Evil As Humans Ch39

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 39: The Dragon and Death

The night view of the other world was as lovely as ever, but the two children didn’t have time to enjoy it.

According to Feng Qi, there were a lot of people around the residence of the black market boss, Pepafer.

“They are from Knights, or two kinds of Knights united.”

Feng Qi squatted in the bushes as he started counting with his fingers.

“There are also several court mages and even a black mage in Pepafer’s own residence… Man, how could the scale of the Dragon of Destruction be so easy to get? We’re triggering a hidden plot.”

His face was filthy and the fabric on his chest was soaked in pus and blood that had been dried. The boy’s pupils were completely broken and muddy, like the eyes of a long-decomposed corpse.

His heartbeat was fast and faint, and his breath was full of sweet blood.

Ge Tingting let out a sigh. “What should I do next?’

How strange. She had forgotten when she last ate, but she didn’t feel hungry at all, and her spirit was even better than before.

“Act according to the original plan. Sister, look, the Knights are in ambush. They don’t know where Pepafer is hiding. Let’s sneak in first and steal the scale.”

“Do you know where the scale is?”

“You can vaguely feel it, right, Ibby?” The boy hugged the young dragon in his arms tightly—for some reason, it couldn’t fly anymore.

“Yes, Pepafer made the dragon scale into a necklace and hung it around his neck,” the young dragon explained weakly. “But my information isn’t very clear. I’m sorry, great adventurer…”

“Let’s go and steal the necklace.” Feng Qi petted its head. “Maybe it’s too tired these days. When we finish the task, let’s take a good rest.”

They carefully avoided the Knights that were looking around and walked along the corner of a wall.

The grass rustled while the torchlight reflected the old-fashioned stone bricks. The huge moon was obscured by clouds, seemingly covering the surroundings with a black veil and dimming everything.

The two children went straight to the location of the “black market boss Pepafer”.

However, they didn’t know that they were being followed by a “delivery driver” and about five men in plain clothes.

Xiao Wu was dressed as a food delivery driver and was pretending to “ask for directions” to the plainclothes people beside him, while maintaining a distance not far from the two children.

“Follow the two children closely. They know where Master Liu is.” The rear commander instructed through the headset. “The electromagnetic waves in this place are abnormal, and it’s affecting my drone. Be careful.”

The delivery driver, Xiao Wu, replied, “If Shian can’t even find him, how can these two kids?”

“At present, it seems that Sunken Society is providing them information,” the rear commander said. “And those two children were sent as bait, so they probably have some special skills.”

“Awesome.” Xiao Wu’s delivery box was wobbling behind his back. “Okay, got it.”

“The situation of those two children isn’t right.” Sun Qinghui was following closely beside Xiao Wu. “Can you save them first?’

“It’s not that we don’t want to. How can I put this… We have to treat those two children as high-risk nuclear waste that are running around disobediently. The situation is complicated now, and we have to ensure the safety of others.” Xiao Wu replied with a bitter face.

The abilities of the two children were unknown, and he hadn’t mentioned the cultivator that “Master Liu” had found. One was bad enough, but they would be facing enemies from both sides.

Sun Qinghui looked at the two children anxiously. “Our side is fully cooperating here. It’s important to save people.”

“I know, I know,” Xiao Wu said.

About ten meters away, the children moved forward in secret, gradually approaching Villa 8.

Villa 8 nominally belonged to a jeweler. Its location was good; it faced south and had a little shade in front with an open courtyard, and behind it was the forest garden of the villa area.

At this moment, the lights were on inside, the curtains were drawn, and flashes of figures moving from time to time could be seen.

As soon as Sun Qinghui followed near Villa 8, he received a message from the narcotics police. “We found backbone members of the ‘Master Liu’ organization in Villa 8 and are preparing to make an arrest. The suspects on your side are also present, they…”

The tone of the narcotics officer was a bit heavy. Sun Qinghui suddenly switched it to speakerphone.

“They seem to have a sudden emergency. Quickly let people from Shian know…”

“Fuck!” Xiao Wu yelled.

Just after hearing the words “sudden emergency”, Xiao Wu rushed straight to the vestibule of Villa 8 not caring whether he would be exposed.

He put the food delivery box on a flower bed and opened the lid, then took out a thick stack of takeout tickets from his pocket and took a deep breath.

“Your takeaway has arrived. Please go to the designated location to pick it up as soon as possible!” He yelled loudly.

With a flick of his wrist, about four takeout tickets flew out in response. They shot at the door of Villa 8 and were glued neatly to it.

The next moment, a loud bang was heard.

Xiao Wu’s food delivery box suddenly floated into the sky and fell hard to the ground. The inside was empty, but countless dense roars and crawling sounds gushed out.

One of the sounds surged towards the window, causing the glass to explode. Another sound rushed in Feng Qi’s direction; its chilling chewing sound penetrated the night.

In front of the garden of Villa 8, a few steps away from Xiao Wu, Feng Qi stopped struggling and collapsed weakly on the ground, finally regaining his smooth breathing.

……

A while back. Ge Tingting and Feng Qi had just arrived near Pepafer’s residence.

Before Feng Qi could figure out how to enter, he was noticed by a black mage in the room. In the blink of an eye, before Feng Qi had time to react, his neck was fiercely strangled by a smoke demon.

The boy’s arms and legs swung desperately, and the tiny plastic sword in his hand fell to the ground.

The ugly demon seemed to be made of smoke and mist, with four red lights embedded in its head. They floated in the air like ghosts, passing through the bricks, stones, and grass from time to time, but the pair of giant hands seemed to have a solid form, tightly choking Feng Qi’s neck.

Ge Tingting’s bird bones and insect corpses passed through the smoke demon in vain. She rushed forward, trying to bite at the hands. However, her attack was useless—Ge Tingting tried her best to bite, but only bit her own lips, causing bright red blood to pass through the black smoke and fall straight to the ground.

They were too reckless.

The two of them thought this task would progress step by step, leaving them at least a possibility of winning. However, after all the hard work to sneak into their destination, only despair was waiting for them.

Because of the language barrier, they couldn’t even ask for help.

Ge Tingting rushed over to the smoke demon again and fell to the ground. Her nails dug into the crevices of the stone tiles, and her limbs became numb with fear.

The stone pavement was icy and slippery as rain began to fall. The warm skin attached to it gave the appearance of being buried ahead of time.

The two had just arrived at the vestibule, but a minute before the battle had even begun, they were already defeated.

“Sister… Sister, you… escape first. The quest… I…”

Feng Qi’s entire body was twitching. Dark red blood dripped from the corners of his mouth, and his legs couldn’t stop struggling.

Ge Tingting’s piles of bones were shaking to the point where they would fall apart. “The quest is over! Stop!”

Unfortunately, the black mage in the room didn’t let go. He only sneered as a pair of cold hands also started strangling Ge Tingting’s neck. In the struggle, Feng Qi tried to reach for the sword on the ground, which made the demon give a sharp laugh and kick it away.

The past few days of amazement, joy, and a little pride in his special power were instantly shattered by this kick.

‘Are they going to die?’ he fearfully thought.

This other world was a lot like <The Legend of Resurrection>, but was this really a game?

What would happen if they died? Could he reload the save file again?

If he couldn’t…

In the suffocating, endless pain, Feng Qi’s tears couldn’t stop overflowing from his eyes. He didn’t know if he was lucky or unfortunate, that just before he lost consciousness, a court mage had rushed to the scene.

With an order from the man, several famine worms came sprinting in.

They were about four meters long, with large, lamprey-like mouths densely embedded with human teeth. The famine worm went straight to the demon. They squirmed and entangled the demon as their lamprey-like mouths firmly covered the demon’s head.

Amidst the splashing of black blood and the sound of chewing, Feng Qi collapsed on the ground weakly, almost fainting from coughing so much.

“Sister, you run away first.” While the famine worms were entangled with the demon, he shivered and picked up his sword. “You go first… I’ll get the scale…”

“Give up. Let’s give up.”

Dirty bones protected the two of them as Ge Tingting grabbed Feng Qi’s arm tightly.

“We’ll stay in this world… I can be your sister. We don’t have to clear the game… This mission is too dangerous…”

“Sister, you go first.”

Feng Qi looked at the building next to him and didn’t directly answer her.

“Look, the people from the Knights are here. They will catch you.”

“I don’t—”

“No!” Ibby, who fell not far away, raised its head and shouted with difficulty. “The man in the room isn’t right. That’s not Pepafer… It’s similar, but it’s not right. Mission correction. The dragon scale isn’t here! Not here!”

Fang Qi was in a daze for a while. “Ibby, you…”

“I, ahem, I just noticed that Pepafer has found a double. Those henchmen and black mages are just a cover-up. He wants to escape! He… He’s still nearby. I—I’ll take you there…”

The night rain was getting heavier and heavier. The young dragon staggered and flew up.

“The quest must be completed,” it repeated weakly. “Great adventurer, the quest must be completed…”

Feng Qi gritted his teeth and stood up with his sword. He followed the young dragon into the darkness. His cloak was soaked in blood, and he looked miserable.

The people from the Knights got closer to Ge Tingting. The court magician who saved them was saying something, as if trying to calm her emotions.

“I don’t understand!”

In the thunderstorm, she screamed at them.

“Stop talking. I don’t understand what you’re saying!”

Piles of bones slammed against the people around her. Gen Tingting wiped the blood from her mouth and ran in the direction of where Feng Qi disappeared.

The people of the Knights wanted to stop her, but they were hit by a few small fireballs from the house. They were caught in a battle, and only sporadic footsteps remained from behind Ge Tingting.

Ge Tingting ran through the rain curtain aimlessly. Not far from her, Feng Qi had run to the atrium of the courtyard. His figure was hidden by the trees.

Almost there. Almost there…

Thud thud thud.

The sound of bodies falling to the ground rang out, and the footsteps behind her disappeared.

Following the sharp wailing of the worms, Ge Tingting’s scale exploded. Her heart was beating loudly like thunder, and she didn’t dare to look back.

“That little bitch runs quite fast.” A voice sounded close to her back and then gave a low chuckle. “Hell has no door but you still came*.”

*Comes from the saying “There’s a door to heaven, but you don’t go; there’s no door to hell, but you break through”. It means asking for trouble. It’s often used by bad guys to good guys (kind of like gloating to them when the good guys are trapped).

This was the last thing Ge Tingting heard before she lost consciousness. Unfortunately, like before, she still couldn’t understand what it meant.

More than ten meters away, Feng Qi was still running.

His ears were filled with the sound of rain. Only the sight of the rickety Ibby was left in his eyes. In the darkness, the white young dragon was particularly conspicuous.

Thud thud.

With a heavy ankle, Feng Qi fell to the ground.

“Come on, no need for such grandiose posturing.”

A pair of feet paced in front of him. Feng Qi raised his head with difficulty. He couldn’t see the person’s face, but he could see Ge Tingting being dragged like a sack by that person.

[Let her go!]

Feng Qi couldn’t understand what the man was saying, so he could only shout as loud as he could.

“What nonsense are you talking about? Are you really crazy?” Countless spider-like severed hands crawled out from the shadows and rested intimately at the man’s feet. “Kid, your work is done. You can go to hell now.”

‘A necromancer, just like Ge Tingting,’ he thought.

But this person was much stronger than Ge Tingting. His sin value was 116… He had killed more than a hundred people…

The strength difference was too great.

Feng Qi lowered his head weakly. Through the seemingly endless, heavy rain, he struggled to look at Ibby, who was not far away.

The man threw Ge Tingting casually aside, walked forward, grabbed the boy by the collar, and shook him. He then kicked the boy hard in the stomach. This kick was so hard that Feng Qi was almost knocked out.

After making sure the boy couldn’t move, the man picked up his backpack and dumped the contents onto the lawn.

“Garbage, garbage, garbage… Oh, there it is.”

The man took out a wooden box engraved with runes from his pocket, then took out a thick red cloth that looked like skin from the inside. He squatted down cautiously, wrapped his hands in the red cloth, and grabbed something that he had dumped out.

However, just as he was about to pick the thing up, a small hand grabbed his pants.

[Don’t…] Feng Qi could barely open his eyes as he coughed and pleaded.

“I don’t understand,” the man muttered. He casually moved and stepped on the boy’s hand.

The boy whimpered as bloody tears dripped down his cheeks.

“He said, don’t touch his things.”

A relaxed voice sounded behind the man.

The man’s movements stiffened. The hands around quickly formed a formation. They raised two fingers and bared their teeth and claws like poisonous spiders.

“A person from Sunken Society? It’s boring to bully children. Would you like to play with someone more exciting?”

“Who are…”

Before he could say “you”, the rain curtain moved, and the red cloth and object he was about to grab disappeared together. The man turned around in shock and looked at the uninvited guest.

It was obviously raining heavily, yet the person wasn’t wet at all.

His long hair was scattered, and his black shirt blended into the night. His eyes were red like burning coals. The thing under the red cloth had no support, but it floated in his palm. Lined with the crumpled red cloth, the palm of the stranger seemed to have bloomed into a strange flower.

“It turns out that this is the source of the corruption. It doesn’t look like an old object.”

Yin Ren rubbed the thing in his hand, then put it under his nose to smell it.

“It indeed has evil qi. Did you make this? How?”

The corpse servant of Sunken Society swallowed his saliva. He knew he should attack, but he couldn’t control his limbs, as if they were frozen. Like a rat being targeted by a snake, he was drenched in cold sweat, and his body wouldn’t move.

What a dreadful aura…

“You don’t know?” Yin Ren was a little disappointed. “Your goal was so clear. I thought you were here to reclaim it.”

“Yes… but… I…” The corpse servant’s tongue seemed to be knotted.

“Hmm?”

“I don’t… know…” he replied with difficulty. “It’s just orders from… above…”

“Well, it’s fine if you don’t know.”

Yin Ren grabbed the thing tightly, wrapped it in the red cloth, and stuffed it into his pockets.

“This thing is very interesting. I’ll take it.”

The corpse servant’s pupils trembled. His teeth chattered while he struggled to get up—dozens of severed hands rushed towards Yin Ren with their nails gleaming faintly in the night.

Yin Ren smiled.

“No need for such grandiose posturing,” he repeated what the man had said previously. “Your work is done. You can go to hell now. Oh, what else did you say? Oh, right.”

He casually gestured.

The severed hands that had pounced halfway suddenly stopped in unison. They crawled all over the ground for a while and gradually turned in the direction of the corpse servant.

“Hell has no door, but you still came.” Yin Ren smiled like a spring breeze.

Feng Qi looked at the scene in front of him in a daze—the necromancer’s spell wasn’t complete yet, but all his skeletons had turned around uncontrollably. Under the counterattack of the spell, they tore his body apart.

In Feng Qi’s blurred vision, the beautiful “Hero” walked in the direction of Ge Tingting first.

He carried her to the woods under a small awning and gently placed his hand on top of her head—a wisp of black qi crawled up to the man’s hand and disappeared to who knew where.

Ge Tingting curled up in a ball on the dry ground, and her breathing became steadier.

The man nodded in satisfaction and walked toward Feng Qi.

“Now it’s your turn,” he said. “Your situation is going to be more troublesome.”

“You can understand me.”

Feng Qi regained a little strength. He supported his body with all his might, and a trace of brilliance appeared in his eyes.

“You—You are…”

The young dragon swayed staggeringly as it flew back, stopping at Feng Qi’s feet. Feng Qi looked at the young man who was one step away from him, and his voice gradually changed.

“You’re the Dragon of Destruction,” he said tremblingly. “You’re the Dragon of Destruction, Oberskras! You—You can become human?”

Yin Ren let out a small puff of laughter.

“Quite apt.” He stepped over the bloody skeleton. “Well, that does sound more exciting than a vampire prince.”

Feng Qi bit his lip and took a deep breath.

“Thank you for saving us,” the boy said waveringly. “We don’t want to challenge you. Although we don’t know why you came here, our target is Pepafer, the black market merchant. He—he’s about to escape…”

“Ah, that drug dealer.”

Yin Ren easily picked up the boy and looked in a certain direction.

“Well, don’t worry. I don’t think he’ll get away.”

“Why?” Feng Qi shrank up, not daring to move.

“Based on your current level of corruption, you can probably identify it. Here, see for yourself what’s in that direction?”

Feng Qi hesitated for a moment. He resisted the urge to retch and cast a scanning spell in the direction pointed by the “Dragon of Destruction”.

“…Two black mages, an elf smith, and the black market boss Pepafer.”

“Mm-hmm,” Yin Ren encouraged him.

“And, there’s also…” The boy swallowed. “And… ‘Death’?!”

“Huh.” Yin Ren raised his brows and sniffed in the direction again. “That kid Zhong Chengshuo is stronger than I thought.”

……

Time reversed before it rained.

When Zhong Chengshuo stepped out of the corridor, the surrounding surveillance had already been disabled.

As he expected, Sunken Society had already destroyed the cameras and was always ready to intervene.

Master Liu’s subordinates were exposed, and most of the police and Shian forces were concentrated in Villas 2-8 of the villa area. However, Zhong Chengshuo didn’t even look that way and walked straight to Villa 18 in the opposite direction.

At the beginning of the year, Villa 18 was rented to a small company. That company went bankrupt a few months ago, and the owner hadn’t been able to find a new tenant.

Zhong Chengshuo had been calculating the electricity consumption data of nearby vacant houses. Compared to the previous power consumption, the power consumption of Villa 18 had slightly increased.

The door to the villa was firmly locked. Zhong Chengshuo skillfully pried open the window and slid into the room like a spider.

The room was dark with no light. Zhong Chengshuo bent down slowly—there were fresh footprints on the dust on the floor, and fingerprints were marked on the armrests.

Based on the characteristics of the footprints, there should be four adults in the room, two of whom were carrying heavy objects, as there were more obvious differences in the force between the footprints on both sides.

Zhong Chengshuo pulled up his hoodie, slipped up the stairs like a cat, and sneaked into the second floor.

The sound insulation of the villa wasn’t very good. Behind the door panel of the parlor on the second floor, two voices could be vaguely heard.

One of them sounded like an old man. “This Xiao Liu sure is rich. Did you see that Mud Meat Zhang and the Great Immortal Wu are here… This person even spent enough money to invite ‘King Yama*’, but unfortunately, he didn’t get him. These three are considered the strongest among us Nightwalkers.”

*(阎王) Also known as King Yan or King Yanluo, he’s the King of Hell and the God of Death. || This is actually quite apt as you will find out later why. I’m going to use King Yama for his nickname as even he himself uses it as an account name (later down the line).

“It’s a pity that ‘King Yama’ doesn’t take this kind of shady job,” an old lady replied.

“If he doesn’t take shady jobs, then why doesn’t he go to Shian? He must be calculating something… I’m just a little curious, old man, is ‘King Yama’ more powerful than Shian?”

Following this question, the old man couldn’t help but gossip about “King Yama”.

This person appeared seven years ago and quickly reached the pinnacle of the “Nightwalkers”. He was quick and ruthless. As long as he took the task, no matter how strong the evil being was, the task would be a cinch and there would always be a fierce death.

As the saying went, “If King Yama tells you to die at 3, who would dare to stay until 5?*” Over time, the Nightwalkers simply gave him the nickname “King Yama”.

*(阎王叫你三更死,谁敢留人到五更) Proverb referring to there‘s no delay in the death of a person.

The old lady was obviously not interested in the topic. “What comparison? King Yama is a lone wolf, while at Shian you have to bring a partner when you act. At least, Xiao Fu is seriously registered as a ghost general. Who knows what kind of occupation this ‘King Yama’ is? That guy has never shown his face, so they don’t even know if he’s a man or woman.”

“If he’s about the same level as Fu Xingchuan, then he must be at least a spirit smith, a witch*, or perhaps even a ghost general?”

*Wu Zhu (巫祝) Often refer to as witches/shrine maidens/ancient priests/shamans. In ancient times, they dealt with ghosts and gods.

“You think Shian is so idle that they couldn’t find anyone else besides him? What are you speculating here?”

The old man still didn’t give up. “Hehe, I just suddenly had a thought. Could ‘King Yama’ be a scholar?”

“Enough. Those scholars don’t even have a broad view. It’s fine if they can touch what they can touch, but they are completely blind to the things they can’t touch.”

Listening to their conversation… It seemed that it was a pair of cultivators from Nightwalkers; an old man and woman.

Zhong Chengshuo had never heard the voices of these two before, which meant they shouldn’t be within the top ten among the Nightwalkers, but he knew the person they were walking about.

“Mud Meat Zhang” was a spirit smith that was extremely strong, but he wasn’t good at fighting. The “Great Immortal Wu” was a strong folk ghost master. This person ate both black and white and was reluctant to part with dirty work, so they refused to join Shian.

Zhong Chengshuo was quietly hiding in the corner of the abandoned house, calculating quickly in his heart.

The old man and woman lack physical strength, so most likely they were ghost masters. The two of them were located at the center of the residence, so most likely there was a ghost guarding the key passage.

This place was heavily guarded, plus Master Liu had invited “Mud Meat Zhang”, who was good at disguise, and the eye-catching “Great Immortal Wu”… Zhong Chengshuo could probably guess Master Liu’s “substitute plan”.

‘What a pity,’ Zhong Chengshuo thought to himself.

If Shian hadn’t intervened, he would have been able to settle the matter when “Master Liu” tried his best to invite him.


The author has something to say:

Hee hee (?

Stripping the vest* is fun!!!

*(马甲) An online term referring to when more than 2 IDs are registered in a forum, the most common used or well-known ID is called the main ID, while the other IDs are called vest IDs. || This is basically saying, Zhong Chengshuo’s vest ID “King Yama” has been exposed (to the readers).


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Advertisement

Criminal Psychology Ch101

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 101

Huang Ze was stunned.

He did envision what would happen when he would meet Xing Conglian again. After all, Xing Conglian had just rescued him and would naturally appear to lead the investigation, so they would end up running into each other.

However, he thought Xing Conglian would either taunt or sneer, but among the things he thought would be said, they didn’t include: “What qualification do you have to talk to me like that?”

How dare Xing Conglian ask him about his qualifications!

The irritability that had been desperately suppressed during his encounter with Lin Chen had surged again.

He thought, ‘I have a higher police rank than you, a better family background than you, and I’m younger than you. Who you are and what you have done before doesn’t matter, as you are now just a small criminal police captain, so how dare he ask me about my “qualifications”. It should be me who should be asking this. How dare he treat me like this!’

Huan Ze laughed.

He really wanted to remind Xing Conglian that qualifications and strength didn’t come from the mouth or the words that were said. Those qualifications and strength came from identity and status.

And since his identity and status was higher, he wouldn’t verbally argue with Xing Conglian. Rather someone else would speak on his behalf.

“Captain Xing, what do you mean by this?”

Huang Wei dragged his fat body in front of Huang Ze and asked condescendingly.

Although Huang Wei was filthy and smelly, and always had been irresponsible like a soft-legged shrimp* in his career, when he questioned Xing Conglian, most of this stain had been completely erased in Huang Ze’s heart. Satisfied with his arrogance, Huang Ze began to consider if he should help him out.

*Also can be referred to as a soft-legged crab (软脚蟹/) It’s a derogatory term calling someone basically a wuss.

Xing Conglian, on the other hand, didn’t show any displeasure after being offended. He was still smoking a cigarette expressionlessly; his eyes weren’t even cold or sharp. He turned his head slightly and glanced at the police officer next to him.

What was strange was that, though the gaze looked calm, the police officer that was being stared at suddenly gritted his teeth, rushed forward, and twisted Huang Wei’s arm and pressed him against the wall. In the next second, he was neatly handcuffed.

“Mr. Huang Wei, you are under arrest in accordance with the law on suspicion of endangering public safety,” the police officer said in a businesslike tone.

Huang Wei was baffled for a while before he shouted, “What’s wrong with you?! Why are you arresting me?!”

“You’re under arrest in accordance with the law on suspicion of endangering public safety.”

The police officer mechanically repeated what he just said, then another person stepped forward and twisted the manager’s fat arm, preparing to drag him away from the scene and back to the police station.

“How is this any of my business? It’s not like I asked someone to kill Li Jingtian! Why are you arresting me?!” The fat manager’s legs became soft. He was sweating profusely, and his face started turning pale.

Huang Ze saw him stiffly twist his head and looked at him with an expression like a tourist on a sinking ship trying to grab the last life jacket. “Inspector Huang, help me. Help me!”

Huang Ze’s face suddenly turned blue.

He knew very well that the fact that Xing Conglian dared to detain Huang Wei meant that there was reason and justification. The incident that happened just now in Ansheng International could already be counted as a major public safety incident, so it was reasonable to detain the administrative person in charge of the mall.

However, Huang Ze didn’t expect Xing Conglian to be so merciless. This slap was not only a slap to his face but to the Huang family’s.

However, at this moment, he couldn’t think of any way to fight back. “You’re quite bold, Captain Xing.” In the end, he could only grit his teeth and respond like so.

“What does it matter to you?” Xing Conglian still didn’t bother to address him properly. He lowered his eyes slightly but looked at him with a gaze as if he were looking down at ants.

Huang Ze felt all the contempt, disdain, and all kinds of condescending emotions from that gaze. How could a person like Xing Conglian have such confidence to possess these emotions?

At that moment, Huang Ze felt that the person in front of him wasn’t Xing Conglian at all.

He stabilized his mind and then found that he seemed to have no means to crush Xing Conglian currently, which made it excruciatingly suffocating.

“Is this your attitude towards your superior, Captain Xing?” He raised his head and sneered at Xing Conglian. “Xing Conglian, prepare to receive a letter of reprimand.”

“Superior? So Huang Ze, are you attending the opening ceremony of your family’s mall in a capacity as an Inspector?” Xing Conglian asked slowly.

This was not only a threat but a rebuke; not vicious but extremely lethal.

Huang Ze thought about all the written reprimands he had given. After all, it was his job to find problems and point them out. However, among them, none were as severe as the one he had just received.

What Xing Conglian brutally pointed out was his shamelessness in protecting his family business. How could he still think of himself as an Inspector?

Huang Ze clenched his fists tightly. His nails embedded into the palm of his hand, giving him pain so he could stay sober.

Every word Xing Conglian spoke was scolding him, but it didn’t seem like it. If he reprimanded Xing Conglian for inappropriate behavior, it would prove that he was participating in his family’s property ceremony in the capacity of an Inspector. But if he were to participate in the ceremony as a private citizen, then he wasn’t an Inspector right now, so what qualification did he have to accuse Xing Conglian?

Thinking of this, Huang Ze was livid, but because of it, he didn’t have a reason to be angry. He could only grit his teeth and swallow back the blood.

Without looking into a mirror, Huang Ze knew that his face was probably extremely ugly. He took a deep breath and wanted to speak, but Xing Conglian beat him to it.

He saw Xing Conglian take a puff of his cigarette and added calmly, “I said you aren’t qualified, which means you aren’t qualified.”

Again, it was qualifications, and he wasn’t qualified.

At that moment, Huang Ze felt that it was too ridiculous. Indeed, Xing Conglian had the upper hand now, but did he intend to keep taking advantage of his words and tear his face apart?

A slap in the face already hurts, and now there was another slap. At this point, Huang Ze realized that no matter what he said, it would be a useless counterattack. He took one last look at Xing Conglian, fighting back the anger in his heart, and said coldly, “Xing Conglian, it’s rare to see people like you who like to court death.”

After speaking, he took a step forward. The moment he passed by Xing Conglian, he heard the other party say his name.

“Huang Ze…” Xing Conglian stretched his tone. “Leave and don’t let me see you again.”

……

Although it was a few minutes, to Huang Ze, it was like a few years. In fact, the conversation between him and Xing Conglian was short; so short that Lin Chen was still standing in front of the milk tea shop. Before he could move, he saw Xing Conglian coming out of the sightseeing elevator.

Lin Chen leaned on the railing and looked at Xing Conglian from head to toe, because Xing Conglian also did the same thing.

Wang Chao came out of the elevator cautiously, stood behind Xing Conglian, and gave Lin Chen a wink.

When Lin Chen received the signal, he couldn’t help but observe the expression on Xing Conglian’s face again.

The face of Wang Chao’s captain at the moment was extremely calm, as if it were a lake in complete stillness, or a more appropriate metaphor would be an ancient well without waves*. Therefore, even if he reluctantly used all micro-expression analysis methods, he couldn’t guess what Xing Conglian was thinking about.

*(古井无波) Metaphor referring to inner tranquility.

Although he couldn’t guess it, he could reason it out. Since Xing Conglian was downstairs just now, he probably bumped into someone.

“Did you run into Huang Ze?” he asked tentatively.

As soon as he spoke, Wang Chao shook his head desperately from behind Xing Conglian.

Was it just a simple encounter, or did they have a fight?

They didn’t really fight, right?

He thought about it for a while and couldn’t help asking, “Huang Ze didn’t give you a hard time, did he?”

After hearing this, Xing Conglian’s face finally changed. Although he still couldn’t guess what Xing Conglian was thinking, fortunately, Xing Conglian finally moved.

He was holding a cigarette as he walked towards Lin Chen in great strides. He then stopped, crushed the cigarette with one hand, and lightly said, “Come here.”


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Bu Tian Gang Ch126

Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 126

After they finished eating, Ivan was already waiting for them outside.

As soon as everyone got in the car, he couldn’t wait to show an exaggerated, gossipy expression. “I heard you fought with the British and French?”

It was obvious he had his own news channel as he already knew all the ins and outs. Seeing that Dong Zhi and the others were too lazy to speak, he happily talked on his own.

“To be honest, we sometimes hate the British. They like to put on airs and look down on us. They always try to look superior, but I really don’t know what they can be proud of. They haven’t been to the competition for many years. Do they still have any decent demon hunters left?! Last time, a practitioner wanted to immigrate to the United States, but he was detained by them. How ridiculous!”

Seeing Dong Zhi and the others’ lack of interest, Ivan finally stopped and scratched his nose. “Is what I said not funny?”

Liu Qingbo rolled his eyes. “Do you think we still have the spirit to listen to you after a night of staying in that damn hotel?”

Ivan smiled dryly. “Sorry, but that wasn’t arranged by me. If I had the right to arrange accommodation, I wouldn’t let you stay there! However, in previous years, the exchange accommodations for the exchange conference were never good. It’s as if to test the practitioners in a harsh environment.”

The car quickly arrived at the venue.

Everyone was staying in the same hotel, so the time that people would arrive wasn’t too different. When Dong Zhi and them entered the venue, the Americans and Russians had already arrived, and the other teams slowly trickled in after Dong Zhi.

After the meeting started, according to the process, each team would take turns making a regular speech and reporting to each other on some situation in various countries over the past two years. As countries opened their borders, the world gradually became one. It wasn’t uncommon for monsters to occasionally run from one country to another. It was under this premise that the exchange conference was established.

Dong Zhi glanced around and found that George, the Frenchman whom he injured yesterday, and Grace, the British redhead who had just provoked them, weren’t present. The former was most likely recovering from his injuries. If there was no accident, he probably wouldn’t be participating in the competition. The latter was probably forced to stay at the hotel.

This was actually for the best. They were here to participate in the exchange and competition and didn’t want to waste their time on unrelated matters.

The speeches were all written in advance. When it was their turn, Dong Zhi read directly from the script, and the others that followed were no exception.

In previous years, there wasn’t anything unexpected about the meeting and exchange. It was nothing more than everyone chatting and arguing. Some became friends during the exchange, and some clamored to draw their swords against each other in the competition. The ability of a practitioner was stronger than that of ordinary people, but they may not necessarily have the mind that surpasses ordinary people. The strong desire to win was instilled in most laymen and was perhaps even stronger in a practitioner.

On the Chinese side, Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo were the main speakers. They were already prepared to have a big fight with the British. After all, Grace, who hated them to the bone, was from the British team, so most likely the people on her team also disliked them.

Unexpectedly, with White present, the British team was calm and showed no visible hatred similar to that which Grace had for the Chinese. On the contrary, the French team, led by Galan, looked like they were cockfighting. Whenever Dong Zhi or Liu Qingbo would say something, they would always jump out and object or sneer, making their disdain for Dong Zhi and the others clear.

Just when Dong Zhi mentioned the heavenly demon’s doppelganger, a person from the French team questioned, “Since it’s the legendary demon king Mara, even if it’s a doppelganger, how can it be so easily eradicated? I seriously suspect that you’re exaggerating!”

Liu Qingbo refused to bite the bait and directly replied, “Believe it if you want, or don’t! Besides, your leader is a person who relies on his elder brother, who’s the deputy director of the Guardianship Bureau, to become leader of your exchange group. With a group led by such a person, what reliable information can everyone expect from you?”

This information was provided by Ivan. It could be seen that the desire to stir up trouble was truly common in all humans, regardless of race.

The leader of the French team, Galan, angrily replied, “Watch your words! I was able to become captain because of my outstanding abilities, and it has nothing to do with my family’s position!”

Liu Qingbo raised a brow. “Really? Then why don’t you ask your team if they truly believe that? Even if they believe it, do you think the people here really believe it?”

Dong Zhi said, “Why don’t we discuss yesterday’s prank? I heard that in addition to us, there are two other teams who were also victimized.”

“Every exchange conference has a welcome ceremony. This kind of joke is very common. It’s rare for country bumpkins like you to see it. Besides, you have seriously hurt our companion. What else do you want!” someone on the French team said.

Dong Zhi got up and pretended to stop Liu Qingbo. “Forget it. We’re all civilized people. Don’t quarrel with barbarians like them.”

France had long been the center of European culture, and its people were usually the ones who discriminated against others. Having never been called barbarians before, Galan and the others became infuriated.

The teams they teased yesterday, as well as some Americans who were watching the excitement, also followed suit. The topic was successfully transferred from Mara to the French. For a while, Galan and the others became the target of the crowd. They were besieged by various languages and started sweating profusely. In the end, they had to bow their heads and apologize, explaining that it was just a joke made by some in their team and didn’t represent the team as a whole.

However, it was too late. Everyone was so enraged by their alleged “joke” that they continued to mock them. The Russians directly turned yesterday’s suffocation into actual actions as they started a fight with the French. The free discussion then turned into a brawl. Liu Qingbo was afraid there wasn’t enough fuel to the fire and began egging them on, adding more chaos to the scene.

With Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo around, Li Han’er, Liu Si, and the others were happy to watch the show. They didn’t need to lift a finger, but their opponents were already furious. Even Zhang Song felt that Liu Qingbo’s mouth was perfect to use in dealing with outsiders. There was also Dong Zhi, who tried to “make peace”, which simply angered the French even more.

However, this exchange wasn’t all bad. At least Dong Zhi met an old acquaintance, Kenta.

