Chapter 344: Dragon Whelp

“Who’s that!” Every hair on Situ Yun’s body stood up at the sound.

This safe spot was the handiwork of a Star Demon Sect dao immortal. Without the sect’s specialized techniques, outsiders wouldn’t even notice this place’s existence, much less be able to enter. And without that assurance of security, he wouldn’t have spoken his sect’s secrets so plainly. An unwelcome guest was unfathomable and most alarming!

Turning, Situ Yun caught sight of a deathly pale man in a black robe. The stranger stalked toward him with a deliberate, malicious smile.  

Blood immediately drained from Situ Yun’s face, and he extended his arms protectively, standing in front of Lu Yun and Qing Han. The man in black was an aether dao immortal, but even that was more than enough to overwhelm him.

“Don’t worry.” Lu Yun patted Situ Yun lightly on the shoulder.

Fire flashed across his palm, accompanied by something’s pained shriek. Situ Yun felt a great weight lift from his body, like a sinister cloud had departed from him. He recovered his composure in the next instant and looked inquisitively at his savior.  

“Don’t worry, he’s already dead. No living person can cross that barrier,” Lu Yun intoned calmly.

“What did you say?!” The black-robed dao immortal blinked in surprise, then snorted. “Are you mad, Lu Yun? Have you started raving in your delirium?”

“Some people have a hard time realizing they’re dead… somehow, they’ve fooled themselves into thinking they’re still alive.” 

Gazing thoughtfully at the dao immortal, Lu Yun exhaled wistfully. A tiny, pitch-black dragon whelp lay upon black-robe’s back. Even as he spoke, it was sucking the dao immortal’s soul and spirit out of his body, little by little.

Although a dao immortal had a refined true spirit that could persist beyond the disintegration of his soul, the black dragon whelp’s unchecked consumption of the entire essence of his being was going completely unnoticed. Much like a greedy parasite, its work would cease only when its host had nothing left to offer.

A person’s entire existence hinged on the persistence of their true spirit, along with their three ethereal and seven corporal soul-parts. What would happen once those were gone?

A similar whelp had been latched onto Situ Yun earlier, but the attachment had clearly been rather recent: only one ethereal and two corporal soul-parts had been affected. After Lu Yun burned the parasite away, the soul-parts had returned to their rightful owner.

The remaining whelp glared at Lu Yun through its blood-red eyes, clearly wary of the human youth. It had seen the death of its comrade beneath his fingers all too clearly.  

Two black embers flared from Lu Yun’s eyes, eliciting a violent tremor from the whelp. With a meal-finishing slurp and a flick of its tail, it vanished into the void.

“You….” The dao immortal was interrupted mid-sentence as he felt his consciousness sink into an endless darkness.

Thump!

The man keeled over to the ground, unmoving and unbreathing.

Situ Yun’s eyes widened. An aether dao immortal had died without so much as a whimper… and he had no idea how!

Qing Han glanced at his friend.

“Take this talisman.” Lu Yun handed over a crystal talisman. “It involves my greatest secret,” he transmitted. “If anyone else gets their hands on it, I won’t have a single safe place left in the world.”

His Spectral Eye could see through life and death; no ghost or specter in the world could hide their existence or identities from him. If anyone at all knew about his power, he’d become the target of countless immortals from all over the world of immortals.

Qing Han faltered a moment, then crumbled the talisman in his hand.

“When we both have enough strength… then, and only then, should you tell me everything. For now, you just need to protect me!” he replied with equal gravity.

Chuckling helplessly, Lu Yun could only nod.

The young governor’s ability to revive dead immortals was already placing tremendous pressure on Qing Han’s mind. Accidentally leaking that detail alone would be enough to put Lu Yun’s life in danger. And now his friend wanted to give him a talisman with an even greater mystery? There was no way he’d take that!

Lu Yun’s secrets were best kept to himself.

……

“What… what in the world happened here?” Situ Yun asked incredulously.

“It’d be easier for you to understand that he was possessed by a special kind of immortal ghost,” explained Lu Yun. “The same happened to you as well, just now.”

Situ Yun shuddered involuntarily.

It wasn’t his first time inside an ancient tomb, so he knew what immortal ghosts were capable of. They could cling to the living undetected, affect their actions, and sometimes, even devour their soul and spirit.

As such, habitual tomb explorers often carried treasures meant to counteract their influence. This was especially true for immortals from large factions like himself. He hurriedly pulled out a jade talisman from his clothes.

Craaack!

The jade talisman fissured as he held it, its power dissipating.

“You’re right… what a terrifying ghost that was!” Situ Yun gasped. “My Principal Nineheavens Talisman should be able to fend off peerless immortal ghosts… but it was demolished in that encounter.”

“Principal Nineheavens Talisman?” Lu Yun took the broken talisman to examine it. “What an interesting talisman! It does have the power to ward off ghosts. I guess it makes sense. A hundred thousand years is a long time, after all, so weird gadgets like this are bound to have turned up.”

He studied it further before drawing a copy of the talisman in the void.

“Your Principal Nineheavens Talisman was created by a dao immortal and his dao fruit. The talisman I drew just now only resembles the real thing… it might do the job, alright, but it’s a lot weaker.” Lu Yun shook his head in mild displeasure and Situ Yun’s jaw dropped even further.

The talisman he had was a find from an ancient tomb, not a senior’s handiwork. The method to draw it should’ve been lost! Yet Lu Yun had transcribed one right before his eyes!

“This is a real Principal Nineheavens Talisman!” Situ Yun received the new talisman with trembling fingers and wide eyes, still incredulous of what he’d just witnessed. “As expected, drawing a lost talisman is no problem for our young lord!”

The connection seemed to assure and inspire him, and his expression changed to one of obvious confidence. Lu Yun was the true master of the Skandha Range. For the great demon sovereign to speak personally on his behalf… of course there had to be something more to this young man!

“Young lord!” The Star Demon member abruptly sobered up. “You can’t tell anyone about your ability to draw the Principal Nineheavens Talisman. Its ability to restrain ghosts, combined with its present extinction….”

“Why can’t I?” Lu Yun raised a puzzled eyebrow. “If the technique for it is extinct, doesn’t that mean there’s a business opportunity here?”

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etvolare's Thoughts

Oh gross. The dragon spirits/ghosts/? are giving me hives too. I hate too much blood and gore, even though this scene isn't that crazy, it's.. eurk. PS. Hope you guys enjoyed the triple yesterday! Stay tuned for more bonus releases.

Editor's note (CheshirePhoenix): This is one of the things I like about NECRO. It breaks the mold established by many, many other novels before it.

It may be too soon to tell, but Lu Yun talking about bringing back an extinct talisman, or letting the whole world know that he can refine extinct pills, would normally see people trying to capture or kill him because of his abilities in an "if I can't enslave you and force you to work for me, no one can have you!" kind of way.

So here, we see Lu Yun either being naive about how the world works, or the world just being unique and different from other similar novels I've seen. I think it's the latter, honestly, because otherwise people would've already been trying to capture him back when he demonstrated his ability to refine the golden core pill thingie.