Mechanical Beast, Ugly Bull.
There was only five minutes remaining before it would fire the next blast of Dark Dazzle. Unfortunately, Mu Guiying’s vision was quickly fading away.
Is it time to go…?
It’s just as well… I’ve got no regrets. Perhaps the only regret I have is that I can’t perish back in the Felipinas…
She glanced about the room with a soft gaze in her eyes.
The black-robed Yin spirits were all stiff with shock. The tragedy of war could no longer be justifiably described with mere words. The revelation of the true form of the Mythic Palace of Reflections, and the activation of yet another teleportation spell array and the appearance of another 20,000 troops of Hell right in the heart of the inner city sent chills running down their spines.
Qufu City, Shanhai Pass. What was originally viewed as an eternally unbreakable city… was actually on the verge of collapse right now.
Every single Yin spirit stared at the screen of Yin energy within the Mechanical Beast, completely speechless and silent. Right behind them, Mu Guiying leaned heavily on her spear as she slowly slid to the ground. She was nearly completely drained of all Yin energy, while her body was slowly but surely disintegrating into black butterflies that slowly drifted into the surroundings.
Annals of the New Hell: Year 001 of the New Hell. Battle of Shanhai Pass. Pioneer General Mu Guiying perished in the heart of the Mechanical Beast, Ugly Bull.
In her final moments, she saw from the screen of Yin energy a swarm of Hell’s forces rushing straight up the colossal tower on which the Mythic Palace of Reflections was perched. She could even tell that the one leading the charge was none other than Lord Qin himself.
Thud… She finally collapsed to the ground. The surrounding Yin spirits heard it, and immediately turned back. However, not a single one of them dared take a single step forward.
In fact, not a single one of them even thought to stop Ugly Bull from unleashing the next salvo of Dark Dazzle.
It was almost as though the terrifying Rakshasa was still standing behind them, pointing her spear menacingly at their throats.
Back on the streets of Qufu. Hua Jieyu smiled softly as she shut her eyes.
She wasn’t dead yet. But… she could no longer maintain her consciousness to witness the rest of the war.
General Mu… are you well? I’m still alive… Lady Arakshasa stepped in to save me at the eleventh hour… But that’s not important. What’s important is that she actually managed to hold back the other two Qufu Judges… Ahh… my eyelids feel incredibly heavy…
Within moments, dark Yin energy erupted from her body, completely encapsulating her as though she were hidden in a dark cocoon.
Meanwhile, the remaining forces of Hell were completely dumbfounded as they stared at the countless spots of hellish netherflames ascending the colossal tower on which the Mythic Palace of Reflections was perched. Then, almost as though they were completely drained of their last modicum of strength, they slowly collapsed and slumped to the ground.
“Victory to Hell…” Someone uttered hoarsely. Following that, the prospects of victory promptly spread like wildfire throughout the remaining thousands of Hell’s Yin soldiers, all of whom echoed as loudly as they could muster.
“Victory to Hell!!”
They weren’t able to move a muscle anymore.
Back in the air, the two Qufu Judges stared aghast at the Yin soldiers who were making a beeline for the Mythic Palace of Reflections. They froze in horror for several moments, before suddenly shrieking at the top of their voices as they, too, rushed back frantically.
Mythic Palace of Reflections… That’s the core on which Qufu is established! We can’t let them take it! Everything will be over as soon as they seize control of it!
But just as they began to rush towards the inner city once more, hair suddenly swept over from every direction, instantly weaving together and forming a massive net of hair tens of thousands of meters wide that trapped the two Qufu Judges together with all of the skeletal puppets under their command.
“Get lost!!!” The tall thin man shrieked hoarsely. His mouth tore open menacingly as he bared his fangs directly at Arthis.
“Where do you think you’re going without my permission?” Arthis muttered softly, yet the flames in her eyes rekindled with great passion, “The stage is set for the final moments of this war. Be good, and remain here obediently. I might just find it within me to let you die an easier death.”
“With you and what army?!” The overwhelming anxiety in the heart of the female Qufu Judge completely quashed her intense fear for Arthis. She abruptly stepped back, and then shrieked at the top of her voice, “Kill her… KILL HER!!!”
Clatter, clatter… The multitude of skeletal puppets arrayed in the air immediately roared as they plummeted down like a crashing tide, straight towards Arthis.
Then, as soon as they were within their killing zone from Arthis, they suddenly accelerated steeply, plunging straight into the lotus platform made of human bones in an instant. A split second later, peculiar talismans began to glow from their bodies.
“Explode!!” The two Qufu Judges practically yelled at the same time. In an instant, there was a loud bang, followed quickly by a roaring conflagration that completely consumed Arthis. Not even a Judge as powerful as Arthis could help but cry out in pain.
This was a devastating explosion caused by the concerted self-detonation of tens of thousands of skeletal puppets. Had it been any other weaker Infernal Judge of Hell, he might well have fallen by now.
“Ssss… AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!” An anguished cry exploded from Arthis’ lips, but the tall, thin man didn’t even bother to see the fruits of their labour. He immediately turned around and motioned to leave, “Hurry!!”
But he immediately froze in his steps.
The black net of hair that had earlier surrounded them still had some ostensible gaps in its haphazard weave. But now, it was so tight that not a single trace of gaps existed altogether. It was almost as though they had suddenly been enshrouded in a realm of endless night.
The netherflames in the eyes of the tall thin man flickered wildly in horror. That’s the self-detonation of 70,000 skeletal puppets that we’re talking about! How did she survive that?!
What kind of a monster is she?!
Just then, a slit suddenly opened in the dark night that seemed to engulf them, and a scarlet eye appeared to peek down at them.
“Hell’s Talisman, Zeroth Style - Deepest Night.” Arthis’ voice boomed from behind, followed quickly by a menacing cackle, “Did I say you could leave?”
“Until the battle at the Mythic Palace of Reflections is over, you shall all remain here obediently!!”
“Charge!!!” The 20,000 Yin soldiers of Hell shouted in unison as they charged straight up the stairs towards the peak of the tower where Lai Junchen was located.
How did things end up like this?
Lai Junchen stared blankly at the rising tide of Yin soldiers below. And then, something clicked in his mind, and he understood everything.
From the onset, Hell had already chosen to deploy its forces on the city walls in order to draw out Qufu’s hidden trump cards.
He hadn’t moved because he trusted in his calculations. By his estimates, Hell’s forces couldn’t number more than 100,000 troops, while Qufu clearly had over 800,000 troops garrisoned in the Shanhai Pass. Granted, 100,000 Yin soldiers of Hell could easily run over a million Qufu Yin soldiers. But it was still Qufu when all was said and done! There were military formations, as well as countless protective Yin artifacts, and even Infernal Judges to consider!
Thus, by his calculations, he would be able to whittle down Hell’s forces with only 600,000 troops.
But little did he expect Hell’s forces to give them a taste of his own medicine. The single variable that changed everything was the moment when Hell seized control of the Mechanical Beast and aimed it straight towards the Mythic Palace of Reflections.
“I’ve miscalculated…” He shut his eyes in anguish.
It wasn’t that Hell wasn’t able to deploy its forces directly within the inner city. Rather, it was simply because it was far too dangerous to do so, because that would be tantamount to a deployment of its forces directly in the midst of 800,000 Qufu Yin soldiers. This was why they chose to attack the city walls instead. Then, Qufu crumbled under the pressure of the threat of the Mechanical Beast and revealed every hidden ace up its sleeve. And that was exactly the moment when Hell finally revealed its cards.
Most of Qufu’s forces were now situated in the outer city, leaving the inner city and the Mythic Palace of Reflections hardly guarded at all.
“My lord… my lord!!!” The attendant beside him was already covered profusely with cold sweat as he tugged gingerly at Lai Junchen’s sleeves, “What do we do? What do we do?!”
“Idiot!!” Lai Junchen slapped his attendant and bellowed back with rage, “What else can we do but guard the Mythic Palace of Reflections with our lives?! We have to hold out until reinforcements arrive! There’s still hope yet!”
His teeth chattered as he glanced back at the surging tide of Hell’s forces below. He knew full well that as soon as Qufu fell, Hell might choose to spare the weaker Yin soldiers around, but as a close aide to Kong Mo himself, he would never be spared.
Hell would need to lynch someone to make an example to the rest, and what better choice of person was there apart from him?
Whoosh! He raised his hand, and a talisman flew into the sky. The massive altar on which the Mythic Palace of Reflections was perched had ten tiers to it. The 100,000 skeletal puppets scattered throughout the entire altar from the third straight through to the tenth tier. As soon as they were in place, Lai Junchen gave the command, “Obstruct their approach at all costs!!”
BOOM! Majestic Yin energy instantly erupted rhythmically from the third tier, and ghostly netherflames instantly ignited on the eyes of the skeletal puppets, all of which originally appeared no different from motionless statues. Moments later, they turned their heads around stiffly, before rising into the air like a swarm of vultures.
Sss!! With an ear-piercing scream, the skeletal puppets tore through the clouds of Yin energy and rushed straight for Hell’s forces which were still charging upwards.
