Chapter 578 – The Sixth Layer of the Guardian King
Xiao An obviously understood what Li Qingshan was implying. She half-closed her eyes and nodded her head as she chanted silently. The golden light from the avatar grew brighter and brighter as the sounds of recited scriptures seemed to ring out.
Lietu gripped his sword firmly, completely on edge. Before him stood a formidable enemy he rarely encountered.
What’s she doing?
Just as the Dauntless monk was rather confused, Xiao An gave him an answer. The golden avatar suddenly erupted with light, and it actually started showing signs of melting away. Golden liquid poured down from the beautiful face.
“She’s breaking through!”
The Dauntless monk was mildly surprised. He never thought Xiao An would choose to break through on the spot when she was confronting an enemy. A disposition like that was impressive, but she would be greatly disadvantaged if she failed.
The golden avatar was like a man of wax in fire, melting to a blurry, humanoid clump. Xiao An practised the Guardian King’s Scripture of Demon Subdual silently, and the golden avatar gradually began to condense again, consolidating once more. The avatar became even more refined and exquisite, having broken through to the fifth layer of the Guardian King’s Scripture of Demon Subdual, reaching “mid Foundation Establishment”.
The Dauntless monk smiled. The surprises that this child had brought him were endless. If this continued, she could reach peak Foundation Establishment before the age of twenty, and she had a chance at becoming the head monk of a courtyard before the age of thirty. Even throughout the entire history of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, there had only been a handful of such peerless geniuses.
At this moment, he had made up his mind completely to toss aside all of his doubts and guide her properly so that she could accept the benevolence of the buddha.
The golden avatar reflected in Lietu’s eyes, which made his irises narrow. He felt the threat become even greater, also realising that the opponent had just broken through earlier, which made him feel regretful. He had been far too careful. If he had known beforehand, he would have used this opportunity to launch an attack and catch her off-guard.
It was too late for regret now. His sword was directed towards her, poised to strike.
However, Xiao An closed her eyes once again.
“What’s she doing this time?”
The Dauntless monk was taken aback before seeing the golden avatar that Xiao An had just condensed melt away once more. Surely she was not breaking through again!
Even with everything the Dauntless monk had witnessed in his life, he had no idea what to say. He had seen audacious people before, but never had he seen someone so audacious. He had seen talented geniuses before, but never had he seen a genius so talented.
“Not so easy!”
Lietu howled fiercely. How could he simply let her continue with her breakthroughs? The Evil Eye sword swiveled in his hand, and the eye targeted Xiao An. It emitted pulsating rings before releasing a streak of black light from the bulging centre.
Xiao An raised one hand and formed a seal, resplendent like a lotus flower. At the same time, she lifted the Wheel of the Wisdom King’s Glare with her other hand, which emitted a streak of golden light.
The golden light collided with the black light, and the buddhist light and demonic energy clashed violently in the air, constantly wearing each other away and emitting a strange, sharp drone. It spread out into a wall of light between them.
The energy that leaked out surged like ripples, sweeping across the entire square. It completely crushed the Demon Generals who continued to hold onto their last gasp, turning them into dust. In the end, only sturdy demon hearts remained where they were. Most of them were like pebbles, but there were a few that were slightly shiny.
What is she? She can actually devote all of her attention to breaking through while holding off an opponent? Or is that merely a diversion?
Lietu was not a timid coward, but when he fought Xiao An, he had to keep an eye over Li Qingshan behind him. Although Li Qingshan had said he would not fight, how could Lietu, a demonfolk, trust a promise from the opponent?
Whatever. I’ll kill her first. Demonify!
Lietu made up his mind and released turbulent demon qi. His hair began to flutter in the air as his body swelled up. His limbs extended, becoming abnormally long.
His face twisted into a triangle as the midline running down his face protruded like the ridge of a sword. A sturdy layer covered his eyes, which shone with a sharp light. At the same time, his nose became two, long slits. A single horn that resembled a sword protruded from his forehead, stabbing into the sky. It seemed like he had put on a strange mask.
His entire body resembled a mask, shining with a metallic lustre like a sharp sword drawn from its sheath.
He swung his sword backwards, and his body tilted forwards, shooting towards Xiao An like a launched javelin. He actually ignored the threat of the Wheel of the Wisdom King’s Glare.
Golden light shot out, sweeping past Lietu, but it dimmed drastically after penetrating his protective demon qi. In the end, it only left behind some singes, unable to pierce him so easily.
In a flash, the Evil Eye swung over. It was still over three meters away, but the whistling of sword qi directly pierced the ears; it was as chilling as the shrieks of countless ghosts.
If the sword landed, she would not emerge unscathed even with the golden avatar’s protection. Moreover, she was currently breaking through. Not only was she unable to dodge, but her golden avatar basically had no defensive power either. As it seemed, breaking through on the spot had not been the correct decision.
Xiao An waved the Wheel of the Wisdom King’s Glare. The melted, golden fluid flowed into it, turning into a hilt and a blade and recondensing a vajra sword.
A complicated and magnificent pattern covered the golden sword, with a few simple and elegant glyphs engraved on there. It completely merged with the Wheel of the Wisdom King’s Glare, but it had never seemed so complete and compatible before. It was as if the two were one object in the first place.
The two swords collided and produced a thunderous explosion, but neither the Evil Eye sword or the vajra sword were damaged.
