Illusions, Lies, Truth V4C5: Library, Part 3—Book

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Illusions, Lies, Truth Volume 4: In the Name of God, Part Two

Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)


Chapter 5: Library, Part 3—Book—translated by lucathia (proofread by Trespasserby & J Tao)

Liu Yishi had wanted to take a look at his son’s injuries, but heard a gunshot. The color drained from his face.

House Keeper spun around, the large cape behind him enveloping Lu Yang and pulling his entire person to the side. Lu Yang was tossed to the angel and Lin Zhixiang, who were both kneeling on the ground. Then, House Keeper pounced toward the person who had fired the shot at such a high speed that it seemed like he had teleported.

However, the other person dodged with equal speed, and even jumped from the second floor straight onto the third floor’s guardrail.

House Keeper gazed at that person from the second floor but did not follow them up. Another person was there. House Keeper keenly sensed that that person should not be crossed. He was just here to help on his mistress’s orders. Going as far as entering the library was for Jiang Ziya’s sake. He had no intention to get injured, or even worse, disappear, just to help out. Mistress would grieve.

House Keeper glanced at Hold Keeper. No matter how sharp his words were, Hold Keeper was always the more softhearted of the two. The results of coming here to help this time included losing an arm, and would definitely also include a scolding from the mistress when they returned home.

Hold Keeper clearly knew what was on House Keeper’s mind. He turned his face away and merely called out, “Aren’t we leaving yet? It wasn’t worth it at all! I shouldn’t have come in the first place.”

House Keeper smiled slightly. Even when Hold Keeper was warning the others about their departure, he had to do it in such a difficult fashion. House Keeper leaped into the air, carrying his troublesome little brother, and extended his black bat wings. He shattered the window and left.

Xu Xikai watched the pair leave. He glanced at the person beside him; seeing no reaction to the two illusory familiars’ departure, Xu Xikai paid the two no further attention and let them leave. Besides, with those two illusory familiars gone, things were easier to deal with.

That person was currently staring at Liu Yishi, who stared back. The latter opened his book. The pages flipped at an extraordinary speed, as if the book was declaring the fury of the one wielding it.

When Lu Yang had been tossed down, it had been right against the angel’s body, whose stunning, ethereal face amazed him. Lu Yang was just a little troubled, as he could not figure out if this person’s gender.

The angel looked down at him, beautiful eyes blinking. Hands gently stroked Lu Yang’s body. Just as Lu Yang wanted to yell, “Help, I’m being molested!” the angel said, “I wish you a speedy recovery.”

The moment those words were spoken, Lu Yang really did start to feel a lot better. Of course, he had not completely recovered, but his condition was now much improved from a moment ago when he had been on his last breath.

“… Who are you?”

Lu Yang really did find it strange. He had only been out of commission for a moment, yet the world had completely changed after he had woken up. Let’s not even touch on whether or not the enemy faction has acquired Resurrection. Our side has actually made healing spells a reality?

“This is the angel!” Jiang Ziya rushed over and growled, “Were you trying to scare me to death? Do you know that your dad went crazy with your mishap? He could have destroyed the world! How could you pretend to be dead?”

Lu Yang smiled wryly. “I wasn’t pretending. I really did get shot three times. One of the bullets hit my chest and left me unable to breathe.”

Shouldn’t you be lifeless from a shot to the chest and not just breathless? Jiang Ziya began to wonder whether his dear classmate truly needed to experience Resurrection or if he could be considered inhuman already.

Lu Yang quickly explained under his breath, “Slay helped me block the bullet, but the force from it slammed him right into my chest. I lost my breath and went into shock. If House Keeper hadn’t come over, realized I wasn’t dead, and performed CPR in time, I really might’ve kicked the bucket. Don’t let my dad find out!”

Jiang Ziya’s face darkened as he listened, hating himself for not insisting on seeing Lu Yang. If House Keeper and Hold Keeper hadn’t followed us into the library, there’s no way this could have ended well.

Lu Yang consoled him, “Don’t blame yourself. Even my dad thought I was dead. If you had come over to take a look, the result would have been the same. House Keeper was able to figure out I wasn’t dead because his character setting is that of a vampire. He told me that his sight allows him to see through skin and see blood flow!”

Humans aren’t even as useful as spirits. Jiang Ziya felt a bit disheartened.

Lu Yang could tell from Jiang Ziya’s reaction that he did not actually understand how ridiculous it was that Slay was able to block the bullet. Slay did not have a physical body. Lu Yang, as Slay’s master, wasn’t even able to touch the sword, yet this time, Slay was actually able to block a bullet for him?

Haha, maybe I really can use Slay to slice watermelon now.

Lu Yang looked at his father, who was currently locked in a standoff with the two people on the third floor. Without even accounting for what kind of methods the mysterious person might use, his father was already at a disadvantage since it was two against one. Lu Yang had thought that he would be immobile and thus, only be able to obediently lay down, unable to help even if he wanted to. Now, however, things had changed.

He pulled at the angel and begged, “Can you touch me again? No, if you’re going to touch me anyway, touch me two or three times! That’ll be even better! Touch me all over! You have my utmost gratitude!”

“…” Both Jiang Ziya and Lin Zhixiang could not bear to watch.

The angel blinked and obediently touched Lu Yang all over until Lin Zhixiang could not bear to let it go on any longer. She pulled the angel away from this strange gēge—or perhaps, he should be considered a strange dìdi. The angel, who had taken residence in Jian Zhi’s body, appeared to be around the same age as the three university students.

Lu Yang stood up—with Jiang Ziya’s help. He closed two fingers together. Slay rushed out and circled around Lu Yang’s father.

“Call Slay back to protect yourself.” Liu Yishi’s attention was completely on the two people who were on the third floor. He did not even turn his head as he said, “This ‘Xu Xikai’ went to the hospital all for the sake of agitating you and ensuring that you would come to the university. He was most likely concealing his true strength at the time.”

Xu Xikai merely stared at Liu Yishi coldly. He did not react to Liu Yishi’s words.

Jiang Ziya said, “His appearance in this barrier dimension is a bit different from how he looks outside. When we were out there, he was a bit slimmer, and he didn’t possess the… powerful aura… he currently has.”

That should be the right way of putting it? He was just like House Keeper, who usually looked like a very gentle person, but whose aura was clearly different in his vampire state, even though he would still wear a gentle smile just like before.

Ah, come to think of it, didn’t this Xu Xikai jump straight to the third floor when he was fighting with House Keeper? These are tall floors! Could he be like House Keeper? Is he actually a spirit?

Jiang Ziya asked Lu Yang under his breath, “If you weren’t injured, could you jump to the third floor from the second?”

“I could.”

Fine, this is definitely a world I can’t understand. Jiang Ziya was speechless.

“But I would need to borrow power. I wouldn’t be able to jump straight up just by flexing my knees like Xu Xikai did.

“But Xu Xikai shouldn’t simply be a spirit.” Lu Yang looked at the angel and wondered out loud, “Perhaps, his situation is somewhat similar to your boss’s.”

What? Jiang Ziya did not understand why his boss was being mentioned. Is my boss really not human?

At this time, Liu Yishi coldly said, “Neither Qing Wei Gong nor the Hunter clan will forget your scheme!”

Jiang Ziya quietly asked, “Your dad’s side also has a clan?”

“Sure. All that’s left of the entire clan is my dad and me.”

“…” How is that considered a clan?

Lu Yang smiled. There really weren’t a lot of people left in the Hunter clan, but the debts that others owed them weren’t nullified just because there were few people left.

Why would a dignified exorcist family wither to only a father and son duo? That was because an exorcist’s life was too dangerous and often required betting one’s life. The debts that had accumulated from gambling one’s life were truly astounding. Since all that was left of the Hunter clan was Lu Yang and Liu Yishi, it was a given that all of those debts were now owed to them.

That person finally began to speak again.

“Angering two factions at once is a bit troublesome for even me. Why don’t we use a favor to cancel it out? What do you think?”

Liu Yishi growled angrily, “You’re deluding yourself if you think you can use a favor to pay for my son’s life. Dream on!”

The other person chuckled hoarsely. “You were the one who shot your son.”

Liu Yishi froze. He could not help but glance at his son. The latter flexed his arms to show that he was fine and dandy. Car accidents, getting shot, nothing would keep him down. However, he forgot that his left arm was still fractured. It hurt so much that he collapsed against Jiang Ziya with tears in his eyes.

…Sometimes, I really don’t want to admit that he’s my son. Why is his personality so similar to his mom’s?

Liu Yishi sneered, “Your scheme reached so far and brought death to so many. Yet now, you’re trying to blame me for shooting?”

The mysterious person remained silent for a long while before saying, “Liu Yishi, my favor, you will have need of it.”

Liu Yishi lowered his head in thought. He could already see the thirteenth bookcase through the space between the books on the twelfth bookcase. It was a black bookcase.

No one had ever said that the bookcase would not appear just because the angel had not called out the number twelve. However, with the angel missing from the equation, would Resurrection be able to take shape? Through the gap, Liu Yishi was able to see that there were a lot of books on the bookcase, but he could not tell what books there were exactly.

That person seemed to be a little impatient and said, “Liu Yishi, there’s no need for you to keep bluffing. You are currently in my territory, and your son is also heavily injured. If you fight on your own, I don’t think you can even defeat Xu Xikai. Or, do you plan for your injured son to fight?”

Liu Yishi pursed his lips. If this weren’t the case, he would have already started fighting. How could I let the enemy who almost killed my son go!

They had so many people on their side. Jiang Ziya, Lin Zhixiang, and even that “angel,” all possessed rare abilities, yet the only person who could really fight was Lu Yang. Liu Yishi himself could only really be considered half a fighter. How I wish my wife were here!

Liu Yishi suspected that the other person would have tried to detain all of them, if it weren’t for Slay’s threatening presence even in spite of Lu Yang’s injury. Powerful people with rare abilities like them were not easy to find.

“As long as you promise me you won’t bother my son again, then we can stop here for today.”

“Why should I accept your invitation? Will you let me go if I accept?”

There was no way Liu Yishi would let the other go. So many lives had been lost. Honest practitioners all had a responsibility to lend a hand in eliminating evil.

Xu Xikai gave a quiet reminder. “It’s almost dawn.”

That person laughed and said, “This barrier dimension can only last until dawn, but your son and that sword probably cannot even last until then. As a father, shouldn’t you know just how much your son loves to put on a brave face?”

Liu Yishi jolted and turned to find his son.

“Dad, pay more attention to the enemy! Don’t get distracted and look back!”

Lu Yang’s face was paler than usual, but he had been in a traffic accident and also gotten shot afterwards. His complexion was not bad, all things considered, and Slay looked fine.

Jiang Ziya reached his hand out to touch Slay.

His mere touch sent both Lu Yang and the sword careening. Liu Yishi’s son collapsed completely against Jiang Ziya’s body, scaring Jiang Ziya so much that he quickly grabbed Lu Yang tightly, afraid that the other person would slip and worsen his injuries.

As for Slay, the sword had completely disappeared after Lu Yang had been disturbed.

Seeing that, Liu Yishi turned back and sent out a strong burst of holy light. He did not know the identity of the mysterious person and was uncertain whether he could defeat them, so he sent his greeting right at Xu Xikai instead. He could not collect the debts owed for the pain his son had suffered, but he would at least collect the interest!

Xu Xikai gasped painfully.

Interest collected, Liu Yishi, who wisely understood their situation, did not dare to dally any longer. He grabbed Jiang Ziya, ascertaining that the latter had a firm hold on his son, and then pulled at Lin Zhixiang, who grabbed the angel. They began to flee.

Though they had said it was almost dawn, the sky outside the stained glass was pitch black. Occasionally, a strange howling sound came from outside, the sound of wind shrieking abnormally loudly.

The group all felt that something was wrong. The floor beneath their feet actually began to soften. When they were almost at the door, a dozen or so charred hands shot out from the walls around them. Lin Zhixiang had not experienced this plight before and screamed in fear, almost crumpling to the floor. She had originally been pulling the angel along while running. Now, it was the angel who was holding her up.

“In the name of the Lord, I command all of you to retreat!”

Holy light forced the hands back. Liu Yishi shouted at everyone, “Quickly go!”

After exiting through the door, Jiang Ziya turned around, wanting to make sure that Liu Yishi, the last person, had come out. Instead, through the door that they had yet to close, he saw the hallway transform back into whirling faces—only this time, the people climbed out of the walls…

Liu Yishi was already out the door, yet behind him were countless hands about to rush out the door…

Jiang Ziya pushed Lu Yang into Lin Zhixiang’s hands, paying no heed to how the girl could not support Lu Yang’s weight. They fell together. Luckily, Lin Zhixiang knew Lu Yang was heavily injured and could not afford to fall, so she used herself to cushion his fall. A few tears slipped out of her eyes from the impact.

As Jiang Ziya pushed against one door panel, he did not forget to shout, “Angel, come quickly and help close the door!”

The angel quickly copied Jiang Ziya’s actions and went to push against the other door panel, but a dozen or so hands and faces had already squeezed out from between them. The door could not be closed at all.

Liu Yishi slammed his Bible directly down on the hands and faces that had squirreled out from door, instantly turning them to dust, though more hands and faces rushed out from behind. Fortunately, they did not make it to the door before Jiang Ziya and the angel, straining hard, pushed the door closed.

However, this was not the end yet. A bang sounded against the door, opening the door by a crack. Through it, Jiang Ziya could see a charred face plastered against the inside of the door. The eyes opened, staring right at Jiang Ziya, a sharp contrast between the charred black skin and the white eyes. If these eyes had been on a regular person, they would definitely be considered big and bright, but on a corpse’s so thoroughly charred face, the eyes were creepily out of place.

With a “bang,” someone rammed into the door, forcibly pushing the door shut. Following that, more people pushed against it.

Jiang Ziya returned to his senses and discovered that the first person who had rammed into the door was Hu Lican, followed by the other policemen.

Meanwhile, Liu Yishi used the Bible to put pressure on the door, but they could still hear endless banging on the other side of it. The sound was so loud that they worried if this door would crumble at any moment due to the pressure put on it from both sides.

Finally, the first light of dawn reached the door, and the thunderous door banging sounds instantly disappeared. The people who were doing everything they could to push against the door were not able to respond at first. When they discovered the silence, they did not dare to leave the door right away, right up until Liu Yishi said, “It’s fine.” Then, they finally dared to stop pushing against the door.

The group of them stared at each other, all breathing heavily.

“A-are you all okay?”

Hu Lican was dumbfounded. He could not believe the sight he had just seen. Those charred things had almost rushed out! What if they had succeeded? He did not dare to imagine it. Better not ask. It felt super scary!

Liu Yishi anxiously said, “Call an ambulance. My son got shot.”

“What?”

Hu Lican looked around. Only then did he see Lu Yang, who was being held by Lin Zhixiang. Although he was wearing a jacket, his pants were those of a hospital patient’s white attire, and were no longer white but dyed red!

He quickly called for an ambulance.

Liu Yishi went over to take stock of his son’s injuries. Seeing that Lu Yang’s breathing was still strong, he relaxed, though he felt upset at the same time. He had actually believed that the angel’s healing ability would mean that his son would be mostly fine, but he had forgotten that the angel’s ability had only just developed because of the two Bibles’ clash. How strong could it be?

“How am I supposed to report this…”

Hu Lican’s mind was mush by this point, so much that he could only fret, “Shit, I don’t even know where to start making up stuff for this report.”

Jiang Ziya turned his head to look at the library. Indeed, he had not remembered wrong. The library had automatic glass doors, not heavy wooden ones. Looking in from outside, one could see an entire row of automatic card machines that students had to swipe their student IDs in to pass through.

They stared at the glass doors and the entire row of card machines, speechless.

Liu Yishi patted Hu Lican, crumpled expression and all, and said, “I will ask Qing Wei Gong to pay a visit. Tonight’s hypnosis master was too powerful. I was unable to deal with them and allowed all of you to fall into collective hysteria, which caused many hallucinations.”

They all stared at him speechlessly. Who are you trying to trick? The arms we used to push the door are still sore!

Liu Yishi was not too worried. Right now, these people still remembered clearly, but after going home and having a good sleep, they would forget most of what had happened. With his explanation, the events would soon turn into a supernatural experience that had just been a bit freaky.

The light of dawn shone upon the glass door. From within the glare, Jiang Ziya could somewhat make out the sight reflected in the glass.

Countless charred corpses climbed out from the four walls, stacking on top of each other until they formed a gigantic, wobbling pile of corpses.

A hand suddenly slammed against the glass door, but only half of it was charred black, while the other half was a normal skin color. The junction between the two colors had peeling skin, curled up from the burns.

The half charred face plastered itself against the glass and smiled slightly at him. On that person’s nose perched small, golden-framed round glasses that were half-crooked.

Jiang Ziya’s eyes widened. He stared at how the charred lips moved and formed words.

Was the club activity fun?

Lu Yang lay in the hospital with a fractured left arm, two broken ribs, and a hole in both his thigh and stomach. Thankfully, none of his vitals had been hit, and for some reason, he hadn’t lost a lot of blood. His injuries had even begun to heal already, making the doctors mutter in amazement, attributing the recovery to the patient’s good workout habits. His body’s condition was excellent!

His body being in excellent condition was true. As for working out, Jiang Ziya had never seen Lu Yang do such a thing—wait, slaying demons all the time is probably a lot more exhausting than working out, right?

A knock sounded on the door to the hospital room. Jiang Ziya shoved an apple slice into Lu Yang’s mouth and called at the same time, “Come in.”

Yu Shu walked in with a scowl. She tossed her two bags at the bed and the bedside, making both the patient and the person looking after the patient cry out in pain. In them were two small yellow watermelons!

However, neither person who had gotten bludgeoned dared to say anything about it, and even thanked her for visiting while mentioning that there was no need for her to visit next time.

Yu Shu snorted. “I’d rather you say, ‘There’s no need for you to help next time.’ How about that?”

The two backtracked, welcoming her visit and her watermelon throwing.

Lu Yang emphasized again, “Don’t worry, Qing Wei Gong will definitely pay back the debts we owe you.”

Yu Shu growled, “You guys owe me so much that your debts would fill this room! What use do I have for them? Should I buy watermelon with them?”

“If you’re willing to exchange a debt for watermelon, I am very willing…”

“To hell with that! Did you know, my Hold Keeper says that he feels that being an exorcist is very interesting, so he wants to learn how to be an exorcist? How am I supposed to respond to that?”

“… I’ll ask my dad to teach him.”

Lu Yang thought it over. A spirit learning how to be an exorcist was quite strange—after all, spirits of the east and demons of the west weren’t all that different in essence, so a spirit learning how to exorcise demons was pretty much learning how to exorcise its own species…

However, Hold Keeper really was quite effective this time. Letting him learn how to exorcise demons doesn’t seem like a bad thing!

Yu Shu coldly said, “Are you certain that your dad won’t conveniently ‘exorcise’ my Hold Keeper while teaching him?”

“He won’t,” Lu Yang promised. “Hold Keeper saved me. My dad wouldn’t harm someone who helped me out.”

I think? Although Lu Yang felt it could be a little dangerous, he also felt that he would at most just have to keep an eye on things during lessons. If mere lessons could repay some of the debt, that would be a good thing.

Yu Shu snatched the apple slices Jiang Ziya had prepared, chewing as she said, “House Keeper said that ‘Xu Xikai’ should be something similar to him. The only difference is that one is beautified and the other isn’t.”

“… Beautified? What the devil?”

“Vampires actually. House Keeper is the handsome type of vampire from the fantasies of a modern girl.”

The two of them fell silent. Who do you mean by “girl?”

“Xu Xikai is closer to the vampires of actual countryside legends, or even something like a living corpse.”

After hearing that, Lu Yang, who often researched this sort of thing, immediately indicated his understanding. Legends did indeed change along with the era.

‘So! Your mysterious person should be past a certain age, since his impression of vampires isn’t from recent movies. You have to know, the earliest movies that started this trend of handsome vampires have already been around for twenty-five years or so. Since that person did not get influenced by movies even twenty-five years ago, they must be at least fifty years old.”

“Amazing!” Jiang Ziya praised.

“You guys owe me another favor.” Yu Shu chewed on the apple and said, “I’ll use it to offset Hold Keeper’s tuition for learning exorcism. I’m heading home to continue being a shut-in. I beg the two of you to stop getting hurt so much. It’s annoying having to leave my apartment to visit so often.”

They rolled their eyes. Can you make your words any unluckier than that?

“Bye!”

Yu Shu left with the bag of apples.

Jiang Ziya looked at the yellow watermelon, suddenly realizing a dilemma. His fruit knife was so small, so how was he supposed to cut the watermelon? His apples had gotten taken away too. He rubbed the back of his head in frustration and asked, “Lu Yang, can your Slay slice watermelon?”

“… Even if he could, do you want to eat watermelon sliced up by a sword that has dispatched spirits, eliminated demons, and chopped up corpses?”

“Um, forget it.” Jiang Ziya thought of the charred corpses from last time and indicated that he would not be able to stomach it. He would have to take the watermelon home to cut and bring back.

Before he could do that, the second wave of visitors came to knock on the door.

Lin Zhixiang stuck her head in and asked in a small voice, “Hello, I brought porridge…”

Lu Yang and Jiang Ziya both welcomed her. When the door opened, it wasn’t just Lin Zhixiang who stood there. The angel was following her.

The two of them ate porridge while listening to Lin Zhixiang’s worries.

“I want to give the angel a name. Calling them “angel” like this is strange. They say they want to have the last name Jian and have no other requests, but…” Lin Zhixiang said, troubled, “They say they’re not a boy or a girl. They have no gender.”

Jiang Ziya thought it over and said, “Then, why don’t we call them Jian Zhi, using the ‘zhi’ from ‘zhēnzhì,’ sincerity. That should be a unisex name.”1

The angel’s eyes welled up. They nodded to show that they liked this name.

“They want to return and live with Jian Zhi’s grandma. Is that okay?”

Lu Yang felt that to be a bit difficult. “How old is the grandma? Is there no one else in the family?”

“Almost seventy. Her eyes aren’t very good. She has blurry eyesight both near and far. Jian Zhi’s parents were divorced; he had basically no contact with his father, and his mother is deceased. At home, there was usually only his grandma and a few small dogs.”

Lu Yang nodded and said, “A background like that should be fine.”

“Can I be Grandma’s Jian Zhi?” Jian Zhi asked with shining eyes.

Jiang Ziya felt that was a big fat lie! With a face like yours, it’s difficult to even claim that you’re Taiwanese. You’re more like an international superstar instead.

Jiang Ziya, who had experience with raising a spirit, said, “First, you need to adjust your appearance. Turn your hair black—”

“Black!” Lin Zhixiang immediately protested, “Black hair doesn’t suit their appearance!”

“Their appearance can be adjusted…”

“If everything is adjusted, then is Jian Zhi still Jian Zhi?”

Isn’t my Xiao Xue still Xiao Xue after her entire appearance got changed?

Lin Zhixiang twisted her head and told Jian Zhi, “Don’t let any guys mess with your hair. First, change the color to chestnut brown. Make sure your face is less narrow. Make it a little wider, and your facial features less pronounced. You look too much like a foreigner like this… Oh right, do you want to be a boy or a girl?”

Jiang Ziya was speechless. They had been adjusting Jian Zhi’s face for half an hour already without even deciding on a gender, the most important thing for this.

Lu Yang felt that Jian Zhi’s appearance wasn’t important. A logical identity was more important. He suggested, “Why don’t I have my dad take both of you two ‘people’ in? My dad can easily whip up an overseas identity for you. Besides, our clan is severely in need of people.”

“I can’t. I’m the bane of all…”

Before Lin Zhixiang could even finish saying anything, two people both rolled their eyes at her in response. She dropped what she was about to say. After the incident, Lu Yang had told her in detail how this existence’s bane thing had come about. She only half believed it, one of her doubts being why his claims were different now.

“After something so huge happened, you still don’t believe me when I say that you aren’t existence’s bane. Don’t even bring up things from before all this happened. At that time, I could only take it slow and have you train to undo the curse upon yourself.”

Lin Zhixiang bit her lower lip and shook her head as she said, “No, I can’t change my last name. I don’t want to cut off relations with my brother either. If I’m not existence’s bane, then can I return and find my brother? I won’t cause him to die?”

“Well, if you don’t believe that nothing will happen, then something might still happen…”

“Then, what do I have to do for things to be all right?” Lin Zhixiang’s eyes grew wet. “I miss him so much. I want to see Gēge’s child, but I’m so afraid!”

Jian Zhi clumsily patted Lin Zhixiang’s back. In the past, whenever the late Jian Zhi was sad, Jian Zhi the angel always comforted him this way. Even though the deceased Jian Zhi had not been able to see the angel, he always cheered up after a pat on the back.

“We’ll just have to visit your brother with you.”

Jiang Ziya glanced at Lu Yang and said as if it were a matter of fact, “Lu Yang’s sword is known as Slay. Slay has dispatched millions of spirits since ancient times. There is no other sword like Slay out there, with such an intense, powerful aura. Your tiny aura of misfortune is nothing under Slay’s dominion. With Slay around, you won’t run into any problems meeting your brother!”

“Really?” Lin Zhixiang’s joy brightened her face. She was so happy she nearly jumped up. “Th-then, can I trouble the two of you to come with me to my brother’s for dinner? I-It’s on me! Whatever you want to eat! Please!”

Lu Yang chuckled and said, “Sure, just tell me when beforehand.”

Lin Zhixiang immediately went off to contact her brother and sister-in-law. Her elation could be heard even in her speech. She also turned to ask Jian Zhi if they wanted to come with her.

“Where did you learn how to bullshit like that?”

After Lin Zhixiang happily told them that she would make fish soup again for them tomorrow and left, Lu Yang felt a bit dejected. He spent so long telling nothing but the truth, yet Lin Zhixiang still considered herself to be existence’s bane, while Jiang Ziya had randomly spouted some nonsense, and she believed him right off the bat!

Since ancient times? Slay only appeared when I was around ten, okay? Even if I cut down one spirit per day, that still wouldn’t add up to a million even now!

“From Hold Keeper. A few days ago, the Charlatan Hold Keeper snuck out to a church to enlighten believers while Yu Shu was busy working on her manuscript. He was invited onstage to preach right then and there. He raised a bunch of donations that he took home and claimed he would use to buy the newest and best arm. In response, Yu Shu was deathly angry, took his limbs off, scrubbed him clean, and hung him outside the door to dry. I nearly got scared to death when I returned home. During those few days, every day when I got home, I’d stand by the door and listen to the limbless Hold Keeper talk about what he did behind Yu Shu’s back.”

“…”

Lu Yang’s mouth twitched. He decided to lie down.

Haha, other people’s days are a barrel of monkeys, but our days are a barrel of lies and illusions!

“Ah Shi, come here.”

In the middle of the night, Master Ah Lu was still sitting at the entrance to the temple. A tea cup was placed on the table, but the teapot was empty. No tea had been steeped. A closer look revealed a long crack from the rim of the tea cup all the way to the bottom.

“Come here. Clarify for me why you decided to do that.”

As expected, I couldn’t keep this from Yuèfù. Liu Yishi winced.

He said in a quiet voice, “When that person made me see things, I suddenly understood the true relationship between Lu Yang and Slay. Under the illumination of my book, I don’t believe that it was a misperception. Xiao Yang will be in danger in the future, grave danger!”

Liu Yishi did not dare to clearly put it into words, afraid that voicing it out loud would make it come true. Even now, thinking of the countless, cut up pieces of his son’s corpse, Liu Yishi still felt pain stabbing at his heart.

Master Ah Lu did not ask him more about what he meant either. He only scolded him with a solemn face, “So you let selfishness win and purposely didn’t give it your all to put a stop to things? You really believe in Resurrection? Livin’ in the present is the most important! Give up dreamin’ of Resurrection!”

Liu Yishi fell silent. Truth to be told, he did not know if he actually believed in Resurrection or not. However, when that person hinted that Liu Yishi may have need of the book in the future, Liu Yishi could not help the wild fancy that struck him.

“Lu Le and I can give everything to guarantee Xiao Yang’s safety, but…”

But if we really can’t protect him, at least we would still have a bit of hope. Otherwise, Liu Yishi could not guarantee that he would not create a huge incident like that person had, all for the sake of a book that may or may not work.

Master Ah Lu frowned and said, “Don’t go worryin’ too much. Lao Jun favors Lu Yang. He will take care of him.”

Hearing that, Liu Yishi had the urge to light incense and pray.

Lord, please forgive me…

Master Ah Lu smiled. “They’re all gods. Worship them or not, there’s no difference.

“Hurry off to sleep. Not gettin’ enough sleep will make your mind stray!”

“I will…”

After watching his son-in-law return to his room to sleep, Master Ah Lu got up and walked in front of the statue of Taishang Lao Jun in the temple.

He picked up well-loved but slightly faded red poe pieces, yet stalled on tossing them. He merely held them in his hand as he pondered for a long while. Then, he lifted his head to look at the statue of Taishang Lao Jun. In the end, he dropped his hand.

[In the Name of God, Part Two] End

Footnotes

1 ”Jian Zhi”: The late Jian Zhi and Jian Zhi the angel have names that are pronounced exactly the same but use different characters in Chinese. The late Jian Zhi’s name uses the characters 簡志, with 志 meaning aspiration or ambition, while the angel’s name is now Jian Zhi, using the characters 簡摯, with 摯 coming from the phrase 真摯 (zhēnzhì), which means sincerity. 志 is generally used in names for guys, while 摯 is more neutral.

4 Responses

  1. Gandire Alea

    Reminder everyone, the ‘Angel’ is possessing a corpse. Whenever he touches someone, that is a decaying corpse that is touching said person.

    • Andi

      Actually, I don’t think the corpse inside is decaying. Sure I could say “magic!” as the reason why, but there is actually something to this. What did the angel do right after Jian Zhi died? It covered him in mud. Have you ever heard of a bog body? In short, really thick mud with no oxygen can preserve organic material and prevent decay. If the angel was really just a corpse with a hologram slapped on top, people would still start to smell something. Pieces would start to fall off… after a couple years it would just be a walking skeleton with an illusion on top. How horrifying!

      It really sounds like the angel is something different. The angel seems more like a walking coffin that can interact with the outside world but, at its heart, stores the preserved Jian Zhi, probably still cased in mud. I’m not sure if Jian Zhi is stored in a pocket space like a tiny barrier dimension within the angel or if he’s physically crumpled in there. I sure hope they explain more about what has been created here!

  2. 15B

    I like ILT but I do have a major problem with it… It’s more nonsensical than mysterious. I think it would be a lot more interesting and tense if we knew the RULES of how the world works.
    Like for instance, if we knew beforehand how dangerous firing a gun could be in a barrier illusion and why the illusion makes it dangerous (which it kind of does) along with HOW TO TELL if something is real or not (it’s super hit or miss if the characters notice and it’s for arbitrary cues), it would have felt either a lot more of a gut punch that Lu Yang was “dead” (or hope for his survival for observant readers who noticed the hints he was alive). After all, based on the available evidence, we could have come to the conclusion ourselves that there’s no coming back for Lu Yang. We would feel more of the grief and desperation that Lu Yang’s father would have felt trying to bring him back.
    But since we’re just being dragged around and told to take things at face value, when yet, the whole story is about not being able to take things at face value, there’s no real tension there. There’s no conviction that this is really a desperate scenario if you’re still waiting to see if it’s really true or not.

    • ArmadaTW

      The whole point of Ziya being involved in that world is that he is the only person who can actually see if something is real or not. Unless Ziya tells us, we’re looking at it from how everyone else is seeing them. I do think we were given enough clues about how bad it is to shoot a gun in a barrier dimension though, since they’ve been hinting about the dangers of it since that first demon sigil scene at the abandoned building.

      I was actually quite surprised that the story really seemed to suggest Lu Yang died. For me, it was more of an issue that Lu Yang was a main character, so killing him is too much of a red flag for a Yu Wo story. There’s no way she would permanently kill off a main character.

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