“What the… the four evil coffins destroyed Witherdew Major?!” Lu Yun realized with a start after Zou Longxiu’s departure. He didn’t know the exact details, but did hear from Canghai Chengkong that a terrifying storm of black lightning had slaughtered all of the immortals in Witherdew overnight.
Canghai Chengkong had remained outside the tomb all this time. With his name written in the Tome of Life and Death, he could contact Lu Yun at any time.
Three days were enough for the world of immortals to be turned completely upside down. After losing all of its immortals, Witherdew Major immediately became fruit ripe for the picking for factions all over the world.
Not only did the courts of the other eight majors, ten lands, four immortal seas, and the four oceans make their moves, but even a few reclusive clans emerged from their territories to lay claim to Witherdew Major.
An era of chaos had well and truly arrived.
Lu Yun wasn’t powerful enough to protect himself under the circumstances. He’d thought that Kui and Xing Chen would be enough to establish his footing in the world, but now he realized how very wrong he was.
Similar to the abrupt emergence of the fur seals with their complete immortal dao, even more powerful factions might suddenly appear on the morrow.
Lu Yun had committed Violetgrave’s earlier words to heart: the corpse puppet wouldn’t dare run rampant even after she regained her freedom. After all, there was no shortage of people who could extinguish her in the world of immortals.
“This thing...” Lu Yun picked up the giant water jar laying on the ground.
It was most likely the personal treasure of the demon celestial master, and thus it’d be unwise of him to send it straight to hell. The four celestial masters from the Primordial Era were the epitome of unpredictability.
With the water jar in his arms, Lu Yun took the Path of Ingress to Yuchi Tianhuang.
Bing Xuan and Bing Ling had driven the old fur seal away. When Lu Yun found his Infernum, only ten thousand of Yu’er’s army of corpse divines had survived. That awful fatality rate sent a chill down Lu Yun’s spine. Only ten thousand out of the original hundred thousand soldiers had survived a savage slaughter!
Nevertheless, he allowed the soldiers passage into hell. The power within the realm immediately transformed them into Infernum.
Yu’er, or Xuan Yu, had been the apple of the Black Tortoises’ eye. The primordial divine tribe had been erased, though, while the tribe today had gone into hiding, away from all prying eyes.
“Milord!” Yuchi Tianhuang spoke up. “I sensed the energy of the Skyqilin and Skyturtle Pearls earlier! Both have been claimed by others.”
“I see.” Lu Yun nodded in acknowledgement.
The kunpeng, qilin, turtle, and scarlet ape nests should’ve been destroyed when the yin and yang tombs merged. He hadn’t immediately searched for them because he didn’t have a clue regarding the whereabouts of the pearls, and thus he didn’t know where to start.
He wasn’t at all surprised to hear that the two pearls had been taken in the interim.
“Who took them?” Lu Yun asked after taking a deep breath.
“The Skyqilin Pearl has been claimed by the Lin Clan, while the Skyturtle Pearl seems to have fallen into the hands of the Ling Clan.” Yuchi Tianhuang organized his recollections and continued in an uncertain tone, “However, a group of mysterious figures suddenly showed up and went on a killing spree. They were the ones who slaughtered Yu’er’s soldiers!”
Xuan Yu nodded. She’d had an army of nearly a million corpse divines. No matter how powerful, Ge Yanxia and her brood couldn’t have rivaled their collective strength. They’d first lost almost all of their members to mysterious enemies before the fur seals chased after them.
“This subordinate isn’t sure if those who gained the two pearls have been killed by the mysterious figures as well.” Fear flashed through Yuchi Tianhuang’s gaze.
“They’re natives of the underworld,” Xuan Yu said suddenly.
“Natives?” Lu Yun’s breath hitched upon recalling the ruins he’d encountered in the underworld upon gaining entry. There’d once been a prosperous civilization here, but had been instantly destroyed by something. The natives were likely the survivors of that glorious age.
“Correct!” Xuan Yu took a deep breath. Upon becoming Lu Yun’s Infernum, she’d regained her memories and cultivation from the Primordial Era. The transformation left her no different from regular immortals.
“The natives were extremely difficult to deal with. The immortal emperor couldn’t do anything other than deploy a great number of immortal soldiers every year to man the defensive posts along the border of the underworld, preventing them from invading the world of immortals.”
Lu Yun nodded; this was new to him. Although Su Xiaoxiao was from the Primordial Era as well, she was merely a golden immortal and hadn’t served the immortal court. There were many things she didn’t know about geopolitical matters.
“Were there any yin spirits in the underworld back in your time?” Lu Yun asked, a theory forming in his mind.
“There... there weren’t!” Xuan Yu shook her head. “The underworld was the underworld. Vast, but barely populated. Poor in resources, but rich in secrets. Yin spirits… there were never any sightings of the kind.”
“That’ll do. You may return to hell.” Many possibilities came to mind, but Lu Yun didn’t know where to start.
“This subordinate is very familiar with the celestial master tomb, sir,” Xuan Yu said hurriedly, reluctant to take her leave.
“There’s no need. I’m about to leave as well.” Lu Yun waved a hand dismissively. “Tianhuang, teach Xuan Yu the Heavenly Formation of Black Tortoise. There is to be a difficult battle ahead of us, and the battalions of the Scaled-Dragon King and Beigong Yu won’t be enough.”
“Understood!” Yuchi Tianhuang tugged Xuan Yu away with him and the two returned to hell.
“The Skyturtle and Skyqilin Pearls have been nurtured by the tomb for a long time. They’ve probably become sentient. It won’t be that easy to acquire them.” Lu Yun inhaled deeply. “I’ll leave after getting the Path of Ingress.”
He summoned his branch of the Path of Ingress and made his way to the burial chamber housing the main treasure—therein lay Wayfarer’s flesh and blood. Yu Hengluo had volunteered to stay and guard the body.
“I have to resolve what happened to Yu Hengluo, too. She was hurt in that room, so the solution must be there as well.” His branch of the path transcended layers of space and quickly took Lu Yun to the chamber, but what he saw there made his scalp go numb.
“There you are, Sect Head!” said a lilting voice. Yu Hengluo sat cross-legged on the ground, bamboo stick in her hand. She quickly rose to her feet when she spotted Lu Yun. The bronze lantern remained intact before the sarcophagus, faint Emerald Mistfire crackling within.
“Yu Hengluo… You’re alright?” Lu Yun projected his consciousness into hell, where Yu Hengluo’s body lay trembling on the ground.
If they're both her... she can't be the stone statues we saw in the very first tomb...