“Everyone gather around! I will now reactivate the metal dragon and have it lead us to Long Shijie’s resting place.” Lord Long Zhiming said in a loud voice prompting people to gather around him.
“Is it finally time?” Zhang asked as he and his wives walked up toward Lord Long Zhiming.
From what Zhang, could tell, for the most part, none of the people from the Dragon God Palace had been possessed. While every other party had at least a person or two severed souls mixed into their ranks.
“This could be an odd coincidence or a devious plot of some kind.” Zhang thought to himself.
“According to what I know, the best time to enter Long Shijie’s tomb should be the very moment the sun sets.” Lord Long Zhiming said.
“Once the sun sets, the severed souls will also be a tad stronger than they are now; so, it is best to stay on our guard.” Yuying said to Zhang, Ai, Ling and Lingqi through her divine sense.
“It’ll be dangerous if we are the only ones to know about the severed souls, should we tell a few of the others?” Zhang asked his wives through his divine sense.
“If we let on about what we know to the wrong people there could be dire consequences. I think it would be best if we could alert the others without letting them know that it was us who alerted them.” Ling voiced her opinion.
“Yea if we can make a severed soul appear, then everyone who hasn’t been possessed yet will be on guard for the rest of the trip.” Lingqi added supporting Ling’s suggestion.
“Is there even a way for us to do that without revealing ourselves?” Zhang asked.
“Leave it to me; I’ll see what I can do.” Yuying said as they stopped talking through their divine sense and focused their attention toward Lord Long Zhiming once again.
“Activate!” Lord Long Zhiming shouted as he held up the metallic guide that would lead everyone in his palm. Like it had done a few times before, the metallic guide began to vibrate and the inanimate dragon began to wiggle and coiled itself in Lord Long Zhiming’s palm before launching itself into the air and releasing a deafening roar despite its small size.
Whilst everyone's gazes were focused upon the metallic dragon, Yuying saw the perfect opportunity to act.
As discreet as possible, she began to chant in an inaudible voice while her hands were hidden in her sleeves making one hand sign after the other, creating dozens of tiny chains of runes.
Yuying directed the chains of runes to the soles of her shoes then manipulated them to penetrate into the ground, tunneling it toward the target she had selected.
Moments later one of the possessed, a young female lesser saint by the name of Mei Qing, found herself under attack as the rune chains burrowed their way out of the ground and wrapped around her ankles.
“Expel!” Yuying yelled in her mind causing the chains of runes wrapping around Mei Qing to light up for a half of a second and unleashing a powerful burst of soul power.
“Wha-what is happening!?!?” Mei Qing yelled in a hoarse voice full of panic before a smoky, black silhouette was pushed out from her back.
With her goal completed, Yuying instantly stopped her spell and made the rune chains disappear. Everyone’s attention was redirected from Lord Long Zhiming onto Mei Qing, who fainted and fell onto the ground.
Floating in the air, where its host had been, the severed soul was bombarded by the piercing gazes of everyone present.
“A severed soul!” Master Shan Jin yelled out as an essence flared out from within his body.
Before long, many of the other saints also began to channel their essence within their bodies engulfing the severed soul with the oppressive might of dozen saints.
Under such a powerful force, the severed soul immediately fell under the mercy of the crowd.
“Wretched deceased! How dare you act unruly and possess one us!” Lord Long Zhiming roared angrily as a beam made entirely of essence shot out from the tip of his index finger.
“Wait!” Master Shan Jin yelled as he saw the beam of essence pierced through the air impaling the severed soul causing a painful shrill to emanate through the air.
After being impaled by Lord Long Zhiming’s attack, the outline of the severed soul’s smoky body glowed before it exploded into a rain of twinkling specks.
“Why did you do that!?” Master Yu Xui roared angrily at Lord Long Zhiming.
“For a mere severed soul to act unruly in front of my lord, being dispersed into oblivion is already a lenient punishment.” One of Lord Long Zhiming’s subordinates said in a haughty tone. However, before anyone could even respond to him Yuying had already utilized her technique the second time upon another target.
“What is the meaning of this!” A hoarse voice echoed in the air as a young man who was standing not far away from Mei Qing lost consciousness and a wisp of smoke was pushed out of his body, revealing a second severed soul.
Much like the first severed soul that had appeared, this second severed soul was instantly swept up in a storm of essence conjured by the combined efforts of all of most of the saints present.
But unlike their first encounter, many of the saints such as Master Shan Jin and Master Yu Xui all had their gazes focused upon Lord Long Zhiming, waiting to see if the latter was going to act.
However, before Lord Long Zhiming could or even attempted to act the severed soul howled and in a flash self-detonated, causing shockwave to ripple and send a few unsuspecting saints tumbling onto the ground.
“Let us proceed with what we were doing before.” Lord Long Zhiming said as he redirected everyone's attention back into the sky where the metallic dragon was, clearly trying to ignore the matter regarding the severed souls.
“Odd…” Zhang and the all of the beauties but Ai thought in unison.
“Something is wrong with him…” Ling said to Zhang and the other beauties through her divine sense.
“Definitely…” Zhang said.
Disregarding everyone else Lord Long Zhiming and his subordinates all took to the air pursuing the metallic dragon and of course since no one wanted to be left behind they were forced to swallow their questions, doubts, and objections and shot into the air too.
“Everyone! Please make sure that all of your subordinates are in sound condition and not the puppets of the deceased!” Master Shan Jin said after taking off after Lord Long Zhiming and the metallic dragon.
Thanks to Yuying’s efforts the saints were now aware of the existence of the severed souls and began to sweep through their ranks to smoke out these unwanted guests.
As seamlessly as the severed souls were and despite how well they blended in after obtaining their new bodies, once their presence was revealed, as a group the saints had a number of ways to deal with them.
Thus, began a purge in which the roles of predator and prey gradually switched.
e knowledge regarding the soul was unmatched, the other saints had no way of Although their knowledge regarding the soul could not compare to Yuying, a few of the other saints possessed methods to slowly but surely seek out the severed souls. Sadly, despite having the ability to figure out who was being possessed by a severed soul, these saints did not possess the ability to expel the severed soul out of the host body.
So for the most part, once someone was discovered to be possessed by a severed soul, they would be directly put to the sword.
“Damn severed souls! Die!” A full saint roared as he decapitated one of his comrades who had been possessed.
While everyone was busy making sure that their ranks were free of any unwanted infiltrators, Zhang and his wives found themselves somewhat lucky because all of their subordinates had remained with the bulk of the group and none of them were possessed.
“Thankfully none of our people got caught up in this mess or else we would be forced to act like everyone else and put them to the sword since we can’t let anyone know that it was us who expelled those severed souls out from the bodies of their hosts.” Yuying stated. Although Zhang would have surely objected to needlessly killing their subordinates, in the end, to ensure his safety and the safety of his wives he would be forced to push aside his personal feelings and do what’s best.
Soaring across Sea Beast Island, much to Zhang’s surprise the metallic dragon was heading north toward a pair of fairly large mountains.
“The inheritance is at the Ethereal Point? Things might play out more in my favor if I can find an opportunity to make use of the Ethereal Point. Also, as long as we remain within the group, I won’t have to worry about being overwhelmed by the severed souls… If only the Soul Devouring flame was more effective...” Zhang thought in a mumble to himself as he felt that his trump card, the black flames that helped him escape from the very depths of hell, was rather ineffective when facing people of the same level or those more powerful than he was.
If he was facing a soul without a body, then the flames would be extremely effective and rather than depleting his stores of essence during its use it would replenish and strengthen him. However, when facing someone just as strong or stronger than himself, someone with who possessed a mortal body, someone who was in their peak condition, the black flames would at best weaken his opponent. But the amount of essence expended by using the flames and the amount of damage dealt to the enemy would not correlate.
Hence the reason why Zhang had to store away large amounts of essence within the Dragon Heart Necklace.
“In the mortal plane this fire is definitely useful in a one on one match, however when facing multiple enemies, I would be at a disadvantage if I had to keep using it. Heh, maybe I’m just overthinking things too much.” Zhang thought as he refocused his attention toward the two mountains up ahead, pushing his current thoughts to the side.
As they flew through the air and came ever closer to the pair of mountains, a beautiful scenery came into view. Standing side by side with both of their peaks piercing into the clouds, the two mountains looked especially magnificent as the starry night sky acted as their backdrop.
Covered in ruins that had been reclaimed by mother nature, one couldn’t help but feel a hint of awe after witnessing such a sight.
Seeing such a sight while soaring through the air following a metallic dragon whilst in the companion of four heaven-defying beauties along with a large number of saints, Zhang truly felt that he had come quite far in life. From a boy who couldn’t even pass the early stages of cultivation, he had escaped from the Underworld while taking the Yama’s beloved daughter with him on top of that he eventually married her, he had returned helped established a mighty empire and now he was currently plotting against some of the strongest powers established in the Eastern Sea.
Lead by the metallic dragon, the group flew toward a valley that cut into the place where the two mountains intersected. After flying a considerable distance into the valley, the metallic dragon unleashed one of its deafening roars along with a powerful pulse of essence that reverberated throughout the valley.
Acting as a key of sorts the pulse of essence released from the metallic dragon caused the ground to rumble and shake as nine massive life like metallic dragons pierced upward from the ground forming a large circle.
Once the nine massive metallic dragons rose up from the earth they too began to unleash deafening roars, resonating with the miniature metallic dragon. Moments later the nine larger metallic dragons all began shooting beams of essence onto the ground and before long a massive magic circle array lit up.
“A teleportation array.” Yuying said as the newly visible runes on the ground began to glow ever so more brightly and a rift within space slowly formed.
“This teleportation array should take us to where the inheritance is.” Lord Long Zhiming said with a bright and ecstatic expression on his face before directly flying into the spatial rift, followed by all of the members of the Dragon God Palace.
“Let's go, judging from the layout of this array, the rift won't remain stable for very long!” Yuying said as she flew toward the teleportation array.
Following after Yuying, Zhang and the other beauties along with their subordinates all charged into the spatial rift also and in a flash, they found themselves within a large chamber filled with darkness.
Gathered at the other end of the teleportation array, all of the saints began to withdraw various items from their interspatial rings and employ various methods at their disposal to spread light into the world of darkness in front of them.
Of course, due to the sheer size of the chamber, no amount of light would ever be enough to completely push aside the impending darkness. With that being said however thanks to the efforts of all those present, a good portion of the chamber was now brightly lit.
Appearing to stretch endlessly into the darkness with hundreds of large columns decorated with intricately carved stone dragons, and a ceiling as tall as a mountain, the chamber made everyone appear as if they were ants.
“Is that the real Ascending Beauty Painting!?” Someone yelled out as they pointed off distance toward an ancient looking altar that had been shrouded in the shadows not too long ago.
Atop this ancient altar, a floating piece portrait could be seen levitating in midair.
“The person in that painting looks oddly familiar…” Zhang said as his eyes locked onto the levitating portrait.
“Now that you mention it, I think I’ve seen that person somewhere.” Lingqi said.
“Yea, that person looks very familiar…” Yuying said.
“Most definitely.” Ling added.
“Hmmm…” Ai mutter could be seen in deep thought.