Time appeared to come to a standstill.
The jaws of both Qufu Infernal Judges dropped at the sight of the hundred-meter tall lotus platform that was constructed entirely out of human bones. The petals of the lotus seat blossomed magnificently, adorned by spots of blazing karmic fire, while a female Rakshasa with three heads and six-arms sat right atop the lotus throne.
In that instant, they were overwhelmed by a spine-chilling wave of fear that pervaded every corner of their hearts.
It was no different from the fear that a rabbit felt when a wolf fixed its eyes on it.
An unprecedented fear spread from their heart. Not even Kong Mo had managed to stir such primal feelings of terror from their heart. The two Infernal Judges subconsciously gasped, before glancing beyond the terrifying Rakshasa, at the black orb in front of Ugly Bull that was slowly but surely still growing in size.
Onward, and they would have to square off against the indomitable force that stood before them.
Retreat, and the Ugly Bull would strike within moments and place the entire city in danger!
The austere tension in the air was palpable, and both sides were shrouded in pindrop silence. Everyone knew that this war had just come to its climax.
The tense confrontation lasted for two full minutes. Even then, the black orb at the mouth of Ugly Bull continued to grow larger and larger. Finally, the tall, thin man steeled his determination and took a deep breath, “... Shove off… Leave, and Qufu will look past your misdeeds!”
Pfft… Arthis snickered softly. A split second later, she clasped her hands together, and a black-and-gold ring instantly began to spin around her hands.
This ring appeared to contain the howls and shrieks of billions of Yin spirits, and yet it also seemed to gleam with an arcane holy Buddha light. They were presently only about ten kilometers away from the Mechanical Beast, Ugly Bull. However, what would otherwise be an incredibly short distance for Yin soldiers to close was presently no different from the chasm that separated heaven from hell.
Nobody was able to retreat.
As the black-and-gold ring began to spin quicker and quicker, so did Ugly Bull continue to gather Yin energy into a terrifying black orb. An overwhelming feeling of uneasiness surged from the depths of the hearts of both Qufu Infernal Judges. The female Qufu Judge shrieked, “Don’t say I didn’t give you an easy way out!” With a mighty crackle, her hair lashed out towards Arthis in an instant.
Back on the sixth floor of the building in the heart of the inner city. “Idiot!!” Lai Junchen’s eyes were bloodshot. The appearance of an Infernal Judge of Hell frightened him so much that his soul nearly left his body. And yet… to think that the two Qufu Infernal Judges would actually make a move against Hell’s Infernal Judge without any measure of hesitation whatsoever! He instantly tore the talisman which he had long been holding in the palm of his hand.
I can’t afford to lose any more troops…
They’ve still got a Judge… I’ve got to preserve as much of my own forces as I possibly can. At the very least, I can’t afford to lose any more Judges to the forces of Hell. As much as he didn’t want to rescue the two Qufu Judges, he knew he had no choice!
“Dance of the Heavenly Wheel.” Under the effects of the “Godless” Talisman, Arthis’ eyes glistened brightly with ever-increasing intensity. The nethergale around her continued to howl endlessly, battering the two Qufu Judges so much that they couldn’t even hold their ground. Seconds later, even the surface of their skin began to show traces of cracks.
“This--...” The tall, thin man stared at his hands in dismay. It was covered with cracks. He was immensely shocked. Is this what Hell’s Infernal Judges are like?
We’re both Judges… so why can’t I seem to put up any form of resistance?
He had thought of escape. But the moment Arthis’ ring began spinning, he immediately felt crushed by her overwhelming aura, almost as though his entire body had sunken into a mire of dense Yin energy. He simply no longer had the ability to make off!
It was just like an antelope that stood face to face with a mighty lion. The only option left for him was to beg for mercy.
It was a sense of fear that was deeply engraved on his soul.
But, just then--!!!
Arthis’ eyes suddenly flickered wildly as she turned to look at the inner city. Simultaneously, Qin Ye, Yang Yanzhao and Yang Yande stood up at the exact same time. All of them were staring intently at the projection of the mirror.
Their heartbeats accelerated.
A brilliant lustre of black light erupted from the city, stripping it of all colours save for black-and-white. The heart of the city appeared as though it was now sitting right underneath a solar eclipse. The sky suddenly burst into a multitude of netherflames. Then, a split second later, countless meteors appeared to begin hurtling towards Qufu’s inner city!
It was a spectacular sight, almost as though the stars and the moon were all setting at the same time that the sun was rising from the east. A majestic aura rose from the ground. Something… was appearing on the horizon.
Clack… The Judgment Pen in Qin Ye’s hands clacked softly as he stared intently at the projection on the mirror. His intuition was telling him that this was it… this had to be it! This was the true form of the Mythic Palace of Reflections! This was undoubtedly Qufu’s greatest hidden trump card!
“All Yin soldiers are to begin marching towards the pillar of light…” Qin Ye commanded.
Needless to say, every single Yin soldier immediately sprinted over.
Their banners fluttered majestically behind them. A soft nethergale swept by. They were all ready for war.
“Men… At my command…” Yang Yanzhao and Yang Yande trembled with excitement. Even great generals as experienced as they are couldn’t help but feel their hearts stir and their blood boil when standing at the cusp of a definitive war like this!
A lofty structure suddenly rose from the ground amidst the flourish of netherglames in the sky. To be more precise, it was a towering altar. As it rose from the ground, the barracks and houses located at the foot of the altar slowly began to disintegrate into ashes. Ripples of shockwaves spread out across the entire city. The final 100,000 skeletal puppets rose high into the sky with a shrill shriek and landed on top of the altar, almost as though they were the guardians of the god of death.
The altar had ten tiers, and it was hundreds of meters tall. The wide staircase had the sprawling words ‘Mythic Palace of Reflections’ running across the entire flight of stairs. A mirror that was approximately three hundred meters across in diameter was perched right at the top of the altar, reflecting the image of the entire Qufu City. The radiance accompanying its appearance was like the birth of the sun.
Back in the underworld. Qin Ye slowly shut his eyes.
This is it!
The inner city was nothing more than a facade concealing its true appearances, and Qufu’s forces were clearly stripping off all pretenses and revealing it to all Yin spirits around. Anyone could guess that such a huge sacrifice must necessarily mean that Qufu was now preparing to launch a terrifyingly powerful counterattack!
The next volley of Dark Dazzle was imminent, and Arthis was obstructing the further advancement of two of Qufu’s Judges. Qufu had clearly witnessed Hell’s Judge instakilling their own Infernal Judge. This was why they had no choice but to resort to their hidden aces.
They had to kill Arthis as quickly as they could.
Unfortunately, none of them were Abyssal Prefects.
Naturally, the next best option they had was to resort to the Mythic Palace of Reflections!
Whoosh… A brilliant radiance dazzled Qufu, causing tens of millions of Yin spirits to look up, completely dumbfounded. Two figures stood right at the top of the mirror. Lai Junchen was at the forefront. His features were clearly twisted and trembling with a confluence of fear, rage and apprehension.
He was fearful that Qufu was on the cusp of collapse in an instant.
He was enraged by the fact that someone could actually force the trump cards hidden in Qufu’s hands.
And he was terrified by the prospects… of what else Hell’s forces might have in store for them.
“You all must die here!!!” Majestic Yin energy exploded from his body as he thundered with a sonorous voice, “Hell?!!”
“Who cares if you’re the authentic Hell of the underworld?! We’re on the cusp of the warring states era! Only the last faction standing deserves to call itself the authentic Hell! We, the Umbral Mount Tai Alliance of Darkness, are going to be the one to have the last laugh!!”
“To hell with you…” His lips cracked all the way from ear to ear, revealing rows of razor-sharp fangs in his mouth. He placed his hand on the colossal mirror that was the Mythic Palace of Reflections and began to infuse it with his own Yin spirit, so much so that even his body appeared to shrink slightly. But… as he did so, the radiance on the surface of the mirror slowly blossomed, until finally… an illusory lantern appeared out of nowhere.
It was the Peach Blossom Lantern.
“Die!!!” With an earth-shattering roar, the Peach Blossom Lantern began to spin rapidly, and the illusory shadow of generals began to surface on the panels of the lantern. Seconds later, the sounds of a tightening bowstring creaked from the void in front of the Peach Blossom Lanter.
The entire airspace between the inner city and Arthis instantly crumpled as a projectile surged straight towards Arthis’ chest. There was a deep rumble of a sonic boom, and the building in the nearby vicinity instantly disintegrated into nothingness.
However, Arthis didn’t dodge at all.
