Qin Ye transformed into a nethergale and flew straight back to the car. As soon as he got in, he immediately leaned heavily on the window on the side of the car and grew taciturn.
“Eh? What’s the matter?” Wang Chenghao made an expression like that of a pimp, “Did someone lose their way?”
Qin Ye shook his head weakly. He had a feeling that he might well have royally messed up.
It was no different from how one would prepare himself as well as he possibly could before a test, and thereafter have some inkling on how he would have done at the end of the entire session. He was praying for a miracle, but he wasn’t too hopeful.
In fact, he knew that time wasn’t on his side. He couldn’t continue to hide things from a veteran like Rumyantsev for much longer, especially since he had come barely prepared.
With a soft sigh, he slumped back into his seat and began to sort through his thoughts.
On the surface, everything had gone according to plan. However, the truth of the matter was that everything had been done in haste. He was first thrown into an unexpected situation, and then forced to discuss matters of international significance and even negotiate with an expert without any preparation whatsoever. There was no doubt he was on the backfoot this time. Everything he had done stemmed from the sole intention of extricating himself from the difficult situation as quickly as he could. Perhaps Rumyantsev hadn’t been able to react to the situation in time, but a quick reassessment of the situation would have revealed that he was clearly forcing the issue.
If we don’t massage the point and apply lubrication, then pushing the point would cause hurt. Hurt would make for an unpleasant experience, and an unpleasant experience… would most certainly lead to a whole host of unpredictable consequences…
“Perhaps this is the real reason why the Second King Yanluo had prompted me to come to Daehan. He might have anticipated all this, and perhaps this was… one of the last points of guidance he could give to me.”
“Once he leaves, I’ll be forced to walk down this path of governance with at best an injured Harken to fall back on. He’s allowing me to experience first-hand the negotiations between underworlds under the shelter of his wings. What I’ve just experienced isn’t even a formal negotiation to boot. It’s just a private meeting, and yet… I was sorely unprepared for it…”
However, he knew better than to dwell on these issues right now. He rubbed his temples and forced himself to address his mind to the more pressing issues at hand.
He very much wanted to intercept Liu Yu’s harvest of faith.
It wasn’t merely for the purposes of breaking through to the ranks of an Abyssal Prefect. Rather, as the Third King Yanluo of Hell, he simply couldn’t take things lying down when someone is attempting to give him a tight slap across the face!
How often would you see a vassal state declare independence in the face of their masters? What kind of blemish would it etch on the name and reputation of their sovereign? In fact, how weak would their sovereign have to be in order to accede to such a ridiculous request by the vassal state? Qin Ye didn’t even dare to think of the implications of something like this, especially when the rest of the world were all eagerly scrutinizing any movements around Hell in an attempt to uncover their current state of affairs.
Was the might and majesty of the First King Yanluo and Second King Yanluo going to be lost in the third dynasty of Hell?
Qin Ye’s gaze grew deep and abstruse, and he gently tapped his fingers on the window, “Things had only gone so smoothly earlier because we were still dancing about on the peripheries of the script of death, and the Russian Underworld was still keen on discussing matters civilly with Hell. But given the manner in which I’d responded earlier… I’d practically snatched the initiative right out of their hands and behaved like a brat who flaunts his might and majesty in an attempt to give himself an advantage. I sincerely hope Rumyantsev wouldn’t wisen up to these little telltale signs, but… given his experience and performance earlier… Who am I supposed to be kidding?”
Qin Ye hadn’t shown any sincerity in the negotiations earlier at all.
“Had my performance earlier been perfect, they would have let their guard down and addressed their mind fully to cooperating with Hell. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that my earlier performance is worth nothing more than 60 points, or perhaps even less. They’re definitely going to keep a close eye on us. It’s going to be incredibly difficult to get any closer to the script of death now…”
With another long sigh, Qin Ye gritted his teeth and activated his third chance to communicate with the Second King Yanluo.
“Who would’ve thought that I’d use up these three chances so quickly.”
Moments later, the cool appearance of the Second King Yanluo appeared on the screen of light, “What’s up?”
Qin Ye pursed his lips, “The Russian Underworld may know where the soul of Emperor Taizu of Yuan is. They’re thinking of joining forces with Hell to wipe out the demilitarized zone occupied by the Mongol Empire, and they were eager to get in touch with Hell for this reason.”
Wang Chenghao’s jaws dropped instantly. It was a bolt from the blue. Oda Nobutada also gasped in horror and glanced at Qin Ye with great disbelief.
Genghis Khan… What… What kind of existence is he going to be?!
Unexpectedly, the Second King Yanluo didn’t seem in the slightest bit surprised, “Oh? And?”
Qin Ye frowned with some measure of exasperation, “I’ve just had an encounter with Rumyantsev.”
“Lord of the Danube, huh…” Xu Yangyi nodded, “Is he the one in charge of these operations? The cat’s finally out of the bag.”
These were clearly rhetorics. He knew the answer all along.
“He’s one of the top-ranking marshals in the entire netherworld. It’s definitely a little premature having you deal directly with him. It wouldn’t be surprising if you’d inadvertently spilled the beans here. I still recall the first time I sat at the negotiating table… It didn’t even take me five minutes before I flipped the table at them…”
Qin Ye: ……
If I had that kind of strength, do I still need to be worrying about these little chicks?!
“But anger and rage doesn’t solve any problems. Hell cannot afford to get into a war - especially not against the four underworlds at the summit of the netherworld. I’m not afraid of the forbidden arts that they may employ, but that doesn’t address the possibility of substantial collateral damage that may ensue. I eventually learned to hone my skills in negotiations as well.” Xu Yangyi responded calmly, “So, what requests do you have this time?”
Qin Ye suddenly felt as though he were making a wish in front of a magic mirror.
Forget it, I shouldn’t be thinking about these things right now. Qin Ye pondered over his next move for some time, and then smiled radiantly, “I’ve actually just called to chat with you and give you a report on my progress. Surely this wouldn’t count as the use of my third and final chance, would it?”
… How cold and unreasonable!
Qin Ye gnashed his teeth, “Then… since that’s the case, I may as well begin…”
Xu Yangyi: ???
… No. You wouldn’t dare.
“Lend me your wisdom perspective~!” Qin Ye clasped his palms together and blasted at the top of his voice, “Let me see things with the utmost clarity~~!” 
“In human words.” The Second King Yanluo cut him off impatiently.
Qin Ye immediately ceased his performance and continued solemnly, “I’d like to borrow your eyes to check the vicinity around the Jukseong Dream Cathedral at Gijang County to see if there’s a vessel or ship nearby.”
When Rumyantsev’s Yin energy erupted earlier, it immediately drew in response the clear, distinct sound of a ship’s horn.
But what was a ship doing close to the source of the outbreak of the living dead?
At once, Qin Ye noticed something amiss.
Ahn Somi was dead, and Mukov had taken over her role. How can the Russian Underworld be certain that the routes overseen by Ahn Somi haven’t been compromised?
They can’t. Perhaps they’ve simply decided to employ another method. What if they were to pile the living dead into a large container, and then loop around the sea and enter Hanyang from the other side? They’d be able to move sufficiently stealthily that way!
Within moments, the screen of light flickered slightly, and then a completely different image appeared on it. A massive shadow of a ship appeared in the picture, surrounded by the living dead that appeared to be queuing to board it. Several other figures could be seen ushering and giving directions to the living dead.
It was a derelict vessel.
It looked worn and weathered, covered in rust and hardly functional. In fact, there was no doubt that the ship must be grounded, because Qin Ye could even see several gaping holes on the hull of the vessel! There were also some Daeian words written on the side of the vessel.
“Is this…” Just then, Kwon Kyung-ho suddenly spoke tremulously, “Is this… the MV Sewol?! It’s actually the MV Sewol?!”
The MV Sewol had never been salvaged. 
The vessel was reported to have sunk too deep into the sea, the bad weather didn’t help, but most of all, the president of Cheonghaejin Shipping was undoubtedly also a follower of the Church of Spirit World. Thus, salvage works were never formally executed. Every year, the Daeian families who lost their children to this tragedy would desperately petition for the salvage of the MV Sewol, but only Qin Ye knew full well just how mired in controversy the MV Sewol was.
Would they make a move at the bequest of a few families when not even someone as powerful and influential as Lee Jung-sook was able to do a thing about it?
Therefore, it’s been lying at the bottom of the sea all this while.
Yet, who would’ve thought that it would somehow be seen once more near the Jukseong Dream Cathedral in Gijang County?
“No, that’s not the MV Sewol… Everyone, look!” Oda Nobutada froze, and then immediately pointed to the screen.
Everyone glanced over and took a closer look at where Oda Nobutada was pointing at. At once, chills ran down their spines.
Because a face had actually appeared on the bow of MV Sewol!
It was the face of a man!
It was… Choi Tae-min’s face!
And it was clearly moving and living!
It was deeply unsettling to see the face of the living on the body of an inanimate object. Yet, what was even more astonishing was the fact that the ship was on the ground!
There were clearly thousands - possibly even tens of thousands - of living dead carrying the ship from beneath it, just like a funeral procession carrying a coffin.
Hundreds of tiny figures stood right in front of MV Sewol. However, they were clearly far shorter than the ones behind.
Kwon Kyung-ho glanced at them, and then immediately leaned closer into the screen with bloodshot eyes, “These… These are… Eun-joo? Min-tae? Sang-woo? W-what are they doing here?! What the hell is going on?!”
Choi Tae-min’s face was located on the bow of the ship, and his mouth was slightly open. Hundreds of dark chains formed right out of Yin energy extended right out of his mouth, tethered directly to the crown of the little silhouettes situated at the front of the ship. And to that end, these little silhouettes were clearly all young Yin spirits wearing their school uniforms!
“Ghost ship, and Earthbound Spirits. Furthermore, as a result of the intense resentment and grievances filling the area, MV Sewol itself… has evolved and developed spiritual awareness as well…” Qin Ye was also taken aback by the sight before his eyes. Admittedly, Cathay and Daehan had always been dealing with each other with a rather strained relationship. But, even then… These were innocent children! Hundreds of teenage lives that were sacrificed for nothing!
“This ship was once used to carry Choi Tae-min’s corpse. He’s the root of the scourge plaguing Daehan right now. The resentment against him is too strong, and he would by no means be an ordinary Yin spirit either. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s fairly high ranking on the pecking order of special Yin spirits.” Qin Ye stared blankly at the ship as he slowly but surely began to develop a game plan moving forward.
“Odious Spirit of Filth.” Just then, the Second King Yanluo spoke from the other end of the screen of light, “It’s good news for us?”
“Good news?” Qin Ye frowned.
“That’s right. Black Yaksha and Crow Tengu aren’t formal Abyssal Prefects, and they wouldn’t be stable enough as a foundation for the six paths of reincarnation. But… it would suffice so long as you add the Odious Spirit of Filth to the mix.”
“It’s ranked 7th on the list of special Yin spirits. This is a Yin spirit that even has the potential to grow into a Yama-class existence. Who would’ve thought that something as powerful as that would one day show up in the small country of Daehan? That said… it also stands to reason that he would be a powerful special Yin spirit, given that he was essentially the target of resentment across all of Daehan over the last few decades.”
Qin Ye nodded softly as he continued to stare intently at the screen of light.
This should be the transport vehicle used to ferry the living dead from point to point.
But… would the ship be going by land or by water? Qin Ye couldn’t figure it out.
Just then, Xu Yangyi spoke again, and the image on the screen of light promptly vanished, “You have something in mind?”
Qin Ye nodded blankly, and then suddenly smiled, “Just an inkling. Perhaps… nothing ventured, nothing gained?”
At once, Xu Yangyi understood what he was getting at, and he smiled, “Do you need my help? Let me make this clear - I don’t do cheats, so don’t ask me for favours such as teleporting you straight into the heart of Gonjiam Asylum or forcing Liu Yu to bow out of the equation.”
Qin Ye nodded, “I know. But surely it wouldn’t be too much to ask you for help to pull a veil over Marquis Rumyantsev’s eyes, would it?”
“That’s fine.” At once, Xu Yangyi’s voice began to fade away. But just as it was about to vanish completely, the screen of light appeared once more, and Xu Yangyi spoke again, “Why did you ask for this?”
Qin Ye sighed, and then glanced blankly at the roof of the car with a bitter smile on his face, “I’ve thought about it. I simply can’t tolerate having Liu Yu trample all over me and giving me a tight slap to the face. Besides, it does seem that a moment of tolerance here would lead to far greater consequences…”
After a protracted period of silence, the Second King Yanluo sighed with great relief, “You’re teachable after all.”
“This is the second time.”
“This is the second time you’ve chosen to seize the initiative. Very good. Some people just need to be nudged in the right direction. My efforts during the Hungry Ghost Festival haven’t been in vain…”
“Can you not mention these things already?!”
1. Qin Ye was singing a Chinese song called 雾里看花 https://youtu.be/RjtEKOWnu-g