Chapter 0537: The City Lord's Message Talisman
The awe-inspiring Divine Continent Heavenly Dragon Trial had come to an abrupt close.
Luckily for Wu Yu, this occurred after his duel. If the talismans had arrived earlier, his showdown with the Blood Dragon of Mount Wu might even have been suspended prematurely.
At this time, all the sect leaders who had received the Message Talismans wore grave expressions on their faces.
The crowd was mystified and countless people looked around curiously, wondering what exactly had happened.
Wu Yu had a sense of foreboding, and felt even more uneasy.
The contents of the Message Talismans were probably short and concise, and the elites had finished reading in no time at all.
Having read the City Lord's message, all of them looked extremely solemn. Even the leaders of the demons, Ying Huang and Zhu Huang, appeared grim. Indeed, the demons had received Message Talismans as well.
The Imperial General said somberly, "Everyone, my big brother isn't the kind to joke around. This incident is closely related to the Heaven Devouring Evil Residence, so there won't be any problem if I halt the Divine Continent Heavenly Dragon Trial temporarily, right?"
The crowd wore varied expressions of curiosity and shock. Just as they were milling about in uncertainty, the Taixu Sage Master stepped out and said, "I hereby announce that the Divine Continent Heavenly Dragon Trial is halted immediately. Aside from those who have received the Message Talismans, everyone else is to remain here and no one is to act individually before new orders are conveyed! Those who have received the Message Talismans, follow me to Yan Huang Imperial City with all haste, right now. Esteemed sect leaders, are there any issues with my arrangements?"
They were probably hard-pressed for time. With the Taixu Sage Master taking the lead, the other leaders of the various sects, such as the Shushan Immortal Sect and Gusu Fairy Peak, nodded in unison without any disagreements. They looked stern, anxious even. Seeing this, those who were kept in the dark became even more agitated. If even the Divine Continent Heavenly Dragon Trial could be halted halfway through, this meant that the urgency of the situation was at least on par with the ghostly cultivators' invasion of the East Sea.
Upon seeing that the rest had no objections, the Imperial General suddenly turned and said to Ying Huang and Zhu Huang, "What about the two of you? After the previous incident with the Ghostly Emperor, you guys should know by now that the fates of the divine continent as well as the Endless Demon Seas are tied together. If the divine continent were to fall, the Endless Demon Seas would definitely cease to exist as well."
Ying Huang was decisive and immediately replied, "Alright, let's go then. We'll see what tricks this old man is playing."
Having decided, they left promptly. All those leaving for Yan Huang Imperial City were at the Primordial Spirit Transformation Realm, and they repeatedly stressed the importance of obeying orders to those remaining behind. That was, to stop the Divine Continent Heavenly Dragon Trial, remain at this location, and refrain from any aggressive action until otherwise ordered.
The remaining people were mostly Violet Kingdom of the Inner Sea cultivators of considerable age, and knew better than to challenge the orders of the sect leaders. Nonetheless, having to stay behind and wait blindly without knowing what had happened was terribly torturous.
However, the contents of the Message Talismans were spread around very quickly anyway, as a few sect leaders had let slip the news to their disciples.
Wu Yu managed to hear the news vaguely. It went something along the lines of: Quickly halt the Divine Continent Heavenly Dragon Trial for now and rush over to the Yan Huang Ancient Well. This implicates the Heaven Devouring Evil Lord as well as the survival of the divine continent. Hurry, hurry!
The Yan Huang Ancient Well was the preeminent sacred ground in the whole Yan Huang Imperial City. Similar to the Shushan Reincarnation Realm, even geniuses from Yan Huang Imperial City, such as Murong Xu, could not enter the Yan Huang Ancient Well, much less other outsiders. For the Yan Huang City Lord to allow others entry and even broach the subject of the Heaven Devouring Evil Lord ,as well as the survival of the divine continent, no wonder all the sect leaders were so overwrought!
But the question was, wasn't the Ghostly Emperor already dead...?
As the news spread, it caused some level of panic amidst the crowd.
"Wu Yu, follow me!"
Wu Yu had initially thought that he would be left behind to wait. Little did he expect that the Imperial General would pull him along right as they were about to leave. Using their individual techniques, the group of Primordial Spirit Transformation Realm cultivators travelled towards Yan Huang Imperial City at breakneck speed. The Taixu Sage Master was far ahead of everyone, disappearing in the blink of an eye. This matter was obviously too crucial, so he could not afford to wait for the rest.
Amongst this group of people, the only one who had been allowed to set off without receiving a Message Talisman was none other than Wu Yu.
He did not know why the Imperial General had decided to bring him along. At this point, the Imperial General's speed was too fast; he was out of the Shangyuan Immortal Mountain in a flash. Wu Yu had never seen him display such great speed before. Looking at the serious gazes of the sect leaders behind him, Wu Yu felt a tinge of nervousness as he remembered the terrifying pressure exerted upon them by the Ghostly Emperor. After all, it had truly been too much for them to bear.
"Imperial General, do you know what's going on?" Wu Yu calmed himself down and asked as the hurricane around them raged on, causing the surrounding scenery to be reduced to a blur.
The Imperial General replied gravely, "There's been an accident. I'm not too sure of the details yet, but I know that he would never send out such an urgent message unless something truly immense had taken place."
Having been brothers for so many years, the Imperial General understood the Yan Huang City Lord too well. Precisely due to the severity of the situation, the Imperial General's voice was actually trembling slightly as he spoke.
Wu Yu was thunderstruck.
He knew that the Yan Huang City Lord was the Imperial General's kin. At this moment, he would likely be more concerned about the City Lord's safety than anyone else.
He did not dare to probe further, choosing to ponder deeply instead. "Luo Pin said that the Ghostly Emperor was thoroughly dead. Given the confidence of her claim, she shouldn't be speaking carelessly. But why would a situation like this arise now? Right now, the only danger present amongst the Ghostly Cultivators are Duomingshan Shengxue and Yu Fuyao of the Heavenly Seas, but there's no way that those two could pose a threat to Yan Huang Imperial City unless the Ghostly Emperor isn't dead...
"Or there might be other possibilities."
There were still no updates from the Yan Huang City Lord yet, so all his conjectures lacked any real meaning. The only way to find out the truth would be to reach Yan Huang Imperial City.
"Wu Yu, there was another line in my brother's message telling me to bring you back. My guess is that it's related to the Taigu Immortal Path."
The Yan Huang City Lord had already told Wu Yu about the Taigu Immortal Path.
He had bestowed Wu Yu with two Supreme God Techniques, yet had not forced him to remain as the successor to the post of Yan Huang City Lord. To Wu Yu, this was undoubtedly a show of selfless generosity. In fact, although he had not officially taken the Yan Huang City Lord as his master, in his heart, the City Lord and the Imperial General were already no different from that esteemed status.
Wu Yu respected them just as much as he respected Feng Xueya.
Time ticked by agonizingly as the elites at the Primordial Spirit Transformation Realm arrived at Yan Huang Imperial City. From the other side, the Dubhe Sword Immortal and Merak Sword Immortal were also travelling in their direction.
The Yan Huang City Lord's Message Talisman had even managed to make the Mizar Sword Immortal swallow his anger and grudgingly coexist with Ying Huang, although he would still subconsciously reveal hateful killing intent from time to time while they were rushing towards the city.
The Taixu Sage Master had probably entered the Yan Huang Ancient Well by now. With the Imperial General present, the elites were able to reach the front of the City Lord Residence in the inner city without much trouble. Outside the residence was gathered a large number of Yan Huang Immortal Soldiers who also seemed rather confused with the current events unfolding. However, upon seeing the Imperial General, a few chiliarchs stepped forward and reported, "Imperial General, we've discovered that at least 5,000 or more Yan Huang Immortal Soldiers have disappeared! They were still in the inner city a few days ago, but they've somehow all disappeared during this short period."
In usual times, this would have been a matter of huge import, but the Imperial General simply dismissed them with a wave, saying, "Quickly compile a list of names, I'll settle this when I'm back."
He grabbed Wu Yu's arm and, along with the group of sect leaders, as well as Ying Huang and Zhu Huang, who had never been here before, entered the inner compound of the City Lord Residence, arriving by the Yan Huang Ancient Well shortly.
"Someone's trespassed into the City Lord Residence and into Yan Huang Imperial City!" The Imperial General's enraged features seemed almost bestial. Having discovered this fact, he hesitated no longer and rushed forth with Wu Yu in tow. The rest of the elites quickly followed along as more and more Primordial Spirit Transformation Realm cultivators began to arrive, including the Dubhe Sword Immortal's party.
Amidst the shifting yellow sands, Wu Yu arrived within the Yan Huang Ancient Well. Before he could get his footing, the Imperial General gave a low roar and dragged him along before speeding in the direction of the ancient city.
A sea of sand stretched endlessly ahead as the heavy wind blew turbulently around them. With the aid of the Imperial General's extreme speed, Wu Yu could make out the ancient city amidst the sand. However, as his vision started to focus, he was shocked to realize that the originally weathered ancient city had been subject to even more devastation. Many already rickety walls and palaces had been utterly shattered, and the entire ancient city had almost been razed to the ground!
"Who came here and battled with the City Lord?"
Wu Yu was dumbfounded.
Before long, they reached the middle of the ancient city. This was where the damage was most heavily inflicted; there was no piece of land left whole, only debris and wreckage scattered everywhere. At this moment, Wu Yu spotted the Yan Huang City Lord sitting cross-legged atop the circular platform above the Heaven Devouring Evil Residence. His head was lowered, and the golden battle armor he wore looked slightly battered. It had obviously taken a beating!
But what shocked Wu Yu the most was his hair. The Yan Huang City Lord initially had silvery-grey hair, but now it appeared to be a sickly, even deathly, white. Although the City Lord had always appeared as an elderly man, he had never looked as weary and gaunt as he did now. The wrinkles creasing his face made him look like a mortal man of 80 to 90 years. It was nearly impossible for any cultivator to look this haggard.
While his original body wasn't especially stout, it was unimaginable that he would look sickly to this extent.
Looking at the seemingly drained, even defeated, Yan Huang City Lord, Wu Yu was startled. He was at a loss as to who could cause the Yan Huang City Lord to become like this! He looked to be hanging on by a thread, on the verge of death.
Beside him, the Taixu Sage Master had already arrived much earlier. He was equally anxious, and tried many methods to alleviate the City Lord's condition. However, once the City Lord saw that everyone had arrived, he gestured slightly and said, "Don't trouble yourself, it's useless. I'd better just get you guys up to speed as soon as possible."
Everyone surrounded the Yan Huang City Lord. Looking at his current state, their hearts were filled with dread.
Scanning their surroundings, it seemed that the enemy was no longer present.
The Imperial General's expression hardened as he released Wu Yu. He rushed in front of the Yan Huang City Lord, eyes bloodshot and veins showing in his rage, and exclaimed, "You used that thing? What were you thinking? Do you want to die?"
It was rare to see the Imperial General so worked up.
But Wu Yu had still underestimated the severity of the situation. After speaking, the Imperial General nearly collapsed to kneel in front of the Yan Huang City Lord, broad and sturdy shoulders heaving as tears fell from his eyes.