Roar!! The giant tortoise let loose a thunderous roar as an enormous amount of Yin energy gushed out of its wounds, but it couldn't pay any heed to those injuries and frantically attempted to flee.
The monster was at least 20 meters tall and over 60 meters in length, and everything in its way was sent flying. A massive trench was being dug into the ground in its wake as it fled for its life, and it was screeching as if it had gone mad. To the astonishment of the spectating Yin spirits, a horrified look had appeared on its hideous face.
No one said anything.
This scene was simply far too astonishing to them, so much so that they were completely speechless. They could only passively observe, and it was as if they were watching a dream unfold.
Behind the giant tortoise, countless black-armored soldiers flooded out of the forest, and the ever-so-familiar red-star flag was billowing in the wind. At the very forefront of the soldiers was a gallant figure riding a heavily armored skeletal war horse. His red cape had been flung up to the point that it was virtually vertical, and his spear was dragging up a stream of netherfire like a waterfall along the ground as he charged directly toward the monster!
He's gone insane... The same thought emerged in the minds of all of the Yin spirits. However, in the next instant, the rider abruptly vanished, leaving a trail of afterimages in his wake, and when he reappeared, he was already situated in front of the monster.
The giant tortoise's eyes widened before quickly becoming bloodshot as it stared intently at the person standing in its way. It then opened its mouth as if it were about to roar or attack, but in the next instant, it suddenly disintegrated into Yin energy.
All of the patrolling Yin spirits looked on in a slack-jawed manner. The giant tortoise monster that had slaughtered thousands of their brethren had died just like that?
All it had taken was a single attack!
Due to the enormous size of the giant tortoise, its carcass disintegrated into a vast expanse of Yin energy which was swept up by the wind, forming a turbulent sea of clouds that also resembled an inky-black veil that concealed the unknown. In the next instant, the Yin spirits discovered that a figure was making its way out of the sea of clouds and striding directly toward them.
The figure was walking in a very slow and leisurely fashion, but somehow, each stride that it took seemed to span a vast distance.
The skeletal war horse had only taken a few steps before reaching the Yin spirits, all of whom involuntarily knelt down as their legs gave out from under them.
They simply weren't even on the same level...
They didn't know who these people were or where they had come from, but they had armor, cape, and flags, and they were definitely trained warriors!
The weapons that they were wielding included the likes of sabers, spears, swords, and halberds, all of which the Yin spirits could only dream of. Their formation was more organized and well-kept than the Yin spirits could ever match, and their armor was a life-saving treasure that the Yin spirits could only look up to. There was an overwhelming disparity in their level of development, and they felt much like humans looking on in awe and admiration of alien technology. A super civilization had arrived, one that they couldn't even begin to muster up the urge to oppose.
Whoosh... The Courage of Dragons Silver Spear was directed toward the cowering and trembling Yin spirits, and Zhao Yun asked, "What is this place?"
Countless Yin Soldiers advanced behind him, and their boots were clanging onto the ground in perfect synchronicity. On the way, they had already fought several monarch beasts. Trials of blood and fire had allowed this army to complete its evolution, and their synchronized footsteps carried an air of purpose and iron-clad determination; each and every step seemed to be resounding deep in the hearts of these Yin spirits.
And that wasn't even to mention the sea of Yin energy from the slain monarch beast that was surging through the air behind Zhao Yun. Tens of thousands of specks of golden netherflames were glowing faintly within the vast expanse of Yin energy, and none of the Yin spirits dared to speak to such a superior being.
"If I don't receive an answer in five seconds, the West Vanquishing Army of Hell will regard you as rebels and eradicate your settlement."
West Vanquishing Army?!
The Yin spirits who had just lowered their heads instantly raised them again as they looked on with incredulous expressions.
However, they then lowered their heads in fear and inferiority once again upon witnessing the morning sun and the stunning spectacle of the mighty army before them.
"Th, this is Deadsend City!" Uncle Liu mustered up all of his courage as he said, "We... we are only residents of this settlement! We have no intention of rebelling! Everyone, lay down your weapons! Hurry!"
Everyone faltered slightly before immediately dropping their wooden spears. Normally, they would cling doggedly to their spears whenever they emerged from their caves as those spears were the only weapons that they had.
However, those same spears were currently being dropped like hot potatoes, and if anything, everyone was wishing that they had never brought the spears in the first place.
After dropping their spears, everyone immediately knelt down again before pressing their heads against the ground.
Clack, clack... The surrounding Yin Soldiers of Hell were marching along in an extremely rhythmic fashion, and with each row that passed by the Yin spirits, they would all shudder ever-so-slightly. The palpable killing intent radiating from these Yin Soldiers struck instinctive fear into their hearts. In the face of this formidable army, their patrol squads were nothing more than circus acts.
The difference really is night and day... This very same thought occurred to all of the Yin spirits as they cowered and trembled on the ground.
After a long while, just as they were becoming numb to everything, the voice of the general rang out again. "You can stand up now."
They didn't stand; they didn't dare.
All they dared to do was tentatively raise their heads.
They were surrounded by menacing Yin Soldiers in all directions, and the light of the netherfire that reflected off their inky-black armor seemed capable of sucking away one's soul. The spears that they were holding were giving off a cold and forbidding aura, and directly in front of the Yin spirits stood an ornately constructed chariot, within which a black-armored young man with a head of short hair was appraising them in an intrigued manner.
"Lord Qin." Zhao Yun bowed as he cupped his fist, and there was a hint of excitement even in his voice. "There's most likely a city here. They're clearly patrolling the area with several Yin spirits in each group. Only an organized settlement will have patrol squads like this, and the population of this settlement is likely to be quite high."
Qin Ye appraised the Yin spirits before him with a meaningful look in his eyes, and he was also just as excited. In his eyes, following the collapse of Hell, the entire nation would become a series of warring states. However, as a particularly powerful fief lord, he was able to lash out at the entire nation before the warring states truly took shape.
It wasn't that he hadn't considered the existence of other settlements, and he was genuinely excited and intrigued to be encountering one now.
"Tell me the name of your city, your population, who your leader is, and why you're here," Qin Ye instructed as he rested his right cheek on his fist while accepting a cup of tea.
All of the Yin spirits' eyelids twitched slightly, not because of the manner in which they were being spoken to, but because they were seeing a teacup!
What an incredibly ornate piece of chinaware! The patterns on it were so perfect; this was something that they hadn't seen in over a decade! Furthermore, there was actually tea in the cup!
These were all things that the Yin spirits could only dream of, and they couldn't even begin to imagine just how well developed this nation was!
"Don't worry." Seeing as no one was replying, Qin Ye gracefully adjusted his seating posture, and consoled, "This is Hell's crusade to unify the land. Due to some reasons, the old Hell administration is no longer in power, and now that the new Hell administration is in power, the war of unification has officially begun. All Yin spirits of the Cathayan Underworld are citizens of Hell, and I have no interest in slaughtering the innocent. Come, stand up and take a seat."
Stools were immediately brought out by the Yin Soldiers, but none of the Yin spirits dared to sit; only after receiving a threatening glare from Zhao Yun did they finally sit down in an uneasy manner.
Perhaps Qin Ye's reassuring words had instilled him with immense confidence, or the sight of that cup of tea had ignited Uncle Liu's yearning for a better life. In any case, he mustered up his courage and took a deep breath as he gritted his teeth before replying in a respectful manner, "This place is known as Deadsend City. This is the Hukou Waterfall, and along the two banks of the yellow river, you'll occasionally be able to see some caves that are around one to two meters in size. Those caves are known as Deadsend Caves. In the past, the elderly would be placed into those caves and given three days' worth of food, then left to fend for themselves, and that's where the name of this city came from."
So this really is a city... Qin Ye did his best to repress his excitement. They had encountered their first unforeseen settlement at Hukou Waterfall; had Arthis also encountered similar settlements? What about Oda Nobunaga?
How many cities like Deadsend City existed throughout the entirety of Cathay?
Would they be willing to surrender themselves under the banner of unification or resist with all their might?
Having lived in the human world for so long, he was well aware that improvements in quality of life didn't necessarily ensure peace and unity. Power was like a drug, and some were determined to pursue it at all costs.
However, I'm going to be the one to rise to the top!
Qin Ye nodded as a gesture for Uncle Liu to continue, and encouraged by this gesture, Uncle Liu gulped nervously before continuing, "There is a massive crack at the foot of the Hukou Waterfall, and at the time, we were all unwittingly drawn here by the pure aura within the crack. There were too many of us to count; I'm sure there were at least 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 of us. On top of that, we all came from different time periods, and by the time we got there, there were already some people present."
Qin Ye didn't refute Uncle Liu's use of the word "people". Currently, they were a settlement of uneducated individuals, and they would just have to be slowly educated in the future. What was most important now was to learn the stance that Deadsend City held.
A city of 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 Yin spirits was definitely a major city, and it already had the scale and foundation of a city, so he didn't want to destroy this place.
"There were some wearing clothes from the period of the republic of Cathay, there were some wearing clothes from the period of the war of resistance against Japan, there were some wearing clothes from the ‘50s and ‘60s; there were people from all time periods. Our president is a 72-year-old woman by the name of Li Lanzhi, and during her lifetime, she had once been the vice-governor of the West Shan Province, so she was elected to be our president."
He's too nervous... Qin Ye took a glance at him. Just a single glance would be enough for him to make a general assessment of the situation, so there was no need to ask too many questions. In any case, these low-level Yin spirits wouldn't know much anyway.
"It looks like you're not exactly thriving here. Haven't you tried to travel toward the east?" Qin Ye asked.
"Esteemed leader!" Right at this moment, a young Yin spirit abruptly raised his head with an earnest expression, and said, "We did do that! We sent out over 1,000 scouts, but... but only 12 of them returned two years later, and they brought back the news that we are the only settlement in a radius of several hundred kilometers! We had no idea that Hell actually existed, and we're constantly talking about how we were all fooled by unfounded myths! We had no idea that Hell is completely different from our settlement!"
Qin Ye nodded in response before looking around at the Yin Soldiers present. "Who's willing to go?"
"I am!" As soon as Qin Ye's voice trailed off, around a dozen Yin Soldiers stepped forward and cupped their fists as they heeded his call.
Uncle Liu gulped nervously as he asked in a trembling voice, "Esteemed leader, may... may I ask what it is you plan to do?"
"The war of unification is an unstoppable and inevitable force." Qin Ye's smile faded as he rose to his feet, gently sweeping his cape aside like a pair of scarlet wings before entering the chariot. "Regardless of whether Li Lanzhi is willing to yield, Deadsend City will become a part of the unified Hell. If she's willing to comply, then this will be a wonderful and gentle process. If she resists, then the process will be a lot more violent."
"Esteemed leader!" Uncle Liu's voice was trembling as he cautioned, "Due to its close proximity with that giant tortoise monster, Deadsend City has a standing army of over 300,000!"
Qin Ye completely ignored him as he gently closed the chariot's door, while one of the Yin Soldiers that had just stepped forward chuckled, "You may not like to hear this, but if you want to hear the truth, no power is a match for Hell's military force. Any powers that dare to resist will only be stomped into the dust by our ironclad steeds!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter