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Chapter 31: Corpsefish

Necropolis Immortal
     Lu Yun’s pupils dilated slightly. He was both surprised, and not surprised, that Qing Han was here. The thing responsible for the illusions had followed Lu Yun to the stone chamber that Yueshen resided in. Naturally, the illusions at the entrance would be broken.

    What caught him off guard were the seven men following Qing Han.

    There were seven city lords in Duskwater Prefecture. Mo Yi had stayed outside, and two of them had died in the Duality of Dragon and Tiger. Only two of them had remained by Qing Han’s side. The other five in the group were unfamiliar faces, and they were all immortals.

    “A transportation portal?” The answer easily came to Lu Yun.

    His command token was one such portal. He was able to instantly summon the Dusk Phalanx from thousands of kilometers away, so it only made sense for such an important noble scion to possess something similar.

    However, such portals had strict limitations. Only those marked by the portals could be transported. For example, Lu Yun could only summon Yin Xuantian and his soldiers with his token.

    Qing Han and his followers were a bedraggled mess. Clearly, they had encountered a great many dangers earlier. The imperial envoy’s eyes blazed with fury when they settled on Lu Yun and Li Youcai.

    “Your Excellency, Sir Prefect, it’s been a while!” he spat at the two men.

    It’d been Lu Yun’s betrayal outside that prompted Li Youcai to follow suit, which had landed Qing Han in perilous circumstances.

    “Should I take care of them, my lord?” Yueshen asked faintly when she sensed their hostility.

    Lu Yun shook his head. “No need.”

    “Who are you talking to?” Qing Han blurted out, suspicious and on guard.

    “No one.” Lu Yun shook his head. “You misheard.”

    The Tome of Life and Death gave him control over reincarnation, and allowed Lu Yun to see the entities of another world, such as spirits, demigods, ghosts, and specters. No other living beings—not even immortals—would be able to see Yueshen unless she wanted them to.

    “Cut your dramatics, junior!” exclaimed an immortal in red beside Qing Han. There was a slight tremor to his voice, betraying the fear lodged deep in his heart.

    “Did you encounter the zombies?” Lu Yun said with a frown apropos of nothing.

    At this moment, an exceedingly mournful voice came from behind them. “Sir Qing Han, Sir Envoy, this subordinate has sworn to serve you. Why did you abandon me?”

    A figure wobbled toward them. With an eerie smile, he opened his arms wide, seemingly here to claim Qing Han’s life. Judging from his clothes, he was a Duskwater city lord.

    “This subordinate feels awful, sir. Please help me!”

    “Sir Qing Han!”

    “Help, young sir!” About a dozen zombies walked out of the tunnel.

    They all wore clothes similar to the garb of Qing Han’s five immortals, which clearly marked them as part of the cultivators the envoy had summoned here. Apparently, almost all of them had met with an untimely demise.

    Qing Han’s clouded face turned as white as a sheet. He backed away and demanded loudly, “Are—are you still alive?!”

    But the zombies kept repeating the same phrases: the last words they uttered before their deaths.

    “Run!” The two surviving city lords exchanged a glance. Swords suddenly manifested beneath their feet and they dashed toward the small lake behind them.

    Splash.

    Something broke through the peaceful surface of the waters. One after another, pale arms shot out of the lake and grabbed the two city lords as they flew past, dragging them into the water. Their tortured screams rang and echoed in the small space.

    “What—what is that?” Qing Han yelped.

    “Ghost Yanking Feet,” Lu Yun said in a steely voice. It was a vicious feng shui layout aimed to kill. Back on Earth, many good swimmers still ended up drowning for no apparent reason. They were all victims of the Ghost Yanking Feet.

    He hadn’t expected such a terrible feng shui layout to lay hidden in this small lake. The layout he knew could only create currents in water to drown people. Here, however, it had physically manifested.

    With his knowledge of formations, he could tell that the feng shui layout corresponded to a trapping formation. The pale arms had formed a trapping formation before they’d approached the city lords, immobilizing them. Otherwise they wouldn’t have been caught so easily.

    “Ghost Yanking Feet?” the immortal in red asked nervously. “Do those heads in the lake belong to ghosts?”

    “Heads?” After a pause, Lu Yun took a closer look at the lake. Every hair on his body bristled with horror.

    Hundreds of bleached white human heads were floating in the rippling lake. Their crimson eyes stared unblinkingly at the intruders ashore. The arms dragging the city lords down were their hair!

    “Corpsefish!” Lu Yun cried out. “Those who die an untimely death in water never resolve their grievances, so their bodies never decompose. Once they’re eaten by fish, the fish grow a human face, inheriting the grievances of the dead and seeking living souls as a replacement.”

    It was said that such fish were responsible for the first instance of Ghost Yanking Feet.

    “There are at least hundreds of them. How many people have died prematurely in this lake?!”

    There had to be immense unresolved grievances for a body to not rot, and the body had to be untouched by light of the greatest yang—the sun. No matter how vicious the spirits were, as long as there was sunlight, the bodies would rot.

    Every single one of the fish had devoured the resentful injustices of a corpse for it to grow a human face.

    Splash!

    One of them swam ashore, its pale arms reaching out for Lu Yun and the others from the top of its head. Terrified, they hurriedly moved away from the lakeside.

    “Sir, young master!” The zombies had gotten close, grabbing at Qing Han.

    “What should we do?!” yelled an immortal. He was at his breaking point.

    Qing Han gnashed his teeth and growled, “Throw the zombies into the lake!”

    “That’s right! The zombies are creepy, but they aren’t that strong. We’ll throw them into the water!” The immortal suffering a mental breakdown rushed a zombie and hurled it toward the lake. However, he screamed as soon as he touched it. His body quickly rotted and assimilated into a zombie himself, falling to the ground.

    Hearts sank.

    All the color had drained from Qing Han’s face, and Lu Yun felt a knot in his stomach. Anyone who touched one of the zombies would become one of them. What manner of monsters were these?!

    “Allow me.” A cool voice came out of nowhere. A scenic panorama slowly unfolded, allowing a beauty to stride onto the scene. Dressed in white, her long hair framed a frosty expression on her face.

    Whoosh!

    Emerald fire blazed, instantly reducing the zombies coming their way to ashes.

    Yuying landed beside Lu Yun and bowed slightly. “Sir.”

    Lu Yun sighed in relief. “Turns out fire is the zombies’ bane. You did well.”

    “Thank you for the compliment, sir.” Yuying’s lips curved into a joyful smile, driving away the heavy atmosphere of the terrible burial mound.

    “That’s Emerald Mistfire,” muttered Qing Han.