Nobody said a word.
Dead silence. Everyone slowly inched closer to each other, huddling together as though the only solace they could find was the warmth on each other’s bodies. The wind tossed their clothes wildly about, and the temperature in the surroundings dipped rapidly.
“What the hell is going on--...” A lady grabbed the arms of a man beside her as she asked through her chattering lips.
The trees were swaying wildly, while the dark clouds only continued to grow denser and denser. These lands had just been filled with the vibrancy of life just a little while ago. But now, even the zebras were galloping madly into the tall grass, shivering as their knees buckled under the weight of their fear. The packs of hyenas hunting the zebra trembled right beside their prey with their limbs tucked right underneath their bodies. With death looming right over their heads, the living creatures couldn’t help but cower in great fear.
This was their instinct.
Nobody said a word, but they could all sense that something was coming. Although they couldn’t quite see where this impending danger was located, they could sense that it was already right before them!
A silent tension filled the air for what seemed like an eternity.
Five minutes later, the clouds finally cleared up, and the sun once again reappeared in the sky. The violent gale eased up once more as well. It was only then that the staff members working on the nature documentary looked up and heaved a long sigh of relief.
“What the hell was that?” A young man blurted in exclamation, “I could’ve sworn that my heart was about to come to a complete halt there. It was almost as though a god of death had just swooped right past us!”
“I couldn’t even breathe!” “Is that the devil? Is that what they call a spirit of the dead?” “Who believes in such unscientific things?!”
But the white-haired old man didn’t say a single word. As soon as the chaos swept by, and everything resumed some semblance of normalcy, he immediately rushed right back to his workstation to see if everything that they had filmed was properly recorded in soft copy.
However, he immediately froze when he booted up the computer screen.
“Professor?” His personal assistant asked cautiously.
Several seconds later, the professor slowly raised his hand with great trembling, “Go…”
“Evacuate! We’ve gotta get out of this place right now!!” He snapped his head back and barked orders at them, “Ike, pack up the tent at once! Andre, make emergency transport arrangements with the transport company! We need to leave right now! Tell them to get here as quickly as they can! We’ll pay them for the urgent call as usual!”
“Professor!” A middle-aged man promptly interjected in consternation, “We’ve still got some funds left from the UNEP grant. We can still keep going to improve the quality of our content--…”
His voice trailed off.
And he wasn’t the only one. Everyone else who was just about to protest against the professor’s orders immediately held their piece as soon as they saw the computer screen.
The computer screen was still transmitting the image of the very same Nile River that was still packed with flocks of flamingos earlier. But now… all it showed was flowing waters covered with flamingo carcasses!
An unseen god of death had clearly just passed through the vicinity.
“My god…” Another man turned his head stiffly and his jaws agape as he stared deep into the forest, “What the hell just happened over here…”
Clatter… A majestic boat 10 meters tall and 50 meters long swept straight through the waves of the Nile River, completely invisible to the eyes of mortal men.
Qin Ye stood at the bow of the boat with a black cloak draped around his collar. Black Mamba stood right beside him in his half-serpent, half-human form, while dozens of Yin soldiers were arrayed behind them.
The entire ship billowed profusely with Yin energy, so much so that they even appeared to be straddling between realms. The crocodiles, bass, and other fish in the waters below retreated to the far sides of the river banks, shunning the boat of death as one shunned the plagues. Any living creature that touched the boat even in the slightest would immediately end up dead.
This was the procession of a Yama-King. All living beware.
“We’ll be arriving at the fifth falls of the Nile River in five minutes’ time. That’s where Murchison Falls is located.” Black Mamba spoke raspily, “The other Mythic Spirits have already arrived. I’m prohibited from disclosing too much about the divine inquisition, but there’s something you have to bear in mind.”
He turned and looked Qin Ye in the eyes, “And that is - rules.”
“You can think of the divine inquisition as a game - one that is incredibly selective about the participants it allows. And as with any other game out there, there are rules that determine what you can say, and what they can ask. So long as you manage to grasp the rules of the game, the divine inquisition would become the greatest shortcut in which you can gain an audience with the Alkebulan Mythic Spirits.”
He paused for a moment, and then supplemented, “That is, us.”
“All you need to do is to clear this divine inquisition, and you can leave the rest to me.”
They turned a corner, and a massive waterfall suddenly appeared right in front of his eyes. This was the famous fifth falls of the Nile, otherwise known as the Murchison Falls. And at that moment, rather than slowing down, the boat rushed straight into the falls.
Like a bolt of lightning, the boat hurtled forward, flying straight through the air as it went crashing straight into the plunge pool below. Meanwhile, an otherworldly spectacle appeared right on the surface of the plunge pool.
At the very same moment that the tip of the boat crashed straight into the water, the plunge pool suddenly transformed into a pool of serpents that splashed about like scattering ink. Within moments, the sea of snakes rolled out like ripples on waters, revealing a massive black hole where the plunge pool should have been.
The boat plunged straight into the black hole. Yet rather than landing with a mighty impact, Qin Ye simply felt as though he was floating in dense waters. Everything, including his clothes, body and hair, were all drifting about weightlessly, almost as though he was in space.
Yin energy filled the void around him, tall as the mountains and boundless as the oceans. Meanwhile, he felt almost as though he were drifting around in the skies, surrounded by fluffy clouds of Yin energy, rather than consumed by the oceans.
Furthermore, the boat that he had just been on moments ago had completely vanished!
Black Mamba and all of the other Yin soldiers around him had disappeared completely! And everything had happened in the split second as they plunged right into the black hole of serpents!
