Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 2: An Enthusiastic Person
At the same time, in the city center of Haigu, on the campus of Shian Group.
The huge office was brightly lit, with several large screens filling an entire wall. Dozens of workstations were full, and dozens of bloodshot eyes were locked tightly to the screens.
In the stock exchange-like atmosphere, only one person was standing.
This man was slim and tall, looking in his forties. He wore an exaggerated red tassel earring in his left ear. His hair wasn’t long, and he tied it casually behind his head.
Ignoring the heavy bags under his eyes and his unshaven chin, the man was barely passable as handsome. At the moment, he was wearing a long auburn coat that was out of place with the times, holding an energy drink in one hand, while his face looked worse than all the other people there combined.
“Minister Fu, there’s no response to the summoning spell. The evil qi* value in Xizhao District has also returned to normal. Look…”
*Vital force forming part of any living entity. You can think of it as like energy.
A horse-faced young man rubbed his face as he tentatively spoke.
“Trying to get off work?” Minister Fu glanced at him. “Wishful thinking. Go and read the ‘evil qi’ value again.”
The man shrank his neck and glanced at the screen in the corner. Dense words and images were mixed together, making him dizzy when he looked at them.
Compared to the obscure terms and confusing diagrams, only the first few paragraphs required any brainpower to understand.
[Phenomenon A-A3: Evil Spirit]
[Judgement criteria (reference): Fluctuation of evil qi in a specific area ≥1000fR, or stable evil qi value within 2km of the suspicious object is ≥3000fR]
[Overview: This phenomenon is extremely rare and is the result of the alienation of ordinary evil things. It’s also known as a “Living Natural Disaster”, “Ghost King”, and so on. The cause of this phenomenon is unknown. The environment and location are irregular. Their shape is all asymmetric and irregular giant objects, believe to be active 1,500 to 1,000 years ago.
“Evil Spirits” have certain biological characteristics and no rational thinking ability. Their strength varies between different individuals. This phenomenon is the most dangerous observed so far. According to the assessment, the least dangerous individual is as destructive as an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale*.
*Measures the strength of earthquakes. An 8.1 on the scale is an extreme disaster with major damage to buildings and structures are likely to be destroyed. Will cause moderate to heavy damage to sturdy or earthquake-resistant buildings. Damaging in large areas. Felt in extremely large regions.
There are currently 6 “Evil Spirit” recorded in the book, all of which were sealed at the end of the Gong Dynasty. So far, one “Evil Spirit” is in a semi-conscious state and is temporarily under the control of the Haigu Branch, while the other five have been identified as seal places and are closely monitored by various entities in accordance with the laws and regulations.]
[Handling method (reference): Once discovered, the provincial region where it is located shall immediately implement a “Level 1 Emergency Plan for Major Phenomena”, and dispatch relevant personnel to deal with it as soon as possible, using special summoning techniques to attract the attention of the phenomenon. Depending on the damage, it will either be recycled, deeply sealed, or completely eliminated.]
The horse-faced man laughed dryly.
The fluctuation of the evil qi in the western suburbs of the Xizhao District just now was 99,478.56fR, which exceeded the judgement standard by nearly 10 times.
Since the Great Celestial Master sealed all six Evil Spirits, the “Evil Spirits” had been extinct for thousands of years, he was more inclined to believe that there was a problem with the reading of the instrument than the birth of an unknown great evil.
Unfortunately, their Minister didn’t think so, and neither did their enemies.
Within a minute of the abnormal data, the relevant personnel immediately started to perform the operation. Unknown forces soon intervened on the other side of the city, and two summoning techniques tore each other up in the sky, neither refusing to give up. All members of the Shian Group were worried—the Evil Spirits were brainless. If they were used by other people with ulterior motives, the consequences would be unimaginable.
But the situation didn’t seem right.
The summoning technique was created by the Great Celestial Master and was specially designed for the Evil Spirits. It stood to reason that the Evil Spirits would be attracted by the spell. As a result, after nearly four hours of summoning on both sides, the “unknown Evil Spirit” didn’t respond, as if it had died, and there was no sign of abnormality in the Xizhao District.
“Maybe there’s something wrong with the equipment. It’s not possible that an Evil Spirit is hiding from us,” The horse-faced young man muttered in a low voice. “If it’s this smart, we should all just go home and wait to die.”
“No matter how smart you are, you can still stop talking nonsense.”
Minister Fu glanced at the horse-faced young man, then glanced at the tired faces all over the room. He didn’t get angry this time. He just sighed and raised his voice slightly.
“The possibility of incorrect readings by the equipment in Xizhao District and the coincidence of the celestial phenomena is not low, but we have to consider the worst case—this ‘unknown Evil Spirit’ is very powerful and has quite high intelligence. Looking at the current situation, it’s not in great shape.”
