Chapter 598: Heart


Lu Yun cracked a wry grin. In the month since Lu Feng had arrived in Dusk Province, this older brother of his had figured out pretty much everything there was about him. The people he’d robbed or carried off during this time were actually either under the influence of soul planting, or undercover agents of other factions.

The Sal Tree of Life and Death had gained many wondrous abilities during its evolution. He could now use it not only to sense goodwill from others, but also whether they meant him good or ill altogether.

As soon as he saw Lu Feng, Lu Yun felt benevolence radiating from his ready-made brother. Therefore, he didn’t really want to strain their relationship for no reason.

“Alright, I think I’ve said enough. It’s time for me to head back.” Lu Feng stretched with languid narcissism. “You’ve got me to back you up now. Do whatever you’d like, don’t mind the scary monsters under the bed.

“However,” he paused seriously, “I came to protect your life and well-being, not to be one of your goons. I won’t intervene unless the situation is critical.”

Fwoosh!

Lu Feng unfolded his gilded fan, then waved it a few times with a stylish flair to cool himself.

Lu Yun shrugged. He wasn’t counting on his newfound brother to do much for him anyway. Sleeper agents and snares from the world’s other factions were of no concern to him, even without Lu Feng here. The truly surprising thing was that Lu Feng had come here at Zhao Fengyang’s behest!

“How is Senior Zhao Fengyang doing? Has he successfully reached the ingress realm yet?” Lu Yun asked hesitantly.

“Zhao Fengyang?” Lu Feng frowned slightly. “His business is out of your hands right now. You might be able to help after you reach origin dao realm, but not before. Enough.” He waved off his little brother’s further questions. “We’ll talk more after we return.” He turned and disappeared on the spot.

Lu Yun furrowed his brows; he smelled something off about all of this. Zhao Fengyang and the others were absolutely not trying to break through to the ingress realm. Otherwise, the previous celestial emperor of Witherdew would have stepped forward during his major’s catastrophe.

……

As the auction neared, Dusk Province further bustled with activity. Its capital’s luxury surpassed even that of the Nephrite capital, Xiankan.

Many factions sought Lu Yun out in private to gain formations of heaven and earth for their juniors. Lu Yun turned none of them away and accepted their gifts without giving a clear answer in response. The immortals involved were both anxious and hopeful after their audiences.

After all, the thousand formations planned for the auction had all been settled beforehand. The few that had been recently freed up had belonged to the Witherdew factions that’d been so freshly destroyed.

After some time and convincing from her master, Yuchi Hanxing ended up becoming Lu Feng’s follower and publicly conducted the master-disciple ceremony. His appetite for further mischief unsated, Lu Feng could only scowl inwardly and put away the lecherous act in front of his new disciple.

…… 

“Lin Yu and Lin Xuan were among Lu Feng’s victims. Is there something wrong with them?” When Lu Yun visited the Lin brothers’ residence, he was somewhat upset by the severity of their injuries. But no matter how hard he looked, his Spectral Eye came up with no problems. Moreover, the formation geniuses didn’t wake up no matter what he tried.

“Lu Feng seems like a troublemaker, but he’s actually very sharp and stays within the bounds of propriety. He must have his reasons for doing this.” It was probably better for Lu Yun to leave the brothers alone for the time being.

It was at this time that Zhao Zhicheng brought back Ling Jing’s head. [1]

As a Ling Clan powerhouse, Ling Jing had an incredible amount of lifesaving tricks. After he fled the underworld, he’d scurried about the world of immortals for two months before finally running out of luck.

Zhao Zhicheng was far stronger than the last time Lu Yun had seen him; the formation of heaven and earth had completely merged with him. Every gesture he made was followed by an endless amount of heavenly power, which he could control at will.

“This is yours. From this day forth, you are the city lord of Dusk capital.” Lu Yun lazily tossed a seal to Zhao Zhicheng.

Stunned and preoccupied with staring blankly at Lu Yun, the seal almost hit the peerless immortal on the head. City lord of Dusk capital?

What did that mean?

Anyone could see that Dusk Province was well on its way to becoming a sacred land once more, and its capital was its beating heart.

The city lord of the capital would indubitably possess great power and receive boundless benefits. The holder of the title would have absolute authority in the province. How could Lu Yun so casually confer such a grand position to him?

Zhao Zhicheng couldn’t believe it.

“Please reconsider, milord!” He stepped out of the way with his hands at his side.  

“I’d like to, but I don’t have many people I can make use of right now.” Lu Yun tilted his head. “I lack the time and energy to administrate the province. Aside from you, I have no other trustworthy options. So, take it.”

He sent the floating seal into Zhao Zhicheng’s palm with the wave of a hand.

The Dusk Province seal granted control over the natural energies of the entire province. Moreover, it could open a portal to summon the million soldiers of the Dusk Phalanx.

Though Yuchi Hanxing had become Lu Feng’s disciple, she continued to command the province’s heavenly army. Against his own wishes, Lu Feng was forced to settle down at Sword Lake.

