Chapter 484 – The Guardian King Subdues Demons
Dark clouds wrapped round the Chain mountains, drenching the verdant shrubbery.
The lingering clouds and mist hovered between the mountains, moving with the wind and rain.
Rain water flowed down the stone plate with the three words “Qing Xiao’s Home” engraved.
Behind the heavy stone door was a large, empty cavern. White flames burned upwards, like an upside down waterfall of fire.
Unlike regular flames, they were peaceful and quiet, giving off no sensation of heat at all. Instead, they were indescribably, bone-chillingly cold.
Twenty skulls surged up and down in the flames, opening their mouths and closing their jaws, creating a chatter. It sounded like a soul-stealing song from hell, yet it also sounded like the chanting of countless monks.
It was evil and sacred, eerie and majestic.
The source of the flames was Xiao An. Her seaweed-like hair rippled like the fire. It was like the flames and skulls all came from her imagination.
Xiao An formed a seal with her hands as she chanted a sutra. She seemed like a meditating monk at first glance, but the seal was not a buddhist seal, and the sutra was not a buddhist sutra.
Suddenly, she pointed at the sky, and all the flames condensed with that. All the skulls gathered together, revolving above her head. She opened her mouth and spat out a white prayer bead. As it spun around, it turned into a huge skull, pure-white and shiny, glimmering with light.
The lustre of the other twenty prayer beads improved with that, becoming even more powerful.
Xiao An waved her hand conveniently and the twenty-one skulls turned into twenty-one prayer beads, returning to her wrist and forming a string.
She had finally taken another step forward with the demonic artifact of white bone, the Skull Prayer Beads. At the same time, she had completely consolidated the first layer of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty, advancing with her cultivation.
The twenty-one prayer beads represented the ten bhūmi, the ten pāramitā and buddhahood of buddhism. In her hands, they obviously possessed a completely different implication. Those who were not well-versed in buddhism would not be able to understand.
TL: I believe the twenty-one prayer beads basically represent the different steps to buddhist enlightenment. The ten bhūmi are ten different steps, while the ten pāramitā are ten different qualities that enlightened beings possess. You can read more about them here:
On the surface, the string of prayer beads shone with pure, buddhist light. They were righteous, legitimate buddhist artifacts.
She casually picked up a prayer bead and that was enough to rival the strength of an arcane artifact. Any single Skeleton Demon was enough to kill regular Foundation Establishment cultivators. Under her mental control, the twenty-one Skeleton Demons could fight alongside her with their minds connected, which endowed them with even more startling power.
It was possible to say that she alone was equivalent to an army of cultivators. She could influence the division of power within the entire prefecture.
Xiao An thought of Li Qingshan and became slightly uneasy. She immediately took out the Bamboo-Jade Lot of the Cloud Bookcase and used the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots to practise divination.
Before long, she received the results, which made her expression change slightly.
The divination revealed that Li Qingshan was in danger. He was basically surrounded with killing intent and an aura of death. He was in dire straits.
Xiao An immediately climbed to her feet, but she heard calls and curses from outside.
“Li Qingshan, get out here! I know you’re in there!”
Chu Tian used the Palm of the Five Elements and sent it towards the entrance of the dwelling. Five kinds of spiritual qi—metal, wood, water, fire, and earth—rose and fell in an endless cycle.
In the beginning, the hand flickering with five-coloured light was only a few meters across. As it rapidly absorbed the spiritual qi of the world, it reached several dozen meters across in the blink of an eye, slamming against the Eight Gates Formation of Golden Locks and producing a great boom that echoed through the mountains.
The Eight Gates Formation of Golden Locks obviously could not be destroyed so easily, but the person inside was unable to sit still anymore with the disturbance.
Sure enough, the door to the dwelling opened loudly a while later.
A slender figure walked out. Xiao An scanned around, and her gaze skimmed past the mountains wrapped in mist, landing on Chu Tian. She hid a white bone sword in her sleeve, deciding to kill this person first.
Chu Tian felt his head buzz. He directly became dumbstruck. So beautiful. That was beauty he was unable to describe. He had spent his entire life as an unrestrained romantic, having lovers everywhere, but this was the first woman that had managed to make him fall in love at first sight. If he could obtain her, he was willing to pay any price.
Xiao An had never been one to blabber. Since she had made up her mind, she immediately went about it.
But at this moment, a few streaks of light shot over from the horizon.
“Chu Tian, don’t be impulsive!” Liu Zhangqing called out.
The bellow finally made Chu Tian return to his senses. He clasped his hands. “I’m Chu Tian. May I ask for your esteemed name, ma’am? If I have disturbed you, please forgive me!”
Xiao An said nothing. She considered whether she should kill all the people here and then rush off to help Li Qingshan. No matter where she wanted to go right now, she probably could not shake off these people, which would only increase their suspicion.
Perhaps there were a few acquaintances of Li Qingshan among them, but to her, Li Qingshan took priority over everything else. Even if he would scold her after this, she still would not bat an eye.
“Xiao An, where’s Qingshan?” Seeing how it was her who had come out to receive them while Li Qingshan was nowhere to be seen, Liu Zhangqing could not help but become rather puzzled. With Li Qingshan’s nature, he would definitely accept all forms of provocation or challenge.
“Cultivating.” Forced to answer, Xiao An spat out a single word.
In the blink of an eye, over twenty Foundation Establishment cultivators had hurried over. This was a battle among the geniuses of the academy. Basically everyone wanted to catch a glance of it.
Of course, there were a few who were uninterested, but just a handful. The central force of the academy had basically all gathered here.
If she led them into the dwelling and activated the Eight Gates Formation of Golden Locks, she had a certain degree of confidence in being able to slaughter them all.
“What? You’re Xiao An!?”
Chu Tian was taken aback. Obviously, he had a deep impression of this genius that even surpassed him. However, he never imagined the little girl of the past would actually turn out like this.
“Tell Li Qingshan to drag his ass out here!” Chu Tian almost went crazy from jealousy as his hatred for Li Qingshan intensified further. However, he had already made up his mind to viciously defeat and humiliate Li Qingshan so that he could save Xiao An from his demonic grasp and then take good care of her.
Unity between geniuses went without saying, right?
Xiao An remained silent.
“Chu Tian, don’t forget about the courtesy of confucianism. Xiao An, so many of us have come, so why don’t you invite us in?”
Under the gazes of numerous pairs of eyes, Xiao An lowered her head and rubbed the Skull Prayer Beads on her wrist. She was just about to invite them in like what Liu Zhangqing had said.
Suddenly, she thought of something and said, “I can’t.”
“Why?” Liu Zhangqing was stunned.
“He’s cultivating. He can’t be disturbed,” Xiao An answered calmly. She scanned the horizon from the corner of her eye. Someone was watching from the sky, even higher than Foundation Establishment. She could not kill them.
“I think he’s just afraid! He knows he’s not granddaddy Chu Tian’s opponent, so he’s decided to hide and be a coward. He’s sent you out to deal with me. Can’t be disturbed? Hmph, I’ll do exactly that.”
Chu Tian used the Palm of the Five Elements and swung it towards the mountain again.
“Chu Tian, don’t act recklessly!” Liu Zhangqing said. If Li Qingshan really was at a crucial moment in cultivation and ended up suffering from qi deviation due to being disturbed, it would be bad. At this moment, a streak of golden light shot past him.
Xiao An raised her right hand, but what flew out was not the white bone sword, but a vajra sword. A curved streak of light forcefully severed Chu Tian’s Palm of the Five Elements.
Xiao An took a step forward, and golden light surged from her body, turning into a guardian king that stood several dozen meters tall in the blink of an eye. It wielded a huge vajra sword as it glared at Chu Tian furiously.
