Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Long Shen flattened Dong Zhi’s wrist, put three fingers on the other hand, tightened his pulse for a moment, and released it.
“Inviting Gods is a very strenuous task. The greater the energy of the spirit body invited, the greater the consequences. Zhong Yuyi is suitable for this job because he’s born with a yin spirit body, but even with that, the side effects of inviting Gods are still great. Therefore, I don’t allow him to go out to the field.”
Suddenly, Dong Zhi understood why Kan Chaosheng and He Yu were sent on their mission, but Zhong Yuyi never followed.
Long Shen: “Are you afraid?”
Dong Zhi nodded obediently. “How did I invite Qianliyan and Second Master Guan? It can’t be that my body is more suitable for this than Lao Zhong?”
Long Shen thought deeply. “Let’s put it this way. Asking the Gods is to ask for their attention. It is the Yin God who is looking for you, not you looking for the Yin God. Zhong Yuyi should have told you that burning incense and praying is to let the Yin spirit hear your prayers. This means you’re allowing them to possess you to give you advice. Still, it all comes down to chance. Since you can invite righteous gods like Qianliyan and Second Master Guan, you have caught their eyes, but in terms of what you need to give up, if you ask for too much, it’ll be very detrimental to your body.”
He continued, “The Special Administration Bureau taught you this course not so you can play around when you have nothing to do, but to teach you more and make you aware of it. In the future, only as a last resort should you use it.”
The first time Dong Zhi attempted it, he invited Qianliyan. The second time, he was directly possessed by Second Master Guan. It seems that he was particularly popular with the gods. Hearing Long Shen’s words, he started to feel the aftermath again. His head became dizzy and light, and he started to gasp for breath after saying a few words. This was a sign of loss of energy and spirit. If this continued to develop, he could become like Zhong Yuyi, with his extremely delayed reflexes and reactions.
Long Shen said, “You can’t fall behind on your kung fu tona, but the matter of practicing every day on the rooftop can be put on hold for the time being. It’s also very energy-consuming to use the Five Thunder Talisman.”
Dong Zhi nodded.
In fact, he was never neglectful in his practice. He even incorporated a few sword moves that Long Shen had taught him into his daily routine. Although he wouldn’t reach Liu Qingbo’s level of perfection in the short term, this gap between them is only due to time, not diligence.
The improvement of physical strength also has an impact on the invitation to Gods. If the body is not good enough and he invited another righteous God, it wouldn’t just be dizziness that he would experience but rather a trip straight to the hospital.
Thinking of Lin Xuan’s words, Dong Zhi hesitated for a moment and said, “Lin Xuan told me that one of those Japanese people was killed by me. It won’t have any bad impact on you, will it?
Long Shen frowned. “Why are you mixed up with Lin Xuan?”
Dong Zhi told him how he ran into him.
Long Shen didn’t comment on Lin Xuan’s motives but said, “It’s fine. Don’t think about it. We were able to get the information on the pattern of the mirror because of you.”
So, did this mean he made another contribution?
Dong Zhi belonged to the type who “could open a dye workshop if he got three points of color*”. When he heard this, he said happily, “Is there any reward?”
*(得了三分颜色，就要开染坊) Refers to getting carried away when you receive face/favors from others.
Long Shen glanced at him. “What reward do you want?”
Dong Zhi said, embarrassedly, “I don’t want bonuses or anything. Can you give me a place as your apprentice?”
Long Shen felt a bit amused. “Do you know what Liu Qingbo came in to do just now?”
Seeing Dong Zhi’s look of uncertainty, he said, “Their group met zombies in the tomb and were separated. Liu Qingbo took one out by himself. In the end, he found his way out and asked me for some credit. He hoped that I would take him as an apprentice.”
Dong Zhi: …
Compared that to his performance, isn’t his own performance lacking?
Long Shen: “Do you think I can agree?”
Dong Zhi felt righteous. “Of course not. Competition should be conducted under the same conditions. The results of unequal competition cannot be counted!”
Long Shen smiled and said, “I think so too. Go and rest first, and there will be the next round of training waiting for you in a few days.”
Coming with complacency and returning with disappointment, Dong Zhi suddenly understood why Liu Qingbo’s had such an expression when he ran into him just now.
“Wait.” Long Shen stopped him.
Dong Zhi turned his head quickly, with a look of “hurry up and keep me”.
Long Shen took out a talisman folded into a triangle and strung with red money from the drawer.
“This is a soothing talisman from Mount Longhu. It doesn’t have much effect, but it’s good for your current state. Wear it and don’t let it leave your body.”
Seeing as how Dong Zhi was holding a box with both hands and didn’t have one free, Long Shen personally put the talisman on him. The Soothing Talisman seemed to have an instant effect as his mood calmed.
At the end of the day, Liu Qingbo didn’t get such treatment, and the male god had personally put the talisman on him.
He went downstairs with the box in his arms, intending to ask the gatekeeper if he wanted a cat. He happened to run into two people standing around the door talking. One was Ba Sang, and the other was Li Ying.
Li Ying smiled when he saw Dong Zhi. “I heard you killed some Japanese?”
Dong Zhi smiled bitterly. “Why don’t good things come, yet bad things spread thousands of miles*?”
*(好事不出门，坏事传千里) Refers to good things aren’t easy to find, yet bad things spread quickly and widely.
Li Ying laughed. “How can this be a bad thing? That higher-ups said yours was a special session held, and the evaluation is good, and we need to keep up our efforts. I regret that I didn’t follow you to the god invitation class!”
Dong Zhi said, “I still envy you. How were you over there? I heard from the Boss Long that you really ran into zombies?”
Ba Sang shook his head. “Don’t talk about it. Some people like to play by themselves and hog all the prestige. They obviously agreed to meet at an appointed time, but never showed up. We thought he was missing, so we went to look for him, but almost got caught in a trap.”
Dong Zhi said curiously, “Who? Liu Qingbo?”
From the expressions of Ba Sang and Li Ying, he knew that his guess was correct.
Li Ying sighed. “I thought since he’s from a famous family, he would be level-headed overall. I didn’t expect he would be so willful, but then again, his performance is indeed good. Though he might have killed a zombie alone, he’s probably a headache.”
Ba Sang didn’t understand. “Why a headache?”
Dong Zhi explained, “He has the capability to fight alone, so it’s a pity not to recruit him, but if he enters the Special Administration Bureau, he may not be able to cooperate with others.”
Li Ying agreed.
Unwilling to be ignored, the kitten poked its head out of the box. Ba Sang stretched out his hand to pet it on its head, causing the cat to shrink back quickly.
Li Ying said, “You have to be mentally prepared first. I heard that there will be a test next.”
With his father as a consultant in the bureau, and he would know more gossip than the others. Ba Sang and Dong Zhi looked at each other.
“What kind of test? Is it a zombie simulation again?”
Li Ying sneered, “The zombies have been simulated once, and everyone’s prepared for it. It’s unlikely they’ll do it again. I heard that we may be going northwest this time, but I don’t know the details. There should be news in the next two days.”
After a few more words of gossip, the three of them dispersed.
Dong Zhi held the box to the doorman and asked if he wanted to keep the cat to catch mice. The uncle slowly raised his head and glanced at him. “There are no mice in this building. I’ve eaten them all.”
Dong Zhi: …
He looked at the uncle, and the uncle looked at him. Dong Zhi gave him a stiff smile and slowly backed away.
“Then-Then I’ll raise it myself!”
The uncle looked at the other party’s back, walking away while holding the box, and shook his head, thinking to himself that young people nowadays are always so rushed. He then narrowed his eyes and continued to bask in the sun with his head down.
When Dong Zhi took the cat back to the dorms, the kitten timidly stuck its head out, curious to observe the surrounding environment.
“I haven’t found you an owner for the time being, so it seems like I’ll have to raise you first.” Dong Zhi said as he looked at its hairy head.
The kitten hadn’t realized that its life had changed drastically in a single day. It has now upgraded from a stray cat to a domestic one.
At this moment, there was a knock on the door. Dong Zhi got up and opened it.