After the death of Master Xinchai, his disciple naturally inherited the mantle and attended the meeting with the witchdoctors from Southeast Asia. However, with his qualifications, he was unable to serve as the leader of the team. The leader of the team was an old man, who was probably the oldest of all the practitioners there, but no one dared underestimate him because this old man was said to be the most famous white-robed witchdoctor in Malaysia. Naturally, he wasn’t here to participate in the competition.

When old friends met, it was inevitable that they would chat. Kenta told Dong Zhi that as vice captain of the team, he would lead the team in the competition, but most of the witchdoctors who came this time were fledglings and didn’t have rich practical experience, so their goal wasn’t to win the competition, but to increase their knowledge and gain more experience. He also hoped that Dong Zhi and the others would successfully defeat the other teams and take the championship.

“I think of the people here, you’re the strongest, so naturally the people you lead are strong as well. No one can beat you,” Kenta said sincerely.

Dong Zhi had spent some time with him and knew that this person was straightforward in the things that he said, and wasn’t just blowing air. Dong Zhi gave a wry smile. “Although I’m happy you look up to me so much, the other teams are very strong this time. It’s unknown whether we can actually win or not.”

Kenta patted Dong Zhi on the shoulder and bluntly said, “If I say you can, you can!”

The three-day meeting and exchange kicked off in a chaotic atmosphere. The Americans complained that this was the most chaotic exchange conference in history, while Dong Zhi thought it was pretty good. After all, they could argue with the French, and the other party couldn’t fight back. It was interesting to watch them suffocate, especially at night when it became more lively.

Ever since Li Han’er took care of the perverted evil spirit, other ghosts didn’t dare harass her anymore. The exorcism talismans from Mount Longhu were affixed to all their doors so they could get a good night’s sleep. It was unknown what method the witchdoctors who were staying on the second floor used, but the evil spirits didn’t dare go to that floor. On the fourth floor, since the Japanese were used to dealing with spirits, they had no issues either. The Americans also seemed to have used some kind of shielding device.

But other teams weren’t so lucky. For the next two days, they spent every night constantly dealing with exorcism. Eventually, an Italian said that for the next event that would be held in southern Europe, he would suggest to the organizing committee to find a cemetery with the most evil spirits in all of Italy and pack the Americans there and let them experience the excitement.

Three days quickly passed in these small episodes. The Japanese were surprisingly low-key this time. They didn’t take the initiative to find fault with the French, and they didn’t put on a high-profile performance. For three days, it was like they were invisible. If people weren’t paying close attention, it was like the team didn’t even exist. However, Dong Zhi didn’t think they were friendly. After all, it was a competition, so every team was a potential opponent, even their allied Americans.

On the last night of the meeting, everyone was called to the hotel conference room, where a middle-aged woman with blond hair wearing black-rimmed glasses was waiting for them.

“Good evening, everyone. I’m Lisa. I’m part of the organizing committee and have been appointed to explain to you the competitive session that’s starting tomorrow.”

Lisa didn’t look young anymore, but she had a unique affinity when she smiled, which made people want to involuntarily listen carefully to what she was saying.

The organizing committee of the Exchange Conference was a cultural institution affiliated with the United Nations, and Lisa was part of this organization.

Unlike other international events, the Exchange Conference had no spectators. There were only practitioners from all over the world. Although it was a competition, it was different from ordinary competitions, because what they were about to face was a world of fantasy on the other side.

“Compared to all of you who are extraordinary, I’m just a normal civil servant, so please be gentle. Even if you like me or want to applaud, don’t suddenly throw a fireball, or conjure a lion. That’ll frighten me.”

Everyone laughed when they heard her opening remarks, which deliberately reconciled the atmosphere.

Lisa thoughtfully slowed down her talking so that the interpreters could pass her words through the headset in everyone’s ears.

“Tomorrow, you’ll be sent to an archipelago in the north of the Atlantic Ocean. That archipelago is called the Senluo Islands. It’s shrouded in fog all year round so it’s difficult for outsiders to find it. The Senluo Islands have a very wonderful landscape and many creatures, so you won’t regret going there.”

“However, since it’s also the research base of Group 51, this time, in order to perfectly reflect the theme of the competition, the organizers have placed various things on the islands. Perhaps you’ll be surprised or frightened.”

“There are four islands in the Senluo Islands. Two to three teams will be arranged on each island. The landing locations are scattered, but for the sake of fairness, the islands are determined by lottery. Now, please come up and draw lots.”

Lisa picked up a box next to her and motioned for everyone to reach in and draw a ticket out.

The order of the lottery was sorted alphabetically by countries. Even if it wasn’t arranged, since the Americans were the hosts, they were eligible to draw first.

Their group leader was a woman named Lilith. As she drew from the box, a golden ball emerged. When it was unscrewed, there was a note inside.

“I got Full Moon Island.”

Lisa smiled and said, “Congratulations. It’s an island with a beautiful name.”

Lilith shrugged. “I hope our luck is as beautiful as it.”

The French drew Princess Island, while Dong Zhi’s team drew Diana Island—the names of these islands were becoming dreamier one after another that Dong Zhi started to suspect a 17-year-old girl had named them.

Coincidentally, they didn’t share an island with the French or the Americans, but in the end got the Japanese.

Dong Zhi glanced at the leader of the Japanese team, who was staring at him. They were both probably in the same mood at the moment. The path of enemies was indeed narrow.

Lisa said, “In this competition, you’ll need to get one prop, the golden apple. It could be hidden in any corner of the island, including underground and in the sky. After 20 days, the team that gets the golden apple will win. In addition, some creatures and specific places will have special silver coins. If no one can find the golden apple after 20 days, then the top three teams will be decided based on the number of silver coins each team has. Does everyone get this?”

Someone asked, “The archipelago is so big. How can we find a small golden apple? Are there any clues?”

Lisa shook her head. “There are no clues, but I promise, it’s definitely something you’ve experienced. It will depend on whether or not you’re paying attention.”

Liu Qingbo said, “If the golden apple is hidden in the stomach of monsters, we can’t just cut open their stomachs every time we kill them, right? Isn’t that such a huge waste of time?”

His words aroused the echoes of others.

Lisa thought for a while and said, “Okay, then let me give you a hint. The goddess shrouded in the clouds will eventually take off her mysterious veil.”

Everyone: …What the hell kind of hint is this?

Seeing everyone’s confused faces, Lisa couldn’t help but laugh. “Don’t worry if you don’t understand the hint. Since the golden apple is the key to winning the competition, it must be in a conspicuous place where everyone will notice. Rest assured, we didn’t throw the prop into the sea and have you go diving for it.”

“What about silver coins? Shouldn’t you give some clues for them?” Some people weren’t satisfied.

Lisa refused to reveal more. “There is a large amount of silver coins. Don’t worry. You will find some.”

“What kinds of monsters or difficulties are on the islands? This you can tell us, right?” Everyone was paying full attention, not letting go of any hints.

Lisa smiled awkwardly. “Sorry, I really want to tell you, but I don’t know. I’ve heard that this year’s difficulty is the toughest in history. In other words, this competition is likely to be extremely dangerous.”

Everyone’s expression was calm, and there wasn’t any unexpected reaction to this.

Originally, there would be some people who would die in every competition. The difference was just the numbers. The appalling rules of the game to the mundane world were nothing to practitioners. Those who fear danger and wouldn’t go all out wouldn’t bother signing up. While teams composed of strong individuals naturally had a higher chance of winning, as long as weak teams united and cooperated, they still had a chance to win.

The winner not only received prestige for their country or region, but everyone in the team would also become famous in one fell swoop. For example, since Kenta was acquainted with Dong Zhi, if they could win the competition this time after returning, Kenta would become a well-known witchdoctor and would no longer need to be officially bestowed the title of Master Xinchai’s successor in order to be recognized.

Fame and profit were intuitive benefits that the Exchange Conference could bring. Practitioners were also humans. While their areas of pursuit were different from ordinary people’s, it didn’t mean that they didn’t have the desires and goals of ordinary people. Their human nature was, in essence, still the same.

“There will be a considerable number of speedboats on the shores of each island. If it gets to a point where it’s really unbearable, you can take the nearest speedboat to leave. There’s an automatic navigation system on the speedboat. You don’t need to operate it. It will take you out of the island area and back to the ship that’s staying on the high seas to pick you up. It’s safe there. However, I want to remind you that as long as one person chooses to leave halfway, then that person’s team will automatically be disqualified. No matter what the results or achievements the team has reached, they will all be counted as invalid.”

Lisa looked around for a while, then solemnly said, “I hope you will all be safe and sound, and I hope you will give full consideration to your teammates. This competition is not only your personal show but also represents the honor of your team. Finally, good luck to you all!”

On the last night of staying at the Franklin Hotel, those troublemakers were finally wiped out. Everyone had a quiet night, but on the eve of the competition, many had trouble sleeping.

Dong Zhi picked up his phone before going to bed and opened up a chat window with Long Shen. After looking at it for a few seconds, he turned off his phone.

Long Shen and the others should have arrived in Japan by now if there were no problems. He didn’t know if they had found Otowa Yasuhiko’s lair and slain him, but they were probably in disguise. Most likely, this number was disconnected, and no one would reply to his message.

However, Dong Zhi still sent a text: [Master, everything is going well. I’ll work hard.]

After sending the message, he smiled slightly, with inner strength.

Early the next morning, the organizer sent someone to pick everyone up at the airport. They took a flight to the east coast and then took a boat to their destination.

The person in charge of picking Dong Zhi and the others up was still their old buddy Ivan. He seemed worried that Dong Zhi and the others wouldn’t return, so he kept urging Dong Zhi to fulfill his promise and write the letter of recommendation for him. Dong Zhi found it funny and had to send a short email to Carlos while in the car.

“Honestly, Ivan, do you really think we won’t return?”

Ivan smiled and said, “How could you say that? In my mind, you’re the strongest. Dong, you must get the golden apple. If I can be interviewed by Carlos, I’ll treat you to dinner to celebrate.”

Dong Zhi: “You’re American, but you actually want us to win?”

Ivan winked at him. “Of course. They didn’t write me a letter of recommendation!”

Dong Zhi was speechless. He thought, ‘Buddy, you’re really sincere.’

The plane ride to the east coast took nearly 10 hours. They arrived in Norfolk from Los Angeles and then took a passenger ship from Norfolk to the legendary Senluo Islands.

The teams didn’t bother with any tit-for-tat or pretenses. They quickly found their cabin on the ship and prepared for the competition.

As if to carry the narrow path to its end, Dong Zhi’s cabin happened to be adjacent to the Japanese. This time, the Japanese only came with four people—three men and a woman. They were the least numerous and the most low-key of all the teams. Though they stayed in the same hotel for several days, they didn’t even meet face-to-face with Dong Zhi until now.

The ordinary-looking young man who came face-to-face with him seemed surprised that Dong Zhi was next door. The two nodded to each other as a greeting but didn’t say a word.

After the young man entered his room, Liu Qingbo also came to Dong Zhi’s room.

“They sent so few people this time. It doesn’t look like they’re trying to win the competition. It’s strange. Are they targeting us?”

Dong Zhi said, “There’s no evidence now, and it’ll be too late for the country to check their identities. However, Fujikawa Aoi plays an important role in the onmyoji world in Japan, and we have forged such a deep relationship with him. It’s normal that he would send a few disciples to trip us up.”

Liu Qingbo curled his lips. “There are also the British and the Americans. I’m sure they’re scheming. The Americans say they are allies with us, but they probably know more than they let on!”

Dong Zhi spread his hands. “We cover ourselves to them so how can we expect them to be whole-hearted to us? No one is a fool. We can just take what we need from each other. I think the French are acting dumb this time. Everyone else is quite shrewd. Yang Shouyi and the others have started focusing on the competition, so start paying more attention to it.”

Although the room was small, based on the details, it could be seen that they tried to provide the most comfortable environment possible for the guests. However, given the space, they could at most read a book or sleep. It was impossible to practice swordmanship in it. Dong Zhi didn’t want to go on deck to practice and be watched by others, so he had nothing to do. He decided to sit cross-legged on the bed and practice his breathing technique. Liu Qingbo and the others were also in a similar situation. Everyone tried to reduce the number of times they went out to eat. Since he didn’t have any other friends besides Kenta, it was better to not waste time with fake pleasantries and not say anything at all. Since they were staying on a ship, no matter how big it was, it wasn’t as comfortable as being on land, and the scenery was just the ocean.

The ship traveled through the vast sea, undulating on the waves. After a few hours, it finally sailed into the white fog ahead.

As soon as it entered the foggy sea, the surrounding line of sight was immediately white, and nothing could be seen. Dong Zhi heard from William that the fog that enveloped the islands seemed to have magical properties. It lasted all year and enclosed the islands tightly, like an enchantment. Because the magnetic field was strong, radar was prone to failure. In an era where there was no radar, countless ships that were blinded by the fog would stray into this area and as a result hit the rocks and sank.

After Group 51 discovered this place, they used it as a test base. However, William had only heard about it from his predecessors and had never actually been here before.

Looking around, all the dangerous and unpredictable unknown mysteries seemed to be hidden behind the white mist, waiting for them to be uncovered.

The Changshou Sword beside him vibrated slightly and made a buzzing sound. Dong Zhi noticed it and held it in his hand.

This wasn’t the first time the Changshou Sword reacted like this. There were only two times in Dong Zhi’s impression. The first was when he was facing the Wuzhiqi under the Huai River. The other was when he went to Xianda Village to find the heavenly demon. Both times were extremely dangerous experiences. Now that the Changshou Sword was vibrating again, this meant it sensed tricky and powerful enemies ahead.

Dong Zhi held the sword tightly and whispered, “Don’t worry. If there are any difficulties, we’ll face them together.”

It seemed that, feeling its master’s heat and comfort, the Changshou Sword gradually calmed down and returned to normal.

Anton, a Russian who was in his room, looked up at the vast fog outside the window. Suddenly, his eyes widened.

In the gray-white fog, there seemed to be a few strands of black qi. The black qi slowly drifted away and started to coalesce together, finally turning into a black cloud the size of a human head, which stood out conspicuously in the white fog.

Anton stared blankly. He didn’t feel anything strange from the black qi, but the sweet smell made him involuntarily relax his spirit and body. He stared at the black qi, unable to look away.

The black qi wasn’t blocked by the porthole. It seemed to have noticed Anton and gradually approached him. It penetrated through the porthole and entered his room, smelling like a plate of freshly baked strawberry muffins, exuding a sweet aroma in front of him.

Anton’s eyes became a little blurred. He heard another voice in his head trying to stop him from reaching out to the black mist.

“What are you?” he heard himself ask.

“I am you,” the black mist replied. “I am part of you. I am what you want, and I am what you’re afraid of.”

Anton frowned. His face tensed as he muttered to himself. “No, I don’t need it. I smell death on you. Quickly leave or I will expel you…”

The struggle became more intense. Sweat dripped from his forehead, and his chest was undulating. He was gasping for air as his fists clenched and loosened several times. Finally, he raised his hand, stretched out a finger, and pointed towards the black mist hovering in the air.

“You need me. You need me to overcome your timidity. I can satisfy all your desires and make you the most powerful person in the world. Everyone will kneel down and surrender at your feet. You’ll no longer be a despised psychic but a god that others will worship!”

The bewitching voice echoed in his ears as Anton’s finger finally connected to the black mist!

In an instant, he seemed to see fireworks exploding in his mind, directly stunning him. Various scenes passed before his eyes, and he felt as if hundreds of people were talking into his ears at the same time. The noise of various languages made him involuntarily cover his ears and roll on the bed.

“I like your physique, and I like your weak willpower even more. I especially like people like you who are always complaining and dissatisfied!”

He heard a voice that didn’t belong to him say, but that voice was indeed coming out of his own mouth.

Anton opened his eyes wide in horror, as if he were sober but being involuntarily manipulated like a marionette.

“This body is a bit weak, but whatever. It’s only temporary.”

Anton had typical Eastern Slavic characteristics. He was tall and had a pale complexion. Though he was in his mid-thirties, he had properly maintained his figure and wasn’t balding, which was rare. His appearance was decent and could even be considered handsome. This was the first time someone had commented on how poor his health was, but he couldn’t refute, seeing as how it was his own voice that was saying it.

“Our new journey has just begun, Anton. From now on, I am you.”

No…

Anton struggled desperately. He wanted to resist and even used his remaining consciousness to curse the most unpleasant thing he could say so that this lone evil spirit that came from nowhere would leave his body. As a psychic, he knew hundreds of ways to exorcize an evil spirit, but that didn’t include the situation where one possessed his own body.

Tap, tap, tap.

There was a knock on the door.

In just a moment of distraction, all of Anton’s consciousness was swallowed up by a bloody mouth.

My… body…


The author has something to say:

[Unrelated to the main text] Small theater:

Under the tossing of all the practitioners day and night, the hotel was finally cleared.

Evil Spirit A was biting a handkerchief at a corner not far from the hotel: Wuwuwu, I dare not go back.

Evil Spirit B: Forget it, forget it. They’re all leaving. I heard they will go to a very dangerous place this time, and there will be something more powerful than us to deal with them.

Evil Spirit C: I checked the internet just now. There’s a not too shabby hotel nearby. Do you want to go there?

Evil Spirit A: No, I like my bed. Forget it. I’ll bear it a little longer. These people are leaving today.

Evil Spirit D came to report: They’re leaving! Those scourges are finally all gone!

All the evil spirits cheered: To celebrate, let’s go to the bar and drink all night. We’ll possess a few more people so we can drink more!


<<< || Table of Contents || Lore Glossary || >>>

Criminal Psychology Ch100

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 100

Naturally, the two people who were being talked about didn’t know that they had been “criticized”.

The strong wind swept across the car, giving Wang Chao the illusion that he was about to be blown away. He sat in the front passenger seat and tightened his seatbelt in fear as he tremblingly said, “Captain, although we have police lights on and there’s a case, can’t you drive a little slower?”

Xing Conglian was holding a cigarette and of course didn’t answer his question.

Because the car windows on both sides were lowered, the strong wind blew away the smoke pretty quickly. Wang Chao stared at the cigarette butt that was quickly burning to the end and gulped as he continued, “Captain, are you afraid that dumbass Huang Ze will bully A’Chen? Don’t worry too much. He won’t dare. He’s like an ant in the palm of our hands that can be crushed at any moment!”

Xing Conglian continuously pressed out the cigarette butt to extinguish it in silence.

Seeing that his boss had just hung up the phone, it looked like he was in a bad mood. His aura was exuding “don’t mess with me”, which made Wang Chao extremely frightened. Currently, no matter how he persuaded him, Xing Conglian remained silent. The last time this happened, the extraterrestrial galaxy was destroyed…

Well, of course it wasn’t so exaggerated. Wang Chao desperately cleared the strange setting in his brain. Just when he was about to be suffocated by the wind, he finally found something more appropriate to say. “Captain, can you drive slower? I can open my laptop and show you the scene, okay?”

The traffic lights had just changed, causing Xing Conglian to slam on the brakes and stop steadily in front of the white line.

Wang Chao took a deep breath and thanked himself for his resourcefulness.

“Okay, okay. I’ll transfer the live video for you to watch, but it’ll be a little slow. After all, you won’t rent a satellite line for me to exclusively use to surf the internet!”

After he finished speaking, Xing Conglian narrowed his eyes slightly and turned to look at Wang Chao coldly.

Wang Chao quickly shut up. Taking the 75-seconds gap between the red light, he pulled up Ansheng International Mall on-site surveillance at unprecedented speed.

Perhaps it was a coincidence, but the video transmission was indeed choppy as it was stuck. After he entered the camera number where Lin Chen was standing, the picture was frozen at a strange moment.

In the blurred surveillance footage, Lin Chen was leaning against the railing, holding one hand against it, as if he were trying to retreat, while someone was in front of him, bowing his head slightly. The back of the person’s head blocked the angle of the surveillance camera, so…

So it seemed that the man was forcibly kissing Lin Chen.

The person who looked like he was kissing Lin Chen must, of course, be that dumbass Huang Ze!

Fuck Huang Ze. You fucking dare!

Wang Chao was petrified. Although he knew there must be something wrong, his young heart was severely traumatized. What the hell is he doing leaning over and bowing his head so close?!

He slammed shut his laptop and carefully looked at the driver’s seat. He saw that his captain was staring at the road ahead. Only the index finger of his right hand was gently tapping the steering wheel, and he seemed to have calmed down, as if he hadn’t witnessed the scene just now.

“Captain, this—Inspector Huang and A’Chen definitely don’t have this kind of relationship. At first glance, it’s just a strange angle… I’ll switch to a different camera, okay?”

Hearing this, Xing Conglian wasn’t angry but instead lightly responded, “No need.”

It stood to reason that Wang Chao should breathe a sigh of relief, but, being a good dog’s legs for over a decade, he immediately realized that there was a problem with the rhythm of Xing Conglian’s tapping on the steering wheel.

Two sections, one long, two long, one short…

He silently recorded the rhythm, picked up his phone, and quickly sent the recorded content to his former colleagues: [Emergency!!! Urgent!!! Waiting online!!!]

Soon, a text message responded in seconds.

[Hey, the captain’s so angry, but the earth isn’t destroyed, and we’re all still alive. What a miracle, Xiao Wang Chao!]

Wang Chao continued to swallow his spit and took a peek at Xing Conglian’s face, feeling extremely regretful.

……

Huang Ze took half a step backward. He felt he had nothing left to say to Lin Chen. When he looked at Lin Chen’s slightly raised head and stared at his face, for a moment, he wanted to lean over again.

However, reality didn’t allow him to do so. After all, he should hate Lin Chen, and Lin Chen should also hate him.

Ego was such a strange thing.

Huang Ze turned around without looking back. He walked slowly downstairs without even remembering how he got there. The pain in his back had already lost its feeling. Suddenly, he felt someone pulling hard on him, trying to say something.

He lowered his eyes and saw a fat face.

It was the general manager of Ansheng International, also surnamed Huang, one of his uncles.

Huang Ze pulled back his cuffs angrily. Although he didn’t know why he was angry, in fact, if it weren’t for this uncle who had called his father specifically, of course it wouldn’t be him who would be at the scene today; the person who was pushed down and trampled over wouldn’t be him; and the person whose life was saved by Lin Chen and Xing Conglian wouldn’t be him.

“Is there anything else?” he asked.

“Young Master Huang, look at what happened today. The police had blocked the scene and our shopping mall’s grand opening…”

Although his uncle spoke intermittently, Huang Ze roughly understood the meaning of his words.

There was such a big accident at the opening ceremony. Li Jingtian’s condition was unknown. No matter what shopping mall it was, this kind of event would be viewed as extremely unlucky and would make it extremely difficult for Ansheng International Mall to recover from.

But what the mall was most afraid of wasn’t the anger of fans, but the determination of responsibility when the police did their investigation.

The Hongjing police had sealed off the scene. If the mall was found to have any faults during the investigation, the results would be exposed online, and the mall’s fate would be sealed. It would close down as major brands began to withdraw.

Therefore, for the current plan, he hoped that the investigation party would be lenient…

“What do you want?” Huang Ze knew very well what his uncle wanted, but he still wanted him to say it.

He saw that his uncle was sweating profusely, and the bruises on his face were almost twisted into a ball. He finally couldn’t hold back anymore and plucked up the courage to say, “Young Master Huang, the police force still needs you… Can you please greet them a little.”

Greet?

Greeting naturally wasn’t a big issue. Huang Ze felt that his principles weren’t so strong, but before his eyes, Xing Conglian’s annoying face suddenly appeared, and he frowned.

Xing Conglian came faster than he expected. Before he had time to answer or make excuses, the man’s calm and indifferent voice sounded behind him.

It was so calm and indifferent to the point it made him want to vomit.

“Why is the person responsible for the accident still at the scene?” Xing Conglian asked.

Huang Ze turned around and saw Xing Conglian coming from a distance.

He didn’t walk quickly or slowly. His little sidekick was trotting behind him, holding a laptop. He was followed by two other police officers, looking mighty and majestic.

And the question he asked was, of course, to the two officers beside him.

Hearing this, one of them glanced at Xing Conglian, and the other at Huang Ze’s uncle, who was looking at them with fear.

How arrogant.

But Xing Conglian was more than arrogant.

“Do you still need me to teach you how to follow procedures?”

Seeing no reaction from his subordinates, Xing Conglian added another sentence indifferently and finally walked in front of Huang Ze.

Huang Ze stood straight. His gaze fell on Xing Conglian’s police rank. Naturally, he was waiting for Xing Conglian to salute him.

However, Xing Conglian was different from usual.

Although Xing Conglian despised him to the bone, he would still be humble and polite on the surface, but now he didn’t even see such courtesy.

When Xing Conglian was about an arm’s length away from him, Huang Ze saw him take out a cigarette with one hand and light it in front of him. Not only did Xing Conglian not salute him, but he also dared smoke right in front of him, as if he didn’t exist at all.

Smelling the choking tobacco smell, Huang Ze wanted to laugh.

He originally thought that Xing Conglian was quite aware, but he didn’t expect that in order to express his disdain for him, Xing Conglian would make such a mistake. He couldn’t help but sneer, “Captain Xing, police officers shouldn’t smoke while performing official duties. I’m afraid it’ll have a bad influence, no?”

“Who are you, and what qualification do you have to talk to me like that?” Xing Conglian replied as he continued to smoke his cigarette.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Evil As Humans Ch38

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 38: Evil Fruit

July 23rd, noon.

Shian Building, the office of Special Investigation Team Unit 6.

A middle-aged man wearing glasses was swiping on his phone with an unhappy expression. “The people of Unit 7 have entered the hospital again. This time, we’re cooperating with the police independently.”

“Who was it?”

“Bao Linlin and Wang Zhou both have broken bones.”

“Wow, even investigating can get you broken bones,” a young man exclaimed.

The young man was dressed as a food delivery driver, with a huge box used to store food for delivery on his back. He was still wearing his helmet, which didn’t have a logo and instead had the word “Eating is a Blessing” on it, with the word “Blessing” written upside down.

A pair of twin sisters stood beside the food delivery driver. They both looked like they were in their thirties, had neat short hair, and were wearing exactly the same one-piece protective clothing.

Their entire bodies were covered with packages of various sizes, and the gaps between the packages showed a metallic shimmer.

“Xiao Wu, you should learn some manners.” One of the sisters spoke.

The driver, Xiao Wu, shut his mouth, aggrieved.

“What about the police? Have you determined their action plan?” The other twin asked.

“Look at it yourself. I’ve just gone over it again.”

The middle-aged man knocked on the table, causing an extremely detailed action plan to appear on the screen.

The narcotics police would ambush the surrounding area. Once “Master Liu” appeared, they would immediately arrest him. The criminal police were responsible for arresting Ge Tingting and the corpse splitter.

Unit 6 had been divided into two groups. The non-science post was to assist the criminal police. Two science posts would be sent in first to explore the community and assist the police when necessary.

With the assistance of a professional metaphysician, the two children wouldn’t be able to make much of a splash. The problem was…

“It’s been confirmed that this case is related to Sunken Society.”

“The one who’s covering the two children is a ghost master named Kong Wangqing, our old acquaintance. After the investigation, the drug lord ‘Master Liu’ is the real target of Sunken Society.”

Two gloomy male faces appeared on the screen. One was a photo of Kong Wangqing, the ghost master, and the other was a portrait of a middle-aged man with the words “Master Liu” written under it.

Deliver driver Xiao Wu: “Huh? Aren’t we going to catch some children? Could it be that Sunken Society wants to send two kids to kill Master Liu… Are they serious?”

The middle-aged man glanced at him and continued to explain.

“Master Liu acts viciously, and he has recruited a lot of ruthless subordinates. Sunken Society has a direct conflict with him. After all, it’s dog eat dog in their world.”

“This is why Sunken Society pulled in two little lunatics out of nowhere and led Shian and the police to act first, then hid in the shadows to reap the benefits.”

“Oh.” The delivery driver touched his helmet. “Everyone knows that they’re being used by Sunken Society as the scapegoat, so why are we jumping into the pit?”

“You want to leave those two children alone?”

“……Sorry.”

“In addition, there’s one more important point.” The middle-aged man pushed up his glasses with his middle finger. “Master Liu holds the top-class cursed spirit weapon, ‘Good Boy’, and we must recover it before Sunken Society.”

Without waiting for the delivery driver to ask more questions this time, the middle-aged man took the lead in explaining.

More than ten years ago, Master Liu’s men turned against him, and his organization was on the verge of collapse. Master Liu himself was being pursued by the narcotics police. By chance, he came into contact with Sunken Society.

Master Liu vanished from the world in the sun and miraculously reappeared in the shadows over the next half-year. He seemed to have some kind of help, as his behavior was even more rampant than before.

After an in-depth investigation by the police, they found that Master Liu was able to firmly control his core members through some means. Shian eventually found the answer…

C-X37, “Good Boy”.

It was a spirit weapon that had the physical form of a jade dolphin with a human head. It was unearthed in a tomb of a nobleman of the Gong Dynasty. In Shian archives, it was classified as one of the “top cursed spirit weapons.”.

The curse of “Good Boy” was simple and straightforward. As long as a person touched it, they had to touch its head again within 30 days. If they were unable to do so, the cursed person would gradually go insane and commit suicide in the manner he feared the most.

The last victim of “Good Boy” killed his son and daughter with his own hands, then jumped into a pool of sulfuric acid at a factory.

In the photo, “Good Boy” was about the size of a thumb and could be packed in any small bag. It was carved from yellowish green turbid jade. At first glance, it looked like a crawling animal, but it had a human head carved at the top.

The head’s eyebrows and eyes were bent, and its mouth was wide open with a smile, holding darkness inside.

“Oh, my god, Sunken Society sold this terrible thing to Master Liu.” Xiao Wu let out a cold breath.

“How is that possible?” The middle-aged man sneered. “They never buy or sell, only lend. Their transactions usually last ten years. Counting the time, it looks like it’s time for Master Liu to return ‘Good Boy’.”

Xiao Wu looked back. “Oh, I get it. I get it! Master Liu has also touched it, right? If he returns it, doesn’t that mean he’ll have to obey Sunken Society until he dies?”

Otherwise, he would die after not touching “Good Boy” for over a month.

“When ‘Master Liu’ was 48, he was afraid of being betrayed again. Most likely, he thought if he could live another 10 years, that would be enough. Now…” The sarcasm of the middle-aged man’s voice became heavier. “Well, Sunken Society is here to collect his debt.”

“According to the style of Sunken Society, they will arrange for people to fish in troubled waters* and take advantage of the chaos to seize the cursed spirit weapon,” one of the twins said. “Don’t worry, my sister and I will recover it first.”

*(浑水摸鱼) Idiom referring to creating chaos within the enemy and then taking advantage of the chaos to obtain benefits.

“Ping’an Manor is a gloomy place. Is there anything we need to pay attention to?” The other twin added.

The middle-aged man snorted. “No. Coincidentally, there are two newcomers from the C-level group living in Ping’an Manor.”

“Will they also participate?”

“How is that possible? I specifically asked Lu Xiaohe to keep her rookies away from the battlefield.”

At the same time, Shian—Small Work Group chat.

[Milky Way: It’s Friday comrades. Remember to hand in your weekly report before you get off and have a good weekend.]

[Fruit Knife: I love Fridays— 🥳]

[Final Fruit: Received.]

[The River Flows Eastward: Hey, I heard that there’ll be a lot of action at Ping’an Manor at night. Are you two going out to avoid the limelight?]

[Final Fruit: Lu Jie told us that the Special Investigation Team Unit 6 will conduct a joint arrest with the police.]

[The River Flows Eastward: Catching those two kids should be fine. It’s Master Liu who’s trouble. He must have found a powerful cultivator, which is why Sunken Society is intervening, and now it’s all become a mess.]

[The River Flows Eastward: Seriously, it’s hard enough to just protect the general public. Don’t make trouble, you two.]

[Final Fruit: I plan to go to the gym after getting off work, so I won’t be back too early.]

[Fruit Knife: Why don’t we go out for dinner? Stay away from Ping’an Manor and wait until the fight is over before going home~]

[Final Fruit: Agreed.]

[The River Flows Eastwards: Hey, are you thinking about going for barbeque? A new restaurant opened in my area, and the taste is pretty good.]

[The River Flows Eastwards: [link] Heroic Tyrannosaurus BBQ (Beidou Road)]

[Milky Way: Sorry, I have to go back to eat with my family _(:з”))_]

[Milk Way: Definitely next time—!]

[Fruit Knife: I plan to eat ice cream first after getting off work. Shall we meet at the barbecue restaurant at 7:30? @Everyone]

[Final Fruit: Okay 😊]

[Fruit Knife: [picture]]

[Fruit Knife: I bought a package coupon. Screenshot above. I’m not familiar with the road over there, so I might arrive late. Whoever arrives first can order.]

[Fruit Knife: Xiaohe Jie, I’ll remember to share photos with you.]

[Milky Way: 👋👋👋]

……

When it was time to get off work, Zhong Chengshuo really didn’t plan to go home. He greeted Yin Ren, lifted up his gym bag, and went straight to the gym.

Yin Ren didn’t go to eat ice cream, as he claimed.

He returned to Zhong Chengshuo’s residence, opened the window, and looked at the lush tree in the setting sun. The summer night wind rushed into the room, blowing on Yin Ren’s hair and causing it to sway slightly.

While the scene in the community was familiar, Yin Ren held his breath and stared at it intently.

“Have you learned how to fly?” After looking at it for a few minutes, he asked suddenly.

Behind Yin Ren, Hu Tao paused. “How did you know I was here?’

“A ghost master’s intuition,” Yin Ren responded casually as he continued to stare out the window.

“I did. I learn things pretty quickly.” Following Yin Ren’s gaze, Hu Tao also looked out the window curiously.

However, she couldn’t find anything except the golden-red leaves reflected by the setting sun. She was tired of looking out the window long ago, seeing the same scene that didn’t have anything worthy of note.

Speaking of which, this person didn’t play games or eat anything today. It was so abnormal that she felt a little hairy.

“What are you looking at?” Hu Tao asked cautiously.

“That child is about to die,” Yin Ren replied. “Some powers are not for the living to touch.”

Child? What child? Hu Tao looked around for a while but found nothing, as usual.

Forget it. Maybe this person is into theatrics and suddenly wants to put on an act. As an evil ghost, Hu Tao’s concern for the living was limited. “Well, if you have nothing better to do, help me turn on the tablet.”

Yin Ren glanced at her from the corner of his eyes, as if he wasn’t surprised by her reaction.

“Alright, but you have to do me a favor today.” Yin Ren’s tone was relaxed.

“You didn’t get into some kind of trouble again, did you?” Thinking of her experience a few days ago, Hu Tao suddenly became alert. “It’s fine if you were innocent and got caught, but I’m not going to find trouble on my own—”

Yin Ren turned his head and smiled at her. His smile was gentle, and in line with the sunset outside the window, it had a bit more warmth to it.

Hu Tao’s back went cold. She didn’t know why, but she couldn’t finish what she was going to say.

“Don’t worry, you won’t be in danger. To be precise, you don’t have to do anything.”

Yin Ren didn’t seem oblivious. He turned to the window again and continued with a smile, “After today, perhaps someone will come to ask you questions. No matter what they ask, you just keep silent.”

“I—I—okay. Got it,” Hu Tao muttered. “Just say it properly. What’s wrong?”

She had a ghost contract with Yin Ren, which could be regarded as some kind of relationship that brought prosperity but also losses. Although she didn’t know what Yin Ren was, she instinctively didn’t want to offend him.

However, after speaking, Miss Hu Tao suddenly realized something was off. When she thought about it carefully, this person always had a good attitude, and he didn’t seem to be mean to her.

Strange. Why would she be scared?

Hu Tao thought for a few seconds and decided to give up thinking about it. Death brought all kinds of strange things, so it was useless to figure it out. Anyway, she had no other ghosts to talk to.

After telling Hu Tao about the matter, Yin Ren stood still in front of the window. His long hair was casually scattered on his shoulders, and his auburn eyes looked silently downstairs, seemingly lost in his thoughts.

The sky was gradually darkening. It was past 7 p.m.. Yin Ren glanced at the time and finally made a move—he lowered his head and silently opened the work WeChat group.

[Fruit Knife: Ah, sorry you two. I’m feeling unwell. I guess I’ll be a bit late. You guys eat first @Final Fruit, @The River Flows Eastward]

[Final Fruit: What’s wrong?]

[Fruit Knife: I ate too much ice cream and now my stomach hurts 😫]

[The River Flows Eastward: Hahahaha, this kid has days like that?!]

[Final Fruit: Go to the hospital. Do you remember how to register? Do you need me to be with you?]

[Final Fruit: It’s not that serious. I’ll go to the restaurant as soon as I get better. I may be an hour or two late.]

[The River Flows Eastward: Then Xiao Zhong and I will eat the meat first.]

[Fruit Knife: 😧]

“Liar,” Hu Tao said lightly as her gaze shifted away from the martial arts drama. “Big brother said, ‘the more beautiful a woman is, the more deceitful.’ Apparently this applies to men as well.”

“Thank you for your compliment.” Yin Ren put away his phone. There was no displeasure on his face despite being jabbed at.

The evil qi lingered around, causing his phone to become extremely excited. From time to time, it would make barking sounds like a puppy.

Yin Ren had to tap it many times before it calmed down. Although he hadn’t figured out the origin of this thing, it was still useful as an evil qi detector.

At this moment, the sun was about to sink below the horizon.

There was a lot more commotion in the community than usual. The police had arrived early, and the later ones that came were all cultivators. The power of the cultivators varied, and many of them had a cloudy, dark taste to them.

In the center of the encirclement, two children were hiding in the bushes, looking so out of place that it was pitifully comical.

Until now, Lord Ghost King didn’t care about the intricate details behind this matter—the conspiracy of Sunken Society, the greed of  Master Liu, or the caution of the police and Shian. He wasn’t interested in who was right and who was wrong, who would win and who would lose.

Yin Ren had grown tired of watching the scenes of people fighting against each other and fishing for profit long ago.

He knew that the two children hidden in the bushes in the community were just abandoned children who would be thrown into the pool and would cause a ripple before they sank to the bottom.

Under the constant corruption of evil qi, their breath was slowly dying, and their lives could end at any moment. Yin Ren now had a better understanding of Shian’s level. Even if Shian could rescue these two children right now, most likely they wouldn’t be able to save them from returning to heaven.

They would not survive after today.

Yin Ren fixed his stare on the two children, through the gap in the bushes and through the spell cover.

A few minutes later, he left the room and gently closed the door. Before he left, he didn’t forget to turn off the tablet. Hu Tao, who was watching the climax, almost spat out blood, and she circled frantically around the living room.

At the same time, Unit 6’s specially dispatched personnel had already settled in an empty villa in Ping’an Manor.

After the miscellaneous equipment was set up, the empty living room was transformed into a temporary stronghold for Shian.

“If those two idiots from Unit 7 didn’t break their legs, we wouldn’t have to work so hard. After working for so long, I’m the only Black Seal who has to bear the damage. How miserable…”

Delivery Driver Xiao Wu was still carrying the heavy food box on his back as he adjusted the position of his headset again. At this moment, the food delivery box behind him suddenly moved, and there was a dense and vague whisper that came from inside.

Xiao Wu smiled and briskly patted the box. “Don’t worry, I haven’t timed out yet.”

Through the headset, the middle-aged man continued to command in the ear. “Okay, don’t complain. Li Xiaozhen, Li Xiaoli, you two reconfirm the physical form of “Good Boy”.”

“It’s a top curse spirit weapon. Even if you lose the opportunity to recover it, don’t touch it with your bare hands—at any rate, you are B-level science posts. Need I say more?”

Twin sisters: “Yes!”

“Unfortunately, the curse detector can’t be used. I used to be able to scan it, but this time it’s become troublesome…” After confirming the photo of the “Good Boy”, Li Xiaozhen let out a heavy sigh.

“The more powerful the curse spirit weapon, the less likely it is to be perceived.” The middle-aged man’s voice was solemn. “Otherwise, people would be alerted two miles away. Who would touch it?”

“’Good Boy’ is grade C-X. This means us science posts are strictly forbidden to touch it. Can it be considered a top danger?” Li Xiaoli asked curiously.

“…Maybe? It’s troublesome, but it’s not on the list.” The middle-aged man opened a file and glanced at it. “There’s also a curse spirit weapon that’s graded Class A.”

“Wow, Class A?! What is it?” The two sisters said in unison.

“Enough, do your job well, and talk less nonsense.” The middle-aged man scolded helplessly.

The two sisters stuck out their tongues at the same time.

In the distant building of Shian, the middle-aged man scrolled through with his mouse and looked at the information again.

“Good Boy” didn’t even make the top 100 cursed spirit weapons. Most of the top-ranked spirit weapons were in grade B, while the cursed spirit weapons that were at the top of the list were impressively marked with a blood-red bold “A”.

[A-Z1 “Evil Fruit*” Short Knife.]

*(恶果) It’s a term that basically means repercussions. It comes from the Buddhist saying, bitter fruit (苦果) (term used to refer to evil retribution caused by karma) that arises from the cause of evil.

[The physical form is a crimson knife. The material of the blade is unknown, and the creator is unknown.

The strongest curse-like spirit weapon currently discovered. The dissipation of evil qi around the spirit weapon is close to 0, and there’s no way to detect it at close range.

The weapon can annihilate creatures and evil beings that come into contact with it within 0.5 seconds. The upper limits of its destructive power have yet to be tested.

As long as the user [subjectively and deliberately] uses “Evil Fruit” to eliminate the target, no matter what indirect means are used (including, but not limited to, touching, coercing others to do it, remotely manipulating machinery, ect.) once the user-victim causality is established, the user will die after the target is annihilated.

This spirit weapon was once sealed by Shian but was stolen by Sunken Society during the “11-19” incident, and now its whereabouts are unknown.]

The middle-aged man read the last line of text speechlessly for a moment before closing the information.

The operation was about to begin. As the rear commander of Unit 6, he had to remain focused.

……

Time slowly passed. The sunset turned a pale blue-gray. Ping’an Manor was gradually swallowed by night.

In room 601 of building 4, where Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo lived, the security door made a noise.

Miss Hu Tao was still sulking while staring at the black screen on the tablet when she heard someone come back. She subconsciously thought it was Yin Ren. Hu Tao hurriedly put on her most terrifying appearance, started gathering momentum, and prepared to curse. Unfortunately, after clearly seeing the visitor, all of her curses choked at her throat.

It wasn’t Yin Ren, but Zhong Chengshuo.

Zhong Chengshuo was carrying a gym bag in his hand, and his hair was dry and crisp, looking like someone who didn’t just return from exercising. He went straight through Hu Tao’s body and into his bedroom.

Just like before, Zhong Chengshuo quickly squeezed into his room and slammed the door shut.

How weird. Didn’t these two say they were going out for dinner? What’s wrong with these two?

Hu Tao floated dully around for a while. Seeing that there was really no opportunity to watch her drama tonight, she flew back to the residence next door in anger.

Shian—Small Work Group.

[Final Fruit: I sprained my ankle at the gym, and it will take some time to deal with it. You two don’t need to wait for me. @The River Flow Eastwards, @Fruit Knife]

[The River Flows Eastwards: ???? Buddy, I’ve been drinking free tea here for an hour!]

[The River Flows Eastwards: Xiao Yin, how long will it take?]

[The River Flows Eastwards: Comrade Xiao Yin, you didn’t fall into the toilet, right? @Fruit Knife]

[Final Fruit: In terms of his body shape, he shouldn’t be able to fall in.]

A few minutes passed, but Yin Ren, who was usually active, didn’t reply.

[The River Flows Eastwards: Damn it, buds. Did you two just pigeonhole me at the same time?! There’s a long line outside while I’m occupying a fucking table for four people. The waiter has been staring at me this entire time!!!]

[The River Flows Eastwards: 😡😡😡 @Fruit Knife, @Final Fruit]

[Final Fruit: Sorry.]

After typing this, Zhong Chengshuo quickly exited WeChat and turned off his spare phone—his usual phone was in the gym, diligently providing his GPS position for Shian.

It was time to prepare.

Zhong Chengshuo opened the corner of his wardrobe, took out an exceptionally wide hoodie, and neatly changed into a t-shirt.

Then he pulled out the bottom drawer of the wardrobe.

The drawer was full of large tubes of potato chips of various flavors. Their outer packaging was longer than the average potato chip bag, and they were neatly stacked. Zhong Chengshuo took out a tube from the corner labeled “spicy crawfish” flavor and familiarly opened the lid.

The potato chip packaging tilted slightly, and a short knife quietly slid out of the chute.

The style of the short knife was simple and clean, and the handle of the knife had obvious signs of repair; there was an unattractive dark wooden handle attached to the end. The crimson blade reflected in the faint light, revealing a deep cold and a strange beauty, like a small whirlpool in the turbulent flow of blood.

It had an almost sinister attraction. Once people’s gaze fell on it, it was difficult to look away.

However, Zhong Chengshuo just glanced at it like it was a potato chip. He wasn’t attracted to it in the slightest, but when he looked at it, it reminded him of his strange roommate.

Zhong Chengshuo squatted down and lifted his pant leg. He grabbed the crimson short knife with his bare hands and tucked it into a sheath strapped to his leg.

Finally, he took off his glasses, put on a mask, and slowly pulled on the hood of his hoodie.

“Time point, confirmed. Surveillance, confirmed. The remarks afterwards, confirmed.”

Zhong Chengshuo’s lips moved as he muttered silently.

“…It’s just that Yin Ren is in a bit of trouble, so it needs to be over soon.”


The author has something to say:

The rear commander of Unit 6: Keep these rookies away from the battlefield.

Yin Ren & Zhong Chengshuo: Okay, here we come.

In the end, only Comrade Liang Shan was injured and miserable. Poor Liang Shan.


Kinky Thoughts:

I suspect that “Evil Fruit” is a purposeful name, considering Yin Ren’s nickname is Fruit Knife and the weapon is a short knife. So many references to fruits and knives while also holding double meanings…


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Evil As Humans Ch37

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.

“Tsk……”

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.”

“Oh?”

“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—

  1. The suspected target has been identified. The corpse splitter is really a child.
  2. The suspected target is suspected to have been exposed to evil qi corruption.
  3. Knowing that external forces have intervened, a hostile ghost master, who is suspected of following the suspected target, has been discovered.
  4. 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?”

“Okay.”

“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.

“What’s wrong?”

“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.

Interesting.

“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.”

“Yeah.”

“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.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Criminal Psychology Ch99

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 99

“Parents with children at the entrance of the Good Decoration Specialty Store in Area C on the second floor, please pay attention and protect your children. Try to raise infants and toddlers above your head or have them ride on your neck so that the crowd behind you can see them.”

“The ambulance personnel are treating the wounded at the entrance of the TM supermarket chain in Area A on the first floor. Please pay attention and avoid that area.”

“For those who are going down from the escalator, please be careful not to push.”

……

Lin Chen would occasionally listen to the instructions and found that Xing Conglian’s reminders were always spot on. It was very much like a professional guiding traffic in a crowded subway, meticulous and patient; although Lin Chen was sure Xing Conglian had never done this kind of thing before.

Looking at the gradually empty venue, Lin Chen suddenly had a strange feeling in his heart that was similar to the joy felt after surviving a great disaster.

After all, from the time of the incident until now, he and Xing Conglian were far apart, but perhaps it was because his voice was always coming through on the phone that he felt Xing Conglian seemed to be present. This feeling was comforting and made him feel safe.

When he was thinking this, Lin Chen felt taken aback. He suddenly realized that he actually felt something like a sense of security.

He suspected it was an occupational disease and pondered the psychological motivation. He then realized that what he enjoyed and what made him feel satisfied wasn’t such a simple sense of security because someone was behind him, but what truly made him happy were some high-level needs that were gradually pursued after low-level needs were satisfied*. Generally speaking, they were a sense of belonging and love.

*This is referring to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Since he’s met the first two levels at the bottom, he’s now moved on to “belonging and love”.

People wanted to be with their companions.

There were fewer people stranded in the shopping mall now. People were supporting each other as they slowly walked out of the turmoil.

Lin Chen cast his eyes on the stage again. The police officers from the local precinct had already blocked off the scene, and there was a bunch of roses lying quietly on the scarlet carpet. Other than that, it was empty.

The voice of Xing Conglian could no longer be heard on the broadcast.

Soon, he heard Xing Conglian say “hey” a few times on the phone.

“I’m here,” Lin Chen replied.

“I’m coming right away. Wait for me. I’ll be there in a quarter of an hour.”

“Okay.”

As he said this, he suddenly heard the sound of leather boots tapping on the floor tiles from behind. There was no one in the mall anymore, so it could only be one person who would personally seek him out.

He turned around and saw Huang Ze walking slowly towards him from a distance.

“See you later,” he said as he hung up the phone.

Probably because of his leg injury, Huang Ze was walking very slowly and trying his best to keep his posture stable, but his knees that couldn’t be bent betrayed him.

When Huang Ze got closer, Lin Chen could clearly see the dirt and wrinkles on his suit, but Huang Ze didn’t stop and continued moving closer, forcing Lin Chen to take half a step back so that he bumped against the railing.

Huang Ze narrowed his eyes slightly and finally stopped.

He hadn’t seen him for a month, but Inspector Huang was as cold and ruthless as ever. People like Huang Ze were used to waiting for others to greet them first.

Lin Chen sighed and said, “Inspector Huang, how are you?”

“You clearly know that if you live well, I won’t be well.”

Lin Chen laughed. “Then I must be having a good time. I’m very sorry.”

Provoking a man who had been molested by so many girls was probably not a good idea. What was more, this was a man who hated him to the bone, and he just saved him. This kind of insult was probably more unbearable than killing him.

Huang Ze suddenly raised his hand, causing Lin Chen to subconsciously close his eyes.

However, he felt no pain on his cheek. Seeing as the plot wasn’t moving as expected, Lin Chen opened his eyes only to see Huang Ze’s hand was still raised in mid-air and remained frozen.

He thought for a moment, then asked, “Inspector Huang, are you planning to slap me? If not, I’ll go first.”

“Are you doing well?”

The current atmosphere became a bit strange. Lin Chen tried hard to bring the topic back to a less weird track, so he said, “It’s been a long time since I saw you. To be honest, Inspector Huang, I thought you would say, ‘Don’t think I’ll be thankful to you for saving me’. In fact, catching up isn’t suitable for you.”

Unexpectedly, even when he said this, Huang Ze didn’t hit him.

Huang Ze’s face was tense, as if he were holding something back. In the end, he slowly lowered his raised arms and asked a very strange question, “How did you break your arm?”

Lin Chen looked at the plaster and bandage in his hand and thought that because the Yongchuan case was still under investigation and the files were top-secret, Huang Ze wouldn’t be privy to this information, so he had no choice but to answer, “In order to protect people’s lives and property…”

“Together with Xing Conglian?”

“That’s right.”

“Why would he let you get hurt?” When Huang Ze said this, he actually seemed to be angry.

The conversation showed signs of becoming nasty. Lin Chen sighed and said, “Maybe because I prefer courting death?”

“You’ve already died once since you were connected with Xing Conglian, and now you have a broken arm.”

“So what?”

“So you still want to be with him?” Huang Ze said this methodically, as if what he said was reasonable.

And the meaning in his words made Lin Chen feel even more misunderstood. “Inspector Huang, I can only realize a little of the value of my life when I’m with him. After all, this is still slightly more important than survival.”

He thought that this was a very ordinary explanation, but after he finished saying this, Huang Ze opened his eyes wide. “You don’t know who he is. You think he’s just an ordinary criminal police officer. You think you can rest easy and just follow him, but you’ll pay with your life one day!”

“This line sounds familiar, Inspector Huang.” Lin Chen looked around. Fortunately, there was no one around. Otherwise, this conversation would be quite embarrassing.

Huang Ze took another step forward, forcing Lin Chen to lean back a little more.

“I checked on Xing Conglian’s file.”

“Oh? Then what?”

“Then, there is no then.”

“Xing Conglian was parachuted into Fengchun a year ago and later transferred to Hongjing as captain of the police criminal division. His file only has this year.”

Huang Ze probably really hated Xing Conglian so much that he would go to this extent to check his files.

However, Lin Chen wasn’t surprised that he couldn’t find anything on Xing Conglian. Lin Chen even thought not only would he not find anything on Xing Conglian but even the files on Wang Chao.

Sure enough, Huang Ze quickly mentioned Comrade Xiao Wang.

“Xing Conglian is very suspicious. Even the kid with him doesn’t have any files. Do you think normal people are like this? Are you dumb? You studied psychology, yet you don’t think there’s anything wrong with this?”

Huang Ze’s tone became more anxious. This kind of thing was actually not suitable for him to say. After all, Inspector Huang was always arrogant and cold, but suddenly he was anxious about matters like this. This was too unlike him.

Lin Chen thought, ‘Of course I know there’s a problem.’ After all, who would install cameras when they stay at a hotel? But to bring up such a topic would be too strange, so who would ask?

Therefore, he could only answer, “Isn’t this great? I’m very satisfied. Even you can’t find his file. This shows he’s quite powerful, right? I can’t be sure, but perhaps he has done great things for the country or is a member of the hidden front.” Lin Chen paused, looked up at Huang Ze, and smiled. “This means I should respect him more, no?”

“Are you trying to provoke me?” Huang Ze suddenly raised his voice.

Lin Chen didn’t know what was going on with Huang Ze today. Although the meaning in Huang Ze’s words could be taken as if he cared about him, this attitude didn’t seem like it, but was more like a strange, childish possessiveness. After all, for children, even if they hated the toy, if it was taken away by others, they would be unhappy, right?

Lin Chen didn’t really want to continue the conversation, but he still had to respond. “Inspector Huang, I just want to remind you that, first, it’s not honest and upright to investigate other people’s files privately. Second, I don’t think it makes sense for you to discuss the identity and background of Captain Xing with me here. After all, we’re just colleagues. It’s not like we’re planning to get married. I don’t need to know how many people are in his family or how much money he has in his bank account.”

“Honest and upright? Do you think he’s honest and upright? You’re so innocent and naïve, Lin Chen.” Huang Ze didn’t seem to hear his words at all and instead grabbed onto a word he said and sneered. “If he’s honorable, why didn’t he tell you how he managed to get you the consultant position?”

Despite Huang Ze’s rising anger, Lin Chen was calm. “Then Inspector Huang, should I say, ‘Please quickly tell me’ or should I say, ‘I don’t want to know’?”

“You don’t care at all, do you?”

“It’s not that I don’t care, but it’s easy to guess. There are only two ways that would force you to drop it and allow me to get official documents to approve my position. Either Xing Conglian smiled at you while holding the reporter’s videotape of the ‘Candy Bandit case’ and threatened that if you don’t drop it, he will publish the videotape on the internet and ruin your reputation, or Wang Chao sat in front of a laptop and showed you that he could break through various firewalls in a minute and make it so you can’t hide any of your personal privacy…”

Looking at Huang Ze’s swollen face, Lin Chen thought he probably guessed it accurately.

These two people really knew the law—and also how to break it.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Evil As Humans Ch36

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 36: Dragon Scale

At noon, the police found a second victim in the junkyard in Shangguang District.

Lu Xiaohe was lying in a daze in front of a console, staring at the game case of <The Legend of Resurrection> in her hand.

A row of photos of the murder scene were lined up on the big screen. The deceased’s death was exactly the same as Wu Tao’s; the snow-white skull on top of the bloody minced meat was particularly conspicuous.

The difference was that this time, the “fallen objects” around the deceased weren’t in a circle, as two objects were missing.

“Ma Jiangshuai, 32 years old, a native of Haigu. This person is unemployed and has a history of drug abuse. According to the police, he recently started dealing small amounts of drugs.”

Lu Xiaohe put away the game case and spoke with a tone of pain and annoyance.

“The narcotics department has been eyeing him for some time and got info on him a while ago—Ma Jiangshuai was about to contact his handler, and the police were originally planning to catch them all.”

As a result, the corpse splitter stepped in, and now their trail was broken.

“The last time the corpse splitter struck was on July 13. Today is July 21. If the corpse splitter strikes gain, he will become the third serial killer in the history of Haigu.”

Zhong Chengshuo sat upright with his hands on his knees. “Did you find anything at the scene?”

“Yes, that’s exactly what I was going to say next. In addition to Ma Jiangshuai’s blood, police also found blood samples from two other people at the scene.”

“After DNA comparison with Ge Jiaojiao, one of them can be identified as Ge Tingting. The other person is most likely the ‘corpse splitter’… Based on the blood sample, it can only be determined that the ‘corpse splitter’ is male.”

Lu Xiaohe sighed.

“Ge Tingting has appeared in two crime scenes, so there’s heavy suspicion on her. The police are already looking for her and have sent out the details.”

[Ge Tingting, 16 years old, from Gejiazhuang, Shouguan County, Haigu. Has hearing and language impairments.]

However, compared to ordinary deaf and mute people, her situation was a bit special…

Ge Tingting wasn’t born unable to hear voices, nor was she mute. Before she was at least five, her hearing and language skills were completely normal. She was even famous in her village for “speaking early”.

Eleven years ago, Ge Tingting’s parents took her into the city to buy supplies, but they encountered a car accident in the mountains.

The road was slippery due to the snow, causing the tiny three-wheeled car to overturn off the cliff. The terrain of the mountainous area was complicated, so it took five days for them to find the wreckage under the cliff.

Ge Tingting’s parents died on the spot, and their bodies were already rotting, but they wrapped their arms around Ge Tingting and protected her, and she miraculously survived.

The young Ge Tingting spent New Year’s in a coma. After waking up, she could no longer understand the words of the people around her and could only utter unintelligible sounds.

The diagnosis given by the doctor at the time was lesions in the Wernicke’s area of the brain, and the cause was unknown.

The people in the mountain village didn’t understand these complicated terms, so they directly regarded her as a deaf and mute person.

Two months ago, Ge Tingting’s grandmother passed away. Ge Tingting took her sister’s ID and entered the city as an “adult”.

It was both a fortunate and unfortunate life, but not shocking.

“Because of language barriers, Ge Tingting tried looking for odd jobs and had no place to live. She spends the night in internet cafes, and when she had no money, she would go to a closed area and find an empty spot. Wu Tao’s group was probably watching her during this time.”

“In other words, she probably became a rogue corpse servant ten years ago.” Zhong Chengshuo continued, “She was suddenly attacked by Wu Tao, and in a panic, her special abilities burst out.”

“Nn, then she met the corpse splitter. Until yesterday, the two stayed together.”

Yin Ren turned his chair around and lazily picked up the conversation.

“Given Ge Tingting’s situation, she couldn’t have known the corpse splitter for long, right? She’s not like someone who would act with a stranger. How did the corpse splitter convince her?”

Yin Ren hit the nail on the head.

Lu Xiaohe reacted quickly and sighed. “The corpse splitter… may be a child?”

Since she was a woman, if she was attacked by a man, unless it was a law enforcement officer who stepped in, she wouldn’t leave with a stranger.

There was only one exception—if that stranger was likely to make her “feel no threat”.

Children or the elderly fit the bill. Considering the target audience of <The Legend of Resurrection>, children were more likely the case.

Zhong Chengshuo nodded. “Yin Ren and I discussed this yesterday, and we have similar doubts. The behavioral characteristics of the corpse splitter aren’t clear. If he’s an adult, Officer Sun’s side wouldn’t be so lost without any clues.”

Lu Xiaohe thought for a few minutes, then began to tap on the keyboard.

“…Got it. Your guess is reasonable. It just so happens that the investigation recommendation related to <The Legend of Resurrection> hasn’t been issued yet, so I’ll add this and send it to Officer Sun.”

……

In the afternoon, 8th Floor of Shian Building.

The sun was shining brightly inside, lighting up the TV screens full of text. An old lady was hunched over, sitting at a podium with her eyes closed, taking a nap. Looking at the tables and chairs under the stage, this place looked like a small university lecture hall.

However, the “students” were a bit overage.

“Hey, you guys are actually free to come to class?” Although class hadn’t started yet, Lao Bin had already subconsciously lowered his voice. “Aren’t you two taking on that murder case right now?”

“We came for instructions. We’re being transferred to rear support while the B-level investigation team will officially take over,” Zhong Chengshuo answered honestly.

Hearing this, Yin Ren was filled with joy and sorrow.

His joy was real—yes, they were liberated and became auxiliary support staff again.

His grief was also real—before lunch, before Lu Xiaohe’s investigation suggestion to the police was released, Sun Qinghui received new information. In order to adjust his work plan in time, he missed the limited authentic tea-smoked duck in the cafeteria.

Since he missed it this time, he wouldn’t be able to eat it until next month.

In fact, the matter wasn’t complicated. According to the police investigation, the deceased Ma Jiangshuai was a new recruit to the drug lord “Master Liu”. He was preparing to join the gang. The crime scene investigator said the murderer took a note from the deceased.

The drug lord “Master Liu” had been registered in Shian and always had an ambiguous relationship with the metaphysical world. Now that he was related to the corpse splitter, the case may have another mystery.

…And he and Zhong Chengshuo were weak, pitiful, and helpless rookies who even had a criminal record for acting without authorization. According to Lu Xiaohe, the higher-ups were afraid that they would cause trouble when acting together with the police, so they decided to take preventive measures.

Still, it was good.

This matter wouldn’t dampen Yin Ren’s non-existent self-motivation. Anyway, their investigation wouldn’t stop, so he could continue to play <The Legend of Resurrection> while getting paid. If it weren’t for missing the limited lunch menu, Yin Ren would be in a better mood.

As for Zhong Chengshuo… Unlike the Gao Mengyu incident, Yin Ren didn’t see any fluctuations in his emotions.

After hearing the ins and outs of the matter, their colleagues looked a bit more sluggish.

Lao Bin was dejected. “How come you guys always encounter real things every time? I just finished an investigation on my side—after following for half a month on the “Hallucinogenic Event in the Building” case, we only found toxic mold, and it wasn’t even a new species.”

As he spoke, Luo Bin glanced at his partner faintly.

There were only four people in the classroom. Except for three newcomers, Yin Ren, Zhong Chengshuo, and Luo Bin, there was also a new face.

A burly man more than two meters tall was sitting next to Luo Bin. He had thick brows and small eyes, with ugly facial features. Hearing them talk about the case he was in charge of, he turned his head and laughed nervously.

“Qin Lele, corpse servant, my partner.” Luo Bin casually introduced. “We’re currently living in the Shian dorms. Because of this, I also had a fight with my girlfriend—we were living together and were renting out a place before, haa.”

Zhong Chengshuo didn’t care about Lao Bin’s emotional life. He politely turned to Qin Lele and introduced himself. “Hello, I’m Zhong Chengshuo. The one with long hair is my partner, Yin Ren.”

Qin Lele blinked sluggishly with some belated excitement. “Hello, hello. I’m Qin Lele! My uncle is also in Shian. He has mentioned you!”

It took Zhong Chengshuo half a second to connect the dots. “Are you Qin Ge’s nephew?”

“Who’s Qin Ge? I don’t know a person like that.” Qin Lele pondered it suspiciously for a while. “My uncle’s name is Qin Xiaoxiao.”

Zhong Chengshuo: “…Yes, that’s him. He mentioned about us?”

Qin Lele waved his big hand. “Yes, he said you two are handsome. He said if he were half as handsome as you two, he would have a wife by now.”

Zhong Chengshuo: “…..”

Yin Ren: “…Pfft.”

As expected from the orthodox corpse servant of the Qin family. Their style was truly distinct.

Luo Bin covered his pained-looking face. “He’s a newcomer last year but didn’t pass the basic course… I envy you so much, Xiao Zhong. Can you understand how I feel?”

“Heh!” Qin Lele obviously didn’t, as he laughed loudly.

The old lady sleeping on the podium was awakened by this thunderous laughter. She stood up tremblingly, massaged her back with some difficulty, and slowly paced to the TV screens.

She opened a book and turned the pages while keeping her eyes closed, as if she could read it. “Basics… Basics… Where did I leave off last time…”

“The basic combat method of the science post.” Luo Bin also opened his book. “Then it should be the ‘three pinnacles of the metaphysical world’.”

“Ah, good, thank you.” The lady cleared her throat and “looked” at Lao Bin with her eyes closed. “Let’s continue today.”

Zhong Chengshuo no longer spoke. He opened his notebook and aligned the tip of his pen on the paper, ready to go.

“Shian’s science posts mainly provide rear support and are responsible for auxiliary work such as first aid and mechanical maintenance. The work of science post personnel is mainly research, so the requirements for combat ability aren’t so high.”

As the old lady slowly spoke on the podium, the tip of Zhong Chengshuo’s pen flew quickly. Neat and beautiful characters floated out from the pen.

Yin Ren turned his head when he heard the sound, seeing his partner transform into a printer with human flesh. The alarm inside his head started ringing…

The writing of modern humans wasn’t much different from that of ancient times. If he were to combine the context of before and after, it would be difficult to read, but if he were to write blindly, he would definitely be exposed.

Fortunately, no one took notes except for Zhong Chengshuo.

Qin Lele was staring at Comrade Xiao Zhong in shock, as if he had seen a brand new creature, and even Lao Bin, who was a science post himself, stared in awe at Zhong Chengshuo. He would mutter from time to time things like “as expected of an elite from A” and the like.

Seeing this, the alarm was lifted, and Yin Ren put away his pen and paper. He turned his head sideways and watched Zhong Chengshuo write. The old lady’s accent was a bit heavy, so it was a bit difficult to understand her.

Not to mention, in addition to learning how to write new words, watching this scene was pleasing to the eye.

Zhong Chengshuo seemed to notice Yin Ren’s gaze. The tip of his pen stopped for two seconds, then he adjusted his posture to make it easier for Yin Ren to see.

“…Besides Shian, the definition of the science post isn’t so strict. The other two major organizations, ‘Nightwalkers’ and ‘Sunken Society’, don’t have a division of labor based on ‘science posts’ and ‘non-science posts’ and there’s little practice of working together.”

The old lady on the stage continued.

“For example, the science post in ‘Nightwalkers’ may not necessarily be scholars, but they could be people with military training, civil science, or even ordinary people who are confident in this area.”

Zhong Chengshuo circled the words “Nightwalkers” conspicuously.

Luo Bin glanced at Zhong Chengshuo, who was frantically taking notes, then actively raised his hand to ask, “Teacher, I have a question—if there’s no metaphysical partner, how can the people in the science post deal with evil things?”

The old lady paused for a while.

“Two methods,” she replied hoarsely.

“Attack the living person who’s manipulating the evil thing or use spirit weapons to fight. The science post can’t use magic, but they can still use talismans, spirit weapons, and other ‘finished products’ that don’t require additional manipulation… Hehe, young man, you’re a science post, right? Do you want to buy my… ahem.”

Halfway through, she seemed to have thought of something and swallowed the rest of her words.

Offstage, Zhong Chengshuo’s brows quivered, and he bitterly crossed out most of the words he had just written.

“In short, among the three existing metaphysical organizations, the ‘Nightwalkers’ have the lowest threshold, are the loosest organization, and have the largest number of members… If Shian is a regular army that maintains order, the Nightwalkers are more like mercenaries who work for money. There’s no shortage of strange people on their side, some of which are people who can’t join Shian or don’t want to.”

The old lady returned to her drowsy appearance.

“Compared to ‘Nightwalkers’, you should be more careful of ‘Sunken Society’.”

Yin Ren took a deep breath and moved his gaze away from Zhong Chengshuo’s notes and looked at the old lady.

“This is a standard criminal group. Their types have been around since the Gong Dynasty. They are like cockroaches that can’t be swept away even after thousands of years. They can be regarded as Shian’s old adversary and are full of real lunatics—this group likes to find people and make unequal deals. They often engage in shady activities.”

When the old lady spoke of this, her tone became solemn.

“If you meet people from Sunken Society, no matter how generous the conditions they offer you are, don’t listen—there is no pie in the sky, especially if it’s related to the metaphysical world. Your lucky break may cost you your life.”

This statement was quite empty, full of the dogmatic sense of “don’t take candy from strangers”. It was fine to use it on children, but it was easy for adults to have their own thoughts.

Like at this moment.

Luo Bin lowered his voice and muttered to Zhong Chengshuo, “Hey, is it that serious? Aren’t we highly resistant to strange things? Can’t we just take advantage of it…”

Before he finished speaking, he heard an unabashed sneer.

On the podium, the old lady let out a mocking laugh. She turned around slowly, faced Luo Bin, and opened her eyes with difficulty.

Luo Bin trembled all over and retched on the spot.

The old lady’s eyes were like two uneven pearls, each with about five deformed pupils strewn across them. Those pupils squeezed together, swimming around like some kind of living thing.

“I wanted to take the benefits that Sunken Society would give me and then leave,” the old lady said with a smile. “If it wasn’t for this incident, I would still be a Nightwalker now.”

Luo Bin wiped the saliva around his mouth and remained silent.

However, the old lady didn’t intend to let him off—she walked off the stage and slowly slid up to Lao Bin and Zhong Chengshuo, then grabbed the edge of the table with her two chicken-foot-like hands.

“Since you can enter Shian, your indicators for the science post aren’t low. Some people may even get full marks.”

The old lady lowered her head and “looked” at the two of them up and down. Her wrinkles gathered, and the smile on her face became more benign.

“Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an ‘absolute smooth plane’ in the world; no ‘absolute unbelief’—as scientific researchers, there are at least two things you can’t get rid of. Even Li Nian, who doesn’t hit the south wall and doesn’t look back*, can’t escape this…”

*(不撞南墙不回头) Refers to stubborn behavior and won’t listen to different opinions.

“Wh—What things?” Lao Bin swallowed as he glanced at Zhong Chengshuo, who was frantically taking notes.

“The most basic empathy for the same kind,” she replied, “and the instinctive fear of the unknown.”

The old woman folded her hands.

“If your science indicators are high, you can walk sideways*. How else do you think Shian can guard an Evil Spirit so carefully… Well, no, the level of an Evil Spirit is too high. It’s because they have top of the line spirit weapons.”

*Term use describing people who are powerful and can do whatever they want.

“As long as it can make you shake for a moment—even if you may not be aware of it, like a subconscious shaking—they just need a miniscule crack.”

She staggered with her closed hands and made a twisting movement.

“Then, crack!”

The room was silent. Perhaps because the old lady’s momentum was too strong, even Qin Lele instinctively hitched his breath. Only Zhong Chengshuo kept a stern face as he wrote “Crack!” in his notebook.

Yin Ren tried hard to stretch his face, but it was hard to hold back his laughter.

Seeing Zhong Chengshuo’s reaction, the old lady didn’t mind. She cackled and then propped herself up.

“Of course, there are all kinds of things in the world, so there must also be people who don’t care about anything—that kind of person is either in prison or on their way to prison.”

After speaking, she paused meaningfully for a while before walking back with her waist bent.

Seeing the old lady return to the podium, Luo Bin breathed a sigh of relief and patted his chest with fear.

The old lady acted as if nothing happened and continued. “Next, I’ll focus on the history of Sunken Society.”

……

Ping’an Manor Villa Area, Villa No. 8.

When Ping’an Manor was first built, it focused on the high-end market. Some of the residences in the community were high-end villas that had a world-famous design team who worked on them.

There were still many people living in the villa area now, but the truly rich had moved away long ago. The remaining villas were either converted to small company offices or living spaces for those who were ruthless and didn’t believe in evil.

For example, the drug lord, “Master Liu”.

“Master Liu”, whose real name was Liu Aigao, was two years short of 60. Given his profession, he wouldn’t buy his own real estate, as the villa he was living in was under the name of a relative of his lover.

Liu Aigao liked the scenery here. The seclusion was so pleasing to him that he had resided here for over a few years.

As for the ghost legends of Ping’an Manor—he dared to raise a gun and shoot people, stepping on their splattered brains; dared play in the dark under the light*; and wasn’t even afraid of the police who were wandering around, so why would he be afraid of ghost?

*(灯下黑) Has various meanings, but in this context, it basically means committing illegal acts.

Since he dared to play in the dark under the light, he wasn’t worried about being recognized by the police. After the “business” became bigger, Liu Aigaoa hadn’t shown up for over a decade. Let alone the police, even many of his younger minions didn’t know what he looked like.

Today, Master Liu wasn’t in a good mood.

Nowadays, urban areas had improved surveillance and there were more “eyes” from the narcotics police. Compared to ten years ago, fast money was hard to earn.

Before recruiting, Master Liu would ask his subordinates to check multiple times. In addition to catching undercover agents and testing their abilities, he also expressly forbade peddling and using. As a result, there was no one to pick from, so he could only pull from a group of drug addicts who couldn’t support themselves.

There was a big deal coming at the end of the month. He had just found Ma Jiangshuai, who wasn’t afraid of death. As a result, this guy died violently the next day before he even joined.

Naturally, addicts would go crazy if they used too much, so it wasn’t surprising that they could die at any time, but this person died in such an evil way that it caught Master Liu’s attention.

“What happened? Come on, tell me.”

Liu Aigao turned on speaker mode and lit a cigarette slowly.

The person on the other side obediently replied, “I’m—not sure… I checked carefully. The note wasn’t found by the police…”

“The police? The police don’t cut up people into minced meat.” Master Liu blew out a smoke ring. “I’m asking about the mad dogs from Sunken Society. This looks like something they would do.”

“I—we only heard that it has something to do with a little girl. It was passed on by the people on Wanxing Street. The cops have been looking for her these days.”

Liu Aigao rubbed his temple, and his tone became colder.

“I don’t care about these details. Find more manpower and wait for when the day comes. Take care of all people of unknown origins approaching Ping’an Manor.”

“Then you…”

“I’m tired of living here, so I’ll change places.”

“You—You want to move?” The tone of the person on the other side of the phone became more flustered, and there was a deep fear in his voice. “Liu—Liu—Master Liu, you can’t abandon us…”

“If this deal can be completed beautifully, then you can do whatever you want in the future.” Liu Aigao pinched his cigarette. “You know better than me, whether it’s the police or Sunken Society, as long as you touch one, they will all come play together.”

“Understood! I’ll find someone—”

“Idiot.” Liu Aigao hung up the call and scolded contemptuously.

He lit another cigarette and wandered to his bedroom. He rummaged around in the bedside table for a while before pulling out an odd jewelry lanyard.

The lanyard was custom-made. It was said that even two trucks pulling it couldn’t break it. It was strung with luxury gold and jade beads, looking like an extremely valuable men’s necklace at first glance.

At the bottom of the lanyard was an empty black fabric bag. The material wasn’t beautiful, but it looked sturdy.

Liu Aigao glanced around, locked the bedroom, and carefully removed the pendant around his neck.

He untied the old hanging bag on his chest and lightly took out the contents, then stuffed them into the brand-new fabric bag. Then he closed the bag and strung the stronger lanyard around his neck.

Before stuffing it back into his clothes, the afternoon sun flashed across the small black bag.

It was tightly bound at the opening and tied into a flat fan shape. Under the sunlight, the black fabric glowed with a faint light.

At a glance, it looked to be some kind of scale.


The author has something to say:

Luo Bin: My group assignment (?) partner, someone else’s group assignment partner.jpg

Xiao Zhong, a real human printer.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Criminal Psychology Ch98

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 98

“I know you want to scream, but please hold back your screams and keep your current movements as they are now. Give me 30 seconds.”

After the gunshot that shook glass and trembled the audience, the voice of Xing Conglian came through.

Perhaps because the gunshot was so intimidating, everyone at the scene was in a momentary panic, and because of this panic, no one made a sound.

Lin Chen slowly put down his hand, covering his ears. His eardrums were hurting. Thinking about what happened just now, Wang Chao must have turned the volume to the max, and Xing Conglian had shot his gun through the broadcast microphone…

However, he wasn’t surprised that Xing Conglian would do this kind of thing. After all, he had a quarter of the blood of a fighting race, and he could indeed fight in a critical moment.

He gently squeezed the lower side of his ear, trying to relieve some of the symptoms of tinnitus while continuing to hold the phone close to his other ear.

The voice of Xing Conglian came out slowly from the earpiece and the broadcast.

He said, “My name is Xing Conglian. I am the captain of the Hongjing Criminal Police Division. I will be there shortly to ensure your safety, provided that you carefully listen to what I’m about to say.”

His voice was low and clear, with a bit of coldness and, more so, an irresistible, powerful aura.

He first identified himself, then appeased the masses, and finally clarified his goal. In any case, it was strange that some people were better at persuading or even ordering others. Though Xing Conglian had been talking non-stop, there wasn’t any panic after the gunshot sounded. Some people slowly got up, and more people started looking around for the source of the sound.

Xing Conglian was speaking to the audience while Lin Chen was talking to him.

“There’s a very important effect in social psychology called ‘diffusion of responsibility*’, which means that when a person is in a crowd, there will be too many bystanders, which reduces the individual’s willingness to lend a hand. The only solution is to ask for help. Please clearly indicate the person you want to ask for help. For example, the gentleman in the blue shirt and glasses, please help him. Like that. Since there are such a large number of people at the scene, words like stop, freeze, and don’t move are all meaningless. Please be sure to implement them to specific locations and address specific groups of people,” Lin Chen said quickly. He took a breath, then continued, “The most important thing now is to find someone to go on stage and check on Li Jingtian’s situation…”

*A sociopsychological phenomenon whereby a person is less likely to take responsibility for action or inaction when other bystanders or witnesses are present. Considered a form of attribution, the individual assumes that others either are responsible for taking action or have already done so.

Before he could keep speaking, he heard Xing Conglian’s voice resounding from the broadcast speakers again.

It was just that he didn’t hear Xing Conglian mention anything in the lobby of the first floor but heard him say…

“Friends in front of the Longyuan Milk Tea Shop on the fourth floor, please step aside. My colleague is at the scene. Please let him walk to the railing and survey the scene clearly so as to help everyone evacuate in an orderly manner…” Xing Conglian paused, as if he thought of something, then added, “Oh, he’s the one behind you wearing a white shirt and has a cast on his arm, and he’s on his phone.”

At that moment, eyes like a tidal wave cast their gaze on Lin Chen. He even wanted to compliment Xing Conglian a bit.

However, given the current situation, he naturally couldn’t do this. The flow of people divided into two sides, forming a gap between them. Lin Chen walked to the guardrail and looked down.

Wang Chao deliberately selected a location that had a really good perspective. Compared with standing on a chair, the angle now clearly allowed him to observe the situation in the lobby, especially the area around the stage. He saw Inspector Huang, who was pressed to the ground by several girls and was struggling to get up.

“Xing Conglian, let Huang Ze go on stage. Can you see him? He’s directly in front of the stage. There are some girls in red dresses… on him…”

The voice over the phone answered him.

“The girls in front of the stage in the lobby on the first floor, please pay attention. Please step back. You’re… stepping on another colleague of mine. Yes… the one in the black suit. I know you’re all very concerned about Mr. Li Jingtian’s situation, but right now he needs professional help… So, Inspector Huang, will you please get up and go on stage and check Mr. Li Jingtian’s condition? Thank you.”

Lin Chen could feel Huang Ze’s face as black as the bottom of a kettle when he heard Xing Conglian’s voice coming from the broadcast, despite the fact that he was far away and couldn’t see Huang Ze’s expression clearly.

Anyone who was saved by the person he hated most in his life would probably feel unhappy and depressed.

The girls who were surrounding the stage helped each other up and retreated slowly.

Huang Ze struggled to get up. His suit was crumpled, and his hair was a mess. Lin Chen saw that Huang Ze staggered a bit while getting up, as if his leg were injured. Most likely, it was a fracture. Huang Ze, however, didn’t go directly on stage but braced himself, turned around in the direction Lin Chen was standing, and cast a deep look.

Lin Chen stood by the handrail on the fourth floor, looking at Huang Ze’s wretched face, and said to Xing Conglian, “Huang Ze is about to go on stage.”

While Huang Ze climbed with difficulty on the stage to reach Li Jingtian, Xing Conglian spoke again.

“In order to ensure that Mr. Li Jingtian seeks timely medical treatment, I hope everyone can cooperate with the evacuation process. The police promise that they will report Mr. Li Jingtian’s condition in a timely manner and do their best to arrest the culprit. So now, for your safety and others’, including Mr. Li Jingtian’s life, please listen to my next instruction. After I say ‘start’, follow my request and leave in an orderly manner.”

Xing Conglian’s voice was calm and composed, firmly controlling the audience.

Lin Chen suddenly felt that Xing Conglian seemed to be more experienced than him in dealing with emergencies; or rather, what he had were just theories, while Xing Conglian had a wealth of experience.

“First, please stay where you are and observe whether there are injured people who have been trampled on. If there are injured people, please help move them gently to the nearest shop. Please note that everyone else remains where you are and don’t move.”

The entire mall finally heard groans, or rather, the wailing of people around them.

Immediately afterwards, the sound of movement came from all around. After a short period of panic, the crowd finally came to their senses and started helping each other, even without special instructions. They began to make their way to the injured in an orderly manner.

Lin Chen felt relieved and looked away toward the stage again.

Huang Ze kneeled beside Li Jingtian and saw him taking off his coat and pressing it tightly against the wound on Li Jingtian’s neck. Then, Huang Ze turned around and gave a thumbs up to where he was standing.

That meant that Li Jingtian was still alive.

Lin Chen was taken aback. Is Li Jingtian still alive?

He subconsciously glanced at the time on his phone. Three minutes had passed since Li Jingtian’s throat was cut. The time of death from a ruptured carotid artery was within 3-5 minutes, but after two minutes, the injured person would become unconscious. Not only could Huang Ze instantly determine that Li Jingtian was still alive, but it also meant he could still be saved?

“Xing Conglian, Li Jingtian is still alive, and his injuries may not be fatal.” He covered the mic as he whispered.

Although they were far apart and he couldn’t see Xing Conglian’s face, at that moment, Lin Chen seemed to be able to feel Xing Conglian nodding.

Xing Conglian’s calm voice sounded, and he said without any rush, “The evacuation will gradually advance from the first floor to the fourth floor. Friends on the second, third, and fourth floor, please wait patiently as we evacuate the first floor. If you’re in an empty hall on the first floor, please stay where you are and don’t move. Next, please let friends who are in the four corridors of north, south, west, and east leave slowly and orderly…”

“Then, please start.”

His instructions were short but concise. When Xing Conglian said “start”, Lin Chen clearly saw the flow of people in the four passages begin to move slowly. At first, the flow was slow, but as people walked out of the gate, more people began to pour out of the shopping mall. Presumably, Xing Conglian had already contacted Director Zheng before evacuating the crowds in the shopping mall, so the evacuation process was much smoother.

During the broadcast, Xing Conglian began to arrange for the most miserable spectators in the lobby to start leaving.

“All of you standing in the lobby, please make way for the passage between the ‘Lisen’ and ‘C&M’ shop. Medical staff will enter from this passage later, so please be sure to get out of the way and leave in an orderly manner from the remaining three passages.”

Xing Conglian’s voice gently divided the flow of people like they were in the palm of his hand.

As the crowd in the lobby decreased, the flipped seats and messy ground were gradually exposed, which meant that more people were leaving the hall. Medical staff carrying stretchers quickly entered from the only empty passage.

They climbed on the stage and quickly carried the injured away from the scene after providing emergency treatment.

Huang Ze pushed away a doctor who wanted to help him up and struggled to stand as he looked up.

Lin Chen avoided his gaze and turned to look at the backs of those faces he couldn’t clearly see that were exiting.

Among the people who were slowly leaving at this moment were worried fans, frightened customers, and, of course, the culprit who hurt Li Jingtian in full view of the public.

Perhaps the girl who was holding the bouquet of green roses and slit the singer’s neck was mixed into the crowd laughing at their incompetence.

However, this possibility was something they couldn’t take into account right now.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Evil As Humans Ch35

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 35: Golden Finger

At 6 in the morning, the boy woke up.

The soft sunlight shone through the windows of the wooden house, illuminating the fine dust with its beam of light. It was a sunny day outside, with carriages passing by from time to time on the road. In the distance was a towering castle, with birds gathering around the spire.

Not far from him, Ge Tingting was curled up and sleeping soundly.

She claimed to be 16 years old, but based on how slender and thin she was, she appeared to be at most 14. Because of this, Ge Tingting didn’t have the physical oppression of an adult, which made the boy like this companion very much.

Unfortunately, since he came to this world, except for Ge Tingting, he hadn’t met other “fellow citizens”.

Not long after the boy woke up, the waiter in the tavern came over. He stretched out his hand, muttering in a different world language, and looked as if he was asking for money.

The boy—Feng Qi—rummaged in the small bag for a long time, managed to count ten coins, and handed them over carefully. The waiter clicked his tongue and muttered again, looking unhappy.

The young dragon, Ibby, stopped on his shoulder. “Ignore him. We won’t come here again anyway.”

It spit out a small mouthful of fire, causing sparks to appear in its nostrils. In the sun, the white scales of the young dragon’s body shone like pearls.

“Sister, sister.” Feng Qi nudged Ge Tingting’s shoulder. “We should go.”

Ge Tingting sat up first, then opened her eyes in a panic. She looked at Feng Qi for a while, then said slowly, “Go do the task now?”

According to Ibby, Ge Tingting came a few years before him. Her accent was so strangely distorted that Feng Qi had to concentrate hard in order to understand it. He assumed she was probably influenced by the other world’s language.

“Yes,” Feng Qi replied confidently. “Finish sooner, and we can make the wish sooner. We are on a hidden route! If things go well, maybe we can finish within a week.”

Ge Tingting paused for a moment. “A week…?”

“Well, the enemy last time was an ordinary monster, so there’s no special drop. It stands to reason that there’s no need to fight.”

Feng Qi opened the operation bar out of thin air and viewed the task information.

“This time, it’s an elite monster. Ibby said it has a clue—after defeating it, we only need to defeat the ‘black market boss Pepafer’.”

Get Tingting: “The game you mentioned, is it so easy to clear?”

Feng Qi opened his inventory panel. “How is it easy? I came here with the system and an archive.”

“I have been playing <The Legend of Resurrection> for more than two years. Most of the materials required for the mission have been collected, leaving only the scale of the Dragon of Destruction. If we go the traditional route, we’ll have to keep leveling up until we face the Dragon of Destruction Oberskras… That takes a really long time.”

“But our luck is good—the black market boss Pepafer owns a scale. All you have to do is defeat him and take it away,” the young dragon, Ibby, yawned as it added in a crisp voice.

“Ibby, stop talking. She can’t see you.” Feng Qi shook his head helplessly. “In short, as long as we defeat Pepafer, we can get the prop to finally clear the game.”

Ge Tingting closed her eyes for a while before she finally opened them.

“Defeat ‘Pepafer’,” she repeated with some difficulty.

Feng Qi stood up and grabbed his small backpack. “Don’t worry, as long as we upgrade a bit, we have the ability to challenge him. In short, let’s fight that elite monster first today—as long as you and I join forces, there will definitely be no problem.”

“Really…?”

“Nn!” Feng Qi stroked the little dragon.

Ibby felt cool and slippery to the touch, giving him a good feeling. It was as light as a feather, so even when perched on his shoulder, Feng Qi could hardly feel any weight.

“Do you know where your abilities came from?” Ge Tingting took out a piece of dry bread and divided it in half, giving Feng Qi the part with jam. “I have never heard of this kind of ‘system’ ability.”

Feng Qi glanced at her and tightened the strap on his bag. “Secret.”

A few hours later, the two returned from the outskirts of the city to the vicinity of Shangguan District.

This time, they didn’t approach no man’s land but walked towards the old town that was still barely functioning.

The terrain in the area was uneven, and various forks splintered off in all directions. The old buildings were extremely dilapidated, looking like living things that were pushing on each other with a nerve-like clothesline attached in the middle.

The anti-theft fence was rusty, and the greenery was wildly growing on it. The doors to some of the courtyards were left open, and from time to time sound of clattering from mahjong and dogs barking would resonate from inside.

This area was full of residences and cameras, but they were a mess. Feng Qi nimbly weaved through the alley, perfectly avoiding each camera—even if it was dirty and integrated with the surroundings, he could distinguish them from a glance.

“Castle Maze! This level is my favorite! You have to avoid the sight of the gargoyles here. It’s one of the basics of the game.”

Feng Qi smiled, seeming to very much enjoy the process of avoiding.

“I’m not sharp enough. My dad is better than me.”

This was the first time she heard of this. Ge Tingting was silent for a while before saying, “Where are your parents?”

“They are waiting for me at home,” Feng Qi said. “I like this world very much, and it’s better than home, but if they can’t find me for too long, mom and dad will definitely be worried…”

The young dragon on his shoulder suddenly “shushed”.

“Don’t just say everything,” Ibby prompted in a low voice. “Don’t you think Miss Ge Tingting is in a bad mood? Maybe she’ll compromise with the Knights.”

Ge Tingting wasn’t able to hear Ibby’s voice. At this moment, she bit her lip and continued hesitantly, “Why don’t you contact the police… the Knights? They are only looking for me. You’re still young. They won’t make things difficult for you, and maybe they can help you.”

Judging by his size and the way he spoke; Feng Qi was probably only in his early teens.

It was reasonable to say that boys of his age weren’t too much different from dogs, but Feng Qi seemed to have a good family upbringing. He didn’t pick up rotten food, didn’t make a fuss because of a bad environment, and paid close attention to manners when talking to others.

Such a well-behaved child suddenly changed his expression at this moment.

“Knights? I’m not going to the Knights! I’m not the kind of person who abandons my companions.” Feng Qi’s expression darkened. “Ibby said that they have been eyeing you recently. If you’re locked up now, you won’t be able to clear the game with me.”

He ran in front of Ge Tingting with a strained face that wasn’t like a child.

“Sister, you don’t understand <The Legend of Resurrection>. You’ll be stuck here forever! And you promised to help me get home—” he said angrily. “Our mission is almost complete. Why do you want to push me out at this time?”

“I just think your ability to ‘defeat’… Uh, maybe it’s better to use it less…” Ge Tingting carefully selected her words.

She was completely taken aback when she saw the child grinning and observing Wu Tao’s corpse pile back then.

Now that she was clearer on the situation, Feng Qi probably had no idea what he “did”.

Sure enough, Feng Qi suddenly laughed when he heard Ge Tingting’s words.

“Ah, so it turns out you care about my ‘defeating’ skills. This matter was originally a secret, but for the sake of our team, I should be more magnanimous as the captain—”

Feng Qi raised his head proudly, and a dimple appeared on his face.

“It’s okay. I can’t hurt you.” His tone was relaxed. “Only bad NPCs with ‘sin value’ can be attacked. The system’s judgment will never be wrong.”

“How do you know there can be no mistakes?”

“Because I am the protagonist, and this is my world.” Feng Qi’s words were full of confidence. “Shh, keep your voice down. A monster is coming!”

Ge Tingting accompanied him to squat behind a trash can, waiting for the so-called “monster”.

Compared to other residential areas, there weren’t many people around their location. There weren’t many residents nearby and the surveillance in this area was damaged, so people seemingly deliberately avoided this place.

In the afternoon, the sunny day turned cloudy, gradually sinking the old neighborhood into the shadows.

With a creak, a huge claw covered in mucus opened an iron door.

Ge Tingting was stunned on the spot. She had to rub her eyes hard.

…That was a genuine “monster” that didn’t exist in reality.

The monster was wearing a tattered black cloth robe, with two half-eaten human hands pinned around its waist. It held a bloody, sharp knife in its claw.

Looking closely, that thing was almost as tall as an average person. Its waist was bent, it was bald, and its body was like a fat sweet potato.

On a face that was similar to a human’s, a pair of protruding eyes slanted in two directions. Its teeth were crooked, and its stinky saliva dripped down from its fangs.

Ge Tingting narrowed her eyes, and for a moment, a faint double image appeared on the monster’s body, but when she looked again, the image disappeared.

The mark on her clavicle became slightly hot, causing her to subconsciously press her hand to her chest. Her heart was beating so fast that she felt it would break her ribs.

Monster? People?

Attack? Don’t attack?

Could it be that she was actually crazy—she had really “transmigrated” into a so-called game, and the modern society that was in front of her was just her desperate delusions? Ge Tingting’s scalp was going numb. Her legs went soft, and she almost couldn’t stand still.

Her hearing and language skills had been abnormal for ten years, and her vision was also problematic, so what she was witnessing now didn’t seem unbelievable…

Just as she was entangled, the monster turned its head and roared in the area.

Immediately, a child’s shrill cry came from a stone house, along with an old man’s panicked whispering. Just as in the past ten years, Ge Tingting still didn’t understand what they were saying.

After roaring, the monster contentedly picked up a hand and sniffed it happily. Its eyes were bloodshot, and its mouth was spouting ragged breath, clearly excited.

“That’s the elite ghoul, Jiang Ke.” Feng Qi rushed out. “I’ll attack the monster. Cover me!”

“Wait—”

Seeing Feng Qi appear, the monster was slightly startled at first, then laughed. It roared senselessly and lunged towards Feng Qi.

“Watch out!” Ge Tingting raised her hand.

Countless rat bones drilled out from the nooks and crannies and rushed towards the monster, entangling its feet. The monster roared in dissatisfaction and kicked Feng Qi, who was closest to it.

“Three.” Feng Qi gritted his teeth.

There were some movements in the stone house. The ghoul’s bloodshot eyes rolled as it tried to stab Feng Qi again. Under the interference of the rat corpses, Feng Qi barely dodged; his shirt was cut, leaving behind a bloody gash.

“Two,” Feng Qi continued to count.

Seeing that it missed, the ghoul roared again and grabbed Feng Qi by the back of his collar—

“One!”

“Hostile relations are officially established.” Ibby flew around the ghoul for a while until a suspended HP bar appeared on the ghoul’s head. “The battle is starting! The battle is starting!”

The ghoul paused its movements as it looked dully at its hands. It then scratched frantically at its back using its other hand, which wasn’t holding the knife. After muttering vaguely, those bloodshot eyes turned to Fang Qi again.

“Go!” Feng Qi hurriedly covered his wound and dexterously drilled into the depths of the alley. “The terrain here isn’t good. Quickly lead it to the ‘mass grave’ in front!”

The rat bones moved in response to the sound and assembled into a giant rat with some deformation. Ge Tingting stepped on its back and hugged Feng Qi’s waist. The ghoul roared frantically while stumbling after the two of them.

“Go forward, turn left, avoid the gargoyles… Yes, it’s just a little further. We’re almost there!”

The “mass grave”, as he called it, was the “junkyard” in her eyes.

There was no one around. The stench of decay rushed into her nose all at once. The ghoul was waving its knife from side to side with eyes fixed on the two children.

Ge Tingting gritted her teeth. More insect corpses poured out of the junkyard and covered the bones of the mice, barely transforming it into a skewed half-human form.

The huge humanoid held her in its arms with one hand while the other hand blocked the tip of the knife. Ge Tingting wiped her surging nosebleed, and the soreness all over her body became stronger.

“You, hurry up!” She shouted hoarsely with a mouthful of blood. “I won’t last long!”

Feng Qi took out a plastic sword from his backpack and rushed towards the ghoul. It deftly avoided the attack. As the plastic sword drew across the ghoul’s body from time to time, even without inflicting any horrific wounds, blood was still dripping from it.

The duel between plastic and metal was quite ridiculous.

Feng Qi was cautious. He took advantage of his size to circle around the ghoul and attack, then retreat. After an attack with his plastic sword, Ge Tingting would follow up with her insect corpses, disturbing the ghoul’s movements. While the ghoul dealt with the insect corpse, Feng Qi rushed up and stab with his sword.

This pattern continued, and while it was clumsy, it did work.

Amidst the swirling corpses, the ghoul finally lost enough blood. It was panting heavily on the ground. At this moment, it seemed to realize something and kowtowed to Feng Qi again and again, as if begging for mercy.

Feng Qi struggled to stand up and staggered over.

“Begging for mercy?”

The ghoul slammed its forehead against the ground, wailing silently.

“It’s useless to beg for mercy.” The ghoul’s tearful face was reflected in the boy’s eyes. “I can see your sin value—nine people have died because of you.”

Feng Qi coughed up a mouthful of blood. He was weak and tired, but his voice was still high. Ge Tingting could hear it clearly.

“You are even worse than the previous one. That rogue indirectly killed four people.”

Indeed, in that dark alley in the beginning, Feng Qi had also rushed out with a plastic sword like this, firmly protecting her in front of him.

The same treacherous and bizarre ability, the same solitary wandering. Despite the fact that Feng Qi spoke complete nonsense, Ge Tingting couldn’t let the child go.

As for the reason why, she herself couldn’t figure it out.

Perhaps it was because he saved her back then, or perhaps it was because she hadn’t communicated with the living for so long.

Seeing Feng Qi’s excited look, Ge Tingting finally turned her head and said nothing.

Feng Qi smiled weakly at her as he raised the plastic sword.

“Ding ding ding ding ding ding—”

The music representing victory sounded in both their ears.

Glowing lattice-like cracks appeared on the ghoul’s body. In the next moment, it spread out from head to toe, turning into small squares that were exactly the same size. The small square rolled into a neat corpse pile, just like Wu Tao, and the props on its body exploded around the corpse pile with a “ding” sound.

In addition to clothing, it also exploded a self-locking sword, a string of brass keys, and a pile of crumpled cash. Along with that, there were also several bags of white powder—one of which was open and half empty.

Finally, there was a note with a time and address.

The young dragon Ibby stopped next to the note, which was neatly folded and emitted a distinctive golden glow.

Feng Qi picked up the cash and note and didn’t look at anything else. He took a moment to catch his breath and handed the note to Ge Tingting. “This is the clue to the ‘black market boss Pepafer’. Sister, help me decipher it.”

Ge Tingting lifted her baggy shirt and wiped her face full of blood from her nosebleed. She lightly picked up the note, and a drop of blood dripped onto the paper.

[23:00 on the 23rd, Xizhao District, Jiu’an Road, Ping’an Manor.]

Ge Tingting marked the location on Feng Qi’s map. In her blurred vision, the surrounding garbage gradually became distorted.

For a moment, they looked like a cluster of tombstones of a mass grave.

“The 23rd! Wow!”

Feng Qi didn’t care about the bloodstains and filth all over his face. He held the map next to the minced meat pile as if he had obtained a treasure.

“Today is the 20th. We still have 3 days to prepare—”

The boy had a big smile on his face, and his eyes were full of yearning light.

……

Night

Ping’an Manor, Room 601, Building 4.

After the outbreak from the day before yesterday, Miss Hu Tao kept to herself in the home next to Zhong Chengshuo’s residence. Yesterday, she came back like a ghost again, with heavy evil qi around her.

As for what she saw that day, she didn’t say, and Yin Ren didn’t plan to ask. If evil things considered privacy, then the love and hate that supported their existence could be regarded as their most private information.

He decided to talk to Hu Tao about another topic.

Hu Tao: “Prepare? For what?”

“Starting today, I’ll teach you some spells that ghosts can use.”

“Ah… I’m good.” Hu Tao leaned against the corner absentmindedly. “I don’t want to be the number one ghost in Haigu. They say that distant relatives are not as good as close neighbors*. If you need it, I’ll definitely help, but—”

*(远亲不如近邻) Idiom referring to in an emergency, distant relatives aren’t as timely as neighbors nearby. It also refers to the fact that there is more contact between neighbors than between distant relatives, which makes the relationship between neighbors stronger.

Yin Ren didn’t smile. “The ability I can exert depends on how strong you are.”

“Ah? Does a ghost master rely on ghosts that much?” Seeing Yin Ren wasn’t joking, Hu Tao became more serious.

“…Sort of.”

“Well, you’re so powerful. You can easily find ambitious ghosts.” Hu Tao patted her stomach. “Didn’t you have some ideas a few days ago? You have the group Coffin Nails, no? Why don’t you pull a few more?”

“It’s better to hold your horses. I’m not in a rush.” Yin Ren raised his arms. “Don’t worry. Ghost art isn’t as difficult as you think. You can do many things after learning it—at least you won’t be confined here.”

“Let me think about it.”

“I can teach you flying skills first. You can only float a little bit off the ground now, right? Do you want to fly higher?”

“Can I do that kind of thing?!” Hu Tao became interested. “Okay, I’ll try it first. Hey, Yin Ren, I—”

“You’re back.”

A smile suddenly burst onto Yin Ren’s face. Hearing the sound of footsteps, he turned to greet Zhong Chengshuo, who had just opened the door, returning from his night run.

“Did uncle and auntie cook supper today?”

“Chicken stew with shiitake mushrooms.” Zhong Chengshuo put the food on the table. “I’m going to take a shower, then we’ll continue playing <The Legend of Resurrection>. Yesterday, I asked an acquaintance in the industry and found a few quick speedrun strategies.”

“Oh, those always feel kind of bland… Forget it, what did uncle and auntie say about your blind date yesterday?”

“The man complained to the introducer, saying that my private life is too chaotic, and he wasn’t interested.” Zhong Chengshuo wiped his face with a towel, which muffled his voice. “The introducer told my parents—they knew about it but didn’t say much.”

In fact, when she heard this, Cheng Xuehua laughed out loud while she was packing up the chicken stew. “You’re terrible at lying. If you really have the ability to make trouble, your father and I would be happy while beating you.”

Zhong Youde also poked his head in the kitchen. “Huh? Our son isn’t in love? What did Lao Liu say?”

“The young man said that Xiao Zhong was being promiscuous with other men.”

Zhong Youde was immediately overjoyed. “Hahahaha, that’s bullshit! Being promiscuous? Has our son even held a living person’s hand?”

“The kid is still here. Pay attention to what you’re saying.”

Zhong Chengshuo quickly grabbed the chicken stew and fled the scene as if he had sprouted wings.

After thinking about what happened just now, Zhong Chengshuo looked at the packed food with a bit of melancholy.

Yin Ren came to a probable conclusion. He played with the controller in his hand and didn’t continue to ask. “Anyway, this is just a suggestion, but if you need my help blocking a blind date, just let me know.”

“Okay.” Zhong Chengshuo heated up the chicken stew and went to the bathroom to take a shower.

The two played this game yesterday and had already made some progress. On the screen, Yin Ren was manipulating a character that was running around the avatar “Zhong Chengshuo”.

<The Legend of Resurrection> had a high degree of freedom in designing the avatar. The avatar “Yin Ren” on screen also had black hair and red eyes. Yin Ren’s character had long hair, a flowing black robe full of runes, and in the profession column, it said “vampire prince”.

Zhong Chengshuo’s character was stopped at the save point. His character had black hair and eyes and wore a pair of silver round-rimmed glasses. In contrast with Yin Ren, Zhong Chengshuo was wearing a uniform-style white coat, and his profession was “vampire hunter”.

Because there was no friendly fire, Yin Ren ran around Zhong Chengshuo, casting various spells at the tiny Zhong Chengshuo.

“Yin Ren, did you deliberately ignore me just now? I haven’t finished speaking yet.”

When the sound of water coming from the bathroom sounded, Hu Tao spoke again.

She expressionlessly stopped next to a green plant and casually played with the tips of its leaves. The leaf tip of the green plant seemed to become frozen as it shriveled and curled up.

“You seem to know a lot about ghosts—I always suspect that you don’t really have amnesia. Who are you?”

“Who am I… This question is quite difficult to answer,” Yin Ren muttered casually. He stopped teasing Zhong Chengshuo’s avatar.

He stared at the little avatar of himself on the screen and thought seriously for a few seconds.

“Certainly not a good person,” he said softly.


The author has something to say:

The two elders of the Zhong family; your son has forever lost the opportunity to hold hands with the living.


Kinky Thoughts:

Golden finger refers to cheats you can use. In the context of a novel (usually a transmigration novel), they are basically built-in cheats that help the character. In games, it refers to cheating software. Both meanings are applicable in this context.

Happy Lunar New Year.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>