“Speak, and you die.” Qin Ye’s eyes returned to its normal state, and he waved his hands, “Release him.”
He knew full well that no matter what image he had in the mortal realm, he could only afford to proliferate one image here.
And that was an image of intense coldness.
Strictly impartial and incorruptible.
This was Hell.
It was the end of all sin, and the beginning of new life.
This was the land where the cycle of life comes full circle. It was also the court of judgment.
As the ruler of one of the three realms of the world, Qin Ye knew that he couldn’t afford to give others an impression of capriciousness. He was the god of this realm, and gods didn’t need emotions.
Su Dongxue reluctantly released the college student from the trappings of her lips. She licked her lips seductively, almost as though her mind were still lingering in that moment of passion. The college student gasped and panted as he propped himself up from the ground with his arms.
It wasn’t clear whether this was from fear, or anxiety, or simply because he was lost in reverie.
It was only when a pair of feet stopped in front of him that he suddenly straightened up as though a bolt of electricity had just coursed through his body.
“S-s-s-s-s-s-sir…” His voice quaked uncontrollably, while his legs grew weak and numb, “I-I-I-I-I…”
“It’s fine. Don’t be afraid. I’d arrived a little late because I had some urgent matters to attend to.” Qin Ye chirped, “What were you about to say earlier?”
As soon as he heard this, the college student’s legs immediately crumbled to the ground, and his eyes rolled back. If ghosts could faint, he would most certainly have done so already.
Unfortunately, he could not.
He remained completely conscious.
In fact, he was horrified to discover that the strange woman who had stolen his first kiss was now supporting his body with a highly questionable posture - it was almost as though he were leaning into her body and sinking into her embrace.
“S-s-s-sir…” It took him several deep breaths before he was finally able to gather himself and stand on his own. With gritted teeth, he exclaimed, “You can’t go there!”
“Take a closer look.” He pointed towards the barrier of light, “You can’t afford to mess with those people over there.”
Qin Ye followed the direction of the student’s finger, and he immediately squinted his eyes.
A group of Yin spirits were obstructing the other end of the boulevard.
Their leader was a tall burly man who was covered from top to toe in bulging muscles. He had a menacing look on his face, and he was dressed in prison uniforms. There were four others standing around him who were dressed in the same manner as well. All of them were bald. One could easily tell with a single glance that they meant no goodwill at all. Moreover, there was a gathering of approximately one hundred others standing just around them. Some appeared like rebellious teenagers, some appeared to be unemployed vagrants, while others were simply expressionless, able-bodied young men.
There was a wide berth of dozens of meters around this gathering of troublemakers. Nobody dared to come close to them at all.
“Coming to Hell dressed in prison garbs… Is he a death row prisoner?” Qin Ye chuckled contemptuously as he muttered.
“Yes, my lord.” The college student responded respectfully, “Haven’t you seen the news recently? Mount Tai City has recently been cracking down on evildoers in its vicinity. The entire Gao Gang that had been plaguing the surrounding villages has just been sentenced to death three days ago. I’d never thought… that they would be here.”
A chilling gaze flickered across the depths of Qin Ye’s eyes. The fact that these men had been sentenced to death didn’t mean much in and of itself. That said, the underlying implication of their presence undoubtedly pointed to the possible arrival of more! In other words, the absence of the six paths of reincarnation and Eighteen Abysses of Punishment was a massive variable and potential source of strife!
Who could predict how many more recalcitrant criminals would arrive in future?
“Tell me more.” Qin Ye probed further.
The student immediately understood, “The Gao Gang… Come to think of it, even the origin of their name is quite amusing. This was a name that they’d come up with themselves, probably as a result of hanging around with too many gangsters and hooligans. His uncle started out as the village head of the Gao Clan Village, and was eventually promoted to the position of a vice-county head. His relationship with the vice-county head was how the gang leader, Tiger Gao, eventually made a name for himself. As time went by, his business grew bigger and bigger, and he was finally exclusively appointed by the Soaring Dragon Developers as their collections and security company. This was when the Gao Gang’s business truly took off.”
