There wasn't any declaration marking the commencement of the festivities.
But no words were needed. With the simple act of opening the city gates, everyone tacitly knew that the Hungry Ghost Festival that they had all been eagerly anticipating had finally begun.
Tang An was fortunate enough to be located at the front of the pack. Thus, he personally witnessed the opening of the gates, only to reveal the misty and gorgeous world beyond the city walls. It was indescribably dazzling.
The bridges outside the gates were plain, straight bridges that stretched on for thousands of meters, covering the vast expanses of a body of water that appeared to flow around a particularly eye-catching island in the middle.
The entire island was brightly lit with countless lanterns and flickering netherflames, barely illuminating a massive structure located in the shadows. He saw a colossal statue of Diablo, a mothership suspended in mid-air, and even towering ancient city walls that looked no different from an ancient battlefield. He could even see a water park located on the side of the island, where two massive tails, one white and one green, rose from time to time, before crashing down into the waters below, sending a delightful sprinkle of water everywhere around.
Countless spots of netherflames darted here and there around the outskirts of the majestic building in the background, filling the air with a sense of profound mystery. At a glance, it felt no different from being transported right out of the pits of Hell and into a fantasy world. Seeing the stuff of dreams appear right in front of their very eyes caused their minds to go numb with intense excitement.
Tang An drew a deep breath and glanced beside him, “Shall we? That’s right… My name is Tang An. I must have missed your name earlier. How should I address you?”
“Wang Pingan…” Wang Pingan responded as he continued to stare blankly ahead of him. Moments later, Tang An tugged at his clothes, “Well, stop staring! What are we waiting for? We’re already lagging behind the rest of the pack!”
The man nodded blankly, almost as though he had just arisen from a dream, “Are my eyes playing tricks on me?”
“Is the Diablo statue… moving?”
“Hos is that possible?!” Tang An chuckled helplessly. But just as he was about to continue, he suddenly heard an earth-shattering roar coming from the island.
Then, he glanced over at the source of the sound.
In fact, everyone else trudging along the long bridge to the island paused and looked up with great astonishment.
The hundred-meter tall Diablo statue was located just hundreds of meters ahead of them. Diablo burned silently with netherflames like a pylon in the dark night. And then… it moved.
The flames on his feet spread rapidly along the scales of its body. Its eyes lit up with an obscure light. And then, it bowed its body, revealing blackened barbs running down the spines on his back. Fiery lava appeared to course through the veins running underneath its skin. Just then, it crossed its arms over its head, and then unleashed a terrifying roar that sent chills down everyone’s spines.
ROARRR!!! The netherflames on its body soared, and the three hundred or so space shuttles connected to various parts of its body immediately began to move in unison. The tethers holding them together were a chain of white bones, while the space shuttles themselves were formed entirely out of white scrolls. At once, the space shuttles began to shift about in organized chaos, almost as though they were being tossed about by the great waves at sea!
The space shuttles have begun to take flight… Everyone knew what this meant - the pack of Yin spirits leading the charge had already arrived on the island and picked out their rides.
Everyone wanted to rush over, but they couldn’t help but pause and watch the incredible sight pan out right in front of their very eyes.
Qin Ye had once revealed his grand plans for the amusement park, but everyone had thought that this was no more than an animated effect designed to draw their eyes in back then. But seeing was believing. The buildings… were actually moving!
With a great roar, Diablo began to frantically grab at the space shuttles in front of it. Its movements didn’t seem fast, but the space shuttles were still no larger than specks next to the colossal statue. The sheer sight of something as large as Diablo’s claws sweeping straight towards them thrilled every single Yin spirit on the ride. They screamed at the top of their voices as they shrunk away as far as they could from the terrifying swipes. Fortunately, Diablo’s claws would always narrowly miss their space shuttle.
How thrilling… Tang An and Wang Pingan’s jaws dropped as they shook their heads with amazement. They had never dreamed that they would one day be able to experience firsthand the feeling of being chased by Diablo in an amusement park.
Time and again, Diablo swiped furiously, only to narrowly miss the pesky, fly-like space shuttles. Its anger seemed only to mount as it moved quicker and quicker, and even changed up the rhythm of its attacks. With each move of its body, the space shuttles would change their course of flight - sometimes rising sharply, while at times free-falling, before narrowly tilting back up just as it was about to crash into the ground. Anyone could tell from the shrieks of the Yin spirits on the ride that it was absolutely terrifying!
No, not with fear. But rather, it was entirely borne out of the intense rush of a thrilling ride!
It was a sensation that none of the Yin spirits had felt in decades on end!
“Bloody hell… That’s awesome…” Wang Pingan gulped nervously as he tugged at Tang An’s arm, “Let’s go! Hurry up! I can’t wait anymore!”
“Hang on…” This time, it was Tang An who remained rooted in place. He lifted his hand and pointed to the sky, “It can’t be…”
Suppressing any measure of expectation swelling from the depths of his heart, Wang Pingan glanced over to where Tang An was pointing, only to freeze in place once more.
Diablo’s repeated failure at capturing the numerous space shuttles had clearly invoked his wrath, and it finally ceased its futile attacks, drew a deep breath and puffed up its chest. Everyone who was familiar with the Diablo series had a single echoing through their minds right now - No… way…
A split second later, Diablo opened its mouth and unleashed a terrifying pillar of lightning flames that were hundreds of meters long, sweeping the violent wave of destruction desperately around him!
“Holy shit!!!” “My god…” “That’s… completely over the top!” “Who the hell came up with something like this?! I love that guy!” “I dare say that this ride is going to be the attraction of the island for the next ten years to come!!”
Even the Yin spirits who were unfamiliar with the Diablo series couldn’t help but look up at the skies with great astonishment.
Sure, they might not know who Diablo was, but they were still keenly acquainted with the amusement parks of their times! And to that end, this amusement park in Hell easily surpassed anything that they had ever seen before!
It was a feast for the eyes.
It was a table set with a full course of excitement and thrill.
This was the first amusement park of its kind. And it was located in Hell.
The generation gap no longer mattered. The amazing sights and sounds of Spider Lily Island had thoroughly piqued the interests of every Yin spirit in Hell.
AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! The screams and shrieks coming from the space shuttles went through the roof. Unfortunately, Diablo’s lightning fury attack was futile, and wasn’t even able to graze them in the slightest. Every time it drew close to a space shuttle, it would narrowly miss by a hair’s breadth, only to have the space shuttles slip beneath the farthest arc of lightning or course right over it. Yet, even then, the thrill of such close calls drove the Yin spirits aboard the space shuttles crazy! It was absolutely terrifying and thrilling.
Meanwhile, the Yin spirits standing in line for the Diablo ride could do nothing but stare enviously into the sky. Hasn’t it been 15 minutes yet? Why does it feel like an entire lifetime to me?!
Moments later, Diablo had finally expended the last of its energy, and the space shuttles slowly landed to the ground once more. But before the Yin spirits could even disembark from them, the next wave of Yin spirits was already stirring with great anticipation.
“One ticket!” “Two for me, please!” “Can I book out the entire shuttle for myself? What about two shuttles?”
Wang Pingan and Tang An finally snapped to their senses once more. They glanced at each other, only to notice the blazing netherflames burning in the depths of each other’s eyes.
It was the expression of great excitement.
They had unwittingly stood rooted to the ground for a full fifteen minutes, watching the entire sequence of a ride in an amusement park that they wouldn’t normally even care about. Tang An drew a deep breath, and then muttered softly, “Shall we?”
“Let’s go!!!” Both Yin spirits rushed straight towards Spider Lily Island.
As they ran, they could tell that the entire island had already sprung to life.
They could see that Yin spirits had already infiltrated every corner of the island. There were some who were already enjoying themselves in the white snake water park, presumably those who were a generation or two older than themselves. Yet, even then, they couldn’t help but find themselves enraptured by the outrageous sight.
The colossal body of the snake slammed down into the water, sending a curtain of water rushing high up into the sky. The Yin spirits who were locked into the seats of their rides squealed in joy as two massive snakes tussled against each other, shuttling between the black clouds in the sky as they sent showers of water pouring down like a massive waterfall.
That’s right. They were flying.
They were flying high in the sky without any instruments at all. The mere sight of something that extraordinary caused both Yin spirits to subconsciously turn their feet in the direction of the water park rides.
No… We can’t!
We can’t be like the old fogeys! Do you see the rides filled with old grannies and grandads? We should rightfully be more inclined to rides like the ferris wheel and the Diablo space shuttles!
But… I really want to go over and experience the feeling of flying for real! Why can’t I be in two places at once…
With pangs of regret radiating from their hearts, they finally arrived at Spider Lily Island itself. Their hands and feet were already trembling with excitement. At once, they rushed straight to the Diablo space shuttle ticketing booth and pulled out a hundred-note, “Two tickets! No, make that four!”
“It’s only ten.” The ticketing attendant smiled in response.
Their eyes instantly lit up. Ten bucks… How do these people even get paid?
“Have you already forgotten? Everything is 70% off in celebration of the launch of the new currency of Hell.”
So that’s how it is…
The two Yin spirits subconsciously glanced at the paper money in their hands. How convenient. Who cares if this is Hell inducing our usage of their new currency. The only thing I care about is whether it benefits me! And to this end, the new currency of Hell is already proving to be far more useful than the old currencies we’ve had!
“But I’ll advise you to check out the other rides first, because the waiting time for this ride is already an hour or so.”
Tang An nodded reflexively, and then it dawned upon him what the ticketing attendant was saying. He stared at him with great disbelief - C-c-can you repeat yourself? We’d only dallied for a little while, and the queue has already grown to an hour long? What in the world?!
But they didn’t dare to hesitate any longer.
The attractions and rides were simply off the charts. There wasn’t a single attraction that wasn’t in operation. Everything was so over-the-top that the Yin spirits were all willing to throw good money for an experience of a lifetime. In fact, they could tell that the entire island was so thriving with exuberance that if they didn’t make haste to the other rides at once, the waiting time for every other ride might well be just as long, if not even longer!
Qin Ye was already at the top of the city tower, the building located at the core of the Mythic Palace of Reflections.
Perched atop the highest peak of Ashmound City, he had a good vantage over the amusement park facilities that had all sprung into action. The bursts of light and the buzz of the machines sent an atmosphere of excitement wafting through the air.
Qin Ye was filled with pride and a sense of fulfilment. Likewise, Arthis was right beside him, gazing afar at the sights and sounds in the distance. It was a sight that left an indelible mark in her heart.
This was their masterpiece - the culmination of their efforts thus far. And the validation of their efforts lay in the palpable reactions from the entire city of Yin spirits.
“That’s right.” Qin Ye retracted his gaze and murmured to Arthis, “What was that sound earlier? Did something rush up to the surface just a moment ago?”
“That’s a ‘Shadow Replica’.” An old voice responded before Arthis could even react to the question. And then, a powerful blast of Yin energy erupted from beneath the city gate.
The daolord of the asura stepped out of his palanquin and respectfully cupped his hands towards Qin Ye, “As promised, Great Sinner Qin Hui has arrived.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter