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LGS - Chapter 1263 - Devouring the World

The Gate of Hungry Ghosts

No one could stop the mouth of the hungry ghost that had completely split open. Under the watch of countless undead, the white bone tower shot into the air like a sharp tooth, penetrating deep into the atmospheric winds until it connected with the sky.

Boom!

The entire world seemed to shake, like a sheep with its neck pierced by a wolf’s fangs, trembling away on the brink of death.

The colour of the sky changed. The deathly grey replaced the deep blue and spread slowly. It did not move quickly, but it was unstoppable. It would not stop until it dyed the entire sky.

Within the grey sky, countless eyes peered down on the land of the nine provinces.

All the living creatures gazed up, screaming in fright and fleeing in panic like an ants’ nest that had just been unearthed, scurrying around everywhere on the ground.

Even the strongest “ants” were shocked. This was an unprecedented disaster for the nine provinces.

The constant invasions of demonfolk were basically like a child’s game in comparison. The invasions of the demonfolk would only lead to world wars upon world wars. At the very least, they could still put up a struggle or even defeat the enemy.

Now, there was only despair.

The Great Banyan Tree King despaired as well. He had not even become the god of the world yet. However, even if he achieved that, becoming the head caretaker of this world, he could only capture a few thieves that snuck into his courtyard secretly and deal with some thugs at most. Instead, what he faced now was an army. Whether he resisted or yielded, it would be a massacre regardless. They had no chance of getting out alive!

The sea of trees that spanned thousands of kilometres in the Mist province seemed to enter a harsh winter. They all began to wither and shed their leaves under the grey sky.

A butterfly fluttered through the air gently before suddenly falling without any prior signs, joining the endless, rustling fallen leaves.

Small creatures scurried through the forests as wild beasts rampaged about as if they had sensed that the end was near. Countless birds took to the skies as they cried out, trying to migrate to the south. Their feathers blotted out the sky, but they fell back to the ground again after a short while.

Within a tribe of barbarians, all of the tribesmen knelt and worshipped a totem pole, slamming their heads heavily against the barren ground.

Only the shaman was dressed with a cloak woven from the colourful feathers of birds, dancing around the totem pole. He chanted away as if he was singing an ancient folk song.

The old people collapsed first, without any sound or movement afterwards.

The middle-aged people became old people. Their shallow wrinkles dug deeply into their faces like the merciless marks of time. Tears were strewn across their faces.

The young people became middle-aged people, looking at each other with faces full of fear as they witnessed each other rapidly age.

The young children began to grow old before they could even grow up, rapidly meeting the end of their lives.

In the end, only the shaman remained. His throat was dry and hoarse, and his movements were sluggish and stiff, dancing around between the corpses like a strange wooden puppet. Suddenly, his string snapped, and he also collapsed and died.

The tribe fell into silence. The shaman suddenly stood up again and glanced down at the corpse draped in feathers, realising that it was him. Before he could even think too much about it, an irrepressible sensation filled his soul, making him recall the great famine from many years ago. He had gone many days without eating, almost starving to death. The feeling right now was a hundred times worse than back then.

Corpses rose up from the ground, turning into undead.

Without a second of hesitation, the undead turned on each other and began devouring one another, without any regard for how they had been father and son or brothers the moment earlier. Everything was in an attempt to satiate that deep hunger.

That was the curse that the Hungry Ghost realm had bestowed upon all undead. It was completely impossible for low level undead to overcome this instinct.

Situations like this happened everywhere, which filled the Great Banyan Tree King with sorrow. Compared to this, they would be better off being devoured by her Samādhi Flames of White Bone. At the very least, there was no pain like that.

Among the six realms of saṃsāra, the Hungry Ghost realm was a lesser realm only second to the Hell realm. Anyone who experienced it would understand that hunger itself had always been a form of torture.

Finally, within the ancient tribe, only the shaman was left standing, and his power had grown to a greater height, but his hunger had not been satisfied. He rushed off into the dead jungle, searching for new food.

However, just because they became undead did not mean they had a chance to “survive”. Under the constant elimination, very few of them would remain even after becoming undead. The others were all reduced to food.

And when the Hungry Ghost realm completely devoured the nine provinces, the powerful undead would swarm the place. Even if all the living creatures in the nine provinces became undead, they could not escape the fate of being devoured.

Only humans, daemons, and otherfolk that had been powerful cultivators in the first place had a slight chance at surviving.

The Great Banyan Tree King could not afford to bother with the other provinces anymore. He gathered all of his strength in Towering city, making the countless leaves shine with resplendent green light, protecting all the creatures within several thousand kilometres from the corrosion of death.

In the imperial court of the Dragon province, dragon qi rushed into the air, turning into the figure of a true dragon that coiled around Dragonshead mountain, watching as the grey skies drew closer. All it did was protect the imperial court, neglecting all other places aside from there.

Apart from these two places, only the various provincial governors could contend against it. The formations of regular sects only managed to preserve themselves.

Cultivators could not be corrupted that easily, but it was only a matter of time. The very cornerstone they depended on to survive no longer existed. Apart from becoming undead, there was no other path they could take.

Suddenly, the Great Banyan Tree King discovered that the most crucial power which contended against the devouring of the Hungry Ghost realm was actually the demon caverns. The demon qi rushed into the air like thick smoke, obstructing the spread of the greyness in the sky.

The Demon domain was not one of the six realms of saṃsāra, but it was no weaker than the Hungry Ghost realm in terms of the level of the world. No matter how vicious demonfolk were, they were still living creatures.

When the laws of the two worlds collided, the expansion and devouring of the Hungry Ghost realm would slow down until the demon caverns were purged and eliminated. This was no longer as simple as sealing or suppression, but stealing their food, completely breaking off the connection between the nine provinces and the Demon domain.

The demon caverns were like sharp bones studded within a fish’s body. They had to be picked out carefully, or the nine provinces would actually become a point of vulnerability like their underbelly.

Don’t tell me she was expecting this as well? the Great Banyan Tree King contemplated.

Over the past few months, she had rampaged through the various provinces and carried out a great massacre, basically opening up most of the demon caverns throughout the world. Now, they finally came into effect. Not only could they stop the devouring of the Hungry Ghost realm, but they also served as an optimal path of retreat.

Otherwise, even if they ascended now, they would probably just ascend to the Hungry Ghost realm.

It was not that he was incapable of calculating that. Instead, he had not considered it at all. With becoming the god of the world as his objective, he basically hoped to suppress all the demon caverns, so why would he encourage an invasion from demonfolk?

Now, he could not afford to think too much about it. He immediately opened the demon caverns littered throughout the Mist province, letting the gushing demon qi contend against the spreading grey haze of death.

He could not help but lament. Perhaps only with no emotions and no desire can you reach the limits of wisdom! But if she were truly emotionless, she should be leaving the world right now.

On the great plains of the Cool province, the wind from the north swept up her white robes. Suddenly, she looked back. Countless eyes in the distant heavens pierced through the obstructions of the zones, gathering on her.

The feeling was like a tiny insect that children observed through a glass cover. There was contempt, curiosity, interest… and of course, caution.

Because she was not a regular tiny insect, but a “venomous” one, the legendary venomous insect that would destroy the Hungry Ghost realm.

There was only caution in these gazes, not exactly fear. Out of all the existences that could gather around the “glass cover”, any single one of them could flatten the nine provinces if it were not for the glass cover. As a matter of fact, their gazes alone could collapse the minds of people.

But she was unfazed. She only came to an understanding. So the ghost tower had still been completed in the very end.

“Master, let’s go to the Demon domain! It’ll be too late once the Hungry Ghost realm completely devours the nine provinces.”

However, the eyes did make the Sword Spirit of Immortal Relinquished shiver or even experience fear. It would no longer be possible for him to defect to another swordmaster. If he clashed against them, he would definitely be destroyed.

The Cool province had many demon caverns of various sizes too. All of them led to the Demon domain. As long as she made it to the Demon domain, even the Hungry Ghost realm would be powerless over her. They could not even send in undead to hunt her down.

However, she shook her head. “Take me to the tombs of the Five Absolute.”

The Five Absolutes Immortal had left behind five tombs. They were all known as zones, drifting among the nine provinces. The spirit of the Painting Tomb was the Dragon King of Ink Sea, while the spirit of the Sword Tomb was the Immortal Relinquished sword. The Zither Tomb, Calligraphy Tomb, and Chess Tomb still remained.

The Sword Spirit of Immortal Relinquished said, “That’s just wasting time. The cultivators of this world are far too weak, which is why they can’t find the five tombs. Meanwhile, the Hungry Ghost realm even has plenty of Ghost and Corpse Immortals. The five tombs are connected with the nine provinces. Once this world is completely devoured, we’ll have nowhere to go.”

“My mind has been made. Say no more.”

Tombs corresponded to graves. Hiding within a tomb was truly an ominous sign. However, before his return, she definitely could not leave, even if she perished within a tomb.

“Alright!”

Becoming one with the sword, they twisted around and circled about, diving into the space there.

Under the great ghost tower, the mouth of the hungry ghost abruptly spat out a black coffin. It sailed into the sky before landing heavily.

The coffin was covered in strange, complicated engravings. Suddenly, a crack opened, and not a single wisp of corpse qi or ghost qi leaked out. Instead, a pale hand grabbed the edge of the coffin gently, pushing open the lid completely.

A young man tried stepping out of the black coffin. His foot touched the barren earth, and he smiled. “So it does work!”

There were two sharp fangs protruding from the corners of his mouth, but aside from that, he seemed no different from a human. He was dressed in white clothes and black armour, with a blade hanging from his waist, like a valiant soldier. He did not seem vicious or horrifying at all like the regular undead.

He looked around. All of the Corpse Kings and Ghost Kings lowered their heads, afraid to meet his gaze. They cried out inside, Zombie!

If the Hungry Ghost realm filled with chaotic slaughter was said to possess a “divine clan” as well, then that would definitely be the Zombie clan.

Unlike the vicious and twisted others of their kind, the external appearance of zombies basically bore no difference to the living. They even possessed a body temperature and a heartbeat. They were neither tortured by hunger, nor did they devour other undead, yet their strength surpassed regular undead. They were truly the favoured children of the Hungry Ghost realm, almost equivalent to the Rāhu clan in the Asura realm.

However, all Rāhu were born as Rāhu, while zombies were unable to procreate. Aside from their ancestral god, Nüba, they all inherited legacies after birth. Only extremely powerful zombies could produce descendants, and it would come at a cost to their fundamental powers, so they would only choose from the unrivalled geniuses of the trichiliocosm.

Kuang Tianyou was one of these zombies. He asked, “What’re you gathering here for instead of finding the living to feast on?”

“This is sovereign Li’s orders, sir zombie. It’s rumoured that the enemy is in the north.”

Once they left the Gate of Hungry Ghosts, even if the Corpse Kings and Ghost Kings worked together, they were not her opponents.

“I have the guide of the stars. I don’t need you to tell me.”

Kuang Tianyou glanced at the sky. The eyes of various sizes were just like the stars, gathering some place up north. At this moment, many of the gazes gathered on him too.

He bowed towards a pair of the eyes and waved his hand. “Since I’m here, you don’t need to worry about some sovereign Li anymore. Go make a mess! Hahaha, once I destroy the successor of white bone, I will be the sovereign of this domain!”

Pipipingu's Notes:

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Written by Dream Teller (说梦者). Translated by Pipipingu.