“Do you know me?” Ling Weiyang considered Lu Yun with a serious expression. “I can sense that you know me, and that you know me well, but I’ve never seen you before.”
He frowned, deep in thought.
“I do know you. We’re actually pretty close at that,” Lu Yun admitted easily. “You’ll understand in the future.”
Ling Weiyang gave Lu Yun an inquisitive look before turning to Goumang.
“I have other matters to attend to, I’ll leave you be.” With a smile, Goumang took his leave.
His earlier words to Lu Yun were a test. He’d wanted to see if Fuxi and Leize had misplaced their trust in the boy. He was a connate demon god loyal to Leize, so naturally he would be on Fuxi’s side.
Nevertheless, the human youth had passed and earned his trust.
“What are you doing here, White Emperor?” Lu Yun turned to Bai Zhaoju in surprise. The man had said that he would return to the Jin nation after acquiring Taiyi’s true feather, but the feather was still with Bai Zhaoju and he was in… the Mu nation.
When they parted ways in the cosmos, Lu Yun had told Bai Zhaoju to wait for him in the Mu Clan, but that had been eight years ago. Since Bai Zhaoju still had an unfinished task at hand, Lu Yun had expected he would’ve returned to the Jin Clan regardless. Therefore, it was quite a surprise to see him here.
“So you’re the White Emperor...” Ling Weiyang gave Bai Zhaoju a disdainful look.
“Of course I am!” Bai Zhaoju crowed. “I’m the White Emperor, and you’re the Azure Emperor!”
“Azure?” Ling Weiyang grumbled. “Why not the Ling Emperor?”
“You idiot, the Mu nation rules over azure wood, the eastern wood element. That makes you the Azure Emperor! Why do you think I’m not calling myself the Bai Emperor?” Bai Zhaoju spoke as if it was self-evident.
Lu Yun slapped his forehead at the exchange.
“Right!” Bai Zhaoju remembered Lu Yun’s question only now. “Bai Ze of the celestial court told me to stay in the Mu nation and wait for you until you came! I couldn’t deny the request of a connate god, so here I am.”
He put it that way, but it wasn’t like he’d had a choice. He’d wanted to return to the Jin nation earlier, but Bai Ze’s will had continued to exert pressure on him from the cosmos, commanding him to stay. The celestial king’s will vanished, however, as soon as Lie Shan arrived.
“Celestial King Bai Ze told you to stay?” Lu Yun asked, surprised.
“Yup.” Being naturally irreverent, Bai Zhaoju wasn’t one to treat Lu Yun differently after he became one of the greatest powers in the world.
Lu Yun scanned Bai Zhaoju closely and made some calculations through the formula dao. “Bai Ze told you to stay in the Mu nation in order to save you.”
Bai Zhaoju started. “What?”
“The Jin ruler sent you to retrieve Taiyi’s feather so you would ultimately become a sacrifice. You were to become its vessel.” Ling Weiyang sighed and continued in a cool tone, “Haven’t you said that the feather has gradually become part of your body over the past eight years? That’s because of your unique constitution. It allows you to absorb the feather’s power and slowly become someone like Taiyi.
“If you’d returned to the Jin nation eight years ago, Rushou would’ve possessed you or refined you into a replica.” Ling Weiyang gave him a pitying look. “If you hadn’t acquired your sword dao in the cosmos and improved your cultivation so substantially, that wouldn’t have resulted in Celestial King Bai Ze intervening because he wanted to save a great talent. By all rights, you should already be dead.”
Bai Zhaoju blanched at the incredulous revelation, cold sweat beading his forehead. He rasped out disbelievingly, “Lord Rushou wants me dead?!”
“I wouldn’t say that… but he did adopt you for Taiyi’s true feather.” Ling Weiyang patted him on the shoulder. “I tried to warn you before, but you trusted him too much to suspect him and listened to nothing I said.
“Since you’re in the Mu nation now, just focus on cultivating. You’ve incorporated Taiyi’s feather into yourself and acquired your sword dao… You’ll ascend to the chaos realm in no time and have no reason to fear Rushou then.”
“It’s not fear.” Bai Zhaoju protested absentmindedly as his eyes turned mournful. “It’s just… I...” He couldn’t voice the struggle within his thoughts. Naively, he still wanted to believe there was some misunderstanding in all this, that his friends were mistaken.
“Lie Shan, will you go to the Jin nation with me after everything here? I want to ask master in person… if he really intends to turn me into a replica!” A pleading tone bled into his voice. “It’s all speculation at the moment. No one knows the truth yet.”
Lu Yun nodded. “I’ll go with you.”
“Thank you!” Bai Zhaoju relaxed minutely.
His master Rushou had raised him since youth, passing combat arts and cultivation methods onto him. It was all because of his master that Bai Zhaoju was able to reach such heights before turning a hundred years old. Every fiber of his being rejected the notion that his master meant him harm.
However, he also didn’t want to die, either. He still had so much more to see and do in life! If Ling Weiyang’s speculations were right, he’d be a lamb walking into a tiger’s mouth if he returned to the Jin nation. That was why he needed Lu Yun to go with him.
“By the way, what do you need me for?” Ling Weiyang felt a natural affinity to the powerful human who’d attracted so much attention as of late. Hence, his casual attitude toward the man.
“I seek the Constellation Willow!” Lu Yun responded solemnly, his gaze fixed on Ling Weiyang.
“The Constellation Willow? It’s in Luo Houluo’s possession!” Ling Weiyang blurted out what he knew. “He may not be able to refine the willow, but it’s under his protection. I won’t be able to summon it here.”
“Luo Houluo is gravely injured at the moment,” said Lu Yun. “He’s unlikely to have any effort to spare for the willow.”
“Ah, in that case… follow me.” Ling Weiyang rose to his feet and walked out of Goumang’s palace. His heart leapt with an unfamiliar excitement. He’d never tried taking away the spirit root of a top connate demon god before!
However, robbing Luo Houluo of his Constellation Willow would surely result in a death feud with the demon god. He would definitely retaliate once he recovered from his injuries. That was why Ling Weiyang must exercise caution to conceal himself and the presence of the Mu Clan in his upcoming attempt.
Naturally, Lu Yun would also step forward to capture Luo Houluo’s attention, announcing that he, Lie Shan, possessed the willow.
On a deserted island a hundred and fifty thousand kilometers away from the Mu nation, Ling Weiyang extracted several drops of heartblood from his chest and used them to draw bizarre glyphs on the ground.
“Um, I say, don’t you think you agreed to help me a little too easily? Not that I’m complaining...” Lu Yun asked in surprise, watching Ling Weiyang work.
“I was born with a dao constitution, which means I should follow my heart,” Ling Weiyang chuckled. “My lack of unwillingness is proof enough that I’m doing the right thing.”
“Follow my heart?” Lu Yun murmured. “That’s right. I might’ve made some calculations through formula dao, but I’ve been following my heart as well… I want the Constellation Willow, so I sought you out. I… My constitution is of the world as well.”
With a simple grabbing motion, Ling Weiyang completed a dark green formation.
“Are you sure you want the Constellation Willow and not the other connate spirit roots, Lie Shan? How about the top-ranked Chaos Lotus?” He turned to Lu Yun. “I can only summon a connate spirit root once every century!”
“I’m certain, I want the Constellation Willow!” With just a few points in the air, Lu Yun created an enormous formation that protected Ling Weiyang and Bai Zhaoju and left him alone outside.
“Alright!” Ling Weiyang nodded and bit into the tip of his tongue, splattering blood over the glyphs on the ground. The dark green glyphs lit up brilliantly and nine differently-shaped spirit roots emerged before him.
They were the nine connate spirit roots coveted by all living souls of the great wilderness: the Chaos Lotus, Immortal Myriadtree, Fusang Purewood, Heavenly Grass, Earthly Duskroot, Moon Osmanthus, Embittered Bamboo, Constellation Willow, and Demon Vine!
Ling Weiyang pointed at the projection of the willow.
A tremor passed through the sky above the island as a giant willow slowly emerged out of the air. It was inky black throughout with twinkling leaves scattering starry light among the branches. Behold, the Constellation Willow, ranked eighth among the nine connate spirit roots.
“Who is it?!” snarled a furious voice from the other end of the passageway. “Who dares steal my treasure from me?!”
“Luo Houluo? Or Darkriver?” Lu Yun’s expression darkened when he heard the voice. It was neither Luo Houluo nor Darkriver on the other side, but at the same time, it was both Luo Houluo and Darkriver!
“Lie Shan!!” The being flew into a crazed rage when he heard Lu Yun’s voice. A giant scarlet hand fell from the sky, forming a scarlet hand seal to swat at Lu Yun.
Emerald light blossomed from Lu Yun’s figure as he manifested a longbow of the same color. He pulled it taut and shot out a black burning arrow.
An arrow of hellfire clashed with the scarlet hand seal, shattering the very air and evaporating a hundred million tons of seawater. Powerful formation ripples flurried outwards, keeping Ling Weiyang and Bai Zhaoju protected and out of sight.
“Yi’s bow!!” The mysterious being woke from his raging frenzy and stared at the longbow with wariness.
“Just what are you?” Lu Yun asked with a frown.
The figure was humanoid, but a pair of bat wings unfurled from his back. Blood-like fire burned around him, and the existences of Darkriver and Luo Houluo were fading away. A different being was emerging from their amalgamation… a new kind of connate demon god!
“I… am a demon! A demon of Asura! Mine. Name. is ASURA!!” The being’s guttural roar reached the nine heavens, shockwaves felt by even the connate great dao.
Crimson flames of light spread at tremendous speed, dying everything red within a fifty thousand kilometers radius. Even the body of water beneath Asura’s feet turned into a sea of blood!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I admit I have no idea what's going on with Asura.