The second batch of field agents rushed over after receiving Xiao Zheng's instructions. Before they had a chance to stand still, they were hit by this scene and their three views were shattered in a row.
At that moment, everyone present was silent, and were chilled by the cold fog.
The wind started to blow, thunderclouds began to gather in the sky, and ominous electric sparks flashed restlessly in the dark clouds. The distant thunder rumbled intermittently, like a secret and short curse.
Only Sheng Lingyuan lowered his eyebrows, as if he was an immortal in a painting, looking at the strange and extraordinary things in the world without any surprise.
Xuan Ji kept an eye on Bi Chunsheng while also being wary of the "dangerous object" behind her that was like a timed bomb. Perhaps it was a lingering effect from the exploding ring earlier. Whenever he saw Sheng Lingyuan, he felt a sharp pain in his chest, making it difficult for him to breathe and causing him to squirm uncomfortably.
He underestimated the danger of the Bureau. In total, he had taken on this broken logistics job for less than twenty-four hours, and his work permit was not even hot yet. His heart had already become so desolate that he didn't feel like doing anything anymore.
“Let’s talk sense, Sister Bi,” Xuan Ji cautiously took a breath, trying to ignore the feeling of a hollow chest, and seriously discussed with Bi Chunsheng, “Assuming what you said is true, that a major incident happened 30 years ago, and the person in charge at the time covered it up by stealing the Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly eggs and letting them parasitize the dead bodies, so that the dead could live on with their original identities - how did you know about this? Were you an eyewitness? If not, who told you and do you have any evidence?”
As he spoke, he glanced at the heavenly demon out of the corner of his eye. Upon hearing his words, the heavenly demon lifted his elegant eyebrows and revealed a look of "I see" - it turned out that after all the commotion, he didn't really understand the formal language in the regulations that Bi Chunsheng had just mentioned.
"What's going on," Xuan Ji's heart felt even more world-weary. "Am I being treated like a 'translator's note'?"
"How would I know?" Bi Chunsheng looked at him with a compassionate gaze. "Director Xuan, you don't think this is a one-off situation, do you?"
“How did the saying on the internet go? When you find the first cockroach at home, your family probably already had tens of thousands of them.” In the quiet chief’s office of the Bureau of Paranormal Control, Chief Huang’s voice was like dripping water at midnight, hitting people’s hearts with fear, “If this is the first time, who would dare put thousands of butterfly eggs in dead bodies? Little Xiao, you should be able to think of it, in fact, as early as 30 years ago, this was already a secret ‘normal’ practice for many people... sigh, the ‘Fifteen-People Red Line’ is for public safety and the original intention is good, but everything has two sides, it will also bind the hands and feet of our frontline comrades, because once deducted points, it is a ‘team problem’.
"Among your comrades who have been through life-and-death situations, there may be more than one who have reached the red line and have run out of points. In extreme situations, some agents would rather risk their own lives than cause their comrades to lose points. In recent years, over half of the cases where our field agents have sacrificed their lives were related to this rule. As someone who comes from the field, you should understand this," Chief Huang said.
Xiao Zheng couldn't say anything.
"There is a very detailed 'professional guide' circulating among the field agents. Every intern who joins the field agent team will try to learn from the veterans, find out which team members under whose command have the fewest penalty points, which ones are more radical, and whose team members are 'disposable.' The height that a field agent can reach in the end, in addition to personal abilities, is ultimately determined by who has the fewest penalty points - some have even summarized the 'mystical' rules in it. For the first two years of work, one must not be penalized. Field agents who haven't gotten off to a good start in the beginning will not have a smooth career later on."
"Fifteen-People Red Line" is the thin ice beneath the feet of every frontline field agent, the rope around their necks, and the tight curse on their temples.
"So there are some people in the field work, when they encounter difficult incidents, casualties over the line, they will go to Gong Chenggong to 'think of a way'. ”Chief Huang looked at Xiao Zheng’s numb face, and continued, “That is, with that butterfly egg, the dead ‘did not die’, the field agents were relieved, the victims’ families felt grateful, and the aftermath was covered with a facade. Everyone was happy.”
Xiao Zheng struggled to find his tongue: “Who are there...”
“I don't know. Since the establishment of the Bureau, the waters of the various departments are too deep. I haven't found any clues yet. But ... in the Security Department, you can think of some, um, old leaders of high moral standing, most of them know this thing, even if not for themselves, sometimes in order to protect some good seedlings...” Chief Huang looked deeply at Xiao Zheng, and the words behind him did not continue.
Xiao Zheng did not react at first, and then he shook fiercely, and his blood was frozen.
He was a rare Lightning-Fire type, and possessed the rarest “Pure Lightning" special ability.
The current special ability spectrum and the traditional "Five Elements" theory are somewhat similar. "Water controls fire", generally speaking, lightning-fire will be relatively disadvantaged when facing ice and water, but Pure Lightning is an exception. Xiao Zheng entered the Bureau as a privileged person. During the internship, he was directly admitted to the special forces. He had a smooth journey all the way and even had better luck than others–more than a dozen years of field work, from the most junior member to becoming the commander of the “Thunder” special forces team, countless battles of all sizes, accompanied by countless meritorious services, only three points were deducted, which can be called a great miracle.
Is this really luck?
Or was someone secretly protecting him all the way?
The old bureau chief's last words "I know you are still clean" was to praise him for keeping the rules, or the sigh of the "bureau insiders" to the protected person in the dark?
Is he really... "clean"?
At this time, his phone rang–the investigation team sent to Bi Chunsheng's home has arrived at the destination, asking him about the progress of the search warrant.
Chief Huang asked him to fax the search warrant to the office, and listened to the investigator’s report: “Bi Chunsheng and her parents live together. His father died not long ago, and her mother is still healthy. Her lover used to be a middle school teacher. Already retired, in order to save more downpayment money for the child, he is now teaching tuition outside. The couple has a son who is single and has just graduated and is trying to go for a postgraduate... Chief Huang, Director Xiao, we are at her door. "
Chief Huang interjected, “Excuse me, I have a question. If a person has been possessed by the Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly, and the person is already dead, meaning the body is just being manipulated by the butterfly, is there any way to detect it?”
“It’s difficult, Chief Huang. What it is, our instruments can only detect the possession before the infected person’s brain has completely died by detecting inconsistencies between brain activity and body reactions. If the person’s brain is already dead, the butterfly will completely take control over the infected person’s nervous system, and it will merge with them. So you could say that the person has grown a brand new nervous system and our instruments can’t detect it. Unless…”
“Uh…Well, open it and have a look.”
A person’s personality, outlook, and habits are constantly changing. The phrase “you’ve changed” is a common one seen in various literary works. It is a normal thing for “the calm surface of the pond to be disturbed by ripples”, and what’s often followed is an overly melodramatic plot rather than “opening up the skull to have a look.”
When Xiao Zheng heard this, he suddenly had a bad premonition.
Chiyuan and Xuan Ji stared at Bi Chunsheng and suddenly noticed that the thick fog surrounding the rooftop was not only emanating from the big devil, but also a small part from Bi Chunsheng!
Her outline was already blurred in the fog, as if she was about to dissolve into it. Her originally slightly dark and yellowish skin color had unknowingly turned deathly pale, displaying a waxy texture.
Did she really kill a thousand people? How did she do it? What were the identities of these thousand people, and how did they die without anyone knowing?
“Eight years ago, my field team was assigned to capture a suspect using dark magic. At that time, the suspect was hiding in a small community with a high population density. Afraid of affecting innocent bystanders, my partner and I carefully planned an ambush. Unexpectedly, an accident still occurred. Just as the suspect was about to be caught, one of the juniors in our field team was too nervous and revealed our plan. The suspect then escaped into the community garden. He had the lives of dozens of people in his hands. Knowing he would die if he was caught, he found himself surrounded and had no way to escape, so he jumped over the wall and blew himself up. We had no time to evacuate the garden and eight people died. My partner and I were both responsible, and he was going to be held twice as accountable. He was directly crossing the red line, and I couldn’t think of anything at that time…My partner told me not to be afraid and that he would think of a way.”
"It was then that I first learnt that these heroes, who had only military merit and no fault, had such a way of operating - using butterflies to parasitize in the bodies of the dead, as if nothing had happened... I will never forget the expression of my partner consoling me: 'Such cases are not uncommon.'
"Do you know how I felt then? I didn't rejoice for having escaped a disaster, nor did I have trouble sleeping from a guilty conscience. I... I was scared. How many 'survivors' were no longer human? My whole family were 'survivors'! Were they... were they really, or just an illusion?
"From that day onwards, I was paranoid like a madman; whenever my family spoke to me, I would frantically think if they used to be like this, if they said it with this intonation, if they had already changed without me noticing. My son came back from school and ordered a dish he didn't usually like - I couldn't sleep for half a month because of that small thing.”
Everyone in the room was chilled to their bones, for Bi Chunsheng's special ability was 'language'. The same words, even if meaningless, would be believed unquestionably when said by her. By just a few words, everyone was almost brought to a state of terror and despair.
Xuan Ji suddenly furrowed her brows. If Bi Chunsheng's psychokinesis had such a strong hypnotic power on others, then... what about on herself? Would her special ability worsen her obsession and confusion when an uncontrollable thought kept looping in her mind?
"For the past eight years, I almost drove myself mad with these thoughts... I wanted to know the answer, yet I was afraid to. When I had a chance to retreat to the second line, I instinctively chose the Aftermath Department... Hah, what good would that do - Gong Chenggong was too cunning and had too much influence in the bureau; how could I find out anything?
"I became increasingly agitated, until recently, Gong Chenggong was suddenly investigated and disappeared. My suspicions were proven true, then... my father passed away at this critical juncture.” Bi Chunsheng's sunken eyes suddenly shed tears of blood; her face started to deform and collapse, like a melting wax figure. "Eighty seven years old, a long life, dying from heart failure, without any sin at his death; his relatives and friends all envied his peaceful passing. What about me? I sent them off like a walking corpse, and then... then I couldn't help myself, I snuck back in the middle of the night and opened my father's skull before the cremation, and I saw... I saw..."
The moment the old man's skull was opened, all her nightmares became true.
It had been thirty years, and the family she had been living with all this time were nothing but puppets manipulated by the Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly.
"Why? Why do I have to watch this?!" Bi Chunsheng screamed in a sharp, desperate, animal-like roar.
"Shh..." Sheng Lingyuan crouched down and gently cradled her warped face, wiping away the blood from the corners of her eyes, and letting out a sigh of "Poor thing."
He then switched back to his ancient, elegant voice and softly said to Xuan Ji: "The human candle, an intermediary between the evil and the yin of the world, must discard their human body, sever their nature, and give up everything to be a demon. Little demon, do you know what 'everything' means?"
Xuan Ji was taken aback.
At this moment, a security guard ran over and handed him a phone: "Director Xiao is looking for you."
"We...just sent someone to search Bi Chunsheng's house," Xiao Zheng's voice sounded strained over the phone, "and we found three corpses, Bi Chunsheng's mother, husband, and son, and their heads...were all open."
Xuan Ji widened his eyes, and Sheng Lingyuan stared at him from afar through the thick fog. The devil's eyes were cold and heartless, yet almost merciful.
For a while, nobody said anything, only Bi Chunsheng's inhuman wail resounded through the fog, getting thicker and thicker. A young security guard was so overwhelmed by the shrill sound that he leaned against the wall and vomited.
After a long silence, Xuan Ji suddenly raised the phone and asked: "Were all of her family members really parasitized by the Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly?"
Xiao Zheng: "No."
Xuan Ji felt a cold stone in his stomach.
"We found traces of the Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly in her husband's brain, but none in her mother and son's. They were normal people, the true survivors..." Xiao Zheng paused for a moment, "...from back then."
"Kill them all!" Bi Chunsheng grippingly grabbed Sheng Lingyuan's sleeve with a mumbling like that of an undead, "I want you to kill them all!"
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