Our Yanluo is finally back to normal…
Arthis breathed a sigh of relief as she explained the situation, “Yin fruits and other agricultural produce can all be considered a form of special produce. These products will be incredibly useful and beneficial to us right now, especially since we’re looking to establish these trade routes of ours. Most importantly…”
She paused and looked at Qin Ye, before slowly nudging him towards self-enlightenment, “Have you ever considered how the tens of millions of Netherworld Operatives first come to be? And how did Hell groom and nurture them to be who they are? By purging evil ghosts? That’s only possible after they first become an official Emissary of Hell. So, how are they supposed to attain the most basic prerequisites before being appointed an Emissary of Hell?”
Qin Ye blinked rapidly like a butterfly flapping its wings, “Evolution? Cultivating with true energy? Registration?”
… I knew I couldn’t count on an idiot like him!
Arthis gritted her teeth and continued, “It’s through eating and cultivation! Even though they’ll still be immortal and live forever in Hell, the Yin spirits of Hell would never be able to increase their abilities without eating and practicing cultivation! The Yin energy contained in these agricultural products would be absorbed by each Yin spirit through their consumption and diet. Coupled with professional guidance on their cultivation, the Yin spirits will slowly but surely be able to attain a breakthrough to the prerequisite level of a Netherworld Operative.”
Qin Ye was bewildered, “Can’t I just confer them the title and be done with it?”
“Is there something wrong with you? Yes, that’s indeed possible with the help of Hell’s Record. In fact, you can take a vanilla Yin spirit and confer a title that is up to one qualitative rank lower than yours upon him. But there’s only one copy of Hell’s Record, while the number of Yin spirits entering Hell will soon number in the billions! Are you going to confer a title upon them one by one? That’s not the smartest way, nor the best use of your time. The better way to handle this situation is to start a school and provide them with sufficient food and nourishment. That way, you’ll automatically begin to see the emergence of Netherworld Operatives and Emissaries of Hell on their own.”
So that’s how it is… Everyone’s eyes met at the same time. Even Wang Chenghao realized the extent of the benefits of having a system like that!
If being part of Project 985 or Project 211 was a precondition to joining the Cathayan civil service back in the mortal realm, where one would be provided with a healthy wage, benefits and even managerial opportunities, then attaining the cultivation rank of a Netherworld Operative was naturally the precondition to becoming a civil servant in Hell. One who wished to be appointed an Emissary of Hell would not only have to eat and drink well, they would even have to be learned in all forms of literature and arts, including martial arts…
It was practically a hidden gem in the rough!
No demand for these products? No, no, no! These goods are practically necessities! Qin Ye’s mind was already bubbling with all sorts of plans and ploys…
Calm down… calm down… Qin Ye knew full well that he was once again bursting with excitement at the potential of his great harvest, but he also appreciated that these were matters that needed to be carefully considered, since they would have a great bearing on how Hell was going to develop in the long run. Furthermore… he knew that the greatest priority right now was still to establish the sea port city.
The options were limitless, but the greatest priority right now was to focus on Hell’s development and growth. Naturally, the single option that opened up endless opportunities to Hell was the one that should be granted greatest priority!
He took some time to verify the full inventory in his treasury right now. There were a total of twenty-three kinds of seeds, including five grains and sixteen kinds of fruits. The last two were undoubtedly specialty produce, namely for the production of tea and tobacco.
Qin Ye couldn’t be any more pleased about his great harvest.
He had even begun to daydream about the day when the sea port city was finally opened up, and a portion of the special products in the entire East Continent to be traded at the sea port city would naturally be diverted to the City of Salvation as taxes for Hell. He would be able to obtain all forms of treasures that he so desired! What an inspiring picture that would be!
Food, clothes, cosmetics, shoes, sports equipment, and so on and so forth. Everything would fill the spiritual void in his citizens’ hearts, and their quality of life would naturally increase tremendously! It would practically usher in a whole new era of Hell, while he would sit right at the top of this empire he has created, crowned and hailed as the most handsome and promising King Yanluo in the history of Hell. At the same time, he also began to dream of the day when he would slap Zhou Xianlong across the cheek with his shoe, not as an insubordinating individual, but finally as equals…
Just as he was reveling in his reverie, there was suddenly a knock on the door to the treasury.
“Who is it?”
“It is I, your humble servant. I have with me Lord Yu, Lord Yang, and Lord Zhou. They have been waiting for Your Majesty for some time.” Su Dongxue responded from the other side of the door.
Qin Ye’s eyes flickered.
Which Lord Zhou?
He couldn’t think of anyone else apart from Fire God Zhou Yu.
He didn’t leave? And he’s even requesting an audience with me, together with Yu Qian and Yang Jiye?
