Perhaps the Yuan Dynasty forces also knew that they weren’t able to keep up their offensive for too much longer. Perhaps they even knew that their dynasty was one that was short-lived. But whatever it was, the centaurs launched their second wave of offence with increasing fervor as soon as they coalesced once more.
If one were to describe their earlier assault as the raging seas, then their current assault would be more akin to a meteor shower. If the earlier assault was one that was orderly and backed by a strict adherence to their formations, then the present charge was one that was completely mindless and chaotic, with the only goal in mind being the entrance to the Martyr’s Shrine.
Bang!!! The centaurs around rushed forward quickly like killing machines. Their long blades carved deep grooves along the ground, leaving a shower of sparks and a curtain of sand scattering everywhere in the wake of their approach. At once, they charged straight towards the heart of the Great Mist of the Three Divinities Array.
T-t-t-t… The survivors’ teeth chattered as they gripped tightly the talismans in their hands. They couldn’t help but close their eyes, because they didn’t want to see the hellish sight before their very eyes. Yet, even then, they continued to pour everything they had into the talismans.
Sure, they might not know exactly what was going on around them, but they could feel the palpable murderous intent that was seeping into the marrows of their bodies. They could sense that the clash between forces was slowly but surely drawing close to its climax.
Release the talisman now, and they would most certainly be trampled into the ground!
The horde was boundless and relentless. The rumble of the horse’s hooves was like an avalanche that was ceaselessly drumming anxiety and fear into the depths of their hearts. Meanwhile, the terrifying Yin energy swirling about their surroundings sent Qin Ye’s clothes fluttering wildly everywhere. As the second wave of centaurs arrived within a thousand meter radius of the Martyr’s Shrine, Qin Ye once again sprung into action, flourishing the bamboo sword in his hand like a dazzling starlight.
How dare you demons act with such insolence before me?!
Whoosh! His attacks were dazzling and beautiful, just like the first light of dawn that amplifies the ephemeral beauty of the morning dew. Meanwhile, the emblems beneath the centaurs’ feet spun wildly as they charged forward.
One minute later, thousands of centaurs were once again crushed to smithereens and sent scattering into a planetary belt of bones, drifting endlessly about as they sought each other out in a desperate attempt to reassemble once more.
The survivors were still trembling just as vigorously as ever, and yet… the formation still remained intact!
Faced with the choice between collapse and death, they’d chosen the former. The survivors looked far more haggard than before, and their hair had even begun to turn white. In fact, they had already overdrawn on their true energy, and had already begun to tap into their life force. Even though they were all on the verge of collapse, they chose to continue to pour every last bit of their strength into the talismans in their hands.
After all, nobody wanted to die.
Even a cornered rat would choose to fight on the verge of death - even at the cost of their own life force!
Up in the sky, Laozi’s illusory figure opened his eyes time and again. With each time the survivors’ true energy flourished, the figure in the sky would flick his sleeves, causing the approaching centaurs to crumble away. By now, the illusory figure had already dimmed substantially, but at least not a single centaur had been able to breach their defences thus far!
Qin Ye swung his blade for the umpteenth time, causing yet another wave of centaurs to collapse with a bang. And then, the world suddenly fell silent.
At once, he straightened his back and glanced around. But to his great surprise, he couldn’t see a single centaur in sight.
The horse’s head peak was still surrounded by dense swirling Yin energy, upon which drifted the countless bones of the crumbling centaurs. Countless spots of netherflames were still darting about within the depths of the skies, like the twinkling stars in the night sky. But this time… they no longer gathered together. At least, the rate of coalescence had dwindled substantially. Meanwhile, the clumps of netherflames pulsated wildly, almost as though they were all staring at Qin Ye in fear and trepidation.
One man, one sword. That was all that separated the Yuan Dynasty forces from the Martyr Shrine at the mountaintop. Yet, for three full hours, they hadn’t been able to battle their way through!
Click… Kublai Khan sat on a skeletal carriage beneath the group of Yuan Emperors’ banners. His jaws dropped, and the corners of his eyes were twitching wildly as he slowly rose to his feet.
And he wasn’t the only one. The Yuan Emperors all rose to their feet at the very same time.
They knew full well what kind of Heavenly Dao this was. It was none other than the Array of the Kundali Wisdom King! Kundali was one of the Five Great Wisdom Kings of the Tantric Sect.
Strictly speaking, the Yuan Dynasty wasn’t one that followed the beliefs of Tantra. Furthermore, given the brief existence of the Yuan Dynasty, as well as the dissatisfaction of their citizens during this time, it would be nigh impossible to draw upon the might of the Array of the Kundali Wisdom King, much less receive an added endowment of might from the Heavenly Dao. But the fact of the matter was that they still managed to activate it, and even draw upon the power of the Heavenly Dao. Perhaps it was the Censer of the Song Dynasty, or the Imperial Seal of the Yuan Dynasty, or the gathering of a dozen or so Yuan Emperors, or a confluence of all these factors. Whatever the case was, the fact remained that their forces were able to benefit from the divine powers of the Array of the Kundali Wisdom King. And the forces that were endowed with such powers were none other than the renowned God’s Whip! Who could stand in their way?!
That’s right - no one.
Nobody across all of the East Continent and Europa.
At least, nobody in the mortal realm.
But, today, a single Emissary of Hell, and a true Abyssal prefect at that, stood tall as a rock at the top of the mountain, relentlessly repelling the march of the Golden Horde, so much so that… they didn’t even dare to return to life anymore?!
They were afraid…
They were afraid because the fact that they were immortal didn’t change the fact that they would still experience pain. The man of valor standing at the peak of the mountain was a terrifying Emissary of Hell, one who possessed the ability to crush them to pieces time and again. He was akin to an insurmountable presence standing at the top of a mountain. To think that the valiant God’s Whip, the elite of the Yuan Dynasty’s cavalry, would one day recoil in fear and trepidation!
To think that the Mongols would one day cower in the face of a man of Han descent!
Kublai Khan shut his eyes. He wasn’t too tall, but he was likewise dressed in a majestic robe etched with the stitchings of golden wings. His braided hair hung loosely over his shoulders, and a gold band inlaid with emeralds rested at the top of his head to keep his hair in place. Most of the other Yuan Emperors looked almost as impressive.
How did things come to this?
We once used to be an extension of the Heavenly Dao after all. The Yuan Dynasty was the strongest empire in the 13th century, and yet… to think that there would be a day when we employ every means in our arsenal, yet to no avail.
Kwon Kyung-ho and Ryu Changmin panted and gasped for air as they stood beside Qin Ye, yet they continued to stand tall and valiantly. The Spatial Spirit and the Porter Spirit stood right behind them, heaving in a similar fashion. These were all spirits that formed part of Qin Ye’s Dusk Legionnaire.
Could one man and a few Yin spirits truly keep God’s Whip at bay?
Was the difference between an Emissary of Hell and other regular Yin spirits truly such an insurmountable chasm?
Kublai Khan raised his hand.
He didn’t believe this.
He refused to believe in destiny!
After all, had he chosen to believe, the world would never have seen the emergence of the most powerful empire of the 13th century back then!
The attendant next to him gritted his teeth and respectfully handed him a golden sword. As he moved, the other Yuan Emperors also began to shift their hands without a word, unsheathing the swords that hung right beside their waists. At once, over a dozen swords were unsheathed. This was the last hurrah of the entire Yuan Dynasty.
Likewise, Phagpa remained silent. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Following that, he, and the other Imperial Preceptor unleashed the full force of their cultivation. At once, two sources of Prefect-class Yin energy erupted into the skies, causing a terrifying surge in the sea of Yin energy around.
Give it your all.
Leave no regrets.
This was the dignity of an empire that was once hailed as the greatest! There was no turning back now. And such an opportunity would only come once in a lifetime.
He ran his finger along the sword in his hand. Then, with a bright glint in his eye, he stepped forward like a golden lotus blooming in the sky. With the tip of his sword trained at the mountaintop, he yelled at the top of his voice, “CHARGE!!!”
Whoosh!!! At once, the Yuan Emperors dove headlong into the fray without any hesitation. Likewise, Prefect-class Yin energy erupted from Phagpa and the other Imperial Preceptor, before promptly coalescing into two gigantic faces formed out of Yin energy that roared wrathfully as it hurtled straight for the mountaintop!
A mighty nethergale picked up around them, kicking up a sandstorm at the mountaintop. This was obviously the assault of only a dozen or so Yin spirits, but the might of their charge was by no means any less than the tens of thousands of centaurs that went before them! Endless souls appeared to cry and wail in the clouds of Yin energy around them, as though a rift to the underworld had been torn asunder.
“My god…” One of the survivors stared agape at the last hurrah of the Yuan Dynasty, but he could tell that the swords of the Yuan Emperors were all pointed straight towards Qin Ye. After all, the Yuan Emperors knew full well that so long as the Emissary of Hell perished, the rest of the survivors on the mountain would immediately lose all of their will to fight. Their instincts told them that the survivors were nothing to worry about.
In other words, so long as they could cull the Emissary of Hell standing before them, then the glory of Tengri would once again spread to the corners of the earth!
