The Great Collision of Yin and Yang Chapter 55

Chapter 55 Ominous Steps 02

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Ma Shanfeng said to Chen Yang, “There’s a meeting at the Daoist Association, held at Baiyun Temple. Both the head and branch offices have to send representatives. Leaders of Daoist Association from other regions will participate in a video conference.”

Chen Yang: “What’s happening?”

Ma Shanfeng: “An evil ghost escaped from hell and is causing mischief in the mortal realm. He’s extremely cunning and managed to elude detection for twenty years. Every attempt to capture him is a step too late, even tricking the ghost officials. Fengdu has decided to collaborate with the Daoist Association of mortal realm to capture this escaped evil ghost. The meeting is to discuss how to capture him.”

Regarding this evil ghost, Du Shuo had mentioned it to Chen Yang before. The fact that it remained free for twenty years before being discovered enraged Du Shuo, even exacting punishment for the ghost envoys in hell.

Mao Xiaoli: “Which evil ghost is so formidable that it requires Fengdu and the Daoist Association to join forces for capture?”

Ma Shanfeng: “It’s a seven-hundred-year evil ghost that once turned an entire city into zombies.”

Zhang Qiudao: “Are you kidding? How could an evil ghost turn an entire city into zombies? I bet it would be reduced to ashes by a divine thunderbolt before achieving that.”

Zombies, neither human, ghost, nor demon, were excluded from the Six Realms. Born from the accumulation of resentment, they existed in a state between life and death, deemed abominable by the Heavenly Dao. It took a millennium of cultivation for a zombie to transform into a fearless flying zombie, shrouded in malevolence, unafraid of sunlight. Particularly before becoming a flying zombie, they had to sustain themselves by consuming blood, making them universally despised. Most zombies never survived to become flying zombies, but once they did, they became nearly impossible to subdue.

The consequences of the destruction of the flying zombie from Changhe Charity House resulted in the loss of three Supreme Clarity Celestial Masters. This illustrated the dreadfulness of flying zombies. Moreover, to maintain balance, the Heavenly Dao would never allow an entire city to be turned into zombies. Such an event would undoubtedly unleash absolute evil and resentment, affecting the fate of the nation. The Heavenly Dao would not stand idly by.

As Zhang Qiudao said, before an entire city could be transformed into zombies, the Heavenly Dao would unleash a thunderbolt, reducing the city to mere debris.

“Achieving what even the flying zombies from the Spring and Autumn period to the present couldn’t attain is against the will of the Heavenly Dao. How could a mere seven-hundred-year evil ghost accomplish it?” Zhang Qiudao was clearly skeptical of Ma Shanfeng’s words. “Could there be a mistake?”

“No mistake,” Ma Shanfeng shook his head. “Have you heard of those with an utmost Yin constitution?”

Mao Xiaoli and the others nodded in acknowledgment. Chen Yang’s curiosity peaked as he looked to Ma Shanfeng, waiting for an explanation.

Ma Shanfeng asked Chen Yang, “Does Manager Chen know about it?”

Chen Yang: “Yes. Utmost Yin constitution is also known as extreme Yin constitution, with an unparalleled peculiarly Yin fate. Born on the Three Ruptures Day during the winter solstice, the body accumulates extreme Yin resentment, attracting the attention of countless ghosts. It’s a fate marked by early death.”

The Three Ruptures Day during the winter solstice was known as the Grand Ghost Festival, occurring once every sixty years on the most extreme Yin day. Hell’s gates would swing wide open, and all tormented spirits and malevolent ghosts would surge into the mortal realm, causing the Yin energy to peak. This day was also referred to as the Parade of Ten Thousand Ghosts, when people dared not venture out at night, fearing the harassment of evil ghosts. Folklore stated that the winter solstice marked the peak of Yin energy, with the saying, “When Yin energy is at its height, Yang energy begins to arrive.” This implied that the winter solstice was the day with the most intense Yin energy in the entire year, reaching its pinnacle and gradually diminishing afterward as Yang energy started to prevail in the mortal realm.

Thus, the convergence of the two extreme Yin days, the Three Ruptures Day and the winter solstice, was a rare occurrence in history. Once these days clashed, people dared not venture outside. Doors and windows were tightly shut, and candles burned through the night. If a child happened to be born on this day, the unfortunate alignment with extreme Yin fate would make them the ideal vessel in the eyes of countless evil ghosts.

In the competition for a vessel, evil ghosts would engage in fierce battles, ultimately giving rise to a Ghost King. However, the fragile body of an infant couldn’t withstand the ominous aura of a Ghost King. Such a child would inevitably meet an untimely demise. If someone managed to protect the infant, they would endure relentless harassment from malevolent ghosts and other evil entities, leading to the ultimate downfall of the child’s family, with the child likely not surviving past the age of fifteen.

Hence, there were rumors in Daoism that those with extreme Yin constitution rarely lived long.

Ma Shanfeng: “The evil ghost in question is named Wu Lingjiu, born on the Three Ruptures Day, coinciding with the winter solstice. With an extraordinary Yin fate and an extreme Yin constitution, he was destined for an early death. However, being born into the flourishing era of the Witch Tribe saved him. The Witch Tribe, renowned for their understanding of evil ghosts, not only protected Wu Lingjiu but also revered him as the embodiment of their deity. Wu Lingjiu, in turn, tamed the malevolent ghosts set to harm him, turning them into household servants and becoming the only Witch Tribe Chief knowledgeable in controlling spirits.”

“Wu Lingjiu?” Mao Xiaoli expressed surprise. “I’ve heard of him. Our Maoshan Sect has close ties with the Witch Tribe. While the Celestial Master Dao originated from witchcraft, it has evolved significantly over the years. In Maoshan Sect, we distinguish between black witchcraft and white witchcraft, with a substantial retention of the latter. My father mentioned that after the downfall of the ancient Shu Kingdom and the disappearance of the Ghost Tribe, witchcraft began to decline. However, seven hundred years ago, the Witch Tribe produced a genius named Wu Lingjiu. It’s rumored he nearly restored the Ghost Kingdom and, as a result, is revered as a saint in the Witch Tribe, especially among the Ghost Tribe.”

Zhang Qiudao added, “The Celestial Master Dao briefly mentioned Wu Lingjiu, stating, ‘Little talent, unruly nature, unfortunately met an early demise.’ There wasn’t much description beyond that.”

Mao Xiaoli: “Because he attempted to restore the Ghost Kingdom and turn everyone into his subjects. Oh, I remember now. Uncle Ma mentioned that Wu Lingjiu once tried to turn an entire city’s residents into zombies. He did succeed, but they all became mindless, bloodthirsty zombies. Wu Lingjiu considered them failures, not the Ghost Kingdom citizens he desired. At that time, nearing the end of his life, he managed to conceal the transformation of the entire city into zombies from the Heavenly Dao, undoubtedly by using forbidden arts. Despite the combined efforts of various celestial master sects surrounding the zombie city, they couldn’t rescue the city’s residents. In a short period, the once prosperous city fell into a lifeless ruin.”

“Where is that city?” Chen Yang asked.

Mao Xiaoli: “From our current perspective, it’s a city, but in history, it was a small kingdom known as the ancient Guge Kingdom. Situated on a hill along the Xiangquan River in Alizabu, it’s now a cultural relic. Historical records attribute the downfall of the ancient Guge Kingdom to war, but scholars found that neither war nor natural disasters could turn the flourishing capital into a lifeless ruin in a short period. My father mentioned that the demise of the ancient Guge Kingdom was linked to Wu Lingjiu’s creation of zombies. I guess that’s the city.”

