Lai Junchen snapped his head around to look at his attendant with a peculiar smile on his face.
A wave of terror instantly filled the attendant’s heart. He wanted to run, only to discover to his despair that Lai Junchen was grabbing tightly onto him.
The excessive fear and anxiety had caused Lai Junchen’s expressions to become twisted beyond belief. Lai Junchen forced a faint smile to his face as he continued, “You’re one of Li Linfu’s men, aren’t you?”
“No… I’m not… my lord! Y-you’ve misunderstood!”
“It’s fine… it really is fine…” Lai Junchen smiled softly. And then, a split second later, he picked up the Yin spirit and tossed him straight into the mirror.
Whoosh… A ripple instantly spread across the surface of the mirror, followed closely by line after line of ancient talismans. It was almost as though someone were slowly drawing these talismans, one sheet at a time.
“Regardless, I’ve got no reservations killing you.” He sighed softly, before climbing up to the top of the altar and craning his head to look over the edge. He chuckled softly, but it soon grew louder and louder, until he was finally laughing maniacally.
“Die… All must die!!” Almost as though he had sobered up from his insanity, he made yet another series of hand seals with a hideous smile on his face, “HAH!”
Do you think that’s all the Mythic Palace of Reflections is capable of?!
Even if I have to perish, I’ll drag you down to the abysses of Hell with me!
As Lai Junchen continued making his hand seals, Qin Ye soon discovered that the swarm of skeletal puppets all around him suddenly flew straight up in an instant.
What’s going on?
However, he knew better to linger on these thoughts. After all, victory was just around the corner. As long as they could seize control of the Mythic Palace of Reflections, then Qufu… would become a part of the new Hell! Hell would gain a massive plot of land to supplement its dismal state of affairs right now!
Thus, he shelved all thoughts about what Lai Junchen was doing. He didn’t even have the luxury of time to lament the sacrifice of the Yin soldiers who had perished just moments ago. Wrapped up in the defences of the faux Book of Life and Death, he took the lead once more and hurtled forward like a fearless meteorite.
Buzz… However, he soon discovered that there appeared to be some changes to his body.
The Judgment Pen in his hand began to draw in the Yin energy around, expanding profusely until… it finally transformed into a silver spear.
The shaft was still shaped like the shaft of a brush, no different from what the Judgment Pen used to look like. However, there were tassels of paper money hanging down at the neck of the brush, just like the tassels on an exquisite spear. The tip of the brush had also transformed into the sharp tip of a spear. He could tell that there was a line of writing on the shaft of the spear, but he didn’t have the time to read the words written on it.
Now was hardly the time to be observing these changes. Nevertheless, he was still pleased with the changes, because a spear was far easier to manipulate than a brush. He jabbed the spear forward without much further thought. Bang! Yin energy far greater than any he had mustered before instantly converged into a foot-sized orb of Yin energy and exploded where he had jabbed!
A wave of pitch-black Yin energy emanating the soft cries of thousands of ghosts blasted forward in an instant! A massive gully was created on the stairs wherever it passed. Debris scattered everywhere, while copious amounts of Yin energy diffused into the surroundings like a rushing tide!
Qin Ye felt as though something within his body had just snapped.
Previously, he could tell that he was weaker than Arthis. Although both were Infernal Judges, Qin Ye was a genuine Emissary of Hell, while Arthis was only able to discard her status as a rogue Yin spirit when she assisted Qin Ye with his promotion into judge-hood. Yet, even then, Qin Ye still wasn’t able to defeat Arthis.
But now… he could sense something more welling up from deep within him. It was an almost physical change that gave rise to a renewed confidence in his ability to defeat Arthis.
He didn’t know what it was, but he didn’t have the luxury of time to consider these things right now in any event. Taking down Qufu was of the utmost priority!
They were at the final stretch of this long, arduous journey of theirs!
Meanwhile, the skeletal puppets rising into the air had slowly begun to converge together. Within seconds, they interlocked with each other, transforming into a massive puppet bird that spanned fifty meters across!
SSS!!! The monstrous bird hissed as it ruffled its own feathers, displaying the flourishing spots of netherflames that danced about. A split second later, it spread its wings and tilted its ferocious feathers straight down towards Hell’s forces!
Qin Ye’s eyes narrowed. Over a hundred thousand skeletal puppets had combined forces to transform into a Judge-class colossal bird!
“Defenses!!” Yang Yanzhao and Yang Yande bellowed at the top of their voices. Unfortunately, it was too late.
Pshk, pshk, pshk! A rain of feathers pelted down in an instant, plunging straight through Hell’s Yin soldiers and killing at least two thousand of them in the blink of an eye. But before Qin Ye could even turn back to assess the damage, Yang Yanzhao’s fiery voice trembled in his ears, “Lord Qin, don’t look back.”
“No matter what happens, even if I die, you absolutely cannot look back!”
“Continue the charge…” He stared intently at the peak of the altar with a fiery gaze, “Take the peak of the altar so that their deaths won’t be in vain! Given the number of Yin artifacts in his possession and control, the Yin spirit up there must be one of Kong Mo’s most trusted aides. You can do it!”
Qin Ye gritted his teeth, steeled his nerves and accelerated ahead.
Simultaneously, he jabbed towards the monstrous bird’s chest ferociously with his spear.
Countless eyes were watching the incredible battle unfold before their very eyes. Innumerable citizens hid in their rooms, peering out cautiously to see if their fate was going to change forever. Back on the four city walls, every Yin soldier and general tacitly paused in their tussle to glance at the terrifying battle breaking out at the altar.
A black orb exploded in the air with such brilliance that it appeared like a blooming black sun.
“Hahaha!” Back at the peak of the altar. Lai Junchen was now immeasurably withered and dry as a bone. But, even then, he tossed his head up into the air and cackled madly, “Die… DIE! I’m content to drag so many people down to the abysses of Hell with me…”
Before he could even finish speaking, a black burst of light blasted right past him and into the distant sky.
Seconds later, with a soft rustle, his scattering hair flopped back down onto his shoulders, and his clothes ceased to flutter. A split second later, a faint trace of blood appeared in the middle of his chest.
Thud… Like a lifeless ragdoll, he collapsed onto his knees at the peak of the altar. Seconds later, he trembled profusely as he craned his neck out once more and peered down below.
He could see that the colossal puppet bird had stiffened up in mid-air. Qin Ye’s earlier blast had opened a gaping hole straight through its chest, from which copious amounts of Yin energy was pouring out. A split second later, the entire bird exploded into Yin energy and scattered into the sky.
All Yin spirits were destined to be instakilled by an Emissary of Hell of the same cultivation level.
A figure dashed straight through the dispersing Yin energy below, brandishing the silver spear in his hand with fiery netherflames billowing from his eyes. Qin Ye was still staring intently at Lai Junchen!
He’s trying to kill me… This man is after my life!
Lai Junchen screamed in his mind, and he subconsciously placed his hand on the back of the Mythic Palace of Reflections.
“AHHHHHHHH!!!” Every bit of Yin energy that remained in his body was instantly sucked into the mirror, and Lai Junchen couldn’t help but scream miserably.
It felt almost as though his soul were bit by bit being ripped out of his body. He knew full well that he had now injured the core of his being, but even then… he still wasn’t willing to perish!
“AHHHH!” He screamed desperately as he fought hard to pull his hand back from the Mythic Palace of Reflections. Unfortunately, that hand had already vanished completely. As he gasped desperately for air, he continued to glance about with a manic look replete with a bizarre smile on his face. And then, he began to draw up a complicated Yin talisman on the ground.
Qin Ye’s eyes remained transfixed on the Mythic Palace of Reflections. The cloud of Yin energy where the colossal puppet bird was had completely vanished by now, and countless Yin soldiers of Hell rushed straight up after Qin Ye.
“Victory to Hell!!!”
Hell’s forces were all shouting loudly in unison despite the heavy casualties involved. Right now, they were currently on the sixth tier of the altar, only four tiers away from the peak of the altar!
We’re only over a hundred meters away… Once we close the gap, we’ll be home free!
With victory this close, not a single Yin soldier of Hell was willing to give up right now!
“Charge!!!” Their hearts were palpitating with great excitement. Qin Ye led the charge like a valiant general, cutting down every obstacle in their way. But, just then, they suddenly saw… countless flowers blooming in the void above them.
They were beautiful and flamboyant. There were seven layers of petals, all of which were soft and slender, and swaying slightly in the nethergale.
“Paramita of the Yellow Springs, Blossom of the Millennia Flower… haa… haa…” Lai Junchen chuckled hoarsely as he sat limply in front of the mirror, “Curse of the Spirits, Withered Boat of the Dead… This is the final Yin artifact that Lord Kong Mo has entrusted to me. If you can overcome this… I’ll concede defeat!”
Ever since he realized that he had fallen for Hell’s siege tactics, all he was hedging his bet on was whether he could personally suppress Hell’s remaining army of 20,000 troops.
No gimmicks. It was a full-on confrontation of strength against strength.
It was a deathmatch!
Just then, the sea of flowers suddenly trembled, sending rings of ripples sweeping across the air and revealing… an immeasurably deep abyss below the canopy of flowers.
ROAR!!! A split second later, a massive skeleton covered with rotting flesh all over rose from the sea of flowers. It was approximately a hundred meters tall, and it roared furiously as it stood up.
The skeleton was pale white in colour, and its joints were covered in scarlet tendons and veins. Two large eyeballs filled the sockets of its eyes, and a massive clump of netherflame burned from its chest. As soon as it appeared, it appeared to draw a deep breath, causing its chest cavity to expand in an exaggerated fashion. Then, in the next second, it opened its mouth abruptly, only to spew out a shower of meteoric flames!
Whoosh… It was as multitudinous as falling leaves in autumn, or drops of water in the summer rain.
Perhaps beauty and death were two sides of the same coin.
Hundreds upon hundreds, and thousands upon thousands! The clumps of hellfire raining down upon them was practically innumerable! Qin Ye gasped in horror and subconsciously glanced around him.
Fwoosh! Fwoosh! Fwoosh! A crimson waterfall of flames instantly poured down from the peak of the Mythic Palace of Reflections, felling countless Yin soldiers of Hell without even giving them the chance to respond to the situation. It was but a dozen or so seconds since the attack was unleashed, and yet there was already over 8,000 casualties among Hell’s latest deployment of 20,000!
Yet, even then, not a single one of them complained or even groaned at the situation at all.
None of them wanted to stymie Hell’s chances at seizing the Mythic Palace of Reflections.
Elsewhere, in the outer city, the armies of Qufu had begun to move once again. Even though Hell’s forces were still hot on their tails, the Qufu army was desperately attempting to return to the inner city to consolidate their defenses there.
This was their only shot at survival.
Qin Ye felt a lump swell up on his throat, and his lips trembled softly. For a moment there, it crossed his mind to stop what he was doing and shelter all of his remaining Yin soldiers with the faux Book of Life and Death. But…
As soon as he began to show even the slightest signs of slowing down, the throng of Yin soldiers around him immediately yelled at him, “My Lord! You cannot!” “My Lord! Onwards! Ignore us!” “My Lord… It’s our honour to die for Hell’s glory! We have no regrets!” “Lord Qin, it’s all up to you! We’re useless against such spells! Everything… is all up to you!” “Please don’t let our deaths be in vain!!”
Qin Ye’s fingers quivered uncontrollably. He could see that even as the Yin soldiers cried out after him, many of them were soon engulfed by the rain of fire.
But they died smiling.
It was a sincere smile of dying without regret.
Qin Ye gritted his teeth and turned back to the front, staring intently at the peak of the altar with the scarlet flames in his eyes blazing with passion. He held his spear up and mustered all of his strength, before thrusting it out with full force!
This was the strongest strike he could unleash right now!
And as soon as he did, the situation became patently clear to him.
The spear surged forward a hundred meters, while Qin Ye allowed himself to be dragged along with the momentum of the spear. In an instant, he closed the remaining distance to the top of the altar.
Behind him, the colossal skeleton roared with an earth-shattering scream as he crumbled into thick clouds of Yin energy.
Lai Junchen’s pupils shrank yet even more. It was now immeasurably close to fizzling out.
In an instant, Qin Ye appeared above his head like a heavenly god, wielding his spear with two hands and thrusting it down like a cataclysmic meteor.
However, Lai Junchen was also laughing.
“Let’s perish together, Infernal Judge of Hell…” He leaned heavily on the surface of the mirror, weakly gasping for breath. It was only then that QIn Ye discovered that the Mythic Palace of Reflections was once again glowing faintly. At some point in time, the illusory Peach Blossom Lantern had once again appeared, and a faint light was now aimed directly at his cranium.
It was the sound of a bowstring’s release.Previous Chapter Next Chapter