The four Qing immortals got quite a distance away before they realized something was awry.
“Hold on, stop!” Qing Quan came to a skidding halt. He turned his head, clearly irked.
“What is it” another dao immortal stopped to ask.
“Wellspring is a dao immortal who has picked three aether dao fruits. A real detonation of his life sphere wouldve severely injured me and even the three of you! But Im perfectly fine right now… weve been tricked!” Qing Quan said through gritted teeth. The other immortals looked at each other, stunned by the statement. “The power back there was fierce and destructive, but it was firmly concentrated, not at all what an otherkinds self-destruction should be like!
“Let us return!” Qing Quan glided across the sky on a beam of sword light. His three peers shouted angrily before following suit.
Alas, the place where theyd fought previously was completely calm. It was as if nothing had happened there at all. No signs of devastation from a life sphere detonation existed, with only the traces of a battle between five dao immortals remaining.
Clearly, the scene Wellspring had made just now was merely smoke and mirrors.
“They wont have gotten far. After them!” The four immortals split off in separate directions, taking pursuit against an imagined enemy.
Wellsprings vitality was burning away. He was going as fast as he could. Stream after stream of seawater gathered behind him, wrapping up the skiff in a swift current that carried it along.
Suddenly, he came to a stop. His face was deathly pale, having sustained grievous injuries in the fight against the four Qing immortals. The exhaustion that was accumulated from burning his lifeforce to flee had only worsened his condition.
“A little bit further and youll be out of Nephrite Major. The North Sea monster court rules the waters ahead, so this is as far as I can take you,” he said helplessly.
“Thank you for saving us, Senior Well. Please feel free to leave us here,” Lu Yun hurriedly responded. Hed expected the Qing Clans interference, but not their ulterior motive to kill a dao immortal from the Skandha Range.
“Young lord!” Wellspring grew deadly serious. “Though you are a Lu and have admitted to as much before the public, you must still beware of your clan!”
Lu Yun blinked.
“Do you remember those who came to Dusk Province before, wanting to turn you into a puppet The Lu Clan is under the control of their ilk now.” Wellsprings voice grew cold. Although he usually led a quiet life, the otherkind was no stranger to violence. His nickname as a demon was well-deserved, as hed slaughtered at least one clan thatd crossed him in his time.
In other words, he was not a good person.
Though he didnt pay much mind to the outside world after secluding himself, he had heard tangential rumors about Lu Yun and his clan. Moreover, the heads of the Skandha Range were a network of contacts and info all on their own. They werent omnipotent, certainly, but they knew far more than one would expect.
“The reason Mauve Peace Paradise fell to the Jin Clan and Lu Daoling lost after being attacked by mysterious experts… was because he was sold out by those people. In fact, its their existence that caused the Lu Clans near destruction a hundred years ago. So as Ive said, be careful.”
Lu Yun sobered up, then nodded lightly. Dusk Province was still accepting those from the Lu and Chen Clans. The former was a very large clan that had maintained its numbers in spite of several calamities, its bloodline plentiful still.
“Due to personal reasons, I cannot enter the North Sea monster courts jurisdiction myself. What comes next is up to you.” Wellspring took two orbs of light from himself, handing them to Lu Yun and Qing Han. “These are two uses of my aether dao immortal power. Theyll be able to block an attack from a cultivator of the same level. I hope the young lords can make good use of them.
“Farewell!” Saying this, he disappeared into the waves.
The youths absorbed the light into themselves, then saluted gratefully with cupped fists in his direction of departure.
Despite Wellsprings honorific, Lu Yun didnt dare settle too comfortably into that mantle. After the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers entered hell, the Skandha Ranges desolate willow had pledged fealty to Lu Yun.
But the Range had never placed any bonds or restrictions on the otherkind cultivators or villains who came from there. The only reason it was called a sacred land of evil was a voluntary gesture from its alumni.
A hundred thousand years ago, the ancient immortals great war had destroyed both the world and the path of cultivation. Even the immortals who hadnt participated in it had lost their power and returned to mortality, forced to walk the path of cultivation while assailed by sickness and the looming specter of death.
Cultivation was an arduous process, filled with peril every step of the way. It took hundreds—nay, thousands of years for the path to be cleared. Only then had cultivation begun again for most.
All kinds of ferocious monsters and beasts were born in the process. Zombies and ghosts within the ancient tombs rioted from time to time, and the particularly talented divines rose to enslave the races. There was an exception to all that though: the Skandha Range.
The desolate willow there had always been a peerless immortal. After the ancient immortals war, it was the strongest, and only, peerless immortal in the world for a time.
Despite that, the willow had never attempted any conquest or domination. Instead, itd taken root in the deepest part of the Skandha Range, silently protecting the unknown under its guardianship.
Those who fled to the Skandha Range were taken under the old, lonely willows boughs… and like that, its inhabitants multiplied.
Because the desolate willow was an otherkind, those attracted to it also tended to be otherkind. In those days, even the divine court dared not easily offend the Skandha Range.
Though the old desolate willow was still only a peerless immortal, it nevertheless commanded considerable respect. Many among the first to attain immortality after the great war were alive still, the willows kindness toward them unforgotten.
If they showed themselves in the world, no one, save the nine celestial emperors, could possibly match their strength. However, the old monsters worked hard to repress their cultivation. They didnt want to risk breaking through to where the celestial emperors were, where the blood-soaked white path awaited them.
Plenty of immortals had reached the realm of the celestial emperors before, but when their cultivation peaked and reached the threshold, they always died under mysterious circumstances.
Lu Yun didnt summon his fortress ship here as it was too telling for him to do so. The fortress ships quality wasnt the only reason; it also belonged to the Ling Clan, foremost clan of Nephrite Major.
The group was out of Nephrite Major now and ambient qi was very sparse here, barely better than the Dusk Province of yesteryear. The skiff drifted along the waves, adding two more passengers to its number. Aoxue and Beigong Yu had come out. Aoxue was able to sense where the ancient North Sea dragon tomb was through her blood, while Beigong Yu was a local head honcho. As the only kunpeng in the world of immortals, hed been born in the North Sea.-