“Aouuuuuu—” the scarlet ape formed from pure connate flames roared a challenge at its opponent. Manifesting three heads and six arms, it charged at the pitch-black moat snake.
Two vicious beasts ripped and tore into each other in the sea of flames while the interior of the volcano rampaged further out of control. Lu Yun deployed the Mastery of the Five Elements and continuously fed connate fire essence, as well as connate li fire, to the scarlet ape manifested by his nascent spirit observation method.
With the two acting in tandem, the battlefield became Lu Yuns home ground. Inside the kingdom of hell, his nascent spirit sent an unbroken stream of energy to the scarlet ape to bring it further into reality.
The moat snake in front of him was a vicious ghost and Lu Yuns nascent spirit was a natural deterrent to any ghostly entities. However, that combined with his projected scarlet ape was only able to fight the moat snake to a standstill!
Up in the air, he took a cross-legged position and operated the method at maximum power, not daring to relax for the fraction of a second.
“What can we do, the altar of fire is about to collapse!” Despair suffused the priest of fires exquisitely formed face. The great battle between the two enormous beasts had sent the local space into unusual pandemonium, and her normal command of the altars power was no longer enough to maintain it. After all, what she stood on wasnt the real altar, just something manifested by the volcano.
“Priestess of fire.” Ashu spoke slowly after throwing a glance at the girl. “I can give you the Fire Altar and help you break away from this world. In return, come with me to the Dao Academy and become a dean of one of its schools—the dean of fire.”
The girl paused. “Dao Academy Dean of fire”
Ashu pointed with his hand and transferred knowledge about the Dao Academy into her mind. She stilled as she digested newfound knowledge of the world.
“I must protect Xuan Yuan.”
“Without the real Fire Altar, the five of you are just false priests when all is said and done.” Ashu stretched out his arm to reveal a fist-sized altar over his palm.
The Fire Altar.
Lu Yuns heart of the world came from Ashu, which naturally meant that he possessed its home, the Fire Altar, as well.
As soon as the real altar appeared, the violent energy of the flames surged to new heights. Affected by its presence, connate li flames churned furiously toward the projected scarlet ape to strengthen it even more.
The priest of fire yet remained quiet. Cracks fractured the altar of fire beneath her feet, an obvious sign that it was about to disintegrate.
“Once Lu Yun tames the moat snake, hell be able to control the two tomb realms of the Xuan Yuan Tomb through it.” Ashus tone was calm, like he was recounting a most ordinary happening. “And once the two tomb realms are within Lu Yuns grasp, nothing will be able to threaten Xuan Yuans body. It may even be possible that he resurrects one day.
“All of you have learned too many of Lu Yuns secrets, and while he may not mind, as his follower, I must help him nip some unnecessary trouble in the bud.”
“…you!!” That finally provoked a response from the priest of fire. “But… you are… youre actually willing to follow Lu Yun and be his subordinate!”
Ashu shook his head slightly. “Im just a spirit born of that tree.”
The girl fell silent for a moment. “I think youll regret this once you find your way back to yourself.”
“Find my way back to myself and become that person again” Ashu snorted. “That person is dead, Xuan Yuan is also dead. The vast reaches of land before Emperors Fall, the only primary world in the universe is also destroyed and become the great cosmos in our eyes…”
“Stop!” The priest of fire cut him off with terror. The time before Emperors Fall was a taboo topic outlawed by the heavens. Whoever spoke of this would surely be struck with misfortune.
Ashu chuckled; he and the Venerated Sacrosanct Demon Sovereign were now standing on the Fire Altar. “If you dont accept, you can die in the course of duty for Xuan Yuan. …ah, Xuan Yuan, who wouldve thought that he wouldnt even dare use his title after his death”
“I…” Color drained out of her exquisite face.
An earth-shattering collision rang out in the distance as the two beasts crashed into each other in the sea of flames, setting off one tsunami after another. Lu Yuns body was wrapped in a thick blanket of connate fire essence and the Tome of Life and Death drifted in and out of view in the blinding red, also working to keep him safe.
On the other side, the priest of fire was now so pale that she was translucent.
“I… am willing…” Faced with a threat to her life, she finally capitulated. She was the youngest of the five priests, a girl less than twenty years old. It was precisely because of her youth and inexperience that Ashu chose to recruit her to Lu Yuns banner. He wouldnt have bothered with some old freak whod lived for tens of thousands of years.
Becoming a dean of the Dao Academy signified betrayal, and betraying the Xuan Yuan bloodline meant that the other four priests would hunt her down. But as the only one with a true altar of her element, that meant she was the only real priest among them.
She landed on the Fire Altar and melded her strength with the altar, fully refining it as hers.
“This is the real altar of fire, one of the five altars born of the mother altar!” She spread her arms wide open with a look of contentment.
The power thatd been bestowed upon her underwent an ascension, completely cutting itself off from the tomb realm around her and connecting to an entirely new world. She wouldnt lose her strength now, even without the worship from the Xuan Yuan Slaves.
“Xuan Yuan wouldnt have liked to see you like this,” Ashu noted somberly as he watched her. “Freedom is the truest core of a living being. Standing guard over his tomb and tying yourselves to a single world, becoming neither human nor ghost… he too would be disturbed by the situation if any part of his will had survived.”
The priest of fire said nothing in return.
“…arent you going to help” she said after a long beat, not wanting to discuss Xuan Yuan any further.
“Nope.” Ashu shook his head. “In here, the moat snake wont even be a difficult opponent for him.
“What is it that you want me to do” The girl looked at Ashu and spoke haltingly.
“Return the dead dao of the Primeval Era to the world. Lu Yun is the beholder of dao in this age, but history is the looking glass into future prosperity or decline. The dao of this age requires reference to the great dao of the Primeval Era to ensure a thriving outcome.”
The combat arts and methods that Lu Yun and Qing Yu had pioneered were mostly derived from the ones of the Primordial Era. As such, they were highly limited in use and scope, and Lu Yun needed even more knowledge from the past to perfect his creations.
“History is the looking glass into future prosperity or decline…” repeated the priest of fire.
“Thats something Lu Yun once said.” Ashu grinned; hed felt that saying made a lot of sense the first time he heard it.
“Since the priest of fire grasps the dao of fire, it is the first dao of flames beneath the heavens and the origin of all fire related combat arts and methods. As you are now the dean of fire, the way of fire will surely flourish beneath the immortal dao.”
The priest of fire and Fire Altar perfectly complemented each other. Only in the priests hands would the altars true strength reveal itself, and only by wielding the altar was the priest a true holder of her position.-