Chapter 7: Fate and Destiny
Written by: IEndWorlds
Zhang and Xin Tao both entered the hole together. Zhang used a bit of his essence and created an orb of light which floated into the air and illuminated the hidden room. The instant the orb of light was created light flooded to the once pitch black room.
The room looked exactly the same as Zhang and Xin Tao’s cell. That’s when the thought hit Zhang. Perhaps the one who hid the Underworlds Heart had created an identical room to the original cell he was locked in. Then hid the Underworlds Heart in the original room that he was locked in and when he was taken away, the room somehow became sealed and blended into the walls.
The man had probably been under strict surveillance so he could not hide the Underworlds Heart any elsewhere, but only to the cell where he was imprisoned in. And if he did not create an identical room and hid the Underworld’s Heart here, there was a chance someone else would be imprisoned in the same cell he was in and they’d stumbled upon it. Had Zhang not hit the wall in rage, he would have never realized that there was something on the other side. Also, if a regular sinner was imprisoned here they’d have no way of breaking the wall.
“The person who did this was indeed too crafty. But luck was on our side this time.”, Xin Tao said happily.
Zhang nodded while smiling also. And the two of them returned to their cell and Zhang used some essence to mask the hole.
“Zhang there is one more thing we have to do in order to successfully return to the world of the living. On our way to the Pool of Regrets we must sneak into the treasury of the underworld and locate the Book of Fate. And once we do, we need to tear out our pages from the book. Or else, once we left the underworld they would be able to find us using the book.” Xin Tao worriedly said.
The Book of Fate contained the record of everyone’s destiny in their previous life, current life, and next life. A person’s time of birth, time of death and all the events that have happened and are going to happen were all recorded within the book. The book records also what’s currently happening in a person’s life. Also, by tearing out one’s page from the Book of Fate a person would not be bound by destiny nor fate any longer. Not only would they not be bound any longer but those who had relations with them will also no longer be bound.
The destiny of those close to them would became blank. Or if their pages did not become blank, at the very least, all the events triggered by the person with the tear out page would not show up in the book. A false history would show up instead. Those not bound by fate and those close to them would no longer die from illness, or accidents. Only from old age or if someone were to murder them would these people die.
Zhang and Xin Tao began to plan how to escape the 18 Levels of Hell and then sneak into the Palace of the Yama.
In the end, they came up with two plans. The first plan was for Zhang to absorb the souls of all the prisoners in the lower floors and then use all of that energy to break out and then directly enter the Yama’s palace. The only downside to that was there was a chance of them alarming strong experts who could stop them. Zhang could only use a certain amount of energy from the necklace if he were to use too much he would be at the risk of self-destruction, an overload of sorts.
The second plan would be for them to wait for the next inspection and kill the guards inspecting. Then put on the guard’s armor and try to sneak out and once they got out, sneak into the palace. This plan would have them to wait much longer and there was still a chance of getting found out.
Xin Tao assured Zhang that if they were able to enter the palace he would be able to take Zhang directly into the treasury and Pool of Regret. This was all due to his experience from being a judge before.
They decided to go with the 2nd plan and if they were found out Zhang would absorb as many souls as he could and then charge out of the 18 Levels of Hell.
And from the recent inspections they figured the next one would be in two months or so.
Each time an inspection happened a squad of full armored guards would descend and check every cell. Once they reached the floor they’d break into teams of two and once the inspection was over they’d regroup and ascend then returned to their barracks. Thankfully, none of the guards were truly acquainted with each other due to the huge number of guards and the constant shifting and moving to different prisons.
Outside of the 18 Levels of Hell, the whole underworld was celebrating. In two months’ time the 99th princess of the underworld, Yuying, would tie the knot with the 75th son of the Northern Diyu. The engagement had taken place two years ago and in two months it’ll be the third year which would be the date of the wedding.
Occasions such as this rarely happened in the underworld so sinners werewas pardoned 100 years off their sentences. And the regular residents of the underworld would all enjoy a small gift of deed points on their crystal cards.
The 99th princess was said to be extremely beautiful and gifted. So everyone was looking forward to the wedding day in the hopes of catching a glimpse of her on her way to the groom’s home.
Everyone was happy, but naturally Yuying who was against the whole thing was not. But there was not much she could really do, butwe hoped that someone would come and take her away.
The mere thought of this made her feel like laughing at herself,. Because who in the underworld could save her? The ruler of the underworld himself had arranged this marriage sadly, there was no way of stopping it sadly.
Just thinking about the marriage reminded her of that pig that she was engaged to. The man hads no shame and there were rumors that he would use his influence to abduct young girls and have his way with them. How could she marry someone like that? Let alone she did not have any feelings for him except for disgust.
Two months had passed and the inspection of the 18th floor was pushed up to the day before the royal wedding. The Yama had given all of his subjects a day off to celebrate this joyous occasion. He felt that the 75th son of the Northern Diyu of the North would become a perfect match pair forwith his daughter. His daughter was gifted with an extreme beauty and talent while the son of the Diyu of the north was the same. Thus, the two would make a power couple together and also help the two families unite as one.
For the guards, today would be just like any other day but little did they know, today would be the day the underworld would beis sent spiraling into chaos.
Zhang and Xin Tao satwere sitting in their cell patiently waiting for the guards to arrive. Zhang still had the hundreds of thousands of souls stored within his necklace if he needed its power. The guards would stand no chance against him if he were to go on a killing spree.
Xin Tao had told him that he was lucky this prison only had weak guards. There were places that Diyu personally guarded and they were many times stronger than saints. Their power levels were astronomical and not something either of them can handle. And besides the places the Diyu guarded, there were places where all the guards were stronger than saints or made entirely of saints.
The thought of someone many times stronger than a saint was a foreign concept to Zhang. He had learned that saints were extremely powerful in the mortal realm as a child and still believed so till today.
Not long after the inspection began, a click sound could be heard coming from the door’s cell where Zhang and Xin Tao were in. Two guards dressed in armor walked in, from head to toe they were encased in armor.
The second they walked in, a small black flame flew in directly from the opening of their helmets. Once the fire made contact with them, their bodies turned into a puff of dust and their swords and armors fell to the ground.
Before the swords and armors hit the ground, Zhang had dashed and caught them as to not make any noise. He did not want to risk attracting more guards here.
Zhang handed Xin Tao a suit of armor and donned a suit of armor himself. Luckily the armor partially covered their faces so if they played it cool, no one would possibly notice them.
Soon, the inspection was over and the guards began congregating before the exit. Xin Tao and Zhang were able to blend in as the guards were forming ranks. After forming ranks, the guards began ascending the floors. This time Zhang’s necklace no longer emitted any energy so no one noticed as he ascended the floors.
Once they reached the fortress on the very top, the next part of the plan would begin. They would now have to find a way to get out unnoticed or begin to go on a rampage.
Xin Tao slowly regained some of his power as he stepped outside into the fortress. The air was once more filled with essence unlike in the 18th level where there was none or very little.
Both Zhang and Xin Tao decided they would enter the guard’s barracks and then in the dead of night sneak out.
The guards in the fortress had four shifts each lasting roughly six hours. After six hours another group of guards would come relieve them of their duties. When the switch occurred there would be a small interval of time where no one was truly keeping guard and this would be the best time to sneak out.
Zhang was able to acquire another sword within the barracks when it was time to leave. He preferred using two swords better than one. It would allow him to engage in battle with a larger group of enemies if needed.
There was only one gate in the fortress that could be used to get in or out. But Zhang decided that they instead would use a different means of escape.
When no one was looking, two men did the unthinkable, they jumped off over the gates of the fortress. The walls of the fortress were hundreds of feet tall and any regular person that fell off from it would meet their end. Luckily, Xin Tao was around and he could fly. Although he wouldn’t be able to fly for a long duration of time due to just regaining his powers, Xin Tao would be able to slow their landing.
Although Xin Tao was able to somewhat slow their descent they were still falling at a very fast speed.
As Zhang and Xin Tao crashed into the ground it caused the ground to shake a bit.
The two made a mad dash into the Forest of the Forgotten. Lucky for them, after they ran into the forest a thick fog rolled in and covered the ground.
The thick fog also blanketed the forest making it very hard to navigate. Not wanting to attract unseeded attention neither Zhang nor Xin Tao used their powers. Slowly, they made their way through the forest.
“Senior, this is the 3rd time we passed by this tree. Last time I had broken a branch off as a marker.” Zhang said to Xin Tao.
The fog had made them lose all sense of direction. They were running around in circles this entire time.
“Perhaps we should rest for the night. We are in no rush, the pool and book aren’t just going to grow legs and walk away.” Xin Tao said with a smile then jumped into a tree. Zhang did not question and also jumped up a tree.
“It is safer up here, we won’t run into any lost souls up in here.” Xin Tao said.
Zhang nodded and closed his eyes to rest. Soon he and Xin Tal both fell asleep and the next time they woke up would be the day of the royal wedding.
The fog has lifted when the two of them woke up. Thus, they began to cross through the forest once more.
After a few hours, Zhang could see an opening out of the forest. It was like a light at the end of a tunnel.
Suddenly a pair of hands extended from out of nowhere and grabbed on to Zhang’s legs. The arms pulled his legs while he was mid run causing Zhang to lose balance and tumble-down.
That was when he saw countless mad souls surrounded him. Xin Tao had also been grabbed and surrounded. Groans and screams could be heard all around. The forest we now filled with noises.
Black fire ignited within Zhang’s palms and turned all the mad souls around him into nothingness. The forest once more became quiet.
Oddly, there was one mad soul still standing. This fellow was emitting an odd red aura. Its eyes were completely white, pitch black veins could be seen all over its body and a massive amount of killing intent was being projected from it.
“Zhang get back that is a Fallen Soul!!! With our current strength we can’t beat it. GET BACK NOW!!” Xin Tao screamed.
Fallen Souls were souls that had overtime became corrupted by negative energy and after being corrupted, they assimilated with many other souls. Over time, they became extremely powerful and were hard to deal with. A fallen soul would corrupt and then assimilate other souls. Thus, if a single fallen soul were to get loose in a city in the underworld, a catastrophe would happen.
Zhang quickly jumped back and tried to create some distance between him and the fallen soul. Zhang’s black fire could only deal with those who were weaker than him or those who were a bit stronger than him. But if the opponent’s power vastly out stripped his, it would not work.
However, in an instant he came up with an idea. Why not use this fallen soul’s power to his advantage. If he were to lure it close to the city, then all the guards would be preoccupied with dealing with it. Then, in the confusion, he and Xin Tao would be able to sneak in unnoticed.
Though this was easier said than done. The fallen soul was many times more powerful than Zhang and he wasn’t sure if he would be able to keep himself out of its grasp. But it was do or die . If he did nothing, then he would die or if he tried to fight the fallen soul alone then he would also die. So the only option he had left was to get someone else to fight it for him.
While Zhang was contemplating, the fallen soul suddenly lunged at him. He was able to dodge by a hair’s breadth. Due to his momentum Zhang tumbled behind a tree.
The fallen soul charged at the tree where Zhang was behind and with a wave of its hand, the tree fell over and crashed into the ground. Zhang began running in a zigzag path weaving between trees. He would use the trees to keep the fallen soul from getting near to him.
As Zhang and the fallen soul breezed through the forest, Xin Tao quickly followed behind at a safe distance.
Soon the city was in sight; what seemed odd to Zhang was all the red lanterns and festive decorations that could be seen on the walls and on the gate.
“ROAAAR!!!!!!!” The fallen soul howled.
All of the people within the gate and in front of the gate turned back and saw the fallen soul. Then a mass panic happened, many people did not even know what a fallen soul was but also fell into panic due to the deathly aura that was leaking out of its body.
While those that knew, were in a deeper state of panic because they had heard the horror of what would happen if one of those things got into the city.
Seeing the souls in front of the gate the fallen soul changed targets. It totally ignored Zhang and went after a group of souls. Instead it lunged at Zhang it lunged into a group of innocent bystanders.
A thunderbolt fell from the sky and struck the fallen soul. Then after the first thunderbolt ten more fell from the sky. Each thunderbolts carried huge amount of power, each strike was able to shake the ground and would probably char any unlucky soul that was close by.
The fallen soul screamed due being attacked incessantly by the thunderbolts. Its screams made the faint hearted souls fell to their knees. Even someone who would be considered brave would shake in their boots.
Eventually, hundreds of lightning bolts had snaked from the sky and landed on the fallen soul. But as soon as they appeared the thunder bolts came to a sudden halt.
A crater was formed where all the lightning bolts landed. After all the dust cleared, the fallen soul was no more. It turned completely into nothingness due to the thunderbolts. A figure could be seen flying in the air after the thunderbolts stopped.
“Hpmh! Dare to cause trouble on the day of my son’s wedding. You’re courting death!” The man floating in the air said as he flew away.
Zhang who had mixed into the fleeing crowd with Xin Tao, they watched all of thunderbolts which landed on the fallen soul in amazement.
But not wanting to waste the opportunity, the two sneaked into the city as everyone else was still left in a daze.
Once they entered the city they found out that today was the wedding of Yuying, the 99th princess of the underworld and the 75th son of the Northern Diyu.
“Probably just a coincidence.”, Zhang said in his mind as he and Xin Tao headed for the palace.
The wedding would be a perfect opportunity for them to sneak into the palace and escape. Because everyone would be preoccupied with the celebration.
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