“Who did it?!” Lu Yun could barely contain his anger.
Mo Yi shook her head. “A number of my servants were killed, but they kidnapped your maid instead of killing her. It’s obvious that you’re the target.”
It was six days until the Dusk River Sacrament, and various factions within Dusk Province had been flooding into the city to prepare for the event. This year, there was to be a new governor appointed. There were a myriad of conflicting interests at play, attracting a good many parties that all shared the same target—Lu Yun.
“Could it be Lu Yuanhou?” His expression darkened. That would be very much less than ideal, if true. He’d given the young man a good beating with the Enneawyrm Provenance Formation and killed four of Lu Yuanhou’s followers, turning them into Infernum. The Lu scion must bear a bone-deep hatred for him.
“Lu Yuanhou?” Mo Yi frowned. “From the Lu Clan in Nephrite Major? A great disaster weakened the clan, and it wasn’t until a few centuries ago that they recovered, why would they get involved in this?”
“What are you referring to?” Lu Yun tensed, he just knew there must be something more to the situation.
Yes, the Dusk governor was a member of Nephrite Major with great status and power, but Dusk Province itself was dirt poor, and there was a terrible restriction scaring off almost all immortals.
Lu Yun hadn’t suspected anything when he’d only possessed Yuying’s memories, but with the addition of Feinie’s, he’d realized something was afoot.
Dusk Province was a far cry from what it’d been five thousand years ago. At that time, even the city lords were golden immortals, and the governor had been an arcane immortal. If there were to be a change in the governorship, powerful cultivators from all over Nephrite Major would flock to the province. Even if unique Dusk requirements mandated that only locals could be candidates, many would be eager to befriend the new governor.
Now, however, it barely had two spirit stones to its name, and there was a mighty restriction that killed any golden immortals who entered. Over the past thousand years, no governor had lived longer than a hundred years, and the people couldn’t care less about who occupied the position. Who cared about it now?
But this time, the celestial emperor had suddenly decreed that Lu Yun must become a cultivator in half a year. After he went into closed door cultivation, the crown prince further amended that there was to be a tournament to select the new governor.
No matter what, even if Lu Yun remained in his seat half a year later, he would have to entertain challenges from other cultivators. Nothing made any sense; even a fool could see there was something amiss.
“It’s simple enough.” Mo Yi noted that Lu Yun’s expression had calmed down. “The sudden interest in this forgotten province is because of a treasure that will soon appear.”
“Treasure?” Lu Yun paused. “The Formation Orb? Those paintings?”
“None of them.” Mo Yi shook her head. “It’s called the Sword Pagoda. It used to be widely known, a hundred thousand years ago.”
“Is it more powerful than the Formation Orb?” This was a rather surprising tidbit for Lu Yun. Many had figured out that the Formation Orb lay somewhere within Myriad Formation Summit, but it still hadn’t attracted much attention.
“You’d better keep the Formation Orb a secret, or I can guarantee that you’ll meet with a terrible death.” Mo Yi had guessed his new acquisition from the burial mound. Lu Yun trembled and kept his mouth shut.
“The Formation Orb is a connate-grade treasure. Of course it’s more powerful than the Sword Pagoda. However, the mountain’s protections prevented anyone from getting their hands on the orb—even dao immortals couldn’t find it. The Sword Pagoda is a different story, as the Dusk governor can easily command it to come forth by channeling the power of the land with his seal.”
Lu Yun frowned slightly.
“The Sword Pagoda is more than an ancient treasure,” Qing Han interjected, still resting on a nearby recliner. “According to an old text excavated from an ancient tomb, it was a lord’s signature treasure in the ancient times. After his death, he sealed his lifelong heritage into the tower.
“You have to keep in mind that the path of cultivation itself was broken a hundred thousand years ago. There’s a large gap in the knowledge and heritage of our world. The immortal dao was only restored because of artifacts that were discovered in ancient tombs. Most of what people have uncovered, however, are mere fragments.
“The Sword Pagoda, on the other hand, contains the full heritage of an ancient lord. According to the ancient texts, he was more powerful than a dao immortal. It’s a mystery if such an immortal can even exist now!
“Treasure can be priced, but heritage is invaluable. It’s the latter that’s most precious.” The explanation further lightened Qing Han’s face as he was still recovering, and it also left Lu Yun slack jawed.
“Can I surrender the province seal to you now and just have your people take over?” Now he understood what a difficult position he was in, and how the enemies he’d made before were basically just a bunch of kids picking a fight.
This was a brand new world built upon the ruins of the old civilization after a great catastrophe. Everything was in its infancy, and progress was only inching forward thanks to artifacts dug up from the ruins.
Currently, there were more mortals and cultivators in the world than immortals. The immortal dao had been intact a hundred thousand years ago, and there were no such things as cultivators or mortals. Every being was born a true immortal, a stark contrast with the present, where even a celestial emperor’s children started their journeys off as mere mortals until they finally ascended to immortality.
Of course, the passage of sufficient time would enable the immortal dao to recover, and the world return to its former glory. But they were still far from it, at least for now. A hundred thousand years was too short a period of time.
Under these circumstances, the complete heritage left by an ancient lord was fatally attractive to all immortals. Whoever acquired it would benefit from it greatly and progress far beyond their peers. Lu Yun, however, was too weak to weather the coming storm.
He wasn’t on Earth anymore. Here, immortals could control the very elements that made up the world, and killing Lu Yun would be as easy as exhaling.
An unbidden gratefulness rose in him for the province-level restriction placed by the ancient Dusk tomb. If it hadn’t kept high-level immortals away, someone would’ve pinched Lu Yun to death a long time ago.
“The Lu Clan has joined the game, and you’re their bargaining chip.” Qing Han shook his head. “They won’t let you off the hook if you dare give up.”
“I attacked Lu Yuanhou. That makes me an enemy of the clan,” sighed Lu Yun.
“An ancient lord’s heritage is much more important than a mere Lu Yuanhou,” Qing Han refuted. “The Lu Clan has only just recovered, so they’re in dire need of the heritage. They’ll try to control you and prevent you from turning on them.”
Lu Yun remembered the control art attached to the Aurum Openia Pill. That had been the clan’s true intentions. However, Yuying had seen through the trick, and Lu Yun ended up not taking the pill.
“Even if you surrender the province seal now, no one else can use it without a decree from the Nephrite court. Everyone has to play by the rules. But don’t worry, I’ll protect you.” Qing Han’s tone grew increasingly strange. Not even he himself knew what he was talking about in the end.
Lu Yun nodded with a wry smile. The court’s rules?
Without rules, there would be no prosperity. Over the past hundred thousand of years, the immortals had worked hard to establish a set of laws and form a heavenly court, thus creating a society.
They wouldn’t allow the rules to be broken just for the heritage of an ancient lord. One exception would become a precedent for others, then the world of immortals would dissolve into chaos again.
Lu Yun had been contemplating rebuilding his tomb raiding sect and propelling it to new heights in this new world filled with tombs. Unfortunately, this mess had descended upon him before he could commence his grand venture.
“Then I’ll claim this heritage!” he suddenly bit out. “I’ve never been intimidated by anyone in my life, and even an immortal’s burial mound is one of my conquests. What’s an ancient lord’s heritage worth, huh? I’ll take it! Let’s see who can stop me!”
Uttering this declaration drove away the invisible fears that had been weighing him down—fear of this unknown world, fear of facing those lofty and untouchable immortals. The grandmaster of his sect had once claimed that battling the heavens and earth provided endless exhilaration. Well then, I, Lu Yun, will face an entire world of immortals head on!