As Lord Ksitigarbha spoke, the golden light emerging from his body only grew brighter and more brilliant. Blood had even begun to seep out of the pores on his body.
The physical body was clearly on the verge of collapse. Qin Ye staggered back slightly, before sighing wistfully, “You’re… leaving us again?”
Golden rays of light rushed up to the sky, only to transform into golden petals that slowly drifted back down. That said, Zeng Shuai’s expressions were filled with a sense of compassion and eager expectation. He nodded to Qin Ye, “Yes… I cannot stay in the mortal realm for much longer. Master Qin, I’ll see you again soon.”
“You’re an interesting person.” His body was beginning to vanish amidst the overwhelming radiance of golden light, “There are only six people in this world who are ageless and immortal. You are undoubtedly the most unique one of them all… Most of them have become numb with the passage of time. Some even go so far as to commit suicide in order to be born afresh on a completely clean slate… Although you’re the youngest one of them all, you’ve undoubted carved out for yourself a completely different life from the rest.”
“Some may say you’re childish and immature, but… you couldn’t be bothered about these passing comments. You don’t care about the things you say to the people unfamiliar to you, or what they think of you at all. Yet you remain willing to do everything you can for those who you care about. You act as you please, yet continue to take care not to hurt those around you. You know exactly when to push a point, and when to back off, and you even keep a lingering trace of your primal instincts around. The trials and tribulations that you’ve been through in life have only imbibed you with a wealth of experience and wisdom. How rare. How truly rare.”
“Others laugh at me for being crazy and foolish, but I laugh with them because their eyes are blinded to the truth. Amitabha.”
With that, the golden light in his body erupted with great brilliance, dazzling the surroundings and causing Qin Ye to cover his eyes. By the time the brilliance faded, Qin Ye discovered that he was once again standing in front of the stone Buddha statue in the Buddhist niche.
If not for the fact that there was now a rusty bell hidden in the heart of his palm, he might well have dismissed the entire sequence of events as no more than a mere illusion.
He fell into deep thought.
What else is hidden within Valley County?
What’s so important that it warrants the personal appearance of Lord Ksitigarbha and a parting word of caution?
The fact that Yin spirits could manipulate their surroundings and even conceal it from an Emissary of Hell means that things were definitely not simple!
“He even mentioned that the truth would influence the next course of action I’m going to undertake. What actions am I supposed to undertake? Establish a trade route? Further construction works in Hell? Connecting with the twelve envoys? He may have gained enlightenment, but the manner in which he carries himself is still incredibly enigmatic…” Qin Ye scratched his head with intense frustration. He hated hearing such mysterious words. Why couldn’t he give a more upfront explanation?
“Regardless, it seems like I have to spend some time in Valley County after all…” He gritted his teeth and steeled his resolve, “Valley County, two hundred kilometers from the City of Salvation. The first place to start my recruitment drive for the Dusk Legionnaire, as well as the first location to receive a Beacon of Light. I’d be killing two birds with one stone!”
Everything else could take a backseat… that is, everything save for the main objective that had catalysed his decision to travel eastwards.
And that was to pave the way from the City of Salvation to Martial City!
What lay ahead of him was still fuzzy and blue, but… all he needed to do was to focus on the objectives at hand.
That said… Qin Ye somehow always had his means of sensing potential dangers that were looming over the horizon…
Put differently, Qin Ye’s cowardly instincts were bristling with fear once more.
He patted his clothes and stood up, before promptly activating the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal and returning straight back into Hell.
“Arti.” He smiled brightly like a little butterfly beside Arthis, “Don’t you think that I’m filled with vitality today?”
I’ll be damned…
Arthis nearly couldn’t resist the urge to give him two tight slaps across his cheeks. She simply couldn’t bear to see someone act this way around her!
“Yes…” She gritted her teeth and responded against her will… I can see that you’re brimming with vitality indeed…
“Then why don’t we make the best of this glorious day and sprightly mood in the air and raise my spirit straight through the roof and into the realms of an Infernal Judge?”
Arthis turned to gaze blankly at the dank, dark skies, wondering whether she could still validly rescind her previous offer to Qin Ye.
Seconds later, Arthis gnashed her teeth and barked at Qin Ye, “Then, get your ass straight to the Hall of Tremors! Advancing to the ranks of an Infernal Judge is fairly easy given that you have Hell’s Records at your disposal. However, the entire process may take a week or so. You’ve got to be mentally prepared.”
Qin Ye went straight to the Hall of Tremors.
Arthis had clearly been making preparations for some time. As soon as he entered the Hall of Tremors, he immediately noticed a circle of arcane talismans that were plastered all over the floor, seemingly haphazardly. That said, it was clear that there was order in chaos, and there was even a lamp placed on each node on the ground.
Qin Ye rubbed his hands together with glee. Infernal Judge… I’m going to be an Infernal Judge soon! This damn silicone woman is going to get it soon… I’m going to show her what true authority actually means!
I’ve had enough of her antics for the entire year. Games, recharging of funds, and even catching up on drama serials…. We’ll account for all of these overdue debts of yours in one week’s time!
When Arthis arrived at the Hall of Tremors, the first thing she was greeted by was a radiant smile and a bright glint in his eye that told her he was ready.
“Why does it feel like… allowing a scumbag like you to become an Infernal Judge… is a great insult to all civil servants of Hell…” Arthis flicked her finger with a soft sigh. The twenty crates of Yin spirit stones that were placed right outside of the central furnace immediately opened up and poured right into the furnace like a massive tide. There was a massive roar, and a massive conflagration erupted and flowed straight through the gully on all sides.
“Are you ready?” Arthis boomed as she manifested her true form. Arakshasa, the colossal head slowly began to hover in the air like a majestic dragon, and her hair flowed magnificently across the entire space.
Qin Ye retracted the smile on his face and nodded deeply.
Arthis closed her eyes.
She didn’t open her mouth to say a single word, and yet a profound, ancient incantation began to resound from all directions. Her hair fluttered wildly in the sky, each of which acting as appendages that were forming a series of hand seals.
The hand seals were incredibly strange. Not only did they not dissipate after some time. Instead, their lustre lingered in the air for some time, before floating up into the sky like beautiful butterflies. The number of such butterflies grew greater and greater, and their shape also grew more and more complicated. After two full hours, Arthis cried out softly, and the talismans on the ground immediately rushed towards Qin Ye with incredible force!
Just then, the flames on the ground trembled in unison, and a massive inferno roared into the sky, setting all of the talismans on fire. The next moment, the talismans began to swirl madly, transforming into a colossal vortex of flame that revolved around Qin Ye.
Whooooooo… It was as though the Yin energy in the vicinity was answering the summons of the vortex of flame. They quickly converged onto Qin Ye’s position and condensed into a dense wave of Yin energy that promptly spun around Qin ye.
And then… Qin Ye’s consciousness faded away.
Meanwhile, just as the vortex of Yin energy began to swirl around his body, Hell’s Record also emerged from his chest, desperately absorbing the surrounding Yin energy and infusing it straight through his body like a conduit. Just like that, the Yin energy in the surroundings continued to rush into his body, filling him up to the point of bursting.
His body swelled and shrank, and swelled and shrank. The Yin energy within appeared to grow purer with every expansion and contraction that his body underwent, almost as though his body were slowly refining its energy into a higher order of power.
It felt warm.
It was like being in a mother’s womb. The originally cold and frigid Yin energy was slowly transforming into a stream of warm energy that suffused throughout his body, filling him with a deep sensation that drove his consciousness to the back of his mind.
It was akin to a metamorphosis of sorts, where he could subconsciously feel that he was slowly getting stronger. That said, he also wanted to continue indulging in that endless reverie of his.
By the time Arthis managed to catch her breath, Qin Ye had already transformed into a massive cocoon of Yin energy - one that was far larger than the one that had enveloped him earlier when he was becoming an Anitya Hellguard. The cocoon was almost a kilometer in size, and there were even faint Sanskrit words gleaming at the top of it all.
A sea of Yin energy billowed and roiled all around the cocoon like a vast ocean of Yin energy. The cocoon rose from the heart of the heart of it all like a great pillar that connected the seas and the skies. And there, an indomitable pressure belonging to an Infernal Judge began to unfurl slowly.
Arthis closed her eyes and quietly stood guard by Qin Ye’s side. Her hair silently weaved together to form a series of chains that watched the entrance like poisonous vipers, ready to strike at the moment’s notice. Any Yin spirit that entered the Hall of Tremors at this point in time, regardless of who it was, would undoubtedly be assaulted by the full force of the great Arakshasa of Hell.
Time passed by quickly, and a week zipped by in the blink of an eye. A web of hair was spread out everywhere within the Hall of Tremors. Arthis remained completely motionless, almost akin to a wooden sculpture, while the massive cocoon in front of her was ostensibly ripe and ready to burst open at the moment’s notice!
Countless wisps of Yin energy were clamoring and roaring from within the cocoon, as though they were fighting to burst through the shell outside, even as endless Sanskrit scriptures glowed intermittently around the cocoon. It was clear that the aura of an Infernal Judge apart from Arthis had just appeared in the Hall of Tremors.
This aura was different from Arthis in many ways. The air about Arthis was cold and cruel, while the breath of this Infernal Judge felt purer and vast.
Just then, one of the hairs that had been spread into a web shifted slightly.
Arthis opened her eyes and immediately looked to the sky. Ka-ka-ka-ka… A split second later, the cocoon of Yin energy that was suspended in mid air began to buzz with a violent hum. Moments later, it suddenly ruptured and erupted with a resounding bang!
It was as though an avalanche had run into the seas, causing the waves to lap against the shores. A blurry silhouette appeared out of the churning clouds of Yin energy, and the breath of an Infernal Judge instantly cascaded down to the grounds below. Despite the fact that they were currently located within the Hall of Tremors, a location that was well beneath the subterranean reaches of Hell, all of the Yin spirits residing on the surface of Hell could sense the aura of the new Judge that had appeared.
“This is…” Gu Qing suddenly lowered his head and stared at the ground with great surprise, “Infernal Judge… this is an aura that appears to be on the same level as Lady Arakshasa!”
Before he could even finish speaking, a massive pillar of Yin energy erupted from beneath the grounds like a raging geyser. Countless spots of netherflames darted about the skies in a frenzy, while the trees on the ground swayed violently about under the overbearing pressure that had just been introduced to Hell. Even the colossal money tree in the far reaches of Hell trembled slightly at the emergence of the second Infernal Judge of Hell.
“This is…” The Yin spirits of Hell were immediately taken aback. The geyser of Yin energy had erupted from the ground just like what once used to be a dormant volcano. Then, before they could even recover from their great shock, a second geyser appeared… and then a third… and then innumerable others! The entire Hell appeared to be a deflating balloon that had sprung a leak in several locations!
“Infernal Judge… this is undoubtedly an Infernal Judge!” Huang Liangchuan trembled right under the money tree. He had just been instructing other Yin spirits on how they should be designing the other banknotes of Hell. However, none of the Yin spirits were drawing right now. Everyone was simply staring out of the window, gazing at the incredible phenomenon where innumerable geysers of Yin energy were pouring straight out of the surface of the ground.
“There’s another Infernal Judge in Hell right now?” “Who is it… could it be Lord Qin himself?!” “I don’t know… is this what an Infernal Judge is like when they go all out? How terrifying…”
But they weren’t the only ones. Every single Yin spirit in Hell was glancing in astonishment at their surroundings. Countless geysers of Yin energy were still rushing into the sky, transforming into a vast cloud of Yin energy in the air before blasting straight down to the ground with immense pressure. None of the Yin spirits were even able to gasp in horror as they subconsciously obeyed the primal instincts in their hearts and knelt down in fear.
The entire Hell was shrouded in silence at that very moment. Everyone was kneeling on the ground, paying tribute to the direction of the Hall of Tremors.
Underground. Arthis looked up at Qin Ye with a faint smile on her face, “Lord Qin, how does it feel?”
“Infernal Judge. You now have the ability to hover in the air for half an hour, and the power at your disposal is leaps and bounds greater than when you were a mere Anitya Hellguard. Congratulations. You’ve finally arrived at the final stages of the middle grade Yin spirits. It must be said that there were only a thousand and two hundred Infernal Judges back in the old Hell. Moving forward, you’ll be looking forward to the ranks of Abyssal Prefect - something that had only ever been experienced by hundreds of people in the history of Hell. When that time comes, you’ll truly be considered a first-rate official of Hell. By then, every step you take will cause thousands of evil ghosts to retreat in fear!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter