Taiyi nodded slightly. If this wasn’t the case, how would he—the greatest of connate gods and almost a creator himself—willingly go to his death so that he could safeguard the lifeforms of this world?
“Let’s go.” Fuxi grabbed Lu Yun and the little fox, vanishing into the sea of fire.
A murky mass of something, but also nothing. Time and orientation held no meaning here.
Perhaps chaos was infinitely big, each of its dust particles bigger than the entire great wilderness.
Or perhaps chaos was imperceptibly small, tinier than even a grain of sand in their world.
Chaos was just a concept, an opaque and blurry concept. Undefinable and unquantifiable.
When Lu Yun looked around, murky, undefined gray air currents greeted his eye. He looked back, but didn’t find the stars. It was like they didn’t exist.
Lu Yun felt rather… lost.
Though there was no sense of space or time in the chaos, he was a life form that possessed those concepts. Affected by his presence, the notion of time and space blossomed in this patch of chaos as well.
It wasn’t the little fox’s first time here either. She’d participated in the war against the realm monsters; that battlefield had been located in chaos.
“It’s the great dao! I can sense the primitive great dao!” Lu Yun trembled violently and he lifted his head to see a giant flower blooming quietly over his head. The presence of the primitive great dao cascaded gracefully from its pure white petals, sinking into his body.
“The Dao Flower! So the Dao Flower is rooted in the chaos!” He took a deep breath. A strange light flashed through his eyes when he looked at it, then he reached out and tried to touch it.
However, though it appeared close at hand, it was also infinitely far away. He couldn’t touch it no matter how hard he tried.
“This is the great dao of your heart.” Fuxi lightly held onto Lu Yun’s arm to have him give up on his goal. “Chaos is neutral. Most of what you see here is projected from your consciousness, including the perception of time, space, and the Dao Flower.” He, too, looked at the flower.
“The great dao of my heart?” Lu Yun carefully observed the runes upon the flower. They were much simpler than the ones of the immortal dao. At least… the primitive great dao held no secrets in his eyes.
He reached out again and this time, successfully closed his hand around the flower, to Fuxi’s great, uncomprehending shock.
The Dao Flower should’ve been incredibly large—larger than the galaxy, larger than even the multiverse. But now, it’d solidly flown into Lu Yun’s hands and landed in the palm of his hand.
“So this is indeed the case.” The trace of a smile appeared on his face. “There is only one Dao Flower that exists. No matter which era I’m in, the one I see will always be this one…”
“Um… this…” Fuxi wasn’t sure what to do now.
The Dao Flower was coalesced from the collective consciousness of all life forms. The connate demon gods had initially theorized that the great dao was concentrated on one flower alone. When it blossomed was when the great dao bloomed, and when it wilted was when the great dao declined.
This notion had been passed on through generation upon generation while the Dao Flower continued blooming in chaos. However, no one had ever truly obtained it or touched this incomparable existence.
“I see the connate great dao on it, then human dao, demonic dao, divine dao, and… the immortal dao! So demonic dao rules the world after the destruction of the human dao and prior to the establishment of the immortal dao.”
By now, Fuxi numbly listened to what Lu Yun was saying. He could only see the primitive great dao on the flower and nothing else.
“I see, I see… I finally understand why I erased my memories. It was because of the Dao Flower.” Lu Yun frowned slightly. “Perhaps I should do so again after I return to the stars.”
The Dao Flower was too important and had too great of an impact. If it was broken, all living beings beneath the heavens would be stripped of their great dao, and even connate demon gods would be demoted back to mortality.
As the first person who could actually touch the Dao Flower, there would definitely come certain people who wanted to use his hand to destroy it… such as the realm monsters.
When he lifted his head, he saw an enormous eyeball hovering in chaos and staring unblinkingly at him. It should’ve been a pair of eyes, but something had happened to the other one—like it’d been dug out.
“Ah, so my replica wasn’t suppressing those mewling dead spirits, but your eyeballs.” Lu Yun shook his head at the eyes above. He dragged his hand forward and placed the flower back into chaos over his head.
“You want to use my hand or spy on my memories to find out how to touch the Dao Flower, don’t you? That’ll make it easy for you to destroy it then,” Lu Yun remarked faintly as he looked at the eyes.
The eyes looked emotionlessly back, not expressing anything.
Diexi appeared in Lu Yun’s hand and he pointed it straight at the eyes, keen sword energy flaring from the shortsword’s edge.
“I still dug out one of your eyeballs last time even though I didn’t have a proper weapon in hand. Do you think I can straight up end you this time?” Lu Yun leered, a savage grin on his face.
Fuxi spread his hands out, two bamboo scrolls shimmering with strange radiance appearing in his hands. These were his ultimate weapons.
The eye closed slowly and vanished without a trace.
“You don’t need to erase your memory this time,” Fuxi said in a low voice.
The method to touch the Dao Flower was imprinted in Lu Yun’s mind. It would disappear if he erased that memory, but would spring forth again next time he visited the chaos and saw the Dao Flower.
Lu Yun looked back at Fuxi.
“If I seal it with my Yellow River Map and Inscription of the River Luo , and your Compass of Heaven and Earth, that will protect it.” Fuxi looked gravely back at him.
“Compass of Heaven and Earth?” Lu Yun started, then realized he meant the feng shui luopan.
The luopan concentrated the power of heaven and earth, including the mighty heavenly palace and kingdom of hell. It wasn’t wrong to call it a compass of heaven and earth.
He finally realized how his primary body had been injured. The luopan was one with his body and great injuries would occur if he tried to take it out. However, he’d refused to bring it out last time even though he’d almost died, and he’d nearly taken the little fox with him.
Lu Yun nodded and walked out of Xing Chen’s body.
1. These are two cosmological diagrams used in ancient China. Employed by both Daoists and Confucians alike, they served to explain the correlation of the Yijing 易經 "Book of Changes" with the universe and human life. They are also used in feng shui.
You know, I wonder if the story here is that on his first visit, he found the Dao Flower out drifting in regular space. He picked it up like he did this time, and upon realizing this human could touch it, the realm monsters pursued him. He ran into the chaos to evade pursuit and fought off ol' One Eye to prevent the flower from being destroyed. One Eye probably realized there was something on the human that could be used to destroy the Dao Flower, so smacked the shit out of Lu Yun trying to get to it. That's how he ended up so injured and destroyed such a vast swathe of his memory. He probably didn't have time to be exact and didn't want something to happen when he was unconscious.
As for why realm monsters want to destroy the Dao Flower -- we know they hate living worlds because they're dead ones.