Dusk fell, but not one that heralded the arrival of night. Rather, it was the gathering of a mass of dark clouds that blotted out the sun.
A sinister wind began to blow inside the manor, filling the complex with an eerie, ghostly aura.
Lu Yun’s group shivered at the rising atmosphere, Ashu being the sole exception. In fact, there was even a hint of enjoyment on the holy lord’s face.
“The ghost king here is very powerful. Everyone needs to be careful,” Ashu calmly warned after a glance at the dark clouds above.
His was a special existence. Not a man, not a ghost, and not a zombie, but a living dead, a mausoleum keeper. If he were determined to conceal himself, very few people would be able to sense his presence, ghost kings included.
It wasn’t because of his strength, per se, but due to the enormous amount of ghost energy he’d absorbed from the underworld. In fact, this ghost energy was the greatest hindrance to his revival.
“Everyone, stay put and don’t go into the rooms. They’re all inhabited by malicious ghosts.” After warning his companions, Lu Yun took out numerous formation stones. “Lin Xuan, help me set up a layout.”
“Very well!” Lin Xuan’s eyes sparkled at the prospect. Feng shui layouts and formations were two sides of the same coin, but being able to set up a specific layout was an extremely important step for him.
“Lin Yu, I also have a task for you. Arrange a formation of pure yang over there, but don’t create them without foundations. Formations without foundation are effective in the short run, but they can’t be maintained for long.”
“At once!” Lin Yu didn’t understand feng shui and wasn’t all that interested either, but his mastery of formations had advanced by leaps and bounds in this period. He’d now surpassed Lin Xuan in that domain. He immediately took the formation stones and began inscribing formation runes of pure yang.
“Wh-why do I get the feeling that I’m being stared at by a pair of eyes?” Li Youcai trembled uncontrollably.
“Hmm?” Sensing something amiss, Lu Yun momentarily paused his efforts to lay down the layout and looked back at Li Youcai. The fatty’s figure suddenly shook like a leaf in the wind, and his skin, previously as smooth as a pearl, turned ashen gray.
“No!” Lu Yun cried out in alarm.
Qing Yu was even faster to react. Starlight emerged from her figure and condensed into a great purple-golden handprint that bore down on Li Youcai.
A cloud of black smoke evaporated from the rotund Li Youcai and amassed in the air as a ghostly face that dissolved Qing Yu’s handprint. With a muffled groan, she fell back a few steps, each step breaking a stone brick underfoot.
“Don’t be distracted, continue laying down your formation or layout!” Lu Yun took a quick step forward and threw a punch at Li Youcai, his fist wrapped in enough hellfire that it would instantly obliterate an ordinary ghost.
Hell’s aura made weak ghostlings tremble in fear and brought strong ghosts to their knees… But when facing perversely strong ghosts, it only served to bring out even more of their savage nature.
In the past, when Feinie had been a ghost herself, she’d disregarded hell’s aura entirely and rendered Lu Yun powerless, despite his best efforts. Ultimately, he’d subdued her physical body instead.
In comparison, the ghost he currently faced had evolved into a terrifying ghost king, a being akin to zombie kings, an existence far beyond Yueshen and the former Feinie.
Lu Yun’s punch landed ruthlessly on Li Youcai, generating a faint ripple that spread outward, but the fat man didn’t budge an iota. As for the raging hellfire, it was extinguished upon coming into contact with the man’s body.
Dark-golden runes lit up on Li Youcai’s now-ashen skin.
“Sacred Origin Runes!” Eyes widening, Lu Yun quickly realized these runes were part of the formation of heaven and earth inside Li Youcai.
Obtaining the Exalted Divine Tribe’s Sacred Origin Runes was what’d made his formations of heaven and earth reach true perfection. Later down the road, the formation had progressed even further thanks to Qing Yu’s formula dao, and no longer needed to be engraved and integrated into someone’s flesh with such painstaking care.
As long as he inscribed a single formation, he could now bestow them en masse. It was this method that’d allowed him to etch formations of heaven and earth for the entire Dusk Phalanx and sell a quota of one thousand in the previous auction.
Apart from the Formation of Heavenly Spirits and Earthly Demons, the core of a formation of heaven and earth was the Sacred Origin Runes. Those came straight from the Exalted Divine Emperor and embodied the tribe’s supreme regality. In fact, the divine runes that’d been inscribed on the Dao Flower were very likely to have been Sacred Origin Runes.
And now, those very same runes had been compelled to manifest on Li Youcai’s skin.
“Sacred Origin Runes…” Li Youcai also noticed the phenomenon. He lowered his head and reluctantly looked at his hands. When his deathly pale eyes landed on his ‘own’ hands, a glint of revulsion flashed across his face.
Lu Yun looked back at the two staring Lin brothers. They ducked their heads, hastily inscribing formation runes or arranging the feng shui layout, eyes glued to their tasks.
“Hahaha!” A bloodcurdling screech came from Li Youcai. His body gradually floated in the air, his wide, plump body a picture of unnatural grace and nimbleness.
Suddenly turning incorporeal, he darted into one of the rooms inside the manor. Qing Yu came to Lu Yun’s side, standing side by side with him.
“This ghost king really is powerful.” Her arm was still numb from her earlier clash with the ghost king’s face.
“Li Youcai’s constitution is special, so possessing him increased the ghost king’s power.” Lu Yun took a sharp breath. He hadn’t expected the ghost king to possess someone as soon as the dark clouds gathered, and had therefore been too slow to react.
“The ghost managed to force out the Exalted Divine emperor’s Sacred Origin Runes, so it must be intimately connected to the emperor.” Qing Yu knitted her brows, a little uncertain. “Since Mount Exalted is where the Exalted Divine Emperor fell…”
“It can't be the emperor himself,” Ashu cut her off. “Nothing was left of the Exalted Divine emperor, nor of any emperor who died during the Emperors Fall, for that matter. Even becoming a ghost was impossible.”
“But it might be the emperor’s descendant.” Lu Yun opened his Spectral Eye to scan the signs of life and death inside the manor, but the place was shrouded in a dense fog that the Spectral Eye couldn’t pierce through.
“I see, so the ghost king wasn’t the one who summoned the dark clouds. It was the Exalted Immortal Sect’s doing…”
As omnipotent figures who could call the wind and conjure the rain, conjuring a few clouds was a trivial matter for immortals. With a wave, the feng shui compass appeared in Lu Yun’s hand.
“A dragon sleeps in mountains coiled, those deathly cliffs with mysteries roiled!
“Danger shies if mountains hide, dragons of yin do here bide!”
The embryo of a minor world emerged by Lu Yun’s side, inside of which coiled a jet-black dragon: a yin dragon vein. Astonishingly, a yin dragon vein snaked underneath this giant lineal tomb, one on the cusp of becoming an ancestral vein!