“I’ve got access.” Wang Chenghao chuckled, “I’ve just remembered something…”
“The Fenglai Hotel belongs to my dad, and there are surveillance cameras everywhere. I had previously connected the surveillance cameras to my computer just out of curiosity, since I had nothing better to do… If it still works now, and the monster in the hotel hasn’t left yet, then we should be able to see what’s come to it.”
They stopped the car by the side of the road. Wang Chenghao opened his backpack, and Qin Ye’s eyelids immediately twitched, “Hang on… you’ve only brought a laptop with you? What about toiletries? Underpants?”
“Was I supposed to bring them?” Wang Chenghao blinked his eyes. He was completely baffled by Qin Ye’s exclamation, almost as though he were saying - What else did I have to bring?
Do you think you’re just having a field trip?
Qin Ye’s lips continued twitching, “Shouldn’t you at the very least have brought along a change of clothes?”
Wang Chenghao opened his Alipay account in response, and Qin Ye saw that the first digit of his account balance was “6”, and the total balance was an astonishing 6-digit number.
Damn these rich people…
“I’ve got my ID card and my driver’s license with me. What else do you need apart from your cell phone and some form of identification?” Wang Chenghao opened up his laptop and added, “As long as there’s money on your mobile account.”
Kid… you’re honest. Yet why does your honesty sting my heart so?
Qin Ye’s heart felt as though it was riddled with holes. Having noticed that the brand logo of Wang Chenghao’s laptop was that of a fruit with a bite taken out of it, he knew better than to probe any further.
His heart was suddenly awash with melancholy as it dawned on him that he was already going deeper and deeper down the journey of living off somebody else…
Wang Chenghao’s fingers darted nimbly across the keyboard. Several keystrokes later, he whistled victoriously, “It works! Brother Qin! It really works!”
The duo immediately turned their attention to the video that was playing on full-screen mode.
The image showed how Lin Chaosheng was kneeling on the ground, trembling in fear. Yet, nobody entered.
Qin Ye nodded slightly. He had been at the epicenter of Arthis’ display of authority. For as long as her display of authority lingered, all who were below the rank of Infernal Judges would never be able to get back on their feet. In other words, the puppet master wasn’t anywhere close to a Judge in terms of his abilities.
For the next fifteen minutes, nobody else entered the room. Then, on the sixteenth minute of the video, the black clouds outside appeared to disperse slightly. As soon as the first ray of light peeked through once more, an incredibly irritable voice immediately rang out, “Damn you bloody screwed up piece of shit!! Would you die if you let me finish my dinner before turning into a demon?! Are you rushing to reincarnate, or are you running home to grieve the loss of your parents?!”
The outrageous outburst startled both Wang Chenghao and Qin Ye.
There… seems to be something off with the picture here…
I mean… shouldn’t an expert who disposed of the puppet master step out of the darkness with a fairy-like existence, acting in a manner reflective of a boundless sovereign?
Yet his first appearance… instead resembled a vegetable store owner touting for business at a wet market…
The Yin energy in the surroundings cleared up before the man finished speaking. Then, a round, puffy figure appeared for the first time in the video.
This… is this really a Taoist priest…
The man was estimated to be well above 200 kg in weight. His Taoist robes were already bursting at its seams, tattered in some parts, while covered in grease in others. He also wore a square headscarf. It was impossible to tell when he last washed up. Even his lapels were already turning black. To make matters worse, rather than holding onto a buddist whisk… he instead held… a feather duster.
A feather duster. Do you believe it?!
And he even held onto a greasy leg of lamb in his other hand. No matter how one looked at it, this man resembled a beggar more than he did a Taoist priest.
“A Hunter-class expert?” Just then, the puppet master remarked in an incredibly grave voice.
However, the Taoist priest didn’t even pay any attention to him. He ravenously gnawed at the leg of lamb in his hands and finished it in just a few bites. Then, after wiping off the grease on his robes, he put his palms out in the shape of a lotus flower and continued, “Boundless… hiccup… Sovereign.”
The puppet master could no longer stand the incongruous image standing before him and barked, “Where’s your buddhist duster?”
“Hiccup… I’ve forgotten it. Grabbed something in a rush. As a true disciple, it’s part of my duty to remain presentable at all times. Unfortunately… hiccup… I grabbed the wrong item.”
The duo watching the scene unfold before their eyes were completely flabbergasted.
“Do you really think that a mere Soul Hunter like you could take on the Assassins of the Underworld?” The puppet master burst out into a maniacal laughter. His body faded back into the depths of the roiling black fog, and the countless corpses around the Taoist priest began to stir immediately.
The Taoist priest wiped his mouth and finally responded with a serious voice, “Good lad, you seem to be missing something. Let your father enlighten you…”
“Over the last thousands of years, not a single entity has dared to misbehave themselves in Westriver. Even now, the outbreak of supernatural activities within Westriver remains the lowest in the entire country. Can’t you use your damn pig brain and think about why this is the case?”
Yet, he received no response at all. The menacing corpses continued to clamber to their feet. And then, in the very next moment, they all charged straight towards the Taoist priest in a concerted fashion.
“Because… two of the three great Taoist Ancestral Courts are located within Westriver. This is where Celestial Master Zhang attained enlightenment and established the ghost expunging techniques… Don’t you think that your tortoise guts are far too big for your own good?”
“Heaven and Earth Transformation.”
He formed several hand seals in just an instant. Then, a radiant, silver-white circle blossomed from under his feet, and a nine-layered lotus seat appeared by his side. As each layer of the lotus bloomed, the entire event hall began to be filled with a radiant Yang light, clashing powerfully with the dark Yin energy in the room. All of the corpse puppets disintegrated in just an instant.
Qin Ye’s gaze was incomparably heavy. He had personally exchanged blows with the tens of corpses in the hall, and he knew exactly how difficult each one of these corpses were to deal with. In fact, he couldn’t even hold his ground against their concerted attacks.
“Sanqing Taoist?! You’re the disciple of the great Celestial Master?!” A voice laden with immense fear echoed from the darkness. Just then, all of the fog in the room began to surge like a tidal wave and transform into a long dragon of Yin energy as it swept down the stairs in a hurry.
“Boundless Sovereign.” The Taoist priest pulled out the hairpin holding his hair in a bun and flicked it gently, “Go.”
Whizz! The hairpin rode the winds and shot off like a bolt of lightning! In an instant, the hairpin transformed into an ancient-looking peachwood sword that even appeared to emit the whistling sounds of rushing wind and the rumbling of thunder. The peachwood sword caught up to the tide of Yin energy in the blink of an eye. With a miserable cry, the black fog dissipated immediately, and the peachwood sword plunged straight into the black box carried by Lin Chaosheng at all times.
The Taoist priest finally walked over calmly, “Puppet master… back then, wasn’t your sect annihilated precisely because you strayed off the path and experimented with living human bodies? I’d never thought I’d find a remnant today. If I were you, I would have concealed my identity well and simply indulged in the teeming pleasures of this world. But alas, you sin… you sin…”
He walked over to the sword and held its hilt firmly in his hand, “I’ve heard that puppet masters never personally engage in battles. I imagine that this policeman must also be one of your puppets, isn’t it? Just like the Westbrook corpse drivers, you guys are quite remarkable in your own right. It’s a pity that your expertise is going to be lost to the world forever…”
Before he finished speaking, he suddenly stabbed his sword deeper into the box!
Squeeaaaaall!!! A heart-rending scream suddenly rang out from the box. The wooden sword had penetrated the box in its entirety, stabbing straight through the floorboards, leaving only the hilt outside!
A three-meter tall column of blood rushed into the air, completely incongruous with the small size of the box. The tragic cries continued endlessly. It was only tens of seconds later that everything grew silent and tranquil once more.
“Boundless Sovereign… Your sin is that you have interrupted my mealtime.” The Taoist priest sighed. With a hook of his finger, the wooden sword shrank instantly and affixed itself back on his hair. Finally, he stepped into the elevator and departed from the event hall.
The video ended there.
Qin Ye’s face was incredibly grave. The truth was far worse than Arthis had ever imagined. It wasn’t a ten-minute battle… this battle didn’t even last a full five minutes! In fact, it had ended in simply two moves!
For the third time, he increased his assessment of the government’s power once again.
The depth of their abilities was immeasurable.
Judging from his conversance, Qin Ye could tell that the puppet master was approximately equivalent to a Hunter-class Emissary of Hell. Yet the fact that he was completely and utterly obliterated by the disciple of the Celestial Master in just two moves meant that the fat priest… was probably a Hellguard-class expert in his own right!
And if this was a mere disciple… then Qin Ye could almost be sure that there were experts on the same level as Infernal Judges in the mortal realm right now!
After all, there was only one qualitative level of difference between the Hellguard-class experts and the Judge-class experts.
“There’s something else… if the puppet master is Hunter-class, then… his master would most certainly be at least Hellguard-class!” He shut his eyes and drew a deep breath. In this moment, his desire to unravel the mystery surrounding the mastermind’s identity had now risen to unprecedented heights!
The fact that there was a formidable Hellguard-class ghost staring at him from afar truly made for tasteless meals and sleepless nights.
“But we’ll delve more into this issue when Arthis finally wakes up.”
“Let’s go to the City of Salvation.”
“City of Salvation? Where?” Wang Chenghao was slightly puzzled, “Are we not going to Stillight City anymore?”
Qin Ye shook his head. The fat priest was right. Westriver… was the birthplace of the state religion, Taoism. In the past, Daofather Zhang attained enlightenment on the Cranecall Mountain before making his way to the Qingcheng Mountain where he slaughtered 8 million evil ghosts. Both Ancestral Halls are located in Westriver. Whether disciples in name, lay disciples or true disciples, the fact remained that Taoist disciples abounded in Westriver. After what happened, remaining in this location would be far too dangerous.
His choices were either to stay, or to flee as far away from the scene of crime as possible.
“It’s in the Insignia Province.”
“So far away?” Wang Chenghao felt the onset of a headache coming. Dear friend, it’s easy to just talk the talk. But do you want to try your hand at driving the distance?
“We’ll be safe there.” Qin Ye pulled out his phone and dialed a number, “You can choose not to stay. All you have to do is to send me there. After all… I’ve got a friend over there.”
Wang Chenghao’s eyes lit up.
Someone like him has friends as well?
Is he a human too?
The call was answered quickly. In fact, one could say that the call was answered practically instantaneously. Yet, the strangest thing was that despite answering the call, neither Qin Ye nor the person on the other end of the line spoke a single word. They didn’t cut the call either.
After a long period of time, Qin Ye was the first to speak, “Old Zhang… the last time we’ve met was probably twenty years ago, wasn’t it?”
The voice of an incredibly emotional middle-aged man responded, “That’s right... Time is fleeting. My son is already in college… I… I’d never thought that… I could one day hear your voice again…”
Qin Ye smiled, “I hear you’ve got promoted again? Should I be addressing you as Chief, now?”
“Heh… are rank and money worth anything in front of you?” Old Zhang teased, “Mr Qin, we’re lifelong friends. Everything else is but periphery. Without you… I’d never be where I am right now. I also know that you’re not a person who would call for no good reason, so you must have something important on your mind. Speak your mind.”
Qin Ye didn’t hesitate, “I’m currently at Westriver. Something’s going on in my county. As you know, I simply cannot afford to disclose my true identity. Thus, I intend to move to Insignia Province for three to five years to tide things through. I’d like your help to enroll me in a non-provincial university, and furnish me with identification that won’t arouse any suspicions.”
“No worries. Head on over. I’m incidentally in the City of Salvation right now. I’ll make the necessary arrangements with the relevant authorities before you arrive.”
After exchanging several more pleasantries with each other, both sides hung up at almost the same time. Wang Chenghao asked curiously, “Brother Qin, you mentioned that he’s your friend?”
“That’s right…” Qin Ye appeared to be reminiscing the past as he smiled, “A crafty rabbit has three burrows. Having lived for such a long time, do you really think I wouldn’t have some cards hidden up my sleeves?”
Meanwhile, inside an ordinary looking home in the distant City of Salvation, Insignia Province, a pair of weather-beaten hands hung up the phone.
“Truly… After all these years... I’d never expected him to remain exactly the same as before…” The person who had just hung up the phone was a white-haired man in his fifties dressed in casual home wear. He leaned back into his chair with a cup of tea in his hands as he reminisced about the good old times.
“Hey, Old Zhang, remember to wash the dishes! Why are you slacking off again?” A lady wearing an apron around her waist walked out and told off Old Zhang.
“I’m on it.” Old Zhang opened up his eyes and smiled genially at the lady before glancing at the tightly shut door to his son’s room. Moments later, he put on a stern expression as he picked up the phone once more.
“This is Zhang Baoguo. Connect me to the Chief of Bureau, Zheng.”
Another man’s chuckle could be heard from the other end of the line in no time, “Deputy Attorney General Zhang, to what do I owe the honour?”
“It’s just a favour.” Zhang Baoguo explained indifferently, “A relative of mine will be relocating to the City of Salvation for studies within fifteen days’ time. Old Zheng, do you have any good college recommendations from the education arm of your bureau? I don’t want the provincial one. And it would be ideal if the college is located in the vicinity of the City of Salvation.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter