Oh, how the humiliated Exalted Immortal disciples wanted to dismember Lu Yun, then find a hole in the ground to hide in!
There was already a mortal feud between the governor and their sect after Lao Nuo made his report of the events inside the pill fairy’s tomb. Lu Yun knew the sect was convinced the ‘Panorama of Clarity’ was on him. Rather than wait for their inevitable attack, he’d chosen to strike first in a ruthless assault instead, catching them on the back foot.
Zhao Tiefeng no longer dared speak up after having grasped how his misstep had roused the crowd’s ire. But secretly, he now saw Lu Yun as someone he needed to kill at all costs.
As for Lu Yun, he regretted being unable to complete his sword art in the arena. Facilitating the comprehension of all those present would’ve surely earned him a great deal of goodwill for sal tree fertilizer.
Enjoying unstoppable momentum after four successive victories, he defeated the next six challengers as well, his ten successive wins shaking all onlookers.
After all, his true cultivation was only at the origin core realm. Almost all of the challengers thus far were peak spirit realm cultivators. Even sealed back to the golden core realm, they were far above ordinary core realm cultivators in their mastery. Moreover, there’d been several world-renowned geniuses among the six defeated challengers who’d simply been overpowered by the governor.
After creating the ‘Vast Dragon Seaturner’, Lu Yun didn’t use Violetgrave, resorting to ordinary spirit weapons and flying swords instead.
“The governor’s potential is truly fearsome! No wonder the Nephrite emperor felt confident in letting the entire world challenge him!” many gasped, frowns of dismay deeply etched into their foreheads.
“Didn’t they say he was a wastrel who couldn’t cultivate only half a year ago? And that he’d only started cultivating after he’d repaired his constitution with an Aurum Openia Pill?”
“It must be a diversion from their celestial emperor. He misled us on purpose.”
“That won’t do. This Lu Yun is too uncanny, we need to get him off the stage first!”
Ten wins were a far cry from a hundred, but Lu Yun’s performance had caused general uneasiness in many.
Up on the stage, Lu Yun’s breathing was calm and steady, no hint of weariness to be found after six consecutive bouts. He quietly stood there and waited for the next challenger. Engaging with the most celebrated geniuses of the immortal world had also resulted in extreme improvement for him.
Although Aoxue was powerful, she was only a single person when all was said and done. Fighting ten different people in a row and absorbing their battle styles had further broadened his horizons.
“Beigong Yu of the North Sea court. Please offer your instruction, Governor!” a man clad in black peacefully declared after taking to the stage.
Monster spirits had finally entered the ring. True enough, they weren’t prohibited from the Coretrial Arena. Any cultivator of any race or tribe in the immortal world was welcome in Dusk Province to try their luck. The Beigong surname was the name of North Sea royalty, but this Beigong Yu wasn’t a blackwater snake. He belonged to another species.
“Beigong Yu….” Lu Yun frowned slightly at the man, a strange expression crossing his face.
“It really is Beigong Yu! That’s the greatest manslayer of the North Sea. There’s got to be almost a hundred thousand immortals who’ve died at his hands!” an immortal cried out with shock.
“I heard his true body is that of a divine kunpeng.  The North Sea Emperor specially conferred the surname Beigong upon him. This the foremost monster spirit king under the North Sea Emperor that we’re talking about!”
“He’s fought in the battlefields of the North Sea for a thousand years and slaughtered countless immortals during his time. His infamy is known throughout not only Nephrite Major, but also other territories bordering the North Sea, like the Primus Major and Witherdew Major.”
“Isn’t he a peerless immortal? Why can he enter the Coretrial Arena?”
“That’s right, he’s a mighty peerless immortal! From what I heard, he’s only a step away from the dao immortal realm. What’s someone like that doing on the stage?!” A clamor arose as soon as people connected the dots.
“Why can I step into the arena?” Beigong Yu smiled slightly. “Because I severed my own cultivation and cleaved away my peerless immortal realm. The Beigong Yu you see now is merely a transformed spirit cultivator.” 
“What? He severed his own cultivation?” Many were taken aback by the explanation, but even more swore at him for being shameless.
The Coretrial Arena could seal the cultivation of any cultivator or immortal. Whether they’d truly ruined their own cultivation or not made no difference. However, Beigong Yu still possessed the mindset of a peerless immortal, as well as the requisite fighting experience and strategy, and even some of the combat arts. For him to step into the arena was simply bullying the weak.
But many still felt hopelessly resigned.
He wasn’t the first immortal to think of severing their realm to compete in the Coretrial Arena. However, few possessed the required courage. Someone like Beigong Yu, who’d been willing to give up on all it’d taken to reach peak peerless immortal, was truly one of a kind.
Qing Han stood up, a little ashen as he looked uneasily in Lu Yun’s direction. Sensing his gaze, the governor turned back and smiled brightly at his friend. The imperial envoy blinked, but immediately understood Lu Yun’s state of mind: he was supremely confident against Beigong Yu.
Therefore, Qing Han immediately declared, “A peerless immortal is an immortal no longer if he discards his cultivation and falls back to the transformed spirit realm. This does not violate the rules of the Coretrial Arena. The two combatants may begin.”
The words sent a ripple of astonishment through the crowd. Wasn’t this imperial envoy supposed to be extremely close to Dusk’s governor? Did he actually want to send Lu Yun to his death instead?
Zhao Changkong also looked askance at Qing Han. He thought the envoy would’ve wanted to thwart Beigong Yu’s intentions. The crown prince’s forehead creased slightly; this outcome was truly unexpected. He glanced at Lu Yun from time to time, interspersing his glances with gazes at Qing Buyi and Chen Xiao.
Can these two troublemakers have been the ones who fostered Lu Yun? he wondered suspiciously.
“It seems the ancient lord’s legacy is going to fall into the hands of the North Sea monster spirits,” many secretly rued.
“That’s not certain yet! Beigong Yu might be strong, but there are geniuses who can defeat him! Primus Major’s number one genius Dongfang Hao, Thundergale Major’s Zi Chen, Lazuli Major’s Mo Qitian, all of them are here today as well! They‘re the cream of the crop among the geniuses of the world!”
“That’s right, these supreme geniuses are absolutely invincible at the same level. Even a peerless immortal wouldn’t be their match after sealing their own cultivation!”
“There’s also Wu Tulong of the Martial School in the Enlightened Major. They say he once defeated a dao immortal whose cultivation was sealed when he explored an ancient tomb!”
A spirited discussion flared up between nearby cultivators as they suggested one earthshaking name after another.
As for Lu Yun, no one was particularly optimistic about his chances. The governor wasn’t bad, but he was still some distance away from these outstanding evildoers. Someone like him couldn’t possibly overcome an obstacle like Beigong Yu.
“A peerless immortal who severed his own cultivation?” Lu Yun narrowed his eyes as he looked at Beigong Yu.
“Don’t worry, I won’t kill you.” The latter nodded gently. “I will extract your living soul and forge it into an immortal weapon. A weapon made from the soul of a genius cultivator is twice as strong as an ordinary weapon of the same level.”
His tone was mild, like he was offhandedly commenting about the weather, but those who heard him had their blood run cold at his words.
Forging a weapon with someone’s nascent spirit was an absolute taboo among immortals all over the world, but human taboos meant little to monster spirits. When monster spirits and human immortals warred, the immortal prisoners usually ended up eaten, or refined into weapons or other treasures.
Of course, immortals also used the flesh of monster spirits to refine pills and weapons. Each race simply viewed issues from their own standpoint. There was no right or wrong, the strong simply preyed on the weak.
“But I will kill you!” Lu Yun responded earnestly.
Dense karmic debt lingered all around Beigong Yu. War followed its own set of rules. No matter the number of victims, to kill enemies during battle was the vocation of a soldier. Hence, good karma usually offset the bad of violence.
But Beigong Yu brimmed with so much negative karma that it was on the verge of materializing tangibly. That was clearly the mark of an indiscriminate, bloodthirsty butcher of countless innocents.
This monster spirit had the blood of innumerable humans on his hands.
“Kill me? Hahahaha—” Beigong Yu laughed heartily, like he’d heard the greatest joke in the world, but suddenly cut it short with a powerful pulse of an overpowering, murderous aura.
A giant, incorporeal beast that seemed to be both fish and bird, but at the same time neither, emerged from his shaking frame. A terrifying energy exploded from him and expanded in every direction.
All of Coretrial Arena shook heavily, tiny cracks appearing in the surrounding curtain of light.
“Die.” Beigong Yu stretched out a finger and pointed at a spot between Lu Yun’s eyebrows.
The audience below the stage held their breaths. Even Qing Buyi and Chen Xiao wore grave expressions, while Qing Han was on his feet, staring fixedly at Lu Yun.
The moment the governor showed signs of being overpowered by Beigong Yu’s attack, Qing Han would immediately fly to his friend’s rescue, even if he had to throw caution to the wind and expose the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals and Imperial Star.
“You are the one who should die.” Suffocated by the monster spirit’s formidable presence, every bone in Lu Yun’s body groaned painfully.
“Or Death,” he gently uttered five words.
1. This is an animal in Chinese mythology that is a giant fish in the sea, and a roc bird in the air.
2. @(#!*$ Peerless immortal is the highest of the immortal realms!