Chapter 858: Life and Death (1)

"Have you heard of the Dream Flower?"

"No, I haven't."

"It's said that it's a type of flower that exists only in dreams. It doesn't exist in the real world, and it's born purely from illusion, just like an illusory boat that is forever docked in illusion. This story encouraged a certain terrifying individual to hatch a miraculous idea, and with a vast amount of time at his disposal, he succeeded in making his idea a reality in the end. From that day forth, he was able to hide things within the cracks between reality and illusion. If we were to put this in simpler terms, it would be tearing through space and creating cracks in history."

"Then how are we supposed to find this person?"

"By using the anchor."

"The anchor?"

"That's right."

"The Dream Flower is an art that is truly astounding and challenges the limits of human imagination, but nothing is perfect in this world. In order for an illusionary object to become reality, it must find an anchor in the real world. The biggest and only flaw of the Dream Flower is that it's unable to reveal itself of its own volition. It can only be summoned, and once it's summoned, the process is irreversible."

"So that means it exists in a crack in space, and it can't let itself out, essentially imprisoning itself, which is why it's escaped detection for all this time. However, if someone manages to obtain a key on the outside, then they'll be able to access it, is that correct?"

"That's right. The Peach Blossom Spring is hidden in the Dream Flower, and the key to opening it..."

Whoosh... Two gusts of Yin wind drew to a halt in the mortal realm, transforming into two figures, namely Qin Ye and a woman. The woman was wearing a plain dress, and she was observing the earthen building ahead of them with a complex expression as she continued, "It's the light tower in the mortal coil. That is the anchor of the Dream Flower in the real world, and only by using the light of the light tower in the mortal coil can one pull the Peach Blossom Spring out of the world of illusion. Once the light tower is illuminated, the Peach Blossom Spring will inevitably be drawn to Cathay."

That night, it was pouring with rain.

It was 9 PM, and the Fujian Province in the mortal realm was completely basked in darkness. Claps of thunder were ringing out incessantly in the sky, and flashes of lightning were illuminating the dark night in sporadic bursts.

This was the Fujian Province, and up ahead was the Huang Clan's earthen building, which was also the site of the light tower in the mortal coil.

Ahead of Qin Ye stood a group of people led by Mo Changhao, and beside him were several Anitya Hellguard level investigators. 

Rumble!  A flash of lightning illuminated the entire sky, and the heavy rain was pouring down onto their umbrellas. Behind them was a row of cars and what appeared to be an army.

"Mr. Qin." Mo Changhao paid no heed to the pouring rain as he made his way over to Qin Ye before cupping his fist in a salute. "May I ask what exactly is happening? Hell's three Yama-Kings have all been deployed alongside a large number of Emissaries of Hell, and we've even been required to control an area of the high sea. I need an explanation for all of this."

After a brief pause, he continued, "Rest assured, despite the lack of a proper explanation, we've already sent several branches of the navy to the high sea near Hawaii."

The flashes of lightning illuminated the grim look on Qin Ye's face, and he replied in an urgent voice, "I don't have time to go into specifics. However, I can tell you that a Yama-King level cultivator has stolen one of Hell's divine artifacts and fled to foreign seas. If we let him pass Hawaii, the consequences will be catastrophic, so Hell needs the full support of the mortal realm here."

Mo Changhao's heart rate immediately began to spike upon hearing this. Judging from the fact that three Yama-Kings and countless emissaries had been deployed by Hell, he already knew that a major crisis had taken place. Even the lineup featuring in the war of unification several years ago hadn't been as formidable as this one.

He made a hand signal, and everyone behind him immediately parted. It was also in this instant that Qin Ye shot through the crowd of people as a gust of Yin wind, shooting directly toward the Huang Clan's earthen building with Qi Nü like a speeding arrow.

"How long will it take to open the Dream Flower here?"

"30 minutes, your Excellency."

"So you're saying that after 30 minutes, the light tower in the mortal coil will be illuminated, and wherever the Peach Blossom Spring is, it'll return to Hell, is that right?"

