Tap, tap, tap… Oda Nobunaga’s black guards and red guards galloped across the surface of the waters. As they ran, the bamboo frame covered with cloth over their backs slowly opened up like a butterfly spreading its wings. They dragged their long spears across the surface of the waters in a ferocious stance. Oda Nobunaga led the charge, while the rest of his Umamawari horse guards followed closely behind. Approximately one thousand meters ahead of him, Azai Nagamaza’s snow-white armor glistened like a bright moon in the moonless night sky, surrounded by three thousand soldiers from Izanami’s personal army.
Neither faction took a single step back. This was the culmination of four hundred years of hatred and longing - a festering hatred for the murder of his children, as well as the desire for vengeance for the unforgivable act of betrayal. Yet, above all, Oda Nobunaga desired to declare to Nippon the return of the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven with a great massacre.
Meantime, Honda Tadakatsu also drew closer and closer, leading the charge valiantly with his own soldiers. The two forces that were already squaring off against each other tacitly granted passage to Honda Tadakatsu. Without even taking a second look at the other forces around, Honda Tadakatsu whistled loudly and dragged the Dragonfly Cutter across the surface of the waters as he charged past the Umamawari horse guards, straight for the cruise liner ahead of him.
Azai Nagamasa only had Oda Nobunaga in his sights. As soon as Honda Tadakatsu charged past Oda Nobunaga’s forces, the paper airplanes in the sky quickly dove down and flew close to the surface of the seas. Izanami’s personal forces were finally making their move.
Yin energy erupted from their bodies and filled the sky in an instant. They drew their swords and charged in formation without any thought of backing down from the fearsome forces of the Umamawari horse guards that had trampled across Nippon back in the days of the Warring States era. Three hundred meters… two hundred meters… one hundred meters… Both sides were now charging at each other at top speed. And then, with an earth-shattering crash, both factions finally clashed against each other.
Neither faction was willing to give even an inch to the other. The mighty slashes of their katanas clashed powerfully against the unrelenting thrusts of the formation of spears. Izanami’s personal forces were clashing directly against the undefeated Umamawari horse guards. Within moments, Yin energy scattered everywhere and filled the surface of the seas, and the battlefield where thousands of Yin spirits clashed appeared no different from a living hell.
It was impossible to see what was happening in the heart of the battlefield. The terrifying cloud of Yin energy swirled menacingly like a massive whirlpool, while countless jade-green netherflames hovered about eerily. Their explosive clash of abilities scattered copious amounts of seawater into the surroundings like a torrential downpour that came down from all directions. From time to time, one would be able to spot a Yin spirit screaming as they drifted into the skies, before transforming into wisps of Yin energy that quickly dissipated into the surroundings. Qin Ye withdrew his gaze from the battlefield and gritted his teeth. Then, he turned his gaze to the single horseback rider that was charging straight towards him.
All of Honda Tadakatsu’s forces had already been drawn into the sea of battle with Oda Nobunaga’s forces. However, Honda Tadakatsu clearly didn’t mind that fact. He was a man that was filled with extreme confidence in his own abilities. Thus, he had already intended to personally take down his opponent right from the onset.
An indomitable aura flourished about him silently. The formless manifestation of his self-confidence was so stifling that it even caused Qin Ye’s breaths to grow ragged.
Five hundred meters… three hundred meters… one hundred meters! Despite being in his Hell’s Emissary state, Qin Ye's forehead was percolating with cold sweat. His eyes flickered with great uneasiness. Just then, Ming Shiyin blurted softly, “There’s no need to look around. There’s no path for retreat.”
“... Are there any other options available to us?”
“There’s none. I’ve already resorted to the ace up my sleeves that was the display of Justice Bao’s authority, and I’m afraid there’s nothing more I can do. Furthermore… this isn’t an opponent that I can deal with.” Ming Shiyin explained succinctly, “I’ve already sent a message to Arti several hours ago to request for her assistance. She should be arriving within an hour at the very latest! You’ve got to hang in there. You absolutely have to hang in there!”
The murderous intent was overbearing, and it bore down with increasing oppressiveness on Qin Ye as Honda Tadakatsu drew closer. Then, as soon as they locked eyes, Honda Tadakatsu’s murderous aura exploded with great intensity. Cold sweat rolled off Qin Ye’s forehead as he picked up Ming Shiyin and stuffed it in front of his chest to prevent any mishaps.
What do I do… what do I do?!
I’ve never encountered an evil ghost with such immense fighting spirit and terrifying abilities! And this isn’t even a Cathayan evil ghost, so there’s no relying on the natural suppressive effect that Emissaries of Hell have over Cathayan Yin spirits! And we’re talking about a man who was a legendary existence back while he was still alive… I’m finished… He’s going to whittle me down into a human bone carving!
Almost as though he could sense Qin Ye’s uneasiness, Honda Tadakatsu revealed a cold smirk under his helmet. And then, in the instant that he arrived right next to the cruise ship, his war horse stopped abruptly with a long neigh, and he swung his spear in the direction of the cruise liner with great ferocity!
