Lie Huo Jiao Chou

Lie Huo Jiao Chou

Chapter 42 - Chapter 42

"When we were catching the demon in the Dongchuan Forest Park, the mysterious phone call made to Zhang Zhao was from the Bureau's control room." 

That afternoon, after serving His Majesty, Jing Xuan went to the hospital with Wang Ze to visit the victim of a lightning strike, Xiao Zheng. 

On the way, Wang Ze said, "The problem is that there was no one in the control room at the time. Our daddy Xiao, the general dispatcher, was still on the scene. I say, Director Xuan, why didn't you take a nap at the hotel? You keep yawning."

Xuan Ji had a look of deep resentment. "Don't even mention it. The new society is better. Since the liberation, I have never suffered such a great injustice."

Wang Ze was completely confused.

Xuan Ji didn't want to say much, waved his hand, and asked, "Doesn't the control room have special monitoring?" 

It was said that the monitoring system used by the Bureau was not an ordinary one. It could capture various abnormal energy entities, not even letting ghostly shadows slip by.

"No," Wang Ze shook his head, "I had someone check all the monitoring."

Xuan Ji took a drag from his cigarette, standing silently at the hospital entrance until he finished. There were two issues at hand. Firstly, the timing of the phone call was too coincidental, happening just as Aluojin was trapped by the formation. 

If the mastermind behind this wasn't clairvoyant, then they must have somehow "seen" the situation at the time.

Secondly, could the Yin Sacrifice ritual really control things remotely through wireless radio waves? If that were the case, it would be too unbelievable. 

So in his opinion, the most likely scenario was not a problem with the incoming call, but rather an issue with the phone that received the call. The phone belonged to Zhang Zhao, the leader of the "Wind God" squadron... theoretically, there shouldn't be any problems.

But then again, Bi Chunsheng had been in the Bureau for over 20 years, and didn't she still manage to betray the Bureau?

In front of Wang Ze, it wasn't convenient to delve too deeply into the matter, so Xuan Ji extinguished his cigarette in the trash can and changed the subject: "Let's talk about it later. Come on, I heard that Old Xiao got struck by lightning and his hair is fried into curls. Let's go check it out first." 

"Hey," Wang Ze caught up with him in two steps and suddenly remembered something. He said, "There's one more thing, Director Xuan. I don't know how your aftermath department regulates things, but this is how it works for our security department. If our special abilities or special weapons mutate, we have to officially report and file it. Your sword spirit just appeared, right? What's your relationship with it now? What are your plans?"

Xuan Ji was taken aback by his questions and felt that Wang Ze's words were not very human-like.

Reporting a mutation in special abilities to the bureau was one thing, but what did the other two questions have to do with anything? Was the government planning to arrange a honeymoon or something?

Xuan Ji asked, "What...what plans?" 

"What method do you plan to use for registration?" Wang Ze gasped for breath. "You know our bureau has a 'human-like evaluation scale,' right? The highest score is one hundred, and those who score over sixty are considered to have a 'high human-like degree' and will be closely monitored. Like your sword spirit, who looks more human than you, I estimate he could score one hundred and one."

Xuan Ji's eye twitched, feeling like this wasn't a compliment.

"In this situation, there are two ways to register. Either you sign a 'full responsibility agreement,' and the bureau will issue him a special ID card that looks the same as a regular person's ID card, which can be used to open a bank account. However, it is actually linked to your identity information, and you will be responsible for everything he does in the future."

Xuan Ji had a foreboding feeling. "In other words..."

Wang Ze said, "In other words, if he owes money, you pay. If he kills someone, you take the blame." 

Xuan Ji exclaimed, "Wait a minute... Wang, can you help me check if there are four bloody words 'Professional Scapegoat' on my back?"

Wang Ze shrugged, "If your sword spirit doesn't listen to you, then it's really hard to handle. How about this, I suggest you choose the second option, 'Ordinary Filing' - just tell the bureau that there is such a thing."

Just as Xuan Ji was about to agree, Wang Ze added, "Then you have to send him to the underground 60th floor of the headquarters building for isolation and review. It starts at six months, and the higher the humanoid degree, the longer the review time. Finally, it must go through a series of experiments and safety tests, and be signed by three experts above the director level before it can be released."

Xuan Ji was speechless. 

He wouldn't dare to do it even if he had the courage! 

"Why so strict?" Xuan Ji asked. "Aren't weapon spirits quite common? Haven't your team seen them before?"

