Chapter 307 – Second Layer of the Spirit Turtle
The news of the battle between the primary disciple of the school of Novels, Li Qingshan, and the person in possession of the Five Elements constitution, had spread throughout the academy.
Now, the news of Li Qingshan and Xiao An entering seclusion kicked up another wave.
Hua Chenglu clenched her fist. “What an idiot.”
Yu Zijian grumbled, “What’d I do this time?”
“I’m not talking about you.”
There were many disciples seated on the cushions in the surroundings. They all turned their heads over.
“The two of you, please be quiet.” The professor who was currently teaching them alchemy at the front of the daoist temple warned them.
Hua Chenglu stuck out her tongue. Just what was wrong with Li Qingshan? So much for reminding him. However, she soon remembered how that man’s stubbornness was something else. Otherwise, why would he have given up on the opportunity to play up to the Hua family back then, leaving so eagerly?
After class, Yu Zijian took Hua Chenglu around Wuwei1 island for a stroll.
Yu Zijian said, “Big brother Li definitely won’t lose. Isn’t he in secluded cultivation right now?” She had witnessed just how haughty Chu Tian had been that day, so she could not help but stand on Li Qingshan’s side.
Hua Chenglu said, “What would you know? How can his cultivation speed rival…” She stifled her voice. “The Reincarnated Celestial, Chu Tian? The only person who can do that is the deviant, Xiao An.”
Even if they were not Heavenly Meridians prodigies, Reincarnated Celestials still cultivated at speeds beyond what regular cultivators could achieve. The reason for this was said to be because the comprehensions from their past lives lingered, remaining in their minds, which was why they could often deal with bottlenecks and difficulties that stumped regular cultivators with a “flash of inspiration”.
“The brat is going to embarrass himself this time. If he chose to fight Chu Tian immediately, he might still have a chance at victory, but seclusion?” Wang Pushi sneered.
Hua Chengzan said, “You can’t just treat him like a regular person. Since he’s bold enough to agree to it, he’s confident that he can emerge victoriously.”
“Since when did you have such a high opinion of him?” Wang Pushi was surprised.
Hua Chengzan said, “Old Wang, you just have prejudice towards him, which is why you can’t see his merits. Just think about it. How long did it take for him to go from the pine tree outside Qingyang city to the Academy of the Hundred Schools? And how many difficulties had he faced during the process? Had he ever been defeated?”
Wang Pushi fell silent. “Alright. I’ll place a bet on him when the time comes then.”
On Anāsravāṃ island, the only thing that the One Thought master could do was smile bitterly when he heard how his primary disciple had entered seclusion without even giving him prior notice. All he could do was let her be.
“Seclusion? Hah, if seclusion was effective, what would the point of geniuses existing?” When he heard the news, Chu Tian laughed aloud to the two girls beside him.
“Big brother Tian us the best. Big brother Tian would never lose to that ruffian.”
Over two months passed in the blink of an eye. There were still two hours until the battle, but a lot of cultivators had already stopped what they were doing and ventured to the Main Martial Arts stadium to watch.
There were even a few school masters who hid themselves in the rooms for the distinguished guests.
It was impossible for Liu Zhangqing and Liu Chuanfeng to not be here. The slovenly daoist priest was fuming, wanting to see how Li Qingshan made a fool of himself, while in Wang Pushi’s eyes, Li Qingshan was still a member of the Hawkwolf Guard at the end of the day.
The other school leaders who had nothing to do with this also wanted to see just how much the so-called Reincarnated Celestial could grow. Li Qingshan was obviously just playing the role of the yardstick.
However, from the beginning till the end, Li Qingshan never appeared. The door to the cultivation dwelling below Contention island remained shut.
In the end, Han Anjun declared Chu Tian’s victory and handed four thousand spiritual stones to him.
Chu Tian tilted his head back and laughed. “Now that’s clever of him, or it’ll be even more humiliating for him! I will definitely take back what I’ve lost!”
“You’re so powerful, big brother Tian!” “You’ve defeated the enemy without even fighting!”
Liu Zhangqing glanced at the pale-white Liu Chuanfeng with a sneer.
Wang Pushi cursed aloud. All he said was there was something wrong with his own head to have placed bets on Li Qingshan. If it were not for the fact that the cultivation dwellings could not be opened without special reasons, he was tempted to rush in and drag Li Qingshan out. He was not afraid that Li Qingshan would lose. It was just a few inferior spiritual stones at most. However, he could not lose like this.
Hua Chengzan frowned. “Is Qingshan at an important juncture for cultivation, which is why he can’t pause for the moment?”
“It’s just practising some shitty qi, so why can’t he pause for a moment. I think he’s just scared.”
The Main Martial Arts stadium became noisy. Those who had lost spiritual stones would definitely curse aloud, while those who had won could not help but sneer a little.
The novelists had become the laughing stock of the academy once again.
The slovenly daoist priest rubbed his chin. The kid definitely did not seem like someone who would run away from a battle. Did he become influenced by that coward, Liu Chuanfeng?
On Contention island in the underground cultivation dwelling, Li Qingshan did in fact forget about the battle.
Xiao An remembered it, but she did not remind him, as even if she did, he would never emerge right now.
The cultivation progress this time had exceeded Li Qingshan’s initial estimates.
Originally, he planned to digest most of the pills in his hundred treasures pouch, and then he would take another step forward with the Spirit Turtle Method of Sea Suppression.
However, this step ended up being quite large, such that he reached the boundary of the second layer. All he needed was another step, and he would succeed with his breakthrough.
