Chapter 455 – Freezing Strongboulder with the Ice Flame of Soul Refinement, the Three Together Form White Bone
Li Qingshan said coldly, “Even without me, you wouldn’t die in a place like this, fellow Fu. You have plenty of talismans from the Sword Collection palace anyway.”
“I still have to thank you,” Fu Qingjin smiled, basically admitting he was under no danger at all.
Actually, he was truly thankful to Li Qingshan for saving Yu Zijian, but he did not mention it openly.
Li Qingshan had vaguely realised that too, but he did not state it either.
Fu Qingjin sighed gently. “I didn’t want to use something like that either unless I had no other choice. This isn’t our Sword Collection’s palace path of the sword. However, the rock demon poses a great threat. He’s slaughtered millions of people and countless cities already. In order to kill him, I could not afford to care so much anymore.”
Li Qingshan seemed to hear the funniest joke in the world as he laughed aloud.
“Why do you laugh, sir?”
“If you hadn’t broken the Treaty of Kings first, why would these daemons run amok above ground in the first place?”
“Since it’s called the Treaty of Kings, how can a measly person like me break it? I’m just going with the flow.” Fu Qingjin naturally possessed the bearing of a lord who ordered people around at whim. He sounded like he was treating his subordinates courteously and condescendingly, as if they should feel flattered because of him.
“Don’t even think about running away from the responsibility. You’re connected to this one way or another.” Li Qingshan refused to play along. It made him feel even more displeased, as a matter of fact. He had been trying everything to settle these ties of karma involving him, yet all Fu Qingjin did was take an easy step back and push aside his responsibilities.
Fu Qingjin smiled. He really was unable to shirk away from this anymore, so he changed the topic. “Sir, could I take a look at the arcane artifact you used earlier?”
“With how great the Sword Collection palace is, why would you need a measly arcane artifact of mine?”
As they said that, the streaks of light arrived. The group from the academy was led by Wang Pushi and Hua Chengzan.
“Qingshan, are you fine?”
Hua Chengzan literally leapt up in fright when he heard his sister and Yu Zijian had run into the rock demon slaughtering a city. Despite his incredible intelligence and all the calculations he had made, a situation beyond his control like this was exactly what he was afraid of.
If it really were the rock demon, then let alone two measly Qi Practitioners, even Li Qingshan would be in danger.
Li Qingshan said, “I’m fine. I even killed a Daemon General. Don’t forget to record this under my name when you get back, old Wang. Oh right, I am a Foundation Establishment cultivator now after all. I should have been promoted to the same standing as you a long time ago!”
Wang Pushi had already prepared himself for the worst, so he truly let out a sigh of relief right now. When he heard Li Qingshan’s words, all he did was swear in exasperation, “Damn brat, you’ll get exactly what you deserve. Tell us exactly what happened.”
As a result, Li Qingshan told them roughly what he had gone through.
Hua Chengzan clapped his hands together and praised, “Qingshan, you’re a genius!”
The other cultivators present could not help but reevaluate Li Qingshan too, I didn’t think the school of Novels would produce someone like him after all the time I spent in secluded cultivation. Not only did he save two Qi Practitioners in front of the rock demon, but he’s even bold enough to turn back and assist Fu Qingjin in killing the rock demon. He even managed to kill a Daemon General when he was encircled by them. Not only would you require wits to achieve this, but it would require absolute guts too.
If it were them instead, just going back to save two Qi Practitioners would require careful consideration. It would be like walking on a tightrope, where just the slightest carelessness could cost them their lives.
Actually, Li Qingshan had not thought that much at all. Even if he gave a handicap to Strongboulder, he would not be able to kill him. A person who was not afraid of falling from the tightrope would obviously be brave enough to dance around there gracefully, which instead led to gasps of admiration from those who did not know the whole story.
Fu Qingjin finished his conversation with the cultivators of the Daemon Suppression alliance before glancing at Hua Chengzan deeply, basically warning him.
Afterwards, he clasped his hands at Li Qingshan with a smile. “If everyone from the academy could be like fellow Qingshan, brave, resourceful, and open-minded, what couldn’t you achieve? What daemons can’t you kill?”
The cultivators from the Daemon Suppression alliance were all surprised. Rarely did they see Fu Qingjin treat someone else so politely.
In the depths underground, Strongboulder shook off his Daemon General subordinates and reached an extremely deep cavern by moving through the earth. After confirming that no one was chasing after him, he eased up inside. His face was sunken as his teeth creaked from how hard he grit them.
“I’ll make you suffer a horrible end, Fu Qingjin, and that kid too!”
He had been quite heavily injured this time, having been pierced all the way through by Fu Qingjin’s fusion with his sword. This was not a simple stab wound. All of the powerful sword qi and sword intent within the attack was enough to destroy his organs.
If he were some regular Daemon General, he definitely would have died on the spot. It was exactly because he was a stone daemon, possessing no vital points on his body, that he managed to hang on tenaciously.
Just as he tried to force out the sword qi before returning to his territory to heal.
Cling~ Cling~ Clink~
In the darkness, a shiny, snow-white bead bounced over. The bouncing sound was extremely prominent in the silent underground world.
Strongboulder found this rather strange. His beady eyes moved up and down with the bead until it arrived before him. He picked up the bead and wondered, What’s this? Seems like bone.
He was unable to sense even a hint of aura from it. He tried to crush it casually, but the bead refused to budge. He became more and more surprised. There really were not a lot of items in the world that could not be crushed by him.
Clink! Clank! Clonk! Like beads of various sizes falling into a jade bowl, over a dozen beads bounced over loudly. They arrived beside Strongboulder’s feet and leapt up like they were alive.
“Who’s trying to act all mysterious? Get your ass out here right now!” Strongboulder called out.
Despite how sharp his senses were, he was unable to find even a sliver of a living creature’s aura in the darkness, no matter how hard he searched.
He felt slightly uneasy, but with how fearless he always was, he was confident he could escape through the earth no matter how bad the situation was. These beads agitated him as they leapt up and down, so he kicked them. The ones he touched actually stuck to his foot.
He lowered his head and discovered that the bead in his hand was stuck to his hand too. Looking closely, it had turned into a tiny skeleton, hugging his finger firmly. It expanded to the size of an infant in the blink of an eye, grabbing Strongboulder’s entire wrist. Its jaws clattered as it let out strange, chattering laughter.
The eighteen prayer beads turned into eighteen skeletons. Like eighteen monkeys, they clung onto Strongboulder’s limbs, back, and neck. They clung onto every part of him.
“And I had thought it would be something impressive! Is this all?” Strongboulder sneered, but his smile suddenly stiffened. The slender arms of white bone unleashed startling power, causing his entire body to tighten up and become immobilised.
When Xiao An went from fourteen to eighteen Skull Prayer Beads, the power of all the Skeleton Demons had increased yet again. Every single one of them could handle a regular Daemon General. When the strength of eighteen of them was poured together, even Strongboulder was helpless, not to mention that he had just gone through a great battle and was currently weakened.
“Petty tricks!” Strongboulder suddenly expanded, and his head touched the ceiling. The eighteen Skeleton Demons expanded with him, becoming extraordinarily bulky, and their power became even greater. They weighed down on Strongboulder like a small mountain.
Strongboulder collapsed on his knees helplessly. Looking up, a tiny skeleton, “solemn and sacred”, was already standing right in front of him before he knew it.
Strongboulder’s Rock of Slaughter would influence the thoughts of all living creatures, rousing their killing intent. However, in that moment, the skeleton influenced his thoughts instead. His killing intent had been completely washed away, replaced by an omen of death.
There was no difference between white bone and great beauty. Form had already become emptiness.
The tiny skeleton was like a collector of souls from the underworld, preaching the absolute truth of life and death to him. No one could escape it, and no one could change it. All attempts of struggle were pointless.
“What are you!?” Strongboulder broke free from that mental state violently. He unleashed a wild roar and erupted with his remaining daemon qi, which filled the entire cavern.
The cavern suddenly began to writhe, like the guts of a monster. The stalactites bit towards Xiao An like the long teeth of a monster.
Strongboulder was filled with confidence. No matter what it was, challenging him underground would only result in death for them. He was definitely going to crush them to death with this innate ability of his.
Xiao An took a step forward. She raised the sword of white bone and plunged it into the hole in Strongboulder’s chest.
The hole left behind by the Green Ruins sword had become extremely large with Strongboulder’s expanded body. It was large enough to fit an entire person in there.
As a result, Xiao An’s white bone sword hit nothing, and Strongboulder sneered even harder.
Xiao An possessed the ability to reduce blood, flesh, and bones to flames, but Strongboulder was a strange rock, possessing neither blood, flesh, or bone. Neither the Blood Flames of Corpse Incineration or the Pale Flames of Bone Smelting were effective against Strongboulder. She could suppress Bloodshadow, but she seemed to be suppressed by Strongboulder now.
The flickering fire in Xiao An’s eyes sockets suddenly became an icy blue.
Icy blue flames suddenly surged out of the white bone sword too, filling the hole in Strongboulder’s chest. The eighteen Skeleton Demons opened their toothy mouths and spat out icy blue flames as well, enveloping Strongboulder completely.
Strongboulder laughed freely. He had a natural resistance to various techniques. The last thing he was afraid of was a fire attack. Even the scorching lava, the flames of the earth, could not melt him.
His laughter suddenly halted. He felt a deep chill. It did not come from his body, but from the depths of his very soul. He shivered for the first time in his life. So cold!
“Ice Flames of Soul Refinement!” Xiao An chanted. After reaching the first layer of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty, she had finally grasped the three flames—Corpse Incineration, Bone Smelting, and Soul Refinement.
With the three together, she could completely kill him.
“I’ll drag you down with me!”
Strongboulder felt colder and colder. He knew the only thing awaiting him would be death if this continued. Out of pure madness, he wanted to blow up his daemon core, but he discovered that the daemon core directly connected to him was already beyond his control.
Before he knew it, the cavern stopped surging, and Strongboulder’s daemon qi dispersed.
It was not just the daemon core. He could not even move a single finger. He had been frozen by this piercing, bitter cold. Not only had his thoughts halted, but even his fear came and went, as if he had been reduced to the same, senseless rock of the past.
Xiao An closed her boney hands and wrenched the frozen soul from Strongboulder’s body.
Strongboulder collapsed loudly, turning into a strange rock that landed before Xiao An. It flickered with light senselessly, radiating with intense malice.
The Ice Flames of Soul Refinement receded back into Xiao An like the tide, merging with the two other flames. It turned into a white flame that was almost transparent, flickering in her eye sockets.
This was the foundation of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty—the Samādhi Flames of White Bone.
All creatures in the mortal world that possessed a soul, flesh, and blood would be incinerated, would be frozen, when they came into contact with this fire. They would go from life to death, beyond salvation.