An even older guy…? Who was this youngster, really?
All sorts of questions filled Lu Yun’s mind. Evidently, this jadeite-robed youth was no ordinary Lu dao immortal. He was at least a forefather.
Sheepish, the Qing dao immortal wasn’t able to muster a response. Suddenly spotting the nearby Qing Han, he reached forward, grabbing the other youth with an incredible, invisible force.
“Stop!” Paling, Lu Yun lunged to interfere. Alas, he could do nothing about a dao immortal’s strength.
“That is Qing Clan family business. It’s not our place to intrude.” The young man in jade robes shook his head, but Lu Yun remained upset.
“I take my leave.” Offering a cupped fist salute before departing, the Qing dao immortal left with Qing Han in tow.
“Senior…” Lu Yun looked at his clansman hesitantly.
“Don’t worry, he won’t dare do anything to Qing Han. As long as the Twin Devils are around, no one will.” His youthful senior flashed a confident smile.
Lu Yun struggled to get out a nod. Qing Buyi and Chen Xiao weren’t in the capital right now, they’d gone to the Endless Desert in the west to search for the Ancient Tree of Life.
“Come now, let’s go home.” The jadeite-robed youth beckoned.
“Home…” Lu Yun trembled a little. How foreign the word was to him! “Do I… still have a home?”
“Lu blood flows through your veins. No matter what, the Lu Clan is always your home.” A jade-colored cloud whipped up beneath the youth’s feet, lifting him, Lu Yun, and Ge Long to the sky and slowly floating into the inner city.
“Good heavens… the Lu ancestor is still alive!”
“An old monster like him? Seriously?!”
“The man who fought alongside the first Nephrite emperor eighty thousand years ago, defiant of gods and phoenixes alike, one of the founding patriarchs of the celestial court! Lu Daoling!”
Abuzz with gossip after the Lu contingent left, the city bustled with news of the reappearance of someone rumored to have died tens of thousands of years ago.
“His Majesty is about to abdicate to pursue that legendary realm… Nephrite Major needs other experts to hold down the fort!” Some realized the fuller implications of the Lu ancestor’s appearance.
“Master Lu Daoling probably won’t be the only one. The Qing, Feng, Yue, Zhu Clans—nay, every top clan’s personage is likely to make a reappearance as well.”
As one of the top clans in Nephrite Major, the Lu Clan naturally possessed a small world of its own. Inside the locale, immortal qi so thick that it was nearly liquid rushed in from all sides into Lu Yun’s body. His mystical force began to spin uncontrollably, absorbing the invigorating qi for its own.
No, no, no… my six strands of nascent spirit aren’t perfected yet. I’m not at the peak of my realm either. I can’t break through now! Repressing his restless cultivation, he calmed his heart and fed the qi into his nascent spirit, further compressing and refining it.
Beside him, Lu Daoling smiled with warm approval.
It was Lu Yun’s first time inside a small world—called paradises in Xiankan. In the capital, there were ten greater paradises, thirty-six lesser ones, and seventy-two blessed lands.
The Lu Clan was situated within the sixth major paradise—Mauve Peace Paradise. As one of the ten major ones, that paradise had some of the richest concentration of qi anywhere in Nephrite Major.
Due to the potency of the nearly liquid qi, cultivators often broke through their current realm upon their first visit. For his part, Lu Yun had arrived at peak nascent spirit a long time ago. He was maybe half an inch from refined spirit realm.
Lu Daoling found it rather surprising that the boy was holding back his cultivation level, using the abundant qi to refine his spirit instead. The nascent spirit was the foundation of immortality, hence a stronger one meant a brighter future.
Sitting down cross-legged, Lu Yun devoured a great deal of the surrounding qi. It gushed into the purple manor in his mind, where his six paths nascent spirit lay. Refining one’s spirit was an exceptionally dangerous thing. Any outside interference carried with it the risk of cultivation deviation. Usually, he did so inside the Gates of the Abyss… but today, he was making use of the ambient qi instead of the Sal Tree’s energies.
He had no choice but to remain outside.
Lu Daoling stood at Lu Yun’s side, covering his descendant with a protective aura. Patrolling Lu Clan immortals were sent flying by his vast power before they could begin to approach.
In the battle a hundred years ago, the Lu Clan was utterly devastated. Of its dozen or so dao immortals, only one other remains apart from me. Lu Yun is exceptionally talented… it’s quite possible he will attain dao immortal realm, and maybe even the peak of this realm, known as origin dao realm. If he could come back around to the Lu Clan… The ancestor sighed wistfully.
Lu Yun clearly bore great prejudice against the Lu Clan. He wouldn’t have humiliated the clan before so many other immortals otherwise. The culpability ultimately lay upon a small portion of his clansmen, but even so, it wasn’t going to be easy for him to forgive all that.
Lu Daoling didn’t care about whatever future sacred land Lu Yun had in mind. Dusk Province could only become one after ten thousand years of progress. That so-called restriction could hardly stop the full might of the entire immortal world. If all nine celestial emperors moved with one purpose, they were fully capable of ripping out the restriction from that ancient tomb and leaving it devastated by the wayside.
No, he cared much more about Lu Yun’s potential. If the young man would return to his kin, the Lu Clan would certainly return to its former glory.
After an indeterminate amount of time, Lu Yun reopened his eyes. His nascent spirit was finally flawless and perfect. He needed only one more opportunity to break through to refined spirit realm.
Inside his purple manor, the six rays of his nascent spirit were inhabited by six fuzzy figures, representing the disparate energies of the six minor paths of reincarnation. Although his nascent spirit was complete, its paths remained crude and deficient. Future work and cultivation would be needed to fill them out.
“My deepest thanks for protecting me, venerated ancestor.” Seeing his ancestor being so supportive nearby warmed his heart. He had heard the crowd’s gossip as they were leaving earlier… this was the Lu Clan progenitor, the famous hero who had single handedly built a clan!
The fact that Lu Daoling had personally kept watch over him was more than proof enough of his care and regard. In light of that, further ungratefulness would be completely rude and stupid.
“Good, good, good.” Lu Daoling was highly pleased to hear the honorific. ‘Senior’ and ‘venerated ancestor’ were two very different concepts.
News of Lu Yun’s arrival in the Lu Clan caused a real stir in their paradise.
“What? That ingrate Lu Yun dares come to us? Is he looking to die?”
“Our venerable ancestor brought him back? That still doesn’t matter! His humiliation of our clan in front of all Nephrite’s cultivators can only be repaid by blood!”
“Is he here? I’ll kill him myself!”
“Lu Yun? Where is he? Dare he accept my challenge?!”
“Lu Yun, you killed my cousin Yuanhou. I’ll duel you to the death!”