Having sorted through their thoughts, they spent the next few days waiting silently in eager anticipation.
As time wore on, the Mongol forces in the fog attacked with ever increasing fervor, sending tremors rippling through the void as the cacophonous sound of clashing iron echoed bleakly in the surroundings. Qin Ye couldn’t help but turn to the Harken and asked, “Why can’t I see them?”
“Formation.” The Harken glanced around at the roiling fog, “This is a military formation that belongs to the Tengri. It’s not quite the same as the ones you see back in Hell, but I can tell that it’s still a military formation of a relatively high grade. In fact, not even I can peer into the roiling darkness, and I expect this to be the case… unless I recover to the peak of my strength.”
That’s a thorny situation… Qin Ye thought to himself. Then, for the next few days, Qin Ye and the Harken began to deliberate over the potential variables that they could encounter, as well as the possible countermeasures they could implement against these. Time flew by in the blink of an eye, and the 25th soon arrived.
The bright moon hung in the sky. As soon as the clock struck midnight, Qin Ye immediately opened his eyes and glanced towards the Martyr’s Shrine.
There was an eerie, gloomy air about it.
Time seemed to pause for a moment. And then, he heard a soft sigh coming from the Martyr’s Shrine, followed by the outpouring of copious amounts of Yin energy!
Clouds of Yin energy filled the surroundings, shrouding the mountaintop with a dense sea of fog. Moments later, they began to swirl together, forming a terrifying vortex accompanied by countless spots of netherflames, just like the stars in the dark night sky. It was both dazzling and eerie at the same time, and altogether spectacular.
“Has Brother Zhao finally been released from the shackles tying him down?” Qin Ye’s eyes widened, and he shook his head with a sigh, “What terrifying Yin energy. Not even the Tsar can hold a candle to his immense might. Is this what a Ghost King of Hell is actually like?”
No… there’s more…
He closed his eyes and attempted to probe the Ghost King’s existence with his own Yin energy. At once, he sensed a stern and austere air about the Ghost King’s Yin energy, almost as though it was declaring that this Yama-King had already reached its bottleneck.
It was just like a fish that had already swum up the river, and was now primed and ready to leap right through the Dragon’s Gate!
But in that very moment, Zhao Zilong’s Yin energy suddenly sank and dropped so much that it wouldn’t even be a surprise if he became that of a Netherworld Operative.
“His Yin energy is fluctuating too much. I’m afraid that the situation might be even trickier than we’d anticipated…” The Harken gazed deep in the direction of the Martyr’s Shrine, “He’s seen us.”
As soon as the Harken said these words, the Martyr’s Shrine suddenly grew larger, almost as though it was rapidly drawing closer to the duo. Qin Ye froze for a moment, before realizing that it wasn’t the case that the Martyr’s Shrine was drawing closer. Rather, it was simply the fact that the space between them was bending and shrinking, thereby bringing them infinitely closer to each other!
And all of this was done without any effort on their part!
“Bending space… and to think he’d even used it on us…” The Harken sighed with great emotion. But before it could emote any further, a figure covered in netherflames appeared at the gate of the Martyr’s Shrine, cupping his hands respectfully and bowing deeply, “General Zhao Zilong, humbly greets the new King Yanluo of Hell.”
His entire body was covered in silvery armor. However, it was clear that this armor was already covered with cracks, and even stained with traces of blood. His hair was long, just like any other ancient warrior, and it was even tied in a bun at the top of his head. All in all, he exuded an air of noble sobriety all around him.
Damn, he’s striking… And this is my Brother Zhao! Qin Ye’s heart thumped with excitement, and he coughed lightly as he nodded back, “Let’s get straight to the point, General Zhao. How should we help you?”
Zhao Yun pursed his lips, “My Lord, may I have your hand?”
Is this… my first time holding hands? Are we going to march down the avenue of peach blossoms after this?
Qin Ye coughed dryly as he extended his hands awkwardly, “Please be gentle…”
Zhao Yun: ???
Am I talking to an imposter?!
Meanwhile, the Harken immediately leapt up and scratched Qin Ye all over the face, ravaging it without mercy, “Please be gentle? Please be gentle?! What the hell are you talking about?! Why are you even blushing?!”
It was going crazy.
It swiped its claws furiously at Qin Ye, while Qin Ye scurried away like a mouse scuttling back to its borrow, “I can’t help it! I can’t help it! Hey, not the face! That’s all I’ve got right now…”
“How dare you even talk to me about face right now?!” The Harken swiped viciously at Qin Ye’s face while it heaved and breathed madly in rage. Then, it finally turned back to Zhao Yun, “Don’t mind him… This King Yanluo is just like that. Get used to it.”
Zhao Yun gazed deeply at Qin Ye, as though deep in thought. Meanwhile, Qin Ye clutched at his wounds in pain and looked up at Zhao Yun, “General Zhao, it’s not what you think. This is just a conditioned reaction--…”
But before he could go on, Zhao Yun promptly cut him off, “Things between us are impossible.”
Qin Ye: ……
Can you please listen to what I’m saying?!
Yet, Zhao Yun revealed a completely peculiar expression - Please know that I’m doing this for your own good. Our King Yanluo cannot be involved in scandals like this, understand?!
After some time, Qin Ye finally stood before Zhao Yun once more and stretched out his hand. Zhao Yun cupped his hands respectfully, “Apologies for my incivility.”
With that, he began to write on Qin Ye’s hand.
“General Zhao…” Qin Ye soon revealed a grave expression, “You’re saying that everything you hear and feel will likewise be transmitted to your alter ego?”
Zhao yun nodded. Qin Ye stared blankly at his hand. It was strange, because Zhao Yun was writing in neither modern nor ancient Cathayan writing. Thus, he couldn’t understand a single word that was written. However, the Harken’s eyes immediately lit up.
That said, the Harken knew better than to say anything right off the cuff. After all, both egos within Zhao Yun’s body shared the same experiences, and it was best not to reveal too much to the other.
After all, the alter ego within Zhao Yun’s body was none other than the renowned Temujin, a terrifying warlord that had reigned supreme throughout history. It wouldn’t be wise if he managed to glean anything from their interactions right now.
Thus, Zhao Yun continued to write for an entire hour before finally retracting his hand. And as soon as he did, the Harken frowned deeply, “Are you certain?”
“I am.” Zhao Yun responded with an equally grave expression, “This is a task given to me by the Second King Yanluo, and since he’s not here in person, it tells me that he’s probably already departed from this world. Now that his orders have fallen directly on my shoulders, I’d humbly ask these two lordships for your assistance.”
The Harken gazed deeply into Zhao Yun’s eyes for a long time, before finally nodding, “Fine.”
“Then, I’ll have to trouble you.” Zhao Yun cupped his hands respectfully once more, before promptly vanishing with a majestic flourish of netherflames.
Qin Ye sighed softly. He wanted to exchange a few more words with Zhao Yun, but he knew that it wasn’t a good time right now. The fact that Zhao Yun had vanished so abruptly and decisively was also a sign that they shouldn’t linger around for too long if they could help it.
There were priorities after all. Thus, the duo sensibly took their leave as well, vanishing promptly into streams of nethergale that swept away from the Martyr’s Shrine. When they next appeared, they had already reached the edge of the mountaintop once more.
Then, without waiting for Qin Ye to even ask, the Harken gnashed its teeth, “Do you know the constituent elements of a Forbidden Art?”
Qin Ye raised his brows with some measure of surprise, wondering why the Harken would suddenly broach this subject. However, he knew that the Harken must have its reasons, “What do you mean?”
“All Forbidden Arts can roughly be described to be composed of two main elements.”
“The first is the blade, and the second is the scabbard.”
“The scabbard is the thing that holds the blade, while the blade is the part of the heavy sword that you’ve left in the hotel. Once the Forbidden Art is complete, it has to be contained by a correspondingly powerful instrument. When we discovered the initiation module of the second generation Forbidden Arts, I’d simply glossed over the presence of a scabbard because the Forbidden Art was still incomplete. However…”
Qin Ye’s eyes narrowed, “It exists.”
The Harken nodded, “That’s right. And as you’ve probably guessed, Ghost King Zhao has it!”
“Incidentally, the scabbard… is forged entirely out of Resentment Crystals! This is why we couldn’t sense even a trace of Zhao Zilong’s Yin energy outside!” The Harken turned back and continued, “Once the Resentment Crystals have been forged into shape, it serves the purpose of isolating Yin energy, both from within and from without. In other words, Yin energy cannot penetrate the shell of the scabbard, and likewise, Yin energy cannot escape from within either!”
Qin Ye abruptly looked up, “Does Ghost King Zhao mean that… he plans to shatter the scabbard and create a domain of isolation containing only him and Temujin? He plans to set the stage for their death match, where the winner would devour the loser?!”
The Harken nodded deeply.
Qin Ye paced about with his hands behind his back. This isn’t good. If you ask me, it would be far safer if we could participate in their duel!
After all, if Zhao Yun won, then Hell would secure for itself one of the strongest and most reliable fighting forces around. But if Temujin won, then… the Red Lotus of the Purgatory would be activated, and everything would go to waste! And it would all be on Hell’s shoulder!
This was a matter that would greatly affect Hell’s future, including the negotiations between the mortal realm and the netherworld! In fact, failure might even mean that the mortal realm would close their door on them afterwards!
Nothing exists in isolation, and everything that happened would have implications. He paced about a little while longer, before turning back to the Harken, “How long will it take?”
“At least three days.” The Harken responded, “If General Zhao wins, he’ll be able to devour Temujin’s soul and most likely break through the bottleneck that he’s at. That’s likely going to take three days. As for their duel, I imagine that wouldn’t take more than 6 hours altogether.”
Three days, huh… Qin Ye glanced around at the mountaintop. They were going to be up against over a dozen Yuan Emperors, several Imperial Preceptors, and tens of thousands of Golden Horde cavalry! On the other hand, they had only one Abyssal Prefect, one wounded Yama-King that could only fight for seven minutes, as well as a handful of weak-ass cultivators around them!
Could they really stand against the onslaught of enemy forces?
The Harken lifted its paw, revealing a small golden rune.
“This is the activation spell of the Red Lotus of the Purgatory.”
“Earlier, we were communicating through Yin Talismans. Temujin hasn’t been to Hell, and he wouldn’t know a thing about such communications. During this period of time, General Zhao gave me the activation spell for the Red Lotus of the Purgatory that he had already set up. Are you concerned that he will fail?” The Harken paused and gazed deeply at Qin Ye, “Perhaps there’s that possibility.”
“But, if we’re always looking over our shoulder with concern, we’ll never be able to step forward into the future.”
“The best thing we can do right now is to trust in him and allow him to duel Temujin without any distractions.”
Qin Ye sighed softly, “I understand.”
“That way, no matter what the outcome is, he’ll have no regrets. Then… let’s lend him our strength and send him our blessings through our actions here!”
“Well said!” The Harken’s eyes gleamed with a trace of murderous intent, “I was hoping you’d say that. Besides, how dare these rabble rise up against Emissaries of Hell on our home turf? They’re courting death!”
With that, the Harken opened its lips, and a golden scroll flew out. Qin Ye blinked his eyes blankly, “Hang on… That scroll, and the patterns on it… Why does it all look so familiar?”
“Of course it would.” The Harken held the scroll in its lips and explained, “Given my current strength, it’s going to be difficult to resist the assault of over a dozen Yuan Emperors, Imperial Preceptors, as well as the Golden Horde cavalry. But fortunately, we’ve got access to the Ming Dynasty’s Zhu Clan’s treasures from the Longxing Temple. And this would prove immensely useful to us right now - the Great Mist of the Three Divinities Array. Drawn up jointly by Liu Bowen and King Song, the Yama-King of the Third Palace, it took them 47 long years before they finally brought this masterpiece to completion. This is going to be the battle of a millennium that literally transcends time, pitting the Great Ming Dynasty against the Mongol’s Yuan Dynasty. Isn’t that something to look forward to?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter