Whoosh... Yin energy converged, and Qin Ye reappeared, but this time, he was already in another conference hall.
This conference hall was very small with a max capacity of 20 people, but the decor was more luxurious than that of the previous conference hall. All of the Ming-Dynasty-style taishi chairs in the hall were currently already occupied.
Lu Ban, Zu Chongzhi, Shang Yang, Li Chun... The entire panel of advisors were present, and as soon as Qin Ye and the others appeared, he nodded as he said, "Sorry to keep you waiting everyone. There's no need for formalities, please take a seat."
The hall was very quiet, and as soon as Qin Ye sat down, he asked, "General Zhao, will it really take even you and the Harken 20 years to complete construction in those four special areas?"
Zhao Yun nodded in response. "My Lord, it's not actually four special areas, but five instead. During the meeting, you only described the procedure through which Yin spirits enter the underworld, but another process is required for souls to leave the underworld as well."
Qin Ye's brows furrowed slightly upon hearing this. "A process to leave the underworld? Are you referring to the Naraka Bridge?"
The Harken nodded in response. "The assistance of Scholar Lu Ban and Scholar Li Chun will be required to complete these areas. Firstly, they'll have to sketch out a basic blueprint, and just like with normal construction projects, wooden and stone construction materials will be used to create the structure. However, the structure will only act as a vessel for the Yin runes that will be inscribed upon them, and these Yin runes will be the truly vital parts of these projects. Take the Naraka Bridge as an example. Each and every stone block used to construct the bridge will have a total of 81 Yin runes inscribed upon them. These Yin runes are independent, but once connected together, they would form an extremely complex array. On top of that, each stone block will be in contact with other stone blocks all around it, which means that each stone block will form an array with the stone blocks above it, below it, to the right, and to the left. The blueprint for these arrays have already been lost during the fall of the old Hell, so even we can only make it up as we go, assessing the effects of the Yin runes to see if we're progressing in the right direction."
Zhao Yun heaved a faint sigh. "This is going to be a massive project. There are tens of thousands of Yin runes out there and countless combinations in which these Yin runes can interact with one another. According to the Old Hell's Legacy, at the time, it had taken over 20 Yin rune masters and their 3,000 disciples 120 years to complete construction on the five special areas. We already know the functions of these special areas and we possess Yama-King level power, but it'll still be a tall order for us to reconstruct everything within 20 years."
Qin Ye also heaved a faint sigh as he nodded in response.
In the wake of the founding of a new dynasty, there were countless things that had to be done.
He also wanted to return Hell to the international stage right away, but there was no way he could do that with Hell in its current state.
The Cathayan Underworld needed time to return to its former glory. Once all of the major construction projects were completed, the Cathayan Underworld's population advantage would begin to shine through, and given sufficient time, the Cathayan Underworld would be sure to return to being a dominant force on the world stage.
Unfortunately, this wasn't a process that could be rushed.
A smile appeared on his face as he said, "Focus on what you need to do, I can handle things for 20 years."
His smile then faded as he continued, "I've invited everyone here today for two reasons. Firstly, the Yellow Springs is about to be released into our waterways at 10 AM tomorrow. Has everyone made the required preparations?"
There were some tasks that still couldn't be assigned to the provincial officials. After all, they hadn't been dead for long enough to know how to complete those tasks, so delegation was not an option.
Li Chun rose to his feet as he extended a respectful salute. "The preparations on my end are already complete. However, I must remind you that the Yellow Springs carries with it the power of heaven and earth. This power is so immense that even the second King Yanluo’s array won't be able to withstand it. The residual shockwaves released by this power will surge along the Yellow Springs and reach the entire East Continent, triggering massive infernal tsunamis at the outlets of Wuyang and Zhuzhou."
"How massive will the tsunamis be?"
Li Chun paused momentarily before replying, "The waves will reach at least 100 meters tall. On top of that, that's not all I'm worried about. We've studied the second King Yanluo's seal in the past, and it truly is a miraculous creation, the likes of which has never been seen before. However, its purpose is to keep out spirits."
Qin Ye's brows furrowed slightly as he pondered what Li Chun was trying to say, following which a hint of enlightenment appeared in his eyes. "So you're saying it'll be unable to keep out phenomena such as tsunamis?"
"That's right," Li Chun replied as he extended a respectful bow. "If it were possible, the Array of the Nine Gods would've separated the seas of the Cathayan Underworld into two areas, namely Hell's territorial waters and external waters. However, that isn't the case, so this tsunami will most likely attract attention from the entire world."
Qin Ye gave a slight nod in response. He understood what Li Chun was saying now. The Array of the Nine Gods was like a dome that sat over the entire Cathayan Underworld. However, this dome was insubstantial, and it could only prevent the entry and exit of spirits, but not keep out things like the sea.
"What do you think the other underworlds will make of the situation?" he asked as he turned to Zhao Yun and the Harken.
The Harken shook its head in response. "There's no way we can keep the activation of a divine artifact a secret. Once the kinetic energy of King Yanluo's Seal fills the entire Cathayan Underworld, even the Array of the Nine Gods will be affected to a certain extent. On top of that, Yu Kiang is still alive. When King Yanluo's Seal is activated, the six paths of reincarnation will be established at the same time, and there's no way that Yu Kiang will just resign itself to its fate. In any case, there are already countless suspicions directed toward the Cathayan Underworld, so it doesn't matter if we attract more attention."
A wry smile appeared on Qin Ye's face. "Indeed, what difference would one more instance of suspicious activity make at this point? However, the other underworlds will keep track of all of these signals, and over time, their waves of doubt and suspicion would eventually form a massive vortex."
This would lead the members of the four pillars and the underworlds wishing to secure a spot on the four pillars to investigate the true state of the Cathayan Underworld at all costs. Perhaps they would force Qin Ye's hand during the treaty on the non-proliferation of forbidden arts the following year, and once that happened, how many underworlds were going to side with the Cathayan Underworld?
This was a problem that had no solution, so Qin Ye had no intention of thinking about it any further. Instead, he changed the subject. "The second thing I wanted to discuss is... Does any one of you remember this symbol?"
A burst of Yin energy flew out of his fingertip, forming a peach blossom symbol in mid-air.
He knew that Zhao Yun had seen this symbol before, but what about everyone else?
Everyone looked at one another with clueless expressions, and in the end, even the Harken shook his head in response.
"I've seen it before," Zhao Yun replied in a grim voice.
"You've seen this thing? Where?" The Harken turned to Zhao Yun with a surprised expression.
Zhao Yun replied, "All of the Sixfold Ghost Kings were assigned a secret mission to kill all bearers of this peach blossom symbol on sight with no exceptions. It's never appeared inland and hasn't triggered any events. However, this was an order assigned directly by the second King Yanluo, and only the Sixfold Ghost Kings are aware of this."
Everyone else nodded in response with contemplative expressions.
Qin Ye said, "Seeing as this is an order from the second King Yanluo, then continue to carry it out. According to my knowledge, these things will only appear in coastal areas. Notify all of the coastal provinces to immediately report any sightings of this peach blossom insignia, and at the same time, they have the right to kill the subjects on sight without requesting permission."
He could completely understand the second King Yanluo's thought process.
This was a mysterious force that was hidden from the world, and even the second King Yanluo had been unable to track it down.
A united underworld doesn't need a potential thorn in its side lurking in the shadows. Seeing as they were intent on hiding, then Qin Ye was determined to hunt them down and kill them with the objective of wiping them all out or forcing them out of the Cathayan Underworld!
"Alright, that's all for today. Don't pay any heed to how the other underworlds are going to look at us. Some things must be set into motion, and King Yanluo's Seal will be unveiled at 10 AM sharp tomorrow morning." After that, Qin Ye vanished into a gust of Yin wind.
"This certainly isn't how I anticipated things to pan out..." A young Yin spirit was looking up at the night sky with a bored expression as he sat beside a row of barracks in the Province of Bod. "Our construction projects were the first to be completed, so why have we still not received permission to return to Everburn? I've already earned enough military accolades to buy a house in the Qin Gardens..."
"Who knows?" Another young Yin spirit was lying on the ground beside him, and he sighed, "In any case, they keep telling us to await further instructions. This place is even more tightly guarded than when we were in battle, but no one has told us what we're supposed to be doing here."
The young Yin spirit cast his gaze toward the side with mixed emotion in his eyes. "On top of that, no major battles have taken place here, and this is certainly not a renowned place. I really don't understand why we're constructing these things here. Is it just for looks?"
In the distance in the direction that he had cast his gaze toward, there stood a statue that extended all the way up into the clouds.
It was a statue of the second King Yanluo.
The statue depicted the second King Yanluo with a head of short hair, wearing a long robe and an expression that was both gallant and authoritative. His hands were clasped behind his back, and it was as if he were looking down on the entire world.
The statue was extremely lifelike and intricately crafted, and beside the statue's right foot was a deep trench.
The trench was extremely deep, extending around 300 to 400 meters deep into the earth, and it was over 10 kilometers wide! Standing on one side of the trench, the other side was too far to see, disappearing on the horizon.
Behind the trench was a giant hole that was close to 100 kilometers in size, and on the other side of the trench across from the statue of the second King Yanluo stood a statue of the first King Yanluo.
Both of the statues were around 500 to 600 meters tall with parts of their bodies fused into the mountains. They were standing on either side of the enormous trench, and looking at them from afar, it was as if they were a pair of guardians protecting the gigantic trench.
Ever since the Province of Bod was conquered, Yin Construction had immediately begun this construction project without even securing approval from the relevant government departments. Everyone could see the two giant statues of the former King Yanluos carved out of the sides of the two mountains, but no one had any idea what purpose these two statues were supposed to serve.
Along either side of the trench were military barracks stretching for hundreds of meters, and one inky-black Qin flag after another was flapping in the wind. Every night, bright netherflames would be ignited at the feet of the two statues, illuminating them and giving them the appearance of a pair of almighty fiend celestials, and they had already become the most prominent spectacle on these grasslands.
Right at this moment, they suddenly heard... something different.
The young man lying on the ground immediately sat bolt upright as his eyes abruptly sprang open, and he turned to inspect his surroundings with a stunned expression. Initially, it was only a faint sound, but the sound was growing louder and louder at an alarming rate. Before they knew it, it had already crescendoed into thunderous rumbling!
It was... the sound of flowing water!
However, it was different from the normal sound of flowing water. Instead, it was like the sound of a tsunami, as if a fearsome natural disaster were rapidly approaching them!
"What's going on?" The two of them looked around with dazed expressions. Where was the water coming from?
Such a loud commotion had naturally already alerted the soldiers on either side of the trench, and countless soldiers immediately rushed out of their barracks to appraise the trench with perplexed and nervous expressions.
Heaven and earth were quaking violently, and in the next instant, boundless Yin energy converged toward the area between the pair of giant statues in a frenzy, forming a gargantuan black hole that was over 10 kilometers in size within the span of mere minutes!
"My god..." The commander of the soldiers looked on with an astonished expression. The thunderous rumbling echoing throughout the entire area and the colossal black hole taking shape between the pair of massive statues presented a doomsday-like scene, and everyone was struck by a sense of asphyxiation in the face of their fear of the unknown.
Whoosh... A burst of golden light appeared at the center of the black hole like the morning sun, releasing its golden radiance throughout heaven and earth.
The resplendent golden light then formed shockwaves that proliferated outward in ripples, instantly spreading through an area with a radius of several kilometers. The golden radiance then transformed into countless specks of golden light that rained down from the heavens like a divine miracle, and all of the Yin soldiers were completely rooted to the spot.
Unbeknownst to them, the exact same scene was unfolding at 17 different sites that were identical to theirs across the Cathayan Underworld!
Within this sea of golden light, a projection of a giant golden seal appeared at the center of the black hole. The projection had countless Yin runes flashing around it, and it resembled a rising sun, or a bright moon in the night.
This was Hell's paramount divine artifact, the creation-grade divine artifact, King Yanluo's Seal, and after an absence of over a century, it had finally returned to the Cathayan Underworld!Previous Chapter Next Chapter