Lu Yun gasped, instantly retracting the hellfire he was about to unleash.
“That’s right, this place has fused with only a corner of hell. It isn’t the real thing!” Cold sweat beaded across his forehead.
Hell was defined by the presence of hellfire. A hell that contained hellfire would spawn an independent set of laws and generate natural energy all by itself. If Lu Yun used hellfire here, the unknown power might steal it for itself and create a new world with the flame.
Once that happened, he would no longer be able to fuse it back into the original hell at all. Even if he somehow subjugated this place later on, it would only be a second hell that was divorced from the first.
Moreover, this locale was under the dominion of that ghost king. The nourishment of this corner of hell had likely strengthened it to unimaginable levels.
Lu Yun didn’t possess a complete hell, either. Technically speaking, he only had the most crucial fragment. That, combined with the Tome of Life and Death, was the reason it’d become the principal part.
In the era of human dao, hell had been immeasurably large. It had ruled over all life and death in the multiverse. As such, there were sure to be countless fragments strewn all over its past domain, some much larger than Lu Yun’s.
For example, he knew that the Ancient Tree of Life had taken root in one such fragment, but the tree’s vigor had dispersed any hellish presence that Xing Chen could have detected.
“Qing Yu, take my compass and look after the brothers.” Lu Yun handed his luopan to Qing Yu once again. The girl nodded, then silently incanted the Dragonsearch Invocation and took over.
Lu Yun had taught her the Dragonsearch Invocation, Dragonshift Method, and Dragonspike Litany a while back inside hell; she was more than capable enough to wield the luopan’s might.
The young man took a deep breath. A tricolor flame appeared over his body, the combination of Emerald Mist, Lucent Void, and Daevic Sky. Though the three fires weren’t quite hellfire, they burned with the utterly destructive essence of pure yang. Even the ghosts here would be burned to nothingness before they could approach.
Under the tricolor flame’s protection, Lu Yun slowly shuffled out of the luopan’s range.
His Spectral Eye saw ghosts everywhere around him. Those who dared edge toward him were turned to ash after coming just a bit closer.
“There are both normal and immortal ghosts here. The souls of those who die in Exalted Major’s Center Province are drawn here by this corner of hell.” Lu Yun frowned faintly.
The Gates of the Abyss divided the worlds of the living and the dead. The dead, drawn naturally by the path outside, would eventually make their way here.
But this corner of hell wasn’t actually hell; there was no cycle of reincarnation to be had. The souls became immortal ghosts, only to be infected by the yin dragon vein underground and turned into vicious ghosts.
“What kind of lineal tomb is this? The manor outside is just another set of Gates of the Abyss, so entering the manor means reaching the underworld.”
The darkness of the void here was filled with the presence of death. Even the tricolor flame couldn’t penetrate the gloom with illumination.
Lu Yun opened his Spectral Eye to cut through the haze. The roiling aura of death gradually became clear to him, and he could see Li Youcai.
The fatty was standing upon a boulder shortly ahead. He looked much thinner than before; instead of a mountain of meat, he was now something much more commonly presentable. His skin was a ghoulish shade of white and his eyes were pitch black, the whites of his eyes disappearing in favor of nightmarishly large pupils.
“You’re the ghost king.” Lu Yun strode toward Li Youcai. “But you’re not the master of this lineal tomb.”
He’d gotten it all wrong. He’d thought that the ghost king and the master of the tomb were one and the same… but a meeting with the former had finally overturned his mistake. This corner of hell didn’t belong to the ghost king. At most, he was an Exalted Divine who’d been buried here—there was something far more frightening behind him.
The young man inhaled sharply and drew the axe of dao with one hand, preparing the hand seal of the Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder method with the other.
“Kakaka—" The sound of grinding wood came from Li Youcai’s mouth. “Those who disturb the princess’ rest… must die,” he declared coldly.
An incredible amount of ghostly energy formed into a stark white hand, which bore down upon Lu Yun.
Yi Wood Cleansing Thunder was channeled through Lu Yun’s Thunder Palmstrike, and black lightning rose up to resist the hand.
At the same time, Lu Yun quickly backed off. The dao weapon in his right hand glowed with azure light. He disappeared on the spot, only to reappear over Li Youcai’s head a moment later.
The blade of the axe slammed down upon Li Youcai’s cranium.
Lu Yun’s right hand went numb, and a sudden flashback to his childhood visited him. He’d once swung a blunt axe into a block of granite, resulting in very similar sensations to his hand. Blood welled up in his mouth. He spat out a glob of crimson, even as he was sent flying back.
“Such strength!” He applied a healing talisman to himself to address his numerous internal injuries.
A large gash was visible upon Li Youcai’s head as gray matter and blackish blood poured out from the wound. The axe had torn open his consciousness and dispersed his spirit; Li Youcai’s true self had been killed in a single blow!
However, the fatty was still belly laughing with amusement.
“Humans are cruel as ever. Murdering their own with such readiness… Kakaka…”
The ghost king’s departure returned Li Youcai to his original form, and he collapsed to the ground as a fleshy mountain.
Wiping away the blood from the corner of his mouth, Lu Yun offhandedly used Resurrection on Li Youcai’s body. The rift in his skull and his broken spirit rapidly began to heal, and the fatty’s breathing miraculously resumed.
“How can this be?!” The ghost king hidden in the void jumped out once more. A dead person had come back to life in front of its eyes! Such a thing was outside of its comprehension, even as a king of ghosts.
“Why, why is he alive again?!” the ghost king shrieked with surprise while a spark of hope entered its hollow eyes.