Chapter 410: Steed

“The pressure of this Path of Ingress isn’t unbeatable. I just need some time to adjust. I think I’ll be used to it in a day or so.” Lu Yun continued muttering to himself, seemingly oblivious of the staff coming down on his head. “If I don’t want to fall behind during this time, using a musclehead like you as transportation is the best solution.”

Clang!

An intervening fist slammed into the swinging staffLu Yun’s hand.

The impact shattered the foot-wide metal pole, leaving the part left in the silverback gorilla’s hand shivering alongside its wielder. Walking up to the gorilla, Lu Yun stomped firmly on its guts. The gorilla gritted its teeth in pain, but nevertheless acquiesced by putting all its limbs on the ground.

The young man walked onto its back.

“You will be my steed, or my dinner.” His ruthless whisper at the gorilla’s ear elicited another round of violent trembling. Lu Yun exuded chillingly visceral killing intent, and its survival instincts screamed for it to obey. It tossed aside its staff as quick as it could, then pounded its limbs forward against the ground for dear life.

The nearby human cultivators were speechless, but also rather inspired by what they had just seen. The monster spirit cultivators around them seemed quite... tempting, in their original forms. 

No one knew who threw the first punch, but it didn’t take long for a small brawl to break out between man and monster near the starting line.

……

“Bastard! How dare that Qing Yu’s Sidekick bully one of our boys like that!” A monster spirit powerhouse flared up with anger at what he was watching.  

“One of your boys? He’s a gorilla, isn’t he?” snickered a human immortal. “Using the wrong pronoun there, aren’t you?”

“You!” The monster spirit glared at the offending commenter, who returned the look with twofold intensity.

“What’re you looking at? You’re just a bunch of animals, so use pronouns appropriate for your species! Bring it on if you don’t agree with that!”

Several monster experts lunged angrily at the human immortal. They had had enough.

“All of you, stop!” The strongest experts seated in the air above everyone else released their auras in unison, forcing the monster spirit immortals back.

“Anyone who causes trouble during the course of the Sovereign Ranking will die!” the Destiny city lord’s voice sounded once more as origin dao power coursed freely through the air.  

Innumerable immortals felt their hearts tremble a little. Just as they’d thought, the city lord was in the origin dao realm!

……

The chaotic brawl at the start of the path raged onward. Cultivators fought messily among themselves, both to acquire a mount and to thin out the competition. They’d noticed the same thing Lu Yun had: the pressure of the path wasn’t absolute. It would only take some time for them to get used to the weight.

Thankfully, the limitation also prevented them from doing serious harm to each other. Very few had the absurd strength of a silverback gorilla, after all, and the truly strong had already left.

Many of them had a strange hunch: those who reached the other end of the Path of Ingress first would receive unexpected prizes.

……

The silverback gorilla’s mad dash was fueled by fear for its own life. It’d finally understood the danger of upsetting its rider.

Just like Empress Myrtlestar said… the Path of Ingress has cut me off from hell. When Lu Yun tried to open the Gates of the Abyss with the realms of yin and yang, he noticed that the connection was strictly one-way. He could only put things in, not take them out. A familiar force had cut him off from hell.

Similarly, if he tried returning to hell now, he would exit the netherworld into Destiny City. Well, actually, he would end up where he was before the Life Glyph had brought him here.

Wait a second… A moment of clarity struck him. My body is still back where we started. The only things here are my mind and spirit! My spirit can send things into the Gates, but taking them out is impossible… the power that’s cutting me off is the void!

If I tried sending my spirit back, I’d probably be eliminated. Lu Yun closed his eyes. Through hell, he could clearly sense where his body was—sitting by Qing Han’s side back in Jadeite Manor.

“That means… this body is a simulacrum made by the Sovereign Ranking. Wow, it’s so realistic! I almost didn’t realize the truth. Aha… so that’s it.” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his Life Glyph glowing. It was melded into his body… no, it was his body.

Cultivators had written upon the Sovereign Stele with their cultivations. Accordingly, their Life Glyphs were imprinted with their life and mind. When they’d set foot on the path, the glyphs turned into vessels suitable for containing their spirits.

The immortals outside had noticed this already; it was only the competitors who were left in the dark.

Out of boredom, Lu Yun looked for the silverback gorilla’s name on the Sovereign Ranking.

“Yingxue? The characters for silver snow?” he repeated incredulously. “You’re female?”

“Male!” The silverback gorilla replied with a muffled voice.

“Why’s your name ‘silver snow’, then? Sounds female to me,” Lu Yun harrumphed.

“So what? Yingxue is the name of the number one genius of my race! And the prettiest one, too,” the gorilla snapped back. “See? That female who just ran past was ‘Lu Yun’, right? But that’s not her actual name. She just admires him!”

“That… female who just ran past?” Lu Yun squinted into the distance.

Sure enough, there was a girl ahead of him who looked about seventeen or eighteen. A whirlwind at her side carried her off like a gust of wind; it wasn’t long before she’d completely disappeared from view.

“She’s going really fast, yeah. Way faster than you.”

The gorilla fell silent. It wasn’t good at going fast. The only reason it could run at all was because of its unreasonable physical strength. After they spent some time getting used to the pressure, the cultivators behind them would absolutely catch up and surpass them.

“Eh?” Suddenly, its eyes widened in shocked astonishment. It couldn’t believe what it was seeing. “No way!”

“What is it?” Lu Yun followed the direction of the gorilla’s gaze—ah!    

Just like the gorilla, the half-step void realm Silvermoon Wolfking from earlier was running with all its might. Someone stood atop its back as well.

Qing Han!

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etvolare's Thoughts

Lel. Legendary mounts, obtained.