The Sword of Chaos!
Against all odds, it began to move. A terrifying aura burst from the blade, cracking the sky and threatening to crush the realm itself in its potency. Fissures spreading upon the earth in all directions echoed the cracks in the firmament. The already-shaky ground began to cave and crumble.
“This is very bad!” The giant panicked. “The Sword of Chaos is about to be born. It is the last hope of the ancient divines. If someone of that race claims it, the dao of immortals will surely be overthrown and the rule of the divines restored!”
His chest heaved as he expanded to even greater size, threatening to encompass this world altogether. A colossal palm grabbed at the sword.
Fierce vibrations from the Sword of Chaos drove him back. Shadows coalesced, walking out from the void into the plane of existence.
“With heaven as the sheath and earth as guard… O Sword of Chaos… bless the divine race!” The thought-chant repeated with real grandeur through the sphere.
“Divine obsessions!” Lu Yun was just as dismayed as the giant. True to their name, divine obsessions were the lingering obsessions of dead divines. “The divine obsessions are being absorbed into the Sword of Chaos… to be forged into the sword’s will!”
His eyes sparkled with wonder to be witnessing such a sight. The extinction of the ancient divines meant that the Sword of Chaos was still incomplete. Though it looked like a finished product, it was missing the most important component of a divine sword—a will of its own.
Here and now, these gathered divine obsessions were finishing the last step of forging the blade. Refined obsessions would bestow upon it a will!
A fountain of black will welled up from the sword—a crystallization of the hopes and dreams of a long-lost people, the passing wishes of a bygone era. At the same time, it heralded the impending return of a glorious race long sealed in the annals of history!
Once upon a time, the ancient divines had ruled the world with an iron fist. They severed the dao of immortals, establishing in its stead the dao of divines. There was no path of immortals, only the one of godhood!
If they did manage to return, the entire world would be thrown into chaos.
Lu Yun’s body suddenly quavered as the Sugato Sword in his hand erupted with a will of its own, surging toward the Sword of Chaos’ torrent with reckless abandon.
The Sugato Sword was the pinnacle of artifice. Forged by man, it could sever even connate treasures. Now, its competitive spirit roused at detecting a will matching its own from the Sword of Chaos, having just been born into the world.
A battle! Which would emerge on top?
If the Sword of Chaos was a connate treasure, the Sugato Sword wouldn’t have champed at the bit so. Indeed, the sword of the ancient divines had detected the presence of an opponent as well. Its will aggressively intensified in response. As luck would have it, the two swords were perfect rivals for each other in almost every way.
Two stupendous sword wills engaged in battle, their sparring grounds the sky overhead. The duel of swords was a hundred times fiercer than the previous one between the coffins.
“This world will be destroyed soon,” Lu Yun paled, noticing the worsening spatial collapse. He didn’t have much attention to spare for the Sugato Sword. Instead, he darted toward the door at the edge of the realm as quickly as he could.
The destruction of any plane, even a small realm like this one, was too much for a contemporary immortal to bear. Even a real celestial emperor would be reduced to dust when facing down such overwhelming power.
The giant grabbed the Exalted emperor’s body before slowly disappearing as well.
Quaking seized the Sword Barrow, the noble tomb undergoing the same convulsions. Thousand-kilometer waves whipped up in the Great Cloudwater Lake. If not for the Black Tortoise, its waters would’ve destroyed the nearby township in an instantaneous deluge. As it were, the divine beast only held back the first instance of violent waves.
“What’s going on?!” Inside the town, the already discomfited Yue Cheng and Zhu Yu jumped to their feet, dashing back to the lakeside in a few heartbeats. If the Great Cloudwater Lake was stirred up, the transportation formation in the township would surely be destroyed. Once that happened, that would also seal their future executions in stone.
No one would bother to hear explanations of any sort, nor would any entreaties be voiced on their behalf. The local wardens would deserve death for the destruction of the transportation formation.
“What in the world… Why are these things happening?! Why?!” Driven to the point of madness, Yue Cheng was beside himself. He wanted to stop the oncoming tsunami, he really did, but the waters were too strong for him!
Two rampaging sword wills within made it even more difficult to handle, even cutting up the Black Tortoise that kept trying to head off the tidal wave.
“Soldiers, form up! We must hold back the flood—" Zhu Yu’s shrill shrieks moved her troops into position. They did as she commanded, manifesting the image of a divine beast that charged the waves.
Anarchy reigned in the town because of the impending disaster. The waters were too fierce; the Black Tortoise finally succumbed to the terrifying sword wills and disappeared in the next instant. Zhu Yu’s soldiers were forced back despite their efforts, while Yue Cheng barely had time to react before a stray wave sent him flying.
Well and truly out of control, the lake would drown the streets in a few more moments and then—
“Calm!” A crisp, feminine voice cut through the cacophony. Another image of a great Black Tortoise fell from the sky, pressing down upon the turbulent lake.
The titanic wave momentarily calmed, but the twin sword wills within it would not relent. They nearly took on their physical forms again, slashing toward the silver-armored girl on top of the image’s head in a crossing attack.
Despair blossomed in Yuchi Hanxing’s eyes. The sword wills were too strong! She could use the Heavenly Formation of the Black Tortoise to calm the waters, but there was nothing she could bring to bear against the swords.
“Disperse!” A different voice boomed from beneath the lake. The wave immediately bent to his will, sword wills subsiding along with the medium. Two human figures burst out from the waters, closely followed by a large demonic frog. The amphibian carried a dozen tadpoles and a hundred or so eggs upon its back.
During his helter-skelter gauntlet run out of the Sword Barrow, Lu Yun had tossed the tomb keepers into hell out of convenience. He also chanced upon the panicking frog and tadpoles after collecting Qing Han.
“A… a celestial emperor?” Both Zhu Yu and Yue Cheng were stupefied. They couldn’t make out Lu Yun’s appearance, but they could feel the power radiating from him. Origin dao immortal!
There was a celestial emperor in Dusk Province? But… who could it be?
Something seemed to explode underwater. The waters that had been quenched a moment earlier rose up with renewed keenness. However, Lu Yun was ready for this very moment. He raised a hand in interception as soon as the waters erupted. Tremendous energy from the land flowed toward him, fueling his seal over the lake.
No matter how the swords struggled, they couldn’t break through. Though he couldn’t resist the destructive force of an imploding realm, these two swords were a different matter.
Several long hours later, when the sun blazed high in the sky, peace finally recaptured Great Cloudwater Lake. The Sugato Sword returned to his hand, assuming the shape of a small pagoda once more. Unfortunately, the Sword of Chaos was nowhere to be found.
“Now that the Sword of Chaos has returned to the world, it will certainly find its way back into the divines’ hands…” Lu Yun’s brows were knit with worry.
His body sagged with the weight of the world when the power of a celestial emperor dispersed. Laws and energies of heaven and earth, so crystal clear just moments before, had disappeared from his perception. Layer upon layer of pressure descended upon him. He suddenly felt like he was mired in a muddy swamp.
“Freeing oneself from this mired state… is this the goal of cultivation?” A moment of clarity came to him.