In an explosion of crimson light, a scene of blood and corpses appeared in general view and an overpoweringly baleful aura enveloped the entire area. After struggling a few times more, the giant arm gave up the fight.
“How many lives were consumed to manifest such a powerful sea of blood and corpses? The legendary zombie king is indeed the embodiment of evil!”
Many immortals fell back, retreating from the gruesome ocean peppered with floating corpses. Diexi was an arcane immortal, while the humans present were at most august immortals. No one even dared draw close to her crimson light.
“The embodiment of evil?” someone else sneered in protest. “The one you label the embodiment of evil is doing her utmost to hold back a zombie that can lay waste to the world and our people! You mouth righteous words of justice and heroism, but you cower in the corner like the lily-livered rat you are. You don’t even have the guts to draw close to this monster!”
Visibly ashamed, the one who’d spoken earlier didn’t say anything else.
Diexi had suppressed the fearsome arm, thanks to her vista of carnage, but the tremors underground became all the more intense in response. It sounded like another hand had taken up the cause, battering away in an attempt to force another hole through the earth.
The Sugato Sword could physically restrain the bloodcorpse and prevent it from transforming, but it couldn’t freeze the harrowing creature’s limbs. Now that one of its arms was suppressed by the zombie king, it immediately switched its efforts to breaking its other arm out and grabbing the inheritance tower.
Meanwhile, Lu Yun arrived in front of the Sugato Sword.
Surrounded by a keen, boundless light, it looked a full three hundred meters tall and more than a hundred meters wide. But in fact, the Sugato Sword was only a meter long. Exquisitely crafted from top to bottom, its details daintily sculpted, it resembled a pagoda of glazed, colored glass.
“I must traverse this dense array of spectral light to make it mine!” He withdrew the Path of Ingress, noting how the icy edge of the sword light shredded the bloodcorpse’s crimson light wherever it drew close. “One must pass the pagoda’s trial and scale all 999 floors in order to obtain Lord Sugato’s full legacy. Likewise, this array of light is also a trial! Only by passing its layers will one earn the right to become the Sugato Sword’s master!”
It was because of this realization that he’d dispelled the Path of Ingress at his feet; not even the path could pierce through this terrifying radiance. Lu Yun could only rely on his own sword intent to break through and obtain the magnificent pagoda’s approval.
As though it had sensed Lu Yun’s intentions, the bloodcorpse’s eyes suddenly landed on him. Its free arm stopped bombarding the ground and reached for the governor instead.
If someone could control the Sugato Sword and release its true sharpness, they would be able to exterminate the not-yet-fully-evolved bloodcorpse. With a hazy self-awareness of its own, the bloodcorpse was no longer a creature driven by instinct alone.
Lu Yun frowned. An arc of violet light arose beside him and carried him away, barely avoiding yet another attack.
The bloodcorpse bawled in pain as its hand had ventured too close to the light and was decimated to mincemeat by the Sugato Sword. However, crimson radiance immediately flashed around its broken wrist; a new hand grew in place of the destroyed one and resumed its attack on the governor.
Lu Yun’s expression hardened. Riding Violetgrave’s sword light, he ducked and dodged around the Sugato Sword. Each time, the bloocorpse’s hand ended up hacked to pieces by the Sugato Sword, only to grow back and resume the offensive.
He slowly ran out of stamina. The dread zombie buried inside Violetgrave was already making the sword incomparably heavy to lift. In fact, it was almost too heavy for him to wield in his current condition.
Just as the governor decided to return to hell and devise another plan, a voice suddenly reverberated in his mind. “This won’t do. If you continue like this, you’ll be killed sooner or later.”
“Who is this?!” Lu Yun’s mind shook and he subconsciously scanned the surroundings. “Is this Lord Sugato?” He was only in the tomb’s outer regions, some distance away from the deepest parts where Lord Sugato’s corpse should be buried.
“I am not Lord Sugato.” Malicious mischief suddenly seeped into the voice. “I am inside your sword.”
“Inside my sword…, The dread zombie born from Empress Myrtlestar’s corpse?!” Lu Yun’s figure trembled. He dodged to the side and avoided another strike from the bloodcorpse, but the monster’s crimson light swept over him and sent him flying. It invaded his insides and gleefully wreaked havoc on his life force before a tongue of hellfire erupted forth to incinerate it.
Lu Yun blanched.
“Ho, so you have a way to dissolve this crimson light. No wonder you were confident enough to venture inside this place all by yourself.” The eerie voice once again echoed in his mind. “Even so, the bloodcorpse will still end up killing you before long. Release me, and I will deal with it.”
The voice grew increasingly enticing, as if trying to bewitch Lu Yun. “If I act in person, I’ll flatten this trivial peerless immortal zombie in no time.”
Two flames erupted in Lu Yun’s eyes as he suppressed the temptation to release the dread zombie. “Yueshen, block this bloodcorpse!”
Soon after, Yueshen walked out from the Gates of the Abyss, her nine bloodcorpse incarnations in tow.
Sensing an aura similar to its own, the yet-to-be-fully-evolved bloodcorpse immediately calmed down, its scarlet eyes fixated on the nine bloody figures floating in the air. Meanwhile, Lu Yun brandished Violetgrave and charged straight into the Sugato Sword’s array of cutting light.
“It seems that you’ve been beguiled by that obsession and aren’t willing to trust me.” The voice sighed gently, its uncanny tone now dripping with flirtatiousness. “Please release your humble servant. Your slave shall fulfill your every wish and command.”
Lu Yun felt a ball of fire rise from his abdomen, his base, primitive desires aroused by the coquettish voice.
“Quit it with your glamour art!” Hellfire ignited once again inside of him, its icy aura cooling off this most instinctive desire common to all living creatures.
In front of him, a legion of light beams descended upon him to hew through his body, hack through his will, and churn everything that was him to nothingness, but he held his head high and refused to shy away, welcoming them with open arms instead. At the same time, an irresistible sword intent began coalescing around him.
A sword in hand was a sword in the heart, and a sword in the heart was a sword in one’s will.
Three convictions burst forth from his sword intent and spread in every direction, ever indomitable, ever unyielding, and ever steadfast. But there was an even grander belief that stood supreme over them all: freedom.
To follow one’s own free will without constraints or worries, to rove about the world, drinking in its splendor and vastness. Never to bend, never to waver, never to surrender, all to pursue the freedom the heart yearned for.
The Sugato Sword trembled when Lu Yun’s sword intent emerged, as if resonating with it. The sky could not conceal its sharpness, the earth could not bury its edge. It, too, longed for freedom.
In the next moment, the sword dispelled its cutting light and spun around on itself, landing in Lu Yun’s hand.
A deafening snarl sounded at exactly the same moment as an intense scarlet light exploded from the bloodcorpse. Its freedom recovered, the final step of its transformation was finally complete!Previous Chapter Next Chapter