Chapter 986 – A Dead End?
In the pitch-black centre of the mountain, demon qi surged below as white flames gushed above. The demon qi contained endless malice, while the white flames twisted into countless howling faces. It was quite a sight of demonic cultivation.
The little phoenix assumed his human form again and watched this blankly. Suddenly, he felt an urge to go home. The outside world was far too dangerous, while the two beside him were dangerous risks among dangerous risks. If it were not for the fact that they had no interest in doing evil, the destruction they could cause to humanity would definitely be no less than the Soaring Locust King.
He shook his head firmly. If he had been frightened like this, why had he left Fire Melt mountain in the first place? He would have been better off spending his entire life in the phoenix’s nest. Then he began a new round of training, and the details of the training was to withstand this terrifying mental pressure through his own willpower.
All of the Skull Prayer Beads were repaired, and the skulls began to spit out the Samādhi Flames of White Bone instead. The raging flames constantly gathered, shrank, and collapsed, refining into a new Skull Prayer Bead.
Li Qingshan stood below. His sturdy body was clad in demon qi, just like a Demon Suppression Tower. Abruptly, he began to move, constantly moving between poses. His movements were extremely slow, drawing along the surging demon qi.
Whenever he completed a movement, he would leave behind an afterimage that would only disperse after quite some time. They were the poses of the Demon Suppression statues, but at a closer glance, they were also slightly different. They lacked the sense of pain and struggle the statues gave off and replaced it with a sense of wildness and recklessness. The former was about constant self-restraint and self-control, while the latter was about releasing everything and acting as he pleased.
He followed the proper order first, going from the first to the eighth statue, followed by the eighth statue to the first statue. After repeating this thousands of times, the demon qi on him shuddered, and he completely broke away from the order. He leapt from the first statue to the seventh, then to the fourth. His movements seemed much more sluggish, but the little phoenix could sense an even greater pressure from him. He held back the urge to retreat, gritting his teeth and holding on silently.
Gradually, Li Qingshan’s movements became more and more fluid until he could transition between them freely. However, he continued to frown as if something was amiss. Upon closer thought, he realised his Demon Suppression Statuary had diverted from the original direction from its very foundations. The first layer should have been the “Initial Remorse of the Demon Heart”, but he had comprehended the “Remorselessness of the Demon Heart”.
Because he had already condensed the Ocean pearl and faced the second heavenly tribulation back then, he did not sense any differences. However, when he tried to break through a major realm of cultivation with the Demon Suppression Statuary, he immediately encountered great difficulty.
Straying from the beaten path and forging a path of his own was not that easy. The cultivation methods predecessors left behind were not open to interpretation. Instead, only by conforming with the intentions of the predecessor as much as possible was it possible to completely master the cultivation method.
Xiao An’s changes with the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty, allowing the buddhist and the demonic to coexist, might have still conformed to the White Bone Bodhisattva’s intentions. After all, the White Bone Bodhisattva spent most of their life as an eminent monk. The Path of White Bone and Great Beauty was essentially based off a buddhist cultivation.
However, “Remorseless of the Demon Heart” was definitely impossible for the powerful demonfolk who created the Demon Suppression Statuary. Otherwise, why would he have created this cultivation method in the first place? He was better off sticking to being a demonfolk that had glorious future prospects ahead of him.
This was akin to an essay. Not only did the reader fail to understand the author’s intentions, but he even held onto completely different ideas, so it was very difficult to relate his own feelings to the essay, forcing him to give up on reading it. Even if he read through it reluctantly, he would not grasp the essence.
Stronger cultivation methods were equivalent to a harder essay to read. In order to understand the essence, that required an even greater ability to comprehend, or perhaps agreeing with the author’s intentions. Incidents like this were commonplace within the cultivation community—a measly cultivator with average comprehension or even mediocre talent rising up all of a sudden after obtaining a powerful cultivation method. That was not the cultivation method’s work, but the reader and the author being on the same wavelength.
This was why the later generations would struggle to reach the same heights as the creator when they practised a cultivation method. No one would feel or experience things that were exactly identical.
However, not only did Li Qingshan lack Xiao An’s affinity for comprehension to forcefully comprehend the Demon Suppression Statuary, but it was also impossible for him to change his mind and reach the same wavelength as the powerful demonfolk, much less abandon the Demon Suppression Statuary. All he could do was enter a special bottleneck.
He took out the Asura Field again and stepped inside, arriving in a vaster land. He bellowed, “Demon suppression!”
Jangle! The Chains of Demon Suppression flew out, wrapping around him firmly.
“Still not enough!”
Boom! The Demon Suppression Tower fell down from above, pressing him into the ground. He chained himself up and imprisoned himself, leaving him almost immobilised.
The first thing that the Demon Suppression Statuary suppressed was his own demons. Breaking free from the chains and tower could not be achieved through strength and abilities, but internal awareness and enlightenment. Only true awareness and enlightenment could assist him with practising the Demon Suppression Statuary.
Time flew. Xiao An forged the Skull Prayer Beads one by one, having surpassed the original number already. She advanced to a higher realm.
The Demon Suppression Statuary stood on the blood-red ground like a lone mountain, shaking gently and rumbling away.
Under the restraints of the chains, Li Qingshan was pouring with sweat as he moved about as hard as he could! He gritted his teeth and warped his own expression. He was in the exact same condition, but the enlightenment he pursued never arrived.
Initial Remorse of the Demon Heart, Initial Remorse of the Demon Heart, Initial Remorse of the Demon Heart… He repeated again and again inside before culminating into a curse in the end, “Remorse your grandmother’s leg!”
He did not feel like he should feel remorse over anything, not because he was powerful, but because he was not born as a demonfolk. He had always possessed an ordinary sense of humanity about him, so he did not have to contend against the instincts he was born with like the powerful demonfolk.
He thought about it quietly. A contention like that was basically betraying himself, like a fire devourer insisting on switching to a water element cultivation method. If something like that actually happened, even he could not help but admire them!
“Master is a human too. Not only is his bloodline more pure than mine, but he probably has a lot more humanity in him too. How did he do it?” Li Qingshan mumbled to himself. He knew the Unraging monk had broken through the third heavenly tribulation with the Demon Suppression Statuary, which left him puzzled.
“Qingshan, the Unraging monk devoted himself to buddhism and viewed evil as poison. Afterwards, he lost himself in the slaughter. By the time he came to his senses, what he hated was no longer just the external enemies, but his own self that was filled with killing intent and evil intentions. He obviously had to feel remorse,” Xiao An’s voice suddenly rang out.
“I see. Then I’m done for!”
Li Qingshan grinned. The powerful demonfolk wanted to have a sense of humanity, while the Unraging monk wanted to be an eminent monk. They were all higher pursuits, which was what made them feel remorse over their demonic thoughts.
However, he was only a mortal. He felt love, and he felt hatred. He felt emotions, and he had desires. He was a combination of good and evil, where the divine and demonic coexisted. He liked to do as he pleased, but he had his own set of principles. Although he could not exactly say he had stayed true to himself with everything he had done this life, he could say he had tried his best. He felt good about himself, so he could go without remorse.
But if there was no remorse, why did he have to suppress his demons?
Was this perhaps a dead end?