The Strait of Tsushima was filled with silence.
Everything appeared to be taking place in slow motion. Azai Nagamasa’s pupils narrowed immediately. The daimyos dressed in great armor on board the ironclad warship opened their eyes abruptly, revealing a pair of blazing netherflames. In fact… there were even some daimyos who subconsciously shrank back in fear.
This was because immeasurable spots of netherflames were converging from every single direction, not just from the Strait of Tsushima, but even from the coasts of Daehan and Nippon. Countless ordinary civilians looked up in horror at this very instant, wondering what was going on with what appeared to be a massive swarm of fireflies in the sky.
Even the Yin energy detectors located in East Cathay, including Eastsea and Yan Capital, blared with great alarm.
“What’s going on?!” “Is a Yin spirit riot taking place out at sea? What’s the location?” “We can’t pinpoint its exact location… the closest satellite isn’t able to shed any light on this!” “What the hell is going on right now?!”
Elsewhere, in a villa located in one of the three provinces in Northeast Cathay, an old man dressed in a long, luxurious robe suddenly rose from his bed like a Jiangshi and cried out with a heart-rending scream as his entire body dissolved into Yin energy.
“Justice Bao… It’s Justice Bao! Justice Bao has returned!!! Hell is stirring once more!”
“Men… escort me away… escort me away right now!! He’s coming for me… he’s coming for me! The armies of hell are moving again!”
Whoosh… Regardless of location - whether Daehan, Nippon or the coasts of Cathay - every single one of the Yin spirits residing in the comfort of their hunting zones and predatory zones in the vicinity, immediately scrambled to find a place to hide. Even Incarnate Revenants were no exception to this!
Yama rises, all ghosts shall retreat!
“This…” Back in the Strait of Tsushima, Azai Nagamasa paused for several moments, before finally exclaiming with great horror, “This eruption of Yin energy… is actually mightier than Lady Izanami?!”
“Does this mean that… Hell… has finally opened its gates?!”
Hell. This was an underworld that had towered over all other underworlds in the East for the last three thousand years!
This was an existence that had caused the underworlds of the West to look to the East with great reverence and awe.
One could even say that if not for the existence of Hell, the underworlds of the West would already have run over the East, subjugating them and turning them into tributaries to enrich their own underworlds. After all, how many underworlds were there out there that had managed to withstand the test of time?
Whizz… Innumerable spots of netherflames swirled around the cruise ship in an instant. And then… the seawater parted, leaving a huge berth of approximately one thousand meters in radius between the cruise liner and the waters around it. And, just like that, the cruise liner remained suspended above the waters in mid-air.
“Ahhh!!” “No! Don’t… I won’t do it anymore! I’ll swear never to do it ever again!” “Spare me… please spare my life!!”
Countless miserable screams echoed from the massive hole in the waters. A towering mountain of blades had appeared, replete with innumerable gleaming blades that hovered about as they patrolled the mountain. Flaming meteors rained down around it. There was also a gathering of evildoers whose bodies were being ground away on a mill, or whose hearts and innards were being viciously carved right out of their bodies. Ox-Head, Horse-Face, as well as the Anitya Hellguards of the Black and White were standing guard motionlessly and emotionlessly to the side. No matter how much the sinners cried out in anguish, they could never escape the punishment that they were sentenced to.
Boundless Yin energy poured into the massive hole in the waters, and the dense fog of Yin energy grew larger, and larger, until the roiling fog obscured everything from sight. And that was when the entire surface of the sea began to undulate wildly.
This was a tsunami that was far greater in magnitude than the one initially summoned by Azai Nagamasa’s forces! Stirred by the vast, majestic cloud of Yin energy, the tsunami began to build on the surface of the seas.
“My… god…” Back on the Strait of Tsushima, several daimyos couldn’t help but gasp in horror as they stared at the vigorous undulations of the surface of the seas. It was clear that a massive wave was just looming over the horizon. Then, with a great cry, they instantly transformed into gales of Yin energy and retreated back into the heart of Nippon.
They weren’t afraid of natural disasters like a tsunami. Rather, what they feared was the source of it all - the unparalleled source of Yin energy that seemed to stir up a great tsunami with ease. Resistance was completely out of the question to them.
Back in the cargo hold. Ming Shiyin emitted a series of clacking sounds as boundless Yin energy converged upon the surface of the mirror. At this moment, the point of singularity on the surface of the mirror had already begun to transform into an illusory image.
Even though the point of singularity was no larger than the size of a pixel, the illusory image seemed to exude a heaven-defying majesty, almost as though worship and reverence were a natural byproduct of its appearance.
The image of the godly existence exuded irresistible grace and a boundless might and authority that filled the oceans.
Nearly there… nearly there… Ming Shiyin could sense that the Yin energy had reached the level of extremities. Then, a split second later, the white pixel of singularity on the surface of the mirror exploded with an earth-shattering bang, and an endless tide of Yin energy swept in every direction around it.
A ripple finally swept out from the surface of the waters. It didn’t appear large at first, but as it expanded, it rode and built on the waves on the surface of the waters, rising and falling with ever increasing amplitudes, until seconds later, it formed a mega-tsunami that was a hundred meters tall!
Azai Nagamasa was completely dumbfounded, and he couldn’t quite wrap his mind around the current situation - What the hell is going on?! How did they do this? What unspeakable force have I just come across?
He could see that the cruise liner was the epicenter of the great explosion because there was a towering mushroom cloud of dense Yin energy spreading from the cruise liner, almost as though a nuclear bomb had detonated on the cruise liner itself.
Meanwhile, all of the daimyos who were standing around him moments ago had already scrambled to a quick retreat. Azai Nagamasa wasn’t aware of which daimyo it was who had made the first move to retreat. However, the initial motion to retreat immediately triggered the terrified cries of the other daimyos, followed quickly by their transformation to streams of nethergale that scattered in an instant.
Run! Get out of here! Death awaits us if we approach that terrifying thing!
Just like that, the ironclad warship was instantly filled with shrill shrieks, followed quickly by the soft whistle of their great escape. One stream of nethergale… two streams of nethergale… ten streams of nethergale… twenty streams of nethergale… thirty streams of nethergale! The Hellguards had all scrambled to retreat at the moment’s notice. Just then, a voice softly rang out in the ears of Azai Nagamasa, “Azai-kun, what are we still waiting for?”
Azai Nagamasa instantly snapped back to his senses and glanced at the empty spaces left behind by the dozens of Hellguards that had fled for their lives. Right now, there was only a single Yin spirit remaining - a man dressed in a crimson red armor with antler horns was still standing on the mast of the ship.
“It’ll be too late if we don’t leave now…” Two spots of fiery pupils lit up from the shadows of the man’s helmet, and he gazed into the distance where the great explosion of Yin energy had taken place, “Something like that… isn’t a force we can resist. I’m taking my leave.”
Azai Nagamasa gnashed his teeth with great resentment - Damn it… DAMN IT!
What happened to Thundergod, Viper and Red Demon? What have they done? How did something like this happen?
Oda Nobunaga’s soul was right under his nose. The Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl was already within his reach… and yet he just couldn’t get his hands on it!
With great resentment in his heart, his body began to transform into wisps of Yin energy. But, just then, he abruptly looked up and did a double take at the cruise liner.
Simultaneously, the man dressed in the crimson red armor was also mid-way through his preparation to retreat when he suddenly looked up at the exact same time. His blazing pupils flickered wildly.
“He’s here… He’s finally here!!” The wisps of Yin energy around Azai Nagamasa’s body vanished in an instant, and he threw his head back and bellowed at the skies, “He’s out… He’s finally out!! I can smell the damn stench of his corpse from a mile away!”
The man in the antler-horned red armor grew taciturn, and he discreetly placed his palm over his chest. Azai Nagamasa’s reaction was so great that he failed to notice the discreet actions of the man on the mast. Otherwise, he would most certainly have noticed the existence of a flickering, dark light emanating from the man’s chest.
It was a source of Yin energy.
That said, the Yin energy emanating from this source was of far greater quality than the Yin energy emanating from either of their bodies!
Simultaneously, Qin Ye glanced at his own chest with great astonishment. He could sense that the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal in his possession was suddenly dancing wildly.
This was a phenomenon that only occurred when a divine artifact encountered another divine artifact.
One divine artifact was alerting the other to its presence.
The Book of Life and Death was currently summoning the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal!
Back on the ironclad warship. The Yin spirit standing on the mast gently lowered his hand. His eyes were now fixed on the terrifying shockwave of Yin energy and tsunami that was quickly approaching them. It was at best a kilometer or two away, and he could even vaguely make out the image of a massive whale riding the tsunami.
In other words, not even the overlords of the sea were able to resist being drawn into the tsunami. One could only imagine the kind of devastation when the tsunami finally came crashing down.
There were no other ghosts left on the ironclad warship. None dared to take any chances with Yama’s great display of might. That said… the man in the antler-horned red armor leapt over to the bow of the ship, slamming down heavily with an earth-shattering roar!
The surrounding waters immediately stirred and rose into the air. Then, he whistled loudly, before jumping straight towards the waters.
“Heihachiro… Heihachiro!!!” Azai Nagamasa bellowed furiously, “I command you to act as my vanguard. Once my troops arrive we charge at him and take his life!”
“Scram.” Heihachiro reached up to the sky, and a massive spear shot down into his hand like a bolt of lightning out of the blue. Then, just as he was about to land in the sea, a two meter-tall skeletal horse leapt out of the sea with a loud neigh, and Heihachiro landed steadily on its back.
Whoosh! Heihachiro dragged his spear across the waters, seemingly cleaving a path through the surface of the waters as the skeletal horse charged forward. Within seconds, another figure leapt out of the waters behind him… followed by another… and then ten… and then a hundred… until finally, there were three hundred figures riding behind him in the exact same fashion, wearing a similar crimson armor, wielding a similar spear in their arms, and mounted on similar skeletal horses. The rampaging charge of the skeletal horses generated a large wave that followed after them. Together, they were engulfed in a great plume of Yin energy that bore down with a suffocating, murderous intent as they charged straight for the cruise liner.
“Honda Tadakatsu!!” Azai Nagamasa’s body crackled as the surrounding netherflames rushed straight into his white great armor, “How dare you disobey Lady Izanami’s orders?”
“How dare you disobey the orders of the commander-in-chief?!”
“Do you really think I won’t kill you just because you’re the number one samurai in all of Nippon?!”
“Just you and which army?” Honda Tadakatsu sneered as he continued to stare transfixed at the cruise liner ahead of him, “I can sense it… you’re on the ship… and you… must also be waiting for me, aren’t you?”
“Even if you’re looking for a clean retreat, I, Honda Heihachiro, will not let you have as you please. Only one of us is getting out of this Strait alive today.”
With that, three hundred Yin spirits mounted on three hundred skeletal horses charged over the waters as though they were galloping on land. Their target? The cruise liner. And as they charged forward, wisps of white energy that was completely different from the usual black Yin energy began to flow out from Honda Tadakatsu’s chest area. Then, several seconds later, a fleshly body appeared underneath the otherwise empty armor!
And as soon as his fleshly body appeared, the wisps of white energy began to form a barrier that quickly blotted out every bit of Yin energy that was rushing at him.
Book of Life and Death - reversal of Yin and Yang.
Back on the ironclad warship, Azai Nagamasa stared at the sight with great astonishment. How could he possibly be unaware that Honda Tadakatsu had regained his fleshly body? However… he knew that now wasn’t the time to be worrying about these things!
This was because he could already smell the stench of burning and charring emanating from the heart of the cruise ship. This was the stench of Honnoji. He could even imagine how Oda Nobunaga, Murai Sadakatsu and Mori Ranmaru must be staring at him right now.
It would be a ferocious gaze filled with bloodthirstiness and a palpable, murderous intent. In fact, the tension in the air was so high that he could even hear the faint, illusory clashing of blades between them.
So… how could he possibly fail to reciprocate these feelings of theirs?
Kill him… and that would finally end this four centuries long nightmare of mine.
The shockwave of Yin energy was only a thousand meters away from him right now, yet he completely turned a blind eye to it. Instead, he shut his eyes and drew a deep breath. When he next opened his eyes again, a horn had already appeared in his hands. He promptly blew into the horn with all his might, and instantly, thousands of shadows rose into the sky from the small island nearby.
More accurately speaking, these were thousands of two-meter sized paper airplanes.
These dark silhouettes hovered over the island like a ravenous flock of crows.
There was a black skeleton mounted on top of each paper airplane. Yet these appeared somewhat different from the Yin spirits of the Nipponese Warring States era. The black skeletons wore white robes and black hats, just like those worn by the Hellguards of the Cathayan underworld. Their bodies were immolating with jade-green flames, and their bodies appeared to be linked to each other by innumerable chains to form a great web of menacing Yin spirits. Yet most striking of all was the fact that there was a ukiyo-e painting of a Nipponese lady on their robes, where their chests were.
If one were to describe the previous Yin spirits as the Yin soldiers under the charge of each daimyo of the Nipponese Warring States era, then these Yin spirits would be none other than Izanami’s army. Broadly speaking, they were also a part of the armies of Yomi-no-Kuni. But if one were to be more specific, these Yin spirits could indubitably be considered part of Lady Izanami’s personal forces!
In other words, this was the greatest trump card hidden up Azai Nagamasa’s sleeves.
“I already knew that the daimyos are largely unreliable. After all… I’m a daimyo as well.” The netherflames around began to converge in Azai Nagamasa’s palms, transforming into a green set of reins. Then, with a long whistle and a great shake of the reins, a three-meter tall skeletal horse with a single horn on its head instantly materialized beneath him.
Whoosh! He raised the banner of the Azai Clan in the air and gazed intently at the tide of Yin energy rushing towards him. Then, he donned his battle mask and rushed straight forward with wanton disregard!
Whizzz!!! As he charged forward, the thousands of paper airplanes bearing Izanami’s personal forces also rushed into the air, following closely behind him.
“Kill… kill them all!!!” Azai Nagamasa bellowed with spite that had festered for over four hundred years. His pupils blazed with a menacing, scarlet netherflame, “We ride behind Honda Tadakatsu! Onwards, for Izanami-sama!!!”
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