In an instant, Arthis adjudged that the projectile wasn’t aiming towards her, but rather the Mechanical Beast, Ugly Bull, that was situated directly behind her. If she dodged right now, they would lose all the advantage that they had fought so hard for.
Thus, she made a series of hand seals so quick that it left a series of afterimages.
“Assembly of Warriors!”
Hell’s Talisman, First Style - Precipitous Abyssal Prefect.
SSS!!! She opened her mouth several meters wide and unleashed a mighty shriek inaudible to the ears that swept throughout the entire Qufu City. Thousands of Yin spirits perished in an instant, while others grabbed their heads in anguish as they convulsed on the ground.
Boom, boom, boom… The air turned somewhat solid, but the mighty shriek soon crumbled, revealing an arrow composed entirely of flowery petals in an instant.
The mighty shriek had revealed the otherwise invisible projectile. However, seeing it was one thing, blocking it was quite something else. A split second later, the flowery arrow plunged straight through Arthis’ chest.
“AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!” Arthis threw her head back and cried out with great anguish. It was nothing like what Qin Ye had ever heard before. Yin energy poured out from her body like a massive geyser. But… she ignored it all. Her face was filled with an incomparably hideous smile as she uttered a single word.
This word wasn’t directly at anyone around her.
Rather… it was directed to the underworld. It was a message directed at Qin Ye!
It was time.
All rebellion shall be quashed without mercy!
Charge. This single word shook the hearts of all Yin soldiers back in the underworld. Everyone’s chests rose and fell with great intensity.
Their lips trembled. Three seconds later, a Yin spirit abruptly knelt down on one knee as he bellowed at the top of his voice, “All glory to Hell!”
“All glory to Hell!” “All glory to Hell!” “All glory to Hell!”
Qin Ye could feel his ears abuzz with ringing.
The four outer city walls were all up in smokes. Qufu was up in netherflames. The Mythic Palace of Reflections had risen from the ground, perched atop a massive tower that loomed over the entire Qufu City. The entire war had now culminated in a single word.
Raise the reserve forces and march for the peak!
“Charge!” Qin Ye swung his hand with immeasurable determination, “All forces, move out!!”
Boom!! In an instant, the blood-coloured vortex in the air suddenly erupted with a great suction force. Flares of netherflames burst out all over as silhouettes of Yin spirits flew straight into the vortex.
A gleaming sword had been unsheathed.
The curtains on the final showdown had just been drawn, and Hell’s fangs had finally been revealed.
And they were lunging straight for Qufu’s jugular.
Qufu City, Shanhai Pass.
Lai Junchen froze in horror.
That last strike didn’t kill the Infernal Judge?!
Admittedly, he wasn’t able to draw upon the Prefect-class might of the Peach Blossom Lantern. But his last attack still contained power that was immeasurably close to what a Prefect-class Yin spirit could muster. How did it not kill Hell’s Infernal Judge?
No… That’s not important… What’s more important is… who was her final statement directed to?
An immense feeling of danger surfaced on his heart, and a terrifying thought rushed into his mind. No… it can’t be… it can’t be true…
His lips trembled, and his throat felt completely parched, “M-m-men… P-protect… protect…”
But before he could string together a cohesive sentence… BOOM!
A massive teleportation spell array appeared right beneath the Mythic Palace of Reflections.
The tall, thin man and the lady with her body that was split right down the middle froze in shock as they turned back in disbelief, staring dumbfounded at the heart of the inner city. Then, with a shrill shriek, they rushed right over like a madman and a madwoman.
It was because another 20,000 Yin spirit had just appeared in the middle of nowhere. They were waiting with ease, without any damage on them whatsoever, and they had appeared right at the base of the towering altar.
Kathunk… Lai Junchen’s legs went limp, and he collapsed onto the ground.
We’ve been had… These were the only words that reverberated endlessly in his mind. A frigid chill filled his heart.
Whoosh… A multitude of netherflames flickered endlessly at the base of the Mythic Palace of Reflections. A ferocious nethergale picked up in the vicinity, while countless Yin soldiers appeared from the cloud of Yin energy around. A split second later, they formed up in their ranks and unleashed an earth-shattering roar, “By Hell’s Dictum, all rabble shall disperse!!”
Whoosh! Even the brilliant lustre of the Mythic Palace of Reflections was momentarily dimmed by the roar of temerity.Previous Chapter Next Chapter