Chen Yang nodded. “Wu Lingjiu is the evil ghost that escaped… Is his goal to create his own Ghost Kingdom? I remember the ritual in the scriptures involves using… the blood of a flying zombie!” He suddenly looked at Kou Xuanling, who caught on. Chen Yang continued, “The zombie blood from Changhe Charity House!”

Kou Xuanling: “No one can find the zombie blood. When the three Supreme Clarity Celestial Masters died, shocking the entire Celestial Master Community, the Daoist Association sent people to search Changhe Charity House for years without success. The blood of a flying zombie is extremely malevolent, and everyone knows the severity of zombie blood. So, the search for zombie blood never stopped, even though there are rumors that Changhe Charity House never had any zombie blood.”

Chen Yang frowned. “We need to inform the police about the situation.”

The police quickly responded, emphasizing that no suspicious individuals were found. However, they discovered a girl named Meng Yao on-site, who, upon regaining consciousness, was in a bewildered state. They sought assistance from a celestial master, who claimed that Meng Yao was afflicted by demonic forces. After performing a ritual to dispel the lingering evil, Meng Yao fainted and only woke up this morning.

The first words she uttered upon waking were, “Meng Xi is not my brother. He’s an evil ghost!”

Meng Yao was extremely frightened, repeating the same phrase over and over again. She had been gradually regaining her consciousness, but a nurse, who came to administer injection, suddenly grabbed Meng Yao’s wrist, baring her teeth in a malicious grin, and plunging the needle into her wrist while shouting loudly, “Yaoyao, you’ve been naughty! Come back. Let’s reunite as a family!”

Meng Yao went insane again, not due to demonic influence but genuine terror. The nurse, once restrained, proved to be influenced by demonic forces, having no recollection after regaining consciousness.

Chen Yang: “Is Meng Xi Wu Lingjiu, the evil ghost that escaped from hell? Did he take the zombie blood to replicate another Ghost Kingdom, or does he believe his current abilities are sufficient to create zombies?”

Meng Xi was around his twenties, and the evil ghost escaped hell two decades ago. If he happened to possess Meng Xi at that time, it could explain why his parents were ignoring him. Detecting that their child’s body was seized by an evil ghost from who knows where, they hated the spirit but couldn’t bear to harm their child’s body, so they chose to ignore it.

The authenticity of Wu Lingjiu’s words was dubious, but Chen Yang knew Wu Lingjiu likely wouldn’t bother pleasing the Meng family. Therefore, his claim that the Meng family neglected him was true, but it was unlikely that the Meng family would use the benefits gained through Wu Lingjiu’s efforts on Meng Yao.

Chen Yang said, “Immediately notify the Daoist Association and issue a wanted notice for Meng Xi.” In the midst of the conversation, Chonky jumped in, carrying a photo in his mouth, placing it in front of Chen Yang. Chen Yang picked up the photo, seeing a pale woman in white holding a black cat. After contemplating for a while, he felt a sense of familiarity. He asked Chonky, “Do you know her?”

Chonky wagged his tail. Chen Yang said, “Have I met her before?”

Chonky brought out a card with ‘Wishing House’ written on it. Chen Yang suddenly realized. “You led me there before, to the woman in Wishing House.” Mao Xiaoli, overhearing the name of the competitor, hurried over. “Let me see. She disappeared suddenly almost a month ago.” Looking at the photo, she also confirmed, “Indeed, it’s the woman from the Wishing House.”

Chen Yang asked Chonky, “What happened to her? Do you want me to help you find her?”

Chonky tried to lift his right hind leg to bury his face, but being too chubby, he managed to raise it only three centimeters. Layers of fat circles separated his face from the leg, making the situation awkward. Chonky decided to bury his face in his belly. As he did, his jelly-like belly jiggled like a mound of gelatin, creating waves.

Unable to resist, Chen Yang reached out and started petting. “You wouldn’t mention her at this time for no reason, nor would you lead me to the Wishing House for no reason. If you wanted to find her, you would have done so a month ago. So, is she connected to Wu Lingjiu?”

