Chapter 498 – A Godless World
Li Qingshan experienced even more pain than when he endured Zhou Tong’s heavenly lightning. This was not because the Annihilum Light Chan Master wanted to kill him, but rather due to the intense reaction from the ox demon and the tiger demon to the Chant of Deva-Nāga. It was like pouring water into boiling oil, surging instantly.
Rumor has it that the Chant of Deva-Nāga possesses the ability to suppress all daemons, demons, ghosts, and monsters. Sure enough, it’s true. Has he discovered something? Which is why he’s purposefully testing me?
The Annihilum Light Chan Master had not realised Li Qingshan’s original form as a daemon. Instead, he had other thoughts in mind. Not only could the Chant of Deva-Nāga suppress all daemons, but it could also purge the evil thoughts and desires from a person’s heart.
If Li Qingshan truly had some inappropriate intentions towards Xiao An, he could use this to eliminate them, saving any unnecessary troubles that might have happened with his visit. If he refused to let them go, then he would suffer extreme agony.
However, Li Qingshan’s face only changed slightly before recovering. As a matter of fact, he was even calmer and more composed than when he first arrived.
Is my judgement wrong? If that’s the case, I don’t have to make things too difficult for him. People are creatures of feelings, so it’s unavoidable if you can’t always let go. If I use force, I would be resorting to a lesser method of dealing with this. I’ll develop ill will with my disciple. The Annihilum Light Chan Master stopped the Chant of Deva-Nāga.
Actually, Li Qingshan had used the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression ability to suppress anything, pacifying the unsettled ox demon and tiger demon and becoming as calm as a meditating old monk. When the spirit turtle submerged in the sea, it was as still as a rock. Of course, this was also because the Annihilum Light Chan Master had never unleashed his true strength, or fleeing frantically would be the only thing Li Qingshan could do apart from transforming and fighting him.
“Is this the ultimate cultivation method of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, the Chant of Deva-Nāga?” Li Qingshan asked with a smile.
“Seeing how open-minded and level-headed you are, you do indeed have some destiny with the buddha, sir.”
“What? The Chant of Deva-Nāga?” The monks were all stunned. Apart from Xiao An, no one else had sensed anything from the probing and clash earlier.
“Could you pass it onto Xiao An?” Li Qingshan tried his luck.
Li Qingshan arrived on Benevolence island alone as he sighed inside, The phoenix’s feather sure won’t come easily!
“This special cultivation method is different from other cultivation methods. Only my senior brother, the abbott, has the right to pass it to other people. And she’ll have to undertake a series of tests before that.”
That was the Annihilum Light Chan Master’s answer. As a revered monk of buddhism, he fully embraced the precept of telling no lies, not to mention how he would never lie about something so significant.
There was nothing Li Qingshan could do. He agreed to pay a visit to the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga with Xiao An once he dealt with the matters in the Clear River prefecture. That was what Xiao An had been planning in the first place too. The Annihilum Light Chan Master had nothing to say, so he continued giving sermons to Xiao An.
Li Qingshan made his way to the school of Medicine, thinking about the second story Ru Xin wanted to tell him. Back then, he was worried about Xiao An, so he was in no shape to think too much about it, but looking at it now, he felt that it bore great significance.
Ru Xin’s mouth was unforgiving, but never did she actually try to scam him out of his spiritual stones. He could feel that even if he had given her the spiritual stones reluctantly, she would not have accepted them.
Asking around a little, Ru Xin was not on Benevolence island. She had gone to the library on Contention island.
Suddenly, a gaze filled with hatred was cast over. Li Qingshan raised his head and looked over. There was a twisted face behind a window upstairs that he found rather familiar. It was Chu Tian.
Li Qingshan waved his hand with a smile, and the face became even more twisted. At this moment, a woman arrived by the window, and surprisingly, it was Qian Rongzhi. She dropped her gaze and glanced at Li Qingshan. Her expression was rather strange as she quickly closed the curtains.
“Is she guarding her prey?”
