Arthis was a little surprised.
From her understanding, Qin Ye was never one to take the initiative and bring the fight to others. Put bluntly, even though Qin Ye had improved ever since Arthis first met him, he was still pretty much a coward.
“Are you certain?”
“... What do you mean with that tone of voice?” Qin Ye sighed in exasperation and massaged his temples.
He had contemplated for hours on whether to take the plunge or not.
If he didn’t, and he instead chose the alternative, how long would it take before Yin spirits can enter Hell once more? Fifty years? Hundred years?
As long as Hell remained in disorder, Yin spirits would have no place to go. In turn, the fifty to hundred years’ worth of Yin spirits would all fall under the command of the three daolords. Zhang Chenghai had once mentioned that the aggregated Yin energy count across all of Cathay totalled 1.2 billion Yin. It was already like a taut fishing line - there was hardly any room for more load before it snapped.
When that time comes, the three daolords might well be able to breach the City of Salvation’s defenses even before Hell can be reestablished.
It was better to strike first.
This was the lesser of two evils. At the very least, Lord Harken is still part of the old system of officials, isn’t he? When all is said and done, he’s still considered family… perhaps he might even leave us a back door or something…
“Alright. Then, listen well.” Arthis took a deep breath and continued in a deep voice, “Later on, just do as I say. Don’t miss a single step.”
“Firstly, this is a realm in which Emissaries of Hell possess absolute sovereignty. There exist many completely unfathomable creatures in this sliver of space between the netherworld and the mortal realm. These creatures are neither ghosts nor Man. The only reason why they haven’t showed up is precisely because of Lord Harken’s presence in this place.”
“In order to prevent accidents from happening when leaving or entering the mortal realm, this place is protected by the laws of the Heavenly Dao, applicable to all Emissaries of Hells and other creatures around. So long as you can think about it, you can do it.”
The soul sphere trembled slightly, and then she actually flew up!
It was unlike when she was previously just floating beside Qin Ye. This time, she actually flew up with a set of wings!
“For instance, flying.”
Qin Ye was taken aback, and he immediately shut his eyes. Ten seconds later, a pair of wings appeared on his back, and he shot up into the sky.
Whooooooosh… The wild winds beat on his clothes like a drum, sending them fluttering everywhere. Qin Ye stared at his own two hands in amazement as he took in the bird’s eye view of the vast expanses around him. He exclaimed, “It’s marvelous…”
“Now, take out the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal. Remember to wrap it with Yin energy. We should be far enough. What comes next… is really dependent on our luck…” The soul sphere looked down with a palpable glance as she whispered.
Qin Ye took out the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal, and Yin energy immediately began to perfuse into the surroundings. The duo glanced at the Harken in unison.
Phew… Qin Ye sighed, “Then what?”
“Then…” Arthis appeared to hesitate somewhat, “Then, you’ll have to know Hell’s characteristics.”
“I have to emphasize once more that Hell doesn’t exist in the mortal realm. The previous Fengdu Necropolis that you might have caught a glimpse of is nothing more than a mere projection. Hell is a completely separate realm. You hold two shards of King Yanluo’s Seal right now. Use one of them as a beacon. That will become the new core of Hell.”
“In turn, the beacon will continue to grow and expand. As soon as it absorbs sufficient Yin energy from the surroundings, it will begin its first active expansion. The initial area would usually be only the size of five square kilometers…”
“Hang on.” Qin Ye furrowed his brows, “So small?”
“What did you expect?” Arthis chuckled coldly, “Did you really think that Hell would be the size of Cathay as soon as Hell is reestablished? Have you been watching too many movies?”
“The founding of any powerful nation follows the exact same process. It always starts with a village, and then a town, county, city, province, district, and finally country. Five square kilometers is approximately the same size as a village in the mortal realm. And this would only be the case if we seize the multitude of Yin energy at the Harken’s disposal to boot. If we base it solely on the meagre amounts of Yin energy in Cao Youdao’s lair, you’d be considered lucky if the initial space in Hell extends to even 0.001 square kilometers.”
“Hang on!” Qin Ye gasped, “Did you say… seize?”
“What else would it be?” Arthis rebutted, “The shard of King Yanluo’s Seal is the supreme treasure of Hell. As soon as it’s activated, it will automatically absorb all of the Yin energy from the surroundings in an area that is five hundred square kilometers around. Lord Harken… would happen to fall within this proximity.”
Qin Ye had once again ascertained that Arthis had a completely black heart - free from any impurities.
He also finally understood that the Harken was bound to wake up.
I’m resting and recuperating from my injuries, yet you dare touch this tiger’s butt? I’m desperately drawing on the Yin energy in the surroundings to recover from my injuries, and yet you’re dredging the earth and laying foundations around me?
Are you courting death?
Arthis continued, “So, now that we’ve decided to reestablish Hell, we absolutely must seize the opportunity and make Hell as strong as we can. As soon as the aggregate Yin energy in Hell approaches thirty million Yin, Lord Harken wouldn’t dare to incite a war against us lightly, even if he disagrees with our methods.”
Qin Ye glanced warily at the golden beast below and whispered, “With such grave wounds, it shouldn’t be able to do more than bat its eyelids. Besides, as Hell’s divine beast, doesn’t it want to see Hell being reestablished once more?”
Arthis grew taciturn. After a long pause, she finally muttered icily, “It’s hard to predict a ghost’s thoughts.”
“Haven’t you ever thought about what happens if Lord Harken isn’t willing?”
“It’s undoubtedly Hell’s divine beast… and it undoubtedly enjoys special treatment of the highest orders. But aren’t all of this no more than a disguised captivity when all is said and done? If it was truly that obedient, why didn’t it leave together with Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva? Why did it risk life and limb to remain here?”
Qin Ye deliberated for a moment and nodded deeply.
Since he had already decided on rebuilding Hell from scratch, then he would do everything in his abilities to eliminate all potential dangers once and for all.
“Let’s continue from where we left off. As soon as a shard of King Yanluo’s Seal latches onto a specific location, and you have another shard of King Yanluo’s Seal in hand, you’ll be able to enter the new Hell after midnight any day.”
Qin Ye continued listening patiently, but he soon realized… Nothing?
“It’s that simple?”
“Simple?” Arthis almost exploded in fury, “Yeah… you can say it’s simple now. But do you know that Fengdu’s annals records that back in the foundational years of Hell as we knew it, there were a total of 1,432 establishments of Hell in total?! Each of them were at best village sized. The first King Yanluo went through hundreds of years of battles and wars before he finally unified all of Hell. And it was only then that he finally began to establish Fengdu Necropolis!”
“Bit by bit, Hell gathered energy from its surroundings and slowly expanded. Fortunately, people were dumb and waged wars with each other endlessly. The supply of Yin spirits was infinite. Additionally, life expectancy back then was far lower than it is right now. Otherwise, Hell might not even have grown larger than the size of a single county to date.”
“Yet now, you’re simply standing on the shoulders of a giant. Do you really have the right to say it’s simple?”
Qin Ye coughed, “Then… will everything be settled as soon as I bury the shard in the ground?”
“No… Affixing the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal to a particular space is only the first step. After that, you’ll have to conceive of everything in Hell. Bear in mind that it’s going to be a whole new realm that we’re talking about. Of the three realms that make up the world, the realm of ghosts has already become dormant. You’re now the god of that new realm. This first step towards reestablishing it is crucial!”
“You’ll now have to decide on the style of the new realm of Hell, and Hell will grow in accordance with the style you have in mind. In future, even if it expands in size and becomes a city of a province, it will still maintain the same style… Let’s put it this way, do you know those fantasy novels that are all the rage among humans these days? Most of them would center around the concept of rules.”
“Rules do exist. And the supreme rule is none other than the Heavenly Dao. But in Hell, you are synonymous with rules. You dictate the exact style of Hell - what is and what isn’t. And Hell will develop in accordance with the rules you set out.”
“Simply put, all you need to do is to have a ‘model’ of Hell in mind right now. Build a base prototype, and etch every single detail into the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal. This is how you’ll finally complete the anchoring process.”
Qin Ye nodded deeply, and then shut his eyes.
The creation of a whole new world.
This was something he had never experienced before.
His personal experiences, including all the sights and sounds, began to surface in his mind. He considered all forms of legends and stories about gods and ghosts, the totems he had seen in his life, the etching and inscriptions, and any other sources of stories about Fengdu…
Little by little, tiny puzzle pieces were being put together in his mind. His memory had always been one of his strengths. And under his intense focus, it was nothing short of miraculous.
The big picture, including the environment and climate was quickly established. Then, he began to dig deeper into the buildings that would have to be constructed, including some of the facilities that were necessary. And then, laws of the land and regulations in force…
It was a massive project. Even though it was only a village, Qin Ye’s brows furrowed from time to time. After what felt like an incredibly long time, he finally opened his eyes once more and nodded at Arthis.
Arthis didn’t respond. Instead, she simply flew around Qin Ye several times, before finally remarking, “Do you know… how long you’ve been deep in thought?”
“How long?” Qin Ye was uncertain.
“Five days.” Arthis exclaimed, “Five whole days, in the exact same position, without food or drink… how in the world did you do this?”
Qin Ye shrugged his shoulders, only to notice that his stomach was growling. To his mind, it seemed as though only three or four hours had passed.
“Can we begin now?” Qin Ye stood up and asked expectantly. Now was not the time to think about other trivialities.
Arthis’ voice grew somber, “Cut your palm and drip a drop of blood onto the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal. This marks your ownership of the shard of the seal. The previous King Yanluo has already been annihilated when Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva gained enlightenment. The shard of the seal will only truly be considered yours if you mark it.”
“And then, don’t think about anything else, and just pour your Yin energy into the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal. You absolutely cannot stop until it ceases moving!”
Qin Ye did so accordingly. As soon as he dripped a drop of blood onto the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal, the crimson shard immediately exploded with a brilliant dark light that shone everywhere!
Sha…. The dark light was so intense that it immediately sent a wave of radiant ripples erupting in a ring from where Qin Ye was. Any Yin energy or Yang energy that came into contact with the powerful ripple of light was instantly blown thousands of feet away, vanishing like snow on a sunny spring day.
In that instant, everything in a thousand miles radius around Qin Ye was completely clear and pristine.
Simultaneously, the drop of blood appeared to have been drawn by something, and it immediately burrowed its way towards the center of the shard. Astonishingly, the otherwise incomparably solid shard began to reveal traces of etch marks and micro-cracks wherever the drop of blood spread.
K-k-k-k-k-k… The blood continued to permeate the shard with a soft, faint sound. Approximately ten minutes later, the dazzling black light that was radiating in all directions suddenly retracted back to the shard itself, and the entire Limbo trembled slightly.
A scarlet “Qin” word, almost akin to the inscriptions found on an ancient seal, was now engraved on the shard itself.
In that moment, Qin Ye discovered that a connection was established with that shard of King Yanluo’s Seal.
Roar… Just then, a soft growl was heard from below.
It was different from before. The growl was far deeper than before, and it appeared to be undergirded by a confluence of complex emotions. Qin Ye and Arthis had kept an eye on the Harken all this while, so they noticed it clearly…
The Harken’s eyelids had shifted slightly.
“Quickly! Infuse the shard with Yin energy!” Arthis turned around and roared at Qin Ye.
As soon as she finished speaking, a tide of Yin energy surged straight from Qin Ye’s body into the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal.
Whoosh… Qin Ye’s hair and clothes fluttered about on its own like a frenzied dragon. His temples were throbbing, and the veins on his neck were bulging. He felt as though he were holding onto a black hole right now - all of the Yin energy at his disposal was pouring out of his body like a tidal wave.
His body subconsciously entered the Hell's Emissary state within five seconds of his infusion of Yin energy!
Black robes; white hair; black irises and white pupils. Netherfire enshrouded his entire body. As though responding to his transformation, the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal began to swirl the Yin energy around Qin Ye, transforming it into a mighty vortex!Previous Chapter Next Chapter