Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Dong Zhi had a good appetite and ate all the soup in one go. Wang Jingguan was very happy to see her own craftsmanship so lauded. “What would you like to eat tomorrow? Wang Jie will make it for you!”
Dong Zhi replied sincerely as he held the bowl, “Wang Jie’s cooking is delicious. I’ll be happy with just another pork rib soup.”
Wang Jingguan’s heart almost melted when she heard this. “Let me make you my old mother’s chicken soup tomorrow. If you like, Wang Jie will recognize you as her younger brother in the future. When you get better, you can come live with me for as long as you want!”
Lao Zheng said quietly from the side, “You’re more than twenty years older than him! Isn’t it embarrassing to be his sister*?!”
*Clarity: The term they’re using is jiejie (姐姐) which can refer to your blood-related older sister but extended can refer to any woman older than you. Generally, it would be used for someone closer to your generation and someone that you’re close to, and considering her age compared to Dong Zhi’s, it’s probably more appropriate for her to be referred to as an “auntie” than a “sister”.
Wang Jingguan god annoyed. “I’m unmarried, not old. What’s wrong with being a sister? It’s better than having an old orange peel face like yours. If anyone calls you brother*, they’ll have to vomit first!”
*Gege (哥哥). Same concept as jiejie but applies to older men.
Dong Zhi wanted to laugh but didn’t dare to, as he saw Lao Zheng fleeing from humiliation. After Wang Jingguan left, Lao Zheng wandered back in again, muttering and complaining: “That old hag is so annoying. I won’t come in next time she’s here!”
Dong Zhi smiled. ” Lao Zheng, the tail of youth doesn’t wait for anyone. Hurry up and catch it!”
Lao Zheng glared at him, but after a while, he became discouraged. “You know, she confessed to me back then, and I rejected her. Later, she regarded me as unsatisfactory and too irritating. How can I dare say anything? If I do, I’ll be laughed to death by her.”
Dong Zhi was speechless. “You don’t understand a woman’s heart? If people don’t care about you, how can they constantly target you? It’s so obvious. If you don’t take the initiative, you won’t be happy!”
Lao Zheng said suspiciously, “You are right. Why don’t you have a girlfriend yet?”
Dong Zhi: …You just stabbed me right in the heart, buddy*.
*I’m worried, old iron. (扎心了，老铁) Catchphrase that means something touches you very much, causing a change in your emotions. Old iron refers to “iron buddy” which is just another dialect for buddies. I decided to translate it as the original sounded too awkward.
He pivoted to a question that he was more concerned about. “What happened to them?”
“They left a long time ago. You passed out in a coma early yesterday morning. Long Shen carried you halfway down the mountain, then we took a car down the rest of the way. They left in the afternoon.”
Hearing that he was carried down the mountain, Dong Zhi blinked. Without understanding the meaning behind this, he said in surprise, “Wasn’t He Yu still suffering from a serious injury?”
Lao Zheng wiped his face, his expression a little heavy. “It can’t be helped. This matter is more serious this time, so they have to rush back to deal with the report.”
Dong Zhi asked cautiously, “Can I know?”
Lao Zheng said, “There’s really not much to say. There was a dragon buried under Changbai Mountain, but it had died for many years. It was rumored that there were abnormal activities happening on the mountain a while ago, but we didn’t associate them with the dragon corpse. Then it was suddenly resurrected. Although it was suppressed in the end, it was regarded as a level 4 incident. What’s more troublesome is that no one expected there to be a stone tablet under it.”
“What does it mean?”
“I don’t know. There were some ancient talismans on the stone tablet, which have been lost now. We have to wait for the result of the investigation. They took away the stone tablet, so I speculate that it should have had a special effect, and most likely the dragon corpse was used to suppress it.”
A flash of inspiration struck Dong Zhi. “That is to say, it is very likely that the behind-the-scenes instigator of the Sneaky Yaksha wanted to destroy the stone tablet?”
Lao Zheng nodded. “Yes, after the stone tablet was broken, those Sneaky Yaksha disappeared out of thin air and never returned again. As for how the Japanese got news of the dragon corpse, we are also tracking that down. It’s better to keep them alive so we can follow their trail and find out more, but you don’t need to worry about these things. If you know too much, it’ll only add to your troubles. Just take care of your injuries first.”
Inexplicably, Dong Zhi suddenly remembered that he saw Xu Wan when he got lost in the mountains. He still couldn’t confirm whether it was a hallucination or the real person. He didn’t find her suspicious. Every time he’s been in contact with her, he always felt a sense of seeing a sister or mother. Perhaps because of this, he often unconsciously reduced his vigilance. However, after encountering many strange things when the other party was always present, he couldn’t help but begin questioning it.
He told Lao Zheng his thoughts, and Lao Zheng nodded and said, “I’ll ask someone to check on it, but I have something to ask you. When we were in the mountains, why did you say you wanted to join us?”
Dong Zhi was tongue-tied.
Lao Zheng laughed. “Did it out of impulse? Too dazzled? It’s normal for young people to become hot-blooded, but this isn’t a joke. You’re an ordinary person. Even if you learn a few things under He Yu, you won’t be able to accomplish much.”
Dong Zhi remembered what he said in front of Long Shen and became embarrassed.
“At first, I was quite scared, especially when I was on the train. I felt that I was unlucky and got entangled in this kind of mess, but I wasn’t completely afraid. In fact, I was a little curious, so after I got off the train, I went to practice drawing talismans according to what He Yu taught me. Unexpectedly, it came in handy in the hotel and mountain.”
Lao Zheng showed an expression of sympathy and understanding.
“In the past, when my parents were still alive, I had to take care of them. I didn’t even dare ride a rollercoaster, afraid that if I got into an accident, I would leave them all alone. Then their accident happened, and it made me rethink things. In maybe just a few decades of my life, perhaps I’ll get into an accident as well. In that case, it’s better just to live freely and bravely and do what you want. Besides, fighting alongside you was very thrilling.”
He wasn’t used to sharing his own thoughts in front of others. What Lao Zheng had said was indeed correct. He was impulsive, but it was something he felt he couldn’t hide when encountering this kind of thing, and he didn’t regret it.
“He Yu said that my physique is a bit special. If I can join you, I can also learn more skills. If I encounter this kind of thing in the future, I won’t have to wait for others to save me, and I can also help ordinary people… Uh, of course, Boss Long is powerful, which is also another reason. What kind of man wouldn’t want to slay demons like him, so majestic and powerful!”
Lao Zheng understood. “After saying so much, aren’t you just mesmerized by the beauty of the boss?”
Dong Zhi couldn’t help but choke on his spit and cough violently.
Lao Zheng laughed loudly. “Don’t worry, I won’t make fun of you! In fact, there are a lot of people like you. Before, there was a young man whose ancestors were oracles*, and he was talented in his generation. The family originally wanted him to work and get married in peace. Unexpectedly, he once asked to join the Special Administration Bureau after seeing the boss subdue evil!”
*[Luan sheng] Basically, a prophet/oracle. It’s a person who’s possessed by the gods, and they would write scriptures to convey the god’s thoughts and make prophecies.
Dong Zhi said curiously, “What happened after?”
Lao Zheng: “Naturally, he joined, and his performance was quite good. He’s now with the General Bureau and his name is Zhong Yuyi. That’s why I always say that the boss is like a living billboard. Now that the Special Administration Bureau has expanded in scale, there’s not enough staff. If it was up to me, I think the boss should go out and advertise more. With one swing of his sword in front of the camera, hordes of people would line up and squeeze through the door to apply for jobs!”
Dong Zhi imagined a scene of Long Shen looking at a bunch of fan-crazed job seekers with a cold face and burst out laughing.
Lao Zheng: “He Yu told me before he left, to confirm that you’re not being impulsive, then give you something. Do you want to think about it for a few more days?”
Dong Zhi said seriously, “No, I have thought about it. I really want to join you.”
Lao Zheng nodded, giving him a serious look as if he was about to teach some peerless martial arts secret. He took out a book from his bag and handed it over.
Dong Zhi looked at the title [2017 Civil Service Examination Guidance Bibliography].
He was bewildered.
Lao Zheng smiled and said, “Don’t you want to join us? The two civil service entrance exams are the same as the application exams. Although it is an independent exam, the difficulty level is lower, but you should still hurry up and read it. The exam will be in four months. Look, there’s an address in the back. When you go to Beijing, go to it and look for He Yu.”
Dong Zhi asked, “But isn’t the national examination at the end of the year?”
Lao Zheng said, “The Special Administration Bureau recruit candidates independently, so they set the time themselves. It’s different every year, and this year it’s in July.”
He had thought he had been rejected by Long Shen when he had asked to join, and the other party did not answer. He didn’t expect that the dawn of hope would appear at the turning point of such a critical juncture. A smile slowly appeared on his face, getting wider, eventually to the point where he couldn’t contain it. His mood was filled with joy, and he was more expectant than when he first graduated from college and was about to enter the work force.
Lao Zheng was also happy when he saw him like this. “Don’t be too happy too early. There will be interviews after the written exams and training after the interviews. It’s not easy to formally become a member of the Special Administration Bureau. It has become more and more difficult for our branch to enter in recent years. I heard that the General Administration Bureau, including the Dragon Bureau, may have plans to accept apprentices this year.”
Dong Zhi found it strange. “Why do you call it the Dragon Bureau? Why do they call Long Shen boss?”
Lao Zheng: “Long Shen is the head of the Long Bureau and is the deputy director of the General Administration Bureau. I am from a branch office, so I have some positions while He Yu and the others are team members of the Long Bureau and directly under his management.”
Dong Zhi opened his mouth wide: “So great!”
Lao Zheng nodded: “It’s not that great.”
Can he really enter such a powerful and mysterious department?
He had spoken impulsively that day and knew that if he were to stand in front of Long Shen again, he probably wouldn’t have the courage to say what he did.
Dong Zhi: “Is the interview difficult?”
“Of course it’s difficult, but chance plays a factor too. If you’re lucky, perhaps when you’re interviewed, you’ll get hired by one of the big guys!”
“That means that ordinary people like me still have a fighting chance, right?”
Lao Zheng laughed. “Yes, it’s not like that hasn’t happened before. If you’re truly interested in the Special Administration Bureau, you can give it a shot. However, I hear that competition will be particularly fierce this year. Many famous candidates and rising stars want to join. They have been practicing since they were young, but their cultural classes* may not be comparable to yours, so you still have the opportunity if you work hard.”
*Clarity: Cultural classes refer to intellectual or artistic cultural courses. A broad term would be liberal arts and sciences. He’s saying Dong Zhi has this advantage since he’s already graduated from college.
After speaking for so long, he found Dong Zhi staring fixedly at him, like a boy looking at his crush, and it gave him goosebumps all over. He couldn’t help but wonder. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Lao Zheng, I really want to kiss you now.”
Lao Zheng’s face frowned in fright, and he groaned. “Don’t! If that old hag Wang Jingguan sees it, it’ll cause more misunderstandings!”
Dong Zhi smiled, “I thought you said she wasn’t interested in you!”
A knock came at the door, so Lao Zheng thought it was Wang Jingguan who had returned. To his surprise, when he opened the door, it was Zhang Xing in a wheelchair.
“Brother Dong, you are awake!” Zhang Xing replied happily.
Dong Zhi was stunned. “Come in. Are you okay?”
Zhang Xing greeted Lao Zheng, then with a smile said, “I’m okay, but I broke my leg and have to sit in a wheelchair for a while.”
Lao Zheng said in a timely manner, “She’s staying in the ward next door. She came over to visit you three to four times when you were still passed out.”
Zhang Xing became embarrassed.
“Oh. I just remembered that I had some things to do, so I’ll leave first and let you guys talk.” Lao Zheng winked at Dong Zhi before heading out.
They were all hospitalized! What could he possibly be busy with?!
Dong Zhi wanted to stop him, but before he could, Lao Zheng was already gone.
He’s not interested Lao Zheng!