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“You would’ve died of course.” The youth sneered, “Don’t tell me I should trust any low-level student of Heavens Law that comes knocking on my doorstep?”
Bang! Before he even finished speaking, he rocketed back! Moments ago, his stomach felt as if it had been struck by Guan Yu’s Green Dragon Crescent Blade! Xu Yangyi hadn’t waited for him to finish speaking, and sent him flying back with a kick!
The youth dared to swear that he heard the sound of his ribs fracturing.
“You…” He looked at Xu Yangyi in disbelief. His sharp chest pain was like the swelling of a tide. There, a large depression had already sunk in. A footprint could be vaguely seen! He rigidly grinded his teeth, and his voice transformed into a roar in an instant. “You… insignificant human! You maggot! You won’t even live for a hundred years! You go so far as to risk violating the Shennong Forestry Convention?! I’m the Cao Family’s tech director! You actually…”
Boom! In the next second, Xu Yangyi planted his heel on the back of the other’s head as he smiled, suddenly forcing him down onto the table and causing a rumble!
The excessive strength made the entire table tremble. As if his eyes wished to split open in anger, the youth looked at Xu Yangyi with unparalleled hatred. While he could just move, he didn’t risk it. On the contrary… his newborn fear made him start to faintly shiver from head to toe.
“Recite it with me.” Xu Yangyi calmly played around with his lighter. In the darkness, the light it cast at his back made his expression indistinct to the eye, yet the steady sound it carried brought an icy coldness like a knife. “For the construction of favorable societal boundaries and to found a harmonious society.”
Xu Yangyi increased his foot strength again. On top of the youth, Xu Yangyi’s foot was a like a tremendous mountain boulder. The toad-demon couldn’t be angrier! Because of the strength exercised just now, the table top was already beginning to break open with a thin wooden crack! The teacup placed on it was faintly trembling!
He would truly die! With this thought, a numbing fear swiftly pervaded the youth’s entire body.
“I’ll recite it! I’ll recite it!” His train of thought was like arcing electricity, yet his brain still hadn’t responded. Already, he couldn’t help but yell as his voice tore at his throat. “F-For the construction of favorable societal boundaries and to f-found a harmonious s-society!”
“I like people that cooperate.” Xu Yangyi retracted his foot and laughed, “See, there’s no need, right? You’ve refused the toast just to drink a forfeit.”
The youth grinded his teeth, stood up, and sat down in a seat. He gripped onto a teacup so hard that his hands went white. This man… Since the beginning, Xu Yangyi didn’t wish to be “courteous” with him at all!
That so-called grace period hadn’t exceeded three seconds! Who would appear and chat with a hunter that had come knocking on their door? At this moment, his demon’s intuition was telling him that the other really wanted to kill him… Truly dared to kill him!
What bullshit convention?! This tyrant simply didn’t give a rat’s ass! Disregarding Xu Yangyi’s expression that appeared as serene as lakewaters, you would discover that he was a genuine demon if you tore away at the seams of his skin!
It wasn’t until the youth was kicked into a wall did he discover that Xu Yangyi’s words didn’t match the smile he was wearing on his face! At this moment, the youth really believed it. Truly believed in the nickname “The Grinning Reaper”!
“You psychopath…” The youth tightly grinded his teeth and said with an incomparably resentful, humiliated, and hateful voice. “You go so far as to wantonly raise your hand against a demon, despite the human-demon convention…”
Xu Yangyi swept his eyes over the other indifferently. “I question, you answer.”
“Eighteen…” The youth glanced at the look on Xu Yangyi’s face, faintly knitted his brows, and immediately said, “That’s the age on my ID! I’m thirty-three!”
“How many hosts have you found?”
“Five! I swear I haven’t killed more people than that!”
Xu Yangyi laughed and raised a brow. “I estimate that to be true, as well. The accuracy of that wind edge aimed at my neck was pretty awful.”
The youth’s hand on the table made a cracking noise as it clenched.
“Why did you find a host?”
“Aren’t you asking what you already know?” the youth said gloomily, “Demons don’t get older or age. Our lifespans, though, are the same as humans. When we come to realize the gravity of our situation is when we also stop aging. Could you tolerate your neighbor that doesn’t age for a few years or a dozen-plus years? If we don’t find a host, where would we get our identification papers?”
Finished speaking, he sneered at Xu Yangyi, “But isn’t this the doing of you humans? To use the internet, you need identification papers, but who’s going to fucking pull an ID out? You need an ID to find a job and attend school! You even need an ID if you want to travel! Consider these things… Taobao! Website registration! You actually need identification to play games! It’s written clearly in the Shennong Forestry Convention… so, what I’m sick of dealing with the most is you weak, cunning humans!”
Xu Yangyi didn’t speak. He took a drag of his cigarette and said expressionlessly, “Qi Condensation… Foundation Establishment… Core Formation, these three great realms… walking forward step by step, all struggle against the heavens, but you actually have the nerve to go fooling around in the human world?”
The youth sighed deeply and matched Xu Yangyi’s chilly gaze, his words carrying a bone-ingrained resentment. “You think I want to be like this? As soon as a spirit vein is found, it’s the government that gets to set up auction first and allow selected people to bid on it. Afterwards, the high echelons of Heavens Law start up a project immediately! Have you heard of the Nine National Offices? You haven’t, huh? Everyone knows that there are only eight offices… just to hand over to Heavens Law in preparation! Where do you think the spirit stones that you use to cultivate to middle-stage Qi Condensation come from?”
“Later on, with each of those at the great Core Formation realm, the Core Formation humans and the Greater Demons partition it. Hehe… it’s the Digital age now. Those days when you could cover up a Greater Demon massacring a city, a factory explosion, or a dam breach are over. The sitting premier is afraid of having to bear the blame! Who dares lift the cover of the last several thousand years of darkness? Hehe… No one!”
The world belonged to humans… Cultivation was to cultivate longer to live longer. Qi Condensation, 100 years of longevity. Foundation Establishment, 200 years of longevity. Core Formation, 300 years of longevity. As for Nascent Soul that followed… To say the least, Xu Yangyi was unaware. This realm had long since vanished over a century ago.
Cultivation had three great realms: Qi Condensation, Foundation Establishment, and Core Formation. For the corresponding realms of demons, it was Form Transformation, Firmament Stepping, and Origin Crystallization. As for what came after… none had witnessed it. Each realm required a staggering accumulation of resources. There was no need to mention that spirit stones were the best items that could be circulated for absorption.
It was because of the government’s support that humanity had enough resources to cultivate. Of course, it was sufficient relative to demonkind.
As for demons, their spiritual livelihoods would be easy after triumphing in Form Transformation. They could enter and leave grand mountains and great rivers as they pleased and search for ancestral remnants, obtaining the fortunes of superhumans from long ago. With the addition of bloodline inheritance, demons were over a third more powerful than humans within the same realm!
This kind of disparity, especially after a demon cultivator could expel and reabsorb their origin crystal, was even more apparent. As for the primordial beginning of transforming between human form and demon form at will, such a demon was like a Nascent Soul realm human. In the same vein, these figures had already become almost extinct a long time ago.
On one hand, there was victory in the amount of human cultivators; the base number of those with spiritual roots was great. On the other hand, demons beat out humans in terms of strength when it came to the abilities of individual soldiers. However, in “life”, the major heart of the issue was that both sides had long since shared intimate, harmonious relationships with each other. The Greater Demons wanted humanity’s strength to accumulate their own resources, and likewise, humans didn’t want to force the demons too strictly. If a Greater Demon went mad in this kind of peaceful era and wreaked havoc all around, the balance of the game between countries would change.
At the very least, it was like this on the surface.
“Continue.” Xu Yangyi tapped the table. “Sanshui City… How many hunting grounds does it have?”
“Eight.” The youth answered without the least bit hesitation, “The awareness of demon territory is extremely strong. Each demon has cut out their own territory. They wouldn’t let other demons enter their hunting grounds, otherwise, it would be the same as declaring a mortal struggle. I think… that the Public Security Bureau doesn’t wish to see such a situation, as well. However, it’s also not every demon that can cultivate. At the least, it’s only the demons at initial-stage Form Transformation that can establish their own hunting grounds. I guarantee that with myself included, the number of demons at Form Transformation doesn’t exceed eight!”
Xu Yangyi didn’t have any expression whatsoever. He himself was part of Heavens Law. In fact, his understanding of human-demon relations in comparison to Chief Zheng wasn’t much better.
What he genuinely understood was… the most effective and fastest ways to kill demons. No matter if the opponent was a demon, a fae, a ghost, or a devil, he could practically set himself to the task in finding the other’s Achilles’s heel.
Others merely acted to master the surface of this knowledge and nothing more. Slaughter, however, was his true specialty. In light of this aspect, he could even be considered an honest and simple man. At the very least, he was a simple person.
“Have any other demons come recently?” Xu Yangyi asked stonily.
“Of course…” The youth began to laugh cruelly, “I know what you’re looking for… What about it? Heavens Law accepted Sanshui City’s mission but is unable to find the killer? You… Argh! You… Lighten up a bit! Dammit! Let go of my hand!”
Xu Yangyi’s hand was already gently pressed down against the other’s carotid artery. He didn’t glance at the youth at all, rather studying the indistinct flickering of the cigarette butt in his hand.
“I want an answer.” He smothered the end of his cigarette by pressing it between his fingers. “No bullshit.”
Demons, in the same manner, were a society. Xu Yangyi wasn’t in the mood, or duty as well, to obey their society’s hierarchy. Simple and rough was the style of his investigative conduct. His policy execution only sought results.
You’re not going to speak? Sure. I’ll follow orders and change my methods.
“You fucking psychopath…” The youth’s lips shivered. He really was frightened. In all these years, he’d never met someone one from Heavens Law. In the passage of thirty-somewhat years, he’d never revered humanity’s branch of special forces. Besides, he hadn’t killed that many people; he wasn’t a carnivorous demon. Heavens Law also didn’t possess the skill to cast his body out with a gaze.
But tonight, in front of him… this youth in his early twenties made him begin to rethink everything.
“I admit defeat today.” Watching the retreating hand, the youth sighed in relief and sneered, “The person you want to find is in an abandoned building in the south of the ninth division in the real estate district. From this day forth, may our paths never cross again!”
The youth finished saying these words and opened the door with a swoosh. Just as he was leaving, his face suddenly ashened, and he turned his head. “You still haven’t asked for my name.”
“Really?” Xu Yangyi looked at the night scenery, lost in thought. “That’s not important at all.”
Bang! The door rang like a trembling mountain. The youth charged outside the door, carrying an unequaled burning fury.
“That bastard son of a whore…” No one had seen it, but as he left the door in a flash, he pursed his lips forcefully and glanced at the door and sneered. “You really think Heavens Law is omnipotent? Don’t forget, you’re only a student that hasn’t even graduated! Hehe… Haven’t you thought about why it’s going on a killing spree in Sanshui City? Is it that none of the demons care? Is the Shennong Forestry Convention really a joke?
“It’s not that they don’t care… It’s that they don’t risk taking over this matter… There’s not a single demon in Sanshui City that’s so bold to pop their head out… Hehehe… I’m really looking forward to it… The scene of that beast tearing you to pieces…” The toad-demon was like an illusion, beginning to drift apart into the air in layers. “...Relax… When the time comes, I’ll ‘help’ your soul pass onto the afterlife…”
1. Guan Yu is a figure in Chinese history during the three kingdoms era. He is regarded as being the most loyal of bros.
2. Refused a toast just to drink a forfeit. A colorful Chinese idiom meaning that a person refused to do a request, but in the end is forced to that request and then some.
3. Taobao: Chinese amazon/ebay.
4. 化形, 天梯, 内丹. These are the three realms described for demons. Respectively, they are Form Transformation, Firmament Stepping, and Origin Crystallization. Of the three, the one I’m most iffy about is Firmament Stepping, since the literal translation is Heavens Stairs/ Sky Ladder. Of the three, the last one, Origin Crystallization is like that of Core Formation except for demons. Like human cultivator cores, demons have a “crystal” as their core. I tried to mirror human cultivation realms in terms of naming for demons.
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