Chapter 659: Truth Behind the Secret Memorial

Time flew by quickly, and three days passed in a flash. Qin Ye was just in the midst of reviewing the documents he had prepared when Kwon Kyung-ho and Ryu Changmin returned to the Black Mamba Underworld. At once, he looked up and asked with a gleam in his eyes, “How was it?”

“It’s done.” The two ghosts pulled out three thick paper bags and placed them on the table gingerly, before explaining their loot from the trip, “This here is the dossier documenting the supernatural phenomenon observed in Khuree when the Resentment Crystal Mine first appeared. They are the fruits of Lady Arakshasa’s investigative efforts.”

“This dossier contains the writeup by Hell’s scholars on the use of Resentment Crystals and their necessity in the pursuit of Forbidden Arts.”

“The last dossier here contains a comprehensive deduction as to the relationship between the Russian Underworld and the Argosian Underworld, as well as an in depth analysis as to the changes that the Russian Underworld may bring to the international arena when it becomes the fifth underworld that possesses Forbidden Arts capabilities. This dossier is written by Lord Harken, in consultation with the group of scholars in Hell, as well as the various governmental agencies.”

“Additionally…” Kwon Kyung-ho paused for a moment, and then pulled out a scroll, “Lord Harken has also asked us to pass this to you.”

What’s this… All it took was a simple glance at it, and Qin Ye immediately recalled this to be the very same secret memorial to the throne that was left behind by Kong Mo after his conquest of Ashmound City! [1]

Have we finally unlocked it?

No… The Second King Yanluo had mentioned that if I later encounter any problems that I’m not able to resolve, then that would be the moment at which I should open this secret memorial to take a look… Could he have predicted that the Daehan incident would have led to these developments?


“I’ve got it.” QIn Ye nodded and turned to Kwon Kyung-ho, “Notify the attendants outside that I will be calling upon their Mythic Spirit in the morning two days from now. After that, you guys may be dismissed. Go get some rest. These last few days have been hard on you.”

“Yes, sir!”

After they departed, Qin Ye finally took a deep breath and gently ran his fingers over the three thick dossiers. His eyes were gleaming with unconcealed excitement.

Success or failure - everything rested on these dossiers!

Time was of the essence. Nobody could ever have anticipated the seemingly benign learning journey to Daehan to uncover such startling developments. He’d already done as best as he could given the time constraints that he faced. And now, with evidence on hand, everything would rest on whether he could speak with elocution and win over Black Mamba’s heart.

Even if he wished to pit the tiger against the wolf, he would first have to convince the tiger that the wolf was up to no good.

Calm your mind… This isn’t the time to be getting flustered… Qin Ye shut his eyes and regulated his thoughts for several minutes until he finally managed to recompose himself. Then, he opened the dossiers in front of him and began to look through its contents.

Incredibly detailed.

This was his first reaction.

Furthermore, it was written with formal prose.

And not with the usual internal reports filled with jargon and intended to impress one’s own citizens. Rather, everything within these reports were written in accordance with international diplomatic conventions, and specifically crafted to convey only one possible meaning, devoid of any ambiguity or confusing statements. As he read through the dossiers, two thoughts came to mind.

Neat.

And precise.

He carefully pored through all the contents of the dossiers, ruminating over the information from time to time so as to ensure complete comprehension. This entire process took him well over ten hours. After that, he finally heaved a long sigh of relief as he shut the dossiers once more.

Perfect.

Credit where it was due, Hell’s new government was shaping up nicely. Kwon Kyung-ho and Ryu Changmin would have taken one full day to travel, which meant that the team involved in drafting up these dossiers of information had less than two days to sort through the information and present it in formal prose. Furthermore, they would have to analyze why Qin Ye wanted these things, peer into the intentions of the Russian underworld, decipher the clues disclosing the true perpetrator acting from the shadows behind the Russian Underworld, and then think about how to communicate these things to the Alkebulan Underworlds to achieve the best possible outcome. And despite the fact that they didn’t have the luxury of time to draft up these documents, Qin Ye wasn’t able to pick out any problems with the reports in his detailed run-through of the dossiers.

These would all give him leverage to speak with greater authority. After all, the days when one could resolve matters of international diplomacy with just the gift of the gab were long gone.

“Everything depends on me now.” He took a deep breath and set aside the dossiers. Tomorrow was a day reserved for adjusting his condition and further familiarization of the materials. And then, it would be showtime!

Smack, smack! He slapped himself gently to calm his mind down. And then, he finally turned to the secret memorial.

Had he been elsewhere but here, he would’ve been incredibly excited about the contents of the secret memorial. After all, it most certainly contained the crux of the Confucian Clan’s ploys. Unfortunately, his current circumstances meant that he wasn’t able to feel completely invested in Hell’s internal affairs right now.

“But I suppose there’s no harm.” It was specifically mentioned by the Second King Yanluo after all. He had instructed Qin Ye to open it when he found himself in a bleak and hopeless situation. Although Qin Ye didn’t know exactly what it contained, he could vaguely hazard a guess.

Who knows, perhaps it might even be useful right now…

He slowly unraveled it. The front of the scroll revealed a drawing of a weapon.

It was a sword.

Cathayans had a particular inclination towards swords as their weapon of choice. That said, this sword appeared somewhat different from ordinary swords. It wasn’t fine by any means. Instead, it was… a heavy sword.

A heavy sword was neither known for its sharp edges nor workmanship. As he unraveled the scroll, he saw the figure of a man drawn next to it, presumably for size comparison. The heavy sword was almost as tall as an average man’s height, and the width of the sword was almost as wide as the broadness of the man’s shoulder. Furthermore, the surface of the sword was carved with intricate patterns. Qin Ye knew that he’d never seen the sword nor the patterns before, but he couldn’t help but develop some sense of familiarity with it.

“Forbidden Art, Immortal Sanction.” Just then, the Harken’s voice boomed in his mind, and Qin Ye’s eyes immediately lit up - This is… the Harken!

“This is a strand of consciousness that I’ve left behind in the scroll.” Without missing a beat, the Harken’s voice continued to boom in his mind, “Truth be told, the Second King Yanluo had already unlocked the seal of the secret memorial when you first returned from Daehan. What you see is none other than a drawing of the mold for our Forbidden Art.”

The mention of the words “Forbidden Art” instantly seized his attention, and Qin Ye continued listening with bated breaths.

This secret memorial was something that had been hidden in the depths of Kong Mo’s treasury, and it was only natural to expect it to contain a shocking secret. However, no amount of groundwork could ever prepare Qin Ye for the astonishing news that was still to come!

“Broadly speaking, Forbidden Arts are essentially manners in which Yin Talismans are arranged to create a channel for the flow of power. These Yin Talismans would in turn be engraved on a carrier or a mold that will be used to contain the flow of the technique.”

“To this end, the molds used for Forbidden Arts would have to be tried and tested time and time again, until the most effective and suitable one can finally be selected. Therefore, there can only be one optimum mold for any Forbidden Art. And because of that, there can only be one explanation for the emergence of a different-looking mold.”

There was a protracted pause, during which there was pin drop silence in the room.

“And that is the trial for the development of a new Forbidden Art.”

“This is probably the mold of a second generation Forbidden Art. I’ve taken a quick look at it. It contains less than a tenth of the Yin Talismans etched on the Immortal Sanction. These Yin Talismans have only been carved on the hilt of the sword. And to that end, the entire hilt of the sword has been designed such that it can be forged entirely out of Resentment Crystals - a total of 142 kilograms of it.”

“According to Hell’s research thus far into the second generation of Forbidden Arts, there are three materials that are most suitable for the initiation module, and that is none other than Resentment Crystals, Dark Riftstones, and Blacksoul Rebirth Crystals. THere is no possible fourth option.”

As the Harken’s voice spoke, a particular location on the drawing of the sword’s hilt emitted a soft twinkle of light. Naturally, Qin Ye squinted his eyes and glanced over, and lo and behold, he was immediately dragged into a world of Yin Talismans, where complex arrangements of Yin Talismans abruptly filled his surroundings. Then, just moments later, a terrifying cosmic explosion erupted from nowhere, and the impact of the blast immediately washed his consciousness right out of the arcane state once more.

Thump, thump… His heart thumped wildly. It suddenly occurred to him that he… was actually holding onto the final piece of the puzzle he never even knew he needed! And it was a crucial piece of the puzzle for the purposes of the upcoming negotiations!

But this wasn’t the time to be considering these things. He didn’t know when the Harken’s consciousness would dissipate, so he continued to listen on intently.

“Back then, Hell had already commenced work on the initiation module for the second generation Forbidden Arts. The arrangement of Yin Talismans engraved on the hilt of the sword should be of some help to you during this trip. Rest assured, nobody can possibly  even begin to understand the intricacies of the arrangement of Yin Talismans without properly studying it - not even the brightest of Yama-Kings. Naturally, nobody would be able to remember the manner of arrangements of these Yin Talismans either. That’s all for now. This strand of consciousness that I’ve left with you shall soon dissipate on its own.”

“I look forward to good news upon your return.”

With that, the Harken’s consciousness vanished completely.

Qin Ye carefully ran his finger along the edge of the secret memorial. This was good news, but it had come so quickly and suddenly that it left him with a multitude of thoughts to work through.

And the thing that occurred to him was why the Second King Yanluo had to act as he did.

Forbidden Arts was something that obviously concerned an underworld’s standing in the international arena, and any breakthrough in the research and development of the second generation Forbidden Arts should naturally be made a public good. Yet, the contents of the secret memorial was clear evidence that the Confucian Clan had sought to keep every bit of this breakthrough to themselves. How could the Second King Yanluo not be incensed by such a discovery?

This was why the Second King Yanluo was prepared to act with passivity even as the ascension of Lord Ksitigarbha brought the old Hell to an end!

This was clearly one of the catalysts to the downfall of the old era!

But that wasn’t important. At least, it wasn’t important as far as the current situation was concerned. After all, what was more important was what this piece of information signified.

For one, Qin Ye would finally be able to explain the importance of Resentment Crystals in the research and development of the second generation Forbidden Arts!

And it would also explain why the Russian Underworld needed so much Resentment Crystals to begin with.

Qin Ye’s mind spun with a flurry of activity. If what he possessed earlier was merely proof of the Russian Underworld’s intentions, then the secret memorial in his hands now was ironclad evidence of the Russian Underworld’s foray into the second generation Forbidden Arts. With this, he could actually reveal the true horrors of the technology that they were potentially delving into.

After all, seeing was believing.

Qin Ye’s breaths grew ragged, and it wasn’t until several minutes later that he finally managed to shake himself out of his stupor.

By his estimates, he now had more than a 50% chance of success.

But, that wasn’t all there was to the secret memorial.

He continued unravelling it, only to realize that what came next didn’t seem to have anything to do with Forbidden Arts. Instead, it was an odd symbol.

It was a symbol of a lotus flower.

A top-down view of a blossoming lotus flower at that.

At first glance, it appeared to be affiliated to Buddhism. Its six petals were evenly distributed, while the heart of the lotus was clearly engraved with fine runes representing Yin Talismans. This time, Qin Ye didn’t even bother to take a closer look at that.

There was a line of text hidden right underneath this drawing.

“Resentment Crystals are universally known for their seamless Yin Talisman conduction properties. It cannot be found outside of the East Continent, and is most commonly seen in the southeastern part of the East Continent.”

“However, it is also known to exhibit a high degree of hermeticity. Anything placed in these crystals will retain its form and properties for thousands of years without problems. Not even Yin energy can seep out from within. The formation of Resentment Crystals are contingent on the presence of countless souls who were willingly sent to their death.”

These statements were written just beneath the lotus flower without any form of context whatsoever. Yet, even then, Qin Ye recognized that this was the handwriting of the Second King Yanluo of Hell!

What does he mean by these statements?

Perhaps it’s not the time to be considering these statements for now… After some time, Qin Ye turned back to the dossiers on the table, as well as the secret memorial.

“It seems as though I’ll have to adjust how I approach these negotiations…” He licked his lips greedily. It was peculiar. This was going to be his debut performance on the international arena, and yet the winds were already blowing in his favour. His heart was filled with inexplicable excitement!

Over the last two years, he had slowly worked his way up from Clear Creek County, until he’d finally managed to unfold the very first corner of the world map.

Bit by bit, the splendid netherworld was unveiling right before his eyes. This was the mythical world of dark lustre, and the glorious Third King Yanluo of Hell was soon going to make his first brilliant mark in international history of the netherworld!


1. If you’ve forgotten what a secret memorial is, it was first mentioned in Chapter 452, when Qin Ye was looking through his spoils of war.

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