Though he knew that Xihe was just getting rid of future trouble in gifting Rearbow to him, Lu Yun still happily accepted the present.
“There’s still a guy we haven’t gotten rid of in Yi’s tomb.” He looked downward.
There was a fellow in the Great Yi’s tomb, trapped by Kuafu’s soul fragment and corpse, that Lu Yun wasn’t sure was Darkriver or Luo Houluo. He didn’t dare brashly spring into action as that might doom Kuafu if things went south. In spite of everything, Lu Yun still nursed a small fantasy that he might be able to pull Kuafu out of death.
There was no system of reincarnation in the great wilderness at the moment, so no matter how he reversed life and death, he wouldn’t run afoul of any taboos. Actually, his secret desire was to revive all of the great masters in the cosmos if he had the chance to!
The East Sea was enormous, so many times bigger than the great wilderness, and the Mu nation was located in its deepest reaches.
Lu Yun held Ah Bao’s hand while the little fox curled up in her accustomed place inside his robes. The three of them walked over the waves and headed for their destination.
Lie Shan’s trip to the east and intent to visit the Mu nation naturally drew a lot of attention. Their ruler, Goumang, waited twenty-five hundred kilometers outside of his nation as soon as he received word. 
With Lie Shan’s current status in the great wilderness on par with Nuanzi’s, Goumang had to show his respect as he was a preeminent demon god just a little bit outranked by Nuanzi and Dijiang.
“Hahahaha, it is such a great honor that Lie Shan has come to my nation. What an honor, truly an honor! Come come come, you are my guests!” Goumang laughed heartily upon seeing the human.
Lu Yun stopped dead in his tracks and stared at the demon god. The little fox gaped as well, not knowing what to make of the situation.
“This is my first time seeing Goumang…” she muttered softly.
“Hahahahaha!!” Lu Yun threw his head back with laughter. “Peasant Lie Shan of the woodlands greets the ruler of the Mu nation. After you!”
Taken aback, Goumang blinked, then warmly took Lu Yun’s hands and brought him into the Mu nation.
The country was vast and situated on an enormous island with a towering tree at its center. Nearly the same scale as Mount Buzhou, the gigantic tree reached up to the cosmos and stretched down to the netherdark.
Her sovereign was another entity that took the form of whoever was looking at him. The young man’s movements brimmed with a solemn dignity, but an extraordinarily gentle expression filled his face. The most shocking of all was that he looked just like the Deaf Prince!
Does he reincarnate into the Deaf Prince later on? Lu Yun’s mind gossiped furiously at the implications.
Deaf Prince Xiangliu Hongzhen was a pureblooded xiangliu, and Xiangliu was a connate demon god in this day and age. Lu Yun had already met him in space, and nursed the theory afterward that the Deaf Prince had something to do with Xiangliu. However, he immediately dismissed the idea now that he’d met Goumang.
When Goumang had said, “What an honor, truly an honor!”, Lu Yun had almost taken him to be the Deaf Prince on the spot.
“This big tree is the Builder Tree, isn’t it?” Lu Yun tsk’ed with amazement when he looked at the soaring tree at the center of the nation.
He couldn’t make out its final height or overall girth, and most surprising of all was that in the future, legends would place the Builder Tree in the middle of the great wilderness. It was a bridge between heaven and earth, a connection between heaven and man. But this divine tree was actually rooted in the Mu nation?
“Correct, the Builder Tree!” Goumang nodded gently and welcomed Lu Yun into his palace.
His palace was very simple—one formed naturally from numerous saplings. Vibrant vitality filled the structure and Lu Yun immediately felt at ease when he set foot inside.
“Big brother Lieshan, I like this place!” Ah Bao spread her arms out and luxuriated in the comfortable feeling. Meanwhile, the little fox’s eyes darted around rapidly, seemingly looking for something.
Lu Yun found the situation a bit awkward and Goumang waved a hand, dismissing all of his attendants.
“Fellow daoist didn’t make a trip to the Mu nation just to see me, did you?” Goumang looked at the human with a smile.
“Truth be told, I do have a favor to ask,” Lu Yun responded gravely.
“Please go ahead, fellow daoist!” Goumang nodded.
“I’d like to see Ling Weiyang.”
“See Ling Weiyang?!” Joviality slid off Goumang’s face and the look in his eyes grew a bit remote.
“Hmm?” Lu Yun blinked, a bit confused, but didn’t voice his confusion out loud.
“What might Lie Shan have to do with Ling Weiyang?” Even Goumang’s honorific for the human changed.
“I’d like Ling Weiyang to help me locate the Constellation Willow and bring it to me.” Lu Yun held nothing back. He could forgo all of the other spirit roots, but he had to obtain the willow.
“I see…” the demon god heaved a slight sigh of relief, then continued after a pause, “Who told you that Ling Weiyang can help you obtain the Constellation Willow? And where did you hear this name?”
“Is there… something special about Ling Weiyang?” Lu Yun asked subconsciously when he heard the questions. He suddenly recalled the little fox saying that she’d never heard of the name in this era.
“Correct, there is something very special about Ling Weiyang. Helping you locate a connate spirit root is indeed one of his abilities.” Goumang peered deep into Lu Yun’s eyes and enunciated carefully, “In addition, he possesses a connate dao constitution. His body was forged from the great dao itself. …do you know what that means?”
“A body of the great dao?!” Lu Yun yelped. “A special constitution that can communicate with all living beings and become one with dao?!”
“Correct!” Goumang nodded. “Ling Weiyang will be invincible if he reaches the chaos realm, and even Leize won’t be his opponent then. At the same time, his soul is quite fragile right now, and he has a less than perfect control over his body. Anyone can possess him!”
He kept his eyes tightly fixed on the human as he spoke.
“…does fellow daoist know the mountain god of Mount Tai?” Lu Yun smiled gently. “And the torch dragon being nurtured in the Sea of Hellfire? That one’s an existence that can control yin yang and reverse them.”
Goumang blinked, then roared with laughter. “Hahahahaha!! So it’s this one who’s been rather rude!”
Whether it was Tianqi or the torch dragon, neither of them was any less than Ling Weiyang’s body of the great dao. One of them had become Lu Yun’s disciple and received his careful tutelage, while the other had received his guardianship. The human had weathered a chaos tribulation for eight years and left without a word, making no designs on the recipient.
“Servants, have Ling Weiyang come here!” Goumang bellowed and waved a hand.
“Understood!” came the response outside the palace.
It wasn’t long before Ling Weiyang arrived with a young man dressed in white robes—Bai Zhaoju, who Lu Yun had met before.
Bai Zhaoju had now broken through divine king and reached empyrean realm. He was a great master of the combat arts, and this cultivation speed was downright frightening.
“Lie Shan, it really is you!” Bai Zhaoju exclaimed when he saw Lu Yun. He couldn’t connect this mighty existence on par with Nuanzi and Dijiang to the thin, weedy human youth he’d once seen.
“Long time no see, White Emperor!” Lu Yun nodded when he saw Bai Zhaoju.
“Ling Weiyang greets the Mu emperor and Lie Shan!” Looking exactly like Ashu, just much younger, Ling Weiyang was only at the divine king realm. That didn’t make him very strong, but an uncommonly comfortable presence emanated from his body. It felt like the great dao sharpened into focus if one was next to him.
“Ah Bao, little fox, go run around and play,” Lu Yun fished out the little fox from his robes and shoved her into Ah Bao’s arms.
1. Goumang, also known as Jumang, is an auxiliary god of the Fuxi family. The Classic of Mountains and Seas described his appearance as "bird body and human face, riding two dragons". He is the god of wood and spring, in charge of life and health.
Well, technically speaking, he consigned the torch dragon to a lifetime of servitude... I'm not sure if that's... good lol.