“What? Lu Yun’s gone?!” Lu Yuanhou shot to his feet when the report came in.
Under the threat of the Enneawyrm Provenance Formation, cultivators in the city had stopped causing trouble for the governor. They didn’t dare even keep an eye on him. They worried that Lu Yun would recklessly activate the formation again and slaughter them all.
It wasn’t until a few days after Lu Yun had left Dusk City that the aristocracy even noticed that the governor’s manor was completely empty.
“He’s courting death by leaving the city. After him!” Lu Yuanhou immediately ordered. However, the four immortals serving him had already died at Lu Yun’s hands, leaving Lu Yuanhou with only Feng Li’s subordinates to command.
Of this, Feng Li dared not complain. In Nephrite Major, he was a noble scion with no skill in anything but womanizing. If he hadn’t latched on to the crown prince’s thigh, he wouldn’t even have landed the position of envoy to Dusk Province.
Meanwhile, Lu Yuanhou was highly regarded, and a representative genius of his clan. Though he wasn’t yet an immortal, he was an influential figure in Nephrite Major. In other words, even if the young genius killed Feng Li, the crown prince would just send another envoy without complaint.
“That won’t be necessary, Brother Lu!” Feng Li hurriedly objected. “Lu Yun is still the governor of Dusk, which makes him a member of the Nephrite court. Going after him so openly will attract criticism, and His Majesty won’t take it too kindly if he finds out.”
“Oh?” Lu Yuanhou frowned, plainly unaware of what the family elders had done to the Aurum Openia Pill. “What do you suggest we do, then?”
“We’ll wait for him in Duskwater Prefecture! He must attend the Dusk River Sacrament. If he doesn’t, I’ll be able to sentence him myself and strip him of his title.” Feng Li brimmed with confidence in his plan.
Something terrible lay in the depths of the ancient tomb in Dusk Province. The Nephrite court had sent several powerful immortals to investigate on several occasions, but they were devoured by the great terror as soon as they set foot into the province.
Since then, Dusk Province had been off-limits to high-level immortals. Any immortals over the level of golden immortal simply died upon entrance.
Thus, the Dusk River Sacrament had become a tradition over the next thousand years, endorsed by the Nephrite court. Held every hundred years, it was a governor’s duty to attend without fail. No one in Lu Yun’s position dared risk the consequences of being absent.
The prefecture was located in the north of Dusk Province, near the North Sea. The ritual would be held on the banks of the Dusk River, as suggested by its name.
Lu Yun checked in to an inn with Wanfeng and Ge Long. Yuying had entered the Gates of the Abyss rather than follow him around. Now that she was an Envoy of Samsara, the environment within the gates was greatly conducive to her cultivation. She would recover much faster by cultivating there.
“My house’s lord would like to invite you as a guest, young sir.” A man came knocking not long after Lu Yun had settled down. His stomach lurched. Have they found me already?
Lu Yun had disguised himself before departing from his city. Not even Wanfeng had been able to recognize him when he was standing in front of her, yet someone from the local government had arrived not long after he entered the prefecture!
“Who is your lord?” he asked with a frown.
“The city lord of Duskwater City,” the messenger replied, looking at Lu Yun with a small smile.
“Ah, is that so.” Lu Yun nodded and turned to Wanfeng and Ge Long, “You two, stay here and wait for me.”
“Understood.” Wanfeng wanted to follow, but she nodded in agreement when she saw the expression on her master’s face. As for Ge Long, the steward wasn’t worried at all.
Within the Gates of the Abyss resided four immortal-level errand boys that Lu Yun could summon with a single thought. It wasn’t likely that anyone in this city could threaten him. He had kept a low profile on this trip, but he’d also purposefully left a trail of breadcrumbs to trap those who were conspiring against him in the shadows.
Unfortunately, those people had been scared witless. They all wanted him dead, but none of them wanted to risk keeping too close an eye on him. Therefore, his trip from Dusk City to the heart of the prefecture had been a peaceful one.
This Duskwater City Lord must be someone important! What city lord’s manor? This looks more like the residence of the crown prince himself! There must be something more to this local ruler. Lu Yun observed the feng shui of the city lord’s manor upon his arrival and clucked his tongue in appreciation, but despite the praise, he kept his guard up.
The prosperous feng shui of the Duskwater City Lord’s manor was miles ahead of that in the Dusk City governor’s manor. This city lord was clearly much more influential than the Dusk governor.
The servant of the manor gave Lu Yun a short tour around the front entrance, then took him through the back door that led directly to the rear garden. Lu Yun gaped momentarily when he entered. This is an arrangement of the Seven Stars.
He reflexively looked up. If it’d been night, the feng shui layout of the garden would’ve matched that of the Big Dipper overhead. This must be an impressive formation, but alas, I’m only an amateur and can’t really tell what’s special about it.
Nevertheless, he recognized the feng shui layout. The weakness of the layout was also the weakness of the formation.
“This is the restricted area of the manor, Your Excellency. Please don’t run off on your own. If you die, you only have yourself to blame!” The servant suddenly smiled and vanished into thin air.
Something resonated around Lu Yun. The world changed completely, and palm-sized snowflakes cascaded from the sky. It was no snow, but a physical manifestation of cutting sword qi.
The city lord wants me dead? Lu Yun’s face clouded over. No. That man paraded me around the streets and front door. He wanted everyone to see me enter the manor. If I were to die here, the city lord would be the first to take the fall.
However, he brought me here without difficulty and obviously knows the place well. He’s definitely part of the staff here. Lu Yun easily dodged a snowflake and moved to the blind spot of the formation.
He might be a beginner in the art of formations, but he was a grandmaster of feng shui. His reputation as the strongest commandant of tomb raiders was no superfluous accolade. The snow grew increasingly heavier, but he crossed the snowy field unaffected, as though he was casually strolling in his own backyard.
The formation before him was intricate, but incomplete; Lu Yun could spot several weak points. Even as weak as he was, it wouldn’t take him that much effort to break the formation. The layouts in the tombs on Earth were a hundred times more complicated.
The snowfall of sword qi thinned as Lu Yun walked on, and wonderfully melodious zither music floated in from the distance.
Quite involuntarily, he followed the tune out of the Seven Stars. A small lake came into view, in the center of which stood a small pavilion. Within it, a girl dressed as a man caressed a zither.
Roughly seventeen years of age, she was charmingly beautiful. Her skin was as pale as snow, and fairer than the finest china. Tied and capped silky locks imparted a dashingly handsome air to her, an impression that was further reinforced by her cyan robe.
More importantly, Lu Yun sensed a familiar presence from the girl—she was an immortal.
Seemingly sensing Lu Yun’s arrival, the girl stilled the strings. “Please forgive me, Your Excellency. This junior official was not informed of your arrival.” The cross-dressing girl bowed slightly.