Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
After everyone heard this, their foreheads twitched. They didn’t know what kind of expression to use to respond. The Americans dared treat them as demon slayers to be hired for free?!
Liu Qingbo: “Since there are so many things going on in this hotel, why don’t you just close it down?!”
Ivan spread his hands. “This isn’t Group 51’s property. Besides, the hotel has grown with Hollywood, attracting countless visitors every year where it’s now a huge selling point. Since the business is good, how can we close it down?”
Liu Qingbo sneered. “Then if someone is killed, who will be responsible?”
Ivan smiled and shrugged. “Liu, don’t be angry. Anyway, it’s not you and I that are responsible. What I want to tell you is that in the next three days, the organizing committee has chartered the entire hotel, so only the national teams are staying there. Don’t worry about ordinary people getting injured if an accident happens. Your room is on the 9th floor. All the rooms on the 9th floor are reserved for your team. You can stay in any room you want. When you get to the hotel, I’ll help you get your keys, and then you can assign them yourself.”
Dong Zhi patted him. “Thank you, Ivan. Are there any reminders or warnings?”
Ivan: “No, since you’re the ones staying this year, even if there’s a demon, I’ll be wishing it good luck. This is my number. I’ll be responsible for your daily travel for the next three days. You can contact me at any time if you need anything. Oh, by the way, when I came out, I met an English woman. She specifically asked me if the Chinese were here yet. Her expression wasn’t friendly, so I think you need to pay attention.”
Everyone looked at each other and immediately realized that this woman might be the Grace mentioned in the information.
Speaking of which, the accident was truly an accident. At the time, monsters snuck into the ghost ship and attacked the teams from all fronts. After the monsters had killed some contestants, they directly controlled them using their tentacles, manipulating the dead to kill others. Grace’s sister was killed by one of the monsters. When she was being controlled, she was still breathing when she happened to encounter He Yu’s team. They thought she was dead, so everyone took action to destroy the tentacles and accidentally killed Grace’s sister. As a result, disputes formed on both sides.
It was understandable that she would harbor grudges against them, but Dong Zhi and the others didn’t believe they had done anything wrong. They wouldn’t go out of their way to provoke, but if someone came to their door, they’d fight it out.
Ivan was a talkative person. Dong Zhi chatted with him all the way to the hotel. By the end, he even knew the name of the godfather and his sister’s newborn child.
“Rest early tonight. Tomorrow morning, there will be a meeting and exchange. I’ll come pick you guys up. Just call me if you need anything.”
He sent everyone to the hotel and handed the keys to Dong Zhi, then waved his hand and left.
Perhaps it was because the hotel was booked out that the lobby was much quieter, without the hustle and bustle of people. They didn’t see teams from the other countries, but they would definitely encounter them at the meeting tomorrow, so they weren’t in a rush.
Li Han’er looked around and suddenly said, “The feng shui in this place is a bit strange.”
Zhang Song: “What’s so strange?”
Li Han’er: “As the saying goes, to store wind and gather qi, water is best*. There’s water and wind, but the wind is too strong here, so you can’t gather qi. When there’s too much wind, it’s easy to produce evil spirits and invert the yin and yang. Therefore, there are often monsters and demons in places like this because of the environment. The builder should know such things. Otherwise, if they had built a house here instead of a hotel, more people would die. Since there are many guests coming and going in a hotel, they bring in yang energy that’s barely able to maintain the balance of the yin and yang here.”
*Basically, according to feng shui standards, a place must be auspicious, and to do that, it should have water, which allows you to catch wind and gather qi.
After all, she was born on Maoshan, so even if she didn’t practice feng shui, she was still privy to it on the surface.
This may be the reason why the hotel always had accidents every few years, and every time, someone would take action to settle it, but after a while, trouble would arise again. The hotel wasn’t closed, so this situation would continue.
While she was talking, Dong Zhi had already completed the check-in procedures. He came over and asked everyone to choose their room.
There was only one girl in the entire team, so naturally everyone gave Li Han’er the first choice. Li Han’er humbly said, “Captain can pick first. Both men and women are equal.”
Dong Zhi said, “I’m not picky. There’s so many rooms that everyone will find something they like.”
Li Han’er didn’t continue the polite pleasantries and asked for a suite.
Dong Zhi: “Xiao Zhang, Lao Yang, Lao Liu, how about you guys?”
Zhang Song: ……
The others each picked the room type they wanted, but Zhang Song couldn’t help but say, “Don’t call me Xiao Zhang anymore!”
“If neither Lao Zhang nor Xiao Zhang work, then how do you want me to address you?” Dong Zhi gave him an innocent expression that was saying “You’re so hard to please”.
Zhang Song angrily replied, “Don’t I have a name?!”
Dong Zhi was amiable and said, “Xiao Song, calm down. Your image is important. Don’t let outsiders see you like this.”
Zhang Song took a deep breath. Seeing Liu Qingbo’s gloating face, he became even angrier.
Everyone dragged their luggage towards the elevator.
There was a floor-to-ceiling-length mirror in the lobby of the magnificent hotel, which was placed next to the elevator. When everyone passed by, they glanced at it from the corner of their eyes and saw a white shadow floating past the mirror in the lobby. The white shadow seemed to have spotted them and stopped. It turned its head and showed them a charming smile.
If they were ordinary people, they probably would have run away screaming or made a fuss and given it a closer look, but this time, they weren’t ordinary. Dong Zhi swept his gaze across it expressionlessly, turned his head, and entered the elevator, as if he didn’t see anything.
The six people split up between two elevators. Li Han’er, Yang Shouyi, and Zhang Song went up first, while the rest entered the second elevator.
As soon as Dong Zhi was about to close the elevator, he heard a “wait” outside. He reopened the elevator and saw a young man with curly hair walk in.
He glanced at Dong Zhi and them curiously. Dong Zhi smiled at him gently, and the other party gave him a nod.
“Hi, my name is George. I’m from France.”
The two shook hands. George smiled and said, “I can see it, since the Japanese team have already checked in, and your clothes aren’t obviously the attire of a black magic master, so you must be the China team.”
He carried a long stick on his back and a short dagger around his waist. This kind of attire wasn’t conspicuous here, especially since the other people in the elevator also carried long boxes on their backs.
George pressed the button for the fifth floor, and the elevator closed.
“We’re on the fifth floor. After you’re settled, you can come and hang out with me. This is my first year participating in the exchange conference, so I can’t wait to see how good you guys are!”
Dong Zhi laughed and said, “I’m afraid it’s the first time for all of us participants.”
George let out a sigh. “My mistake. I’m just so excited!”
While chatting, Dong Zhi and the others suddenly felt a slight tremor under their feet. The elevator had stopped. When they looked up, the elevator had stopped on the third floor.
This meant someone was pressing the elevator on the outside. Normally no one would mind, but when the elevator door opened, they didn’t find anyone outside, and there was no light in the entire walkway, making it pitch black.
Dong Zhi pressed the closed button on the elevator, but the door didn’t move. When he pressed the call button, there was no response.
George walked out of the elevator first and pressed the button to call another elevator. That one was parked on the ninth floor and didn’t seem to change.
“It seems like it malfunctioned,” he said helplessly.
Dong Zhi: “Is anyone staying on the third floor?”
George said, “I don’t know. I only know that the Russians are one floor above us.”
Dong Zhi said to Liu Qingbo and the others, “Then we’ll take the stairs.”
The others had no opinions. They were all practitioners, and a mere suitcase wasn’t much trouble for them.
There weren’t any traces of light on the entire floor. Even the signs and lights for the emergency passage were off. Although the elevator door wasn’t closed, the light that came from inside barely allowed them to see the direction clearly, which made it even more weird.
When they stepped on the floor, the movement of their suitcase dragging along was almost silent. Liu Si suddenly said, “The Frenchman is gone.”
The three of them turned their heads, and sure enough, George, who was walking behind them, had disappeared.
A stern cry sounded from the other end of the corridor, and a white, translucent ghost rushed towards everyone at lightning speed!
It was too late to say anything. But soon, a sunlight talisman was thrown by Dong Zhi. In the rapid chanting of the mantra, the talisman ignited and directly collided with the ghost shadow, bursting into an explosion. Dazzling sparks erupted as the ghost was burnt to a crisp, leaving ashes that shortly disappeared after.
However, this wasn’t over yet. Ghosts started flashing out from the ceiling, the corridor carpet, and even the rooms with their doors closed on both sides of the corridor. Their figures were blurred, and they had hideous faces and sharp fangs.
Liu Si whipped the carpet. Not only did the ghosts scream and dissipate, but even the carpet instantly showed scorch marks.
Liu Qingbo sneered: “Trying to play tricks!”
He didn’t even make preparations but instead actively moved. He kicked open the room nearest to him, jumped in, and used his long sword to pierce the ceiling.
In the darkness, a dark shadow was exposed under the light of his sword. Seeing that Liu Qingbo’s sword was unstoppable, the opponent had to dodge the blade, but this dodge left him in a passive position. Liu Qingbo slashed his Fumo Sword all the way, causing his opponent to directly flee the room and into the corridor as he shouted, “I’m a competitor too. I’m just playing a prank on you!”
Liu Qingbo replied in Chinese, “Fuck you, I don’t understand English!”
Regardless of whether he really understood or pretended not to, the other party was chased to the end of the corridor. He finally found a gap and took out a pistol. He unlocked the safety and pulled the trigger within half a second.
A gunshot echoed in the hallway.
Everyone’s expression changed.
Liu Qingbo turned his head to avoid it at the critical moment, causing the bullet to graze his ear. However, his sword was already in motion and had directly pierced the clothing of his target, stabbing into flesh.
The smell of blood drifted faintly, and the dark shadows fell to the ground, wailing.
On the other end, Dong Zhi had already chased the ghost in the direction of the emergency access stairway. With the Changshou Sword, he directly split the hidden door and used the sword’s qi to sweep across it, knocking down the dark shadow behind it. Before the opponent could take out his weapon, the Changshou Sword had become like a winding hand and was already wrapped around his opponent’s neck.
“Turn on the lights! Turn on the lights!” The man shouted hysterically.
The dark environment suddenly brightened.
The person who Dong Zhi was stepping on was George, the Frenchman who was with them in the elevator just now.
“Let him go!” A red-haired woman shouted. The gun in her hand was aimed directly at Dong Zhi.
Dong Zhi said coldly, “You can try to see if your gun is faster than I can kill him.”
George grasped the sword that was wrapped around his neck as blood kept oozing from the edge, quickly dyeing his collar red.
“Don’t shoot! Put it down! Put the gun down! Fuck, can’t you see I’m about to die! If you don’t drop it, how will he let me go!”
The red-haired woman glanced at the other young man, reluctantly lowered her arm, and threw the gun away.
“We just wanted to play a prank on you. Just a prank. Can you let me go now?” George barely managed to muster a smile that was worse than crying.
Dong Zhi finally let him go. The Changshou Sword made a loud sound and popped itself straight again. He put the sword back in its sheath and didn’t forget to kick his opponent in the chest when George was trying to support himself.
“You yellow-skinned pig!” The red-haired woman wanted to rush up but was held back by her companion.
Li Han’er and the others rushed from another emergency passage. All three of them were carrying their swords in a menacing posture to help out.
Unfortunately, the fight was already over, but with their addition, the numbers of their own camp instantly overwhelmed the other side.
Though they all had internal discord, they by no means showed it to outsiders. Facing the hostile red-haired woman, Li Han’er and the other two jumped to action and decisively stood behind Dong Zhi. Without saying a word, they were ready to strike at any moment.
“Please watch your language. Otherwise, if you curse again, I’ll kick him again. Even if he loses blood here and dies, it is your responsibility.” Though Dong Zhi said this with a smile, it made the other party shudder.
He often looked well-behaved like a cute, obedient baby in front of Long Shen, and would play dumb and make cute jokes in front of his teammates, but they had never seen the face Dong Zhi made when facing the red-haired woman. In their eyes, this young man from the East was like the devil incarnate.
“We’ll kill you!” The red-haired woman shouted.
“Look at who’s killing who!” Liu Si appeared. The whip in his hand was slightly raised, and his murderous aura was revealed.
He usually didn’t talk much, but that didn’t mean the enemy could just ignore his existence.
The scene was deadlocked for a while, until someone called from the corner of the stairs.
“Oh my god, what happened here?!”
A tall, young man with brown hair walked down from above, followed by two people.
George clutched his neck and cried weakly, “Help me stop the bleeding!”
No one paid attention to him. A man behind the brown-haired young man walked out.
“I’m the leader of the French team, Galan. You have seriously injured members of my team. I want to appeal to the organizing committee to disqualify you from the competition!” He wasn’t bluffing or speaking rudely like the red-haired woman, but his tone was obviously more threatening.
The other party stared at Dong Zhi with a pair of light-colored eyes, almost with the sharpness of a hunter locking on his prey, which could make someone feel a sense of awe.
Unfortunately, he was facing a practitioner like himself.
“Sorry, but we’ll also appeal too. We came to participate in the exchange but were insulted and attacked by your team for no reason. If this kind of despicable behavior is how you welcome competitors, then we’ll never participate in this kind of exchange in the future!”
Dong Zhi didn’t know if the Special Administration Bureau would support him on this, but it was always right to put harsh words out first.
Dong Zhi pointed to the red-haired woman who was making an unflattering expression. “Aren’t you more politically correct? What this woman said is considered a racial slur, so I’ll be filing a complaint against her directly.”
Then he pointed to the wailing George. “And this person, in the future, he best not let us see him again, or we’ll beat him to a pulp!”
His tone was surprisingly upbeat, even playful.
“There’s still one lying in the corridor!” Liu Qingbo walked over, shook off the blood beads on his sword, and smiled contemptuously at Galan and the others.
Applause rang out as a young girl with blond hair and snow-white skin appeared out of nowhere. She was applauding Dong Zhi while taunting George’s side.
“They played this disgusting trick on us when we first checked in, but we didn’t catch the bastard last time!”
The girl finished speaking and stretched out her hand toward Dong Zhi. “You’re Dong, right? I’m Anna, from Russia.”
The brown-haired young man scratched his head and glanced at Galan and the others. He raised his hands and walked toward Dong Zhi. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not with them. I’m the deputy captain of the American team, William. We have no issue if you want to appeal or fight, but this hotel is innocent. For God’s sake, can you please change the place and time? Also, for the loss of the carpet and door just now, I think it should be compensated by the people who initiated the prank first, right?”
George gasped again, unable to speak. The red-haired woman helped him leave while Galan said with a grim face, “Wait until I address George’s injury first.”
After that, he hurriedly left.
William shrugged and said to Dong Zhi, “They have done this to two teams before, ah, including Anna’s and yours, but I didn’t expect them to be so hard this time. I heard the commotion and rushed over too late. Sorry!”
Did the other party really come too late, or did they come early and were just hiding by the side to watch the show? Dong Zhi thought it was the latter, but he had no intention of exposing William. He decided to take a lesson from the other party’s indifferent tone and replied, “It’s fine. Besides, it’s not us who were taught a painful lesson.”
William laughed. “That’s right! The strong are always fearless. Good luck to you!”
He stretched out his hand and patted Dong Zhi on the shoulder. Dong Zhi took a step back, causing him to miss. With some embarrassment, he smiled at them and waved goodbye, then climbed back up the stairs.
Only then did Dong Zhi have time to talk to Anna.
Anna said, “I have heard that something will happen during the exchange. I didn’t expect it to be true. It seems that person just now won’t be able to participate in the competition. However, you should be careful. That Grace seems to hate you very much. Now you have a grudge against two teams.”
It turned out that the red-haired girl was Grace, the one who lost her sister in a previous exchange. Dong Zhi and the others suddenly realized, but they found it strange.
“Isn’t Grace from England? George clearly said he was from France.”
Anna: “Oh, I came two days earlier than you. I saw George courting Grace every morning, so he’s probably pursuing her.”
So that’s why. Dong Zhi spread his hands. “Thank you for your advice, but we may already have a grudge with more than just two teams.”
If the people from Japan were Otowa Yasuhiko’s men, then they already had enemies everywhere.
Anna wasn’t privy to this and thought he was just joking.
Dong Zhi said, “We need to check into our rooms and settle down first. We’ll contact you later.”
Anna replied, “No problem. My room is 625. You’re welcome to hang out with me!”
After they exchanged contact information with Anna and waved goodbye, the three of them dragged their suitcase that had been left in the corner for a while and, together with Li Han’er and the others, went back into the elevator.
This time, the elevator returned to normal, and they smoothly went to the ninth floor.
Liu Qingbo snorted coldly when he saw this. “This hotel belongs to the Americans. To say they have no knowledge of this whole scheme—I don’t believe it!”
Dong Zhi smiled and said, “It’s better than him telling you he knew everything and was just watching on the sidelines, right? At least people are still willing to give you face!”
Liu Qingbo curled his lips. “That’s not a good thing!”
Dong Zhi: “Of course, everyone has their own positions. Only the people in our team are real, such as your invincible and lovely leader, handsome Liu Si, and the beautiful Daoist Li, and there’s also Lao Yang and Xiao Zhang!”
Liu Si and Yang Shouyi laughed while Li Han’er slightly raised her lips.
Xiao Zhang: ……
Liu Qingbo: “Barf!”