He was five vengeful apparitions away from the Soul Hunter level… and there were still six hunting zones remaining…
Time and resources were both on his side!
The proof of identity flew straight back into his chest. Then, just as he was about to charge back down from the building, his eyes quivered violently.
A vast and boundless drifting tide of Yin spirits!
Yin spirits were surging from the surroundings and heading straight towards the building like a great flood. Each of them carried a scarlet red lantern with the word “Cao” written on it as they emerged from all around and swarmed the area.
Tall as the mountains and vast as the seas. They were even converging in his position like dense thunderclouds that were threatening to obscure the light from the sun.
“He’s not a fool after all. His reactions aren’t too shabby.” Qin Ye picked up his demonhead saber and the Yin energy erupted from his body with a magnificent flourish, “I wonder, though, is he simply at the limits of his patience, or has he learnt of the truth of the situation?”
Ssss… ssss… The sound of the slurping of saliva and dribble of drool echoed eerily in the surroundings. Pair after pair of bloodshot eyes turned their attention towards the rooftop where countless talismans were fluttering wildly.
It was almost as though splotches of blood had tainted the dark sky with accents of red.
Whoosh… Qin Ye’s Hell’s Emissary uniform fluttered as the jade green flame continued flickering from his demonhead saber. There was a still and silent tension in the atmosphere.
ROAR!!! Then, with an earth-shattering roar, thousands upon thousands of Yin spirits rushed madly towards the rooftop like a shower of meteorites descending from the skies.
Exterminate, no matter the cost!
Bzzzz! A field of fire spread out from the demonhead saber, turning all of the Yin spirits close by to ash in just an instant. Unfortunately the number of Yin spirits destroyed was but a drop in the ocean. As soon as the first wave was annihilated, the next wave of Yin spirits immediately swarmed over.
That’s right - ordinary Yin spirits possessed no offensive abilities whatsoever. That said, the constitution of the human body required a balance between Yin and Yang energy. Continued exposure to Yin spirits would cause a buildup in vile, pathogenic energy in the body. When this energy reaches the body’s breaking point, the three lamps over the person’s body would all be extinguished, thereby killing that person.
Cao Youdao was clearly attempting to extirpate Qin Ye with the most effective tactic of strength in numbers.
Thus, the Yin spirits descended like rain upon the rooftop, charging straight towards Qin Ye without regard for the range of his attacks like suicide bombers. There were simply too many of them… In fact, there were so many that the immolation around the demonhead saber had even begun to flicker! The throng of Yin spirits numbered well over ten thousand!
Just as Qin Ye was still wracking his mind for the best method to breach the encirclement of Yin spirits, a loud voice boomed through a loudhailer approximately fifty meters away, “Release!!!”
Instantly, thousands of arrows dragging burning talismans shot through the sky from around the building. The arrows filled the sky like a swarm of locusts, painting dazzling streaks of light across the dark canvass of night before plunging straight into the throng of Yin spirits!
Squee squee squee!!! The skies were like a playground to the Yin spirits. Tens of thousands of them hovered around the sides of the building, and the Yin energy emitted from such a gathering had already congealed into a massive tornado that spun endlessly over the top of the building. The innumerable scarlet lanterns that dotted the dark skies completed the dreadful image of hopelessness. Yet as soon as the rain of thousands of arrows poured down, the outer circle of Yin spirits were instantly purged from the face of the earth.
“This is…” Qin Ye was taken aback, and he momentarily loosened his grip over the demonhead saber. He had never expected that Cathay’s army would lend him a hand in this moment of crisis.
He glanced about, only to discover that this building had already been surrounded by a great number of cars positioned approximately one hundred meters away, all of which had their warning lights spinning brightly. Over and above the usual personnel dressed in camouflage wear or police uniforms, Qin Ye could tell that there were approximately one hundred people who emitted mild fluctuations of true energy from their bodies.
In the very next moment, he suddenly sensed a powerful impending threat. Almost instinctively, he sheathed the demonhead saber and released his Hell’s Emissary state and turned back into a normal person dressed in his camouflage uniform. One second later, he felt a gaze land directly on his body.
His body slumped uncontrollably as soon as the other person’s eyes landed on his body. It was almost as though there were a huge mountain bearing down on him.
In fact, he was not the only one who had experienced such pressure. All of the other Yin spirits in the entire City of Salvation were similarly silenced for a moment. Underneath the Insignia University, Cao Youdao looked up abruptly and gasped in horror.
“This is… at the level of an Anitya Hellguard! The provincial inspector has arrived!”
If the aura accompanying Qin Ye’s stature and authority were likened to the light of a firefly, then the oppressive aura from the mysterious person would be comparable to the bright moon that hung high in the sky, overlooking the entire City of Salvation. It was as though the owner of this aura only needed to release his aura for a single moment to understand the situation in the entire City of Salvation in detail.
Whoosh… The mighty pressure from the aura billowed powerfully across the rooftop. Yet Qin Ye wasn’t alarmed at all. He had expected this to happen, and he naturally knew exactly what this was. After all, if the incident at the Clear Creek County already warranted the intervention of a skilled Taoist possessing abilities close to that of an Anitya Hellguard, then the scale of the chaos in the City of Salvation naturally meant that it was only going to be a matter of time before a Hellguard-class expert arrived on scene. In fact, it might not be unreasonable to expect more than one such expert to arrive at the City of Salvation tonight!
“What nerve.” A withered old man in the center of the crowd gently unwrapped his cloak and looked at the vortex of Yin spirits in the sky that had already plunged a hole straight through the clouds in the sky. He chuckled with a hoarse voice, “How dare he climb all over our head just because we haven’t displayed our might?!”
Even before he finished speaking, the old man slapped down on the jeep he was on and shot straight into the sky like a human arrow.
“Liu clan, Westbrook’s number one family of corpse drivers! This old man is going to personally send you straight back to Hell!”
Qin Ye scrutinized the old man’s movements. Even though he appeared to be flying through the air, the truth of the matter was that he simply had incredibly light steps, each of which allowed him to traverse a distance of over ten meters. It was almost as though his entire body were completely weightless.
Just as the old man stepped out of the jeep, approximately thirty young cultivators wearing yellow Taoist uniforms and yin-yang scarves rushed out at the same time as well. Each of these cultivators carried with them a long rope that had bells tied all over it. After dashing approximately ten meters, the cultivators flicked their sleeves, and the ropes began to weave with each other, forming an endless net as they flew diagonally across the sky. Ding-a-ling… The crisp sound of bells echoed as the net formed by the ropes covered the entire old three-storey building.
Ka-ka-ka-ka… All of the ropes tightened at the exact same time, and only then did everyone see that the millimeter-thin ropes were all in fact dangling straight from a coffin!
This was a coffin that was covered in talismans.
This was a coffin that was hovering high in the sky!
“Why aren’t you leaving yet? Are you waiting to die?” Qin Ye was captivated by the performance of the cultivators when he suddenly heard the old man’s voice booming in his ears. He immediately jolted back to his senses - This place is going to become the battlefield between a Hellguard-class cultivator and ten million Yin spirits. The consequences of remaining here would most certainly be dire.
He immediately shot off like a slippery eel. As soon as he made it downstairs, powerful waves of Yin energy began to diffuse from the coffin hovering in mid air.
The sensation felt almost as though a hundred asuras were coming back from the dead.
Qin Ye knew better than to dally any longer, and he rushed out of this neighbourhood with all that he had. As soon as he left, the sky exploded with a tyrannical roar, and countless Yin spirits were immediately felled like falling stars!
The main force of resistance that stood against the army of Yin spirits were one hundred corpse puppets that were all dressed in the same Qing Dynasty clothes with yellow talismans on their foreheads. With an incredibly erect posture, the corpse puppets charged straight into the fray!
Boom boom boom!! Earth-shattering explosions were quickly followed by rippling shockwaves that extended one hundred meters from the intense clash between Yin energy and true energy. Apart from that, volley after volley of thousands of arrows were being fired into the battlefield every twenty second, lighting up the sky with a dazzling display. It was an incredible sight.
Yet Qin Ye didn’t even pause to consider these things.
His adrenaline was pumping. Things were most certainly drawing to their climax right now.
With the arrival of the Hellguard-class cultivators, the mortal realm was finally pushing back. They were clinging tightly to the heels of Cao Youdao’s army, incidentally buying Qin Ye the time to do what he needed to do!
“I only need 60 more merit points… Cao Youdao, I wonder what expression you’re going to make when I finally attain the rank of Soul Hunter…”
11.15 p.m., the eighth hunting zone has been broken!
“Purged one vengeful apparition: 20 merit points awarded.”
“Currently accumulated: 140 merit points. Total points required for promotion to the Soul Hunter rank: 60 merit points.”
Meanwhile, twenty thousand Yin spirits assembled together at the Salvation Plaza and began to forge their way towards the heart of the city center. Their opponents were the Cathayan regiment and the reinforcements that had arrived together with the provincial inspector that comprised twenty Operative-class cultivators and seventy-eight probationary cultivators. The army’s warning lights shone intently against the ghastly greenish white cloud of Yin energy, as though both sides were completely unyielding.
Boom!! A loud explosion occurred. The ground was covered with blade marks that ran deep into the ground. A female ghost wearing a long white dress shrieked miserably as she was cleaved cleanly into two and promptly vanished into the night sky.
The fifth hunting zone had been broken!
Qin Ye stood on the top public cemetery in the City of Salvation. Bzzzzzz! The surroundings turned somewhat illusory as the jade green fire burst forth from the demonhead saber. With a low hum, the blade of the saber curved in an arc that resembled the curvature of the full moon. Two deep bloody grooves appeared on both sides of the saber.
The current demonhead saber was already close to 1.5 meters long. It had a serrated blade and five full rings dangling loosely from the back of the saber. Jade green flames engulfed the entire saber. It looked menacing and murderous.
“Currently accumulated: 160 merit points. Total points required for promotion to the Soul Hunter rank: 40 merit points.”
“Bastard!!!” Cao Youdao bellowed with rage under the Insignia University. The glass walls in front of him shattered and crumbled to the ground.
His eyes were bloodshot, and his chest was rising and falling heavily in tandem with his ragged breathing. His entire body was even leaning on the table right now. The floor beneath his feet had already cracked in several places, and the extremely exquisite room he was in was now in a complete mess. Glass shards from smashed wine bottles and expensive cigars were strewn all over the place. His Hell’s Emissary Uniform rustled menacingly, like a dragon that was in a fit of fury.
Seven whole hunting zones!
There were only two paths available to him right now.
One - kill Qin Ye at all costs!
But this option was deleted almost as soon as it had surfaced in his mind.
It’s impossible. Hell’s Records could allow him to slowly work his way up to become a fully fledged Yama-King. As long as he remained alive, something like this was only a matter of time. He could even become the King Yanluo of the in Hell’s annals! How could he possibly give up his precious life for a little vermin that Qin Ye was?
Two - withdraw his army of Yin spirits and pretend that this night never happened.
Unfortunately, this option was arguably one that was even more difficult.
Things have gotten out of hand…
He had never expected that Qin Ye would bite back at him like a raving mad dog. Coupled with the powerful intervention from the Special Investigations Department, the little miscalculations here and there had resulted in a completely different outcome.
As soon as he called it quits tonight, he would no longer be given the opportunity to kill Qin Ye in the future!
Wouldn’t this be tantamount to watching a precious treasure of Hell slip away from right under his nose?
His enemy was wreaking havoc in his own territory, yet there was nothing he could do about it!
He found it incredibly difficult to swallow this bitter pill!
He didn’t speak a single word. Instead, his mind continued to churn and spin as he frantically calculated all the possibilities. Twenty minutes later, he finally spoke with an ashen expression on his face.
“Kid… I’ll admit it… I’d never expected you to possess a treasure of Hell that enables you to conceal your aura. I’ll concede this time… Achoo… achoo!!”
The humanoid paper effigy emerged out of nowhere and muttered, “Sir…”
“Pass down my orders… retreat!!” Cao Youdao gnashed his teeth as he forced himself to say those words.
The humanoid paper effigy left promptly. Cao Youdao supported himself with his palm on the table. Several seconds later, he slammed down on the table so hard that it collapsed in pieces. He ran his fingers through his jet-black hair and clutched at his hair in pain.
“Just you wait… you mongrel…”
He let out a long sigh, releasing his Hell’s Emissary state and transforming back into a successful business man wearing a ramrod straight suit. He panted and slumped back down onto the sofa, reaching out for a cigar as he had habitually done, only to realize that they were now strewn all across the floor.
He shut his eyes and began to rest. Ten minutes, twenty minutes. His orders should have been delivered by now. He consoled himself - It’s nothing much. Hell’s treasures have each their own unique abilities. I’ve got to look at the big picture. Time… is still on my side.
But just then, he suddenly opened his eyes abruptly.
“This is…” His voice trembled.
Another hunting zone was sending out a cry for help.
And this had just occurred!
Qin Ye hadn’t stopped!