Lu Yun opened the Spectral Eye and strode forward.
His figure disappeared from view before reappearing on the other side: Wandering Step, the brand-new death art born from the fusion of the Boundless Step with the Spectral Eye.
Now that he was using it like a combat art, Yu Hengluo’s attacks couldn’t even brush the hem of his clothes.
Despite the first successful usage of the art in battle, Lu Yun was rather glum at the moment. In the short instant Yu Hengluo had come near him, he’d sensed her pain as clear as day.
Such pain didn’t simply come from the flesh. It wasn’t the kind caused by flayed skin, gouged eyes, torn tongue, ripped nose, or severed ears, either. No, it was pain that strained upward from deep within the soul.
“She can still come back to life as long as her soul exists!” Lu Yun inhaled deeply. He hadn’t given up on her yet.
The soul was a broad term that encompassed the combination of the three ethereal soul-parts, seven corporal soul-parts, and nascent spirit. It was something that every cultivator possessed after reaching the spirit realm.
Currently, Yu Hengluo’s soul had yet to dissipate, but it was sealed inside her flesh and her body had been turned into some unknown kind of zombie, a condition Lu Yun was unable to cure for the moment.
The resurrection layout! As long as I can put her physical body inside the resurrection layout, there’s a chance she can be brought back to life!
He immediately went on the offensive, planning to use the faceless ghosts as a whetstone for his sword dao. At the same time, he had to be careful not to injure Yu Hengluo. Meanwhile, as Jing Huaci made her way to the cross, Lu Yun could clearly see her speed decrease after entering the peak’s vicinity.
“Time… time flows slower in there!” Lu Yun started. “No, wait a second… It’s more accurate to say that the flow of time returns to normal when close to the peak. The way out of this space should be right inside.”
He once again immersed himself in his nascent sword dao, but his attention was currently divided in three. The first part monitored Yu Hengluo, while the second kept an eye on Jing Huaci. Therefore, it was impossible for him to wholeheartedly devote himself to cultivation at the moment.
“Sure enough, neither Yu Hengluo nor the faceless ghosts can see Jing Huaci.” Lu Yun sighed in relief. Yu Hengluo was still hot on his tail, relentlessly raining down fearsome attacks and intent on tearing him to pieces.
“Wait, what the fuck?!” Lu Yun shook as the sword river wreathed around him shattered before he could react. Aghast, he stared at Yu Hengluo. From her mangled body, he could see the sudden growth of strands of red hair. They looked like tiny arteries extending from her flesh, but were in fact, a hair-like substance.
Not only that, but her body was also undergoing some sort of transformation. The long crimson hairs coiled around the complex of flesh and bones, breaking them down and reassembling them anew into something completely different.
“A crimson long-haired monster!” Lu Yun’s heart pounded. “She’s starting to give off the same presence as those black long-haired monsters. Don’t tell me this is how these monsters are born?”
He glanced at the mountain peak’s silver glow, fear flashing through his eyes.
Without delay, he retracted his sword and summoned hellfire around him, then punched Yu Hengluo square in the chest.
“Ah!!” A shriek pierced his eardrums as the blood-like hairs burned to a crisp the moment they came in contact with his hellfire.
“Sect Head… it hurts…” Yu Hengluo’s plaintive voice echoed in Lu Yun’s ears.
“Her skin and facial organs are all beneath the silver peak.” He hugged her mutilated body to himself and dashed toward the peak.
As he did so, hellfire relentlessly vied with the strange power inside Yu Hengluo in an effort to incinerate the newly-grown crimson hairs. Though Lu Yun’s efforts were successful, the mutilated girl’s aura grew steadily weaker.
So not only her soul, but even her body was still alive?!
She wasn’t even zombified to begin with!
She… she’s been being tortured by this immense pain all along! Lu Yun’s heart twisted with pain.
He’d thought her dead up until now, believing that her body had turned into a zombie while her soul had been imprisoned inside her flesh… But now, the ramifications of his erroneous assumption dawned on him.
She’d been alive all along!
“Bastard! Whoever you are, I’ll have your head!” A deep growl rose from his throat. He promptly cleared a way forward with hellfire and barreled inside the silver peak’s confines.
Faceless ghosts threw themselves at him in endless waves, but hellfire kept them firmly at bay.
“Senior brother Lu, the flow of time here is different from the outside!” Jing Huaci couldn’t help but shudder at the sight of the bloody mass of flesh in Lu Yun’s arms.
“I knew it, the flow of time here is normal.” Lu Yun let out a breath.
“That woman… she’s right ahead of us!” Jing Huaci cautiously ventured.
“What woman?” Most of Lu Yun’s attention was on Yu Hengluo, so he was a little baffled by Jing Huaci’s words.
“You know, the one… who can turn people into faceless ghosts.” Jing Huaci surreptitiously hid behind him. She had a sneaking suspicion that the woman could see her.
Lu Yun raised his head and looked directly in front of him. There was a green shadow quietly standing below the cross, and he could feel a line of sight focused on him.
“It’s Emerald Mistfire… It’s become sentient!” Lu Yun’s expression stiffened somewhat at the sight.
He’d once taken a wisp of Emerald Mistfire and put it into a bronze lantern, then built a layout from it. The immortal fire had emulated Yuying’s appearance when it took form. And now, that same wisp of flame had unexpectedly developed a fire spirit and become a separate existence altogether, just like the Tiger and Dragon Princes.
A ball of green fire ignited from the emerald-green figure the next moment, and shortly after, a skeleton walked out of the fire.
There was no flesh or blood on its bones, but in its fleshless eye sockets sat a pair of crimson eyes. There was also a pair of slight protrusions where the ears would have been, as if it’d grown a real pair of ears.
“Wayfarer?” Lu Yun gawked. “No, it’s not Wayfarer… What the hell is that thing?”
He didn’t dare budge as the blood-red eyes fixated on him with an intense stare.
“Senior brother Lu, it’s a woman.” Jing Huaci hastened to correct him when she heard him mention Wayfarer.
Wayfarer’s name had resounded far and wide lately, especially after the Art Saint had verbally guaranteed Nephrite Major’s safety following Zhao Changkong’s demise, deterring factions far and wide from attacking the major.
Wayfarer, Dusk Province’s governor from a thousand years ago, Art Saint of the world of immortals!
But he was male, and Jing Huaci could clearly see that the figure was a woman.
Lu Yun opened the Spectral Eye, but its feedback was vague and indistinct. It was impossible to discern the exact nature of what he was facing. However, there was one thing he was sure of: the skeleton burning with Emerald Mistfire belonged to Wayfarer.
As for a woman… he didn’t see anyone.
“Senior brother Lu, she’s coming this way.”
Plip! Plop! Plip!
The sound of dripping water once again traveled into his ears.
Alright hear me out... at least Yuying and Wayfarer are finally together?
What, too macabre?