Silence descended when the giant eyes opened.
Eyes bloodshot, the celestial emperor of Exalted Major stood rooted to the spot with a steadily diminishing aura of a living being. Meanwhile, the two blood-red combatants tearing at each other froze in midair, like insects trapped in amber. However, their auras menaced in an increasingly murderous fashion and their eyes turned completely scarlet.
“What’s going on, Aoxue?!” Lu Yun glowered at the blood dragon in midair.
“I’m, I’m not sure. I’m still with Sir Qing Han!” Aoxue could see what was happening in the Sword Barrow through Lu Yun and shared his shock. That wasn’t her!
She hadn’t taken even a step away from Qing Han; she knew how important the Qing scion was to Lu Yun. Should any danger arise, her master could retreat to the Gates of the Abyss to come up with a response. Thus, Aoxue would never abandon Qing Han to appear next to Lu Yun.
The blood dragon that had burrowed out from the gates wasn’t her!
Wait, blood dragon? It was the blood dragon that everyone thought had been whisked away by the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers!
Previously, Aoxue’s transformation into a blood dragon upon release from the netherwood coffin had summoned the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers, but Lu Yun drove them away. When they retreated, they’d taken the body of the blood dragon, leaving only a skeleton behind.
Lu Yun then resurrected the skeleton with the Tome of Life and Death, making Aoxue an Envoy of Samsara. She came back to life as a blood dragon, but now… here was another one.
The Enneawyrm Coffinbearers didn’t take the blood dragon away with them, they left it in hell!
Lu Yun’s darkened when he deduced where the blood dragon had come from. If the blood dragon still resided in hell, then where were the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers?
He fully activated the Tome of Life and Death and swept its power through the netherworld, but found no trace of the nine dragons bearing a coffin.
“Blood dragon and blood phoenix appearing in the world at the same time… Die!” Something growled from above the giant crimson eyes.
The Exalted celestial emperor seemed to be unconscious and insensate to the world. Remaining upright where he was, he was as still as a statue while thick death energy radiated from his body. Meanwhile, the enormous eyes hovering in the air radiated tremendous power to seal the two terrifying blood fiends. Cracks spiderwebbed across their bodies, like they were porcelain.
A soul-piercing shriek pierced the air as the premises darkened.
Lu Yun jerked his head up to find a phoenix, spanning five hundred kilometers from wing-tip to wing-tip, emerging out of nowhere. The pitch-black bird was wreathed in black flames, and it had nine heads.
A nine-headed phoenix? And the bird bore a giant black coffin on its back!
“A Nine-Phoenix Casket!” His eyes shot wide with surprise. Like the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers, the Nine-Phoenix Casket was a vicious feng shui layout that also existed on Earth.
It resembled a nine-headed phoenix bearing a giant coffin, but according to what his sect deduced, the phoenix was actually part of the coffin. Lu Yun had yet to encounter the layout in this world, but he was seeing its original form now.
“It’s... dead?” He scanned the nine-headed phoenix with his Spectral Eye. Yup, it’s dead.
Just like the nine dragons of the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers, there were no ripples of life from the nine-headed phoenix.
Layers of layouts wrapped around it in a protective bubble, like mountains protecting the noble tomb, preventing Lu Yun’s Spectral Eye from comprehending the phoenix’s history before its death.
The very air trembled as the giant nine-headed phoenix slammed into the enormous eyes. Unwilling to back down, the rest of the eyes’ face slowly materialized in midair.
“Now!” Lu Yun’s eyes lit up. The two behemoths were too preoccupied to care about a puny human. He dashed to the sealed blood dragon and phoenix, sending the two into hell and suppressing them with the power of the Gates of the Abyss.
But at that moment, he lost control over both mind and body as the giant eyes and phoenix shifted their attention to Lu Yun.
The bird’s nine heads shrieked with great pain, prompting it to lunge at Lu Yun with great ferocity. Giant eyes in the air had filled out a complete face that didn’t belong to the Exalted celestial emperor or anyone Lu Yun knew. Anger drifted onto the face, a clear sign of irritation at Lu Yun for collecting the two fiends.
In this moment, Lu Yun didn’t even have time to think before he came face to face with the nine-headed phoenix. Its tremendous power threatened to tear his body, spirit, and soul apart, while he could do nothing but stare blankly ahead. His thoughts were frozen by the terrifying might.
A dragon howl exploded from his body, followed by nine enormous shadow dragons emerging from his nascent spirit, all of them jointly bearing a black coffin. The Enneawyrm Coffinbearers!
The feng shui layout rushed out like his personal combat art, protecting his body and dispersing the pressure exerted on him. Lu Yun goggled at it with shock. This was the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers he’d fought in the netherworld and driven away!
“So it was never in hell, but in my nascent spirit!” He widened his eyes as he recalled the initial fight. “The Enneawyrm Coffinbearers I saw when I first arrived in this world wasn’t the physical manifestation of a feng shui layout, but the actual Enneawyrm Coffinbearers! Real dragons, a real coffin! And it’s always been in me!
“Even the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers summoned by the blood dragon didn’t come from some unknown dimension, but from my own body! Does this all have something to do with the Tome of Life and Death?”
He took in a deep breath. That was the only possibility he could think of. Only the book that had ruled over all life, death, and reincarnation would be capable of taming the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers.
“Time to go!” The second he regained control over himself, he grabbed Huang Qing’s body and entered Gates of the Abyss. Time in the outside world stopped for him.