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Chapter 200: Corpse Refiners

Necropolis Immortal
     From in and out of view, immortals poised to make a move against Lu Yun looked on in shock. Jin Hexi was the commander of the imperial troops in the capital!

    No matter the cultivation level of the imperial defenders, they represented the imperial family’s authority. As the commander of the imperial troops, Jin Hexi was one of the most influential figures in Nephrite Capital. Even core members of the Feng Clan showed him deference.

    And yet...

    The absurdly extravagant fortress ship slammed into Jin Hexi with great ferocity, expelling all of his inner energy, flattening and squashing his blood, flesh, and bones. What remained was a large meat patty stuck to the bottom of the ship’s bow.

    Still, he was alive.

    Golden immortals were extremely resilient. Even upon destruction of flesh, bone, and muscle, they could still recover due to the golden immortal creeds within their bodies.

    Rumble.

    After an enormous reverberation, the fortress ship continued its way into Xiankan beneath the crowd’s flabbergasted stares.

    “Stop, stop right now!!” someone yelled. “Are you starting a coup, Lu Yun?! Put the commander down!”

    The voice belonged to the newly arrived imperial army, but they couldn’t do anything about the situation. All of them were august immortals, while that fortress ship had just pulped a golden immortal. A combined charge from all of them wouldn’t even slow down the ship.

    They too had battle formations at their fingertips, but deploying the formations required their commander’s guidance. Said commander was currently a meat pie plastered on their enemy.

    Lu Yun stood atop the bow and cast his gaze at the distant capital with a hand on the side of the ship, ignoring the commotion from the imperial army. Suddenly, a giant figure descended and slammed into the vessel, which shuddered and halted with a rumble.

    Roar!

    An inhuman growl rang throughout the ship. Lu Yun’s pupils contracted with alarm.

    A zombie!

    A zombie covered in green fur stood by the bow and held back the ship with one hand, unpeeling Jin Hexi with the other. It looked like a tall and burly middle-aged man under the fur and was at least a peerless immortal.

    A dark look flickered through Lu Yun’s face before he schooled his expression into one of indifference.

    “What a big yum-yum!!” Drooling, Ge Long’s eyes were glued to the zombie.

    “Are there others in this world who can command zombies?” Lu Yun scanned the zombie before shifting his gaze to another faint figure in midair.

    Encircled by a leisurely grace, the newcomer wore gray robes and was a golden immortal as well. Standing quietly in the air, he raised a flute to his mouth and played.

    “Grrrl!” Melodies from the flute sent the zombie into further frenzy. It reached out and brought Jin Hexi off the ship.

    Lu Yun struck out his arm to prevent Ge Long from lunging at the zombie. “Rumors speak of immortals commanding zombies in battle. You must be one of these mythical beings.”

    “Jin Heyi of the Corpse Refiners in Truespirit Major. A pleasure, Your Excellency.” The newcomer put away his flute and landed on the ship, bowing slightly to Lu Yun. “My younger brother has given offense out of youthful recklessness. I hope Your Excellency may find it in yourself to forgive him.”

    “Oh?” Lu Yun cocked his head at the man and the zombie behind, taking a closer look. The very image of docility, the zombie’s crimson eyes were fixed in an unblinking stare at the fortress ship.

    Jin Hexi’s body had recovered, but his extravagant golden armor had been shattered. He looked extremely bedraggled and stared with dread and confusion. Was this Dusk governor insane? How dare he attack the commander of the imperial army right outside Xiankan? Wasn’t he worried he would offend the imperial family?

    “Corpse Refiners? Never heard of ‘em.” Lu Yun shook his head. None of his five envoys knew about it either.

    “Is your sect about to enter the world?” Qing Han asked tensely. Clearly, he knew the sect and what made the mysterious group terrifying. He just hadn’t expected someone from the Jin Clan to be a disciple.

    Jin Heyi nodded. “The nine celestial emperors have entered closed door cultivation to attempt breaking through the dao immortal realm. A golden age is upon the world of immortals. We have stayed away from the mundane world for tens of thousands of years. It is now time for us to return and gain a foothold in this new world.”

    “I see.” Lu Yun nodded. “Since an elite disciple of the Corpse Refiners has spoken, I will let the commander off the hook. Let us go.”

    He waved a hand, signalling Ge Long. Casting one final longing look at the zombie, the old steward tightened his grasp on the spirit key and steered the fortress ship into the capital.

    ……

    “That Jin Heyi wanted to befriend you,” Qing Han said with some hesitation.

    Lu Yun’s expression darkened. “But I’m not interested.”

    “What’s wrong?” His reaction startled Qing Han. He could tell that Lu Yun was suppressing his intent to kill.

    “Corpse Refiners… Corpse Refiners… Heh, no wonder they’ve turtled down for so long.” A sinister smile tugged at Lu Yun’s lips. “They refine living zombies!”

    “What?!” Qing Han’s jaw dropped. “Living zombies?”

    “They refine living people into zombies!” Murderous intent colored Lu Yun’s voice. He was no saint and wouldn’t have stuck his nose in this, but the Tome of Life and Death bestowed upon him both power and the responsibility to maintain the balance between life and death. Refining living people into zombies shattered that balance and violated enormous taboos.

    He didn’t find this kind of duty irksome. Back on Earth, he’d gathered an organization of expert tomb raiders to enforce order, preventing tomb raiders from affecting the world at large. If he’d stayed any longer, he was worried that he’d channel the power of the dread zombie and kill Jin Heyi then and there.

    Outside the capital.

    “He wants me dead.” Jin Heyi smiled as he watched Lu Yun’s ship flying into the capital. “So I’ve encountered a moralist right after returning Nephrite Major. Heh, how interesting! Oh, how I look forward to refining Lu Yun into a zombie.”

    A malicious smile split his peaceful demeanor. Next to him, Jin Hexi couldn’t help the shudder that ran down his spine.

    ……

    Lu Yun allowed himself to relax only after entering the capital. There were too many experts in Life Province, which was why he’d spent the trip on the ship. He wasn’t safe until he reached Xiankan.