Qin Ye wanted to put in his rejoinder.
But he knew better.
Xu Anguo wasn’t far from him when it came to matters of oratorical prowess. In addition to that, Xu Anguo had the advantage of the moral high ground, so much so that he was practically shining with a halo of radiance like the virgin Mother Mary…
What? You don’t want to go?
How can that be?! Could our beloved instructor from the First Academy of Cultivators actually be a weak and feeble coward? Is he the type that doesn’t rush headlong into danger and stands valiantly at the frontlines of battle? Don’t you want to become a martyr and have your name forever etched in the annals of history? No? You’d be tarnishing the name of the First Academy of Cultivators, and perhaps even letting the world down!
As soon as Qin Ye considered responding with ‘I’d like to scrape by and survive’... the sheer thought of the potential admonishment that would follow immediately sent shivers down his spine.
On the other hand, Xu Anguo didn’t even experience a fraction of the emotions Qin Ye felt. Instead, he smiled faintly as he sorted through the documents placed atop Zhou Xianlong’s desk, squared them out, and then slowly placed them before Qin Ye one at a time, “These are the ones we’ve carefully handpicked for you. Not only is the extent of supernatural outbreaks extremely high, the evil ghosts there are also verging on the level of Anitya Hellguards. They would be perfect for pushing you through the bottleneck of a Soul Hunter and straight into the ranks of an Anitya Hellguard.”
Qin Ye held back the desire to spit out a mouthful of blood. Hellguards… Who’s to say for sure whether these Hellguard-class evil ghosts are merely executing orders from a Judge-class evil ghost?! And who’s to say for sure whether these evil ghosts are part of an army of Assassins of the Underworld under the direct charge of a daolord altogether?! What if I purge one or two of them, only to attract the ire of the head honcho behind them? Don’t you think an entity like that would be able to wipe out an entire clan of Qin Ye’s, and perhaps more?!
How could you even think that I’d consider an assignment that requires me to stake my life on the line?! Can’t I just make a pot of tea and cruise along for the rest of eternity as I enjoy the rest of my life?
Unfortunately, they obviously didn’t hear Qin Ye’s plea for help. Xu Anguo pointed to one of the documents, “Take a look at this - Pearl River Delta. This is one of the locations where Cathay is experiencing the worst supernatural outbreak. It’s on par with the three eastern provinces and the three provinces of Westriver Province, Cloudriver Province and Rich Province. This is one of the places where you’ll definitely find yourself hanging on by the thread of your life. If you go there, I’m almost certain that you’ll be an Anitya Hellguard the next time we meet.”
Or I might just fall prey to the overwhelming supernatural forces there and simply become a statistic…
Qin Ye felt his throat getting more parched by the minute. Pearl River Delta… If memory serves me well, this would be the territory occupied by the daolord of the hungry ghosts. If I head there, wouldn’t I be… consenting to my transformation into a little lump of dim sum for him?
Or perhaps a macaron… the kind that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside…
“Let’s have a look at the others…” His facial muscles stiffened up as he placated Xu Anguo awkwardly and unobtrusively.
Xu Anguo nodded, “What about over here? Lotus City, located right at the intersection of the three provinces of Westriver Province, Cloudriver Province and Rich Province. The Yin energy there is off the charts, but it’s also home to one of the three great Taoist Ancestral Courts. The hidden experts have all come out of seclusion earlier this year. With the support of the Way of Orthodox Unity, the Way of the Celestial Masters, and the Way of the Golden Elixir the situation has already come under control. That said, we’re still trying to assess where the source of the supernatural outbreaks in Cloudriver Province and Rich Province are.”
That’s even worse… Arthis had mentioned some time ago that there’s probably a Prefect-class evil ghost disguised as a human being hiding there!
Old man… could you please stop trying to trip me up over here?! Give me something more palatable! I’d sincerely like some place with a low rate of supernatural outbreak - a location that is extremely safe!
His lips trembled slightly, but he remained completely silent. Xu Anguo nodded understandingly, “It’s always good to look through the options before weighing them properly. How about this place? Southriver Province? It’s one of the most populous provinces with a fairly high rate of supernatural outbreaks. Furthermore, we’re already starting to see signs of Incarnate Revenants appearing there…”
“Next.” Qin Ye sensibly employed his skill of interruption.
Just like that, they went through a handful of other options, all of which were summarily dismissed by Qin Ye. Xu Anguo chuckled, “Or perhaps you could let us know your requirements instead? That way, we can narrow the search a little bit better to suit your tastes. Don’t worry about the pay, because every single one of these assignments are extremely high risk, and they naturally pay incredibly well.”
“Of course I’d like the ones that are low on the danger scale…” As Qin Ye spoke, he immediately sensed the gazes on him turn unkind and menacing.
His quick-wittedness immediately kicked in, and he promptly changed tacts, “... to be ruled out. If I want to undo the curse on my body, I’d have to be closer to the higher level hunting zones...”
“Predatory zones.” Zhou Xianlong interrupted him abruptly, “Hunting zones that contain Yin spirits stronger than Soul Hunters are called predatory zones. Beyond that, the ones that contain Judge-class existences are called forbidden zones. The latter are zones that not even most instructors in this academy would know about. After all, these are matters that only Hellguard-class experts are apprised of. You’re on the verge of breaking through to becoming a Hellguard right now, so there’s no harm letting you know of these matters slightly earlier.”
There’s at least one predatory zone in each city or urbanized area. If luck isn’t on your side, you might even see the emergence of a forbidden zone. On average, we’re seeing approximately four or five forbidden zones in each province in Cathay. Cathay has a total of 152 Judge-class cultivators, most of whom are currently located in urbanized areas where the presence of forbidden zones have been confirmed. The state of supernatural outbreaks in any area can be quite easily determined by the ranks of the watchmen deployed there.”
So that’s how it is… Qin Ye nodded, before continuing, “So, about that… could you let me take a look through these materials, and I’ll let you know my response in a week’s time?”
His departure was now certain, but the outcome wasn’t too bad. His actions would no longer be subject to the scrutiny of the old foxes in the school, and he could even continue to accrue teaching credits and merit points in the meantime. Since that was the case, all that remained was to carefully consider the best option for his next assignment.
“Certainly.” Zhou Xianlong smiled and nodded, “Just don’t go in silence. You’ve got to let us know before you go, because we’ve still got a little surprise in store for you.”
As long as it doesn’t startle me any more than the plentiful surprises today… Qin Ye grumbled to himself, before bidding the leaders farewell and returning to his own dorm room.
As soon as he opened the door, he immediately noticed two persons cleaning his room - two cleaners with a somewhat large build…
And what’s most frightening was the fact that they bore the appearances of Su Feng and Local Bully!
When the door opened up, the two men looked up from their work, before promptly looking down and continuing with their cleaning duties. Qin Ye walked over suspiciously to the two men.
“Haven’t you gained enlightenment yet?” Qin Ye glanced suspiciously at them, “What prompted you to finally emerge from your little turtle shell? Turtle’s revenge?”
“Get lost!” Su Feng barked back, “Your room is practically covered with dust. It’s only because such a thought had just occurred to us that we decided to help you do a little dusting of the area while you were reporting to the faculty.”
“Not bad.” Qin Ye was satisfied with their response, and he sat down on his sofa. That said, he couldn’t help but feel like he’d forgotten something important. Unfortunately, he couldn’t put a finger on it. Thus, he simply pointed to them and commanded like a tyrant, “Hey, wipe the table properly. Don’t miss out on a single speck of dust there. I’ve brought a pair of white gloves to check on your work.”
“If you’re good enough to flap your lips like that, why don’t you lend us a hand over here?!” Local Bully had somehow managed to stuff his head under the bed, but his frame was too large, so he had no choice but to reach in with the broom to sweep what he could cover, “Eh? What’s this? Oh my god… holy shit! I’ll be damned!!”
A split second later, Lin Han shot to his feet as though he had seen a living ghost. Both Qin Ye and Su Feng were puzzled at his response. Su Feng even slapped Local Bully’s butt with the feather duster with an annoyed disposition, “The hell… What was all that about? Hurry up and clean!”
But Local Bully was completely dumbfounded and stunned. His adam’s apple shifted several times, before he finally managed to pull himself together, “The hell is right… I-I might just have discovered something remarkable…”
Hell? What hell?
Hell your ass… no… hang on… hell… silicone?!!!
A split second later, Qin Ye rushed forward like a madman and pulled both men back. His eyes immediately darkened.
Arthis’ carapace… No, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Arthis’ corpse was already collecting dust, and it was now peeking out from right under the bed.
It looked no different from a used, worn out silicone doll.
It had to be said that the destructive power of the husky that was Lin Han was truly startling. For some strange reason, his sensitive nose almost always allowed him to sniff out a startling surprise…
I finally know what I’ve forgotten… Qin Ye was fervently resisting the urge to gouge out their eyes.
The air was suddenly filled with silence and tension.
Three seconds later, Qin Ye muttered with a tremor in his voice, “What… what the hell is that thing? How terrifying… is that a voodoo doll? It’s too hideous, even for a voodoo doll, isn’t it?! Who the hell put it there? Seems like there are people out there who are bent on getting me!!”
Su Feng and Lin Han glanced at him with disbelief. Seconds later, Local Bully placed his hand reassuringly on Qin Ye’s shoulder, “It’s fine, we’re all men over here. I totally understand… How long has it been since she was last pumped?”
I’ll pump your ass!
“Listen, this is all a misunderstanding.” Cold sweat was now beading up on Qin Ye’s forehead, “It’s really a misunderstanding. I’ve got no idea what this is! Why don’t you… give it a touch and see if there’s any strange liquid inside?!”
“Even that would have dried up by now.” Su Feng glanced at Qin Ye in disgust, before musing, “It’s made with rather good workmanship. If you’d like… we can… help you wash it clean?”
Qin Ye finally exploded, and kicked both men out of his room. His heart swelled with fury, and rage filled his mind.
Prince of Lordaeron… I, Illidan, can never coexist with you!!!
He locked the door and immediately activated his shard of King Yanluo’s Seal. His heart was filled with the intention to obliterate Arthis in one fell swoop. He grabbed the pile of documents he had brought back from Zhou Xianlong’s office, and rushed straight back to Hell.
It was a grand entrance. His Yin energy flourished, and Hell’s Gate looked as though a massive black lotus was blooming from it. Qin Ye stepped out in his Hell’s Emissary state, gritting his teeth as he boomed sonorously, “Where is Arakshasa?! Summon her to the annex hall for an audience right away!”
His murderous aura was palpable, and the Death Inquisitors that surrounded were all startled and stunned. The Chief Death Inquisitor only returned to his senses after three full seconds, and the whole lot of them immediately knelt down to greet their master.
“For what reason are you summoning me?” Arthis called out from behind before the Death Inquisitors could even greet Qin Ye.
Excellent… you’re here…
It’s finally time to end everything once and for all. Qin Ye gnashed his teeth and turned around, but his expressions changed completely, and he even smiled faintly at her, “About that… I’d encountered a slight hiccup. Anyhow, there are some urgent matters that we need to attend to. Speaking of which, where’s One Tail?”
Arthis stared at him suspiciously for a few seconds, “Are you sure that’s all? Didn’t I sense a palpable wave of murderous intent emanating from you earlier? Who was that directed towards? Did Something happen back at the mortal realm?”
“Ah-- hah? Murderous intent? I think you must have been mistaken. Come, let’s go discuss the pressing matters about the future path to take… Su Dongxue, notify Gu Qing, Oda Nobunaga, One Tail, as well as all of the other administrative department ministers. Tell them to assemble in the annex hall pronto.” Qin-survivalist-Ye dragged Arthis by the sleeve and slowly made his way towards the annex hall with a bright smile on his face.
Count yourself lucky… I’ll deal with you when I finally become an Infernal Judge… After all, revenge is a dish best served cold. A hundred-year wait would only make revenge all that more bittersweet when it’s finally dished out…
He couldn’t help but praise himself for placating his own stirring heart!
Everyone who was summoned soon arrived at the annex hall. There were dozens of people in all. Qin Ye made a casual hand seal, completely sequestering the annex hall from the rest of Hell outside.
Then, his expression instantly grew somber and stern. Work was work. It was completely distinct and apart from his usual playful self, and he had no qualms putting on airs about him, especially when it didn’t affect his own personal safety…
“Everyone, I’ve convened this meeting because I’ve got something of great importance that will be tabled for discussions.” He raised his chin, and Su Dongxue immediately passed along copies of the information that Qin Ye had brought back from the First Academy of Cultivators, “First things first, I’ll be leaving the City of Salvation soon.”
“Thus, I’ll need everyone’s help to analyze the pros and cons of each place so that we can best decide where to head towards. This is the first order of business.”
“The second order of business…” He drew a deep breath, before declaring in a deep voice, “I’ve decided to pave the way to the new city in four months’ time!”
Everyone’s eyes gleamed brightly.
Most of the meeting’s attendees had personally experienced modern day society, and they naturally knew how profitable sea trade could be! In fact, even those who had lived during the Southern Song Dynasty would be aware that the establishment of sea trade could feed an entire empire!
Furthermore, the establishment of sea trade was a declaration to the world.
It was more symbolic than anything, because it represented to the East Continent that the Cathayan underworld was finally beginning to regain control over the chaos in the region!
3. It deals with alchemical practices https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neidan