“Are you the internal demon?” Lu Yun steadied his nerves. He wasn’t particularly worried, not with hellfire protecting him.
“I am.” The internal demon nodded. “If she is willing to die for someone else’s sake, why would I exist? She’s deceived you.”
Lu Yun nodded. “No one would willingly sacrifice themselves to help someone else.”
Back when Empress Myrtlestar had entered Qing Yu’s Scroll of Shepherding Immortals, she, too, had planned on possessing Qing Yu. But when Lu Yun had helped reforge her soul with the Tome of Life and Death, a new hope had dawned and she’d changed her mind.
Likewise, Lu Yun hadn’t trusted Timelight’s soul from the start.
Perhaps she’d been benevolent and kind when alive, someone who would’ve willingly given up her life for her people. But she was dead now. What was left of her soul was a yin spirit, and just like ghosts, yin spirits possessed an instinctive craving!
After moving on from this world and becoming a ghostly existence, even saints of great virtue longed to come back to life!
As the master of hell and the Tome of Life and Death, Lu Yun was naturally aware of the instincts of the deceased. In life, one feared death; in death, one wanted to live! Such was the instinct deeply engraved in the soul. As a result, a ghost was the last existence he’d trust.
“Then why did you promise to bring this possessed body to the underground palace?” The internal demon tilted her head to the side and looked at him in confusion.
For his part, Lu Yun was also baffled. Compared to the soul of Empress Timelight he’d seen earlier, this internal demon seemed much more like a living person.
“Because several of my friends are stuck inside that palace,” he answered truthfully.
“I see.” The internal demon nodded. “But I can’t let you go inside, or Timelight’s soul will have enough power to control the tower and erase my existence. Likewise, she’ll fully possess the little dragon in your arms.”
There was some perplexity in the internal demon’s gaze as she looked at him too. Just where did his courage come from? What made him confident enough to do the bidding of a dead empress?
Why wasn’t he afraid of listening to the dead? Wasn’t that just inviting trouble and asking to be schemed to death?
The current level of his hellfire wasn’t enough to deter the internal demon.
“I know.” With a faint nod, Lu Yun no longer paid the internal demon any attention. He set his sights forward and strode toward the underground palace.
Earlier, the empress’ soul had shown him the palace’s location before taking her leave. Additionally, she hadn’t seemed worried he’d be led astray by the internal demon and end up changing his mind.
The internal demon’s complexion turned chilly at his attitude.
“Since you’re so eager to die, I can lend you a hand.” She waved a hand, condensing countless rays of gloomy black light and shooting them at Lu Yun. As if they themselves were so many other demons, the rays howled with anguish and despair, desperate to invade his body.
The hellfire raging around Lu Yun billowed furiously and incinerated them all. The internal demon shook, a slight paleness surfacing on her face.
“Die!” she suddenly snarled, her previous ethereal voice now as macabre as a demon’s.
An imposing specter emerged behind her, similar to the one that’d appeared earlier when Jing Huaci had refined the cross. A boundless ghostly presence suddenly permeated the air, and the internal demon unexpectedly turned into a ghostly creature.
“Demons can see Jing Huaci, but ghosts can’t… No wonder, no wonder!” Lu Yun snapped to attention.
The specter’s fist suddenly appeared from above. Even as it descended, it started burning with hellfire and scattering black ash everywhere, but it continued bearing down on Lu Yun with irresistible force.
Lu Yun once again felt the shadow of death looming over him. But this time around, he stayed unwavering and held his ground.
All of a sudden, a silver column of light erupted from within his clothes and blasted the giant fist apart. The silver Timelight Tower was now an incorporeal structure that shielded him within.
Sighing in relief, he continued onward, Jing Huaci in his arms. He then came to a strange zone made from many folded layers of space, but he was still inside the celestial master tomb. This was something that Lu Yun couldn’t begin to understand.
He saw many human silhouettes walking past him, and even saw Jiangchen Xie, who’d abandoned his zombie king body. He was in the middle refining many giant bones to perfect his Hadal Bone Art.
“He’s about to become a void-realm immortal!” Lu Yun’s heart shook as he observed the man from another plane. But there was nothing he could do other than helplessly look on as the man refined his bones and increased his strength.
Things aren’t too bad, I suppose. At least he’ll ditch the arts of the Corpse Refiners for the demon sovereign’s bone arts, so he should stop creating zombies…. But the Corpse Refiners will grow more powerful in his wake. Lu Yun took a deep breath. Void-realm immortals were frightening existences.
There must be quite a few returned void cultivators who’ve entered the celestial master tomb.
Many void realm cultivators had appeared after the Sovereign Ranking battles, but back then, they’d still been quite far from reaching immortality.
However, the celestial master tomb was an authentic immortal tomb from the primordial times and contained a complete immortal dao, to say nothing of the many treasures and legacies waiting inside, including ones at the level of the Skyturning Seal or Timelight Tower.
Here, these void realm cultivators were very likely to run into an opportunity that would elevate them into void-realm immortals.
“A great era is truly upon us… Thankfully, I’ve already created the formation of heaven and earth and can distribute it in the immortal world as soon as I go back. Otherwise, Qing Yu…” Lu Yun sighed before proceeding forward.
Empress Timelight’s internal demon followed him, never taking a step too far away. The internal demon’s essence had been imprisoned inside the Timelight Tower, and as long as the empress’ soul existed, the demon had no hope of breaking away from the tower.
All of a sudden, Lu Yun stopped in his tracks. A giant palace stood in front of him that exuded dense immortal energy, but his attention was on something else.
There was a tall and stocky figure standing in front of the palace’s gates; a man with an imposing figure, vigorous face, black hair that fell over his shoulders, arms that were slender yet strong, and a body clad in bone armor. His only flaw was the lack of a right leg.
The Venerated Sacrosanct Demon Sovereign!
“What a shame I didn’t stomp you dead. To think you’d make your way here!” The demon sovereign looked at the approaching Lu Yun with a smile. “Give me the dragon in your arms and I will spare your life.”
“So you’ve been resurrected!” Lu Yun looked at the demon sovereign and drew in a sharp breath. Too strong! This demon sovereign was definitely stronger than the silver scarlet ape!
The demon’s gaze was cold and eerie, and though there was a smile on his lips, it was the kind of smile that made one shiver.
“Resurrected? I never died to begin with.” Faint black dots of light danced in the demon sovereign’s eyes.
“I have heard that an enduring true spirit’s grievance and obsession can be too strong… that they all refuse to believe they’re already dead...” Lu Yun murmured.
“Silence!!” The demon sovereign glowered ferociously. “This. Sovereign. Never. Died!”
His bone armor combusted in the next moment, the flames churning into raging Hadal Bonefire and turning his tall figure to ash, leaving behind only his enduring true spirit and skeleton.
Solemnity took over Lu Yun’s expression. As the master of hell, he controlled hellfire and could restrain ghostly entities, but the demon sovereign’s power was too immense and far surpassed the limits of what he could withstand!
No matter how gifted a tiger cub was, it could never vanquish an adult wolf.
On the contrary, Lu Yun was desperately restraining hell’s aura with the Tome of Life and Death, afraid the demon sovereign might sense its existence. If he did… he’d doubtlessly take over Lu Yun’s body. Hell was the place most suitable for ghostly creatures, after all.
“Give me your little dragon.” The sovereign’s enduring true spirit flashed darkly inside his skull.
Lu Yun was certain that the sovereign couldn’t see Jing Huaci, yet he’d demanded her to be handed over…
“It’s you.” He turned back to look at the internal demon, who’d now discarded her spectral state and reverted to her internal demon self.
She nodded. “I can’t let you take the dragon inside, or it will seal my own death.”
An enduring true spirit nursed obsessions that bordered on the extreme. As such, they formed a kind of yin spirit that was almost impossible to extinguish. Even the primordial immortal emperor would find himself powerless against them.
In fact, the Firmament Palace had once tried subduing the demon sovereign, but the attempt ended in failure. However, that didn’t mean true spirits didn’t have their own bane… namely, internal demons!
Empress Timelight’s internal demon was supreme among all internal demons. For her, the demon sovereign’s enduring true spirit was nothing more than a ghostling she could control at will.
“Alright, I promise I won’t bring Jing Huaci inside, so send him away.” Lu Yun breathed in deeply before agreeing.
The internal demon froze for a second. “Swear upon your internal demons.”
“I swear upon my internal demons.” Lu Yun nodded.
A smile appeared on the internal demon’s lips and with a wave of her hand, the demon sovereign vanished without a trace.
Empress Timelight immediately emerged above Jing Huaci and fixed Lu Yun with a frosty glare.
“Do you want to die?” She was now of a mind to kill the young man.