“Why, why are you in the sword?” was the only thing Qing Han managed to say after a long, stunned silence.
“I attached a strand of power that allows me to manifest an image of myself when you’re in danger.” The figure smiled and continued in a fond voice, “Did you really think I’d just let you travel alone without taking some precautions?”
Lu Yun stared at their savior, but could see nothing but a vague white haze. The figure turned to him. “You’re Lu Yun, aren’t you?”
The governor nodded slightly.
“My… cousin gave you Violetgrave. Interesting...” His oddly suggestive tone quite unsettled Lu Yun. Meanwhile, Qing Han’s face was flaming red. His cousin had seen right through his feelings!
The white figure knocked back the pouncing grudge corpse with a careless wave.
“Shame that it won’t die,” the white figure said, bemused. “How should I deal with it?”
“Resolve its grievances! That’ll weaken it and cause its eventual death!” Lu Yun piped up. “If we demolish all of the layouts within the Skandha Extinction Tomb, its grievances will fade as well!”
Destroy all five tombs!
Inspiration had dawned on him about how his grandmaster had escaped the grudge corpse. Destroying the overall tomb would naturally dispel the accumulated resentment, and the grudge corpse would fade out of existence.
His grandmaster had almost torn down the tomb when he encountered the grudge corpse, which meant he’d encountered the zombie in a severely weakened state. In the end, he managed to escape after fully demolishing the tomb. That was the key.
To that end, though, they had to destroy all layouts in all five tombs, or the plan wouldn’t work. As it was, even the northern tomb wasn’t resolved yet. Although the Big Dipper Formation was broken, the tomb’s layout remained.
There was only one way to break the layout here: destroy the netherwood coffin.
Coffins were always the focus of any tomb. In fact, it could be said that all tombs were set up for their coffins.
“Destroy that crimson coffin?” The white figure shook his head after taking a look. “The power I left on the sword isn’t enough to destroy it.”
“Then take us away from that thing!” Lu Yun said. “Southeast of this chamber is the passage to the eastern tomb, the mildest among the five. We’ll be safer there.”
“Alright.” The white figure nodded. “My manifestation can last another... thirty breaths. This is the last of the power I attached to the sword. If you encounter more dangers, I won’t be able to help you.” His tone turned serious as he continued, “I’m leaving Qing Han in your care. I will hunt you down if you hurt my cousin in any way.”
“What?” Lu Yun paused. “What do you mean you’re leaving Qing Han in my care? It’s not like we’re getting married or something...”
The white figure coughed, realizing he’d said too much when Qing Han cast a murderous glare at him. “Eh! Nothing! Forget about that.”
With a wave of his hand, the shadows of the mausoleum shrank and enveloped Lu Yun and Qing Han while Violetgrave morphed into a flash of purple light.
“Go!” commanded the white figure. He scattered into shards of light and faded as the two youngsters vanished with the dissipation of the purple illumination.
The grudge corpse’s eyes shone red. A long, thin tongue flicked out of its mouth, forked like a snake’s, and licked the dragon blood off of its lips.
“Eastern tomb… stronger, than me.” Its hoarse voice echoed in the silent darkness. “Go there, die. Hehehe...”
When Violetgrave returned to Lu Yun, he could feel something different about it. It was missing something.
The power Qing Han’s cousin had left on the sword would be armed when Qing Han encountered any danger. The man could then manifest his image through the power and protect his younger cousin. Of course, he had no idea that Qing Han had gifted the sword to Lu Yun.
The first time it’d happened was in the burial mound under Myriad Formation Summit. Then it happened again earlier. Now, however, the power had completely faded. They were on their own, should any more dangers arise.
No wonder I can easily tap into Violetgrave’s power. It’s a mausoleum in the shape of a sword. Lu Yun hefted the sword and smiled. The influence of a mausoleum is the main source of the sword’s power!
A mausoleum in the shape of a sword....
Equipped with the Tome of Life and Death, he could easily tame the power of the mausoleum and wield the ninth-rank sword. However, the skills involved in refining a mausoleum into a sword were too sophisticated. Lu Yun couldn’t yet revert the sword back into the mausoleum to use its power like Qing Han’s cousin could.
Who would go to such lengths to refine a sword like this? More importantly, who was buried inside?
“What is this place?” Qing Han asked in confusion. “It doesn’t look like a burial chamber.”
“Huh?” Lu Yun broke free from his reverie and looked around. They were in a lush forest brimming with vitality. He could even see a glimmering sun in the sky through the thick canopy of leaves.
“No, this is an illusion!” Expression clouding over, he activated his Spectral Eye and saw the world as it truly was.
Gone was the verdant greenery, replaced by black, withered trees. Dead trees. The sun remained in the sky, but its dim light baked the dried soil beneath their feet.
“There used to be a forest here.” Lu Yun took a deep breath and frowned. “But now… the forest has been turned into a layout. It’s so powerful, I actually can’t recognize it!”
“This is a killing formation,” said Qing Han. “I read about it in a book dug out from an ancient tomb!”
His accursed spirit root had made him an involuntary shut-in throughout his life. He spent most of his time reading books, especially those excavated from ancient tombs.
“A hundred thousand years ago, before the world of immortals shattered, there were no immortal seas, only the eastern, western, southern, and northern deep blues.
“Down in the depths of the vast Deep East was a Fusang Purewood. It could channel the power of the sun. Here… this is a killing formation with the tree as its center! It appears to be a formation of the wood element, but it contains the power of the sun!” Qing Han tensed. “Look, the sun’s not an illusion. It’s actually there!”