Lietu was astounded. The Evil Eye sword had been unstoppable, yet it was unable to cut through the vajra sword. With a thrust and a flick, Lietu tried to knock the vajra sword away and run his sword through Xiao An’s chest.
The vajra sword responded to the circumstances, sticking firmly to the Evil Eye sword like its shadow. The two swords slid and ground against each other, unleashing a series of sparks. No matter how Lietu wielded his sword, he was unable to knock away the vajra sword.
The Dauntless monk sighed inside. She can actually wield this vajra sword of extreme rigidness with such flexibility. It’s not only her understanding of the buddhist dharma. Even her swordsmanship is ingenious.
Lietu let out a fierce howl and pulled back his sword. Looming over Xiao An and merging with the sword, he swung madly.
The streaks of light from the sword rained down like a storm. Flexibility came with an inability to hold the ground and defend. Faced with such an extravagant sword style, it was impossible for Xiao An to receive these strikes as easily as earlier no matter how ingenious her swordsmanship was.
Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang!
Like a string of thunder claps, Xiao An remained where she was, without moving at all, but seventeen or eighteen arms seemed to extend from her body, wielding the vajra sword to the point where she stood like a sturdy fortress. It was like she could not be shaken at all no matter how violent the storm was.
But a while later, the golden avatar condensed once again. Every single crease and wrinkle in the skin was clearly visible now, and the sense of stateliness it emitted became grander. Just like that, Xiao An had broken through to the sixth layer of the Guardian King’s Scripture of Demon Subdual naturally.
She had managed to succeed under such circumstances! The Dauntless monk already had no idea what he could say. All he could do was silently adjust the plan he had in mind. If this continued, perhaps she had a chance at condensing a śarīra and undergoing the second heavenly tribulation before the age of twenty. Just how many people had managed to achieve this throughout history? Compared to this, could that wretched daemon Golden Cicada even be called a buddhist genius?
Xiao An opened her eyes and glanced at Lietu indifferently. If she could use the Buddha Slaying sword embryo, killing this demon would only take a single strike, but she faced the same issue as Li Qingshan. She could not directly use the great power of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty, so she made use of the situation to practise the Guardian King’s Scripture of Demon Subdual.
It was like she had finished the content from university before sitting a test for primary schoolers. It would only be strange if she had any issues.
Xiao An silently sensed the power flowing through her. It should be enough to kill him now.
She took a step forward. Golden light erupted and sword qi swelled as she switched from defence to offence.
Li Qingshan had been staring at the sixth Demon Suppression statue the entire time. When Lietu gained the upper hand earlier, he had not even glanced back, but he suddenly turned around and said, “Oh right. I want that sword, so be careful not to break it.”
She was in such a dangerous battle, yet he still reminded her to keep the enemy’s weapon intact! If it were not for witnessing their unbelievable teamwork earlier, the Dauntless monk basically would have wondered if they even cared for one another.
Xiao An agreed to his request.
Lietu became even more furious. They basically treated him like a lamb to the slaughter.
Li Qingshan said, “Oh right. You there, if you leave the sword behind, I can let you leave this place alive.”
Before Lietu could even answer, Xiao An said, “Definitely not.”
“Why’s that?” Li Qingshan was surprised. Xiao An rarely ever objected to his suggestions.
Xiao An said, “He said he wanted your demon heart earlier. As it seems, the sword requires suitable demon hearts to unleash its power. We aren’t really suited for entering the seventh floor, so his demon heart is the best choice available.”
“I see. Alright then. Butcher him!”
After stating his request relaxedly, Li Qingshan turned around and gazed at the Demon Suppression statue. Before long, the Demon Suppression statue lit up.
Xiao An leapt up gently and turned into a streak of golden light. The Evil Eye sword fell down, landing on the golden light.
Xiao An raised her hands and caught the blade, pushing right up to Lietu. The vajra sword plunged straight towards him. Lietu extended his hand to grab the vajra sword in a panic.
Both of them grabbed each other’s sword with one hand while gripping their own sword with the other and pushing it towards the opponent, refusing to relent. The two swords broke free from their restraints at the same time, falling towards their enemy.
Lietu clutched his abdomen and pushed Xiao An away, spurting with blood. Sword qi that contained buddhist powers wreaked havoc inside him.
On the other hand, Xiao An did not take a single step back, and an extremely distinct slash appeared on her golden crown. Logically speaking, the head was a much greater vital point than the abdomen, but Xiao An was not afraid of exchanging strikes since she had the protection of the golden avatar.
After reaching the sixth layer of the Guardian King’s Scripture of Demon Subdual, the golden avatar had become far tougher than anything a disciple of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga could achieve at the same level of cultivation. Cutting through her golden avatar was not something a Demon General could achieve.
Dammit! If I had a suitable demon heart, that strike would have been able to split her head in half!
As that thought flashed through his head, the golden figure arrived right before him again. Sword qi swept out.
Xiao An only attacked without defending, allowing Lietu to leave behind slashes on the golden avatar while forcing him backwards. Blood constantly spurted from his body. A golden streak swept past and three of his fingers sailed through the air.
Li Qingshan kept his eyes shut and said without even looking back, “If you get any closer, I’m going to take action too.”
Lietu was utterly furious. Suddenly, he leapt backwards, arriving in the air and plunging his sword into his chest.
Li Qingshan was astounded. Don’t tell me this guy has lost his mind from anger!
“I want to kill you both! Evil Eye, give me power!”