No. It couldn’t have been aimed directly at me. If there really was an issue with the Second King Yanluo’s concealment ability, then why didn’t he target Wang Chenghao or Oda Nobutada instead?
Qin Ye’s actions caused him to fall to the ground. Meanwhile, Choi Tae-min’s face at the bow of the vessel immediately scanned the entire group of living dead once more. At once, he unleashed a terrifying shriek, and countless chains formed out of Yin energy burst forth from his lips in all directions.
Murphy’s law - anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Just like now.
Is it really looking for us?
Qin Ye simply refused to believe it. Where did things go wrong? But before he could delve any deeper into his thoughts, the entire vessel suddenly grew silent.
No, it wasn’t of its own volition. In that instant, Qin Ye sensed an incredibly unsettling aura sweep across the vicinity, forcefully suppressing the riotous actions of the MV Sewol.
It was an incredibly strange wave of Yin energy. It didn’t bear the usual forcefulness of ordinary Yin spirits, nor did it harbour the same kind of unsettling calmness exuded by stronger Yin spirits. Rather, it was incredibly gloomy and heavy, almost as though it were a poisonous viper that was coiled up and poised to launch a deadly strike at the moment’s notice.
Just then, another silhouette suddenly appeared atop the bow of the vessel.
Qin Ye had a clear vantage of the bow of the vessel. Naturally, he saw that the figure was that of a man wearing an old-fashioned trench coat.
His collar was down, and he wore a striking leather hat over his head. That said, his facial features were clearly visible at a glance. But as soon as Qin Ye did, he immediately cursed under his breath.
He knew this man.
There was once a couple who adopted him who were both famous professors at a well-known university. During that time, he took advantage of the resources they had access to and read through various books in their library. Incidentally, this man’s portrait was featured on one of the covers of these books he had read.
KGB agent extraordinaire, hero of the Soviet Union, King of Spies, Richard Sorge!
How good was he, you ask?
Not only was he able to furnish details of the exact date of the Nazi’s attack on the Soviet Union during his service in Nippon, he was even able to assure the Societ Union that Nippon would not attack the Soviet Union in the near future, allowing the Soviet Union to channel all of their resources to confronting the Nazi forces.
In other words, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that he had single-handedly influenced the entire course of World War 2!
He carefully sized up the legendary figure standing some distance ahead of him. He was clearly an intermediate Judge-class Yin spirit - certainly not too high ranking by any means. However, his eyes soon flickered, and he did a double take at Richard’s back.
There was the head of a woman that was growing right out of his back!
It was a beautiful woman of the East. She bore exquisite appearances, almost as though she were still alive.
“What’s this--...” Qin Ye froze for a moment, and then soon recalled something else that was noteworthy.
And it was none other than how the King of Spies fell. 
It was a confluence of such coincidences that one couldn’t help but think that Fate had something to do with it.
Richard’s intelligence activities were largely carried out in Nippon. In September 1933, he was on a mission in Edo when he encountered the waitress Hanako Ishii in a bar. Hanako Ishii was beautiful and young, and the King of Spies fell in love at once.
By coincidence, the Nipponese army detected a signal from the house in which Richard lived, and that led to the arrest of Hanako Ishii. From there, they would go on to locate a lighter that Hanako Ishii had previously removed from a drawer when she was smoking in Richard’s room just a few days ago. What’s more, this had only happened because she had taken it out and forgotten to put it back into the drawer. Instead, she left it in the pocket of her coat.
To make matters worse, the lighter was in fact a miniature camera which still retained the negatives taken by Richard.
In November 1944, the King of Spies was finally sentenced to death by the Nipponese army. The Yin spirit attached to his back would undoubtedly have to be Hanako Ishii.
Almost as though he sensed something, Richard looked up just as Qin Ye was staring at him, and they incidentally locked gazes. At once, Qin Ye shifted his gaze away.
The cordial meeting earlier with the Russian Underworld had gone nowhere. Naturally, both sides had begun to make preparations to bare their fangs. Qin Ye’s “Crazy Dave” plan was nothing more than a gamble on the 1% possibility of success. However, not even in his wildest dreams would he have anticipated that the main person taking the helm of the ship would be none other than one of the top agents of the KGB, an expert of detection and counter-surveillance!
The concealment of appearances and camouflage of Yin energy was completely useless in the face of such experts! What they picked up was other cues and signals that only experts would know about!
Oda Nobutada had lumbered over by now, and he asked curiously, “My Lord?”
“Tsk…” Qin Ye sighed softly. He couldn’t help but get the urge to give himself a few tight slaps across the cheeks - What’s going on? How can you still think of pushing on with the plan? Who knows where the King of Spies features in this grand scheme that the Russian Underworld has come up with?
And what’s the matter with you? You shouldn’t be behaving like this! What happened to your survival instincts? There’s no way the Hanyang Underworld would be able to obstruct your path of retreat! Not only that, the Russian Underworld would be more than happy to give you their blessings if you retreat! So why is it… why is it that your heart still feels compelled to push on with the plan?!
Is this merely because of man’s inclination towards taking risks?
Or is this all because of the seeds sown by the Second King Yanluo?!
“I must be going crazy…” Qin Ye massaged his throbbing temples and muttered back under his breath, “By all means possible, stay away from that man.”
Oda Nobutada paused for a moment. This was the first time he had ever witnessed Lord Qin caution him against even drawing close to a man in all earnestness. However, he didn’t ask anymore, and gently nodded his head, before blending back into the tide of the living dead that was still drawing close to the MV Sewol.
We’re just 300 meters away. Once we pile into the hull of the vessel, everything should be alright…
Back on the bow. “What’s going on?” Richard frowned as he asked with fluent English.
His voice wasn’t loud, but it instantly calmed the riotous behaviour of the MV Sewol. Choi Tae-min grimaced slightly, and then proceeded to speak with some measure of hesitation, “There’s some… discomfort…”
“Earlier, I thought I saw a delicious snack. But in the blink of an eye, he vanished…”
“He’s both dangerous and delicious…”
Richard squinted his eyes and calmly swept a gaze across the sea of living dead that were swarming all around them. Seconds later, he waved his hand. At once, a male shadowy silhouette dressed in ancient Daeian garments immediately drifted over, “I await your command.”
“Where is His Excellency Rumyantsev now?”
“After the meeting with Hell, His Excellency suddenly lost track of their Emissaries. Thus, he’s rushing back to Gyeonggi Province at top speed.”
Richard nodded and waved his hand once more, dismissing the attendant. At once, the shadowy attendant bowed and took his leave. Then, licking his lips, he looked up towards the boundless tide of corpses lumbering all around them.
Seconds later, he silently fished out a goose feather quill from his pocket.
It looked as ordinary as any other quill, but as soon as Richard touched it, Qin Ye immediately felt an electrifying sensation surge through his body. It was only with great willpower that he managed to keep his head down and not look up in surprise. Meanwhile, the sea of the living dead all around him had begun to collapse to the ground with trembling.
They were worshipping the god of death!
Whoosh… The beach was instantly shrouded in silence. The living dead were no longer even making the usual guttural sounds. It was almost as though they were all holding back their instincts because of the appearance of this single quill.
“Get down!” As soon as the goose feather quill appeared, Qin Ye’s voice immediately boomed in his companion’s ears. The living dead were all on their knees within moments. Fortunately, his reminder came swiftly enough, and Oda Nobutada and Wang Chenghao were both able to react just in time to blend in to the crowd.
“This is… this is…” Wang Chenghao’s breaths grew ragged, and his complexion turned pale. Meanwhile, Oda Nobutada began to sweat profusely, gritting his teeth in disbelief. However, he knew better than to lift his head.
This was… the arrival of the god of death!
The goose feather quill was something that was clearly used by Tsar Arturo himself!
Even Qin Ye couldn’t stop his heart from palpitating with fear.
Meanwhile, as soon as the quill appeared and the living dead knelt to the ground, Richard’s Yin energy erupted like a tidal wave and covered the entire area. Boundless shadows poured out in an instant, enshrouding the surroundings in darkness.
A split second later, countless eyes emerged from a rift in the darkness, and they began to slowly scan the living dead that were kneeling on the ground.
Their gazes were chilling to the bone. Whenever it passed by Qin Ye’s body, he felt a numbing sensation run down his spine, triggering an instinctive desire to shiver in response. However, he fought hard against the desire to do so. Surprisingly, Wang Chenghao and Oda Nobutada also managed to hold their own.
Everyone knew exactly what would happen if their cover was blown right here.
The intense surveillance went on for the next three minutes, until the deathly gloom suddenly vanished as abruptly as it had appeared. At once, the living dead began to scramble back to their feet. Meanwhile, Richard glanced silently at the quill in his hand. It was now rotating wildly, as though dancing on his fingertip, and it wouldn’t stop at all.
“Nothing?” The ghost ship asked.
“No.” Richard lifted his eyes and revealed a bright glint in his eagle-like gaze, “He’s right there.”
“Kill him!!” The woman whose head emerged from the back of his neck screamed at the top of her voice. Meanwhile, the trenchcoat behind him fluttered wildly, almost as though another person were going to emerge from within. A faint silhouette of a woman appeared on the back of his trenchcoat.
“I can’t kill an Emissary of Hell. That’s not what I’m here for.” He tightened his grip, and a messenger bird immediately appeared in his hands. He whispered some words to the messenger bird, and then released it and allowed it to fly away.
The ghost ship sighed softly, “Where is he?”
“I don’t know.” Richard responded calmly, “But my instincts tell me that he’s right there.”
“Instincts…” The ghost ship snorted.
“Do you know something? Nobody can beat me when it comes to matters of detection and counter-surveillance.” Richard responded placidly, “I’ve got no proof, but I would’ve done exactly the same in their shoes. They’re hiding right underneath the radar…”
“So, what do we do now?”
Richard’s eyes gleamed like a seasoned hunter as he gently licked his lips, “If there’s no proof, then all we need to do is to fabricate it. This… is our domain after all…”
“The KGB never fails!”
Beneath the vessel. Qin Ye finally heaved a sigh of relief.
No wonder the ghost ship reacted to our presence earlier. He’s been in contact with a genuine Yin artifact of the Russian Underworld all this while! No matter how strong the Second King Yanluo is, he couldn’t possibly have done anything more than to cast a formation array over us from a thousand miles away.
The negotiations have fallen through, and both sides will soon be playing the cards hidden up their sleeves. I wonder how many more hidden powers we’re going to see emerge from the shadows as we take on this journey straight into the heart of the Gonjiam Asylum?
The seas were stirring. The tumultuous undercurrents were all coming together to kick up the greatest tsunami the world had seen in recent times.
Meanwhile, the trio were paddling desperately on a frail little boat out in the roaring sea of the living dead, in danger of capsizing at the slightest misstep. Unfortunately for them, their voyage was only just beginning.