Time appeared to come to a complete stop.
Qin Ye’s heart skipped a beat. It was borne out of fear - pure unadulterated fear.
There was a pin drop silence. The chimera waved his hand. At once, the cloud of Yin energy that surrounded him instantly dispersed, transforming into hundreds of ghosts that shrieked as they scattered to various parts of the city!
It’s chaos… All hell has broken loose…
Qin Ye gritted his teeth. He finally understood what the chimera was trying to do. He had unleashed the Voyage of a Hundred Ghosts in order to locate Lee Jung-sook amidst the tide of Cathayan Yin spirits!
Meanwhile, it was evident that the chimera intended to capture Qin Ye himself. It was a two-pronged approach.
Suddenly, a loud shout echoed right beside his ears, “What are you still waiting for?! Run!!” It was Arthis. Unfortunately, Qin Ye was unable to pinpoint her location. Nevertheless, her cry of warning acted like a pin pricking directly into his mind. At once, he turned back and darted off away from the chimera.
“Our father is none other than Susanoo-no-Mikoto…” The chimera simply gazed intently as Qin Ye took off into the distance, “He goes by a few other names, including the strongest god, or the ancestor of all ghosts.”
“And I… am called Susa Boy.”
“Naturally, we possess the ability to summon a hundred ghosts under our command any time, anywhere. This is one of the talents we’ve inherited by virtue of our bloodline…”
His voice was slow, but every single word felt incredibly oppressive to Qin Ye, almost as though it were the tolls of the death knell. Qin Ye’s heart palpitated as he shot off into the distance. He was already running at top speed, and the winds swept past his ears with a furious roar.
Within moments, he managed to dash right out of the clearance around Hell’s gate and into the endless sea of hysterical Yin spirits that had earlier detected the aura of the six paths of reincarnation. Meanwhile, Susa Boy had already begun his approach, moving well beyond the speed of sound.
“Scram!!” Qin Ye bellowed furiously as he swept his spear in front of him. At once, countless Yin spirits located dozens of meters in front of him were reduced to ashes.
How unfortunate that the weapons I have are merely copies of the actual Judgment Pen and the Book of Life and Death… Qin Ye’s heart was awash with regret. Would he still be afraid of this monster had he had the real Book of Life and Death with him right now?
Alas, there was no room for ‘buts’ right now.
He desperately communicated with the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal. A minute had lapsed, and there were but four minutes remaining. So long as he could hold out for another four minutes, he would be able to return to Hell once more!
With a death god behind him, and a sea of Yin spirits ahead of him, the only option left was to fight his way out. Unfortunately, there were just too many Yin spirits around that were still pouring straight towards Hell’s gate. Given their numbers, there was simply no way for him to continue running at top speed. Yet, to make matters worse, his clearance of the path meant that Susa Boy could catch up to him completely unhindered.
But no matter how bad this approach seemed to be, there was no better option available to him right now.
Hundreds more Yin spirits perished with yet another thrust of his spear. Unfortunately, the tide of Yin spirits ahead was so overwhelming that the Yin spirits he had decimated were nothing more than a drop in the ocean.
Meanwhile, Susa Boy was only less than a thousand meters away from him right now!
“Why are you running? We’re not going to kill you.” Susa Boy spoke with a deep, chilling voice, “If you return to Nippon with us, you’d minimally be appointed a saint, no less. Perhaps… life there might even be better than here in Cathay. Why be a small fish in a big pond when you can be a big fish in a small pond?”
No response. Qin Ye thrusted again with his spear, but with even greater force this time. At once, a terrifying blast of Yin energy shot straight through the tide ahead, sending the Yin spirits scattering everywhere, and clearing out a path that was hundreds of meters long.
“You’re just making things worse for yourself.” Susa Boy snorted, “Although I’m nothing more than a pseudo Abyssal Prefect, it still won’t take me more than two minutes to catch up to you. With Hell’s gates open, how many millions of Yin spirits do you think are standing in your way right now? And just how much Yin energy do you have remaining at your disposal?”
Qin Ye ignored his taunts and simply kept forging ahead. Without hesitation, he released yet another blast of Yin energy ahead.
This time, it was even more powerful than before. It sent a cloud of Yin energy rising into the air as he shot through the path that he had forcibly created for himself. However… the distance between him and Susa Boy only appeared to keep diminishing!
It took time for him to muster his Yin energy, lift his spear, and then swing or thrust it.
The delay wasn’t significant, but it could nonetheless spell the difference between life and death.
The shard of King Yanluo’s Seal had been dormant for over a minute now, and Qin Ye could sense that the golden substance on it was slowly melting away.
“What the hell is this?!!”
“My Lord!!” Just then, he noticed a clear landing ahead. Amidst a smattering of red lanterns, he noticed a group of Black Armored Troops rushing over to him anxiously. They had rushed over as soon as they noticed the clamour in the distance, and the first thing they noticed was the terrifying figure of Susa Boy hot on Qin Ye’s tail.
They’ve finally come!
Qin Ye drew a deep breath and bellowed at thim, “Stop him!!”
He was practically spent by now, yet he continued to forge forward at top speed.
The few thrusts of his spear earlier had depleted a substantial part of his reserves, and he knew that this would only increase the rate at which Susa Boy closed the distance. That said… it was necessary because of the smoke signal he had fired. It was a signal to his forces!
It was a signal calling for reinforcements! It was a signal telling his Yin soldiers where exactly he was at!
The signal bore the energy signature of the King Yanluo of Hell. Naturally, none dared to ignore it.
“Yes!!” Having been a part of the Battle of Qufu, the Yin soldiers that had arrived were undoubtedly elites in their own rights. Even then… Susa Boy’s Yin energy was so dense that it was practically material. Not even the elite Yin soldiers of Hell could help but feel a chill run down their bodies.
They immediately knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy opponent.
“Protect him!!” With a great roar, the Yin soldiers rushed straight over like a crashing wave. They raised their spears in unison, forming an indomitable force in preparation for the clash against their enemy.
Qin Ye didn’t even turn back. He knew full well that he simply couldn’t afford to fall into the hands of the Nipponese underworld. Thus, he continued to rush forward for some distance, before finally breathing a sigh of relief and wiping off the sweat that was beading up on his forehead.
Thump, thump, thump… His heart was still thumping in his ears. It was only when he stopped that he discovered that waves of goosebumps had been creeping up all over his skin. Fortunately, he knew he could now take a breather, because he saw only more Yin soldiers rushing over from the distance!
There was no shame in retreat. Live to fight another day - this was a maxim that would take a dynasty from strength to strength.
Nevertheless, he knew better than to gander at the battle taking place between his Yin soldiers and Susa Boy. Instead, he promptly reached into his clothes and pulled out the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal once more.
Two and a half minutes have passed… The golden substance over the shard has begun to seep away. Just two minutes more… and I’ll let Susa Boy know just who the master of these festivities is supposed to be!
Just then, a violent roar echoed from right behind him!
A circle of pitch-black wave swept out across a radius of a thousand meters, reaching as far as the location at which Qin Ye was at. The blast of Yin energy sent his clothes and hair scattering everywhere. A moment later, Qin Ye looked around, only to realize that… the Yin spirits within the radius of a thousand meters had all vanished altogether.
How is this possible?! There were at least 500 Yin soldiers! Like a slow-motion, silent film, Qin Ye slowly turned back, only to see Susa Boy standing right in the center of the devastation, with the towering Hell’s gate standing well in the background.
Countless balls of netherflame hurtled through the air. The tide of Yin spirits, together with the Yin soldiers that were desperately protecting their master, had all vanished without a trace, almost as though they had never existed to begin with. There was a clear landing all around Susa Boy, and he stood mighty and imposing, like the lord of the underworld.
“Protect him!!” The reinforcements roared at the top of their voices and charged forward in spite of the destruction they had personally witnessed. The juxtaposition of stillness of death and the movements of the reinforcements was no different from the elegy of the Yin spirits.
“By Hell’s Dictum, all rabble shall disperse!!!” This time, more than a thousand Yin soldiers rushed forward. The Black Armored Troops took the front, while the rest of the soldiers wielding their Karmic Fire Divine Crossbows took the backlines. At once, the dark skies lit up with countless scarlet bolts that hurtled straight towards Susa Boy.
A split second later, Susa Boy raised his hand, “Without military formations, you’re nothing but ants. Glow of the Firefly.”
He lifted a finger. Buzz… At once, the netherflames around him began to converge together, forming a ten-meter large orb of netherflames. Countless talismans appeared on the surface of the orb, before promptly vanishing from sight. The surroundings began to stir softly, almost as though foreshadowing a great calamity.
Whoosh… boom, boom, BOOM!! What initially began as a soft stir slowly grew to a rustle, and then some. Within moments, an unspeakably mighty attack exploded from the orb!
In an instant, the world appeared to be muted of all sounds.
It was a silent rampage.
A dazzling white light appeared on the horizon, demarcating the boundary lines between the living and the dead. With a great roar, the white light expanded, slowly but surely reaping all life within its unyielding domain.
Qin Ye dove straight to the ground as soon as the explosion occurred. And as soon as he did, several others of his men piled themselves right over his body. In their last moments, he heard them cry out with great valor, “My Lord… godspeed!!!”
The ground trembled. Qin Ye shut his eyes and gritted his teeth. Haste makes waste. His lack of preparation today… had resulted in the great sacrifice of his own Yin spirits. Everything was the result of his own failure to take to heart Cui Jue’s Law of Yin-Yang Coaction.
Otherwise… how could two extraterritorial emissaries wreak such havoc right in front of Hell’s gate?!
“If I can just get in contact with Hell… I’ll make sure you regret every bit of your actions today…” A ferocious nethergale tore through the lands. Qin Ye dug his nails deep into the soil beneath. He could no longer feel the weight of the Yin soldiers who had piled onto his body to protect him. Every single one of them had been reduced to spots of netherflames. At once, he got back up and began to rush forward at top speed.
Soon after he got started, he heard Arthis speak directly into his ears once more. But this time, her voice sounded much weaker than before, “Why aren’t you returning to Hell?!! Don’t you know that if you get caught, the sacrifice of all these Yin soldiers would have been completely in vain?! It would be the shame of a lifetime to have the King Yanluo of Hell captured by enemy forces!!”
“I can’t!” Qin Ye gritted his teeth, “Something’s sealed off the King Yanluo’s Seal! I need another minute!”
“Damn it…” Arthis gritted her teeth and drew a deep breath, “Head towards the office of the Special Investigations Department.”
“Their defences would be far stronger than any other place. So long as the mortal forces are able to hold him back, we’d be able to slip back through the rift and return to Hell!”
Just then, two pale netherflames lit up amidst the cloud of dust and debris behind them.
He’s getting closer and closer… They could sense that Susa Boy was no further than 500 meters from them right now. They’d practically given up all forms of resistance by now.
“It’s too late. Your fate had been sealed as soon as we’d unleashed our true form. I’m curious. Who exactly are you? How are you able to survive till now?” Susa Boy’s heart was filled with maddened rage. Time and again, he had been tripped up by the hateful creatures who had consumed the taisui fungus, and each one appeared to be more troublesome than the other!
400 meters… 300 meters… 200 meters…
The netherflames in Susa Boy’s eyes flickered wildly. Within moments, he reached out from the cloud of Yin energy and took a swipe at Qin Ye’s shoulder.
A flash of golden light appeared right out of nowhere, and Susa Boy instinctively shrank back with a cry of surprise.
Rumble… A terrifying sea of true energy rumbled in the distance, forming a massive Taiji symbol on the ground. He narrowed his eyes and glanced over, only to see a pale old man sitting right at the heart of the Taiji symbol.
Qin Ye instantly sensed the eruption of the vast true energy as well. He turned back and gasped in horror.
Abyssal Prefect… This is a Prefect-class expert of the mortal realm!
That’s right… I’d sensed someone sizing me up as soon as I’d entered the vicinity of this location. Was it him?
Has this Abyssal Prefect been watching everything from the very beginning?
But before he could even delve deeper into this train of thought, he suddenly shuddered like a wave of electricity had just run through his body. Then, he glanced up towards the sky.
How could a human being possibly see an Emissary of Hell?!
But that attack couldn’t possibly have been a fluke! It was clearly targeted and designed to stop Susa Boy! One of the three strongest experts of the mortal realm had clearly joined the fray. But… why?
In that instant, he was suddenly reminded of the statue sitting at the top of Hell’s gate - the unique statue bearing his own image.Previous Chapter Next Chapter