“Little Tian, stop looking. There will be a day when you become even more powerful than him.” There was no pity in Qian Rongzhi’s eyes. Instead, they were filled with trust and anticipation.
This was a gaze that no man could resist when they were in dejection. Chu Tian was no different. He shuddered before throwing himself into Qian Rongzhi’s arms. He began sobbing.
“I don’t have anything anymore!”
Qian Rongzhi rubbed his head gently with her gloved hands. Her gaze was gentle like a mother gazing at her own, dejected child.
However, the hell snake began to move, slithering around on her body reluctantly. She also comforted it like a mother.
Be patient. There’ll be food very soon.
Chu Tian had indeed lost quite a lot of things. After Ru Xin brought him to Benevolence island, his symptoms of qi deviation stabilised miraculously. Afterwards, Qian Rongzhi rushed over, her eyes red as she stuttered.
Under Chu Tian’s forceful questioning, she ended up telling him an extremely unfortunate piece of news. During the time he spent in secluded cultivation, the two girls who had joined the academy with him died in battle. He was childhood friends with the two girls, deeply attached to them.
Chu Tian was overcome with sorrow and experienced qi deviation again, almost dying.
Afterwards, a miracle occurred to him again, keeping his life intact as if fate really protected his life. However, his cultivation did regress drastically.
“You still have me!” Qian Rongzhi turned her head away as if seeing this broke her heart. She could not help herself as tears rolled down her cheek.
And, only me.
The venomous snake hissed.
“Fubai, why are you here?”
Li Qingshan arrived at the library, but he ran into an acquaintance, Sun Fubai.
The sunlight poured in through the window as Sun Fubai sat back in a rocking chair leisurely, reading a book, just like when they had first met.
“Qingshan, you’ve come.”
Only after a conversation did Li Qingshan learn that the library originally belonged to the school of Novels. The structures on Contention island all came with obligations, which were mostly handled by people various schools sent over.
However, as the school of Novels had originally declined to the point where they almost lost Cloudwisp island, possessing no disciples and unable to support any instructors, the library had fallen under the obligations of the school of Confucianism. Now that the school of Novels was prospering again, it returned to the hands of the school of Novels.
Sun Fubai had reached a crucial moment for his breakthrough to Foundation Establishment, so he dropped his matters in the Cloudwisp association and returned to the library to cultivate himself. Under his management, a complete structure had already been set up in the Cloudwisp association, so there was no need for him to personally tend to everything.
Books filled the bookshelves. The smell of wood and books was refreshing. However, the vast building was mostly empty, without many people inside.
The chaos brought by war had yet to be pacified. The people who were in the mood to read books and the books regarding cultivation were all on higher floors. Most of the books downstairs were classics, or on history, philosophy, and literature, which were very difficult for cultivators to take note of.
“You’re talking about school leader Ru, right? She’s right over there. She came a long time ago. So she’s been waiting for you!”
“Yeah. I’ll go and take a look.”
Li Qingshan had already sensed her aura. Navigating his way through the mountainous bookcases and piles of books, he finally found her in a corner.
There were many books piled on the table, but she was not holding a single one. She crossed her legs high up on the table, smiling brightly while leaning on her hands.
There were two floor-to-ceiling windows. The sunlight was wonderful, dyeing her black hair golden.
“What are you doing here?” Li Qingshan sat down in front of her, casually picking up a book and flipping through it before tossing it back onto the table.
“To tell you the second story.”
“A story about gods.”
Ru Xin removed her legs from the table. With a wave of her hand, the curtains were drawn with a rattle, blocking out the sunlight. A shadow enveloped her face. She crossed her arms and placed them on the table, leaning forward and stifling her voice. “Did you know that the nine provinces originally had many gods? These gods obviously couldn’t be compared to the gods and buddhas in heaven. At most, they were only some minor gods, and the places they governed were not large either, such as a mountain or a river.”
“Most of them were mountain or water daemons. Perhaps they might not have been particularly powerful in the cultivation world, but in the eyes of regular people, they already possessed powers to summon clouds and rain at whim. They seemed all-powerful. And, as long as they remained in their territory, their strength would be greatly enhanced. They would possess quite the power.”
“What about now? Why aren’t there any more left?” Li Qingshan seemed to understand something, but he failed to grasp the main point of all this.
“After the founding emperor established the nine provinces, not a single god existed in the world.”
“And then there’s no and then. I’m done with my story.” Ru Xin waved her hand again, and the dazzling sunlight flooded in.
“Is this your story?” Li Qingshan stared at her with widened eyes.
“It’s not like you’ve paid anything, so why should I make it so long? If you want to know, read it for yourself!” Ru Xin patted the pile of books, filling the air with dust that drifted about in the sunlight.
She stood up, about to leave.
“Hold on.” Li Qingshan stopped Ru Xin, but he had no idea where he should start with his questions. Just a certain thought of his became clearer and clearer. He glanced past the tall pile of books. She must have spent quite the effort digging up these damned books from the musty selection here!
“If you have something to say, just spit it out.”
“If you had said ‘make it quick’ instead of that, it would be a little more pleasant to my ears.” Li Qingshan’s gaze swept past her perky bottom viciously. He was very tempted to deal a vicious slap there.
Immediately, he forgot about keeping her around for the rest of his life as a confidant. He only thought about how pressing her down over his legs and viciously spanking her would be the greatest enjoyment when she ran her mouth blindly.
“Will I receive spiritual stones if you feel pleasant?” Ru Xin found that rather inappropriate as soon as she mentioned it.
Sure enough, Li Qingshan sniggered. “That’ll depend on how you make me feel pleasant.”
Ru Xin turned around and left without saying anything more.
Li Qingshan suddenly remembered something. “Do you know what Qian Rongzhi is doing by Chu Tian’s side?”
“In the Mist province, interfering with a person’s hunt is even more severe of an offence than stealing their wife!” Ru Xin waved her hand without even looking back, passing through the corridor of floor-to-ceiling windows. She flickered in and out of the sunlight, disappearing at the end of the corridor.
“Hunting? She’s thinking the same thing as I am. It’s a pity that I have too many prey, or I wouldn’t mind having a hand in it.”
Li Qingshan murmured to himself before picking up the book he had tossed on the table again. He carefully studied the cover. The title of the book had already become blurred, and the words were in an extremely simple style. He only managed to make out two words, “on Gods”.
Unless they were left untouched in hundred treasures pouches, items like books could never withstand the passage of time no matter how proper the protection they received was.
For once, Li Qingshan settled down and began reading. Only then would he live up to the pain-staking efforts she had gone to in finding these books from the vast selection here.
Under the reflected sunlight, time passed bit by bit.
Just like what Ru Xin had said, gods did exist in the very beginning. They were primarily divided into mountain gods and water gods. Bodies of earth and bodies of water could be refined like spiritual and arcane artifacts, but unlike imprinting them with soul sense, the process involved drawing out a sliver of soul sense and condensing it into a god seal.
The founding emperor conquering the world was not as simple as defeating everyone in the world and then establishing the eight kings and ten Daemon Kings. Otherwise, the Great Xia empire would have immediately collapsed the moment he left, returning to the age of chaos.
Instead, he undertook a series of procedures to prevent this. The most important procedure was forging the great cauldrons of the nine provinces. The materials that went into forging these cauldrons were the god seals collected from throughout the world.
The nine cauldrons suppressed the nine provinces. From then onwards, even if daemons claimed mountains and bodies of rivers again, they would not be able to refine them.
TL: This is a reference to ancient Chinese mythology/history. If you’re wondering why Chinese webnovels frequently mention nine provinces and not eight or ten provinces, it’s because there were nine provinces/regions in the ancient Xia and Shang dynasties, which is basically another way to say China now. So yes, these “nine provinces” are very, very loosely based on ancient China. At the same time, cauldrons basically symbolize the power and authority of rulers in ancient China, with the emperor, the Son of Heaven, possessing nine. You can read more about this here:
With the emergence of the founding emperor, the world became godless.