The demon god expanded to more than three thousand meters tall, his aura tremendously imposing as he fought the stone spirit in close quarters combat.
“Go, hurry!” Seeing that another monster had shown up to contend with the terrifying demon, the Exalted celestial emperor drew upon the power of his heavenly mandate and sent all immortals out of the tomb, Qi Hai and Lu Yun’s nine followers included.
However, he himself stayed behind. The moment the demon god was born, he became a true celestial emperor in both thought and deed. No longer a ruler who cared only about consolidating his own authority and power, he was one who held all lives in his heart, be they of Exalted Major or the other facets. Anyone could run from this danger, but not the celestial emperor. He had to stay to deal with the demon, even at the cost of his life.
“You have become a true celestial emperor.” Liu Chen calmly showed himself beside the ruler of Exalted Major.
The Exalted heavenly mandate shook as the ninth dao fruit took shape in the celestial emperor’s body. Within the heavenly mandate was the heritage of a celestial emperor, which took shape as his ninth origin dao fruit!
Only by bearing the true heart of a celestial emperor and fulfilling the role of a leader who tended to the fate of the entire world could he gain his ninth origin dao fruit!
This dao fruit was extremely powerful, several times more so than the ones the Exalted celestial emperor had plucked himself. It was a dao fruit from the Primordial Era!
During his time in Exalted Major, or under Mount Exalted, to be more precise, Liu Chen had witnessed many imperial epiphanies and acquisitions of the ninth origin dao fruit. He’d lost himself when the last Exalted celestial emperor acquired his ninth fruit, but had regained his clarity in time to see the current celestial emperor truly take on the mantle. What a shame it was that Princess Zhao Qing couldn’t see it for herself as well.
Within the palace coffin, Lu Yun let out a deep breath.
“Fortunately, that fellow doesn’t have much of a brain. It’s simply under the influence of Donglin Taihuang’s obsession!”
The stone spirit was too ponderous. Even the spirit newly born within could only control its body. It would take some time for it to develop intelligence, a luxury that the spirit didn’t have.
The palace coffin was wrecked and the throne destroyed by the demon. The three coffins before the throne, however, remained intact.
“Shards of the Gates of the Abyss!” Excitement lit up Lu Yun’s eyes and he inhaled deeply. “I have the demon god to thank for destroying the fragment of hell created by the shard. I wouldn’t have been able to collect them otherwise.”
He couldn’t tap into the power of hell at the moment, which would be what he needed to tame a fragment of hell. Fortunately, the demon god had saved him quite a lot of trouble.
“Collect!” With a wave of his hand, the three pitch black coffins flew into a projection of a giant gate behind his back.
Trembling, the outline of the Gates of the Abyss solidified a little more once it took in the three coffins. Also constantly shaking, hell stabilized somewhat with the new additions.
“That does it...” Ge Long cut down an akasha ghost with one stroke and looked over his shoulder at the looming gates, his lips curled into a smile.
Waving a hand, he summoned starlight from the Cosmic Sea that’d become one with the sky in hell, radiance that took shape as bolts of sword energy furiously striking down akasha ghosts. However, there seemed to be an endless supply of these ghosts; they were impossible to completely eliminate.
The three coffins had only just entered the Gates of the Abyss, and the fragment of hell associated with them was still contained within the coffins. It would take the gates a very long time to fully incorporate the coffins.
“Where’s that treasure you were talking about, Ge Long?” Lu Yun transmitted to Ge Long.
“The treasure cannot be forced into your hands, milord,” Ge Long answered with resignation. “If it’s fated to be yours, you will find it. If it’s not...”
His four swords could tame the treasure, but if the swords were taken away now, hell would fall apart.
“Am I just not meant to have the treasure?” Lu Yun stood pensively within the deteriorating palace coffin.
The fight between the two giants grew fiercer, and as time passed, the eyes of the stone spirit turned with the brightening glint of intelligence. It was becoming sentient.
“Zhao Qing set fire to her true spirit with Exalted Daofire, but her body is possessed by the demon god...” Although Lu Yun hadn’t been present at that time, he could bring himself up to date through his envoys.
What the daughter of the historic emperor had done only further cemented Lu Yun’s determination to make her his envoy.
“I really need to act now, or the body really will become the demon’s...”
Once that happened, all traces of Zhao Qing’s existence would be erased and Lu Yun wouldn’t be able to make her an envoy. He could see the demon’s life energy growing increasingly stronger, while traces left by Zhao Qing gradually dispersed.
Liu Chen and the Exalted celestial emperor had joined the fray. Their goal was simple: help the stone spirit kill the demon god!
Although the stone spirit was powerful as well, it was all brawn and no brain. If the demon god was allowed to leave the tomb, Exalted Major would be its to claim!
“Wait!” Lu Yun’s eyes gleamed as he took a closer look at the throne. He’d collected Cangyin as his envoy by locating just a tiny shard from her egg. If he could find even a tiny bit of Zhao Qing’s remains on the throne, he would be able to do the same with her!
“Fortunately, the Exalted Daofire destroyed only the true spirit, and not the body...” Lu Yun found a long strand of hair on the throne, one that radiated a fierce sword energy. It’d been snipped from Zhao Qing’s head when Diexi collected her sword!
With the Spectral Eye, he confirmed that the hair was indeed Zhao Qing’s! It was the only trace she’d left in this world before being possessed by the demon!
“Tenth Envoy of Samsara… Take your place!”
Hellfire barrelled out of Lu Yun’s body and the Karmic Tree emerged above his head. The long strand of hair ignited as Zhao Qing’s figure slowly materialized before him.
She was naked, like all the other envoys had been in their first appearance, but her lower body was that of a snake’s, her figure the shape of the dao. Long hair cascaded down her form, covering her porcelain skin.
“Zhaoqing, tenth Envoy of Samsara, greets the master!” She sank to her knees, her voice as pleasant as the winding creeks in the mountains.
“What is this?!” screamed the demon god outside the palace coffin as black smoke evaporated from his body, seemingly ignited by some mysterious force.
With a flash of black light, the demon took full control of Zhao Qing’s body and erased all traces of her existence.
“How have you come back to life, Zhao Qing?!” He turned to see Zhaoqing standing in the palace coffin.