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Chapter 54: An Immutable Rule

Necropolis Immortal
     Lu Yun ran for dear life, an undead monster hot on his heels and the enormous burial mound caving in all around him.

    Wait a second! I can ride on the sword! he suddenly remembered. He’d slowly grown accustomed to the immortal world, but it was still difficult to adapt to his new status as a cultivator. When facing danger, his first reaction was still to use his legs to flee.

    Buzz—

    His figure shone purple as he muttered an incantation, then Violetgrave morphed into rays of sword light that surrounded him, lifted him in the air, and propelled him out of the collapsing tunnel.

    Rather than turning swords into giant surfboards, so-called sword riding consisted of transforming the weapon into light that encircled its owner. When the union of body and sword was achieved, it allowed for near-instantaneous travel across thousands of kilometers.

    Lu Yun himself had no experience with such a maneuver, but both Yuying’s and Feinie’s memories contained high-level sword riding arts. He’d selected one at random and immediately put it to good use.

    “Does he... not need to refine the sword?” murmured the stupefied Qing Han on Lu Yun’s back.

    Violetgrave was a potent weapon that not even he was able to forcibly commandeer, to say nothing of riding on it, yet it had submitted meekly to Lu Yun’s control.

    It seems the sword was meant for him. Qing Han softly bit his lip, lost in thought.

    Boom—

    Behind him, the giant undead hag was forcing her way out of the crumbling tunnel thanks to the sheer size of her unnatural body.

    The ruins of Truewater City were now approaching him. The giant altar still had a dim glow, but the earth below the ancient city was cracked, with half of the city foundations sunken below ground.

    “This burial mound is really falling to pieces!” Hurtling through the air, Lu Yun flew over the ancient city and realized something about his surroundings at the same time.

    I see, so the certain death layout was the pillar supporting the entire burial mound. Losing this core is leading to the destruction of all the other layouts, and the resulting energies are causing the burial mound itself to cave in.

    His expression spoke of a multitude of emotions. The end of the burial mound will also erase the hag’s consciousness; no wonder she’s going batshit insane. Then again, without her consciousness, she’s going to…. He couldn’t keep a shiver from running down his body.

    As long as she was conscious, the hag would forever remain within the confines of the burial mound, protecting her spirit and awaiting a chance at rebirth.

    The typical undead hag was a mindless being, driven purely by the instinct to feed on living creatures. Possessing a self-awareness of her own restrained the actions of this particular specimen, but without it, she would certainly leave the burial mound and rampage through the entire province.

    “Waaarghh!” the hag screeched as she picked up the pace of frenetic pursuit. Gelatinous flesh continuously fragmented from her body, exposing the black skeleton underneath. The only hope for her to survive the destruction of the burial mound was to obtain the resurrection layout from the human.

    Coming back to life was impossible for an undead hag, but such wasn’t the case for the strand of consciousness trapped in the corpse coffin. From the outset, the undead hag had been nothing but the puppet of the mind of her once owner. [1]

    …...

    “We have to destroy that hag!” Lu Yun made up his mind, located the tunnel they’d previously taken, and darted back inside.

    “What are you doing! Come back! There are other tunnels that lead outside!” Miao shouted at the top of his lungs when he noticed the governor was rushing toward the bloodcorpse coffin. In contrast, Yueshen followed Lu Yun without a word.

    “Yueshen, Miao, find a safe passage and leave with Qing Han!” Lu Yun abruptly stopped and let the young man down from his back.

    “No! I’m going with you!” Qing Han bit down on Lu Yun’s ear and refused to let go.

    “Stop it!” Lu Yun was a bit fraught. He whipped a slap onto Qing Han’s butt to get the young man to let go, then callously dumped him onto the ground.

    “Th—the painting you gave me can break the coffin formation. I can help!” Qing Han had realized by now that the blank painting that had suddenly appeared in his possession was the sole reason he was still alive. It used an incomprehensible method to preserve his life and even restore his vitality.

    No one but Lu Yun could’ve given him such a treasure.

    As the hag drew ever closer, Qing Han coughed violently. “I know you’re worried about the hag getting outside and harming others, but your strength alone won’t suffice. The bloodcorpses will eat you raw even without the help of their maggots. Take me with you, I can help!” he rattled off, cheeks red with urgency.

    “Damn it!” Lu Yun clenched his teeth, a little hesitant.

    There was an inviolable rule in all tomb raider sects. One could loot from the dead and plunder their riches, but nothing from the tomb could be allowed to walk free to harm the living.

    Even graverobbers had their own code of ethics!

    In the case that zombies, monsters, or energies harmful to the living were to be unleashed upon those living in the vicinity, the one responsible needed to do everything in their power to limit the damage as best they could. If unsuccessful, they would accompany the victims in death, then be posthumously expelled from the sect.

    Of course, Lu Yun was the only such sect member in this world, but the rules set by his masters were ironclad. Disregarding them was simply unthinkable.

    “Without you, I’d already be dead. I owe you my life.” Seeing Lu Yun’s ugly expression, Qing Han hastened to add, “Take me along. We don’t have much time left!”

    “Yueshen, Miao, you two find another exit. Qing Han and I will be enough,” Lu Yun decided grimly. Since Qing Han’s blank painting could destroy the certain death layout, the bloodcorpse coffin formation would certainly be child’s play as well.

    “Yueshen, I know the bloodcorpse was once a body meant for you, but you can no longer control it now that it’s turned into that thing. Plus, there are somehow nine of them now, since there’s actually one in each coffin!”

    A single snort from her had been enough to scare one of them away, because they were bodies originally meant for her to inhabit. But transforming into bloodcorpses freed them from her authority while inside the coffin formation. Given the chance, they’d even eat her to restore themselves. Hence, though she was unwilling, she ultimately left with Miao.

    …...

    “Waaarghhh!” The undead hag had reached their tunnel by now, half of its flesh worn away from its dark bones. Its black hair seemed to come to life as it snaked toward Lu Yun and Qing Han.

    “Let’s go!” Instead of carrying Qing Han on his back, Lu Yun lifted the young man in his arms while stepping on Violetgrave and taking off into the air. With the hag in hot pursuit, he didn’t want to risk its hair latching onto the imperial envoy.

    “Are you man or woman? Why do you feel even softer than my Wanfeng?” he shouted hoarsely.

    “Now’s not really the time for this, don’t you think?” Qing Han responded weakly. But then he saw the blood seeping from Lu Yun’s wide open eyes. The governor was obviously babbling in an attempt to soothe his frayed nerves.


    1. Remember that Yueshen’s friends and family extracted the mind of the burial mound’s owner and fused it into the corpse coffin, so the owner would get a taste of their own medicine.


    1. Remember that Yueshen’s friends and family extracted the mind of the burial mound’s owner and fused it into the corpse coffin, so the owner would get a taste of their own medicine.