What should we do?
These were the words that were now echoing endlessly in Rumyantsev’s mind.
Nothing could have prepared him for this news.
He didn’t want to get flustered, but there was simply no reasonable response to be had to something like that. It was something that completely blew his mind. Then, just as he was scrambling to piece his mind back together, Zhong Kui promptly fired the second salvo with the appearance of the dagger.
His heart toiled with intense rage. The humiliation was no different to the kind faced when one discovers one of their long-lost treasures of their own heritage being sold on the auction house of another nation. It was indescribable.
This meagre Judge… Rumyantsev gnashed his teeth and tightened his fists. Oh, how he wished he could just tear the Judge apart to shreds right now. Unfortunately… he didn’t dare.
The dagger was clearly a warning, but also a way out. The message was clear - If I can do it once, I can most certainly do it again. I am still your father, regardless of who the presiding King Yanluo of Hell may be.
After drawing several deep breaths, he presented a stiff smile and respectfully took the dagger in both hands and held it close to his chest, “Thank you.”
These words were no different from delivering a slap to his own face. The four other diplomatic officers around him were flushed with fury, but they knew better than to speak out of turn.
“Sit down.” Swallowing their humiliation and embarrassment, Rumyantsev directed the rest of the Yin spirit to take their seats. He, too, dragged his chair over and sat down, before picking up a glass. The living dead attendant behind him immediately walked over and was just about to fill his glass with vodka when a vast wave of Yin energy suddenly erupted!
Whoosh! The mighty eruption of Yin energy caused the entire nation of Daehan to tremble. At once, every single alarm in the various offices of LSD went off with loud wails.
“Warning, warning! Red alert! Yin energy readings of 15 million Yin detected in Gijang County, Pusan! Unprecedented levels! All are advised to evacuate from Pusan and seek aid from Cathay. Repeat, warning…”
“What the hell?!” “15 million… I-is this the appearance of the legendary Abyssal Prefect?” “Oh god… What the hell is happening to Daehan over the last few years?!”
Meanwhile, every single living dead across all of Pusan instantly shrank back into the deepest recesses like rats. Sure, they didn’t have spiritual intelligence or awareness, but they still knew fear on a primal and instinctive level.
Back in the Jukseong Dream Church. The living dead within the church were reduced to ashes at once. They didn’t even get the chance to scream in fear. Even Qin Ye couldn’t help but look up in horror.
This is the might of an advanced Prefect-class Yin spirit… This is the might of a Prefect in charge of an entire district. He can kill me in an instant, and I wouldn’t even know what hit me.
Qin Ye was clearly treading on thin ice.
This was a sharp release of anger.
Without any outlet for the intense rage in his heart, he had no choice but to vent it all on the living dead around him. At once, the entire church was filled with an intense silence amidst a heavy atmosphere. Far off in the distance, the long horn of a ship blared.
Qin Ye shifted his gaze slightly and gazed out of the window.
“Useless pieces of trash.” After some time, Rumyantsev finally turned back with a smile. He raised his hand slightly, and a gentle breeze picked up the ashes on the ground and sent it right back out of the church in an instant. Then, he slowly poured himself a glass of vodka and rubbed his brows in agony.
Endure it… The Russian Underworld isn’t in a place to provoke Hell right now. This is all part and parcel of the duties of being a negotiator. His heart sank slightly with the emptiness within.
Before coming, he’d already thought of some ways of potentially dealing with similar situations should they arise. However, the two powerful blows dealt by Qin Ye had completely messed up his rhythm, and he was no longer in the mood to play games.
The delicate balance of the negotiations had been shattered by the display of strength.
“Please pardon our underworld’s rudeness.” For the very first time, Rumyantsev nodded sincerely towards Zhong Kui, “Well, then, how about we get right down to business?”
“Certainly.” Qin Ye nodded and heaved a long sigh of relief in his heart.
I’ve finally gotten through… As expected, if I take my time with diplomatic etiquette, my identity will certainly be exposed! Speaking of which, how did such a fine diplomatic banquet end up with a massacre of the waiters and waitresses? Tsk…
Rumyantsev took a deep breath and waved his hand once more, causing all of the windows in the church to click shut at once. Then, he turned back to Qin Ye with a grave expression, “The tomb of Emperor Taizu of Yuan.”
Qin Ye thought he’d misheard Rumyantsev.
Emperor Taizu of Yuan… Genghis Khan?
Why are you bringing up something of the ancient past like this?
Sensing Qin Ye’s confusion, Rumyantsev took a deep breath and continued gravely, “There’s a 40% chance that… the soul of Emperor Taizu of Yuan is still in his tomb.”
Qin Ye jerked his head up and stared intently at Rumyantsev, “Are you certain?”
“Like I said, there’s only a 40% chance of the same. But… it’s still worth a shot, is it not?”
Both men spoke like rattling machine guns, “How did your underworld discover this?”
“By chance. We’re not at liberty to disclose the exact circumstances surrounding our discovery, but His Majesty the Tsar has personally checked and verified this news.”
“This is exactly why we need Hell’s assistance.” Rumyantsev paused and continued with gritted teeth, “It’s located in the territory of the Mongol Empire.”
Qin Ye didn’t say a word. At once, he began to scour through all information about the Mongol Underworld hidden in the depths of his mind.
Traditionally, the Mongol Empire was recognized as a buffer zone between Hell and the Russian Underworld.
According to the agreement signed between the previous King Yanluo and the Russian Underworld, neither underworld is allowed to venture deep into the Mongol Empire unless they obtain the approval of the other underworld. Therefore, pursuant to the agreement, a vassal of both underworlds was stationed there, but neither of them would have any garrison of troops located within.
Qin Ye couldn’t recall the exact name of the vassal, but he could recall that this vassal was native to the Mongol Empire and was also said to be a direct descendant of the Yuan Empire at one time.
No wonder Rus needs a nod of approval from Hell. If they enter the Mongol Empire without Cathay’s approval, they would be stepping beyond the limits of the demilitarized zone. That would truly trigger a war.
No… that’s not all.
Qin Ye’s thoughts began to spin. That’s the soul of Temujin, more commonly known as Genghis Khan! This is someone that can most certainly become a Yama-class existence! Are they truly willing to pass up on someone like that without sending their own darkfeathers into the Mongol Empire?
After all, it was an unwritten rule across the entire netherworld that no underworld would pursue the souls of any Yin spirit that was seized by another underworld’s darkfeathers. In other words, they were to count it their own misfortune should another underworld manage to make off with the soul of a deceased from right underneath their noses, and vice versa. It was for this reason that Yue Wumu’s soul was still languishing in Nippon. Rus would never pass up on such a great opportunity unless the circumstances required as such. Yet, the fact remained that they were now requesting to join forces.
This could only mean one thing - that the soul of Genghis Khan simply couldn’t be seized and reaped by the darkfeathers of an underworld. It required the march of Yin soldiers. Qin Ye’s curiosity was piqued - What’s in this tomb of the revered Genghis Khan? What does it contain that renders one of the major underworlds in the netherworld completely helpless?
After all, Russian darkfeathers were known to be the top darkfeathers in the world. They bore the marks of the KGB, and anyone who understood world history would be able to tell you their thunderous achievements throughout the first and second world wars.
Fortunately, Qin Ye wasn’t so naive as to believe the Russian Underworld wholeheartedly. This was clearly a preliminary meeting to state their intentions.
“What do you want?”
“To wipe out the Mongol Empire.” Rumyantsev swirled the contents in his glass placidly, “The Mongol Empire… has existed for far too long. Given the cordial relations between our underworlds, we are of the view that their existence is no longer required.”
“Hell can take the soul of Genghis Khan. Believe me, the Tsar has no intention of vying over the souls belonging to Hell. All we ask is that we split the territory of the Mongol Empire into two equal halves.”
Bloody hell… is this what international negotiations are like?! Qin Ye’s heart skipped a beat. The contents of the discussion were of a magnitude far greater than any he was used to.
Rumyantsev hadn’t flinched in the slightest, even when he was talking about the annihilation of an entire country.
But… why does it feel unexpectedly reasonable and justifiable?
That said, Qin Ye knew that he would get himself into trouble if he acted out of line and showed any inclination to the offer on the table. After all, if the tomb of Emperor Taizu of Yuan were indeed located in the heart of the Mongol Empire, the Second King Yanluo would have sent troops at once without even consulting with the Russian Underworld.
After three full minutes of deep consideration, Qin Ye suppressed the intense thumping in his heart and finally gave his response, “This is a matter of great importance. Allow me to report back to the Third King Yanluo, and then we will inform you of our decision.”
“Naturally.” Rumyantsev smiled, “The Russian Underworld eagerly awaits your good news. Our Undead Crusaders grow impatient. This concerns matters that we’ve discovered 30 years ago after all. The fact that we have not overstepped the ambit of our authority all this while is testament to the Tsar’s sincerity.”
Haha… Who are you trying to kid? Had we been someone far weaker like Nippon, you’d have declared war on us and marched right over our land by now…
That said, Qin Ye didn’t want to engage with them any further than he had to, so he promptly nodded, “If there’s nothing else, I’ll take my leave.”
“Certainly.” Rumyantsev walked Qin Ye to the door to the church, and continued with a smile, “Speaking of which, Judge Zhong, as far as Gijang County and Gyonggi Province are concerned, rest assured that we’ll be pulling our men out of the country before 30 October. Apart from that, and regardless of how things turn out, Empress Catherine will personally visit Hanyang on the day of Hanyang Underworld’s grand opening ceremony. We sincerely hope she will have the honour of meeting with the Third King Yanluo of Hell then.”
With that, the door finally shut on him.
Everything in the church fell silent. Rumyantsev swirled the contents in his glass, as though deep in thought. Meanwhile, the other four Yin spirits at the table stared intently at him, ostensibly with a multitude of words at their lips, yet none dared say a single word.
Three minutes later, the glass in Rumyantsev’s hand suddenly shattered, and he looked up with a frigid gaze, “Notify Liu Yu.”
“My Lord…” Igor asked cautiously, “Is that… really a good idea?”
“If Hell finds out, they would most certainly count that against us…”
“Do you think it’s still the time to be considering these things? Igor, you’ve been following me for over a century! Do you really not understand? It’s no wonder you’re unable to move beyond the ranks of a mere secretary!” Rumyantsev shot to his feet violently. The netherflames in his eyes blazed in fury, and he gritted his teeth, “Judge Zhong didn’t even have us in his sights! And couldn’t you tell? There’s something wrong about him!”
At once, he kicked away his chair and marched around the room with his hands behind his back. Copious amounts of Yin energy began to diffuse from his body, “When I first saw him, I already felt that there was something… unusual about him. Don’t you recall our previous encounters with Hell? Have they ever failed to make a grand entrance wherever they went? But just look at them now! They’ve snuck into Daehan on the pretext of scouting the road ahead for the King Yanluo of Hell. But where are the other Emissaries?!”
“Since when does Hell move with such frugality?”
“Fine… Let’s just say that all this is attributable to the Third King Yanluo’s peculiar temperament and shelve it for now. But, even then, haven’t you noticed the fact that Judge Zhong hadn’t observed the etiquette for such bilateral meetings? Sure, this might be expected of some of those uncivilized underworlds led by their barbaric gods of death, but surely the same can’t be said for Hell, can it? The rules of their etiquette dates back well over three thousand years. It might even be as old as Fengdu itself!”
“Truth be told, I hadn’t wanted to talk about the matter concerning the soul of Emperor Taizu of Yuan, but… Judge Zhong came prepared, and even played his cards in a completely unexpected fashion. Admittedly, he was able to send my thoughts into disarray with his bizarre manner of speech, but more than that, it feels like he’s attempting to conceal something from us.”
“But what is he trying to conceal? The only things worthy of Hell’s attention here apart from Liu Yu’s underworld would undoubtedly be the matter of utmost secrecy that the Tsar has personally entrusted to me! It’s not possible to think that a single Judge would think of dealing with an entire underworld with that limited entourage of his. Therefore, we can rule out that option, and that leaves us with the only other possibility, which is that he’s coming straight for me! Or rather, he’s coming for the demonic parchment that the Tsar has entrusted to me!”
Then, Rumyantsev suddenly lowered his voice to a whisper and sneered softly, “His Majesty the Tsar has instructed me that, be it human or Yin spirit alike, none shall be allowed to enter the Terminus of Terror. All who trespass must be killed without mercy!”
“Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be wise for us to risk our relationship with Hell over something like this. That said… there’s someone else who is likewise invested in seeing this plan through.”
“And that’s none other than the Lord of Hanyang, Liu Yu.”
He sat down and took a sip of vodka, “Igor, I want you to get in touch with Liu Yu and inform him that we’ve detected the infiltration of an Emissary of Hell. Furthermore, you can let him know that this Emissary of Hell… is none other than Zhong Kui.”
“He’s far more terrified of Hell than we are. After all, he knows all too well what kind of monstrosity he would be dealing with…”Previous Chapter Next Chapter