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Chapter 30: The Ninefilia Specter

Necropolis Immortal
     Ninefilia Specter Fostering!

    Legends spoke of special ghosts created when nine maidens, born on a yin hour of a yin day in a yin month during a yin year, were buried alive together in a mother-coffin and eight child-coffins. They weren’t ghosts, in the usual sense, but extraordinarily evil specters that killed without discrimination.

    Lu Yun had only read about this technique in the annals of his sect, but had never seen this utterly repulsive ghost breeding method in practice.

    “So ghosts really do exist?!”He reflexively cried out in astonishment when the white figure behind Li Youcai looked at him.

    Holding a pile of skulls and giggling mindlessly, the fatty abruptly jerked to seriousness. “Who goes there? What is it!” On high alert, he stood up and scanned all around him.

    Two hands stretched out from the white shadow and covered his ears.

    “Oh, it’s just a large rat. Strange, why’s there a rat in here?” grumbled Li Youcai. His bulky frame plopped back down, grabbed another skull in a tight hug, and resumed his silly laughter.

    “Well, we’re in a world full of gods and immortals, so what’s so strange about a ghost?” Lu Yun murmured placatingly as he observed the white shadow.

    A female voice drifting from place to place reached his ears. “Who are you?” A face, very pretty but bloodlessly pale, poked out from behind his head.

    “You dare come so close to me, hmm?” Lu Yun smiled coldly. The black fire inside his dantian gently jumped.

    “Ahhh—” A miserable scream echoed in the air. He turned around to see a girl of around seventeen years old crouching on the ground, trembling. Her figure was dainty, and though her features were charming, her face was fully devoid of blood. Her body was also semi-transparent.

    A ghost!

    It was Lu Yun’s first time seeing one, but there was no doubt as to this girl’s nature.

    “I have no power over existences like zombies that exist outside of the three realms and five elements… but how dare a mere ghost like you approach me?” Black flames ignited within his eyes. These tongues of fire were the bane of every ghost in the world.

    “Mercy, mercy!” The young girl knelt on the ground and kowtowed repeatedly.

    Strangely enough, Lu Yun could still see the white shadow behind Li Youcai. Her face was also ashen with fright.

    Ninefilia Specter… Nine girls of extreme yin refined into a single entity! It’s a single body with nine souls! Lu Yun took a deep breath. “Who created you?”

    The girl looked up blankly and shook her head.

    “You don’t know anything?” Lu Yun frowned slightly.

    “I’ve been here ever since I became aware of the world,” the girl answered pitifully.

    “Have you met the others?” Lu Yun continued to probe.

    The girl nodded.

    “Where are they?” But he laughed wryly as soon as he asked. “No need to answer, I think I know where they’ve gone.”

    It was obvious from the mess of skulls and bones scattered on the ground that she’d killed them all. If not for his arrival, the fat Li Youcai would likely have soon perished as well, his yang energy absorbed by the girl.

    The girl pouted and sulked, “I’m so cold. I can only warm myself by absorbing the yang energy from the living.”

    “You might as well come with me,” Lu Yun offered, his eyes shining bright.

    “Mercy please, my lord!” The ghost prostrated herself again. “I’ll die the moment I set foot outside this place.”

    “Do you still feel cold now that you’re around me?” Lu Yun smiled.

    The girl blinked in surprise, then shook her head. Ever since his arrival, the soul-penetrating chill that had always seemed to surround her had vanished without a trace.

    Lu Yun waved his hand.

    Rumble! Whoosh!

    A haunting wind arose as the phantasmal Gates of the Abyss opened.

    The girl froze on the spot. A look of intense, urgent longing floated onto her face. The underworld behind the gates was the final destination for every departed soul. Only there could they be finally reincarnated.

    Hum— A formless power sucked the nine coffins within the stone chamber inside the gates.

    These coffins were the foundation of the girl’s existence. If they were destroyed, she would perish along with them, so the safest place to stow them was within the gates.

    “Stay by my side from now on,” declared Lu Yun. “What is your name?”

    “My lord, my name is Yueshen.” The girl leapt up from the ground, excitement plain on her pale face.

    “Yueshen… Can you control that fatty?” Lu Yun asked.

    “Yes!” Yueshen nodded, but then shook her head. “I can make him see what I want him to see, but I can’t control his will.”

    “That’s enough.” Lu Yun grinned mischievously. “Make him follow me.”

    “Wow! So much treasure! Gods above, I’m rich! So rich!” With a shriek, the fatty stood up and followed Lu Yun, his face feverish with excitement as he rubbed his hands together.

    ……

    “Huh. The kid carried off the ‘immortal ghost’ nurtured in this place,” a voice whispered softly in the air after Lu Yun and Yueshen’s departure. “It looks like he opened a pair of gates just a moment ago. I wonder where they lead.”

    Humans become ghosts when they die, and immortals become immortal ghosts when they die. The ghost of an ordinary mortal would never dare approach an immortal one.

    Only an immortal ghost could delude a living immortal and absorb his vitality. This particular Ninefilia Specter Fostering art hadn’t used ordinary mortals, but nine female immortals of extreme yin instead.

    ……

    “My lord, ‘It’ was here just now.” Yueshen’s dainty figure floated beside Lu Yun.

    “Who?” the latter asked in surprise.

    “I don’t know who ‘It’ is, nor can I see ‘It,’ but I can feel ‘Its’ presence. ‘It’ came with you just now.”

    Horrified goosebumps popped up on Lu Yun’s skin in response to her words. Something had followed him inside this enormous burial mound, yet he hadn’t sensed it at all?

    “Is that thing still here?” he asked after taking a deep breath.

    “Not anymore. It’s gone,” answered Yueshen.

    Lu Yun sighed in relief. “Do you know what it is?” His eyes narrowed.

    Yueshen shook her head.

    “Fine, then do you know where I can find a treasure called the Formation Orb?”

    That item was the entire purpose of his trip. As the local boss, Yueshen should be aware of its location. But again, she merely stared blankly at him.

    “In that case, take me to the heart of this place.” He changed tactics instead after seeing her reaction. If there were indeed treasures inside a great tomb like this, they were most likely grave goods. Such items were usually found at the center of the tomb.

    “Okay… But that place is very dangerous. That thing following you earlier probably comes from there, my lord,” Yueshen said after a moment’s hesitation.

    “Oh?” Lu Yun’s heart beat fiercely. “All the better. Let’s find out what was following me.”

    Danger? Was tomb raiding ever devoid of danger?

    Li Youcai’s figure mindlessly followed behind Lu Yun, saliva drooling from his mouth and one of Yueshen’s specters on his back.

    ……

    “Why do the tunnels here feel vaguely familiar?” Lu Yun’s brows furrowed a few minutes later. Despite the nagging feeling of familiarity, he was dead certain he’d never set foot inside this tomb before. “Strange, what’s going on here?”

    The number of corpse flies on the walls decreased with every step, and the ambient light was dimming by the second when the sparkling, undulating waters of a great lake came into view.

    “Lu Yun—” A voice brimming with rage reached his ears before he could fully take in the sight. Qing Han’s livid face appeared out of nowhere. “Li Youcai, you’re here as well? Wonderful, isn’t this just fabulous!”