Xiao An had not spent any special effort on practising the Guardian King’s Scripture of Demon Subdual. Compared to the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty, it was like comparing the curriculum of a primary school to the curriculum of a university. It was far easier to cultivate than the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots. It was just a matter of making use of what she already knew.
Mind Enlightenment was among the crowd too. When he saw Xiao An unleash the avatar of the guardian king, he was stunned. He practised this cultivation method too, and he had even used it to clash with Xiao An in the past. That was the reason why he ended up spending three years wall-facing, finally achieving enlightenment.
He was confident that his comprehension of this cultivation method had already surpassed Xiao An’s, as her time and energy was split between multiple cultivation methods. Only now did he realise the difference between them. When he unleashed the guardian king’s avatar, it seemed like a statue in a temple. Although it also flickered with light, it seemed to be coated in a shell of golden paint. It still seemed like an inanimate object.
Yet, Xiao An’s avatar had eyes flowing with light and a sash that drifted about slowly. Every single crease in its robes were distinct, constantly rippling about.
Its face was also filled with fury, but from the delicate details, its expression seemed alive. Its muscular body was filled with power, like a real guardian king had actually appeared before them.
“You- Alright, I’ll show you my power first then!” Chu Tian was alarmed, but it also roused his fighting will, which made him want to unleash the fruits of his cultivation and demonstrate to Xiao An. I’m a genius on par with you, not a piece of trash like Li Qingshan!
At this moment, Xiao An took a step forward and stepped into the air.
The avatar began to change as well. Its colossal body gradually shrunk as its muscly arms gradually became slender. The distinct lines melded together too.
The anger on its fierce expression was slowly pacified, turning into the gentle face of a woman. Her appearance was rather similar to Xiao An’s, also possessing a red mole between her eyebrows. She wore a golden crown on her head, which made her seem gentle and majestic, magnificent and solemn.
“This-” Mind Enlightenment was tongue-tied. He had never heard that the Guardian King’s Scripture of Demon Subdual could undergo such a transformation.
Guardian kings were protector gods who served as guards to the buddha. Most of them wielded vajras, which was why they were also called vajra. Legend had it that they were originally fiends, and the buddha subdued them. All of them resembled fierce-looking men. Never had there been a vajra that looked like this.
The guardian king leapt up, and its sash flew into the air.
Chu Tian dared not hold back. He struck out with full force.
The Palm of the Five Elements filled his vision. The guardian king extended her slender hand, matching Chu Tian’s palm strike.
You had just gotten lucky earlier. Now that you’re actually taking me on in an open confrontation, don’t blame me for injuring you.
Chu Tian thought. Just as he felt proud of himself, an unbelievably tremendous power emerged, forcefully collapsing the Palm of the Five Elements.
Spiritual qi scattered, and the guardian king leapt out from the five-coloured light, swinging down with the vajra sword in her right hand!
“Protection of the Five Elements!” Chu Tian bellowed out. He raised his hands towards the sky, and the five elements in him condensed together, rapidly circulating about.
The strike was not particularly sharp. It just fell ordinarily.
Blood spattered, and the vajra sword directly cut through the Protection of the Five Elements, landing on Chu Tian’s right arm.
Chu Tian was fear-stricken. He pulled himself back in a rapid retreat, wanting to say something, but a slender hand of golden light emerged with a flash and grabbed him by the throat. His skin split open, and his flesh was ripped apart, reaching all the way to his vertebrae. She wanted to forcefully snap his neck.
The reversion of victory happened far too quickly. No one had imagined Chu Tian could not even withstand a single attack from Xiao An, nor did they imagine her to strike so viciously. Xiao An was about to behead Chu Tian, but it was already too late for them to save him.
An old monk with a grey beard and hair in monk’s robes arrived before Xiao An in a single step. Emotion and praise filled his eyes.
“Truly an outstanding disciple of mine! One Will, master’s come to take you back to the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga!”