Qin Ye opened it up, and then immediately shut it again.
“I’ve got it.” He took a deep breath, and then turned back to the ancestral priest with a smile, “Please inform Lord Mythic Spirit that I’ll definitely be there when the time comes.”
With that he finally took his leave. And as he did, his expression grew grim and somber, and yet, it also appeared to be laced with a hint of excitement.
I was right! He’s definitely moved by my words! His response earlier was definitely borne out of caution more than anything. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have invited me back for a feast in four days’ time.
Truth be told, Qin Ye had initially thought that he was going to be given the cold shoulder once more. At the very least, he didn’t expect to receive a response as early as in four days’ time. Thus, he couldn’t help but draw his mind back to the arduous negotiations that had just occurred and ask himself - Why?
What was the catalyst that brought them over to my side? What made them change their mind?
Their blood feud?
Hell’s might and reputation?
Or perhaps it was a confluence of all of these factors. Regardless of what it was, Qin Ye didn’t feel assured in the slightest. So long as he didn’t get an affirmative response from the Black Mamba Underworld, he would never be able to rest assured.
Moreover, Black Mamba wasn’t quite acting in accordance with the conventions expected of a Mythic Spirit of an Alkebulan Underworld.
“What exactly is he trying to do?”
Meanwhile, back in the grand hall. Babulu frowned, “My Lord? Why did you let him go? There are still far too many things that he hasn’t explained in detail. We can’t afford to be sloppy in these matters.”
Ancestral Shaman Cain nodded after him, “That’s right. This is no trivial matter. Fate’s appearance tells us that Prefect Qin cannot possibly be messing around anymore. Coupled with the Russian Underworld’s recent spate of unusually kind gestures… I’m afraid we might have no choice but to believe in the veracity of what Prefect Qin has said.”
But Black Mamba didn’t respond immediately. Instead, he mulled over his thoughts for several moments, before finally quipping back, “That’s naturally the case…”
“After all, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the destiny of the world. How could we possibly afford to take things lightly?”
Then, without elaborating any further, he stood up at once, “I’ll handle the rest. You may wash your hands off this matter from now on.”
“My Lord?” “But--...”
Just then, a powerful wave of Yama-class Yin energy erupted from Black Mamba’s body, and he glanced around the hall icily. At once, there was an abrupt silence.
Ten seconds later, Black Mamba added coldly, “You’re far too young and inexperienced, and these are matters that are way out of your league. Don’t get involved any further, understand?”
With that, Black Mamba snorted coldly and waved his hand softly, and everyone in the grand hall were forcibly expelled from his grand hall at once, leaving him all alone to his thoughts. Black Mamba sat alone at the stone table, tapping his fingers gently against the surface of the table. After a long time, he smiled curiously.
“Interesting… Truly interesting…”
“Did none of you hear the prelude to change in the global landscape?”
Four days passed in the blink of an eye.
During this time, Qin Ye tried his best to rest and recuperate, but the tension in his mind simply wouldn’t allow it.
Black Mamba’s enigmatic response felt no different from the existence of a Sword of Damocles hanging right over his head. Furthermore, he couldn’t help but feel juvenile compared to the Mythic Spirit that had dealt with such a level of politics for over a thousand years. Naturally, he couldn’t help but wonder if Black Mamba had already managed to get a firm grasp over his identity.
And the fact that Hell was essentially begging for their help.
The Black Mamba Underworld effectively had the power to call the shots, while Hell, the party making the request, had no choice but to wait patiently in deference to its only source of help.
Therefore, Qin Ye couldn’t help but think of the various possibilities and countermeasures for the same during this time. It was currently already 5.00 p.m. of the fourth day, and one of the Emissaries of the Black Mamba Underworld would probably be coming to escort him to the banquet at 6.00 p.m. Even then, he couldn’t stop his mind from considering the endless possibilities of what might lay ahead.
This was the best that he could do.
He would finally be given the Black Mamba Underworld’s answer today. He’d done everything within his power to convince them, and everything else…
Was entirely up to destiny.
It was strange. He’d felt absolutely high strung over the last few days, and yet, when crunch time finally came, he felt strangely calm instead.
Knock, knock. Just then, there were knocks on his door. He glanced at his phone.
He took several deep breaths to regulate his mind, and then finally pushed open the door.
As soon as he did, he felt himself being sucked right out through the door, and he was immediately dragged into a world of darkness adorned with brilliant pastures of light as though the auroras of the night sky. And then, moments later, when the darkness faded away, he found himself standing right in front of a house.
It was a relatively small house of approximately 50 square meters.
There were green curtains hanging around the sides of the house, all of which were embroidered with patterns symbolizing a Black Mamba. White skeletal candles hung on the wall, lit with softly pulsating netherflames, while a series of majestic Yin beast skull trophies hung between the wall candles. That said, the main focal point of the room was clearly the simple square table placed right in the center of the room that was covered with a scarlet tablecloth. One chair was positioned on either side of the table.
Fresh spider lilies were placed in a pristine vase on the table. Apart from that, the rest of the house sported nothing more than ordinary furnishings. The only other extraordinary thing about this place was the person seated on one of the seats across the table - Black Mamba himself.
As soon as Qin Ye appeared, Black Mamba raised his wine glass slightly and swirled its contents about with a placid smile, “I hope you haven’t been too anxious these last few days.”
“Not at all.” Qin Ye sat down across the table with a similar smile. There was already a glass of wine set right in front of him, from which he could detect wafts of intoxicating fragrance.
This is a private meeting… I can only imagine that he must have already made up his mind… Suppressing every measure of presumptuous thought in his mind, Qin Ye slowly lifted the glass of wine. Incidentally, it was only when he lifted the cold glass of wine that he realized how scalding hot his hands actually were.
His mind was spinning as rapidly as his blood was toiling. The last few weeks of preparatory work, and a month or so of lobbying had finally culminated in this very moment.
The silence in the room was like the slow waters of a grand river that concealed stirring undercurrents. He could tell that beneath the calm facade of this meeting hid the final tests of the Black Mamba Underworld, as well as their final decision.
Clink… They clinked glasses, and Qin Ye finished the contents of his glass in a gulp. However, Black Mamba didn’t take even a sip from his glass. Instead, he simply looked at Qin Ye, licking his lips with a wry smile. And then, he suddenly smiled, “It is sometimes prudent to have fewer people know the truth of the matter.”
“Before I give you my response, I’ve got one final question to ask of you.” Black Mamba set down his wine glass and crossed his fingers in front of him as he gazed deep into Qin Ye’s eyes, as though he were peering deep into his soul.
“I don’t care if you’re from the Zhu Clan or not. But… are you certain that you’ll be able to guarantee safe passage across the seas?”
Qin Ye nodded, “I’m absolutely certain.”
“Is that so…” Black Mamba leaned back onto his seat, and then glanced down at the table. Three seconds later, he continued, “The situation in Hell appears to be far worse than I’d imagined… Kekeke… No wonder you guys had no choice but to turn to this place…”
“Might you have misunderstood something?” Qin Ye likewise set down his glass and gazed deep into Black Mamba’s eyes, “There’s a difference between a complicated situation and a bad situation, Lord Mythic Spirit.”
Black Mamba laughed heartily. The more he laughed, the heartier his laughter grew, until he exploded into an uproarious laughter.
“Prefect Qin…” After several seconds, his eyes abruptly narrowed, and he gave Qin Ye an incisive look, “There’s no need to put up with the farce any longer, alright?”
“The Maldives Islands are territories that are under the jurisdiction of the Aegyptian Underworld and the Hindustani Underworld? How can you possibly send your ships across those territorial waters? Not only that, the seas there are infested with foreign ghost ships. How can you possibly sail there and grant us safe passage with the current restrictions in Hell?”
“I’ve asked you twice, and your answer was both that it could be done. Doesn’t that mean that… you must have countless guards on board these vessels of yours? You’d earlier mentioned that you can send three ships out on a voyage to guarantee us safe passage. How many Yin spirits are required to operate these ships? A hundred per ship? In other words… doesn’t this mean that you’re similarly at liberty to send out several Yama-Kings, dozens of Abyssal Prefects, and hundreds of Infernal Judges? Wouldn’t that quell all potential uprising on the part of the Russian Underworld? Would they even dare to covet the Resentment Crystals at the sight of such power?!”
Like a bolt out of the blue, Black Mamba’s words crashed straight through his mind, revealing the massive loophole in his assertions.
How were they supposed to send ships to escort the Alkebulan Underworlds while the restrictions of the Array of the Nine Gods remained in place?
Not even dozens of ships would suffice to grant the Alkebulan Underworlds safe passage through the territorial waters of two of the P4 underworlds. And that is not to mention the presence of other pirate ships that were ready to rob and pillage. How could they possibly cross the Hindustani Ocean with only three ships?
And if Hell was in fact able to send out more Yin spirit to guarantee safe passage, then why couldn’t they simply send troops to deal with the Russian Underworld on its own?!
Qin Ye’s heart immediately thumped wildly once more, and cold sweat began to bead up on the nape of his neck.
The Black Mamba was finally baring his fangs - his cold, vicious and incisive fangs.
What do I do?
Qin Ye sipped the wine in front of him. His thoughts had been thrown into chaos, but he managed to recompose himself quickly.
You cannot seize up… You absolutely cannot afford to seize up right now! There has to be a reason why he’s invited me to this place, and it probably has to do with the logical loophole that he’s just raised to me! This loophole was intended to frazzle me! I cannot allow him to seize the initiative in these negotiations!
“An astute observation.” Seconds later, Qin Ye set down his wine glass slowly and smiled.
That said, he couldn’t help but clench his fist tightly under the table.
I can’t give up so easily after having invested so much!
I’ve got to hang in there!
“But regardless of the situation in Hell might be, it doesn’t change the fact that we’re still one of the P4 underworlds.” He gently tapped his glass on the table, only to have it emit a crisp, clear sound. He did everything he could to delay for time so that he could contemplate the best course of action moving forward, “I’m afraid you might have addressed your mind to the wrong point of focus here.”
Everything that Qin Ye had previously built his case upon was crumbling to bits, and he had no choice but to improvise in the current circumstances.
“Quite the contrary. In fact, I think I’ve hit the nail right on the head.” Black Mamba chuckled softly as he added, “So… I agree.”
He’s actually agreed?
Qin Ye’s gaze flickered wildly, and he couldn’t help but look up in shock. Even then, he remained absolutely vigilant, and he knew better than to rejoice and celebrate prematurely.
“Let’s not beat about the bush any longer. What do you want in return?” Qin Ye couldn’t help but wonder if Black Mamba had already managed to guess the truth about Hell. Unfortunately, in his astonishment, he failed to respond appropriately to Black Mamba’s surprising decision, and the moment to respond had already passed completely. Therefore, he had no choice but to lean back in his chair and move on to the next topic for discussion, “It might not be convenient for Hell to address this matter on its own right now, but rest assured, we would never forget our Alkebulan allies who have acted kindly to us.”
No matter what, he was bent on maintaining the farce to the very end.
“That’s a good attitude.” Black Mamba chuckled, and then immediately gathered his smile and spoke hoarsely, “Armaments.”
“Armaments forged from the carapace of blight vermin! I know you’ve sold a batch of that to Liu Yu. The Black Mamba Underworld is equally in need of such armaments! These are rare products that are hard to come by. One million sets of the armor, and I’ll accede to these requests of yours.”
“And that’s the first condition. The second condition is that Hell must enter into a strategic partnership with the Black Mamba Underworld. Promise me these things, and I’ll convene a meeting with all of the Mythic Spirits of Alkebulan as you so desire!”
He waved his hand in the air, and a stack of documents appeared on the table. Then, he slowly rested his hand on the documents, “These documents are perfect. Had you not made that mistake of yours before, you might even have convinced me. I know you need our help.”
“Prefect Qin, time isn’t on your side. Give me the nod, and I’ll immediately send word to the Coalition of Alkebulan Underworlds. Otherwise…” He gazed deeply into Qin Ye’s eyes, “Like I said before, once bitten, twice shy. The Black Mamba Underworld is reluctant to overstep its boundaries and unduly interfere with the matters of the P4 underworlds!”
Qin Ye’s mind churned wildly - Why is he doing this? What exactly is their purpose and interest?
A million sets of blight vermin armor is impossible. A strategic partnership is even less possible! The Alkebulan Continent is a land of chaos and war. Entering such a partnership would be no different from plunging straight into the mire.
But how should I reject these offers of theirs?
And… how can I get them to agree to help us even after rejecting these requests?
Just… what is it that they need?!Previous Chapter Next Chapter