Eighteen miles away, there was a valley that was the feng shui’s weak point. There was no telling how long the layout had existed here. It’d likely nurtured creatures both strange and bizarre to defend that weak point. At the same time, the Duality of Dragon and Tiger was a grand formation. The location Lu Yun had pointed out was also the formation’s weak point.
Everyone held their breath as they watched the city lord haltingly set off in the direction the governor directed him to.
“Ah, right!” Lu Yun slapped his forehead. “I forgot to tell him something.”
Just then, the city lord, who hadn’t yet walked too far, turned around and opened his mouth, like he was talking to someone. And then—
His head detached from his neck and hit the ground. Blood geysered into the sky and the headless body wavered, then toppled over like a log.
“Didn’t I tell him not to talk?” Lu Yun scratched the back of his head. “Don’t think so.”
No one answered him. The group was overcome with shock. The city lord had died so suddenly, seemingly without any reason at all. No one knew how his head had just fallen off like that.
“How did that happen?” Master Thirteenth stared dumbly at the body and murmured, “Did he step into a formation? But I didn’t sense any ripples of activation.”
“This was my oversight.” Lu Yun frowned slightly. “I thought he would be fine walking in a straight line with his eyes closed, but who would’ve thought the fool would talk to the thing in the formation instead!”
“The thing in the formation? Is there something else here?” Master Thirteenth frowned deeply and snapped, “What’s going on here? Talk!”
“Rank thirteen in all of Nephrite Major, you said, Master Formation Thirteenth!” Lu Yun locked eyes with the vaunted master. “Do you not realize that we’re already in a formation? The valley I pointed out is the key to breaking it, which will allow us entrance into the burial mound.”
The formation he spoke of was the Duality of Dragon and Tiger. However, that was the feng shui layout, and Lu Yun didn’t know its formation name. What surprised him was that while he was able to clearly discern the feng shui, Formation Thirteenth—supposedly the top of the pack of Nephrite Major—had failed to recognize the corresponding formation.
“Charlatan,” Lu Yun muttered under his breath.
“I—!” Thirteenth’s face flushed red. “Of course I can tell this is a formation, but when he died, there was no sign of it being activated!”
“That’s because you’re a bumpkin.” Lu Yun unceremoniously pointed at the Skyriver city lord. “You, make your way to the valley. Don’t speak. Don’t turn around. Don’t stop until you’re there.”
The formation master grit his teeth, wanting nothing more than to murder Lu Yun on the spot. However, Qing Hongchen shook his head slightly to prevent rash actions.
“Why don’t you go yourself?” The city lord’s expression tightened. “Are you trying to get me killed, then take my fiance afterward?”
Her expression darkening, Mo Yi bit her lip without a word.
“Oh, fiance? Interesting.” Qing Hongchen could tell the city lord had beef with Lu Yun, but he didn’t expect there to be such a scandal.
“Oh? Fiance, you say?” Lu Yun smiled faintly. “The prefect arranged the marriage for you. If he was able to marry off the Duskwater city lord, then I, as governor of the province, should have the right to annul the engagement.”
“You!” The city lord spat out. “You and I will be enemies until the end of time if you steal my wife! Besides, you only have half a year left in your term. You have no right to annul the engagement!”
Lu Yun turned to Li Youcai with a smile. “Tell him if I have the right to, Li Youcai.”
The prefect glowered without a word of response. Lu Yun had betrothed a male pig to him! Even now, the pig was having the time of its life in his manor.
“Fine. Since you want me to go, then I’ll go myself.” Lu Yun didn’t want to waste his breath arguing with the city lord.
It was ludicrous for Li Youcai to betroth Mo Yi to the Skyriver city lord, anyway. However, she’d been unable to resist, despite being an august immortal. That told Lu Yun that things weren’t as simple as they seemed.
No matter how complicated the truth was, however, everything would be resolved as long as the Skyriver city lord and Li Youcai died here.
“No, not you!” Qing Hongchen rushed out. Lu Yun seemed to be in his element here. If he went, he might escape from Qing Hongchen’s control. The Qing scion pointed at Ge Long, who’d been by Lu Yun’s side all along. “You go.”
“What should this old servant watch out for, milord?” Ge Long cast Lu Yun a pitiful look.
“Well...” Lu Yun scratched his head. “Don’t eat too much.”
“Understood!” responded Ge Long. He gleefully skipped toward the valley.
“Don’t eat too much?” The Qing brothers shared a confused look.
“Ha! I thought there was something haunting this place, but it turns out it’s a delicious snack. Take my Flying Head Technique!” Ge Long suddenly yelled from his position in the southeast. Under everyone’s horrified looks, he took off his own head and flung it with great force.
“Is he—is he a man or a ghost??” Li Youcai blurted out in shock, rubbing his eyes hard.
Lu Yun clapped his hand to his forehead. The old servant always lost control, like a horse ripping free of its reins, whenever he saw something made of negative or yin energy.
“A ghost...” Qing Han muttered woodenly.
“Actually, that’s not his head,” Lu Yun said seriously. “That’s his treasure, it just looks like a human head. ...hmm? What are you doing, Mo Yi? What are you grabbing my head for?”
He plucked Mo Yi’s delicate hand off his head and brushed his tousled hair. She’d gripped Lu Yun’s hair and pulled upward, checking whether his head was detachable as well.
“Good.” Mo Yi let go with a sigh of relief. “You’re normal.”
“Of course I am,” Lu Yun grunted, annoyed.
A strong vibration came from some distance away, followed by Ge Long’s delighted cheers. “Hahaha! Milord, this old servant has finally ascended to the core realm! Oh? An even tastier meal’s coming! Yum-yum don’t go, here I come!”
Another raucous cheer marked his chase. The fellow had completely forgotten about Lu Yun’s order.
The governor cleared his throat. “Well, this old servant of mine has been practicing the Flying Head Technique. He’s able to use his own head as a treasure and devour creatures of yin energy. There are all kinds of techniques in the vast world of immortals.”
He turned to Qing Hongchen with great ‘sincerity’. “Surely you’ve heard of this method, fifth young master?”
“Hm?” After a pause, Qing Hongchen blinked and laughed knowingly. “Of course, of course. I’ve read about such a method in historical texts. There was indeed a Flying Head Technique in the ancient immortal world.” He flushed red and quieted down, unable to weave any more lies.
Qing Han snorted derisively.
“Alright, whatever was in the formation has been scared away by my servant. Now we can make our way to the valley. Remember, you mustn’t speak, stop walking, or open your eyes.” Without giving the others any time to think, Lu Yun set off. “Let’s go.”