Chapter 1963: Tree Monarch Growth Ring

Qingfeng Li thought that stabbing the Carnivorous Tree Monarch's head with his Sky Breaking Halberd would have been enough to kill it.
However, something happened in the next moment that shocked him. As he watched, a red vortex formed deep within the Carnivorous Tree Monarch's mind-space.
"Tree Monarch Growth Ring! It's the Tree Monarch Growth Ring." Qingfeng Li's brows furrowed, as a hint of surprise flashed in his eyes.
Qingfeng Li knew a little about the Tree Monarch Growth Ring. He had heard Dark Night Emperor mention it before. The Tree Monarch Growth Ring only formed in the most powerful of demonic trees. Once it formed, the demonic tree would acquire a superpower that protected it from death and it would become very difficult to kill.
If Qingfeng Li's Sky Breaking Halberd had struck any other demonic tree, it would have died in an instant. However, although the same attack had succeeded in piercing a large bloody hole in the Carnivorous Tree Monarch's head, it also triggered the backlash from the Tree Monarch Growth Ring. The backlash was so powerful that even the Sky Breaking Halberd was unable to break through.
Staring at Qingfeng Li, the Carnivorous Tree Monarch howled in laughter. Its eyes were filled with contempt as it spoke, "You really think you can kill me? I've gained the power of the Tree Monarch Growth Ring. Through this, I've mastered the power of heaven and earth! Today, I will not rest until you are dead!"
With a roar, the Carnivorous Tree Monarch commanded all the carnivorous demonic trees in the entire forest to charge at Qingfeng Li.
Although Qingfeng Li had previously killed several hundreds of the carnivorous demonic trees, there were still several hundreds of them left. Now, under the Carnivorous Tree Monarch's command, they charged at Qingfeng Li with maddened fervor; they wanted to get revenge for their leader!
Qingfeng Li sneered. "You think that just because you have the Tree Monarch Growth Ring, I wouldn't be able to kill you?" he jeered, unimpressed. "Today, I'll show you the power of thunder!"
Qingfeng Li took out his Thunder Pearl. Then, using his Thunder Chant, he poured his vital essence into the Thunder Pearl. Black thunder erupted from its surface in flashes of black light.
Crackle! Crackle, crackle…
Hundreds of thunderbolts shot out from the Thunder pearl abruptly. The thunderbolts arched through the air, appearing within the void. Then, they rained down upon the carnivorous demonic trees in the forest.
The hundreds of carnivorous demonic trees all howled in agony. The wretched sound was chilling to hear. To these plant-based demons, the most terrifying power of all was no doubt thunder. 
Thunder energy was the natural enemy of all demonic, evil, and ghostly creatures. In addition, the thunderbolts from Qingfeng Li's Thunder Pearl were a terrifying force of their own. They contained the power of Heavenly Dao. As they rained down upon the trees, the thunderbolts cracked them apart and set them ablaze. Finally, all that was left were ashes.

The Carnivorous Tree Monarch, seeing hundreds of its subjects killed by Qingfeng Li's thunder, was mad with rage. However, its face was slightly pale. It was afraid.
It glared at Qingfeng Li. "You, damned human," his voice was shaking with fury, "how is it possible that you possess the power of thunder? That is the kind of power only saints can control!"
Qingfeng Li smiled, unfazed. "Who said that only saints can control thunder?" he retorted. "I can control them, too. Today, I'll give you a taste of the power of thunder!"
After killing the hundreds of carnivorous demonic trees, Qingfeng Li continued to control the one thousand thunderbolts, shooting them toward the Carnivorous Tree Monarch.
The Carnivorous Tree Monarch's expression changed. It activated the Tree Monarch Growth Ring deep within its mind-space. One by one, its growth-rings flew out, carrying with them the power of time. They created a massive vortex, which collided with the thunderbolts in the air. Thunderous crackles erupted from the collision.
Bang! Bang, bang, bang, bang…
One thousand thunderbolts fell upon the Tree Monarch Growth Ring. The thunderous noise shook the heavens. The thunder appeared to be trying to blow the Tree Monarch Growth Ring apart. However, the ring held off the attack.
Qingfeng Li frowned in surprise. He knew full well the power contained within the thunderbolts from the Thunder Pearl. It was definitely a force that was able to shatter anything in the world. However, today, it had been blocked by the Tree Monarch Growth Ring. Was this also a saint-level treasure?
Just then, the voice of the Dark Night Emperor sounded within Qingfeng Li's mind-space. "Little one," he said, "the Tree Monarch Growth Ring isn't so simple. This isn't its true form. It was probably something left on this planet by a saint. Now, it had been claimed by the Carnivorous Tree Monarch. With your thunder, you can defeat it, but not kill it. Use your golden flame instead."
Qingfeng Li nodded. He didn't know much about the saints of the Ancient Era. Only te Dark Night Emperor understood these legendary entities.
"Golden flame!" Qingfeng Li cried, activating the golden flame within him.
From its resting place in his lower abdomen, the golden flame flowed through his flesh and meridians, and out over his right hand. Like a golden fairy, they danced over his index and middle fingers.
With a low roar, Qingfeng Li whipped his right hand forward, sending out the golden flame. The flames tore through the void like an enchanted thing and flew into the Carnivorous Tree Monarch.
At first, the Carnivorous Tree Monarch didn't pay it much mind. Once the golden flame fell upon its body, however, it realized just how terrifying these flames were. Like leeches, they slid down its trunks and branches, spreading toward its head, heart, and every other part of its body. 
The Carnivorous Tree Monarch let out a piteous shriek. "Saint level flames!" It cried out in pain. "How is this possible?! You're only a master of the Spirit Monarch Realm. How can you have saint level flames?!"
Qingfeng Li glared down upon the howling Carnivorous Tree Monarch, his eyes cold. He did not speak. He knew that having been struck by his saint level flames, there was no way his opponent would survive. Not unless they were a saint as well.
Around them, the self-cultivators watched, pale-faced, as the Carnivorous Tree Monarch howled in pain as it was consumed by the flames. They backed away slowly.
It only was now that they truly understood Qingfeng Li's power. This was definitely someone who could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Kings of the Supreme Dynasties. They could not afford to anger such a person.
After about five minutes, the Carnivorous Tree Monarch, still howling, was reduced to ash.
Suddenly, Qingfeng Li's brows furrowed. Before him, where the Carnivorous Tree Monarch's ashes lay, he found a circular plate-shaped object. It was not large, only about the size of a normal dinner plate. However, upon its surface, there were one thousand growth rings. The rings constantly spun, emitting transparent blood-red light. It was also covered with obscured talisman scriptures holding the Laws of Heaven and Earth. 
A hint of delight lit up Qingfeng Li's eyes. "As expected of the Tree Monarch Growth Ring," he muttered. "It is indeed powerful. Even my saint level flames hadn't reduced it to ashes. But now, it's ownerless."

With a forward step, Qingfeng Li shot forward in a whirlwind. In an instant, he appeared over the Tree Monarch Growth Ring. Reaching out, he grasped it in his hands. There was joy in his eyes.