"Die!!" Her response to Qin Ye was to send her countless strands of hair surging violently toward him like a flood of resentment and hatred.
Her expression had already become completely twisted, and her deathly pale and bloated face seemed to be on the verge of bursting. In fact, countless inky-black cracks had already appeared all over her face. She opened her black mouth as far as it would go and let loose a furious and deranged roar, releasing powerful soundwaves that shattered the floorboards and warped the very space itself, sending a flurry of wooden splinters exploding up into the air.
"Let... go..." Her voice was raspy and trembling with fury. "Let go!!"
With this ear-splitting screech, a deathly white arm that was riddled with patches of discoloration from livor mortis abruptly shot out of her chest, grabbing toward Qin Ye like lightning. Ryu Changmin took a deep breath as he condensed all of the Yin energy in his entire body with all his might, and right in the nick of time, an inky-black ripple of Yin energy proliferated through the air!
This was his special ability: Untouchable Love!
Boom! A sharp scream escaped from Ryu Changmin's mouth amid a resounding boom, and he was instantly sent flying several meters through the air before crashing heavily into the wall, where his tiny body slowly slid down onto the ground. Meanwhile, Chu Renmei's hand had been repelled back to its original position, but it then immediately shot forth again like a pouncing white viper, flying through the air with a loud bang.
The giant hand scraped along the ground, tearing a deep trench into the floorboards, but Qin Ye didn't even look at it as he made a hand seal with both hands. Hovering right in front of him was the soul that he had summoned, and it had its hands gripping its own head as if it were recollecting something. A painted moan escaped its lips, and it gently shook its head from side to side before abruptly raising its head and letting loose a blood-curdling howl!
Whoosh! Boundless Yin energy erupted out of his body, forming what was virtually a pillar of fire. Meanwhile, the giant hand was already no more than a meter away from Qin Ye, and the smell of rot and decay was wafting directly toward him.
At the same time, a rumbling thunderclap rang out in the sky, followed by the sound of countless things shattering. Immediately thereafter, the entire world turned a blinding white color, and even Qin Ye was forced to close his eyes, while Ryu Changmin didn't even dare to raise his head as he cowered in the corner.
There was no time for Qin Ye to think of anything; all he could do was feel... The burst of white light was filled with devastating power, and even the slightest contact with it would most likely instantly reduce him to dust.
The entire earthen building was trembling, and five seconds later, a shrill shriek rang out, and Qin Ye finally raised his head again. However, the sight that he was greeted by almost froze his soul solid.
A rift that was over a meter in length had already appeared above his head, as if a giant dragon had just descended from the heavens. Furthermore, there was a black hole that was over two meters in diameter in front of Qin Ye, and arcs of white lightning were flashing all around it. Across from him, Chu Renmei had already shot back in retreat with an alarmed screech, and she was staring intently at Qin Ye with her completely white eyes. Her body was trembling slightly, and her fury and wariness were being clearly displayed through her body language.
Time seemed to have fallen completely still in this instant, and Qin Ye brought his palms together, upon which all of the netherfire around the soul vanished to reveal an indistinct figure.
This was a thin middle-aged man with a dazed expression, wearing a long robe from the tail-end of the Qing Dynasty. He stared at his own hands with an astonished expression, and his lips moved a few times before he finally managed to squeeze out some words with difficulty. "I... Where am I..."
His voice seemed to have triggered something within Chu Renmei's heart, and the fury etched on her face became even more pronounced as she glowered at Qin Ye.
In that instant, the air temperature seemed to have plummeted below freezing point, and overwhelming killing intent surged out from all directions. Her killing intent had become so ferocious that it was as if it had taken on a substantial form, and immediately thereafter, her entire body turned black, transforming her into a pure black shadow.
Ryu Changmin faltered slightly upon seeing this before hurriedly yelling, "My Lord, this is her special ability! I'm sure her special ability must be extremely fearsome! She hasn't used it on any of the past occasions, and it's most likely because the ability is too powerful, so she's unable to just casually unleash it at will..."
"Don't worry." Qin Ye gave him a reassuring look before wagging a finger at Chu Renmei. "Don't blame me for not warning you. I don't know why you're so worked up right now, but I'm sure being struck by lightning is not a good feeling..."
The only response that he received was a burst of silent tremors.
The entire surrounding area had turned pitch-black, and the darkness seemed to have a life of its own, converging slowly toward Chu Renmei like a vast expanse of slithering snakes. Soon, a wave of absolute darkness had taken shape behind her, following which one deathly pale ghostly hand after another erupted out of the darkness like a series of columns, sending powerful Yin energy surging in all directions.
The lower halves of the arms were black, while the upper halves were white, and the black sections quickly transformed into a series of strange patterns that etched themselves onto the fingers and backs of the ghostly hands. Simultaneously, Chu Renmei's eyes turned a scarlet color for the very first time as she continued to glower at Qin Ye.
"You must die!"
All of a sudden, her mouth gaped open to over half a meter in size, allowing Qin Ye to clearly see the pitch-black teeth inside. With that thunderous roar, the ghostly hands on either side of her fell upon Qin Ye like countless guillotines.
However, no matter how fast her attacks were, there was no way they could outpace the speed of light.
Whoosh... Scintillating light flashed through the sky as arcs of white lightning began to wreak havoc among the dark clouds. All of the residents on the first floor of the earthen building rushed out of their houses to look up at the sky with stunned expressions. Right at this moment, the lightning that had been kept somewhat restrained within the clouds finally transformed into a pillar of silver light that crashed down directly toward the earthen building!
Its light illuminated what seemed like the entire world, basking the land in its silver radiance. All of the residents on the first floor let loose inhuman screeches as they frantically rushed back into their houses. However, the bolt of lightning completely ignored them and was aimed only at Chu Renmei on the second floor.
One bolt, two bolts... Lightning crashed down in a torrential downpour from the heavens like a series of white dragons soaring through the night.
Even though Qin Ye had already anticipated that this would happen, he was still forced into the corner by the violent lightning strikes. Only after a full five minutes had passed and he could sense that the divine might in the sky had faded did he cautiously reopen his eyes.
The room had been plunged into complete darkness once again.
Everything inside the room had already been reduced to dust, and there was a layer of black dust on the ground piling up to around two to three centimeters thick. The door and windows had been erased out of existence, but the talismans on the walls remained completely unscathed!
Chu Renmei was gone, but she most likely wasn't dead. Qin Ye stroked his own chin as he thought back to what had just happened. Just now, Chu Renmei had let loose her most blood-curdling shriek to date, and after that, she had disappeared.
"Even if she's not dead, there's no way she'll be able to obstruct me any further tonight."
Having been targeted by the wrath of divine lightning, she would've been severely injured at the very least.
However, before he even had a chance to heave a sigh of relief, his expression stiffened as he noticed that the soul he had summoned had turned almost completely transparent and was on the verge of dissipating!
Lightning was the paramount energy of righteousness between heaven and earth, and it was what Yin spirits feared the most. Even though the divine lightning hadn't directly targeted the soul, it had been situated in very close proximity to Chu Renmei, and as a result, it had not escaped unscathed.
This came as a complete surprise to Qin Ye, and he was rooted to the spot for half a second before hurriedly breaking the silence. "Are you Huang Jiansen? You still have 10 seconds left in this world at most. I'll ask you some questions, all you need to do is nod or shake your head, understood?"
There was no time left. If Huang Jiansen couldn't provide any useful leads to him in these final few seconds, then all of the leads that he had gathered thus far would snap off here.
The dazed soul blinked as a hint of reminiscence appeared in its eyes. "That's right... I am... Huang Jiansen..."
Qin Ye was just about to continue speaking when Huang Jiansen suddenly grabbed onto his own head and abruptly fell to his knees. The Yin energy within his body was surging uncontrollably as he said in a trembling voice, "Huang Jiansen... No... I am Bu Jiansen... I, I... I lived for over 1,200 years as a monster! ARRRGH!!"
His agonized howls echoed throughout the entire room, and all of the talismans on the walls were raised up at once. Qin Ye didn't have time to ponder what Huang Jiansen had just said as he grabbed him by the neck. "Are there any records of the events that took place during your lifetime? Does anyone know about these events? Also, how do I get to the third floor?"
Huang Jiansen's spiritual body was rapidly unraveling now, and he stared blankly at Qin Ye as a dazed smile suddenly appeared on his face. "You're an Emissary of Hell... Hehe... It sure is good... to be... alive..."
With those cryptic final words, his spiritual body completely dissipated.
Qin Ye remained completely still, maintaining the same pose he adopted while grabbing onto Huang Jiansen's neck, and only after a long while did he finally break the silence. "Fuck!!"
