LGS - Chapter 1258 - Subjugating Immortal Relinquished, Forging the Sword Formation
The slaughter lasted for an entire night, continuing until not a single demonfolk dared to set foot out of the demon cavern.
It was currently the darkest time of the day, right before dawn. Demon qi filled the air, making the darkness seem even deeper.
Xiao An swung the Blood Sea Banner. The turbulent sea of blood surged back towards her, over ten times larger than when it first appeared. It had gathered many powerful skeletons and blood slaves too. Towards the end, not only could it trap enemies, but it could even kill them as well.
The sea of blood receded, and the buildings were exposed again, actually without sustaining much severe damage at all. The statues continued to stand solemnly, except they were mottled from the corruption. The spiritual nature and holy glow hidden within had completely vanished.
Under the blasphemy of the blood sea and the corruption of demon qi, this was no longer a mountain of bhikṣu anymore.
She walked through the halls and buildings quietly. This was the first saṃgharāma, or monastery, she had destroyed with her own hands.
During the battle on Great Buddha mountain, she had also caused much damage, but she had no other choice in that. On top of that, the destruction of Great Buddha mountain was still because of the invasion from the Demon domain after all.
She recalled two more vows of the White Bone Bodhisattva—the limitless dharma, I vow to destroy; the unsurpassable buddha way, I vow to end!
TL: If you don’t remember this, it appeared in chapter 126. The bodhisattva vows consist of the fourfold vows. The Path of White Bone and Great Beauty includes a corrupted version of these four vows.
Finally, the four vows had manifested on her, which led to a lot more comprehension—comprehension and resources were equally important, but comprehension was often much rarer.
Suddenly, she stopped before a stone buddha statue and brought her palms together. She shut her eyes and recited from the Diamond Sūtra.
“All conditioned dharma are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble and a shadow. They are like dew and also like lightning. Thus should they be meditated on.”
TL: This comes from the end of the Diamond Sūtra. I have borrowed the translation from here for the sake of convenience.
All phenomena are impermanent, and all phenomena are devoid of the concept of self. Without permanence and self, there was no difference between life and death. The buddhist and the demonic were one and the same.
She gave off a gentle, buddhist glow, radiating with warmth in the darkness and illuminating the stone buddha before her. The buddha’s face seemed to move within the light as if it had lowered its head to look at her.
The Divine Nun of the South Sea’s strict face appeared in her heart again before fading away gradually.
The path that she wanted to tread could no longer be bound by mere decrees and precepts.
Originally, she thought balancing the demonic and the buddhist was a new path. As it turned out, she was merely getting ahead of herself.
It was just like how a river would eventually flow into the ocean in the end. Even if it dried up halfway, seeping into the earth or evaporating into the sky, it was only a part of the water system throughout the world.
This was a path paved by a bodhisattva, so how could it be surpassed or twisted that easily? Even trying to suffer from cultivation deviation was not possible. That was why nothing had gone wrong with her Path of White Bone and Great Beauty. This experience only seemed to exist for her to make it even further.
The Path of White Bone and Great Beauty was different from the Nine Transformations of the Demonic and Divine. It did not pursue a balance between the demonic and divine, constructing a world of its own. Instead, it was after the fact that nothing existed independently, and their intrinsic nature was emptiness, to burn out for good with nirvāṇa.
After understanding this, the buddhist glow merged with her white bones, and her appearance seemed even more harmonious and peaceful. She faced the stone buddha silently. Anyone who saw her right now would think she was the most devout believer.
Was the White Bone Bodhisattva’s path just one among the limitless dharma and the unsurpassable buddha way? Perhaps going from buddhism to the demonic was only a false impression.
There was no way for her to tell. At that instant, she had completely digested and mastered the first three layers of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty.
By now, she already possessed the right to ascend, not only climbing higher and attaining the fruit of Srotāpanna, but also escaping from the threats of the Hungry Ghost realm. However, she made the same choice as Li Qingshan millions of kilometres away, choosing to give up on ascension and further consolidate her power.
Suddenly, the grim aura of a sword filled the air, and murderousness surged.
With the three hundred and sixty four tiny bone swords, the Immortal Relinquished sword assembled the Sword Formation of Heaven and Earth, rotating rapidly to try and kill her. They obliterated all the halls and buildings they passed along the way.
The blueish-white robes were raised into the air by the murderousness, but she did not budge as if she had completely submerged into cultivation. She did not dodge, nor did she resist.
The Immortal Relinquished sword arrived a metre away from her and suddenly slowed down. The sword trembled gently and swept through space, leaving behind black splashes and demonstrating an ever-changing set of sword moves. The tiny bone swords all revolved around her.
Through devouring Demon Kings and butchering demonfolk, it had gathered an unprecedented amount of power. Now was the perfect time for it to devour her!
As well as its final opportunity.
The three hundred and sixty five swords resonated together and closed around her rapidly.
The swords had cut a strand of her black hair, which fell to the ground slowly. This was the first time she had been injured since the battle of the ghost tower.
She opened her eyes by a crack and gazed at the Immortal Relinquished sword inches away.
At that instant, the world seemed to lose all of its colour, becoming pale-white.
The Sword Spirit of Immortal Relinquished felt like everything had lost their meaning. Even his own will had become empty in this pale-white world, unable to forget this feeling ever again. He thought in a daze, She’s only at the third heavenly tribulation, so how can she possess such a will? Don’t tell me she’s also a reincarnated immortal like the old bastard Five Absolutes?
When she extended her hand, the Immortal Relinquished sword turned around, allowing her to grab its hilt.
At that moment, their balance had been completely broken. The imprint had been placed, and their relationship as master and servant had been set in stone.
From that moment onwards, the Immortal Relinquished sword no longer possessed an opportunity to devour her. Even if she were heavily injured and unconscious, it could only guard its master wholeheartedly.
The Immortal Relinquished sword became wrapped in the raging Samādhi Flames of White Bone. The hilt that she gripped became covered with layers upon layers of hollow patterns of white bone that seemed to resemble skeletons. Actually, its appearance did not matter at all. What mattered was she had completely refined the Immortal Relinquished sword now.
As if nothing had happened at all, the Sword Spirit of Immortal Relinquished grumbled, “Master, these swords aren’t particularly convenient to use!”
Xiao An communicated with the Sword Spirit of Immortal Relinquished. Under his request, she reforged the tiny bone swords.
The artifact forging section within the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty could be regarded as the most important part. They were not just so-called “external objects”, but also extensions of her body. They were like the lifebound swords of sword cultivators, and their connection could be even closer than that.
Over all these years, she had basically never stopped forging the various white bone artifacts. Even her body of white bones and great beauty could be viewed as an “artifact” of another form.
She was extremely skilled at forging artifacts. As long as she was forging from bones, she could forge anything even if it was not something recorded in the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty.
Within the roaring flames, the tiny bone swords gradually melted away and took shape again, all strange and twisted.
Some were curved like blades, some were right-angled, and others were downright missing the other half. None of them seemed like swords. Even their quantity changed in the very end. Originally, there were three hundred and sixty four of them, three hundred and sixty five when including the Immortal Relinquished sword. They had formed a perfect cycle, but now, only a hundred and thirty nine remained. Not only were there far fewer than before, but it was even a strange prime number, which gave off a twisted, incomplete feeling.
There were plenty of arcane artifacts that came as sets in the world. None of them would use such a pointless and meaningless number.
However, the Sword Spirit of Immortal Relinquished was absolutely ecstatic. He flattered her. “This is fantastic! This is exactly what I want. That way, I can kill even more freely. Master, you’re much better to me than that old bastard Five Absolutes.”
It was not a complete lie. To the Five Absolutes Immortal, the path of the sword was only one of the five absolutes. It was the path of slaughter, the most important path, but the issue was no one in the nine provinces could serve as his opponent. Coupled with the fact that the Immortal Relinquished sword was not exactly a fine sword to him, one that he would relinquish sooner or later, why would he spend all the effort to forge such a twisted sword formation? He was better off spending his time playing the zither and painting.
Meanwhile, Xiao An had numerous threats to handle right now. The most direct threat were the great cultivators from the various provinces, as well as the demons from the Demon domain. The Harmony province and the Bhikṣu Mountain temple were only a beginning. On top of that, her greatest threat was the Hungry Ghost realm, and who knew what the Great Xia empire was up to.
This was her own battle, just for her, while her enemy was the entire world.
At the very least, over an extended period, the Immortal Relinquished sword’s destructive power was worthy of use. The sword spirit could save her quite a lot of effort too, fighting on its own.
As a result, she continued to forge artifacts.
Skull Prayer Beads rolled out of the Samādhi Flames of White Bone one by one and turned into Skeleton Demons, bowing towards her before flying off in all directions.
By the time she refined thirty-three Skull Prayer Beads, she had finally recovered all of the white bone artifacts she had lost in the battle of the ghost tower.
She did not stop there. She forged another three prayer beads, assembling a set of thirty-six.
At that instant, the Skeleton Demons scattered throughout the Harmony province all became stronger and tougher. Their strength surpassed regular Daemon Kings and great cultivators, reaching the standard of mid third heavenly tribulation.
Search h0sted n0vel for the original.
It was only three measly prayer beads, but it allowed the entire set of Skull Prayer Beads to climb to a whole new level.
The thirty-six prayer beads represented thirty-six afflictions. Vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and thought formed the six senses, or sadindriya. Each sense had two versions of the three senses, pain, happiness, and ambivalence for one and pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral for the other, which formed the thirty-six afflictions. It was a transitory stage from low grade to mid grade for the Skull Prayer Beads.
Twenty-seven prayer beads were still of low grade. Only when she forged fifty-four of them could they be regarded as mid grade.
Xiao An did not continue with forging Skull Prayer Beads. It was still a little difficult for her to forge fifty-four of them. Even if she were just missing the last one, it would only lead to an increase in number. Another dozen or so Skeleton Demons were not too useful.
As a result, she began forging the Soul Stirring Bell instead. This was the white bone artifact she had forged most recently, and she had never found the time to forge it further. As such, it was very lacking in power. She needed to use it now too.
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