All was calm over the next few days. Lu Yun’s summoning of the two greatest weapons of Dusk Province had sent a clear message. Even Gongsun You and Feng Liancheng, the two grand stewards remaining in the governor’s manor, slipped away in secret and didn’t dare come back.
With Grand Steward Xue Lang dead, Lu Yun, Wanfeng, and Yuying were the only living souls in the manor.
Lu Yun welcomed the peace and quiet.
He spent his days studying, and his nights cultivating. Sadly, his cultivation stagnated at the beginning stage of qi application. However, that wasn’t his focus at the moment. He was utterly immersed in a book on formation basics.
“Formations and feng shui really are two sides of the same coin!” He’d set up a few formations according to the book; most of them were familiar to him as feng shui layouts. Even if he didn’t recognize a formation, he could still deduce its properties with the knowledge he possessed.
As he learned the basics of formations, he found his understanding in feng shui improving as well.
Noon, the seventh day since arriving at the world of immortals.
Lu Yun was reading on a recliner in the backyard when Wanfeng rushed to him in panic.
“A group of thugs just barged in, sir. They demand your presence.” The maid’s face was pale, seemingly terrified.
“They’ve finally come.” Lu Yun sat up and put away his book. “Good timing. I was worried that my cultivation has been progressing too slowly. Since they’re here, I’ll soon be able to cultivate openly. Stay put, Wanfeng. Yuying, come with me.”
“Understood,” her cool voice sounded before the lady in question appeared at Lu Yun’s side. Her cultivation had been gradually recovering. She’d now reached the peak of origin core, one step away from the spirit realm.
Lu Yun had deployed the Dusk Phalanx and activated the Enneawyrm Provenance Formation a few days ago, intimidating those plotting against him and causing them to temporarily stand down. Now, however, a new set of men had recklessly barged into his manor. They clearly didn’t follow current events, and neither did Feng Li inform Lu Yun who his pill deliverers were.
Judging from Wanfeng’s expression, they must have exceedingly rude attitudes. That bastard Feng Li’s up to no good.
Many were waiting for a clash between the thugs and Lu Yun, hoping to benefit from the aftermath.
Within the main hall of the manor, a haughty looking young man occupied the main seat, with four followers serving by his side.
“You’re Lu Yun?” The young man gave Lu Yun a once-over and threw a box at him. “The main family paid a heavy price to acquire an Aurum Openia Pill for you. You should be grateful. You’re our dog from now on. You bite whoever we tell you to attack, understood? As for my name, you don’t deserve to know who I am,” he sneered.
“How dare you!” Yuying’s expression darkened at the insults. A tremendous presence rose from her being, targeting the young man.
“You court death!” The four followers stepped forward. Cyan light exploded from their bodies and broke apart Yuying’s might.
“Immortals!” Yuying’s face tightened and two emerald flames rose within her eyes.
“Stop!” commanded Lu Yun. His servant lowered her head, the flames in her eyes dissipating.
“Tsk, not bad. It seems that this branch has cultivated some loyalists during these hundreds of years in Dusk Province.” The man made a gesture and the four followers stepped back in unison, retreating to positions behind the young man.
“The main family?” Lu Yun asked with a frown. “Are you a member of House Lu?”
“No, the Lu Clan.” The man nodded. “I’d thought you were nothing but a lapdog, but it seems you have one remaining defender after the decline of your family. Tsk, what a beautiful woman.” He looked at Yuying with appreciation. He’d seen his fair share of fairies, but someone as beautiful and pure as Yuying was a rare sight.
“I’m going to take both her and the girl from earlier. No objections, hmm?” The man cast Lu Yun an amused look. “Lu Thirteen, take the woman.”
Lu Yun burst into laughter.
The young man paused. “Why are you laughing?”
“Wanfeng said the formation is capable of killing immortals, so I just have to give it a try.” Lu Yun broke into a wolfish grin. “You were the ones who came provoking me. Don’t blame me for making you the guinea pigs.”
The young man wasn’t an immortal, but his four followers were.
Golden radiance exploded from Lu Yun’s being. Nine faint dragon images circled between his hands as earth-shattering dragon howls swept through the city.
“What?!” The young man’s expression crumbled and he panicked. He hadn’t expected that Lu Yun would activate Dusk City’s grand defensive formation at the drop of a hat. “Stop! Stop at once! Don’t you know who I am?!”
As swift as a clap of thunder, the formation whirred to readiness. Its terrifying power instantly restrained the young man’s energy and paralyzed him while the golden dragons sent his four followers flying.
“Protect the young lord!” yelled the four immortals. They wanted to make their way back to their master, but the formation was at its full power. The nine dragons continued ramming their bodies, throwing them further and further into the sky.
“That lunatic! He activated the formation again!” Feng Li stared dumbly at the dragons tearing into the four immortals. The Enneawyrm Provenance Formation was just far too terrifying, and his followers were helpless against it.
The leaders of the major Dusk factions took note of the absurd developments and reacted accordingly.
“No one is to make a move against Lu Yun in the next six months—no, the next thirty days. Not in the capital, at least.”
“Kill him once he’s set out for Dusk River!”
“How could I possibly know who you are if you don’t tell me?” Seven days had been long enough for Lu Yun to grasp the basics of formations, and his mastery over the Enneawyrm Provenance Formation had improved as a result.
The power of the formation rammed into the young man before he could finish the sentence.
Stomped to the ground, the young man received Lu Yun’s heel in his face.
“I’m not interested now. You think you’re so high and mighty, don’t you? You want my maid, do you? Treat me as a dog, eh? Who the f*ck do you think you are?!” Lu Yun’s lips twisted into a sneer. “Tell your master that if they want me to work with you and be your mouthpiece, they’d better make it worth my time. The hell is a shitty Aurum Openia Pill?”
Lu Yun kicked the visitor out of the manor.
The young man’s arrogance and natural air of superiority was proof that he was highly regarded in the Lu Clan. In other words, he was just like those wealthy silkpants on Earth. He would never report that he’d been humiliated by Lu Yun; it was far too humiliating. Instead, he would exact revenge himself.
Likewise, it would be unwise of Lu Yun to kill the young man. He didn’t want the Lu Clan to send someone more powerful after him, or risk being slaughtered by some old freaks. He looked up at the four immortals with fire in his gaze.
“Die!!” he roared. The image of Enneawyrm Coffinbearers manifested over his body and the formation went berserk. The nine dragons duplicated at amazing speed into hundreds—no, thousands of dragons that tore the four immortals to pieces in mid-air.
A faint buzz sounded around Lu Yun as a soft breeze of otherworldly wind swept by. The Gates of the Abyss cracked open to admit the four immortals’ souls.
“So it seems that every time I kill someone, their soul passes through the gates to become a soldier of the underworld,” Lu Yun murmured as the formation faded away.
Over the past few days, apart from studying formations and cultivating, Lu Yun had finally figured out what the Gates of the Abyss were. The souls of anyone he killed entered the gates and became his personal troops.
Ge Long had been Lu Yun’s first kill. At the time, the gates had yet to open, so his name was written into the Tome of Life and Death instead. The book later resurrected him, but it couldn’t exercise much control over the old man, as it was lying dormant in Lu Yun’s body.
It wasn’t until Wanfeng had killed the newly-resurrected Ge Long that the old man came fully under the book’s control and became Lu Yun’s servant.
Grand Steward Xue and Old Willow hadn’t been that fortunate. The Tome of Life and Death recorded only the first person Lu Yun killed. With the Gates of the Abyss now activated, the book influenced the souls of anyone he killed to become his Infernum, a soldier of the underworld.
Unfortunately, they would cease to exist if they strayed too far from Lu Yun outside of the gates. As he grew more powerful, his troops would naturally gain more freedom of movement.
“Terrible, just terrible! Lu Yuanhou, the pride of his generation, was beaten to an inch of his life and thrown out like a dead dog!” Feng Li clucked his tongue as his subordinate briefed him. “He certainly won’t let this slide. The others won’t allow Lu Yun to live, either. There’s only a month left until the Dusk River Sacrament. Lu Yun will die as soon as he leaves the city and loses the protection of the grand formation.
“Should the Feng Clan make a move as well?” His elegant eyebrows drew together. “Who the hell hid that treasure in Dusk Province anyway? This is the middle of nowhere!”
His hands behind his back, Feng Li paced back and forth. If not for the treasure that many immortals were after, they couldn’t care less who the governor of the province was.
“Sir Envoy, Lu Yuanhou of the Lu Clan requests an audience!” a chilling voice sounded from outside the door.
Feng Li shuddered. “Turn him away!” His voice rose almost an octave.
“It’s only been a few days, Feng Li, but you’re already plotting against me. Tell me, how would you like to die?” Lu Yuanhou suddenly appeared by Feng Li’s side. Blotchy bruises covered his swollen face, but his eyes were as sharp as blades and shot daggers at Feng Li.
“Don’t come any closer!” Feng Li stuttered fearfully. “I-I’m His Majesty’s special envoy. I represent His Majesty. If you dare lay a finger on me, His Majesty will hold you responsible!”
“His Majesty? It was the crown prince who sent you, wasn’t it?” Lu Yuanhou stalked toward Feng Li. “Zhao Changkong can always send another if l kill you.”
That was the Nephrite crown prince’s name.
“I’ll help you take out Lu Yun!” Feng Li blurted out before Lu Yuanhou could deliver on his death threat. “The Dusk River Sacrament will be held next month. As the governor, Lu Yun must be present. That’ll be the perfect opportunity to kill him!”