“You, protect me?” Lu Yun gave Ge Long a once-over.
“This old servant’s cultivation level has reached the perfection of qi transformation. Though it may not be much, ordinary cultivators are no match for me.” Having made up his mind, Ge Long took a step forward, his face wreathed in smiles. “The most important thing is, I am the grand steward of House Ge. People will have to show me some face.”
This old fart is up to no good! Lu Yun snorted inwardly. “In that case, I’ll have to trouble Grand Steward Ge.”
“Calamity Lu is showing his face around town!”
“Oh my heavens, is he not dead yet?”
“The heavens are blind! Why is Calamity Lu still alive?”
“She-Devil Wanfeng’s out too!”
“Who’s the old man? It looks like Grand Steward Ge Long of House Ge! Oh hells no, Steward Ge is running around with Calamity Lu?”
An uproar exploded as soon as Lu Yun appeared on the streets of Dusk City with Wanfeng and Ge Long. Or rather, utter pandemonium would be more accurate.
Wanfeng was used to the reaction, as she was always by Lu Yun’s side. His wish was her command, which made her the governor’s number one henchman in terrorizing the city.
A faint sheen of sweat glistened on Ge Long’s forehead and he shook uncontrollably. He wasn’t unfamiliar with the moniker Calamity Lu, but who would’ve thought that things would be this bad!
A rotten egg flew out of nowhere and smashed firmly into the back of Ge Long’s head. The overpowering stench almost made him vomit.
On the other hand, Wanfeng was highly prepared and had already raised a wall of air in front of her and Lu Yun.
“I’m basically public enemy number one!” Lu Yun shrank in on himself. “Am I usually this big of a bastard?”
“You’re ten times worse!” Ge Long dry heaved as he wiped the rotten fluid off his head.
“Wanfeng, go buy some yellow paper, glutinous rice, a shovel, and a hoe.” Heaving a sigh of relief when they reached a tea house, Lu Yun rattled off a shopping list to his maid.
“Understood.” The girl immediately set out for the marketplace.
A hundred thousand years ago, a great cataclysm had visited the world of immortals, causing the deaths of numerous immortals and shattering the path of cultivation itself. After a hundred thousand years of rest, the world was still a shell of its former self. There were countless mortals here, which meant that there were grains of all types to be found. Cultivators didn’t abstain from eating until they reached the immortal realm. Hence, they still required nutrition from food.
“Yellow paper and glutinous rice?” asked Ge Long curiously.
Lu Yun swept a sidelong glance at the steward. “What’s with the questions? You're here to keep me safe, not to ask about what you shouldn’t know.”
Having Ge Long by his side ticked him off. It would be one thing if the old man was a beauty, but the guy was an annoying old fart!
Ge Long’s lips twisted, but he didn’t respond.
Wanfeng quickly returned with a bag of glutinous rice, a stack of yellow paper, a shovel, and a hoe.
“We’re leaving the city,” declared Lu Yun when he took possession of the first two items.
“Leaving the city?” Joy seized Ge Long. To leave the city meant death. You forgo the wide path of heaven to barge into hell, which lacks even an entrance!
Wanfeng sped for the eastern gate, her hands around Lu Yun’s arm and the wind beneath their feet.
The governor’s manor resided squarely in the middle of the city, a metropolis that spanned a hundred miles in radius. With Lu Yun’s capabilities, he wouldn’t have reached the gate even after a full day of walking.
The maid made a quick hand seal, raising her speed to more than ten times that of Lu Yun’s.
“After them!” Ge Long grit his teeth and tore off in hot pursuit. “That chit’s reached qi condensation at such a young age! She’s a valuable genius. If raised well, she’ll become a core realm expert, one day!” The steward enviously assessed Wanfeng’s cultivation level from the energies rippling around her.
In order to hoodwink Ge Long, the maid displayed only strength sufficient for the qi condensation realm. Her cultivation level was higher than Ge Long’s, so there was no way for the steward to plumb the depths of her duplicity.
“But after six months, the girl will meet the same tragic end as that brat. Why not…” Ge Long rubbed his hands covetously. “If I harvest her pure yin, I’ll gain her potential! Perhaps I’ll break through in one thrust and enter the core realm!
“Since you two want to head outside the city, heh, then this present will fall into my lap instead of anyone else’s!” Flames of greed licking at him, the steward picked up speed.
Dusk City, Eastern Gates.
The city defenders did a double take when they realized that Lu Yun and Wanfeng wanted to exit the city. The various Dusk aristocracies had just given a unified order forbidding the governor to leave.
“Halt! Where might Your Grace be going?” A man in the uniform of a military officer hopped down from the city wall, stopping the duo.
“Does this governor have to seek your approval for whatever I wish to do?” Lu Yun snorted coldly at the officer.
“Not at all!” The soldier started with panic. “It’s just, just that…”
“Don’t worry, Sir Ying, this old servant will protect the governor.” Ge Long caught up to the group and chuckled merrily at the officer.
“So it’s Grand Steward Ge! Approved!” Sir Ying laughed heartily and stepped to the side.
Rumor has it that that old servant’s granddaughter died in Lu Yun’s hands. With Ge Long accompanying Lu Yun out of the city, he’ll take the opportunity to off Lu Yun for sure! This must be why the various noble houses allow him to stay by Lu Yun’s side.
Anyone else might not be brave enough to kill the governor, but not Ge Long. Sardonic ridicule flashed across the officer’s face as he watched Lu Yun’s departing back.
The three turned in the direction of Mount Carmine Dusk after leaving the city.
“Your Grace is going to the mountain?” A dash of happiness colored Ge Long’s face when he noted their heading.
The mountain is out of the way. It’s a perfect place for what I want to do! I’ll kill Lu Yun first, then have my fill of Wanfeng. I’ll have a good shot at making it into the core realm then!
But killing Lu Yun means I won’t be able to stay in Dusk Province any longer. The patriarch had me keep an eye on the brat—most likely to have him die at my hands. I’ll be a scapegoat after the bastard dies!
…then I’ll kill him with no one being the wiser. If I can ascend to the core realm after leaving Dusk, the entire immortal world will be my oyster!
The group quickly made it to the bottom of the mountain.
Mount Carmine Dusk was a geographic feature that was brilliantly red all over. Since it was an immortal’s tomb, the brilliant red color made it an ill-omened place. No one, whether cultivators or mortals, was willing to come near.
Though many adventurers frequently attempted to explore the tomb and chance upon lucky opportunities, no one had ever successfully made it inside.
Even immortals had died here.
Therefore, though the mountain was close to Dusk City, it was spacious in its desertedness; not even wildlife existed here.
“The Black Tortoise crouching over the hill firmly quashes the fortunes of the mountain. The image of a Black Tortoise is that of an intertwined snake and turtle, forming a layout of utmost yin. It appears as a bleak landscape, a deathtrap. No wonder no one comes near.” Lu Yun couldn't help but sigh with wonder as he observed the mountain.
There were four realms to the world of feng shui arrangements: feng shui formations, layouts, influences, and grand influences over the world.
The Crouching Black Tortoise that was now in front of him was a perfect example of a feng shui layout. On Earth, they were meant for royalty and nobility. This meant that whoever was buried in Mount Carmine Dusk was certainly no ordinary immortal.
The Enneawyrm Coffinbearers arrangement in the city, on the other hand, was an example of a feng shui influence arrangement.
“This place is secluded and unfrequented. It’s a great location to kill someone and bury the body,” Lu Yun suddenly remarked pensively.
“Eh?” Ge Long's heart skipped a beat. “How do you know I want to kill you?”
“You sent your darling granddaughter to my manor to seduce me, but I ended up beating her to death. She’s said to be your only family—why wouldn’t you want to take revenge for her?” Lu Yun shook his head slightly.
Lu Yun had actually been quite depressed when he heard Wanfeng mention the incident. The previous Lu Yun unfortunately lacked ‘manhood’. He had the will, but not the way! How else would such a fetching little beauty like Wanfeng still be a virgin at his side??
Born with a dormant bloodline, his constitution was much weaker than an ordinary person’s. Add to that his long residence in the eye of the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers layout where he’d suffered chronic invasions of evil energy. Not to mention, Grand Steward Xue had plonked him in the middle of a Nine Yin Repudiation formation not long ago.
It was already the height of good luck that the guy hadn’t turned into a eunuch. The old Lu Yun had pounced on Wanfeng more than once, but he’d never been able to do the deed.
House Ge was subordinate to House Lu, and Ge Long had wanted to curry favor in presenting his granddaughter to Lu Yun. Sadly, this was the worst possible career move he could’ve taken. Sending his granddaughter to Lu Yun had only revealed the governor’s flaws! In a fit of rage and humiliation, the former governor had beaten the poor girl to death.
“Heh heh heh, since you know it, then die!” Ge Long threw his head back with laughter, a longsword glinting with a cold light having materialized in his hand at some unknown time.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
We've seen several mentions of feng shui by now, so what the heck is it?
Feng shui: Chinese geomancy, or the philosophy of striking a balance with the natural world in one's living spaces and work environment.
How this translates to day-to-day living: Basically a list of do's and don't's for setting up your home and workspace. I call it fancy common sense, or rules that help people get into a good mental space. From stuff like placement of certain objects to not installing the stove right next to the sink, there's varying degrees of intensity that one can take this to.
If it seems hokey to you, that's perfectly fine too! It's one of them cultural things, just treat it as any ole power system. To be frank, that's what it is in NECRO. Formations and feng shui are two sides of the same coin. Formations are the yang side, and feng shui the yin. To utilize the full potential of a formation, imbuing it with the qi of heaven and earth is necessary. However, there’s no such qi on Earth. That’s why layouts there can only demonstrate the feng shui side of things, but not the power of a formation.
TL;DR Feng shui is an integral part of Chinese culture that's been unfortunately portrayed as some wand waving madness. But hey, this is a fantasy novel! Let's all suspend our disbelief and enjoy cute Wanfeng, Lu Yun's antics, and feng shui.