Tang An was so excited that even his body was trembling.
Just how much would their lives be enriched by the presence of a giant amusement park? Yet, that was but the tip of the iceberg? It was soon revealed that the citizens of Hell could even return to the mortal realm to see their relatives back in the mortal realm!
Buzz… The clamor soon burgeoned into a flood of chatter. And then, the illusory figure suspended in the sky raised his hand and made a pressing movement with great authority. At once, the Yin spirits were astonished to discover that they couldn’t make a single other peep of sound.
But it mattered not. Everyone instantly perked up their ears and gazed intently to the sky once more.
The citizens were clearly brimming with excitement. However, Qin Ye wanted them to channel their excitement to the right places.
For instance… where they were going to exchange their prevailing currencies for the new unified currency of Hell.
Everything had been done in order to pave the way for their one true purpose here.
“Last, but not least, I’ll be making my second announcement. “ He glanced around at the crowd, and then went on, “Entry to the Spider Lily Island requires entry tickets. In turn, all entry tickets can only be purchased with the new currency of Hell. Once again, the place of exchange for this currency is only located in the Central District.”
“That’s all for my announcements. Please be reminded to trade in your prevailing currencies for the new unified currency of Hell. There’s only one week remaining until the Hungry Ghost Festival.”
Whoosh… Qin Ye vanished in a stream of nethergale as soon as he was done. Meanwhile, the Yin spirits discovered that they were suddenly able to speak again.
Yet, they remained silent.
Nobody said a single word. They simply stared at each other, completely dumbfounded, yet with a raging flame blazing in the depths of their eyes.
Just like a spring released from tension, their suppressed excitement exploded once more like a stirring wave in the ocean. Then, with expressions of feigned calmness, groups of citizens slowly began to disperse, almost as though they were returning to their rooms.
It was only then that Tang An was suddenly jolted right back to his senses. A deep sense of excitement was still stirring in the depths of his heart, and he looked around for someone who appeared to share his joy. But, alas, to his dismay, everyone appeared to be rushing straight home after the announcements.
“What are you still standing around for?” A middle-aged man brushed past him with some measure of consternation, “Let’s go! What are you still waiting for?!”
“Oh… okay. Right away.” Tang An couldn’t understand why everyone around him appeared to be in such a rush, but he picked up his pace as well. Unfortunately, what Tang An didn’t realize was that the entire assembly of citizens around Ashmound were all quietly retreating and scattering straight back to their own rooms…
“Uncle, what’s the hurry? We don’t live that far away after all. Ah, speaking of which, was there an attraction earlier that took your fancy?” Tang An trotted along, completely oblivious to the stirring undercurrents under the actions of the entire city.
“Are you still concerned about that?” The middle-aged Yin spirit had already broken out into a quick job by now, “Why do you think everyone around us is rushing for?”
Tang An shook his head, completely baffled by the situation.
“To exchange money!!” The middle-aged Yin spirit lashed out in frustration, “Don’t you realize it? We’re only one week away from the launch of the amusement park. With 20 million Yin spirits in Ashmound City, are you sure you’d be able to get your prevailing currency exchanged for the new currency of Hell?”
“And if you can’t, how do you expect to participate in the grand festivities in celebration of the Hungry Ghost Festival?!”
At once, the middle-aged Yin spirit dove straight into a group of Yin spirits. Unfortunately… it seemed that the path back home was already completely blocked.
The middle-aged Yin spirit’s words instantly jolted Tang An from his reverie like a bolt from the blue, and Tang An finally understood the reason for the frenzy everywhere.
20 million Yin spirits… in a week’s time… Bloody hell!!!
Those who came to this realization earlier than others had already seized the first mover’s advantage!
Without further ado, Tang An also dove straight into the crowd, pushing and jostling as he made a mad rush around. Just then, there was a clattering sound of armor, and countless Yin soldiers suddenly appeared on the city walls all around.
“Dear citizens, please maintain public order. Please do not jostle about or cause a stampede. Although Yin spirits wouldn’t die from only that, trampling is never a pleasant experience. With 10,000 exchange tills, the Central District is more than prepared to handle the influx of citizens. Please proceed in an orderly fashion…”
Unfortunately, none of the Yin spirits paid any heed to these words.
This was the allure of the mortal realm, the draw of their loved ones, and the temptation of entertainment all rolled into a mighty tsunami. The desires of their heart that had been bottled up for the longest time were finally exploding.
“Make way! Make way!” An old lady dressed in clothes from the ‘30s or ‘40s ran quicker than anybody else as she held a white cloth bag in her hand. Her voice was incredibly shrill, “Respect your elders! Respect your elders! Let me pass! I promise to be quick! I don’t have much money, so I’ll be done in a jiffy!”
A teenager dressed in a short white coat ahead of her turned back with a cold expression, “Ma’am… with all due respect, you might not be as old as I am…”
“Are you messing with me?”
“What year are you from?”
“From ‘42. And you?”
“I’m from ‘22. I died young, so I naturally look young.”
Similar exchanges were taking place throughout Ashmound City. The great stir had finally disrupted the earlier tense silence throughout the city like a floor breaking the dike! The entire city was filled with the sight of Yin spirits of all shapes and sizes carrying rushing here and there, scattering from certain places and recongregating at others. But one thing they had in common was the fact that everyone was slowly but surely making their way towards the Central District!
“Stop pushing… stop pushing!! Didn’t you hear? Everyone will be able to get the new currency! What’s the rush?!” “Haha… You speak like an upstanding citizen, but what I’d like to know is why you’re pushing me?” “I’m pushing you?! It’s only because there’s an idiot behind me who keeps pushing me forward! I can’t help it!” “You still have the heart to be kidding around like this? Look at the situation right now. Do you really think we’d have a chance to make it to the tills tonight? We’ve still got work tomorrow!”
“Friends, that’s where your lack of experience truly shows. I’ve already taken two days off work. I’m going to get the new currency of Hell before the Hungry Ghost Festival at all costs!” “No way! Your supervisor approved it?!” “Well… he’s standing approximately 20 meters ahead of me in the queue. He’s also taken two days off work…”
With a clamor of excitement, the Yin spirits rushed straight down the main road towards the Central District. But as soon as they turned the corner, everyone froze in surprise.
The entire road was already so packed that nobody could move in the slightest.
They were quick, but there were others who had been even quicker! After all, every Yin spirit had a different starting position in the great race to get the new currency of Hell. It had only been ten minutes since the conclusion of Qin Ye’s announcements, but the entire system of roads leading into the Central District were already densely packed with Yin spirits. Mighty Yin soldiers stood on both sides of the main road with their spears, dragging out anyone who disrupted the order or attempted to cut the queue ahead of them.
This was a crowd that definitely surpassed the fan meetings of the largest stars or the most highly-anticipated launch events! And yet every single Yin spirit in the vicinity didn’t show the slightest signs of letting up!
The mortal realm…
After decades of waiting, the mortal realm is finally in sight…
We’re only a week away from seeing the faces and hearing the voices of our loved ones… I’ve got to get my currency exchanged no matter the cost!
Nobody said a word. The air was only filled with ragged breaths and a multitude of desperate expressions. The reservations and concerns of a new unified currency had gone completely out of the window, only to be replaced with an intense stir of eager anticipation.
Tang An stood on one end of the streets, sighing with great resignation.
He couldn’t even see the end of the queue in sight. There were endless Yin spirits ahead of him, and yet… he couldn’t retreat and return even if he’d wanted to.
Not a single Yin spirit fell out of the pack. Everyone was rushing straight to the Central District almost as though it were the oasis that had appeared in the middle of a desert. And this was despite the fact that not a single one of them could even see any sign of the tills in the first place.
Annals of the New Hell: Year 001 of the New Hell. The citizens of Ashmound City flew into a frenzy for the new unified currency of Hell.
This marked the historic moment of the complete collapse in the system of Kong Mo’s currency.
Back in the fifth floor of the core of the Mythic Palace of Reflections. Flanked by all of the ministers, Qin Ye and Arthis watched the insane tide of Yin spirits rushing straight to the Central District.
Thousands upon thousands of Yin spirits packed into every street in the city that led towards the Central District, and yet none appeared to be grumbling or complaining about the ordeal. The Minister of Finance finally heaved a sigh of relief, “Our efforts for the last month haven’t been in vain…”
“And credit is all due to Mr Qin who’s managed to grab hold of this opportunity.” Another minister chimed in, “Tie it all in with the Hungry Ghost Festival, coupled with the irresistible temptation of a glimpse of the mortal realm, and even the most reluctant of Yin spirits would find themselves casting aside all lingering feelings they have for Kong Mo’s currency. In fact, I’m almost certain that once this week is over, Kong Mo’s legacy would be completely done and dusted for good.”
Another veteran minister added, “Even then, everything would still depend on the festivities themselves. Sure, we may be off to a good start as far as the promotion of the new currency is concerned, but we’ll still have to do our best to carry the hype through to the very end.”
“Don’t worry, the lack of entertainment facilities and amenities in the underworld would definitely seal their allegiance with the new government of Hell.” “That’s right… Even I can barely resist the urge to get my fair share of the new currency of Hell to enjoy a thing or two at the upcoming festivities.” “And what’s important isn’t so much the form, but the fact that this would be the only entertainment facility in all of Ashmound!”
Qin Ye sighed with relief.
This was a huge load off his shoulder. After all, currency was one of the fundamental building blocks of society in any nation. Not only would it form the basis of businesses and transactions, it was also one of the ways to forge a sense of common identity among the users of this currency!
The successful adoption of Hell’s new currency would naturally smoothen the path to the things to be done in future.
That said, Qin Ye also knew full well that this wasn’t the end.
The proof was in the pudding, and everything would depend on the actual festivities during the Hungry Ghost Festival!
That would be when 20 million Yin spirits would be congregating in approximately 10,000 square meters of land. There would be countless interactions and exchanges, and this naturally meant that they would need to keep a close eye over the situation to ensure full security measures.
And the only ones in Ashmound who could keep things in check were only Qin Ye and Arthis.
Qin Ye stole a glance at Arthis. He hadn’t told her that he would probably only be able to afford an hour during the day of the Hungry Ghost Festival itself…
15 August was the scheduled date of excavation of the Lush Garden Acres. Mo Changhao, the Special Investigations Department, and the SRC would all be coming together to work in tandem in this regard. He simply wouldn’t have the time nor the opportunity to slip away to Hell for his business!
“Are you sure you’ll be able to finish the outstanding works in the amusement park in just a week’s time?” Arthis spoke suddenly, jolting Qin Ye right back to his senses, “Ah… Hmmm, yes.”
Arthis squinted at him slightly, “You seem a little bit distracted. What’s going on?”
Sometimes, a woman’s intuition was far more reliable than even logic itself. Arthis stared intently at Qin Ye for the next few moments, and then suddenly quipped, “You’re not going to tell me that… you won’t be in Hell at a time as crucial as this, are you?”
“Hahaha… why would you even say that?”
“That’s good.” Arthis retracted her gaze and responded solemnly, “Everything in Hell is riding on these upcoming festivities, and any mistake could potentially be fatal to our governance in future. You and I must both monitor the amusement park on all fronts, at least until the festivities celebrating the Hungry Ghost Festival is over. In other words… we definitely have to hold things up over the two public holidays until the crowd subsides!”
The more Qin Ye listened to Arthis, the more diffident he grew, “Is there really such a need?”
“There is.” The nethergale gently tousled her hair as she continued to speak with great sobriety, “Yin spirits have the capacity for emotions and desires. When these are taken to its extreme, they would go out of control, and the situation can quickly devolve into a riot, rebellion or even an insurgency. Why do you think the Yin marionette you once destroyed was called Wrath? It’s precisely because it’s formed from an aggregation of wrathful emotions.”
“The upcoming Hungry Ghost Festivals are guaranteed to put these emotions and desires to the test because the Yin spirits would once again be able to see images of the mortal realm itself. We absolutely have to keep a close watch over any fluctuations in emotions. We’re the only ones in Hell who can maintain security on such a scale.”
She turned around and glanced at Qin Ye, “The implementation of the new currency of Hell, the arrival of the daolord of the asura, as well as the first celebration of the Hungry Ghost Festival in a hundred years are all taking place on the same day. We’ve got a perfect start thus far. And if we don’t see things through to a perfect grand finale in seven days’ time… Yanluo Qin, are you even aware how many pairs of eyes are watching you here? If things don’t go well, we’re talking about the ire of 20 million Yin spirits.”
“Beyond that, there’s still the Harken, the twelve envoys, and even the daolord of the asura! You’ll forever lose the chance to unify Cathay in a peaceful manner!”
“I’m not privy to what difficulties you might be facing in the mortal realm, but you’d better straighten your thoughts out and identify what constitutes your primary function, and what are but secondary functions.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter