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Chapter 188: Endless Sword Zombies

Necropolis Immortal
     The divines had left their footprints everywhere in Dusk Province. Mount Myriad Formation, the Skandha Range, even that abyss beneath the river…. Could the restriction in the ancient tomb be a divine as well?

    This Sword Barrow feels like it could very well be the most important place in the province, mused Lu Yun. Sword barrows, where swords are buried.

    ……

    Yuchi Tianhuang didn’t know what to say. The four cardinal divine tribes hadn’t been created by the four divine beasts themselves, but rather by their royal children, the cardinal divine kings. The tribes actually derived their ancestry from the kings, while the four divine beasts were revered as divine emperors. But now… the divine beasts were apparently dead and buried inside the Skandha Extinction tomb realms?

    “Is that true?!” Despair flashed through the man’s eyes. “Are the four divine kings dead as well?”

    “Who knows?” Lu Yun shook his head. “A curse as powerful as that would need an endless source of resentment. Sure, you can get some from the dead, but it pales in comparison to the amount that can be gathered from someone steeped in misery and suffering. Regardless, have you reconsidered?”

    “In your dreams!” Yuchi Tianhuang’s reply was the same.

    “Then I’ve no problem making use of your essence qi to break the layout outside the Sword Barrow.” Lu Yun flashed a radiant smile. “Yuchi Hanxing has no idea who you are, anyway.”

    Tianhuang’s face colored and he backed off a little. The next appearance of a delicate girl dressed in white satin shocked him even more so. Her every movement and gesture embodied the most beautiful of dances beneath the heavens; her every turn defined another type of beauty.

    “Wushen Ruyi!” The tigrine divine gasped. “You’ve possessed the Divine Spymirror!”

    “You know who I am?” Ruyi’s voice held a crystalline timbre to it. She glanced at Yuchi Tianhuang, then shook her head slightly. “You weren’t a member of the divine court eighty thousand years ago, how can you recognize me?”

    Yuchi Tianhuang had dug up the Spymirror and its treasure slave eighty thousand years ago from the ruins of the divine palace. As such, the treasure slave had no memories of the man before that.

    “Wushen Ruyi, you’re one of the twenty-four divine kings. Have you betrayed your own race to become a dog of man?!”

    “The four cardinal tribes were the traitors and exiled accordingly,” Ruyi replied. “Your tribe is among those culpable, White Tiger divine. We could’ve stayed out of the war a hundred thousand years ago, but you dragged us into it for selfish reasons. You nearly destroyed our race!”

    “Enough chit-chat. I don’t have much time to waste,” Lu Yun hectored, putting a stop to the rather historical banter.

    Hum...

    Silvery mirror-light burst forth from Ruyi’s form, roaring toward Yuchi Tianhuang in a radiant beam.

    “Wait!” Tianhuang shouted. “I surrender!”

    The silver radiance stopped about a meter short of him.

    “Grrrrrrr!” An explosive tiger’s roar erupted from Yuchi Tianhuang’s maw, the image of a White Tiger materializing behind him. Making use of this brief respite, he fled on a ray of white deeper into the tomb.

    Ruyi retracted her attack, then nodded curtly to her master before returning to hell.

    “If you die, your essence qi will be no more. Only a living White Tiger divine can use their qi to break the enormous layout outside the Sword Barrow,” Lu Yun murmured, then pursued the streak of white.

    Although Lu Yun could summon his own connate metal energy from the west, his cultivation was still too weak to apply the necessary amount of force. His energy wouldn’t have enough of a biting edge to it, either.

    Contrary to Yuchi Tianhuang’s assumption that Lu Yun had been leading the way with perfect knowledge, the human had actually taken several trips inside the Gates of Hell to analyze the layout ahead. They were truly terrifying grand feng shui influences.

    After much deliberation, his final conclusion was that connate metal energy, or the essence qi of metal would be required, hence the conversation just now. He’d wanted Yuchi Tianhuang to use his essence qi of his own volition.

    The White Tiger divine had no other option. He was dead in the water against the tomb keepers, so the Sword Barrow was his only chance at life.

    Lu Yun hadn’t told a single lie just now, either; the Skandha Extinction Tomb did indeed curse the four cardinal tribes.

    ……

    Rumble...

    The entire tomb began shaking.

    “It’s open!” Lu Yun lit up with excitement. He quickly stuck a talisman onto himself, disappearing in the next instant with a flash of the ‘dun’ character. Being the character for ‘flee’, the Dun Talisman allowed him to accelerate to incredible speeds for a very short period of time.

    Zoom!

    His body pierced a barrier of light, then landed on solid ground.

    Clang!

    As soon as he did so, the ringing of swords crashed against his eardrums. An immortal longsword took a swing right at him!

    Clink!

    Violetgrave erupted with tinted light, blocking the blow.

    “Lu Yun—” Before he could collect his thoughts, an angry roar came from deeper into the crypt. “You were just using me!”

    “You have no other choice,” Lu Yun exhaled, observing his surroundings. There were swords… everywhere.

    On the ground, on the walls, even suspended in midair… there were swords as far as the eye could see. All of them were zombies, without exception. The countless swords pointed themselves at him in unison. If they moved to strike, he would be torn to shreds.

    “No wonder those tomb keepers didn’t dare come in. This is suicide!” He drew a sharp breath, then raised Violetgrave. It glowed and resonated in response, warding off its zombified fellows. The mass of swords did indeed pause their offensive when they recognized the violet sword.

    “Violetgrave left the Sword Barrow long ago. It’s practically foreign to this place now. Are you sure you won’t let me out?” The dread zombie’s alluring voice sounded again.

    “Was Violetgrave a sword zombie when it first appeared in the world?” Lu Yun retorted.

    Only blank silence responded.

    “The Sword Barrow now is not the place you once knew. Even if I did let you out, you’d be cut up just like everything else.”

    Fwoosh!

    Black fire enveloped Lu Yun, cutting off every trace of life upon him. To an outside observer, he was no different from a cold, stony statue.

    “Something unexpected happened to this place, turning all of the swords buried here into zombies.” He strode forward, deeper into the barrow.

    The flying swords returned to their previous sluggish state. They wandered about aimlessly, completely ignorant of the youth in their midst. Now that they were zombies, they only held interest in the living.