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Chapter 5: The Great Pharmaceutical Venture (Two)

At night, the early evening lanterns had already been lit. Although it was inside a building, the lighting was still sparse. As the neon light flickered, the toad in the darkness was motionless, as if it was genuine stone carving. Its enormous body was illuminated by the neon light, emitting a kind of strange seduction.

This was the scene within Xu Yangyi's eyes.

In the eyes of others, there wouldn't be anything here at the top of the building.

"Sir…… You are?" The person at the front desk saw Xu Yangyi enter and didn't obstruct him in the slightest. The police uniform on his body was the best method of passage. Xu Yangyi raised the official police credentials in his hand: "Your company has someone related to the serial killer case. I need to enter at once."

"Serial, serial killer case?!" The voice of the person at the front desk suddenly raised. In this month, twelve people had died in a series of bizarre deaths. He even heard that cram schools at night had been canceled! Was this truly false? Was this a real police officer? Was there really a suspect in the building?

Tossing his credentials on the top of the other's desk, Xu Yangyi didn't want to waste time here and headed directly towards the elevator.

"Ding Dong……" The elevator stopped on the fifteenth floor. He precisely stopped it and looked around on the floor, discovering the entire level was a conference room.

Shareholder conference rooms, the conference rooms for all kinds of groups, research conference rooms…… His right hand lightly grabbed at the air, placing it before his nose and sniffing it, and he set foot into the shareholder conference room in certainty. 

"Good evening, I'm rather sorry for the disturbance." Pushing open the door, he slightly bent his body to bow in courtesy: "Could you appear in front of me? If you don't want to die." 

There wasn't a single soul within the conference room. An artificial bonsai plant could be faintly seen atop of the table. Through the branches of the bonsai plant…… The massive backdrop of the conference room glass window could be seen. Outside, the specks of lights were like resplendent glow of a starry sky, shining through the unusual night.

No one replied.

"Don't get excited. I understand your worry. I just want to chat as peacefully and calmly as possible." He smiled gently, grabbing a chair and carefully lifting it up and then setting it down. There wasn't even a sound as it fell on the thick carpet. He slowly sat down, gently patting his police uniform: "You've been trudging along within human society for so long and finally seized a cooperation opportunity with a well-known company. If not, you'd be worried because a demon's appearance doesn't change, and their bodies don't grow old. Meanwhile, you'd have to change locations every few years because of the suspicions of your neighbors and classmates. You don't have to worry where to eat, as well. Moreover, you've got your own stable hunting ground. You can even get a huge bonus. I understand."

"However…… my patience is limited. You see, this is my graduation exam. Can't we understand each other…… Personally, I'm rather anxious. When I get anxious, my temper won't be too good……" He languidly took out a lighter and lit a cigarette, taking a deep drag from it, and looked around the conference room that was as still as a mortuary, appearing like he was talking to himself. After waiting three seconds, he laughed: "Now that peace has failed, I will use force; my courtesy has been exhausted."*

His face still carried a trace of a gentle smile as before, and he grasped the lighter in his hand, which was amped up the greatest scale, placing it on the meeting room table before him.

"Pssst……" The tangerine-yellow flame illuminated the entire room. Serving to drape shimmering soft red clouds on the corners of the darkness.

In the next second, a strange transformation unexpectedly arose!

What he has used wasn't a natural gas lighter, but rather the most common of types. Just as the time pointed to nine o'clock, the lighter flame suddenly  flashed three times. Soon after…… It became as red as the color of blood! Atop the table…… where the hazy, strange light illuminated, a fiendish shadow was dragged out!

It wasn't a man, but rather the shadow of a gigantic toad!

Swaying gently in the darkness, it trembled as it swayed.

"Crackle……" In a split second, the formerly gentle flame crackled like a firecracker, like that of a hopping demon! Spewing out a hellish stygian light!

"Woo…...Woooooo……" All the chairs around appeared as if there were people sitting on them, pulled out to the four sides of the room simultaneously! An authentic wood chair on a heavy stall made a heavy sound as it was dragged out! The sounds resonated within the empty room!

