Chapter 528: Firmament

Fangyang Xin’s dashing trajectory through the air and flourishing blue robes painted him with quite an air of chivalrous heroism.

The moment the Corpse Refinement Formation collapsed, every zombie inside was destroyed and their master collapsed heavily onto the ground in a heap. If not for the Hadal Bonefire that burned upon him, Fangyang Xing’s single attack would have been sufficient to kill Jiangchen Xie.

Fangyang Xing curled the corner of his mouth coldly at the struggling Jiangchen Xie.

“The zombie king methods of the Corpse Refiners are a right and proper tradition of immortal dao, aimed at returning from death into life. Though refining the living into zombies is far from benevolent, still it has the immortal dao’s approval.

“Why, then, have you given up what is right for that old skeleton’s knowledge instead? What have you turned yourself into? You’re neither human nor ghost, just a grotesque amplification of personal anguish.” Fangyang Xing’s eyes were filled with scorn and disdain; he recognized his opponent.

Jiangchen Xie had risen to meteoric prominence as a young genius in the age of Fangyang Xing’s own fame, the later arrival touted as the brightest cultivator of the younger generation.

Though the Fangyang Clan then secluded themselves from the world just like the Corpse Refiners had thirty thousand years ago, Fangyang Xing and Jiangchen Xie were still well-remembered among the reclusive factions.

Furthermore, the Fangyang Clan and the Corpse Refiners were mortal enemies. Though the Primordial Era had long passed into history, their grudge had continued into the present. The two factions knew each other’s secrets well.

……

“Heheheh, Fangyang Xing… so you were a coward as well!” Crawling up from the ground, Jiangchen Xie wiped away the blood on his face with a sneer. “I thought you actually set foot on that path back then, but you went into hiding too, huh?”

Fangyang Xing blinked a few times in uncertainty, then broke into sudden laughter.

“You’re Jiangchen Xie, the then-rising star of the Corpse Refiners. So you sensed the void realm too, did you?” Though Fang Xing’s cultivation was also at returned void, he was significantly stronger than his opponent. Apparently, he’d reached the limit for his realm and was very close to ascending to immortality through the void realm.

A blue light glimmered upon his body from time to time, immortal radiance that was exclusively found on primordial immortals. The last step in the returned void was refining one’s own immortal light and ascending in radiance.

“The Corpse Refiners practice a traditional dao, but their actions are corrupt. Your study of that old skeleton’s bone arts means you are doubly deserving of death!”

His sword flared with a spray of sword light. Forming a lethally ensnaring net in midair, the luminous blades slammed down upon Jiangchen Xie.

Clatter!

The bones scattered about on the ground flew into the air with a flurry and structured themselves into a gigantic human skeleton. As soon as it appeared, the skeleton jabbed a fist toward Fangyang Xing’s attack.

Boom!

An invisible ripple of power pulsed out, and the immortals who’d managed to live through the recent disaster were sent flying into the walls of the tomb.

Fangyang Xing paled and was forced to fall back several dozen meters to diffuse the force of impact.

“Venerated. Sacrosanct. Demon. Sovereign!” he blurted the name out word by word. “So your true body has come here. Are you still unsatisfied? Do you still want to refine that treasure?!” The blue-robed genius turned strangely solemn. “If so, I will not allow you to continue existing!”

Shoom!

He produced a bluish medallion with a flip of his palm. Blue smoke roiled over the medallion, and the word ‘Firmament’ was written upon it in ancient script. The characters used were extraordinary in themselves, and dated back further than even the Primordial Era. However, anyone who saw it knew what it meant.

“A Firmament Medallion. You’re a divine spirit of the Firmament Palace!” the Demon Sovereign’s incarnation shrieked. He grabbed the stupefied Jiangchen Xie and fled into the darkness. “How dare a Firmament spirit interfere in the world of immortals!”

By now, the seal had covered Fangyang Xing in a veil of blue light. His eyes glinted with a shadow of the same color. “Interfere in the world of immortals? We stand on the soil of the underworld, not the world of immortals.”

Hum...

In the next moment, the Firmament Seal released a blade of light with a sharp tremor that sailed straight into the Demon Sovereign’s back.

There was a grunt from the darkness, but no more than that. The Demon Sovereign and Jiangchen Xie had disappeared.

……

“He’s just a returned void cultivator, master. Aren’t you an ingress realm expert? Why did you run away from him?”

In a shadowy chamber in the tomb, the Demon Sovereign’s bones were strewn about on the ground. A small ember of floating white flame was the only indication that he was still there.

“That boy isn’t alive, he’s a yin spirit.” In the firelight, the Demon Sovereign’s skull expressed shock with a slackened jaw. “The Firmament Palace… it has returned to the world!”

Jiangchen Xie fell silent. Fangyang Xing was a yin spirit? What was a yin spirit, exactly? Were they a kind of divine?

“The Firmament Palace… hah. I only learned about that place after I died. It recruits only the dead. Most geniuses who die have their true spirits taken away by the Firmament Palace and converted into yin spirits.

“I nearly met that same fate… but my revenge was more important than that. How could I allow myself to be beholden to another? I turned myself into an enduring true spirit and broke free from their call. We became enemies then.

“Heheheh… they’re just a bunch of sanctimonious hypocrites,” the Demon Sovereign continued murmuring to himself, “If I am captured, I will almost certainly be destroyed. The Firmament Palace doesn’t meddle in the world of immortals, but this place is not of that world. After I obtain the Skyturning Seal, I must hurry there!”

“Dead geniuses… so Fangyang Xing died after all. He didn’t run.” Jiangchen Xie was fixated on something completely different.

……

Splurt!

Fangyang Xing coughed up a mouthful of blood, and his entire person took on a shade of malaise.

“That Venerated Sacrosanct Demon Sovereign… he managed to hold onto the primordial dao! No wonder the palace head told me to keep an eye out for him.”

The strike just now had inflicted a grievous injury upon him; he’d stayed standing only through sheer force of will.

As a renowned demon sovereign in the Primordial Era, the Demon Sovereign’s enduring true spirit alone was ingress realm. Despite being a mere replica, the skeleton just now had contained far more power than Fangyang Xing could resist.

Publicly brandishing the Firmament Medallion and scaring him off was the only thing the primordial genius could do.

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etvolare's Thoughts

Interesting, the Firmament Palace sounds like a mix of Valhalla and the valkryies.