With a frown on his face, Qin Ye ran to the well and peeked down into it.
I can see the reflection of the moonlight, and… damn, there’s a good looking man right there…
Then, just as he was combing his hair back pridefully, a spittoon of dog saliva suddenly flew straight into the well, kicking up soft ripples.
Qin Ye froze.
Following that, there were several other sounds of spitting, and several more clumps of spittoons entered the well, almost as though the surface of the water was being riddled by bullets from a machine gun. This went on for the next ten seconds or so, before it finally stopped.
Qin Ye turned back coldly, only to be greeted by an equally frigid expression on the Harken’s face.
Both were clearly filled with an intense desire to spit on the face of the other.
“I’ve never seen such a shameless King Yanluo as you! Shameful! You’re the greatest embarrassment to Hell there is!!” Three seconds later, the Harken bared its fangs and pounced over at Qin Ye.
“Preening your hair over the well in the middle of the night, huh?!”
“I asked you to look for the treasure, and you ran over to look at a mirror instead, huh?!”
“Shut it! Shut it! Spare my face! Damn it… I’m bleeding! I’m definitely bleeding! You damned dog, I’ll kill you sooner or later… Hang on! If you’re a dog, why the hell are you so damn addicted to catnip?!”
“This is a form of concealment, understand?! People might think that I’m a cat, but the truth of the matter is that I’m a dog! And people may misunderstand me to be a dog, but the truth of the matter is that I’m the Harken! This is a twofold concealment! What business is it of yours anyway?!”
Qin Ye’s eyes suddenly lit up, and he immediately went into deep thought.
The Harken huffed and paused for a moment, but it sensibly refrained from disturbing Qin Ye any further. Several moments later Qin Ye looked up again with a knowing smile, “I’ve got it…”
“It’s really not in this place!”
“You’ve found it?” The Harken asked with some measure of disbelief.
It couldn’t quite understand how Qin Ye could locate it when it wasn’t able to.
“It’s all thanks to your mention of the twofold concealment earlier. If you can think of something like that, don’t you think that the same thought could well also have occurred to the members of the Eight Great Clans?” Qin Ye picked the Harken up and immediately began to scan the fields.
“Don’t you remember the old monk mentioning how the Yuhuang Temple was destroyed twice?”
Certain things might seem to be inconsequential, but its relevance would immediately become obvious as soon as one addressed his mind to it.
“Are you saying that--...” The Harken’s eyes widened, “Their contingency plan is located in neither the Longxing Temple nor the location of the Huangjue Temple, but the location of the original Yuhuang Temple?”
Qin Ye raised a brow quizzically, “Why? Is that impossible?”
“No! In fact, it’s highly likely!” The Harken immediately leapt up into the air. Then, with its body still suspended in the air, it unleashed several waves of undisguised Yin energy into the surroundings. At once, the Yin spirits of Insignia Province immediately shivered in terror, while the alarms of the Special Investigations Department went off.
The Harken’s eyes immediately turned pale white, almost as though two moons had appeared in place of its pupils. Moments later, it spoke with a deep voice, “All emperors, including those who used to be emperors when they were alive, are generally highly suspicious of others. And if that is indeed the case, don’t you think that the leaders of the Zhu Clan will want to keep an eye over this place both day and night if they could help it, especially since it spells the last bastion of hope for their bloodline?”
“Unfortunately, it’s an ironclad rule that the mortal realm and the netherworld don’t intersect! It’s troublesome for even someone like me to take even a peek into the mortal realm, much less Zhu Yuanzhang himself. So if he wants to have the best of both worlds, the only possibility is if he places it in a location that he can check on wherever he might be!”
“And that would include the location of the source of his obsession and grievance in life!”
Qin Ye gasped - That’s right… Longxing Temple has to be one of Zhu Yuanzhang’s sources of grievances. After all, it was this very place that he finally broke away from his identity as a village boy and a monk, and joined the rebel forces. This was the place which marked the beginning of his campaign that culminated in the establishment of the great Ming Dynasty!
Whoosh… The trees, grass and crops in the vicinity slowly uprooted themselves and hovered in the air. Meanwhile, the Harken’s eyes gleamed brightly as it softly uttered, “Palm of the Heavens.”
At once, Yin energy converged from every direction, coalescing into a 10 meter thick and 300 meter wide giant palm beneath the ground. Then, inch by inch, the palm slowly closed up.
Within moments, cracks appeared at several places on the ground. Fortunately, these were but farmland. It was only then that the Harken sighed in relief and chuckled softly, “There may be some who know to look beyond the existing Longxing Temple, but unless they’re incredibly familiar with the history of the Longxing Temple, they wouldn’t be aware that there has over the course of history existed three temples that can be considered the Longxing Temple!”
“And the third Longxing Temple…” It licked its lips avariciously, “The old monk had said that it was located approximately 300 meters away from the second Longxing Temple… It was only because an imperial building was already there that the monk back then had no choice but to construct the Longxing Temple off-site! However, given the close proximity, Emperor Hongwu immediately realized that he could use that as another layer of smokescreen in order to conceal the true location of the Zhu Clan’s contingency plans. Who says that the Zhu Clan are uninformed brutes? They're as crafty and wily as an old fox!”
Qin Ye glanced at the ground in fascination, “But aren’t they afraid that the other would inadvertently uncover their secrets when they try to dig up any archaeological secrets concealed in the second Longxing Temple?”
The Harken laughed.
“Yanluo Qin, your understanding of Hell is still a little bit lacking. The Zhu Clan is one of the Eight Great Clans of Hell. Do you think that they wouldn’t have a little trick or two up their sleeves? If they truly wanted to conceal something, they would employ the most sophisticated means available to them. In fact, had you not had that serendipitous encounter, there would simply be no way we could pinpoint its location to this very place!”
Four of the colossal fingers formed from Yin energy continued to lift the ground closer and closer towards the Harken, but a single one abruptly paused.
This was a plot of farmland.
And a regular one at that, replete with regular soil.
There was no way they would be able to obstruct the Harken’s presence. Therefore, as soon as the Harken detected an obstacle, Qin Ye immediately unleashed his Heavenly Dragnet into the soil below.
Clatter, clatter! The farmland was completely helpless to their search. The chains weaved in and out of the soil, while Qin Ye stared intently at it, attempting to catch even the slightest traces of anomalies. Bit by bit, the chains tossed up every bit of soil lifted by the Harken, until five minutes later, a bright gleam suddenly flashed in his eyes.
Clatter! He immediately retracted his chains, only to pull out a lump of clay.
It appeared to be an incredibly ordinary lump of clay at that.
He couldn’t see anything peculiar about it.
“Is this really it?” Qin Ye scrutinized it with disbelief - This is the treasure? Or is this simply what’s left of it?
The Harken chortled, and then blew gently at the clay. At once, the shell of clay fell off, revealing a grain of… seed.
There was nothing noteworthy about it. It looked akin to a pea, save that it was slightly wrinkled on its surface.
Qin Ye stared at the seed in disbelief, and then turned to the Harken. How could this be a treasure? This crazy dog is playing me, isn’t it?!
“What the hell are you thinking of?” The Harken snorted once more, “Look at it with your infernal eyes!”
Ah… Fine, fine, you didn’t have to yell at me… Qin Ye’s eyes instantly inverted in colour, and his earlier suspicion promptly turned into shock!
It was because what he saw was no longer a seed, but a massive building!
It appeared ancient, yet opulent. The entire structure seemed somewhat transparent, but he couldn’t see exactly what it was.
And the reason for that was the fact that it was covered with the runic symbols of Yin Talismans all over!
There were countless such runes. In fact, it was by far the largest gathering of such runes he had ever seen thus far! The brilliance of the golden symbols glowed like a radiant sun hovering around the surface of the ground.
The majesty of the building was inexplicable. It was like an overwhelming, crushing force had descended from the skies all at once. At once, his soul recoiled, and his mind spun with dizziness. Then, for the very first time, he found himself unable to maintain the use of his infernal eyes.
“Haa--...” He stumbled softly to the ground. When he next came to his senses, he felt waves of stabbing pain in his mind. With palpitations in his heart, he asked, “What’s this?”
To think that a pea-sized seed was actually carved with millions of Yin Talisman runes! No, in fact, there’s probably more! I’ve probably only skimmed the surface of this object!
This is unreal! This can only have been done by a divine being!
“Singularity.” The Harken spoke with a grave expression, “It is the embodiment of the world in a single object.”
“This is the means of a Yama-King.”
Bloody hell… Qin Ye stared at the seed in horror.
Is there really such an unbelievable technique in the world?
Just how powerful were the Eight Great Clans in the past?
“Zhu Yuanzhang… was a Yama-King?” Qin Ye asked cautiously.
The Harken nodded, “The Yama-Kings of the Ten Palaces, the Sixfold Ghost Kings, Lord Ksitigarbha and I are the true Yama-Kings of Hell. The patriarchs of the Eight Great Clans may bear the same level of might and cultivation as us true Yama-Kings, but they can never be considered true Yama-Kings in accordance with the Heavenly Dao. That said, it’s not at all surprising that they have the means to employ such techniques.”
“This seed was one that was forged by Emperor Hongwu himself. After all, nobody else in the Zhu Clan apart from him had the means of employing such techniques.” The Harken wagged its tail with some measure of annoyance, “Anyhow, this isn’t the time to be discussing such theories. Don’t you plan to take a look inside? Need I remind you that this is a priceless treasure left behind by the great ancestor of a Great Clan. It will be an eye-opener.”
Qin Ye calmed his mind and regulated his spirits, and then finally nodded.
At once, the Harken tapped him on his shoulder, and everything in front of him suddenly turned hazy. When things cleared up, he found himself standing before the massive structure again.
It wasn’t the time to ask the Harken just what it had done. That said, he realized that he could now look at the runes of Yin Talisman directly without being dazzled by them. At once, he leaned in for a closer inspection.
It was a black building.
The entire structure appeared black, but somewhat translucent at the same time.
To be more precise, it appeared somewhat akin to a small city that spanned an area of approximately 10,000 meters, and yet, there weren’t any traces of joinery. It was almost as though… it were carved from some piece of raw stone. Furthermore… the material seemed rather familiar.
Where have I seen it before?
He thought about it, and then took a second look at the building. Then, he suddenly gasped in horror, “Yin spirit stone?!”
“It’s Yin jade.” The Harken licked its lips excitedly, “Something that is one grade higher than regular Yin spirit stones. Regular Yin spirit stones appear mottled because they contain impurities. However, Yin jade does not, and it appears flawless, radiant and transparent. One can liken Yin spirit stones to gold, and Yin jade to actual jade of excellent quality. Zhu Yuanzhang, oh Zhu Yuanzhang, wouldn’t you be squirming in your grave right now when you learn that the contingency plan that you’d reserved for your own descendants had somehow become the betrothal gift to be used by Hell?”
Qin Ye stared at the entire Yin jade city with his lips agape. He shook his head blankly.
Even though he had anticipated some measure of wealth and resources accompanying the contingency plan, it had turned out to be far more outrageous than he had ever fathomed!
The Eight Great Clans… Just how wealthy and powerful were they?!
We’re talking about a sculpted Yin jade that spans 10,000 meters from end to end! This… is practically a work of art! This isn’t something that can even be measured with the currency we have in Hell!
Just then, the Harken explained, “To think that they’d actually refined the Yin jade into a small mine, before carving it into the shape. Absolutely ingenious. No wonder the Zhu Clan was often credited with developing Cathay’s art and culture to a great extent. Impressive… Truly impressive. It’s no wonder the First King Yanluo had always been wary of them. It all makes sense now.”
Meanwhile, Qin Ye was completely lost for words.
It was an immense amount of wealth. He didn’t even know how he should respond to the prospects of such a sudden windfall. Truth be told, the amount of wealth here was probably worth even more than the actual valuation of the new Hell right now.
And this was just the surrounding walls to boot.
There were still countless rooms inside that were waiting to be explored. He didn’t even dare imagine what else he could possibly find inside.
“Look there.” The Harken was far calmer than he was. After all, this was a dog that had seen Hell in its former glory. Thus, it tugged at Qin Ye’s garments and forced him to turn towards the main entrance to the entire structure.
There were two massive words written on the entrance - Longxing Temple!
This was the fourth Longxing Temple…
And also the location of the hidden treasure of the Zhu Clan!Previous Chapter Next Chapter