He didn’t say a word. Instead, he simply glanced around, surveying his surroundings. Just then, 17 pairs of netherflames suddenly lit up and gazed deeply at him from every direction!
The sudden change in the surroundings caused a chill to run down Qin Ye’s spine. However, he managed to maintain the look of indifference on his face. Seconds later, he flicked his sleeves in a stately fashion and proceeded to cup his hands respectfully as he bowed deeply around him, “Apologies for my rudeness. It was presumptuous on my part to expect a more formal process.”
All he could sense was madness and extremity in the Yin energy that billowed all around him.
Had a mere Infernal Judge entered this place, he would almost certainly have been crushed by the overwhelming might of the pure unadulterated Yin energy. In fact, despite the fact that Qin Ye was already an Abyssal Prefect, he could even sense his bones creaking and clicking under the weight of the overbearing forces around.
One minute later, a stately voice finally rumbled in the darkness, “Remember this. Everything seen, heard and said here must never be disclosed to a third person. Do you understand?”
Qin Ye nodded deeply.
And it was only then that a thinner voice penetrated the darkness, albeit like an incisive bolt of thunder, “Bear this in mind. In the questions that are to follow, you may only respond with yes or no. Once judged to be false, the divine inquisition would end immediately. Do you understand?”
“Each response must not take you longer than a minute. You have the right to refuse any question asked of you. But if you do, then two further questions shall be added to the original limit of five questions to be asked of you. Do you understand?”
Qin Ye nodded his head again.
Whoosh… With that, the 17 pairs of netherflames vanished at once, only to give way to the emergence of an enrapturing white light that swept all darkness away.
It looked like sunlight, and yet it wasn’t quite the same. It didn’t have the characteristic warmth of sunlight. Instead, Qin Ye could even sense traces of coldness emanating from the light before his eyes, almost as though they were the light of death.
Whoosh… It was only then that Qin Ye noticed the presence of a tall pyramid standing right in front of him, together with a majestic sculpture located right before the pyramid!
However, it wasn’t the sphinx.
Instead, it was a plumed serpent that appeared to be coiled around a skeleton. The plumed serpent appeared vivid and life-like, with its wings spread out gloriously. Interestingly, the wings appeared to be the beam of a balance, from which hung the two ends of the scale. On one end of the scale was placed a feather, while the other end remained empty.
“Anubis’ Scale of Justice?” Qin Ye asked stiffly.
“No.” An elegant voice responded from the darkness. Qin Ye looked up, only to realize that there appeared to be 17 vast sources of Yin energy hidden in the darkness beyond the pyramid. However, he couldn’t quite make out their appearances.
“It looks similar, and its name is likewise called the Scales of Justice, but what it weighs isn’t the heart, but one’s words. Rest assured.”
“If you’re ready, then let’s begin.”
Qin Ye took several deep breaths and did his level best to calm his mind down. His eyes gleamed brightly as he gazed intently at the scales before him.
This was the final trial.
17 Yama-class sources of Yin energy were scrutinizing his movements from the shadows, while a mythical relic of the ancient past was placed right before his eyes. The sheer amount of pressure weighing on his shoulders was absolutely indescribable. His adrenal glands were firing away, and his sweat was pouring out profusely.
But he knew better. After all, since he was already here, what was there to be afraid of?
What reason was there to hesitate any longer?
Sure, there could be 17 Yama-King standing right before his eyes, but there were likewise tens of millions of Yin spirits standing behind him in Hell!
“Please.” He retracted his gaze and cupped his fists respectfully.
It was stifling. Qin Ye’s mind was sharpened to the extreme, and his cerebral cortex was burning with passion.
“First question.” A lady’s voice resounded through the darkness, boundless and majestic as any other before it, “Seven days ago, Black Mamba brought us several pieces of information, all of which were purportedly from Hell. Are the contents of these documents all accurate and true?”
Qin Ye didn’t respond right away.
He had one minute to answer each question. Naturally, it was in his interest to spend as much time as he could to figure out the secret of the rules surrounding this divine inquisition.
The questions are simple, and they demand a simple response of either yes or no. However, if the other questions are anything like this one, they would clearly be laden with meaning and implications. In other words, the questions might entail a great breadth of responses, and yet all I can do is to give a simple yes or no answer?
Qin Ye wasn’t too certain at this point. But what he knew for a fact was that if this was indeed the case, then it would be ideal for him!
After all, there were many questions that couldn’t simply be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’!
Take the first question for instance.
Most of the information contained within the documents were true, but parts of these documents are inferences drawn by the government of Hell. Would these be included in his response as well?
Tick, tock, tick, tock… The ticking of a clock resounded through the darkness, almost as though it was strumming on the tension in his heart. It wasn’t until 55 seconds later that he finally nodded, “Yes.”
As he spoke, a cloud of Yin energy emerged from his lips, congealing together to form the word “yes” as it landed on the scales.
Kkkrrrr…. At once, the scales shifted slowly, and Qin Ye watched on as it vacillated slightly, before slowly finding its equilibrium.
I’ve cleared this question…
He secretly heaved a sigh of relief in his heart at his success to the relatively simple question. However, he wasn’t given much reprieve, because the next question soon caused his heart to skip a beat.
“Does Hell possess the ability to resolve this issue?”
Qin Ye gnashed his teeth. This was a question that still demanded a binary response from him, but it was incredibly incisive and tricky. The conundrum he was faced with was the fact that Hell was indeed unable to resolve this issue, and yet he couldn’t afford to admit it at all!
And to make matters worse, he couldn’t avoid answering this question!
Tick, tock, tick, tock… The seconds were ticking once more, and all eyes were on Qin Ye once again.Previous Chapter Next Chapter