Chapter 569 – Demonfolk
“The Dauntless monk worries about me. He wants to observe my disposition and responses. If I don’t leave him satisfied, he won’t let us out so easily.”
Xiao An’s voice rang out in Li Qingshan’s head. Li Qingshan continued forwards like nothing had happened at all. “Then are you supposed to show some kindheartedness?”
“Tricks and guises won’t be able to fool him. This is fine, but I can find some opportunities to use some buddhist techniques and dismiss his worries.”
Li Qingshan nodded. So far, Xiao An had yet to fight. Since she wanted to demonstrate some techniques, it obviously had to be on opponents that were powerful enough, so they had to continue onwards!
Along the way, basically everyone they came across was male, who rushed over crazily as soon as they saw Xiao An. They basically came across no females. According to Duoge, females were too weak, so most of them had already been eaten. As for him, his father was already doting on him very much by only eating him now.
Li Qingshan was unable to comment on this form of doting. They turned around another corner, and an indigo man lunged over with a swift gust of wind. The power and speed behind this lunge was so startling that it had already reached the level of Steel Plate corpses, and his target was Duoge leading the way at the front.
Duoge cried out. Li Qingshan twisted his right arm and created a vortex-like sucking, drawing Duoge over. Afterwards, he pushed out conveniently, and the vortex turned into a water tornado with a whistle, piercing the man and tearing him to pieces. Flesh and bone scattered everywhere.
It had been quite a few years since Li Qingshan began fighting and killing. He had claimed countless lives with his hands.
However, rarely had it been more hardcore than the time he had spent in the Demon Suppression hall. His strength was far too great now. A casual strike of his could tear bodies apart, sending organs flying everywhere. It was an extremely bloody sight to behold.
However, the thin, dark-skinned Duoge, only seven or eight years old in appearance, would cheer every single time with a face filled with excitement.
Li Qingshan forbade him from taking corpses with him, so he scooped up the flesh messily and shoved it into his mouth, eating away happily like he was snacking.
There was nothing Li Qingshan could do either. He could not be bothered with stopping him.
The child was born with a demonic nature. He had absolutely no concept of good and bad, right and wrong. Or perhaps, all the people here were like that, bearing no resemblance to those who grew up in human society.
After all, even in uncivilised lands, tribes and clans would still develop a basic notion of morality. Unless due to certain customs or traditions, or having run out of choices, they basically would not feast on their clansmen, let alone fathers and sons feasting on one another.
However, if they were savages that grew up in the wilderness, they should not have been capable of such clear thought and language. And even wild beasts were not so savage.
He really had no idea where the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga had found these people. He did not mind judging people in the most pessimistic manner possible, but the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga was still an orthodox buddhist sect after all. Surely they would not go as far as to capture these people and then turn them into something like this!
Duoge raised his head and looked at Li Qingshan in veneration. “Venerable, are you a Demon General? You’re so powerful even without demonifying!”
Li Qingshan said, “I’m a human. What’s demonifying?”
“You’re a human!” Duoge took a step back in fright. He had always thought Li Qingshan was no different from him.
“What’s so scary about humans?” Li Qingshan was stumped. This child was not even afraid when he saw Li Qingshan massacre his clansmen, yet he actually became afraid when he heard he was a human.
“I heard… I heard that humans are extremely lowly and kindhearted. They like to do foolish things like helping others selflessly, and they feel no shame in that, taking pride in it instead. They constantly attack us under that belief. They want us to become as foolish and lowly as them.” Duoge faltered.
Why was kindheartedness grouped with loneliness, turning it into a word of negative connotation?
Li Qingshan rubbed his head. He found it rather painful to understand. This was no longer merely evil, but a complete reversion of right and wrong, as if under their ideology, anyone who did good and made personal sacrifices would be extremely disgraceful and foolish.
He vaguely understood the meaning behind the Demon Suppression hall now. If these people were not suppressed here, every single one of them would be beings of great wickedness outside.
“Didn’t I just save you earlier? Isn’t that taking pleasure in helping others? Doing what’s righteous?”
“No, no, no, definitely not. I can help you lead the way, and I can help you fight. If you’re hungry, you can even eat me. This is all within your calculations. This is definitely not taking pleasure in helping others. You’re very clever and very powerful, a demon among humans of great wickedness and evil!”
Duoge paled in fright as he trembled in fear, justifying himself in a hurry. In the end, he even extended his thumb and gave Li Qingshan the honourable title of a “demon among humans.”
The feeling was like someone asking you, “You think I’m a bitch, an idiot, and a piece of trash?” It was very difficult to not take that as an infuriating threat.
The corner of Li Qingshan’s lips twitched, and he forced out a happy expression. He sucked in a deep breath and raised his head, yelling at the ceiling.
“Release me! I’m completely unqualified to be in this Demon Suppression hall!”
Compared to this child, he felt like he could be considered as a peerless well-doer—oh wait, that was a curse here.
The Unraging monk laughed aloud, while the Dauntless monk shook his head. “These demonfolk are as dense as always. They don’t know they should repent and mend their ways. Even this little demonfolk is filled with wickedness.”
“Demonfolk are planted with a demon heart the moment they’re born. Their five skandhas, their five aggregates of clinging, blaze brightly. They have no concept of good and bad, completely inverting right and wrong. Probably only the buddhas of the Western Paradise can lead them to salvation. It’s well beyond what we are capable of. There’s no need to lose your temper over them, senior brother.”
“Junior brother, we might not be able to lead them to salvation, but we can exterminate these nemeses of buddha. We can halt their growth and prevent them from making even more trouble. We can’t view them as humans, or become softhearted because of their age.”
The Dauntless monk said as he seemed to indirectly warn the Unraging monk. The Unraging monk laughed aloud, but he said nothing.
Their voices echoed through the long passageways, but there was not a single reply.
Li Qingshan let out a sigh and asked Duoge, “What’s the demonification you speak of?”
“All demonfolk can demonify, just like this!”
Duoge clenched his fists, and his small face became bright red, even letting out straining sounds. In the end, only the colour of his eyes changed slightly, and his body loosened. Eagerness filled his eyes.
“I’m still too young. Once I grow up, I’ll definitely become an extremely powerful Demon King.”
“Demonfolk, Demon King…” Li Qingshan murmured. If he did not consider these strange words and actions, then Duoge behaved no different from regular children. They wanted to be scientists, presidents, and so on.
Li Qingshan patted Duoge’s head and no longer said much more. “Let’s keep going. Are there any stronger opponents here?”
“Venerable, you truly are a brutal and vicious demon among humans. The place we’re going to has a lot of powerful people to kill!” Duoge’s eyes lit up and admiration filled his face.
“I’ve heard my grandfather mention that it actually doesn’t matter even if you’re a human. As long as you have a demon heart, everyone can become demons. You will definitely become a powerful Demon King in the future.”
He was solemnly trying to comfort Li Qingshan. Li Qingshan shook his head with no idea how to respond. He waved his right hand gently, and a rolling cloud rose up, lifting up Duoge as well. Afterwards, he said, “You just have to lead the way. We can get to the place you speak of faster.”
The cloud took off with a swish. Duoge leaned at the front, constantly giving out directions. The cloud shot through the maze-like Demon Suppression hall just like that.
They flew past thousands of cages. Li Qingshan could imagine the past, dignified glory of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga suppressing daemons and demons when this place had been filled with prisoners. After thousands of years of rest and recuperation, the monastery had only grown stronger. If he revealed his identity, he probably would not be able to escape the fate of being suppressed.
“Demonfolk” appeared before them one by one. If they did not block their way, then Li Qingshan ignored them, but if they were bold enough to block their way, Li Qingshan would not be bothered with taking action either. He would just fly right through them.
He could modify the toughness of the cloud he rode on, and it moved with startling speed. Anything that was struck by it would have its bones shattered as blood sprayed into the air. However, with how tough these “demonfolk” were and how powerful their life force was, who knew whether they actually died or not.
The passageway gradually widened, and the twists and forks gradually decreased.
However, more and more “demonfolk” appeared, all of them growing stronger and stronger. Some even wielded weapons like blades, spears, swords, and halberds, and they became even more disfigured too.
The advance of the cloud obviously slowed down too.
Bang! The cloud smashed into a blade-wielding “demonfolk”, and his blade flew into the air.
Duoge leaned out of the cloud, and with a scoop, he caught it. He tossed aside the bone club he had recently obtained and placed the bloody, long blade on his back, but it was even longer than him, so it formed quite a funny sight. However, he was very happy, as innocent as a regular child who had found a beloved toy.
Li Qingshan felt rather sorrowful. He was not a person overflowing with sympathy, but he would always be a little softer towards children. Children were always so feeble and vulnerable, completely bound by their environments. They were unable to fight back if they were abused, and they believed everything that people told them, whether it was true or not. By the time they had grown up and could make decisions for themselves, they would have been twisted beyond all recognition already.
Perhaps I was reminded of my past self!
Li Qingshan exhaled and rubbed Duoge’s head. Duoge’s head shrank back and turned away, cautious and uneasy.
“Don’t worry. As long as you don’t have any ill intentions towards me, I won’t kill you, nor will I eat you. I’m not demonfolk, but a foolish human.”
Duoge tried to say something, but he had no idea what to say!
A pair of huge, gilded doors appeared at the end of the passageway. Over a dozen strangely-shaped demonfolk gathered around it, either sitting or standing on the ground. Between them were two demonfolk fighting desperately as the others on the side cheered on.
“Kill him! Kill him!” At the same time, the others eyed them covetously, ready to feast on the flesh of the loser. When they saw the cloud approach, they all looked over. Only the two demonfolk in the centre continued to brawl with one another furiously, tearing at each other’s bodies viciously with their sharp teeth like two rabid fighting dogs.
A demonfolk originally sat on the ground and leaned against the gilded door. Suddenly, he stood up. His height had completely exceeded that of regular humans. He was riddled with muscle, standing like an iron tower. He had a crown bulging from his head like a beetle’s horns.
The “beetle demonfolk” emerged from the ground, striding towards Li Qingshan with heavy steps. The other demonfolk all formed a path for him. Only the two demonfolk continued to tear at one another.
The beetle demonfolk did not even look at them, striding right through the two. Squelch! Crack! Blood spattered and bones shattered. The bodies of the two demonfolk were squashed apart, but the upper halves of their bodies still embraced each other firmly, ripping away at one another as hard as they could.
The beetle demonfolk arrived before Li Qingshan. His eyes shone with lust as he stared straight at Xiao An. Thick drool spilled out of his mouth.
“What a beautiful woman!”