The entire funerary hall crumbled and collapsed with a loud bang, and the only thing remaining intact was Gu Qing’s casket and the professors around. The extraterritorial emissary that was on the verge of pulling out the soul retention jade screamed in shock at Zhou Xianlong’s monstrous display of might. His hands trembled, and in that moment of astonishment, he failed to pull out the piece of jade.
“Outrageous.” Zhou Xianlong blew his top. He hovered in the air and slowly walked towards the ground as though he were descending invisible steps. He glared viciously at the dozen or so extraterritorial emissaries as he gnashed his teeth, “What gall… How dare you cause a ruckus in the First Academy of Cultivators and put us to shame.”
He slowly raised his hand, and in an instant, the torrential downpour suddenly converged together to form a gigantic hand that appeared right behind him, “Don’t worry… I won’t let you die so easily.”
With that, the gigantic hand, together with a thousand bolts of lightning, bore down onto the funerary hall!
Crackle… This was a massive hand that was completely formed out of rainwater. It spanned a hundred meters wide, and lightning ran through it and even arced all around it. The students who had been completely drenched by the downpour stared at the sight in complete disbelief.
This was the might of an Infernal Judge.
This was might that could even manipulate the heavens and the earth.
Back in front of the television, Qin Ye gasped in astonishment. However, he wasn’t as horrified as the other students and even instructors around. After all, he had seen Arthis’ display of authority back at Clear Creek County, and Arthis had even admitted that Zhou Xianlong was more powerful than she was.
But that said, Zhou Xianlong’s might still exceeded his expectations.
Zhou Xianlong’s appearance had brought about a moment of dead silence.
The torrential downpour continued. The massive hand swept down towards the roiling black fog below. Then, with an earth-shattering tremor, it slammed onto the ground, sending debris and rubble scattering everywhere. The death god congealed from the roiling clouds of Yin energy was instantly blown to pieces.
“Damn!!” “He’s too strong! We’re so close… so damned close!” “Hang in there… hang in there!!” The rest of the extraterritorial emissaries were all blasted back by Zhou Xianlong’s powerful strike. In fact, three of them were instantly reduced to wisps of Yin energy. This was the difference in their abilities. Twelve Soul Hunters equipped with Hellguard-class Yin artifacts weren’t able to withstand even a single blow from a powerful Infernal Judge.
Psshhhtt! Blood splattered all over the place. Just then, a golden light suddenly flickered where the extraterritorial emissaries were all gathered!
“Get ready!!” Arthis suddenly rose to her feet and exclaimed.
Qin Ye shuddered and was taken aback.
We don’t even know what the outcome is going to be just yet, so why are you asking me to get ready?
“That’s the longbow of the god of the underworld, Nergal...” Arthis stared at the screen with an unprecedented, grim expression, “This is… a genuine treasure of their underworld!”
“It’s a genuine treasure… a complete Yin artifact that has been personally blessed by their god, Nergal! It’s on a completely different level from the ones that have appeared before!”
“I can’t believe that they’ve actually brought something like that with them… Everything will be made clear in less than fifteen seconds’ time!”
Rumble… The rolling clouds of Yin energy scattered slowly from the top. And then, as visibility slowly began to clear up, Zhou Xianlong’s pupils suddenly constricted in shock.
A female student stood right at the heart of the rolling Yin energy.
She was covered in blood and half-kneeling on the ground. The other extraterritorial emissaries had earlier joined forces to block Zhou Xianlong’s powerful palm strike for her.
And right there, where the heart of the scattering Yin energy once was, a brilliant golden luster that appeared to bear the radiance of the heavens shone through the darkness.
Time appeared to stand still. Zhou Xianlong saw exactly what it was. It was a longbow carved from grisly white bones. It was five meters long, and the arrow on it was a dark-red colour. Zhou Xianlong could tell that the arrow was forged entirely out of coagulated blood. Furthermore… the source of the blood was definitely at least a Judge-class entity!
Rumble… The wisps of Yin energy around continued to fade away, while what remained quickly poured straight towards the female student kneeling on the ground. Her skin was already splitting and tearing apart, while her hair was tossed about by the massive storm that began to gather around her. As the overbearing vortex picked up, she painfully endured the mighty forces that tore away at her flesh and bones which slowly but surely ate away at her fleshly body. Then, when she was nothing more than a skeleton, she cried out in her dying breath, “By hell’s dictum… all rabble…”
The arrow was loosened from its bowstring before she could even finish crying out, and in that instant, her body transformed into Yin energy and scattered among the earth.
Crack crack crack crack… The entire campus ground trembled as soon as the arrow was fired. A bright golden light shot through the dark layers of Yin energy around and rushed straight towards Zhou Xianlong. It was as though the sun had risen in hell - although the surroundings were filled with dense Yin energy, it was as though a holy presence had descended upon the plains.
The windforce of the arrow arrived before it did. Zhou Xianlong stared blankly as the arrow plunged through the rolling clouds of Yin energy. From his perspective, the arrow had already transformed into a long-haired woman whose eyes and mouth had all been sewn up. And the woman had opened her arms wide to embrace him.
This was the attack bearing the might of an Infernal Judge!
The impending crisis jolted him right back to his senses. He clasped his hands together and made several hand seals in the blink of an eye. Then, the rain suddenly stopped.
No, rather than saying that the rain stopped, it would be more accurate to say that the falling rain had suddenly paused and hung in the air where they were!
The rain was still pelting down heavily from above, yet not a single drop fell below where Zhou Xianlong’s feet were. Just like that, hundreds of millions of water droplets hung in mid-air for no apparent reason. The outrageous sight was completely jaw-dropping.
However, it didn’t last long. Just one second later, the countless droplets of water in the air began to fall to the ground in an instant. Simultaneously, Zhou Xianlong’s robes burst open, and an avatar of a golden Buddha appeared in the sky, sending a powerful palm strike to meet the meteoric arrow that had just shot straight out of hell.
Everything looked illusory and formless, and yet the clash of their attacks resulted in a visceral, deafening rumble.
The skies erupted with a crimson glow, following which a crack appeared in the sky, as though the air had been torn apart by the powerful clash. A split second later, the deafening sound was accompanied by an eruption of light, Yin energy and true energy that engulfed Zhou Xianlong in a great swirling plume that spanned ten meters across.
Just as everyone stared in horror at the massive explosion in the sky, “Hmph.” Zhou Xianlong snorted coldly. Shortly after that, a pair of golden palms peeled open the swirling plumes, and Zhou Xianlong stepped out. His entire body was covered in red and gold.
“The Formless Golden Body.” Arthis gasped with great astonishment, “This old man…”
Zhou Xianlong heaved a long sigh of relief and glanced down at the remaining extraterritorial emissaries. All of them felt a chill run down their spine in an instant.
This Judge… is far stronger than any other Judge we’ve seen in the past! Not even a Yin artifact directly blessed by the god of the underworld was able to kill him!
Just then, an eerie sigh sounded.
It was soft, yet everyone instantly turned to look at its source.
“I… where is this place?” Gu Qing’s soul sat up from the casket and stared at his own hands, “I’m already dead, aren’t I?”
Zhou Xianlong’s pupils shrank instantly. Qin Ye gasped, and then immediately began to circulate the Yin energy within his body. His moment was coming soon.
It’s been breached…
Back in the casket where Gu Qing’s body lay, a piece of green jade was lying right next to his corpse’s head. The extraterritorial emissaries stiffly turned to look at Gu Qing. The gazes which were earlier filled with resentment, despondence and regret were now laced with a trace of hope.
“By hell’s dictum… a-all rabble shall disperse…” One of the male students that was staring at the casket declared as his body exploded to smithereens! A wave of Yin energy more powerful than before instantly filled the atmosphere!
Hiss… A ghostly cry accompanied the eerie nethergale that swept through the surroundings, and his being vanished in an instant. Simultaneously, a shadow on the ground immediately snaked towards the casket as though it were alive!
An emissary’s true form!
They’ve finally revealed their true appearances!
They… have finally made it to this very moment!
Several extraterritorial emissaries have died, and several Yin artifacts have been completely wasted and depleted. Someone had sacrificed her life in order to fire Nergal’s Longbow, while others were taken down in the process of obstructing the other professors. But now… everything was worth it!
It was more symbolic than anything. It was symbolic of the fact that Cathay was sinking. How could one claim that Cathay’s Hell was the strongest of them all when they weren’t even able to protect an A+ grade Yin spirit?!
Seize his soul and place it before the council of elders so that the elders could finally cast aside the lingering fear for Cathay’s Hell and finally send troops to wage war against them! The day when a hundred million Yin soldiers marched against Hell was just around the corner! This was the dawn of a new era!
“By hell’s dictum, all rabble shall disperse! Hahahaha!!” “Ohhh… oh… Hah! By hell’s dictum, all rabble shall disperse!” “By hell’s dictum, all rabble shall disperse! We’re coming… hahaha!”
Whoosh… whoosh whoosh whoosh!
Clouds of Yin energy exploded one after the other as the primarily Yin presences shed their Yang bodies. Back in front of the television, Arthis instantly shouted, “Now’s the time--...”
There was no need for reminders. The surrounding Yin energy converged towards Qin Ye like a great vortex before she could even finish speaking. The demonhead saber roared with a great inferno, and Qin Ye stepped out from the vortex like a domineering force.
White hair, black irises, a black fretwork skullcap, and long robes embroidered with designs of the Harken. An identity token bearing the words ‘Soul Hunter’ hung from his waist, fluttering lightly with the furious nethergale.
Cathay’s emissary has finally joined the fray!
“Then… let’s begin.” Qin Ye chuckled coldly as he began to perform the technique in accordance with Arthis’ instructions.
The mortal realm’s battle was over.
Next up, it was time for the battle among emissaries.
None of you shall escape my grasp!
Back at the funerary hall, Zhou Xianlong was astounded to discover that he was unable to see or detect where all of the Yin spirits had gone!
The only thing that remained were vast clouds of Yin energy that slowly drifted with the wind. Apart from that, the eight or nine students that had just been around had completely vanished from sight!
“What’s going on here?” Despite his extensive experience with the supernatural, Zhou Xianlong found himself completely flabbergasted by the situation. Nevertheless, he regained his senses immediately and bellowed at the top of his voice, “All students are to remain where they are! All instructors and professors are to lock down the premises! All entry and exit within a thousand meter radius is strictly forbidden!”
With bloodshot eyes, he continued, “Kill all who refuse to comply! I’ll take responsibility for it!”
The instructors and professors didn’t even have the time to respond as they swiftly moved into action and scattered in all directions.
There was a sudden onset of silence. Just like a spring coiled watch, everything suddenly seemed to stop dead in their tracks. Then, just as everyone began to heave a sigh of relief, someone asked nervously, “Did you… hear something?”
“Yes I did. I thought I was just hallucinating.” “What’s that sound?” “What’s going on?”
Zhou Xianlong looked abruptly.
Buzz buzz buzz… buzz buzz buzz… Faint beams of golden light slowly blossomed along a perimeter that was five hundred meters outside the memorial hall. Not just one… not just ten… but there were several hundred beams of golden light that shot into the air in just an instant, forming a domain around the memorial hall like the walls of a massive barrel!
“Hell’s… Fire Trap of the Nine Yin Spirits. Please, enjoy.” Back in the dorm room, Qin Ye sighed as he finally set down his hands, picked up his demonhead saber, and dashed right out of his room!
It would only last ten seconds.
Zhou Xianlong wouldn’t be able to decimate all of them within this period of time. After all, they most certainly possessed other genuine Yin artifacts that had been blessed by their own gods of the underworld.
But… that was alright.
He would receive double the merit points for purging extraterritorial emissaries. As long as Zhou Xianlong was able to crush half of the remaining emissaries, the other half would be more than sufficient to secure him the promotion to the rank of an Anitya Hellguard.
Furthermore, the extraterritorial emissaries were bound to prioritize the retreat of those charged with the responsibility of holding onto Gu Qing’s soul, while the rest would throw themselves in front of Zhou Xianlong to keep him at bay. That would be the perfect moment to unleash his blade and strike at their hearts!
The funerary hall was dead silent.
As the formation array blossomed, nine silhouettes appeared in mid-air.
Zhou Xianlong’s eyes quivered slightly, before it was quickly filled with a grim expression. And then, he tossed his head into the air and laughed maniacally.
“How is this possible…” The Nipponese emissary wearing a conical hat grabbed Gu Qing’s soul as he looked around in shock. His eyes instantly grew bloodshot as he screamed, “Who… who the hell is that?!!”
“A formation array that reveals the presence of underworld emissaries… We don’t even have something like that back in our underworld, so how could something like that be here?!” “Don’t be anxious! This formation array isn’t strong! It’s only going to last approximately ten seconds! Everyone, hang in there… endure this final ten seconds! There’s still hope!” “Ten seconds… but this is a Judge we’re talking about! How many Yin artifacts do you still have?!”
As the extraterritorial emissaries exchanged horrified looks with each other, Zhou Xianlong had already ceased to laugh altogether. He simply stared threateningly at the silhouettes in the air that were neither human nor ghosts.
There was a half-woman half-spider, there was a wolf-headed man dressed in Aegyptian clothes, there was a Nipponese warrior wearing a conical bamboo hat… Something clicked in his mind.
“Underworld emissaries.” He lifted his hands with a grimace, “Extraterritorial emissaries of the underworld.”
“Those who dare step foot in Cathay’s soil shall be slaughtered without mercy!”
As he lifted his hands, the golden avatar of Buddha rose up and similarly lifted its hands behind him, summoning and gathering an immense amount of true energy in the air. Then, with a thunderous cry, he slammed his palm down!
A gargantuan pale hand formed by true energy bore down on the remaining emissaries as though they were caged birds. The emissaries stared blankly in terror as the calamitous force descended from the skies!
1. He’s an ancient Sumerian god of the underworld that was worshipped by the Mesopotamians. Interestingly, ancient lore had it that he used to be a war god, and he only became the god of the underworld when he was given an underworld by other gods.