Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Blood gurgled out of his chest and caused Yamamoto’s face to become uglier. Every time he breathed, he would aggravate the wound and was becoming more bent out of shape.
“Yes, in my pocket.” He said weakly.
However, Dong Zhi didn’t move. He didn’t even intend to bend over.
Seeing as he didn’t move, Yamamoto raised his hand tremblingly and touched his pocket. Dong Zhi thought he was going to make trouble again and forgot to control his strength that he inadvertently pushed the sword in another inch, causing Yamamoto to spit out another mouthful of blood.
He only had himself to blame for becoming a fish while giving the knife to the hands of others.
Yamamoto pulled out a small glass bottle that had a cloud of gray mist inside. When they looked at it closely, it was intertwined with silk thread.
“This is his remnant soul,” Yamamoto said intermittently.
The gray mist in the bottle became more familiar, causing Dong Zhi to recall something. “Did you restrain a weasel in a hotel in this city?”
Yamamoto shook his head with difficulty. “I’m not to blame.”
Dong Zhi pushed the sword a little bit further.
Yamamoto spit out another mouthful of blood and begged for mercy, “It’s really not me! I have killed two of your companions. If I did it, would I not say it?”
Dong Zhi snorted coldly, thinking he could always question him afterwards. The most important thing now was to save Yan Nuo first.
He asked Mu Duo, “Can you tell if he’s telling the truth?”
She nodded, then took the bottle and put it in front of Yan Nuo. She opened the mouth of the bottle, and it began rattling.
The bell rang slowly while gradually increasing its speed until the gray mist finally swam out of the mouth of the bottle and slowly floated to Yan Nuo.
Dong Zhi saw the gray mist float into Yan Nuo’s nose and deep into his nasal cavity. Just a few seconds after he turned his head to look at Yan Nuo, he heard a dull hum in his ears. He looked back immediately and saw Yamamoto smiling mysteriously at him.
He wants to escape!
As soon as the thought occurred, Yamamoto’s body suddenly exploded, causing a shockwave that ejected Dong Zhi a few meters away. He fell heavily to the ground, and the Changshou Sword landed with a clang.
Looking at the place again, a thin piece of paper was laid on the ground and a big hole was opened in its heart, which was the place where the Changshou Sword had just pierced.
There were bloodstains on the side, as it was proof that Yamamoto had existed.
“Puppet technique!” Mu Duo exclaimed.
Seeing that Dong Zhi picked up the sword and wanted to give chase, she hurriedly said, “Don’t chase. He was already prepared. He must’ve laid puppets somewhere, just in case. I have heard of this technique. Once his life is in danger, he can replace his body thousands of miles away and use the puppet to resist a fatal blow!”
It didn’t matter as Dong Zhi couldn’t possibly run anymore. He didn’t even have the strength to get up, so he could only sit in place and gasp.
“Is there a way to track him down?”
Mu Duo shook her head. “The problem is that we don’t know where he’s located, but I heard that every time this puppet technique is used, it’ll inevitably hurt his vitality. In addition, you stabbed him again. Even if he’s not dead now, he’ll only have a few breaths left at most, so it’ll take him at least a few years to recover.”
After falling short, Dong Zhi was frustrated, but Mu Duo felt fortunate. They were almost annihilated.
“I didn’t expect you to be able to summon thunder. I’m really grateful to you today!”
She said this sincerely. If Xiao Qi were to wake up, perhaps he would show some humility. After all, although the Special Administration Bureau looked at qualifications and background, the most important thing was strength. Unfortunately, neither he nor Zhou Dui were as lucky as Yan Nuo.
What a truly tragic and ironic situation. Mu Duo couldn’t contain her tears as they fell down.
Dong Zhi sighed. “To summon thunder, it’s necessary to match the array with the time and place. This is indispensable. I’ve tried my best. If it was unsuccessful at that time, we would all have become ghosts by now!”
Mu Duo suddenly said, “So that’s why you led the snake around just now so you could create an array!”
Dong Zhi nodded.
“That way, I could temporarily avoid Yamamoto’s attention. In fact, he’s quite powerful. You can also feel it. I have seen his shixiong, Fujikawa Aoi, fight with my Master before. If he’s his shidi, he can’t be much worse than him. This time, he was careless, so I was able to take advantage of that.”
In addition to the shock, Mu Duo couldn’t help but admire the eagerness of Dong Zhi and his ability to remain calm during a crisis. In the beginning, she felt that his behavior was too squeamish since he refused to sleep in the office and went out to rent a place of his own. She suspected that the General Administration Bureau would send a person like that here, just to help use this place as a steppingstone for his future. Now she realized that it was because the General Administration thought the Lucheng Office wasn’t in good condition that they sent him over.
Rather than icing on the cake, it was providing charcoal in the snow*.
*(雪中送炭) Idiom referring to giving people help in times difficulty.
At this time, there was a sound from the side. They turned their heads to look. Yan Nuo slowly moved for a bit as he was waking up.
“What happened… What?” Yan Nuo held his forehead, recalling the scene before he lost his soul, he suddenly shook his body. “There’s something wrong with the adulterer! Xiao Qi and Zhou Dui…”
His voice stopped abruptly, and his gaze fell on the body of Zhou Dui not far away. It rendered him speechless.
Mu Duo hurriedly said, “Yan Nuo, calm down. That adulterer had been seriously injured by Dong Zhi and ran away. Zhou Dui and Xiao Qi… have died!”
Yan Nuo’s face paled. He didn’t know whether it was due to excessive sadness or the side effect of losing his soul, as he was completely shell-shocked.
Dong Zhi said, “Mu Duo Jie, you should contact the police and the branch first. Let them send someone quickly!”
He had seen what happened to He Yu’s shidi, who had lost his soul, and knew that since his soul had just returned to him, he would need a period of recuperation. It was impossible to recover immediately.
Mu Duo took out her phone and started to contact the relevant departments while Dong Zhi frowned and recalled the situation.
He had always felt that he seemed to have missed something, but he couldn’t remember. He had just touched his phone when he saw that there was a missed call.
The number was unknown, but it was local to Lucheng, and it wasn’t He Jia’s, as he had saved her number.
It didn’t look like it was a harassing call, as there were only two consecutive calls. At the time, he was busy dealing with Yamamoto, so he didn’t have the time to check his phone.
Dong Zhi called back.
It rang twice before a female voice picked it up, sounding cautious.
Dong Zhi: “Hello, did you call me just now?”
The other party replied quickly, “No!”
There was a hint of vigilance and doubt in her voice that he assumed she probably regarded him as some kind of scammer. Dong Zhi felt it was odd as this voice sounded very familiar.
“Wait, don’t hang up… Are you Xiao’an?”
Xiao’an was the little girl who worked at the front desk of He Jia’s hotel. They had exchanged a few words when Dong Zhi was staying there.
The other party answered, “Yes, who are you?”
Dong Zhi’s heart sank as he had a bad premonition. He immediately said, “I’m a friend of your boss. You have seen me. I’m coming back now. Please wait!”
He didn’t care that his legs were still weak. He borrowed Mu Duo’s car and rushed back.
The distance from the suburbs to the city was pretty far. Fortunately, there wasn’t much traffic in the middle of the night, so the road was unimpeded. When he arrived at the hotel, Xiao’an was already there.
“Dong Ge, it’s so strange. I was just taking a nap, so I don’t know who took my phone to call you. I even called you twice in a row. There’s a fingerprint lock on the phone!” As soon as Xiao’an saw him, she handed her phone to him to show him that she was telling the truth.
Xiao’an remained calm as this wasn’t the first strange thing that had happened in the hotel.
Dong Zhi took it and found that his number was in the dial list. The time was more than an hour ago.
He had never given Xiao’an his number, so it was impossible for her to do it on her own volition, but Dong Zhi had given the weasel named “Lao Liu” his contact, so if he found the whereabouts of that person, he would immediately notify him.
The only possibility is that Lao Liu found something, so he quickly possessed Xiao’an’s body to call him.
Thinking of this, Dong Zhi immediately asked Xiao’an for the key to the tail room on the second floor. The door was still locked, and there was no sign of the lock being damaged. Dong Zhi felt a bit of relief and quickly unlocked the door and walked into the room.
His face suddenly turned pale, leaving him motionless.
A pool of blood was visible on the big bed that was covered with white bedding, and a small animal lay on its back with its limbs stiff. There was a hole in its abdomen, and even its intestines were exposed.
He came one step late. The window was half open, and the wind stirred the white curtains. Other than this, there were no other traces of the murderer in the room.
When he thought about it, it couldn’t be an ordinary person who could kill a Bao Jiaxian.
Dong Zhi carefully picked up the cold weasel and wrapped it in a sheet. Although Lao Liu did help him at first, he was also afraid of death and refused to tell the truth, which indirectly led to his current fate. However, Dong Zhi felt that it died because Lao Liu revealed some information, so he was partially responsible for it.
Having said that, whoever the other party was, they were extremely vicious. Even if the weasel didn’t give out any information, he may not necessarily be able to escape this catastrophe, because he had long been targeted by the other party and had nowhere to hide.
“Sorry, I was negligent, but I didn’t expect the other party to not even let you go. Don’t worry, I will find the murderer and avenge you.” He solemnly promised Lao Liu’s body.
Judging from all the clues, it was very likely that the person who killed Lao Liu was Yamamoto, but there were things that weren’t adding up.
For example, more than an hour ago, Yamamoto was still dealing with them in the warehouse. Even if his puppet was set in the hotel, could he still kill Lao Liu after suffering from such a serious injury? Even if Lao Liu couldn’t beat him, he could still run away.
No, something’s not right!
A thought flashed in Dong Zhi’s mind.
He remembered that when he questioned Yamamoto at that time, he said, “I’m not to blame.”
“I’m not to blame” instead of “I didn’t do it”.
In other words, although it may not be him, he most likely knows who did. Was there another invisible enemy hiding in the dark?
For a while, Dong Zhi’s thoughts became muddled.
Could it be that he was too suspicious?
When Long Shen was present, he didn’t need to think about so many things, because Long Shen had his own way.
People always rely on the strong, so naturally, Dong Zhi knew this path of thinking was wrong. The idea only appeared for half a second before it was tossed out from the depth of his mind.
If he called for help now, his master would say he could take care of it himself. In any case, there generally wouldn’t be a Dong Zhi, but since he had entered the Special Administration Bureau and become Long Shen’s disciple, he must learn to look at the bigger picture than just what was currently in front of him and solve the root of the problem in a coordinated manner, just like his master.
Xiao Qi had died, and Yan Nuo had lost his soul, which meant they had lost half their combat effectiveness. This was a house that leaked with seemingly endless rain*.
*(屋漏偏逢连夜雨) Refers to when things are bad, it just so happens that there a bigger blow to adding fuel to the fire (AKA when it rains it pours).
Dong Zhi sighed and called Mu Duo first to ask her about the situation.
Mu Duo said, “The police have already rushed over, and they will help clean up the situation. Warehouse No. 8 will be fenced off as a murder scene. Xiao Qi and Zhou Dui will also be sent back for resettlement. When the people from the branch come, they’ll take Xiao Qi away. Now I’m on my way back to the office with Yan Nuo. He needs to rest for a while.”
Dong Zhi told her about what happened at the hotel.
Before the warehouse incident tonight, Mu Duo and the others thought that Dong Zhi was aimlessly wandering around. Now that the connection seemed to have formed, they realized that the water might run very deep.
Mu Duo said in horror, “Do you need help over there? I can rush over right away!”
Dong Zhi said, “No need for the time being. My guess is that the purpose of the other party killing Lao Liu is to hide himself and bring this matter to an end. Remember to explain the situation to the branch and ask them to send a few more people over. Now that it’s just the two of us and we’re both injured, I’m afraid if something happens again, we can’t handle it alone.”
Mu Duo quickly replied, “Yes, I’m contacting them now!”
A day ago, Dong Zhi was still in the role of writing reports. Now it seemed their roles had inadvertently switched. Mu Duo acted naturally and felt there was nothing wrong with this.
After cutting off contact, Dong Zhi called He Jia and asked her to come over.
He Jia actually wanted to take Dong Zhi around the city, but the male god seemed very busy every day and didn’t seem to have any leisurely time. She was also reserved and didn’t want to embarrass herself by harassing the other party repeatedly. She wasn’t expecting to receive a call from Dong Zhi in the middle of the night that woke her up from a sweet dream. She almost thought that the male god had an ulterior motive.
However, she quickly discovered how wrong she was. Even if Dong Zhi wanted to do something, it wouldn’t be in the room on the second floor of the hotel where her great aunt had made a dedication shrine for a Bao Jiaxian. When Dong Zhi invited her to that room and explained the entire story about the stiff weasel lying on the bed, it left her completely stunned.
She thought she was listening to the Chinese version of Harry Potter.
In fact, He Jia had never believed in things like gods and ghosts. She read Dong Zhi’s comics because she was attracted by the plot and characters. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have ignored her great aunt’s warning and let him come into the room as soon as Dong Zhi asked about it. The Bao Jiaxian that she heard about from her great aunt, but had never seen with her own eyes, was now the weasel that was lying in front of her around a pool of blood on the bed. This made her start to doubt the world she had been living in since she was a child.
She didn’t think Dong Zhi would be crazy enough to kill a weasel and lie to her about it.
Naturally, Dong Zhi skipped the parts about Yamamoto. He only told her that he had been able to see strange things since he was a child. In the past few days, when he stayed at the hotel, he accidentally met Lao Liu and got along well with him. Tonight, Lao Liu had possessed Xiao’an to call him, but when he came over, he found that Lao Liu was already dead.
“You mean his name is Lao Liu?” He Jia was terrified. This weasel confirmed what her great aunt had said was true. But now that the Bao Jiaxian was dead, He Jia didn’t know how to explain it to her great aunt.
Dong Zhi sighed. “He said his name is Uncle Liu, but I call him Lao Liu.”
Indeed, her great aunt often respected the Bao Jian as Uncle Liu, and He Jia had no doubt about this.
She wanted to reach out to untie the sheets but was stopped by Dong Zhi.
“Uncle Liu was killed by someone and that person cut up his belly and there are intestines everywhere. You better not look.”
He Jia’s hand trembled.
Dong Zhi said, “In fact, Uncle Liu told me yesterday that there are other things in this hotel besides it.”
He Jia seemed to have aged a few decades. She had lived a smooth, peaceful, and ordinary life. Upon hearing this, she finally showed uncontrollable fear.
“…What else is here?”
Dong Zhi shook his head. “I don’t know, but I have friends who are more familiar with this. I would like to suggest that you close this hotel for half a month and let my friends come over and check it thoroughly. It’s not only for your own good but also for the sake of the staff and guests here.”
The first time He Jia came into contact with this kind of abnormal event, she thought she might be losing her mind. When she heard what Dong Zhi had said, she agreed without thinking much about it.
“But I have to let the staff persuade the guests to leave and pay them compensation. I also have to find them new accommodations as well.”
Dong Zhi said, “This is natural, but I hope the sooner the better. Uncle Liu was originally the Bao Jiaxian of this hotel. He was worshipped by you and your great aunt. As a token of gratitude, he would attract customers to this hotel. Therefore, you often find it strange that there is an endless stream of guests. In fact, this was mainly due to Uncle Liu. Your great aunt should already know this.”
He Jia suddenly said, “Then after…”
Dong Zhi nodded. “Since there’s no Uncle Liu in the future, everything will depend on you. The most important thing now is that Uncle Liu died inexplicably, and I’m afraid the murderer who killed him is still hiding here.”
He Jia became more and more frightened as she listened while nodding her head repeatedly. “I understand, I will immediately order them to do it, and the venue will be cleared by tomorrow afternoon at the latest!”
Dong Zhi said, “Also, Uncle Liu and your great aunt seemed to share a fate together. There may be some kind of connection between them. Now that Uncle Liu is dead, the connection is most likely broken, so your great aunt will definitely ask.”
He Jia could only nod. This was the first time she encountered this kind of thing, and she was inevitably at a loss. After a while, she remembered. “Since you’re asking your friends to deal with this matter, is there a cost? How much is it?”
Before Dong Zhi could reply, she hurriedly said again, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of it being expensive. I’m just asking first, as I have a number in my heart!”
Dong Zhi smiled. “No charge.”
He Jia was taken aback. “Huh?”
Although she wasn’t knowledgeable, she had heard that many masters often charged hundreds of millions. For someone or something to kill a Bao Jiaxian, that thing must be extremely fierce and could even be life-threatening. With this kind of work, no matter how much money was offered, there may not be anyone who would accept it.
But the result was that Dong Zhi actually said that there was no charge?
“That’s not good. How can you let people help for free? Dong Ge, no need to be so polite to me!” He Jia thought she misheard.
“I’m not being polite to you. Have you heard of the Special Administration Bureau?”
Since the two knew each other well, Dong Zhi was also worried that He Jia may have thought he had some ulterior motive. Even if He Jia believed him, her parents and elders, as well as her great aunt, would most likely have doubts. Although he couldn’t reveal much, he still needed to explain what should be explained, as to not cause misunderstandings in the future.
He Jia shook her head, indicating that she had never heard of it.
Dong Zhi said, “They are just like the police, but they don’t pursue ordinary criminals, but rather criminals with special abilities. My friends work there. They have the responsibility and obligation to deal with this kind of thing. If your great aunt doesn’t believe it, I will ask the police to also issue a certificate so you can show her that the police have temporarily requisitioned the hotel to handle a case.”
He Jia’s mood gradually stabilized, and she smiled. “No, I will take care of my great aunt’s side. Don’t worry. What’s more, the hotel is in my name, so I have the right. But Dong Ge…”
Dong Zhi was puzzled.
He Jia: “You’re actually also from the Special Administration Bureau, right?”
This question was not easy for Dong Zhi to answer, so he simply ignored it.
There was a sly look in He Jia’s eyes. “What you just said is that you will ask the police to issue a certificate instead of your friends. This indicates that you also have the right to decide, so your power is not small.”
Dong Zhi denied it naturally, “I’m not. I just know more from my friends.”
He Jia smiled. “I understand. Don’t worry. I won’t say anything else.”
As soon as she finished speaking, her phone rang. He Jia looked at it and said, “It’s my great aunt!”
Dong Zhi walked out with interest and stopped in front of the hotel to look up and down again, but found nothing unusual.
Everything disappeared with the death of Lao Liu. It seemed that it had been restored to be an ordinary hotel. From now on, there wouldn’t be guests who would come there inexplicably, let alone strange things. If He Jia muddled through like before, there may not be a hotel that once sheltered Lao Liu, and it wouldn’t be long before she couldn’t make ends meet.
A faint sadness suddenly surged in his heart. He had met Lao Liu by chance. Let alone starting a friendship, they barely exchanged a few words, but he still felt melancholy, nonetheless. At times like this, he missed Long Shen.
In the long years of the past, Long Shen must’ve had friends and admirers. Even if a cultivator lived longer than ordinary people, it was impossible to live for hundreds or thousands of years like Long Shen or Kan Chaosheng. As the ones he was familiar with became old and passed away, it was certainly impossible for him to be completely indifferent and unemotional to such a thing.
Even as his apprentice, he could live to be a hundred years old or more, but it was destined to be impossible to support his Master’s heavenly years. He suddenly realized how rare it was for Long Shen to accept an apprentice. With Long Shen’s wisdom, he must’ve thought about this, but Long Shen still accepted him regardless.
The longer they got along, the more afraid Dong Zhi was of disappointing him.
Master’s heart, even if it wasn’t love, was enough for him to handle it carefully and cherish it properly.
The author has something to say:
Love is afraid of disappointment and always wants to make you better.
At this stage of Yamamoto’s life, it is actually remarkable that Dong Zhi can seriously injure him. Of course, it is also the reason why the other party can’t figure out his way and adapt to it.