Is this an attitude that you should have when visiting a sick and wounded patient?
It had to be said that Dogballs Qin’s tyrannical aura was at an all-time high after having returned to the safety of his own territory. He swept Arthis a cold glance, “If you can survive the onslaught of attacks of sixty thousand Yin soldiers led by thirteen Infernal Judges no less, and then still live to tell the tale, I’ll immediately take on your surname.”
Arthis immediately froze and retracted the mischievous smile on her face, “What happened? Why are there Yin soldiers out there? Don’t spare any details!”
Just then, a male voice resounded interjected from the doorway, and Oda Nobunaga and Gu Qing both walked in at the same time, “I’m also curious as to why Lord Qin would suddenly show up at Hell’s Gate that day, completely covered in blood. Do you know what kind of shock you’ve caused everyone in Hell? Who could have possibly injured you to such an extent?”
Oda Nobunaga’s body armor was now tattered and broken in several places, and there were even traces of Yin energy bubbling from the dark crevices on it. His expression was laced with some measure of grim hostility, and he exuded both the majesty and ferocity of the infamous Demon King of the Sixth Heaven that rattled Nippon four hundred years ago.
On the other hand, Gu Qing’s expression was laden with worry and concern. After all, Qin Ye was undoubtedly Hell’s main pillar of support. Everyone else in Hell was completely expendable, especially since it was only a matter of time before Hell became filled with talents once again. However, the one person that was practically irreplaceable was Qin Ye alone.
Glossing over his usual impish and whimsical self, Qin Ye has never once made a single mistake when it came to the important decisions and matters of Hell.
It was almost as though he had a strict plan in mind all this while.
The annex hall had recently been sorted out, repurposed, and decked out with a plethora of medical implements to facilitate Qin Ye’s recovery. Qin Ye turned to look at Oda Nobunaga with a quizzical look in his eyes, “What’s this?”
“Complying with your orders.” Oda Nobunaga smiled back, “Half a month ago, I led the Yin soldiers on an expedition towards the southwest gate of Fengdu Necropolis, where we successfully reclaimed the seventh battlement. It’s already been temporarily designated as the new Hell’s forward base. If Lord Qin is free, you may head down to have a look for yourself.”
The first battle with the blight vermin is over?
Qin Ye’s gaze flickered wildly, and the sheer excitement in his heart even distracted his mind from the pain from his shoulder. This was an important milestone for Hell. For one, every single one of Hell’s goals was dependent on the success of Nobunaga’s mission. After all, the eastbound expedition to Eastmount required all of their soldiers to be armed to the teeth with armaments forged from blight vermin carapace. And beyond that… the fact that they had made some headway in the old Hell meant that the other pieces of treasures still languishing in the depths of the old Hell could potentially be recovered. The prospects of something like that were of great significance!
Besides, Qin Ye knew better than to gloss over Oda Nobunaga’s achievements right now. Qin Ye had personally been to Fengdu Necropolis before. He knew full well how long the necropolis walls were, and he naturally knew how significant the reclamation of a single battlement atop this wall meant to their future endeavours in the old Hell. To a certain extent, it was no different from capturing an entire town. The ability to achieve such results despite being surrounded on all sides by blight vermin was something incredibly commendable.
“What about the casualties?” Qin Ye continued to ask placidly, even though he had already on several occasions shed his cold and distant persona before Oda Nobunaga. After all, Qin Ye had already resolved to maintain such a persona for as long as he could.
“Two thousand five hundred Yin soldiers.” Oda Nobunaga cupped his hands respectfully as he reported back, “The blight vermin habitually live in packs, so it was necessary to subdivide our forces in order to divide and conquer. Lord Zhou’s Karmic Fire Divine Crossbows have been of great help. The blight vermin carapace won’t be damaged by the flames of the crossbow bolts, but the intense flames of the karmic fire would still destroy them from within. Over the course of this expedition of ours, we’ve expended a total of 83,542 Karmic Fire crossbow bolts, and killed over a hundred thousand blight vermin!”
Qin Ye breathed a long sigh of relief. It looked like we won’t have to worry about raw materials for armaments in Hell for a very long time. The only bottleneck keeping them from immediately embarking on their eastbound expedition to Eastmount Province was the results of Oda Nobunaga’s expedition to the old Hell, as well as his establishment of the Beacons of Light to guide the eastbound expedition.
Yin beasts… That’s where the Karmic Fire Divine Crossbows truly shine!
“What about you, Mr Gu?” Qin ye was in a good mood, and he smiled genially as he turned to Gu Qing.
Gu Qing smiled back, “Lord Qin, there weren’t any major incidents in Hell during this period of time. After several meetings, we’ve come to the conclusion that it might be in Hell’s best interest to launch Hell’s monetary system only when the new port city of Hell is finally inaugurated. Otherwise, the present output of Hell is so low that it wouldn’t be able to support and stabilize a monetary system at all. Rather than to let it die off in the near future and then struggle to bring it back later on, it might be better to launch it at a more opportune time and let it soar once and for all. This way, it would also save us resources which may be better channelled to other areas.”
Qin Ye nodded. This was something he had already anticipated would happen.
He wasn’t a god. Hell was a town at the nascent stages of development. Yet it was also a place one that was meant to house over a billion ghosts by the end of the century. Naturally, Qin Ye could only roll out policies on the most generic level with such considerations in mind, but the specifics and implementation of these policies would naturally be left to others who had more time and expertise than he did to deal with the practical considerations.
“That said, there’s one other piece of good news, and that is the fact that the establishment of Hell’s Media Group has already been finalized. We estimate that it would be officially launched before the eastbound expedition begins.”
“Oh?” Qin Ye’s gaze flickered once more, “Mr Gu, you’ve personally seen the importance and influence of the media, and you should know better than anyone that the media is undoubtedly the mouthpiece of a nation. I won’t say much more, but I trust that you’ll deal with the specifics of the launch, and ensure that the leadership candidates are considered thoroughly.”
“Yes.” Gu Qing bowed, “The best candidate we have shortlisted for the head of Hell’s Media Group so far is Mr Cang Jie, the Minister of Doctrine. He was previously one of the main hosts of the City of Salvation’s national television, and he’s even got experience working with other television stations in the provincial capital of Mount Tai City. He’s not bad. Furthermore, it’s precisely because I’m aware of how important the media is in depicting the image of a nation that I’ve specially reported this news to Lord Qin for your approval. Once you give the go ahead, I’ll immediately set things in motion."
As soon as the eastbound expedition begins, Oda Nobunaga would with immediate effect be promoted to the sitting ruler of Hell, while Gu Qing would act as the prime minister in place of Arthis. Qin Ye had already instructed that the two should fully cooperate with each other.
“It’s fine so long as you’ve discussed things with Oda Nobunaga.” Qin Ye waved his hand casually, before suddenly freezing in place.
He had subconsciously waved his right hand.
And that was incidentally also his injured hand.
But… the injuries on his shoulder that had been wrapped up in bandages… had actually already recovered?
Qin Ye was astounded, but Arthis simply responded placidly, “Why do you look so shocked? You’re the lord of one of the three realms in the world. You shouldn’t take more than a day or two to recover from Injuries like those. In fact, the new Hell can even restore a wounded soul to completeness so long as your soul isn’t shattered to pieces by your enemies.”
Hell can even do something like that?
Qin Ye removed the bandages from his shoulder, only to discover that his shoulder was now good as new. In fact, there weren’t even any traces or scars from the harrowing wound he had sustained.
He gently ran his finger along his shoulder, and the smile on his instantly turned icy cold. If they can’t kill me, then… it’s about time for me to launch my counterattack!
Trying to shake things up, aren’t you?
Did you really think I didn’t have any clean-up batters behind me?
You’re going to tremble when you see our legendary batter Oda Nobunaga walk up to the field! Two can play this game, my friend!
“Mr Oda.” Qin Ye gnashed his teeth, “Immediately summon your troops… and come with me to Valley County! We’ll exterminate all of the Yin spirits over there! Not a single one of them shall be spared!’
You dare to assassinate the future king Yanluo of Hell? That’s treason! All Yin spirits of Valley County are complicit in this, and not a single one of them shall be spared from their crimes! We’ve got to set an example for the rest! Otherwise, where are they supposed to learn to respect and fear Hell’s existence?!
All great nations had to be accorded the respect that they deserve.
They are to be revered as a saint from within, and a formidable force from without!
“Hang on.” Arthis raised her hand, “What’s going on? You’ve got a better sense of smell for such dangers than any other Yin spirit around. The fact that they could reduce you to such a state means that… they should never be underestimated.”
It was then that Qin Ye finally drew a deep breath and recounted everything that had occurred in Valley County from start to finish.
Everyone gasped in horror when they finally heard about the existence of the sixty thousand strong army of Yin soldiers led by thirteen Infernal Judges.
This was a force that was powerful enough to overthrow an entire district in Cathay! Furthermore, it was clear that the force Qin Ye had encountered was an alliance of sorts!
“Kill them. We need to obliterate them.” Oda Nobunaga’s eyes were blazing with a ferocious netherflame, “Lord Qin, rest assured. You’ve been in a state of comatose for two days, and the First Battalion of Hell has already rested for five days since their last expedition. I’ll immediately summon my troops and follow you straight back to Valley County to purge the enemy forces!”
“Slow down!” Gu Qing immediately interjected with great concern, “Mr Oda, we’re talking about an enemy force formed by sixty thousand Yin soldiers and thirteen Infernal Judges. Sending the First Battalion of Hell against something like this… is no different from throwing eggs at a rock. We cannot afford to put all of our eggs in one basket like that!”
Oda Nobunaga snorted coldly, “Mr Gu, we can’t sit idly by and do nothing either. If the Tang Dynasty were to encounter something like that, they would most certainly go all out and destroy the offending faction! A great nation must live up to its name! Do you know what their actions amount to? It’s a rebellion! How can we sit by and tolerate such treasonous actions?!”
However, he immediately continued with a peculiar smile on his face, “That said, it’s going to be a show more than anything. I’m not stupid enough to clash directly against sixty thousand Yin soldiers.”
“Then, you’re--...” Gu Qing was confused. These discussions were clearly geared towards military affairs, and it was naturally out of the comfort zone of someone like Gu Qing, who was more adept at domestic affairs.
“Peach Blossom Lantern.” Just then, Arthis gazed into the distant and murmured under her breath, “I’d never expected to see something like that appear in a place like this…”
Qin Ye frowned, “Peach Blossom Lantern… Is that the Yin artifact that was able to hurt me? You know where it comes from?”
Arthis slowly lowered her head and sighed softly, “Yes. I know of it… because it was the Yin artifact that my teacher had used. And my teacher’s name is… Gyasa.”
Qin Ye furrowed his brows. Who’s that supposed to be?
“Gyasa…” Everyone was silent, until a few seconds later, when Gu Qing suddenly jumped out from his seat, “Gyasa? Gyasa?! Your teacher… is actually her?!”
“Who?” Qin Ye immediately pursued the question.
Gu Qing gulped nervously and stared at Arthis with great disbelief, “‘Gya’, in Bodese, means a female of Han descent. ‘Sa’, refers to a deity. Put together, Gyasa refers to a female Han deity. Historically… there’s only been one person who has been conferred this title before… Rather, might I say, one princess…”
He drew a deep breath, “Princess Wencheng.”
Qin Ye blinked vacantly, before turning back to Arthis as though he had just seen a ghost, “Princess Wencheng… King Songtsen Gampo’s Princess Wencheng?”
Qin Ye stared at Arthis with an increasingly incredulous look on his face - How could Princess Wencheng possibly raise ruch a regicidal, patricidal witch who defected from Northrend to--...
Sorry, I might have gone off topic there…
But… I mean… shouldn’t some of her royalty and dignity at least rub off on you?!!
“She’s just my teacher! My academic teacher! What the hell’s going on in your mind right now?!” Arthis glared ferociously at him, “I’ve heard that my teacher managed to breakthrough to the ranks of an Abyssal Prefect thirty years before the great collapse of Hell. The Peach Blossom Lantern was an artifact that she had loved and cherished in life, and had subsequently been buried together with her in death. That was why it ended up becoming the Yin artifact at her personal disposal. I would never have expected to see it being used in the depths of Valley County either!”
“But now that something like that has appeared…” A glint of murderous intent flickered across the depths of her eyes, “Then… we must absolutely retrieve such an artifact from the grasps of the undeserving ones!”
“One moment, my lady.” Oda Nobunaga interjected, “It was precisely because of this that I’d earlier suggested putting up a show.”
“First of all, we know for a fact that one of the greatest sinners from the Confucian Family has managed to escape into the mortal realm. He might not be aware of the situation in Hell, but he can probably guess a thing or two from the state that the mortal realm is in right now. If you were him, would you still remain in Valley County after swinging and missing the mark?”
Qin Ye secretly lauded Oda Nobunaga in his heart, and even cast upon him a favourable glance.
He’s truly worthy of being known as one of the greatest generals and warlords of all time. Qin Ye knew exactly what he was getting at. The attempted assassination of the King Yanluo of Hell was something that could never be covered up. At this point, it was more about the dignity of Hell than anything else. In modern terms, it would be akin to someone bombing a Cathayan embassy in a foreign land. Strictly speaking, the culprits would be no more than the few actual perpetrators who were involved in the act itself. But why would Cathay step up and give the foreign land a good shelling and even a slap across the face?
It was a show of force undergirded by the principles of deterrence.
They knew for a fact that they wouldn’t be able to defeat the perpetrators in a full frontal clash. Mobilizing troops for that reason was therefore naturally out of the question. So, what do they do?
The current situation was a perfect set up for them.
Raze all hunting zones and predatory zones within Valley County to the ground, and leave none alive!
None of the perpetrators would be aware that the force that was mobilized constituted the entire fighting force of the new Hell. Their show of force was intended to strike fear into the hearts of the perpetrators and stem the flow of all momentum before it picks up! This was the first time Hell was making its presence known outside the City of Salvation, and the idea was to make the biggest deal out of it that they could, as a warning to all Yin spirits out there that they should never step on the tiger’s tail!
2. Princess Wencheng (628-680/682) was a member of a minor branch of the royal clan of the Tang Dynasty, and she allegedly married King Songtsen Gampo of the Tibetan Empire in 641. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Wencheng