That was the story of how Lu Yun found himself in an alliance with the little nun. Like she’d said, there was strength in numbers. Many of his death arts were restricted here, so Lu Yun had to be careful as well.
This year’s Sovereign Meet had attracted practically all of the genius cultivators in the world. Even reclusive heavyweights had sent their proteges to participate in the tournament. Competition was much fiercer than it had been in the Dusk Tournament three years ago.
Lu Yun was fortunate enough to own the Tome of Life and Death and rule over hell, but he never for one moment felt he was the only one with such luck.
There would always be a greater talent in the world.
Seven days passed.
Many had discovered the secret of the land of darkness and begun hunting skeletons and spirits to increase their cultivation. Those who’d reached this round were all geniuses with great potential and battle strength, so it was incredibly easy for them to defeat enemies that outranked their current level.
Whoever reached a higher cultivation realm earlier would gain the first-mover’s advantage, and could make headway in eliminating other competitors.
Some contestants had already been eliminated over the past week. Many had found out through firsthand experience that eliminating other cultivators would result in greater gains than killing skeletons and spirits. As a result, some had given up on skeleton hunting entirely, and shifted focus to fellow cultivators. This was a ruthless and brutal competition.
Although being eliminated didn’t mean death, schemes and plots abounded in the entire process. Geniuses who were trusted allies one second might turn on each other the next, defining the second round so that strength wasn’t everything.
In these seven days, Lu Yun had progressed from golden core to life core realm. He could now kill skeletons with a singular, powerful strike with his dense inner energy.
“Stay away from the nascent spirit realm skeletons for now.” He scanned an enormous, black-gold skeleton some distance away and quietly retreated with the little nun in tow.
He’d been looking for Qing Han all this time. He and the little girl had traversed thousands of kilometers over the past week, but Qing Han was nowhere to be seen. His extended failure brewed increasing agitation in his heart.
Lu Yun sent a sword ray out and chopped the legs off an approaching skeleton. The little nun quickly ran up and landed the final blow, upon which her presence immediately changed. She’d finally reached the life core realm.
“This is too slow!” she grumbled. “We’ve only reached the life core realm after seven days.”
Lu Yun gave the girl a withering look.
She flushed red. She knew she was a burden on him; if it weren’t for her dragging Lu Yun down, he would’ve reached nascent spirit already.
“Someone’s here.” Lu Yun gestured at her to be silent.
A flash of sword energy slashed at the nun’s head with imperceptible speed.
Lu Yun took a quick step to the side and caught the flying sword threatening her. It vibrated violently in a bid to struggle out of Lu Yun’s grasp.
“An origin core cultivator… He’s quick!” Lu Yun looked up and saw a man dressed in green slowly emerge from hiding.
“Please return my sword,” said the newcomer. “And we can pretend this didn’t happen.”
Origin core cultivators were among the most powerful on this dark land. Lu Yun had prevented the ambush from succeeding, which told the would-be attacker that this young man would be no easy prey.
“Despicable!” snapped the little nun once she recovered from the shock. “You snuck up on us, and now you want to pretend it didn’t happen?”
“What else do you want?” the man sneered. “Do you want others to reap the benefits after we’ve grievously injured each other? Return my flying sword!”
Only elites had reached this far into the dark land. Most of them were equipped with immortal swords, but couldn’t make use of their weapons at the moment, given the suppression of their cultivation to the core realm. Flying swords were thus more valuable, considering the circumstances.
The little nun had a few immortal swords with her, but no flying swords, which had prevented her from tapping into her full power.
“Grievously injure us? Just you?” Lu Yun scoffed and threw the sword to the little nun. “Take it.”
She merrily accepted the sword and stowed the immortal sword she’d been wielding into her storage ring.
“Die!” the man growled, barrelling toward the little nun with an explosion of inner energy. The flying sword was integral to his survival here. He couldn’t use his immortal swords before he ascended to the nascent spirit realm. If he could kill these two, though, he had a chance of breaking through.
Golden light burst forth from his body, blinding Lu Yun and the little nun.
A loud collision sounded out, followed by a tremor passing through the earth beneath them.
“What… what happened?” the little nun asked in a shaky voice after soothing her nerves.
“No idea.” Lu Yun shrugged. “It looks like he rammed himself dead.”
The man had run head-on into the mountain beside the little nun, breaking his head open like a rotten watermelon.
“Wait, what’s a man like you doing with a mirror?” The little nun paused when she saw a mirror in Lu Yun’s hand.
The mirror evaporated when he opened his hand; it’d been formed by the elemental power of water. The little nun fell silent.
A familiar current streamed into Lu Yun, much more powerful than what he’d felt before. He perked up as his cultivation powered to peak life core realm. He’d only just ascended to the realm earlier, but he made dramatic progress after killing the cultivator.
“Eliminating other people is the best way to go!” Lu Yun’s gaze turned sharp.
The little nun was still confused. The man had obviously been charging at her, so how had he ended up smashing himself into the mountain?
“Because he’s an idiot,” Lu Yun answered the question that was written on her face. “He was clearly highly sheltered when growing up. He’s had no experience in the way of real battles other than ambushing others. Rather than just depending on our eyes, cultivators must rely on our consciousness as well.”
He’d created a mirror with water energy to reflect the light the man released. Then he’d taken advantage of their attacker’s momentary blindness to kick the man into the mountain bluff, creating the illusion that he’d charged into the rock himself.
“Come on.” Lu Yun sucked in a deep breath. “Let’s go kill some people!”
“Alright!” The little nun nodded; she’d also felt her companion’s increase in power. Unlike how innocent Wanfeng had once been, the thought of taking lives didn’t give the equally sheltered girl any pause.
Suddenly, a beam of resplendent light soared into the sky, blanketing the area with the thick presence of immortal dao.
“Someone’s broken into one of the burial mounds!” Lu Yun blurted out. He grabbed the little nun and made his way to the beam of light.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
If you want a new read while heading into the weekend, check out Zen Cho's found-family wuxia and a band of reforming bandits!