Chapter 1074 – The Gate of Hungry Ghosts
Beneath the scorching white sun, shadows criss-crossed in the abyss. Xiao An flew through them and various memories of the past filled her mind, leading to faint ripples.
She gripped the Buddha Slaying sword without any sorrow or joy, flying along at a steady pace. The stone bridges all collapsed. As she swung her sword, she cut down all the Ghost Kings that blocked her path until she reached the very bottom of the Myriad Ghosts abyss, above the Gate of Hungry Ghosts.
The legendary Gate of Hungry Ghosts was not shaped like a gate, but a small lake instead. It spanned just five kilometers across, and it was surrounded with neat piles of obsidian, engraved with various different patterns that formed a perfect circle. It kept the gate firmly sealed.
The lake was not filled with water, but a sticky, inky-grey liquid. That was a condensation of all the yin qi and death qi gathered there.
There was not a single ripple on the surface of the lake, nor did it give off any reflections.
The two grand elders stopped above and called out, “Stop! If you take another step closer, we’ll destroy the Gate of Hungry Ghosts. It won’t just be you. The entire world will be buried as well!”
“If you destroy the Gate of Hungry Ghosts, the entire Myriad Ghosts abyss will shatter. You have nowhere to run in the Umbral Yin Formation of Gathering Ghosts, so you’ll probably still die in the end.”
Xiao An did not look at them. She stared at the unfathomably deep Gate of Hungry Ghosts. This was her greatest objective behind destroying the Umbral Yin sect.
She had gained a lot from the two battles at the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga and the Umbral Yin sect, but they were only temporary measures. Most of the ghosts under the Umbral Yin sect’s control had been summoned from the Gate of Hungry Ghosts. Only by controlling the gate would she have an endless amount of resources.
Given that, it made perfect sense why the Hungry Ghost realm would view her as a great enemy. Perhaps the White Bone Bodhisattva had done something similar in the past too!
“W- who are you exactly!?”
The two great elders were shocked. Destroying the Gate of Hungry Ghosts was the Umbral Yin sect’s final trump card. They would never use it unless they faced a situation of life or death, as the Umbral Yin sect would be completely destroyed with that. It was basically no different from mutual destruction. This was a core secret of the Umbral Yin sect, not something that an outsider could know about.
“Hmph, are you aware that the Gate of Hungry Ghosts is the core of the Umbral Yin Formation of Gathering Ghosts? Once the Gate of Hungry Ghosts is destroyed, the Umbral Yin Formation of Gathering Ghosts will naturally be destroyed too!”
Xiao An glanced around at the Ghost Kings and Skeleton Demons around her. “You can’t escape. Even if you survive somehow, the Hungry Ghost realm is not that great of a place to reside in.”
There was nothing that the two grand elders could say anymore. Among the six realms of saṃsāra, the Hungry Ghost realm was one of the three lower realms. The corpses and ghosts inside were ridden with hunger, devouring one another in the process. The brutality in there was no less than the Asura realm’s, except they could not be reborn like in the Asura realm. Unless they ran out of choices, even they were reluctant to join it. After all, they were still human.
In short, she seemed to have calculated everything, which was even more terrifying than the white flames.
Thinking about it now, if she had not withdrawn the Ghost Kings and skeleton monsters that chased after them earlier, they would have tried and destroyed the Gate of Hungry Ghosts as they were in dire straits. So this was also within her calculations. It made them shiver at this revelation.
Xiao An said, “You can go. I’ll spare your lives.”
“Why should we believe you?” “Only if you completely shut down the Umbral Yin Formation of Gathering Ghosts!”
“Alright.” Xiao An considered it for a moment before nodding and taking out the formation disc. With a gentle press, the rapidly-revolving formation disc came to a halt slowly, and the white sun in the sky sank gradually as well. It devoured and burned away all of the Ghost Kings before melding with her body and wrapping her in luminous Samādhi Flames of White Bone.
Immediately, the Umbral Yin Formation of Gathering Ghosts stopped operating. The night sky had never been so clear before. A clear moon high in the sky, with countless stars around it.
The two grand elders exchanged glances. Once a formation of such a scale was stopped, reactivating it would take quite an effort. As long as they were not restrained by the formation, they were confident enough about slipping away. There were not a lot of people in the world that could stop them.
Compared to being ghosts in the danger-ridden Hungry Ghost realm, they would much rather spend their time as humans. As a result, they used a technique unique to the Umbral Yin sect at the same time, the Escape Technique of the Ghost Show, and separated, flying towards the two ends of the Myriad Ghosts abyss. Their figures drifted about constantly, making it difficult to grasp their trajectories.
“Dharmagupta-vinaya, Conduct of Vinaya.”
The brilliant moon sank in the west, and two streaks of light shot through the sky, landing on the sides of the Myriad Ghost abyss. They turned into a man and a woman, the Fierce King of Chu and the Dark Queen respectively.
The Dark Queen had followed the Fierce King of Chu all the way back to the King of Chu’s estate to reignite their former passion for one another. She also gave him a thorough convincing, and only then did the Fierce King of Chu agree to come with her to the Umbral Yin sect to have a talk with their daughter.
After all, she might become the cultivator who would make it the furthest throughout the entire Ji clan. The Green province required her strength to fend off the Mist province too.
However, the sight before them left them stunned. They basically wondered if they had come to the right place or not. There was no gloomy yin qi, and there were no burning ghost lights. There was not even a person or ghost in sight.
What had happened to the Umbral Yin sect!?
There was a speck of light at the bottom of the Myriad Ghosts abyss, golden and white in colour.
“Xuanyue!” The Dark Queen flew down in concern, and the Fierce King of Chu followed close behind.
Xiao An was currently meditating by the Gate of Hungry Ghosts, digesting everything she had obtained from the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga and Umbral Yin sect. She reforged her set of white bones and refined the śarīra one by one. Suddenly, she turned around and smiled. “Mother, father!”
“Xuanyue… the Robes of Mourning!?” The Dark Queen walked over and suddenly discovered that the black robes were extremely familiar, which made her halt.
“What did you do?” The Fierce King of Chu asked with a frown.
“Mother, father, I’ve already gotten to the bottom of the truth. The person who murdered me in the past was the master of the Umbral Yin sect, who I’ve killed already. The Umbral Yin sect has been colluding with the Hungry Ghost realm to kill me, so I’ve eliminated them too. Unfortunately, one escaped.”
Xiao An was calm and modest, but towards the end, she was slightly disappointed too. No matter how thorough her plans were, it was very difficult for them to be perfect.
This news was like a clap of thunder to the Dark Queen and Fierce King of Chu’s ears. It left them speechless for a very long time.
The Waterside Pavilion of Listening Wind always maintained a clear, blue sky, regardless of night or day. The gentle breezes drifted through the place, making the lotus flowers ripple. Their fragrance permeated the entire place.
Gu Yanying arrived on the terrace outside the pavilion and clasped her hands. “Congratulations, fellow Northmoon. Your name now resounds throughout the world!”
Li Qingshan descended from above and landed on the terrace. He asked, “How is Chengzan?”
Gu Yanying said, “His life is in no danger, but his soul has been damaged, and his cultivation has been severely impacted. He’s still unconscious.”
“Oh, thanks. As long as he’s fine. I will find ways to help him recover his cultivation, but the damage to his soul is rather troublesome. Though, there still are ways to treat it.”
Li Qingshan arrived inside the pavilion quickly, only to see Hua Chengzan lying quietly on a bed. His breathing was feeble but extremely steady, which brought Li Qingshan some relief. When he saw the hilt that he firmly gripped in his hand, he could not help but frown.
Gu Yanying said, “He’s already developed a sword embryo, becoming one with the sword. The sword has been destroyed, but it’s almost impossible to completely remove the influence. I can’t remove the hilt from his hand rashly either. I plan on waiting until he wakes up.”
Li Qingshan took out the Soul Cycling sword and drew it from its sheath, which reflected his face. He said in thought, “Just what is the Sword Collection palace scheming?”
He had once used a sword from the Sword Collection palace, the Soaring Dragon sword, and he had used it until it broke, but he did not sense anything wrong with it, so why did it have such a great influence on Hua Chengzan? With these various suspicions in mind, he suddenly made up his mind.
He would refine the Soul Cycling sword!