Chapter 417: Lord of Darkriver

These arrows were stronger than any before.

They felt heavier, and even more… alive. It pushed hard and drilled against Qin Ye’s Prestige of the Luminary. Then, as Qin Ye’s eyes finally recovered from his initial discombobulation, he soon discovered that there was nothing in sight.

Everything was black.

It was an endless darkness..

The skies and the lands, and everything around were all pitch-black.

The arrows had black feather tails, and there were at least tens of thousands that were still rushing towards him right now, completely blotting out the rest of his surroundings. It was a chaotic shower of arrows that appeared no different from a towering, crashing wave. Then, before he could even react in time, everything slammed straight down onto the Prestige of the Luminary.

Dong, dong, dong! The intense pulses of drilling caused Qin Ye’s heart to stiffen with fear. The strength of tens of thousands of arrows was different on a qualitative level. From the outside, it looked as though Qin Ye had turned into a human pincushion of sorts.

Just then, he suddenly heard a voice.

It was a man’s voice.

It was soft, but still incomparably clear despite the sonic booms generated by the arrows slicing through the air. This was only possible if that man was a Judge-class expert.

“Explode.”

A split second later, Qin Ye suddenly felt his entire surroundings tremble violently!

Whoosh! Bursts of light penetrated the dark sphere of his Prestige of the Luminary. It was only then that Qin Ye noticed how there was a talisman tethered to the end of each arrow, and each one of these were trembling violently.

The tremors grew wilder and wilder, and the intense Yin energy that surrounded him began to penetrate his defenses like mercury seeping through the ground. From outside, he appeared to be no more than a black speck that was consumed by an entire sun raging with solar flares.

I can’t hold on any longer…

He knew the gravity of the situation he was in right away, thus he immediately whipped out the faux Book of Life and Death. Meanwhile, with a resounding bang, the entire sun appeared to twist and contort as both its heat and volatility intensified!

Rumble! A massive solar flare swept through the entire military garrison, leaving a cloud of smoke and debris in the wake of its eruption. But before the dust could even settle on that, a second solar flare erupted, followed closely by a third, a fourth… until there were ten eruptions of solar flares!

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Even the monarch Yin beasts in the distance couldn’t help but look away in fear. Despite the allure of Yin spirits, their instincts told them that what they were witnessing was undoubtedly more than what they could devour.

The flares transformed the suspended sun into a twisted spider lily that blossomed in the sky. Moments later, the spider lily slowly wilted away, leaving countless sparks and flames in its wake, all of which rained down on the ground as though they were now in a fiery hell. As the flames gradually subsided, they also revealed two spots of darkness within. On the left, there appeared to be a Book of Life and Death enclosing a humanoid figure within, while on the right, Arthis remained suspended in mid-air, with her hair completely wrapped around her entire body.

“Not bad, eh…” With a hoarse chuckle, the hair forming the hairball slowly receded, revealing the entity within, “The Three Yin Netherflame Talisman… To think that you would employ a hundred twenty thousand C-grade talismans just to take us down… How ostentatious…”

Rustle… The book’s defensive manifestation on the left soon opened up, and countless loose sheets of paper began to scatter all over the sky as it transformed back into the image of the Book of Life and Death and returned to Qin Ye’s hands.

“You flatter me. It’s a pity I wasn’t able to take you down.” A man’s voice responded softly.

Qin Ye’s senses had returned to normal by now, and he could finally perceive everything in his surroundings.

Yin soldiers…

Countless Yin soldiers!

The entire military garrison was completely swamped with rank after rank of Yin soldiers. Innumerable spots of netherflame drifted in the void spaces around them, while a ferocious nethergale swept through the lands. Everything was completely dark save for a single source of light.

There was a sky lantern.

And it was placed right in front of their eyes.

The lantern was a meter tall, with flames shooting up over ten meters high. If one looked closely enough, they would even be able to see faces of certain Yin soldiers of the new Hell fading in and out of the flickering flames. These faces were clearly screaming, crying and begging for mercy, only to be dragged straight back into the blazing flame where they would continue to fuel their own suffering with their own souls.

How dare you… how dare you subject the citizens of Hell to the sky lantern punishment?!

And to think you would do so in front of King Yanluo of Hell to boot?!

There was no way Kong Mo hadn’t disclosed Qin Ye’s identity to the rest of the alliance as yet. In other words, this man… clearly looked down on the new Hell’s existence!

“Who are you?” Qin Ye’s pupils shrunk as he glanced at the man.

