Chapter 122 - Jealousy
“When yao get increasingly close to humans, they will be assimilated by them. They become jealous, greedy, and resentful. At this point, their person continues to be riddled with weak points, even if they possess supreme yao power.”
“King, as long as you obtain the inheritance of the divine dragon…”
The enormous silhouette in the shadows shook. “I am the only one in the world capable of obtaining Father’s inheritance. Father and the divine Feng were on good terms those years; his inheritance must be in the hands of the divine Feng.”
“No one can rob me of it,” The ugly and gigantic strange beast opened its dark yellow eyes, a strange green in the depths of its pupils.
“The yao world is too peaceful.”
“The true nature of a yao lies in massacre and hot-bloodedness. That lowly half-yao trash has ruined the yao world.”
“This king will lead the yao world towards the great, supreme Dao.”
Affinity Moon Hotel was one of the capital’s famous hotels. Celebrities often stayed at the hotel and important conferences were also frequently held there. After the end of the year, several major conferences were also held one after another. On the twelfth of the first lunar month, a very important national conference for authors was held at the Affinity Moon Hotel.
With one step through the hotel’s large doors, Ma Ha discovered that Affinity Moon Hotel had incredibly special feng shui. Any random display piece would happen to be located at the most suitable spot; not the slightest corner had been cut. It was unknown which expert had helped the hotel out in this aspect.
Taking out his invitation letter, he obtained his room card from the staff without a hitch and entered the elevator, bumping into a few authors who had similarly rushed over as well. Ma Ha had quite the reputation in the creative world, but no one had thought that he would be a simple and honest looking middle-aged man and not an elderly man like what everyone had imagined. But Ma Ha was not very fond of talking, and so everyone gradually paid no heed to him.
The organizer arranged for a welcome dinner in the hotel at night. Ma Ha sat at a corner, picking from the dishes on the table he was partial to as he watched authors familiar with one another exchange toasts.
Shortly after, an author over the age of fifty plopped down on a chair with his back against it. He slumped over the table. Someone at the side called out to him a few times before happily stating that he was drunk and whatnot.
Looking at the chair behind the drunk author’s chair, Ma Ha put down his chopsticks and spoke a few words to the person-in-charge before getting up in preparation to leave. Unexpectedly, he had just reached the door when the author slumped over the table sat up all of a sudden and looked at him dazedly.
At a loss, Ma Ha walked over to him. “Are you unwell? Do you want me to call a doctor over?”
The author pushed his hand away, picked up his wine cup, and then staggered towards the others. Despite being treated so discourteously, Ma Ha wasn’t angered. Turning, he left the restaurant with large strides.
He touched his coat. He had left his phone and room card in the room. Everything about him was good, except for his memory. That was something that he couldn’t change no matter what.
Without the room card, Ma Ha couldn’t use the elevator. Glancing at the empty corridor, he ducked into the men’s toilet and quietly recited a chant.
“En?!” Wang Han, who was reading the hotel’s financial report in his office, suddenly stopped all motion and stared at the hourglass on his desk. The blue rays of light that flickered in the hourglass made for a beautiful sight.
“A yao cultivator’s in the hotel?” He put down his pen and switched on his computer, preparing to look through the data on the guests who had checked into the hotel today. However, quite a number of guests had checked in today and he couldn’t identify the problematic individual in a short time.
Only after calling the hotel’s manager did Wang Han discover that there was an authors’ exchange conference being held at the hotel these few days, and hence nearly fifty renowned authors from all parts of the country had checked into the hotel today.
“A group of bookish authors…” Wang Han stroked his chin. “There shouldn’t be a yao who became an author, right? How carefree were they to be in such a profession?”
Concerned that he would be discovered after activating his yao force, Ma Ha made his way to the front counter, borrowed a phone, and gave the management bureau a call.
“Hello, may I know if this is the management bureau?” Ma Ha was liable to stammer the moment he was anxious. Fortunately, the call operator was very patient and didn’t take Ma Ha as a yao who was looking for trouble.
“T-There’s a human who’s been possessed by a yaoguai, quickly dispatch people here.”
“Okay, I will stay in the room. I can be in touch with you via call at any time,” Ma Ha took a replacement room card from the front counter with trembling hands and then hurriedly hid in his room.
After he left, an employee at the front counter asked in a low voice, “That author was talking about some yaoguai possession. Could he have written too many stories and become unable to distinguish between reality and fiction?”
“He was also being very sneaky when entering the elevator, as if he’s scared that something will latch onto him. The way he acted was a bit frightening,” Another employee at the front counter touched his arms. “It’s horrifying just thinking about it. There are so many guests in the hotel, it’ll be an issue if something happens. Should we call the doctor and police officers?”
“Let’s first report this matter to the manager.”
In the restaurant, the lounge that had originally been filled with the sounds of cheerful talk and joyous laughter was now an expanse of silence. The ‘author’ who had gotten drunk right at the start straightened the clothes on his body and then took a deep breath. “Dreams, illusions, ambition – such a beautiful taste…” He had assumed that only human infants had all sorts of different-tasting thoughts, but contrary to his expectations, the souls of humans with a love for writing stories were also very interesting.
The sleeping authors were not aware that their unending stream of inspiration and the dreams they had bestowed on the characters they penned had been absorbed as food by an incomparably filthy demon.
“Oh?!” The demon paused abruptly. “The taste of jealousy.” He chuckled, seemingly laughing at the intense jealousy that the human heart clearly bore whilst maintaining a hypocritical friendliness on the surface.
