“Whatever that was… is that what you were hurt by?” Qing Yu withdrew her three connate spirit roots before asking.
“Not quite,” the Azure Dragon King chuckled ruefully. “I was injured by a rotten kun from the underworld… don’t worry, I’ve slain it already.”
“A rotten kun?” Lu Yun blinked.
“When a kunpeng dies in the underworld in its fish form, it turns into a corpse. When decay sets in, that corpse transforms into a rotten kun—an extremely powerful zombie. If it was allowed to enter this world, its corpse poison would pollute everything it made contact with. Both the earth and sky for millions of kilometers around would be turned into zombie spawning grounds.
“That’s why I had to kill it,” sighed the Dragon King. “The underworld is on the brink of disaster too, it seems. A rotten kun emerging from there…
“Send me back into the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals. I feel like my body is about to fall apart again.” The Azure Dragon King opened his palm, producing a tiny gold dragon in his hand. It was the ancestor vein he’d taken with him prior.
“Why did you mention the Blood Sea, then?” Lu Yun was dumbfounded by the quick changes in conversation. He’d thought a creature from the Blood Sea was responsible for the Azure Dragon King’s injuries, but if it was something from the underworld… that made much more sense.
Holy Lord Ashu was evidence enough of what kind of terrors lurked in those depths. The so-called rotten kun had likely swam out of Ashu’s domain.
Qing Yu complied with the ancient dragon’s request. Upon returning to the scroll, the Dragon King turned into a mountain that served as the painting’s dragon vein.
“Roooaaawr!” an immature growl suddenly sounded. A flash of golden light later, a tiny dragon no more than a meter long had… gulped the floating vein right down. With a satisfied burp and a swish of its tail, it tunneled into the void and disappeared.
Lu Yun traded bewildered looks with Qing Yu.
“Did… did it just eat Nephrite’s ancestral vein?” He asked, still not entirely sure what he’d seen was real.
“…yes,” came her stunned reply.
After a lengthy silence, Lu Yun screamed at the top of his lungs. “Liu—Qing—miao, get out here right now!”
On the other side of Dao City, the baby-sized Liu Qingmiao pulled back on the tiny dragon’s tail as hard as she could. “Did you get in trouble again, little guy?”
“Rooooaaawr!” The dragon whelp growled as innocently as it could, then glowed and leaped onto Liu Qingmiao’s arm as a new tattoo.
In the end, Lu Yun didn’t press his disciple about the kerfuffle with her pet, as he hadn’t intended to return the ancestral vein in the first place. He also hadn’t expected the tiny dragon to eat it in such an unexpected manner before the Azure Dragon King could make use of it... but that was no matter.
The tiny dragon he’d brought out from the North Sea skydragon tomb had accepted Liu Qingmiao as its master. Liu Qingmiao was his number one disciple, having completely divorced herself from the Panorama Pavilion and joined Dusk Province.
She displayed little respect for even the Pavilion lord, much less the rest of the merchants. However, there was nothing the Panorama Pavilion could do about it. Dusk Province had robbed it of the girl formerly slated to be its heiress.
Of course, the trading guild and province were diehard allies now. It was all thanks to Dusk Province that the thirteen mercantile organizations had been able to form their alliance.
The Panorama Pavilion was a business association with fairly loose ties, its members unified solely by the pursuit of profit. So, too, was the motivation behind the recently formed merchant alliance. If possible, they were more than willing to integrate into Dusk Province as one of its component parts.
That was also part of Lu Yun’s plan.
The lord of Dusk was unconcerned with the rotten kun or the footprints upon the Blood Sea’s other shore. There were other, more important people who could shoulder that burden, even if the skies caved in. Though his reputation had spread far and wide, he still considered himself weak.
Increasing numbers of cities opened up in Dusk Province. Each of Lu Yun’s ten Yamas oversaw their own city; every cultivator and immortal was accepted, no matter where they originated from.
The thirteen members of the merchant alliance received individual cities to headquarter in as well. Though he hadn’t wanted to do so originally, the quickness with which they backed him at the foot of Mount Exalted had changed his mind.
The natural qi inside the province multiplied at an astonishing rate, and its abundance soon rivaled that of Life Province, the heartland of Nephrite Major.
Immortal qi inside the three hundred and sixty-five cities was also comparable to any capital of the nine majors. Dao City had risen above that long ago, to incredible, unprecedented heights.
One day, Lu Yun’s second disciple, Zou Longxiu, suddenly returned. He brought with him the Yellow Springs emperor’s decree to formalize their alliance.
Having already fallen once for the little fox’s tricks above the North Sea, the Yellow Springs emperor was forced to be a bit more forthright this time. Otherwise, he would’ve made an enemy of every side.
Lu Yun ignored the invitation in the decree that Zou Longxiu had brought with him. He would go to Yellow Springs Land sooner or later, but now was not the time.
“Finally, it’s time!” Lu Yun’s eyes lit up. He bounced up from his seat, pacing back and forth in an effort to restrain his excitement.
“What have you thought of?” Qing Yu was thoroughly confused.
“Dongfang Hao… his tribulation is very soon.” A sinister grin stretched over Lu Yun’s face.
“His tribulation?” Qing Yu blinked. “You…”
“He wields the Sword of Chaos and grasps the ancient divine court’s heritage. His tribulation will be beyond the immortal dao and it’s a complete toss-up whether he survives it or not.” Lu Yun snickered. “I stopped him from combining his with Zhao Wushuang’s last time, so now it’s his turn! The lightning rods I made were all for him!”
Although the rods he sold were casual refinements of first-grade treasures, far inferior to the one he’d made for himself, they nevertheless contained his Thunder Palmstrike art. He could use the Tome of Life and Death to sense all of their positions.
Dongfang Hao had purchased a full three hundred and sixty-five lightning rods through various channels. And all of them were now gathered above the West Sea. That was where he intended to undergo his tribulation!
Through the Tome, Lu Yun could clearly sense Dongfang Hao sitting straight in the middle of all the lightning rods. He wasn’t making use of the rods out of cowardice or fear. Quite the opposite—his sword intent was sharp enough to pierce through the sky. His heart held far more steel than the majority of other geniuses.
No, it was precisely thanks to his excellence that Dongfang Hao remained keenly self-aware. Without outside help, his heavenly tribulation would surely result in his destruction!
“I’ll come with you!” Qing Yu knew what Lu Yun wanted to do and clutched his arm resolutely.
“No need, I’ve already sent my Xing Chen replica,” Lu Yun remarked offhandedly.
Omg, is Lu Yun gonna make them fail at a critical time? Please do that.