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Chapter 107: Betrayal

Necropolis Immortal
     Yuchi Hanxing left with the remaining eight hundred thousand and some soldiers. Lu Yun knew that their numbers would be replenished soon.

    “Talk,” Lu Yun declared to the giant willow and the juba. “What’s the deal with this place?”

    The otherkind cultivators within the Skandha Range had scattered and returned to their homes. They were called otherkind because they were nonhuman lifeforms that walked the path of cultivation, but hadn’t materialized a new form yet. They weren’t monster spirits, but cultivators on their way to becoming one. They possessed the intelligence of regular human beings, unlike simpleminded monsters. [1]

    “What place?” The juba and willow exchanged a befuddled glance.

    Lu Yun frowned. “I mean the ancient tomb on this site.”

    “There’s a tomb here?” yelped the juba. It moved its giant head around, attempting to find traces of said tomb.

    Lu Yun started. “You didn’t know?” He’d thought the otherkind and the sentient desolate willow must’ve been put here to guard the great tomb.

    Ah, that’s right. If I didn’t identify the feng shui layout and know there was a willow tree here, I wouldn’t have deduced that there’s a Skandha Extinction Tomb at the site. There’s probably no one in this world who can see through to the true nature of this place.

    The willow spirit didn’t know why it was here, either. To it, it was merely a tree blessed with the fortune to grow here and become a cultivator. As for the juba, it’d escaped to the Skandha Range after the fall of the North Sea water spirits. Under the faction’s protection, it survived and became its strategist.

    Neither of the two knew why the Skandha Range existed.

    “Let’s take a look. Qing Han, Aoxue.” Lu Yun waved his two companions over and made his way further into the Skandha Range.

    The juba fell into step behind them like their personal guard. Other than the otherkind cultivators, there were many other dangers within the Skandha Range: poisons, traps, venomous creatures… any of which could easily kill an immortal. Without the guidance of a local, even Lu Yun would lose his way.

    Finally, they came to a stop after fording a giant swamp. Sitting before them was an enormous hill; before it rose a cliff about the same height, bringing to mind the image of a tombstone.

    “Those two have entered already.” Lu Yun frowned, staring at the tomb qi that was only now scattering from the peak of the hill. The cloud of qi was just starting to lose its form, and some of it still remained in the tomb. That told him the two men had only just entered.

    In long-sealed tombs, especially ancient ones, energy from the dead and the darkness of yin would combine to form a kind of tomb qi that would dissipate as soon as it encountered living things. A tomb raider could use that to tell if a tomb had already been excavated.

    Lu Yun had previously encountered the Exalted Immortal Sect in Yuying’s tomb, yet the tomb qi had remained intact because those men had been in the tomb for centuries. They also practiced a special method to merge their presence with the tomb. The energy he’d observed had actually come from the Exalted Immortal Sect, and not Yuying’s remains.

    When it came to this particular sect, the patriarch of House Ge had disappeared after being possessed by one of their members. If Lu Yun’s speculation was right, he would see the man after four months, on the day of the governor’s re-election.

    “Those two idiots entered with an earthbending technique. Aren’t they worried that they’ll be buried underneath it forever?” A trace of mockery flashed through Lu Yun’s face when he looked at the undisturbed earth around the tomb. “Follow my instructions and dig a hole here, Old Turtle.”

    A thieves’ tunnel was the safest and most practical way to enter a tomb, both on Earth and in the world of immortals.

    “Is there really a tomb here?” The juba wasn’t convinced. Though the hill and cliff were something, they still didn’t look like a tomb.

    “Just do it,” Aoxue said with a frown. “Cut the nonsense.”

    “Right!” the juba hurried out. One of its feet turned into a dragon’s claw and dug at the ground where Lu Yun had pointed. In a dozen breaths, it’d created a tunnel running a few hundred meters to the tomb.

    Waves of malevolent yin energy gushed out, catching the juba’s dragon claw and eating away the flesh, leaving only its skeleton.

    “What is this?!” The horrified juba hurriedly retracted its now-skeletal claw.

    Such malicious yin energy. If I get hit directly, I’ll turn to ashes before I can even use my hellfire. Lu Yun’s expression darkened. “The Skandha Extinction Tomb really does live up to its reputation as a bloodline-ending burial method.”

    I have to let others dig tunnels for me in the future. I need some new laborers... Li Youcai’s not a bad candidate! The flesh mountain of a man resurfaced in the Dusk governor’s mind. With Yueshen assuming control of the fatty’s body, the man was a natural talent at manual work. I’ve got to bring him with me the next time I explore a tomb.

    Incidentally, Yueshen would also be able to safely enter tombs if they brought along Li Youcai. His vitality would disguise her origins as a ghost from another tomb. Otherwise, it was an extremely bad idea for an immortal ghost to enter someone else’s tomb. The same went for zombies born in another locale.

    When Lu Yun had summoned the nine bloodcorpses in the tomb for the living to fight Diexi, she’d temporarily lost her mind and didn’t recover until she returned to the abyss.

    It’d always been a taboo to have a ghost or zombie enter a tomb that wasn’t their own. To do so was to trigger a terrible fight, or something even worse. Undead creatures were incredibly territorial.

    Last time, Lu Yun had simply been curious who would win in a fight between bloodcorpses and a zombie king, and banked on his knowledge that a zombie king was the most powerful thing in a tomb for the living.

    The Skandha Extinction Tomb in front of him, on the other hand, was an unknown entity. Setting loose bloodcorpses and immortal ghosts inside would very likely result in unexpected repercussions.

    The Skandha Extinction Tomb in the sect’s texts was a dead, useless tomb. Even though the feng shui layouts and other mechanisms had lost their functions, a talented grandmaster restored the feng shui and recorded the layouts’ effects.

    Without being able to call on the bloodcorpses or Yueshen, Lu Yun had to rely on his own knowledge to survive the tomb.

    Once the terrible yin energy had dissipated, Lu Yun approached the tunnel with Qing Han and Aoxue. Before entering, he placed a formation disk in front of the juba with great seriousness. “Take this and wait outside. Protect it no matter what happens.”

    The juba nodded and put the formation disk away, watching Lu Yun and the others enter the tunnel.

    ……

    “Master of the Skandha Range?” Mockery suddenly crept into the juba’s expression. “It’s that willow spirit who swore fealty to that master, not me. That year, the North Sea water spirits abandoned me and left me to rot. I will not follow you.”

    The juba took the formation disk out and shattered it with a slap. It then lumbered over the freshly dug tunnel and filled it back in, leaving a restriction to keep it sealed.

    


    1. I’d say Miao is otherkind, based on this description. She hasn’t been able to present as anything other than fox, thus far. I’m not counting the human projection since that was an illusion, and seemed like an overextension of her current strength.


    1. I’d say Miao is otherkind, based on this description. She hasn’t been able to present as anything other than fox, thus far. I’m not counting the human projection since that was an illusion, and seemed like an overextension of her current strength.