When Qi Hai saw that Lu Yun was about to combine the Demonic Sovereign Cauldron’s feet with its main body, unadulterated terror flashed through his eyes. Even his voice took on a strange inflection, as if it was going off pitch.
Stopping his movements, Lu Yun looked at the man.
“Three cauldron feet and one cauldron body… that still doesn’t make for the complete Demonic Sovereign Cauldron. I’m short a pair of handles,” he responded calmly. “What are you afraid of?”
All present looked at Qi Hai, who let out the breath he was holding when he saw Lu Yun stop.
“That damned fur seal!” He gnashed his teeth. “It did this on purpose! It deliberately placed the three feet within your reach! The Demonic Sovereign Cauldron is no immortal treasure! In the Primordial Era, the immortal court’s Celestial Master Ge slew a demon sovereign and refined his body into a great cauldron.
“But later on, the demon resurrected from the cauldron and became a horrifying existence, split between an object and a living spirit. In the end, Celestial Master Ge had no choice but to dismantle the cauldron. Thanks to that, he ultimately suppressed the demon’s true spirit.
“By making the cauldron whole again, you would bring the demon’s true spirit back to life. He could then summon the handles and fully return to life.”
A murderous glint flashed in the pill master’s eyes. His greatest desire right now was to rush to the West Sea and extinguish the fur seals to the last.
“Now that Celestial Master Ge is no more, there is no one in the world who can restrain this demon.” One thing Qi Hai left unsaid was that, if this demon were to come back to life, he’d be an even greater threat than the demon fetus beneath Mount Exalted.
“Is that so?” Lu Yun nodded. He’d already come in contact with a boundless, hair-raising demonic aura inside the cauldron’s main body. In fact, using that energy to strengthen himself could propel him to the realm of a void-ascended immortal.
But the energy found within was very pure, devoid of any thought or consciousness. He hadn’t sensed any true spirit or nascent spirit in them.
Qi Hai stayed silent, his eyes locked on Lu Yun. Nodding, the overlord of hell sent the cauldron feet into the netherworld with a wave of the hand.
“Feet, main body?” Looking at the two parts of the Demonic Sovereign Cauldron in his hand, Lu Yun frowned slightly. “And what are you doing here?” He turned around at the figure that’d appeared beside him—Qi Hai.
After the Sal Tree of Life and Death evolved into the Karmic Tree, Lu Yun now exercised absolute control over hell. In addition, the circle of light inside hell had grown to an unfathomable size—at least ten times bigger than in the past.
Therefore, it was almost impossible for Qi Hai to force his way into hell. If not for Lu Yun sensing his presence around the edges and granting entry, he wouldn’t have been able to come in.
“Believe me, I’m not fearmongering. It’s in your best interests not to combine the cauldron’s feet and main body.” Qi Hai’s voice was incomparably solemn. “Otherwise, this hell will have a new master!”
“Oh?” Lu Yun turned his head, his gaze piercing through multiple layers of space to search out the figure of Ge Long sitting at the edge of the abyss.
Ge Long met his gaze, but neither showed himself nor commented. He simply left everything in his master’s hands.
“This demon must have quite the identity. Who is he?” Lu Yun asked with a wide smile even as his fingers gently caressed the cauldron.
Blood drained from Qi Hai’s face. Lu Yun was nigh-unassailable inside hell, but in order to stop him from reassembling the cauldron, Qi Hai had visited with his true body.
“A demon king from the era of human dao.” He inhaled deeply. “One who survived that era all the way to the Primordial Era, the king of his race!”
After Emperors Fall, kings were the strongest powerhouses in the world. Human kings, shaman kings, demon kings, monster spirit kings, divine kings… Those were the true monarchs ruling over their tribes and the facets of the world.
In comparison, the so-called kings of the current era were simple titles conferred by a celestial emperor. Contemporary emperors or kings would’ve been puny insects back in the Primeval Era. In fact, Qi Hai, a man who’d lived during the most prosperous age of them all, could eradicate a huge swath of them with his bare hands alone.
A demon king from the era of the human dao would be invincible in the current age.
“You might increase your strength by calling upon the energy of this hell, but… you’d still be far from that level. If a demon king were to appear here, you’d be as good as dead.” Qi Hai looked at Lu Yun and stressed every syllable.
“Then what of the Primordial Era? How did the demon celestial master refine him into a cauldron?” Lu Yun countered. The question caught Qi Hai unawares. The man mumbled inaudibly, unable to form a sensible reply.
“Alright, you may leave now.” Lu Yun waved his hand, pushing the utterly powerless Qi Hai out of hell.
His fear wasn’t pretense, but neither was his malice toward Lu Yun. If the man had stayed inside any longer, Lu Yun was afraid he wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to squash the irksome pill master.
The man was someone of influence now, and Destiny City a force to be reckoned with. Moreover, he must have made preparations in advance before venturing into hell. Lu Yun didn’t want to deal with the possible aftermath of his death inside the netherworld.
He wasn’t invincible yet.
Fortress ships, crystal cannons… All these things required immortal crystals for fuel. And while he’d accumulated a decent stash of them, it was still far from enough. And he needed even more immortal crystals in order to attract the Ancient Tree of Life to Dusk Province.
“Ge Long, what do you think?”
“Milord, this cauldron is truly evil. And… with your current cultivation level, the cauldron’s main body alone will suffice. Reattaching the cauldron feet would be of no additional use for you right now.” After a moment of silence, the old servant added, “What milord lacks right now isn’t another run-of-the-mill item, but a supreme treasure that can shelter a sacred land… And there’s one right there below Mount Exalted!”
With a quick wave, four swords glinting keenly with frosty light flew out of the void and landed in Lu Yun’s hand.
“These four swords are the keys to obtaining the supreme treasure I speak of. They can fuse with it and create a sword formation that can shield Dusk Province in its entirety…” A proud smile appeared on Ge Long’s lips. “Even if that so-called primeval demon king were to come, he’d be cut to pieces by ten thousand swords!”
Lu Yun silently rubbed his nose. As soon as he’d received the four swords, he’d sensed that here were another four crystal-devouring, bottomless pits of cookie monsters. Well, guess that’d make them crystal monsters.
Without a few trillion immortal crystals, it’d be impossible to power a sword formation that could span Dusk Province’s forty thousand kilometers. Not to mention he didn't have the strength required to command such a fearsome formation, either.
As for the sword formation’s origins... He hadn’t even figured out what kind of existence Ge Long was yet, so Lu Yun immediately gave up looking deeper into the four swords or this so-called sword formation. Instead, he retracted the Demonic Sovereign Cauldron back into himself and left the cauldron feet inside hell.
After his departure, Ge Long’s expression slowly settled down into grave composure. When his eyes landed on the cauldron feet floating in front of him, a cloudy glint flashed through his gaze.
Three days later.
Dongling Taihuang, Ge Yanxia, and the rest had brought their kin and clansmen to Exalted Major, totaling more than three thousand people. At the head of a group of newly-transformed fur seals, an unconcerned-looking Ge Yanxia watched Lu Yun with a smug expression, as if the youngster was a dead man walking.