Back on MV Sewol. Qin Ye slowly opened his eyes.
“How did it go?” Ryu Changmin immediately asked with concern.
Qin Ye nodded back. Then, with the quick wave of his hand, a screen of light appeared in the air.
It revealed the image of a passageway - a massive one at that.
It was approximately 100 meters wide, and the ground was paved with neat green tiles. Ancient stone lamps alit with ghastly flames illuminated both sides of the road.
The road appeared to stretch on endlessly into the horizon. A tall iron gate stood at the other end of the road.
The iron gate was adorned with exquisite reliefs. The supreme deity was depicted on the left gate, while the god of death was depicted on the right. Both appeared to be reaching out their hands, making contact with each other through the small slit that separated the two doors.
It exuded an air of piety. That said, whether the road, lamp, or even the eye-catching door, everything appeared somewhat illusory. Meanwhile, anyone could tell that the vicinity was also filled with dense Yin energy.
Qin Ye gently tapped on the screen of light, and the images immediately shifted. At once, it was revealed to Ryu Changmin that there was a forest on the other side of the iron door. The forest was densely packed with shrubs and bushes, but few trees in the vicinity. Meanwhile, a dilapidated building peeked out from the heart of the forest.
As soon as he saw it, an ominous feeling rose in Ryu Changmin’s heart, “Gonjiam Asylum.”
It was an affirmative statement, and not a question.
Gonjiam Asylum was well known throughout all of Daehan, and it naturally needed no introductions.
Qin Ye nodded as he looked towards the door with gleaming eyes. Just as he was about to go on, Oda Nobutada finally appeared, carrying Wang Chenghao who was still panting heavily. Kwon Kyung-ho followed closely behind. As soon as they landed on the deck of MV Sewol, Oda Nobutada dropped Wang Chenghao without any reservation and cupped his hands at Qin Ye respectfully, “Lord Qin, we’ve pulled through.”
Their mission was to beat the MV Sewol into submission, and they had obviously succeeded. MV Sewol was likewise a peculiar object.
Logically speaking, given its tonnage and potential impact force, it should have been in the ranks of an Infernal Judge. However, the strength it could exert was no different from that of an advanced Anitya Hellguard. Moreover, Qin Ye and Ryu Changmin’s destructive actions in the captain’s cabin had pushed the entire vessel to the verge of collapse, and its abilities were naturally weakened as a result of that.
“You’re just in time. Come over and listen to the plan.” Qin Ye nodded slightly back at them. Then, just as he was about to continue, Ryu Changmin interjected with widened eyes, “... Could you hang on a minute?”
“Is something the matter?” Qin Ye raised a brow.
Deep breaths… Ryu Changmin took several deep breaths and composed his thoughts… and then bellowed, “These are all the people participating in this plan of yours?!”
“You and I both are the only two Judges around! These two Hellguards still look passable, but what’s with that thing lying on the ground?!” He glared at Wang Chenghao as though he were a dying dog, “He looks a little bit like a deadweight to me!”
Bloody hell… Where the heck did this kid come from?!
Wang One Tail glared back in a likewise incisive fashion - I’m a tailed beast! What do ya know?! Be careful I don’t give you a flying kick right now and smash in those front teeth of yours, kiddo!
However, he’d overexerted himself, and he simply didn’t have the energy to respond and fend for himself. Instead, he simply glanced up at Qin Ye pleadingly. At once Qin Ye frowned back at Ryu Changmin, “What do you mean he appears to be a deadweight?”
Wang Chenghao snorted triumphantly.
“He is a deadweight!”
“Haa--...” Ryu Changmin snorted angrily. Yin energy spewed from his nostrils as he chuckled coldly, “I was a fool to have believed you…”
“What’s the rush?” Qin Ye interjected placidly, “There’s no harm holding your assessment until you’ve heard the plan.”
“Nobody’s a deadweight in this plan of mine.”
Qin Ye continued, “I call it… the Gate of the Dead.”
“Gonjiam Asylum sits beyond these doors. Perhaps one might ask - isn’t it the same if we enter it from elsewhere?” He swept a glance around, before declaring affirmatively, “So, let me make it clear once and for all… You can never enter the real Gonjiam Asylum without going through these gates!”
Real Gonjiam Asylum?
Everyone exchanged glances. Ryu Changmin also grew silent and listened on intently.
Qin Ye tapped his foot on the ground gently, “What’s this called?”
“MV Sewol.” Kwon Kyung-ho responded through gritted teeth.
“That’s right. It’s not an Emissary. It’s a special class of life form altogether, and it can neither be considered an underworldly Emissary nor be made an Emissary of an underworld. Do you guys understand what this means?”
Everyone fell deep into thought. Moments later, Wang Chenghao’s hand abruptly shot up into the air, “Are you saying that… it can be seen by ordinary human beings?”
Qin Ye was magnanimous and kind, and he graciously pressed down with his hand, “Student with the prolapsed disc, please sit down. You’re standing out like a sore thumb.”
Wang Chenghao immediately clammed up like a chided dog.
“From the onset, I’ve always wondered how the MV Sewol was supposed to go the distance and travel right into the Gonjiam Asylum without being discovered by anyone. After all, not only is it large, its mode of travel is peculiar, and it would even have to pass through some of the more important parts of Daehan. So, how was it supposed to do so?”
Qin Ye slowly talked through his analysis, “The answer is simple. It has to be considered a special Yin spirit in its own right as well. Sure, it might not rank very high up on the list of special Yin spirits, but it still possesses a unique ability, and that is its ability to travel through the Yin Yang Mezzanine. In other words, you can think of it as a shuttle that can travel through a different dimension and thus reduce transportation time.”
“Meanwhile, their destination is the Gonjiam Asylum. Don’t you find that strange?”
Oda Nobutada pondered for a moment, and then hazarded a guess, “Lord Qin, are you perhaps suggesting that Gonjiam Asylum… isn’t large enough to accommodate such a large vessel?”
“That’s right!” Qin Ye licked his lips with excitement, “This vessel cannot possibly fit in that dilapidated building that we’ve seen! And that aside, what about all the living dead that have been transported from Pusan to Gyeonggi Province all this while? Gonjiam Asylum looks no larger than a fart-sized mental hospital, so how could it possibly contain millions of living dead?”
His voice grew louder with excitement as he went on. Within moments, everyone knew exactly what he was getting at. Wang One Tail immediately delivered the bottom line, “So… you’re suggesting that there might be another cavern under the Gonjiam Asylum itself?”
“That’s right!” Qin Ye snapped his fingers, “It’s a special passageway, similar to a rift between the mortal realm and the netherworld. But to be more precise, it probably exists in a special space between the mortal realm and the netherworld. We can’t discount this possibility because Gonjiam Asylum sits directly above the largest rift to the underworld. The emergence of a unique feature in the geography wouldn’t be surprising at all! And if this were the case, it’s practically impossible to enter such a unique space from the mortal realm unless Gonjiam Asylum were demolished to reveal the rift beneath it.”
“This was why the MV Sewol was used. It’s ability to shuttle between dimensions isn’t just a time saver. It’s practically the key to entering the real Gonjiam Asylum! We’re talking about a dimensional travel that leads straight into the heart of Gonjiam Asylum which sits on the same dimensional plane! It was never intended to dock at the Gonjiam Asylum of the mortal realm! Do you understand?”
As he explained these things, he couldn’t help but sigh with amazement. How long did Tsar Arturo spend drafting up this script of death? Every seemingly useless or irrelevant detail turned out to play an indispensable role in the administration of the entire script.
Is this a perspective that a true god of death ought to have?
I guess I’ve still got much to learn.
Ryu Changmin blinked and stared at Qin Ye with consternation, “But these are nothing more than conjectures. Do you have any proof?”
“Naturally!” Qin Ye declared affirmatively.
“Richard.” Qin Ye suppressed the swelling excitement in his heart as he explained patiently, “Sure, these might all have been conjectures before I’d conducted the search on his soul. But after the fact, I know for certain that these conjectures are absolutely spot on!”
“Richard hasn’t been to the area beneath Gonjiam Asylum, but he’s still the head of intelligence of the KGB and the big boss of the darkfeathers operating under the banner of the Russian Underworld. And to this end, he’d personally also deduced and concluded that there exists something beneath the Gonjiam Asylum. Apart from that, we need only look at Ahn Somi’s works. Her death was a variable that took the Russian Underworld by surprise, and they immediately sought No. 2, Mukov, to take over the works of No. 3. After all, all that was left for Ahn Somi to do was to arrange for one final shipment of the ‘goods’, so there wasn’t any need to involve more people. It wouldn’t be wise to let more people in on such sensitive information either.”
“Unfortunately for them, Ahn Somi’s death was also the start of a chain reaction, setting off the butterfly effect. Rumyantsev was worried that Mukov would learn of something if he simply entrusted Mukov to the works of No. 3 as well, so at the same time, he sent Richard, his chief intelligence officer to monitor the situation and keep a close watch on him. This is the reason why we saw both parties on board the MV Sewol earlier.”
“Rumyantsev couldn’t stress enough the importance of this final delivery, so I’d witnessed from Richard’s memory Rumyantsev telling him time and again that the MV Sewol absolutely had to pass through the iron door, which I prefer to call the Gate of the Dead. Based on his own understanding of the matter, Richard had already ascertained that the Gate of the Dead would be etched with Yin talismans that allowed them direct access. I pause here to stress that we absolutely cannot underestimate the mind of a KGB agent as far as intelligence is concerned - especially not when it comes to matters gleaned from his memory.”
After some time, Ryu Changmin furrowed his brows, “Why do they have to be so discreet? What are they doing here in Daehan?”
Qin Ye grew silent.
The Second King Yanluo didn’t explicitly explain these things to him from the onset either.
In fact, there were still some things he didn’t have the answers to, such as what would happen if someone recognized the script of death and proceeded to ruin it. At the very least, he now knew that nothing would happen if someone knew the true contents of the script of death, just like how he did.
Ryu Changmin wanted to press the issue, but Qin Ye promptly shook his head, “Hold onto that thought, and let me finish first. Thus far, I can say for certain that it was worth every bit of effort capturing Richard’s soul. He’d verified these conjectures of mine and clarified the most pressing question on my mind. In fact… I’m pleased to say that he’d even brought me a pleasant surprise.”
The plan that he had in mind would require the joint efforts of everyone present, and he naturally needed everyone to be on the exact same page as him. Thus, he took great pains to explain everything in detail.
“I’m not sure if any of you have realised this, but there’s been one question that’s always been on my mind ever since the start. Ahn Somi has always been transporting the living dead by way of train, so why did they suddenly change their mode of transportation to the MV Sewol today?”
Oda Nobutada raised his eyebrows quizzically, “Perhaps it’s because the MV Sewol can transport more living dead? Or perhaps… now that they’re getting closer to the end of October, they’re preparing to detonate this bomb sitting right underneath everyone, and for that reason, they’re consolidating their forces?”
Qin Ye chuckled coldly and shook his head, “What you’re saying about the timeline is correct, but they’re not trying to consolidate their forces. Rather…”
He paused for a moment, “The MV Sewol represents the other half of Choi Tae-min! That’s his coffin! This is why the MV Sewol bears the appearance of Choi Tae-min in the first place!”
“Choi Tae-min is still incomplete, and he’s quite possibly even earthbound, just like the little toddler here once was! And what’s worse for him is that the place where he’s earthbound is none other than his own coffin!”
“In other words, his coffin is the only place he can exist right now. But when he finally enters the captain’s cabin of the MV Sewol - the exact site where the cultists once decided to sacrifice everyone, then he will finally be able to break away from his current earthbound form and take on the true form of the seventh on the list of special Yin spirits, the Spirit of Mutilated Corpses, otherwise known as the Odious Spirit of Filth!”
“The MV Sewol is too large to be able to enter the rift that sits beneath the Gonjiam Asylum. Don’t forget that that’s also the holding place for millions of living dead. It would be a waste of space sending the MV Sewol over too early. Besides, it’s also not in their interest to release Choi Tae-min too early on. After all, keeping him there and under restraint would also act as a constant reminder to Choi Tae-min to always remember who his master and creator was. You may be a monster, but you’d best be thankful to the one who gave you life again!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter