Chapter 626: The Skies Beyond

SMACK!

The Broodmother that spanned approximately 50 meters from end to end was beaten into pulp with a powerful slap.

A smattering of blood and flesh scattered everywhere, while Yin energy poured out profusely from its body. However, Qin Ye took care to ensure that the eggs below weren’t harmed.

Hell’s ecology had completely changed, and he wasn’t sure what was useful to Hell anymore. After all, looks could be deceiving.

Besides, Arthis had once told him that where there were monarch beasts, there would also be treasures. Naturally, Qin Ye wanted to take care not to damage anything that could be potentially useful to Hell.

“My Lord!” Just then, a gust of wind swept by, bearing Oda Nobunaga’s voice, “Are you…”

He was just about to say “alright” when he noticed the bloodied carcass of the monarch beast some distance away. At once, he gasped in consternation.

Back then, when they first embarked on their eastbound expedition, Qin Ye had brought scribes along with him to record everything of note along on their journey.

For instance, the freak thunderstorms that they encountered.

As well as the skeletal attendants that would sew up the grounds after the devastating thunderstorms, and the monarch beasts that they encountered. Naturally, this would have included the Broodmother that was documented to be an advanced Judge-class monarch beast.

But now… it was nothing more than a carcass of what once used to be an advanced Judge-class monarch beast.

It didn’t even take more than five seconds…

He’s… truly become an Abyssal Prefect…

Having ascertained this with his own two eyes, Oda Nobunaga’s heart leapt with joy. After all, the stronger Qin Ye was, the stronger Hell was; and the stronger Hell was, the earlier they would be given the opportunity to march right for the Nipponese Underworld and take it by force.

“Mr Oda, it’s been a while.” Qin Ye greeted Oda Nobunaga first, “Thanks for all your hard work over the last year. Rest assured, Nobutada has been well trained during this period of time.”

Qin Ye’s voice jolted Oda Nobunaga right out of his own thoughts. At once, he got down to his knees and bowed down with unparalleled respect, “Please pardon my lack of decorum. My Lord is visiting this lump…”

“Hang on!” Qin Ye stared at Oda Nobunaga as though he’d just seen a ghost, “Say that again? What did you just call the City of Salvation?”

Oda Nobunaga blinked vacantly, and then probed cautiously, “This lump?”

What the hell?!

Wake up! Where in the world did you pick up such horrible slang?! You’re going in the wrong direction!!

“Who did you… learn that manner of speech from?” Qin Ye asked, completely heartbroken.

Even if you’re to speak with a slang or accent, shouldn’t it be at least influenced by your Nipponese heritage?! I would’ve been completely fine with that!

“A sis.” Oda Nobunaga responded with embarrassment, “I mean… my secretary?”

What do you mean your sis?!

“Where the heck did your secretary come from?! And what the hell is she doing here in the City of Salvation?!”

“Wha--...”

Qin Ye rolled his eyes, “Hurry up and have Gu Qing teach you properly! We can’t let this cancerous virus continue to spread like this! Speaking of which, bring your secretary along when you get remedial classes from Gu Qing!”

Damn it… What a dangerous pitfall…

Oda Nobunaga felt bitter, “But she swore that I was picking up regular speech!”

Qin Ye barked back, “How could you just believe her like that?!”

Then, seeing that Oda Nobunaga was about to retort, Qin Ye promptly waved his hands dismissively, “Stop. Have Gu Qing relay your opinions to me for now. I want to steer clear from picking up any bad habits. For now, have some Yin soldiers clean up this place, and then bring in some of the talents we have in the field of biology and material sciences to harvest some samples from the nest for testing.”

Oda-speechless-Nobunaga nodded hesitantly.

Is there something wrong with my manner of speech?

Perhaps it might be good to simply revert back to my Nipponese influences…

Downcast, Oda Nobunaga transformed into a stream of nethergale and drifted away gloomily. It was only then that Qin Ye finally shut his eyes and allowed his mind to wander. At once, the clouds of Yin energy in the skies stirred, almost as though there were an invisible shockwave running spreading through the lands.

In an instant, Qin Ye entered a mysterious state of mind, otherwise known as the manifestation of the mind outside the body. Although this was something that mortal cultivators weaker than Prefects weren’t able to do, it was a basic function that all Emissaries of Hell were equipped with. The only restriction was in terms of the range and scope of one’s perspective.

That said, Qin Ye was an Abyssal Prefect, and the range of his ability was naturally well beyond the borders of Hell. Thus, within an instant, he saw everything that he wanted to see.

It was the topographical map of Insignia Province!

Hell was finally the size of a province - and of the exact shape and size as the Insignia Province of the mortal realm at that!

It’s actually a province now. Not the kind that’s still a work in progress like the Eastmount Province… Qin Ye’s heart thumped with excitement, and he fervently shelved these thoughts as he continued to scan through the different parts that had appeared in Hell.

The first thing that he noticed were six massive nodes of Yin energy.

Monarch beasts!

Just as he glanced over, the six monarch beasts also glanced up into the sky, as though meeting his perspective.

Excellent… No Prefect-class monarch beasts… Qin Ye felt invigorated by the reassurance of his own safety, and that came with a commensurate amount of confidence as well. He met their gazes valiantly, and then spoke indifferently, “I am Yanluo Qin, Lord of the underworld of the Insignia Province.”

At once, he sensed six sources of Yin energy tremble, followed soon by a sense of submissiveness.

Submission?

Haha… He would never believe such cursory submissiveness of wild beasts.

“There’s only one way if you want to live.”

“And that is to surrender yourself to Hell in three days’ time, and pledge your allegiance to act under the banner of Hell from now on. Otherwise…”

“I’ll kill you.”

Monarch beasts might not possess the ability to speak, but they were still intelligent creatures. Therefore, Qin Ye said his piece and left them to their own thoughts. Without caring about their responses, he turned away from them and began to survey the other surroundings.

After all, they were but six Judge-class monarch beasts.

Even Kwon Kyung-ho or Ryu Changmin could deal with them on their own.

Thus, he surveyed his surroundings with great excitement, before the intense excitement and novelty finally began to recede. Then, just as he was about to retract his perspective and return to his own body, he suddenly paused.

“Hmm?” Something caught his attention. He turned around, only to realize that there was a little glint of light.

No. To be more precise, it was a speck of light no larger than the size of a needle’s eye. It was something that he might well have easily glossed over had he not given it further thought.

He lifted his hands and rubbed his eyes, only to realize to his great embarrassment that… there was nothing in his eyes…

“What’s that?” He shifted his gaze and focused intently in an attempt to get a better look at it. Logically speaking, as an Abyssal Prefect, his eyes were already imbued with the ability to see beyond the realm of Hell. However…

He still couldn’t get a clear look at the source of the light!

The surroundings were incredibly clear. That said, this was the only spot that appeared to remain completely shrouded in white mist, almost as though it was something that he didn’t qualify to set his sights on!

“Isn’t this Chuzhou City?” He took several looks at it, before furrowing his brows, “Is there… something there?” [1]

Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes, and then slowly opened his eyes again. At once, the colours within his eyes inverted, and the hazy mist that previously obscured his vision slowly scattered right in front of his very eyes!

It was almost as though an invisible sword had cleaved the sea of mist apart, scattering them to the sides as his piercing gaze connected with the contents beyond, and his perspective instantly drifted right into the skies.

“This is--...” He glanced around in surprise. There were suddenly azure blue skies around him and a sea of clouds  beneath his feet. He couldn’t understand how Insignia Province could conceal such a place.

“A spell…” He murmured softly to himself, “It’s a concealment spell that spans both the netherworld and the corresponding location in the mortal realm… But it doesn’t make sense. What’s it trying to conceal? No… That’s not important. What’s more important is the fact that it’s still in existence. This means that the concealed secret still has yet to be discovered…”

He frowned and withdrew his gaze at once, before glancing down at his feet, “And this only makes things even more peculiar, because this spell couldn’t have appeared in the last hundred years. After all, there’s no one in Hell who possesses the ability to cast such spells ever since the great collapse. Therefore, this must have happened over a hundred years ago. And if that’s the case…”

He grew taciturn.

That would have been during the reign of the Second King Yanluo!

In other words, it was an era when Hell was the strongest it had ever been!

Nobody could have established such a spell in Hell without their deeds being discovered!

Then, just as his mind was filled with bewilderment, something else suddenly caught his eye.

There’s something else!

There’s something else here!

The golden glow of light diffusing through the clouds beneath was dazzling. It was almost as though he’d been transported right back to the mortal realm. However, Qin Ye had noticed a massive shadow pass by fleetingly in the clouds just a split second ago.

That said, he didn’t detect any traces of Yin energy emanating from this shadow!

Three seconds later, Qin Ye snorted, “What mischief. Get out right now.”

Clatter! With the casual flick of his sleeves, countless chains rushed straight into the clouds below. A split second later, a voice of shock and anger came from the clouds.

ROAR!!!

Qin Ye’s body shook softly, and he glanced down in disbelief.

How could it possibly cause the soul of an Abyssal Prefect to tremble? What the hell is this thing? Is it located in the mortal realm, or is it in the netherworld?

Without further thought, he tugged his hand up hard, and his Heavenly Dragnet retracted violently. Moments later, a colossal shadow was dragged up from beneath the clouds.

It was a fish.

A golden monstrosity of a fish.

It was approximately 100 meters in size. However, there were antler-like horns on its head, and its body was covered with golden scales. Long white whiskers grew out the sides of its lips, while clawed hands protruded from the abdomen of its long body! It stared intently at Qin Ye. As soon as it was hauled right out of the clouds against its will, it unleashed an earth-shattering roar.

ROARRRRRRR!!!

The clouds trembled, and a shockwave instantly rippled out across the surface of the clouds. Unfortunately, Heavenly Dragnet was unable to restrain the majestic creature, and it… flew up into the sky.

At once, time seemed to slow down.

It looked like a dragon soaring through the skies. At once, a majestic silhouette cast a dark shadow over Qin Ye’s consciousness. Its golden scales were gorgeous and charming under the dazzling glow of the light from beneath the clouds. It looked no different from a mythical creature.

BOOM!

The golden fish crashed straight through the surface of the clouds once more, causing the clouds to scatter everywhere. Qin Ye was jolted out of his stupor right away. With drooping jaws, he shook his head, almost as though he were trying to shake himself back to reality.

“Is this… a Dragon Carp?” [2] He blinked and stared vacantly at the clouds below, “There’s a Dragon Carp here in Chuzhou City?”

“How… is this possible?”

“How could neither Hell nor the mortal realm have discovered something as amazing as this?”

But before he could follow this train of thoughts, the clouds trembled once more.

This time, the tremors were even more violent than before. In fact… it was so powerful that even the surroundings were starting to glow with a golden hue. Meanwhile, day turned to night, while the sea of clouds beneath his feet slowly began to stir and swirl about, faster and faster, and with ever greater intensity. Then, finally… it transformed into a massive whirlpool of clouds!

Golden beams of light burst through the heart of the whirlpool, while a terrifying gust sent Qin Ye’s clothes scattering everywhere.

“I obviously can’t sense any Yin energy, and yet… this source of energy… actually feels as powerful as an Abyssal Prefect?” Qin Ye gnashed his teeth, because he could see the Dragon Carp rising through the heart of the whirlpool.

Slowly, but surely, it grew quicker and quicker, while the golden lustre on its body grew more and more lustrous. That said, Qin Ye could tell that its body was quickly transforming!

It quickly grew finer and sharper. Within three seconds, the entire Dragon Carp that was hundreds of meters long actually shrank and transformed into…

A golden sword!


1. Do note that the author has kept all references to the name of the city and all of the counties within, presumably because of the historical significance of this place, so I’ll be doing a transliteration of the names as far as these references are concerned.

2. Chinese legends have it that carps that jump out of the water and through a mythical gateway known as the dragon’s gate would evolve into a dragon.

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