"Shrip!" The window curtains suddenly scattered open! The blowing of the night wind gushed into the room like a breached dam!

"Your patience falls short in comparison to my imagination……" Xu Yangyi stowed his lighter, laughing grimly and blowing the flame out: "Speak not of the spent wick; it's rootless water lighter fluid*. Its tasteless and odorless to humans, but to demons, it's the most disgusting stink, even unbearable to smell. I didn't even believe you could endure it for so long."**

The flame was suddenly extinguished, and the world in a flash returned to the control of darkness once more.

With such an extreme contrast of sight, many people would feel it to be extremely unsuitable. However…… This kind of unsuitable feeling simply didn't fit him.

Within the darkness, there was a glimmer of light appeared.

It wasn't the light of a lamp or was it any man-made illumination. Moreover, it wasn't a light appearing in front of Xu Yangyi, but rather atop of his head!

It was blood red, it was only a single trace, it was…...

It was the pupil of a demon, something that Xu Yangyi couldn't even be more familiar with!

"Courting death." He laughed grimly.

In the next second, there was a strange sound of wind, coming from an incomprehensible angle, cleaving the through the air!

Wind Edge Technique…… Distance apart from him: 0.65 meters. Strength: 70 kilograms…… Speed: around 70 meters per second….. His brain was like the most accurate calculator, listing out a great string of figures in an instant.

There wasn't any light within his eyes, but there was an incomparable deepness, like a pair of glittering gemstones on a dark night. His eyes settled as usual, seizing every of the most minute of changes within the darkness.

A slight ripple came into view at the left side of his body. This formless power combined with a berserk velocity pushed apart the air! Pushing apart resistance! It was the indication it was on verge of ramming into his body!

"Shrip!" A concise and bright sound like that of the Grim Reaper's sickle echoed out ear-piercingly at the side of his ear!

"Bump!" In the next second within the darkness, a sound like that of a blade chopping into a wooden stake could be heard. Soon afterwards, within the vacuous darkness of the room, the surprised shout of a man echoed out: "Huh?!"

It was in this moment that Xu Yangyi moved.

There was no sound of wind and there were no footsteps, like a cheetah walking in the forest. Using the thick pads of its paws to tread on the wind and set foot on the clouds. There wasn't any sound of movement; there was only the whistling of soft wind. If you didn't listen carefully, it was the kind gentle "whistling" coming from the window blowing on the window curtains. 

"Argh!!!" A blood-curdling screech came out from the darkness. Following the indication of a soft noise, the lighter shone once more.

Xu Yangyi had a strong hand, tightened around a person's throat like a death grip. He hadn't had such strength at the police station, but now, his veins were completely present, making people not doubt the degree of the strength of his hand in the slightest.

"Urgh…… Urgh!" The person being lifted up could only produce bursts of dry heaving from his throat. It was a youth around seventeen to eighteen years in age, however, he was wearing a Versace T-shirt and trousers. His financial situation was clearly pretty decent.

However, his blood-red eyes and golden vertical pupils were things that a normal human simply shouldn't have had.

Xu Yangyi's sight looked over his left hand in passing. There, a large opening had been already been cut into his police uniform. It hung suspended starting from his shoulder and halfway down his sleeve. The slash was incomparably even, like a blade had cut through it.

It was only that a handful of blood had already began flowing along down the cut on his police uniform, dripping on the floor, making a pattering sound. Under the dim radiance of the lighter, it was extremely frightening. 

"Do you know……?" Xu Yangyi's other hand to hook onto the the youth's chin, using the strength of hand to push back, forcing the other's head to raise upwards by a great extent. The youth's legs kicked against his body, but it was like kicking stone. His eyes began to whiten towards the youth, saying neither slowly nor hurriedly: "You should know, every person in Heaven's Law has their own unique nickname. Guess, what is mine?"

After three seconds, there was no response. The youth's throat was as if it was being choked by clamps; he was simply incapable of answering. He could only produce the hacking sound of being choked. Both of his hands tried to break of Xu Yangyi's hand for dear life, but it was like grabbing onto an iron hoop; he was unable to shake it off even a fraction.

