Chapter 553: Living Ghost

“Back!” shouted the corpse divine atop the bone dragon’s head. The soldiers under her command receded like the tides. Yu’er glanced once more at Yuchi Tianhuang before disappearing herself on the Path of Ingress.

“Yu’er… she recognized me…” Misery flashed through Yuchi Tianhuang’s face as his body began shaking again. 

“Don’t worry, she’ll come back to life.” Lu Yun patted his Infernum on the shoulder.

……

The five thousand immortals upon the ship all heaved sighs of relief. Now that the danger was past, some of the more flexibly-minded among them began entertaining other thoughts again.

“Three peerless immortals with formations of heaven and earth!” Their folly was quickly reconsidered when they saw Yuchi Tianhuang, Beigong Yu, and the Scaled-Dragon King at Lu Yun’s side.

One or two, they could potentially deal with. But three void-realm peerless immortals in tandem? Even an arcane dao immortal would run from that.

Moreover, the majority of immortals on the ship wouldn’t help them. After all, the youth had the formation of heaven and earth at his disposal. Considering his past actions, he would make it available for widespread distribution sooner or later.

“Thank you for your help, Sir Lu Yun!” A number of immortals came forward with cupped fist salutes before departing. They were in the celestial master tomb, after all. Countless treasures were buried here, some of them connate grade.

Lu Yun couldn’t possibly accompany them on their exploits, and they had no reason to make themselves unwelcome by sticking around. Leaving was only the natural course of action.

Of course, Lu Yun could differentiate the sincere from the insincere with a single glance.

“Strange, didn’t those people come here to get the Path of Ingress? Why are they leaving?” Something different piqued his curiosity. Instead of concentrating on the path beneath their feet, the immortals were splitting off to the sides of the abyss of divine burial. In fact, some of them tried to go inside the abyss proper.

“Sect Head!” It was Situ Zong’s turn to walk up. “You said something about the Path of Ingress. Do you mean that… this… is the treasure?”

“You’re telling me this isn’t it?” Lu Yun blinked, then disembarked to touch the white path beneath his feet. It perfectly matched the Path of Ingress in both material and aura. The only thing missing was the connection to the branch inside himself. “In some ways, this Path of Ingress is incredibly familiar.”

“This isn’t the Path of Ingress, Sect Head!” Situ Zong said, after a few moments of demure silence. “I think this is a combat art.”

“What?!” Lu Yun’s eyes shot open and he wheeled around in shock.

“There is a massive projection on the other side of this abyss and a tremendous battle is recorded upon it. This path that bridges the two sides of the abyss was created by a single punch from one of the participants!” Situ Zong’s voice was tinged with incredulity at his own words.

Lu Yun stared at him, completely flabbergasted. The same applied to Yuchi Tianhuang, Beigong Yu, and the Scaled-Dragon King.

“But… this is obviously the Path of Ingress!” Having refined a branch of the path into himself, Lu Yun was more familiar with the treasure than anyone else. He was absolutely sure that the improbably long and wide path underfoot was the Path of Ingress.

“Can it be…” His heart raced. “Get on the ship!”

Once everyone was aboard, the Divine Glory blasted forward on a pillar of golden light.

After who knew how long, it reached the other side of the abyss. It was possible to see the tomb’s layout here, but Lu Yun’s eyes were fixated on the giant projection in midair. It was a record of what had once happened here.

“This really is a combat art!”

The enormous projection covered half the firmament and thoroughly documented the events of the past. Lu Yun knew it did so as a natural mirage layout.

In the projection, two broad-shouldered men traded blows in a humongous battle. The environment they stood in was this side of the abyss of divine burial in the celestial master tomb.

The amount of information recorded by the projection wasn’t much. From start to finish, only three breaths worth of time were played on repeat, yet the two men exchanged tens of millions of attacks in that time. Even with his vision bolstered by the Spectral Eye, Lu Yun couldn’t follow their impossible speed.

In the final moment, the man in violet threw a punch that caused a pillar of white light to pierce the two sides of the abyss. The light blasted a hole in the body of his opponent, a man in blue, and threw him down into the depths.

The pillar of light had remained here from that moment on as a reminder of what had once taken place.

“The light from the man in violet’s fist bridged the gap between both sides of the abyss. It’s persisted all this time and eventually turned into the Path of Ingress! In other words, Nephrite Major’s most valuable treasure was formed by the light of a combat art!” Lu Yun was blindsided by the revelation.

“What kind of existence was this man in violet?! The primeval human king? The great emperor of legend?” He drew in a sharp breath. “No wonder the Path of Ingress can pierce space and formations… it contains the man in violet’s ‘fist intent’. No, ‘fist dao’! He wields the dao with his fists.

“An expert like him would ignore every low-level formation and barrier in the world of immortals. Space itself is like paper to him.” It was a pity that the projection was so short, and the combatants moved about so swiftly. Lu Yun had a hard time learning anything from the recording.  

“Milord,” Yuchi Tianhuang whispered suddenly. “The moment the man in blue was punched through—did you notice his organs?”

“Hmm?” Lu Yun blinked.

“His lungs looked a lot like the giant ones you obtained, milord. Perhaps they are one and the same!” Yuchi Tianhuang had been cultivating in hell until recently. He’d seen the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers drag the giant lungs into hell, as well as Lu Yun’s replica’s refinement of it afterwards.

“If we compare the two men to the scale of their surroundings, they were both giants! If the Path of Ingress is just the lingering light from the man in violet’s punch, and it didn’t continue expanding in size…” the Infernum murmured.

Lu Yun’s eyes bulged in realization.

“I’m sure that the man in blue’s lungs were the same as the ones you have now, milord!” Yuchi Tianhuang affirmed readily.

“The man in blue obtained the lungs of heaven and earth, yet he was still killed by one punch from the man in violet!” Lu Yun felt an itch in his throat, as if it’d dried out.

“It looks like the man in violet wasn’t interested in the man in blue’s body,” Yuchi Tianhuang continued.

The projection was a short three breaths long, and the last image was of the man in violet’s departure. His actions and demeanor indicated he had no intention of entering the abyss for his opponent’s body.

“Could I have guessed wrong? The altar beneath the abyss wasn’t to suppress the divine spirit inside the lungs at all… they simply fell there by coincidence?” Lu Yun cracked a half-smile.

“Who put the Metal Altar under the abyss of divine burial, then? The person behind the yin-yang beast? Who were the men in blue and violet anyway…” He shook his head a few times. “I guess I shouldn’t worry about such things right now. Even if I had their names, I wouldn’t know who they were.”

He raised his head toward the projection, committing the man in violet’s appearance to memory.

“If the Path of Ingress was accidentally created by the man in violet, then there must be another Path of Ingress inside this tomb… over there!” Having reached the other end of the abyss, Lu Yun finally felt a response from the branch inside himself.

“It’s in that direction… the chamber that once interred Wayfarer’s body.”  He’d noticed the path’s presence there earlier, too, although the creation of the yin and yang realms had separated them.

“The Path of Ingress has been there all this time… it must be held in place by something.” The young man exhaled. “I’m no longer in a hurry to get to it. Even if I lose that one, I can just take this one, instead.”

He smirked as he took in the path that bridged the abyss. Just because others couldn’t take this path away didn’t mean he couldn’t, either.

“Let’s head to the main chamber of the tomb. I’d like to see what the Monster Celestial Master was really up to!” By now, Lu Yun was entirely sure that the celestial master tomb was real. Even the bone bricks, refined from the flesh and blood of countless innocents, had been created by the celestial master’s own hand.

Kui had been around for the tomb’s inauguration. He hadn’t believed that the genteel and refined Monster Celestial Master would cause such irredeemable bloodshed. Alas, the celestial master had remained wordless throughout the whole affair.

……

“Alright, you’re all dismissed.” Lu Yun commanded Situ Zong and the other Star Demons. “This map will show you the way out of the tomb. You better get out as soon as you can, this place is far too dangerous for you.”

He tossed a jade slip to Situ Zong. Inside was a detailed route through the tomb he had figured out, leading all the way back to the thief’s tunnel dug by the Scaled-Dragon King.

“Sect Head…” Situ Zong and the others seemed to have something on the tips of their tongues.

“What is it?” Lu Yun craned his head in surprise. Situ Zong’s expression looked a bit odd.

“Your subordinates... can’t leave this place, Sect Head…” Situ Zong and the other Star Demons broke into desolate grins. The old man knelt on the ground, offering up the Pelagic Orb with both hands. His face was filled with agony as he wailed, “We… cannot... leave!”

Scatter!

Every organ upon his face fell to the ground, followed by all of his skin.

“We… cannot leaaaaaave!” Situ Zong howled like a vengeful ghost. “We’ve become living ghosts of this tomb. We can’t leave!”

Scarlet tears flowed out of his empty eye sockets, sliding along his skinless face to the ground.

“Scapegoats…” Lu Yun looked at the sect members in front of him. “I finally know what the Monster Celestial Master wanted to do. He was looking for scapegoats for the ancient experts that were buried alive here.”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

etvolare's Thoughts

...that was abrupt.

Ahaha I didn't expect the time travel mention last chapter to be a source of confusion. Basically, Lu Yun recognizes the new lady looks very similar to Yuchi Weichi -- his commander of the Dusk Phalanx. So he asks Yuchi Tianhuang, who happens to be Weichi's dad. He loses his mind because he recognizes his wife, who he thought died.

Turns out he unknowingly traveled to the past some time ago and met Yu'er (since he didn't know he'd gone back in time, he was surprised to see a descendent of the supposedly-extinct Black Tortoise Divines). After falling in love and having a child, he wanted to take them home with him (or, back to the present as it turns out). But something went wrong thanks to Ge Yanxia and his wife died.

However, she's here now! And the real deal because she's wielding the spear that Yuchi Tianhuang personally made for her.