Being 'forcibly awakened,' 'emerged from an underground coffin,' and 'speaking in an ancient dialect with a clear and elegant tone'...It sounded like something out of a thousand-year-old horror movie. But zombies actually aren’t that scary, because when a person dies, they're like a light that goes out. The principles behind 'refining corpses' and 'driving out corpses' are similar to those of a puppet on a string. The body moves under external manipulation, and the nervous system is already decayed, without any thoughts or intentions. If the preservation work isn't done properly, it's not uncommon for the arms, legs, heart, liver, and lungs to fall off while walking. Apart from scaring people, their combat effectiveness can be completely ignored.
The frightening thing is when the coffin doesn't contain a corpse. Because in addition to burying them properly, ancient people also used coffins to seal away bad things. The so-called ‘voice that woke him up' is likely some kind of curse or prayer.
Someone is using forbidden techniques to summon demons!
No wonder the heavens have been calm, but the Chiyuan has been in turmoil. It turns out to be a man-made disaster - Xuan Ji cursed in his heart. He should have thought of this earlier. It's all because of this misleading book, the "Thousand Demon Bestiary." Where does it stand?
The personnel outside the door heard something amiss and immediately wanted to rush in. Xuan Ji suddenly raised his hand and slapped the door from a distance. The person who had just pushed the door open was immediately pushed out. A fiery "stop" character flashed and merged into the door. The "stop" character quickly spread to the walls. In the blink of an eye, the family rest area was surrounded by flames, separated from the outside world.
The team of personnel who were blocked outside were all thrown back. They didn't see the process of him drawing the talisman with his bare hands, but they felt the power of the talisman. They looked at each other in shock - what kind of talisman was this? Why did someone from the logistics department carry such a powerful talisman with them?
This is against the rules!
One should know that the complexity of learning talismans and magic circles is so great that one or two years of training can't even scratch the surface, so it hasn't been included in the regular field training program. The talismans are produced in bulk by the Bureau of Paranormal Control with the help of instruments, and as a weapon, they are distributed to various department's field operatives as quotas, like bullets. Because mishandling them can be dangerous, even field operatives must have a license to hold talismans, and the bureau strictly prohibits non-combat personnel from coming into contact with them!
Intern Xiao Li hurriedly picked up his jaw from the ground and turned to ask Luo Cuicui, "How can your department dare to blatantly violate regulations... Hey, where did the person go?"
Although Luo Cuicui was also a talent, he had always been in the logistics department, living a peaceful life of "being civilized and polite." Seeing that the atmosphere was not right, he had already taken small steps and hid in the corner of the hallway, listening and cautiously sticking her head out to spread rumors from afar: "Our leader is a newcomer, maybe a connection!"
The family rest area was only about ten square meters, but the flames on the iron chains were like angry dragons, smoking the ceiling black. In theory, it would take no more than three to five minutes to preheat the room like an oven, but a cold and damp breath spread from somewhere, overpowering the heat of the flames. Water vapor was continuously heated, and the walls of the family rest area oozed water droplets.
Xuan Ji bound the mysterious long-haired man with iron chains, but was pressed by the cold and damp vapor to the point of being unable to breathe, not knowing who was binding whom.
Large and small water droplets rolled down the wall, leaving wet marks that gradually joined together, forming rows of text that were not any commonly used language in the world. Xuan Ji caught a glimpse of it from the corner of his eye, and his spine shuddered with inexplicable coldness.
The pages of the "Thousand Demon Bestiary" trembled, and after a moment, it coughed up a line of annotations: Yin Sacrifice.
At the door, the head of the field team, Yue Zhong, stepped forward and said, "Director Xuan, what happened? I am..."
"Don't introduce yourselves," came Xuan Ji's distorted voice from inside the room. "Evacuate everyone within a ten-kilometer radius of this hospital immediately! Bring over all the people you can use and... report to headquarters!"
The squad leader was bombarded with a string of orders before he could finish a single sentence. He was completely confused and wondered to himself, "Who is this guy?"
Field operatives have always looked down upon logistics. After all, functional departments have always been superior. And logistics personnel are usually just ordinary people. Even if they have special abilities, those who are relegated to the same category as ordinary people are probably useless weirdos. Although the Aftermath Department was sent by headquarters and is administratively under the jurisdiction of superiors, local field operatives didn't take them seriously. It's like the attitude of ancient generals towards eunuchs in charge of the army - they hope they eat and drink well and don't cause any trouble.
This Director Xuan, who carried talismans illegally in broad daylight, not only caused trouble but also inexplicably assigned them work.
He really thinks he's a vegetable!
The squad leader quietly studied the seal and spell on the door, patiently saying, "Leader, relocating residents is not a small matter. Transportation, supplies, and economic losses are all issues, not to mention the panic it will cause the people. Even if it's not me, our bureau chief wouldn't be able to make the decision. Besides, most of our people are currently in the Grand Canyon, and the mutated trees haven't been cleared yet. We really don't have the resources to spare..."
Xuan Ji, impatient and interrupting again, said, "Luo Cuicui, call Director Xiao and tell him that the mutated trees are just the small symptom, and the main cause of the chaos in Chiyuan might be the 'Yin Sacrifice’!"
The squad leader, who thought he had some cunning, was still caught off guard, turning green in the face. "Director Xuan, we have a specialized team of experts to evaluate the problem in Chiyuan. Please don't mislead the organization based on your subjective speculation!"
Luo Cuicui piped up, "Leader, what does Director Xiao mean by 'Yin Sacrifice'?"
Xuan Ji thought to himself, "Who should I ask?"
The "Thousand Demon Bestiary" was like squeezing toothpaste. There was a blank space where there should have been annotations below the three words "Yin Sacrifice," and it was unclear what secrets a shoddy book could hold.
Obviously, it was useless now. Xuan Ji could feel the malicious water vapor drilling into his bones. The flames on the iron chain were becoming weaker under the gloomy atmosphere. He forcibly pried open his teeth that were tightly clenched from the battle and hastily blurted out, "Go use a search engine!"
The team leader of the sub-bureau thought he was talking nonsense and was so angry that he turned around and left. However, he remembered something, felt it was inappropriate, turned back, and asked Xiao Li, "You just said that person inside... the one with long hair. Is he a particularly talented person who infiltrated Chiyuan with malicious intentions?"
Xiao Li quickly replied, "The motive is unclear now, I dare not say whether he is bad or not..."
"I don't care if he's good or bad, just tell me if he's talented!" The team leader was irritable.
"Oh... yes, he is talented, and it seems to be mental..." Xiao Li said.
"Being talented is enough." The team leader coldly snorted and waved his hand, leading his men to leave, regardless of the clueless ass-wiping Director Xuan.
Regardless of whether someone is good or bad, the head of an employee does not count towards the "fifteen red lines" of the death toll. Whether they live or die, it doesn't matter.
Luo CuiCui ran out in small steps and shouted, "Please don't go... Hey, our leader didn't mean that. Director Xiao hasn't spoken yet... Ah!"
Xiao Zheng may have gone to check the information and told her to wait on the phone, but then there was no sound. Luo CuiCui chased after the field agents who were leaving in a magnificent manner for a few steps, looked back at the gloomy family rest area, and was hesitant to leave. Holding her phone, she was extremely anxious, "What a temper!"
Sheng Lingyuan was being roasted over the fire, but he was still interested in listening to their conversation. With flames licking his body, he didn't even move a single strand of his hair, and even felt quite warm. The pale face was reflected in the blood-red light of the flames. He kindly said to Xuan Ji, "The blood feud between the demon race and the human race has lasted for generations. Even if the demon race has declined, they still avoid humans and retreat to the mountains and forests. As for you, a pure-blooded little demon, why are you throwing yourself into a crowd of humans? Did you suffer some injustice at home and defect to the enemy, or did you do something wrong and get exiled by your own people?"
