Unfortunately, Qin Ye could only hope. 20 minutes later, Qin Ye finally arrived at the eastern edge of Buk District that connects directly to Geumjeong District. Yet, even then, the spirit pen was still pointing eastwards.
The map revealed that Geumjeong District and Gijang County were both scarlet, red zones.
“She’s actually located in the heart of the hardest-hit areas?” Qin Ye glanced up, only to notice the tight defensive measures that were slowly appearing on the horizon. He frowned, “How the hell did she survive with the living dead all over the place? Hang on… doesn’t this mean that… there are actually still citizens residing within the red disaster zones?!”
Unfortunately it wasn’t the time to be thinking about these things. As he drew closer and closer to the edge of the boundaries that separated the two districts, a massive wall appeared right in front of his very eyes.
It was endless. The walls probably stretched on for tens of thousands of meters, and each of them were approximately six or seven meters tall and surrounded by high-voltage fences on both sides that would flare with frightening lightning arcs from time to time.
The way through was obstructed by a giant 20-meter wide gate bound up tightly with chains and plastered all over with talismans. The talismans were drawn up with intricate patterns and Cathayan words on them. Qin Ye could even sense a faint trace of Judge-class true energy lingering along the surface of these talismans.
There was a guard post stationed every ten meters along the wall. Meanwhile, countless guards remained vigilantly at watch at the main gate, with the muzzles of their variegated weapons resting on sandbags and trained at the gate. It was almost as though this marked the line that separated earth from the abysses of the underworld, and the last bastion of hope for all of mankind.
Whoosh… An icy wind swept from beyond the gates, carrying with it traces of the hissing of wild beasts. The faint stench of death and the oppressiveness of the silence on the other side of the fence was chilling.
The paradise of the living dead was just on the other side of the gate!
“Vajra Voodoo Array?” Wang Chenghao adjusted his glasses, “Why is Daehan using our Cathayan arrays at every turn of the road?”
“The lord of their underworld is only an Infernal Judge. Do you really expect them to have the means to obstruct the plans of a first-rate underworld?” Qin Ye snickered. Just then, several Daeian soldiers marched over with their muzzles pointed directly at the door. Qin Ye promptly flashed the special access permit that they had just been given.
One of the officers marched right over and scanned the permits, and then nodded. Just as he was about to address them, QIn Ye promptly asked, “How many living people are there on the other side?”
Wang One Tail knew his role, and he translated the query with great proficiency. The officer pondered for a moment, and then sighed, “100,000.”
“What?!” Qin Ye gently tapped on the window to his vehicle with a faint smile, “Aren’t you going to rescue them?”
The officer bit down on his lips fiercely and responded with a raspy voice, “We’ve got no means to do so… The outbreak of the living dead just came out of the blue. If… any one of the rescued personnel happen to be carriers of the virus, then the only remaining safe zones in Pusan would likewise collapse in no time.”
He glanced at the towering wall that kept the abyss of zombies out, “Every day, we airdrop supplies and ammunition to the survivors on the other side. There are still two divisions of military troops on the other side…”
With that, he turned to Qin Ye and gave him a respectful military salute, “Please, esteemed gentlemen!!”
Hut! Taking cue from their commander, the other soldiers in the vicinity promptly followed suit.
Qin Ye’s brows twitched slightly.
He didn’t have a good impression of Daehan thus far.
He scorned their government, and how they appeared to have a distorted sense of self-esteem, almost as though they ruled the entire world. But, surprisingly, there wasn’t the slightest bit of inclination to gloat in front of them right now. He wasn’t in the mood for such contemptuous behaviour.
After all, all things were equal when it came to matters of life and death.
“How terrible…” Qin Ye sighed and wound up his car window, “How could I have such a heart of compassion as the King Yanluo of Hell? I clearly have some ways to go…”
Wang Chenghao shook his head, “No, Brother Qin, I think that… perhaps this might be exactly why Granny Meng and the others have selected you among everyone else.”
“Death is but the beginning of new life. Hell doesn’t exist in order to create spirituality. It’s not a spirituality factory. Rather, its existence is as assurance to all that good and evil will be repaid accordingly. It is a constant reminder to everyone that there’s always a sword of justice hanging over their heads, whether for good or bad!”
Eh? Why does it seem like a certain One Tail has suddenly gained enlightenment?
Qin Ye looked at Wang One Tail in surprise. Just then, the main gate opened with the rattle of chains.
Whoosh... A tide of dark Yin energy rushed out from within. It was clearly daytime, yet the Geumjeong District appeared as dark as night, just like a deep abyss devoid of sunlight. Countless scarlet eyes lit up in the darkness at once and looked over to the other side.
“Hurry!!” The officer yelled at them. Meanwhile, the other soldiers raised their weapons tensely. A split second later… there was a soft rumble that caused the ground to tremble slightly.
It was the sound of a stampede of countless people.
Except that they were no longer human beings.
Sss… Ahh… Urrrgghhh… The rumble of footsteps were interspersed with snarls and groans that were filled with avarice and bloodlust. The sea of scarlet eyes were rushing straight towards the main gate, bringing with them a wave of nauseating stench arising out of their festering flesh and gnarly bodies. Amidst the cacophony of gasps and ragged breaths of the living, the specially modified car revved its engine and hurtled bravely through the main gate.
Ka-ka-ka-ka… The main gate finally shut behind them. Meanwhile, the stampede of living dead who were still stampeding towards the gate suddenly stopped dead in their tracks and began to wander aimlessly once more.
They could sense that… there were no living human beings in this vehicle.
After putting some distance between themselves and the main gate from which they’d come, the car slowed down to a halt. Qin Ye began to mentally prepare himself for everything he was about to do, and he triggered his communication device with the Second King Yanluo of Hell once more.
If he were going to intercept Liu Yu’s harvest of faith, he would first have to understand the script of death in its entirety. Moreover, he would have to act without divulging his own identity as the King Yanluo of Hell. Otherwise… the fact that the King Yanluo of Hell is acting upon something as trivial as this would give the Russian Underworld far too much insight as to Hell’s current state of affairs.
I think I’m going mad… Qin Ye rolled his eyes at his own thoughts. Just then, a screen of light appeared right in front of his eyes, and the authoritative voice of the Second King Yanluo of Hell boomed, “What’s the matter now?”
Eh? Someone’s a little impatient today, isn’t he?
Here I am, slogging my ass off for the family back home, and there you are, lazing around like a little wallflower. You’re practically living off me right now, and yet you still dare treat me with such disrespect?
Hmph… I’ll show you…”About that… I’m about to head out to do something outrageous. Wouldn’t I be daft not to reach out to someone as intelligent and all-knowing as you before I do?”
Qin-incongruent-Ye rubbed his hands as he plastered a flattering smile all over his face.
“Speak.” The Second King Yanluo of Hell didn’t even deign to look Qin Ye in the eye.
Qin Ye cleared his throat, “I’d like an identity.”
“I’d like your help to disguise me as one of the most well-known Infernal Judges known to the netherworld.
“Hmm?” The Second King Yanluo finally set down the book in his hand and glanced at Qin Ye, who immediately shuddered and pleaded with an even more obsequious voice, “Please, I humbly ask you to help me this once!”
The Second King Yanluo looked at him with a smirk. After some time, he finally chuckled, “You’re finally shaping up a little.”
Qin Ye: ???
Why are you giving me that ‘my foolish brother’ look?
Ignoring the bewilderment in Qin Ye’s eyes, the Second King Yanluo coolly changed his posture, “Remember this - when you finally reveal yourself on the international arena, you’d do well to nip every problem in its bud. No country will wait for push to come to shove before resolving their issues. Sure, you may avoid a problem once or twice, but I can assure you that when the same problem rears its ugly head for the third time in a row, it will most probably come with an all-out war. I must say - I’m rather satisfied with the results from the Hungry Ghost Festival.”
“Liu Yu is merely an Infernal Judge. Who cares if he’s the most powerful one of them all? All traitors must die!” The Second King Yanluo calmly sentenced Liu Yu to death, “The fact that I can’t care less about him doesn’t mean that he’s automatically given the right to act all haughty and mighty. The twelve envoys have been left as a sort of proving ground to you. Deal with them well, and you’ll naturally be qualified to take to the larger international stage and take on the old fogeys of the long-standing underworlds around.”
