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LGS - Chapter 1272 - Eating the Tower

Li Qingshan raised the half a head high into the air. “Give me who I want, and I’ll toss this guy back into the Hungry Ghost realm.”

The dark clouds in the sky obscured the eyes. They stood on two separate worlds, but he was confident those undead in the Hungry Ghost realm could see and hear everything.

The winds sobbed. After a moment of silence, a voice rang out from the ghost tower, “Release him first, and then I’ll return the woman to you.”

Xiao An could tell it was sovereign Li’s voice, which left her slightly worried. If the enemy could make a Corpse Emperor rampage through the nine provinces, then perhaps the ghost tower was under sovereign Li’s watch. The climate and the geography were both on his side, so they stood absolutely no chance.

Li Qingshan laughed aloud. “Do you think I’m stupid? Why would I believe a bunch of dead ghosts like you? If you’re not going to release her, then I’ll kill him, and we can be on our own ways.”

Sovereign Li said, “Then we’ll exchange the hostages at the same time, or we’ll go our own way! Our Hungry Ghost realm can afford to lose a Corpse Emperor. Unfortunately, you only have one mother. She might have to suffer a little.”

Li Qingshan said, “I refuse! If you’re not going to release her first, you can forget about having us release this guy.”

“If you go back on your word, wouldn’t I become a fool? You can keep that half a head!”

Kuang Tianyou cursed sovereign Li inside, but he remained silent on the surface. In the end, he simply closed his eyes as if he was ready to accept his fate.

For a moment, they entered a stalemate. Li Qingshan frowned. He was not familiar with the Dark Queen, but just the fact that she had saved Xiao An was enough for him to do everything he could to save her in exchange, even if he was not acquainted with her at all.

However, when it came to exchanging hostages at the same time, it was a colossal trap through and through.

From the sneak attack earlier, he had already realised the difference that existed between them. It was completely impossible for them to clash and scheme against each other as equals. If he made even the slightest error, not only would they be unable to save the Dark Queen, but it could even drag them down as well.

However, if this stalemate continued, all they could do was watch as the Hungry Ghost realm devoured this world bit by bit. It was far too disadvantageous.

Gu Yanying said, “Why don’t I try instead?”

Xiao An’s expression changed slightly. “Why?” Earlier, she had saved her only because it was convenient to do so. Handling the hostage exchange personally came with an extremely great risk.

Gu Yanying smiled. “We’re all in the same boat.”

Xiao An said softly, “Thank you… let’s let Qingshan decide!”

Li Qingshan looked at Xiao An before looking at Gu Yanying. He felt absolutely troubled.

By now, Rāhu Xiaoming had understood everything. He smiled. “Don’t worry. This guy is a zombie. The Hungry Ghost realm will definitely save him.”

Kuang Tianyou opened his eye slightly and glanced at Rāhu Xiaoming. He was shocked inside. What are the origins of this kid? There are an extremely small number of zombies. Someone from beyond the Hungry Ghost realm actually knows about us!

Li Qingshan said curiously, “What’s so impressive about zombies? I even fought a cave full of zombies before.”

Rāhu Xiaoming said in disdain, “They just happen to share the same name, a strained interpretation made by ignorant people. Beyond the Nine Heavens even has Daemon Kings! But can you really compare them with the Daemon Kings of this world? True zombies all possess the bloodline of great god Nüba. Even in the Hungry Ghost realm, they’re very rare. They are a powerful force, or they would never be able to get their hands on such a great task like killing the successor of white bone.”

Li Qingshan was overjoyed. He said to Kuang Tianyou, “I couldn’t tell, but you’re pretty important.”

Kuang Tianyou’s face changed slightly. He asked Rāhu Xiaoming, “Who are you?”

Rāhu Xiaoming said, “You’re still not worthy enough to find out. Qingshan, countdown from ten again. Once you finish counting and they still haven’t released her, kill him.”

“Alright!” Li Qingshan said loudly, “I’m going to count down from ten. If you still don’t release her, I’ll crush this half a head first before destroying your ghost tower. Ten.”

Sovereign Li did not give a single reply.

Li Qingshan had always been very resolute. No matter how complicated and awkward the situation was, once he made up his mind, he would forget about all the worries. He counted down number by number, without any regard for their silence. “Nine! Eight! Seven…”

Kuang Tianyou widened his eye and observed Li Qingshan’s expression, hoping he was bluffing, where he would never find the courage to kill him even if he continued counting past zero. However, he was disappointed. He’s serious! He’s actually going to kill me! That damned sovereign Li! Master is never going to give up on me.

When Li Qingshan reached “four”, Kuang Tianyou sneered. “Do you think the Hungry Ghost realm is a crew of kind-hearted and caring people who will buy into your threat? If you kill me, you’ll only make that woman suffer as much as possible.”

“Three!”

Li Qingshan’s gaze was firm. He did not waver. If he needed to shoulder a burden, then he would shoulder the burden. If he needed to give up on something or someone, then he would give up on them. No matter how painful or regretful the process was, this was the path he had chosen.

Xiao An drew her sword and approached him. She pointed her sword at Kuang Tianyou’s face. She definitely would not be holding back again.

When she said she would let Li Qingshan make the decision, that definitely was not just for say. Instead, she trusted him and supported his decision unconditionally.

“One!” Li Qingshan lowered his head, shooting an apologetic glance towards Xiao An.

Xiao An nodded and stabbed down.

“Stop!”

Right when the sword was about to pierce Kuang Tianyou’s head, sovereign Li’s voice suddenly rang out, filled with fury and a reluctance to accept this.

Li Qingshan eased up, giving Rāhu Xiaoming the thumbs up.

“Alright, you win,” Sovereign Li said coldly.

Sovereign Li did not care about Kuang Tianyou’s fate at all. Instead, he wished a horrible death to this undead who stole his job and reward. However, this was not something he could decide. From the moment Li Qingshan began counting, an order had been issued to him. It was simply three words. “Do the exchange.”

However, the person who issued the order was someone he could never defy.

It went without saying at all who was more important, a zombie Corpse Emperor or a regular Ghost King.

At the same time, Li Qingshan clearly could have butchered the Spirit Kṣetra temple and gotten an even more thorough revenge, yet in the end, he did not touch a single person, which also served as an important reason. He had already proved that his word could be trusted.

The Dark Queen drifted out from the vast and deep mouth of the hungry ghost. Her face was pale, but she was mostly unscathed. However, she had completely turned into a Ghost King. This was not due to sovereign Li. Instead, the Hungry Ghost realm was unable to accept the living. Of course, since she had been a disciple of the Umbral Yin sect in the first place, the conversion had not harmed her at all.

Then Li Qingshan said, “It’s best if you don’t play any tricks, or you better not blame me if I don’t stick to my word!”

Sovereign Li just happened to be considering whether to cast an underhanded technique on the Dark Queen and then set it off after they had completed the exchange. After hearing Li Qingshan’s words, he gave up on that thought in the very end. Killing a Ghost King was completely meaningless. Kuang Tianyou definitely could not die because of him, or the Zombie clan would never spare him.

“Mother.”

“Xuanyue!”

A reunion between mother and daughter had a joy of its own. Xiao An revealed a smile for once too. After Li Qingshan’s return, feelings seemed to return to that human heart of hers.

“Ma’am Dark Queen, please don’t move and open up your mind. I’ll examine you.”

Li Qingshan’s eyes were tranquil like the ocean, extending his hand towards the Dark Queen.

The Dark Queen furrowed her brows, but she did not decline. She allowed Li Qingshan to press down on the top of her head and carefully inspect her body. The spirit turtle did not detect any problems. Only then did he stop.

Kuang Tianyou said, “Release me!”

Li Qingshan sneered and murderousness surged out. “I think you should just die!”

A pair of eyes suddenly lit up in the sky. The light pierced the clouds. Kuang Tianyou’s face changed drastically. “How dare you…”

The murderousness that filled his face abruptly vanished, which left Kuang Tianyou stunned. All he heard was Li Qingshan laugh. “It’s just a joke. Look at how frightened you are. Don’t worry, I won’t go back on my word, as I know that people like you just love seeking death. In the future, you’ll definitely come to me to die, so I’ll just spare you for a few extra days!”

With a “see you sometime in the future”, he tossed the remaining half of Kuang Tianyou’s head towards the great ghost tower like a shot put.

Kuang Tianyou began to recover mid-air. His head became whole, and his body slowly grew out as well. The closer he was to the ghost tower, the less restraints from the laws of the nine provinces he was under. Originally, he wanted to stay beneath the ghost tower and come back for a battle against Li Qingshan, but now, the feelings he felt were rather mixed.

If what he said actually comes true, wouldn’t I be a colossal joke? Whatever, let’s return to the Hungry Ghost realm first and make a complete recovery. That sword sure is vicious!

He directly threw himself into the mouth of the hungry ghost without any hesitation, but there was a thought that he refused to admit. Not only had he been defeated in a direct confrontation, but it had even shattered his determination for revenge. The enemy was clearly weaker than him, yet he was also unimaginably powerful somehow. Just what kind of a man was he?

“I’ve given you the person you want. Are you prepared to destroy the ghost tower now? Come! I can’t wait to turn you into a corpse puppet!”

Sovereign Li provoked as he poured the Fang of the Hungry Ghost, building up power silently so that he could fire the death ray at any time. Originally, even with a mountain between them, he could still kill the successor of white bone from such a distance and perhaps that Li Qingshan as well. Unfortunately, that damned woman was around.

“Yeah, I’ll make my way over right now!” Li Qingshan suddenly asked a question, “Are you inside the tower?”

“I’m right here. Are you bold enough to come?”

A dark shadow moved up and down the ghost tower, sometimes condensing into the figure of a human and sometimes merging with the ghost tower. It was sovereign Li in person.

The interior of the ghost tower basically counted as a part of the Hungry Ghost realm now, but before the Hungry Ghost realm had completely devoured the world, he could not completely eliminate the effect from the laws of the world. As such, he was unable to leave the ghost tower, and his strength had been heavily affected too.

However, he was still a powerful Ghost Sovereign of the fifth heavenly tribulation. On top of that, the power of the Fang of the Hungry Ghost that he currently grasped was even greater than his personal strength. When he heard Li Qingshan’s question, he felt a sliver of unease, but he quickly dismissed that thought. Unless Li Qingshan could undergo two heavenly tribulations consecutively right now, he was seeking death if he made his way over.

Li Qingshan smiled. “As long as you’re around!” However, he had no plans to make his way over. He simply swung his hand. “Devour it! Li’l Fatty!”

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Crack!

A colossal, hemispherical opening appeared on the indestructible ghost tower out of thin air.

Sovereign Li had merged with the ghost tower, so a good part of his body immediately vanished. He was both surprised and furious, as well as perplexed. “What did you do?”

A strange, navy-coloured and tadpole-shaped creature appeared in the space there, except it was countless times larger than a tadpole. It had almost broken the ghost tower into two with a single bite.

It was their great saviour that had helped Li Qingshan cross through outer space, Navy Li’l Fatty!

Originally, the laws of the world restrained it, so it could only lurk in the space there, unable to do anything. However, the location of the ghost tower happened to be the boundary between two worlds. The laws of the world were a messy intersection, so it was immediately freed and able to go for a feast!

Let alone sovereign Li’s confusion, even the eyes in the sky were dumbfounded. They communicated fervently.

“What is that?”

“That seems to be… a space-devouring beast?”

“How can a space-devouring beast attack a world that hasn’t been destroyed?”

“He tamed a space-devouring beast?”

“That’s impossible! Space-devouring beasts are completely devoid of feelings and attachments, and they definitely can’t be threatened either!”

Everything happened in a split second. Sovereign Li did not even have the time to identify what it was when he powered the Fang of the Hungry Ghost and tried everything he could to kill Navy Li’l Fatty, bombarding it with death rays after death rays.

However, space-devouring beasts were transcendent creatures, so how could they be killed so easily? Its body rippled, but it was completely unharmed as if it ate the death rays as well. Afterwards, it simply went about its own business and opened its mouth again, taking another bite out of the ghost tower.

Crack!

The great ghost tower snapped into two, and sovereign Li let out a horrific shriek. He suffered heavy damage with the tower.

The dark clouds in the sky shrank rapidly. All of the eyes vanished, unable to peer into this world from the Hungry Ghost realm anymore.

The Hungry Ghost realm was the only world out of the six realms of saṃsāra that possessed the natural ability to devour other worlds, and the great ghost tower was its fangs that plunged into the bodies of its prey. But this time, the big foodie had met a small foodie and ended up having its tooth eaten.

This did not mean Navy Li’l Fatty’s devouring abilities were stronger than the Hungry Ghost realm’s. If Navy Li’l Fatty entered the Hungry Ghost realm, it would probably be devoured very quickly. However, this was the nine provinces, not the Hungry Ghost realm. At the end of the day, the ghost tower was only a creation by the undead.

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Crack! Crack! Crack!

The top half of the tower tilted and fell, vanishing piece by piece, having been polished off by Navy Li’l Fatty. Afterwards, it began to eat away at the bottom half of the tower as well, continuing until only a base remained.

Xiao An also widened her eyes. “It’s just that easy?”

Navy Li’l Fatty swam around above the mouth of the hungry ghost, but it refused to get any closer as if it instinctively felt threatened.

“It’s a good opportunity!”

Li Qingshan leapt out from behind the mountain and unfurled the wings of wind, lunging for the mouth of the hungry ghost.

A shadow continued to pace around in the mouth of the hungry ghost, except it was even less humanoid now, like a ball of pitch. Suddenly, a hand emerged and pointed at Li Qingshan. A death ray pierced the air, but it began to dim and disintegrate half way.

Originally, there was no reason for sovereign Li to fear Li Qingshan even if he was heavily injured. However, with the destruction of the ghost tower, the laws of the world immediately gained the upper hand again, firmly suppressing him inside the mouth of the hungry ghost. His techniques had been drastically affected too.

Li Qingshan still felt greatly threatened. He bellowed out, “Last Reflection of the Setting Sun!”

A faint, blue screen appeared before shattering immediately. However, it managed to reflect the death ray, destroying the hand.

Sovereign Li roared furiously, “Li Qingshan!”

The reply he received was a punch.

Boom!

The space shattered, and the great ghost tower completely collapsed. The cracks split the dark shadow into pieces. Despite all of sovereign Li’s reluctance and regret, all he could do was retreat back to the Hungry Ghost realm. All of the dark shadows coalesced and took shape, no longer bold enough to remain in the nine provinces.

Xiao An followed closely behind, using the Samādhi Flames of White Bone to ignite the shattered foundation of the ghost tower. It turned into rolling flames, illuminating the space that had shattered like glass. It gathered into a great ball of fire and rushed into the air.

The laws of death weakened, and Navy Li’l Fatty began to fade, vanishing once more.

Li Qingshan said, “Heh, saving the world is just that easy!”

Pipipingu's Notes:

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Written by Dream Teller (说梦者). Translated by Pipipingu.