Cold sweat dripped down Xuan Ji's back, and his lips turned blue with cold, but he still refused to give up, "Old man, all fifty-six ethnic groups are now one big family. Which generation's outdated thinking are you clinging to? You are the one who defected and got exiled, not me!"
The iron chain that bound the heavenly demon was stretched to the limit and began to creak. The totem on his robe began to seep blood, and the water stain on the wall suddenly deepened in color.
"Little demon, if you don't release me, be careful of getting hurt." Before he even finished speaking, ice shards appeared on Sheng Lingyuan's hair and the hem of his clothes, and the "stop" character on the door crumbled apart. The bloodstains seeped through the walls of the family rest area and a mournful cold wind swept out, shattering all the glass and emitting a sharp whistle as it squeezed through the windows and doors, as if accompanied by a dying scream. The agents who hadn't had time to move far away were hit by the shards of broken glass. A tender green sprout of aloe vera crept out of Luo Cuicui's collar and coiled around his neck, covering his eyes with its leaves, as if deceiving itself.
At that moment, Xiao Zheng happened to make a video call, and in her panic, Luo Cuicui accidentally pressed the video button, transmitting the scene in its entirety to the headquarters of the Bureau of Paranormal Control, thousands of miles away.
Xiao Zheng's pupils suddenly contracted. He turned his head quickly and ordered the staff next to him, "Contact the director of the Chiyuan branch, immediately send more personnel, evacuate everyone from the hospital, and have them listen to Xuan Ji's orders on-site. Old Luo, tell your director to hold on for a moment, and get someone from the ancient studies department!"
Luo Cuicui's vision was obstructed by the leaves of a green plant. In a daze, he stammered, "D-Director X-Xiao said..."
His voice was drowned out by the sound of clanging iron chains. The original flames on the chains had disappeared, as if they had been sucked dry, and they turned into dull coins that flew in all directions, hitting the walls and ricocheting off them. One of them grazed Luo Cuicui's head and embedded itself in the wall behind him, taking with it two precious locks of hair.
It took Luo Cuicui a moment to react, but then his legs went weak, and he collapsed onto the floor, floundering and swimming in all directions like a drowning person. He used his arms and legs to crawl towards the exit.
The moment Sheng Lingyuan broke free, he had already rushed out of the family rest area.
The arrogant field agents finally realized that Xuan Ji was not playing a joke on them, but the thick smell of blood, which was accompanied by a chill, had already filled their nostrils. They couldn't move anymore. They were horrified to see the white shadow that flew out of the rest area like a plague. The cold and sticky water vapor rushed in through the broken window, sticking to all living things. Their bodies were frozen like fish that had been flash-frozen. In the blink of an eye, their joints were frozen stiff, and the small ice chips crawled like ulcers on their skin. The terrifying white shadow was getting closer!
Sheng Lingyuan extended a finger and hooked it under the chin of the nearest person, Xiao Li. Xiao Li's eyes almost popped out of their sockets as he saw the expressionless heavenly demon look at him for a moment before laughing and exhaling a puff of black mist at him. Xiao Li didn't know what the black mist was, but he instinctively felt extreme fear. That fear triggered his survival instinct, and he desperately backed away, even cracking the ice chips behind him.
However, even if an ant struggles to the death, it cannot struggle out of a gust of wind. The gap was quickly frozen shut by the ice chips, and the black mist was about to swallow him whole.
At that moment, a fireball like a shooting star came hurtling towards them and grazed Xiao Li's nose, shattering the black mist.
The thin layer of ice on Xiao Li's body began to melt from his nose, instantly restoring his ability to move. He sat on the ground, legs curled up and almost peed his pants in fear.
The fireball seemed to have a life of its own as it circled around him, leaving a brilliant trail of fire on the floor. It collided with the undercover agents and bounced off, freeing them from their frozen state. Although the team leader of the undercover agents was quite arrogant, he was also courageous. As soon as he regained his freedom, he pulled out a gun and fired several shots at the demon.
It was a mithril gun specially designed for the field agents to deal with all kinds of monsters and demons. The Mithril bullets inside would automatically avoid people and objects without any abnormal energy reactions, and chase after high-energy targets. For a moment, silver light was flying everywhere in the corridor. As the silver light passed by, a soft laugh rang out, like the helpless and indulgent laugh of a beloved child misbehaving. The team leader was a middle-aged man with a daughter in high school. When he heard the laughter, he was momentarily dazed, as if he had returned to his infancy, feeling vulnerable and wronged, wanting to be coddled.
Just as he was lost in thought, a claw made of black mist had already grabbed his wrist holding the gun. He only felt a tingling sensation spreading from his wrist, and then half of his body lost consciousness. The Mithril gun slipped from his hand and fell to the ground, while the black mist climbed up his arm and headed straight for his throat!
"Get out of the way!" A burst of fire rolled up and ignited the team leader's arm in a swoop. However, the fire only used the black mist as fuel, it didn't burn his clothes or scorch his skin. In the blink of an eye, the black mist was burned to ashes and disappeared along with the fire.
The undercover team leader rolled on the ground and retrieved the Mithril gun, looking at Xuan Ji in shock and suspicion. "You... are you actually a Lightning-Fire type?"
Lightning-Fire type was an extremely rare type of ability with strong offensive capabilities. Even in the External Affairs Department, it was almost impossible to find one. Almost all Lightning-Fire types were in the three major special elite forces of the General Administration - the commander of the former special forces "Thunder", and current director of the External Affairs Department, Xiao Zheng, was a Lightning-Fire type. Local branch offices might not have seen a live "Lightning-Fire" in their entire lifetime!
What was wrong with the personnel department of the headquarters, letting a Lightning-Fire expert do the cleanup work?
Xuan Ji said, "Keep firing, don't stop!"
The team leader snapped out of his trance, and the agents behind him finally reacted and took their positions, using mithril bullets to snipe the heavenly demon. The heavenly demon had probably never seen mithril bullets before and hesitated in the face of the dense silver light. Just as the mithril bullets were raining down on him like drops, ready to turn even a stone statue into a sieve, a layer of black mist suddenly appeared around the heavenly demon, sweeping away all the mithril bullets.
At that moment, Xuan Ji reached out and grabbed the coins embedded in the walls and floors out of thin air. Each coin had an exaggerated cartoon face on it, either crying, laughing, scolding, or happy, arranged in a row, spinning in his palm like a row of miniature living beings. Then, the coins suddenly transformed, elongating into several iron chains, one end held in Xuan Ji's hand, the other end flying out like a poisonous snake, hooking onto the heavenly demon's limbs, tightly binding him.
The agents were once again collectively dumbfounded - what was this? Was this monster a Lightning-Fire type or a metal type? Had lightning rods gained sentience? They had been taught that Lightning-Fire and metal were incompatible and could never coexist!
But even Xuan Ji himself didn't look relaxed as he tugged on the iron chains, a layer of frost forming on his eyebrows and hair. His hands were shaking as if he might lose his grip at any moment. "Quickly evacuate the people near the hospital, hurry up!" he shouted.
One of the agents hesitated for a moment. "You..."
The agent was about to say something else but was stopped by the team leader, who had put aside his pride. With his experience and keen eye, he had already realized that this post-crisis management director was at least a qualified expert who could enter a special forces unit. In this kind of combat, leaving behind anyone who wasn't capable would only be a hindrance.
The team leader took a deep look at Xuan Ji. "Brother, remember to immediately report to headquarters and request support from the nearest special forces unit - everyone! Clear the area and evacuate ten kilometers! Let's go!"
That night, Dr. Wang, the head of the ancient studies department, was on the night shift at the Bureau.