Qin Ye watched with horror as the waters in front of Honda Tadakatsu rose ten meters into the air, while an immense blast of wind caused the entire cruise liner to shake violently. Even Qin Ye couldn’t help but stagger back several steps as the windforce slammed straight into him.
Bloody hell… what inhumane strength is this?!
Is this truly an opponent I can stand toe to toe against?!
“Gotcha.” The curtain of waters that had risen into the sky fell back down like shattered glass, promptly revealing Honda Tadakatsu’s intimidating figure. Qin Ye gasped in horror and took a step forward valiantly, and then he yelled, “Mighty warrior, please stay your hand!”
Honda Tadakatsu leapt gracefully off his horse like a roc spreading its wings, and promptly landed on the cruise liner with a loud crash. He was now no more than ten meters away from Qin Ye, and he pointed his six-meter long Dragonfly Cutter straight towards Qin Ye’s throat, “Oh? Do you have any last words?”
It was only when Honda Tadakatsu was right in front of him that Qin Ye finally understood what a truly overbearing aura was.
It was a presence that was built on the foundation of the souls of thousands of slain soldiers and forged from his pristine track record of being completely unharmed through dozens of conquests and battles. His arrival appeared to cause the air about him to freeze completely. The tip of his spear was still four meters away from Qin Ye’s throat, and yet it felt… as though it would pierce his neck in the very next instant.
Qin Ye had never expected to be personally involved in the battle like this! Dojin, Jingo! Where the hell are you guys?!
I’ll admit that I’m afraid… Qin Ye drew a deep breath. His eyes flickered wildly, and yet the words that came right out of his mouth were simply astonishing, “Mighty general, have you ever considered pledging allegiance to the Cathayan Hell? All it takes is a simple nod of the head from you, and I’ll immediately report this back to Hell, and have them confer upon you the title of Great General!”
Ming Shiyin stared at Qin Ye as though it had just seen a ghost - Why… This appears to be a scene of a future Yanluo conversing with his opponent in the midst of a hot-blooded duel, so why do I feel like tearing him to shreds and ripping him limb from limb?
I mean… You’re confronting a mighty Nipponese era, and the first thing you think of is not to fight for Cathay’s honour, but to recruit him to our forces?
You’re truly worthy of being called the most wimpy future Yanluo in the history of Hell…
In fact, Qin Ye’s words even stunned Honda Tadakatsu.
This… seems to be different from how I’d imagined things to pan out…
Credit where it was due, it had to be said that Qin Ye’s was a master of pretension. After all, he didn’t even back down when they locked eyes with each other during Honda Tadakatsu’s imposing approach. Qin Ye had presented himself as a mighty, unassailable force to behold - one that carried the weight of Hell’s great authority with him. They were both Hellguards, so Honda Tadakatsu had naturally expected Qin Ye to fight back against him. Yet, who could have expected the first salvo fired by Qin Ye to be that of a sugar-coated bullet?
Yet, Qin Ye’s words appeared to be met with Honda Tadakatsu’s silence. Qin Ye’s heart sank, and he promptly added, “General Tadakatsu, you should be well aware of the majesty of Hell. Why do you settle for being a mere digit within Yomi-no-Kuni? Hell has never put shackles and restraints on talents like you. The conferment of a title as Great General is only the beginning of your journey in Hell. From there, you’ll have the privilege of personal tutelage from Abyssal Prefects, and possibly even Yama-Kings. Furthermore, there will be an abundant stream of supplies for you to take your pick from!”
“Most importantly, the number of Yin spirits in Hell are well in the billions! That naturally implies various ways and means for you to rise to the top. What prospects are there for you in a place as small and limited as Nippon? At best, you might only be in charge of a mere county. But Hell is different! As long as you agree to join us, the prospects of being appointed a provincial governor isn’t out of the question! And if we look further down the horizon, it won’t be long before a great talent like yourself takes on the role of a CEO and marries a rich and beautiful wife. You’ll be waltzing straight into the next pinnacle of your life!”
Qin Ye made his pitch in the quickest and most succinct manner possible. His heart pounded wildly against the walls of his chest as he stared intently at Honda Tadakatsu.
Honda Tadakatsu finally showed signs of relenting.
The pulses of netherflames in his eyes were finally slowing down. To Qin Ye’s mind, that was a telltale sign of having successfully pacified his stirring emotions. And then, Honda Tadakatsu suddenly chuckled, “Well said.”
Qin Ye heaved a sigh of relief, “Then…”
“However.” Honda Tadakatsu promptly interjected with a voice that carried a chilling intent, “I can sense that you’ve got something in your possession that can make me the lord of Nippon - even Izanami would be under my command. I can be the master of my own kingdom, so why would I settle for being a mere general?”
As soon as he finished speaking, he instantly thrusted out with his spear, aimed directly for Qin Ye’s throat.
Most people who charged into a battlefield with a roaring aura and a blazing passion, only to have everything doused by a surprise attack of cold water from his opponent, would naturally be unable to stir the intent to do battle in their heart in an instant. However, this wasn’t the case for Honda Tadakatsu.
His thrust was so quick that it left an afterimage in the air. Qin Ye sensed death’s approach, and he instinctively dodged the attack.
Yet, he wasn’t given any room to launch any counterattacks.
Qin Ye instantly felt his opponent’s dense, murderous intent bearing down at him from all directions, and his eyes were instantly locked on the thrust of the spear. Then, as soon as he moved back from the deadly attack, his spirit streamer unraveled itself and blocked the thrust of the spear.
A split second later, he felt a warm trickle running down his neck. He raised his hand and touched his neck with great disbelief, and he winced in pain. His entire palm was stained with a crimson red colour. It was only then that he realized that the windforce from the thrust of his opponent’s spear had been so sharp that it had sliced cleanly through his protective Prestige of the Luminary and cut a deep 5-cm laceration across the side of his neck.
But Qin Ye wasn’t given the time to catch his breath at all. The spear continued to flicker at him like the dance of a dragon, while the air around him crackled and sputtered, as though it had been sliced apart from Honda Tadakatsu’s devastating thrusts. In that instant, Qin Ye felt as though the Dragonfly Cutter was coming at him from everywhere, and he couldn’t wrap his mind around how a six-meter spear could be manipulated with such flexibility and speed.
Clink, clink, clink… The Prestige of the Luminary was completely useless against Honda Tadakatsu’s attack, and Qin Ye could only grit his teeth and hang on for dear life with the aid of his spirit streamer in hand. Counterattack was completely out of the question right now. The force behind each thrust of the spear was incredibly heavy, and he felt no different from a tiny leaf being tossed about helplessly in a great storm. It felt as if the wick of life in him could go out at any moment.
“Mighty warrior… stay your hand! There’s room for negotiation!!” Qin Ye cowered behind his spirit banner and yelled at the top of his voice. Simultaneously, Ming Shiyin smacked him hard on his chest underneath his clothes, “You… aren’t going to…”
“Shut up!” Qin Ye’s voice trembled, “What else can we possibly do right now?”
As they spoke, Honda Tadakatsu’s attacks continued to pelt down heavily on the spirit streamer like a torrential downpour on a feeble umbrella. His attacks were powerful and unrelenting. In fact, his attacks were backed by such great determination that it felt as though Honda Tadakatsu were intent on boring a hole straight through Mount Tai itself!
“Yin energy can still be used as usual…” Ming Shiyin gritted its teeth.
Boom!! There was a deafening bang, yet Qin Ye didn’t even dare to peer out from under the shelter of the spirit streamer to take a closer look on what was going on outside. Honda Tadakatsu’s attacks were so ferocious that they even appeared to generate a domain of destruction around him, and Qin Ye felt no different from being trapped within the eye of a great storm. And then, Qin Ye bellowed at the top of his voice, promptly cutting off Ming Shiyin altogether, “Stop! I’ll give you what you want!!”
AHHH!!! Are you really going to do this... Ming Shiyin’s eyes were glazed over - But… why does it feel like there’s more than meets the eye to this…
The flurry of spear thrusts stopped abruptly. Qin Ye cautiously peeked out from behind his spirit streamer, before promptly shrinking back once more. Then, he cleared his throat, “We’ll go our separate ways as soon as I hand it over to you. But… I’ll have to report this matter to Hell, and you’ll definitely be hunted down by Hell to the ends of the earth. Are you sure you want me to do this?”
Honda Tadakatsu threw his head back and laughed uproariously. The closer he got, the more he was certain that the artifact he was looking for was nearby. Furthermore, he could tell with the utmost certainty that the artifact in Qin Ye’s possession was no less powerful than the Book of Life and Death!
As soon as I get my hands on it… then surpassing Izanami would only be a matter of time! I’ll escape to Daehan or perhaps Malaya and begin to consolidate my own forces. I’d like to see how Izanami’s going to come looking for me at that time!
But which darkfeather could possibly stand toe to toe against Honda Tadakatsu?
“With just you and what force?” He chuckled and glanced down at Qin Ye with a cold voice, “I’ll give you a minute. Hand it over, and I’ll consider letting you off the hook. But if you even come so close as to trying any tricks with me, then… don’t blame me for turning these seas into your burial place!”
“Are you seriously going to hand it over?!” Ming Shiyin went mad - He’s reaching in… Qin-world’s-most-shameless-Yanluo-Ye has just reached into his robe for the divine artifact!
How dare you?! Seriously, how dare you?!
A Yanluo is about to sell out the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal?! What shamelessness is this?! What audacity!!
Just then, and to Ming Shiyin’s great disbelief, it watched in horror as Qin Ye’s hand slipped past the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal, grabbed hold of it - the Mirror of Eminence - and promptly sent it flying over to Honda Tadakatsu.
He actually sent me over…
To think that the Mirror of Eminence would be offered up as a gift to a Nipponese Yin spirit… Ming Shiyin felt a confluence of humiliation and fury blast through the roof. Then, just as the surface of the mirror began to gleam brightly, it suddenly recalled Qin Ye’s earlier words.
“What else can we possibly do right now?”
It was a curt and simple statement. Yet in that instant, as it slid over the long spear and landed right in Honda Tadakatsu’s hand, a great realization suddenly dawned upon Ming Shiyin...Previous Chapter Next Chapter