Gonjiam Asylum, Gwangju City, Gyeonggi Province.
The periphery was already filled with thousands of agents from LSD and other similar agencies. In fact, practically every single LSD agent in Daehan had already been deployed to this location, together with all dignitaries and military personnel. It was already 11 p.m., close to midnight, but not a single person showed any signs of leaving just yet.
A massive tent was erected as their forward base, and everyone important, including the governor of Gyeonggi Province, the leader of the Daeian Special Forces, the “Black Berets”, the 707 Brigade, and others, were all gathered in this location. In fact, there were even several priests and investigators of the Cathayan Special Investigations Department present. Furthermore, everyone was clearly staring intently at the screen in the center.
The screen revealed a map of Gwangju City, yet the most striking part about it was the scarlet red dot representing Gonjiam Asylum. Instruments revealed that the present Yin energy readings exceeded 20 million Yin. The entire Gwangju city was covered with an orange hue.
“Make the call…” The governor of Gyeonggi Province gritted his head and turned to the mayor of Gwangju City and the cultivators standing around him, “There’s only about an hour remaining till midnight, and the Yin energy readings are already at unprecedented heights. We… can’t wait any longer!”
“The safety of 14 million residents in Gyeonggi Province rests entirely in your hands!”
“We think you should hold onto Gwangju City.” An elderly priest who appeared incredibly shriveled and wrinkled responded at once, “After all, if you remain here, then no matter how dangerous things may be, the situation wouldn’t continue to expand. But if you choose to abandon this place, then there’s no doubt that the situation will quickly worsen and spread at unimaginable speeds!”
He took another look at the screen, “With such Yin energy readings… we’re likely going to see something unimaginable tonight. The top priority right now is to hold your ground and stand strong.”
Usonians enjoyed a high status here in Daehan. Naturally, every Daeian dignitary listened intently to the priest’s advice. That said, they couldn’t help but reveal an ugly expression in no time.
Are you not taking things seriously because you’re so far removed from this place?
Are we Daeians not qualified to be human beings in your eyes? Is this why you’re treating us as nothing more than meat shields and fodder?
The governor turned his head noncommittally and glanced at the Hellguard-class cultivator from Cathay, “And what are your thoughts?”
“Evacuate.” The cultivator from Cathay responded flatly, “20 million Yin energy… Let’s not even talk about a small province like Gyeonggi Province, this is something that not even the strongest province in Cathay could afford to take lightly. Choosing to remain here would be no different from sentencing your citizens to death.”
The priest raised a brow and remarked, “I don’t recall Cathay and Daehan having any form of strategic relationship with each other, do you?”
In other words, what basis do you have to be interfering with our bilateral affairs?
“That’s exactly so.” The Cathayan cultivator turned around at once, and several other cultivators did likewise as they all began to take their leave, “We therefore conclude our international obligations here. If there’s nothing else, we’ll be taking our leave now.”
“Hey… Mr Zhao, you can’t… Do you really have to be in such a rush? We… we haven’t made a decision yet!” “Mr Zhao! Cathay’s advice is extremely important to us! Please…” “Mr Zhao, Father Michel didn’t mean anything with that. Please stay on our account!”
Who are you kidding?!
The chief of the LSD is only an advanced Hellguard-class expert. In other words, he was of the same cultivation level as Mr Zhao. How could they simply allow someone so powerful to leave while they were faced with a crisis like this? At once, many Daeian officials cursed at Father Michel under their breaths, but not a single one of them dared express their thoughts.
Just then, there was a soft clamor of sound from outside the tent, “Who are you?” “You can’t go in there!” “Do you have the requisite permission to enter?”
A split second later, the entrance to the tent was lifted, and a stylishly-dressed woman marched right in with elegant poise, carrying a black clutch bag. Several bodyguards followed right behind her.
“Evacuate immediately.” Most of the people in the tent didn’t know her. However, that didn’t stop her from acting as the one in charge right away, “I’ll take responsibility for the consequences.”
“All citizens are to evacuate to Seoul. We’ve only got one hour remaining.”
Nobody said a word. At once, Father Michel opened his eyes and sized up the uninvited guest. Then, with a wry smile, he asked, “You are?”
However, the governor of Gyeonggi Province immediately responded as though his pillar of support had finally arrived. At once, he rushed over and bowed deeply to her, “Miss Lee? You’ve come! This is truly great!”
Meanwhile, a bodyguard dragged a chair over. Lee Jung-sook leaned sideways on it and gazed deep into the eyes of the governor, “I’m not here to exchange banal words with you. Time is ticking. We’re going to see a massive upheaval here in Gyeonggi Province here at midnight. An army of ghosts will ravage these lands. Any living human being who remains here at that time will undoubtedly perish to the supernatural forces!”
“What?!” “Is… is this true?” “Is the storm brewing underneath Gonjiam Asylum… finally going to erupt?”
Her words caused a stir among the leaders in the room at once. The governor took a deep breath and wiped off the cold sweat beading up on his forehead. Then, gritting his teeth, he stood up straight and responded hoarsely, “Miss Lee… Could I please ask… How reliable is this information of yours?”
All eyes turned to Lee Jung-sook. This was the first time that most of the senior officials were seeing the lady that had just barged into the room, but they could tell from the incredibly respectful demeanor of the governor that she had to be extremely important.
Whoosh… A wild wind swept through the entrance of the tent. Lee Jung-sook took a deep breath, lit up a cigarette and then glanced up at the roof of the tent, “I’ve already made arrangements to divert all possible modes of transport to this location for evacuation operations. The information that I’ve received is 100% reliable. This is why I’ve personally made the trip down to notify you of these things. It’s up to you whether to believe it or not. I’ll be leaving shortly in any event.”
“I’ve also informed the mayor of Hanyang and the Cheongwadae that Hanyang will be subject to martial law from midnight tonight for one full week. All access to and from Hanyang will be strictly prohibited. So… you best make the call right away if you don’t wish to run out of time. As for the citizens here, evacuate them from Gwangju City at all costs.”
With that, she left without any hesitation. The governor gulped fiercely and plucked up his courage for one final question, “Miss Lee! Can you tell us who your informant was?”
Her bodyguards lifted the curtains to the tent, and blades of the chopper’s propellers began to whir outside. She paused for a moment outside, and then turned back with a faint smile, “A god of death.”
With that, her bodyguard set down the curtains once more and they all piled into the helicopter that was right outside.
Whirr… The helicopter took to the skies and flew at full speed towards Hanyang. Gwangju City wasn’t far away, and within moments, she could already see the skyline of the majestic buildings in Hanyang.
She glanced around casually, and then slowly retracted her gaze and glanced back down where she had come from.
Half of the perimeter surrounding Gonjiam Asylum had already collapsed. Humans and cultivators alike couldn’t see Emissaries, but she could.
Right there, she could see Liu Yu sitting erect on his war horse with copious amounts of Yin energy billowing from his body. He was clearly ready to draw his blade at the moment’s notice.
Meanwhile, there were tens of thousands of Yin soldiers standing by with their spears at the ready and bows primed to fire.
Further behind stood a throne of bones so chilling that she didn’t deign to even take a second look at it. The level of Yin energy involved was so terrifying that the only other time she had experienced something like that was back then at the Hungry Ghost Festival, when Black Yaksha and Crow Tengu had combined into their original form!
Who the hell are all these Emissaries waiting for?
Unfortunately, she didn’t have the answer to this question. She could only see countless banners bearing the word “Liu'' on them fluttering wildly with the wind, as well as thousands of netherflames blazing brightly like the constellations in the sky. She could tell that this was the calm before the superstorm of Yin energy.
She couldn’t help but turn her attention back to the short text message she had received from Qin Ye ten minutes ago. It bore only one line of message: “Leave Gwangju immediately, and evacuate all citizens!”
She believed it unconditionally.
“It’s strange…” She gently ran her finger through her wind-swept hair, “We’re not that close, but I still chose to believe him unconditionally… Is this the tacit understanding we kindred spirits have with each other?”
Just then, she suddenly paused and turned to look at the other side.
There was a dark cloud of Yin energy that was hurtling towards Gonjiam Asylum, and it appeared to to fade in and out between reality and illusory, as though it was straddling the realms of the illusory and the corporeal!
It was incredibly quick!
With speeds like that… it would arrive in no more than 30 minutes!
She immediately retracted her gaze. At once, her helicopter flew at top speed towards Hanyang.
There’s going to be chaos in these lands tonight!
Rumble… The stones on the ground rattled softly. Liu Yu stood in the middle of a wide, open road a thousand meters in front of the massive, illusory gate. A dense army formed from tens of thousands of soldiers was arrayed behind him, followed by Rumyantsev and his nine KGB agents that stood as the final line of defense before the gate. All eyes were trained on the horizon ahead of them.
“No response.” Liu Yu heard Rumyantsev’s voice booming in his ears, “The MV Sewol hasn’t responded to any of our calls, but… it’s coming.”
Yin energy erupted like a rising tide across the horizon, screaming and churning as it hurtled straight towards Gonjiam Asylum.
Who’s that on the ship right now? Is it friend, or foe?
“Perhaps they might not even have left Gijang County in the first place…” Liu Yu licked his lips as he spoke with great bloodthirstiness, “Marquis Rumyantsev, your eyesight must be failing...”
Seconds later, Rumyantsev sneered, “To err is human. That said, the more important question to ask is who’s steering the MV Sewol right now? Richard may not have responded, but that doesn’t mean that the battle for control of the MV Sewol is over. Do you know what you have to do?”
“Of course.” Yin energy erupted from Liu Yu’s body like a raging volcano, “All who set foot on Gonjiam Asylum without permission shall be sentenced to death!”
All eyes remained trained on the horizon.
Closer and closer… They could already begin to see the faint traces of spatial distortion around the MV Sewol as it hurtled towards them. In fact, they could even see the tens of thousands of the living dead sprinting below the MV Sewol!
It looked no different from a massive funerary procession carried by thousands and thousands of living dead, charging straight for the burial site that was Gonjiam Asylum!
100 kilometers… 50 kilometers… 30 kilometers!
The MV Sewol was still picking up speed! In fact, it was precisely because of the insane speed at which it was approaching that the bow of the MV Sewol was even already blazing with an intense netherflame.
“Light the lamps.” Liu Yu tightened his grip around the spear in his hand. As soon as he gave the order, the bleak blare of a horn cut through the tense silence of the night, triggering the ignition of scarlet flames on the stone lamps that lined the road on both sides. At once, the entire road was clothed with a scarlet sheen no different from a crimson road of blood.
8 kilometers… 5 kilometers!
Chilling gusts of nethergale battered the banners of Liu Yu’s army, causing them to flutter wildly.
They’ve got no intention of stopping… Liu Yu, Rumyantsev and the KGB continued to stare intently at the MV Sewol that was approaching them. 5 kilometers… If Richard’s still on board the ship, he will definitely make a move now!
Whoosh… Rumyantsev shot to his feet. His wig was now fluttering wildly with the wind. The skin of his face had already split open, revealing a pitch-black skeleton within with two specks of scarlet netherflames as his eyes. Meanwhile, he licked his lips with a menacing, crimson tongue, “Richard is dead.”
Dead, huh… Liu Yu stared deep into the rolling dark clouds in the sky and drew a deep breath.
That’s only to be expected…
Things had come to a head. The option to retreat was still available to him. At least, it remained so as long as MV Sewol was still out there. Liu Yu took a step back.
However, he immediately raised his hand and bellowed at the top of his voice, “All troops, at the ready!!”
Clatter, clatter… The cavalrymen steadied their war horses and braced themselves for a mighty charge, while all archers immediately ignited their arrows for the first volley of shots.
He couldn’t retreat! He would never retreat!
He was the renowned Emperor Wu of Song after all. His only regret was that he wasn’t able to unify Cathay. Then, in death, he was once again presented with the prime opportunity to rule over Cathay once more. How could he possibly step down from this challenge and pass it up without even giving it a shot?!Previous Chapter Next Chapter