Zhao Changkong’s words made the assembled immortals shift uncomfortably.
Yuying and the envoys were the ones responsible for saving the provincial capital, thereby preserving the last embers of hope for Azure. Yet none of them had announced their tremendous contribution to the world. Neither that, nor the fact that they’d helped steady the grand influence over the land and complete the bronze palace.
“Your Majesty…” The dao immortal official colored, while the Ling immortals retreated to the side with a snicker.
The emperor steered the conversation in an expected direction. “However, the diagram for the formation of heaven and earth is crucially important. It pertains to all lives in this world. If you would, Dusk Governor, please surrender it for the public good.”
Zhao Changkong called Lu Yun by his former title in order to pressure him with the mention of the previous emperor. After all, most people would agree that the young man’s accomplishments today were owed in large part to the last Nephrite emperor’s sheltering.
When the monster spirit emperor of the North Sea had arrived in Dusk Province in person, it was Zhao Fengyang who’d repelled him. The Sovereign Meet of Dusk Province also owed much to his specific patronage. It was during that competition that Lu Yun rose to meteoric prominence.
Using ‘Dusk Governor’ here was an attempt by Zhao Changkong to make amends by recognizing Lu Yun’s status and rebuilding past bridges.
Unfortunately for him, Lu Yun was already lost in meditation. He’d cut off all his senses to focus on fully comprehending the grand influence over the world.
Currently, his own feng shui skills were only sufficient to create ordinary influences. Working alone, he wouldn’t have been able to set up a grand influence over the world. The one he’d recently set up was owed in large part to Wayfarer and the eight envoys.
The power of the newly formed influence rushed into his consciousness, resonating and infusing him with an understanding of the grandeur of creation.
Right now, Lu Yun was nearly one with the world.
Grand influences of the world were born naturally out of natural things. Living creatures had imitated what they saw in the world around them to create the art of feng shui.
Feng shui formations, layouts, influences, and grand influences… these were the four increasing levels of sophistication in that replication. A grand influence over the world was the closest thing to nature there was. Any such influence naturally melded into its surroundings.
Lu Yun had created heaven and earth with his own hands. His eyes saw and his hands felt, partaking in the wisdom to be had here.
To put it another way, he was one with the dao.
This kind of meditation was odd, to be sure—he looked like he was resting or sleeping.
Zhao Changkong darkened when he saw that he was being ignored. He’d never been a broad-minded person; his father wouldn’t have allowed Qing Buyi and Chen Xiao to overshadow him otherwise.
Zhao Fengyang had wanted his son to become more composed and mild-mannered. Given Chen Xiao’s praise that Zhao Changkong had the bearing of an emperor, the then-prince certainly didn’t lack for intelligence; he knew the importance of mental and emotional cultivation.
Yet the humiliation he currently felt before all of Nephrite Major was too much to bear.
Lu Yun was in an utterly unique state. Not even Wayfarer’s exceptionally sharp spiritual senses had noticed he was one with the dao. Everyone thought he was giving Zhao Changkong the cold shoulder on purpose.
The eight envoys surrounded him in a protective circle, like guardian spirits. As an arcane dao immortal, Zhao Changkong could easily defeat eight peerless immortals. The problem lay in that he’d just approved of them moments prior. Attacking Yuying and the others would only insult himself.
“Lu Yun, you’d better think this through… the diagram for your formation will only bring you death at your current strength!”
Everyone else thought the situation quite clear. Though Lu Yun possessed terrifying war treasures strong enough to repel Scarlet Ape and kill origin dao immortals, the world of immortals was a divided place right now. The tribes and clans of the nine majors and ten lands preferred to vie for dominance rather than focus on a single target.
If his formation of heaven and earth was on the table, that would be a very different matter.
Dusk Province spanned a mere forty thousand kilometers and could be destroyed with a single snap of a finger.
Lu Yun remained completely silent and looked like he was asleep.
“How dare you ignore His Majesty’s words, treasonous cur! Guards, arrest him!” The dao immortal official roared before Zhao Changkong could.
Plenty of immortals had been waiting for just such a command. When they finally heard it, they rushed forward to get rid of Yuying and the others and capture Lu Yun—
All of Azure Province shook a little. A gigantic bestial roar echoed through the air; it sounded a lot like an ox!
An unbelievable number of lightning bolts followed, flooding the province with the torrential discharge.
“No!” Zhao Changkong’s face shifted through several shades of color. He stretched out a hand, throwing forth a ball of azure light. In the next instant, all Azure Province—all of Nephrite Major—began feeding him their power.
The energy of the land cloistered the province from the purple-golden lightning.
“Governor of Azure Province!” Zhao Changkong roared.
The governor cleaning up inside the capital raised his head. Flinging out his governor’s seal, he assisted his emperor with an additional portion of the province’s power.
Deafening noises boomed overhead. They didn’t originate from any thunderclaps, natural or otherwise. Instead, it seemed something was stomping upon Azure Province to assure its destruction.
The Art and Zither Saints reappeared at Wayfarer's side above the bronze palace. The duo stood united in their defense of the mausoleum.
Yuying and the envoys grew somber as well, looking up at the towering creature hidden behind the lightning. No immortal in the province could see the monster’s full body. A foot that was a thousand kilometers across stomped repeatedly through the air.
The giant foot resembled an ox’s front hoof, but it was much too large for that to make sense. What size would an ox with a foot like that be? Many immortals could barely imagine such a thing.
Everyone could agree, however, that the foot was no projected image. No, it was part of a creature’s physical form!
Every stomp crunched upon the veil of light produced by Zhao Changkong and the Azure governor. The province teetered at every impact. The lightning over Azure Province was spreading to its nearby neighbors, and the crashing of thunder and lowing of oxen crescendoed through all of Nephrite Major.
“It’s the Thunder God!” Su Xiaoxiao turned very pale. “The very same one from the primordial immortal court... Kui! Is it really still alive?!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Kui 夔 is an old Chinese name for the "wild ox; wild yak" and is mentioned in the Classic of Mountains and Rivers as a one-legged god of thunder and rain.
The 14th chapter of the Shanhaijing, known as "The Classic of the Great Wilderness: The East" (大荒東經, tr. Birrell 1999:162) describes the mythical Kui "Awestruck", and says the Yellow Emperor made a drum from its hide and a drumstick from a bone of Leishen 雷神 "Thunder God" (cf. Japanese Raijin).