As punishment devices, the shackles kept the akasha ghost firmly imprisoned. There was a strange power at the other end of the chains, one that answered to a strange set of rules. The moment the shackles clasped shut, the hissing, struggling akasha ghost abruptly turned docile. Its gaze that’d brimmed with infinite resentment clouded over with dullness.
Lu Yun blinked in confusion; he hadn’t expected the process to go so smoothly. Were akasha ghosts supposed to be this easy to subdue?
“Gather!” With a wave of his hand, the Gates of the Abyss boomed open and pulled the ghost inside.
“Milord, stop immediately! We can’t let the ghost inside!” Ge Long’s voice suddenly echoed in Lu Yun’s skull. With a violent start, the master of hell hastened to close the gates, but it was too late.
An extraordinary aura erupted from the supposedly captive ghost. Caught off guard, Lu Yun found himself thrown violently backward, the chains slipping out of his hand in the process.
Before he could gather his senses, the akasha ghost had forced its way past the Gates of the Abyss and barged into hell.
“Milord, please do not return to hell before the seat of the tenth Envoy of Samsara is filled, no matter what happens. Or else… hell will have a new master.”
Lu Yun’s eyelid twitched.
Hum! Hum! Hum! Hum!
The four immortal swords that Ge Long had given him flew out and streaked into hell as four smears of varied light. Lu Yun stood frozen in place, an unsettled expression on his face. He desperately wanted to go back and take stock of the situation, but Ge Long had firmly vetoed that idea. Returning was out of the question, or hell would fall into enemy hands!
Lu Yun could sense that, instead of a single akasha ghost, there was now a throng of them inside the netherworld. He blinked in confusion, unable to wrap his mind around what had just happened.
Why would a lone akasha ghost attract more of its ilk once inside hell? Also, the Gates of the Abyss might be the entrance, but the other ghosts couldn’t have possibly gone inside through them.
“Well… let’s go, I guess, we can head inside the Exalted Tomb!” After some internal struggle, he decided to put the matter aside, since there was nothing to be done at the moment. Meanwhile, the akasha ghosts ran amok, slaughtering the yin spirits and assorted ghosts residing inside to the last...
Or rather, the true spirits of their victims scattered all over hell, transforming into Hell Flowers or hiding inside the Tome of Life and Death, waiting for the crisis to be defused to come back to life.
What gave Lu Yun the greatest sigh of relief was that his envoys and most important Infernum like Ruyi, or allies such as Zombie King Diexi, were either residing in Dusk Province or had gone to wage war in Witherdew Major. None of them were currently inside hell, otherwise the losses would have been much more substantial.
“Thankfully, Yueshen’s soul has already fallen apart, so her true spirit is now a Hell Flower…”After observing her, he secretly gathered the Hell Flower that was her soul and sent it inside the Tome of Life and Death where it could make a quick recovery.
In ordinary times, Lu Yun could summon the power of hell with a mere thought, but upon reaching for the familiar netherworld, he was aghast to find a terrifying force suffusing the atmosphere. It made his heart quail and forbade him from proceeding further. Moreover, a vague impression arose from the Tome of Life and Death, warning him not to go inside hell.
“What’s the matter? Why are there formations here? Did someone unearth a treasure?!” A herd of freshly transformed fur seals had arrived. Seeing Qing Yu floating in the air and the formations nearby yet to fade away, they immediately beamed with delight.
“Lady Mother said there’d be treasures here. Sure enough, she was right!” Nearly five hundred in number, the fur seals were all Ge Yanxia’s children and mates.
“It’s ours now, take it away, take it away!” Without even figuring out what was truly going on, the group charged forth in a great brouhaha.
“I only need one of them alive. Kill the rest!” Lu Yun had planned on taking a few of them as sacrificial offerings to begin with. To think they’d come knocking and serve themselves up on a silver platter!
The creatures were extremely strong as each of them was a primordial immortal with strength enough to match a void-ascended immortal. However, they were nothing but the basest of wild beasts at the heart of things, and had no notable cultivation methods or combat arts to call their own. Apart from rare cases like Ge Yun or Ge Yanxia, most used their teeth and limbs to fight.
So, despite their impressive cultivation realms, their battle prowess was nothing to speak of. At most, their thick skins and layers of flesh made it easier for them to endure beatings.
Qing Yu frowned at the sight of a black, fetid mass surging her way. She wasn’t really keen to take the field herself; these creatures were remarkably disgusting.
“Hmph!” Sprawled on Lin Xuan’s head thus far, the little fox suddenly sprang up with a snort. A flash of silver glinted in her eyes.
Sliding to a stop, the pungent tide dissolved into fur seals sizing each other up with strange expressions. Without another word, they leapt and tore savagely at each other. After a short while, there was only a single one left alive; the rest had all been reduced to mincemeat.
“Let’s go find a sacrificial altar!” Before Lu Yun and Qing Yu could say anything, the little fox hopped off of Lin Xuan’s head and slipped back into Qing Yu’s arms. “Sure enough, this place still feels the most comfortable!”
Lu Yun gave her a dirty look.
“So you do know the feeling of fear, hmm?” He smiled coldly.
“What’s there to be afraid of here?!” The fox snuggled firmly against Qing Yu, refusing to budge come hell or high water.
Qing Yu smiled wryly. Even through the thick layer of starpower, she smelled jealousy in the air.
“Alright, let’s look for an altar. Don’t let someone else beat us to it again!” She dispelled the cosmic energy around her and dimpled at Lu Yun.
The latter felt rather powerless. Ge Long had mentioned that the four swords would lead him to the treasure inside the tomb, but… they’d gone back to the old servant for now and hell was unavailable. Lu Yun could only rely on himself for the time being.
Wrapped in mental fog, the lone surviving fur seal stumbled after Lu Yun’s group like a walking corpse.
Li Youcai had awakened. Since Yueshen hadn’t recovered yet, the man was conscious and in control of his body again. In between cries and wails of self pity, he pulled out various delicacies from his storage ring and gorged himself on delectables.
In his own words, if he had to die, he’d rather die with a full belly.
After roughly two hours, Lu Yun finally found another altar, one much bigger than the previous one. A full kilometer wide, it looked like a miniature mountain, and the human-shaped sculpture at its center was many times bigger than the one before at more than twenty meters tall.
This time, he clearly sensed a tendril of life force from its surface. While still extremely faint, it was much more intense compared to the last altar.
“Bring the sacrifice to the altar. We’re heading down inside the tomb!”
To be frank, entering the divine tomb via such a method wasn’t very reliable. Once inside, all possible exits would be blocked off. Even if they successfully slew the demon fetus, the fate of everyone inside would still be in the hands of the Exalted celestial emperor.
But Lu Yun wasn’t that worried. He carried a branch of the Path of Ingress on him that could pierce through space and ignore all formations.
LYC really is something lol. Very pragmatic of him.
And yes, astute observation from Lu Yun. My sudden guess it that the Exalted celestial emperor is just going to let them all die here.