A mobile palatial residence approximately ten meters long was set right in the middle of all the Yin soldiers around. It was carried by a group of headless, topless ghosts who were all hunched over subserviently and dressed only with a pair of red trousers. The residence was shaped like an ancient pavilion, while its inner chamber was concealed by a thin, green veil. A hazy silhouette could be seen sitting right in the midst of the residence. Apart from that, there were seven other Anitya Hellguards standing around the mobile palace - some were holding their heads, some had tongues that were trailing to the ground, while others had their abdominal cavities completely exposed to the elements. Yet these Hellguard-class ghosts were all staring at Qin Ye and Arthis with palpable murderous intent.

“Umbral Mount Tai Alliance of Darkness, Lord of Darkriver, Sha Xiangzu.” The voice from the mobile residence responded with great indifference.

Umbral Mount Tai Alliance of Darkness… Qin Ye made a mental note of the name, before discreetly glancing at Arthis. Immediately, his eyes lit up.

He could tell that Arthis’ hands were shifting slightly behind her, albeit with movements that were barely noticeable. Fortunately, having worked with Arthis for some time now, he immediately understood what she was up to.

“Kong Mo?” Qin Ye chuckled softly, “The great sinner of the Confucian Family seems to have gathered some terrible henchmen for himself.”

Sha Xiangzu snorted, “The underworld has changed, and Hell is no longer in existence. Anyone who can reshape the world would naturally be crowned the next king of Hell! He imparts techniques to us, tells us stuff that we never knew before, and even lets us in on secrets on how to advance quickly. Do you think I’d care who he is?”

Qin Ye glanced at Arthis, only to realize that her hands were still going. This was the first time he had noticed Arthis making such a long hand seal. Nevertheless, he sensibly turned back to the Lord of Darkriver and continued, “I’m curious.”

“Oh?” Sha Xiangzu looked up curiously at Qin Ye with a gaze akin to a cat toying with its prey.

Let’s see how you’re going to escape this time!

Kong Mo wasn’t able to do it, so let me pick up the slack after him. I’ll bring this man’s head back to the alliance to show that the student has already exceeded the master! Let’s see how that old man is going to justify sitting at the head of the alliance’s table at that time!

“How did you know that I was going to be here?” Qin Ye stared intently at the sky lantern that was blazing right in front of his eyes. There was simply no way that they could have detected Hell’s approach.

Sha Xiangzu chuckled softly, before he slowly gnashed his teeth in response, “Because… this used to be my fiefdom! This is exactly where I laid down my roots and began to assemble my own forces!!”

“Valley County is a part of Darkriver City, and I’m none other than the Lord of Darkriver! I was blessed by the gods. Upon death, I found myself wandering about the land of extreme Yin. In five short years, I became an Anitya Hellguard. I then answered my calling and founded Darkriver City over here… So, who do you think you are? Who gave you the permission to occupy my territory like that?!”

“Here, I’m the one with the final say! Not even the monarch beasts dare take a step into my territory without my permission! So what gives you the right to do something like that? You’re no more than a fleeting speck of the former dynasty of Hell!”

“Times have changed. Things are no longer the same as they used to be in those bygone eras! It is now my time to shine!!”

Boom!! His voice crescendoed to its peak, and the thin green veil was instantly flung wide open. Every single Yin spirit of his great army instantly hissed and roared in support of their king.

But Qin Ye was undaunted, and he simply smiled, “You must be relatively young and inexperienced.”

The ferocious roar suddenly paused.

“You speak with a modern flair, and this tells me that… you’re still too green around the ears. You can afford to be more steady and resolute. Whilst I tend to maintain a young disposition about me, I still make it a point never to reveal my bottom line.” He smiled faintly, before gently taking a step back. This was because Arthis had finally looked up, and her hands were no longer moving.

“The Yin spirits of the last century truly know nothing… Hahaha…”

Just as Qin Ye began to retreat from his position, Arthis also took a step forward and glanced at the blazing sky lantern that was placed in front of her. She muttered placidly, “Are you responsible for this?”

“Do you like it?” Sha Xiangzu responded with another question, “No need for thanks. After all, you’ll be joining them in no time at all.”

“I’m no longer in the mood for games. Kill them both.”

With his command, the Yin soldiers below instantly moved with an intense gaze. But just as the entire army began to move, copious of Yin energy suddenly erupted from Arthis’ body like a surging tide, and her voice soon thundered as though it was coming from every single direction around, “It’s been centuries since I’ve last seen evil ghosts with the gall to challenge the authority of Hell…”

Rumble… Countless Yin soldiers poured forward with the tips of their spears aimed towards either Arthis or Qin Ye. The ground shook under the weight of their footsteps. But Arthis simply ignored their approach, “But that’s fine. I’ll let you personally experience the weight of the oft-cited phrase - By Hell’s Dictum, all rabble shall disperse.”

Snap. Everyone heard the crisp, soft snap of a finger.

A split second later, the multitude of advancing Yin soldiers suddenly stopped in unison and stared in front of them with great incredulity.

That was because copious amounts of netherflame was suddenly pouring out from the ground right where Qin Ye and Arthis were both standing!

It was almost akin to a volcano eruption! White netherflames poured out of the ground and rushed straight towards both Arthis and Qin Ye like a meteor shower before slowly enveloping and consuming the both of them.

Shk! The man within the mobile residence drew the veil and revealed a shockingly large head that was approximately half a meter wide.

It was none other than Sha Xiangzu.

He was a young man with ordinary appearances, but his complexion was tainted with a peculiar green hue. His skull was split right down the middle, while a terrifying scarlet flame blazed within his three eyes. His razor-sharp teeth protruded from his mouth in an interlocking fashion. Sha Xiangzu stared transfixed at the horrifying scene that was panning out in front of him.

Yin energy… What a powerful outpouring of Yin energy!

It’s not even inferior to the combined strength of my hundred thousand Yin soldiers in the slightest!

This is…

Whoosh!! A magnificent cosmic river suddenly emerged over Arthis' and Qin Ye's heads, while they both looked no different from the sun and the moon that radiated great light from the middle. Then, just when the Yin soldiers thought that they had seen it all, the white netherflame that had enveloped their bodies… slowly transformed into another mighty army of Yin soldiers!

Furthermore, they could all tell that this army wasn't in any way weaker than they were! In fact, they could even sense that the Yin energy emanating from this mighty army appeared far more terrifying than theirs!

How many of them are there… Sha Xiangzu's army glanced around, but were dismayed to discover that the incoming army simply appeared vast as the oceans.

Just then, a dull war horn sounded, and Hell’s army immediately slammed their shields on the grounds and raised the tips of their spears up high to face their enemies. Tens of thousands of bows and crossbows blazed with netherflames and karmic flames right behind the imposing line of shield-bearers and spearmen. And all of them surrounded Qin Ye and Arthis. "HOO-AH!!" With a great war cry, the entire army of troops stationed back in the military garrison trembled softly.

Clatter… Some of the loose tiles atop the houses slid off and shattered as soon as they struck the ground.

A terrifying nethergale swept across the lands. Then, Qin Ye slowly rose from the heart of his troops and addressed his troops with indifference, “Everyone, tell them who we are?”

“BY HELL’S DICTUM, ALL RABBLE SHALL DISPERSE!!!”

It was an earth-shattering roar! If their earlier cries could be likened to a majestic and solemn oath, then their present shout would be no different from a fiery declaration of victory! In fact, their roar was so powerful that their voices instantly melded together into a tangible sound wave that erupted with Yin energy and swept throughout their surroundings.

“Yin soldiers… Hell’s Yin soldiers?!” Two seconds later, Sha Xiangzu snapped and screamed, “Where the hell did you guys come from?! No… how is this possible? Didn’t a massive upheaval occur in Hell? How could so many Yin soldiers appear all of a sudden when we haven’t seen the emergence of even a single one in the last hundred years?!”

This was by no means any weaker than his own army. In fact, Sha Xiangzu could tell that the Yin energy at their disposal was of far better quality than what they had access to!

It was one thing to square off against two Infernal Judges in isolation, and quite something else to confront tens of thousands of Yin soldiers altogether!

Qin Ye continued coldly, “Here’s a lesson for you.”

“Everyone would have some cards hidden up their sleeves. And you apparently aren’t important enough for Kong Mo to have disclosed these matters of importance to you.”

Dead silence.

The murderous intent diffusing from their confrontation was so strong that even the nearby monarch beasts subconsciously began to retreat. The tension in the air was so thick that it could practically be cut with a knife. The atmosphere was incredibly stifling.

It was an unadulterated face-off.

Soldier to soldier, and general to general. Spear against spear, and bow against bow.

They stared at each other with an intense gaze in their eyes, while the Judges on both sides acknowledged the presence of the other.

The faint stench of blood could even be detected drifting amidst the oppressive air about them.

Everyone was waiting for the very same command.

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