Like other predatory zones, the pit of a thousand was completely devoid of any guards or patrols. The bottom of the pit was also a little bit different from the good old days of peace and serenity.
Pak… A twisted pale hand reached out of the soil at the bottom of the pit. Following that, the soil around the hand immediately caved in, giving way to a one-meter wide fissure that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere.
The fissure was almost akin to a gateway to hell. Black vortices of Yin energy rushed out from the fissure, stirring with the soulless cries of evil ghosts. Spots of netherflame darted about eerily to the scattering of hair. And then, a headless corpse slowly rose from the depths of the pit together with the rush of a nethergale.
The black hair of the evil ghost scattered about. She was dressed in white, ancient garments, and her hands were holding the head of a grotesque, malformed baby whose head was covered with a layer of fine, wispy green hair. One could tell through the shape of the evil ghost that it was a lady.
She remained motionless. The head in her hands widened its eyes, before turning to stare at the canopies of Valley County’s skies with a look of great disbelief. She gasped in horror, almost as though she were a taut bowstring, ready to snap at the very next instant.
What a familiar smell…
This… seems to be the scent of the cultivator who had vanished suddenly just a few days ago. But… why did his energy suddenly transform into Yin energy?
And if that were all, it wouldn’t have justified burrowing through the pit of a thousand and scrambling to the surface in order to take a look for herself. The true reason why she felt an intense wave of uneasiness sweep over her was because… she could sense fear drifting about in the dreary night sky.
It was fear emanating from the multitude of wandering ghosts out there - innate, primal fear that simply couldn’t be concealed.
She glanced around, and yet… she couldn’t even see a single Yin spirit in sight!
The attraction of stronger Yin spirits was undeniable to weaker Yin spirits. In the past, this evil ghost would invariably see a multitude of Yin spirits hovering about the vicinity whenever it emerged from the pit of a thousand. Thousands - and quite possibly ten thousand - wandering spirits would linger around these parts of Valley County. As long as she even released a single breath outside, the wandering spirits would all come scrambling to her, hoping to snag a wisp or two of Yin energy as nourishment for their own bodies. However… all of that was missing today.
Something’s not right. There’s something around here… something dangerous and terrifying… It’s almost as though… he’s right by my side, staring at me from the darkness around.
Her chest rose and fell greatly. A split second later, she steeled her nerves and scrambled right back into the fissure from where she came from.
Just like that, the headless corpse turned tail and took flight. It was an incredibly bizarre sight. But as soon it got just three meters away from the mouth of the fissure, a brilliant beam of blade light cut right through the darkness, cutting a gash tens of meters long right through the ground! In fact, the gash ran right along the fissure through to the bottom of the pit, quick as lightning. Cracks promptly formed along the walls of the fissure, before the entire fissure collapsed altogether!
“Who is it?!!!” She whipped her head around and hissed menacingly. Rings of sound waves visible to the naked eye instantly swept across the ground, sending dust and debris scattering about. Her hair had once again begun to scatter like a black tide, while the green hair on the head of the baby stood up at its roots, as though in fear.
“I’d never thought that I’d see you afraid…” A man’s voice echoed from the darkness. A split second later, a pitch-black shadow soon covered the pit. It was a man who was towering over the evil ghost, staring down at her with his terrifying scarlet pupils. Then, as that man held up his long blade horizontally across his body, the evil ghost noticed a line of text etched along the surface of the blade that read - Kiku-ichimonji.
How terrifying… What the hell is this thing?! Is this an evil ghost? But… I’m an evil ghost too, so why do I feel so rattled by his existence?
Ka-ka-ka-ka… The long black nails of her feet were firmly rooted to the ground, yet her calves continued to shake like sieves.
She glared vigilantly at the figure that had appeared out of the darkness as he raised the katana slightly and ran a finger across its surface, “Had you known this was going to be the outcome, would you have done it all in the first place?”
It was a simple statement filled with indifference, and yet it merely served to stir the fear in the heart of the evil ghost to even greater heights! She wasn’t able to put a finger to the exact source of her fear. However, the only thing she knew was that her instincts were railing at her at the top of its voice - Run away! You’re no match for him! He’s a true demon king!!!
She naturally obeyed her instincts.
Before he could finish speaking, she shrieked even and dashed at lightning speed straight back into the crumbled fissure in the ground. She was running at top speed. Her hair had instantly retracted around her body and wrapped her up into a ten-meter hairball. No matter what, she was hell bent on returning to Limbo.
Unfortunately… as soon as it approached the fissure, a scarlet light instantly appeared at the top of the pit. One scarlet spot… two scarlet spots… ten spots… fifty spots… a hundred spots… a thousand spots!
There were a thousand spots of red light trained directly at the fissure on the ground!
Ssss… The female jiangshi immediately froze on the spot. Something deep within her heart told her that so long as she took another step forward, her enemy would immediately release a volley of those dangerous red bolts, puncturing a thousand holes straight through her body in an instant!
Just then, the figure that was hovering right over the pit finally moved.
He cut straight to the case. A mighty skeletal horse and its rider instantly leapt straight through the air.
Wisps of Yin energy followed him like a thin, black veil as he leapt through the roiling dark clouds. It was an elegant sight. However, his blade swiftly shattered the air with a sonic boom. Coupled with the rushing momentum of his mighty skeletal horse, his swift slash instantly cleaved down on the jiangshi’s head like a devastating bolt from the heavens!
It was so fast that not even the jiangshi saw it coming! She simply couldn’t fathom how an entity of the same cultivation rank could possibly move so quickly!
It was swift as lightning, and fleeting as a rainbow.
SSSSSSS!!!! She hissed despondently at the mouth of the fissure. Simultaneously, the war horse arrived right in front of it, and the devastating strike struck like mighty judgment lightning. Yet, the mighty horseman didn’t even deign to look at the injuries he had caused. Instead, he simply turned around and instructed his men, “Tie her up.”
The thousands of Yin soldiers that were lingering about immediately came forward. The female jiangshi gritted her teeth as she clutched at her wounds. The left part of her torso, starting from the left shoulder and running straight through her left abdomen, had been completely cleaved away from her body in an instant!
I… was actually defeated in a single strike?
By an evil ghost of the same cultivation rank?
“How… is this… possible…” She stared at the valiant horseman in great astonishment. Unfortunately, the horseman immediately stamped down on her head and sent it straight into the mud below.
“By Hell’s Dictum, all rabble shall disperse. Have you not heard of this?” The horseman smiled wickedly as he looked down upon the Yin spirit below, “All Emissaries of Hell are equipped with the ability to defeat Yin spirits of the same cultivation rank as them. You modern Yin spirits truly don’t understand how the world works at all.”
“Predatory Zone A-49 is showing signs of intense Yin energy fluctuations! Hang on… it’s… over? Predatory Zone A-49 is now showing signs of movement… Predatory Zone A-49 is now showing signs of movement!!!” The investigator watching the surveillance monitor cried out hoarsely from the surveillance room within the county hall, “Does this mean that… the pit of a thousand has finally been breached?! Was the Hellguard-class evil ghost ambushed by assailants?! How… could it possibly be so quick?!”
He wasn’t the only one. Zeng Shuai, Chen Nian and some others were all staring at the surveillance monitors, completely flabbergasted. In an instant, the thumb-sized red blip on the screen representing Predatory Zone A-49 had shrunk to the size of a single dot, and it was even moving straight towards the county hall!
All of the personnel from the Special Investigations Department stared at each other with great disbelief.
Is this the might of Hell?
Is this the effects of the march of the Yin soldiers?
Zeng Shuai was the first one to snap back to his own senses. He immediately looked at the time. It was 4.30 a.m.
It had only taken them four hours of time to breach all hunting zones and predatory zones! And… that wasn’t all! He could now sense an intense wave of Yin energy slowly closing in on the location of the county hall!
Although they were currently located in the basement, they could sense that this phenomenon definitely wasn’t caused by any particularly powerful Yin spirit. Rather, it felt more akin to… the convergence of countless ants!
“Has Hell… actually managed to purge all Yin spirits within Valley County?” Zeng Shuai’s lips trembled as he asked with great disbelief.
This was the ultimate goal of all investigators around. Unfortunately, it was an immensely tall order than none had ever accomplished. Yet… to think that they were on the cusp of making their dreams a reality like that!
They weren’t the only ones who were flabbergasted by Qin Ye’s performance. At this very moment, the two Judge-class experts located at the top floor of the county hall were already staring at the darkness outside with their mouths wide open.
No. The skies were no longer as dark as they had been before.
The moon had at some point in time already peeked out from behind the clouds, casting a soft, silvery sheen across the cold, desolate lands. At that very moment, everyone could see hundreds of Yin soldiers working together, rounding up the wandering spirits in the vicinity and corralling them to the plaza in front of the county hall, where they would join the rest of the Yin spirits that were already kneeling on the ground!
There were old and young, and male and female Yin spirits alike. None of them possessed any sentience, but they could still instinctively feel fear. Just like that, they knelt on the ground with their heads bowed low. Not a single one of them dared move a single muscle at all.
And the ones located right at the front were the main culprits responsible for the hunting zones and predatory zones in Valley County. Not a single one of them was missing right now!
“To think they used only four and a half hours…” One of the human Judges gasped coldly, “To purge a hundred years’ worth of Yin spirits within Valley County.”
Their numbers were dense as the oceans. A single glance at it would reveal that there were easily hundreds of thousands of them gathered in front of the county hall right now!
Not only were they located at the plaza in front of the county hall, they were even spilling over into the surrounding streets. It wasn’t even an exaggeration to call this a tide of Yin spirits right now.
It was almost as though… they were slaughtering an entire county.
What a spectacle to behold!
Countless Yin spirits continued to pour into the gathering zone like crashing waves that continued to build on each other. Then, as soon as the clock struck five, a majestic voice called out, “All Yin spirits have been rounded up.”
Ta-ta-ta… A skeletal warhorse carried Oda Nobunaga all the way to the entrance of the county hall.
A soft nethergale swept by, sending Oda Nobunaga’s long, scarlet robes fluttering about majestically. Then, he got off the horse and knelt down on a single knee, “By your command, we’ve rounded up all 1,089,432 Yin spirits of Valley County. Please inspect them all.”
Is it finally about to go down? Everyone back in the county hall was staring intently at the plaza. Zeng Shuai and other lower-ranking cultivators even left the safety of the county hall and arrived right outside the plaza. The tide of Yin spirit out there was a shocking sight to behold. Zeng Shuai shut his eyes softly, and could immediately sense a mild throbbing sensation in his eyelids. He couldn’t believe that everything he had ever dreamed of was now standing right in front of his very eyes.
After some time, he muttered softly, “Old Chen… how long have we been in Valley County now…?”
“Nine years…” Chen Nian’s response was equally drifty. One could even hear him choking up slightly, “To think that we would one day see salvation like this…”
Millions of Yin spirits were kneeling right in front of the county hall, while a tide of Yin energy lingered about the entire plaza outside. The historic moment would be sealed as soon as the one named Kui Wood Wolf gives the command to slaughter them all! This would become the very first county to be completely devoid of Yin spirits in the last ten years! Even the two human Judges couldn’t help but stir with great emotion as they eagerly anticipated the words that they all wanted to hear - those words that would bring deliverance upon them all.
Dead silence. Then, suddenly, the Yin energy in the vicinity converged towards the center of the plaza, forming a massive vortex of Yin energy, from which Qin Ye stepped out in his Hell’s Emissary state.
A black robe, complete with his Zhong Kui hat, a Judgment Pen and a Book of Life and Death in his hands. His robes fluttered about, just like the dance of his scattering white hair. Over a million Yin spirits were present at the plaza right now, and yet not a single one of them dared raise their heads to look at the mighty one that had just descended upon them. Even the evil ghosts of the hunting zones were trembling like falling leaves.
The two human Judges couldn’t help but gulp nervously. What a majestic sight… This is what a genuine Infernal Judge looks like! He holds all authority over millions of lives in his hands! He’s the true master of life and death!
Then, amidst the watchful eyes of all who were around, Qin Ye glanced coldly at the endless tide of Yin spirits around, before finally pausing on the female jiangshi right at the front of them all.
She was trembling profusely. Her lips parted several times, almost as though she wanted to say something. Unfortunately, a confluence of awe and fear completely overwhelmed her, so much so that she was rendered completely speechless. She made nary a sound, yet the opening and shutting of her mouth appeared to be a wordless plea - Have mercy…
Qin Ye looked away. Then, when he looked up once more, the netherflames in his eyes were instead blazing with golden flames that were as bright as the sun. He spoke with great indifference, “All Yin spirits of Valley County are charged with the crime of conspiring to kill King Yanluo of Hell. You are hereby convicted and sentenced to the sky lantern punishment forthwith.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter