LGS - Chapter 1215 - A Little Bit About Xiao An—The Painting Tomb (One)
The World of the Nine Provinces.
The setting sun dyed the rising and falling sand dunes a bright red as they stretched to the ends of the world. It made people remember why this place was called the Scarlet province.
Abruptly, a mirage appeared above the desert. It was clearly monochrome, yet it produced a magnificent scene, enough to give people the feeling that it contained the entire universe.
In this remote land of deathly stillness, almost a thousand cultivators had gathered together at this exact moment, running from puny Qi Practitioners to powerful Golden Core cultivators. They gazed at the mirage in the sky as they carefully guarded against one another.
Recently, news that the Painting Tomb would be opening began to spread, even containing the precise time and location. It produced terrifying waves between disciples of the school of Painting throughout the world. They all gathered in this barren desert.
There were even some cultivators that were not from the school of Painting who had come to try out their luck. The tombs of the Five Absolutes Immortal had always been more about luck. Perhaps they could slip into the Painting Tomb somehow. Even if they could get their hands on only an arcane treasure or two, it would be worth it.
However, it was exactly because the news had become widespread that no one dared to try anything funny, so overall, it was still quite peaceful. As for whether a bloody battle would erupt when the Painting Tomb actually opened, no one knew.
Suddenly, wind and sand began to sweep through the desert. The fine grains were like a fiery-red haze, blurring the mirage in the sky.
Terrifying daemon qi immediately enveloped the desert. The cultivators all looked back in fright. A hunched-back old man appeared on the sand dune to the east, staring at them indifferently.
“The White Camel Sand King!” Someone immediately pointed out the old man’s identity, which led to even greater fear.
“Leave the desert.” The White Camel Sand King’s voice was deep and hoarse, as emotionless as the desert.
Someone tried to plead with him. “Senior, this has to do with the legacy of our school of Painting, so please give us some time. Once the Painting Tomb opens, we’ll leave by ourselves!”
“Leave the desert!”
The wind and sand intensified, blotting out the sun.
The sand dunes began to move as if they had become giants that were trying to stand up and crush the fools that dared to wake them from their dreams.
The cultivators all paled in fright. A Daemon King was well beyond what they could fend off.
However, even when the wind and sand obscured the mirage in the sky, it became clearer and clearer as if it was merely inches away.
The Painting Tomb was about to open.
Right when they hesitated between retreating or not, a resounding dragon’s cry boomed through the surroundings.
Another Daemon King? The cultivators felt even more despaired.
The White Camel Sand King raised his head slowly. An inky-black dragon descended from above, landing beneath the mirage.
“Fellow White Camel, they had no intention of causing any offence, so why must you stoop down to harass them?”
A chubby old man with glowing cheeks unfurled a painting with a swing of his hand. The dragon returned to the painting, but it continued to soar inside.
As it turned out, this dragon that possessed the strength of a Daemon King was only a painting. It made everyone think of the Dragon King of Ink Sea from the past.
Then what kind of existence would the person who controlled such a painting be?
“Grand preceptor Dong!” The cultivators were pleasantly surprised. They never thought the opening of the Painting Tomb would lead him here. Fair enough, how could he not know about something so important?
TL: I am making a retcon, changing the grand preceptor of the left (basically a buddhist official that the Seven Treasures Monk King constantly mentioned before) to the religious preceptor of the left.
The grand preceptor was one of the three ducal ministers. They held an extremely great status in the imperial court of Great Xia in the Dragon province. Even regular great cultivators had no right to hold the position. They had to be existences that stood at the apex of the world.
The current grand preceptor was this old man Dong. He also came from the school of Painting, and he was known to have collected “A Hundred Scrolls of Wonders”. Every single painting possessed startling might, and the Painting of the Soaring Dragon from earlier was only one of them.
Just like how the schools of Buddhism and Daoism revered the religious preceptors of the left and the right respectively, all the disciples of the school of Painting throughout the world revered this grand preceptor Dong.
The White Camel Sand King said nothing. Only the wind and sand continued to whistle as the sand dunes surged towards the cultivators like waves.
Grand preceptor Dong smiled and unfurled another painting. The painting was filled with splotches of ink, depicting a rustling bamboo forest, but all of the bamboo was bent over. A breeze rushed out of the painting gently, blocking the wind and sand and dispersing the sand dunes.
This painting was known as the Bamboo Breeze Painting. It was not a painting of bamboo, but wind!
The White Camel Sand King looked back at the distant horizon. He frowned heavily before dispersing the wind and sand and leaving the sand dune without hesitation.
Everyone let out sighs of relief, admiring grand preceptor Dong’s abilities even more. He could even fend off the White Camel Sand King.
A few young men and women stood behind grand preceptor Dong, all giving off a sense of aloofness and nobility. They all praised him at this moment.
“Master truly is powerful, subduing the wind and sand with a breeze. Even the White Camel Sand King is powerless, forced into a retreat.”
“Master is the grand preceptor. Opposing master is equivalent to opposing Great Xia. He’s only willing to back away once master has taken action. This White Camel Sand King sure is stubborn as rumoured.”
As for the others, they did not even have the right to praise him. They all came up to thank him with clasped hands. All of them were careful.
Grand preceptor Dong stroked his beard gently and said with humility, “Our titles have all been conferred by Great Xia, so we would be subjects of the same court. Our status is approximately identical too. He’s only doing me a favour.”
“Master is located in the centre of the empire, the Dragon province, while the White Camel Sand King is merely a Daemon King. He’s even said to be in league with the traitor, the Grand Banyan Tree King. How can you be mentioned together?” an arrogant young man said. He had already undergone the second heavenly tribulation, so he had the ability to back up his arrogance.
“Stop with the nonsense! This is his territory after all. If you anger him, it won’t benefit anyone.”
Grand preceptor Dong scolded him, but a smile remained on his face.
At this moment, the mirage in the sky became clearer and clearer. The ink turned into mountains, landscapes, and figures, depicting birds, beasts, and critters. It was the wonders of the school of Painting, which even left grand preceptor Dong amazed. The Five Absolutes Immortal was truly a talented figure to be able to push painting to such a level. If he could go in and take a good look, it would definitely benefit his cultivation tremendously.
“Master, the Painting Tomb is about to open. What do we do about these people?” The arrogant young man pointed at them casually with a face filled with contempt as if he was looking at a group of mangy dogs that did not know how to behave.
“Grand preceptor, we’ll leave right now!” one of the sensible people called out in a hurry.
“The opening of the Painting Tomb is a grand occasion for our school of Painting. You’ve all travelled a great distance to come here, so how can I chase you all away? Whether we can enter the Painting Tomb completely depends on our individual luck, not our status or strength, so you might as well wait around. However, those who are not from the school of Painting should leave!”
Grand preceptor Dong waved his hand, and almost a hundred cultivators dispersed in a hurry. All those who remained behind were disciples of the school of Painting. They all sang praises about grand preceptor Dong’s generosity, hoping that they could be the lucky ones to enter the Painting Tomb.
Grand preceptor Dong smiled. Very few people knew that it was him who spread the news, with his objective being to gather the disciples of the school of Painting and establish a great sect like the Spirit Kṣetra temple. That way, he would be both the leader of a school and the master of a sect.
With the amount of upheaval the world was facing, the Great Xia empire was on the brink of collapse. Clearly, the position of grand preceptor alone was no longer particularly reliable.
When the Painting Tomb opened, who could beat him anyway?
In order to obtain this news from prince Si Qing, he had sacrificed one of his wondrous paintings. He could not allow anyone to take anything away. However, that Chu Danqing with the Jade Blood of Vermillion and Black had not come, which must have been because he did not have that wretched daemon Li Qingshan supporting him!
Right as he thought of that, his eyes narrowed. A white figure stood on the sand dune that the White Camel Sand King had just left. Her bluish-white monk robes drifted with the night wind as her long hair reached all the way to the ground. Even without any emotion, her beautiful face was breathtaking, but they were embedded with a pair of terrifying eyes.
If the White Camel Sand King was like the desert, then there was still life and hope under his indifferent outer appearance. Countless lives thrived in the desert. The undercurrents surged under the sand, ready to turn into an oasis at any moment. He had served as a guide for countless people in the past, giving them hope in the sandstorms.
However, her eyes were empty. Let alone the desert, even the Hungry Ghost realm where only the dead could survive seemed too noisy in her eyes. There was far too much meaningless greed, hatred, and hope. She brought great destruction among them with her great benevolence.
Grand preceptor Dong had actually failed to sense her appearance. Even when he looked at her with his own eyes, he failed to sense any aura, but it did suddenly make him remember a title—the buddha nemesis!
His face changed drastically. He immediately understood why the White Camel Sand King had retreated, but he could not accept retreating right now. He spoke up, “Fellow, are you…”
Before he could even finish, she had vanished. A voice devoid of joy or sorrow rang out beside his ear, “Dharmagupta-vinaya, Form of Vinaya.”
Grand preceptor Dong immediately became immobilised. He struggled to even unleash his powers. However, the beautiful face was already within arm’s reach. The white bone sword plunged straight towards his chest.
At the very least, the White Camel King had still given them a warning. Meanwhile, she had begun a slaughter without hesitation.
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