Qin Ye’s eyes narrowed.
Things aren’t over. Just like what the Second King Yanluo mentioned, casting myths and fabricating miracles is a never-ending process.
In fact, the nightmare of Gyeonggi Province might only have just begun.
Liu Yu might be relying on the strength of a foreign underworld, but he probably also understands that he cannot fully place his trust in a foreign entity. He’s wary of the possibility that Tsar Arturo might just be helping him out because their interests are aligned for now. And if that’s the case… does that mean that he’s trying to remove all traces of Arturo from the equation? To think that he wouldn’t even spare the passengers from Pusan.
Qin Ye knitted his brows, and then finally loosened them and shook his head with a sigh.
These conjectures are far too arbitrary.
I can’t be certain of anything just yet. Everything depends on the clues that I’d pick up at Daehan itself.
“Separately, I’d like you to notify Oda Nobutada as well. He’ll come along with us.”
The daolord of the asura had already obsequiously released both Oda Nobutada and Zhang Zeguang from captivity. Naturally, he’d even helped to cleanse the curse of the Immortals at the Magpie Bridge plaguing Qin Ye.
“Got it…” Wang Chenghao was dismayed to learn of the fact that their destination this time was Daehan. His impression of Daehan was that there was hardly anything to do there. To make matters worse, there seemed to be some clues pointing to unrest in those parts…
With that, he left the office. Qin Ye was left to his own thoughts for several more moments, before he, too, vanished from his spot and returned to the Green Lotus Cave.
“Have you finally made a decision?” Xu Yangyi wasn’t surprised to see Qin Ye’s appearance back here. But, on the other hand, Qin Ye was astonished to find Xu Yangyi… washing his dog…
It was an unusually fat husky.
With eyes gleaming with spiritual awareness and intelligence.
Qin Ye made eye contact with the dog, only to be struck by a peculiar sensation, almost as though he’d just found his kindred spirit…
Xu Yangyi was somewhat baffled by Qin Ye’s silence. Thus, he turned back, only to notice how Qin Ye and the husky were staring at each other. Xu Yangyi coughed dryly, “You two… know each other?”
Know him? Like hell I do!!
How did I end up being compared with a silly little dog?!
Qin Ye glared at Xu Yangyi - Endure… You can’t beat him… You definitely can’t… After some time, Qin Ye finally managed to repress the surging anger in his heart and force a faint smile to his face, “I’ve made up my mind.”
“I’ll be heading there unobtrusively.”
“Wise choice.” Xu Yangyi shook the water off his hand and then proceeded to dry his hand on the fur of the husky, to the husky’s great ire. After a brief moment of consideration, he continued, “But ceremonial processions are akin to the face of the country. How would other underworlds view Hell if you can’t even put up a proper ceremonial procession?”
Qin Ye chuckled bitterly. Needless to say, the first thought to cross their mind would most certainly be along the lines of - Dayum… Are they really so poor and weak that they can’t afford a simple ceremonial procession? Why don’t we send some troops over to have fun in their territories?
And this was particularly at times like this, when it was evident to all underworlds out there that there had to be some massive upheaval in Hell. They simply couldn’t allow others to sense even the slightest traces of weaknesses.
“Separately, take a look at this.” Xu Yangyi made a grabbing motion, and at once, a document flew right over to Qin Ye’s side.
It only took one glance at the contents to cause Qin Ye’s pupils to narrow.
It’s an SOS…
Sender: Daehan LSD.
Intended Recipient: Headquarters of the Special Investigations Department, Yan Capital, Cathay.
The message was simple. They were requesting for Cathay to immediately dispatch one of their three strongest experts to lend assistance in Daehan… in Gyeonggi Province!
It’s Gyeonggi Province again… How can it be Gyeonggi Province again?!
“LSD. It stands for Lee’s Sharp Edge.” Xu Yangyi explained, “The leading organization in charge of controlling and suppressing supernatural outbreaks. It operates directly under the instruction of the Blue House, and it’s got hundreds of years of history. Do you understand what I’m getting at?”
Qin Ye nodded gravely.
It’s a request to send the strongest combat force. In other words… if our conjecture about the large-scale supernatural outbreak in Gyeonggi Province is right, then I’m afraid that the threat faced this time would easily be in the ranks of a Prefect-class entity!
Sure, a Prefect-class expert might only be in charge of a district in Cathay, but in Daehan, he could easily be in charge of the entire country! No wonder the Daehan LSD would react this way…
“You’d best be mentally prepared for this.” Xu Yangyi waved his hand, “Tsar Arturo… The legendary nameless god of death, known to be cold and cruel. If he’s personally involved in this incident, then what comes after the supernatural outbreak would most likely be a curse.”
“They can run, and they can hide, but every victim cursed by the nameless god of death would still certainly die.”
Qin Ye’s gaze flickered.
Is that to say that the exchange student from Gyeonggi Province had died from the curse? Wouldn’t this explain how he ended up turning into a zombie?
That’s right… If that’s the case, then regardless of who it was behind these supernatural outbreaks, the modus operandi this time clearly builds around the theme of…
With that, Qin Ye departed from the Green Lotus Cave, deep in his own thoughts. After he left, the husky turned and glanced blankly in the direction that Qin Ye left, before suddenly speaking, “Why didn’t you tell him about… the problems plaguing Daehan now? They’re not trivial problems by any means. In fact, some of the problems were clearly intended for you.”
“Why should I alert him to these things?” Xu Yangyi lay back down onto his bed lazily and shut his eyes, “As a King Yanluo, I’d expect him to have an extremely keen sense of smell. Just think about how many attempts were made at my life when I was first appointed the King Yanluo of Hell? They didn’t stop until they realized that they were no match for me. It’s only going to be a matter of time before Qin Ye faces the same hardships I did back then, so why not sooner rather than later? Besides, I’ve already warned him.”
“I’ve cautioned him that the international arena… is far more cutthroat than the domestic arena that he’s been floundering on all this while. At the drop of a hat, we could find hundreds of millions of Yin soldiers marching east… Holy shit!!”
Just then, the hundred pound husky suddenly pounced on his stomach and began jumping around as though he were a trampoline.
After ten seconds, the husky finally stopped and dangled its tongue outside its mouth playfully, “You’ve become naughty…”
“I still remember the good old days when you were such a pure and innocent man. To think that your heart is this tainted now…”
Countless spots of netherflames darted around the skies, while an endless loop of scarlet lanterns slowly rose from the ground and into the sky, before finally disappearing from sight.
The surroundings were filled with dazzling colours, and ghastly citizens bustled about in a busy rhythm of footsteps. The prosperity of the Hanyang Underworld wasn’t in the least bit inferior to Ashmound City. After all, this was an underworld that had existed for a thousand years under the shelter of Hell’s wings, and it had never been ravaged by war.
Liu Yu clearly had a fantastic base of operations.
The entire city was constructed with a distinct Ming Dynasty charm, and it was hardly influenced by the colours of Daehan at all. Streamers of scriptures and red ribbons decorated the eaves of the buildings, while the towering stores and restaurants emitted uproarious laughter and applause from time to time.
Just then, a line of Yin soldiers riding their skeletal war horses galloped right through the streets. The Yin spirits hurriedly scattered to the sides, giving way to them. Anyone who didn’t get out of the way was ruthlessly cut down.
“Damn it! What the hell is this?!” “Do you even have respect for the citizens? How can we trust you to protect Hanyang?” “Sue him! Let’s go to the ministry of civil affairs and sue the hell out of these people! How dare they disrespect the law?!”
The air was filled with a series of curses at once. Even then, the Yin soldiers sped away without looking back once.
And it was precisely for that reason that none of the ghastly citizens noticed how the Yin soldiers were all wearing formal armor, replete with weapons hanging from their waists.
Rumble… rumble… The skeletal war horses galloped right out of Hanyang City, and they didn’t stop until they entered a forest, where three Yin soldiers wearing the new Tigerform Battle Armor were already waiting for them.
There was a completely different air about them. One exuded the aura of an Anitya Hellguard, while two others were clearly Soul Hunters. The Yin soldiers that had arrived were all only in the ranks of Netherworld Operatives.
At once, the Yin soldiers riding their war horses dismounted and knelt to the ground respectfully, “Lieutenant Liu Zaizheng greets the esteemed commanders.” However, their greetings weren’t met with the usual response. Instead, the three Yin soldiers wearing the new Tigerform Battle Armor simply boomed in a deep voice, “Shut up.”
Nobody said another word. The entire forest was filled with dead silence.
Liu Zaizheng’s eyes glistened with flickering netherflames, and he immediately scanned his surroundings. It was only then that he sensed that something was amiss.
Where are the usual netherflames?
That’s impossible… netherflames in these parts are like insects in the mortal realm. How could there not be insects in forests?
But the truth of the matter was that there was indeed none around these parts.
Furthermore… there was a frigid aura in the air that felt almost unbearable, even to a dead man like him. It was almost as though the temperature around these parts were far more chilling than ice itself. In fact, it felt so chilling that it could ice one’s soul over.
Urrrgggghhhh… Just then, a low, droning voice cut through the silence of the forest, as though a howl of a menacing beast. But… it was undoubtedly the voice of a Yin spirit.
Then, several more Yin spirits echoed the first with a similarly low drone or a simple groan. Within moments, as though the floodgates were open, the entire forest was filled with a cacophony of drones and groans.
They were all short and hoarse, just like the unintelligible sounds made by a man in his dying moments.
Liu Zaizheng tightened his grip around the blade hanging by his waist.
There’s something hiding in the forest…
He couldn’t help but glance enviously at the new Tigerform Battle Armor worn by his commanders at this very moment. Unfortunately, these were things that were only bestowed by the king if they attained the ranks of a Soul Hunter.
Within moments, they noticed a stir in the distance, and they finally saw it - countless figures were emerging from the shadows of the forest.
“What the--...” Several Yin soldiers gasped in horror.
It was an unforgettable sight, even for evil ghosts.
Countless zombies were stumbling out of the shadows of the forest like an unending tide. Some had rotting heads, while others had their chests and bellies split right down the middle. Some were even without lower bodies, and they were crawling out of the shadows using their upper body. They were obviously covered with flesh, but they hardly looked anything like a human being right now. Their hair were disheveled and all over the place, while their intestines, guts and entrails spilled onto the ground, dragging out several meters behind each of them. Their bodies were even covered with blood, and their joints twisted in grotesque fashion. To make matters worse, they were all approaching the very same target - the Yin soldiers.
They moved slowly. However, the Yin soldiers could tell that there was a menacing grin on the faces of the zombies covered with hideous livor mortis spots.
“It’s really them…” One of the commanders turned back, “The king has ordered that all zombies are to be slaughtered without mercy!”
“These are corpses that are entering the underworld with only their corpses! The only way to purge them is to cleave their heads from their bodies. Onward!”
“Yes, sir…” Liu Zaizheng drew a deep breath, unsheathed his blade, and then slowly marched towards the ghastly monsters.
These were the stuff of nightmares. Never in his wildest dreams would he imagine facing these things one day.
“Where the hell did they all come from? And the king’s attitude towards these things isn’t quite normal either…” One of the commanders behind the Yin soldiers gazed intently at the peculiar sight as he continued hoarsely, “What the hell happened from Gyeonggyi Province to Pusan? Why did so many of these creatures suddenly appear in our underworld?”
As he spoke, the chain in his hand slowly fell straight to the ground, slithering and spreading across the ground like a network of venomous vipers. Meanwhile, the zombies in the distance gradually moved quicker and quicker. At first, they were merely hobbling, and then walking… and several seconds later, every single one of them were screaming and snarling with drool dripping from their lips as they rushed over at speed!
URRRGGGHHHH!!! There was no telling just how many of them there were. The ground rumbled softly with their approach. It was easily in the thousands!
Innumerable hands mottled with livor mortis spots reached forward, partially obscuring their contrived faces as they bared their yellowing teeth at the Yin soldiers. At once, the Yin soldiers found themselves completely engulfed by the tide of corpses.
Dong… Meanwhile, a bell rang from the top of a splendid mansion situated at the heart of Hanyang City. Liu Yu, dressed in a black robe, slowly raised his head.
“Your Yin soldiers are all dead.” A crisp female voice cackled softly, “Hanyang Underworld… You truly disappoint me… Do you know what the price for betraying Cathay is?”
Liu Yu ignored her. After a long time, he chortled softly, “Empress Catherine… you’ve never told me that these zombies would even devour Yin spirits.” 
“There’s a price to be paid for everything. The world is never fair. You should’ve been prepared for something like this when you first approached us.” The woman called Empress Catherine chuckled softly, “I came to remind you that the Tsar would be personally making a trip down to Hanyang on 30 OCtober. He will be accompanied by Peter the Great, and of course, none other than yours truly, Catherine the Great. Don’t disappoint us. In our eyes, there only exist four underworlds… and Hanyang Underworld isn’t one of them.”
“Therefore… you’d best be clear about your lot in death.”
2. The Blue House is the executive office and official residence of the president of South Korea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_House
3. This refers to Catherine II, more often known as Catherine the Great, the longest ruling female leader of Russia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_the_Great