The Great Collision of Yin and Yang Chapter 45

Chapter 45.1 Playing to Death 01

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Chen Yang sat on the couch, staring blankly while the TV showed a scene of Dong Hong’s unexpected death. Du Shuo came in, took the remote control from Chen Yang’s hand, and put his arm around Chen Yang’s shoulder. “What are you thinking?” he asked, noticing the missing red string on his wrist. “Where’s the string?”

“Hmm.” Chen Yang leaned into Du Shuo’s embrace, still watching the TV screen. He told Du Shuo about the events at Lychee Garden and then said, “The truth is now clear, but I still feel confused. Dong Hong had a habit of hurting animals because of his parents’ influence. It started with abusing cats and then escalated to attacking people, blaming the supposed cat spirit in Lychee Garden. And finally, he died with a steel rod in his abdomen as a result of the cat souls’ revenge. The cycle of cause and effect is evident, with a logical sequence, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s too clear-cut, too coincidental.”

“Tell me more.”

Chen Yang sat up straight, facing Du Shuo with crossed legs, and shared his doubts, “First, why did Dong Hong pretend to be the cat spirit when attacking people? They explained it by saying many people believed in the Cats Worshipping the Moon legend at school, and since he didn’t like cats, he took advantage of the situation to shift blame onto the cats in Lychee Garden. But as a criminal, there’s no reason for him to dress up as the cat spirit for attention. Let’s ignore whether Dong Hong knew about the existence of cat spirits. News of a cat spirit attacking people would definitely attract attention. It could be explained by suggesting a serial criminal attempts to gain attention, but Dong Hong is usually careful and doesn’t do foolish things.

“Second, who uploaded the video of Dong Hong abusing cats? The police investigated and found out that Dong Hong was very careful and had cleaned up most of his past cat killings. They traced the video to an overseas registered account. Either the person was afraid of retaliation from Dong Hong, or someone had a motive to harm him… If my guess is correct, it seems like Dong Hong was gradually led into a deadly trap.”

“This guess comes from what Meng Xi said: ‘He has to kill. If others don’t die, he will. He has already been given two chances.’ The two chances probably refer to the previous two attacks. Dong Hong chose to attack girls in Lychee Garden, both of whom loved cats and often went to feed them. Being grateful creatures, the cats in Lychee Garden saved the two girls, thwarting his attempts twice.”

The girl from the first attack woke up yesterday, and when reporters asked her, she said a cat saved her. So, the stories of cat revenge and cat gratitude became popular. Along with superstitions like Cats Worshipping the Moon, it made the cats in Lychee Garden more mysterious. People started calling it ‘Cat Garden’. Mao Xiaoli’s school was receiving praise for not rushing to remove the cats.

“Third, the third girl who was attacked mentioned Dong Hong’s steel claw. It was a cloudy night, and she said she accidentally dropped her phone flashlight when she dodged the first attack. So, in the darkness, she shouldn’t have been able to see Dong Hong’s steel claw. When we arrived, she was too scared and hadn’t look at Dong Hong until he was taken to the ambulance. How did she know his claw was made of steel?”

“So, what’s your guess?”

Chen Yang frowned, hesitating. “I’m afraid I’m overthinking things.”

Du Shuo looked deeply at Chen Yang, pulling him into his embrace, resting his chin on his head, and gently stroking his back. “My Yangyang is smarter than I thought, and your instincts are sharp. I believe in your gut feeling. Speak up.”

“If everything Dong Hong did was orchestrated by someone else, from cat abuse to attacking people—there’s another question—if Dong Hong’s cat abuse came from a sadistic impulse, why did he choose quick and lethal attacks instead of slowly tormenting his victims to death? Also, assuming Dong Hong was being guided by someone and started killing under their influence, but after two unsuccessful attempts, he was led into a fatal trap on the third, was the intention from the beginning to lead Dong Hong to his death, such as orchestrating the attack in Lychee Garden where both girls were saved by a cat? So, was the goal from the start to make sure Dong Hong dies?”

Chen Yang was frightened by his own speculation. If the purpose from the beginning was to kill Dong Hong and set up a trap for him step by step, even in death, he would believe it was his own doing. It seemed that even the Court of Great Yin would be deceived and calculate Dong Hong. If the assumption was true, Dong Hong was like a pawn being played with.

“If,” Chen Yang whispered, “even the so-called third chance was just a mockery, it’s terrifying.”

Du Shuo’s expression was unclear as he said, “Your speculation is not unreasonable. Meng Xi led you away with the purpose of trapping Dong Hong, that’s one part of it. The second part is taking away your red string. Someone is targeting you.”

Chen Yang: “I had this suspicion initially. But what’s the use for them to take away the red string?”

“Perhaps the they believe that the red string is your magical tool.”

“Really?” Chen Yang was surprised. “Would someone in the Celestial Master Community use a red string as a magical tool?”

Du Shuo: “It’s called ‘Sacred Cord.’ It’s a type of rope-like magical tool in the Celestial Master Community, also known as ‘Purification Whip.’ It’s made by twisting hemp rope into a whip-like form, with the end resembling a snake head. It’s painted with vermillion and adorned with the Eight Trigrams. It’s used in Daoism to ward off evil spirits.”

Chen Yang nodded, understanding. Although his red string and the “Sacred Cord” were entirely different concepts, since the other party considered the red string important and went to great lengths to steal it, he decided to let it be. He then took out a wooden box from the cabinet, picked out a red string from the dozens of them inside, threaded ancient copper coins onto it, and put it back on his wrist.

His magical tool wasn’t originally a red string but the string of ancient copper coins hanging from it. These coins weren’t particularly valuable. They were just the common currency in the Ba-Shu regions and served as the magical tool of the successive Witch Tribe leaders. It was passed down through generations and given to him by his witch grandpa. Therefore, the ancient copper coin was the true magical tool, one could even say it was the ancestral magical tool of the Witch Tribe. The red string simply absorbed the coin’s magical power and Yang energy, and could be replaced at any time.

Chen Yang leaned over and kissed Du Shuo’s lips. “I hope my speculation is just a result of overthinking.”

“No one can deceive you.” Du Shuo embraced him.

Chen Yang smiled brightly. He loved Du Shuo’s protective attitude, never allowing anyone or any ghost to harm him. It made him feel deeply reassured, trusting Du Shuo so intensely from the inside out, longing for him and loving him.

“Thank you.”

Mao Xiaoli was the first to notice the red string on Chen Yang’s wrist and asked in astonishment, “Brother Chen, did you find your red string?”

“No, it’s a new one.” Chen Yang lifted his hand and jingled the red string on his wrist.

“Can a magical tool be replaced so quickly?” Zhang Qiudao, passing by, overheard and curiously asked. Celestial master magical tools required familiarity and sufficient magical power to be used effectively. Therefore, celestial master magical tools were not easily obtained or replaced.

Chen Yang: “Fortunately, I have a drawer full of replacements.”

Mao Xiaoli was taken aback, feeling like she and Manager Chen were probably not on the same level in the world of celestial masters. Zhang Qiudao glanced at her and nodded in agreement. “Indeed, you’re a rookie, while Manager Chen is at the master level.”

Mao Xiaoli sneered and laughed, “With my talent, once I put in the effort, I can easily defeat you in minutes.”

Zhang Qiudao responded with a cold smirk, “I’ll be waiting.”

Mao Xiaoli was just talking. She hadn’t reached the stage of enlightenment yet. Despite her talent, she was merely gifted but lacked practical skills. At this moment, Chen Yang wasn’t concerned about Mao Xiaoli. He didn’t even urge her and let her happily draw love and fortune talismans to sell.

