A blazing ancient tree slowly drifted down from the sky, taking root in Dusk Province.
A nine-headed phoenix bathed in dark-red flames roosted on its branches. The flames abruptly flickered in unison and flared up around the phoenix. When it next emerged, it had transformed into a slender girl roughly seventeen years of age. Donning feathers of the seven colors, bright eyes and teeth gleamed in her face. Her existence alone was an ethereal breath of fresh air.
At the center of her brows, though, was a crimson pattern, which imparted to her a ghostly presence.
“Its you.” Scarlet Apes eyes blazed. When the seal of the dragon nest had broken open, itd missed many opportunities because of its fight with the nine-headed phoenix, Ghost Dragon, head of the Ingress Island, and the head of the Dark North Sword Sect. Moreover, it hadnt recovered its full strength until recently.
“Its me.” The girl smiled. “You may call me Ghost Phoenix.”
As she extended a hand, the Fire Parasol Tree trembled and turned into a sapling, then landed in her palm.
A ripple of water traveled through the air, from within which emerged another figure. It was Ghost Dragon; he stared at Scarlet Ape with his hands behind his back.
The Great Peng was filled with dread; any of those three could easily kill it. They exceeded the origin dao immortal realm and were firmly in the ingress realm!
I thought that with the daoist nun of Violetsky leaving and the nine celestial emperors abdicating their thrones, Id be the strongest in the world of immortals, with complete freedom to do anything I wanted...
As the aura about the three monsters grew increasingly powerful, fear overtook the Great Pengs gaze. Their presence had frozen everything in the area, paralyzing it like a fly caught in amber.
“Looking to pick a fight with me” asked a mild voice.
The combined energy of the three monstrous beings shattered, lifting a great weight from the Great Pengs body. Despite its liberation, it still didnt dare move a muscle.
A violet figure glided across the sky like something out of a dream. Above her head floated the Cosmic Eyes exuding soft, silver starlight. Empress Myrtlestar crooked a finger at Scarlet Ape.
“Let us fight higher in the firmament.” She streaked into a ray of violet and soared heavenward. Scarlet Ape scoffed before following suit out of the world of immortals, leaving Ghost Phoenix, Ghost Dragon, and the Great Peng as the only powerful beings in Dusk Province.
The divine bird didnt dare move a muscle, and immortals from different clans whod invaded Dusk shuddered with fear as well. Crippled origin dao immortals were further intimidated into inaction.
Dusk Province was peaceful again, save for Lu Yun and Xing Chens bloody fight with the monsters crawling out of the Blood Sea.
This was Lu Yuns tribulation; no one could land a hand.
“Who wouldve thought that such powerful beings existed in the current world of immortals!” The immortals taking refuge over the North Sea were chilled to the bones. Realization was setting in that they might have underestimated the conflict arising in Dusk Province.
“The Exalted Immortal Sect is right, though,” someone worried. “Considering what kind of person Lu Yun is, and his usual style, him establishing the sacred land will undermine the foundation of the peak clans.”
“Theres nothing to worry about. The projection of the Dao Flower is on the verge of collapse. As long as we break the projection, his sacred land wont be recognized by the world or living spirits. He wont be able to do much by himself,” someone said in a vicious tone. “Besides, Lu Yun has yet to overcome his tribulation. Theres still a chance to kill him.”
That got everyones attention.
An immortal tribulation.
There were a good number of void realm cultivators, and nearly as many void-ascended immortals in the world now. A majority, however, had died in their tribulations.
Heavenly tribulations were no trifling matter.
To cultivators, tribulations were blades hanging over their heads. No one could be absolutely certain that they would be able to overcome theirs. The more potential one possessed, and the greater their talent, the more powerful their tribulation.
Many of the nine lords and thirty-six champions of the Sovereign Meet, great personages whod left their marks on the world of immortals, had met an untimely demise in just that way.
“Lu Yun is incredibly talented, its no exaggeration to call him the greatest cultivator of the world of immortals. Do you remember how the Exalted Immortal Sect went after Pill Fairy Yu Ying, twelve hundred years ago”
That struck a chord.
Although Yu Ying hadnt died in their eyes, what the sect had done was chilling beyond comparison. Theyd sent numerous cultivators about to face their tribulations into Yu Yings, sacrificing them to increase hers to the maximum.
“Lu Yun wont survive his tribulation,” a dao immortal from Thundergale Major said with a vicious curl of his lip. “No cultivators need to be sacrificed this time. I have a better idea. Things are too unpredictable at the moment, but Dusk Province will be destroyed when Lu Yun weathers his tribulation.”
In the end, the Exalted Immortal Sect retreated and House Donglin fled. Donglin Taihuang survived, albeit with serious injuries.
The danger, however, persisted.
Ghost Phoenix and Ghost Dragon looked gravely at the almost tangible Blood Sea. The monsters that should've been illusions to anyone outside Lu Yun were gradually turning physical as well.
“Lu Yuns tribulation is ending, but Dusk Provinces tribulation will soon follow.” Ghost Phoenix's delicate eyebrows drew close together in worry. “We arent residents of Dusk Province, so we cant defend it against its trial.”
Lu Yuns tribulation had struck for him raising his banner of dao, while Dusk Provinces tribulation was for it becoming a sacred land. Only after overcoming it would the province be considered a true sacred land.
“We dont have to intervene,” said Ghost Dragon. “The projection of the Dao Flower is more than enough proof that Dusk Province has the foundation to become a sacred land.”
He looked up at the two connate-grade treasures in the air.
The Pelagic Orb and the Arcane Golden Orb had shifted away from Scarlet Ape and were glowing brilliantly, countering the power of the Blood Sea.
The Blood Sea suddenly surged and poured straight down into Dusk Province. If it landed, the forty-thousand-kilometer-wide province would become the second Blood Sea in the world of immortals.
Black and white seared the eyes as the Formation Orb flew out from the Divine Glorys bow. The heavenly power of the province entered the orb, turning Dusk Province into various shades of monochrome. A beam of light soared through the sky, preventing the Blood Sea from crashing down. Within the great city built not long ago at the center of Dusk, a giant scarlet flower bloomed—a Hell Flower!
The flower blossomed to such a great size that it covered all of Dusk Province. Traces of blood extended from it into the Blood Sea as the flower began to… absorb the water! When the scarlet waters irrigated the flower, it became ever more vibrant and beautiful.
Lu Yuns tribulation had ended, but Dusk Provinces tribulation was proving to be even more terrifying as the Blood Sea continued its descent. Although itd been slowed by the Hell Flower and three connate-grade treasures, the monsters from the Blood Sea rushed out like a swarm of locusts.
Beams of light lit up the sky and disintegrated the monsters, shaking the entire province with crystal cannon discharges.
However, the cannons could cover only a small part of the large province. Many monsters fell through the cracks of the defense and landed on the ground. A great disaster was in the making.
The crystal cannons couldnt be aimed at the ground, or their great power might sink the entire province.
“Demonic whelps from the Blood Sea Die!!” rang out a powerful howl. Five giant fiendish shadows soared into the sky from the Skandha Range, destroying all of the monsters in their way. The five sovereigns of the Star Demon Sect!
“Grrr—” Earth-shattering roars ripped out from the southern territory of Dusk Province as the Black Tortoise joined the fray with heavy steps, shooting out large water balls to kill the monsters.
The lord-grade fortress ships had retracted their cannons. Giant oars swinging, the ships rammed into the creatures from the Blood Sea.
Qing Yu sprang into action as well. The Cosmic Skycarver burst forth with the aura of a connate-grade treasure while three starstones and the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals orbited around her, scintillating, dazzling, and blinding.
She looked like a goddess descending from the nine heavens.
Her embittered bamboo replica had shown up as well. Just as powerful as Qing Yu, her every move was executed with great force.
The battle lasted for a full month. In the end, all of the monsters were slain and the Blood Sea dispersed. The sky slowly reverted back to its normal state.
The second everyone believed the battle was over and Dusk Province had overcome its tribulation, a giant skeletal foot fell from the sky and stomped on Lu Yun.
The Venerated Sacrosanct Demon Sovereign had finally come.
Lu Yun still had the Demon Sovereign Cauldron in his hand, but the Sugato Sword had fallen to the ground. He didnt have any strength left in him.
“No!!” Qing Yu almost screamed blood. She used the last drop of strength left in her to spring to Lu Yun, but the foot was too fast. She couldnt match its speed in her exhaustion.
“Oh, hes dead for sure. Lu Yuns finally going to die.” There was a collective sigh of relief when the foot was about to step on Lu Yun.
A slap sounded.
“Ive been waiting for you, you old rack of bones!” sneered a derisive and vicious voice.
A series of slapping sounds rang out from the sky.-