“The Scroll of Shepherding Immortals, an amalgamation of the three paintings!!” Outside Dusk Province, the dao immortal of the Exalted Immortal Sect straightened up in shock and consternation. “The Scroll of Shepherding Immortals can awaken our ancestors. We will then return to the world of immortals as her master!”
He appeared to be human, but his body harbored a great reserve of divine energy. He was an Exalted Divine—the very tribe that had once destroyed the immortal dao, etched their divine patterns into the Dao Flower, and established the ancient divine court.
It was widely believed that the Exalted Divine Tribe had gone extinct, but in reality, their bloodline had been passed down to this day, kept alive somewhere in some corner in the world of immortals.
“My youths!” snarled the divine. “Follow me into Dusk Province and kill Lu Yun! The world will know no peace until Lu Yun’s death!”
Terrifying killing intent surged as the battlecry rang.
Immortals of the Exalted Immortal Sect came together with one united will. They knew what they were fighting for. Without any hesitation, they unleashed their greatest battle strength and charged into Dusk Province!
At the same time, the Exalted Immortal Sect back in Exalted Major began gathering its numbers. Transportation formation upon transportation formation lit up, depositing countless immortals into Nephrite Major who promptly marched into Dusk Province.
The bugles of war were blown, something that hadn’t even happened in Witherdew Major as of yet. No one fathomed that the fires of war would flare in a tiny Dusk Province, forty thousand kilometers across, first.
Stunned and at a loss, no one else dared make a move. Even the Lin Clan and the Unsullied Sea, factions friendly with Lu Yun, didn’t dare intervene. The Exalted Immortal Sect was determined to destroy Dusk with one swift assault.
The Dusk restriction against immortals seemed to be affected by the Blood Sea as well; the human demon’s manifestation was locked in midair, unable to move. Hundreds of thousands of immortals from the Exalted Immortal Sect had poured into the province without repercussion.
“Master!!” A thin man stepped out before the Exalted immortals, a pitiful figure compared to the great army.
“Turn back please,” Zhao Zhicheng begged. “You can’t win!”
Their leader was an imposing man donning a dao robe and a tall cap. He was Zhao Zhicheng’s master, the head of the Exalted Immortal Sect.
“Bastard!” snapped the sect head. “How dare you betray the sect?!”
“This disciple doesn’t wish to see the sect’s eighty thousand years of foundation destroyed in one day!” Zhao Zhicheng knelt down in midair and kowtowed repeatedly. “Please withdraw with the army, master!”
“Kill!!” There was nothing in the sect head’s eyes but the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals. Once they killed that woman and acquired the treasure, the Exalted Divine Tribe would gain new life!
A traitor was completely insignificant, compared to the scroll.
The hundred thousand immortals of the sect advanced with reckless abandon, their combined aura hurling Zhao Zhicheng off his feet.
“Fellow daoists of the Exalted Immortal Sect, House Donglin will not be left behind in a crusade to destroy Dusk Province and slay Lu Yun!” Another group of immortals emerged from another direction—House Donglin.
Zhao Fengyang had disposed of their ancestor, Dong Lin, with a slash, leaving Donglin Taihuang, the self-proclaimed top genius of the world, someone with less than a hundred years of cultivation under his belt, spearheading the house.
He was a short, chubby, and ugly-looking man, but he was extremely powerful. He’d now ascended to peak arcane dao immortal realm and plucked his ninth arcane dao fruit.
“You mustn’t harm the woman of the cosmic constitution, though,” he added hurriedly when he sensed the killing intent from the immortals of the Exalted Immortal Sect.
“Fine,” the sect head assented coldly. “But that scroll of hers belongs to my sect!”
“Deal!” Donglin Taihuang added a condition of his own. “The Sugato Sword and the great water jar will be House Donglin’s!”
“Kill!” Two armies of immortals converged and charged into the heart of Dusk Province together.
Qing Yu watched the overwhelming army of immortals with an impassive look on her face. Her Cosmic Skycarver, by contrast, radiated fierce killing intent. She knew what they were after.
But before she could do anything, an explosion rang out, followed by the rise of a golden sun. It radiated a sharp, sword-like golden brilliance and slammed viciously into the incoming immortals.
“A connate-grade treasure!” Donglin Taihuang screamed. “It’s the Arcane Golden Orb!”
The orb was aimed squarely at the immortals of House Donglin. There was no one in the world that the attacker, Qing Taxian, hated more than the Donglins.
If not for them, his daughter wouldn’t have had to disguise herself as a man for most of her current life. She wouldn’t have had to shoulder anguish and pressure that would’ve destroyed anyone else. The Qings wouldn’t have made Lu Yun an enemy, and their forefather wouldn’t have had to kill himself to resolve the clan’s misfortunes.
Without their forefather and their host of powerful dao immortals, the Qing Clan was no longer a top faction in the world. In fact, they had no choice but to seek shelter in Dusk Province and rely on the protection of the restriction against immortals in order to survive.
Patriarch of the Qing Clan, Qing Taxian, threw all reservations out of the window when he saw House Donglin. He called upon the Arcane Golden Orb without hesitation when he saw their members charging in.
Like a blinding sun, the dazzling orb landed amid House Donglin’s army, disintegrating tens of thousands of immortals.
“I’ll kill you, you piddling has-been!!” Donglin Taihuang shouted, pained. Among the army were the true elites and pillars of their house, and half of them had been killed by the connate-grade treasure’s all-out blow.
Connate-grade treasures were extremely powerful, as they were the foundations of peak clans. No clan would bring out their connate-grade treasures unless they were on the verge of destruction. Their use often marked the battle as the clan’s final stand. If the treasure was destroyed, so too was the clan.
House Donglin’s ancestor had been killed, but they still possessed their connate-grade treasure and their arcane dao immortals. Thus, they were still considered a peak faction. No one had expected Qing Taxian to attack with the Qing Clan’s ultimate treasure.
“A connate-grade treasure!”
“The Qing Clan’s ultimate treasure!!” Spectating immortals could no longer stay on the sidelines when the latest treasure appeared.
Although Qing Yu was wielding the Cosmic Skycarver, the Witherdew immortals who knew about it were all dead. No other immortals knew what it was, and the treasure hadn’t yet demonstrated its strength as a connate-grade treasure.
The Arcane Golden Orb, on the other hand, was well known. It was the core connate-grade treasure of the Qing Clan, once a peak faction. Everyone knew its function and value.
Before Donglin Taihaung could attack Qing Taxian, the air trembled as giant hands probed out of the sky, fishing for the soaring orb. The crippled origin dao immortals were striking again, emerging from their hideouts after Zhao Fengyang’s threat.
Qing Taxian’s expression darkened. He was but a peerless immortal, and it was already difficult enough for him to activate a connate-grade treasure. The heavyweights making a grab for the treasure swiftly dealt him serious injuries.
At one point, a giant brown hand grasped the orb, but it was quickly knocked away by the other hands. The dao immortals spectating outside Dusk Province could no longer stay still, either. Connate-grade treasures were there for the taking!
“Do you really take Dusk Province as a lamb ready for the slaughter?” Qing Yu’s beautiful eyes narrowed dangerously when she saw Qing Taxian injured and the dao immortals outside the province charging in. “Situ Zong!”
“Understood!” The air trembled as a gray orb emerged in the sky, slamming into a hand making a grab for the Arcane Golden Orb.
The hand shattered with a ghastly scream. That attack had come from the Pelagic Orb, another connate-grade treasure!
A maddened frenzy of greed descended upon everyone, including the immortals of House Donglin and the Exalted Immortal Sect. Their previous targets had only been Qing Yu and the treasure in her possession, but after the emergence of the two more connate-grade treasures, the two clans couldn’t help but be drawn into the fray.
“Three connate-grade treasures! Outside of the two orbs, the Formation Orb is in Dusk as well!” There remained many immortals outside Dusk Province who hadn’t gone into action. They sucked in a collective breath of shock. With three connate-grade treasures, Dusk Province would become one of the greatest sacred lands in the world if it survived this battle.
Scarlet Ape, who’d always seen Lu Yun as an enemy and wanted to regain his lost chunk of the Divine Seaquell Staff, stayed its hand as well. It stared unblinkingly at the Blood Sea in the sky with black iron rod in hand and the fiery cape over its shoulders.
“The blood nurtures the will of the human emperors,” it muttered. “Why would the human emperors move against Lu Yun with such a tribulation…?”
“This is bad!! Let’s go, let’s go!!” Immortals spilling forth from the floodgates suddenly shrieked with panic and whipped around. Even the immortals of House Donglin and the Exalted Immortal Sect halted in their tracks.
Pitch-black fortress ships slowly sailed out of the void, dotting the sky and obscuring the sun. They were all lord grade!
Editor's note (CheshirePhoenix): Why am I hearing the Imperial March and seeing the scene in Star Wars where there's a bunch of star destroyers coming out of lightspeed? ...oh, that's why.