The sharp sound of a physical collision rang out and a great counterforce rippled from the tip of the poison fang.
Pain exploded from Lu Yun’s hand as the tremendous impact numbed his arms. The enormous snake head and its single horn were like a mountain of dark iron. His ninth-rank sword couldn’t shake it at all.
“Retreat!” he called out when the snake’s crimson eyes loomed into view again. A flash of blue radiance marked his disappearance. He was using a Xuanxi-crafted short-distance teleportation talisman, which allowed him to move anywhere within ninety meters.
It was most effective when his opponents didn’t expect it. However, if he used the trick one too many times, it would quickly be seen through, and thus nullified.
Powerful cultivators could easily cover a hundred yard radius with their consciousness and detect minute changes within that range. Although the talisman allowed for quick teleportation, an immortal’s sword could move just as quickly. If they sensed the changes in the air first, the tip of their swords would await Lu Yun after his movement concluded.
The rimesnake king, however, was trapped within the ceiling to protect the giant starstone and half of its enormous body was buried in the rock over their heads. Even if it could see through the teleportation talisman, it still wouldn’t be able to catch the human.
As soon as it swiveled its head around, Lu Yun teleported away, preventing it from getting a good look.
The snake summoned the smaller rimesnakes and sent them swarming in from all directions, covering the space around it in the span of a breath.
Lu Yun used a dozen few talismans in quick succession, flickering in and out of existence with an explosion of seventeen sword flares every time he reappeared, creating an endless rain of snake blood.
Nevertheless, there were too many of them.
“Nineteen Cerulean Sword Dragons!” Lu Yun snapped out as he came to a halt in midair.
A nineteen-yard-long violet dragon shadow took shape and coiled around his body. Sword energy morphed into violet scales that attached themselves to the dragon; it was like Lu Yun had shapeshifted into a violet dragon himself, rearing and brandishing its claws.
A complete Nineteen Cerulean Sword Dragon! The manifestation of all nineteen swords resulted in an actual dragon made of sword energy.
The sword art that Feinie had accidentally acquired was incomplete, containing only the first seventeen swords. Coincidentally, the complete art could be found in Aoxue’s memory.
The enormous dragon twisted nineteen times, each movement a slash from a grand sword. Terrifying brilliance exploded in the upper reaches of the chamber, sweeping where the Big Dipper Formation couldn’t reach and scything through countless rimesnakes.
Lu Yun moved again and brought down his sword in a straightforward attack on the snake king.
Eyes bloodshot, the snake’s hiss built up into a furious growl. The snake head struggled mightily, shaking the entire chamber and sending down an avalanche of dust and rubble from overhead. It seemed that it was about to burrow its enormous body out of the ceiling.
Crimson light flashed through the air as an even bigger cerulean dragon barreled out of the void to combine with Lu Yun’s. The two dragons struck simultaneously!
They bit viciously into the snake’s head like two matchless swords merging as one.
A metallic collision rang out again as an earth-shattering rumble ripped throughout the chamber. The snake king shrieked in absolutely ghastly pain, and translucent, pungent blood dripped from its head like venom. The Big Dipper Formation shook below them while killing energy formed by rays of starlight ran amok through the arrangement.
Feinie had set up thirty-six defensive formations with the Formation Orb to protect herself and Qing Han, but the Big Dipper Formation had been drawing upon the stars for years, nurturing a tremendous well of killing energy.
The energy tore through the defensive formations like paper.
She hastily assumed a cross-legged position and formed several hand seals, focusing the entirety of her attention on the Formation Orb and projecting even more defensive formations.
Back in the air, Lu Yun and Aoxue’s combined attacks with the duo dragons pierced through the snake’s head in flashes of crimson and violet.
After a final death cry, the rimesnake’s enormous head drooped weakly, lifeforce dissipating at great speed. In no time at all, it had thoroughly departed this world.
Noting Lu Yun’s pale face, Aoxue was about to help him back into the Big Dipper Formation.
“Don’t! Feinie’s not going to hold!” Lu Yun sucked in an urgent lungful of air. “Get the gem!”
“Understood!” Aoxue, too, had noticed the condition below.
More than thirty of Feinie’s formations laid in tatters. Only a couple still stood, and only with great difficulty. Even with the Formation Orb, she couldn’t deploy formations faster than their rate of destruction! Qing Han and she would be crushed in a few breaths.
Aoxue hurriedly made her way to the hovering starstone.
“Retrieve!” commanded Lu Yun.
The Treasurefall Coin attached to the starstone pulsed brightly with a golden splendor as the eye of the coin turned into a black hole, swallowing the treasure. As the stone disappeared, so too did the Big Dipper Formation.
The brightly lit chamber plunged into darkness again.
Lu Yun’s face paled. He’d exhausted the last of his energies. Weariness overcame his entire body as dizziness flooded his head. Now he knew how Qing Han had felt.
“Are you alright?!” The imperial envoy flew to Lu Yun’s side to take his other arm as soon as he sensed the formation’s disappearance.
“I’m fine,” Lu Yun said weakly. “Help me down. I’ll be alright after taking a few energy replenishing pills.”
Aoxue and Qing Han helped him to the ground, whereupon the dragon princess placed a few pills in his mouth. Lu Yun closed his eyes, letting the gentle medicinal effects wash over him.
A ball of black flames enveloped the snake king corpse above them and slowly set it ablaze, turning it to ashes in the end.
Within the Gates of the Abyss.
An enormous black snake three hundred meters long slowly took shape in the netherworld.
Lu Yun had killed the snake king with Aoxue’s help and turned it into one of his ghostly soldiers!
What surprised him, however, was the snake king’s strength. It could rival a golden immortal, but it wasn’t one. It was just a regular beast with a physical strength and consciousness that were on par with golden immortals. It wasn’t even a cultivator.
Something had broken its cultivation and scattered its power, otherwise it wouldn’t have had to rely on its bite when Lu Yun charged at it. It would’ve smashed down with combat arts instead, making mincemeat out of the human.
Of course, that’d been the only reason why Lu Yun had dared charge the snake king.
“Now I know how you felt back then.” After an indeterminate period of time, Lu Yun opened his eyes and flashed a wry smile. Maybe it hadn’t been a good thing to bully Qing Han at that time.
“Good!” Qing Han twisted his lips, then asked in concern, “Are you really alright now?”
“I am.” Lu Yun raised his hand and threw a fist-sized silver stone at Qing Han.
“This is a... starstone?!” The imperial envoy’s eyes shot open in incredulity. He hadn’t spotted the starstone at all, earlier. Or, more precisely, the starstone that was already on him had prevented him from sensing the power of another.
It wasn’t until the treasure came into his hand that he got a clear look at it. So the cosmic treasure was a starstone. And wait, Lu Yun had thrown it to him just like that?
“I saw the same stone on Qing Yu,” Lu Yun said weakly. “Perhaps this will be useful to her. Give it to her for me.”
“Oh,” responded Qing Han. He tucked the stone into his storage item, feeling a tinge of jealousy in his heart. Jealousy?
Why would I be jealous of Qing Yu?
“Or you can keep it for yourself if you want,” added Lu Yun.
A sudden warmth rose in his chest, and… now he was jealous of Qing Han as well. “I’m not developing split personalities, am I?”
Both Qing Han and Qing Yu are me! Why the hell would I be jealous of myself?
Qing Han shuddered. There were indeed bodies that housed two personalities in the world of immortals. If a Qing Yu personality really awoke in him one day, he’d have no idea what to do.
“Split personalities?” Lu Yun asked in surprise. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing!” Qing Han hurried out. “The formation is broken. We can now look for the coffin here, can’t we?”