“Very well.” Qin Ye closed his eyes, and his clothes began to flap and flutter, “I’ll give you one last chance. By the count of three, I want you out of the way.”
The four men in prison garbs immediately motioned to leave, but a menacing glare from Tiger Gao immediately made them freeze where they were.
An eighteen year old Emissary of Hell?
And one who was still wearing a down jacket and jeans?
He doesn’t even have a gun with him! So what if he’s formidable? We’ve got several hundred men on our side! If he’s here, he must already have died once before. So what’s stopping us from killing him again?
Three men were squaring off against a faction of hundreds. The entire scene seemed completely calm and still, yet it was no different from the ocean’s calm before a torrential storm. The silence was oppressive, and the stillness was suffocating.
“Three…” Qin Ye’s voice filled every corner of Hell like an authoritative, tolling bell. As long as he was in Hell, he could project his voice to anyone and anywhere he wished.
Yet, nobody backed down.
Neither was prepared to give an inch. The hundreds of men stood shoulder to shoulder, forming a seemingly impenetrable wall that locked Qin Ye in.
Still, nobody moved.
Tens of thousands watched the sight with bated breaths.
“One. Very well.” Having counted down from three, Qin Ye finally opened his eyes once more, “A fool who has only died once knows nothing…”
“A mere Yin spirit dares to bite back at an Emissary of Hell?!”
As soon as he finished speaking, a powerful wave of Yin energy erupted from his body. An immense vortex of Yin energy soared in an instant, and a pair of terrifying eyes silently opened up amidst the chaos, “Today, I’ll show everyone what exactly the laws of Hell entail!”
Whoosh! The Yin energy began to disperse. Clothed once more in his Hell’s Emissary state, Qin Ye stepped out of the billowing dark clouds. Yin energy spewed out endlessly from his seven apertures as his black robes danced wildly like an unrestrained dragon. His white hair fluttered madly, and eerie green netherfire blazed intently around his demonhead saber.
The seemingly harmless rabbit had finally torn off its disguise to reveal its unfathomably sharp fangs.
“By Hell’s dictum, all rabble must disperse!!”
Dong! As Qin Ye slammed his demonhead saber into the ground, a tyrannical nethergale immediately burst forth. Tiger Gao was standing right in front of him when all of this happened. His pupils contracted immediately, and he was instantly sent flying dozens of meters, slammed into a wall behind with a loud bang, and collapsed to the ground with a look of astonishment written all over his face.
After three seconds of complete stupefaction, everyone suddenly scrambled to retreat as far as they could!
They pushed and shoved, and screamed at the top of their voices. Countless Yin spirits were trampled on the round by the stampeding crowd. In that instant, the berth between the crowds of Yin spirits and the encirclement which continued to trap Qin Ye extended to a distance of at least fifty meters.
Emissary of Hell!
This was an authentic Emissary of Hell! He bore the full authority of the laws of Hell!
"Cough… cough cough cough!” Tiger Gao stared at Qin Ye with disbelief as he clambered to his feet while clutching his chest. His mind was in a complete mess right now.
And he wasn’t the only one. His four other lackeys in prison garbs gasped in horror as they stared transfixed at Qin Ye. The nethergale swept wildly across the lands, and the barrier of light shone with greater luster, as though Hell was celebrating the return of its lord and master. On the other hand, the eerie wisps of netherfire hovering about in the air burned with an intense vigor, as though they were taunting the hundreds of men for overestimating their own abilities.
What is this…
A ghost? An Emissary of hell? No… why the hell did he first appear so harmless to begin with? And why… did he suddenly become like this?
This isn’t even to the tune of a harmless white rabbit transforming into a fierce tiger anymore. It was an innocent white rabbit transforming into a terrifying tyrannosaurus rex!
Badump… All eyes fell on him at this very moment. Qin Ye walked slowly towards them. Krrr… The demonhead saber dragged across the ground with a mind-numbing grind. Tiger Gao could practically feel his spirit scattering at this very moment. He quickly scrambled to his feet and collapsed to his knees abruptly.
“My lord!!” The feeling of overwhelming terror had caused goosebumps to creep all over his skin, and he kowtowed to Qin Ye right in front of thousands of Yin spirits. He could no longer care about his image, “Earlier… earlier…”
Thud… A pair of feet stood right in front of him. He could even make out the fine silken stitchings around the hem of the robe. Qin Ye remarked flatly, “How dare you talk terms with an Emissary of Hell, hmm?”
There was hardly any trace of emotions in Qin Ye’s voice - neither excitement, nor ferocity. Yet, it still made the five bald men in prison garbs tremble violently in their shoes.
It was as though an evil ghost had just licked their spines with a horrific chill. It was eerie to the core.
“My lord…” If spirits could sweat, Tiger Gao would already have been drenched in it. He bit down hard on his lips and muttered hoarsely, “No… I… just… earlier…”
Yet before he could string a coherent sentence together, a radiant glimmer of blade light blossomed!
Nobody saw exactly what Qin Ye had done.
And by the time everyone realized it, Qin Ye had already made his move. He held his saber in one hand, and the swinging motion had already come to an end. A radiant arc of light lingered eerily in the air, as though even the air itself had been cleaved in half.
A violent wind battered against all of the Yin spirits who were watching in horror, causing their bodies to quake in fear. Tiger Gao and his group of followers had completely vanished from the surface of Hell.
“Sss…” The sound of gasps of shock echoed endlessly all around. Well over ten thousand Yin spirits stared at the sole Emissary of Hell with mind-numbing dread and fear as they retreated several steps subconsciously.
It was far too terrifying…
It was far too cruel…
Hundreds of people had been massacred without mercy at all!
A single slash was all it took to reduce Tiger Gao and his following of men into scattering ash and clumps of green soulfire that drifted into Hell’s Gate. In an instant, the green glow from the palace hall burgeoned, escalating the already eerie ambience of the surroundings.
No one spoke. Just some moments ago, when Qin Ye first arrived, the countless pairs of eyes of all the Yin spirits around had still been filled with a multitude of emotions, including apprehensiveness, anxiety, and others. But now, the emotions undergirding the gaze of each and every Yin spirit out there was exactly the same.
Everyone was so awestruck that the entire realm was filled with a deafening silence.
Even though their hands and feet were trembling and quivering uncontrollably, all of them still held their hands tightly over their lips. Nobody dared to make a single peep of sound right now. Their pupils constricted as they stared at the dark silhouette that stood imposingly over the now-desolate space. The barrier of light with flowing golden words shone brilliantly behind him, while an eerie silence filled the realm around him. In the wake of the altercation that had come and gone as suddenly as it had arisen, Qin Ye rose victorious like a god that had just descended upon the realms.
“There’s no need to be afraid.” Qin Ye rested his saber on his back as he spoke up once more, “The old Hell has collapsed, and the new Hell is currently no more than desolate plains. I’ll still need your help to rebuild Hell to its days of former glory. Destroy the wicked, punish all crimes, and reward all good deeds - this is the true purpose of Hell. I’ll take the opportunity now to explain some things. Everyone… please keep these things in mind.”
He swept his gaze across the audience like a threatening bolt of lightning. Nobody dared to lock eyes with him, and everyone immediately lowered their heads.
These were things that Qin Ye had thought about for some time now, and the words flowed out of his mouth in a well-rehearsed manner, “First of all, the Eighteen Abysses of Punishment, the Ten Abyssal Courts and the six paths of reincarnation no longer exist. This means two things. Number one - you will not die. Unless I personally decide otherwise, you will continue to live forever.”
“Number two - evildoers and wrongdoers of the mortal realm will not be punished for the time being. Similarly, those who had performed meritorious deeds during their term in the mortal realm will have their repayment deferred.”
He paused for a moment, and then added solemnly, “But, even though this represents the current state of affairs, it is by no means the purpose of Hell’s existence!”
“Good and evil must all be duly repaid, and the wheels of reincarnation must turn again! This is the core function of Hell!”
“What’s the meaning of doing good and accruing merits if evil goes unpunished and good remains unrewarded? The price to pay for atrocities would be far too low! Therefore…” He drew a deep breath, “The first step towards rebuilding Hell would be a census. I don’t want anyone to hide their misdeeds in any ways. The Book of Life and Death is still somewhere out there in the mortal realm, and it’s only going to be a matter of time before I retrieve it. If I discover anyone to be concealing their transgressions when I finally obtain the Book of Life and Death… that person will surely be sentenced to the full course of the Eighteen Abysses of Punishment plus ten cycles of reincarnation through the path of the beast!”
Qin Ye’s voice boomed like thunder, and several Yin spirits raised their heads discreetly.
Sins of three lives in the mortal realm are accorded to thee.
Hath Hell spared any since ages past?
Cathayans were simple people. Good and evil were to be repaid accordingly - this was a basic expectation of theirs.
This was a yardstick of sorts.
A yardstick of a human heart.
It seems like… this Emissary of Hell isn’t as scary as we’d thought he would be…
The surroundings were still silent, but several Yin spirits were ostensibly already deep in thought. Qin Ye surveyed his audience once more, before adding, “Good and evil must be duly repaid, and the wheels of reincarnation must turn again. There’s lots to be done in rebuilding Fengdu Necropolis. Work hard and participate in the reconstruction efforts. This is the only chance you’re getting at redemption in atonement for your sins.”
“Those who have committed crimes and misdeeds shall be precluded from project management roles. As soon as I retrieve the Book of Life and Death, I’ll set off your contributions to Hell’s reconstruction efforts against the commensurate level of crimes committed. As for everyone else, this poses an opportunity for you to accrue meritorious deeds. I promise you this - the six paths of reincarnation will be reestablished one day. To the good, the ordinary, and the non-defaulters, I guarantee you a good path of reincarnation in your next life.”
There was a moment of silence.
Everyone had initially cocked their ears and listened because of the fear and trembling from Qin Ye’s awe-inspiring display. But now, everyone was listening intently and savouring the words which he spoke.
It was already patently clear to them that this was no longer the mortal realm that they were all too familiar with. And the single man-of-authority in Hell was currently discussing his philosophy of governance.
If one desired to live well in Hell, he would first have to understand what made the ruler of this place tick. Was he an eagle, or was he a dove?
Qin Ye’s voice softened somewhat, “I currently have a few questions on my mind, and I hope that you will respond to these questions honestly.”
Although he had never held a managerial position before, he still knew the most basic principles of management - one could not afford to be high-handed all the time. His decades of life experience hadn’t been completely in vain.
“Those of you who had previously served as military men or police officers in your lives, please step out.”
No one responded immediately.
Several seconds later, dozens of people slowly put up their hands and stepped forward, “Reporting in.”
“Here.” “I’d served in the 2nd artillery brigade in my life.” “I’ve served in a naval division before I died…”
Qin Ye heaved a sigh of relief in his heart.
He trusted military men the most.
“Good. Please fall out and stand next to me.”
As the Yin spirits who had fallen out made their way over, Qin Ye continued, “Now, I want those who have worked in the construction industry and the legal industry to step out.”
Many more people stepped out this time. In fact, there were approximately one thousand people. However, those who worked in the legal industry numbered only twenty to thirty.
“My lord, I used to serve in the Insignia Province Intermediate People’s Court.” “My lord, I was a lawyer operating out of a private firm. My firm is located on Northriver Road, and it’s called the Zhou Family Law Practice. You can verify it. I rejected a bad lawsuit, and my car ran into an accident soon after.” “My lord, I was an officer in the evidence collection department when I got into an accident. You can check my workplace registration in the mortal realm…”
Qin Ye nodded his head, “Those who have worked in the construction industry, stand over there. Those who had been with the legal industry stand over on this side.”
Just like that, Qin Ye sorted through his manpower, before finally turning around and placing his hand on the barrier of light.
As soon as he placed his hand on it, the entire screen of light trembled, and then… transformed into innumerable butterflies made of light that flew away before dissipating into the surroundings.
The majestic Hell’s Gate appeared right in front of his eyes.
“Everyone, stay where you are. I want only those whom I’ve called out earlier to follow me.”
As he slowly walked towards Hell’s Gate, his heartbeat also accelerated. He forced himself to calm down.
Without the six paths of reincarnation, the abyssal courts or the abysses of punishments, his role right now was far more difficult than it had ever been before.
But, so what?
The first King Yanluo had also started out from scratch exactly like this! Who is to say that village officials can’t be chairpersons?
There were a multitude of things to be done… but that also meant that there were a multitude of options right now!
Yin spirits were a double-edged sword. The more there were, the higher the risk of riot. But… they were similarly a precious resource of manpower to him!
The military men, the construction division and the legal division - these were the people he needed most right now. And now that there was sufficient manpower, the great reconstruction works of Hell could finally commence!