Ever since the death of Donglin Yuhuang, head of House Donglin, all of the visiting dao immortals had withdrawn from Dusk Province, too nervous to remain in this strange territory. As a result, all of the delegations were headed by peerless immortals.
Grudges, big and small, had always existed between different factions. Dao immortals were the cornerstones of a major faction’s power, its strongest combat strength. It would be a grievous loss if one of them died to a plot in a place like Dusk Province.
Yet the Qing Clan’s dao immortal had come in broad daylight to chastise the governor!
The previous free-for-all had ended not long ago, and the title of the Five Youth Sovereigns was imprinted on everyone’s mind. Among them, Lu Yun was publicly recognized as number one.
However, a dao immortal had come to spoil the party before he could even catch his breath, assaulting his residence with a great treasure and turning it upside down. The title of youth sovereign was nothing but a joke to such a powerhouse. There were also many people keen to laugh at Lu Yun’s expense.
The Five Youth Sovereigns had stormed unopposed through the cultivators of the entire immortal world, and had even defeated immortals. Such prowess left various factions seething with jealousy and resentment—why couldn’t they have equally promising talents of their own?
By calling Lu Yun to account, the dao immortal was bound to strike a lethal blow at the prestige of the so-called Five Youth Sovereigns and cause their influence to plummet. All would know that a youth sovereign was nothing but a child that crumbled at the first blow from a true heavyweight. Lofty immortals were still the real masters of the world.
Exceptional prodigies had emerged en masse after the great war, as numerous as carp in the river or grains of sand on the beach. However, only a handful had ultimately developed to peak powerhouses, while the names of most others were quickly forgotten.
Thus, it would be best for these so-called youth sovereigns to keep their heads low before maturing and refrain from provoking people they couldn’t afford to offend. Otherwise, Lu Yun was a prime example of the consequences they’d suffer.
Thousands of miles away from Dusk City, on a verdant mountain peak.
Zhao Changkong, Chen Xiao, and Qing Buyi sat face to face, engaged in conversation when Chen Xiao suddenly froze and looked at Dusk City.
“Was this your goal all along when you lured the two of us here?” Chen Xiao fixated the crown prince with an icy glare.
“I’m simply doing someone a favor,” Zhao Changkong replied, unruffled. “I’ve already confirmed that it’s neither the Qing Clan nor the two of you backing Lu Yun. That means there’s another influence behind him, one that doesn’t belong to Nephrite Major. Since my imperial father is about to go into seclusion, someone of unknown origins like Lu Yun will become a malignant tumor sooner or later. I might as well excise him as soon as possible.”
The prince leisurely lifted his teacup and carefully tasted the tea inside.
Qing Buyi looked at Zhao Changkong, his tone deadly serious. “Lu Yun was in the middle of healing my younger brother Qing Han. The two of us should’ve gone to keep an eye on him, but you called us here and let that old fellow Qing Quan attack the manor. If something happens to my brother, you can kiss the imperial throne goodbye.”
Zhao Changkong stiffened.
“The one whose leg I broke last time, then-Crown Prince Shenguang was it? He should be your younger brother. If Qing Han is injured, I’ll kill that old fossil with my own hands, and Zhao Shenguang will become Nephrite Major’s next celestial emperor.”
Chen Xiao nodded as well. As serene as still water, he took his teacup and gently sipped from it while Zhao Changkong’s expression twisted into a grimace. The current crown prince had no doubt that Chen Xiao and Qing Buyi would make good on their word.
The cultivators of Dusk City were very tense, including Wu Tulong, Dong Fanghao, Zi Chen, and Mo Qitian. They’d been in the middle of sharing their insights, but had now risen to their feet and stared fixedly at the several hundred Qing immortals in the air.
“For the Qing Clan to go this far, there must be someone pulling the strings. However, it’s not appropriate for us to meddle in Nephrite Major’s affairs.” Next to the youth sovereigns, four peerless immortals gently shook their heads and held the young men in check. They were bodyguards assigned by their four respective factions to the young geniuses.
