Chapter 443: Shamanism

When Qing Han had run into the little girl, someone was chasing after her.

Lu Yun’s hunt of the other geniuses had garnered plenty of attention, and many began pursuing anyone related to him in turn. Qing Han, the little daoist nun, Silverblaze the Wolfking, and Yuan Tong the silverback gorilla… all of them were on the list.

Qing Han was just as strong as Lu Yun, and her intervention had easily put down the little girl’s attacker.

Although the little girl was perceived void realm as well, her showing in the arena wasn’t particularly eye-catching. Since the void realm was a relatively new thing, no one outside of the first wave baptized by the Dao Flower had the methods for it. They had no way of cultivating their way through.

However, cultivators in the arena didn’t need methods to progress through their realms. The power of immortal dao naturally bolstered them past various realm thresholds. In other words, the real purpose of the Sovereign Ranking was to water the world’s void realm sprouts. The realm needed nourishment if it was to take root and grow within the populace.

……

Boom!

A resounding noise sent Yuan Tong’s huge body flying and spitting out a mouthful of blood. Its opponent was a black turtle with a dragon’s head and a long, spiked tail.  

“I know you!” Yuan Tong roared. “You’re Admiral Turtle of the old North Sea Palace! You severed your cultivation to participate in the gathering?!”

Admiral Turtle!

After the North Sea faction disbanded and the center of power pivoted to Levitating Island’s sacred land, it’d disappeared into the background. Everyone thought it was dead, so it was a real surprise for it to turn up here.

Once upon a time, it’d been a peerless immortal. Now, it fought as a returned void cultivator.  Black radiance flashed through the air as the turtle transformed into a stout, hunched over, middle-aged man. He was dressed in a tunic the same color as his shell.

“I didn’t expect you would recognize me.” A ruthless look came over Admiral Turtle’s face. “The North Sea Palace is no more, and the emperor has turned into the dog of another… the name ‘Admiral Turtle’ is a thing of the past.” His skin began petrifying. “My name is Ding Lei, the greatest genius of the stone turtles!”

Fwoosh!

One of his arms transformed into a large turtle’s foot, slamming down upon Yuan Tong.

“Raoooough!” the gorilla roared and raised its own arms to meet it.

Alas, Ding Lei was already mid-returned void. As a mere peak perceived void cultivator, the difference between the two was uncrossable. 

Boom!

The silverback’s body was sent airborne once more. Its arms fell limply down; every bone in its body shattered into bits.

“It seems the Scarlet Ape’s bloodline isn’t all that noble, after all.” Ding Lei returned to monster spirit form: an enormous turtle thirty meters tall. It moved ponderously toward Yuan Tong, a sinister grin plastered over its face.

However, it suddenly retracted its head back into its shell, just before a beam of silvery moonlight descended from the sky and forcefully blasted against its carapace.

Even when attacking, Silverblaze remained in girlish form. Cangyin had explained things very clearly then: the monster spirit form had many flaws. Only in human form would one truly see the world, its laws, and relationships for what they were. It was best to cultivate as a human.

Three streaks of light danced by her side; a closer look resolved them to be three glittering crescents of silver.

“Are you alright?” she asked of her old friend. They shared a strong friendship, and Yuan Tong had been bullied by its kin all its life. It was only with her help that it was alive today.

“Leave, Wolfking! You can’t defeat it!” the gorilla gasped in apprehension, seeing its friend approach. Despite experiencing ancestral reversion and activating its Scarlet Ape bloodline, it had lost with a single blow from Ding Lei. Although Silverblaze was stronger than the gorilla, she certainly wasn’t capable of the same.

“Leave me here. Hurry up and go!” Yuan Tong grew anxious, seeing its friend still standing by its side. Why wasn’t Silverblaze going anywhere?

“A girl, eh? I was just feeling bored in this arena. Let’s have some fun, girlie,” Ding Lei cackled. Maw yawning open, it sent out a huge soundwave toward the wolf-girl. This was a stone turtle’s natural ability.

“Away with you!” Silverblaze chided. With a flick of her fingers, she expanded the three crescent moons into immense arcs of light and sent them spinning forward to intercept the sonic attack.

They shattered against the blast of sound in the next moment. The Wolfking grunted, blood trickling out of her orifices.

With another roar, Ding Lei sent a front claw toward Silverblaze.

Schwing!

A sword aura descended unexpectedly, slicing deeply into the turtle’s foot.     

“Aiiiiiie!” Ding Lei shrieked with anguish. Its appendage had been neatly severed by the cut.    

Three figures descended from the sky.

“How can this be!” Admiral Turtle gawked at the swords in their hands.    

In the Sovereign Arena, contestants were supposedly barred from using weapons and treasures. Even setting up formations and scribing talismans was banned. Flying swords like these were absolutely forbidden, yet each member of the trio before it held a flying sword. Its front foot had just been cut off by the sword qi from one of them!

“Milady!”

“Master!” Silverblaze and Yuan Tong heaved twin sighs of relief.

“Where did you get your flying swords?!” Ding Lei’s eyes rolled around in their sockets in disbelief. “No… the swords you wield aren’t spirit or immortal treasures. What… what are they!” It quickly noticed the peculiarity of the steel they held.

“You’ll know soon enough,” Lu Yun grinned broadly and unleashed an enormous beam of sword light from his hands. Ding Lei was scared right back into its shell just as the sword stroke slammed against it, scraping out a shower of sparks.

……

“That big reptile Ding Lei has run into a real spot of bad luck,” snickered a North Sea monster inside Destiny City. In their eyes, Ding Lei was a traitor. It’d been the first to run after the fall of the palace.

While Beigong Xuan had become the Scarlet Ape’s subordinate in the new monster spirit sacred land, Admiral Turtle, the one who’d controlled the majority of the North Sea’s resources, was nowhere to be found. As such, Ding Lei was hardly popular among its former peers.    

“Oh, yes. That reptile will soon learn about Qing Yu and company’s swords soon enough.” Ding Lei had no idea where Lu Yun’s sword came from, but the immortals in the city possessed full information.

……

Boom!

Boom!

Boom!

Several loud crashes echoed through the arena. Having leaped upon Ding Lei’s back, Lu Yun hammered a flurry of fists against its cumbersome shell.

Many cultivators hidden nearby clucked their tongues and remained firmly in hiding.

More than a hundred punches later, he knocked Ding Lei’s lights out.

“The shamans’ dao of refining treasures from living bodies runs counter to heavenly provenance… but that’s not a big deal, considering our bodies here are made of Life Glyphs,” Lu Yun chuckled.

An extraordinarily bloody sight then ensued. He pried Ding Lei’s shell off its body with his bare hands!

A shamanic art! A shamanic treasure! Currently, Lu Yun was using a shamanic art instead of something more conventional.

Shamanic dao was a branch of immortal dao, thus it’d remained unrejected by the dao’s will. However, it differed from immortal dao in a number of important ways. Cultivators were generally unable to pick up on its ripples from usage.

As such, he felt very comfortable in landing a sneak attack. The flying swords that Lu Yun and his comrades used were shamanic treasures forged in the same way. The immortal dao’s current will couldn’t affect primeval shamanism yet.  

However, the process of refining such treasures was incredibly bloody and cruel. When a cultivator died in the arena, their bodies crumbled to dust and disappeared. Given that, Lu Yun could only knock them unconscious or capture them so he could skin or debone them alive!

Ding Lei was jolted awake by severe pain, whereupon it started wailing. Discordant screams echoed through the arena, chilling everyone to the bone.     

“Well done! A traitor like Ding Lei deserves torture like this!” the North Sea monsters howled with laughter.

“Those are shamanic methods. Have they reappeared in the world too?” Some of the more knowledgeable audience members were afraid for different reasons. Records and legends about shamans had always existed. The most famous of their methods were their corpse coffins!

Lu Yun refined Ding Lei’s shell into a giant shield, then extracted its spine and turned it into a club for Yuan Tong. Finally satisfied with his handiwork, he eliminated Ding Lei with a swift kick.

“Thank you, master!” Much of Yuan Tong’s skills lay with its iron staff. The inability to use treasures in this place had robbed it of at least thirty percent of its strength.

“Come, let’s go hunt some lords!” Lu Yun turned toward the remaining cultivators in the ring and leered. “Anyone who’s unravelled void realm should probably off yourselves.” He hovered menacingly in the air. “I can’t guarantee that I won’t feel the itch to create some more shamanic treasures.”

His voice roiled across the entire crowd, striking fear into countless cultivators’ hearts.

Splort!

A monster cultivator self-detonated, returning its mind to its body.    

Thwack!

His senior smacked him across the face as soon as he returned.

“You blithering idiot! That guy is only targeting unravelled void and above. Why did a perceived void kid like you come back?”

Stunned, the young cultivator looked like he wanted to cry.

“My Sidekick and I are splitting up. The three of you can keep yourselves safe together, right? If not, you might as well go back too.” Qing Han scanned the little daoist nun up and down, manifest vigilance sparkling deep in her eyes. This little girl called herself Lu Yun’s dao partner all the time. If she knew Lu Yun was right in front of her, what would happen?

“You two go right on ahead! Um… how about this. Why not let me be number one for the Sovereign Ranking?” giggled the girl.

Qing Han rubbed her forehead and looked helplessly at Lu Yun, who could only shrug.

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etvolare's Thoughts

Eurgh okay, that's right and properly brutal, what he did to the turtle.

And you know what, I like this. This Sovereign Meet was a damn farce already anyways, LY's just playing along.