An answer immediately surfaced in Qin Ye’s mind. However, despite opening and closing his mouth several times, he found himself unable to speak his answer.
Hell’s Gate, Death Inquisitor…
Assigning her to a seat on Hell’s Gate would naturally strengthen the law enforcement capacities of the new Hell. The stronger she was, the more they would be able to quell any Yin riots. Even though Su Dongxue was only at the level of a Netherworld Operative, her mimicry ability effectively elevated her to a Hunter-class existence!
Can I really appoint a strip club worker who would in her ecstasy forget to collect payment from her guests as a Death Inquisitor? Wouldn’t the Yin spirits drain Hell dry of all resources under her watch… no… where would I have to bury Hell’s reputation after her appointment…
“Are you certain?” Qin Ye asked Arthis with some measure of doubt in his heart.
“I’m certain… Or would you prefer to go back and kill your fellow Comrade Wang Chenghao? If you can’t bring yourself to do that, she’s the next best candidate right now.” Arthis continued indifferently, “Hell has just been reestablished, and all the Yin spirits in the vicinity who detect this would immediately come swarming over like a massive tide. Would you believe it if I told you that the total number of Yin spirits in the new Hell has already increased by ten to twenty thousand in your absence today? Or do you intend to head down into Hell to manage its affairs everyday?”
She glanced at Qin Ye, “Look at the dark circles under your eyes. Are you prepared to give up sleep altogether?”
Qin Ye sighed. This was truly his greatest headache right now.
People… no, ghosts!
He needed manpower to clear the forests; he needed manpower to clear construct buildings later, and he would even need manpower to take the seats at Hell’s Gate and act as Death Inquisitors. Everything required manpower! Yet there was not a single person in Hell he could trust!
Arthis thought to build on her previous comments, but capitulated when she saw that Qin Ye was already deep in thought.
Some things couldn’t be taught - especially matters of governance. Qin Ye was on the path of assuming the mantle of the next King Yanluo, and he would have to manage far more affairs than could ever be fathomed in the mortal realm. There were presently approximately 1.5 billion people in Cathay, but the number of Yin spirits in Hell could reach tens of billions later on! If Arthis had to teach Qin Ye everything… Hell was bound to descend into chaos in no time.
“Come with me to Hell tonight. You can count yourself lucky.” Qin Ye instructed Su Dongxue, “Now find yourself an object to cling to.”
Su Dongxue nodded her head obsequiously, and then…
She transformed into a nethergale and shot straight into Qin Ye’s pants.
“Bloody hell… can’t you be more demure than this?! Get out!”
“My lord… I’m already being very reserved… It’s just that it’s warm and snug and comfortable in here. After all, I’ve not absorbed Yang energy for almost a hundred years now…”
“... Don’t you dare go in there! Do you believe it when I say I’ll cleave and shatter your soul to pieces?!” Qin Ye gritted his teeth and loosened his pants.
Su Dongxue flew out in dismay. It had to be said that she was a beauty through and through. Her slight frown made the vibrance of spring dim slightly; while her glistening eyes seemed to contain a multitude of emotions.
“My lord… isn’t big enough, and there isn’t enough Yang energy. I wouldn’t have been able to live there anyway…” She grumbled softly.
Qin Ye gazed into the distant sky and rolled his eyes. Then, he picked up Song Jiafang’s portrait and pointed to it with an ashen face, “Get in there!”
“Petty.” Su Dongxue muttered under her breath with a pout, before transforming into a nethergale that swept right into the portrait.
He picked up the picture frame and made his way back up to the surface. Then, as soon as he leapt out of the pit, he was immediately stunned.
It was still well before dawn, and the time was approximately four in the morning.
Yet there was a row of police cars parked approximately twenty meters from his location. Several policemen were staring at him with a grim expression. The collapsed house was cordoned off with police tape, and there were even eight people standing right outside of the hole right now!
A white-haired old man stood at the front of them all. He was flanked by three men in white coats standing in a row. The SRC emblem was imprinted on their chests. There were two agents bearing the emblem of the Insignia Province Special Investigations Department standing right behind them. And then, there was Su Feng and Lin Han.
“S9527?” The old man stared at him with a burning gaze, “Is it… over down there?”
