Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chen Guoliang was a well-known feng shui master in Hong Kong. Although not everyone in the room knew who he was, the majority of the local wealthy knew him and would naturally come to greet him and see Dong Zhi by his side.
People judge others based on their clothes. When they saw Dong Zhi’s appearance, they couldn’t believe that he was a practitioner. Of course, they wouldn’t mistake him for being Chen Guolaing’s assistant either, but rather some young master from an elite family. Given his cute and harmless smile, the young master looked as if he didn’t know the difficulties of the world.
“Where’s Mr. An?” Dong Zhi looked around as he asked Cheng Guoliang.
The women were all dressed up and covered in jewels. He had only seen Qi Rui’s picture. At first glance, it was difficult to tell who Qi Rui was among the crowd. Besides, rumors had it that Mr. An had many lovers and he might not bring her today.
“Not here yet,” Cheng Guoliang said. With an identity like his, he likes to be ostentatious and appear last in the finale.”
In a short while, Nie Gui also came.
Uncharacteristically, he went straight to Dong Zhi and greeted him enthusiastically instead of the beautiful women.
“Master, Master Chen, you guys are so early!” Nie Gui glanced around mysteriously, then whispered, “Master, please look to see if my mother came with me.”
Dong Zhi smiled. “Yes, the madam is standing at the entrance to the banquet hall.”
Nie Gui almost wanted to wail. “Why won’t she let me go!”
Nevertheless, he was a lot more honest, didn’t dare flirt, and followed Dong Zhi. After all, the world of yin and yang was different, and after experiencing it, he was left with awe for ghosts and gods.
Many people came to greet them, including many young, beautiful, and rich women—naturally, they didn’t come for Nie Gui.
When Chen Guoliang introduced Dong Zhi as his mainland colleague and friend, their eyes lit up, and they asked kindly, “Then will Mr. Dong please read my palm?”
Many of these rich ladies were quite open and flirtatious. Naturally, they had no reservations about chasing boys. Seeing that Dong Zhi was so handsome, they entertained the idea of trying to get to know him first.
Dong Zhi couldn’t laugh or cry. As he was trying to think of how to get rid of them, he heard Chen Guoliang say softly, “Mr. An is here.”
Dong Zhi raised his head and saw Mr. An walking in with a female companion. Many people with sharp eyes instantly saw him and took the initiative to greet him. However, Mr. An just smiled modestly and only said a few words to them. It was self-evident how influential the An family in Hong Kong was.
Only Dong Zhi’s attention was on the woman who was holding Mr. An’s arm.
“That’s Qi Rui. She’s changed her name to Martha now!” Chen Guoliang whispered.
Dong Zhi felt his heart flutter as he looked at Qi Rui carefully.
The other party was wearing exquisite makeup, and a smile was plastered on her face. He could see that she had been living a good life. Her face looked richer than originally, but there were still some similarities in the previous photos. However, the real-life person was more enchanting than the photos. Every move was alluring, but then again, if she wasn’t outstanding, how could she possibly catch Mr. An’s attention?
But when Dong Zhi finally saw her, all he could feel was relief, like a ray of light shining in the darkness.
There were many people around Mr. An, so it wasn’t easy for Dong Zhi to get close. When the crowd eased up, Nie Gui told them to follow him and took Dong Zhi towards Mr. An.
Relying on the reputation of the Nie family, Mr. An gave Nie Gui a positive look. Nie Gui smiled back and said, “Uncle An, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen you!”
Mr. An said slowly, “It has, hasn’t it? Your parents have been gone for a long time now. It’s about time to get serious, right?”
He spoke to Nie Gui like an elder and, based on his words, classified Nie Gui’s life as “immoral”, but Nie Gui didn’t raise a fuss and simply just smiled dryly. “Yes, I’m planning to reform myself. Come, let me introduce you to Mr. Dong, a colleague from the mainland of Master Chen. He’s also an extremely powerful master.”
“I’ve heard so much about Mr. An, but unfortunately, I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you,” Cheng Guoliang said as he hurriedly extended his hand.
Mr. An shook hands with them and slightly nodded. “I have also heard of Master Chen. The peers you can bring here must be very capable.”
When shaking hands with Dong Zhi, Mr. An deliberately gave him a special look.
“Master Dong is not like a feng shui master but rather a scholar. There are deep waters and many dragons* in the mainland, so it’s really different.”
*(水深龙多) Idiom referring to with sufficient environmental conditions, more talents can be cultivated. || In this context, he’s saying China has many resources so they can cultivate extremely talented people (like Dong Zhi).
Dong Zhi was incompatible with Chen Guoliang’s temperament. Being a shrewd businessman, Mr. An could see it at a glance.
“Mr. An flatters me. In fact, this time I came from the mainland to look for your girlfriend, Miss Qi Rui.”
He stretched out his hand to the lady companion beside Mr. An and said her real name straightforwardly.
“Hello, Miss Qi. Do you remember your old friend Dong Qiaolan?”
Qi Rui’s face changed. Instead of shaking hands with Dong Zhi, she looked at Mr. An instead.
Mr. An said lightly, “It seems you have some ulterior motives. Her name is Martha now. I don’t want anyone to make trouble at the banquet. Mr. Dong, if you don’t listen to my advice, then I’ll have to ask someone to escort you out.”
Now that Qi Rui’s identity had been confirmed, there was naturally no need for Dong Zhi to worry.
“Sorry, Mr. An, I think you have misunderstood. This friend of Miss Qi, Dong Qiaolan, is involved in a case, and her current whereabouts are unknown. I was just hoping to ask Miss Qi to cooperate with me in the investigation.”
Qi Rui angrily said, “I don’t know who that person is!”
Dong Zhi took out his cellphone and showed her a photo of her and Dong Qiaolan, which was found on Dong Qiaolan’s social media account.
“Miss Qi, I think you should have heard about the death of the female star Han Qi. Dong Qiaolan and Hong Rui are suspected of being indirectly involved in her death. I hope I can ask you about their whereabouts. Why don’t we find a place to have a good chat?”
Qi Rui refused to cooperate. She grabbed her gold master’s arm and begged, “Mr. An, I don’t want to talk to him. Can you drive him out?”
Mr. An said coldly, “Mr. Dong, this is Hong Kong, not the mainland. You’re not the Hong Kong police. You have no right to take anyone away for questioning. My girlfriend also has the right to refuse you. If you continue to pursue this matter, I’ll have security escort you out at once.”
“Then it’s the Hong Kong police that have the power to take her away?”
A voice came, accompanied by a flurry of footsteps.
The crowd looked at the sound and saw four people quickly walking in. The man in the lead had a cold face. It was Long Shen, whom Dong Zhi hadn’t seen all day.
Three men behind Long Shen stepped forward and showed their credentials to Mr. An, indicating their identities. They wanted to take Qi Rui away to assist in the investigation.
Only now did Dong Zhi realize that Long Shen had disappeared this morning to communicate with the Hong Kong police.
It was natural for the Hong Kong police to step in, which was more justifiable and in line with the procedures.
The laughter in the banquet hall stopped as all eyes were focused on the scene, creating a silent deadlock.
Qi Rui pulled on Mr. An with teary eyes while the police impatiently said, “We only need to question you to extract testimony. We’re not here to arrest you. Miss Qi, why are you acting so emotional?”
Many people laughed out loud when they heard this. Those who knew Qi Rui’s true identity were secretly disdainful of her. At that moment, many mocking glances were projected at her, which made her feel as if she was being pricked by needles.
Seeing that Mr. An’s face was getting uglier, she knew that he, who loved face the most, was unhappy, and she dared not cry anymore and could only resign herself to go with Long Shen and the others.
Dong Zhi thanked Nie Gui and said goodbye to Chen Guoliang, then got in the police car with Long Shen.
“Master, why are you here now?”
Long Shen said, “There is no Special Administration Bureau in Hong Kong. It’s more cumbersome to connect with the police of the two places. Moreover, Qi Rui is not a criminal and is only assisting in the investigation, so the local police must be present when we take her back for questioning.”
Dong Zhi smiled and said, “If I had known you were going to ask the police to come forward, I wouldn’t have made such a big detour.”
Long Shen: “It’s not like you didn’t gain anything today.”
Dong Zhi scratched his nose, thinking that his master was quite good at comforting people.
“Can it be considered a gain to know a dandy?”
Long Shen said, “I’ve never seen you dress like this. It looks good.”
Dong Zhi was stunned for a second, feeling like he had been fed candy as the sweetness from his mouth dripped to his heart.
A serious person was deadliest when flirting. Dong Zhi could now appreciate the essence of this sentence.
Qi Rui was in another car. The two of them were sitting in the backseat. Since there was a driver in front, Dong Zhi didn’t dare make a move in front of people, so he reached out and touched Long Shen lightly as a way to express his feelings.
Who knew that the other party directly grabbed his hand and held it, and wasn’t shy about the possibility that the driver might see it.
The car quickly reached the police station.
Before that, Long Shen had already communicated with relevant personnel, and the Hong Kong police sent a person to accompany them for questioning.
Qi Rui’s attitude was extremely uncooperative, and she refused to admit that she knew Dong Qiaolan.
However, according to the information obtained by Dong Zhi, before Qi Rui came to Hong Kong, the two of them had been best friends and talked about everything. Dong Qiaolan even wanted to introduce Qi Rui to Hong Rui, but this was probably the source of the fallout between the two.
Figuring this out, Dong Zhi decided to change his thinking.
“Did you have a falling out with Dong Qiaolan because of Hong Rui?”
Qi Rui’s face changed slightly.
He knew he was right.
“Miss Qi, you have to know that now that we’re getting information from you to pursue them, if you refuse to cooperate and they come back to you in the future, even if Mr. An is powerful, it’s impossible for him to protect you. I might as well tell you that Dong Qiaolan and Hong Rui are probably dabbling in Southeast Asian sorcery. If they want to retaliate against you, it will be very easy. You don’t want to wake up one day and be cursed, right?”
When they were at Che Bai’s place, he had used a spell on Dong Zhi that allowed him to see that Dong Qiaolan and Hong Rui had become puppets of Mara and Songen, so it was impossible for them to come back, but this was something Qi Rui didn’t know. When she heard this, she turned pale.
“What do you want to know? I did have a good relationship with Dong Qiaolan before, but then we had a falling out, so I don’t know much about her anymore.”
At this point, she knew that cooperation was the only way.
Dong Zhi: “Why did you have a falling out?”
Qi Rui said, “Because I found that she was getting eviler. She flew to Southeast Asia for three days, and when she came back, she was extremely hyperactive and behaved strangely. During that time, her career was in a slump, so she often prayed to God and worshipped Buddhas. At that time, I was preoccupied with my own thing, so I didn’t care…”
She spoke vaguely, but Dong Zhi saw through it. “Because you were evading your debt?”
Qi Rui said embarrassedly, “Now, Mr. An has helped me with that. At that time, Dong Qiaolan came to me and gave me a jade bracelet, saying that she went to Thailand to find a master to bless it, which would allow me to make a lot of money. I believed her and went to a casino in Macau with it. Indeed, I won a small sum of money.”
“I was quite happy, so I went to Dong Qiaolan and wanted to invite her to dinner. Who knew that I happened to overhear her talking on the phone. Dong Qiaolan said that she had found a target, and it was me. After some time had passed, their plan would be successful. I felt something was wrong, so I went in to confront her. Dong Qiaolan is a person who’s unable to lie, so she kept stammering and unknowingly made some remarks. I only know that she was cooperating with others to experiment with some kind of sorcery that would make her powerful and immortal. I thought she went crazy. At that time, I broke off the jade bracelet, threw it at her, ran to Macau, and never contacted her again.”
Dong Zhi: “Did she contact you after that?”
Qi Rui nodded. “She called many times, but I didn’t answer. Later, she changed her number, so I completely lost contact with her. To be honest, I really don’t want to have anything to do with her anymore. I’m just a gambler, but she’s killing people! You don’t know how terrifying her home became after she started believing in all that voodoo. I even saw a baby puppet in her room, and I don’t know what it was for!”
When she mentioned this, her face was full of nausea and fear. She hugged her arms as if she didn’t want to think about it for a second time.
After Dong Qiaolan disappeared, Long Shen and the others found this puppet when they searched her home. It was speculated that it was a prop used for curses, similar to the use of voodoo dolls.
Dong Zhi asked again, “Then do you know, what is the name of the black magic master that Dong Qiaolan believes in? She often goes abroad. Has she ever mentioned to you where she was going?”
Qi Rui frowned and tried to recall. “Once I asked. She said that the place she went was in northern Thailand close to the border. It’s far away, and she had to take a train then transfer to a car when she arrived. But she said all that hard work was worth it because the master was very powerful.”
Dong Zhi asked, “Did she tell you his name?”
Qi Rui: “It seems to be… It was…”
Suddenly, inspiration flashed. “Songen!”
No one expected that as soon as Qi Rui had just finished speaking, her face suddenly changed. Red rushed from her neck to her cheeks, and her whole face quickly turned purple. The policeman who was accompanying Long Shen for questioning was completely stunned, but Long Shen and Dong Zhi had already reacted. The two of them stepped forward at the same time and were about to act when Qi Rui suddenly opened her eyes and rolled them backwards. Her expression became hideous and distorted.
“I heard you want to find me?” She giggled. As if her throat were being choked, her voice was extremely shrill and different from just now. “I’m waiting for you!”
Qi Rui’s eyes slowly turned, her pupils were almost rolled to the back of her head, and her eyes were dead white. This kind of terrifying situation was as if she had been possessed by a ghost. The policeman next to her had never seen anything like it before and immediately subconsciously reached for his gun.
Long Shen said in a deep voice, “Where are you?”
Qi Rui said eerily, “Aren’t you capable? Find me yourself. I’ll be here waiting for you!”
After that, her body trembled, and the corners of her mouth overflowed with black blood. Long Shen stepped forward, pressed on her temples on both sides, and shouted, “The sunlight talisman!”
Given his experience and tacit understanding, Dong Zhi’s reaction wasn’t slow. As soon as Long Shen’s voice fell, he pinched the sunlight talisman and opened Qi Rui’s mouth with one hand, then stuffed the talisman in.
The Hong Kong policemen who were watching the surveillance at the other end thought that Long Shen and Dong Zhi were abusing the witness, so they quickly opened the door and ran in. As a result, everyone was stunned when they saw such a weird scene. In fact, there was no shortage of urban oddities in Hong Kong. It wasn’t unusual for these policemen, who have been in the industry for many years, to encounter a few cold cases. It was just that the impact was great when they saw it with their own eyes.
After seeing Qi Rui’s mouth stuff with the talisman, her body convulsions gradually slowed down, and her eyeballs slowly returned to normal. She fell onto the chair and wanted to open her mouth to speak but found that it was stuffed. Subconsciously, she spat out the sunlight talisman that had turned completely black.
“What are you doing!”
Long Shen said, “It’s okay. You were hit by a taboo curse.”
Witnessing all this from start to finish, the policeman in the room with them felt his worldview had greatly been affected and couldn’t help but ask, “What is a taboo curse?”
Long Shen: “It is a curse technique that’s placed on words. When it is cast on a person, usually nothing will happen unless the person says a word that the black magic master doesn’t want her to say, which will then trigger the curse. If treatment isn’t successful, they will likely die.”
Hearing this and seeing Dong Qiaolan’s weird things, Qi Rui screamed in fright and immediately bounced up, wanting to grab Long Shen. Long Shen avoided her, and she almost slammed into the table.
“Then—then I’ll be fine, right?!”
Dong Zhi answered her, “The other party’s curse on you isn’t severe. It should be through Dong Qiaolan’s hands to just monitor you. We have already resolved it for you.”
Qi Rui was about to cry. “Can’t you look at it again? I really don’t want to die!”
Dong Zhi sighed. Since the other party provided them with a key clue, he complied and took out a talisman.
“You’re all right now. If you’re still worried, take this with you. You can…”
Before he could finish, the talisman had already been snatched away. Qi Rui grabbed her clutch bag off the table and stuffed it into Dong Zhi’s hand while clenching the talisman paper tightly.
“All for you! I’ll give all the money I have in it to you. You can keep the change!”
“…Calm down.” Dong Zhi reluctantly finished his sentence.
When the matter came to an end, Mr. An happened to send someone over to inquire about the situation. The police escorted Qi Rui, who wasn’t in good mental condition, out. Long Shen politely declined the invitation from the chief of the Hong Kong police and left the police station with Dong Zhi.
“Where are we going now?”
Long Shen: “To the hotel to rest first. I’ll have someone start to find the location.”
Although these black magic masters lived in seclusion in the mountains and forests and weren’t easy to find, as long as they had a name and a general location, it would be much easier than before. But Long Shen didn’t want to raise Dong Zhi’s hopes and then have them crushed, so many of the things he arranged were done in silence. He would rather tell the other party the results. This was also a habit that was formed by being alone for many years.
Dong Zhi didn’t ask. Even if he didn’t ask, he knew very well that Long Shen would never give up hope. He used to be afraid of death, but now he dared to stand on the edge of the cliff and stare at the abyss under it because now he had someone beside him.
Long Shen had lived for more than two thousand years, and almost all the special things in his life were now his alone. Dong Zhi didn’t dare to disappoint him. If life could be converted to love, perhaps he had stopped breathing at this moment.
Long Shen turned to look at him.
Dong Zhi clasped his fingers. His palm felt the warm touch, which gave him relief.
“It’s nothing. I just want to say thank you.”
Thank you for giving me such special treatment. Thank you for responding to my feelings. Maybe I wasn’t strong enough to stand side by side with you before, but after, if I can survive, I’ll work hard. Even if I can live one more year, or maybe two, so I can accompany you even longer.
Many sentimental words came to him, but they couldn’t be expressed articulately. Sometimes they would turn into embarrassment. Even if Dong Zhi had deep affection for Long Shen, he felt that when the words were spoken, their meaning would change. It was better to collect them properly and hold them in his heart.
He thought that Long Shen wouldn’t understand such an inexplicable thanks, but the other party turned his head and thought about it seriously, then said, “You’re welcome. I’m also very happy.”
Dong Zhi was stunned.
For a while, he couldn’t believe that the other party understood his extrinsic voice. The two of them then suddenly connected, and when he looked into the other’s eyes, he could really see the faint joy and happiness in them.
Long Shen was happy because they had finally found a breakthrough in this matter, and Dong Zhi was no longer entangled with life and death. He could face the fate of the heavens calmly and could do so because, before Dong Zhi encountered an accident, Long Shen was able to figure out the particularities of his opponent.
At this moment, without words, Dong Zhi could almost perceive all the reasons for the other party’s happiness.
Perhaps skin-to-skin, hand-to-hand could really make people have an instant telepathic connection.
Long Shen was really like as he promised. He was slowly becoming an ordinary person of flesh and blood, who understood love and hate.
Under such a focused and serious gaze, no one could remain calm. The heat slowly poured from his neck to his cheeks. Dong Zhi felt a little stuffy in the car. He couldn’t help but pull on his collar. Their driver was dedicated and kept looking ahead. He wasn’t sure whether the driver was pretending to ignore their interaction or wasn’t really interested in it, but from beginning to end, he never looked back.
Dong Zhi breathed a sigh of relief.
After returning to the hotel, he wanted to go to the bathroom and change out of his clothes, but Long Shen said, “Wear it for a while.”
Facing Dong Zhi’s blank stare, Long Shen said, “You look good in it.”
Dong Zhi blinked, then blinked again. Pretending to be calm, he asked, “Where does it look the best?”
Long Shen really gave him an answer. “You have a thin waist and long legs, so it’s very suitable for wearing a suit. I want to look at you in it for a while longer.”