Qin Ye lowered his eyes thoughtfully. This meant that there are at least two Yama-class Yin spirits in the Russian underworld alone. Furthermore, he could recall that there was yet another man whose historical achievements were no less than that of Empress Catherine, and that was none other than Peter the Great… 
I definitely should not underestimate these first-rate underworlds…
“Thus, we hope that your esteemed underworld will be forthcoming with us and furnish us with more information about Genghis Khan. In the meantime, it would also be good to start looking deeper into the teachings of Tantric Buddhism. Then, once we’ve made the necessary preparations, we shall march together for Khuree!” Rumyantsev took a deep breath, “This time, our army will be led by both Catherine the Great and Peter the Great! Rus shall send 1,000 of the Empress’ Praetorian Guard, 1,000 of the Tsar’s Praetorian Guard, and 50,000 Cossacks cavalry!”
The netherflames in his eyes blazed as he stared intently at Qin Ye. Unfortunately, Qin Ye wasn’t able to give his response right away. In fact, he even hesitated a little - Should I even participate in this?
Where am I supposed to find so many troops from Ashmound City? If I do even as much as send out 10,000 troops, the entire city would already be left completely defenseless. Besides, wouldn’t it be shameful sending merely 10,000 troops to match 50,000 troops on the part of the Russian Underworld, together with two Yama-class generals?
That’s most certainly going to be a telltale sign that Hell is no more than a barren wasteland right now!
But, on the other hand, what if Temujin’s soul is really below?
“I’ll convey your suggestions to the upper echelons of Hell in full.” Qin Ye spoke with great sincerity, and then paused for a moment, “But, let’s say we’re actually able to take it--...”
“50-50.” Rumyantsev responded hoarsely, “We’ll divide the land equally. We’ll take the vein of Crystallized Resentment, while Hell can have everything else.”
What the hell is a vein of Crystallized Resentment good for anyway?
It clearly wasn’t an ordinary object. Qin Ye knew as much because he could see that the runic symbols contained within were unimaginably rich and profound. Therefore, he would never agree to such conditions off the cuff.
“And what if there happens to be no souls?” Qin Ye probed deeper, “Since there’s no rush, why don’t we negotiate more with each other and finalize the exact agreement on the distribution before making our move? Besides, we’re talking about wiping out an entire country. Even though the Mongol Empire doesn’t have much of an international presence right now, it’s still better to stick to the proper procedures.”
For instance, by sending an international notice or something...
Yanluo Qin was filled with doubt with all that he had just mentioned - I hope I didn’t say anything wrong there. I guess I’ll have to pick up diplomatic etiquette and some basic knowledge about such political negotiations as soon as I get back. I don’t ever want to languish in such heart-stopping moments ever again…
“Alright.” Rumyantsev sighed softly, picked up his glass and walked over. Then, he tilted his head softly and smiled, “To our future joint endeavours?”
“Perhaps?” Qin Ye smiled faintly, and clinked glasses with Rumyantsev.
With that, the fate of the Mongol Underworld had been decided.
Not even Tengrism could save them from the march of several Yama-Kings, including the Empress’ personal guards as well as the Cossacks Cavalry Regiment!
After the banquet, Qin Ye hurriedly returned to the courtyard where he resided. He couldn’t be bothered with Liu Yu anymore. In fact, he was content with the status quo of letting him worry about what was to come, but refraining from pushing him over the edge. Then, if need be, all he had to do was to deliver a swift and decisive killing blow.
Meanwhile, Qin Ye wasn’t prepared to tell the six Yin spirits about all that had just transpired. After all, the implications were far too heavy. Not only did they relate to Hell’s international image and regional expansion efforts, it even concerned the possibility of one of Hell’s divine artifacts!
I’ll have to confer with the Harken and the Second King Yanluo of Hell before deciding whether to disclose this information or not.
He didn’t want to share any information with the Russian Underworld if he could help it! At the very least, he would have to first figure out the importance and significance of the vein of Crystallized Resentment, as well as the dangers surrounding Tantric Buddhism.
It was about time to leave Daehan.
He knew what he had to do next. Thus, he made plans to depart from Daehan over the next two days. At the same time, he asked Lee Jung-sook how she had managed to sneak Crow Tengu and Black Yaksha into Cathay in the first place.
The answer he received surprised him. It was impossible to go by land, because the Array of the Nine Gods was as seamless as it got on land. The only place where gaps even existed was over the seas, and that was the only way he could possibly return to Hell with all of the Yin spirits in tow.
Thus, they chartered a boat for two nights later.
The journey from Hanyang to Jeju took approximately 10 hours. Thereafter, the boat would depart at 9.00 p.m., and would later arrive at 8.00 a.m. in the morning.
Time flew by quickly. Lee Jung-sook didn’t bother sending him off because there were just too many things that she needed to do. Samsung was changing its strategy and shifting its focus, and she naturally had to be there to give oversight to the company. That said, the one thing that she was absolutely right about was the fact that Daehan wasn’t able to do a thing as far as Samsung’s future plans were concerned.
That said, she did give Qin Ye a call on the night he was about to depart Daehan. They would soon meet again back in Cathay, and the road ahead was paved with multitudes of opportunities for further collaboration.
Oooo… With the long blare of the horn, the ship finally departed from the port and began making its way westwards.
This was an ordinary ship, not one of the luxury cruise ships where one expected endless parties on the top deck of the ship. It was 11 p.m. A teenager lay on the deckchair on the ship with a glass of juice lying next to him. All he needed was a pair of sunglasses and some beach pants to complete the image.
By now, the deck was already devoid of people. The surrounding waves lapped against the hull of the ship, while the dim moonlight gleamed like stardust on the ripples in the seas. The crashing waves were loud, but it was also surprisingly tranquil.
Whoosh… Whoosh...Qin Ye listened to the undulation of the waves that ebbed and flowed at regular intervals. It was annoying at the start, but it was so repetitive that it almost became the very source of tranquility and peace.
“You mentioned that we can only see it during the witching hour?” Qin Ye took a sip of his fruit juice and asked placidly.
Nobody could see the entourage of Yin spirits seated behind him. At once, Zhang Zhongjing stroked his beard and smiled wryly, “That’s right… So, it’s actually called the Array of the Nine Gods? I suppose only the Second King Yanluo could have had the power to do so…”
“I’ve tried to return home once. I chartered a boat and went around the circumference of the array, but no matter how hard I tried, I was unable to find any gaps in the Array of the Nine Gods. It was then that I happened to witness the sight. It was… truly beautiful beyond belief - far more than even the aurora borealis often spoken about. Mr Wu Daozi has also made the voyage to these parts several times just to admire the incredible sight. If possible, it would be great if we could keep it, or even a part of it in future.”
Is it really that amazing?
Qin Ye glanced at the pitch-black night sky with some measure of anticipation. The Array of the Nine Gods could never be seen from land. It was only when one was out in the seas during the witching hour that they would be able to witness the spectacle for a brief moment of ten minutes.
The Array of the Nine Gods was like a great wall that protects Cathay for a period of 250 years. It was a monumental existence that had existed ever since the time of the First King Yanluo. The Second King Yanluo might never return to Hell, but so long as the Array of the Nine Gods remained in place, it would serve as a constant reminder to the world at large that these were the land that belonged to the King Yanluos of the past.
Qin Ye filled his time with conversations and discourse with the famous scholars around him, gleaning what he could from their wealth of knowledge and experience, especially in relation to what they had learnt in their time with the foreign underworlds. Before he knew it, it was already 4.50 a.m.
The seas were still just the same, but the noisy waves had somehow already eased up. The temperature around them suddenly dipped, and an unspeakable wave of energy suddenly engulfed and enveloped the entire seas.
It was almost divine in nature, just like the presence of a god that demanded worship.
It was filled with indescribable majesty that could only be experienced by the mind. Qin Ye slowly rose to his feet and gazed out into the open seas. There wasn’t a trace of wind at that very moment. He glanced back onto the table. There were still nine minutes to the witching hour.
We’re almost there… He stood at the railing at the front of the ship, and everyone else stood behind him in absolute silence. Everyone was waiting for the moment of miracle with bated breaths.
Tick, tock, tick, tock… It was almost as though they could hear the sound of a clock’s second hand ticking away. Nine minutes passed in the blink of an eye. And as soon as it did, the entire canopy of the skies… suddenly erupted with a flood of golden light!
The dark night sky was completely cleaved in two halves by the eruption of radiant golden light, almost as though one was watching Moses part the Red Sea from below. Golden runic symbols leapt right out of the gap in the sky, flanked by rolling dark clouds, almost as though a golden river of light was cutting through the canopies of the skies.
And then, the golden river slowly began to descend like a heavenly curtain, and that was when Qin Ye saw it. It was covered with complex runic symbols arranged neatly. It exuded ritualism, and it pulsed softly just like brilliant auroras in the sky. A split second later, it suddenly spread at lightning speed across the entire coastline of Cathay, covering the entire nation altogether!
Whoosh… Qin Ye was taken aback by the dazzling sight in the skies. In that instant, he felt as insignificant as a grain of sand on an endless beach. He had never felt as small and redundant before.
It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that his mind was sublimated with a new perspective in that moment.
The curtain of light shimmered softly, while the ship continued to plod on, closer and closer to the light. Qin Ye watched as the curtain of light erupted from nothingness, just like a midnight blossom. And then, it finally vanished as abruptly as it had appeared. Qin Ye immediately pulled out his phone and looked at the time.
Given the location of the curtain of light earlier, Qin Ye estimated that they were at best a thousand meters away from the Array of the Nine Gods.
The sound of the waves picked up again, and so did the sea breeze. The Yin spirits aboard the ship continued to gaze deeply into the seas. It had been over a hundred long years. Their hearts were filled with excitement and anticipation at the prospects of finally returning home. And now, they once again stood in front of the invisible barrier that had kept them away for the last hundred years.
Thump, thump… Their hearts were beating right out of their chests as the ship ploughed forward. Zu Chongzhi, Wu Daozi, Li Chun, Lu Ban, and the rest of the Yin spirits scrambled close to the front of the ship, watching as the bow of the ship cut through the vast seas with bated breaths.
1,000 meters… 500 meters… 200 meters… 100 meters!
50 meters… 30 meters… 20 meters… 10 meters!
Whoosh!!! Just as the ship went through the barrier, they felt an incredible tremor run through their bodies. All of the Yin spirits instinctively shut their eyes and held their breaths at once. Three seconds later, they slowly opened their eyes once more.
The ship was still beneath their feet.
And the Third King Yanluo was still beside them.
“We’ve made it…” Zhang Heng’s hands trembled profusely, before he suddenly turned around and yelled excitedly, “We’ve made it… We’ve finally made it!!!”
“130 years…” Wu Daozi stood at the bow of the ship, allowing the violent winds to buffet against his hair and clothes. Ghosts didn’t have tears, but the netherflames in his eyes were clearly flickering wildly with emotions.
“We’ve… finally returned…”
Zu Chongzhi said nothing. He simply took deep breaths, almost as though he wanted nothing more than to take in the air of his homeland and relish in the familiar Yin energy.
Meanwhile, Kwon Kyung-ho and Ryu Changmin also appeared and took in their surroundings curiously. It was a voyage into the new chapter of their lives as well.
“Everyone.” Just as the rough silhouette of their homeland appeared on the horizon, Qin Ye smiled radiantly at them all, “We’re home.”