Every word that was spoken was like a thunderclap that cracked right above Su Daji’s head. She was all too familiar with the air about high-ranking Emissaries of Hell, so much so that she didn’t even need to verify his identity.
This isn’t right!
She screamed in her heart - The new Hell has just been established. How can they have so many high-ranking Emissaries of Hell? And even if they did, why have they ignored us all this while? I’ve done nothing more than to suggest a peace offering on my part in that letter of mine to Hell, so why are they here?
Does Hell really not care about King Yanluo’s Seal any longer?
Are they not afraid that we would fight them to the death?
Wouldn’t that give rise to dreadful casualties on both sides? Why can’t they just live and let live?! Why are they hell bent on capturing me?
Is there something wrong with this script?
Unfortunately, the only words that she found were, “I am guilty as charged.”
The thousands of cultivators watching this sight were absolutely floored by what they had just seen. Everyone had the exact same expression - lips slightly ajar, with widened eyes and a slight quiver in their pupils.
I can’t believe it… This is simply unbelievable!
“Is that Hell?” A young cultivator spoke with great trembling in his voice, “We’ve been struggling and tussling with this incarnate revenant for such a long time, and yet she actually lies meek as a sheep before Hell, without the slightest intention in putting up any form of resistance?”
Qin Ye had spoken so softly that few heard what he said. That said, everyone who heard Su Daji’s response couldn’t help but tremble slightly.
It was because these seemingly placid words contained a far deeper meaning.
It meant that Pearl River’s liberation was imminent!
Hell had taken things into its own hands, and Su Daji had finally admitted to her crimes. And all it took was one Abyssal Prefect of Hell, as well as a thousand Yin soldiers.
“Amitabha…” Master Chan Ming sighed softly. His heart was swamped with a multitude of emotions right now.
My friends who have perished in this long struggle of ours, are you seeing this?
The torch of hope has finally been lit here in Pearl River!
Qin Ye gently rolled up the curtain and drifted out of the carriage with a dog in his hands.
Whoosh… All eyes were on him. Unfortunately, Qin Ye was currently in his Hell’s Emissary state, and nobody recognized his exact appearances.
That said, his Yin energy flourished like the majestic oceans, filling the entire vicinity with a stifling presence.
In full view of everyone around, he slowly walked up to Su Daji and then leaned over her slightly, “Su Daji.”
“Here!” Su Daji trembled as she shrieked back nervously.
Qin Ye’s voice wasn’t loud, but he consciously spoke just loud enough such that every cultivator around could hear what he was saying, “Do you think that Hell will be that concerned about the King Yanluo’s Seal?”
“Do you think that just because Dong Zhuo holds eight shards of King Yanluo’s Seal, he has the right to summon Hell to do his bidding?”
“Do you think you can escape from Cathay to begin with? So long as the Array of the Nine Gods remains in place, only foreign emissaries weaker than Hellguards will be able to slip in and out of its borders. Evil ghosts like you would never be able to escape from the borders of Cathay. Or do you think you possess the ability to destroy the shards of King Yanluo’s Seal in Dong Zhuo’s hands right now?”
Su Daji’s forehead was percolating with cold sweat.
She was wrong. She finally understood where things had gone wrong!
She should never have tested Hell. She had never anticipated Hell to possess such immense determination to unify the entire nation!
“Silence.” Qin Ye straightened his body, and then gently stroked Harken’s fur, “I didn’t even ask you a question. What gives you the right to answer me?”
The cultivators on site gasped in astonishment.
If any of them were to speak to a Prefect-class Yin spirit like that… the consequences would be unthinkable!
However, Su Daji actually complied.
With her head to the ground, she trembled as she maintained her posture of humility.
“Don’t ever threaten Hell with King Yanluo’s Seal.” Qin Ye continued, “Do you really think that Hell would come crying and begging to you? Let me tell you something. Hell will be unifying the entire underworld in the years to come, and this is its final offer to you. Otherwise… one of me… will be enough to kill all of you a hundred times over.”
“Do you have military formations?”
“Do you have Yin spirit stones?”
“Do you have the support of the twelve envoys?”
“And most importantly…” Qin Ye smiled, “Can you enter the netherworld?”
“I’m afraid you’re only able to enter Limbo at best.”
Su Daji’s clothes were completely soaked through with cold sweat by now. Each and every statement felt no different from peeling off a layer of resistance from her heart. His words were like incisive blades that stabbed straight through her heart, leaving it tattered and torn.
He was confronting her with the truth - the irrefutable truth.
“Please forgive me.” For the umpteenth time, the ignoble incarnate revenant kowtowed to the ground in deep humility.
Qin Ye’s gaze grew cold and frigid.
“You speak with humility, but unfortunately… you haven’t shown the slightest intent of surrender at all.” The Harken snorted, “What’s the use in keeping trash like this around? Kill her.”
At once, Su Daji trembled violently and motioned to look up in astonishment.
But before she could complete her action, she found Qin Ye’s foot stomping down hard on her back, “What’s the matter? You wish to have a go at Lord Harken over here?”
“Sss…” Soft gasps echoed from all around them. These were the reactions of the cultivators who couldn’t hide their astonishment.
Meanwhile, Su Daji nearly passed out - That voice earlier… was the Harken’s voice?!
Is it really the Harken?!
The Harken has actually made a move, and is standing before me right now?!
She wanted to say something. She wanted to beg for mercy, or to scream at the top of her voice, but she only found herself shivering intensely from the primal fear that was welling up from the bottom of her heart.
“Think it over.” Qin Ye transformed into a stream of nethergale and rushed right back to his carriage. The curtains fell, “The Qingming Festival next year is your final deadline.”
“Yes…” Su Daji watched in horror as the carriage slowly departed. Even as the clouds of Yin energy began to conceal the southern parts of the city once again, she couldn’t help but bite down on her lips as she gazed into the distance.
As the carriage departed, one of the generals promptly looked up and protested, “My Lady! Why do you have to bow down to that man? You need only ask--...”
But before he could even finish speaking, Su Daji turned around and gave him a tight slap across the face. Smack! Her eyes blazed with a vicious expression, “Let me say it again, shut up!!”
“It’s not in your place to tell me what to do!”
With that, she transformed into a nethergale and vanished from sight.
The wind whistled past her ears. She felt no different from a sojourner wandering the dank streets in the rain. The intense fear in her heart filled her soul with a frigid chill, and she couldn’t help but hug herself with chattering teeth.
What a joke.
The leverage and bargaining chips that she thought she possessed were nothing of significance in the eyes of Hell.
King Yanluo’s Seal? Hell doesn’t even care about it! Do you have the ability to destroy it? Not even Lord Ksitigarbha was able to achieve that, so what can you and another Prefect-class Yin spirit possibly do?
Leverage on that for an opportunity to leave Cathay?
Don’t even think about it!
Hell holds the only key to unlocking the Array of the Nine Gods. If they don’t agree, what other options do we have? We’d have no choice but to perish here in the four corners of Cathay! Hell would never be provoked by these trivialities of ours!
They were trapped like turtles in a jar.
With fear and despair raging in her heart, she flew straight back to her own lair, located in the best five-star hotel in Pearl River Delta, the Twilight Cloud Hotel. She immediately collapsed into her sofa, and her chest heaved and fell with every breath that she took. Her hands tugged at her hair in a maddened frenzy, and she made a series of peculiar, guttural sounds in her throat.
What should I do?
What should I do next?
This question tumbled through her mind as she stared at the map on the table with gritted teeth, “How could things happen so quickly?”
“We haven’t seen a single Emissary of Hell in a hundred years… This means that Hell had most certainly perished in the great collapse back then. The new Hell was only formed slightly over a year ago, and yet… there are already Abyssal Prefects among their Emissaries of Hell?”
They had personally sensed the formation of the new Hell just a year ago. Yet, she also personally witnessed the arrival of an Abyssal Prefect today. Furthermore, Hell didn’t even seem to care about the shards of King Yanluo’s Seal. All they wanted was a sign of surrender on their part!
Are they crazy?!
How can a ruler act so superficially?!
Can you really afford to wage war against us now? Aren’t you afraid that we might slaughter the humans in our territory in a fit of rage? Wouldn’t that tarnish your name and taint your reputation for the years to come?
No… Now’s not the time to be thinking about these things… She gnashed her teeth and collected herself. Then, a screen of light appeared in the air.
This screen of light revealed the image of dense clouds of Yin energy. Two jade-green clumps of netherflames flickered softly, while a colossal body appeared to stir within.
Su Daji took a deep breath, “I’ve… just encountered an Emissary of Hell.”
“Oh?” The entity on the other side of the screen appeared somewhat startled, “Well?”
Su Daji slowly rose to her feet. She ran her fingers through her jet-black hair, tugging tightly at it as yin energy continued to pour out of her seven apertures. Her otherwise beautiful features appeared more terrifying than an evil ghost right now. She gnashed her teeth in anguish, “It was an Abyssal Prefect. There’s no doubt about it! And don’t tell me that this is just some fluke! Tell me… what do you plan to do now?”
The Yin energy in the screen stirred softly, “They’re not willing to trade the shards of King Yanluo’s Seal in exchange for our permission to leave the country?”
“NO!!!” Su Daji crushed the handles of her chair and barked back, “Don’t even talk about the shards of King Yanluo’s Seal right now. Prefect Qin has made it absolutely clear that we live as Cathayans, and die as Cathayan spirits. Hell would never lift the restrictions on the Array of the Nine Gods for us!”
“And if they refuse, we’d be no different from turtles in a jar! Do you understand? So long as they send an Abyssal Prefect after us, both you and I will most certainly perish! Even if we abandon our nests and refrain from consuming blood and flesh, we can at best be on the run for the rest of our lives!”
The entity at the other end of the screen grew taciturn for a time. It was evident that he hadn’t expected the new King Yanluo of Hell to act so boldly. All that they had sought was to leave Hell and have nothing to do with each other anymore. But even then, Hell wasn’t prepared to agree to something like this!
No matter the cost, those who refuse to submit will be returned from ashes to ashes and dust to dust!
Why… Why does he seem to be even more aggressive than the previous two King Yanluos of Hell?
Seconds later, the entity on the other end of the screen roared in fury, “Why do these King Yanluo’s seem to be getting less and less virtuous as time goes by?! Doesn’t he think about the number of Yin soldiers he has at his disposal now? Why do they have to force us into a corner? Is he really hell bent on duking it out against the millions of Yin spirits on our end? Doesn’t he care about the potential costs involved?!”
“We’ve only got 700,000.” Su Daji combed her hair and sighed softly, before smiling bitterly, “Qin Hui has already defected to Hell. When the time comes to face each other, he would most certainly be the one with the hardest bite.”
“”But that’s not important… What’s important is what we’re going to do now?” Her eyes gleamed as she stared deep into the screen, “Surrender? I’ve confirmed the presence of both an Abyssal Prefect and even the Harken. There’s no way we can win against them.”
“Are you mad?! How can you believe Hell’s words? Do you want to get banished to the six paths of reincarnation again?!”
Su Daji gazed back and responded with a voice just as chilling as ever, “It’s either that… or we become vegetarians for the rest of our lives.”
Speed was the key to everything.
The new Hell had managed to nurture an Abyssal Prefect in just a year and a half from its incipience. Even if it was a hasty and shoddy job, it was still an Abyssal Prefect no matter how one looked at it.
And it was precisely this breakneck cultivation speed that had completely disrupted their plans. Qin Hui’s betrayal was yet another spanner in the works. All this while, even though she had her suspicions, she had been hopeful that everything was just a lie. But it was only when she saw the march of the Yin soldiers of Hell that despondence crept into her heart. She never wanted to feel like that again, ever.
But, at the same time, she didn’t want to be banished to the depths of the six paths of reincarnation. This was her bottom line.
After some time, the voice on the other end of the screen finally spoke up again, “What’s the time limit he’s given us?”
“The Qingming Festival!” Su Daji screamed, causing all of the luxurious decors in her room to explode into smithereens.
Then, silence again.
After a long time, the voice on the other end of the screen chuckled coldly, “Su Daji… Let me ask you something - we’ve enjoyed the luxuries and splendor of life for a hundred years. Don’t you wish to revel in such a beautiful dream any longer?”
“Of course I do. But it all depends on whether the risks are worth taking!” Su Daji looked up at the ceiling inlaid with countless human bones with great despair, “And if you’re telling me that I’ve got to place my life on the line, then my answer is certainly a resounding no!”
The voice from the other end of the screen responded with some measure of lingering allure, “I wouldn’t want that either.”
“Since time immemorial, there’s not once when I’d bowed my head in submission without even putting up a fight. 300,000 Western Liang Cavalrymen. I refuse to believe that Hell would stamp us out by force rather than inviting peace!”
“If we want to continue indulging in luxury and splendor even after submitting to Hell, we’d definitely have to give them a good show of our might!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter