The Yin energy raged wildly outside, causing all of the living dead standing beneath the vessel to tremble violently. The human face on the bow of the ship shrieked in terror, and it instantly tensed up the chains tethered to the heads of the living dead, forcing them to turn their heads around.
Unfortunately, the throng of living dead flew into chaos at once!
Many of them shuddered violently as a majestic wave of Yin energy swept over their entire beings like a mountain looming over them. In an instant, many of them fell to their knees with a soft thud, and they instinctively lay prostrate on the ground with ragged breaths. The entire ghost ship sank slightly as it rested on the backs of the living dead after their change in posture.
“What the hell is going on?!” The ghost ship felt a shiver run down its hull, almost as though something were gripping tightly to its heart, threatening to bridge the gap between life and death. Meanwhile, the vortex of Yin energy just ahead of the bow had suddenly expanded dozens of metres wide. The lantern grew illusory, while a brilliant light rapidly condensed at the heart of the lantern.
Aren’t we supposed to have the backing of a Yama-class Yin artifact?!
Why… why isn’t it able to suppress the clamour of the living dead?
Richard held the quill in his hand with the same measure of disbelief as he watched it spin rapidly around. He could sense the Tsar’s Yin energy slowly diffusing from the heart of the quill. What’s going on? This shouldn’t be happening. The god of death’s quill should’ve been able to suppress all Prefect-class Yin artifacts on a qualitative level! How could this be happening?!
But, seconds later, he took a deep breath and sighed with realization - Alas, that must be it… We’re not speaking of a regular Prefect, but a Prefect of one of the four top underworlds of the netherworld! The ranking system may be the same, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re still existences that exist on a whole other level! For instance, the ambassador of Usonia would be regarded completely differently from the ambassador of a developing country back in the mortal realm! Damn it!
Gritting his teeth, he pushed on the door, only to notice that the vortex of Yin energy was already close to a hundred meters wide! The Peach Blossom lantern swept up all of the surrounding Yin energy, pulling it all into the heart of the lantern where it slowly but surely condensed into a brilliant golden light. Meanwhile, the chilling creaks of a tightening bowstring could be heard from the heart of the vortex, amidst the cacophonous cries of an entire abyss of ghosts. The terrifying nethergale emitted by the vortex sent Richard’s clothes fluttering everywhere, almost as though he were standing by the shore facing an incoming tsunami.
“Hang in there…” Richard gritted his teeth, “The death god’s quill will activate in 30 seconds! I guarantee your survival so long as we can hold out till then!”
“My Lord!!!” The ghost ship shrieked back. Choi Tae-min’s pupils had narrowed so much that they were no longer larger than the eye of a needle. Meanwhile, copious amounts of Yin energy were still rising from the hull of the ship and scattering into the air.
“I can hold on for another 30 seconds, but… we’ll be dragged out of the Yin Yang Mezzanine at this rate!”
“It may be powered by an Infernal Judge, but the energy output of this Prefect-class Yin artifact is definitely strong enough to blast us out of the Yin Yang Mezzanine...”
As he spoke, a brilliant golden light suddenly erupted like the sun rising from the horizon, consuming all of the darkness shrouding the region at once.
The Prefect-class Yin artifact that had once played an integral role in the Battle of Qufu had finally unleashed its abilities for the very first time under a different banner.
Whoosh! A mighty golden black shockwave visible to the naked eye erupted from the heart of the vortex and swept through hundreds of miles in an instant. The power of the shockwave was so strong that it caused the ghost ship to scream and its hull to decay even further!
The iron reinforcing the hull was forcibly wrenched apart, revealing the rusted steel within and allowing copious amounts of Yin energy to pour out. Meanwhile, ripples swept through the deck of the ship, threatening to destroy what remained of the hull’s integrity. It didn’t take more than 10 seconds to fill the ghost ship with despair.
I can’t hang on any longer…
The Prefect-class Yin artifact of the four top underworlds was clearly well beyond anything it had ever seen before. Sure, it could contemplate the power of the artifacts in Hell’s possession, but nothing was quite like experiencing it first-hand.
The reality instantly filled the ghost ship with despair.
“My Lord… My Lord!!!” It screamed at the top of its voice. The MV Sewol was in tatters. Everything had been torn and crushed, leaving nothing but the frame of the ship visible to the naked eye. Naturally, it had already been dragged out of the Yin Yang Mezzanine by now.
Just then, a grey plume erupted from within and spread out above the frame of the ghost ship, covering it completely and keeping the brilliant radiance of the Peach Blossom Lantern outside.
Rumble! Dust and debris scattered everywhere as the blast of light rays slammed powerfully into the shell protecting the MV Sewol. The radiant light on the outside blotted out the entire ghost ship, and hundreds of ghosts roared at the top of their voices as they slammed time and again against the grey barrier.
Unfortunately, the grey barrier was like an indomitable wall. No matter how heavily the beams of light slammed against the barrier, it remained tall and immovable, just like a lofty mountain.
This was the fundamental difference between a bona fide Yama-class Yin artifact, and one that was merely a Prefect-class Yin artifact attempting to punch above its weight class.
“Haa--...” MV Sewol finally heaved a long sigh of relief. Sure, it might have been dragged out of the Yin Yang Mezzanine, but at least it managed to survive.
Unfortunately, calamity never came in isolation. Just as it was about to relax its body, it suddenly felt a chill run down its spine once more.
Click… At once, the entire world turned completely dark.
Click… A split second later, the entire world appeared before him once more, albeit in monochromatic colours, almost as though it were viewing the world through the lens of old cameras.
Click, click, click, click… The image before its eyes flickered rhythmically, causing a feeling of uneasiness to mount in its heart. Even though it couldn’t sense anything unusual around it, the voice in its heart screamed frantically at it - Get out! Escape at once! There are terrifying creatures descending upon you from above!
At once, it screamed at the top of its voice and commanded the living dead beneath its hull to move once more. Unfortunately… it was only then that he realized he was unable to move even an inch!
Whoosh… The ghost ship could no longer tell where he was, because there was a thick, dense fog that completely enshrouded him at this moment.
It was dark as the abyss, yet with a little light at the end of it all. It felt almost as though it were a human strolling through a tunnel towards the light at the end of it, yet unable to shake off the niggling feeling of unease and gloom that filled its mind.
“This is… the descent of a high-ranking predator! It’s a powerful Yin spirit!” The living dead below were already laying prostrate on the ground once more. Yet what was perhaps more surprising to him right now was the fact that he simply couldn’t sense the Yin energy of both Mukov and Richard. It was almost as though he had been sequestered in a completely different realm!
This Yin spirit must harbour incredibly ill intent against me… It… It must have been waiting for me for a long time… Who is it? Who the hell is this?!
It clearly possesses the ability to straddle Yin and Yang in the Yin Yang Mezzanine… Could it… Could it perhaps be stronger than Choi Tae-min himself? How could something like this appear in Daehan? H-how is this possible?!
Dead silence. Just then, he heard singing.
“Farewell to thee, farewell to thee… The charming one who dwells in the shaded bowers…”
“One fond embrace, ere I depart… Until we meet again…”
It was a child’s voice.
At the same time, two silhouettes appeared from the light at the end of the tunnel. They were clearly far away from the ghost ship, but their appearance immediately filled the hull of the ghost ship with an electrifying sensation of terror!
Two scarlet eyes opened in the vast expanse of darkness within his consciousness, staring intently at him as though they were peering straight into its soul with overflowing resentment.
Yet what was perhaps even more terrifying was the other pair of completely black eyes with no pupils that appeared right beneath the scarlet eyes. The darkness in these eyes were like the bottomless abyss filled with all the resentment in the world, or the antithesis to the hope of the living. And these eyes were staring straight at the MV Sewol.
Whoosh… A flicker of light appeared overhead, and the scenery around it changed several times, toggling from the hazy mountainside, to darkness across the lands, and then… a long train tunnel.
Three words were written in Daeian - Tunnel No. 3.
It was calling out to the MV Sewol!
“Mr… Mr Richard…” The ghost ship’s voice trembled, “Mukov! Mukov!!!”
Unfortunately, nobody heard its cries for help. A split second later, a mighty wave of Yin energy erupted from the end of the tunnel and swallowed him with a bang!
“Hmm?” Rumyantsev’s eyes snapped open before a crumbling building.
“To be able to elude me… Doesn’t this mean that this entity possesses spatial abilities more powerful than the Yin Yang Mezzanine? Is it a complete transcension of the balance between the netherworld and the mortal realm? A completely separate space? Doesn’t this mean that… this person possesses the ability to create his own domain?!”
His voice grew a little hoarse and shrill with disbelief. A hoarse voice responded from within the coffin, “It’s a Yin spirit… An evil ghost…”
“Born a Hellguard… No… In fact… It’s born an Infernal Judge?!”
“He’s even higher up on the pecking order than I am! It’s a good thing this is an earthbound spirit! As a Yin spirit, I can tell exactly what it is!”
“Impossible!” Rumyantsev gritted his teeth, “How could a naturally-born Infernal Judge appear in a third-rate underworld like Daehan?! That’s an entity that sits among the top five on the list of special Yin spirits!”
“Of course it’s possible…” The voice from the coffin gasped softly, “It’s all thanks to you guys… Have you already forgotten about the third tunnel?”
The third tunnel?
It was a term of reference that triggered a flashback in Rumyantsev’s mind, and he immediately knew what the voice in the coffin was talking about.
The third tunnel!
That’s where a mother, a daughter, and an unborn infant were destined to wander about for the rest of eternity. Even I didn’t dare to venture into the heart of the third tunnel after the Train to Pusan incident.
After all, nobody wanted to meet with an evil ghost that was listed among the top five of all classifications of special Yin spirits.
Unexpectedly, the most terrifying thing created by the script of death turned out not to be Choi Tae-min, but rather, someone completely different altogether!
“Encroaching into another Yin spirits spatial movement and forcibly wrenching him out… Something like that could only have been done by the fifth special Yin spirit on the list - Avernus Spirit, short for Spirit of Aversion to Life, and otherwise more commonly known as the Terror Toddler or the Death of March. This is a Yin spirit that hasn’t appeared more than a hundred times across the entire span of history…”
With another deep breath, Rumyantsev’s body vanished from where he was, and he promptly appeared elsewhere.
He was now surrounded by vast plains. An abandoned building sat eerily behind him, while Liu Yu stood in front of him, sitting tall on the back of his skeletal warhorse with the hilt of his lance resting placidly on the ground. Tens of thousands of Yin soldiers stood arrayed behind him, awaiting his orders!
Every single Yin soldier of the Hanyang Underworld had assembled at this moment.
Rumyantsev boomed with a deep voice, “Prepare to move out.”
Liu Yu remained on the back of his horse as he glanced back at Rumyantsev, “We’re still three days out from the scheduled date.”
“Things have changed. There’s a chance that the MV Sewol might not even be arriving. Given the circumstances, are you still willing to wait for three days?”
The entire atmosphere was tense and frigid. Liu Yu’s eyes flickered slightly as he shifted his gaze to the netherflames burning in the distance. Moments later, he finally licked his lips, “Fine.”
Tonight would be the night that I, Liu Yu, would finally be restored to my rightful place at the throne as an emperor!
Anyone who dares stand in my way shall be cut down without mercy!
Back in the middle of the massive vortex of Yin energy. Qin Ye heaved a long sigh of relief.
The MV Sewol had stopped moving. That was sufficient for him. He could tell that the MV Sewol’s earlier intention was to make a beeline for Gonjiam Asylum without giving him any time to make the necessary preparations. At this very moment, there wasn’t even the slightest doubt in Qin Ye’s heart that Liu Yu’s army and the forces of the Russian Underworld, including Marquis Rumyantsev himself, would all be garrisoned there, waiting for his arrival.
Had he charged headlong into their waiting arms, then there was no doubt that his odds of success would be a nullity altogether.
Qin Ye wiped off the cold sweat that was beading up on his forehead and tightened his grip around Fate - the final trump card hidden up his sleeves. He would never resort to it unless he absolutely had to. After all, so long as there remained hidden in the shadows another darkfeather of the same capabilities as Richard himself, then there was no doubt that news of this would immediately reach the ears of those awaiting his arrival back at Gonjiam Asylum.
Fortunately, there wasn’t a need to expose his identity just yet.
“Kwon Kyung-ho!!” Qin Ye shouted, “Do it!”
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time…” Kwon Kyung-ho responded raspily. At once, the sound of the sea began to gurgle all around them.
Within moments, an endless sea of blood filled the area all around Kwon Kyung-ho and slowly enveloped the MV Sewol!
He could see it… He could see the shadowy spirit that he had seen five years ago hiding in the cabin right now.
He may not be the mastermind, but… he definitely had a role to play in the MV Sewol tragedy!
Today, I’ll finally have vengeance for the transgressions against all of us five years ago!Previous Chapter Next Chapter