“CHARGE!!!” With the Yuan Emperors joining the fray, the disheartened souls of the centaurs once again gained renewed fervor. At once, the vortex of Yin energy spun more powerfully than before, and the bones of the centaurs began to coalesce into the centaur skeletons once more. And as soon as they did, they immediately charged forward, following in the footsteps of their valiant masters that marched before them like indomitable warlords.
Whoosh! The air about them was completely different from before. It was far more domineering. This time, their assault included two Abyssal Prefects, dozens of Infernal Judges, as well as the same army numbering tens of thousands, just like before. The air about them briefly revealed a distorted image of Tengri, crying out with great indignation as he roared and attempted to bite at Qin Ye.
“Kiddo… Can you hold on?!” The Harken’s hair was fluttering wildly with the wind. The Yuan Dynasty forces were finally attacking without reservation, so much so that they could even feel an overbearing sensation of bloodthirstiness in the air.
Qin Ye didn’t respond.
Instead, he took a deep breath and placed both hands to the ground. At once, the Porter Spirit behind him immediately opened his mouth and roared violently.
And time seemed to come to a complete standstill.
The desert stopped moving for a moment, and then… it exploded! Ryu Changmin’s domain spread rapidly at once, while everything else transformed into a majestic stream of Yin energy that bore right into Qin Ye’s sword.
He didn’t take a single step back.
After all, he had a job to do.
He had learned much since the incident of the Hungry Ghost Festival. For instance, King Yanluo was the pillar of the underworld, and as a pillar, he simply couldn’t afford to back down at all.
Strike first, and strike hard at the root of the problem. He had come a long way since then, so much so that he no longer entertained any thoughts of retreat right now.
“You’re but a bunch of rabble of a former dynasty. How dare you act so insolently before the incumbent ruler of Hell?”
The glint of his sword brought a terrifying chill upon the lands.
It was an invisible strike. The Yuan Emperors, and even the Imperial Preceptors only saw a cold gleam of light flicker right before their eyes. Yet the seemingly fleeting gleam of light also appeared to consume all darkness and sunder the moon and the stars.
There was no fancy flourish. It was a simple strike, albeit one filled with supreme majesty. Qin Ye had poured every bit of his heart and mind into this one simple attack, and it was one backed by the weight of his own philosophy for both himself and Hell. This was the strongest attack that Hell’s god of death could muster right now.
Everything went silent upon impact. One side represented the Heavenly Dao of a dynasty of ages past, while the other side represented the kingdom of a god of death. Neither appeared weaker than the other. Neither appeared to gain any ground. That said, the illusory face of Tengri appeared to crack slowly, peeling off bit by bit as it transformed into countless black butterflies that were consumed by the onslaught of light. However… it continued to hold strong!
Two Abyssal Prefects, over a dozen Infernal Judges and tens of thousands of centaurs, all of whom were backed by the might of the Censer of the Song Dynasty, the Imperial Seal of the Yuan Dynasty, as well as a trace of favour of the Heavenly Dao. And they were actually able to block Qin Ye’s attack!
Rumble! The sand around Qin Ye’s feet began to quiver and tremble. Meanwhile, his bamboo sword continued to clang as he swung it about furiously, repelling the attacks of the dozens of Yuan Emperors that were closing in on him. He could even see their hideous appearances by now.
I guess the might of an Abyssal Prefect is still lacking in some ways…
Qin Ye sighed in his heart. Had he been a Yama-King, then the battlefield would already be filled with the corpses of his opponent!
Unfortunately, he was already one of the strongest ones in the Cathayan underworld right now - possibly even stronger than the other daolords right now.
I might… not be able to hang in there after all…
“Scram!!!” The Yuan Emperors roared at the top of their voices, baring their fangs as intense netherflames flared up from the depths of their eyes.
It’s been almost four hours…
Get out of our way… get out of our way right now!
Why the hell are you here in the first place?!
Crack… A crack appeared on the edge of Qin Ye’s bamboo sword. Qin Ye’s pupils contracted at once. Meanwhile, the Harken promptly scrambled to its feet, staring intently at the battlefield, ready to pounce at the moment’s notice.
And it was right then when it happened.
The world… suddenly lost its voice.
The light went out. Yin energy receded. Anxiety faded, and the tension of the climax vanished into thin air.
It was almost as though they had descended into a chaotic world of nothingness.
“Is this--...” The Harken froze, and then immediately turned back to the Martyr’s Shrine with a shiver down its spine, “This power… is this… is this…”
“The mythical existence beyond the realms of a Yama-King?!”
The emptiness was filled with tense silence, until an authoritative voice spoke.
It was calm, but it also sounded like the trumpets of the heavens.
Ancient and primordial, almost as though it was the voice of a god who spoke beings into existence.
It was the voice of a preeminent existence!
“By Hell’s Dictum, all rabble shall disperse!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter