Emperor Wu of Song huh… Qin Ye paced about anxiously with his hands behind his back as he sorted through his thoughts.
“So, you’re saying that… the new Hell will absolutely need to get the approval of the twelve envoys at the end of the year and retrieve the great seal of the feudal officials along the way? In other words, while I’m at it, I might as well both establish some trade routes as well as save my own life?” He finally calmed down, and he gazed placidly into the distance, “But everything hinges on whether I can receive Emperor Wu of Song’s approval altogether. At the very least, he will need to view the new Hell as an equal before we can even begin to negotiate something like that.”
There was suddenly clarity in his thoughts.
Previously, the imperial court meeting at the end of the year was no more than a peripheral, unimportant matter. But things had changed! It was an imperative right now - something that he had no choice but to go through with, and even succeed in!
Not just for the new Hell, but for his own life to boot!
Arthis nodded, “Do your best… We’ll summon all twelve envoys at once. And when the time comes… it will be a good showing. Trust me, these envoys will all live up to your expectations, and then some.”
Qin Ye took several deep breaths, before finally nodding deeply. It’s not enough… it’s still not enough. Hell isn’t good enough as it is! My life, the trade routes, and the hopes of becoming an arms dealer… There’s simply too much riding on the line for the imperial court meeting at the end of the year! That said… there’s still hope yet!
After all, Hell’s present prosperity and growth, coupled with the backing of the Book of Life and Death, and the existence of the Harken are all not to be underestimated at all!
How the results will turn out is anyone’s guess… For now, let’s give it our all in preparation for the showing of a lifetime at the end of the year.
After mulling over these things, he finally lifted his head, “Then, shouldn’t we take a peek into the Book of Life and Death for now?”
Qin Ye chuckled awkwardly, “Well, I do have to get myself prepared, don’t I? Given my looks and intellect, it’s not necessarily going to be a problem to plant the seeds of the future generation. But the crux of the matter is that the seeds will have to be planted in the right places, and I’ll also have to be considerate and leave some for others in any event. Such a contingency is quite important in case we encounter any unforeseen circumstances at the end of the year. After all, one must at times be willing to flaunt their strengths and use their physical endowment for the pursuit of a pure life…”
Arthis’ temples throbbed wildly, “If I didn’t know you any better, I might have been convinced by your rhetorics in this regard. Speaking of which, what’s your secret? How did you develop skin so thick that it is completely impervious to all external influences? Something like that is practically one of a kind… It’s a talent in its own right…”
She snorted, and then turned a blind eye to Qin Ye’s existence. Then, she waved her hand, and a huge Book of Life and Death drifted out of the sphere of endless Yin energy hovering right over Hell’s Gate. A second later, a tattered ancient book appeared right in Arthis’ hands.
“The Book of Life and Death records all virtues and vices in a person’s life. Predestined marriages - especially if it is a good marriage - is also considered a virtue. After all, it serves the purpose of the proliferation of mankind. Thus, the Book of Life and death only reveals the best matches, or the most suitable life partners. In fact, Yue Lao, the old lunar matchmaker god would even consult the old Hell whenever he encounters difficulties in his job.” As she spoke, she made a series of hand seals, and the ancient book suddenly rose into mid-air, and began to riffle through its own pages.
“A person might only be married once in his lifetime. But, often times, people end up marrying those who aren’t the love of their lives. The perfect match, or the destined one or destined ones, are instead still out there at large. The Book of Life and Death would record the names of these people in pink. Look closely, and record all the names of these people.”
Qin Ye nodded, and began to stare intently as the Book of Life and Death slowly riffled through its pages. Whoosh… The pages continued to rustle gently. One minute passed… two minutes… three minutes… and still, the Book of Life and Death drew a complete blank!
“What’s going on?” Arthis stared at the Book of Life and Death with great astonishment as it continued to pore through its records slowly. After fifteen minutes, the Book of Life and Death reached the end of its pages, and the back cover closed up. And then, it began to search from the front once more.
