Chapter 969: Boiling Frog Syndrome

Tushan refrained from further conversation and deployed the Bell of Chaos to its greatest strength, obliterating that unknown empyrean realm master into oblivion.

The bell recognized Tushan as its master and she was the only one who could refine its final restriction. Just like how Quietus behaved in Lu Yun’s hand, she could release the fullest extent of its capabilities even at her current strength.

In addition, empyrean realm was sufficient to deploy the true might of a connate treasure.

……

After demolishing an empyrean master, the Bell of Chaos returned to an upside down bell of light over Tushan’s head. She stood in the void and coolly regarded her surroundings.

The world of immortals trembled. They’d finally truly understood the Dao Academy’s foundations and strength when a great emperor was wiped out of existence without even a chance to fight back.

“It really is her…” Color drained from Silverlight’s face when she sensed the aura emanating from Tushan. She murmured, “Our ancestor, the monster spirit ancestor really has come back…”

“She’s the legendary monster spirit ancestor?” Goldenlight’s jaw dropped. Legends of the almighty ancestor had long abounded among the monster spirits, but most of the race believed that she’d died in the tremendous cataclysm that ended human dao.

Their history was marked by manifold appearances of monster spirits who called themselves the monster spirit ancestor. They’d all tried to unify the monster spirit race, but none of them were met with any hint of a good ending.

The title of the monster spirit ancestor wasn’t something that the ancestor had given herself, but was a title that the entire race revered her with.

When the little fox traveled through time, she’d attempted to use the title to unite the monster spirits so they could battle their enemies, but she’d also failed as well. Her true form sustained injuries during her attempt and she’d lost most of her cultivation by the time she reached the era of immortal dao.

In the end, she’d had no choice but to enter the cycle of reincarnation and become a living being under the immortal dao.

She couldn’t reveal Lu Yun’s existence, but the Corpse Refiner disciples that’d left had brought word of the Quiet Realm to the ascension guides. Many factions in the world of immortals summarily learned of the truth here, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary that the Dao Academy had sent a representative to deal with the threat.

……

“What have you discovered?” Back on the main world of the Quiet Realm, Lu Yun looked curiously at Luan Qi.

“This!” The girl recovered from her stunned state and quickly handed over the pure soul force she’d collected.

The little fox sprawled on Lu Yun’s shoulder. She’d appeared in her true form as Tushan earlier, but she was also a bonafide empyrean master. It was the easiest thing for her to hoodwink those with lower cultivation levels.

Lu Yun took out a scarlet bead and examined it closely. “Are you willing to join the Dao Academy?”

“Join the Dao Academy?!” Luan Qi looked blankly before sheer delight filled her face. She rapidly bobbed her head up and down. “I am, I’m willing to join!”

The school of corpse refining within the Dao Academy was the sole work of Corpse Refiner disciples. However, only a select few from the sect possessed qualifications to enter the academy. Those lucky enough to be enrolled were the last hopes of the Corpse Refiners in the cataclysm to come. If Truespirit Major was unfortunate enough to fall in seventy years, then at least a bit of it would live on in the Dao Academy.

Luan Qi didn’t have the choice of entering the academy, she was just an ordinary disciple. With her master dead and lacking further backing in the sect, her future was now one of everything being stripped from her. Someone would claim her battle zombies and she herself would quietly die in a corner, to be surreptitiously refined into a battle zombie by another.

The Corpse Refiner Sect was no faction of kindness and benevolence. How else would it be so infamous throughout the world of immortals otherwise?

“Alright, you should head back to the world of immortals now and tell the four guides about the soul force. After that, tell them that a fox told you to join the academy and be an inner disciple,” Lu Yun said solemnly.

“An inner disciple?!” Elation flashed across Luan Qi’s face.

“It is a deed of great merit to the world that you’ve discovered this soul force. You absolutely have the right to become an inner disciple.” Lu Yun gave the matter some thought and continued, “But don’t go to the school of corpse refining, that’s basically a miniature Corpse Refiner Sect. They’ll ostracize you if you try to join them. Go to… puppetry. That so-called dao of corpse refining is actually a permutation of the art of puppets.”

He’d never been interested in corpse refining since he saw it for what it was, a type of puppet manipulation. It was just an exercise of refining corpses into puppets.

Lu Yun finally breathed out in relief when Luan Qi returned to the world of immortals.

“You should know that these yin and dead spirits are just a scheme. They’re all bait.” The little fox jumped down from Lu Yun’s shoulder and regarded him solemnly. “Those in the world of immortals are addicted to the lower worlds and battles with the dead spirits. They’ve discovered that their nascent spirits grow stronger from the fights and their cultivations also improve. It’s all because of this thing.

“If this continues for long, we won’t need those dead spirits to break through the World Gates. Our own immortals will turn into them first.”

“Mmhmm.” Lu Yun nodded gently. “Apart from wanting to locate my dao fruit, I descended to the lower realms this time also because I wanted a better understanding of the yin spirits. Who would’ve thought that a little girl would locate one of the secrets first?”

“Little girl?” The little fox flicked a sideways glance at him. “She’s at least a hundred years older than you.”

Lu Yun looked around sheepishly. Of course he’d been able to tell that Luan Qi was at least two hundred years old… but a peerless immortal two hundred years of age was already an absolute genius in the world of immortals. 

Most importantly, she’d severed her own cultivation after the void realm reappeared. Instead of availing herself of a formation of heaven and earth, she walked the path of cultivation again to reach immortality from the void realm.

“You’ll be able to create a treasure to cleanse those beads, won’t you?” asked the little fox. “This soul force is very strange. It vanishes without a trace when an immortal's consciousness touches it. If it hadn’t been for you killing those dead spirits with the energy of a world, the girl probably wouldn’t have discovered it either.”

Although immortals also used the energy of a world to crush dead spirits on the battlefield, the grays and blacks only left behind faint dust when they died. In a hotbed of action and danger, no one would pay attention to a little bit of dust.

Immortals could kill the scarlets only in close quarter combat, so the scarlet beads were instantly refined by the consciousness when the bale spirit died. There wasn’t enough reaction time for the immortal to do anything different.

When immortals fought, their consciousness constantly revolved around their bodies to observe their surroundings, deploy combat arts, or manipulate treasures. There were very few who unleashed enough energy of a realm to flood a world. Even if some dao immortals or ingress immortals had such ability, they wouldn’t want to waste energy like this.

“There’s a way.” However, Lu Yun frowned when he observed the scarlet bead in his hand. “But the costs are too great. Refining a treasure like that will be the equivalent of creating a crystal cannon. We won’t be able to make it available at all.”

The little fox’s eyes widened. The equivalent of creating a crystal cannon?

Crystal cannons were still uncommonly valuable even in the current world of immortals. A blast from an ordinary cannon was on par with a full-powered blow from a High Immortal of the Great Firmament. Such a cannon was worth a hundred million premium crystals.

It wasn’t that Lu Yun wanted to strike it rich through refining such items, but that their creation method was overly complicated. The materials they required were also unduly precious, so there were very few people who could make crystal cannons apart from a handful of premier treasure refiners in the world.

Mass production and making it mainstream was a farfetched tale.

“Thankfully though, there’s not that much resentment and malice contained within the dead and yin spirits. They probably want to imperceptibly transfer this negativity to immortals, like boiling a frog through slowly heating the water.” Lu Yun mused a bit more on the matter.

If immortals were instantly assimilated into dead spirits during their battle, that would alarm their peers and the remaining immortals would immediately retreat. After battling zombies and immortal ghosts in the ancient tombs for eighty thousand years, modern day immortals were sharply alert against anything out of the ordinary.

“What about the star of the chaos and the embryo inside the palace?” Lu Yun asked the little fox.

“The star is still here, but the other things inside the palace have vanished, including the three creatures of the chaos and the huge embryo,” the little fox responded dejectedly.

She’d let the three creatures escape in a moment of inattention! There was plainly a back door in the palace, enabling the three creatures to escape with the embryo the second there was danger. The chaos beast and empyrean realm that’d appeared one after another had all been distractions to create opportunities and make time for escape.

“Here, take this star.” The little fox handed over the chaos star that she’d collected. This was just as it seemed, a star formed in the chaos according to the laws of the cosmos. It was wholly different from the star of a realm, just like chaos treasures were different from connate treasures.

Lu Yun didn’t immediately refine it when he accepted it. He sent it to hell first and scanned every inch of the resplendent star with the six paths of his nascent spirit, wary of any traps that might be hidden in the golden star.

His mind was preoccupied with thoughts of the embryo created from human flesh and blood. That thing would become a thorn in their side sooner or later.

“I have a hunch that there are numerous dao palaces like this one in the lower worlds,” Lu Yun murmured as he peered into the depths of space.

“What do you want to do?” The little fox’s eyes opened wide and she shuddered when she looked at Lu Yun’s face.

“Find them one by one, of course. Let’s see if we can catch ourselves a chaos creature and study what makes them tick.” A cold sneer played at Lu Yun’s lips. “They know us like the back of their hands, but we still don’t know anything about them.”

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etvolare's Thoughts

I suddenly feel like we're drifting into Alien territory where the plucky humans capture an alien for study and then... it goes horribly wrong.