Chapter 889 Water from the Sea of Godly Demise
The Cloud Light Saintess couldn’t help but yelp with shock.
“T-That promontory! That’s not a promontory at all! That’s a gigantic hand!?”
And so it was. The entire promontory was a huge monstrous hand as if a giant had delivered a karate chop into the ground before severing his wrist and leaving it there. With much of the fingers submerged underwater, only the palm and the stub of the wrist protruded out of the waterline.
Right now, the entire hulk of the lake island had changed. The hand had flipped around with its palm facing the sky while the fingers were curved inward like a cage and there was Li Mu, being held between the colossal hand’s middle and index fingers like a tiny little bug.
There was no runic radiance, nor there were any tremors of power or strength stirring; only the eldritch and peculiar presence of the mammoth hand filled the entire cavernous space. The huge hand looked like it had been there for eons and soaking in the trenchant liquid of the lake seemed to have done zero damage at all.
“How on earth is this the prize of divine providence?!
When it’s just nothing but just a monstrous hand?!”
The Saintess just couldn’t believe it.
“So that’s what it is… The severed hand of a true god…” her mentor murmured quietly, her face fraught with myriads of expression: shock, amazement, and fear. “I see… I understand now… There was such a legend that says the hand contains the secrets to power and eternal life.”
“The severed hand of a true god?!”
The Saintess gawked at the gigantic appendage once again. “And it’s alive after all these years?!”
For ages, the Divine Clans have prided themselves in claiming descent from the lineage of gods. More often than not, it was only just a baseless myth and not the real truth, for even an Imperial Lord, an entity who ruled the lands supreme, could barely compare to a true god.
But what just happened? Why did this ancient and gigantic hand come to life the moment Li Mu came near it?
Meanwhile, Li Mu was struggling to free himself.
Finally, he did, breaking out from the vice-like grip of the two humungous fingers pinning him down.
Li Mu did not need to be told. He turned into a sliver of light and bolted for the lady in yellow, who was already neck-deep in the water by now.
But what about the prize of divine providence?
He never cared about it.
It could be the most valuable of all prizes.
But to Li Mu, he neither cared nor wanted it. What mattered more was this woman whom he knew just since a little more than a week ago and the person who had been working tirelessly to keep him safe.
It was not romantic love.
But rather, familial love.
He could seek out the path of Immortality himself. He did not need divine providence for that.
But he could not let somebody he loved die just like that. He could not tolerate not seeing her again.
Even with the panic, Li Mu’s mind remained as clear as ever.
He unleashed his Broadsword Intent, employing two of them on his back like a pair of wings, while he sent another two at the gigantic hand on a Hail Mary.
Whatever this gigantic hand was, thought Li Mu, the corrosive water of the lake seemed to be ineffectual against it, so it could be useful.
This was his last-ditch hope.
Somehow, no freak waves rose up to attack him this time. Whether it was due to Lazulum’s emanation of his powers or if it was the monstrous hand’s sudden reanimation, he did not know.
As lightly as a dragonfly grazing the surface of a pool, Li Mu landed very gently on the water and tried using his Broadsword Intent-forged chains to pull her up safely.
“BEGONE! ALL OF YOU!”
The white-robed Lazulum roared, his long flowing hair flailing in the tossing winds in full wrath.
The powerful energies now radiating from him looked hardly his own so that could mean that he must be using some forbidden sorcery to annihilate the three-headed giant conjured by the sentience of the lake.
But only then was everyone beginning to notice something hovering just over Lazulum’s head. Floating just above his head as if it was hanging by a thread was an old and badly-chipped porcelain bowl. The poorly-drawn underglaze barely suggested that it was anything exquisite, in fact, everything about it screamed junk from a trashcan. Nevertheless, despite how decrepit and shabby the porcelain vessel was, the object glowed with a blinding radiance of divinity. Despite trying to reform back into its humanoid form, the giant just could no longer take shape. The supernatural luminescence was preventing the lake water’s magic from working normally.
“Woof! What on earth is that bowl?! It looks very powerful!”
Silly Dog stared from the beach, drooling at the delusion of possessing something that powerful and potent.
“That’s an Emperor-class weapon!” Song Yu wanted to scream yet nothing came out of his mouth, despite the excitement that was threatening to burst out of him.
That in fact was the same bowl once used by Imperial Lord Void during his meals. After using it for so long, what was originally an ordinary porcelainware had turned become a magical relic when it caught if of the Imperial Lord’s aura.
The radiance of divinity.
The glow projected by Imperial Lord Void’s residual aura
“It’s time you meet your maker!”
Lazulum cursed insidiously as he thrust a finger at Li Mu. Imbued with additional powers afforded to him by the magical relic that was the porcelain bowl, Lazulum now wielded powers comparable to that of a true god. A beam of light slammed right into Li Mu’s back, engendering a gulp of froth and golden ichor vomited out his mouth before he could pull the lady in yellow further out of the water. The blow could have ripped him to shreds. Losing consciousness, he fell into the water.
He was instantly assailed by indescribably excruciating pain.
An agony that couldn’t stop stinging at him like needles trying to pierce through every inch of his skin.
Just before he crashed into the water, Li Mu did the only thing that he could remember: he threw the lady in yellow out of the water with all the might he could muster, just like how she sacrificed herself so that he could reach the promontory earlier.
As his vision grew blurry when he was engulfed by the water, he could make out the bloody and barely-unrecognizable mass that was her body, at least he still could see her limbs.
He could feel himself sinking down the depths as if weighted by lead.
Li Mu could care less about who would emerge victorious in the feud between the Latter Celestial Court against its ancient counterpart. His promise to Qin Zhong that he would guard and defend the parade square was only due to the sense of brotherhood and camaraderie he shared with Qin Zhong. But the powerful Lazulum clearly wasn’t in a merciful mood, so Li Mu was ready to embrace death.
His last-ditch effort to save the lady in yellow was not that he wanted to sacrifice himself. He was only trying to act according to his conscience in what could be the final moments of his life.
Like ravenous piranhas swarming on prey, the corrosive waters of the lake bore down on Li Mu with apathetic brutality.
No one could ever imagine how horrible it was. Li Mu felt like he was descending down a hellish abyss into the underworld with thousands or even millions of foul spirits protruding by its never-ending walls, each of them clawing and tearing at Li Mu as he fell like they were trying to rip him to shreds.
“Is this what the others all felt before they died?” Li Mu mused with resignation.
The flashback of his past memories replayed before his eyes like a montage.
The faces he knew and those that he recognized flitted by him.
Earth no longer needed his protection and he could finally drop the yoke of burden that he had been carrying. But there were people still waiting for him – Huan Xiangrong at the Ziwei Star Zone and the rest of his loved ones…
The image of his friends and family reignited the flame of survival in him, compelling Li Mu to do whatever he needed to endure and live.
“The Xiantian Skill, the Zhenwu Boxing discipline, his Right Arm of Bones, the Four-Blade God Killing Broadsword techniques and its Intents…”
His Third Eye was opened.
Through the murky depths at the bottom of the lake, he beheld a most surrealistic and horrific scene.
The underwater world at the bottom of the lake was a sprawling necropolis of innumerable gigantic skeletons that looked like it was wider and vaster than the world outside water. Chalk-white and clumsily huge, none of these skeletons belonged to humans. Any one of the bones lying around was as tall and as wide as a hilly plateau.
Aside from the inanimate, Li Mu found elements that were still very much animate – tendrils and strands of blood and viscera that looked oddly like crimson seaweeds gesticulating to the current and waving morbidly at him. Whatever they were, Li Mu knew that they still contained life. They could have been here for decades, centuries, or even millennia, and somehow, the water had not managed to dissolve them, showing how powerful the creature or entity from whom these blood and viscera originated were.
But he was not alone. Li Mu could have sworn that he saw something large moving around in the dark shadowy corners of this expansive underwater graveyard with the stealth and adroitness of a predatory fish, although he could not see clearly what it was…
And right below him was an enormous and misshapen skull with swathes of flesh and blood still clinging to it. The length of the skeleton could reach at least several thousand meters at least. Only, its jaws ghoulishly fell open all of a sudden as if Li Mu was going to be a piece of meat dropping into its mouth!
A grim notion flashed in Li Mu’s mind. Somehow, something told him that it wouldn’t be a good idea to fall through the skull’s opened jaws.
But nothing he did could stop his descent.
He just kept on falling and falling.
He just couldn’t do anything to stop his weightless plummet.
He could feel not an ounce of buoyancy that he could rely on, to say nothing about how magic was useless underwater where the laws of Nature function very much differently here.
Just as Li Mu was reeling with revulsion and terror at how he was going to be eaten by a gleeful skeletal horror, the water parted all of a sudden and a gigantic hand reached down to seize him and dragged him up.
Li Mu could hear himself breaking out of the water.
The much-welcomed and sweet relief of fresh oxygen filling his lungs was something he never knew he would appreciate so much.
When he looked down, he could find not an inch of his skin that was not mutilated. Then he looked around. It was the colossal severed hand that had dragged him out of the lake.
Then he heard the clamor of an ongoing battle.
It was a struggle to keep his eyes open alone. But Li Mu could see what was going on. A broken porcelain bowl was hovering just over Lazulum’s head and the object was emanating a bright luminescence that shrouded Lazulum like a protective cocoon in his fierce battle against two three-headed giants formed from the waters of the Lake of Death.
“An Emperor-class weapon? Or is it some godly instrument?!”
As with all warriors, Li Mu’s focus was aimed solely at the broken bowl.
He did not have to be a genius to realize that the bowl possessed the powers to defeat the eldritch magic of the lake’s waters.
But why did he not use it from the start? Surely if he had used it, he could already have the prize of divine providence secured in his possession already by now without having to contend with all the trouble?
Li Mu mused quietly about his adversary’s reason.
But he was distracted by something else. The lady in yellow. He had hurled her out to safety just before he sank into the water. He needed to make sure she was fine.
With his spiritual senses, he reached out to her, but there was no response.
Li Mu looked around frantically, and she was still nowhere in sight.
“Where is she?!
Has she fallen back into the water?!”
Li Mu craned his neck and tried to get a better view of his surroundings.
The gigantic hand now gripping Li Mu hung in midair, suspended in stasis as if it was wondering what to do with Li Mu.
Nevertheless, Li Mu could not free himself this time.
Then he heard the lady in yellow’s voice in his mind, “Don’t move. I’m fine…”
Li Mu sensed fatigue and panting in her voice, but she sounded otherwise all right.
That filled him with joy.
“Y-You need to get out… I-I’m… I’m safe now… But I can no longer protect you… Th-This lake is made of the waters from the Sea of Godly Demise… They can never stop a frenzied Lazulum… You need to get out of here… quick…”
There were recurring blanks in her voice as if she was speaking through a radio with a poor signal. But that was it. As soon as she finished speaking, her voice was gone.
But Li Mu at least could exhale with relief.
At the moment, he was safe.
And what the lady in yellow just told him included several crucial information.
This Lake of Death did have an actual name: the Sea of Godly Demise, and judging from what she just said, this was only just the waters from the actual Sea of Godly Demise which was somewhere else. Where could it be? And how dangerous would the real Sea be? Would gods die too if they fall into these waters?
Meanwhile, the battle below ensued with more wrathful roars from Lazulum. Every time he destroyed one of the three-headed giants, it would reconstruct itself again. The broken bowl seemed to be holding on; its godly iridescent remained stalwart and invincible. Its holy light remained as powerful and strong. But it was Lazulum himself who looked worse for wear. The more he used the bowl’s powers, the more he aged – his hair was beginning to turn white and creases were beginning to grow and spread all around his face.
Nevertheless, Li Mu’s attention was not on the battle.
Right now, he needed to think about how should he escape.
Wang Yanyi had been standing at the beach, uttering not a word nor doing anything until now. He drew a sword – an awfully-rusted and badly-neglected one – and rode on it like a skateboard and soared up into the air, heading straight towards Li Mu.