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Chapter 110 The Ground Undead
Suddenly, the pagoda tree branches extended themselves like tentacles. The branches reached toward her; they tied up all her limbs and immobilized her. Then, even more branches wrapped her up in layers. She slowly disappeared into the thick layers of branches. Minutes passed, and the branches finally loosened up and retracted. No traces of the girl remained. Even the rope had disappeared. The illusion had ended; everything had returned to its previous state, as though nothing had happened.
“So, this was how she died.” Ye Shaoyang frowned. He recalled the girl’s actions at the final moments of her life. She had picked out something from her pocket, and it looked like a deadly coin dart. A deadly coin dart was made of three copper coins attached together in a triangular form. Folk sorcerers commonly used this as their weapon. Attaching the copper coins in such a shape would produce more power for a sorcerer to use. They could also use it as a dart, so it was a folk sorcerer’s preferred weapon.
If I am not mistaken, that girl was definitely a sorcerer. Why did the tree demon kill her?
To find the answer, Ye Shaoyang needed to find the girl’s corpse and soul first. Ye Shaoyang wielded his date wood sword and walked toward the pagoda tree. He had reached a distance of about twenty meters from the tree when it suddenly shook vigorously for a brief moment. Then, it stopped.
“What happened?” Zhou Jingru asked. Suddenly, she felt something grasp her ankle. She looked down and saw a pale and rather large human hand that protruded from the ground. She screamed in reaction. Ye Shaoyang slashed out with his sword and sliced off the palm. It fell onto the ground and black blood oozed out of it. The rest of the hand retracted into the ground, which left a crack.
Ye Shaoyang dipped a finger into the black blood and smelled it. He frowned, “Corpse blood!”
“Was it an undead?” Zhou Jingru wiped away the blood on her foot with a hand towel. The blood seemed to create a poison-like reaction, which made her foot a little numb.
“This is not a normal undead. This one can burrow into the ground.” Ye Shaoyang observed the crack that the hand left behind, “This is a ground undead. It is extremely good at ambushing. A pain in the ass.”Just as he finished this sentence, another pair of hands raised up from the ground and grabbed Ye Shaoyang’s legs. Ye Shaoyang avoided its attempt, and the hands immediately retracted into the ground again.
“There’s more than one here!” Ye Shaoyang frowned a little, while he came up with a plan. He sheathed his sword and took out a cinnabar brush instead. He drew a Tai-chi seal on both of his palms. He took a few steps forward and hoped to lure them out. As he had hoped, a pair of hands broke out of the ground to grab him.
“That’s it!” Ye Shaoyang slapped the hands with both of his palms. The four palms met in the air, and the Tai-chi Seal instantly sucked in the hands in a forceful manner.
Ye Shaoyang held his breath and backed off a few steps. He tugged hard and pulled a corpse out of the ground. It was a creature with a fat body and pale skin. It had a beer belly covered in layers of wrinkles. Instead of a pair of legs, it had a tube shaped like a root for its lower body. The ground undead lacked eyes, ears, and a nose. It had empty eye sockets. Two pairs of fangs made its huge mouth even larger—a pair at each of its jaws. It looked more like a scary insect rather than a human. After Ye Shaoyang captured it, the creature hissed like an angry cat and attempted to bite him. Ye Shaoyang let go of it and wielded his date wood sword. He stabbed into the ground undead’s head. Black blood oozed out like a fountain, as it struggled for a few seconds. Then, it finally laid still, dead. Its previously bloated stomach began to deflate like a balloon and green liquid flowed out from its wound.
Zhou Jingru was scared to the point where her legs felt weak. She grabbed Ye Shaoyang’s back and cried in fear, “What was that creature?”
“That was a ground undead. It differs from the normal undead we see. It was actually a corpse buried in the ground, but either ghost Qi or demon Qi infused into it. It was cultivated into another form so that it could burrow into the ground.” Ye Shaoyang explained as he pointed his finger at the creature.
“What is this then?” Zhou Jingru pointed at the tube connected to the ground undead.
Ye Shaoyang moved closer to observe, “This is the source that provided it with demon Qi. While it feeds on the Qi, its lower body degenerated into this.” He picked it up and saw tiny tree roots connected to it. Suddenly, he realized, “This is a root! A root from the tree demon!”
He slapped the tree roots with his palms, which damaged it. Green liquid flowed out, and the tree roots suddenly retracted into the ground.
Ye Shaoyang sniffed the liquid. It had the same smell as the liquid that leaked out from the ground undead. This confirmed his suspicions. Zhou Jingru asked in desperation, “These ground undead can move underground. It’s hard to expect where they will come out from! How do we deal with them?”
Ye Shaoyang did not answer. Instead, he quickly drew on a talisman paper and chanted in his heart. He waved his hand, and the talisman paper instantly ignited and burned up. Then, it dropped to the ground. He picked out a bunch of ancient Chinese coins and placed them on his left palm. Then, he cut a finger on his right hand for blood and drew a rune on the coins. He chanted aloud, “O' mighty Kṣitigarbha, shield me from all evils. Let your light shine through the darkness. Annihilate!”
He threw out the coins in pairs. It formed a path half a meter wide, which led straight to the pagoda tree. As Ye Shaoyang walked, he threw out more coins. Not a single ground undead emerged.
“How did you do that?” Zhou Jingru asked as she walked behind him. She could not hold back her curiosity.
“I notified the Kṣitigarbha. With his divine help and my power, I created a Path of Gold. That’s why the ground undead cannot enter. You should stay here too. As long as you don’t exit the path, you will be safe.” Then, Ye Shaoyang continued walking. Soon, he was just a few meters from the tree. Suddenly, the tree shook again, this time even more vigorously. The ground shook with the tree, and a crack appeared right in front of Ye Shaoyang. The crack continued to grow wider and wider. It finally stopped when it had reached a width of almost half a meter. The duo looked into the crack. It had a depth of almost two meters. Intertwining tree roots filled the crack. The roots moved like colossal snakes. It truly formed an eerie sight.
Zhou Jingru covered her mouth and collapsed into a sitting position on the ground. Soon, the roots parted to the side, and a huge hand emerged from the middle. A big, bald head followed. Then, a body appeared. It was another ground undead, but it had a size at least three times larger than the earlier one!
However, this ground undead had a complete body; tree roots were connected to his back. The creature shook its head and opened its mouth to let out a furious roar. This created such a scary scene that even Ye Shaoyang could feel goosebumps rising up all over his body. The tree demon must have summoned it at this time because it was the head of all the ground undead. This creature was surely not an easy one to deal with.
“Stay here! It can’t get to you as long as I’m here!” Ye Shaoyang ordered without even turning around. He wielded his date wood sword and charged toward the creature. The ground undead leaped into the air under the control of the tree roots. It waved its arms and swept away the date wood sword in mid-air. Then, it extended its arms and grabbed toward Ye Shaoyang’s direction. Ye Shaoyang avoided its hands and took a few steps back using his Maoshan Qinggong. He swiftly picked up the sword again in time.
Suddenly, a pair of hands appeared from the ground and caught both of his feet out of the blue. Then, Ye Shaoyang realized that he had accidentally stepped out of the Path of Gold. He was not under its protection, and a ground undead could attack him at any minute. He slashed the hands with his sword, but another pair of hands quickly grabbed his calves.
“This is so irritating!” Ye Shaoyang wielded his sword, ready to slash at the hands again. However, a blunt force suddenly struck his chest. The huge ground undead had leaped toward him and smacked his chest. This hit could have thrown him a few feets away, but he somehow remained stuck to the ground because of the hands that grabbed his feet. So, he fell down on the ground instead. To make matters worse, a huge wave of hands suddenly appeared around him and grabbed him before he could react.
“Sh*t!” Ye Shaoyang exclaimed. These hands tightly gripped his whole body, so he could not even move a muscle. A bunch of heads started to appear from the ground, and they moved closer to Ye Shaoyang. He felt an excruciating pain in his calves. Needless to say, these ground undead had bitten him.
“Brother Shaoyang!” Zhou Jingru cried out in horror. What she currently had to witness was too much for her. Disgusting pale corpses had surrounded Ye Shaoyang. It seemed like his fate was sealed and there was no escape!
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