“Damn it… DAMN IT!!!” Rumyantsev charged right through the vortex like a madman, with intense netherflames pulsing from his eyes.
He could sense massive fluctuations of Yin energy below. Choi Tae-min was clearly fighting, and his guess was as good as anyone’s as to who exactly he was fighting. That said, he knew that Choi Taemin was still in a rather vulnerable state, and if he didn’t get there in time, something huge was bound to happen!
Although he didn’t know exactly what would happen should Choi Tae-min perish in the hand of another person, it didn’t change the fact that the Tsar’s orders were absolute. He didn’t want to test the Tsar’s bottom line if he could help it.
Rumble! The path down into the depths of Gonjiam Asylum was filled with Yin energy and wreckage. The living dead groaned as they ducked away from Rumyantsev’s impressive charge, while the faceless palace maids cowered and prostrated themselves on the ground. Within moments, Rumyantsev rushed straight past the first level and arrived at the long passageway that led straight into the depths of the substratum.
Meanwhile, dense plumes of Yin energy continued to rush up from below like intense geysers. Rumyantsev shrieked at the top of his voice as he charged forward at full speed. Along the way, he noticed the remnants of the Gwisin’s body that revealed how she had been sliced into two clean halves.
“Trifling Infernal Judges… Trifling Infernal Judges!!!” He gnashed his teeth in exasperation as his eyes remained transfixed on the exit below. His heart was burning with humiliation.
30 seconds passed… one minute passed… two minutes passed!
Just then, he suddenly paused.
Two minutes had passed. Even if this were a rift between realms, an Abyssal Prefect like him should have no issues finding his way around.
But he clearly wasn’t.
The bright light demarcating the exit to this passageway was still just as far away as it had ever been, almost as though there were a never-ending chasm separating him from his goal.
Whoosh… Just then, a soft nethergale swept up from below, gently tousling Rumyantsev’s garments as though it were the breath of a wild beast. A split second later, an overbearing aura suddenly filled the entire passageway. The weight of the aura was incredibly immense, and yet at the same time so incisive and sharp that it felt no different than if the tip of a sharp blade were pointed straight at Rumyantsev himself!
Riiiiiiip! Everything was clearly silent, and yet Rumyantsev’s cloak was instantly torn to bits and pieces, revealing the scarlet garments below. He gasped in horror and immediately paused, glancing about warily at his surroundings.
Something like this… could only have been done by a top-ranking emissary!
“Who goes there?” He whipped his head around, yet perceived nothing more than the mournful cries of evil ghosts. There wasn’t even the faintest silhouette of a person in sight.
No… there must be other emissaries around here! And one that is stronger than myself… In fact, I’m quite certain that the strength of this emissary is well above my own! If he’s intent on killing me, I’m afraid that… I might not last long.
“Emissary of Hell?” He placed his hands behind his back and scanned his surroundings. The netherflames in his eyes pulsed intensely in the dark as he sauntered about ostensibly calmly. That said, the Yin energy within his body had already kicked into high gear, and was ready to erupt at the moment’s notice.
Unfortunately, he got no answers.
The only response he got was the same mournful cries of distant ghosts that continued incessantly in waves, almost as though the tide of the seas were coming in.
“Esteemed Emissary… Do you have business with me?” He probed cautiously, “Liu Yu has already gained independence, and is now the master of his own land. This certainly doesn’t count as trespassing, does it?”
“Haha…” There was a cold chuckle, followed shortly by the emergence of a man’s silhouette from the darkness.
It was impossible to see where he came from. In fact, his appearance was so natural and seamless that it almost felt as though he had been there all this while.
It was almost as though he were darkness, or rather, that darkness was a part of him.
It was the silhouette of an old man with a black cloak around his entire body, and a mask of a demon in anguish concealing his facial appearances. He held a sword in front of him with two hands.
It was an ancient longsword that looked as though it were forged from black iron. It looked as ordinary as it got, and there was nothing noteworthy about it. But as soon as Rumyantsev saw it, his entire body shook, and without any hesitation, he fell to his knees and lay prostrate on the ground as he greeted with much trembling and humility, “Greetings… Second King Yanluo of Hell!”
With a soft step, the old man appeared right next to Rumyantsev, with his longsword in hand pointing diagonally towards Rumyantsev’s head.
“Do you know your crimes?”
“Shut up!” The old man sneered, “No matter what kind of fuss the Hanyang Underworld kicks up, it’s still part and parcel of Hell’s internal affairs. And since when did foreign underworlds start having the gall to meddle with the internal affairs of Hell?”
“So what if Liu Yu has declared independence? Until Hell issues an international press statement and updates the scope of its national borders, Liu Yu would still be considered one of the twelve envoys of Hell! And if the Hanyang Underworld is still riding on the blessings of Hell, what gives you the right to supplant our authority and make your own claims on Liu Yu’s behalf? What gall… What audacity…”
Rumyantsev gulped bitterly.
This was over a decade’s worth of execution. In fact, the plans had been in the works for decades on end. Once Liu Yu formally breaks ground on his underworld, it would be tantamount to a declaration to the world that a new underworld has just emerged in the netherworld. How treacherous yet strategically located was the Daehan Peninsula? There was no doubt that the Hindustani Underworld would be one of the first to arrive on scene as soon as they detect the fluctuations of a brand new underworld.
They’re not afraid of Hell in the slightest. After all, they, too, were one of the top four underworlds in the entire netherworld, and they even have a history of intense rivalry with the authority of Hell!
When that time comes, there will be an endless international tussle between two superpowers of the world over a small piece of land. Even if the Hanyang Underworld isn’t completely independent, it would have no choice but to rise to the occasion and stand on its own footing. The four top underworlds would never be able to do as they freely desired.
But now… all was lost.
They were so near, yet so far.
Rumyantsev’s heart was filled with regret and resentment. There were endless words he wished to say, and yet he couldn’t bring himself to say anymore than a most respectful and placating, “Yes…”
“You should be glad that you’re Rumyantsev, special envoy of the Russian Underworld. Had you been anybody else, you would’ve been dead by now.”
“Yes…” Rumyantsev felt incredibly stifled. That said, he also couldn’t help but heave a sigh of relief in his heart.
Unfortunately, his relief was short-lived. Before he could even loosen his shoulders, the old man continued, “But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be spared from all forms of punishment.”
“No--...” Before Rumyantsev could even plead for mercy, a bolt of black light erupted in the dark. Rumyantsev felt an intense pain course through his body, and he couldn’t help but scream miserably. At once, his left index finger was completely obliterated and vanished into thin air!
“AHHHHHH!!!” Excruciating pain surged straight through his mind, and he immediately clutched at the freshly-made wound. However, his screams abruptly halted.
It was because he suddenly discovered a long, black blade pressed threateningly across his neck at that very moment.
“Make sure there’s no next time.” The old man stared intently at Rumyantsev as he spoke word by word, “You best behave yourself.”
Whoosh… With that, the old man’s silhouette vanished into thin air. It was only then that Rumyantsev covered his wound and curled up softly. His entire body trembled both from the excruciating pain, as well as the overbearing humiliation he had just experienced.
“Urrghhh…. AHHHHHH!!!” Seconds later, he unleashed a vexed scream of humiliation and resentment.
“Hell… Hell!!!” Yin energy burst forth from between his teeth as he slowly looked up with a menacing gaze in Cathay’s direction, “One day… I’ll make you pay the price for your arrogance today! ARGGGHHHHHH!!!!”
He howled in agony and pain like a lonesome wolf at the top of the cliff. It wasn’t until several more moments passed that he finally trembled and tucked his wounded hand underneath his robes and gazed intently at the spot of white light that was still located beneath him.
There was no longer any need to go down.
Even if Choi Tae-min wasn’t dead yet, he still wouldn’t be able to have his way.
Hell has clearly closed its borders, and there’s never been a single Emissary of Hell around Daehan for the longest time. So why did they suddenly cast their watchful eyes over these lands?
Where exactly did things go so horribly wrong?
Then, just as his mind was fraught with unanswered questions, he suddenly noticed a multitude of stars rise up from nowhere and pour forward like a meteor shower!
Countless balls of white light had suddenly appeared out of nowhere, gushing straight towards the substratum of Gonjiam Asylum, almost as though the milky way was shifting! Furthermore… he could sense a somewhat familiar source of Yin energy quickly getting stronger below!
“This is…” He froze for a moment and looked around with his mouth slightly agape, “The coalescence of faith… and a Marquis’ ascension?!”
“How is this possible?!”
It was now 5.00 a.m.
The men located around the peripheries of Gonjiam Asylum hadn’t slept a wink last night. Every single LSD agent above the rank of Soul Hunter, numbering 342 agents in total; 43 international agents who had scrambled to render assistance; 3 researchers deployed by Moremos Institute, an international research institution for the netherworld; as well as 54,000 troops deployed by the Daehan army maintained a massive perimeter spanning a radius of 1,000 meters around the Gonjiam Asylum. The floodlights deployed by them illuminated the entire vicinity.
They were located along the outskirts of Gwangju City. It was only five in the morning, yet the streets of Gwangju City were all well lit, and countless military vehicles plied each and every street as they did their level best to convince the citizens to load their valuables into their own vehicles and drive off into safety. Several military supervisors shuttled back and forth various streets, holding their loudhailers and barking commands at their soldiers, “Hurry up!” “A breach has been found in a bioweapons facility near Gonjiam Asylum! Hurry up and evacuate! Don’t bring along anything that is not of vital importance! Your life is at stake!”
Policemen, special forces, and the military stood guard at every intersection of the street. Meanwhile, countless government officials marched back and forth with bloodshot eyes, disseminating the latest orders from above to the military personnel on the streets.
“Everyone, please hurry up!! Lives are at stake! The explosion at the bioweapons facility was due to an oversight on our part! The Gwangju Municipal Government will bear all of the losses that you’ve suffered from this evacuation! Hurry up! Hurry, hurry!!” A middle-aged man stood on a platform with his loudhailer as he attempted to hasten the process, even in the slightest bit. As soon as he was done, he coughed violently and marched down with the loudhailer.”
“Vice mayor, you…” As soon as he got off the platform, his secretary immediately came up to him with a cup of water. However, the vice mayor immediately pushed the cup away. His eyes were bloodshot, and his lips trembled, “How many people have we managed to evacuate so far? How many people do we have left? What’s the situation at Gonjiam Asylum?!”
It was only after he finished saying these things that he noticed that he was getting slightly too agitated. He glanced around, before ignoring the awkward glances and marching forward to his next task. Meanwhile, the secretary followed closely behind him and reported with a somber tone of voice, “Only one-tenth of the citizens have been evacuated thus far… Meanwhile, the situation at Gonjiam… has only worsened. Mr Lee, please board the plane and make your way to Hanyang. Given the current Yin energy readings, I’m afraid… we might not be able to hold onto Gwangju City.”
“Shit!!” The vice mayor cursed softly and gazed resentfully in the direction of Gonjiam Asylum. His heart was practically on fire right now.
How could something like this happen…
Do we really have to abandon Gwangju City? Just like… we’ve abandoned Pusan?
Ah… that’s right… Gwangju is nothing compared to Pusan. But… Why?!
What the hell happened over these last ten years?!
There was a resounding, violent clamor, and a boundless purple light blanketed the entire canopy of the skies.
The secretary who was just speaking with the vice mayor dropped the glass of water in horror. His jaws dropped and his eyes widened as he turned back, almost as though he had just seen a living ghost. Then, with great trembling, he took several steps back. He looked as though he had something to say, yet he was unable to say a single thing because of the intense shock at the supernatural phenomenon.
A split second later, his pupils narrowed.
The sky… had opened up.
The dark skies parted just like the red sea, allowing a purple haze to gush out from beyond, almost as though something in the world out there had descended upon them.
As soon as the purple haze appeared, countless pitch-black birds flew out of the crack in the sky, chittering madly as they swooped straight down into Gonjiam Asylum, forming a massive swirling vortex of black birds.
Purple Qi comes from the East - it was known to be a propitious omen.
Moments later, the entire Gwangju City flew into a frenzy!
“Is this… God?” An old man with a walking disability stared agape at the crack in the sky, gently bringing his son and daughter behind him. Seconds later, the two children gasped at the same time, “Oh shit…”
“God…” A monk that was being evacuated among the crowd of citizens immediately trembled and fell to his knees, “It’s you! It’s the omnipotent God! God has appeared before us! This is a holy gift from God!!!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter