The scene was silent.
All eyes were currently on Mr Iwasaki. Meanwhile, the three others who had just moments ago displayed some measure of fear towards Qin Ye had subconsciously and tacitly moved into a triangular formation, surrounding Iwasaki Kyouya in their midst.
“You know me?” The old man finally spoke. He truly deserved every bit of his reputation as the heir to the Mitsubishi Corporation that had reigned supreme over all of their other competition in the markets for decades. To think he was able to maintain a calm expression on his face when faced with such otherworldly threats. There wasn’t even a single tremor in his voice.
“I’ve seen you on the papers and on television. That said, it’s the first time I’ve met you in person.” Qin Ye smiled.
Iwasaki Kyouya didn’t say much more. After all, someone with his status had the privilege of access to information that wouldn’t otherwise be available to the average man on the street. After all, in a society founded upon capitalism, the drivers of the economy were just as important and influential than the government itself.
He deliberated for three full minutes before he finally responded, “When I first learnt of the reemergence of the Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl, I was immediately reminded of the instructions left behind by my ancestors - this is an invaluable Nipponese treasure, and it is the duty of the Iwasaki Clan to protect and safeguard it. This was why we had employed the use of the X-magic box.”
“However, I wasn’t aware that Oda Nobunaga’s soul would also be trapped within the box.”
“And that’s exactly why it’s not something that a mere mortal should be handling.” Qin Ye’s voice grew somber, “Once the Nipponese underworld stirs up a great war of the underworlds, the east would instantly be thrown into chaos. The protective barriers of countries would be disabled, and evil ghosts would be at liberty to roam freely and invade other nations as they wished. At that time, not even the governmental officials of nations would be able to live in peace without fear of their lives.”
This was the incontrovertible conclusion of the assumptions they were working on.
Master Kamo and the other two were still standing around Mr Iwasaki and protecting him when Dojin suddenly queried, “Mr Emissary, if I might be so bold as to ask - what are you thinking of doing with Oda Nobunaga’s soul?”
“I plan to bring him back to Cathay.” Qin Ye responded placidly.
“”Bring?” Jingo’s eyes narrowed, “And might I ask what you’re planning to do with him back in Cathay? Besides, has he even agreed to meet with you in the first place?”
His latter statement carried some undertones of aggression and agitation, but that was quickly dispelled by a sharp glare from Qin Ye.
“You don’t seem to understand the situation you’re in very much.” Qin Ye tilted his body slightly, and wisps of Yin energy that were visible to the naked eye began to pour out of his body, causing his clothes to flutter on their own. His gaze grew incisive, “Your great goddess of the dead, Lazy Izanami, is planning to use the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven to trigger yet another era of war between the underworlds. The only way to prevent this is to banish Nobunaga’s soul to a place that Izanami would never dare to make an attempt against.”
“And where might that be?” Qin Ye stared at them with eagle eyes, “Back to the depths of Mount Koya?”
“The Cathayan underworld is the only place in the world that Izanami would never dare step foot into.”
He snorted and continued with a frigid voice, “First of all, the Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl has already developed a quasi-realm of its own. I’m not trying to look down on Mount Koya, but I sincerely believe it would take you at least two hundred years to break the seal on the quasi-realm. Can you be so certain that you won’t make a single mistake during this process or lose the bowl to another incursion by the NIpponese emissaries?”
Dojin’s expressions turned ugly. This was the Scourge of Buddha. It was an existence that would have to be sealed in the depths of their monastery in Mount Koya for a protracted process of purification. This was the only way they could completely purge it of the evil within.
He opened his mouth and glanced anxiously at Ming Shiyin, and then grew silent once more.
Qin Ye continued slowly, “Secondly, there are currently two thousand five hundred souls residing within the Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl. Are you Sure Mount Koya would have the ability to deal with all of them? Even if you succeed in gaining access to the quasi realm within, are you sure Mount Koya won’t be razed to the ground by their armies in the very next second?”
The negotiations with the Onmyojis had already begun in the most unexpected of circumstances.
However, the stage had been set perfectly for his negotiations. Scarlet 01’s words had already stirred doubts in their hearts, and the balance of the scales of negotiations were now tipping in his favour. He no longer needed to beg with the Onmyojis for their cooperation. Instead, he simply needed to rehash the kind of predicament they were in. And then, all he had to do afterwards was simply to praise and exaggerate Hell’s ability to deal with the situation in order to create the perception of difference in their standing. That would be more than enough to give rise to the results he wanted.
He might even have the chance to seize the Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl without even engaging in a fight.
“Two thousand five hundred souls?!” “How is that possible?!” “That’s unbelievable!”
The three Nipponese cultivators gasped at the same time. They had expected there to be at best ten Yin spirits hidden within the quasi-realm. Such a massive gathering of Yin spirits wasn’t something that any single faction of cultivators would be able to handle on their own.
“We’ve already made all the necessary preparations to guide his soul safely into Hell! Or are you telling me that you rather us step in only after everything goes to hell? Shouldn’t we nip the problem in its bud? If you possess the ability to do so, then by all means - go ahead! Otherwise, shut your trap!”
He hardly minced his words at all. But he knew that such an attitude only accorded well with the kind of reputation that the Cathayan underworld had.
The two monks exchanged a glance, and then promptly grew taciturn.
The ramifications were far too great, and they weren’t able to fully entrust everything to the hands of a foreign emissary.
“Sir.” Master Kamo finally spoke up with a grave expression on his face, “Everything that we’ve heard is coming entirely from you. There’s no proof to corroborate your claims that there are indeed two thousand five hundred souls residing within the bowl’s quasi realm, as well as your allegation that Cathay will act in accordance with your claims. Our concern is that…”
He paused to pick his words carefully, “There’s no assurance that you wouldn’t just recant on your position and allow him to wreak havoc in the mortal realm.”
These were the concerns of a relatively smaller nation and its underworld.
They hadn’t even considered the possibility that Cathay’s underworld was presently under a new regime, and that they were actually attempting to seize Oda Nobunaga’s soul for themselves!
Are you kidding?
Given the depths of Hell’s forces, Nobunaga would at best be relegated to serving as one of the many commanders in their forces. He would be nothing more than a digit.
Qin Ye chuckled deep within.
As expected, the negotiations weren't a complete walkover. After all, none of the persons around were idiots, and they naturally wouldn’t be convinced merely by his words. They would need something more, such as evidence and proof.
Whoosh… As soon as Master Kamo finished speaking, a long scroll shot out and unraveled itself in the air. The four men immediately skimmed through its contents. And then, when they finally got to the very end of the document, their eyes narrowed at the same time.
It was Oda Nobunaga’s personal seal.
It was said that the seal was burnt to a crisp by the great inferno at the Honnoji incident. Naturally, the only person who could possibly still be in possession of the seal was none other than Oda Nobunaga himself.
“This is…” The three cultivators immediately stepped forward to take a closer look, but Qin Ye promptly stashed it away.
They had just seen Oda Nobunaga’s endorsement which stated that he represented the two thousand five hundred Yin spirits under his command.
They weren’t given the opportunity to scan the rest of the contents, including the particulars pertaining to “one underworld, two systems”, or the “special administrative region”.
“This is Cathay’s extradition agreement, and its contents are top secret. You’re not entitled to scrutinize its particulars.” He gently folded the agreement, “We’re allowing you a glimpse of this agreement and Oda Nobunaga’s personal seal of endorsement as a gesture of our sincerity. I’m proving to you that I’m telling you the truth. If you still have any doubts, I believe you have men under your charge who are able to verify the authenticity of Oda Nobunaga’s seal.”
“You’re ambitious!” Ming Shiyin gasped as it continued, “You have a good grasp of the human heart and mind. You took advantage of the high-pressure situation and rode on the coattails of Hell's reputation in order to pull a veil over their eyes and prevent them from uncovering the secrets that are plaguing Hell. After all, what's important right now isn't the details of what's written, but Oda Nobunaga's seal, isn't that right?”
“That's right.” Qin Ye made an attempt to communicate with Ming Shiyin telepathically. To his surprise, his thoughts soon manifested as a voice directed at Ming Shiyin, “This isn't a regular case. This is something that concerns the East altogether. Under such circumstances, their attention would never be so much on the fine print of the agreement as it would be on the identity of the person signing off on the bottom line. Oda Nobunaga's endorsement naturally means that they're not standing against us as opposites. It also lends credence to what we've earlier mentioned, including the fact that we would take him away. Therefore, it suffices that the seal is authentic. Speaking of which, this communication function of yours is pretty nifty.”
Ming Shiyin grew silent. A few moments, it probed carefully, “Does it no longer occur to you that I’m still a preeminent existence that strikes fear in the hearts of many? I should at least be able to do this much.”
Qin Ye ignored the braggart whose floodgates of vainglory unlock at the slightest of praise, and he turned back to everyone else, “Does anyone still have any opinions?”
Ming Shiyin gleamed brightly.
Qin Ye continued placidly, “Well, you can hold your tongue even if you’ve got something to say. I, for one, don’t have the luxury of time to be debating with you all… Mr Iwasaki, what do you say?”
He looked Mr Iwasaki straight in the eye.
Mr Iwasaki sighed deeply, and then chuckled bitterly, “Once you’re done cleansing the bowl, would I still have a chance to purchase it from you?”
Eh??? This suggestion… is something right up my alley…
“But of course.” Qin Ye fought hard to keep a straight face. His heart had suddenly felt like a field of blossoming flowers with Mr Iwasaki’s suggestion.
“Alright.” Iwasaki Kyouya gritted his teeth and nodded his head. He knew better than to decide otherwise. And as soon as he gave in, the others immediately shook their heads.
Qin Ye finally heaved a sigh of relief in his heart. Who would’ve thought that the negotiations with the Onmyojis would go so smoothly? One could even say that the great success of these negotiations had practically changed the course of events!
The entire sequence of events had run so smoothly it was akin to a racehorse that had made a mad dash from start to finish!
He had ridden on Hell’s coattails and capitalized on Oda Nobunaga’s personal seal so well that he might not even have to head all the way to the Strait of Tsushima! The damned Azai Nagamasa would never know who he is! Once the box was opened, he would immediately seize possession of the Obsidian Heaven’s Eye Bowl and return to Eastsea. Perfect.
“So…” Qin Ye drew a deep breath and fervently repressed the swelling ecstasy in his heart. But just then, a voice abruptly interrupted him.
“Are you trying to open the X-magic box?” A hoarse, somewhat-groggy voice echoed through the cargo hold.
Grandmaster Chu stood at the entrance. His eyes were somewhat glazed over, and he trembled as he glanced at Master Kamo, “Are you not auctioning off the bowl anymore? This wasn’t what we’ve agreed upon! We’re on the cusp of an auction of unprecedented scale! Our names will forever be recorded in the annals of history!”
“I’ve never thought of auctioning it off.” Master Kamo glanced indifferently at Grandmaster Chu, “If not for the forceful intervention of the Mitsubishi Group, as well as the employment of an unbreachable security measure like the X-magic box, you would no longer be in possession of this national treasure by now.”
Tweet! He waved his hand, and a paper crane flew towards Grandmaster Chu, “Get some sleep. We’ll make up for your loss.”
“No way!!!” Grandmaster Chu’s voice suddenly crescendoed. As soon as the paper crane arrived in front of him, he abruptly slammed his fist down onto his chest. Then, with a vicious expression on his face, and trembling lips, he turned to Iwasaki Kyouya, “Mr Iwasaki… you… are you also backing out on the auctions?”
Iwasaki Kyouya’s wrinkled eyes drooped slightly as he responded with an indirect word of wisdom, “Young man, there are times when one needs to know how to let go.”
His words were like a bolt of lightning that struck Grandmaster Chu. Grandmaster Chu shuddered all over and took a few steps back as he glared at everywith with great disbelief. Then, he shook his head as though he were overcome with insanity, “Then… then have you ever thought of what would happen to Guardian Auctions?!”
“We’ve spread the word and made all the preparations leading up to these major auctions. And yet, right on the cusp of it all, you’re capitulating on your earlier decision?! What’s going to happen to Guardian Auctions in future?! What’s going to happen to all of our employees?!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter