Chapter 560: Red Zone (1)

The pen tip flicked up in response to their words. Qin Ye stared at it with an intense gaze, before finally drawing a deep breath, “Are you sure you didn’t get it wrong?”

“Impossible.” The spirit pen rasped excitedly, “There’s only one living human being that my dowsing abilities would point me towards, and that’s none other than Lee Jung-sook. Don’t take this wrongly - although you may be my host for the time being, but… if I don’t return to Lee Jung-sook, my soul will eventually scatter and dissipate into the surroundings.”

Qin Ye nodded. It suddenly dawned on him that fate and destiny was truly an amazing thing.

Fate must’ve had a hand in these things… He couldn’t help but glance at his sleeves. If he was to go about investigating the script of death any further without alerting the Russian Underworld, any assistance that he can get from the mortal realm would certainly be of great help!

And to this end, was there really anyone else who held more power and influence in Daehan than the queen of Samsung herself? Not even the ministers in Daehan could hold a candle to her.

This was the power of a plutocrat in a capitalist society.

Moreover, Lee Jung-sook had personally been involved in the execution of the script of death. The amount of help she could give would be beyond Qin Ye’s imaginations!

Hmm… I guess I could draw closer to her on the pretext of repaying my debt of gratitude… I wonder if she would wisen up to the fact and reject my advances…

“Keep a close eye on things. We’ll make sure it's safe for us to do so before we go searching for Ms Lee.” He suppressed his wildly beating heart and addressed the other two, “Pusan has already been designated as a special zone. This means that whatever is going within Pusan’s borders is well beyond anything we could possibly fathom… The situation there might be even worse than what we’re seeing in Hanyang right now…”

The train soon arrived at Pusan Station.

This had always been the second largest and most frequented train station in Daehan. Logically speaking, it should be full of people and pedestrians. However, it was not.

It was quite possibly a byproduct of the fact that it was now a special zone. Passengers alighting at the station were few and far between. In fact, there were possibly more police officers stationed around the platforms, chokepoints and exits on the station than there were other pedestrians right now.

“Permits.” A checkpoint had already been set up in front of the exit, where all passengers alighting from the trains would be vetted once again. The trio stood in front of the glass window, while the policemen checked through their identification documents with several detection instruments in tow.

“None.” Translator One Tail made his grand entrance, “Special access granted.”

The policeman looked up at them in surprise, only to notice the words ‘Cathay’ on their identification documents. He vaguely recalled his instructions, and then suddenly smiled at them, “Esteemed guests, thank you for making the long trip down from your home country. This is your special access card for the Pusan Special Zone. Please keep it close to you. You’ll need it for entry to most places.”

Qin Ye picked up the three green cards. Before he could even take a closer look at them, the policeman smiled, “Apart from that, we’ve prepared another document for you setting out a detailed report about the Pusan Special Zone, including particulars of all the danger zones within. All cabs within Pusan are currently only allowed to travel within the safe zones. If you wish to enter the danger zones, you’ll have to undergo a special test, and then rent a specially-modified car.”

“Finally, at your request, the LSD can also provide you with special supplies, including materials for camouflage and concealment.”

Qin Ye read through the materials he had been handed with a glint in his eye.

Interesting...

Truly interesting.

Prior to coming to Daehan, Wang Chenghao and Oda Nobutada had chosen to directly possess and control a physical body in order to move about freely within the mortal realm. However, Qin Ye was different. He wasn’t a Yin spirit, so the next best thing he could do was to alter his physical appearances. After all, he had no doubt that the surrounding nations would probably have learnt of his name after the incident during the Hungry Ghost Festival that shook the mortal realm in Cathay. There was no reason to make things any more difficult for himself here in Daehan.

And this was exactly why the present situation was rather interesting.

His name certainly wouldn’t be among the list of experts which Cathay would be sending to Daehan to lend its assistance. And if that were indeed the case, how exactly did his Special Access Permit actually come about? Furthermore, not only did the authorities not suspect him, they even earnestly invited and welcomed his presence.

“It seems like… the ones who have granted special access are none other than Cathayan cultivators. Thus, I’ve also been recognized as such. Incidentally, these special access permits are the best way to get us into the restricted zones around. Besides, the person summoning me must be someone incredibly powerful and influential. Otherwise, there’s simply no way that both the military and police would welcome my arrival, especially given the fact that my name isn’t part of the list of experts furnished by the Cathayan authorities to Daehan.”

“And this man… is probably the Russian Underworld’s backup in the event they lost contact with Lee Jung-sook. Furthermore…” Qin Ye’s eyes gleamed brightly, and his lips parted slightly, and he spoke telepathically to the spirit pen, “Little fella, after all these years, hasn’t Lee Jung-sook once told you who the culprit behind the MV Sewol incident was?”

“Having witnessed her conduct at the time of the incident, as well as observed her actions over all these years, you clearly know it isn’t her. So, hasn’t she told you who the culprit is? I refuse to believe that she wasn’t able to identify the culprit given her resourcefulness and influence.”

After all, there were probably only a handful of people who could stand up against Lee Jung-sook’s overbearing power and influence in Daehan.

I mean… Just look at how Kim Jae-huan was so completely terrified by her back then! He didn’t even dare to make a peep of sound!

Seconds later, Kwon Kyung-ho responded telepathically, “She did say it before…”

“But… she refused to tell me who it was. She simply said that the culprit isn’t someone we could mess with, because he even had Infernal Judges protecting him. I… didn’t dare to take action. I had no choice but to bide my time, waiting for the right opportunity to strike. Lord Qin, you don’t live in Daehan, so you naturally wouldn’t know how powerful and influential Ms Lee actually is. The Queen of Samsung isn’t a title that’s just for show! As long as she so desires, there’s nothing in Daehan that can be concealed from her! Thus… I would be daft not to heed her advice.”

Ignoring the Daeian policeman who was still sizing him up, Qin Ye pretended to look up at the sky and think about something as he continued conversing telepathically with the spirit pen, “That’s good. I’ll give you a clue.”

Whoosh!

As soon as he spoke, the sound of gurgling water suddenly filled the vicinity and engulfed the trio and the spirit pen. Soon, a scarlet sea of blood filled their vision.

This was the manifestation of the deep resentment of over three hundred lives that had been taken at the MV Sewol tragedy! It was murderous intent that had been festering and brewing for five long years!

“Please tell me…” Kwon Kyung-ho spoke hoarsely, “If you can help me exact vengeance on the perpetrator… I’m willing to pledge allegiance to you for the rest of my life!”

Qin Ye smiled in his heart. This was a special Yin spirit that was naturally born as an Anitya Hellguard. He wanted nothing more than to bring the spirit pen back to Hell. Arturo had admittedly been too harsh with his ways. It suddenly occurred to Qin Ye why the Second King Yanluo had previously told him that when he reaped the harvest of the script of death, he would also receive a collateral reward of a powerful Yin spirit.

It was only natural. After all, the climax of a story would require the appearance of an antagonist that was probably a Yin spirit just like Kwon Kyung-ho.

If I continually cast myths and fabricate miracles, such evil spirits would continue to appear, and the citizens faith will also continue to deepen. I’ll attain the rank of King Yanluo in no time, and then continue the works of casting myths and fabricating miracles at an even higher pace! This way, I’ll finally complete my personal collection of Yin spirits in my Dusk Legionnaire, otherwise known as the Voyage of a Hundred Ghosts! The functions and abilities of a King Yanluo of Hell absolutely complement each other! [1]

“Haven’t you ever wondered who the culprit behind MV Sewol was, had it not been Lee Jung-sook?” Qin Ye got straight to the nub of it all, “After all, the culprit was able to keep things under wraps for an entire year after the incident… In other words, the culprit has profound means and deep connections. Truth be told, I’d once suspected it was Lee Jung-sook as well, at least until you told me categorically that it couldn’t be her.”

“There aren’t many people with such power and influence in Daehan. Besides, even Lee Jung-sook herself thought it wasn’t a good idea to mess with this culprit, and advised you to simply bide your time for the right opportunity instead. The Russian Underworld would never pass up an opportunity to tie up with someone as important as this.”

Kwon Kyung-ho was somewhat confused. But this stood to reason. After all, he wasn’t even 20 years-old in actual age. After some time, he looked up in bewilderment, “Lord Qin, I still don’t get it…”

Qin Ye smiled, “Don’t you think that… the profile of the culprit behind the MV Sewol incident is somewhat similar to the person who granted me the special access permit?”

Boom! As soon as Qin Ye said these things, he immediately heard a ragged breath in his ears.

He finally gets it.

If Lee Jung-sook weren’t the one who had orchestrated the MV Sewol incident five years ago, then it would have to be another person who was similar to her in terms of power and influence. The Russian Underworld was still executing the script of death during this period of time, and it naturally needed the assistance of the mortal realm. That said, any self-respecting top underworld of the netherworld would always be well prepared with contingencies. They would never have only a single means of achieving the same end. After all, doing so would be no different from gambling, and there was simply no reason for the Russian Underworld to be gambling with such high stakes.

Lee Jung-sook was their cover, but they would naturally have contacted others and required them to carry out certain orders in the dark… such as the MV Sewol incident. They would coordinate their movements with agents such as Mukov and cast their web of influence far and wide! This was how they had managed to suppress news of the entire incident for an entire year!

And now that Lee Jung-sook has vanished without a trace, they would naturally activate and entrust their remaining orders to their ‘contingency plan’. After all, there was no reason for them to have used such a contact once and then discard it for good. Therefore… this would likely be the second time the same shadow entity was making a move. Under the instructions of the Russian Underworld, he would have conferred Qin Ye’s party the widest berth of access into Pusan.

Did Qin Ye have any evidence of these conjectures?

No.

But everything checked out logically, and that meant that there was a possibility that he was absolutely on point!

Sometimes, it wasn’t necessary to painstakingly pursue an incontrovertible truth. After all, one would always leave traces on the path he took.

In other words… now that Qin Ye had an inkling as to the identity of the person pulling the strings from the shadows, he could almost certainly work back and ascertain his location and whereabouts!

The culprit behind the MV Sewol tragedy five years ago… has finally revealed a trace of his identity!

“Sir?” The policeman finally prompted Qin Ye in the face of an inordinate period of silence.

Qin Ye turned back and responded at once, “May I know who approved these special access permits of ours?”

The policeman paused in confusion. Wang Chenghao immediately translated it in English. At once, the policeman smiled bitterly, “I’m afraid I don’t know which high official it was who approved of these permits, but… I do know that these were orders issued from the Cheong Wa Dae, or the Blue House.”

The Blue House… That’s the heart of all Daeian politics!

What an important person… Qin Ye raised an eyebrow quizzically, and refrained from probing any further. He nodded, and Wang Chenghao immediately understood what he meant, “There’s no need to test the levels of our true energy. Prepare the camouflage and concealment supplies at once, as well as a specially-modified car. We’ll depart immediately.”

“Yes!”

It was almost as though they were given VIP treatment.

The specially-modified car was soon brought over. It was an off-road vehicle that had clearly been modified on countless aspects, and it looked almost as though it were an armored vehicle. Qin Ye knocked gently on the surface of the vehicle. He could tell that the shell of the vehicle was reinforced on various levels, and even the glass was made of bulletproof materials. Satisfied, they piled into the vehicle and began to drive straight towards downtown Pusan.

Empty.

This would be anyone’s first impression of the roads. The roads should have been populated with numerous cabs and cars. However, Pusan was completely different.

There were only a few cabs parked here and there, but it was hardly anything compared with its heyday in the past. To make matters worse, there were even fewer pedestrians than there were cabs. A sign with a notice drafted in four languages was displayed on each cab.

“What does it say?” Qin Ye asked casually as he flipped through the materials in hand.

Wang Chenghao looked at it for a while, and furrowed his brows, “Permitted zones… There are only ten permitted zones. The rest are all listed as restricted areas…”

Qin Ye nodded and carefully went through the materials provided to him.

Pusan occupied a rather large area that was close to 800 square kilometers in size. This was larger than most prefecture-level cities in Cathay. To be precise, it was sub-divided into 16 areas, namely the westernmost Gangseo District, followed by the Saha District, Sasang District, Buk District, Busanjin District, Dong District, Seo District, Yeongdo District, Nam District, Dongnae District, Haeundae District, Geumjeong District, Jung District, Suyeong District, Yeonje District, and Gijang County. [2]

The western part of Pusan was the heart of Pusan, and also the most prosperous area. On this map, there were five areas that were classified as red zones, namely the Gangseo District, Geumjeong District, Gijang County, Yeongdo District and Haeundae District. Qin Ye tried to adjust the spirit pen, only to realize that no matter what he did, the tip of the spirit pen would always… point to the east.

“The eastern side…” Qin Ye turned and looked to the distant east, only to sense a cold breeze gently tousling his hair.

It felt dreary.

The eastern side… The easternmost parts would take us to Gijang County, and then working backwards, we have both the Geumjeong District and the Haeundae District. All three are red zones!

Sigh… Please don’t make things too difficult for my rescue efforts…


1. Do note that the author seems to be using interchangeably the terms Voyage of a Hundred Ghosts and the Dusk Legionnaire which he’d previously mentioned, so I’ll largely be using Dusk Legionnaire from now on since it’s far less clunky.

2. You can take a look at the map of the administrative divisions to get a better understanding of the locality. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busan 

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