“Oh, right, the North Extinction Coffin!” Reminded of his purpose, Lu Yun struggled to get to his feet, but was still too weak. “Go back for now, Feinie, Aoxue.”
“Understood.” The two envoys returned to the Gates of the Abyss, leaving no trace in the world thanks to the vitality-disguising talismans Xuanxi had refined.
“Why’d you dismiss them?” Qing Han helped Lu Yun up.
“That old turtle is watching us.” Lu Yun snorted. “Heh heh, it destroyed my formation disk, but didn’t stop and wonder why it was so easy to destroy.”
The formation disk had been Feinie’s handiwork. It appeared to be a teleportation formation, but hidden within was an ingenious surveillance formation. The destruction of the disk was the catalyst to releasing the surveillance formation, allowing Lu Yun to keep an eye on the juba.
“It’s watching us?” Qing Han froze. He’d turned back into his real self in the dark!
“It’s sensing the fluctuations in our life energy through a special detection method.” The darkness prevented Lu Yun from seeing Qing Han’s expression, so he didn’t notice the young man’s unusual reaction and continued on, “If it could see underground, it would’ve known there’s a great tomb here. It must know about the rimesnake king, but not the tomb or the treasure the snake was defending.”
He made a thoughtful noise. “I told Aoxue to go back so the old turtle will doubt itself. It can’t see what’s going on, so it’ll refrain from doing anything reckless.”
The juba had arrived in the Skandha Range at least ten thousand years ago, which gave it more than enough time to study the place and discover ways to activate some of the underlying formations. It must’ve been the one that’d activated the Big Dipper Formation just now.
Although the formation had dissipated, there were still dangers in the Skandha Extinction Tomb.
“I’ll need you to support me,” Lun Yun huffed. “The coffin is nine hundred meters away on our left.”
Blushing, Qing Han bent down. “I’ll carry you.”
“You, carry me?” Lu Yun started.
“What, you carried me once,” Qing Han said, feigning nonchalance. “Why can’t I do the same for you?”
“Alright. I need to recover my strength and energy anyway.” Even with the pills he’d consumed, he needed time to recover. However, the Skandha Extinction Tomb was extremely dangerous; the North Tomb especially so. The longer they lingered, the more dangerous it would become. They couldn’t just sit here and rest.
Thus, he accepted the offer and rested lightly on Qing Han’s back. A comforting fragrance welcomed him and relaxed his nerves.
“Jealous, aren’t you?” He said proudly at Qing Han’s ear.
“Of what?” The Qing scion wasn’t following.
“Of my toned body!” Lu Yun sounded pleased with himself. “I worked out hard after returning to Dusk City. Although I still have a long way to go, my physical strength has tripled! I told you to train up when you could, but you’re still so soft.” He made a round of assessment as he poked and prodded Qing Han’s soft body. He was exhausted, but not completely immobile. The pills had come into effect and were slowly replenishing his stamina.
...don’t kill him.
Qing Han’s face flamed red, but he had to admit he didn’t hate the touches.
“Man, if your chest wasn’t flat, I would think you were a woman.” Lu Yun’s hands wandered to Qing Han’s chest for a squeeze.
Don’t. Kill. Him.
Qing Han gritted his teeth, but didn’t dare let go. The ground here was covered in pieces of rimesnake and blood, both of which were extremely potent and fatal. If Lu Yun fell from his back, the governor would be half dead in no time at all.
“Here we are!” The imperial envoy suddenly came to a halt, his face pale. “What’s that on the coffin?” he asked quietly. The chilling, evil energy made him want to bolt.
“That’s a grudge corpse.” Lu Yun nervously struggled off Qing Han’s back. He hadn’t expected that the dead body buried here would turn into a grudge corpse and climb out of its own coffin.
Shouldn’t this thing be in the central tomb? He had a very bad feeling about the situation. A zombie might transform into a grudge corpse if it was overwhelmed with resentment. It was neither zombie nor ghost, but it resembled both.
“Light a fire!” Lu Yun whispered.
A fire rose from the tip of Qing Han’s finger, lighting up the space. What they saw raised the hair on their bodies.
A crimson coffin, eighteen meters in length and a yard in height with bloody patterns etched into its surface, gleamed in the flickering light from Qing Han’s fingertip.
“Netherfreakingwood coffin!” Lu Yun blurted out. There was actually a netherwood coffin inside the North Desolate Tomb!
Whoever had set up the five tombs hadn’t been pulling any punches at all. They’d wanted not only to destroy the clan, but also take out any intruders.
The coffin was already opened. A stark white humanoid figure sat on top of the lid, swinging its equally colorless legs. Long hair stuck together in damp, sticky strands while sickly yellow liquid flowed out of all seven of its orifices. Dark, empty eye sockets stared straight at Lu Yun and Qing Han.
The corpse wasn’t taking any action. It’d sensed something approaching, but didn’t seem to see the humans. Its eerie singing voice wound about like a sinister wind in the dark, teasing out pinpricks of horror and fright from listeners.
Regular zombies were as good as blind. They could only tell left from right when they sensed the energy radiating from living creatures. Without any outside energy to attract them, zombies would either remain slumbering in their coffin, or aimlessly wandering about.
“It doesn’t seem to see us,” QIng Han transmitted. He and Lu Yun were both using Xuanxi’s talismans to conceal their vitality.
“Regular zombies may not be able to see us, but this one’s different. It’s gained some intelligence.” Lu Yun didn’t relax. “Don’t go near it; it’s worse than the Big Dipper Formation! In fact, it’s as deadly as bloodcorpses and zombie kings!”
Qing Han shuddered and fell silent. Both bloodcorpses and zombie kings were arcane immortals capable of destroying the world.
A grudge corpse was something recorded in only Lu Yun’s sect and found only in Skandha Extinction Tombs. No other tomb raider sect had records of it. The tomb creator used the corpse as a formation to gather all evil qi in the world to destroy the targeted clan. Imbued with an entire lineage’s worth of grievances, that hapless corpse would morph into a grudge corpse.
The grandmaster of Lu Yun’s sect had encountered one such monster in a set of tombs like this and barely made a narrow escape in the end. Even then, he hadn’t eluded misfortune. The monster infected him and turned him into a zombie, necessitating that the elites of the sect had to take him out within sect headquarters.
Before his unfortunate demise, however, he’d recorded everything about grudge corpses and the Skandha Extinction Tomb in full detail.