Qin Ye didn’t do anything. He was still pretty much a newcomer when it came to dealing with evil ghosts. To date, Cao Youdao was the only Hunter-class ghost he had dealt with. Thus, he was curious about the different kinds of behavior and idiosyncrasies other evil ghosts would exhibit.
One second. Two seconds. Three seconds.
The high heels remained rooted to the ground.
Then, on the fourth second.
Almost as though he had realized something, Qin Ye lifted his head abruptly.
Under the dim glow of the light above, Qin Ye saw a fat lady with unkempt hair and a gnarly expression peeking at him just over the cubicle door!
Had he been an ordinary person, his heart would have stopped at this very instant!
A hand could barely be seen holding up the fat lady’s head. As soon as the lady locked eyes with Qin Ye, her lips immediately curled into a horrific smile, “I’ve… found… you!!”
Her expression was incredibly twisted, almost as though someone had hastily and haphazardly stitched together a ragdoll.
In the very next moment, Old Huang transformed into a menacing bolt and charged straight at the door before Qin Ye could react with his demonhead saber.
There was a loud bang, and the door was instantly shattered into pieces. Just outside the door, a headless corpse wearing a nurse’s uniform and high heels, and carrying an old tape recorder in one hand and her own head in the other, was smashed back against the wall by a powerful cleave from Qin Ye’s saber.
“Bloody hell, that scared the baby!” Qin Ye barked furiously as he chained another backhanded slash, “Didn’t your mother ever tell you to be a good ghost?!”
‘It’s not your fault that you’re ugly, but who’s going to bear the responsibility when you go about scaring all these innocent little flowers and plants?!”
With yet another loud bang, the nurse was smashed back against the wall once more. The battering of her smallish frame had left cracks in the wall, and blood-stained pieces of the wall began to crumble to the ground.
“You… aren’t behaving yourself…” However, the nurse didn’t seem to notice anything amiss. Her scarlet eyes were locked on Qin Ye, and she roared and charged at Qin Ye once more, lifting her head by the hair and smashing it down mightily as though it were a meteor hammer, “No food for you tonight!!”
“Eh? You don’t seem to have any respect for Hell’s Emissaries at all. Are all you indigenous wild ghosts like that?” Qin Ye raised his saber and blocked the hurtling head. The head screamed as though a needle had pricked it as it ricocheted back. Just then, the nurse’s nails lengthened considerably. She hunched her back, and immediately shot forward again like a cheetah.
Fast. Like a gust of wind, she shot through the air with a soft, muffled whoosh. In the very next moment, she unleashed a relentless barrage of clawing attacks on Qin Ye.
“Interesting.” Qin Ye smirked, and he responded with a swift blade dance that instantly enveloped himself within a silver sphere of light. Dang dang dang!! The sound of clashing metal rang out incessantly. Several gashes appeared on the walls and ground around him, each of which were several inches deep. However, the silver sphere of light was like an absolute defense. No matter how hard the nurse tried, she wasn’t able to gain any ground at all.
“You’ve clearly just become a Soul Hunter. You don’t even know the extent of your own abilities.” After watching for about ten seconds, Arthis yawned and remarked, “What are you waiting for? Hurry up and finish her off. You’re a natural counter to all evil ghosts of the same level as you. An absolute form of suppression. Is there any meaning in playing with your food for such a long time?”
Qin Ye shrugged his shoulders, and the light of his gleaming blade changed in an instant. If his moves before were likened to a torrential storm, then his present move could only be described as a terrifying dragon rising out from the sea. With a loud cracking sound, the nurse’s ink-black nails were shattered, inch by inch. She screamed as she retreated while furiously flailing her right hand about in front of her. But even then, she refused to release the old tape recorder in her left hand.
One advanced, while the other retreated. The bathroom wasn’t a large place. Within seconds, a heart-rending scream reverberated through the corners of the bathroom. A pale, white right hand flew into the sky, while the demonhead saber pointed straight at the tip of the nurse’s nose.
In the next second, a flash of blade light shone brightly, and the demonhead saber swung downwards!
SSSSSSS!!! The evil ghost let out a loud, miserable scream. An immense amount of Yin energy burst forth from the tip of the demonhead saber and pierced through the skull of the nurse. Then, just as the demonhead saber was about to plunge straight through the evil ghost, a melodious music suddenly began to play.
“Flowing silk sweeps freely through the courtyard… its ripples carry with it the vigor of spring. Stop for a while, and adjust the floral ornaments… Immerse yourself in the blossoms, conceal your face, and lean into the rosy rolling clouds…”
It was a Kunqu operatic tune.
The evil nurse ghost had at some point in time clicked on a button of the tape recorder in her left hand. With the soft rustle of an old tape recorder, a shrill lady’s voice began to resound through the bathroom.
Buzz… As soon as the music began to play, Qin Ye immediately felt his ears ringing and the world around him began to spin violently. He groaned and collapsed to the ground.
“This is…” He felt like the heavens and the earth around him were spinning madly, almost as though the spinning cups ride in the amusement parks were on overdrive. His legs trembled. However, he had never for a single moment taken his mind off the battle before him. He tightened the grip in his right hand, only to belatedly discover that he had already inadvertently released the hilt of the demonhead saber a little while ago.
This was the first reaction in his mind. He immediately retreated, with his right hand clutching at his chest, and his left hand holding his head. The only sound he could hear right now was the evil ghost’s shriek that boomed through the air!
An unexpected failure… Qin Ye chuckled bitterly. He already knew what the tape recorder was.
A Yin artifact…
And its quality was no lower than Cao Youdao’s rosary of human skulls to boot. After all, the tape recorder was able to launch a peculiar sound wave attack that was practically impossible to defend against.
His ears continued to ring and buzz. But just then, he heard an infuriated woof. Amidst the spinning world around him, he saw a dark figure fly through the air like a bolt and crash straight into the nurse. With a click, the music came to an abrupt end.
Ssss!!! The evil ghost hissed madly, but the world around Qin Ye had finally stopped spinning. As soon as he regained clarity of mind, he immediately hunched his back and shot forward like a loosened arrow, retrieving his demonhead saber in just an instant before plunging it straight into the nurse’s skull in the very next moment.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!” The tape recorder fell to the ground with a dull clack. The nurse clutched at her head as she screamed in disbelief. The tip of the saber had plunged straight through her bones, reducing her to a sea of dense Yin energy amidst her blood-curdling screams.
Qin Ye shook his head and finally heaved a sigh of relief.
As far as he could tell, Old Huang had picked up the tape recorder in its mouth and was wagging its tail at Qin Ye in an inviting fashion.
“He’s bitten off her arm.” Arthis muttered, “The quality of this Yin artifact is pretty good. I think we’re talking about 60,000 merit points here. Even if we don’t locate the thirty million Yin presence this time, I think you can call this expedition a win.”
It was truly good stuff. Qin Ye picked up the tape recorder, and then did a double take as Arthis’ earlier words sank in, “60,000?!”
Blinking his eye, he bent down to open the tape recorder, and he pulled out an old cassette tape hidden within.
It was antiquated, probably something that dated back to the turn of the century. The surface of the cassette tape was covered with black and red streaks of blood. The transparent tape was taped up in different parts, and it contained a line of words across the middle - Peony Pavilion.
“Do you mean… this is also a Yin artifact?”
“The tape recorder is one… and the cassette tape within it is another?”
We’ve struck gold!
Adding the merit points from before, he would join the ranks of the wealthy with 80,000 merit points under his belt after the exchange!
No… there was still Cao Youdao’s human skull rosary to account for as well.
I’m going to be a millionaire!
“Arti, is eight thousand spirit stones sufficient for constructing the soul induction platform?”
“It’s enough for the framework.” Arthis responded excitedly, “Getting started is always the hardest part. All we need now is for the winds to blow in our favor.”
And that was to locate the thirty million Yin presence!
And Hell, which had collapsed for a hundred years, would finally be given the opportunity to see the light of day again!
Qin Ye drew a deep breath, bent down with a smile and patted Old Huang’s head, “Old Huang, one last thing - could you take me to the heart of the formation array that supports this barrier? Don’t worry, I won’t expunge you. Once I reestablish Hell, I’m going to issue a royal decree and appoint you as the watchdog of Hell, and you will then be named as Cerberus. What do you think?”
“... If I might just interject, why do you always pick names with such strong international flair? And I feel like I’ve heard this name somewhere before?”
On the other hand, Old Huang appeared to understand Qin Ye’s words, and he barked twice at Qin Ye with approval. Then, he ran over to the sinks in the bathroom and spat a glop of blackish blood onto the mirrors.
Qin Ye turned around and looked at the graying mirrors, only to discover as the blackish blood slid down, six emblems revealed themselves.
The emblems were incredibly peculiar, almost as though they had been drawn on the mirror. And yet at the same time, they also seemed to come from within the mirror itself.
One depicted an animal, revealing the totem of a wolf head.
One depicted an asura, with green face and sharp fangs, three heads and six arms.
One depicted humans, with a miserable face and ragged clothes.
One depicted evil ghosts, with a big belly, large body and a small head.
One depicted demons, its body blazing with fire, with a vicious expression on its face.
And the last one also depicted a human, but this human was instead floating in the air with the grace of an immortal.
The six emblems were arranged in a circle, three of which were bright, and three of which were dark. The two emblems depicting humans and the one depicting demons were dark, while the others gleamed in a dazzling fashion.
“This is…” Qin Ye drew a deep breath. He had seen the wolf head totem before!
This was the totem that the puppet master in Clear Creek County had previously painted in blood!
It was a thorn in his side. Back in Westriver, he had unwittingly knocked over a pot of fodder belonging to a terrifying existence, and he was left with no choice but to leave that place as far behind as possible and come to the City of Salvation. Yet who would have expected the same wolf head totem to make its appearance once more in the future paradise of cultivators?!
Just then, the six emblems began to rotate slowly, almost as though they had just been activated. In the next moment, three powerful waves of Yin energy erupted!
It had to be mentioned that this hunting zone had concealed all forms of Yin energy, rendering them completely undetectable - even when an evil ghost was standing right before him. However, as soon as he touched the emblem, a stream of Yin energy immediately erupted wildly! Within ten seconds’ time, the entire fourth hunting zone was set ablaze like a candle in the night. Qin Ye could sense that Yin energy filled the lands!
All of the other Yin spirits began to tremble as they attempted to retreat deeper into the abysses of darkness. Qin Ye stood at what appeared to be the eye of the storm. His Hell’s Emissary robes fluttered wildly in the wind, and sweat percolated his entire forehead.
Thump… His heart had practically stopped beating. Just then, Arthis bellowed, “Get out of the way!!”
She didn’t have to repeat herself. Qin Ye had already backed off subconsciously. With a thud, Qin Ye found his back against the wooden door of the cubicles. He took another palpable look at the emblems on the mirror.
Three vivid streams of Yin energy poured out of the emblems, each of which was on the same level as a Hunter-class Emissary of Hell. Furthermore… each of these streams of energy was stronger than Cao Youdao had been!
And if that were all, Qin Ye wouldn’t have been so unnerved.
What was most frightening was in fact… the emblems.
Seeing them was akin to… seeing Hell itself.
“I can’t believe I’m seeing something like that…” Gnashing her teeth, Arthis exclaimed, “How are they still alive?!”
“This… this is unbelievable!”
Qin Ye took several deep breaths to steady himself, before responding, “What are these?”
After a long time, Arthis finally responded, “Wrong…”
“We’ve been wrong all this while…”
“Back then, we’d thought that the barrier was something established by the government. But it wasn’t… The barrier here… was something that these people had established.”
The soul sphere trembled. It wasn’t clear whether it was from fear, or from fury. Arthis exclaimed, “The six paths!”
“What’s that?” Qin Ye clutched at his chest and panted.
Even looking at the six emblems put an immense amount of pressure on him. They were incredibly demonic.
Arthis barked, “The six paths of reincarnation… This is something that only Judge-class Emissaries and above know of. Each of the six paths of reincarnation in fact suppresses a terrifying evil ghost, each of which possesses abilities equivalent to that of an Abyssal Prefect! It didn’t occur to me when I saw the wolf head totem on its own earlier. This totem represents… the path of the beast!”
“The asura represents the path of the asura. The two humans represent the path of man and the path of gods. The big bellied evil ghost represents the path of the hungry ghost, while the demon represents the path of the abyss… The three dark paths are the path of man, the path of gods, and the path of the abyss. The three corresponding ghost kings have already been purged by Ksitigarbha himself. But on the other hand, the radiant paths…”
Qin Ye gasped in horror, “Have they… when Hell collapsed… climbed out from its depths into the mortal realm?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter