“Move.” The cloaked old man spoke with a grave expression as he placed his hand on the glass door at the entrance of the building, “In all my ninety long years of cultivation thus far, this is still the first time I’m seeing something like this…”
Boom! The glass door shattered. He pulled out a handful of talismans and tossed it into the air casually. At once, the talismans spread out and adhered themselves to the bodies of the investigators like homing devices. Moments later, the investigators soon discovered that… they could actually see properly!
The multitude of Yin spirits that were standing right outside the door still had their backs to the building. However, they had all turned their heads back in a grotesque fashion, staring menacingly at the building. But as soon as the cloaked old man stepped out, the sea of Yin spirits outside immediately gave way, almost as though the red sea were parting in response to Moses’ staff.
Zhou Xianlong and Mo Changhao took the lead, while the rest of the investigators soon mustered every bit of courage within them and followed suit.
Just like that, they silently walked along a sea of corpses, greeted by a baptism of avaricious gazes. None dared to speak a single word. The stench of the dead permeated every pore of their bodies, while the frigid air outside caused their hair to stand on end. From time to time, they would hear the faint sound of a gulp, yet nobody knew whether it was borne out of the nerves of an investigator or the greed of the corpses.
It was almost as though an entourage of the living had entered an immeasurably large morgue the size of a city, or as though they were walking amidst the abysses of Hell. The entire city was dark, and the silence was horrific.
Lin Han and Su Feng were also among the entourage of investigators. Likewise, neither spoke a single word. Their hearts were up to their throats. It was as though the Yin spirits living in the entire city had roused from their slumber at the same time. They were fraught with the fear of marching in isolation against an army of thousands of ghosts. Every single step they took made it feel as though they were stepping away from the mortal realm and into the netherworld.
The further they went, the more gulping sounds they heard, and the more they were kept on their toes. Everyone subconsciously tightened their grip around their weapons and artifacts. None dared speak a single word for fear of leaking Yang energy into the surroundings. It was almost as though they were treading a high wire as they went from cliff to cliff. It was almost as though the slightest peep of sound they made would cause the wire to snap and all of them to fall straight into the abyss below.
The silence was oppressive.
Lin Han nodded at Su Feng, and then raised his chin slightly to the front - Who’s that? How is he actually suppressing the movements of thousands of ghosts?
Su Feng shook his head gruffly - I don’t know.
Finally, they marched out of the governmental district, and it was right there and then that the cloaked old man suddenly paused and raised his hand.
Dong… The sound of a bell reverberated through the air.
There was only a single chime.
The start of the Hungry Ghost Festival… Every single investigator felt goosebumps creep up all over their skin, and their breaths grew ragged.
A moment later, there was suddenly the sound of a soft “click” behind them.
Everyone turned back, only to realize that the street lamp at the end of the road had lit up.
Unfortunately, it didn’t bring any sense of relief at all, because it was lit… with netherflame!
Click, click, click, click!!! Before they could even react to the situation, the street lamps all lit up in quick succession, almost as though welcoming the arrival of something or someone important. The lights stretched well into the distance. If one had a bird’s eye view of the city right now, they would realize that this same phenomenon was taking place in multiple parts of the city, all of which led straight towards… the Lush Garden Acres!
Oooooooo… A ghastly cry resounded throughout the entire city. This wasn’t the voice of a single ghost. Rather, it was the cry of thousands of ghosts all at once, almost as though it were a chorus of wails, moans, laughter and curses alike. Just then, every Yin spirit in sight began to move.
With a lantern in hand and their feet slightly off the ground, the Yin spirits turned to stare transfixed at their destination. Then, almost in unison, the sea of Yin spirits and lanterns began to drift in a particular direction in a neat and orderly fashion.
“Shit…” One of the investigators finally couldn’t resist the urge to speak up, “This is exactly the same as our records of how the legendary gates of Hell would open up--…”
But before he could even finish speaking, the surrounding investigators immediately covered his mouth!
It was because countless Yin spirits had turned their heads back to him… and even stopped drifting forward.
In fact, every single Yin spirit in the vicinity was now staring intently at them with a deadly gaze.
Gulp… The investigators subconsciously huddled closer together. Meanwhile, the Yin spirits around them stared menacingly at them with ragged breaths. Their pale faces were stiff and completely devoid of any emotion, and yet… their gazes resembled that of a hungry man staring at food. At once, an electrifying sensation filled the minds of every single investigator in the entourage!
“What gall!!!” Just then, the cloaked old man leading the way bellowed at the top of his voice. He flew up high in the sky, and a broken sword appeared in his hand. A split second later, the broken sword unleashed a brilliant light, and every single Yin spirit in the near vicinity vaporized instantly!
“The contemporary owner of the Sword of the Yellow Emperor humbly greets the Emissaries of Hell.” His cloak was shredded into pieces at once, revealing a fine ancient robe as he boomed with a majestic voice that filled the entire city, “Emissaries of Hell are invisible to all humans weaker than an Abyssal Prefect. Hell hasn’t interfered with the affairs of Man for a century now, yet it has clearly seen it fit to open the gates of Hell on this very night once more. Might I be so bold as to pay my respects to Hell?”
There were only the distant cries of Yin spirits brought over by a frigid stream of nethergale.
The master of the Sword of the Yellow Emperor made a grasping motion in the air, and an ancient wooden talisman appeared. He flung it quickly into the dark, and then waited patiently. Unfortunately, there was still no response.
“You refuse my request?” He didn’t seem to mind the lack of a response. That said, his robe suddenly drifted up slightly, and he chuckled hoarsely, “Yin and Yang are but two sides of the same coin. We’re facing a multitude of problems here in the mortal realm. Since you’re not willing to come meet me, then I’ll make my way to where you are…”
Two green leaves appeared on his fingertips, and he stuck them straight onto his eyelids. Then, he glanced around for a few moments, and then promptly vanished. As he did, he left a few parting words, “You can now move and talk freely.”
“Remember to keep your emotions under control. This is the first jaunt of a thousand ghosts in a hundred years, and the gates of Hell are about to open… I won’t be able to help you if you leak too much Yang energy.”
The investigators on the ground, whether Operatives or Hunters, or even Zhou Xianlong and Mo Changhao, couldn’t help but freeze in place as they stared at the stifling darkness ahead.
Everyone had heard the old man clearly. He was actually the contemporary owner of the Sword of the Yellow Emperor - one of the three strongest entities in the mortal realm, and also the legendary head honcho of the Special Investigations Department. To think that he’d actually made a trip down to Martial City in person!
It was like a bolt out of the blue!
The gates of Hell had opened!
The legendary gates of Hell had finally opened!
For the last hundred years or so, everyone had been imbibed with knowledge of the signs and symptoms of such circumstances, because it would mark the day of the dead, and it wasn’t in the place of living humans to interfere. However, given how things had been historically, not a single person had ever expected to personally witness it in their lifetime!
The gates of Hell hadn’t opened for a hundred years, and yet, tonight, it was actually opening up right here in Martial City!
If not for the fact that they were surrounded by Yin spirits right now, the investigators would most certainly have screamed at the top of their voices! They had waited for news from Hell for far too long. They had all thought that Hell was no longer in existence, and yet… it was finally ready to bare its fangs at the lingering Yin spirits in the mortal realm once more!
Does this mean that… things are going to take a turn for the better from now on?
Cathay was already preparing to disclose the truth about the supernatural outbreaks to the citizens. Doesn’t this mean that… we can hold off on that for a little while longer?
Zhou Xianlong and Mo Changhao also remained frozen in place. Neither of them had expected such an earth-shattering turn of events to occur off the cuff of the Hungry Ghost Festival. The sound of ragged breaths all around were borne out of excitement at the prospects of what this could potentially mean for them. Zhou Xianlong was the first to react to the situation. He glanced at everyone, and then muttered softly through gritted teeth, “Silence!!”
Everyone could hear the soft tremor in his voice.
And they knew it was borne out of the fact that they were able to personally witness this incredible phenomenon for the first time in a hundred years.
More than anything, they were relieved by the fact that Hell had finally made a move for the very first time in a hundred years.
Mo Changhao closed his eyes and spoke softly, “Everyone is to comply strictly with Deputy Director Zhou’s commands. All who fail to do so shall be court-martialed!”
“For the first time in a hundred years, the gates of Hell have opened in Cathay once more, and we’re witnessing the jaunt of a thousand ghosts! Open your eyes and ears and let the sights and sounds of tonight’s events sink deep into your hearts. Remember every step that you took, and every taboo in place, because all of you… will go down in history as the investigators who personally witnessed the revival of Hell!”
“Do you hear me?!”
Words couldn’t express their response right now.
Instead, they did what they knew best - they saluted to the call of duty with the utmost respect.
As they slowly set down their hands, Lin Han drew several more deep breaths to regulate his emotions. Anyone facing the prospects of personally witnessing the stuff of legends would find their hearts roiling with emotions. Just then, he suddenly heard a voice speak directly to him.
“Don’t say a word. Don’t even nod or shake your head. I’ve already told the headquarters to relay information on the Yin energy indicators to us. You’re responsible for getting in contact with Qin Ye tonight. As soon as he responds, notify me immediately!”
It was Zhou Xianlong.
Lin Han’s eyes widened.
Where the hell did Qin Ye go?
His phone record has revealed that he was not currently in any service area. He wasn’t home either, but the surveillance cameras in the vicinity didn’t reveal any signs of anyone leaving his apartment either. It was almost as though he had just vanished without a trace.
“You haven’t told them about your suspicions about Mr Qin, have you?” Mo Changhao glanced at Lin Han as he whispered to Zhou Xianlong, “That’s good… You’ve done the right thing. I, too, suspect that the situation tonight is inextricably linked to Qin Ye’s movements.”
“There’s no way this can be a mere coincidence. How could it be that a situation involving a powerful Yin spirit would occur wherever he goes? And then, there’s still his rendezvous with the evil ghost, and the appearance of the Abyssal Prefect in Azurewaters City, and now… the jaunt of a thousand ghosts during the Hungry Ghost Festival. It’s too much to be a mere coincidence… it’s simply too much!”
“Do you think… there’s a possibility that he’s an Emissary of Hell? If he is, how are we supposed to deal with him?”
“It’s an ironclad rule that Yin and Yang never coexist.” Zhou Xianlong responded indifferently, “He cannot possibly be an Emissary of Hell. I believe he’s simply a person who knows a little bit more of the truth than others. We won’t kill him, but we must force the truth from his lips. Anything we learn from him would be of great help to the situation in Cathay. In any event, we’re simply carrying out orders. Besides, taking a step back, even if he’s indeed an Emissary of Hell, dealing with him would be something left to the purview of those above us.”
“We’re only acting in accordance with our instructions. Mr Mo, you mustn’t allow your personal emotions to cloud your judgment in this regard.”
Just then, the canopy of the skies suddenly erupted with a tremendous buzzing noise!
A ring of pitch-black waves rippled through the air like the aftershocks of a nuclear explosion, sweeping across the entire Martial City in an instant. Wherever it passed, the Yin spirits would lay prostrate to the ground and bow towards its direction in reverent worship.
At once, thousands upon thousands of Yin spirits bowed down at the same time. It was an inexplicably spectacular sight!
“That’s… the direction of the Lush Garden Acres!” Mo Changhao gasped and rushed over at full speed.
Meanwhile, wisps of Yin energy began to pour out from the ground beneath Martial City, almost as though it was situated right above an abyss of Hell. The wisps of Yin energy soon converged, whistling and howling loudly until it finally formed a pillar of Yin energy that connected the heavens and the earth!
And the Lush Garden Acres was located right at the center of this pillar!Previous Chapter Next Chapter