Qin Ye sat at the head of the table, ostensibly calm and aloof, yet in truth his heart was already thumping wildly!
He received the list with some trembling in his hands - 17 industries… with 3,600,000 technical professionals to boot! And this includes Yin spirits of all sorts, ranging from the most mediocre ones to the largest industry leaders and powerhouses!
And they’re all in Ashmound right now!
This was the full extent of the benefits of war!
It was just like how the European invaders seized potatoes from the Usonian continent and offered them to their slaves and servants. From there, the poor no longer starved, their population soared, and they slowly began to catch up to the Cathayans.
It was also just like the great age of navigation, filled with cannons and gunpowder. Countless invaders seized treasures of all sorts, including gold, silver, tobacco and spices. Wars were the triggers that made the nations in the mortal realm as we know them.
The new Hell only had three industries at best, including the woodworking industry, the construction industry, and arguably an armaments industry. To that end, the Hall of Tremors couldn’t properly be considered functional just yet. After all, Hell wouldn’t have access to the full extent of its facilities without the energy from the Yellow Springs. But now… Hell had just added over a dozen to its meagre count of industries!
What did this represent?
It represented a maturing city, and the stabilization of growth!
It was only when the issues of basic amenities were addressed that one could properly even begin to talk about development, culture and society in general. What was there to discuss if the citizens were constantly worrying about food and shelter? It was only when there was stability in access to the basic necessities that one could begin to talk about physics, chemistry, and even nuclear energy and the like.
He scanned through the list. The top few industries dealt with the basic necessities of life, including clothes, food, housing and transportation. To that end, what he appreciated was not just the value these industries brought to the table, but the symbolism of their existence as well.
“Agricultural and farming industry…” He ran his finger across the list with a bright gleam in his eyes.
This means that… I’ll have the requisite amenities to begin domesticating Yin beasts! In fact, it’s already been done!
“Granted, the four siege Yin beasts sent by the Yang Clan are in some sense an example of domestication, but Ashmound’s breeding industry tells me that Yin beasts aren’t just for warfare. They can be bred as poultry as well! It’s animal husbandry we’re talking about! It’s breeding!” His mind began to flutter with elation.
Perhaps it won’t be decades before we find these streets filled, not by Yin spirits, but with Yin vehicles… or perhaps other forms of Yin beast transportation ferrying the Yin spirits about. In fact… perhaps we might soon discover Yin beasts that can be used as subways or planes!
Or perhaps, decades later, we’ll see Yin spirits running back home, only to be greeted by their mother with the usual naggy attitude - ‘Hurry up and go get ready! Your father is coming down today! I’m going to make him his favourite dish! Go wait for him at the soul induction platform!
Meanwhile, there would be countless sprawling farms of all sorts located on the outskirts of the cities, producing everything endlessly in order to meet the market demands of the Yin spirits. There would even be countless textile factories operating 24/7, weaving clothes of all sorts in order to churn out the latest fashion trends!
He shook his head and sighed softly.
Since when did I start developing such depth of feeling for Hell?
Who would’ve thought that the sheer thought of these prospects would even bring me such… excitement?
He gathered his thoughts and continued reading through the list.
The food and beverage industry tells me that animal husbandry isn’t in its nascent stages. They’re definitely on the right track. Perhaps one day… we might even be able to embark on a course meal in Hell!
And when Hell finally sets foot on the international arena once more, doesn’t this mean that we’d be able to host others with grand banquets as well?
No. No… I have to stop… the more I think about these things, the more excited I’m becoming…
Light industry… what’s that? Eh… lipsticks? Cosmetics? These are considered part of the light industry as well? I can’t wait to take a closer look at the extent of such development! How in the world have these come about?
They even have the beauty industry! That… that said, they’re probably just hiring powerful Yin spirits to manipulate Yin energy for use on their customers’ faces, right?
Knowing full well that he shouldn’t keep the others waiting, he skimmed through the rest of the list. After approximately ten minutes, he repressed the excitement in his heart and plastered a placid expression on his face, “Very good. Little Xu, I want each of these technical professionals to summarize their work experiences, including what exactly they do, where their focus lies, and in what direction they hope to develop in future. These submissions should be tendered within the next five days.”
“This is truly unbelievable…” Qin Ye patted the list in front of him - It looks like I’m going to have to add Yanluo inspection to my to-do list, just to make my presence felt by all of my citizens… He folded the list, and then turned to address the meeting once more, “Everyone, the implications contained in this list of industries alone would already be sufficient to keep us busy for the week that’s to come. That said, this is but only the first of many.”
“As fellow administrators of Hell, I want you to know what exactly is in Hell’s possession, and how to use it as well. Therefore, I’ve never intended to conceal the other treasures from you in the first place.”
Qin Ye stood up, “Follow me.”
Whoosh… The door opened silently, and Qin Ye transformed into a nethergale and flew out immediately. Arthis raised her hand promptly, and a cloud of Yin energy wrapped itself around the rest of the Yin spirits and consumed them altogether. A split second later, the gathering of Yin spirits vanished from sight.
When they appeared again, they had already come to a completely different venue.
“What’s this?” Everyone glanced about at their surroundings, somewhat startled. They couldn’t tell where they were. It felt almost as though they were located within a huge palace that was approximately the size of a formal sports stadium. There were a number of buildings in the vicinity constructed in the architectural style of the Tang Dynasty. The majestic sunk panel on the ceiling of the building was held up by colossal pillars that were at least twenty meters tall. Yin spirits appeared absolutely tiny and insignificant next to the glorious buildings.
Strands of spirit streamers hung from the eaves along the sides of the palace walls. The walls were also carved with relief sculptures that were barely illuminated with the eerie glow of the spots of netherflames around. To a certain extent, the entire building looked almost like a majestic… tomb.
There were at least two hundred Yin soldiers stationed here, patrolling the vicinity like a hive of worker bees. There was a cordoned off area spanning approximately 500 meters from end to end located right in the heart of the building.
Nobody spoke a single word. Everyone was busy scrutinizing their surroundings. But they soon jumped as soon as they noticed the sculpture of the nine dragons etched on the sprawling ceiling above.
There was a bronze mirror approximately 500 meters large that was placed in the heart of the sunk panel. From afar, it looked almost as though the nine dragons were dancing about a priceless pearl at the heart of it all. Faint traces of runic symbols appeared and faded away from the surface of the mirror. It exuded a deep sense of mystery.
“That’s the Mythic Palace of Reflections.” Just then, Qin Ye spoke with a voice that sounded as though it was accompanied by a cacophony of mournful moans. His Hell’s Emissary state made him look just like a god that had descended upon this realm.
I’m never going to show up in Hell in my human form ever again. I look too young after all. I can only command the requisite respect and fear as a leader in my Hell’s Emissary state…
The patrolling Yin spirits automatically gave way to him. Qin Ye had his hands gathered together underneath his long sleeves. His toes hung slightly above the ground in mid-air, while a multitude of netherflames followed him closely as he drifted to the heart of the entire building, “This is a very interesting Yin artifact that transcends the dimension of space. It can replicate any location of choice at the desired target location, be it city or not, and isn’t even limited by location or realms. It’s a priceless artifact!”
“This is undoubtedly the most valuable spoil of war this time. So long as we can master its mode of operation, it can even be used as a spatial portal. The Confucian Family truly lives up to its name as one of the top gentries of the old Hell. To think that they were even able to lay their hands on something as priceless as this.”
The Yin spirits nodded softly in concurrence. They knew full well that where the Mythic Palace of Reflections was located was likely also to be where Hell’s true core was. Qin Ye didn’t specifically mention where they were, but everyone could more or less guess for themselves.
Qin Ye fervently suppressed the raging excitement in his heart. He couldn’t deny the fact that he was truly tempted to show off the various uses of the Mythic Palace of Reflections, such as by elaborating more on the potential of its spatial portal uses!
So long as they were able to find the lair of the daolords, all Hell needed to do was to send a darkfeather, such as Li Jixi. And then… an entire city could appear over under the ability of the Mythic Palace of Reflections, almost as though they were employing the Universal Grand Shift ability! It was no different from owning a space fortress!
And then, Ashmound could simply unleash a full barrage of attacks from its Soul-Launching Coffins, Winstrike Ballistae and Mohist Mechanical Beasts all at the same time! Who could possibly stand against such an outrageously powerful surprise attack?
But this is all a hypothetical situation… a mere hypothetical…
That said, he didn’t intend to apprise them all of the killing potential of Ashmound City. After all, the less people knew of these hidden trump cards of his, the better!
“Lord Qin.” A row of Yin soldiers had at some point formed up in ranks and marched towards them. Yang Yanzhao half-knelt onto the ground and cupped his hands respectfully, “Should we open it now?”
Their short and succinct exchange filled the air with a sense of sobriety. As Yang Yanzhao stepped back, the veil of Yin energy obscuring the center portion of the palace hall abruptly cracked open. Qin Ye took the lead and immediately drifted forward.
“I’ve thought about it before.” Qin Ye remarked aloud, “Why did Kong Mo leave the Mythic Palace of Reflections over here? Did he have any particular reason for doing so?”
It was spacious within. As soon as they entered, the Yin spirits noticed to their great surprise that there was an equally large hole in the ground.
The pit in the ground felt no different from a bottomless abyss that was echoing with soft moans and groans at every single moment. All who stood at the edge of the pit couldn’t help but feel goosebumps all over.
Qin Ye stopped right in front of the pit and peered down. He had already seen the surface of this pit several times earlier this month, but the novelty of it still hadn’t worn out yet - the thought of what lay below still filled him with ecstasy and amazement.
“And I kept on wondering… until General Yang discovered this.”
The Yin spirits peered down. A split second later, not even the most steadfast of their numbers could help themselves but gasp aloud.
“This is… My god…” Zhang Zeguang stumbled back several steps after a single glance of what lay within. His legs trembled like wobbly jelly.
“How is this possible… I-is this energy? Like coal back in the mortal realm? Oil?” Even General Zhao couldn’t help but stutter as he stared into the pit with great disbelief.
There was a moment of clamor, and then everything was silent.
Pin drop silence.
It was a 500 meter large pit.
The Yin spirits standing at the edge looked no different from specks of dust, yet they stood up more simply because of the sheer darkness within the pit. The pit extended several hundred meters down below, and several hundred meters all around as well. Yet everything appeared to be filled with crystals!
“These are… Yin spirit stones.” Arthis had also seen them countless times by now, yet her eyes continued to gleam with passion. Even her voice trembled slightly with intense excitement, “This is a massive vein of Yin spirit stones! This must be the reason why Kong Mo had erected the Mythic Palace of Reflections in this place!”
Nobody said a single word.
Nobody could find the right words to express themselves right now.
It was too shocking. The discovery of such an immense source of energy was astonishing. Starting from a depth of three meters, the entire pit was filled with crystallized Yin spirit stones! The surface was still somewhat mixed with dirt and soil, but starting from a depth of ten meters below ground level, everything was completely pure and pitch-black in colour!
These Yin spirit stones emanated dense Yin energy that drifted slowly about the rest of the pit. The plenary of leaders revealed a multitude of shocked expressions.
“This is… simply unbelievable…” One of the Yin spirits closed his eyes and sighed with exclamation, “I’ve personally witnessed the discovery of several copper and silver mines back in the mortal realm, but… they can’t hold a candle to such an immense resource vein!”
“And back in the mortal realm, we’d even have to extract the minerals from the mud and soil and other impurities. But this is… practically the converse - we’re extracting mud and soil from the rest of the precious resources! No… there are even parts of the resource vein that appear to possess no impurities at all!”
“It’s almost as if the entire subterranean ground consists solely of Yin spirit stones!”
Arthis licked her lips with glee, “I can responsibly confirm that every industry in Hell would require Yin spirit stones in some way or another. To that end, a large city like Ashmound could definitely use a pure source of energy! This pit… contains more than enough resources to power Ashmound’s operations for a thousand years! We can even think of exporting these resources to the other cities around!”
Qin Ye fervently suppressed the excitement in his heart as he pointed to another location, “Before you get carried away, look there…”
The crowd of Yin spirits looked over, only to discover…
That there was in fact a series of spiral steps located at the edge of the pit.
And these steps appeared to open up to a grotto every fifty meters it went down.
1. I personally am not too sure this is the truth. I’ve done a search on wiki, and yes, there was the history of the potato. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_potato