Within hell, the floating peak that was the resurrection layout released a wave of vitality that ensconced the new territory. Some life still remained in the soil there.
After the Blood Sea had come into being, the mortal towns nearby evacuated nearly instantly. Cultivators and immortal sects didn’t dare linger much longer, either; all of them retreated more than five thousand kilometers away. Only common birds, beasts, insects, and such remained.
However, the flora and fauna were part of the system created by the earth vein. Lu Yun wanted to leave the ecosystem intact, if he could, and hell wasn't suitable for these creatures. Aside from his envoys and himself, any living being who entered hell would become a ghost. While Wushen Ruyi now possessed the Divine Spymirror, her true form was a divine obsession, not a living being.
The resurrection layout was the only place in the netherworld with any sort of vitality. The extremity of death was to revert to life, and the pole of life was enough to protect this relatively small patch of land.
A great fleet of ships soared toward Life Province’s transportation formation. Many cultivators glimpsed the fleet on its way there, including the particularly obnoxious lead vessel at the head of the procession.
“Lu Yun’s back!”
“Wasn’t he dismissed as the Dusk governor after failing to attend His Majesty’s coronation last year? Since he’s been stripped of his position, what’s he doing here now?”
“Where did this fleet come from? Why… does it look so familiar?”
“I think it’s the Chen-Lu coalition fleet that headed toward the Blood Sea a few days ago.”
“Yeah, that’s the one. It was much bigger before, right? Less than a third is left now.”
“The Blood Sea is truly a scary place. It’s not a place that’s fit for the living, that’s for sure.”
Lu Yun had encountered little resistance along the way. Jin Shikong and the others had fled long ago. News should’ve made it back to the capital by now, but there’d been no attempts to intercept him. At this point, he was free game for any hostile dao immortal.
The entire way, he’d been poised to use the corpse puppet’s last seal at any moment. However, everything remained quiet. It was almost too quiet.
During the journey, Lu Qingshuang and the others related what’d happened to the Chen and Lu Clans.
“The Lu Clan’s Mauve Peace Paradise belongs to the Jin Clan now?” Lu Yun frowned.
“Yes. They laid claim to the inheritance tower you left behind, too, senior brother,” Lu Qingshuang replied with clear suffering. “A lot of the clan’s cultivators and immortals were cultivating inside at the time and were all driven out. Many of the brightest geniuses were inside the tower and killed on the spot. The Jin Clan lied to the world about that, of course, and said that it was because of a backlash from the tower.”
The occupation of Mauve Peace Paradise naturally included taking over the inheritance tower. This couldn't be concealed from the world, but the Jin Clan had announced that the tower would be opened to the outside world after a hundred years. That was enough to calm everyone down; a hundred years passed in the blink of an eye for immortals.
“They dare use my tower?” Lu Yun sneered with derision. He could feel the inheritance tower through the Sugato Sword, as well as all twenty-thousand-odd Jin cultivators and immortals inside.
At the top of the tower was a strong dao immortal that exuded an aura as vast and magnificent as the seas, the same exact way Qing Ruyan did. Evidently, this was the Jin ancestor: an arcane dao immortal who’d picked his first dao fruit.
“The Jin ancestor was the most shameless of all. He gravely injured the patriarch with his superior strength…” Lu Qingshuang continued, sounding sadder still. “The Panorama Pavilion’s Fairy Ruyan saved the patriarch’s life, but his nascent spirit has shattered and he’s now an ordinary person.”
If Qing Ruyan hadn’t arrived on the scene, the rest of the Lu geniuses probably would’ve been massacred too.
Lu Yun fell silent. The Lu ancestor’s absence was most conspicuous in this story. He’d most likely been mired by opponents of the same level, no doubt. Every clan had an ancestor, and in a war between clans, people of similar strength were instantly pitted against one another. Lu Daoling had preserved the clan after the calamity a hundred years ago, but the clan hadn’t experienced a true renaissance and recovery of strength.
“Brother Shenhou, where is he? Why haven’t I seen him?” Nearby, Lu Qingshuang had made a frightening observation and turned deathly pale.
Lu Yun was quiet for a very long while, before finally mustering, “Shenhou… has given his life in pursuit of the dao.”
His spirits were quenched by the mention of his lost friend. He handed over the treasures Lu Shenhou left behind, including the three uses of arcane dao, to a pallid Lu Qingshuang.
The girl’s eyes turned an ashen gray. Every last spark of possibility had been extinguished from her eyes. Lu Shenhou had been the Lu Clan’s hope of revitalization. Once he matured, he would surely have led the clan to new heights. Was he… truly dead?
“Don’t worry. I’m still here, aren’t I? The Lu Clan isn’t done for yet.” Lu Yun’s answer cemented his acknowledgement and acceptance as part of the clan. Not because the Lu Clan was nearly extinguished, nor because the ancestor had once saved and protected him, but for Lu Shenhou’s sake alone.
The man had died, yet held onto life with gritted teeth, living through obsessive faith alone to bring out the cultivation path from that archaic, dusty tomb.
Lu Yun couldn't let such a man’s final wish remain a dream.
Restoring the Lu Clan and raising it back to its past position of prominence… that, too, had been Lu Shenhou’s wish.
Everyone who heard him gaped with shock. Qing Han, Wu Tulong, Zi Chen, and Mo Qitian were included; none of them thought Lu Yun would tie himself even closer than ever to his clan.
The Lu Clan had been discarded by Nephrite Major, and all of the other major factions were ridding themselves of this worthless connection. Anyone bearing any sort of relationship to the clan would be dragged down with it.
Deprived of its former glory, it was little more than a stinking quagmire. It wouldn’t take long for it to be completely destroyed, and even the Lu ancestor would eventually be hunted down.
Yet here was Lu Yun, shouldering the responsibility of his clan’s name.
“Lu Shenhou is a hero of the immortal world, and of all worlds and realms above. The Lu Clan doesn’t deserve such ostracization and disaster!” Lu Yun sounded more resolute than ever.
He felt the goodwill emanating from the dozen fortress ships, but he’d spoken these words out of the purest sincerity in his heart. He’d felt a much bigger rush of goodwill when he’d saved them earlier, but nothing he was doing had anything to do with the pursuit of cultivation or selfish gain.
“The name ‘Lu Shenhou’ shall be remembered by every cultivator, everywhere! He will be recorded in history and his tale passed on for generations to come,” he murmured. Qing Han and the others nodded in somber agreement.
“But right now, I think it’s time to collect some interest.” His tone sharpened to an ugly edge.
Inside the Mauve Peace Paradise, before the clan meeting hall, the inheritance tower stood as it had for the past year. Glowing with brilliant power, its peak was hidden among the clouds and countless Jin cultivators looked upon it with rife expectation.
An inheritance tower!
No one had expected an identical tower to be here in the paradise, one no different from the one outside Dusk City! The Jins could already see their clan rising into the stratosphere with this new acquisition.
Currently, the clan’s ancestor and a number of its best geniuses and immortals alike were inside the tower. As the initial shock troops sent in to claim the treasure for the clan, they’d personally slaughtered the best Lu geniuses within and severely injured its patriarch.
“As expected of an ancient lord surpassing the dao immortal realm…. In a hundred years, I’ll be able to pluck my second arcane dao fruit!” The Jin ancestor sat at the very top of the tower, comprehending the dao with fastidious care.
Lord Sugato’s heritage wasn't present at the top of the replica, which was why the ancestor could so easily reach this place. He was positively delighted; he could almost see the second dao fruit materializing before his eyes! Other images of Jin geniuses’ breakthroughs accompanied it. With the drastic increase in strength to be found here, the clan’s rise to the top was in sight!
Suddenly, his eyes shot open and terror flashed through them. A cool, mocking voice had made its way into his ear. In fact, it sounded within every one of the twenty thousand Jin ears inside the tower.
“So you have the gall to use my tower, hmm?”
A moment later, the inheritance tower exploded.
“NOOOO!!" the Jin ancestor’s horrified shriek echoed throughout the paradise.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Badass, I've always been a fan of Lu Yun just rolling over his enemies when he could.