His first face-to-face encounter with an extraterritorial emissary was like the depiction of a grand battle between gods on ancient tapestry. One party was dressed in ancient Cathayan robes with black irises and flowing white hair. Green netherflames surged from his body as he held a huge blade carved out of bone in his arms. The other party was half spider, half woman, with countless jade-green eyes all over her lower body, and a disposition no different from a hellish asura.
They locked eyes with each other, and neither said a single word as they pounced straight at each other once more!
The demonhead saber swept across the room, leaving a trail of netherflames in its wake, only to clash head on with a lantern that struck down with immense force like a meteorite. Neither said a word, and yet within moments, the demonhead saber and lantern had already clashed powerfully with each other hundreds of times, sending soft shockwaves rippling into the void around them.
It was chaotic and tumultuous on the inside, and yet not a single sound could be heard. In fact, it was so dark that neither could see each other clearly. Nevertheless, Qin Ye heaved a sigh of relief after three minutes passed.
His opponent’s Yin energy was incredibly strong.
However… it felt as though something were suppressing her, and she was unable to unleash the full extent of her abilities. Given that they were both Soul Hunters, he naturally had an upper hand in such circumstances.
“You won’t be able to kill me with only that much.” He licked his lips, and bright netherflames instantly flourished from his demonhead saber as he plunged it straight towards the spider lady’s chest.
Qin Ye’s attack was so powerful that even the void around them had begun to be torn asunder. The spider lady opened her mouth as though screaming, and she quickly formed hand seals as she scrambled to retreat.
A split-second later, the lantern in her hand blossomed with rings of black luster, and then hundreds of ghosts poured out in an instant, transformed into windblades and rushed straight towards Qin Ye’s body.
Qin Ye cursed under his breath. Hell was still languishing in its nascent stages, and he had no means of access to his own underworldly arts as yet. Do I really have to resort to my blade release right now?
He didn’t have the luxury of time to mull over this question. He immediately recalled his demonhead saber and began to execute his defensive blade dance. An illusory silver sphere formed around him, instantly repelling the oncoming black flames with numerous micro-explosions. Simultaneously, he dug his left thumb deep into the palm of his hand, readying himself to cut a gash across the surface of his palm at the moment’s notice.
He was prepared.
Each spot of black flame bore the force of hundreds of newtons, and it felt as though he were deflecting powerful gunshots. Then, just as he was about to bite the bullet and cut the palm of his hand, a soft clack resounded from the entrance outside.
All traces of their heated battle vanished in the very next moment. The spider lady and Qin Ye locked eyes for a split second, and both of them tacitly retreated back into the darkness where they had come from.
Qin Ye hid in the shadows behind a corner of the memorial hall, while the jade-green glow from the spider lady’s eyes vanished as she melded into the dark ceiling. Neither looked at each other anymore. Instead, their eyes were now transfixed on the entrance to the hall.
There’s somebody else…
We’re not the only ones here…
The only thing Qin Ye could hear was the heavy thumps of his own heartbeats. Despite having lived for nearly a hundred years and expunging his fair share of evil ghosts, this was the first time he had encountered such a thrilling, heart-stopping situation.
He had already reflexively turned the tip of his saber towards the entrance of the hall. The entity that had just arrived was certainly not of the same faction as the spider lady. Otherwise, there would be no reason for her to be hiding right now. Incidentally, the spider lady was also aiming her lantern towards the entrance of the hall.
Whoever enters, dies.
The silence was oppressive. Just then, the entrance gate suddenly crumbled to pieces, followed quickly by a flurry of dazzling blade lights that gleamed like a crescent in a starless night. Two figures rushed straight into the hall after the blade lights.
“This is…” Qin Ye’s eyes quivered slightly, but he didn’t make his move immediately.
He could see against the moonlight that the two newcomers to the fray were wearing a black hakama, or a long-pleated skirt, together with a black coat and a conical bamboo hat. However, their clothes were completely tattered, almost as though they were ghosts that had just crawled right out of the grave.
They rushed right in with quick and light footsteps, and their hands were wrapped tightly around the hilts of their blades. Just like Qin Ye and the spider lady, jet-black Yin energy billowed from underneath the conical bamboo hat, and their clothes fluttered about madly. As they rushed in, one could faintly hear the chorus of wailing ghosts crying around them.
Emissaries… it’s another two emissaries! Extraterritorial emissaries!
Furthermore, Qin Ye could immediately tell from their dressing exactly what nation they represented.