Chonky curled into a giant ball, motionless. However, his tail wagged, affirming Chen Yang’s response. Mao Xiaoli stared in amazement, sneaked her hand in, but Chonky flicked his tail, leaving red marks on her hand. She muttered, “Doesn’t like being touched, so stingy.” Mao Xiaoli then negotiated with Chonky, “I ordered two boxes of Meow Meow Fruit Wine. Let me squeeze you, five squeezes for one bottle.”

Chonky shoved the card in her face: three squeezes for one bottle.

Mao Xiaoli: “Why not just snatch it!”

With a ‘whoosh,’ Chonky retrieved the card, his round back exuding the cold and indifferent demeanor of a merchant who does not entertain bargaining. Mao Xiaoli calculated the price of the Meow Meow Wine and found it within the range of her spare change. Therefore, she compromised and happily got to pet the cat ball.

Kou Xuanling, witnessing this, was tempted, but he didn’t have Meow Meow Wine. Thus, he earnestly explained to Chonky the rules of interacting with colleagues in the workplace, “…colleagues are partners, brothers. Since we’re like cats, what’s wrong with giving our junior brother a little scratch?”

Chonky remained unmoved, rolling his eyes at Kou Xuanling. Chen Yang pushed Kou Xuanling aside. “Stop causing trouble. Chonky, who is she?”

Chonky raised the card: ‘Xu A’ni.’

Chen Yang asked, “Xu A’ni? Your previous owner, Xu A’ni?” Chonky flicked his tail, surprising Chen Yang. “Is she still alive?”

Xu Ani was from the Sui Dynasty, over a thousand years ago. Alive for over a thousand years? Chonky dragged out the sign, which read: zombie.

Chen Yang wanted more information, but Chonky refused to elaborate. Unable to pry further, Chen Yang shared the news of Xu A’ni and Wu Lingjiu with the Daoist Association. He speculated that Xu A’ni was likely a nearly transformed flying zombie, or Wu Lingjiu wouldn’t go to such lengths to find zombie blood at Changhe Charity House.

Chen Yang and Kou Xuanling attended the meeting held by the Daoist Association, leaving Zhang Qiudao and Mao Xiaoli behind. When Zhang Qiudao returned earlier, he found that Chen Yang and Du Shuo had stayed in the room for a whole day without coming out. Completely unaware of what had happened, he pulled Mao Xiaoli aside and asked, “Why do you think Director Du and Chen Yang had a fight? What’s the reason?”

Mao Xiaoli shook her head. “I don’t know.”

Zhang Qiudao: “…… and you still called me over eagerly to watch the show?”

Mao Xiaoli: “Uncle Ma told me they had a fight and asked me to watch. I thought just watching would be fine. There’s no need to get tangled up in the reasons for Brother Chen and Director Du’s argument.”

“So, you don’t know why they fought?”

Mao Xiaoli nodded, then pointed at Ma Shanfeng. “Uncle Ma knows.”

Ma Shanfeng glanced at them, smiled, picked up his tea cup, and slipped back into his office, saying, “Sometimes, couples fight without a reason. You’ll understand these things later on. For outsiders, just watch and don’t delve too deep.”

Chen Yang and Kou Xuanling attended the Daoist Association meeting. As the manager of the Dafu Branch office, sitting among the big shots of the Celestial Master Community made him slightly uncomfortable. Fortunately, he ran into the master of Huoshen Temple, Meng Fu. Later, during the video meeting with other regional Daoist Association leaders, he also saw Yi Wei from Sichuan’s Changdao Temple, Su Li from Ziyang Palace in Shen City, and Hu Yingnan.

