Chapter 602: Double the Reparation, Double the Delight (1)

Arrival of an Abyssal Prefect; all ghosts shall bow.

The countless living dead bowed down to the ground with deep respect to the transcendent being standing before them. By spoils of war, Qin Ye had actually been referring to the living dead standing around him!

“They would eat anything, even the souls of Yin spirits… My Lord, how do you intend to treat them as spoils of war?” Oda Nobutada couldn’t quite wrap his mind around it.

Qin Ye nodded and turned to the Yin spirits with a bright gleam in his eyes, “Well, let me ask you - what is the one thing that Hell lacks most right now?”

“Everything is lacking!” Wang One Tail immediately blurted back.

Qin Ye immediately rolled his eyes, “You brainless oaf! Mr Pea Shooter, please step aside and work on the development of your primitive mind.”

Without missing a beat, Qin Ye immediately explained himself, “Don’t you forget that we haven’t quite claimed the Eastmount Province for ourselves. At best, we’ve only secured for ourselves a stronghold and laid the groundwork for the expansion works ahead. However, there’s still pioneering work to be done. This is why we had taken the pains to set up Frontier Brigades and pair them up with our engineering corps in order to sweep up all of the languishing Yin spirits in Eastmount Province and establish new cities.”

It was highly unlikely that there would still be large groups of armed forces like the ones previously garrisoned at Qufu back then. After all, most of these would have been either subjugated or vanquished by Kong Mo a long time ago. In fact, he would likely even have driven out most if not all of the monarch beasts in the region. Under the circumstances, the Frontier Brigades were unlikely to face much resistance, and the engineering corps would likely be able to carry out their jobs smoothly.

These were all known facts. At once, Oda Nobutada knew what Qin Ye was getting at, “Are you saying that… Hell currently lacks manpower?”

“Naturally.” Qin Ye sighed, “Eastmount Province may have a population size of over 20 million Yin spirits, but establishing new cities is a highly labour intensive process. Sure, we might have a stronghold set up for ourselves right now, but it’s not unreasonable to expect a number of messenger birds coming our way in the near future, seeking manpower, money and resources! Where are we supposed to get all this manpower from? If we mobilize everyone from Ashmound City, then how is it supposed to function properly as a city and keep its current industries going? Remember, Ashmound City is still the foundation of all of our operations in Eastmount Province. But, on the other hand, if manpower remains an issue, then we might be spread so thin that we barely see any progress at all!”

“Furthermore, this is just the tip of the iceberg. How far away would we be establishing satellite cities from Ashmound City? We’re talking about a path that would need to be cleared by our army, and thereafter further special escorts needed for the transportation of supplies! Until we develop alternative sources of energy or locate transportation beasts, everything has to be done by Yin spirits and pure, unadulterated manpower! These are all expenses!”

Wang Chenghao staggered back a few steps.

It feels like we’ve regressed to the discussions about the mire that is Ashmount City… And this seems to be a pain point for Brother Qin…

“And while we’re at it, I’ll still have to return to Ashmount City to study the script of death in detail to see if there are other means available to us to increase Hell’s abilities. Forget it, it’s draining to talk about such things.” He waved his hands in anguish. The thought of returning to Ashmound City to a mountain full of responsibilities and work to be done caused the veins at his temple to throb uncontrollably.

Oda Nobutada nodded thoughtfully, “So… you plan to--...”

“I want the Ouroboros technique!” Qin Ye flicked his sleeves, “Or at the very least, the means of controlling and manipulating the living dead. Don’t you think that they’re the perfect workforce for our purposes? They never die, never get tired, and don’t even get bored like those demanding Yin spirits back in Hell! They won’t even ask for money or think of rebelling against poor leadership! Don’t you think that this is the greatest spoil of war from our trip here to Daehan?”

“How many living dead do you think there are here in Gonjiam Asylum? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Pusan’s population size was well over 3,000,000 to begin with. Do you think there’s even half of them still alive right now? So long as I can get my hands on the method of manipulating them, they would be far more useful to me than any intelligence pertaining to the location of Black Fortress and whatnot!”

And since that deals with the issue of manpower, all that remains is the issue of money…

Qin Ye decided to leave things as they are for now.

“Go get some rest.” He concluded their discussion, “And let’s look forward to their VIP treatment from now onwards. I imagine Liu Yu must be fuming mad right now.”

……………………………………………

Mortal realm, entrance to the Gonjiam Asylum.

At some point, there was already a ten-meter large formation drawn with scarlet ink on the ground. The main entrance was even plastered all over with talismans, and there was a wind chime that hung right at the top of the entrance.

No. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that the entire Gonjiam Asylum had been tightly bound up by silver chains, while multiple wind chimes hung from the corner of the eaves of Gonjiam Asylum. A team of elite forces were fully deployed and waiting just 30 meters from the main entrance.

There were about 100 people deployed at the entrance, of which approximately 80 were soldiers. The muzzles of their gun barrels were all trained directly on the entrance of Gonjiam Asylum, while a smaller group of elites stood in the front of the formation.

Most of them wore the emblem of the LSD on their chests as they stared intently at the main entrance. Meanwhile, there were 5 other men and women wearing ancient Daeian garments and holding various strange instruments in their hands.

And they were all old. Even the youngest of the lot had a full head of white hair. Furthermore, they were armed with the strangest of tools, including roosters, willow branches, and white jade bottles. All of them were staring intently at the entrance. Even though it was winter, their undershirts were still soaked all the way through with nervous, cold sweat.

Dead silence. Nobody said a single word. Everyone knew full well why they were called to be here today. More importantly, they knew exactly what they were potentially facing - the most terrifying evil ghost that Daehan had ever faced to date!

Time trickled by. Half an hour later, an old woman suddenly raised her head and glanced around gravely.

It was noon.

She couldn’t detect even the slightest bit of wind.

And yet… the trees around Gonjiam Asylum were swaying wildly in unison!

The soldiers deployed behind couldn’t help but stare with their lips agape at the peculiar sight. A small grain of sand shifted softly, followed soon by… a soft rustle of the dust and debris around them!

T-t-t-t-t… Whoosh… Rustle… The skies suddenly darkened. Meanwhile, the ground trembled softly, and the wind chimes dangling around the eaves of Gonjiam Asylum soon began to tinkle.

Ting-a-ling… ting-a-ling… What should have been crisp, pleasant music to the ears suddenly caused everyone to shudder in unison.

“It’s coming… It’s coming!!” A white-haired old man gazed intently at the ground and declared at the top of his voice. It was none other than Mr Jeon.

Click! The soldiers cocked their guns at the same time and gulped nervously. Just then, one of the windows of Gonjiam Asylum suddenly slammed wide open, and a frigid wind poured out from within. At once, Mr Jeon turned back and grabbed the hands of the Daeians dressed in ancient Daeian garments, “The fate of the entire nation… lies in your hands!”

“You five are the most famous psychics across the entire nation. Please proceed as I had  briefed you, and make no mistake. Otherwise… I’m not sure if the citizens of Daehan would ever be able to forgive you!!”

“Yes…” The psychics took a deep breath. They weren’t quacks like some of the “experts” registered under the Cathayan Association of Underworldly Craftsmen. These were real psychics that regularly worked with the LSD.

That said… this was still the first time in decades of work they were looking to communicate with such a powerful Yin spirit!

To think that we would see changes in the weather accompanying the arrival of an evil ghost… This… is clearly well beyond our capabilities!

Unfortunately, they knew they had no choice but to comply with the instructions they were given. Otherwise, the guns trained at the entrance might well shift slightly and find their crosshairs on their backs.

“Haa--...” The leader of the lot took a deep breath and attempted to alleviate some of the numbness in his mind - What terrifying Yin energy… It’s clear that this evil ghost is already intentionally suppressing his own abilities, and yet… to think that the temperature around these parts still dipped by over ten degrees over the past few moments?!

Even though the fear in his heart hadn’t completely subsided, he knew that he could dally no longer. With a quick wave of his sleeves, a monkey jumped out from within. It was only the size of an adult’s fist, and yet the monkey dragged along with it a foot-long sledgehammer.

The hammer was snow-white in colour. Upon closer inspection, it would be clear that it was in fact a hammer forged by attaching a skull to a long spine that acted as the shaft of the hammer! Everything was tied up and tightly bound to each other with red threads!

The old man patted the monkey’s butt with his right hand and pulled out a gong with his left hand. At once, the monkey swung the hammer into the gong.

At once, the old man began to sing a rhythmic tune. Meanwhile, another old man immediately opened his white jade bottle, picked up the willow branch in his hand and dipped it into the contents of the jade bottle, before wiping it on the monkey’s eyes.

The monkey immediately covered his eyes and chattered excitedly. Moments later, when he opened them again, his eyes were completely pitch-black in colour, almost as though he were gazing deep into a completely different world altogether!

One of the old psychics picked up a brush, while another one swiftly decapitated the rooster with a precise cut of his sword. Without hesitation, the old psychic holding the brush immediately began to draw on the monkey’s back. All in all, they moved like well-oiled machines, almost as though they had practised these actions countless times. It didn’t take them more than 10 seconds before they finally completed the entire series of actions.

“Go!!!” The old man holding the gong shouted loudly, pulled out a nail and then hammered it straight through the monkey’s skull.

A split second later, the wind chimes in the distance abruptly slowed down!

They were still tinkling, but they no longer moved with such agitation and terror. Instead, they were now moving far more calmly, almost as though someone were tinkling the chimes intentionally. The sound generated was also far more soothing than before.

“Haa--...” The five psychics heaved a sigh of relief in unison. It had only been 10 seconds, and yet they were already covered in cold sweat. In fact, it felt almost as though they had just been to death’s door and back.

Mr Jeon immediately walked over and looked them in the eyes, “How was it?!”

“It’s worked…” The old lady wiped off the cold sweat percolating on her forehead. Her hands and feet were still shivering profusely, “But there’s no way we can compel a response. Everything will depend on whether the evil ghost intends to respond to our call… And if the evil ghost doesn’t--…”

Mr Jeon gritted his teeth, took a deep breath, and then turned back.

He knew what exactly she was going to say.

She was going to say that if the evil ghost didn't answer, it would mean that it wasn’t interested in negotiations, and that would spell instant death for everyone present!

From here, the evil ghost would prey on the citizens of Gwangju City numbering hundreds of thousands on end. This would be the evil ghost’s first feast after his advancement to the rank of an Abyssal Prefect!

And then… he would move to Gyeonggi Province, and then Hanyang, and then the rest of Daehan altogether!

An Abyssal Prefect was a district level ruler that would have charge of several provinces in Cathay. Given Daehan’s size, an Abyssal Prefect could easily devour the entire nation!

Unfortunately, was it really going to be that easy communicating with an evil ghost of such terrifying power?

The thirst for flesh and blood could almost be said to be second nature to such creatures. Right now, they could only hope and pray that the evil ghost could understand the language of human beings.

Unwittingly, every single LSD agent located right at the front of the main entrance to Gonjiam Asylum was praying silently in their hearts.

Please… Any god out there… as long as you’re listening, please be merciful and spare the tens of millions of innocent lives here in Daehan…

………………………………………………

Back in Gonjiam Asylum. Qin Ye was just in the midst of jabbering on when he paused abruptly.

Wang One Tail asked curiously, “What’s the matter?”

“Someone’s made a move.” Qin Ye’s senses had evolved to new heights ever since his breakthrough, “The door to the dead has already been sealed around these parts. The one reaching out to us must come from the mortal realm.”

A pitch-black passageway suddenly appeared, and a hazy, distorted light appeared at the end of the passageway. Just then, a dark figure appeared from within the passageway.

It was a monkey.

No… rather, it was the monkey’s skin!

Devoid of any skeletal support, the monkey’s skin actually waltzed right through the pitch-black passageway and respectfully walked up to Qin Ye.

“What’s this?” Qin Ye was curious what technique this was.

“Shade Offering.” Unexpectedly, Oda Nobutada knew of the technique employed, “This is the means of the Shinto religion promulgated by the Nipponese, presumably when they conquered Daehan in the past. This is… how do I put it… I suppose you can say that it’s a method that is adapted from Ninjutsu, and is largely premised on their understanding of the mortal realm and the netherworld.”

“The stronger evil ghosts are, the more intelligent they tend to be. Throughout history, there have been occasions where powerful evil ghosts appear in smaller nations, and the larger nations aren’t willing to lend any assistance. Therefore, they are left with no choice but to employ such means to enter into “peace talk” with the evil ghosts. At least, this is what I understand from the story of Shinto. These are techniques that must have existed since at least 300 years ago. They must already be fading into obscurity in Nippon by now. Who would’ve thought that we’d see it here in Daehan?”

As he spoke, Wang One Tail immediately retorted, “What kind of nonsense are you spouting? And what do you mean Shinto? This is all from Daehan. The stuff here are all made in Daehan!”

Oda Nobutada: ……

“Do you mean--...”

Qin Ye beckoned, and the monkey skin immediately flew over and landed in his hands. He promptly unfolded it and found a series of writing in scarlet ink.

“Presented by the LSD of the Republic of Daehan in hope of an audience with the esteemed Abyssal prefect.” Qin Ye immediately raised his eyebrows with great curiosity and read on with keen interest.

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