There was nothing left to be done for now. Qin Ye held the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal in his hands and prepared to take his leave. Just as he was about to do so, Su Dongxue suddenly called out softly, “My lord, please hold on.”
“What’s the matter?”
Su Dongxue looked as though she had struggled with this for a long time. The qualitative transformation concomitant with her appointment as an Emissary of Hell had given her a fleshly body. The way she bit down shyly on her cherry red lips caused the hearts of the seven Yin spirits around to flutter. Seconds later, she took a deep breath and explained, “Truth be told… I’d already awakened a long time ago.”
Qin Ye’s gaze shifted slightly. He immediately understood that she was talking about her awakening within Song Jiafang’s body.
“I personally witnessed everything Li Jiankang had done… There were still some Emissaries of Hell in existence while I was alive. Hell had probably only just collapsed back then. And because I knew of their existence… I was naturally also aware that Li Jiankang would one day be punished by the heavens.”
She closed her eyes gently, and her feathery eyelashes quivered slightly, “Thus… I tried to come up with various ways of reminding him. Unfortunately, my awakening was only partial, and Song Jiafang’s soul was still in control of her body. That’s why I was unable to give him a more direct warning.”
“Oh?” Qin Ye raised an eyebrow. He couldn’t really care less about these details so far.
But Su Dongxue was determined, and she slowly began to pull down her Hell’s Emissary robes, inch by inch. Then, before everyone could react to the sudden turn of events, a burst of Yin energy suddenly erupted from her body. Then… her robes fell to the ground, and a small black cat emerged from where she was standing just a moment ago!
“You are…” Qin Ye was completely flabbergasted, “A demon cultivator?”
Didn’t Arthis mention that demon cultivators were incredibly rare these days? I can’t believe that I’m actually seeing one right now!
“Yes…” The black cat spoke with a human voice as she obsequiously licked her own paws, “My lord, I didn’t mean to deceive you. The life of a demon cultivator is tragic, to say the least. Our habitats in the depth of the mountains and forests are constantly being invaded. Not many of us possess the ability to transform their physical bodies, and most of those who do generally retain certain demonic traits that immediately reveal their identity anyway. Even in death, we bring no valuable skills to Hell. I’ve heard from my elders that most of our kind end up performing at the Fengdu zoo like circus animals… I-It’s not that I didn’t trust my lord… It’s just that I simply can’t imagine spending the rest of my days like an animal, living in enclosures at the zoo…”
Qin Ye closed his eyes.
The last of the mystery surrounding the Li family incident had finally been resolved.
What was that black cat?
Li Jiankang alleged that there was one, but the blond-haired man insisted there wasn’t. At one point, even Qin Ye began to wonder whether it was just one of Li Jiankang’s illusions. But alas, the black cat did exist. The blond-haired man had simply been unable to see it.
“Do your job well.” He infused the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal with his own Yin energy, and his body slowly disappeared, “There’s no zoo in the new Hell. I don’t care if you’re a demon cultivator. All that matters to me is that you pull your own weight, and bring something to the table.”
Su Dongxue bowed deeply to Qin Ye, remaining in her posture of prostration for some time, even after Qin Ye had vanished completely from sight.
Several minutes later, Qin Ye appeared once again in the Insignia University dormitories.
“I’m dead beat…” He collapsed onto the bed, completely exhausted. It was as though he had a split personality. He was the spritely and adorable S9527 in the mortal realm; while he was an impartial and incorruptible incarnation of a Yama-King in Hell.
I can’t be bothered with the details anymore. I’ll just cross the bridge when I get there. With that, he quickly retired for the night. The next day, he woke up to frantic buzzing and alerts from his phone.
“Hello?” He grabbed his phone and answered with a disgruntled tone of voice.
Disturbing my beauty sleep is a capital offense!
“Brother. Yeah, I’m calling you, brother.” Lin Han’s voice was deep and filled with exasperation, “Can you please look at the time now?”
Qin Ye looked at his phone, “It’s nine. What’s the matter? Oh, that’s right, could you be a dear and get me some breakfast on your way back? I’ll transfer you the cost of it later.”
There was an awkward silence of two seconds before Lin Han spoke again, “The opening class this morning is conducted by Professor Tao of the Faculty of Arts…”
Qin Ye immediately jumped as though pricked by a needle, and then quickly fell back down onto the bed, “Please don’t tell me that the professor is waiting for me to begin. He hasn’t even seen me before, has he?”
Lin Han responded, “No, he’s only done a roll call.”
“And I’ve responded on your behalf.”
Qin Ye felt as though he were sinking deeper and deeper back into the lovely embrace of the bed, and his eyes began to feel droopy and heavy, “And then?”
A college student can’t properly say that he’s been through college until he’s skipped classes once or twice!
At best, I’ll just work harder in future and catch up on my own! Why are you being so uptight about this?
Lin Han continued soullessly, “But God of Death Zhou was listening in from the back of the lecture hall.”
Qin Ye immediately hung up, washed his face and rinsed his mouth in record time, and shot right out of his dorm room. He could still hear the sounds of intense LoL battles and cheap stereo sets echoing throughout the corridors, but he couldn’t care less to observe the vibrant campus life of Insignia University right now. He dashed out of the building and rushed straight to the lecture hall like a Kai’Sa employing her Killing Instincts skill.
It was only then that he realized he didn’t even have his textbooks with him.
“Where are you sitting?” Ten minutes later, he gasped for breath as he sent a voice message on WeChat. He was presently leaning on a wall just outside the tiered lecture hall.
“Just beside the back door to the lecture hall…” Lin Han sounded as though he had more to say.
“I love a teammate with foresight like you! Open the door, I’ll slip right in!” Without waiting for Lin Han’s response, Qin Ye switched off his phone and crouched down like a thief as he waited patiently for the back door to creak open.
Half a minute later, the door opened quietly.
The crack wasn’t wide. It was just sufficient for a single person to slip through.
Qin Ye crept in silently like a stealthy cat on tiptoe. He immediately saw Lin Han’s burly body, which incidentally doubled up as a shield to obscure all sight from his body. There was even an empty seat right beside him.
Qin Ye entered and shut the door softly behind him as though nothing had ever happened at all. Then, as soon as he looked up once more, his entire being was completely petrified.
Zhou Xianlong, Li Tao, Xu Anguo and several professors from the school were all staring intently at the uninvited guest.
All of them revealed a profound expression.
They all had the same contrived, specious smile on their faces - one that made any person feel immeasurably uneasy.
They were similarly seated at the back row of the tiered lecture hall, with their notebooks splayed opened in front of them. All of them were but three meters from his present location…
“Cough… ahem…” Qin Ye felt ill at ease, and he awkwardly waved his hands, “How do you do?”
But none of them paid any attention to him. In fact, they turned back almost in unison, and Zhou Xianlong began to write in his notebook with an ashen expression on his face - S9527, late without excuse. Penalty: one teaching credit!!!
On second thought, he supplemented further - Lacking the spirit of learning, and failing to bring textbooks to class. Penalty: another one teaching credit!!!
A three meter distance was nothing to cultivators of his level, and Qin Ye saw everything he wrote. In fact, Zhou Xianlong had punctuated his exclamation marks with such immense force that Qin Ye even felt his balls shrink back in pain and fear.
Wait… aren’t you penalizing my teaching credits with a little bit too arbitrarily? You just don’t like me, do you? Did I annoy you with my tardiness?
“Why the hell didn’t you tell me that the god of death was seated just beside you?! Why did you choose such a stupid seat?!” Qin Ye plonked his ass down onto the seat. His face was flushed from anger, and he turned around immediately to confront Lin Han through gritted teeth.
“How should I know?!” Lin Han rolled his eyes, “I was still playing with my phone and listening to music when my headphones suddenly got pulled off. When I looked up and saw these gods, I nearly pissed myself, alright? But couldn’t you have thought for yourself either? Those seated at the front of the hall are all actual college students from the Faculty of Arts. Given that we’re just here to watch and learn, it’s only natural that we’d be relegated to the back of the hall. And the leaders of the academy would naturally be seated all the way at the back as well. I thought you would be smart enough to have thought about these things!”
In other words, why did you slip in as soon as the door opened?
I put a sentry down and you immediately attempt to destroy it?
There are five strong heroes waiting to jump on you as soon as you take the bait.
“... Although I accept your compliments, this still doesn’t mean you can’t be a pal and give me some warning!” Qin Ye massaged his temples. What an idiot! It’s a typical idiotic teammate!
“Cough.” Zhou Xianlong coughed audibly. Qin Ye and Lin Han rolled their eyes and didn’t speak again.
The tyrant Qin Ye seized a blank exercise book and a pen from Lin Han and pretended to take down lecture notes. He quickly wrote - Is God of Death Zhou going through andropause? Why does he have to care about everything from the sky to the earth, and even down to whether I let out a fart or not?!
Zhou Xianlong continued to listen to the lecture with a peaceful expression on his face. Yet nobody saw the writing on Zhou Xianlong’s exercise book suddenly grow crooked. The tip of his pen even punctured several pages of his book in an instant. Zhou Xianlong’s temples throbbed uncontrollably.
Qin Ye placed the exercise book under his arm and tilted his head to give Lin Han a signal. He immediately glanced over, and his lips curled into a massive grin as he fought hard to stifle his laughter.
Lin Han quickly scribbled on his book. Two seconds later, he likewise pushed his exercise book towards Qin Ye - He doesn’t have the dignified disposition of a Judge-class expert at all… If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought he was a bloody Emissary of Hell.
Zhou Xianlong leaned back into his chair, and the grimace on his face deepened.
Unaware of the danger that was looming just over their heads, Qin Ye and Lin Han continued to communicate sweet nothings to each other through the medium of their exercise book - How did he even become a Judge? It’s different from all the other Judges I’ve seen! He’s undignified and petty!
Lin Han - Holy shit?! You’ve encountered other Judges? Pray tell! What are they like? God of Death Zhou doesn’t give me any hope in their kind at all.
Qin Ye - Cold, arrogant, and an avid critic of anything you do. She carries herself as though she were the center of the universe. Her domineering aura is sufficient to suppress ten God of Death Zhous put together!
Lin Han - Hang on… ‘she’? Female? Couldn’t you make some introductions next time? I’ve got some twenty-five year vintage in store for her…
Qin Ye - Slag! You’re soon going to be no different from the Cicerone of the Great Demons… Well, nonsense aside, could you do me a favor and bring me to the architectural design institute tonight? You’re known as the local bully of Mount Tai City, aren’t you?
Lin Han - What’s up? And what do you mean by ‘local bully’?!
Just like that, the two spent the entire class writing and ‘exchanging notes’. Finally, when Professor Tao concluded and adjourned the class, all of the students began to pack their things and leave the lecture hall.
Qin Ye and Lin Han immediately put on a pretence of a calm and placid expression, replete with slightly furrowed brows, as though they were deep in thought, drifting through the ocean of knowledge. It had to be said that both of their acting skills were top notch. They packed up their exercise books, but the multitude of observers remained behind in their seats.
“Everyone.” Li Tao stood up with a faint smile on his face, “Perhaps you might be thinking that there’s nothing much to be learnt here. Sure, we live in a different world and play by a different set of rules. But what we’re here to do is to learn pedagogy - how to teach and guide students; and how to simplify complex concepts. These are all things that we have to learn.”
“Teaching is completely different from purging ghosts. Earlier today at 8 a.m., we’ve issued our letters of invitation to the major sects, hidden sects, clans and allegiances alike. We should be receiving their list of registrants early next month. Therefore…”
He smiled and glanced at Qin Ye, “Please don’t be late for class or skip classes. I would urge you to take these two months seriously and learn as much as you can. Even if you’ve obtained sufficient teaching credits to secure a passing mark this month, you’ll still be assessed on the same system of teaching credits in the next semester, when you’ll actually have to put what you’ve learnt into practice…”
As Li Tao and the others finally turned to leave the lecture hall, Qin Ye and Lin Han also heaved a sigh of relief. But before they could fully relax, all of the instructors’ exercise books suddenly shot up into the air and flew over towards Zhou Xianlong as though they had wings.
3. The term ‘local bully’ here is actually a reference to Xue Pan, a character from 紅樓夢, one of the chinese classics. Xue Pan is basically a no-good lout. You can read more about him at this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xue_Pan