They greeted Chen Yang, relieving him from the awkward silence in the unfamiliar Celestial Master Community. Unexpectedly, after Meng Fu, Yi Wei, and others, many more celestial masters greeted him. These were renowned figures in the Celestial Master Community. They had long been aware that the capital city’s branch office had a talented manager, a rare practitioner of the Ghost Dao. Naturally, they approached with the intention of taking care of the younger generation. Additionally, considering the decline of the Ghost Dao, practitioners of the Celestial Master Dao felt the need to offer some support.

So, just upon meeting, Chen Yang received quite a few gifts from the big shots of the Celestial Master Community, filling an entire backpack. Kou Xuanling told him to relax and not feel uncomfortable because these big shots were incredibly wealthy. Moreover, it was their hobby to give gifts to juniors, so he should just accept them.

Chen Yang: “Do you have experience?”

“Any junior with a bit of talent has experience. It’s nothing surprising.” Kou Xuanling immediately gave examples, mentioning Mao Xiaoli and Zhang Qiudao. “They’ve received quite a few gifts, especially Mao Xiaoli. She has received gifts at least ten times. Every time the Daoist Association holds its regular exchange meetings, Elder Mao takes the younger generation around to various celestial masters, collecting good things and leaving contentedly.”

So, as time went on, when the big shots of the Celestial Master Community saw Elder Mao leading a junior with a smile, they couldn’t help but feel a bit distressed.

After a while, everyone took their seats, with about thirty out of fifty seats empty. However, those seats all had tablets, which were connected to initiate video calls. The celestial masters greeted each other and chatted. As the president of the Daoist Association and the director of the Dafu Office walked in, everyone stopped talking and maintained silence.

They all looked over, glancing at the president. Dressed modestly, he still had the same refined appearance, with a white beard fluttering. Then, they looked at Director Du Bei, staring at the pig head on his chest in unison, creating an eerie atmosphere.

Chen Qingdai, a Supreme Clarity Celestial Master renowned in the Quanzhen School, was elected as the president due to his high moral standing. He was one of the few celestial masters who knew Du Shuo’s true identity. When they walked in together, he also noticed the pig head embroidered on Du Shuo’s chest.

Chen Qingdai stroked his beard and said, “Director Du, forever young at heart.”

Du Shuo: “My partner embroidered it personally.”

“Partner?” Chen Qingdai was genuinely surprised. “Director Du got married?”

“Yes.” Du Shuo, with a slight smile, glanced at Chen Yang not far ahead. “He’s mischievous.”

Chen Qingdai had indeed experienced many storms. Even when he heard the Great Emperor of Fengdu openly acknowledge his marriage and flaunt his affection in front of him, he quickly accepted it. “Congratulations.”

He then commended Du Shuo’s wife for her cleverness and skill, noting the intricate pig head stitches on Du Shuo’s chest. He remarked that in the present times, not many individuals show interest in embroidery, let alone possess genuine expertise in the craft.

The conversation between the two was overheard by other celestial masters. There were no more than five celestial masters who knew Du Shuo’s true identity. The rest just thought he was the director of the head office with some connection to Fengdu. Hearing about his marriage, many offered congratulations, assuming it was a recent event.

Du Shuo: “It’s not recent. We’ve been married for almost seven years.”

The crowd was even more astonished, not expecting Du Shuo to conceal this for so long. After some thought, they realized Du Shuo was low-key and rarely appeared in the Celestial Master Community. It was normal for nobody to know about his family.

Meng Fu, the temple master of Huoshen Temple, asked in surprise, “Who is Director Du’s spouse?”

Chen Yang half-covered his face, not looking at Du Shuo since he entered. Upon hearing the question, he immediately shook his head. “I don’t know.”

“It’s normal that you don’t know, I also don’t know.” Meng Fu thought Chen Yang had only entered the Celestial Master Community for a year, so not recognizing Du Shuo was reasonable. “Director Du has always been mysterious and low-key. Although he took office as the director four years ago, the number of times he appeared in public can be counted on two hands.”

Chen Yang nodded, his face slightly reddened. “Um, I don’t know.”

Kou Xuanling glanced at Chen Yang but chose not to expose him, silently listening to Meng Fu’s chatter.

Suddenly, he remembered that four years ago was just around the time when Chen Yang was transitioning from his freshman to sophomore year. Almost a year should be enough for him to adapt to life in the capital city. After that, Du Shuo suddenly took on the role of the head office director. Could it be that he took on this challenging position to conveniently take care of Chen Yang?

Kou Xuanling glanced at the embarrassed Chen Yang and then observed Du Shuo, who was occasionally casting affectionate glances in their direction with a radiant smile. This situation might be acceptable in the Celestial Master Community among a group of elders, but if a young and gossip-prone person were present, they could easily see through the affair between the two. He shook his head, sighing, perhaps Du Shuo had indeed come to the mortal realm for the sake of Chen Yang.

Unexpectedly, even the Great Emperor of Fengdu himself was so infatuated! Kou Xuanling couldn’t help but sigh and then touched the portrait of his ancestral master he carried with him.

Meng Fu glanced at Kou Xuanling carrying his ancestral master’s portrait again. He teased, “I heard that when you were at Changhe Charity House, your ancestral master saved you twice, and the portrait was torn.”

Kou Xuanling scowled. “Master Meng, don’t bring up that matter. If you mention it again, I’ll be angry.”

Meng Fu laughed heartily at the response, and after teasing Kou Xuanling to his heart’s content, he fell silent.

On the other side, Du Shuo began explaining the matter of the evil ghost escaping from hell. When he mentioned Wu Lingjiu, who attempted to turn an entire city into zombies seven hundred years ago, everyone’s expressions turned grave. Their attention finally shifted from the pig head on Director Du’s chest to the matter of Wu Lingjiu.

Chen Yang patted his warm face. The story Du Shuo recounted was not far from what he had speculated. At this moment, instead of listening attentively, he found himself staring at Du Shuo’s serious profile in a daze.

He seemed to have never seen Du Shuo working seriously, even though he was always busy. Now, the rare glimpse of this side of Du Shuo was unexpectedly charming. Even if Du Shuo had a common face, his imposing aura still captivated Chen Yang’s three souls and five spirits.

Meng Fu nudged Chen Yang. “Manager Chen, back to reality?”

Chen Yang snapped back to reality, realizing that the meeting had already ended. Du Shuo was having a brief chat with the president of the Daoist Association, then instructing his staff on tasks. As other celestial masters gradually left, he only then realized he had been entranced by watching Du Shuo. Feeling quite embarrassed, he awkwardly said, “Di… Director Du is really handsome.”

Meng Fu looked at him with concern. “The whole Celestial Master Community is aware, but Director Du is already married.”

Chen Yang paused, then quickly understood, realizing Kou Xuanling was already leaning on the table, suppressing laughter. He smiled and said, “I know, I just admire Director Du. Admiration, that’s all.”

Meng Fu wanted to say more, but Du Shuo had finished chatting with the Daoist Association head and walked straight over to Chen Yang. “Finished chatting?”

Chen Yang nodded.

“Hungry?” Du Shuo naturally took Chen Yang’s hand, nodded to the petrified temple master of Huoshen Temple, and walked away.

Chen Yang turned back and smiled at Meng Fu, then whispered to Du Shuo, “Not bad. Brother Du, you looked really handsome just now!”

“Like it?”

“Really like it.”

Kou Xuanling sympathetically patted Meng Fu on the shoulder, feeling sorry for him as the last celestial master to leave, enduring such an impact at his age. Deciding to be a good person to the end, he kindly pushed him forward and said, “You didn’t see it wrong. Director Du’s partner for almost seven years is Chen Yang, our branch office manager.”

After saying that, he left nonchalantly.

Meng Fu scratched his head, exclaimed with an ‘ah,’ his consciousness shaken by a powerful impact.

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