Stillness descended upon Dusk City, but was quickly broken by earth-shattering cheers that shook the entire city. Moved to tears, countless cultivators spread the word that the long-dreaded uprisings of evil spirits were amazingly no longer an issue!
No one questioned a personal promise from the restriction itself.
“Agreed.” A single word, as heavy Mount Tai.
Colossal goodwill surged into Lu Yun from all directions, wildly expanding the sal tree seed and releasing a blinding jade brilliance that bathed every meridian in his body in verdant light. The light vanished about a dozen breaths later, revealing a thumb-sized tree rooted in his dantian.
Marvelous energy rippled out from the sapling and repeatedly washed over Lu Yun’s consciousness. The hopes of all things living and the resentment of the most wicked demons deluged him again and again, keeping his mind empty and clear.
The vibrant energy generated by the small tree sent Lu Yun’s cultivation soaring. He broke past the life core realm in the blink of an eye, reaching peak origin core realm!
Too bad I didn’t break through to the spirit realm!
At the same time, he knew he hadn’t been cultivating for nearly long enough. No matter how great the feedback from the seed was, he couldn’t expect outrageous progress without sufficient accumulation of tenure and enlightenment. This much was enough.
Upon reaching peak origin core realm, he obtained another death art: Mastery of the Five Elements.
“The five elements?” Blinking, he subconsciously lifted his hand and clutched at the northern sky.
A current of black air solidified and dropped into his hand, twinkling into the purest of water essence.
“What—” beside him, Qing Han gasped with shock. “This is the energy of connate water in its purest form, unsoiled by any environmental influence. How did you do that?” He goggled. “Countless pill makers or master refiners would go to war over even this tiny bit...”
“I see, so that’s what this art is about.” The Mastery of the Five Elements used Lu Yun’s own body as a locus to attract nature’s elements. However, his cultivation was still too weak, so he could gather only the weakest of elemental energies, like the small amount of water essence he now held.
Upon further thought, the ability felt somewhat familiar to him. Wait, isn’t this an ability of the four sacred beasts?
Realization suddenly struck him. The Azure Dragon, White Tiger, Vermilion Bird, and Black Tortoise—the four legendary sacred beasts also possessed similar abilities to shape the elements into formidable arts. However, each sacred beast ruled over only one element, while this death art of his could manipulate all five.
“Connate elemental energies can be crafted into pills and treasures, but more importantly, they can also temper the flesh. If you polish your body everyday with this water essence, your physique will soon far exceed those at a comparable cultivation level,” Qing Han explained as he stared at the water essence in Lu Yun’s hand with slight envy.
“Temper the body, you say?” Lu Yun’s eyes shone and he clutched toward the horizon in all five directions: north, south, east, west, and center.
Before long, the connate energies of metal, wood, water, fire, and earth brimmed in his hand. With a single thought, he turned them into five glittering, revolving beads and pushed them into Qing Han’s hands.
“When it comes to body tempering, you’re the one who needs it most. Just look at your build, it’s so flabby I can’t see any muscle definition. You have to really work at bulking up!” He put his hand on Qing Han’s chest and gave it a slight squeeze. “Where are your pecs? Look at me!”
He grabbed Qing Han’s hand and placed it on his chest, then flexed his chest muscles, making his friend blush bright red. Qing Han hastily yanked his hand back and fled back to the city in a flash of snowy sword light.
Lu Yun rubbed his forehead, then headed in as well.
Dusk Province’s restriction had indeed revealed itself, and even killed the head of House Donglin as easily as one would swat dead a mosquito. The news soon spread to every corner of the immortal world.
Every immortal that set foot in Dusk Province now did so with trepidation, no longer daring to even entertain the idea of unleashing their true cultivation. What was even more shocking to them was that, even though widely known as good-for-nothing trash that was unable to cultivate and abandoned by Nephrite Major’s imperial court, the governor was intrepid enough to negotiate terms with the restriction. He’d even convinced it not to let the evil spirits run amok!
“No matter his relationship with the restriction, we need to get our hands on the ancient lord’s legacy!”
“Is that restriction as strong as they say? I wonder if it’d survive eight celestial emperors attacking it together!”
Though Lu Yun had reached an unprecedented agreement, it still wasn’t enough to deter the other immortals. On the contrary, if the restriction dared interfere with the ancient legacy, the eight celestial emperors would surely jointly attack Dusk Province, tear open the Dusk Tomb, and rip that restriction to pieces.
Nevertheless, Aureate Major’s House Donglin was now a target of ridicule.
The Nephrite emperor’s envoy had slapped their faces in broad daylight, and even their house head had perished in Dusk Province. Although they were furious, House Donglin’s immortals dared not take revenge.
Their emperor issued a decree forbidding further trouble in Nephrite Major, promising severe punishment for violators. The Aureate emperor also silenced the house’s dissatisfaction through a combination of force and threats, his harsh actions coming down on them like a ruthless bucket of ice-cold water that shocked the house awake and reminded them of who truly ruled Aureate Major.
House Donglin had always considered itself the supreme faction in the major. They even looked down on the imperial clan itself, so much so that the contemporary house head had named himself Yuhuang, which used the characters for ‘Plume Emperor’.
The significance of that was plain for all to see. Ergo, this had been a perfect opportunity for the Aureate emperor to take them down a peg.
Lu Yun remained deaf to outside matters, no matter the storms raging at large in the world. Instead, thanks to Qin Han’s pointer, he bent his mind to tempering his body with the elemental essences. He finally understood the disparity between him and Aoxue: sheer, physical strength!
Although Aoxue’s cultivation was sealed at the golden core realm, she still possessed the body of an immortal. Her every movement contained a formidable strength that proved difficult for Lu Yun to withstand. If he could match her physique, he might last a few more moves against her.
As his body’s strength soared, his training bouts with Aoxue became increasingly spectacular, sharpening his fighting senses at a dazzling pace. At present, he could rely on not only the dragon princess’ fighting aptitude, but also Feinie’s formations, Xuanxi’s talismans, and Yuying’s fire arts as one whole.
“Sir, you are skilled enough to cope with those cultivators out there.” Aoxue suddenly stopped, cutting a somewhat sorry figure as the front of her clothes had been torn by her master’s palm strike.
“Just like that?” Lu Yun blinked.
“The arena isn’t a contest of just fighting prowess. You can also use various weapons or treasures. In fact, you can even summon the bean soldiers.” The dragon princess’ smile was soon echoed by Lu Yun’s own.
Weapons and treasures?
He had a ninth-rank immortal sword in his possession. Was there any other core realm cultivator in the world who could wield the power of a weapon like that at his level?