The heart of a tomb was the original body laid to rest within it, which then granted the tomb its purpose, and the ghost in white was the heart of this particular tomb. Endless malevolence from the Firmament Prison had fueled its transformation into the anchor of the Avici Hell—the fourth coiled mountain—defending the Door of Demise.
Sending it to hell naturally disrupted the fourth coiled mountain. The power of the layout remained, but the living corpses and the monsters from the blood ocean disappeared. The chamber returned to normalcy under the luopan’s light. All threats had vanished, as if they were nothing more than a passing nightmare.
“Is—is it over?” Mo Qitian asked with pale lips. His sunken rib cage and mouth that oozed blood marked the severity of his wounds.
“It is.” Lu Yun collapsed to the ground, panting heavily. He’d returned to the real world immediately after throwing the ghost into hell; he couldn’t be bothered to deal with it just yet. With the fourth coiled mountain ceasing its operation, the Door of Demise was no longer a threat.
Qing Han, Wu Tulong, and Zi Chen sagged to the ground in ungraceful heaps, relieved and grateful to be alive. Their demise would’ve been guaranteed in this tomb, if it weren’t for Lu Yun. This was no place for a cultivator!
Yet the characters emblazoned in the air of the first chamber had forbidden immortals from entering.
“I’m following you from now on, Boss Lu!” Mo Qitian turned to Lu Yun. “Count me in if you ever find yourself raiding a tomb!”
Though they hadn’t gained any treasures during this expedition, it’d been a tremendous learning experience. Mo Qitian wasn’t the weakest among the five youth sovereigns, in terms of strength, but he was the most weak-willed. This experience had absolutely tempered his mindset and honed his will.
Meanwhile, Wu Tulong and Zi Chen quietly settled in to recover from their injuries. After some time, everyone rose to their feet and focused their gazes upon the sarcophagus at the center of the chamber. It’d been the coffin of the ghost in white, but now, it held the missing realm of the severed cultivation path!
“Are we opening it?” Under his companions’ questioning glances, Lu Yun turned to examine the puddle of blood on the ground left by Lu Shenhou. His late clansman’s treasures, storage ring, and three uses of arcane dao immortal power were quietly hovering above it.
He deferentially bowed thrice to what the man had left behind. “Shenhou, rest assured that we will finish what you started and repair the path of cultivation!”
“Qing Han,” Lu Yun turned to his friend, who checked the luopan without missing a beat. All three indicators pointed at the sarcophagus, but the second layer, which hazarded a guess at the future, showed a bad omen.
Qing Han frowned; Lu Yun had seen the result as well. After a pensive moment, he flicked out seven soybeans. Seven soldiers in golden armor appeared at the center of the room with a flash of gold.
“Here we go again on another suicide mission.”
“We’re mighty and unparalleled. We’re supposed to be scything through enemies, shedding blood, and fighting to our deaths on the battlefield. But every time this kid summons us, we’re either cheap labor or cannon fodder. The most bullshit thing is, we can’t even say no!”
Grumbling nonstop, they approached the sarcophagus.
“Open!” they shouted in unison, their hands gripping the lid.
The coffin cracked open.
A ray of hazy white light shot out, brimming thickly with the power of decay and reducing the seven soldiers into ashes. They didn’t even have time to scream.
Terror flashed through Lu Yun’s face. The soldiers were dead! They hadn’t simply returned to wherever they’d come from; their very souls were exterminated!
“Whatever was inside nullified my death art,” he muttered. The soldiers’ souls should’ve been protected by his death art and survived the destruction of their bodies. Unless, that was, it failed.
“What’s inside? What is the severed cultivation path buried in?” Lu Yun’s body shook slightly.
The other four didn’t notice anything wrong. They thought Lu Yun had used a regular technique that could summon strange spirits from another world, which wasn’t unheard of in the world of immortals.
“It’s the great flower of dao, it’s the Dao Flower!” Empress Myrtlestar and the Azure Dragon King exclaimed at the same time from within the scroll. According to legend, the Dao Flower embodied the dao of the world!
“The symbol of cultivation has wilted. No wonder the path is incomplete!” Empress Myrtlestar shuddered. She had been born an immortal and never walked the path of cultivation herself. Hence, no one in her era had ever noticed that the path was broken.
It was common knowledge that there were three cultivation realms—qi, core, and spirit. After the transformed spirit realm came immortality.
However, the Dao Flower now told them otherwise.
“It is no surprise that the dao of immortals cannot be fixed.” Empress Myrtlestar frowned. “Cultivation is the foundation of immortal dao, and contemporary immortals have never experienced the fourth realm of cultivation. With a compromised foundation, it is impossible for anyone to ascend beyond dao immortal realm.”
“Without anyone ascending beyond dao immortal realm, the immortal dao will never be fixed,” the Azure Dragon King whispered. “If the Dao Flower blooms again, there’s a chance for the cultivation path to be repaired.”
“The flower of cultivation is buried here. Where is the flower of immortals then? Has it wilted as well?”
“The Dao Flower…. How do we make it bloom again?”
White brilliance fading, the power of decay had come from the flower. It embodied the decline of the path and despair of the heavenly dao. No wonder it’d been capable of destroying Lu Yun’s death art.
Qing Han relayed to the others what he’d learned about the flower, and the group pensively considered his words. To repair the path of cultivation, the flower had to bloom again. Otherwise, even if they could figure out the fourth realm, it’d be nothing but a reflection of what had once been. They would still directly ascend to immortality and possess a wobbly and incomplete foundation in the realms to come.
“Civilization.” Realization dawned on Qing Han. He remembered what was buried within the second chamber. “Civilization is what’s needed for the flower to bloom again!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter