Qin Ye’s mouth felt dry and parched.
He had… underestimated Hell.
He had always thought that Yin spirit riots were nothing more than a gathering of unarmed Yin spirits, walking about and striking at Hell’s Gate. He was prepared to kill as many of them that came along.
Conscience and psychological burden?
What of those was there to talk about in Hell?
Unfortunately, things were not as he had imagined. He had never expected a Yin spirit riot to be on such a scale. Wrath definitely possessed abilities in the level of an Anitya Hellguard!
And this was merely a Yin spirit riot to boot - one that involved just over a hundred thousand Yin spirits. Hell was bound to expand in future, and there would naturally be commensurately more Yin spirits that arrive in Hell. How many Yin spirits would the next riot involve?
All it takes is a simple trigger, and then a rebellion… or an insurgency… What would those look like?
Hell simply wasn’t something that could be understood using common sense.
“Don’t worry. A simple riot isn’t sufficient to breach Hell’s Gate.” Arthis reassured him, “Like I’d mentioned, Hell’s Gate is a gateway to the rest of Hell. Unless a million Yin spirits are involved in a Yin spirit rebellion, Hell’s Gate would surely hold its integrity. But… for as long as the Yin marionette remains, you won’t be able to use its surrounding areas.”
Almost as though she understood Qin Ye’s thoughts, she smiled faintly, “This is simply a riot. Can you imagine what would happen when a rebellion occurs? Can you imagine the sight of dozens of Judge-class Yin marionettes charging towards Hell’s Gate… Otherwise why do you think Hell has over a thousand Infernal Judges to begin with?”
“Every province is anchored down by the presence of at least ten Judges, simply because of the possibility that a rebellion can occur at the most unexpected of times. Yin spirits are fundamentally different from humans in that they don’t age, they don’t die, they don’t eat or drink, and even their moral compass is completely different from that of the mortal realm. There’s simply no way of telling what they might be upset by… With that, do you still think that the wisp of Oda Nobunaga’s soul is irrelevant right now?”
Qin Ye grew taciturn.
If Oda Nobunaga were here, he wouldn’t even need to rush back to Hell right now. After all, the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven was someone who would even enjoy dealing with this situation like it was a game.
“Let’s deal with this before we continue our discussion.” Qin Ye sighed deeply. He habitually maintained a high and cold persona in Hell. Thus, he took a step forward and asked with a deep voice, “Hellguard?”
“Nascent Anitya Hellguard.” Arthis swept a gaze across the pale faces of the Yin spirits who had all retreated to the safety of the protective barrier around Hell’s Gate, and then she looked at the protective barrier itself that was rippling from the endless barrage of blows, “You’re quite lucky to have about fifty thousand ghostpowers remaining. Approximately one hundred and thirty thousand Yin spirits have responded to the mark of dao. This means that not everyone feels rage and anger towards you - at least, not to the extent of exploding in wrath.”
“... Can I take that as a compliment?”
“Take a guess?” Arthis turned to the roof of Hell’s Gate and bowed slightly, “Lord Ming, prepare to open the formation array.”
As she spoke, Ming Shiyin erupted with a radiant light, causing all of the Yin spirits around to turn and stare in horror. Within moments, the gleaming Sanskrit words that had been protecting them all this while began to darken and fade away.
“W-what’s going on here?” “The protective formation array is about to vanish?” “Oh god! Somebody help us! What’s happening right now?! How could a creature like this suddenly appear?!”
A cacophony of terrified screams and exclamations burgeoned immediately, and several Yin spirits even scrambled to their feet. But, just then, Qin Ye’s voice thundered, “Silence.”
Whoosh! Instantly, the multitude of frightened eyes turned to look upon Qin Ye as though he were their saviour - their only source of hope. He paused for two seconds, and then slowly added, “There are those among you who are discontent. But they’re all unaware that in Hell, as long as their discontentment grows to a particular breaking point, they would lose their minds and irreversibly transform into a Yin marionette.”
“My lord…” An old man was unable to even stand still, and his voice trembled, “They… they…”
“They’re all dead.” Qin Ye responded placidly, “Therefore, I’m going to exterminate the source of our problems right now. Don’t be alarmed. Mr Ming, please open the array.”
Buzz… The domain of the array trembled slightly, and the gleaming Sanskrit words quickly arranged themselves in such a manner that they actually created a sliver of space in the center. Ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka… A second later, the gate opened, and copious amounts of Yin energy, accompanied by the ghostly flames that roamed the sky like fireflies, rushed straight into the domain like a tsunami!
“Sss!” “Ahhh!” As soon as the sliver of space opened up in the protective array, the Yin spirits standing near the entrance to Hell’s Gate immediately gasped and screamed as they backed into the rest of the crowd. Within moments, the crowd of Yin spirits retreated deeper into Hell’s Gate, leaving a wide berth between Qin Ye and the rest of them.
Ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka… The crack grew wider, and the furious nethergale tossed Qin Ye’s hair about. Then, just as the crack spanned five meters in width, a loud roar echoed throughout Hell, and ten pale fingers rested on the crack. A second later, a single golden eye appeared. It was set within a pale white socket, and there were jade-green netherflames blazing all around it. The golden eye peered right through the gap, staring intently at Qin Ye.
It was massive.
Qin Ye was only slightly taller than the eye itself. This was a sight that any regular person would have been scared out of their wits by. Just then, Wrath pulled back slightly, and then unleashed a great roar of fury. Its vicious teeth were pointed straight at Qin Ye, almost as though he had fixed his eyes on the most delectable piece of fresh meat. The fingers resting on the cracks immediately began to tug at it, as though desperately attempting to widen the crack.
The terrifying roar sent a massive shockwave of sound all around. The forest of Southsea Huanghuali shook wildly. Yet Qin Ye simply sneered at Wrath as he dashed forward like a shooting star!
How dare you challenge my authority in Hell! I sentence you to death without mercy!
Whoosh! As he charged forward, copious wisps of Yin energy wrapped itself around his body and enveloped him completely. “By Hell’s dictum, all rabble shall disperse!” With a loud battle cry, he shot out from the other end of the cocoon of Yin energy in the form of an Anitya Hellguard.
A white robe and a matching tall fretwork skullcap. A multitude of wails and moans could be heard echoing eerily from his mourning staff as he shot straight towards Wrath’s head.
Roar!! Wrath responded with the cry of ten thousand Yin spirits. Then, it suddenly transformed into a powerful nethergale that propelled its teeth towards Qin Ye, desperately attempting to bite him.
“I’ll let you taste the power of an Anitya Hellguard… Ah, but then again, given the effectiveness of Emissaries against evil ghosts, I don’t think you’ll last more than three moves on my part.” Qin Ye smiled faintly. Just as Wrath’s teeth began to clamp down on Qin Ye’s body, he, too, transformed into a swift nethergale and appeared above Wrath’s head.
The mourning staff slammed down with a powerful blow, and Wrath’s seemingly rock-hard skull instantly cracked!
Boom! A black shockwave rippled from the point of impact. Ssss!!! Wrath let out a blood-curdling shriek as the cracks on its skull began to spread outwards like a spiderweb. In the next moment, innumerable Yin spirits spewed out of its skull like a fountain which quickly transformed into a vortex of Yin spirits. Wrath roared in agony as it clapped its palms directly above its head.
Bam! It looked almost like a human smacking a mosquito. Qin Ye was so tiny in comparison to the Yin marionette that it looked almost pathetic.
“Ah!” “D-did his excellency get caught?” “Why didn’t his excellency avoid it?!”
Just as the Yin spirits watched in horror as Wrath swiftly wrapped its fingers around Qin Ye and clenched its fist, trapping Qin Ye completely within its palms.
“So that’s all a Yin marionette is capable of, huh…” Qin Ye’s voice remarked calmly, “And here I was, wondering just how fearsome you would be… how dare someone like you think of showing discontentment and disrespect to Hell?!”
This was a show.
A show of strength.
It was intended to remind the Yin spirits that were watching for the umpteenth time to maintain their posture of respect to Hell.
“Have you forgotten who it was who had given you a resting place after your death?”
Ka-ka-ka… Wrath’s golden eyes looked up subconsciously, only to notice that its closed fists had been forcibly opened in an instant.
Sss… sss!! It shrieked with resentment. The bones in its hands trembled from its exertion of force, and the netherfire immolating all around its body flickered wildly. Yet, it wasn’t able to wrap its fist around Qin Ye anymore.
“Have you already forgotten how I’d asked nicely for you to be patient as Hell is rebuilt to its former glory? I’d endured time and again whenever you slacked off and idled about. But it seems that humans… just don’t know contentment.”
“After all, you wouldn’t be asking for the sky and the moon had you known contentment.”
Wrath’s hands exploded, and shards of its bones scattered everywhere in the wake of a miserable scream. Qin Ye didn’t even move his hands. He was still gripping tightly to his mourning staff. Instead, there was simply a thin layer of corporeal Yin energy that had formed around Qin Ye’s body.
Prestige of the Luminary.
A Hellguard’s Prestige of the Luminary.
Qin Ye’s mourning staff was so small next to Wrath’s body that it looked no larger than a needle next to a human being. And yet, the mourning staff had completely pinned Wrath down to the ground so much so that it was unable to move. It screamed and flailed with all its might, but to no avail.
The sight of Qin Ye’s dominance caused all of the Yin spirits to gulp nervously.
Nethergale raged like furious waves crashing into the shores, while ghostly flames flickered across the sky like shooting stars. This looked just like a chaotic scene of the vast reaches of Hell, and yet the focus was clearly on the man that had subdued the gargantuan beast in the foreground. The man stood victoriously over the beast like the lord of Hell.
And he was in fact the lord of Hell.
Yin energy billowed wildly against Qin Ye’s mourning staff. Qin Ye caressed the top of his staff gently, “With me around, those who don’t know contentment… can die.”
A second later, an earth-shattering scream resounded across the four corners of Hell.
The lower end of the mourning staff plunged straight into the skull of the Yin marionette, sending fragments of its bones scattering everywhere. Clatter clatter… The Yin spirits watched with great shock as cracks spread and ran down the Yin marionette’s entire body, growing wider and denser, until… the entire fifty-meter large Yin marionette’s body appeared cracked as a porcelain vase on the brink of shattering!
Crash… Then, with a crisp sound, the Yin marionette’s body crumbled completely, disintegrating into a multitude of ghostly flames that shot straight into Hell’s Gate and into the waiting arms of the menacing sculptures, lighting up candle after candle with eerie green flames. In an instant, Hell’s Gate glowed with a bright green luster.
“Holy cow…” An elderly Yin spirit gasped and leaned close to the tree just behind him. His jaw dropped, and he stood up subconsciously.
He was well aware of what had been going on over the last few days. As more and more Yin spirits found themselves idling about, the discussions of dissent also increased. “Have you seen the one in charge before?” “I have. He’s just a small kid, albeit with a cruel heart.” “Who cares if he’s cruel? We’ve got nothing to do here! No electricity, no internet… is he even trying to occupy our mind here?” “Shh, keep your voice down. Let me tell you something. Do you know how many ghosts he killed in cold blood just before you guys arrived?”
“So what? Do you really think he’s going to kill all of us?” “That’s right! Why doesn’t he just let us get reincarnated if he’s not going to give us anything to do?! Are we to simply pretend to be the loyal subjects in his great kingdom of Qin?” “Let it go… I hear that he’s pretty fearsome.” “Wimp!”
Such discussions of dissent began to spread like wildfire. Nevertheless, the elderly Yin spirit could still vividly remember what happened to the disobedient Yin spirits on the last two occasions.
He gazed numbly as Qin Ye drifted down from the sky. The fountain of Yin spirits were still spewing from the heart of the Yin marionette, and yet Qin Ye simply strode away from the scene like a majestic, towering embodiment of authority.
He was composed and natural. And there was a sense of… unique, hellish elegance about him.
At this very moment, the old man was once again reminded of the terror of being overcome by death.
A second person stood up subconsciously, followed by a third… and then ten… a hundred… a thousand… ten thousand… fifty thousand!
Everyone watched Qin Ye’s strides in complete silence, etching the majestic, domineering sight in their minds.
Qin Ye slowly walked back to where he came from. Wherever he went, the Yin spirits backed away sensibly, leaving a wide berth of over ten meters between them. Even those who hid in the back subconsciously moved back, trembling in fear.
Just then, someone remarked, “Lord Yanluo… is mighty and formidable…”
What a joke. Who says such things in this day and age?
But nobody laughed at it.
Instead, someone else echoed the cry, “Lord Yanluo… is mighty and formidable!”
“His Excellency is mighty and formidable!” “Lord Yanluo is mighty and formidable!” “Lord Qin is mighty and formidable!”
As Qin Ye plodded on, the cries of ‘mighty and formidable’ grew louder and louder, until it became a declaration that resounded in unison throughout all of Hell!
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