Chapter 549: Fragments of Hell

“What a pity, the connate yang metal that Xing Chen shot out just now is nothing more than extremely diluted energy. He’s nowhere near materializing real yang metal.”

It was indeed a little unfortunate. If Lu Yun had access to true yang metal and refined it into flying swords, or perhaps fashioned immortal armor, it might be possible to take the golden Scarlet Ape’s staff head-on.

“No matter, his energy is comparable to terrifying rays of unstoppable sword energy. Nothing will be indestructible in front of him! My replica has nothing to fear even from a dao immortal.” Lu Yun’s lips curved up in a smile.

……

Meanwhile, Xing Chen sat down cross-legged, his chest moving up and down in a steady rhythm as his body gradually merged with the lungs.

The Enneawyrm Coffinbearers floated above him, radiating a black light that flowed steadily into Xing Chen’s figure. In doing so, it sealed the lungs’ power and kept it in harmony with the replica’s body.

But sealed or not, the giant lungs’ strength was truly too great.

Though a mere replica, Xing Chen had been refined from the shamans’ sacred treasure, the Nine Yin Soul-Parting Wood, bequeathing him tremendous potential.

While the greatest part of the lungs’ power had been sealed away, what little was left of it was extraordinarily pure, far surpassing Xing Chen’s current strength. Thanks to this pure energy, his strength and realm began to increase explosively.

As a replica, Xing Chen didn’t need to slowly build his foundations or grasp comprehension of cultivation realms. As long as he could access sufficient power, his strength could rise at a rapid clip. His cultivation had already reached peak returned void realm in the first place. And now, thanks to the giant lungs, it was increasing once again.

Hummm...

Xing Chen shook as a black hue flared from his figure.

“He’s… ascended to immortality!” Lu Yun’s eyes sparkled. After absorbing the lungs’ power, Xing Chen made the final leap and became an immortal!

Inside Xing Chen, Lu Yun’s second nascent spirit also began changing from a cultivator’s nascent spirit to an immortal’s nascent spirit, while the energy coursing through his body evolved into immortal force.

Cultivation was impossible inside hell, whether for Lu Yun or for his replica, but the lungs’ phenomenal power had thrust Xing Chen directly into the immortal realm. And it hadn’t stopped there—the replica’s cultivation was still rising exponentially. 

True immortal, empyrean immortal, august immortal… golden immortal!

Eventually, Xing Chen’s growth halted at the golden immortal realm.

“From a void realm cultivator to an immortal, and a golden immortal to boot! In the current world, he’s already an absolute powerhouse! At the very least, I don’t need to be afraid of arcane dao immortals anymore!” Elation appeared on Lu Yun’s face. Although his own body wasn’t an immortal yet, Xing Chen’s newfound strength was another major asset in his arsenal.

“That said… the golden and silver scarlet apes are clearly beyond the dao immortal realm. There’s no telling if Xing Chen can withstand their blows!” Apprehension still lingered in his heart. 

Meanwhile, Xing Chen was in the middle of meditation. His chest rose and fell in accordance to the breathing method, strengthening his body, forging muscles and tendons, and strengthening his newly formed respiratory system even further.

“When seen from the outside, breathing methods look very different from conventional cultivation, but they serve the same purpose in the end. It’s entirely possible for immortals or cultivators to use both at the same time, comprehending the dao while enhancing their physique. And if you match a boxing method on top of that for inner and outer cultivation…”

Unable to stop this train of thought, Lu Yun fell into deep contemplation. All the dangers of the outside world disappeared from his mind as he singlemindedly analyzed this new discovery. 

Xing Chen’s breathing already followed an embryonic set of rules that would one day become a comprehensive cultivation system. However, his breathing contained the sharpness of the metal attribute, which left traces of the element in his body after this tempering process.

“There’s roughly nine different types of spirit roots in the immortal world. The types are the five basic elements, plus wind, thunder, yin, and yang! Ranking above the five elements are immortal spirit roots and celestial spirit roots, and variants like Qing Yu’s accursed spirit root and poison spirit root.

“This breathing method fits those spirit roots.” Lu Yun was lost in thought. “That said, if I want to develop a comprehensive breathing system for the five elemental spirit roots, I need to refine the four ogans—namely the heart, liver, spleen, and kidneys, and absorb the properties of the five elements contained inside them as well.”

“Lu Yun.” Qing Yu suddenly interrupted his thoughts.

“Hm?” Lu Yun looked at her, a little confused.

“Have you noticed? When you came inside this time, time didn’t stop in the outside world.” Qing Yu was a little puzzled. “Time was frozen the last few times you returned here…. but not this time.”

Lu Yun blinked. “But…” With a wave of his hand, the Gates of the Abyss slowly opened a crack, allowing him to peer into the outside world.

Scarlet Ape’s staff was frozen in mid-air as if sealed by something, not moving one inch.

“What’s going on?” Qing Yu frowned gently. “Do you remember when our replicas were at the Ancient Tree of Life? You’d clearly come back here already… but time didn’t stop for them outside. They ran into that danger.”

Realization crossed Lu Yun’s face. “I think there’s only one possible explanation for that.”

Qing Yu looked at him, her complexion betraying her excitement.

“Hell! The place where the Ancient Tree of Life has taken root is also a fragment of hell!”

In order to restore the netherworld, Lu Yun had to continually raise his own cultivation level and master the Tome of Life and Death, then use the book’s power to restore hell.

There was also a second way: he could find the fragments of hell and merge them with the one he had.

Near the end of the Primeval Era, the human hell was smashed to pieces, just like what had happened to the primordial immortal world.

However, the immortal world’s fragmentation hadn’t been thorough enough and had given birth to the twenty-four facets instead. Connected by the four great seas, they still formed a singular world. In contrast, the fractured hell had been scattered across the multiverse. The biggest fragments had become a world unto their own, and the smallest ones mere specks of dust.

The hell currently in Lu Yun’s possession was likely to be the biggest shard of them all. His cultivation was currently too low, but once it reached a certain stage, he would journey the multiverse in search of the shards.

Merging the different shards together would make hell more powerful, indirectly adding to Lu Yun’s power and enhancing his strength as well.

“That makes sense. Xing Chen is only my replica and doesn’t have the Tome of Life and Death on him, nor can he sense the presence of hell… It looks like a trip to the Boundless Desert is in order as soon as possible. But first I have to solve my current predicament!” Through the Gates of the Abyss, Lu Yun looked again at the big, jet-black staff with a grimace.

 “You know, you could take the Black Emperor outside with you!”

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etvolare's Thoughts

Aw, nice suggestion Qing Yu!