Dongfang Hao was at a loss and Holy Lord Ashu was caught off guard as well. There was no reason for Lu Yun to help Dongfang Hao survive his tribulation. What was even more shocking was that Lu Yun had absorbed the tribulation with a strange combat art!
“Did you refine the lightning rods with this kind of combat art?” Ashu asked without thinking.
Lu Yun nodded and flashed him a meaningful smile.
“Blast it!” cursed the holy lord. Knowing the young man’s secrets marked him as one of Lu Yun’s. No matter how unwilling he was, there was no return from this!
The Yellow Springs emperor was a perfect example. Lu Yun had made him an ally of Dusk Province through a series of schemes, simply because he’d visited the province in person. And the emperor hadn’t even gained anything from the alliance!
Ashu wasn’t a living soul of the world of immortals, but a tomb keeper of the underworld. To truly come back to life, he needed to stay with Lu Yun.
He glared viciously at the Dusk governor for a long while before finally heaving a sigh. He was a smart man; he knew what choice he needed to make.
“Alright, what’s with the sour face? I’m not going to stop you if you want to return to the underworld. If you decide to stay in the world of immortals, though, you can’t be anything but one of mine!” Lu Yun smirked at Ashu like a cat that got the cream.
“The world of immortals isn’t yours,” grumbled Ashu.
“Not yet,” Lu Yun responded impassively, which earned an incredulous look from Ashu.
What did he mean? Was this brat going to conquer the world of immortals like the primordial immortal emperor of old?
“You better not even think about doing that…” Ashu sighed faintly. “The world of immortals isn’t as simple as it appears to be. If you dare conquer it, you’ll end up like the immortal emperor of the Primordial Era.”
“Let’s not go into this now… What do you think is Dongfang Hao’s tribulation beast? An unknown dragon type?” Lu Yun stared at the tribulation beast looming increasingly larger within the tribulation clouds.
Its form, body, claws, whiskers, and horns all resembled those of a dragon. At the top of its head, however, burned a ball of black flame that radiated a destructive presence.
“A torch dragon!” Ashu exclaimed. “These divine dragons were born in hell before Emperors Fall! They were masters of destruction and used to be guardians of human dao, but were slaughtered to the last in the battle of Emperors Fall! So they’ve returned to the world as well?!”
Tribulation beasts were based on real creatures; they were projections cast into heavenly tribulations, which meant anything that appeared existed for real!
A torch dragon appearing in a heavenly tribulation meant that there must be a living torch dragon in the world now. The tribe of divine dragons were born with power that rivalled the human kings, and the most powerful of them had been emperors back in the day!
Unfortunately, all of them had been thought to be killed in the battle of Emperors Fall.
“Divine dragons born in hell...” Lu Yun fell into deep thought. The fire on top of the dragon’s head wasn’t hellfire, but another kind of black fire. Its destructive power made even Lu Yun shudder.
The torch dragon circled in the clouds and roared its fury, but hesitated from making a dive. The presence of the Sword of Slaughter was so intimidating that even the torch dragon dreaded it.
“It’s time.” Lu Yun cracked a smile. “Let’s go!”
“Go? Are we leaving already?” Ashu hadn’t caught up with his line of thinking.
Lu Yun laughed heartily. “We’re going to kill the dragon and take the tribulation essence!”
Invisible hellfire enveloped his body and insulated his lifeforce, after which he flew into the tribulation clouds. Ashu went with the easiest route and concealed what little vital signs he projected. After his adjustments, he looked like a piece of rotten wood, completely devoid of life.
Cultivators’ tribulations targeted the living; lifeless things would naturally be ignored.
Dongfang Hao’s expression flickered uncertainly. The torch dragon posed a great threat, not from the beast itself, but the ball of fire above its head. Looking like nothing more than a small bloom of candlefire, the ball of flames radiated calamitous might.
“Kill!” Since the torch dragon refused to make the first move, Dongfang Hao left the protection of the Sword of Slaughter and shot into the tribulation clouds with an angry roar. He must face the tribulation beast without utilizing the Sword of Slaughter; its power might destroy the tribulation essence as well.
Seeing its quarry leap into the sky, the torch dragon shrieked a piercing howl. The black fire surged and ignited the tribulation clouds.
“Die!!” Dongfang Hao snarled, his body suddenly transforming.
Expanding three hundred meters tall, he burst out of his clothes. His bones and flesh transformed as well, giving him four heads and eight arms!
An origin divine!
Dongfang Hao hadn’t given up the body of a human, but had instead created the body of a divine through a physical combat art inherent to his kind. The elemental energies of earth, air, fire, and water converged violently around him, taking shape as four divine swords.
Sword of Earth!
Sword of Water!
Sword of Air!
Sword of Fire!
The physical manifestation of an origin divine and its accompanying elemental strength was Dongfang Hao’s secret weapon. Not even when he’d faced Lu Yun in the Exalted Immortal Sect did he pull out this trick.
To kill the tribulation beast and ascend to immortality, he was exhausting all of his trump cards. Summoning the Sword of Slaughter was a given, and he’d now progressed to deploying the combat art of origin divines.
Tribulation beasts were powerful, but not so much so that they were impossible for void realm cultivators to deal with. They were a trial set up by heavenly tribulations and the immortal dao—not an instrument of unequivocal death.
The four giant swords slammed into the torch dragon like four pillars soaring to the sky, disintegrating it with a whimper.
The small ball of flame detached from its head and transformed into a pond roughly six hundred meters across in the sky, within which boiled lightning essence radiating sword energy.
Up in the stratosphere, the tribulation clouds were dissipating; Dongfang Hao’s inner energy began evolving into immortal force.
“What… that’s it? The tribulation beast wasn’t as powerful as I expected...” Dongfang Hao was reeling from the anticlimactic development, but wasted no time in dismissing his divine manifestation and flying toward the pond of tribulation essence.
A giant foot came out of nowhere and kicked him with tremendous force; its unstoppable might hurled him through the air!
“Who is it?!” Dongfang Hao widened his eyes in panic and disbelief.
The momentum flinging him back was too great. He couldn’t regain control over his body, and had to watch as two figures approached his tribulation essence and collected the pond with a flip of a hand.
“Lu Yun!!” Dongfang Hao cried out in tragic frustration. “You and I will never coexist peacefully!!”
A sword emerged between heaven and earth, spanning the entire world of immortals and casting a looming shadow below.
Phenomenon of ascension.
And then we had... Captain Sword Planet!