It was because Ma Shanfeng had told him, “The Mao family members are all eccentric. They have talent but don’t focus on their duties. We have to wait for them to reach enlightenment on their own. Mao Xiaoli’s father, Mao Daochang, couldn’t even achieve any rank until he turned thirty, when he suddenly reached enlightenment. In the span of ten years, he ascended to the rank of a Second Grade Three Caverns Celestial Master. If it weren’t for his merits not being sufficient to support his promotion to a Supreme Clarity Celestial Master, he would have been promoted long ago. However, due to his profound cultivation and formidable magical power, he became the Sect Master of the Maoshan Sect. The previous generations of the Mao family were the same. Each generation of Mao family members had to wait for their enlightenment.”

Ma Shanfeng poured tea and leisurely strolled out of his office, saying to everyone, “There’s a new assignment.”

As everyone looked over, Ma Shanfeng leisurely finished his tea before saying, “It’s a two-star order. A household has been afflicted by evil spirits. Two children have died, and the wife and mother-in-law are seriously ill. Currently, the evil spirits are wreaking havoc in their house. Who will take the assignment? The reward is three million.”

Mao Xiaoli: “That Wishing House that was competing with me for business has moved away. I’ll go back and focus on developing my own business.”

Kou Xuanling shook his head. “Not me. I want to rest for a few more days.”

Chen Yang also refused, “Brother Du finally got a vacation, and I want to spend time with him.”

Finally, Zhang Qiudao remained silent. After realizing he hadn’t taken any assignment for a month, he nodded in agreement, “I’ll take it.”

Kou Xuanling: “There’s a big chubby black cat outside. I wonder who it’s looking for. Do any of you know?” Mao Xiaoli ran to the door, turned around, and shouted to Chen Yang, “Brother Chen, it’s Chonky!”

Chonky, resembling a mountain of flesh, sat on the table. The people in the branch office gathered around, staring at it intently. Kou Xuanling said, “I told you it’s really fat, right? It must weigh at least twenty-five kilograms.” He casually pinched a chunk of fat on Chonky’s belly.

Chonky swatted away Kou Xuanling’s hand and picked up the card in front of its chest. The card had two crooked words written on it: “Twenty kilograms!”

Chen Yang said, “Chonky, it seems more than one person has mistaken your weight.” Otherwise, why would it prepare a card that states ‘twenty kilograms’ to prove its innocence?

Chonky rolled its eyes and swapped the card with another one that read, “A’ni!”

Chen Yang: “Chonky, are you trying to pursue a female cat named A’ni?”

Chonky changed the card again, now saying, “Call A’ni!”

Chen Yang “Chonky, why are you eating fried fish snacks?”

Chonky discarded all the cards and its dignity, providing entertainment for the people in the branch office. It coldly devoured the fried fish snacks. Mao Xiaoli, infatuated with petting Chonky, said, “Let me tell you, ever since Chonky became famous, many people started coming to the cafeteria to catch a glimpse of it. But then Chonky stopped going to the cafeteria, and no one would feed it. That’s why it came to the branch to beg for food. Oh, the chubby fleshy lump feels so soft and comfortable.”

After finishing the fish snacks, Chonky turned its back on everyone and treated them with disdain, as proud as an emperor. But as soon as it sensed Du Shuo’s presence, its fur stood on end, and it swiftly disappeared without a trace. However, during dinner time, a mountain of flesh would appear on the branch’s table, offering its body in exchange for some fish snacks.

Of course, Chonky always chose the moments when Du Shuo was absent to sneak around. Once he realized Du Shuo wasn’t there, he would revert to his dominant nature. As soon as Du Shuo appeared, Chonky would run with its tail between its legs. Over time, everyone learned that Chonky was most afraid of Du Shuo. Du Shuo was well aware of Chonky’s existence. He didn’t like cats, but it wasn’t to the extent that he couldn’t tolerate them. As long as that cat didn’t appear before him, everything was fine.

Fortunately, no one in the branch office had the idea of adopting Chonky, and Chonky had no intention of staying at the branch office either. Chonky was used to freedom, having no fixed abode. Apart from Xu A’ni, it never had another owner. In the eyes of the branch office members, the enlightened Chonky was more like a companion, and whether it stayed or left was entirely up to its own whims.

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