Wang Ze hesitated for a moment before answering. "Well, for safety reasons, weapon spirits are not like humans. If something goes wrong, we don't even know which hospital to send them to, and they can easily become contaminated. That's why..."

Xuan Ji studied his expression. "Has there been an incident with a weapon spirit before in the bureau?"

Wang Ze remained silent for a while before taking a cigarette from Xuan Ji and shaking his head. 

"It's not a secret. If you've been in the bureau for a while, you can find out. We just don't like to talk about it. But your weapon spirit is too human-like... too much like them."

"Like who?" Xuan Ji asked. "The former leader of the Wind God team, who was my boss back then, was Yan Qiushan, a metal-type with the surname Yan. He had a longsword with the inscription 'Zhi Chun' on it. Now, the fragments of that longsword are in the underground 60th floor of the headquarters."

"So, the sword spirit that Team Leader Gu Yuexi mentioned is referring to him?" 

"Yes, the Zhi Chun sword was very spiritual, with a blade that shines so brightly it can cast a shadow of a person. But if you see your own reflection from inside the blade, it feels off. You see your own face, but it doesn't feel like looking in a mirror. It's like there's someone inside, looking out through your face... Do you understand what I mean?" Wang Ze spoke softly.

"The first time I saw it was during our company's team building event for Chinese New Year. It was my first year in the Wind God. Everyone was drinking, but us water-type folks had a higher tolerance. By the end of the night, I was the only one still standing, helping everyone call their families to come pick them up. That's when a man from Yan Qiushan's home came to pick him up. I still remember what he looked like - tall and model-like, with a refined air. Leader Yan was so drunk he told me to call him 'sister-in-law' and asked me to take care of him." 

"I was startled at first, but then I thought to myself, it's already modern times, so what if my boss was gay? I laughed it off with the help of alcohol and didn't take it to heart... But when I helped him onto the train, I heard him call out 'Zhi Chun' to my sister-in-law." 

"He was the sword spirit? What happened next?" 

Wang Ze sighed.

"One time, a 'mirage island' drifted to the South Sea - do you know what a mirage island is?" 

A mirage island is a small island that floats on the sea. Legend has it that there is a type of marine creature called a "mirage bug," which can be understood as a type of dung beetle in the sea. They like all kinds of dirty things and often gather together to pile up sunken ships, corpses in the sea, garbage, and so on... forming a moving small island from afar.

But in the depths of the sea, there are too many unknown things. Besides dirt, mirage islands often hide other deadly things that people cannot accurately distinguish and define at present, so they are collectively referred to as "sea poison.

"Normally, mirage islands are active in the deep sea. But somehow, this one drifted onto the continental shelf. There were many fishing boats and work boats in the nearby waters, so it was too dangerous to leave it there. That's why we, the Wind God team, received an emergency mission to move it away. Leader Yan led us and we had it under control, but there were some uncivilized local fishermen who spread rumors that there were sunken ships and treasures inside. They secretly dug into the mirage island, causing a large amount of sea poison to leak out. Leader Yan was trapped on the island trying to save those idiots, and we thought he was going to die. But just as we were crying, we saw Zhi Chun carrying Leader Yan on his back, protected by a sheath that he had turned into a shield. Leader Yan didn't inhale any poison, but Zhi Chun was..."

"Corroded by the sea poison inside the mirage island." Behind them, someone interjected.

As they were talking, the two of them had already entered the hospital building. 

When Xuan Ji and Wang Ze heard someone interrupt, they turned around and saw the person clearly. The two of them had an unexpectedly identical reaction, taking a step back in unison.

Xuan Ji was shocked, "Oh my Buddha!"

Wang Ze seamlessly continued, "Goodness, goodness, it's my dad!"

Xiao Zheng remained silent.

He wondered if the suburban cemetery can add a "two-in-one" package. He really wanted to bury the two of them together.

The one who spoke was Director Xiao, and they saw the "automatic ATM" from the Bureau with crutches and a bandaged foot...and a shaved head.

Xuan Ji and Wang Ze exchanged a glance - it seemed that the rumor about "Director Xiao's hair being struck by lightning and turning curly was not unfounded.

Fortunately, Xiao Zheng's head was quite round, and even with a shaved head, he didn't look bad, like a boiled egg that doesn't smile or talk much. 

The Serious Water-Boiled Egg lifted his chin at the two of them and said, "Come inside to talk." 

Director Xiao's hospital room was a single room with a huge energy detector at the door and symbols of warding off evil and bringing peace on the windows and doors. 

Xiao Zheng had been isolated in the room for twenty-four hours until it was confirmed that there were no other abnormal energies on his body. He had just regained his freedom and was out for a walk. 

"It's okay, being bald is pretty good," Xuan Ji remembered his own miserable experience as a 'hair washer' and rubbed his fingers, which had white marks from being soaked in water. He sincerely said, "It saves water and is convenient. I was even thinking of shaving my hair in a few days." 

Xiao Zheng was so angry at him that he couldn't even speak - it was this unreliable guy who was causing trouble! 

In the Bureau, he confidently claimed that he could figure out the mysterious Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly after lecturing on politics and history. However, not only did he fail to understand it, he ended up making a mess of it all.

"You might as well shave your head, since you're not even thinking about the real issue with that ball on your shoulder," Xiao Zheng coldly glanced at him. "Did you leave behind the ancient camera technique and thunder talisman where the Bronze Coffin disappeared? You left such a big trap and didn't even mention it to your colleagues. Director Xuan, do you not value your colleagues' lives?"

Xuan Ji was stunned, only then realizing that Director Xiao had also blamed him for the unfortunate incident with the emperor. 

It was truly an unjust accusation. 

" wasn't me...I didn't...he..." He stuttered for a while, realizing that he couldn't explain the situation clearly at the moment. 

He had no choice but to reluctantly take the blame and say, "I can't reveal anything, how can I? To be frank, in my opinion, the person manipulating the Yin Sacrifice ritual behind the scenes has too much insider knowledge of the Bureau. It's impossible for it to be an outsider. It's definitely an insider, and we don't even know if they did it willingly or if they were possessed by something. 

"Who could have predicted that the lightning would transfer to different people before it struck? I've only been here for less than a month, and I can count the number of familiar faces in the entire bureau on one hand. Who can I trust?" 

Wang Ze quickly intervened, "Hey, we weren't just lazing around. Old Xiao, you didn't see that huge 'moth' that flew out of the coffin and chased us for dozens of miles. It was like a barrage of wind blades and bone arrows, we almost got sliced into pieces."

Xuan Ji remained silent, wondering who was responsible for their current predicament.

Xiao Zheng sneered, "Well, if the wise Director Xuan can tell me whether my lightning strike was worth it, that would be great."

Xuan Ji and Wang Ze then proceeded to recount their adventure in the forest park, exchanging witty banter like a comedy duo.

Xuan Ji concluded, "The chief of the witch tribe awakened by the second Yin Sacrifice ritual is currently dead. Whether he will come back to life or not depends on his mood. I can't guarantee anything." 

Xiao Zheng swallowed his anger and asked, "What about the figure that appeared before me?"

Xuan Ji rubbed his hands and replied, "Sorry, it seems to be just a clone."

Anyway the old demon who laid this trap himself said so.

Xiao Zheng's suppressed anger finally erupted, and the single room was filled with lightning and thunder, turning everyone's hair into a punk style. As a water-based cultivator, Wang Ze had a lower electrical resistance than ordinary people. Seeing this lightning god become bald and more powerful, he immediately slipped away.

In the blink of an eye, only Xuan Ji was left in the room. 

He retreated to the door with crackling static electricity all over his body, but instead of running out, he turned back and put a anti-eavesdropping talisman on the door. With a wave of his hand, Xiao Zheng dismissed the lightning in the room and the chaotic electrical charges immediately settled down, restoring peace. 

Though his face was grim, his eyes remained calm as he lowered his voice and asked Xuan Ji, "Do you have any suspicions about who might be responsible?"

Xuan Ji's expression grew serious as he shook his head. 

In theory, if Aluojin hadn't lied to him in the forest park, then everyone was a suspect. Deep within the Chiyuan, sealed away, was the "abnormal energy" that had caused chaos and war throughout the world before the Nine Provinces War. 

The demon clans and many others could harness this power, surpassing all other beings. However, the word "power" was too abstract for modern people. After all, three thousand years had passed, and contemporary humans with special abilities were almost indistinguishable from ordinary people. 

No one remembered the incredible abilities of the masters of old. Those ancient legends sounded like clichéd and unrealistic myths, far less attractive than paychecks and property deeds.

"I have a feeling," Xuan Ji said, "that the person using the Yin Sacrifice ritual isn't just starting random fires everywhere. They're also dividing 'special abilities' and ordinary people."

Xiao Zheng narrowed his eyes. "What do you mean?"

"Look, the first Yin Sacrifice ritual was done in Chiyuan by Bi Chunsheng. But now, no one cares about her after she finished it. Everyone's attention has been drawn to the issue of the Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterflies. The last victim in this case happens to be one of the main culprits in the Yin Sacrifice ritual case in Dongchuan. It's suspicious. Ji Qingchen and the boy he harmed disrupted our investigation. Especially Ji Qingchen, he risked his life to cover for Bi Chunsheng, which led us to Dongchuan and exposed the dirty secrets of the Yue De Sect. Otherwise, the symptoms of the Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly parasite are so hidden, and the witches' tomb is buried underground. Even if Aluojin emerged, who knows who he is? Who can find his lair? These two incidents, especially the second one, give me the feeling that the person behind the scenes is leading us to discover him."

"It's a masterplan," he thought to himself, "letting us pull out a carrot and dragging out a group of criminals in the process. If it weren't for the sinister and insane nature of the Yin Sacrifiec ritual, I might have thought the mastermind behind it was a true hero like Lei Feng." 

The case of Master Yue De is not an isolated incident. There are more than just his sect who lacked restraint and are willing to harm others for personal gain. 

Now that Master Yue De's wrongdoing has been exposed, what about those who haven't been caught? In addition to being afraid, what else will they do? Moreover, with the ongoing Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly scandal of the Bureau, it has reached a point where "internal handling" is no longer a viable solution. Not to mention, how will those who have participated in concealing casualty numbers feel?

Xuan Ji remembered what His Majesty had said to him before leaving the hotel - Sheng Lingyuan said, "You and the leader of your company... um, what's his name? Oh, the chief. It's very wise of you to want to cover up the matter of the human-faced butterfly, but don't forget that this is not accidental. Someone has been scheming behind the scenes, and it's not something you can cover up just because you want to. Besides, you want to calm things down, but those who have ulterior motives below may not appreciate your efforts. Be careful, they may become more daring. It's better to nip it in the bud."

Xiao Zheng asked, "What do you mean?"

"Cut the Gordian knot." Xuan Ji took out a piece of paper from his pocket, which he had torn from the hotel notepad. There was a very round and smooth unknown script written in pencil on it.

As soon as Xiao Zheng took it, the paper emitted a bright white light. 

Just after being struck by lightning, Director Xiao was still frightened and threw the paper away, exclaiming, "What is this again!" 

"It's the witch people's spell, what are you doing with it? It won't bite you," Xuan Ji clicked his tongue, picked up the note, and blew off the dust. "Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly, also known as the Human-Faced Butterfly, is a type of witchcraft from the ancient witch tribe. Most of their witchcraft has a solution, and it is forbidden to use evil curses to harm others. It is said that they believe this butterfly can communicate with the dead, and life and death are sacred matters. Except for the chief of the tribe, no one can implant this butterfly at will. This curse is used for inspection. Anyone who abuses the butterfly will reveal a butterfly pattern on their forehead when encountering this ancient curse. It is most suitable for detecting spies - you are clean, Director Xiao."

Xiao Zheng: ...

Ever since he met Xuan Ji, his desire to chop this person off has grown stronger day by day. 

"No need to thank me." Xuan Ji made a "shh" gesture, smiled, and removed the talisman from the door. "This talisman is known to the heavens and the earth, and now you and I know it too. Alright, I hope Old Wang hasn't gone too far, I still need to hitch a ride with him back. And maybe hear him finish telling the story of the 'Zhi Chun' longsword spirit corroded by sea poison."

"Later, the longsword called 'Zhi Chun' was destroyed, and the remaining pieces were stored in an underground isolation room on the sixtieth floor." In the hotel restaurant, Ping Qianru followed Director Xuan's instructions and took His Majesty downstairs to eat - to prevent him from tearing another hole in the parking lot.

The restaurant was a buffet, but His Majesty was not willing to "serve himself". He sat there like a lord, not feeling the least bit embarrassed about ordering her around despite being a fully capable man. Luckily, Ping Qianru had a good temperament and was willing to take care of people, constantly looking after him.

Sheng Lingyuan observed the tea bag in the teapot with interest and casually asked, "What is that for?"

"The sea poison's composition is unknown, so we can't completely eradicate it. We tried various methods, but the purification speed couldn't keep up with the corrosion. Moreover, the sea poison's corrosiveness is not just physical, Zhi Chun lost control and became increasingly delirious. Leader Yan had to lock him up. Unexpectedly, he broke the seal and ran to the downtown area, injuring six pedestrians and almost killing one. It caused quite a stir, and we had no choice but to destroy Zhi Chun. Yan Qiushan also left because of this incident and his whereabouts are still unknown. That's why the bureau is now strictly controlling you sword spirits." 

"Ah," Sheng Lingyuan wiped his hands and thought to himself, "then it's even more inconvenient to stay here for long."

Ping Qianru said, "Actually, I think the bureau can be quite compromising at times, but also quite ruthless. When dealing with matters, it's not about right or wrong or reason, it's just about the outcome. For things that are difficult to resolve, we just cover them up with a blanket and wait until we can't cover them up anymore. Like the butterfly incident this time, we have to talk about 'prioritizing the overall situation and handling it with caution', and still try to keep it hidden. As for those things that can be handled without consequences, the decision to destroy them is made quickly - after all, isn't Zhi Chun just a knife, and Yan Qiushan just a single man with no background? If it can be destroyed, then it will be destroyed." 

As they spoke, she noticed that Sheng Lingyuan kept glancing at the small steak next to him, which had gone cold but he hadn't touched it. She knew he must not like the size of the steak, so she picked it up and cut it for him.

After cutting it, Ping Qianru noticed that Sheng Lingyuan was looking at her in surprise. Her face turned red and she asked cautiously, "Do you want to eat this? I just...did it without thinking..."

She was timid and introverted, and not very good-looking. 

From childhood to adulthood, she always seemed to be out of sync with those around her. If she didn't tread carefully and try to fit in, there was a risk of becoming a "freak". She didn't want to appear out of place, so she always tried to stick with others and silently serve one princess-type character after another. She thought that joining the Bureau would be the solution, since everyone here was a weirdo and she could finally be herself on "Weirdo Planet". But she soon realized that the rules of the weirdos were no less complicated than those of ordinary people.

Just now, Sheng Lingyuan's reserved gaze of "I want that, but I won't say it. You have to understand and bring it to me proactively" was too familiar. Ping Qianru accidentally treated the big shot like someone with the princess syndrome.

Sheng Lingyuan's eyes curved slightly at the corners, and Ping Qianru's face turned even redder, and she even felt a little dizzy.

"Do you... do you have a sword inscription?" She stuttered, but then felt that the pronunciation of "sword inscription" sounded like a curse word, so she panicked and changed her words, "No, I mean, how should I address you?" 

After some thought, Sheng Lingyuan decided to use a different name. "Lingyuan" was already known in Chiyuan, and since Xuan Ji had helped him conceal his identity, there was no need to cause trouble. "My name is 'Xiao'," he said.

Fortunately, Ping Qian was a science student who had given up history after the high school entrance exam. She could still remember that "Sheng Xiao" shared a name with Emperor Wu, but if he only said "Xiao", she wouldn't have a clue.

Sheng Lingyuan asked in a gentle voice, "Are you also 'special'?" 

"Indeed, my ID says so, but I have no idea what my special ability is. They just recruited me without any clear explanation," Ping Qianru said with a bitter smile. "Maybe the testing equipment was broken that day - otherwise, I should have stayed at school as a researcher. By the way, you don't know what a researcher is, do you?"

Sheng Lingyuan seemed to have hardly said a word from beginning to end, but after a meal, Ping Qianru inexplicably revealed her entire life story, not even sparing the 'personal privacy' of the neighbor's dog. She was introverted and timid, and at first, she was very afraid of this man. But after spending some time together, she inexplicably forgot her initial fear. 

After finishing their meal, they went to sign the bill. Ping Qianru was still feeling a bit dizzy and suspected that she had some secret infatuation towards handsome men, unable to control her tongue around them. While signing the bill, she unintentionally turned her head and saw the sword spirit called "Xiao" looking at her thoughtfully, but his gaze did not stay on her, as if he was looking through her at something else.

His eyes were calm and content, but seemed to contain a hint of distant sadness. 

Ping Qianru was stunned, and when she tried to look closer, the man had already snapped out of it and smiled at her. His attention was drawn to an ice cream in the hands of a child, as if what she had just experienced was just her imagination. 

Ten minutes later, under the guidance of Ping Qianru, Sheng Lingyuan finally understood how to exit the hotel from the main entrance. 

Holding a colorful ice cream, he sat on the small square in front of the city complex downstairs, observing the people passing by.

Thanks to him, the shopping mall had a hole in the floor and an emergency construction team was repairing it. However, it was still a weekend and the citizens were still coming and going on the square.

Sheng Lingyuan tied his long hair into a bundle and sat next to the fountain. His appearance was too eye-catching, and people passing by couldn't help but turn their heads to look at him. As someone who grew up in the spotlight, he wasn't afraid of being watched. When someone met his gaze, he would even smile at them. 

As he walked through the square, half of the passersby had their faces blushing from his infectious smile. Within moments, several girls approached him, asking for his "WeChat ID." Although Sheng Lingyuan had no idea what a "WeChat ID" was, it didn't stop him from skillfully changing the subject and engaging in lively conversation with them.

Xuan Ji returned from the hospital and took the elevator up to the outdoor smoking area. Leaning against the railing, he looked down and immediately saw the scene below.

He pulled out the new phone he had borrowed from Daddy Xiao and, although not very familiar with it, logged into the internal network of the Bureau using his work ID.

The internal network of the bureau was well-designed, with a clear structure. 

The registration of "spirit weapons" could be directly filled out online. Xuan Ji quickly read through the "full responsibility agreement," which made his stomach ache. It was truly comprehensive, covering every detail, even including provisions such as "additional travel and accommodation expenses incurred during business trips shall be borne by the responsible person." 

"What the hell is this?" Xuan Ji flopped onto the railing bonelessly.

There was no way he would sign this thing, "taking responsibility" was only if he could control it.

Control the Emperor? What was he thinking!

Besides, Sheng Lingyuan wasn't even a real sword spirit.

And as for sending His Majesty to the Bureau's isolation room, that was a joke. If he wasn't satisfied, he would turn the headquarters upside down.

At that moment, he saw Sheng Lingyuan finish his ice cream. 

A young woman was pushed forward by her friends and asked him something shyly. Sheng Lingyuan happily nodded in agreement, and she ran off, covering her face. She dashed to a nearby dessert stand, ordered a large cup of hot drink, and handed it to him before running off like a gust of wind.

Xuan Ji: "..." 

He felt that even the emperor didn't need to have any status anymore, and could just make a living selling smiles on the roadside. So he quit the network, locked his phone screen, and decided not to care about this matter. 

After all, Sheng Lingyuan wouldn't stay obediently, so he could just say he lost his sword when the time came. He didn't ask Sheng Lingyuan about his plans for the future - there was no point in asking, that old demon would never tell the truth, and he might accidentally give away valuable information. 

Although they had entered and exited the witches' tomb together and had been forced to fight on the same side several times, their friendship was basically like cheap plastic that would break at the slightest touch. What was even more troublesome was that if they got each other's blood on them, their brains would automatically connect like Bluetooth, making it inconvenient to be together. 

Thinking from Sheng Lingyuan's perspective, if the matter at the witches' tomb was resolved, he should be ready to leave.

At that moment, Sheng Lingyuan seemed to feel his gaze and looked up at him.

A voice sounded in Xuan Ji's ear, "Thank you for your hospitality."

Xuan Ji was stunned, leaning on the railing without moving, looking down at Sheng Lingyuan. 

"The method to check for users of the human-faced butterfly has been left with you. Remember to settle the matter quickly, lest you have too many dreams in the night." Sheng Lingyuan stood up. "Little demon, let's part ways here."

After speaking, he picked up the cup of hot chocolate, took a sip, and savored it. 

His eyebrows lifted slightly, as if he had tasted something profound. Then he turned and merged into the sea of people, his conspicuous white sportswear and long hair flashing a few times before disappearing.

Before Xuan Ji could react, he had already stood up and instinctively wanted to chase after him. 

But as he lifted one leg over the railing, he came to his senses and thought, 'Isn't this perfect?' 

This enigmatic emperor seemed to have no intention of being hostile towards them for now. He couldn't be defeated in battle nor controlled, so it was better to simply not interfere with each other. Who knows, if they were destined to cross paths in the future and uncover the mastermind behind the Yin Sacrifice ritual, they could even borrow each other's strength.

As for the achievements recorded in history books, it was best to leave him on the pedestal where he could be revered by others. 

Just then, Xiao Zheng sent a message - Director Xiao, who had been quarantined for 24 hours, just remembered to ask about his sword spirit. 

Xuan Ji answered the phone while walking and said, "I was just about to tell you, Old Xiao. Do I need to report the loss of my life-bound weapon? Sigh... it's a long story! As soon as I came back, I couldn't find it. Maybe it ran away because it thought I was poor... Can you believe it? I haven't even received my first month's salary, and I've already spent it on several clothes, phones, and a sword! Can I get reimbursed? I think that 'mithril' that Master Yue De and the others stole that time was pretty good, much cooler than my crappy sword..."


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