Chapter 223: Eye of Damnation (3)

“Hold tight. Don’t get drawn in.” With that, Arthis began to make a series of hand seals rapidly.

Her hands were so quick that it left several afterimages in its wake. The entire room trembled slightly. Then innumerable wisps of Yin energy began to emerge from the heart of the fragment of the Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl, and they began to swirl slowly.

It soon began to shudder lightly, and several seconds later, the sound of a copper coin falling to the ground suddenly echoed in the surroundings.

Clink…

Whoosh! Simultaneously, the swirling storm of energy began to pick up around the fragment of the bowl, causing Arthis’ and Qin Ye’s clothes to flutter wildly. Wisps of Yin energy materialized out of thin air and began to add to the growing storm of energy. Then, seconds later, a scarlet eye opened up at the base of the bowl!

Qin Ye gasped with great surprise. A cloud of dense Yin energy had gathered around the bottom of the bowl, and the eye was right in the center of it. It was red, bloodshot, and appeared to be filled with great resentment as it gazed upon the mortal realm.

Oda Nobunaga? Qin Ye knew who the eye belonged to with just one look.

It was just an eye in a cloud of dense Yin energy, and yet it was overflowing with resentment and coldness. Furthemore, the eye’s coldness wasn’t quite the same as the kind which Qin Ye displayed to those around him. Rather, it was something that was far more chilling, almost as though it saw the lives of human beings as nothing more than the grass on the ground. It was an extreme frigidity borne out of an unyielding spirit that vowed never to rest until he achieved his goals. Qin Ye felt somewhat conflicted in his heart when he saw the eye sweep a gaze past him without stopping at all.

After all, there was only a sliver of difference between a murderous demon and a great hero of his time.

But before Qin Ye could even reel in his surprise… Whoosh! Several other eyes opened on the base of the bowl at the exact same time, each of which took the place of one of the cosmic spots on the bowl. Within an instant, the entire bowl was covered in bloodshot eyes, observing the state of the mortal realm four centuries later with festering resentment and grievances.

Bloody, frigid, avaricious, and resentful. These cold gazes were devoid of a single good and pleasant emotion altogether. It was almost as though they were formed entirely out of a mountain of negative emotions.

Boom!!

Just like a blooming spider lily, a great wave of Yin energy erupted from the fragment of the bowl. The surroundings were instantly filled with the chilling sounds of howls and cries, crackling flames and burning wood, the grisly sound of metal slicing through human flesh, almost as though it were an underworldly sonata.

“Each wisp of Yin energy here represents a single Yin spirit. Take a good look and see how many there are?” Arthis finally spoke up.

So many?

Qin Ye was dumbfounded.

How could it be? Isn’t this bowl only for the Oda family? Where did all of the other Yin spirits come from?

Ignoring Qin Ye’s astonishment, Arthis remained completely unfazed by the menacing wave of Yin energy as she continued, “Actually, it’s quite misleading to say that the Nipponese Warring States were akin to warring villages. After all, each of these so called ‘villages’ commanded a military force of a hundred thousand or so at that time. Cathay aside, a force of such magnitude would already rank among the top in the east at that time. It’s just that I can’t stand the fact that one of their generals, Miyamoto Musashi, is actually more powerful than Lord Zhao Yun.”

That was an abrupt change of the mise-en-scene… Qin Ye paused for three seconds, “You’ve been playing the Three Kingdoms?”

Arthis stared at Qin Ye as though he were asking a rhetorical question, before snorting coldly, “If you think about it, it’s funny that they should call Miyamoto Musashi a sword saint when he’s just a centurion. He didn’t achieve any great conquests in his lifetime, and he was only posthumously conferred the title of sword saint by pop legend. And to think he was even said to be a hundred-men slayer… Even the sword saint Kamiizumi Nobutsuna, founder of the Shinkage-ryu school of combat, did no more than achieve the title of a ten-men killer. How could they hold a candle to the Sixfold Ghost Kings that we have? What a joke.”

“The strongest person during the Nipponese Warring States period should have been none other than Honda Tadakatsu, also known as Honda Heihachiro. He has never been wounded once across the dozens of battles he had been part of in his lifetime. That’s what I call a talent. Unfortunately, we were unable to seize his soul back to Hell despite mobilizing several high-ranking darkfeathers at that time… Right now, each wisp of Yin energy that you see…” Her eyes gleamed brightly, and she licked her lips, “Each one of them… is stronger than the vaunted Miyamoto Musashi!”

Qin Ye’s eyes brightened. In other words, I wouldn’t merely be seizing the souls of Oda Nobunaga and his immediate family if I obtain the Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl, because he would come together with at least a dozen other high-ranking warriors of his time?

“This is…”

“Bodyguards.” Arthis responded, “A Nipponese daimyo would have at least one personal bodyguard. In today’s terms, it would be the equivalent of the Nipponese special forces. These are the elites of the elite, handpicked only from the ranks of thousands upon thousands of soldiers. And the only reason why they aren’t well known is because their role is to protect the safety of their daimyo, and none of them participated in the battles at all.”

“In fact, I was part of the team of darkfeathers dispatched to seize the soul of Oda Nobunaga back then, and I do recall crossing swords with his bodyguards on several occasions. I must say that all of them are fairly impressive.”

Just then, the Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl trembled, and a wisp of Yin energy far stronger than the rest suddenly rose up from the bowl.

The Yin energy in the room began to dance wildly in an instant, as though celebrating the arriving of their king. The wisps of Yin energy flailed about wildly like dark tentacles, while the lights in the entire building fizzled out in an instant.

“Here it comes.” Arthis remained placid, but she allowed the wisps of Yin energy around her own body to flourish menacingly as well, “Oda Nobunaga… what a nostalgic name…”

Boom!

The Yin energy converged into one, and a life-size figure of a human being appeared in the room.

But it wasn’t a human… Rather, it was a life-size set of armor worn by ancient Nipponese warriors.

Just like what was depicted in the various movies and animes, the helmet had the face of an oni, together with fierce, protruding fangs that looked just like a sabertooth tiger. The rest of the armor was covered in pure black metallic plates. The wisps of Yin energy that were flailing around earlier immediately rushed into the set of armor as soon as it appeared, where they transformed into a jade-green netherfire that began to blaze from the inside.

It looked real, and yet illusory at the same time. It appeared distant, and yet it felt close to them.

Whoosh… The Yin energy in the room rushed into the armor in an instant, and two spots of red flames peeked out from the armor, right where its eyes would be. The entire room was now devoid of Yin energy and filled instead with a deathly silence and a striking chill.

It was almost as though they had stepped into an abyss of ice, surrounded by desolate lands that were filled with miserable, pale bones. The atmosphere was incredibly stifling and oppressive.

Advanced Anitya Hellguard… Qin Ye gasped. He’s only one step short of becoming an Infernal Judge… his abilities are definitely higher than mine! But I suppose that stands to reason. After all, he was one of the most famous daimyos of his time - a man who was only one step away from unifying the entire nation. Someone like that… can I truly make him a subordinate of mine and take him under my wing?

Arthis slowly approached the armor without a single expression on her face. She carried herself with the air of dignity like a great noblewoman as she spoke, “Oda Nobunaga… open your eyes and take a look. Do you still remember who I am?”

No response.

Everything was silent as it had always been, and yet a great, haunting tension filled the air. Three seconds later, a startling roar shattered the silence!

ROARRR!!!

The netherflames from the set of armor immediately erupted to a height of three meters! And then, a middle-aged man’s distorted face appeared in the heart of the flames.

“Grudge, grudge, grudge! Hate… hate, hate, hate! So much hate! So much HATE!!!”

“Only a step away… only a step away!”

“Why… why did Akechi Mitsuhide betray me?! I can’t die… I’ve got great ambitions! My ambitions remain unfulfilled!”

Whoosh… The netherflames flickered wildly, and the jade-green face in the heart of the flames grew hideous and distorted as it gnashed its teeth and roared with great hatred. Even Qin Ye could feel the palpable resentment emanating from the core of its soul.

This was an evil ghost through and through. It was on a completely different level from the ghosts he had encountered back during the incident with That Amorous Affair or Li Jiankang.

It was a qualitative difference.

AHHHHHHH!!!” As he roared, countless illusory silhouettes appeared to shake behind him, almost as though they were singing praises to their own king. Arthis nodded, “As expected, you haven’t fully awakened yet… But still, you’re a general. Don’t make yourself look so ugly.”

With that, Oda Nobunaga’s wail finally stopped. He appeared as if he had just discovered the presence of two outsiders around him. His neck craned over stiffly, and the clumps of red flames stared intently at Arthis, before the armor promptly unleashed a blood-curdling shriek, “AAAAAHHHH!!!”

Fortunately, Arthis had already set up a formation array to seal off Qin Ye’s room. But, even then, the doors and windows to his room began to rattle loudly, as though a massive hurricane had just picked up. With the fragment of the Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl in the center, the beddings, blanket, books and other belongings in the room were instantly scattered several meters away, clanging and clattering against the walls.

Even Qin Ye was forced back two meters by this great roar.

“Holy shit…” Qin Ye put his arms up defensively in the shape of an X, exclaiming as though he had just seen a ghost.

This… isn’t he too powerful?

I mean… we’re both Hellguards, so why does he seem to be on a completely different level from me?

Arthis didn’t move a muscle. There was even a faint smile on her face. One moment later, her silicone neck suddenly extended from her body like a snake and swooped over towards Oda Nobunaga. The three thousand wisps of greenish Yin energy flourished menacingly as she did so.

They were now face to face, no more than half a meter apart from the other.

In the next instant, Arthis’ jaws suddenly opened up a meter wide! Her hair began to dance like venomous vipers, while copious amounts of Yin energy poured out of her seven apertures. Then, she unleashed an even more terrifying roar than Oda Nobunaga!

“YYYAAAAAAAAARRRGGHHHHH!!!”

Boom!!

With a thunderous bang far louder than before, Qin Ye found himself blown back so hard that he slammed against the wall. Everything within a small radius around the fragment of Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl was instantly reduced to dust! Her roar was several times more powerful than Oda Nobunaga!

This was the exchange between evil ghosts.

There were no platitudes nor beating about the bush. It was a straightforward conversation - I’m stronger than you. Shut up.

It was evident that the Queen of the Witches was stronger than the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven.

Oda Nobunaga also appeared stunned - No… wasn’t my comeback supposed to be the stuff of legends, sweeping through Nippon like an invisible force until I conquered the entire lands? Did I… get the wrong script?

Would I still be able to have a good time? C-can’t you give me a way out of this bind?

Arthis’ display of might had single handedly undermined the momentum of Oda Nobunaga’s massive buildup. The Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl shook vigorously, and then dropped to the ground with a soft clatter. Nobunaga’s spiritual projection vanished in an instant, as though it had never been there a moment ago.

You’re strong. I can’t afford to offend you, so farewell.

Qin Ye blinked vacantly and approached the bowl slowly. And then, he poked the bowl, immediately retreated to the corner of the room and buried his head in his hands. Three seconds later, he cautiously set down his arms and took another peek at the bowl.

No reaction.

Arthis was infuriated. A future Yanluo who hardly acts the part… how unbelievable irksome!

“Stand tall! To think a mere Oda Nobunaga scares you that much?! How are you going to face Izanami’s army of undead in future?!”

Qin Ye was startled, “What are you talking about? Since when was I supposed to face Izanami’s army? Besides, what happened to the scourge living in Northrend?!”

“Their base has already been flattened by a bunch of footmen… Hang on, why do I have to answer your insipid questions anyway?!” Arthis exploded with rage and gnashed her teeth, “Remember the fifth and most important point.”

“Have you ever thought about who your opponents truly are this time?”

“Oda Nobunaga? Kamo no Tadayuki? It’s neither of the above…” She drew a deep breath, “Or perhaps I should say, it’s not just them.”

“There’s also the Queen of Yomi, the Nipponese goddess of the dead, Izanami, and the countless emissaries under her command!”

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