Back to what happened after my death.
In my lifetime, I had truly been a notorious demoness, snatching Chinese hawthorn toffee (tanghulu) from children and beating up tramps on the roadside——those lousy, jobless and filthy wastrels. The Way of Immortal and the Demon Path hated my people, so they joined hands and chased us around Chen Ji Shan hundreds of times.
I originally believed that after my death, my corpse would be dug out of its grave, as it was hard to guarantee that my body would be whole. I didn't expect, however. to end up floating above my burial mound for several years, the green grass growing over it and becoming waist-high. Not a single enemy clan came knocking on my door.
I suddenly felt a little lonesome and thought that all the misdeeds I had done while alive was for naught.
I completely blamed this blank stele!
I remember with hate that man who gave me this stele. No title was even given to honor me nor the stele named to acknowledge me. Not only could my worshippers not find me, even the enemy clans couldn't find me at all. And thus, my animosity towards the person who gave me this stele grew deeper that year.
It was Tomb Sweeping Day, and a fine drizzle as soft as feathers fell from the skies. I waited for someone to eventually come and sweep my tomb…
There was a person in ink-dark clothing, a male who braved the rain. As he walked closer, I saw his spotless, jade-white face. He was so beautiful, he stole my breath away…
I floated around to stare at him for as long as I could. Suddenly, I felt as if this man's facial features were unexpectedly familiar in a way. I rubbed my chin to ponder this curiosity. When he offered to my grave a few green fruits, I suddenly realized…
Ah! This man, isn't he that insignificant, hideous Mo Qing?!
As it turned out, after those terrifying ink scars on his face disappeared, his face was unexpectedly this beautiful!
He stood in front of my grave, the delicate-as-feathers raindrops seemingly frosting his body. He huskily said, "I knew you were fond of sour treats. Whenever you traveled, you would pluck a few green fruits."
I loved to eat sour things. Everyone in the Wan Lu Sect knew this, so their fruit offerings would always be ripening or unripe green fruit. He knew that this grave was where I was buried, and other than the person who buried me, no one else should know who this blank stele belonged to.
My mind clearly understood that he, who had seized the Wanjun Sword in the Sword Tomb, had definitely been the one who had brought my corpse here to be buried. Following this revelation, I once again felt disgusted. Mo Qing exploited me, killed me, and had the bright idea to come to my grave and wander about! With the Wanjun Sword! He came to show off?!
I glared at him, wanting to kick away those green fruits in anger. "Who wants your green fruit?! I can't even eat! Not burning paper when sweeping the tomb, you bastard——do you not understand the rules?!"
"This fruit is very sour. I had tried it while traveling; you will definitely love it."
You tasted it? To make an offering with something that you had licked already, are you mentally retarded?
He gazed at my grave, completely unable to see my glare. He continued to speak. "The current Wan Lu Sect, I'll take good care of it for you."
What! He even went as far as to take over my Wan Lu Sect! I was greatly alarmed. Very good, bastard! You killed me and even snatched the sect that I had single-handedly established! Very ruthless! Only… Even though I also wanted to reliably say 'who even had the ability to kill me,' 'who could take the position of Patriarch,' and so on and so forth…it wasn't because I was confident at that time that no one could kill me!
"With the Wanjun Sword in hand, I am also slowly retrieving my own power and have already begun to slowly restore the divided Demon Path."
What! I was alarmed again. He wants to ascend onto the Demon King throne?! That position was originally in my pocket!
"Everything that you wanted, I am slowly helping you achieve them."
Yes! Everything that I wanted has been stolen by you!
This absolutely disgraceful person really did come here to show off!
I angrily wanted to come back alive as a corpse just to strike him. I was lying in the earth, and he still intentionally sought me out and spoke things that strangled my heart! How much did he hate me?! I had even saved him when he was a child! This guy was truly biting the hand that fed him!
I tore at the grass on my grave, hating that I couldn't crawl out of the ground to bite him to death.
But once he finished showing off all of these successes, he still didn't leave and stood there for a long time. He then spoke as if he was extremely agonized. "Unfortunately, you can't see any of this."
What! You also want me to see it all with my own eyes? I want to be alive right now! Must you infuriate me to death in a hundred eighty ways?! This despicable fellow's intentions are too cruel!
I was unable to restrain my anger. He continued to stand in front of my grave, staring at it until the fine drizzle had turned to snow. Only then did he turn around to leave, his ink-dark clothing being completely swallowed by the night. My furious thoughts were unable to be dispelled.
I had never imagined that he would shockingly be this kind of shameless, ugly person back when I was alive.
My thoughts continued to churn, and my hatred deepened more and more. I thought about how it was simply unforgivable to be unable to seek him out and unleash my torrent of hatred. My grievances accumulated in my heart with each passing day.
I floated above this burial place for several years. Occasionally, some other lonely soul stuck as a ghost on this earth would pass by my place. From what they have told me, if I left my burial spot, there was a ghost market ten kilometers away. It was a market especially for us lonely souls roaming the earth as ghosts to sell things.
During my lifetime, I had seen more magical treasures than they had in their entire ghost market. I originally felt it was beneath my dignity to go take a look. At this moment, however, I felt that it was time to explore and see if there was a way for me to return to life. I didn't need to return for long; as long as I could become corporeal enough to stab Mo Qing with a saber, I would be satisfied.
I asked a ghost passing by for directions and set out on that very same day. Swaying and floating for three days, I finally floated the distance of ten kilometers…
My core was exhausted.
This slow method of travelling was why I hadn't left my grave for the past several years.
Ten kilometer distance; if this was before, I wouldn't have even needed to twirl my finger to use a secret art incantation. In the blink of an eye, I would have already arrived. But now, this spirit form of mine didn't even have a tenth of my old strength. I could only rely on floating. Fortunately in the evening, I could borrow the Yin energy of the night to quicken my floating speed. When it was daytime, especially noon, not to mention floating, I wished I could bury myself into the ground.
The ghost realm was like this. It allowed you to realize that no matter how powerful you were when you were alive, you were nothing but a lump of air in the afterlife. In fact, there were even different types of air. A malicious spirit would be significantly faster than my floating speed. Step after step, they would speed past like a steamboat. Hu-la-la. Moreover, the fiercer a ghost was, the quicker their floating speed and the greater their power. However, a malicious ghost was bound to an item from their lifetime and was inevitably linked to it by a set distance. With their fast speed, they could only stroll groundlessly in their bounded field.
And the reason why I wasn't a malicious spirit, after some thought, was probably because my death wasn't warm or fiery, and because I wasn't bitter enough.
Speaking of this, what was also sorrowful was that I, Lu Zhao Yao, had acted ostentatiously my entire life, but I had ended up dying in such a particularly, completely, especially common way like this.
I refused to accept this. I still wanted to return to life and die again. At that time, I had to die a world-shaking death!
Giving myself an incomparable reason to try and find a way to return to life, I finally reached the ghost city. The ghost city was quiet and peaceful. Lonely souls stuck to this plane used the dense Yin energy to sustain their own vitality. I followed the main road and searched for a long time before I finally found a shop front with an imposing flair. A board hanged high in the air above the store entrance and had white font on a black background. Crookedly written on it were three words: 'Soul Return Store.'
I dashed inside and glanced around. The sales counter was covered with a black cloth, and hanging from the cloth were a few wooden medallions. Words were written on them make them differentiable. 'Soul Return 1 Hour,' 'Soul Return 2 Hours,' 'Soul Return 1 Day,' and so on and so forth with different time durations. I used my fingers to do some calculations. Right now, Mo Qing had assumed control of Wan Lu Sect and had the Wanjun Sword. He even wanted to unite the Demon Path. I wanted to stab him, no need to mention several months, this '2 Hour' or '1 Hour' should be enough to have fun…
I still continued examining the store's wares when all of a sudden, I found that a broadsword was preventing my body from moving forward. I followed the length of the blade to look to the side and saw that this store had a guard on both sides of the entrance, two ferocious-looking ghosts.
"What is your name?"
He asked me this. With my hands clasped behind my back, I sent him a sidelong glance. "Lu Zhao Yao of Chen Ji Shan."
He heard my name, but he wasn't afraid. He grabbed a mirror, and after conversing through it, he immediately set it down. He slashed across with the broadsword in his hand. "You may not enter."
I raised an eyebrow. "An open store not allowing entry——why?"
"You have no Netherworld Coins!"
I felt as if an arrow had pierced my heart. For a split second, I nearly wanted to puke blood. I had never come to the ghost market to buy anything, so I didn't know that, against all expectations, they did shopping like the world of the living and demanded payment. I restrained my temper and asked him, "How do ghosts obtain money?"
"Have people give you some by burning it."
I was silent.
Who would I get to burn me some! For these past several years, Mo Qing has been the only one sweeping my grave! This self-centered show-off only sacrifices a few green-skinned fruit he plucked off the roadside! Isn't this ridiculous?!
I once again looked at the fierce-looking ghost, and after considering my current situation again, I had no choice but to sigh and accept my misfortunes as decreed by fate. I turned around and left, allowing the fierce-looking ghost behind me to laugh at me. "You have been dead for four to five years, and you don't even have a single coin. Such a poor, unfortunate ghost, yet you still dare to come to our Soul Return Store."
What he said was true. I was truly angry, but I didn't have the courage to let it loose.
I sighed three times. For three days, I swayed, fluttered, and floated, returning back to my grass burial mound as I lacked a better option.
Fortunately, ghosts didn't need to eat anything. Otherwise, since I lacked money to buy anything to eat, I would have starved to death, which would have been the largest joke in my, Lu Zhao Yao's, life.
It was rather depressing. My surname was Lu, and my first name had been 'Qiong.' The characters 'Zhao Yao' had suited my ostentatious self perfectly when I had been alive, so I took it as my own. Now that I am dead, 'Qiong' suited me better. Really poor and pathetic. When I was alive, I had never suffered such poverty and hardship, but now I unexpectedly tumbled headfirst into this…1
Things from the living world were difficult to obtain, extremely difficult!
I felt that my revenge was hopeless. My life as a ghost was dim.
That night, a thunderstorm rolled in. I was just watching the lightning flash and the thunder roar silently when I suddenly heard the sound of horse hooves approaching closer from far away.
I saw a jet-black steed gallop closer. A woman in a pink dress was struggling with all her might on the back of the horse. I could hear her shouting herself hoarse from very far away. "Let me go! I don't want to go with you!"
A man was carrying her in his arms and did not reply as the horse neighed.
I watched as the steed sped past my gravestone when suddenly, a scarlet-white lightning bolt tore the sky asunder. The sudden clap of thunder exploded out, and the woman, unwilling to submit, struggled as if her life depended on it. Surprisingly, she fell headfirst off the horse and rammed herself onto the top of my gravestone.
Dong. Blood splattered. Sitting atop my gravestone, I couldn't help but exclaim, "Oh!" when I saw this happen.
The woman slid off my grave and rolled onto the muddy ground. Her pretty, light pink clothing was immediately covered with muddy filth, and the rider of the large, black steed urgently reined in his horse. He didn't wait for the horse to stop completely before he had jumped off the horse and rushed forward with large strides towards my gravestone. He embraced that woman, whose face was dark and filthy. "Zhi Yan!" His rough voice was already submerged in agony. "Zhi Yan!"
I stood behind the man and stared as he embraced this girl to his chest.
The girl's eyes remained closed. The mixture of mud and blood on her face was cleaned off by the downpour of rain less than a moment later, exposing a pale face.
"Aiyo, this person wasn't stingy at all when she knocked her head onto my grave, putting all of her energy into it. She will definitely die." I clicked my tongue in pity, sighing afterwards. Suddenly, a divine light flashed through my mind. She died, died by ramming into my grave. Don't tell me that this is the Will of Heaven, allowing me to try and use the Body-Switch Reincarnation Technique of legends?