Chapter 369: Where the River Runs into the Sea

“Then it’s decided!” Qin Ye’s thoughts came together all at once in a great wave of enlightenment, and he immediately gave his nod of approbation.

“Hang on a minute.” Arthis suddenly interjected and glanced at Qin Ye suspiciously, “How do I put this… This situation is akin to you pulling off your protection, only to get hard and erect once more… It’s practically unscientific. Why did you suddenly agree to their suggestion? Come, please start your show of analytics.”

Bloody hell…

Qin Ye nearly couldn’t resist the urge to give her two tight slaps across the cheeks - This damned ghost… She’s starting to speak my language!

That said, what do you mean it’s unscientific?! Can’t I have a short cooldown?

“Of course it’s because of the excellent geographic location…” Qin Ye attempted to conceal his glee with a sullen expression.

Arthis gazed deeply into his eyes and blinked vacantly, “Do you know that dimples naturally form on your cheek when you begin to smile? Contracting your muscles to stifle that smile of yours makes your expression incomparably weird.”

What the hell?! Did my dimples do something to piss you off?!

Qin Ye turned away to ignore her, but Arthis continued to press on, “Given your personality, you would most certainly have chosen Breakwaters Province instead. That’s perfect for a trading port city as well. Furthermore, it’s closer to the City of Salvation, and you’re even familiar with the locality because you’ve just been there. Or you would have alternatively chosen the Fulling Province instead. So what was the deciding factor that made you depart from your personal inclinations?”

Qin Ye coughed awkwardly, “The most important thing is… naturally the fact that Eastmount Province is close to both Nippon and Daehan. It would enable us to keep a close watch over the Nipponese underworld, and it would at the same time be more convenient to pop over to the Hanyang underworld to check on Liu Yu and his forces from time to time…”

If Arthis didn’t know Qin Ye any better, she might well have bought his story.

After all, it was as good a reason as any other. It even paints the new King Yanluo of Hell in an exemplary light.

Unfortunately, he was dealing with none other than Arthis.

She stared at Qin Ye for some time, before abruptly parting her lips and whispering with absolute certainty, “Xia Jinse.”

Bloody hell… Qin Ye's eyes were practically blazing with flames. He couldn’t wait for the day when he could rain hellfire and brimstone on Arthis’ head.

Some people are just disgusting and vile. The more I try to conceal something, the more she’s bent on digging it up. Shit doesn’t smell bad unless you dig it up from the ground! I mean… what are you trying to achieve by revealing everything over here?!

“Who’s that?” Wang One Tail, who had been silent all this while, suddenly stirred in his seat. He turned to look at Qin Ye with a dogged gaze, “Are there peach blossoms in this world that I’m unaware of? Brother Qin, is she yours?”

Qin Ye’s face grew inexplicably ashen. Yet Arthis promptly remarked before he could even say a thing, “Love… what does it matter? Fortunately, you have your priorities right. After all, how are you going to trade with Hanyang without establishing a port city? Speaking of which, why do you suddenly look so… invigorated? Tsk, tsk, tsk… lad, you’re in the springtime of youth, aren’t you…”

“Since you know love doesn’t matter, then what are you still doing flapping your lips around here?” Qin Ye gritted his teeth and whispered back with a harsh voice. Then, he turned back to the meeting room and forcibly changed the topic, “Who’s willing to explain your decisions to me?”

Everyone’s eyes immediately fell on Gu Qing, who promptly coughed softly as he stood up, “I’ll do it.”

Arthis casually made a hand seal, and a screen of Yin energy appeared once more, depicting a detailed topological map of Cathay divided into its provinces. Gu Qing walked over and pointed to Insignia Province, “First of all, the closest location for a sea port city is undoubtedly the Breakwaters Province. If we lay down our roots there, we’d immediately be able to harvest a great number of Yin spirits. Naturally, it looks like an attractive option at first blush. But in truth, picking this as an option… would be rather dangerous.”

“We’ve got no choice but to take into consideration the risks involved in having Your Majesty traverse the mortal realm to place landmarks for the purposes of Hell’s expansion. To this end, Eastsea City is undoubtedly one of the most heavily guarded places in the mortal realm. Whether Special Investigations Department, SRC or other organizations, sects or clans, most of them would have branches located within Eastsea. It’s going to be incredibly difficult to navigate the complex networks of society there, so we’ve all summarily excluded Eastsea from our considerations.”

“In fact, the same issue pervades the entire Breakwaters Province. Since time immemorial, Breakwaters Province has always been a land of riches and a symbol of affluence. One could even say that Breakwaters Province is one of the provinces that drives Cathay’s GDP and economy. Furthermore…” He waved the documents in his hand, “The fact that not a single one of these requests have come from the urbanized areas in the Breakwaters Province tells us one important thing.”

He cleared his throat, “Breakwaters Province is rich and can easily attract the cultivators of their desired calibre with the resources at their disposal. In other words, they have no shortage of cultivators. Additionally, we need to consider the robust security of Eastsea City which naturally radiates to its surroundings, which includes Breakwaters Province. That, coupled with the existence of the two ancient capitals of Cathay nearby, means that the Breakwaters Province is nigh unbreachable when it comes to its defences against the forces of the netherworld. Under these circumstances, Your Majesty might not even get the best treatment in Breakwaters, even if you display your Judge-class cultivation.”

“He’s not a Judge yet.” Arthis corrected, “Once the preparations are done, I’ll personally give him a hand in his breakthrough to becoming an Infernal Judge.”

Qin Ye glared fiercely at Arthis.

Gu Qing nodded and continued, “Eastmount Province is different. Most of the requests made have emanated from cities in the province. This leads us to our next consideration, that…”

He paused and drew a deep breath, “Eastmount Province… is located just a stone’s throw away from the three eastern provinces. In fact, it’s practically just a strait away. Since the daolord residing in the three eastern provinces has already begun to stir, he must be discontented with simply remaining within the three eastern provinces. His inclination is to leave and expand his coverage. And where can he do that? The Hale Province is already heavily guarded, while Yan Capital sits directly adjacent to them. The only way out is to cross the strait and head towards Eastmount.”

“This is an opportunity!” He stared at Qin Ye with a burning gaze, “There’s no better opportunity than this to suss out and grasp the situation on the outside. Over the past one year, Lord Qin has practically been living in paradise, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the nation isn’t in chaos. And that’s exactly what we’re looking for. After all, opportunities only present themselves in chaos!”

“As mentioned earlier, the Breakwaters Province cannot possibly be strewn in chaos, while none of the other provinces apart from Fulling Province are located along the coastline. Distance-wise, Fulling Province and Eastmount Province are approximately equal from the City of Salvation. That said, Fulling Province is located in rather close proximity to the Pearl River Delta, where the threat of a daolord would be incomparably real. Even though Eastmount Province is located close to the three eastern provinces, it’s still separated from those regions by Yan Capital by land, or a strait by sea. Thus, even though the trek to Eastmount Province might be dangerous, it’s location in and of itself would not pose a threat to your life and limb. Apart from that, it’s as Lord Qin had suggested, it also gives us a good vantage point to keep Nippon and Daehan under close scrutiny. Therefore…”

All of the ministers stood up and bowed in unison, “We are unanimously of the view that the new port city should be founded at Martial City, located within the Eastmount Province, where the Yellow River runs into the Sea!”

Martial City? I vaguely recall having been there before…

Qin Ye tapped his finger lightly on his desk as he thought more about it. Martial City was located on the top right corner of Eastmount Province. From the City of Salvation, he would have to travel across Fulling Province before finally arriving at Eastmount Province. The entire journey spanned approximately eight hundred kilometers. Taking into account the fact that his Yin spirits would be travelling on foot, and having regard for the possible Yin beasts that they might encounter… the entire journey was likely going to take approximately four or five months.

“Then we’ll tentatively decide on Martial City.” None of them were any wiser as to the actual situation outside of Hell. At best, they could only hazard a guess by extrapolating from the things that they saw back in the mortal realm, “Following this, I want everyone to focus your efforts on research on the situation at Martial City. Ask around and see how many people have been to Martial City, and gather as much information as you can. Apart from that…”

He turned to a chubby, middle-aged man, “Minister Zhao.”

“Present.”

“We’ll tentatively fix the date of departure exactly two months from now. Over these two months, I expect the Ministry of Manpower to be working at full steam. You should have your own records of the talents that are currently in Hell right now. The City of Salvation has its limitations, but opportunities to be made a civil servant of Hell are aplenty when we arrive at Martial City! Thus, in a months’ time, I want a complete list of the names and profiles of the Yin spirits who would be taking charge of the Martial City administration. These people who have been named will be embarking on the long journey together with us! I don’t care what preferential policies you’re going to come up with, but if you can’t put together a proper list of Yin spirits, or if they aren’t well thought out or considered in any way, you’ll have to answer directly to me!”

Minister Zhao took notes quickly and responded in earnest, “Although I was only a deputy mayor back in the mortal realm, I still had at least fifty thousand people under my charge. You can rest assured.”

What a massive grassroots division…

Qin Ye sighed softly. At present, he didn’t even have a single person in Hell who used to be a county mayor or a county party secretary. However, it didn’t bother him that much, because he knew full well that even the brightest talents had worked their way up from the very bottom of the food chain. Cathay was filled with hidden talents that simply needed the right opportunities.

Incidentally, Hell had all the opportunities that they could ever ask for. The only thing Hell needed right now was Yin spirits! More Yin spirits meant more Yin soldiers. Then, coupled with the resources on hand… Hell would finally be able to establish a provincial capital!

And once that was done, Hell’s foundation would finally be complete.

“Then, that settles it for now.” Qin Ye stood up, “Everyone, let me stress it once again - the founding of a new city is of the utmost importance to Hell’s development right now. If anyone slips up, then don’t blame me for being merciless to you. The meeting is adjourned. Arakshasa, Oda Nobunaga, Gu Qing, please remain behind.”

Eh? The transformation is over?

Arthis glanced at Qin Ye with great satisfaction. This was what she admired most about him. There were some people who would simply grumble and complain when push came to shove. These were naturally people who weren’t destined to achieve anything. On the other hand, Qin Ye’s wealth of life experience told him that when there was no longer anywhere to run or hide, then it was all the more important to rise to the occasion and become more ferocious than the problem he was faced with. Consume the problem, before he was consumed by the problem. That was the only way to survive.

This was undoubtedly the wisest approach in life. Although Qin Ye was usually unreliable, Arthis had faith that he would always make the right decisions when it actually mattered.

Just like that, everyone departed from the meeting, leaving the three leaders behind in the annex hall. Qin Ye paced around the hall for some time, ostensibly deep in contemplation, before finally addressing them after a protracted period of silence, “Everyone, I’ve decided that I’ll personally watch over the development of the sea port city as soon as our expedition arrives at Martial City. What do you think?”

Gu Qing pondered deeply for some time, “I think that’s fine. The Yin spirits of Hell all come from the mortal realm, and their mindsets and perspectives are probably still set in their old ways. We don’t have in place an education system to imbibe them with the ways of Hell just yet. Thus, it might be better to go with the flow and keep their capitalist minds focused on economic growth and development. Once the sea port city is fully up and running, it would be no less significant than their Eastsea City counterpart back in the mortal realm. For us, it would be no different from a blood vessel that constantly sends a transfusion of blood straight into the new Hell. Given its importance, we can’t afford to have untrustworthy people helming the operation over there.”

“But what about the City of Salvation?” Arthis furrowed her brows, “This is where the foundation of Hell lies. And don’t look at me, I’m not cut out for politics at all.”

“I didn’t think you would rise up to the occasion anyway.” Qin Ye rolled his eyes, before turning to Oda Nobunaga and nodding deeply at him, “Nobunaga-kun, I’ll entrust the City of Salvation to you from now on.”

Oda Nobunaga, the man who was adept in governance and the military, was the best candidate for this role!

Oda Nobunaga froze, and then slowly raised his eyebrows in great astonishment, “Me?”

Arthis’ and Gu Qing’s jaws dropped at the same time. They were left completely speechless.

Qin Ye gazed deeply at them, before shaking his head, “I’d never use someone whom I’d be suspicious of. I’m not a man who discriminates based on heritage. Nobunaga-kun is now wearing our armor, speaking our language, and has even pledged his allegiance to Hell. He’s one of us. What do you say, Nobunaga-kun?”

He turned to Oda Nobunaga, just in time to catch the bright gleam in the depths of his eyes. Seconds later, Oda Nobunaga stood up and placed his fist over his heart with a resounding thud, “Lord Qin, rest assured.”

“Good.” Qin Ye smiled and turned to the rest, “Tomorrow, we commence the construction of the Hall of Tremors, and then I’ll return to the First Academy of Cultivators to report our decision. I’m afraid things will move quickly from now on. Arakshasa, please refine the landmarks as quickly as possible. Nobunaga-kun, I want you to lead an expedition of all Yin soldiers to battle against the blight vermin in the old Hell, and I want this done before I’m even done setting up the landmarks back in the mortal realm. That way, once the Beacons of Light begin to shine, I’ll return to Hell as quickly as I can, and the army can march pronto!”

“Yes!”

“Then, that settles everything. Meeting adjourned.”

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