Chapter 674: Boundary Lines

It was a harsh winter up north. It got dark early, but there were at least pockets of time where the sun still shone brightly. 31 December. Yiershi Town was blessed with radiant sunshine today, ushering a beautiful day in the snow-capped winter.

The warmth of the sunbeams drove away some harshness of the cold winter. Its remote location meant that Yiershi Town wasn’t a fast-developing place. However, the fact that they were located near the customs also meant that they weren’t too bad either. At the very least, one could see the emergence of some European-style buildings, including clock towers, interspersed between the more typical Cathayan buildings.

The azure skies were pure and pristine, and they acted as the perfect backdrop to accentuate the red-brick facade of European buildings around. Few cars chugged along the main roads of the town. In fact, one could oftentimes see more farming vehicles and motorcycles shuttling about rather than regular cars. And it was precisely because of the state of normalcy that the silver BMW hurtling down the avenue attracted the curious attention of several passers-by.

The car drove all the way out of the state highway, and for another ten minutes, before another tall building appeared right in the middle of the snow-covered tundras.

The surroundings had clearly been artificially flattened out. The building wasn’t tall, and there was a gold-gilded plaque hanging from the top of the building spelling out Arxan Port. A river ran across right beyond the building, and the trees around were all covered with frost. One could only imagine the glorious sight this place would be greeted by when the flowers bloom in spring in the coming year.

In fact, this entire location was an attraction in and of itself. Each ticket to enter the Arxan Port costs 40 RMB. From there, if one entered the building and walked across the bridge, they would end up straight in the Mongol Empire. Unfortunately, the 40 RMB only allowed a person to enter the building and gaze across the river, and not cross the border bridge.

Quite unlike the spiritless atmosphere of Yiershi Town, there were quite a number of cars parked here in Arxan Port. The traffic flow was better, and the number of pedestrians also made the place appear more alive. Furthermore, there were soldiers patrolling the tundras, as well as guards standing around on sentry duty with their backs as straight as a javelin.

The silver BMW stopped in the parking lot. 300 meters was the closest they could get from the Arxan Port Bridge, and anyone attempting to get within 100 meters from the Arxan Port Bridge would have to undergo a physical examination. As soon as the car stopped, the car door opened, and a foot wearing army boots stepped out onto the ground, before promptly shrinking back and slamming the door shut.

The driver frowned slightly, “Sir… We’re here.”

Qin Ye leaned back on the back seat, ostensibly rattled, “... Don’t rush me… Let me get acclimatized…”

20 minutes later.

The driver was on the brink of tears, “Sir… Are you still acclimatizing?”

“... I can’t quite get used to it…” Qin Ye responded shamelessly. And then, with a muffled grunt, he suddenly flew out of the car.

The door quickly slammed shut, and the BMW hurtled away at top speed.

Qin Ye pulled out his phone and immediately gave the driver a bad review - How can you not let your customer get used to the climate around these parts?! What kind of a human being are you?!

“Useless!” The Harken glared at Qin Ye as it gave him a good dressing down, “You’re already a powerful Emissary of Hell, and yet you’re actually still afraid of the cold?! Yin energy is the coldest thing you can find in the world! Take a look at yourself! Can you please act with more decorum?!”

Qin Ye was decked out in luxurious fur coats of various colours. Furthermore, he wore a face mask and a hood right over his head, practically concealing every bit of his bare skin. He tucked his deep into his pockets like an arrogant landlord as he glared viciously at the barking mad dog.

The Harken was tucked into a little pocket of space at his chest with only its head sticking out from the zipper.

Qin Ye gnashed his teeth, “Haha… Don’t you think you should learn to wipe your own ass before berating me like this?”

The Harken responded by slinking right back into Qin Ye’s fur coat and pulling up the zipper, causing Qin Ye’s chest to bulge almost as though he was a man with a D-cup bosom, “Go. It’s time to head in. The Russian Underworld must already be anxiously waiting for us.”

Qin Ye sighed softly and proceeded to walk towards the entrance of the Arxan Port Bridge. He could sense a decent source of true energy emanating from within the building, probably in the realms of a Soul Hunter.

Thus, he turned towards the woods around him and slowly vanished into the shadows.

………………………………………

“Sigh…” Xiao Guolong held the hot tea in his hands and gazed out into the white landscape outside the windows.

He had been transferred here since a year ago, but he was clearly still some distance away from his term of three years. Could he ever get used to a place like this?

As a Soul Hunter, he would easily have been made the vice-captain of a department of any branch offices of the Special Investigations Department.

And yet, of all the places he could be posted to, he was sent to the border gateway that required powerful cultivators to stand guard over. Given his inability to curry favour with his superiors, he was unfortunately nominated to be posted here for “greater exposure”. That said, he couldn’t for the life of him understand which Yin spirit would be so daft as to make its nest here in such barren lands.

Shaking his head, he turned around and motioned to return to his work. And it was right then that he suddenly shuddered violently, spilling his hot tea all over his hands, yet it almost appeared as though he didn’t feel a thing at all. He stared intently in front of him.

A silhouette huddled up in thick fur coats had at some point appeared in the chair right opposite him, shivering profusely. Xiao Guolong glanced at the door to the room, only to realize that it was still tightly shut. Then, he turned back to the man’s feet to check if there were shadows. There were.

This was the Arxan City branch office of the Special Investigations Department, and there was only one kind of person who was authorized to enter this place - a cultivator.

But a cultivator would never enter the room like this. This man is acting almost as though he is a Yin spirit! However...

Why don’t I… feel afraid?

“You…” Just as Xiao Guolong was about to speak up, the man promptly interjected, “T-t-t-t…. Don’t speak yet… Let me get acclimatized for a bit…”

Xiao Guolong promptly recomposed himself and stared intently at the shadows at Qin Ye’s feet, “Are you a human or a ghost? Do you know what kind of a place this is?”

As he spoke, he silently reached for the vase located right behind him. That was where the emergency alarm button was located. But before he could even do anything, Qin Ye responded with a placid voice, “Have you seen ghosts with shadows? Do you think ghosts would feel cold?”

… No…

… But neither have I seen a D-cup man who wears fur coats like a wealthy tycoon…

“Come here.” Qin Ye beckoned to him, “I’ll show you something good.”

Xiao Guolong was tempted to say no, but as soon as Qin Ye waved his hand, he sensed himself being lifted right off his feet and flying straight over to Qin Ye!

Boom!

That feeling of fear was instantly washed away by a wave of horror. He could tell that this man was at least an Infernal Judge… or an equivalent Yin spirit!

There was no need to consider other things in front of absolute power.

He arrived right in front of the uninvited visitor, only to realize for the very first time that he appeared far younger than expected. He didn’t even look like he was 20 years of age. That said, he could also sense an air of tyranny around this man, almost as though he was a prehistoric beast wearing the skin of a man. At once, he knew that this man could make him vanish without a trace if he so desired.

Thus, he watched vigilantly with bated breaths as the man reached into his coat… and then pulled out a dog…

A dog…

An angry dog…

What kind of storyline is this?!

The fear and terror in his heart was instantly washed away at once. But, just then, Qin Ye pulled the dog into his bosom and smiled faintly, “If I were you, I’d look at the Yin energy reader that you carry around with you all the time. If I’m not mistaken, that’s a standard issue for all investigators these days.”

At once, Xiao Guolong gulped nervously and pulled out his Yin energy reader and took a glance at it. And then, his mind instantly went numb.

An electrifying sensation surged from his tailbone and spread throughout his entire body, causing him to shiver uncontrollably.

Even his jaws were trembling and chattering in fear right now - more so than how it did when he first saw Qin Ye in the room.

The compass-like Yin energy reader was pointed right at the end of the charts it was capable of reading, which was that of four million Yin - the level of an Infernal Judge. That said, he could see that the needle was still desperately attempting to go above and beyond the limits of the reader.

A Judge-class Yin spirit!

Or something even stronger!

Xiao Guolong froze for a second, and then immediately turned around as quickly as he could to reach for the vase. But as soon as he did, he discovered that the dog was already seated before the vase with a calm look on its face.

He froze, and then turned back, pulling out dozens of talismans and plastering them all around him with abject fear. His eyes even grew slightly bloodshot as he cried out at the top of his voice, “Who are you? Breaking into the office of the Special Investigations Department is a crime punishable by death!  You’ll be made a wanted criminal nationwide and barred from leaving the nation! Do you think you’re the first Yin spirit that has tried to infiltrate the Special Investigations Department? Some may have succeeded, but none have been spared!!”

“Once wanted, a Yin spirit of your rank will only attract the ire of the strongest fighting force of the Special Investigations Department! You--...”

Qin Ye waved his hand, “Yeah, yeah, there’s that old monk and that old Taoist priest, and there’s one more that I haven’t seen before. Ah, that’s right, you probably haven’t crossed paths with any of these before. They’re all acquaintances of mine. Alright, there’s no need to be afraid. This is the possession of an Emissary of Hell. I’m here to tell you something.”

He walked up to Xiao Guolong, leaned over and continued in a deep voice, “Tonight, you’ll see an eruption of Yin energy fluctuations in this place. You’d better stay out of this, and you would also be wise not to touch that button behind you.”

“For the next dozen days or so, this place will see immense Yin energy fluctuations. You need only turn a blind eye to it. Don’t get involved. Otherwise…”

Qin Ye stood up and promptly vanished without a trace, “Don’t blame me for not having warned you, but… not even the Prefect-class experts of the mortal realm will be able to do a thing against the parties involved in the upcoming altercation.”

With that, Qin Ye’s figure vanished compmletely. And it was only then that Xiao Guolong realized that his back was already soaked through with cold sweat. Realization dawned on him that he had just been on the edge of the precipice between life and death earlier. He thought about it for a moment, and then picked up the phone and dialed for the operator, “Hey… it’s me, serial number AL544. Please transfer me to the Arxan City Special Investigations Department right now…”

…………………………………………………

What Xiao Guolong didn’t realize was that Qin Ye had merely transformed into his Hell’s Emissary state, silently watching the surroundings from the shadows and biding his time until midnight.

“Why don’t you just contact the three powers of the mortal realm directly?” The Harken peeked out from his clothes and asked.

Qin Ye shook his head, “There’s no need.”

“Contacting them would only give them the illusion that Hell needs to rely on the mortal realm. What I want is a transaction at arms’ length, and not one that is predicated on reliance upon the other. Besides…”

He turned to the Harken, “Will you really be able to pull through with that intelligence of yours? Holy crap… let go! Let go!!”

The Harken bit down hard for a few seconds before finally relenting. And then, it turned to the front.

“What are you looking at? We can’t see the Array of the Nine Gods from here.”

“I’m not looking at that…” The Harken’s eyes narrowed, “Do you smell that?”

“There’s a putrid smell coming from the distance in that direction… That’s the stench of corpses that have been festering in their own blood for countless years on end.”

“I’m afraid that the Russian Underworld would be sending someone powerful out tonight. But I suppose that only makes sense. They’ve been waiting for this moment for an inordinately long time now. I can only imagine that their patience is wearing thin…”

“Is that so?” Qin Ye licked his lips and stared coldly into the distance. The Array of the Nine Gods also acted as a filter such that they could only see the regular sights of the mortal realm.

“Unfortunately, they might have bitten off far more than they can chew… Well, let’s wait and see. Tonight, we’ll let them taste a little bit more of the honey to lure them in deeper. Then, when they finally make their move, they’ll finally learn of the errors of their ways.”

Over a dozen Yama-class Yin spirits were all eyeing this ostensibly barren piece of wasteland right now!

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