No one knew for certain whether the Yin Clan had truly visited the Divine Exalted Tombs before, but the obsequious expression that ‘Yin Qingran’ wore was plain for all to see.
The Yins were nothing but a second-rate clan in Exalted Major. In fact, their status wasn’t even on par with what the Chen Clan had once enjoyed in Nephrite Major. On the contrary, the Ling Clan was a peak clan, and deservedly so. A preeminent presence in Nephrite Major, it was one of the greatest factions in the world of immortals.
After eighty thousand years of top-tier status, Ling immortals were very accustomed to looks of adoration and worship. Of course, the key to that was also because they monopolized the manufacturing process of fortress ships.
Like adding wings to a tiger, the clan had grown so formidable that even the Nephrite emperor dared not unduly suppress them.
Though the clan’s business had been greatly dented by Dusk Province also selling fortress ships now, their influence remained. Destiny City had extended an invitation to them to make a trip together.
They weren’t the only ones, as many major clans had also been invited to the Divine Exalted Tombs. As for why, only a handful of people were in the know. Roughly three hundred people from the Ling Clan had come this time, their only purpose to explore the mausoleum.
“Oh?” Ling Chengzu’s eyebrows quirked. His team had acted with the greatest caution inside the tomb, but even so, more than a hundred of them had died to reach this point. Therefore, he couldn’t help but be swayed by the offer. If a zombie were truly to jump out at this time, they’d suffer major casualties yet again.
“Very well then. I will maintain the formation for you while you open the coffin.” He was a peak aether dao immortal powerhouse with nine aether dao fruits. While ‘Yin Qingran’ was a void-ascended immortal, he was a measly true immortal, nothing but an ant by comparison. Ling Chengzu wasn’t worried about possible underhanded tricks.
“Very well!” Without delay, Lu Yun jumped right into the tomb. The interior was a giant furnace, the heat so extreme that ordinary immortals would be instantly fried to a crisp. Along the way, he made sure to exaggerate his pains and struggles for dramatic effect, until he finally reached the bronze coffin. “It’s rare to see a coffin cast from bronze…”
It was indeed a coffin—thankfully not an outer-coffin. Bronze outer-coffins and netherwood coffins were the most frightening of combinations. As for what lay inside a bronze coffin... he couldn’t tell for certain, but the Spectral Eye was detecting something dreadful, along with an accompanying treasure.
“Open!” With a thunderous shout, he smashed the coffin’s lid with a palm strike, sending it flying away. A bead sparkling with red and gold slowly levitated from the coffin, like a miniature sun rising in the sky illuminating the firmament with its rays.
“A Divine Fire Bead! A Divine Fire Bead from the legends!!” Ling Chengzu shrieked.
A Divine Fire Bead, a connate treasure!
As legend had it, Zhurong, a god of fire in the Primordial Era, had owned one such bead.  With it, he gained mastery over all fires of the world and became a sovereign of fire. To think that a similar bead would be buried inside this divine tomb!
A scream of rage exploded from the coffin. A monster with three faces and four arms slowly rose from within, its figure bathed in flames like a divine spirit of fire.
“This is a zombie born from a fire divine... Friend from the Yin Clan, you must suppress this zombie at once!” Even as he spoke, Ling Chengzu leapt high in the air and threw himself at the Divine Fire Bead.
Such a connate treasure was mighty enough to become the Ling Clan’s second ultimate treasure. With it, the clan’s strength would grow by leaps and bounds, so much so that some of their self-sealed ancestors could reemerge to attempt another breakthrough to origin dao realm.
“Please don’t worry, Senior Ling. Leave this monster to this junior!” With a boisterous laugh, Lu Yun waved his hand and tossed out a golden winged coin. The coin streaked into a golden beam of light that reached the Divine Fire Bead nigh-instantaneously, securing it before Ling Chengzu could react.
Following which, ‘Yin Qingran’ vanished into thin air.
The immortals of Clan Ling stared, agog and uncomprehending. In the meantime, the burning divine zombie leapt out of the bronze coffin, roaring with enough fury to split the sky as it threw itself into the crowd of Ling immortals.
“Yin Qingran, Clan Yin!!” Ling Chengzu howled with saddened fury. “This isn’t over!”
Somewhere far away, shrouded by emptiness, his eyes locked on more than a hundred immortals from House Donglin, Yin Qingran shuddered for a reason he couldn’t explain.
“What’s the matter?” He turned back in confusion, dimly aware that something bad had happened. But what, exactly? He hadn’t a clue.
“Forget that. As long as I can kill void-ascended immortals of House Donglin and obtain Lu Yun’s bounty, our clan shall rise.” His gaze was keen and resolute.
He wasn’t here to raid the tombs. While there were indeed treasures inside the mausoleum, any obtained by a weak clan like theirs would ultimately end up in the Exalted Immortal Sect’s hands. So for him, the reward offered by Lu Yun offered was the main focus of his expedition.
“The Divine Fire Bead, a connate treasure!” Inside the darkness, Lu Yun hummed an obscure tune as he made his way toward the place where ‘yin and yang reverses, and earth tops sky’ with spry skips.
The Treasurefall Coin was an atypical treasure, and he’d activated it with the power of a karmic fruit. Such a combination had been too great to defy, even for a connate treasure like the bead.
Of course, it’d only been possible because the bead had been ownerless.
Had it been refined by someone already, the Treasurefall Coin would’ve proven ineffective. Lu Yun’s cultivation wasn’t great enough yet to call upon the coin’s full strength, even when strengthened by karmic fruits. In any case, the addition of the bead was an unexpected, but welcome surprise.
“It’s right over there!” He screeched to a halt and put the bead away. He’d arrived at the place where the demon fetus was nurtured, the same place where Zhao Qing was buried. The fetus was underground, while Zhao Qing was located high in the sky.
However, everything was still and silent. No activity whatsoever could be detected, and the demon fetus’ aura was so well hidden that not a trace of it could be sensed.
“You came, as expected,” a cold voice reverberated from the void. Lu Yun’s heart pounded in his chest—had he been discovered?
Just as he was about to show himself, he heard a second voice.
“Indeed, I have come.” The voice belonged to Qi Hai. “How could I not? A divine emperor’s true spirit has been demonized.”
A gentle light spread outward and painted the space with white as pure as snow. Two tall figures faced each other from some distance away.
One was Qi Hai, and the other… Zhao Chong!