Qin Ye shifted his hands to his waist, but didn’t transform into his emissary state just yet.
It’s still not time…
The underworld emissaries would still need to break the threefold soul-setting technique by uncovering the lid with the Big Dipper Soul Invocation array, pluck out the soul affixing nail, and remove the soul retention jade. And all these things could only be done through the medium of a fleshly body. In all likelihood, the underworld emissaries might even be utterly crushed by Zhou Xianlong before they could achieve all these things.
Don’t rush… Patience…
He drew several deep breaths to regulate his emotions, and his frantic heartbeats gradually slowed down. Nevertheless, he continued to keep his eyes glued to the television broadcast of the abrupt chaos at the funerary hall.
The reporters gathered outside the funerary hall gasped as they retreated to the side. The cameramen also screamed as they backed away. The entire funerary hall was instantly thrown into chaos, and only the fixed and standing cameras continued to capture and broadcast the ensuing madness.
The instructors outside the hall were also completely flabbergasted by the situation. In the heat of the moment, nobody could assess whether it was better to obey the instructions of the professors or to rush into the funerary hall to lend their assistance.
The students were even more dumbstruck. A number of students stared blankly at the empty seats around them, second guessing whether those seats had truly been occupied just a moment ago.
In fact, the dozen or so figures that were seated in those seats just moments ago had already leapt high into the air, cackling and screaming away with a blood-curdling voice. Despite acting through the vessels of the students they had possessed, their hair fluttered wildly, and dense Yin energy continuously poured out of their seven apertures. Their nails turned black in an instant and grew to a feet long, their eyes turned bloodshot, and they charged straight towards the five professors without flinching one bit.
Whoosh… The hanging palace lights in the memorial hall and electrical lights in the funerary hall were instantly shattered and extinguished by the powerful gale. All that remained was the foreboding dance of the emissaries amidst the gusts of nethergale.
“Yin spirit possession?!” The eyes of the five professors constricted at the same time, and Lou Chuan’s lips trembled with fury, “Damn it… you asked for it! One, two, three… fourteen Soul Hunters dare to cause such a huge ruckus in the First Academy of Cultivators?!”
“You’re courting death!!”
With a quick flick of his arms, the threads that were dangling loosely from his hands suddenly shot deep into the ground, and then he quickly tugged hard at them again. CRASH! The floorboards of the hall crumbled, and seven large coffins abruptly emerged upright from the ground, completely sealing off the front of Gu Qing’s casket.
“Open!” With a furious bellow, the coffins opened up, and seven female corpses, each dressed in clothes representing a different dynasty - Qin, Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing, drifted out of their coffins as though they were puppets dancing to the tune of their strings.
A variety of weapons including sabers, spears, swords and polearms shot out of each female corpse’s sleeves, and a dazzling display of gleaming blades instantly dispersed the surrounding darkness.
Rumble! A crackle of lightning amidst the torrential downpour erased all traces of sounds from the abrupt chaos in the funerary hall.
“Hellguard!” The three extraterritorial students who led the charge immediately cried out as soon as the dance of seven weapons cut through the air. What was most surprising was the fact that the five factions of extraterritorial emissaries didn’t attack each other at all. They knew full well what needed to be done in order to break the threefold soul-setting technique. Otherwise… their efforts would be completely in vain, and their failure here might even cost them their lives.
The concerted attack of the seven corpse puppets shot forward unrelentingly. Yet in that critical moment, a soulless blue light abruptly gleamed in the darkness. The frontmost student had opened his mouth wide - so wide that even his cheeks were torn apart and a mix of his saliva and blood dribbled down. And when the student’s lips were finally a foot wide apart, a blue flower bloomed silently.
As soon as it bloomed, the seven lithe bodies of the corpse puppets instantly halted their charge. Then, as though they were being beat back by a squall, the seven corpse puppets slowly drifted backwards!
“Go!!” The student whose lips were emitting the soulless blue light immediately screamed. Without missing a beat, a dozen or so voices leapt into the air and shot forward wildly.
“Do you think mere Soul Hunters will be able to do as they please in front of a Hellguard-class expert?!” Lou Chuan chuckled contemptuously and flicked his wrists, causing the threads extending out of his hands quivered like ripples flowing through water. With a loud clatter, the seven corpse puppets suddenly dismantled themselves into pieces and scattered about. Then, with the nimble manipulation of his fingers, sharp blades and darts quickly poured out of each joint, instantly filling the skies with a hail of throwing weapons.
Shk shk shk! The whizzing sound of throwing weapons continuously tore through the air as the joints of the corpse puppets clattered menacingly. Despite that, the dozen or so figures continued to shoot through the air and hurtle straight towards the funerary hall without pausing, completely ignoring the hail of attacks emanating from the seven corpse puppets. Seeing that his efforts were in vain, Lou Chuan promptly put his palms together, sending all of the joints hurtling towards the hall in hot pursuit of the mysterious figures. Just then, he suddenly discovered…
The dismembered bodies of the corpse spirits moved slightly, and then… paused in the air, almost as though something were restraining them completely!
Qin Ye instantly shot to his feet in front of the television.
Darkness was meaningless to Emissaries of Hell. Therefore, he clearly saw what it was that had caused this.
It was a resplendent flower. However, its petals were composed entirely out of Yin spirits. And when it bloomed, it looked almost as though an underworld had blossomed!
Countless Yin spirits wailed and screamed as they poured forth from the petals of this flower, quickly transforming into a web of Yin spirits so strong that even the powerful finishing move of a Hellguard-class expert was unable to breach it!
“This is…” Qin Ye muttered in disbelief.
“A complete Yin artifact.” Arthis’ expressions were calm as water as she explained, “Emissaries that are entrusted with missions like these are undoubtedly among the best in their respective underworlds. It’s only natural to expect them to carry life-preserving treasures that exceed the extent of their abilities. After all, these artifacts are the only things that can guarantee them a way out after their mission. This is also why I said that tonight… isn’t going to go as smoothly as you’d hoped.”
“If these dozen or so emissaries possess a complete Yin artifact each, the force of their combined abilities would be so great that even I would struggle against them, much less the Special Investigations Department that has never experienced such a battle before!”
Back at the front of the funerary hall, Lou Chuan turned back abruptly and barked, “Guard the casket! That’s their target!!”
A blast of cold wind struck Lou Chuan before he could even finish speaking. Lou Chuan looked up, only to notice that the student he had ignored was already clinging to the ceiling like a spider. The student’s eyes were now a jade-green colour, and so much Yin energy was pouring from the student’s body that it looked almost on the brink of rupture.
“[In English] Sir, this is a complete Yin artifact of the underworld of Sumer, one of the earliest civilizations in the world. Don’t you think you’ve underestimated our abilities?” The student laughed in a peculiar manner. Having noticed that the other figures had already made their way past Lou Chuan’s roadblock and into the inner sanctum of the funerary hall, the student shrieked and charged towards the ground!
“You’re in the realm of a Soul Hunter, yet you possess strength that is well beyond your realm. Your combat techniques hardly resemble that of Cathayan Yin spirits either. Looks like you’re going to be the perfect specimen for the SRC’s studies.” Lou Chuan didn’t dare to let his guard down. He scrunched his fingers, and the dismembered limbs of the corpse puppets quickly broke free of the web’s clutches and rushed straight up to meet the charge of the spider-like student. With a great battle cry, both sides unleashed a flurry of attacks, leaving afterimages of gleaming blade lights in its wake.
Meanwhile, the Yin spirits that had just managed to leap over the wall and into the inner sanctum of the funerary hall suddenly froze in their tracks.
The professor of the Faculty of Combat who usually had an amiable expression on his face was now standing in front of Gu Qing’s casket like a towering monolith.
He gently raised his old, withered hands. Whoooosh… A gentle breeze swept by, and true energy began to surge and flow from his body, forming a large Taiji symbol around him that spun ceaselessly on the ground.
The extraterritorial emissaries exchanged tacit glances with each other. A split second later, what were once the bodies of students suddenly sprung forward with inhuman force. The dozen or so figures dashed towards Tao Ran like bolts of lightning. In response, Tao Ran gently waved his arms. His true energy shifted like flowing waters, and the eight trigram symbol spun underfoot. Then, as they drew closer to the domain of the trigram symbols, all of the extraterritorial emissaries were suddenly struck back with a loud bang and sent slamming into the walls around the inner sanctum.
Some of their necks were completely deformed from Tao Ran’s attack. But as they got up, they simply snapped them back into place with a click. Tao Ran sighed wistfully, “These truly aren’t humans…”
“But that means there’s also nothing to feel guilty about.”
