Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Long Shen took the sword out of its sheath and jumped directly in front of the thousand corpse figurine, blocking it from pouncing on Xie Qingling. When the long sword in his hand swung out, the speed was extremely fast that it looked like white light. Before everyone had time to see clearly, the heads on the shoulders of the thousand corpse figurine had been cut off. Around six heads flew disorderly as they opened their mouths in mid-air trying to bite.
He didn’t stop there and turned to Zhang Song and stabbed his sword into the chest of another thousand corpse figurine. A thick black gas spewed out as it was kicked by Long Shen, causing it to stagger a few steps back before falling to the ground. Zhang Song took the opportunity and cut off all its heads.
From Dong Zhi’s glimpse, he could see that two men were moving suspiciously behind Long Shen, quietly, as if they had bad intentions.
He stopped them with his Changshou Sword and was about to ask them their identities. Unexpectedly, they looked as if they were guilty of being a thief, and thinking that Dong Zhi was about to attack them, they took a few steps back, giving him a look of vigilance. One of them started chanting an unknown mantra and pinching his hand, then took out a mass of something from his pocket and threw it in front of Dong Zhi. The thing quickly swelled into a three-dimensional shape as it bowed its neck, adopting an offensive posture.
Although Dong Zhi had just entered the spiritual world not long ago and had not seen much of it, he knew the origin of the other party as soon as he saw this young man’s technique. On Changbai Mountain, Master Fujikawa summoned shikigamis to fight, which was exactly what this thing in front of him was.
These people must be working for the Japanese!
It seems that they have also been separated from the main force, so this makes dealing with them much easier.
The white tiger rushed over with a roar. Dong Zhi quickly bent down, picked up his Changshou Sword, and cut a hole in the white tiger’s abdomen. The eyes of the master of the white tiger glared at him coldly.
Ordinary weapons cannot hurt shikigamis, unless the sword Dong Zhi was wielding was a magical weapon. He hadn’t taken Dong Zhi seriously at first, based on the way his opponent was holding his sword and his reaction speed. He was at best a novice swordsman, but since he wields a magical weapon in hand, his opponent can temporarily compete with his white tiger.
With Long Shen’s and Dong Zhi’s arrivals, it added much needed help to Li Ying and the others. Long Shen was able to hold back the thousand corpse figurines by himself, but these figurines were invulnerable. They had thousands of heads and hands and were quite strong in combat. No matter how powerful Long Shen was it was impossible to wipe out thousands of troops in an instant to eliminate these evil things.
As soon as Xie Qingling was able to catch her breath, she noticed the sound of skimming from the back of her head. She didn’t have time to look back and chose to avoid it sideways.
Behind her, an extremely fast figure turned around in the air and attacked her. Zhang Song had just swung his sword, pushing away a thousand corpse figurine when he felt a tingle. When he saw it, he flew towards it and pierced the phantom.
While his speed was very fast, his opponent had disappeared out of thin air before the sword arrived, and once again appeared beside Xie Qingling, directly grabbing her head!
Upon seeing this, Li Ying threw a talisman out subconsciously, and the talisman stuck to the opponent, causing the latter to snort and stagger back, hitting himself against the wall.
*Strategy and tactics of unconventional warfare, guerrilla warfare, and espionage purportedly practiced by the ninja.
Li Ying narrowed his eyes and threw another talisman over, without giving the opponent time to breathe. However, the man smiled strangely at him and disappeared from sight out of thin air.
Li Ying knew that this was just a distraction. His opponent is a human being, not a monster. It was impossible for him to break through space obstacles, but a clever ninja could maximize the use of people’s blind spots and attack from there.
With a chill in his heart, he turned around quickly, but he was punched in the chest immediately, causing a dull pain to spread immediately, interrupting his attack.
Xie Qingling raised her hand, and several puppets pounced on the white tiger. The white tiger turned around and clawed at them, but the puppets dodged flexibly and assisted Dong Zhi in his attack.
Zhang Song originally wanted to help Long Shen deal with the thousand corpse figurines, but seeing that Li Ying was struggling, he raised his sword and swept it towards the ninja.
“Fucking hell. I don’t believe that you can jump faster than my sword!”
In the blink of an eye, Long Shen had already killed three of the thousand corpse figurines, and seeing that he was gradually gaining the upper hand, when he was about to kill the remaining one that was under his sword, four more people broke in.
“Master, be careful! The cloaked person is here!”
Seeing the new arrivals, Dong Zhi didn’t care about being grabbed by the white tiger, who wounded his arm as he shouted loudly to Long Shen.
Not only did the cloaked person come, but there was also an old acquaintance on Changbai Mountain, Onmyouji Fujikawa Aoi.
Regarding Fujikawa Aoi, after the Changbai Mountain Incident, he once heard He Yu mention that the word Aoi is commonly used as a female name in Japan. However, Fujikawa Aoi’s mother died when he was born, so to honor his wife, his father used his wife’s name to name his son after her. The Japanese Shinto Priest and Onmyouji were originally two different identities. After being able to hold both identities at the same time and becoming a well-known warlock* in Japan, Fujikawa Aoi’s name had also changed from one of ridicule to praise. It was said that the disciples under him, in order to please him, also changed their names to female names.
*[Shushi] (术士) Specifically refers to Confucian scholars, Taoists scholars, alchemists, Jianghu warlocks, magicians ect.
In any case, Fujikawa Aoi was a powerful Onmyoji as far as he could tell from what he had learned from He Yu’s mouth.
The only reason the master and apprentice returned last time was not because they weren’t strong enough, but because of Long Shen’s presence in addition to dealing with the bone dragon, which was a divine beast that had lived for thousands of years, they were too ambitious and underestimated their opponents, resulting in the fiasco they suffered.
Now, the proud Japanese will not allow themselves to fail again, especially when it’s against the same opponent. This time, they were well prepared, and they will definitely be more difficult to deal with.
The man fighting with the Dong Zhi also shouted excitedly when he saw Fujikawa Aoi. He was more excited than Liu Qingbo, who had also arrived. In such a noisy and intense environment, he just heard the words “Master”. First showing a look of disbelief before he yelled, “The one surname Dong, what the fuck did you just say?!”
Dong Zhi was trying to catch his breath and had no time to pay attention to him. Liu Qingbo gritted his teeth and vented all his energy on the enemy in front of him.
I will cut, cut, cut you to death!
Fujikawa Aoi swept his gaze at Long Shen with gloomy eyes, sneered, raised his hand, and then released two shikigamis, which rushed towards Long Shen.
The cloaked figure was covered with a black robe and even its face was so tightly concealed that Dong Zhi couldn’t see the person’s appearance at all. The cloaked figure ignored everyone else and walked towards the stone statue after entering.
Zhang Song noticed the figure’s strangeness and tried to intercept it without a second thought.
The cloaked figure raised its wide sleeves and, in an instant, several black mists flew out from under the cloak, pouncing on Zhang Song from several directions.
Zhang Song was taken aback but found that the black mist started to expand when it fell to the ground and covered his head.
Dong Zhi was stunned and hurriedly shouted, “Those are demons! You can’t let them touch your body!”
In order to warn Zhang Song, he forgot to pay attention to himself, allowing the white tiger to rush up and bite his shoulder just right after he finished speaking.
Xie Qingling pressed her hands together hard, and several puppets started to grow bigger. They rushed on the tiger. One started stabbing the tiger in the heart with its dagger, while the other grabbed its head and twisted it vigorously. The tiger roared and struggled before finally letting go of Dong Zhi.
The arrival of the cloaked person and their party immediately reversed the situation where they had the upper hand.
Long Shen raised his hand, and a longsword was released from it and turned into a white light that flew towards the back of the cloaked figure. The figure responded by letting out several black mists, but it couldn’t stop Long Shen’s sword, so it had to stop and turn around, facing Long Shen head-on.
When the sword was flying through mid-air, Long Shen jumped after it, caught it, and slashed at the cloaked figure’s head. The cloaked figure’s black robe suddenly bulged, and black mist quickly overflowed from under it, entangling Long Shen’s sword.
One person was in the air while the other was on the ground. It was a scene like a white awn dueling with the black mist. They were evenly matched!
Their clashes spread infinitely, with the two of them at the center of the circle, wrapped in a huge sound wave that suddenly exploded! With a bang, the ground cracked inch by inch and the whole cave trembled violently, stunning everyone present.
However, Long Shen and the cloaked figure, who were in the eye of the vortex of great waves, did not stop fighting. The white light glowed brighter, and the black mist became thicker, expanding to become larger. The sea of clouds rolled around the cloaked figure, covering the white light, shrinking it down. While the light became smaller, the brightness continued to grow brighter.
Archfiend! That cloaked figure must be Xu Wan. The Archfiend was truly not dead!
Dong Zhi was shocked.
In the tumbling black mist, the laughter of the cloaked figure sounded, and it seemed that Xu Wan’s voice was still a little different. It sounded weird, cold, and treacherous.
“Long Shen, your old injuries have not completely healed yet, have they? Don’t make unnecessary struggles. It’s none of your business whether there’s peace in the world or not. Power is eternal! It’s better to be completely possessed and enjoy it together with me!”
