Even after absorbing resentment and powering up, the vengeful spirits were no threat to Su Qingyan.
Based on their auras, even the strongest of them was at most on par with an early-stage diviner.
Su Qingyan had, with a wave of her hand, encased a million corpse puppets in ice. Disposing of these vengeful spirits was as easy as snapping her fingers.
The other great emperors could do the same thing. Even Pu Jingwan could dispose of the ghosts easily.
However, none of them did so. They simply restricted the ghosts’ movements. When they looked at the vengeful spirits, their eyes were full of pity.
These spirits were all pitiful.
They’d lived in peace and harmony, only for the Lich Yao King to rip their souls from their bodies, refine them, then stuff them back into their corpses. With their souls sealed, they couldn’t pass on to the next world or enter the cycle of reincarnation. All they could do was build up resentment, which the Lich Yao King used to increase his cultivation.
All corpse refiners cultivated like this; it wasn’t just the Lich Yao King.
That was why all of the Upper Three Realms saw corpse refiners as heretics, and they were unwelcome wherever they went.
“The Dao of Corpses shouldn’t exist in this world.” The great emperors watched the corpses, but even they found the sight hard to bear.
“Sealing them like this won’t solve the problem. These ghosts were sealed by the Lich Yao King for too long, and their resentment has grown extremely deep. We can’t rely on them to recover their awareness on their own,” said Su Qingyan.
“If only we had an expert from the Buddhist Domain to help,” said Xuan Ji.
When he heard that, Ye Zichen couldn’t help but knit his brows.
He naturally understood why Xuan Ji would say that; the Buddhist Domain was holy and pure. If there were a Buddha here, they could chant sutras to redeem the souls of the dead. That way, they could go peacefully to the next world and reincarnate into new bodies.
Did that mean he should call the Great Sage over?
At the moment, the Great Sage was the only expert of the Buddhist Domain Ye Zichen knew!
“Your… Majesty….” At that moment, one of the sealed ghost’s eyes suddenly flashed, then regained clarity. The ghost’s voice was raspy as it approached Bi’an, dragging the spatial seal trapping it along with it. When it reached Bi’an, it knelt.
The great emperors all looked over, while Bi’an knit his brows. “Zhao Jie!”
Zhao Jie was one of Bi’an’s six great war generals. Furthermore, after Bi’an chose the Third Highness, he selected Zhao Jie as his mentor. At the Third Highness’ coming-of-age ceremony, Bi’an had assigned Zhao Jie as his assistant, and he assisted the Third Highness in matters both big and small.
He’d also accompanied the Third Highness on their expedition to Spirit City, so he numbered among the soulless husks.
“Your Majesty, I beg of you: please, kill me.” It was obvious that Zhao Jie was in agony. He knelt in the air, clutching his head. It seemed the resentment might swallow him up at any moment.
In the face of his once staunch, iron-hearted general’s plight, Bi’an’s shoulders tremble despite himself.
The other great emperors knew at least a little about Zhan Jie, and they knew of his importance to Bi’an. They all watched Bi’an in silence.
“Your Majesty, please grant me a quick, clean death. Even if it means dispersing my soul and never reincarnating, I can’t live on like this.”
“Please, Your Majesty, I beg of you.”
Zhao Jie had followed him for thousands of years, from battlefield to battlefield. He was one of Bi’an’s most trusted subordinates. In the past, even if an enemy held a sword right to his throat, Zhao Jie wouldn’t so much as furrow his brows. Even if ten thousand blades pierced his body, his spirit never wavered and his knees never touched the ground.
But now, he was begging for death!
A few of the other ghosts seemed to have regained a portion of their awareness as well. All of them, without exception, seemed to long for death.
Bi’an’s eyes instantly went bloodshot. The other great emperors found this hard to watch too.
“Alright!” Bi’an’s voice was a little choked. His Hidden Dragon Sword wailed, as if bidding farewell to an old friend.
When he saw Bi’an raise his sword, the kneeling Zhao Jie’s face filled with relief.
“Amitabha!” Suddenly, a deep chant filled the air, emanating from all directions.
It was undoubtedly someone from the Buddhist Domain!
There was definitely no mistake!
Bi’an paused, his sword still held aloft. This was despite the fact that he’d been just about to attack, and stopping his swing so suddenly injured him. Blood dripped from the corners of his lips.
But he didn’t care about that.
If it meant his old friend could depart this life in peace, never mind a trivial wound like this; he’d happily accept even severe injuries.
A while later, a streak of gold appeared overhead.
The light was dazzling, as radiant as a sunrise. Its glow lit up all of Spirit City.
Everywhere the light touched, the clouds of resentment dispersed. Afterward, a series of choppy, inscrutable chants followed, sweeping down from the skies and through the city like a spring breeze.
Wherever it passed, the vengeful ghosts quieted, and the concentrated resentment dispersed.
Countless souls emerged from the undead corpses, or rather, they broke free of their hatred and resentment. Their eyes were full of gratitude as they each looked up at that golden glow, bowed deeply, then dispersed, passing onto the next realm.
“Your Majesty.” Zhao Jie’s flowing golden soul floated up to Bi’an, then bowed deeply, touching his head to the ground. “I failed to live up to your expectations, and let the Third Highness walk down the right path. Dying a hundred deaths would be insufficient to make up for my crimes.”
“Zhao Jie….” Things had already progressed this far. Even Bi’an himself didn’t know what to say.
He didn’t blame Zhao Jie for the Third Highness’s mistakes at all. He’d chosen his Third Highness from the lower realms; of course Bi’an understood his character!
He’d actually assigned Zhao Jie to follow and assist the Third Highness in hopes that he could mellow him out and keep him under control a little.
“This isn’t your fault.”
“Your Majesty, I’ve followed you into battle for ten thousand years. I truly wish… to witness you ascending the throne.” Zhao Jie let out a melancholy laugh. “I’m a coarse, uneducated man. It’s strange for me to say such sentimental things. Since I can no longer follow you into battle, I’ll just wish you success and prosperity on your martial path. I also humbly request that you take care of my wife and daughter on my behalf.”
“Alright!” Bi’an nodded firmly.
“Then...farewell!” Zhao Jie cupped his fist, then, alongside the countless dead of Spirit City, began his journey to the River Styx, the place where departed souls gathered.
Bi’an’s eyes were bloodshot. He clenched his fists, and for a long time, they remained taut. The other great emperors saw the souls blend together into a river, then watched as they disappeared from Spirit City.
Rosy light lit up the world below.
The lengthy sutra had cleansed the resentment until none remained. Dazzling light burst through the heavy darkness, spreading light and life force throughout the city.
“Thank you, Buddha, for your benevolence!” As arrogant as he was, Bi’an lowered his proud head in gratitude, but that streak of gold didn’t respond.
Then, he disappeared, just as suddenly as he’d arrived.
From beginning to end, none of the great emperors in spirit city could see through the light and discern the Buddha’s real appearance.
Only Ye Zichen’s expression was a bit strange. He watched the golden light fade away. He knit his brows, but for a long time, he said nothing.
“Yes, Your Majesty?” The turtle-shelled elder slowly walked up to Bi’an.
Bi’an whipped around to look at him, his eyes so red, they might burst. He clenched his fists so hard, his knuckles audibly cracked. “Arrange for a proper burial for everyone who died in Spirit City, and bring Zhao Jie’s remains back to our ancestral hall. From this moment on, every last member of the Four Directions Palace is to seek out the Lich Yao King’s location. We won’t rest until he’s dead!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter