The Scaled-Dragon King was Lu Yun’s Infernum, rather than an Envoy of Samsara, so he couldn’t sense his master’s sentiments. Thus, he was extra careful in digging the tunnel, lest he make any mistakes.
The thief’s tunnel played a very important role in the grand scheme of things. Not only was it a passageway to sneak into an ancient tomb, but it also created a flaw in the originally complete feng shui layout, granting tomb raiders a spark of hope for survival.
The front doors and tombstone of a tomb acted as a boundary, demarcating the realm of yang and world of the living from the realm of yin and world of the dead. Without outside intervention, those who entered through the front entrance of the tomb would surely die.
Entering through the front door while the tomb layout remained whole was akin to walking from the living world to the netherworld.
History was replete with immortals who’d made harrowing journeys in ancient tombs because they didn’t understand the division between the two worlds. Some tried forcing their way in through the front doors, while others stumbled upon thieves’ tunnels by chance, sneaking in without triggering the boundary between life and death.
The boundary for the celestial master tomb remained immaculate and pristine, and there were no other tunnels in the area. Lu Yun had to dig one himself.
This would be the first thief’s tunnel into the tomb, so Lu Yun’s calculations had to be exact. No deviations could be tolerated; the tunnel was also a feng shui layout in and of itself.
The layout of the tomb was too powerful, approaching a grand influence over the world. Within it lurked sinister beings that even Lu Yun didn’t understand. He wouldn’t have dared take the risk if he hadn’t broken through in Azure Province and brought his usage of the luopan to new heights, enabling him to project a world and replicate the layout of the tomb for study in the compass.
The pike in the Scaled-Dragon King’s hand had turned into a giant shovel, and he was carefully digging through the earth beneath his feet as per Lu Yun’s instructions.
“Something’s wrong here, milord!” He abruptly stopped his motions and knelt down to examine the black soil, expression grave.
Lu Yun went up to him. “What is it?”
“This black soil isn’t dirt.” Color slowly drained out of the scaled-dragon’s face.
“It isn’t sandy dirt?” Lu Yun activated the Spectral Eye for a closer look. He didn’t see any information about the dead from the dirt; it wasn’t formed from the remains of living beings.
“It’s from nascent spirits!” The Scaled-Dragon King shuddered. “Nascent spirits of dao immortals turn into material like this after being crushed… This soil isn’t composed of bodily remains, but rather, of nascent spirits.”
Lu Yun paused. “Of nascent spirits? Aren’t they part of the body?”
After forming their golden cores, cultivators steadily improved upon them until a nascent spirit formed. Nascent spirits were the core of cultivators and immortals, containing a record of one’s communion with dao and learned combat arts, as well as being a bridge of communication between immortals, the world, and all things in nature.
Contemporary immortals couldn’t incorporate the world and refine themselves into nature, like the ancients could, but they could still communicate with heaven and earth and call upon the world’s power.
“It’s not!” Scaled-Dragon King said with great certainty. “Cultivators form nascent spirits through communicating with the world. Once disintegrated, their nascent spirits dissipate as qi. However, dao immortal nascent spirits are refined to an almost physical level and cannot return to the world. Some residue remains upon their death.”
He glanced at the ‘soil’ beneath his feet. “This is the nascent spirit residue left after dao immortals die.”
The Scaled-Dragon King hailed from the Unselfish Sea and had defected to the North Sea due to his refusal to fully metamorph into a dragon. Traveling between the two seas, he’d explored his fair share of tombs and had accumulated a wealth of knowledge.
Parts of his wisdom were secrets not even Su Xiaoxiao and Xingzi knew.
“After death, an origin dao immortal leaves behind roughly three taels of black nascent spirit soil… Here...” The Scaled-Dragon King looked up.
The ghost realm was covered in vast swaths of black soil, enough to pile up as great mountain ranges in some areas. The thirty-thousand-meter-tall mountain above the celestial master tomb was made of this sandy dirt as well.
“If that’s the case, then how many dao immortals died here?!” Lu Yun closed his eyes to open his Spectral Eye. All he could glimpse within five thousand kilometers of himself was nascent spirit soil and nothing else.
An origin dao immortal would only leave behind three taels, and nascent spirit soil was much heavier than regular soil, meaning three particles would weigh roughly three taels.
“Forget about that for now, keep digging.” Lu Yun took a deep breath and pushed away the discomfort nagging at him.
Not only was there nascent spirit soil on this continent, there was also an immeasurable amount of bone powder. Upon entrance, his first impression of the place was a once greatly thriving world that had been destroyed with raw violence.
The tomb of the Venerated Sacrosanct Demon Sovereign had been set up afterward, which was why it stuck out like a sore thumb in the ghost realm. All signs pointed to the ghost realm having existed in the Primordial Era, or even before that period of time.
As for the celestial master tomb, Lu Yun didn’t yet have an explanation. The Scaled-Dragon King calmed himself down from the discovery and continued digging with his giant shovel.
The immortals in the area hadn’t drawn too close, out of wariness of the scaled-dragon. Thus, they naturally didn’t hear the conversation between the scaled-dragon and Lu Yun. However, they’d committed the youth’s words to memory: do not enter a tomb through its front doors under any circumstances, or else face deadly consequences.
The large shovel in Scaled-Dragon King’s hand vibrated as it knocked into something with a crisp clank. He quickly took a step back, feeling the vibration travel up to his teeth.
“What is that?!” He did a double take at the sight of a giant crimson skeleton at his feet. It was unusually dense and hard, chipping the shovel he wielded. The Scaled-Dragon King had dug about three hundred meters underground, but the enormous skeleton blocked off his intended route and was preventing him from continuing.
“What’s wrong?” Hearing the disturbance below, Lu Yun walked down with the little nun and Yu Hengluo.
“Look, milord,” the Scaled-Dragon King hurriedly transmitted. “The skeleton has a similar presence to Ladies Huangqing, Cangyin, and Aoxue!”
Lu Yun’s eyes lit up. He tamped down his excitement and once again dismissed the little nun and Yu Hengluo. “Keep them protected, I’ll take over here.”
Though the two girls were reluctant, they couldn’t decline Lu Yun’s orders. The Scaled-Dragon King sent them outside with a gentle swell of power.
“The remains of a blood turtle...” Lu Yun murmured, reaching out to caress the crimson skeleton.Previous Chapter Next Chapter