Chapter 541: Lungs of the World

“Where’s the exit?” Three days had passed since Lu Yun began looking for a way out from the fifth abyss, but still he found no trace of it. His luopan had determined there was an exit here that led directly to the heart of the celestial master tomb, but it’d eluded him over the past three days.

“Is it through the altar?” Lu Yun returned to the top of the Metal Altar. He’d already tried, and failed, to collect the four beast nests placed on top of it; they seemed to be embedded firmly into the air. He couldn’t move them even with the realms of yin and yang.

Each of the nests was originally thousands of kilometers across, but a certain spatial power atop the altar had shrunk them to roughly forty meters wide. He’d also figured out what the fourth nest was by now—the nest of scarlet apes!

The scarlet ape nest was likely the first to be placed on the altar, and there should’ve been a scarlet ape statue erected before it at some point. However, it’d been moved elsewhere by now, and replaced by the one of the yin-yang beast.

In the Primeval Era, there’d been a kunpeng tribe. Although their numbers weren’t great, they were one of the most powerful clans in the world of immortals. The turtle and qilin tribes were among the top clans as well.

Scarlet apes, though, were exceedingly rare. Legends were told about them in the primeval world of immortals, but none of their members had ever been found.

Even Xingzi and Lu Li—the blood turtle Lu Yun had just made his ninth envoy—had never seen the nest of scarlet apes before. Thus Lu Yun hadn’t recognized it upon first glance, and he’d only come to this conclusion after discovering the remains of scarlet apes upon closer inspection.

“The yin tomb should be on the other side of the void. Where the four nests are attached to the Metal Altar is the intersection of the yin and yang tombs.” Lu Yun’s Spectral Eye sparkled with black.

Seemingly embedded in the air, the four nests were actually attached to the tombs of the yin and yang realms. Their counterparts in the yin realm on the other side should be four ancient tombs.

“Leveraging the layouts of the yin and yang tombs is how the yin-yang layout came to be. It then begat a layout of life and death, which gave rise to the actual power used to repair the giant lungs… The birth of the divine spirit within the lungs was no accident, either. Its energy was needed to inject the dead lungs with life!

“How masterful!” Lu Yun had figured out a few things over the course of the past three days. “The turtle and qilin nests, along with the corresponding turtle and qilin tombs, must’ve been part of the layout for a curse. However, it now exists no longer… or, more precisely, the curse has run its course.”

Spirit turtles and qilins were extinct in the current world of immortals. Water qilins, the only qilin tribe in the Primeval Era, had been slaughtered by the human race and Cangyin killed by a time manipulation art. That marked the end of the qilin bloodline.

If Lu Yun’s speculations were correct, the qilin nest and turtle tomb had arrived here first, and the turtle nest and qilin tomb drawn here later on. As for the curse layout, it’d collapsed after the curse served its purpose in the Primeval Era. There was clearly another layout here that someone had set up after that development.

“This is where the yin and yang tombs intersect, but it still isn’t the origin of the celestial master tomb…” Lu Yun walked down from the Metal Altar and looked around, once more failing to find the exit with the luopan’s determination.

“Wait!” He paused. “The gaseous sand disappeared… It wasn’t drawn out of the opening over the abyss, but by something else!”

Lu Yun transformed himself into a particle of gaseous sand with a thought, his physical form popping like a bubble.

And then—

A great suction force roared to life from somewhere in the air. Resistance was futile as the power reeled him in.

“Lungs! It’s the power of lungs, and much more powerful than that set just now!” Lu Yun started. “The power didn’t emerge until the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers dragged those lungs to hell!” 

He continued musing as the power guided him along. “It’s several times more powerful than the giant lungs, yet they were able to keep the power under control when they were here! Violetgrave was right. There exists a place in the ghost realm with the same power as the lungs, and it’s in the celestial master tomb!

“However, that place—or rather, that thing—is intangible. Intangible power can never beat tangible power, no matter how great it is! That’s why it was kept out while the giant lungs were here.

“Given enough time, the divine spirit born from the lungs will become the real organ of the world, completely replacing that place!” Lu Yun’s mind flew furiously through theories and speculation, bolstered by the Tome of Life and Death and being pushed to its limit to understand the greater picture at hand.

In only a few breaths, Lu Yun saw light dawn in front of him, marking his sudden exit from the abyss. Not even he could tell how he’d gotten out.

“Finally!” Overjoyed, he shifted back into himself and stood firmly on the ground. In this form, the tremendous suction power didn’t work on him at all.

He’d arrived at a clearing filled with great vitality, where the sun dazzled bright and flora and fauna thrived. The heavenly qi here had almost turned liquid, and he’d barely escaped being drowned to death by the overwhelming qi when he’d first landed.

“Here it is! A place in the world with the same ability as lungs!” Lu Yun looked around, certain that he was still in the celestial master tomb. “This is what the underworld should look like. It should be a prosperous land of auspicious feng shui, where heavenly qi gathers and remains!”

Indeed, in his eyes, the underworld should be a locale of optimum feng shui and bursting at the seams with great treasures and talents. Immortals and geniuses alike should’ve flocked to such a place, and there’d be no end of great fortune to be found in nature or otherwise.

Currently, however, there were none other here, despite the vitality of the place.

“Celestial master tomb… celestial master tomb… Nuh uh, this isn’t the celestial master tomb. The tomb is trying to bury… this place! This locale embodies the power of the world’s lungs.” Lu Yun looked around and muttered to himself, “This is the origin of the celestial master tomb.”

He turned to look behind him. Two separate lanes extended in two different directions, gradually forming two vast spaces—one bright, the other dark. Like twins, the layouts within them were identical. Lu Yun even saw another abyss of divine burial in the yin tomb.

“It’s the same place, but separated into yin and yang.” Lu Yun saw everything clearly now. The yin and yang tombs were two sides of the same coin, in essence the same entity expressed in two different realms.

“Scarlet Ape! Kui! And the Ingress Path! They’re all in that chamber!” Lu Yun’s eyes lit up.

Here, at the origin of the celestial master tomb, he could take in a bird's eye view of the entire tomb.

The origin of a tomb wasn’t the location of the main chamber, but a mere starting point of the overall complex. This was what’d given rise to the rest of the celestial master tomb's structure, and in turn, the ancient tomb as a whole.

There were two kinds of tomb frameworks in the world.

The first were connate developments. The architect in question sought out appropriate natural feng shui layouts and built an ancient tomb upon them.

The second were manmade creations. After completing the tomb, the tomb owner’s own fortunes influenced its surroundings and gave rise to various feng shui layouts.

The latter were the most commonplace structure in the world of immortals. Although the daos of feng shui and burial had been lost, they hadn’t been destroyed.

Contemporary immortals may not know feng shui, they could still build some tombs. Albeit crude, those tombs contained a rough structure of feng shui on the surface while being absolute messes on the inside.

Feng shui masters could also set up layouts, but they didn’t dare construct burial blueprints. At most, they would set up a few layouts within layouts after the tombs were built.

If anyone changed the local terrain and restrained the earthen veins like Lu Yun had with the Dragonsearch Invocation and Dragonshift Method—creating layouts like the interment of heaven and earth or the bronze palace—they would soon be visited by wrathful retribution from the heavens.

Most tombs were built upon earthen veins. That kind of land was the only thing that could bury the dead and grant them peace. No one could survive tampering with an earthen vein.

Lu Yun, however, possessed the Tome of Life and Death. Its tremendous might could offset the backlash from the world. When Feinie had moved the earthen veins and everything else in an area five thousand kilometers wide, she’d been protected from any counterforces by the Tome of Life and Death.

The celestial master tomb had clearly been built when the architect had found an ideal spot, using the layout of the lungs of the world as a buttress... However, the strange tomb had then turned around and buried the layout it was built upon.

Whoever had set up the tomb wanted to destroy this place of power.

“What the heck is going on here…” Lu Yun shook his head. Many of the layouts here clashed with each other. The Hell of Skinning, Abyss of Divine Burial, the giant lungs, the curse of the beast nests and tombs… and now this place.

“The tomb intended to destroy the lungs, but then someone came and changed the layout. I have to make the yin and yang tombs whole again and destroy this place!”

He had to destroy the celestial master tomb completely, and without prejudice. Otherwise this locale serving as the world’s lungs would be buried, and the endless cycle of heavenly qi would be broken. One day, the qi of the world would be exhausted.

That would spell the end of all lives then.

With a flip of his hand, Lu Yun summoned the Formation Orb, then separated it into two with a quick thought. The two halves hovered in the air.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

etvolare's Thoughts

I have a sudden idea for all the mysteries in the world. Something wanted to destroy the world of immortals (like how the ghost realm's eaten other worlds), but they didn't have the absolute power to do so. Hence, plots and schemes -- maybe the great war 100k years ago was over a completely contrived reason. OR, a vastly greater power wants to use the world of immortals as a huge experimental lab -- hence the lungs and all the random tombs dropping down.

Maybe both ideas are true, this world is a backwater place after all, to be weak is the original sin in the world of xianxia.