Chapter 281: The Mass Grave’s Treasures
Yun Jiuge might have lost all her spiritual power, but dealing with three hooligans was not a problem.
She snapped her fingers, and a handful of colorless, scentless Wind Powder drifted toward the short, muscular man.
The moment the powder contacted him, he trembled and knelt on the ground in fear.
“What did you do to me?” The man scratched uncontrollably. His arms were full of red marks from excessive and rough scratching, but he did not appear to feel any pain.
“All I did was send some Itchy Powder your way. You’ll most likely die from itchiness if you don’t receive the antidote soon!” Yun Jiuge deadpanned.
“Master, I was wrong to speak so impudently to you earlier. I didn’t know my place. Please spare me!” The short, muscular man was in tears as he begged for forgiveness. He was able to adapt and change his behavior to suit whatever situation he found himself in.
The onlookers were surprised by this sudden turn of events, and the hostility in their eyes diminished.
The Liu Sisters, on the other hand, were so frightened by Yun Jiuge that they lost their voices. They could try and put up a fight if it involved a battle of cultivation, but they would just be digging their graves if they tried to pick a fight with a poisoner.
Yun Jiuge noticed that she had accomplished her initial goal of instilling fear and respect. She then flicked the antidote over to the short, muscular man and declared, “Scram!”
“Thank you so much, Master!” The man immediately fled from the scene.
Yun Jiuge continued to wait for the examination to begin. A few people who wanted to get on her good side tried to strike up a conversation with her, but they were all turned away coldly.
She was only there to learn about Black Magic. She did not need to be on friendly terms with anyone.
Fifteen minutes later, a young man clad in black appeared on the path leading to the area where the disciples stayed. His outfit was the uniform of the Yin Corpse Sect’s proper disciples.
He looked incredibly handsome, and he smiled amicably as he walked over.
Most would find him likable, but not Yun Jiuge. The sight of him made her heart twist.
It was Su Junqing. She had not expected that he would be responsible for conducting the secondary disciples’ examination.
Taking in new disciples was very important. Only the most trusted disciples of each sect would be put in charge of something so significant. The Yin Corpse Sect was no exception.
The fact that Su Junqing had been entrusted with a task as big as this despite only being a disciple for a very short time was proof that he was having a great time at the Yin Corpse Sect.
“Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Su Junqing, and I’ll be in charge of the secondary disciples’ examinations.” Su Junqing spoke two sentences before delving straight into the details.
The examination was simple. All of the candidates had to head over to the Mass Grave and bring back the set of skeletal remains that they believe had strong spiritual energy.
The stronger the spiritual energy, the higher one’s status in the Yin Corpse Sect.
“We at the Yin Corpse Sect do not only know how to control corpses. We also know how to cast various forms of Puppet Magic, and refining bones is a fundamental and common practice in our sect.
“The skeleton forms the core of the human body. One has to learn how to refine bones before one can refine corpses. Bone-gathering is something that the Yin Corpse Sect’s secondary disciples practice often. I hope all of you will be able to do a good job,” Su Junqing explained pleasantly.
“Senior, we have never learned how to observe bones before. How will we know which remains hold spiritual energy?” Liu Tian’er stared at Su Junqing with limpid eyes. She looked confused.
“I’ll give all of you a Bone Testing Talisman. All you need to do is stick the talisman into the remains that you’re eyeing, and you’ll be able to tell how much spiritual energy they hold. However, the talisman can only be used once. You need to use it with caution,” Su Junqing said with a smile.
Once she heard those words, Yun Jiuge immediately understood the real purpose of the examination.
This was an examination that encouraged people to snatch their rivals’ Bone Testing Talismans!
After all, the more talismans one snatched, the higher the chances of finding a set of remains that possessed spiritual energy.
There was no need to be afraid. Even if one’s talisman ended up being snatched, one could just bring back a random set of skeletal remains. Those remains could still very well possess spiritual energy. If that happened, it would only prove that the individual was lucky and deserved to be groomed.
This examination was, in a sense, killing many birds with one stone.
“Everyone! Queue up here to receive your talisman.” Su Junqing distributed a set of Bone Testing Talismans.
Yun Jiuge received the Bone Testing Talisman from Su Junqing with a face devoid of all expression. She ignored the sideways glances that Su Junqing sent her way.
The Liu Sisters winked at Su Junqing discreetly when they received the talisman from him. Su Junqing acknowledged the flirtatious gesture without saying a word.
The crowd began to disperse in all directions after receiving their talismans. As they walked away, they stared at the people nearest to them with looks of caution and greed.
Liu Tian’er grabbed onto Liu Mei’er’s sleeve and said in a pitiful voice, “Sis, the Mass Grave looks so eerie! I’m scared!”
“There’s no need to be scared. Just get used to it.” Liu Mei’er appeared to be comforting her younger sister, but her beautiful face had turned pale at the thought of entering the Mass Grave.
“My dears, don’t be afraid! I’ll protect you!” The short, muscular man who had been poisoned by Yun Jiuge earlier went up to the sisters.
Several other men who liked the Liu Sisters all began volunteering to be their bodyguards.
In the end, a group of men surrounded the two sisters, and they headed in the direction of the Mass Grave together.
Yun Jiuge glanced at them before going in the opposite direction.
No one would dare snatch her talisman after seeing how she had attacked with poison. Similarly, Yun Jiuge did not have any interest in seizing others’ talismans.
She went straight to the Mass Grave.
It was still daytime, and the sun was overhead, but the Yin Qi within the Mass Grave was powerful.
The area surrounding Yun Jiuge was shrouded in grayish fog, and the ground was littered with white bones. She could even see Spectral Flames drifting about in the distance.
“There are no skeletons with spiritual energy around here. We have to go further,” Zi Shang whispered in Yun Jiuge’s ear.
“Let’s go, then!” Yun Jiuge just wanted to bring back a random set of skeletal remains.
The fog thickened the deeper they ventured into the Mass Grave. Before long, it blocked out the sunlight completely.
Cold, moist air welled up from underground. Yun Jiuge had always been afraid of the cold, and she felt as though she had just plunged into icy water.
Yun Jiuge only felt better after she took two Warmth Pills.
“Stay with it, for now. You will not have to feel this way again once you learn the Yin Corpse Sect’s Technique,” Zi Shang comforted Yun Jiuge.
Controlling corpses was the primary form of attack used by the Yin Corpse Sect. However, the Yin Qi in the bodies was very strong. It could corrode the controllers’ bodies if the two stayed in close contact for a prolonged period.
The Yin Corpse Sect’s Technique minimized the damage brought about by the corpses’ Yin Qi by allowing the user to transform all the harmful Yin Qi into spiritual power. In her current state, such a technique would be immensely beneficial to Yun Jiuge.
“I’m fine.” Yun Jiuge was starting to get used to the cold.
What she could not get used to, however, was how her Elixir Field was utterly empty. Without her spiritual power, she would not be able to summon her Spiritual Eye. It would be tough for her to find a set of skeletal remains that possessed spiritual energy with the Bone Testing Talisman alone.
It would be easy to rely on Zi Shang to do everything for her, but Yun Jiuge did not want to do that until she absolutely had to. For now, she wanted to try and find the skeletal remains by herself.
Numerous white bones were scattered messily over the ground. Yun Jiuge walked once around the area, but she was unable to find a complete set of skeletal remains. The next logical step was to dig up the graves, but she was not willing to do that.
Suddenly, the Treasure-hunting Scorpion emerged from Zi Shang’s back pocket and began chirping at Yun Jiuge, “Master! There’s treasure nearby!”
“What treasure?” Yun Jiuge looked at the Treasure-hunting Scorpion with glee. She’d nearly forgotten it existed.
“I smelled something really nice.” The Treasure-hunting Scorpion leaped to the ground.
It circled the Mass Grave once with its tail held high and eventually came to a stop before an old withered pagoda tree.
The tree was huge. Its trunk was the size of three men. Its leaves were withered and yellow, and its branches had turned gray. The tree gave off the impression that it was on the verge of death.
The Treasure-hunting Scorpion walked around the tree several times before it burrowed under the ground.
A moment later, it made its way back to the surface and said confidently, “The treasure is right here, below.”
“Okay. Dig away!” Yun Jiuge looked at Zi Shang.
She had no spiritual power or tools. Such menial labor could only be left to Zi Shang.
Zi Shang did not refuse. He lowered his body and placed his hands under the pagoda tree.
The white bones scattered around the tree were thrown to the side along with the brown soil, revealing a thick, grayish root underneath. The root was the size of a small coffin.