Whoosh! As soon as A32 yelled for help, the two rows of sliding doors along the corridor immediately flung wide open.
Nobody stepped out. Nevertheless, Qin Ye finally noticed that what he once thought were sides to an aisle in fact concealed several monks and taoists.
And they were strong.
Obviously, they weren’t as strong as an Infernal Judge, but their aura was so overbearing that it felt no different from facing a Judge. There were at least thirty of these experts seated on their mats beside the corridor. Nobody moved a muscle. The taoists chanted, while the monks struck their temple blocks. The sound was soft, and yet it filled the entire venue with a sense of grandeur and mystery.
Foof! The lights on the candelabras around the lotus flowers in the corner of the room suddenly flickered. And then… the shadows in the room began to fade away.
The oppressive wind began to pick up. Qin Ye maintained his stance with great vigilance. His hand was placed to the side of his waist, he lowered his body to a half-crouch, and he raised his alertness to the maximum as he glanced about his surroundings.
Nothing, and still nothing!
Something must have followed him in, and yet he couldn’t sense the whereabouts of the perpetrator!
There was only an endless nethergale billowing through the otherwise still and silent room. It was as though a most profound scene was unraveling itself in the darkness.
The shadows receded quicker and quicker. Seconds later, the entire hallway was devoid of all shadows save for one.
Qin Ye’s shadow.
That very shadow began to spread from underneath his leg, extending further and further, until finally… It began to take the form of a black cat at the very end!
Whoosh… The monks and taoists on the side abruptly turned their gaze to Qin Ye, just like withered corpses resting peacefully that suddenly opened their eyes. It was spine-chilling!
Qin Ye gulped nervously. This wasn’t his own shadow…
This was a creature…
No. More accurately speaking, this was a Yin spirit. A Yin spirit that he had never encountered before!
Should I unsheath my saber?
The monks and taoists were terrifying as hell, and he didn’t want to pull out his saber if he could help it at all. However, the oppressive atmosphere at this moment was like an invisible giant hand that was strangling his neck, causing him to sweat profusely.
The strings of his mind tightened up to the extreme. Then, just as he was about to tighten his arm and materialize his saber, his shadow… suddenly opened its eyes.
It was a pair of jade-green eyes.
And just like that, it continued to stare motionlessly at Qin Ye.
Pa-ta-ta-ta-ta… The curtains in front of the counter flapped about wildly as the bone-chilling, mind-numbing sensation began to spread from the back of his head. Just a split second later, the shadow began to expand as though it were a balloon, growing larger and larger, and wider and wider, until finally… it covered the entire hallway! Its eyes had also shifted to a fresh new vantage point at the hanging palace lights where it looked down at everyone.
A secret room, and a ghostly shadow.
Meanwhile, back at Qin Ye’s dorm room, Arthis and Ming Shiyin paused at the same time and turned to look in the direction of the basketball court.
The smile on Arthis’ beautiful face faded away, only to be replaced by an inexplicably frigid expression. Her hair and clothes began to flutter about on its own as she muttered coldly, “Is it…”
Ming Shiyin immediately floated up and responded with a line of text, “It is! I can’t believe that it hasn’t left yet… Is it trying to take advantage of the fact that there’s nobody left in Hell right now?!”
Arthis didn’t say more. Seconds later, the nethergale in the dorm room suddenly picked up, and countless black ants crawled out of her seven apertures, transforming into a powerful nethergale that swept towards the basketball court!
“Are you crazy?!” Ming Shiyin desperately wrote, “The academy will definitely notice our existence! You’re no match for the head of faculty!”
“So what.” Arthis gritted her teeth with a bitter smile, “How many of such wicked existences have I purged back when I was in charge of the Province of the Great Heavens?! I’d turned a blind eye to it the very first time it appeared, but to think it dares to rear its ugly head a second time?! Do you think these fiends would dare to even set foot in Cathay if the old Hell were still around?!”
“Today… marks the day that I banish it from any prospects of reincarnation!”
Ming Shiyin hurriedly flew up to smack Arthis on the head, “Bloody hell, can you please calm down!! Can’t you sense the existence of over thirty withered, corpse-like existences in the basketball courts?! This is the mortal realm’s equivalent of the assassins of the underworld! What the hell are you doing trying to incite a three-way war?!”
Whoosh! But just as Ming Shiyin was about to hit Arthis on the head, she suddenly transformed into a quicksand and scattered into the air.
Ming Shiyin was completely flabbergasted. Seconds later, it remarked with another line of text, “Insane… she’s really gone crazy…”
It was now night.
It was an early spring night with no wind or breeze.
Yet in that moment, the entire First Academy of Cultivator was filled with an icy cold nethergale. The students who were still engaged with various activities around the compound immediately glanced about their surroundings. Suddenly, someone shouted, “Look, guys!”
One student raised his head, and then a second, and a third… until everyone looked up in astonishment at the vast expanses of the skies.
Even the students in the dormitories began to peek their heads out of their windows with mouths agape, staring at the night sky as though they were dumb.
A patch of dark clouds had begun to gather from all directions, bringing with it a loud buzzing sound. Then, one second later… it crashed down towards the basketball courts like a massive tidal wave!
These were ants.
Innumerable ants! An entire swarm of ants that blotted out the sky!
“What audacity!!” A sonorous voice bellowed as soon as the swarm of ants began to bear down on the basketball courts. Back at the office of the Faculty of Combat, Zhou Xianlong’s expressions were grave and frigid, “What demon and ghost dares to show its head at the First Academy of Cultivators?! They’re courting death!”
Boundless true energy immediately surged into the night sky like a thick, dense fog. But as soon as the fog of true energy drew close to the ants, it sensibly eluded the true energy and skirted around it. In fact, the ants didn’t harm a single person as it bore straight down onto the basketball courts.
“This is…” Zhou Xianlong was momentarily taken aback. Yet a split second later, his voice resounded like thunder throughout the entire academy, “Attention all students, you are to remain within your dormitories. Nobody is to leave until further notice! All who violate these orders shall summarily be expelled and sent back! All instructors are to surround the basketball courts! Now!”
Nobody knew what was going on outside.
Everything was dead silent within the basketball courts. A32 shivered and trembled as he hid behind Qin Ye. Qin Ye’s chest rose and fell heavily as he kept his eyes peeled on the boundless black shadow with his spirits tense to the extreme.
What the hell is this thing?
I’ve never seen or heard of something like that! It’s completely different from all of the other Yin spirits I’ve encountered thus far!
“Boundless Sovereign.” The taoist seated in the middle of the lot finally spoke up, cutting through the oppressive silence in the room, “A foreign evil spirit?”
As soon as finished speaking, a tidal wave of lightning swords poured out of both factions of monks and taoists. It was impossible to see where the massive wave began, and where it ended. Nevertheless, the sea of short swords formed entirely out of lightning flowed everywhere, filling the smallest of crevices in the entire corridor. At the same time, the entire corridor… began to glow with countless majestic golden symbols, almost as though this were the kingdom of heaven on earth.
The Great Dipper Vault’s defensive mechanism had been activated!
As the golden symbols lit up, a vast, boundless energy began to fill the entire corridor. Together with the surging sea of lightning swords, the only safe place remaining was the counter at the end of the corridor.
It was radiant and splendid, and yet immeasurably majestic and awesome.
Seconds later, the sea of sword trembled, before quickly transforming into small black-and-white fish that poured into the sides of the corridor. However, Qin Ye’s expressions only darkened.
That shadow was still there, and the gaze from its jade-green eyes were now even laced with some measure of jest and mockery. A second later, it opened its mouth as though the ground were no different from an origami cut-out!
“I’m so hungry…” Like the wail of ten thousand ghosts, its cry was miserable and chilling, “So hungry!!!”
Qin Ye bit down heavily on his lips. It was far too bizarre. He was certain that the earlier attack of the black-and-white fish was something that he would never have been able to avoid, and yet that powerful blow left the shadow completely unharmed.
And the shadow had kept its gaze transfixed on Qin Ye all this while. Fight? Impossible. He would expose the truth of his identity immediately. After all, it was impossible to face an opponent like this without using his blade release. And the consequences of being discovered by the First Academy of Cultivators would be dire.
Then… there’s only one option left…
“Get out of the way.” There was an austere expression on his face as he turned to A32.
A32 nodded his head and immediately shrank back behind the counter. Qin Ye glared at him viciously, “I mean open the door! Let me in!!”
A32 peeked out from behind the counter, and he blinked his eyes vacantly several times. His jaws dropped as he stared at Qin Ye, while Qin Ye stared straight back into his eyes with a righteous gaze.
There had been such an unexpectedly sharp turn of events that A32 didn’t know how to respond.
“No… shouldn’t you be assisting those great masters in purging the evil spirit right now? You’d built up a good momentum earlier… it’s far too much of a waste if you just cast it all aside right now…” A32’s lips twitched uncontrollably.
“Naive! Do you think I’d be able to do anything against this Yin spirit if the collective efforts of the great masters couldn’t?!” Seeing that the A32 was unwilling to budge, he leapt over the counter and squeezed himself in right next to the stunned A32.
“You… are you not even going to try? Isn’t it the duty of cultivators to protect the lives of ordinary human beings…” A32 desperately tried to persuade him. Aren’t you supposed to be filled with vigor and passion at times of crises like this? One of the entrances to the Great Dipper Vault sits right behind us! Don’t you possess the slightest bit of immature heroism and valor?!
Qin Ye couldn’t give a damn about A32’s thoughts. He raised half of his head over the counter and peeked out into the corridor, before quickly shrinking back with his heart palpitating quickly, “That scared the baby… Move over slightly! Speaking of which, why is the space behind the counter so small?”
Just then, the jingle of a melodious bell echoed throughout the corridor.
It was soulless and hair-raising.
There was one long jingle and three short jingles. And each ring was accompanied by a soulless nethergale as though a hell rift had been opened.
Qin Ye couldn’t tell what this sound was. However, the monks and taoists on both sides of the corridor instantly gasped in unison, before shooting to their feet as they turned to look at the end of the corridor.
A figure standing right at the end of the corridor had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. It sported disheveled hair and donned multicolored garments.
There was a vast expanse of darkness behind the figure, and yet one could clearly hear the incessant scrambling and rustling of insects crawling about from within.
The shadow that had cracked its mouth wide open was also taken aback as it shifted its eyes abruptly to the new entity that had just joined the fray. This was the first glimpse of emotion seen in the depths of its jade-green eyes.
“ikασt??……Π?? μπope? να e?ναi！”
“Heh heh… how long has it been… that an entity able to hear my soul-spurring bell has shown up? You must be the first one in the last hundred years…” A raspy female voice echoed through the corridor, “Those words… you come from Argos?”
“Ar--...” Qin Ye nearly stood up when he heard the familiar voice.
What’s she doing here?
His heart was filled with many questions, and yet it was also filled with relief. The fact that Arthis was here meant that he was going to be safe, no matter how bizarre or strange this entity was.
“Ar?” A32 glanced at Qin Ye in bewilderment.
“Ar? Ar--...” Qin Ye blinked, and then immediately brought his hand to his chest as he cried out, “Argh! You’ve scared the baby! My heart’s beating wildly!”
A32: Distrust +10086
Arthis didn’t see Qin Ye. Instead, she simply stared straight at the shadow in the corridor, “Well, since you’re here… then why don’t you stay for a while.”
“You dare step foot on our soil just because Hell has kept a low profile these last hundred years? Have you already forgotten that scene of carnage and despondency when we slaughtered your numbers in the Uzbek pass back then?”
“That’s fine. I’ll… jog your memory once more, lest you forget the pain of your healed wounds.”
3. As mentioned earlier, the 10086 here is a reference to the number to dial for the 24-hour customer service hotline that provides professional services relating to mobile communications, business consulting, complaints, etc.