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Chapter 29: Ninefilia Specter Fostering

Necropolis Immortal
     Sunlight had never touched the depths of this burial mound. Tunnels formed by unknown forces were illuminated by the crimson glow of countless corpse flies, painting an eerie and macabre scene.

    “The flies are all second-rank inferior monsters, which makes them as powerful as a core realm cultivator.” Lu Tian stared incredulously at the slumbering flies. “What are these flies? This subordinate has never seen such monsters before.”

    “Corpse flies, only born of zombies that are over a thousand years old.” Lu Yun’s face clouded over. The corpse flies he’d encountered in Yuying’s tomb had only been as big as his thumb. Those had burrowed their way out of a thousand-year-old zombie.

    These flies were much more powerful. They must’ve come from something terrifying, something much worse than an ancient zombie.

    “Wait!” Alarm shifted Lu Tian’s expression. “There’s a consciousness brand on you, master!”

    “What?” Lu Yun tensed. Thanks to Yuying’s experience, he knew that a consciousness brand was a locating art that allowed the user to track its prey. “Qing Hongchen!” he realized without missing a beat.

    It must be the Qing scion. As a qi condensation cultivator, it was impossible for Lu Yun himself to notice the brand.

    “This subordinate will destroy it now, master.” Lu Tian was a true immortal. Destroying a brand planted by a spirit realm cultivator would be as easy as lifting a finger.

    “No need.” Lu Yun shook his head. “Move it to a stone for me.”

    Lu Tian didn’t know what Lu Yun was planning, but he wasn’t going to disobey his master. He attached the brand to the tail of his master’s shirt, then cut off the offending piece of fabric and stuck it to a stone.

    With a conniving smirk, Lu Yun threw the stone into the bottomless pit in front of him.

    “Let’s go!” he cackled, speeding off with Lu Tian.

    “Cunning, what a cunning man,” muttered a faint, disembodied voice in the air. “If I was as cunning as he is, I wouldn’t be here today... eh? But, who am I?”

    The terrain underneath the burial mound was a complicated maze. The mound had patently merged with Truewater City.

    “Fortunately I have some knowledge under my belt, or I’d get lost in the maze.” Lu Yun clucked his tongue. The feng shui layout here was extremely complicated and every part was interconnected. Even an immortal like Lu Tian was feeling out of his depth.

    Nevertheless, Lu Yun was able to calculate the right path and continuously made his way toward the center of the mound.

    “Things would be much easier if I had my compass.” All tomb raiders treasured their feng shui compass, also known as a luopan. His, however, had been left behind on Earth when he was reincarnated. “Hm? What’s that?” Lu Yun abruptly stopped in his tracks.

    A humanoid figure was wobbling its way to him.

    “A zombie!” Lu Yun’s eyes were wide with shock. “A zombie in a burial mound?!”

    That didn’t make sense.

    It was common knowledge that zombies were found in tombs, while burial mounds saw mostly ghosts. His chance of encountering a ghost should be much higher than encountering a zombie, yet here the zombie was, the first thing he’d encountered.

    It stumbled and swayed as it walked, its body tattered and rotten. The marks of decay everywhere indicated that it wasn’t a particularly powerful zombie.

    “Hmph!” With a scoff, Lu Tian decapitated the zombie with a flash of sword energy from his hand. The zombie stumbled a few more steps forward, then collapsed to the ground.

    “What a thick layer of yin energy!” Lu Tian took in a deep breath, then shouted in panic, “It hurts, master. Help me!”

    Gurgle.

    The underworld soldier’s transformation was a sudden one. Rotten patches spread throughout his body. In no time, he’d turned into a bag of poorly pieced together body parts, just like the zombie!

    “Help, master!” A grating voice ground out from his rotten mouth. His cheeks had decomposed, and his eyes fell out of his sockets. “Master, help me!” Lu Tian reached out for Lu Yun.

    “What the hell!” Lu Yun hurriedly dodged to the side.

    “Help, master. It hurts.” Lu Tian stumbled after the governor.

    “He’s dead!” Lu Yun’s stomach lurched.

    Lu Tian was one of Lu Yun’s Infernum, but his name wasn’t in the Tome of Life and Death. Death, for the Infernum, was permanent with no hope of resurrection.

    “He’s dead, and his soul has scattered. His body’s turned into the zombie from earlier.” Lu Yun tamped down his terror and ran.

    “Ha, hahaha! Are you abandoning this subordinate, master?” Lu Tian chased after Lu Yun with an eerie smile.

    “Take him!” Lu Yun threw a soybean behind him. A flash of gold heralded the emergence of a majestic warrior in golden armor.

    “Watch yourself, ghoul! This god will send you to where you should be!” The warrior growled and took a step forward and twisted the zombie’s head off with his bare hands.

    “Hahahaha! Such a weak ghoul—too weak to warrant my attention!” Highly pleased with himself, he threw his head back with laughter even as his body rotted away at a tremendous speed to become a giant zombie.

    “Too… weak… to warrant… my… attention.” He turned to look upon Lu Yun with rotten, unblinking eyes.

    “Disperse!” commanded Lu Yun as he ended his combat art. The giant zombie morphed back into a decomposed soybean and fell to the ground.

    The Dusk governor panted heavily, his back drenched with cold sweat.

    “The zombie wasn’t particularly powerful,” he muttered. “Even I could easily break its neck.”

    Any bean soldier that Lu Yun summoned was only as powerful as he was. If the warrior could easily wring the zombie’s neck, he could too.

    “If I did it myself though, I would also turn into a zombie. What the hell was that?” He searched through his memory and came up with nothing. “It must be a delicacy of the world of immortals.”

    He was probably the only one who could so nonchalantly consider a zombie a local delicacy.

    “Hahaha! Treasure! So much of it! I’m rich, I'm rich!” Loud, penetrating laughter reached Lu Yun’s ear. Li Youcai!

    “That fool is here, too?” With a tight expression, he carefully made his way to the source of the laughter.

    A stone chamber.

    A black coffin, haphazardly surrounded by eight smaller coffins, was in the center of the chamber. Li Youcai’s large body sat on the floor, laughing maniacally while holding a skull in both hands.

    “Ninefilia Specter Fostering,” Lu Yun muttered as he stared past Li Youcai’s shoulders.

    There was a faint white figure perched on Li Youcai’s back, its slender arms covering his eyes. Noticing Lu Yun’s approach, the figure turned and stared unblinkingly at him.