Helmed by Beigong Yu, the Divine Glory sailed through the boundless North Sea for another full twenty days before reaching imperial waters.
The North Sea was immense indeed. Even though the Divine Glory was more than ten times faster than its predecessor, it’d still taken a month to reach the North Sea capital from Levitating Island.
Currently, the imperial waters—a region one million kilometers across—was securely sealed off. No matter where they hailed from, any cultivator brave enough to approach would be met with a barrage of violent attacks.
Not even North Sea locals were exempt from the blockade, as the emergence of the dragon tomb no longer involved the North Sea alone. Many in the world of immortals had eyed it covetously for a long time as well.
The tomb had once surfaced ten thousand years ago, back when the Dragon Palace still ruled the North Sea. Later, successive generations of powerhouses from the Dragon Palace were buried inside.
Unlike other ancient tombs, this one wasn’t chock full of dangers. Extreme danger did indeed lurk inside, but it was many times safer than other ancient tombs above the dao immortal realm.
Had the past Dragon Palace been willing to commit to a full-strength exploration, their tribe probably wouldn’t have been entirely wiped out.
But for the dragons, the tomb was the resting place of their ancestors and a location that contained the direct legacy of their bloodline. Given their temperaments, it’d been out of the question for them to dig up the tomb of their own forefathers.
After being dragged into the Untroubled Sea’s conflict, the Dragon Palace had ultimately been entirely exterminated, aside from the blackwater snakes. Of course, many factions that’d lusted after the dragon tomb had a hand in the dragons’ downfall.
Unfortunately for the plotters, the tomb then vanished from the North Sea following the annihilation of the North Sea dragons. Another ten thousand years had to pass for it to reappear. And now, the factions that’d caused the dragons’ downfall had once more converged in this place.
“Who goes there!” An awe-inspiring voice reverberated in the air the moment the Divine Glory drew near to the capital’s airspace, immediately followed by the overbearing appearance of a man in black armor.
Though he was still yelling his challenge, a giant wave crashed toward the Divine Glory as soon as his figure emerged.
“You must have a death wish!” A silver-browed man abruptly materialized on the bow of the ship and scattered the wave with a backhand, sending them churning back from whence they’d came.
“What?!” The man in black armor was a peak peerless immortal. Perhaps he wasn’t as powerful as the likes of Beigong Yu or the Scaled-Dragon King, but he was nevertheless an extraordinary powerhouse, so he blanched when he saw his own wave crashing back his way.
An enormous blade light flashed by and split the giant wave. The black-armored man trembled, a trail of blood dribbling out the corner of his lips.
“A dao immortal!” The man stiffened. “I am the Octopus King from the West Sea court. Identify yourselves, cretin!”
“Die!” With a chilly smile, the silver-browed man suddenly stepped forward and pushed another palm strike toward the Octopus King.
When the silver-browed man neared the Octopus King, the latter’s frame suddenly enlarged, becoming a giant octopus about five hundred meters tall. The creature opened its mouth wide and sprayed continuous jets of black ink.
“West Sea’s Octopus King… how dare you not even know the name Xue Daozi!” Xue Daozi laughed heartily and simply disregarded the fearsome ink, steadily moving forward with his palm strike.
“What, you’re Xue Daozi!!” The Octopus King paled, but before he could react—
Faster than one could blink, the palm pierced through his giant frame, destroying his nascent spirit, his soul, and everything else in a split second.
The giant octopus’ corpse crashed violently into the sea.
“Miss Su’s healing arts are extraordinary! Xue Daozi was but a hair’s breadth away from death just half a month ago, and now he can slap peerless immortals dead!” exclaimed the crowd on the boat, clucking their tongues as they witnessed the man’s prowess.
Xue Daozi had indeed been cleaved in two by Lu Yun’s sword, but that had turned him into an Infernum. At the same time, Lu Yun wanted the man to be able to openly stand by his side. To this end, he needed a legitimate pretext, so he’d seized on Su Xiaoxiao as the perfect excuse.
Hence, the explanation that Xue Daozi hadn’t been entirely dead made the rounds. Part of his soul had survived, and Su Xiaoxiao had taken out a pile of medicines to ‘revive’ him, turning him into a slave by the same occasion.
Or so the story went.
Lu Yun could share something like the Tribulation Surrogate Pill with the others, but... things like reviving the dead, the Envoys of Samsara, the Infernum, and the rest of his unworldly servants were his greatest secrets.
If people were to find out, he wouldn’t be the only one to suffer. Everyone by his side would be obliterated. As for Su Xiaoxiao, she was indeed a poison doctor from the past, but it’d been too long since her death. In the current world, few ancient records mentioned her at all.
“Woah—what a big octopus!” Just as Xue Daozi was about to extract the octopus’ inner core, a ball shot in their direction from the distance, pouncing on the dead body.
“Oh heavens, heavens! This is the West Sea’s Octopus King! I’ve been looking for this octopus for a long time… and I finally found it today!
As it turned out, this meatball was a man. He looked about thirty, and his rotund figure resembled an oblong tangerine stuck on an oval grapefruit. He wore a... something that looked like the uniform of a chef from mortal restaurants. Carrying a big black wok on his back, he had a cleaver on his hip that resembled a wooden door.
The meatball was currently dancing with joy, excitement written all over his face.
“Who are you?” Xue Daozi’s expression grew solemn at the sight of the newcomer. He might have become a ghostly soldier, but he still possessed the cultivation of a peak aether dao immortal. Yet he hadn’t noticed where this man had come from.
“The South Sea Gourmet!”
A sudden tremor ran through Bai Qi, the third prince of the South Sea.
“Eh? Does someone know me?” The meatball looked at Bai Qi, then shook his head. “Oh, so it’s you, little bai ze….  The meat of a bai ze, hmmmmm. Pity there’s nothing much about it.”
Then, the meatball known as the South Sea Gourmet gulped hard as his gaze randomly scanned the various people on the ship. Apart from the humans, Beicang Qiong and Lin Yan, the other four profligates all paled with naked fright.
The South Sea Gourmet!
Self-proclaimed supreme food connoisseur, founder of the dao of fine food, and obsessive collector of delicious ingredients. He was, in short, a glutton.
Monster spirits all over the world, and even divines, had suffered at his hands.
He was a bogeyman for every nonhuman species. It was fortunate he’d been born as a human himself, or humans likely wouldn’t have been spared either.
Never in his wildest nightmares had Bai Qi expected to suddenly run into this fiend in the North Sea. So there was nothing much to the meat of a pureblood bai ze?
Tasty or not, one couldn’t possibly know without a previous taste.
1. The bai ze is a mythological Chinese creature whose name literally means ‘white marsh’. An auspicious creature, it can help disperse negative fortunes that come one’s way. Commonly described with a human face on a white bovine body, it has multiple sets of eyes and horns, depending on the legend. It’s considered intelligent, with the ability to understand human speech and communicate.
A gourmet... I feel like this must be another mashup from another novel lol.