“I’ve heard that… their methods are incredibly ruthless. Breaking an arm and a leg was all in a day’s work. You can even say that they’re like a scourge that had spread from the surrounding villages into the heart of the city center. My classmates from high school have all heard of the Gao Gang. Back then, we would always claim that we know a certain so-and-so from the Gao Gang, almost as though it were an awesome thing. Almost like Crows Zero. In hindsight, we were truly foolish and immature.”
He scratched his head sheepishly. Qin Ye chuckled, “Gao Gang… You can’t truly breed a gang of criminals on Cathay’s soil. That is nothing more than a term of self-aggrandizement.”
He glanced at the college student, “Work hard. And let me know if you wish to follow her.”
The student looked in horror at Su Dongxue, only to be met with a faint, knowing smile from her. He immediately shook his head.
“My lord… can I follow you instead?”
Qin Ye: “???”
“About that…” The college student added somewhat sheepishly, “I’m already dead…”
Looking to secure yourself a solid backing?
But do we really know each other that well?
The college student coughed dryly, “My boyfriend is going to be incredibly upset… couldn’t you extend me some mercy and convey him a message through a dream? You’re an Emissary of Hell, aren’t you… That’s how they portray you guys on the drama serials…”
Qin Ye: “?!!”
Hold your horses, brother… Isn’t this sudden development a little bit too astonishing…?! So when you pushed away this unrestrained wench earlier, you must have wholeheartedly rejected her in both mind and body… didn’t you?
Su Dongxue’s smile instantly froze. Seconds later, she muttered coldly, “No more.”
“Eh?” Qin Ye didn’t understand what Su Dongxue meant, “Don’t you intend to use everything to its fullest?”
Su Dongxue ground her teeth and turned around, “No… I’m afraid of failing to seduce him…”
Qin Ye shrugged his shoulders. He didn’t mind having a college student tag along behind him.
He was here today to display his authority.
The Yin spirits were mostly either leaning on the trees or sitting on the ground. Not many of them were standing. Qin Ye straightened his body and walked prominently towards Hell’s Gates, where the barrier of light and the Gao Gang was located. All eyes were on him at this very moment.
Those who were leaning on the trees immediately straightened up, while those who were originally seated on the ground stood up. The previously drowsy-looking Yin spirits suddenly perked up their spirits.
By the time he got to the end of the boulevard, the outer circle of the Gao Gang had already parted ways and made passage for him. As he walked through the crowd, all of the gang members apart from the ones in the center glared at him like poisonous snakes that were poised to strike.
“Hold it.” Just as he passed through the outer circle and stepped into the empty space between the gathering of followers and the leaders of the Gao Gang, a skinny man who was flipping a shiv in his hands glanced at Qin Ye and remarked, “Brother, where do you think you’re going?”
Qin Ye laughed.
“This official has arrived a little late.” Qin Ye casually held his hands behind his back and surveyed his surroundings, “I would never have expected so many ghosts to arrive in just a single week, especially given how the entrance to this place is completely hidden from the eyes of mere mortals.”
“Hah…” “What… off-official?” “He’s… the one in charge of this place?!” “Emissary of Hell? The legendary Emissary of Hell? Ox-Head and Horse-Face? Anitya Hellguard of the Black and White?”
The big burly man right at the front of Hell’s Gate immediately stood up when he heard the commotion. But as soon as he noticed that Qin Ye was alone, and he looked to be only in his late teens, his expressions immediately turned from intense shock to complete calmness.
“You?” While the four bald men all gasped in shock, the big burly man simply smiled at Qin Ye, “Person in charge? Hell’s Emissary?”
Qin Ye smiled faintly and nodded.
The burly man stared at him for several seconds, before suddenly exploding with an uproarious laughter. Then, he walked over and stood imposingly in front of Qin Ye like a towering mountain, “Kid, do you think I’m an idiot?”
Qin Ye still had the same faint smile on his face when he ignored the burly man and turned around. Then, his smile faded away as he swept his gaze at the people around him. Following that, his voice boomed authoritatively.
“Everyone, welcome to Hell.”
None of the Yin spirits who were further out could see what was going on just in front of Hell's Gate, regardless of how heated and tense things were. That said, Qin Ye's declaration reverberated clearly across every corner of Hell like a rolling death knell, shattering Hell's otherwise tranquil ambience.
"T-this is…" An old man holding a walking stick stared at Qin Ye's figure with his mouth agape. His entire body trembled profusely, "Have the enforcers of Hell arrived?"
"Anitya Hellguards of the Black and White? Ox-Head and Horse-Face?" Another middle-aged Yin spirit exclaimed with a gasp as he backed up against the tree. Several others around him also retreated on instinct.
"They're here… they're finally here!" "Is that him? But he looks no different from the students in the mortal realm…" "T-this is an Emissary of Hell? Will… will there really be the Eighteen Abysses of Punishment here?"
Tiger Gao's expressions instantly changed once more. He had been filled with disbelief earlier, but could he truly remain that way after Qin Ye had displayed his authority like that?
This was a massive place after all. How could he possibly doubt Qin Ye's authority if he could cause his voice to fill every corner of the massive realm?
Whoosh… Qin Ye was instantly put in the spotlight, and he received a baptism of gazes from everyone around. Nobody dared to take a single step forward towards him right now. Countless Yin spirits gasped in unison. A single gasp might have been soft and inaudible, but a chorus of gasps was practically deafening!
It had finally dawned on the Yin spirits that each and every single one of them were dead.
“You’re incredibly fortunate, and you’re also incredibly unfortunate.” Qin Ye shifted his gaze back to Tiger Gao and his few lackeys and continued, “The old Hell collapsed when Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva gained enlightenment. The Ten Abyssal Courts, the Eighteen Abysses of Punishments and the six paths of reincarnation are all gone. This is why you’re able to stand here with all your memories from your past lives completely intact. I have been tasked to rebuild Hell from scratch, and I’m the only one around here right now. I’ll keep things short and simple. There’s only one immutable rule which you need to keep in mind in this place.”
Qin Ye held up a finger, “I am the law of the lands. I’m the one in control of everything here. All you need to do is to act in accordance with my instructions. Don’t worry. Hell will only get better and better, and everyone who participates in the rebuilding of Hell shall be looked upon with favour in your future reincarnation.”
A question was asked, yet everyone was completely silent.
“No? Alright. First of all, everyone…”
“Hold on.” Just then, Tiger Gao’s voice rang out again. He looked at Qin Ye with a pretentious smile, “Esteemed sir, the Gao Gang has already done a lot for you before your arrival.”
Qin Ye smiled pleasantly.
Su Dongxue took a step back discreetly.
“For instance…” Tiger Gao whistled. Instantly, many people stood up from among the crowd of Yin spirits. One hundred, two hundred… in the end approximately three to four hundred people stood up in response to his call!
All of them were young, able-bodied men, and everyone marched towards Hell’s Gate in silence. Next to the crowd of hundreds of Yin spirits, Qin Ye’s trio was immeasurably insignificant. The college student immediately gulped nervously and cowered behind his back. His feet trembled uncontrollably.
It was as though an invisible force were bearing down at him from all directions.
Thud, thud thud… The hundreds of able-bodied men formed a wall of ghosts that quickly surrounded Qin Ye’s trio, while Tiger Gao folded his arms in the center of the fray and glared at Qin Ye.
“Is this a threat?” Qin Ye asked placidly.
“Of course not.” Tiger Gao laughed and stepped forward, “But given how I’ve already won so many people over to my side, shouldn’t you… step aside and let me manage this place from now on?”
Qin Ye gazed deeply at him. This was a hellish, overbearing approach.
They were forcing Hell to take a stand!
1. An action film based on the Crows manga. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crows_Zero