Chapter 5: Venture Pharmaceuticals (2)

Chapter 5: Venture Pharmaceuticals (2)

At night, the street lights had already turned on, and there were still many buildings shining with light. In the flickering neon, there was a toad in the darkness, motionless, as if it was a real stone carving. Its enormous body was illuminated by the neon light, emitting a kind of bewitching oddness.

This was the scene within Xu Yangyi’s eyes. In the eyes of others, there wasn’t anything here at the building top.

“Sir… You are?” The person at the front desk saw Xu Yangyi enter and didn’t obstruct him in the slightest. The police uniform on Xu Yangyi was the best method of passage. 

Xu Yangyi raised the official police credentials in his hand: “There’s someone in your company related to the serial-killer case. I need to enter at once.”

“S-Serial-killer case?!” The voice of the person at the front desk suddenly raised. In the past month, twelve people had died in a series of bizarre deaths. He had even heard that cram schools at night had been canceled! Was this true or false? Was this a real police officer? Was there really a suspect in the building?

Tossing his credentials on the top of the receptionist’s desk, Xu Yangyi wasted no time here and headed directly towards the elevator.

Ding dong… The elevator halted on the fifteenth floor. He stopped it precisely and looked around on the floor, discovering that the entire level was a conference room. Shareholder conference rooms, conference rooms for all kinds of groups, research conference rooms… His right hand lightly grabbed at the air, placing it before his nose and sniffing it. He set foot into the shareholder conference room in certainty. 

“Good evening, I’m rather sorry for the disturbance.” Pushing open the door, he slightly bowed in courtesy: “Could you appear in front of me? If you don’t want to die.” 

There wasn’t a single soul within the conference room. An artificial bonsai plant could be faintly seen atop of the table. Through the branches of the bonsai plant… the massive backdrop of the conference room’s glass window was visible. Outside, the light specks were like the resplendent glow of a starry sky, illuminating this unusual night.

No one replied.

“Don’t get excited. I understand your worry. I just want to chat as peacefully and calmly as possible.” He smiled gently, grabbed a chair, carefully lifted it up, and set it down. There wasn’t even a sound as it fell on the thick carpet. He slowly sat down, gently patting his police uniform: “You’ve been trudging along within human society for so long and finally seized a cooperation opportunity with a well-known company. Otherwise, you’d be worried because a demon’s appearance doesn’t change, and their bodies don’t get old. Meanwhile, you’d have to change locations every few years because of your neighbors and classmates’ suspicions. You don’t have to worry about where to eat, as well. Plus, you’ve got your own stable hunting ground. You can even get a huge bonus. I get it.”

“But… my patience is limited. You see, this is my graduation exam. Can’t we understand each other…? Personally, I’m rather anxious. When I get anxious, my temper isn’t too great…” He languidly fished out a lighter and lit a cigarette, taking a deep drag from it. He looked around the conference room that was as still as a mortuary, appearing like he was talking to himself. After waiting three seconds, he laughed: “Now that peace has failed, I’ll use force. My courtesy has been exhausted.” [1]

His face still carried a trace of a gentle smile as before, and he grasped the lighter in his hand, which was amped up the greatest scale, placing it on the meeting room table before him.

Crackle… The tangerine-yellow flame illuminated the entire room, serving to drape the shimmering, soft evening glow on the corners within the darkness.

In the next second, a strange transformation unexpectedly arose!

What he had used wasn’t a natural gas lighter but rather the most common of types. Just as the time pointed to nine o’clock, the lighter flame suddenly flashed three times. Soon after… it became as red as blood! Atop the table… hazy and strange, under the illumination of the flame, a demonic shadow was dragged out!

It wasn’t a man but instead a gigantic toad’s shadow! Swaying gently in the darkness, the creature trembled as It rocked back and forth.

Crackle… In a split second, the formerly gentle flame popped off like a firecracker, like that of a hopping demon! It spewed out a hellish, dim light!

Woo…Woooooo… All the chairs around appeared as if there were people sitting on them and pulled out to the four sides of the room at the same time! An authentic wood chair on a heavy platform made a heavy sound as it was pulled out! The sounds resonated within the empty room!

Swish! The window curtains suddenly scattered open! The blowing of the night wind gushed into the room like a breached dam!

“Your patience falls short to my imagination…” Xu Yangyi stowed his lighter, laughing grimly and blowing the flame out: “Speak not of the spent wick, but the rootless-water lighter fluid. It’s tasteless and odorless to humans, but to demons, it’s the most disgusting stink, even unbearable to smell. I didn’t believe you could endure it for so long.” [2]

The flame was suddenly extinguished. In a flash, the world returned to the control of darkness once again. With such an extreme contrast of sight, many people would feel it to be terribly unsuitable. However… this kind of unsuitable feeling simply didn’t fit Xu Yangyi.

Within the darkness, a glimmer of light appeared. It wasn’t the light of a lamp nor was it any artificial illumination. Moreover, it wasn’t a light that appeared in front of Xu Yangyi but rather atop of his head! The light was blood-red, only a single sliver, it was…

A demon’s pupil, something that Xu Yangyi couldn’t be even more familiar with!

“Courting death.” He laughed grimly. In the next second, there was a strange sound of wind coming from an incomprehensible angle, cleaving through the air!

Wind Edge Technique… Distance apart: 0.65 meters. Strength: 70 kilograms… Speed: around 70 meters per second… His brain was like the most accurate calculator, listing out a great string of figures in an instant.

There wasn’t any light within his eyes, but there was an incomparable deepness, like a pair of glittering gemstones on a dark night. His eyes settled as usual, seizing each one of the most minute of changes within the darkness.

A slight ripple came into view at the left side of his body. This formless power combined with a berserk speed to push apart both air and drag resistance! This ripple was the indication that the wind edge was on the verge of ramming into his body!

Swish!  Piercing to the air, a clear and concise sound like the Grim Reaper’s sickle rang out at his earside !

Bump! In the next second within the darkness, a sound like that of a blade chopping into a wooden stake could be heard. Soon afterwards, within the room’s vacuous darkness, a man’s surprised shout echoed: “Huh?!”

It was in this moment that Xu Yangyi moved.

There was no sound of wind or footsteps, like a cheetah walking in the forest and using the thick pads of its paws to trod on the wind and set foot on the clouds. There wasn’t any sound of movement. There was only the whistling of soft wind. If you didn’t listen carefully, it was the kind gentle whistling coming from the window blowing on the window curtains. 

“Argh!!!” A blood-curdling screech came out from the darkness. Following the indication of a soft noise, the lighter shone once more.

Xu Yangyi forcefully tightened his hand around a person’s throat with a death grip. He didn’t have such strength at the police station, but now, his veins were completely exposed, causing people not to doubt the degree of his hand strength one bit.

“Urgh… Urgh!” The person being lifted up could only produce bursts of dry heaving from his throat. He was a youth around seventeen to eighteen years old, however, he was wearing a Versace T-shirt and trousers. His financial situation was clearly rather well-off. Nevertheless, his blood-red eyes and golden vertical pupils were things that a normal human simply wouldn’t possess.

Xu Yangyi glanced over at his left hand in passing. There, a large opening had been already been cut into his police uniform. The cut hung suspended, starting from his shoulder and halfway down his sleeve. The slash was incomparably even, like a blade had cut through the cloth.

A handful of blood had already begun flowing along down the cut on his police uniform, trickling onto the floor and making a dripping sound. Under the lighter’s dim radiance, it was terribly frightening. 

“Do you know…?” Xu Yangyi’s other hand seized the youth’s chin, and he used the strength of his hand to push back, forcing the other’s head to raise upwards by a great extent. The youth’s legs kicked against his body, but it was like kicking against stone. Neither slowly nor hurriedly, he said to the youth whose eyes began to blanch: “You know, every person in Heavens Law has their own unique nickname. Guess, what’s mine?”

After three seconds, there was no response. The youth’s throat felt as if it was being gripped by a vise, and he was simply incapable of answering. The only sound he could make was that of a restrained choking. Both of his hands tried to break off Xu Yangyi’s hand for dear life, but it was like grabbing onto an iron hoop; he was unable to shake it off by even a fraction.

“It seems like you don’t like interacting with people too much.” Xu Yangyi flicked away cigarette ash. His action was neither slow nor hurried but also cultured and refined. Despite the youth beginning to foam at the mouth, he laughed and said: “Remember it clearly. My nickname is… The Grinning Reaper.” [ref]微笑死神 Literally Smiling Death God. I think Grinning Reaper sounds cool.

[/ref]

“Isn’t it pretty awesome? To be honest, I like it too…Don’t roll your eyes, I’m not lying to you.” Xu Yangyi’s smile vanished. He moved closer to the side of the other’s ear and gently whispered: “In my entire life, there hasn’t been a single demon of the same stage that’s dared to take the initiative to reveal their demon pupil in front of me.”

Bang! He casually tossed the other aside, and the youth landed on the ground like a pile of hemp sacks, rolling for about two to three meters. Xu Yangyi wiped his hands, sat down peacefully, and coldly watched the youth who was clutching at his throat. Frantically coughing, the youth covered his flushed throat to prevent his hacking from rising up.

“Cough, cough, cough!” Like he wanted to cut open his lungs, the youth suddenly grabbed the teacup in front of him and downed it in a single gulp. He shut his eyes to rest for a good couple seconds and opened his eyes while gnashing his teeth in fury: “To dare act towards me like this… Sanshui City’s Cao Family won’t let you off!”

Xu Yangyi puffed out a mouthful of blue smoke and laughed: “Venture Pharmaceuticals? The Cao Family?” The youth gasped for breath, not replying. Xu Yangyi flicked away at his cigarette ash and said: “What can they do?”

“Seven years ago, the Cao Family emerged as a new force to be reckoned. Their all-encompassing health supplement was heard so much that all the country’s citizens could recite it by heart. In a few years, they grossed a few hundred million. The name of Venture Pharmaceuticals has a proper ring to it, too…” He paused as if was he sorting out this information. It wasn’t until several seconds later, he laughed at the youth: “But… you know, there are some mad scientists in Heavens Law that are always sitting on their hands. Especially, being perfectly aware of some other intelligent organism, they couldn’t be even more terribly idle…”

“Dew Congealing Grass.” He looked into the youth’s eyes, and the other was evidently stunned: “I asked myself, how could the new health supplement be so good? Well… if you you add in cultivation materials, even if its a teensy bit, the effect on mortals will be as clear as day. You and the Cao Family got something really good going on. I guess… you’re their technology director? You joined in with them under this pretense?”

“So, even if the Cao Family watches helplessly as you don’t age over the course of seven years, they’ll turn a blind eye to it. On the contrary, wouldn’t they completely cover up your existence? It really is a harmonious symbiotic relationship… like a rotting animal and the maggot on its body. It's sickening.” 

“So what?” The youth’s form was that of a young man, yet he was completely calm at this moment. His manner of speaking and movements simply weren’t like that of a young man. Contrary to expectation, he was like the water of a deep lake… Tranquil and murky in its depth, a lake that had long endured distress.

“Demons are young forever and don’t age. Is there anything wrong in me seeking a host?” He glanced somewhat fearfully at Xu Yangyi: “The Shennong Convention is still in place. You human cultivators just can’t interfere in the internal affairs of our demonkind’s business without any reason; that’s going beyond your authority! I have the qualifications to go the Nantong Province’s highest cultivator court to sue you! You’ll be faced with at least 50 years of imprisonment!” [3]

Xu Yangyi’s head leaned against the chair, and he lifted his hand and waved to cut the young man off. He said without a single change in his voice: “I only want to ask you one question.”

He smiled at the other: “Tell me, if a normal person had just entered, what would’ve happened?”


1. 先礼后兵: Literally “courtesy first, soldiers after”. Meaning is to use force after peace. (in event peace fails)

2. 无根水 - noroot water or rootless water. From what I was able to research, this is actually a medicinal material that ancient Chinese used in medicines.

3. Shennong Convention: 神农架公约. Shennong as in the farmer god in Chinese mythology.

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