“You’ve made the trip down to Hanyang, encountered the script of death, and then actually chosen to tackle the problem head on by suppressing it and then pulling it out by the roots. Excellent, excellent! My use of Fate hasn’t been in vain after all.”
“You might have some lingering hatred for me from the Hungry Ghost Festival, but…” Xu Yangyi smiled, “I don’t care.”
Qin Ye cursed under his breath.
Just then, Qin Ye’s entire body suddenly began to transform. His bones cracked and shifted, and Qin Ye soon stood at 1.9m tall. A glorious beard emerged at a speed visible to the naked eye, while the bones within his body thickened. In the blink of an eye, Qin Ye’s previously scrawny appearances were replaced with a brawny man dressed in camouflage uniform.
Isn’t this… one of the four evil arts of the East Continent, the Metamorphosis Technique?
Qin Ye turned to look at his hands curiously. The depths of the Second King Yanluo’s abilities are truly beyond belief. To think that he could actually transform my appearances from a completely different realm… Furthermore…
Whoosh! Qin Ye’s Yin energy soared, and he promptly clothed himself with his Hell’s Emissary state.
Even the appearances in his Hell’s Emissary state had changed!
He’d now become far more awe-inspiring. He was clothed with a Tang Dynasty round-necked robe that was embroidered with the Torch Dragon holding up a lamp. His head was wrapped with a soft veil, and a sword hung loosely by his waist. There was even a snow-white cloak attached to his scarlet official robes.
However, the screen of light soon vanished without a trace. Qin Ye tutted softly - What kind of a fella is this? How dare he act so arrogantly to me when he’s still living and feeding off the food that I bring to the table?!
It wasn’t a coincidence that Qin Ye had asked to be conferred the appearances of a Cathayan Infernal Judge. It was a calculated move designed to tell the Russian Underworld that Hell was still around, and they cannot act with wanton disregard in Daehan!
He wanted them to act more scrupulously and fall in line. This would most certainly smoothen the path to reaping the harvest of faith.
After secretly cursing at the Second King Yanluo for the umpteenth time, he suddenly caught a glimpse of the Book of Life and Death in his hand, and then immediately shut its open pages and flipped to the front.
All Infernal Judges were bestowed with a Book of Life and Death. Naturally, this wasn’t quite the same as the divine artifact of Hell, but it was for all intents and purposes a replica of the same. To this end, the first page of the faux Book of Life and Death would also be embossed with the name of the holder.
“Oh my… holy shit… is this really--... Eh-hehehe… Esteemed Lord Xu actually allowed me to ride on the coattails of such an esteemed fella…” Qin Ye took a glance at the name of his identity, and couldn’t help but part his leg--... lips.
There were two words written in calligraphic strokes.
That’s the epitome of identity theft… Qin Ye took a deep breath and tightened his grasp around the Book of Life and Death as he turned to look at the lifeless city in the distance.
Cathay had managed to barely keep things going despite the supernatural outbreak in the mortal realm. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for Pusan. The second largest city in Daehan had fallen to the forces of the supernatural because of how swiftly and suddenly the calamitous outbreak had emerged.
There weren’t any pedestrians out on the roads. The tall buildings in the downtown areas were completely dark and devoid of light. Even the roadside stores and supermarkets were all tightly shuttered with “temporarily closed” signs hanging right at the front of these buildings. The entire city appeared to have entered the twilight zone, and the air felt dead and dank.
There wasn’t even a single trace of light.
And… that’s not all.
Qin Ye could see countless Yin spirits lingering about at every corner of the streets. The Hanyang Underworld hadn’t been properly established just yet, and there naturally wasn’t a gateway leading into the underworld. In turn, the dead had no place to turn to apart from dawdling endlessly and aimlessly about within the mortal realm.
Whether young or old, male or female, all were all dressed in modern clothes in their pre-mortem attire. However, most of their bodies appeared gnawed and mutilated, almost as though Pusan had just experienced a terrifying stampede of demonic beasts that had poured out from a portal to the abyss and turned the entire city into a living nightmare overnight.
“Brother Qin.” Just then, Wang Chenghao asked with a soft voice, “Don’t you find it strange?”
“There were so many living dead just a little while ago. We’ve not traveled for more than a few minutes, but… where have they all gone?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter