Wang Chenghao thought about it for a moment, “But isn’t there also a possibility that we could be wasting our time?” He wanted to show that he was also improving as time went by.
Qin Ye put away the map and was just about to respond when he suddenly noticed an obscure golden light glowing from the palm of his hand.
A split second later, thick Yin energy erupted and engulfed the entire car in a dark fog.
In an instant, the entire vicinity around them turned absolutely silent. The hidden entities that were staring at them from the shadows scattered with a cacophony of shrieks, almost as though they were rabbits darting back into their burrows as soon as a tiger appeared.
Ghastly wails resounded throughout the entire desolate city. Meanwhile, the car screeched to a violent halt. Wang Chenghao watched as Qin Ye took off his shirt and spoke with an aghast expression, “I mean… boss… I’m ramrod straight. And even if I weren’t, isn’t doing it here still rather inappropriate? Or are you into such poetic things?”
“Shut up!” Qin Ye glared back at Wang Chenghao. He was already clothed in his Hell’s Emissary State, and he searched meticulously through his robes, only to discover Fate writing on the robes with great jocularity once more.
Qin Ye immediately read on.
“This expedition to Daehan was a learning journey - and an astounding one at that. It was Mr Dogballs’ first exposure to the ever-stirring tension on which international relations are built. Quite apart from the usual straightforward economic sanctions or an overt display of military might, this was the little tango between two powerful underworlds, each of which were fervently testing and probing at each other’s bottom lines through the pretext of operations in another third-rate underworld.”
“Let’s first delve deeper into the issues surrounding Gijang County and Gwangju City. How did millions of living dead enter Gwangju City? Gyeonggi Province is located adjacent to Hanyang, and it is responsible for 30% of the total wealth and productivity of Daehan. In other words, it can be considered one of the more prosperous parts of Daehan. Not even Cheongwadae would be able to cover up the shipment of millions of living dead to such an important Province. So, how did they accomplish something like that?”
“Furthermore, what about the millions of living dead that entered Gonjiam Asylum without even causing the slightest stir in the nation?”
“There’s no doubt - there must be a secret passageway that leads straight from Gijang County into Gonjiam Asylum. Additionally, this secret passageway has to pass through the renowned third tunnel of Pusan. Otherwise, there would be no reason to entrust to Ahn Somi the third part of the script of death - the Train to Pusan. The purpose of such an incident wasn’t to break Pusan or turn it into the paradise of the living dead. Rather, it was all for the sole purpose of covering up the secret route!”
Qin Ye nodded deeply.
It corroborated his thoughts. In fact, an external breakdown of the situation filled him with even greater insight to the matter.
Firstly, the script of death wasn’t written at a whim and fancy. It wasn’t the result of a sudden thinking at the spur of the moment to create a particular Yin spirit.
Conversely, it was a masterpiece that had to take into account a variety of factors, including culture, societal norms, traffic, economy and other aspects and disciplines. In fact, it would even have to consider what kind of Yin spirit to foster, how to catalyze its birth, and even how to grow and nurture it, and deal with the aftermath of its actions.
Where will it be born? Where will it go? Where will it peak? And most crucially, who would be the chosen one? Who was to fill the role of the ultimate villain, and have his name go down forever in the annals of history?
Secondly, Qin Ye had come to the stark realization that the beauty of the script of death was the fact that apart from the creation of the Yin spirit, everything else strictly adhered to the ironclad rule that the netherworld would never interfere with the affairs of the mortal realm.
For instance, Tsar Arturo or Marquis Rumyantsev could have easily resolved the problem of transporting the living dead to Gonjiam Asylum with their supernatural abilities. But, they didn’t.
Instead, they found a way to trigger the Train to Pusan incident, filling Pusan with the living dead almost as though it were a naturally-occurring supernatural incident, when the truth of the matter was that everything was carefully crafted for the purposes to cover up their secret VIP express of the dead.
Not once did the Russian Underworld have their emissaries take any overt action or send powerful evil ghosts out to wreak havoc in the mortal realm.
And this leads us straight to the third point - silence is golden.
A macro perspective on the script of death would reveal that the parties involved, whether Choi Tae-min, Choi Soon-sil, Ms Park, or others, were all like individual pearls on a pearl necklace. Meanwhile, the script of death itself would be the thread that ties the parties together with the other pearls that would include the MV Sewol, Gonjiam Asylum, as well as the Train to Pusan, forming a perfect string of pearls.
Throughout this entire process, the Russian Underworld had only been overtly involved with the planting of the Ouroboros spell, and possibly also the Soul Invocation Ritual. Even then, these were simple tasks that could even be entrusted to a Soul Hunter.
In other words, the author of the masterpiece known as the script of death had remained absolutely silent through decades on end. There were hardly any traces that things were being strung together by a hidden mastermind from behind the shadows. And even if there were, nothing would point them towards the identity of the mastermind!
Qin Ye couldn’t help but sigh in admiration at how masterfully everything had been carried out - Incredible. He truly deserves every bit of the title of the god of death.
Shelving these thoughts in his heart, Qin Ye read on.
“Now, let’s delve deeper into the minds of the Russian Underworld. In the first place, they had only agreed to cooperate with Liu Yu because they longed to establish communications with the Cathayan Underworld. Thus, when Hell first appeared, they immediately decided to leave Liu Yu out in the lurch. This is only natural. After all, why would they bother keeping the Hanyang Underworld around when they could directly link up with Hell? Don’t you know what kind of privileged position you occupy in the international arena?”
Qin Ye: ……
I mean… You’re just a brush! Could you not make Cathay sound so awesome?!
“Secondly, if negotiations fall through, they’ll still need to keep Hanyang around as a backup plan. After all, most issues that undergird international relations don’t end up with a clash of swords and spears. Rather, they tend to be resolved by way of a battle of the wits. Incidentally, this was also one of the things that the great, handsome and domineering Second King Yanluo was trying to impart to the weak and timid Third King Yanluo.
Qin Ye rolled his eyes and fervently repressed the impulse to break the brush in two.
“Meanwhile, the Russian Underworld has been secretly collecting information about a certain Dogballs and company. They are keeping close tabs on whether Hell is now but a fraction of its former glory and strength. After all, it is only natural for one to question Hell’s existence after a hundred years of lockdown and absence from the international arena. Meanwhile, Yanluo Qin has done nothing more than to skirt around the peripheries of the script of death. Both sides were clearly content scouting each other out and probing at the other’s abilities during this period of buffer.”
“But now… Yanluo Qin has finally crept into the core of the script of death! That’s right, this is Daehan. No script of death designed to be administered in Daehan could ever pass up the involvement of Gonjiam Asylum, one of the seven places in the world hailed to have the highest paranormal activity. It might not even be an overstatement to say that the script of death wouldn’t be complete had its grand finale not taken place at the Gonjiam Asylum. To this end, Qin Dogballs must thank the ulterior motives in his heart. After all, had he not acted upon these motives and rescued Lee Jung-sook, he would never have taken the huge step forward towards unlocking the secrets surrounding Gonjiam Asylum.”
“And right now, he is but a single step away from discovering the whole truth about its mysteries!”
“But… would things really go as smoothly as he thought?”
Whoosh… The words below suddenly turned scarlet, causing Qin Ye’s pupils to shrink in an instant.
“The Russian Underworld clearly has something to ask of Hell. But if negotiations fall through, stepping into Gwangju City would be one and the same as entering the abyss of blades and fire.”
Qin Ye tapped his finger gently on the last statement he had just read.
Why would negotiations fall through?
I’d like to intercept Liu Yu’s ascension to the throne, so why wouldn’t I negotiate properly with the Russian Underworld?
Nevertheless, Qin Ye put these thoughts on the backburner and continued reading ahead. That said, he couldn’t help but feel as though he’d overlooked something of great importance.
“This is the final act of the script of death. Not only does Gwangju City now contain millions of dormant living dead, it even contains the Lord of the Danube, Marquis Rumyantsev himself, as well as all Yin soldiers of the Hanyang Underworld numbering tens of thousands in all!”
“Meanwhile, countless rifts have already opened up in Gyeonggi Province, bridging the gap between the Hanyang Underworld and the mortal realm, and Liu Yu can send his troops pouring into the mortal realm in an instant. Things in Gwangju City are going to be on a completely different scale from what Yanluo Qin had ever witnessed before! The script of death can never be desecrated. Marquis Rumyantsev will do everything he can in order to protect the administration of the Tsar’s script of death!”
“Yanluo Qin, take heed - Gwangju City will be no different from a lion’s den or a dragon’s lair. You might have counted Marquis Rumyantsev out because your previous investigations have gone without a hitch. But little do you realize that… this final step can be incredibly dangerous.”
“You are treading on the peripheries and threatening to encroach on another god of death’s primary function!”
“This is going to attract a frenzied counterattack on you! This will be an all-out attack that can get you killed in Hanyang regardless of the cost!”
“The international arena is just like the ocean. The winds might be calm, but the undercurrents beneath might just stir up a huge wave in the very next second! The perceived silence might be nothing more than the calm before the storm!”
“Have you ever wondered whether it was truly possible that you would be able to slip away from under the nose of an Abyssal Prefect and travel through Gijang County completely undetected? Just like… now?”
Just then, Qin Ye suddenly jerked his head up, while both Wang Chenghao and Oda Nobutada quipped at the same time, “Brother Qin…” “Someone’s here…”
Whoosh! A massive rift appeared in the sky ahead of them, allowing copious amounts of Yin energy to pour right out at once.
It was dense and dark, just like a thick fog that instantly blotted out all sources of light. Even then, the dysfunctional street lights suddenly lit up all at once.
The surroundings were shrouded with a dim and dark ambience. Just then, they heard the sound of horse hooves on the street.
Clop, clop, clop… An ancient carriage slowly emerged from the depths of the fog. It was completely black in colour, and pulled by a series of headless skeletal horses. The coachman was dressed smartly with a long black tailcoat and a top hat. The entire carriage behind was constructed out of skeletons and bones, while four screaming human faces were situated where the spokes of the wheels usually were. A hollowed-out skull hung loosely at the front of the carriage, acting like a lantern that illuminated their path.
Fast. It emerged so quickly that Qin Ye didn’t even have the time to react to the turn of events.
Unfortunately, it was also in that instant that Qin Ye finally noticed what he had previously overlooked.
Hell’s persona on the international arena!
It was the attitude with which he was to deal with the evil ghost that sat within the majestic carriage that was approaching him. The familiar Yin energy signature told him that the person within was none other than the true administrator of the Hanyang Underworld as it stood - Marquis Rumyantsev himself!
He wasn’t just an Abyssal Prefect, but a negotiator sent by the Russian Underworld! In other words, Marquis Rumyantsev was going to be the first foreign underworldly ambassador that he was going to deal with in his capacity as an Emissary of Hell!
Was he going to treat them with an attitude befitting of the maxim ‘an instance of infraction, a life of requital’, or was he going to put aside his prejudices and work towards their mutual benefit?
The former was a declaration of Hellish hegemony across the entire netherworld. Preeminence within, and supremacy without.
On the other hand, the latter clearly evinced an expression of bowing out in submission. It was his fallback position which can guarantee his safe return from his Daeian expedition!
The abruptness of the sudden appearance of crossroads caused Qin Ye’s forehead to percolate with cold sweat. He knew full well that his choice right now would determine the attitude of the Russian Underworld towards Hell moving forward. Unfortunately, he wasn’t prepared to make such an important decision right now!
Then, just as his mind was racing with thoughts, the carriage finally pulled over in front of him. With a soft creak, the carriage door opened.
The coachman dismounted from the coach and bowed respectfully, “Esteemed Mr Earl, Marquis Rumyantsev, ambassador at large of the Russian Underworld, cordially invites you to dine with us at the first banquet hall. Kindly grace us with your presence.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter