Which one of them hadn’t once participated in a meeting back in the mortal realm?
Which one of them didn’t know the hollow words and empty talk that filled such governmental speeches?
Everyone knew that most inspection ceremonies and opening speeches were nothing more than formalities. When the Ministry of Education visits a school on their usual rounds of inspection, even the questions asked by students are matters that are already pre-arranged. Likewise, the inspection of factories will see a similar facade of pretension that undergirded the interaction between the government and the people. Everyone was tired of these formalities and insincere words. Therefore, nobody expected the King Yanluo of Hell to skip all these things and get straight to the point.
There was no nonsense. He immediately dove straight into his promise to his people. It was a refreshing approach, to say the least.
Clang! Oda Nobunaga, Murai Sadakatsu and the thousand or so Umamawari horse guards were gathered right in front of Hell’s Gate, and they promptly knelt down and cried out in unison, “We die for Hell!!”
Their invigorated cry was like a powerful tidal wave that crashed onto the shore, and it resonated strongly with the citizens around.
Yin Xiangnan’s face flushed red with excitement, and he pumped his fist straight into the air, “I’ve signed up with the Yin barracks! I’ve signed up to be conscripted!”
But he was just a drop in the ocean. There were ten thousand others who had done just the same, and all of them pumped their hands into the air at the same time. Everything was spontaneous and unplanned, and yet the sight of thousands of people pumping their fists into the air, coupled with a thousand Umamawari horse guards kneeling in front of Qin Ye and pledging their loyalty to him stirred the emotions of all in attendance to a new high.
“We die for King Yanluo!” “We die for King Yanluo!” “We die for King Yanluo!!”
The declarations of loyalty were endless and resounding.
Having been trampled on by others for a hundred years, who wouldn’t want their nation to rise from the ashes and become firm and strong again?
The Cathayan Yin spirits sincerely desired that their beloved King Yanluo reign supreme, both internally as well as externally!
This was the unexpressed hope that was stirring in the hearts of all Yin spirits around. It would be a lie to describe Cathay as pacifists. Historically speaking, Cathay was one of the countries to be most inclined to war and strife, whether internally or externally. They were only forced to lower their heads and lay low for now due to the circumstances that had stricken their nation. Mortal realm Cathay was biding their time, and living subtly, but Hell… was completely different - there was simply nothing holding them back from expressing their thoughts!
They desired revenge for the injustice done to them back in the mortal realm! They wanted to rule the netherworld!
How intriguing that there would be such a stark parallel between the mortal realm and the netherworld.
“Very well.” Qin Ye nodded in satisfaction, “I’m glad that you have such a burning passion for Hell’s success. Hell’s government shall never fail you.”
“By now, you should already understand that Hell isn’t quite the same as the mortal realm. There may be similarities, but there are likewise differences all the same. You’ll be taught more about these differences once the Ministry of Education is up and running. But for now, all you need to know is that there are three major divine artifacts of Hell, also known as the three primordial treasures of Hell. As long as we can assemble these three artifacts, I assure you that no mere rabble will dare to covet Hell’s existence again!”
“Today, we formally induct one of these three major divine artifacts, the Book of Life and Death, to the new Hell. Mirror of Eminence!”
As soon as he finished speaking, a brilliant light erupted from the roof of Hell’s Gate, and an ancient book with the words ‘Book of Life and Death’ written on its cover slowly drifted out in the beam of light.
A second later, the foot-sized book unfolded in the sky and spread out like an omnipresent entity, and the pages began to riffle on its own. Then, golden name after golden name began to rise from the book in the form of butterflies that fluttered into the sky, before soon transforming into lotus flowers that faded away into the darkness. It was obviously a top-grade Yin artifact, and yet there appeared to be an unfathomable aura of heavenly splendour about it.
Whoosh… Wave after wave of golden light swept across Hell as the Yin spirits watched with a flabbergasted expression on their faces. This was a spectacle that would never be possible back in the mortal realm. Butterflies fluttered about, golden lotus flowers grew out without roots, and a golden haze filled the entire skies above them. Silhouette after silhouette of famous people appeared and faded away in never-ending waves, while names continued to drift out from the Book of Life and Death.
“My… heavens…” Yin Xiangnan exclaimed with trembling as he stared at the sky vacantly. Everyone else around him had the exact same expression of shock and awe written all over their faces. The sight unfolding before their eyes right now was no different from the stuff of legends and myths!
“That’s… simply unbelievable…” “Divine artifact? There’s no doubt that the Book of Life and Death is a divine artifact! The myths weren’t a lie!” “This is incredible… to think that the Book of Life and Death that we see so often on television shows… would reveal such a great display of majesty in front of our eyes…”
Nobody harboured a single trace of doubt.
Its display of power and authority blanketed the entire realm of Hell. Wherever the golden light passed, the Yin spirits they shone on would feel as though pairs of invisible eyes were staring straight through their soul, revealing their past sins, achievements and their previous incarnations from as far as ten lives back…
But there wasn’t any sense of fear either.
The warm light of the Book of Life and Death made them feel as though they were merely standing before their mother, recounting the events of their past lives.
Qin Ye’s voice continued, “Legend has it that the world is governed by three books - the book of the heavens, the Investiture of the Gods; the book of the earth, the Classic of Mountain and Sea; and the book of Man, the Book of Life and Death. I assure you that the Book of Life and Death contains unimaginable power. Whether it be flora, fauna, man, divine beings, demons, ghosts, or even those who have become extinct as a result of the effluxion of time - all continue to exist in the annals of records in the Book of Life and Death.”
“So long as they are living beings that have been born or naturalized within the 9,600,000 square kilometers of Cathay, all will be recorded in the Book of Life and Death. In fact, not only are they recorded, they can even be… summoned.”
He took a deep breath and continued with a bright gleam in his eyes, “And now, the new Hell shall demonstrate its power by summoning one of the five unparalleled units that have existed across the history of Cathay - the Black Armored Troops. It shall henceforth be one of the strongest pillars of Hell’s defenses… Arakshasa!”
“Yes.” Without missing a beat, Arthis raised her arm and began making a series of hand seals. The series of seals were so complex that it took her several minutes to complete it. However, with each motion she made, the entire heavens and earth… trembled greatly.
Rumble… Countless wisps of Yin energy began to converge together in the sky, forming a majestic, swirling vortex of Yin energy, illuminated only by the innumerable spots of netherflames that lingered within. The Book of Life and Death also riffled through its pages in tandem with the hand seals that were being made. As time went on, the names and silhouettes drifting out of the Book of Life and Death gradually became clearer, more material… and more different.
It first started with the people of the Qing Dynasty, where the silhouettes that appeared were of people with braided hair. There were men and women, all of whom were ostensibly influential or important in their times. Some wore plaid clothing, while others wore a red headdress. But as the pages continued to flip back, these silhouettes and names slowly vanished like sand.
Next up… was the Ming Dynasty, and then the Yuan Dynasty. Moments later, the silhouettes of galloping horses crumbled into sand, bringing back the Song Dynasty with its golden swords, war horses, and countless troops that added to the theatrics. And then finally… it paused on the pages of the Tang Dynasty.
None of the Yin spirits even blinked as they watched intently. The scene was more fantastical than the best movie they had watched that was filled with computer-generated graphics. Everyone’s jaws hung loosely as they continued to stare at the dark canopy of the sky which had somehow transformed into a canvass for the great display of the Book of Life and Death. Just then, Arthis clapped her hands together and muttered softly, “Revolution of life and death, I call for the return of the Yin spirits summoned!! Haa--!!”
Whoosh! The pages of the Book of Life and Death suddenly stopped flipping, and the void in front of it suddenly trembled. Then, countless names began to fade in and out on the surface of the Book of Life and Death, while the entire book began to glow with a golden lustre that slowly but surely grew more and more dazzling. A few seconds later, the entire book erupted with a brilliant dazzle of golden light that filled the entire Hell!
“Holy shit!” “What happened?! What the hell is going on?!” “What’s happening?!”
Every single Yin spirit below subconsciously covered their eyes and shielded their faces as a massive gust of wind swept through the lands. The Book of Life and Death hung high in the sky like the sun, dazzling every corner of Hell with the warm illumination of light. As time passed, the glow of light grew more and more intense, until finally… even the Book of Life and Death was completely consumed by it.
Su Dongxue covered her eyes, “The divine artifact has returned to its rightful place…” Ming Shiyin’s surface dazzled with brilliance as it reflected the glory and splendour of the divine artifact, “This sight… is something that even I haven’t personally witnessed for the last thousand years…”
“Hell… has finally taken its first step to restoring its full functions. Hell lords over the cycle of life and death, and acts as the gateway to the reincarnation…”
Boom! The light in the sky finally reached its peak, and then abruptly extinguished itself. Yin Xiangnan peeked through the slit in his hands and glanced apprehensively at his surroundings.
The crowd was still the same, and the canopy of the skies was still the same as ever before. However, when he glanced down to Hell’s Gate, he nearly cried out in shock.
And he wasn’t the only one. Every single Yin spirit that had opened their eyes were gawking at Hell’s Gate right now.
“My god! W-w-what’s this?!” “Yin soldiers… Are these Yin soldiers?! Is this the appearance of Yin soldiers like the stuff we’ve seen on television?!” “My god… I-i-isn’t this just crazy?!”
