Ultra-malls. The grounds were generally decked with thick wood and covered with exquisite carvings depicting ancient mythical beasts, such as the dragon or the phoenix. Most of the other furnishings might also be constructed out of solid wood and etched with the designs of important figures, such as the Harken and Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. Shelves displaying the latest cosmetic products and the latest fashion trends were dime a dozen.
But the Heaven’s End Pavilion wasn’t like this at all.
After all, Heaven’s End Pavilion was easily half the size of Ashmound City, and many storeys high. Therefore, at the heart of the ground floor of Heaven’s End Pavilion lay… a sprawling water body.
The pavilion was circular, just like any other pavilion of ancient Cathay. That said, the only difference was that a large idyllic lake sat right in the middle of the entire pavilion, spanning tens of thousands of meters from end to end. The surface of the lake was covered with crimson lotus flowers with stamens lit with gentle netherflames. Numerous islets sat atop the lake, surrounded by boats that appeared to be ancient, yet perfectly preserved. Muslin sails draped elegantly over their masts, while a closer inspection would reveal fine patterns carved onto the wooden surfaces of the ships.
In fact, there was even a path that appeared to be composed entirely out of lotus leaves that would sink ever so slightly under the weight of Yin spirits, causing fish that appeared no different from koi to dart away and hide elsewhere. Meanwhile, the islets were also covered with smaller pavilions, replete with decorative sculptures of all shapes and sizes.
Elsewhere, a bamboo forest nestled quietly in the corner of the pavilion, exuding the charm of tranquility as other miniature structures seemed to offer a peaceful getaway from the hubbub of city life. The buildings around had signboards that read “Tea House”, “Cloud Pavilion”, “Sea Pavilion”, and so on and so forth.
This… Is this what the ground floor of the Heaven’s End Pavilion is like? How large is this compound?! To think that it offers so many different sights and sounds within!
“I… absolutely… LOVE IT!!!” A female Yin spirit covered her lips and squealed as her eyes gleamed with brilliance. Meanwhile, the Yin spirits who had entered Heaven’s End Pavilion ahead of her likewise screamed at the top of their voices as they rushed in like a landslide!
Go! Go! Go!
A shopping paradise like this must be unique to Hell! I’ve got to enjoy this as best as I can before the others come in!
That said, there weren’t any stores on the ground floor at all. The walls were covered with murals, ink paintings, watercolour paintings, and other forms of art, giving the ground floor an almost surreal, holy look. Meanwhile, the multitude of stairs leading up to the next floor were located right between some of these art pieces. Even then, most of the Yin spirits leading the charge rushed straight onto the islets in the middle of the lake to take in its idyllic sights and sounds. The ones who weren’t able to make it into the islets in the middle of the lake instead rushed straight for the stairs, only to pause subconsciously at the murals and paintings to take in the beautiful artwork. At once, many Yin spirits forgot the purpose of their trip to this place.
That said, the ones who managed to get onto the islets in the middle found themselves marvelling at the sights and sounds as they trekked on, until they suddenly seized up once more.
It was a waterfall falling from hundreds and hundreds of meters high!
This was a mega waterfall pouring down from the topmost-floor of the Heaven’s End Pavilion, cascading down floor by floor into seamlessly integrated water bodies that made it a towering masterpiece of the entire pavilion!
It was truly a marvelous sight from afar, almost as though it was drawing from the cosmic waters in the milky way.
Back at the top of the city tower. The Harken set its paw down and smiled proudly to itself. “Hehe… The Mythic Palace of Reflections can copy anything it has seen…”
“And this is incidentally the largest goldmine we had in Fengdu back then, a masterpiece to be passed down to the next generation of Hell. A shopping mall of the grandest scale jointly funded by the Eight Great Clans, otherwise known as the Heaven’s End Pavilion.”
The citizens were taking it all in, and then processing their shock, before finally glancing up blankly into the sky…
Only to notice that the waters were falling through dense clouds of Yin energy.
It was impossible to see what lay above the ground floor.
But if we get to the top, wouldn’t we be at the top of the entire pavilion, and be given a bird’s eye view of the entire place?
At once, many Yin spirits immediately rushed back out from the islets in the middle and made a beeline straight for the stairs leading to the next floor! And as soon as they arrived on the second floor, they were likewise greeted by a sight of grandeur and opulence. This time, the architecture of the second floor was constructed in the style of the great Ming Dynasty. And there it was - the first sign of goods to be sold by the Heaven’s End Pavilion!
The receptionists were humanoid paper effigies, but they were hardly like the terrifying effigies that Qin Ye often encountered in the mortal realm. Instead, they were beautifully drawn, and were even decked out in soft clothes of a shopkeeper, clasping their palms together as they smiled faintly, “Welcome, welcome. This is the 2nd floor, Colours of Elegance, and we specialize in the sale of all kinds of paints, easels, canvasses - you name it! So long as it’s got to do with oil paintings, we’ve got them here!”
Lin Qingchen was an ordinary female Yin spirit that couldn’t bear to miss out on snagging the best deals for herself during this Great Sale. Naturally, she was one of the first few to rush up onto the second floor with her friends, only to be greeted by the amazing gallery of oil painting.
She wasn’t an artist.
That said, she had never seen oil paintings in Hell before this! And that made sense, because the current level of industrial and cultural development meant that Hell would never be able to produce something so fine and exquisite.
“Don’t grab me! Don’t pinch me! Do you think ghosts don’t know pain?!!” Her friends pinched her hand excitedly. If oil paintings were around, wouldn’t that mean that other fine goods, such as eye shadows, lipsticks, BB cream, and others would naturally be here as well?!
“Let’s go! Hurry up! I’m worried that the goods found at paragraph 17 of the papers would run out of stock in no time! Let’s forge on and see what floor the cosmetics and the clothes are on!!!”
It didn’t take long for them to get their answer.
12th floor, “Devastating Beauty” - Cosmetics.
17th floor, “Raiments of Rainbows” - Clothes.
And there was still the 21st floor, “Hall of Jade” - Jewellery.
And the 9th floor, “Taotie” - Alkebulan and Russian Food.
Meanwhile, they were only located on the 2nd floor, known as “Vivid Life” - Art Supplies.
AHHH!!! Why can’t I split myself into multiple beings?!!
Lin Qingchen gritted her teeth as she rushed straight up towards “Devastating Beauty” on the 12th floor.
12th floor. Yin spirits wouldn’t feel tired and weary, and this was why the Heaven’s End Pavilion could draw such a multitude of Yin spirits despite being built in a high-rise fashion. But just as they entered, they already noticed several others who had arrived moments before them.
Are you kidding me? Who are these princesses?!
No matter. We’ll take everything!!!
Lin Qingchen hurriedly rushed into the nearest store without even bothering about the name of the shop. After all, who could be bothered admiring the shopkeeper’s naming prowess when things were of such great urgency? Nothing mattered more than the use of the products! After all, such a great sale would come only once every year! Who could possibly have the patience to wait until next year for a fresh batch of goods?
“Welcome, guest number 2~~” At once, a humanoid paper effigy ran out of the back room and greeted her guest. She had a small frame, but a deceptively loud voice, “Ooohhh~~ What beauty! All you ladies need is just a little bit of touch-up to add the icing to the cake! Us women can never do without makeup! You’ve come to the right place! Our Xishi Pavilion specializes in all kinds of lipsticks. Would you ladies care to take a look at the selection of products we have?”
We’ve come to the right place! Lipsticks store!
Women would always need a handbag, a pair of stilettos, the right lipstick, an elegant dress, and… a pack of Souermei… cough, cough…
Don’t you ever question why there isn’t a single store selling makeup of all kinds. Anyone who knows cosmetics would understand that there are easily at least five or six brands selling blushers, and that’s just products in respect of a particular skin type or tone. What do us gruff guys know? This is the reason why I’m still single… (TL: Oof… Poor author)
Lin Qingchen picked up a lipstick - her favourite 305 Pear Red with fine glitter. She brushed it on her hand, and immediately felt a divine light shine down on her.
Holy crap! This must be a match made in heaven!
Never underestimate the power of a lady on cosmetics once she has made up her mind.
“How much is this?!” “200 HL, thanks.”
Without saying a word, she pulled out her wallet and forked out the money. And then, she placed the lipstick in her bag, and then went on to test out the next one. Just like that, the entire cycle repeated itself several times for about an hour, until she had several tubes of lipstick in her bag. She was already leaning over the counter, grabbing her hair in frustration at her weakness to resist the allure of cosmetics.
ARRGGHHH… And this is just the first store! Who’s going to get me out of this place! I need to get going, but… but why aren’t my legs moving?!
I mean… just look at all those lipsticks staring at me with those charming, googly eyes!! How can I leave them in the lurch like this?!
“You’re still here?!” Just then, one of her friends rushed in and forcibly dragged her away from the display counters, “Go! We have to go!”
Lin Qingchen bade a tearful farewell to Xishi Pavilion and began to grumble, “Why are you dragging me away? I’m not done here yet…”
“What the hell are you doing looking at those lousy products?! You’re just wasting your youth here!!” Her friend tugged at her forcefully, “Come with me. Once you see this, you’ll never look back!”
What the hell?!
Lin Qingchen followed her along with a slight jog in their step. The more they ran, the more Yin spirits appeared right in front of her eyes, and the louder the clamor. Then, as soon as they dove right into the heart of the crowd, she saw it - a sprawling sign hung right in front of a massive storefront. At once, she screamed at the top of her voice, “AHHHHHH--!!!”
The name of the shop was none other than “Spring of the Great Ming”.
A large stele was placed right beside the entrance, on which was etched the floor plan of this store. From left to right, the first section of the store was named… Empress Xiao Cigao!
Beneath that section was a line of small text: “All cosmetics here come directly from the treasure trove of the Zhu Clan, and have been used by Empress Xiao Cigao back in the mortal realm.
But that wasn’t all! In fact, that was only the beginning!
The second section from the left… Imperial Consort Chengmu!
Third from the left: Imperial Consort Zhao!
Fourth from the left: Empress Xiaokang!
Fifth: Empress Ren Xiaowen!
Sixth: Imperial Consort Wang!
Seventh: Imperial Consort Zhang!
And the list went on. They screamed at the top of their voices, unable to express the shock in their hearts.
Was there any woman who didn’t dream of being an imperial consort?
Who cares about the global cosmetic brands so prevalent across the mortal realm right now? The fact that the netherworld was able to restore and recover the cosmetics used by the great beauties across history meant more to the ladies than anything else!
This was the power of marketing.
The female Yin spirits stared intently into the shop with bloodlust. Their hearts screamed with the primal desire to buy everything within the store. However, this store was far more noble and distant than any of the other stores they had seen. At the very least, the paper effigies here didn’t even care about receiving its guests.
Even then, the Yin spirits understood what this meant at once.
This was the luxury store of the netherworld. This was the kind of treatment they were used to back in the mortal realm.
Lin Qingchen couldn’t control her feet and drifted into the store. Likewise, several other female Yin spirits also mustered their courage and pushed open the door under the watchful eyes of the paper effigies within.
Bloody hell… Lin Qingchen held her tongue, because if she didn’t, she would have exploded with expletives right now.
“This is the cosmetics case of Imperial Consort Wan.” A paper effigy courteously introduced a delicate box in his hand. It was carved with the etching of two phoenixes dancing around a precious gemstone inlaid right in the middle of the palm-sized box, “To be more precise, this is the foundation that Imperial Consort Wan used to apply. You might wonder if the Ming Dynasty had such foundations to begin with? Let me assure you - there is.”
“During the Ming Dynasty, the consorts largely used two kinds of powder, one of which is more commonly known as pearl powder, while the other is more commonly known as jade powder. That said, these names are mostly misnomers, because pearl powder in fact refers to mirabilis flower, while the jade powder refers to the august lily powder. However, like I mentioned, these are only mostly misnomers, and this also means that there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, Imperial Consort Wan is different from others. Her pearl powder is made from real pearl, milled together with the pistils of handpicked mirabilis flowers. The pearls were also extremely precious, harvested from the southeastern seas of Cathay, and it contains no additives at all.”
“Next to these, you see the other eye makeup products and lip makeup used by Imperial Consort Wan. The entire series is known as ‘Cherry and Passion’. Please take your time…”
Lin Qingchen drew a deep breath, and then asked with a slight quiver in her voice, “How much does it cost?”
“The ‘Passion’ component costs 100,000 HL, while the ‘Cherry’ component costs 78,000 JL.” the humanoid paper effigy respectfully responded.
At once, Lin Qingchen’s lips parted.
Hang on a minute… Can you please say that again?!
“And this is already considered one of the cheaper products. The makeup of imperial consorts are further distinguished into two sub-categories, those for casual use, and those for formal use. Naturally, the makeup for formal use would be more expensive, and then followed by the makeup used by the empresses themselves. Take this set of cosmetics for instance. This is the makeup of Empress Ma, the ‘Fragrance of Piety’. It costs 1,080,000 HL, and we’ve got only 10 sets at present. Would you like to consider this instead?”
Consider my ass?!!
The average wages in Hell right now are no more than 3,000 HL, and you’re asking me to fork out 1,080,000 HL?! Do you think money grows on trees?!
Can’t you give me something more reasonable here?!Previous Chapter Next Chapter