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Chapter 2: Enneawyrm Coffinbearers

Necropolis Immortal
     The governor’s manor was so large it felt like an enormous park. Landscapes of hills reflected over pools of water, and pavilions played hide and seek with the scenery. The residence was the epitome of luxury both within and without.

    But in Lu Yun’s eyes, this was the devil’s den!

    “Enneawyrm Coffinbearers… [1] finding this kind of feng shui influence in the governor’s manor? If my guess is correct, Dusk Province must be one of the poorest in Nephrite Major,” Lu Yun murmured to himself.

    The feng shui arrangement here hadn’t been set up recently; it had to have at least several hundred, or even a thousand years worth of history. The layout had melded perfectly with its environs, turning into a feng shui influence.

    The manor was built on the central lifepoint of the province. It impacted the fortunes of all of Dusk. Placing the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers here was to sever the fortunes of the entire province. Over time, it would render Dusk into a sterile desert.

    “Milord, you misspoke. This isn’t some Enneawyrm Coffinbearers, it’s the Enneawyrm Provenance Formation. Nine dragons soar to the sky when it activates. It once slaughtered an immortal bent on causing trouble,” corrected Wanfeng.

    Lu Yun and Wanfeng were currently standing in one of the tallest Mooncatcher Towers in the manor. It overlooked the entire residence, and even all of Dusk City.

    “But Dusk really is one of the poorest provinces in Nephrite Major. There are very few mines, and barely any immortals. Grand Steward Xie has to travel to a neighboring province to purchase his foundation stones.”

    It looks like feng shui and formations are two sides of the same coin. Do immortals only understand formations, but not feng shui? But that doesn’t make sense. People on Earth who dabble in feng shui always say they’re the disciple of some god, or are a reincarnated god themselves.

    Lu Yun was a bit lost as he listened to Wanfeng’s explanation. The one thing he could be certain of was that the immortals of this world, or its cultivators, wholly ignored feng shui when setting up formations.

    This Enneawyrm Provenance Formation could execute immortals, but at the same time, it ruined the lifepoint of the entire province and washed away its fortunes.

    Lu Yun didn’t feel that a formation master who was well-versed in feng shui would set up such an arrangement. Similarly, someone well-educated in feng shui would absolutely point out the current flaws when he saw such a layout.

    “Eh? What’s that?” Lu Yun subconsciously raised his head because he saw a towering mountain far off in the distance, beyond the city gates.

    Outside of the city’s eastern gate, within a hundred miles of the city proper, was an immense mountain named Mount Carmine Dusk. Lu Yun’s eyes glued themselves to it when he looked at it properly.

    “That looks like… a large tomb?”

    Though he couldn’t examine it in greater detail, its shape looked like the Black Tortoise crouched over a hill. That made it a fantastic location for a tomb.

    If he wasn’t mistaken, that was precisely its purpose, and it wasn’t an ordinary tomb located there either.

    “Immortals die too?” He was flabbergasted.

    “Of course they do,” Wanfeng burst out laughing when she saw her master’s expression.

    Legends spoke of an immortal’s tomb beneath the mountain. This was something that all Dusk citizens knew about.

    “There was a great war a hundred thousand years ago. The sky shattered and the earth fragmented, and the entire immortal world disintegrated into the nine majors, ten lands, and four seas that we have today. It’s said that all of the immortals in the world died in that conflict, which spelled the end of the ancient immortal civilization.

    “There are tombs for immortals like that everywhere in the world now. No one knows who built them.”

    Lu Yun was of no mind to listen to the stories that Wanfeng was painstakingly telling him.

    “There are tombs for immortals all over the world?” His eyes gleamed. He’d found the meaning of life!

    As a tomb raider, he’d become an orphan when his old man passed away after raising him. The only goal he had left in life was raiding tombs, uncovering the truths buried by history, and displaying those hidden secrets to the world.

    He’d pretty much covered all of the tombs on Earth. Now that he was in a world of immortals, it was time to get a taste of theirs!

    Flames of enthusiasm licked at him. As for that Enneawyrm Coffinbearers feng shui? Whatever.

    He wouldn't be the province governor after half a year, so what did that have to do with him?

    A great war between immortals a hundred thousand years ago… did the practice of feng shui also die out during that time?

