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Chapter 26: Branch

Xu Yangyi didn't speak. The gazes of several other people flickered, and they wanted to say something, but they restrained themselves.

No one was an idiot. If the key leading to the true world was so simple, then they were afraid they would immediately go become vagabonds, carefree like idling clouds and field cranes. How couldn't Heavens Law not know this.*

"Old Liu." Zuo Lun bowed: "The newcomers have arrived."

Old Liu seemed not to have heard and continued to sway his head along with the beat of the opera.

"Old Liu." Zuo Lun raised his voice by a pitch: "The newcomers are here!"

"Ah? Here? Oh, good, good, good… Youngsters…" Old Liu seemed to skip in fright, and the rocking frequency of his palm-leaf fan increased by a good few times. He drowsily opened his bleary yellow eyes and curled his mouth of not many teeth. "You want to open the door, right? Okay, okay, I'll go straight away…"

Initial-stage Qi Condensation…

As the old man awakened, Xu Yangyi slightly raised his brows.

He was the same as him; the initial stage of Qi Condensation.

However, he was only here to look after the door!

This little pavilion… What profundities did it have on the inside?

"A bit interesting…" He rolled the fingers of the hand he had stuffed in his pants pocket. At the very least, the branch had currently aroused his interest.

Old Liu's age seemed to truly be very great. As he falteringly opened the door, Xu Yangyi looked on attentively...

The inside was vacant.

"Go on, go on." After Old Liu waited for everyone to get in, he closed the door and then hung the no trespassers signboard on the outside again. 

Everyone entered inside, and Xu Yangyi probed the interior with his senses.

It was extremely orderly… Moreover, there wasn't a feeling of a smidgen of a talisman formation.

"Is the technique too great?" He looked around at his surroundings suspiciously. His doubts couldn't be blamed; superior talisman formations had to have a basis. Just like when he slayed a demon that time, Mao Ba'er had deployed a talisman formation in advance. Even if it was piece of yellow paper, it could be used as an object to spread a formation. However, in this already crowded room, there was nothing.

He thought of answers but still couldn't reach a conclusion. In the second, everyone felt their center of gravity suddenly drop!

"Fuck…" He speechlessly looked above where moonlight was faintly passing through a hole.

How could he forget about something like an elevator...

The elevator descended extremely fast. He had already understood. This pavilion was an elevator, and this was the true branch of Heavens Law...

It was below the people's park!

Beneath the city and in the midst of  the twisting tunnels and winding intersections of the metro, there was an immense shadow. All of the subways and water pipes were constructed during the city's beginning, and all of them began to coil around here. Here was the true location of Heavens Law's branch!

"Swoosh…" The elevator descended with all its might and seemed like the bottom simply couldn't be seen. In his heart, Xu Yangyi silently calculated it. Presently, they had already descended a minimum of more than thirty meters below.

"Drip… Drip…" The first color appeared in their line of sight, and subsequently, so did the second, the third… countless colors.

As if the rings of hoops in the square-shaped elevator was a color wheel, it gave people a feeling like that of science fiction. Not even waiting for him to appreciate it, the elevator finally stopped in the next second.

"Welcome to Heavens Law's Nantong Province branch." A mechanized female voice rang out: "Welcome… to the truth."

"Swish!" Just as the voice fell, the elevator suddenly opened. Followingly, everyone seemed to be struck dumb on the spot.

Xu Yangyi slightly opened his mouth and his gaze twinkled. It was completely beyond his expectations that a branch of Heavens Law would surprisingly be like this!

It was an incomparably spacious room with the occupied area nearly as great as the people's park above!

Above, there wasn't a ceiling. On the contrary, there was something like an electric circuit! Cables on cables passed through grooves and converged into a roof like a tremendous circuit board!

Now and then, beams of red and green light migrated within the transparent circuit, like a myriad streams returning to one, coming together in the center. As for the center...

There was a mechanical human face no less than several tens of meters in size!

It was a human face that was completely mechanized in its entirety. Its forehead, tightly shut eyes, and slightly ajar mouth seemed to be joined together like a puppet. Numerous specks of light representing information sources completely gathered together on the face. Soon after, transformed messages of blue light were distributed from other circuits. 

The floor was made from reinforced glass. There wasn't anything below but a black expanse. Walking atop of it was like walking through the void of space.

Above the floor, there were over a hundred computers and a couple hundred filing cabinets.

In this 1.5 hectare-wide room, there were no less than three hundred-somewhat people bustling. The room was covered in bonsais, and the wall was broken up into five large regions like Pan's Labyrinth. Even if they were standing at the entrance, they could hear racket of the people inside.

"Yuyang City's recent ten-year demon movements." A woman around twenty-seven to twenty-eight years old wearing a white coat ran over before them like the wind. Not even glancing at them, her charming face revealed an extreme impatience, and she pushed back on her wine-red glasses, walking and talking simultaneously: "The professor at headquarters wants it. Also, tell that little demon from Pingan County that the branch isn't Nantong Province's highest cultivation court! Make it scram!"

This was the middle stage of Qi Condensation.

"Yes, understood!" There were several youths behind her whose cultivations couldn't be completely discerned. They took notes while asking: "How do we get it to leave? It's requested a meeting several times."

"You want me to teach you?!" Although the woman's voice was raised, she urgently proceeded to the entrance of the elevator: "It said that a student of Heavens Law took the magical treasure passed down in his family? What bullshit! It was taken, so its been taken! A little demon that just achieved Form Transformation wants to run over here and yammer; it wants to come over and discuss this point?"

"Tell it! If it wants to sue, then go the cultivation courts to sue! If it comes here again, then it better not think of leaving!"

"Section Chief Liu, can you give our research department a loan?" On the other side, several middle-aged men wearing white coats surrounding an old man berated with tongue and pen: "It's been three months! Out task pertaining to 'The Transformation of Arthropodic Demons Under Modern Environments' still hasn't started to this day! You have to give us a response!"

The five of them were the initial stage of Qi Condensation!

"Yes, you haven't shown up at the branch for many months. Now that you've come today, you have to say something in any case!" 

"If we don't get a response today, then we won't leave." 

"Well said, well said, the CSIB has scooped out that old man four times now, but he just won't go! If you're really an old man, why don't you find your own temporary lodgings?"

On the other side, where there were the most people, a man suddenly struck his keyboard and stood up and yelled: "Who took on the Water Ghost case from Gaochuan City three months ago? You leave? Top Brass wrapped up the case today; who was responsible for the case? Hurry up and send it over!"

The Fox Immortal case from last year at a border town close to Fengyi City? Wasn't that Vermillion Snow's doing? If it is, don't hand it to this team; they can't handle it!" 

"That old timer in the southern part of Fengyi City applied to cut the ribbon for Long Road Pictures? I'll go check it out later with three teams… Why? I want them to collect my corpse." 

"The spider in the northern part is anorexic?! How isn't it dead?! It's lost its appetite four to five times in a single month! It's over a hundred years old, but it's being like this! Does it want to degenerate into a caterpillar!"

A summoning crane flew back and forth over the 1.5 hectare-long land like a butterfly. From time to time, a stream of light could be seen flying. It was a suspended sword hilt, or possibly a folder of materials, or perhaps some other flying sword. Occasionally, domesticated demons that had yet to undergo Form Transformation could be seen. For example, there was a two-tailed black cat with golden spots, and above, there were single-horned, three-eyed monkeys serving tea and pouring water for each group. 

The cultivators that were rarely seen in the outside world could all be surveyed here! At the minimum, a hundred of them were cultivators. The other ordinary people were all their retainers.

In the room, they were broken into five large areas. It appeared a chaotic mess, but after Xu Yangyi looked at it carefully for a minute, he discovered that in reality it was systematically arranged.

The others looked on at the bustling branch in amazement. Unexpectedly… the branch was like this?

It wasn't an immortal scene of pagodas and pavilions, lofty mountains and flowing streams, the auspicious presentations of immortal beast, or the soaring of white cranes?

This… lively portrait of the everyday government… surprisingly made the others incapable of even beginning to ridicule it, since everything around them could be jabbed at.

It was practically the feeling of déjà vu like in the Men in Black! 

Xu Yangyi didn't care for these things. His thoughts were far from the same. To the extent that he felt… this was the appearance the branch truly ought to have looked like.

The present wasn't the ancient age of cultivation. He had recognized this as the reality countless of times. This was the year 2016, the human era! The age of civilization! Already, the ancient things were unsuitable. The world had evolved, and the things that had been intrinsically maintained could only perish. It was the same as a dinosaur.

This… was a genuine city of cultivation!

This should've been the appearance that cultivation had developed up until now!

He looked up ahead at the five pieces of machinery that formed together the mechanized human face.

"Curious?" Suddenly a voice rang out at the side of his ear. Chu Zhaonan stood at his side with an expressionless face and raised his chin towards the roof: "That is Heavens Law."

Xu Yangyi looked towards the gigantic face on the ceiling. It was quite hard to say whether or not it was "alive". This was because its facial features were softly trembling, however, it was indeed a work of high-tech machinery.

"It's a super brain." Chu Zhaonan saw Xu Yangyi wasn't saying anything so he continued speaking: "It's not that it surpasses the human mind… Every major country had a few apex-level supercomputers, for example like Japan's Tsubame Gaeshi and China's Milky Way. However, the true, peak supercomputers have eternally been installed in the cultivation world."**

"So, China's strongest supercomputer is called Heavens Law?" Xu Yangyi looked pensively at the tremendous face: "And it is also a super brain? It was placed here?"

"This is only a portion of it." Chu Zhaonan glanced at face consciously and said indifferently: "It isn't only a machine. It is also an ultimate weapon capable of suppressing an entire province. You best hope you don't make it issue a kill order against you, because by that time, you'll already be dead without a doubt."

"By the way, I feel your attention isn't here." He licked his lips and stood before Xu Yangyi like a bull that had seen red, stamping his military boots and said lowly: "There's an arena below. It is the location of the graduation ceremony."

Xu Yangyi retracted his gaze and looked at Chu Zhaonan with a smile that wasn't a smile: "So?"

"I'm going to challenge you!" Chu Zhaonan stared into his eyes: "With the title as Tianfeng City's Rank One!"

Xu Yangyi glanced at him for a while and laughed: "Your reason?"

"No reason." Chu Zhaonan said coldly: "If you must know, during every graduation of Heavens Law, there is a comprehensive ranking competition in the entire country. It is called the Qualifier, however…"

He grinded his white teeth: "Besides myself, no one knows that in every graduation, there will be a Core Formation master that puts out 'a prize'. A prize from a Core Formation cultivator, a peak cultivator in this world!"

* Carefree as idling clouds and field cranes. I'm not sure if I truly understood this idiom. From what I understand there are two usages, ancient and modern. Ancient idea refers to an idea of asceticism/hermetism where one is free from worldly binds. Modern idea refers to an idea of a very carefree person. 

** You guys have no idea how hard it was for me to figure out Tsubame Gaeshi LOL. Good thing I am a closet weeb. For people who don't know. This is the signature sword art of the Japanese swordsman Sasaki Kojiro. 

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