Chapter 241: Chains and Shackles

Resentment erupted from the vengeful ghost, whipping up into a terrifying storm. The sheer volume of hatred was simply too much. It didn’t only come from the ghost itself, but from all life that had died during its era. The countless years that the Firmament Prison’s inmates had spent in confinement had only steeped it with further strength. 

Even the power of hell was insufficient to quench it.

If the ghost’s rancor was allowed to leave the tomb, it’d render all of Nephrite Major into a ghostly domain.

“I need to become stronger so I can restore hell and gain the power to control all ghosts.” Lu Yun’s eyes fixated upon the vengeful ghost in its full form. The Tome of Life and Death glittered with spectral light, resisting the flood of malice. Though hell was broken, the Tome itself had retained its complete form and the book’s power instantly forced the resentment back.

Shrieking, the vengeful ghost charged Lu Yun, but was unable to penetrate the book’s defenses.

“Back off,” he called out to his frantic envoys and ghostly soldiers. If Yuying and the others came forward now, they would only be infected by the resentment, turning into vengeful ghosts themselves. Even hell wouldn’t be able to keep the threat at bay.

If that happened, Lu Yun would be forced to kill the former to return them to the Tome, then wait for them to regenerate.

The envoys also swiftly came to this realization and retreated as quickly as they’d come. The Infernum weren’t so quick to react, however. The weaker ones were nearly instantly converted by the vengeful ghost.

“Waaaah!" A piercing wail erupted from the ghost’s maw as its form began to rapidly expand. In no time at all, it’d transformed into a three-hundred-meter tall giant. Its aura changed once more, and a strikingly familiar feeling began pervading the air.

“This isn’t the girl from just now… this ghost has nothing to do with her!” Goosebumps popped up all over Lu Yun’s body. “This is the great terror the girl was talking about… she sealed it within her own body!”

He drew a sharp breath, then disintegrated the servants who’d fallen under the ghost’s control with a wave of the book.

“This… this is an akasha ghost!” The young man finally remembered why the ghost in white felt so familiar. He’d felt the same otherworldliness with the akasha ghost he’d encountered in the certain death layout. It was the same blend of indelible substance and ineffable ephemerality.

Lu Yun refrained from using the Judgment of Life and Death, though; there was no karmic retribution upon this ghost, only the deep-seated pollution of resentment. Moreover, he detected the smallest of movements of thought upon the ghost, sealed by a strange force.

“That orb’s certain death layout must’ve summoned this akasha ghost… What the heck is going on here?” Inside hell, Lu Yun had boundless power. In this repeat encounter with the akasha ghost, he was no longer a helpless sheep headed to the slaughter. The akasha ghost couldn’t overcome the Tome of Life and Death. 

At the same time, there was so much more to this ancient tomb than he’d ever imagined. Was the cultivation path really the only thing buried here? It couldn’t be that simple!

He felt the onset of a heavy headache. What exactly was an akasha ghost?

After someone or something died, if their resentment refused to dissipate, it would fuse with their souls and turn into a ghost. Ordinary people, animals, and so forth became ordinary ghosts. Immortals became immortal ghosts. What turned into an akasha ghost?

Honestly, he had no clue.

The akasha ghost continued to spew its frustration everywhere, roaring all the while. It seemed to want to turn all of hell into its ghostly territory.

Crack crack crack.

Pine-colored lightning danced around Lu Yun’s body, crackling toward every direction. Bolstered by the power of hell, the cleansing thunderbolts rushed toward the resentment in an attempt to purge it. Alas, the akasha ghost’s resentment was too powerful for even the Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder to dispel.

“Wh-what are those?!” Lu Yun blanched in shock.

In the endless void within the depths of hell, figure after figure shambled out. Filled with the same brand of intense resentment, their scarlet eyes stabbed through the darkness in a desire to manifest into the real world. However, an invisibly potent seal seemed to hold them back. As long as it persisted, the figures would not have their freedom.

The young man’s heart sank with trepidation.

“Waaah— waaah—waaaah—" The akasha ghost continued to wail. Its loud screeches almost seemed to be summoning the figures from their rest.

“Don’t… don’t let them appear…” a faint voice sounded in the gloom. It was the girl in white from earlier. “Hell was created... to summon them…” Before she could finish, her words and will were forcefully cut off.

“To… summon these figures in hell? The blood sea, the Avici Cell, and the Door of Demise! All of those are intended to emulate hell!” Lu Yun jolted awake.

The Door of Demise was a layout that existed on Earth as well. It had an alternative name: Gates of the Abyss! 

Beyond the Door of Demise, there was no return to life; the resemblance was uncanny!

Everything in the tomb simulated hell in an attempt to communicate with the true Hell! If the Avici Cell could become a true Avici Hell, it was very much possible to connect his shard of hell to the ancient tomb.

No wonder the akasha ghost had shown up after the girl in white had recognized hell. The release of torrential resentment made sense too.

“Why was hell destroyed in the first place? What are those shadowy figures in its deepest, darkest depths?” Lu Yun’s thoughts grew heavier and heavier, but he had no time to fully consider everything.

The monstrous shadows were horrible indeed. If they managed to break their seal, he would be torn to pieces.

Tome of Life and Death in one hand and Sugato Sword in the other, Lu Yun hurtled toward the akasha ghost, cleansing thunder shimmering all over his body. A storm of sword auras blasted from the Sugato Sword, converging into a gleaming edge that cut down from the sky.

The akasha ghost turned back, touching the sword-light with a single finger.

Pop!

The foremost refined treasure’s attack was so easily countered, just like that!

More sword light surged out from the Sugato Sword, swelling into a turbulent sea. The keen rays mixed with Lu Yun’s Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder, creating an ocean of electricity and steel. Within the ocean, a dragon soared. Above it, the kun fish transformed into a peng bird and took to the skies.

Overcome, the akasha ghost stumbled several steps back.

Whoosh!

A river of stars decorated the sky to seal the deal. Thunder and sword aura danced among the stars, then slammed down upon the akasha ghost.

Starstream Stroke!

Among the sword techniques Lu Yun had invented, this was the third, and strongest. The amplification of hell and the power from the Tome of Life and Death rendered the stroke invincible and irresistible.

“Waaaah!!" the akasha ghost wailed once more, sensing the threat of death. The resentment around it was cleaved in twain upon contact; the Starstream Stroke was nigh!

Rattle...

The rustling of chains interrupted the fight. A black chain extended out of the darkness, a set of shackles on one end.

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etvolare's Thoughts

Interesting, I think the first hell the girl spoke of in this chapter is a reference to the tomb. The tomb was built to mimic hell so that the akasha ghost could summon those figures. "Oh, I'm in the real thing instead? Well, don't mind me!"