Immortals over the North Sea receded like the tides. The heavenly armies of Dusk Province and other majors alike returned to their domains, and the sea returned to its former state of calm.
Shockingly, Levitating Island had survived the chaos. The giant isle had weathered both Lu Yun’s tribulation and the battle of immortals shortly thereafter. Alas, the two Scarlet Apes realized with great disappointment that the floating peak at its center was gone.
“Don’t bother looking for it.” Silverlight glanced in Dusk Province’s general direction. “The island was that fox’s treasure in the first place. She’s just taken it back. It’s already over, you two. Why are you still here?” She glared sharply into a corner of empty space.
“Hahaha, is that so? I guess my disciple and I shan’t bother you any more,” a childlike voice sounded, followed by two ripples in space. The invisible duo had departed.
“You’re not going to refine the Dao Flower projection?” Qing Yu’s eyes were as wide as dinner plates; she was bewildered by Lu Yun’s decision.
“There’s no need. Refining the projection is just ceremony.” Lu Yun shook his head.
“B-but… you shouldn’t just give it away like that, either!” Qing Yu grew a little anxious. Lu Yun had used the flower’s projection to place a bounty upon every dao immortal of the Dongfang Clan. Frankly, she found it crazily irrational.
Her partner ran his fingers through her silken locks. “If I didn’t, there’d be more and more people after you…” Steel glinted in his eyes. “I’m going to teach the world a lesson. They’re welcome to make a play for you, as long as they’re ready to pay the price!”
The bounty was also a threat. Those who intended to follow in the Dongfang Clan’s footsteps would first need to evaluate whether their faction or clan could bear the brunt of Lu Yun’s ire.
A single death wasn’t nearly warning enough.
Previously, Lu Yun had placed bounties with an absurd sum of crystals. This time, he was doing the same with tribulation essence and the Dao Flower projection.
His apparent psychosis greatly amplified the danger he posed. On the day of Qing Yu’s tribulation, he was sure that there would be less than a handful of people waiting to attack her like today.
As long as he lived—as long as Dusk Province stood—the vast majority wouldn’t risk such foolhardiness. The bounty seemed brash at first, but there was plenty of deeper meaning behind it.
This time, the world of immortals finally caught sight of the newest addition to Lu Yun’s trump cards.
Many supposed that his lightning rod and the black thunder he’d used to crush the fur seals were related to the primordial Thunder God. In that bygone era, Kui had commanded the punishing thunder of innumerable worlds… it’d even been able to preside over common cultivators’ tribulations. But now, it was Lu Yun’s subordinate!
Thankfully, it’d evidently lost the power over tribulations. Otherwise, any void-ascended immortals feuding with Lu Yun would’ve died during their ascensions .
The fact that he hadn’t immediately established a sacred land provided even more relief. During the first month of his immortality, Dusk Province remained relatively quiet and calm, while the rest of the world still churned in utter chaos.
Aside from the battlefield in Witherdew Major, the Donglin and Dongfang Clans’ ancestral homes were completely leveled. The two great families saw their holdings overturned and their immortals scattered to the winds, a terrifying fate that deterred any of Qing Yu’s would-be assailants.
Meanwhile, Dusk Province continued flourishing and the concept of ‘supplemental paths as king’ was gaining wider acceptance. The province’s treasures, talismans, and methods began to circulate throughout the world. Even diagrams for formations of heaven and earth were being sold!
Though Dusk Province didn’t proclaim itself as a sacred land, many people saw it as that and more. The lightning rod and Closesky Formation were especially popular bestsellers. Though exorbitantly priced, immortals nevertheless swarmed toward them like ducks to water.
Their only disappointment was that lightning rods were single-use products that were irreparably destroyed afterward. However, each and every user survived their tribulation!
Such fantastic results only served to heighten the fervor of the strongest factions.
The absolute best and brightest of the world didn’t care for it, of course. Any genius who manifested phenomena of ascension across an entire major couldn’t bear to lower themselves to requiring outside aid for their heavenly tribulations. Their pride compelled them to overcome their trials with only their own strength.
The Closesky Formation, on the other hand, was a more permanent fixture in day-to-day living. Its appearance had completely changed the law of the land, as the previously invincible crystal cannons and weapons of war were restricted by the mysterious power of this formation.
Setting up a Closesky Formation around one’s own lair guaranteed safety from ballistic assault. However, Its expensive price tag put it out of reach for many at the same time.
One day, a hazy figure smashed into Dao City from the sky in a meteoric descent. Whoever it was had been beaten into an unidentifiable bloody pulp. Lu Yun immediately arrived on the scene to take the figure away.
It was the Divine Azure Dragon King!
He’d gone to the ancestral territory of the azure dragons to look for living kin; why was he so badly hurt? Most of the dragon veins he’d taken with him were gone; the only one left, kept tightly in his grasp, was the singular ancestral one.
“What happened to you?” Lu Yun’s expression became rather ugly.
The current Azure Dragon King was at least a peak origin dao immortal. No, he was even stronger than that. Even so, he’d been brought to the brink of death by some unknown enemy.
Summoning the power of the three connate spirit roots inside herself, Qing Yu brought him back to a more stable condition.
The Azure Dragon King spat out a mouthful of blood and shook his head violently before finally speaking. “Creatures from the Blood Sea have come ashore.”
“You went to the Blood Sea… to look for your bottom half?” Lu Yun furrowed his brow. He’d witnessed the terror of the Blood Sea firsthand before. It was only because of the paper boats and lanterns that the girl lingering from ages past had given him that he’d safely traversed it.
Despite the Azure Dragon King’s present strength, he wouldn’t survive any time at all in the Blood Sea.
“No,” the Dragon King shook his head, “my kinsmen are on the other side of the Blood Sea. Bloody footprints appeared by the shore… When I went to investigate, I was injured by the sea creatures.”
“Bloody footprints?” Lu Yun pressed his lips together in concern. He knew that creatures in the Blood Sea could come ashore. Mo Yi had once captured one to sacrifice to the restriction inside Dusk Province’s ancient tomb. Had more done so of their own volition?
“What kind of footprints were they?” he asked.
The Dragon King’s eyes began to glow. A huge screen of water appeared in front of Lu Yun’s eyes, depicting a Blood Sea that broke against a golden beach. Upon that beach, two small sets of crimson footprints stretched straight toward the mainland.
The footprints… were human.
One second, why do I feel like Lu Yun inadvertently increased the gap between rich and poor in the world? Those who can afford the lightning rod and Closesky Formation will become stronger and stronger, and those who can't need lots of bootstraps.