Dong, dong, dong!
A day had passed since Qin Ye’s arrival back in the City of Salvation. At 10.00 a.m. the next day, the stirring sound of beating drums suddenly shook the entire City of Salvation. There was a massive drum that spanned ten meters in diameter located right at the front of Hell’s Gate. The circumference of the drum was adorned with an exquisite silver dragon that ran directly around it. Ten Black Armored Troops struck the surface of the drums with full force.
The drumsticks were raised high above their head, before they came crashing down into the surface of the drum in unison, thumping with a deafening sound that could be heard from well over a mile away. It was a signal to the entire city that a ceremony was about to begin. Within moments, a crowd gathered around Hell’s Gate, abuzz with activity and speculations. Meanwhile, in stark contrast, it was completely silent within Hell Gate.
A line of Yin soldiers standing erect like javelins stood guard around Hell’s Gate, keeping out any over-enthused citizens who were trying to jostle their way through to get a closer look. Given the influx of new ghastly citizens of Hell in the City of Salvation, there were now fewer Yin spirits who had seen Qin Ye than those who had. Naturally, few had participated in the previous celebrations and ceremonies conducted here in the City of Salvation as well. In other words, this was the virgin experience of a city-wide event for many gathered around, and they simply couldn’t suppress the excitement stirring in their hearts. In fact, Yin spirits had already begun to gather around Hell’s Gate as early as six or seven in the morning!
A teenager standing in the midst of the crowd jumped up and down in his spot, attempting to catch a glimpse as to what was ahead, but to no avail. After some time, he finally gave up, “How can there be so many people?! I was here at eight, and I’m not even within 500 meters of Hell’s Gate?”
“Save it.” An acquaintance beside him sighed softly, “I arrived at 7.30 a.m., and the line was already here…”
“Holy crap. Why is it so packed?” “Please, can everyone kindly make way for me?” “Haha… Do you think that’s even humanly possible given how tightly packed we are?” “Hey! Who’s touching me?! Bloody hell, stop taking advantage of me!”
Hell’s Gate was now surrounded by high-rise buildings, including both modern structures and ancient pavilions. Naturally, that left most Yin spirits relegated to a narrow street leading up to Hell’s Gate. Unfortunately, the view was terrible. That said, little did they expect there to be another group of Yin spirits, seated on their wooden chairs with crossed legs, fanning themselves leisurely as they gazed lazily at the skies above.
“Old Zuo? Aren’t you going to head over to Hell’s Gate today?”
“Haha, are you kidding me? Look, we’ve been here ever since Mr Qin first arrived in Hell. Since then, have there been any general assemblies that weren’t visible from any other location in Hell? Why would I bother jostling with all the youngsters out there? Tsk, youngsters these days… Just you wait, we’ll have the last laugh when Lord Qin’s projection appears on the skies above later.”
“Preach it, brother. I’d informed some of my new neighbours about how such matters would generally be conducted, but not only did they refuse to believe me, they insisted that they were going to jostle with everyone else just to get a closer look. Look at them now! Squeezing like sardines with the rest of the folks out there. Tsk. They’d better not come crying back to us later.”
The city was bustling with excitement. The Yin spirits chattered with eager anticipation as they whiled time away. Very soon, it was 11 a.m.
Dong, dong, dong… There were 11 mellifluous chimes of the bell. Following that, the entire Hell suddenly erupted with brilliant golden light.
It all happened without any warning.
It lit up the sky just like a sudden burst of fireworks. That said, it didn’t bear the slightest bit of ghastly eeriness about it. Rather, the golden light appeared brilliant and righteous, almost as though it were declaring the arrival of a majestic hero of ubiquitous folklore. At once, the golden light cast a brilliant sheen on the ground, causing new sprouts of flora and fauna to emerge from the ground, covering the lands with a thick bed of spider lily flowers in an instant. Even the trees and plants that weren’t in season began to bloom radiantly in unison with the rest of Hell.
It was just like a spring festival of blossoms. At once, the Yin spirits who were witnessing such festivities and events for the very first time stared at the skies intently. Their hearts stirred with premonition.
This magnificent illusion manifested itself for three full minutes. Then, thousands of bright spots of light appeared in the canopies of the skies, following which… they all began to plummet down into Hell’s Gate like a meteor shower!
Whoosh… Meanwhile, rings of golden shockwaves slowly rippled out from Hell’s Gate, shoving the closest Yin spirits back until there was a berth of thousands of meters between Hell’s Gate and the rest of the Yin spirits. The Yin spirits standing closest to Hell’s Gate right now were able to see that each of the bright spots of light actually concealed a Taoist cultivator whose seven apertures were billowing with wisps of white energy.
“Are these… immortals?” A young Yin spirit stared at the incredible sight, completely flabbergasted - What the hell is going on here? Aren’t we ghosts? Why do there seem to be… immortals arriving to extend us their greetings and well wishes?
“Only hell knows what this might be…” One of the Yin spirits remarked as he stared blankly at the sight. But, just then, the surroundings immediately stirred with cries of consternation!
“Look there!” “Holy shit! Is that… a projection?!” “We can actually watch the proceedings like that?” “Bloody hell… what the hell am I doing squeezing with everyone here, then?!”
Several massive screens of light formed from Yin energy had appeared in the skies above Hell’s Gate, each of which projected a clear image of the proceedings that allowed every Yin spirit in the City of Salvation to watch the proceedings, regardless of where they might be. Each of these screens were hundreds of meters large - more than sufficient to astonish and render the lowly Yin spirits below completely speechless.
At once, the Yin spirits located on every road leading towards Hell’s Gate grew silent. Their faces were filled with expressions of embarrassment and astonishment.
Hell can even do something like that?!
How unscientific and illogical is that?!
A moment later, the crowd began to stir as the citizens motioned to leave. Since they were unable to witness the proceedings live, it would be far better to watch it from somewhere far more comfortable.
Unfortunately, they soon learnt that they weren’t able to move an inch!
It was as though a mysterious force had rooted them to the ground, and they found themselves completely unable to extricate themselves from the crowd!
“Bloody hell…” “I truly regret my actions. Why didn’t I believe what those old ghosts had told me earlier…” “Who could’ve thought that Hell was able to do something so amazing?! Aren’t things here of a completely different realm?” “Holy crap! I swear on my name that I’ll never fight my way to the front of the line ever again! Next time, I’ll lie down on my chair and enjoy myself like those stupid old fogeys!” “Brother… You’re the stupid one here…”
That said, the hubbub caused by the appearance of the projections only caused a temporal stir. They felt chagrined - chagrined that they hadn’t listened to the old and experienced. But, beyond that, they were more excited about what was to come in this realm that was clearly beyond the limits of what was humanly possible. Just like that, their clamor intensified in the confluence of pain and pleasure, before quickly dying down again.
Nobody wanted to miss the upcoming extravaganza in the slightest. They didn’t want to miss even a single moment of it.
Thus, they glanced around with bated breaths, watching with great anticipation as the screens of light above Hell’s Gate showed the countless monks and Taoists standing right in front of Hell’s Gate in 34 neat formations. Dong… With the ring of a mellifluous bell, the monks and Taoists knelt down in unison.
An old Taoist standing on the right-most formation waved his whisk as he drifted down amidst falling flower petals, “The 64 Lords of the Land of the Eastmount Province send Hell their heartiest congratulations!”
With that, he knelt down to the ground and held up a foot-long red brocade box with both hands.
Su Dongxue smiled back. However, her heart was filled with anxiety and tension. This was the first proper ceremony she was presiding over, and she naturally wanted to do her best in the public eye. With impeccable etiquette, she received the brocade box with gratitude and handed it to the Death Inquisitor behind her.
This might be a simple procedure, but it was one that she had rehearsed no less than 50 times for!
That said, this was only the beginning.
“The 73 Lords of the Land of the Fulling Province send Hell their heartiest congratulations!” “The 82 Lords of the Land of the Midriver Province warmly congratulate Hell!” “The 69 Lords of the Land of the Westriver Province sincerely congratulate Hell on its achievements!”
One by one, a series of voices declared their well wishes for Hell neatly and orderly fashion, all of which was heard across every corner of Hell. All in all, there were a total of 2,700 Lords of the Land representing 34 provinces who answered Hell’s summons bearing gifts.
The glory of thousands of immortals bearing gifts filled the citizens of Hell with pride and awe!
“Are these… Lords of the Land? The very same ones from the myths and legends back in the mortal realm?” A young Yin spirit’s lips trembled as he marveled at the unreal phenomenon he was witnessing with his own eyes.
Are the Heavens on good terms with us?
Who would’ve thought that Hell was actually so awesome?!
There were so many things he wanted to say, and yet the fiery feeling in his heart stifled everything that the Yin spirits wanted to say, save for two words of exclamation, “Holy crap…”
These were the only words that could express their astonishment and hysteria in their hearts right now.
Their hearts were bursting with pride!
None of the Yin spirits interrupted the proceedings in the slightest. In fact, not a single one of them even felt annoyed by their circumstances. For a full 20 minutes, the 2,700 or so Lords of the Land from 34 provinces presented Hell with their gifts. Then, as soon as the last set of gifts were presented to Hell, the figure of a man suddenly appeared before their very eyes.
It was Qin Ye in his Hell’s Emissary state.
Yin energy billowed with heavenly awe, while flares of netherflames filled the skies. His vermillion robes fluttered wildly like sloshing waves. The awe-inspiring image of the Harken and the xiezhi unicorn embroidered on his robes looked as vivid and lifelike as ever. At once, his illusory projection towered at a height 200 meters or so above the entire city - clearly visible from any part of the City of Salvation. Beside him stood Oda Nobunaga and Gu Qing, both of which appeared approximately 100 meters tall. The rest of the 200 Death Inquisitors could be seen standing in the background behind Qin Ye.
It was a sight beyond anything that the Yin spirits had ever seen before.
Everyone was flabbergasted. They were so shocked by what they saw that the entire city was filled with a pin-drop silence. They wanted to say something to exclaim the stirring emotions in their hearts, and yet not a single one of them could even find the words or the voice to express themselves.
Just then, amidst the deafening silence, the soldiers standing right in front of Hell’s Gate knelt down on one knee like a cascading wave. Then, when they were all knelt on the ground, they shouted in unison, “Greetings, King Yanluo of Hell! May Hell last for thousands of generations, and may its brilliance shine for all eternity like the sun!!”
“May Hell last for thousands of generations, and may its brilliance shine for all eternity like the sun!!” At once, neat cries echoed throughout the entire City of Salvation. The ground rumbled slightly.
“Please rise.” Qin Ye spoke placidly, before turning with great satisfaction to the rest of the ghastly citizens.
Yin spirits needed to undergo a rite of passage in order to truly understand that they were dead. They needed to be shown an otherworldly sight to clear up any doubt in their mind that they now belonged to a completely different realm. Having done something similar on several other occasions, Qin Ye was now far more comfortable with something like this.
The more power he mustered, the greater the spectacle that ensued. And the natural consequence of that was that the citizens would know more intuitively who they should listen to.
“Damn…” After ten seconds of silence, one of the Yin spirits in the crowd finally managed to muster a soft whisper, “Did you see that? How awesome and terrifying! My god… This is even more terrifying than what we hear of Hell back in the mortal realm!”
“Bloody hell! Did you see how neat and tidy that was? They practically yelled out in one voice! Unreal!” “This is completely different from the mortal realm… It’s not a parade, but everything is unfolding in a similarly spectacular fashion. I mean… has Hell always been this amazing?”
At once, discussions and remarks began to spread like wildfire. What began as a smattering of whispers soon grew into a raging tide of commotion. At once, Hell ignited passionately with a clamor that drowned out even the heavens! With their knees to the ground, the citizens even began to cheer and scream excitedly. That said, the mess of sound soon converged into a unified cheer.
“Long live King Yanluo!” “Long live King Yanluo!!! And, uh… may Hell last for thousands of generations!!” “Hell is awesome!” “Hell is awesome!!!”
The cheers and screams resounded throughout every part of the City of Salvation like sloshing waves. Qin Ye smiled widely as he glanced around.
It was a delightful feeling.
Not so much akin to the joy that came with a windfall.
Nor was it the blissful laziness after watching a movie or consuming a delectable gourmet meal.
Rather, it was a more profound, spiritual satisfaction.
It was a fullness that came with the expression of willingness of one’s subjects to be ruled by him. It was obviously an intangible reward, yet it tasted sweeter as honey.
“Silence.” His voice boomed like thunder, quelling all the clamour on the ground within moments.
“There are four main orders of business that I would like to address today.” Qin Ye looked at his people and spoke slowly, “The first order of business is Hell’s name.”
“The new Hell is often referred to as the City of Salvation because that’s where it was first founded. However, it’s high time it was given a name of its own.”
After pausing for a moment, he declared with a deep voice, “Everburn.”
“We burn with the fire of the old Hell. Their light might have gone out, but their fire shall be passed on for all eternity and burn ever brighter than before.”
“Therefore, with immediate effect, the City of Salvation shall be called Everburn, otherwise known as the capital of the Third Era of Hell. In three years, Hell shall officially shift its capital to Everburn.”
Nobody had expected the very first order of business to be so astonishing. The Yin spirits glanced around, staring at each other awkwardly, almost as though they were asking - Are my ears playing tricks on me?
Doesn’t that mean that… we’re going to be citizens of the capital of Hell?Previous Chapter Next Chapter