Chapter 429 – As the Spirit Turtle Wills, the Heavenly Secrets Become Unfathomable
The dwelling that Li Qingshan had set up was neither elegant nor grand. It could only be described with a single word—big.
Within the spacious centre of the mountain, Li Qingshan took out the daemon core of the strange catfish. The daemon core was of the water element, so the power it contained was perfect for him. He opened his mouth and swallowed the daemon core.
A tremendous energy was unleashed within his body. Although it was not explosive, the power was enough to claim the lives of regular Foundation Establishment cultivators. Li Qingshan used the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression, and even then, he struggled slightly to keep it suppressed. His body immediately began to change, rapidly stretching and expanding, reverting to his most primitive form as a daemon.
Tremendous daemon qi directly pierced the mountain, rushing towards the sky. The Eight Gates Formation of Golden Locks immediately came into use, locking in this aura. If he were in the academy, he definitely would have given himself away, but he did not have to worry about that here.
The spirit turtle’s daemon core shone brilliantly and revolved rapidly, using everything it had to suppress the energy and gradually absorb the daemon core. Only then did Li Qingshan’s figure slowly recover.
Seeing how Li Qingshan would be fine, Xiao An sat down beside him and summoned the Corpse Soldiers. She unleashed the Blood Flames of Corpse Incineration and Pale Flames of Bone Smelting, alternating between the two as she refined a corpse.
Ten days later, a Skull Prayer Bead was completed. Fourteen tiny Skeleton Demons leapt around in the surroundings, as if they were welcoming their new companion.
Li Qingshan’s cultivation had reached the most critical juncture too. During the three years of secluded cultivation, he had never stopped practising the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression. Originally, he thought he could easily break through to the fourth layer of the spirit turtle with the water element daemon core, but only now did he discover that it would not be so easy. Even if he absorbed the entire daemon core, he would still be lacking a little.
This was the essence that a Daemon General had condensed and refined over centuries or millennia! As his cultivation progressed, his daemon core’s demand for resources grew at an astonishing pace. If he just sat there and absorbed the spiritual qi of the world, who knew how many years it would take him before he broke through.
Li Qingshan suddenly remembered he had obtained a few daemon cores of lower quality as well when he killed the strange catfish. They were basically all of the water element too, so he gulped all of them down, making up for the final part he was lacking.
In the Sword Collection palace, the white-haired, white-beareded Divining Elder sat with his legs crossed before the map of the nine provinces. The Sword of Divination was placed across his knees as the eight trigrams diagram continued to revolve around the ridge of the sword.
As Fu Qingjin undertook his investigation, the Divining Elder had never stopped searching. A sumeru ring was equivalent to a miniature world. Apart from the owner, no one could find out what was going on in there, let alone sense the Soaring Dragon sword’s aura.
The Divining Elder pondered to himself for a while before setting his target to the Soaring Dragon Elder’s sumeru ring again. It was difficult to find out about the matters of different worlds, but a “gate” would always remain in this world, at least until the other world was destroyed. Although it would not give off any aura at all, he could still use it to grasp its trace.
A few years ago, the Divining Elder had tried this, but he ended up suffering a backlash, leaving him heavily injured. What injured him was not the black ox himself, but the soul sense he had left behind in the sumeru ring. If it were not for the soul sense, the Sword Collection palace would have sniffed out Li Qingshan already and ripped him to shreds with their divination techniques.
Li Qingshan thought the black ox had already left, but little did he know that the black ox’s power had been constantly protecting him throughout these years. And now, with the disappearance of the soul sense, Li Qingshan seemed to turn into a child who had lost his final layer of protection. Not only did he have to survive in this world by depending on himself, but he also had to face enemies well beyond what he could handle right now.
“Rise!” The Divining Elder’s hands danced about like a lotus flower, stretching and performing seals with unbelievable speed. The Sword of Divination let out a long thrum and rose up. The tip of the sword pointed down, right over his head.
“One with the Sword!”
The Sword of Divination fell, piercing and melding into the top of the Divining Elder’s head. The diagram of yin and yang appeared in the Divining Elder’s pitch-black pupils, constantly revolving as he gazed at the map.
In that instance, his gaze seemed to pierce the many mountains and rivers, gazing over the entirety of the Clear River prefecture. He was trying to find the tiny sumeru ring in this land that stretched fifteen hundred kilometers.
He did not need any investigations, any analyses, any questions, or any thoughts. He directly asked fate itself, appealing to the heavens for an answer.
No one knew how long he had wandered in the river of fate. The corner of the Divining Elder’s lips suddenly curled in delight. He had finally found it!
It was like finding a ray of sunlight in the darkness. All he had to do next was follow this ray of sunlight and trace it back to its source.
The Divining Elder completely stopped worrying too. During the previous divination, the great disaster had appeared with this ray of sunlight. He had vaguely made out the back of a figure. It did not give off any hostility, nor did it purposefully attack him, but that was the most terrifying part of it all, as its existence alone had made his divination completely collapse.
If it were not for merging with his sword and having the Sword of Divination enduring most of the damage, his sea of consciousness would have almost received a devastating blow. This felt no different from an insect that had actually flown a little too close to the crater of a volcano. The volcano would continue to sputter and surge like before, completely neglecting the existence of the insect, but just a wisp of smoke it produced was enough to kill the insect.
