The one who’d reverted the flow of time with the Timelight Tower hadn’t been Empress Timelight’s soul, nor her internal demon. Neither was capable of commanding the treasure’s true power and accomplishing such a feat.
There was yet another existence inside the celestial master tomb that’d been quietly observing Lu Yun.
He could sense this presence exercising control over the entire tomb and stifling various treacherous dangers inside so that void realm cultivators could ascend to immortality. In fact, he was dead certain that his brief visit to the Timelight Tower’s minor world was due to the presence overseeing the tomb.
That was why, secure in the knowledge that he wasn’t entirely on his own, he’d been confident enough to travel here with Empress Timelight’s soul and her internal demon, and to even swear an oath to the latter.
An ordinary immortal would never dare violate an oath sworn upon their internal demons, unless they were in a hurry to be devoured by said demons and become an empty shell. But with the guardianship of the Tome of Life and Death, such an oath was a simple joke to Lu Yun. In fact, if not for the empress’ internal demon being too powerful, he wouldn’t even have bothered with her.
But of course, the fragment of Empress Timelight’s soul knew none of this. Therefore, she flew into a rage upon seeing Lu Yun swear his oath and rushed out of the Timelight Tower.
“Hypocrite.” The internal demon snorted at the empress’ soul fragment, a trace of contempt on her face that looked so much like the empress’ own, and stepped in front of Lu Yun to shield him.
As soon as Jing Huaci completed refinement of the Timelight Tower, the empress’ soul fragment would vanish and the internal demon would gain her freedom. So as long as Lu Yun didn’t bring Jing Huaci inside the palace left behind by the empress, the internal demon wouldn’t do anything to the pair.
“Depart from this place.” Empress Timelight looked at the internal demon, her face like frost. Her killing intent was currently so strong that it’d taken material form, giving rise to terrible gales raging above their heads.
Lu Yun shook violently. He was but a small boat lost in the tempest, about to capsize at any moment. The internal demon stayed serene, a faint halo of black light covering her figure.
“You can’t protect them,” the empress’ soul declared with cold indifference. “You are me. Our hearts and soul are interconnected, and I can read your thoughts like an open book.”
“That’s right, I am you, so I also know what you’re planning.” The internal demon smiled. “You want to devour me to mend your broken soul so that you can possess the little dragon and gain a second life. Did you think I’d be content to simply let myself be eaten and disappear in the wind?”
“You and I are one in the first place. The two of us becoming one is merely a return to our origin. Why do you speak of disappearing in the wind?” Empress Timelight’s soul narrowed her eyes as she attempted persuasion.
By now, the internal demon’s black light covered both Lu Yun and Jing Huaci, severing even the connection between the empress’ soul and the Timelight Tower.
“Because you are no longer who you once were,” a gentle voice sounded out, followed by a white shadow slowly materializing from the void. As it came into being, the gales raging through the air immediately subsided.
“You are no longer your former self after dying. Even if you came back to life, you’d be nothing but a living dead,” gently explained the white shadow shining with cosmic radiance.
“Miao?!” Lu Yun looked at the figure, his mouth agape.
It was a man of peerless beauty with long silver hair and silver eyes, his figure blanketed by the power of the stars.
She looked just like when Lu Yun had first met her beneath Myriad Formation Summit.
The ancient monster spirit ancestor, the master of the monster spirits’ sacred land! But afterwards, the monster ancestor had lost part of her soul. Even Su Xiaoxiao had been helpless to deal with the situation.
By now, Miao had split into three parts. One as the little fox, the second as Lu Yun’s first disciple Liu Qingmiao, and the last as Xing Mou who’d become Qing Yu’s disciple.
However, Miao was once again in front of Lu Yun! The same appearance, the same aura, the same mannerisms and expressions!
“You… are both the monster sacred land’s ancestor and the celestial court’s Monster Celestial Master!” Overwhelmed by shock, Lu Yun stared at Miao’s figure in the air, frightened by his own speculations.
“That’s right, it’s me.” A smile appeared on Miao’s lips as she winked faintly at him.
Lu Yun shook violently. “So it was you all along?” His eyes widened even further, tone different from before.
“Yes, it’s me,” Miao repeated.
Both the internal demon and Empress Timelight’s soul frowned, nonplussed by the incomprehensible exchange.
“Senior.” Miao saluted Empress Timelight’s soul with a cupped fist salute. “This junior can help you reincarnate, so that you can shed the existence of a dead spirit and become human again.”
Empress Timelight was a great personage from the Primeval Era, after all. Humans had ruled the world back then, and the immortal dao had yet to be born. For contemporary immortals, she was an ancestor-level existence.
Therefore, Miao gave her due respect.
“Hahahaha—” Empress Timelight gave a long peal of laughter. “Reincarnate? By following the laws of reincarnation set by humans? Will I still be me then?”
The soul looked down at Jing Huaci lying in Lu Yun’s arms, her eyes flashing with faint silver.
A tremendous sound resounded from within the giant underground palace.
“Blasted tarnation, what is this!?” Loud cursing followed the roar. Beicang Qiong’s tones, one of the six profligates, was immediately recognizable.
“Just like I thought, they really are inside!” Elation colored Lu Yun’s face, but was soon replaced by intense dread.
Step after step, a giant monster plodded its way out of the palace. It was more than three thousand meters tall, its entire body was made from immortal crystals!
A crystal monster!
“You’re not Empress Timelight!!” Lu Yun was aghast as he jerked his head up at the soul fragment. “Empress Timelight was one of the great emperors who died during the time of Emperors’ Fall. She couldn’t possibly have left behind this palace! You’re not her!”
Immortal crystals were the solidified form of immortal energy, and immortal energy was a higher form of natural energy. But more importantly, immortal energy was born from the influence of the immortal dao!
However, there had been no immortal dao, back when Empress Timelight had fallen. Instead of immortal energy, there had existed yet another form of higher level natural energy.
“The internal demon! The internal demon’s the real Empress Timelight, and this soul fragment’s a fake!” Lu Yun exclaimed involuntarily. He hadn’t noticed earlier, but everything had fallen into place with the emergence of the crystal monster.
The presence of this monster was clearly the damaged soul’s doing, but it was purely composed of laws of the immortal dao. Meanwhile, Empress Timelight specialized in the dao of time!
Had she left anything behind, it definitely would’ve been related to time!
“Little fox, you need to act fast! Destroy the soul fragment! Senior, do everything you can to cut off her connection to the Timelight Tower!”
Faster than one could blink, the internal demon morphed into a dark gray fire that enveloped Lu Yun and the Jing Huaci he carried.
“I understand now!” Miao, or the little fox, turned grave. With a wave of the hand, buildings and edifices flashed into existence and formed a giant city. The highest realm of the dao of formations, Return to Origin!
Myriad Returns City!
“I didn’t expect you to see through me… But what does it matter?” A second pair of eyes opened on the soul fragment, two crimson eye beams slicing straight at Lu Yun.
“It’s you… you’re the one who broke my bronze lantern!” Lu Yun inhaled sharply.