Seeing that everyone was silent, Fu Li looked down at the Suanyu sprawled on the floor playing dead. He beckoned to Zhuang Qing.
Everyone simultaneously turned to look at Zhuang Qing, the word ‘minor’ inadvertently surfacing in their minds.
Pretending not to have seen his colleagues’ gazes, Zhuang Qing strode over to Fu Li with his long legs and asked expressionlessly, “What?”
“Your dragon clan lives in the water all year round, so you should be very good at catching fish?”
“I live in the human world most of the time,” Zhuang Qing kept his divine sword. He reached out and caught a feather fluttering in the sky. The feather in his palm very quickly turned into a wisp of black smoke, vanishing into nothingness. As the fated dragon of the nation, Zhuang Qing possessed virtuous and auspicious qi, and was the nemesis of evil beasts like the Suanyu.
“Forget it then,” Fu Li looked at the Suanyu’s teary and snot-filled face and turned his head in disgust. With a wave of a hand, all the fluttering feathers gathered in his palm as if they had grown eyes. As Fu Li was stuffing the feathers into a sackcloth bag, he noticed that everyone was still looking at him. He paused. “Can I take these?”
“Yes yes yes,” Everyone nodded in unison. They wouldn’t have any objections even if he said that this Suanyu was his pet, much less him gathering a few feathers.
“That’s good then.” Fu Li joyfully placed the sackcloth bag into his Qiankun Pouch before turning and speaking to the Suanyu, “Change into your human form, I’ll take you out to eat.”
The Suanyu’s tail trembled. Tears overflowed from his six large eyes as he remained motionless.
Fu Li asked, “You can’t change into a human form? Or do you want me to help you?”
The Suanyu’s body shook and he rolled on the ground, turning into a simple-looking bald man. The wound on his face made him appear a little pitiful. The clothes he was wearing were identical to those on Fu Li. With a plop, he kneeled in front of Fu Li and offered Fu Li a Qiankun Pouch. “King!”
In the yao world, those who lost to other yao would either have their yao core taken or have to obediently offer up all their treasures and respectfully address the other party as boss. A bad life was better than a good death; for the sake of protecting his little life, the Suanyu was extremely tactful.
“What are you kneeling for? It’s not fashionable in this new society to kneel here and there,” Fu Li pulled the Suanyu up from the ground.
“Got it, boss,” The Suanyu obediently stood behind Fu Li, looking exactly like a junior who obeyed whatever his boss said.
In the bureau’s staff canteen, the Suanyu sobbed while holding up the rice bowl and digging into the food as if his life depended on it. Everyone in the bureau silently watched this legendary evil yao eat pitifully, suddenly feeling as if the mysterious veil surrounding the ancient great yao had been torn apart.
The person in charge of managing their meals was a ghost cultivator. In the past, he was the top chef in the imperial palace’s kitchen. After his death, he became a ghost cultivator through a fortuitous opportunity. He had been with the bureau these few years and was most dissatisfied with the cultivators’ tendency of not eating their meals on time just because they could abstain from food.
After several tens of bowls of rice had entered his stomach, the Suanyu looked timidly at Fu Li and put down the large scoop.
“Full?” Fu Li asked.
The Suanyu touched his stomach. “Not as hungry now.”
Fu Li, “…”
“I’ve already informed the security department about the Suanyu. He’ll live at the bureau for now.” Zhuang Qing asked the Suanyu, “Do you have any objections?”
The Suanyu ignored him, merely turning to look at Fu Li.
Fu Li coughed dryly. “His name is Zhuang Qing. He’s in charge of managing us yao, so you can discuss any concerns you have with him.”
“Boss Zhuang,” The Suanyu turned his face and directed a fawning smile at Zhuang Qing. “As long as the boss has no objections, I’ll listen to anything you say.”
Everyone: Bootlicker! Shameless!
Due to this unexpected incident, the sky was about to turn bright by the time everything was settled. The management bureau provided the five examinees breakfast before informing them to check on the acceptance outcome five days later. They needed time to evaluate their exam papers.
When Fu Li left, nearly every bureau employer went out to send him off. On behalf of the bureau, Chu Yu gave Fu Li a thick red packet, and even used a mobile application to call a taxi for Fu Li.
Fu Li was ecstatic k2013; he could finally sit in a real taxi. Without returning home, he directly rushed to work at the hotel, and was even given a fresh, soft, and juicy honey peach by the front-counter lady. As the most popular male security guard in the whole hotel, Fu Li fully experienced everyone’s envy, jealousy, and hate.
Zhang Shan nibbled on a dry bun as he snatched half of the peach from Fu Li. “There will be a production team coming to our hotel to film a show today. They’ve rented a luxurious suite on the top floor. The manager arranged for us to go up and guard them. If you meet an artist you like later, make sure not to get excited.”
“Oh,” Fu Li nodded.
The production team finished decorating the space at half past nine in the morning and prepared to commence filming. Since no media outlet had received the news, their filming progressed very smoothly. The employees of Affinity Moon Hotel had seen all sorts of celebrities and had long since grown accustomed to this. It was only Fu Li who couldn’t quite understand why the actress would break out into exaggerated screeches upon seeing scary creatures. If her fear had reached the pinnacle, then wouldn’t she not even be able to emit a single bit of sound?
A short while later, an actor raced into view in the camera lens. He shielded the female lead, rolling and crawling around on the carpet. He cut an extremely sorry figure.
One filmed scene later, She Weilong sat along the corridor re-applying his makeup. After seeing Fu Li in a corner, he involuntarily stood up from the chair. The lip gloss drew a long line across the corner of his mouth.
“I’m sorry, Teacher She. I didn’t react quickly enough,” Frightened, the makeup artist apologized repeatedly. This She Weilong was very popular recently. He appeared easy to talk to in front of fans but in reality, he was a very high-maintenance male artist. Moreover, he had even more vanity than female artists.
“It’s fine, it’s fine,” She Weilong wiped it away casually. He walked over to Fu Li and bowed to him. “Senior, you’re working again today?”
Fu Li: ?
If he didn’t work, what was he going to eat?
“You must be tired after standing for so long,” She Weilong placed his chair in front of Fu Li. “Please sit, please sit.”
“No need. According to the hotel employee’s manual, I will be fined if I sit down at this time,” Fu Li pointed at the surveillance camera. “Continue filming, it’s quite interesting.”
She Weilong nodded. “Yes yes yes, senior is right. I will definitely film well.”
Since the most popular artist in the film wanted to continue filming, the director was naturally happy to hasten the speed of filming. The director wasn’t sure if it was just his misconception, but he felt that ever since filming started, She Weilong’s terrified expressions were particularly well done, as if there was truly a homicidal maniac chasing after him.
However, apart from the production team, there was only a handsome security guard outside of the range of the camera lens.
It seemed it was still his good directing and precise explanations that allowed She Weilong to break out his acting skills.
Because of the male lead’s unusually good performance, the scenes that would usually take a day to be filmed ended up being completed in half a day. After filming, She Weilong removed his makeup and then went in search of Fu Li. His assistant was somewhat puzzled. “Teacher She, is that security guard a distant relative of yours? It’s not necessary for you to personally deal with such relatives, you can just hand them over to me.”
“What distant relative, that is…” She Weilong paused and used a moisturizing spray on his pointed chin. “That isn’t any ordinary security guard.”
“Could he be a rich second generation who deliberately came to be a security guard so he could experience life?” The assistant recalled She Weilong’s politeness and enthusiasm towards the little security guard today and couldn’t help thinking of certain commonly used tropes in television dramas. Given She Weilong’s fawning personality, if he really met with a distant relative from the countryside, he would probably itch to roll his eyelids till they reached the top of his head. How could he be this cordial?
“S-something like that,” She Weilong stammered.
“He really knows how to have fun,” As a poor person, the assistant felt that he truly couldn’t understand the brain circuits of wealthy people.
“Fu Li, it’s been hard on you – only managing to eat now,” The front-counter lady passed the takeaway to Fu Li. Fu Li handed cash to her with a smile, thanking her, “It’s all right, the production team gave us a red packet.”
Fu Li carried the boxed meal back to the restroom to eat before continuing to patrol the area he was responsible for. Along the corridor of the sixth floor, he caught sight of a red packet emitting a subtle ominous aura.
“Who dropped this red packet?” Zhang Shan, who was with Fu Li, was about to stoop and pick it up when he was stopped by Fu Li.
“What’s wrong?” Zhang Shan was confused.
“There’s something wrong with this red packet,” Fu Li bent over and picked it up. Upon opening the tiny red packet, he found a ten-dollar bill, a talisman folded into a triangle, as well as a rusted blade.
Zhang Shan sucked in a breath. “Fu Li, this thing looks very strange. Quick, throw it away.”
“It is indeed a little strange,” Fu Li put the ten-dollar bill into his pocket and opened up the talisman, glancing at it. “This is called a Transfer Fortune Talisman, though it doesn’t transfer good fortune but misfortune or diseased qi. The implication of placing money and metal inside is that they will be given in exchange for good luck. As long as you pick it up and open it, it’ll represent your willingness to exchange luck with him.”
“So immoral?” Zhang Shan looked at the talisman and metal in Fu Li’s hand, his whole body feeling somewhat numb. “Then what should someone do if they pick it up by accident?”
“Simple, just wrap the money in red paper and then donate it. It’s best for the donation to be double the amount. Remember, the money must not be placed inside your pocket or wallet,” Fu Li tore the talisman to shreds and wrapped the metal in toilet paper, throwing it into the bin. “It’s all right to donate to Daoist temples or charities. Wash your hands clean, stand under the sun for two hours, and there shouldn’t be any major issues.”
“Then shouldn’t you quickly take leave and donate the money…”
“Oh, it’s okay for me to pick it up and spend it,” Fu Li patted his pocket. “The witness will have a share as well. I’ll buy two popsicles later after work and give you one.”
“Fu little Li, those words you said just now was meant to fool me, right?” Zhang Shan reached out to grab Fu Li’s shoulder, wanting to snatch the money in his pocket. “What transferring of fortune? You clearly just want to snatch the red packet. Make sure you buy five slices of cake for me, not any less.”
Fu Li was all smiles as he covered his pocket, preventing Zhang Shan from snatching it.
After work, Zhang Shan and Fu Li went to the nearby market and bought two frozen treats to eat before heading to their respective homes. Midway, Zhang Shan saw a tiny packet wrapped in red paper on the ground. For some reason, he recalled Fu Li’s words. After a moment of hesitation, he fished out a few pieces of paper from his pocket and wrapped them around his hands. Stooping over, he picked up the red packet and threw it into the nearby dustbin.
He was a good man who wouldn’t bend over for a scant benefit.
At the bureau, the Suanyu had finished eating eight bowls of rice and was seated obediently in front of everyone, ready to answer everyone’s questions.
“How long have you slept?” Lin Gui opened up the form for archiving and started to record his data.
“I don’t know,” The Suanyu shook his head. “Before I slept, the clan of the king on the ground seemed to have the surname of Ji.”
“Zhou dynasty?” Lin Gui filled in ‘approximately 3000 years’ on the form.
“Why did you suddenly wake up after sleeping for so long?” Seated at the side, Chu Yu continued asking, “Were you summoned by something?”
“What summon?” Confusion was written all over the Suanyu’s face. “It’s not like I’m a dragon or Fenghuang who needs to show their face every few days and play the role of a mascot. Maybe it’s because I slept too long and got hungry?” After finishing his statement, he shot a smile at Zhuang Qing, who was seated at a corner. “I was talking about other dragons, not you.”