Amidst the loud noise, the white light and black mist burst out again, causing loud soundwaves to erupt. The cracks on the ground instantly became larger. All things soaked in the black mist were not spared. The white tiger roared, and its color gradually turned to gray in the black mist, but suddenly its power became greater. With a wave of its sharp claws, Xie Qingling’s puppets were shattered instantly.
Xie Qingling spurted out a mouthful of blood and fell directly to the ground.
From the corner of his eyes, Dong Zhi saw that Fujikawa Aoi had bypassed the stone statue and directly stepped onto the stone platform behind it. A handsome young man took out the bronze mirror and squatted down, pressing the bronze mirror into the ground.
Since the stone platform was several steps higher than the ground, it was impossible to see whether there was any sort of mechanism on it from Dong Zhi’s perspective. The ground shook violently after the bronze mirror was pressed in. In the rumbling, the stone platform split from the middle, slowly dividing into two, revealing a concave stone trough.
Fujikawa Aoi showed joy on his face, but Dong Zhi could see from this joy that something foreboding was about to happen. No matter what they wanted to do, it would not be good, and they had to be stopped.
With that thought in mind, Dong Zhi took advantage of the fact that the white tiger was still distracted and ran towards the stone platform. He raised his sword to slash at the young man, but his opponent simply smiled at him. With a flick of his hand, the sword in Dong Zhi’s hand seems to have hit some kind of obstacle, as if it was blocked by the air and couldn’t slash down.
“You’re not worthy to be my opponent. Begone.” The other party whispered softly and closed his five fingers. Suddenly, a strong wind came, blowing Dong Zhi towards the stone wall of the cave.
He felt severe pain in his back, but he didn’t care about anything else. He pulled out a Sunlight Talisman, chanted a mantra, and threw it. The talisman swept towards the young man in mid-air, but he didn’t turn his head. Instead, he stretched out his hand and grabbed it directly, causing the talisman to explode in his hand.
Dong Zhi took this opportunity to raise his sword and rush up to stab his opponent. The young man turned his head aside, smiled slightly, and his expression became a little more serious. His five fingers stretched out and made a sweep in the air.
Through the light from the bronze lamp on the stone wall, Dong Zhi discovered that several transparent silk threads were entangled between his fingers. It was no wonder he was bounced away just now. It should be these silk threads.
As fast as lightning, the silk thread was already in front of him. Dong Zhi raised his sword to parry, trying to cut the silk thread, but it instantly slinked back, as if it was alive. It dodged his attack and wrapped itself directly around his wrist.
As the silk touched his flesh, his skin immediately started bleeding, as his wrists were being strangled.
“I don’t like killing people, so you better not force me.”
Regardless of how earth-shattering the battlefield was, the young man still had an elegant and polite tone. Dong Zhi, on the other hand, tossed out a talisman, hoping that the talisman fire would burn the silk threads. However, the thread immediately wrapped itself around his other wrist and stopped his actions.
As soon as the young man raised his hands, the silk thread immediately wrapped around Dong Zhi’s body, binding him tightly. The other end of the silk thread was tied around a stone wall, affixing Dong Zhi to the wall.
After doing this, he stopped paying attention to Dong Zhi and returned to the side of the stone platform groove. He stretched out his hand and leaned down.
Suddenly, he let out a gasp, shrank back his hand and retreated under the stone platform, showing a look of surprise. Dong Zhi thought his reaction was strange, but in the next moment he immediately widened his eyes.
The stone platform began to shake and tremble, then it shattered. Countless hands stretched out from under the stone platform and heads that were still rotten, half hung with flesh and blood, peered through.
“There is actually a ten thousand corpse array down here!” Dong Zhi heard the young man say, in shock.
The stone platform seemed to be a seal. With the seal broken, ghouls began to climb up from below one by one, moving slightly slower than the living. Their black nails scratched on the ground, leaving deep scorches on it.
The black mist seemed to have a natural attraction to the ghouls. Without paying any attention to the young man and Dong Zhi, they crawled towards the black mist one after another. The ghouls inhaled the black mist and roared, seemingly realizing their combat effectiveness had increased instantly. They pounced on Xie Qingling and the others.
Under the groove, a steady stream of ghouls kept climbing up!
Dong Zhi couldn’t help but feel anxious, but the silk thread had tightly bound him to the stone wall. Any little movement would cause the silk thread to cut into his flesh, causing pain. He didn’t need to lower his head to know that his entire lower body was covered in wounds from them.
With a loud shout, the figures of Song Zhicun and others appeared at the entrance. Seeing this situation, they threw themselves into the battle one after another.
Li Ying was weak. He had used too many talismans, more so than he had ever done in the past and had exhausted his mental and physical strength. He was so tired that he almost vomited blood. Unable to fight, he helplessly watched as the thousand corpse figurine rushed towards him. Song Zhicun leaped forward, forming the seal of Acala* with both hands before shooting them at the thousand corpse figurine.
*[Budong Mingwang] (不動明王) A wrathful deity and protector of Dharma prominent in Vajrayana Buddhism and East Asian Buddhism. In Chinese modern times, he is revered as one of the eight Buddhist guardians of the Chinese zodiac and specifically considered to be the protector of those born in the year of the Rooster. He is also frequently invoked during Chinese Buddhist repentance ceremonies, such as the Liberation Rite of Water and Land, along with the other Wisdom Kings, where they are given offerings and intreated to expel evil from the ritual platform.
“Lin!” His voice wasn’t high, but it was like the roar of a lion that reached everyone’s ears deeply, stimulating them.
With the seal of Acala combined with Taoist mantra, Song Zhicun effectively doubled his power. Qi surged all around him as the thousand corpse figurine crashed down, breaking into several pieces.
Liu Qingbo didn’t have his Feijing Sword, so he danced around with a short dagger in his hand and immediately slashed all the ghouls that were close to Xie Qingling.
Ba Sang and Xiang Yongnian were martial artists, so they could not easily fight the thousand corpse figurines, but they could easily deal with the ghouls. In order not to be contaminated by them, they had to bind up their hands and feet.
Gu Meiren’s flute sounded, slowing the ghoul’s movements and buying much needed time for the others. While Chi Banxia’s witchcraft had no effect on the dead, it was more than enough to deal with the living. With her there, the few Japanese who were still around dared not approach her and became more anxious.
With the addition of Song Zhicun and the others, the tide of the battle had suddenly changed again. While all this was happening, the battle between Long Shen and the Archfiend was still ongoing.
Dong Zhi originally heard the Archfiend mention that Long Shen was still injured, so he was worried for him. However, the Archfiend’s condition shouldn’t be any better. They had fought it on Tianyuan Building before and had severely injured it. Although they failed to completely eliminate it, it should still have had lasting damage from that battle, and it was likely that it couldn’t find a suitable body. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have wrapped itself up in a cloak like this.
His attention, though, was still focused on the young man not far from him. Based on his intuition, this person should be a powerful figure, and he may not necessarily be any better to deal with than the Archfiend.
His opponent was looking at the direction of the stone platform intently. Countless ghouls kept climbing up from the inside and rushing to the black qi that nourished their resurrection.
Dong Zhi felt that the other party wasn’t just observing the ghouls, but it seemed more like he was… waiting. After waiting for all the ghouls to come out, there should be something below.
What was he waiting for?
His heart jumped as Dong Zhi felt a bad premonition.
“Don’t let him approach the platform.”
A voice that Dong Zhi was very familiar with sounded in his mind. It was Long Shen’s. He turned his head and looked. Long Shen’s figure was barely visible in the overwhelming black mist. The white light seemed to be overwhelmed by the black mist.
But Long Shen was still talking to him using telepathy. This meant that Long Shen was still trying to hold off the Archfiend and would not be able to get away for the time being. It also shows that this matter was extremely important, so much so that he didn’t hesitate to consume extra energy to tell him telepathically.
Looking around the field, besides Long Shen, only Song Zhicun was the strongest among them.
The demonic energy released by the Archfiend was quarantined by Long Shen within a certain range, so it didn’t spread for the time being. However, Song Zhicun was now dealing with several thousand corpse figurines that were infected by demonic energy alone, as well as the unscrupulous Japanese. Among them, only Fujikawa Aoi could match his strength. Not only that, ghouls kept pouring out and rushing towards everyone.
The others weren’t faring any better as they were thinly stretched and struggling to cope. Although Liu Qingbo and the others had not yet lost ground, the situation wasn’t looking optimistic. No one had time to spare. There was only him as the glimmer of hope.
Is there a way to stop his opponent?
Budong Mingwang / Acala (不動明王)
A wrathful deity and protector of Dharma prominent in Vajrayana Buddhism and East Asian Buddhism. In Chinese modern times, he is revered as one of the eight Buddhist guardians of the Chinese zodiac and specifically considered to be the protector of those born in the year of the Rooster. He is also frequently invoked during Chinese Buddhist repentance ceremonies, such as the Liberation Rite of Water and Land, along with the other Wisdom Kings where they are given offerings and intreated to expel evil from the ritual platform.