Chapter 548 – The Buddha Slaying Sword Embryo
The Dark Queen suddenly extended her hand over. Her mind was in a mess. Was I mistaken? Are the throbs of my heart just a coincidence? If it’s not her, why did she save me? But if it’s really her, why won’t she recognise me? Why won’t she call me “queen mother”? Does she still hate me?
In the depths of this chilly, noble queen’s eyes, there was a sliver of confusion and a sliver of grief!
Only when the great fire reached the sky did she return to her senses. She saw the white figure flying freely above the sea of corpses, waving the long, blood-red banner. She was invincible!
This was her current power!
The Marquis of Ruyi’s mind shuddered. How can I possibly defeat an opponent like that? Even if I mobilise all the cultivators of the Ruyi commandery, could I even succeed?
In truth, the Samādhi Flames of White Bone were only extremely effective against undead. Against cultivators, particularly Golden Core cultivators, it was not necessarily that powerful. However, as the Marquis of Ruyi had faced constant life-threatening danger, his mind was already in a great mess. He had been viciously frightened.
As for the other Golden Core cultivators, they had become completely dumbfounded as they watched this terrifying sight that resembled the end of the world unfold before they could even feel relieved over their survival.
The flames had no concept of friend or foe. They also had to protect themselves with spiritual qi. One of the Golden Core cultivators had already been on their last breath within the encirclement of Corpse Commanders and had almost blown up his Golden Core. When the Samādhi Flames of White Bone reached him, he also erupted into flames with a boom.
“I refuse to accept this! I’ve planned for so long, only to fail because of an absurd legend!”
“Zi’er” drew in her arms and rushed into the air, heading right towards Xiao An.
The figure of a colossal ghost blocked her way like a mountain. It was the Void-bellied Ghost King that the Dark Queen had summoned. It looked down on “Zi’er” as it swung its huge hand towards “Zi’er” viciously.
Like the sky had collapsed, it actually felt like she was suffocating. “Zi’er” crossed her arms and assumed a defensive stance. She was struck with an unparalleled force, sent flying violently.
Her cultivation was merely equivalent to Corpse Commanders. Now that the corpse army had been destroyed by Xiao An, there was no longer anything she could rely on. She obviously was not the Dark Queen’s opponent.
The Void-bellied Ghost King took a step forward, stomping down on “Zi’er”.
Rock was thrown into the air as the ground cracked, forming a deep pit.
The wisp of smoke on “Zi’er”’s back tugged her, which was why she managed to avoid the attack. Wind and fire assaulted from the left and right as Gu Yanying and Li Qingshan brushed past each other.
“Zi’er” twisted her body violently and fell downwards. Her right hand hissed from the flames of the phoenix, and a bloody gash was left behind on her face.
The wisp of black smoke on her back had suddenly been severed. She blinked her eyes as if she had awoken from a great dream before closing them again. She spread her arms and fell into the Gate of Hungry Ghosts.
By now, the Gate of Hungry Ghosts had already turned into a huge abyss. She vanished in the blink of an eye.
Gu Yanying looked back and smiled. “It’s fantastic that your highness is safe and sound.”
The Dark Queen nodded. “I’ve made you worry, my sister.” She turned around, and her gaze landed on Li Qingshan.
In that moment, Li Qingshan experienced a false impression that the gaze had pierced right through him. The Void-bellied Ghost King behind the Dark Queen seemed like it could swing its hand at him at any time.
The Dark Queen shifted her gaze away very soon and sighed gently. “Let’s seal the Gate of Hungry Ghosts first!” It was not like she planned on stopping if she did not receive a satisfying conclusion.
“Don’t you even think about it!”
A hoarse, ear-piercing voice rang out and echoed loudly through the Gate of Hungry Ghosts until it reached the sky.
Boom! A huge, withered hand extended out of the abyss, grabbing the edge of the pit. With a violent tug, a colossal figure leapt out.
Li Qingshan finally saw the Corpse King’s appearance. At first glance, he seemed like a dried, human corpse, but he was countless times bigger. Vicious-looking bone spikes protruded from his body while radiating with an unmatched pressure.
Due to the restrictions of the boundary, only the top half of his body extended out from the Gate of Hungry Ghosts, but he was still as tall as a small mountain. The black corpse qi that coiled around his body resembled the mist that lingered among mountains. His eyes akin to small lakes shone with a brutal green light as they stared viciously at the Void-bellied Ghost King. He swung his claws violently.
Four streaks of brutal, black light ripped through the air, targeting Xiao An in the distance. What made him feel threatened the most was not the woman before him who could control the Ghost King, but this tiny skeleton. As long as he could kill it, the several dozen Corpse Commanders under his command would be able to break free.
An even taller mountain blocked the Corpse King. The Void-bellied Ghost King forcefully took on the streaks of black light, staggering a few steps back. A few horrific claw marks appeared on its body. It threw a punch with a furious howl.
On the wasteland, a corpse and a ghost, two colossal beings, stood on the spot without dodging at all as they attacked one another furiously. One was unable to dodge, while the other remained in place to protect the “person” behind it.
This sight also left Li Qingshan shocked. He felt like he had returned to the primordial battlefield between gods and demons. However, he saw the Void-bellied Ghost King rapidly dim after receiving a few strikes.
On the other hand, the Corpse King became braver as he fought. Although he was unable to completely overcome from the powers of the boundary and reach this space from the Hungry Ghost realm, his strength was not something a mindless Ghost King controlled by a second heavenly tribulation cultivator could rival. As long as he lasted a little longer, the Hungry Ghost realm would completely devour this region, and by then, this would be his world!
“Your highness, I’ve come to assist you!” the Marquis of Ruyi called out. The Seal of Mountains and Rivers expanded to its limit and crushed down towards the Corpse King.
The Corpse King forcefully endured a palm strike from the Void-bellied Ghost King as he landed a punch on the Seal of Mountains and Rivers with the back of his hand. The seal was directly knocked several dozen kilometers away, becoming riddled with cracks and growing dimmer and dimmer.
Blood spurted out of the Marquis of Ruyi’s mouth violently. He wiped it away before mobilising the Seal of Mountains and Rivers again like he was mad, crushing down on the Corpse King.
Li Qingshan and Gu Yanying flew through the air, kicking up streams of wind and fire. Compared to the Corpse King, they seemed like two tiny months constantly lingering around. Even though the phoenix fire and atmospheric winds possessed great power, they only left behind burns and cuts on the Corpse King’s colossal body.
The other cultivators also understood they had reached the final moment. Whether they survived or not would completely depend on this battle. They all rushed over.
At this very moment, Li Qingshan experienced a warning of extreme danger. He beat his wings furiously and circled around in the air.
The Samādhi Flames of White Bone swept through the entire region, sparing no Corpse Soldiers or Corpse Generals, while Corpse Commanders were all sucked into the Blood Sea Banner. The Blood Sea Banner surged and twisted constantly as if it could rip apart at any time.
Although the Blood Sea Banner had already become even more powerful, it was still a struggle to keep several dozen Corpse Commanders suppressed.
The rolling Samādhi Flames of White Bone swept back, channeling into the skull at the top of the Blood Sea Banner before flowing through the spine, the ribs, and the tailbone from top to bottom. The pole made from bone acquired a completely new look, becoming even more lustrous and smooth, supporting the banner of the blood sea.
When she first forged the Blood Sea Banner, she had only succeeded barely, as there were insufficient remains. She did not even have enough for herself, let alone providing for the Blood Sea Banner.
Yet now, just the Corpse Soldiers she had refined approached ten million.
Before “Zi’er” appeared, the Corpse Soldiers that rushed out of the Gate of Hungry Ghosts had already reached several million. Although they had all been killed or crushed to powder by the Seal of Mountains and Rivers, their remains were still scattered across the ground.
Xiao An accepted them all, letting none go to waste. The issue of insufficient remains no longer existed, so she forged the Blood Sea Banner again, allowing it to reach the peak of its current stage.
Then she controlled the Samādhi Flames of White Bone, making it sweep over and turn into a huge fire tornado, channeling into the top of her head. Her bones absorbed the flames madly like a sponge, sucking up all the flames within a radius of several dozen kilometers. Only then was she satisfied, and she stopped absorbing.
Every bone of hers possessed a lustre akin to the Samādhi Flames of White Bone, a smooth white that was almost transparent. She had finally pushed the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty to the limits of the first layer, but she reached a new bottleneck. In order to break through, not only did she require tremendous amounts of corpses, she also required a deeper comprehension of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty.
The Skull Prayer Beads were the same. After forging the twenty-six Skull Prayer Beads to their peak, she struggled to forge a twenty-seventh. As it seemed, she needed to reach the second layer of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty before she could forge it.
Once she reached twenty-seven prayer beads, the overall strength of the Skull Demons would undergo a qualitative breakthrough.
By then, a single Skull Demon would be able to contend against a Golden Core cultivator, and the Skull Demon Formation they assembled would become even more powerful. She would be powerful enough to dominate all opponents of the second heavenly tribulation.
The Blood Sea Banner surged again. The Corpse Commanders were working together to break out. Xiao An tossed the twenty-six Skull Prayer Beads into there, assembling the Skull Demon Formation to temporarily suppress them and buy time.
Xiao An raised the white bone sword in her hand high into the air, pointing it at the sky. She began to chant inside.
The sky full of fire began to revolve violently around the tip of the sword, forming a great vortex. It emanated outwards with each revolution, filling the entire sky.
A stream of fire channeled into the tip of the sword.
The white bone sword that was only a meter in length seemed like a bottomless hole, swallowing the sky of fire like a whale.
Within the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty, the most powerful weapon was neither the Blood Sea Banner nor the Skull Prayer Beads, but the “Buddha Slaying sword”.
Buddhahood—complete enlightenment—was the highest attainment of buddhism. They had leapt out of the six realms, no longer bound by the five elements. They possessed endless power and infinite wisdom.
Even the creator of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty only dared to proclaim the title of the “White Bone Bodhisattva”, with no right to call himself the “White Bone Buddha”. Yet, to name this sword “Buddha Slaying”, it was both his ambition and evidence of this sword’s power.
The Samādhi Flames of White Bone transformed from millions of Corpse Soldiers and thousands of Corpse Generals all merged into the white bone sword, without a sliver remaining.
The sea of corpses vanished. The flames vanished. However, the surroundings did not clear up or brighten. The sky remained gloomy, enveloped with mist that never dispersed.
The white bone sword did not undergo any alarming changes. It only lengthened slightly, and its overall shape even became slightly cruder than the original white bone sword.
Did the forging process fail?
Xiao An gazed at the sword in her hand as a sliver of joy filled her heart. Although the Buddha Slaying sword was not even close to “basic completion”, she had narrowly formed a sword embryo.