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Done? Xiaoqing’s voice carried a trace of impatience. Junior, hurry up a little. I consumed another five years of longevity.
“I’m done…” Xu Yangyi looked to the surrounding skies, to the Wolfbane that consumed the world. No one would be able to enter within a period of fifty years. This land had been traded with his blood and his senior brother’ life. Too many had died… He seemed to see the despairing gazes of the Linghu Clan and the incredulous gazes of the Nalan…
Yet who could’ve expected that the world’s affairs played out like chess?
Since the beginning, everyone was on a chessboard. In the end, only he had broken free from the gauntlet. He HAD to seize Nanzhou. To put his heart at ease. Furthermore, this was his demon form. The last command he’d given was that the Wolfbane’s poison wouldn’t cause any injury to the Xingtian Legion, Zhao Clan, or Hidden Dragon Legion!
Although it was unknown what level of orders a newborn like the Wolfbane could carry out, this was the final thing he could do…
“Goodbye… to the Chinese cultivation world that’s raised me for over twenty years…” he murmured, and his figure started to turn faint. “I’ll be back, believe me.”
“And by the time I return again, I’ll certainly have no fear of these rules. Yes, Senior Xiaoqing, you said it right. I’m too weak… I’m not strong enough. Only the strong can set the rules…”
“Unless I reach Core Formation, I swear not to return to China!”
“And on the day I return, Nanzhou will truly fly the flag of my Xingtian Legion!”
“No good!” Ancientpine’s and Titanspirit’s gazes flashed. “This… is a transference…”
“Someone strong is transferring him a world away!”
“Where do they want to transfer him? No… not Earth. The cultivation world’s international wanted list is much faster than the mortals’ on Earth! In addition to each nation’s array and cultivation satellites, he cannot possibly escape…” Titanspirit gritted his teeth, and realization suddenly dawned on him. He and Ancientpine spoke out at the same time.
Just as this thought flickered, Titanspirit waved his hand with great urgency. At its original position, his spirit insect streaked ahead, already charging up!
However, a talisman-covered sword now appeared before him. The spirit insect seemed to slam into a wall, yet it wasn’t injured in the slightest. It jumped and climbed up again, hissing noises coming from its mouth. Its bowl-sized eyes stared long and hard at the old man in front of it.
“Fellow Daoist Ancientpine!” Titanspirit was so anxious that he was almost yelling, “What are you doing?!”
Ancientpine was silence, struggle and hesitation on his face. Ultimately, he let loose a long sigh. “You cannot stop him.”
“Whether or not I can, I still must try to know!” Titanspirit gritted his teeth. “Move aside!”
Ancientpine was silent for a period of time, and his figure flickered away.
But in these few seconds, a Transference Formation only for one had already appeared at Xu Yangyi’s location. Titanspirit saw that the demon slayer’s entire body was shrouded in the light!
“ANCIENTPINE!!!” he reared his head back and howled in anger. “Are you worthy of the name of Core Formation?!?!?!”
There was no response.
I advise the lord to drain another cup, to the west of the Southern Pass there be no old friends. Xiaoqing chuckled softly, her voice resounding at Xu Yangyi’s ear side. You will see… a truly great secret of the cultivation world, and experience a different kind of cultivation that ordinary cultivators are simply incapable of knowing for themselves. Will you still not give much thanks to me?
Xu Yangyi laughed coldly, yet he didn’t reply.
Talismans turned bright on the Transference Formation, and Xiaoqing spoke out, This, is also good for you. Could it be that you do not feel that what you’ve experienced now is absolutely not something that a Qi Condensation cultivator could undergo?
I know not of everything else, but those not chosen by heaven cannot enter and leave Danxia Temple. This is my domain. Even omnipresent gods and buddhas still must kneel as they enter my Danxia Temple. And yet, you left.
You had a Core Formation origin crystal on your person. Were you there to experience a Core Formation cultivator’s death in battle?
