The MV Sewol crashed straight through the Gate of the Dead, sending debris and wreckage scattering everywhere as they plunged straight into a pitch-black passageway.
Countless pieces of broken bones and shattered parts of the hull’s wreckage followed closely behind as they all plunged straight down into what appeared to be a deep cavern. Wang Chenghao and Oda Nobutada gritted their teeth as they stared straight down into the abyss.
Faster… We need to go faster!!
Rumyantsev’s earlier attack had left a profound and indelible mark in their minds. Besides, Yanluo Qin had hardly ever dealt with a monster like that, so how long could he possibly hold out for?
Under the circumstances, they knew full well that the slower they moved, the higher the likelihood that Qin Ye would be in danger. The MV Sewol had already entered Gonjiam Asylum. They had already crossed the greatest hurdle that could possibly stand in their way, and there was simply no way they could live it down if they failed right now.
1 minute passed… 5 minutes… 10 minutes… Nobody said a word. Then, finally, after 15 full minutes, the image ahead of them finally started to shift.
They were finally at the end of the rift connecting the mortal realm and the netherworld, and they had finally entered the heart of Gonjiam Asylum!
Rumble… A violent roar rumbled through the void. Yin energy stirred and swirled about wildly, sweeping up the netherflames around into a massive vortex of clouds in the sky as the MV Sewol shot right out of its midst and continued to fall down from the heavens!
It was almost as though the hammer of the gods had crashed straight through the earth, plunging straight into the eighteenth level of Hell in an attempt to smash the renowned haunted house that was known to be the last of the 7 most paranormal places on earth to smithereens!
Whoosh! The MV Sewol hurtled right out of the vortex of Yin clouds and plunged down at top speed. Wang Chenghao cried out in alarm, while Oda Nobutada held him tightly with reassurance and immediately scanned his surroundings.
These lands were so vast that he couldn’t even see its end on the horizon. In other words, these lands were at least tens of thousands meters wide in radius. A series of structures ostensibly formed out of human bones held up lighted candles, dimly illuminating the otherwise overwhelming darkness around. However, the flickering shadows that appeared as a result of light seemed only more menacing and evil than ever before.
Meanwhile, they could see innumerable Daeian women dressed in hanbok everywhere around them. Each of them toted a palace lantern and dragged a chain around as they drifted about aimlessly. That said, as soon as the MV Sewol appeared, all of them looked up in unison as though in horror.
However, they had no faces.
There was only a single eye on their faces, and the rest of their features were missing, almost as though they had been forcibly excised with a knife. But that wasn’t all. What was even more terrifying were the multitude of the living dead that appeared to be silently standing in the shadows around.
All of them appeared to be asleep with their eyes closed, and each of them had a talisman attached to their forehead. They were densely packed together, and it was impossible to tell just how many of them there were! In fact… it was almost as though they had just entered a huge mortuary!
Just then, almost at the same time as the MV Sewol appeared, the candles that appeared to be flickering about weakly suddenly roared with vigor and rushed meters high into the air!
Crackle, crackle… Demonic sparks showered everywhere, revealing the true image of the entire underworld. Not only were there densely-packed living dead everywhere, they even appeared to be standing on tiers just like in an arena. As the candles roared into flames, the talismans pasted on the heads of each living dead slowly began to drift up and flutter without any wind!
Pitch-black lands, faceless women, countless corpses, and frightening candles… This was the setting of nightmares! Both Oda Nobutada and Wang Chenghao couldn’t help but gasp in horror.
Isn’t this supposed to be a glorious underworld?
This is practically the land of evil ghosts!
Unfortunately, time wasn’t on their side. A split second later, the chains held by the faceless palace maids rattled violently, and the talismans stuck on the heads of the living dead immediately started falling like autumn leaves.
One of the palace maids trembled as she glanced at the chains in her hand, and then jerked her head up with great disbelief as she glanced in a particular direction. And then, she saw… a bloodshot eye staring straight at her with boundless avarice and greed.
The dead were rising. Evil ghosts were coming out to play!
“Awakening?” Wang Chenghao’s jaws dropped as he glanced around in horror. And then, there was a second… then a third… then ten… a hundred… a thousand… and ten thousand! In a flash, the darkness around them was filled with countless red spots like menacing stars in the night sky, interlaced only by voracious gulps as they rolled around, surveying their surroundings.
“How could they have awakened?!”
“With such a violent impact… it’s only normal that they’ve awakened from their slumber.” Oda Nobutada gritted his teeth, “Hang tight!”
A split second later, the ground shook violently, and a scarlet wave suddenly surged tens of meters high into the air, completely obscuring the view in front of them.
It had only been a few seconds since the MV Sewol first appeared in the skies, and yet a pool of blood had already formed right where they were falling.
Splash!! The massive ship plunged straight into the pool. Fortunately, the waters were at best only five to six meters deep, and the bow of the ship instantly crashed into the bottom of the pool. Crack…
It was the sound of the ground cracking.
No… rather, it was flooring…
It was hollow beneath these parts. That was the only way the ground could crack upon impact and make such a peculiar sound.
CRASH!! Then, with a loud bang, the ground completely gave way and crumbled. Wang One Tail screamed at the top of his voice, and the MV Sewol began to hurtle down once more!
There was more than one floor in these parts!
Whoosh! Violent wind rushed past his ears once more as they fell deeper into the cavern. None of them knew exactly how deep these caverns ran. This time, there were coiling mountain paths that ran all around them. Wang Chenghao and Oda Nobutada could see a number of Yin soldiers of the Hanyang Underworld staring in horror as the MV Sewol crashed straight through the skies above and came hurtling down amidst a downpour of debris and blood rain.
Within moments, shrill shrieks echoed throughout every part of the cavern, and lanterns lit up everywhere. Meanwhile, countless winged-beings appeared to rush straight into action, whizzing past the MV Sewol and plunging straight into the darkness ahead of the MV Sewol.
Wang Chenghao’s lips went dry. The endless darkness ahead was absolutely suffocating. But, just then, Oda Nobutada suddenly spoke, “Do you know how to fight?”
“W-w-w-what’s going on?” Wang Chenghao’s voice trembled.
He had a bad premonition of what was to come.
“Those are messenger birds.” Oda Nobutada responded placidly, “Exigencies have arisen, and we’ve got to adapt. The one thing that we’ve failed to consider is…”
He turned and glanced at Wang Chenghao, “How could they possibly not have any soldiers standing guard in these parts?”
Roar… Just then, a chilling scream echoed from the darkness. It sounded like the concerted cry of thousands of people, and yet it also sounded like the roar of a mighty beast. There was a soft rustle of flapping wings from the messenger birds ahead of them, as well as the distant shouts of the Yin soldiers behind. However, it was surprisingly silent where they were.
Just like the calm before the storm. There was nothing around them, yet the silence was absolutely oppressive, almost as though it were the kind of silence foreboding death.
Oda Nobutada turned back and glanced down. Yin energy had already begun to pour out of his body, “If you don’t, please hide somewhere safe, because I won’t be able to save you.”
Wang Chenghao’s scalp went numb, and he grabbed desperately at the roots of his hair, “Fighting? With who? Wouldn’t all the Yin soldiers below be completely crushed if we keep falling at this kind of speed? Why would we still need to fight them?”
Crack… rattle… The walls of the cavern rattled softly in response. Countless rocks were clearly sliding off the sides of the walls, as though something were stirring and rustling impatiently.
Something’s crawling out of the bottomless abyss…
Damn it… DAMN IT! Why did I have to agree to coming here in the first place?! This shouldn’t have been my battle to fight! Wang Chenghao tugged at his hair hatefully as he forced himself to clamber to his feet and peer down into the darkness.
The ship was still plunging down, bow forward. And it was for that reason that he could see the deep darkness below. Just then, two scarlet lights lit up from below.
However, Wang Chenghao knew at once that they weren’t any regular sources of light.
Those were… two massive eyes!
In other words, a monster just as large as the MV Sewol was crawling right out of the depths of the darkness and scuttling straight towards them!
BOOM!!! At almost the same time, a furious source of Yin energy erupted from beside Wang Chenghao, and a series of scarlet netherflames quickly drifted alongside them. A palpable murderous intent filled the air at once, sending chills down Wang Chenghao’s spine so much so that he couldn’t help but take a few steps back in fear.
Oda Nobutada had transformed into a Yin spirit wearing ancient Nipponese armor. However, the head was suspended slightly above the set of Nipponese armor, and it wore the hideous mask of an evil ghost. His hair grew to tens of meters long and fluttered wildly in the wind. If one looked close enough, he would even be able to see his locks of hair forming the images of human faces of men and women, young and old alike.
All of them appeared to be crying and wailing in pain and anguish. Meanwhile, two spots of netherflames lit up from beneath the mask. At once, Oda Nobutada’s Yin energy climbed to its peak.
This was the true form of an Anitya Hellguard!
“Murder Acumen.” Oda Nobutada glanced at Wang Chenghao, “You best get further from me.”
“Ahhahahaha~~~” A massive head of a lady rushed straight up from the darkness below. It was so large that it practically filled the entire cavern. Her complexion was pale, and her expressions were twisted and contrived. Scarlet flames filled the depths of her eyes, and her entire head appeared to be hidden in the nook of a massive tortoiseshell.
No words were needed. She opened her mouth, revealing bits and pieces of broken limbs that peeked out from between her gnarly, grisly teeth. Blood trickled down the sides of her lips like endless streams, and she immediately attempted to take a bite at the MV Sewol without hesitation!
Advanced Anitya Hellguard! She was only a single step away from becoming an Infernal Judge!
“The Gwisin, one of the few evil ghosts of Daehan folklore. This should be the strongest defensive force in this place.” As the fishy stench of the evil ghost assaulted his senses, Oda Nobutada shut his eyes and took a deep breath. Then, his entire body ignited in netherflames, and he leapt right off the MV Sewol and dove straight towards the massive head that was approaching them!
Shk, whoosh! His blade gleamed coldly in the air as he spun swiftly around. Then, with a mighty roar, he swung his blade down at the lady’s head with full force!
A brilliant beam of blade light tore the darkness asunder like a brilliant aurora lighting up the night sky. At once, the air around them was filled with the cries of a thousand ghosts!
Torrent of Spirits.
Hellguard vs Hellguard, evil ghost vs evil ghost!
Qin Ye paused and glanced around at the night sky.
The moon shone brightly, but it wasn’t enough to penetrate the darkness enshrouding the ghosts and the spirits strewn all around him. The surrounding trees swayed wildly, almost as though it were being tossed about by an invisible giant hand.
It shouldn’t be this way…
With such a beautiful night sky, shouldn’t I be seated by the roadside, enjoying a marvelous cup of wine and several delectable skewers? What in the world am I doing in this place?
It dawned on him just how much he’d changed. Despite having lived decades as a coward that fought for nothing but his own survival, the earth-shattering events that had taken place over the last two years had forced him to dance on a tightrope, testing him time and again and forcing him to adapt and change to the circumstances.
It had broken apart the shell of his cowardice and forced him to mature and rise to the occasion.
“Sigh…” He shook his head gently and took a deep breath. It didn’t seem like much, but having activated Fate and the Peach Blossom Lantern in quick succession, he knew full well just how much he had left in his tank of reserves right now.
There was simply no way he could tap into the power of those artifacts a second time!
In fact, he might not even be able to activate them in a week’s time.
But, be that as it may, he knew that now wasn’t the time to falter.
Whoosh… He slowly raised his spear and looked Rumyantsev straight in the eye. He could tell that Rumyantsev was trembling with rage. He could tell that Rumyantsev couldn’t wait to tear Qin Ye to shreds!
He didn’t know what Rumyantsev was planning to do, but he knew it couldn’t possibly be good for him. The stirring anxiety from within slowly ate away at him from within. Meanwhile, Rumyantsev’s hatred and murderous intent only burgeoned and flourished, until… it came to a tipping point.
“I had never wanted to make an enemy of Hell.” He licked his lips with his scarlet tongue, “But you’re the one courting death!!”
As he spoke, he raised and brandished the sword in his hand. But, just then, a mighty wave of Yin energy surged from nowhere and viciously thrusted straight towards Rumyantsev’s skull!
It was a spear.
One that was wrapped with dense Yin energy.
It was Liu Yu’s spear!Previous Chapter Next Chapter