Chapter 539 – Sea of Corpses
Li Qingshan descended from above and smashed into the sea of corpses.
At that moment, the ground sank and earth was thrown into the air. Hundreds of Corpse Soldiers were knocked into the horizon.
The Heavy Water sword expanded to ten times its size and produced rings of blue light as Li Qingshan swung it about. Wherever it passed by, corpses would be cleaved apart and sent flying. He crushed them like paper and was unstoppable.
Hua Chengzan cooperated in the air, raining down with extremely powerful techniques one after another. The Corpse Soldiers were gathered together and they did not know to dodge, so he would often be able to kill off an entire swathe with a casual technique.
However, after swinging for a while, Li Qingshan discovered that not only had the Corpse Soldiers in his surroundings failed to decrease, but they even increased instead. He pulled back his sword and flew into the air, exchanging glances with Hua Chengzan. Both of them were shocked.
In a short while, they had killed over ten thousand Corpse Soldiers together, and they were all relatively powerful Corpse Soldiers. There were not even that many Qi Practitioners throughout the entire Clear River prefecture. However, they had not even managed to reduce the rate at which the Corpse Soldiers piled up.
Once the Corpse Soldiers left the pit and scattered, killing them would not be so easy anymore.
“They’re finally here!”
Hua Chengzan gazed into the horizon. A Soaring Dragon ship pierced through the clouds and flew over. When it was still five kilometers away, hundreds of streaks of light criss-crossed and sailed through the air, sweeping along the ground and vaporizing thousands of Corpse Soldiers.
Thousands of puppets rained down from above, locking into battle with the scattered Corpse Soldiers.
They had finally managed to contain the sea of corpses slightly.
“Sir Liu, you’re finally here!”
Li Qingshan arrived on the deck of the Soaring Dragon ship, only to see Liu Zhangqing and the Foundation Establishment cultivators behind him all shocked. While the opening of a Gate of Hungry Ghosts caused them a very great impact, only when they saw this for themselves did they understand how terrifying it was.
So what if they were Foundation Establishment cultivators? If they fell into this sea of corpses, they would probably be gnawed to death in the blink of an eye.
“I’ve already reported this to the Marquis of Ruyi. Reinforcements will be arriving soon. Right now, we need to stand together and contain the Corpse Soldiers!” Liu Zhangqing cut right to the chase and flew down first.
He seemed dignified on the surface, but he constantly lamented inside. His job as a prefect had been far too difficult. First, the Clear River prefecture had become a battlefield between humans and daemons, and then the moon demon refined the Clear river. The Marquis of Ruyi was already very displeased with him.
But compared to the sight right now, even ten moon demons running amok would be nothing. If the Gate of Hungry Ghosts really opened by a little more, then the fifteen hundred kilometers of the Clear River prefecture would become a land of death. There would be no need for a prefect anymore.
The other cultivators followed closely behind. They unleashed their various abilities, casting formations and unleashing techniques, tearing apart the Corpse Soldiers madly.
Under Han Anjun’s arrangements, they each watched over a region and established a dam, stopping the tide of corpses.
Li Qingshan’s horizons widened again. He had remained in the Academy of the Hundred Schools for many years, but only now did he truly witness what each school was capable of. Under the terrifying pressure, no one dared to hold back.
Among them, the school of Mohism did the most. Huge puppets rampaged through the sea of corpses and cleaved through the waves, all possessing the strength of Foundation Establishment cultivators.
The teeth and claws of the Corpse Soldiers could only make sparks fly and leave behind marks on their tough armour.
In the air, the Soaring Dragon ship lent great support too. Streaks of light flashed through the air constantly, tearing through the sea of corpses.
But a while later, the “corpse hole” in the pit suddenly retracted violently and expanded, spurting out even more zombies.
The sea of corpses could no longer be described as “thickly dotted”, but rather “layers upon layers”. The thickest part stood several storeys high as it flooded the surroundings like waves. If they ran into mountains, they would directly smash into them, and if they ran into valleys, they would directly fill them.
The huge puppets had already been completely swallowed, turning into huge, bulging mounds in the sea of corpses.
Li Qingshan guarded the slope of a mountain. He did not need to think at all. He only needed to swing his sword constantly and slaughter the incoming waves of Corpse Soldiers. Broken limbs and bodies formed a great pile before him in the blink of an eye, but the Corpse Soldiers were endless.
If it were not for the relatively fast recovery that the Arts of the Boundless Ocean granted him, if it were not for the fact that his physical strength was almost endless, he would have collapsed from exhaustion a long time ago.
Even he was like that, so the other Foundation Establishment cultivators were much worse off. Some of them had already given up on guarding their positions, flying into the air.
On the eastern slope, the current leader of the school of Daoism, Juechenzi, wielded a sword and struck firmly. Just a flash of his weapon would be enough to pierce several dozen Corpse Soldiers. He also experienced troubles with his circulation of spiritual qi, so he took off into the air, but he suddenly felt his body sink.
A Corpse Soldier had leapt out of the sea of corpses and lunged over, grabbing Juechenzi’s foot. It opened its mouth filled with protruding teeth and bit down viciously.
Its corpse was so dense that it approached Daemon General. It was equivalent to a tenth layer Qi Practitioner. It was powerful among Corpse Soldiers, but it was nothing before a Foundation Establishment cultivator.
Spiritual qi blocked its teeth, and with a swing of his sword, Juechenzi chopped off the Corpse Soldier’s arms. However, having been momentarily delayed, over a dozen more Corpse Soldiers lunged over.
Juechenzi flew up as hard as he could. He took out a life-saving escape talisman, and with a flash, it turned to ashes, but he remained exactly where he was.
A shadow enveloped him. Filled with shock, he raised his head to take a look. The sky had become covered by a layer of sinister clouds before he knew it.
The sea of corpses suddenly produced a great wave, composed of thousands of Corpse Soldiers. Their vicious, greyish-white faces filled Juechenzi’s face, slamming against him heavily and swallowing him.
A vortex immediately appeared in the sea of corpses. At the centre was Juechenzi. The Corpse Soldiers pushed towards the centre madly as their vicious arms tugged at every inch of his body.
Juechenzi circulated his spiritual qi madly, but never had it been so sluggish before. Blood oozed out, his limbs were torn from his body, and he erupted into a mess of bones and blood. The Corpse Soldiers all feasted on pieces of his flesh.
Juechenzi’s aura vanished.
There were a series of cries. Within the endless slaughter, all of the Foundation Establishment cultivators looked down on these Corpse Soldiers in an almost-numbing way, as if they were unable to pose any realistic threat apart from their sheer numbers. Even if they could not stop them, they could always choose to retreat.
However, at that moment, they suddenly came to their senses. Even ants could kill an elephant if there were enough of them, and these Corpse Soldiers were not ants.
The huge puppets were riddled with damage and covered in Corpse Soldiers. Gradually, they experienced difficulties with moving and they collapsed on the ground heavily, swallowed and ripped apart by the sea of corpses.
Before they knew it, the claws and teeth of the Corpse Soldiers had become more powerful.
Black smoke rose into the air, forming a huge, dark cloud before they knew it. It spread out seemingly-slowly, but in the blink of an eye, it had already enveloped a large area, and wherever the shadow covered, vegetation would wither and water would turn red. Life would be destroyed.
A miserable layer of gathering clouds and rolling mist permeated the surroundings that refused to disperse with wind.
It was like the scene Li Qingshan saw in the Hungry Ghost realm with his soul sense.
Under the shadows, even he felt discomfort. Suddenly, he realised that zombies were not the only things invading. Instead, it was the entire Hungry Ghost realm.
The living were all suppressed within the miserable layer of mist, while the dead gained the upper hand, becoming stronger and faster.
The humans and daemons had been at war for many years, but only at that moment did many people understand just what war was.
“Come back, everyone!” There was a bellow from the Soaring Dragon ship. The leader of the school of Mohism’s beard bristled as his eyes shone like fire.
The cultivators all flew into the air. This time, they were all careful, clearing out a large region of their surroundings before taking off so that they could avoid the same tragedy as Juechenzi.
The dragon head on the front of the ship suddenly opened its mouth. Specks of light gathered towards it.
The main cannon, the Dragon’s Roar, had been activated, targeting the corpse hole in the pit. The dragon’s mouth was enveloped in a light haze, undergoing a lengthy phase of accumulating power.
An extremely blinding beam of light pierced through the clouds and illuminated the surroundings, shooting straight into the pit.
Golden light poured out of the scorching-white colour. Rings of right radiated from the stream.
The Soaring Dragon ship was pushed five kilometers away as wooden shrapnel flew everywhere. The glass was on the edge of shattering. The dragon head on the front of the ship melted away and was destroyed the moment it unleashed the beam of light.
They had poured all of the Soaring Dragon ship’s remaining spiritual energy into this attack. The destructive power was so great that even Golden Core cultivators would struggle to endure a direct blow.
The Gate of Hungry Ghosts suddenly stopped spurting zombies, and the huge, withered hand that Li Qingshan was extremely familiar with extended out. It could only extend up to its wrist back then in the underground palace, but half of its forearm was visible now.
It faced the direction of the incoming beam of light and its five fingers trembled, like plucking at the strings of a zither. The hand closed and tugged in an extremely profound fashion, and the beam of light deflected slightly, landing on a hill several kilometers away from the pit.
A hemispherical ball of light rose up from the ground, rapidly growing larger. It unleashed dazzling light, even more blinding than the sun.
Li Qingshan could even make out the violent tremors on the ground with his eyes.
The light dissipated slowly, but the bright glow lingered clearly in his eyes. A mushroom cloud surged into the air.
The hill had been reduced to a basin and tens of thousand Corpse Soldiers had been instantly vaporised. The shockwave had blasted away even more of them, shattering their bones and tearing them to pieces.
Most of the Corpse Soldiers were cleared away. They no longer formed the horrifying, mountainous and sea-like swathes like earlier, while the remaining scattered Corpse Soldiers were unable to stand up immediately.
However, the Gate of Hungry Ghosts in the pit was perfectly fine. The black smoke only trembled slightly like it was a colossal pillar forged from steel. Even the violent shockwave failed to shake it.
The huge, withered hand clenched into a fist and lifted up a black barrier, enveloping the Gate of Hungry Ghosts.
Only then did Li Qingshan truly witness the terrors of a Corpse King. It definitely was not as simple as possessing brute strength. It was highly intelligent too.
Although it could not even use a tenth of its powers due to the boundary limits, its ingenuity with making use of its power completely exceeded what Foundation Establishment cultivators could achieve.
The strike from the Soaring Dragon ship was powerful, but a machine emitted it at the end of the day. It was not under the precise control of cultivators.
The Corpse King used ingenuity to triumph over absolute power, easily receiving the strike and saving the Gate of Hungry Ghosts from destruction.
Although it had lost large numbers of Corpse Soldiers, they were cannon fodder to make time in the first place. Nothing was more worthless than Corpse Soldiers in the Hungry Ghost realm.
The withered hand pulled back and thousands of Corpse Soldiers surged out of the gate. They did not run around wildly in a mess, assembling in a neat array instead.
A zombie clad in armour, riding a zombie horse, followed closely behind. It glanced around, clearly intelligent.
A Corpse General!