“I’m the lone star! I’m fated to an eternity of solitude!” Qin Ye exploded with theatrics with a great sigh.
“Impossible!” Arthis’ eyes widened, and her lips trembled as she continued to stare intently at the Book of Life and Death, “Regardless of who it is… everyone has a person that matches him or her perfectly! So, I don’t understand why you don’t!”
“Even a dog has its bitch!”
Qin Ye: What the Hell are you talking about? Are you looking for a fight?
“Isn’t it already done with a round of search? What’s it still looking for?” Truth be told, Qin Ye wasn’t too bothered about the lack of a destined love interest. This was something that he had already come to terms with ever since witnessing the burial of his first love.
What was someone like him doing looking for love to begin with?
He had witnessed the burial of someone he once had feelings for. He had witnessed his lover laughing joyfully in the arms of another man. He had watched from afar as his lover grieved his disappearance for several years, before finally cutting him off and looking for love elsewhere, despite clinging onto a token of his love. These were all experiences that he never wanted to relive again.
Look… Even the Book of Life and Death understands that I fall outside of the system of karma…
He chuckled boisterously, but his laughter appeared to carry a tinge of bitterness to it.
“It’s first run through was for the present century.” Arthis paused, “In other words, nobody born in the last hundred years is a perfect fit for you. At first blush, you’re fated to be alone. However, this fails to consider the preceding years before the last century…”
Qin Ye’s eyes widened, “You must be kidding. Posthumous marriage?”
“You’re living in Hell! What’s wrong with a posthumous marriage?” Arthis glared at him, before instructing the Book of Life and Death, “Expand the search criteria and start from the beginning. And ignore the gender.”
Qin Ye: ……
He was completely speechless.
Whoosh! Rustle, rustle… Within moments, several names began to flare up.
Ye Xingchen, Lin Han, Wang Chenghao… Qin Ye’s mind grew numb and fuzzy, and he immediately grabbed hold of the Book of Life and Death, “Are you teasing me?!! Do you think I wouldn’t rip you to shreds just because you’re a divine artifact?! Where are you suddenly getting these strange ideas from?!”
The nerve… To think that you’re unable to find a single woman that is suitable for me, and yet when we expand the search conditions to both men and women, you generate a bunch of ridiculous suggestions!
Moments later, Arthis coughed dryly, “Calm down. Apologies for that, that last search was for ‘friends’, and not ‘lovers’.”
Under Qin Ye’s murderous gaze, Arthis revised her search conditions.
However, there were still no results.
Whoosh… Ever since the search conditions were revised and finalized, the Book of Life and death had already run through its records three times.
In other words, it meant that Qin Ye wasn’t fated to be with anyone who was born within the last three hundred years - not even if they were ghosts.
“Would you like to test out the boyfriend option?” Arthis poked the angry ogre once more.
Qin Ye glared wickedly at Arthis, to which she finally withdrew her gaze. Sigh… speaking of which, I do vaguely recall that the first and second King Yanluos of Hell were also loners… Is this the price to pay for being powerful…
After another five minutes, Qin Ye sighed dejectedly, “Let’s call off the search.”
Arthis managed to read the emotions undergirding his statement for once. After all, anyone who was told with certainty that they couldn’t find love would never feel good about himself.
No response. She tapped the Book of Life and Death softly. But… just as she was about to close the ancient book, it suddenly blossomed with a pink glow!
Qin Ye was already walking back into Hell’s Gate when he suddenly paused and turned around in shock.
Arthis, too, was greatly astonished, and she stared at the Book of Life and Death with incredulity.
This is… 370 or 380 years ago, back in the era of the Ming Dynasty…
There was indeed a person who could love Qin Ye.
Qin Ye stared blankly at the pink name, and a wave of complex emotions stirred in his heart.
“Xia Jinse…” He walked to the Book of Life and Death and ran his finger gently across her name, almost as though he were reaching through a chasm of over three hundred years and affectionately caressing her cheeks.
There’s someone who can love me after all…
Unfortunately… you were born before I was, and you were already old when I was born. You hate that I was born late, while I hate that you were born early.
Bitterness, regret and exasperation. In that instant, a multitude of emotions overwhelmed his heart, and he finally revealed a complex smile on his face.
What do I even do with this information?
Xia Jinse… She should be someone from the Ming Dynasty, and she has probably already turned into dust by now. Even if she’d entered Hell, she would already have been reduced to ashes when Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva ascended into paradise…
To think that love eludes me so… How long do I have to wait before I truly find love?
This was something which he had buried in the deepest parts of his heart. It was something that he was most reluctant to even consider. He didn’t dare to love. He had been burnt too many times. Whether it be others who loved him, or the other way round, it inevitably ends in death and grief.
Thus, he had locked away his heart, resigned to the fate of never knowing love.
And in this very instant, the door to love that had been locked away in the farthest reaches of his heart was gently opened, and yet heavily slammed shut once more.
“Hah…” He laughed bitterly, and then turned around to walk away once more. However, Arthis called out after him, “Hey… wait a minute…”
“What is it…” Qin Ye turned around. But before he could even finish speaking, he immediately gasped at the name that he saw.
Xia Jinse’s name… had turned black.
But then, it suddenly brightened up again. From white, to red, and then… to black once more!
Immediately after that, the Book of Life and Death began to flip around, desperately tracking her life until, just about a hundred years ago, her name turned black once more!
And then… it lit up again!
The pages kept flipping, until it was soon the present. And yet, her name was still pink. That said… it was no longer recorded under the name of Xia Jinse!
Xia Jinse’s name had changed so quickly that her real name was no longer even visible on the records of the Book of Life and Death anymore. In fact, not even the Book of Life and Death could keep track of her name!
“What’s going on over here?” Qin Ye was completely dumbfounded.
Arthis stared blankly at the Book of Life and Death for a long time, before finally turning around with a grim expression on her face, “Black… represents death. She has died at least three times in these last hundreds of years… and then… she came back to life. Furthermore, with each time she came back to life, she used a different name. She’s lived countless lives… and yet… she’s still living in the mortal realm right now!”
How is that possible?!
Qin Ye was just about to retort when a possibility occurred to him, and then his voice trembled, “No… it’s possible… it’s possible!!”
He grabbed the Book of Life and Death and gently ran his finger across her names once more, “She’s someone like me… someone who has consumed the taisui fungus! She has died three times! She has died, lost her memory, and been reborn anew thrice now!”
This was destiny!
He wouldn’t have believed a single part of it had it not been recorded in the Book of Life and Death. After all, he couldn’t believe that there were others in this world who had consumed the taisui fungus as well! And she was still alive and kicking, and even destined to be the love of his life!
It stood to reason. After all, she was the only one who could be the perfect match for him.
Both were ageless and immortal, and their union would mean that they no longer had to worry about the passing of their loved ones. There would not be a concept of ‘till death do us part’. If this wasn’t destiny, nothing was.
That said… where is this person located?
“Can we see where she is?” Qin Ye immediately asked.
“Only the vague location… This is the first time I’m looking at someone else who has consumed the taisui fungus. We’ll only be able to track down their approximate location…” Arthis scrutinized her name, as though attempting to identify a common theme in the names she was using.
Seconds later, her gaze flickered. Then, taking a few steps back, she muttered, “Hanyang.”
“She’s in Hanyang! Daehan!”
It’s the twelve envoys again!
Qin Ye gritted his teeth - Why are our fates so inextricably intertwined?!
Calm down… calm down…
The results today are somewhat unexpected. Qin Ye drew several deep breaths, before transforming into a nethergale as he motioned to leave.
“Where are you going?” Arthis asked.
“To make preparations.” Qin Ye responded coldly, “I’m going to do everything it takes to make Liu Jinu reel in shock at the end of the year, so much so that he would want to voluntarily open up the channel between Daehan and Cathay!”
“Just wait and see… I’ve never been so dedicated to self-improvement. My mind is set. I’m going to give them a huge gift at the imperial court meeting!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter