The Feng patriarch wasn’t alone on his quite unexpected visit. He was accompanied by a dao immortal from House Donglin! Unfortunately, his companion would surely discover Qing Yu and her cosmic constitution once he entered Precious Arcane Paradise.
Based on House Donglin’s tyrannical style, they would not only take her away, but also level the Chen Clan. Though the Chens resided within one of the thirty-six lesser paradises, there were no dao immortals holding down the fort. One dao immortal could single-handedly destroy the entire clan.
“Feng Wuming? What’s he doing here?” Chen Dongyu frowned. He’d naturally noted the Donglin dao immortal beside Feng Wuming. “Please return another day, Patriarch Feng. This old man has reached a crucial point in my cultivation. Forgive me, I am not able to see any visitors.”
“That’s fine if you don’t want visitors,” interjected the dao immortal. “Just open the paradise and let us in.” Black lightning flashed across the paradise as he spoke, and an almost unnoticeable tremor passed through it.
“Each paradise is one of Xiankan’s great treasures, and this one will be rewarded to someone who’s contributed to our great undertaking. This seat doesn’t want to destroy it, so let us in now!” the dao immortal enunciated with great pride, flicking off invisible dust from his cyan attire as he spoke. House Donglin had never kept their ambitions a secret. They wanted to conquer the world of immortals!
“The power of the four vicious stars has grown thicker. It’ll peak in about a hundred breaths, bringing about the destruction of the clan!” Lu Yun looked up with his brows tightly knitted together. The power of the four vicious stars was almost physically tangible.
Qing Yu tightened her jaw, ready to channel the starstone to disguise herself. Once she hid her true form, the Chen Clan would be safe. She’d already made up her mind to spend the rest of her life with Lu Yun, and she’d use the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals to destroy her cosmic constitution without batting an eye.
“Wait.” Empress Myrtlestar’s voice rang in her head.
Qing Han started. Hadn’t she sealed off the scroll? How was the empress transmitting to her?
“The scroll was drawn by a good friend of mine,” the empress explained. “If I wish to know what is happening in the outside world, sealing it will not stop me.”
That was how Empress Myrtlestar had been able to leave the scroll and treat Qing Han’s poison the last time, despite Lu Yun having told his friend to seal the treasure away.
“Lu Yun can resolve this danger,” said the empress. “If he can see the power of the four vicious stars, he can help the clan navigate the dangers. The power of the stars has already descended, so hiding your true self will not stop the impending doom.”
She could tell that the dread zombie her corpse had mutated into was now a battle puppet with the power of a celestial emperor. If Lu Yun called upon that, it would grant him enough power to save the Chens.
“Feng Wuming and the dao immortal from House Donglin are after me.” Lu Yun looked up and flashed a smile at the girl, not noticing her change in mood. “Wait for me!”
Qing Yu blinked and nodded without a word.
“...Qing Han?” Lu Yun paused and blurted out. That expression and trust in her eyes all looked so very familiar to him.
Qing Yu tensed and wiped her mind clear of emotion.
“Qing Buyi told me that you don’t like me, that you have feelings for Qing Han and have already risked your life for him many times.” She cocked her head. “I’ve saved you more than once, but you’ve fallen for Qing Han instead.”
“Um, I’ll be right back.” Lu Yun fled with an embarrassed expression. The power of the four vicious stars had grown thicker and he couldn’t afford to waste time agonizing over matters of the heart. He’d take care of the threat, then explain everything to Qing Yu.
Eyes curved into two crescents from her wide smile, a resolute trust sparkled deep within Qing Yu’s eyes. She believed that Lu Yun would be able to overcome any threat.
“Strange, the danger to the clan originates from Qing Yu. Why does me leaving the paradise dispel it?” Skepticism of this deduced solution swirled in Lu Yun’s mind. While Feng Wuming and the Donglin dao immortal had come for him, what’d that have to do with the overall danger to the clan and its connection to Qing Yu?
Back in Dusk Province, he’d humiliated House Donglin and indirectly killed their patriarch. Upon reaching Xiankan, he’d promptly slaughtered Donglin Shaochen, the foremost true immortal of their house. House Donglin was certainly itching to take him down after all of that.
The Donglin dao immortal wasn’t going to barge in when he’d been in the Lu paradise, not with Ancestor Lu Daoling there. Now that he was paying a visit to the Chens, it was the perfect opportunity for House Donglin to come baying for blood.
What surprised Lu Yun was that the Feng patriarch led the way. It would seem that the foremost aristocracy of Aureate Major had deeply infiltrated the power structure in Nephrite Major.
Wait… is Qing Yu the one with the cosmic constitution?! A pang struck Lu Yun’s heart. That would explain everything. He’d heard about the arranged marriage, which was further corroborated by Qing Yu staying with the Chen Clan, rather than the Qing Clan. He’d asked around for information on Qing Yu back when he was in the Lu Clan, but no one had even known of her existence.
“No wonder, no wonder…. Heh, House Donglin is a right and proper bully.”
Light from a talisman flashed across his body the moment he approached the threshold of the paradise entrance, taking him through the doorway.
“Eh? Lu Yun?” Feng Wuming and dao immortal Donglin Zhi perked up when they saw the Dusk governor. He was the reason why they were here, and for him to appear of his own accord as soon as they arrived was a happy development.
“He’s fast!” Feng Wuming’s expression snapped in shock. “Quick, he’s running away!”
“Running? Where to?” Donglin Zhi cracked a smile. “Clever. He knows the Chens can’t save him, so he plans to return to the Lus with the aid of a supreme treasure. However, he really does underestimate the power of dao immortals.
“Return!!” the dao immortal boomed with a simple command.
At this point in time, Lu Yun was already fifty kilometers out, and almost at the fringes of Mauve Peace Paradise. However, a sudden force yanked him back to the Precious Arcane Paradise to face Donglin Zhi and Feng Wuming.
Lu Yun reflexively peeked into the paradise and saw the power of the four vicious stars dissipating, then looked at Donglin Zhi.
“The Art of Words,” he breathed.
“Indeed.” The dao immortal smiled faintly and grabbed for Lu Yun, intent on taking him alive.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Thanks for discussing with me how to best handle the cultivation realm, everyone! I've read all your feedback and wonder if something like this would be appropriate? I stuck this in chapter 15, early enough where I think I'd get everyone nonplussed by the cultivation system.
We've got a fight on our hands, so I'd like to touch upon a point regarding strength levels in the novel. Please keep in mind that cultivation levels will be a mess for a while because 1) the path of cultivation was severed in the great war (this is in the synopsis, so it's not a spoiler!) and 2) for a reason which will later be revealed. So essentially cultivators in this world are babies learning how to burp, turn over, and crawl.