Nadia fidgeted restlessly back in her room.
Why hasn’t there been any response yet?
Why hasn’t he said anything?
Why can’t I even see them yet?
She was still carrying herself properly as one of the leaders of the Coalition of Alkebulan Underworlds. However, that didn’t change the fact that she was still on tenterhooks. After all, there was just too much weight on her shoulders right now.
For the very first time in her life, the Plumed Serpent God issued an oracle sending them overseas, naming a specific Emissary of Hell and telling her that she had to do it at all costs. How could one possibly remain calm when she was at the receiving end of such a tall divine oracle?
Sigh… She sighed softly and took a sip of tea to quell the anxiety in her heart, and yet to no avail. But just then, the door suddenly swung open, and several representatives of the Alkebulan Underworlds entered with downcast expressions, “That’s unfortunate. Here I was, thinking that Hell had opened up completely, but Hell has only allowed us access to the region around the docks… Nadia? What’s wrong with you? The netherflames in your eyes are pulsing wildly. Are you… upset about something?”
“It’s nothing. I was just thinking about some stuff.” Nadia forcefully repressed the anxiety in her heart and smiled faintly back at the rest, “I still can’t get used to the climate here in Hell. Allow me to be by myself for a bit.”
The other representatives shrugged their shoulders and left her to her own devices. Nadia sighed quietly when the door shut once more. But it was just then that her legs suddenly went limp, and she gasped as she hurriedly knelt down to the ground, “G-g-greetings, esteemed Emissary of Hell!”
A face had appeared on the back of the door, and it was staring right at her with great indifference.
In fact, it was almost as though the face had somehow grown on the door of the room, and upon closer inspection, the fine lines of the face would reveal that this was none other than Wang Chenghao’s face.
“Nadia.” One Tail spoke slowly, “Born in Malagasy, perished to the great Alkebulan drought of 1982, one of the ten worst disasters in the world of all time. Orphaned, abandoned when you were born, only to die after a few decades. And yet, even then, you were able to ascend the ranks to become the Chief Advisor of Art for the Coalition of Alkebulan Underworlds. Your resume is truly astonishing.”
Nadia lay prostrate on the ground and responded with great humility, “This is all thanks to the blessings of my ancestors.”
“Indeed.” The human face chuckled, “I’ve got a few questions to ask on behalf of Mr Qin, and I hope you’ll answer them truthfully.”
“I’ll do my best”
The human face nodded proudly, “Who are you?”
“Child of God.” Nadia didn’t hide anything, “There are a total of five Children of God across the Alkebulan Underworlds. There are a few requirements in order to be made a Child of God. Firstly, you need to have no roots. Secondly, you need to possess the ability to see the other realms, an ability that Cathayans call the Yin-Yang eyes. Thirdly… one must have no faith. In other words, throughout the course of our lives, we must not have placed any faith or trust in any of the totems that exist in Alkebulan.”
“Only us Children of God are able to receive oracles of the Plumed Serpent God. And this time…” She looked up slightly, “The Plumed Serpent God gave me an oracle through a vision, asking me to speak with Mr Qin directly.”
The human face remained indifferent, “And where is this oracle?”
Nadia responded respectfully, “Sir… this oracle… will probably be given through divine descent. I don’t even know the contents of the oracle, nor was I given anything specific, save for a spell formation that was drawn directly on the palm of my hand.”
“When the time comes, the Plumed Serpent God will descend into this world and manifest in my body as a vessel. I sincerely hope that Lord Qin would grant me the opportunity for an audience like that…”
With that, she gently bowed to the ground and kowtowed to the face on the door. Her heart was swamped with emotions.
This was the Plumed Serpent God she was talking about - the one true ancestor of all Alkebulan Underworlds. How powerful was he? But even then, she had no choice but to humbly request an audience before one of the strongest underworlds in the netherworld.
It was humbling, yet it also felt natural.
“Divine descent, huh?” The face on the wooden door slowly vanished, “You’ll meet Lord Qin tomorrow night at ten. You should know what to do.”
The next day, at 9.58 p.m.
Nadia waited somewhat nervously in her bedroom. She had already cancelled all of her meetings tonight, and made the necessary arrangements. Then, she sat apprehensively in her seat, clutching the hem of her skirt and glancing at the clock every now and then.
Dong… The clock struck ten. Just then, Yin energy began to pervade her surroundings, and she immediately stood up with great trembling, before immediately slumping back down onto her seat.
The Yin energy gently wrapped around her entire body. Tens of seconds later, she vanished from her room. When she opened her eyes again, she immediately gasped and fell on her knees, “Na-na-na…”
“Alright, let’s begin. There’s no need for introductions.” Qin Ye spoke lazily from above with a thunderous voice.
Yes… Nadia’s lips parted and closed several times, and yet she wasn’t able to eke out a single world. She didn’t have a heart, but she could practically feel the wild thumping of her heaving chest. Her netherflames were flickering wildly from fear, and she struggled to keep herself together.
She was now located in a large palace, filled with ostentatious golden carved pillars, orderly candles, and lamps crafted in the likeness of the Torch Dragon. The palace hall was large and spacious, and yet the darkness around seemed to conceal the most devilish of ghosts. Mr Qin sat on the throne in the hall, speaking to her as though with the authority of the gods. This was an unforgettable sight.
It was in that instant that she realized she was nothing more than a speck of dust in the grand netherworld out there.
But what truly frightened her was not Mr Qin, but another source of Yin energy!
She couldn’t even tell where the other source of Yin energy was coming from, but her instincts told her not to even bother tracing the source of it, because it would be an impossible task! She could tell in an instant that this was an entity that could easily cause her to go up in smoke with a single glance!
Lord Qin’s bodyguard? That’s… terrifying! I’ve not felt such terror from any Yin spirits in the Alkebulan Underworlds before! No… in fact, it might not even be an exaggeration to say that this Yin spirit is far stronger than even the Plumed Serpent God himself!
What kind of cultivation does this Yin spirit have?!
Gulp… She gulped nervously, and then proceeded to infuse Yin energy into her right hand. At once, the netherflames in her eyes went out, and she fell to the ground with a thud.
Then, before Qin Ye could even respond to the sudden turn of events, Nadia’s body slowly began to rise from the ground, suspended in the air as though completely weightless. Boom… With a loud bang, a terrifying shockwave visible to the naked eye swept through the entire hall, and her body began to glow with a brilliant lustre.
Zhao Yun flicked his finger, and an invisible cage appeared to contain the terrifying shockwave at once, forcibly suppressing the eruption of energy that appeared to be pulsing in every direction. Meanwhile, the lustre on Nadia’s body slowly intensified, until she was no different from a radiant sun trapped in Zhao Yun’s invisible cage!
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!” Nadia screamed at the top of her voice as beams of light erupted from her seven apertures. Meanwhile, her voice slowly transformed from that of a middle-aged woman, to the wild cry of a beast, until it finally stopped at the state of a serpentine hiss.
Whoosh!!! A minute later, the void in the cage appeared to shatter into countless fragments shaped like glass, revealing a portal to what appeared to be a cosmic world glowing with blue light. And then, a figure finally stepped out from within.
“Prefect Qin, we meet again--…” It was still in Nadia’s likeness, but her entire being exuded a titanic aura about it, replete with unshakable confidence. Her voice was calm and steady, devoid of any of her earlier fear and anxiety. That said, her voice quickly trailed off, and she abruptly looked up. The netherflames in her eyes immediately flared up half a meter high. Several seconds later, she turned back to Qin Ye, “And who might this be?”
Nadia stood right in front of a raised platform upon which Qin Ye’s throne sat. Meanwhile, there was another chair placed right beside Qin Ye, and another Yin spirit sat right on that chair. However, no matter how much he tried staring at that Yin spirit, he wasn’t able to discern the appearance of that Yin spirit.
This feeling… This feeling that makes my heart palpitate… The Plumed Serpent God clenched his fists tightly. Even his soul was trembling right now, because he knew what exactly this meant.
A power beyond that of a god of death…
And this isn’t even the Second King Yanluo! Does Hell have yet another expert that is beyond the realms of Yama-King?!
“One of the Sixfold Ghost Kings, General Zhao Zilong.” Qin Ye stood up and walked down the steps of his throne, “Plumed Serpent God, it’s been a while.”
“How have you been?” Zhao Yun raised his teacup placidly. As the top existence across the Three Realms, there was simply no need for him to treat the Plumed Serpent God with any respect, much less welcome him with any measure of warmth.
There were a multitude of thoughts in the Plumed Serpent God’s heart right now, including both excitement, shock, awe and disbelief. Finally, after processing everything, Nadia finally turned around and nodded deeply, “Hello again.”
“Please, take a seat.” There were two chairs below. Qin Ye took his seat in one of them, and Nadia naturally took the other. As soon as she did, she immediately asked, “Mr Qin, do you actually have the support of one of the Sixfold Ghost Kings?”
“I suppose you can put it that way.” Qin Ye smiled, “I’ve been fortunate enough to be favoured by General Zhao.”
Nadia gasped, and then glanced at Zhao Yun, “Ghost King Zhao, have you… actually broken through that bottleneck?”
“It was a fluke.” Zhao Yun responded placidly.
Fluke… a fluke?!
Do you know how much I would've liked to have a fluke like that?!
Do you know how many death gods in the world place their lives on the line just to accrue sufficient merit points in order to breach that glass ceiling above us?!
No… But I shouldn't be thinking about these things now… The Plumed Serpent God breathed heavily as he hung his head low. He was completely ecstatic right now!
I… haven’t bet on the wrong person!
“What a surprise…” With that, he finally turned back to Qin Ye, “Mr Qin, I believe you might have already guessed my intentions here.”
The Plumed Serpent God hated such high and mighty responses. Unfortunately, he knew he had no choice here.
“I come bearing gifts.” He smiled, “I wonder if Mr Qin has ever heard of the Chalice of Preiddeu Annwn?”
What the hell is that?!
Qin Ye frowned and shook his head. But just as he was about to go on, Zhao Yun shook his head calmly, “That’s just a divine artifact of myths and legends. Representative of the Heavenly Dao, you can’t fool us with such things.”
Qin Ye lowered his eyes. He knew that this was Zhao Yun’s explanation to him. The fact that it was held in such high regard by an existence above the realms of a Yama-King meant that this artifact must by no means be ordinary.
Just as he was mulling over his next course of action, Zhao Yun’s voice immediately echoed in his ears, “My Lord, don’t say a word…”
There was even a slight quiver in his voice. Qin Ye’s heart leapt slightly, and he continued to listen intently to Zhao Yun, “The Chalice of Preiddeu Annwn… There are too many legends about it spread throughout history, but suffice it to say that its status is akin to the artifacts linked to the creation of our system of gods, including the Jade Tables or the Chaos Lotus. Who would’ve thought that the Plumed Serpent God actually holds leads to artifacts like that? And the fact that he’s offering something like that to you is only testament to how desperate he is in his current situation right now.”
“Let’s put it this way. If news of this spreads to the international arena, a bloodbath would most certainly ensue. It wouldn’t even be an exaggeration to say that it could potentially lead to the destruction of an entire nation as we know it. You may not be familiar with the name of this artifact, but there’s another name you would probably have heard of.”
“And that’s the Holy Grail.”
Qin Ye gasped coldly - The Holy Grail? The very same Holy Grail that I’m thinking of right now?!
Zhao Yun promptly continued, “It is indeed the Holy Grail that you’re thinking of. Don’t say a word. We don’t want to jeopardize our chances here. Any sudden movements here might scare the Plumed Serpent God away, or draw the attention of the Heavenly Dao. And if that happens, or if the Plumed Serpent God dies, then I’m afraid that this secret might remain buried forever in the recesses of the Heavenly Dao…”Previous Chapter Next Chapter