Chapter 509: A Delicate Balance

The old man in dark blue robes was stout and short. He had a kindly look and a humble smile, but Lu Yun’s Spectral Eye easily revealed a well-hidden glint of pride.

Evidently, the old divine was a very important man.

“Honored gentlemen, I have come at my master’s behest to request a brief meeting. We would be honored if you would accept.” The old man landed on the ship’s bow as he spoke and made an inviting gesture.

Despite the courtesy and modesty his words extended, they carried a weight of obligation. The old man was a peak arcane dao immortal. If the two youths refused, he would kidnap them forcibly.

“Ai…” Qing Han sighed suddenly. “We thought the North Sea monsters or House Donglin would be the first to act. I didn’t expect it to be you.”

“Oh?” The old divine blinked, somewhat taken aback. “Perhaps you recognize me, Sir Qing Han?”

“You’re just an ordinary divine who’s disguised the source of your power… but I can still see it quite clearly. You’re of the azure dragon tribe,” Qing Han replied.

The old man’s face colored. He’d done all he could to feign normality, going so far as to fake an aura similar to Sword Divine’s, but Qing Han had identified him instantly anyway.

“Sir Qing Han, Sir Lu Yun. As expected of the ancestor’s heirs. I see that I can hide nothing from you.” The divine nodded. “Indeed, I am a retainer of the tribe’s current patriarch. Though I am not of the tribe’s bloodline myself, I owe much and more to the imperial line. The Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder is vital to our race’s continued survival… Please, hand over the heritage.”

Nine arcane dao fruits manifested outside his body, enveloping the youths’ skiff within their aura. It was as if they were in a microcosm separate from the East Sea.

“You decided to come on your own, didn’t you?” Lu Yun remained entirely composed and flashed a smile. “The Azure Dragon King definitely wouldn’t send anyone for me at this moment. Even if he did, they wouldn’t dare meet me alone.”

His words drained the blood from the old man’s face and cold beads of sweat dripped down his brow.

Boom, boom, boom!

A storm of potent attacks smashed against the barrier the divine servant erected. The old man spat out a mouthful of blood and his body cracked like a porcelain vessel.

“I declared a quota of a thousand formations of heaven and earth to ensure that all powers in the world would be held in check by each other. No one faction would dare attack me alone right now… and you come running up to me? Pretty much suicide.” Lu Yun shook his head slightly.

The availability of a thousand formations of heaven and earth was a matter of paramount importance for the world of immortals. Even some experts who’d gone into the depths of the East Sea to search for the Path of Ingress were heading back.

Numerous imperfect dao immortals had even set up a personal detail for Lu Yun and Qing Han, following them to the East Sea in order to prevent him from being kidnapped.

Aside from his truly intractable enemies, no one wanted anything to happen to him right now. It was because of this that no one dared confront him in person. Doing so would only cause every other faction to lash out at them.

A delicate system of checks and balances was thus being maintained.

As for whether his formations of heaven and earth were real and effective, the Panorama Pavilion had vouched for the veracity of the announcement.

The formation was indeed too complex, and living creatures too unique and disparate, for one singular diagram to be applicable for everyone. Right now, the only path forward was to have a formation tailor-made for each person.

The Pavilion’s authority was unshakable in this. Several of its immortals had already come forth to exhibit the newfound formations of heaven and earth incorporated in their bodies, shocking the entire world with their immense strength.

Their existence pacified any overeager troublemakers. Furthermore, the Panorama Pavilion’s perpetual neutrality and focus on wealth over dozens of millennia prevented them from becoming a public target.

……

The experts following Lu Yun couldn’t sit still at the sight of his imprisonment and struck at once.

As a nine-fruit arcane dao immortal, the old divine had set up a particularly potent barrier. It blended so cleanly into the surroundings that barely anyone was able to detect it at all. However, it was as fragile as an eggshell before a pack of crippled origin dao immortals. The barrier shattered within moments.

The old man’s body disintegrated alongside his barrier. His nine dao fruits protected his soul and spirit, which stood confusedly above the surface of the East Sea.

“Scram!” a harsh rebuke came from the void.

Shivering in realization, the intangible divine fled upon a streak of light.

Eyes glittering, an origin dao immortal glared at the direction the divine had disappeared to, but held back in the end.

……

“It’s too bad. I wanted to bait Donglin Taihuang too.” Lu Yun smacked his lips regretfully.

House Donglin’s ancestor, Dong Lin, was dead, and their foremost genius was now their strongest member. The current aristocratic house was forced to adopt a much more low-key style.

“Donglin Taihuang must’ve gone to the Endless Desert.” Qing Han felt the same.

After its recent calamity, House Donglin was little better than one of the world’s weakest factions. As they were mortal enemies, Lu Yun would hardly sell a formation to them. It was thus very likely that Donglin Taihuang would try to imprison or murder him—or alternatively, force him to etch formations for Donglin immortals.

“Donglin Taihuang is pretty cowardly. The hundred billion bounty on his head from Destiny City is still valid. If he appears anywhere, he’ll be walking to his own early grave,” Qing Han laughed.

Lu Yun frowned, feeling like he’d shot himself in the foot somehow.

Having done their job, the crippled origin dao immortals returned to their concealed positions in the void.

At the same time, the skiff beneath Lu Yun’s feet sped up. It left Nephrite waters in no time at all, entering the vastness of the East Sea proper. The East Sea’s monster spirits were already assembled, waiting for them.

Their court was descended from the primordial xiangliu bloodline, and retained the ancient Monster Celestial Master’s heritage. As a whole, they were the ones with the closest connection to the primordial immortal court.

Many human immortals were quite displeased with Lu Yun’s strong rapport with the East Sea’s monster spirit court, but they couldn’t do anything about it.

The East Sea court was now one of the youth’s staunchest allies. The one who’d come to receive Lu Yun was the arcane dao immortal he’d met in the ancient skydragon tomb: Xiangliu Ting.

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