"That's correct. However, if it crosses into the territorial sea of an underworld comparable in power to the Cathayan Underworld and comes under the protection of other death gods, then it won't be able to return."

I see... 

Qin Ye was speeding through the night like a gust of fierce wind, and he was so fast that even the rain falling on the ground below had been parted around him. The wind was sweeping up his hair, and the only thing in his eyes was the antiquated earthen building up ahead.

As expected, Xu Fu had left behind the self-detonating Gui Xu precisely because there was a method hidden in Qi Nü's memories that could allow them to track down the Peach Blossom Spring.

If they could illuminate the light tower in the mortal coil before Xu Fu entered Xolotl's Screen, then Qin Ye would be the winner of this race against time!

It was still the same earthen building, and there were still the same inhabitants inside.

He could even see the elderly woman seated in the pelting rain in front of the entrance, looking up at the sky with a wooden expression. He could also see the lit red lanterns from the first to the fourth floors of the earthen building behind her.

"Your Excellency!" In the instant that she detected the gust of Yin wind, the elderly woman immediately rose to her feet in an excited manner to kneel down, yet before she could do so, an authoritative voice rang out from within the stormy night. "Open the gate!"

Immediately thereafter, the gate swung open violently, attracting the attention of all of the living dead in the building.

The gust of Yin wind reverted back to the form of Qin Ye and Qi Nü, and Qin Ye didn't say anything as he thrust a palm downward. The earth beneath his feet instantly parted, revealing that heinous coffin buried under the foot of the old locust tree.

The Heavenly Dao seemed to have sensed the re-emergence of that heinous object, and a string of rumbling thunderclaps immediately rang out. Countless bolts of lighting gathered in the sky above the coffin, but they remained suspended in mid-air. At the same time, a shrill howl rang out throughout the entire Huang Clan's earthen building.

Whoosh... A gust of Yin wind swept past, causing the countless red lanterns in the earthen building to flicker unsteadily and sway from side to side in the heavy storm like a series of dangling human skulls. All of the living dead in the earthen building immediately fell to their knees at the sight of Qin Ye. "Welcome, Your Excellency..."

Qin Ye didn't even hear them.

The pelting rain had reduced the entire courtyard into a muddy pond, and he turned to Qi Nü with single-minded focus in his eyes as he asked, "What do I need to do?"

He didn't want to listen to the living dead or respond to them right now. The only thing that he was focused on at this moment in time was to capture Xu Fu.

"You are a member of the living dead, so you must be the one to do this," Qi Nü replied as she extended a slight bow. "Inject your power into the light tower in the mortal coil and call out Xu Fu's name, the Peach Blossom Spring will naturally answer, and it'll only answer to the call of a member of the living dead."

Qin Ye immediately urged, "Tell me his name!"

"It's Xu Junfang."

In the instant Qi Nü's voice trailed off, Qin Ye had already slammed a palm down onto the coffin.

There were still 15 minutes left until the explosion in Ashmound, but there were still 30 minutes left until the complete illumination of the light tower in the mortal coil.

Xu Fu was speeding toward Xolotl's Screen with all his might.

Meanwhile, Zhao Yun, the Harken, and Qin Changxin were doing everything in their power to save as many of Ashmound's twenty million netherworldly citizens as possible.

As the ruler of Hell, how could he not do his part?

Xu Junfang... He silently recited the name in his heart, then released the Dusk Legionnaire, and thus, Chu Renmei, Huang Jiansen, Jason Vorhees, Otakemaru, and all of the other evil ghosts instantly appeared in the stormy night. The lightning in the sky immediately grew even more ferocious, and it was as if it were threatening to crash down at any moment, but it didn't dare to do so in the face of King Yanluo.

Without King Yanluo's permission, no one was allowed to die!

Yama-King level Yin energy swept across the entirety of the Huang Clan's earthen building, and Qin Ye made no attempt to hide his own power. In that instant, the Yin energy released within the Huang Clan's earthen building created violent shockwaves that swept through the entire province of Fujian!

The walls of the earthen building bulged outward in the face of the impact, and all of the living dead let loose cries of surprise as they were sent flying through the air. Even further away, Mo Changhao's pupils abruptly contracted drastically, and he was involuntarily sent flying for several dozen meters. All of the people and cars beside him had also been sent flying by the invisible shockwave, and a peculiar arc had even appeared in the rain.

He didn't check to see how far the shockwaves had spread; as he rose to his feet again, he laid a hand over his chest and was panting heavily. He was then immediately rooted to the spot by the astonishing scene that he was greeted by.

It was a burst of scintillating light in the night, a light tower in the lightning.

An enormous pillar of silver light erupted into the heavens from the very center of the Huang Clan's earthen building, stretching up toward the cosmos!

Up above, countless Yin clouds warped to form a massive vortex with lightning flashing along its edges. It was truly a divine miracle, and all those who beheld it were robbed of the ability to speak.

"My... god..." After a long while, Mo Changhao sat down on the rain-soaked ground, paying no heed to the fact that he was ruining his expensive jacket. The pillar of light was becoming more and more massive, and within the rain, an indistinct sound could be heard reverberating deep within his soul.

Xu Junfang... Xu Junfang... 

The voice seemed to be able to travel to all corners of the world.

…………………………………………………..

Sunshine, beach, waves, cacti...

There was fine white sand, tall coconut trees, and throngs of Caucasians resting under sunshades. There were also many individuals of Asian descent among them, and they were chatting with one another in a relaxed manner while drinking chilled beverages, basking in the gorgeous weather.

This was Hawaii, renowned as heaven on earth for its scenic beaches.

Unbeknownst to everyone present, a fortress that was invisible to all of them was standing 50 kilometers away.

The fortress was very tall, roughly 100 meters in height, and it was a mystery how it had been constructed on the sea. It was only a gate with city walls on either side of it, stretching into the distance for as far as the eyes could see.

There was a turret every 10 meters along the city walls, and the turrets were packed with dark-skinned Native Usonians. Their helmets and armor were decorated with plumes of colorful feathers, and if there were any Usonian citizens present, they would immediately be able to recognize them as the vastly renowned Eagle Warriors of the Aztecs, which had been a force to be reckoned with across the entire Usonian continent hundreds of years ago.

Atop the gate was a small palace with not a single person around it. The entrance was adorned with a thin blue veil, and inside it were the skeletons of many giant beasts. At the center of the room was a rug with the design of a sun embroidered upon it. and on the largest chair in the room sat a figure that consisted completely of Yin wind. All of a sudden, the figure opened his eyes.

"Quetzalcoatl?" He looked around in a bewildered manner as he sprang to his feet. "My brother, you're still alive? I am truly shocked..."

Right as his voice trailed off, all of the Eagle Warriors in the entire stronghold instantly collapsed, and a tsunami that was several dozen meters tall was swept up on the surface of the sea. As the wave fell, another voice rang out within the palace. "My brother, Xolotl, thank you for still remembering me."

Xolotl chuckled in response. "So now that Mictlantecutli and Mictetikasiwa are mere centuries from passing away, you've finally decided to appear. Have you returned for vengeance? Perhaps you've come back to help me?"

"Of course," the Plumed Serpent God replied with a smile. "Of course I'm going to help you, you are my brother. However, I won't be helping you directly. Instead, I've brought you the assistance of an even more valuable ally."

Xolotl was rather amused to hear this. "Is that so? Are you referring to those Mythic Spirits that you've created that can never improve? Forgive me for being blunt, but after Mictlantecutli and Mictetikasiwa pass away, those Mythic Spirits will be next to useless in a battle between true death gods."

The Plumed Serpent God asked, "Then how about a promise from King Yanluo of the Cathayan Underworld?"

The entire palace instantly fell deathly silent.

Several seconds later, Xolotl's voice rang out again. "What do I need to do? I need to see whether it'll be worth it."

"It's very simple..." The Plumed Serpent God's voice was filled with unspeakable temptation as he said, "All you need to do is stop a Yama-King from entering your territory. He should be here very soon, I can already smell the scent of a top-tier human cultivator..."

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