Qin Ye followed Arthis along the long corridor in the building, buzzing around her like a persistent fly, “Where are you going? Come on, let’s give it a shot… My reactions are excellent… I’m like the kind of person that collapses to the ground after a single slap, unable to get up for three days and night on end…”
Yet Arthis simply continued to walk along the corridor, completely unfazed by what Qin Ye was saying.
Qin Dogballs chattered, “Do you know how differently I thought this was going to go? Can you at least help me resolve the cognitive dissonance going on in there? Speaking of which, don’t you realize that I’ve just established the foundation for an entire realm? Why aren’t you giving me any credit for it? Hang on--... Can you please slow down?! Do you know what it feels like possessing a world of power yet being completely helpless against a demoness? It’s vexing to bottle it all up…”
“Keep bottling it up.” Arthis responded with some measure of exasperation.
“... I’m practically on the verge of exploding! You should be thankful that I’m not tying you up and flogging--... Sorry, what I meant to say is that life seems to be lacking something without a proper spar or exchange of pointers with you…”
Creaaaak… A thick wooden door opened up. Qin Ye was finally coming to terms with the fact that Arthis was never going to accede to his request for a spar. With a soft sigh, he followed her out.
The heart is willing… but her flesh is weak.
Intuition told him that he had already become much stronger than before. Even the sense of dread or fear against Arthis he used to feel was now substantially diminished, if not completely gone altogether. So how could she simply walk out on him without any warning at all? What’s that supposed to be?
After busying himself for an entire month, he was all prepared to let out all of the pent up steam with a fantastic spar with Arthis. But now, he simply had no outlet for release at all.
No… I have to find an outlet for release… Qin Ye glanced about with a sinister expression, only to notice Wang One Tail right outside the door.
Wang Chenghao had been transported over to Qufu together with others using the Universal Grand Shift technique. There were far too many things that Qin Ye needed to do over the last month, including a proper account of the rank and relationship between the Yin soldiers that have surrendered and submitted to Hell. These were matters that could never be left to outsiders, so Qin Ye had sent for reinforcements to assist him with these matters.
“Brother Qin.” Wang Chenghao was now wearing a pair of glasses, replete with a suit ensemble that made him look absolutely dapper.
“According to the signal we’re getting from the Mythic Palace of Reflections, most of the Yin spirits have begun to emerge from their homes and are now gathering in the public plazas and squares. There’s only forty minutes before showtime. Should we begin with preparations now?”
Qin Ye ignored his query. Instead, he sized up Wang One Tail from head to toe, before abruptly responding, “Tap me on the shoulder.”
The antennae on Wang One Tail’s head instantly sprung up, vibrating with great warning like a blaring alarm.
“Just do it. What’s the big deal?” Qin Ye chuckled softly as he grabbed Wang Chenghao’s hand. Then, to Wang Chenghao’s great horror, Qin Ye forced Wang Chenghao to tap him on the shoulder.
And as soon as he did, Qin Ye’s expression immediately turned somber and stern, “How dare you attempt to sneak up on me?!”
Thud! There was a muffled sound. A split second later, and with a look of great disbelief, Wang One tail found himself flying back dozens of meters and colliding into the wooden door behind that clattered loudly.
Arthis wisely leaned back against the wall on the side and yawned softly.
Qin Ye’s posture was frozen mid-kick. A second later, countless chains suddenly flew out of his sleeves and poured out towards Wang Chenghao like a violent tide.
These chains were completely different from the soul shackle at Qin Ye’s disposal earlier when he was just a Netherworld Operative. First of all, the quantity of chains at his disposal was higher by orders of magnitude. Secondly, each of the silver chains had a dark red hook attached to its tip, almost as though they were claws of demons that had risen from the pits of Hell. Their release was instantly accompanied by the ghastly cries of Yin spirits throughout the building.
Clatter, clatter! They spread out in every direction in an instant, just like a massive spider web. Meanwhile, Qin Ye’s eyes became completely black in colour.
He could now see Wang Chenghao cowering and trembling in the corner of the room. Like augmented reality, a series of scarlet words immediately appeared right above Wang Chenghao’s head in Qin Ye’s visual perception.
“Name: Wang Chenghao.
Date of Death: X day, X month, 20XX. X hour, X minutes.
Cause of Death: Haunting
Occupation: Netherworld Operative
Qin Ye was completely speechless.
I can accept the earlier aspects of Wang Chenghao’s particulars, but… isn’t there something wrong with the latter half?
However, that was hardly important right now. He read the series of particulars hovering over Wang Chenghao’s head with great interest. Over the last month, he had discovered to his pleasant surprise that he could perceive all important particulars of Yin spirits around him at will, including their date of death, occupation, age and cause of death.
He had been dying to ask Arthis about these newfound abilities of his, but he simply hadn’t had the time. To make matters worse, he was always interrupted by something of greater importance just as he was about to broach the question.
But now, he had finally found the right time. He turned around and glanced at Arthis.
Date of Death: 24 March 1542, 13:23 hours.
Cause of Death: Reaped by an evil ghost. Reborn as a Rakshasa after death.
Occupation: Apocryphal Infernal Judge
Specialty: LoL. Position: Jungler.”
No way… Eyes, can you please rein in the misinformation?!!
How the hell can this be her specialty?! What’s that got to do with her occupation in the first place?
“I’m aiming for the top spot, alright?” Arthis furrowed her brows, “Alright, it’s time to close your eyes, you peeping tom.”
“What’s this supposed to be?”
Arthis didn’t respond directly to Qin Ye’s question, “Truth be told, you can even use its function on yourself.”
You can do something like that?
Qin Ye froze. Just how am I supposed to do that? But just as he began to harbour thoughts of looking down at himself, scarlet words appeared in his visual perspective once more.
“Name: Qin Ye (Nickname - Dogballs)
Date of Birth: 1 October 1938
Date of death: Nil
He promptly skimmed past the irrelevant portions, until he got to the important details.
“Occupation: True Infernal Judge
… … … Qin Ye rolled his eyes and promptly turned his gaze away from his specialty - There’s definitely something wrong about this…
“Why am I listed as a True Infernal Judge, while you’re only an Apocryphal Infernal Judge?”
Arthis made a hand seal, and an hourglass promptly appeared in front of her. She took a glance at it before quickly stashing it. Then, she turned to Qin Ye with a somber expression on her face, “Do you know why you weren’t a match for me before this?”
“What rubbish are you talking about? I was just letting you win out of the kindness of my heart. Don’t you know how we’re supposed to show respect to our elders?” Qin Ye responded indignantly. What’s that supposed to even mean? You’d better watch your words if you still want to serve in a high official post in Hell.
Arthis remarked with a stiff expression, “I’m willing to bet that your specialty is ‘being despicable’!”
It truly is impossible to have a proper conversation with people who know me too well… Qin Ye glared at Arthis, “Get to the point!”
“How can I get to the point if you keep interrupting me like that?!” Arthis snorted disdainfully, before turning her head away as she continued with her explanations, “The greatest difference in our ability is the techniques at our disposal. The second greatest difference is the Yin energy at our disposal.”
“We can deal with the issue of techniques summarily. The old Hell has collapsed, and its rules are no longer in force. The only reason why I still have access to the techniques of the old Hell is because I’ve been branded by the mark of the old Hell. But, given that you’re a completely new Emissary of Hell, you naturally have no means of tapping on the power of the old Hell. This brings me to the second point, which is that the Yin energy at your disposal… has been partially locked all this while.”
Qin Ye frowned, “What do you mean?”
“That’s the difference between what is True and what is Apocryphal.” Arthis explained carefully, “You can liken this to the system of ancient times, when you have ruling officials, as well as reserve or substitute officials. When there are too many officials for the number of offices in Hell, those who don’t have official appointments would be considered Apocryphal Emissaries of Hell. In other words, even if your cultivation level is strong enough, you wouldn’t be considered a True Infernal Judge until you have charge over an entire province. Corollary, the Yin energy at your disposal will be locked until the right conditions are met.”
Qin Ye thought for a moment, before clarifying thoughtfully, “So, that is to say, I’m finally in charge of a province now? Is that why I’ve finally become a True Infernal Judge? Is that why I’ve finally gained access to this… divine power?”
Arthis nodded, “You can say that. Are you going to go on and argue that Eastmount has a total of 17 prefecture-level cities and 3 county-level cities, while we’ve done nothing more than take but one of the prefecture-level cities? No, that’s not how it’s meant to be calculated.”
“What’s more important… is whether you have managed to unify the Yin spirits of an entire province.”
Qin Ye’s eyes flickered wildly as he began to rub his chin, “I understand now. The battle at Qufu has secured the submission of millions of Yin spirits accumulated across Eastmount over the last century. That must be why I was deemed befitting of the title of a True Infernal Judge.”
“That’s just one aspect of it. The other aspect of it is that the Heavenly Dao has adjudged that the Yin energy in the other parts of Eastmount Province can’t hold a candle to that which has gathered in Qufu. Now that Qufu is in our hands, you were deemed worthy of being the Infernal Judge to rule over the entire province, without having the need to physically seize each and every other location.”
She sighed with emotion, “Hell once used to have 1,200 Judges, of which at least two-thirds were but mere reserve or Apocryphal Judges. There’s a world of difference between a True Infernal Judge and an Apocryphal Infernal Judge. I’m sure you can understand why. After all, it’s an immense responsibility to rule over and manage an entire province of Yin spirits, not to mention the other duties of the office that will have to be dealt with. These aren’t things that mere Apocryphal Judges can deal with.”
So, that’s how it is.
Qin Ye sighed as he looked at his own hands. No wonder my body felt different when I dealt the finishing blow against Lai Junchen back then. Was that when the Heavenly Dao determined that I had come out victorious? Was that the moment I was officially promoted to a True Infernal Judge?
True and Apocryphal… They’re just like the chairman and the vice-chairman of an organisation… No, Apocryphal Infernal Judges can’t even be discussed in the same breath as a True Infernal Judge! No wonder Arthis conceded so readily without a fight.
Is this called… my office?
“What do I call this?” Qin Ye pointed to his own eyes, before pointing to the chains that were still spread out like a spider web.
Arthis once again recalled the hourglass and took a glance at it, “We’ve still got approximately twenty minutes. There should be enough time. I was actually going to let you fumble about and learn of these new skills on your own. Do you know that I didn’t have anyone to teach me these things back then? You can count this your own dumb luck.”
She grunted proudly, before commencing with her explanations, “A True Infernal Judge will gain access to five divine abilities. The first is their eyes.”
She drew a deep breath, “It’s called… the Judge’s Glance.”
“A single glance is all it takes for you to learn of the life and death of a person. None of the Yin spirits would be able to hide any information from your eyes. Moreover, as long as these Yin spirits don’t have any special means hidden up their sleeves, or any particularly special spiritual bodies, you’ll even be able to perceive the details and particulars of any Yin spirit and evil ghost within a thousand mile radius of your current location. And the icing on the cake is that…”
She paused for a moment, “It can even be used in the mortal realm.”
That’s pretty awesome!
Qin Ye blinked vacantly. This means that… as long as I’ve got my eyes fixed on a single target, there’s no way that target can get away from me?
“Do you really think it would be any less powerful than this?” Arthis snickered, “Oh, you himbo… do you think the title of a Judge is merely for show? Ah, I guess I can’t even call you a himbo given how you look… Besides, do you realize that Judges are already infinitely close to the realms of upper grade Yin spirits? Judges are entities that govern an entire province! What would we make of them if they can’t even capture a single evil ghost?”
She pointed to the chains coming out from Qin Ye’s sleeves, “These are called the Heavenly Dragnet. Its maximum range is a whopping 200 square kilometers. Frightening, right? But that’s not all. What’s even more terrifying is--...”
She pursed her lips, “Do you know what a spider is?”
Without missing a beat, she continued, “Once it unfolds, it acts exactly in the same manner as a spider web. So long as you can see the target, you’ll be able to drag it right back to you. And if any target even does so much as to make large movements or attempt to escape, you would be able to sense all such movements from the centre of the web, including the exact details of where they’re going…”
Just then, the Heavenly Dragnet trembled.
Arthis promptly paused, and the two Judges instantly noticed the chains clattering wildly as it shifted eastwards, almost like a gentle wave.
Oh, my dear, naive classmate, Mr Wang One Tail… Qin Ye sighed wistfully and curled his finger. In an instant, Wang One Tail screamed loudly as he was dragged over from dozens of meters away. As the chains rattled, he was violently dragged back in front of Qin Ye within a short span of three seconds!
The hooks at the tip of the chains appeared to have a life of their own, hovering menacingly about Wang One Tail, almost as though they were venomous snakes. Wang Chenghao’s expressions instantly turned pale, and he shivered uncontrollably.
Qin Ye and Arthis exchanged a knowing look.
Ahhh… Isn’t this picture a perfect prelude to some S and some M? We’ve got whips… and our candles aren’t far away from us either...
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