“Truly ridiculous yet lamentable creatures,” He swallowed the qi colored by jealousy. Twisting his neck, a dull sound rang out from his neck. “Short of one. Where has the runaway little lamb gone?”
He pulled open the restaurant door. Without sparing even a single glance at the waiters unconscious on the floor of the restaurant, he stepped into the security passage, humming a song as his hands played with his room card.
The restaurant was on the third floor, while the authors were arranged to stay on the sixth floor.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Hidden in the bathroom, Ma Ha trembled as he listened to the footsteps approach. He had already resolved inwardly to change into his original form and escape through the sewer if the demon were to burst through the door.
Ever since he cultivated a human form, he had never stayed in the dirty, stinky, and disgusting sewer. But in the face of life and death, there was no need to live too glamorously.
“Is the clever little lamb hiding here?” The demon outside gently knocked on the door thrice.
“That’s not very polite,” The demon suddenly laughed, and kicked open the door with one sweep of his leg. From Ma Ha’s hiding spot in the bathroom, he watched the demon’s long shadow twist on the floor like extended demonic claws that would haul him out from the bathroom.
It got closer and closer. Just as the shadow was about to bump into the door, a pair of feet appeared in front of the door.
It was Chief Zhuang. Chief Zhuang had arrived.
Ma Ha hugged the toilet bowl and plopped down weakly, on the verge of hugging Zhuang Qing’s thigh and calling him daddy.
“Dragon?” The shadow pulled back. Struggling out of the human’s weak skin, he stood before Zhuang Qing in a round, black mass. The mass condensed into the shape of a man. “I smell jealousy on you.”
Zhuang Qing ignored him. He stretched out a hand and ripped open an empty space, tossing the powerless Ma Ha in.
“What a noble dragon – even thinking about rescuing a useless little yao at this time,” The demon laughed out loud. “The yao world has always been a survival of the fittest. Did you end up like this because the humans brainwashed you?” The demon spread out both arms abruptly. “Let me see what the jealousy in your heart is like.”
Seeing the vast expanse of darkness that pounced over, Zhuang Qing finally understood who this yao was. The legendary shadow yao Wangliang traversed the darkness, swallowed the vitality and dreams of animals and humans, and was an expert at bewitching people into unconsciously descending into the world of his creation.
Wangliang was born very early on. When there was light in the universe, there was also shadow. Wangliang was born because of this. Though he did not possess excellent combat ability, he would not die as long as there was light. Dealing with him was an affair of immense difficulty.
Zhuang Qing also had a shadow. As a result, he too got caught up in an illusory shadow world after Wangliang cast his magic.
Shadows were dark and frightening, but they also most clearly understood the true thoughts in the depths of the heart.
Two thousand years ago, a noble gentleman and a shaggy rabbit met. Since then, the noble gentleman took up residence in the mountain. The rabbit-turned-person practiced writing characters and painting with the noble gentleman, and listened to the noble gentleman’s stories of the human world.
When the noble gentleman was approaching his end, his unusually bright eyes remained fixed on the little gentleman that the rabbit had transformed into, unwilling to shut no matter what.
“Bo Lian,” The little gentleman gripped his hand. “What do you want to say? I’m listening.”
The corners of the noble gentleman’s mouth opened and closed. A long time later, he asked, “After I die, will you raise another human?”
The noble gentleman forced out a smile. “Very good.” His eyes were still as unresigned as ever. He held the little gentleman’s hand tightly. “You… I…”
The little gentleman gripped his hand back, his gaze gentle yet confused.
“You… see the human world on my behalf, help me see it the day it flourishes in peace,” The strength in his hand weakened increasingly. “Don’t…”
Don’t forget me.
In the end, he didn’t voice these words. He’d wanted Fu Li to help him look upon the land under the Heavens when it thrived, but even more so did he want Fu Li to remember him when he did so.
“I promise that I’ll help you see a flourishing human world,” The little gentleman looked at the open eyes of the noble gentleman. With a shaking hand, he closed his eyes. “I will learn the human world’s ways of living, and properly and carefully help you to look at it.”
The little gentleman found a precious cotton yarn and wrapped the noble gentleman’s body in it before placing him in a jade coffin.
When the yinchai brought the noble gentleman’s soul away, he didn’t stop the yinchai. But he stood for a whole day and night beside the jade coffin. Eventually, he buried him beside the Wei River.
The Wei River flowed past the great kingdom the noble gentleman was born in and possessed extremely rich spiritual qi. The little gentleman buried him here in the hope that his next life would be a prosperous and peaceful one.
Zhuang Qing returned to his senses from the illusion. He raised his sword with a cold face. “Cheap tricks are not worth playing.”
“You’re jealous of this human,” Wangliang laughed wantonly. “The great Dragon Emperor of the aquatic races is actually jealous of a human who has long passed on, how ridiculous.”
Zhuang Qing paid no heed to him. His sword streaked past, slashing his body. With one roar, the various inspirations and dreams Wangliang had originally swallowed fled back to their owners’ bodies.
Wangliang’s shadow flickered. Soon after, they joined as one. Clenching his teeth, he bit out hatefully, “You can injure me?!”
“There is nothing impossible in this world,” Zhuang Qing drew his sword, smiling coldly. “What came from the sewer should not attempt to return to the earth.”
“Eh?” A tall man dressed like a backpacker came to a halt. Raising his head, he looked at the tall, gorgeous building beside him. “The stink of Wangliang.”
He casually walked into a public telephone booth, morphed into a ray of light, and flew into the hotel.
The pedestrian queuing outside to use the telephone: …
Had he seen wrongly just now? There was no one in the telephone booth. Then what was that man who just went in?