Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Long Shen moved slightly, and it was like a quiet beauty had come to life and walked out of a painting.
“All packed up?”
Dong Zhi nodded and said worriedly, “I’m carrying the Changshou Sword. What should I do? Controlled weapons aren’t allowed to be checked in!”
Long Shen: “We’ll go through a separate procedure. I’ll take care of it.”
Dong Zhi felt relieved. If Master was going to handle everything, then there wouldn’t be a problem no matter how difficult it was. Long Shen was like a mountain, stable and reliable. With him, many problems could be solved.
As he was about to leave, he couldn’t help but think back to whether Long Shen had forgotten the things he had said so he couldn’t help but chatter.
“Master, when I’m away, take good care of yourself. Don’t forget to eat and rest, and don’t always stay up late and work overtime, otherwise your body won’t be able to handle it.”
“Master, how are you going to spend the Mid-Autumn Festival? Are you going to spend it with He Yu, Lao Zhong, and Kan Chaosheng?”
“You usually accept express delivery, right? I’ll mail you some specialty products from Lucheng later!”
The noise kept buzzing in his ears that Long Shen couldn’t help but say, “Be quiet for a bit.”
Dong Zhi finally shut up.
Long Shen said, “If I am not by your side, you must also practice diligently, and you can’t slack off.”
“Although you have recovered most of your qi now, you must never invite god again in the future. Bu Tian gang works well with your kung fu tona, so don’t fall behind.”
“If there is anything you don’t understand, just ask me. Also, if you don’t have enough money, tell me.”
Dong Zhi felt like laughing. His master had the mentality of an old father that was always worried about his children not having enough money, but this kind of Long Shen had a more human touch. Even if he didn’t need it, he would still take advantage of it.
“Master, I think many disciples in a sect will light a natal lamp when they leave for a long trip, so if something happens outside, the sect can know. Would you like to give me one too? If I lose my life outside, you may not even know.” He wasn’t afraid of cursing himself, so he said it straightforwardly.
The natal lamp was also known as the soul lamp, and it was related to a human’s life. When the candlelight was dim, it meant the person was in danger or in poor condition. When the light was extinguished, it meant the person was likely dead.
Long Shen said, “No need.”
After a pause, he added, “If something happens to you, I will know.”
Long Shen didn’t say any more, and Dong Zhi didn’t ask either. He thought to himself that his master had some methods that were secretive.
It wasn’t currently rush hour, so the car arrived at the airport quickly. Dong Zhi took his luggage and went to go through the check-in procedures while Long Shen took the Changshou Sword to check in. He was very efficient. Just as Dong Zhi had completed the formalities, he had already returned and handed over a card to him.
“After getting off the plane, just take this to the check-in office to pick it up.”
After that, Long Shen raised his hand and glanced at his watch. “It’s getting late. Let’s go through security.”
Every line at the security checkpoint was very long. Usually it would take about 40 minutes to go through.
“Then, Master, I’m leaving!”
Long Shen nodded.
Dong Zhi tilted his head and smiled. “Is there anything else you want to tell me?”
Long Shen: “I said everything that needed to be said in the car.”
Dong Zhi opened his arms. “Then let’s have a farewell hug.”
Long Shen didn’t move. Dong Zhi had now developed a thicker skin. If the mountain refused to move, then he would go to the mountain. He took a step forward and hugged Long Shen.
The airport was always bustling with people coming and going, and partings and reunions were commonplace. Their hugs couldn’t be more common than those around them, but what wasn’t common was their appearance. One was cold and the other warm, just like complementary poles.
Long Shen let him hug him for a while before stretching out his hand and patting him on the back.
“You should go.”
Dong Zhi let go of his hand. “Master, I left you a parting gift. In my dormitory, before you hand over the key to He Yu, go in and take a look and take the gift away.”
Long Shen frowned slightly. “What gift?”
“You’ll find out once you go and have a look!”
Dong Zhi was afraid that he would refuse, so he quickly turned around and left after speaking. With every step he took, the farther away he got from Long Shen.
He picked a security line at random and started queuing up, but he couldn’t help but look back. The figure of the man was no longer there.
Dong Zhi took a deep breath, then picked up the phone to say goodbye to He Yu and Kan Chaosheng.
Long Shen drove back to the Special Administration Bureau. It was rare that he had a free day today, and there wasn’t any official business to deal with, but he still sat at his desk to read documents for a while.
His phone was buzzing, one after another. When he glanced at it, he saw it was a text from Dong Zhi.
[Master, I’m getting on the plane.]
[Due to air traffic control today, the flight was delayed, again.]
[Note that again was purposeful since every time I would depart from the capital, I have never arrived on time.]
[Master, I’m so hungry. It’s been over half an hour and the plane hasn’t even taken off yet. I regret that I didn’t eat more before I went out. Your cutest apprentice is afraid that he’ll starve to death on the plane.]
Long Shen ignored all the dribbled nonsense and finished reading his documents. The other party had stopped sending him messages, so he surmised that he was either too hungry and fainted or the plane had already taken off.
His landline phone on the desk rang, and Long Shen picked it up. After listening for a while, he put the phone down and thought to himself, “he knew it’, then sent separate texts to He Yu and the others.
Zhong Yuyi replied quickly, but He Yu and Kan Chaosheng did not text back. He didn’t know if they had seen his text or not. After waiting for a while without an answer, he got up and went downstairs to He Yu’s office.
Not surprisingly, he saw Kan Chaosheng with He Yu. They were both lying on the sofa, both with a phone in their hands, as their bodies staggered along with the fighting simulation in the game. They were so engaged that they didn’t even notice Long Shen when he opened the door and came in.
They were going to send Dong Zhi off, but when they heard that Long Shen was doing it for them, they didn’t show up at all. They just sent a text saying goodbye and hurried to play games.
Long Shen stood by the door. Seeing that the two were completely immersed and didn’t notice his arrival, he chose the most direct way to wake them up by cutting off the internet.
When He Yu saw the prompt that the game was offline, he couldn’t help but let out a cry, and when he raised his head, his expression immediately changed to a smile.
“Oh, boss, what kind of wind blew you here today? If you have any instructions, just tell me. Why bother to visit in person?”
Long Shen: “I sent you a message, but you didn’t reply.”
He Yu and Kan Chaosheng felt a little guilty when they heard his words. They were in mid-battle just now, so when they saw a message pop up, they quickly swiped it away. Now they’re cursing themselves for being so stupid and that they didn’t read the content.
Long Shen: “Next time, I’ll open an account and keep killing you until you stop playing.”
He Yu, Kan Chaosheng: ……
This threat was too cruel. The two of them followed Long Shen into the conference room with drooping heads.
He Yu originally thought that it would be a general meeting, but when he arrived, he found that there were people in Group One and Group Three. Except for Song Zhicun, who went to Japan, Wu Bingtian was also there.
There was now an unwritten rule in the Bureau that if Director Jiang, who’s not in charge of any specific affair, wasn’t there, that would mean the meeting was business as usual.
He Yu and Kan Chaosheng looked at each other, and quickly sat up straight.
When everyone gathered, Wu Bingtian cut to the chase and said straightforwardly, “For this meeting, I hope everyone will strictly abide by the principle of confidentiality. The level of confidentiality involved in this incident is top secret.”
Everyone’s expressions became serious after these words came out.
Wu Bingtian: “I believe that everyone already knows about the previous situations. First on Changbai Mountain, and then in Yinchuan, we have found two stone tablets. According to research and verification from all parties, the history of these stone tablets is likely to be traced back to the Qin and Han Dynasties, and even before the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. Although the runes on the stone tablets haven’t been cracked yet, it’s been preliminarily determined that the content should be related to the suppression of demons. In other words, these two stone tablets that have been unearthed may be part of a larger demon suppression array.”
“The current situation is that a group of foreigners may have obtained more information about the stone tablets from other channels than we have. Their goal is likely to destroy these stone tablets. The stone tablet on Changbai Mountain has been severely damaged, and even if it’s repaired, it will not be the same as before. Fortunately, Boss Long and Boss Song had led a group of people to stop the conspiracy in Yinchuan, recovered some of our losses, and managed to preserve another stone tablet.”
“Last time, Boss Long and the others found a mural in northwest Inner Mongolia with runes similar to the ones on the stone tablet. At that time, they had no idea what they were, so it had to be put on hold for the time being. Later, when they linked it with the Yinchuan incident, they learned that those murals were probably clues to the stone tablets. From Changbai Mountain to Yinchuan, it spans thousands of miles. It’s foreseeable that this talisman array will be unimaginably huge. Now, we hope to get inspiration from the discoveries from these two places, so it could lead us to find more stone tablets rather than passively waiting for the Japanese to get ahead again, leaving us to clean up their mess.”
This remark had become common now. The Bureau had held many meetings on this matter during this period of time. He Yu and Kan Chaosheng later went to Yunnan and didn’t participate, but when they heard this tune, they couldn’t help but yawn secretly.
Then they heard Long Shen said, “We tentatively divided the talisman array into eight regions. Assuming that the stone tablet on Changbai Mountain represents the northeast, and the stone tablet near the tomb of the Western Xia King refers to the northwest, then secret searches will be carried out in six places of east, west, south, north, southeast, and southwest. The southeast direction is tentatively designated as the Putuo Mountain area, and the south is tentatively assigned to the vicinity of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King. He Yu and Kan Chaosheng are responsible for them. The north is tentatively designated as near Xiangshan and The Thirteen Tombs, which we have assigned to the Rong Sheng group. There are currently two in the southwest direction. One is tentatively designated as the Guanghan area, which is assigned to the Ding Lan group. The other is the area from Xi’an to Xianyang, which can also be extended to Weinan, and that’ll be assigned to the Zhang Heng group. The last area to the east is tentatively designated as the area of Zijin Mountain and the Qinhuai River. I will transfer Yu Buhui back and he’ll be responsible for it.”
If it was Wu Bingtian who said this, after he finished speaking, he would add another sentence like, “Do you have any opinions?” Although he may not have listened to them, it reflected on his approachable temperament.
However, since it was Long Shen, he had a completely different style. There was no fluff, and when he spoke, it was concise and straight to the point. There was no nonsense in arranging tasks and it hit all the key points that needed to be delivered.
He Yu was so frightened that he had to choke back his half yawn. Although Long Shen didn’t ask them for their opinions and simply gave the orders, he couldn’t help but say, “Boss, my leg is still lame, so why am I responsible for two places?”
Long Shen said, “Zhong Yuyi and Kan Chaosheng will assist you. When you’re there, the branch office will try its best to provide support, including the newcomers who’ve joined this year. They have been assigned to various offices, so you can put forward your needs to them.”
He Yu pointed to Chaosheng. “Can he help me? It would be nice if he didn’t make trouble!”
Kan Chaosheng stared at him fiercely but didn’t dare to make a move because Long Shen was there. Still, the small expression on his face clearly said it all, ‘Just wait and see. After this meeting is over, if I don’t bite you, Laozi can’t be called a Jiao.’
Wu Bingtian looked around at everyone present and said with a gentle smile. “Only by clarifying the division of labor and performing your respective duties can we be more efficient. If you have any questions, just ask them.”
Zhang Heng from Group One asked, “Leaders, I want to know the meaning of such a division? Can we really find the stone tablet if we go there?”
Wu Bingtian said, “Of course there is a reason for this division. Based on the previous excavation experience of the previous two stone tablets, they were found on Changbai Mountain and Helan Mountain. This is the common point that they both share, so we have reasons to believe that other stone tablets are most likely buried in famous mountains and rivers, or under a certain royal mausoleum. However, China is too big, and the people who laid this array obviously have deep intentions. When we can clarify the exact location, we can only roughly make such a judgment.”
Everyone nodded, obviously agreeing with this view.
Long Shen said, “Our speculation may be right or wrong, so you need to verify it. While looking for the stone tablet in the corresponding locations, you should pay attention to nearby cultural relics and monuments. They mainly contain clues about the stone tablet on them.”
After the bone dragon incident on Changbai Mountain, the Special Administration Bureau had already planned to find the whereabouts of the other stone tablets, but because they had too few clues, it was like finding a needle in a haystack, so ultimately it couldn’t be accomplished. This time, with the discovery of the stone tablet under Liang’s tomb, it gave them a glimmer of light in the heavy fog.
After the collapse of the alter, the Special Administration Bureau invited many capable people to go down and seal the alter again. They also added many talisman arrays, sealed the space of the alter separately, and watered the soil layer, burying it deep. In addition, they sent people there to continue guarding and patrolling the area. If there were no accidents, it’d be difficult to damage this stone tablet again.
Dong Zhi had sent several messages in succession, but they all failed. He wasn’t surprised, because he knew his messages were too flighty and his master was such a sullen person. When Long Shen was busy, he wouldn’t even recognize his own parents, so it was normal that he wouldn’t reply to his messages. It just so happened that the reminder that the plane was about to take off sounded, so he turned off his phone and fastened his seatbelt.
He was sitting at the front of the aisle, next to a middle-aged man, who was already fast asleep before the plane had taken off and was snoring from time to time.
When he looked outside the window, he saw the sky getting darker as the sun was setting, covered by dark clouds. The journey alone seemed long and lonely. No one would resist excitement. If there was any, it was because they were afraid of the desolation that would come when the excitement ended.
Dong Zhi originally thought that he was used to living alone and should adapt quickly, but the moment he walked through the security gate, he had already begun to miss his training days with the Special Administration Bureau.
Even when he was separated from the group in Liang’s Tomb, he knew there were countless companions walking in the dark, but now he had to set foot on the unknown road alone. There was also Long Shen. They had never really separated, and he had started to miss him.
Dong Zhi closed his eyes, took a deep breath, got rid of distractions, and began to simulate the whole set of the Tian Gang’s footwork and swordsmanship in his mind.
Under Long Shen’s two-week conditioning, his body had improved greatly compared to when he was first discharged from the hospital. He was no longer short of breath and there wasn’t any palpitation as before. As his Master said, even Zhong Yuyi may not be able to withstand the frequent invitation of gods, not to mention he had invited three righteous gods in a row, which was a great drain on his body and spirit. His illness hit him hard like a mountain, and it would come and go, so he could only slowly recover his vitality.
When the plane entered the stratosphere, the turbulence gradually decreased. The flight attendants dimmed the airport lights to allow passengers to rest. Some people were talking in low voices, while others chose to nap. Not far away, the flight attendants were tidying up their dining cart. This was the quietest moment in his several-hour-long journey.
Dong Zhi couldn’t help being distracted as he thought to himself how Long Shen would react when he saw what he had left behind.
As soon as this thought occurred, he heard a scream.
The woman’s voice was high, and her scream sounded like the noise of a dolphin, which made everyone’s ears tremble. It was full of horror, as if she had encountered the most terrifying thing in her life, causing the entire cabin to be alarmed.
Dong Zhi’s seat was in the high-end economy class, which was behind business class and in front of economy class. Together with the screams from the people in the business class, he had gotten up and reacted faster than others as he opened the curtain and moved forward.
The scream came from a woman with exquisite makeup on, who looked a little familiar at first glance, as if she had been in a TV series or movie.
Dong Zhi didn’t chase stars, so he didn’t think too much of it. He saw that the other party was still sitting in her seat but was shrinking back into it, and was waving her hands frantically, as if to prevent something from pouncing on her, but there was nothing but empty air in front of her.
Not only Dong Zhi, the flight attendant, the airline security personnel, and the people around her also reacted. They all looked around but didn’t dare to step froward. Her companion didn’t know why she was reacting like this and wanted to stop her, but it only made the woman even more frightened.
“Miss Han, what’s wrong with you?!”
“Qiqi, calm down!”
The airline security personnel rushed over when they heard the sound. “Miss, please calm down. If you need help, you can contact our flight attendant. You’re disturbing the peace and order of the airplane!”
The stewardess also tried to comfort her. “Miss Han, are you uncomfortable? I can try to see if there are any passengers on board who is a doctor!”
“Don’t come, don’t come. All of you, don’t come over!” The woman’s horrified eyes swept across them, as if there wasn’t a flight attendant in front of her but a hideous looking demon. Her complexion was blueish-pale, and her beautiful face was reduced to extreme fear.
From the names he heard others call her, combined with her recognizable face, Dong Zhi finally remembered who the well-known star was.
Celebrities and idols are everywhere these days. After making contact with Hui Yiguang, public figures were not particularly new to Dong Zhi. However, this Miss Han Qi was more famous than Hui Yiguang. Her status was close to that of the number one female in a big-budgeted TV series. If Hui Yiguang were to meet her, she would most likely try to curry favor with her.
Right now, Han Qi was behaving less like a public figure and more like a hysterical woman. Although she didn’t scream like she did just now, her behavior was becoming stranger and more erratic.
The flight attendant was overwhelmed, trying to appease her but was also stopping the passengers who came forward to watch the excitement.
“Miss Han, do you have any needs? If this continues and affects the flight, we can only ask the captain to land nearby or return back to the airport. In this case, the impact will be great.”
Han Qi’s lips quivered as she put her hand around her chest. Trembling, she lowered her voice. “Don’t you see it?”
See what? Everyone looked at each other blankly.
The flight attendants and the airline security personnel had begun to suspect that the big star might have mental problems.
Han Qi’s assistants and bodyguards were desperate. Everything was fine before they got on the plane, but suddenly this happened.
Dong Zhi saw that something was off. When the flight attendant came to persuade him to go back to his seat and sit down, he ignored her and took a step forward.
“Let me see her.”
“Sir, are you a doctor?” The flight attendant asked.
Dong Zhi shook his head. “Her condition is not quite like a mental illness.”
Han Qi’s bodyguards regarded him as a fan with bad intentions. Hearing what he said, they showed vigilance and stepped forward to stop him.
At this moment, Han Qi screamed again, “Where is it going?! Oh my god! It’s going to the captain’s cabin! Stop it, don’t let it go!”
The airplane they were on had no first class, with business class the highest tier. In front of business class was the cabin door, a bathroom, and a dining room. After that, there was a narrow aisle in the middle that led to the captain’s cabin.
No one knew what she was talking about. Dong Zhi followed her gaze and saw a pool of stains faintly appearing on the ground of the passage leading to the captain’s cabin, but before he could fix his eyes to see it clearly, it quickly flashed away.
Others may think that they were seeing things, but Dong Zhi was now an “insider of the industry” and could smell the unusualness at once.
Without a second thought, he took out a Sunlight Talisman and threw it in the direction of the captain’s cabin and recited a spell quickly in a low voice.
“The heavens give birth to water, the earth gives birth to fire, the heavens give birth to wood, the earth gives birth to gold. The five central palaces, subdue malignity, overcome disasters, and eliminate all traces of evil! Go!”
Before the talisman touched the hatch of the captain’s cabin, it had already caught fire in mid-air, and the fire instantly became larger and turned into a ball of flames. Everyone screamed, and before the airline security personnel could bring the fire extinguisher, the fire was already gone. It was like a picture of editing failure. Together with the talisman paper, the thing completely disappeared, not even leaving any ashes behind.
“It’s gone!” Han Qi murmured, finally calming down, but her eyes were still focused in the direction they were staring blankly.
Dong Zhi took out a brush and cinnabar, and while everyone was still unresponsive, he quickly tapped Han Qi’s forehead, causing her to close her eyes and fall softly back in her seat.
“What are you doing?!” The bodyguard was furious, thinking that he had done something to Han Qi, and swung at him.
Dong Zhi avoided sideways, stretching out his hand to stop the opponent’s strength.
“I’m not harming her. She’s just been haunted by a nightmare. She’ll be fine when she wakes up.”
Everyone looked at each other. The scene just now was still in front of them. It was too unbelievable and greatly beyond their usual understanding of the world. It was too idiotic for them to suddenly believe the words of a complete stranger.
The airline security personnel and the flight attendant glanced at each other. The former stepped forward and pressed on Dong Zhi’s shoulder, while the latter was quietly blocking Dong Zhi’s way.
“Your behavior just now almost caused a fire. You have violated aviation safety regulations. I hope you can cooperate with our investigation.”
After that, they tried to handcuff him. Dong Zhi thought it was funny as he shrank his hands away to avoid it and hurriedly said, “I’m from the Special Administration Bureau. You may not have heard of it, but your boss has. Please contact the ground. When we land, I’ll cooperate with your investigation, but the plane will not turn back. I am not a dangerous person, and my behavior just now will not cause any harm to the plane.”
The Special Administration Bureau does not disclose its identity to the outside world, so many people did not know that there was such a department. The airline security personnel were naturally suspicious. They felt that Dong Zhi was either a psychopath or a cunning criminal, but they also wanted to evade any kind of responsibility.
Dong Zhi reached into his pocket while his opponent was not slow to react. He thought he was going to draw out some dangerous weapon, so he was quick to stretch out his hand to stop him. Dong Zhi blocked the airline security personnel with one hand and took out his work permit.
“This is my ID. I can leave it with you for the time being. You can also contact the ground to check my identity.”
He stretched out his hand and took the initiative to let the airline security personnel handcuff him.
The airline security personnel was skeptical as he took the ID and went into the captain’s cabin while he asked the flight attendant to monitor Dong Zhi.
Dong Zhi didn’t expect his “courageous deed” to cause such trouble. The only advantage that he got from it was that he had upgraded his seat, free of charge, as there were many vacant seats in business class. Labeled as a “dangerous person”, he was arranged to sit here for surveillance.
The flight attendant sitting next to him felt that this young man with black hair and fair skin didn’t look like a psychopath, let alone a bad guy. More importantly, she had witnessed Han Qi’s strange behavior from start to finish.
When the big star got on the plane, she wore sunglasses and looked like she was thousands of miles away. She didn’t say much, and if she had any needs, all communication was done through her assistant. She had never spoken to any of the flight attendants in person. There were many fans of Han Qi among them, and they wanted to come forward to ask for a group photo, but after seeing her behavior, they decided against it. In private, they couldn’t help but think that the big star seemed bigger than an emperor, which made it difficult to get close.
Because of this, Han Qi’s arrogance was a stark contrast to her neurotic behavior just now. At that time, the plane had been flying steadily. The flight attendant had unbuckled her seatbelt and was about to prepare food when she suddenly saw Han Qi almost jumping out of her seat. She saw a ghost-like expression on her face and watched as she started screaming and flailing around. The problem was, there was a partition on one side and no one else was around.
Recalling Dong Zhi’s words and actions, the flight attendant couldn’t help but feel a bit strange in her heart. She couldn’t help but whisper, “What happened to her just now?”
Dong Zhi whispered back, “I couldn’t see clearly, but it seems there was something abnormal that was bothering her.”
The stewardess looked horrified. “Then, is it wiped out?”
Dong Zhi said, “I have already burned it with talisman fire just now. If it’s not something powerful, then it should be wiped out.”
What he didn’t say was that, after listening to Han Qi’s yelling just now, it was likely the aim of that thing was the captain’s cabin. If it was allowed to enter, who knew what would happen? Perhaps the entire plane would suffer an unpredictable, serious consequence. However, Dong Zhi felt that telling the flight attendant this would only make her more afraid, so he purposefully concealed it.
When the airline security personnel came out of the captain’s room, his face did not look around.
“We contacted the ground, and the Special Administration Bureau does not have someone like you.”
Dong Zhi blurted out, “Impossible!”
“What’s impossible!” The airline security personnel was angry as he was scolded for this. “The plane almost turned around because of you. You’re coming with us when we land!”
Dong Zhi was speechless. Just great. He was originally going to report for duty, but now he had become a suspicious person. Facing the eyes of the airline security personnel who looked at him like he was mentally ill, he helplessly said, “I can verify my identity when we get off the plane.”
Facing the eyes of the airline security personnel who gave him a look like he was mentally ill, he said helplessly, “I can verify my identity when I get off the plane. Have you ever seen a psychopath that can speak so coherently?”
The airline security personnel. “That’s hard to say. Last time, my colleague met one, and they talked about physics and mechanics for a long time. It turns out that he was suffering from a particularly serious condition. He had escaped from a mental hospital and was caught halfway.”
Dong Zhi: ……