Chapter 397: Underworld Lake

Chapter 397: Underworld Lake

Within the Yanluo Court, Xiao Nanfeng found himself surrounded by endless darkness. The Dragon Yanluo's specter took the opportunity to free himself from the red rope.

Xiao Nanfeng reclaimed his tattered red moon and arduously stood up. He glanced warily at his surroundings, only to find a large number of dragon specters dashing forward from the depths of the darkness.

"King!" The dragon specters bowed down respectfully toward the Dragon Yanluo.

"Xiao Nanfeng, why would you follow me into my seat of power? The Yanluo seal is active here too. You won't be able to escape." The Dragon Yanluo smirked.

"A group of cursed effigies—no, they don't even have cursed spiritual avatars. They're just cursed souls. Do you think they'd be able to stand against me?" Xiao Nanfeng declared.

"Try it, then." The Dragon Yanluo commanded the specters, "As usual, possess him and send him to the Underworld Lake."

"Understood!" The cursed effigies shot toward Xiao Nanfeng immediately.

Xiao Nanfeng tossed the cursed effigies aside one after another with every swing of his red rope, but he was simply far too weak at present. With the red moon being damaged, the red rope cursed king's spiritual avatar likewise seemed to be affected. Summoning the red rope was draining his already-limited resources. Within moments, he was drowned within a group of draconic specters.

"Xiao Nanfeng, just you wait. I'll be able to revive quickly enough and deal with you then, haha!" the Dragon Yanluo's specter shouted.

He headed deep within the darkness and vanished from sight.

Countless draconic specters shot toward Xiao Nanfeng. Some attempted to dart into his mindscape, but a blue moon appeared there and sent them flying back.

"Impossible. Again!" The draconic specters shot forth once more.

A blue moon appeared to the back of Xiao Nanfeng's head as his injuries healed at a rate visible to the naked eye. A shimmering blue barrier of energy formed around his body, repelling the draconic specters.

"What? How could this be? That blue light seems designed to counter us!" one draconic specter cried out.

Xiao Nanfeng glanced disdainfully at the cursed specters. He sucked in a deep breath. "Senior, if you don't want these cursed effigies, I'll obliterate them."

A blood peach tree appeared. Countless roots stabbed toward the draconic specters.

"What's that?!" one draconic specter cried out.

The peach tree's roots speared into the draconic specters, then sucked them dry. The remaining specters, seeing the macabre sight, turned and fled.

Countless peach blossoms scattered from the tree, as though forming a formation that trapped the specters within.

"Leave! We have to inform the king!" one of the specters cried out.

However, the peach blossoms were too fast for the specters. They surrounded the fleeing specters as the peach tree's roots drained them dry.

"No!" the specters screamed.

"Senior, I'm leaving these cursed effigies to you. I'll be chasing after the Dragon Yanluo!"

Xiao Nanfeng ran into the darkness, toward where the specter of the Dragon Yanluo had headed.

Days ago, Ao Zhou, Croak, Warble, and the dragons under Ao Zhou's command had all been caught by the Dragon Yanluo and tossed into his Yanluo Court.

The moment they entered the Yanluo Court, they were beset by a group of draconic specters.

"What are these? Are they cursed effigies?" Croak frowned.

"Dragon-shaped cursed effigies... Were they dragons in the past?" Warble wondered.

The dragon specters surged forth.

"Hold on, all of you were dragons in the past, weren't you? I'm a dragon too! I'm a descendant of yours! Ancestors, I've finally found all of you!" Ao Zhou suddenly shouted.

The dragon specters were taken aback. They had been in the Yanluo Court for a prolonged period of time and had seen countless cultivators tossed into it. Some begged for mercy, others resisted, yet more cursed—but this was the first time they had seen anyone attempting to claim kinship with them.

"Greet your ancestors, quickly! Are you all fools?!" Ao Zhou hissed at his subordinates.

"We greet our ancestors!"

"We've finally found you, ancestors!"

"Bless our ancestors!"

The dragons bowed respectfully toward the draconic specters, stupefying them.

Frowning, Croak sent a mental transmission to Warble. "Does Ao Zhou not care about his reputation? He's already submitting to those specters even before we've started to fight!"

To its surprise, it found Warble imitating Ao Zhou. "We greet our ancestors!"

Croak stiffened. What was going on? The rest of their group were dragons; it might have made sense for them to shamelessly acknowledge the draconic specters as their ancestors, but it and Warble were toad spirits!

Warble kicked Croak's butt. "Go on, greet our ancestors! Why are you in such a daze?"

Croak belatedly understood what Warble was doing. The two of them were currently in human form, and the cursed effigies wouldn't know that they were toad spirits.

"We greet our ancestors!" Croak said respectfully.

Not too far away, Ao Zhou glanced askance at the two toad spirits. He thought himself rather thick-skinned, but the two toad spirits seemed to be even more so despite their outwardly honest appearance.

"Ancestors, we dragons have suffered greatly. Almost all the dragons across the Eastern Sea have gone extinct save the few of us here. Ancestors, please address our grievances!" Ao Zhou cried out.

"Ancestors, we've had such a hard time. Please help us!" the dragons echoed in sync.

The draconic specters were silent for a long moment before one of them finally spoke up. "We're not your ancestors. We came from hundreds of thousands of years ago."

"All dragons under heaven are one large clan. Those descendants of the far-flung past have brought the dragons to greater heights—and we're your descendants' descendants. You're our ancestors!" Ao Zhou continued fervently.

The draconic specters fell silent. They huddled together, murmuring to each other for a long while before they finally came to a consensus.

"I don't care whether you're our descendants or not. You were sent into the Yanluo Court by our king, and you'll have to give your physical bodies over to us! If you dare resist..." one draconic specter began threateningly.

"We'll cooperate, we'll cooperate! I don't want my physical body any longer. We'll follow in your footsteps and tithe our physical bodies to the king, ancestors!"

"Right! No one's going to stop us from tithing our bodies!" the dragons echoed.

The draconic specters fell silent. Weren't these dragons being overly cooperative? How were they going to keep threatening them now?

"How can I tithe my physical body to the king to best express my sincerity?" Ao Zhou asked, without feeling any shame whatsoever.

The draconic specters fell silent again, glancing at each other. By now, they had guessed that the dragons were just trying to save themselves rather than being sincere, but this was the first time they had ever met any dragons that were so shameless.

But if they wanted to demonstrate their 'sincerity', then they would gladly allow them to carry on their act for the time being.

"If you want to serve the king, then follow us," the draconic specter in the lead said mockingly.

"Thank you, ancestors!" Ao Zhou replied with unbridled passion.

"Thank you, ancestors!" the other dragons echoed.

The draconic specters brought the dragons deep into the Yanluo Court. After a considerable amount of time, they arrived by the side of a yellow lake.

The water in the lake was rapidly rotating about its center. Countless gigantic sea spirits floated on its surface. Whether they were dead or alive wasn't clear, but their bodies were dry and parched, as though all their essence had been sucked dry by the lake.

"What lake is this?" Ao Zhou exclaimed.

"This is the Underworld Lake. All spirits that step within will have their life essence drained. We've tossed all the sea spirits that have been lured into the court in the lake," one draconic specter said. CH𝒆Ck for 𝒏ew st𝒐ries on no/v/el/bin(.)c0m

"We have to commit suicide by diving into the lake? By sacrificing all our vitality to the king?" Ao Zhou exclaimed.

"No. You're dragons, and your bodies will be host to the king. All this vitality extracted from the sea spirits will be infused into yours instead."

"What do you mean?"

"Do you see that small island at the center of the lake?"

The dragons looked over and indeed saw a small island at the center of the Underworld Lake. On the island were three giant dragons that were hundreds of meters long. They were immobile and encased in rainbow light.

"What's that?"

"The three dragons on the island are the king's substitute bodies. The Underworld Lake extracts the essence from these sea spirits and infuses the island with it, nourishing the three bodies, cultivating, tempering, and strengthening them. We'll be taking over your bodies and bringing them to the island to raise your cultivation with all the gathered vitality there."

"Ancestors, you don't have to possess us. We can head there on our own!" Ao Zhou immediately volunteered.

"Do you think that's possible?" The draconic specter sneered.

"Of course! Ancestors, just look at my mouth. You'll see!" Ao Zhou exclaimed, opening his mouth wide.

The draconic specters turned toward his mouth subconsciously, only to see Ao Zhou spraying them with a stream of frost.

"Die!" the draconic specters roared.

"Now!" Ao Zhou commanded.

All the dragons suddenly struck the cursed effigies at once.

"Retaliate!" one specter countered.

The specters shot toward the dragons from every direction.

"Ao Zhou, you idiot! You should have made a move after getting on that island!" Warble shouted from afar.

"I was trying to get them to bring us to the treasure, but we wasted our time. They were planning to kill us here! Forget it. Let's make our move now. They're only spiritual avatars without physical bodies, so we'll easily be able to take them down."

"Oh? Looking down on us, are you? You insolent fools. Our king has endowed us with special cursed spiritual power. We've taken down countless spirit Immortals, let alone the likes of you!" one specter shouted.

The specters somehow managed to immunize themselves against the dragons' attacks and darted toward their mindscapes.

"They're entering my mindscape!" Ao Zhou cried out.

"Mine too!" Croak exclaimed.

Within moments, Croak, Warble, and the rest of the dragons were rendered immobile, all of them possessed.

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