Perhaps he realized he hadn’t been specific enough, so he quickly stepped forward and asked anxiously once more, “I mean, have you finally… breached this hunting zone?”
Qin Ye immediately drew the connection and understood what was going on.
How astute could he be? With this, his earlier speculations as to the truth behind Li Tao’s final condition had just been confirmed.
“Fourthly, Mount Tai City has a school research team that is currently working on a project in collaboration with the SRC. Any interruption of your own volition will be considered an interference.”
The three daolords are squaring off against the mortal realm, and neither is yielding any room to the other. Naturally, the more the mortal realm understood Yin spirits, the better things would be for me. Besides, wouldn’t I receive some form of benefits or reward from having resolved the problem plaguing this hunting zone?
“Yes.” Qin Ye smiled faintly at the old man.
“Good lad.” One of the men in white lab coats gazed deeply into his eyes, “We’ve been working on this project for almost half a year now. Unfortunately, we haven’t made much progress, since we’re not even sure where to begin. Yet you’ve overcome all odds and cracked it overnight. No wonder you’re known as the highly acclaimed expert who managed to breach nine hunting zones in the span of a single night.”
Lin Han and Su Feng’s eyes gleamed brightly.
Just then, the portrait suddenly shifted, and Qin Ye immediately tightened his grip hard around the picture frame.
Su Dongxue quietened down reluctantly.
“Not bad.” The old man heaved a long sigh of relief, “I wonder if you’ve got the time now? We’d like to update the file with your account of the incident, as well as any conjectures you may have as to these circumstances.”
“Right now?” Qin Ye was somewhat displeased. You… I’ve just completed the mission. Shouldn’t you be talking about the reward first?
Life is meaningless without the pursuit of profit… Isn’t it rather inappropriate to immediately ask me for a report without any consideration for my delicate health?
Where is the humanity?
“That’s right.” Another man in a white lab coat chimed in excitedly, “The research topic of Professor Yu’s research group is “The Diversity of Yin Spirits”. Any success in this regard would be incredibly helpful to the current situation. It hasn’t been easy picking out these hunting zones, so we truly can’t wait to hear your report on the details!”
This is why I say that… it’s hardest to communicate with members of academia. Can’t you see the constipated expression on my face right now? Shouldn’t you have realized something amiss by now? What happened to the government’s emphasis on observant cultivators?
Despite Qin Ye’s protracted display of a dismayed expression, the rest remained oblivious to his intentions. The same four pairs of impassioned gazes continued to burn through his body.
I can’t afford to offend these guys… Qin Ye sighed in his heart. Several seconds later, he finally responded, “That can be arranged, but… the earlier battle with the Yin spirit has taken its toll on me. It’s incredibly peculiar and unpredictable, and I”m carrying a lot of injuries right now…”
He left a pregnant pause, coughed several times, and then said somewhat breathlessly, “I’m still a little giddy right now. But you could give me some time to recuperate… or perhaps even lend me some help in this regard, I think things will go on much more smoothly…”
Su Feng and Lin Han’s mouths opened agape.
How could you ask the SRC for a reward directly? Do you know what kind of standing members of the SRC have? They are the only independent department in all of Cathay that stands on par with the Special Investigations Department!
“Bullshit…” Lin Han whispered softly, “Holy shit… this kid dares to talk terms with Old Man Yu… How is this any different from stretching his arm out and asking for a reward? Doesn’t he know who Old Man Yu is?”
Su Feng was also stunned. His lips opened and closed several times before he finally managed to pull himself together, “Bloody hell… I’m going back to change all references made to this idiot to Bullcrap Qin…”
Unfortunately, reality was a cruel thing. Even though Qin Ye was a superb actor, his supporting cast was simply unwilling to work together with him.
Professor Yu stepped forward with a glint in his eye and grabbed Qin Ye’s hands, “The master of this hunting zone is merely an Operative-class Yin spirit. Are you saying that an Operative-class Yin spirit was able to injure you? How were you hurt? In what ways was the Yin spirit peculiar?”
“... Professor Yu… I mean…”
Isn’t there something wrong with your ability to focus on the subject matter here?
Me! I’m feigning illness! Where’s the warmth that you should be displaying towards your fellow human being?!
