The Great Collision of Yin and Yang Chapter 42

Chapter 42.1 Cat Killing 02

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Lately, the Dafu Branch Office wasn’t attracting much business, but there were several celestial masters who came seeking opportunities. Some wished to join the branch office, but they failed the basic assessments. Others believed that collaborating with the Dafu Branch Office ensured security, so they approached them to discuss partnership and taking on assignments together. Chen Yang refused, because except for three-star or above orders, when there was a shortage of manpower, it was necessary to cooperate with celestial masters outside the branch office. So far, there was no shortage of manpower.

Besides, those who visited the branch office seeking collaboration mostly had three-star orders, so naturally, they were turned away. They didn’t mind the order’s difficulty level but didn’t want to invest time and money only to share the rewards later.

Chen Yang peered outside and noticed Ma Shanfeng and Du Shuo sitting by the stone table in the courtyard, savoring tea and the evening breeze. The sky displayed a brilliant tapestry of colors as the sunset cast its radiant glow. A few days ago, Ma Shanfeng had introduced some koi fish into the lotus pond, which occasionally disturbed the calm water with their tail splashes. The courtyard also boasted other flowers and plants, tended to by Ma Shanfeng.

Ma Shanfeng dedicated significant effort to caring for the flowers and plants, diligently watering and tilling the soil. His attentive approach yielded remarkable growth. Local residents passing by the entrance often paused to admire the flora. At times, they even requested a pot or two, but Ma Shanfeng only allowed it in exchange for something else.

This approach put an end to the desires of those who admired the beauty of flowers but lacked the knowledge to nurture them. Occasionally, the flowers would find their way into the caring hands of true flower enthusiasts. Over time, the variety of flowers in the courtyard flourished, becoming a distinctive feature of the branch. The scent of the blossoms would beckon nearby residents, surprising them with the existence of a subdistrict office in Shenchun Community.

The Shenchun Subdistrict Office was not located in the community, so when residents of the area had problems, they came to the office to find the staff. Ma Shanfeng and the others were deeply annoyed by this, so they replaced the leaky, deceptive iron sign with Shenchun West Community Dafu Branch Office.

The exact nature of their work remained undisclosed.

Du Shuo suddenly raised his head, making eye contact with Chen Yang on the upper floor. He gestured for him to come downstairs. Chen Yang smiled and promptly made his way down. Upon reaching the lower floor, he noticed Zhang Qiudao engrossed in a game on his phone. Chen Yang casually asked, “Zhang Qiudao, have you given up on Five Thunders Seal?”

Without lifting his head, Zhang Qiudao responded, “The Daoist Association explicitly stated that they won’t consider promoting me within the next two years.”

Curious, Chen Yang asked, “Why is that?”

Zhang Qiudao: “According to the rules of the Celestial Masters, promotion requires not only passing the assessments but also demonstrating exceptional merits. The Alliance Authority mandates an eight-year interval for advancing to Five Thunders, and I’ve only completed six years. Unless I make a remarkable contribution within this year that prompts the Daoist Association to make an exception, I won’t have to think about advancement for the next two years.” Thus, his frustration led him to seek solace in playing games.

“Aren’t your accumulated merits sufficient?”

Zhang Qiudao sighed, “Not enough. Previously, I only undertook two-star orders. Completing the assignment in the deserted village would have been sufficient to accumulate the merits I needed.” Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned.

Chen Yang nodded in regret and then left. In the courtyard corridor, he bumped into Kou Xuanling, who was holding a peachwood sword with a deeply furrowed brow. Kou Xuanling, with a serious expression, grabbed Chen Yang’s arm and said, “Manager Chen, please address the security issues in our branch. Lately, my personal life has been constantly disrupted, and it’s been quite distressing.”

The incident all stemmed from the flowers nurtured by Ma Shanfeng. Flowers were the catalyst, and the subsequent developments took everyone by surprise. Kou Xuanling would practice swordplay in the courtyard, dressed in a Daoist robe, both in the early morning and evening, after paying respects to his ancestral master. Initially, the main gate remained closed, with hardly anyone passing by to witness.

Eventually, things became livelier, and even some young people started coming around. By chance, they saw Kou Xuanling dancing with a silk Daoist robe, displaying beautiful and powerful sword movements that were not just for show. Combined with Kou Xuanling’s attractive appearance and serious demeanor, he exuded an air of asceticism. Some young individuals recorded videos and shared them online, attracting others who used various excuses to come and secretly watch.

Chen Yang sighed, recognizing the pitfalls of beauty, and explained that the branch’s budget was insufficient. Moreover, this was a personal matter and did not fall within the realm of work issues. He declined Kou Xuanling’s proposal and said, “They are merely curious. After a while, the excitement will die down. Besides, you are now a somewhat popular internet sensation, but such fame is fleeting. Trust me. Otherwise, would you consider canceling the evening swordplay?”

Kou Xuanling furrowed his brow. “That won’t work. After paying respects to my ancestral master, I must perform the sword dance. The ancestral master would be displeased if he doesn’t witness it.”

“Alright,” Chen Yang admitted his helplessness. “We can’t raise the walls any higher. Excessively high walls are a sign of poverty. Nor can we drive everyone away since they have the means to use drones for aerial photography.”

Indeed, aerial photography by drones. Coincidentally, there was a girl who was infatuated with Kou Xuanling’s beauty and ascetic aura, and she happened to be a member of a university drone club. Sometimes, she would bring her drone along to capture footage for the club’s assignments.

Kou Xuanling squinted at Chen Yang for a moment and asked, “Why don’t they take pictures of you?” Clearly, Chen Yang was more attractive than him. They also didn’t photograph Du Shuo or Zhang Qiudao, who were both good-looking individuals.

Chen Yang gracefully stepped past Kou Xuanling and said, “Because once we noticed someone trying to secretly film us, we would hide, making it impossible for them to capture any footage.”

Kou Xuanling had no idea that the Dafu Branch Office had gained some online popularity. Internet users knew about a small building in a certain community with an incredibly beautiful courtyard, resembling a rustic country house. Just watching the videos brought a sense of tranquility and relaxation. Moreover, the people inside were good-looking and possessed exceptional charisma. Although they didn’t know why, the footage always failed to capture anyone other than Kou Xuanling.

Initially, the videos didn’t feature the faces of others, and netizens were solely infatuated with the ascetic Daoist master. The video creator confidently assured everyone that all the individuals were handsome and beautiful, even the middle-aged man, who was described as handsome uncle with an inexplicable ethereal and transcendent aura. Over time, more and more viewers commented, and the impression of the branch was that it had high aesthetics, although the faces were not clearly visible.

“You guys?” Kou Xuanling was shocked. “You didn’t tell me at all?”

“No, it’s not like that. We thought you knew, but we didn’t want to reject their enthusiasm, so we allowed them to film despite the inconvenience. We were touched by your kindness, so we didn’t remind you.”

Speechless, Kou Xuanling held his breath. He had never considered this aspect.With so many celestial master talismans available, using a spiritual talisman to interfere with the video footage would have easily resolved his predicament. However, being straightforward by nature, Kou Xuanling hadn’t even thought of such a method. The others in the branch office were mischievous and didn’t proactively inform him.

Zhang Qiudao overheard their conversation and snorted when Kou Xuanling walked in. Kou Xuanling heard it and became even more frustrated. The new colleagues were not friendly at all. Kou Xuanling quietly vowed to make a complaint while offering incense to his ancestral master.

Chen Yang sat down beside Du Shuo, with Ma Shanfeng on the other side. Du Shuo poured a cup of tea for him, and Chen Yang thought it was bitter tea, intending to decline. However, Du Shuo explained, “It’s a Four Seasons Health Tea, not bitter.”

Chen Yang glanced at Ma Shanfeng, who smiled and said, “You have to drink some health tea before meals. It’s the only option.” With that, he lifted the cup and took a sip, finding the sweetness acceptable.

Du Shuo squeezed the back of Chen Yang’s neck and asked, “Still feeling dizzy?”

Chen Yang shook his head. “I felt a little dizzy when I just woke up. I stood by the window for a while. But now, after drinking tea, I feel more alert.” He had taken a nap earlier, and sometimes he would feel slightly dizzy after waking up. After taking a couple more sips of tea, he added, “I’ll cook later. What did they buy today?”

Ma Shanfeng: “Zhang Qiudao and Kou Xuanling went to buy the ingredients. One of them likes to eat chicken drumsticks, while the other prefers fish. And since Mao Xiaoli loves meat, they bought a bunch of pork belly. They only bought a small amount of vegetables. I had to insist before they reluctantly bought them.”

Chen Yang shook his head, noting that young people loved meat and disliked vegetables. It was not good to be picky eaters. Vegetables were the key to a healthy diet, and eating more vegetables was essential. However, Ma Shanfeng failed to realize that he himself would always be fixated on the fragrant meat when it came to dinner. Speaking of which, Du Shuo was the only one in the branch office who genuinely enjoyed vegetables and preferred them over meat.

At that moment, the sound of ringing bicycle bells came from the entrance. Chen Yang looked up and saw Mao Xiaoli riding her Phoenix bicycle swiftly approaching. She abruptly hit the brakes, stopping in front of the group, and then hopped off the bike and ran over. “Uncle Ma, Brother Chen, Brother Du, hello!” After greeting them, she quickly took the tea that Ma Shanfeng handed over and drank it in one gulp.

Chen Yang: “School’s over?”

“Brother Chen, every time you ask me that question, I feel like a high school student.” Mao Xiaoli, actually a sophomore in college, sat down. “I didn’t have classes in the afternoon, so I went to participate in the club activities. I mentioned before that I joined the journalism club. During my free time, apart from selling talismans, I also cover major news events for the school and guide the junior students.

“By the way, do you still remember the incident with the Cats Worshiping the Moon at my school?” Mao Xiaoli asked, looking at Chen Yang.

Chen Yang nodded. “Didn’t you say it has fallen through?” Last time, Mao Xiaoli had proposed to the school authorities to seek help from celestial masters. The discussion seemed promising initially but eventually fell apart. The reason was that one of the school leaders learned about the matter and decisively dismissed it as superstitious nonsense. Thus, the issue was left unresolved.

“Now the rumors about the school having cat spirits have resurfaced. People are very anxious.”

Ma Shanfeng became curious. “What happened?”

Mao Xiaoli: “Last night, a girl was running on the playground. Around ten-thirty, when she took a shortcut back to her dorm, she was attacked. Her neck was slashed. Some students who were following behind claimed to have heard the sound of a cat’s cry in the distance When they rushed over, they found the girl lying unconscious on the ground. Even now, she remains in a coma. Witnesses say they saw claw marks on her neck, resembling those of a cat. Combining this incident with the previous Cats Worshipping the Moon incident, rumors about a cat spirit committing murders in the school are spreading widely.”

Ma Shanfeng pondered for a moment and said, “Spirit, huh?” Then he shook his head and added, “It’s not easy for creatures to become spirits. Most of those who manage to achieve it have had extraordinary opportunities. Only fools would squander such chances and bring about calamities.”

Throughout history, it had been known that the transformation of plants and animals into spirits was not an easy task and came with various limitations.

Even if they gain intelligence and insight, achieving such a transformation required significant fortuity, a stroke of great luck. Once they attained such a profound opportunity, it was only natural to cherish it. Why would they recklessly engage in harmful actions without purpose?

“I only know of a spirit that has resided in Changbai Mountain for several decades without descending. It focuses on cultivation and occasionally saves lost travelers in Changbai Mountain. Eventually, it became affectionately known as the Mountain God of Changbai,” Ma Shanfeng explained. “So, the possibility of a cat spirit committing murder seems unlikely.”

Mao Xiaoli: “Could it be the work of a human? But there were indeed cat claw marks, and people have seen cats worshiping the moon. Speaking of which, cats are psychic, inherently possessing strong spritual traits. They revere the moon and can cultivate and open their spiritual channels through moon worship.”

Ma Shanfeng: “Cats hold grudges and seek revenge. You should investigate if that girl had done something cruel, like abusing cats, and became a target of retaliation.”

Mao Xiaoli shook his head. “That’s impossible. The path the girl took is called Lychee Garden, a well-known area within the school filled with fruit trees. Many stray cats and even some stray kittens have settled there. A lot of students are fond of cats and often bring cat food to feed them in small bowls. The girl was one of those cat lovers and frequently visited Lychee Garden to feed and interact with the cats. On that night, she took the shortcut to feed the cats. However, there are no streetlights in Li Garden, making it easy for someone to hide without being noticed. It could be a murder, falsely blaming the cats in Li Garden.”

Chen Yang: “So, the truth hasn’t been revealed yet, but rumors of a cat spirit harming people are already circulating in the school?”

“Yes. That’s why I want to find out the truth and at least suppress the rumors. I’m concerned that if it continues, the school might decide to get rid of the cats in Lychee Garden. Some parents who have heard the rumors are already demanding the school to remove the cats, and even some students who fear cats have joined in. With so many cats in Lychee Garden, how can they be dealt with? They are accustomed to their freedom, and if they are sent to shelters, they will most likely run away halfway and wander everywhere.”

Although Mao Xiaoli was not particularly fond of cats, the thought of removing all the cats in Lychee Garden was distressing. Some of the cats had grown up there since they were kittens, making Lychee Garden their home. It would be heartless to drive them away from their own territory.

Suddenly, Du Shuo spoke up, “Cats are difficult to tame. They are cunning and vengeful. They retaliate for the slightest grievance, which is why they rarely transform into spirits.”

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