Immortal - Book 2: Chapter 25
Book 2: The Golden Lock of the Eight Gates
Chapter 25: Jiangshi (Zombies)
Eight days later, in the early morning hour, inside a small compound in a tiny town at the east end of the Da Kun Kingdom, Zhong Shan was going through all the information that his people had collected from the area. Recently, a lot of people had gone into the mountains through the east side.
“Zhong Shan, are you up yet? Hurry up, when are we leaving?” Tianling-er was calling outside the house.
“Granduncle doesn’t sleep in usually. Jiejie, just let him sleep a while longer.” Yinglan tried to calm Tianling-er down.
“Humph, big lazy pig.” Tianling-er murmured outside.
Zhong Shan opened the door and saw the two girls. “Come, let’s go into the mountains.”
“En.” Tianling-er nodded with brightened eyes. Yinglan simply nodded to Zhong Shan with a smile.
The mountain range to the east was dangerous and too rugged for horses. Even martial arts experts wouldn’t go in rashly, because there were monstrous beasts inside.
To the distant east of their position existed an extremely bizarre place. It was peculiar by the fact that deep inside the forest raged a sand storm.
Said place was the destination of Zhong Shan’s journey, the Eight Gates Mountain.
To the north of Eight Gates Mountain, stood some twenty people hidden in the valley.
They were led by Princess Qianyou, Gulin, and Mr. Shuijing.
Princess Qianyou looked at the area surrounded by the sandstorm to the south of them with a frown and asked Mr. Shuijing next to her, “Mr. Shuijing, is there a formation soul?”
Mr. Shuijing unusually answered with furrowed brows, “Seven or eight out of ten.”
Not too long ago, he had estimated that were only a one in ten chance of finding a formation soul. After seeing it himself, the odds had increased dramatically in his eyes, it showed how highly he thought of the formation before him.
“I don’t have enough knowledge about formations and so must rely on Mr. Shuijing.” Princess Qianyou spoke.
“Yeah, more and more people are gathering here. You have to figure out how to crack the formation quickly and bring the formation soul to Qianyou.” Gulin spoke abruptly.
“Silence.” Qianyou glanced at Gulin in annoyance.
“Mr. Shuijing, I have said it before that I will share the formation soul with you. If there’s only one soul then you may have it.” Princess Qianyou turned around to Mr. Shuijing.
“You don’t have to, Princess. The Eight Gates Golden Lock Formation only rarely appears. Here, maybe it has more than one soul. This is a battle formation with formation souls. If it is set down by an army, I wouldn’t dare claim that I can crack it. But, if only Taixuzi’s here, then the formation shouldn’t be too difficult to crack. If there was another person then the formation would have more variations. Since there’s only one man here, I’d say I have a better than half chance at figured it out.” Mr. Shuijing waved his feather fan and smiled.
“Then go do it, quickly.” Gulin yelled.
Mr. Shuijing, frowning at Gulin, just shook his head.
“Mr. Shuijing, is there any problem?” Princess Qianyou quickly asked.
“It’s far from enough with just us. Has the Princess seen a plaque hanging up in the air earlier?” Mr. Shuijing waved his feather fan and asked.
“Shang, there’s one word on that plaque, ‘shang’” Guling recalled.
“That’s right. That’s the Shang Gate, one of the eight gates: Xiu, Sheng, Shang, Du, Jing, Si, Jing, and Kai. If an army manned the formation, then the formation could take on an endless number of forms. But now it was only Taixuzi by himself, we just need a group of people force themselves through the Sheng Gate and make it out of the Jing Gate. Such a disturbance should greatly weaken the formation for the duration. Then, we can force our way to the dragon’s eye through the Shang Gate, where Taixuzi is.” Mr. Shuijing confidently said.
“Will there be a formation soul where Taixuzi is?” Guling frowned.
“That’s right. According to the latest information, the last time anyone has seen Taixuzi, he’s wearing filthy clothes. That’s one of the five signs of dying. His time is up and he’s yet to breakthrough to the next stage. It so happens that the incident over the Spirit Stone mine broke out nearby, he used the opportunity to look for a disciple. He set up the Eight Gates Golden Lock Formation to find the person he can pass the formation soul to.” Princess Qianyou confidently said.
“Qianyou, you’re really smart. How do you know?” Gulin immediately praised her.
Glancing at Gulin, Princess Qianyou sighed. It was something that was so obvious, only Gulin couldn’t figure it out.
“Then, shall we wait here?” Qianyou asked Mr. Shuijing.
“Right, wait, we’ll wait till there's more people here.” Mr. Shuijing smiled while waving his feather fan.
It was the third day after Zhong Shan had entered the mountain range.
Tianling-er’s red silk was fully restored and conveniently carried her in the air. Yinglan was the one with the least physical strength, but, with the help of the Wind Chaser Boots, she could keep up with Zhong Shan. The three walked inside the mountain constantly looking for the right direction.
There was no clear trails, so they had to look for traces left by earlier travelers. Yinglan was an expert from her time leading armies in the wilderness. It was basic survival skills for her, not difficult at all.
“Granduncle, the trail forks into two here. One goes to the northeast and the other southeast. Where should we go?” Yinglan asked.
Zhong Shan could see the fallen grass going in different directions. He frowned and looked up to ask Tianling-er in the air, “Ling-er, can you see anyone?”
“No.” Tianling-er looked around.
“How about to the east?” Zhong Shan asked again.
Tianling-er flew upwards a bit before returning. “There’s a huge mountain and river directly to the east behind a large lake.”
Zhong Shan and Yinglan nodded after absorbing the information. They both figured that there might be powerful monstrous beasts to the east and difficult to traverse, therefore all the people took detours.
“Then both directions are ok. We can just choose either one.” Yinglan spoke after mulling it over.
“Zhong Shan, there’s people in the valley over there.” Suddenly, Tianling-er called out pointing to the valley to the northeast.
“People?” Zhong Shan frowned.
“Yeah, let’s go there and ask them for directions. It’s better than going about like headless flies.” Tianling-er called.
“En. Let’s go.” Zhong Shan said.
Tianling-er led the other two as they quickly sped northeast.
Two hours later, as the sun was setting, Zhong Shan and Yinglan was stopped by a cliff.
The other side of the canyon was five hundred meters away, not even a person of the Gold Core Stage could jump across.
“Hurry, after this canyon and two more mountain tops, we will see those people.” Tianling-er urged from the air.
Zhong Shan didn’t know what to say. Tianling-er led them through the most direct route but didn’t realize that neither Zhong Shan nor Yinglan could across the canyon.
Zhong Shan and Yinglan had to go around to reach the other side of the canyon. The cliff was 1500 meters high, dangerous.
“Zhong Shan, those people don’t seem to be moving. Look how long we have been walking, they haven’t moved a bit.” Tianling-er frowned.
“You come down first.” Zhong Shan told her.
“What’s wrong?” Tianling-er folded up her red silk and asked, puzzled.
“You said they haven’t moved a bit in two hours?” Zhong Shan asked in suspicion.
“Yeah, they’re still just standing there.” Tianling-er answered.
Yinglan and Zhong Shan exchanged a look.
“Let’s go take a look. Don’t talk. Be careful, there may be danger.” Zhong Shan seriously warned.
“En.” Tianling-er excitedly nodded.
Tianling-er led them across two mountain tops. They stood in a forest a distance away from those people and were finally able to clearly see what was inside the valley. Zhong Shan became alarmed, pulling both girls down as he gazed with worry.
Men? Those were not men!
There were a lot of trees inside the valley. In the center, all the trees had been cut down and placed around. In the clearing, there were 25 people, with bluish faces, standing in a circle.
Their blue faces were expressionless. There were hints of black smoke seeping out of their bodies. They stood with both arms raised in front, like statues.
Though Zhong Shan had never seen one before, but he immediately realized what they were. Jiangshi, 25 jiangshi?
It seemed that the moment they had arrived, the jiangshi had sensed something, their arms having twitched.
Zhong Shan reacted quickly, reaching around both girls’ neck and placing a palm squarely over each of their faces, covering both mouth and nose.
The two girls widened their eyes in shock. After a glance from Zhong Shan, who had begun to hold his breath, they both understood.
Yinglan and Tianling-er both nodded.
Holding one’s breath was difficult for mortal people, but it was easy for practitioners. Yinglan knew the Guixi Dafa and Tianling-er directly began inner breathing.
Though the two girls understood what was going on, Zhong Shan didn’t release his hands. He was gazing at the distance with squinted eyes.
Tianling-er unusually didn’t struggle inside Zhong Shan’s arm, rather, she blushed. Weirdly, Yinglan also reacted the same way.
Zhong Shan was focused on those jiangshi. Though he didn’t know how strong those jiangshi were, he didn’t want to provoke them. Besides, he had found an even more shocking fact, the jiangshi were being controlled by someone.
The 25 jiangshi stood in a circle and, in the center of the circle, there was a mysterious sacrificial altar. Evil runes dotted the ground. The black runes seemed to twist slowly but, with a second look, they weren’t moving at all. It was all together an eerie sight.
On the altar, there was a man clad in black with a white cloth wrapping around his head. The man had pale face and a goatee on his chin. He sat cross-legged with closed eyes, while murmuring something like it was some sort of ceremony.
The man’s right hand was making a lotus handprint in front of his chest. His left hand was holding a strange item. Said item was emitting evil red glow. Zhong Shan could sense a strong evil spirit from the item even from such a long distance away. Zhong Shan’s heart skipped a beat when he noticed its shape.
A heart. The evil thing on the man’s left hand was a human heart?
- ^ Chinese zombies