Kim Jae-huan froze for a moment. The mere mention of the witching hour sent shivers down his back.
In that instant, it felt almost as though there were countless pairs of eyes hidden in the dark shadows outside, watching him intently from the abysses of darkness. Terror filled his mind and gripped his heart.
The room was filled with pin drop silence. Kim Jae-huan gulped nervously, only to inadvertently startle himself.
Suppressing the fear rising from within his heart, Kim Jae-huan mustered every measure of courage he could, “What do you want with it?”
“It’s useful to me.” Lee Jung-sook responded curtly, “And you’d better hurry. I don’t have a lot of time.”
With gritted teeth, Kim Jae-huan pulled out his phone and forwarded a document to Lee Jung-sook. Then, he sighed, “Satisfied?”
Lee Jung-sook didn’t say more. She accepted the document that was sent to her and promptly stood up and took her leave.
Click. The door clicked behind her, and Kim Jae-huan’s heart was finally set at ease once more. He ran his finger through his hair as he secretly cursed in his heart, “Damn it…”
I should never have come to Cathay!
He knew he could no longer sleep with so much on his mind. Thus, he got out of the bed, walked to the window and watched as Lee Jung-sook entered her car together with her entourage of bodyguards. Meanwhile, he poured himself a glass of wine and stood sullenly in front of the window like a stone statue.
It was summer, and dawn came early. It wasn’t even 6.00 a.m., and the sky was already brightening up. He watched blankly as a warm glow rose peeked over the horizon, paving the way for a glorious sunrise that soon followed. The magnificent sight eased the frustrations in his heart, and he subconsciously placed his hand on the glass panels of the floor-to-ceiling window.
Lee Jung-sook’s presence in his life was just like the long, dark nights, endlessly recurring, and ever so persistent.
The start of the sunrise painted the lands with a brilliant golden sheen. But just then, the electric lights in the house suddenly snapped and flickered, before going out completely.
“What’s going on?!” Kim Jae-huan turned around in great astonishment. This was a luxury villa, and it didn’t make sense that it would face any issues with its electrical wirings and the like. And even if the authorities were carrying out a check on the power cables in the vicinity, there was no reason to do so this early in the morning.
Thud… He turned halfway, and then suddenly froze in shock.
Kim Jae-huan’s entire body seized up completely. A split second later, he began to shiver in fear. Cold sweat percolated from every pore on his forehead, while his heart began to beat out of his chest.
He’d… just bumped into something.
He was stunned.
He held his breath as terror filled his heart. His teeth chattered uncontrollably.
Hoo… Haa… The sound of ragged breaths came from right behind him. He could tell that something was standing right behind him, and quite possibly leaning right over his shoulder!
Who… is it?!
A spine-tingling sensation instantly surged from his tailbone and shot right through his mind. Goosebumps crept all over his skin. Then, with great trembling, Kim Jae-huan mustered every bit of courage within him and turned to look towards the floor-to-ceilling window.
One second later, his legs instantly went limp, and he collapsed to the ground with a dull thud.
It was because he saw a two-meters tall, white-haired monster with a red body and one golden eye staring right at him!
“Hoo… Can I… eat him?” Crow Tengu swallowed a mouthful of saliva and licked his lips as he stared avariciously at Kim Jae-huan. He appeared to be in a daze on the ground.
“No.” The figure of Black Yaksha appeared on the floor-to-ceiling window, “He’s already considered a high-ranking official in Daehan. Make a move against someone like that, and you’ll suffer the full brunt of karma’s backlash. If you’re willing to take that risk, then, be my guest.”
Crow Tengu’s saliva dribbled out of his lips like a viscous waterfall. But, with great self-restraint, he no longer harboured any further intentions towards Kim Jae-huan.
“She was just here, but left approximately 20 minutes ago.” Black Yaksha scanned the room for clues, “Well, well, well… Should I say that this is only to be expected of a person who has lived for hundreds of years? To think that she even understands when underworld emissaries habitually rest. A single lapse of vigilance, and she vanishes from right underneath our eyes. It looks like we’ll have to teach her a lesson she’ll never forget…”
A supercar roared along the mountain roads.
This was a deep rose-coloured convertible sports car. Lee Jung-sook sat in the driver’s seat with her sunglasses on. The car was going at speeds well over 200 kmph, and the winds that rushed past swept her hair everywhere. Even then, she didn’t seem to care. Her expressions were clearly sullen and somber.
“Slow down… slow down!” Her Chanel bag that was on the passenger seat opened up, revealing a hand mirror that was used for makeup. An image of a pale infant child could be seen in the reflected image of the mirror, screaming at the top of its voice, “Are you trying to get yourself killed again?”
“Aren’t you a spirit? You’re afraid of death as well?” Lee Jung-sook snickered, and mischievously put the pedal to the metal. The wheels of the vehicle instantly kicked up a cloud full of dust.
The mirror drifted up and landed on Lee Jung-sook’s shoulder, glancing at the cliff next to them, before turning its attention to the vast expanse of the sea and the rising red sun. Then, it exclaimed, “What I’m more afraid of is how difficult it would be to locate you again after your death. I don’t want to be separated from such a good host!”
The only response she got was the ferocious roar of the engine. A broken temple soon appeared on the horizon. It was exactly the same place in which Kim Jae-huan had previously performed his summoning ritual.
“Do you remember when you first summoned me in your first foray with the Ouija Board? You were only a teen back then, and my first thought was to consume every single one of you present at that time. But it was also at that time that I discovered that you were actually able to forcefully subjugate me… Furthermore, it was a different form of subjugation from that between Yin spirits.”
“Naturally.” Lee Jung-sook’s sunglasses concealed the expression on her face. Even then, one could easily tell that there were some undertones of tenderness and warmth in her voice, “People like me… are fated to spend the rest of my life with ghosts and gods.”
The mirror turned around and lamented, “The last few decades have passed in the blink of an eye… That’s right, decades… Anyone who spends such a long time together is bound to start developing feelings for each other…”
“How am I supposed to locate you if we get separated again?
“If I’m still alive, I’ll summon you with the Ouija Board again.”
“And if you die?”
“Then I’m afraid I’ll have to trouble you to locate me.” Lee Jung-sook depressed the gas pedal further, “If you’re willing, that is.”
The mirror grew taciturn.
Several minutes later, it sighed wistfully, “Feelings… are such troublesome things.”
Just then, a mighty source of Yin energy suddenly erupted from the mirror and rushed straight out along the path they had come from!
Whoosh! The clouds in the vicinity were instantly dyed black, while Yin energy spread hundreds of meters around. An intense wind picked up and buffeted against the trees lining the roads. Within moments, the previously clear mountain path was concealed by an ominous black fog.
Then, just like the rise of a king, a hazy figure rose from the heart of the black fog amidst the cries of countless ghosts.
Unfortunately, its splendour was instantly overshadowed with two sources of Yin energy far more powerful than its own, both of which were closing in at full speed!
They were still thousands of meters away from Lee Jung-sook, yet their speed was completely unfathomable. Furthermore, the quality of their Yin energy was far higher than that of the Yin spirit from the mirror!
At once, the otherwise silent and desolate mountain path was filled with the roar of mighty ghosts. Majestic Yin energy poured out of Black Yaksha and Crow Tengu’s illusory bodies as they hurtled through the air and made a beeline towards the red supercar whose speed was feeble at best. The two mighty ghosts didn’t even bother glancing at the cloud of Yin energy that was separating them from their target.
“Get lost!!” The three clouds of Yin energy collided in an instant, and the Yin spirit of the mirror was instantly washed away, only to reveal a little girl who appeared no older than seven years of age.
She didn’t have a face. To be more precise, the only aperture on her face was that of her round mouth, filled with razor-sharp teeth.
Despite being faced with two seemingly overwhelming forces, she didn’t appear fazed in the slightest.
SSS!!! A split second later, countless tongues shot out of her mouth like venomous vipers and bound up the limbs of Crow Tengu and Black Yaksha in an instant.
“A Daehan ghost… actually dares challenge the authority of an underworld that has stood for over a millennium?” Black Yaksha sneered. At once, his hair flourished like dazzling blades, cutting off the bondage of the tongues wherever it passed. Within moments, countless broken appendages fell straight to the ground and dissipated with a cloud of smoke.
Shk, shk, shk! Black Yaksha unleashed a flurry of strikes in an instant, cleaving at the multitude of tongues that were still coming their way without lowering his speed in the slightest. Unfortunately, they were forced to come to a halt in mere moments afterwards.
A series of tongues had interwoven themselves into a seamless and watertight net that obstructed all passage. Just then, one by one, hideous eyes began to open up on the net of tongues, all of which stared intently at the two interlopers.
All evil ghosts were terrifying in their own rights.
“You really seem to be courting death, aren’t you?” The two clouds of Yin energy roared wildly as they transformed into two mighty vortices that promptly coalesced before the great net. Moments later, Black Yaksha and Crow Tengu slowly marched out of the dense clouds of Yin energy and bared their fangs before the obstruction before their eyes.
“Haha… You’re free to reveal your Judge-class abilities… That is, if you dare.” A young girl spoke from behind the giant net of tongues. Her voice was eerily crisp and filled with mischief, “Qizhou is located right next to Azurewaters City. The movement of a Hellguard can still be attributed to the development of a predatory zone, but the movement of a Judge… would undoubtedly attract the attention of the Judge-class experts of the mortal realm!”
As she spoke, Black Yaksha’s hair danced menacingly in the air, extending endlessly as they clumped together and transformed into a series of palms with mouths, just like the thousand-armed Goddess of Mercy. It was bizarre, yet terrifying.
“Can I… eat her now?” Crow Tengu prowled along the ground like a cheetah ready to pounce. His veins rippled all over his body, while saliva continuously dribbled along the ground.
“No… I’ll do it. You go after Lee Jung-sook. Remember, you can’t kill her. If she dies, neither of us would ever be able to leave Cathay.” Black Yaksha muttered placidly, before aiming all of his palms towards the net of tongues, “Unfortunately for you, even if I suppress my cultivation to the level of a mere Anitya Hellguard, the difference in our abilities is still worlds apart.”
With that, he burst forth with a ferocious howl, darting forward like a bolt of lightning, tearing the net away, inch by inch!
At once, Crow Tengu’s body flickered and vanished from the spot. Countless scarlet tongues attempted to follow closely in the direction that Crow Tengu had vanished, but they soon seized up.
“How bold and ignorant…” Black Yaksha hovered in the sky with his arms spread wide open, revealing the multitude of weapons held in the palm of each hand. There were swords, spears, magic bells and lanterns, among others, “You’d be considered among the strongest Yin spirits back in Daehan. So, why are you courting death like that?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter