Lu Yun and the little fox had been in the netherdark for eight years. During those years, however, the human race hadn’t followed its earlier trajectory to unite under the banner of the Yan Tribe.
Rather, a great war had broken out, sweeping almost the entire race into chaos.
Lie Shan’s rise in power and defeat of a number of connate demon gods had instilled a dread of humans in the other races of the great wilderness. Moreover, humanity had greatly improved their constitution through mastery of medicine and agriculture, as well as made qualitative progress in terms of strength through their practice of the qi refinement method.
In the past, true divinity had been the highest bar possible for the human race. Over the past eight years, however, humans had seen more than one of their own ascend to the celestial divine realm!
Lie Shan’s appearance greatly concerned the chaos realm demon gods. Deathly afraid of another Lie Shan, they fanned the flames of civil discord among humanity so they would be more concerned with killing each other than cultivating and growing stronger.
War shaped many great geniuses through trial by fire, but most of the newly risen geniuses fell to assassination. Even Wahuang, ever vigilant in the human sacred land, couldn’t do anything about that. There was no direct evidence connecting their deaths to the connate demon gods.
With Leize and Huaxu injured, and Fuxi yet to return from the chaos, she didn’t dare start anything, lest the other connate demon gods gang up against her.
Fortunately, Leize had appeared in the netherdark eight years ago to threaten Darkriver, indirectly staying the hands of the other connate demon gods out of both fear and dread.
This was why they now worked from the shadows—stoking a civil war and going after geniuses with the potential to be great—not personally, of course, but through their disciples.
At the same time, the chaos realm demon gods had examined Lie Shan’s qi cultivation method and concluded that only humanoid beings could cultivate it. If the other races wanted to acquire qi refinement, they would have to first transform into human form, with the corresponding meridians and constitution, before they could do so.
“Those connate demon gods have given me quite a surprise.” Lu Yun sneered at the battles ripping through the basin of the Yellow River. “I was dashing my brains out over how to start a war to unite the human race… They handed me the solution wrapped in a bow on a silver platter.”
“But war broke out too suddenly, so our race has suffered a great toll. Many major tribes have been exterminated!” Shennong fretted over recent happenings. “The connate demon gods have instigated a war to erase humanity. Conflict continues until the other party is completely erased. That’s not how things are supposed to be done at all!”
“This is why humanity must exert our dominance.” Lu Yun was suddenly reminded of what Qi Hai would say in the future.
Humanity would rise to become the ruler of the multiverse, suppressing all other races and permitting them no room for defiance. In order to gain a foothold in the great wilderness, where tens of thousands of races and countless powerful beings reigned, humanity had to exert their supremacy!
All demons and gods who stood in their way were to die!
The Yan Tribe had been pulled into the civil war as well, but it was now the most powerful tribe and Shennong had ascended to the celestial divine realm. In addition, Lie Shan’s name alone was enough to intimidate any would-be challengers. The connate demon gods could only attempt to exhaust Yan reserves through the other human tribes, instead of launching a direct attack.
“Help! Helphelphelp!” A panicked Ah Niu rushed in from the outside.
As the Yan Tribe rose in power, so had their tribute spirit likewise grown in strength. Ah Niu was now in the celestial divine realm, making him the most powerful tribute spirit of the human race.
“What’s wrong?” Lu Yun frowned as an unpleasant premonition formed in his mind.
“Gremlins attacked the Kunshan Tribe ten thousand kilometers away and inflicted heavy casualties. Ah Bao went off to help them, but someone kidnapped her!” Ah Niu was highly frantic.
The Kunshan Tribe was a medium-sized tribe in the Wei River basin. They’d joined the Yan Tribe eight years ago and now worshipped Ah Niu as their tribute spirit. One of Ah Niu’s replicas was the tribe’s guardian.
However, the replica was now dead, and before he was killed, he’d seen Ah Bao taken away.
Lu Yun shot to his feet, his expression forebodingly ominous. “Who did it?”
“It seemed to be a giant deer… I didn’t recognize him!” Ah Niu blurted out frantically. “Ah Bao didn’t even manage to struggle. You have to save her, Lie Shan!”
He waved a hand to manifest the image of a giant gray deer.
“It’s Pijiu!” Tianqi recognized the form immediately and eagerly volunteered himself. “He’s Fuzhu’s child and a great empyrean master of the combat arts! Let me handle this, master, I know where to find him!”
Mount Tai lay at the intersection of yin and yang, connecting the netherdark and the great wilderness. Tianqi had been sentient for a very long time and could observe the two realms through his mountain, thus becoming privy to a lot of information about the great wilderness.
“Where is he?” Lu Yun composed himself with a deep breath.
“The Lun Mountain!”
The Lun Mountain sat to the northwest of the great wilderness with the great Lun River at its foot.
As Fuzhu’s son and a great empyrean master in his own right, Pijiu was going to enact revenge on the mewling human for killing his father and roasting the corpse for the Yan Tribe.
“That tribute god must’ve already shown Lie Shan my image. It won’t take him long to figure out where I am. He comes to his death!” Pijiu appeared to be a giant gray deer, similar in form to Fuzhu, while Ah Bao lay unconscious by the banks of the Lun River.
“So it turns out the Wei river god is also the Qingqiu mountain ghost! If I kill her, the foxes there won’t let things slide… Forget it, I’m here to kill Lie Shan. Better not get those foxes involved!” Pijiu lay low on the ground, waiting for the human to appear. “No son shall suffer his father’s killer to walk the land. I will slay Lie Shan even at the cost of my life!!”
He forced down the fury in his heart.
“There he is!” He stood tall and looked up at the figure in the sky, roaring with fury, “Lie Shan of the human race!!”
“My master hasn’t come,” came the answer. “I’m his third disciple, Tianqi.”
Tianqi had grown up to be a fair-faced young man. Eight years under Wahuang’s guidance hadn’t improved his cultivation much, but he’d learned many powerful connate combat arts. Moreover, Lu Yun had taught him the Method of Life and Death, placing him at the top of empyrean experts.
“You’re not Lie Shan, but his disciple?!” Pijiu scoffed. “Fine, you’ll die first to appease my fury!
“Grrrrraawl!” The deer bounded into the sky, antlers flaring with cutting sword energy lashing out at Tianqi.
“You’re trying to trick my master into a trap by weaponizing the influence of Lun Mountain and its river, aren’t you? Unfortunately for you, you couldn’t fool even me, let alone my master.” Tianqi threw his head back with laughter. Pijiu’s sword energy was no threat to him; it was only meant to activate the great influence of the landscape here.
During his earlier stay in Mount Buzhou, Wahuang had taught him Fuxi’s feng shui and formations. As the god of Mount Tai, he had an inherent affinity for them.
After Fuxi had entered the chaos, no one knew if he’d ever return safely. His skills and knowledge had to be preserved and passed down, and Tianqi was undoubtedly a perfect candidate.
“How, how do you know that?!” Pijiu stared at him in shock.
Tianqi didn’t dignify that with a response. He shattered Pijiu’s sword energy by pressing downwards, then stepped into the great influence created by the mountain and river.
“You really are too arrogant. The Lun Mountain and Lun River are nothing but a little hill and a creek in the great wilderness. Do you really think an influence of their making will be enough to kill my master? Break!!”
The great influence of the mountain and river broke on command, shattering beneath the sheer strength flaring out of his palm. There was no intricate display of technique or heaven-defying combat arts, just pure, simple, strength.
Tianqi was the god of Mount Tai. With the mountain situated between the yin and yang realms, it would come into the great wilderness as a divine mountain second only to Mount Buzhou.
Therefore, the Lun Mountain and Lun River really were nothing but a hill and a pond in his eyes. His might of Mount Tai dispersed their influence in the blink of an eye. There was no need to employ feng shui or formations, just raw power. His strength alone was great enough to destroy the great influence.
He remembered well what Master Wahuang had told him: He must not reveal the existence of formations and feng shui to the world until he became one of the most powerful in the great wilderness.
Dark crimson blood sprayed out of Pijiu’s mouth and he crashed to the ground like a sac of meat.
Tianqi approached him, walking on air. “You should be grateful that Aunt Ah Bao isn’t injured. If she’d so much as lost even a hair, you’d be begging for the sweet release of death.”
Black flames burned in his eyes.
Pijiu stared back at him, face ashen. He hadn’t expected to be so soundly thrashed by Lie Shan’s disciple—he hadn’t managed to get a single strike in! The great influence that’d once felled a connate demon god had been shattered by a single strike from Lie Shan’s disciple!
A deep sense of resignation threatened to overtake him.
“My master gave your father two options. I’ll do the same for you.” Tianqi’s lips curled into an eerily mischievous smile. He’d been born at the intersection of the yin and yang realms, surrounded by thick vicious energy. He might be an obedient disciple to Lu Yun and Wahuang, but he was a nightmare to other living souls.
“You can either be my mount, or I’ll make a feast out of you for the Yan Tribe… I hear that your father tasted quite good!” He smacked his lips when he thought of what people had said about that meal.
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