Translator: Silavin & frozenfire
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Yang Kai was still rather interested in the various Secret Arts and Techniques of the Thousand Leaves Sect; after all, the Dao of Puppetry was a domain that he had little knowledge of.
Furthermore, these things were right in front of his eyes, so Yang Kai was naturally drawn to them.
However, he had also made the decision to only observe and comprehend these things for a short while before bringing them out to hand to Ye Hen. He did not have the intention of hoarding them for himself.
With these considerations, Yang Kai proceeded to focus and extended his hand to grab at the Space Ring on the corpse’s finger.
However, right at that instant, his heart suddenly clenched as an exceedingly strong sense of unease surged through his entire body. This caused all of the hairs on Yang Kai’s body to stand on end and he subconsciously leapt back, increasing the distance between him and the corpse.
In the next instant, his eyes narrowed as he witnessed a harrowing scene.
Right at that moment, the Spirit Array beneath the corpse suddenly hummed while bursting with dazzling radiance, as though it had been activated for some unknown reason. In the next instant, various runes started to surface on the body of the corpse, followed by array lines, creating a mysterious Spirit Array pattern. As this happened, the withered surface of the corpse started to be suffused with a metallic lustre.
The array on the ground began to rotate while sounds akin to bones cracking rang out, before the corpse’s eyes, which had been closed for countless years, snapped open.
The eyes gleamed with a dark green lustre, appearing just like two clumps of ghostly fire, causing fear in anyone who saw them.
The powerful aura of an Emperor Realm Master suddenly erupted from the corpse, bearing down on Yang Kai and smashing into him like a solid wall.
Yang Kai felt as though a giant mountain was squashing down on his chest, inciting a feeling of suffocation in him.
He knew that something wasn’t right. It was very likely that this corpse, which had been dead for countless years, possessed sentience, and had become an existence akin to a Corpse Spirit.
In the past, he had come across a similar type of monster on Shadowed Star. At that time, when the Corpse Spirit Race had revealed themselves and created chaos throughout Shadowed Star, countless cultivators had been infected by their Corpse Poison, turning them into one of their own. In the end, it was Yang Kai who had gone all out to counter the desperate situation and managed to kill the main perpetrator of the entire incident.
However, the strongest existence within the Corpse Spirit race at that time was just a Thousand-Year Corpse General whose cultivation was merely peak Origin Returning Realm. There was utterly no way to compare it to the existence that was present before his eyes.
The existence before Yang Kai was a genuine Ten-Thousand-Year Corpse King!
Furthermore, it was an Emperor Realm Ten-Thousand-Year Corpse King. The Emperor Intent radiating from it was something that definitely could not be faked.
Just thinking about it caused cold sweat to drench Yang Kai’s entire body. Knowing that his current situation wasn’t optimistic, he no longer dared to hesitate. Moving the Space Principles around him, he hastily retreated out of the cave.
In the next instant, his body turned blurry.
However, before he could flee from the mountain cave, the seated Corpse King opened its mouth and let off a piercing shriek. The shriek was perfused with some kind of unique power and as it travelled in all directions, it transformed the entire surrounding area into a sealed space.
Yang Kai’s body turned stiff, causing his blurry figure to reappear!
His expression changed drastically. Knowing that his teleportation had been unexpectedly defeated, how could he dare to show any neglect? The only thing he could do was to rush out as quickly as he could.
A chilling gleam burst forth from the ghostly eyes of the Corpse King as it locked onto Yang Kai. Opening its mouth, a verdant coloured aura suddenly shot out from within.
“Corpse Poison!” Yang Kai gasped in shock. Finally, he understood exactly what the awful smell that had perfused the entire mountain cave was.
This smell clearly originated from the Corpse King’s Corpse Poison. However, that smell was a result of just a sliver of it leaking out from its body. Just a slight leak was already enough to cause Yang Kai to show signs of being poisoned and causing his vision to turn blurry, so the mouthful launched by the Corpse King would definitely result in his death if he were to carelessly breathe it in.
As his heart was filled up with fear, Yang Kai did not dare to take any breaths as he unleashed the full might of his Source Qi to form a barrier around his body, all while retreating like an arrow.
Despite his swift actions though, the Corpse Poison was also not one bit slower, chasing after him like a shadow. In the blink of an eye, it had caught up to him, smashing against the Source Qi that was protecting his body.
A piercing crack rang out as a large hole was formed in Yang Kai’s protective Source Qi, causing it to melt like a snowflake under the scorching sun. Unexpectedly, it was unable to offer an ounce of resistance against the Corpse Poison, which proceeded to drill through the gaping hole that had formed.
[It possesses such potent corrosive strength?] Yang Kai was utterly incapable of believing what he was seeing.
Faced with such a dangerous situation, his eyes opened wider as he extended his hand. Pushing the surrounding Space Principles to their limits, he shouted out, “Exile!”
As he did so, something similar to a black hole appeared before him, devouring all of the Corpse Poison that was hurtling towards him. Continuing to move, Yang Kai rushed out of the mountain cave, returning to the mountain valley.
However, before he could catch his breath, a bestial roar resounded from the mountain cave before the vilest and most ruthless aura unleashed by the Corpse King rushed out from within. The entire mountain shook as the sounds of falling and crumbling stones proceeded to ring out from within.
“What kind of grudge do you have with me!?” Yang Kai complained out loud with a bitter look on his face as he knew that he was in serious trouble. If he had known this would happen, he wouldn’t have entered the mountain cave to investigate, leading to him provoking such a monster.
There was no need to fight; Yang Kai knew that he would absolutely be unable to match up against this foe. The only plan he had right now was to flee back to the Sealed World’s Space Array as fast as he could, repair it, and flee from here. Only then would he be able to survive this ordeal.
However, it would take time to repair the platform, despite his deep achievements in the Dao of Space. The time it would take him just to refine the materials to patch the gouge left by the sword on the array base would be enough for this Corpse King to kill him a hundred times over!
That was a Corpse King formed from the corpse of a Third-Order Emperor Realm Master! Yang Kai was totally clueless as to how much strength it could unleash.
With a loud bang, the Corpse King rushed out of the mountain cave. Spirit Array patterns continued to swirl on the surface of its body as a strange radiance blossomed from it. With a flicker, it appeared right in front of Yang Kai. Revealing its fangs that gleamed with a chilling radiance, it sent a fierce punch towards him.
Yang Kai’s face was instantly drained of colour as he sensed the terrifying might contained within the incoming fist. Being too late to evade it, he had no other choice but to summon his Myriads Sword. Sending his Source Qi into it, he shouted, “Myriad Sword Arts, One Man As A Mountain!”
This was the Myriads Sword’s strongest defensive sword technique. Having displayed it a few times, Yang Kai naturally knew how formidable it was.
A series of sword silhouettes blossomed as it left afterimages in the air, transforming into a strong and resilient defence in front of Yang Kai. The countless Sword Qi blades composed a fortified wall, blocking the dangerous punch hurtling towards Yang Kai.
As the Corpse King’s fist struck, Yang Kai’s all-out sword barrier was shattered like a thin piece of paper, completely incapable of withstanding the incoming strike. An unimaginable force continued smashing over, causing Yang Kai to feel as though a large mountain was descending on him. Against this level of power, his Second-Order Dao Source Realm cultivation was as puny as an ant.
[I’m going to die!] Such a thought popped up within Yang Kai’s heart.
Regardless of how tough or resilient his physical body was, regardless of how vigorous his Source Qi was, he would die without a doubt if he received this punch, and his life would be over in an instant.
This was just an instinctive reaction, but Yang Kai believed it with absolute certainty.
With his life hanging precariously in the balance, Yang Kai forcefully warped the surrounding Space Principles, shifting his position just a slight bit backwards, thereby evading the centre of the punch’s impact zone.
It wasn’t because he didn’t want to shift himself further to completely evade the incoming punch, but rather that he was powerless against the suppression of his enemy’s Emperor Pressure, with this action being the limit of what he could achieve at this very instant.
An explosive boom rang out, as the surrounding space collapsed. Cracking sounds rang out from Yang Kai’s body as his ribs snapped, while his entire body was sent flying through the air, blood spewing out of his mouth as his aura declined drastically.
With a bang, Yang Kai smashed onto the ground. Despite that, he hastily got back up, his hands clutching his chest as a pained look covered his face.
Just a single exchange was enough for him to know how freakishly strong this Corpse King was. If his enemy decided to chase after him and launch another attack, it would absolutely multiply the despair he faced in his current situation.
Nevertheless, Yang Kai felt slightly relieved that the Corpse King had remained at its original position after launching that punch, no longer moving. The ghostly fire orb-like eyes continued to flicker while the expression on its face started to fluctuate, giving it an exceedingly malevolent and terrifying appearance.
[What is going on?]
Although Yang Kai didn’t understand what it was doing, this was something that he desperately hoped to see. He immediately proceeded to take out recovery Spirit Pills from his Space Ring and tossed them into his mouth, taking this critical opportunity to stabilize his condition.
He did not dare to make any reckless moves for fear of provoking the Corpse King and thereby ruining this essential break for his recovery.
While adjusting his breathing, he also took the time to observe the actions of the Corpse King.
He discovered that the Corpse Poison spewing out from the Corpse King started to disperse out in all directions after its exit from the mountain cave. Upon contact with the Corpse Poison, the vegetation within this mountain valley, which had existed here for countless of years all started to wither and die. This was clear evidence of how toxic the Corpse Poison was.
Nevertheless, Yang Kai managed to notice something strange, which was that the Ten-Thousand-Year Corpse King… didn’t seem to possess any consciousness.
This was something that he could not fathom. Even the trivial Hundred Year Corpse Soldiers that he had encountered in the past on Shadowed Star had already possessed sentience and were capable of independent thought. However, this Corpse King didn’t despite having existed for thousands of years.
Furthermore… The Spirit Arrays on the surface of its body were exceedingly conspicuous and, coupled with the golden lustre radiating from its withered body, it was an exceedingly strange sight to behold.
As he continued to observe, Yang Kai’s eyes suddenly snapped wide open as a hair-raising thought suddenly flashed through his mind that caused him to cry out in shock, “A Corpse Puppet?”
Although Yang Kai had not done much research into the Dao of Puppetry, having cultivated for so many years, he had more or less heard about Corpse Puppets before.
Generally speaking, various kinds of precious treasures and special methods were needed for the refining of puppets. The puppets that guarded the main palace of Thousand Leaves Sect, as well as those that Yang Kai had encountered in the Flowing Time Temple, were all produced in this fashion.
However, there was another type of puppet that did not require the use of such precious treasures, instead using the bodies of cultivators as their base material.
The bodies of powerful cultivators were the best materials for the refining of powerful puppets. The intricacy of the human body, their powerful cultivations and wills before death, were all traits that were difficult for normal precious treasures to replicate.
Some evil cultivators were exceedingly fond of using the bodies of powerful Masters to refine puppets that would heed their every call. Furthermore, after being refined into puppets, they could retain the majority of their cultivations and abilities from before their deaths, granting them exceedingly powerful combat strength.