The Insignia University’s branch campus was still the same as before.
The college was unnervingly serene. The previously bustling canteen, kiosks and sports courts were now completely devoid of human traffic. The college administration had even undertaken some renovation works while they were gone. The college was by and large the same, but many of its soft installations, such as sculptures, had already been replaced with cultivation-themed furnishings. A number of red strings decorated with old copper coins and talismans were tied from tree to tree. Those who didn’t know any better would possibly even mistake these grounds for a Taoist academy.
Qin Ye crept forward and hid behind a statue of a legend performing a sword dance.
Target: The instructors’ dormitory five hundred meters away.
Action: Charge straight into the dorms like a bolt of lightning.
Objective: To keep the suitcase in his hands hidden from the sight of any person around.
He leaned on the statue with his left hand, and carried the suitcase with his right. He gulped nervously several times, and beads of sweat formed on his forehead.
A paper crane fluttered onto Qin Ye’s shoulder. Arthis’ voice called out, “Aren’t you just going home? Why do you have to act like a ghost sneaking into a village? Is this really necessary? I’ve been watching you dawdle around here from upstairs for over ten minutes now.”
“What do you know.” Qin Ye patted the suitcase as he responded with a dreamy voice, “Have you ever seen treasures worth well over ten million USD? There are prying eyes hidden all around these dormitories. I have to be cautious.”
The paper crane lifted its wings and picked its non-existent nostrils, “Back when I had my palace grounds, this sum of money was no more than loose change to me.”
Qin Ye couldn’t care to respond any further.
Why is it so difficult to communicate with the nouveau riche? Isn’t that just a thing of the past? Why bring that up and strain relations now?
Then, as soon as the number of people in the surroundings dwindled slightly, Qin Ye straightened his body and coughed lightly and made his move. Even though he looked like he was walking, the fact of the matter was that he had shot straight back to his dorm room at full speed.
It couldn’t be helped. As long as he was carrying the suitcase, he couldn't help but feel like a coveted luminary that others wanted to harm…
Whew… Then, as soon as he turned the corner, a tall figure burst out of the shadows with open arms, poised for a grand embrace, “Surprise!!”
Boom! A massive fist landed on the body of the “surprise”.
Wang Chenghao immediately crouched down on the ground and clutched his stomach in pain. He looked pitifully at Qin Ye with a multitude of works on his lips, yet the only thing that came out was the sound of dry heaving.
Qin Ye was gasping for breath from his astonishment as well - bloody hell, what kind of a surprise is this?! I’ve come so far, only to encounter love right round the corner. Do you know that you’ve sent my soul scattering with that?!
“If you ever appear so abruptly again, you best be prepared to be sent flying down the stairs or defenestrated!” Qin Ye glared mercilessly at him before pulling out his keys to open the door to his room. Wang Chenghao rubbed his head and stood next to him. Just as he opened the door, Qin Ye capitulated and shut it again. Then, he glared at Wang Chenghao once more, “What’s happening?”
Wang Chenghao blinked vacantly, completely baffled by the situation.
I’m just visiting you for a simple chat. Does something need to happen… no… what do you want? Or should I say, what are you hoping would happen?
He began to extrapolate from the peculiar, awkward conversation that they had, and his lips twitched as he responded with much difficulty, “Are you trying to make me say ‘it’s happening’?”
Qin Ye silently grabbed him by the neck and turned him around, “Face this way, walk straight, head downstairs, and then turn left. You’ll see the library. Keep walking straight, and you’ll see your dorm. Please go. You’re welcome.”
With a single shove, Qin Ye pushed Wang Chenghao three meters away. Then, ignoring Wang Chenghao’s begrudging look, Qin Ye carefully opened the door to his room to a small crack and slipped right in with a jiffy.
Thud. The door to his room shut almost as quickly as it opened.
“Bloody hell…” Qin Ye leaned heavily against the door and wiped the sweat off his forehead. Then, he stared at the unidentified creature on his bed with a menacing look in his eyes.
It was a silicone body.
The workmanship was excellent. This was pretty normal, wasn’t it?
However, what was unusual was the fact that the silicone doll was lying in his bed, operating the laptop with its left hand and holding the mouse with its right as it cursed angrily, “You bloody idiot! I just knew that nine out of ten Yasuo players are smurfs! I’ll kick you back to where you’ve come from! I’ll report you once we’re done here! Let’s see if you can keep acting like that!”
There were even several open packets of chips and jellies strewn all over the bed. Qin Ye simply couldn’t imagine how she’d managed to obtain these things. There was even a box of Whisper pads and Triumph brand bras with cup sizes ranging from A through D…
Qin Ye gulped as he made his way towards the bed with much difficulty, “I can understand the use of Triumph… but could you please explain the need for the box of Whispers?”
Arthis had just finished a game. She numbly clicked on the report button, interlocked her fingers and cracked her knuckles, before glancing at Qin Ye, “This is a woman’s stuff, understand?”
“... I don’t… I don’t understand why a silicone doll who wouldn’t even get periods would have use of such things!”
Arthis ran her finger shyly across her jawline, “Can’t I just… experience what it’s like being a woman?”
QIn Ye sat down on his sofa dejectedly and buried his face into his hands.
What do I do when my pet husky is exhibiting destructive behaviour?
From now on, my room is absolutely off limits to anyone!
After all, if anyone could see what was going on now…
“Eh? Not bad, eh? You’ve got a pretty unique hobby.” “Well, alright… I didn’t think you were the type to be unable to find a girlfriend for yourself. Perhaps you’re just young and inexperienced…” “Fellow Cultivator Qin, could you kindly explain this Triumph to me? Dressing up? I think we need to have a good, long talk with each other…”
The prospects were simply chilling!
“Right.” Arthis completely ignored Qin Ye’s despondence and tossed a mirror to him, “Old Man Mirror is looking for you.”
Qin Ye caught the mirror. Yet before he could even look at it, he was immediately lambasted with a string of curses, “You’re a stupid idiot aren’t you?! How many times must I remind you to take me to Hell with you?! You’d even forgotten about me and just left me on the bed the last time! Were you in a rush to be reincarnated, or were you rushing to mourn for somebody? Didn’t your father teach you to respect your elders?!”
That’s right… the mirror’s got this function too…
Qin Ye sat on his couch and hammered on his head over and over again. Why am I still not feeling faint yet? Why am I still as sober as ever? Can’t I have some normal people around me for a change? Each weirdo is more outlandish than the other!
The entire room reeked of horseplay and mischief of impish demons… and this was right in the heart of the First Academy of Cultivators to boot! They were even threatening his life right now!
“Let’s negotiate, shall we?” Seconds later, Qin Ye sat up after adjusting his emotions within, “We’re hidden within the heart of the mortal realm’s forces against the netherworld right now. You wouldn’t want me to perish before I can even accomplish anything, would you? Please have some restraint.”
Arthis yawned, “Don’t worry. I’m completely measured in my approach. On the other hand, you really should bring Ming Shiyin to Hell the next time you head down under.”
“What… did I hear you wrong? What did you say… Ming-what? Have you been dabbling with the use of drugs again?!”
“Screw you! This mirror is warning you, we may be close, but I can still sue you for defamation with those slanderous words of yours!”
Arthis waved her hands dismissively, “Put simply, I’ve done you a great service by bringing it back from Mount Tai City. Do you know how frustrating it’s been dealing with its incessant babbling? If it were still in its previous state of eminence, I might have extended it a little bit more respect. But it’s currently no more than a mere Anitya Hellguard, and yet it still chooses to act all great and despise others around it. If not for the fact that it’s still useful to us, I would already have sent it straight to the heavens by now.”
“Bloody hell, come again, you little wench?! Dare you believe I’ll jump if you provoke me any further? I couldn’t care if we just perish together!”
Qin Ye rubbed his temples in pain, “Aren’t you afraid that it’ll lift the lid on Hell?”
Especially with its temper…
Arthis turned around and responded in earnest, “I’m not all too familiar with the principles undergirding the architecture of Hell, but I do know one universal truth - all Yin Grounds, otherwise known as the land of the Yin, contains areas which have a thicker concentration of Yin energy, and areas that are sparser as well. This truth applies in Hell as well. The densest parts of these are called the land of great Yin.”
“In turn, all of the special buildings of Hell can only be constructed on the land of great Yin. After all, ordinary land would never be able to support the erection of these special buildings.” She glanced at the Mirror of Eminence, “I’ve got to admit that Ming Shiyin is the only thing that can discern and locate these places. Furthermore, it possesses the ability to reveal the true nature and form of all Yin spirits that pass through Hell’s Gate. It… is none other than the mirror of Hell which prevents the entry of any unclean beings.”
Qin Ye caught onto the nub of the issue, “Unclean beings? For instance?”
“Other…” “Ming Shiyin!”
The Mirror of Eminence was about to respond to Qin Ye’s query when Arthis immediately cut him off. A series of words appeared frantically on the surface of the mirror itself. Just as it was about to blurt out a response, Arthis stared at it with a grave expression on her face and shook her head slowly.
“This isn’t the time for you to learn of such things.” She responded placidly, “Ignorance is the only way to remain bold and courageous. And I don’t mean this in a derogatory sense.”
Strangely, the Mirror of Eminence actually complied.
“Fine.” Qin Ye glanced suspiciously at the silicone doll and the mirror, “Then… I’ll just take Ming Shiyin down to Hell with me next time.”
Just then, the door suddenly knocked with several loud thuds. Lin Han’s voice quickly followed, “Open up! They’ve sent us the details. Why haven’t you checked your Momo? Do I really have to do everything around here?”
Qin Ye immediately moved like lightning and kicked Arthis under the bed, attracting a series of expletives in response. Then, like a well-oiled machine, he rolled up the Triumphs and the box of Whispers and swept everything under the bed together with Ming Shiyin. The garbage and junk within the room were completely cleaned up in less than five seconds’ time. He adjusted his clothes, and then opened the door with a faint smile on his face.
As soon as he opened the door, Lin Han immediately peered curiously into the now-pristine-clean room - Was it an illusion? Didn’t I hear a strange sound coming from within earlier?
He held a black envelope and a box in his hands. After scanning around for some time, and glancing back at Qin Ye from time to time, he entered the room. Then, as though with a great sense of familiarity, and to Qin Ye’s great dismay, Lin Han strode right over and sat down on the… bed.
Bloody hell! Didn’t you see that I’ve already cleared out the couch for you?!
You stupid idiot, don’t you know that there’s something hidden underneath the bed right now? It’s none other than the Infernal Judge that you were looking to give your twenty-five year vintage to!
“Let’s talk about the redemption list.” Lin Han crossed his leg, opened the box, and pulled out an object that resembled a phone’s sim card, “War God Zhou says that the database is a little too large, and would take too much time and effort to send the details to everyone by way of the Slay app, so he decided to issue everyone a physical database instead. Oh, that’s right, the stack of documents below is a confidentiality agreement. You’ll have to sign and affix your thumbprint on it. You’re not to disclose this information. It’s strictly for the eyes of official instructors only…”
Lin Han chattered on and on, while the veins on Qin Ye’s forehead bulged and throbbed more and more. Just then, he suddenly noticed Arthis sticking out a finger resentfully, and he deftly stepped on it and glared at her - Behave yourself!
“Eh?” Lin Han furrowed his brows and suddenly paused, “Didn’t I hear a soft groan earlier?”
Arthis gnashed her teeth under the bed - Of course you did! It was me!
Do you think silicone dolls don’t feel any pain?
“Did you? I think you must’ve misheard.”
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