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Chief Zheng’s smile stiffened on his face. His expression was seldom cautious, but looking into Xu Yangyi’s eyes he still said in a fairly shaky voice, “Just now, that really was a…”
“What do you think?” Xu Yangyi asked, not answering.
With lingering trepidation, Chief Zheng glanced at the floor covered in bulletproof glass and the window frame. The answer was already extremely obvious.
“I want to see the M-Files.” Xu Yangyi said, “You should know where I’m from.”
Chief Zheng didn’t speak.
Xu Yangyi’s background was too much of a secret. He preferred to keep a respectable distance concerning that mysterious organization. If it weren’t for this serial killer case being far too strange, and the fact that he knew at a glance that the involved strength was far above the boundary of a superhuman, he would’ve been absolutely unwilling to request Xu Yangyi to come.
It wasn’t… It wasn’t that the case was strange, but rather the “person” who committed the crime! That in itself was an oddity without peer!
He remembered those wounds and the victims’ wretched conditions. It was definitely not something a human could do!
“You’re from Heavens Law.” Chief Zheng finally sighed, “China’s most secretive special forces, not answering to any organization or territorial administration. As for who directly governs it, no one knows. You come from the Yuyang City branch, first in your class. Currently, you’re in the middle of your graduation exam.”
“Then, you know…” Xu Yangyi softly rapped the table and said indifferently, “when I was eight, I had already encountered these things.”
Chief Zheng looked at Xu Yangyi in shock.
“That day was my birthday.” Xu Yangyi’s vision drooped, and he looked at the faint flickering of his cigarette butt. His voice didn’t hold an ember of anger or moreover have a trace of melancholy. “When I came home, I discovered that my home had become a killing ground.”
Arriving at this point, his voice trailed off. No less than two seconds later, he broke out into laughter. “And so, I am the champion of the Heavens Law Yuyang City branch.”
“I have always… always been searching for It.” Xu Yangyi looked at Chief Zheng, his voice neither hurried nor slow. “For the debt of my parents and for throwing my life into chaos since then, as well.”
“Gulp…” Chief Zheng’s throat tightened. With his hands on both armrests of the sofa, his knuckles paled!
Abnormal… No… A ruthless man… This was an honest-to-god ruthless freak!
Who would even laugh upon mentioning such a matter? Who wouldn’t even have a change in expression when mentioning something like this? Like Xu Yangyi was a reiterating someone else’s story, without a single hint of emotion?
No one… In his leather shoes, Chief Zheng fell back, somewhat unsteady. Even if he was first-in-command of the city’s Public Security Bureau, and had witnessed many abnormal cases, he’d never seen such a person!
Although it seemed Chief Zheng lacked the concise logic of speech, he knew Xu Yangyi had taken these feelings, this murderous will, and let it settle at the very bottom of the abyss that was his heart.
As if Xu Yangyi was walking nonchalantly towards someone else, he would gently unsheathe his blade and slice through the other person’s throat inch by inch. Perhaps so that he would even be able to leisurely watch the other’s blood run dry until nothing was left…Such a fiend in sheepskin only needed several words to make him feel…
That he wasn’t a human like he was.
“I’ll give it to you right away…” Chief Zheng branched off into another topic, fishing out a handkerchief and wiping away at the cold sweat on his head, even if the temperature that the air conditioner was spitting into the room was only twenty degrees celsius. He silently stood up and carefully examined the door once more, taking out a key from his inner pocket. Cautiously opening a hidden compartment in the bookcase, he held in his breath and took out a paper bag. As he stroked the object, his hand trembled.
There were some things… that had never been recorded by any man. Only the first-in-commands above the city level held a nebulous understanding. They were sealed off in a strongbox of the highest secrecy, unable to be spoken of to any man, until death from age. It was necessary to deeply conceal it.
He’d taken a look at these highest of secrecies. As the leader of a city, he had the qualifications. So, he had even clearer understanding about that which was recorded inside… was simply beyond his wildest imagination. To the extent that it was such an absolute secret, that in case he made an announcement, it would arouse a societal upheaval! Even if it was just the tip of the iceberg, it terrified him so much that he almost resigned to go back to a life in the countryside!
Chief Zheng shut his eyes, steeled his mind, and sucked in a deep breath of air. Each and every page, all of them were nightmares… those strong-armed by a government cover-up. Indeed, a truth that couldn’t be disclosed…
Every truth was recorded within this manila folder. Every half a year, a person sent from the top would come to examine and receive these materials. This file was known as the M-Files, the Monster Files, a file of monstrosities!
He remembered too many of the things inside, since once they were peered over they were simply hard for a man to forget.
1993, the Yangtze River’s dam failure in Sanjiang City. Seven hours before the dam broke, a hundred villagers in Dayang Village witnessed a ten-meter-long black carp batter against the floodgates. Three hours after the dam broke, a man from Heavens Law had come and isolated the entire scene. Intense tremors could be heard from the ground, and three villages down river had witnessed ten washbin-size black scales rolling along with the blood-red river water.
Presently, there was a Dragon King Temple within Dayang Village.
2004, the famous, mysterious incident of the Sanjiang No.2 secondary school. If you asked anyone about it now, they would all know, so much that the No.2 secondary school had changed into an experimental school. After the event, 60% of students had transferred.
A disturbing ouija incident. Two classes of over twenty students had remained at school during vacation. By the time eight o’clock rolled by, all of them were injured simultaneously. They had been cut open from their singlets, and their internal organs had vanished without a trace. On that same day at three o’clock in the wee hours of the morning, an emissary dispatched by Heavens Law had entered the scene. Even now, the entire city’s inhabitants recalled the fierce surface tremors in the vicinity of No.2 secondary school on that night.
This was an incident that he’d personally “cleaned up”. After the event, he was plagued with nightmares for an entire week. It was because the two rooms had blood-dyed feathers piled up all over the floor, each one about the size of a book.
2010, in Sanjiang City’s Nankai County, Sanjiang City’s biggest industry was steel, and the steel mill in Nankai County had exploded. Over a hundred men had witnessed a gigantic rock fly out from the fire.
There were too many… Chief Zheng pursed his lips, the palm of his hand completely covered in cold sweat.
Since he’d finished looking over the banded data charts, the exhaustive post-event reports, how it was connected with the news, the internet, how the navy was used to smooth out the effects, and how the recollections of the masses had slowly been trivialized… Upon observing these familiar and tedious government techniques, from the major participation of the city government’s leaders, and to minor matters like the appointment of every secretarial assistant. He knew from how each step was carefully made like a reconstruction that it was truly… not a falsehood in any respect.
There were some… things that just weren’t visible to ordinary people… alongside humanity, and in union with China’s history—and therefore world history—accompanying mankind at birth for thousands of years!
They had never left, never disappeared. Walking next to humans past the Prehistoric era, past the Stone age, past the Age of Enlightenment, past the Feudal era... and stepping together once more… into the Age of Information!
They, they were at the side of every man. Like the light on the other side, surviving tenaciously among mankind.
They were known as demons.
And while every one of China’s officials were aware of demons, and like how they knew of the darkness, they knew that at the same time standing against the darkness was light—Heavens Law.
Nobody knew of their true identity, apart from the fact that they belonged to China’s central government, however, they didn’t belong under any jurisdiction. In the security system, at any place where a “special incident” occurred that was unable to be resolved, they had to be immediately contacted. Outside of Heavens Law, no one knew what their inner workings were like.
The manila folder was light in Xu Yangyi’s hand as he received it. The young captain’s vision sunk as he opened the paper bag and looked through page after page.
Rustling sounds reverberated inside the room. Perhaps the matter that had occurred moments ago was too dreadful or perhaps this kind of deathly stillness was too unendurable, but Chief Zheng laughed awkwardly and asked, “Heavens Law… what are the forces like?”
Xu Yangyi’s hand paused, and he lifted his head to smile strangely. “We… All of us have truly seen them with our own eyes, experienced them, and have watched these seemingly supernatural, ancient monsters make alliances with… other kinds of monstrosities.”
“You can understand it like that.”
Not speaking further with Chief Zheng, Xu Yangyi switched on his transceiver. “Mao Ba’er, I just finished looking over Sanshui City’s M-Files. The demon in Sanshui City is of the sauropsida serpentes variety. It should’ve come in from the outside.”
“A serpent?” A voice from the transceiver suddenly spoke. “It’s not It?”
“No.” Xu Yangyi’s vision trembled. “Every day, I dream of Its appearance. The victims’ wounds and my parents’ from back then are very similar, so I intentionally hurried over here… but it absolutely isn’t It.”
Mao Ba’er didn’t ask why Xu Yangyi was so sure, since he understood. In these many years, Xu Yangyi held a great understanding of the characteristic injuries It created.
“Strange…” The voice from the transceiver sighed, “Each one of Heavens Law’s students have personally encountered these living fossils. You guys are fortunate; walking on a path of cultivation that ordinary people can only read about in novels. But you guys are unlucky, too… The cost of this path is too great… but Heavens Law’s primary objective is to help you guys find your assailants. Everyone at the branch has already found theirs… It’s just you alone… Heavens Law’s network encompasses all of China, but no one has ever seen It…”
Pausing, the other party continued, “According to my calculations, your opponent’s average strength is somewhere between 70% and 120% of initial-stage Qi Condensation. Do you want reinforcements? I must remind you out of friendship that if you accept reinforcements, the total points for your graduation exam will be reduced by half.”
“I don’t need it.” Xu Yangyi narrowed his eyes and cracked his knuckles.
“Then how can you be sure about its direction?”
“It's quite simple…” Xu Yangyi laughed, “It’s not like the local ‘natives’ don’t. If I ask, things will be clear.”
“They care a lot more than me that a strong opponent has ‘settled in’...”
Shutting off the transceiver, Xu Yangyi lifted his head to look at Chief Zheng, who had a complex expression written all over his face, and suddenly laughed. “Do you know what’s most capable of promoting harmony between species?”
Chief Zheng shook his head. Currently, he wasn’t of any mind to think about this sudden question.
“It’s life…” Xu Yangyi narrowed his eyes. “The great convention that cannot be opposed… Chief Zheng, I’ll only remind you once… Demons are a kind of race. An inhuman, intelligent community… The hierarchy of their society… is absolutely not as simple as you think it to be… Moreover, it’s not something you’ve read in a book.”
They weren’t parasites of human civilization. If it were truly so simple… what could the hunters in the darkness be considered? Mere pesticides?
Drinking together from a golden goblet, our naked swords mutually unswerving.
Xu Yangyi deeply respected these bonafide monsters that had survived since the Prehistoric era. His enemy was a living fossil in the darkness. He would accordingly give the other party due respect. When the time to mark his ledger came to head, however, he absolutely wouldn’t stay his hand.
Absolute serenity. When the time came to take action, he would be completely unburdened!
1. 笔仙. I did some localization magic here. I never actually heard about this, but this is considered Chinese Ouija pretty much. Pronounced Bi3 Xian1. So two people hold a pen over a piece of paper and the spirit is supposed to do the writing for them while they ask questions.
2. This is a pretty cool phrase: 金杯共汝饮，白刃不相饶. From what I found, it means: I’ll share a cup with you in the drinking parlor, but on the battlefield I will be unforgiving. In a way, it is the mutual respect between warriors.
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