Chapter 617: Forbidden Arts (2)

Qin Ye enjoyed learning more about the history of how the Forbidden Arts came to be. Not only did this give an insight as to what catalyzed its research and development, it also gave him an idea of how these nuclear powers were used, and what role they played in history.

Thus, he listened intently.

After a brief moment of silence, the Harken raised its paw again, and the illusory image of Immortal Sanction drifted up like a 3D projection, “This is the culmination of Hell’s efforts. As you can probably tell, the Forbidden Art would first require a medium through which it can be launched.”

Qin Ye nodded. The sword was likely the medium that Hell had designed for Immortal Sanction, just like how nuclear warheads in the mortal realm were carried through missiles and rockets. Sure, they might look different, but the idea of using a medium to deliver the devastating attack was quite the same.

“This sword basically contains hundreds of millions of Yin Talismans. I’m not sure how much you can understand, but these Yin Talismans are essentially arranged to form a multitude of shapes and specific designs within. As soon as these runes are triggered by the infusion of Yin energy, they would begin to frantically gather power from outside and eventually trigger a chain of explosions of each arrangement of Yin Talismans, before finally triggering the most powerful Yin Talisman within that will deliver a devastating effect.”

Qin Ye massaged his temples. It sounded no different from a bomb that will be ignited as soon as the fuse burns down into its core. That said, the fuse or fuel around it that triggers the explosion would also add to the effect of the explosion, giving rise to a more splendid, powerful effect.

Nuclear fission? Nuclear fusion? This does seem somewhat similar… But… it does seem more akin to nuclear fission than it does nuclear fusion.

Nuclear fusion is the synthesis of two atomic nuclei of a small mass into that of a larger nucleus. On the other hand, nuclear fission entails a radioactive decay that involves the split of atomic nuclei into two smaller nuclei. Both are processes that can release a huge amount of energy, although nuclear fusion admittedly releases more energy. However, the technology employed by the mortal realm in their development of nuclear weapons lies in nuclear fission. That said, the Harken’s description of Forbidden Arts sounded more akin to nuclear fusion.

Just then, Qin Ye suddenly thought of a possibility, “Could it be that… the second generation Forbidden Arts is a shift from fusion to fission?”

Unfortunately, the Harken didn’t understand what he was saying, “I don’t understand what you mean. But, going back to what happened in the past, the Argosian Underworld had only created one instance of the Forbidden Art at their disposal. This was why they eventually bowed back and relented under the pressure of the alliance of the three top underworlds to release the technology behind their Forbidden Art.”

“And that is… main sequence stars.”

“Main sequence stars?” Qin Ye mulled over these words. Before the burden of re-establishing Hell fell on his shoulders, he spent a good part of his time reading books and absorbing any knowledge he could.

“That’s got to be nuclear fusion…” He rubbed his chin and thought aloud, “Nuclear fusion is the reason that stars shine. After all, main sequence stars are undergoing nuclear fusion all the time… so it would make sense that Argos was inspired by the main sequence stars.”

The Harken shook its head, “I don’t get what you’re saying, but the most important thing you’ll have to do right now is to decide whether this is an endeavour that you wish to channel your resources into.”

Its voice grew somber and serious, “Coming back to your question, if Hell wishes to pursue research in this field, it would have to dabble in both first generation and second generation Forbidden Arts at the same time so as not to lag behind the rest. In other words, by the time the protection of the Array of the Nine Gods wears out, you will need to have both first and second generation Forbidden Arts in your possession. Or at the very least, you will need to have the technology of the second generation Forbidden Arts at hand, and be on the cusp of developing the carrier for the same.”

The Harken gazed deep into Qin Ye’s eyes, “For now, we can only work with how terrifying a second generation Forbidden Art is potentially going to be. Even if you have in your possession the first generation Forbidden Art, its presence may well be overshadowed by the stronger second generation Forbidden Arts, so much so that it may no longer constitute a proper threat or deterrence. And if that happens, Hell might very well lose its standing as one of the P4 on the Federation of Underworlds.”

“But, regardless, please take heed of what I’m about to say next.” The Harken pointed its paws towards Immortal Sanction. At once, the sword grew larger, and their perspective zoomed straight into the hilt of the sword.

“Top-grade Spirit-Quenching Jade. These were one of the specialty products of the old Fengdu Necropolis. Its function was to expel all impurities and leave only Yin Talismans within the body of the sword. There are six other similar purifying instruments located in the hilt of the sword alone. The price of this little piece of jade alone is worth more than Ashmound City itself!”

“And here, you’ll find the Eclipsed Heart of the Inferno. LIkewise, this was one of the specialty products of the old Fengdu Necropolis. Incorporating this material in the hilt of the blade can increase the output of Yin energy. And that’s not all. From here, you have the tip, the spine, the edge, the hoops, and other parts of the blade that are all forged from top-grade materials. Do you know something? Back then, the top craftsmen of Hell had hammered on this for over ten years in order to finally forge something like this. Do you know what this means?”

Qin Ye’s jaws dropped slightly, and his expressions stiffened. He most certainly understood what this meant.

He stood up with some measure of frustration and began to pace about with his hands behind his back. Then, finally, he gazed out into Ashmound City with a complicated look in his eyes.

Everything requires ghostpower. Furthemore… Ashmound doesn’t have any specialty produce right now!

Heck, I haven’t even heard of the materials mentioned by the Harken earlier!

How the hell am I supposed to get my hands on such things?

Trade is definitely out of the question. Foreign underworlds would never put something so invaluable up for trade. Besides, obtaining these items from underworlds who have these items would be the surefire way to raise suspicions and alarms about Hell. The best way to go about doing this is undoubtedly…

Exploration!

Just like how he lit up the Beacons of Light and paved the way for their journey from the City of Salvation to Martial City, it would take them months to explore an entire province. Moreover, there wasn’t any guarantee that they would find the materials that they needed. If luck wasn’t on their side, Hell might well even have to explore every corner of the Cathayan underworld before they could finally locate the resources they needed!

How many people would that take? How much would it strain them, both financially and in terms of materials and resources? But on the other hand, could he really afford to dally too long?

The end was nowhere in sight. Would the scholars begin to lose confidence in him as a leader?

Everything was primed and ready for the launch of the research. After all, they didn’t need the presence of more than a dozen or so Yin spirits to commence their research and development of the project. Unfortunately, the sourcing and gathering of materials was a long drawn process that would exhaust an incredible amount of resources and materials. The wait was going to be excruciating and painful, and impatience was never a good thing for a newly appointed leader as he was!

Most crucially, such a course of action was completely divergent with the other options available to Hell’s development right now. If Hell decided to dig deep and invest all of its talents into Forbidden Arts, who knows how long it would take to finally see a pay out?

To make matters worse, they weren’t even looking at the first generation Forbidden Art, but a second generation Forbidden Art…

It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that he was now forced into a position where he had to make a decision on the next hundred-year plan in Hell. Naturally, he hesitated.

“What do you plan to do?” The Harken asked for a second time. Qin Ye finally stopped pacing around and sighed softly, “Study!”

“First, I’ll have to go through Hell’s legacy to learn as much as I can about Forbidden Arts! I believe everything that they have learnt will be detailed in these records. What’s most important is the materials that will be used as a vassal for the Yin Talismans, or to amplify the power of the attack delivered! If I have to be realistic, the materials that we need will probably only be obtained after exploring every corner and turning every stone in the Cathayan underworld! And to that end, I’ve not even completely taken the Eastmount Province thus far!”

The Harken nodded, “Actually, I’ve got another suggestion.”

“What’s that?” Qin Ye immediately pursued the thought.

“Heaven’s Gate.” The Harken continued, “The Gates of Heaven should open in five years’ time. There may be certain things that Hell doesn’t have, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that Heaven wouldn’t have it either.”

Qin Ye’s eyes gleamed brightly - That’s right! Heaven has existed for thousands of years after all!

But the Harken swiftly doused Qin Ye with cold water before he could even jump for joy, “Don’t get ahead of yourself. What you have to note is that Heaven is a place that functions entirely on spiritual energy. Even if there might be treasures that are compatible with Yin energy, there definitely wouldn’t be many of them. The prices would also be commensurately high. What do you plan to exchange them with?”

At once, Qin Ye cursed under his breath.

There’s simply nothing in Hell right now. You may as well tell me to sell my ass to them…

“Well, I guess I’ll have to trouble you to help helm things here for another week, then.” Qin Ye sighed and began to vanish into a stream of nethergale. The Harken immediately frowned, “Idleness is never a good sign. Where do you plan on going?”

“To study!!!” Qin Ye barked back, before finally vanishing into thin air.

…………………………………………………

Time passed by quickly, and five days passed in the blink of an eye. Qin Ye holed himself up in his room, carefully poring through the multitudinous scrolls laid out in front of him.

As he had anticipated, there were indeed records of the research and development of the Immortal Sanction. In fact, the records were so detailed that it got right down into the details, including how each Yin Talisman was to be arranged and set out in order to achieve maximum effect. Unfortunately, he couldn’t understand how it worked in the slightest. Instead, he zoomed right into the inventory list of materials required, where they were sourced from, and under what circumstances they were either refined, forged or manufactured.

“Divergence… Unique casting material harvested from the bones of the Spirit of Divergence, the second on the list of special Yin spirits…” Qin Ye furrowed his brows in distress.

“Deadly Choice… So long as it comes into contact with any creature, whether human or Yin spirit, they will instantly be reduced to ashes. Native to Limbo, it exists right at the heart of a patch of intense darkness, where a passageway to Hell may be found. Deadly Choice may be found in the heart of a Libation Bird… Is this… a living thing? Or a part of a living creature?”

The more he read, the more he felt a throbbing headache. At this rate, he would need far more than a research team adept in the field of Yin Talismanology. He would need the assistance of countless experts to look into biology, minerals, and the environment in general!

“Resentment Crystals - a mutated resource that occurs only upon irradiation by a divine Yin artifact. The discovery of Resentment Crystals hints at the presence of a divine Yin artifact nearby. Not naturally occurring, and forms only under very specific conditions. Resentment Crystal Veins will never exceed 1,000 kilograms in aggregate weight. The smallest recorded Resentment Crystal Vein contained only 10 kilograms of Resentment Crystals. It is a priceless rarity. Moreover, its appearance is unique within any particular province. Put differently, there can only be one Resentment Crystal Vein in a province at any one time…”

Qin Ye suddenly paused.

This name… sounds familiar.

He frowned for a moment as he mulled over it. And then, he suddenly shot to his feet.

The Tsar only found the tomb in the Mongol Empire because he first discovered the Resentment Crystal!

Doesn’t this mean that the Russian Underworld has also begun to dabble in the Forbidden Arts?! Qin Ye’s mind churned with thoughts, and cold sweat began to emerge from his forehead.

The Russian Underworld probably has no more than three Yama-class existences. Even if they were indeed able to develop Forbidden Arts, they probably wouldn’t be considered among the four top underworlds. However…

It wouldn’t change the fact that Hell would effectively be surrounded on all sides, with the Aegyptian Underworld on the left, the Russian Underworld above, and the Hindustani Underworld below us. The situation would be horrendous!

Granted, since the Resentment Crystals are such precious, coveted resources, they might possibly be used elsewhere as well. However, this does not discount the possibility that the Russian Underworld might likewise be secretly developing Forbidden Arts!

“No… but if they’re indeed developing Forbidden Arts, why would they disclose the presence of Resentment Crystals to me?”

Qin Ye began to pace around the room quicker and quicker. His eyes gleamed brightly, as he played his own devil’s advocate, “But that doesn’t mean anything much either. They know full well that Hell knows exactly what it is! If they conceal it, they might face an even stronger backlash from Hell, especially if Hell suspects them to be secretly developing Forbidden Arts! Dare they test Hell’s bottom line like that?”

“Damn, and I only gave Rumyantsev a non-committal answer back then. I should have rebuked him harshly, just like how the old Hell would! Damn it! My knowledge is far too lacking… Who would’ve thought that Rumyantsev still had a card hidden up his sleeves?”

“That’s right… That has to be it. He’s holding a lead to Genghis Khan’s soul. This is the leverage that they hold. The importance of Genghis Khan’s soul to Hell cannot be understated. They’re currently trying to trade that for Hell’s acquiescence and support. After all, they would never dare to make a move without first obtaining our approval!”

Qin Ye took a deep breath and shut his eyes - The international arena is truly far more complex than I’d anticipated. There’s always more than meets the eye! Had I not seen this scroll, I’m afraid I would have made a huge mistake just a few months later!

After all, how can Hell watch on silently as the Russian Underworld takes steps to develop Forbidden Arts?!

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