“You’re… you’re not afraid of hellfire!” Dusk Snake’s voice turned hoarse and dry, like he was a dry corpse walking.
Hellfire, even its tiniest spark, was beyond the control of living beings. Taiyi’s cultivation had been infinitely close to that of a creator’s, and the great connate treasure that was the Bell of Chaos had been in his possession. Even so, he still hadn’t been able to obtain the slightest wisp of those flames.
Dusk Snake had succeeded only due to the black mountain-shaped connate treasure beneath him. For his success, he paid the hefty price of having the fire nibble away at his life force for every second he deployed it. Despite his strength, there was nothing he could do about that. The greatest reason why he wished to obtain the Bell of Chaos was to use its strength to fully bring his hellfire under control.
Lu Yun didn’t speak; he merely waved a hand to summon Diexi. It fluttered around him in the form of a graceful, bloody butterfly. He then took to the air and walked toward Dusk Snake.
The snake’s dark eyes followed the human’s movements. There was an increasingly uneasy presence exuding from the boy that put Dusk Snake on edge; the presence came from his own greatest trump card—hellfire.
“Die!!” Dusk Snake suddenly roared and sent hellfire roiling toward Lu Yun in the form of fiery snakes.
Seeing their comrade in full fury, Bai Ze and Xiangliu had ordered the celestial army to retreat long ago. They observed far from the sidelines as hellfire was too terrifying. When fully unleashed, it could transform the entire great wilderness and the cosmos above into a sea of flames.
“That thing is useless against me.” Twin sparkles of black danced in Lu Yun’s eyes. He’d discovered that energy from the Tome of Life and Death had soundlessly appeared within his body at some point and was protecting his replica. Plainly, the treasure felt that the current Xing Chen couldn’t withstand hellfire.
Lu Yun was slightly surprised by the development, he’d always thought that fire of the netherworld was contained within his own body. He hadn’t thought that strength from the book could also be found within Xing Chen!
“Ah, that’s right. Whether it’s Xing Chen or my primary body, both of them are me…”
His eyes suddenly surged with two great gouts of black flame—his hellfire!
It wasn’t really manifesting, just deploying some strength and imbuing Xing Chen with it.
Diexi flared with scarlet light and near instantaneously cut down the fiery snakes pouncing at them. Radiance unabated, it continued ruthlessly to meet its opponent.
Dusk Snake hissed, sending the mountain beneath him upward to block Diexi’s light.
One gigantic collision later, the sea of ominous flames shook violently. Diexi’s sword light shattered to pieces on the mountain and the vast mass hurtled toward Lu Yun like a shooting star.
Instead of backing down, he threw himself forward to meet it and blasted out with a punch. Hellfire sprayed everywhere as he punched the sea of flames wide open. In the last possible second before impact, his hand turned into a claw and grasped the mountain in his hand.
Howling in challenge, Dusk Snake charged the human. The mountain was his ultimate treasure! It couldn’t land in someone else’s possession even if he lost his own life!
However, Lu Yun wound back his hand and smashed the mountain back at the screaming Dusk Snake, flinging him backward onto a nearby star.
The star that was transformed from a great master’s body exploded into pieces!
“The Stone of Three Lives!” Lu Yun yelled in surprise at the mountain he clutched. “This is the ultimate treasure of the netherdark—the Stone of Three Lives! If it’s your greatest treasure, then I have to kill you first before I can take it!”
Stone in one hand and shortsword in the other, Lu Yun pounced on Dusk Snake. The latter was sitting groggily in the wreckage of a former star, unable to wrap his mind around what had just happened.
He’d never fathomed that hellfire would be ineffective against a human, and that even his Stone of Three Lives would end up in another’s hands!
Fear started to wrap its clammy fingers around him—but this was such a foreign feeling to him. He’d never felt fear even when facing realm monsters. However, this empyrean human had successfully inspired it in him!
This fear came from death!
Though the human was still a ways from him, he could clearly sense the ominous march of death when he glimpsed the murderous look in the boy’s eyes.
“Flee!” Dusk Snake whirled around and vanished without a trace.
“He ran?” Lu Yun started, then grinned. “Do you really think you can get away? White Emperor, I’m going to kill Dusk Snake. Be careful on your way back to the great wilderness.” He roared at Bai Zhaoju and then deployed the Wandering Step, likewise vanishing on the spot.
“Eh? Ah? Okay!” Bai Zhaoju had no idea how to describe what’d just happened. “He’s gone to kill a great master of the chaos realm.” He turned around and looked blankly at a celestial soldier next to him, who also nodded blankly back.
Since there was no longer a battle here, Bai Ze ordered the soldiers back to their posts. The Great Formation of the Nineheavens Gates had stabilized and destroyed the realm monster it’d sat upon, as well as the endless dead spirits in the vicinity.
Peace had returned to the area. The great formation operated on its own with the Taiyi sun as its core. Constant and without end, it would run continuously. Realm monsters would no longer be able to enter the cosmos from here.
“Bai Zhaoju, do you know that Lie Shan kid?” Bai Ze asked seriously.
“In response to the celestial king,” Bai Zhaoju hastily bowed. “This junior does indeed know Lie Shan. I gave him a golden spirit pearl in accordance with Fuxi’s orders.”
“I see.” Bai Ze mused for a moment. “When you return to the great wilderness, don’t return to the Jin Clan. Go… to the Mu Clan.” 
He waved a hand at Bai Zhaoju, who blinked, then nodded.
In the boundless cosmos, Lu Yun sped swiftly after the fleeing demon god with the Wandering Step.
Dusk Snake was afraid after that beating.
“Lie Shan of the human race, this seat guarded the stars for five hundred thousand years and killed countless dead spirits, even a realm monster! This seat has rendered great services for all of life, you cannot kill me!” he suddenly turned back and roared at Lu Yun.
“What does that have to do with me?” Lu Yun was expressionless. “Smash and grab, hit and run. How else can I get the Stone of Three Lives if I don’t kill you?”
Hefting the stone, his killing intent didn’t abate in the slightest.
“If you’d brought this out five hundred thousand years ago and ignited hellfire, Taiyi wouldn’t have died. Yi and all the other masters wouldn’t have died. The celestial court’s hundreds of millions of soldiers wouldn’t have needed to spend their lives guarding this desolate patch of space!”
With the stone in hand, he could clearly feel that the snake had refined it for at least hundreds of millions of years.
“Of course, it’s your treasure, so we can’t say much about the fact that you weren’t willing to bring it out. At the same time, I can’t be bothered with considering whether or not you’re a hero of the great wilderness now that I want what’s yours!
“If you want to cast blame on anyone, then blame yourself for pissing me off and coveting the Bell of Chaos!”
With that, Lu Yun fired off a crimson ray of sword light with a quick backhand.
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Alriiiight, I've missed smack talking Lu Yun!
And aw, I wonder if Taiyi trusted the demon gods too much after he subdued them. They might've submitted, but this one plainly wasn't truly loyal to him.