As soon as the three august immortals had landed on the island, they felt a sudden change in their surroundings. Mountains of corpses and seas of blood assaulted their senses, and an endless swarm of zombies lunged at them.
“What’s going on?!” Scowling, Qi Shenghui gathered his power and warily scanned the surroundings.
“They aren’t real zombies, but attacks from a combat art!” As a formation master, Qin Xianhuo’s consciousness was more powerful than the consciousnesses of Situ Yun and Qi Shenghui and he immediately traced the changes to their source. “That woman is a powerful immortal. This is all her doing!”
His eyes blazed with avarice. “She activated the Formation Orb and created the terrifying formations on the riverbank. Ignore the zombies and kill the woman. Take the orb!”
At the center of the killing field stood a tranquil girl in white. Soft, windswept hair danced by the sides of her face, framing eyes that were now fully open. A fleeting trace of melancholy flashed through the violent crimson of her gaze. She seemed rather out of place amidst the gory battlefields of zombies and blood.
The combination of everything in the scene constantly hammered at the minds of the three august immortals.
“Kill!” shouted Situ Yun as he manifested a pair of rose-gold hammers. Thunder and lightning roared around the twin weapons as they rapidly expanded to the size of small mountains and hurtled toward the girl, flickering with golden light.
Meanwhile, Qi Shenghui and Qin Xianhuo also manifested their weapons of thunder and lightning. In the span of a breath, enormous bolts of lightning gyrated frenetically over the island in wild, fearsome capers while thunder clamored in a crackling din overhead. The terrible light of blood was diminished, and the zombies and gory illusions faded. Thunder and lightning could restrain all evil, and the zombie king’s combat arts were no exception.
Suddenly, the young woman opened her mouth and let out a piercing shriek. The scattered crimson light instantaneously reformed, morphing into tidal waves of blood that slammed into the incoming hammers.
Rose-golden thunder exploded and the two hammers bounced back, flying toward Situ Yun.
“No!” He widened his eyes and drew in a quick breath, inflating his body like an enormous toad. His arms grew exponentially thicker and burst through the armor plates covering them.
He extended his arms to catch the giant hammers, lightning flashing and crackling around his body. The tremendous impact sent him flying backward, almost depositing him in the Dusk River.
The corners of his eyes and the flesh between his thumbs and index fingers exploded, scattering pearls of blood.
The river behind him boiled over. Enhanced by an unknown force, the layout of one potential broke through the restraints applied by the Path of Ingress. Bodies upon bodies emerged from the water and climbed onto the island.
“Get away!” Situ Yun’s chest heaved violently like giant bellows. He adjusted his grip around the hammers and spun them at the river in a sweeping motion. Lightning coursed through the riverbank, sweeping the corpses back into the water.
“Once more!” he yelled. His body had now tripled in size and was wreathed by furious flashes of lightning. He looked like a warrior born out of heavenly thunder.
Leaping into the air, he slammed into the girl at high velocity. She slowly lifted her head, two explosive beams of crimson light shooting out of her eyes to block him.
Qin Xianhuo and Qi Shenghui made their next moves as well. The armored warrior rushed at the young woman spear-first, while Qin Xianhuo took out several disks to set up formations.
“She can’t move from where she is!” Lu Yun happened to notice the peculiarities about her condition while the zombie king fought the three august immortals. He activated his Spectral Eye and closely observed her.
Lightning and thunder furiously tangled with bloody light, and harrowing combat art clashed upon combat art. The monstrous shockwaves resulting from the clashes were almost enough to remake the entire island. At the same time, the corpses that Situ Yun had thrown back into the river lurched up again and rejoined the fray.
However, a bubble of peace existed beneath the five formation disks, thoroughly unaffected by the fight outside. The four formation disks synergized with the disk of yin and yang that Lu Yun had created, forming a great formation of the eight trigrams that isolated the area and countered the power of the tomb.
The formations of opposing forces on them had been personally created by Feinie. Although her current cultivation level was only at true immortal as of now, her mastery over formations was much more impressive. With the help of the Gates of the Abyss and the Formation Orb, the formations she etched could now rival those she’d set up in her peak.
“There’s still a trace of death about her. She remains one step away from becoming a real zombie king!” Lu Yun could tell that the girl was at a delicate tipping point.
For a zombie to resurrect and piece together its soul, it required a great deal of life essence and yang energy to offset the energy of death wreathed about it. Even a little hint of death would prevent the zombie from forming its new soul.
The tomb had emerged at the peak of yang energy so the girl could absorb it to drive out death. Once she cleansed herself and formed a soul, she would become a true zombie king.
With the endless supply of yang energy streaming into her body, there was only an indiscernible trace of death left within her—her soul was almost complete. She was one step away from returning to life!
In fact, she was in the midst of an evolution process. This was why she couldn’t move, and why she couldn’t directly attack the intruders. Otherwise, she would make quick work of even three golden immortals, let alone three august immortals.
“Even if she’s not a zombie king yet, she’s at least still a zombie. No wonder she destroyed my black donkey’s hoof first.” Realization flashed through Lu Yun’s eyes.
A zombie king would kill everything in its way and was the one thing tomb raiders dreaded the most. He wouldn’t allow one to be born in the weakened and poor Dusk Province.
“You two stay here and don’t move!” Lu Yun turned to Qing Han. His clear, chilling gaze sent a slight tremor down Qing Han’s spine.
The imperial envoy nodded.
Lu Yun stepped out of the formation of eight trigrams and made his way to the girl at the center of the island.
Boundless crimson light and tremendous shockwaves assaulted him, but a faint white glow kept them all at bay—the Formation Orb. He’d opened the Gates of the Abyss to channel the power that Feinie was sending him through the Formation Orb. Such was the white light protecting him.
Blinding crimson light rippled around the zombie king, countering the attacks from the three august immortals. The rose-gold lightning and Qing Xianhuo’s formations were all crushed by the crimson light.
Moreover, she activated the layouts of one potential, two principles, and three essentials through her Formation Orb.
Under the formations’ might, the three august immortals had to struggle to even move a muscle. If not for the thunder-attribute weapons they possessed, they would’ve long lost their ability to fight.
White flame burned outside of Lu Yun’s body as he approached the girl through the crimson light. With Spectral Eye activated, he observed closely and finally found the trace of death hovering between the girl’s eyebrows.
“As long as there’s death present, you’re still a regular zombie… I can kill you with a powerful black donkey’s hoof.” Black flame burned strongly in his eyes as he deployed the Tome of Life and Death to its limits and forged a path through the bloody light.
Finally, he came face to face with the girl.