Chapter 552: Conceptualization

Dead silence.

Their breaths were clearly heavier and quicker than before, but all three men remained completely silent. After some time, Qin Ye abruptly raised his hand and summoned Fate to his hand. Then, in accordance with the methods taught to him by Xu Yangyi for communication, he wrote a few words in the air. At once, the void in front of him fluctuated wildly.

He had three chances to communicate with the Second King Yanluo of Hell.

At once, the silhouette of a fat husky appeared in the space in front of them.

“Woof woof! Yangyi, what the hell is this? Is it edible?”

A split second later, the fat husky was promptly kicked away. Xu Yangyi’s face finally appeared on the screen of light in front of them, “What is it?”

Qin Ye briefly explained everything that they had learnt thus far, and then asked, “I’d like to know what the outcome would be if I intercepted the grand plans of the Russian Underworld and cleansed these lands of the evil plaguing it instead of Liu Yu.”

Xu Yangyi’s eyes gleamed brightly, and then he smiled with relief, “If you manage to do something like that, all odds of establishing a Hanyang Underworld would be entirely foreclosed to them. On the other hand, the faith that you accrue to your name will earn you sufficient merit points to propel you through to the ranks of an Abyssal Prefect. Your name will be celebrated and proliferated through newly unearthed artifacts and relics in Daehan…”

Qin Ye’s heart sank slightly, “Then… does that mean I’d be identified first as a Daeian?”

Rumours are going to spread, saying that the legend of the new Hell was first founded in the far-flung lands of Daehan!

In fact, they might even appropriate the three major ghost festivals that have been celebrated in Cathay all this while!

“That’s not important.” Xu Yangyi looked him straight in the eye, “What’s more important is that you think this through before making your decision. The dangers are easily apparent. You’ll be cutting Liu Yu off completely, and there will be no turning back.”

“The ones executing the script written by Tsar Arturo are most certainly some of his most trusted aides. You may be in possession of powerful Yin artifacts such as the Peach Blossom Lantern and Fate, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’d be invincible. It all depends on whether they’re prepared to pay the price for killing you. Simply put…”

He paused for a moment, “It all boils down to the Russian Underworld’s decision at the end of the day.”

Qin Ye frowned.

He’d already crossed paths with the Russian Underworld in his Hell’s Emissary state. They would definitely be wary of his presence moving forward. The road ahead was going to be fraught with danger if he was to push through with his current plans.

After some time, Qin Ye pipped meekly, “Is there anything you can do to set my mind at ease?”

Xu Yangyi thought for a moment, “Well, if it makes things any better, the Russian Hell has already made a decision.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your analysis is spot on. Liu Yu is clearly stirring with excitement. The prospects of fulfilling his great ambition of finally establishing his own independent state has completely cooked his brain. To think that he would even extend to us an invitation to the opening ceremony before the nameless god of death’s script has come to fruition.”

“As you’d mentioned, the most important step in the death god’s script is to quell the uprising of evil ghosts and be the shining beacon of hope in the darkest moments of despair. Intercepting the harvest in this regard isn’t entirely unheard of in the history of the netherworld either. Ordinarily speaking, the notice period for such opening ceremonies should have been no more than a month. Unfortunately, in Liu Yu’s eagerness, he’d inadvertently opened a potentially fatal window of opportunity for interception to you.”

“Well, I suppose we can’t blame him either. He’s not a god of death, and he’s naturally unaware of the true functions of one in such positions. That said, have you ever wondered why…” Xu Yangyi smiled mysteriously, “The Tsar… didn’t stop him?”

Qin Ye’s eyes suddenly flickered wildly. It was clear that he’d been struck with an epiphany.

“Tsar Arturo is behind Liu Yu. There’s no doubt about that. My judgment on this cannot possibly be wrong. And to this end, Liu Yu would definitely have sought the Tsar’s consent before sending out invitations, and yet… Tsar Arturo didn’t even warn him about the potential dangers of doing so…”

Qin Ye took a deep breath and interjected, “So, you’re saying that Arturo has a hidden agenda, and seeks to get in touch with Hell through Liu Yu? And to that end, he’s not willing to strain his relationship with Hell?”

“You can say that he’s trying to kill two birds with one stone.” Xu Yangyi’s rich experiences shone through in their exchange, “If Liu Yu succeeds, then Hanyang’s allegiance would naturally change, and I can assure you that you’ll never be able to take it back when Hell opens its borders to the world in future. Being located at the intersection of three major underworlds, the Daehan Peninsula is clearly of strategic importance. The Tsar would never be able to resist the temptation to seize control of this territory.”

“On the other hand, there’s only one possibility of failure, and that is if you intercept Liu Yu’s harvest, kill all of the spirits prepared by the Tsar, and become the protagonist of the script. In other words, you’ll become the beacon of light in Daehan, while the Tsar would have ingratiated himself to Hell, thereby laying the groundwork for any of his requests in the future.”

“Whatever the outcome, they stand to gain. Brother, learn from them. The underworlds that have survived to date are all excellent in their own rights.”

Qin Ye nodded intently, before finally waving his hand and causing the screen of light to vanish.

This was the difference in their experience.

Xu Yangyi was someone who had been seated on the throne as the King Yanluo of Hell for thousands of years, and his rich experience in dealing with international politics enabled him to see things far more clearly than Qin Ye possibly could.

“But… there’s something else you didn’t notice…” Qin Ye smiled and paced about with his hands behind his back, “If Tsar Arturo and the Russian Underworld were indeed intent on killing two birds with one stone, then… we definitely wouldn’t be faced with a strong resistance force!”

“No… In fact, if I were him, I’d even lay low until early October before getting in touch with Liu Yu - ‘I’ve just received reports that you’ve disclosed news about the opening ceremony of the Hanyang Underworld prematurely?!’”

Qin Ye continued muttering to himself, “He would tell Liu Yu how dissatisfied he was, and then tell him how it is incredibly dangerous to do so, before finally…”

Qin Ye smiled faintly.

“He’ll instigate Liu Yu to put up defensive measures to guard against the potential dangers that might arise, and even alert him to the fact that Hell’s Emissaries had infiltrated their midst and already killed No. 3.”

“This would set the Tsar up properly for both potential outcomes. But, that said… do you really think the Hanyang Underworld can stand in my way?”

I’m not trying to belittle them…

But Liu Yu and his lackeys are simply far too lacking!

I’ve now got Fate and the Peach Blossom Lantern in my possession! Does Liu Yu still think that I’m the same person he’d crossed paths with at the imperial court meeting last year?

“My Lord, what should we do?” Oda Nobutada asked excitedly.

We’ve actually got a decent chance at intercepting the nameless god of death’s script! I have to say that international politics are far more treacherous and multifaceted than I’d anticipated. How fascinating!

This was the survival of the fittest. Only the sharpest wolves could continue to roam freely through the dark forest of the netherworld.

The thought of being involved in such battles filled Oda Nobutada with excitement beyond belief. Meanwhile, he was filled with confidence that the day would soon come when they would take Nippon by its horns and subjugate it completely!

The boundless might and depth of resources of the top underworlds in the netherworld are truly beyond what I’d ever imagined… How laughable that Tokugawa Ieyasu and the others would revere Izanami as an equal to the gods of death of other underworlds. I wonder what kind of expression they’d make when they learn that Hell doesn’t even set Nippon in its sights…

Hell’s eyes are fixed on the pedestal that they once used to occupy in the international stage - the title of the supreme underworld. Their rivals are none other than the Argosian Underworld, the Aegyptian Underworld, and others, led by Anubis, Thanatos, and Shiva… So where does Yomi-no-Kuni even feature in all of this?

Qin Ye wasn’t aware of the multitude of thoughts running through Oda Nobutada’s mind, but he could still sense his palpable excitement. Qin Ye thought about it for a moment, and then responded, “It’s simple.”

“The most important thing right now is to unveil the Russian Underworld’s perspective. All that had been said earlier was nothing more than our inferences and conjectures. Nothing is more important than verifying the truth.”

“If the Russian Underworld is determined to protect Liu Yu, there’s no way they would stand idly by and let us intercept the harvest that Liu Yu had been working so hard for. And if we want to find out what the Tsar thinks…”

Qin Ye smiled, “The best way is to put our conjectures to the test.”

“Speaking of which, isn’t Kim Tae-ji taking her own sweet time…”

Incidentally, the phone on the 25th floor rang at the same time, almost as though it happened by divine appointment.

It was Kim Tae-ji.

After Qin Ye gave her the nod, she personally came up to the 25th floor and respectfully reported back to him, “Mr Qin, I’ve just completed the background check. This man is Mukov, a clergyman of the Full Gospel Church at Yeouido. To be precise, he works as an unassuming cleaning staff, and by all accounts have been reported to be a devout Catholic. He is unmarried, has no children, no known hobbies, and no close friends.”

This is the real name of No. 2!

The second administrator of the script of death!

“Yeouido is located along the southern part of the Han River in Hanyang, and is not part of the Yeongdeungpo District. This island was uninhabited in its early days, but in 1924, during the Nipponese rule of Daehan, the colonial government built Hanyang’s first military airport on the island, before later relocating it in 1971. It is now one of the most coveted areas in Hanyang… Please let me know if you have any further queries.”

Then, without missing a beat, Kim Tae-ji bowed respectfully, “Just say the word. I’ll make the arrangements and secure you train tickets for any trip you so desire.”

Qin Ye nodded.

The Tsar’s perspective would be apparent from how closely guarded No. 2 would be!

After all, a Russian Emissary had clearly noticed Qin Ye’s presence back at Saint Virtue High School earlier! If the Tsar were indeed intent on protecting Liu Yu, he would most certainly give instructions to step up protection of the key administrators in order to stymie the flow of information to Qin Ye. So long as he did that, there would be little that Qin Ye could do to pick up anything more about the script of death!

But if the protection around No. 2 is still lacking, then… in all likelihood, the Hanyang Underworld is going to get lively in October…

Qin Ye suppressed the excitement in his heart and asked, “Have you managed to locate Lee Jung-sook’s whereabouts?”

He wanted to know more about the incident pertaining to MV Sewol just some years back.

“Unfortunately not…” Kim Tae-ji bit down on her lips and responded softly, “Miss Lee’s situation is rather special… She would’ve lost all of her memory pertaining to her previous lives as soon as she awakens. She doesn’t bring her identification documents around with her either. And what makes things even worse is the fact that most police stations aren’t even qualified to look up her particulars or pull her file from governmental records…”

“She doesn’t bring around her identification documents?” Qin Ye frowned, but then immediately understood why that was the case.

Her identity was of great importance. If anything happened to her, and someone locates her with her identification documents, she would immediately be sent back to Samsung, where a multitude of hungry sharks lay waiting to capture and subjugate her. Her fate would at once be sealed.

But so long as she didn’t bring her identification documents along with her, then nobody would know where to send her. Even the regular police officers wouldn’t know where she would have come from. Everything would start on a completely clean slate until she could make sense of the things around her.

Clever… Truly worthy of a lady who’s been living for 700 years…

Moments later, Qin Ye turned to Kim Tae-ji once more, “I need to be at the Yeouido church before midnight tonight.”

“Understood. I’ll make the preparations right away.”

……………………………………………………..

Myeongdong Cathedral.

It was located at the center of Hanyang, right along the Myeongdong shopping street.

The cathedral was designed with ornate arches and religious artworks. The altars and the religious sculptures filled the entire cathedral with an air of magnificence and splendour. The stained glass panels depicted a variety of biblical stories, while the intricately carved sculptures revealed their reverence for the saints. This was one of the most majestic and beautiful landmark cathedrals in Daehan.

The main altar was located on a raised platform in the center of the cathedral, while the area right underneath served as a place of offering and consecration where the Eucharist was performed. The crypt of the cathedral lay right beneath the altar, spanning nearly 100 square meters with nine altars. That said, only two remain standing to date. These were dedicated to the priests martyred and canonized as saints.

A number of statues are located around various parts of the crypt. Legend had it that there exists an iron door behind one of these statues that is welded to the wall, and that behind the door exists… the realm of the dead.

“When it opens, Mary will shed tears of blood…” A black-cloaked clergyman muttered softly to himself as he stared right ahead.

There were three sarcophagi located right in front of him. These were the sarcophagi of the three archbishops.

He continued sweeping his gaze across the crypt until he saw another statue of the Virgin Mary.

And there, he noticed the statue shedding tears of blood!

As the tears flowed, the flames in the room flickered wildly, and then… suddenly turned green. An eerie nethergale suddenly picked up out of nowhere, and soon converged into a three-meter black vortex. Moments later, two scarlet clumps of netherflames erupted from within like bloodshot eyes.

This was obviously the largest and one of the most important cathedrals in Daehan, and yet it would contain such unspeakable secrets and act as a sanctuary to a terrifying Yin spirit!

“Lord Rumyantsev.” The clergyman knelt down respectfully and removed his cloak.

He was a middle-aged man.

His entire body was covered with scars, all of which appeared to have once been incredibly deep knife wounds.

“No. 3’s messenger bird has vanished.” He gently kowtowed to the ground, “My Lord, I await your guidance on whether to receive her train as scheduled.”

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