Golden Rhino, Sunbird, Lioness, Emerald Wolf, Seema, Hornets, Zawa, Ntuga, Blazing Ice, Giant Molten, Hyena, Zanga, Vidala, Black Mamba… The Mythic Spirits of 13 tribes stood around Aristotle, staring him down as his lips quivered softly.
What were international conventions to the P4 underworlds?
You talk to me about treaties, and I’ll direct you to my interests. You talk to me about your interests, and I’ll tell you about the treaties and conventions.
The Argosian Underworld, being one of the P4 underworlds, was naturally one of the rule makers. Not even a patriarch of the Argosian Underworld was able to find the right words to say in the face of the group of Mythic Spirits.
The shock and rage in his heart, coupled with the intense resentment against Hell’s methods, caused a lump to swell up in his throat. His lips trembled profusely for some time, yet he simply couldn’t find the right words to say.
His mind was filled with nothing more than curses and expletives - Who exactly did Hell send to meet with the Alkebulan Underworlds? What exactly did they use to convince the stubborn leaders of the Alkebulan Underworlds to act in such a concerted fashion?!
Aren’t they supposed to be terrified by the prospects of Forbidden Arts by now?
On what basis did Hell and the Alkebulan Underworlds suddenly join forces and become allies?
However, he knew better than to talk about these things right now. It had been a long time since he’d felt such despair, and he knew that the top priority at this moment was to ensure his own survival, “Listen…”
“Things aren’t what they appear to be. I’m just an energy consultant and technical director for the Russian Underworld, and I’ve got no idea what you’re talking about. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Forbidden Arts? Sorry, I’m here only for Genghis Khan’s Tomb.”
But as soon as he said that, a voice immediately hissed from behind, “Meaningless tricks.”
“Old ghost, don’t you think that you’re underestimating us a little bit too much?” Black Mamba stretched out his body in front of Aristotle and gazed straight into his eyes, “Do you really think that so long as the Resentment Crystals can be transported right back into the Russian Underworld, then everything here can be resolved by payments and compensation?”
“Trying to buy time?” Black Mamba’s colossal body retreated back into the shadows of the roiling darkness around. Likewise, the figures of a dozen other Mythic Spirits promptly vanished into the shadows, and their cackling voices echoed through the night sky.
However, Aristotle wasn’t in the least bit relaxed. This moment of silence was a foreboding harbinger of an approaching storm. An intense feeling of fear that had eluded him for centuries on end suddenly surged to the forefront of his mind. It was the fear of being placed on the chopping block. It was a primal and instinctual sense of fear.
Unfortunately, he could only watch on placidly as the darkness continued to stir around him.
“What are you trying to do?” He tried his best to respond with calmness and placidity in his voice. However, his voice still wavered slightly, “This is one of the earliest codices of ancient Argos, one of the original codices of the Law of Twelve Tables. You’re… playing with flames over here. You’re going to provoke the majesty of Lord Thanatos if you keep this up…”
There was only the sound of fine scales rustling around him, almost as though giant beasts were prowling around in the darkness.
“Are you really bent on confronting the Argosian Underworld just because of some trumped up evidence?!”
His voice finally cracked. Just then, a multitude of different-coloured netherflames burst out at the same time, striking the Codex of the Law in front of Aristotle!
A brilliant burst of light dazzled the surroundings, accompanied only by the sounds of Aristotle’s miserable wails. The ground cracked layer by layer, before crumbling at the heart of the explosion like a massive sinkhole. Yin energy swept in every direction, while the cracks on the ground continued to run outwards like an expanding network of spiderwebs.
This concerted attack wasn’t in the least bit inferior to the last one. Even the clouds of Yin energy in the sky began to swirl about madly. Then, moments later, an intense silver beam of light blasted straight into the sky, dazzling the heavens and the earth alike.
In that instant, Khuree shone brighter than any other land in the world.
Qin Ye made a defensive posture at once, shielding his eyes from the dazzling light in the distance. He could sense their anger and rage from afar, and it was burning so brightly that he couldn’t even afford to drop his hands for minutes on end.
It wasn’t until five full minutes later that Qin Ye finally dropped his guard and gazed deep into the distance. There, in the pitch-black void of the night sky, he saw Aristotle swaying softly in the air. Yin energy was pouring out profusely from his body. Three seconds later, with one final sway, he fell back and landed onto the ground with a resounding thud.
“Dead?” Qin Ye cried out in horror, “Aren’t these brothers of mine a little bit too cranky at that? I… Damn it, I was just giving them a channel to vent their anger, but we’ve still got to resolve things properly! Bloody hell… Did they actually kill him?!”
That won’t do!
Aristotle is one of the most renowned Yin spirits of the netherworld, and also a patriarch of the Argosian Underworld at that. His death would spurn the wrath of the entire netherworld!
“He’s not dead.” The Harken spoke softly, “I’ve always known that there was something missing in these Alkebulan Mythic Spirits. A Yama-King can only be killed by one who is equal in power. Unfortunately, they don’t possess the ability to do that just yet. That said…”
Qin Ye glanced back, only to notice some scattered remnants of the golden light in the distance slowly coalescing into the form of a book. The surface of the book glowed one final time with a bright light, before transforming into a bronze plate that fell straight to the ground, devoid of any brilliance that it once used to have.
“That said, this Yin artifact that has existed for well over a thousand years has been almost completely ruined.”
The Law of Twelve Tables, established in 449 AD, more than 1,500 years ago, was inscribed on twelve bronze plates. These are also the oldest recorded codices of law found in Europa, bar none. They can naturally be said to be regarded among the greatest of treasures in any underworld, easily equivalent to Fate’s standing in Hell.
And today, it had been completely and utterly destroyed.
Rustle… The dark body of a serpent slithered out of the darkness and approached the already unconscious Aristotle on the ground. Catherine the Great, who had been shrinking into a corner all this while, finally gritted her teeth and spoke up.
“Everyone.” She took a deep breath and curtseyed respectfully, “We’ve been rude not to receive you properly as guests after your long journey into these lands. That said, could you please set him down for now? As you all know, his identity is a rather sensitive issue - so sensitive that it might just cause the Argosian Underworld to go mad--…”
Unfortunately, a gust of air blasted through the air at this moment, cutting her off mid-sentence. She instinctively put up her hands in front of her chest, but a split second later, her sleeves were instantly torn to shreds, and her entire being was blasted back dozens of meters at once.
It was a tail.
The tail of a ferocious tiger.
“Catherine…” A pair of crimson eyes lit up in the darkness, “You actually have the gall to demand that we release him?”
Whoosh! Before the voice from the darkness could even go on, another terrifying sound of rushing wind erupted from the darkness around, followed closely by the roar of sonic booms. A moment later, Catherine the Great let out a shrill shriek, and the bones of her body immediately extended out of her body, weaving together to form an orb of exoskeleton that shielded her within.
Bang! Another tail struck the orb of bones with an earth-shattering crack, and another voice filled with rage echoed from the darkness, “Technical director? Energy advisor?!”
Crack! Crack, crack, crack!
The Mythic Spirits were clearly turning their anger and rage towards her, pelting her with devastating attacks that caused countless cracks to appear on the orb of bones.
“Are you taking us for fools?!”
“You weren’t even born when some of us Mythic Spirits were called into being!”
“You were the ones who breached the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Forbidden Arts to begin with, and yet you’ve got the gall to ask us to release him?!”
The malevolent storm had finally turned its attention to her, crushing her as she fervently maintained the integrity of the orb of bones to the best of her abilities. She finally understood Aristotle’s earlier despair. The blows that were raining down on her body were completely unadulterated blows that were backed only by the Yama-class Yin energy of the Mythic Spirits. However, it was continuous and relentless. It bore the anger of over a dozen Mythic Spirits that had been suppressed and remained festering for hundreds of years. It was just like when the Danube finally broke its banks! It was an unstoppable tsunami hell bent on bringing devastation to the world!
Boom, boom, boom! It hadn’t been more than a few seconds, but she could already sense that countless cracks were emerging everywhere on this orb of bones of hers.
“These barbarians…” She spoke with great trembling, and even a trace of regret - I shouldn’t have said a word at all! Who cares if he perishes?! Can our relationship with the Argosian Underworld be more important than my own life?!
She dared not imagine what would become of her the moment her orb of bones shattered completely.
Just then, the pelting of blows suddenly stopped.
At once, she prayed for a miracle to happen. It was curious. For centuries, she had relished in being the center of worship, with countless Yin spirits and humans alike praying at the hem of her skirt. She couldn’t even remember the last time she’d even thought to pray to others. And yet, such a thought had surfaced in her mind at that very moment.
A split second later, there was a shockingly loud sound. Someone had suddenly struck the orb of bones, sending it flying high into the sky once more. This was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. The next moment, the skeletons shattered completely and disintegrated in the air, leaving Catherine the Great in a condition no better than Aristotle’s tragic state. In fact, the netherflames in her eyes even appeared to be on the verge of being snuffed out completely.
These monsters… I could probably take on one or two of them on my own, but a dozen at once…
It was clearly beyond the abilities of any average Yama-King to deal with these monsters!
What should I do… What should I do?!
Her body hurtled through the sky like a kite being tossed about by the wind. Then, she incidentally flew right past Qin Ye’s body. At once, her eyes glistened, and she gnashed her teeth, “Marquis Qin… Please follow through with Hell’s promise to us!!”
“Are you out of your mind? On what basis are you making such a request of us?” Qin Ye stared at her in horror, almost as though he’d just seen a ghost, “Did we not follow through with our promise?”
Catherine the Great was completely incensed. In fact, she was so mad that she could even feel blood in her breath. Even then, she bit down fervently on her lips and gnashed her teeth, “So long as you help us get the Resentment Crystals back to the Russian Underworld, we’re willing to give you anything, no matter the price!”
Qin Ye smiled gently and flicked his sleeves coldly before quipping with indifference, “Oh? I don’t recall that being part of the agreement.”
“Don’t you have any shame?!” Catherine the Great shrieked at the top of her voice.
However, Qin Ye simply stroked the dog in his hands and responded placidly, “Who gave you the idea that we were even concerned about our reputation?”
“Fine... Fine!” Catherine the Great drifted further and further away, “We’ll remember this…”
“I’d never expected Hell, who prides itself in its fame and reputation, to have stooped so low to seek help from the Coalition of Alkebulan Underworlds…”
“On account for all the nonsense you’re spouting, let me give you another warning.” Qin Ye was completely unaffected by her meagre provocations. After all, he had all the trump cards he needed in his hand right now, and there was no way he would come out short in these exchanges.
He smiled faintly, “Do you know why they’ve seized Aristotle?”
Without missing a beat, Qin Ye continued, “Peter the Great is currently located in Terelj National Park, isn’t he? If the Mythic Spirits proposed to trade the Resentment Crystals the Russian Underworld has harvested for Aristotle’s freedom, do you think Peter the Great would agree to that trade? Do you think that the Tsar would agree to something like that?”
Catherine the Great’s jaws dropped in that instant, and she nearly blacked out.
This was a devastating blow that would completely dissolve the shallow foundation of cooperation between the Russian Underworld and the Argosian Underworld!
Qin Ye glared coldly at her, “But I can.”
“You… are ruthless…” She gasped in horror, before transforming into a stream of nethergale that swept straight towards the Terelj National Park at once.
This act was finally drawing to its climax, and the setting could only be at the location of the Resentment Crystals Mine!
This situation can still be salvaged!
So long as we can get the Resentment Crystals across the Russian borders, then at least… our sacrifices and losses wouldn’t have been in vain!Previous Chapter Next Chapter