Chapter 892: Erinys

The three pillars had been preparing far too long for this plan, and they were already holding many undeniable trump cards. However, Izanami didn't have the right to activate any of those trump cards.

She only knew about this plan, and that was only because the conference was being held in Nara. She was only acting as the eyes and ears, but the brain still hadn't arrived, so how could she not be in a panic?

"Please don't delay any longer... The Cathayan Underworld has already made its move, what will the other underworlds think if we continue to remain silent? Will they turn back to the Cathayan Underworld? Do you really want to see this powerhouse make a resurgence?"

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"That was plan C1," Qian Duolai said in a respectful voice as he stood in Qin Ye's room. The entire panel of advisors were also in the room, and they were carefully listening to fill in any gaps that arose in Qian Duolai's report.

"At this point, plan C1 has already been initiated, the only difference is that we planned to enact it through the Alkebulan Underworlds, launching this bombshell to completely ignite the confidence of the other underworlds. However, we failed to anticipate that the underworlds of the new continent arrived before the Alkebulan Underworlds' representatives."

Even though he had no script, he was delivering the report fluently and confidently, and it was clear that he knew the plans as well as the back of his own hand.

Qin Ye was currently reading the scroll that he was holding, which detailed the plan in question. He hadn't read through these things prior to setting off for Nara as everything was changing too quickly, and he didn't have sufficient brain capacity to memorise all of the plans. Only when something actually happened would the panel of advisors immediately open the corresponding emergency plan, and all mature underworlds had a similar system in place.

"Continue," he prompted as he continued to read the contents of the scroll.

Qian Duolai extended a respectful bow before continuing, "We wanted the Alkebulan Underworlds to arrive first as we have much closer ties with them. We are able to sign more intimate agreements with the Alkebulan Underworlds, but we can't do that with the five nations of Northern Europa. As things are right now, we can only reverse the order and temporarily withhold the announcement of the specific details pertaining to the Zhu Rong plan. As a result, we had to adjust the script for plan C1."

"This is not necessarily a bad thing." Qin Ye finally finished reading the contents of plan C1, and he set the scroll aside before clasping his hands behind his back. "While it's true that changes always require adjustments to be made on the fly, change could be beneficial at times. The most spectacular thing about clashes like this are the unpredictable elements involved. In light of the unforeseen circumstances that have arisen, we've had to refrain from releasing the exact details of our Zhu Rong plan, but that only made it more mysterious and alluring in the eyes of the other underworlds. Once the Alkebulan Underworlds arrive, we'll unveil our trump cards before the three pillars have a chance to do so, and with our final trump card being support from the new continent, we'll definitely be able to shake up the entire conference."

Zu Chongzhi stroked his own beard as he said in a grim voice, "But if we do this, we'll be facing frantic retaliation from the three pillars."

Zhao Yun had been standing beside the sliding door this entire time with his arms crossed, looking as if he were resting with his eyes closed, but in reality, none of the Yin energy fluctuations within a radius of 100 meters could escape his detection. All of a sudden, he said in a calm voice, "Regardless of what we do, we'll be met with retaliation from the three pillars anyway. What I think we should be doing now is allow them to retaliate!"

Silence.

No one said anything in response. The relationships between nations were very complex, and they had to ponder this statement for a while before they gave a reply. Several seconds later, Qin Ye suddenly raised his head and asked, "Are you suggesting we prematurely alert the enemy?"

Everyone's eyes lit up upon hearing this, and they quickly pondered what was being suggested. A few seconds later, Zu Chongzhi stroked his own beard as he burst into raucous laughter. "That's a brilliant idea!"

With a flick of his wrist, the rosewood bracelet on his wrist fell into his palm, and he massaged it absentmindedly as he slowly paced back and forth in the room. "What are we most worried about right now?"

"We're worried about the number of votes our opposition has already secured," Qian Duolai replied with a respectful salute.

Indeed, what was most important now wasn't what their opposition was going to do, but instead, it was how many votes they had already swayed.

At the end of the day, everything was going to be decided through the final vote. These were the rules of the underworld, and if one wanted to stake a place in this world and be able to trade with other countries, they had to follow these rules.

However, this was something that the Cathayan Underworld had no idea about.

How many votes had their opposition already claimed? 15? 14? There were only 34 votes in total, and every single vote was extremely precious.

The fact that their opposition was daring to make a move now indicated that they had to have at least already claimed 10 votes, and that was already the best-case scenario for the Cathayan Underworld.

How many underworlds had already defected to the three pillars?

Aside from the Nipponese Underworld, which had already made its stance extremely obvious, how many other underworlds had the three pillars managed to recruit? How many underworlds were currently sitting on the fence, waiting to deliver a lethal blow upon the Cathayan Underworld during the final vote?

There was no point in asking, no one would tell the truth. Through the series of retaliative measures that the Cathayan Underworld had taken, it seemed to have already weathered the immediate storm, but they had only won the battle. If they wanted to win the war as well, they would have to win in the final vote.

Qin Ye turned to everyone else in the room with an intense gaze and said, "Once the Alkebulan Underworlds arrive, the entire situation will be completely blown open! After all, what we offered to them is enough to stun the entire world. Under these circumstances, our opposition has no choice but to rise to our challenge! They have to lash out with even greater force than we have in order to instill confidence into their allies, and they would have to display their power in order to accomplish this. As a result, they would have no choice but to reveal more of their trump cards!"

Lu Ban pondered the situation for a moment before asking, "What if they contact the other underworlds in private?"

Zhao Yun chuckled in response. "Scholar Lu, you're severely underestimating the rulers of the underworlds. Their power may be far inferior to ours, but they're certainly no less cunning, and deals made in private cannot be relied upon. The smaller the nation, the more they care about doing things the right way. In contrast, it's far more likely for major nations like us to establish private deals. If the opposition were to try and revoke a deal, the only thing that small nations would be able to rely upon would be official contracts and signed agreements. Rest assured, no matter what the three pillars say or do, even if they manage to secure all 34 votes, as long as those deals are made in private, all of their allies could still turn on them at the drop of a hat if we display sufficient power to overcome them."

A cold smile appeared on his handsome face as he continued, "Hence, no matter how reluctant they are to publicly declare some things, they have no choice."

In the face of the constantly changing circumstances, everyone's brains were racing rapidly to construct the best path forward. They were brainstorming one potential scenario after another, and some of those scenarios seemed to be extremely idiotic, but there was no guarantee that idiotic scenarios wouldn't unfold in dealings between nations.

An example of this was the financial crisis of 1998.

How had Siam collapsed under the weight of the crisis?

Initially, it had already weathered the first storm, but as floating capital from overseas began to gather again, they ignored the fortress that the Siam government had erected by allowing direct exchange between USD and the Siam baht. Instead, they urged all of the major economists of the west to proclaim through the internet, the newspapers, and television broadcasts, that the Siam baht was set for a steep decline. As a result, the entire population erupted into a panic, leading to everyone frantically offloading their Siam bahts for USD. In a sense, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy where the economists' prediction had been vindicated by the irrational actions of the people who had believed in those predictions.

Why hadn't the Siam government set up policies to prohibit the exchange between Siam baht and USD at a time like that? Were they idiots?

It was indeed an idiotic decision, but this related to the age-old conflict between the concepts of freedom and human rights versus centralized power. The government knew what the right decision was, but they couldn't make the decision in fear of the inevitably ensuing controversy.

There were idiotic scenarios constantly unfolding on the world stage, but behind these scenarios were extremely complicated historic, political, and societal factors.

Thus, after a prolonged silence, Lu Ban asked what seemed to be a very stupid question. "Will there be any underworlds that relinquish their voting rights altogether?"

"There's no way that'll be allowed," Qian Duolai replied with a shake of his head. "Our opposition is trying to tell the world that everyone, aside from the Cathayan Underworld, is welcome to join their alliance, and they would naturally want to recruit as many allies as possible. They're going to display this to the world by holding a grand press conference, or by founding a new international organization, or by establishing a co-prosperity sphere. That would be the best and only way for them to flex their political muscles. Every single underworld is an independent entity, and they're all looking out for their own interests, so there's no way they'll be absent from such an important event. If the three pillars succeed, then everyone will get a share in the spoils of war aside from those who didn't join their alliance. As such, all of the underworlds are essentially forced to make a decision. If they don't, then they won't get to benefit from the final outcome, no matter who comes out on top."

Everyone nodded in agreement with Qian Duolai's assessment.

"However, even if we've already predicted our opposition's trump cards, we're still in a significant amount of danger," Qian Duolai sighed as he turned to Qin Ye with a serious expression. "Our opposition would've definitely prepared for a potential scenario where we've managed to develop some new thing during the past century. The fact that we've predicted their trump cards is a very encouraging thought, but..."

"But that doesn't change the reality that the opposition has to have at least already secured over 10 votes," Qin Ye said in an unhurried voice. "Perhaps this number is already as high as 15."

"That's right..." The corners of Qian Duolai's lips turned slightly downward, further accentuating the wrinkles around his mouth. "According to a report from my subordinates, the representatives of the new continent will be arriving a day early."

Qin Ye's expression stiffened slightly upon hearing this.

That was going to be extremely inconvenient!

However, he had to remain calm. Panic was only going to make the situation worse. With that in mind, a calm smile appeared on his face as he said, "In that case, let's have some fun with them in the next few days. Our opposition may not have been fazed by the press conference we held with the five nations of Northern Europa, but they definitely won't be able to sit still once we hold our press conference with the Alkebulan Underworlds."

"My Lord, I think we'll be able to force them to make a move even earlier than that." Right at this moment, the sliding door was opened, and Qin Changxin strode in with an excited expression before extending a deep bow. "My Lord, eight underworlds have submitted invitations all at once, requesting an audience with the ruler of the Cathayan Underworld over dinner."

It was only an invitation for a meal, so it didn't entail much.

At the end of the day, all of the underworlds that had managed to survive to this point, even if they were pitifully small and insignificant places, definitely had extremely wily and cunning leaders.

However, this was the first time that so many underworlds had taken the initiative to approach the Cathayan Underworld.

Of course, this could only be attributed to the unveiling of the new energy resource.

A faint smile appeared on Qin Ye's face.

Just wait and see, the true bombshell is still yet to come! 

"How long until the Alkebulan Underworlds arrive?"

"One more hour, Your Excellency. They should be very close to Nippon's territorial sea at this point."

"Good..." Qin Ye's eyes narrowed slightly as a cold look appeared on his face. "Turn down all of the dinner requests. Inform all of the underworlds that the Cathayan Underworld will be issuing a detailed response as soon as possible within today. In the meantime, everyone must wait."

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Clack... A pair of high heels stepped onto the deck of a ship. The shoes were of a near-transparent white color, and there were countless flawless sapphires embedded onto their surface. There were also beautiful designs etched onto the shoes in pure gold, and these golden designs formed a series of perfect bow ties.

Above the pair of dazzling high heels was a black bubble skirt with an intricate floral lace hem. A series of pristine white feathers were attached to the dress, and they were exquisitely arranged into one white rose after another, then connected together by strips of pure white ribbons.

This was clearly the attire of a noble person, and it was being worn by a young Caucasian woman with golden locks and green eyes. However, wisps of inky-black Yin energy were constantly seeping out of her pores, forming countless terrifying nightmarish scenes before slowly dissipating into nothingness.

This woman was the daughter of Thanatos, and her name was Erinys. Beside her stood a white-robed man with a long white beard that hung all the way down to his chest. In front of his chest was emblazoned a golden insignia, and the two of them were currently standing on a flagship that was constructed from gold!

The flagship was massive, over 500 meters in length, and the golden cannons on either side of it served as a warning to all potential pirates and hijackers, telling them that this wasn't just a massive moving ATM, and that anyone who dared to try and touch it would immediately be struck by fierce artillery fire.

Behind this flagship were over 50 other warships that were also constructed from gold!

This was truly a golden fleet!

"Mr. Archimedes." The young woman gently closed her hand fan as she asked, "That's Nippon up ahead, right?"

"That's right," the elderly Caucasian man replied with a smile. "Master Thanatos is still a good way behind us, but it looks like we already have some trouble to deal with."

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