A talisman appeared at their fingertips at once. Then, just as the row of cultivators were all about to toss them out at the oncoming car, the expert located at the very back of the formation suddenly turned back in astonishment.
He heard a soft rustle, just like the falling leaves in autumn.
But as soon as he turned back, he learnt that this was the rustle of the talismans hanging on the chains of the iron door! The talismans were all fluttering wildly without the presence of any wind!
Then, a split second later, they all spontaneously combusted and vanished without the trace of even a flame!
Whoosh… Within moments, the talismans disintegrated into nothingness, almost as though it was being consumed by an invisible flame. The expert was completely flabbergasted by the sight. Then, a moment later, he turned back and yelled at everyone, “Emergency! Immediately notify the branch chief--…”
But before he could go on, the car that was hurtling right towards them suddenly screeched to a halt. Then, the rear door opened with a bang.
All eyes were staring transfixed on the door. However, not a single person appeared. Everyone, be it an ordinary soldier or an expert of the Special Investigations Department, felt their hair stand on end and their hearts thumping right out of their chests at that moment.
Then, amidst the tense silence in the air, a voice suddenly spoke up, “There’s… there’s no need…” The man standing right in the center of the formation was the commander of this garrison bearing the rank of major. However, he was staring in his hand at this very moment.
To be more precise, he was staring at an identity token that had suddenly appeared in his hand.
It was an Abyssal Prefect’s token!
“By Hell’s Dictum, all rabble shall disperse.” The man was jolted right back to his senses by an unknown voice, and he looked up immediately, only to realize that a young man was already seated on the hood of the car. The young man asked, “Where is the branch chief of the Special Investigations Department of Northriver Province? I’d like to meet with him.”
Emissary of Hell?
A living Emissary of Hell?
The experts all exchanged sheepish glances. They’d heard a thing or two about the emergence of an Emissary of Hell once more, but unfortunately… none of them had seen one in person before.
Red sweatshirt, leggings, and sneakers? I-is this really what an Emissary of Hell looks like?
Gritting his teeth to suppress the fear in his heart, the major marched over and gave Qin Ye a deep salute, “How do you prove your identity?”
Qin Ye smiled, “The fact that you’re all still alive right now is the best proof of my identity.”
“Indeed, it is so.” At once, the crowd parted ways, allowing passage to a man dressed in a trench coat.
He was a man in his sixties, standing tall at approximately 1.87m. His sideburns were graying, and his face was full of frightening scars. However, the addition of his army uniform instead caused him to look more reliable than any other out there.
“Sir…” The major sighed in relief, “You’re finally here…”
The man in a trench coat waved his hands dismissively, and then immediately locked eyes with Qin Ye. Neither said a word.
Naturally, nobody could tell that this man was already clenching his fists tightly inside his trenchcoat. After all, he knew at a glance that the young man standing before him was… an Abyssal Prefect.
Here was an existence equal to the three strongest experts in Cathay - a true, blue Abyssal prefect. His first glimpse of Qin Ye had quickly faded away, only to be replaced by an illusion of a massive throne of Yin spirits, on which sat a man wearing an imperial robe replete with an imperial crown.
It was still Yin energy that flowed from his body, but it was completely different from that which they saw around evil ghosts. Rather, this young man’s Yin energy exuded a deep air of righteousness and virtue.
“Li Changkong, Branch Chief of the Northriver Province Special Investigations Department.” He stretched out his hand and shook Qin Ye’s hand, “Mr Qin, I presume?”
Qin Ye nodded, “Since you’re already aware of who I am, then I’ll get straight to the point. Listen up, the mortal realm must be prepared to evacuate the entire county… and quite possibly even the entire city at the moment’s notice.”
Without missing a beat, Qin Ye glanced at the Yin Mountains and continued, “There exists a Yama-King on the verge of lunacy in this place. While we’re confident in our ability to salvage the situation and jolt him back to his senses… there’s always a possibility of failure.”
Li Changkong’s pupils contracted immediately. This is the legendary pinnacle of power, and the master of the dead! To think that someone like that has appeared in the mortal realm! Is that why nobody can ascertain the danger rating of this place?
He didn’t suspect a single word that Qin Ye was saying right now. After all, as a senior member of the Special Investigations Department, he was kept well in the loop of some of the most well-kept secrets in the entire organization. Naturally, he would have seen the satellite imaging of Qin Ye, as well as read everything there was to know about Qin Ye in the docket. For this reason, he knew full well that Qin Ye had never done anything to harm the mortal realm, and he had no reason to doubt what Qin Ye was saying right now.
