It took Qin Ye several deep breaths to quell the stirring waves of excitement in his heart.
How significant would this contingency plan be to spur the developments in Hell?
At the very least, he would no longer be concerned about having nothing to trade when he opens up the sea port after the upcoming spring festival.
He gazed deeply at the two words, Longxing Temple, before turning to the rest of the treasure of the former era.
This underworldly iteration of the Longxing Temple was larger by orders of magnitude in comparison with the one back in the mortal realm. And what was even more shocking was the fact that there were tens of thousands of carved sculptures of military generals and warriors displayed in the grand courtyard in the Longxing Temple!
They were all constructed out of the same material and equipped with Ming Dynasty armour. Their bodies were sculpted with the exact same pose, with their left arms holding up a bow and their right arms drawing the bowstring!
Thousands of sculptures formed a majestic square formation. It was exquisite and lifelike, almost as though they would all come to life in the very next second. In fact, even though they were mere sculptures, Qin Ye could sense an air of murderous intent emanating from them.
“What’s that?” He frowned.
“Heh--...” The Harken chuckled softly. Then, with the quick flick of its tail, a wisp of its Yin energy took the shape of an evil ghost and rushed forward.
At once, the sculptures… sprung into action!
Kkkrrr… They all looked over, and the tip of the arrows immediately locked onto the invading wisp of Yin energy. A split second later… a volley of arrows flew into the air!
Qin Ye gasped and immediately ducked down. Meanwhile, countless arrows formed a terrifying, dark wave that hurtled right past his head. It was dense and impermeable, and they whistled by with a terrifying buzzing sound. It was absolutely astonishing.
The volley of arrows lasted for a full five seconds before it finally ceased. Qin Ye looked up cautiously, only to realize that the Harken’s wisp of Yin energy had already been torn to shreds and completely extinguished.
“Puppets of Ten Extinctions.” The Harken’s eyes flickered as it explained itself, “Inherited from the Ten Immortals in the age of the Investiture of the Gods, it is composed of ten great formations, namely Heaven’s End, Earth’s Fracture, Roaring Wind, Frigid Ice, Golden Light, Boiling Blood, Fiery Conflagration, Fallen Soul, Scarlet Seas, and Vermillion Dune. It contains enough power to resist the advances of a Yama-King.”
Something that can resist even a Yama-King… Qin Ye gulped nervously, “And you’re saying that this is only one of the ten formations?”
The Harken shook its head, “No… What you see is the complete formation. Ever since Hell gained knowledge of the Puppets of Ten Extinctions, it’s undergone several evolutions and revisions. What you see here is likely the version that the Zhu Clan has come up with after various iterations. Don’t underestimate the Yin Talismanology experts of the Zhu Clan in the slightest. Liu Bowen can be considered a top-tiered talent that only appears once every 500 years. The modifications he has made must have enabled him to integrate all ten formation arrays into a single cohesive one.”
Qin Ye’s frown deepened, “Then… I guess we’ll have no choice but to circle around the formation array then…”
“Impossible.” The Harken glanced to the sides of the Longxing Temple, “Take a look and see where this structure is erected.”
Qin Ye glanced around, and his eyes immediately flickered.
He hadn’t realized it earlier, but apart from the array of puppets located right at the entrance, both sides of the Longxing Temple were practically surrounded by lakes!
He was almost certain that three sides of the temple were surrounded by waters, and the front was protected entirely by the grand array!
Qin Ye didn’t bother raising any silly suggestions, including the idea of flying right over, because… he could sense the figure of a giant dragon stirring in the heart of the waters in Longxing Temple.The dragon was approximately 30-40 meters long, and it was emanating brilliant golden light, almost as though it were a bright sun hiding in the depths of the waters!
Part of the dragon’s scales were raised slightly above the waters, as though it were on alert. The dragon’s horns had even peeked out of the waters!
Beyond that, he could see a pair of golden eyes akin to two boiling underwater furnaces, staring intently at him. It was almost as though it were daring him to take a step forward to incur its wrath.
“What’s this…” Qin Ye’s jaws dropped slightly as he shook his head in dismay, “What I saw in the clouds--...”
“1000-year Bones of Eternity…” The Harken looked away softly. Even the Harken couldn’t help but be startled by its presence, “In life, it would have been a carp that had managed to leap right over the Dragon’s Gate, only to perish to the heavenly tribulation that ensued before it successfully completed its metamorphosis. This is a priceless treasure that is covered with blood and flesh, and known to contain the spirit of Heaven and Earth. To put things into perspective, if I managed to consume one such treasure, I’m pretty sure that it would immediately allow me to recover from half of these existing injuries of mine.”
“These bones would never decay, and any entity below the rank of a Yama-King needn’t even think of doing any damage to these bones. Do you still remember the tip of Zhao Zilong’s spear? That’s something that had been forged from a 1000-year Bone of Eternity. This was why the speartip had remained in existence even though the rest of the spear had been completely destroyed.”
Qin Ye glanced at the lake, and his eyes gleamed with a touch of respect, “Who would’ve thought that the Zhu Clan were able to find themselves a complete skeleton like that, and even fuse it together with a Yin spirit? Even though the resultant spirit doesn’t have spiritual intelligence, it’s still got its instincts. I’m afraid that… its strength is probably on par with the patriarch of the Zhu Clan. At the very least, it would certainly be beyond that of a mere Abyssal prefect.”
Without waiting for Qin Ye to speak, the Harken lifted its chin to the signboard above the Longxing Temple, “Moreover, do you know what else is etched on there?”
Qin Ye shook his head.
“The Mantra of Great Destruction.” The Harken sighed softly, “As soon as it detects the presence of an intruder, it will immediately activate the Mantra of Great Destruction, and its power--... Let’s put it this way. We’re currently in the mortal realm, aren’t we? If this thing goes off right here, Fengyang County will have to be erased from the map.”
Qin Ye stared at the structure in front of him, completely flabbergasted.
Even that would be an understatement.
“Is there any other way to circumvent the defenses?”
“Impossible.” The Harken shook its head, “You need only address your mind to the purpose of its presence.”
Qin Ye sighed, “I guess I was being a little bit too hopeful there.”
The entire structure comprised the Zhu Clan’s contingency plan. Every bit of defensive measure that Qin Ye saw was precisely put into place in order to protect it from Hell. To this end, it was quite possible that the only Yin spirits able to enter these premises were the direct descendents of the Zhu Clan. Absent that, they might be able to enter the premises, but they would certainly be unable to leave.
Just how powerful and resourceful are these Eight Great Clans? Is there really no way to get around this problem?
Unfortunately, he would never dare to test its limits with his own body. After all, what he had seen was already more than sufficient to deter him from taking a single step further.
Both of them fell silent. Neither were willing to simply abandon such an immense treasure that appeared so close, and yet so far. Both Qin Ye and the Harken couldn’t suppress their desires to see what lay beyond the defenses at the entrance to the Longxing Temple!
After three full minutes, the Harken suddenly spoke with some measure of hesitation, “That said, there is one way.”
Qin Ye blinked vacantly, and then turned to the Harken with his lips slightly agape, “You want to strike it with full power?”
The Harken still had that one full-power strike available to it.
However, if they used it right here and now, then Hell would have nothing left to use as a deterrent against others!
There were still at least two powerful armed coalitions within Cathay right now, led by the two daolords who hadn’t pledged their allegiance to Hell. There was no doubt that it would be far easier to negotiate with the remaining daolords if they had the threat of the Harken’s powerful strike in hand.
That’s right - negotiations.
The last thing that Hell wanted to do right now was to wage war against others. If they were willing to surrender and serve Hell wholeheartedly in good faith, Qin Ye could still consider pardoning them for their crimes. After all, to Qin Ye’s mind, there were many others who were just as deserving to be banished to an eternity under the six paths of reincarnation, including some officials, doctors and unscrupulous businessmen out there!
But if the Harken employed his full-force strike here and now, Hell would no longer have that deterrent force available to them. After all, the daolords must already know a thing or two about the Harken’s physical condition. Otherwise… they would already have marched right up to Hell and surrendered themselves by now.
“This is the only way.” The Harken lay down on the ground lazily, “We’re talking about the Puppets of Ten Extinction, a complete skeleton formed from the 1000-year Bones of Eternity, and even the Mantra of Great Destruction… Who knows what other traps they have hidden inside the Longxing Temple? Unless I personally make a move right here and now, I’m afraid… hehe… it might take you more than 50 years before you can finally unlock the secrets within. Well, it’s your choice. You can make the call.”
Qin Ye chuckled bitterly, “Aren’t you worried about overexerting yourself?”
“What’s there to be worried about?” The Harken glared back at Qin Ye curiously, “The only thing that I’ll need to worry about is whether I’ll lose the comfort of your lap to lie on. With someone like you looking for treasures all the day long, what else have I to bother about?”
That’s… surprisingly logical and irrefutable…
At once, the scene was filled with silence.
Qin Ye placed his hands behind his back and slowly paced about, glancing up from time to time at the colossal structure before his very eyes. After an inordinate amount of time, he finally sighed and turned back, “Please, Lord Harken, may I seek your assistance in this regard.”
“Have you finally made up your mind?” The Harken slowly rose to its feet and shook off the dirt on its body, “You might not find something of equivalent value in this lifetime after all. Last chance - do you not wish to retain this full-force strike any longer?”
Qin Ye shook his head firmly, before turning his gaze to the structure.
There were just too many things the Zhu Clan’s treasure could be used for!
For one, it would immediately solve the needs of the upcoming sea trade. Even if they discount the possibility of finding any priceless treasures or valuables hidden in the depths of the Longxing Temple, just the sculptures on the main courtyard alone would already be worth an inordinate sum!
And then, there were still the lotus flowers, roots and leaves made of Yin jade, all of which were as exquisite as the most coveted art!
Granted, art might not be useful to a developing underworld, but the state of Hell’s development was in no way representative of the foreign societies and cultures! There was absolutely no way these objects wouldn’t fetch a high price out on the global market!
Beyond that, even the massive structure standing before his eyes could be dismantled and sold for parts. The sheer amount of resources he would gain would be sufficient to raise an entire district from the ground, and then some!
Then, with the resources and wealth he gained from such sales, it would in turn spur the expansion of the army and construction corps, which would then in turn advance the pace of his unification of the underworld. So long as Hell had Yin soldiers, what could the daolords possibly do to them?
And to that end, Qin Ye refused to believe that the Zhu Clan wouldn’t leave a thing or two behind about military formations!
Equipping his soldiers with military formations would be no different from giving a tiger wings. He would finally be equipped with the strength to take down the daolords with his own armies!
Their gleaming eyes met once more. Ten seconds later, the Harken finally turned away, “Take cover.”
“Today, I’ll show you what a true Yama-King’s full power looks like!”
It took a single step forward as it spoke. The step appeared soft and gently, but as soon as it made contact with the ground, a vast, boundless shockwave instantly erupted from the ground! Quick as lightning, the shockwave filled the entire Longxing Temple, and then Fengyang County, and then Chuzhou City, and then finally… Insignia Province!
At once, Insignia Province trembled violently.
The Yin jade lotuses drifting about in the middle of the lakes swayed and tinkled against each other, before the waters in the lake soon sloshed about with tall waves. Meanwhile, the Dragon Carp in the waters immediately raised its head and looked around in horror.
How terrifying… How absolutely terrifying!
The burst of energy was almost like an explosion of a singularity - the kind of energy that one could expect of the big bang. Even the thousands of puppets in the courtyard began to rattle violently.
“Bloody hell…” Qin Ye’s eyes widened as he stared at the dog some distance away from him.
The hairs on the Harken’s body were already standing on end. Furthermore, they were growing longer and longer, just like how the Harken’s body was slowly growing larger and larger! Countless beams of golden light shone from beneath its lush fur coat, while the hairs on its body danced wildly and majestically like the descent of a tyrannical god.
The Yin energy that swirled about was practically indescribable. Calling it a tsunami would be too much of an understatement. Rather, it was more akin to the primordial beginnings of the world, when the universe was first born!
It was orders and orders of magnitudes more powerful than a mere Abyssal Prefect.
BOOM!!! A shockwave of Yin energy instantly burst out of the pea-sized treasure in the mortal realm. In fact, it was so dense that it even formed a curtain that seemed to blot out the sky. Meanwhile, every single mortal below watched in horror at the astonishing phenomenon that suddenly befell them!
Zhou Xianlong and Mo Changhao were just having a discussion back in the Fengyang County Special Investigations Department’s office when they suddenly shot to their feet, and then immediately sat down again.
Is that… the Harken?
Is this the might of the entity stronger than the strongest expert we have in the mortal realm? Yama-King? The top fighting force in Hell?
How terrifying… Even they couldn’t help but tremble in their shoes.
And they weren’t the only ones. Every single alarm system in the Special Investigations Department went off at once.
Insignia Province’s capital city.
“My god! H-how is this possible?!” All of the investigators and SRC personnel stared at the main screen in front of their eyes as a scarlet red dot appeared to blot out the entire surveillance screen.
“Warning, warning! Yin energy has exceeded 30 million… Yin energy has exceeded 40 million… Yin energy has exceeded 50 million… 60 million… 80 million… Ding!”
“Yin energy has finally stopped increasing. Last recorded Yin energy reads 145 million Yin.”
“Warning, warning, god-level threat detected. Extinction imminent. Immediate evacuation of the Insignia Province and all surrounding provinces advised. Repeat, warning…”Previous Chapter Next Chapter