Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 44: His skin is thicker than a pig’s!
Long Shen stopped.
Dong Zhi panted. “Boss Long, I have a question I want to ask!”
Long Shen motioned for him to continue.
Dong Zhi asked, “Are the ordinary people we met in the simulation training real?”
Long Shen: “Naturally they are fake.”
Dong Zhi: “But their reactions were very realistic. How is this done?”
He was extremely curious about this. During the crisis, the ordinary people he met in the mall had different reactions, and they all perfectly mimicked the aspect of human nature. They had children who held grudges because they didn’t understand the situation, as well as middle-aged women who were aware of the current situation. If these are all false, just how powerful is the programming of this system?
Long Shen said, “There are various characters in the database that provide different reactions based on their personalities. The training simulation randomly selects from the database and combines various aspects, like personality, together, so you end up with a wide range of humanlike NPCs. These personalities were in fact extracted from real personalities and reactions.”
Dong Zhi: “So we didn’t actually eat any of the food that I recovered from the supermarket?”
Long Shen nodded. “You only had the feeling of fullness due to the psychological trigger given to you by the illusion. This simulation training combines modern technology with a mix of arrays and enchantments in order to expand space and time infinitely. It’s somewhat similar to the training ground on the rooftop of the Special Administration building, except for the added enemies and passersby.”
How awesome. Before, Dong Zhi had thought that the only way to subdue demons was to attack them with a peach wood sword*. Now it seems that he was too naïve. These days, to fend off demons, you’ll need to keep pace with the times and combine science as well.
*(桃木剑) Taoist sword considered to have the function of warding off evil spirits and attracting fortune. It’s made from peach wood, which is generally believed to have the essence of the five woods, which is why it’s effective at warding off evil.
“Do you think the same as what Boss Wu said? By that I mean, do you have any other suggestions?”
Though exhausted, he felt invigorated by this experience. When he came back from the edge of death, his adrenaline was still fully intact. Just now, the feeling of being up against a hundred zombies was still there, and Dong Zhi still felt the exhilaration in his heart.
The Special Administration Bureau took the initiative to expose their shortcomings in the beginning, not only to give everyone a dose of reality but also to let them learn a painful lesson, as Wu Bingtian said.
Hearing this, Long Shen frowned slightly as he showed a thoughtful expression, which made Dong Zhi’s heartbeat accelerate.
What will he say? Maybe he’ll say that he had bad judgement and couldn’t distinguish between light and heavy, and that he should have rendezvous like Li Ying suggested and find the army. Or perhaps he would say he was still too weak?
Boss Wu was right. If the training hadn’t ended in time, most likely there would be two more on the death list, him and Gu Meiren. As soon as he died, Gu Meiren would not be able to protect the group of ordinary people. Although she could fight against ordinary zombies, she couldn’t deal with the second-level evolution ones.
After pondering for a moment, Long Shen said, “If I were you, I would do the same as what you did.”
Dong Zhi was shocked as he didn’t expect to get such a high evaluation from the mouth of someone as strict as Long Shen.
Long Shen said, “What you need most now is to rest and continue practicing.”
Dong Zhi’s heart rose as he felt a strong sense of accomplishment. It was like he had worked extremely hard on his homework and was acknowledged by the teacher.
“Thank you for your affirmation.”
He wanted to say more, but suddenly everything around him turned dark. Long Shen naturally caught his body as he fell softly forward. Dong Zhi’s complexion was blue and black all over, obviously signs of heavy fatigue and hunger.
When Long Shen was watching his performance in the simulation, although he was not the only one he watched, his performance from the moment he entered the practice world and his ability to persist until the end was quite remarkable. Though he may not be the strongest among the candidates there, he was one of the best performers.
Being able to protect yourself shows that you’re an excellent practitioner. Being able to protect ordinary people and fulfill that duty is their job as a member of the Special Administration Bureau.
Long Shen wanted to call someone to send him back, but after thinking about it, he felt that the weight in his arms wasn’t light. Everyone must be worn out from the excursion just now and probably didn’t have the strength, so he carried Dong Zhi himself and started to walk in the direction of the dormitory.
Dong Zhi was probably completely exhausted as he lay motionless on his back, breathing softly, and there was no indication that he would wake up. When Long Shen reached the door to Dong Zhi’s room, he suddenly encountered a problem. He didn’t know where Dong Zhi had put the key to his room, and with him carrying Dong Zhi on his back, he couldn’t search for it himself.
Long Shen paused, then went to open the door to his dorm room and put Dong Zhi on his bed. He didn’t control his strength well when he let go, but that didn’t rouse Dong Zhi from his sleep at all. Dong Zhi was still sleeping soundly, and even an earthquake probably wouldn’t wake him.
It was broad daylight now. After Long Shen put him down, he went back to the office to continue his work. After a busy morning, at around noon, Long Shen remembered that there was another person in his dorm, and that person hadn’t eaten for an entire day and night. He might be hungry enough that it could wake him, so Deputy Director Long decided to be merciful and ordered takeout and brought it back to his dorm.
When he returned, Dong Zhi was still sleeping. The air conditioner was turned on and the curtains were drawn, not allowing a single trace of light to enter. The bed was large, making it an entirely suitable environment for resting and sleeping.
Long Shen felt as if he had overlooked something. After thinking about it for a long time, he finally recalled it. He had set the a/c to 22 degrees. Dong Zhi was wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt and jeans. He had tossed and turned a bit while sleeping, and his T-shirt had rolled up to reveal his stomach, causing him to curl up slightly on his side.
Perhaps he’s cold?
Long Shen found a blanket and covered him. The warmth from the fluffy blanket made Dong Zhi involuntarily grip it tighter, causing the blanket to wrinkle as he hugged it into a tight ball.
Long Shen put the takeout in the living room and came in again. Seeing this scene, he couldn’t help but frown. He stepped forward to pull the blanket out, then wrapped it around Dong Zhi’s, covering him from his neck down to his feet tightly.
Looking at the “zongzi*” on the bed, Long Shen finally left, feeling satisfied.
*Chinese rice dish made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings wrapped in bamboo leaves.
Dong Zhi generally doesn’t dream much when he sleeps. His sleep quality has always been good, but he would sometimes dream of what was on his mind that day. When he was a child, he went swimming every day for a while, but every night that he was lying in bed, he always felt the rippling of water, and sometimes he would even dream that he was struggling in it.
Now he felt that feeling again. In his dream, there were zombies coming in all directions. He raised his head to look around and found that he was on his own. The Qingzhu Sword in his hand was so heavy that he couldn’t lift it up, but without it, he couldn’t vanquish the zombies. Suddenly, he was rushed up and hugged by the zombies, overwhelming him like a stacking arhat*. Despite his desperate struggle, Dong Zhi couldn’t get free. He sweat profusely until he abruptly opened his eyes!
*Gymnastic formation using only human bodies without instruments.
He blinked, then blinked again. He was covered in sweat and his hands and feet seemed to be bound. Looking around, he couldn’t help but laugh. It turned out that he was wrapped in a blanket like a silkworm cocoon, so it’s no wonder why he had that dream.
He twisted his body vigorously, trying to free his hand, when he suddenly let out an inaudible sound. It didn’t seem like he was in his dorm. He raised his head and looked around, then frowned. It wasn’t until he got up and saw the yulu plant on the table that he finally confirmed that he was in Long Shen’s dorm.
His well-rested brain worked quickly, trying to recollect the previous events of yesterday. He had ran out of the classroom abruptly to chase Long Shen to ask him questions, then later…
Most likely, he had fainted from exhaustion and was carried by the male god here. This seems to be a blessing in disguise.
He saw takeout on the table with a note next to it. Opening the container, inside was char siu pork, white chopped chicken, and rice.
The note reads: [Heat it up.]
In this moment, Dong Zhi didn’t know how to describe his mood. He looked at the vibrant yulu on the table and suddenly sighed as he gently touched the fat and lovely leaves of the plant with his fingers.
“Boss Long is too good. Do you think I can really catch him?”
“He doesn’t even have a girlfriend. If we just skip directly to a boyfriend, will that scare him?”
“In his eyes, I should be a candidate to be his apprentice. If I confess, will he kick me out of the Special Administration Bureau? Would it be safer to wait until after the training exam is over?”
“That’s right, I have to rely on my strength to get through the exam in a dignified manner. I can’t let him think that I just want to hold onto his thighs or take the opportunity and take advantage of it.”
“But then again, he took care of you so well, which shows that he’s not disgusted with the gift itself. This should mean he has a good impression of the person who gave the gift, right? If I can gain his favorability again, maybe he’ll understand.”
As he talked to the yulu, he realized how idiotic his behavior was, so he got up and went to heat up his meal. In light of yesterday’s sudden training, they were given a day off today and will resume class tomorrow. After eating, Dong Zhi checked the time. It was about lunch break now, so he went to Long Shen’s office.
When he walked to the door, he saw that it was closed and was about to raise his hand to knock when he heard a strange sound coming from inside.
“What a beauty. Come, come, let me take a closer look!”
It seemed to be Zhong Yuyi’s voice, but it didn’t look like that was something he would say. It was as if someone was talking through him.
Dong Zhi hesitated about whether he should just open the door and go in when he suddenly heard a violent shout from inside.
“Who’s outside the door! You sneak, behaving like a villain!”
Taken aback, he hurriedly opened the door and said, “Boss Long, it’s me…”
The sound he heard disappeared automatically, and Dong Zhi was stunned when he looked at the scene in front of him. Zhong Yuyi had one foot on Long Shen’s chair and the other on the table, posing in a heroic posture while holding Long Shen’s face with both hands.
The distance between their face, as Dong Zhi swears by, was no more than five centimeters!
Seeing him come in, the two of them glance at him together, as if they were silently condemning him as an uninvited guest.
Long Shen asked him, “What’s the matter?” He didn’t scold Zhong Yuyi’s behavior, let alone push him away.
Dong Zhi finally found his voice and said, with great difficulty, “Nothing. I just came here to thank you.”
Who knew that suddenly Zhong Yuyi pushed Long Shen away and leapt to Dong Zhi’s side and pinched his chin.
“The eyes are pure, and the skin is fair, and the hands and feet are slender to boot. What a beauty! He can be painted!”
Dong Zhi: ???
At this moment, Zhong Yuyi seemed entirely like a different person from the Zhong Yuyi he usually knows. His eyes were sharp, and his movements were even more amazing. Dong Zhi wanted to retreat, but he couldn’t shrug off Zhong Yuyi.
Holding Zhong Yuyi’s wrist with one hand and gently moved it away, Long Shen stood in front of Dong Zhi and said to Zhong Yuyi, “The younger generation doesn’t know Huanhou’s* identity, so it’s impolite to bother him like this.”
*(桓侯) Refers to titles of praise or derogation given to people of high status after death. It’s also the title given to this character, which will be explained in a bit.
Zhong Yuyi chuckled. “How overprotective. Is this your son? No, you two don’t look alike! Perhaps your younger brother? Nephew? Or maybe the joy of a cut sleeve*?”
*(断袖) In ancient times referred to homosexuals/homosexuality between men.
Long Shen: …
Dong Zhi looked at Long Shen’s attitude towards Zhong Yuyi and didn’t say anything but kept looking at Zhong Yuyi curiously.
Long Shen said, “Elder, it’s getting late. It’s time to go.”
Zhong Yuyi shook his head. “I don’t want to go. It’s rare to return to this world. I’ve heard the sound of the world of mortals and seen fireworks on all sides. Why rush to leave so soon?”
Long Shen stretched out his hand and brushed Zhong Yuyi’s forehead. Zhong Yuyi wasn’t slow to react and wanted to avoid it, but Long Shen was faster than him and managed to touch his forehead. Suddenly, Zhong Yuyi slowly closed his eyes and fell back.
Long Shen grabbed him by the collar and dragged him directly onto the sofa, throwing him there. His actions weren’t rough, but they were enough for Dong Zhi, who witnessed the whole thing, to think. ‘After I fainted yesterday, was I dragged to the dorm like this?’
“Is he okay?” Dong Zhi asked.
Long Shen shook his head. “He is going to teach the class tomorrow for the first time, so he’s nervous. Come and let me take a look.”
Dong Zhi remembered that when Kan Chaosheng introduced Zhong Yuyi’s identity, he said that the other party was an oracle. When Dong Zhi went back, he checked up on what an oracle was. Comparing the symptoms of how Zhong Yuyi was acting just now, he suddenly came to a realization. “Did he invite a God to enter his body?”
Long Shen snorted, “To be more precise, it’s a ghost. A ghost is the sustenance of a remnant soul between heaven and earth. It may be a ray of consciousness or a memory. After the death of some people, they are still worshipped with incense, which allows them to last for a long time and retain the power of faith. Through this, it can maintain the ghost, and it is these ghosts that the oracle invites.”
Dong Zhi understood. “Then just now…”
Long Shen: “Zhang Fei*.”
*Military general under the warlord Liu Bei and a major character in the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. He was assassinated by his subordinates and was posthumously granted the title Huanhou. You can read more about him in the Wikipedia.
Zhang Fei, later known as Huanhou, was brave and good at fighting. He was best known for sleeping without closing his eyes, but most people didn’t know that he was also good at drawing pictures of beauties.
In other words, what he saw just now was Zhang Fei, a fierce general from the Three Kingdoms Era? Zhang Fei, who forged a three-way friendship with Liu Bei and Guan Yu and was one of the brightest stars of the Three Kingdoms Era?
Dong Zhi took a deep breath. “Zhong Yuyi, ah, no. The lesson Teacher Zhong wants to give us is on how to invite a God?”
Long Shen, seeing that he was eager to try, wishing that he could wake Zhong Yuyi up and ask clearly, showed a meaningful smile. “Go back and memorize history.”
Dong Zhi: “Huh?”
Long Shen: “It’ll be used for tomorrow.”
When he left the office, he ran into Liu Qingbo.
‘’Enemies are bound to meet when the road is narrow*’ was the thought that appeared in his mind.
*(冤家路窄) Idiom referring to enemies or people who don’t want to meet happen to meet.
Liu Qingbo gave him a smile that wasn’t really a smile. “I didn’t have time to congratulate you last night. I didn’t expect your name to be on the list of the ten survivors.” The implication is that he originally thought that Dong Zhi would be “sacrificed” soon.
Dong Zhi smiled and said, “Same to you. Same to you.”
Of course, Liu Qingbo wasn’t dumb enough to bicker in front of Long Shen’s office. He curled his lips, passed by Dong Zhi, and knocked on the door.
Liu Qingbo pushed the door in but found that Dong Zhi had also followed him in.
“What’s the matter?” Long Shen asked.
Liu Qingbo glanced at Dong Zhi, who pretended not to notice.
Liu Qingbo said, “Boss Long, I have something I want to ask privately.”
Long Shen said, “It’s okay. Just say it.”
Liu Qingbo stared at Dong Zhi, who returned his gaze with an innocent look.
‘This guy’s skin is thicker than a pig’s!’ Liu Qingbo thought as he secretly gritted his teeth.
Anyways, it didn’t matter how angry Liu Qingbo got as he couldn’t do anything to him, not while in front of the male god.
Zhong Yuyi was still sleeping on the sofa. Since Liu Qingbo couldn’t get him to leave, he had to say it upfront, “Since I heard that Boss Long is teaching us tomorrow, I happened to have a sword here, which was collected by the elders in my family. I was wondering if this would be useful for you to use in class?”
He handed the sword over with both hands.
Long Shen was slightly moved. “The Shuixin Sword*?”
*Water Heart Sword (水心剑) Name of a legendary sword. Legend will be explained shortly.
Liu Qingbo smiled and said, “It’s said that Boss Long has a keen eye and deep understanding of kendo. Sure enough, your reputation precedes you. This is the legendary Shuixin Sword.”
He glanced at Dong Zhi and said casually, “Has Shidi Dong heard of the Shuixin Sword?”
Here we go again. In front of others, it was Shidi Dong, and when he turned his back, he was fellow Taoist Dong. Dong Zhi couldn’t help but twitch the corners of his mouth.
“If I remember correctly, Wun Jun of the Southern Dynasty mentioned this sword in his “Continuation of Qi Harmony”, saying that it was a Jin man who came from the west, offered the sword to King Zhao of Qin during one of his banquets. There were poets in the Tang Dynasty who mentioned this sword, saying that it’s the sword spawn from the Yellow River in the Western Xia Dynasty and the Qingluo River in the Eastern Zhou Dynasty.”
Liu Qingbo looked surprised, as if he didn’t expect him to really know. Even Long Shen was astounded, giving him a slight nod of approval. With his back facing Long Shen, Liu Qingbo grimaced as Dong Zhi gave him a triumphant look.
Unexpectedly, this brother was an artist who had drawn countless legendary game props. Liu Qingbo wanted to make a fool out of Dong Zhi in front of Long Shen, but he didn’t expect him to take the limelight instead. Dying of anger, he almost couldn’t breathe as he gave him a fierce look.
Long Shen ignored the squabble between the two of them as he held the sword. He held the sword, slowly pulled it out of its scabbard, focused on it, and was so completely absorbed by it that he had forgotten himself.
Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo only felt a glint from the sword that pierced their eyes so that they couldn’t help but blink. Long Shen held the sword in his hand and, in an instant, the white paper that was in his hand turned into pieces and scattered everywhere.
The famous ancient sword can not only cut gold and jade but can also blow and split hairs.
Long Shen nodded. “It really is a good sword.”
Liu Qingbo held back his pride and said with a smile, “No matter how good the sword is, there must be a suitable owner. It would be an honor for this sword to be used by you.”
However, when Dong Zhi looked at Long Shen, there seemed to be a trace of… regret on Long Shen’s face? Seeing such a good sword, how can he make such a regretful expression?
Long Shen returned the sword to its sheath and handed it back to Liu Qingbo. It was only an instant that it felt like what Dong Zhi saw was just an illusion.
Liu Qingbo was taken aback. “Boss Long?”
Long Shen: “The sword is good, but I don’t accept gifts.”
Liu Qingbo became anxious. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to bribe you. Our family has a lot of swords like this. My father knows that you also use swords, so he specifically asked me to send them here for you.”
Long Shen shook his head and put the sword on the coffee table.
“There are not many swords like this. One that can fit in your hand is enough. Take it back.”
Seeing the two ancient swords hanging on the wall, Liu Qingbo felt that Long Shen was actually referring to them. It was difficult for him to accept it because of Dong Zhi’s presence. He felt that Dong Zhi was such an eyesore, but nonetheless said, “Boss Long is exemplary. I’ll take the sword back!”
Dong Zhi felt giddy as he thought that it’s not that Long Shen doesn’t accept gifts, but he doesn’t accept ones that are too previous. How can he bring an ancient sword that’s seemingly priceless and say that it’s not a bribe? Who would believe such a thing!
With the gift that couldn’t be given and his rival staring at him, Liu Qingbo felt miserable. He heard Long Shen ask him, “Is there anything else?”
He had no choice but to say, “No, you’re busy, so I shouldn’t bother you.”
Liu Qingbo started to slowly walk out when Long Shen suddenly said, “That’s right.” He immediately stopped.
Long Shen: “Stay back, Dong Zhi.”
Liu Qingbo: …
Inside, his heart was roaring so loudly that he could almost sing the <Yellow River Cantata>*. Feeling helpless that Deputy Director Long did not receive his hints at all, Liu Qingbo could only cast a resentful look at Dong Zhi before sadly leaving.
*A cantata written by Chinese composer Xian Xinghai. The work was inspired by a patriotic poem by Guang Weiran, which was adapted as the lyrics and eventually became popular and spread to all parts of China.
Dong Zhi also felt a little uneasy as he thought. ‘He’s not going to return the yulu too, right?’
Long Shen said, “We had three groups of people watching Hui Yiguang since the incident, but there were no results. She behaves normally, and her surroundings are clean and there’s no active demonic aura. The Special Administration Bureau has limited resources, so it’s impossible to follow her all the time. This matter has come to an end. You can tell Li Ying and the others later.”
Dong Zhi nodded. “Liu Qingbo was also involved. Why didn’t you tell him just now before he left?”
Long Shen said, “With his temperament, if I told him, he might run to follow up on the matter again in order to try and impress me.”
That’s true. Dong Zhi heavily agreed with his assessment and found that Long Shen actually had a relatively in-depth understanding of everyone’s character.
“It’s a bit strange to say. At that time, Hui Yiguang was entangled by a living soul, but Cheng Yuan couldn’t see it. Why couldn’t Li Ying and the others even sense anything supernatural, even with a compass? He Yu and I used it to find clues at the foot spa in Yangcheng. As soon as there was any demonic scent, the compass would immediately pick it up. It stands to reason then that if the demons were weaker this time, it would be much easier to detect,” Dong Zhi said.
Long Shen shook his head. “The other party attached itself to the living soul and used it to hide itself. You don’t have much experience, so it’s normal to be blinded by the past.”
In the end, does this mean he wasn’t good at learning? Dong Zhi felt embarrassed and scratched his nose.
Zhong Yuyi suddenly roused and rubbed his eyes as he slowly woke up. His blank expression had returned.
Long Shen said to Dong Zhi, “Take him with you when you leave.”
Dong Zhi agreed and stepped forward to help Zhong Yuyi. The latter still seemed as if he was dreaming as he was dragged away by Dong Zhi. After Dong Zhi left, he contacted Li Ying and informed him of the results from Long Shen’s side and asked him to tell everyone, which Li Ying naturally agreed to.
Li Ying regarded himself as the leader of this term. Zhang Song and Liu Qingbo weren’t convinced, and thus they competed with him openly and secretly, but Dong Zhi wouldn’t grab his limelight, so he has been good to him.
The next day, Dong Zhi got up early and climbed the stairs to the rooftop and practiced for an hour. He came to the classroom feeling refreshed.
Today was Long Shen’s class. Deputy Director Long’s name was resounding like thunder, and it wasn’t just him; everyone had been looking forward to this for a long time. Despite coming in early, there were already people who came even earlier than him.
Long Shen already treating Dong Zhi special without knowing it. These little tidbits make my heart melt.
What Long Shen said to Dong Zhi regarding the living soul only further confirms my suspicion. Even if you are just guessing, no predictions in the comments please, as it could be a potential spoiler. We’ll discuss our thoughts when the mystery is revealed, or you can discuss it on Discord.