Ashmound City, the first City of the new Hell. The left side of King Yanluo’s office had been subdivided into another office space. A handsome man with striking features rested lazily on the chair with a screen of Yin energy hovering in front of him. From time to time, he would drag his finger across the screen. At times, he would smile at the screen. But, likewise, there would be times when he would frown as well.
Do you think he’s actually working hard?
The obsequious Harken sat beside him, squatting on the chair and gazing into the distance as he tried to tune out the sounds playing from the screen.
That’s right, the man was doing exactly what regular human beings liked to do - watching variety shows. Furthermore, he was incredibly picky, and was naturally toggling through the shows on different channels.
“... There aren’t many others who are able to use their Yin energy as electricity…” The Harken glanced at the pile of documents on the table as its temples throbbed painfully.
“Yin Construction Division One has already arrived at the designated location, and they’re requesting for materials to be sent.” “Yin Construction Division Seven has also arrived at the designated location, and have reported that there are building ruins that have collapsed through the rift. They are applying for permission for demolition of these buildings.” “Yin Construction Division Three has arrived at the designated location, but have reported that the terrain is treacherous, and they would unfortunately have to halt works while an expert assesses ground suitability for works.”
Bloody hell… The Harken rolled its eyes and glared at the Second King Yanluo of Hell, before turning back in resignation as it continued to approve the requests. However, the Harken suddenly stopped after a few seconds.
Clatter! The Second King Yanluo was laughing so hard at the shows that he nearly fell off his chair. Just then, he heard the Harken tap his pen impatiently, and he promptly sat up with a straight expression and responded coolly, “What’s the matter?”
The Harken: ……
Sigh… I’m used to it. What can I say? That’s how things have always been. It was naive of me to think that things would be different when he returned from his trip out…
“The construction works back in the City of Salvation have finally been completed. Oda Nobunaga has invited Yanluo Qin to attend its opening ceremony and give a speech there.”
“Must he go?” The Second King Yanluo frowned and took a sip from the cup of tea in front of him.
“He should.” The Harken slumped onto the table lifelessly, “Firstly, he needs to be clear on the relationship between Ashmound City and the founding lands of the new Hell. Secondly, it’s only by linking up Ashmound City and the City of Salvation that we’d be able to stabilize the provinces around us. Thirdly, Ashmound City has already reached the upper limits of its development, especially since it’s merely a replica of the Shanhai Pass. On the other hand, the new Hell hasn’t. In fact, it has infinite possibilities. It’s important to designate it as a capital from the onset.”
“Four, the new Hell doesn’t even have a name just yet. It needs a name. Five, we shouldn’t give different cities different developmental opportunities. Balanced development is the way forward. Six--... I’m just repeating the things you’ve taught me in the past!!!”
Clack! The Harken smashed the pen in its hand several meters away, and its chest rose and fell with its ragged breaths. At once, the Second King Yanluo coughed softly, “I see..”
“Then, why don’t you go on behalf of--...”
“I’m just a pet!!! King Yanluo has already been absent for three months, and you expect a pet to take his place? Why don’t you go?!! I have no rights to take his place and bear the weight of this authority!!” The Harken barked back before the Second King Yanluo could even finish his statement. However, the Second King Yanluo promptly raised his finger and shook his head.
At once, the room was silent. The Second King Yanluo shut his eyes for several moments. Then, when he finally opened his eyes, he also revealed a faint smile on his face.
“I finally feel at ease leaving my position to you.” He smiled and waved his hand casually in the air. At once, a spatial rift tore open, revealing the image of a ship chugging along the waters.
He reached in and smiled faintly, “But this journey of yours has only just begun. It’s only when you finally become a King Yanluo that you’ll be qualified to influence the rest of the world. Kiddo, take your time, but don’t take too long.”
“These realms are incredibly interesting after all…”
Whoosh… Several figures marched out of the darkness of the Yin energy around, only to be greeted by dazzling resplendence. They were back in Ashmound City, right at the top floor of the City Tower where the Mythic Palace of Reflections was located!
