The zombie treant flew out several thousand kilometers before it stabilized itself.
Eyes glittering like the stars, Xing Chens black robes fluttered majestically around him while ten thousand sword atlases unfurled behind his figure. The Sugato Sword hovered over his head, trailing down curtains of brilliant sword radiance.
“A holy king of the underworld!” shrieked the zombie tree when he registered what kind of existence Xing Chen was. Locked in battle with You Si, the priest of earths heart skipped a beat.
Ashu had told them a long time ago that Lu Yuns replica was the fourth holy king of the underworld, but the high priest hadnt believed him then. Lu Yun was just a mere empyrean immortal—a holy king of the underworld was a tremendous personage on par with a primeval human king! How would the high priest ever connect the two
Not to mention, an empyrean immortals replica as a holy king Then that ant of an immortal would immediately lose his self awareness and become the holy kings replica instead!
The high priest was keenly aware of what an underworlds holy king represented. The underworlds will reigned supreme over all, so anyone who entered it, even if they became a holy king or holy lord, would find themselves hard pressed to leave it.
If a replica became a holy lord or king, they would lose sight of their origins and revolt against their primary body thanks to the interference of the underworlds indomitable will. Ashu was an exception, because he was Ling Weiyang.
When hed first mentioned Lu Yun was a holy king, the priest of earth had believed it for a little while. But after spending a period of time with Lu Yuns group, he dismissed that belief when he didnt detect any presence of the underworld.
However, Xing Chen was on the scene now and unleashing the battle strength of a primeval human king without reserve. Hed shaken the zombie tree and almost completely crushed the desire to fight from the other four high priests.
You Si lifted her head, a small measure of pride written across her face. With her name written in the Tome of Life and Death, she was now one of Lu Yuns subordinates. Upon gaining his approval, shed learned more of his secrets and was now absolutely loyal to him. That his replica possessed the battle strength of a human king and had punched the zombie tree into oblivion with one move gave a large boost to her self-regard and pride.
“I concede defeat.” Crestfallen, the priest of earth took in a deep breath. “So Master Xuan Yuan long restrained the evil god of the spleen that we were secretly nurturing…”
The other three priests arrived at his side with the same expressions of bleak despair. You Si turned to look at Lu Yun. Xing Chen was facing off against the zombie treant, so there was no immediate threat to her master at the moment.
“Where is the mother altar” he asked the priest of earth.
“In the center of the yang tomb.” There was no point in hiding anything now. “But the Great Formation of the Nineheavens Gates protects it. You can only break its protective seal if you activate the power of the altar through offering the fresh blood and souls of countless living beings…”
“The Great Formation of the Nineheavens Gates!” Lu Yun jerked in shock and raised his head to where Xuan Yuan stood on the crimson coffin.
Ashu had once said that that formation protected the ancestral planet, and hearing it again now helped Lu Yun understand something. Though the Great Formation of the Nineheavens Gates sealed away the mother altar, sacrificing untold lives could trigger the altars power and break the seal!
So this is why Xuan Yuan wanted me to make that promise.
What was corrupt wasnt the formation, but peoples hearts. There were likely a great deal of people out there who knew how to dismantle the formation; Xuan Yuan had been alluding to a day in which someone bathed the universe in blood so that they could undo the protections around the ancestral planet.
“So the mother altar is the key.” Lu Yun began to worry for Qing Yu.
Hed taken the Embittered Ocean and his beloved was currently resolving the restrictions of the five elements so she could collect the volcano. If she discovered the mother altar in the yang tomb, she would absolutely brainstorm a way to grab that as well. The mother altar was the key to breaking the Great Formation of the Nineheavens Gates. Combined with Xuan Yuans earlier words, that meant there were certainly traps and other arrangements set up around the altar.
“Senior Violetshade, Im afraid Ill have to trouble you to make a trip to the yang tomb. Im a little concerned for Little Yus safety,” Xing Chen transmitted to the former Myrtlestar corpse puppet; she was here with him on this trip.
“I wouldve gone even without your request.” Violetshade nodded. “Its time I take care of some old business.”
With that, faint purple light flashed through the air as she vanished without a trace. Shed visited the Xuan Yuan Tomb once before when she was Empress Myrtlestar, so she knew how to travel between the yin and yang tombs, even though she was now the fifth holy king of the underworld.
Sensing the ripples left behind in her wake, the zombie tree shuddered violently. One Xing Chen could already go toe-to-toe with him and send him flying. If another holy king took to the field, hed have no choice but to make a run for it.
They were in the tomb realm of an enormous tomb, a place where holy kings of the underworld had unfettered freedom to revel in their strength. Things wouldve been different in the underworld, as a clash between heavyweights of their level wouldve devastated the land. That was why the holy kings hadnt done anything to the zombie tree when itd taken refuge in the underworld.
“Alright, let us continue.” Xing Chens lips quirked with a cruel curve while the Sugato Sword over his head abruptly disassembled into countless motes of sword light, which then coalesced into sword atlases aimed straight at the zombie tree.
Corpsefire flared from the zombie tree and formed a fiery tornado, enveloping the tree protectively. Howling with fury, the gray tornado spun itself into even greater violence.
There was no heat to these flames. If theyd ignited on someone alive, it wouldve felt like a stale air current had draped over their victim, resulting in almost no damage whatsoever.
However, Xing Chen had received the heritage of the underworld and the strength of a holy king. Though his primary body wasnt a living dead, he was employing the power of one. As such, corpsefire was a deadly counter to any living dead or truly dead spirit it touched.
Expression shifting slightly, he quickly recalled the Sugato Sword so that it could ward off the threat with curtains of misty blue sword light.
Unfortunately, the corpsefire was so fierce that it continuously incinerated whatever power Xing Chen brought to bear. Consecutively falling back, there wasnt anything else in his personal arsenal that he could bring to bear. The Sugato Sword was unleashing its true strength thanks to being imbued with the strength of a holy king, but the corpsefire had smacked it right back to its original form.
“Dammit, how did the tree conquer corpsefire Its supposed to guard the tomb!” This was a most unwelcome development. “Xuanxi!” he suddenly roared.
An enormous black river appeared over their heads—the Dusk River!
It coiled around Xing Chen like an enormous black chain the moment it appeared, then churned viciously at the tornado of corpsefire.-