He snapped his fingers, and the door opened wide. Then, he turned to Wang Chenghao and instructed, “Find someone to clean up the inventory list and file it away. Then, when you’re done, you can shadow Su Dongxue for a period of time and learn a thing or two from her.”
Su Dongxue was vexed.
Wang Chenghao was an incredibly handsome man, so how did he suddenly turn into someone who may end up stealing her job? Furthermore, she could tell just how much Qin Ye valued Wang Chenghao in his heart.
There’s no other explanation for this apart from a forbidden passion!
“It is truly satisfying to reap the rewards of six months worth of preparatory work all at once…” Qin Ye ran his finger gently across the mounds of Yin spirit stones, before turning to Su Dongxue, “Tell them that I’ll meet them at the annex hall of Hell’s Gate in half an hour’s time.”
Half an hour passed in the blink of an eye. Due to the collapse of the clothing industry together with Hell, Qin Ye and his entourage had no choice but to make a formal appearance in their emissary state. This caused him to miss the clothing and costumes industry.
Qin Ye tugged at his sleeves in frustration - Take your time… we can’t be impatient about these things. Hell’s rate of growth and development can already be described as rapid and soaring. If we push things any quicker, we’re bound to trip ourselves up. The effect of good policies will only be seen with time. It’s never a good idea to rush for results. For now, there’s no need to add any more new industries. It would be a good idea to let things stabilize for the next five years, before considering anything else.
Arthis accompanied him to the annex hall. Yu Qian, Yang Jiye and Zhou Yu were already waiting patiently for him. As soon as Qin Ye arrived, the three men immediately stood up and bowed nearly ninety degrees. And then, they cupped their hands respectfully, “Greetings, King Yanluo.”
“Spare the formalities. Take a seat.” Qin Ye waved his hand and sat at the head of the table. He had already completely calmed down by now, so he waited patiently for the others to take their seats, before smiling faintly at Yu Qian and Yang Jiye, “I can tell that both of you are wholeheartedly devoted to Hell. I wonder what you both plan to do next?”
Do you intend to remain here, or do you intend to return to your fiefdom?
Yu Qian took some time for deliberation, “I’m afraid we must disappoint King Yanluo, because we… have to return to our fiefdoms.”
Yang Jiye sighed, “We would love to stay behind to aid Hell with its redevelopment. But… Licchavi and Felipinas are truly treacherous lands, and we wouldn’t feel at ease unless we’re there to oversee its governance and security.”
Qin Ye tapped his finger lightly on the table as he recalled to mind the map of the East Continent. His eyes instantly flickered.
Licchavi… it was a small country - an incredibly small one. However, it was sandwiched right between Cathay and Hindustan! In other words, it was the only buffer zone between the two great underworlds!
The terrain was treacherous, and there were a multitude of places where danger could lurk.
Qin Ye was bent on such rapid development precisely because if the state of underworldly affairs was anything like that of their mortal realm counterparts, then… it would never be in a state of peace!
The Middle East was known for its rich oil resources, and it had historically always been played like a fiddle by the major powers of the world, so much so that it was rife with constant combat and wars. Moreover, if one learns that the old Hell had collapsed, and the big, juicy piece of meat that was Cathay was now up for grabs, every major power in the world would most certainly want a piece of it!
He hadn’t said a word of this to anyone. In fact, it wasn’t even the right time to be considering his potential conflicts with the rest of the world. That said, he couldn’t deny the existence of a Sword of Damocles dangling right over his head, and he didn’t know when it would come cleaving down on his neck and deal him a fatal blow!
“What about the Felipinas?” He looked up at Yang Jiye, “They’re far out in the ocean, and the archipelago consists of only a few small nations. At best, they’re probably only some small-time underworlds, right? Couldn’t Lord Yang remain behind?”
Yang Jiye’s expressions looked grim and serious, “Shaman Yin spirits.”
Yang Jiye hesitated for a moment, while Yu Qian shook his head, “Lord Yang, it’s best if you say it.”
“King Yanluo needs to know the big picture, and just what he’s dealing with. Even if Hell doesn’t possess the ability to deal with it right now, this is still important information.”
Yang Jiye hesitated for a few moments, before finally gnashing his teeth, “Death God Ah Puch, Death God Supay, Death God Mictlantecutli, and Death God Masauwu. The darkfeathers under the charge of these gods of deaths are all called Shaman Yin spirits. Ever since twenty years ago, they’ve begun to sneak across the Pacific Ocean, in an attempt to enter Cathay through the East Cathay Sea!”
Four gods of death!
Qin Ye gasped. To think that there are four death gods coveting the East Continent right now! Fortunately… it looks like Yang Jiye has managed to foil all of their attempts on his own.
This was the first time that Zhou Yu had even heard about something like that, and the netherflames in his eyes pulsated fiercely.
“Not many darkfeathers are able to trek across the entire ocean like them.” Yang Jiye continued, “These four are called the Federation of Four Gods, because their territories are all in the same region - they all hail from Central West Continent as well as Usonia.
Qin Ye fervently stilled his chaotic thoughts and nodded softly, “I’d like to hear more.”
“Yes.” Yang Jiye took some time to sort through his thoughts, before slowly explaining, “Ah Puch is the god of death of the Mayan underworld, Supay is the god of death of the Incan underworld, Mictlantecutli is the god of death of the Aztec underworld, and Masauwu is the god of death of the Hopi underworld. All of them hail from Usonia, and even though their underworld isn’t large, they’ve still been around for at least a thousand years, and they’re undoubtedly an entity that is strong enough to pose a threat to the new Hell.”
Qin Ye promptly searched through his mind for any fragments of memory that contained information about these death gods, before finally responding with a deep voice, “These four death gods hail from the native civilizations of Usonia and Central West Continent? The indigenous people of these lands?”
“My lord, it would be wise not to underestimate them.” Yu Qian cupped his hands respectfully, “The civilization of these indigenous people can be traced back all the way to 200 BC. We’re talking about a veritable 2,000 years old underworld. The only silver lining is that the proliferation of their beliefs are slowly dwindling in the mortal realm, and that is the only reason for which their territory isn’t large. Even then, the fact that they have existed for two millennia necessarily means that… their death gods are all Yanluo-class entities!”
He continued gruffly, “And what makes me most worried is the fact that they’re not even here of their own volition…”
Qin Ye’s eyes flickered. He immediately understood what Yu Qian was getting at.
What he was saying was that there was an even stronger force that was forcing them towards Cathay - a place known to be a forbidden land for all underworlds since time immemorial.
Who was it?
Which god of death in Usonia is it that is so incredibly domineering?
Almost as though he could read Qin Ye’s mind, Yang Jiye continued explaining, “North West Continent is where some of the greatest powers of the underworld are located, including Thanatos and the nameless god of death. The nameless god of death has never participated in any wars. Thus, the only power that can possibly force these native gods to cross the Pacific Ocean can only be the other power residing in Usonia - Thanatos.”
The Argosian gods, huh…
“There’s no need to worry too much for now.” Arthis suddenly interjected, “So long as the Array of the Nine Gods isn’t broken, there’s simply no way for these entities to breach our Cathayan borders.”
“What’s that?” Qin Ye furrowed his brows, “Why haven’t I heard you mentioning these things before?”
Arthis thought for a moment, before sighing wistfully, “I’d thought it best not to tell you these things in the past, since you might grow complacent about building up an army. But given the current circumstances… perhaps it might be best to come clean with the truth.”
“All underworlds have their own arrays that act as a border wall. Let’s put it this way - each set of beliefs, religion, mythology and faith are like unique sets of incense. So long as they continue to burn, the corresponding border walls would remain intact. Additionally, these border walls would continue to act like a shield to any underworld founded under the corresponding belief, religion, mythology or faith for a period of two hundred and fifty years, and then act as a strong defensive force thereafter. While this remains active, only a small number of darkfeathers would be able to penetrate its defenses and enter these lands. Large armies won’t be able to destroy it at all.”
So that’s how it is… It was as though the huge boulder that had been pressing on Qin Ye’s heart had finally been lifted. That explains why the other underworlds still haven’t detected anything amiss despite Hell’s great collapse a hundred years ago.
After all, even the blindest of underworlds should be able to detect it if something went wrong with the strongest power in the world. The control over their vassal states, the diplomacy with the surrounding nations, and even the lack of their voice on the international stage… Hell had gone completely missing for a hundred years! This explained exactly why there was still peace throughout Hell despite the passage of a hundred years!
“That’s right.” Yu Qian nodded, “For instance, adopting the same analogy as before, the incense of these four death gods have already gone out. Their presence is almost completely extinct from the human race in the mortal realm. Therefore, even if they are strong, they would still have to find refuge under the umbrellas of more powerful underworlds. Otherwise, if war breaks out, their underworld would be completely exposed to the incursion of enemy forces, and the consequences could be dire.”
“On the other hand, Cathay is the complete converse of these underworlds. The old Hell has collapsed, but the tradition and belief of Hell still runs strong in the hearts of the Cathayans. The Han Cathayans still remain a dominant force in the mortal realm, and the incense that has been burning for thousands of years still continues to burn brightly. In fact, it can continue to sustain the present Hell for the next two hundred years without any problems at all!”
2. Ah Puch is the Mayan God of Death. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_death_gods; Supay is the Incan God of Death https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supay; Mictlantecutli is the Aztec God of Death https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mictl%C4%81nt%C4%93cutli; while Masauwu is the Hopi God of Death https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopi_mythology