“It really is spa services…” Wang Chenghao peeked out from behind Qin Ye’s shoulder and cried out in surprise, “Didn’t you earlier say…”
Qin Ye slapped the card onto Wang Chenghao’s nose, “What did I say earlier? Can’t you keep an ear out for some useful information instead? How can you become my assistant if you’re always harping on the nitty gritty things?”
Wang Chenghao rubbed his nose, feeling somewhat aggrieved by the entire situation.
Qin Ye carefully examined the card once more.
It was only upon closer inspection that Qin Ye discovered a line of words in fine print below which read - “Open daily from midnight. Infuse the card with Yin energy, and the address of our location will appear. Newcomers are entitled to a 20% discount.”
This city sure knows how to party…
After reading the explanations, these were the only thoughts remaining in Qin Ye’s mind.
They seriously know how to party… Has the netherworldly society in Salvation City already come so far… This is how all Yin spirits should live the rest of their lives! Drinking bloody marys, hugging skeletons, and indulging in graveyard bungee jumping, and hearse drifting… It’s on a whole different scale from what we’ve seen in Clear Creek County!
“It might be a trap… Who exactly is this? How did he manage to sense my presence?” Qin Ye furrowed his brows.
Wang Chenghao’s lips twitched slightly. He could no longer hold back his comments anymore, “Brother Qin… I completely understand what you’re saying. But if this might be a trap, why do you still keep infusing the card with Yin energy?”
“Oh? Did I? Sorry… my hand must be misbehaving itself.” As soon as Qin Ye finished speaking, the flame on the skull burned with even greater vigor.
As Qin Ye continued to inspect the card, Wang Chenghao coughed lightly and probed further, “Brother Qin… I’ve never seen you so anxious before. Could it be that… you’re a sorcerer?”
Qin Ye’s hand suddenly paused.
“No.” Seconds later, he replied with the utmost conviction.
Wang Chenghao heaved a sigh of relief.
I knew it. He’s strong and good-looking, and he even stands tall at a height of 1.7 meters. How could he possibly be a sorcerer?
“I am… a Cicerone of the Great Demons…” Qin Ye’s voice sounded almost as though it were booming with authority.
Wang Chenghao was suddenly filled with a sense of realization. He wanted to respond, yet he simply couldn’t find the words to speak. Finally, after much difficulty, he managed to condense his thoughts into a simple statement, “Ahh… men.”
As Qin Ye continued to infuse the card with Yin energy, the netherworldly flames on the skull transformed into a brush and began to draw a peculiar emblem. Qin Ye furrowed his brows once more, “This emblem… Why does it look so similar to the one embroidered on my Hell’s Emissary uniform…”
Before he could finish speaking, a dense cloud of Yin energy suddenly erupted from the card!
Whoosh! The curtains in the room suddenly drew themselves shut as though a poltergeist were up and about. The hotels used blackout curtains. As soon as they were drawn, they effectively blocked out the sun altogether! In that instant, the entire room was engulfed in pitch-black darkness. Despite that, the Yin energy continued to pour out of the card like a wild vortex, while Qin Ye simply held his ground in the center of the room.
Shaa… Reacting immediately, Qin Ye was in his Hell’s Emissary state in no time at all. Wang Chenghao gasped in shock and promptly retreated to the corner of the room as he continued to stare in bewilderment at how Qin Ye was simply gazing transfixed at his own two hands, “Brother Qin… i-i-is s-something wrong?”
Qin Ye remained silent.
There was only a look of incomparable shock in his eyes. This level of Yin energy was well above his own. In fact, it was incomparably similar to the puppet master’s display of Yin energy. Yet, at the same time, it was also somewhat different on a qualitative level. The present Yin energy was pure and majestic - something that normal ghosts would never be able to possess!
“It’s not me…” He stroked the Hell’s Emissary uniform around his body with disbelief, “I… I wasn’t the one who instigated the transformation into the Hell’s Emissary state. This is…”
He glanced around his surroundings in horror as he exclaimed, “This is… another Emissary of Hell!”
“A living Emissary of Hell!”
“And… he’s incredibly close to the level of a Soul Hunter!”
This truly was a kindred spirit!
He had never imagined that he would still be able to find a living Emissary of Hell in the mortal realm. In fact, it was the other who had found him to boot!
“Emissary of Hell? A living Emissary of Hell?!” Just then, a similar cry of shock echoed out. Taken aback, Qin Ye exclaimed, “Arthis? You’re finally awake?”
“Not entirely. My display of authority back in Clear Creek County was the ace up my sleeve. I could only use it once. I’ll need a large amount of Yin energy if I’m to recover. No… that’s not the point here. The point here is - how can there possibly still be other Emissaries of Hell alive?!” The soul sphere floated out of the bag and trembled with agitation, “When Ksitigarbha gained enlightenment, he cleared out both Hell and the mortal realm of all existing Emissaries of Hell. I was only able to escape with my life intact because I was hiding in the depths of the abyss when it all went down… Yet this person… how did he possibly survive with that level of power? It just doesn’t make any sense!”
“Are you certain?” Qin Ye glanced about at the surrounding Yin energy that was just as pure and similar to his own on a qualitative level as he muttered with a complicated expression.
“I’m very certain. The Yin energy of Hell and the Yin energy possessed by regular ghosts are completely different on a qualitative level. I’ll never fail to recognize the Yin energy of another ‘colleague’.”
Everyone was silent.
The City of Salvation actually hides another Emissary of Hell who had survived Hell’s great collapse. And this Emissary of Hell had discovered Qin Ye’s presence and even extended an invitation to him!
What are his intentions?
After a long time, Arthis finally spoke up again. But since she was still in the process of recovering, she sounded somewhat breathless, “Kid, I’m now going to teach you the second immutable principle that all Emissaries of Hell should know…”
“All Emissaries of Hell, apart from you, are Yin spirits of Hell who have been kept in check by the natural orders of hell. And now that the order of Hell has completely fallen apart, these Emissaries of Hell… would most certainly become tens or even hundreds of times scarier than the average ghost! Right now, I’m almost certain… haa… haa…”
“He… cough cough… He’s the one… responsible for the outbreak of supernatural incidents in the entire City of Salvation!!”
Qin Ye immediately understood the entire situation!
“That’s right… Firstly, the regularity, location and direction of the outbreak of supernatural incidents all point to the fact that it’s orchestrated by a single mastermind. And where the concentration of Yin energy is the highest ought to be where the orchestrator of the outbreak is located. In other words, the one pulling the strings should have been discovered a long time ago! Yet Old Zhang mentioned that they’re still in the process of their investigations.”
“It can’t be right. It’s not possible that the authorities are unable to detect a location filled with Yin energy… unless there’s simply no way to locate him!”
He continued, “This person is exactly the same as me - an official, fully fledged Emissary of Hell. The quality of our Yin energy far exceeds that of a regular ghost. Given the means currently available to the mortal realm… there’s simply no way for them to detect him right now! It’s just like how I’ve never been captured or detected by the man-made implements or even the cultivators. Besides, only an Emissary of Hell would possess the authority to subjugate such a wide following of ghosts and spirits and take them under his command!”
“So… why did the head honcho of the entire city of Salvation send me an invitation?”
After some time, Arthis finally came back to her senses. Her voice was ostensibly somber as she panted, “Kid, you’ve got to consider this invitation carefully…”
“It’s been several hundred years since I’d been imprisoned under the skeletal bridge, and I’m no longer fully apprised of the ecology of ghosts and its makeup right now. If you accept this invitation, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to learn the truth about the entire situation in the city right now. The two of you might very well be the only two Emissaries of Hell remaining in the world right now. He will definitely receive you personally…”
“This is a form of microcosm reflective of what Hell once used to be. The other cities should be developing in a similar fashion to the City of Salvation. Even if they aren’t led by an Emissary of Hell, other powerful ghosts are still able to achieve the same effect. It’s all a matter of the strong controlling the weak… Understanding him might give you a better insight on the microcosms sprouting up all over the mortal realm after Hell’s great collapse. And such an understanding would be very useful for you going forward. In fact, something like this is almost of vital importance.”
Qin Ye chimed in, “But this is still his territory when all is said and done. If negotiations break down, it would be far too easy for him to dispose of me. After all… his strength right now is already immeasurably close to the level of a Soul Hunter.”
Qin Ye was fully aware of the strength of a Hunter-class entity after the battle against the Assassin of the Underworld.
“Cough cough…” Arthis panted, “I can cover you with the Yin energy from the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal for a period of three days. You’ll be safe from all attacks from entities weaker than a Judge-class Emissary. However…”
Qin Ye finished the sentence, “However, as soon as negotiations break down, he’ll immediately be aware that I’ve got a shard of King Yanluo’s Seal on me. If that happens, death is the only possible outcome for me, isn’t it?”
Arthis remained silent.
“It’s far too dangerous.” Qin Ye stashed the card away, “Say, couldn’t you just cover me with the shard’s energy anyway? I’ve still got this feeling of uneasiness niggling away inside me…”
Arthis didn’t respond verbally. Instead, an incredibly dense Yin energy instantly erupted from Qin Ye’s chest and burrowed itself straight into all of the pores on Qin Ye’s body.
There was no sound from Arthis thereafter. She had gone back to her deep slumber.
“Let’s get ready.” Qin Ye’s smile faded as he nodded his chin at Wang Chenghao, “We’ll be headed to the Insignia University tomorrow.”
They couldn’t afford to dally any longer.
After all, a kindred spirit had locked his sights on him.
And regardless of what this kindred spirit’s state of mind was, Qin Ye simply didn’t want to interact with him right now!
After a dreamless night, the duo woke up the next day and immediately went out to purchase a new set of clothes. After all, the ones on their bodies had been worn for far too long. After that, they immediately set out for their next destination, the Insignia University.
The Insignia University was located on the suburbs of the city. After driving for about one hour, the duo found their way to the main entrance of the Insignia University.
The words ‘Insignia University’ were etched onto an ancient-looking plaque at the front of the school. The vast campus grounds were filled with greenery. From time to time, they would hear a bright, vibrant chant of “one, two, three, four” echoing out from the heart of the campus.
“It’s end-October right now. Sounds like the perfect time for conducting military drills… That said, things should be dying down soon.” Qin Ye scanned the campus with some measure of nostalgia in his eyes.
Qin Ye first attended university a long time ago, prompted by his strong desire to experience the life of a college student. Then, as time went on and the novelty wore off, he found himself enrolling in college simply out of boredom. All things considered, this was his seventh time matriculating in a university now…
On the other hand, everything on the way appeared fresh and inviting to Wang Chenghao. School had just started some time ago, and the banners of various clubs and societies were hung up all over the place. Even though the enthusiasm had died down slightly since the start of term, it was still sufficient to invite Wang Chenghao’s mind to consider a completely different world.
“This is what college life is like?” “It’s far better than the high school in our county! Brother Qin, look over there at that beautiful lady!” “Woaaahh… and there’s even an anime club. Can I join that?”
An urge to sew up his trap swelled up in Qin Ye’s heart.
Just then, a group of dark-skinned students wearing camouflage uniforms marched right past them, chanting “one, two, three, four” with such immense, earth-shattering vigor that Wang Chenghao immediately felt the onset of passion, and his face turned red. Meanwhile, Qin Ye glanced about at his surroundings with furrowed brows, and he promptly took out his phone and made a call.
Over at the student union’s office, Zhang Linhua had just handed a form over to a fellow student when his cell phone suddenly rang.
“Hello?” He didn’t recognize the number, but he still picked up the call anyway.
“Is that Mr Zhang? I’m Qin Ye.”
“Qin Ye? Which Qin Ye?” Zhang Linhua almost hung up the call immediately. Just when he was about to press the red button on his phone, he suddenly recalled who Qin Ye was, and he put the phone back to his ears promptly while forcibly eking a smile onto his face, “So it’s… Mr Qin. How may I help you?”
Qin Ye looked keenly at his phone on the other end of the line, “It’s like this. We’re reporting to the university today. Could I trouble you to take us to the faculty office?”
“The faculty office?” Zhang Linhua immediately burst into laughter. He didn’t even bother to conceal the clear undertones of mockery, “Mr Qin, I’m going to give you my two cents’ worth here. You two have entered college riding on my father’s coattails. Wouldn’t heading straight to the faculty right now be tantamount to giving him a tight slap on the face?”
“Mr Qin, which entrance are you at right now? … Oh, that’s the rear entrance. The building straight across from where you are should be where the laboratories are located. If you keep going straight, you’ll see the library. Once you go past the library, you’ll come to a cross junction. Turn left there, and you’ll see a somewhat older building. That’s where the finance department is located. Go fill out your paperwork there, and then pop by the student union’s office to pay the necessary fees. I’ll arrange the dorms on your behalf… Alright, that’s all…”
Qin Ye remained silent and calm.
Neither Qin Ye nor Zhang Linhua left much of an impression with the other in their earlier interactions. Furthermore, Qin Ye knew that he couldn’t expect the goodwill between him and Zhang Baoguo to extend his son as well either. Thus, he knew that it was natural for Zhang Linhua to treat him with some measure of coldness. In other words, Qin Ye had never expected Zhang Linhua to serve him.
After hanging up, Zhang Linhua snorted to himself at the student union, tossed his phone aside and muttered under his breath, “Idiot.”
Previous Chapter Next Chapter