The nethergale swept about like ferocious waves, while tens of thousands of living dead screamed in rhythmic furore, hefting the massive MV Sewol as they rushed forward at top speed.
Qin Ye, Kwon Kyung-ho and Ryu Changmin stood at the bow of the ship, while Wang Chenghao and Oda Nobutada remained in the captain’s cabin. Nobody said a word. All eyes remained completely transfixed on Gonjiam Asylum that lay straight ahead of them.
3 kilometers to go…
In a few minutes’ time, the punitive expedition from Cathay was going to clash directly against the tens of thousands of troops from the Hanyang Underworld, together with the few special agents from the Russian Underworld as well.
Even Qin Ye couldn’t help but feel some dampness in the heart of his palms. Kwon Kyung-ho and Ryu Changmin also had grave expressions on their faces.
After all… they were but five men…
And yet, they were going up against an array of Yin soldiers as vast as the sea!
The MV Sewol drew closer and closer. 2,000 meters… 1,500 meters…
Qin Ye glanced down at the road ahead of him. Liu Yu stood right across their path of travel just 1,000 meters before the Gate of the Dead. He was but one man, and yet his existence was towering like a pillar in the sky. The Yin energy flowing out of his body was so indescribably dense that it almost looked beyond the realms of an Infernal Judge.
Here stood the only man across the entire history of Cathay to have been hailed as invincible. All eyes were naturally on him.
1,500 meters to the gate, and 500 meters from Liu Yu. Qin Ye and Liu Yu locked eyes. At once, the air was filled with electrifying tension. Like two leaders of wolf packs, both sides were staring each other down, threatening the other to back off even as they held back the murderous intent in their bodies.
“I represent the glorious Hell. What reason do I have to cower?” Qin Ye licked his lips greedily. It was strange. Now that things have come to this, he didn’t feel even the slightest bit of fear in his heart. He had a wealth of chaotic experiences under his belt, ranging from the tragedy of the Hungry Ghost Festival, to the battle at the Strait of Tsushima, and even the bloody Battle of Qufu. Although it was the first time he was standing toe to toe against an entire underworld at once, he felt indescribably calm.
At the very least, having made the decision to stay and fight on, he was determined to see it through to the very end.
“Go faster.” He shut his eyes and spoke directly to the two in the captain’s cabin, “Full speed ahead.”
Back in the captain’s cabin. Oda Nobutada’s lips trembled fiercely. They were now less than 2,000 meters from the enemy forces. They were all arrayed on the road, waiting for the arrival of Hell’s forces in strict formation. The sheer magnitude of Yin energy billowing from the ground ahead caused his breath to grow ragged. However, as soon as he heard Qin Ye’s orders, he immediately unleashed the full measure of Yin energy from his body and entered his Hell’s Emissary state without any hesitation.
His entire body blazed with jade-green netherflames. He wore ancient Cathayan armor, carried his head in one hand and the Kiku-ichimonji with the other. He was ready for war.
“AHHHHHHH!!!” Just then, the MV Sewol cried out with an earth-shattering scream. The chains extending from the hull tightened with a violent rattle. Meanwhile, the living dead carrying the MV Sewol by the hull immediately cried out in unison and quickened the tempo of their step at once!
Within moments, MV Sewol’s entire body was covered with even denser Yin energy that appeared to even glow with a brilliant dark luster. It’s target was clear - the Gate of the Dead!
A massive iceberg stood right ahead of it, but the Titanic didn’t slow down in the slightest. Instead, it charged forward valiantly, as though with the intent to smash right through its core!
Rumble… The distance of 500 meters could already be said to be within Liu Yu’s range. Waves of corporeal Yin energy sloshed about wildly in the air as though lapping against an imaginary shore. Meanwhile, he could see the MV Sewol hurtling towards them at top speed while screaming at the top of its voice. Countless spots of netherflames darted about wildly in the air, while tens of thousands of living dead continued to sprint towards them in an incredibly bizarre yet uniform tempo!
Thump, thump, thump!
The war drums sounded behind him. His cavalrymen were arrayed just 200 meters behind him, ready to charge at the moment’s notice. The war horses snorted ferociously, spewing out small jets of Yin energy from their nostrils from time to time. As the MV Sewol drew closer, it also brought along mighty gusts of nethergale that promptly put out the scarlet lamps that lined the roads.
However, Liu Yu couldn’t care less about these things. His eyes remained completely transfixed on the wreckage of the massive ship that was still hurtling towards them at top speed.
He was but one man, and yet he didn’t even deign to retreat in the face of a hurtling ship as large as the MV Sewol.
Just like Qin Ye, he too had reasons for being unable to back off.
300 meters… 200 meters… 100 meters!
Liu Yu seemed petrified. His Yin energy stopped flowing, and his entire breadth of perspective was filled with Choi Tae-min’s desperate, pleading expression that was etched onto the bow of the ship. At the same time, the only things that seemed to be moving were the countless living dead that continued to plow forward like an entire army of marching ants.
Liu Yu held his spear diagonally in front of him, channelling his Yin energy towards his right hand. At once, the cries of countless grievous souls echoed from the spear itself. Meanwhile, the ground around him trembling wildly, and debris and dust rose high into the air in the wake of the MV Sewol’s charge.
50 meters… 30 meters… 20 meters…
Qin Ye stood on the prow of the ship, locking eyes with Liu Yu. Both of them had clearly recovered from their earlier moment of petrification, and their hearts were now thumping wildly.
As the boundless nethergale buffeted their clothes and caused everything to flutter about wildly, Liu Yu finally thrusted forward mightily with his spear with a deafening bellow!
Time seemed to freeze at that moment. With an earth-shattering bang, the spear struck the MV Sewol’s bow dead on. But, a split second later, Liu Yu found himself being pushed back by the MV Sewol’s relentless charge. That said, the spear didn’t break, and he continued to hold on fervently as he resisted the MV Sewol’s approach!
“YAAAARRRRGHHH!!” Liu Yu yelled at the top of his voice, while Yin energy poured out of his body like a furious tsunami. Miraculously, they could see with their naked eye the MV Sewol actually slowing down gradually!
Qin Ye’s pupils narrowed at once.
How could one person actually stop the momentum of the MV Sewol that we’ve been building up over such a long time?! Is this the might of the strongest Judge in the history of Hell?
What should I do?
The MV Sewol is still 1,000 meters away from the Gate of the Dead!
“My Lord!” Kwon Kyung-ho cried out nervously, “Should we make a move? Otherwise… he might actually be able to stop the MV Sewol!”
“How is he actually able to achieve with just pure Yin energy what special Yin spirits can achieve only with their unique abilities?” Ryu Changmin couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Everything was borne entirely out of the might of an Infernal Judge that had refined and condensed his abilities several times over!
“No!” Qin Ye stared intently at Liu Yu. He could tell that the bracers he had worn on both arms had already burst apart, revealing the sinewy muscles beneath that had been enshrouded with Yin energy. Despite the mighty impact of the MV Sewol’s charge, he wasn’t knocked away!
He had simply dug deep into the ground, dragging out two long grooves as he continued to be pushed back!
Qin Ye’s mind spun furiously - What do I do? What should I do now?
Rumyantsev hasn’t even made his move yet… That’s right, he couldn’t care less what becomes of the Hanyang Underworld. All he cares about is the safety and security of the script of death. He’s the true ‘insurance’ standing before the Gate of the Dead.
Liu Yu is the only one that has made a move thus far, and the MV Sewol is still 1,000 meters away from the Gate of the Dead. If I make a move now, there’s no doubt that I’ll only be able to draw the attention of the Hanyang Yin soldiers at best…
Distance… I need more distance!
I’ll need to be at least within 500 meters of the Gate of the Dead. That’s the only way I know for sure that I’ll be able to get the attention of Rumyantsev himself. I can’t allow him to freely intercept the MV Sewol like that! It needs to be able to fulfill its function in this plan of mine!
Closer… I need to get it a little bit closer!
His palms were already sweating profusely. Gripping his hands tightly, he barked hoarsely, “Speed up.”
Back in the captain’s cabin. Oda Nobutada gasped softly, “My Lord… If we speed up any further, we might not be able to maintain our stability and balance! This ship is carried forward by the living dead after all… If we push them any harder, they wouldn’t be able to maintain their stance and form any longer!”
“Speed up!” Qin Ye gritted his teeth, “I don’t care about their stance and form! Is it really necessary to take pity on these mindless zombies?! Full speed ahead! No matter the costs, the MV Sewol needs to get within 500 meters of the Gate of the Dead!!! Everything rides on the MV Sewol being able to breach the Gate of the Dead! So long as the MV Sewol cannot do that, everything would be meaningless!! Speed up!!”
“Yes…” Oda Nobutada gritted his teeth. At once, Kiku-ichimonji lit up with several black runic symbols and surged straight into the ship below.
Choi Tae-min’s face on the bow of the ship immediately twisted with pain and agony. The chains emerging from his mouth rattled violently and tightened up even more. Meanwhile, the living dead below looked up as though they had heard another order. At once, they roared at the top of their voices and charged forward at maximum speed, no longer bothering to keep cadence with the other living dead around them!
Speed came at the cost of balance and form. Some moved quicker than others. Naturally, there were some living dead who would fall to the ground from time to time and end up getting trampled into mush by the stampede of living dead. But, like a flowing river, the MV Sewol flowed forward with ever greater vigor like the rapids of a mighty river.
At once, the MV Sewol began to leave a trail of red in the wake of its travel. It was a path forged by the blood from the countless living dead who had been trampled over in the wake of the MV Sewol’s burst of speed.
“Damn it!!” Liu Yu’s eyes flickered wildly as his body continued to be pushed back by the MV Sewol! At once, the MV Sewol had crossed the final 100 meters and was now officially 1,000 meters from the Gate of the Dead. At once, Liu Yu bellowed at the top of his voice, “All forces, onwards!!!”
“Stop the ship at all costs!!”
Whoosh… The banners fluttered wildly. They were all waiting eagerly for Liu Yu’s orders. And as soon as they heard it, the ground immediately trembled.
The 20,000 skeletal cavalrymen rumbled at once, charging forward like a rushing tsunami. The front of their formation was located only about 100 meters from the MV Sewol. Within moments, they moved so quickly that they appeared no different from a mighty stream of nethergale, converging together like a river delta and sweeping straight into the MV Sewol!
It was a mighty clash of powers!
Like a terrifying wave striking an indomitable force! It was a battle for territorial rights that was invisible to all humans. Within moments, a series of gleaming lights from blades flickered coldly, and the sound of swords slicing through flesh echoed through the surroundings. The cavalrymen weren’t aiming their attacks at the body of the MV Sewol. Rather, they were targeting the living dead that were carrying the MV Sewol forward.
It was like a silent gale of death that swept through the night, felling countless people in the wake of their travel. Moments later, they erupted with a valiant war cry.
Thousands upon thousands of cavalrymen swept right into the midst of the living dead like mercury cascading down into the ground. They left death and destruction in the wake of their swift charge. At once, the bow of the ship trembled violently and threatened to collapse onto the ground.
Qin Ye cursed under his breath.
He could tell that too many living dead had been felled, and the rest could barely support the weight of the ship.
I can’t wait any longer…
Clack… Qin Ye tightened his grip around the spear in his hands. Ryu Changmin and Kwon Kyung-ho both took a deep breath. At once, the three figures vanished from the prow of the ship.
BOOM!! A terrifying wave of Yin energy erupted in the sky. At once, Qin Ye swooped down from the skies like a majestic eagle, thrusting his spear right towards the crown of Liu Yu’s head.
“Zhong Kui…” Liu Yu stared intently at Qin Ye as he roared, “How can Hell go back on its word? What nerve do you have to set foot on the territory that belongs to Hanyang?! Do you think that I won't kill you?!”
Liu Yu exploded with rage. Meanwhile, the MV Sewol pushed forward yet another 100 meters.
All nine KGB agents standing in front of the throne of bones immediately looked over.
900 meters was a rather ambiguous distance. Somewhat dangerous, yet not entirely so.
“Liu Yu!” Qin Ye laughed boisterously, “Have you no shame? As a feudal official of Hell, how could you prostitute yourself to other underworlds in search for glory?! The Third King Yanluo has promised you independence, but when did he ever allow you to allow other underworlds to intervene with your affairs?!”
“The Hanyang Underworld has already gained independence! What right does Hell have to interfere with our affairs any longer?!”
“Absurd! You can only be considered truly independent once you have properly established your own underworld! And before you do so, the solicitation of the aid of foreign underworlds without Hell’s consent is naturally an act of rebellion and treason! Liu Yu, do you really think you will be able to stand against the wrath of the new Hell?!”
Whoosh! Qin Ye’s spear plunged down like a ferocious dragon bolting down from the skies. With a furious roar, Liu Yu darted back and thrusted out with his spear, parrying Qin Ye’s attack at once!
Rumble… A mighty shockwave of Yin energy rippled out, sweeping right across the entire Gwangju City.
Two Judges were located at the epicenter of the mighty eruption of Yin energy. The tips of their spears were pointed directly at each other’s throats. A chorus of wailing ghosts wailed mournfully as they foreshadowed the impending doom and destruction. Both Judges stared hatefully at each other.
“Then… we have nothing more to talk about. DIE!!!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter