Chapter 530 – Emerging From the Cocoon as a Phoenix (Two)
With a great boom, the cocoon of flames exploded.
Circular shockwaves pushed the magma away wave after wave, stirring up roaring fire.
Li Qingshan stood in the sea of fire. Under the red glow, his perfect body seemed like a statue forged from bronze. He kept his eyes closed and his head down as his fire-like hair danced fiercely.
Li Qingshan breathed gently. This moment felt like a new life.
This was the first layer of the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa.
“Congratulations on advancing with your cultivation.” Golden Cicada’s voice rang out in his head.
“Thanks. What else do you need me to do? Please let me know.”
Li Qingshan opened his eyes and magnificent red light flowed through them. A pair of gloriously beautiful wings suddenly unfurled behind him.
They were not wings composed from energy like the wings of wind. Instead, they were real wings, the wings of a phoenix.
Fire swept towards him. He bent over slightly, and the wings furled up too. Streams of wind wrapped around him as he used the wings of wind at the same time. The two powers of wind and fire merged perfectly.
Pushing hard with his feet, there was a thump and the wings suddenly unfurled. He had already soared off into the air, leaving behind a long trail of fire.
Xiao An waved the Blood Sea Banner and followed close behind.
Li Qingshan followed Lolth’s aura and penetrated through the layers of soil and rock. When he grew close to her, he concealed all of his aura again, approaching silently.
Suddenly, he frowned. When he used the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression to conceal his aura, the power of the Phoenix Transformation put up a violent struggle. He was unable to hide his aura perfectly.
In his body, the spirit turtle’s daemon core had already changed. It had gained a smear of bright-red, attached to the azure daemon core. It constantly shifted about, but only on the surface. It was unable to penetrate any deeper.
According to the standard of humans, the demonic transformations of the Nine Transformations of the Demonic and Divine focused on the body, while the divine transformations focused on qi. As a result, even with his Tiger Demon Transformation and Ox Demon Transformation at the fourth layer, the spirit turtle suppressed them with relative ease, yet it was rather helpless against the first layer of the Phoenix Transformation, leading to an intense rejection.
Although he had managed to succeed with the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa after quite some effort, he had not truly reached the state where water and fire merged, let alone the realm when water and fire supplemented one another. If he continued cultivating the Phoenix Transformation, this rejection would probably become stronger.
However, he had to find a method around this one way or another.
He remembered that a few cultivation methods in the cultivation world were about simultaneously practising water and fire. He would have to properly research the tricks behind this once he returned to the academy.
With the advantage in strength of the fourth layer of the spirit turtle, he forcefully suppressed the phoenix’s aura. If he fought against anyone in this state, he would not have become stronger. Instead, he would have become weaker due to the internal exhaustion of his energy.
The rumbling and tremors grew closer and closer. Li Qingshan burst out of the earth and found the place rather familiar. It was the great valley where he had originally clashed with Bloodshadow and Strongboulder.
The four grandmasters each wielded a sword, standing in four corners and assembling a formation, trapping Lolth inside.
Lolth’s hair was a mess. She seemed to be in a rather sorry state, but her eyes became calmer and more vicious. She leapt forth, lunging towards the weakest among them, Wen Zhengming. She completely ignored Wen Zhengming’s incoming sword, directly reaching towards his shoulder with her claws.
“The fierce cold of winter seals the land in ice.”
The leading scholar in white chanted slowly. The sword in his hand danced gracefully as frigid sword qi swept over with snowflakes.
A layer of ice immediately appeared on Lolth’s body. She felt a wave of coldness penetrate her bones, completely immobilising her. With a shudder, the ice on her cracked.
The scholar in white thought, This wretched daemon really is a carapaced Daemon Commander after all. Her body truly is tough. If she were a regular Daemon General, she’d be frozen into a block of ice with that strike. She really would be a difficult opponent if I fought alone.
“The soughing wind of autumn turns white due to frost!”
Taking advantage of Lolth’s frozen state, Wen Zhengming pulled back with his sword. With a dance of sword qi, Lolth became covered in a layer of white dew as soon as she had shattered the ice. She slowed down once again.
At this moment, the two other grandmasters struck together.
“The bloom of spring brings clear, bright rain.” “With the sweltering of summer, the sun blazes like fire.”
Drizzle as thin as hair fell continuously and gently, invading every single opening, but it contained extremely sharp sword qi. It could even penetrate Lolth’s fine poison suit, even trying to seep into her body through her pores.
Lolth’s skin immediately became a silvery-grey. She had unleashed her innate ability and only then did she manage to block this flexible yet deep-reaching attack. However, a ball of scorching fire that seemed like the scarlet sun then hurled towards her from behind. Caught in the sword formation, there was nowhere for her to dodge.
With a great boom, firelight illuminated the valley.
Lolth was swallowed by the fire. The four grandmasters swung their swords together as they faced the fire. Their four swords wove into a net, disappearing into the flames.
The flames subsided, and a great big hole had been burnt in the back of Lolth’s poison suit, and her body was covered in slashes. However, with her innate ability of perfect defence, she had managed to forcefully block the attacks.
However, she did use up quite a lot of daemon qi. A visible sign of exhaustion appeared on her face. She had already tried to break out of the encirclement countless times, but every single time ended in failure.
Hidden away, Li Qingshan discovered there was not a lot of damage to the sides of the valley. Logically speaking, a clash between four Golden Core cultivators and a Daemon Commander would be earth-shaking. There would be nothing strange even if the entire valley was destroyed.
The current situation only demonstrated they controlled every bit of their strength to remain in the sword formation, without anything going to waste. Coupled with how Lolth was outnumbered four to one, she would be whittled away to death if this continued.
As it seemed, it was not without reason the Golden Cicada assisted him. He was originally contemplating on killing with a borrowed knife. If the four grandmasters were unable to find him, it was possible for them to venture deeper. By then, crushing them would be no different from playing a game with the Golden Cicada Spirit King’s strength.
He never expected Golden Cicada would be reluctant to interfere, but he did help him instead, which basically achieved Li Qingshan’s objective anyway.
“Mother of my child, the father of your child has come to save you!”
Li Qingshan secretly snuck his way into the wall near Wen Zhengming. He bellowed out all of a sudden and burst out. Before his voice had even reached Wen Zhengming, he had already arrived behind the latter. The speed he had erupted with in that instant even left him surprised.
I never thought the combination of the phoenix wings and wings of wind would result in such a great effect. In the future, anyone who tries to hunt me down will only be able to suck on the wind I produce!
The figure of the ox demon appeared on Li Qingshan as he butted his horns viciously into Wen Zhengming’s chest. Lolth raised an eyebrow, rather surprised, but she did not let this fantastic opportunity slip past. She lunged towards Wen Zhengming again to form a pincer attack with Li Qingshan.
With Wen Zhengming’s cultivation at early Golden Core, he was in great danger when a carapaced Daemon Commander and Li Qingshan who was no weaker than the former surrounded him. Even if he managed to escape with his life intact, the Sword Formation of the Four Seasons would definitely fall apart.
Wen Zhengming beamed with joy instead of becoming alarmed. He called out, “Wretched daemon, you’ve finally come! Freeze!”
Without even looking back, he flew forwards, raised his sleeved arm, and a paper talisman flew out. It turned into a single word, “Freeze”, and Lolth immediately became immobilised.
The three swords arrived with lightning speed. The sword qi turned into threads, wrapping around Li Qingshan. In that moment, he experienced the powerlessness of melting in the spring breeze, the bone-chilling coldness of being frozen in ice, followed by the scorching heat of being incinerated by fire.
The tip of his horns were only a feet away from Wen Zhengming, but it suddenly seemed extremely distant.
“Changing of the Seasons!”
Wen Zhengming struck backwards, uniting with the three other swords.
In that moment, Li Qingshan only felt like sword qi surrounded him in all directions, constantly revolving and changing.
As if the four grandmasters had agreed beforehand, they abandoned Lolth at the same time, shifting their target to Li Qingshan. This was not something that could be achieved with on-the-spot reactions. Instead, they had carried out countless meticulous thoughts, taking all openings into consideration.
The weakest of them, Wen Zhengming, was like bait, luring Li Qingshan into the situation of death.
The scholar in white said, “Moon demon, do you think we didn’t consider you’d launch a sneak attack against us? And that we’ll be completely unprepared?” Afterwards, he waved his hand. “Junior brothers, use the Sword Qi of the Four Seasons to kill this wretched daemon first!”
The Freezing talisman could only last for a moment at most. The spider daemon would break free very soon. If they allowed the two daemons to work together, it really would become rather troublesome.
However, they possessed absolute confidence that if they used the strongest killing move of the Sword Formation of the Four Seasons, they would be able to kill the moon demon in a single stroke. By then, it would not be too late for them to unleash the sword formation again and kill the spider daemon at leisure.
“Spring Thunder sword!” “Summer Rain sword!” “Autumn Wind sword!” “Winter Snow sword!”
Green, yellow, scarlet, and white. Four strands of sword qi shot into the air together, filling Li Qingshan’s field of vision.
Falling deep into the sword formation, Li Qingshan experienced an intense omen of warning.
The Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell only managed to block it for an instant before shattering loudly. The Sword Qi of the Four Seasons constantly revolved and changed, linking together end to end meticulously and assaulting all openings.
Li Qingshan seemed to be thrown into a stone mill, being forcefully ground into dust.
Li Qingshan immediately used the special ability of the Watermirror disc. His mirror clone hidden in the water shattered in that instant, drifting away like dust. Every single strand of daemon qi had been used up.
His flesh and blood spattered everywhere, forcefully ground away into a skeleton that was riddled with thin slashes.
The scholar in white eased up and clasped his hands. “Congratulations on your revenge, junior brother Wen!”
Wen Zhengming let out a smile of relief too. All of this had happened in an instant. By the time Lolth had broken free from the Freezing talisman, the four grandmasters had already assembled the sword formation again.
Seeing this, Lolth was secretly shocked. If they had unleashed this move right from the beginning, she would have never lasted until now. They had saved this killing move for when the moon demon bit the bait, but also to launch a sudden attack when she had used up everything, taking away her opportunity to blow up her daemon core.
Daemons could be crafty, but it was very difficult for them to match the strategies of humans. Most importantly, humans were capable of far too many different things, like talismans, sword formations, and regular formations. It was possible to say that even if the four grandmasters worked together, they were not Lolth’s opponent if they only fought with their own strength. It would be a nightmare the moment she managed to get close to them. However, with these various means available to them, they could instead endanger her life.
“Do you think you can kill him just like that?”
Lolth said in disdain when she heard the scholar in white. Only she understood the most how difficult it was to kill him.
Wen Zhengming’s heart lurched. The moon demon who should have been dead through and through lunged over. It had taken a great mental toll on them to use the Sword Qi of the Four Seasons, and as the weakest among the four, Wen Zhengming had relaxed slightly due to his “revenge”. He was unable to dodge immediately, which allowed Li Qingshan to grab him firmly.
“I’ve caught you! Mother of my child, get him!”