He swiped a hand through the air in an agitated manner. The lead pertaining to Huang Jiansen had been completely cut off, and he was the most important figure in the Huang Clan's earthen building. Also, what was that about his self-proclaimed name of Bu Jiansen? And why did he say that he had lived for over 1,200 years?
If Qin Ye's theory were correct, then there was no way that Huang Jiansen would've been able to die at all, so this was preposterous!
"If he's really eaten that thing, then there's no way the Huang Clan's earthen building would've been able to restrict him, and he wouldn't have been able to die, either... How could it be that he's not immortal but lived for over 1,200 years? It doesn't make sense!" He ran his hand through his own hair several times in a frustrated manner, then sat down onto the ground as he inspected his surroundings with an angry look in his eyes.
What could he do?
The only lead he had gathered was now lost. Would he have to begin searching again from the first floor? Was there really enough time for him to solve this mystery in the final day and a half left before the Cold Suit Festival?
Through the massive hole in the ceiling, he was able to see the sun in the sky, and the spot where he was sitting was like the only bright spot in the abyss as the sunlight illuminated him from above. He sat in silence as he stared up at the sky, and he was truly at a loss for what to do. 10 minutes passed... 15 minutes passed... 20 minutes later, he suddenly sprang to his feet!
"Go get me some rope and any metal tools you can find!"
Ryu Changmin cast his gaze toward the same direction that Qin Ye was looking in, focusing his attention on the giant hole in the ceiling as well. At this point, the dark clouds had already completely disappeared, revealing a bright blue sky. An enlightened look appeared on his face as he asked, "My Lord, are you going to climb up through that hole?"
Qin Ye nodded in response.
There were most likely no longer any leads on the first floor. If there were some leads still left to be discovered, then the residents on the first floor would've already informed him.
As such, he had to focus his attention on this building itself now.
This building harbored countless leads that were waiting to be uncovered. Through the memories of Tongtong on the second floor, he was able to see that a forced relocation had taken place here, and that was another piece of the puzzle. In that case, what else could be found on the third floor, or even the fourth floor?
The staircase was blocked by the laws of this place, but this hole had been smashed open by the laws themselves!
Qin Ye didn't know whether this hole would actually lead to the third floor, but it was his only path, and at the very least, as he stood below this giant hole, he wasn't struck by the same sense of peril as he did while attempting to scale the staircase. In any case, he had to give it a try.
Ryu Changmin quickly returned, carrying with him two metal rods and a large clump of metal wire. Qin Ye took the items from him, then smelted them under his netherfire, quickly creating a makeshift grappling hook.
It was a very basic three-claw grappling hook, but it was sure to be effective.
He swung the grappling hook around in a few circles before tossing it upward, upon which it managed to gain purchase around a section of wooden beam near the opening. Immediately thereafter, he injected his Yin energy into his Abyssal Prefect's token, and he squatted down like a hunting cheetah ready to pounce.
He didn't spring into action right away.
Five minutes, 10 minutes... Only after a full 13 minutes had passed did he abruptly exert force through the grappling hook while springing upward.
Crack! The wooden beam had been struck by lightning, and it just barely managed to hold on as it gave off a loud crack. Thankfully, the distance between the two floors wasn't very far, and within the span of a second, Qin Ye had already grabbed onto that wooden beam. He then used his core strength to sling himself up through the hole, and he encountered no obstruction during the process!
He heaved a long sigh of relief as he repressed the excitement that had welled up in his heart, then began to inspect the surrounding area.
Looking up from down below, the sunlight on the third floor was clear to see, but only after reaching the third floor did Qin Ye discover that the entire level was enshrouded in complete darkness with the exception of that beam of sunlight.
All of a sudden, Qin Ye's head abruptly swung around as he looked down at his own right hand with a startled expression.
A deathly pale hand had grabbed onto his right hand. The head was completely devoid of color, and its owner was a boy who appeared to be around 10 years of age with his head twisted 90 degrees to the side, running virtually directly perpendicular to the rest of his body.
He had no facial features, only black holes in the place of his eyes, nose, and ears, and he gripped onto Qin Ye's hand in silence as he continued to appraise Qin Ye with his head twisted to the side.
Behind him were at least several dozen children who also had their heads twisted to the side. They were all completely naked with deathly pale bodies that were riddled with livor mortis discoloration, and they were staring directly at the unwelcome intruder that was Qin Ye.Previous Chapter Next Chapter