At Ge Long’s reminder, the truth of the situation suddenly dawned on Lu Yun.
The Dao Tree wasn’t a treasure without an owner. There was a group of crimson long-haired monsters protecting the third layer and stopping immortals from plucking their origin dao fruits. For that very reason, the path of immortality stopped at the origin dao realm.
The tree’s core that these immortals were fighting over was most likely a fake. Lu Yun smelled foul play at work here. With that in mind, he slowly backed away, ready to leave. Noting his intentions, those keeping watch relaxed inwardly.
After all, the prevailing rumor in the outside world was that the immortal emperor had chosen Lu Yun as his heir and that this tree was a gift left for the young man. Therefore, seeing him withdraw from the competition was quite a relief.
Space trembled as a bronze spear tore through the void and landed firmly next to Lu Yun, cutting off his retreat. A crimson ripple undulated in the air, followed by a humanoid monster covered in thick, blood-colored hair. Beckoning with its hand, it summoned the spear back into its grip.
“You’ve finally come.” An eerie, putrid smell wafted from the crimson monster, and its arrival tainted the space dark red.
Movement petered out across the scene as every immortal stopped to gaze at the monster that’d severed the immortal dao and blocked their access to origin dao fruits. In the sky, the Sugato Sword and Skyturning Seal also stopped clashing against each other and fell back to the ground.
The demon sovereign blurred to Lu Yun’s side, a sight that disgruntled more than one immortal.
“Sure enough, you’re the head of demons in the world of immortals, Lu Yun! You’ve allied yourself with a primordial demon!” someone shouted at the top of his lungs. However, no one paid him any heed as everyone’s attention was firmly occupied by the crimson monster.
Lu Yun opened the Spectral Eyes and scanned the crowd. While he didn’t spot any shamanic divines, other divine tribes had come en masse.
“How about this: if you’re willing to stay and die here, I’ll let all the immortals leave alive,” the crimson monster offered, its mouth stretched wide in an ugly rictus.
A strange hush descended upon the crowd.
“Are you saying you can kill all of us by yourself?” chortled the demon sovereign beside Lu Yun. He was still in his human form, rather than his skeletal self. Even so, two eerie white flames burned in his eyes, and the Sugato Sword in his hands unleashed a legion of spectral swords that hovered around him.
The Skyturning Seal also revealed its true form, the air trembling in response. A pale blue figure landed in its wake—a powerhouse from the Green Firmament. In his grasp, the Skyturning Seal could unleash its greatest power.
They’d been battling each other in a no-holds-barred clash moments ago, but had unexpectedly joined forces at this juncture, the full brunt of their auras aimed at the crimson monster.
Their target’s face was inscrutable as it was fully hidden beneath its crimson hair. Only two bloody eyes shone through, fixed squarely on Lu Yun.
“Kill it!!” someone roared. “That’s the monster that guards the Dao Tree. If we kill it, the immortal dao will be mended and we’ll be able to safely reach origin dao realm!”
The immortal’s presence was as vast as the sea. His cultivation marked him as a humble true immortal, but his superb mastery over his immortal force and nascent spirit clearly demonstrated that he was a dao immortal who’d severed his cultivation to cultivate anew into the void realm!
Such cases weren’t all that rare in the world at large. Many immortals who possessed a resolute will had decisively severed their cultivation after the emergence of the void realm in order to start again from the beginning.
At the man’s urging, the rest of the crowd stepped forward and glared menacingly at the monster. None of them were concerned that Lu Yu might die; all they cared about was slaying this monster.
“None of you make a move!” Startled, Lu Yun hastened to stop them. “You’re not its match. Fall back and evacuate the premises! Forget about the Dao Tree. With this group of crimson monsters here, no one will obtain it.”
“What?!” The demon sovereign and powerhouse from the Green Firmament shook, because they’d noticed Lu Yun’s wording. “Their” and “a group!”
This monster wasn’t the only one of its kind here?
As if on cue, the world darkened like a bloody shadow was settling down on this land. A viscous, crimson liquid akin to blood appeared in the sky above, and pairs of eyes glowing crimson blinked inside it one after the other. In the depths of the dark sky, many a dao weapon hung in the air, radiating a cold light and poised to strike at any second.
An eerie chill ran down the backs of everyone present.
One monster wielding a dao weapon could be easily dealt with if everyone attacked together, but a legion of the long-haired creatures? Even the nine celestial emperors of the previous generation would be obliterated all the same.
In this realm, immortals weren’t limited by the immortal dao and were free to approach the Dao Tree, but likewise, it also meant the crimson monsters populating the tree’s third layer were at full liberty to indiscriminately unleash their full force and kill everyone here.
“Lu Yun, I will let them go as long as you remain here. How do you decide?” With a ruthless leer, the crimson monster repeated its earlier question.
This time, the eyes of the crowd landed on the young man. However, no one truly believed he’d sacrifice his life for the sake of strangers, to say nothing of those who were hostile to him.
“Alright!” Lu Yun suddenly spoke. “I’ll stay here, so let them go.”
“Hmm?!” The crimson monster froze for a split second, while the gathered immortals also gaped at him.
Lu Yun held his arm aloft and released the white Path of Ingress out of his palm. The treasure tore through the void inside the Dao Tree’s realm and formed a path leading to the world outside. Following which, he spread out his arms and stilled the circulation of immortal force inside him in a gesture of surrender.
Uncertainly flashed across the faces of the monsters in front of him and the legion waiting in the sky. Lu Yun had indeed surrendered and abandoned all forms of resistance.
Swish swish swish!
Vein-like things unfurled from the firmament and coiled around him.
“These are… the serpentine creatures in the outer regions of the divine tomb under Mount Exalted.” Lu Yun frowned slightly, but made no move to resist.
“You have three breaths to depart. Tarry too long and you die,” the crimson monster declared frostily.
“We go!” Everyone reacted promptly. Immortals all around the area sprang into motion and maneuvered their immortal swords to fly along the Path of Ingress and out of this realm.
In less than three breaths, the crowd had retreated like the receding tide. In the process, Lu Yun received boundless goodwill that coalesced into a gleaming karmic fruit, even as the blood-vessel-like serpentine creatures encased him in a giant cocoon.
“I know this is your primary self, so this time you, you… are you self-detonating?!” the crimson monster shrieked in the middle of his sentence.
Again, it never ends well when Lu Yun voluntarily does something for the enemy. When they gonna learn lol.