Qin Ye took the lead, surveying his surroundings with great bewilderment. But as soon as he saw the figure standing in front of him with his hands behind his back, everything became clear.
“Greetings, Second King Yanluo!” “Greetings to the Yanluo of Hell!” At once, the six returning Yin spirits immediately knelt down in unison. Wang Chenghao and Oda Nobutada also knelt down at the same time. Meanwhile, Kwon Kyung-ho and Ryu Changmin simply felt a buzz in their heads. It was akin to a human seeing the vast universe out there for the very first time. The pressure was so immense that they subconsciously knelt to the ground without even realizing it.
Ryu Changmin’s lips parted and closed several times, yet he found himself completely lost for words. There was only one thought running through his mind right now - How could such a terrifying person possibly exist? Is this the previous leader of Hell? His strength… is unfathomable. Not even 10,000 Rumyantsevs combined would be able to withstand a single blow from this man!
What kind of cultivation does he have?
It was only upon leaving Daehan that they finally understood how insignificant they were. It was also then that they had finally understood the difference between the Hanyang Underworld and one that was acclaimed as the top underworld in the netherworld.
It was several classes beyond his imagination.
Xu Yangyi gazed deeply into Qin Ye’s eyes, and Qin Ye did likewise. Xu Yangyi could see that Qin Ye’s complexion had darkened slightly, and there were even some scars on his face. But, most of all, his gaze had sharpened, and the aura about him was different from before.
Before the trip to Daehan, Qin Ye had been exactly how he appeared - completely harmless. But now, he might appear as harmless as a hairball, but one could no longer ignore the niggling sensation in their hearts that the ostensible harmless facade might well be concealing sharp steel needles within.
He had been sharpened, and his heart was filled with more determination than before. Sure, he might still have some ways to go before he would finally be ready to lead Hell to the international arena, but the seeds that had earlier been sown have already taken root and sprouted, and he was destined to grow into a magnificent tree one day.
“You’ve done well.” He praised Qin Ye and nodded with approbation, “You’ve exceeded my expectations. If this were an examination of a maximum score of 100 marks, you would almost have obtained the perfect score.”
“Almost?!” Qin Ye yapped back with displeasure. This tiny dog has already gone against all odds and transformed into a big, majestic wolf, and I’m only almost at the perfect score?
“I’ll give you one chance to adopt a different response!”
The Second King Yanluo chuckled, “Learning how to write a script of death got you 60 points. Intercepting Liu Yu’s harvest of faith and foiling his attempts at independence on top of that got you 80 points. Figuring out the secrets behind the Russian Underworld’s script of death got you 90 points. Stepping up and stopping everything got you 100 points. But I’ve taken one point off only because I’m afraid that you’ll let your pride get to your head.”
Meanwhile, the six scholars who had returned felt incredibly assured at the sight of the Second King Yanluo of Hell.
“Please rise.” The Second King Yanluo addressed the rest, “The Harken will make arrangements for all of you. Meanwhile, I’ll be spending the next month or so imparting the rest of my legacy to the Third King Yanluo of Hell. The rest of you should spend this time getting up to speed on Hell’s focus right now, and we’ll reconvene a month later to discuss the necessary.”
“Your Excellency…” The Yin spirits stood up, and Zhang Zhongjing immediately stepped forward and cupped his hands, “Can you… really not stay any longer?”
The Second King Yanluo smiled and shook his head with a sigh. Then, he glanced out at the bustling streets of Ashmound City, “Everyone has their own duties, and my duties here are unfortunately coming to an end.”
“This is going to be the start of a brand new era, with neither the baggage nor the prosperity of yesteryears. You’ll be pioneering and forging your own success ahead.”
“There are only great things lying ahead of you, and I’m certain Hell will flourish better than ever before. An old man like me from the previous era will only be an eyesore if I overstay my welcome.”
He retracted his gaze, swept a gaze around, and then cupped his hands respectfully at them all, “Everyone, you’ve worked hard.”
With that, the Second King Yanluo vanished from the hall together with Qin Ye.
Green lotuses swayed about, while koi fish darted about energetically in the waters. Qin Ye blinked vacantly. They had once again returned to the Green Lotus Cave.
But this time, they were no longer at the pavilion, but an island instead. There was a transparent stone on the island, yet it appeared to contain the profundities of reincarnation in the world. A lush peach tree provided shelter overhead, and endless peach blossoms continuously fell from the tree.
“What’s this--...” Qin Ye was slightly taken aback at the sight. He glanced around at his surroundings, only to notice endless mist around them, and towering lotuses rising up from the waters.
“Qin Ye, receive the edict.” With his back to Qin Ye, the Second King Yanluo waved his hand, and a golden scroll suddenly appeared right in front of him, held up only by countless illusory roots of the lotuses. It only took Qin Ye a single glance at the scroll before his knees weakened and cold sweat beaded up on his forehead. He could sense some kind of supreme heavenly divine power contained in the scrolls.
He took a deep breath and then solemnly cupped his fists with a deep bow, “Here.”
“Let the great gods of the heavens, the five sovereigns, namely the Wood Sovereign Taihao, the Flame Sovereign Yan Emperor, the Earth Sovereign Yellow Emperor, the Gold Sovereign Shaohao, the Water Sovereign Zhuanxu, and the Jade Emperor, and the founding Yanluo of Hell and other heavenly envoys, gods and deities bear witness.”
“The predecessor King Yanluo had abruptly abdicated his throne, abandoning the netherworld. You have been favoured by the heavens and handpicked from the masses. Today, the Three Realms bear witness to this declaration of your ascension to the throne. Know the weight of the burden on your shoulders, and be sincere, diligent and honest in your duties. Wield the right to rule with grace and mercy. Reform the ways of old, and assimilate the new…”
This is the imperial edict…
It didn’t take more than a few statements for Qin Ye to realize what was going on. This was the true ascension!
The imperial edict wasn’t short by any means. At first, there wasn’t much more than the usual platitudes. But as time wore on, he soon discovered that the entire world appeared to fade away, and a new world seemed to take its place.
At the start, he saw the earth. And then, his perspective went closer, panning from Cathay, to Usonia, to Nippon, and then Hindustan, the West Continent, and then even closer into some mountain forests where villages that had never been recorded in human records were located!
He looked over through the lenses of a god, and he saw creatures that appeared no different from human beings, save that they had large ears and long tails. They were decked out in a wide variety of clothes, ranging from dated Cathayan garments to modern attire. Some were even dressed in ancient leather skirts and clothes.
Some were with their husbands, some were teaching their children to hunt, some were teaching others to use magic, …
The demon race…
Arthis had once spoken about their existence. She had mentioned that demons would still enter Hell as soon as they perished, but their numbers were dwindling, and their race was dying out. Who would’ve thought that I’d be able to see everything under my feet in a single glance like this?
As soon as he looked over, all of the demons immediately perked up their spirits, almost as though they could sense his presence. At once, they gasped in consternation, and the bonfire in the middle of the village suddenly rushed up into the sky like a column of fire. With a loud bang, the entire village full of men, women and children immediately shuddered and lay prostrate on the ground, shouting at the top of their voices, “We rejoice with King Yanluo on his ascension to the throne!!”
That said, Qin Ye soon looked away, because… he could sense another powerful aura summoning him from above.
He willed his perspective to shift up towards where the source of the summons was beckoning from. At once, his perspective pierced through the layers of white clouds, and rose higher and higher into the sky… until he finally saw a cloud-topped heavenly palace located right behind the white clouds!
It was constructed like an ancient Cathayan palace, golden and glorious, and adorned only with radiant clouds and strange, unknown flowers. Auspicious beasts roamed the palace grounds, while immortal cranes swooped about majestically in the skies. There were even countless men and women dressed like lesser deities, drifting about on pieces of treasured artifacts as they went about their business.
The central gate in the region had two words written on it - Heaven’s Gate!Previous Chapter Next Chapter