The great river divided Suncrows Plain into two. To the northwest of the river was where the Dongyi resided, and the southeast was an ocean of flames—the haven of gremlins and monster spirits.
Of course, divine beasts were still the majority of the territory; all sorts of fire-attribute beasts abounded. The Bi Fang that Lu Yun had once seen and beasts that’d reached true divinity were so numerous that they were just ordinary beings among the masses.
He could finally grasp how insignificant and weak humans were. A singular Fuxi and Wahuang wasn’t enough to shoulder the entire race’s survival and development. Reaching the true divine realm in the human race meant that one was a god to the people, placing one on the level of Shennong and other powerhouses at peak true divinity. But when compared to other races in the great wilderness, true divine cultivators were nothing worth a second look at.
“Zhi Guangji once mentioned that geniuses in the era before Emperors Fall were born at the cultivation level of a human king… it looks like he wasn’t exaggerating in the least.”  Lu Yun landed carefully on the ground and withdrew his aura. This region was terrifying, even the little fox shrank in on herself and the blood demon concealed all traces of his presence as well. All of them clung quietly to Lu Yun’s body.
Up in the sky, an enormous avian being flew by. It blazed with flames so hot that Lu Yun could feel their heat even hundreds of kilometers away.
“Phoenix… that’s a phoenix!” Head tilted upward, Lu Yun gaped with a dry mouth. These magnificent creatures were extinct in his time, and if it weren’t for him, Huangqing would’ve already made her transition into a blood phoenix thanks to Luo Houluo’s schemes.
The phoenix high up in the reaches was resplendent and unbridled. Its cultivation had passed true divinity and reached the next realm of celestial divinity. In the outskirts of Suncrows Plain, it was an undisputed sovereign of the land.
However, phoenixes weren’t the ultimate powerhouses in this day and age. Connate demon gods were the rulers of the world, and only they were the true masters and strongest experts in the great wilderness. Phoenixes and dragons, two domineering races in the times to come, were merely average.
The phoenix’s appearance put Lu Yun on high alert. In the outside perimeter of Suncrows Plain, the weakest beings were true divinities, with an occasional celestial divinity to be found. He had to proceed with the greatest of caution.
“It’s Bi Fang!” Lu Yun came to a sudden halt, staring at a flock of dark blue birds that trembled and cowered on the ground. He gasped sharply at the size of the flock, there were a couple hundred of them here!
Plainly, they’d all landed because of the phoenix earlier and happened to rest right in the middle of Lu Yun’s route.
Resignation rose in his heart. His path was one he’d just calculated, one that minimized travel time and was the safest. Lu Yun was certain that he’d be instantly wiped off the face of the great wilderness if he was attacked by these Bi Fang; there wouldn’t even be bone dust left of him.
“Oi, is there a way to get through?” He shook his sleeves gently, but both the little fox and blood demon remained silent. They were taking advantage of the opportunity to play deaf and dumb, like they didn’t exist.
Rolling his eyes, Lu Yun lifted a corner of his robe and saw the little fox with her paws clapped over her eyes, fur shaking slightly from her trembling.
“I suppose I can try calling upon the five elements and travel through the earth.” He took a look at the ground beneath his feet. Though scorching sparks flared from time to time, they were within his range of tolerance.
“There’s obviously other unknown existences beneath the earth, probably some sort of formidable fire. These plains wouldn’t keep burning otherwise, and that flame has probably given birth to its own spirit.” Lu Yun hesitated. “But that flock of Bi Fang are still in a state of petrified fear. It should be fine if I go under just a little bit and skate right beneath the surface of the earth. That shouldn’t attract their attention.”
To think was to take action; he formed some hand seals, creating a web of criss-crossing brown and red light around his body before he dove into the ground. However, he shuddered violently the next moment and shot out of the dirt.
“What is that?!” Shock colored his face.
“That’s the body of the great god Yi,” sounded a faint voice.
Heart clenching painfully, Lu Yun looked to the side and saw a man dressed in white looking at him with some interest.
“Tsk tsk, a human in the golden core realm dares set foot in Suncrows Plain? Aren’t you just… looking to die?” The man was handsome and looked roughly twenty-eight years old. A faint golden mark appeared embossed between his brows, and a sharp aura subtly pressured Lu Yun with the edge of an indestructible blade.
“Lie Shan of the human race greets the senior!” Lu Yun quickly offered his identity and bowed at the same time. He could sense that this extremely powerful man didn’t seem inclined to attack, and that he didn’t bear any hostility towards Lu Yun. The keen presence around him was just a result of the cultivation methods he practiced.
“Lie Shan of the human race? You’re the Lie Shan that Fuxi mentioned? Not bad, not bad. I’m Bai Zhaoju, here from the western reaches of the great wilderness.”
Bai Zhaoju! Lu Yun’s heart skipped a beat. Ling Weiyang, Zhi Guangji, Bai Zhaoju, Chi Biaonu were the four greatest experts of the world before Emperors Fall!
Ling Weiyang was Ashu, a protector of the human race despite not being one himself.
Zhi Guangji hadn’t wanted to entrust his fate to some insubstantial future and rebelled for it, but ultimately perished in the battle of Emperors Fall and became an akasha ghost.
And here was Bai Zhaoju in the flesh before him!
From their short exchange, Lu Yun could surmise that Bai Zhaoju had done the same as Ling Weiyang and Xuanyuan—offered up his great dao so that the immortal dao could absorb it.
“Do you know me?” Bai Zhaoju asked curiously when he read the youth’s expression. The boy’s face was flushed and he seemed quite agitated.
“Um, eh, no!” Lu Yun shook his head rapidly. “But I’ve heard of the senior's name and know you to be of noble character and great prestige!”
“No-whaaat?” Bai Zhaoju almost choked on his spit. "Of noble character and great prestige?” A strange expression stole across his face. “I’m not a hundred years old yet, so when did I become someone’s senior? And of noble character? Great prestige? You don’t seem to be lying or insincere… Ah, are you crazy?”
He sank into deep thought. “Or is there another Bai Zhaoju in the great wilderness?”
Lu Yun shut his mouth and didn’t say anything more.
“Well, to meet means we share some part of our destinies. This golden pearl is a precious bauble even among treasures. It’s your new toy now.” Bai Zhaoju casually shoved a sparkling orb into Lu Yun’s hands. “Also, Suncrows Plain is too dangerous and not a place where you should be. I’ll escort you out.”
“Wait!” Lu Yun quickly declined the offer. “Please hold on, senior. I’m here for an important task. If you’d like to help me, please send me to the great mountain in the middle of the plains!”
“Senior?!” Bai Zhaoju glared at him this time. “This young master isn’t even a hundred years old yet!”
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LOL at him wondering if Lu Yun was crazy. Okay, sometimes I wonder the same thing.