And now you have drawn two Core Formation. In addition to your demon form—the Wolfbane—the Animus Armament, and the remnant soul of Butterflymother Southflower… these experiences form the utmost apex Qi Condensation cultivator. It is extremely, extremely difficult to experience these things. It is an enormous benefit to your scope and Dao heart.
And yet you have absorbed too much, too muddled. Your foundation is not firm enough. The you of now, your knowledge and experiences, your magik artifacts and arcane efforts, are critical to the shedding of the Qi Condensation realm. The Nine Glorious Stars Descent, the Wolfbane, the butterflymother’s bloodline, the Voidspirit Immortal Physique, and the sword in your left hand. Which one does not require decades of meticulous study? What you must do is not seek destiny, but master and integrate your studies because your destiny itself is already great enough.
Pass the Qi Condensation realm is the life of Foundation Establishment. This is no good thing. Only by bringing out the best to complement each other can perfection be achieved, and only then.
Xu Yangyi paused and murmured after ages, “Thank you.”
I do not need your verbal, low-cost gratitude. Remember your promise, Xiaoqing chuckled coldly, See you again… or perhaps farewell.
The Transference Formation turned completely bright!
GO!!! Xiaoqing growled. Immediately, as Xu Yangyi gradually became more illusory, Zhuang Zhou’s spiritual sense orb actually overtook his figure amidst the illusory and real! It ruthlessly slammed into his chest!
Xiaoqing’s voice faded away little by little, yet in this moment a pain even more fierce than the Spirit Ascending Bamboo loudly surged into Xu Yangyi’s brain!
“Urk!” He didn’t expect to spray out a mouthful of blood.
This was no injury… but rather the completion of his body’s healing!
Inside his body, each muscle and every meridian, he felt as if a scalpel was cutting away all his useless meridians! Moreover… the process mended and even continued to broaden his meridians! His skeleton!
In addition, as the meridians were gradually refined, the qi inside him actually began to clamber up in a frenzy!
Late-stage Qi Condensation 31%... 32%... 34.5%... 37%...
But most importantly, the padding of this qi was not empty… unlike when he was last at Danxia Temple’s mysterious altar and didn’t dare to absorb more. This time, he surprisingly felt that these things could be moved with the ease of a finger moving the arm! As if it it had existed in his body since the beginning!
However, he no longer had time to consider these things. Because in his mind… endless memories, even countless secret tales and arcane efforts, welled up in his mind like a tide!
He was unable to maintain further control, and his vision turned black. He passed out.
Swoosh… All of this followed the Transference Formation’s light and vanished without a trace.
It was in this instant that all the leaves of the Wolfbane’s body rustled.
Soon following, spiritual light flashed throughout the sky. The enormous plant began to frantically shrink! From covering all of Nanzhou’s hundreds of kilometers, it shrunk down to ten thousand meters… several thousand… several hundred… until it finally became half a meter tall and one meter wide!
Titanspirit glared daggers at the Wolfbane. In his heart, hot fury almost burned down the heavens!
Nanzhou… they’d never held the thought of destroying Nanzhou! This was to be China’s heart of cultivation in fifty years! No one was willing to destroy it! But right before his eyes, Nanzhou had been claimed by another! Staked by a Qi Condensation cultivator! He didn’t even have any alternative measures!
Titanspirit recalled the azure hand and remembered what was underneath Danxia Temple. He had an inference that caused his skin to crawl in trepidation, and he forcibly swallowed his anger.
“Any demon form is completely awakened at the time of its nascence. But in ten minutes at most, it is certain to perfectly agree with the main body’s consciousness. When the consciousness and the demon body unite, he will then completely transform into a Pureblood Demon, and then experience the endless inheritance with his Qi Condensation body! When can he be killed?! But now… someone actually used a great divine ability to forcibly sever the contact between his consciousness and demon form. They were actually able to leave a demon form in place, but let the human form move about!”
He deeply eyed the Wolfbane that had shrunk down to a meter. “But on one had… if this junior can’t fuse with his demon form one day, then he won’t reach Core Formation. And this plant, because it’s separated from the main body, is a tree without root. Water without origin. If the bloodline inheritance has no way to carry out… then it will no longer grow.”
“By giving up his bloodline inheritance and leaving his demon from here… he is positive that he will be able to return. And the day of his return is certain to be the day of his Core Formation… and also the time when he perfectly fuses with his demon body…”
He took a long sigh and promptly vanished.
In Danxia Temple, Xiaoqing was looking up at the cave ceiling, somewhat lost in thought. All of a sudden, she gently raised a hand.
In the next second, she held her hand out like a claw! Fahai’s gaze tightened afterwards, as if he was being clutched by a giant, invisible hand! From far away in the air, he flew over, his throat delivered into Xiaoqing’s waiting grip! She had captured him!
“You dare not kill me.” Fahai’s expression was still, unstirred by great billows. “If either side of the Immortal Binding Chain’s two ends is killed, then the other side will also die.”
Xiaoqing didn’t look at him, only faintly looking to the cave ceiling. After a long spell of time, she said in a soft voice, “I’m not killing you.”
“I am only reminding you to act less on the folly of thinking yourself to be clever.”
She finally took back her gaze and studied Fahai. “You wish for me to waste my lifespan? To believe yourself infallible, who gave you the courage?”
Bang. With a wave, Fahai fell far away like a ragged sack, and clutched at his throat and coughed. Xiaoqing easily walked before him and said coldly, “Originally, I did not want to be frank, but your style, so lowly as a petty character who delights in success… is indeed too nauseating. To be open and candid, yet not move your hidden schemes in plain sight. Whether in daring to act or not… compared to you, Xu Yangyi is much, much better than you.”
Fahai wasn’t embarrassed, and he moreover didn’t get angry. He coughed as he stood up and laughed coldly, “So Senior actually still remembers his name.”
“I remember many people’s names.” Xiaoqing looked straight at him. “But that does not include you.”
In the sky and behind the black clouds, no one risked entering the main hall of the Heavenraiser Palace besides Ancientpine.
He held a cup of wine but didn’t drink. His finger gently stroked the goblet. He didn’t utter a single word.
“A single pot in the palace hall, to drink alone without companions. How is it? The feeling of standing alone? Do you regret it?”
Sarcastic laughter rang out. Titanspirit’s figure had already appeared before him, and the towering figure looked at him with a trace of ridicule.
“I toast the bright moon, making a party of three along with my shadow.” Ancientpine waved his hand, and a wine cup flew over. “Won’t you keep me company?”
“As for regret? Amusing. Before righteousness, what is there to regret? Done is done. The opportunity come again, I would still chose the same.”
Titanspirit held a wine cup but didn’t drink. Instead, he narrowed his eyes and studied Ancientpine. “Are you telling the truth?”
Ancientpine didn’t answer. Eventually, he took a light sip of his drink. “In the world of Rivers and Lakes, a man cannot act of his own volition.”
Titanspirit sneered and drank, schooling his features. “He… probably went ‘Inside’.”
“I know,” Ancientpine said without a ripple of emotion. “Just now… I notified Sunnihilator, Lumenpath, Flowerbright, and Willowruin. They have already answered. However, the Buddhist Monastery’s Zen-Master Wisdom, and the Dao Sect’s Dustvade have not responded.”
Titanspirit nodded, and duo said nothing more. At the horizon, the first golden-red rays of the sun slowly revealed themselves at last.
1. “I advise the lord to drain another cup, to the west of the Southern Pass there be no old friends.” I have translated this poem before. I think. It is by Tang poet Wang Wei (701-761 CE). The Southern Pass (Yangguan) is noted as on the path of the Silk Road. A poem used to see off friends.
2. “A single pot in the palace hall, to drink alone without companions… I toast to the bright moon, making a party of three with my shadow”. This is a poem from Tang poet Li Bai.
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