Chapter 530: The Seventeenth Level of Hell

The celestial master tomb seemed to be shrouded in an enormous black veil, one that continuously plagued Lu Yun and his companions even after they’d left the first room. Their senses and perceptions remained sealed within their bodies.

Shadows bustled around them, and many human skins passed them by. However, none of the eerie creatures noticed the group, thanks to Lu Yun’s cloak of hellfire concealing their lifeforce.

Behind them, several dao immortals followed Fangyang Xing to another chamber to wrest away the Skyturning Seal that the demon sovereign was refining. The regular immortals had either left the tomb, or were meandering around, reluctant to call it quits.

……

“Sir, why don’t we help Fangyang Xing stop the demon sovereign from refining the seal?” Zou Longxiu asked tentatively, following closely behind Lu Yun. “That supreme man-made treasure will also make you stronger.”

A small formation had taken shape around Lu Yun to separate the group from the endless darkness, allowing soundwaves to travel freely through the air.

“Fangyang Xing?” Lu Yun shook his head. “He’s nothing but a hypocrite, no different from that demon sovereign. It’s just that the demon is more honest about his true nature, while Fangyang Xing puts up a front.

“Come on, let’s not dwell on this nonsense. There are too many unusual dangers in this tomb. That Skyturning Seal was destroyed a long time ago, so what’s left should be its treasure spirit. Any living thing will be possessed the moment they touch it.

“If the thirty-six dao immortals don’t keep my Principal Nineheavens Talismans on them, they’ll probably turn into thirty-six human Skyturning Seals.”

Zou Longxiu’s eyes shot wide with shock.

Wasting no further time in explanation, Lu Yun opened his left hand to permit something white to flicker on his palm: the branch of the Ingress Path in his possession. Since he’d successfully slipped past the boundary between life and death in this tomb, the branch’s close connection with its original was unhindered and would lead him to the rest of the treasure.

With a wave of his hand, Lu Yun sent the branch floating in a certain direction.

“Let’s go.” He quickly followed behind it.

Its dim light illuminated the unusually narrow tunnel; there was only room enough for one person to pass at a time. Fortunately, Lu Yun had some Shapeshifting Talismans with him. He diminished the physical size of his entire party before hopping on the branch of the Ingress Path forward.

The layouts of the celestial master tomb were exceedingly complicated, and the feng shui compass identified many layouts he’d never seen before, which combined to create even stranger novel layouts.

Lu Yun noticed more than one instance of Ghost Deceives God along the way, but didn’t see any other living souls.

Outside the tomb, he’d seen the human skins of Situ Zong and the others through the minor world projected by his luopan. Once inside, however, those immortals were nowhere to be found.

“Strange, there’s only one entrance into the tomb. How did the East Sea monster spirits survive crossing the boundary of life and death to gain the heritage of the Monster Celestial Master?” Lu Yun shook his head, a confused look in his eyes.

According to the speculations of many immortals of the East Sea court, the Deaf Prince and his friends were in the tomb as well.

“Oh?” The path beneath Lu Yun’s feet came to a halt. Before him was another wall built from bone bricks. According to what the branch of Nephrite’s treasure conveyed to him, the main form of the Ingress Path was on the other side of the wall.

“A dead end? There’s no door here?” Lu Yun stepped down from the path and reverted to his regular size. Carefully feeling out the smooth wall with his hand, hellfire burst out of his palm and distingrated the wall in a quick instant.

As before, a terrifying yin gale rushed out of the opening. However, the Scaled-Dragon King and others remained unharmed, thanks to their position on the Ingress Path.

……

“There’s an exit! Run!!” As soon as Lu Yun broke the wall, he heard terrified wails changing to the relief of escaping death.

A powerful arcane dao immortal wailed and shrieked for mercy as he scrambled through the crack, but barely half of his body was through before something grabbed his lower limbs and dragged him back.

“Help, Sir Lu Yun! Help!” The immortal’s eyes were a startling scarlet and he wore a flickering Principal Nineheavens Talisman on him. He was one of the thirty-six dao immortals Fangyang Xing had just picked, and the most powerful among them.

Yet now he now lay prone on the ground, some unknown terror having latched onto his lower body and dragging him back in. Despairing howls rang and lingered in the darkness.

“Beware, beware of Fangyang...” He vanished into the shadows before he could finish.

“Lock!” Lu Yun hastily activated the Ingress Path. White light shot into the dark, attempting to lock onto the arcane dao immortal’s body, but all that was left was a sheet of human skin.

Lu Yun walked into the room and extended a hand, brightening the surroundings with a ball of Emerald Mistfire above his palm. The immortal fire was at the same level as the Hadal Bonefire; only such fires could pierce through the darkness here.

“What’s going on here?!” The Scaled-Dragon King and Zou Longxiu felt their scalps go numb when they got a good look at the macabre scene before them.

The room was six hundred meters across, and had a giant sarcophagus at its center. Countless sets of skin were piled around it, including those of humans, dragons, phoenixes, and other exotic immortal beasts and monsters.

The arcane dao immortal had become a human skin as well, his lower body torn like a wet paper bag and empty eye sockets still looking toward the crack Lu Yun had created. He’d been so close to escaping.

“These have all rotted away.” Zou Longxiu screwed up his courage and walked up to a set of human skin, caressing it lightly. “This belonged to a princess of the West Sea. She entered the ghost realm before me... I didn’t expect her to die here...”

“No, they aren’t dead.” Eyes blazing black, Lu Yun scanned the skins and saw no confirmation of their deaths, despite having their epidermis separated from their bodies. These beings were still alive, but their skins had been peeled by some strange force.

“It’s the Hell of Skinning!” Realization struck at once.

The ancient chamber interring the Dao Flower had been modeled after the eighteenth level of hell, the Avici Hell, while the layout of the celestial master tomb was based on the seventeenth level, the Hell of Skinning!

If the eighteenth level of hell had laid the Dao Flower to rest, then what was buried in the seventeenth level…?

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etvolare's Thoughts

Okay bear with me for a second... the Dao Grass.



Alright don't hit me now. XD