When Feinie sealed off the rift, the nine women conveniently slipped inside at the same time. For Lu Yun, the arrival of his nine envoys would be an appreciable boost to his strength.
Meanwhile, the lord of Dusk and his companions were quietly suspended in midair as minute particles. Not far ahead of them was Yueshen, the immortal ghost having finally caught sight of the god she’d been chasing after.
It was a giant statue more than three thousand meters tall that possessed four heads, eight arms, and magnificent armor adorning his body.
This entity appeared identical to the last emperor of the divine dynasty. The four heads represented the powers of the four original elements, respectively earth, air, water, and fire.
Was this Yueshen’s god?
Had a god been the one to usurp the imperial throne and overthrow Exalted Divine rule? Or perhaps the final divine emperor simply resembled this god?
Yueshen stood unmoving. Instead of leaving Li Youcai’s body, she was silently observing the statue through the human’s eyes.
An enormous altar stood in front of the statue, but bereft of sacrifices for countless years, the altar was more of an empty shell. Time had so thoroughly ravaged its surface that its original appearance was impossible to discern.
“Milord, this is an altar of origin.” Yueshen suddenly whispered. “At the dawn of history, living beings offered sacrifices to the gods on this very altar. Thus were born divine spirits… And in turn, those divine spirits became the divines!
“This statue depicts the first sacrifice-born divine spirit, he who controls the four original elements, the divine spirit of origin.”
“Is he not a god himself?” the dust-sized Lu Yun subconsciously asked with a start.
Yueshen shook her head. “God is no more. Akasha ghosts might be related to him, but they certainly didn’t arise from his death.”
Li Youcai toppled stiffly to the ground as Yueshen withdrew from his body and returned to her immortal ghost form. She strode toward the altar for a closer look.
Lu Yun remained hidden, but Empress Myrtlestar appeared from the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals, her purple-golden starlight illuminating the area like a shield of light around Lu Yun and Qing Yu.
“So he was God,” the empress murmured.
“What?” Lu Yun blinked in confusion. They sounded like they were talking about a specific being...
Next to the altar, Yueshen turned back without being surprised by the newcomer. She knew of the empress’ existence and was aware of her identity.
“Have you seen God before?” The startled immortal ghost looked at Empress Myrtlestar with an expression of longing. She’d thought she’d touched upon God’s secrets, but as it turned out, she’d just been following the trail of the first sacrifice-born divine spirit in the tomb.
The primogenitor of the Exalted Divines was the first divine spirit to be born from nature, the shape of dao itself, rather than a sacrifice-born spirit. However, the statue with four heads and eight arms was the semblance of the first divine spirit arisen from sacrifices… which was why its descendants wanted—and eventually did—overthrow Exalted Divine rule.
However, neither of them was God.
“I have indeed seen him.” Empress Myrtlestar nodded gently. “God is dead.”
Blaring silence projected from the immortal ghost.
“Someone killed God and drew his essence into a painting scroll,” Empress Myrtlestar quietly added.
In Qing Yu’s arms, the little fox was trembling violently. Yueshen’s eyes grew wide, and Lu Yun… found the shift in conversation almost too much to believe. He suddenly recalled Ashu’s words during his meeting with Art and Zither Saint: You killed the court’s divine celestial master and used his essence to draw this peerless treasure of the divine race.
Art and Zither Saints used to be the human celestial master, Celestial Master Zhang! He’d killed the divine celestial master and used his essence to paint the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals!
God… Had the divine celestial master been this God they were speaking of?!
And someone… had killed him?
That explained why the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals could revive the essence of the Exalted Divine Tribe. Every divine spirit, whether arisen from sacrifice or born of nature, originated from God’s bloodline, so it went without saying that God’s core essence could restore the Exalted Divine bloodline, because they were born from his bloodline to begin with!
Yueshen looked at Empress Myrtlestar in a daze. “Is God truly dead?”
“The traces of God you found must have been left behind by the divine celestial master. Among the four celestial masters, the divine celestial master was always the most secretive one. We’ve been trying to investigate his past as well, but it wasn’t until I saw the altar that I finally realized the truth.”
This altar of origin had once been consecrated to the gods. All sacrificial arts of the world flowed from here. Only a god revered by all things living before the advent of civilization could possess such an ability.
“It’s possible that God died at a certain point in time, then reincarnated into the Primordial Era’s Divine Celestial Master. Even now, I can’t tell you for certain whether the divine celestial master is truly dead or not.” Empress Myrtlestar gently shook her head.
“In any case, this is an altar of origin, the mother altar. The five elemental altars are all derived from this one, so if we can restore it, we’ll be able to locate the other altars!” Yueshen interrupted.
“If you say so, then I shall take your wise advice and make this altar mine!” A resounding laugh came from the air, followed by a man suddenly appearing on the altar.
Before anyone could react, he waved his sleeves and tried to collect the ruins of the enormous altar.
“Hmm?” Contrary to his expectations, the altar didn’t budge at all. With a frown, Donglin Taihuang lifted his foot and moved to kick the sculpture away.
“Don’t!!” Lu Yu turned pale with fright. “Run away! Everyone, run away!!”
He immediately took out the Demonic Sovereign Cauldron and swept Qing Yu, Lin Xuan, Lin Yu, Yueshen and Li Youcai inside, then whirled around and beat a hasty retreat.
A tomb with carven stone accumulates yin and malevolent spirits. In the presence of life, stone spirits are formed. Beware of such monstrosities. Great horror lies ahead!
Completely unbothered from Donglin Taihuang’s kick, the deep sound of stone grinding against stone came from the statue and thunderous breathing exhaled from its nose nonetheless.
Donglin Taihuang’s breath caught and his eyes shot wide open. To his stupefaction, the statue’s four faces were all identical to his own!
“If I can obtain the woman with the cosmic constitution, I will overcome my constraints and become an origin dao immortal…. What is an origin dao immortal?” A mumble came from the stone spirit, but its eyes stared fixedly in the direction that Lu Yun had left in. “Obtain the female with the cosmic constitution…”
The stone spirit’s foot crashed down, shattering the already ruined mother altar as it chased after Lu Yun. As for Empress Myrtlestar and Donglin Taihuang, they didn’t even dare blink. What a terrifying entity!
The empress had a striking hunch that the giant stone spirit would be able to squash her like a bug. Even during her heyday, she would’ve found it impossible to contend against this monster!
Great horror lies ahead… great horror!
She finally understood why Lu Yun had said to “run away”.
For the first time in her life, the notion of ‘running away’ arose in the great empress’ mind.
This chapter was a bit clear as mud for me.
1) Yueshen was following the tracks of someone called God (sorry if this makes Abrahamic religion followers feel weird, I don't know what else to call it since it's literally 'god' in Chinese), while Lu Yun experiences some confusion 'cause he thought she was looking for a god.
2) She finds the statue of the first sacrifice-born divine spirit, whereas the first nature-born divine spirit seems to have been a more superior/lofty entity (since Exalted Divines are descended from him). Their descendants fight for control of the world in the divine dynasty of the Primordial Era.
3) Meanwhile, mysterious entity God is potentially the primordial divine celestial master, and the granddaddy of all divines.