A bemused Lu Qingyi took control of Skybearer. As a Lu Clan ultimate treasure, the blood of numerous clan dao immortals had nurtured it so that it could easily be commanded by immortals with the Lu bloodline. Being a peerless immortal and one of the clan’s core members, Lu Qingyi could naturally wield the gates’ power.
He erased the personal brand on Skybearer, but didn’t disperse the power of our clan’s bloodline, Lu Qingyi realized with a start. Although Lu Yun had publicly slapped the clan’s face, he hadn’t burned every bridge. On the other hand, Lu Qingyi was at a loss to understand why the governor trusted him enough to hand over Skybearer just like that.
If their roles were reversed, Lu Qingyi never would’ve trusted Lu Yun so readily. But the peerless immortal didn’t dwell on his doubts and quickly refocused his mind. In his hands, Skybearer could deploy even greater power, since he was more familiar with the treasure than Lu Yun.
In no time at all, he incapacitated the giant arm against the ground. However, that further enraged the zombie inside the tomb. The land within a few dozen kilometers heaved and bulged, as if the monster would break out at any second.
Eyes widening with alarm, the eighteen Lu immortals were about to switch to another formation, when—
“Stay where you are for now.” A young girl clad in black strode out of the void. Looking slightly haggard, her voice sang like an exultation of skylarks. “The ‘Mountain-Toppling Formation’ isn’t to be used like this. Reposition yourselves according to my instructions.”
The girl lifted her hand and etched a few formation runes in the air that dropped down to merge with the grand formation that was held by the eighteen immortals. An image of a vast mountain instantly emerged above the formation.
Delight plain on their faces, the Lu immortals hastened to alter the formation according to Feinie’s directions.
“Rend—” With a furious shout from Lu Qingyi, Skybearer’s gates cracked open. The jade brilliance became almost tangible as it ruthlessly pushed against the ground, gradually stilling the earth’s tremors and preventing the land from rupturing.
However, those assembled could sense an even more fearsome energy brewing beneath. As soon as it erupted, it was bound to upend the earth in a radius of several hundred kilometers.
Thick thunderclouds converged from every direction, darkening the land as silver lightning bolts snaked across the sky with frenzied roars.
“It’s that move again! Lu Yun’s summoned the divine lightning of the nine heavens!!” some of the gathered immortals screamed in shock. Three days ago, it’d been this move that enabled Lu Yun to withstand Qing Quan’s palm strike and shred the dao immortal’s clothes, delivering him as the world’s latest laughingstock.
The governor was calling upon the divine lightning once again! Divine lightning of the nine heavens was born of all things in nature, and shockingly, it was at the beck and call of a measly cultivator!
Endless lightning collated into a silver pillar of light that crashed violently onto Lu Yun, ultimately condensing into a ball in his hand.
“It must be a lightning mastery art. Legends speak of a god of thunder and virtue in an ancient immortal dynasty. He wielded lightning in its every facet; even the tribulation of cultivators fell under his jurisdiction.
“Allegedly, the lesser lightning deities under his command could employ a special art to control the divine lighting of the nine heavens. Could this Lu Yun have excavated the divine tomb of a lightning deity and gained a similar ability?”
To control divine lightning was an eye raising ability, but still within the bounds of plausibility. Some contemporary powerhouses could also command the divine lightning of the nine heavens, thanks to special methods, to say nothing of the ancient deities that’d wielded the lightning to protect the immortal dynasty’s authority.
The Qing immortals shifted uneasily at the appearance of the lightning. This lightning had blasted the dignity of one of their dao immortals to utter smithereens. Venerated Elder Qing Hao had returned to the clan and secluded himself behind closed doors. He likely wouldn’t set foot outside for several centuries to come—or even several millennia—until his embarrassment abated. By association, the Qing immortals had also become objects of ridicule.
Lu Yun grasped the divine lightning in his hand as a blinding, infinite road appeared at his feet, leading straight underground: the Path of Ingress! Nephrite Major’s greatest treasure, it was a fearsome item that could pierce through any barrier and overcome all formations. He set foot on the path and instantly vanished from sight.
Many immortal dignitaries from Nephrite Major immediately rose to their feet and formed a defensive circle around the treasure. Though it was just a replica, if an immortal from another major were to obtain it, they could use it to spy upon the Path’s secrets and negate Nephrite Major’s greatest trump card.
“He’s going to enter the tomb and face the zombie head-on!” Many gasped when they saw Lu Yun’s figure disappear on the Path of Ingress. “Boldness is born from ability indeed. No wonder he’s first among the youth sovereigns!”
Previously, some had felt Lu Yun’s confrontation with the Qing dao immortal to be the mere recklessness of youth. But his actions now in challenging the ominous zombie face to face couldn’t be anything but true self-assurance born from genuine skill. Without sufficient strength, who would desire to throw their lives away?
“He is a greater man than me!” Dejection flashed across Wu Tulong’s face. “At the very least, I don’t have the courage to rush into the belly of the beast and face that monster.”
The other three youth sovereigns also looked downcast. They’d initially thought they weren't far behind Lu Yun. Dongfang Hao, in particular, had fought Lu Yun for three days and three nights, only losing by one move.
Although the governor had faced a dao immortal and could summon divine lightning, the four youngsters firmly believed they could still overtake him. But here and now, they finally understood where the difference between them lay: courage.
Lu Yun feared nothing and no one, be it dao immortal or invincible zombie. He ceaselessly forged onward, never cowering. Even ten million foes couldn’t bend his will.
“I may be inferior, but it doesn’t mean I’ll simply give up. At least, I’ll surpass the three of you and become the world’s second best!” Mo Qitian suddenly smiled.
“Second best… hahahaha!” Dongfang Hao laughed heartily. “Being first is the only goal worth pursuing! Even if I can’t be first, I’m going to breathe down Lu Yun’s neck and have him sitting on pins and needles!”
“He who laughs last, laughs best! He might be the greatest youth sovereign at the moment, but that doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily be stronger than us once we’re all immortals! He may be ahead of us as a cultivator, but when it comes to the boundless dao of immortals, I will be number one!” Zi Chen proclaimed loud and clear.
“You’ll have the three of us to contend with!”
To remain unyielding in the face of myriad obstacles and shout back at the world at the top of one’s lungs, such was to be a youth sovereign.
Meanwhile, Lu Yun journeyed along the Path of Ingress and reached the underground, finally catching a complete glance of the zombie. It was a scarlet zombie, its mass of flesh and blood a half-rotten, partially decayed mess. A full three thousand meters in height, it presently lay on the ground inside the tomb.
Scarlet eyes latched onto Lu Yun’s frame the moment he entered the tomb, crimson flashes within its bottomless irises bathing the space in bloody light.
“It’s not the tomb that’s suppressing the Sugato Sword, but the Sugato Sword that’s suppressing this zombie…. Or to be more exact, this bloodcorpse!” He inhaled deeply.