Qin Ye personally led the charge. He didn’t know why he did such a thing. It was an involuntary response to the thirst and desire in his body.
He was thirsting to kill.
He longed to succeed.
The resilient, onward march of the Yin soldiers of Hell reminded him of the struggle of the early days of Hell. It reminded him why he never wanted to be a slave to anyone in his life!
Perhaps this might have been a single exceptional moment when he was acting out of character, but he knew that the last thing he wanted right now was to retreat or shrink back.
As the dense clouds of Yin energy erupted from the tiers above him, he twirled the Judgment Pen in his hand, and then softly pointed it towards the skeletal puppets and dabbed forward.
Boom, boom, boom! Countless skeletal puppets situated dozens of meters away immediately exploded as though a bomb within their bodies had completely detonated. As the skeletal puppets from behind poured towards the frontlines, they were immediately blasted to bits by the impact of the earlier explosions.
It immediately set off a chain explosion among the skeletal puppets in the vicinity.
“Get lost!” Qin Ye roared as he opened up the faux Book of Life and Death, encasing his entire body as he rushed straight into the fray. All this while, his gaze remained transfixed at the silhouette at the top of the altar.
This is the final battle…
I’ve got my Yin soldiers behind me. In the absence of any other enchanted Yin artifacts at your disposal, how can these 100,000 skeletal puppets possibly do a thing to resist our advance?
Victory was theirs for the taking!
Furthermore, he couldn’t resist the urge to take Lai Junchen’s head with his own two hands.
Boom, boom, boom! The pages of the faux Book of Life and Death fluttered out, wrapping his entire being in a tight ball as he crashed forward for dozens of meters, straight through the ranks of the skeletal puppets. Unfortunately, dozens of meters was barely the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile, the rest of the skeletal puppets around him were already glowing brightly with a talisman that had surfaced from the depths of their bodies. They were about to self-detonate around Qin Ye!
Innumerable skeletal puppets exploded at the same time, sending a massive shockwave of energy rushing out from the sky as it swept across Qufu. The trees in the vicinity bent back in an instant, while the tiles of the roof were immediately peeled off and flew away. The Qufu citizens squealed as they hid in the safest places they could find. Qin Ye fervently suppressed the murderous intent in his heart and roared at the top of his voice, “Listen up. Surrender, and I can guarantee you a swift and easy death!”
“Dream on!!” Lai Junchen cackled shrilly from the top of the altar, “I don’t want to die… I cannot afford to die!! Hell, huh? Do you know that you’ve trapped me under the path of the beast for three hundred years back then? Do you think I’d willingly follow you back to the abysses of Hell just to be punished for the rest of eternity?! Hahahaha!!”
The intense fear and terror in his heart had pushed him to the verge of insanity.
“Did you really think that Qufu has nothing else hidden up its sleeves?”
“Do you think you’ll actually be able to breach the First Pass Under Heaven with your meagre army of Hell?!”
“Go back where you came from!!!”
He cackled like a madman as he formed a series of hand seals. In an instant, the Mythic Palace of Reflections began to glow with a brilliant lustre, and an incomparably ancient talisman dyed black with Yin energy flew out from within the mirror and into Lai Junchen’s hands.
“Talisman of Overwhelming Righteousness…” Lai Junchen’s breaths quickened as he lit it aflame with his own soulfire, “Righteousness pervades the world, endow and manifest…”
An illusory silhouette slowly appeared at the forefront of the altar as he continued to chant.
In an instant, he was filled with an intense aura of dignity and righteousness. And then… he suddenly swung his hand down.
Rumble!!! There were sounds of explosions as the void in the air shattered around him. Qin Ye’s eyes narrowed, and he immediately came to a halt. His faux Book of Life and Death was still wrapped tightly around him. Yet, even then, the rest of Hell’s forces continued to charge forward.
“Victory to Hell!!!”
It was uproarious.
Devoid of any traces of misery.
And devoid of any traces of regret.
The hundreds of Yin soldiers who charged ahead were instantly reduced to spots of netherflames by Lai Junchen’s powerful attack. Meanwhile, Lai Junchen gasped for air, collapsing to his knees at the peak of the altar.
No matter how powerful the Yin artifact was, everything had to be powered by the user’s Yin energy.
And he… was only a Hellguard.
I can’t sustain it…
His teeth chattered. There was no way he could hold on. The latest Yin soldiers to be deployed were without damage at all. How was he supposed to defend the altar against such a mighty force?
And then, he steeled his mind and abruptly stood up once more with a ferocious expression on his face, “Want Qufu? I’d rather perish together with you!!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter