Chapter 55: Night of a Thousand Ghosts (3)

“Yes!!!” Tens of voices cried out at the same time, and the surrounding white coat personnel immediately began tapping furiously at their computers, sending order after order flying through the system to their intended recipients.

“Sir!” Just then, the door opened and a burly officer strode in hurriedly, bowed respectfully, and whispered, “The ten hunting zones in the City of Salvation… have begun to move.”

Zhang Chenghai’s eyes quivered slightly, and his gaze was immediately filled with a chill.

Yin spirits weren’t of the greatest concern. Their numbers were indeed a problem, but they were a problem that could be resolved in just a matter of time.

The real problem lay with the hunting zones.

Each and every hunting zone contained a vengeful apparition that possessed abilities equivalent to that of an Operative-class Emissary of Hell. In fact, there were just too many such places in Cathay, and too few Hunter-class experts to go around.

“Elder Mei.” He shut his eyes and gritted his teeth.

“This old one awaits your instructions.” Elder Mei made a palm and fist salute and took one step forward.

Zhang Chenghai took a deep breath and made a painful decision, “Mobilize all of the probationary cultivators as well.”

Elder Mei was taken aback, “Sir, I’ve got to remind you that the probationary cultivators… aren’t even at the Operative-class level.”

“Every single one that we restrain counts!” Zhang Chenghao’s voice carried a faint trace of the scent of blood, “Like I said before, this is a fight that we absolutely cannot afford to lose!”

“Tomorrow, I only want to see the living flying their banner high in the sky in every corner of this city - no matter the sacrifice!”

He shut his eyes once more, “I’ll bear all responsibility for this decision. I believe… that the headquarters will approve of these orders.”

Elder Mei grew sullen. Several seconds later, he sighed wistfully, “Only two to three hundred thousand in every 1.5 billion possess an aptitude for cultivation… that’s a ratio of one in every five to six thousand… But since it’s your orders, I’ll pass it on…”

“Go.”

………………………………………………….

The greenish white Yin energy formed a sea of gloomy fog that engulfed the entire City of Salvation.

Back at the hotel, Qin Ye looked out the window with a fiery gaze in his eyes. He could see the tens of thousands of Yin spirits toting their red lanterns marked with the word “Cao” drifting across the city and combing through every nook and cranny. It was almost as though these drifting spirits were innumerable bloodshot eyeballs surging across the entire city, looking for the slightest trace of Qin Ye’s existence.

He was waiting.

Cao Youdao had made his move in a completely unbridled, unrestrained fashion. How was the mortal realm going to react?

What’s your move?

Time trickled by, and half an hour had passed now. All of a sudden, an intense aura emerged from the salvation plaza located in the very heart of downtown city!

“It’s finally here…” He gazed in the direction of the central plaza that was a short distance away from where he was. There, just hundreds of meters away, a loud buzz emerged from a taiji symbol located on the ground right in the center of the plaza. Shortly thereafter… the symbol began to open from the center!

With a powerful, rumbling tremor, the small garden above, including the fountain and seats, began to separate from each other. Then, a five-meter tall statue with half its body and half its head missing began to rise from the ground.

All of the ghosts in the City of Salvation appeared to freeze in their spots for a moment as soon as the statue made its emergence. Under the Insignia University, Cao Youdao looked up towards the central plaza with a glass of red wine in hand. After a long time, he finally nodded his head.

“The City of Salvation’s City God sculpture… I heard that it was smashed to smithereens during the great cultural revolution. So that’s where it’s been hidden all this while…”

“Well played. They’d even thought to preserve these things during the cultural revolution? The mortal realm sure can put up a resistance…”

Boom!! An ethereal wave of might exploded from the City God statue, causing a tremor to run across the entire surface of the city. Even the countless families hiding in their homes felt it. Shortly after that, the seven lamps around the City God statue lit up one after another, and the only remaining eye on the statue slowly opened.

WHOOSH!!

A pure-white wave rippled across the surface of the city. Then, in the very next second, a somewhat illusory glow appeared around the entire City of Salvation.

The City of Salvation, Insignia Province, had activated its supernatural perimeter!

The supernatural perimeter served two purposes. The first purpose was to seal in all supernatural activity, transforming the City of Salvation into a battleground between the living and the dead. And, the other, more important purpose was that it was… a plea to the other cities and provinces around to send help!

Simultaneously, the entire city began to light up in every corner!

In an instant, hundreds of vehicles began to pour out of every single military base, Public Security Bureau offices, National Guard bases, police stations, etc. The stillness of the night was completely shattered.

“Whoo…” Qin Ye watched as the densely populated red lanterns gathered together before promptly charging straight towards the oncoming military vehicles. He took several deep breaths to regulate his emotions, before shutting his eyes and attempting to sense the strongest source of Yin energy around.

Rumble… He could sense that the entire City of Salvation was trembling as a result of the earth-shattering clash between the Yang energy, true energy and Yin energy. However, he could hardly care less about the rest of the city. Right now, he only had one goal in mind.

Hunting zone!

“Over here!” Several seconds later, his eyes opened abruptly once more. A massive wind gale swept around him, and he donned a mask and shot out of the house in an instant.

You’re not the only predator tonight!

…………………………………………….

A dilapidated 30-storey building stood at Lot No. 28, Shuncheng Street at the eastern part of the City of Salvation.

Back then, this was supposed to have been the first skyscraper erected in the City of Salvation. The municipal party leaders had even personally graced the groundbreaking ceremony. Unfortunately, after five gruelling years of construction work, the developers suddenly went bankrupt, and the company dissolved overnight, leaving an unfinished building where it was.

From then on, the building became the heart of some rumours of supernatural incidents. Rumours had it that anyone who entered the building after 6 p.m. would never return alive. There was even word that those who went into the building to look for the missing persons wouldn’t even be able to find a single corpse at all. There was also word on the grapevine that if one looked out from the surrounding buildings at night, they would even be able to catch a glimpse of a woman dancing on the roof.

But tonight, in the very building where the rumours of supernatural incidents in the City of Salvation first began, three brave men wearing camouflage uniforms stood back to back as they glanced at the roof above them with a somber expression on their faces.

That was the roof.

That was the roof that nobody had stepped foot on before.

They had heard the rumours that a lady could be spotted dancing about on the roof after midnight.

There were bloodstains all around - large splatters of blood that dyed the roof and walls with more red than anything else. It was evident just how many people had perished in this place. These victims could have been the homeless or others who might have had a reason to enter the building. Regardless, the trio’s eyes were transfixed at the ceiling above them. The lady that was sometimes seen dancing on the roof by others was currently hanging just above their heads, almost akin to a spider.

She wore a dirty, dusty dress that looked like it used to be snow-white in colour. However, it was now stained with crimson-red blood. Thick, greenish-white Yin energy poured out from her body, while her jet black hair scattered about in a dishevelled fashion, revealing the pale, livor mortis ridden face underneath. Her teeth were a grisly black colour, and fetid, dark-red blood continued to drip slowly from her mouth. A single bloodshot eye peeked out from under her hair, and she continued to make a blood-curdling growl from time to time.

“Sss… haaa…”

As she opened her mouth horrifically wide, the smattering of black hair behind her head suddenly extended outwards like an all-engulfing web, shooting straight towards the three men below!

“Avoid it!!” The leader was a young man with a chiseled face with strong features. Needless to say, all three men leapt away from where they were standing in an instant. Unfortunately, even though they reacted quickly, the female ghost was even quicker! Her black hair flailed about like innumerable whips dancing wildly in the air. With a harsh swishing sound, the three men groaned and were instantly swept five meters away with a dull thud.

“Cough… cough cough!” The young man with the chiseled-face clutched at his chest and cursed, “Isn’t this the primary school teacher who was raped and murdered?! What’s she doing reverse raping us now?! How desperate is she?!”

“Are you really still in the mood for jokes?” A tall man wiped off the blood from his lips and leaned heavily on the wall as he clambered back onto his feet, “This is the City of Salvation’s first hunting zone… we’re talking about a fifteen-year evil ghost here… Shit. I think my ribs are broken…”

“All at once! We’ll die if we drag things out!” The last man who spoke trembled. He was a bespectacled man with a gentle appearance. His face was incredibly pale right now, and there were traces of blood all over his lips.

“Sss… haa…” The female ghost hanging from the ceiling rotated her head a full 360 degrees, as though sizing up the three men standing about. She saw the three men charge straight back towards her in an instant. The man with the chiseled face swiped his hand across his waist and immediately pulled out a rope with hundreds of talismans dangling from its length.

“Go!” The man with the chiseled face yelled at the top of his voice. Simultaneously, the bespectacled man leapt backwards and drew a deep breath. His chest immediately puffed up at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, the tall man formed several hand seals and dragged the rope majestically across the air in a perfect parabola, as though he were painting a massive bow in the sky.

Kkkrrrrrrrr… The sound of a bowstring tightening echoed through the air. The tall man’s eyes were bleary, and even the muscles on his arms began to bulge in a riotous fashion. At the same time, and with a loud bellow, a muffled sound rang through the air. A one-meter long flaming arrow shot straight towards the female ghost!

BOOM!!!

The ceiling exploded with a thousand flaming embers scattering about. The man with the chiseled face wiped off the profuse sweat on his forehead, “Is it over?”

“No…” The bespectacled man responded with a shaking voice, “She’s… on me…”

The other two were taken aback, and immediately turned around to look at the bespectacled man, only to realize… his chest appeared to be growing larger and larger! And it finally grew to a size of about one meter!

Then, in the very next moment, two hands that were covered in blood stains and spots of livor mortis suddenly extended right out of his chest and grabbed tightly onto his neck!

Everything could be seen with the naked eye. They could even see the vicious expression on the female ghost’s face, replete with her gaping wide mouth and her dark, fetid teeth!

She was not dead… In fact, she was not even hurt…

With a loud cry, the two men charged straight towards the bespectacled youth even though a chill had now set over their hearts.

Is this what an Operative-class ghost is truly like…

The Yin spirits that we’d been practising with… are simply worlds apart from such levels.

The three men were the cream of the crop among all of the probationary cultivators. They had cooperated several times with each other and built up a tacit understanding of each other’s abilities. Unfortunately, none of this was sufficient in the face of a powerful vengeful apparition…

The two men were quick. Unfortunately, the apparition was even quicker. In an instant, her dark nails had already completely dug themselves into the neck of the bespectacled man. As blood began to flow profusely from the bespectacled man’s neck, the female ghost finally emerged from within the man’s camouflage uniform and opened her mouth a full foot wide.

“Stop!!!” “You’re courting death!!”

The other two men had bloodshot eyes. The bespectacled man bit down on his trembling lips as he reached for the hilt of the wooden sword hanging from his waist. Then, just as he was about to thrust it at the female ghost, a voice rang aloud.

“Eh? Little creatures?”

“I was just wondering where all of the Yin spirits in this hunting zone had vanished to. So, it turns out that there are still some who are still alive…”

The female ghost whose mouth was already hovering dangerously over the bespectacled man’s head froze momentarily.

The three men were also completely stunned.

Yet before they could react to the situation, the female ghost let out a scream laced with abject disbelief. A single hand grabbed tightly onto her hair. With a powerful yank, the female ghost that the trio had been so helpless against was pulled right out of the bespectacled man’s uniform!

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