    Lu Yun’s expression shifted. The best way to understand history is to get into those ancient tombs and excavate forgotten civilizations. Bring it back out into the light of day again!

    He eagerly rubbed his hands. But now’s not the right time. My body’s still a bit weak. Anything I do would be a death sentence, so I need to nurse some more health into this frame, first.

    When his thoughts traveled here, Lu Yun turned and said to Wanfeng, “Ah, yes, cook some more of the soup you served to me just now. Also, bring me some meat.”

    “Alright!” Wanfeng’s eyes lit up upon hearing his orders and she rushed down the tower at a quick jog, heading for the kitchens.

    There weren’t many people left in the governor’s mansion now. Of the few that remained, none of them bothered with Lu Yun. They merely drew their salaries and did nothing, lazily awaiting the arrival of the next governor.

    “What a pity that this body is some sort of dormant bloodline. Otherwise, I could’ve cultivated my way into being an immortal and had some fun as well.” Despondency gripped Lu Yun.

    Night crept up on them unawares. He remained in the Mooncatcher Tower, looking out over Dusk City. After eating and drinking his fill, worries began nagging at him again.

    “The previous owner of this body was a serious bastard! A class-A bastard! Though I’m a tomb raider, a job that goes against the grain of heaven, I profit only off of dead people. I’m still pretty good to the living. But this fellow was thoroughly evil.”

    Beating around the bush to gather information from Wanfeng about his predecessor, Lu Yun felt that he’d be beaten to death as soon as he lost the protection of being province governor. As a vassal of Nephrite Major, he currently enjoyed the major’s protection.

    “Why don’t I run away with Wanfeng? I’ll hide out in the mountains with that pretty little fairy and sire a few children. When I get bored, I can raid some tombs. That seems like a solid plan. I’ll make my getaway after finishing this job!” Plots for the future arose in Lu Yun’s mind as he looked outside the city at the now dark Mount Carmine Dusk.

    “Hmm?” Panic flashed across Lu Yun’s face as his brows furrowed.

    Shadows of nine black dragons slowly arose from the gardens of the manor. Grimacing and brandishing their claws, they pounced at Lu Yun. There was an inky black coffin upon their backs.

    “The feng shui’s materialized as something tangible?” Lu Yun jumped in shock.

    This was a very vicious feng shui layout. The nine wyrms were dragons of extreme yin, and the coffin they carried was also of extreme yin that had collected all of the evil spirits beneath the heavens. It wrecked human fortunes and robbed lifespans.

    Prolonged residence in such a place would destroy families, at best, or end a family line at worst. Compared to that, the Nine Yin Repudiation wasn't even worth mentioning. On Earth, this feng shui layout could only indistinctly affect someone's luck, but the one here was a solid, tangible thing! Whoever lived here would see the end of their family line!

    In all honesty, House Lu was in the final throes of dying out. Just look at how Governor Lu Yun had already died!

    The most important thing was that they were standing on Dusk Province's lifepoint. An Enneawyrm Coffinbearers layout nurtured by the energies of a land's lifepoint? This exceeded the limits of Lu Yun's comprehension.

    “I’m dead without a doubt if this thing pounces on me! No, I won’t die, I’ll turn into a zombie!”

    Lu Yun wanted to run, but he couldn’t move. He could only watch as nine shapes—each roughly a dozen meters long—charged at his body along with the coffin on their backs.

    His eyes rolled up in the back of his head and he fainted dead away.

    Hum.

    Suddenly, an ancient tome of bronze blinked briefly into existence above Lu Yun’s head and devoured the images whole.


    1. This is the ancient Greek suffix for nine, and is something with a historical basis. Legend has it that Warlord Wannu of the Eastern Xia kingdom in the 13th century had nine dragons carved on his coffin. These weren’t stereotypical dragons, but a new kind of dragon created by local minorities. Their bodies resembled that of a snake and they were multi-footed like centipedes. Other venomous bugs also decorated the coffin, which was a perfect octagon. Each point was held up by a dragon, and a final one encircled them all to provide stability. A wyrm is a poetic name for a snake or dragon, particularly without wings. The imagery is a rather nice fit for what’s being described here, and the Chinese dragon in general.