"It seems like you don't like interacting with people too much." Xu Yangyi flicked away cigarette ash, his action was neither slow nor hurried, but cultured and refined. In spite of the other already beginning to froth at the mouth, he laughed and said: "Remember it clearly. My nickname is…… the Grinning Reaper***."

"Isn't it rather awesome? To be honest, I like it, too…… Don't roll your eyes, I'm not lying to you." Xu Yangyi's smile vanished, moving closer to the side of the other's ear and gently whispering: "In all of my life, there hasn't been a single demon of the same rank that's dared to take the initiative to reveal their demon pupil before me."

"Bang" He casually tossed the other aside, and the youth landed on the ground like a pile of hemp bags, rolling for about two to three meters. Xu Yangyi wiped his hands, sat down peacefully, and watched the other clutch at his own throat coldly. Frantically coughing, the other covered the climbing of his flushed throat.

"Cough, cough, cough!" Like he wanted to cut open his lung, the youth suddenly grabbed the teacup in front of him and downed it in a single gulp. He shut his eyes in rest for a good couple seconds and opened his eyes while gnashing his teeth in fury: "To dare to act towards me like this…… Sanshui City's Cao Clan won't let you off!"

Xu Yangyi puffed out a mouthful of blue smoke and laughed: "The pharmaceutical venture? The Cao Clan?"

The youth gasped for breath, not replying. Xu Yangyi flicked away at his cigarette ash and said: "Between you and I, what status do they hold?"

"Seven years ago, the Cao Clan emerged as a new force to be reckoned. Their all-encompassing health supplement was heard so much that all of the citizens of the country could recite it by heart. In a few years, they grossed a few hundreds of millions. The pharmaceutical venture was their first official resounding success……" He paused, as if he sorting out the information, and it wasn't until several seconds later, he laughed at the other: "However…… you know, there are some mad scientists in Heaven's Law that are always sitting on their hands. Especially under these circumstances, it has to be known those other wise creatures cannot help but to get a bit stir crazy……"

"Coalescence manuscript." He looked into the youth's eyes, and the other was evidently stunned: "I'll say, how could the new health supplement be so good? Well…… if you you add in cultivation materials, even just a little bit, the effect on mortals will be as clear as day. You and the Cao Family are even really cooperating cheerfully together. I guess…… You're their technology director? You joined in with them under this pretense?"

"So, even if the Cao Clan looks on helplessly as you don't age over the passage of seven years, they'll turn a blind eye to it. On the contrary, they'll completely cover up your existence? Indeed, it is a harmonious symbiotic relationship…… like a rotting animal and the maggot on its body. It makes people sick." 

"Anyways, what about it?" The youth's form was that of a young man, yet at this moment, he was completely calm. His manner of speaking, movements, they simply weren't like that of a coarse-haired lad. Against expectation, it was like the water of a deep lake…… Tranquil and murky in its depth, a lake that had long endured distress.

"For eternity, demons don't grow older, and they don't become feeble with old age, as well. Is there anything wrong in me seeking a host?" He glanced somewhat fearfully at Xu Yangyi: "The Shennong Convention is still in place. You human cultivators can't interfere in the internal affairs of our demon race's business without any reason at all; that's going beyond your authority! I have the qualifications to go the Nantong Province's highest cultivation court to sue you! You'll be faced with at least fifty years of imprisonment!"****

Xu Yangyi's head leaned against the chair, lifting his hand and waving it to stop the other. He said without a single change in his voice: "I only want to ask you a question."

"He smiled at the other: "Tell me, if a normal person had just entered, what would've happened?"

*先礼后兵: Literally, courtesy first, soldiers after. Meaning is to use force after peace. (in event peace fails)

**无根水 - noroot water or rootless water. From what I was able to research, this is actually a medicinal material that ancient Chinese used in medicines and stuff like that

***微笑死神 Literally Smiling Death God. I think Grinning Reaper sound cool.

****Shennong Convention: 神农架公约'. Shennong as in the farmer god in Chinese mythology.

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