Zhuang Qing’s eyelids rose a little. He didn’t speak.
“Have you heard of the legend of the yao emperor?” Chu Yu continued questioning him.
“What is the yao emperor?” The Suanyu was at an even greater loss. Did their yao race have such a thing?
“It refers to the emperor of your yao race.”
“What is an emperor of the yao race? Aren’t emperors for humans? What does it have to do with us yao?” The Suanyu looked at Chu Yu in bewilderment. He had merely taken a nap, so why was it that after he woke up, he couldn’t understand the words of all these yaoguai?
“The term ‘emperor’ originated from Qin Shihuang,” Zhuang Qing shot a glance at Chu Yu and Lin Gui. “Both of you, go back and study the high school history textbook.”
Chu Yu, Lin Gui, “…”
Upon confirming that he hadn’t answered wrongly, the Suanyu heaved a sigh of relief. Turning, he asked Zhuang Qing, “You guys want to ask who was the strongest in our yao race at that time?”
Zhuang Qing raised his chin, indicating for the Suanyu to continue speaking.
“There were quite a few well-known fiends at that time,” The Suanyu grinned in embarrassment. “I’m not good at fighting, so I never dared to appear before all the great yao. It was said that the Qiongqi, Kunpeng, Taotie, and Taowu, and so on were all quite powerful.”
“The Qilin, Fenghuang, and dragons weren’t considered powerful?” Lin Gui wasn’t very convinced.
“They’re divine beasts with innate auspicious qi. They’re different from us fiends,” The Suanyu stole a glance at Zhuang Qing. “Several thousand years ago, the Kunpeng even ate dragons. After that, for some unknown reason, all these great yao gradually withdrew from worldly affairs. As someone with little courage who saw that King Qiongqi and Kunpeng weren’t coming out, I felt that something wasn’t right, so I simply filled my stomach and went to sleep. Perhaps those great yao would have returned by the time I woke from my sleep.”
Lin Gui and Chu Yu’s gazes met. In each other’s eyes, they saw a tinge of alarm. However, ever since the start of the Zhou dynasty, records of yao had increasingly dwindled. In the early periods, there were still legends of dragons and Fenghuang, but even these decreased later on.
“Don’t doubt me, I’m saying the truth.” The Suanyu thought that they weren’t convinced and hurriedly spoke, “Actually, it’s not just the fiends who withdrew from worldly affairs. Even auspicious creatures like the Baize, Qilin, Fenghuang, and Dangkang vanished. With my weak combat ability, how would I have the guts to go out?”
“Then why did you dare to come out now?”
“I didn’t want to either. When I woke up, my stomach was growling so badly I couldn’t stand it. Also, there were many people singing and dancing above my head. I don’t know who was singing those songs, but they weren’t tastefully chosen. Their voices were so loud, and they just kept singing those few songs. It was so terrible to listen to that I nearly couldn’t stop myself from turning over,” The Suanyu felt a bit aggrieved. “I endured it for almost two months, but couldn’t stand it any longer last night, so I snuck out while it was still dark.”
Chu Yu, “…”
So, he was woken up by square dancing?
“A mountain-like formation in a park at Sanjin collapsed last night. Fortunately, no one was injured,” Xu Yuan pushed open the door and walked in with her phone in hand. At a certain corner of an online media outlet, there was indeed a piece of news on the collapse of a certain mountain-like formation in a park at Sanjin. But to netizens, this sort of news had no appeal at all. There wasn’t even a single comment.
An open-air party was held at that park yesterday night. More than ten thousand people had reportedly been at the party.
It seemed this Suanyu’s temper was quite good. Despite being disturbed to that extent, he had still endured it till late at night when there was no one around to crawl out. At this moment, Chu Yu and Lin Gui had some sympathy for him.
If the people at this park had encountered the Zhuyan instead of the Suanyu, the consequences would be unthinkable.
T/N: I’ve done up a list of mythological creatures! For easy access, it will be linked on the contents page.