Anyone would feel annoying listening to matters that they couldn’t personally understand.
The daolord of the asura wasn’t an exception to this either.
On the other end of the Yin vortex, the daolord tightened and loosened his hands several times. He was vacillating back and forth between whether to abduct the Emissary of Hell back to his nest of ten thousand captive ghosts or not. But in the end, he decided against it.
How does this man speak with such righteousness and dignity?
On what basis is he making such a huge promise to me?
Who exactly is he? What position does he occupy in the new Hell? Could he be… an illegitimate son of the third King Yanluo? If I abduct him… how will the new Hell react?
He had originally come with the intent to kill any Emissary of Hell he saw, and yet Qin Ye had successfully muddied the water with his one-two punch of confusion.
The daolord knew that his existence sat on a divergent end of the spectrum from Hell’s purposes. This was almost an immutable truth that had already lasted for thousands of years, and yet someone was now telling him that the new Hell was even willing to confer a title upon him? All kingdoms and polity needed a purpose for their existence. And yet… the third King Yanluo of Hell was actually going to overturn and redefine the purpose of Hell’s existence that had stood for the last thousands of years? Were they actually going to turn traitorous and mix with someone like the daolord?
After a long time, the daolord retracted some measure of his menacing Yin energy and spoke solemnly, “In what capacity are you saying these things?”
Qin Ye’s mind spun rapidly. He knew that it wasn’t possible to convince an old, crafty evil ghost with the few statements he had made earlier. However… he was still confident!
Although the evil ghost had lived for thousands of years, the fact remained that he was imprisoned under the six paths of reincarnation for the most part. Thus, when all was said and done, he could only be said to have experienced the full measure of human interactions for only a hundred years at best. This was a confrontation of words between two centenarians. Furthermore, Qin Ye had the advantage of having lived through the era of information explosion, so how could he possibly be on the backfoot in such a tussle of words?
“I bear… the identity of the third King Yanluo of Hell.” His mind spun, and then he gritted his teeth before finally dropping the bombshell.
Instantly, the Yin vortex surged, and the image of the human face twisted and contorted violently as a majestic killing aura spread like a dark shadow.
“Stay your hand.” Qin Ye raised his hand, “Daolord of the asura, has it ever occurred to you what languishing state the new Hell must be in if a scum like me can become a King Yanluo?”
The daolord of the asura paused…
It was as though he were on the verge of ‘release’, only to discover that the opening had suddenly been tied up…
It was stifling… So stifling that he wanted to roll on the ground in exasperation…
Bloody hell… Can you please pay closer to your identity as the third King Yanluo of Hell?! Why can’t you speak with a little bit more dignity?!
The first and second King Yanluos of Hell were heroes in their own right! They were mighty and valiant, and yet, you… This isn’t the same Hell that I once used to be part of!
To think that you would debase yourself to such an extent… Are you really willing to do that much just for your own survival…
The smile on Qin Ye’s face faded away, and he began to speak solemnly, “Daolord of the asura, times have changed. There were a multitude of things to be done from scratch when I took over the new Hell, and I’ve absolutely got no time to tangle with you. You might think that I’m an aberration of Hell, but let me ask you - what exactly would you say the purposes of Hell are?”
The daolord of the asura immediately responded, “Punish the evil and reward the good. To deal with those that slip through the cracks of the law in the mortal realm and see that justice is done.”
“In other words, to maintain balance between the mortal realm and the netherworld. To prevent evil ghosts from causing a disturbance in the mortal realm, and dish out justice as required, am I right?” Qin Ye summarized everything.
“Good. Then, let me ask you this, after thousands of years of cruel punishment, would you say that you’ve already paid the price of your misdeeds?”
“Of course!!” The Yin vortex erupted with a massive wave of Yin energy, and the daolord of the asura gritted his teeth as he suppressed the fear in his heart, “You can’t even begin to fathom what kind of punishment awaits a person under the path of the asura… To be devoured by hundreds or even thousands of asuras on a daily basis… Do you think I’ll ever forget the pain of having my flesh being torn from my body bit by bit?!”
Qin Ye nodded, “Then what remains is to maintain the balance between the Yin and the Yang. Let me ask you again, in this regard, if you’re willing to accede to my request, I would have achieved the same end. So how would my actions be an affront to the purposes of Hell?”
The daolord of the asura froze.
That’s right… the purging of evil ghosts is intended to keep them from influencing the mortal realm. If the evil ghosts pledge their allegiance to Hell, then… wouldn’t he have achieved the very same end?
In that instant, his mind began to explore a whole new world of possibilities. Can he do it? Can he really do it? No… no! How could he possibly do it! Hell isn’t governed by just King Yanluo alone. There are other Yin spirits around as well. Have they agreed? Back when I was sentenced to an eternity under the six paths of reincarnation, it was done by way of a vote before the cabinet ministers. This man… makes great promises, but I’m afraid they carry no weight.
The daolord remained silent, but the murderous intent continued to pour out of the Yin vortex. He didn’t want to listen to Qin Ye anymore, because he realized that his determination and his will were quickly being softened in the face of Qin Ye’s exposition.
He was truly afraid that he would be convinced by such an impossible suggestion.
But just as his murderous intent came to a head, Qin Ye suddenly spoke once more, “Could you be concerned about… what the other Yin spirits might think?”
Qin Ye was staring intently at the Yin vortex, analyzing the daolord’s thoughts from his micro-reactions.
Why is he still stirring with such murderous intent?
Did I fail to convince him? Where did I go wrong?
He wasn’t altogether sure this was the problem. But as soon as he probed further, he noticed the Yin vortex tremble and pause for a moment. Thus, his eyes flickered brightly, and he immediately went on.
“They don’t exist.” He chose his words cautiously, “Daolord of the asura, think about it - who… dares to oppose me?”
“The elites of the old Hell have already ascended to paradise with Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. Everyone who exists in Hell right now are Yin spirits that are handpicked and nurtured by me. I am the law in this realm. So who would question my agendas?”
“Besides, even if they harbour any doubts, there simply isn’t time for them to act upon it. After all… the development of Hell is more important than anything else right now! You should know that Hellguards take charge of city level affairs. In other words, Hell could never be larger than a city right now, and we could never march against a faction with troops even if we so desired.”
“And last but not least…” He muttered, “There’s the consideration of the era we live in.”
“You should have already realized by now that the world has changed greatly, much more than any of the changes that had occurred in the last thousands of years. Thousands of years of feudal dynasties ended in the flash of an eye, and modern day Yin spirits are completely different from the Yin spirits of the past. The great changes incidentally coincides with the great collapse of Hell, and none of the modern day Yin spirits would find there to be anything wrong with the course of action I’m proposing, because… it doesn’t matter the means, as long as I achieve the same end.”
He gazed straight into the black vortex, “As long as I achieve the very same purpose that Hell was established for, then nobody can say that I’m doing anything wrong!”
And this was no mere rhetoric - Qin Ye was speaking with such great conviction because he truly intended to make good on his word.
After all, he was surrounded on all sides by three Abyssal Prefects that lorded over three massive districts spanning an area of hundreds of thousands of square kilometers. Was he really going to refrain from stepping on their toes? Wouldn’t he have to wait till he becomes an Abyssal Prefect altogether? And what if something goes wrong in the meantime? Wouldn’t that spell the end of everything he had achieved to date?
Besides… it’s only when they have secured some form of closure on the looming threat of Hell’s existence that they can finally wage war on the twelve envoys. Otherwise… who would I deal arms to?
Why shouldn’t I resolve these differences amicably? What day and age is it right now? Who in their right mind still talks about fighting and killing all the time?
Put differently, I’m scared. Life isn’t only about surviving in the present, it’s also planning for survival in the future. Do I really want to be at your mercy all the time?
The Yin vortex continued to spin wildly. However, the murderous intent of the daolord of the asura had already vanished completely.
He wasn’t a fool. Fools wouldn’t have been able to leave their mark in history after all, even if it were the mark of notoriety. Anyone who could achieve something like that was outstanding in his own right.
The daolord of the asura wasn’t any exception to this either.
He had escaped from Hell with the sole intent of never being subject to the torment of the six paths ever again. He had even attempted to form his own underworld and gotten away with it thus far. Nevertheless, he knew that the ‘underworld’ he had created would never be recognized by the Heavenly Dao. As they grow larger and larger, so will the resistance he faces, be it from the mortal realm, Hell or the Heavenly Dao. Nobody would condone their existence. Conversely, his problems would be resolved once and for all if he could simply fall under the ranks of the new Hell.
Just take a look at how the twelve envoys are living with their heads held high right now! I’m an Abyssal Prefect, and yet I’m being pushed back on all fronts? Where is the logic in that?
His heart was filled with an amalgam of complex emotions. To think that a measly Emissary of Hell would casually rile up his thoughts and emotions from the time he made up his mind to escape from Hell, to the thoughts of everything he had achieved from sheer hard work. More than anything, he was reluctant… but the olive branch that had been extended to him would guarantee a future free from the torment he had suffered under the six paths of reincarnation over the last thousands of years. The fear of Hell had already been etched into the deepest parts of his marrows. This was an undeniable truth, whether he wanted to recognize it or not.
After a long time, he finally spoke hoarsely, “This conversation of ours has gone on for thirty minutes now. Do you know something… if you hadn’t been able to keep it going for longer than ten minutes, you would’ve been dead by now.”
“Does Hell truly wish to make me a part of its ranks? Haha… this is something that the daolord of the beast and the daolord of the hungry ghost would find a complete joke.”
He slowly sighed, “But… after listening to all that, I’ve got to admit that you’ve piqued my interest.”
“You’re glib. You managed to broach a subject of conversation to throw me off and suppress my murderous intent. And then, you slowly but surely whittle away at it… Not bad… It’s truly praiseworthy… If you really are what you say you are, the next King Yanluo of Hell, then I truly look forward to what you might do with great expectations…”
“You have a keen eye for good and evil… Compared with the blockhead that is the first King Yanluo of Hell or the indifferent warlord that is the second King Yanluo of Hell, you might be the best fit for such a position to date. That said… you’ll first have to prove that you are indeed the King Yanluo of Hell…”
Qin Ye’s suddenly tensed up his spirits, “What do you mean by that?”
“In the literal sense.” As he spoke, a cold, pale hand suddenly emerged from the Yin vortex and gently tapped on Qin Ye’s chest.
Boom! An irresistible force surged forward like a tidal wave. Qin Ye felt as though he had been cast into the depths of an icy cellar in an instant, and he spat out a mouthful of blood as he slammed back heavily against the wall.
A palpable sense of fear emerged from the depths of his heart.
If not for the fact that he had managed to talk his way out of the conflict, he would most certainly have been dead by now.
“Talisman of Life and Death. I’ve read a good book in the mortal realm, and I’ll be borrowing its name.” The Yin vortex began to shrink, “Only an Infernal Judge can dissolve its effects. If you’re truly the King Yanluo of Hell, then… it wouldn’t be too difficult to get an Infernal Judge to help you out, would it?”
“If you can’t even survive from something like that, then it simply means that you’re an insignificant shrimp in the eyes of the third King Yanluo of Hell. Then… everything which you’ve said thus far doesn’t hold a single measure of weight or credibility at all!”
“Remember this - the Talisman of Life and Death strikes three times, and each strike is stronger than the previous. If you aren’t able to lift its effects by then, then you’ll most certainly die.”
“Prepare for departure~~” A bell rang outside the door to his room, and the heads that were peeking from the door immediately shrank back, before flowing away like a great river.
Dong… Qin Ye’s spirits remained incredibly tense for several minutes, until the last traces of Yin energy had vanished completely. Then, he finally heaved a sigh of relief and collapsed onto his bed.
What a close shave…
The world of Yin spirits can never be taken lightly. Who would’ve thought that the daolord of the asura would actually leave a mark on his Heavenly Spirits and even appear in person? It looks like… their fear for Hell runs far deeper than I imagined.
“But… don’t they have thoughts of rebelling?” He rubbed his chin, “I didn’t sense a single trace of that in his voice at all… It’s completely different from the twelve envoys. Perhaps it has got something to do with his experiences in life. Who exactly is the daolord of the asura? A notorious man whose surname is Qin? A man who has done such great evil that he was sentenced to an eternity of torment under the six paths?”
But before he could even pursue this line of thinking, an intense pain suddenly spread violently from his chest!Previous Chapter Next Chapter