On the fourth morning, Wang Chenghao approached Qin Ye with a list. "Lord Qin, this is the list I've compiled."
Qin Ye didn't even bother to look at the list as he turned to Wang Chenghao and said, "Why did it take you four whole days just to come up with a list of representatives? This is your area of expertise, go ahead and tell me about everyone, I want to know their skills, their specialties, and their past experience."
Wang Chenghao was maintaining a mature and level-headed facade every single second of every day, and he adjusted his completely prescriptionless glasses as he put on a deep voice and said, "This is the first time that the Cathayan Underworld will be returning to the international stage in a century, and this is only the preliminary list. The final list will be decided in 15 days, which will be seven days before the date of departure that you stipulated. Selecting these people is a very time-consuming process and..."
Qin Ye had decided to take the second King Yanluo's advice and go to the conference a week early.
After all, the Cathayan Underworld really had been absent from the international stage. Even though that absence had nothing to do with him, he was the current ruler of Hell, so he had to take responsibility.
Before Wang Chenghao had a chance finish, he suddenly saw Qin Ye gesturing to him out of the corner of his eyes, and he turned toward Qin Ye with a puzzled expression, only for Qin Ye to suddenly grab onto his chin before rubbing his hand into Wang Chenghao's face several times with a pleased expression.
Wang Chenghao: !!!
Has he finally succumbed to my beauty and is about to make a move on me? Should I agree or should I agree?
With these thoughts running rampant with his mind, his expression began to twist. Qin Ye was very pleased with the feeling of Wang Chenghao's face in his hand, and he said, "You're becoming more and more boring by the day. How about this? I'll give you special permission to act crazy when there's no one else around, what do you think?"
I think that's a terrible idea! You're just saying this because you're too lonely as King Yanluo and want someone to fool around with!
Unfortunately for Wang Chenghao, he was unable to speak as his face was still trapped between Qin Ye's hand.
"Why aren't you saying anything?" Qin Ye rubbed his face with a displeased expression. "Shouldn't you be giving a response right now?"
Wang Chenghao thought about it for a moment before uttering a single syllable. "Hm?"
Qin Ye was momentarily overcome by the urge to punch Wang Chengao into oblivion, but in the end, he merely released him and sighed, "Forget it, I understand that you're forced to repress your true nature when you're with me. Seeing as I'm also having to constantly keep up a facade, you can do the same as well. You may begin."
Wang Chenghao rubbed his own chin with an indignant expression before clearing his throat as he said in a serious voice, "Qian Duolai, leader of the squad of bodyguards, director of the seventh intelligence division, extremely adept in reconnaissance and anti-reconnaissance. His weakness is that he doesn't have a very thorough understanding of the way international conferences in the underworld are run. However, he was nominated by Mr. Qin Changxin. He thinks that everyone needs time to develop this understanding. After all, only a handful of people in the entire Cathayan Underworld currently have a decent grasp of the state of the international underworlds."
Qin Ye nodded in response. In reality, the best candidate was Arthis, but she had to stay behind to oversee matters at the six paths of reincarnation.
It was definitely not good news that Qian Duolai hadn't taken part in any international underworld conferences. The difference between the underworld and the mortal realm lied in Yin energy. In the mortal realm, protective measures could be adopted such as arming bodyguards with firearms and transporting important individuals in armored vehicles. However, Yin energy was much more secretive and difficult to deal with, especially due to the lack of education in this area in the Cathayan Underworld.
However, he was willing to give Qian Duolai this opportunity as Zhao Yun was going to be coming as well.
Wang Chenghao raised his head and continued, "This squad of bodyguards is split up into two parts. You will be under the personal protection of Mr. Qin Xinzhong, while Mr. Qian will travel to the Nipponese Underworld a week before you."
"Why is that?"
Wang Chenghao explained, "This is something that Mr. Qian proposed based on his experience in attending major conferences in the mortal realm. Generally speaking, another country will request a visit from us, and once all the required procedures are completed, we'll give them a response. Once an agreement is reached, it can't be altered. After that, the squad of bodyguards will arrive ahead of the actual panel of envoys. They'll assess whether there are hazards present in the location dictated by the other party. On top of that, they have to thoroughly check the room that you'll be living in, checking for surveillance devices, visual blind spots, and other potential hazards. The job of a bodyguard isn't just to act as a meat shield. After all of these checks are completed and nothing is determined to be amiss, the location will be settled. If the squad of bodyguards feels that there's an issue, then the location will have to be reconsidered."
"I see..." Qin Ye nodded with a contemplative expression. This was his first time participating in a major international conference, and none of these things had occurred to him. "Is this what Mr. Qian told you?"
Qin Ye nodded again before gesturing for Wang Chenghao to continue.
Wang Chenghao took a glance at the document in his hands before continuing, "The squad of bodyguards will consist of 15 people. There was supposed to be a medical team as well, but Yin spirits don't get sick, so there's no need for that addition. The negotiation team will consist of yourself, Mr. Qin Changxin, and Ghost King Zhao. Mr. Qin Changxin will be the first speaker, and he'll be finalizing some contracts and treaties on your behalf or negotiating with some unimportant underworlds, such as the Nipponese Underworld, the Incan Underworld, and the Australis Underworld."
Qin Ye raised a hand to stop Wang Chenghao here. He only had 23 days to learn, so he had to ask all of the questions that sprang into his mind. "What are the rules?"
"What do you mean?"
Qin Ye explained, "Currently, the Cathayan Underworld is still one of the four pillars, and not every underworld has the right to request an audience with me. Of course, Qin Changxin will deal with the representative from the insignificant underworlds, but there should be some rules to dictate who I have to see and who I can delegate to Qin Changxin."
An enlightened look appeared on Wang Chenghao's face, and he replied, "There are indeed rules involved in this. I was going to tell you about them later, but if you'd like to hear them now, that's not an issue, either. A ruler of one of the four pillars, or at least their deputy, will generally have to meet with the secretaries of the state of the other four pillars. According to the information we've gathered in the past, all other underworlds aside from the Cathayan Underworld and the Hindustani Underworld have deputy death gods, an example of which is Hypnos of the Argosian Underworld. He is the God of Sleep, and he is the twin of the God of Death, Thanatos, thereby granting him a part of the death god's power. After all, there's a fine line between death and slumber. There's also deputy death god Osiris of the Aegyptian Underworld. It's said that Osiris is a giant dragon that brings death wherever it goes. Put it this way: there's no convention for setting deputy death gods in the east, but this is a common arrangement in the west, including even in the smaller western underworlds. Deputy death gods are below the rank of secretaries of state, so you don't have to meet them in person. That's basically all there is to it. Those who wish to request an audience with you will definitely notify you of which underworld they belong to and what status they hold, as well as who they're representing. Of course, these are all unofficial and unspoken rules. As for exactly who you choose to meet or ignore, that will ultimately be up to your discretion."
Qin Ye smiled as he watched Wang Chenghao in silence, and Wang Chenghao was getting goosebumps from the scrutiny.
Has my dazzling looks caught the eye of Yanluo Qin? Should I go and get some cosmetic surgery done? I don't feel safe like this...
Qin Ye leaned back against his chair in a relaxed manner as he smiled and said, "You know, you don't have to pretend to be so serious and uptight all the time, I really like it when you adopt a more casual and easy-going demeanor. I think we got along really well back in Clear Creek County, and..."
"Hold on!" Wang Chenghao stroked his own arms to try and settle the goosebumps that had been raised all over his skin.
This is clearly the precursor to a confession! What should I do?
He inspected Qin Ye with a skeptical expression and cleared his throat before asking, "What's been going on with you recently? Are you going through menopause?"
Qin Ye glared at him before replying, "I saw Arthis not long ago, and during that meeting, I was suddenly struck by the feeling that all of you are living in a very tiresome fashion, having to hide your true selves all the time, so I want you all to relax a little."
"There's no need for that," Wang Chenghao replied with a roll of his eyes. "I'm only doing what's expected of me after you saved my life. Also..."
He paused momentarily as a serious look appeared in his eyes. "Only after dying once did I come to understand how I should live my life. I've thought about this carefully, and I realized that I was far too arrogant in the past. Sure, my family was quite well-off, but they certainly didn't have enough money to change the world, and I was taking myself far too seriously."
Qin Ye nodded in response. "Indeed you were. You even donated everything to the Red Cross Foundation. Then you went and died in my arms..."
You still remember that?!
Wang Chenghao was caught off guard by this sudden trip down memory lane, and he couldn't help but crack a smile, but he then immediately reverted back to a serious expression as he said, "To be honest, you've previously given me the option of abandoning my current role to become an Emissary of Hell in the mortal realm or to become a city lord or something like that. However..."
He looked straight into Qin Ye's eyes as he continued, "If I really wanted that kind of life for myself, would I not have already spoken to you about it? Am I the type of person who would be too shy to approach you about something like that?"
Qin Ye nodded in response. "Indeed, in terms of shamelessness, you're only slightly lacking compared to me."
... Should I be praising you for your self-awareness or your ability to insult others without uttering a single swear word? Why does it feel like you're insulting me even though you're actually insulting yourself?
Wang Chenghao took a deep breath before continuing, "Honestly, I think my current life is very interesting. During my time in the mortal realm, I would always see this leader or that minister of defense traveling all over the world on television, and I felt like that was super cool. Now that I'm in the same position, I really would be squandering this opportunity if I don't make the most of it. Seeing as I've made this decision, then I have to act according to my position. As King Yanluo's secretary, I have to act the part. I even got this pair of glasses so that I could appear more mature. What do you think?"
Qin Ye was rather taken aback to hear this. He didn't think that this would be Wang Chenghao's mindset.
However, he wasn't going to try and persuade him or to alter his wishes, even though he didn't want Wang Chenghao to be so serious and uptight all the time. Everyone had their own life philosophies, this was his choice, and it was his right. Even as King Yanluo, it wasn't in Qin Ye's place to criticize him or to deprive the basic human right of choice from him under the guise of thinking for his sake.
"You've done very well." Qin Ye nodded with a smile. "You've also performed brilliantly in your role as secretary. Continue. This is the first international affair that you've had to take care of, and let me get this straight, you're fired if you stuff this up."
The two of them exchanged a smile, and in that instant, it seemed that they had become slightly closer. Wang Chenghao continued, "Following the three speakers will be the panel of advisors, which is the most important part of the team of representatives. I've consulted with General Zhao, and he told me that the first King Yanluo would always bring with him a panel of roughly 10 advisors. Of course, that number was set to fluctuate depending on the nation that he was visiting and the level of the importance of the conference that he was attending. As for the second King Yanluo, he didn't bring anyone with him. If someone wanted to go with him, then they had to nominate themselves. I'm thinking that in your case... the more advisors, the better."
Qin Ye's heart was immediately filled with indignation upon hearing this.
What's that supposed to mean? Am I that incompetent in your eyes? Do you really want to keep this job?!
However, he couldn't bring himself to voice his indignation as unfortunately, he agreed with Wang Chenghao's assessment.
Of course I have to bring more people with me, what if I don't bring enough and accidentally end up dead?
"In order to assemble this panel of advisors, I had no choice but to request the scholars to temporarily halt their research and development into the Hua Xia Six Origins Diagram."
He closed the document in his hands and continued, "Last but not least, there will be a total of nine clerks, recorders, and auditors. Due to the fact that we have three speakers, there might be three meetings running concurrently alongside one another. There must be three clerks and recorders in attendance at each meeting. If there are only two and the records do not match, then there will be no way to determine which records are correct, and that's where the auditors come in. As for the clerks, they will be responsible for writing and submitting reports. Sometimes, there will be spontaneous meetings held in order to discuss a certain topic, and clerks must be present at all meetings of this category. This concludes the list of representatives for this conference. The squad of bodyguards is led by Qian Duolai and consists of 15 people. In addition to that, there will be three each of speakers, clerks, recorders, auditors, secretaries, and assistants. In addition, there will be a panel of five advisors and five backup speakers, as well as 43 Emissaries of Hell. Please take a look."
Qin Ye nodded in response before accepting the documents and carefully reading through them. 10 minutes later, he raised his head and said in a serious voice, "You've done very well. Looks like you really are very suited to this position, I can tell that you've really done your homework in preparing these documents. Inform all of the people on this list to attend etiquette training starting from tomorrow morning. We are the representatives of the Cathayan Underworld, and we have to live up to our prestige!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter