The demonhead saber dragged along the ground with a grinding sound that cut through the silent and oppressive atmosphere, causing hundreds of Yin spirits to tremble all over.
“Who gave you the gall to cause such a ruckus in front of Hell’s Gate?”
“Do you think Hell is the same as the mortal realm?! Do you really think I need to discuss human rights with you?!!”
His voice rose sharply as he swung his demonhead saber once more. The main culprits leading the riot, including the muscular man and the burly man with the menacing expression, were instantly reduced to wisps of Yin energy that quickly dissipated into the surroundings.
“It’s still too soft.” With a light flick of her wrist, the demonhead saber flew over to Arthis’ hands. She smiled faintly as she glanced at everyone.
The Yin spirits were still shuddering uncontrollably. Then, still with a smile on her face, Arthis gently swung the demonhead saber.
The movement was light.
But the air in the area suddenly felt incredibly dense and heavy. All of the Yin spirits who sensed this immediately felt their hairs stand on end. And then, an overwhelming pressure instantly filled the entire realm!
It was the display of an Infernal Judge’s might!
In the very next second, hundreds of miserable screams rang out, and countless Yin spirits vanished, one after the other. Hundreds and hundreds of ghastly soulfires floated up into the sky and shot into the palace hall. Within moments, the entire palace hall was brightly illuminated with soulless green lights! Hundreds of ancient lamps were suddenly set alight all at once.
The crowd grew sparse and empty.
“Remember this.” Her voice was calm and placid, as though what she had just done was something she had already grown used to, “There is only one lord and master over these lands.”
“Him! He is your lord and master.” She pointed at Qin Ye, “Those who dare disobey this cardinal rule shall be killed on sight.”
“This is the law of the lands.”
“Do you understand?!!”
Her last three words caused the all of the new Hell to quake violently. Those who remained were the Yin spirits who didn’t participate in the earlier riot at all. They remained prostrated on the ground, trembling as they responded at the top of their voices, “Understood!”
Their voices even carried traces of weeping.
“This is the bottom line.” Arthis continued placidly, “We tried to be nice, but you refused to listen to us. Do you really think we need to be discussing the law with you?”
“Down here, he is the law. I don’t care if you’d been the richest man on earth while you had been alive, or if you were the provincial governor or the book keeper. As long as you’re here, you would be wise to revere us.” She returned the saber to Qin Ye, “Let me demonstrate how you should rule this place. The next time is all yours.”
Qin Ye nodded and stepped back. Arthis’ coat fluttered with the nethergale as she swept an icy gaze across the remaining Yin spirits, “Now, I want all those who used to be professionals in drafting and designing to step out.”
The Yin spirits exchanged glances, but nobody stepped out.
“None?” Arthis’ voice remained unchanged as she continued, “Then I want those who had previously started their own businesses that were related to the construction industry to fall out.”
Still no one.
Arthis raised her eyebrows, “Those who have in their lifetime worked in governmental agencies, or done work relating to sub-district or district agencies, fall out now.”
The Yin spirits shuddered uncontrollably. Ten seconds later, five figures stood up shakily.
“You guys, you guys and you guys.” Arthis gesticulated with her hands, dividing the remaining crowd of Yin spirits into five different groups, “Sixty in a group, each led by one of you. Clear the lands.”
Clear the lands?
The yin spirits looked at each other in dismay, and a Yin spirit who appeared to be in his fifties politely asked, “M-My lord… how should we clear the lands?”
Arthis drew a circle with her fingers, “I want you to cut down all the trees and flatten the ground within a three kilometers radius around Hell’s Gate! We will bring with us specialized equipment the next time we return. The interim period is for you to organize yourselves and coordinate your manpower. If something like this happens again… or if I see any of you skiving off…”
Whoosh… A silent nethergale swept through the area, causing all of the soulfires alit in the palace hall to flicker gloomily. Arthis muttered icily, “Then… none of you shall remain alive.”
She smiled faintly, and her voice softened once more, creeping into the ears of the Yin spirits like a marrow-piercing chill, “And, by this, I mean ashes to ashes, and dust to dust. I guarantee that not a single modicum of your soul will be left when I’m done with you.”
“Do you know what you need to do?”
“Understood! My lord, we understand everything!” “My lord can rest easy. We will lay all the groundwork and organize our manpower accordingly!” The five leaders who had earlier been picked out immediately replied desperately.
As Arthis led Qin Ye back into Hell’s Gate, not a single one of the Yin spirits that remained dared even take a peek at them.
They were afraid.
They were truly afraid. The ruler of Hell was far more terrifying than the authorities of the mortal realm. In fact, it was so terrifying that there was hardly any room for negotiations at all.
“Remember, kill all who refuse to obey your rules. Are you afraid that you won’t have enough Yin spirits? As long as humans remain on earth, there will only be more and more Yin spirits in Hell.” As they entered Hell’s Gate, Arthis continued explaining earnestly, “All Yin spirits across Cathay would have sensed the reestablishment of the new Hell. Not all would know the exact location to the new Hell, but those who can locate this place based solely on their intuition wouldn’t be few in number either.”
Qin Ye’s gaze flickered. Arthis didn’t make everything explicit. She appeared to be hinting that it was fine no matter how many Yin spirits Qin Ye killed. But how could he be oblivious to the hidden implications behind her words?
The first decree he had ever issued in Hell had already resulted in a small riot. If the construction works stagnated, yet more and more Yin spirits continued pouring into Hell, things would at some point eventually reach a critical mass. At that point in time, Qin Ye might not even be able to call Hell his own anymore!
Manpower! Resources! These were the two things he needed most right now.
It was only after taking on the job proper that he realized how daunting the task was for a newly minted construction developer to earn one hundred million.
In hindsight, every single question that Arthis had ever asked before had been exactly on point. The most important resource for the establishment of any city is manpower. And then, it would be the basic necessities of food, clothes and housing. If the living conditions were pallid, the ghost citizens would never be willing to cooperate with him and see through the revivification of Hell.
Qin Ye glanced at the groups of Yin spirits outside who were deep in discussion and sighed weakly, “We’re at the nascent stages of establishing a new city, and the first priority is to resettle the Yin spirits. In order to do so, we need to first prepare the lands. And if we are to prepare the lands, we will first need an engineering team and equipment… logging machines, excavators, shovellers, cranes… how much are things going to cost?!”
“Hang on…” Arthis interjected with amazement, “Automatic logging machines? Excavators? Cranes? What are these things that I don’t know about?”
“Ahh… These are machines with a large saw in front, and the operator would sit in the control booth and press a button to chop down a tree. It’s quick and simple… you wouldn’t be oblivious to the existence of these machines, would you?”
Qin Ye looked at Arthis with some measure of astonishment, while Arthis stared back at Qin Ye with widened eyes. Seconds later, she hid her embarrassment and coughed lightly, “I see that there are indeed some small differences from society back then, when one hundred thousand labourers would have to be mobilized all at once…”
“Can I just suggest that you refrain from chasing dramas and serials all the time, and use the internet to keep up with the times a little bit more…”
“That’s not the point!” Arthis cut him off, “The main point is… there’s no longer any worry as to manpower. There’s a boom in the construction industry right now, and approximately six in every ten jobs relate to construction in some way or another. It won’t take long before you’ll have sufficient manpower with the relevant experience to form a proper construction team. However--!”
She drew a deep breath and continued, “Few people in modern day society possess the requisite expertise in ancient architecture.”
“Hang on.” It was Qin Ye’s turn to be baffled, “Ancient architecture?”
“Naturally.” Arthis raised her eyebrows quizzically, “Do you think that the buildings in Hell are to be constructed in the same manner as the buildings in the mortal realm these days? Build a structure, hang up a sign, and everything works fine and dandy? No, every building in Hell is also a magic tool replete with the inscriptions of formation arrays flowing through its inner workings and foundations. In other words, over and above executing the works in accordance with the blueprints, you’ll also need to consider how to embed the inscriptions of the formation arrays within the blueprints of the buildings themselves. Why do we need Yin spirit stones? It’s precisely because these spirit stones are what powers these formation arrays.”
“If you compare modern architectural blueprints with ancient ones, you’ll notice that they are fundamentally different on a structural level. And we can’t just recycle old blueprints either. You’re currently faced with a situation where a Yin spirit riot could break out at any time. Take a look at Hell’s Gate. It possesses the ability to restrain a million Yin spirits. Do you want these buildings that you’ve painstakingly constructed to change hands at once with the passage of a single riot?”
Qin Ye looked at the sky with a heavy sigh in his heart.
Why are things always so complicated…
There were so many things to be done right now. Yet the chaos and disorder in Hell made it impossible for him to find a proper starting point. He massaged his temples, pulled out a sheet of paper nearby and gnashed his teeth as he began to list down the things he needed to do, “Design institute - architectural design drawings.”
His penmanship was decent. He massaged his temples as he kept going, “Excavator, logging machine, talented ghost engineers, construction teams…”
“And we need a quantity surveyor as well. Even if we have the blueprints, how much manpower do we need? How much wood, tiles and other resources? Oh, that’s right, there’s also the issue of temporary lodging for the Yin spirits. If you don’t at least satisfy their basic needs, you might as well start bracing yourself against their riots already…” Arthis supplemented as she watched him grit his teeth and record everything in the list.
“Is there really no possibility of resignation right now? I feel too inadequate for such immense responsibility as this…”
“Do you think there’s any meaning talking about these things now?” Arthis also felt the onset of a splitting headache. It was only when she got down into the nitty gritty that she discovered truly how difficult it was to start everything from scratch.
The discussion went back and forth, the duo continued making their list for the next half an hour. Finally, they managed to iron out the specifics, including the manpower and machines they needed for the start. Qin Ye had filled out a few sheets of paper by now, and he could feel his eyes twitching uncontrollably.
That said, even though things were incredibly complicated, the silver lining was that they had finally delineated the core concerns from the secondary ones.
Number one - machinery. Number two - design drawings.
As long as he remained unable to fulfill these two prerequisites, he might as well call GG when the Yin spirits piled in.
“Let’s go back.” Qin Ye muttered with a sad frown on his face, “We can go online and check out how much these machines cost. Also, even if we’re able to purchase them, how are we supposed to deliver them to hell?”
“Burn them. I’ll draw up some talismans and paste them on the machines. Then, when you burn them, the machines will arrive straight in Hell… Oh, that’s right. You’ll still need to rent an incineration plant. Quick, add it to the list…”
“... I should never have asked this question!”
He pulled out his shard of King Yanluo’s Seal. Just as he was about to infuse it with Yin energy, he suddenly paused. Then, he quickly walked out of Hell’s Gate and made his way towards the edge of the land.
The area where the new Hell was located was like a suspended mountain. It spanned an area of five square kilometers, and everything beyond the confines of the land mass was a sea of roiling Yin energy. The sea of Yin energy was marrow-chilling cold and filled with profound resentment, and it wasn’t something that Qin Ye could enter right now. Fortunately, the path that led to the new Hell allowed him to walk right up close to the edge of the land mass.
Thus, Qin Ye walked to the edge and peered down cautiously.
The massive Harken was located just thousands of meters below him, snoring ever so slightly as it fought to recover from its wounds. Furthermore, Qin Ye could see with his naked eye a massive pillar of Yin energy pouring out from the Harken’s body and straight into the new Hell. Wisps of frigid Yin mist continued to disperse into the surroundings with every minute and every second that passed, and the land masses of Hell continued to expand outwards - slowly, yet with immutable tenacity.
A sea of Fragrances of Lingering Souls bloomed brilliantly around the Harken like a billowing black ocean, swaying ever so gently with every heavy breath of the divine beast.
It was only then that Qin Ye heaved a sigh of relief. With that reservation finally out of his mind, he transformed into a spot of jade-green soulfire and shot straight back up to the mortal realm.
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