The Great Collision of Yin and Yang Chapter 54

Chapter 54 Ominous Steps 01

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Hello, I’m back! (^∇^)ノ~

Chen Yang entered the branch office and saw Mao Xiaoli sitting on the sofa, scrolling through Weibo. He asked her, “Xiaoli, did Du Shuo come back yesterday?”

Mao Xiaoli looked up. “No. Have you caught that Five Directional God yet? You know Zhang Qiudao and I supposed to help the police catch those people manipulated by the Five Directional God, right? While apprehending them, we stumbled upon a large cult site, where they were worshiping a statue of the Five Directional God. Zhang Qiudao took photos, asked family members, and confirmed it was a statue of the Blissful Deity. Also, we encountered many things, including a malevolent ghost seeking vengeance. Tsk tsk, it was quite perilous——”

Chen Yang interrupted her, “What about Zhang Qiudao?”

“Still helping out. We split up to assist the police. I finished my part, but he has one more case.”

Chen Yang said, “I’m a bit tired. I’ll rest upstairs.” After a while, he came back downstairs and, at the stairwell, told Mao Xiaoli, “If Du Shuo comes back, notify me on WeChat.”

“Okay.” Mao Xiaoli nodded, blankly watching Chen Yang’s figure disappear around the corner. She then turned to Kou Xuanling, who was sitting nearby, and raised her thumb at Chen Yang’s direction, asking quietly, “What’s going on?”

Kou Xuanling finished drinking a full glass of water and sighed, “Longing.”

Mao Xiaoli was surprised. “Didn’t they just meet yesterday? How could they act like they haven’t seen each other for three autumns when they were practically an old married couple?”

“Their relationship has always been good,” Kou Xuanling remarked, lifting an eyelid to glance at Mao Xiaoli. “You’ve never been in love, so you wouldn’t understand.”

Mao Xiaoli retorted, “You understand?” She dared to assert that even after giving birth to her first child, the universe’s straightest guy, Kou Xuanling, might not still get into a relationship.

Kou Xuanling chuckled twice. “I’ve never been in love, but I understand that feeling.”

Mao Xiaoli fell silent for a while, sitting quietly beside Kou Xuanling, her gossipy eyes gleaming as she looked at him. “Do you have a secret crush?”

“Not on you,” Kou Xuanling responded bluntly. Mao Xiaoli almost wanted to smack his head. A universal steel-straight guy could indeed end an entire conversation with one sentence and draw plenty of resentment.

“Thanks for sparing me.” Mao Xiaoli persisted in gossip, “How do you understand that feeling? When did you understand it? Who was it with?”

Kou Xuanling replied, “I understood it when I was sixteen.” Mao Xiaoli gestured to pause and slid the melon seeds from across the table, indicating him to continue. Kou Xuanling went on, “At sixteen, I received my first assignment to go far away. Young and inexperienced, I got motion sickness on the trip. I slept upon arrival, and when I woke up in the middle of the night to pay respects to my ancestral master, I realized I forgot to bring my ancestral master’s portrait!”

Mao Xiaoli stopped cracking her melon seeds. She not only lost her appetite but also felt like throwing melon seed shells at his face. Kou Xuanling recalled the feeling at that time with a shudder. “I personally painted the portrait of my ancestral master. The ones sold outside are fake, not easily procurable. Mostly they sell portraits of the Three Pure Ones. It took me three days to complete that assignment, and it felt like I hadn’t seen my ancestral master in ten years. When I returned, I immediately bathed, observed fasting, and offered prayers to my ancestral master. From then on, I never parted with my ancestral master’s portrait.”

Mao Xiaoli: “One day apart feels like three autumns, so three days apart feels like nine years.”

Kou Xuanling: “Rounding up.”

“Oh.” Mao Xiaoli indifferently tossed aside the melon seed shells. Due to the exaggerated motion, a piece of shell happened to land on Kou Xuanling’s big toe. She glanced at it and let out a disdainful chuckle.

