Chapter 238: The Original Tomb Owner

Lu Yun spent thirteen years cultivating in the netherworld, but resumed the same point in time upon returning to the real world. Nothing had changed. To the others, Lu Yun hadn’t even moved from his spot.

“Power from the Avici Hell resurrected the dead and made them living corpses!”

During his thirteen years in the underworld, Lu Yun had also speculated about the origins of the living dead. Lu Shenhou and the town’s residents had all been brought back to life by the Avici Cell layout in a strange manner.

“Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder can scatter their resentment, but so long as the chamber stands, the corpses will infinitely resurrect!”

Immortality was a torment of the worst kind in the Avici Hell. Even after dying to maltreatment, or tortured to ashes, residents of the eighteenth layer of hell would resurrect and undergo the cycle of suffering all over again. Here, the final peace of death was the greatest blessing.

I must identify the weakness of the layout and break it after dealing with the corpses!

“Buy me time!” roared Lu Yun. This time, he extended both arms into the air.

Crackle crackle sizzle pop...

Heavenly lightning and connate wood energy descended upon him at the same time, merging into strands of dark current snaking around him.

“Impossible!” After having recovered some of his strength, the Azure Dragon King gaped out of the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals. “He instantly mastered the Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder....”

Empress Myrtlestar frowned slightly at him. She didn’t know when the dragon king had taught Lu Yun the technique.

“There will be trouble if the survivors of your tribe find out,” she said coolly.

If she’d known the dragon king was going to teach Lu Yun the technique, she would’ve stopped him. Lu Yun had an even more powerful trick up his sleeve, and didn’t need this to get him through the situation. In contrast, seeing the technique in action would push the dragon king’s descendents to madness. It was, after all, the dragon king’s personal combat art.

The dragon king didn’t respond.

“Are you using Lu Yun as bait for your descendents to rescue you?” Empress Myrtlestar asked quietly.

“The Skandha Extinction Tomb cursed not only your people, but also the four cardinal tribes!” The Azure Dragon King’s halved body trembled. “Other than the little white tiger, all of the other survivors are sinners with tainted blood. I simply want to draw them out and kill them all.”

Empress Myrtlestar started.

“The Skandha Extinction Tomb is more terrifying than you can possibly imagine! No cardinal divines could’ve survived its curse, other than traitors who betrayed their tribes. They must all be exterminated!” His scowl gained an edge of insanity. “I trust my descendents will never make a move against someone who possesses my combat art. Only the sinners will attack Lu Yun! Those who set up the Skandha Extinction Tomb to curse the four cardinal tribes through sacrificing your people are our common enemy!”

After a pregnant pause, Empress Myrtlestar asked, “What if... he isn’t their match? Besides, are not you worried that he will turn against you for dragging him into the mess?”

“I’ve already incorporated my essence into the scroll. Soon, I will become nothing but a guardian spirit of the treasure, watching over the little girl.” The Azure Dragon King smiled. “You yearn for another life so that you may realize your ambitions in this era of great tribulations, but the only thing I wish is for my tribe to live on.

“Once the traitors find their way to Lu Yun, I’ll kill them myself through the scroll. I’ve long set aside the issue of my continued survival.”

“You are indeed a worthy ancestor of your tribe,” Empress Myrtlestar sighed. 

“And you are a worthy empress for your people,” the dragon king responded with a smile. 

……

Seeing that Lu Yun was about to deploy a more powerful technique, Wu Tulong, Mo Qitian, and Zi Chen flung out thunder talismans with reckless abandon. Violet lightning swarmed the entire area, forming a great net of electricity that kept the endless corpses outside. Meanwhile, connate wood energy and heavenly lightning continued gathering, and the form of lightning around Lu Yun grew ever stronger.

Crackle.

Finally, an enormous pine-colored lightning solidified after a dozen breaths.

“Break!!” he roared.

Violet-black lightning shot out of his body in the shape of dragons, enveloping the entire room with frenzied chaos. Countless corpses disintegrated under the terrifying might, their dense miasma of resentment dispersing with them. Almost all of the living corpses were destroyed in a short instant.

“This is the power of the Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder!” Even Lu Yun himself was startled by its might. Exhaustion washed through him, and his knees gave out. Qing Han grabbed him before he could fall.

“Hand me the luopan!” He swallowed a few pills and extended a demanding hand toward Qing Han, who hurriedly handed him the compass.

