“Where did the black dragon come from?” Lu Yun goggled at the calming sea from the stronghold’s battlements.
“How can there still be something so powerful in the North Sea?” Stupefaction also filled Yuchi Hanxing’s expression. The black dragon had barreled out of nowhere and dragged the Black Tortoise image into the sea. Being able to overcome the combination of a juba and blackwater snake like that… it must be at least a peak peerless immortal!
Diexi looked oddly at the human and his equally befuddled friend, unable to understand why the two were acting this way. Wasn’t the black dragon the one Qing Han had captured in the abyss? How could they not recognize it?
Despite her innocence, she was smart enough to keep her mouth shut; something else was obviously at play here.
“Exactly!” Qing Han hurriedly chimed in. “That black dragon was at least a peerless immortal. I didn’t imagine something like that would be in the sea!”
Lu Yun tried his best to keep a straight face. “Alright, alright, the great battle between the peerless immortals is over. Let’s get back to our posts. Yuchi Hanxing, you should devote yourself zealously to defense in the near future, the monster spirits will be back for sure.”
“Yes, sir!” Yuchi Hanxing answered readily. She mentioned nothing about the juba that had so abruptly appeared. The only juba in the known world lived within the Skandha Range.
I’m the one who saved the seaside stronghold, so why is most of the good karma going to Diexi and Qing Han?
Lu Yun was a little dejected on his way back. He’d thought he would earn the goodwill of eight hundred thousand soldiers and be propelled to the origin core realm, but the enormous amount that appeared flowed toward the zombie king and his friend instead.
The amount he’d received in the end was pitiably small. Nevertheless, they’d all benefited tremendously in other ways overall. The creatures that the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals had captured were earth-shattering enough, but there was Empress Myrtlestar’s ancient heritage, too.
Near the end of the battle earlier, the blackwater snake had intertwined around the juba to form the Black Tortoise’s image. The black dragonguard had then picked up both with his mouth and tossed them into the scroll, where they were now sealed.
It wouldn’t take long for the turtle and snake to fuse into a true, living Black Tortoise. When they did, the new life would immediately possess the power of a dao immortal.
The Divine Azure Dragon King that was currently recovering inside the Scroll was inscrutably strong as well. At its peak, it likely rivaled the strongest immortals in the world. Unfortunately, the severity of its injuries hampered it from doing much in its current state.
After fighting against the dragon king, Empress Myrtlestar had fallen into a deep sleep. Her lingering obsession had merged with her soul fragment, and who knew when she’d next awaken.
Naturally, Lu Yun brought the Scroll and Emperor Star inside the Gates of the Abyss and borrowed the energies of hell for a careful sweep. He handed them back to Qing Han only after he’d made sure they were perfectly safe.
Compared to his friend, he had gained even more. A seed from the Sal Tree of Life and Death! That would tremendously accelerate his cultivation. The sprout’s growth would support and fill out the hell behind the Gates of the Abyss, slowly restoring it to the fearsome locale of death it was meant to be.
Qing Han remained in Dusk Province, residing in Lu Yun’s manor. He was both propping up the governor and taking refuge from his own woes. He had far too many treasures on him at the moment; if he returned to his clan now, its oldest members would probably take note and rob him clean. Thus, his older brother and cousin had forced him to stay here in protective exile.
He was still the Nephrite celestial emperor’s envoy in name, overseeing the province on His Majesty’s behalf.
The coming days were idyllic in their peacefulness.
Lu Yun didn’t do much to intentionally gather goodwill. In the eyes of his people, he was still the same ol’ supreme bastard—the kind that did nothing but villainy all day long. If he suddenly did anything out of the ordinary, not only would he not be able to collect goodwill, but it’d backfire and he’d only draw the wrong kind of karma.
Fifteen days from the governor’s reselection, something momentous happened in Dusk Province. What was sunny and clear blue skies just a second ago abruptly darkened as a bank of stormy clouds rolled in to blot out the entire sky.
A calamitous wave picked up on the North Sea, pushing infinitely close to the seaside stronghold. Countless monster spirits were gathered by the wave—innumerable golden, arcane, and peerless immortals among them.
In the heart of the governor’s residence, Lu Yun and Qing Han stood side by side atop Mooncatcher Tower, gazing into the north.
“They’re finally here,” the governor said with a frown.
There was no way the North Sea court would accept the disappearance of their king outside the human stronghold. Moreover, competition within the province over the ancient lord’s heritage was truly heating up. The other regions in the world of immortals had no reason or energy to interfere, but the disappearance of one of their kings gave the North Sea monsters the perfect excuse.
“Return the King of Southern Subjugation or all of Dusk Province will be flooded! Our destruction will be mutual!” A deafening voice echoed across the province, causing innumerable lives to raise their heads with shock.
“Return our king!”
“Return our king!”
“Return our king!”
The land trembled beneath the chorus, even as the tidal wave reached the stronghold’s walls. The North Sea emperor didn’t dare step foot on Dusken earth, but he could and would drown it in an overwhelming deluge! The province’s restriction against golden immortals was powerless against the encroaching water.
“Your King of Southern Subjugation is already dead. What d’you want me to do about it?” Up in Mooncatcher Tower, Lu Yun snorted in derision at the northern sky. His modest voice was broadcast to the entire province through the provincial seal.
The humans of the province were astounded by this revelation: the North Sea King of Southern Subjugation, the giant that had a constant eye on invading the province, was dead?
A wave of impromptu cheering washed through the citizenry.
Dusk Province and North Sea monster spirits were longtime mortal enemies of each other. Beigong Zhen, the King of Southern Subjugation, was every person’s nightmare.
Dusk Province was a fairly barren place; the North Sea wasn’t much better off, but it was considerably better-endowed than its terran neighbor. Dusk Province cultivators often explored the sea for natural resources. Alas, the King of Southern Subjugation, that great blackwater snake, patrolled the sea like an inexorable guardian.
The human cultivators were overjoyed to hear that their number one threat in the sea was finally gone, despite the monster spirit emperor that was currently threatening the northern border.
I don’t get it. I’m the one who dealt with that king. Why is the goodwill from that headed to the south?
As the owner of the Sal Tree sapling, Lu Yun could visibly see the streams of karma. Rather than coming to him, they flew to the south… where the Nephrite capital was. Evidently, Dusk Province’s inhabitants attributed the beneficial feat to their emperor’s work.
“If you cannot return our king, then let Dusk Province… be destroyed!”
An explosion ripped through the void as a mountain of water displaced the air and the surging wave crashed down upon the seaside stronghold with crushing force.