“Yes, milord.” Zhao Zhicheng was a decisive man; Lu Yun’s words convinced him to take the seal.

“If anyone wants to join us in the next while, you can accept or reject them however you’d like.” After saying this, Lu Yun got up and left.

Transferring Dusk Province’s administrative burden to Zhao Zhicheng allowed him to breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, he had time to take in and digest everything he’d found inside the celestial master tomb.

The smashed ‘Xing Chen’ replica needed some repairs, too. After fusing with the Arcane Yin Fruit, the replica had gained an autonomous soul. Lu Yun now had two bodies.

“I didn’t expect that to fall into your hands.” Holy Lord Ashu appeared at Lu Yun’s side quite suddenly. He glanced at the summoned heap of flesh on the ground with clear surprise. “I’d be careful of it if I were you. A truly great master kept these lungs on the altar. You taking them away will result in some karmic effect down the line.”

Lu Yun felt no malice from Ashu. Evidently, he had no interest in the lungs. The only obsession for the dead was resurrection. If the holy lord were alive, perhaps he would think differently.

“Where have you been lately?” He turned toward Ashu and transmitted improved breathing techniques at the same time.

Ashu was delighted by the gift. Sitting down cross-legged on the ground, he adjusted his mental state before making use of it. The ghostly aura upon him faded ever so slightly more with the improved method’s circulation.

“Your conveniently-existing brother called me over for a fight.” Ashu opened his eyes, which flashed with faint gold.

“Oh, is that so? Who ended up winning?” Lu Yun pulled an exaggerated expression.

Ashu rolled his eyes and harrumphed. “If I could use the essence of my power, I wouldn’t necessarily lose to him.”

“What?!” Lu Yun gasped at the unexpected answer. “You’re not his match?”

Because of personal reasons, Ashu had to seal away his power. Less than a tenth of his actual strength was available to him right now… but even that was enough to crush anyone in the present world.

Yet, from what it sounded like, he’d lost to Lu Feng. What kind of monster was Lu Yun’s purported brother?

“Don’t underestimate that brother of yours,” sighed Ashu. “He’s more peculiar than the lord of the underworld. Of course, there’s no shortage of people like him in the present world… The lord of the underworld has returned to a living state, but even he dares not set foot in the world of immortals.”

Lu Yun fell silent.

“Refining these lungs into your replica can only spell trouble. It’s quite possible that some entity too powerful for you to handle may arrive out of the blue someday, then kill you with a simple flick of their fingers.” Ashu didn’t seem too keen on carrying on the subject from earlier. He produced a small ember in the palm of his hand; at the heart of that ember was a tiny, thumping heart.

Lu Yun trembled with incredulity. No doubt about it, the heart was a product of the Fire Altar. It was the same kind of existence as the huge lungs refined into Xing Chen!

How could Ashu simply be carrying such a thing around?

“You’re giving it to me?!” Lu Yun frowned dubiously. Having given him the Key of Life already, Ashu was now giving him an even greater treasure! Just what was the holy lord up to?

Although he sensed no malice from Ashu, there was no benevolence either. He was like a stranger passing by on the street.

“The karmic repercussions of life and death are too great. If I return to life because of you, I’ll be marked with your brand by the experience. Eventually, I’ll be forced to give everything I have to repay the debt." Ashu tossed the ember-wrapped heart to the youth. “You’ll be quite strong on your own by then. No matter what I do, it won’t be enough for me to get rid of that brand. It’s better to give you some valuable baubles while you’re still weak and needy so that when I’m resurrected, we’ll be even.”

There was no emotion in his voice. He sounded like he was talking about something unrelated to himself.

“Alright then.” Lu Yun nodded and accepted the heart. It’d evidently already been refined by someone. Though its true form was humongous, it didn’t seem so extreme in size as the lung.

“Where’d you get this thing?” he asked offhandedly.

“These organs were born in the underworld to begin with. As one of the strongest holy lords of that realm, it’s very normal for me to possess a thing like this.

“Besides, don’t celebrate just yet. Fusing this heart into your replica will mask the aura of the lungs, but fire and metal are opposing elements. Your replica will actually be weakened because of it.

“The only solution is for you to find the three other organs corresponding to the remaining elements and thereby complete the cycle. Only then will you be able to enact a true microcosm inside yourself.” Ashu doused Lu Yun with a bucket of cold reality.

“You better find the five related altars as well and refine them too. The altars are the real sources of creation! I highly doubt your replica will be able to bear the burden of five elemental organs, otherwise.”




1. This is the ringleader who, along with his clan, captured eighteen of Lu Yun’s 108 handpicked immortals and dismembered their bodies and souls to understand their formation of heaven and earth. As one of the 108, Zhao Zhicheng felt a close sense of brotherhood with all the others.

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etvolare's Thoughts

LOL I rofl'ed at one point.

"I am not worthy milord! Please reconsider."

Usually this is met with some sort of pep talk, but Lu Yun goes...

"Well, I really want to, but you're the best of the sorry lot. Guess it's you. Sigh."