After the vengeful dead became the walking dead, there was already no use discussing “proper burials.”
The only way to get rid of them was to obliterate them. Although this would only intensify the lingering resentment hovering around Spirit City, there was no other option.
“Although that Third Highness of yours appears not to have followed regulations, no matter how I look at it, it seems someone behind the scenes arranged this on purpose.” The Fox Empress, Su Qingyan, walked over, her hands stirring up the air.
With every movement, the other great emperors saw vague hints of something sticky. She was mixing it up, creating ripple after ripple.
It was pure resentment, so concentrated, it had become a liquid.
“The resentment here is far too deep. If they’d simply looted and burned the corpses, it wouldn’t be this severe. It seems someone’s been deliberately nurturing this resentment.”
“I know that.” Great Emperor Bi’an snorted. Inwardly, he naturally blamed his Third Highness. That was inevitable!
Regardless of whether someone was manipulating things from behind the scenes or deliberately fostering the victims’ lingering resentment, if the Third Highness had just followed orders and given the victims a proper burial, the resentment would have faded over time, despite this unknown evildoer’s best efforts.
That was because the dead were already dead. Their resentment was a remnant created the moment they died; they couldn’t give rise to new resentment.
The Four Directions Palace had committed a grave error. There was no way around that. But of course, there was absolutely no way he’d let the man behind the scenes off.
The Third Highness and his subordinates had committed a grave error, but even if they’d done something worse, their punishment and their fates should have been up to Bi’an to decide.
Whoever was behind this, he’d sucked their souls dry. The Third Highness had disappeared, his life and death unknown. To Bi’an, this was an unbearable, unforgivable provocation!
A streak of starlight shot past, and the Lord of the Big Dipper, Ye Rong, landed before the other great emperors.
“Are you done stargazing?” asked Chao Feng.
“Whoever did this, they’ve been very careful. I couldn’t locate him, not even after consulting the starry sky,” said Ye Rong. “But I could roughly determine that these walking corpses have no souls. Most likely, that person ripped their souls away. If I’m not mistaken, he’s a corpse cultivator!”
“A corpse refiner?” asked Xu Qingyan.
The great emperors’ narrowed their eyes. There were all kinds of cultivators. Among the various paths were the godly, the demonic, and the yao.
These were all standard, ordinary cultivation paths, the mainstream methods of the Upper Three Realms.
But there were countless variations, and among them was one particularly nefarious cultivation method. It was the very “corpse refining” Empress Su Qingyan had mentioned: the path of corpses.
People who practiced this refined corpses, then controlled them, using them in battle.
The dead ought to be respected!
People like this, people who wouldn’t even let the dead rest in peace, were detested everywhere they went. This was true of gods, but also of demons and yao!
“Well, he chose a good location, at least.” Xuan Ji smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes. For a corpse refiner, in recent history, there were few places better than Spirit City.
It contained countless dead, including no shortage of rulers. Rulers’ corpses were top-class materials for a corpse refiner. If an ordinary corpse refiner happened upon a place like this, they might very well die of happiness.
“Aunty, in that case, I’m afraid I don’t quite understand.” Pu Jingwan suddenly scratched her head. All the great emperors knew she was Ye Zichen’s bodyguard, and her cultivation was on par with theirs. Naturally, when she arrived at Spirit City, they invited her to join them.
“Ask away,” said Ye Rong.
“Actually, I’ve heard a bit about corpse refiners too, and I know they refine corpse puppets to increase their cultivation, or for their own use. But looking at the situation around us, the corpse refiner in question doesn’t seem to be manipulating those corpses at all,” said Pu Jingwan.
“Spirit City was once home to over one hundred million cultivators, and over ten million died in the blast. Look at the corpses. Do you see even a million of them?” asked Ye Rong.
Pu Jingwan shook her head.
“In that case, who’s to say the corpse refiner isn’t using the others? Besides, someone capable of manipulating such a vast field of corpses, kidnapping the Four Directions Palace’s Third Highness, and sucking out his subordinates’ souls can’t possibly be ordinary. It’s completely possible that he simply selected the best materials, fled, and left the rest behind,” said Ye Rong.
“That makes sense, but why is he fostering the corpses’ lingering resentment?” asked Pu Jingwan.
“He must want to refine a corpse king,” said Ye Rong gravely. “Refining a corpse king is different from making an ordinary corpse puppet. The process requires enormous volumes of resentment. There’s no other reason to stir up so much lingering resentment. Also, in addition to sufficient lingering resentment, corpse kings already have high requirements for their base materials. If I’m not mistaken…”
Ye Rong trailed off, but the other great emperors already understood.
The Four Directions Palace was a top-level faction in the God Realm, and it belonged to Bi’an, a peak-level expert even if you looked at the Upper Three Realms as a whole. People said that, of all the rulers beneath the three Realm Emperors, he was the closest to reaching their level of power and authority.
Killing Bi’an’s people?
Was this corpse refiner seeking death?
Perhaps the corpse refiner already had a grudge against the Four Directions Palace and was simply trying to make trouble for them. But in that case, why drain the souls of everyone but the Third Highness? He was the only one missing among the dead.
Was the corpse refiner planning to use him as a hostage to threaten Bi’an?
Although Bi’an doted on all of the Four Direction Palace’s highnesses, the Third Highness wasn’t so important that someone could threaten Bi’an with his life.
Under these circumstances, only one possibility remained.
It seemed this corpse refiner planned to use the Third Highness’ body as a vector to create a corpse king-level puppet.
“This is someone capable of refining a corpse king. Do any of you have an impression of anyone like that, or of who it might be?” asked Su Qingyan.
“What corpse refiner would willingly reveal themselves before us? In tens of thousands years of history, only a few have appeared, and all of them were summarily executed,” said Great Emperor Chao Feng. “But then, there actually was one who got away. Who knows? After all these years, maybe he’s improved enough to refine corpse kings.”
“Who?” Ye Rong hadn’t been in the God Realm long, and many of its secrets were unfamiliar to her.
The others had all been here much longer. As soon as Chao Feng brought up that incident, Bi’an, Xuan Ji, and Su Qingyan knit their brows.
“Are you talking about him?” asked Bi’an.
Chao Feng said nothing, but he nodded. Ye Rong glanced at Xuan Ji, and instantly received a divine sense transmission explaining the situation.
After processing this new information, Ye Rong’s expression was grave.
This incident had come suddenly, so there weren’t many members of the Four Directions Palace present.
Destroying every last walking corpse took half a day.
Soon, the ground was littered with corpses. The towering, lingering resentment in the air was so intense, even the great emperors felt a painful prickling sensation.
This place had already become hell on earth!
“Turtle Chancellor!” Bi’an let out a low shout, and a turtle-shelled elder rushed over. He’d been Bi’an’s confidant for over ten thousand years, and in the Four Directions Palace, his authority was second only to Bi’an himself.
Bi’an had called him over to have him investigate the corpse refiner’s identity.
But before he could give his orders...
“F*ck! F*ck! F*ck!” They heard a series of curses overhead. The great emperors turned to look at the source of the noise and saw Ye Zichen, jumping up and down like a monkey with its butt on fire. A hundred-foot-tall head was chasing after him, relentlessly attempting to bite his butt!
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