Chapter 531: Skinning Spike

The seventeenth level of hell: Hell of Skinning! Although this hell was also a copy, similar terrors existed here.

Back in the copy of the Avici Hell, Lu Yun only barely escaped after deploying the Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder that the Azure Dragon King passed onto him. Stepping into the seventeenth level of hell made his hackles raise.

He was the owner of the Tome of Life and Death and the overlord of hell, but hell had been destroyed, leaving behind only a carcass of what it’d once been. This place had been modeled on the original Hell of Skinning by some powerful immortal, which meant it didn’t fall under Lu Yun’s jurisdiction, and he too could fall into a trap if he wasn’t careful.

Is this really the tomb of the Monster Celestial Master? He began turning over that question again.

The celestial master had been but a primordial realm immortal. Would someone really go to the lengths of building a Hell of Skinning just to bury him?

Can it be... that the celestial master tomb was drawn by the Hell of Skinning just like the tortoise nest and qilin tomb? This Hell of Skinning is incomplete, a pale imitation of the one recorded in the Tome of Life and Death… Perhaps the ancient tombs were drawn here in order to improve this hell.

It must not have taken shape yet when the East Sea court visited, and the boundary of life and death in the celestial master tomb was broken. Then came the qilin tomb, turtle nest, kunpeng nest, and the Ingress Path. Thus, the Hell of Skinning came to be, and the boundary of life and death was restored.”

If that’s the case, that’d explain everything. Lu Yun’s brows relaxed. This incomplete hell had some great flaws, which he could exploit to break the layouts here.

“Look, sir!” Zou Longxiu and the Scaled-Dragon King shrieked. “It’s Fangyang Xing and Jiangchen Xie!”

Lu Yun saw the two men’s skins as well when he walked over.

“So if their skins are here, where did they go? How about the demon sovereign? Where did he head off to?” Lu Yun looked around. His Spectral Eye told him that the owners of the skins hadn’t died, but instead gone somewhere else, leaving their skins behind.

The layout of this room was simple: a sarcophagus in the center and piles of skins on the floor, nothing else.

“What’s the thing that dragged the arcane dao immortal back?” Lu Yun’s gaze was drawn to the sarcophagus. “Let’s open the coffin and see what’s buried inside!”

The thief’s tunnel Lu Yun had dug was a feng shui layout in and of itself. Every shift in its nine twists and eighteen turns acted as a node, piercing space and extending the tunnel to the depths of the celestial master tomb.

Thus, they’d arrived not on the fringes of the tomb, but at its core. Though this wasn’t the main chamber, it was still an important burial room.

Rumble.

Lu Yun and the Scaled-Dragon King bent their backs to push open the lid of the six-meter-long sarcophagus. A pungent metallic smell permeated the chamber as scarlet blood overflowed from the coffin.

Startled, Lu Yun summoned the Ingress Path and grabbed both of his followers.

“What’s all this blood?!” Zou Longxiu cried out.

In no time at all, the agitating blood filled the entire room. Skins that it soaked slowly ballooned back to their former size and rose to their feet.

“Where’s my flesh? Where’s my flesh...”

“Have you seen my flesh, Sir Lu Yun?” The arcane dao immortal’s skin stood up as well, tilting his head to stare at the governor on the Ingress Path, an eerie smile tugging at his empty lips.

Lu Yun’s attention, though, wasn’t on the skins, but the open sarcophagus. Fresh blood oozed out of the coffin into the chamber, and there was something that was a shocking shade of red wriggling within the stone container.

Lu Yun narrowed his eyes. It… seemed to be flesh without skin. There’s human skins everywhere, but the thing buried here has no skin... His eyes darted around.

Moreover, his branch of the Ingress Path told him the treasure was in this room, but there was nothing noteworthy here other than the skinless flesh in the coffin. It seemed that all of the blood in the chamber was from the ball of flesh.

……

The skinless body slowly shifted to a seated position, and a pair of pale, pupiless eyes stared at Lu Yun.

Hum.

Vast crimson light exploded in the next instant.

A pair of giant scarlet hands hurled a strange serrated weapon at Lu Yun, Zou Longxiu, Scaled-Dragon King, and the two cocoons housing the little nun and Yu Hengluo.

Studded with minute hooks, the strange weapon looked more like a torture device than anything else. There was only one of it, but everyone felt as if the weapon was aimed at themselves.

“Dammit, get out of the way!” Lu Yun yelled, having no time to think. “It’s the device used to skin people in the Hell of Skinning! Don’t let it touch you!”

Though only a small fragment remained of hell, Lu Yun was able to access records of what it’d once been as his cultivation improved, thanks to refining the Tome of Life and Death.

The Skinning Spike was the torture device of the seventeenth level of hell. Anything hit by the spike, be it living creature or formless horror, would have their skin peeled off. More importantly, the spike was a dao instrument born of hell, which resonated with the great dao in the Hell of Skinning and could ignore the power of most combat arts and treasures.

What’s going on? Is the corpse in the coffin the previous master of the Hell of Skinning? If that’s the case, then the Tome of Life and Death should be able to stop it.

Lu Yun pushed the treasure to the limit, attempting to stop the Skinning Spike with its power. However, it didn’t show even the slightest sign of slowing down.

“Ah! Help, sir!” Zou Longxiu wailed as his skin suddenly sloughed off as a complete set, swinging on top of the spike.

Pfft!

His flesh vanished in a puff of black smoke.

“Out of my way!!” Lu Yun raged. The Tome of Life and Death manifested in his hand as hellfire blazed and swept over the skinless corpse in the coffin.

Rumble!

The lid closed, instantly retracting the flood of scarlet light and blood in the room.

Zou Longxiu’s skin fell onto the floor, slowly decaying, while the reanimated skins leaped through the crack Lu Yun had created and ran off elsewhere.

A darkly brooding Lu Yun and the Scaled-Dragon landed on the ground again.

“He’s not the former master of the Hell of Skinning,” Lu Yun said with a frown. “He’s someone else.”

“Master...” Yu Hengluo, floating in a cocoon behind Scaled-Dragon King and trapped in Ghost Deceives Divine all this time, murmured softly with tears streaking down her face.

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