Chapter 648: Footprints

Everyone knew they were witnessing the beginning of the end for House Donglin. There was no return from this.

Although the Lin Clan often clashed with House Donglin for being traitors, the house had grown increasingly powerful until they’d finally become the greatest aristocracy in Aureate Major, even threatening the authority of the heavenly court.

Now, however, House Donglin was truly doomed.

The turn of events proved one truism: wealth enabled one to do anything and everything!

Lu Yun was a wealthy man. Not only that, his allies were wealthy as well. The thirteen merchant guilds monopolized more than half of the riches in the world of immortals, which made them the wealthiest group of people in the world.

It seemed that any enemy of Lu Yun’s would be considered their enemy as well! They would even continue supporting his followers if the youth died. Just what exactly had Lu Yun given them?!

The Exalted celestial emperor felt the onset of a headache. Thank heavens he hadn’t acted on his impulse to kill Lu Yun before!

After speaking their piece, the heads of the thirteen merchant guilds concealed themselves again. Not even the celestial emperor knew where they were hiding.

The thirteen old freaks had built a great foundation in the world of immortals. Their people could be found across all of the facets, four seas, and top clans. They would have no difficulty blending into any crowd.

Fortunately, an agreement existed between the merchant guilds and top factions of the world that the former would never attempt to conquer the world of immortals, on pain of heavenly tribulations.

Otherwise, the elites of the world would’ve come together long ago to destroy the large merchant guilds. Granted, that would’ve been an action of last resort. No one wanted a fight to the death with wealthy tycoons unless there was no other way.

Now that the heads of the thirteen merchant guilds had taken a stand for Lu Yun, no one would say anything to the contrary. Once again, the young man proved that he had many friends in the world of immortals.

……

“Let’s go, young master...” Members of House Donglin were terrified. Despite their numbers, they now felt like helpless lambs surrounded by salivating wild beasts.

By “young master”, they were referring to Donglin Taihuang. Being less than a hundred years old made him a youth, thus he was called a young master. To Lu Yun however, a hundred-year-old was an ancient relic.

“No!” Donglin Taihuang grit his teeth. “We have to enter Mount Exalted with them. If we leave now, we’ll immediately meet our end!”

Their new territory in Aureate Major had certainly been surrounded by enemies by now. As for their old territory… well, it’d been erased from the map by Lu Yun.

Aureate Major would be the first to attack House Donglin after the clan bounty announcement. That made those who’d followed Donglin Taihuang to Exalted Major the house’s remaining hope. There was still room to maneuver if they followed the Exalted celestial emperor into Mount Exalted, but if they took their leave now, they would be hunted down in short order.

Immortals of Exalted Major were tempted by the bounty as well, but not those loyal to the celestial emperor. They saw the demon fetus in the divine tomb as the real threat here, and their liege had no attention to spare for anything else.

……

Mount Exalted seemed to be a realm of illusions. Although the mountain towered into the clouds like a great pillar, a completely different sight greeted the eye once they entered the mountain.

Gone was the tall peak, replaced by a blinding scarlet land instead. The sky and air matched the land’s color, glowing with a strange red light reminiscent of blood that’d congealed for a long time. The earth beneath their feet was fissured with ugly cracks, seemingly having seen no water for countless years.

“Where in the world are we?!” Ge Yanxia’s distended body squirmed with discomfort. Fur seals were marine animals and there wasn’t the barest hint of water energy in this strange world, which gravely unsettled her.

“Last Repose,” said a voice. “This is the Last Repose of we divines.”

Many had come to Mount Exalted for this mission—the Exalted celestial emperor alone had brought more than thirty thousand people. Divines numbered among their ranks as well.

“The divine race!” Many were surprised by the speaker’s admission. The race was a mysterious bunch who rarely appeared in the world of immortals. Even when they did, they disguised themselves as different beings.

And now, there were divines among them.

Currently, a silent mutual agreement existed among the contingent to not make it an issue. Only the Exalted celestial emperor could enter the divine tomb, so the divines were clearly here at his invitation.

This wasn’t the time to start anything; all conflicts would be resolved in the tomb.

For one, the Donglin immortals had decided to use everything they had at their disposal to kill Lu Yun upon entering the tomb, even at the cost of complete mutual destruction. There was no reconciliation possible between them.

…… 

The dried scarlet land was devoid of all life. It was the Last Repose of the divine race, but appeared completely different from that of the human race.

During the time of Emperors Fall, the human race had reigned supreme. Countless great emperors had numbered among the human race, but only one could be found among the divine race.

Although the Last Repose of the divines was a sacred land, it was more of a symbolic site than anything else. The real legacy lay within the tombs beneath the Last Repose. There were not only tombs of the primordial divine court there, but also some from before Emperors Fall.

Giant footprints of different sizes could be seen crisscrossing the dry cracks, painting an uncanny picture. Some were as small as sixty meters long, while others were as big as valleys.

“Do not, under any circumstances, take flight or use any flying treasures, including lord-grade fortress ships!” the celestial emperor warned seriously before continuing further. “This place is covered in a great space-restriction formation. Nothing is allowed to take flight and the formation is extremely unpredictable, often winking in and out of existence.”

The uninformed would likely immediately attempt flight in the Last Repose and promptly crash to their deaths. Gravity within the Last Repose was greater than in the outside world; once in a descent pattern, even an immortal would be crushed into paste, their nascent spirit decimated.

Lin Yu and Lin Xuan stood on top of a hill, looking out into the vast expanse of scarlet. They couldn’t figure out what they were looking at.

“Is this a layout exceeding the grand influences of the world?” Lin Xuan flipped through the tomb raiding archives, matching the landscapes to the book and analyzing them. However, he couldn’t spot any patterns. The landscapes were an aftermath of the trodding from giant footprints.

Lin Yu spotted no formations, either.


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