The black coffin exploded loudly and corpse qi gushed out like the tide.
Li Qingshan curled up like an infant as the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell rose up in layers, blocking the invading corpse qi before being eaten away and penetrated very soon.
His first line of defence shattered. Then he enveloped himself in the burning phoenix wings. Although the flames of the phoenix could suppress corpse qi, it was still very weak after all. It gave way very soon in the violent explosion, and the wings shattered. His second line of defence had been breached too.
But fortunately, after breaching two lines of defence, the power of the explosion had begun to weaken. His Ox Demon Forges its Hide forcefully withstood it, but a great chunk of his daemon qi was expended.
The Marquis of Ruyi was in much worse shape. He clearly did not possess such powerful defensive techniques like Li Qingshan. His luxurious clothes had been reduced to tatters, and even his skin had been dyed black, clearly contaminated with extremely potent corpse poison.
His clothes were official robes that the Great Xia empire specially designed for the governors of commanderies. It had been passed down through the generations. Like the Seal of Mountains and Rivers, not only was it a representation of identity and status, but it also possessed extremely great power.
When he wore it, the serpents on the clothing protected him like an indestructible fortress. Now that it had been forcefully ripped apart beyond repair, he had turned pale. He was filled with pain.
Only Gu Yanying stood with her hands behind her back, just as graceful as before. Her demeanour was completely unaffected. She seemed to be unscathed, but there were traces of corrosion on the hem of her clothes and the cuffs of her sleeves. The moment she emerged, she used a gaze as sharp as a hawk’s to search for the Dark Queen’s trace, but she found nothing.
“Is the Dark Queen dead?”
Fifty kilometers away, there was another great rumble. A Golden Core cultivator had fallen in battle and detonated their golden core.
The fierce wind ruffled her clothes wildly as her long, black hair drifted through the air.
Gu Yanying calculated quietly. “According to the auras, another Golden Core cultivator has fallen in battle, except they failed to blow up their golden core in time. The remaining cultivators have probably reached their limit too. If this continues, they’ll probably fall one after another. The Hungry Ghost realm has almost completely devoured this region.”
“Yanying, what should we do?”
For the first time in his life, he had experienced the horror of death. Remembering how the extravagances of his life, the fine wine and beautiful women, the great path of longevity, would all be leaving him, even his teeth began to chatter.
Gu Yanying thought, The Marquis of Ruyi can be considered a talent, but he has been sheltered by his seniors too much. After all, he hasn’t undergone trials of life and death before. Normally, he can maintain the bearing of a marquis, but when he faces a major matter regarding his fate, he becomes frantic.
Li Qingshan sneered. “What shitty Marquis of Ruyi? Normally you swagger around on your high horse, but when it matters, you just become a coward!”
The Marquis of Ruyi flew into a rage. “How dare you insult me, wretched daemon!”
Gu Yanying said with surprise, “You sure are very composed.”
Li Qingshan smiled. “If I faced life-threatened danger, I wouldn’t necessarily be able to smile either. However, these zombies aren’t enough to claim my life!” Afterwards, he said to the Marquis of Ruyi, “How about this? If you give me your sumeru ring, I’ll save your life!”
“Don’t you even think- You have a way out?”
Li Qingshan laughed aloud. “I do have a way out, but upon further thought, I think it’s more satisfying to retrieve it from your corpse!”
In the sea of blood, the Void-bellied Ghost King grabbed the last Corpse Commander and plunged it viciously into the blood. A while later, the sea of blood settled back down.
“May I ask who it is that has provided me with assistance? Please show yourself! The Umbral Yin sect will definitely show many thanks!”
The Dark Queen stowed the Ghost King away and gazed around. With how strange and powerful their methods were, the person must have been extraordinary, and they were actually able to suppress these undead. If she could recruit them for the Umbral Yin sect, they would definitely be of great use.
The landscape around her changed, and the sea of blood vanished. They had returned to the sky above Burial Mound mountain.
“Zi’er” suddenly looked back and frowned. Two figures appeared, one large and one small, one human and one skeleton, facing one another.
They had appeared, while the Corpse Commanders had vanished. Had they already killed the Corpse Commanders?
That was impossible!
The Dark Queen’s pupils dilated, reflecting a small skeleton. Its white bones shone with a glossy lustre, radiating with a holy light as its eye sockets burned with white fire.
Twenty-six prayer beads wrapped around its slender, left wrist as it clutched a long, fluttering, blood-red banner in its right hand.
Xiao An also stared at the beautiful woman before her, only inches apart.
“You…” The Dark Queen extended her hand. An indescribable feeling flowed through her heart. There was no reason or evidence, but from the moment she saw it, she knew that important object that she had lost many years ago had appeared before her again.
“Your highness, you’ve come out.” The Marquis of Ruyi was overjoyed.
“Master- Hmm? Li’l Whitey, you’ve grown bigger too!”
Xuanyue, who had been hiding in the sky with “Moon Concealment” the entire time, saw the Dark Queen appear and also showed herself before rushing over.
Li Qingshan saw Xiao An and became relieved. He smiled and wanted to say something, but he quickly thought of something, The Dark Queen… Xiao An… the Umbral Yin Ghost Control technique… South Hub city… Don’t tell me?
His expression suddenly changed. An invisible hand seemed to grip his throat. He was unable to utter a single word.
Gu Yanying glanced at Li Qingshan in astonishment, To think that there are also times when this man who’s unafraid of anything will be afraid. It’s for this little skeleton, so that Xiao An.
As she knew Li Qingshan’s identity, she obviously managed to guess the white skeleton was Xiao An. It was not just Li Qingshan. The Dark Queen’s behaviour was very strange too. Since when had this chilly, proud woman ever exhibited an expression like that?
In this region that the Hungry Ghost realm was about devour, three people completely forgot about their surroundings. They completely forgot about victory and defeat, life and death. All that remained was the people before them.
There was ravishing joy from finding what was previously lost, there was wavering dilemma, and there was the fear of loss.
Li Qingshan retreated and dodged it. The Dark Queen’s hand touched nothing.
Xiao An gazed at the Dark Queen as she constantly backed away. She silently murmured inside, Farewell, queen mother!
The pretty, familiar yet unfamiliar child overlapped with her before separating again. She turned around resolutely and flew towards Li Qingshan, throwing herself into his arms and embracing him firmly.
Li Qingshan was overjoyed. He grinned from ear to ear, smiling like a child. Sensing the emotional turmoil in Xiao An’s heart, he rubbed her head and said, “Let’s go for a great battle!”
Xiao An broke free from Li Qingshan’s embrace and waved her arm. The twenty-six Skull Prayer Beads scattered and landed within the sea of corpses.
Wielding the white bone sword, Xiao An leapt down.
“Zi’er” experienced a great sense of danger and ordered loudly. Several dozen Corpse Commanders abandoned their opponents and flew over, charging towards Xiao An.
Li Qingshan lifted his arm, bringing it in front of Gu Yanying who wanted to help out. “Get the Dark Queen to prepare for sealing off the Gate of Hungry Ghosts! We’ll press forward into the enemy’s den!”
What? Gu Yanying was utterly shocked. Was she supposed to fend off several million Corpse Soldiers, as well as so many Corpse Generals and Commanders, alone?
The group of Corpse Commanders arrived with surging corpse qi. With a wave of the Blood Sea Banner, they all vanished into thin air, and their corpse qi dispersed.
She could not kill them all, but keeping them trapped for a while was no problem.
When the Blood Sea Banner had first been refined, it was in its weakest form. Through constant battle and devouring enemies, the Blood Sea Banner had become more and more powerful. After reducing the Corpse Commanders who encircled the Dark Queen to blood, the Blood Sea Banner had never been so powerful before.
These Corpse Commanders had very tough bodies and their corpse qi was powerful. They could even lead Corpse Generals and Corpse Soldiers to strengthen themselves.
However, that was it. They were not capable of anything else. They did not have the powerful innate abilities of daemons, nor did they have the flexible techniques of humans. As a result, breaching the Blood Sea Banner became very difficult.
Xiao An descended from above. The Blood Sea Banner stretched over three hundred meters long, dancing about like a blood dragon as it silently devoured the sea of corpses.
Thousands, tens of thousand, hundreds of thousand!
The Corpse Generals and Corpse Commanders could still fend off the sea of blood, but these Corpse Soldiers clearly lacked the ability. They were reduced to blood as soon as they entered the sea of blood, strengthening the Blood Sea Banner’s powers.
The skeletons they left behind floating in the sea of blood. They were much more powerful than the white bones regular people left behind in the very beginning. Within the sea of blood hid a sea of bones that constantly lunged and mauled at the Corpse Commanders.
The Skeleton Demons that had scattered did not stand around idly either. They opened their huge, vicious, teeth-ridden mouths and spat out gushing flames.
Thousands of Corpse Generals led an army several million strong to surround these Skeleton Demons. They all fell into military formations as corpse qi condensed into vicious monsters in the air. Terrifying weapons were swung at the Skeleton Demons.
The corpse qi on Corpse Soldiers had always been much thinner. The Corpse Generals had mobilised their corpse qi to unleash various attacks, which made the Corpse Soldiers lose their final layer of protection.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
Wherever the Samādhi Flames of White Bone went, they were like sparks that landed in a pot of oil. A great blaze rushed into the air and spread rapidly, reaching an unstoppable size in the blink of an eye.
Burning in the Samādhi Flames of White Bone, the Corpse Soldiers became a part of the flames one by one, stoking the fire.
The Samādhi Flames of White Bone turned into great swathes of fire clouds, surging through the air while spitting out thousands of tongues of flames like colossal, constantly-transforming beasts, licking the sea of corpses on the ground.
Having lost their subordinates, the Corpse Generals could only circulate their corpse qi and hold on for dear life in the sea of fire. But at most, they would only last a little longer in the sea of fire.
Under the violent surging of Samādhi Flames of White Bone, their protective corpse qi collapsed and was torn apart very soon, reduced to great torches of fire.
The entire world was burning!
“What a great fire!” Li Qingshan shouted out in admiration.
The others were all speechless. The firelight made their faces flickered.
Gu Yanying frowned firmly. What is this fire? How come I’ve never heard of it? And how is it so powerful? She personally believed she possessed great knowledge and extensive experience, but now she saw a fire even she had never heard of before. Their fortuitous encounter truly had been unfathomable.
“Zi’er” widened her eyes. The flames caused her a vague sense of fear, which made her suddenly remember an extremely widespread rumor within the Hungry Ghost realm. A long, long time ago, white holy fire had once descended from above and incinerated everything.
Although the fire had been forced out of the Hungry Ghost realm in the end, countless Corpse Kings and Ghost Kings were reduced to ashes in this great calamity of the Hungry Ghost realm. There had even been much more and even stronger existences well beyond his reach that had died in it.