“What about the others?” Hope rose in Lu Yun’s heart when he looked at the alliance of prodigals. If Changxi had become the third princess of the Unsullied Sea, Jing Dichen, and Deaf Prince Xiangliu Hongzhen was the reincarnated fragment of Goumang’s soul… then what about the others?? Were Bai Qi, Beicang Qiong, Lin Yan, and Feng Ruyu also reincarnated demon gods of the great wilderness?
Of those in front of him, the Deaf Prince was the only one who still looked the same. Lu Yun tested the rest by gently waving each strand of soul force in front of them.
Two more disengaged from his fingers and melded into Beicang Qiong and Feng Ruyu’s bodies. Those strands belonged to Zhurong and Gonggong.
Though they hadn’t been connate demon gods, they were peak chaos realm experts of the great wilderness. They, too, had perished in the cataclysm that struck the human dao. But since Lu Yun had obtained a strand of their soul force before his departure, they would be able to regain their strength after they absorbed the tendril back into them—despite having gone through the wheel of reincarnation.
“What about Lin Yan and Bai Qi?” Lu Yun looked hopefully at the two of them. They couldn’t be ordinary individuals if the treasures of human dao had chosen them. Surely they’d once been awe-inspiring connate great gods as well.
“One of them must be Rushou!” Inspiration struck him. Rushou had died to Dijiang, right in front of Lu Yun’s eyes. He hadn’t been able to call upon his death arts then and could only watch Rushou pass away.
Lu Yun scanned the Deaf Prince, Beicang Qiong, and Feng Ruyu. If the three of them were the reincarnated first generation rulers of the four great nations, then Jin nation ruler Rushou must be among them. Lu Yun didn’t believe that Rushou would just scatter away on the wind like this.
“But who’s the other person?” He sank into deep thought.
Not that many strands of soul force had come back with him because their owners had mostly been connate demon gods—chaos realm entities born of nature. He would’ve elicited backlash from the great dao of that era if he’d left with too many souvenirs.
There was nothing he could’ve done about it. If not for that restriction, he would’ve journeyed through the great wilderness and collected some from all of the connate great gods to plant into the sea of Hell Flowers.
“Jing Dichen is the reincarnated Changxi, which means that out of Bai Qi and Lin Yan, one of them has something to do with the moon or sun,” Lu Yun muttered to himself.
The little fox jumped on top of his head and peered intently at the Deaf Prince and the others, then looked at Jing Huaci.
“I know who she is!” she suddenly shrieked. “Queen Mother of the West! She’s the reincarnated Queen Mother!
“I always thought she seemed very familiar, like the Queen Mother…. But I’d always thought the Queen Mother was still alive somewhere in this realm…” A despondent tone crept into her voice.
The Queen Mother of the West was the mistress of Kunlun Mountain, once home to the celestial court. Since the little fox had been the court’s celestial master, she shared an uncommon bond with the Queen Mother. The little fox would’ve recognized the goddess even in reincarnated form.
It was just, in the little fox’s heart, the Queen Mother couldn’t possibly die. She had to be alive somewhere in the world. But when she and Lu Yun traveled to Kunlun Mountain and learned from Kaiming the reason behind the goddess’ death, that was when she’d accepted her hunch that Jing Huaci was the Queen Mother.
The river of time in this realm had formed after the little fox and others traveled to the future. Its core essence was the core essence of the Queen Mother of the West, which was also why the treasure of human dao had chosen Jing Huaci.
As for the treasure of space, Goumang, Rushou, Gonggong, and Zhurong represented metal, wood, water, and fire. Changxi and another demon god that Lu Yun was unfamiliar with represented yin and yang. The combination of all of these elements formed the power of space.
Earth was absent from this line up, and rightly so. If all five elements were present, then the treasure would produce a real world instead of the power of space.
Lu Yun had never met the Queen Mother of the West, so he nodded gently at the identification. “Let’s leave them be so they can cultivate.”
Not too far off in the distance, Ge Long and Fuying  silently watched Lu Yun’s return. Carmine Eternal and Arbiter were in their usual haunts in the City of the Dead, immensely enjoying themselves with the city’s residents.
Rueful smiles wreathed Ge Long’s face at the moment. “So that lord is him? No wonder he seemed very familiar with me the first time we met.”
“Who?” Fuying asked with surprise.
“Can’t say, I can’t say.” Ge Long shook his head rapidly.
Lu Yun arrived by the sea of Hell Flowers and gently scattered soul force over the flowers. A dozen of them found a flower and attached to it, becoming one with their new home and emanating subtle ripples of soul force.
From this, he could tell that Bai Zhaoju, Zhi Guangji, Chi Biaonu, and the Yellow Emperor had all perished. Now safeguarding their soul force, Hell Flowers borrowed the power of reincarnation in hell to rebuild their souls.
“Huaxu and Leize died in the end… Hongjun, Xuanyuan’s master, and Hongjun’s third disciple whom I’ve never met also died.” Lu Yun shook slightly. “Wahuang and Ah Zhi also died… Shaodian, Jiang Ti, Ah Niu and the others didn’t survive either.”
Dejection crept across his face. To him, they’d only parted for a short decade. But for them, the farewell had been eternal. Death in his eyes wasn’t the process of turning from a living being to a yin soul, then a ghost, and finally a dead spirit… but to be completely scattered and true spirit extinguished.
Bai Ze, Xiangliu, and Kuafu that Lu Yun had stolen a bit of soul force from, as well as sun goddess Xihe who’d tried to use him as a shield had all dissipated upon the wind. He’d forgiven the sun goddess in the end, but they were never to meet again.
“Yellow Emperor Han Shuniu was the main protagonist of that era and ushered in the glory age of human dao by himself. But he also died at some point.” Melancholy wrapped around Lu Yun as he gazed upon Han Shuniu’s sleeping soul force in one of the flowers.
He’d also made a few trips to search out connate great gods who’d once protected the human race, including poor Kaiming who’d fallen into the great wilderness along with Kunlun Mountain. Lu Yun had soundlessly stolen some soul force from them, but here they slumbered, dead in this current era.
“Wait, Ah Bao’s alive!” Lu Yun’s eyes lit up at the sight of a tendril still drifting over a flower. He’d never forgotten the young girl who’d sacrificed her own core essence to pull him back from the brink of death with the most primitive strength possible.
“Ah Bao’s alive, she’s still alive! Where’s her reincarnated body?” He waved a hand and called upon the six paths of his nascent spirit, utilizing the mountain ghost’s soul force to determine where she was now.
“She’s… Wanfeng?!” A smile curved Lu Yun’s lips. “No wonder, no wonder Fuxi took her as a disciple in this era!”
It was an enormous comfort to him that Ah Bao was still alive. As for the others, he could only make use of Hell Flowers to slowly reform their souls. He couldn’t bring them back to life immediately and restore their sense of self, but he believed that day wasn’t too far off.
Aw. My gosh. That's adorable. No wonder Wanfeng was so loyal to even little bastard Lu Yun.
This is a fantastic way of wrapping up the time travel arc, IMO, and a great way of keeping those characters alive. I'm really glad we're not just kicking them to the side after the requisite power-up side trip's concluded.