Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Both of them ignored him. Tang Jing said sarcastically, “Oh, so handsome, yet why still a single dog?”
He Yu said angrily, “How can you talk about me when you’re a single dog yourself?!”
“Excuse me, I’m not human*. I have no need to use a limited life for courtship like you, thanks!”
*Clarity: The reason why Xu Wan didn’t want to possess Tang Jing. What Tang Jing really is though won’t be revealed until much later.
He Yu pointed angrily at Dong Zhi. “Then he’s also a single dog too! Why don’t you say anything about him?!”
Dong Zhi shot him a look of innocence, indicating that he was tired.
Tang Jing said, “He is much more handsome than you, so I’ll introduce him to a girlfriend tomorrow. There are so many beautiful women in the East China Branch who would rush at this opportunity when they see him.”
“He won’t go to the East China Branch. Our General Administration Bureau has reserved a spot for him! I also want my uncle to accept him as an apprentice. He is a preparatory disciple of our Hezao Sect!”
Tang Jing sneered, “I have only heard of outer and inner disciples, and I have never heard of preparatory disciples. What’s so good about the Hezao Sect? It’s better to worship me as a teacher. I can teach him better than you!”
He looked at Dong Zhi and smiled sweetly. “How about it? Do you want to worship me as a teacher? As you saw just now, even the Hezao Sect has to rely on me to save the day!”
If He Yu hadn’t been lying on the ground, completely drained, he would have jumped to his feet by now. “Don’t!”
Under the gaze of the two of them, Dong Zhi felt immense pressure. “I have already promised He Yu…”
He Yu laughed but was choked by his cough.
“Cough, cough… let me just say that our Xiao Dong Zhi is not such a wishy-washy person!”
Dong Zhi knew that Tang Jing didn’t mean it when he said he’d accept him as a disciple and only said it due to his argument with He Yu. Taking advantage of the truce between the two, he hurriedly said, “Zhang Chong has fainted!”
Tang Jing walked over to check on him and said, in disgust, “He’s fine. Maybe a concussion. This Mount Longhu generation isn’t as good as the previous. Is this the kind of talent they have now? Don’t bother mentioning upper demons; he couldn’t even take on a Sneaky Yaksha!”
He Yu coughed. “He was kicked out of the mountain because he wasn’t proficient enough and had too high ambitions. I have met the leader of Mount Longhu. His name is Zhang Heng, and his patient is as good as mine.”
He took out a black porcelain vase from his body, opened the stopper, and sat up cross-legged while positioning both hands in preparation to chant a mantra.
“Cheng Hui, a disciple of Mount Hezao, return to his soul quickly!”
“Cheng Hui, a disciple of Mount Hezao, return to his soul quickly!”
When he chanted it for the fifth time, Dong Zhi saw a translucent figure floating over in a trance, and it quickly disappeared into the bottle. He Yu quickly took out a talisman, attached it to the bottle, and wrapped it up.
“I want to take Xiao Dong Zhi back to the school and then let master and the others return Cheng Hui’s soul.” He Yu said.
Tang Jing was silent for a moment, then suddenly asked, “What about finishing up the work here?”
He Yu: “Ah, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my chest! Ah, I’m fainting!”
After speaking, he really closed his eyes and fell to the ground.
Tang Jing, Dong Zhi: …
Dong Zhi stepped forward to check. He raised his eyelids and shook him a couple times, then said to Tang Jing: “…It seems like he really fainted.”
The corner of Tang Jing’s mouth twitched, and he suddenly came over. He tore the hems of He Yu’s jacket open and pressed his hand on the torn holes.
Dong Zhi said in horror, “What are you doing?!”
Tang Jing messed with He Yu’s making him look like an exhibitionist that’s stripping off his clothes, then raised his phone high, leaned in, used his right hand to pinch his chin, raised his head forty-five degrees and made a pouty expression before taking a shot.
Dong Zhi: …You really are too much.
Tang Jing took several photos in a row before stopping contentedly. “Getting some proof, lest he say he doesn’t remember owing me a favor.”
Seeing Dong Zhi’s speechless face, he touched his head and said, “Don’t pick up bad habits from him. If the Hezao Sect refuses to accept you, you can come find me in Shanghai!”
Though Tang Jing said he was a man, from the way he dressed to his voice, one could not tell. Dong Zhi was embarrassed when his head was patted but was too shy to avoid it.
“Thank you, Tang Ge.”
He Yu rolled his eyes quietly while lying next to him.
How old is this ancient monster? Pretending to be warm and tender, barf!
Dong Zhi didn’t want to recall how they finally moved He Yu and Zhang Chong to the hospital. Because of all the commotion from the battle, they were discovered by security guards who almost called the police. Thankfully, Tang Jing used an illusion spell to confuse them, and the group was able to leave without any issues.
Though He Yu seems to have the strength to bicker with Tang Jing, in all seriousness, his injuries were much more severe than Zhang Chong’s, who was covered in blood. He had multiple visceral injuries and soft tissue contusions on his body that almost made the doctor transfer him to the intensive care unit.
Dong Zhi fared better. Besides the multiple abrasions, there were no other major problems.
The battle on top of Tianyun Building raised too much clamor. At the beginning, He Yu was able to isolate the noise due to an enchantment, but it later couldn’t hide the lightning and thunder and whirlpool in the sky that it was hard not to attract the attention of ordinary people. In addition, the roof of Tianyuan Building collapsed, and some floors and walls were damaged. Though it wasn’t substantial damage and could be attributed to a natural disaster, the activity was so great that within a few days, gossip was everywhere about how Tianyuan Building was haunted by demons and ghosts.
There was only Lin Jun left in the Guangzhou office, who proved to be quite useless. Tang Jing had to run around like a headless chicken, dealing with all types of affairs. Not only did he have to report to the boss, but he also had to communicate with his several departments to eliminate the adverse effects of their battle. He was so busy that he filed a solemn protest with the General Administration Bureau in anger, saying that if they didn’t send more people to the station in Guangzhou, he would resolutely not clean up any mess in the future.
Much later in time, when Dong Zhi had become an important member of the Special Administration Bureau and passed through Guangzhou on a business trip, he discovered that Tang Jing’s protest was not entirely ineffective. The office there had been upgraded to a branch under the jurisdiction of the East China Branch, and the personnel had also undergone earth-shattering changes.
These, though, are afterthoughts for a future time.
Ten days later, He Yu’s injuries were slightly better, so he took the Dong Zhi and Cheng Hui on a journey to Mount Hezao. Though his injuries were not fully healed, He Yu didn’t want to drag things out further since Chen Hui urgently needed to be reunited with his remnant soul. The longer it takes, the weaker the yang of the soul and the more unfavorable it will be for Cheng Hui.
When they arrived at the foot of Mount Hezao, He Yu’s phone rang. Dong Zhi caught from a glance that his originally careless posture had suddenly straightened unconsciously.
He Yu said, “The boss wants to make a video call with us? Wait!”
He quickly messed up his hair, unbuttoned a few buttons on his shirt, and slapped himself a few times.
Dong Zhi: ???!!!
He Yu came over to pull on Dong Zhi’s clothes. Dong Zhi quickly stretched out his hand to block his attack.
“What are you doing?!”
He Yu said seriously, “Sell misery! If we don’t make ourselves look worse, how can we make the boss sympathize with us, so he’ll give us more bonuses!”
Dong Zhi looked incredulous and refused. “I don’t want to!”
He was eager to make a good impression on the other party, so he wouldn’t get stuck during the interview exam. How could he self-depreciate himself now!
He Yu aggrievedly said, “Why, don’t you love me anymore?”
Dong Zhi pushed him away with a cold face. “I have never loved you, thanks.”
He pressed the answer button on the video call smoothly. Long Shen’s frowning face appeared on the screen.
“Why did it take so long to pick it up?”
“I didn’t hear it just now!” He Yu changed his face in a flash, now all flattering and smiling. “If you need something, please tell me!”
Such a kiss ass*! Covering his face, Dong Zhi was too embarrassed that he couldn’t bear witness to this.
*Too dog-legged (好狗腿) Dog-legs is a metaphor for to flatter/flattery.
Long Shen: “Where are you now? Is it convenient for you to speak?”
He Yu: “It’s most convenient. I took Xiao Dong Zhi back to my school. We have just passed the Hezao barrier, but I haven’t reached the mountain gate yet. There are only insects around within a ten-mile radius.”
He also deliberately pointed the phone screen at the scenery behind him and scanned it around to show that he wasn’t lying.
Even if it wasn’t peak tourist season now, there would still be some tourists around Hezao Mountain. However, after they got off the bus at the foot of the mountain, He Yu, being familiar with the area, led Dong Zhi and Cheng Hui on an off-the-beaten path. After passing through a forest on the side of the road, the rugged path disappeared, replaced by a neatly paved granite road.
As they walked up, the towering mountain gate looked as if it was floating on a cloud. The mountains in the area were covered by clouds and it was misty and smokey. The scenery was completely different from the lively tourist spots that are crowded with people. Here, only the sounds of birds chirping, and insects buzzing could be heard; a perfect spot for cultivation.
“Is everything in Guangzhou taken care of?” Long Shen asked.
“Yes!” He Yu answered confidently, feeling no guilt as he shamelessly passed the buck to Tang Jing. “Boss, where are you now? Why does it look as if there’s sand behind you?”
Long Shen: “Ejin Banner.”
He Yu looked dumbfounded. “Where is that?”
Long Shen said succinctly, “The desert to the west of Inner Mongolia. If you are okay after, go back as soon as possible.”
He Yu: “What’s wrong?”
Long Shen: “The matter of the boundary marker has become clear.”
He Yu was surprised. “So fast? Is it really related to the bone dragon?”
Long Shen said, “It has nothing to do with the bone dragons, stone tablets, or demons. Didn’t Tang Jing tell you?”
He Yu said, “Tang Jing only said that Xu Wan is a demon, but he didn’t say much else.”
The matter is of great importance, so it was rare that Long Shen spoke so much. “This is the former site of Yanjun Division in Heishui Town during the Western Xia Dynasty. Chaosheng and I found some stone wall symbols similar to the talisman on the boundary marker, but they are slightly different and mixed with Western Xia texts. You need to go back and find an expert to decipher them. Chaosheng will send you the photos later. Show them to your elders.”
After he finished speaking, he turned the camera around. Dong Zhi leaned over to look and saw that at the end of the other screen was Long Shen in a cave.
On the stone wall behind him were dense engravings of symbols and text, most of which had been erased by the years. Some of the remaining symbols were indeed similar to the ones seen on the stone tablet they found on Changbai Mountain.
Long Shen’s voice came through. “Did you see it?”
He Yu hurriedly said, “Yes!”
Long Shen: “These symbols are too scattered, so Chaosheng can’t capture them all in one picture. I’ll pick some out and send them to you later.”
After he said that, he suddenly asked, “Is Dong Zhi there?”
Dong Zhi didn’t think Long Shen would mention him, so he was caught off-guard. He hurriedly said, “I’m here!”
Long Shen nodded to him, his cold expression softening slightly. “I heard from Tang Jing. You did well this time.”
Dong Zhi didn’t expect Tang Jing, who he had met only once, to put in a good word for you. He blushed and quickly replied, “Tang Ge is just flattering me. He did most of the work. I didn’t do much to help…”
Long Shen smiled slightly. It was only for a short moment, but it was captured by Dong Zhi. He suddenly realized that there are people in this world who can wipe away the dust from one’s heart with just a smile. The hardships he experienced and the anxiety and panic he felt when facing demons were all turned into shreds and were scattered away by the wind at this very moment.
He felt that his heart had been soothed and was rejuvenated. This is the pursuit of a top-tier dog.
“No, no! Tang Jing didn’t do all the work. Dong Zhi really helped a lot. Without him, we would probably be out of commission!”
He Yu didn’t know what humility meant since he was a child. He hurriedly pushed Dong Zhi away, beat a snake with the stick*, and put on his goofy smile. “Boss, that demon was really difficult to deal with. It almost wiped out our entire group had it not been for Dong Zhi’s great contribution. Let’s not talk about going through the back door, but shouldn’t we give out some bonuses or something? Look, look! This is the doctor’s diagnosis I brought!”
*(打蛇随棍上) Refers to seeing an opportunity and taking advantage of it to strive for greater benefits.
Dong Zhi wanted to refuse, but suddenly saw He Yu reach into his Rilakkuma backpack and pull out medical and reimbursement forms. Seeing such a scene made the corner of Dong Zhi’s eye twitch. Being sharp-eyed, he saw that the forms not only included He Yu’s but also his and Zhang Chong’s, which were sandwiched in the middle, making the stack of forms look thicker.
Long Shen’s face had an expression that was saying: ‘Please start your performance.’
He Yu said, “Boss, the paw that was slapped by the bone dragon in Changbai Mountain is still hurting from time to time, yet I still ran all the way to Guangzhou to catch demons. You know, people often secretly say bad things about you, like how cold-hearted you are, but I try my best to clear up your image every time. Do you have the heart to hurt such a young and helpless person like me…”
Long Shen: “Are you finished?” The blue veins on his forehead twitched slightly, indicating that the deputy director was about to reach his limit of patience.
He Yu immediately used his hand to zip up his mouth. “Done!”
Long Shen: “Combined with your performance for these two occasions, your merits and demerits are equal. Your next month’s salary will be paid as usual, and this year’s annual leave will also be granted as usual.”
He Yu: “Thank you, boss! Boss, you are really the best person in the world. Ah no, the best in the…”
Long Shen disconnected.
He Yu was elated for a while, then suddenly felt something was wrong. “Why do I feel as if my left hand is out, and my right hand is in*? Isn’t the salary and vacation originally mine in the first place?”
*This is referring to left in right out (左进右出). In Taoist culture, the left is referred to as the clean hand, while the right is the filthy hand. This extends to wearing jewelry, where wearing things on your left brings fortune and on your right brings misfortune. || He Yu flipped the saying so that it means instead of left hand in, it’s right hand in, signifying that he basically encountered misfortune (he got duped by Long Shen).
Dong Zhi: …Congratulations, young man. You are not entirely stupid yet.
“Can you give me Boss Long’s phone number?”
He Yu said with surprise, “What do you want it for?”
Dong Zhi said, “The last time we strayed into the enchantment at Liuhua Bridge, didn’t Boss Long save us? I want to thank him personally and invite him to dinner or something, otherwise it’ll be too shameful…”
He Yu suddenly said, “I see! Could it be that you…” He showed a knowing expression as a grin appeared on his face.
Dong Zhi: …
“You want to take the opportunity to get closer so you can go through the backdoor when we recruit in the future, right?”
Hearing his words, Dong Zhi was taken back.
Seeing Dong Zhi look at him with such a face full of weakness, he couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m just teasing. I know you’re not that kind of person. Lighten up!”
He wrote down the number and gave it to Dong Zhi. Dong Zhi asked: “Don’t you need to seek permission from Boss Long first?”
“It’s fine. I’ll send a message to the boss.”
He took Dong Zhi’s phone and sent a friend’s request to Long Shen. The note attached was: [Boss Long, this is Li Han’er.]
Dong Zhi was baffled. “??? Who’s Li Han’er?!”
“The daughter of Li Rui, a consultant in our bureau. She’s very beautiful. Li Rui was born on Mount Longhu, so it’s rumored that Li Han’er also studied on Mount Longhu since she was a child. Now in the East China branch, she’s pursued by a bunch of mad bees and butterflies*, but she only has eyes for our boss.”
*Refers to a large group of admirers. Often use derogatorily.
Knowing the other party was a typical straight guy, the girl He Yu was describing was probably a white, rich, and beautiful* person.
*The term is [bai fumei] (白富美) Buzzword referring to a woman with fair complexion, strong economic strength, with a beautiful appearance and has a good figure and temperament.
“Then does Boss Long like her as well?”
He Yu shrugged. “I don’t know, so I’m trying to find out. If he’s willing to add her as a friend, doesn’t that mean that fate has already been written*? I made a bet with Kan Chaosheng and whoever loses will have to treat the other to dinner for a month.”
*Refers to Bazi without a stroke/Fate has not been written yet (八字还没一撇) Metaphor referring to things that are not clear yet. || In this context, He Yu is saying that fate has already been decided, meaning Long Shen and Li Han’er will get together, assuming that Long Shen adds her as a friend.
Black lines appeared on Dong Zhi as he silently thought, ‘You sure have a lot of courage to fool around with your immediate boss like this.’
After a while, the friend request was rejected. Reason for refusal: [He Yu’s annual leave is denied.]
Dong Zhi, He Yu: …
He Yu shouted crazily, “Impossible! He doesn’t have clairvoyance! How did he know it was me?!”
The corners of Dong Zhi’s mouth twitched. “Maybe it was Kan Chaosheng who sold you out.”
He Yu made a post at lightspeed in their internal social group chat that was a roaring expression of Ma Jingtao, then attached the text: [Kan Chaosheng!!!!!!!!!!]
The string of exclamation marks couldn’t reflect the amount of inner anger he had.
Kan Chaosheng quickly replied in the group: [?]
He Yu: [Private chat!]
Kan Chaosheng: [No way. If you dare say it, do it in front of everyone, or did you do something bad behind the boss’ back?]
He Yu: (indifferent face.jpg) [Oh, I won’t tell the boss about the bad things you did, like hiding in his office while he was away eating snacks.]
Kan Chaosheng: [Private chat!]
He Yu: [Hehe.]
In the next second, Kan Chaosheng sent He Yu a private chat with a red envelope. He Yu clicked on it and got 66 yuan. He reluctantly accepted it and asked in a private chat: [Did you tell the boss about the bet I made with you regarding Li Han’er?!]
Kan Chaosheng: […]
He Yu: [What does the ellipsis mean? Answer me quickly!]
Kan Chaosheng: [Last time when the boss passed by, he happened to see me texting you. I accidentally leaked it. You can’t blame me.]
He Yu: [I knew your mouth was bigger than a hippo!]
Just as He Yu gritted his teeth while bickering with Kan Chaosheng, Dong Zhi had sent out a friend request to Long Shen again. This time he wrote: [I’m sorry, Boss Long. This is Dong Zhi. What happened just now was a prank.]
After sending it, he began to wait anxiously for a reply. The fatigue he felt from climbing the mountain was completely transferred to his attention on his phone. Every so often, he would take out his phone and look at it.
He Yu was too busy arguing with Kan Chaosheng on WeChat that he didn’t pay any attention to Dong Zhi. After a while, with no reply from Long Shen, Dong Zhi started to let his imagination run wild.
The most normal situation should be that Long Shen was busy and had no time to look at his messages. It was also possible that he had already seen it and decided to ignore it while snorting inwardly thinking something like, ‘He Yu, you still want to cheat me?!’ or ‘This Dong Zhi is just an ordinary person, yet he dares want to get closer to…’ An image he conjured of Long Shen acting like a domineering president who was smiling at the phone as he said, “Little fairy, just because you want to be friends with this president…” He suddenly felt that the plot was heading in a bad direction.
No, no, Boss Long shouldn’t be like this! How terrible!
While lost in his thoughts, he looked down at his phone and saw a prompt on the screen.
[Long Shen has accepted your friend request.]
Dong Zhi: ?!
His heart was about to fly. He quickly clicked on it and confirmed that it was really the chat interface between friends.
What should my first message say? Hello is bland. Boss Long is so busy that he’ll probably won’t even reply. Should he just get straight to the point and say that he wanted to invite him out to dinner? No, no. That’s too straightforward, and what if he gets rejected?
Dong Zhi’s mood was like that of a fan who just finally added their male god’s WeChat but didn’t know how to start communicating with said male god. After much hesitation, he finally wrote: [Hello, Boss Long. Thank you very much for saving my life when I was in Yancheng. I wonder if I can invite you to dinner. It would be such an honor. (*^__^*)]
It should be fine to add an expression at the end, right?
Dong Zhi deleted some parts and reduced others, and finally sent the message out. After thinking about it, he added: [If you’re busy, no need to reply. I wish you good health and smooth work! O(∩_∩)O]
When he sent the second message out, he felt a bit of regret, thinking that Long Shen probably wouldn’t reply. Being able to be friends with his idol was already the highest pursuit any fan could hope for, so he really couldn’t expect more.
It seems that God had heard his tangled heart and was extremely impatient to grant him his wish. When he and He Yu arrived at their destination, Dong Zhi received a response.
It was a simple, single word, without punctuation, let alone any accompanying expression, but it was enough to make Dong Zhi fly from the bottom of the valley to the sky.
Oh my god, the male god replied to me!
He immediately replied: [Thank you, male God! I’ll treat you to dinner as soon as I return to Beijing!]
After sending it out, Dong Zhi realized that he originally wanted to type “Boss Long”, but his fingers were faster than his brain and instead he typed “male God”. He was instantly horrified.
Despite that, Long Shen no longer replied. He was most likely surveying stone monuments in the desert and was too busy with other important matters to care. It wasn’t easy to give him a response, so Dong Zhi put his phone away in content as he was filled with bliss.
After He Yu finished his argument with Kan Chaosheng, he turned his head and saw Dong Zhi walking briskly and in high spirits, so he said suspiciously, “Aren’t you tired?”
Dong Zhi turned his head and flashed him a wide grin. “When I think of working hard and striving to be your colleague, it fills my heart with motivation!”
He Yu: …
I love the interaction between He Yu and Kan Chaosheng.