“Um... what’s wrong?” Lu Yun smiled wryly. Why did Qing Han seem completely different in the darkness? He said not a word and refused to let Lu Yun touch him. At least the noteworthy power he sensed from Qing Han had allowed him to relax somewhat.
His friend wasn’t hurt.
Clad in darkness, Qing Han quietly put a protective barrier around Lu Yun with the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals.
The governor was able to walk in this darkness because of the hellfire around him, obscuring his vitality and preventing the creatures of the dark from sensing him. Out of urgent concern for Qing Han earlier, he’d dismissed some of the fire and allowed some vitality to seep out. That had alerted the creatures of his presence and prompted a frenzied attack.
Qing Han destroyed them with the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals, her forehead breaking out into a sweat.
“Take me to the underwater palace!” Lu Yun suddenly said to Qing Han. Though they couldn’t see anything right now, the strong memory skills of a cultivator pointed out the general direction of the palace to them. A moving cloud of sweet fragrance was the precursor to Qing Han slowly moving to the desired destination.
“Smells so good,” the governor said without thinking. “It’s sweet, like your breath. Did you eat something?”
When Qing Han once again refrained from responding, Lu Yun had no choice but to drop the conversation.
There was such a large swarm of dark creatures here that Qing Han struggled to force his way out, despite having the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals to tear through them.
Feinie’s formation for directing the incense had been broken a long time ago. The scent of the Divine Lure had wafted about and attracted dark creatures from all directions, which was why the two of them had to deal with so many now.
And despite being stomped flat, the current river god was still alive. She was tightly clutching the incense in the formation and refusing to move, shrieking and wailing as the monster behind her unfeelingly dragged her back.
Something in the vicinity of the underwater palace seemed to be keeping the creatures at bay. They roared and wreaked havoc, and even tore into each other, but none of them approached the palace. This was the territory of something so much worse.
“Stay here and don’t move,” Lu Yun said, then made his way to the palace.
Qing Han nodded silently. She knew he was headed to the palace to awaken the previous river god so that they could defeat the monsters here. That river god had easily driven the monster back into the earth with her brass spear, so she must be capable of driving away the rest of the dark creatures.
After a pause, Qing Han shifted the power of starstone she’d applied to the scroll back to herself, disguising her true form again.
“This is it now. This will determine if we can make it out alive.” Lu Yun approached the previous river god and laid a hand on her desiccated body. With a single thought, he collected the corpsefish and the spear, then immediately entered the Gates of the Abyss.
“Milord!” Yueshen hurried to Lu Yun upon his entrance, her expression panicked. The nine bloodcorpses were huddled in a pile of quivering fear. There was something else here, a consciousness that nattered incessantly. It belonged to the giant undead hag, but was an incomplete. It had neither spirit nor soul, which caused it to wander around in an aimless fog.
Lu Yun couldn’t be bothered with it.
“Where is this place, milord?” Yueshen asked with trepidation. “It’s terrible. I feel like something can kill me at any second.”
“You feel that as well?” Lu Yun asked in surprise. According to Qing Han, the abyss was a burial pit for the divine race. Yueshen, on the other hand, was an immortal ghost...
Shen, as in the character for god?
Realization struck him. “You’re a divine too?”
Yueshen was at a loss. She remembered nothing about her past but her own name.
“That must be it.” Her being a divine would explain everything. The burial pit was here for a reason, and the power beneath the abyss had likely also factored into why Yueshen had turned into a ghost, rather than return to life.
The thing beneath the abyss can kill divines. I wonder if the river god will be able to deal with it once she resurrects.
Lu Yun had all the time in the world to think, now that he’d entered the gates. Time was halted outside, comparatively speaking. Even if he stayed here for hundreds of millions of years, he’d return to the same point in time once he left. Thus, he wasn’t worried that the palace monster would break free after he’d collected the body of the river god.
However, the monster intimidated even the dark creatures that the divines had been corrupted into; it was no ordinary monster.
“There’s nothing for it, I have to try! If the river god can’t help us, we’ll die no matter what! Third Envoy of Samsara, seek your place!” Lu Yun exclaimed.
A black light radiated from Lu Yun, and the faint shadow of a book rose from his body.
Crack crack crack.
The enormous corpsefish cracked open like a cocoon, allowing the mermaid to slowly step out. Her eyes gradually fluttered open, revealing the depths of an ocean in her gaze. Long, crystal-blue hair flowed around her, matching the color of her tail. She looked like a piece of fine art, sculpted from crystal.
“Xuanxi, third Envoy of Samsara, greets master.” She swept down in a graceful curtsey.
Lu Yun rubbed his nose. Just like Yuying, Xuanxi had resurrected without any clothes. What set her apart was the fish tail that made up her lower body. Noting her nakedness, the new envoy manifested a downy-blue silk robe with a light wave of her hand, covering her curves.
Is this corpsefish the one that rampaged through the Dusk River and ate the thirty-six golden immortals? Lu Yun stared at the corpsefish on the ground. The river god had come back to life, but that corpsefish remained.
It looked like Xuanxi had been eaten by the creature after her death, but her tremendous power had assimilated the corpsefish in return.