Their bodies were alive, but their souls were dead. They were both alive and dead at the same time.
Situ Zong wasn’t the only one who had been turned. Roughly fifty members of the Star Demon Sect, peerless and dao immortals alike, had become living ghosts in all their glory, sense organs falling off their faces and skin sloughing off their bodies.
“Preserving the last hopes of the immortal court… That’s it. I get it now!” Lu Yun finally grasped the big picture of what the Monster Celestial Master had planned. The eminent celestial master had buried half of the court here so they could later come back to life and re-establish the immortal court.
The immortals he’d selected to bury were all fiercely devoted members of the court, such as Fengbo, Yushi, Leigong, the three hundred and sixty-five star divinities, and countless more heavenly soldiers. Once resurrected, they would re-establish the immortal court and conquer the world of immortals, thereby passing down the torch of the ancient court.
The Monster Celestial Master had known the primordial court would be defeated. Their enemies were too horrifying; the court couldn’t win even if they went all in. That had pushed the gentle celestial master into making a ruthless and desperate gamble in the throes of his desperation—slaughtering mortals to refine bone bricks for his sprawling tomb.
“His loyalty to the immortal court was greater than his benevolence for the living. The four celestial masters in the Primordial Era must have been masters of burial. At the very least, they knew something about feng shui.” Lu Yun further connected the dots.
Though the four celestial masters had foreseen the future, there were many things they’d failed to predict—namely that someone would come in and completely change the layout of the tomb. The celestial master tomb had been divided into the yin and yang realms; the former was turned into the Hell of Skinning, and the latter… had been repurposed to bury the world’s lungs!
If no further intervention had occurred, all of the Monster Celestial Master’s efforts would’ve neatly benefited someone else. But along came Lu Yun in this present day and age, merging yin and yang with the Formation Orb and disrupting the plans of the interloper.
With things set back in order, the tomb of the Monster Celestial Master had come into full effect, turning those who died here into living ghosts as substitutes for those buried in the tomb. That was how Kui had come back to life.
“The Hell of Skinning has been torn down. Why would they look like...” Lu Yun scowled at Situ Zong, black fire igniting in his eyes. “Put your skin and organs back where they belong.”
“Ahhhh!!” Fear skittered across Situ Zong’s face at the sight of the dark flames; he scrabbled for his facial organs and shoved them back onto his face, then slipped back into his skin.
He and the others were living ghosts meant to be scapegoats, thus they harbored a great deal of resentment. Although they saw Lu Yun as their sect head still, they were ghosts by nature.
All ghosts nursed grudges. Subconsciously, they wanted Lu Yun to die and be buried here with them, never to see the light of day again. It was a highly conflicting mentality, and great internal turmoil arose as the two clashing impulses warred in their heads.
Situ Zong had shown his true form before Lu Yun because he was unable to keep his murderous impulses in check. Thankfully, the lord of hell had easily intimidated them with the Tome of Life and Death and hellfire.
They were living ghosts, but they appeared completely normal, until they showed their true forms. Protected by their physical bodies, even Lu Yun couldn’t easily see the true nature of these spirits.
“Speak, where were you turned into living ghosts?” The light of hellfire still burning in his eyes, Lu Yun looked quietly at Situ Zong and the others. He didn’t move to take the Pelagic Orb from Situ Zong.
After yin and yang had come together, all of the immortals who’d previously died in the yin and the yang tombs were resurrected. The only possible explanation for this development was that they’d died after coming back to life, thus becoming scapegoats.
“Sect Head, we...” Situ Zong thought long and hard, then shook his head in befuddlement. “This subordinate can’t remember anything.”
“I’m afraid you can’t come back to life after becoming scapegoats,” Lu Yun said with a frown.
Despair flashed through Situ Zong’s eyes. He could sense how terrifying his sect head was, but at the same time, Lu Yun was also deadly appealing to him.
“Your life has been stripped away and planted in someone else. You can’t come back to life, but you can still leave this place.” With a flip of his wrist, Lu Yun materialized the Tome of Life and Death. “Write your name down in this book. Use your flesh and blood as the brush and your soul as the ink.”
Apart from his Envoys of Samsara, there were only two other names in the Tome of Life and Death—the mysterious Ge Long, and Canghai Chengkong, a sword immortal from the Dark North Sword Sect.
Now that Situ Zong and the others were trapped in the celestial master tomb as scapegoats, Lu Yun would need their names in the book in order to save them.
Situ Zong in particular was a dao immortal, having created a true spirit and combined his soul parts into a complete soul. He was dead and now a ghostly creature, but still retained his soul.
