Chapter 771: The Eight Forsaken Lands

The next day in Everburn City.

After three years of painstaking work performed by the 100,000-strong construction team of Everburn, the city had been transformed into the most well-constructed city in the entire nation. Among all of the buildings in the city, the state affairs building was the most intricately constructed one with ornately carved pillars and walls, perfectly capturing the antiquated aesthetic that the nation was pursuing.

The building was extremely magnificent to behold, standing at a height of around 30 meters and taking up an area of over ten thousand square meters. The tiered conference halls and departments took up half of the entire building, and it was truly a lavish masterpiece of construction.

In the premium conference hall.

This conference hall wasn't very large, but it was definitely the most luxurious of all of the conference halls in the building. The Harken and Zhao Yun had been seated in the hall since this morning, and they occasionally looked up to glance at a shady figure roaming near the entrance.

The figure set one foot into the room, then withdrew it, then stepped forward again... It was like he was repeatedly stepping back and forth over an imaginary line that symbolized the limit of the Harken's patience, and finally, the Harken snapped as it slammed a paw violently down onto the desk. "Are you coming in or not?! Do I have to invite you in myself?!"

"I'm not going in yet. I'm just stalling for time..." Qin Ye replied as he stuck his head out from behind the door. "Just be patient, I'm still thinking of an excuse not to go in. Let me think for a bit longer, I'm about to think of something soon..."

Before he had a chance to finish, he was dragged into the room against his own will. The Harken's canine face appeared right before him, and it bared its sharp fangs as it pressed a paw straight onto his nose. "Have you thought of something now?"

"... I have..."

The Harken rolled its eyes at him before returning to its seat, then said in a cold voice, "As King Yanluo, you have indeed made significant contributions to Hell, but you've only been the Yanluo for a very short time. You still don't know anywhere near enough about the world of underworlds, and you still haven't adopted the right mindset, either. General Zhao is right: you need more training! You should travel across the land and see everything for yourself. You should understand the differences between Yin spirits of each region and learn their habits and traditions; only then will you be fit to serve as the King Yanluo of Hell. In the past, all emissaries of Hell had to follow a certain progression, even Infernal Judges and Anitya Hellguards. They had to go from a county or a village to a city, then to a province, and during that time, they would slowly gain experience in their roles. In contrast, you've reached your position in just six short years. You may have risen to dizzying heights, but that doesn't mean that you can see very far."

The Harken lapped at the tea in its cup as it declared, "This is a very good opportunity, and I'm glad we've all come to this amicable agreement."

Amicable agreement my arse! 

Qin Ye repressed the urge to swear out loud as he countered, "But I'm the King Yanluo! Do I have to do everything myself? Why do I have you two if I have to attend to every insignificant matter in person?"

Zhao Yun finally spoke for the first time. "Six heinous souls are required for the six paths of reincarnation. You currently have the souls of Susa Boy and Dong Zhuo, which means you're still missing four. It would clearly be unrealistic to expect you to track them down one by one on your own, so the Harken and I will also set off to other forsaken lands on our own search."

I see, that makes me feel a little better. Qin Ye heaved a faint sigh of relief as he raised his chin slightly in a haughty manner. "You may continue, Dear Subordinate Harken."

The Harken forcibly repressed the urge to murder him as it looked up toward the ceiling. Only after taking several deep breaths in succession was it able to just barely muster up a smile. "I'm sure General Zhao has already given you an introduction of how the forsaken lands work. What I'm about to tell you now is just how dangerous these forsaken lands are. Cathay has a total of eight forsaken lands, including Wazhai of the Miao Autonomous Prefecture, the earthen buildings of the Fujian province's Jianhui City, the inner palace of the Forbidden City, and the peaks of the Twin Tower Mountains of the Chengde Mountain Resort in the Hubei province... You don't need to know about any of the other ones as these four are the least perilous of the eight forsaken lands."

That's kind of a thoughtful gesture, I guess... 

"How did you assess the levels of danger across the eight forsaken lands?" Qin Ye asked.

"We looked at the Yin spirits living around the area," Zhao Yun replied, "The Yin spirits within the forsaken lands can't come out on their own, but outsiders can go in. Supernatural events won't happen around forsaken lands that aren't very perilous. The more dangerous a forsaken land is, the greater the effect it'll have on the people living around it. Over time, those areas will gain reputations as impure places..."

He paused here momentarily before continuing in a serious voice, "This type of impurity isn't just an old wives' tale, it's something serious that really will result in deaths. We made our assessments after the forsaken lands were discovered. From the supernatural files of the mortal realm, we discovered that these four areas are the least dangerous, as evidenced by the fact that the people living around them are virtually completely unaffected."

The Harken took over from here. "Yesterday, General Zhao told you about the ironclad rules of the forbidden lands. However, technically, there's another unofficial rule, which is that it's not so easy for outsiders who enter the forbidden lands to attract the attention of the local Yin spirits unless the outsiders go out of their way to draw attention to themselves. However, if and once you do get noticed, you'll be as eye-catching as a star in the night."

Qin Ye nodded with a contemplative expression upon hearing this, and several seconds later, he asked, "Alright, so which one is the least perilous out of those four?"

The Harken harrumphed in response, "That'll be the earthen buildings of the Fujian province's Jianhui City."

Zhao Yun hesitated momentarily before asking, "My Lord, are you sure you're not interested in challenging yourself? This is a rare opportunity that might not come around again..."

Qin Ye turned to Zhao Yun with an appalled expression. Hell no! If I decide to challenge myself, Cathay will be without a King Yanluo soon!

"Alright, then let's just leave it at that." The Harken could tell exactly what Qin Ye was thinking, and it said, "Go and make some preparations, then set off for Fujian. After you leave, we'll also set off right away."

Thus, Qin Ye departed.

Zhao Yun and the Harken remained in the conference hall, and only after a long while did Zhao Yun break the silence. "Why did you give him a list of the four most perilous forsaken lands?"

"I know him far too well!" the Harken replied with a smug expression. "I'm telling you, we can't give him any opportunity to slack off or grow complacent! You and I have to constantly force him into more and more challenging situations, only then will he continue to improve, do you understand?"

Zhao Yun was silent for about 10 seconds before heaving a long sigh. "You've changed..."

The Harken: "????!!!!"

…………………………………………………..

At 6 PM the following night, Qin Ye was wearing a t-shirt as he stood at the airport with the night breeze blowing through his hair. He turned back to look at the Fuzhou Changle International Airport behind him, and he couldn't help but heave a forlorn sigh.

In the end, he had still been forced to come here by his two handlers despite his objections...

Furthermore, there was no one to greet him at the airport, nor any luxury cars to take him to his destination. He was like a clueless kid as he stood at the exit of the airport, and he had no idea where he was even supposed to go.

He cast a sorrowful gaze toward a caravan that was parked nearby. He didn't know what brand it was, but just from looking at it, he knew it would be extremely well furnished inside. The person who could enjoy the pleasure of riding in such a luxurious vehicle had to either be a celebrity or a rich and beautiful woman, there was no way that it would be a rich and handsome man. After all, he was the epitome of the rich, handsome, and male demographic, but even he didn't... Hold on!

It really was a rich and beautiful woman...

This rich and beautiful woman was being accompanied by several bodyguards. She was wearing an extremely fashionable white veil dress and a pair of bright red high heel shoes. At a rough visual estimate, she appeared to be around 170 centimeters tall. Her brows were slightly furrowed, and she was speaking with someone beside her as she walked. Even before she had made it to the caravan, the door had already been opened for her.

Are my eyes playing tricks on me? 

Qin Ye rubbed his own eyes vigorously before staring at the woman for another two seconds, and upon confirming he had the right person, he whistled at her in a promiscuous manner before casually making his way over to her. As soon as he began to approach her, the bodyguards accompanying her immediately noticed him, and several of them had already stuck their hands into their pockets, presumably to reach for weapons. The woman slid her sunglasses down the bridge of her nose slightly as she stared at him in an astonished manner, looking as if she had seen a ghost. Only after a few seconds of stunned silence did she blurt out the question: "You're still alive?"

Is that any way to start a conversation? The elation in Qin Ye's heart immediately got stuck in his throat as he stared at Lee Jung-sook with a speechless expression.

Lee Jung-sook waved off the bodyguards around her before making her way over to Qin Ye in an elegant manner, then gently pinched his chin between her fingers.

What the fuck?! How bold of her! Is, is she going to confess to me in public? Should I accept or play hard to get? If she really is going to confess to me like this, I suppose I can consider accepting her feelings. If I do accept her confession, what should we name our future child? What primary should they go to? What about high school? I wonder if they'll get good enough marks to be accepted by the likes of Beijing or Tsinghua University... 

Lee Jung-sook was naturally unaware of the fantasies being conjured up by his love-addled brain, and her thumb skimmed over his lips as he turned his head from side to side in a careful examination. She then nodded and instructed, "Shoot him down."

Qin Ye: "!!!"

This isn't how things are supposed to go! Isn't this a romance story? Why has it suddenly become a horror-thriller?! 

In the next instant, all of the bodyguards sprang into action, but they then immediately faltered, and one of them wore a troubled expression as he said in Daeian, "Young Mistress, we're currently in Cathay..."

Lee Jung-sook raised an eyebrow upon hearing this, and a hint of a smile appeared on her face as she said, "That's true... However, it's very difficult to tell whether he's the real deal if we don't kill him. After all, he hadn't contacted me even once in the past three years. I've almost forgotten what he looks like."

Qin Ye: "..."

He silently pulled out his phone and checked the message logs to find that the last contact between them had taken place three years ago, consisting of 12 messages...

No wonder I feel like I've been forgetting something during the past few years... 

"Come on in." Lee Jung-sook turned away from Qin Ye and entered the caravan, and Qin Ye immediately followed along. The interior furnishing of the caravan was extremely lavish, and Qin Ye was slightly awestruck as he clicked his tongue in wonder. "How much did this thing cost?"

"Only a few dozen million." The bodyguard closed the door on the caravan, and Lee Jung-sook kicked off her high heels before pouring two glasses of fruit juice and handing one of them to Qin Ye.

"Only a few dozen million...?" Qin Ye's heart was dripping blood, and he took a sip of fruit juice to soothe the pain. "Long time no see. How have you been?"

The interior of the caravan was no different from a luxury suite. In fact, Qin Ye couldn't even tell if the vehicle was moving or not. Furthermore, it was complete with a couch, a bed, a dressing table, a closet, and even a bathroom. Lee Jung-sook was holding her glass of fruit juice as she reclined on the couch like a lazy cat. She folded her long and seductive legs over one another as she placed them onto the footrest before her, then asked with an elegant smile, "So, why did you finally think of me? Do you need me to repay you for last time?"

Qin Ye suddenly felt as if his throat had completely gone dry, and he coughed a few times before replying, "I've been busy recently..."

"I've heard that excuse over 100 times. How about you make up another one?" Lee Jung-sook pressed her glass against her own cheek to cool herself off as she appraised Qin Ye with a hint of a smile on her face.

"... I don't really have anything else. Our meeting was too abrupt, and even now, I'm still reeling a little bit..."

Lee Jung-sook raised an eyebrow as she took a sip of fruit juice, then mused, "I thought we were the same type of person and we've been through life and death together. However, it seems that we're different after all."

Well, this is getting awkward... 

"So why are you here?" Qin Ye asked. The awkwardness was too much to bear and he had to change the subject.

"Considering your status, shouldn't there be a special pathway open to you? How come you're being driven here instead?"

Lee Jung-sook gently shook her glass, listening to the clinking of the ice cubes inside as she smiled and replied, "I just hired a Daeian chauffeur. He's my ex-boyfriend's little brother..."

A stunned look appeared on Qin Ye's face upon hearing this.

Her ex-boyfriend's little brother? That's a really terrifying yet intriguing prospect...

"... You directed an entire porn film in your head just now, didn’t you? What is inside that numb skull of yours?! Is your brain just a pile of shit?!" Lee Jung-sook almost hurled her glass at him, and her chest was heaving violently as she gritted her teeth with rage and chagrin. Only after a long while did she set her glass down again, and she continued in a cold voice, "He wasn't able to organize a special pathway, so I had to employ his services to drive me here."

Qin Ye nodded in response. "Where are you going?"

"Jianhui City," Lee Jung-sook replied in a casual manner, only to be immediately met by Qin Ye's astonished gaze. Her pupils contracted slightly at the sight of his expression, but she put on a calm facade as she asked, "What? Do you know something?"

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