Yan Capital, Red Star Neighbourhood.
This was a little known neighbourhood that had a rather ordinary name to boot. However, it would be clear upon closer inspection that this was a gated community that was heavily guarded right from the entrance all the way to the interior. It was clear as day that ordinary citizens would never be able to enter these premises.
It was a gated community that was home to the family members of many important leaders of the nation. Furthermore, those who qualified for homes in this gated community had to at least be the third-in-command of an entire province. This was vastly different from the leaders of any city, town or village, who, whilst important, didn’t hold true power and clout in their hands.
On the other hand, provincial level leaders were the ones who could be said to control the nation. Even the third-in-command of an entire province was a man who could easily change the direction of development of an entire province, affecting millions of lives at once.
The gated community was a development that sported many blocks of low-rise developments that sat on large pieces of land. The landscaping was incredibly well done, and the entire community looked almost like a garden in the middle of the city. One would even be greeted by the melodious chirp of birds each morning.
The 12th floor of Block 8 was where Mi Changqiu, the current Second Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Energy, had his residence. He was currently in his sixties, and he resided together with his son and daughter, who were both civil servants serving in the armed forces as well. Both his son and daughter already had a family each, but they still continued to live together under one roof to prevent their parents from feeling lonely.
It was currently 7.00 p.m. He had no other meetings to attend to in the evening, and he was thus home early from his work commitments. His wife, Zhu Lanyu had already prepared stewed chicken for the family’s dinner, and she promptly called everyone to the dining table for their dinner.
Mi Changqiu tapped on his phone as he slowly made his way to the dining table excitedly. His son, Mi Gaozhu, frowned at him, “Dad, how many times have I told you not to use your phone at the table? It’s going to give you indigestion. And your digestive system is already poor to begin with.”
“Got it.” Mi Changqiu enjoyed the occasional nagging borne out of concern. At 67 years of age, he felt incredibly blessed to be surrounded by his family, and he smiled radiantly and kindly. That said, anyone who knew how this old man was at work would know that he wasn’t someone to be messed with. At the very least, they would appreciate that Mi Changqiu was a man of incisive perception and decisiveness.
Just then, his cellphone suddenly rang.
Mi Changqiu frowned deeply. He had just picked up his chopsticks. As a high ranking government official, he had made it a point to set an unwritten rule that nobody was to call anyone else during mealtimes. After all, everyone was already busy enough during the day, and nobody wanted to be thinking about national affairs even during their mealtimes with their loved ones.
Thus, he was initially going to reject the call and continue with his meal, when he suddenly caught a glimpse of the name of the caller. At once, his hands trembled, and the chopsticks fell to the table. Without any hesitation, he grabbed the phone and answered the call.
And as soon as he did, a young voice spoke from the other end of the call, “Mr Mi, it’s been 30 years, hasn’t it?”
The entire table turned and stared at Mi Changqiu in surprise. The old man who was usually bubbly and jovial was actually quivering at the lips and holding his phone incredibly tightly.
“Who is this?” His daughter Mi Lan whispered in astonishment, “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen dad so excited. Could it be… a certain leader of the nation?”
Mi Gaozhu shook his head. It was just then that Mi Changqiu finally sighed softly, “I didn’t think you were still alive… After losing contact with you all this while, I’d thought that--...”
He choked up. It was at that moment that something occurred to Zhu Lanyu, and she, too, gasped in horror.
“You’re coming to Yan Capital? Good. I’ll have someone pick you up right away. It’s not too convenient for me to leave my post right now.”
“What?! Really?!! Are you absolutely certain?!”
Then, there was a protracted period of silence during which it was obvious the voice on the other end of the line was speaking. Mi Changqiu’s face flushed with joy, “Good. I’ll immediately send someone down… Tomorrow? That’s fine. It’s a little late to be making arrangements tonight anyway. Alright, I’ll take leave of absence from work tomorrow morning and await your arrival at home. Rest assured, nobody else will be here apart from my family. My son and daughter are around as well. You’ve seen them before…”
As soon as he was done with the call, Zhu Lanyu immediately asked with a quiver in her voice, “Mr Qin?”
“Yes.” Mi Changqiu gazed blankly at the ceiling, obviously overwhelmed by emotions, “It’s him… Thanks to him back then--...”
Zhu Lanyu’s eyes also turned red. At once, their sensible children patted her on the bank to console her, and she managed to explain herself, “Back then, during the cultural revolution, you were still a mere civil servant back then. Your leaders had sent us to the outskirts to support the border efforts. I wasn’t used to the climate, and even got bitten by a poisonous snake. Back then, we still had to care for Gaozhu and Little Lan. If not for his help at that time… we wouldn’t be living in such a nice place today…”
Mi Gaozhu desperately searched through his memories of the past, and then finally gasped in shock, “Uncle Qin?”
However, Mi Changqiu simply responded with a peculiar expression on his face, “Perhaps… if you’re even prepared to call him that right now…”
Mi Gaozhu: ???
“What’s he doing here in Yan Capital?” Zhu Lanyu collected herself and sighed with great emotion, “Back then, didn’t he say that he probably wouldn’t contact us unless something huge happened? Then, a few years ago, he asked old Zhang of Insignia Province to deliver a memorabilium to us to remember him by. Who would’ve thought there would be a day when we would see him again?”
“Perhaps… He’s looking for our help?” Mi Lan raised a brow in doubt. She knew how important her father was. Back then, when he first took on his ministerial role, numerous people who purported to be their relatives, including long-lost ones, suddenly started getting in touch with him, looking for help. This was also something that families of influence like theirs were the most afraid of.
“He did say that he had something he needed help with…” Mi Changqiu responded.
Mi Lan shrugged, “I’ve got a vague impression of him. He doesn’t seem like a bad person, and we do owe him a favor. If this is really something that we can help with, I’d be happy to look further into it.”
“You’re overthinking things.” Zhu Lanyu began to ladle out the soup on the table with a chuckle in her voice, “You can rest assured that the help that he’s seeking isn’t the kind that you’re thinking of right now.”
“That’s right…” Mi Changqiu smiled, “He’s not the same kind of person as us…”
Then, with a voice that was practically inaudible to anyone else but himself, he added, “In fact… I can’t even be sure whether he’s human or not…”
Finally, he turned to address everyone once more, “I’d like everyone to take leave of absence from your work tomorrow. Stay home, and don’t go anywhere else. Also, you’re strictly forbidden from disclosing any of your interactions with Mr Qin, including the fact that you’d even met him!”
The next day, 9.30 a.m. A black Audi was parked right outside the hotel where Qin Ye was staying. The police officer in charge of fetching Qin Ye gave him a curious look.
A teenager holding a dog… He looks fairly decent, but… does that alone justify Mr Mi’s orders to pick him up and escort him to their home? And in Mr Mi’s personal car no less? Also, what’s with the sword on his back? Why does he need to carry around a prop if he’s simply paying Mr Mi a visit?
What is this? Battle Through the Heavens?
Qin Ye and the police officer had some casual chatter along the way, and they even stopped by a service area for lunch. All in all, it took them a total of three hours to travel all the way into the Red Star Neighbourhood due to the traffic conditions of the roads in Yan Capital.
“Mr Qin, Mr Mi is upstairs. I trust there’s no need for me to accompany you to the door.” As the police officer took his leave and drove the car away, Qin Ye turned his attention to the luxurious apartment in front of him and sighed softly, “You reap what you sow. Had I not been so diligent in sowing these seeds back then, would I be reaping the benefits of my hard work now?”
Unable to restrain itself any longer, the Harken bit down hard on Qin Ye’s arm, causing him to jolt right back to his senses. The Harken rolled its eyes, “If you’re talking about your monthly wages of 3,000 RMB sustaining your life back in Eastsea City, and perhaps your past as a part-time boyfriend cum social escort, then I suppose you may as well also say that the rest of the world is also leading a rather blissful life.”
Qin Ye: “... What I’m trying to say here is that had I not crossed paths with these people in the past, my life would have been even worse than it is right now. Do you know what kind of terrible invention the identification card is?! It’s a good thing I’d sowed all those seeds back then…”
The Harken couldn’t resist the urge, “... So, you planted a seed that finally bore fruit. Today is a great day?” 
Qin Ye: Σ(⊙▽⊙!!! (TL: This was literally what the author wrote)
“No… How can this be! That’s not possible! This is absolutely unbelievable!”
Even the Harken couldn’t help but feel the corners of his lips twitching, “Last night, our neighbours were playing this all night at the community square for their line-dancing… They really didn’t hold back. This song is toxic!”
Meanwhile, Qin Ye noticed that the sword on his back was attracting a lot of unwanted attention. Thus, he promptly ignored the Harken, walked straight up to the apartment and rang the doorbell.
The door opened at once. Mi Changqiu and every bit of his bodyline of prosperity stood at the door, staring at Qin Ye with complex emotions undergirding the gaze in his eyes. Several moments later, he pulled Qin Ye into a fierce embrace.
“Come, come, come, please come in.” As soon as Qin Ye entered the apartment, Zhu Lanyu immediately ran over and shook Qin Ye’s hand with gratitude, “Mr Qin, back then… Thank you so much!”
“You’re welcome. It was all in a day’s work. Besides, it’s been so long.” Qin Ye smiled faintly, and then looked around the apartment, “Looks like you guys have been doing well for yourselves.”
“That’s right.” Mi Changqiu brought Qin Ye to the sofa, “If not for your help back then, we wouldn’t be here right now. By the way, this is Gaozhu, and this is Little Lan. You’ve met them back then.”
Qin Ye smiled and waved his hands.
However, he could see that Mi Gaozhu and Mi Lan were completely floored by his appearances.
They were completely floored.
The hazy recollection of Qin Ye in their minds had suddenly cleared up, and it matched exactly the appearances of the teenager in front of their eyes right now. But…
How does one explain looking exactly the same after several decades on end?!
What the hell is going on here?!
“You… you…” Mi Lan pointed at Qin Ye with a tremor in her voice. If not for the fact that this was a close friend of Mi Changqiu and Zhu Lanyu, they would probably already have exclaimed at the top of their voices by now.
Qin Ye nodded slightly, “You might not believe it, but I--...”
“How did you keep yourself so well-maintained?”
Qin Ye: ……
What a waste of my expression!
Mi Gaozhu promptly cut off his sister’s insipid question and frowned at his parents, “What in the world is going on here?”
“I didn’t tell you guys back then because I was afraid that you would shun him.” Mi Changqiu sighed, “The truth is that your Uncle Qin has already lived for over a hundred years. He doesn’t grow old, nor would he die.”
Mi Gaozhu and Mi Lan stared at Qin Ye, completely flabbergasted. Seconds later, they turned back to their parents, still wondering whether to believe them or not.
“I still don’t know whether to believe you or not…” Mi Lan sighed softly and slumped back into the sofa, “It’s almost as though my worldview built upon decades of exposure to science has been completely shattered in this instant. No wonder… No wonder…”
She turned back with a bitter expression on her face, “So I guess it was just the two of us who’d been kept in the dark all this while. Well, then… Uncle… Qin? Is that how we should address you?”
“You can just call me by my name.” Qin Ye sat down together with the rest of the Mi family and smiled genially, “Names are but names. I don’t really mind it too much. By the way, let me make a slight correction of the introduction that has been made. I’m not from the mortal realm.”
The Mi’s clearly knew far more than the average family. Mi Gaozhu was just pouring tea for everyone when he suddenly paused, and then asked cryptically, “I’ve heard of Emissaries of Hell taking up office here in the mortal realm before. Is that what you are?”
Qin Ye shook his head, “That’s just a city god. I’m an official Emissary of Hell. It’s been more than a hundred years since I’ve taken office, and the senior management of the Special Investigations Department should have some of my particulars in their records. Furthermore, I can personally confirm that the three strongest experts here in Cathay all know of my existence.”
If one were to say that the mention of the Special Investigations Department caused the family to raise their eyebrows, then the mention of the three strongest experts most certainly caused them all to shudder violently.
Just then, the dog in Qin Ye’s hands sneezed softly, and it rolled its eyes.
A hundred years?!
You sure know how to exaggerate!
“Mr Qin, this dog of yours--...?”
“It’s fine. It’s probably just a cold. There’s no need to be too concerned about it…”