Lu Yun’s luopan shone brightly with aureate brilliance. Where the light touched revealed countless corpses, but outside its range, the chamber retained its modest and unassuming interior. It was as if the treasure’s golden light had forged a new world within the chamber.
Under the illumination, the bodies began to reanimate and rise. Their empty and strange faces became increasingly lively, and bleak laughter echoed hauntingly within earshot.
The tomb suddenly trembled, opening up the room. Everything within the entire tomb seemed to become one at that moment. Within the golden light, the two previous chambers were reconstructed—the ashes of the burned bronze outer-coffins, the faintly glowing orb, and even the bronze door. The vicious ghost with its ripped mouth and empty eye sockets once again stood by the door, silently observing the five of them.
Outside the golden light, the room remained unchanged.
“Lu Yun is right,” muttered Wu Tulong. “If we hadn’t destroyed the first three formations, we’d be doomed after getting here.”
“It seems safe enough outside the light,” Mo Qitian spoke quickly. “Perhaps we’ll be fine once we step out.”
“How naive of you.” Zi Chen's face was steely. Lightning crackled around him, signalling his readiness to fight. “Senior brother Lu’s luopan is a great treasure. Its golden light reveals the truth of the scene in front of you. If you walk out of it, you’ll only be met with a grisly death.”
The electric current surged around him. With a push of his hands, terrible lightning shot out and struck the corpses. There were too many bodies here; if they all attacked at once, they would devour the living in an instant, bones and all.
“Wah!” Angered by the attack, the corpses roared in furious cacophony and lunged at them with claws extended and mouths agape.
“Keep going,” commanded Lu Yun. “Don’t stop!”
Zi Chen’s lightning technique wasn’t heavenly lightning, but it was still effective against all kinds of things that went bump in the night. His attack had momentarily slowed the bodies down.
“Take this, Qing Han.” Lu Yun handed the luopan to his hand. “Don’t let the light go out!”
Qing Han took it with a firm nod. Two silver starstones emerged and circled around his body, guarding the compass in his hand. The treasure revealed the fourth coiled mountain to them; without the golden light, the corpses would still exist, but they’d be invisible and intangible, which was infinitely more terrifying.
“Attack them with lightning techniques or talismans!” Wu Tulong exclaimed. He’d figured out what Lu Yun was going to do the moment the young governor had handed over his treasure. In response, Mo Qitian quickly rooted through his storage ring and flung a handful of talismans in all directions. Every talisman contained a lightning art—it might not be enough to destroy the bodies, but it’d be enough to briefly hinder them.
Wu Tulong joined in the fray as well, making use of the good number of lightning talismans in his possession. Lightning was the bane of all evils and ghosts, so it was only natural for them to bring many talismans of that element when exploring an ancient tomb.
However, the corpses were entirely too powerful. They’d been rendered invincible by the endless resentment within the tomb. The lightning arts the three of them released in concert were enough to destroy ten-thousand-year-old zombies, but here, the frenzied bolts barely proved to be a stumbling block.
Zi Chen channeled all of his energy into lightning and struck in all directions, while Wu Tulong and Mo Qitian continued flinging talismans around them. The three of them managed to keep the bodies about three meters away from the group.
Meanwhile, Lu Yun had taken to the air. He lifted his right arm and extended his fingers. Dark clouds gathered in the sky outside the tomb and silver bolts of heavenly lightning howled, transmuting to a strange power that entered underground and gathered at his fingertips.
Not enough! His heart sank. Lighting of this level wouldn’t be enough to destroy all of the corpses. Even hellfire wouldn’t work, not with the sheer amount of bitter venom coursing through them. It was the rancor of multiple generations!
The Firmament Prison had most likely been built here to concentrate the energy necessary to nurture these terrible corpses, imbuing them with enough strength to tear through any living souls foolish enough to intrude!
What a lot of investment to defend a tomb.
Compared to the fourth coiled mountain, the first three layers were child’s play. This was a killing layout that’d taken generations to complete!
Resentment was the source of strength for all zombies and ghosts. The denser the grudges, the more powerful the undead. Lu Yun would have to surrender control over his hellfire and allow it to eat through everything in order to destroy the corpses. What little bit he could muster at the moment wouldn’t even hurt them.
Pure and righteous heavenly lightning was the only thing that could suppress the terrifying undead and exterminate the festering malice. However, there was too much here. Countless aeons of accumulation had deposited an unfathomable amount of energy on these bodies.
Right palm dancing with light, Lu Yun continued drawing upon the heavenly lightning of the world. He’d pushed his Thunder Palmstrike to the limit.
“Dammit! If I still had the pill tribulation stored up, I’d be able to scatter half their resentment with one blow!” He ground his teeth. His death art wasn’t yet powerful enough to deal with the corpses.
More bodies rose from the walls and the floor, finally breaking the three-meter protective circle Wu Tulong and the others had carved with lightning. Snarling and shrieking, the undead pounced on the humans.
“Go!” Lu Yun exclaimed. His palm strike burst forth and filled the room with snakes of silver lightning. The approaching corpses were instantly blasted back, leaving nothing within the radius of golden light.
Everyone allowed themselves a sigh of relief.
“Take these!” Lu Yun manifested handfuls of thunder talismans and threw them to Wu Tulong and the others. Xuanxi had just drawn the talismans and they would work much better than the talismans the three of them had brought with them. The group tensed when they saw the corpses enter the golden light again.
“Again!” Wu Tulong and the other two youth sovereigns held Lu Yun’s talismans in their hands, crazed looks entering their eyes.
Lu Yun took a deep breath and called upon the Thunder Palmstrike once more to summon heavenly lightning. It was a powerful technique, but it possessed a fatal flaw—he needed time to collect the lightning before he could release it, which made it far too slow!
If Lu Yun were alone, he would’ve already been swarmed by the corpses.
“Junior,” a hoarse voice suddenly rang in Lu Yun’s head. “I can pass unto you the Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder technique, which will cleanse all of the accumulated resentment here.”
“Who is this?!” The new voice was very alarming.
“I am the Azure Dragon Divine King,” the voice answered from the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals on Qing Han. “You stand a chance of mastering the Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder, since you can manipulate both connate wood energy and heavenly lightning. I can pass on the technique to you, but it’s up to you to see if you can use it.”
The dragon king spoke with great urgency. He wouldn’t be able to maintain the connection for long. A complicated lightning technique entered Lu Yun’s mind.
“I teach you my personal technique in hopes that you will one day lift the curse on the four cardinal divine tribes!” was the last thing he said before he fell silent. It would seem that his way of circumventing Empress Myrtlestar and the scroll could no longer be utilized.
“I promise!” said Lu Yun. Then, he retreated to hell.
Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder was formed by a combination of connate wood power and heavenly lightning. His Mastery of the Five Elements and Thunder Palmstrike would allow him to channel both; however, the technique itself was too complicated. It would take some time for him to master it, necessitating a trip to the netherworld to create enough temporal space to practice.
Connate wood power and heavenly lightning descended upon Lu Yun at the same time and intertwined in a complex manner, changing second by second. Gradually, a strand of pine-colored lightning crackled into existence around him.
It suddenly exploded. Failure! If he weren’t in hell, with the power of the entire domain running through him, the explosion would’ve blown him to pieces.
The signature lightning technique of the Azure Dragon King is one of his most powerful moves! It’s much more difficult than I’d expected to combine connate wood power and heavenly lightning. The dragon king thinks too much of me. If it weren’t for my access to hell, I wouldn’t be able to learn the technique!
Lu Yun took a deep breath. The technique could be deployed through the Thunder Palmstrike, but he’d have to channel Mastery of the Five Elements at the same time. He also needed to match the frequency of the two death arts, or they would clash and result in an explosion.
It took him three years to find the right balance. Countless experimentation and adjustments occurred before he could walk the perfect line between the two death arts. Then he began combining connate wood power with heavenly lightning.
Another ten years passed!
After ten years of meditating in the same spot, he finally combined the two natural powers and created the Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder!
“Success!” Pine-colored lightning sizzled and snaked around his body. “Unfortunately, the power I’ve summoned through hell will fade once I leave. I’ll have to coalesce the lightning again!” Lu Yun dismissed the lightning with a sigh.
Hell was not yet complete, so its power was limited to the netherworld. Lu Yun could refine pills and treasures through the power of hell, but he couldn’t bring any of the power he’d gathered there outside the netherworld. He’d have to do this all over again with his own power.Previous Chapter Next Chapter