Sharp as she was, Yuchi Hanxing had noticed the layers of traps as soon as the Black Tortoise and the Dusk Phalanx were sealed into the Sword Lake. Therefore, she didn’t immediately emerge after the seal was lifted, nor did she make a move when the Black Tortoise was restrained again. Instead, she waited until Feng Wuhui had climbed atop the manifested Tempest Bird to show herself.
Occupied with overseeing the formation, the man couldn’t activate the traps he’d set up against the Dusk Phalanx.
“Stop her!” growled Feng Wuhui when he saw the Black Tortoise; he had his hands full with Lu Yun’s fortress ship.
Without pause, Zhu Yu and Yue Cheng ordered their heavenly soldiers to fall into battle formations to intercept the Dusk Phalanx. It wasn’t the Feng Clan that wanted Lu Yun dead, but the celestial emperor himself! No matter how reluctant they were, they couldn’t defy the celestial emperor.
Suddenly, a loud frog call reverberated in the surroundings. A mountainous black frog leapt out of the Sword Lake and flicked its tongue, catching Yue Cheng in the middle of guiding his army into a formation.
The man screamed pitifully as he became the frog’s lunch. With his cultivation suppressed, the talented peerless immortal was devoured in an instant.
“Run!” Reason and rationale fled Zhu Yu’s mind when the two large, amphibian eyes locked on her. Without even attempting to create a formation, she soared to the sky and fled as a crimson streak. Her soldiers scattered as well after their commander ran.
The frog ignored Zhu Yu and shifted its attention to Feng Wuhui, dousing him in an ice-cold bucket of fear. He hadn’t fathomed that the frog would come out of the lake to intervene!
The frog’s tongue shot out again, smacking ferociously onto the two mountains keeping the Black Tortoise down.
Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!
Like a most tenacious hammer, the frog’s tongue smashed the mountains into bits after several whomps!
“Grawwwwl!!” The Black Tortoise howled as it broke free. Its giant body soared into the air and rammed into the Tempest Bird, joined by simultaneous attacks from the demon frog and Yuchi Hanxing.
The Tempest Bird quickly disintegrated under the triple-pronged attack from the frog, image of the Black Tortoise, and the divine beast itself. Yuchi Hanxing captured Feng Wuhui alive in the confusion, while the remaining Nephrite officials stood rooted to the spot, paralyzed by the fear of being devoured by the terrifying Spiriteater Demon Frog.
Yue Cheng’s grisly end was still imprinted on their minds.
Thus marked the end of the ambush against Lu Yun, cut short by the demon frog’s sudden interruption. It was a completely unexpected ending. Feng Wuhui had taken everything into consideration, except for the frogs in the swamp.
Not even Lu Yun had anticipated the turn of events. He’d thought there would be a difficult fight, ending in his pyrrhic victory. He might’ve even lost the fortress ship.
As for the last use of the corpse puppet, he hadn’t even considered using it. These lowlifes didn’t warrant him tapping into the power of a celestial emperor. Meanwhile, the Spiriteater Demon Frog had come to repay Lu Yun for rescuing it, the tadpoles, and the eggs from the underground volcano after the Sword Barrow had exploded.
Once Feng Wuhui and the hundreds of officials were safely under arrest, Lu Yun settled down in Sword Pavilion. The transportation formation was deactivated and sealed away; no one was to teleport into or out of Dusk Province!
The Dusk Lord residing in Dusk City remained a significant threat. Lu Yun had only survived this encounter with the demon frog’s intervention, the Dragon and Tiger Princes exhausting their power, and Feinie’s sacrifice. If there was another such an ambush in the city as well, he’d have no choice but to flee.
“What are you going to do with those people?” It was late at night. Qing Han sat face-to-face with his friend, considering the latter’s troubled expression.
“Let the heavenly court ransom their freedom,” Lu Yun sighed. “Today, I committed treason even if I didn’t want to.”
Qing Han nodded quietly. “So be it. We’ll see what’s going on with Zhao Shenguang once my brother and cousin return. Maybe there’s hope yet.”
“It’s not that simple. Zhao Shenguang hasn’t yet ascended to dao immortal realm, so he doesn’t represent the heavenly court.” Lu Yun shook his head. “This is bigger than what a couple people can turn around. Even if we kill Zhao Shenguang, the same thing will happen again when someone else takes the throne.”
Qing Han frowned and didn’t respond.
“How long until the Dao Flower fully blooms?” Lu Yun asked.
“Seven days.” Qing Han closed his eyes to check. “In seven days, the flower will be in full bloom. However, it seems to have merged with my nascent spirit. I think...” he opened his eyes with surprise, “I think I can delay its blooming.”
Lu Yun started. “The will of the Dao Flower has been incorporated into your spirits?”
“Not us, me,” Qing Han corrected. “It’s merged with my nascent spirit.”
Lu Yun’s eyes shot wide with shock. After the flower’s resurrection, Qing Han had been the one to repair the overall structure of the void realm, while Wu Tulong, Zi Chen, and Mo Qitian repaired its minor realms.
“Has the flower cleansed the poison in your system?” he asked hurriedly.
Qing Han was caught off guard by the governor’s unexpected gut reaction and an involuntary warmth blossomed in his chest.
“No.” Qing Han shook his head. “I can sense its power, but I can’t control it. It seems that I have to reach a certain height with my cultivation before I can do that.”
The two suddenly fell silent. After a little more than three dozen breaths, Yuchi Hanxing preceded her entrance into the room with an announcement that the Dusk Lord had arrived.
“What? The Dusk Lord?!” Lu Yun gaped at Yuchi Hanxing and the helpless man in her grip. It was Feng Li.
“Where’s the Dusk Lord?” Qing Han looked around, eyes wide.
“Well… that would be me.” Feng Li struggled to his feet after being thrown down by the dashing Yuchi Hanxing. He brushed off nonexistent dust with an embarrassed smile.
“You’re the Dusk Lord?” Lu Yun’s expression darkened. “You’re the one who turned Mo Yi into a fugitive and sent the Dusk cultivators to their death?!”
“That wasn’t me!” Feng Li hurried out. “I may be appointed the Dusk Lord, but I didn’t give the orders. I’m nothing but a puppet!”
“State your business,” Qing Han said slowly. “Aren’t you one of Zhao Changkong’s? Why hasn’t he taken you with him to River Province?”
Feng Li’s status in the Feng Clan was similar to Qing Han’s in the Qing Clan. Qing Han suffered because of his accursed spirit root, and Feng Li simply because of his uselessness. He belonged to the main bloodline of his clan, but his mother was a maid, which was enough to make him a pariah in the clan. He’d only survived to this point due to his limited talent and minor intelligence.
Thus, it greatly surprised Qing Han that he’d become the Dusk Lord.
“Zhao Changkong can barely keep himself alive. He has no time for me.” Feng Li smiled ruefully. “I’m here to propose an alliance.”
Lu Yun paused. “An alliance?”
“The Zhao Shenguang ruling over the Nephrite court isn’t the real Zhao Shenguang,” Feng Li announced dramatically. “He’s a completely different person!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sorry dude, I think the whole world knows already.