“Yes!!” Although Little Zuo wasn’t certain what exactly was going on, he knew that something big was up. He didn’t even care to finish his food before shooting to his feet and dashing out of the room.
Zhen Daoming’s breaths grew quicker and shallower, and he wiped his mouth haphazardly as he tightened his grip around the papers with great trembling.
Nobody around was aware of the fact that he had been the chief investigator looking into the mystery surrounding the thirty-three headless bodies discovered in the Greatriver City.
Naturally, nobody knew how heavily this matter had been weighing on his heart all this while.
In fact, he had seen dozens of similarly bizarre and inexplicable supernatural incidents over the last umpteenth years of his service. These cases would be so peculiar that nobody would know where to begin with their investigations, nor where to even go about finding the slightest traces of clues. In fact, there were even incidents which they suspected were attributable to Yin spirits on a dawn voyage! All of these bizarre incidents happened in zones classified as higher risk than ordinary hunting zones. And yet, neither the Special Defense Division nor the SRC knew how to go about tackling these problems.
At least, this was the case until now.
He stared intently at the headlines of publication on the papers.
“The Mutation of Yin Spirits: Causes, Developments and Possibilities.”
“First author: Instructor Qin Ye, First Academy of Cultivators.”
“Co-authors: Instructors Su Feng and Lin Han, First Academy of Cultivators.”
“Yin spirits evolve over time? And the manner of evolution is even dependent on their environment… Furthermore, the culprit of that incident had been by my side all along?” His voice trembled as he rushed out of his office. By the time he arrived in the conference room, all of his section members were already waiting for him.
“Everyone.” He took a deep breath and tossed the papers onto the center of the table. His mouth felt slightly dry, “Have you all had a chance to read this thesis?”
Meanwhile, at the SRC Headquarter’s Star Building.
The entire building was built in the shape of a five-sided star. This was also how it came to be known as the Star Building. The building was densely packed with all of the most important research laboratories of the SRC. It was meant to be lunch hour right now, yet there was an excited buzz going on everywhere within the building.
“Have you read today’s paper yet?” Several men dressed in white lab coats were immersed in a heated discussion about the publication they had just read, completely ignoring the lunch boxes that they had packed which were left in the corner of their room.
“I’ve seen it. I think… the author is right!” A tall researcher flushed with excitement, “There are a plethora of things that can now be explained if we look at them from the fresh perspective he has offered. In fact, this would even give us a greater insight of the mysterious zones that had previously been classified as more dangerous than a regular hunting zone!”
“I agree that some things would make sense when viewed through these lenses.” Another researcher chimed in, “But the question is how far can we push this hypothesis of his, and to what extent can we apply it?”
Just then, the announcement system in the building suddenly went off.
“All researchers with doctorates are to assemble in the conference hall immediately. I repeat, all researchers with doctorates are to assemble in the conference hall immediately…”
Ten minutes later, and with a great scrambling of footsteps, the main conference hall of the SRC Headquarters was completely filled up.
This was the heart of SRC - the frontline of the pursuit of knowledge. They had thousands of staff, and a good number of professors and research fellows. Therefore, their main conference hall was naturally larger than two hundred square meters. The entire hall was presently filled with people who were excitedly discussing what they had just read.
“This must have been triggered by the thesis paper published on Cultivators Weekly, isn’t it?” A white-haired professor sat in his seat and sighed in exclamation, “Amazing… the author is most certainly a national-level expert. The immaculate flow of logic and the unparalleled choice of examples simply draws anyone in as soon as they begin to read it.”
“And if you ask me, it’s really his insight that is the most praiseworthy.” Another man in his forties chuckled softly, “It’s rare to find such insightful persons in our academia these days. In fact, I would venture so far to say that even if his paper were poorly written, he would still deserve the full-page publication based solely on his insight alone. And I must add that Editor-in-Chief Yao has truly outdone himself this time too.”
A lady in her fifties added, “Indeed. This paper is truly inspirational. Besides… have you seen the comments below? It mentioned that Academician Yu personally attests to the contents of the paper. In other words, he’s verified the claims set out in the paper. Do you know what that means? It means that we can take this as none other than the truth!”
“In turn, this means that…” She adjusted her glasses, “I can’t wait to go back into the ‘predatory zone’ to take another look!”
“Silence.” Just then, a majestic voice resounded throughout the hall. All four entrances to the conference hall slammed shut, and then three figures slowly made their way to the podium. Immediately, the entire hall was filled with soft gasps.
“Academician Yu? Academician Song? Academician Xiang?” “All three academicians of the SRC are present?” “I’m afraid we might have underestimated the impact of this paper on our research circles…” “Of course! This stands to reason! I mean, how often have you seen Academician Yu personally comment on the thesis papers of others?”
“Silence.” The man who stood right in the middle was the chubby Academician Song. But there wasn’t even a trace of a smile on the face of the otherwise bubbly and sprightly man. Instead, there was only a stern and somber expression on his face at this very moment, “Today, just some moments ago, we’ve come across an academic paper in Cultivators Weekly that will go down in history as one of the greatest papers ever written.”
There was neither the time nor the mood for any preliminaries or pleasantries.
Being the three pillars of the SRC, the three academicians naturally understood just how staggering and impactful this paper was.
The cancerous cells known as ‘predatory zones’ were spreading uninhibited across Cathay. These were zones that were classified as a higher existence than that of regular hunting zones. Yet this paper formulated the basis on which they could build the knockout counterpunch to these predatory zones. In fact, it even gave them a clue on the means to tackle the red dot zones that were classified more dangerous than regular predatory zones!
This was the extent of its significance.
“Don’t applaud. There’s no time to engage in platitudes! Listen carefully! Once this session is adjourned, I want everyone to form up task forces to inspect and study each respective predatory zone with the knowledge gleaned from this academic paper!”
Meanwhile, at Pearlriver’s Astronomy Experimental Base.
A massive discussion took place at the exact same time as the urgent conference held at the SRC Headquarters. That said, the direction of their discussion was slightly different.
Unlike the SRC, which was built upon the unending depths of resources from the Cathayan government, the Astronomy Experimental Base prided themselves instead with the maxim that less is more. As the dot hovering over Pearlriver Delta grew redder and redder, the importance of the Astronomy Experimental Base naturally grew more and more important.
They knew full well that there was a terrifying Yin spirit residing in their vicinity that surpassed all others. It could even be a 1,000 year millennial ghost, but nobody could locate its existence no matter how hard they tried.
“Qin Ye! Have any of you heard of this name before?” The conference room wasn’t large, and their meeting was nothing compared to the grandeur of the SRC conference. There were only ten men seated around a table within a room that was no larger than twenty-meters in length. And none of these men were young.
“No.” An elderly man shook his head as he lamented, “But I’m pretty sure his name will soon be known as one of the most important names around.”
“I don’t know whether he’s important or not, and I don’t care about that either. Right now, the only thing I want to do is to sit face to face with him and have a good discourse about his theories and hypotheses!” Another old man flushed with excitement, “The Pearlriver Delta is undoubtedly one of the greatest victims of the supernatural upheaval in recent times! The three eastern provinces are the same as well - Westriver has detected the presence of immeasurable amounts of Yin energy. Fortunately, that’s also where Dao Ancestor Zhang’s legacy is located, so they’re not in such dire straits as we are. On the other hand, the Pearlriver Delta has seen almost a dozen incidents like the thirty-three headless bodies discovered in the Greatriver City!”
He abruptly shot to his feet as he continued to address his chairman with great excitement, “Old Man Lei! How are you still so calm right now? Aren’t you going to send him an invitation right away?! I don’t care what it takes, Mr Qin absolutely needs to make a trip down to Pearlriver! It’s absolutely crucial that he does!”
“I’ve already sent him an invitation.” The chairman appeared well-built, completely different from the typical researcher out there. Instead, he looked like he would fit right in with the cultivators from the Special Investigations Department. He crossed his hands and sighed softly, “But… Shang County’s Origin Research Center, Luo River’s Dragoncircle Research and Development Center, Eastsea Building 653, and several other renowned research institutions have also sent out their invitations to Mr Qin at approximately the same time.”
He drew a deep breath and looked out of the window with a burning gaze in his eyes, “The situation at Pearlriver has been worsening over the last few years… The three eastern provinces have already sought assistance with Yan Capital countless times. In fact, nine out of ten villages in the vicinity have become completely empty, and most people have begun to migrate towards the cities. We’re anticipating a great war to break out in just a few years’ time, and several armed coalitions have already begun assembling their forces in the cities. There are even four commanders of the Special Investigations Department stationed in Skytribute City right now. This research paper couldn’t have come at a better time… its value is simply immeasurable.”
“Therefore, we absolutely have to invite him over!”
Everyone in the room sighed, and then they quickly furrowed their brows again, “But this won’t do! Old Man Lei, how is he going to choose which research institution to visit with so many invitations in tow? We’re the ones who need him most right now! Why don’t… why don’t I personally make a trip down to the First Academy of Cultivators to invite him over?”
“There’s no need. The City of Salvation is a place that we can’t enter. And even if we could, we wouldn’t be able to leave. They are under close scrutiny right now - far worse than what you or I could possibly fathom.” Old Man Lei tapped the table gently as he continued, “The reason why I’ve called this meeting is in fact to inform all of you that no matter where Mr Qin decides to go, we’ll head there right away.”
“We won’t pass up any opportunity to discuss these matters with Mr Qin in person!”
With that, the meeting was adjourned, and everyone left. Only Old Man Lei remained behind, picking up the papers and slowly gleaning the contents of the publication once more.
“Wonderful.” Ten minutes later, he set down the papers and sighed wistfully, “Qin Ye? I’ve never heard of his name before. I wonder where this saint came from?”
“Instructors Qin Ye, Su Feng and Lin Han of the Faculty of Combat are to make their way to the principal’s office immediately. I repeat - Instructors Qin Ye, Su Feng and Lin Han of the Faculty of Combat are to make their way to the principal’s office…”
Just as the academic world was roiling with raving reviews over the thesis publication, so was the First Academy of Cultivators.
“Holy shit?!” The instructors couldn’t help but exclaim aloud as soon as they saw the full page publication on this week’s edition of Cultivators Weekly.
“Did I get that right? Qin Ye, Lin Han and Su Feng? They’ve lessened their course schedule for this very purpose?” “That--... is awesome! A full-page publication on Cultivators Weekly?!” “Bloody hell… why does it feel like we’re living in completely different worlds? Their achievements truly put us to shame!”
Countless gasps of astonishment rang out from every corner of the academy. Even the Momo app went nuts with comments in various groups and forums.
“Awesome!” “Awesome x2!” “Send a red packet!” “This… is the work of the devil! What a beast!” “Holy crap… the title of outstanding instructor in the first semester is rigged, isn’t it? It has to be! It absolutely has to be!” “Here I am, slaving my ass off with lesson plans in the hope that I can catch up to you guys, and there you are dropping these nukes on us like that?!”
Every single group and community was going wild.
Perhaps none of them could truly appreciate the true implications of this paper. But their inability to appreciate the contents of what they had read didn’t necessarily mean that they were similarly unable to understand the significance of a publication on Cultivators Weekly.
After all, securing a publication on Cultivators Weekly was practically akin to obtaining the holy grail…
Even the students from the Faculty of Combat were holding their heads up high as they strutted around the academy - Did someone deride our instructor for being too young? Come, come, come, take a look at the publication on this week’s edition of Cultivators Weekly?
They even brought a copy of this edition of Cultivators Weekly wherever they went.
This was why Qin Ye was hardly surprised as soon as he heard the announcement being made in the academy. Besides, it would be far too humiliating if a collaboration between Arthis and Gu Qing wasn’t able to produce a paper good enough for publication on Cultivators Weekly.
It’s not that I’m looking down on anyone over here. It’s just that when it comes to the understanding of Yin spirits, everyone here is as good as garbage!Previous Chapter Next Chapter