The image of the Sal Tree of Life and Death emerged in the cosmos with a blaze of hellfire, pooling into a sea of black flames.
Nuanzi’s calm mask fractured and he blasted tremendous lightning into the Sea of Hellfire, stirring up violent black waves, but his lightning was instantly churned to nothingness by the roiling waves.
Expression darkening, he hovered quietly in the air, deep in thought. In the end, he sighed with defeat. “How did you do it, bringing the Sea of Hellfire to the cosmos?”
“This is but a small part of the Sea of Hellfire. It may not be enough for me to defeat you, we still have a fight on our hands.” Lu Yun didn’t give Nuanzi a direct response. He could tell that the demon god no longer wanted to fight him.
“Whether you can defeat me or not, you’ve already proven yourself,” Nuanzi said coolly with the cosmos as his backdrop. “From now on, the human race will be one of the peak races of the great wilderness. If any connate demon god dares intervene with its affairs, they alone will be responsible for defending against Lie Shan’s vengeance.”
Silence reigned over the great wilderness and countless connate demon gods sucked in a collective breath.
Nuanzi’s words were empty as they offered no substantial help to Lu Yun and the human race. However, Lu Yun and humanity had also officially earned the approval of the great powers in the great wilderness.
If anyone made a move against the humans now, Lu Yun would be allowed to retaliate with impunity. He no longer had to worry about earning the ire of the connate demon gods, and they wouldn’t mob him like they had with Leize.
Lu Yun raised a cupped fist salute at Nuanzi and dismissed the blazing hellfire. The image of the Sal Tree of Life and Death vanished as well. Everything had been resolved without undue bloodshed.
“Hahaha, Lie Shan!” snarled Dijiang. “Nuanzi may have given you his approval, but you’ll have to get past me still!”
He suddenly appeared before Lu Yun and clawed savagely at the human.
“Dijiang, stop!!” Nuanzi’s eyes shot so wide open that the corners of his eyes almost tore. He hadn’t expected Dijiang to make an attempt on Lu Yun’s life as soon as he’d given his approval on behalf of the connate demon gods!
Caught off guard, Lu Yun quickly called upon his body of the world and summoned the image of the Sal Tree of Life and Death again.
“Hmmph!” Bell of Chaos in hand, Tushan interjected herself between Lu Yun and danger.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
The bell tolled loudly to keep Lu Yun protected, but Dijiang shrieked in laughter, “The Bell of Chaos is mine!!!”
He swiftly changed targets, foregoing Lu Yun for Tushan and tore apart the replica. The tremendous might damaged even the Bell of Chaos, shattering it into pieces. As sudden as his attack, Dijiang transformed into a great crimson bird and disappeared into the great wilderness.
Among the Yan Tribe, the little fox’s true form shuddered and collapsed to the ground, barely breathing.
“No!!” Eyes crazed, Lu Yun hurried back to the great wilderness, putting Dijiang out of his mind. He grabbed the little fox and poured energy into her body with reckless abandon. She’d just recovered to the celestial divine realm, and Dijiang’s attack had been so terrible that it tore into her true form through her replica.
If her replica hadn’t been as powerful as it’d been and the Bell of Chaos hadn’t protected her, the attack would’ve already disintegrated her. Even so, she’d still suffered a critical injury. Her soul was crushed, and her true spirit damaged.
“Monster Celestial Master...” a voice murmured in Lu Yun’s mind.
At first highly alarmed, Lu Yun let out a sigh of relief when he recognized it as Meng Wang. “I thought you were dead!”
Meng Wang was the treasure spirit of his feng shui luopan. There’d been no trace of him since Lu Yun’s arrival in the great wilderness, and he’d eventually assumed the treasure spirit had dispersed through the stress of traveling through time. Fortunately, the spirit was still around.
He wasn’t with Lu Yun, though, but with the Dao Flower in the chaos.
“I did almost die,” Meng Wang said with melancholy in his voice. “But the Dao Flower helped me absorb a wisp of chaos energy, which brought me back.”
Lu Yun fell silent; he hugged the little fox to him and made his way to Mount Buzhou.
“The truth may hurt, but her true spirit has begun to scatter. I’m afraid...” Meng Wang trailed off, saddened. He recognized the little fox as one of the celestial masters who’d supported him to becoming the celestial emperor he’d once been.
“I can save her.” Lu Yun travelled thousands of kilometers with each step, his destination never changing.
“Ah!” Wahuang’s face contorted with sorrow when she laid eyes on the little fox in Lu Yun’s arms. “Tushan’s true spirit has scattered. Not even Pangu could bring her back were he still with us.”
“I can save her,” Lu Yun said again as he went deep into the mountain, setting foot on the path to the netherdark.
“Let her rest, fellow daoist,” Daoist Yuyu appeared before Lu Yun and said in a somber voice, his eyes fixed on the young man and the fox. “Tushan’s true spirit is gone. Not even the creators can help her now.”
Lu Yun’s response was the same.
“I. Can. Save. Her.” One step after another, he carried the little fox to the Sea of Hellfire in the netherdark.
By now, the little fox had stopped breathing. Her eyes were gently closed, a satisfied smile adorning her little furry face. To her, she’d died a worthy death.
Lu Yun smoothed his hand over her little head, then lowered her into the Sea of Hellfire. Meng Wang looked down silently from the Dao Flower, while Wahuang and Yuyu made their way to the shores, watching the scene play out.
“Is he going to bury her in the Sea of Hellfire?” Wahuang asked, wanting to look away. Neither she nor Yuyu believed Lu Yun could bring the little fox back.
In the eyes of the powerhouses of the great wilderness, only utter destruction of the complete soul meant death. As long as one’s true spirit remained, they stood a chance of being reborn into the world as a later-day life form and starting anew.
However, if even their true spirit was scattered… there was no recourse then. Their very existence would be erased from the world.
That was what had happened to the little fox. Her true spirit had been damaged in the future, sending her back to the bottom of the totem pool as a regular living soul.
Dijiang’s attack had connected with her replica, which was controlled by her true spirit. That was why her true spirit had suffered a devastating injury as well. Not even the combined efforts of the three creators—Pangu, Hongjun, and God—could save her now.
Lu Yun and the little fox reached the heart of the Sea of Hellfire, right above the Sal Tree of Life and Death.
“Thankfully I can use my death arts here… Don’t worry, I won’t let you die.” Allowing himself a relieved sigh, Lu Yun stretched out a finger and tapped between her brows.
Resurrection.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Okay, we're killing Dijiang before we leave the great wilderness, mmkay?
Erzzy, thank you for the lovely review! I just saw it -- mind if I lift your phrase of a post-apocalyptic cultivation story and the tone of that paragraph? I think it describes NECRO to a T and have been thinking of dropping the line about erectile dysfunction for a bit. What do you think folks, would that make for a better synopsis?