Li Qiye was in a diner inside Crossing City. Next to him was a table with more than ten people; there were men and women both young and old.
“Haha, this time, maybe we will find the legendary mountain at Necropolis. Then, our Snow-shadow Ghost Tribe will rise!” A young man excitedly laughed and declared.
There was a shared characteristic amongst this group, and that was that all of their hair was as white as snow.
The strangest thing was that when sunlight shone on their bodies, even their shadows would come out as white.
A white shadow would creep anyone out, but in the Sacred Nether World where ghost tribes congregated, this was not strange at all.
It was apparent that this table consisted of members of the same tribe, a tribe named the Snow-shadow Tribe. Just like their name, their shadows were white.
It was a minor tribe in Crossing City, one with very meager power. Legends state that they were once powerful, but as for how powerful they actually were, the current tribe did not know since it was too long ago.
The youths in the group were very excited when they talked about Necropolis. They all wanted to give it a try.
Another young man said: “Hehe, Necropolis is a treasure ground that Immortal Emperors regularly visit. We are going to make a fortune this time!”
However, an elder at the same table poured cold water over their excitement. He was quite old, but his eyes were as clear as the stars in the sky. He shook his head to say: “Don’t get your hopes up. We will just go and take a look so don’t dream about too many treasures. Hundreds of thousands of people visit Necropolis every year, but they don’t even find regular treasures, let alone mythical ones. We are only going in order to broaden your horizons.”
“Elder Zhi, don’t ruin our excitement like this.” The speaker was a muscular young man who optimistically smiled and said: “Elder Zhi, maybe I, Peng Zhuang, will find the legendary mountain. I will change and become an Immortal Emperor, then this will become my generation!”
“Someone who looks like a ruffian like you wants to become an Immortal Emperor?” Elder Zhi did not shy from bringing down the youth’s optimism and continued: “Don’t dream about the treasure mountain. This is a legend that no one has seen before, let alone a little brat like you.”
The youth named Peng Zhuang only smiled in response. Despite the elder’s words, it did not diminish his excitement. He and another youth continued to enthusiastically speak about the Prime Ominous Grave.
At first, Li Qiye didn’t pay them any attention. Every day, people all over the Sacred Nether World traveled to Necropolis with the same dream as Peng Zhuang. They all wanted to find the legendary treasure mountain inside the city.
But now, the youths were talking about the things that happened a few days ago at Necropolis; this was the moment when the Sacred Nether World was plunged into darkness.
“I heard that a fiend had come into being.” The youths’ conversation became increasingly ludicrous as they started to talk about all kinds of things.
“It wasn’t a fiend, I heard that the Heaven’s Will had died. Ever since the Black Dragon King tore apart the Heaven’s Will, it was on the verge of death. Yesterday, when the sky became dark, it was because the heavens died.”
“Pfft, what are you talking about? Where is this heaven? I feel that the arrival of a fiend is more accurate.” The group of them debated.
“All of you are wrong.” The muscular young man named Peng Zhuang mysteriously said: “Haha, in my opinion, an invincible existence came out from the Prime Ominous Grave. During the darkness, I saw a monstrous hand stretch out from the grave.”
“Oh Big Talk Peng, you are lying again.” A youth at the same table laughed and shook his head: “What monstrous hand? We were standing at the same spot that day; none of us saw a monstrous hand. Moreover, the grave had not been opened for tens of thousands of years, so how could there be a hand?”
“It is true!” Peng Zhuang busily replied: “Amidst that darkness, I saw a huge hand reaching out from the grave.”
Li Qiye’s expression changed; this was exactly the news he was looking for. If Peng Zhuang spoke the truth, then Li Qiye’s conjecture was not wrong.
“Peng Zhuang, don’t speak nonsense.” Suddenly, a clear yet slightly imposing voice came out.
It was a woman who sat at the same table; she was around the age of thirty. Her mature charm was like a ripe peach that was ready to be picked at any moment.
The thirty year old woman carried a plump and mature flavor; her white hair gave her an even more dignified aura. Her smoking hot figure was accented by her soft and tall bosom, and her slender waist could easily be held within a single hand. She was quite charming despite not reaching the kingdom-toppling level. During her moments where her dignity showed, she exuded the aura of a noble.
This mature woman brightened the eyes of others with a seductive and ripe aura, causing the hearts of others to beat faster.
Peng Zhuang immediately shut up after the woman spoke as he cheekily said: “Chief, I was just kidding.”
The woman didn’t say anything else, but she had a noble yet intimidating aura. The youths quickly changed the topic and talked about something else.
Li Qiye, who was eavesdropping to the side, knew that he had found the right people. Now, all that he needed to do was to find out whether Peng Zhuang told the truth or not.
Li Qiye stood up and clasped his hands together while smiling to greet the table: “Salutation, Fellow Daoists.”
As the proverb says, no one would hit a smiling face. Li Qiye was quite polite, so the Snow-shadow Tribe also greeted him back. It was not a big tribe so they were not arrogant at all.
Li Qiye said with a smile: “This junior is Li Qiye from the southern Distant Cloud. I came to the eastern Nether Border to broaden my horizons with a vacation. The mythical Necropolis is filled with mysteries, so when I heard Fellow Daoists talk about it, I just want to ask a few questions about how to get there.”
Li Qiye was both polite and courteous like a well-behaved and proper young man.
“You’re just in time, we are also going to Necropolis.” Peng Zhuang was a frank and simple person, so he quickly said: “How about we go together? Another companion will make it livelier.”
“Peng Zhuang…” The tribal chief warned with a serious tone.
However, Li Qiye quickly took charge before the chief could react. He clasped his hands towards her: “This junior will shamelessly ask to go with your group. I just came to the Nether Border and do not know my way around. I gratefully hope for your patronage in the future.” 1
The chief couldn’t help but grimace. This human with an unknown origin that suddenly wanted to join her team caused her to become overly sensitive.
“This junior’s name is Li Qiye, what are Daoist Brothers’ names?” Li Qiye was very friendly and enthusiastically asked.
Peng Zhuang was a straightforward person, so after seeing Li Qiye’s polite friendliness, he quickly called him brother right afterward as if they had known each other for a long time.
The other youths were also not cautious of Li Qiye. In the end, they were only a small tribe, so making more friends was not a bad thing.
Elder Zhi didn’t state his opinion. Only the chief alone was cautious, but she didn’t reveal any dissatisfaction towards Li Qiye.
After getting familiar with the young ones, Li Qiye learned the names of the older crowd. The chief’s name was Qiurong Wanxue.
Although it was only a minor one, it was still a tribe after all. Qiurong Wanxue proved her formidable strength by being the chief at the age of thirty. She was either the number one or number two expert in her tribe.
Despite being a relatively young female chief, the disciples in her tribe adored her. She also gained the acceptance from the previous generation since they believed that she would reach peak Heavenly King in the future.
In just a short moment, Li Qiye became quite close to Peng Zhuang’s group. After the meal, the group marched towards Necropolis while Li Qiye tagged along with them with his thick skin.
The youths enjoyed Li Qiye’s company, but Qiurong Wanxue remained vigilant. Nevertheless, she didn’t chase him away and agreed to him tagging along.
Once they were outside of Necropolis, the youths became quite excited. Peng Zhuang hysterically shouted: “Haha, Peng Zhuang is here! The treasure mountain is mine!”
Li Qiye laughed and pointed at the towering Prime Ominous Grave in the distance: “People say that there are even more treasures in the Prime Ominous Grave. There is even a method for immortality.”
Peng Zhuang relentlessly claimed: “Haha, wait until I find the key. Then, we’ll definitely go there.”
“I’m afraid it will be very hard.” Li Qiye shook his head to say: “I heard that no one had opened it for a very long time now. For tens of thousands of years, there had been no changes to the grave.”
“Who said so?” Peng Zhuang remained unconvinced and continued: “I clearly saw a change when darkness covered the sky. Right at that instant, I saw the biggest hand I’ve ever seen coming out of the grave.”
“Liar Peng Zhuang.” One of the other companions shook his head and said with laughter: “We were all together, so how come we didn’t see it?”
1. ‘Took charge before she could react’ raw = first decapitate then report later; it is a privilege given to the emperor’s trusted officials — the power to kill then report.