Chapter 656 – Asura
The six realms of saṃsāra were the Heaven realm, the Human realm, the Asura realm, the Hungry Ghost realm, the Animal realm, and the Hell realm.
The Animal realm was also known as the Daemonic Beast realm, the world where all daemons thrived. The word “animal” was a derogatory term. Just like how the dragons and elephants that served as the mounts of gods and buddhas possessed unbelievable powers, once they offended their master, they would be cursed as “animal”.
TL: The Tiryagyoni realm, also known as the Animal realm, is known as the 畜生道 (chùshēngdào) in Chinese. 畜生 is a curse word, which you label other people by. If you remember when Li Qingshan and E Dan first met during the banquet, Li Qingshan called E Dan a mongrel, while E Dan called him an animal. The “Animal” in “Animal realm” falls into the same context in this case as a derogatory word.
The six realms of saṃsāra were further divided into the three higher realms and the three lower realms. The three higher realms were Heaven, Human, and Asura, while the three lower realms were Animal, Hungry Ghost, and Hell. However, while Asura belonged to the higher realms, their karma paled in comparison to Heaven, so they were known as Not-heaven. The suffering in the realm even surpassed that of the Human realm, so it was sometimes listed with the three lower realms, together known as the four lower realms.
Among the six realms of saṃsāra, Li Qingshan had already witnessed the power of the Hungry Ghost realm. A Corpse King who could not even use his full strength had left a devastating impact on the cultivation community of the Ruyi commandery. He did not understand the Asura realm too well right now. He only knew it was a world filled with battle and slaughter.
In his understanding, asura possessed great strength and were classified as supernatural beings, but because they were bellicose and bloodthirsty, they were a form of wicked god. It was rumored that male asura were extremely ugly, while the females were extremely beautiful. They often opposed Śakra, the lord of the deva and the ruler of the Heaven realm, waging constant war. However, defeat was more frequent than victory.
“I’d like to see how asura look like!”
Li Qingshan smiled. Battle-hungry blood flowed through his body. Wasn’t the exact point of cultivating arduously to see things he could not see in the mountain hamlet? He obviously wanted to see this rather mysterious race with his own eyes. And, he was still waiting to give Si Qing and Mo Yu a surprise, so he definitely could not leave here right now.
Han Tieyi could vaguely feel he was close to breaking through to mid Foundation Establishment. He also desired a battle against the legendary asura.
“You two battle freaks!” Hua Chengzan said helplessly.
Li Qingshan and Han Tieyi smiled at one another. The same light twinkled in their eyes.
Fifty kilometers away, the battle had reached a white-hot intensity. The air twisted from the scorching murderousness, as it was a chaotic battle that completely disregarded any consequences. In a short period of time, over a thousand cultivators fell in battle. Their corpses were scattered across a land of five kilometers as their blood dyed the ground red.
The swirl in the sky spun faster and faster, like a strange eye observing the battlefield on the ground.
Suddenly, a figure descended from the very depths of the swirl, quickly falling towards the centre of the battlefield.
“So that’s an asura!”
Li Qingshan’s eyes were extremely sharp, making out the figure with a single glance. He was a male asura, bare-chested with his skin giving off a faint blood-red colour. His body was stocky like he had been carved from red rock, and he wore thigh guards below, depicting vicious faces. He wielded a pair of rod-like maces that shone with a blood-red sheen.
Li Qingshan was rather disappointed, however. He could tell with a single glance that the asura’s strength was basically at the standard of a high level Qi Practitioner. Although the power of asura differed from humans and daemons, he could still roughly tell how powerful they were. This asura definitely had not undergone the first heavenly tribulation. An opponent like that was unable to pique his interest.
However, he also understood that this was probably similar to the Gate of Hungry Ghosts. In the beginning, existences that were too powerful were unable to pass through. An invisible barrier existed between the two worlds.
Unlike the legends, the asura was not particularly ugly. His face was large and square, with a large nose and mouth and a head full of greyish-white hair, which instead made him seem rather dignified. As it seemed, legends really could not be trusted.
Li Qingshan shook his head gently as a strange smile appeared on his face. With this asura’s cultivation, he would be heavily injured even if he did not fall to his death from such a high place, unless he knew some flying techniques. The cultivators would probably tear him to shreds instantly, so was there any mysteriousness or dignity about him left?
Just as Li Qingshan thought that, he saw the asura suddenly raise his maces and strike the air violently. With a thunk, the air exploded, and his falling speed reduced slightly. At the same time, he spread his body, and his boulder-like muscles suddenly began to flow like water, constantly making subtle movements and making the air flow. He also swung his maces in a flurry. It seemed like a mess, but it corresponded with every single movement he made with his body. He rapidly slowed his fall.
Li Qingshan’s smile vanished, replaced by admiration and a hint of caution. Meanwhile, Han Tieyi’s eyes blazed with light. Without using any technique, he had managed to accomplish something like that through his body alone. It was truly extraordinary.
Li Qingshan personally believed that if he possessed the same stature as the asura, he probably could achieve this, but he definitely could not achieve it as easily as him.
He liked fighting, and he was good at fighting, but that was only when it came to the overall situation, or the grasp over tactics and strategy. Even though he would often perform outstandingly in battle with unconventional moves, he was nowhere close when it actually came to the absolute ingenuity of his moves.
He had only cultivated for around a decade, and he practised several different cultivation methods, spanning three different races—human, daemon, and demon, so where was he supposed to find the time to study and polish his moves? There were some things that were very difficult to make up for with talent.
Xiao An seemed to possess an extraordinary ability to comprehend, where she could comprehend the sword intent by looking through the Three Absolutes Calligraphy once, but that was with a foundation built up from the harsh education she had gone through over several years in the provincial lord’s estate. Although her memories had temporarily gone missing, some things were still firmly embedded in her instincts.
Li Qingshan never had an opportunity like that. The principle he had always followed was to be able to take on ten times more people alone. He was better off increasing his cultivation instead of polishing his martial arts so that he could use absolute strength to openly crush his opponents.
But after seeing this asura, he stopped looking down on that. Even a regular asura possessed such exceptional skill. If he were a more powerful asura instead, he would probably be even more alarming.
After all, apart from taking on ten times more people alone, there was also the concept of triumphing over brute force with ingenuity. Absolute skill was the same as absolute strength. They could all give a person a crushing advantage in battle.
Watching the asura vanish into the horizon, Li Qingshan and Han Tieyi flew over without saying anything, only to see the asura land in the centre of the battlefield. There were still several thousand cultivators engaging one another on the battlefield, so his landing was like a droplet falling into an ocean, unable to cause any waves.
The asura planted his maces into the ground, overlooking the entire battlefield like a lion surveilling its territory. A man an entire head taller than the asura appeared behind him. He was riddled with muscle, and there was an extremely evident bulge on his head.
Li Qingshan had actually seen this person before. He was the first senior brother of Horned Rhinoceros mountain. He had once competed against Li Qingshan in terms of strength, but he did not seem to be particularly lucky, as he still had not broken through to Foundation Establishment after all these years. Perhaps it was exactly the match from the past that cast some form of shadow over his heart, preventing him from breaking through.
However, he had still undergone the test of war. His body was even sturdier, and his bearing was even sharper than before. If Li Qingshan were to judge him, he could be considered as a peak expert among Qi Practitioners.
Two streams of white air gushed out of the first senior brother’s nostrils; he was like an angered rhinoceros, charging towards the asura.
Red light flashed through the asura’s eyes. In that moment, his expression became extremely vicious. His nose wrinkled up, and the corners of his mouth stretched to the sides, revealing rows of sharp, white teeth. He seemed angered, yet it was also like he was laughing aloud, instantly going from a regular man to a ferocious beast that could swallow a man in a single bite.
Li Qingshan immediately understood why male asura were said to be extremely ugly. This was not ugliness that inspired disgust, but ugliness that inspired fear. He could not help but smile.
“C’mon, show me how asura fight!”