The five pillars of light were the only source of light in the vicinity; unbridled power of the sacred palaces roiled outward in all directions. They sliced through the churning tide of zombies before it reached the group.
“Go!” Standing at the front of the squad, Lu Yun stood at the tip of an arrowhead formation. Wei Yuan and You Huoran stood behind him as they were the weakest of the bunch, so Lu Yun broke the brunt of the zombie charges for them. Wang Shu brought up the rear and Ying Luo hovered in midair, ready to support the four on the ground at any moment.
They moved extremely fast, cleaving through the horde of zombies like a sharp blade. Any zombies bold enough to charge them were immediately hacked to pieces.
Apart from zombies, there were also the more terrifying ghouls in the rush. Thankfully, the group was prepared as everyone had a chunk of realm monster core on their bodies. Ghouls that approached them were instantly frozen and clattered to the ground as ice sculptures.
There were also far more intrepid explorers than just Lu Yun and his group on the premises. After the five pillars of their power rose into the air, a few more beams soared high elsewhere in the haze. However, those were extinguished before long—an indicator that their owners had died.
“Should we go find and save them” Wang Shu asked hesitantly.
Though zombies abounded in the poisonous haze, it wasnt difficult for sacred palace disciples to withstand zombies of the same cultivation level once they banded together. The absurdly strong ghouls, however, came and disappeared mysteriously with the wind. Highly dangerous, they were hardier, faster, and stronger than the zombies.
Once targeted by a batch of ghouls, even the most elite palace disciple struggled to defend themselves. In an environment like their current one, the chances of survival were miniscule. If it wasnt for the realm monster core fragments, at least two of Lu Yuns group wouldve already fallen to the swarm.
“No!” Wei Yuan yelled his head off in response. Hed had to pull out a connate-grade dirk after his spirit-grade longsword shattered. “We can barely protect ourselves, do we look like we have the effort to spare for others!”
Hed completely given up on vying for the opportunity. Survival in this forsaken place was the only thing on his mind!
Though the group was a well-oiled machine, they werent having an easy time. There were too many zombies. Wei Yuan was already heaving for breath and looking for respite. If it wasnt for Ying Luo supporting him, he wouldve already been torn to pieces.
Though they were able to converse via speech due to the five pillars of light forcing the corpse qi back, creating this safe zone was also a huge drain on their resources. Unfortunately, they had no other choice available to them.
“We cant.” Lu Yun threw a pill to Wei Yuan. The latter quickly swallowed it to recover some internal energy. “The five of us can barely manage to keep ourselves alive. If we try to save anyone else, our formation will break and well become their burial goods.”
The five of them had connected their power to each other in a tiny battle formation. If they could further combine their powers, they would complement each other to a greater degree. One person by themselves wouldnt be able to survive in a place like this.
“I wouldve thought having another person would mean another addition to our strength,” grumbled Wang Shu before suddenly whirling around and shaking his longsword to hew a pouncing zombie in half.
The further in they went, the greater the resistance. Even Lu Yun began to falter under the relentless flood.
“Fall back, Lu Yun. Let me,” Ying Luo whispered quietly as she flew over him.
“No, this is fine. This is good tempering for me,” Lu Yun declined. “I havent felt this kind of pressure in a very long time.”
Ying Luo started, then nodded.
“Though my cultivation level hasnt increased, my strength and battle capabilities are five times stronger than when I first entered the corpse qi,” he said loudly for the benefit of the group. “Even if Im not the recipient of the final heritage, this has still been a rare opportunity for me.”
Wei Yuan jerked with surprise when he heard this. Lu Yun had expressed similar sentiments the first time theyd met.
“Youre right, our goal shouldnt be to simply weather a crisis, but to treat the crisis as a whetstone for our skills.” He heaved a slight sigh, finally adjusting his mentality back to the right track.
“Forget that talk about trials and tempering for a moment, a big ones coming! It seems to be chasing… junior sister Li Xue of the Ethos Palace!” You Huoran shrieked.
The ground shook beneath their feet as a huge zombie several thousands of meters tall approached from the distance. It trod countless zombies into paste when it passed over them while a young girl in white robes flew desperately in front of it.
She instinctively adjusted her flight course to Lu Yun and the others when she saw them, but shot off in another direction after a split second. It would seem that she didnt want to meet up with them.
“Ill go save her!” Ying Luos eyes widened. “Junior sister Li Xue doesnt want to bring trouble to us, but she helped me once. I cant stand by when shes in danger!”
She made to break out of their formation.
“Dont go, Ying Luo!” Lu Yun yanked her back. “Stay here and protect them for me, Ill go!”
Hellfire ignited over Lu Yuns body before she finished protesting. When Ying Luo and Wang Shu saw the cold black fire, they both relaxed with ease. If zombies in the zombie sea hadnt been able to discover Lu Yun when this cold fire burned, neither would the zombies here.
Lu Yun understood Ying Luos sentiments, hed thrown caution to the wind to save Jin Gushen earlier as well. Besides, this palace disciple was close at hand and barely out of sight. Just like Ying Luo, Lu Yun was the type to pay his debts of gratitude.
His body sucked hellfire back inside the moment it ignited and he vanished in the next second. When he reappeared, he stood in front of Li Xue.
“Lu Yun of the Inception Palace greets this senior sister.” Lu Yun raised cupped fists to Li Xue.
Clad in white silk robes and a light veil covering her face, it was impossible to make out Li Xues true form from her outfit. But in their current environment, Lu Yun didnt have the effort to spare to determine what the girl really looked like.
“The Inception Palace” Li Xue blinked. “Hurry up and leave, the big guy behind me isnt easy—um…”
Shed yet to finish her warning before the gigantic zombie behind her exploded like a bubble. A tiny flash of light from a talisman vanished from Lu Yuns upraised index and middle finger.-