The head of the Exalted Immortal Sect was dead!
Faced with a horde of corpse demons rampaging through the sect, the orderly battle formations quickly collapsed and the sect’s immortals were once again routed. None of them noticed that, at the sect’s rear mountain, a hazy grey shadow suddenly came into view inside a small, unremarkable courtyard. It looked to be inserted into the sect’s lifepoint like a spike.
The Death Spike.
At the foot of Mount Exalted, the major’s capital city naturally noticed something afoot in the sect.
Martial law was quickly declared, and all of the formations in the sky above and ground below flared to life. Golden curtains of light trailed down from the heavenly court floating overhead and covered the city like a protective blanket.
Soon after, the Exalted Legion emerged from every corner of the void and rushed to the sect’s rescue. Their mission was to keep the corpse demons confined to sect territory and prevent them from fanning out elsewhere.
Even the Exalted Immortal Sect, one of the strongest factions of Exalted Major, had suffered disastrous losses. If the corpse demons were to break through the blockade, the situation would quickly spiral into devastating tragedy that bespelled the major’s destruction!
“There’s a rift connecting the Exalted Divine Tombs to the outer realms. We need to seal it off!” Inside the palace up in the sky, the major’s foremost celestial king, Zhao Jifeng, gave another order to a regiment of a million warriors. While they frantically battled the tide of corpse demons, he kept an eye on the overall situation.
“Is the demon fetus already among us...?” He breathed in deeply, an uneasy expression on his face.
Harassed by a divine peng, the four-headed, eight-armed zombie couldn’t disengage itself from the projection of the Great Peng Battle Formation. As for Exalted Major’s original great peng… it’d been heavily wounded in the Dusk battle and hadn’t been spotted in public since.
The soldiers of Exalted Major were warriors of extraordinary valor. While they were at most august immortals, their highly coordinated battle formations staunchly repelled the corpse demons and restricted them to Exalted Immortal Sect grounds.
But there was no end in sight to the tide of corpse demons, and the pressure on the army grew with each passing minute. Out of the nine Great Peng Spirit Formations around the mountain, three lay in pieces, millions of soldiers killed on the spot when they were breached.
Zhao Jifeng wanted to join in the fray, but he had an unwavering feeling that there was a pair of eyes fixed on him from the dark. The moment he exposed himself… the entity lying in wait would ambush him, just like it’d crushed the sect head.
Therefore, he dared not act brashly. Without its commander-in-chief, the Exalted Legion would be a headless dragon, fated to be swallowed whole by the corpse demons.
Squee! Squee! Squee!
Suddenly, three bird cries echoed in the sky. Three additional golden-winged pengs came to the soldiers’ rescue and dive-bombed the crowd of corpse demons. The soldiers stationed in other parts of Center Province had arrived!
“Milord! There’s a few women outside who seek entrance into the Exalted Divine Tombs!” one of Zhao Jifeng’s deputies suddenly reported.
“They want to go inside the mausoleum? Tell them something’s happened inside, it’s impossible to go in now!” Distraught irritation distracted Zhao Jifeng.
No corpse demon had ever been spotted in their land, but here these creatures were in endless droves. An unending supply of them crawled out with surges of foul corpse and demonic energy; even the most oblivious fool would realize something was amiss by now. In all likelihood, the demon fetus had been set loose into the world!
Zhao Jifeng was the foremost celestial king of Exalted Major, a position he’d held since before the previous celestial emperor’s abdication. Since then, his status had grown more entrenched, especially now that he’d become the new emperor’s most trusted right-hand man.
When Zhao Luo had gone inside the tombs to kill the demon fetus, Zhao Jifeng had stayed outside to protect the court. Hence, he naturally knew of the demon fetus’ existence. As for the tombs, quite a few people had come to explore their depths after the celestial emperor opened them to the public.
“Understood!” The deputy exited, but returned in next to no time. “Milord, these young ladies call themselves immortals of Dusk Province and say they can seal the opening!”
“What?!” Zhao Jifeng sprang up from his seat, his eyes sparkling with excitement. “Hurry and show them in! No, I’ll go see them myself!”
He rushed outside, ardently wishing he could teleport to the spot. “Sure enough, it’s them!” Agitation warred visibly on his face.
Lu Yun’s nine Envoys of Samsara.
Each of the nine women possessed astounding beauty that could fell nations, and they all possessed a cultivation that made one’s heart tremble. They were all peerless immortals!
More importantly, they were peerless immortals with formations of heaven and earth! Each and every gesture of theirs was imbued with the fearsome power of the land.
Though Lu Yun had previously bestowed the same formation to a thousand immortals, they were now safeguarded as national treasures. Carefully stowed away, they remained strictly inside their factions so that formation grandmasters throughout the world could study the formations inside them.
For their part, Yuying and the other eight had set out as soon as hell had been sealed off. Diexi had also wanted to come, but Yuying had firmly left her in Dusk Province. Two personalities lived inside the zombie king and there was no telling what might happen if she visited a foreign mausoleum—especially this one.
“Miladies…” Zhao Jifeng was filled with elation as he looked at the nine rather young girls.