“Why?” Someone couldn’t help but interrupt.
“Whether it’s broken or just born, it knows nothing about the outside world. Even if it’s not malicious, it will test things. Now, it’s just hiding. It’s very likely something is wrong with it—injuries, weakness, or some other conditions.”
“In any case, you must stay here tonight until the last minute. With everything tonight being abnormal, pay attention carefully. All abnormalities must be reported to me. Is Xiao Liang on duty at the police station tonight? Let him keep an eyes on things. Even if someone slips through the door and picks lock, I want to see a detailed report.”
In a sense, Minister Fu guessed well.
Yin Ren was indeed in a bad state.
The good news was that his body was full of ferocious power; the bad news was that it wasn’t obedient at all—if Yin Ren used more, his thinking would become chaotic and he would get a splitting headache.
He had to firmly suppress his ferocity and slowly tame it.
On the other hand, the ferocity was more striking than the full moon in the night sky. If he dared to let go of his suppression, he would become the most dazzling target in the metaphysical world within minutes.
In order to ensure sobriety and to keep a low profile, Yin Ren could only use a little bit of power, as big as a sesame seed. The Evil Spirits were all so crazy that he didn’t expect to get advice from his “seniors”. He could only take one step at a time.
For example, at this moment.
The sharp-sounding “creak—” finally dissipated.
Yin Ren turned solemnly and looked at the “uninvited guest”. As an “evil monster” he didn’t need lighting to see the person on the other side clearly.
There was no evil aura surrounding the person, so he was undoubtedly a living human.
It was a young man, wearing a translucent “demoiselle coat”, pushing a two-wheel cart.
Looking at his face, the man was very handsome. There was no arrogance in his facial features. Putting it nicely, he looked gentle and elegant, and badly phrased, he “had the face of a good scholarly man” in storybooks—forever naïve, forever fooled by monsters.
Seeing the blankness in the other’s eyes, Yin Ren relaxed a bit. If he met a “professional” as soon as he got out, he was sure to curse God on the spot.
The other party didn’t say a word. Yin Ren stood cautiously in place, motionless.
It could be troublesome to take action against this person, and he could just escape without casting a spell. It was raining in the middle of the night. What kind of person had nothing to do but stand in the street like this?
It was best if he left him alone.
Unfortunately, Yin Ren was so great and fierce when he wandered outside that God didn’t plan to give him any face.
Before his seal broke, Yin Ren specifically picked a relatively harmless dagger to take with him. There was a bump just then, and the modern hospital gown failed to hold his ancient murder weapon. With a ripping sound, a big hole was poked in the back pocket of his gown, and the dagger fell to the ground with a “clang”.
Since the dagger was well-made, obviously it also made a good sound.
The sound it made when it landed was as if one had plunged into ice water. It pierced people’s hearts and made them cold to their very bones. In the past, this sound could make the living retreat, but unfortunately, at this moment, it only caused a burst of embarrassment.
Yin Ren: “……”
How carless. The dagger originally had a sheath, but the wooden sheath had been in close contact with the earth for hundreds of years and had rotted into mud. Yin Ren habitually put it in his pocket and didn’t think too much about it.
This was one of his favorite weapons. Could he still throw it away?
Yin Ren hesitated for a moment and resigned himself to picking up the dagger.
At this moment, the heavens cooperated by sending a scarlet lightning bolt, dyeing the dagger red with blood. Accompanied by his blue and white striped hospital gown, the visual impact was quite strong.
The person on the opposite side slowly took a step back. He supported his cart with one hand and quickly took out a strange object that emitted a glimmer of light. His actions were smooth and clean.
“Hello? Hello? I’m at 018 Changling Road, Xizhao District, Haigu. Someone is carrying a controlled knife and dressed suspiciously.”
The man seemed to be speaking to the air. His voice was steady, and his words were clear, and his speech was neither too fast nor too slow.
“Yes, west of the city, at the entrance to the city’s mental health facility… Well, I’m fine. I can guarantee my safety.”
After the man across the street finished speaking, he put the strange object back into his pocket. The corner of the strange object emitted a dazzling light that illuminated a small area nearby. In the bright light, he stared closely at Yin Ren. His expression was very serious, with an obvious stance that he wasn’t planning on leaving.
Yin Ren choked.
Wait, was that man reporting to an officer? Just for a dagger? How could this person react so severely?
Although… Although reporting to an officer was within the realm of possibility.
Yin Ren had a similar plan. For example, find a lively place to “faint” after dawn, and wait for the police to take him away. Regarding his identity, he had practiced it countless times in advance—after Yin Ren woke up, he’d stay bedridden for 7 to 49 days. He would listen to the “news” from morning to night each day, so he wouldn’t expose his horse’s feet*.
*(露出马脚) Idioms referring revealing the hidden truth or revealing the truth unintentionally.
Ah, forget it. Soon or later, the act would begin, so why not just start now.
“I picked this up for self-defense. I hit my head and can’t remember anything… Sorry. Did I scare you?”
Yin Ren dropped the dagger in distress and imitated an accent he learned from the “news”.
He deliberately lowered his body temperature, causing it to tremble slightly as he looked extremely meek and helpless. “I saw you stop just now. I thought you knew me…”
Here, he had to give a pitiful pause and produce just the right kind of voice.
Since this person was so nosey on a rainy day, most likely he was a fool with too much integrity. As long as Yin Ren played dumb, he could come to elicit some useful information.
Who would have thought that Yin Ren’s rhetoric hadn’t yet been espoused when the other party abandoned his cart and rushed up with a single stride and grabbed Yin Ren’s hands tightly.
“I do recognize you.”
Those hands clasped Yin Ren’s wrists like iron clamps, and the force behind them was incredibly strong. If it wasn’t for the fact that Yin Ren had sealed off his qi, the man would’ve fallen to the ground dead, hit by his “intense aura”.
The man clenched him tightly, showing a somewhat reluctant smile, but his tone was quite sincere. “Your name is Zhang San. You live across from me. I’ll wait with you here, and your family will come pick you up in a police car soon.”
Yin Ren: “?”
After walking too much at night, one would eventually meet a ghost*. Yin Ren’s expression became a bit distorted. The two were frozen in deadlock, allowing the rainstorm to brush against their heads.
*Saying referring to if you often do unscrupulous things, eventually you’ll get caught.
Fortunately, this subtle atmosphere didn’t last for more than a few seconds.
The sound of heavy rain and thunder was unnaturally muffled, then slowly weakened. It was like an inviable lid had covered them. The surrounding temperature dropped a bit, as if someone was blowing against their damp skin.
The next moment, darkness broke without warning.
The long-extinguished streetlamps were restored, but for some reason, the lightning was only on one side of the street. The original warm yellow lights were now blue-white, flashing at an uncomfortable frequency, making the street even gloomier than when it was completely dark.
There was something shifting between the lampposts that was flashing bright and dark. Yin Ren moved his steps slightly. He crossed the other man’s shoulder and looked behind him.
A vague and huge shadow was squirming.
It was about half the width of the street, and it looked like an exceptionally bloated caterpillar. It was close to the side of the street and would crawl forward for a while, then stop in a section and wipe its body on the streetlights from time to time. Once the lamppost had been touched by it, it would emit a blue-white light, like ghost fire.
Though that thing was bulky, it wasn’t slow. Within a few breaths, the thing had reached a dozen steps away from the two of them.
Yin Ren stared at it calmly.
At first glance, it was a cocoon with short feet and only knew how to crawl on the ground. On closer inspection, the uneven surface of the cocoon concealed a mystery—countless disgruntled ghosts’ limbs intertwined, fusing together like wax, yet still retaining their basic outline. Their long hair became stickier and more tangled, bulging under the thin flesh like green and black veins.
The front half of the cocoon had grieving ghosts merging together.
They fused into two giant hands; the roots of their palms sticking out of the flesh folds, covering the front of the cocoon like a face. The pair of hands opened their fingers and small arm-length human eyes could be seen on them.
A rough count showed eight. They were spinning around, but now they were all staring straight at the two of them.
Yin Ren felt a kind of affection. Hundreds of thousands of years had passed, and this thing still looked the same.
In the past, people called it the “Resentment Basket”. It was purely made up of grieving ghosts. While its appearance was creepy, in fact, it was dull in the head and its combat capabilities were ordinary. This thing wasn’t common and would only take shape if there was an abnormally chaotic state surrounding an Evil Spirit, but it wouldn’t cause much harm.
However, it was enough to hurt an ordinary person.
The Resentment Basket paused not far away and stared at them for a while. It then raised its sarcoma-like feet and squirmed at a faster speed towards them.
The author has something to say:
Perhaps this was the most embarrassing encounter between a gong and shou.
Speaking of which, if you really see someone who is particularly suspicious, you must stay away. Please also call the police. As an ordinary person, it is most important to protect yourself! There is a reason why the gong is doing this. Don’t imitate. _(:з”∠)_
I debated back and forth between how to translate (凶煞), which is what these things are called, and settled on Evil Spirit, though it could mean a fierce/evil/vicious god/demon/monster. Keep in mind that the “evil” is more so the fact that they are powerful enough to bring great calamities to the world, than the fact that they’re inherently evil.