General shock and awe percolated at the tree’s arrival, the crowd’s blood running cold at Chen Xiao’s warning. The Ancient Tree of Life that could be seen towering in the Endless Desert every so often… had been demonized?
The giant tree hand pierced through space and arrived in front of Lu Yun, its fingers wrapping cruelly around him. It was powerful—too powerful. It felt like layers of space trapped his body tight, immobilizing him like a fly stuck in amber.
Lu Yun wasn’t afraid of death.
Indeed, as long as his nascent spirit inside the kingdom of hell lived on, he would never die. But if his body were to be destroyed, the demonized Ancient Tree of Life would certainly make off with the Key of Life.
Jet-black light erupted next to Lu Yun. With a ferocious blow, Holy Lord Ashu blasted the giant hand to pieces.
“Lu Yun, this is the last time I’m helping you. The old monsters from the underworld have come to the world of immortals and are currently searching for my trail.” Ashu’s chest heaved up and down, the power of his essence vibrating faintly.
“There’s no need for you to do anything!” The spatial seal around Lu Yun now broken, he was free to move again.
“Woah kid, you’re fraternizing with a holy lord from the underworld? How daring!” Qing Buyi’s astonished voice came down from the Ancient Tree of Life.
“There’s a crystal core inside the tree. Destroy it and the tree’s consciousness will be erased!” Chen Xiao’s shout came from far away. “Tell the holy lord beside you not to attack. Holy lords from the underworld are the very reason this tree became self-aware!”
Ashu shook violently. About to throw another punch, he subconsciously retracted his arm.
“Ahhhhhhh!!” howled the demonized tree. Its roots twisted and bunched together into a pair of long legs, while the crown and trunk split apart and transformed into a pair of arms. The tree now resembled a giant treant and exuded a terrible aura.
Immortal energy and life essence from the garden streamed into it without end, giving rise to a demonic aura that billowed from it like a cloud of smoke. In its corrupted form, the Ancient Tree of Life was comparable to the demon god from the Exalted Divine Tomb!
A hint of hesitation appeared in Lu Yun’s eyes, but he decided not to activate the sword formation covering Dusk Province. If he did, the tree would likely be destroyed by the rain of swords.
In the northern reaches of Dusk Province, a black column of light shot into the sky and pierced through the clouds. Soon after, a giant black willow slowly arose in the crowd’s alarmed gaze, so tall it looked like a giant mountain that shouldered the sky.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Dusken soil shook with each of the black willow’s steps as it made its way toward Dusk City.
Along the way, the willow also underwent a transformation; its roots turned into feet and its branches twisted into arms. Just like the Ancient Tree of Life inside the immortal crystal garden, the willow tree now looked half tree and half human.
The desolate willow!
Master of the sacred land of demonic dao, the Skandha Range!
The desolate willow was merely a peerless immortal, but the aura flaring from it was as vast as the sea. Its titanic figure eclipsed the province and cast it in its shadow.
Trembling, fear flashed in the Ancient Tree of Life’s sculpture-like eyes.
“Demon Willow… Why are you here?!” it growled furiously. Rooted at the center of the crystal garden, it abruptly straightened up and furiously absorbed the immortal energy in its surroundings. As it did so, its foliage shone increasingly brighter and its giant leaves gleamed like green jade.
Undeterred, the desolate willow continued striding toward the Ancient Tree of Life with deliberate steps, shaking the land each time its feet touched the ground. If not for Lu Yun’s formation of three hundred and sixty-five cities protecting Dusk Province, the desolate willow would’ve sunk the land to the seabed along the way.
Be it inside or outside the province, every single soul held their breath and quietly watched the two colossal existences that stuck out like sore thumbs inside the province’s trivial forty thousand kilometers.
A bolt of black lightning flashed through the sky above as a giant face slowly came into view.
The demon god! After being thwarted in the North Sea, the demon god had unexpectedly come to Dusk Province!
There was no telling what he’d possessed this time around. In any case, he’d somehow transformed into a giant face thousands of kilometers wide and was staring fixedly at the desolate willow and Ancient Tree of Life. Clearly, these two trees were entities he was eyeing as potential possession targets.
Stopping in its tracks, the desolate willow turned and looked at the demon god in the sky. Like the three legs of a tripod, three mighty demonic beings faced off against each other, forming the corners of a giant triangle. Because of the demon god’s arrival, the desolate willow now had to proceed with caution.
“This Dusk Province truly is plagued by misfortune!” someone chuckled. “It’s always being ravaged by some evil monster or another. Establishing a sacred land? That’s completely over and done with.”
His voice wasn’t loud, but everyone heard him clearly. A stifled snort came from the sky, full of schadenfreude. Meanwhile, the four sword gates shone increasingly brighter in the air, hanging over Dusk Province like four scorching suns.
A hint of wariness appeared in the demon god’s eyes, but he stood his ground. He had no choice but to appear in person. If the two demonic trees were to come to blows, they’d certainly injure each other and might even devastate their demonic essence, thus ruining their bodies. For that reason, he’d come to prevent their mutual destruction.
“You keep doing what you were doing… I’ll stop this demon willow,” the demon god suddenly offered.
The demonized Ancient Tree of Life howled at the sky and its giant hand once again clutched at Lu Yun. It naturally knew the demon god was no well-intentioned soul, but if it could obtain the Key of Life and complete its transformation… the demon would be nothing but a laughable gnat after that.
The desolate willow wanted to stop it, but the demon god stood in its way. He hovered above one of the province’s main cities, holding it hostage to make the sword formation hesitate before attacking.
If it came down, the formation would certainly level the city, thereby destroying the province’s guardian formation. Lu Yun’s control over the prodigious sword formation wasn’t perfect yet, so he couldn’t use it to launch targeted strikes.
Dark-blue light glinted as a blade appeared in front of Lu Yun and walloped the tree hand to shreds. Wielding a saber with an edge that flowed like liquid light, Lu Feng stood in front of his little brother.
“If you have a secret weapon left, now’s the time to use it. I can’t hold it for long.” Lu Feng didn’t look back. The blade in his hand slashed relentlessly, firing a barrage of invisible sharp blades that bombarded the Ancient Tree of Life, each strike peeling off bark from the trunk and chopping through branches.
Even so, he wasn’t the tree’s match. After all, even Chen Xiao and Qing Buyi had been imprisoned inside for years on end.
“Formation of the Ten Yama Kings!” Lu Yun commanded coolly. Ten different colors glowed radiantly in the air as a corresponding number of magnificent palace halls slowly came into existence inside the crystal garden. “It’d be another story if you didn’t have a fragment of hell inside you, but now…”
Formation of the Ten Yama Kings!
The power bestowed upon the Yama Kings by the Tome of Life and Death was finally making its grand entrance.
Seven hunnert~~ And with it the return of Chen Xiao and Qing Buyi! 'Bout damn time eh?