“That man said something, and then Lee Jung-sook left in a huff… That’s all I saw at the time, but I swear that this was exactly what I saw! I can clearly recall their exact demeanor and expressions! There’s no way my recollection of these events would be wrong!”
These were the incidents leading up to his birth as a Hellguard-class Yin spirit.
“Hang on…” Just then, Ahn Somi carefully queried, “Do you remember… if the man speaking with Lee Jung-sook bore any unique character traits?”
Kwon Kyung-ho paused for a moment to search through his memory.
Ahn Somi took a deep breath and probed a little bit further, “For instance… on his hands, or on his neck?”
At once, Kwon Kyung-ho’s eyes lit up, and he looked up abruptly, “His hands and neck are both covered with knife wound scars! These were clearly wounds from a long time ago that he’s since recovered fully from, only leaving in its place indelible scarring!”
“That’s No 2!!!” Ahn Somi exclaimed, “He’s No. 2… I still recall back when I’d crossed paths with both No. 1 and No. 2… No. 1 has no distinguishing traits, but No. 2… has knife scars all over his body! He’s in charge of the coastal areas apart from Pusan, while I’m in charge of Daegu and Pusan! Meanwhile, No. 1 is in charge of the central areas of Gyeonggi Province, Gwangju City!”
“I get it… I finally understand why Miss Lee suddenly grew wary of us five years ago! It’s definitely because she personally witnessed the incident, and she… no longer approves of Lord Rumyantsev’s orders!”
Qin Ye froze, and his breaths quickened slightly.
He turned to Kwon Kyung-ho, “Do you still recall that man’s appearances?”
“I do…” Blood was now pouring out of Kwon Kyung-ho’s seven apertures, “I’ll show you what he looks like right away…”
Yin energy began pouring out of his body, coalescing slightly to form the appearances of a man.
He was a middle-aged man in his forties, balding, and yet his entire body was covered in scars.
These were ostensibly scars from ages past. His right eye appeared gray and lifeless, while his left eye was filled with an otherworldly sense of calmness and tranquility.
He was a man whose appearances were a mystery in and of itself. More than anything, his appearances were easily forgettable. Qin Ye flicked his finger, and the man’s appearances were promptly imprinted and replicated onto a piece of paper. Then, he sent the imprinted portrait straight down to the 24th floor below. Kim Tae-ji should give him an update about this man in no time. His characteristics were far too distinct after all.
At once, the room was filled with nothing more than the soft sound of breaths once more. Qin Ye glanced at Ahn Somi, while she bowed her head low with great trembling.
“My Lord…” The air felt cold and frigid, yet her will to live was stronger than ever. She didn’t want to die, but she knew that she would most certainly be put to death if her existence weren’t of any use to Qin Ye - If only I could make myself that much more useful… If only I could just do that little bit more…
Naturally, Qin Ye couldn’t care less about the deliberations in her heart. He continued placidly, “A classroom full of students. We’re talking about dozens of lives here. The death penalty is a given. That said, I can agree to make it less painful for you.”
With that, the Yin energy in the vicinity suddenly poured straight towards his fingertip. At once, a towering pressure caused Ahn Somi’s heart to palpitate in fear. As the intense ball of Yin energy drew closer and closer to her, her entire body began to tear and rip apart, and copious amounts of Yin energy began to gush out of her own body and straight towards Qin Ye’s fingertip!
No… NO… I don’t want to die!!!
She screamed desperately in her heart, clenching her teeth as she fought desperately against the unstoppable force. At once, decades of life flashed past her mind in the blink of an eye. Just then, she suddenly shouted at the top of her voice, “I still know a secret!!!”
Whoosh… Qin Ye’s fingertip rested on her head, and Ahn Somi’s entire body shuddered violently. Qin Ye’s scarlet flaming pupils caused her heart to beat wildly.
“Are you trying to delay death?” Qin Ye leaned back onto the sofa, “This is your last chance at a quick and painless death.”
“After this, death is only going to be a reprieve for what you’re about to be put through.”
Ahn Somi slumped to the ground like a ragdoll and began to kowtow desperately, “No… That’s not it… This little one has just thought of something which might be of interest to Your Excellency!”
Without missing a beat, she went on, “I… have been given another order just two days ago. The task this time… is to fill the train.”
“No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 are all assigned tasks and missions in accordance with their locations. No. 1 is in charge of Gyeonggi Province; No. 2 is in charge of the coastal regions, while I am in charge of the two important cities of Daegu and Pusan. Previously, all that had been asked of me was to send people who have been struck by the Ouroboros spell onto the train, but I’ve never once gotten an order to fill the train!”
“In the past, the orders that have come down have always been to send carriers of the spell onto the train arriving at a particular platform at a particular time. There’s never once been an order like this one! W-what I’m trying to say, Your Excellency… is that the grand plans of the Russian Underworld are still underway! But I’m willing to act as a double agent for you! I’ll go back to being No. 3 as usual, and I’ll keep Your Excellency posted about anything that happens!”
Qin Ye’s gaze flickered slightly as he tapped his fingers gently on the armrest. After some time, he muttered, “Fool.”
Ahn Somi’s heart sank straight to rock bottom.
“She’s all yours.” Qin Ye nodded at Kwon Kyung-ho. At once, he licked his lips and smiled ferociously as he drew closer and closer to Ahn Somi. Meanwhile, Qin Ye could no longer be bothered with the grotesque sight of an evil ghost devouring another one, and led both Oda Nobutada and Wang Chenghao to the other side of a large folding screen.
“A fool indeed.” Wang One Tail was clearly proficient with currying favour, “I mean, how could she expect Hell to agree to such an arrangement? There’s simply no justifying something like that? It would’ve been far wiser to have accepted a quick and painless death.”
“Idiot!” Qin Ye glared back at Wang Chenghao and snorted, “I can’t believe that I’ve got a creature this stupid following me around!!”
Wang Chenghao: ……
What’s wrong with what I said?!!
Can’t I even curry some favour with you now? Are you seriously going to cut off the one thing that I’m actually good at doing?!
Just then, Oda Nobutada interjected, “One…”
“Huh?!” Wang Chenghao looked up with great displeasure.
How dare you call me One Tail?! Go on, I dare you! Do you think I’m all bark and no bite?!
“... Mr Wang, the truth of the matter is that Ahn Somi’s final statement did in fact bear huge implications. To that end, it’s even possible to reverse her fate with something like that.”
Wang Chenghao frowned, “Then why--... I get it. It’s too troublesome having her join us. After all, who knows whether she’d go on to seduce someone else in Hell? And there’s also the possibility that the Russian Underworld has cast some tracking spells in her body…”
“No. I simply didn’t want to allow her to continue living.” Qin Ye glared at Wang Chenghao - I mean… do we really need to give so many reasons to justify putting to death a Yin spirit that has just taken the lives of over thirty students?
Wang Chenghao clammed up and pouted slightly.
“What are your thoughts?” Qin Ye leaned back into the sofa and nodded softly at Oda Nobutada.
“My Lord.” Oda NObutada bowed and spoke gravely, “This tells us that… the Russian Underworld is still carrying out their plans.”
“So what about that?” Wang Chenghao responded reflexively, but then soon caught himself.
Just then, Ahn Somi’s mournful shriek tore through the still silence of the night. Even then, the trio that were discussing the implications simply looked at each other with a bright gleam in their eyes, completely indifferent to the fact that Ahn Somi had just perished.
Had these words been spoken at any other time, they would’ve been completely meaningless. But not now.
After all, the context was everything.
There was only slightly more than a month to go until the grand opening of the Hanyang Underworld. Presumably, every esteemed guest of the surrounding underworlds would have been invited to witness the grand spectacle of the opening ceremony. And yet… the Russian Underworld’s plans for casting myths and fabricating miracles was unexpectedly still in progress!
Faith is something that could never be generated so long as the grand plans of the Russian Underworld are still in progress, because the script is one that was built upon blood and gore, and horror and terror. It was quite evident that everything done by the script to date was intended to set the stage for Liu Yu’s grand appearance, where he would finally exterminate all evil ghosts and prove his existence as a god to the people! This was how he would go on to be known as the guardian god of all who had faith in him! This was how he would go on to earn the faith of all citizens!
“We’ve all been wrong.” Qin Ye rested his chin on his interlocking fingers as he leaned forward with a slight stir in his voice, “We’d all thought that the opening ceremony of the Hanyang Underworld was intended for us to witness the majestic sight of hundreds of officials worshipping Liu Yu. But given how things are right now… it’s clearly quite something else.”
“The invitation has stated that it would be the opening ceremony of the Hanyang Underworld. In other words, that’s going to be the moment in which Liu Yu becomes Daehan’s hero. It’s the moment in which everyone willingly chooses to have faith in him as a god, and also the moment in which he ascends to the ranks of a god of death! That’s where the grand plan of the Russian Underworld is headed!”
Oda Nobutada nodded and added, “That’s right. The nameless god of death has probably calculated and ascertained that the situation in Daehan will soon be ripe for the harvest, and the resultant faith will be sufficient to blast wide open the gates of the Hanyang Underworld. This is the true form of the opening ceremony - it will be a celebration of the moment in which Liu Yu becomes a god of death right in front of all witnesses’ eyes! His plans are currently already escalating into full swing!”
Wang Chenghao’s heart twitched slightly. He had a bad premonition of what was to come, “In other words, are we--...”
“We… might just be able to intercept the harvest…” Qin Ye said with a smile.
At once, Wang Chenghao turned and stared at Qin Ye with a blank look in his eyes, and then shook his head with great disbelief, “No… You’re definitely not Brother Qin… He’s a coward through and through. He couldn’t possibly act as valiantly as Sun Wukong. So… tell me… who in the world are you?”
Qin Ye smiled bitterly.
Ahh… Here we go again… I’ve got to say that the Hungry Ghost Festival has really been messing with my mind… Why am I even contemplating these things?
The grand orchestration of the Hanyang Underworld might appear grand and daunting, but it wasn’t necessarily as watertight as it seemed upon closer inspection.
Firstly, the script that had been running for well over a decade was designed to incite widespread fear among the human race, so that a saviour could rise from the ashes in the darkest moments of despair. But it is precisely because of this that the resultant threat to underworldly emissaries was in fact surprisingly low. If this was something that even Liu Yu could single handedly resolve, why wouldn’t Qin Ye be able to do it, especially when he had in hand powerful Yin artifacts such as the Peach Blossom Lantern and Fate itself?
Secondly, Rus definitely didn’t have substantial forces deployed or stationed in Daehan. After all, Daehan was at all times a vassal state of Hell, and helmed by one of its feudal officials. Unless the Russian Underworld was prepared to break off all ties with Hell, it would never send an entire battalion of troops marching into Hanyang. At best, it would only have a few emissaries acting in the shadows.
Ahn Somi was the best proof of this.
If Rus had sufficient emissaries within Daehan, why would they still need to enlist the aid of Daeian Yin spirits?
This was a script that the Tsar had personally written for Liu Yu, and it would have to be executed to perfection. Would he entrust such a tall task to the relatively weaker Daeian Yin spirits if he could help it? Most certainly not!
Thirdly, nobody has managed to detect the trio’s presence to date, since they had entered Daehan through the mortal realm.
Hell clearly had three factors working in their advantage right now. That said, there were still risks involved. For one, the Tsar would never have agreed to roll out his plans unless he was of a certain level of confidence. What was unseen and unknown was undoubtedly the most terrifying thing of all.
Had this been in the past, Qin Ye’s response would most certainly have been - Well, we can’t afford to mess with them, so let’s scuttle back into Hell. You can do what you want. None of my business.
But now… there wasn’t even a shred of such thoughts in Qin Ye’s mind!
All he saw was an opportunity.
“You’re right. This isn’t like me at all… Did I… somehow get possessed by someone else?” Qin Ye scratched his hair irritably. He sought justification to resile on his earlier decision, yet each time he came close to doing so, he would hear a voice in his heart telling him - You cannot back down! We’ve got a good shot at this! Nobody would expect Hell’s Emissaries intercepting Liu Yu’s grand reveal!
And once you’re successful, Hell will only grow from strength to strength, and you might even bag yourself sufficient merit points to propel you straight into the ranks of an Abyssal Prefect!
And most importantly…
We’ll be able to let everyone participating in this grand ceremony know once and for all who exactly is in charge around these parts!!!Previous Chapter Next Chapter