“Yes…” Kim Jae-huan calmed his mind down as he slowly recounted, “Mr Lee brought her back to Daehan. He blamed himself, thinking that he was the cause of the young girl’s memory loss. Furthermore… he had always known that this girl wasn’t simple. He had obviously witnessed her death with his own two eyes, but she returned to life. He thought he was seeing things… until…”
“He discovered that her appearances remained exactly the same, despite the fact that ten years had passed!”
“Moreover, nobody knows what methods she’s used, but in the span of a single decade, she’s managed to secure a firm foothold and presence within the Samsung Group, so much so that every important policy and product to be rolled out would all require her prior approval! And to that end, none of the decisions she has made has ever been a bad one!”
But that’s only natural… If she’s indeed Xia Jinse, she would have experienced three whole dynasties across the history of Cathay! She would have internalized her experiences with human interaction spanning four hundred long years and developed a sharp acumen for the human psyche. Even the dumbest of fools would have become a genius by then!
Memories could be forgotten, but her experiences were things that could never be taken away from her. These would become internalized and form part of her mind’s instincts and intuitions.
Kim Jae-huan continued, “Now that things have come to this, we can’t help but wonder if she’s been slowly sowing seeds all this while, grooming and nurturing her supporters in order to cement her foothold in the Samsung Group! Presently, most of Samsung Group’s directors are all personnel who only made it to the top under her recommendations! Of ten of them, at least half are aware that she’s not a human, and yet… they’re still undyingly loyal to her!”
I think I’ve got something to say to that.
Qin Ye pursed his lips slightly - This is all thanks to the system of corporate governance the Daeians are used to, where the subordinates exhibit unwavering loyalty to their superiors. It’s an entire food chain of bootlickers! Any person who has lived and interacted with society for over 400 years on end would most certainly have some tricks up their sleeves… Do you really think those directors of yours are going to be able to resist her entreatment?
A confluence of strategy, politics and the grace of promotions… tsk, tsk, tsk… I’m afraid she must have managed to garner herself quite the following within the organization hasn’t she? She’s the whole package that grants benefits and fulfils ambitions and dreams. It would be a wonder if people aren’t blindly following and supporting her! She’s also a Lee after all!
“Last but not least… the old Mr Lee has once said this before - Lee Jung-sook may not be part of the direct lineage of Lees, but she has to be treated as one of them.”
Qin Ye sighed. He’s really run himself into a corner. I’ll bet old Mr Lee must be regretting his actions back then. It’s no wonder that you’re here begging the Cathayan gods for help. I’m sure you must have prayed to the gods in Daehan before. Unfortunately, they were all powerless. For instance… do you think Liu Yu would even care about something like that?
As for me…
Of course I’d take an interest in this matter!
Quite apart from the fact that this ‘demon’ they’re talking about could very well be Xia Jinse, Samsung Group’s repayment for a favour as large as this wouldn’t be any less than amounts in the region of a billion RMB!
“Right now, the pressure’s all on old Mr Lee’s shoulders… because no matter who takes on the mantle of being chairperson of the Samsung Group, not a single person is able to shake the foothold Lee Jung-sook has established for herself in the company!” Kim Jae-huan gnashed his teeth, “She’s a monster! She shouldn’t even be alive in this world! So long as you reap her soul and cause her to die, then every single one of us in the Lee Family would even be willing to fork out 200 million RMB per person! Or its equivalent in Hell’s notes!”
Qin Ye listened with great elation, at least until the very last statement which Kim Jae-huan made.
What the hell am I supposed to do with hell’s notes?!
Listen to yourself! What kind of human being are you? Does it even make sense to be thanking someone using hell’s notes?
But… what frustrated Qin Ye the most was the fact that he simply couldn’t express these grievances of his!
Imagine if a numinous manifestation of Ksitigarbha’s statue were to rub his fingers together suggestively and plead for money. What would others think? If Lord Ksitigarbha were watching from the heavens, he would most certainly gaze upon the next King Yanluo of Hell with great disdain!
Besides, it would be far too late for Qin Ye to now state that his identity was only that of Ox-Head or Horse-Face!
Why did I manifest myself in the statue of Lord Ksitigarbha in the first place?!! Weren’t there two other living persons around earlier? Had I taken possession of their bodies, it would’ve been perfectly fine for me to introduce myself as Ox-Head or Horse-Face! But now that I’m in the statue of Ksitigarbha… there’s simply no turning back!
He was indescribably vexed in his heart, yet the only response he could think of was a soft, placid “mm”.
I remember old Mr Lee had a total of seven or eight children, didn’t he? That’s over a billion that we’re talking about… I know. I’ll relay a message to them through a dream as soon as I return to Hell. I’ll say that I’m one of Hell’s messengers, and the big boss of Hell is looking to settle the accounts. That’ll do it. And as for my face and my pride--...
Are you serious?
What’s there to discuss about face and pride when there’s over a billion RMB sitting right in front of you?!
And as for Xia Jinse, huh… There’s naturally a place in Hell for her, where she can with her acumen help with the tall, arduous task of empire-building. Qin-far-sighted-Ye nodded to himself, approving of his own flawless plans.
“Is there anything special or noteworthy about her?” Qin Ye finally asked after a long protracted silence. Kim Jae-huan eyes instantly brightened up, “There… there is!”
“Her entire body… is covered with tattoos. Cathayan characters, as well as arabic numbers. I couldn’t read them, but I committed the shape of a few to memory, reproduced them and showed them to others. Unfortunately, the only response I got was that they don’t mean a single word. Apart from that…”
He drew a deep breath, “These so-called tattoos… are all carved into her skin with the blade of a knife.”
Qin Ye’s heart skipped a beat.
Carving these words onto her skin with a knife?
Qin Ye knew that he wouldn’t have been able to do the same himself.
Skin and complexion to a lady was no different from muscles to a man. Mutilate my own glorious muscles? Impossible. Absolutely impossible.
“Where’s she?” Qin Ye asked again. It was of utmost importance to make contact with her at the earliest possible time.
Unexpectedly, Kim Jae-huan’s response startled him, “Azurewaters City!”
Azurewaters City? What’s she doing there?
Without missing a beat, Kim Jae-huan sensibly explained, “She’s there because many of Samsung’s component production plants and assembly plants are all located across Eastmount Province. It’s located near Daehan, and the labour is cheap. She’s come over to inspect the plants because of the recent spate of problems with Samsung cell phones, and we’ve had the opportunity to tag along. Otherwise… she would never allow us to come to these places…”
“Because as soon as we’re discovered… she would stonewall our proposed resolutions in the company at every step of the way. At present, more than half of Samsung Group’s board of directors are loyal to her! Furthermore, with a 5% stake in the company, she’s one of the few shareholders of Samsung who’s holding more than 2% in the company! In other words, her instructions and opinions hold sway! One could even say that… she’s the true empress behind the Samsung empire!”
“Be it looks, means, or attitude, she’s indubitably the most terrifying existence that I’ve ever come across in my entire life! She’s truly a demon. I beg of you, please take her away! We cannot afford to let Samsung crash and burn in my generation!”
So that’s how it is…
Qin Ye nodded softly. No wonder Kim Jae-huan had come to Cathay to enlist the aid of Cathayan gods.
They are of the view that only the Cathayan underworld could do something about a lady of Cathayan descent. Furthermore, they would never get a chance to visit Cathay on any other occasion.
But… something’s still not right. I’ve eaten the taisui fungus as well… so why was I relegated to running a measly backyard coffin store, while she rose to the top of the Samsung empire?!
Could I have been doing it wrong all this while? Should I have ridden the wave and been as high-profile as I could’ve been? Just like how I am in the mortal realm right now, raking in all the dough as though it didn’t mean a thing!
But just as Qin Ye were reassessing his life choices, he suddenly heard a series of infuriated cries from outside the door, “What are you doing?!” “Ms Lee Jung-sook, please don’t go too far!” “You’re not allowed to enter! Mr Kim is inside!”
Smack! Smack! There were two muffled smacks, followed by the heavy thuds of something falling on the ground. A moment later, the door to the prayer hall was flung wide open with a loud slam.
A lady, escorted by two rows of bodyguards, strode right into the hall.
Even though Qin Ye had seen his fair share of ladies from questionable online sources, he couldn’t help but marvel at the magnificent work of the creator.
She was beautiful.
Snow-white skin; deep, abstruse eyes that appeared to contain the starry night skies; sharp ebony brows; high nose-bridge; and cherry lips.
She was approximately 1.68m tall, but her heels made her stand tall like models. Her hair looked different from the photograph Qin Ye had seen - it was coiled up and bunched together with a trace of mature charm.
She was beautiful, but… he could tell she wasn’t to be messed with.
This was Qin Ye’s assessment of her at first glance.
It arose from her temperament and disposition.
She carried herself with a sharp disposition and an air of sobriety. She wore a black office skirt and had a well-cut women’s suit draped over her shoulder. Her shirt’s collar and cuffs were adorned with emerald buttons, giving her an air of untouchable elegance that separated her from the rest of the riffraff. Two small and delicate earrings hung from her ears, completing the look of ascetic fashion.
Lee Jung-sook’s eyes shrank abruptly as soon as she entered the prayer hall.
It was because she noticed it. It was dark in the hall, and the candlelights were all blown out, but she could still see the dark and heavy eyes of Ksitigarbha’s statue.
“Everyone out.” She spoke calmly, and the two rows of bodyguard nodded and walked out without question.
Only Kim Jae-huan and Lee Jung-sook remained in the prayer hall.
Silence. The only sounds that could be heard in the prayer hall were the soft chirps of the crickets outside, and the loud clacks of Lee Jung-sook’s heels.
“Do you know what time it is?” She abruptly turned to Kim Jae-huan with great ferocity. On the other hand, Kim Jae-huan was already shaking and leaning heavily against the pillar. He bit down heavily onto his lips and shook his head softly.
Lee Jung-sook wore long stockings over her legs, and she walked towards Kim Jae-huan with elegance and grace. And then, she placed her wrist directly in front of Kim Jae-huan’s face.
Kim Jae-huan trembled as he switched on the light on his phone to illuminate her watch, almost as though he had done this many times over in the past.
“Do you know the answer now?” Lee Jung-sook asked with a faint smile.
Kim Jae-huan bit down on his lips and gently nodded.
A split second later, she pinched his cheeks violently and continued with a frigid tone of voice, “It’s four.
“Four in the morning.”
“I’ve rushed to the processing plants to deal with the issue of the Samsung cell phone explosions, and yet you stab me in the back by visiting such places?!”
“Do you think I’m unaware of what you guys have been calling me behind my back? Monster? The monster of Hanyang? The accursed Lee Jung-sook? Let me tell you something--...” She leaned in closer to Kim Jae-huan’s side, so close that he could even feel her breaths on his cheeks, “I don’t even care.”
And then, she pushed hard and tossed Kim Jae-huan to the ground with a look of disdain in her eye, “It doesn’t matter what you say. Samsung has only managed to become what it is now because of me. Do you know how many competitors I’ve taken down on my own? Don’t you dare say that the other directors are loyal to me. No. They’re just being loyal to the interests of the Samsung Group. They know that Samsung Group would never fall as long as I’m around. So, tell me - am I missing something? Did I shortchange the Lee Family in some way? Or do you find the dividends or directors’ remuneration insufficient? Why are you so intent on putting me down?!”
Then, she smiled faintly, almost like a poppy flower blooming in the dark, “Unfortunately… I cannot die.”
“Get out.” She turned around to look at the statue in the room, “This is going to be the last time. If something like this ever happens again, then don’t blame me for taking more drastic measures. I’ve put up with you guys long enough now.”
Kim Jae-huan scuttled off in an instant.
It was quite the sight seeing someone so fraught with hatred suddenly tuck his tail between his legs and scuttle off obsequiously. As he left, he even slammed the door shut behind him.
The prayer hall was filled with silence once more.
It was so silent that even the soft whistle of the night wind sounded deafening.
All that remained in the prayer hall was a lady and a statue.
After a protracted pause, Lee Jung-sook spoke up again. But this time, her voice carried a trace of weariness. The previously overbearing persona had faded away, revealing a far more innocent disposition of a young girl who gently tucked her hair behind her ear as she spoke with a smile , “He’s really managed to invite something, hasn’t he…? A god?”
Qin Ye remained silent, and continued to size her up with a complicated look in his eyes.
Formidable. Cutthroat and decisive. But… I don’t like women like that.
He would much prefer a lady that was gentle as waters, and not a spicy pepper that would set his mouth on fire.
Still no response.
Lee Jung-sook nodded softly, “Thank you.”
And then… she… began to undo her blouse.Previous Chapter Next Chapter