Illusions, Lies, Truth Volume 4: In the Name of God, Part Two
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 3: It Has Begun, Part 2—Club President—translated by lucathia (proofread by Trespasserby & Taffygirl13)
“Lad, be more careful. Look closely.”
Hearing a familiar voice warn him, Lu Yang immediately opened his eyes. He didn’t even have any confusion from just waking up. Two fingers on his right hand closed together as he planned to summon Slay.
Jiang Ziya originally had his head lowered as he peeled an apple. When he noticed the movement, he lifted his head to look at Lu Yang. He asked in confusion, “Why is your right hand raised?”
Lu Yang frowned. There was absolutely no sign of Slay appearing.
“Where is my Slay?”
Jiang Ziya was completely confused as he asked, “What Slay? Did you get a concussion? The doctor clearly said you only injured your hand.”
Lu Yang jolted and growled, “Stop fooling around. Do you think I’d get trapped by a mere barrier dimension? You actually believe that a hallucination can prevent me from summoning Slay? The bond between me and Slay can’t be stopped by any barrier!”
Lu Yang proceeded to chant, “Natural order of Heavens and Earth, disperse the foulness from the air, mighty gods of the eight cardinals, cut down demons and bind evil. Let the evil impurities dissolve away, let Taoism last for all eternity, let this imperial decree of Taishang Laojun be heard. Obey—”
This time, there was movement. The airflow whirled above. The range of the whirlwind grew larger and larger, almost as if the entire hospital room was about to get engulfed. The distorted room became rather eerie and dark.
A light suddenly flashed in the center of the vortex. An ancient sword appeared out of thin air.
Lu Yang sternly warned, “You dare impersonate someone close to me? Slay, cut him down.”
Jiang Ziya shouted in disbelief, “Lu Yang, you’re actually going to kill me?!”
Lu Yang coldly said, “The kind of thing you are has never been alive in the first place. What right do you have to die?”
Slay shot out, piercing directly through “Jiang Ziya’s” chest and out through his back. Jiang Ziya shattered into a bunch of pieces that scattered across the floor. The entire room began to twist and distort further. Lu Yang called Slay back to his side for protection. No spirit could get past Slay!
When he opened his eyes again, Lu Yang saw at a glance that there was actually another Jiang Ziya peeling an apple by his bedside. Lu Yang’s expression immediately changed. Am I still in the barrier dimension?
This Jiang Ziya slowly lifted his head… and froze. He helplessly said, “You’re up already? You just got out of the operating room, and I only just started peeling this apple, yet you’re already up. But I should have expected this. After all, you’ve pretty much left the boundaries of what’s considered human.”
Lu Yang snorted and relaxed, leaning back and lazily saying, “If I can’t be considered human, then what am I?”
Jiang Ziya gave it some thought. “A perverted human.”
“That still has the word human!”
Jiang Ziya stuffed two slices of apples into Lu Yang’s mouth and snapped, “Superman has the word man in it, but can he be considered human?”
“Yes!” Lu Yang chewed and asked in a garbled voice, “How come you’re the only one around? Where’s my dad?”
“Ah, he and your grandpa waited outside the operating room for you. They left to investigate after they saw you were fine.”
This father and grandpa are way too lax.
Jiang Ziya could not help but speak up for them, “Too many lives have been lost. It’s better to investigate quickly to prevent another homicide from happening.”
Lu Yang thought it over. “My dad probably isn’t investigating the case, but rather my crash instead. It wasn’t an accident. The other person definitely ran into me on purpose.”
Jiang Ziya cried out in shock, “What?”
Lu Yang looked at his left arm and asked, “How are my injuries?”
Jiang Ziya answered in a stupor, “Just a fracture in your left arm and excessive blood loss. The doctor said it’s not serious. You’ll be fine after taking some supplements.” That was why he had gone downstairs to buy some things to help Lu Yang recover.
Looking at his left arm, Lu Yang sighed. “When I landed, I had no choice but to sacrifice my left arm. It would be even more of a pain if I had injured other areas. Only injuring my left arm means I can at least still walk.”
…Just where do you, a patient who was just in a crash, plan to go?
Jiang Ziya continued to stuff apples into Lu Yang’s mouth and unhappily declared, “Don’t you think of going anywhere. Behave and get better!”
Lu Yang obediently chewed on the apple. “That’s too hard.”
Jiang Ziya rolled his eyes exaggeratedly, but Lu Yang cut in before he could speak to say, “If people keep dying, do you really plan on keeping me here, only to watch the students at our university get turned into sacrifices for the school wonders one after another?”
Jiang Ziya froze. He frowned and said, “Your dad is already investigating, and your grandpa is around, too. It doesn’t have to be you, right?”
“My gramps doesn’t get involved much lately.” Lu Yang despondently said, “He knows too much. Interfering would shorten his life.”
Jiang Ziya’s eyes widened. “You won’t get in trouble if you interfere, will you?”
Lu Yang shook his head. “It’s not like I know anything.”
Jiang Ziya heaved a sigh of relief. “That’s true. You only know how to slay.”
“Who says?! I know how to stab, too!”
Jiang Ziya rolled his eyes. He stuffed the remaining slice of apple into Lu Yang’s mouth. Then, he picked up the remote control and turned on the television in the hospital room.
When the television turned on, it was shockingly broadcasting the headlining news of the university homicides. The seven school wonders were explained in depth, with photographs in the background even. Although the photographs were blurred with mosaics, the two of them could tell that those images were all of the homicide scenes. They could not believe that the news even had photographs of those!
“Ziya, change the channel.” Lu Yang’s face darkened.
Jiang Ziya immediately changed the channel from one big news channel to the next, but no matter which channel he switched to, they were all reporting on the same news.
“I thought the police would have sealed away this information.”
“They should have.” Lu Yang frowned. “They would have at least spoken with the media and instructed them not to report on the details.”
But the news was detailed to the point of including photographs. Something was obviously wrong. It could have been that the culprit had released so much information that no one could keep it under wraps.
“Huh?” Jiang Ziya gestured at the television screen oddly. “Lu Yang, look at that. This is a video that the society filmed, right? It’s from the legend of the smiling student who jumped off of the building. The society got the falling black figure on video. This is that video, right?”
“Make a call.” Lu Yang opened his mouth to ask, “Ziya, you have the president’s phone number, right? Call him!”
“I don’t have it! I’ve only communicated through Jian Zhi, but he’s…” Jiang Ziya suddenly thought of something. “Lin Zhixiang might have his number. I’ll try calling her.”
Lu Yang froze. Lin Zhixiang? A thought abruptly came to him, and his face paled, but he did not say anything, quietly waiting for Jiang Ziya to call her. He already had a premonition.
Jiang Ziya hung up and frowned. “No answer.”
“That night, did she call you after?”
Jiang Ziya reflexively said, “No…” With just that single word, his expression immediately changed.
Something so big had happened. How could Lin Zhixiang not have made any contact after?!
Jiang Ziya frantically looked toward Lu Yang, who said with a heavy heart, “She was probably captured. To a practitioner, her ability is very strong and very useful, too. Call my dad right now. Tell him about this.”
Jiang Ziya quickly made the call.
Lu Yang frowned. That Jian Zhi and Lin Zhixiang had both joined the Supernatural Phenomena Studies Society was likely not a coincidence but rather a calculated occurrence. Lin Zhixiang believed herself to be existence’s bane. As long as preparations were made, it would not have been a hard feat to lure her into joining the type of society that the Supernatural Phenomena Studies Society was.
Jian Zhi’s guardian spirit was powerful. There had no doubt been plenty of small, inexplicable occurrences in his life. Along with his introverted and docile personality, getting him to join must have likewise not been difficult.
Lu Yang and Liu Yishi had the same conjecture: the president Xu Xikai was definitely problematic!
Jiang Ziya puffed out a breath. “Your dad says he got it. He’ll continue to text us about the progress of the investigation. He wants me to message this stuff to Yu Shu and think of a way to get her to make some guesses.”
Lu Yang approved of this immediately. “This is a good plan. Call her right away. Even if you annoy her to death, get her agreement to come up with conjectures. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of all communication expenses!”
“… I really wish you guys lived across from Yu Shu instead of me!”
Jiang Ziya could only force himself to send over the information from the investigation and give her a call.
“Do you really want to become vampire food or what?”
Yu Shu’s voice clearly indicated she had just been woken up.
Jiang Ziya quickly explained, “I’m not bothering you on purpose. My classmate has gone missing. If we don’t quickly find her, she might get taken away! Yu Shu, lend us a hand!”
“A hundred thousand… No, this kind of thing that can result in death, you owe me a million!”
Jiang Ziya looked at Lu Yang, who straightforwardly made an OK sign. With a twitching face, Jiang Ziya answered, “Okay, one million it is.”
“…Who’s next to you?”
“No wonder. There’s no way you could have so readily agreed to paying one million. I should have said five million. I hate rich big shots!”
“So you’ll help now, right?” Jiang Ziya relaxed. It was fortunate that he hadn’t mentioned that Lu Yang was beside him from the start, or they would be unnecessarily down by four million!
“No way, one million isn’t worth it. I don’t want money anymore, but you’ll have to do something for me in the future.”
That made Jiang Ziya wonder, Haven’t I been doing various menial tasks for her all this time?
Lu Yang, who only had one hand left to use, neatly swiped away the phone and hollered, “Take your five million! Jiang Ziya won’t help you do anything!”
Laughter came over the phone. “Classmate Lu Yang, don’t tell me you’ve forgotten that you still owe me a favor? Jiang Ziya owes me even more favors. I don’t even know how to have him repay them all. If you don’t want to agree to it, then forget it. In any case, I can just call in a favor and get the same result. I dare you to not repay the favor! Just try it, hmph!”
The phone was hung up on them.
Jiang Ziya rubbed his nose and said, “Why did you argue with her? It’s just doing something for her. There shouldn’t be a problem.”
Lu Yang said with a scowl, “She hasn’t clarified what she wants you to do. When the time comes, you won’t be able to turn down whatever she wants you to do. Agreeing to an invitation with such a weird person like her is extremely dangerous! What if she wants you to turn those two spirits of hers into truths?”
“Uh, I wouldn’t be able to do that anyway.”
Jiang Ziya responded in some embarrassment. He had somehow mysteriously leveled up both of her sons, yet he wasn’t able to level up his family’s Xiao Xue. They were clearly together this entire time, so he really didn’t understand the requirements! He needed to believe that she was real, but he knew that she was real!
Lu Yang said in worry, “You need to think of how to repay the favors you owe her.”
Jiang Ziya thought about it. Yu Shu rarely ever left her apartment, House Keeper always made and brought over all sorts of delicacies all the time, and Hold Keeper could even pretend to be a charlatan. Also, with how Jiang Ziya constantly sought her out for help, he felt that he would never be able to repay the debt he owed her.
Seeing how Lu Yang was so worried that he was about to pull his hair out, Jiang Ziya could only agree for now. After all, he wasn’t worried about accruing too much debt. He would just have to slowly repay it.
Jiang Ziya tapped on countless files on his cell phone to send over. “I’m sending over all the data to her. She could get inspiration from them, so she won’t be able to resist opening them to take a look. If her deductions lead her to a conclusion that involves people’s lives, she won’t keep it to herself.”
Lu Yang’s face twitched. Jiang Ziya had only just promised to think of ways to repay his debt, and now he was already creating another chance to owe more.
“Send it,” Lu Yang said helplessly.
Knocking suddenly sounded on his door.
Lu Yang frowned and asked, “Who is it?”
His hospital room was a single patient room. No outsiders should be coming or going.
“T-this is Fang Da. Captain Hu sent me over to protect you guys.”
“Come on in.” Jiang Ziya already knew of this. Because Lu Yang was injured, Liu Yishi had been sending all the information to Jiang Ziya instead.
A young policeman walked in. His clothes were neat, and even his policeman cap was worn snugly on his head. He looked pale.
The two of them turned to look at him. The policeman actually backed up two steps in fright.
“You’re going to protect me?” Lu Yang felt exasperated. This guy who looked like he was scared out of his wits made Lu Yang doubt just who was going to do the protecting.
