Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 37: Power and Cost
July 21st, night.
A man and woman stood on the rooftop of the Shian building. The woman was wearing an advanced gliding device, while the man sat in front of hastily piled equipment, concentrating on controlling a drone.
“Hey, isn’t it fine?” The young woman spoke into her headset. “It’s almost a day now.”
The rear science post teamed up with the field science post to cover Haigu with two types of drones, but after a day, there were no clues. As a non-science post combatant, she drank for most of the day on the rooftop.
“No means no. I can’t change the data!” A young man’s voice came from the headset. “Linlin Jie, if you keep talking like this again, I’ll sue you for child labor.”
Bao Linlin sneered. “Sue my ass.”
“…Wang Ge, do something about her!”
“Stop it. I’m busy.” The man didn’t raise his head.
B-level Investigation Team, Unit 7 Special Investigation Division. The core partners in the field plus three people in rear command had been working continuously for 20 hours.
Over Haigu, 300 standard drones and more than 1,000 fly-sized special drones were swarming about. One of the two science posts scanned for evil qi while the other looked at the surveillance data. They had almost touched all the corners of Haigu.
There was only Xizhao District left that hadn’t been checked.
Xizhao District was the farthest from Shanguang District, and it was also the largest area. It linked the old city center in the north to the former factory site in the south suburbs. Coupled with the heavy evil qi from Ping’an Manor, Xizhao District had attracted a lot of evil beings that ran amuck at night, causing delays in their investigation speed.
“Got it!” Wang Ge suddenly jumped up. “Xiao Zhao, the coordinates have been sent to you. Help me analyze it—quickly!”
“On it!” The boy’s voice coming through the headset also became excited.
On the myriad of monitors, Ge Tingting and a child suddenly appeared. As soon as they entered the detection range, a drone would return a strong alarm signal.
The range of evil qi values of the two children was 1.18~1.51fR, which was extremely high. Ge Tingting’s condition was slightly better, but the boy had definitely come into contact with a powerful source of corruption.
“Fuck, the corpse splitter really is a child.” Wang Ge scratched his hair. “Isn’t this more serious than Guo Laifu’s case?”
On a rainy night half a month ago, the fugitive Guo Laifu went crazy on the street. At that time, he was so overexposed to evil qi that it could be detected from 800 miles away.
This time, the evil qi around the two kids was almost twice as high as Gao Laifu’s, but they weren’t able to detect any traces of it—something was helping them shield the evil qi.
“Position,” Bao Linlin said succinctly.
In her ear, the voice of the young man became solemn. “No, their index is too high. You could get second-hand corruption from their evil qi! In case it’s related to an Evil Spirit, your current protection…”
“Give me their position,” Bao Linlin repeated.
“No!” The young man yelled. “You should act with Wang Ge!”
Bao Linlin: “I’m not going to fight them. I’m just going to scout the situation… Forget it.”
She glanced at the buildings on the drone screen and took out two talismans and a cinnabar brush from her waist. After a few seconds and a couple strokes, she skillfully burned the talismans.
Bao Linlin’s short hair rustled as she rose into the air. The next moment, Bao Linlin fine-tuned the gliding device on her body and flew like an arrow in the direction of the sunset.
Xiao Zhao let out a scream.
“Wang Ge, aren’t you going to stop her?! Linlin Jie might get hurt. None of the three of us can fight! Call her back! Call her back! Hey, are you listening—”
Wang Ge looked helplessly towards the Xizhao District. “When have I ever successfully stopped her?”
He put a piece of coffee candy into his mouth and kept staring at the screen.
On the screen, the two children didn’t look like they had outside help. They staggered along the street as they held hands tightly. Their shadows grew and shortened under the streetlights.
The physiological indicators on the screen suddenly flashed.
He controlled the drone to get closer. Sure enough, the boy’s physical condition was abnormal—his body temperature was 37.8° Celsius, but he was energetically walking without the slight malaise of a patient. He was bouncing around as he walked, as if the deserted streets were an incredible playground.
Ge Tingting’s body temperature was normal, but her behavior was a bit strange. From time to time, the two would change their routes on the empty streets, as if there were some kind of transparent obstacle in front of them.
Wang Ge moved his fingers slightly and directed the fly-sized drone to quietly change positions.
He tried to take a picture of the boy’s face. However, just as the position was about to be adjusted, the screen flashed with fire, and his drone exploded on the spot.
The moment the screen turned off, a pair of translucent, twisted arms popped out, causing the evil qi alarm to sound frantically. Wang Ge squinted his eyes, only seeing blurred darkness in front of him.
“Wang Ge, run! It’s a fierce ghost trying to get at you!”
“What?” I can’t see it. I should be okay…”
As soon as he was halfway through speaking, the scattered metal brackets around him suddenly moved, quickly forming a distorted human figure. The humanoid clicked and twisted; swaying left to right as it walked towards Wang Ge.
“…Fuck, I’m pulling back.”
Wang Ge glanced at the line of travel of that thing and then at the edge of the building behind him.
“Haa, Linlin should have left something…”
He fumbled in his pockets and found a gold paper ingot full of runes. He yelled “Lin Jie, help” at it, causing the ingot to spontaneously ignite, then it quickly disappeared into the air.
A few steps away, the “bracket man” stopped, then jumped wildly as if the brackets on its body were about to fall apart. Wang Ge covered his head and ran towards the exit.
An hour later, Haigu People’s Hospital.
Bao Linlin and Wang Ge—Wang Zhou—were lying on adjacent beds with plaster casts on each of their legs.
The two partners looked at each other.
Wang Zhou: “How’d you get hurt.”
Bao Linlin: “Those two children are being watched by a ghost master. I was shot down as soon as I approached. What about you? Didn’t I leave a ghost to protect you?”
Wang Zhou: “I was rushing too fast and fell down the stairs, haha.”
Bao Linlin: “……”
Bao Linlin: “I don’t think we’ll be promoted to the A-level investigation team next year.”
Wang Zhou: “Hey, people and horses will stumble*. We also made a new discovery, so let Unit 6 handle it and act with the police.”
*(人有失足马有失蹄) Idiom referring to people will inevitably fail unexpectedly, just like a horse would fall due to stepping on air or getting weak in the feet.
Bao Linlin: “I know… Speaking of which, my emissary heard the child’s voice.”
“He was talking to someone and said that I was a ‘berserker’. He also said that he had just shot down a worm summoned by a ‘summoner’ and that the ‘berserker’ and ‘summoner’ are working together.”
Wang Zhou sighed. “Are they professions from <The Legend of resurrection>? Strange, I just tried that game yesterday, and the profession I chose was a female succubus. What about you? Have you played it too?”
“I chose a male succubus.” Bao Linlin slowly looked away.
“Ah, it’s completely different from what we chose!”
As auxiliary support, Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo also received the reports from Unit 7. When they got it, the two were sitting on the carpet, passionately playing <The Legend of Resurrection>.
Although the plot of the game was boring, if you played for a long time, you would feel the fun of exploration and upgrading.
At present, the two of them were exploring the “Corrupted Gungarian Swamp”. Yin Ren was excitedly controlling his character to fight monsters while ignoring the prompts of the internal software. Zhong Chengshuo was the first to put down his controller and reach for his phone.
Yin Ren got close and handed it to him. “Here.”
Zhong Chengshuo quietly looked at him with doubt in his eyes showing: ‘You even helped me get it but don’t even look at it?’
“I’m in a lot of pain working overtime,” Lord Ghost King replied pitifully. On the screen, Yin Ren’s character gave a monster a last blow. “It doesn’t make sense to get distracted by reading a report when you’re working overtime.”
The doubt in Zhong Chengshuo’s eyes turned into condemnation. He didn’t say a word, but instead turned his head and looked at the report.
The report regarding Unit 7 of the Special Investigation Team was concise. Zhong Chengshuo quickly summarized the key points—
- The suspected target has been identified. The corpse splitter is really a child.
- The suspected target is suspected to have been exposed to evil qi corruption.
- Knowing that external forces have intervened, a hostile ghost master, who is suspected of following the suspected target, has been discovered.
- The suspected target is suspected to have cognitive impairment and will identify a person as a profession in <The Legends of Resurrection>. Up to now, how the suspected target “identifies the profession” has nothing to do with the “real profession” selected by the person in the game.
Zhong Chengshuo looked at the TV. While he was reading the report, Yin Ren had started running wildly around with his character again.
“Any shocking discoveries?” Yin Ren stuffed some popcorn into his mouth.
“Not yet. You can read it later.”
Yin Ren nodded in satisfaction and stuffed another handful of popcorn into his mouth again, then spoke with his mouth full. “Zhong Ge, speaking of which, it’s boring to just level up like this.”
After checking various strategies, Zhong Chengshuo quickly formulated a customized clearance plan.
There was a bug monster in the Corrupted Gungarian Swamp that could quickly be taken out and generate a ton of experience points. As soon as the map was opened, the two of them could ignore the messy side quests and take the lead in collecting items for the main quests…
As long as the rare items from the main quests were collected, weapons and common collectables would be available to purchase with krypton gold. The plot points of the side quests were all in the item description, so they could just directly read it.
In order to reach the full collection as soon as possible, they had been in the corruption swamp for three hours.
Yin Ren’s vampire prince, who was surrounded by blood mist, was about to reach max level. The vampire hunter, Zhong Chengshuo, was also covered by holy light that wrapped around his white cloak.
The vampire hunter was so dazzling under the white light that it made Yin Ren squint for a while before he looked back at Zhong Chengshuo.
“…How about we bet on something?” In the game, Yin Ren threw a blood curse at Zhong Chengshuo, which exploded with a splash of blood.
The little vampire hunter stood in place. Even the strands of his hair exuded a dignified aura.
Outside the game, his operator wasn’t much better—Zhong Chengshuo was sitting upright when playing the game. Even his pajamas and nightcap were completely straight, without a single wrinkle, looking as though he was about to attend an official pajama exhibit.
Yin Ren lay on one side, very close to Zhong Chengshuo’s legs. He liked to move around when playing games, so his elbows would occasionally touch Zhong Chengshuo’s waist from time to time. The body under the pajamas was firm and warm, full of vigorous vitality, and quite pleasant to the touch.
Moreover, whenever Comrade Zhong was touched, he would shrink a little, which was much more entertaining than the game.
“Do you want to?” When Zhong Chengshuo did not respond, Yin Ren raised his elbow and purposefully touched the man’s waist once more.
“Bet on what?” Sure enough, Zhong Chengshuo shrank again.
“Bet on whether it’s day or night when we encounter the Dragon of Destruction in the game,” Yin Ren said. “The winner can order the loser to do one thing. How about it?”
“I bet on night.” Yin Ren moved his sly elbow back. “Which means you bet on day.”
“Okay.” Zhong Chengshuo’s eyes remained flat, as if he didn’t notice.
Moving forward, the room was filled with soft sounds, which were followed by an infinite loop of scenes and battle BGM. The hideous, corrupted swamp was constantly refreshing, churning out new monsters with hoarse roars.
When they finally reached max level, the main quest prompt popped up in front of the two of them with a “ding”.
[Challenge the Dragon of Destruction, Oberskras]
[Great adventurer, congratulations on reaching the top of this continent.
According to the investigation, the Dragon of Destruction, Oberskras, has descended into this world, and the teleportation temple of Sleeping Mountain has been opened.
Wherever Oberskras goes, daylight will be swallowed and curses will rain. It is the calamity to all the living in the world, and it’s also the only creature that the God of Death fears.
Defeat Oberskras, and it will give you a dragon scale. Its scale can confuse the sight of Death and give us a last hope.
※Recommended level: This quest is only for level 99 characters. Please make sure that your character’s equipment and weapons are higher than level 90.
※Recommended attributes: Curse resistance, instant death resistance, poison resistance.]
“I have a question.” Zhong Chengshuo straightened his nightcap. “Since the Dragon of Destruction is comparable to Death, and Death was the one who took the prince, why doesn’t the protagonist just directly attack Death?”
“Don’t nitpick about the plot in this kind of game.” Yen Ren clicked his tongue twice.
“It also said that if we defeat the Dragon of Destruction, it will give us a scale. This dragon doesn’t even run away if it can’t beat us. It’s quite an honest dragon. Maybe it’s because of the setting that it has a good temper, but based on the logic of the hero’s side—”
“Perhaps it’s because it can’t escape death, so Death better represents the image of ‘invincibility’. The dragon is something you can see and touch, which makes it easy to attack,” Yin Ren said indifferently. “Don’t worry about this. Zhong Ge, you can’t escape the key points.”
“’Wherever Oberskras goes, daylight will be swallowed’. This means we’re destined to fight at night, so you lose.”
Yin Ren dropped the controller and stretched. His long hair spilled on the carpet.
Zhong Chengshuo stood up. “What do you want me to do?”
“Well…” Yin Ren rolled on the floor for half a circle and looked up at the ceiling, trying to hide his guilty conscience after cheating. “I want to see your room.”
After all, things like a “lair” best reflected the characteristics of the living.
Zhong Chengshuo was silent.
“I’m just purely curious. Forget it, if you don’t want to. Besides, it’s not a serious bet.”
Zhong Chengshuo extended his hand to Yin Ren, who was still lying on the floor, expressionlessly. “It’s fine. I was willing to make that bet.”
Yin Ren was quite surprised by this reaction.
He had been living with Zhong Chengshuo for a while, but Zhong Chengshuo had always kept his room tightly shut. This person would never forget to close the door whenever he entered or exited. If Yin Ren hadn’t noticed something was off, he would have thought that Zhong Chengshuo was raising another monster in the bedroom.
Yin Ren once asked Hu Tao about it in the chat. The ghost said that Comrade Xiao Zhong did the same thing when he lived alone. As a reasonable modern ghost, she would never break into the bedrooms of strangers, especially those of the opposite sex.
Since there was no other option, Lord Ghost King had to do it in person.
With a soft creak, Zhong Chengshuo opened the door to his bedroom for the very first time.
Yin Ren stepped into this “forbidden land” and had to admit that he was a little disappointed.c
…Zhong Chengshuo’s bedroom was warmer than the living room, but it was so normal to the point that it was unspeakable.
There was a double bed in the center of the bedroom that was flat and clean, with pillows and a blanket that was folded neatly on top. He wasn’t sure if Zhong Chengshuo used cologne, but the bedding had the same good smell as he did.
In addition to the same wardrobe as Yin Ren’s room, there was also a coffee table and a small sofa in the corner of the bedroom.
There was a cream-colored minifridge placed next to the coffee table with a magnetic sticker that says “Knowledge is Power” stuck to the door. On top of the minifridge were a few books.
In addition to this reading corner, there was also a desk and a bookcase. The bookcase was standard, with the top level full of trophies and awards that Zhong Chengshuo had won, while various books and notebooks occupied the rest of the space. There was a computer placed upright at the end of the desk with a computer monitor that looked sleek, as if it was brand new.
A family photo was placed next to the computer, and there were a few little animal ornaments nearby. The animals were in various poses that all seemed to be cheering.
There was half a bag of eaten potato chips that was left on the table. Yin Ren looked at Zhong Chengshuo, then at the bag of “thick cheese”-flavored potato chips, then back at Zhong Chengshuo again.
Oh, what a terrible secret. He hasn’t eaten this flavor yet!
The ever-disciplined Zhong Chengshuo didn’t look away, but Yin Ren could see a little red creeping from his ear. He coughed dryly. “I occasionally eat this kind of stuff.”
“Where did you buy it? I want to buy it too.”
Except for finding out that Zhong Chengshuo liked cheese flavor, Yin Ren didn’t make any new discoveries. He withdrew from the bedroom with little interest.
Though Yin Ren was suppressing his power, except for his sensitivity to strong evil qi, his exploratory power was similar to that of a top cultivator, which was enough. Zhong Chengshuo’s bedroom was clean in all senses, and he didn’t find any suspicious items.
This time, seeing Zhong Chengshuo solemnly close his door, Yin Ren felt this act quite boring.
“It’s alright. My bedroom is always open, so you’re welcome to look at it.” Lord Ghost King lay back in front of the TV.
Zhong Chengshuo: “That’s because you always just sleep in the living room.”
“What do you mean always? Don’t I sleep in the guest bedroom…” Yin Ren suddenly stopped mid-sentence.
“Nothing. I just suddenly forgot what I wanted to say.” Yin Ren grabbed the controller. “Let’s continue.”
He lightly sniffed as he adjusted his words.
…It was that stale, fierce smell again.
Compared to the faint smell on the insect corpse, the smell this time was strong and clear. The source was wandering near him. Yin Ren was particularly sure that the source was indeed an item that was soaked in evil qi.
A child carrying items and a weak cultivator… It should be the corpse splitter and Ge Tingting. A little further away from them, they were being followed by a much stronger adult cultivator.
The person also smelled familiar. Undoubtedly, he was the owner of the headhunter ghost that Yin Ren dealt with a few days ago.
The ghost master was patiently following the two children. He didn’t seem to have any interest in attacking but was using various spiritual weapons to suppress the evil qi of the two, like a shepherd observing his flock.
“Forget it, Zhong Ge. Wait for me for a few minutes. Just in case, I need to read the report from Unit 7 first.” Yin Ren reluctantly put down the controller.
Near Ping’an Manor, in an abandoned shop.
“Ibby, we have found the hidden mission location. Have you unlocked any new information?”
“No.” The young dragon wilted as it replied. “It’s weird. There have been no instructions from the ‘Sunken Wiseman’.”
The young dragon rested on the window with its head slightly drooping. Its pearly scales had lost their luster and became a bit like plastic.
“It’s okay. “Usually, hidden NPCs provide less information,” the boy comforted. “I haven’t triggered this NPC playing <The Legend of Resurrection> before.”
“Ibby, are you not feeling well? Why is the color of your scales…”
“How could that be! I’m doing very well, and my scales are just as good. It’s because of the lack of light.” The young dragon propped up its body as it replied in a low voice.
Feng Qi smiled at it and wiped his nose.
Under the moonlight, his pupils were slightly deformed, and the back of his hand after wiping his nose was full of stinky pus and blood.
If passersby were to see this, they would be shocked by the situation of the two children. Feng Qi’s skin was hot, and his breathing was short. His eyes were abnormally bloodshot. Ge Tingting’s complexion was pale, and her lips were bloodless, like she was a breathing corpse.
Even the plastic model toy lying in the corner looked more like a living thing than these two.
However, the two children stared at each other solemnly, and neither seemed to notice the other’s abnormalities.
“That’s the mansion of Pepafer, the boss of the black market.” Feng Qi pointed in the direction of Ping’an Manor. “Ibby told me that Pepafer’s subordinates are all elite monsters, so we must be careful.”
Ge Tingting nodded. She looked through the window in the direction Feng Qi pointed.
In front of the huge moon, a medieval mansion stood on the lawn. Countless stone buildings were soaked in the moonlight, and at first glance, they even looked as if they made up a small town. Torches were burning, and there were even guards standing in front of the entrance to the courtyard.
Above the sky, magical beasts were flying around, casting large black shadows across the giant moon.
The moon was so bright that it seemed as if it were attached to her eyes. Ge Tingting thought she could even see the craters in it.
Seeing that Ge Tingting was silent, Feng Qi thought she was worried. The boy puffed up his chest and patted it.
“Sister, don’t worry. I’ll check it out first… Ahem!” Feng Qi coughed.
Hearing him cough, Ge Tingting replied, “You’re not feeling well?”
“How can that be! I just choked on my spit. I’m in very good condition,” the boy said excitedly. Pus and blood were dripping down from his chin. “The upgrade is particularly useful. I’m getting stronger, and the feeling is obvious. Hehe. It’s midnight now, and I’m not even sleepy!”
He pressed his hand solemnly on the ground.
“I’ll scout out the troops first. My mother often says, know the enemy and know yourself*… Ahem!”
*Quote from The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Full quote is: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Feng Qi “choked on his saliva” again and coughed heart wrenchingly.
He didn’t bother to speak again and silently launched a spell.
“…Huh? How strange. Sister, look at that room.”
When the spell formation was complete, Feng Qi pointed it toward a certain window of the castle. Under the moonlight, the window was lit with a warm light.
In reality, it was none other than room 601 of building 4. Inside, Lord Ghost King was yawning. He nestled on the sofa as a strand of long hair curled out and turned off the living room light with its “hand”.
In the boy’s cloudy eyes, he saw the window’s light extinguished.
“Oh, I’m fine, I’m fine. Perhaps it was a mistake.” Seeing the light suddenly disappear, Feng Qi started muttering in a low voice.
“What happened just now?” Ge Tingting asked.
“It’s nothing. Wasn’t I trying to identify the number of troops and profession in the area?”
Feng Qi raised his hand and touched the weak young dragon that still had a smile on its face.
“…But in that room, it was clearly lit just now, but there was nothing inside.”
The author has something to say:
Xiao Zhong was caught red-handed by Xiao Yin for stealing potato chips.
Xiao Zhong: I only eat two chips a day!
Potato-sucking Ghost Prince vs Potato-sucking Ghost Hunter; The Potato-sucking Ghost Hunter was temporarily defeated.
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4 thoughts on “Evil As Humans Ch37”
Thanks for the update!
Thank you for the update ❤️💯
Thank you for the chapter!