Talent needed to weather hardships and adversity before it could grow, but it also needed to be guided and protected. Although they were reluctant, Wu Tulong and the other three couldn’t provide any assistance to their peer.
After exiting the side room, Lu Yun looked up peacefully and observed the Qing immortals.
“Bullying?” The leading old man shook his head. “You’re too insignificant for me to bully you in person. You take my clan’s immortal sword and accept my clan’s resources, but help outsiders in the end. Giving away a prize already within grasp? You shame our patronization of you.”
“You’ve hurt Qing Han.” Lu Yun’s figure trembled slightly; he could feel Qing Han’s present pain. Although Empress Myrtlestar was doing her utmost to provide intensive therapy and keep his friend alive, she couldn’t dull the pain of being corroded by a thousand poisons.
A myriad of poisons were eating away at Qing Han. Not only did the longstanding rimesnake poison plague him, but so did the Poison Fiend’s various toxins torment his body.
It was an agony worse than death.
Lu Yun could feel a blade twisting in his heart; remorse, self-blame, and boundless rage gave way to tranquility.
“Qing Han?” The dao immortal blinked, then smiled. “Is he going to die?”
Lu Yun stayed silent.
“That vile spawn, harbinger of misfortune, utter pestilence…. If it weren’t for Qing Buyi and Chen Xiao shielding him, those two animals, I would’ve extinguished him long ago.” The old man smirked coldly.
Lu Yun lowered his gaze, black flames now alight inside his eyes. Yuying, Feinie, Xuanxi, and Aoxue were grievously wounded. They lay on the ground, unable to move, while Yueshen and her nine bloodcorpse copies were extremely dim.
The big bell in the old man’s hand was oppressively powerful. A single attack from its fearsome toll had inflicted heavy injuries on all five women. Even Feinie’s formations had been unable to withstand its might.
“This seat demands you retract what you said in the public eye. Only someone from the Qing Clan is entitled to the ancient lord’s legacy,” the old man continued.
“Hahahahaha,” Lu Yun suddenly threw his head back in laughter. Surrounded by a misty violet radiance, his figure slowly rose in the air. Violetgrave appeared in his hand, the tip leveled at the dao immortal.
Dumbfounded, the crowd gaped at the young governor. Even his fellow youth sovereigns found it inconceivable that Lu Yun would point his weapon at a dao immortal. Although the old man’s cultivation had been sealed to a mere august immortal, he was still a dao immortal through and through!
True, Wu Tulong had once defeated one such immortal, but that was one that’d just broken through, and they were inside an eerie ancient tomb at the time. In that tomb, the dao immortal’s strength, realm, cultivation, immortal force, and spirit had all been suppressed. He’d even been deprived of his dao fruit, devolving to the level of an ordinary cultivator. Wu Tulong wouldn’t have been able to overcome him otherwise.
In comparison, the one in front of them was an established dao immortal with a long-standing reputation, one of the Qing Clan’s venerated elders. While he’d sealed himself to the august immortal realm for his visit to Dusk Province, his true strength was a hundred times above that of a Zhao Tiefeng or a Lü Biao. He was a figure the likes of which none of them could ever hope to touch.
A dao immortal was an omnipotent existence who’d plucked a dao fruit, obtained the acknowledgment of the heavens, merged their breathing with the world, and ascended to the universe.
Yet Lu Yun was drawing his sword against such a figure! Did he truly think that simply being named a youth sovereign by the celestial emperors had made him a supreme existence? He must actually be crazy.
“Violetgrave belongs to my clan. To point the Qing Clan’s sword at Qing’s dao immortal is pure insubordination.” The old man’s anger was fully roused at seeing Violetgrave’s point facing him. Despite his sealed cultivation, he was still one of the immortal world’s greatest existences.
“Since you refuse to retract your announcement, then you might as well die.” The old man suddenly jabbed a finger at Lu Yun.