Chapter 477 – The Day of the Battle
Li Qingshan’s large, tall body was riddled in clearly-divided muscles. He gained a sense of heaviness, standing like a mountain.
His bright, black pupils seemed extremely peaceful. It was different from the state of emotionlessness and desirelessness when he practised the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression. Instead, it was a form of firmness that reached as deeply as his bones.
Endless power radiated from his body, connected with the boundless earth. They were indivisible.
In the past, whenever he broke through with the Ox Demon Transformation, he would always carefully test his new strength. He did this to enjoy the increase in his strength, as well as to maintain control over his increased strength.
But this time, he did not feel any joy from the drastic increase in his strength. Instead, he discovered a boundary, such that just simple actions like moving his arms and legs were riddled with obstacles. He was unable to unleash the strength to his heart’s content.
However, his strength clearly increased, and not just by a bit. Who knew how many times greater it was compared to before.
His strength in the past was basically enough to rival the strength-type Daemon General with a special bloodline, Strongboulder.
Yet right now, he could completely overwhelm Strongboulder with only a single hand, or directly crush Strongboulder’s almost-indestructible body. This aspect alone had completely exceeded the level of a Daemon General.
The Nine Transformations of the Demonic and Divine was an unparalleled ability created by the black ox. It seemed extremely ordinary at the beginning. When he was at the first layer of the Ox Demon Transformation, all he could do was harass a few figures of the jianghu. He could not even defeat a few stronger Qi Practitioners.
But as time went on, the changes brought on by each layer was world-shaking. His strength swelled upwards by compounding on itself. The difficulty of cultivation did rapidly increase, but the efficiency of his cultivation increased too. He could not help but think about the classical story of the wheat and the chessboard.
A clever vassal had invented the game chess for a bored king. The king was extremely interested, asking him what he wanted as a reward. As a result, he mentioned a “simple” request, asking the king to reward him with some wheat. He asked the king to place a single wheat kernel on the first square, two wheat kernels on the second, four on the third, and so on.
The king agreed to it happily. In the very beginning, the request seemed extremely simple, taking up very few wheat kernels, but before he had even filled half the board, the king discovered that even if he took all the wheat available to the kingdom, he would not be able to fulfill this “simple” request.
The Ox Demon Transformation might have only had nine layers, but the strength definitely did not just multiply each time. If he truly compounded it a ninth time, then even he would not be able to imagine just what level his strength would reach.
Moving entire mountains to fill whole seas, plucking stars and grabbing the moon from the night sky would probably all become the norm. He remembered what brother ox had once said, “I can directly give you the power to sweep through this world.” Only when he thought of it now did he realise just how modest brother ox had been.
He had a feeling that even if the person chasing after him that day was not the Soaring Dragon Elder, but some figure who stood at the very peak of the nine provinces, they probably still would not have been able to cause brother ox much trouble. But relatively speaking, the person who managed to force brother ox into such a state would clearly be even more terrifying.
The reason why I feel my strength is bound is because I know my strength is nowhere near enough!
Li Qingshan clenched his hand gently. He felt despair. A suffocatingly tremendous pressure weighed down on him.
He never felt despair in the past, as he had never dared to face this goal properly. He had just maintained a mindset of making each step count. It would be for the best if he could reach his goal, but if he could not, then there was nothing he could do.
It was just like how a child said, “I want to be a scientist”, or “I want to be an astronaut.” It was as easy and simple as that.
Once the child became a teenager, an adult, gaining even greater power and even greater intelligence, they would realise the distance between their dream and themselves. They would feel despair. Of course, this would not cause too many problems, as most people would choose to give up in the next moment and switch to a more realistic goal.
However, those who wanted to persist would be forced to endure despairing torture.
Li Qingshan smiled slightly. If I don’t sink into this kind of despair, how am I supposed to demonstrate the ox demon’s spirit of never admitting defeat?
Before he knew it, Li Qingshan had crossed this mental journey that could not be put into words, carrying a “mountain” on his shoulders.
To the other side of the cavern, Xiao An remained in a meditative state. She sat with her legs crossed and her hands in seals. Twenty prayer beads revolved above her head. As long as she forged one more, the Skull Prayer Beads would evolve again and reach a whole new realm.
However, the forging process of the last prayer bead was extremely difficult. It was much more difficult than refining the twenty other prayer beads.
Li Qingshan did not disturb her. Calculating the time, there were still a few more days before the fifth of the fifth month, the day of the battle.
I hope I can break through to the fourth layer of the tiger demon. Li Qingshan remembered something and took out the Rock of Slaughter from his hundred treasures pouch.
Strongboulder’s soul had been drawn out by Xiao An, so his body had reverted to its original form, the Rock of Slaughter. The daemon core remained in the rock too.
At first glance, the Rock of Slaughter did not seem particularly special, but it was so tough that even the arcane artifact blood-red blade could only leave behind a mark. If Li Qingshan used the power of his tremors, perhaps it would have been effective, but he was afraid of destroying the daemon core inside. If he accidentally set it off and it blew up, it would be bad.
Coupled with the fact that Li Qingshan could not use an earth element daemon core, he just left it in his hundred treasures pouch and did not think too much about it. He just wanted to wait until he made some progress with artifact forging to see if he could create a weapon with it.
But at this moment, Li Qingshan came up with a new idea. He exhaled gently and extended his hand over, grabbing the Rock of Slaughter firmly.
A great power gradually seeped out, passing into his fingers. He actually dug his fingers into the Rock of Slaughter bit by bit before using some more force and breaking off two pieces.
He checked it, and sure enough, it was merely regular rock, which made him doubt whether this thing could be forged into an artifact or not. It was just regular rock, so why was it so tough?
Li Qingshan’s hands flew into a flurry and fragments and powder flew into the air. Before long, he had ripped apart the huge Rock of Slaughter, finding a grey daemon core inside. It possessed extremely powerful earth element energy, which the spirit turtle’s daemon core would struggle to digest.
However, the power that Li Qingshan wanted to make use of was something else.
A powerful killing intent radiated from the daemon core, enough to drive cultivators crazy. Just as Li Qingshan had expected, the daemon core did not only contain all of Strongboulder’s power. It was also the nucleus to the Rock of Slaughter.
Li Qingshan casually tossed the daemon core into his mouth and swallowed it with a gulp. Immediately, killing intent rushed through his head. His eyes immediately turned blood-red.
He no longer suppressed it with the spirit turtle. Instead, he comprehended the killing intent closely.
In his sea of consciousness, the tiger demon appeared, leaping up and unleashing a vicious roar at the sky. It unfurled its wings and sped around, brandishing its claws and teeth, wanting to kill and fight to its heart’s content. However, there were no enemies in the empty sea of consciousness.
Li Qingshan’s body bent over. His claws protruded, and his teeth lengthened. His breathing became hurried as his heart beat faster and faster!
He was tempted to rush out of the dwelling immediately and find someone, human or daemon. All he wanted was a massacre, to slaughter everything in sight.
I mustn’t! Li Qingshan suddenly pressed against his chest, as if he wanted to force this killing intent back inside.
At this moment, he suddenly thought of Yu Zijian. In Jiaping city, she did not rely on anything at all, yet she managed to resist the power of the Rock of Slaughter.
“Even a Qi Practitioner girl could do that, yet I can’t?”
Actually, as a woman, Yu Zijian was naturally kind-hearted. She had been stunned by the horrific sight before her, which made her think of the past, filling her with sorrow.
On the other hand, Li Qingshan possessed the boldness and valiance of a man, and there was a bloodthirsty and battle-hungry aspect to him too. Not only was he unable to use anything else to distract himself right now, but he instead poured all of his attention into the killing intent, so it was a hundred times more difficult.
The fifth of the fifth arrived quickly.
The endless Boundless mountains seemed like the rising and falling seas. The perilous peaks formed the colossal waves.
The surroundings were pitch-black. Rain poured down, swept about by the rain, sometimes falling northward, sometimes perpendicular to that, or even sometimes flying up towards the sky. It seemed like a thunderstorm above the sea.
Fu Qingjin stood alone on one of the waves, completely drenched by the rain. However, he did not waste even a shred of strength to block the rain. Instead, he seemed like he was enjoying it, allowing the rain to fall on his face while listening to the whistling wind by the cliffs.
Suddenly, a smile appeared on his handsome face. He tightened his grasp around the Green Ruins sword on his waist.
A scarlet figure spun and pierced through the cloud layer in a hurry. A ray of golden light abruptly appeared in the darkness, illuminating Fu Qingjin’s face.
Li Qingshan slowed down in the light. The wings of wind behind him folded up slightly as he descended gradually.
The sunlight dyed the droplets of rain, turning them into thousands of golden specks that danced around him. With his flawless appearance and calm expression, he seemed more like a god, not a diabolical daemon.
Fu Qingjin was slightly surprised. As a true swordsman, he had already committed everything about his opponent to heart. He had even undergone countless simulations in his head.
It was possible to say that he could confidently claim he was one of the few people who understood Northmoon the most in the world.
But meeting him again, he discovered everything he had been anticipating had been overturned and shattered.
He did not just see a change in strength from Li Qingshan. His entire vigour was completely different, which made him feel like he was facing a new opponent.
Aren’t daemons supposed to cultivate extremely slowly? Northmoon, how did you achieve this?
“Have I?” Li Qingshan answered calmly. Strongboulder’s daemon core was still in his belly, affecting him in the same way as before.
In only a few days, he had undergone pain and struggle that regular people could never even imagine, yet he still failed to break through to the fourth layer of the tiger demon. Sure enough, cultivation was becoming more and more difficult.
The ever-growling tiger demon became even more excited now, urging him to a battle to the death with Fu Qingjin.
At this moment, Li Qingshan actually hoped Fu Qingjin was a little stronger, strong enough to force him into dire straits. Only a true battle to the death could stimulate the tiger demon’s bloodthirstiness and craziness, allowing him to use this opportunity to break through to the fourth layer.
Suddenly, he discovered that he no longer placed so much importance on this battle that he originally cared so much about. Even his grievances with Fu Qingjin had become negligible. All he saw before him was a chance to become even stronger, a stepping stone leading to beyond the Nine Heavens.
“However, defeat is certain for you today,” Fu Qingjin said firmly.
PS: A bow and thank you to Antenna Baby (Machine Baby) for becoming a new Alliance Head. A thank you to Shangguan Dizzy (Shangguan Giddy) for becoming a new Sect Master. Thank you for your powerful support, which fills me with fighting will. With seven Alliance Heads assembled, we’re not far from summoning the holy dragon. May the two of you enjoy eternal happiness and the same longevity as heaven itself.