“Now, my dear Majesty, please allow me to act as your guide, as we go on a pleasant journey to find the lord who has authority over ‘greed and ill-gotten wealth’.” The Devil said to the King.
He blew a clear whistle.
The surface of the lake of sumptuous fire which was closest to the Devil and the King rippled, and the bone carriage that the King was familiar with rose from inside, bathed in sulphurous fire. The nightmare horses trotted out of the lake at a brisk pace. They obediently trotted to the King and lowered their heads, as if they wanted to nudge against the King affectionately.
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But when the Devil looked at them kindly, they only dared to stand still in place.
“Your Majesty, please.”
The Devil lifted the carriage curtains made of finely broken sickle and bat bones for the King, and then hung it considerately on the side.
The King got on the bone carriage.
This carriage was indeed more suitable for hell. It was exquisite and gorgeous as it rolled on the endless stretch of scorched earth, the non-man made exquisiteness of the carriage complemented the dark red sky and the fiery lakes.
The four skulls on the wheels clacked their jaws and made colliding sounds “Da, Da, Da”. If you could ignore this rather horrifying image, the sounds they made were rather like cheerful folk drumming. The Devil scolded them slightly, and drove the carriage across the black soil of hell.
The King’s journey in hell had begun.
The King saw the carriage passing over the sulfurous fiery lakes with white smoke rising out of them as if it was flat ground. The four skulls on the carriage opened their jaw bones and sucked in the white smoke that got close to the carriage so as not to let them float towards the King.
The carriage moved forward and quickly reached the mountain ridges that the King had seen before.
After he got closer, he increasingly felt that the steep mountain was like a blade, stretching a very long distance, the protruding rocks seeming to be sickles of the god of death inserted on the vertical mountain wall.
When the carriage drove up close to the mountain, the corpses hanging in rows turned around automatically. The King could see clearly that there were ropes as thin as spider silk around their necks, their necks looking almost to be strangled, heads hanging low. As the carriage passed by, some of the corpses’ heads nodded up and down slightly, as if they were saluting the carriage.
“What are those? Why are they hanging there?”
The King asked.
“They are the bodies of the herded souls, a bunch of uninteresting fellows.”
The Devil replied as he waved his whip towards the canine-toothed mountain above, making a crisp sound in mid-air. As the whip sounded, the suspended corpses trembled violently and turned back around, no longer facing the King.
“Hell for herders and the herded is where their corpses can be found. Their clothes are covered densely with maggots, but that is too disgusting, not worthy to enter Your Majesty’s sight.”
The King memorized the key term “the herded”.
The carriage passed through the crisscrossing peaks and onto a narrow valley. Through the carriage window, the King saw countless bones inlaid on the rocks on both sides, as if they were ancient fossils. Some of those skeletons had wings and long tails, some had fin-like spines as well as sharp beaks…..
It seemed that the creatures were pieced together on these two rocky mountain sides without any regard for rules.
“This is the wall of a hundred insects.”
The Devil explained, pointing out for the King to look at the bones that were intertwined and connected together.
“All the fellows who are not recognized and do not belong to any compendium are thrown here. They are called ‘insects’. They must fight with all their strength and live by swallowing each other.”
“Are they dead now?”
“Yes.” The Devil cracked his whip, shattering a skeleton with bat wings and fish tails. “They are long dead…..But in the past, the insects here were immortal, and the fires here burned eternally.”
His words seemed to hide other words.
The nightmare horses whinnied lowly. They pulled the carriage out of this awe-inspiring and yet depressing valley, and left behind the mountain walls with countless bones densely overlapping.
“Please don’t look back, Your Majesty.”
The Devil said in his position in the front of the carriage.
“On this journey, please keep this in mind.”
His tone was a little serious, but soon, he chuckled lowly, the sound cheerful.
“Of course! If you want to, I will definitely agree with both hands.”
The carriage moved forward and passed a long wasteland full of bones. The King clearly saw that among the overlapping bones on the ground, there were many skeletons with its hand stretched out and its finger bones bent upward to grasp something.
The Devil said that this was a very common wasteland in hell that was specially used to throw garbage, and there was nothing much ti say about it.
A small piece of skull rolled fearlessly towards the carriage, and the skulls embedded on the wheels seemed to feel provoked, opening their mouths and suddenly spitting out a red tongue of fire, burning that piece of skull until nothing was left.
The King could clearly hear a faint painful wailing.
The carriage drove out of this wasteland before stopping.
“Your Majesty, we are going to change our way of transportation now.” The Devil jumped down from the carriage, opened the black umbrella with one hand, and extended his other hand to the King.
He led the King out of the carriage.
The King stepped on the hard black soil and saw that they were in front of the long winding river.
“This is the long river of hell. All guilty and unpardoned souls will be thrown here, waiting to be sent to the next trial.”
The Devil said, making sure to pay attention to whether he had restrained his aura enough, otherwise it would be a bit troublesome if all of these fellows were unable to move.
Under the circumstances that the Devil intended, the dead souls did not notice him this time, nor did they notice the King standing on the bank of the river. They continued to squeeze forward with difficulty. The King took two steps forward to observe these overlapping dead souls more closely.
Most of them were not whole anymore.
When the King looked around, he only saw the soul of a beautiful woman that appeared somewhat more complete than the rest.
The woman dressed as a noble lady held a man’s head in her arms lovingly as one would treat a lover. However, she had a sharp dagger in her mouth. A headless body followed the lady, moving forward with difficulty. The King keenly discovered that the style of the clothes on these souls were all very old, and no soul wore clothes of more recent times.
The Devil did not explain this.
He held up his black umbrella, raised his hand and snapped his fingers.
The King saw that not far in front of them, a cloud of white mist appeared on the long river of hell. A small boat without sails sailed out of the white mist.
“That is one of my demonic envoys, Your Majesty.”
The Devil said to the King.
The boat looked very light on the long river. The King could clearly see the “demonic envoy” mentioned by the Devil. It was a monster at a height lower than average and wore a white mask. Spread out behind the demonic envoy were huge black bat wings that didn’t match its body shape at all.
The demonic envoy used its pair of bat wings to row the boat and sail past the dead souls like a gust of wind.
The demonic envoy sailed the boat to the shore, and the Devil led the King onto the boat.
After boarding the ship, the King discovered that the boat only looked small. After boarding it, he could feel that it was very spacious within and standing on it was like standing on the ground.
The Devil led the King to the bow.
“We will sail all the way down to the location of the Lord I mentioned to you.”
Don’t know when but fire rain falling from the sky became heavier and heavier. The Devil held the black umbrella firmly and blocked the fireball-like rain for the King.
In the King’s field of vision, hell became more exotically beautiful and magnificent because of this “torrential rain.” Those red and golden fiery raindrops joined together into a heavy curtain of rain that connected the black earth with the dark red sky. Looking around, the strange black mountains also seemed to have become more beautiful in the fiery rain.
A kind of beauty that was beyond common knowledge.
The King did not dislike this kind of scenery.
The boat traveled very fast, passing through the fiery rain. When it passed a huge mountain wall, something caught the King’s attention.
“What is that?”
The King asked.
He saw a giant eye embedded in the mountain wall, and that single giant eye was as high as ten St. Wyth Church combined. It also seemed to sense the King’s gaze, its pupils turning and looking down at the very small boat when compared to its size.
“That’s the eye of wisdom and true knowledge. It later belonged to hell. Oh, look there, its twin brother is over there.”
The Devil held the umbrella and pointed out for the King.
Following the direction he pointed to, the King saw that there was indeed a closed mouth under the giant eye. Because it was too big and integrated with the mountainous rocks, it was difficult to discover it.
At this time the huge eye embedded in the rocks suddenly began to shed bloody tears slowly.
The mouth under it opened and spoke something.
The voice was thick and heavy like thunder, and was in a language that was by no means human. The King did not understand.
The Devil seemed a little too silent.
“What did it say?”
“Do you really want to know?” The Devil asked back, “that is something spoken by the famous ‘evil and destiny’.”
“Yes, I am certain.”
The King replied.
“The king will never be at peace. ”
These words seemed to have some strange magical power. When it was spoken from the Devil’s mouth, the speed of the fiery rain falling down around them slowed down a lot. The King also became silent.
In silence, the boat passed by this mountain wall.
Suddenly, what appeared before the King was an incomparable castle.
From a distance, the King saw that on the barren land, curved snake bones meandered up the dark mountain peaks, the countless spires of the towers leaving impressive shadows on the dark red sky. The King’s breathing slowed slightly.
It seemed that his pupils could only reflect the image of the castle.
The Devil was abnormally quiet, just holding the umbrella next to him and looking at the castle together with him, without giving any explanation.
The speed of the boat picked up at this stage, and within a few breaths, the castle was left behind.
The King wanted to take another look at the castle made up of snake bones and mountain peaks. However, he remembered what the Devil said back at the “wall of a hundred insects”, so he restrained the impulse.
The Devil next to him sighed with regret.
“What place is that?”
“You will know later.”
The Devil changed from the previous loquacious attitude he had in front of him, and only simply said one sentence.
The Devil hooked the King’s shoulders. The speed of the river picking up was not for no reason. They seemed to have come to the end of the long river on the surface of the ground. It turned sharply down, flowing through a huge hole, and falling downwards.
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The Devil closed the umbrella and guarded the King in his arms.
“Our journey is coming to an end, Your Majesty.”
Amidst a loud noise, the King and the Devil as well as their little boat fell down from the big cliff that was nearly at ninety degrees. They were swallowed by the hole that opened like the mouth of a giant beast, swept down into the darkness of its throat.
AN: Welcome to a journey in hell with the King.
 Quoted from ShakespearePrevious