Jiangchen Xie’s body was sent flying and the fiery sea once again dispersed. Tiny cracks began spreading all over his body.
“How can this be?!” he cried out in confusion.
He’d transformed himself into a zombie king and had obtained the strength of the Corpse Refiners’ founder in his youth. His bone arts and Hadal Bonefire could even burn dao immortals alive!
But… he couldn’t take even one punch from Lu Yun.
Just that one punch had been enough to utterly humiliate him. No methods or combat arts were involved, just a man and his fist.
A deep sense of failure rose from Jiangchen Xie’s heart. He remembered the path to the void realm that had appeared to him thirty thousand years ago and how he’d felt the same powerlessness before the black, long-haired monsters wielding dao weapons.
“You are afraid,” Lu Yun sighed wistfully. “You lost to yourself thirty thousand years ago. And after all this time, you still can’t get over it.” He strode over thin air toward his adversary. “That’s why I said you’re a pathetic worm, an utter and complete loser.”
“But I’m still alive!” Jiangchen Xie’s whole body began convulsing and he glared at Lu Yun with maddened intensity. Bloody light bloomed from every orifice of his body, fusing with the Hadal Bonefire in a rosé burst of energy.
Black fire rippled upon Lu Yun’s body and he dismissed the attack with a casual wave of his hand.
“Impossible. Impossible! As long as I live, I can rise again. The day I waited for has finally come! The void realm is here! I haven’t lost!” Jiangchen Xie shrieked hoarsely as the dread in his eyes intensified.
“Jiangchen Wushang was the body your ancestor chose to eventually possess. Do you know why he didn’t choose you?” Lu Yun walked up to his hysterical opponent.
By this point, Jiangchen Xie was kneeling impotently on the floor. His hands were the only thing that kept him upright. He panted in fearful exhaustion, no longer possessing the courage to raise his head.
“There is only fear in your heart. Not the invincible courage that should have accompanied your excellent talent.” The young master of hell cast a pitying glance at him. “Your fear and cowardice has seeped into your flesh and bone and drives your every instinct.
“You’re a coward hiding behind the halo of a genius. Do you think just living is enough to win? No.
“Some people are alive, but are already dead. Some people are dead, but still live on.” Lu Yun shamelessly stole a renowned quote from a famous personage on Earth, and it proved to be the last straw that crushed Jiangchen Xie’s heart like a terrifying combat art.
Gray floated to the fore as the light in Jiangchen Xie’s eyes began to dim.
“Hahahahahaha—” Sinister laughter suddenly echoed behind them. “Loser? Coward? Pathetic worm?”
The cackling transitioned to a low, sonorous voice. “What gives you the right to judge others so?” The words it uttered were tinged with a deep grudge of resentment and indignation.
The ground began to quake. The tomb of the Venerated Sacrosanct Demon Sovereign behind Lu Yun slowly cracked open and a huge hand of bone three hundred meters long reached out.
“Not good! The master of this tomb…” Lu Yun whirled around. “I tried destroying Jiangchen Xie’s dao heart and zombie king form with words, but it garnered the sympathy of the old thing in the tomb as well!”
He opened his Spectral Eye and cast his gaze toward the hand of bone.
“An enduring true spirit! This Venerated Sacrosanct Demon Sovereign died with tremendous resentment! He must’ve had his dao heart crushed by the pangs of conscience as well.” Lu Yun’s face flickered with unease.
The creature of bone was struggling for dear life in order to break free from its prison. Its tombstone, the one that carried its title upon it, emitted a restricting halo to keep it restrained. However, the rifts upon the stone were widening by the moment. It looked like it was about to crumble.
To a tomb raider, a tombstone was the boundary between life and death. On one side of this gate was the world of the living, and on the other was where the dead rested. Once a tombstone was erected, a barrier was formed that prevented the living and dead from meeting. The living were forbidden from entering, while the dead could not leave.
Tomb raiders generally dug a tunnel into a tomb from the side. Barely anyone directly broke in from the front, lest the tombstone be broken and the buried dead released into the world.
Generally speaking, tomb raiders lived short lives and rarely had good endings. Prolonged journeying in the world of the dead tended to elicit curses from their inhabitants that shortened lifespans and caused misfortune.
The resentment of the Great Demon Sovereign inside the tomb was so heavy that an enduring true spirit had formed. The body was dead and the soul was gone, but the spirit had endured.
An enduring true spirit was a kind of dead spirit that kept every memory and grudge from life; its singular purpose for existence was revenge.
The words that Lu Yun had used to strike at Jiangchen Xie’s dao heart had caused the enduring true spirit to commiserate. The profoundly hateful Demon Sovereign was thus revived through its spirit, and was now trying to break out from its tomb.
“If things keep on like this, it really will get out.” Lu Yun cocked his head at the disheartened Jiangchen Xie. “I... suppose that’s not a big deal. Considering that it’s already a ghost realm and dead world here, whether it stays in the tomb or not won’t make much of a difference.”
After a moment of hesitation, he turned and pulled the stunned girls nearby away with him. His Wandering Step carried them off in the next instant.
Aside from its resentment and obsession, Lu Yun knew that the main reason the Great Demon Sovereign could break free was because the ghost realm was fundamentally in the same world as the tomb.
If they were in the outside world, there was no conceivable way the Demon Sovereign could break free—not even with a hundred times its current resentment.
Crack, clatter, rumble…
The tomb and the surrounding ground shook violently, and the humongous tombstone cracked apart into chunks. Another hand reached out from the cracked tomb, tearing the ensnaring earth apart.
A tattered corpse burrowed out from underground. Its flesh had already rotted away. The sight of loose muscles and tendons hanging upon a bleached frame was frightening indeed. A wisp of its enduring spirit slowly rolled around inside its skull, the source of the voice from earlier.
“Descendant of Jiangchen…!” the Venerated Sacrosanct Demon Sovereign roared as it left the tomb.
Dazed, Jiangchen Xie raised his head toward the skeleton. His eyes had already lost focus.
Thirty thousand years ago, his choice to avoid the long-haired monster had planted the seeds of failure inside his heart. After being so completely defeated by Lu Yun, the latter’s curse-like words caused those seeds to germinate.
His dao heart was on the brink of destruction.
The Venerated Sacrosanct Demon Sovereign was a colossal being. Its skull alone was as big as a house. Its greenish spirit fixated upon the small lifeform at its feet through empty eye sockets.
“That short-sighted Jiangchen bastard… he nearly ruined a demonic talent. Why would he teach you the old zombie’s methods… Are you willing to be my disciple?” The Demon Sovereign’s voice boomed louder and louder to a deafening crescendo.
Jiangchen Xie shook himself awake.Previous Chapter Next Chapter