Kou Xuanling suddenly felt like he was being targeted, but he had no idea when he had offended Mao Xiaoli. Just then, Ma Shanfeng emerged, catching Kou Xuanling’s complaints, “A woman’s heart is like a needle at the bottom of the sea.” 

Ma Shanfeng said, “It depends on the person.” Perplexed, Kou Xuanling sought an explanation, but Ma Shanfeng redirected the conversation, “I overheard Manager Chen asking about Director Du. Is something… amiss?”

If Ma Shanfeng had asked the Kou Xuanling of the previous day, he wouldn’t have known. So, today’s Kou Xuanling met Ma Shanfeng’s penetrating gaze with shock, while Ma Shanfeng read the answer he sought in Kou Xuanling’s expression.

Kou Xuanling said, “Uncle Ma, I now realize you’re the most mysterious person in the branch office.” Du Shuo was the most mysterious, but he didn’t belong to the branch office.

Uncle Ma waved it off, “With more experiences and observations, it’s easier to see through people. Is Manager Chen upset?”

Kou Xuanling thought for a moment before answering, “Doesn’t seem like it. Huh! Manager Chen forming a Yin union? How can a living person marry a ghost? And tying the knot with that influential figure, I feel like I’m in a ludicrous dream.”

Ma Shanfeng offered to help Kou Xuanling snap out of the ludicrous dream, but the latter’s refusal was firm. Ma Shanfeng said, “Manager Chen’s physiognomy doesn’t suggest a long life.”

In just that sentence, there were many intriguing details to ponder. Kou Xuanling asked, “Does it involve forbidden techniques?”

Ma Shanfeng dispelled his suspicions, “If any evil spirit from the underworld formed a Yin union with Manager Chen, one could suspect forbidden techniques. However, Manager Chen’s partner is from Fengdu, what forbidden techniques can be applied to him?  Look at how they interact. That one is deeply devoted to Manager Chen. If Manager Chen weren’t here, that one wouldn’t even appear, let alone engage in casual conversations with us like friends.”

The Great Emperor of Fengdu, a revered deity in Daoism, naturally had his pride. Though not disdainful of mortals, he wouldn’t mingle in the crowds of the mortal realm. The Great Emperor of Fengdu appeared as the director at the head office four years ago, only seen a few times in significant assignments related to the nation’s fate. The rest of the time, he remained mysteriously elusive.

Kou Xuanling already held great respect for Du Shuo, considering him as one of the two admirable goals alongside his ancestral master. He told Ma Shanfeng, “I initially thought Director Du was the leader of some mysterious sect, who is rarely seen for a whole year. After coming to the branch office, I realized I frequently encounter him. Only then did I learn he is a married man. Now, reflecting on it, Director Du is genuinely busy, juggling responsibilities at the head office and Fengdu, yet he regularly returns home. Sometimes, I could see him returning home exhausted in the middle of the night, leaving again at dawn. This dedication is commendable.”

Kou Xuanling didn’t hesitate to offer praise and continued, “I heard a few in the Daoist Association know Director Du’s true identity?”

“Some do. They said when he appeared before them l, he mentioned it.” Ma Shanfeng chuckled. “That’s Director Du’s style–a bit unconventional but straightforward and decisive.”

Kou Xuanling added, “It seems Manager Chen is unaware of Director Du’s identity before.” Seeing Ma Shanfeng’s surprised gaze, he clarified, “But now he knows.”

Ma Shanfeng didn’t anticipate Du Shuo keeping such crucial information from Chen Yang. “How is Manager Chen’s mood?”

Kou Xuanling pondered and chose the most fitting description. “Calm.”

“The calmer, the more terrifying the eruption. Beneath the calm surface lies seething magma, surging rivers. Once there’s a breach, it erupts causing widespread damage.” Ma Shanfeng expressed with a touch of concern.

Kou Xuanling: “Any experience?”

“I once hid some private savings, and your sister-in-law found out. She stayed calm for a few days, and I was on edge for several days, just to coax out the savings I’ve accumulated for over a decade. All the hard work, gone in a night.” Ma Shanfeng sighed, and after receiving Kou Xuanling’s sympathetic gaze, he waved his hand and said, “Don’t get involved in Manager Chen and Director Du’s matters.”

After saying this, he turned back to his office, closed the doors and windows securely, and from a hidden place, took out a box and counted the private savings. Everything was intact. Just mentioning his own experience made him feel the fear of having his private savings confiscated again, so he counted to reassure himself.

After Zhou Qi reported the sanatorium matter to Du Shuo, Du Shuo calmly acknowledged it and told him to handle it. Zhou Qi thought he should give flatter the Great Emperor of Fengdu, so he quickly reported about the matter concerning Du Shuo’s wife.

Du Shuo indeed showed interest. Although his expression didn’t change much, he listened carefully. As he listened, a subtle change appeared on his face. “You said when Yangyang called out ‘one of the Ghost Emperors under the rule of the Great Emperor of Fengdu, Zhou Qi,’ you responded?”

Zhou Qi nodded. “Yes, but I asked Elder Sister-in-law what the matter was, and he said it’s nothing.”

Observing Zhou Qi’s solemn face, adorned with a beard as steadfast as a halberd, and noting the flattery with the repeated use of ‘Elder Sister-in-law’ in his sentences, Du Shuo nodded. He forced a faint smile, successfully silencing Zhou Qi, who now had a horrified look on his face.

“Zhou Qi.”

Zhou Qi jolted in response, simultaneously shivering.

“You go manage Mount Bozhong. It’s been quite busy over there recently.”

Zhou Qi paused then asked, “Isn’t there already a Ghost Emperor governing that place?” Mount Bozhong was within the jurisdiction of the Western Ghost Emperor, quite far from his Mount Baodu. Moreover, Mount Bozhong in the west was notorious for numerous affairs and busy operations

“I know, they are busy over there.”

“I understand, but what about Mount Baodu…”

“You handle that too.”

Zhou Qi looked slightly wounded as he gazed at the Great Emperor, then left in silence, realizing that he lacked the talent for flattery.

Du Shuo remained calm and composed as Zhou Qi left, but once Zhou Qi was gone, he hurriedly left Fengdu and appeared at the entrance of the branch office. Entering the first floor, he hesitated for a rare moment, and upon seeing Kou Xuanling painting his ancestral master’s portrait, he asked, “How’s Yangyang today?”

Kou Xuanling set down his brush, thought for a moment, and replied, “Calm.”

Du Shuo sensed trouble looming and hesitated even more. Nevertheless, he had to face it. Kou Xuanling earnestly said to him, “Stay strong, take care.” Du Shuo coldly stared at the portrait on Kou Xuanling’s desk, and Kou Xuanling gestured to zip his lips, indicating he wouldn’t watch the drama unfold.

After Du Shuo went upstairs, Ma Shanfeng silently opened the door. Kou Xuanling pointed upstairs, silently conveying, “He went up.”

Ma Shanfeng informed Mao Xiaoli to be vigilant. Mao Xiaoli dared not open the door, so she discreetly used a drone. This gadget was originally a bribe by a girl who filmed a certain celibate Daoist, Kou Xuanling. Now it came in handy. But when Du Shuo heard the buzzing above, he glanced upward and glanced back at Mao Xiaoli’s room.

The drone hovered in the air for a while, then quietly returned to her room. 

Kou Xuanling: “Coward!”

Mao Xiaoli hummed twice, “You go if you can.” No one dared to go, but Mao Xiaoli, secretly listened.

Du Shuo halted his attempt to knock and instead used a key to open the door. Tapping lightly, he walked in and found Chen Yang sewing with his back turned. Du Shuo stood behind him and sneakily glanced, discovering that Chen Yang was sewing his clothes. Something was embroidered on his clothes, and from the outline, it looked like a pig.

Du Shuo remained silent. When Chen Yang was angry, he would secretly sew various pigs on his clothes. When extremely angry, he would openly sew them in front of him. Although it seemed like a harmless way to vent frustration, Du Shuo had to go out in public wearing clothes with a pig embroidered on them to calm Chen Yang down.

