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Chapter 172: Interred Alive

Necropolis Immortal
     A divine obsession.

    The very same one that had been buried beneath Mount Myriad Formation.

    Though the nine bloodcorpses had consumed the undead hag that her body had become, her will—her obsession—had entered the Gates of the Abyss at the last possible second. It largely remained in a confused daze, but occasionally experienced moments of lucidity.

    When Lu Yun released Aoxue from the netherwood coffin inside the bronze outer-coffin, the obsession had awakened and displayed a complete consciousness. Although the obsession eventually returned to its former torpor, the young man felt that its owner had already recovered and was merely biding her time.

    After refining his nascent spirit in the shape of the six paths, Lu Yun noticed hell was undergoing a transformation. The previously chaotic, broken world was slowly recovering.

    ……

    The divine obsession floated in the air, aimlessly wandering to and fro.

    “Senior,” Lu Yun approached and called out to it.

    The obsession, formless beyond a faint wisp of color, didn’t respond. The only reaction he got was a heavy pout from Yueshen below. Why is master greeting that thing!

    “Senior, do you recognize this?” Unfazed, Lu Yun brought out the Divine Spymirror and waved it in front of the obsession, which remained entirely impassive.

    “Was I hallucinating?” the young man frowned, muttering to himself.

    “Sir,” Yueshen advised with a poke. “She doesn’t want to talk to you. You can’t wake her up.”

    “Hmm?” Lu Yun blinked, glancing at the ghost.

    “She’s pretending to be asleep.” Yueshen pouted again. “Your world cannot house the living, but it’s a wonderful place for us ghosts—and this obsession, too. Coming here helped her recover a long time ago, but she’s not interested in us.”

    “Really? Are you sure?” Lu Yun turned back to the obsession.

    “Yes, I’m sure!” Yueshen replied confidently. “Too bad I don’t remember anything or know who she is. She probably has a grudge against me… I wouldn’t have been used as her corpse coffin otherwise, right?”

    “I bear no grudge against you,” a hoarse voice sounded, tinged with a bright spirit. “Your true name is Yueshen Jixiang and mine is Ruyi, Wushen Ruyi. We were the best of friends, and like sisters. How could I ever hate you?”

    “You really did recover!” Yueshen jumped up and bounced to the obsession. “What Jixiang and Ruyi are you talking about? Friends? Why would your kinsmen kill me and use me as your coffin then?” She didn’t quite believe the new revelation. [1]

    In response, the obsession began transforming. The hazy figure of a girl appeared in hell’s firmament. Dressed in a white muslin robe, she moved with an ephemeral grace that brought to mind the most beautiful dances of the world.

    Ruyi glanced at Yueshen, her eyes full of unfathomable guilt. “You really did die because of me. If you hadn’t tried saving me, they wouldn’t have caught you. After they killed you, they made you into a corpse coffin before my eyes… then interred me alive in you.”

    “Interred alive!” Lu Yun gasped in horror.

    Used in this context, the phrase didn’t just mean burying her in the earth. No, it was far worse than that! Sealing a living being inside a burial mound, consigning her body, soul, and all knowledge of her to the void….

    No wonder Ruyi’s corpse had transformed into an undead hag. No wonder there were so many other hags and corpsefish in the mound. Her resentment must’ve stank to high heaven, the governor thought.

    Yueshen looked at Ruyi incredulously as well.

    “Who… were they? Why did they use my body to bury yours?” She already subconsciously believed what the other ghost had said. “Why did they do all that?”

    “I don’t know either.” Ruyi shook her head.

    “The divine race’s hierarchy is partially structured by twenty-four divine kings who rule over twenty-four facets. Jixiang and Ruyi were two female queens among that number,” Lu Yun murmured. “Eighty thousand years ago, before the divine race exited the world, their twenty-four divine kings disappeared first for no reason at all. Even the divine emperors were killed. The ruling race was left leaderless overnight and was forced out of the world thereafter.”

    The memories he had of the divine race came from Aoxue. The North Sea dragons traced their lineage from the dragons of the Untroubled Sea. The latter group still retained records of various mysteries from the last hundred thousand years of history, including the matter of the divine race.

    “There’s no tribe among the divine race that makes corpse coffins, is there?” Lu Yun stroked his chin, searching for any relevant memories. “Wait, there’s another enigmatic race in the world: the shamanic race. It seems the method of creating corpse coffins originated from them.”

    Being the well-traveled race they were, dragons collected knowledge wherever they went. In fact, they still possessed a considerable number of historical texts about the ancient world.

    Unfortunately, they hadn’t emerged unscathed from the great war a hundred thousand years ago, either. Countless books had been destroyed as collateral damage, leaving only a small portion.

    Thankfully, the shamanic race had been mentioned in the remainder.

    Long ago, seven draconian dao immortals had run into a group of strange individuals in a corner of the world. They called themselves shamans and practiced shamanic arts rather than walking the dao of immortals.

    They were also more than a match for the immortals. All seven dragons were captured and imprisoned among the shamanic race. In the end, only one of the seven had managed a desperate escape. The rest died among the shamans, their bodies forged into corpse coffins.

    When the survivor returned to his people, he informed his emperor about the shamans and their corpse coffins. The emperor was furious, but the mysterious shamans were nowhere to be found. In the end, nothing had come of it.

    Traces of these shamans appeared all around the world thereafter, many immortals having fallen victim to, and becoming coffins for, these shamanic experts.

    All this and more lay in the dragons’ records.

    ……

    Ruyi fell silent for a while.

    “The mirror in your hands was the body of Emperor Brightmirror eighty thousand years ago, one of the three great emperors among the divine court. You want me to enter it… to work for you?” she changed the subject, evidently unwilling to talk about the shamans or their corpse coffins any further.

    Yueshen was a little disheartened herself. Though she’d forgotten her past life, her soul was fully reformed. Deep down, she had an awareness of her old self, but everything about her seemed just out of reach.

    Lu Yun didn’t see the need to press the subject. The truth would come out one day, regardless.

    “Yes,” he nodded. “I’d like you to live inside the Spymirror and watch over the provincial capital for me.”

    “I can do that,” Ruyi inclined her head, “on one condition.”

    “Which is?”

    “This space is very beneficial for me. My soul is recovering here… one day, I might even be able to return to life. I would like to be able to cultivate here whenever I wish.”

    “Sure,” replied Lu Yun.

    “Although you’re an immortal ghost now, you’re still of the divine race. I will teach you every art of our people, as well as all the techniques you knew in the past.” Ruyi turned to Yueshen again. She still felt guilty about what happened to her friend. If Yueshen hadn’t misunderstood her for an enemy, she would rather have not awakened at all.

    


    1. The combination of their names is Jixiang Ruyi, an auspicious phrase wishing good fortune and happiness to the receiver. Yueshen’s name translates to ‘Music Divine’, and Wushen’s to ‘Dance Divine’.