“My gratitude knows no bounds for the kindness of dispensing dao.” His hands cupped, Lu Yun bowed to Hua Fengwen. “Whatever debt may exist between you and I is cleared. No one owes anyone anything. If fellow daoist is willing to stay by my side, I would welcome it in the greatest. But if you would like to leave, I will not force you to stay!”
“Well…” Hua Fengwen smiled and shook his head. “Lets talk about this later. Its not like I can go anywhere right now, either.”
He refrained from saying anything of the future. Lu Yun nodded slowly and the two put the matter out of their minds.
After finding his path, the long dormant Method of Life and Death within Lu Yuns body began to operate again and absorb the power of the five flames of hell. The sixth flame—the one of order—required the combined energy of the other five.
Humongous skeletons filled the streets of the lost city. The closer the group drew to the unknown treasure of time, the bigger the bones became.
The Spectral Eye fed a constant stream of their information to Lu Yun—theyd all died of old age, but had been heavyweights of the Hongmeng in life. The weakest among them was fourth step kinghood! Lu Yun even saw the body of an eighth step king at one point.
When eighth step kings perished, their bodies remained unfading and pristine. But in an ancient city with the power of time, the bodies were so decayed that only a little bit of their information remained.
“The stronger they are, the faster they decay!” Lu Yun suddenly realized. “Um… there are some stones and fragments scattered around with no information on them. Are they the remnants of ninth step kings”
Hua Fengwens heart quailed at the implications.
“Roaaaaaar…” A deep growl built in the distance. A massive being was stirring to wakefulness.
Lu Yun and the rest of the group quickly darted into a nearby building before purple light flashed past them. The buildings around them shook from the sound of a snake slithering through the streets.
They peeked outside to see an enormous snake sparkling with purple radiance slowly glide out from the depths of the city, as if it was surveying its territory. It was incredibly large and covered in purple scales. Each scale seemed to be carved from a premium purple crystal and exuded uncommonly intense power of time.
It acutely sped up time wherever it slid through, further eroding the skeletons on the ground until they all crumbled to dust.
Lu Yun and the others held their breath, goggling at the snake of unknown proportions. They didnt relax until the snake slithered out of sight.
“What the heck was that” Anxiously patting her chest, the little foxs face was stark white.
“Compared to what, Id rather know how! That snake was at least five hundred million kilometers long, but we were able to see it in its entirety!!” Hua Fengwen trembled and his eyes were wide open with shock. “How is that possible It seemed to be walking in another plane for it to display all of its body at once.”
“The power of space.” Lu Yun frowned tightly. “Apart from the power of time, the power of space is also present in this city! That big snake possesses the power of both space and time. Just what kind of place is this…”
The lost ancient city had suddenly appeared and surrounded them because it contained the power of space. Heart racing, Lu Yun opened the Spectral Eye to look upon the snake thatd departed.
“Its already dead and its a zombie! That big snake is a zombie!” came the utterly incredible discovery. “A zombie with the power of space!”
The city shook as monstrous footfalls traveled in from the distance, each one like a miniature earthquake.
Looking at each other with alarm, the group watched as an entity black from head to toe slowly padded in front of them. It was at least ten times bigger than the humongous snake from earlier. Equipped with a lion head, deer antlers, tiger eyes, elk body, dragon scales, and ox tail—it was a qilin!
A black qilin.
Qilins were extinct in the world of immortals, so Lu Yun had never come across any other specimen apart from Cangyin—one of his Yama Kings—and the enormous one in front of them. Though there was no power of time emanating from it, it also seemed to be walking in another plane.
“This qilin is also a zombie,” Lu Yun whispered.
But the next moment, the aimlessly wandering beast suddenly stopped and slowly turned around, staring straight at the group inside the buildings next to it. A tangible light blossomed from black eyes that were ten million kilometers across and landed on Lu Yun.
The air around him froze; Lu Yun felt like a fly trapped in amber. Any hint of movement was impossible.
“Little fellow, zombies are living creatures in the fourth realm,” the beasts tones were aged. “If you are willing to give me a carrot, Id be happy to tell you the way to the fourth realm.”
“A carrot” The little fox and Hua Fengwen looked at each other before asking dumbly, “What do you want a carrot for”
“To eat, of course.” The black qilin swung its ponderous head and shifted its gaze away, restoring movement of freedom to Lu Yun. “Its been so long since Ive had a carrot.”
It swallowed nonexistent saliva. “Ai, I was already dead, so why turn me into a zombie to suffer through this living torment”
Something occurred to it and it sighed as it walked forward, paying no more attention to Lu Yun and the others. “I wouldnt be able to taste a carrot even if it was placed in front of me… Ai, cant taste it.”
Calm returned as the qilin traveled off into the distance.
“What does it want a carrot for Is it a rabbit” The little fox was still preoccupied with why the beast had wanted a carrot.
“Its probably an eating preference it had in life,” Lu Yun frowned. “Its strength is yet to reach the fourth realm, so its still a being of the Hongmeng. Is it a ninth step king”
“No, Ive seen ninth step kings before—theyre nowhere as frightening!” Hua Fengwen quickly shook his head. “A single look was enough to immobilize me. Ninth step kings dont have that kind of strength!
“Its too dangerous here, that purple snake and black qilin have obviously discovered us—theyre just not bloodthirsty by nature. Were dead without a doubt if anything else sees us!” His tone was grave. “We need to find the exit as soon as possible.”
Lu Yun agreed. Though the skeletons theyd come across had all died to time, those that died to these giant beasts wouldnt leave any corpses behind.
“The city gates have vanished, so the only way out is very likely to be with the ultimate treasure of space or time.” Lu Yun took a deep breath and looked to the center of the ancient city.
The city was too big and the group had no idea how long theyd walked for. Towering buildings kept passing by in front of them; their hearts had long become numb to these awe-inspiring sights.
Various giant beasts ambled out of the city center from time to time, patrolling their home. At first, the group ducked into buildings whenever the beasts appeared, but that response wore off after a while and they began greeting the beasts instead.
These beasts thatd become zombies were remarkably willing to converse with outsiders. Lu Yun learned from them that theyd all perished in a horrific war and were sent here by a great master, wanting to revive them through the power of space and time in the city.
Unfortunately, another power also influenced the city and turned the resurrected beasts into zombies. They were thus trapped here and doomed to never see the light of day again.
The qilin loved to talk and darted out of unexpected places from time to time to gossip about anything and everything. Likewise, Hua Fengwen was also a chatterbox after being locked up for a hundred thousand years.
Thus, the person and qilin became fast friends.
Good question, what do qilins eat-