The great astonishment of the Yin spirits quickly sent waves of buzz and clamour throughout the crowd like a chaotic, frenzied tide. Just then, a pillar of light erupted from Hell’s Gate like a holy mountain in Hell, radiating an almost-holy brilliance across all the lands. Within moments, everyone could see that there was now an ancient book that was perched right above Ming Shiyin, rotating slowly in a pillar of light as names continued to flow from its pages like a fountain!
Golden streams of light scattered across the dark sky, gently illuminating the thousands of shocked expressions of the Yin spirits below.
But that wasn’t the end. Moments later the names that were flowing through the golden streams of light suddenly rushed towards Qin Ye, enveloping him in a swirling, golden sphere of names. A split second later, Yin energy surged, and it promptly transformed into a series of great black armor that hung suspended in the air!
These great armors were by no means ordinary. They appeared tattered, but it was evident that they weren’t defects resulting from poor workmanship. Rather, it was simply the damage sustained from participating in hundreds of battles.
In fact, if one looked close enough, they would even be able to see the dried blood staining the great black armors. The vicious, murderous aura emanating from the ranks of great armor was palpable. There was no doubt that the men who donned these armors were an unparalleled force; the elites among the elite.
None spoke a word.
Crash… Everyone could hear their worldview being shattered once again.
However, they weren’t even given the chance to reel in astonishment, because as soon as the great armors materialized and formed up in ranks, they saw two spots of netherflames light up under the helmet of each set of armor.
Ka-ka-ka… Every single armor came alive in an instant. They first glanced at their hands, and then they turned to look at Qin Ye who stood right in the center of their midst. A second later, every single set of armor half-knelt to the ground, and they cried out in unison, “The Black Armored Troops respond to Emperor Qin’s summons and submit to our new lord and master! We die for Hell!”
Black Armored Troops… It’s actually the Black Armored troops!
The Yin spirits below saw stars in their eyes, and their minds were in a daze.
Cathayans were also called the Tang Cathayans, or Han Cathayans.
Both Tang and Han Dynasties represented Cathay’s bygone eras of glory. They were the ones who made Cathay known to the rest of the world.
Was there anyone who didn’t know the Black Armored Troops of the great Tang Dynasty? Was there anyone oblivious to the fact that this unit comprised the most elite forces at the disposal of the Tang Dynasty? It wouldn’t even be an understatement to call the Black Armored Troops one of the most powerful forces of all time!
To think that the same legendary force had just appeared right in front of their eyes!
And they were even pledging to defend the new Hell with their lives!
What else was there to be afraid of?
What else did they have to fear?
The entire gathering of Yin spirits were thunderstruck by the appearance of the Black Armored Troops. But it didn’t take more than ten seconds before a great wave of excitement spread through their hearts, which soon manifested in great shouts of exhilaration!
“Long live King Yanluo!” “Long live Your Majesty!” “Hell forever!!” “Awesome! With such a powerful force protecting us, let’s see if anyone else dares to mess with us from now on!” “This is the Black Armored Troops of the Tang Dynasty! How is this possible?! Holy shit, I’m getting goosebumps right now!”
This was a resurgence of a legend of eons past.
This was a meeting that transcended time and space.
Hell was now soaring with great growth and prosperity, and the appearance of the Black Armored Troops was like a stabilizing force that reassured everyone’s hearts against the incursion of external forces.
After all, a kingdom would never feel safe without the backing of a great army.
“The Black Armored Troops… It’s really the Black Armored troops!” Professor Li and Professor An exclaimed hoarsely in unison.
Even the flames in Oda Nobunaga’s eyes flickered wildly as he saw how the Yin soldiers materialized before his very eyes. He nearly broke out into song and dance to give praise to the heavens.
The Black Armored Troops! This is undoubtedly the Black Armored Troops of the Tang Dynasty!
Each of them stood at approximately two meters tall, clothed in black armor with red lining, carrying a giant saber on their waists. This… was the most elite force that existed at the peak of the Tang Dynasty!
And these troops would now forever be under his command! They would become the main fighting force of the new Hell - one that would cut down all opposition and weed out the rabble before they even took root!
Would an opportunity like this ever have arisen had I decided to pledge allegiance to the Nipponese underworld?
“I’ve followed the right master…” Oda Nobunaga suppressed the intense elation in his heart as he glanced discreetly at Qin Ye, before turning to the east with a murderous intent in the depths of his eyes.
“Izanami… In life, I sought the lands of Nippon, and in death, I seek the Yin spirits of Yomi-no-Kuni. Wait for me… I’m confident that it won’t take more than a few decades before I personally lead the charge for your head!”
“Nippon can only have one emperor, and that would be me, the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven!”
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