Chapter 77 Sin
Ye Yunlan’s footsteps stiffened for an instant, and his pale knuckles squeezed Queying tightly.
He said coldly: “…You’re thinking too much.”
Shen Shu didn’t ask more after hearing that, but the corners of his lips slightly curved. There was a bit of cunningness in his smile.
The singing in the darkness suddenly became louder.
The song was distant and ethereal, as if it came from the past, separated from life and death. The song’s melody was sad. However, it attracted people to listen to it constantly, as if it could give them eternal peace.
A faint green firelight first lit up the dark. Then, everything began to manifest itself slowly.
A world completely different from the one just then appeared before the two’s eyes.
Departed spirits filled the sky, flashing as ghostly green soul fire, while a road of white bones winded forward from under their feet. At the end was a huge and magnificent white bone hall.
The white bone hall was very peculiar, full of the rough taste of ancient times.
The big door of the hall opened to both sides, and the sad and ethereal song came from it.
At this moment, Ye Yunlan heard a “click” sound.
He turned his head and looked. The “door” behind him -the one they had walked through when they came in- had quietly closed as if it had never existed before.
The wind blew by, bringing white confetti flying all over the sky.
Confetti floated over their heads like a galaxy. He saw that they were mixed with huge paper-folded houses, paper figures with hollow features, and messy paper furniture. It meandered to the hall of bones.
“Master, could this place still be…the Illusory Realm?”
Shen Shu asked.
It seemed that only the word “illusion” could explain such a strange scene.
Ye Yunlan did not answer immediately.
Looking at the white bone hall, he vaguely saw some indescribable powers from there, which were similar to the power he had in the previous life of his Void Tracing Realm. However, it was more vast, disordered, and adrift.
He took out a heart-clearing charm and crushed it to pieces. The charm’s effect did not dispel the strange sight in front of him.
When he closed his eyes, he felt that the surrounding things were illusory and unreal as if they were still in the illusion. However, it was a little different compared with the previous illusion.
Ye Yunlan remembered his previous life. When he had entered the Netherworld Secret Realm, his cultivation base was still low, and there were many things his lacking vision at the time couldn’t spy. But now, there was a little speculation.
Ye Yunlan: “Perhaps.”
Shen Shu: “Perhaps?”
Ye Yunlan: “The first level of the entire Netherworld Secret Realm is originally composed of different illusions, big and small. The illusion arrays are connected to each other, almost occupying 90% of the entire first level of the secret realm. You saying that this place is also where the illusion realm is not surprising.”
Shen Shu listened with interest, then suddenly asked: “How does the Master know all this? I remember that the Netherworld Secret Realm opened not long ago. We are still considered the first group of people to enter here. From the beginning, we are just like headless flies.”
Ye Yunlan glanced sideways at him and said coldly: “I’m not like you, who got confused by the illusion right when you entered the secret realm. You didn’t know where you were or who you met, but knowing that you were a headless fly, you still kept rushing into things.”
Shen Shu heard the words and suddenly smiled: “Is Master still mad about earlier?”
Ye Yunlan pursed his lips, ignored his question, then turned the topic back.
“If what I said is correct, then an illusion constructed the first level of the secret realm. But why did the Netherworld Emperor design it this way? If it is to prevent outsiders from entering, an illusion array is not the best way. The Netherworld Emperor was already in the Void Tracing Realm. If he wanted to, there were simpler and effective ways to prevent outsiders from breaking into this secret realm. He didn’t need to waste his efforts on setting up an illusion.”
Ye Yunlan knew exactly what the Void Tracing Realm was.
It was only a step away from the final boundary between mortals and immortals. It already possessed incredible power and could overwhelm the universe with a single thought. Even if you died, the bones left behind would still have some of the power of when they were living and wouldn’t break for thousands of years.
Shen Shu did not interrupt anymore and asked, “Why?”
Ye Yunlan was silent for a moment: “Perhaps these illusions are not meant to stop outsiders from coming in, but just to guide…the dead souls to their refuge.”
Shen Shu’s eyes were black, and then he muttered to himself: “Dead … souls to their refuge?”
Ye Yunlan: “The Great Netherworld Emperor was born five thousand years ago, and at that time, it was during a great calamity. The stars were chaotic, the cycle of reincarnation collapsed, and demonic beings were rampant.”
“That was the second time that this world had recorded a world disaster of heaven and earth. It was later called ghost chaos in history books.”
Shen Shu’s pitch-black eyes rolled a little, and then he said: “What Master said, Disciple also knows something. According to historical records, the world was changing at that time. The cycle of reincarnation collapsed, and ghosts had been staying in this world. The sacrifices at that time caused the corpses to spread across the wild. People were in a terrible situation, while ghosts were abundant, almost overwhelming the world. In the end, Emperor Netherworld rebuilt the underworld, resurrected the reincarnation cycle, and finally brought an end to ghost chaos. ”
He paused, then continued: “But the theories behind the underworld are nearly void. It is only recordings in books, but in the past five thousand years, no one could find the underworld. Emperor Netherworld’s cave-dwelling is spread over the world, and there are countless secret realms, but there are none that can be called the underworld.”
At this point, a smile appeared on his lips: “Master mentioning this, do you think that this secret realm is the underworld the Emperor Netherworld built?”
Ye Yunlan was a little surprised by Shen Shu’s understanding of these ancient things.
He frowned. His face in the shadow of the ghost fire became paler. He was silent for a moment, then said: “There are some things that have not yet arrived, so it’s not worth it to explore too much. Just follow me.”
After that, he walked towards the white bone hall.
Shen Shu followed him. He stared sideways at this person’s indifferent face, feeling that this person was too thin and the wind could blow him down. There was so much knowledge and secrets hidden in him that he didn’t know, and the more secrets there were, the more he wanted to take this man apart and explore him.
Ye Yunlan noticed his scorching gaze on him, so his steps became faster and faster. After a long while, he finally couldn’t help turning his head: “What?”
Shen Shu smiled: “Although Master had given a warning, this disciple is still curious about the underworld.”
Ye Yunlan: “Too much curiosity is not good for cultivation.”
“But Master,” Shen Shu still had a smile on the corner of his lips. “Reincarnation and the underworld has always been a legend. Mortals have still offered sacrifices to ghosts and gods for years and months, without exhaustion; it can be seen that people are in awe of life and death. But Disciple is curious about the underworld, just like a person wanting to know how he was born and also where they will go. Isn’t it a normal thing?”
Ye Yunlan: “It’s not necessary.”
After that, he seemed to realize that his tone seemed to be too much. He became indifferent and pursed his lips: “All things born in the world are meant to return to heaven and earth. Heaven and earth are not benevolent, and all things are regarded as dogs. Natural laws exist, reincarnation for rebirth, and it is normal. People don’t need to set up an underworld for regulation and control.”
As for the abnormal times…
Ye Yunlan didn’t say any more.
He held the sword and walked forward among the ghosts in the sky. He was already standing in front of the bone hall.
The ethereal singing of the dead was very close.
He stepped up one at a time and walked past the open white bone door filled with darkness.
Stepping on the hard and smooth ground, the sound of footsteps echoed particularly clearly.
The white bones door slowly closed, and the cast iron on both sides successively lit up faint blood-colored fires. In front of him was an extremely tall and wide hall.
They were at the bottom of the hall, and the steps wound up level by level. At the top was a huge wooden table. Behind the wooden table was a black high chair, and behind the high chair was a wide wall with an eerie picture scroll painted on the wall.
There were mountains of daggers and seas of flames, knives and oil pots, copper pillar steamers… Numerous human figures with deformed limbs were wailing on the picture scroll, depicting the “eighteen h*ll suffering picture.”
No one was sitting on the high chair, but under the gloomy flames, Ye Yunlan felt that countless pairs of eyes seemed to be watching him. Only, the surrounding fire was too dim. With his blurry eyesight, looking for those hidden outlines in the dark, he felt his eyes a little dry. In his hands, Queying trembled and whispered.
The sound of the dead singing in his ear had turned into a cry of the thousands of ghosts in the picture scroll, and the eighteen layers of h*ll on the picture scroll. The cruel scenes of the knives and fires in h*ll, and being fried in an oil pan made Ye Yunlan remember the havoc of the world in his previous life, the world of the living becoming like h*ll.
At that time, his life was about to come to an end. Even though he could walk through to Void Tracing, he did not have the fearlessness and selflessness of the Great Netherworld Emperor, who chose to use his body to fight the calamity.
The Human Race called him a Rakshasa, regarding him as unlucky.
And the people and things he cared about had left him for a long time.
He did not have the ambition to save the common people.
He spent the rest of his life collecting the remnant soul of that man, but he had failed in the end. It was difficult to defeat the will of heaven.
But even so.
In the end, he still took the same path as Great Emperor Netherworld.
Just when Ye Yunlan was in a trance, Shen Shu’s voice spread to his side: “Master, be careful——!”
A pair of strong arms hugged him and tossed him to the side. At the same time, a cold wind passed by.
Ye Yunlan’s pupils contracted. He had clearly seen that it was a blood-red chain that had attacked them.
The chain had come from a black lacquered sleeve and was still bleeding. The owner of the sleeves was long and thin, wearing a high hat, and ghostly. He was afraid it was the legendary “Hei Wuchang.”
With a closer look, the Hei Wuchang’s features were pale and stiff, not like a human or a ghost. It was tall and slender but too thin. He was clearly a paper man.
Shen Shu rolled around on the ground twice while protecting him, avoiding the attack. Ye Yunlan was held in his arms and saw countless paper copper coins falling like snowflakes from the dark roof of the hall.
The ghost figure flew past their body, and the blood-colored chains in Hei Wuchang’s hands crisscrossed and extended as if it was a spider web that was trying to seal off all retreats; an inescapable net. The paper man lowered his head and stood to the left of the black wooden case.
There was also an extra white figure on the table’s right side. It was a pale Bai Wuchang, stuck there like a ghost.
And on the seat behind the wooden table, there was a dim figure that had appeared at some time.
The body was as tall and large as a mountain. Its appearance was unclear, but the heavy pressure that emanated from its whole body was the heaviness that only the great ability of those who tread on the Void Tracing Realm could possess.
The proper man of the King of H*ll.
Ye Yunlan’s eyes fixated on the head, and a name in his heart was ready to come out.
——Great Netherworld Emperor, Xie Jiuyou.
He became suspicious.
Such an aura was not like an illusion. In front of him, was it the remnant soul Xie Jiuyou left after the catastrophe, or…
Sitting upright at the main hall, the King of H*ll did not speak. Instead, the sound of ghosts from the scroll behind him became louder, whispering in his ear with great momentum.
“Did you hear that sound?” Ye Yunlan asked Shen Shu.
From his angle, he couldn’t see Shen Shu’s face behind him, and thus he couldn’t see the smile that had disappeared and the somber gaze from Shen Shu’s face.
Shen Shu’s voice came into his ears.
“Of course I can hear it. They are condemning me.”
He paused and said casually.
“—They are asking me if I have indulged in killing innocent bystanders, forced honest people into prostitution, indulged in obscene pleasure, have been unfaithful and unfilial, or rebelled against one’s elders. Master, how should I answer?”
Ye Yunlan’s body was slightly stiff from the young man’s low voice in his ears and the exhaled heat. Shen Shu was still holding a hand on his shoulder, pinching it very tightly to protect him.
He frowned and raised his hand to take away Shen Shu’s paws. He said, “If you haven’t done anything, naturally, you don’t have to admit it.”
“What if I did?” Shen Shu smiled, “Are they going to sentence me to eternal h*ll, unable to reincarnate?”
It seems that the words “unable to reincarnate” stung Ye Yunlan’s nerves. He suddenly clenched the Queying sword and coldly said.
“Stop the nonsense! … If they really want to convict someone, they should sentence me first.”
He had taken the Asura sword and walked the path of death. Blood covered his hands, he killed countless people, and the good deeds done didn’t accumulate virtue for himself.
If it was talking about sins, he should’ve gone to h*ll long ago, unable to reincarnate.
Shen Shu was stunned for a while. Frozen, he soon smiled slightly, “Master lives a solitary and quiet life, jumped into an ocean of fire to save countless of people, how could the King of H*ll dare to punish you.”
“Even if the King of H*ll has no eyes and decides to convict you, Disciple owes you a life and would go to Netherworld with Master and be tortured for Master.”
He lowered his gaze and said softly in Ye Yunlan’s ear.
“I only wish for Master… to not abandon me in the mortal world.”
Ye Yunlan was taken aback for a moment, his face angry.
“—— Shen Shu, this is the netherworld realm, this is not the place for you to freely make jokes?!”
But Shen Shu said: “Since Master knows that it is a joke, why mind it?”
Obviously, in a dangerous predicament, he was still slowly picking out the paper money sticking to the clothes on Ye Yunlan, “Those ghosts are chattering about and are really annoying. Disciple saw that Master’s mood was heavy, so Disciple wanted to tell a few jokes to relieve Master.”
Only he knew it in his heart whether it was a joke or not.
Ye Yunlan didn’t know the truth or not of what he said, but he was really angry with Shen Shu’s phrase “Go to the Netherworld together.” He had very little concern in this life, and Shen Shu was the only thing left for him to worry about.
He wanted to reprimand him, but the dense chains that occupied this space were still sealing them.
Fortunately, the King of H*ll on the seat seemed to be unable to stand by idly at last. So, he only heard the shock of a loud slap, the endless sounds from the haunting ghosts stopped, and the King of H*ll’s solemn voice came out.
“You know that you are guilty?”
The King of H*ll’s voice echoed in the hall.
Ye Yunlan didn’t answer but just kept observing. He wanted to see what the underworld in front of him was, but he heard Shen Shu say next to him: “I don’t know.”
Ye Yunlan frowned even more and wanted to tell Shen Shu to guard his mouth. After all, the Great Netherworld emperor’s cultivation base had already stepped into Void Tracing before his death, and the means of a Void Tracing Realm cultivator was beyond the thoughts of an ordinary cultivator. If he accidentally stirred up anything—— even if he could save Shen Shu’s life, he would not have much time to find the soul-attracting flower.
“Don’t know?” The King of H*ll said coldly.
Shen Shu: “I don’t know. But I have heard that the Netherworld’s King of H*ll has eyes that could see through the heavens and see the things of people’s past life to convict the living. I ask for the King’s enlightenment.”
“Shen Shu!” Ye Yunlan couldn’t help but warn him, but Shen Shu held his shoulders and squeezed gently.
The young man lowered his voice and said, “Master, don’t worry, I have a sense of measure. I just want to see if this King of H*l is real or not, so we aren’t deceived by an illusion. With the recorded tolerance of the King of Hell, he shouldn’t be enraged by Disciple’s probing.”
Ye Yunlan has already frowned deeply.
How could he be calm?
Since entering the Netherworld Secret Realm, Shen Shu had acted against him more and more. Ye Yunlan pursed his pale lips. In the end, their current situation taken into consideration, he said nothing.
Wait until they go out… If he still had his life left, he must discipline Shen Shu.
He was causing too much trouble!
A blur shrouded the King of H*ll’s face. His tall, mountain-like body was like a black curtain covering. He looked at the two people under him and said.
“Okay, as you wish. Someone, come here and open the sin mirror.”
The two paper-made Wuchang bowed to him on both sides of the wooden table.
Then, the chain in Hei Wuchang’s hand stretched and retracted. Ye Yunlan heard the rattling of gears on the surrounding walls, then the bluestone floor in front of them opened up on both sides, revealing a hole, and the flames churning below could be seen.
A wave of heat gushed out from the entrance of the hole. The heat was different from ordinary heat. It was very vicious, and it could burn people’s bones.
Ye Yunlan’s complexion became paler. The mortal body could hardly withstand the fire of h*ll. There was also a divine fire raging in his body, so it was like adding fuel to the fire at this moment. Even so, his expression remained motionless.
On the contrary, Shen Shu snorted coldly. He raised his sleeve and waved. The scorching enthusiasm spread out and could only swirl around the two of them, making it difficult to get close.
The chain by the flame was slowly pulling up a huge stone mirror and its stone platform, and the voice of King of H*ll came again.
The voice was cold, majestic, and ruthless.
“Under the stone cave are the eighteen layers of h*ll. The sin mirror traces the karma and the ghost source. Please.”
Hei Wuchang’s chain had a portion dispersed, revealing a road leading to the front. The road to the sin mirror stage.
It would start the trial of the sin mirror to judge one’s crime. Did the King of H*ll really regard them as ghosts?
Before Ye Yunlan could think about it carefully, he noticed that Shen Shu beside him was about to move. It seemed that he really wanted to board the stage to take a look.
Shen Shu was really eager to try.
He was very curious about whether this so-called sin mirror could really reflect the sins on his body. He wanted to know how the King of H*ll of the Netherworld would sentence his monster body.
Maybe it would be to the bottom of the eighteen layers of h*ll, the legendary infinite h*ll? The smile on Shen Shu’s face widened.
If this is the case, he would have to experience it well. Compared to the Demon Abyss, would the infinite h*ll be more cruel and difficult? Would there be monsters like him born there? Or even ghosts?