“You left something behind.” Long Shen brought the bag of fried chicken and handed it to him.
Dong Zhi hurriedly said, “Uncle Qian gave me this. I have already eaten before, so you can have it.”
“I won’t eat it.” Long Shen shook his head and handed him the bag.
Behind Dong Zhi, the cat jumped out of the box and ran to his feet to meow.
“Why did you bring it back?” Long Shen said, with hints of disagreement in his voice.
“I can’t find anyone to raise it, so I can only raise it for now.”
Long Shen: “You will go on a mission in two days. You can’t raise it when you’re going to be gone for ten days to half a month.”
Dong Zhi was taken aback. “What mission? Is it urgent?”
“It’s part of the training exam.”
Li Ying’s gossip was accurate.
Dong Zhi picked the cat up. On the way back, he had dropped by a pet store and given the cat a bath. Though the cat was really thin, it looked much cleaner now as its fur was snowy-white. It’ll look even better once it gets a bit fatter in the future.
“Then when I leave for my mission, can I leave the cat with you?”
Long Shen shook his head. “I’m going with you too.”
Dong Zhi tentatively said, “Is this exam difficult?”
“I don’t know. You have to practice your kung fu tona well in the next few days. Don’t slack off.”
This was the second time he had told Dong Zhi. Long Shen never drabbled nonsense, so for him to repeat it twice meant it must be extremely important.
“I won’t,” Dong Zhi said as the fluff ball in his arms kept twisting restlessly, causing his heart to be moved. “I can’t think of a name for it. Why don’t you give it a name?”
Long Shen: …
“Name it yourself.”
Dong Zhi pretended not to understand the other party’s refusal and said with a smile. “I heard Uncle Qian say that you have fed it several times, otherwise it might have died a long time ago. This can only be regarded as a fate.”
He had long known that Long Shen ate soft not hard*. He wouldn’t refuse such innocuous, non-principled small requests, just like when he gifted Long Shen the succulent last time.
*(吃软不吃硬) Metaphor for someone who accepts gentle persuasion without coercion.
However, for Deputy Director Long, such a task was monumentally difficult for him. He stared at the cat for a long time before saying, “Just call it… Kitten*?”
*Clarity: [Xiao Mao] (小猫) literally translates to kitten/little cat.
Dong Zhi: …Then why not just name it Meowmeow or Maomao*!
*Clarity: [Maomao] [毛毛] literally translates to baby.
Suddenly a flash of inspiration struck. “Why not call it Longlong?”
Long Shen: …
Dong Zhi took advantage before Long Shen could speak and raised the kitten towards him and smiled. “You’ll have a name from now on, Longlong!”
Long Shen wanted to speak out against it, but after thinking about it, he decided to let it go. After all, it was just a name.
However, naming was only the first step in this long, thousand-mile march for Dong Zhi. He found that raising a cat wasn’t an easy task. Even if it was only temporary, cat food, cat litter, hair combs, flea repellent, and nutritional ointment were all indispensable. He bought some at the pet store and had to order more online after a while.
Longlong had a very good temper. It may be because of its previous experience as a stray, but it wasn’t as playful or mischievous as ordinary domesticated cats. It just slept and ate to its fullest every day. Dong Zhi was worried that at this rate, it would balloon up like Kan Chaosheng.
While he raised a cat, he didn’t neglect his training and did everything according to what Long Shen told him. In the past two days, before he got up and went to bed, he would do two sets of kung fu tona, and sometimes he would do it again after lunch. Eventually, after two days, the fatigue that had accumulated in his body seemed to have eased a lot, and the heavy and minor side-effects of inviting god had almost disappeared.
As the group of people who went to the tomb returned one after another, their next stage of training was once again back on the table.
For Dong Zhi and his group, they had followed Zhong Yuyi and learned how to invite gods, but because of an accident in the middle of the course, it had to be cancelled halfway. Everyone stayed in the farmhouse for a whole week and looked like they had grown long hair and beards by the time they were free. It was hard for them to wait for the other group to come back, as the ceaseless idleness was driving them impatient.
With everyone’s return, they have all arrived in the classroom on time on this morning’s day in accordance with the notice.
“What do you think we are going to learn today?” Gu Meiren asked Dong Zhi and them.
Everyone shook their heads, feeling a little uneasy. Generally speaking, the content of the course was usually notified in advance, unless it was to purposefully catch them off-guard, like the simulation training.
Dong Zhi jabbed Ba Sang’s arm with his elbow and said, “Was it fun going to the tombs?”
Ba Sang scratched his head. “It’s okay. I just followed a big army and worked with a few people to eliminate a lich. It wasn’t dangerous, but the period inside the tomb was more torturous.”
Gu Meiren also joined the chat. “What do you mean?”
Ba Sang: “In a dark environment, I have no idea what’s ahead or what’s behind. Unknown danger could be lurking everywhere, so it made me uneasy.”
Gu Meiren sighed. “That’s better than ending before you even start. I thought it would be fun to invite God.”
Dong Zhi faintly guessed that the suspension of this course should be related to the scene he saw with his clairvoyance, but since the higher-ups were involved, he remained silent about the matter before he got permission.
The buzzing voices suddenly stopped as people came in from the outside. Everyone had a surprised expression on their face.
It wasn’t just one or two, but all three Deputy Directors were here!
This was a rare lineup.
Even after the simulation training was over that day, only Wu Bingtian and Long Shen gave them lessons to summarize their experience. Today, the last Deputy Director, Song Zhicun, was also present.
The three of them were followed by a young man. While others didn’t know him, Dong Zhi was quite familiar with him. It was Lin Xuan.
Lin Xuan quickly spotted Dong Zhi sitting in his seat and winked at him. Dong Zhi pretended he didn’t see it.
As usual, Wu Bingtian spoke first. With a smile on his face, he looked around at everyone. “How are you resting these few days?”
“I’m getting moldy from all this leisure.”
He didn’t know who said it, but it made everyone laugh. They didn’t need to ask to know that it was from the group that stayed back.
While Li Ying, Liu Qingbo, and a few others returned early and had taken a few days off, they were much more reserved.
“Let’s continue class.”
“I’m doing good.”
Wu Bingtian’s smile narrowed and became serious. The atmosphere instantly condensed, and everyone’s mood was raised.
“You have to listen carefully to what I say next.”
Everyone unconsciously adjusted their sitting posture and pricked up their ears.
Wu Bingtian said, “There is a group of tomb robbers who stole a batch of artifacts from the northwest, including a bronze mirror, which fell into the hands of the Japanese. The police have caught the head of the tomb robber gang. According to their account, they were only on the periphery of the tomb at the time. They have not yet entered the real core area, and now those Japanese have already taken the bronze mirror to the northwest, wanting to enter the core of the tomb. All we have to do is stop the Japanese and get the bronze mirror back. This should have been the work of the police and the archaeological department, but because it is likely to involve demons, it was handed over to us, so it’s our job to carry out the preliminary cleanup. Do you understand?”
“Understood!” Everyone responded.
Wu Bingtian nodded. “Now you can ask any questions.”
Li Ying said, “Boss Wu, is that bronze mirror valuable? In case we encounter a situation where we need to choose between people and the mirror, what should we do?”
Wu Bingtian said, “We tentatively speculate that that mirror is likely to be the key to the core area. At present, we don’t know for the time being what the Japanese’s purpose is, so we need to find out, but if we encounter the kind of situation you mentioned, the safety of your companions is the top priority.”
His gaze swept across the crowd and stayed on Liu Qingbo for a moment.
“This mission is both an assessment and a practice. The purpose is to see what progress you have made during this period of time, and I must remind you that some may die during this trip.”
There was no sound in the classroom, and there was silence.
Wu Bingtian’s words were like boulders, pressing heavily on everyone’s hearts.
“Those Japanese forged their documents and pretended to be foreigners and pretended to be Chinese in order to go to the northwest. Due to the diversity of transportation means and complexity of data, it’s difficult to identify them, but according to the confession of the leader of the tomb robber gang and the information we collected before, there are probably powerful Onmyojis among them. You must not underestimate the enemy! The opponent is not a zombie in the simulation training. At a critical moment, while fighting for life and death, they will not give you a second chance to survive! In addition, there are many dangers in an ancient tomb. Even if you are cultivators, you can’t be careless. Life, once it’s gone, will never come back, so if any of you want to quit now, you can leave right away!”
Withdrawing from this mission means withdrawing from the Special Administration Bureau.
No matter what everyone was thinking, no one stood up and walked out.
Wu Bingtian’s tone became a bit more solemn. “Don’t think that I’m joking with you. You can ask about it. In the past few training sessions, there have been many people who have sacrificed their lives. They didn’t even have time to become members of the Special Administration Bureau before they already fell down. Don’t regret it later when it’s too late!”
He waited for a while, but still no one got up.
Wu Bingtian nodded. “Very good. There are no cowards in the Special Administration Bureau! Since everyone has decided to stay and participate, let me tell you the specific details. Although the bronze mirror was looted by the Japanese, we got the engraving on the back of the mirror and found that there were two inscriptions on it with the words Helan and Phoenix. Based on the situation, we speculate that Helan refers to Helan Mountain while Phoenix refers to the ancient name of Yinchuan. It’s preliminarily estimated that the tomb is located near the mausoleum of the Western Xia Dynasty. When we get there, we’ll go down from the cave that was dug by the tomb robbers. The Japanese should be one step ahead of us. They can block the cave from the inside, but they can’t cover up the traces outside, so we can still find it…”
Everyone listened intently for fear of missing every detail, because it was not only related to everyone’s assessment but also to their own safety. No one would joke about their own lives.
After Wu Bingtian finished speaking, he took a breath, which also gave them time to digest the information.
“This mission will be led by Boss Long and Boss Song personally, with Boss Long as the team leader and Boss Song as the deputy team leader. I will sit in the General Administration Bureau and also serve as logistics to deal with unforeseen needs. Next, I’ll ask Boss Long to talk more about it.”
Hearing these words, everyone had their own thoughts in their hearts. With two Deputy Directors personally leading the team, it gave them a new understanding of the importance and the difficulty and severity of the mission.
Long Shen nodded to Wu Bingtian and took a step back.
“This mission is equivalent to a practical exam. The final result will determine whether you can stay and become a member of the Special Administration Bureau. Outside, my request is very simple. Everyone must follow instructions. I don’t want to have a situation where you do your own thing and it backfires. If you try, even if you can return alive, I won’t let you enter the Special Administration Bureau. That’s all.”
His speeches were always concise and powerful, shocking people’s hearts. Even for someone like Liu Qingbo, who didn’t listen to commands, when he heard such a thing, it held more weight to him.
Song Zhicun coughed lightly. “Let me introduce everyone. This is Lin Xuan. He has had contact with the Japanese before and is more familiar with the situation. He will join us this time.”
It seems that the reason why Lin Xuan was not dealt with was because he was very smart, surrendered to them in time, and turned into a “tainted witness*”.
*(污点证人) Refers to witnesses who are also participants in criminal activities (usually the crime itself) but testify for the prosecution in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution or reduced or lenient charges.
Although the Lin Family is quite prestigious in Lignan, since Lin Xuan had only recently inherited the family business, everyone had no reaction to his name.
Seeing that everyone was not in high spirits, Song Zhicun smiled and said, “Today is a holiday. Tomorrow morning at nine, gather here and we’ll set off on time. Everyone should rest early today and stop playing around. If you can’t get up tomorrow morning, we won’t wait for you. Just go to Yinchuan by yourself.”
He deliberately reconciled the atmosphere, but everyone was still so immersed in what they had just learned that no one could laugh. Seeing this, Wu Bingtian didn’t say much, so he let everyone disperse, and he left with the other two.
The author has something to say:
Dong Zhi: Longlong, come here. Do you want to play with a cat teaser?
Long Shen, who was in a meeting, sneezed.
Dong Zhi skipping steps here. Usually, you become a couple first before adopting a pet.