“誰もいない！ / Nobody’s here!” The left Nipponese emissary whispered. The right one responded hoarsely, “油断しないで！彼の魂を取り消すのは私たちだけではない。/ Don’t let your guard down! We’re not the only ones after his soul!”
“We’re not the only ones after his soul?” Qin Ye barely understood their exchange and sneered, “Soul society’s gotei 13?”
“Don’t you think you’ve crossed the line here?”
Almost as though there were a tacit agreement between them, ten eyes on the roof instantly opened up at the very same time that Qin Ye finished speaking, and dozens of black flames rushed straight towards the Nipponese emissaries. Simultaneously, Qin Ye stepped out of his corner, and he swept his flaming demonhead saber horizontally across in front of him, leaving a trail of green blade light in its wake.
“Haa!” Trouble was brewing. The two Nipponese emissaries let loose a battle cry, only to notice that everything was muted within the memorial hall. They immediately somersaulted backwards while performing several hand seals while they were still in the air. As soon as they landed, the duo neatly clasped their hands together at the exact same time. When they opened their palms once more, an ancient scroll with symbols drawn all over it unraveled itself and shot through the air, quickly expanding until it was several meters large, where it quickly absorbed Qin Ye’s blade light and the spider lady’s swooping black flames.
“人がいる！/ Someone’s here!” “中東の希里斑地獄！/ The Middle East’s Underworld of Serapis!” The two Nipponese emissaries were already outside of the memorial hall when they landed, and they cried out in surprise. But instead of retreating, they once again rushed into the memorial hall like maddened spirits.
“Shit!” Qin Ye gnashed his teeth in anger. Of all the emissaries present today, he was the only one who possessed neither underworldly arts nor powerful treasures at his disposal. All of them were wealthier than he was!
His palm was already pressing against the edge of the blade when the two Nipponese emissaries charged right back into the memorial hall. Yin energy surged, while the katanas by the sides of the Nipponese emissaries gleamed menacingly. Then, just as they began to unsheath their katanas, everyone suddenly paused once more.
Pata… pata… pata… Another three sounds could be heard right outside the memorial hall.
The Nipponese emissaries glanced about in this pantomime of death, and then dodged straight into the shadows in another corner of the hall. The spider lady’s lantern was already glowing white, but she immediately decided against making a move.
Qin Ye didn’t act on his earlier intentions either.
Silence and darkness filled the entire memorial hall once more. The two katanas, Qin Ye’s demonhead saber, and the spider lady’s lantern were all trained at the entrance to the memorial hall.
In fact, it was so silent that one could even hear the raging wind outside. QIn Ye didn’t move a muscle. Yet, one minute passed… two minutes passed… three minutes passed… and that was when he suddenly felt like something was wrong!
He immediately got down onto the ground. And almost at the exact same time, a rain of arrows poured through the tattered windows and the collapsed door frame!
Shk shk shk shk! This was truly a rain of arrows. Each arrow was congealed from dense Yin energy, and they instantly turned into ashes as soon as they struck any part of the memorial hall. But whenever it struck Qin Ye’s demonhead saber, its Yin energy would immediately flourish with great vigor!
The rain of arrows was vicious and unrelenting, creating ripple after ripple in the air as they continued to barrage the memorial hall. Then, all of a sudden, the tattered windows began to clatter once again, and the howling winds that swept through the hall once again roared in their ears.
The formation array had been broken!
“死神ヘラ！！/ Shinigami Hel!!” “北欧陰刺軍！/ Western Europa’s assassins of the underworld!” “oθ?ναto?hella!！” The other three Yin spirits exclaimed in unison as they raised their weapons of choice to parry the oncoming flurry of arrows.
“Each one of these bears the force of hundreds of newtons… What kind of army do they have out there?!” Qin Ye could no longer care less about keeping himself concealed. He glanced around and noticed some tables and chairs still lying around the dilapidated shrine, and then dashed straight to the nearest table and ducked behind it.
Then, just as suddenly as it had arrived, the barrage of arrows stopped in the instant that the formation array was destroyed.
Qin Ye didn’t let his guard down. The blade of his sword had already punctured his skin. All he needed to activate his blade release was just a little bit of force.
Like the calm before the storm, the stillness was so oppressive that it made his scalp tingle!
This… might very well be the strongest faction to arrive thus far!
He had heard of the death god that the Nipponese emissaries were talking about… It was Hel, the Norse goddess of the dead.
According to the legends, Hel ruled over the underworld, Niflheim, where she was waited upon by two servants called Ganglati and Ganglot. It is said that they moved so slowly that they appeared to be completely still.
But before he could delve any further into his thoughts, three blood-curdling cries of a dog suddenly resounded through the night sky.
“Woof... woof… awoooooo…”
As the eerie barks reverberated through the corners of the hall, Qin Ye quickly discovered that the ground was beginning to tremble!
Dong dong dong… It sounded like a massive being was charging madly towards them. The tables and chairs in the hall rattled incessantly. It only took him a split-second to realize what exactly these cries meant.
Hel’s three-headed hellhound, Garmr.
“D-damn it… shit… the legends and myths are all true! I’m screwed!” He gnashed his teeth in agony, and his spirits tensed up to the extreme.
What do I do?
Get out and leave my cover?
Impossible. There are at least three extraterritorial emissaries out there who possess a wealth of treasures and magic arts at their disposal. I’d be courting death!
Would the memorial hall be able to withstand the impact of Garmr’s charge?
He wasn’t the only one considering his options right now - all of the other emissaries were doing exactly the same thing. The rumbling sound outside the memorial hall grew louder and louder, and the woofs and howls also escalated in ferocity. Just then, the two Nipponese emissaries suddenly roared and leapt into the air at the same time.
They bit down on their finger and then made a series of hand seals so quickly that their hands became a blur, leaving countless afterimages in their wake. Yin energy began to build up and soar as the number of hand seals increased. A second later, they placed their palms against each other and let loose a great yell. Then, as their palms pulled apart, a crystal mirror appeared between them.
“This… could this be the legendary eight-foot mirror?” Qin Ye cried out in astonishment. It was only when he faced the extraterritorial emissaries that he truly understood how much he was lacking.
A white light burst out from the mirror as soon as it appeared, engulfing the two Nipponese emissaries in an instant and consuming them. Just like that, the two emissaries disappeared into the mirror. Following that, the mirror transformed into wisps of Yin energy and dissipated into the surroundings.
“Go.” Just then, Arthis’ voice suddenly rang out in Qin Ye’s ears. Before he could even respond, he felt his entire body enter a dizzying vortex. His surroundings spun endlessly, receding rapidly as they vanished into nothingness. Then, he trembled violently and woke up in shock, only to realize that he was already back in his own dorm room.
His heart was palpitating, and his back was soaked through with cold sweat.
He immediately shot to his feet and stared out of his window and towards the location of the memorial hall. However, there wasn’t a single shred of sound or sign of abnormality from the memorial hall.
“Are you courting death?!” Arthis stared at Qin Ye, evidently still reeling with shock, “Every single one of these extraterritorial emissaries are each trained in their own orthodox disciplines! They’re even equipped with underworldly arts and treasures of their own! Every single one that is sent across the borders of their nations are undoubtedly the best of the best in their underworlds!”
Qin Ye collapsed back onto the chair and wiped the sweat percolating off his forehead, “Don’t worry. I’ll never step foot in the memorial hall again even if you beat me to death. I’d thought that they were bronze-tier noobs, but it turns out that they’re actually challenger-tier masters!”
Arthis sighed, and her tone of voice grew stern and somber, “I wouldn’t have made the trip down had I not sensed that your life was in danger. Unfortunately, I’d also been in such a rush that I wasn’t able to conceal my existence from the Infernal Judge in this academy any longer. In fact, I’m almost certain that he would have been able to pinpoint my exact location had I used any more of my abilities. Survival is key! You must first survive before you can start thriving! How can an Ezreal with Zeal possibly go toe to toe with a Vayne with an Infinity Edge?!”
Qin Ye pursed his lips, “I can appreciate this comparison. At least I’m… good-looking.”
In a moment of shock, both of them grew somewhat taciturn. Then, in a rare display of affection, Arthis made a cup of tea for Qin Ye and even personally brought it over to him, “Tell me, which challenger’s crypt have you defiled in my absence? You must’ve done something horrifically wrong to be so widely sought after by several underworlds all at once…”
Qin Ye chuckled bitterly as he explained everything.
Arthis grew silent. She paced about the room silently with a glint in her eye. After some time, she turned back and looked Qin Ye in the eye, “Do you… trust me?”
1. So the author has taken to writing quite a fair bit of the dialogue in the native language of these emissaries. He provides the translation for some, but not all. I’ll do my level best to translate them and make sense of them where possible, but where I can’t, I’ll leave the original here.
7. I’ll let you guys be the judge. Go check out the artwork on the cosmetics tab. https://leagueoflegends.fandom.com/wiki/Ezreal