Dr. Wang wore a pair of round glasses and stooped, shuffling along to the main control room. His head, ahead of his body, extended out of his neck two li away and landed in front of Xiao Zheng. It was said that he was born in the late Ming Dynasty, and he had no other special abilities other than being old and refusing to die. He retired more than 30 times, but was rehired by the Bureau. Now, he specialized in the research of mysterious ancient books and rituals. He was knowledgeable and well-versed in both ancient and modern knowledge, like a living encyclopedia, but due to his age, he did everything slowly, so one needed to have some patience when communicating with him.
"Yin Sacrifice...it's really serious! This is a forbidden ritual. If it goes wrong, people may die." Dr. Wang opened his mouth like an old opera performer and spoke eloquently, making Xiao Zheng want to fast forward.
"'Sacrifice' is an 'evil contract.' On one hand, it can be used to summon evil gods to descend and massacre the people, and on the other hand, it can be used to ask evil spirits to possess people and seek revenge. However, those evil gods and evil spirits are not easy to please. They will require a hundred times more repayment for helping you. Xiao Director, you asked at the right time. We just did a special topic on 'sacrifice' not long ago, and the file should be saved somewhere...oh..."
Xiao Zheng asked, "What is the date of the saved file?"
"Oh...it was last week, which date was it again?"
Xiao Zheng grabbed his computer and rushed to the archive room, dragging the power cord behind him.
The archive room of the ancient studies department was constantly temperature- and humidity-controlled, with no light. There were rows of crystal cabinets inside, containing various original ancient books. There was a small screen on each cabinet door that could access the researchers' annotations. With a command from Xiao Zheng, more than ten researchers rummaged through the archive, and soon found the "Sacrifice" special topic cabinet.
"The so-called sacrifice can be understood as a kind of buying and selling contract. A sacrifice has four elements: 'sacrificial object,' 'sacrificial host,' 'medium,' and 'sacrificial text.'" A researcher told Xiao Zheng, "The sacrificial object is the 'cost' paid by the 'Party A'; the sacrificial host is the 'Party B' that charges for the service, usually not a good person. Some scholars believe that only a 'demon' can serve as a sacrificial host and respond to the 'sacrifice.' The 'medium' is the 'communication tool' between the buyer and seller. Finally, the 'sacrificial text' is equivalent to the contract for this transaction. It is said that this is a type of writing that cannot be written. Once it is written, the sacrifice has already taken effect. Neither party can go back on their word, and the sacrificial object listed in the sacrificial text must be in place, and the sacrificial host must fulfill the contract, otherwise, he will suffer the backlash of the sacrifice."
Xiao Zheng asked, "Tell me specifically about the Yin Sacrifice."
"The Yin Sacrifice is a type of 'sacrifice'. According to legend, the sacrificial host for this type of 'sacrifice' is a very special being, a sealed heavenly demon. The Yin Sacrifice can unlock the seal, so it is also called the 'Summoning Demon Sacrifice'. The sacrificial object must be sacrificer, Party A, themselves," the researcher said, "As you can imagine, regardless of success or failure, the sacrificer who initiates the Yin Sacrifice will not have a good ending. It's a kind of 'suicidal attack'."
Xiao Zheng asked, "What the heck? What are these sealed heavenly demons?"
"Our information is limited. Ancient texts say that demons can 'live forever, have endless magical powers', and can only be sealed or left to dissipate naturally, they cannot be killed by external force. According to this description, the contemporary academic community generally agrees that the so-called 'heavenly demon' is actually a kind of chaotic and harmful abnormal energy."
Xiao Zheng was confused, "How can a ball of energy do business, or fulfill contracts?"
"Sorry, Director, I don't know, after all, whether it's a 'demon' or a 'sacrifice', they are just legends in ancient texts, and may even be the fantastic imagination of ancient people - but...there is a damaged ancient text that once mentioned 'heavenly demons'. We speculate that this special abnormal energy similar to a 'demon' can be embodied in a specific person, and this person can either control this exceptionally powerful abnormal energy...or be controlled by it, becoming a real heavenly demon."
Speaking of which, that mysterious man with an unknown background in Chiyuan Hospital... Xiao Zheng's eyes widened, "What information can we find about heavenly demons?"
"Human-demons are like natural disasters," the researcher opened an electronic scanned document, revealing a mural on it, which depicted scenes of floods, earthquakes, plagues, and wars in meticulous and somewhat gruesome strokes. The picture was filled with bodies of various shapes and sizes, and in each scene resembling a human purgatory, there was a white-clothed figure that stood out, without a clear face, seeming to be only a symbol of terror, "You see this white-clothed figure, in the scene of the flood, he reaches his hand into the water upstream and stirs it; in the scene of war, two people stab each other with swords, and this white-clothed figure is holding a cup, collecting blood to drink from the tip of the sword - suggesting that all these major disasters are related to him. Did you notice that in this painting, except for this white-clothed figure, everything else is just corpses. This painting is called “Heavenly demon'."
Xiao Zheng: "..."
It's over, Xuan Ji is probably in trouble.
Xuan Ji not only felt cold, but also bone-chillingly cold. His hands had already been frozen by the ice chips, as if he was wearing a pair of crystal gloves that were shining with colorful light.
Sheng Lingyuan—the heavenly demon lowered his head, his gaze sweeping over the blood-red totem on his body. He couldn't be bothered to move, and his smile was like that of an old cat looking at a little bird under its paw. The more the little bird struggled, the more interesting he found it, and he coldly advised, "Little demon, you are naturally pleasing to my eyes. I liked you at first sight and don't want to hurt you. You should retreat quickly."
Xuan Ji never thought of himself as a face-con, but the phrase "I liked you at first sight" hit his ears and he inexplicably felt strange. He suddenly had a sense of being favored and his heart skipped a beat. His fingers holding the iron chain almost softened.
Fortunately, at this moment, the "Thousand Demon Bestiary" which had been frozen for a long time, returned to life, and a line of annotations appeared under the "demon" entry: "The demon understands the six desires and is good at devouring people's hearts."
Xuan Ji was suddenly alert, and his eyes cleared up. This demon was actually trying to seduce him, shamelessly!
"Tsk," the demon shook his head regretfully. "You're young, but you have a firm heart. Letting you go is for your own good. I'll tell you something. This is the 'Thousand People Sacrifice’ ceremony. The sacrificial text is about to be completed. All that's left is the final 'living sacrifice'. Why don't you go find the one who started this and bother me no more?"
"I'm afraid you'll bite me," Xuan Ji sneered, and looked at the sacrificial text on the wall through the "Thousand Demon Bestiary".
The "Thousand Demon Bestiary" finally caught up this time, and the translation of the gloomy sacrificial text slowly floated between the pages of the book. With a quick glance at the translation, a thought came to mind, and his phone automatically flew out of his pocket, hovering to his ear and connecting to Xiao Zheng's phone.
Before the half ringtone finished, Xiao Zheng answered: "Hey, are you still..."
"I'm barely alive. Listen to me first," Perhaps because of his special talent, Xuan Ji spoke in Mandarin at five times the normal speed, so fast that it almost went out of tune. Only someone who had the ability to transcribe Mandarin rap could understand him. "I understand this sacrificial text. The sacrificial offerings listed on it are 'thousand people sacrifice', and the sacrificial ritual must be completed within the phase of one month. The first live sacrifice is offered on the 'day when the moon is new', and the last one is offered on the next 'day when the moon is new'. If I remember correctly, today is the day of the new moon!"
Although Sheng Lingyuan did not understand Xuan Ji's rapid rap, he was extremely interested in the phone, staring at it fixedly.
"The living sacrifice must die an unnatural death," the coldness seeped into Xuan Ji's lungs and even his breaths were not coherent, "one month...um...within a month, one thousand people must die abnormally. It is impossible for this to happen without a sound..."
"Contact the Public Security Department and investigate the non-natural deaths that have occurred in the past month," Xiao Zheng quickly instructed the field staff beside him, then asked, "Are you okay now? How long can you hold on?"
"I'm not okay at all," Xuan Ji gritted his teeth, shivering, "Why isn't there any heating in the south!"
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