“Hmph!” Situ Zong harrumphed, then pointed the Black Emperor on his shoulder straight at the person who’d just spoken, who instantly fled in terror, unwilling to dwell on the question.
The relationship between the Star Demon Sect and Lu Yun? Well, he was standing right there beside the young lord, wasn’t he? There was nothing to be afraid of. The five forefathers would surely agree with his decision.
“Come!” With one hand on his compass and the other tugging Qing Han along, Lu Yun strode off toward the half-open door.
Situ Zong’s hands were similarly occupied; he kept a tight grip on both the Black Emperor and his disciple, making sure to keep up with the young lords.
“There’s no need for further argument. The Cosmic Skycarver has returned,” a soft-spoken, bookish voice remarked from beyond the door. “That sword is the key to obtaining this sea of stars.”
Lu Yun traded a furtive glance with Qing Han, and both youths slid to a concordant halt. It was better not to go in just yet. Lu Yun carefully put away the luopan in his hands, extinguishing its aureate rays.
“S-second brother? What’s he doing here?” Qing Han was bewildered by the discovery.
“Who? Your second brother?” Lu Yun blinked.
“My second elder brother, Qing Yunhe! The one that Jiangchen Wushang pretended to be that time!” Qing Han shook his head.
The Qing Yunhe he remembered was a thoroughly lackadaisical sibling. Lacking the unpredictable ferocity of Qing Buyi and Chen Xiao, he didn’t seem to have a care in the world. He seemed almost like a mortal scholar content with a life of leisure, instead.
So why in the world was he here? And vying over the Cosmic Skycarver and the Cosmic Sea, to boot. This wasn’t the kind of reality Qing Han could believe in.
He couldn’t remember a single instance of his second brother ever arguing with anyone… or fighting, for that matter. He didn’t seem like a cultivator at all. Certainly, Qing Yunhe was the last person he would expect to show up.
“Friends outside the door, please come on in. The Cosmic Skycarver is not a treasure you can hope to possess.” another voice cut through the silence.
Qing Han became as white as a sheet as soon as he heard the voice. “Donglin Taihuang!”
That nightmarish name hung like a perpetual specter over his heart. The Donglin scion was the reason he couldn’t be himself.
Qing Han had seen him many, many times. Every year, he visited the Qing Clan to see if a woman with a cosmic constitution had been born yet. He was a dao immortal, but exactly which realm he was at was a mystery.
“Donglin Taihuang?” Lu Yun’s pupils contracted. He instinctively probed Donglin Biying inside hell, but the ghostly woman was just as surprised as he.
Although Donglin Biying was fairly important in her clan as the result of her cultivation, there was an insurmountable gap between Donglin Taihuang and herself. She was more than ten thousand years old, while Donglin Taihuang had cultivated for less than a hundred.
Even among immortals, attaining dao immortality was a sign of unparalleled genius. In a sense, Donglin Biying and her kinsman lived in different worlds.
“Let’s take a look inside.” Lu Yun led the way into the chamber. “Ah…” He drew a sharp breath at the environment that awaited them.
Rather than another part of the tomb, they had entered a field of stars. A sparkling river of infinite light stretched out in every direction, illuminating the boundless realm of night with a liberal smattering of celestial radiance.
At the heart of the starfield was a silver scroll, the very same scroll responsible for dyeing the heart of the tomb in its selfsame shade. Three figures were lined up beside it.
One of them, dressed in a scholar’s cap and robe, was Qing Yunhe. An air of casual luxury wrapped itself around him, and the bamboo scroll in his hand only served to accentuate his bearing of a rich dandy.
Another was a sharp youth, twenty or so years of age. His entire person was keen and his presence was like that of an unsheathed blade, as if he and his sword were one and the same.
The last person was obscured in an intense veil of starlight, and it was impossible to discern his figure or features. By process of elimination, this had to be Donglin Taihuang! A dao immortal less than a century old, the pride of his clan.
“Qing Han?” Qing Yunhe’s brows knitted as soon as he saw his younger brother. How could Qing Han be the Skycarver’s bearer?! “Why are you here… dammit! Those old things….”
His eyes squinted a little in cold displeasure. The rest of his clan had to be privy to the fact Qing Han was here, but no one had told him. The whole reason he was pursuing the Cosmic Skycarver and the sea of stars was for his brother’s sake. What a twist of fate that Qing Han had gotten his hands on it before him!
“You? You have the Cosmic Skycarver.” Enshrouded in starlight, Donglin Taihuang enunciated in a cold and emotionless tone, “Give it to me, and I will consider letting you go.”
“Situ,” Lu Yun tilted his head toward the old man behind him.
Situ Zong understood his meaning immediately. Tossing his disciple neatly behind him, he pointed the barrel of Black Emperor at Donglin Taihuang.
“Oh?” Donglin Taihuang sneered. “You dare attack me?”
Like many others, he knew Lu Yun owned something akin to a war treasure. And like many others, he wanted it for himself.
Derision flashed through his starlight-laced eyes—
A pillar of white light blasted forth from the Black Emperor.
“Bastard!” The foremost genius of the Donglin Clan was furious. Starlight burst forth around him, intercepting the Black Emperor’s beam at the last fraction of a second.
“What a madman!” Qing Yunhe and the sword-like youth were thoroughly unnerved by the potency and suddenness of the attack. They darted off in two separate directions, unwilling to be caught in the crossfire.
There was an impromptu period of silence.
The starlight around Donglin Taihuang disappeared, revealing the form of a middle-aged man roughly forty years old. Short and stout, he had a half-bald head and a sizable beard.
His features were … rather ordinary, honestly. All in all, he looked very different from how Lu Yun had imagined his enemy would appear.
The other two immortals were similarly shocked. This was their first time seeing the notable Donglin scion in person as well. When Donglin Taihuang traveled the world, he always did so with a cloak of starlight around him.
The world was a place of many mysteries, alright.
“Again!” Snickering, Lu Yun ordered the firing of another blast. The Black Emperor unleashed a second shot toward his target.
Whatever he looked like, Donglin Taihuang was his rival!
So there was no need to hold back here; he wasn’t going to stop until the other was dead.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Blast the shit outta him, Lu Yun!
So when Citrus did this chapter, he left a note that the author was being mean and there was nothing wrong with being a middle-aged man. I... I agree. We can't all be sub-twenty years old! XD