At this moment, the Virtue Accumulation pill he had won from Qiu Haitang and the pill Xiao An had obtained from the One Thought master played a decisive role.
By now, Li Qingshan had already ingested all the pills he could use for cultivation in his hundred treasures pouch. All that remained was the Virtue Accumulation pill, which he had now swallowed too. He began to refine it slowly.
At a time like this, neither his wager of two thousand spiritual stones nor his own reputation was enough to distract him.
These three supernatural abilities were like the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty to Xiao An. They were his fundamentals, while the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression was the fundamental of fundamentals.
It was very likely that the second layer of the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression would be the key that opened the gate to Daemon General. Once he stepped through, Li Qingshan would no longer be the same. The world would no longer be the same.
Time passed slowly. Who knew how long had passed.
Suddenly, a resplendent, azure light rose up from Li Qingshan’s body. The light actually formed the blurry figure of a spirit turtle, moving its head and limbs about in a vivid manner.
Only when it filled the entire dwelling did it suddenly begin to retract again, withdrawing into Li Qingshan’s body. It shrank into the tiny spirit turtle’s daemon core. Although it was tiny, it did become larger compared to before.
Li Qingshan opened his eyes and light shone through them. His mind felt like still water. It was at great peace.
He had finally reached the second layer with the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression, but he did not break through to Daemon General immediately. However, he had been expecting this. Otherwise, he would be undergoing his heavenly tribulation in the academy. He would be out of his mind.
No matter how well-sealed the underground dwelling was, it was still unlikely to conceal the aura. By then, the only fate that would await him would be a combined beating from the school masters.
However, this door was already opening for him. He could vaguely see the boundless scenery inside. He had already planted a foot on the door sill. Now, all he needed to do was pull his other leg forward, and he would be able to step through.
This process was easier said than done. Who knew just how many cultivators had stopped at the tenth layer, unable to take this step even after an entire decade. Who knew just how many daemons had died during the heavenly tribulation. He had to be as cautious as he could be and gather even more resources so that he could complete this most crucial step in his life as a human, no, daemon.
Even without experimenting, Li Qingshan could feel that Foundation Establishment cultivators would struggle to get through his Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shield as long as they did not possess wondrous treasures like Fu Qingjin, or their cultivations had reached the same level as the slovenly daoist priest.
Most importantly, he could once again continue with the abilities of the ox demon and tiger demon that he had put on pause. If both of them reached the third layer, the spirit turtle at the second layer would probably struggle to keep them suppressed, but if he only reached the third layer with the ox demon, it should be no issue.
With the progression of cultivation, the power of the Ox Demon’s Fist of Great Strength became even more startling. His powerful body would be what he would rely on the most to fend off the heavenly tribulation.
At this moment, Xiao An reminded Li Qingshan about the battle.
Only then did Li Qingshan remember it. He checked the time. It should have already been summer outside, right? It only deepened his understanding of a cultivator’s concept of time. It was no exaggeration that it was timeless in the mountains, and years did not exist outside the seasons.
He felt it was a slight pity, but he was not particularly fazed. If he missed it, then he missed it. He could let this kid get ahead of himself for now. Was he supposed to be worried that he would not be able to redeem himself in the future?
He missed it anyway, so there was no need for him to hurry anymore.
“Then let’s continue.” Li Qingshan saw how Milliped had curled up into a ball too in a corner of the room, drawing in the spiritual qi within the dwelling. He seemed to focus on cultivation even more than Li Qingshan. This place was obviously more suited for his cultivation and recovery than the bug pouch.
Milliped had once been the one with the highest cultivation out of them, while his understanding that it was timeless in the mountains ran even deeper than what Li Qingshan knew.
Xiao An nodded too. Recently, she had reached a whole new level through her cultivation of the Guardian King’s Scripture of Demon Subdual and her comprehension of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty. The Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots required even more time from her too, so she could slowly deduce it and practise it.
Li Qingshan took out the high grade Cursive Sword Calligraphy once more. He had only focused on his daemon cultivation recently, so his cultivation as a Qi Practitioner had remained at the sixth layer.
However, he had utter confidence in himself this time around.
With his experience from refining the Cursive Sword Calligraphy last time and his comprehension of the path of the sword stored inside it, it did not take him too long to refine it. He succeeded on his first try.
Afterwards came the most dangerous moment. The infiltrating sword qi was ten times more vicious than before.
Just like last time, a sword as black as ink appeared in his mind again, dancing about like before. However, the terrifying sword intent it gave off was like countless thin needles shooting off in all directions.
The release of sword intent from last time only made Li Qingshan comprehend something, giving him the urge to wield the sword. However, Li Qingshan’s head ached with splitting pain this time, almost to a point where he could not even gather his focus.
It was possible to imagine that almost no Qi Practitioner could survive under these circumstances, with their minds in a mess and the sword qi infiltrating their bodies, basically caught in a pincer attack.
However, Li Qingshan growled, the Spirit Turtle Suppresses the Seas!
The first thing that the Spirit Turtle Suppresses the Seas suppressed was not the sea of qi, but the sea of consciousness.
A boundless spirit turtle conjured in Li Qingshan’s sea of consciousness, pressing down on the inky sword. The terrifying sword intent immediately stagnated.
The spirit turtle’s power could control everything. This was Li Qingshan’s greatest safeguard, and it was the reason why he was bold enough to refine this fragment of the Cursive Sword Calligraphy.