In fact, it was so tempting that even the middle-aged and elderly people in the room nearly couldn’t resist the urge to sign up. They could all tell that the conscription order was also to suss out potential leaders. And this naturally meant that the first bigwigs of the military world in Hell would make their grand entrance in the upcoming battle.
“You’d best drop any thoughts you have about this.” The leader of the group immediately retracted his gaze, “Don’t you forget that we’re still fighting melee battles in Hell, and there are bound to be casualties during the upcoming war. This old bag of bones here doesn’t want to get involved in something that I’m already disadvantaged in.”
But unlike him, the news instantly caused a stir in the younger generation in Hell.
“A war for unification?! Can we actually participate in that?” “Sign up! We’ve got to sign up for this! How much have I longed to be propelled into instant fame and stardom!” “This is the only shot we’ve got. Dangerous? I don’t think so. Didn’t you see those big names that would be standing behind us? Zhao Zilong! The Harken!” “With these guys leading us, sure, there might still be a handful of casualties, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be one of them!”
The draft would commence in a week’s time.
Pairs of gleaming eyes couldn’t help but glance at the Mythic Palace of Reflections. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Anyone who fit the qualification requirements and felt moved by the news would never be able to resist the temptation of being conscripted!
Qin Ye was naturally unaware of the stir he had caused.
His combination punch had stirred Hell into great vigor once more. However, there was still something he had to do.
Back on the 5th floor of the city tower. Qin Ye sat in the main seat of the conference room, flanked by the Harken and Zhao Yun. The seats below were occupied by Shang Yang at the head of the table, followed by Yin spirits who used to be provincial level leaders of the mortal realm. All eyes fell on a stack of documents before them.
Everyone was a little bit tired right now. Two months had passed since the Great Sale. And over the last two months, the same group of people had been meeting in the same conference room everyday, with their efforts finally culminating in the stack of documents before them.
“Well, then, let’s put it to a vote.” Qin Ye sighed softly and rubbed his slightly puffy eyes, “We’ve already thought about everything we could possibly think of. Just like the mortal realm, we’ve got our own team of legal advisers. However, the circumstances here are clearly different from the mortal realm, so General Zhao and the Harken have also made some alterations. It may not be perfect, but I believe this is the best we can achieve right now. We’ll check back in on the gaps and plug them if any problems surface later.”
Nobody said a word. Wang Chenghao stood up, “Those who agree with the passing of the first iteration of Hell’s Constitution, please raise your hands.”
Whoosh. At once, all hands were raised high into the sky.
This was a magnum opus that they had all worked on together, spending copious amounts of time, effort and energy. It only stood to reason that nobody disagreed at the eleventh hour.
“28 votes. Unanimously approved.”
Qin Ye stood up and applauded, “Then, I hereby announce that the first legislation of Hell, Hell’s Constitution, is now in force.”
“It covers 42 aspects, ranging from the humanities, to people’s livelihood, the arts, the military, and so on and so forth. Everyone… Thanks for all your hard work.” He bowed deeply, and then straightened up once more, “That said, allow me to say one final thing.”
“Nobody is above the law in Hell.” He swept a sharp gaze across the entire room, “The law is not to be desecrated!”
“Unlike the mortal realm, we live under the rule of law! We’ll leave the implications of that to be discussed at another time, but in essence, if anyone is caught violating the law, or acting complicit with an offender, I will take it upon myself to send him down to where Crow Tengu resides right now!”
Every Yin spirit in the room nodded gravely. Then, Qin Ye turned to Shang Yang, “Soon, we will be establishing the first court of Hell. Mr Shang will be appointed as the president of the court. And to that end, I now declare that the name of the first court shall be the Yang Court. Each of your names, as well as the names of those who have in some way or other contributed to Hell’s compilation of laws, will have your likeness etched onto a mural at the entrance to the Court, so that all future generations know who their forefathers are!”
Shang Yang was so excited that the netherflames in his eyes instantly surged and soared three meters high!
“Thank you, Your Excellency!” His legs went weak, but he wasn’t quite used to the notion of kneeling. Thus, he simply added with a hoarse voice, “I shall give it my all to ensure that the Yang Court lives up to its name!”
As a legal practitioner, his greatest wish was to use his knowledge for his nation. And now… he’d finally done it!
His name and his likeness will forever be etched into the mural of Hell’s first court of law, the Yang Court! And he would be appointed as the president of the high court of Hell, representing the highest order of the court!
Wait till Wu Daozi, Li Chun and Zu Chongzhi learn of this… They’d go mad! No… I’ve got to personally break the news to them later…
The rest of the Yin spirits in the room also nodded with joy, applauding in celebration of both the first piece of legislature and in joy of what they’d managed to achieve. They would soon be known as the lawmakers of the nation. Had it not been for the fact that Hell was in its infancy right now, how could they possibly have had such honour to their name?
Qin Ye nodded. He had his own reasons for appointing Shang Yang over any of the other scholars. After all, Shang Yang was the most stringent and unwavering of the scholars. His appointment here would be tantamount to a signal to the rest of Hell that the law would be strictly enforced, and anyone who breaks the law shall face the fullest extent of the law.
Things were going to be different from the mortal realm, where corruption ran rife.
Hell was the last bastion of hope for fairness and justice.
“May I ask Lord Qin for a favour to bestow the Yang Court with a couplet.” Shang Yang asked with great sincerity.
Qin Ye thought for a moment, and then waved his hand. At once, a couplet appeared in the air.
Darkness casts no shadows over the eyes of the gods.
The guilty heart fears no man but Hell.
“Excellent. I propose to make a shortlist of the candidates to be appointed to the Yang Court shortly. May Lord Qin grant me the latitude to make a selection of my own discretion!”
“Granted.” Qin Ye smiled. Just then, Zhao Yun suddenly interjected, “Truth be told, Mr Shang doesn’t have to feel too rushed in this regard. We will be implementing the plans in due course, but the court still cannot be formed right now.”
Zhao Yun responded placidly, “The Judgment Pen.”
“There are three divine weapons of Hell, of which we’ve only managed to secure the Book of LIfe and Death. King Yanluo’s Seal will naturally return to us over the course of the war of unification. Meanwhile, the Judgment Pen… is the source of law in Hell. It has the authority to sentence a wrongdoer, banish a Yin spirit to a specific locality, punish him in a certain Abyssal Court, or even order him to be reincarnated. Unfortunately, it’s only with the return of the Judgment Pen that we can build correctional facilities, prisons, and so on and so forth.”
Shang Yang paused, and then sighed, “It was I who had gotten ahead of myself. But if memory serves me well, doesn’t the recovery of two divine artifacts naturally point us to the third one?”
“That’s right.” Zhao Yun turned back to Qin Ye and bowed deeply to him, “Therefore, the war for unification is imperative! I urge King Yanluo to send troops as soon as Hell can afford to, so that peace and order can be restored to Hell at the earliest possible time!”
“It’s not long now…” Qin Ye smiled, “It wouldn’t take more than a year. And at that time, everyone will hear the cry of Hell. Everyone will be acquainted with the words - By Hell’s Dictum, all rabble shall disperse!”
“And at that time, let’s see if there be any evil ghost so bold as to act insolently under our charge!”
Yan Capital. Night time.
This was an ordinary building constructed in the archetypical nineties fashion. The tiles were yellowish, while the roof was red. The building was situated in a secluded location, and there were only eight floors to the building, but it was part of a series of over a dozen buildings that formed an entire compound. That said, what was most peculiar about this development were the abundance of parking lots around it.
And it could only be described as abundant because… it easily spanned 10,000 meters from end to end. It was impossible to find another place quite like this located in the outskirts of Yan Capital.
Moreover, the license plates of the vehicles parked here indicated that people came and went from every part of Cathay. Furthermore, the rural compound was still bustling with activity, even at 9.00 p.m. The entire compound was also brightly lit. In fact, there were even people of all nationalities coming and going from this compound.
An old wooden sign hung at the entrance of the building, with large golden words etched onto its surface in broad, calligraphic strokes.
Special Investigations Department Headquarters.
“Sir, may I know how long it is until my turn?” A man spoke in fluent Cathayan, “I’ve already been waiting here for three hours now…”
“Apologies.” An investigator dressed in an ancient Cathayan tunic glanced at the records before him, “There are still three envoys before you in the queue. We prioritize meetings based on the grade of your agenda. Unfortunately, your agenda is designated a C grade agenda, while the ones ahead of you are all C+ grade agendas.”
Just then, the automated door opened and quickly shut discreetly. Nobody noticed anything amiss.
At least, nobody, apart from Director Lei.
His office was rather large, and there were many surveillance screens located at the side of his table. He paused as soon as the automated door opened, and immediately glanced at the surveillance screen in consternation.
And there, he saw copious amounts of Yin energy pouring into the building, forming a vortex of Yin energy from which a human figure stepped out. Moments later, he stepped straight through one of the investigators in the building and made a beeline for the top of the building.
This is… His eyes narrowed slightly, and then he immediately picked up his phone, “Have the people in the vicinity of my office stand down for the moment… No particular reason. This is an order.”
After putting down the phone, he stood up, pulled out a container of tea leaves, brewed some tea, and then poured out two cups of tea. Then, he waited.
One minute… two minutes… three minutes… Finally, the door opened softly, and then quickly shut itself again. Qin Ye’s appearance coalesced out of nowhere, and he stepped out of the void, “Director Lei, pleased to make an acquaintance.”
“Actually, this isn’t the first time we’ve met. We’ve met earlier in the Yin Mountains, but you didn’t recognize me back then.” Lei Jun stood up and reached out his hand, “Director of the Special Investigations Department, Lei Jun, peak Abyssal Prefect.”
Qin Ye took his seat and took a sip of the tea that had already been poured out, “Good tea.”
“It’s a reserve selection. Feel free to take some with you if you like.” Lei Jun picked up his teacup and looked Qin Ye in the eye, “Is there a reason why Prefect Qin has called upon my office this late at night?”
Qin Ye set down his teacup and leaned back into his seat, “The supernatural disaster will be over in five years.”
Lei Jun’s eyes lit up abruptly.
His heart thumped wildly. He didn’t know if it was just a coincidence that Qin Ye was always fronting the communications between Hell and the mortal realm, but it almost felt as though Qin Ye was a spokesperson for Hell. Meanwhile, the mortal realm had always been hoping for an indication from Hell, but Hell had always remained silent in that regard.
But now… Hell had finally made a commitment!
Five years. The next five years were going to be the last five years of their prolonged supernatural disaster. Countless lives were lost to these unspeakable terrors with each night that passed, but this protracted nightmare of theirs was finally coming to an end.
Lei Jun no longer thought about the number of investigators who had perished in the line of duty. He no longer looked into the files of ordinary mortals who perished as victims to the supernatural incidents in the mortal realm. Instead, he simply gazed intently at Qin Ye, “Is this… Hell’s resolve?”
“The time has come for that.” Qin Ye responded directly to the question, “Today, Hell has finally issued a conscription order, and it will be training its Yin soldiers for the next year in preparation to march for the unification of the Cathayan Underworld. By our calculations, Hell will be able to reclaim all of its lost lands within the next five years!”
“What do you need us to do?”
“Support us.” Qin Ye responded in a deep voice, “I’ve informed one of the top brass in Cathay’s government once that Hell needs to enter into talks with the mortal realm. Hell already has the might to control the nation. However, it still wouldn’t be able to prevent every single Yin spirit from fleeing to the mortal realm as things stand right now. Frontiers need cities as nodes of control, and that means satellite cities need to be built. Unfortunately, Hell only has two cities under its control right now, which means we have no capacity to build our own cities just yet.”
“We need the mortal realm’s cooperation if we are to prevent the supernatural plague from spreading in the mortal realm once more.”
“Is this a threat?”
“No. I’m proposing a mutually beneficial relationship. After all, I’m sure you’ve come to thoroughly realize that Yin and Yang are two sides of the same coin.” Qin Ye leaned back and crossed his legs, “Give us the support that we need, and we’ll show you how the real Yin soldiers quell the supernatural uprising. There wouldn’t even be a need for you to mobilize even a soldier on your end.”
Lei Jun drew a deep breath.
He stood up and began to pace about in front of the table. He felt his chest burning with longing, and his throat parched from the gravity of Qin Ye’s words.
He understood that the end of the supernatural disaster would also spell the end of the Special Investigations Department propulsion into the spotlight. With that, they would once again fade into the background. Investigators and cultivators would fade away into obscurity, protecting the various provinces and cities of the mortal realm just like how they’ve always done throughout the course of history.
But… What does that matter in the face of national stability?
How could one call this place home when everything was in turmoil?
“When do you expect to enter into these talks?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter