Chapter 77: Insignia Province's Gathering of Geniuses

“Hurhur.” Zhou Xianlong gave a classic curt response. 

“You didn’t ask him what his profession was?” Governor Gao lowered his head and asked softly. Even though Governor Gao didn’t play League of Legends, he could tell from the atmosphere of the plaza that something was wrong. On the other hand, it was obvious that Mayor Zhao was forcibly suppressing a smile from his face. Even his shoulders were somewhat trembling.

“Pfft…” He let out a little chuckle from his mouth. Then, as soon as he heard Governor Gao’s comments, he quickly adjusted his expressions and coughed dryly, “Chief, I’d never expected something like this… I’m not sure of the exact details, but I know that Mr Liu Qing was the one in charge of the coordination at all material times.”

Liu Qing, who was seated in the audience, “......”

How could he have known?!

He hadn’t thought to clarify such details back then. After all, shouldn’t it suffice that his profession wasn’t scary or repulsive in any way? Who could’ve expected such an incredulous situation?!

The members of the live audience were caught in an incredibly awkward situation, while the citizens watching from the comfort of their own homes were exploding with jubilation. Just then, a man in black suit rushed to the stage and whispered softly in Zhou Xianlong’s ears, “Chief… please continue with the order of matters if possible.”

“After checking on a sample size of twelve surveillance monitors, we’ve discovered that the response is… surprisingly good.”

“How is that possible?!” Zhou Xianlong barked hoarsely as he turned around abruptly and glared at the man in black suit, “He should be of the lineage of invokers. The manifestation of a god’s presence is what changes his appearance. But what god is this?”

“Chief… even though it’s unbelievable, our surveillance shows a fair bit of cheering and applause, especially from the young men and women around. Furthermore… the heavy atmosphere from before has been somewhat alleviated…”

Zhou Xianlong took a few deep breaths to regulate his emotions. And then, he turned back to the cameras and the screen, “Everyone, this was a little joke. Alright, we’ll now continue with our second order of business.”

Simultaneously, he turned his head slightly and glared at Qin Ye - Are you still not going to take your leave?!

There was in fact a deeper, more profound purpose for having Qin Ye demonstrate his abilities, and that was the establishment of the Academy of Cultivators and the enrollment of students naturally meant that there was a need to instill a role model in the minds of these prospective students. The effect of witnessing a demonstration from a young person would leave far more of an impression in this regard than if one of the old fogeys had displayed their abilities.

Truth be told, Qin Ye did leave an impression. However, the effect of this impression was far from what they had desired.

Qin Ye wanted so much to bury his face in the ground and flee from reality. 

This was undoubtedly the most shameful moment in his entire life!

It was the kind of embarrassment that would cause a person to hide under the blankets at home and scream at the top of his lungs whenever he thought about it!

“Arthis Minithel! You’d better have a good explanation for what went on out there!” Qin Ye didn’t return to his seat immediately. Instead, he ran off to a washroom not far away, pulled out the soul sphere and barked at it through gritted teeth.

The fact that he was calling on the full name of Prince of Lordaeron clearly evinced the extent of his fury.

“How would I know?!” Arthis also revealed a bewildered expression, “Logically speaking, as long as the conception in your mind isn’t too far removed from reality, it would most certainly adopt the image in your mind! What were you thinking of at the point of transformation?”

Qin Ye was suddenly silent. He simply stared at the soul sphere in fury.

When he was transforming earlier, the image that he had in mind was the monkey god, Sun Wukong.

Courageous, resourceful, and unrelenting.

But the transformation that he got turned out to be Teemo…

Wimpy, focused on survival, and sneaking about, scattering mushrooms as he watched his teammates duke it out with the other team from afar…

It was as though life had just given him a sudden slap on the face…

“Don’t you worry… I’m never wearing this uniform in front of others ever again - even if I die!” Seconds later, he gnashed his teeth and supplemented his earlier declaration, “At least not until I get promoted to the Anitya Hellguard rank!

After taking several minutes to regulate his mood and adjust his expression, he finally returned to his seat, only to discover that the conference had already been adjourned.

To be precise, the panel of important people were still seated at the main stage. An entire city was going to be razed and rebuilt, and millions of citizens would have to be pacified, relocated and resettled. Naturally, there was a good deal of administrative loose ends to tie up. Even though plans had been made some time ago, Zhou Xianlong would still need several hours to finish reading everything that they had prepared.

That said, the live audience was exempted from staying for the details.

However, just as Qin Ye made it to his car, a voice suddenly called out to him.

“Mr Qin.” The person who called out to him was a man in his thirties who appeared to be a secretary of sorts. He smiled politely, “I’m the personal assistant to Deputy Attorney General Zhang Baoguo. My boss has invited you to have lunch together if you’re available.”

“I’m recuperating from my wounds.” Qin Ye’s expression was somber, “Tell Mr Zhang that I’ll visit him once I recover.”

How could he bear to face the world right now?

If he went out in public right now, there’s no doubt that everyone would be pointing at him and exclaiming, “Look, that’s Teemo!” “Oh, that’s him alright. It’s the godlike cosplay of Teemo. Do you want his autograph?”

He felt bitter no matter how he looked or thought about it.

“... I’ve noticed that you look somewhat downcast. Shall I tell you some good news instead?” Arthis’ voice cut through his train of thoughts. For some strange reason, Qin Ye found her voice to be unusually chirpy and cheerful.

“... Speak.”

The smile on Arthis’ face faded away, “I’ve thought for some time. The Yin energy from before doesn’t belong to something that’s alive.”

Qin Ye forced himself to turn his attention away from the Teemos that were jumping and bouncing around in his mind. He muttered, “I’d guessed as much… But the terror I felt earlier was undeniable.”

The thought of it made his eyelids twitch. He whispered, “Ghosts possess an insatiable thirst for blood and flesh. If that entity were a ghost, the City of Salvation would already be devoid of any living creatures by now.”

“But what exactly is it, then? The City of Salvation… are we missing something here?”

Just then, a voice called out to him, “Mr Qin.”

It was Su Feng’s voice.

“These are the arrangements pertaining to the Academy of Cultivators. The month-long training for teachers will commence in one week’s time. In other words, we still have a week remaining.”

“What do you mean?” Qin Ye furrowed his brows. Su Feng’s words were too abrupt and enigmatic.

Su Feng propped up his glasses and whispered in a hush tone of voice, “Have you already forgotten your… anomalous behaviour earlier?”

Qin Ye’s gaze flickered, “Right now?”

“Come with me.”  Su Feng nodded.

They didn’t board the transport that had been arranged for them. Instead, they hailed a taxi and went straight to a restaurant.

It was an ordinary restaurant. The decor was alright, and the rooms were somewhat elegant. That said, the downside was that the food didn’t seem spectacular.

Su Feng reported the elegant name of a room to the front desk, and both of them walked over. Then, as soon as they opened the door, an enthused voice echoed, “Hey, Teemo.”

Can I give you a flying kick?!

Fury burgeoned in his heart. As rage manifested, Qin Ye gritted his teeth, “Are you picking a fight?”

There was a round table for eight in the center of the room. Three people sat around it. The one who had spoken was the 1.9 meter tall young man seated in the center. Incidentally, the twenty-six or twenty-seven years old young man was the type that Qin Ye hated the most.

Handsome.

Very handsome.

He wasn’t of the innocent-looking type either. Rather, he appeared more ferocious, like a cheetah. He was well-built and fit, with deep, abstruse eyes and impeccably sharp eyebrows, and he was wearing his full camouflage uniform replete with military boots. Furthermore… the level of true energy emanating from his body was not far off from the level of Qin Ye’s energy.

There was a bald plump man to the left of the young man. He, too, was wearing his camouflage uniform. A white rat perched on his shoulder as he puffed on his cigarette and played games on his phone.

A short-haired lady sat to the right of the young man. She was also approximately twenty-six or twenty-seven years old. Her eyebrows looked stern and incisive. She wore a beige windbreaker over her white woolen sweater, and she toyed with her silver daggers as she raised her eyebrows at Qin Ye.

“Why would I dare to pick a fight against an expert who’s conquered nine hunting zones in just one night?” The young man raised his eyebrows and continued enigmatically, “Big brother here only wanted to ask…”

“What level are you now?”

Qin Ye fervently repressed the urge to send the young man to the underworld with a barrage of swift, deadly kicks. I don’t think I can cross that hurdle, can I?

Dang! Five silver daggers struck the table at the same time before the young man could even finish speaking. The lady raised glared at the young man menacingly, “Bloody hell, Lin Han, are you trying to ruin my day?”

“What’s the matter? Got something to say? Wanna take this outside? Whoever loses will call the other ‘daddy’.” The young man glared back and sneered.

Swish… The air in the room tensed up. Qin Ye noticed that the five daggers on the table all had ring-shaped hilts, and a single thread was tied to the hilt of each dagger. Without shifting her gaze, the short-haired lady flicked her fingers gently, and the five daggers immediately rose into the air and shot towards the young man’s throat like a viper soaring through the air.

“I’m just saying! Do you have to go so far?!” “Enough!”

The earlier statement was from Lin Han; while the latter was from Su Feng.

The short-haired lady snorted as she kept her daggers underneath her windbreaker. Then, she looked back to Qin Ye.

“Professor Qin…” She dragged out her words meaningfully, “School’s starting. I look forward to your kind guidance.”

“This is Li Runxue, and that plump man is Zhuo Qinfen. You can ignore that crazy lady.” Su Feng beckoned Qin Ye to take a seat, “She was the first and only S-class agent before you came along. It’s normal that her heart’s in a mess right now.”

“There’s no mess.” Li Runxue looked at her pristine-looking hands, “It’s just that I haven’t approved of you.”

“I never believe anything that I haven’t personally witnessed.”

Qin Ye sized up each and every one of the other persons within the room.

Everyone in this room were Hunter-class experts!

Now that everything had settled down, Su Feng coughed lightly and began speaking, “All of the Hunter-class experts within Insignia Province that are under the age of thirty are present in this room. Furthermore, all of us are S-class agents. Mr Qin, this isn’t to be taken lightly. The number of S-class agents… are few and far between. Let’s make some formal introductions. I’m Su Feng, and I’m from a family of linkers.”

Li Runxue’s lips moved, “Li Runxue. No profession.”

The plump man finally set down his phone, “Zhuo Qinfen. I also don’t have a particular profession. I’ve been at the Special Investigations Department ever since I was born. I guess you can say in some ways that I’m simply following in my father’s footsteps.”

Lin Han smiled, “Executioner. You can say it’s a family business as well.”

“Qin Ye. No profession.” Qin Ye raised his teacup and smiled, “Mr Su, I thought this incident was going to be something between us.”

Su Feng smiled and responded, “Before officially joining the Special Investigations Department, there was in fact another boot camp which culminated with the selection process. Back then, we were all part of the same group, and we also happened to be the only group that qualified as a whole. They’re all absolutely trustworthy people. Besides, I’m afraid that the matter is going to be far more difficult if we keep it to just the two of us.”

“Get to the point.” Lin Han interjected. His patience was wearing thin.

Su Feng nodded and glanced meaningfully at the surroundings. Displaying his tacit understanding, Zhuo Qinfen immediately stood up and shut all of the windows around. It was only then that Su Feng drew a deep breath and pulled out a piece of paper.

“The four of us have all been assigned different postings and tasks. Lin Han and I are at the Institute of Anomalous Sciences. Just one week ago, we received a particular drawing.”

He didn’t immediately open up the carefully folded paper in front of him. Instead, he continued to explain in a deep voice, “That drawing was in fact the blueprint of a particular building. Blueprints like these would generally be sent to us for our review before forwarding them to the relevant authorities for submission. However… my supervisor withheld this blueprint.”

“Incidentally, I’m the right-hand man of my supervisor, and I’ve had the privilege of taking a few looks at the blueprint. According to our regulations, there are two main reasons for withholding the blueprints.”

He held up his finger, “Firstly, it doesn’t comply with regulations and failed the review. Rejected.”

“Secondly…” He glanced around and lowered his volume to a whisper, “The blueprint pertains to something so important that it has to be discussed and reviewed again.”

“I’d noticed that the blueprint looked incredibly peculiar, so I made a copy of the drawing itself. And it was only at that time that I realized… that this was in fact the blueprint of the First Academy of Cultivators!”

He unraveled the piece of paper on the table. Qin Ye took a look, and his gaze immediately trembled.

“This… is the main building of the First Academy of Cultivators?”

It wasn’t that he was in disbelief. Rather… the beams of the building were to be constructed entirely out of bones!

The building was designed with an ancient cathayan style, and the bone-beams were incredibly thick and large. That said, it wasn’t clear just what type of bones would be used. The entire building was supposed to be seven-storeys high, but that fact itself was hardly obvious from the external facade of the building! The slightly raised eaves of the building were exceptionally beautiful and tastefully done. But for some strange reason, looking at the design of the building itself gave Qin Ye chills in his heart.

“This is…” Just then, a soft voice rang out, “The Seven Star Soul Suppressing Pagoda?!”

“The mortal realm is going to build the Seven Star Soul Suppressing Pagoda in the City of Salvation? What are they trying to suppress? Or are they already aware that something is amiss with this place? What extravagance!”

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