In the end, Ye Qingyu's body was completely covered by these dense and superposing blood-red True Dragon formations. Every inch of his skin, including that of his eyes, was turned red, as if he had just bathed in a pool of blood.
Furthermore, he could clearly feel that the blood-red formations were not just branded on his skin but had also entered deep into his flesh. While looking inward, he could see that every inch of bone and viscera in his body had been branded with bright-red True Dragon formation prints, such that his body was densely covered with these patterns both outside and in.
He falsely felt as if he would soon drown among these formation prints.
As they branded on his body outside and in, he began to vaguely sense that they were communicating and linking up with one another. The circulation of a strange power among them felt as though flames were refining his body. He had experienced this feeling while cultivating the [Eight Part Divine Formula] in White Deer Academy many years back, and later on when cultivating the [True Will of the Sky Dragon] and blending the chaotic thunder liquid... It was a feeling that was only felt when one's body was being refined, enhanced, and purged of impurities.
The True Dragon formation prints were refining and enhancing his constitution.
He had thought that his refinement had already reached maximum level and could no longer be easily increased, and that there were nearly no impurities in his body. He did not expect layer after layer of black filth to ooze out of his body during this refinement process.
Possessing a scorching power, these dense True Dragon formation prints frenziedly refined his body as though they were divine weapons of refinement.
The process lasted for a full three days and three nights.
On the seventh day, all abnormalities finally died out slowly, while the dazzling red radiance on Ye Qingyu's body also abated gradually.
"So heavy... that was too much."
Ye Qingyu's first feeling after regaining control of his body was an unprecedented heaviness, as though the weight of the entire world had gathered on him. Neither the howling and roaring yuan qi in his body nor even the Saint realm laws were able to prop his body up.
The weight of his body was comparable to that of an ancient divine mountain.
He fell from mid-air and crashed into the orange lava below which was already as shallow as a brook, splashing up a huge fire wave with a loud boom.
"Gosh, how can my body have gotten so heavy!" He immediately realized the reason why he felt "as heavy as a mountain and as firm as Immortal gold" was that his body had been refined close to the legendary Great Perfection realm, which was rare both in ancient and modern times, and was the highest realm attained by the fiendgods. And because he was not yet used to his newly-enhanced constitution, he actually fell from the Void.
He gradually moved about inside the orange lava and stretched his body. Even casually shaking his fist would cause explosions of the flaming lava. It took him a full two hours of feeling the power contained in his muscles before he got used to his body.
"To refine one's body to Great Perfection sounds like something that only exists in legends. I'll now be able to defeat a Great Saint with just my physical strength."
A joyful look showed on his face.
He had never expected this trip to the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain to be so fruitful. The giant dragon that died had called itself the True Dragon King and probably had an extremely impressive origin. Unfortunately, having depleted its vitality, it failed to wait successfully for whatever it was waiting for, and was even plotted against by the Black Snake Demon and eventually perished. Ye Qingyu now somewhat believed what the Black Snake Demon had said, which was that it only lost to him because it used most of its power to deal with the True Dragon King, causing its true life core to be weakened. Had its power not been divided, perhaps he would not have been the one who got the last laugh.
Everything was preordained.
His one regret was not having another chance to talk to the True Dragon King, which might allow him to find out a few things concerning the ancient Fiendgod Age. Unfortunately, the giant dragon had incinerated its own body and transmitted the True Dragon formation prints into Ye Qingyu's body, essentially using its last vestiges of power to help him.
After another two hours.
At last, Ye Qingyu fully adapted to his newly-enhanced body.
The blood-red luster on his body's surface completely faded away, while all of the True Dragon formation prints seemed to fuse with his body and became invisible to the naked eye. Wonderfully enough, every inch of his skin became like transparent jade, such that his bones and viscera could be vaguely seen. Everything, however, reverted to normal the next moment.
"Too long a time has passed. I wonder what the situation outside is like."
After raising his head, he soared into the sky.
The interior of the Divine Dragon Palace had practically become a stretch of ruins.
As the palace was being sealed off by a formation, the happenings within were completely unbeknownst to the ordinary disciples of the Ancient Sky Dragon Sect outside. Although they were curious why Elder Cang Li, the sect master, and the others had remained for seven days and seven nights inside, none of them dared to enter and investigate without being ordered to.
The person who was truly anxious was Qin Hui.
It had been a long time since Ye Qingyu gave chase into the bottomless cave in the depths of the palace. She was afraid that he was tricked out of carelessness and was plotted against by the new sect master. Every second of time thus felt like torture to her.
Conversely, to her side, Luo Yi could not be any more trusting and reverent of Lord Ye Qingyu's strength and thus his mental state was considerably better than Qin Hui's, albeit he could not avoid feeling a tad impatient.
The two of them were both being protected within the [Cloud Top Cauldron] and hence did not have to worry about their own safety. Nevertheless, it would not do for them to keep on waiting like this.
"Sir Luo Yi, Lord Ye Qingyu... should be fine, right?" Qin Hui could not refrain from asking once more.
Luo Yi laughed as he assured her, "He's definitely fine. Had anything happened, he would've summoned the giant cauldron to fight..."
Before he finished speaking.
The [Cloud Top Cauldron] vibrated and moved away from its position above the two. Turning into a wisp of bright-yellow flowing light, it flew toward the depths of the palace. Startled, the two raised their eyes and looked across at it, only to see a figure slowly walking out of the depths. The cauldron shrank to the size of a fist and landed on his hand, where it spun around and around before eventually vanishing.
"Lord Ye Qingyu!"
Qin Hui was overjoyed upon seeing the person's face.
It was none other than Ye Qingyu who was walking out from the space below.
After keeping the [Cloud Top Cauldron], he swept a glance across the mess in the palace and nodded gently at the two, before saying to Qin Hui, "That new sect master is a demon who's good at controlling human hearts and implanting puppets in them. Elder Cang Li and the others were actually being manipulated by him and that's why they would betray your sect. But now, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, everything is over. Swordswoman Qin, the Ancient Sky Dragon Sect will need you to put it back in good order. Ning'er is still young and is some time away from taking over."
Hearing this, Qin Hui understood that the matter had been completely resolved and was thus delighted. At the same time, she was a little sad after learning that Elder Cang Li and his subordinates were being mind-controlled, albeit she quickly felt much easier.
Having finally recovered the Ancient Sky Dragon Sect, there were a thousand and one things waiting to be done, many of them terribly complicated.
However, Ye Qingyu could not help Qin Hui with these things.
He did not bother himself with the complicated matters of the Heaven Wasteland Domain, let alone those of the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain.
The trio walked out of the Divine Dragon Palace.
The Ancient Sky Dragon Sect disciples guarding outside became bewildered and doubtful when they did not see Elder Cang Li and his subordinates walking out. Some of the mentally nimbler ones among them were already vaguely aware of something.
Ye Qingyu felt a little emotional as he looked across at the mountains and rivers around the Sky Dragon Mountain. After advancing a few steps, he said, "From this day forth, the Ancient Sky Dragon Sect shall return to legitimate rule. Sun Tian Ning, the grandson of the old sect master, shall become the sect master. Because of his young age, his mother, Qin Hui, shall hold the power of the sect master for the time being. All disciples who were rebellious shall be given a chance to mend their ways, and their misdeeds will be forgiven. However, those who remain rebellious shall be killed!"
Like most speeches given by a Saint, this declaration was thunderous and contained an unmatchable martial dignity.
Ye Qingyu's voice resounded across tens of thousands of kilometers around him, such that every living being within the entire area of the Sky Dragon Mountain and the Ancient Sky Dragon City heard his words and felt the will contained in them. For some time, every being trembled with fear as they knelt on the ground.
Those bewildered and doubtful disciples sensed that pervading the world was a magnificent and uncontrollable force which they absolutely could not withstand. Hence, they dropped all resistance and promptly surrendered.
To the side, Qin Hui cried tears of joy.
She was not interested in acquiring political authority, but it was her dream outcome for the Ancient Sky Dragon Sect to return to legitimate rule and for her son to return to his rightful position.
"Thank you, my kind lord, for giving us a new lease in life." Qin Hui kowtowed together with her son.
Raising his hand, Ye Qingyu used a five-element force to lift the duo up.
"I have here a secret slip for Ning'er. He might find it handy in the future." Ye Qingyu opened his palm to reveal a jade slip. "His martial talents are uncommon, and he can be considered a disciple-in-name of mine. In the future, if his cultivation is successful, I'll be willing to take him in as a disciple. The techniques of the Ancient Sky Dragon Sect, especially their ingenious aspects, are also worthy of diligent learning."
After he finished speaking, he handed to Tian Ning the master token which Tian Huayu had given him in the 18th district of the Black Demon Abyss, as well as the clue item. It would be left up to the latter to strive for future opportunities.
Hearing this, Qin Hui became overjoyed at once.
Only those people who knew Ye Qingyu's real status and strength would understand what "disciple-in-name" implied. To begin with, she already had a mind to make her son acknowledge Ye Qingyu as his teacher, but was afraid to verbalize this idea. Now, however, her wish was finally fulfilled.
Tian Ning, who was peerlessly clever and intelligent, hurriedly kowtowed.
Ye Qingyu laughed as he turned his sights toward Luo Yi, "Heaven cherishes every life. At present, the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain is crisis-ridden and its environment is in a terrible state. Most of its inhabitants are our fellow humans, and so we cannot simply watch them die here. You shall remain here and open up a Domain Gate to the Heaven Wasteland Domain so that the Human Race of the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain can migrate there, which will be up to their own free will and mustn't be forced upon them. The route will also be used to transport support resources here, where no merchant or consortium shall be allowed to profiteer. All other matters shall be left to the empire's officials to handle. Do you understand?"
Luo Yi hurriedly accepted the order.
"Luo Yi shall remain here to assist you, while the Heaven Wasteland Domain will also send people here. He knows the coordinates of the Heaven Wasteland Domain, and after he opens the Domain Gate, it should be possible to ease the situation here. However, the decline of an old domain is inevitable, and this domain can only last for another one hundred years at most. It'll be up to you all to decide the course of the Ancient Sky Dragon Sect."
Ye Qingyu looked at Qin Hui and spoke in a serious tone.
"Thank you for your kindness, my lord." The latter could not be any more grateful. The words which the former had said to Luo Yi were as good as Imortal manna of regeneration, giving the inhabitants of this nearly-destroyed domain a hope of survival.
This was a great favor.
Ye Qingyu did not say anything else.
With a flash, he vanished on the spot.
Having settled the matter of the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain, he needed to return to Heaven Connect City.
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