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Chapter 1574 - Cause

Over the grey buildings, in the depths of this concrete jungle, the great Heretic God that ruled over this demon city suddenly stood up. He gazed at the trembling ground under his feet with a frown.

The demon city was protected by the formation, so such an obvious earthquake had never occurred. Something must have happened underground! Was it the rats in the sewers? But how was that possible? It was impossible for them to possess this kind of power. Even he felt a certain threat from it.

“Looks like I can’t let them run free anymore. They’re already plump enough. Time to be served on the table! Hmph!”

The black qilin forced Qian Rongzhi into a corner, lowering his head and sniffing her gently.

Qian Rongzhi tottered about like she was drunk. The aura of her life rapidly departed from her, yet she was completely without fear. Instead, she gazed at the black qilin in a daze. “Interesting!”

As she smiled, her scarlet lips suddenly split open to form a gaping mouth. She transformed into a large, colourful, mottled venomous snake, biting down on the black qilin’s neck. Her four snake teeth pierced the black qilin, injecting all the venom she had accumulated in her life.

The black qilin let out a roar, overcome with great pain. He shook his head violently. The black qilin and the large venomous snake became locked in a struggle to the death.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! They smashed through several pillars one after another. The temple was on the verge of collapsing.

The black qilin suddenly stomped down on the venomous snake with his right foot. Blood splattered, splitting it into two!

Hiss! The snake blood hit the ground and produced poisonous smoke. It landed on the black qilin, except it dripped down like blood, leaving him unscathed.

Half of the venomous snake’s body hung off the black qilin’s with her life force declining, but she still refused to let go.

The black qilin opened his mouth that was riddled with jagged teeth and bit down on the venomous snake’s vulnerable point, about to tear her to pieces.

A sliver of conflict gradually appeared in his pitch-black eyes. Pain enraged him, but it also awakened his original consciousness.

As if he had awakened from a nightmare, he looked around and emitted two long jets of air from his nostrils.

The deceased demonfolk all groaned and opened their eyes again, unaware of what had just happened.

The large venomous snake used this opportunity to connect the two parts of her body back together, turning back into human form and curling up in the dark corner. Her face was pale-white, but she continued to gaze at the black qilin with a smile.

The black qilin let out a deep growl. His scales receded away, but his eyes were still pitch-black like night, without any eye whites.

He knelt on one knee and suddenly pressed down on his chest, using the Spirit Turtle Transformation to suppress the frenzied qilin. Only then did his eyes gradually turn back to normal with a balance of black and white, filled with shock.

The earthquake in the demon city gradually stopped.

“Cult leader!” The two guardian kings gazed at her face in surprise as if it was the first time they had ever met her.

Qian Rongzhi waved her hand wearily. “Back down!”

“Yes, ma’am.” The demonfolk did not dare to disobey her, so they all backed down.

“Are you fine?” Qian Rongzhi said softly, “It must hurt very much to be bitten by a snake of suffering.” At the same time, she licked her pale-white lips as if she was savouring the taste of that bite.

“Snake of suffering?”

Li Qingshan rubbed his neck. The four marks continued to linger. This pain was even above the tortures of hell, which even gave him chills, but fortunately, he had woken up in time because of this. Otherwise, the consequences would have been unthinkable.

The Demon domain was also trying to assimilate with him.

“Suffering, cause, cessation, and path. The four noble truths of buddhism. Xiao An taught me this.” Qian Rongzhi explained with a smile before asking curiously, “What happened just then?”

Li Qingshan furrowed his brows and pointed at the entrance. “It’s none of your business. You can get out of here too!”

“Alright. I will order people to seal up this place so that no one comes to disturb you. I’ll come and find you again once the documents have been prepared.”

Qian Rongzhi walked away with sprightly steps as if she was very happy. She even hummed a tune like she had become someone completely different.

In the blink of an eye, only Li Qingshan remained in the empty hall.

He looked around blankly before plonking down on the steps. “How is this possible? No, this is the case. It makes sense like this.”

At that instant, everything became connected.

In Sukhāvatī, that mad night where demonic beasts prowled, the demonic blood that vapourised under the sunlight…

Before the grand hall, the blooming lotuses and the Upraised Light abbot’s questioning and sobbing…

“What’s the point of this Nālandā? What’s the point of this Sukhāvatī? You might as well have it all destroyed!”

Why was he so heartbroken?

He did not understand originally. Even if Sukhāvatī was originally the Qilin Paradise, that was still a demonstration of the buddha’s great benevolence, great power, and great might. He should have felt proud.

It all made sense now.

The Demon domain is also from the Qilin Paradise!

This was basically challenging common sense. The difference between Sukhāvatī and the Demon domain was far too great. One was a pure land, while the other was a corrupted land.

However, the truth was laid out right before him. After transforming into the qilin, both Sukhāvatī and the Demon domain responded violently towards him, perhaps different in method but identical in nature.

Meanwhile, the Black Sun Demon Heart was like the pond of lotuses. They were all manifestations of the laws of the world. The properties they contained were just drastically different.

It was like someone had used a blade to split the four seasons into two groups. Spring and summer went to the pure land of Sukhāvatī, while autumn and winter went to the corrupted land of the Demon domain.

If I’ve guessed correctly, this is probably the buddha’s handiwork.

In Sukhāvatī, there were eternal bountiful harvests and a limitless supply of food. The people there obviously did not have to toil about, nor did they have any desire to compete against one another.

However, that was still not enough. If they could not control the population size, then all worlds, no matter how bountiful, would devolve into conflict.

Not anyone could enter Sukhāvatī. Moreover, none of the people possessed any desires. That was how they ensured the quality of life stayed the same.

Improper thoughts arose when people were content with where they were. That was commonplace. The residents of Sukhāvatī were not some cultivators of great resolve and great wisdom. They were just a bunch of people who had done good, so where did their desires go?

In the beginning, Li Qingshan thought the buddha had used his great powers to influence the world or even brainwash everyone.

Otherwise, it was not just a matter of desires. Good people would still have greed and envy. Good people could even fall. They were not guaranteed to be impervious. Just being well-fed and well-clothed could not create a paradise like that.

Only now did he realise that none of that was so simple.

The original Qilin Paradise was both fertile, yet also not that fertile. Even if there were barren wastelands, it should not have been as barren as the Demon domain.

The buddha drew out the laws of the world he required to construct the entirety of Sukhāvatī. He had not just split the Qilin Paradise into two. They were still connected and still able to influence one another. All of the desires and wicked thoughts sank into the Demon domain.

The fertile pure land just happened to have very few people, while the barren corrupted land was impelled by desire, leading to rapid procreation of demonfolk. They were unable to sustain themselves, so they sent them out wave by wave, invading and devouring other worlds.

It was no wonder the Demon domain continued to exist too. It was not because the gods and buddhas were incapable of destroying the Demon domain, but because it had always been a part of the original arrangement.

He had constructed a world, using the environment to influence people and the laws to mould the people. He had not used his abilities to control people.

This ingenious idea, this great power, even left this demon city that could sustain over a hundred million demonfolk seeming as unsophisticated as a sandcastle built by a child.

As such, Li Qingshan could understand what the Upraised Light abbot thought. He had presided over the Pure Land temple in Black Cloud city, watching countless soldiers and demonfolk die on the battlefield. Who knew how many lives of demonfolk his staff had claimed as well, yet at the very end, he discovered that the source of all this was the Sukhāvatī that he longed for. It was unavoidable for his faith to collapse, throwing him into disarray.

Most importantly, the Demon domain could not be destroyed and demonfolk could not be converted. This overturned the pure land school’s beliefs of bringing salvation to all from the very foundations. It was no wonder the White Bone Bodhisattva would burn everything with the Samādhi Flames of White Bone.

The cause of all this lay right here.