LGS - Chapter 1478 - To Not Change
Before he had even finished what he was saying, the world rumbled.
Armaments of tribulation lightning hovered in the centre of the swirling tribulation clouds, a blade, a spear, a sword, a halberd, an axe, a battle axe, a hook sword, and a fork.
They actually did not swing down randomly. Instead, they remained in formation, rumbling as they descended slowly.
The snakes and dragons of lightning crackled away, establishing a natural form of the eight trigrams between the eight armaments of tribulation lightning.
Even when Chao Tianjiao faced the sixth heavenly tribulation, she did not encounter something like this.
Li Qingshan felt like he was unable to vent his power properly. His heart was painfully tense. He immediately felt the presence of looming danger.
Lightning was the wrath of the heavens. Tribulations were the punishment of the heavens.
To regular cultivators, this was only a test, yet it seemed like he had just committed a sin against heaven.
The heavens were furious, determined to reduce him to dust.
Having offended the heavens, he had no one left to pray to.
So powerful! If I don’t destroy this formation quickly and it arrives, even ten Phoenix’s Nirvāṇa won’t be enough, let alone the fact that I only have one remaining now, and it’s turning into a pitiful egg.
Li Qingshan was about to use his innate abilities when the scenery around him changed.
The sky was pitch-black, and the mountains rose and fell. He had turned back into a youth from his physique of the demonic and divine, returning to Crouching Ox village that had been destroyed in the flames of war. He currently lay in the cowshed with a black ox crouching right by him.
He could not help but mutter, “Brother ox!”
He realised that the situation was terrible. The illusion became more and more realistic. Even the sensation of the hay poking into his skin became as clear as day, such that he could no longer distinguish it as fake.
I pulled Chao Tianjiao into an illusion so that I could toy with her. Hasn’t retribution come a little too quickly today?
Xiao An noticed how his gaze had become blank. “It’s the skandha-māra!”
If he practised the Heavenly Tome of Liberty, this was not supposed to be a major problem. However, his Yin Soul had been destroyed in Cold Blood pass, so his human cultivation was reduced to zero. As a result, he had to face this crisis.
The danger of the demon was no less than the tribulation lightning, let alone now.
Xiao An’s voice pierced through the rumbling thunder, “Qingshan, the five skandha are form, sensations, perceptions, actions, and consciousness. From the various forms arises the various sensations of joy and suffering, which leads to various perceptions, followed by unruly and irresponsible actions, a blinded consciousness and shrouding your true self. If you want to fend off the skandha-māra, you must see through form first and realise that everything before you consists of merely empty illusions.”
A middle-aged farmwife with a somewhat wide waist yelled, “Li Er, get up and get to work!”
Li Qingshan grinned. “In other words, what I’m encountering right now is a ‘form demon’.”
TL: This is a pun. In this case, the ‘form demon’ can also refer to lust demons or sexual demons.
The farmwife said furiously, “Li Er, what the hell are you on about?”
The black ox raised its head, gazing at him quietly.
“Though, while this is all an illusion, it’s not empty!” Li Qingshan said firmly, without any hesitation at all.
He faced impending doom, yet he had never felt so calm and composed before.
Yes, nothing he had encountered along the way, including what he experienced in the Clam King of Mirage Sea’s illusions, was empty.
The youth of the past no longer needed a blade to embolden himself.
The black ox nodded with a smile, but the farmwife became even more furious. Her curses became even worse, and the illusion became more realistic as well.
“Though, all this noise sure is annoying. The Spirit Turtle Suppresses the Seas!”
Li Qingshan’s heart was as placid as water. His eyes shone with a clear light, seeing through all of the illusions. He recovered his physique of the demonic and divine and returned to the marsh between the mountains.
Gazing at the eight descending armaments of tribulation lightning, he smiled brightly. “Isn’t this all just forms as well? Yet people die when they are killed, so what kind of nonsense is that? You’re just trying to deceive yourself.”
Xiao An smiled and no longer said anything more.
“Hmph, if you won’t face me, then I’ll face you! Rise, winds!”
Li Qingshan suddenly unfurled a pair of wings of wind. They reached several hundred metres across, slamming towards the eight armaments of tribulation lightning as if they wanted to scatter the tribulation clouds and clear the skies.
The world rocked; lightning flashed brightly, illuminating the sky. It formed a sea of lightning.
Among the eight trigrams, zhen was thunder and xun was wind.
The thirty-second hexagram, thunder and wind, persevering.
The wind and thunder surged!
In order to prevent the heavenly tribulation from charging up any further, Li Qingshan proactively received the challenge. The lightning poured down towards him like a flood.
The marsh beneath him was immediately vapourised, exposing the dry, cracked ground. His iron hooves sank deeply into the earth, giving him a firm footing. Drawing strength from below, he threw a punch at the sky.
His fist burst through the lightning, slamming the space there heavily. Shockwaves spread out as ripples, shattering the eight trigrams formation constructed by the eight armaments of tribulation lightning. The pressure of imminent doom lightened as a result.
Even though his imposing figure was still swallowed by the lightning, shaking and numbing his body all over, he had directed most of the lightning into the ground beneath him, so it did not lead to any actual damage.
Regular tribulation lightning was not enough to kill him. The threat that was truly lethal was still the eight armaments of tribulation lightning!
Before he could even bring himself to fend them off, the numb sensation abruptly turned into heart-wrenching pain.
Every inch of his skin, blood vessels, and bones groaned, filling his entire soul. Even the tortures of hell were nothing more than this.
He gritted his teeth firmly and knelt down on one knee. He felt the impression that he had already been reduced to dust by the tribulation lightning.
But in the next moment, the pain turned to joy, like he had risen up through the clouds, making his way to paradise. Even if he died now, it was fine.
Yet in the next moment, he plunged back into the abyssal hell.
Suffering and pleasure, sorrow and joy constantly replaced one another. He could not help but recall all the matters of pain and the matters of joy he had experienced in his life.
Whether it was scaling the Ice Sword cliff arduously in the violent wind and snow or the delight and elation from destroying the Ice Sword cliff, all of these emotions flooded through his head. He wanted to laugh aloud and sob away at the same time. It was not an illusion. It was more than an illusion.
Xiao An said, “If you cannot see through the illusion of form, then you must ‘perceive’ the various pains and joys.”
“Alright! What’s the point of living if there aren’t tests like this?”
The various sensations could not be suppressed by the spirit turtle, nor did he want to suppress them.
Li Qingshan cleared all of his thoughts and recalled his experience when he underwent the Phoenix’s Nirvāṇa recently.
If his body was not destroyed, if his heart did not die, then he had to endure all of these sorrows and joys, pains, and pleasures. He went up in flames just because times were tough and the odds were against him, that was viewing escape and evasion as a wise choice. He would be no different from a coward, blaming everyone but himself, placing his faith in others but not himself.
The surroundings dimmed, and the eight armaments of tribulation lightning all plunged deeply into his body.
If he had not used the Ox Demon Forges its Hide in the final moments, he would have been carved to pieces with that.
No matter how he redirected the lightning into the ground, his body continued to crack, but not a single droplet of blood was split. It was all vapourised by the lightning. Among the violent flashes, his tiger bones became visible, shattering bit by bit.
He did not budge, silently enduring all of this as he drew out the armaments of tribulation lightning one by one, snapping and crushing them. Afterwards, he rose up to fight again.
Xiao An said, “Qingshan!”
His wounds did not close up, leaving behind a series of horrific holes. There was no flesh, blood, or bones in them. He was already heavily injured. However, for some reason, his standing figure became even loftier, like he had merged with the earth. Peering through the depths of the swirl, he gazed at the distant heavens.
The heavens seemed to be angered by this gaze. It rumbled, letting out a deep and furious roar. The shattered lightning condensed again in the blink of an eye, such that only a giant sword of lightning remained.
Li Qingshan was unfazed. The small world in his body circulated slowly, using the divine transformations to restrain the demonic thoughts inside and using the demonic transformations to fend off the wrath of the heavens outside. He used the various transformations freely, like it was all within his grasp. He was indestructible and unswayable.
He had the Nine Transformations of the Demonic and Divine, just so he would not change.
Xiao An shut her eyes calmly. “He’s won.”
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