“Yes.” Fang Da took in a deep breath and slowly walked over. “Sorry, watching that corpse come back to life right before our eyes yesterday night was really too scary. I’m so glad that you and Mr. Liu were there to take her out…”
Lu Yang lifted his head and said, “Ziya, come here and help me take a look to see if the IV is working properly. I feel like my hand hurts a bit.”
Jiang Ziya gave an affirmative and stood up to take a look. “It seems fine?”
“Really?” Lu Yang said doubtfully, “It still hurts. Help me call the doctor!”
“I’ll help you take a look.” Fang Da quickly walked over.
“Then, I’ll have to trouble you.”
Lu Yang’s expression was slightly pained, but right at that moment, an ancient sword suddenly shot out with a whirl, slashing toward where Fang Da’s head was.
Jiang Ziya’s eyes widened. He absolutely did not understand why Lu Yang was using Slay to cut someone. However, he remembered that Lu Yang said that Slay could not kill a normal person, so he didn’t put a stop to it.
Seeing that the sword was about to touch his neck, Fang Da could not help but take a large step backward.
Lu Yang shouted, “You really can see Slay. Who are you?”
“How did you find out?”
A curious smile stretched across Fang Da’s pale face.
“Taishang Laojun warned me to look carefully,” Lu Yang coldly replied.
Laojun’s warning had helped him take notice of Fang Da’s use of “take her out.” Hmph, we never took care of Li Yao. Fu Taiyi took that spirit away. Fang Da clearly knows this.
Only then did Jiang Ziya return to his senses and cry out, “He’s not Fang Da?”
“He’s not!” Lu Yang scoffed, “The barrier dimension in this hospital room and a bit of makeup made him look like Fang Da.”
Jiang Ziya’s eyes widened. He had not known this was possible. What was also strange was that after Lu Yang exposed the other person’s disguise, he really looked less and less like Fang Da, and more like…
“Xu Xikai!” Lu Yang shouted the other person’s identity before Jiang Ziya, afraid that Jiang Ziya would see through it and shout it.
“Fang Da” smiled and rubbed his face. It really was president Xu Xikai’s face.
Xu Xikai praised, “You really are strong. Even though I planned for you not to die from the car crash, as it wouldn’t be worth it to have Master Ah Lu interfere because of his grandson’s death, I hadn’t expected that your injuries would be so mild. To think you were able to dodge in such a situation and protect yourself to the greatest degree—as expected of ‘Slay’!”
Lu Yang had no plans to waste words on him. He already had Slay blocking horizontally across the door, getting rid of any possibility of escape.
Even though Slay could not kill a person, a practitioner who could see Slay would definitely hurt so much from getting stabbed in the vitals by the sword that they would fall to the ground.
“Wait , don’t you or that sword come close to me!” Xu Xikai pulled a police gun from his waist. “This isn’t a fake gun. Test it out, if you dare.”
Lu Yang narrowed his eyes.
Xu Xikai chuckled. “I know that to a person of your skill level, a short distance like this might not make it impossible for you to predict where I would shoot, dodge the bullet, and have the sword cut into me—”
He pointed the gun at Jiang Ziya and said, “But he definitely can’t dodge it! You may be able to subdue me, but in the time it takes to do that, whether or not Jiang Ziya would get shot would be difficult to predict.”
Lu Yang remained still. He calmly asked, “What in the world do you want?”
“You all know about the seven wonders now, right? They aren’t false at all. It’s just that they took place overseas. I merely changed them up a bit so that these legends would fit the university you’re studying at—what a university with hidden talents, don’t you agree?”
Lu Yang’s eyes flashed, and he said with certainty, “You kidnapped Lin Zhixiang?”
“Calling it kidnapping is too rude. She willingly came with me, for the sake of this.”
As he spoke, Xu Xikai tossed down an enlarged photograph of a black book. A complicated, circular sigil was outlined in gold on the book cover.
“The library’s thirteenth bookcase, a bookcase filled with forbidden books—I want one of those books.”
Lu Yang frowned.
Xu Xikai said with grave seriousness, “The book in the photograph is ‘Resurrection.’”