Flames of three different colors swirled in Lu Yun’s hands. The Emerald Mistfire, Lucent Voidfire, and Daevic Skyfire blazed with waves of heat, sending a series of minute changes through Dongfang Hao’s face.
The three immortal fires surged and created a great barrier around Qing Yu, keeping the gray current flowing from the transformed Sword of Chaos at bay.
“The Dao Flower was in the Firmament Prison, which is where you acquired the Sword of Chaos. That makes you somewhat of a dao sovereign.”
A black jar landed before Lu Yun with a whip of his right hand. The demonic energy it contained flooded into his body, propelling his cultivation level to that of a void-ascended immortal.
“The Demonic Sovereign Cauldron, treasure of the demon celestial master of the Primordial Era.” Dongfang Hao’s sharply-angled brows drew together before relaxing in a dismissive quirk. “Without its three feet, though, the treasure that can rival the Skyturning Seal is nothing but damaged goods.”
He recalled the Sword of Chaos with a wave and returned it to the form of an ancient, simple longsword.
“It doesn’t matter, I can defeat you first before dealing with that fur seal.” Springing to action, Dongfang Hao became one with his sword and slashed down at Lu Yun. Although he’d said he wouldn’t kill Lu Yun, the force and angle of his attack was meant to kill.
Lu Yun retaliated in kind.
A burst of eerie violet light bloomed from his palm with a twist of his hand as Violetgrave shot out from its sheath. Her sword dao unfurled slowly in Lu Yun’s hand like a violet Hell Flower.
Clink clang clink!
Two swords crossed and clashed again and again in the air.
Lu Yun maintained a death grip on the cauldron with his left hand, drawing its roiling waves of demonic energy into his nascent spirit. The six paths of his nascent spirit blossomed in his consciousness, and the two dao treasures he’d incorporated into them glowed faintly with readiness.
The Sword of Chaos exploded with a burst of azure into radiance that contained tens of millions of sword techniques. It flung an off-guard Lu Yun backward and his sword dao shattered.
“That’s a decent sword dao you’ve got there, but unfortunately for you, it isn’t yours.” Dongfang Hao drifted down from the sky, then suddenly sped up and approached Lu Yun as a blurred form, swinging the divine sword down in an arc of ruthlessly cold brilliance.
A flicker of emerald light flashed by, sending Dongfang Hao into a hurried retreat when his arm went numb. A young woman looking identical to Qing Yu stood before Lu Yun, wearing an emerald-green dress and wielding a bamboo stick.
It was Qing Yu’s Embittered Bamboo replica.
The bamboo stick she wielded wasn’t the Embittered Bamboo, though, but a treasure Wayfarer had refined and passed on to Qing Yu through Wanfeng.
Qing Yu strode forward, bamboo staff in hand blurring into tens of millions of shadows and slamming into Dongfang Hao. Seemingly transcending time and space, he couldn’t dodge or defend himself against the endless shadows, no matter what he tried.
“Harrumph!” With a huff, Dongfang Hao took a step forward. The Sword of Chaos burst into multiple shadows and cut into each bamboo outline.
A violet sword shadow suddenly erupted from the void and swung ferociously at Dongfang Hao’s chest. His expression tightening, the Sword of Chaos seemed to come alive as well, swiftly drawing a neat circle of sparks in the air to knock Violetgrave away. With a quick spin around, he bristled with endless waves of sword energy.
The very air seemed to explode, raising powerful currents of sword energy. Dongfang Hao revolved in the air, attracting the currents to him until they radiated out over the minor world.
“The supreme reaches of sword dao… Return to Origin!”
Thunderous noises echoed as sword energy filled the realm created by a shard of immortal dao, turning it into a world of swords.
Lu Yun’s lips thinned; he hadn’t expected such a great display from Dongfang Hao! Almost reflexively, he flipped the Demonic Sovereign Cauldron over and used it as an enormous pot lid to shield him, Qing Yu, and her replica.
Boundless sword energy blasted into the cauldron, rebounding as sound waves so ferocious that Lu Yun felt the reverberations numb his teeth and ears.
“Before today, he may really have been able to keep me trapped here for three days, but now...” Lu Yun’s eyes turned silver and he placed a hand on Qing Yu’s shoulder to restrain her from unleashing her starstones.
“Allow me.” Lu Yun rose to his feet. Silver lightning crackled around him before it spread and enveloped the cauldron, snapping the sword energy in its vicinity into brittle pieces. “I wanted to match you with sword dao, but it seems that I’m far from your equal in that regard.”
He took flight with the axe in one hand and the spear in the other. A sparkling sheen of electricity sizzled in the air and ensconced his entire body.
“I am the sovereign of sword dao. As long as I exist in the world of immortals, I will always be the greatest master of swords.” Dongfang Hao sniffed and pointed his sword at his opponent. With a concerted tremor, careening rays of sword energy gathered and rained down on Lu Yun as a dense hail, leaving no possible cover. Every razor-sharp droplet moved at the same speed as the others. There were an innumerable amount of them, but they came together as a single sword!
An endless descent of sword rain cut down upon Lu Yun with the power of heaven and earth.
“Open!” Lu Yun roared and shifted both dao treasures to his left hand. With his right hand splayed outward, he shot out snakes of silver lightning from his palm. His long hair stood on end with silver currents crackling through every strand. He was as if a thunder god, bathed in a firestorm of electricity.
Wild lightning came together in a fury of criss-crossing sword energy. The resulting shockwaves ferociously slammed into the barrier of the minor world, shaking the premises.
Smashed backward, Dongfang Hao stared at Lu Yun with incredulity.
“How is this possible?! Why do you possess such great strength without first ascending to immortality?” Blood trickled out of the corner of his mouth and his widened eyes shone with a trace of shock, but mostly confusion.
“Even Ge Yanxia of the fur seals almost died at my hands, let alone you. I might’ve considered you a threat if you were a void-ascended immortal.” A leer tugged at Lu Yun’s lips. He trod on air toward Dongfang Hao, leaving behind a trail of crackling footprints.
“So I’ve underestimated you, Lu Yun!” Dongfang Hao’s expression calmed. He suddenly let go of the Sword of Chaos, which fell to the ground.
Lu Yun frowned. The bead of concentrated thunder was half consumed; he didn’t know how long he could maintain this state. However, Dongfang Hao plainly had other tricks up his sleeve.
“The firmament as the sheath!” Dongfang Hao suddenly howled. A gray sword shadow fell from the sky and wrapped around his body, driving Lu Yun’s lightning away.
“The earth as the hilt!
“Slaughter as the edge!
“All lives in sacrifice!
“Sword of Chaos… Unsheath!!”