The room was unbelievably silent.
Qin Ye didn't open his mouth either.
In reality, Qin Ye was presently listening to Arthis' analysis of the situation.
"Year 1960, approximately fifty years since Hell's collapse. The ferocious ghosts that had managed to survive the calamity would invariably have been entities that had been suppressed and trapped in hell for thousands of years on end. Fifty years is nothing more than a drop in the ocean to them. They're afraid - afraid that Yama-Kings and the Sixfold Ghost Kings would move against them. After all, they're not fully aware of just how many of Hell's Emissaries Ksitigarbha brought along with him when he ascended and departed from Hell."
"But the great famine in '60 which left 28 million people dead made them reassess the situation, only to realize that Yin spirits were everywhere, while Judge-class Emissaries were nowhere to be found. With a better grasp on the situation at hand, they began to stir."
"Kid, you have to realize something. Not all ghosts are completely restrained by the orders of Hell. Some evil ghosts… require the personal attention of Yama-Kings. Even then, there are still some ghosts that just can't be expunged, and can only be sealed for the rest of time. The old ghosts that escaped to the mortal realm during Hell's collapse… have already begun their search for these 'seniors' of theirs. In fact, there's a good possibility that some might even have been released from their seals altogether!"
"Ask him this - back when the nine drought demons were released from their coffins, what happened to them?"
Qin Ye nodded his head. He was ambivalent about the situation right now.
Cooperate with ghosts?
Is that a joke? If others learn of this, they might go, "Yo, where are these dregs of Hell? Come, let's sentence them to the sky lantern punishment."
Reveal my identity and cooperate with the mortal realm?
"Oh? Not bad! We have a living specimen of an Emissary of Hell? Come, let's break you down into your constituent parts to better understand your source of strength. This might give humans an edge against the netherworld my forces in the upcoming war…"
Thus, he asked the question that Arthis had posed. After all, he, too, wanted to understand exactly how strong the Special Investigations Department was. A country with decades of experience coupled with decades of incredible development would most certainly possess immeasurable strength!
What he desired was balance, not an overwhelming, suppressive might. After all, it is only when the forces clashed on equal footing that the sole surviving Emissary of Hell would be able to live on as he were.
Zhang Chenghai muttered with a profound tone of voice, "They're dead."
“That’s right… they’ve been expunged by our strongest experts. Not a single one remains.” Zhang Chenghai gazed deeply at Qin Ye, “Mr Qin, you don’t have to ask who it is. We’ve been preparing for the upcoming war for the last few decades. This information is something you’ll naturally be given access to, if you join the Special Investigations Department.”
“Alright, I’ve already told you everything I can at this point in time. Would you… perhaps consider having a look at our employment proposal?”
He finally pushed over the leather file on the table.
Qin Ye was immediately taken aback as soon as he opened it, “Professor at the Academy of Cultivators? What’s this?”
I’ve never even heard of it!
Are things going to take a sudden twist to the fantasy world?
Zhang Chenghai explained in all seriousness, “In three days’ time, the truth about our world right now will be publicly announced to all residing within the City of Salvation right now, as well as a select few others. Furthermore, we’re going to establish right here in the City of Salvation the first ever academy for cultivators! We’ve been dissatisfied with our teaching staff so far. That said, you’ve personally witnessed last night’s battle, and you’re even at the Soul Hunter rank. This is why you’ve been given our special letter of offer!”
Qin Ye took a closer look at the details. Nothing much was stated. But the most important clause stated here was that by joining the Academy of Cultivators, he would also automatically join the Special Investigations Department. Betrayals will be treated as treason and dealt with accordingly!
“... then what… if not…”
“Mr Qin, you don’t have to refuse this offer just yet.” Before Qin Ye could finish speaking, Zhang Chenghai smiled and responded in a manner that seemed as though he had already guessed the thoughts on Qin Ye’s mind, “Firstly, I can personally guarantee that this academy isn’t going to tie you down. You’ll be given a large latitude for your own agendas. Furthermore, you will be granted access to Cathay’s top-level secrets, as well as the most advanced weaponry and tools available in our arsenal.”
“We’ve defended ourselves against the netherworldly forces for decades, and we’ve naturally developed some weapons and implements to increase our firepower. In fact, some of these weapons are incredibly powerful, but due to limitations on the production front, we can only afford to equip our best agents with these weapons.”
“Separately, we will also provide you with the highest level of treatment.”
He smiled and looked at Qin Ye, “Firstly, we’d never expected Mr Qin to be of the Soul Hunter level. We’ll overlook the incident at Clear Creek County and cease all investigations into it. Truth be told, we’ve already received the dossier pertaining to that incident, and we’ve simply had no time to go through the details.”
Qin Ye heaved a sigh of relief.
“Secondly, let’s talk about something more practical. The fact that the City of Salvation is going to be subject to direct administration within three days is a foregone conclusion. From that day onwards, the status of cultivators will skyrocket. If you join right now, you’ll be the one setting the benchmarks. The benefits you receive will naturally be on a completely different level than if you join us later on.”
“For instance… one million a year?”
Ding… The antenna on Qin Ye’s head immediately shot up, and a rippling smile spread across his face instantly.
“Calm down!” Arthis sensed danger and cautioned, “You must not be tempted! Haven’t you forgotten that you’re always going to keep your youth? You’ll never age! How long do you think you can remain at the Special Investigations Department? Two years? Three years? You’re not just a husky that’s merely slipping into a pack of wolves - you’re one that has even barked twice as soon as it entered the pack!”
Qin Ye coughed dryly and stilled his heart.
It couldn’t be helped. After all, how could one expect a person who hadn’t had such breakfast in ages to remain unwavering in the face of an annual salary of one million?
Zhang Chenghai was clever. As soon as he noticed Qin Ye’s telling expression, he immediately knew that his approach from the onset had been in a completely wrong direction. Thus, he softened his smile and continued, “Furthermore, by teaching others, you’ll be presented with innumerable opportunities that would facilitate the exchange of ideas…”
Qin Ye’s expressions turned calm and tranquil.
Zhang Chenghai immediately raised his voice, “... and at the same time, you’ll also be given access to missions and assignments from all the provinces and cities around the country! Mr Qin, might I remind you that the ones who can afford to even engage our help belong to either ultra-rich families or city or provincial level governments! The rewards are unimaginable!”
Qin Ye kept a poker face, picked up his tea and took a small sip, “How wealthy are we talking about?”
“... For instance, my ride is a Zenvo ST1.”
“Oh.” Qin Ye was still calm.
“Why aren’t you surprised?” Arthis asked discreetly.
“What’s there to be surprised about?” Qin Ye pretended to be drinking from his teacup as he responded, “I’ve never heard about it before. I estimate that it’s at best RMB 1 million. What’s there to boast about? Do you think I’m a person who bends at the knee because of money?”
“... Have you ever considered Wang Chenghao’s feelings when you say these things? He’s raising you with his entire family’s fortune after all…”
Zhang Chenghai frowned slightly. His reactions… don’t exactly cohere with what I’d expected…
Thus, he pushed further, “One million eight hundred thousand.”
“USD.” Zhang Chenghai added, “It was a gift I’d received back when I’d dealt with the simple issue of possession involving a Hong Kong shipping magnate’s granddaughter.
Qin Ye’s hand trembled slightly, and his smile bloomed like a radiant flower once more, “It’s like this, Mr Zhang. I’m simply inexperienced in the field of teaching and education… and I just don’t know if the organization trusts me or not…”
Arthis floundered about wildly within her soul sphere - I’ll be damned! Did I encounter a fake Emissary of Hell?!
“Where’s your dignity?! Where’s your pride as Hell’s official?! You’re the last Soul Hunter of Hell - one who could even become a future Yama-King! What happened to your character and personality?! Were the words that you’d just spoken gobbled up by a dog?!” She was already roaring at the top of her voice.
Zhang Chenghai chuckled. He had finally gotten a hold of what made Qin Ye tick.
No nonsense anymore - time to hammer the point in.
The hammer of money struck accurately at Qin Ye’s heart!
“Last, but not least...:” Zhang Chenghai reached into his pocket and pulled out a red bag and opened it carefully, revealing three fingernail-sized transparent stones.
They were pure and flawless.
Qin Ye asked, “Sugar cubes?”
Arthis, on the other hand, was immediately startled, “Is this… no, it can’t be… How has technology in the mortal realm grown so advanced…”
Zhang Chenghai was just about to speak when he held himself back. After adjusting his thoughts, he smiled genially, “Each piece is worth one hundred thousand.”
Qin Ye’s eyes were turning somewhat red.
Was a funeral parlor easy to operate?
He had to pay for utilities, and even keep an eye on the ever-increasing rent! On the other hand, he would immediately become a rich man as soon as he joined the organization!
Zhang Chenghai picked up a piece and set it in front of Qin Ye, “This is something… that even a rogue cultivator like Mr Qin might not have heard about. It’s something that we’ve only developed over the last five years. That said, it’s quite common in the novels out there. You can call it a spirit stone.”
“Spirit stone?” Qin Ye was finally taken aback, “Isn’t this something that’s only found in fantasy novels? Isn’t this a story about the supernatural in modern day society?”
Zhang Chenghai shook his head, “The ‘spirit’ that we’re referring to is actually a type of energy that is used in the process of cultivation. In turn, cultivators like us thrive on the essence from the sun and the moon. Five years ago, we developed the technology to harvest the essence from the sun and the moon and seal them within these stones that act as containment devices, and we only began mass production of these stones last year. Mr Qin, I imagine that you must have been waking up early and sleeping late at night in order to absorb these essences from the sun and the moon for your cultivation. But with these things, you can practise your cultivation whenever you want!”
Qin Ye’s expression looked flat again, “Oh.”
My cultivation system is completely different from yours, alright? Slag.
“Hey… pick it up and take a closer look.” Just then, Arthis spoke up.
Qin Ye picked it up. As soon as his hand touched the spirit stone, his eyes immediately flickered slightly.
He hadn’t done anything, yet the stone immediately began to breathe energy into his body like a small flowing stream!
No… that’s not it either.
More accurately speaking, there appeared to be two forms of energy within the stone itself - one that was hot like fire, and one that was cold as ice. He was unable to absorb the blazing energy, but the icy energy immediately spread throughout his body as though it were an innate part of him.
Qin Ye immediately set down the spirit stone.
It wasn’t that he was afraid of the possibility of side effects. Rather, given how Zhang Chenghai had treated them as precious treasures, wouldn’t Zhang Chenghai be mad if he had depleted all of the energy within? He really might be…
Zhang Chenghai didn’t notice anything amiss as he stored the spirit stones. Meanwhile, Arthis muttered, “I’d never expected the technology within the mortal realm to have already advanced so much…”
Aware that it was inconvenient for Qin Ye to speak up right now, Arthis continued, “The truth of the matter is that the energy absorbed by Emissaries of Hell are also the essences of heaven and earth. More accurately speaking, we’re talking about the solar essence and the lunar essence. Emissaries of Hell can only absorb the lunar portion. Separately, the ‘Yin’ of Yin spirits refers precisely to the Great Yin, also known as the moon. Kid… in the absence of these things, the risks of joining the Special Investigations Department would be far too great. But with them… the benefits of joining would far outweigh the risks altogether!”
“After all, you can always fake your own death as soon as people start to grow suspicious of your youthfulness. You can’t die having consumed the fungus of aeons anyway… Anyway, you’d probably already considered this possibility as soon as you’d heard the salary of a million, haven’t you? Eh? … Why do you look so flustered? Could it be… that I’ve hit the nail on the head?!!! Can you please be a little bit more self-conscious?!!”
“Let’s get to the point!” Qin Ye frowned uncomfortably. When he noticed Zhang Chenghai staring at him in bewilderment, he feigned a cough and lifted his teacup as he whispered, “How valuable is this thing?”
“Exceptionally valuable. Furthermore, I’ve noticed that the essence extraction technology developed by the mortal realm is incredibly masterful. With this.. You can even start working on rebuilding Hell right away! This is to pave the way for your future ascension to the throne. After all, you wouldn’t want your home to be in shambles even after you become a Hellguard-class Emissary, would you? Oh… sorry, it seems like you’ve already gotten used to living in those conditions…”
Qin Ye suddenly stood up, “Excuse me, I’m going to the bathroom.”
As soon as he entered the bathroom, he entered a stall and immediately barked aloud, “What the hell is going on?!”
“Yes, I’ve agreed to consider reestablishing Hell, but… why haven’t you told me that I’ve got to rebuild the entire Hell from scratch?!”
We’re talking about the Fengdu Necropolis!
To build the entire thing from scratch would take an entire lifetime!!Previous Chapter Next Chapter