Mo Yi didn’t respond to Qing Han’s mumbling. The august immortals seemed powerful, but she was leagues above and could deal with them herself. What gave her pause was the strange formation in the area. The three august immortals possessed something that allowed them to navigate the formation freely, which was something she couldn’t do....
“This governor is pleased to serve His Highness the Crown Prince.” Lu Yun grinned. “I know a thing or two about formations, perhaps I can be of help.”
His reaction bizarrely reassured Qing Han. There had been countless terrible monsters in the burial mound under Myriad Formation Summit. The undead hag and the nine bloodcorpses they’d encountered at the end of their excavation were particularly powerful.
But Lu Yun had still managed to get them out of there alive.
“You’re the governor?” Qi Shenghui paused to give Lu Yun a once-over, his feminine eyebrows quirking slightly. “Isn’t the Dusk governor a mortal who can’t cultivate? You’re in the qi transformation realm.”
“The Lu Clan from the capital gifted me an Aurum Openia Pill and many others,” Lu Yun said without missing a beat. “I became a qi transformation cultivator after taking them.”
Qi Shenghui’s question had informed Lu Yun that the man lacked knowledge of Dusk Province’s recent events, so he used the clan as his cover.
The man and his companions fell silent.
“I have heard that House Lu in Dusk Province is a branch of the Lu Clan, Master Qi,” the armored man whispered. “They snuck into the province a thousand years ago and planted their bloodline here.”
A conspiratory smile tugged at Qi Shenghui’s lips.
“How wonderful it is that you’ve become a cultivator,” he said. “It’ll be a great contribution if you acquire the Formation Orb for His Highness. Perhaps he’ll even help you keep your title in a fit of good mood.” He narrowed his eyes slightly, killing intent thickening.
“Don’t do anything reckless,” Qing Han silently transmitted to Lu Yun and Mo Yi. “Qi Shenghui is a eunuch and a valued official of the crown prince. The crown prince must’ve given him powerful treasure before sending him to locate the Formation Orb. We should play his game, for now, and see where that leads us.”
Mo Yi nodded slightly and withdrew her readied power.
“Trust Lu Yun,” Qing Han piped up. “This place isn’t going to stump him.”
That being said, he had his own plan. The longer they dragged this out, the more his strength would recover. He’d soon be able to use the two most powerful items in his possession: the starstone and the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals.
Using the starstone had serious ramifications for him, but it would be more than enough to deal with three august immortals. The Scroll of Shepherding Immortals had helped him recover half of his strength. Even better, it was gradually eating away at the thing in his body that terrified even the Qing Clan.
“His Highness can help me keep my position?” Lu Yun followed up with self-righteous zeal in his bright eyes, “Then I am his to command. This governor will do all I can to acquire the Formation Orb.” He said all that without batting an eye, an easy task given his degree of thick skin.
Qi Shenghui’s face twitched. He hadn’t concealed his intent to kill the trio when he demanded their cooperation. The threat couldn’t be more obvious without putting a knife to their throats, yet the governor had still announced his allegiance to the crown prince?
“That would be ideal!” The armored man broke into loud laughter. “The Lu Clan has spent a lot of resources on you. Soon, they’ll have you form a golden core and help them get what they want. With you serving His Highness, he’ll be able to interfere and steal the treasure right under your clan’s nose.”
Qing Han and Mo Yi exchanged a look and snorted at the same time. Lu Yun had said something similar to Qing Hongchen before. Then, he’d almost gotten Qing Hongchen killed. In fact, the young man was still missing, if not dead.
“Enough chit chat,” snapped the old man in red. “Demonstrate your loyalty with action. Past noon, the Formation Orb, and this formation, will sink back into the river. Who knows when they’ll resurface again.”
Once the island returned beneath the waters, not even a dao immortal would be able to gain access. The water of the river was deadly poisonous. Nothing could stay afloat on it, and nothing could survive within it.
With a nod, Qi Shenghui waved his hand, casting a beam of white light from his body and carving a path to the Dusk River through the terrifying layout of two principles. The path of light dimmed and faded once it entered the water; it seemed there was something in the river that blocked it.
Immortals, Lu Yun sighed inwardly. A tomb raider and feng shui master like him could never break through a layout in such a way. This was something only the immortals of this world were capable of. Even if they couldn’t identify a layout, they could destroy it with raw power, or use a treasure.
The six of them walked along the white path and reached the riverbank.
“You, follow the path onto the island and see what’s there,” Qi Shenghui ordered Mo Yi in a chilling tone.
The layout of two principles restricted anyone from soaring into the air. No one could take flight here, with or without a sword. They would have to rely on their feet to reach the island.
“Don’t.” Lu Yun grabbed Mo Yi and shook his head before she could say anything.
“What? Do you want to take her place?” Qing Shenghui’s eyes shone murderously. He’d only allowed the three of them to live so they could be cannon fodder. He wasn’t going to allow the governor to latch onto the crown prince’s thigh.
“Take a good look at the river. She’ll be dead if she walks into the water,” Lu Yun scoffed. “Didn’t expect His Highness to take a simpleton under his wing.”
“What did you say?!” Qi Shenghui flew into rage, his fair face flushing beet red. How dare a qi transformation ant insult an august immortal?!
“Bodies! So many of them!” The old man in red looked down at the river reflexively, his expression changing drastically as a result. Qi Shenghui and the armored man followed suit.
Countless pale bodies floated in the river and moved with the waves, their eyes wide as the final moments of life slipped past them. Their empty gazes seemed to be fixed on the six of them.
Though the three of them were august immortals, they couldn’t help but shudder from the cold that worked up from the bottom of their hearts. Corpses themselves weren’t terrifying, but even immortals would be creeped out when countless bodies were staring at them.
“129,600 bodies.” Two dark shadows flashed through his eyes as Lu Yun activated his Spectral Eye. “That’s the number of the one principle in Taiji philosophy. This is when one principle is used in chronology. One era is 129,600 years, and the layout in the river is a layout of one potential.”
He abruptly lifted his head up to the sky and saw the sun hanging behind layers of mist, lifeless and dim. Lu Yun’s expression turned exceptionally dark.
“What’s wrong?” Qing Han asked, the first to notice Lu Yun’s change of expression.
“There’s a tomb for the living here,” Lu Yun looked at the island at the center of the river, “And we’ve stepped right into it.”