Besides, who would doubt the embodiment of hope for the mortal realm?
“This is a matter of great importance, and I’ll immediately report it back to the upper echelons of the organization. But… what about you?”
Qin Ye’s lips curled up at once, and he stroked the dog in his arms, “This is why I’d brought the Harken with me.”
Li Changkong gasped and stumbled back a few steps. And then, he looked up and subconsciously released his Yin-Yang Eyes.
At once, he saw the illusory image of a divine beast leaping out towards him! This was an illusion that only appeared for a split second, yet the image of the divine beast immediately became firmly engraved into his mind.
“Ungh…” He groaned for a moment and stumbled back some steps.
I can’t even detect its Yin energy… This must mean that its strength lies even beyond that of Mr Qin over here…
Qin Ye didn’t have the time to beat about the bush, so he promptly continued, “If a battle breaks out, you can count on it that it will be a Yama-class battle. Mortals, including yourself, would most certainly perish if you get drawn into this battle that is well beyond your realm of cultivation. I’ll be making a move now. I sincerely hope that you take heed to this warning of mine.”
Still reeling from shock, Li Changkong subconsciously gave way to him. Then, under the watchful gazes of everyone around, Qin Ye drifted forward like a divine being, vanishing straight though the solid iron gate that they were so fervently trying to protect.
“Sir?” At once, the rest of the cultivators immediately gathered around Li Changkong. However, Li Changkong simply shook his head and stared blankly at the iron gate, “All troops are to stand down, fall back, and await my command.”
“All experts stronger than a Netherworld Operative are to follow me right away.”
Li Changkong paused, and then drew a deep breath, “Yan Capital. Headquarters.”
Whoosh… Qin Ye’s feet landed on the ground as soon as he was on the other side of the door. Things were completely different on the other side of the iron gate, almost as though it marked the boundary line between Heaven and Hell. The Yin Mountains he saw were completely different from what he saw in the photographs.
His surroundings were dark, lifeless, and shaded with the colour of death.
The ground was strewn all over with fallen leaves, and the trees around him were all withered and dead. Even the once-beautiful flowers and ever-resilient weed were all dried up and lifeless. An avenue of the dead opened up right ahead of him.
“What terrifying Yin energy…” Qin Ye shuddered as he surveyed his surroundings. He could sense traces of Yin energy around him. It felt incredibly faint, yet the quality of the Yin energy in the air was simply astonishing!
It was on a completely different scale from what he was used to!
Just as he was slowly surveying his surroundings, he suddenly noticed something that caused his eyelids to twitch wildly.
He could’ve sworn that he’d just noticed a stallion lying on the ground. No. Rather, it was a man sleeping on his side with his head propped up on his hands.
The man’s face appeared to be hazy and blurry, yet the Yin energy exuding from his body gave Qin Ye the impression that he was staring at a sleeping dragon. In fact, for a split second there, Qin Ye almost mistook him for a sleeping Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva.
“What’s wrong with you?” A paw struck Qin Ye squarely across the cheeks, jolting him right back to his senses. Qin Ye babbled back, “I’m not sure if my eyes are playing tricks on me…”
He immediately recounted everything he’d just seen, and the Harken immediately gnashed its teeth, “Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. Each of the Sixfold Ghost Kings possess strength on a level higher than that of the Yama-Kings of the Ten Palaces. That said, they hold no political power or clout whatsoever, and they only possess the right to purge evil ghosts. Each of them can be said to be a notorious killing machine. And if they’re allowed to fully release their Yin energy without restraint, then you can be certain that this entire area will soon turn into a nest of captive ghosts!”
“Even though Ghost King Zhao has already tried desperately to keep things under control, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s one of the strongest Yama-Kings around, even among the Sixfold Ghost Kings! This means that this entire zone will turn into a nest of captive ghosts more and more quickly. And whilst this transformation is taking place, the land is otherwise known as a pit of ghosts, because all ghosts will find themselves drawn to this place and unable to extricate themselves of the allure of their master - just like a prison.”
It glanced around, “The boundaries between the mortal realm and the netherworld are already starting to blur. Let’s make haste. I’ve got a feeling that this matter is going to be far more tricky than we’d earlier anticipated.”
With that, the duo sprinted away from the entrance and towards the Yin Mountains. Neither of them took to the skies because it would be far too risky to do so.
They crossed hillocks and forests, and soon, they arrived right before the Yin Mountains.
This was supposed to be one of the top-rated tourist attractions of Kalgan City, with roads stretching out in all directions. But as soon as they crossed the next hillock and entered the path leading to the Yin Mountains, Qin Ye immediately stopped dead in his tracks.
Countless Yin spirits!
Moreover, these Yin spirits were all laying prostrate on the ground in fervent worship towards a particular location. The entire road was dyed with both black and white colours, almost as though a river of the underworld had broken its banks.
Qin Ye looked up towards the peak of the Yin Mountains, where the Yin spirits appeared to be bowing down towards. The other paths that appeared to be converging on this location were likewise filled with Yin spirits that were laying prostrate on the ground as well! By his estimation, there were easily over 10,000 Yin spirits worshipping Ghost King Zhao right now!
“Where the hell did all of these come from?” He exclaimed under his breath and stared intently at the Yin spirits that were still roaming about the mountainous regions, “And why do they all appear to be bowing down, almost as though a new king has just ascended the throne?”
The Harken gnashed its teeth, “The nest of captive ghosts will form in just three months' time. These are naturally the Yin spirits that have gathered to pay their respects to Ghost King Zhao as the one true god. I’m afraid that every Yin spirit of Kalgan City must be in this place right now. That’s right! Didn’t you find it peculiar that we hardly noticed any Yin spirits around Kalgan City while we were there earlier? Back then, we’d simply dismissed it, thinking that it was a result of the lack of supernatural incidents in the region. Who would’ve thought that the true reason is because they’ve all gathered in this place?”
“We’re talking about the tallest peak of a mountain range… There must be at least 200,000 Yin spirits here!” Qin Ye sighed once more and turned to the Harken, “What do we do?”
“Kill!” The Harken licked its lips, and a bright gleam flashed across the depths of its eyes, “They’re currently suppressed by the overbearing aura of Ghost King Zhao, and they won’t be able to move. The direction of their worship is exactly where we’ll find Ghost King Zhao!”
“In other words, they’re both our roadblock, as well as our roadmap.”
“I won’t be making a move.” It took a step back and gazed intently at Qin Ye, “I’ll only be able to unleash my true strength for 10 minutes at best, and every bit of energy I save will mean a little bit more energy that can be expended with Ghost King Zhao. I’m seriously wounded, while he has lost his mind. I suppose we’ll be able to fight it to a draw. But this means that I’ll have to leave everyone else along the way to you.”
Qin Ye nodded. And then, with a quick flourish of his hands, the Abyssal Prefect token appeared in his palm once more.
He knew how to unleash its true powers.
The Second King Yanluo’s guidance hadn’t been in vain. Qin Ye was aware that his weapons would no longer undergo any form of transformation from this point forward. So long as he filled his weapon with YIn energy, it would completely awaken the soul of the weapon and reveal both its true form as well as unleash it in its blade release state.
Furthermore, the physical form of his weapon no longer mattered. The true form of the weapon will always be dependent on its user’s characteristics. And therein also lies the greatest difference between Abyssal Prefects and Yama-Kings, and other Yin spirits on the other hand. Simply put, the lesser Yin spirits would still have to rely on the physical form of the weapon, such as the location and direction of the cutting edge, whereas Abyssal Prefects and Yama-Kings are already so powerful that they could even hurt others with leaves.
So long as it fit one’s battle style, the form of the weapon didn’t matter one bit.
Thus, staring at the endless sea of Yin spirits before him, Qin Ye began to make a rapid series of hand seals. As time went on, the hand seals grew more and more complex, and the Yin energy slowly began to surge and slosh about like a rushing river on the verge of breaking its banks. The clothes on his body fluttered about wildly. The Abyssal Prefect token in his hand slowly began to emit a low drone. And then, seconds later… a scarlet eye opened right in the heart of the token, almost as though Hell was now staring straight at the River Styx.
“Release!!” At once, he clasped his palms together, and the Abyssal Prefect token exploded with a brilliant eruption of dark light that quickly devoured the surroundings like an expanding curtain of darkness. A split second later, countless scarlet cracks appeared in darkness around.Previous Chapter Next Chapter