“Wuwuwu, what if this young woman kneels down in front of you? Great immortal Xiang!”
Editor(s): Jane, jelly, juurensha
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In Chen Zhen’s office, Xiang Cheng walked a few steps.
“The information that Qi Wei leaked to you,” Chen Zhen said. “You guys are that close?”
“This has nothing to do with you,” Xiang Cheng replied coldly.
Chen Zhen replied, “As of right now, in the organization’s records, there are no devils that can control time, or are able to predict the future.”
“Anything is possible,” Xiang Cheng said. “I haven’t seen this type of devil before either.”
“That’s based on your experience,” Chen Zhen said. “I’m basing this off logic. No matter how powerful yao and devils get, they must respect the laws of physics.”
“Physics,” Xiang Cheng said. “I don’t have much of an education, so don’t use this to fool me. I only believe what I see.”
Chen Zhen hesitated. Xiang Cheng suddenly sensed that something was amiss, and he asked darkly, “Do you know something?”
“I don’t,” Chen Zhen replied crisply and decisively. “If what you said is true, and those two devils can indeed predict the future, then this becomes very troublesome. What are they hiding in the capital for? Why aren’t they attacking the exorcists? According to what Chi Xiaoduo saw, these are the actions of only one yao.”
“Whether you believe it or not is up to you” Xiang Cheng said. “As soon as I’m done with the test, I’m leaving.”
Chen Zhen replied, “During this time, I may give you a call anytime, so make sure your phone is on.”
Xiang Cheng didn’t say anything, and he pulled the door open to leave. Just before he walked out, he remembered something, and he turned to look at Chen Zhen.
“Thank you,” Xiang Cheng said. “Use the Heart Lamp sparingly.”
“Thank you,” Chen Zhen replied calmly.
When Xiang Cheng came out, Chi Xiaoduo just so happened to have finished chatting with Keda as well. Keda personally went to the elevators with the two of them, before saying, “Thanks for your hard work, go back and rest well.”
“You believe it?” Xiang Cheng asked.
Keda thought for a bit, as if he was trying to find the words. Xiang Cheng shook his head and entered the elevator.
From inside the elevator, Chi Xiaoduo saw Keda’s mouth move as he said something to them. With just two words, Xiang Cheng’s expression immediately changed.
Xiang Cheng wanted to press the button to open the doors, but Keda, holding his coffee, smiled at them, and he drank it as he walked away.
“What did he say?” Chi Xiaoduo asked.
Xiang Cheng shook his head. “Nothing much.”
Without asking anyone, Xiang Cheng and Chi Xiaoduo walked out of the tower and passed through Lingjing Alley. Chi Xiaoduo craned his neck and stared down, because there was a market street underneath. Xiang Cheng asked, “Want to go check it out?”
The weather was hot and humid, and Chi Xiaoduo’s head spun with dizziness. After having fussed about for a day and a night, he said, “No, I feel a little like I want to throw up.”
“It might be heatstroke,” Xiang Cheng said. “Let’s go buy some medicine for you to drink. Sorry, I didn’t know it’d be like this.”
Chi Xiaoduo’s eyes were swimming with stars, and Xiang Cheng brought him out of a thin veil of light. When they left the independent dimension of Lingjing Alley and crossed the road, when they turned back to look, the tall tower standing in the middle had disappeared. Chi Xiaoduo drank a little of the Inspirex Extract that they had bought at the pharmacy across the road, and he felt a little better, though his face was still a little red.
His phone had been soaked in water, and it was broken now. Xiang Cheng studied the sign at the station for a long time. A bus just so happened to pass by, so they took the bus for almost two hours to get home. Chi Xiaoduo pounced onto the bed, while Xiang Cheng went to take a cold bath. When he came out, he was going to give Chi Xiaoduo a massage, but Chi Xiaoduo turned over and hugged him instead, his legs wrapped around Xiang Cheng’s thigh.
The fan blew cold air over them, and not even a moment later, it began to rain outside again. The atmosphere cooled down immediately, and the two of them, without saying a single word, and with only a thin coverlet on them, fell asleep peacefully .
Chi Xiaoduo hung off Xiang Cheng’s body like a koala, and he slept until it was fully dark out, all the way from three o’clock in the afternoon until night. He felt Xiang Cheng leave once, come back, and say “wake up, it’s time to eat”. Though Chi Xiaoduo responded in the affirmative, he turned over and fell asleep again.
Xiang Cheng ate, brushed his teeth, washed his face, and took a shower, before he climbed back onto the bed to hug Chi Xiaoduo and sleep.
After sleeping for who knows how long, Chi Xiaoduo woke up a few times in the middle, walking dazedly to the bathroom, and when he returned, he immediately collapsed back on the bed again. It wasn’t until the end that he stretched comfortably, and, while hugging Xiang Cheng’s waist, opened his eyes.
The light in the room was dark, and it was very quiet. Light shone on Xiang Cheng’s handsome face, and he was wearing headphones as he scrolled through his phone.
“Is your phone working now?” Chi Xiaoduo asked.
“It’s a little spotty ,” Xiang Cheng said. “I used a cloth to wrap it and blow-dried it.”
“It’s still under warranty,” Chi Xiaoduo said. “We can take it to be fixed in a bit.”
Xiang Cheng lowered his head and turned his arm, letting Chi Xiaoduo climb a little higher, pillowing his head on his shoulder.
“You’ve slept enough?”
“En,” Chi Xiaoduo replied. “I’m so hungry. What time is it?”
“Ten in the morning,” Xiang Cheng replied.
He had slept for a whole 24 hours. Chi Xiaoduo still wanted to take advantage of Xiang Cheng for a little while longer, but Xiang Cheng said, “Get up and let’s eat.”
Xiang Cheng had bought a portable induction stove, as well as quite a few vegetables and meatballs, and in their room, he made noodles for Chi Xiaoduo to eat. Their room didn’t have any windows, so it was the same whether it was day or night. After Xiang Cheng made two bowls of noodles, he put them in lunchboxes, and Chi Xiaoduo slurped his lunchbox clean.
“Now you can finally spill the beans,” Chi Xiaoduo said, in a good mood after eating a full meal, “about how much you’re actually hiding from me.”
Xiang Cheng was silent for a while, and Chi Xiaoduo added, “You may be able to escape the first, but not the fifteenth. My yaoguai eye has the ability to tell apart truth from lies. Now come, look at me.”
Xiang Cheng: “...”
“There is nothing in this world that can identify lies,” Xiang Cheng responded truthfully. “The human heart is the hardest thing to fathom.” And saying this, he lifted his own bag, turned it over, and dumped its contents onto the bed.
“I’m an exorcist,” Xiang Cheng said.
“Shh,” Chi Xiaoduo said, hopping off the bed to check on their neighbors. Xiang Cheng, however, replied, “I already checked, no one’s here.”
All the people in their rented apartment had gone to work. Chi Xiaoduo nodded and crossed his legs on the bed to listen to Xiang Cheng’s explanation.
“You want to record this?” Xiang Cheng asked.
“I won’t, c’mon,” Chi Xiaoduo said, baffled. “I signed an NDA. This is....”
Chi Xiaoduo lifted a red bedsheet, on which were embroidered the images of many yaoguai.
Xiang Cheng said, “This is the Yao-Imprisonment Banner.”
Chi Xiaoduo asked, “Are you going to demonstrate it again? Weird, why did I say ‘again’?”
Xiang Cheng: “...”
Xiang Cheng watched Chi Xiaoduo, then pulled out a snuff box and placed it on the bed sheet.
“This is called Lihun Pollen. You only need a little to forget what you’re currently thinking about,” Xiang Cheng said. “Don’t open it. Last time, you sniffed all of my Lihun Pollen.”
Chi Xiaoduo: “Hahahaha! Really?”
Xiang Cheng didn’t speak. He looked at the bed sheet, his eyes reddening.
“Xiaoduo, I’m sorry,” Xiang Cheng said.
“Don’t be,” Chi Xiaoduo said, confused. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s just this,” Xiang Cheng said. “I’m an exorcist, and I’ve lied to you for a long time. Every time, I end up taking advantage of you, and after taking advantage, I make you lose your memory.”
“What did I say last time before I lost my memories?” Chi Xiaoduo asked. He, in contrast, thought that this was very amusing. “Did we subdue yao together before?”
Xiang Cheng nodded and said, “You helped me out a great deal, and it was then that your eye was damaged by yaoguai.”
And saying this, Xiang Cheng held Chi Xiaoduo’s head, his thumb pressing down on the skin under his eyes. He pulled down slightly and looked into his eye. The green light was not very visible, and Chi Xiaoduo sat there cluelessly, his eye gazing down at Xiang Cheng’s lips, before he then raised them to look into his eyes.
“Chen Zhen said this eye of mine was called a dragon’s pupil,” Chi Xiaoduo said. “A dragon’s eye, which can see yaoguai, so I can help you in the future.”
Xiang Cheng replied, “In the future, just follow me ba. Keda already agreed that, at least for now, your memory won’t be wiped again.”
“That’s the best way,” Chi Xiaoduo said. “I never thought you were this powerful, this is too great!”
Xiang Cheng’s eyes were red, and he shook his head and chuckled.
Chi Xiaoduo knew that Xiang Cheng had come to Beijing to take the exam for his exorcism certificate, so he clung onto Xiang Cheng, asking him this and that. Xiang Cheng only smiled and said that it was all past, so he shouldn’t ask about it anymore. At noon, the two of them braved the sun to go get Xiang Cheng’s phone fixed, while Chi Xiaoduo was still curious, asking Xiang Cheng about what he had said that night.
“Nothing much,” Xiang Cheng said. “If you don’t say it yourself, how would I know?”
“Wait,” Chi Xiaoduo said. “Am I that kind of person?”
They walked out of the Apple store, and Xiang Cheng had his palm outstretched in front of his eyes to block out the sun as he asked, “Let’s go to the library? Now that we don’t have phones, don’t go further than five steps away from me, otherwise I won’t be able to find you.”
“You’d better not make me sniff that stuff again,” Chi Xiaoduo said. “Even if I want to go sniff it myself, don’t let me.”
“Alright, alright,” Xiang Cheng said patiently. “I’ll toss the pollen out tomorrow.”
“Did you buy more later?” Chi Xiaoduo asked.
“Qi Wei gifted me a little,” Xiang Cheng responded.
Chi Xiaoduo then asked, “Then you really haven’t been a duck before?”
“I haven’t,” Xiang Cheng said.
All the people around them in the subway were looking at them.
Xiang Cheng: “...”
Chi Xiaoduo: “...”
“What exactly did I do that night?”
Inside the library, the two of them were sitting there, shoulder to shoulder, reading. Xiang Cheng replied, “Help me copy down the key points.”
Chi Xiaoduo slumped on the table, turning his head to the side to study Xiang Cheng. The more he looked, the more handsome he seemed, and Chi Xiaoduo wanted nothing more than to pounce on him and kiss him.
“I said, promise me one thing,” Chi Xiaoduo said. “And then I ran off?”
“En,” Xiang Cheng said, a hint of a smile in his eyes.
“That doesn’t seem right,” Chi Xiaoduo said. “Why could I not think things through?”
“How would I know?” Xiang Cheng asked. “Look at this yaoguai.”
Chi Xiaoduo: “?”
Xiang Cheng continued, “Doesn’t it look like you?”
On the page was a fish with a round, bulging head.
Chi Xiaoduo: “...”
Xiang Cheng began to laugh, and Chi Xiaoduo said, “I feel like you’re always lying to me.”
Xiang Cheng put his book down, and with one hand on Chi Xiaoduo’s shoulder, he suddenly pulled him over, catching him in his embrace. He rubbed Chi Xiaoduo firmly twice, and Chi Xiaoduo was pressed against Xiang Cheng’s thigh, where he touched a hard thing.
When the two of them separated, Chi Xiaoduo’s entire face was bright red. Xiang Cheng raised his leg, his left foot hooked across his right knee, the flip flop dangling from his foot waving a little.
“My name is Xiang Chengshi,” Xiang Cheng said. “I never lie to people. Your Chengshi-ge is morally upright.”
Chi Xiaoduo replied, “You just said so yourself, alright, when we were investigating at Liwan Plaza, you even made me steal a flashlight.”
“Most of the time, I’m morally upright,” Xiang Cheng could only correct himself.
Chi Xiaoduo began to chuckle. Xiang Cheng said, “Hurry up and help me copy down the key points.”
“Buy a set on Dangdang ba.” Chi Xiaoduo thought about how he didn’t know when his own study materials and test prep books would come, and how Xiang Cheng didn’t know that he had signed up to take that yao-subduing equipment division qualification exam yet, so they could study together while they were at it.
“No,” Xiang Cheng replied. “I like coming to the library to read.”
With that, Chi Xiaoduo began to make notes for Xiang Cheng, while he himself drew yaoguai on his notebook. Xiang Cheng’s test was split into a written exam and a practical exam. The written exam was further split into three main parts: multiple choice questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, and analysis and discussion type questions. Though Xiang Cheng’s handwriting was very pretty, he lacked literary grace, and oftentimes he would write the first half but not the follow up, or write whatever he thought of. Chi Xiaoduo had to go find him some books on logic, and also helped him organize his entire yao-catching process.
“You’re even more interested in this than I am.” Xiang Cheng glanced at Chi Xiaoduo’s notes.
“Hehe,” Chi Xiaoduo said. “I really like this stuff.”
“Do you like yaoguai?” Xiang Cheng asked.
“En.” But in his heart, Chi Xiaoduo added, I also like the person who’s catching these yaoguai.
“What did Qiqi have you come to Beijing to do?” Chi Xiaoduo asked, still a little on edge. “What are you looking for?”
“Artifacts,” Xiang Cheng replied. “They’ve been passed down in my family, four artifacts that have since been lost to the world.”
“What do they look like?” Chi Xiaoduo asked.
Xiang Cheng spread open the book in his hands, on which the figure of a deity with three faces and six arms was drawn, each of his arms holding an artifact. To the right was written a line of characters: Acalantha.
“The Devil-Subduing Staff,” Xiang Cheng said, using his finger to point to one of the artifacts Acala held, a staff.
Chi Xiaoduo: “...”
“The Yao-Binding Rope,” Xiang Cheng said, pointing through them one by one so Chi Xiaoduo could see. “The Sword of Wisdom, the Golden Sun Ring, the Golden Arrows, and the Meteor Bow.”
“Wow --” Chi Xiaoduo exclaimed in a small voice.
Xiang Cheng said, “Before my dad passed, he told me to go find all of these heirloom artifacts. Within those, the Sword of Wisdom and the Devil-Subduing Staff are the most powerful, and if nothing else works, I must find the Sword of Wisdom.”
“Does that ‘devil’ have it?” Chi XIaoduo asked.
Xiang Cheng shook his head and replied, “It’s only a guess that the Qi family gave, based on their information. In conclusion, I must gather up the six artifacts.”
Chi Xiaoduo said, “What happens when they’re all gathered? Can you summon something?”
Xiang Cheng: “...”
The two of them looked at each other for a moment.
Xiang Cheng replied, “I don’t know what it can call out, it shouldn’t be able to do that ba.”
Chi Xiaoduo nodded. “Even then, searching for your family’s lost artifacts is also very important.”
Xiang Cheng’s mood was still a little dejected, and to lift his spirits, Chi Xiaoduo said, “I’m cheering you on, I’ll be there with you.”
Xiang Cheng nodded and said, “My goal is very distant and vague, and before, I used to live just for this. But now, I feel like it doesn’t matter anymore, because I have you by my side. I’ll just go searching for it along the way, I must not obsess over it.”
Chi Xiaoduo felt inexplicably touched. Xiang Cheng continued, “Don’t worry, this kind of disappearance won’t happen again. In the future, I’ll take you wherever I go.”
“As long as you tell me in advance, that’s fine,” Chi Xiaoduo said. “Whether you take me or not isn’t important, I shouldn’t slow you down, right.” But in his heart he was thinking, watch when I, a top exam taker, take the stage. I’ll use my certificates to blind you all!
“Pause for a moment with your lovey dovey talk,” a woman’s voice said coldly behind their backs. “I’ve stood behind you two for so long, and yet you didn’t notice me. Xiang Chengshi, how exactly did you muddle through until now.”
The two of them turned their heads as one, only to see Zhou Wanyuan, her hair coiled up, wearing Gucci sunglasses and a Max Mara silk scarf, holding a limited edition Hermes crocodile skin bag, one hand on her hip as she watched them coldly.
Xiang Cheng closed his book and turned Chi Xiaoduo’s head back with one hand. His expression darkened, and he replied casually, “Didn’t you come just to help Chen Zhen eavesdrop? You’ve already found out, now go back ba.”
Chi Xiaoduo’s heart thumped. Would the two of them start fighting in the library? It looked like both sides were a little irritated.
But Zhou Wanyuan exaggeratedly pushed down her sunglasses, and she crossed her arms, saying, “Hmph.
“I wasn’t planning on helping Chen Zhen with anything,” Zhou Wanyuan said. “Neither of your cellphones could be called, and the organization had a matter to assign to you, but they couldn’t find you.”
Xiang Cheng replied, “I’m preparing for the exam, I don’t have time.”
“There’s money involved,” Zhou Wanyuan replied mildly.
“Not taking it,” Xiang Cheng said.
“Even when there’s money, you don’t want any? Then what about extra points on the exam?” Zhou Wanyuan asked. “15 extra points, my dad’s in charge of scoring your written exams.”
Chi Xiaoduo immediately said, “Is that okay?! Alright then!”
But Xiang Cheng replied, “I can pass based on my own skills.”
Zhou Wanyuan: “What do you want from me for you to take this case? Name your conditions ba.”
“Your attitude is disrespectful,” Xiang Cheng said straightforwardly. “I won’t take it.”
“Wuwuwu, what if this young woman kneels down in front of you? Great immortal Xiang!” Zhou Wanyuan began to cry out exaggeratedly, before with a putong, she immediately knelt down in front of Xiang Cheng.
All the heads in the library turned to look at the three of them.
Xiang Cheng: “...”
Chi Xiaoduo: “...”
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), moon.