“I...” A shudder went down Situ Zong’s spine and he quickly concentrated his flesh and blood, along with his soul, to write his name on the page.
Black light burst out from Situ Zong’s body, wrapping around the man and a dozen of his fellow sect members behind him.
“Milord… Sect Head… I’m alive again?!” Situ Zong looked at Lu Yun in disbelief, his eyes blazing. Now he knew what Lu Yun was, having written his name in the book.
“No wonder,” he muttered. “No wonder the demon sovereigns hail you as our sect head...”
“No, you’re still dead.” Lu Yun shook his head. “You’re now personally in charge of these sect members. However, there aren’t enough spots in the book for every single one of you.” With a wave of his hand, he opened the Gates of the Abyss. “Once you enter hell, you’ll be my Infernum.”
Before any of them could respond, a powerful suction force churned from the gates and drew them all in.
“The Star Demons have become scapegoats, so there must be others who’ve suffered the same fate. I wonder if it’s a good or bad thing for the immortals of the primordial immortal court to enter this world.”
Upon entering the world of immortals, the three hundred and sixty-five star divinities, Fengbo, Yushi, and the army would become top players of the world. Not even the monster spirit sacred land on Levitating Island, headed by the two scarlet apes, would be their match.
The Monster Celestial Master had slaughtered countless mortals for use as bone bricks. Who knew what the primordial immortals had become after eons of taint from immeasurable grudges?
Lu Yun sighed. “Go back and get the Kunpeng and Scaled-Dragon Army up to speed. Tianhuang, you stay with me.”
“Understood!” The three Infernum bowed.
The celestial master tomb was empty and desolate. Occasional screams penetrated the silence, further strengthening the eeriness of the place. The five thousand immortals Lu Yun had saved were nowhere to be seen. Everything felt like a fever dream.
“I wonder how many of them have been turned into living ghosts as well.” He took out his luopan and followed its guidance ahead.
A gust of wind howled through the vicinity, followed by a strange cackling.
“Die, die—” the voice whispered at Lu Yun’s ears, faint and dripping with resentment.
“Show yourself!” Yuchi Tianhuang snapped, standing guard beside Lu Yun with a silver immortal sword.
Strange howls rose and fell with the eerie, persistent wind, but neither Lu Yun nor Yuchi Tianhuang sensed any other presences here.
After a sudden gust, an enormous ball of shadow rushed toward Lu Yun.
“Go away!” Hellfire billowed with a wave of his arm and met the shadow head on, which screamed and made a speedy retreat.
However, his hellfire hadn’t seemed to touch anything tangible.
“Was that… a gust of wind?” Lu Yun’s expression tightened. His Spectral Eye had seen a ball of shadows, but it seemed it was nothing but a gust of wind.
“Fengbo? Is this Fengbo’s tomb?” Realization dawned on him and his heart sank. Fengbo, Yushi, Leigong.  “He hasn’t come back to life yet! The celestial master tomb has been restored, so he’s looking for a scapegoat!
“But is it Fengbo, or the wind divines under his command?”
If Fengbo was here as well, Lu Yun would have no choice but to run. Fengbo could rival Kui in power. Although they had yet to reach peak principal realm—the greatest achievement of the Primordial Era—they were physically as powerful as ingress realm immortals, and their cultivation had reached peak origin dao immortal realm. 
Running for his life was the only option if Fengbo wanted Lu Yun dead.
More importantly, Fengbo wasn’t buried here alone. Under his command were a hundred and eight powerful wind divines. They weren’t at Fengbo’s level, but they still possessed unimaginable power.
The black wind-like shadow must have been a wind divine, rather than Fengbo himself. Otherwise Lu Yun wouldn’t have been able to drive it away with his level of hellfire.
Whoosh whoosh whoosh!
Howling winds whipped up in greater power around him. Caterwauls of encroaching death flitted in between the grim squall, instilling chilling terror in whoever heard them. Unnerved, Yuchi Tianhuang flashed out beams of sharp sword energy to protect Lu Yun, keeping a wary eye on their surroundings.
Suddenly, there was silence.
Gone were the incessant gusts and the black shadow, and a faint figure emerged from the depths of the darkness.
Lu Yun could see the man clearly. Tall and slim, his cyan hair danced in the powerful winds. His skin was fair, his features handsome, and faint cyan pupils shone in his eyes. The man was the embodiment of perfection.
But Lu Yun knew he wasn’t alive. He was a corpse divine!
“Fengbo,” he said, his eyes fixed on the approaching man. Fengbo from the Primordial Era!
“Fengbo? Uncle Feng?” Yuchi Tianhuang’s eyes shot wide as he gaped at the corpse divine.
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