Chapter 985: Ghostfiend Threads

As the Corpse Wolf moved to escape, a crimson light flashed near its side to reveal a red needle. It flickered and pierced through the green flames protecting the wolf’s body in a crimson line, cutting through with incredible sharpness.

In the huge wolf’s alarm, it attempted to turn its head and avoid the attack, but the needle had already pierced through its neck. A deafening painful howl followed, and the black Qi that gathered around it’s legs disappeared into the nearby Yin winds. When the group saw this, they rejoiced.

“Pursue it!” Someone yelled. The party then began to glow, intending to quickly fly after it.

However, a cry sounded out from a pouch at Han Li’s waist. Although it was soft, Han Li’s expression vastly changed and he flicked his hand, shooting several azure swordstreaks at an area over thirty meters away. As the attack drew closer, a dark light shined from the ground to reveal several jet-black figures. One of them had easily repelled the swordstreaks with a flick of their finger.

Afterwards, Yin winds began to erupt with great strength and the three figures were partially concealed. These three were the same dried corpses that had appeared at the intersection that the cultivators had passed. It was unknown what they conspired or how they evaded the spell formations that had been placed, but they managed to tail them with profound concealment.

Just as Han Li and company were about to give chase, one of the dried corpses had revealed a trace of its aura in a moment of carelessness, allowing Han Li’s Weeping Soul Beast to detect it. These dried corpses were entirely shriveled, and were of differing heights. Han Li even recalled having seen one before, as he had struck it with lightning and turned it to dust.

While Han Li betrayed shock from his face, the others all let out a cry of alarm.

“How can that decayed corpse move?” The black-robed woman shouted out in astonishment, “When I discovered it, it was without life.” 

Bai Yaoyi was also particularly surprised as she had discovered one alongside Han Li as well.

“You recognize these ghosts? We can’t deal with them now; we must first give chase to the Umbra Yin Horse. Fellow Daoist Han and Junior Martial Sister Chang, deal with these ghosts for the time being. The rest of us will chase after the horse. If it conceals itself once more, it will be difficult to find again.” Although Old Man Fu was greatly alarmed by the appearance of these three mysterious ghosts, he obviously prioritized the capture of the Umbra Yin Horse. From his point of view, Han Li and his Junior Martial Sister shouldn’t have a problem dealing with these three strange refined corpses, neither would his three have any problem with the Corpse Wolf. None of the other party members had raised an objection as well.

After the black-clothed woman curtly agreed and Han Li nodded, Old Man Fu and the others flew in the direction of the Corpse Wolf without further hesitation.

Han Li then put away his flying needle, and stood beside the black-robed woman, both of them coldly glaring at the dried corpses. Although Ghost Dao techniques were abnormally sly by nature, he found it incomprehensible that one of them was able to survive a strike from Divine Devilbane Lightning. Nevertheless, he still maintained a calm appearance, despite the increased vigilance in his heart.

As for the black-robed woman, she was an elder of the Nine Serenities Sect and possessed much understanding of both devilish and ghost techniques. Not daring to underestimate these corpses either, she had her giant red sword revolve above her in a display of dazzling glamour, protecting her rather than attacking.

The three corpses facing them were the first to move. The taller of the lot took two large steps forward and opened its mouth to spit out a grey thread towards the woman.

“You’re courting death!” She snorted with a sullen appearance. With a flick of her sleeve, over ten fireballs shot out in succession. Soon after, she pointed to the huge sword above her head and it sliced through the air, releasing a crimson swordstreak. She believed that this unremarkable thread was simply condensed corpse flames and that fire techniques should be able to restrain it.

But then, the thread passed through both the fireballs and the red swordstreak without resistance, thoroughly absorbing their entire being with just a touch, and continued to rush forward without any sign of slowing down.

The black-robed woman swept her sleeve in alarm and produced a small green shield in front of her. It glowed with light and massively expanded. At nearly the same time, the huge sword above her head chopped down towards the grey thread.

The black-robed woman believed that since the thread was able to absorb attacks of spiritual power, physical treasures should be able to block it.

As predicted, the grey thread stopped upon being struck with the huge sword.

The beautiful woman rejoiced and thought to activate the sword’s abilities, but then the grey thread suddenly blurred and multiplied into a hundred copies of itself, quickly moving to restrain the huge sword. Afterwards, a strange dark light glowed from the threads, fusing together with the sword’s red light, slowly overwhelming it and turning it black as if it were being corrupted. The woman also felt her mental connection to the sword grow dull.

Her heart sank and she slapped her storage pouch without another thought, summoning a dharmic wheel [1] into her hand.

But before she could use it to free her sword, thunder rang out, followed by a bolt of dazzling lightning. The golden bolt struck the grey threads in rumbling wrath and freed the large red sword.

“Many thanks, Brother Han!” The woman hurriedly uttered before forming a hand gesture and recalling her sword into her sleeve after splitting into three red streaks.

With her weapon freed, Han Li didn’t pay any further attention. Rather, he was staring at the air with a tight frown. The grey threads he had scattered apart condensed back into its original form after only a short delay. As for the other two dried corpses, they hadn’t yet taken any action.

When the black-robed woman saw this, her expression turned unsightly, but she continued to look at the grey thread in the air.

“This isn’t ordinary corpse Qi, but that of a Baleful Corpse Qi. Could this be a Ghostfiend Thread?” She cried out with a deeply pale complexion.

“Baleful Corpse Qi?” Han Li found the name familiar and after a moment of thought, he recalled it being mentioned in the Great Development Treasure Scriptures [2].

His expression wavered for a time. This was a grand ability of the Ghost Dao that few cultivators ever could witnessed.

As the name implied, Baleful Corpse Qi was originally corpse Qi, but fused with the lingering resentment of a fresh death — what was otherwise known as baleful Qi.

Baleful Corpse Qi was said to be extremely difficult to manufacture, at minimum requiring the corpses of Core Formation cultivators along with other unknown conditions. When it took form, it was said to be everlasting, and was capable of absorbing elemental Qi and corrupting various magic treasures. As expected for one of the greatest abilities of the Ghost Dao, it was beyond difficult to deal with.

However, he hadn’t heard of a Ghostfiend Thread before, but given that it was created from Baleful Corpse Qi, it was no wonder it was so troublesome. It seemed his Divine Devilbane Lightning was able to disperse it but not exterminate it entirely.

As these thoughts flew through his mind, all three of the corpses simultaneously raised their hands and flicked their fingers, each releasing grey threads.

The black-robed woman deeply gasped and unleashed the dharmic wheel from her hand, chanting a series of evocations. The wheel whirled in the air and shined with a seven-colored light, covering both Han Li and her in a barrier.

‘Seven-colored light, a Buddhist treasure?’ Han Li had already raised his hand with arcs of lightning sparking between them, but when he saw her take action, he paused with a trace of surprise. The threads then struck the seven-colored barrier but were all completely repelled.

Han Li wasn’t astonished by the barrier’s effectiveness. Since Buddhist techniques were specialized in restraining the Ghost Dao, even something as vicious as Ghostfiend Threads shouldn’t be able to break through Buddhist light in an instant. But what surprised Han Li was the fact that a devilish sect elder even possessed a Buddhist treasure.

The three hadn’t stopped their attack after seeing that their threads were repelled. Instead, their fingers stirred and countless grey threads began to take form in the air and weaved countless layers of threads on top of the seven-colored barrier, as if intending on thoroughly trapping the two within it.

A cold glint flashed from Han Li’s eyes and he slapped his hands together, raising them to release two dense arcs of golden lightning at the barrier of light protecting them. As loud crackles sounded out, a net of lightning appeared on the surface of the barrier and instantly dissolved the grey threads.

The three corpses didn’t seem to care when they saw this. They simply shot out more Ghostfiend Threads from their hands and restored the form of the grey Qi that had been scattered.

“Fellow Daoist Chang, open it up!” With that said, thunder rang from Han Li’s back, revealing a pair of silver wings.

She thought to persuade him otherwise, but after seeing the wings, she immediately uttered an incantation and created a fine opening in the barrier.

His wings flapped and he disappeared in a flash of silver light.

The three corpses suddenly stopped when they saw this and began to look around. Then, the light flashed once more meters behind them to reveal Han Li. The corpses instantly flicked their fingers in response and shot dozens of grey threads at him.

Han Li didn’t remotely attempt to dodge, instead opening his mouth to spit out three golden streaks in the direction of each corpse.

[1] Eight spoked wheel commonly associated with Buddhism.

[2] Monarch Soul Divergence’s autobiography, and collection of techniques and secrets. He gave it to Han Li before he passed.