“Let us not waste time on trivialities. Tell your men to evacuate the premises, they’ll only be a hindrance if they stay.” Su Xiaoxiao waved her hand impatiently. If it hadn’t been impossible to avoid harming innocent bystanders, she would’ve tossed poison into the rift as soon as they’d shown up.
“But there are too many corpse demons here!” Zhao Jifeng’s eyebrows shot up. These nine ladies looked far too dainty to stop the horde of dreadful corpse demons by themselves.
“Not even an ocean of yin spirits in Nephrite Major’s Azure Province could stop us, to say nothing of a few corpse demons,” Huangqing countered coolly.
With a sharp intake of breath, the celestial king ordered his remaining regiments to fall back from the Exalted Immortal Sect. Apart from an extremely low number of elders and venerated elders, all sect disciples had perished. As a faction, the Exalted Immortal Sect would be stricken from the lists after today.
Zhao Jifeng’s troops had also suffered heavy casualties. A full million soldiers had died in battle, a number that made the commander’s heart bleed. But despite their tactical retreat, the soldiers remained nearby in case the corpse demons threatened to scurry out of sect grounds and spill over into other areas.
“They would’ve been safe and sound if they’d stayed inside the ancient tomb, but to show themselves in broad daylight… Do these corpse demons have a death wish?” Su Xiaoxiao and Xingzi stood in the sky and smiled at each other as they sprinkled dark green seeds on the ground.
Roughly the size of a grain of rice, the seeds attached themselves to the corpse demons as they fell. Taking root in undead flesh, they germinated and grew into small flowers.
“Ouuuu!!” screamed the corpse demons in anguish. Relentlessly sucking away corpse energy, the seeds blossomed into crimson flowers that festooned their undead victims. The strange flowers incapacitated corpse demons in less than three breaths, turning their hosts into further fertilizer.
These flowers were a new genus that Xingzi and Su Xiaoxiao had developed by studying the Hell Flowers. Created for the express purpose of subduing zombies, they needed at least fifteen minutes to germinate and sprout inside a tomb devoid of sunlight. But under direct sunlight, they could kill a zombie in a few short breaths!
Anger exploded from the rift in the ground as more than a dozen four-headed, eight-armed zombies rushed out of the opening and charged Su Xiaoxiao and Xingzi.
A buzz traveled through the firmament as Aoxue, Huangfeng, Cangyin, and Luli walked out of the void and positioned themselves in the four cardinal directions. The images of a blood dragon, blood phoenix, blood qilin, and blood tortoise flashed in the air. Together, the four ominous beasts formed a strange battle formation that dyed the sky in searing scarlet.
Faced with this formation, the zombies were instantly repelled and sent back into the rift. It was then Feinie’s turn to walk out of the emptiness and draw a giant formation without foundation that landed on the giant fissure like a seal.
A giant hand from below immediately punched it, bulging the formation at the point of impact.
Paling, blood trickled out of Feinie’s mouth as an ugly crack formed on the sealing formation. From some distance away, Xuanxi waved a hand and poured talismans into Feinie’s body to treat her wounds.
“Be careful, there’s a big fellow below… If we want to seal off this place, we need to dispose of him first!” Feinie wiped off blood from her lips.
“I’ve got it.” Yuying waved her hand, igniting dark-green Emerald Mistfire inside the giant fissure. Two flames blazing in her eyes, she made pill seals with her hands. She was refining that ‘big fellow’ in the crack as she would a pill!
Shrieks of pain and anguish ripped through the air a split second later, lingering long after their owner perished.
Zhao Jifeng shuddered uncontrollably. Each of these women was a formidable existence in her right, but they displayed such cohesive teamwork that they might as well be a single person. Just how had Lu Yun convinced these extraordinary women to pledge themselves to his cause with such steadfast loyalty?
Yuying retracted her pill seal roughly a hundred breaths later. A fist-sized pill as black as ink floated out of the crack and landed in her hand.
“Corpse demons, alright…” Expression veering on the dark side, she took a good look at the pill before clenching her fist tight and squeezing it to dust. These kinds of pills were worthless. “Let these corpse demons be the instrument of my revenge.”
A content smile spread across her face. She was naturally aware of the Death Spike that Lu Yun had planted inside the Exalted Divine Sect, the true source of the sect’s destruction.
Off to the side, Feinie once again called a mighty formation into being and sealed off the rift below.
“My deepest thanks, fairies… errr…” Zhao Jifeng stepped forward to express his profound gratitude, but suddenly realized that the nine women were nowhere to be found. He smiled wryly at what had just transpired. “Truly a group of astounding women!”
Although his present concerns had been resolved, his heart was still heavy. The demon fetus was among them… It was only a matter of time before Exalted Major became a land of demons, and none of its denizens would be spared the fate of being turned into more corpse demons.
I laughed a bit when the chapter introduced the new flowers that our resident mad scientists came up with. I was expecting some crazy live experimentation, but lethal flowers are just as good.
I'll admit, I blinked a bit in confusion when Yuying mentioned the bit about revenge. Then it hit me. It's a throwback allll the way back to the first tomb, when we learned that she'd unexpectedly died in her tribulation (because the Exalted Immortal Sect interfered in it). Damn, what a full circle we've come!