Other than the first of the thirty-six black lightning strikes, the rest had all been blocked by the same unfortunate bean soldier, summoned thirty-five times.
With the tribulation over, the sky cleared and countless living souls rejoiced to still be living. The Dao Flower burst into brilliant splendor, slowly healing the scar on it left by the first strike.
Lu Yuns expression remained tight as he looked at the four white paths. Four hairy monsters with glinting greataxes stalked toward his four friends. With the tribulation resolved, they were free to move against those who would restore the path of cultivation. They didnt immediately launch an attack, but instead waited for the moment the flower finished blooming.
Qing Han, Wu Tulong, Zi Chen, and Mo Qitian were currently one with the Dao Flower, so the four monsters wouldnt be their match in this state. They had to wait for the humans to return to themselves after the flower bloomed. That would be when the humans would be at their most vulnerable. The flowers tribulation was over, and the trial for its bearers had arrived.
Lu Yun stood on guard with Sugato Sword raised, warily eyeing the new enemies. He suddenly suddenly cast a soybean with his right hand, which morphed into a soldier in golden armor after a flash of light.
“Gods above and demons below, mercy, I beg, mercy!” wailed the bean soldier as he latched onto Lu Yuns leg and hugged it tightly. Evidently, hed summoned the same spirit again.
“Enough, the tribulation is over.” Lu Yun kicked him away.
With a shudder, the soldier looked up and found the sky clear of any tribulation clouds. He scrambled to his feet and wore a visage of nonchalance, but a quiver of fear remained in his eyes. Patently, being struck down thirty-four times in a row had been quite traumatizing.
“Do you know them” Lu Yun pointed at the four monsters on the blood-stained paths. Since the bean soldier had recognized the tribulation before, he might know about the monsters as well.
Lu Yun had summoned bean soldiers to fight against the monsters when Qing Han and the others first restored the path of cultivation. All thirty-six soldiers had been slaughtered as easily as one would slice through a block of tofu.
“They....” Fear crept up on the soldier as he gazed at the four figures. “They should be gold colored,” he blurted out. “Why are they black!”
“Gold Black” Lu Yun frowned. “What exactly are they”
Just as the soldier opened his mouth to answer, his body abruptly exploded and his soul returned from whence it came.
“Can it not be spoken of” Lu Yun rose higher into the sky and stopped at the intersection of the four white paths, waiting for the approaching monsters. To the others, the monsters were nothing but illusions. Visible, but untouchable. Even if Mo Yi were to come back, she wouldnt be able to do anything but watch.
Lu Yun was the guardian the Dao Flower had chosen. He alone could defend Qing Han and the others against the oncoming onslaught of violence. A tremendous power brooded at the end of the paths. If Lu Yun dared use the power of the corpse puppet, the lurking terror would immediately rush through the paths and destroy everything. Whatever it was, itd noticed that Lu Yun had used the power of a celestial emperor to kill the hairy monster last time.
Finally, the Dao Flower had completely bloomed and been assimilated into the world. Qing Han, Wu Tulong, Zi Chen, and Mo Qitian slowly separated from it.
Murderous howls accompanied by ancient intent rushed out of the white path. The four hairy monsters grew quickly in size and expanded into giants reaching three hundred meters tall, their axes scaling with their bodies.
“What manner of monster is that....” All eyes were on the four giants, on the images projected by the Dao Flower to the rest of the world and realms beyond. Everyone could see what was happening in Dusk Province and were unsettlingly quelled by the monsters, immortals included. What terrible creatures they were!
They ignored Qing Han and the others and rushed Lu Yun.
“Die!” One of the hairy monsters swung as it let loose with a battle cry, a black light sparkling through the air in a mysterious trajectory that terminated at Lu Yun.
“This isnt the spiritual world. Theyre in the real world this time!” Lu Yun took in a deep breath and pushed the Sugato Sword to its limit, shoving its sword intent outward to fill the void with an ocean of sword energy.
The axe hit the ocean squarely, but this time, Lu Yuns sword aura was sturdier than before and actually blocked the tremendous swing. Every strand of sword energy in the ocean shifted along the mysterious trajectory. Although he hadnt yet mastered the greatest simplicity of dao and removed all other meaning behind his movement, it was enough for the eight million strands of sword energy to collectively block the great dao attack.
“Kill!!” The other three monsters roared at the same time, their axes whistling through the air.
“Hahaha, perfect timing. Ill use you four to improve my sword technique!”
Waters of the sword ocean churned turbulently as an enormous cerulean dragon soared into the air. It seemed slow and clumsy, but it still managed to block the concerted attacks of the three monsters. However, blood trickled down from Lu Yuns mouth from the tremendous backlash.
Within hell, countless recovery pills burned and supplied replenishing qi through the Gates of the Abyss. Following the trajectory of the dao took too great a toll on him, so hed arranged beforehand for Yuying to refine pills throughout this encounter to help him recover.
“Die!” the first monster growled and menaced forward to take another swing.
“Hahaha, I dont think I will!” Lu Yun threw his head back with laughter.
A giant kun fish broke the surface of the sword ocean and morphed into a great peng, meeting the coming axe head on.
The great peng shattered, dealing another harsh blow to Lu Yun. He flew backward from the collision and smashed into a giant mountain.
The hairy monster staggered back half a step, its attack stopped short.
“Kill him!” it commanded with a growl, sending the other three lunging at Lu Yun.
“You have to get through me first before touching the Dusk governor!” An august immortal suddenly rushed out of the Dusk City with an upraised sword that blazed with blinding sword energy.
“The governor risks his life to defend the Dao Flower and the path of cultivation. As immortals, how can we just stand by and do nothing!”
More than a hundred figures took flight to attack the four monsters, but what happened next took everyone aback. All their attacks passed through the monsters, finding no purchase. It was as if the monsters were illusions that didnt even exist!
“Whats going on!” yelped one of the august immortals. “Why is this happening!”
Shockwaves from Lu Yuns battle with the hairy monsters rippled powerfully through Dusk City. If it werent for Feinies defensive formations, the newly-built city wouldve been destroyed. And yet, the attacks from the hundred immortals didnt even touch the monsters.
An errant axe swing cut the immortal in half.
“How dare false immortals attack us Die!”
Shifting their attention to the immortals, the hairy monsters raised their axes high. However, a slight tremor in the air preceded a pair of giant eyes slowly opening in the sky. The eyes gazed down coldly at the four interlopers
In an instant, the hundred some immortals were teleported somewhere else.
“Its the Dusk restriction!”
“Why is it here Is it here to protect the Dao Flower”
“It just saved more than a hundred immortals....” The restrictions emergence elicited a clamor of surprise and incomprehension. It was known for taking lives, but here it was, saving people instead.
“Are you going to move against us, you old undead thing!” roared one of the hairy monsters, pointing its axe at the sky. It was speaking in an ancient language, but its meaning was clear.
“Grrr!” Four blood-stained paths trembled with agitation as something big slowly awakened.
“Dont intervene,” Lu Yun yelled as he rushed out of the mountain. “Ill take care of them!”
The giant eyes darted around in a gesture that resembled a nod, then turned gold.
The eyes exploded as three characters flashed through the sky—golden immortals prohibited!
“Ive burned the power of the restriction to bring out the weapon of dao buried within Violetgrave,” the Dusk restriction echoed in Lu Yuns head. “That is the most I can do for you.”
Something heavy weighted down his left hand—a black greataxe. Its design was archaic and ornate, with strange patterns etched into the pitch-black weapon, turning the air around it the same dark color.
It was the axe Lu Yun had picked up after killing the hairy monster back in the tomb. He thought itd been left behind in the spiritual world, but itd actually been buried in Violetgrave instead.
The weapon of dao!
That was what the Dusk restriction called it.
“How dare a mortal gnat like you touch a dao weapon! Die!!” Enraged by the axe Lu Yun wielded, the four hairy monsters rushed at him with reckless abandon.
“Dao weapon” Lu Yun inhaled deeply and swung the axe. Its dull light seemed crude and devoid of spirit, but it followed a perfect trajectory. The greatest truth of dao was pure simplicity!-