He had thought things through.
If he were to snatch the special Yin spirit from right under the noses of the extraterritorial emissaries, the first thing he would need to know was naturally the identity of this Yin spirit.
He didn’t even know how many extraterritorial emissaries there were lurking within the City of Salvation right now. If the identity of this special Yin spirit were someone who could only contribute to Hell’s revivification efforts centuries down the road, such as an expert in the humanities, then he was prepared to even give up on securing such a Yin spirit.
After all, it wasn’t worth the risk of losing access to the Great Dipper Vault or placing his own life in danger.
“Good evening, everyone.” The chatter in the television room faded away as the male anchor greeted everyone.
“Today is the 6th of March, the awakening of insects of the lunar calendar. Thank you for tuning in to the news this evening.”
The female anchor smiled genially as she took over, “We first bring to you the headline news for tonight.”
Qin Ye’s eyes were glued to the screen, and his ears perked up slightly. The instructors beside him, including Local Bully, stared at Qin Ye with inexplicable surprise. After all, why was someone who had never stepped foot into the television room suddenly so concerned with the nation’s current affairs? Were they on the verge of the next world war?
“The general secretary has just presided over the twenty-fourth general meeting of the Summit for Comprehensive Reforms, and the committee has decided to push forward with the implementation of these reforms without compromise. Wang Zhaosong, Li Yanqing, Chen Yang, and other members were all in attendance.”
“The premier had a propitious bilateral exchange with Brittania at the ninth Europa-Cathay Leaders’ Summit.”
“Mr Gu Qing, the former deputy director general of the Central State Administration of Urban Planning has just succumbed to his illness, passing away at the age of 92. He will be cremated at the Qinglong Mountain Cemetery at dawn, following which he will be sent to the City of Salvation, Insignia Province, for his funeral at noon.”
Qin Ye’s eyes immediately lit up, and his thoughts began to spin rapidly.
Having lived for such a long time, there were things that he didn’t need to actively process or think through. Fragments of information would inevitably find their way into his mind and sort themselves out.
Just like what was happening right now.
The Central State Administration of Urban Planning… I remember that every city would have its own city planning bureau, and the Central State Administration… is the place of coordination of all urban planning work. And this is the deputy director general… It can be said that the urban planning works of countless cities across Cathay has passed through his hands over the last few decades!
Urban planning wasn’t something that comprised only of scrutinizing and approving of drawings.
Would the city be resistant to flooding? Would there be any standing waters? Have the designs taken into account the local climate and other factors? If the city expands later, how would you expand the downtown area? Will the locality and infrastructure be able to support high-tech installations and the development of towns and villages in the vicinity?
Each and every city in Cathay was the agglomeration of the blood, sweat and tears of innumerable designers and planners!
Although 99% of the cities in Cathay are built on the foundations of ancient cities that stood in their place, their redevelopment is still an incredibly remarkable thing. It’s no wonder the extraterritorial emissaries are willing to make the journey of thousands of miles just to reap his soul! His existence is so amazing that it could actually make the third headline of national news!
This is a big fish!
Qin Ye continued to watch the news with bated breath.
Social convention had it that the deaths of such great figureheads would almost invariably be announced to everyone through a national broadcast.
The surroundings had quietened down so much that Qin Ye could even hear the thumping of his heart and sense the quickening of his own breaths. He tuned out when the news anchors were giving the lowdown of the first two headline news. And then, as soon as a mournful hearth appeared on the screen, he subconsciously straightened his back.
“Mr Gu Qing, the former deputy director general of the Central State Administration of Urban Planning has just succumbed to his illness, passing away at the age of 92.”
“The late Mr Gu Qing was born in 1938. He belonged to one of the first batch of overseas scholars after the founding of Cathay as we know it. He graduated with honors from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College Londoninium.”
“Ever since returning to Cathay, he has served as the director of the Urban Planning Bureau at the City of Salvation, the deputy mayor of the City of Salvation, the director of the Urban Planning Bureau at Mount Tai City, the Director of Branch Urban Planning Bureau of the Insignia Province…”
Qin Ye forcibly repressed the welling excitement in his heart as he continued to weigh the costs and the benefits. He couldn’t tell just how many extraterritorial emissaries had already infiltrated the City of Salvation, and there was always a possibility of exposing his true identity if he took action. On the other hand, he could always err on the side of caution and hide among the Special Investigations Department like a little hamster. Therefore, he absolutely had to consider where the balance lies.
The news anchor was naturally oblivious to the considerations in Qin Ye’s heart, and he continued without missing a beat, “In 1973, in his then-capacity as the director of the Urban Planning Bureau at Mount Tai City, the late Mr Gu Qing was the chief designer in charge of the great master plan of the Dragonriver City…”
Qin Ye gasped. Like a mouse that had seen cheese, his eyes widened subconsciously.
“My word…” An instructor sighed as he sipped from his teacup, “Dragonriver… and a chief designer to boot. It’s such a pity that we’ve lost this top talent today.”
“Indeed. The chief designer of Dragonriver City is practically an internationally renowned existence, isn’t he?”
Qin Ye smiled amidst the discussion.
The Dragonriver City was the first city to be redeveloped after the commencement of the reforms, and it had taken it no more than three decades to transform from a state of desolation into a bustling city of innovation!
I’d never expected it was all due to this man’s efforts!
This was the point of inflexion at which Qin Ye’s mind was already made up.
His resume was incredibly padded and thick, and there was none other more suited to the needs of Hell right now! This was a risk he was willing to take!
However, that wasn’t the end of things.
The news anchors were still reading out his achievements in honor of his passing!
“In 2001, the late Mr Gu Qing led a team from the fourth division of Cathay Construction’s Eighth Bureau to Alkebulan, where they assisted with construction works across Aegyptus, Nubia, Rhodesia, Mozambik, Malagasy and Naija, including three central cities and several large projects. All of this was done under the oversight of the late Mr Gu Qing.”
What a big fish!
I’d thought that this was just a koi fish. As it turns out, it’s actually an orca?!
Qin Ye dispelled the astonishment in his mind and continued listening intently to the broadcast, “The late Mr Gu Qing’s ashes will be arriving in his birthplace at the City of Salvation at noon, exactly in accordance with his wishes. The vice premier, the current director general, deputy director general and secretary of the Central State Administration of Urban Planning, the deputy provincial governor and deputy secretary of Insignia Province, the mayor and secretary of the City of Salvation… and other esteemed guests will all be personally attending the late Mr Gu Qing’s funeral proceedings…”
“And now, we bring to you other news…”
Qin Ye smiled at the television. Seconds later, his heart leapt with great elation, and he couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
And it was irrepressible and manic, “Hahahaha!!!” The six instructors stared at him as though they had just seen a ghost.
Is he insane?
It… it has got nothing to do with you, but… we’re still talking about the passing of a person and his funeral, aren’t we? Aren’t you being too irreverent here?
“Haha… uhh…” After laughing boisterously for two seconds, Qin Ye quickly sensed that something was amiss, and he immediately coughed, turned around and gave Local Bully an angry glare, “What the matter with you?! How old are you? Why are you tickling me for no good reason? Would it kill you to sit still and just watch the news?”
Full marks for misdirection.
Local Bully blinked vacantly as he stared at Qin Ye with a completely baffled expression.
“Alright. Stop fooling around and just watch the news.” Qin Ye remarked with a stern glare before turning his attention back to the television.
It took Local Bully two full seconds to understand what was going on, and he immediately stood up - this wasn’t something he was going to take lying down!
“I’ll be damned…”
“Shh.” Notwithstanding the gaze of several onlookers, Qin Ye tugged Lin Han back down to his seat with his eyes still transfixed on the screen, “Be quiet and watch TV. Don’t disrupt those around you, alright?”
His expressions rippled with displeasure.
“Alright, alright. Let’s go. It’s just a lesson plan… look at how anxious you are…” Qin Ye got to his feet with a look of exasperation on his face as he waved his hands dismissively.
His steps were gentle and light.
Three seconds later.
“Instructor Lin, what’s happened to you?” “Why do you… have such a look of despondence on your face?” “Weren’t you going to discuss your lesson plans earlier? Aren’t you going anymore?”
“Don’t bother me… I just want to be alone… I’d only wanted to watch TV quietly…”
How could Qin Ye possibly keep in his heart a man who had once been heartbroken by him? Like repels like. This was a principle that Qin Ye understood very well. Thus, any considerations of Lin Han had already vanished by the time he got back to his dorm room.
He immediately opened up the course schedule and took a closer look at it.
Now that he had ascertained the identity of the special Yin spirit, the next step would necessarily be to investigate the exact number of extraterritorial Yin spirits in the City of Salvation right now. But in order to do this, he would have to leave the campus grounds of the First Academy of Cultivators.
Unfortunately, none were allowed to leave the campus grounds at all. They were only allowed one vacation day a month. They functioned with military regimentation.
Therefore, his only other option would naturally be to work around the course schedule.
“The academy commenced its semester on 18 February. In other words, the first month of classes would end on 17 March…” He ran his finger along the class schedule and pointed to a date with a red-mark on it, “This is the day!”
It was the date of the freshmen initial appraisal test!
All colleges and schools had similar examinations, and the First Academy of Cultivators was no exception either. Most importantly…
He belonged to the Faculty of Combat!
And the initial appraisal test of all students from the Faculty of Combat would necessarily have to be conducted through the process of actual combat!
“Perhaps we might not normally be given the opportunity to engage in actual combat. But now…” He chuckled as he tapped on the course schedule, “You may be emissaries of your respective underworlds… and you may try your best not to create any disturbances or bring any attention to yourselves, but… are you certain that everything is within your complete control?”
“There are many wandering spirits around, not to mention some vengeful apparitions that haven’t been completely wiped out. As soon as any of these detect the aura of an emissary of an underworld, they would immediately swoop over like moths to a flame. This is part of the basic instinct of any Yin spirit’s desire to siphon off those who are stronger than them, and this was exactly how the mortal realm discovered Cao Youdao’s existence. Do you guys think you would be spared?”
He went on to consider other possible scenarios, and similarly prepared his heart to respond to any potential new developments. Then, having made up his mind, he set aside these concerns of his and turned his mind back to his duties as an instructor.
The students’ daily self-study classes started this evening. For the sake of their teaching credits, almost every instructor around chose to oversee the students’ combat practice. Qin Ye was no exception to this either. Thus, Qin Ye headed straight to the gym after dinner, and he saw a large group of students dressed in their camouflage uniforms before he even arrived.
He wasn’t early. The other instructors from the Faculty of Combat were already there by the time he had arrived. Lin Han stood in the center of the students, giving them instructions.
“While the First Academy of Cultivators doesn’t guide you in the ways of your own cultivation, you can’t afford to neglect your foundational work. Even when you attain your first breakthrough to become an Operative-class expert, the abilities and arts at your disposal are limited to grand and powerful moves. While strong, these skills have long cooldowns, and some of them might even bring negative effects to your bodies. Therefore, what is most important is to build a strong foundation on your basic martial arts and footwork.”
“Instructor Lin, are martial arts even useful against Yin spirits?” “No way… I didn’t pay much attention back when my clan was teaching us martial arts…” “Punching Yin spirits? Isn’t that a little bit outrageous?”
Lin Han shook his fist in the air, “Not at all. When you become Operative-class experts, you’ll be able to imbue each punch and each kick with true energy from your body, and Yin spirits will naturally be unable to resist your attacks.”
“You can think of it this way. Hunting zones naturally contain Yin spirits that would require those grand and powerful finishing moves of yours. But the truth of the matter is that there aren’t many locations of supernatural activity that would end up being classified by the government as hunting zones. Given the recent rise of supernatural activity, most of these aren’t even worthy of being given a label as a hunting zone. Nevertheless, they still possess some level of danger, and would still have to be dealt with. Most of you will eventually find yourselves dealing with such Yin spirits for the foreseeable future. Are you sure you’ll want to resort to your grand and powerful finishing moves with each and every one of these weak Yin spirits that appear? You might end up wearing yourself out before you completely purge them all!”
He stretched out his arm as soon as he finished speaking, and a faint white layer of true energy emerged on his arm with a simple twitch of his muscles. Then, with a soft cry, he made a pressing motion towards the ground, and an indentation appeared in a one meter square area in front of him with a soft muffled sound.
Su Feng’s eyelids immediately twitched uncontrollably as he whispered, “Local--... Instructor Lin, as a friend, I must remind you that you’ll have to make recompense for any destruction of public property… So, can you use your damned mind to think before you act next time?!”