A rainbow bridge extended gracefully from the peak of Mount Buzhou to Lu Yun’s feet. All was the same as his first visit with Shennong.
Instead of immediately setting foot on the bridge, he called out, “The sacred land of immortal dao in the world of immortals and Headmaster of the Dao Academy, Lu Yun, has arrived with dao partner Qing Yu to pay our respects to Holy Emperor Fuxi—”
His voice rang out resonantly and traveled through the entire mountain.
“Greetings to the Flame Emperor!”
“Greetings to the Flame Emperor!”
“Greetings to the Flame Emperor!”
The mountain began to tremble as waves of responses rose and fell from it.
Streams of goodwill gathered from all directions, flooding into the Karmic Tree in Lu Yun’s hell. Delicate and beautiful, eighteen thousand karmic fruits sparkled radiantly on its branches like the stars themselves, illuminating all of the netherworld.
Ge Long sat beneath the tree and looked at the outside world.
“I hadn’t thought that Mount Buzhou would still exist… so what did that primitive fellow use to refine the Skyturning Seal?” He stared off momentarily into space. “Well, that’s right. If he’d used the mountain for the seal, would he have died in such a macabre way?”
He looked at the sea of Hell Flowers to where the fragmented soul of his second senior brother, Daoist Purity—also known as the Jade Pure One—slept silently in one of the buds.
“I’m alive, but you’re dead~ Tsk tsk tsk, I win I win~” Ge Long threw an ankle onto the other knee and hummed an unknown ditty.
Carmine Eternal straddled one of the Karmic Tree’s branches without a care for her image and plucked one of its fruits. She shoved it into her mouth for a large bite.
“This Flame Emperor sure is generous, he doesn’t even fence off this treasure more precious than the connate spirit roots. We can pluck its fruits whenever we feel like it,” Carmine Eternal tutted proudly at herself as she ate. “Such a job well done that I sensed what was coming and found Lu Yun before he became the Flame Emperor. Though I haven’t recovered to my peak yet, I’m not that far off.”
Lu Yun had been only Lu Yun before he traveled to the great wilderness, not the Flame Emperor. He’d become that legendary personage after traveling back in time, meeting Fuxi on Mount Buzhou, and being decreed the first great emperor of the human race.
Prior to that, even the faithful Ge Long, renowned Daoist Ingress who was one of the founders of immortal dao, had no idea that Lu Yun was the Flame Emperor.
“I’d always thought that though Lu Yun had received the greatest blessings of heaven to obtain a treasure that controls reincarnation, he lacked the morality and conduct to really possess it. That though he’d founded the sacred land and repaired the immortal dao, his foundations were too shallow for it. Utter annihilation from a cataclysm seemed to be a foregone conclusion.
“Who would’ve thought that he’d be my dear martial uncle, the Flame Emperor of the human race! Destroying the fortunes of the connate demon gods, creating the glorious age of human dao, pioneering cultivation methods beneath the great dao… He has bestowed countless bounties and served all of life. Such virtuous merit, such deep foundations…” Ge Long shook his head with a sigh.
“Is that why you stayed here and tamed Asura’s four coffins? Was it all to protect Lu Yun in the event of a disaster?” Carmine Eternal also felt very kindly toward the Flame Emperor. He’d protected her when she was just an egg without sentience. The emperor had brought her and her young sister to their respective hatching grounds so they would have a safe and smooth birth and grow back into their strength.
Ge Long nodded silently. “But now, he holds his destiny in his own hands and doesn’t need me for anything anymore.”
“Then do you know where your master Hongjun’s gone to?” whispering softly, Carmine Eternal bounced herself down from the tree and clung onto Ge Long.
“Why do you think I became the Flame Emperor’s martial nephew?” Ge Long chuckled.
Carmine Eternal’s diminutive form stiffened and she fell off of Ge Long’s body. Her head slowly turned in a certain direction.
“He’s your master?”
She was looking in the direction of Earth.
Grasping Qing Yu’s hand, Lu Yun set foot onto the rainbow bridge. The little fox took human form as well and followed beside the two as the stunning Troublemaker Tushan.
“It’s been a long while, Flame Emperor.” Fuxi sat cross-legged in front of a stick of bamboo—the Embittered Bamboo. It shared the same source as the one Lu Yun had refined; they’d both stemmed from the main spirit root.
“Fuxi greets the Dao Sovereign of the Immortal Dao.” He raised cupped hands at Qing Yu.
As the Dao Sovereign, Qing Yu’s status rivaled Fuxi’s, though her cultivation level wasn’t high.
“…to me, it’s only been ten years since our parting.” Lu Yun stopped, a sense of loss creeping into his voice.
It’d been his ninetieth year in the great wilderness when war broke out to conquer the heavens. He’d retreated from the public eye to visit places in secret or observe the world before his final conversation with Hongjun and return to his era.
Ten years wasn’t long, but in the eyes of Fuxi and the others, the Flame Emperor had disappeared forever. He’d vanished completely from the realm, not to return until many, many eons later.
Fuxi still looked the same as before, dressed in his usual outfit of hemp and his long thick hair flowing loosely around his shoulders. However, the ravages of time were now present in his eyes.
“Your ten years are really too darned long,” Fuxi laughed heartily. “Have a seat.”
Four seat cushions had appeared in front of him, and the three visitors took their places accordingly.
“I heard the guard of Earth say that the situation here won’t hold for long… What’s happened? Are the realm monsters still out there?” Lu Yun didn’t mention the World Gates. Instead, he looked to the other side of Mount Buzhou where the enormous sun was. The palace formed by the Great Formation of the Nineheavens Gates drifted in and out of sight, as if fighting against something.
“The realm monsters are no more, but something even more terrifying than them has arrived,” Fuxi sighed. “The realm monsters just want to survive and become a new life form, but those things want to destroy this entire realm.”
“Eh?” Lu Yun blinked. “Destroy this realm? Why do all the big baddies want to destroy the world?”
He thought of how annihilation flooded Asura’s heart and how the demon god constantly obsessed over razing the realm. He also didn’t think that such emotions came without a source.
“A simple difference in positions,” Fuxi said forlornly. “They must die if we live, so they must destroy us and this world if they are to survive. They must turn this world into something like the realm monsters.”
“What…” Lu Yun didn’t really understand.
“There’s no need to ask further at this moment, you’ll understand in the future,” Fuxi responded solemnly. “This realm won’t allow it even if I wanted to tell you right now.”
He looked up at the stars where pale purple seemed to shimmer in the outline of a pair of enormous eyes.
“Alright then, that’s enough of this topic. I know what you’re here for.” Fuxi rose and pulled out the emerald branch of bamboo in front of him. “The past me left my five senses in the future, they’re the ones who can resolve the curse in the World Gates. Find them and show them this segment of Embittered Bamboo. They’ll help you then.”
Wayfarer, Art Saint, Zither Saint, Gorb Demon, and an existence that Lu Yun had yet to meet were all in the world of immortals. However, they’d all become truly independent life forms with their own minds and personalities. It would take some convincing if Lu Yun wanted them to help him.
He took the stick of bamboo with a nod.
“What about things here?” Lu Yun looked at the blazing sun. “The great formation is about to collapse and the even more terrifying things in the chaos are about to invade. If Earth is destroyed now… I’m guessing this realm is done for.”
Inspiration suddenly struck him. “I know!”
“Hmm?” Fuxi, Qing Yu, and the little fox all looked at him.
“If Jing Dichen is Changxi and possesses the power of the Taiyin Star, then Lin Yan is Taiyi!” A smile floated onto Lu Yun’s face. “If Lin Yan’s Taiyi, then Feng Ruyu is Rushou!”
In the kingdom of hell, the six prodigals in seclusion trembled in unison. Brilliantly blue radiance flared from the top of Mount Vastspace and melded into their bodies. Purple luminescence shone from the Timelight Tower at the same time and sank into Jing Huaci and Houtu’s bodies.
The blue power of space and the purple power of time intersected in hell, slowly becoming one.
The Deaf Prince, Jing Dichen, Lin Yan, Beicang Qiong, Bai Qi, Feng Ruyu, Jing Huaci, and Houtu all opened their eyes at the same time. Mount Vastspace and the Timelight Tower crossed in mid air, forming an enormous ball of light.
The reincarnation of spacetime!
The combat art that Lu Yun had deployed with the two weapons of connate great dao had now been recreated by the two weapons of human dao.
“Senior brother Lu, open the doors! Let us out!” The Deaf Prince’s voice blared out loudly.
Lu Yun quickly opened the Gates of the Abyss and deposited the eight people, as well as the reincarnation of spacetime, onto Mount Buzhou.
“We meet again, Fuxi! What an honor, haha, what a tremendous honor!” The Deaf Prince laughed uproariously when he saw Fuxi. He’d recovered his sense of self and returned to Goumang, ruler of the Mu Nation of the great wilderness.
The others had also retrieved their memories of the great wilderness, and though they hadn’t recovered their cultivation, they’d mastered the two weapons of human dao.
“You set up quite a plot, huh? You even dragged me into it,” smiled Jing Huaci.
“The Bell of Chaos was too overwhelming. I couldn’t think of any other way to keep them in the chaos other than using the two weapons of human dao.” Fuxi nodded at each of his old friends.
“Tushan!” Lin Yan looked throbbingly at Tushan, who turned back into a little fox and darted into Lu Yun’s embrace.
“Senior brother Lu…” Lin Yan turned to Lu Yun with much suffering. He might have found his way back to being Taiyi again, but he was still Lin Yan, the third young master of the Lin Clan in Lazuli Major.
“Nothing forcibly done is agreeable.” The little fox popped back up and stuck her tongue out.
“Fellow daoists, this matter cannot be delayed. The akasha ghosts are conducting a blood sacrifice in the chaos and the great formation is about to shatter. I need your help,” Fuxi said solemnly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I'm not sure I understood Carmine Eternal's reaction. Is Hongjun the founder of Lu Yun's sect? Or is Ge Long Lu Yun's junior brother?
And woot, the gang is all here again!