“What’s that sound, and why is there water here?” Several nearby immortals pricked up their ears.
“What’s that sweet smell?” Standing close to Lu Yun, Zhang Shuo suddenly took a deep breath, a touch of mesmerization appearing on his face.
“Beautiful… what beautiful colors...” In just a few breaths, all of the immortals in the group fell into a strange state of entrancement and their faces began blurring.
“Wake up!!” Lu Yun bellowed fiercely. A gout of black flame burst from his body and hurtled toward a random corner of the void.
It seemed to hit some sort of shadow, eliciting a piercing scream. The immortals jerked violently and broke away from the strange trance they were in.
“Wh- what was that just now?!” Zhang Shuo’s expression contained a touch of horror. He could clearly sense that his soul had been significantly weakened.
“This is how the faceless ghosts come to be.” Lu Yun heaved a small sigh of relief. His guess was right; that thing could be suppressed by hellfire, which made it likely a real ghost.
“Senior brother Lu, that thing just now… it looked like a woman,” Jing Huaci said carefully from beside him.
“You weren’t affected by it?” Lu Yun blinked.
The girl shook her head.
“A woman…” Lu Yan looked at the mountain before him.
Sparkling with a faint sheen of silver, countless faceless ghosts crawled over its surface. The foul stench of so many corpses effectively concealed the presence of treasure and made it so that the Treasurefall Coin could sense the mountain, but not its location.
Roughly three hundred meters tall, the mountain’s silver brilliance struggled to peek through the teeming hordes of faceless ghosts.
“The mountain is the time treasure!” A touch of excitement appeared on Zhang Shuo’s face. “Where the silver light touches is the domain of the treasure! It’s affecting how time flows here!”
However, his expression changed again in the next moment. He’d finally seen through the silver radiance and noticed the horde of faceless ghosts on the mountain.
A mass of red slowly floated up from the foot of the mountain, speaking in a wispy, eerie voice, “Sect Head… You’re finally… here!”
“Sect Head? You’re…” Lu Yun’s eyes widened with incomprehension. Upon closer inspection, he realized that the red mass was actually a human body that’d had its skin peeled away and its facial features carved off!
With further scrutiny came the identification… it’s Yu Hengluo! This was her flesh!
He turned his gaze to the rear of the bloody flesh, seeing a sheet of human skin nailed onto a ghastly white cross, and next to it, a Skinning Spike. Her eyes, nose, tongue, and ears lay on the ground next to the cross.
“What happened here?!” Lu Yun frowned deeply when he saw the state that Yu Hengluo was in. He’d instructed her to stay behind in the chamber, protected by not only his bronze lamp, but also Wayfarer. So how could this have happened?!
However, his eyes then flitted to the extinguished bronze lamp and broken bamboo staff beside her.
“Sect Head… this servant hurts…”
Taking advantage of the lull in conversation, Yu Hengluo blurred into a bloody shadow and pounced on Lu Yun. Crimson nails curved like a beast’s claws, crashing down on his head.
“Vermin!” roared Zhang Shuo, bringing a pair of hefty hammers to the fore and smashing them toward Yu Hengluo.
The sound of metal meeting metal rang out as an incredulous Zhang Shuo ricocheted backward with his ninth-rank hammers, cracks spider webbing through them and the web between his thumbs and forefingers ripping open.
Yu Hengluo stopped, her empty eye sockets locking onto him. The empty cavern of her mouth yawned open, then—
A mouthful of bloody water shot out and drilled into Zhang Shuo.
Black luster exploded from his body as a set of black armor materialized protectively. His face turned beet red, heavily injured despite the thick armor upon him. It’d been refined by a peak arcane dao immortal monster spirit of the West Sea, and was imbued with the full intent of the arcane dao immortal realm.
Given its properties, it repelled Yu Hengluo and in fact elicited an answering flare of crimson light from her gory body. Rivulets of fresh blood flowed slowly from her.
“Waugh!!” She suddenly threw her head back and roared to the sky, summoning the masses of faceless ghosts from the mountain. They floated down in unison, setting their sights on Lu Yun and the other immortals.
“Not good, not good! Hurry and retreat!” Zhang Shuo cried out, aghast. He could manage to take a blow from Yu Hengluo, thanks to his armor, but he absolutely lacked the courage to face the dense waves of faceless ghosts that’d come howling their way.
The other immortals had fled even faster than him and were already nowhere to be seen.
“You guys retreat first,” Lu Yun said softly, gripping Violetgrave firmly in hand and fixing his eyes solidly on Yu Hengluo. How he wished that this gory mound of flesh before him wasn’t her, but a zombie or something that’d transformed into her appearance!
However, the dull bronze lantern and snapped bamboo staff mocked his hopes. This horrendous corpse fiend in front of him was undoubtedly Yu Hengluo!
“I’m not leaving!” Jing Huaci shook her head rapidly. “They can’t see me.”
“What?” Lu Yun blinked.
“My special constitution allows me to conceal myself from the dead, whether they be zombies or immortal ghosts.” Jing Huaci added in a low whisper, “Although… I’m afraid of ghosts...”
Beigong Chonglou had previously devoured Jing Huaci in an attempt to gain her constitution. However, his attempt had ended in abject failure. When Jing Huaci was reborn, her unique constitution was reborn with her. It was rooted not in the physical body, but the soul itself.
“Alright!” Lu Yun’s eyes lit up. “Go refine the cross at the foot of the mountain!” He had a hunch that the cross was the key to controlling the silver mountain. “But be careful not to touch the skin, or the parts of the face that are on the ground.”
The girl shuddered involuntarily at the imagined horrors, then nodded.
“Go, but be careful.” Jing Huaci nodded, then carefully made her way to the foot of the silver mountain.
Lu Yun leapt into the air and charged into the horde of faceless ghosts.
“Sect Head!” Yu Hengluo howled and rushed after him. “This servant hurts!!”
Aw no, not Yu Hengluo... I was thinking we were due for another major side character death...