Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 34: I’m trying to fuck you!
After thinking about it for a while, he still ended up with no results. Dong Zhi decided to send a message to Zhong Yuyi: [Old Zhong, do you know what hobbies Boss Long has?]
Zhong Yuyi quickly replied: [Slaying demons.]
Dong Zhi thought, ‘He doesn’t expect me to catch him a demon so he can slay it… right?’
He asked again: [Apart from this? For example, piano, chess, calligraphy, or painting? Mountain climbing or sword dancing? Square dancing*?]
*Clarity: Not American square dancing. It’s referring to a rhythmic dance performed spontaneously by residents in open spaces such as squares and courtyards for the purpose of fitness.
Zhong Yuyi seemed to be lost in his thoughts, and after a long time, he sent a reply: [Cooking.]
??? The male god that’s like a high-cold* flower actually likes to cook?! This is simply too contrasting.
*[Gao leng] (高冷) Internet buzzword used to describe someone who’s arrogant and cold.
Dong Zhi hurriedly asked: [Are you sure?]
Zhong Yuyi: [I think so. When I was still at the old building, no one was willing to deliver there, and the canteen happened to be on holiday. No one in our group cook so the boss personally cooked for us several times.]
Dong Zhi found the image of Long Shen’s busy figure standing in front of the stove with an apron on quite cute.
He asked Zhong Yuyi: [Then his food was delicious, right?]
Zhong Yuyi said honestly: [It was hard to eat.]
Dong Zhi: […Besides that, does he have any other hobbies?]
Zhong Yuyi: [I don’t think so.]
It seems that Zhong Yuyi and Long Shen didn’t know each other all that well either. But then again, except for someone who had ulterior motives like him, who would try to delve into getting to know their immediate boss better.
Dong Zhi wanted to gift him an antique sword, which would not only express his gratitude but also align with his feelings. Who knew that when he looked at their prices, he couldn’t afford even one if he were to sell himself?
He scratched his head and exhaled in distress and visited a forum for help. He typed in: [How to pursue a man?]
After thinking about it, he deleted it and changed it to: [How to pursue a man who’s powerful in all aspects?]
The forum was popular, so he had more than a dozen replies within a few minutes.
Some people said: [You have to be brave and confess. Maybe he was already interested in you a long time ago. This is called a two-way crush!]
This was impossible. Pass. Dong Zhi went to look at the next one.
Some people suggested drugging him and doing a forced entry*. This one is also a pass.
*Overlord hard on the bow (霸王硬上弓) Original meaning refers to someone who is domineering that has now extended in modern times to describe one party forcing/coercing another to have sex (AKA rape). || Don’t do this shit.
Some people replied, asking him to test him first and then wait for the opportunity to act. This wasn’t a bad suggestion and was along the lines of what he was thinking.
Among the dozens of replies, there were few that were reliable. Most of them were exaggerated and commented on casually. Dong Zhi was left speechless. He simply turned off the computer and went to his appointment when the time neared.
At close to 7, he arrived at the Forest Teahouse. The private room was booked in advance, and he texted Long Shen the room number earlier that morning. When he arrived, Long Shen was already there, and there was someone next to him. It turned out it was his rival, Liu Qingbo.
Dong Zhi was stunned for a moment. Before he could respond, Liu Qingbo smiled and said, “I ran into Boss Long just after a meeting. I have many questions to ask him. Do you mind if I join you? I’ll invite you to dinner another time to make this up.”
How could Dong Zhi reject this in front of Long Shen? He had to pretend to be gracious and said with a smile, “I don’t mind. Since you are here, let’s eat together. Do you have anything you can’t eat?”
Long Shen shook his head. “Feel free to order whatever.”
Liu Qingbo followed up with, “Same.”
Dong Zhi imagined a scene of wringing Liu Qingbo into a knot, then stuffing him into a sack, then stepping on it until he became a meat loaf. As he was thinking this, he handed a succulent to Long Shen. “I didn’t know what to get you and you probably won’t accept anything valuable. I remember that you had potted plants in your office, so I bought this small thing. The shopkeeper said it has a nice name, yulu.”
From the corner of his eyes, he could see Liu Qingbo seemingly raise his mouth slightly, as if he had an expression of disdain.
Long Shen said, “Thank you.”
Seeing that he did not refuse, Dong Zhi felt very happy. He picked up the menu and asked the waiter to order some dishes. While he ordered, Liu Qingbo started a conversation with Long Shen. With his family background, most of the topics they talked about were a combination of magic and swordsmanship. There were many mythical terms like, snake poison, bee poison, cowhide poison, money poison, mother and son poison*, and so on. Long Shen let Liu Qingbo talk incessantly, and occasionally would reply in a sentence or two.
*Clarity: It’s referring to gu. See the Wikipedia to learn about the different types.
Dong Zhi didn’t understand much, but judging from Liu Qingbo’s admiring expression, Long Shen’s few words gave him great inspiration. He didn’t interrupt them either so he listened silently until the waiter came back with their food, then he said, “Liu Shixiong, Boss Long has been in a lot of meetings these days and should be tired. Let him take a break and you can talk after we finish eating.”
Liu Qingbo looked at him for a while, then smiled brightly. “I was negligent, Boss Long. I’m really sorry. Let’s eat first.”
After a few spoonsful of food and three rounds of drinks, it was inevitable that small talk began again. Dong Zhi couldn’t interject into their topics and didn’t plan to, so they talked more comfortably. Dong Zhi recalled when he went karaokeing with He Yu and the others, he often watched Kan Chaosheng sing out of tune and was able to pick up his notions, which still remained vivid in his mind today.
Although Long Shen didn’t talk much, Dong Zhi observed that he did gradually relax and there was a bit of comfort between the corners of his eyes. Dong Zhi thought about He Yu’s complaints about their all-night meetings and couldn’t help feeling distressed for Long Shen. As a Deputy of a bureau, he had even more responsibilities to shoulder.
Liu Qingbo suddenly said, “Dong Shidi, I heard that you joined the Taoist circle not long ago. You have taken the exam so soon. Surely you must have a deep family background?”
Dong Zhi said, “My parents are ordinary people, and they have already passed away.”
Liu Qingbo looked surprised. “So, you must be very talented? I wonder what the results of your written exam?”
Dong Zhi was taken aback before saying, “It’s alright.”
Upon hearing this, Liu Qingbo became sure that Dong Zhi hadn’t done well. He continued to chase after the victory and said, “It doesn’t matter. I heard that many people have taken the exam several times before passing. If it doesn’t work out this time, you can always try again next year. It’s a pity that the opportunity to be an apprentice under Boss Long is not available every year.”
Dong Zhi smiled shyly.
Long Shen suddenly said, “What was your score?” He obviously was too busy to pay attention to the score announcement like He Yu. It didn’t matter, as someone would send him a transcript later anyway.
Dong Zhi said modestly, “This time I didn’t do too good. I only got 157 points.”
Liu Qingbo: …
He scored 130 points on the exam. He originally thought that this score was good, and he wanted to ridicule Dong Zhi while squashing his opponent’s desire to become Long Shen’s apprentice. Who knew that his opponent would drop a nuclear bomb at this very moment?
Dong Zhi continued his humble act. “But I think elder brother Liu is right. There are many capable people in the outside world who are much better. There’s no end to learning. Although my written test scores are acceptable, the interview still requires hard work.”
Dong Zhi was incomparably sincere in his words and had a face that looked harmless to humans and animals, so no one would suspect that he was showing off. Liu Qingbo gritted his teeth with anger upon hearing those words.
Long Shen was fond of this very much, and when he heard Dong Zhi’s words, he gave a nod of approval. Seeing Liu Qingbo’s expression like he was eating flies, Dong Zhi felt extremely happy.
The villain inside Liu Qingbo sneered, ‘Dong Zhi, you scheming bastard!’
Liu Qingbo asked, “Boss Long, will you be an interviewer for the interview this year?”
Dong Zhi pricked up his ears.
Long Shen was noncommittal. “Is this important?”
Liu Qingbo smiled and said, “Seeing you, no matter how nervous I am, I’ll be able to calm down.”
Dong Zhi: Kiss-ass!
Long Shen: “As long as you are well prepared, whoever is the interviewer is the same. Moreover, there will be more than one interviewer.”
Liu Qingbo nodded. “You’re right, but I heard that the interview elimination rate is quite high. No one was shortlisted last year. I wonder if it will be appropriately relaxed this year?”
Long Shen said, “The standards are always there. As long as you can pass the standards, you can be shortlisted, but even if you pass the interview, it’s still too early to be happy. There’s also the training exam later, which also has a high elimination rate.”
What Long Shen said was a circumlocution, as this was all the information they knew, but Liu Qingbo didn’t expect to ask anything from him. His goal was to become his apprentice. No matter how he acted now, the most important thing was to first build a good relationship with Long Shen and make him become aware of his existence.
After their meal, Long Shen had business to attend to, so he took leave first, leaving behind Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo to stare at each other with smiling faces.
Liu Qingbo was the first to speak, “Taoist friend, you’re actually very good to score 157 points on the test. Most likely, you’ve got first place for the written exam, right?”
He was referred to as shidi in front of Long Shen, but now he had become a Taoist friend instead.
Dong Zhi smiled innocently, “I just got a higher score in the written exam. For the interview, I’m sure I won’t do as well as Liu Shixiong.”
Liu Qingbo was furious as he thought, ‘This kid can sure pretend to be a big-tailed wolf* while acting all docile on the surface.’
*(大尾巴狼) Used as a ridicule for people who’s pretentious and likes to show off.
“It’s okay. If we have time another day, we’ll talk about it again and I’ll ask you for advice.” Liu Qingbo still maintained a graceful look on his face as he stretched out his hand to pat Dong Zhi’s shoulder, but Dong Zhi avoided it by getting up and grabbing the bill.
“Okay, elder brother Liu. Don’t forget that you still owe me dinner, so invite me another day!” Dong Zhi said with a smile and left first after taking care of the tab. He wasn’t interested in staying and pretending to say polite things to each other.
Moreover, he remembered that his rival’s mother was a descendant of the Hmong, who specialized in poison. Liu Qingbo’s conversation with Long Shen just now also proved this. He Yu had warned him that he could be poisoned unknowingly as there are secret channels of transmission, such as physical contact or through food, so there must be some sort of medium.
After Xu Wan’s incident, Dong Zhi had wised up and dared not be careless with strangers like Liu Qingbo, especially one who considered him a rival. Trying to avoid giving your opponent an opportunity would be the best scenario.
If He Yu was here, he would say with great comfort that Xiao Dongdong was getting more cautious.
Dong Zhi returned to the dorms and was about to open the door when he saw the door on the opposite side of his room open. Long Shen stood there beckoning to him.
“You, come in.”
Dong Zhi knew that Long Shen’s room was opposite of He Yu’s but given that he was always busy and even had a house in the city, he rarely ever returned to his dorm.
Dong Zhi felt confused and thought, ‘Isn’t this progressing too fast?! I haven’t even confessed yet and he wants me to go into his room?!’
He soon snapped out of his imagination and knew that he was thinking too much. Long Shen let him in and pointed to the yulu succulent that he had given him and asked, “How do you take care of it?”
Dong Zhi hurriedly said, “You don’t need to water it much. Avoid heat and too much moisture. Just place it where the sun can’t reach it.”
Succulents are very delicate. Ordinary people may not know how to take care of them. What’s more, with Long Shen’s constant workload, he probably didn’t have time to take care of it. If it were to die, wouldn’t this gift be considered unlucky? Could it be the symbolization of the fate of his love? Death before it even had a chance to sprout?
Pu, pu, pu. Children’s words have no taboos*!
*(童言无忌) Refers to children speaking honestly even if they make bad remarks. It’s also used to ridicule people who speak naively or ridiculously.
Dong Zhi set aside his messy thoughts and embarrassingly said, “I didn’t think much about it when I got it for you. I just thought that this yulu looked very beautiful, like a crystal, and perhaps you would feel better when you looked at it while working… If you can’t take care of it, I’ll get you something else. Anyway, it’s not expensive.”
Long Shen smiled and said, “No need. As long as you have the intention, that’s enough. No need to give gifts.”
Perhaps it was his smile that bewitched him, causing him to go out of character as Dong Zhi asked, “Boss Long, do you have any hobbies?”
Long Shen shook his head. “No.”
Keeping up his persistent effort, Dong Zhi continued, “Is there anything you like? Like collecting antique swords?”
Long Shen raised an eyebrow. “Why are you asking?”
Dong Zhi was tongue-tied as he couldn’t honestly answer.
Long Shen patted him on the shoulder. “Prepare for the interview and don’t think about anything else.” He then dismissed Dong Zhi.
Dong Zhi looked at Long Shen as he closed his door and wanted to step forward and slam open the door and shout, “You misunderstood! I’m not trying to bribe you! I’m trying to fuck you!”
Between the written exam and the interview, there wasn’t much time for the candidates to prepare. Once the results were announced, the interview would be set within a few days. The examination room was the same as the written exam except there were only 30 people who were shortlisted for the interview. The three rooms before were naturally reduced to one, and the interviews were arranged in random order. When their number was called, they would enter the room while the others wait outside.
When Dong Zhi got there, he was thrilled when he saw Ba Sang and Gu Meiren and went over to greet them. They were naturally happy to see him as well. Though they were competitors, they were more likely to become future colleagues. Even Gu Meiren’s cold face showed a trace of joy.
“Hu Shuo hasn’t come yet?” Seeing that he was missing, Dong Zhi naturally asked, as he was also an acquaintance.
Ba Sang said, “He sent a message and said that he did not pass the written exam and could only come back next year.”
Although it was expected, Dong Zhi still felt a bit regretful. He asked them for their contact information and added them to his friends list. The three had met by chance and didn’t form much of a friendship, but they were able to pass through the first part of the exam and were among the 30 people that were currently here, so there was some semblance of commodore, which had closed the distance between them.
Dong Zhi also caught sight of Liu Qingbo, but he quickly looked away as he wasn’t interested in greeting him.
Ba Sang said, “I heard that the interview questions over the years have been particularly tricky, and I’m really afraid that I won’t be able to answer them.”
After getting acquainted with them, Gu Meiren would speak more. “And everyone’s questions seem to be different. The examiners ask questions randomly, unlike written exams, which can be reviewed in a targeted manner.”
Hearing this, Dong Zhi felt ecstatic as he remembered the interesting interview questions that He Yu had told him about in previous years.
Ba Sang was perplexed. “What are you laughing at?”
Dong Zhi recounted to them the interesting stories. “It seems that last year, a koi spirit had finally cultivated into a human and came to the exam and entered the interview session. An interviewer said that it was strange for spirits to transform to humans, and it wasn’t something easy to do so he must’ve accumulated a lot of merits through his cultivation. He then asked will he keep doing good deeds now that he was human? The koi spirit said yes, and he took out his phone and clicked on a social media app and searched for all the Weibo posts that had forwarded koi* saying that he was spreading luck, and this was his contribution to the world.”
*Reminder: Koi is a symbol of wealth and luck, so it’s used by bloggers as a gimmick to gain forwarding volume. Many netizens hope to get some of this good luck and it eventually became a modern internet superstition.
Ba Sang burst out laughing, attracting the attention of everyone. He quickly lowered his voice, shook his shoulders, and said, “Then what?”
Although Gu Meiren tried her best to hide her expression, she couldn’t help but smile as well.
Dong Zhi continued, “He was scolded by the interviewer, but I heard that he performed well in other aspects, so he was admitted later.”
Ba Sang scratched his head. “I hope that when the time comes, they don’t ask why I can communicate with eagles, because I really can’t answer that.”
As they talked, the people in front of them went in one by one. Dong Zhi secretly paid attention and found that everyone that entered was in there on average for about 15 minutes. At this rate, it’ll soon be their turn.
When people went in, they either pretended to be calm or couldn’t conceal their nervousness. When they exited, they all had different expressions. Some were relaxed, some were happy, and others were sad or crying. From a glance, you could tell how well they did during the interview.
Liu Qingbo took about 20 minutes when he went in before he came out. He was the one who stayed the longest among the previous candidates so far. When he came out, he acted as if nothing had happened, but there was a small trace of a smile at the corner of his mouth, and he seemed relaxed and calm. Seeing this, Dong Zhi forced himself to calm down.
With the highest score for the written exam, he couldn’t possibly perform too badly in the interview.
“No. 12, Dong Zhi!”
When he heard his name called, Dong Zhi hurriedly got up and walked into the room. The ranking of the written test hasn’t been announced yet, but it seems that some people were already aware that he was ranked first as he gained a lot of attention when he got up to move.
The moment he stepped inside the room, the movement from outside seemed to be isolated suddenly. Dong Zhi surmised it must be an enchantment, similar to the training room on the rooftop. The classroom was empty with the exception of six examiners sitting on one side. One of them had a childlike appearance but looked like a big boss. There was also a middle-aged lady who had an elegant and noble demeanor. He couldn’t tell how old she was, but she looked to be in her forties or fifties.
Dong Zhi saw Long Shen as well as Wu Bingtian and another person that was next to him. Since both Deputy Directors were there, the other person must be Deputy Director Song Zhicun of Group Three, though he had never met Song Zhicun, so he didn’t know if his guess was correct.
Long Shen raised his head and glanced at Dong Zhi, showing no fluctuation in his expression, but for Dong Zhi, seeing the other made him completely relaxed. He bowed first and introduced himself as standard to most interviews. “Hello examiners. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to interview me. My name is Dong Zhi and I am a named disciple of Fang Yang, the late elder of the Hezao Sect.”
“But I heard that it’s only been more than two months since you joined the Hezao Sect. Actually, less than two months?” Wu Bingtian asked.
Dong Zhi noticed that there were hints of pit in his words, and he became more cautious. “Yes. Although I have not practiced in this world for long, my enthusiasm for the Special Administration Bureau is not inferior to any other candidates.”
Long Shen flashed a smile in his eyes upon hearing his answer.
“Well, let’s talk about something else, like the difference between a hundred-year-old zombie and a thousand-year-old zombie.” The other man said, casually.
Dong Zhi heard from Kan Chaosheng that among the three Deputy Directors, Song Zhicun was the most assuming and his voice was extremely rough. As soon as the person spoke, it most assuredly confirmed his identity. After hearing his question, Dong Zhi was overjoyed as he had studied this before!
The last time he came out of the written exam, he heard other candidates complaining about the difficulty of the test questions and mentioned something about hundred-year-old zombies. After returning, he checked on the information but didn’t expect that it would be coincidentally asked here.
He spoke eloquently and said what he remembered and ended his sentence politely. “This is what I have researched, but since I have never seen them with my own eyes, it may not be accurate. Please correct me if I’m wrong, examiners.”
Song Zhicun nodded while not saying anything and looked at the others, indicating he had nothing more to ask.
The middle-aged man that Dong Zhi didn’t recognize asked, “If a very cute child that you know is being held hostage by a demon and his body is very likely to have been corrupted, what would you do?”
Long Shen suddenly said, “This is a consultant in the bureau, Taoist Master Li Rui.”
Dong Zhi hurriedly said, “Hello, Taoist Master Li. I would try to save that child first!”
Li Rui frowned slightly. “You only have one chance, so pay attention to my question. I said that he’s likely to have been corrupted by demons.”
His tendency was about to come out. Dong Zhi thought for a bit and replied, “But he’s also very likely to be safe and sound. I will weigh it based on the situation at the time. I’ll try first if I can rescue him. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll make the next move.”
Li Rui said coldly, “Those who practice cultivation must know how to judge the situation. Cut the grass to remove the roots* is not a last resort, but the best strategy. If you are too soft-hearted, you will only bring harm to yourself and others.”
*(斩草除根) Metaphor referring to remove the root of evil to avoid future problems.
Dong Zhi tried his best to make his voice sound sincere. “Taoist Master Li misunderstood. I didn’t say that I couldn’t get rid of the roots, but I want to save people before destroying the enemy. In my view, the Special Administration Bureau is more like a doctor than a policeman. Helping the poor, punishing evil, and promoting good is their duty. Isn’t our original intention to join the Bureau precisely to make this world more peaceful? If, under the circumstances at that time, the child has been corrupted and is unable to return to heaven, in order to protect more innocent people from being implicated, I would certainly not hesitate.”
Li Rui shook his head. “The Special Administration Bureau is different from the police. Of course, the police have to do their best to protect hostages, but kidnappers can only harm the hostages at best, while demons can harm the world. How do you know that when you’re sure that you need to use the next strategy, it will be too late by then? Could it be to satisfy your conscience alone, you’re willing to put the lives of other people and creatures at risk?”
Dong Zhi asked, “What Taoist Master Li mean is even if there’s a 90% chance that the hostage could be rescued, I should still act?”
Li Rui: “Even if there’s a 99% possibility, you should do it! Compared to tens of millions, how can one human life be worth it?”
Dong Zhi said again, “What if the hostage is not a child but a doctor who has saved countless people and may save more people in the future?”
The others didn’t expect that Dong Zhi, who looked harmless, would counter such a sharp argument with Li Rui. Long Shen wanted to cut the topic off, but when he thought about it, he dispelled the idea.
Li Rui’s face was completely cold. “I’m the one interviewing you, not you me!”
Dong Zhi sighed, bowed, and said respectfully, “Taoist Master Li, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to cause trouble for you. What is the importance of one life compared to a hundred? This, in and of itself, has been a controversial topic through the ages. You were right to criticize me just now. I have just become a cultivator, and I’m indeed not very adapted to this identity, so I’m sorry I cannot answer your question accurately, because the truth of the matter is, when such an event arises, the situation will always be different. I can only say that this is what people of my generation should do. To be more compassionate as this is in line with what it means to call upon heavenly lightning.”
The female examiner with the elegant demeanor clapped her hands, and her applause rang loud and clear in the empty room.
Clap, clap, clap!
“Your statement just now is very good and enough to become the motto of all of us here.” The lady smiled. With her words, Li Rui’s expression remained bitter, but he no longer made any further comments. Dong Zhi realized that this lady must be higher up than him.
“Thank you!” He breathed a sigh of relief, not knowing how to address her.
Long Shen seemed to see his hesitation, and interjected. “This is Elder Zong Ling, who’s also a consultant in the Bureau.”
To be called an Elder, the other party’s age was not as young as she looks. After all, even Li Rui, who looked older than she, wasn’t referred to as an elder when introduced.
Dong Zhi quickly accepted her compliment. “Thank you, Master Zong!”
Zong Ling nodded to him with a smile.
Long Shen said, “Since you are from a traditional family, draw a talisman that you are best at.”
There was ready-made yellow paper and prepared cinnabar next to him. Dong Zhi walked to the table, held his breath, and drew a Sunlight Talisman. He did not choose to draw the Five Thunder Talisman as it was more difficult and had a lower success rate. He had already argued with one examiner just now, so it was better to not take any more risks.
The runes he drew were done in one go, and the results were pretty good. To consider it a success, it had to be done properly on the spot. From his opinion, Dong Zhi would give himself a score of 85. Of course, the requirements for the big wigs would be more stringent. The silver-haired, childlike old man spoke first, “Barely passable.”
Well, barely passable does mean passable.
Dong Zhi looked at Long Shen, who happened to cast his gaze at him. As their eyes met, Dong Zhi saw a slight smile on his face that was imperceptible. There were no traces on his face, but Dong Zhi knew he saw it.
His originally uneasy feelings due to his debate just now were completely erased, and his feelings of regret had disappeared without a trace. Dong Zhi felt that had he answered the question smoothly, he might not have been able to get this look from Long Shen and the praise from Elder Zong.
Even if he didn’t pass this time, as long as he could get that kind of reaction from the male god, he could die without regrets!
Ahhhhhhhhh, he can’t die yet. He hasn’t had time to soak it all up yet, so he won’t be able to die in peace!
The author has something to say:
Still a long ways to go. Will there still be kisses and hugs? (～￣▽￣)～
Well, someone is certainly getting fucked, but I’m not sure Dong Zhi knows who that is just yet.