Chapter 407: War Riches

What’s the fastest way to get rich?

Bank robbery?

No, no, no. That would at best get you a few hundred thousands, or perhaps a few million at best. Banks wouldn’t carry that much cash at any one point in time, especially those in Cathay. Everything was now digital! Damn this cashless society!

War - the only way to do it was through war!

War riches were on a completely different scale. The wealth garnered would be in the region of trillions! We’re talking about a country, a city, and millions of people! And that’s not even taking into account the special products of each city, gold, silver and other precious gems and minerals!

Wang Chenghao’s jaws dropped. He finally understood everything.

An entire city… An entire city with more complete facilities and amenities than the new Hell!

The entire city had been completely emptied out and cleaned for use, just like a naked maiden laying in wait for them. And right now… it’s placed right under our very eyes!

“Holy shit… a… a new city? We’ve got… a whole new city for ourselves?!” Wang Chenghao shot to his feet several moments later, “I mean… we didn’t even do anything… s-s-so how did we even end up with a whole new city?!”

Qin Ye’s expressions dulled, “About that… can’t you do something about your ability to think for yourself? Do you not realize that the entire place has been abandoned? Do you not understand what the implications of that are? Also, what do you mean nothing was done? That’s rather offensive… Did I not mobilize ten thousand troops and march them through the city?”

Wang Chenghao’s heart instantly swelled with the desire to cuss Qin Ye out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the appropriate time for these things. With trembling lips, he stared at the ground and the walls around him, almost as though he were a two hundred pound kid that had just obtained a new toy. Five minutes later, he turned around once more with a bright flush on his face, “S-so we basically earned ourselves a city… with just a simple parade?”

That was the moment that Qin Ye decided to terminate the One Tail training programme. It was far better to let someone like that rot in the path of man.

Qin Ye gritted his teeth, “Tell me, are you good for anything else apart from that face of yours?”

Wang Chenghao touched his face in horror, “Is this not good enough for you?”

Bloody hell… see if I don’t rain down on you hellfire and brimstone today… Nobody - I say - nobody stop me!

Just then, Oda Nobunaga suddenly interjected, “A well-equipped city can be used as a launching pad to explore Limbo, and it can also be a bastion of safety for retreating armies. Its value is practically incalculable. Moreover, the surrounding Yin beasts have already been swept away, and you can tell that this definitely isn’t a makeshift city. This military garrison… is definitely worth at least a billion Yin spirit stones or more! Alas… war is truly profitable!”

Qin Ye slowly walked to the restaurant and ran his finger across the black chairs and tables, “Its true value still lies in the advancement of technologies it brings to us. I’ve got to say that they’re truly worthy of being called the original gentry of Cathay. Notwithstanding the fact that they’ve had several decades of head start over us, the fact that they’re able to develop the chemicals industry and the food and beverages industry is already an incredible feat in and of itself. And that’s not to mention the fact that this all comes after the great collapse of Hell… Now I’m even more curious than ever as to what else they might possibly have in store for us?”

“Is this really ours now?” Wang Chenghao touched the wooden railings of the stairs excitedly, “They… wouldn’t come back for these, would they?”

Qin Ye ignored his ridiculous query. It was instead Oda Nobunaga who nodded with great patience, “No.”

Without missing a beat, he began to draw a simple map on the table using his own Yin energy, “Mr Wang, you’ll need to appreciate why they abandoned the city in the first place.”

Qin Ye was ostensibly inspecting the ancient countertop with great excitement, but the truth of the matter was that he was in fact listening closely to what Oda Nobunaga had to say. He wanted to know how astute Oda Nobunaga was with his observations.

This was very much a test of the depth of his perception.

Oda Nobunaga explained patiently, “Do you still remember when Lord Qin mentioned that the daolord of the three eastern provinces would never dare to draw close to Yan Capital, so they’d much rather cross the strait and head towards Eastmount?”

Wang Chenghao nodded, and Oda Nobunaga promptly continued, “If that’s indeed the case, then… Eastmount Province is quite likely up to its neck in the flames of conflict right now. There’s the daolord of the asura right above them, and the alliance of the thirteen Judges right below. Leaving sixty thousand Yin soldiers garrisoned here might trigger a great battle against Hell. At that time, they would no longer have the opportunity to pull back their forces, and that would give the daolord of the asura the opening that he needs.”

He squatted down and began to draw more on the ground with his Yin energy, “The stakes are simply too high. It would be imprudent to stay around and risk getting held back. Therefore, they chose to pull back. But, most importantly...”

“Do you know the identity of the perpetrator this time?”

The sudden question took Wang Chenghao by surprise. That said, Qin Ye had already informed everyone about his earlier conversation with the Harken. Thus, Wang Chenghao pondered for a moment, and then responded, “Kong Mo?”

Oda Nobunaga smiled brightly, while Wang Chenghao promptly smacked himself on the head as enlightenment struck, “Yes… that’s right! Kong Mo is incredibly wary of the old Hell! He knows all too well that the old Hell would never retreat with a cursory sweep through the city. In fact, he’s so afraid of Hell that he’d much rather abandon the entire city than risk getting into an altercation with Hell right now! Isn’t that the true reason we could get away with such great spoils of war in the first place?”

Oda Nobunaga laughed boisterously, “To be more precise, the others were simply rallying their troops in this region when they suddenly discovered Lord Qin by chance. To their minds, the threat of the old Hell is most certainly far greater than the threat of the daolord located geographically above them. Thus… they temporarily rallied the members of the alliance to take down Lord Qin once and for all. Then, after Lord Qin’s departure, they received news that Hell had mobilized a great army to take them down, so they immediately retreated all the way back to Eastmount, where they came from. This is the truth surrounding this empty city right now.”

Wang Chenghao stared at the black arrows that Oda Nobunaga had drawn on the ground, before turning to look at Oda Nobunaga with great admiration. No wonder you’re qualified to be the protagonist in several games. Truly awesome!

Oda Nobunaga didn’t notice the bright glint in Wang Chenghao’s eyes. Instead, he continued to draw a large black dot where Qufu was located, before slamming his fist on his palm, “We’re probably not wrong about this! But if we’re right, then this also means that Eastmount Province contains both the alliance of Infernal Judge and their troops, as well as the daolord of the asura and his forces! It’s not going to be a walk in the park by any means!”

Clap clap clap… Qin Ye applauded, “It looks like I haven’t entrusted the new Hell to the wrong hands.”

After all, it was only through trials that the wheat would be separated from the chaff.

And the one standing right beside him was probably the most premium of grains at that.

Anxious to prove himself, Wang Chenghao immediately blurted, “Brother Qin… You’ve got to think carefully about this next move of ours. I can’t help but feel as though the Eastmount Province is going to go down as a race to the bottom. Are you sure you still want to cast your lot into this ballot box and participate in such a terrifying conflict?”

“So what if they had a head start over us?” Qin Ye’s smile faded away, and he snorted coldly, “They only managed to come out on top of us the last time because they took us by surprise with their strength in numbers. But this time… there’s me, Arakshasa, and the ten thousand Yin soldiers of Hell. Furthermore, Lord Yang’s reinforcements are going to be arriving in no time! We’re talking about tens of thousands of genuine Yin soldiers! How are they going to gain an advantage over us this time?! Do you really think the phrase ‘By Hell’s Dictum, all rabble shall disperse’ is something that we say for fun?!”

Oda Nobunaga’s eyes instantly gleamed brightly, “My lord… You’ve invited Lord Yang?”

Qin Ye raised his eyebrows and nodded softly.

Oda Nobunaga took a deep breath to suppress the surging emotions in his heart. If not for the fact that he’d been entrusted with the task over overseeing Hell’s development, he would have unsheathed Kiku-ichimonji and charged straight into battle!

After all, it wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to suggest that the upcoming war would either make or break Hell altogether!

Had they not struck the deal with the twelve envoys just a little while ago, where would they get the confidence and courage to march for Qufu, where an Abyssal Prefect and an alliance of Infernal Judges lay hidden? 

But should they succeed, the powerful Yin spirits there would immediately pledge allegiance to Hell, and Hell would consequently gain the ability to protect and watch over Eastmount Province. Naturally, the resources from the mortal realm would begin to flow, and Hell’s development and growth would truly take off from there!

And it was precisely because Qin Ye was confident in his victory that the glimpse of the technology within this garrison truly stirred his excitement for what was to come.

Mine! It’s all mine!

Wang Chenghao could practically hear the herald of the angels and the victorious blare of trumpets. Thus, he promptly drifted back onto the streets and began issuing directions to the Yin soldiers to comb through the city properly.

As soon as Wang Chenghao left the room, Oda Nobunaga immediately walked over and probed further, “My lord… are those… truly your thoughts?” 

Qin Ye’s gaze narrowed softly, “I was kidding. Whilst I had been confronted with an army of sixty thousand back then, we still don’t know how many Yin soldiers are gathered in Qufu right now. The power of Yin soldiers empowered by military formations is truly terrifying. Arakshasa and I have done some initial projections, and the conclusion is that unless we have ten times the number of troops that they have in their command, we can’t be assured of victory.”

Silence.

A nethergale swept by, gently tousling the garments of the two men. Neither knew what else they could add.

The Eastmount Peninsula was obviously controlled by the alliance of evil ghosts. Otherwise, they couldn’t possibly encroach upon the boundary lines separating Breakwaters Province and Insignia Province and extend their influence all the way to Valley County. That would be way too far. And to that end, would an alliance who have had control over the Yin spirits in Eastmount Province for over a hundred years truly have no less than a hundred thousand Yin spirits?

Unfortunately…

“The battle must still be fought.” Qin Ye drove the point home, “Even if Hell becomes a war-torn, desolate land, the spoils of war would still be sufficient to restore us to complete health, and well beyond that! It would even set us up properly for the rest of all time. I simply cannot find any justification not to push through with this war.”

A burning gaze filled Oda Nobunaga’s eyes. Seconds later, he half-knelt to the ground and roared with determination, “I give my life for Hell!”

Qin Ye nodded, “Let’s go.”

“Lord Yang’s troops should be arriving soon. This is the historically renowned family of generals we’re talking about. Their arrival will mark the launch of Hell’s official eastbound expedition!”

………………………………………………….

Whoosh… A bright lustre erupted in the canopy of Hell’s sky, and the Yin spirits garrisoned there immediately glanced over in shock.

Rumble… The red light in the sky flickered like lightning hidden behind a canopy of dark clouds. And then, the clouds of Yin energy in the sky parted, giving way to a scarlet river of mercury that roared loudly, before slowly extending out in a particular direction.

Just like a scarlet road, it extended well into the horizon.

“Beacon of Light?” The Mirror of Eminence gleamed brightly. Seconds later, countless images flickered across its surface, until it finally paused on an image of Valley County. Qin Ye could be seen holding a hexagonal, thumb-sized crystal and pushing it deep into the pit of a thousand. Instantly, the pit roared with a scarlet light, sending a flurry of light rays spilling out onto the surface of the ground for a dozen minutes or so before it finally subsided.

Back in Hell’s Gate. Arthis looked up at the sky with great emotion. The crimson pillar of light appeared no different from a lighthouse that gave hope and direction to those who were lost in the vast depths of darkness around. That said, the fiery beam in the sky was also somewhat stifling and maddening all at the same time.

The upcoming expedition was one where none could say for certain whether they would end up perishing in the wilderness, or discovering new lands.

The still, red pillar of light made it seem as though nothing had happened back in Valley County at all. The near future was uneventful for Hell. Apart from the return of Oda Nobunaga and the rest of the Yin soldiers, everything seemed to have returned back to status quo.

That said, every single Yin spirit in Hell could sense the storm brewing in the distance.

The Hall of Tremors was churning out goods, day and night, without any rest or break whatsoever. It emitted green, black and white coloured Yin energy, almost as though it was a giant factory that was pouring pollutants into the sky.

As soon as Oda Nobunaga returned, he immediately stepped up the Yin soldier’s training. Determined shouts and valiant cries could be heard anywhere close to the money tree. In fact, they even began to jog around the circumference of the money tree everyday at the exact same time.

Yet what was most notable was naturally the newspapers that Hell’s Media Group had begun to publish and distribute. All causes and catalysts, as well as effects and consequences were explained in a professional manner. Practically everyone could tell that war was coming.

They were currently living in the calm before the storm.

The Beacon of Light flared up in the middle of the dark wilderness. It was their first step into the lands where two powerful factions were already tussling against each other. Hell’s appearance would undoubtedly cause those lands to erupt into the white-hot flames of conflict.

Everyone was waiting for the signal to come. The moment the last of the four Beacons of Light was set into place was also the moment when the army would finally move out!

They would finally embark on their first foray into the wilderness proper, where they would search out and confront a lord of the region! And this expedition would either catalyze a major breakthrough, or… mark the end of their journey altogether.

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