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Chapter 81 - Strange Occurrences in the Zhao Mausoleum

Tianbao Fuyao Lu


"That wheezing, rumbling breathing had stopped."


Translator(s): moon
Editor(s): juurensha, namio

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The bloodstains went in a crooked path, leading over the ground covered with withered grass, dripping up onto the rooftop. Hongjun’s hands were folded together as he leaned against the wall. He gestured for Lu Xu to come over, so with a single leap, Lu Xu stepped up onto Hongjun’s hand and jumped up onto the rooftop. Hongjun then somersaulted up as well.

“The more I see, the more I feel like it’s not a ghost,” Lu Xu murmured to himself. “Have you ever heard of ghosts eating humans?”

Hongjun replied, “I haven’t even seen what ghosts look like.”

Though the corpse ghosts that fell in battle were called “ghosts”, they were not truly ghosts in all senses of the word; they only barely counted as part of the yao tribe. Ever since he was small, Hongjun hadn’t heard Chong Ming mention ghosts either, and the only source of his knowledge on them were the books that Qing Xiong brought him on the legends of the common folk. Lu Xu, as well, had not seen any ghosts before when he was growing up, let alone ghosts that ate humans.

“Perhaps Emperor Taizong got hungry, so he came out in the middle of the night to have a midnight snack?” Hongjun and Lu Xu stood on the rooftop, staring towards the entrance of the Zhao Mausoleum.

Lu Xu replied, “That shouldn’t be the case ba, what’s he doing hanging around here instead of going to get reborn? I keep feeling like there’s no corpse ghosts here.”

Just as they were speaking, Lu Xu pressed one hand lightly to his temple, and he looked forward attentively. Hongjun swiftly raised his head. In this deepening twilight, Lu Xu’s body emitted a strange power. Perhaps it was because after being broken off, the antlers had become much weaker and were unable to take on physical form, but those formless antlers were actually glowing with a weak light. They looked like two rivulets, but also like feelers that connected to the divine vein above.

And under his feet, that power temporarily also linked up with the earthly vein!

“Wow, what magic is this?!” Hongjun asked curiously.

Lu Xu’s eyes were shut, and his forehead was furrowed deeply. A godly white light shone around him. The side profile of his face looked very handsome, as if in that instant, he had become a divinity that was born to hold up the sky and protect all living creatures on this land.

“The realm of dreams is the power that connects to the road that leads to the spiritual veins of the heavens and earth, and the cycles of reincarnation.”

Lu Xu’s eyes were still closed as he added quietly, “After humans die, if they are unwilling to return to the cycles of reincarnation to be reborn, they will linger in this world. Living humans will be able to see them once a while in their dreams, but there are no souls here that are lingering about, unwilling to disperse. There are only the traces of those souls that died here a few days ago, look.”

And saying this, Lu Xu placed his other hand on the nape of Hongjun’s neck. In front of Hongjun’s eyes, the scene immediately changed. The heavens and earth, the valleys and the plains were covered with a moving silk-like veil of light. Within that veil, the divine and earthly veins glowed with brilliant color, which swirled about splendidly.

Outside the royal mausoleum, several smoke-like wisps of white light were slowly rising towards the sky. These were the souls of those people who had died a few days ago.

Lu Xu pulled his hand back, and everything returned to how it looked originally.

“Can we ask those souls?” Hongjun asked.

Lu Xu shook his head and replied, “I don’t know how to talk to souls, but as you saw, there are no powerful ghost souls in the Zhao Mausoleum.”

With that, after a simple discussion, the two of them were basically able to confirm that the Zhao Mausoleum was not haunted. The most plausible explanation was that there was a yao, and it was one that could fly, because the bloodstains dripped over the roof of the house.

 

Hongjun followed the path of the bloodstains to the entrance of the Zhao Mausoleum, which was sealed tightly shut by an immense stone door. Fresh blood covered the ground outside, but there were no signs that the door had ever been opened. Seeing that scene, it looked as if something had grabbed a dead person, slammed into a stone wall, and passed right through it.

Hongjun pushed at the door with all his might, and Lu Xu went forward too. The two of them pushed against the door, which stubbornly refused to open. Hongjun then merged his four throwing knives into one, hefted it, and said, “Should I hack it open?

Lu Xu remarked from beside him, “This door seems to open by going up and down. Look at the two sides, it looks like an activation mechanism.”

Hongjun: “...”

This was the dragon-breaking stone at the entrance of the Zhao Mausoleum, and to either side were iron mechanisms as tall as a person. When the emperor of the Great Tang entered the tomb to pay his respects, there would need to be two squads of forty men each who would insert special iron rods into the mechanisms, and when they pushed together, it would allow that dragon-breaking stone to slowly rise up.

Hongjun let the Pentacolor Sacred Light expand and squeeze into the tomb, before he then pried it up with great force. The dragon-breaking stone then rose with a series of booms.

Right after, he then sent the Pentacolor Sacred Light out and back, dragging back a huge rock which held the dragon-breaking stone up.

The two of them both dropped to the ground and rolled, and they rolled in.

The rocks outside the mausoleum were granite, the hardest there were, and it had just so happened to leave them a crack that was enough for one person to squeeze out at a time. After entering, Hongjun snapped his fingers, and a small flame sprung up from his fingertips, shedding light on their surroundings. In the middle was a paved path that was so deep, no end could be seen, and oil lamps hung at both sides. Sparks flew out from them, and upon lighting those oil lamps, there seemed to be air moving inside the tomb, so their light filled the vast space.

The pathway into the tomb had been kept very clean, and the trail of bloodstains led all the way into the depths. Lu Xu gestured for Hongjun to look down, so Hongjun nodded and pushed Lu Xu behind to shield him.

Deep, heavy breaths issued forth from the depths of the tomb, as if there was wind passing through, or as if there was some yaoguai in the darkness breathing heavily. On the two sides of the passageway, the oil lamps slowly dimmed, before going out silently.

Hongjun startled, and his throwing knives almost left his hand.

Lu Xu: “Don’t be nervous… there wasn’t enough oil left in the oil lamps.”

Hongjun switched to using the Pentacolor Sacred Light for light, and it shone on their faces.

“This place is too weird,” Hongjun said.

Lu Xu could also feel the hairs on his neck rising a little, and he said, “I also don’t like this place.”

Hongjun asked, “How about let’s go back first?”

Lu Xu didn’t speak. Hongjun stood in front of him, but he kept feeling like there was something watching the two of them unblinkingly from the end of the passageway. They took a few steps forward, and Lu Xu stretched his hand out to grab Hongjun’s sleeve. Hongjun almost shouted at that, and he hurriedly turned back to look at Lu Xu. The self-confident demeanor that Lu Xu had when they were outside had vanished, and he was also a little afraid.

Hongjun, with Lu Xu in tow, inched forward, and Lu Xu said, “If we fight here, we can’t fan out either…”

Hongjun said quietly, “Let’s just see what there is… and then we’ll go back.”

The inside of the royal mausoleum was filled with an atmosphere that made people very discomfited. As soon as they set foot inside, Hongjun felt that a cold wind had been blowing at their backs, and the closer he got to the far end of the passageway, the clearer that breathing that sounded like wheezing got.

“There’s a yaoguai hiding inside,” Hongjun whispered. “It seems like it’s sleeping?”

“Put the Pentacolor Sacred Light away,” Lu Xu said quietly in response.

Lu Xu’s eyes held nervousness in them as he peeped his head out from behind Hongjun. Hongjun turned, preparing at any time to face down a yaoguai rushing at them, and his spine pressed up against the wall of the passageway.

 

A voice suddenly spoke in the darkness:

“How come it’s this dark?!”

“Waaah--!” Hongjun was greatly startled, and he began to shout loudly.

“Who’s there?!” Lu Xu was also frightened by that.

“Where is this?!” the carp yao’s voice called nervously. “Ghosts, aaaah!”

Hongjun had already completely forgotten about the carp yao on his back, and Lu Xu had forgotten this doorstop even more so than he had. The carp yao had slept the entire way, but now it had woken up, and the three of them were just scaring themselves into their souls flying away. Lu Xu stepped into thin air and almost fell down, so he hurriedly grabbed Hongjun, who staggered and slipped on a stair, shouting, “Lu Xu! Where are you?”

Lu Xu: “Here, here!”

The two of them took a few swift, hasty steps, before Hongjun hurried to say, “It’s Zhao Zilong! Zhao Zilong!”

“Where is this?!” the carp yao shouted loudly. “How come I’ve gone blind?! Hongjun! Hongjun, where are you?!”

Lu Xu hurriedly said, “Shut up! Shut up!”

It was only after a long while that Hongjun managed to explain it clearly to the carp yao. Their surroundings were too dark, it hadn’t gone blind, and the carp yao felt as if a heavy weight had been lifted from it. Hongjun then said, “Should I put you down on the ground?”

“Don’t!” the carp yao hurried to shout.

“And where is this now?” Lu Xu asked.

That wheezing, rumbling breathing had stopped, but there were still echoes of it coming back at them, as if they were in an expansive hall. When their surroundings fell silent, the terrifying atmosphere once again rushed in and surrounded them.

In the heights of the great hall, there were two glowing green stones that looked like decorations on the ceiling. Due to their distance, however, that light didn’t shine down on their surroundings.

“I feel like we should go,” Lu Xu said quietly.

Hongjun had also sensed the danger. The yaoguai’s breathing had stopped, which proved that it had discovered the intruders. Its next step was very likely to be launching an attack.

“I’ll light the lamps, and as soon as our surroundings are bright, we’ll retreat immediately,” Hongjun said. “We’re not going to worry about it anymore.” With that, fire burst forth from the palm of his hand, and with a shua it flew in all directions. The meteor-like blazing flames searched all around for any flammable objects, and instantly set the sixteen braziers in the great hall alight.

In that instant, the central main hall of the underground palace, where the Zhao mausoleum ended, lit up with bright light. It was only then that Hongjun discovered he had actually gone along the passageway and the staircase down to the hall where the deceased emperor was worshipped! The flames in the braziers sprung into existence, and the entire underground palace shone with splendor. There was a burial platform almost three zhang tall in the center, in the middle of which was placed a jade coffin. Around the jade coffin was coiled a huge black snake.

The huge snake’s eyes were those green fluorescent stones the size of a cart wheel that Hongjun had seen before!

“We meet again, Kong Hongjun --”

The huge snake lifted its head, revealing the horns made of devil qi that sprouted from the top of its head. It suddenly looked towards Hongjun and opened its bloody maw filled with sharp teeth, its tongue flicking through the air.

Hongjun’s eyes immediately widened, reflecting the massive hall of the mausoleum filled with devil qi. Because the devil qi had already filled the hall, with the huge snake’s horn as the center, it billowed out, wildly dispersing through the space, and it had already completely surrounded the two of them!

“Xie Yu?!” When Hongjun heard the huge snake’s voice, he suddenly remembered that black jiao that had appeared that night in the Mogao Caves, from within the heart devil!

“Run, quick!” Lu Xu roared immediately.

“It’s too late.” Xie Yu let out an unrestrained, wild, hoarse laugh, before it opened its jaws towards Hongjun. Suddenly, the black fog began to spew forth densely, and Lu Xu shouted, “Hongjun!”

Hongjun subconsciously sent forth the Pentacolor Sacred Light, but it had no way to defend against the invasion of the devil qi. In an instant, it was engulfed under the black flames spewing from Xie Yu’s mouth. Lu Xu charged forward at top speed to shove Hongjun aside, but with a turn of its body, Xie Yu’s huge snake tail swung horizontally towards where Lu Xu was going, then upwards, colliding into him and sending him flying away!

Everything was happening like a replay of the nightmare at Dunhuang. Countless sorrows, pain, and rage came crashing wildly over him; his dead parents in front of the warrior clad in golden armor, the pain of his entire body, bloody and raw, from being engulfed by the golden fire. Foreign and familiar pain of people’s lives instantly agitated the devil seed in his chest!

Xie Yu let out a wild, hoarse roar. The horn on its head kept spewing out an endless supply of black qi, which turned into a visible line of black flames, connecting to the devil seed in Hongjun’s chest. But just at that instant, Hongjun’s pupils suddenly contracted.

 

“Say that you like me, Hongjun.”

A familiar voice sounded by his ear, and sorrow, pain… all of his memories shattered with that, and it was as if Hongjun was being bathed in white light. In front of him appeared Li Jinglong’s warm embrace, and a warm but burning kiss.

In the blink of an eye, Hongjun’s chest shone with a flash of light, which sent Xie Yu’s black fire rebounding away.

“Fuck off --!” Hongjun said, letting loose a bellow of rage. He then sent out his four throwing knives, which shot forth like meteors!

Xie Yu let out a shout, writhing on the platform before rushing down. With a flash, Lu Xu appeared and grabbed Hongjun, shouting, 

“You’re alright ba!”

Hongjun shouted in reply, “Leave this place! Don’t mind me!”

The two of them retreated into the passageway, but with a flip, Xie Yu clambered up onto the empty ledge of the hall. Its eyes turned on Hongjun, and it hissed, “This is your destiny, which has repeated for millenia -- why do you still not awaken to it?!”

The devil qi swept towards them, and Hongjun and Lu Xu turned and dashed up the staircase. As he ran, Hongjun turned and called his throwing knives back, melding them into the glaive, but the carp yao shouted wildly, “Don’t slice! The Zhao Mausoleum will collapse!”

Hongjun suddenly remembered that this was underground, so he didn’t dare to use his glaive. He immediately called up the Pentacolor Sacred Light just as Xie Yu’s jiao body came thunderingly sweeping over, only to collide heavily into the light, sending Hongjun flying backwards. Lu Xu raced up the wall, managing to grab Hongjun up in the passageway.

“Get away!” a voice roared angrily.

An arrow, as brilliant as the bright day, broke through the darkness with a shua, bringing with it a trail of blinding white light as it whistled by. Hongjun loudly shouted, “Jinglong!”

Li Jinglong had arrived!

Hongjun grabbed Lu Xu in return, and with a single leap, he stepped up onto the ceiling of the passageway, turning them upside down. With that flip that turned their heads and feet upside down, they just managed to avoid that arrow. Right after, several more sou sou noises whistled by them, which were Mo Rigen’s Seven Nailed Arrows!

In the darkness, that arrow that Li Jinglong had loosed, which contained the power of the Heart Lamp, hit the center of that roiling mass of devil qi. A wild roar issued forth from the depths of the tomb. Hongjun had just landed when Li Jinglong staggered and slid to his side, slung Hongjun’s arm over his shoulder, and shouted, “Go!”

Mo Rigen raced over as well, grabbed Lu Xu’s wrist, and began to drag him out, but Lu Xu’s speed was even faster than his, and with a flash he had already raced ahead. For a time, Mo Rigen couldn’t catch up, and he almost tripped because of Lu Xu, so he shouted, “Wait!”

The four of them ran to the entrance of the passageway, and they turned at once, squeezing by under the dragon-breaking stone. As soon as they left the Zhao Mausoleum, the outside was filled with water; it had begun to rain again. Hongjun slipped, but Li Jinglong had already grabbed him and steadied him. With that, Li Jinglong immediately whirled around. Holding the Sword of Wisdom, he fixed his gaze on the space behind the dragon-breaking stone, ready to attack at any moment.

A silence fell over the group, but Xie Yu actually didn’t let out any other sounds.

Hongjun said, “Just now, I…”

Li Jinglong immediately made a shushing gesture, indicating for him to be quiet. He then waited for a bit more, but the inside of the Zhao Mausoleum was as devoid of movement as before. Xie Yu hadn’t pursued them out, and there was no devil qi spreading from under the dragon-breaking stone.

“Should we go back inside to take a look?” Mo Rigen asked.

Li Jinglong pointed at the place they were standing, which meant that Hongjun and Lu Xu couldn’t go in. He then raised his hand in a gesture of hitting Hongjun, meaning that he would settle these debts with him after he came out.

“You two be careful,” Lu Xu said.

Li Jinglong and Mo Rigen went into the Zhao Mausoleum, while Hongjun and Lu Xu listened nervously from in front of the dragon-breaking stone. Not long after, the two of them came out again. Mo Rigen was holding his arrows in his hand, and he exchanged a look with Li Jinglong.

“It’s gone?” Hongjun asked, astonished.

Li Jinglong shrugged. He then frowned at Hongjun and said, “How come you went out just like this?! You had me so worried!”

It was as if Hongjun had caused trouble, and he was called to one side so Li Jinglong could admonish him. Mo Rigen squatted on the railings of the Zhao Mausoleum, and he said to Lu Xu, “Hongjun likes to play around, but you’re helping him in his nonsense.”

Lu Xu replied, irritated, “We can do work! We’re not rice grubs, and you can’t even run as fast as me!”

Hongjun detailed what had happened, and when Li Jinglong heard the words, he startled, saying, “You managed to block its devil qi?!”

En… hm,” Hongjun replied. “It seems like it, but I don’t know…”

“You can’t come out on your own any more in the future!” Li Jinglong scolded.

“I had Lu Xu and Zhao Zilong with me!” Hongjun said. “I didn’t come out on my own.”

“That’s right,” the carp yao added from its place on Hongjun’s back. “Are you in charge of us?”

Li Jinglong originally wanted to say that no matter who it was with, that wasn’t okay, but if he said that, no matter which person from the Exorcism Department Hongjun went with, he couldn’t be completely calm. No matter how he put it, he could only blame himself for not guarding him well today, so he no longer scolded him either. Li Jinglong patted his head, searched his thoughts for a moment. Upon seeing that Hongjun’s expression was set in one of confusion, he couldn’t resist finding that funny.

“When we get back tonight, I’ll settle these accounts between us then,” Li Jinglong replied easily.

 

“That… you can’t run around blindly like this in the future,” Mo Rigen scolded Lu Xu. “Though you run fast...”

Lu Xu glared at Mo Rigen, and the two of them looked towards Li Jinglong and Hongjun at the same time, just when Li Jinglong was kissing Hongjun.

Mo Rigen: “...”

Mo Rigen didn’t dare to copy that, otherwise he figured that Lu Xu would give him a roundhouse kick and send him staggering to a stop under the dragon-breaking stone of the Zhao Mausoleum.

When Hongjun heard those words, he knew that Li Jinglong wasn’t angry, but he continued to ask, “But how come Xie Yu disappeared?”

Mo Rigen said to them from a distance, “I think it’s a trap.”

Li Jinglong replied, “Let’s check once more. If there’s anything, we can talk about it when we get back.”

With that, Mo Rigen and Lu Xu went back in once more, but when they got to the deepest part of the Zhao Mausoleum, the brazier was still lit, but the devil qi had already dissipated without a trace.

“It wouldn’t have been in the coffin, right?” Mo Rigen asked.

Lu Xu replied, “Impossible. That big of a snake, how can it get inside to hide?”

The two of them searched all around for some mechanism, but they didn’t find any. The devil qi had also completely dissipated, and when they exited, they informed Li Jinglong that there was indeed nothing left inside.

The carp yao said, “It’s like we’ve seen a ghost, how could it have just disappeared?”

Last night, Li Jinglong had already not slept for the entire night because he was too excited, and he had spent all of today rushing around, so he was exhausted. He gestured for them to go back and talk more, and he had Hongjun remove the granite that was holding up the dragon-breaking stone. Mo Rigen then turned into the Grey Wolf and brought the three of them away from Mt. Jiugu, back towards the city of Chang’an.


This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), moon.

Contributors

moon

Translator, writer, avid reader. 吃刀群众. Jiejie enthusiast.

Reach out to me via the links to the right if you would like to re-translate any of my works. Please allow 2 business days for a response to an email or a DM.

namio

gege simp

juurensha

Fic writer, editor, and translator for GHOFD, PUBG, Fanservice Paradox, and other projects.

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Beezus
Beezus
37 minutes ago

Longjun kissing in front of langlu 😳🤣🤭
Thank you so much for the update

Julia Ghoulia
Julia Ghoulia
8 days ago

the bit at the end where langlu look over and see longjun just. making out in the middle of the mission was obviously great but i would also like to call attention to mo rigen striding in all ready to save lu xu and lu xu just BOOKS IT. “hey lu xu i’m here to help you–” “I’M GETTING OOOOOUT OF HERE!!! (shoves past him and runs)”

Sze
Sze
10 days ago

Tbh I would like to see that roundhouse kick 😂

Laura Denieffe
Laura Denieffe
11 days ago

Thank you for your hard work. I wonder did Li Jinglong mark Hongjun with that kiss lol

the abyss hostess
the abyss hostess
11 days ago

oooh I’m really curious about where this plot is heading *grabs popcorn*

Thank you for the wonderful translation, as always <3

Elevator
Elevator
12 days ago

Thank you for updating/translating 😄
I’m glad to see for the moment all turned out well 😅😂

Willa
Willa
12 days ago

First, thanks for the update. It starts my week off great! Second, I can’t help but wonder what happened with Hongjun when the idea/thought/memory of Li Jinglong “lit” Hongjun up & gave him power to repel the black qi. They shared the light of the Heart Lamp?

Kerorin 27
Kerorin 27
12 days ago

Thank you for the hard work (´(ェ)`)

Lauren
Lauren
12 days ago

Thank you for your continued hard work! This is the only thing I have to look forward to each week! Love these guys.

Last edited 12 days ago by Lauren
Veihakase
Veihakase
12 days ago

Lol MRG and LX have been fed with dog food.. I hope they’ll be the ones to do the feeding next time hahaha.. tsk3x is this another scheme by the concubine’s bro? I forgot their names haha.. we’ll they be included in some palace drama now? (With the crown prince and all)

Thank you so much for the chapter!!!~ 🙇🏻🙇🏻🙇🏻🙇🏻🙇🏻

Tiffany
Tiffany
12 days ago

god i can’t wait for more langlu tomfoolery and clownery it’s literally my lifeline