“Maybe you should rest for a while,” Mo Qitian said earnestly when he saw Lu Yun’s almost translucent face. “The corpses have all been destroyed.”

“Destroyed? This is the Avici Cell layout. The corpses are ever-enduring. Once the layout’s power descends again, the corpses will reappear.”

Chills ran down everyone’s spine. The young governor had exhausted almost all his power to destroy the corpses with a powerful technique, and it was clear that he couldn’t manage a repeat performance in a short time.

Lu Yun struggled to his feet and activated his luopan.

"To draw the patterns of mountains coiled,

Those deathly cliffs with mysteries roiled.

Danger shies if mountains hide,

Heaven and earth do mysteries toil."

Whirr.

The luopan in his hand rotated at great speed again. Its three indicators continuously overlapped and separated, looking for the heart of the fourth coiled mountain.

“Here they come again!” exclaimed Mo Qitian. A living corpse crawled out of thin air and rose to lunge at Lu Yun.

“Back off!” Starlight descended upon Qing Han as he threw a punch, hurtling the corpse off its feet with a flash of silver light. However, more and more living corpses emerged.

“I’ve used up all my talismans… Well then, today looks like a good day to die!” Wu Tulong brandished his lance and charged at the enemy, sweeping them off their feet in one smooth motion. Blood streaked down from the corner of his mouth as the backlash recoiled into him.

Shock flooded his face. Apart from Lu Yun, he was the strongest youth sovereign. The corpses weren’t yet immortals, but they were absolutely his rival in power!

Zi Chen and Mo Qitian, meanwhile, were slowly beaten back by the onslaught.

“Got it!!” shouted Lu Yun, his eyes fixed on the indicators of the luopan. They all pointed in one direction—the bronze door. More precisely, the ghost standing by the door.

“So it’s you! You’re the anchor to the Door of Demise. You’re the dead that was originally buried in this tomb!” He stared at the ghost in white and commanded, “Disperse the fourth coiled mountain or be destroyed instead.”

Here lay the remains of the path of cultivation, but for a tomb to be a tomb, there had to be a dead person buried to grant it a purpose. Otherwise, the place could only be considered an underground palace, no matter how many died there.

The ghost was the original owner of the tomb. Someone had removed their body once the tomb took shape and refined it into the fourth coiled mountain to guard the buried cultivation path.

The ghost leered, revealing sickly white teeth. “Die.”

Bam!

The tomb shook again as an enormous skeletal foot dropped down from the sky. It was so big that it almost covered the radius cast by the golden light of the luopan.

They’d all heard the heavy footsteps when passing through the maze. It’d sounded like there was a giant walking within the tomb, and that giant had now shown itself. Lu Yun and the others scrambled to dodge the foot, but another bony extremity slammed down.

Rumble.

Grossly nauseating blood streamed down from the two feet. Patently, the giant had crawled out from the ocean of blood.

As if following the giant’s lead, increasing amounts of crimson monsters walked out from thin air. Countless living corpses rose as a new tidal wave of death. Despair blanketed the group, thick and overpowering.

“Take this, Qing Han.” Lu Yun threw the luopan at his friend with a quick wave of his hand. The imperial envoy hurriedly caught it as Lu Yun charged at the ghost, blazing with hellfire.

“Wah, wah, wah!” It screeched incessantly, summoning crimson monsters and corpses to mob its attacker.

When the hellfire next flickered, Lu Yun’s life energy vanished. The monsters and corpses came to an immediate halt, looking around in a befuddled daze after losing sight of their target. Confusion flickered through the eyes of the ghost in white, as well. No living soul should be able to conceal their own life energy so completely; not even the most powerful immortal. However, the human in front of it was stripped of all life energy, like a corpse.

Lu Yun dashed to the ghost and wrapped his hand around its throat.

“Wah wah wahhhh!!” It shrieked in high-pitched pain.

Lu Yun’s hellfire couldn’t destroy it, but could inflict quite a bit of misery. The living corpses and crimson monsters shifted their targets to Qing Han and the others when they heard the ghost scream.

“Realms of Yin and Yang, open!” boomed Lu Yun. Activation of the death art opened the Gates of the Abyss, into which their master jumped, ghost in tow.

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etvolare's Thoughts

I think some folks have noticed that chapters have been 1/3-1/2 longer than usual lately... Enjoy the author's inspiration!