Hell stirred with a feverish pitch.
It was clear that everything had been prepared. But even as the D-day drew closer, each and every government official couldn’t help but fidget about in a state of extreme tension. After all, they were the only ones who knew what exactly they would be facing at the end of the year.
The new Hell had just been established, and yet they were being scrutinized by the sharp, incisive gazes of the twelve envoys around them… The imperial edict summoning them back to the capital had already been issued. The ghostly citizens were overjoyed. After all, all Cathayans enjoyed such festivities and excitement - this was something that had been etched into the deepest parts of their marrows. Thus, when the full names of the twelve envoys were finally disclosed to all of them, they couldn’t help but gasp in surprise.
“Zhou Yu?” “Yang Jiye?” “Yu Qian? Are you kidding me? Is this real?” “I’ll be damned… These twelve envoys are all famous figures in the history of Cathay…” “My god… are they actually still around?! They’re still around!! Unbelievable!” “Haha, but no matter how impressive they are, don’t they still have to answer the summons and return to Hell? We’re still the lord of the region!”
In contrast to the stirring excitement in the hearts of the citizens, Oda Nobunaga was already preparing his troops, day and night. Ever since five months ago, the First Battalion had already entered a period of full military regimentation, and none could leave or enter the barracks at their own whims and fancies. Thus, nobody was aware of what Hell was doing, or what direction it was headed.
“HAA!!” The troops bellowed in unison. They were currently situated under the money tree of Hell, and their presence in the area allowed them to double up as guards in the vicinity. Thousands of Yin spirits stood in rank and file, practising their battle formations. The few months that they had wasn’t sufficient to transform them into elites in their own rights. However, they had still come a long way ever since their time as mere recruits.
There was a fifty-meter large stage situated at the front of the army camp. Oda Nobunaga sat on the stage in his armor, carrying a small banner in his hand. With each wave of the banner, the Yin soldiers below would transition into the next martial stance. Nobunaga’s personal guards and the Umamawari horse guards would then weave in and out of the ranks and files with whips immolating with flames, and anyone who was caught lazing around would be “gently reminded” with a soft lashing.
“Put your back into it! Have you not eaten today--... I mean, where’s your spirit!” “How could you still be languishing in the very same state after learning for such a long time? You’re the most useless plate of vegan dish I’ve ever seen!” “If you keep up your pathetic performance like that, you’ll only end up being killed on the battlefield!”
The Nipponese warriors had already picked up the basics of the language of the land over the last half a year.
Oda Nobunaga waved his flag once more. But before he could even finish, a wisp of Yin energy shot out of the sky like a fast arrow and landed directly on his shoulder.
It was a bird formed out of Yin energy.
A messenger bird.
This was the most commonly seen means of communication in Hell. Those who have attained the rank of an Infernal Judge would possess the ability to create such Yin messenger birds. Furthermore, the intended recipient would immediately know the identity of the sender from the netherflame that these birds were branded with.
In any event, only Arthis possessed the ability to send such messenger birds for now.
Oda Nobunaga’s heart skipped a beat, and he quickly lifted his hand, “Rest for half an hour. Murai-kun, Nobutada, come here for a moment.”
When Murai Sadakatsu and Oda Nobutada arrived at the main stage, they immediately noticed a Yin messenger bird perched on Oda Nobunaga’s fingertips. Oda Nobunaga promptly quipped, “They’re here.”
They’re here… These were two simple words, and yet they caused the hairs on Murai Sadakatsu’s and Oda Nobutada’s back to stand on end!
They’re here… they’re here! They’re finally here!
The famous twelve envoys that the old Hell has stationed overseas are finally returning to the new Hell!
Nippon was located in close proximity to Cathay, and the names of these famous warlords were like the stuff of legends and myths to them. Yet, to think that they were finally going to confront them, face to face.
The mere thought of such prospects stirred such great excitement in them that they simply couldn’t contain themselves.
“Father!” Oda Nobutada cupped his hands respectfully, and a bright blaze flickered across the depths of his eyes, “What are Lord Qin’s instructions? Are we going to beat them down? If so… please send your son!”
“Presumptuous!” Oda Nobunaga slammed down onto the table and continued with a deep, booming voice, “Our soldiers haven’t once spilled blood, and yet you’re already suggesting squaring off against these famous warlords? Are you trying to put Hell in a difficult position?”
“Anyhow, you don’t have to worry about these things. Lord Qin has instructed that all soldiers are to patrol the region without paying special attention to the twelve envoys. Do you understand what that means? If we pay too much attention to them, it’ll seem as though we lack confidence against them. Listen to me… We’ll have plenty of opportunities for such clashes against them in future.”
With that, Oda Nobutada and Murai Sadakatsu left to disseminate the latest set of instructions. Oda Nobunaga took a deep breath, straightened out his clothes, and then transformed into a nethergale and flew straight to Hell’s gate.
When he arrived, Qin Ye, Gu Qing, Arthis and Su Dongxue were already there. He bowed to Qin Ye, and then asked, “Esteemed lords and ladies, how’s the situation looking right now?”
Arthis raised her hand, and everyone vanished from where they were, before promptly appearing on the rooftop.
The Mirror of Eminence hanging high on Hell’s gate was already wide awake, and Yin energy was slowly swirling about in the depths of the mirror’s surface. As soon as it saw the rest appear, it spoke, “News from the messenger bird reports say that the twelve envoys have already crossed the daolords’ territories and are now in the central plains of Cathay. They should be arriving in the City of Salvation in no more than ten hours.”
More than anything, they were unable to properly express the complex emotions that they were experiencing in their hearts right now. Their last half a year of preparatory work was culminating in this very single moment. It would be a lie if they said they weren’t nervous.
After all, each and every single one of these warlords were formidable opponents in their own rights!
Everyone turned to Qin Ye, only to realize that there was a profound expression of sobriety on his face. After a long time, he finally spoke up, “We’ve done all we could in preparation for this moment. Everyone, you know your places, and you know what needs to be done. I’ve said it many times, but the importance of this event warrants repeating myself.”
He turned around and gazed at everyone, “This is the first diplomatic interaction of the new Hell.”
“We’re opening our borders and making our voice heard on the world stage for the very first time. If anyone makes a mistake, then don’t blame me for turning my back on you.”
“Yes!!” Everyone, including Arthis, responded in earnest.
“In nine hours, I want the main road to be cleared and cordons set up to prepare for their arrival. The ceremonial division should also be ready and on standby. Now then, please go about with your respective duties.” Qin Ye waved his hand, “I’ll be waiting here. The twelve envoys are going to be entering our lands for the very first time… how could I miss a single moment of such an amazing spectacle?”
The others promptly transformed into a nethergale and went about on their duties. On the other hand, Qin Ye simply sat down on the roof, squinting at the dark canopy of the skies.
The sky appeared to depict the calm before the storm. For the very first time, the skies above his head was laced with traces of red, almost as though a tide of blood were washing into the new Hell from its surroundings. The Yin clouds in the sky were swirling about slowly, forming a dark hole in the sky. The sky was originally filled with red, green and white spots of netherflames. That said, the only colours that remained were the white netherflames that continued to swirl eerily around the vortex of clouds in the sky.
The Yin spirits on the ground have already begun to take notice of the incredible phenomenon. Many of them pointed towards the sky, whispering to each other, only to be gently nudged to their work and duties by the government personnel.
Whoosh… A peculiar wind swept from nowhere, causing Qin Ye’s clothes to flutter about wildly.
The wind was peculiar because it swept from practically every single direction. Ming Shiyin promptly explained, “This is a sign that the passageway into Hell has been opened, and our guests are approaching us quickly.”
It then tilted up, almost as though it were looking into the canopy of the skies, “Every underworld has its own unique colour. You’ll understand what I mean later. You’ll be able to distinguish the underworld that they hail from through the unique colour of their Yin energy, For instance, the present red colour in the sky signifies the approach of evil ghosts - Infernal Judges in particular. And it’s precisely because they’re approaching from all directions that the vortex has appeared in the sky.”
Qin Ye listened somewhat halfheartedly. He was simultaneously running through the speeches he had prepared for the upcoming imperial court meeting, including what to say, and when to say it. He was mulling over when to negotiate, and when to open the launch event of the armament. Although these were matters that he had already run through in his mind countless times, he still felt that… it was insufficient.
After all, those who were coming weren’t riffraff like Cao Youdao. They were feudal officials! Those who had maintained law and order in their fiefdoms for some time! It was naturally far better to err on the side of caution!
Ming Shiyin continued speaking, but it simply glossed right over Qin Ye. Just like that, Qin Ye continued to stare intently into the distance. Then, after an inordinate amount of time passed, a gong suddenly sounded, jolting him back from his reverie.
Dong, dong, dong… Hell’s main road - the one that extended out from Hell’s Gate - was suddenly flooded with a great stream of Yin energy. Suddenly, everything became neat and orderly. The Yin energy drove all of the citizens to the side, followed closely by the government officials of Hell. Cordons were promptly set up, and an announcement was made to the citizens who were stirring with great excitement that anyone who came within a twenty meter radius of the cordon tapes would be killed without inquisition!
The stream of Yin energy was none other than the Black Armored Troops.
They had already put on their imposing armor. It was massive, clunky and ugly. They were worlds apart from the New Tigerform Battle Armor. With their armor, each soldier stood at two meters tall, and they stood fifteen meters apart from each other. They rested their long polearms on the ground and stood unmoving on both sides of the road like black iron pylons.
Then, a large bundle of red carpet unrolled itself from the mouth of Hell’s Gate, spreading out neatly across the entire toad. Two rows of female ghosts in ancient-style attendant uniforms drifted out from Hell’s Gate, each of whom was toting a palace lamp burning with a green flame, and they arranged themselves neatly in front of the Black Armored Troops. The Yin spirits working on both sides of the road immediately paused and glanced over curiously.
“They’re here!” Just then, Ming Shiyin gasped deeply and remarked with a slight tremor in its voice, “The first feudal official… has finally arrived!”
Before it could finish speaking, the vortex in the sky suddenly spun violently, and a cacophony of ghastly cries promptly echoed from the surroundings. A Judge-class wave of Yin energy suddenly appeared at the entrance of the new Hell, followed closely by… the appearance of endless Yin energy signatures that bore the stench of blood on them!
And there were at least five thousand of them to boot!
Clatter, clatter… The new Hell came to a complete standstill. The deeply unsettling sound of innumerable soldiers crossing the void and entering the realms of the new Hell resounded like a distant tsunami that was pounding towards them. Back in Hell’s Gate, Oda Nobunaga took a deep breath. His expression was deep and intense. With a single wave of his hand, the Yin soldiers under his command scattered, swift as mercury, as they took their positions among the rest of the citizens of Hell, where they promptly surrounded Hell’s Gate.
Arthis also had an incomparably solemn expression on her face. How fast… Who’s this? To think that they’ve brought such a massive army with them and are rushing to be the first ones here. Such speed… means that they would have rushed here as soon as they received the imperial edict.
But now was hardly time to analyze these things. She waved her hand, and copious amounts of paper money filled the air as she turned back into her true form of a Rakshasa lady. Then, a nethergale swept over, sending her straight to the entrance of Hell.
Clatter, clatter… The neat and tidy cadence of Yin soldiers were like soft drum beats that were pounding deeply against the hearts of the Yin spirits around. The Black Armored Troops subconsciously tightened their grip around their polearms. A split second later, a bleak trumpet sounded, and two loud voices called out at the same time.
“Lord Yu Qian of Licchavi.” “Lord Yang Jiye of Luzon has answered the summons.”
They’re finally here…
Qin Ye shut his eyes, took a deep breath, and transformed into a nethergale and rushed to the entrance as well.
It was finally time to see the results of their arduous preparatory work!
There was no need to run, and no need to hide. The new Hell was here to stay, and it was going to welcome all of its previous vassal states with open arms! This was the kind of magnanimity and chivalry that was befitting of Hell after all!Previous Chapter Next Chapter