Whoosh… The Incense Bead of a Million Souls dove straight into the sea of Yin energy like a hurtling meteor. Then, a split second later, the originally tranquil sea of Yin energy suddenly started to bubble and toil profusely!
Click… There was a soft sound, almost like that of chains falling apart. The eyes of Arthis, Qin Ye and Yang Yanzhao flickered intently at the same time, and then they immediately rushed back into the heart of the stone chamber.
It was the sound of a seal being opened.
Boom!! There was an earth-shattering bang as soon as they managed to retreat to the heart of the stone chamber. Then, as though a geyser erupting from a spring, the sea of Yin energy instantly surged into the air with a mighty roar. Even the Yin spirits that had all been gathered around the mouth of the pit couldn’t help but jump in surprise.
Whoosh… Fortunately, the geyser of Yin energy lasted for only a moment. It’s eruption was soon followed by a collapse of all Yin energy back into the pit, and then everything went dead silent.
Qin Ye silently poked his head out of the chamber, clutching tightly onto the handrails as he craned his neck over the edge and looked down. Arthis also stretched her head out five meters long and rested her head on Qin Ye’s shoulder as they both peered down.
It was the manifestation of heartfelt caution.
The dense Yin energy below scattered for a moment, revealing the fact that there was an endless abyss located right below the pit!
It was practically bottomless.
“This…” Qin Ye sighed in exclamation and straightened his back, “How in the world did they manage to transport this vein of Yin spirit stones out here?”
Just then, he noticed something bright fall straight into the bottomless pit. Arthis craned her neck out, ostensibly listening intently to when the object finally struck rock bottom, yet neither of them heard any sound for the next ten seconds.
Then, Qin Ye turned and stared at Arthis as though he had just seen a living ghost, “Hang on a minute… Wasn’t that bright object earlier… my new Samsung phone? I could’ve sworn that it looked just like the phone’s brand new ceramic screen!”
“What do you mean ‘like’?” Arthis glared back fiercely. But before Qin Ye could even heave a sigh of relief, Arthis promptly added, “It’s exactly what you think it is!”
Qin Dogballs lips trembled in rage, and his eyes grew bloodshot. Gnashing his teeth, he immediately reached out and motioned to strangle Arthis and her elongated neck. Just then--!!
A chorus of ghastly shrieks and moans echoed from the depths of the bottomless abyss. Within moments, a terrifying gust of nethergale rushed out of the abyss, causing Qin Ye’s clothes and hair to flutter wildly with the wind! Following that, a glittery white object that seemed to rumble from time to time slowly rose up from below.
T-t-t-t… Qin Ye’s teeth chattered as he shivered subconsciously. It was far too bizarre. He was already an Infernal Judge - and a True Infernal Judge at that - and yet the chorus of ghastly shrieks and moans was so otherworldly that a chilling sensation of fear still rose from the bottom of his heart.
It was fear borne out of the qualitative suppression of abilities. It was fear that only rose when one encountered a completely overbearing force to be reckoned with!
What the Hell is located down there?
His Samsung phone was now the last thing on his mind. Qin Ye peered cautiously over the edge, only to notice a hexagonal platform rising from the depths of the abyss.
It was a regularly shaped platform that was approximately ten meters in size. There were chains tethered to it, each of which was plastered with copious amounts of talismans. The chains rattled softly to the billowing nethergale.
Apart from that, there was an altar located right in the middle of the hexagonal platform.
It comprised nine levels in total.
And it was an altar constructed entirely out of human heads!
More specifically… it was a mound of heads!
Moreover, the heads located here weren’t skulls - they were the heads of what appeared to be living beings! There were men and women, and old and young alike, and yet the one thing that they all had in common was the fact that their expressions were twisted and anguished, while the netherflames in their eyes blazed almost a meter high. Even then, the focal point of the entire mound of heads was located right at the top, where a blood-scarlet flower blossomed proudly.
Its petals were slender and long, and it comprised three layers of petals in total. That said, what was most peculiar about it was the fact that these petals were formed entirely out of blazing netherflames! It appeared almost as though this single blossoming flower was drawing on the souls of the entire mound of heads!
“Three Lives, Three Worlds?” Arthis gasped in horror. Qin Ye blinked vacantly as he added, “Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms?”
Arthis immediately glared at him with a burgeoning desire to kill.
“Ranked eighth among the ten wonders of the underworld. Who would’ve thought that it was actually still in existence…” Yang Yanzhao exclaimed from behind. He had at some point also minced his way over, and he was now staring intently at the blooming flower, “Each of the ten wonders of the underworld are completely unique in their own right.”
He continued to stare at the flower with a bright gleam in his eyes, “That is to say, the Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of--... ahem… I mean… the fact that this flower is appearing here means that it can never appear anywhere else. It can only begin to grow elsewhere after a lapse of fifty years after the original is plucked and harvested."
Phew… I nearly said it. I wonder why that phrase just rolls off the tongue…
On the other hand, Qin Ye pursed his lips and stifled his laughter - Pfft… Brother Yang… weren’t you just about to say ‘Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms’ there? Heh… I’d never thought that you would be the sort to chase dramas as well…
“This is the first time I’m seeing something so amazing.” Yang Yanzhao heaved a sigh of exclamation, “Unfortunately, I only know of its name, and not what it can be used for.”
“It doesn’t have to be used per se.” Arthis chimed in with unconcealed excitement in her voice. For the very first time, Qin Ye could even hear palpable elation in her voice, “These ten wonders of the underworld don’t possess any special or magical functions at all. Rather, each of them are merely objects that… contain a vast amount of Yin energy.”
“To be more precise, they all contain Yama-class Yin energy, at least in terms of quality! Since Yin energy is the building block to practically everything in Hell, there are practically a multitude of places in which these ten wonders can be employed! They don’t need to possess any other functions! The pure Yin energy they possess already makes them among the most coveted things in the underworld! Incidentally, the places capable of supporting these wonders would also become well-known as places of absolute Yin!”
Qin Ye’s eyes gleamed, “Can they, for instance, propel me into the ranks of an Abyssal Prefect?”
“That would be a complete waste of it!!” Arthis glared at him fiercely, “There’s no doubt it would be able to propel you straight through to the ranks of an Abyssal Prefect, and quite possibly push you to the verge of becoming a Yama-King. However…”
She waved her hand gracefully, and the blood-scarlet flower trembled slightly, before fluttering over and landing on her hand.
“There’s yet a better use for it right now.”
Qin Ye paused for a moment, and then his eyes widened abruptly, “The Harken?!”
It was a rhetorical response. He already knew the answer to the question!
The Harken was currently so badly wounded that he couldn’t even move a muscle. But as long as he could recover so much as to even regain his ability to move, then he would no doubt be one of the greatest sources of help that Hell could ask for in the next century or so!
Firstly, even if the mythical flower could propel Qin Ye to the bottleneck approaching the ranks of a Yama-King, he would still by no means be considered a fully-fledged Yama-King. On the other hand, the Harken was an authentic Yama-class divine beast of Hell! Moreover, even if Qin Ye were indeed lucky enough to attain the ranks of a Yama-King, he would still need time to master the arts and techniques available to Yama-Kings of Hell. Beyond that, there was still much to be done before he could be considered a True Yama-King.
Additionally, there were still the personality issues accompanying Yama-King Dogballs to be considered. What was the use of having a cowardly Yama-King?
Conversely, the Harken would never shrink away from a challenge.
Secondly, there was the Harken’s experience to be considered.
The Harken was no doubt considered one of the top brass of Hell. Even if it weren’t involved in politics on a regular basis, it would still have picked up a thing or two from simply accompanying Lord Ksitigarbha.
And these were the true top secret information of Hell to boot.
In other words, the Harken would possess knowledge about Hell far beyond that which Arthis could ever have been exposed to. It was about time to change the used silicone doll of Hell…
Qin Ye fell deep into thought. I recall the Harken mentioning that only the most otherworldly of treasures could accelerate its rate of recovery. Three Lives, Three Worlds has to fit the bill perfectly! Kong Mo, oh Kong Mo… I guess I can forgive you for leaving 29 empty stone chambers on account for the heaven-defying treasures you’ve left behind in this very last one!
Kong Mo obviously couldn’t have brought something like this around with him. That must have been the only reason why he left this treasure here. I’ve truly lucked out this time.
Buzz… As soon as Three Lives, Three Worlds landed on Arthis’ hands, a boundless wave of Yin energy instantly rippled out into the surroundings, sending everything scattering out and causing all of the netherflames in the chambers to flicker wildly.
Whoosh… A lock of Arthis’ hair fell off her head and transformed into a series of talismans that weaved themselves into a squarish box. Then, it enveloped the immaterial flower and boxed it up safely.
It was only then that everyone finally heaved a sigh of relief.
“Let’s go.” She smacked Qin Ye softly with her hair, “Hurry up and offer this treasure to Lord Harken. Like I’ve said before, True Emissaries of Hell possess far greater power than Genuine or Apocryphal Emissaries of Hell. The Yoke of Five Ghosts is but a drop in the ocean compared to the rest. But rather than have me explain these to you, it would be far more beneficial to hear it from the lips of a divine beast of Hell instead. The knowledge I possess about these things can only be said to have scratched the surface, and if you’re going to be the Third Yanluo of Hell, knowledge that merely scratches the surface would never be enough…”
Haha… Have you finally realized that you’re never going to be able to match my ungodly rate of cultivation? Qin Ye glanced disdainfully at Arthis. Then, just as he was about to shift his leg, he suddenly paused.
It feels as though I’ve forgotten about something… something of utmost importance…?
Unfortunately, the notion in his mind was fleeting like the wind, and it vanished without a trace as soon as he tried to delve deeper into it.
“What’s the matter? Are you dissatisfied with the packaging?” Arthis furrowed her brows, “Or are you really thinking of consuming it for your own benefit instead?”
Of course not… Do you really see me as a person with such little restraint? Qin Ye shook his head and followed closely behind Arthis as they ran back up the stairs. Even then, he continued to wear a frown on his face.
Infernal Judges were incredibly quick on their feet, and it didn’t take them more than a few moments to return to the surface. Just then, Qin Ye’s eyes suddenly lit up, and he immediately turned around and pointed directly at the mound of heads.
Arthis smiled faintly at the Yin spirits around, before turning back to Qin Ye and gnashing her teeth, “What’s wrong with you? Can you please pay attention to your own image, at least in front of these future provincial governors of yours?!”
However, there was no response.
Qin Ye continued to point at the mound of heads.
Mount of heads… What’s the issue there? Any problems?
Arthis did a double take at it, and was just about to speak up when she suddenly heard Qin Ye whispering directly at her, “You’ve earlier mentioned that only lands of absolute Yin can support the existence of the ten wonders of the underworld, didn’t you?”
Arthis wasn’t dumb.
She may have been controlled by the Lich King, but at least she was still the Prince of Lordaeron--… Ahem! She was once a True Infernal Judge of Hell! Thus, she gasped as soon as she heard Qin Ye’s words, and she immediately turned around and stared intently at the mound of heads.
Three seconds of silence.
Immediately afterwards, both Infernal Judges rushed straight back down into the pit at top speed!
No! There was something wrong with the mound of heads!
The land of absolute yin could only exist in either the mortal realm or the underworld!
The mortal realm marked the start of a Yin spirit’s journey, while the underworld was its final destination. Limbo was nothing more than a point of transit between the mortal realm and the underworld. How could it possibly sustain the development of a land of absolute Yin? This was something that had never happened before in the history of the world!
And if it wasn’t naturally formed, then it must mean that it was man-made.
All ten wonders of the underworld possess Yama-class Yin energy. In other words… the mound of heads that was supporting its growth… must contain a Yama-class Yin artifact!
So long as they possess a Yin artifact as powerful as that, then whether daolord or Kong Mo, none of these immediate threats would be able to imperil Hell’s existence anymore!
After all, the greatest threat in Cathay were only Prefect-class entities. Possessing weapons like this would be no different from wielding a sword of state or a royal regalia of sorts!
Boom! Both Judges raised their hands as soon as they were ten meters away from the mound of heads. A ferocious nethergale blasted forward, sending the human heads scattering everywhere, revealing…. The tip of a spear.
Filled with rust.
A rusty tip of an ancient spear, buried deep in the ground.
1. The words used here is 京观, which refers to the act of stacking enemy corpses on the sides of the road, before stacking soil on them and ramming them together to form mounds of corpses. It was a technique used in ancient warring times to show military might and deter enemy forces.
2. This is a reference to a show called Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, also more commonly known as Eternal Love. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_Love_(TV_series).