While Lu Yun did dote upon Liu Qingmiao very much so, she was something of a headache most of the time. The little bean sprout often came up with one outlandish idea after another that would throw him for a loop, to the point where he frequently wondered if she wasn’t another transmigrator from Earth instead of the ancient monster ancestor reborn.
In the meantime, Xing Chen tugged the small golden dragon out of Liu Qingmiao’s arms and took the little bean sprout inside the kingdom of hell.
Even when the replica returned to the netherworld, time outside still flowed in parallel with time outside. As long as his primary body, the one that’d refined the Tome of Life and Death, didn’t return to hell, the passage of time wouldn’t be altered.
Inside hell, the resurrection layout’s floating peak was nowhere in sight. It’d merged with a special biome and become the only location in this world infused with vitality. The five-hundred-kilometer-wide zone of life it created was a taboo region, at the center of which sat the lightning lake.
Sword energy boiled inside Dongfang Hao’s lightning lake, a place where lightning and sword energy met to form a variation of liquid lightning. At less than a hundred meters wide, Lu Yun’s own pond wasn’t as big, but it was filled with the purest of tribulation essence and contained a prodigious amount of vitality and natural energy.
Lu Yun severed Liu Qingmiao’s cultivation and the foundations of her immortal dao, then threw her into the smaller lake.
“Alright, now use the liquid lightning to recast your immortal foundations and spirit root. I’ll stand watch for you.” His replica Xing Chen sat down cross-legged and kept quiet.
“Senior sister…” At the center of another lightning pond, one close to six hundred meters wide, a now-mortal Zou Longxiu lay sprawled on his stomach and watched Liu Qingmiao anxiously.
“Be a good boy, junior brother. Don’t talk, focus on your cultivation!” Liu Qingmiao advised like a wise elder, but not before choking on a few mouthfuls of liquid tribulation essence first.
Children are quite precocious nowadays, aren’t they? Looking up and glancing through the kingdom, Xing Chen noticed a subtle change in the ten Yama Halls positioned in the ten directions.
If I hadn’t ascended to immortality, the Yama Halls would have remained as before. In other words, identical to the Yama Halls of the human dao era.
But now that I’ve become an immortal and forfeited my authority over reincarnation and judgement of life itself, these Yama Halls have unexpectedly evolved into the Yama World of the Ten Directions, an offshoot world born from hell.
A sudden realization struck Lu Yun. With the mindset of a modern man from Earth, he had relinquished his ascendency over all things living. Not only had that not weakened his strength, but he’d even obtained unexpected boons in the process. Likewise, Yuying and the other Yama Kings had also benefited tremendously from his decision.
Now that the Yama Halls had evolved into a world of their own, the Yama Kings could incorporate their nascent spirits into that world and enjoy enduring life as their nascent spirits lived on, just like Lu Yun with the kingdom of hell!
Of course, that still didn’t represent absolute safety.
A horde of akasha ghosts had invaded the netherworld not too long ago. If not for Ge Long, the kingdom would lay in shambles now. Even so, the old servant had sustained heavy wounds and was now resting under the Karmic Tree. With this experience behind him, Lu Yun no longer dared be that impulsive.
His kingdom was weak still, weaker than any of the facets in the outer world, which was all the more reason for him to exercise caution.
Hell was a broken realm, and there were many other fragments of it floating in the multiverse at large. He had to locate them one by one and incorporate them into the one in his possession.
The other primary method to do so was to continue increasing his strength and reinforcing his nascent spirit, until it one day evolved into the true six paths of reincarnation. By then, all the fragments scattered across the multiverse would return to him on their own.
While Liu Qingmiao and Zou Longxiu were busy recasting their dao fundations, Lu Yun and Qing Yu successfully formulated the body-refining art. All in all, it comprised of a collection of breathing methods and a set of boxing techniques!
Breathing circulated from the inside out, while boxing techniques flowed from the outside in. Together, the two combined perfectly into a complete cultivation system.
Moreover, the body-refining art was also a complete method in and of itself. As long as they continued perfecting it with formula dao, it could be used when one was a cultivator, continue to be relevant after immortal ascension, and be useful even further beyond.
“This body-refining method is only a starting point. It can be used in endless ways and engender countless possibilities… If you can obtain another organ of heaven and earth, I can improve the method to the true immortal level by following the organ’s properties!”
Qing Yu’s eyes sparkled with excitement. In her hands, formula dao had reached a heaven-defying degree of sophistication. Once she became an immortal, she could assimilate formula dao into immortal dao and establish it as a legitimate path of immortal dao, one that coexisted with the four great supplemental paths of equipment, pill, formation, and talisman. In fact, it might even be superior to the four ‘traditional’ paths!
“The third organ… The time is indeed ripe!” Lu Yun abruptly turned solemn. “Little Yu, there’s two months left until your tribulation. During this time, I’m going to lure the Ancient Tree of Life here.”
With a slight start, Qing Yu looked down. She was going to ascend to immortality in two more months. The poison curse inside her was becoming more noticeable by the day, and it’d begun to faintly resonate with the immortal dao of the world.
If left to its own devices, the poison curse would taint all of the immortal dao during her ascension, causing the deaths of an incalculable number of lives governed by it. If that were to happen, it’d be a calamity on an unprecedented scale.
Lu Yun still didn’t know who it was that’d used Qing Yu as a pawn and planted the terrible curse inside her… Weren’t they afraid of falling victim to the poison themselves? Or perhaps, like he’d first conjectured, someone just wanted to use her to gather the ten great connate spirit roots of the world?
She now had three of them in her possession: Embittered Bamboo, Moon Osmanthus, and Fusang Purewood… The Chaos Lotus, the fourth connate spirit root and ranked number one among all ten, was most likely with the Ling Clan.
Miss Ling Rumeng, the clan’s young genius, had elicited a phenomenon in the form of a Chaos Lotus during her ascension. It’d been visible through the whole of Nephrite Major, marking her as one of the peerless geniuses of the present age.
But she’d disappeared afterward and hadn’t been seen in public since. Although many people coveted her Chaos Lotus, no one had been able to pick up her trail again.
The Ancient Tree of Life!
As long as he could lure the tree away from the Endless Desert to the west of Nephrite Major, the poison curse on Qing Yu could be lifted. Moreover, according to Ashu… the Wood Altar and the liver inside were located right at the foot of the ancient tree. When the tree arrived in Dusk Province, the altar and liver would come with it.
In front of Dao City’s western gates, a vast construction project was underway. A waterfall of immortal crystals was chiseled into a giant garden. Everything inside the garden was made of crystals...
To everyone’s stupefaction, the garden occupied an area bigger than Dao City itself—more than ten times bigger, to be exact. A garden of this scale had to require immortal crystals in the hundreds of trillions, at the very least!
Lu Yun’s actions once again set the world astir.