The Divining Elder followed the ray of sunlight and suddenly encountered some interference. It alarmed him, but he calmed down again very soon. It seemed like his target also knew divination, except from the contact earlier, he could tell that his target was weaker than him.
Xiao An, who was refining her Skull Prayer Beads, lurched inside. She frowned slightly and began to practise the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots.
The Divining Elder immediately sensed the interference intensify. The ray of sunlight began to twist, and the path he followed became obscured. A clash between practitioners of divination was more profound and mysterious than any other clash.
The Divining Elder smiled, filled with confidence. He nullified Xiao An’s interference bit by bit, advancing towards his target steadily.
Li Qingshan had absolutely no idea that Xiao An right beside him was currently embroiled in a battle like that with the Divining Elder over five thousand kilometers away. He just comprehended the variation with the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression silently until his mental state attained absolute peace.
Something seemed to be brewing and growing restless within the spirit turtle’s daemon core that was shaped like a turtle shell, like the birth of the universe. Suddenly, the turtle shell shuddered, and a pair of eyes lit up, deep and sagacious.
Li Qingshan opened his eyes. His pupils shone with deep, blue light. In that instant, he seemed to feel what regular people described as “something clicking into place”. Many questions and problems that he had racked his brain over suddenly seemed to become clear. Even the entire world became clear.
After breaking through to the fourth layer of the spirit turtle, the profound inscriptions on the spirit turtle’s daemon core became clearer. He began to radiate with an invisible power that spanned deeply into the vast river of fate, kicking up a ripple.
The Divining Elder snapped open his eyes in surprise. Just when the answer was about to be presented before him, the ray of sunlight vanished completely, like it had been obscured by a dark cloud. He was unable to find its source anymore.
“You’ve finally roused.” Xiao An let out a long sigh of relief.
“What’s wrong?” Li Qingshan scratched his head. Although he did not exactly know how to use the spirit turtle’s ability of divination, hiding and obscuring had always been the spirit turtle’s instincts. It did not just hide him as a person from divination, but his entire fate; in particular, it hid the fate of those closely attached to him.
“You didn’t sense it? Someone tried to use divination to find us, or should I say, it.” Xiao An looked at the sumeru ring in her hand.
With that, Li Qingshan seemed to recall something. He frowned. “It felt like… someone was spying on me earlier, which made me very uncomfortable, so I just hid… Why would I think of something like this?”
Xiao An brought her palms together and smiled. “According to the buddhist scriptures, twenty moments pass within a flick of a finger, and twenty thoughts occur during a single moment. This is just one of your thoughts. You obviously won’t sense it normally.”
Li Qingshan bent his finger and flicked it. He smiled. “So that’s four hundred thoughts. That should be the so-called unconscious mind, right?”
Many thoughts would flash past at lightning speed, such that even the person themself would not know they had thought of something like that. After reaching the fourth layer of the spirit turtle, not only had Li Qingshan’s daemon qi increase drastically, but he had become more meticulous and intricate with his thoughts too, reaching an unprecedented state.
Li Qingshan paced around. He even understood the protection that the black ox’s soul sense offered now. He was very touched. Brother ox must have calculated his cultivation progression accurately. After reaching the fourth layer of the spirit turtle, even if he could not foresee everything, at least he would not be killed through something like this. That had basically eliminated one of his worries.
He smiled. As for how he would take his next step, he already had an idea.
The Sword Collection palace definitely had a way to locate the Soaring Dragon sword, which was why Fu Qingjin had asked him a question like that. If he wanted to remove any items from the sumeru ring or make the Soaring Dragon sword his, he had to find a suitable location that could both allow him to avoid the Sword Collection palace’s search and weaken the Soaring Dragon sword.
A place like that was not actually difficult to find. It was right below Li Qingshan’s feet. If he continued to venture downward, to even greater depths, he could use the interference from the underground magnetic field.
“Xiao An, what do you think?” Li Qingshan told Xiao An his thoughts.
“Smart.” Xiao An praised sincerely.
Li Qingshan laughed aloud before sighing again. His fate had been led underground once more. However, he was in no hurry to set off. There was no need for Northmoon to appear so soon.
Talking with Xiao An a little more and checking on her results, Li Qingshan calmed down. He then took out the Illusory Water Sword of Invisibility to refine. It would be a combination made in heaven if he used it with the Glazed Mirror of Invisibility.
In the blink of an eye, over a month had passed. Autumn went and winter came. The mountains became covered in snow.
The Crystal Resin cauldron opened once more. Ru Xin stretched her neck and stood up, taking out the refined pills from the cauldron and storing them into bottles. She took a glance and found that still a lot of the spiritual herbs from Li Qingshan remained.
I wonder how he’s doing, getting me to do all the hard work! Let me go get some air!
Just as she thought that, someone touched the formation. Li Qingshan’s voice rang out from outside, “Ru Xin, open up.”
Ru Xin opened the formation and the entrance to the dwelling, erupting on a rant right off the bat. “Don’t yell out like that in the future! If I were refining pills, what would happen if I become distracted? Is it going to be on me or on you?”
“I knew you weren’t refining pills. How’s the refining going?” Li Qingshan entered without any invitation.
“How did you know?”
“I guessed.” Li Qingshan smiled. That was not a lie. He did not purposefully try to divine anything. He just thought of Ru Xin, and a thought crossed his head, She might be sick of alchemy. Afterwards, he just paid a visit.