“Mr Qin, your report is of paramount importance to our research topic here!” Professor Yu drew a deep breath and dragged Qin Ye along as he continued speaking, “As soon as we complete this research project, all of us will be accorded with a second-class meritorious deed. It’s second-class… we’re talking about four sets of special privileges here. I sincerely hope to see your name on this award as well.”
Qin Ye gently wrested his hand free from Professor Yu’s grasp and coughed solemnly, “Don’t worry! It is my duty to render a proper report!”
His voice was now firm and resolute.
“But is your body alright?” Professor Yu asked worriedly after taking two steps more, almost as though this notion had just occurred to him.
“I’m always fighting for the four modernizations of Cathay! What’s a mere minor injury to the body?!” Qin Ye replied with a steadfast and upright tone of voice.
Professor Yu adjusted his thick glasses and led the way out of the cordoned-off area.
“You’re astounding…” Lin Han and Su Feng followed quickly behind. Lin Han stared at Qin Ye as though he had just seen a ghost, “Do you know who he is? How dare you talk terms with Old Man Yu? Do you believe me when I say he holds the power to evict you from the First Academy of Cultivators with a single phone call? You can’t educate others when you possess such a bad attitude, understand?”
“What’s his background?” Qin Ye was somewhat startled, “By the way, what are you guys doing here to begin with?”
“Bloody hell. I just knew that you haven’t looked at the chat app yet.” Su Feng rolled his eyes at Qin Ye, “Take a look for yourself.”
Professor Yu had already entered a car, and he was presently discussing or explaining some matters with some other men dressed in white lab coats. Several policemen had already begun to enter the pit in an orderly fashion. Having surveyed his surroundings once more, Qin Ye finally opened up the chat app.
Everything had exploded.
The First Academy of Cultivators Class of 2018 Instructors’ Group had exploded with messages.
He flipped through several pages of messages before he finally got to the message that triggered everything. The initial message had been posted just ten minutes ago.
Zhou Xianlong: “Instructor S9527 - first to complete C-grade mission ‘Lost Tracks’. Awarded 20 teaching credits. An additional 5 teaching credits have been awarded for each of the following achievements - first to complete a mission; and difficult mission bonus.”
“Instructor S9527 currently has a total of 40 teaching credits. Rank: top of the leaderboards.”
“Please work harder, everyone.”
The message board below exploded frenetically!
It was approximately 4 a.m. now, yet these cultivators had come buzzing around like a swarm of flies that didn’t need rest at night.
“Seriously?! This is only the first day, and someone has already accumulated 40 credits? S9527 is a little too demonic, isn’t he?!” -- A5423.
“I’ll be damned… I’ve had such a hard time securing a D-grade mission, and I haven’t made head or tail of what exactly I’ve got to do either, and yet someone has already completed a C-grade mission? I’m pleading on my knees as I read this group chat for inspiration!” --B0769.
“I bow down and worship you… The Faculty of Combat is too fortunate to have someone like him. I wonder what level of qualifications S9527 will be assigned at this rate? I’ve already got a bad feeling about the teaching credits in the upcoming semester… Separately, I think that such people should be eliminated from the list of instructors altogether! He should compete against the other Hellguard-class experts instead!” --A6859.
“Silence!” Zhou Xianlong banned all incoming group messages, and added the following message, “C-grade missions are originally assessed to be cleared in the span of fifteen days. It was only because S9527 had completed the mission too quickly, that a part of the original embargo on information has now been lifted.”
“Number one. All instructors who have received a C-grade mission are now permitted to ask S9527 for more details, since the grade of the mission no longer determines the top of the leaderboard.”
“This is a gentle reminder that all instructors who do not attain at least 60 teaching credits at the end of our stay in Mount Tai City will be impelled to resign. You are not deemed fit to teach at the First Academy of Cultivators. Number two…”
“Instructors who receive at 90 credits shall qualify for the First Academy of Cultivators’ list of outstanding instructors.”
“At the end of two months, Vice Principal Li shall be announcing the benefits and privileges for each and every position and rank in the First Academy of Cultivators. Everyone… please seize every last opportunity you can find. Time… is running out.”
1. The four modernizations were goals first introduced in 1977 in order to strengthen the fields of agriculture, industry, defense and science and technology in China, in a bid to rejuvenate China’s economy.