.
At this moment, the withered vines lit up with golden light again, gradually recovering their vitality.
“Oh right, what did you stay behind earlier to do?” Li Qingshan asked.
“I asked him a question,” said Xiao An.
“If he could choose again, how would he choose?”
“You sure want to get to the bottom of this, but it’s a good question. How did he answer?”
“He considered it for a very long time, but he did not answer me. Instead, he asked me a question.”
“Really? What did he ask you?” Even Li Qingshan was unable to guess what the Great Banyan Tree King was thinking exactly. Had he changed his mind, or was he still holding true to himself like before? Or did he have no answer?
“He asked me if I thought she would forgive him.”
Li Qingshan broke into a great laugh. He basically could not imagine the Great Banyan Tree King’s expression back then. “Then how did you answer?”
“I can’t guess, but if it were me, I’d definitely remember this forever even if I don’t carry out revenge!”
“Then I better be careful, just in case I offend someone petty like you.”
“How dare you call me petty! I’m never going to forget about that!” Li Qingshan shot a vicious glance at her as a joke.
“Oh no!” Xiao An covered her mouth and giggled away.
The sun vine flowers bloomed resplendently like miniature suns, illuminating the tree shade that was thick like the night.
How couldn’t she forgive him?
PS: My ugly appearance as a perfectionist has been completely exposed once more! I do appreciate the beauty of tragedies, but it’s not like I’m Shakespeare. Since I am the one who tells dreams, I’ll try my best to tell a sweet dream!