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Chapter 72: Karma

Necropolis Immortal
     Between zombie kings and bloodcorpses, which were stronger?

    Lu Yun wasn’t the only tomb raider who’d ever sought an answer to this age old question. There were stories of bloodcorpses and zombie kings on Earth, but no one had ever seen those mythical entities with their own eyes. Granted, it was equally likely that whoever had had never lived to tell the tale.

    The crimson light on the island thickened, threatening the integrity of Lu Yun’s formation of eight trigrams. If the formation broke, the yin and yang of the island would reverse again and the zombie king would almost instantly drain everyone of their vitality.

    “But...” Feinie hesitated when she realized her master’s intentions.

    “No buts!” ordered Lu Yun. “Just go!”

    “...Understood.” As his Envoy of Samsara, she couldn’t defy his order. She entered the eight trigram formation with the Yang Formation Orb, the power of which stabilized the deteriorating arrangement.

    Lu Yun remained rooted to the spot, fervent curiosity on his face. His eyes were fixed on the battle between the nine bloodcorpses and the zombie king. There would be a winner between them today that would give a definitive answer to that question.

    The bloodcorpses morphed into bloody shadows and struck at the zombie king from nine different directions. Meanwhile, the zombie girl was now entirely crimson in color, terrifying viciousness and bloodlust having replaced the serenity in her eyes. Her long black hair was also dyed red as it snaked in the wind.

    She still hadn’t moved an inch, but had remained on the spot and gestured with her hands, summoning black shadows to block the bloodcorpses. She suddenly took a sideways step to allow a bloodcorpse to pass, landing a palm on its shoulder and scattering its form into a bloody mist as it flew past her.

    Though it quickly regathered itself in midair, its color had faded somewhat.

    “She’s too strong, milord,” Yueshen weakly transmitted. “I can’t win.”

    Although she remained hidden, it was she who’d been controlling the bloodcorpses. Essentially, it was her fighting the zombie king, and that blow from the zombie king had damaged her spirit.

    “Release your control and allow the bloodcorpses to fight on their own,” ordered Lu Yun. The bloodcorpses had no consciousness, only instinct. With Yueshen directing them, her control had suppressed their instincts and weakened their power.

    “Alright!” Clenching her jaw, Yueshen withdrew her consciousness.

    Roar!

    The nine bloodcorpses lifted their heads and howled like wild beasts. The entire island trembled in response, and the waters of the Dusk River boiled over. The crowds of corpses that had crawled ashore fled back into the water, terrified. The black skull of malice hovering above the island also violently scattered like smoke.

    Bloodcorpses now fully off the leash, the shadow of blood around them also transformed into crimson light and clashed with the zombie king’s aura. They vanished on the spot. When they reappeared next, they were already grappling with the zombie king, their teeth sunk into the girl’s flesh!

    The girl’s expression descended through various degrees of monstrous horror as fangs erupted in her mouth to retaliate in kind.

    The ten monsters on the island raged completely out of control, and their respective auras grew ever more blood-chilling. Even the Path of Ingress was shaken from its post of suppressing the Dusk River and was bobbing up and down along with the water.

    Lu Yun retreated unsteadily and tongues of black flame darted out of every pore on his skin. The power fluxes around him grew unsteady and chaotic.

    Under the devastating onslaught of the terrible crimson light from the ten monsters, the combination of malice, extreme yin, presence of death, and all other evil forces in the air transmuted into something entirely different. This thing was invisible and intangible, yet omnipresent in all matter.

    Karma.

    Karma didn’t deal direct damage to anyone or anything, but the weightier the bad karma that was attributed to a cultivator, the more powerful their heavenly tribulations became. In fact, if their sins reached a certain point, a heavenly tribulation would descend even if the cultivator’s level of strength didn’t warrant one.

    Lying unconscious on the island, the bodies of the three immortals should’ve transcended those of others in this world and been free of all impurities. However, a sweep of karma across their beings left a trace of black qi, contaminating their bodies like maggots burrowing into dead flesh.

    Thick tribulation clouds quickly enveloped the small island as a result of this dense concentration, bringing crackling lightning and howling thunder. Mo Yi, Qing Han, and Feinie gaped at the sky, color draining from their faces.

    The power of this lightning tribulation exceeded comprehension. If it hit the island, everything on it would be smote to ashes, the island included. No matter how evil and terrifying the bloodcorpses and zombie king were, they would still be crushed under the might of heaven and earth.

    “Karma…. Ah, I understand now,” Lu Yun muttered as he stared at the blanket of bad karma. His eyes and body were afire with black flames; in fact, it looked like his very being was composed of fire. He closed his eyes and extended his arms into the air, then... began devouring the manifestation of karma on the island, creating an enormous vortex above his head.

    Jaws dropped from his three overwhelmed companions within the protection of the formation of eight trigrams.

    Whoosh!

    The fire within Lu Yun’s body burned ever more intensely, refining karma into true qi and incorporating it into his being. The qi in his body circulated at a mad speed, and his cultivation progressed exponentially.

    Burn away karma with the fires of hell!

    There was a divine fire beneath the eighteenth level of hell that consumed karma, weakened destiny, and cleansed heaven and earth—that was the true nature of the fire in Lu Yun’s body!

    Induced by the large amount of karma on the island, hellfire spontaneously exploded and cleansed away sins, transforming the bad karma into Lu Yun’s qi. As the karma on the island gradually dissipated, so too did the tribulation clouds in the sky.

    Black lightning crackled around Lu Yun. When he next opened his eyes, his black gaze reached several meters away. A black core slowly coalesced within his dantian like a miniature black sun, floating above the Tome of Life and Death.

    Golden core realm!

    The tremendous power he’d absorbed by burning all of the karma on the island had pushed him into the core realm. A death art emerged from the tome and entered Lu Yun’s consciousness.

    Judgement of Life or Death.

    Levying one instance of judgement would determine if his enemies lived or died.

    The bloodcorpses and zombie king were still locked in combat. The ripples caused by the ascension of a qi transformation cultivator were too weak to attract their attention, and even the dissipation of karma hadn’t disturbed disturb them at all.

    The only thing they wanted was to devour each other!

    “It’s past noon. The island’s going to sink, now.” The slight tremor that Lu Yun had sensed beneath his feet made his stomach lurch.