“This old monk let you off back in the Heavenly Ruin Wasteland. Today, you will not be that lucky.”
A bald monk exuding an evil aura walked out of the Golden Dharmic Body. This was the Bloody Monk, Zhuang Zhenghe. Seeing that his palm strike failed to inflict any significant damage on Xiao Chen, he could no longer stand still and revealed his true body.
A scarlet halo appeared behind Zhuang Zhenghe. Under this halo, the towering Golden Dharmic Body slowly started to turn illusory.
However, Zhuang Zhenghe himself remained very solid. All the might of the Manjushri Bodhisattva Golden Dharmic Body poured into his body.
Two years ago, Zhuang Zhenghe was already a peak great grandmaster-level Martial Sage. In the two years since then, his cultivation had soared rapidly by relying on the forcibly obtained power of faith. Now, he was already a Great Perfection quasi-Emperor.
Given that Zhuang Zhenghe fought above Black Flame Island, together with the worship of more than a million believers, he could raise his cultivation to Consummation quasi-Emperor.
As Xiao Chen stood in the air, eight indistinct electric dragons appeared around him. He did not intend to clash head-on. He still sought an opportunity to leave this island.
Fighting with Zhuang Zhenghe at Black Flame Island would be like fighting a cheater. The many temples continuously provided him with the power of faith. Even though his Heavenly Laws were not dense enough, he did not need to worry about exhausting them. The longer the fight drew on, the more disadvantageous it would be to Xiao Chen.
Zhuang Zhenghe formed the lotus flower hand seal and revealed a sinister smile. Many scarlet bodhi flowers drifted in the air, looking extremely strange.
Then, he formed the same mudra hand seal as the Manjushri Bodhisattva statue with his right hand. A bodhi tree that seemed to encompass the profundities and wisdom of the universe appeared behind him. Suddenly, he narrowed his eyes and shouted, “Xiao Chen, you are covered in blood, stained by it. Countless aggrieved souls died in your hands. Do you know how heavy your sins are?!”
As Zhuang Zhenghe said this, the number of scarlet halo rings increased continuously. Three thousand halos layered over each other, causing these sudden words to smash towards Xiao Chen like a stick hitting his head in rebuke.
The air buzzed as all the scarlet bodhi flowers drifting in the air blossomed with a thought.
When the Buddhist exhortation reached Xiao Chen’s ears, blood leaked out of a corner of his lips despite himself. However, his mind remained clear and his eyes spirited. This Buddhist exhortation that could purify demons did not affect him at all. Only the sound waves injured him. Even so, the damage was minor.
Zhuang Zhenghe did not expect Xiao Chen to retaliate with a palm strike.
A bright moon soared up from behind Xiao Chen, bright like fire. When Xiao Chen threw the palm strike, it contained hot-bloodedness and lofty aspirations, announcing that he would not be defeated.
This palm strike shattered all the scarlet bodhi drifting in the sky into countless pieces, making them look like scarlet rain falling.
Zhuang Zhenghe said with a cold smile, “You want to clash head-on? Fine by me. I will show you the absolute difference in strength. Buddha Striking Mountains and Rivers!”
Facing Xiao Chen’s extremely tyrannical palm strike, Zhuang Zhenghe leaped up and charged over, countering with a palm strike of his own.
When Zhuang Zhenghe sent out his palm strike, it encased an area and stirred up mountains and rivers, causing mountains to move and seas to flip, driving the power of the world.
Zhuang Zhenghe brought out the full might of a peak Consummation quasi-Emperor, displaying an incredibly horrifying force. The boundless power of faith poured endlessly into his body, making this palm strike even mightier.
The two palms clashed in the air, trying to overwhelm each other with force.
Xiao Chen did not fear clashing head-on with someone like this, a person whose cultivation was just a facade. Furthermore, he also had the advantage of his physical body, and he had not even drawn his Lunar Shadow Saber yet.
Likewise, Zhuang Zhenghe felt extremely confident. On this Black Flame Island, his cultivation could temporarily reach Consummation quasi-Emperor. He believed that this would be enough to squash Xiao Chen to death.
There was a loud ‘boom.’ Zhuang Zhenghe felt like he struck an extremely hard iron board. His arm turned numb and actually lost all sensation. Then, cracks appeared in the Golden Dharmic Body behind him.
Xiao Chen vomited a large mouthful of blood. Then, he laughed loudly. It was as he had expected: it was meaningless. Using such inhumane methods to raise one’s cultivation resulted in a cultivation that had no substance.
Zhuang Zhenghe had a bad feeling in his heart, so he withdrew quickly. Xiao Chen’s Law Energy was too pure. Defeating Xiao Chen in one move was impossible; he could only slowly wear him down.
However, how could Xiao Chen give the other party such an opportunity? In the time it took for a spark to fly, he quickly drew the Lunar Shadow Saber. A saber light surged out like an Azure Dragon breaking out of the sea and struck the middle of the cracks in the Golden Dharmic Body.
“Ka ca! Ka ca!”
The Golden Dharmic Body shattered in an instant, scattering in every direction. This exquisite saber strike was accurate, quick, and skillful. Zhuang Zhenghe, who was frantically backing away, could not block it at all.
Zhuang Zhenghe’s cultivation regressed. Without the Golden Dharmic Body to provide him with the endless power of faith, he was like a balloon leaking air.
Zhuang Zhenghe rapidly reverted to Great Perfection quasi-Emperor. However, Xiao Chen did not stop moving. Right after his saber strike, he followed up with a palm strike from his left hand.
Scarlet multiflora roses spreading grief. Thousand Year Death, only speaking of sorrow and not joy!
Without the large amount of the power of faith protecting Zhuang Zhenghe, this palm strike inflicted severe injuries all over his whole body. Then, he crashed into a mountain like a ball.
Xiao Chen sheathed his saber. He appeared strangely calm, not following to press his attack. Normally, he would continue to beat down on his opponent while they were down.
The reason for his restraint was none other than the bizarreness of this island. He had not completely destroyed the Golden Dharmic Body; thus, it could be reformed.
Xiao Chen pushed off the ground and left quickly. As long as he could reach the surface of the water, he could use the Sea Monarch Crown. With that, he would not fear an even bigger threat.
“Evil being, you can forget about leaving!”
Suddenly, there was another loud shout. A Buddha image even larger than Zhuang Zhenghe’s appeared, revealing only half its body amid an unfathomable Buddha light and covering the entire island. Then, it looked down and stretched out a hand to grab Xiao Chen.
Xiao Chen got goosebumps, and all his hair stood on end. He unfurled the Freedom Wings and flew forward hastily. When that gigantic hand was about to catch him, he managed to cross the boundary of Black Flame Island.
The weird feeling vanished. When Xiao Chen landed on the surface of the water and looked back, he could not help being startled. That was the Buddha image of the Amitabha Buddha. With just half its body, it already radiated supreme Buddhist Might.
No wonder he kept feeling something was off the moment he stepped onto Black Flame Island. This Buddha image kept the entire island under watch.
This was something like a sect’s great formation. It used the power of faith to generate this Amitabha Buddha image to protect the island.
Fortunately, it seemed like this Buddha image was confined to Black Flame Island. Furthermore, each activation probably consumed a large amount of resources; otherwise, it was doubtful whether Xiao Chen could leave or not.
“I have to think of a way to drive this faction from this island. It poses too much danger to Heavenly Star Island,” Xiao Chen said to himself as he turned around and flew to Heavenly Star Island.
On Black Flame Island, Zhuang Zhenghe climbed out from the rubble. He formed a hand seal, and the colossal Buddha image in the air sent down a dignified Buddha light.
After that, lotus flowers appeared below Zhuang Zhenghe’s feet, and his injuries healed at a visible rate.
A figure quickly descended from the air. It was the old monk that Xiao Chen had met. As he walked over, he showed a disappointed expression. “He still managed to escape.”
Zhuang Zhenghe replied after some thought, “This Heavenly Star Island is a really hard bone to swallow. Originally, there were the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises watching, so making a move was difficult. Now, Xiao Chen has returned. He is going to be problematic.”
“What should we do? We are exposed already. Should we leave?” the old monk asked.
Zhuang Zhenghe waved his hand and replied with disdain, “It is just a small matter. Why the need to be so afraid?! Just continue to develop here. The Heavenly Starry Ocean’s Western Sea is the best place for us to spread Buddhism. Furthermore, we must obtain Heavenly Star Island. Whether it takes five years, ten years, or even twenty years, we must obtain it.”
“Then, Xiao Chen?”
“There is no need to fear him. Will he even dare to come back to Black Flame Island? The next time he comes, just directly activate the Amitabha Buddha. He will be able to come but never leave. Furthermore, as it is, he can’t even guarantee his own survival. If he does not become a Martial Emperor in a few years, he will die early. Where will he find time to bother about us?” Zhuang Zhenghe said expressionlessly as murderous intent flashed in his eyes.
Xiao Chen rushed away as he treated his wounds. After spending some time, he found Mo Chen and Lan Shaobai taking over one of the satellite islands that the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises had occupied.
“How was it? Did you catch that person,” Lan Shaobai asked after greeting Xiao Chen.
Xiao Chen shook his head. “I lost him, but I made other discoveries.”
After the two heard Xiao Chen’s experience, it shocked them. They totally had not expected such a horrifying faction to be hidden in the periphery of Heavenly Star Island, one that was harder to deal with than the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises.
After all, the Sea Monarch’s old guards, the seven colored Marquises, had their headquarters very far away from Heavenly Star Island. If there was nothing major, the seven colored Marquises would not make a personal appearance.
Lan Shaobai said with some disappointment, “I’ve had my eye on Black Flame Island for quite some time now. I was thinking of when we would be able to reclaim it. When we do, Mo Chen will have a place to build a refining pavilion. Now, it looks like that is something far away.”
Mo Chen carefully thought over Xiao Chen’s words. The two men were filled with anticipation of what she had to say, to see if they could obtain any information about the Buddhist sect and find a way to strike them down.
After a while, Mo Chen looked at Xiao Chen and said, “Your guess should be correct. Someone in this faction has definitely obtained the Minor Leiyin Temple’s inheritance.
“Back then, the Minor Leiyin Temple took the evil path. They forcefully purified ordinary people and only collected the power of faith, behaving like bandits. That was why the Azure Emperor led the Dragon’s Gate to destroy them.
“Their means of spreading their religion is the same as what you saw on Black Flame Island. They used the images of the various major Buddhist figures but swapped in their own appearances when making statues. Several of the Holy Lands have records about this.”
Xiao Chen felt very curious about the Buddhist sect. When he was in the Nine Layers of Purgatory, he personally saw the Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva, a bona fide ancient bodhisattva. Even after bleeding for ten thousand years, that Buddhist figure was not done yet.
Despite being headless, the Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva still possessed strong might. Xiao Chen personally experienced it for himself and could easily imagine how powerful the Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva had been when he was still alive.
Seeing that Mo Chen had some knowledge about this, he aired his doubts.
After Mo Chen heard Xiao Chen’s doubts, she could not help smiling bitterly. “Big Brother Xiao Chen, I’m afraid you are going to be disappointed. What I know only scratches the surface. During the Immortal Epoch, these Buddhist figures were as powerful as the Immortal Cultivators. There was even a Buddhist Realm. However, when the Immortal Epoch was destroyed, the Buddhist figures vanished, along with the Buddhist Realm. All these remain a mystery.
“As for the Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva, he definitely existed without a doubt. However, that is not so mysterious. The Buddhist figures are similar to the Deity Statues that the Deity Race erect; however, they are even stronger.”
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