Chapter 384: The Hell Flower Blossoms

The strength of the fiery cape had merged with Scarlet Ape, enhancing the giant ape’s strength to the greatest it could currently manage. Under the new strain, the human demon’s arms shattered like porcelain, and even the rest of his body began to crack. 

Scarlet Ape had lost all reason and become a beast of undiluted savagery as it struggled to break free. Ten breaths were a very short time, but also very long.

“Die!!” Lu Yun suddenly howled.

BOOM! 

The world suddenly became exclusively black and white; every other color was eclipsed from the onlookers’ field of vision. Such was the power of this mind-blowing attack, one that could bring down the celestial emperors themselves.

As the horrifying beam of light landed squarely on Scarlet Ape, it smashed through the red flames surrounding its body. Even the connate fiery cape couldn’t cope with such terrifying power. 

Not only did the beam contain the energy of the Formation Orbs, it was also augmented by the power of the land and seven goodwill fruits.

Helplessness and dread filled the giant ape’s eyes as it sensed its very life under threat.

Ping! 

A streak of sword light as bright as snow suddenly originated from a distant unknown, crossing time and space to land on the human demon. Withstanding Scarlet Ape had already brought the human demon’s body to its limits. The sword light wasn’t particularly formidable, but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Bang!

The human demon exploded at the same instant the beam of intertwining black and white  reached Scarlet Ape. The giant ape reacted with extraordinary speed and moved to the side almost simultaneously. It managed to avoid the terrible attack by a hair, but—

“Ah—” A blood-curdling wail soon followed.

While it had indeed dodged the attack, the pillar of light had nevertheless brushed past half of its body, and that half vanished with the light. Scarlet Ape keened with pain from the destructive wound. Too spooked to spend one more second in Dusk Province, it vanished on the spot in the form of a crimson blur.

In the sky, the silver Cosmic Eyes opened bit by bit and the power of the restriction took control of the province again.

While the human demon’s body had indeed been destroyed, the root of its existence was the power of the restriction. As long as the Dusk Tomb existed, the human demon would never die.

As a result, the entire province ran with blood before anyone could react—the restriction churning countless monster immortals to pieces. Meanwhile, Lu Yun’s men were all ghostly servants from the netherworld. After Scarlet Ape’s escape, they quietly returned to hell.

“What just happened?” By Lu Yun’s side from beginning to end, Empress Myrtlestar looked in the direction where the sword light had originated from, incomparably aghast. While not all that powerful, the sword strike had been extremely strange. It’d come at the perfect time for the final blow on the human demon.

“The Sword of Chaos.” Lu Yun’s expression was unreadable. Under his feet, the cannon shone once more and reverted back to a fortress ship. However, the vessel was now a wreck, its hull almost entirely broken. The tremendous energy from the Formation Orbs had overloaded it beyond its limits.

“The heir to the Sword of Chaos has appeared again,” he murmured.

Appeared again.

The last time, the Sword of Chaos had fired a sword light at Dusk Province’s border and destroyed the black, long-haired monster that had almost made its escape. But this time, it’d come to rescue Scarlet Ape instead.

“I wonder about the identity of this heir.” Lu Yun looked down, lost in thought.

……

The curtains slowly fell on a great battle that shocked the immortal world.

Northern part of the North Sea, on a deserted island.

Scarlet Ape’s missing half had already grown back. It gripped its iron staff in one hand and Beigong Xuan with the other. Bent forward, it gasped for air, trying to catch its breath.

“Human, why did you save me?!” it demanded in its hoarse voice.

“I am a divine.” Sword energy surrounded the silhouette from head to toe.

Scarlet Ape’s head snapped up as it stared intensely at the figure with burning eyes. “A lowly divine?” Frostiness curved the ape’s lips.

“Lowly? A thing of the past. We overturned human rule and pulverized their immortal dao with our divine dao. We built a golden era of unsurpassed glory and reduced the humans to slaves. We are the favored children of the heavens, the most noble existences in the universe,” the figure responded leisurely. “Many, too many things have happened after you were sealed away.”

“You know who I am?” Scarlet Ape started.

“I do.”

……

The seaside fortress had been destroyed, along with the defensive barriers protecting several great provinces in northern Nephrite Major.

By the time the floodwaters retreated, Dusk Province had become a land of scarlet. Scarlet for the color of blood spilled by the hundreds of millions of living beings who’d died in its lands. It was a scene of utter devastation and loss.

Lu Yun stood atop Dusk City’s walls as information about the deceased floated up one after another in his Spectral Eye.

“This isn’t what I wanted.” His shoulders were hunched and his voice dejected.

“Don’t blame yourself. It’s not your fault.” Standing by his side, Qing Han looked at his friend’s desolate figure, uncertain how to comfort him.

“No, I’m the one who freed the big monkey and also the reason why it came here….” Lu Yun himself had trouble sorting through his emotions.

Despite assimilating to a great degree after his transmigration, he still came from Earth at the end of the day. Even though he ruled over hell now, and controlled the power of life and death, it was impossible for him to make peace with everything that’d happened.

Hundreds of millions of lives had been lost, all because of him.

He’d known Scarlet Ape would come, but hadn’t expected it to come so fast. He hadn’t had time to complete any of his preparations before the ape’s sudden arrival. 

Dusk Province…. Most of its denizens were ordinary people or run-of-the-mill cultivators. They weren’t even immortals! When the waters of the North Sea had come crashing upon the province, there hadn’t been any chance for them to fight back.

It hadn’t been long since he’d returned the power of the land to the province and brought back hope for these ordinary people, these ordinary cultivators. But in the end, the ape had destroyed it all.

“I’m going to kill that monkey and obliterate Beigong Xuan. Revenge will be had!” He suddenly clenched his fists tight.

Nothing drove home the need for strength more firmly than recent events. He was in a very real world of immortals, where ‘dog eat dog world’ wasn’t just an empty platitude. Without domineering strength, one would always run the risk of being crushed underfoot like a bug.

“Revenge!” Qing Han agreed with a furious nod.

Hum... 

All of a sudden, a scarlet flower blossomed in Dusk Tomb at the center of the province. The blood drenching the earth and flesh littering the ground transformed into nutrients for it, and soon enough, the flower’s radiance spread from one end of the province to the other and bathed the land in the light of blood.

This light then took root in the earth, from which grew tiny scarlet copies of itself: Flowers of the Dead.

In next to no time, these clusters of flowers breathed new life into all of the souls on the verge of forever vanishing from this world, and all of those who’d lost their lives in the disaster were transformed into new soul entities.

Su Xiaoxiao and Xingzi came into view and hummed many a pleasant, yet melancholic tune as they guided the souls along the path paved by the Hell Flowers, slowly ushering them through the ethereal Gates of the Abyss.

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etvolare's Thoughts

You know, the thing about the world of immortals suddenly and finally being real to Lu Yun really touched me. Yeah he's seen a lot of crap, killed a lot of people, and seen people die already, so this world had better been real for a long time. But I feel so many people transmigrate in these novels and treat it like an RPG on easy mode -- of course, a large part's because they have this literally heaven-defying cheat item. But no, this is real, and the people who die as a result of the MC's actions are also very real. It's really nice to see him care about the common people who've died because of him.

I also just really like reading inner thoughts and emotional turmoil, and seeing the MC and other characters grow from there. We have so many fantastical parts of these novels already that it's the relationships and people that keeps everything grounded for me. Love the previous nuggets of philosophy that NECRO dropped, and now this. :D