Ah Bao’s pretty eyes immediately creased into crescents from the force of her smile. Without further ado, the little fox stiffened and toppled out of her embrace.
“Now now, no more joking, Ah Bao. Foxes are sentient creatures, so we can’t eat them. No no,” sounded an aged and kindly voice from the distance. An elder with a benevolent expression—the chief of Ning Village—plodded over to them.
“Shan’er, are you feeling better?” Picking up the little fox from the ground, the chief patted her furry little head and placed her back into Ah Bao’s arms.
Ah Bao caressed the fox’s smooth fur with peals of delightful chuckles that tinkled like a silver bell.
“Thank you for your care during this time, grandpa village chief, I feel much better.” Lu Yun jumped down from his boulder of bluestone and stretched mightily. “I’d like to follow the hunters into the forest tomorrow.”
With his current strength, entering the forests of the mountain was to seek death. Horrifying beast roars sounded from the woods from time to time, and given that Lu Yun was less than a mundane mortal at the moment, he’d find nothing but a grisly end if he ventured in.
“We can talk about that later.” The village chief took a seat on the ground and looked closely at Lu Yun. “Shan’er, you don’t seem like a child of the mountains… you seem more like the rich sons of the big villages outside.”
Lu Yun’s heart skipped a beat. In the past six months that he’d recovered in Ning Village, none of the village people had probed for his background. Though this land seemed far removed from the rest of the world, conflicts and strife existed in it all the same. Permitting an outsider to stay with them for half a year was the limit of their tolerance.
“You’re very right, grandpa, I’m not from here… I’m from Nephrite Major,” Lu Yun answered tentatively.
“Nephrite Major?” The village chief and Ah Bao looked at each other, confusion registering in their eyes. “Where’s Nephrite Major?”
Is this actually a secret realm completely isolated from the world?
Everyone in the world of immortals should know about the twenty-four facets. Even residents of undeveloped secret realms or fringe territories would have a vague notion. Unless, this really was an independent secret realm completely cut off from the rest of the world…
Entering a place like this was difficult, and leaving it even harder!
When they’d restored the void realm, Qing Yu had seen many places like this one during her meld with the immortal dao. Inhabitants of such places were primitive, but possessed great strength. They knew nothing about the world of immortals or of the immortal dao.
Had the primordial ruin sent Lu Yun to one such place after its explosion?
If that was the case, there wasn’t much he was worried about. All he had to do was focus on recovery and setting foot on the path of immortality again. Once he recovered the Tome of Life and Death and Xing Chen, he’d be able to return to the world of immortals proper.
“Nephrite Major… is a place very far away. I was gravely injured after a fight with my enemy and fell here.” It was better to tell the truth now than shy away from addressing it. One lie needed countless others to make sense out of it, so it was better to just admit what had really happened.
“Then Shan’er is a great expert of wondrous battle techniques?” The village chief smiled.
“Not really a great expert, I just know some methods.” Lu Yun shook his head.
“You’re being too humble.” The village chief’s smile deepened. “Alright, rest here in Ning Village. If you wish to enter the mountain, just tell Ah Zhuang and have the hunters take you with them.”
He left without further concern about Lu Yun’s background. He’d been the one to save the young man, so he knew how Lu Yun had gained his injuries. If Lu Yun had lied just now, he would’ve been thrown out of the village the next day.
People of the mountain were honest and unsophisticated, but that didn’t mean they liked being lied to.
“Ah, wait, grandpa village chief!” Lu Yun quickly called out to the departing elder. “Where is this place?”
He decided to ask the most burning question on his mind in the end. He’d be able to figure out his rough location if he had a name; the only skill he could call upon right now was formula dao.
“Does the little fox not know this place?” The village chief blinked. “This is Qingqiu Mountain. Isn’t the little fox Tushan of Qingqiu Mountain?” 
Startled, Lu Yun glanced at the fox in Ah Bao’s arms. Miao stared blankly right back at him.
Qingqiu Mountain? Tushan?
Weren’t those things found in myths and legends?
Were they in a ruin that was an even older fragment of the world, one that perfectly preserved things from a primeval aeon, one in which legendary myths existed?
An even more terrifying thought rose in his mind, but he didn’t want to consider it at the moment. The village chief left with Ah Bao, so the fox burrowed back into Lu Yun’s arms and looked piteously at him.
“Qingqiu Mountain, Tushan…” Lu Yun frowned ferociously. “I hope it’s not like what I’m thinking. If it is, then…”
“Yip yip yip!” The little fox stretched out a fat paw and scratched Lu Yun’s chest, crying out softly.
“Are you saying you want to go into the mountain and look for that Tushan?”
The little fox hastily bobbed her head up and down.
Lu Yun rose and looked at the unending tops of a forest that wasn’t too tall. He sighed softly, “Let’s wait until we gain a bit more strength. At least… we need to figure out if we’re in a ruin of mythological legend first, or if we’ve traveled through space and time from the West Sea and returned to the past.”
Travel through space and time, returning to the past!
Yuchi Tianhuang had once traveled through the ruins of the West Sea to return to the world of immortals a hundred and fifty thousand years ago. The fur seal nest at the far reaches of the West Sea was a location in which the spacetime continuum was in flux.
The experts of the Crimson and Purple Firmaments had summoned the ruin in order to fend off the destructive power of two great emperors, causing it to explode.
Those idiots of the Crimson and Purple Firmaments only know how to screw things up! But no matter how Lu Yun cursed, there was nothing he could do now.
He’d been about ready to pull the demon god’s master into hell and use the power of the netherworld to dispel the fallout of two great emperors clashing. If it hadn’t been for the newcomers interrupting his death art with their sword bell and cauldron, he would’ve handled things a long time ago.
I wonder how that big demon is doing. Lu Yun sighed, feeling a bit melancholy.
It would’ve been fine if they’d dropped into some isolated ruin from the time of myths and legends, but if they really had traveled back in time… he didn’t know what to do. In fact, he didn’t even know how to find his way back.
1. Remember, Tushan is a lady from Mount Tu, frequently known as Tushanshi or Lady Tu, was the wife of Yu the Great. Yu the Great was a legendary king in ancient China famed for his introduction of flood control, establishment of the Xia dynasty which inaugurated dynastic rule in China, and upright moral character.
Oh snap, that's one way of resetting his power level without the usual dance of him going to a new world and realizing he was a fish in a pond, etcetc.