Qin Ye casually ignored the Harken’s qualifying words and stared at himself in horror. He’d read his own fair share of fantasy novels, and yet… to think that he was now a god of death himself!
He was a true blue god of death!
Immortal and indestructible, and a peerless existence throughout the entire universe!
Holy crap! I’ve always known that I was awesome, but who would’ve thought that I was actually this awesome?
“What are you so excited about? Your divinity is hardly stable at all. After all, divinity is built upon the foundation of faith. How much faith do people have in you right now? It’ll take you at least three generations before the mortals of Cathay will start to speak more of your name, and learn more about you from the stone tablets, cultural relics, and history books of the mortal realm. That’s when people will truly start to worship you and offer you incense, and that’s when you can actually call yourself a fully-fledged god of death!”
No! I’m not listening to you! I refuse to listen to you!
To Qin Ye’s mind, it sufficed that he had the label of a god of death. After all, that meant that not even the heavens were going to look down on him in future.
“Besides, are you really in the mood to concern yourself with these things? Don’t you understand the gravity of the situation over here?” The Harken bit down hard on Qin Ye’s arm, forcing him to snap right back to his senses, “You… please, carry on…”
The Harken glared at him ferociously, “As the survivors mentioned, the advancement of the troops have stirred into greater ferocity ever since two weeks ago. That coincides exactly with when Tengri collapsed! Sure, Temujin might not be able to take on Ghost King Zhao alone, but… with Tengri and the Golden Horde in the fray, they might finally stand some fighting chance.”
Qin Ye nodded and retracted his smile, “Brother Zhao had already shown signs of mutations since several years back. I’m afraid Tengri must already have been planning for his succession back then. The pressure heaped by the Russian Underworld onto the backs of the Mongol Underworld must have been far too much for them to handle. And that’s not even to mention the existence of the Argosian Underworld’s manipulation in the shadows. Naturally, Tengri must have realized that his only way out of this was to plan for succession and a future comeback.”
“With these preparations in place, the collapse of Tengrism would immediately activate his contingency plan. Speaking of which, we’re talking about a god of death entering Cathayan territory! Didn’t you even detect his existence in the slightest?”
The Harken sneered, “Bloody hell, it’s because you were the one who had integrated their land into ours! It’s now called Outer Mongolia and Inner Mongolia! The notice of the annexation will be issued throughout Everburn and Ashmound shortly! In other words, they’re already existing in our lands right now! What change am I supposed to detect?!”
“Kiddo… Your attitude displeases me… Holy shit! Stop! Stop biting me! Sss… You… how could you be that accurate! Stop attacking my previous wounds! What kind of martial arts do you practice?!”
After some time, the Harken finally loosened its bite around Qin Ye’s arm and hmphed with annoyance, “But, even then, they’re still not likely to be able to defeat Ghost King Zhao.”
“Weak nations can’t produce powerful gods. Tengri reached its peak strength in the 12th or 13th century, but he’s now at best no stronger than our dear friend Izanami. All he has left within is his divinity that arises from the fact that he’s a true god of a system of faith. Even if he managed to join forces with Temujin himself, they would never be able to breach Ghost King Zhao’s impeccable line of defense. Therefore…”
It stamped its paws on the ground once more, and the ground trembled slightly, “Don’t you recall how the mortal realm had never discovered the tomb of all Yuan Dynasty emperors?”
“Are you saying that…” Qin Ye paused for a moment, and then gasped in horror, “They’re… all buried here underneath the Yin Mountains?!”
“That’s the only possibility!” The Harken continued, “The Golden Horde cavalry is a force that can historically only be mobilized by members of royalty! How many people did the Mongol Empire start with in the past? They practically conquered half of the East Continent with just 100,000 cavalrymen! The Golden Horde is known to number no more than 3,000, and yet the sounds of clashing iron earlier was definitely of an army that is far larger in size!”
Qin Ye’s gaze flickered wildly, “You’re suggesting that the army we’ve heard cannot possibly be something that was raised by a single generation of emperor, and it’s more likely to be the combined forces of more than a dozen generations of emperors of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty? And if they’re all gathered here--...”
He paced around with his hands on his head, “Then the only possibility is that every single Mongol emperor has issued orders to mobilize their troops at the exact same time!”
“I would’ve immediately dismissed such a possibility in the past, if not for the fact that none of the Mongol emperors have ever entered Hell in the past. All of them are more akin to earthbound spirits, and they aren’t at liberty to move far away from their own graves. So… this all lends credence to the fact that… they’re all buried here right underneath the Yin Mountains?”
Qin Ye sighed softly.
Mongol emperors were often buried with others. And after the mass burial, they would sow seeds and trample over the burial ground with horses so that nobody knows where the burial grounds were.
Unfortunately, these only remained mysteries if one looked at the facts from the lens of the mortal realm.
“But, why didn’t they enter Hell? How were they able to conceal their presence from Brother Xu all this while?”
“... Why does it seem like everyone is your big brother? You know, you need to learn to have some dignity and respect for yourself now that you’re a god of death. But… I digress.” The Harken glared contemptuously at Qin Ye, before getting back to the point, “Do you remember how there was a statue of a great monk, Qiu Chuji, located in Temujin’s Tomb?”
With that, both Qin Ye and the Harken grew silent, and they subconsciously furrowed their brows deeply.
It was because this raised a new perspective to the mystery they were faced with.
And that’s the question of who built the tomb? After all, they hadn’t even begun calling for the Great Debate between Buddhism and Taoism when Genghis Khan first died. So, on what basis was the symbol of the Great Debate located in the tomb?
Unfortunately, none of them had an answer to that question. Perhaps the only way they would learn of the truth was by rescuing Zhao Zilong.
Thus, they gathered their thoughts and addressed their mind back to the issue at hand, “So, Brother Zhao is currently facing the incarnation of Tengri’s soul and Temujin’s soul, as well as a dozen or so emperors of the Yuan Dynasty, together with tens of thousands of Golden Horde cavalry?”
“That’s likely the case.” The Harken sighed softly, “They would be equal in strength. No… perhaps they might even have an edge over Ghost King Zhao.”
The Harken glanced up at the dark skies of the night, “After all… we’re talking about an entire dynasty that represents the will of the Heavenly Dao…”
“Besides, you’ve missed out something. Don’t forget that Phagpa was also buried in Temujin’s Tomb. And since that’s the case, Ghost King Zhao is likely also facing the Imperial Preceptor of several emperors of the Yuan Dynasty. These are existences that would have been expert cultivators of their time. Just like how the director of the Special Investigations Department is one of the three strongest experts in the mortal realm right now, the Imperial Preceptor… would also likely have been one of the strongest existences of each of their times.”
“Faith begets power. This is one of the immutable truths of the three realms.” The Harken took a deep breath and continued with a grave expression, “They’re powerful. Incredibly powerful. And it’s likely well beyond our imaginations! And to that end, I believe that the only person who can resolve this situation right now… is the Ghost King himself.”
Qin Ye’s eyes twitched slightly as he glanced at the Martyr’s Shrine.
The fact that Ghost King Zhao was able to hang on to this day was absolutely unbelievable.
After all, there were easily a dozen emperors, as well as several Prefect-class Imperial Preceptors to deal with. Anyone else would have crumbled to the might of such sustained assaults by now.
“Any thoughts?” The Harken asked.
Unfortunately, Qin Ye’s forte didn’t lie in such supernatural incidents. His expertise lay more in international politics and domestic affairs. Thus, Qin Ye was somewhat surprised by the Harken’s question to him.
“25 August.” He rubbed his fingers together and gazed blankly at the distant skies, “It’s only four days until then, and we can probably have a good chat with him at that time. Ghost King Zhao must have his own ideas. The fact that he’s already locked everyone up in the Red Lotus of the Purgatory tells us that the Ghost King wasn’t expecting reinforcements from Hell. Perhaps he might have some thoughts after learning of our presence.”
But he immediately frowned after that, “Speaking of which, why 25 August? What’s so special about that date?”
He wasn’t going to let any leads pass him by if he could help it.
The Harken chuckled coldly, “Because 25 August is the date of Temujin’s death.”
“He died at the same time that the gates of Hell were open. Thus, whenever this day arrived, his soul would instinctively search out for the existence of Hell’s Gate, and he would fall somewhat into a state of stupor. Naturally, he wouldn’t be in the right mind to be suppressing Ghost King Zhao’s soul. Do you recall those little village shrimps saying something about how the soldiers fight with the greatest fervor on these days? Well, their guess isn’t wrong. Indeed, that’s the day that the Yuan Emperors are all desperately buying time for Temujin’s soul.”
“And they’ve already managed to gain the upper hand in this exchange. It’s no wonder that old Zhao had decided to lay down the ultimate technique of the Red Lotus of the Purgatory…”
It sighed softly, “I’m afraid not even Temujin and the rest of the Yuan Emperors are aware that their fates are already sealed. None of them will be able to leave this place alive, even if they were to come out victorious.”
Everything was slowly coming together like the pieces of the puzzle.
“Zhao Zilong versus Temujin… We’re truly talking about the battle of the giants.” Qin Ye sighed and lamented, “Who would’ve thought that this incident would cause my impression of the Great Khan to collapse in my heart?”
As an emperor that was easily ranked among the top in Cathay’s hall of fame, what was he doing refusing to submit to Hell, and instead submitting to Tengrism?
The Harken suddenly quipped, “The greatest pleasure in life is to slay your enemies, seize their belongings, watch as their family and friends cry in anguish, ride their horses, and take their wives and daughters for yourself.”
Qin Ye stared at the Harken almost as though he had just seen a ghost, “Where have your moral values gone? To where Brother Xu is currently located?”
The Harken responded placidly, “These are Temujin’s exact words.”
“And he’s actually applied this mantra onto the Cathayans in his conquest.”
“Aren’t you aware? Over 65 million Cathayans perished in the short span of the 98 years of the Yuan Dynasty. This is why even the historians are embarrassed to record these in the annals of Cathayan history. Sure, it might be ubiquitously known to be one of the dynasties of Cathay, but these 98 long years were essentially years when Cathay was conquered by a foreign land. This is a blemish in our annals of history that can only be diminished with the effluxion of time. And even if he enters Hell, I’m afraid he wouldn’t be of the same mind as us.”
“Then what do I need him for?!”
The Harken chuckled coldly and licked its paws, “If he’s willing to submit, then we’ll naturally send him to the frontlines to lead our frontiering efforts, just to keep him occupied and deter him from any form of betrayal. But… even if he’s of no use to you, that doesn’t mean that his existence is likewise of no use to Zhao Zilong.”
Qin Ye paused, and then gasped coldly.
The quickest way to a Yin spirit’s advancement is to devour each other…
Isn’t that what Temujin and Zhao Zilong are doing right now?
Right now, it looks like Temujin has the upper hand. But… what if we render him our assistance, and Zhao Zilong ends up devouring Temujin?
Then, would it be just as the Harken had mentioned? Would we finally see the emergence of an existence beyond the strength of a regular Yama-King?!
That said, the other side of the scale wasn’t just Temujin’s soul. There was also Tengri’s soul, the souls of 16 Yuan Emperors, as well as several corresponding Imperial Preceptors of their time!
This was a gamble.
Should they lose, Temujin would become a god of death there and then, and Everburn and Ashmound would likely devolve into a period of warring states once more. Unfortunately, given Hell’s lack of military strength right now, they weren’t likely to be able to come out on top of the crushing might of the combined Golden Horde cavalry of the Mongol Underworld.
But should they succeed, then Zhao Yun would very likely attain a breakthrough and become an existence beyond the realms of a Yama-King!Previous Chapter Next Chapter