In total, five thousand immortals from ten clans were arranged in a majestic formation around the altar.
Lu Yun took some time to consider his options. It would be one thing if the five thousand were loosely stationed around the structure. He could’ve used the Sugato Sword to wipe them out in a single attack.
However, they were arrayed in a battle formation that amplified their strength many times over. As things stood, they could erase him from existence with a single strike. Anyone in a position to enter the central world was at least a void-ascended immortal, or an immortal who’d integrated a formation of heaven and earth into themselves.
“Strange, this battle formation is ever-changing and in continuous motion, as if it’s gone through a great deal of trial and error and withstood the test of time. But it’s been at most seven or eight days since they came in here. Plus, these people…”
Opening the Spectral Eye, he immediately grasped their identities. These ten clans all hailed from different places and weren’t even affiliated with the same celestial court. Stranger still, it’d taken them less than ten days to fully grasp the formation.
It didn’t make sense at all, no matter how he thought about it.
“Hmm?” He froze when all five thousand immortals below suddenly looked up, their eyes landing simultaneously on him.
How was that possible? He’d use Size Manipulation to shrink himself to an infinitesimal particle standing on top of a speck of dust suspended in the air. Without forewarning and a meticulous search, not even dao immortals would detect his presence.
Yet here he was, the eyes and consciousnesses of the true immortals below firmly locked on to him.
“Raaaaaargh!!” the five thousand immortals roared in unison like wild beasts. Light beams the color of blood shot into the sky and formed a giant scarlet skeleton that charged at Lu Yun.
“Wait a minute! This isn’t a battle formation! They’ve all been possessed by something!” Color draining from his face in fright, Lu Yun immediately jumped away from the speck of dust and resumed his normal size. The Sugato Sword appeared above him, its sword curtains trailing down and forming a shield in front of him.
The scarlet skeleton rammed viciously into the sword curtain and jolted the Sugato Sword. It felt like a massive mountain had crashed into him as a great ball of fire burned in Lu Yun’s chest. Shaken, he coughed up blood by the mouthful.
“Spirit Fragmentation!! This is the Spirit Fragmentation art of the shamanic divines!” Hurtling backward from the impact, Lu Yun’s thoughts nevertheless continued circulating at full speed and he recognized the nature of this scarlet skeleton.
Spirit Fragmentation was a combat art unique to the shamanic divines. By separating one’s mind into many parts, a powerhouse could take up residence in the minds of other organisms like a parasite.
For example, these five thousand immortals were clearly inhabited by the mind of one such powerhouse, yet they’d retained their self-awareness and were still alive, so not even the Spectral Eye had spotted anything abnormal.
But once the art was activated, the five thousand immortals could be manipulated to act like a single entity.
“This is the consciousness of a dao immortal… He’s possessed five thousand people, and with the help of their nascent spirits and a special method, he’s restored his strength to its peak!”
Heart pounding, Lu Yun forced himself to regain his balance and suppressed his injuries. The unknown shamanic divine had split his strength into five thousand parts, then perfectly concealed himself inside five thousand true immortals to circumvent the restriction in the central world.
When he noticed Lu Yun, he’d used the strength of these five thousand immortals to power his unique art and restore his original strength. This powerhouse wasn’t an immortal from the current age, but a primordial dao immortal even stronger than Ge Yanxia!
A single attack of his had heavily injured Lu Yun.
Allowing the governor no respite, the scarlet skeleton went again on the offensive. Mouth wide open, it launched itself at Lu Yun, traveling through the air at lightning speed and ready to sink its teeth into the young man’s flesh.
“Piss off!!” With a furious shout, Lu Yun spread his fingers apart.
A bolt of dark blue lightning arced from his palm and transformed into a dark blue dragon.
The Navy Thunder of World Extinction! The very lightning that Dongfang Hao had attracted during his tribulation!
Lu Yun hadn’t had a chance to use it yet after absorbing it, but against the shamanic divine, he deployed Palm Thunderstrike and summoned the lightning dragon without a second thought.
One by one, dark blue lightning beasts exploded from Lu Yun’s figure and snarled savagely at the scarlet skeleton. The skeleton wailed in fear and struggled to twist around and run away, but how could it be faster than lightning?!
It wasn’t called the Navy Thunder of World Extinction for nothing!
That being said, the lightning was nothing more than a void realm cultivator’s tribulation to immortality, something the scarlet skeleton’s physical self could have swept it away with a casual flick.
A shamanic divine was on an entirely different level, compared to Ge Yanxia. Ge Yanxia was a beast-like fur seal that wielded weak combat arts and knew nothing of the dao, while shamanic divines were one of the strongest races in the world, masters of splendid skills and prodigious arts.
For them, a cultivator’s tribulation lightning, even a type spoken of only in legends, could be dispelled.
Sadly, this skeleton was merely a nascent spirit that’d possessed five thousand people through Spirit Fragmentation. Nascent spirits couldn’t contend against lightning, especially one imbued with a will of destruction like the Navy Thunder of World Extinction.
Heavily struck, the nascent spirit draped over the scarlet spirit disintegrated.
The five thousand immortals below coughed up blood at the same time. They, too, reeled from the skeleton’s destruction, their own nascent spirits and bodies blasted by a destructive force.
Floating in the air, Lu Yun slowly retracted the Thunder Palmstrike. Instead of stepping onto the altar, he fell into deep thought.
“For immortals and cultivators, the nascent spirit is their root, the foundation of all. But while there are indeed spirit arts in the immortal dao that make direct use of the nascent spirit, they’re nothing but paper tigers.” He wasn’t particularly excited that his Thunder Palmstrike had destroyed the skeleton. Instead, a deep sense of urgency arose.
“Too weak, too weak! The skeleton was strong and its nascent spirit art powerful, but it still fell to a single bolt of lightning. The nascent spirit of a primordial immortal, gone just like that! Too weak, far too weak!
“Contemporary spirit arts are much weaker than they look. The second they run into something that can restrain the nascent spirit, the victim won’t have the slightest chance of getting away!
“In this world, immortals fight with cultivation methods, treasures, and combat arts. Very few of them duke it out with their nascent spirits! Once their corporeal body is destroyed, that’s it for them!
“The immortal restriction in the central world keeps dao immortals out, but this shamanic divine skirted around the issue with Spirit Fragmentation. By all rights, he should’ve been invincible here, but one lightning bolt of mine erased him for good.
“The nascent spirit is an immortal’s weakness, and the spirit arts currently available are too weak. I have to create a powerful spirit art!” His eyes glinted with newfound fervor. “After I establish the sacred land of immortal dao, I’ll try formulating a spirit art with Qing Yu and see if we can’t find a way to strengthen nascent spirits on a fundamental level!”
He still recalled Holy Lord Ashu’s words, how the world of immortals was the only sanctuary left in the entire multiverse.
When all five thousand looked up and screeched at him... that seriously gave me the heebie jeebies. It absolutely put me in mind of when all the zombies in Raccoon City looked up when the nuke soared overhead. Ickkk.