Chen Yang: “You’re here?”

Du Shuo responded, “Hmm,” then sat beside him, silently watching him embroider a pig’s head, occasionally praising his skill, “Looks good.”

Chen Yang glanced at him, and with a smile, said, “Thanks.” After a moment of thought, he added, “I’m honored.” After that, he tied a thread. Du Shuo quickly handed over the scissors, and Chen Yang took them, cut off the loose end, picked up the clothes, shook them, and checked the embroidered pig’s head.

Chen Yang was quite skilled. The embroidered pig’s head looked lively and vivid, right in the center of the chest. Although he admired it verbally, wearing it would be a loss of face. However, Du Shuo couldn’t help but commend, “Really nice. Yangyang, you’re skillful.”

“No, skilled hands but a clumsy heart. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know the identity of the person sleeping beside me while I’m planning ways to raise money to accumulate merits for his promotion.” Chen Yang placed the finished embroidered clothes aside and picked up another to continue embroidering.

Du Shuo glanced roughly and counted seven pieces of clothing. It indicated that Chen Yang was genuinely upset. In the past, he never embroidered more than five pieces with pig heads. Now, he prepared seven! Moreover, he did it openly in front of him! Feeling guilty, Du Shuo quickly softened his voice and coaxed, “Blame me for not telling you in advance, always keeping it from you.”

“You hinted at me long ago. The half-jade thumb ring is half of the Great Emperor of Fengdu’s seal. I just didn’t realize it myself.” Chen Yang took the blame upon himself, but any normal person could tell he was upset, too angry to transfer his anger to others and too lazy to find the real culprit to vent.

Du Shuo held Chen Yang’s hand, and despite Chen Yang’s attempt to break free, he couldn’t. Du Shuo kissed the back of Chen Yang’s hand and said in a low voice, “Yangyang, don’t blame me, okay? I didn’t intend to deceive you. Initially, I thought it wasn’t necessary to mention my identity, then later, I didn’t know how to bring it up.”

When they first got married, Du Shuo didn’t take their marital relationship seriously, so he didn’t reveal his identity. Later, when he developed feelings, he didn’t know how to broach the topic. Chen Yang, anxious and worried, displaying his distinctive expressions, made the Great Emperor reluctant to disclose his identity. The nonchalant old bachelor who had been single for a thousand years, having a family without experiencing love, couldn’t consider all aspects when moved by emotions. When he wanted to be considerate, he didn’t know how to express it.

Chen Yang trusted people close to him, so he never doubted Du Shuo. Even though Du Shuo secretly gave him half of the Great Emperor of Fengdu’s seal as a wedding ring, it was a test to see if he would discover it himself. Unexpectedly, Chen Yang didn’t notice for several years. Unable to help it, Du Shuo kept assigning himself the role of an oppressed and exploited little ghost official.

When Chen Yang scolded him, he couldn’t join in to scold himself, so he could only nod in agreement.

Chen Yang avoided looking directly at Du Shuo, just glimpsed at him, asking, “What else have you hidden from me?”

Du Shuo: “Nothing else.”


Du Shuo nodded, but after nodding, a moment of hesitation appeared. Chen Yang, noticing it, frowned. “What else have you hidden from me? Now, tell me everything.”

“Fengdu already knows about your relationship with me.”

“I knew it early on—” Chen Yang abruptly halted, staring at Du Shuo, his eyes full of disbelief. Previously, he thought Du Shuo was just a minor ghost official, so he casually invoked Fengdu, thinking Du Shuo cultivated connections down there and asked his colleagues for help. Every time he bid farewell to the underworld ghost officials, he would do so as Du Shuo’s partner, treating them to a meal and giving them some hard-earned money.

Hence, those ghost officials in the underworld weren’t there because Du Shuo, the minor ghost official, helped him build connections. They were simply there because he was the ‘Elder Sister-in-law’!

Du Shuo reassured him, “Some ghost officials are still unaware of the situation. They think someone in your ancestors is working in the underworld.” Even though there were quite a few who knew, and fights often broke out to seize Chen Yang’s summoning slots.

Fengdu’s ghost officials were eager to secure a spot in Chen Yang’s summoning, partly because Chen Yang was generous, and partly because they all wanted to meet the wife of the Great Emperor of Fengdu, coming to pay their respects to the ‘Elder Sister-in-law.’

Chen Yang tossed the pig-headed embroidered shirt into Du Shuo’s arms and then picked up another shirt, intending to embroider an even larger pig head. “You leave first. I don’t want to see you.”

Du Shuo grabbed Chen Yang’s hand, showering kisses and continuously gazing into Chen Yang’s eyes, saying, “Yangyang…” with a pitiful expression. Du Shuo, usually handsome and indifferent, surprisingly looked pitiful, making it hard for people to blame him. However, despite spending years together, Chen Yang, although rarely seeing Du Shuo showing weakness, felt differently this time.

Chen Yang pulled his hand away, pointing at the shirt in Du Shuo’s arms. “You leave first. I don’t want to see you.”

Du Shuo immediately put on the shirt with the embroidered pig head, standing in front of Chen Yang, attempting to appease him. Chen Yang glanced at him, maintaining a stern expression. Du Shuo, feeling in the wrong, said, “Then, I’ll wait outside the door.”

He took three steps towards the door but turned back each time to face Chen Yang. Once the door was closed, his expression immediately returned to indifference. He lowered his head, glanced at the pig head on his chest, touched the embroidery, and silently praised his little wife’s skill. Although the pig head undermined the dignity of the Great Emperor, after looking at it for a while, it looked surprisingly cute.

The Great Emperor thought everything about Yangyang was impressive, even finding the pig head embroidered on his clothes especially adorable. Standing at the door, he pondered on how to appease Chen Yang.

Ma Shanfeng passed by holding a teacup, looked at the Great Emperor, then glanced at the pig head on his chest. Calmly, he said, “I’ll go find Mao Xiaoli and urge her to finish her summer homework.”

The Great Emperor coldly looked at him. Ma Shanfeng walked past with a serious expression, knocked on Mao Xiaoli’s door. Mao Xiaoli revealed her head, stared straight at the pig head on Du Shuo’s chest, moved aside to let Ma Shanfeng in, then closed the door.

Du Shuo coldly stared at Mao Xiaoli’s door, taking a while before retracting his gaze. After some time, Kou Xuanling passed by holding the just-finished portrait of his ancestral master, stopped in front of Du Shuo, and calmly explained, “I want to air the painting, and Mao Xiaoli’s balcony has a good breeze. I’m going to borrow her balcony.”

After a proper greeting, he knocked on Mao Xiaoli’s door. After the door opened, Mao Xiaoli and Ma Shanfeng’s head poked out. Du Shuo looked over, softly inquiring, “Is it good?”

The three of them rushed into the room, closed the door, and then sat together to inform Zhang Qiudao to come back and watch the show. They also wanted to take another look at the pig head on Du Shuo’s chest. Mao Xiaoli complimented, “Brother Chen’s embroidery skills are amazing. That pig head is so cute.”

Kou Xuanling: “Chen Yang is very angry, even punishing Director Du to stand at the door. Chen Yang has always been obedient in front of Director Du, and their relationship has been good. Now that Chen Yang is so angry, could it lead to a rift in their relationship?”

Ma Shanfeng: “No. Couples often argue but reconcile, whether it’s between husband and wife or two husbands. The more they quarrel, the deeper their relationship becomes.”

Mao Xiaoli: “Shouldn’t we help them instead of watching?”

“Uncle Ma advises you, don’t meddle in other people’s love lives.”

Mao Xiaoli: “What if Director Du comes knocking at the door?”

“Give him friendly advice.”

“Deputy Manager Ma has a lot of experience?” Du Shuo suddenly appeared behind Ma Shanfeng. Ma Shanfeng calmly stood up, facing him. Du Shuo sat down and said, “How about offering some friendly advice?”

Ma Shanfeng: “No problem.” He pointed to Du Shuo and then gestured to himself. “From one experienced person to another.”

Mao Xiaoli and Kou Xuanling tried to diminish their presence, squatting quietly nearby, not uttering a word. However, Du Shuo still noticed them, silently observing the two. Despite their efforts to stay, they couldn’t withstand Du Shuo’s cold and stern gaze, so they left the room with their heads down.

After closing the door, Mao Xiaoli suddenly realized something. “Why am I kicked out of my room?”

Kou Xuanling: “Watching the show requires payment.” With that, he went downstairs to his room, needing to dry the portrait of his ancestral master. Mao Xiaoli thought for a moment, feeling too scared to stay alone and watch the show. Instead, she followed downstairs, waiting in the living room for Zhang Qiudao to come back, planning to persuade him to join. So, she waited in the living room for Zhang Qiudao.

Du Shuo and Ma Shanfeng discussed for half an hour in the room. After the conversation, Du Shuo returned to his room, closing the door firmly behind him. Chen Yang did not come downstairs for the rest of the evening. During dinner, when Zhang Qiudao rushed back to watch the show, he found the tightly closed door. After dinner, during fruit time, a few people cooled off in the courtyard. Mao Xiaoli curiously asked, “Uncle Ma, what strategy did you and Director Du come up with?”

“No strategy. How could there be a strategy? As I said, outsiders should stay out of marital matters. Just some advice from someone who’s been there,” Ma Shanfeng smiled with an honest and sincere demeanor. “Disputes between spouses happen, a little conflict, some emotions–it’s all normal.”

Kou Xuanling and Zhang Qiudao exchanged glances, then looked at Ma Shanfeng, who skillfully navigated away from the topic, evading Mao Xiaoli’s inquiries with pleasant words. They agreed silently that experience counted, especially when dealing with the easygoing old man, Ma Shanfeng.

The next day, Chen Yang and Du Shuo went out, their relationship restored as if nothing happened.

Chen Yang saw Du Shuo off, holding breakfast for him. “Busy again?”

Du Shuo pinched Chen Yang’s chin, giving him affectionate kisses. After acknowledging, he said, “There are still some loose ends to tie up from last time. I’ll be back in the evening.”

“Not coming back for lunch?”

“I’ll try my best. If I can, I’ll send you a message.”

“Alright, I’ll wait for you.”

Chen Yang watched Du Shuo leave and turned to face Ma Shanfeng and the other three, who were giving him meaningful looks. “What’s up?”

The four exchanged discreet glances, noticing the red marks on Chen Yang’s neck. They shook their heads and continued eating congee. After Chen Yang went back to rest, the other two, besides Mao Xiaoli, exchanged significant glances with Ma Shanfeng.

Mao Xiaoli remained puzzled. “Uncle Ma, did Brother Chen forgive Director Du?”

“Yes. They reconciled.”

“Then why is Director Du still wearing the pig-headed embroidered clothes?”

“Forgiveness doesn’t mean the punishment is lifted. Besides, after the reconciliation, the punishment becomes a display of affection, understand?”

Mao Xiaoli shook her head, not understanding. She looked at Zhang Qiudao and Kou Xuanling, asking, “Do you guys understand?” Both shook their heads.

Zhou Qi’s eyes would uncontrollably glance at the pig-headed embroidery on the Great Emperor’s chest. Finally, unable to restrain himself, he asked, receiving a meaningful look and a chuckle from the Emperor.

Du Shuo: “Yangyang embroidered it.”

Zhou Qi: “The Great Empress is skillful and unique.”

Du Shuo sneered.

Zhou Qi: “The Great Emperor and the Great Empress are truly in love with each other, a perfect match made in heaven.”

Du Shuo’s expression eased slightly.


Ghost official: Pig embroidery on the Great Emperor’s clothes?!

Zhou Qi: What do you know? The Great Empress embroidered it himself!

Ghost official: The Great Empress is skillful and unique, standing out from the rest.

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