Night. 12.00 a.m.
Qin Ye and his companions returned to the Daelim One Apartment again. The nightlife in Daehan was remarkable. When night fell, all kinds of KTV lounges and disco bars bustled with activity. And to that end, it was worth mentioning that Daeian ladies paid particular attention to their appearances. On average, the ladies here were far better looking and more well-dressed than the ladies in Cathay.
In fact, the nightlife was so alluring that the trio could barely keep their eyes on their objective. It took them great pains and perseverance to walk right past the enchanting colours of nightlife and right up to the entrance of the Daelim One Apartment.
Fortunately, they soon arrived at the entrance to Building 6B, and at once, something unusual caught their attention.
“One… two… three… There’s a total of 20 people, including one Operative-class expert?” Oda Nobutada stared at the tall building looming over their heads with furrowed brows, “My Lord, it seems like Kim Tae-ji has some ideas of her own.”
In their eyes, the three flames burning in lamps above a person’s shoulders were as bright as the stars and moon in the dark night sky.
Qin Ye snorted. Did Kim Tae-ji betray Lee Jung-sook? No… that’s not quite possible. Sure, commercial relations may be fragile and paper thin, but it’s only been one month since Lee Jung-sook’s disappearance. Kim Tae-ji would never dare take the risk of incurring her empress’ wrath.
So… where did I slip up in the conversation back then?
What exactly did I say that caused Kim Tae-ji to overturn her earlier judgment of us? But, I’ve got to hand it to her. She’s truly an elite in her own right. She must’ve discovered something amiss in our earlier conversation, yet managed to maintain the same expression on her face. Hmm… that’s right. There was a moment back then when she asked for my contact details. She must’ve discovered something amiss back then, didn’t she? In Daehan, handing over one’s telephone number to Samsung would be tantamount to allowing them to track and trace one’s movements. And since I didn’t offer up my contact details, she must have intentionally fixed the appointment for tonight.
Had I informed her my contact details… would she have made a move earlier in the day?
A multitude of thoughts filled their minds in an instant. Just then, Oda Nobutada bowed respectfully, “My Lord, should we--...”
“No need.” Qin Ye gathered his thoughts and shook his head, “Since she’s already begun to grow suspicious of our identities, then… we’re left with no choice but to turn those suspicions of hers into awe and fear. Otherwise, she would never put in her all when carrying out the investigations on our behalf.”
Since the bridge of trust has irretrievably broken down, then it’s time to change things up and trek down the path of fear.
Building 6B. Only the lights on the 24th floor were brightly lit at this moment. And to that end, there were 15 guns aimed straight at the elevator doors. There were even five men dressed in camouflage uniform keeping a lookout over the emergency exit.
They were mercenaries.
And definitely those that had seen blood countless times. They exuded an incisive, cold-blooded aura that lingered around like a fog of death.
What was originally a screen for advertisements located at the lift landing of the 24th floor was currently replaced by a screen depicting the surveillance image of the first floor of the building. Several gun barrels were located at various points around the screens, each of which concealed pairs of murderous eyes that were staring intently at the contents of the screens.
Click… The main entrance to the building slowly opened, and three men waltzed right into the building, seemingly unaware as to the destruction that awaited them. The leader lowered the barrel of his gun slightly and whispered into his headset, “Miss Kim, they’re coming up.”
Kim Tae-ji was seated in a luxurious room in another part of the 24th floor. She took a deep breath and glanced at the surveillance monitor in front of her with a complicated gaze as soon as the indicator light flicked on. She tightened her grip around the glass of red wine, and then pressed a button on her remote control.
Clack, clack, clack… To the surprise of the mercenaries in the building, a series of metal shutters slowly lowered themselves from an inconspicuous crack located on the outside of the building, sealing off every single glass panel in the building. Finally, with a soft clack, the metal shutters formed a seamless shell that completely sealed off the building.
The black metal shutters were made out of the best soundproofing materials, and its dark colour made it absolutely inconspicuous at night as it clammed up the interior of the building.
With these in place, not a single person in the development would hear anything even if gunfire went off in the building.
The elevator slowly rose amidst the deathly silence. A man dressed in camouflage uniform chuckled softly as he remarked to the ones around him, “What a cash cow. 200 million won… That’s almost 300,000 USD! Only the truly privileged are able to fork out such cold hard cash as easily as that…”
Another man dressed in camouflage uniform responded softly, “Do you remember back in the old days, when we used to fight in wars and conflicts? Do you remember the years we used to spend out in the battlefield for such paltry sums? But now, it’s so easy with these missions. It’s nothing more than the gentle pull of a trigger.”
These mercenaries with blood on their hands generally had a good sensing of their targets as soon as they noticed them. They’d know at a glance which targets were going to be troublesome, and which of them wouldn’t.
And as far as Qin Ye and his companions were concerned, they could tell that things were going to go without a hitch tonight. Several mercenaries even subconsciously lowered the tense posture of their bodies.
They exchanged knowing glances, before finally nodding at each other.
“Three ordinary men.” A bald man muttered softly, “They’re not even in the slightest bit wary of their surroundings at all… People in our line can’t help but keep vigilant about us at all times. This is something that comes with years of toeing precipice between life and death. These men… are truly adorable little dolls.”
“Don’t be complacent.” Another man with shoulder-length hair barked back gruffly, “Miss Kim wants us to keep one of them alive. Tsk… that’s got to be the most difficult request to deal with. We’re not snipers after all…”
Just then, another man suddenly gasped, “Hang on… Where did they go?!”
At once, everyone turned back to look at the surveillance monitor.
There was no one!
The entire elevator was still rising, yet not a single person could be seen from the surveillance monitors! The three men who were there just a moment ago had vanished completely.
None of them said a single word, nor were there any further exclamations as to where the trio had gone. Everything fell silent in an instant.
These were mercenaries after all. As soon as they realized something amiss, they immediately scrutinized the images of every surveillance monitor in their possession. Unfortunately, despite all of their best efforts, none of the twenty mercenaries were any wiser as to where or how the trio had just vanished into thin air!
“Miss Kim!” The leader of this operation switched on his intercoms. Cold sweat was already beading up across his forehead, and he spoke with great trembling in his voice, “They’re… not men from ‘that’ side, are they?! You only offered us 200 million won for an operation like this?! Are you messing with me?!!”
There was an eerie silence from the other end of the intercoms, almost as though it were a portal to a bottomless abyss.
“You’re messing with me!!!” The man’s chest rose and fell sharply. These were mercenaries who habitually toed the line between life and death, and each and everyone of them would at least have heard rumours and stories about the existence of another world amongst them. Naturally, they knew better than ordinary human beings that… it wasn’t merely a joke designed to strike fear into the hearts of children.
Unfortunately, they received no response whatsoever from the other end of the intercoms.
Instead, all they heard was a crackling and buzzing sound transmitting through their intercoms, almost as though there were some terrifying maelstrom of interference fast approaching them. The leader cursed under his breath, “Ahh, shit!!” Then, just as he was about to switch off his intercoms, he suddenly heard a hellish voice speak right through his headset.
“Good evening, everyone…”
He wasn’t the only one who heard it.
The hellish voice had been transmitted through the headsets of all 20 mercenaries!
The volume on their headsets went straight through the roof in an instant, causing the man’s hellish voice to bore straight through their ears and into their hearts. The leader of the mercenaries gasped in horror and immediately took off his headset, “Ahh… SHIT! Retreat through the emergency exit!! Hurry!”
Unfortunately, as he said those words, the lights in the entire building went out completely. Even the lights within Kim Tae-ji’s room went out in an instant. Everything was consumed by darkness.
Tap, tap, tap… The mercenaries who were about to retreat through the emergency exit immediately stopped dead in their tracks, and they gulped nervously as they glanced about their surroundings with great vigilance.
Just then, a dark silhouette appeared on the surface of the frosted tempered glass in the main hall.
The shadow rose menacingly from right behind the mercenaries. And then, he tilted his head slightly to the side and opened his bloodshot eyes that stared dead ahead.
He was an Anitya Hellguard. Whilst seemingly insignificant in Cathay or Hell, things were vastly different here in Daehan. After all, the head honcho of the Hanyang underworld was nothing more than an Infernal Judge…
Here, he was undoubtedly the stuff of nightmares to countless people - and even experts around.
“What’s this…” One of the mercenaries asked in trepidation and fear. Their intense will to survive meant that they had over the years polished and honed their observational skills to the extreme. Yet, it was precisely because of their keen senses that they also noticed the presence of an extra person right in front of the glass door behind them.
“Gulp…” The mercenaries gulped nervously as they huddled closer together. An odd gurgling sound came from Oda Nobutada’s throat. And then, without any warning, his head suddenly fell from his body like a broken puppet!
Clack!! At once, all 20 mercenaries turned and raised the barrels of their guns to the tempered glass door. Everyone’s faces were pale with fright, and they bit down on their lips tightly as they watched the horrific entrance of the terrifying ghost.
“Ahh…” One of the mercenaries couldn’t help but exclaim with a weak, terrified groan. The piston in his hand trembled from the unsteadiness of his hands. The elation of earning 200 million won from a simple job had completely vanished into thin air.
These three men… weren’t human beings!
It was midnight, and they had just witnessed something that they had never ever wanted to see in their entire lives! These were things that they had only heard of in stories or watched in movies and shows!
This was the hardest mission that they had ever agreed to!
How much did they wish they could turn back time to earlier that day and reject this mission offer by Kim Tae-ji!
Unfortunately, there was no use crying over spilt milk.
And then, to their great horror, they saw… the silhouette in front of the frosted tempered glass door hold up his head. He was smiling.
“AHH... SHIT!!!” It was an ordinary, placid smile, and yet it gave all of them goosebumps in an instant. Some of the mercenaries couldn’t take it anymore, and they immediately turned and made a beeline towards the emergency exit. Unfortunately, as soon as they did, they saw someone watching them intently on the surveillance monitor!
It was Kim Tae-ji…
But in that instant, her pupils had already expanded to the size of two inches, so much so that even the whites of her eyes had turned completely black!
Just like that, she stared creepily at the mercenaries with her globular eyes.
“Fire!!!” It was the last straw. The leader finally broke down and gave the command to fire with a terrified roar. At once, a series of gunfire reverberated within the four corners of the 24th floor.
“Are they going to die?” Nobody knew how tightly Kim Tae-ji was clutching at her skirt in the luxurious room behind the glass door. She gritted her teeth tightly, fervently resisting the urge to collapse to the ground. She trembled profusely, staring at the figure sitting on the sofa in front of her. That man was also holding up a glass of red wine. However, copious amounts of Yin energy was pouring right out of his body - a telltale sign that he wasn’t a human being.
Qin Ye elegantly swirled the contents within his wine glass. The fragrance of aged tannin wafted out of the glass and diffused into the air. He’d never had red wine of such high quality before, and he’d naturally never pass up such a prime opportunity to have a taste of the high life.
He took a light sip. It was as smooth as silk. The alcohol and the fruity fragrance were perfectly blended together. He raised an eyebrow and glanced at Kim Tae-ji with a smile, “What’s the matter? Are you still wondering if these borrowed knives are sharp enough for their purposes?”
Kim Tae-ji bit down hard on her lower lips.
These people aren’t human being!
And the silver cross that had been bestowed upon me by a Hellguard-class divine agent had even shattered in an instant! Doesn’t this mean that he’s… stronger than an Anitya Hellguard?! He’s got to be an unadulterated evil ghost!
Have I… actually been messing with a god of death?!
“No…” Her voice was trembling, “It’s just that it would be incredibly troublesome if they all perished in here…”
“What do you want?” She immediately continued with a change of tact, “Just say it! I’ll do anything for you, so long as it is within my means!”
Qin Ye remained silent. After some time, he finally set down the wine glass and crossed his legs leisurely, “See, we’re currently in the process of inquisition and response. I ask the questions, and you give the answers.”
“Why struggle against an outcome that is already decided?”
“Now, tell me. Where did we go wrong in our conversation earlier this morning? What mistake was it that was so grave that you’d even go out of your way to kill Miss Lee’s representatives? I think… there’s got to me something I’m missing over here, and I’m curious as to what that might be. Wouldn’t you care to enlighten me?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter