But Xuan Ji had no time to enjoy the moonlight.
His heart was as cold as the water in the pond.
The altar was full of curses, much more terrifying than even anthrax. Even a single butterfly flying out could trigger a crisis!
As a large clump of hair floated towards him, Xuan Ji was about to reach out when he heard the voice of Sheng Lingyuan gritting his teeth in his mind: "If you dare to touch my hair again, I will exterminate your entire family."
"Exterminate, exterminate, do whatever you want. I'll just move my household registration to the collective registration book of my unit when I go back," Xuan Ji quickly said. "But that butterfly can't escape!"
"I know, shut up and don't make a fuss."
"So what should we do? Your Majesty, as the Emperor, you surely don't want to see innocent lives suffer, do you?"
The two of them were still trying to figure out what was going on when a large "wild animal" paddled in, making a chaotic noise as it was washed in by the water.
Xuan Ji lifted his foot and caught the creature, only to realize that it was Yang Chao from his department.
"Graduate student? What are you doing here?" Xuan Ji asked.
Yang Chao, who seemed to have just finished cutting a hundred onions, couldn't stop his tears from flowing.
He clung to Xuan Ji's thigh with all his limbs, almost pulling off the only intact piece of clothing on their leader.
He choked out, "Director...hic...I haven't passed the exam yet!"
Xuan Ji struggled to hold onto his belt and angrily asked, "What are you guys doing? Who the hell blew up the mountain? Do you know where you are? You can't just blow things up here!"
Yang Chao was very wronged and wanted to explain, but he couldn't stop crying.
Sheng Lingyuan suddenly interrupted and asked, "Has anyone from the Qingping Division arrived? How many people?"
Xuan Ji didn't have time to correct his wording and quickly translated for him.
Yang Chao choked up and said, "Five... no, hiccup... six, six people... Who is it, Director? Where did this beauty come from?"
Xuan Ji's veins were popping as he said, "Show some respect."
He couldn't even count to ten and had poor eyesight, yet he still wanted to take the postgraduate entrance exam!
Why do young people nowadays have so many ideas?
Sheng Lingyuan pondered and said, "So, including you and me, there are exactly eight people."
Xuan Ji struggled to keep his belt on, but couldn't prevent his shoe from being taken off by Yang Chao.
"Are you... hiss... sure, Your Majesty? I must warn you in advance that some of my department's students may need to be counted by 'head' instead of 'person', and may not necessarily fit into the 'individual' category!"
"As long as they count as living." Sheng Lingyuan grabbed Xuan Ji's shoulder, steadying himself, and with his other hand, he pressed down hard on the surface of the pool.
As if there was some mysterious force in Sheng Lingyuan's palm, he pressed down and the water suddenly sank, creating a whirlpool that grew larger and larger, quickly sucking all three of them in.
Yang Chao's loud voice predicted their journey, and Wang Ze, who was far away, heard the commotion and shouted, "Get out of the way, we're coming down!"
As he spoke, he took off his coat and threw it into the water, but the clothes didn't float away, as if they were stuck to the surface of the water.
Wang Ze reached out and pulled at his clothes, his muscles bulging on his arms.
The water was sucked up by his coat, creating a "water dam" over a meter high out of thin air.
In the blink of an eye, the "water dam" solidified into ice, perfectly blocking the three people who had been swept away.
The others rushed forward and pulled the three people out of the water with all their might.
As soon as the three people's feet touched the ground, the ice dam was shattered by the rushing water.
Only then did Wang Ze get a good look at the people he had just saved, and was shocked to the point of dropping his cigarette: "This...this is the suspect? Are all suspects this good-looking now?"
He had never seen Sheng Lingyuan before, but both Ping Qianru and Gu Yuexi had been close enough to the great heavenly demon at Chiyuan Hospital to have the same intense reaction.
Ping Qianru's legs went weak: "Oh my god! Why is it him again! Help!"
Gu Yuexi shouted in a stern voice, "Be careful, Mr. Wang! Stay away from him!"
Sheng Lingyuan had no time to deal with them and waved away Wang Ze, who was in the way, with a flick of his sleeve.
"Little demon, real fire!"
Although their "brainwave Bluetooth" violated personal privacy, it was not entirely without benefits. At least in this situation, it greatly reduced the communication time between two people who did not speak the same language.
Sheng Lingyuan didn't need to speak, his mind moved slightly, and Xuan Ji already understood what he wanted.
Xuan Ji immediately pricked his middle finger and squeezed out a drop of blood.
As soon as the blood droplet left his skin, it immediately turned into a ball of real fire and flew into the air.
Sheng Lingyuan made use of the surrounding materials and beckoned, causing a row of fake trees nearby to fall down. The paper-made branches and leaves fell to the ground and were rolled up into human shapes in an instant, forming eight fake people.
Sheng Lingyuan said, "Lend me some vitality from living people."
He spoke in a refined tone that no one, except for Xuan Ji, could understand.
Everyone stared at him dumbfounded.
Sheng Lingyuan took their silence as agreement and continued.
Suddenly, a shiver ran through everyone's body, as if they were standing naked in the midst of a harsh winter snowstorm, with the northwest wind mercilessly stealing their body heat.
Xuan Ji's fiery energy suddenly shattered into countless points of light, each one nailing the vibrant energy of the people to the heart of each dummy.
The hollow eyes of the dummies lit up with fire, as if by some mysterious magic.
Sheng Lingyuan waved his hand and the dummies flew out in unison, landing in the eight positions of the Fuxi Bagua on the mountainside.
At the same time, everyone felt a strange sensation, as if they had suddenly grown a second pair of eyes, following the dummies as they flew off into the distance.
As soon as the fake person hit the ground, the witch's altar had already completely floated on the water's surface. With a loud rumble, a large number of mirror flower water moon butterflies were submerged in the pond, but countless fish that had slipped through the net still flew out of the mountain cave in groups.
They gracefully and elegantly weaved through the false grass and trees, making the forest on the hill look like a legendary firefly forest.
Whether it was the Wind God team or the Aftermath Department, everyone was left speechless by the beauty of this scene.
However, in the next moment, those creepy butterflies seemed to be guided by something and began to split up, flying towards the fake people. Through the eyes of the fake people, several people could "see" groups of butterflies hovering above their heads, some getting very close, revealing the happy and sad human faces on their wings.
Even experienced field agents were now covered in cold sweat. Zhang Zhao stood frozen, his neck stiff, muttering to himself, "What kind of nightmare is this? I think I'm developing entomophobia."
Sheng Lingyuan spoke in a somewhat awkward modern Chinese, "Everyone, repeat after me."
Then, he uttered a sentence in the language of the witch people.
Perhaps afraid that they wouldn't be able to learn it, Sheng Lingyuan spoke slowly, with a lower and gentler tone.
It is taboo to repeat something you don't understand, as taught in the first lesson of the induction training for employees of the Bureau. However, Sheng Lingyuan's voice seemed to have a certain allure, even causing Wang Ze, who had mistaken him for a suspect, to hesitate for a moment and mutter along with the others.
As soon as he spoke, Wang Ze was suddenly startled, and upon reflection, he couldn't understand why he had repeated after him.
"What level of spiritual manipulation is this? He actually skipped over a dozen protective spells on him!"
Wang Ze immediately wanted to bite his own tongue, but before he could close his teeth, he heard Sheng Lingyuan command, "Repeat it over and over again, don't stop."
His tongue seemed to have its own willpower and involuntarily followed him in reciting.
The hovering butterflies seemed to have heard something and scattered like scattered diamonds among the fake people, branches, and grass. Xuan Ji was the first to speak the witch language out loud.
He didn't know if it was because of his connection with Sheng Lingyuan, but he inexplicably understood the meaning of the witch language - it was a call, meaning "come back."
Although Sheng Lingyuan had a dark heart and could easily betray his teammates, Xuan Ji believed that he wouldn't play any tricks in this matter. After all, he was the one who sealed the altar with his own hands.
The witchcraft of the witch people flowed out of the mouths of eight living people, and the fire in the eyes of the fake people grew stronger and stronger. The butterflies were gradually attracted and swarmed into the bodies of the fake people.
On the distant highway, the streetlights came on as scheduled. The innocent city and countryside were preparing to sleep or start a round of revelry.
The lanterns were lit, and the world was filled with smoke and fireworks.
Halfway up the mountain, eight fake people filled with Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterflies were illuminated from inside. From a distance, they looked like gods guarding the mountain. They looked solemn and restrained the curse that should not belong to this world in the mountain.
"What's that thing on the mountain?"
At the foot of the mountain, the disciples of the Yue De Sect witnessed the unexpected commotion caused by the blast they just set off.
It seemed as though a colossal creature buried deep underground had been awakened and roared its way to the surface of the earth.
The old man in a Tang suit immediately realized the gravity of the situation - something forbidden from the underground "mine" of their family had been unearthed.
His voice was hoarse as he said, "No matter what they have uncovered, we cannot let them leave this mountain alive."
For generations, their family had been living here, receiving endless offerings from their followers during festivals and celebrations. The pursuit of worldly fame and fortune was child's play to them. Over the years, many believers who had been "saved" by the masters had come to worship them as gods.
As time went by, the "masters" themselves began to have delusions of grandeur, thinking that they were born superior and had already transcended the mortal realm.
The consequences of the secret leaking out from the mountain were beyond their imagination. Whether it was Master Yue De, who was in Penglai, or his disciples and grand-disciples, they all wished they could catch the traitor who leaked the "heavenly secret" and tear him apart a hundred times.
"Fire..." The old man in a Tang suit squeezed out a word from his teeth, "Fire!"
The disciples who carried the special "mithril cannon" received the order and opened the second round of fire towards the mountaintop. Without aiming, meteor-like white light flew out of the bowl-sized "gun", tearing through the night and smashing down towards the mountain.
With a loud "boom", the second round of intense white light landed, and the fake tree forest on half of the mountain slope was blown up.
The white light directly penetrated the ground and hit the pile of white bones in the witch's tomb. The immortal bones that had once been inhabited by butterflies and burned by the flames were now disturbed, causing a flurry of petals to scatter like a celestial maiden's dance.
"Mithril!" Zhang Zhao suddenly opened his eyes. "Which team are they from? Who gave them permission to act on their own?!"
Xuan Ji asked, "What's going on?"
"The recently developed mass destruction weapon by the Research Institute, specifically designed to target various disaster-level mutant species," Wang Ze said quickly. "I... can't believe it. Isn't it still in the testing phase?! This can't be our people."
Gu Yuexi exclaimed, "This is bad! The butterflies!"
The butterflies that had already been sucked into the fake human bodies were now disturbed by the explosions, and it looked like they were about to fly out of the fake bodies.
"Get back." Sheng Lingyuan knelt on one knee and recited a long incantation in a language that Xuan Ji had never heard before. As he spoke, his tall and straight back began to bend slightly.
At the same time, Xuan Ji, who was forced to temporarily share his senses, felt a heavy pressure, as if a mountain had fallen on his shoulders.
For a moment, he found it difficult to breathe. Then, he felt Sheng Lingyuan's mind waver under such heavy pressure, and he couldn't help but think of the words that Aluojin had said before he died.
It was a spell in the language of the witches, and in this eerie "link" state, Xuan Ji found that he could understand it without a teacher.
He discovered that Aluojin's last words were actually a blessing, saying, "May the mountain god and our ancestors bless the great emperor with eternal life, from me, Aluojin, and all the witches.
"May the star of Chiyuan never die, Your Majesty's spirit and soul never die, blood never stop flowing, body never decay.
"Long live for thousands of years, transcending ghosts and gods."
These were clearly words of blessing for eternal life, but Aluojin's tone made Xuan Ji shiver. Before Xuan Ji could think further, at the next moment, eight fake people simultaneously burst into flames, engulfing the countless cursed Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterflies, turning the little faces on the butterflies into expressions of resentment.
Yang Chao suddenly let out a hoarse and miserable scream, falling to the ground and rolling in agony, as if he too was being burned by the flames.
Masses of "mithril" began to rain down like shooting stars. Wang Ze fiercely punched the ground, causing all the water on the mountain to surge up and form several large waterfalls, facing the mithril bullets head-on.
Unfortunately, the mithril bullets were not afraid of water. They only hesitated for a moment before breaking through the barrier of water.
Wang Ze roared, "Zhang Zhao! Time it!"
Zhang Zhao raised his hand and took the stopwatch from around his neck. With a "click," everything around them except for a few people froze in time.
Old Luo and Ping Qianru picked up Yang Chao from both sides, while Xuan Ji spread his wings on his back and lifted Sheng Lingyuan, who was half-kneeling on the ground, saying, "Let's go!"
This young Zhang Zhao was truly worthy of being the leader of the Wind God's first team. His special ability was to temporarily stop time!
Unfortunately, it only lasted for a moment. The next moment, the mithril bullet that had been suspended in mid-air smashed towards their previous location at an even faster speed.
"He can only freeze time for one second!" Wang Ze shouted, "After that, there will be a long period of time with double speed fast forward. He's useless, don't expect too much from him! Birdman, can you still carry people?"
Xuan Ji remained silent. He felt that it might be due to their different attributes that he and his water-based colleague didn't quite get along.
So he shouted back, "As long as you're not afraid of getting burned!"
Although he said that, the next moment, he still restrained the flames on his wings and leaped from a high altitude, diving towards the ground. "Jump on!" he yelled.
In this critical moment, everyone's potential was unleashed as they collectively jumped onto Xuan Ji's wings in a cliff-jumping posture.
Xuan Ji felt like his shoulder blades were almost broken by these shameless creatures, especially when plump Ping Qianru jumped on.
"Can you guys...move to the sides and distribute the weight evenly?!" Xuan Ji gritted his teeth and blurted out, "Who the hell is stomping?!"
"Woah, it's hot, hot, hot!" exclaimed Wang Ze.
Forced to empathize with him, Sheng Lingyuan's back also tensed up as if he too had been weighed down by something heavy, and he suddenly lunged forward, his chin hitting Xuan Ji's shoulder.
Both of them groaned in pain, but Xuan Ji suddenly realized that this kind of empathy wasn't entirely useless. It seemed to help him share some of the weight.
He took a deep breath and, during Zhang Zhao's one-second pause, he quickly dove down the mountain, his wings blazing like fire, and burst out of the second wave of falling mithril bullets.
The mithril accelerated as it fell, illuminating the mountains as bright as day.
The witch people's altar, which had just been exposed to daylight, was shrouded in a bleak white light.
The Wind Gods' field agents clung onto the outside, blocking any possible harm for the powerless aftermath department team.
Ping Qianru's face, slightly panicked, was frozen by the white light. In that moment, she seemed to hear the mountain's mournful cry.
The mountain... had collapsed.
Happy readers make me float like a cloud in the sky. If you enjoy my translations and want to read them more quickly, I'll translate bonus chapters as a thank you for coffee!
Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@eyks.