Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Dong Zhi was still immersed in the story just now, and it was not until Long Shen patted him on the shoulder that he recovered.
“Then later, did the two tomb owners above also become demons?”
Long Shen said, “No, their souls have been absorbed by the bottom tomb, so we only need to deal with the bottom corpse.”
Dong Zhi was puzzled. “But the King of Chu hated the adultery between his concubine and the tomb’s owner. Why would he design such a tomb so the owner could absorb such demonic energy and have a chance to become a demon? Wouldn’t this only help him?”
Long Shen shook his head. “You are thinking from the perspective of modern people. In ancient times, they paid careful attention to allowing the dead to rest peacefully so that their descendants could be at ease. This method allows the dead to continue to be restless and thus is the ultimate form of torture for a person.”
Dong Zhi involuntarily shivered.
The conversation stopped as it would be too out of place to talk about corpses and demons during a meal. Dong Zhi wanted to talk more about romantic topics, such as what was Boss Long’s type, and whether he would dislike being pursued by others, but Long Shen rarely answers questions relating to himself. On the other hand, he was always open to talking about his work experience.
Dong Zhi took the menu and ordered dishes for the table, then ordered two bottles of baiju, which he personally poured Long Shen a glass.
“Boss Long, although it was He Yu who brought me to the door, without your guidance, I would never have made such great progress. Last time at the hospital, if it weren’t for the Qingzhu Sword, we wouldn’t have been able to solve Hui Yiguang’s matter so smoothly.”
Long Shen said, “You have thanked me many times.”
Dong Zhi was embarrassed. “But I don’t think it’s enough. I’ll drink this full cup, but you can feel free to do as you like.” He raised his head and drank the glass in one go.
As the alcohol entered his throat, redness quickly spread from his neck to his face. His skin was so easily irritable that it produced a physiological response as soon as he took a sip.
Long Shen was also dignified as he picked up his glass and drank it in one go as well. When finished, Dong Zhi poured him another cup.
“For this cup, thank you for your advice and guidance. My foundation is very poor, but you have never turned me away for it.”
He drank it again, making Long Shen happy, seeing his motivation.
“And last time in Yangcheng…”
Seeing that Dong Zhi’s face was getting too red, Long Shen pressed his hand and raised his glass, drinking the alcohol in his cup.
“No need to pour more.”
Dong Zhi stopped obediently and introduced the dishes to him.
“I have been to this restaurant before. Their crispy pork is a must. It’s fat but not greasy, so it’s really good.”
Long Shen didn’t have much desire for food in general. Seeing as how Dong Zhi highly recommended it, he took his chopsticks and said, “Are you getting used to training?”
Dong Zhi smiled and said, “It’s going well. I have made a lot of new friends. Long Shen, what do you usually do when you don’t have work?”
The atmosphere had loosened up after three rounds of drinking. Without anyone else around, he unconsciously didn’t use honorifics, but it seems as if Long Shen wasn’t displeased by it.
“Nothing. I just go home.”
Dong Zhi thought the answer was strange, so he inquired further, “What do you do at home?”
Long Shen: “Play games.”
Dong Zhi: “…What game?”
Long Shen: “<The Great Wasteland>, the one He Yu plays.”
Dong Zhi: …
He couldn’t connect with the man in front of him as someone who plays games. He then thought of the noble and glamorous Deputy Director Long marrying someone or using a female character to call someone else’s ‘husband’ in the game and felt a bit guilty.
Dong Zhi: “I also play this game. Which district are you in?”
After the exams, the resumes of all candidates were placed on the desks of all the leaders of the Special Administration Bureau. Long Shen naturally knew that Dong Zhi had served as the art director for <The Great Wasteland>. “Same as He Yu’s. I just occasionally go online to play.”
“I’m in that area too. Let me show you around!” After his absurd fantasy, he became very excited.
Long Shen took out his phone, opened the game, and logged into his account. Dong Zhi stared wide-eyed involuntarily.
The first-ranked player on their server turns out to be Long Shen?!
Even He Yu was just a rookie and had to hug this “big brother’s” thighs, and forget about Kan Chaosheng, yet Long Shen was hiding such a big thing.
Dong Zhi: “It turns out you are ‘Shen Jian’. How rude of me*!”
*Clarity: He’s saying (失敬失敬) which is an expression of courtesy by apologizing to someone and blaming yourself for being rude.
Long Shen shook his head and said, “My account has been stolen before, so I bought this one. I only play occasionally in my spare time.”
Bluntly put, when it came to Long Shen’s abilities and status, not bothering to mention whether he lacked skills or not, there must be endless things he had to do every day. It was a rare luxury to be able to play games occasionally, but as soon as he did, he managed to buy the most powerful account on the server. It seems that he did have quite a competitive spirit.
Dong Zhi discovered that he had unknowingly discovered many aspects of Long Shen that had already subverted the indifferent and cold stereotypical image he had at the beginning.
Dong Zhi laughed. “I only play on my account leisurely, so I’ll have to ask Boss Long to take care of me. If someone bullies me in game, I’ll ask you to help me out!”
Long Shen nodded.
When the dishes were eaten, Dong Zhi called the waiter over to pay.
“There’s a park nearby. Let’s go for a walk to dispel the alcohol?” Dong Zhi suggested trying to take advantage of the situation.
Long Shen saw that Dong Zhi’s face was flushed and his eyes narrowed, as if he was drunk, so he let out a sigh.
Dong Zhi’s smile widened as his eyes got narrower. He wasn’t really drunk. It was just that his skin was easily irritable, so any small amount of alcohol would make it seem as if he had drunk too much. On the other hand, seeing as how Long Shen drank three full glasses and his face did not change color in the slightest or even his eyes narrowed, he couldn’t help but ask, “Are you alright? Do you want me to help you?”
Long Shen said, “No, I don’t get drunk no matter how much I drink.”
He got up and walked out, with footsteps that were much steadier than Dong Zhi’s.
Dong Zhi: …
It seems that the trick of getting drunk and talking nonsense will not work. Oh, what a waste of two bottles of baiju!
The two left the restaurant and walked in the direction of the park. The night breeze came slowly as the summer heat gradually dissipated, bringing the faint breath of the evening. The sky was blue, as if it was reflecting a lake filled with lotus leaves, making a very refreshing sight.
Dong Zhi: “Have you been to the West Lake in Hangzhou?”
Long Shen thought for a while and nodded. He had been to many places in China, but usually it was for business, so he never seemed to have stopped specifically to enjoy the sights.
“There’s a Hangzhou restaurant on the side that makes fresh osmanthus lotus root noodles every year. As you eat them, you can smell the fragrance of the lotus roots, so it’s very enjoyable!” Dong Zhi smiled, and his eyes curved. It was as if he had returned to the West Lake. “I’ll take you there to eat next time. You can also invite Kan Chaosheng. I’m sure he’ll like it too!”
Long Shen discovered that the young man in front of him has a soft temperament, loves to eat and drink, and loves to play around. Such qualities aren’t suitable for the Special Administration Bureau and dealing with dangerous demons and monsters. He thought what a most unsuitable path Dong Zhi had chosen.
“Have you ever thought about doing something else?”
When he saw Dong Zhi turning his head and giving him a puzzled look, he added, “If you don’t enter the Special Administration Bureau.”
Dong Zhi said cautiously, “Is it possible that I’m not performing well enough, so I’ve been eliminated?”
Long Shen shook his head. “Just asking.”
Dong Zhi breathed a sigh of relief. “I was originally from an art background. Even if I don’t enter the Special Administration Bureau, I won’t starve. If I’m eliminated this year, it’s not a big deal. I’ll take the exam again next year. Don’t worry.”
Long Shen was quiet for a moment before he asked, “Have you ever felt that you’re not suitable for this job?”
Dong Zhi was confused. “Why?”
You should enjoy your life to the fullest. Eat what you want while you bask under the sun by the West Lake and fall in love with a girl, just like an ordinary person.
But Long Shen kept this to himself. The other party has his own thoughts, and they didn’t need to be swayed.
Dong Zhi thought that Long Shen felt that he was a halfway monk* and lacked abilities, so he smiled and said, “You lent me the sword. Don’t you think I have enough potential? You say that it’s dangerous, but you can choke to death from drinking water, or maybe even be killed by a car while walking down the street. If you have the ability to protect others, it’s better than being protected by others when encountering difficulties. Besides, I like He Yu, Kan Chaosheng, Zhong Yuyi, and you, so I’ll try my best, because that’s what I want to do.”
*(半路出家) Metaphor referring to changing careers to engage in work that you’re not trained for.
Long Shen nodded and didn’t stay on this topic. “Last time you asked me to help you find a good donation channel. I have asked someone to find a few, and they’re all reliable. I’ll send them to you later, and you can choose one yourself.”
Even if they just talked about boring subjects, as long as they ate or went on a walk together alone, it could be considered a date. Thinking of it like this made Dong Zhi very satisfied. He smiled brightly and was about to say something when he heard a voice calling, “Boss Long!”
Liu Qingbo ran over, surprised and delighted.
“You are here too!”
Long Shen: “What’s up?”
Liu Qingbo said, “The air here is good, so I come here every evening to practice my tona. What a coincidence meeting you here. Are you going to dinner?”
Since he didn’t live inside the Special Administration Bureau, naturally he wouldn’t have an access card to go to the rooftop to train.
Dong Zhi smiled. “We have just finished eating.”
Liu Qingbo also smiled but directed it at Long Shen. “That’s good then. Can you spare some time for some guidance?”
Long Shen nodded, and Liu Qingbo was overjoyed. “This way, please!”
Dong Zhi looked at Liu Qingbo’s back and wanted to kick his ass.
As if he felt something, Liu Qingbo turned his head and smiled. “Dong Shidi, since you’re not a swordsman, there’s no need to delay your time. You can go on ahead and work on your own practice!”
Dong Zhi grinned back as he said, “No, it’s fine. Boss Long has just lent me a new sword, so I have to practice hard. I want to observe and learn from Liu Shixiong.”
Liu Qingbo didn’t hold back. “Don’t you have the Qingzhu Sword?”
Dong Zhi: “The Qingzhu Sword has been returned to its original owner. Boss Long has lent me another, the Changshou Sword.”
Liu Qingbo thought to himself that he could easily dump his opponent 18 blocks down in swordsmanship, but he had not touched a single sword from Boss Long. He regretted showing the hidden swords in his house too early. Now that Long Shen knew he had a famous sword on hand, naturally he wouldn’t lend him another sword. On the contrary, he gave it to this kid!
But he would never admit that he was jealous, and his heart was so vexed that he wanted to snatch the Changshou Sword from Dong Zhi’s mouth. He could only smile since Long Shen was still present. “Then congratulations, Dong Shidi. We should have a good exchange next time!”
Dong Zhi smiled back. “Liu Shixiong has been training in swordsmanship since he was a child. I’ll surely not be able to beat you. Didn’t I already admit defeat today when you invited me to a duel on the rooftop?”
While Long Shen wasn’t paying attention, Liu Qingbo glared at him fiercely. ‘You villain who talks about others behind their back!’
Dong Zhi glared back at him with a bright smile. ‘This is called a face-to-face complaint!’
Long Shen didn’t notice the small movements between the two of them. He turned his back to look at the lotus leaves. After waiting for a while, he didn’t hear anything from Liu Qingbo, so he turned around and frowned. “Didn’t you say you wanted some guidance?”
Liu Qingbo smiled dryly. “Seeing you enjoying the scenery, I didn’t dare disturb you just now.”
Long Shen said, “I can distinguish between good and bad just by listening to the sound. You can go at any time.”
If others had said this, Liu Qingbo would sneer and laugh at them for not knowing the immensity of heaven and earth*, but he himself comes from a swordsmanship family. His grandfather once told him that there are people in the world who can play chess blindly, so naturally there would be people who can distinguish swords by their sound.”
*(不知天高地厚) Refers to having an exaggerated opinion of one’s abilities.
Seeing him say this, Liu Qingbo had to put the “enemy” aside for the time being and concentrate on winning the favor of his future master. He still had a few tricks up his sleeve.
Since Dong Zhi didn’t know much about swordsmanship, he couldn’t say anything and could only remain as an outsider watching the excitement. So far, he had seen two people use swords. One was Long Shen and the other was Ba Sang. Needless to say, the former was an expert among experts. In his hands, the sword was no longer a weapon but an embodiment of a living thing. As Long Shen said, the mind is interlinked with the sword. This is the highest level of swordsmanship, which is beyond the reach of ordinary people. Ba Sang had used his sword and danced brilliantly, but in the end, it didn’t have the charm of actual swordsmanship.
Compared with these two people, Liu Qingbo has another style.
Jab, lunge, sweep, slash, and feint, his swordsmanship combined all the skills of a swordsman, but there was no craftmanship to them. He looked light and agile, and only the rustling sound made from the wind from his sword sweeping from time to time revealed its murderous aura.
Dong Zhi was keenly aware that a layer of white mist had formed around Liu Qingbo’s body along with the sword.
Is this the sword’s qi?
After his performance, Liu Qingbo was sweating profusely. With a smile on his face, he was about to ask Long Shen for comments, but found that he was surrounded by a group of uncles and aunties, all of whom looked at him with great interest. Seeing him stop his sword movements, they all clapped their hands.
Liu Qingbo blushed.
An auntie stepped forward and said, “Young man, you performed very well. Next month, we’re hosting a Mid-Autumn Festival art show. There’ll be square dancing. How about you come and sword dance in front of us?”
Dong Zhi couldn’t help but laugh.
Liu Qingbo’s face turned dark. “No!”
The auntie didn’t give up. “A TV station will also be there to do interviews. When the time comes, I’ll ask them to give you a close-up shot. You can stand in the front and be in the limelight!”
Liu Qingbo’s face almost distorted. “I-no, I don’t to!”
Seeing that he couldn’t be persuaded, the uncles and aunties slowly dispersed. Dong Zhi couldn’t stand it any longer and squatted down, covering his stomach with his arms, as his shoulders shook uncontrollably from laughter.
Liu Qingbo tried his best to ignore him, looked at Long Shen, and said expectantly, “Boss Long, what do you think?”
Long Shen didn’t smile. He only nodded and said, “You have just formed your sword qi. If you cross this threshold, you can be considered a master of swordsmanship.”
Liu Qingbo was overjoyed. His father had said the same. He was so happy at the time that he even took him to worship their ancestors, saying that the Liu family had finally produced a genius. However, after seeing Long Shen use his sword, Liu Qingbo’s joy was actually more about his dedication to worshiping him as a teacher.
Long Shen said, “The next step depends on personal comprehension. I have nothing more to teach you.”
Liu Qingbo was dumbfounded. He didn’t expect that him doing too well had now become an obstacle.
Dong Zhi wanted to laugh again.
Liu Qingbo ignored him and hurriedly said, “Boss Long, don’t be modest. My father said that your swordsmanship is the best in the world. If I can get your guidance, it’ll be better than three years of hard training on my own!”
Long Shen frowned slightly. “I’m not lying. Your family background is enough for you to become the best in swordsmanship. In fact, it’s all the same whether I’m the best or not. If there’s anything you lack, it would only come down to your own experience and heart.”
Liu Qingbo struck while the iron was hot. “You’re right. I just don’t have enough experience and I still need discipline, which is why I must be taught by a strict teacher. My father often says that I am too rebellious, arrogant, and not humble enough. If I can have a master by my side that can give some guidance from time to time, I will not be led astray.”
These days, you only had to blacken yourself in order to look appealing for an apprenticeship. Witnessing this was an eye-opener for Dong Zhi. He smiled and said, “Liu Shixiong is too humble. As the saying goes, capable talents have capital and pride. This just shows that you are already too good!
You’re so powerful, why do you need to be taught by a master. Just go and train by yourself.
Liu Qingbo motion his eyes, ‘Shut the fuck up.’
Dong Zhi returned his look with a harmless smile. ‘I won’t.’
Long Shen didn’t care about their exchanges and was silent before saying, “It’s getting late. Let’s head back.”
Liu Qingbo smiled hurriedly and said, “Let me take you back.”
Dong Zhi said, “Boss Long drove here.”
Liu Qingbo: “That’s great, then Boss Long, please give me a ride!”
Dong Zhi: …Don’t you have any shame?
Long Shen made no objection, which made Liu Qingbo return a smug look to Dong Zhi. Their first “date” died in the middle with the intrusion of a “lightbulb” halfway through. Still, Dong Zhi wasn’t depressed. He happily went back with the Changshou Sword, took a shower, and then sat cross-legged on the sofa while looking at the sword carefully.
The hilt of the sword seemed to be made of shark skin but was later wrapped up. It had turned white over the years but was still smooth and felt good to touch. If he compared it with the Qingzhu Sword, the Qingzhu Sword was lighter and its body slenderer. The Changshou Sword was just about three feet long, which made it slightly heavier, but not impossible to lift. If he practiced drawing calligraphy with weighted stones on his wrists every day, it shouldn’t be difficult.
The most contrasting thing about this sword is that the body felt dark and a bit frosty to the touch. He didn’t know what material it was made from. There are two characters engraved on the sword’s body an inch away from the hilt. He looked at it for a while before recognizing that it was the engraving of “Changshou”.
He flicked the sword’s body with his finger and heard a loud humming sound coming from it. It sounded similar to that of music chimes, but the sound made by the sword was much heavier.
His nails bounced on the sword body. With a clank, a long buzzing sound sounded. He had heard the music of chimes before, but now the sound of playing the sword had the weight of a chime.
Keep a righteous heart*, with sincerity and virtue. This should be the meaning of the sword’s name, right?
*[Changshou zhengxin] (长守正心) The sword’s name is part of this line, which translates to keeping a righteous heart (integrity).
Dong Zhi looked at it for a while longer before hanging it on the wall solemnly.
A few days later, Long Shen’s course came to an end and was replaced by two elective courses. Candidates could choose between the course. invitation to Gods or go visit a burial ground.
The invitation to Gods was taught by Zhong Yuyi. He specifically stated that this course required people with yin characteristics to be able to attend, while the other class was led by a man named Ding Lan. It was said that he was the deputy leader of Group Three and was also a person with deep qualifications in the Special Administration Bureau.
The location of the burial ground was in a foreign province. A new tomb had just been excavated and something strange has happened. The archaeological team reported to the higher ups, and the matter was transferred to the Special Administration Bureau. Deputy Director Song Zhicun suggested letting the rookies go there for some hands-on experience. With Ding Lan leading the team, there shouldn’t be any major problems.
Dong Zhi was very curious about this, of course, but his bazi was heavily yin, so he was very suitable for Zhong Yuyi’s class. Besides, he had seen Zhong Yuyi invite the Huanhou, Zhang Fei, with his very own eyes in Long Shen’s office that day, so he was quite interested. After weighing the two options, he finally chose invitation to Gods with Gu Meiren, Chi Banxia, and Liu Si.
Unsurprisingly, Liu Qingbo, Zhang Song, Li Ying, Ba Sang, and the others followed Ding Lan.
The course for invitation to Gods was held on the outskirts of Beijing in a farmhouse near the Ming Tombs. While the rooftop of the Special Administration Bureau is quiet and won’t be disturbed by others, due to the space being expanded by magic and being enclosed in an enchantment, it wasn’t easy to invite spirits, so it wasn’t a suitable place to hold this course. The classroom had to be temporarily moved to here.
The farmhouse was opened by a family member of an employee from the Special Administration Bureau. The owner specially cleared the venue for a week and gave their employees a leave of absence so that they could attend class here, so they wouldn’t scare innocent passersby if they unknowingly invited something.
The yard of the farmhouse was large and was surrounded by pear trees. When the flowering season came, it would become a tourist attraction. It was said that it was quite popular, but now wasn’t the time. Everyone sat on wooden stools in the yard near trees to get their shade, so they didn’t feel too hot.
Zhong Yuyi still had his sleepwalking expression. With a single request, it shocked everyone.
“This course lasts for half a month. For your first day, you need to search online for a historical celebrity you’re interested in, then memorize their information. Even if you can’t memorize them, you must at least remember their birth date and year of death, place of origin, and any major life events.”
Everyone had faintly guessed that this strange request might be related to the course on the next day.
Chi Banxia raised her hand. “Excuse me, teacher, is this related to inviting spirits?”
Zhong Yuyi said slowly, “Yes, tomorrow I will teach you how to invite Yin Gods*. The difficulty of this technique is quite high. Only by reciting the materials well can you express sincerity to the spirit. After inviting them in, it’s also conducive to communication.”
*(阴神) Part of the five different kinds of Gods (Yin Gods, Yang Gods, Soul Gods, Jade Gods, Holy Spirit). In Confucian culture, Yin Gods are evil gods and ghosts that are enshrined and enslaved.
His speed of speech is about twice as slow as an ordinary person, making him sound a bit weird. Everyone showed uncomfortable expressions except for Dong Zhi, who was used to it. If anything, he would find it strange if Zhong Yuyi spoke at a normal speed.
Ou-Yang Yin also asked, “But what if the Yin god we want to invite has already disappeared?”
Zhong Yuyi: “If you can’t invite the Yin God, there are generally two situations. One is that you lack the ability, and the other is that its spiritual energy is too weak, or, as you said, the soul is gone. This can only be known through practice.”
Everyone probably understood what he meant. Originally, they thought the course would be boring. At the very least, it wouldn’t be as interesting as going to a burial site, but now it sounds like tomorrow’s class would be quite exciting and everyone was looking forward to it.
Dong Zhi raised his hand. “Teacher Zhong, I have a question.”
In front of everyone, he gave Zhong Yuyi a lot of face, and didn’t call him Old Zhong, but obediently called him Teacher Zhong.
Zhong Yuyi: “Speak.”
The act was quite good.
Dong Zhi inwardly laughed as he asked seriously, “If you invite God, can you only invite a domestic one? Can you invite one from, say, a foreign country instead? What if we invite a late president of the United States? Do we have to communicate in English?”
Everyone couldn’t help laughing, but they all wanted to know the answer.
Poor Dong Zhi.
Dong Zhi: I’m trying to get along with you so I can chase you! Here are some interesting topics we can have a conversation about.
Long Shen: All this kid talks about is food and drinks and having fun. Not suitable at all for exorcism!
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2 thoughts on “Bu Tian Gang Ch47”
Ha ha ha wow what a blast! Thank you!
Hahahaha 😅 Dong Zhi!