He slammed his palms together, and the true energy began to twist and contort in the air around him, quickly congealing into two massive palms that instantly bore down on the extraterritorial emissaries. Crackling sounds could be heard in the air wherever the palms passed. The extraterritorial emissaries instantly shrieked in rage as they desperately struggled against Tao Ran’s unexpected attack.
Crack… crack… Sounds of snapping bones could be heard from their arms, but the emissaries appeared to ignore it completely as they yelled at another student beside them, “[In English] How much time has elapsed?”
“[In English] One minute!” A burly, almost bear-like figure beside gnashed his teeth as he desperately resisted the oppressive true energy, “[In English] The Judge will arrive in no more than thirty seconds! The formation array outside has already been activated, but it can only hold out for another thirty seconds at best!”
It appeared that English was the most convenient mode of communication in the heat of combat. The force exerted by Tao Ran was so overbearing that it even sent ripples flowing through the surface of one of the emissaries’ skin. That emissary gnashed his teeth, “[In English] What are we still waiting for?!”
“[In English] We’re dead if we can’t get to the casket before the Judge arrives!”
Nobody dared to hold back any longer. After all, every single one of them was keenly aware of the presence of a boundless sea of true energy emanating from the First Academy of Cultivators that had already engulfed the entire City of Salvation, and it was already working its way through the formation array that they had previously set up. Their time… was running out.
Sha… A brilliant golden light lit up, followed which… Sha sha sha!! The bodies of each extraterritorial emissary began to glow with a bright luster!
Some of these lights emanated from their foreheads, some came from their abdomens, while others came from their hearts… And each bright glow was accompanied by a wave of dense Yin energy that was well beyond the realms of a mere Soul Hunter! In fact, the Yin energy emanated was comparable with a peak Anitya Hellguard!
Tao Ran stood in the middle of the eight trigrams symbol on the ground and gasped in shock.
What the hell is going on?!
How could mere Soul Hunters be operating Hellguard-class Yin artifacts?! No… I’ve never even heard of the existence of such Yin artifacts to begin with! The Special Investigations Department has always tracked the existence of all Yin artifacts with close scrutiny, so how did so many appear all at once?! And to think that the quality of these Yin artifacts are so unbelievably high as well!
“All instructors are to enter the funerary hall!!”
He wouldn’t be able to resist the attack on his own!
He read the situation at once, and continued at the top of his voice, “All students are to remain where you are! Whoever enters the funerary hall right now shall summarily be expelled!”
Only forty-two seconds had passed since midnight. It hadn’t even been more than a minute.
Most of the instructors hadn’t even managed to react to the abrupt developments just yet. And even those that did didn’t move from their positions due to the last standing orders that they had received. But as soon as Tao Ran beckoned for them, Lin Han, Su Feng, Li Runxue and the other instructors whose anxieties were already bursting at the seams immediately dashed into the hall like arrows loosened from their bows!
“How dare you create a scene at our academy…” Su Feng’s gaze was laced with a murderous intent. An ancient fan appeared in his hands as he dashed forward, and wisps of true energy began to wrap around his right arm, causing all of his veins to bulge in an instant. Then, he swung with all his mind, “You’re asking for it!!”
Rumble! Cracks appeared on the ground in front of him, and rubble and debris were scattered everywhere. Simultaneously, Lin Han nimbly leapt onto the larger pieces of rubble and dashed through the air, leaving afterimages in his wake.
Seven Stars Flashing Moon.
Seven loud sounds rumbled at the same time, and the ceiling crumbled to the ground in an instant. The extraterritorial emissary who had earlier still been clinging to the ceiling as he fought Lou Chuan cried out in horror as it fell straight to the ground.
The cooperation among highly-skilled experts was an amazing display of tacit trust and understanding. Lou Chuan’s fingers instantly twitched in the blink of an eye, and short blades emerged from the seven corpse puppets’ dismembered limbs and frantically rushed towards the falling emissary in an instant.
If the emissary were struck by this attack, it would literally be death by a thousand cuts.
This was the Professor of the Faculty of Underworldly Craftsmen - an elite corpse driver whose reputation precedes him.
“[In English] Damn! Shit!!” The falling emissary’s eyes turned completely bloodshot. Then, just as the attacks closed in on him, he suddenly cried out at the top of his voice, “λγkαp!!”
[Author’s comments: He won’t be using words from other languages from now on. Everything will be translated directly.]
[TL: PHEW. Thank god for that.]
[TL: Further edit - He appears to only do that a few chapters down, so I’ll still be doing what I can with the rest for now.]
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