Chapter 16: The System Isn’t Afraid of Ghosts
Translator: J_Squared, Zenobys Editor: J_Squared, Zenobys
The Special Affairs Department of Qi City had their headquarters based in the mountainous area to the south of the city, within a hidden valley. The location boasted flowing rivers and a lush forest, but its scenic landscape did little in inviting visitors, as there was a garrison base nearby, rendering its surroundings a restricted area.
The car escorting Lu Er rumbled along the road, passing numerous verification stops before finally reaching the compound.
As if the verification stops weren’t enough, they were met with a wave of procedures once they had arrived at the headquarters building. Finally, after a few personnel of the Special Affairs Department had spoken briefly to Lu Er, he was led to a room where surrounded by walls, and a wide window that faced the mountain.
As they approached the heavily-guarded entrance, they noticed a few people that stood in waiting.
Lu Er could hear, from behind the great walls, muffled sounds of running. He could also hear the steady chanting of “One, two, one. One, two, one. One, two, three…four.”
It was followed by a different chant, led by one person before the rest echoed.
“Defeat all monsters…and all demons!!”
“Protect all humans…and the light!!”
“Maintain society’s…balance and order!!”
“Enjoy one’s life…and one’s freedom!!”
Once Lu Er registered what was being chanted, a chill ran down his spine and he thought to himself: Damned Vigilante A. I’ll teach you a lesson once I get out of rehabilitation.
“Principal Zhang, we have one new student, student name: Lu Er. Initiating handover!”
The personnel in-charge of escorting Lu Er bowed at an old man by the entrance before making his announcement.
Lu Er’s limbs were still bounded by handcuffs and shackles, and he didn’t miss the snipers that were on duty around him either. He knew how it worked here, the official briefing he had received prior made it clear that if he were to run, he would only be offered two warnings before death.
Lu Er knew that his abilities haven’t evolved to the point where he was faster than a bullet, so he stayed put. He could only hope that the rehabilitation process was not as scary as Feng Niao had described.
Feng Niao had told him that they used incredible education techniques here for rehabilitation. With a combination of isolation and electrical therapy and forced brainwashing, most superpowered individuals were engineered into model citizens of the new age here. They lost themselves and became peace-loving individuals that only knew to use their abilities for good.
Lu Er felt that he would be able to resist, though. He had no interest in using his abilities for good, he just wasn’t born that way.
While Lu Er was lost in his thoughts, Principal Zhang gave him a once-over and smiled, before turning to face the personnel escorting Lu Er. “What happened to his face? Was it another one of Vigilante A’s victims that you guys picked up?”
“Heh, following Vigilante A was a good idea indeed, Principal Zhang. You have a good eye. Nobody from the Truth Department can compare with you,” complimented the personnel.
“You flatter me. Sadly, my age was the cause of my rejection from their department. When are you lot going to be bringing Vigilante A in for education anyways? Can’t exactly let him do as he pleases outside.”
The Special Affairs Department personnel certainly wasn’t expecting the question and hesitantly answered, “That would be difficult. We have nothing on him and haven’t even come close to determining his identity. However, he has his own set of principles, so unlike the usual ones, he isn’t much harm to society.”
He continued to explain the process that led to Lu Er’s arrest, which included the fact that Vigilante A reimbursed a portion of the stall’s losses.
Hearing so, Principal Zhang nodded his head and continued, “It seems that he isn’t some youngster that hungers for his 5 minutes of fame. I’ve seen your reports on him; he’s caught 723 criminals within these past two months, and although there were eight counts of excessive defense, it was confirmed after that nobody was hurt, am I right?”
“Yes, your memory serves you well.”
“Someone like this should be recruited into the Special Affairs Department, don’t you think so?” Principal Zhang was befuddled.
The personnel from the Special Affairs Department was at a loss for words. Principal Zhang was an upright and honest person, with no other way around it, he could only answer in honesty.
“Apparently, the Truth Department has already evaluated his abilities; he is but a Wuxia master with Power Level F. Maybe the higher-ups view his potential as limited.”
Principal Zhang shook his head in return and said, “A person’s potential isn’t determined so easily. From the way I see it, that director of yours is overthinking things. He must not want to take responsibility for the probability of Vigilante A not passing the first interview due to his unknown identity.”
Hearing somebody mention his boss negatively, the Special Affairs Department personnel immediately retaliated, “Principal Zhang, you can’t blame Director Mo for not wanting to take responsibility. He isn’t a genius, so he can’t exactly get away with a lot of things. Don’t you go thinking that he is peerless in Qi City. Once the abilities of the awakened ones start developing, he would be defeated in no time. Take this flying squirrel as an example, when we arrested him, Vigilante A had already been chasing him for four hours before catching him. Even catching a flying squirrel like him required that much effort.”
“This is after two months of effort. I’m afraid he’ll only last another two more months at the peak. We have, in our records, awakened individuals that even possess the ability to kill people in their dreams, once these awakened individuals grow into their abilities, how can he face them?”
“Hmmph, what does he have to face? Isn’t that part and parcel of your job? You bunch of people only want to use people to your advantage. Once they’ve lost their purpose, you throw them away without a care. You’ll come to regret that one day. I’ll be taking away Lu Er now, and you can come collect your backbone of society in three months,” said Principal Zhang with a shake of his head before leading Lu Er away.
The personnel could only agree to Principal Zhang’s words, as he would rather not anger the elder. If that were to happen, he would probably be another Lu Er.
Lu Er took two steps with his head lowered, feet dragging his shackles. Principal Zhang noticed Lu Er’s difficulty in walking and pitying the boy, stretched a hand towards him.
Suddenly, Lu Er felt a gust of wind. He then watched as his bindings disintegrate before his eyes. He immediately felt ten times lighter, once again tasting freedom.
That was when the weight of what had just happened dawned on him. Lu Er thought to himself: it was no wonder this seemingly harmless old man could be the principal of this entire rehabilitation process. From what he could do, it would seem that even Vigilante A wouldn’t stand a chance against him.
Principal Zhang observed Lu Er’s shift in facial expression and continued walking in front of him, a profound smile on his face. Principal Zhang thought to himself: Another one fooled. This Trueness Cultivation Ability developed by the Truth Department truly is useful. “Sadly age has caught up to me, so I’m only able to wield it to this extent. Fighting with this would be impossible, but it’s still good enough to scare youngsters.” He thought.
While people discussed The System’s other identity – Vigilante A, Fang Ning however, was in the System Space. He was sneakily going through the trophies that the System had obtained from serving justice just now.
He examined the medicinal pill from the Qi family in his hand; the gears in his brain turning.
After the System had seized his body, Fang Ning had always been worried about one thing, but as the System wasn’t exactly his aid and the thing was also quite troublesome, Fang Ning had never mentioned it. It was only after his position in the System’s perception had increased and the System had recognized Fang Ning’s value towards itself, did Fang Ning use the System to solve that particular thing.
After having stared at the pill for a while, Fang Ning himself could also feel the weak internal energy being sealed in it. As compared to his own, it was incredibly weak.
Although he spent most of his days gaming, whenever the System used his body for meditation, Fang Ning could feel the changes as well. He was more than familiar with things like internal strength and vital energy, especially with how the System constantly switched between the two, Fang Ning’s familiarity towards internal strength was indeed quite deep.
Sadly Fang Ning couldn’t do much other than that. He would only be able to see a reaction if somebody ate the pill, and whether or not it was useful couldn’t be determined either. At least Fang Ning wasn’t in a hurry to find out. Qi Yan’s father had mentioned the other day that their family business would soon be distributing it into markets.
If even Fang Ning, with his yearly income in the billions, wouldn’t be able to afford the pill after it was available in markets, it wouldn’t actually be possible for anyone to buy the pill at all.
This was just a matter of how Fang Ning would persuade the System into using money.
While Fang Ning was thinking about this, the laugh of a woman could suddenly be heard.
“I died so tragically…”
‘What the heck! That’s some classic dialogue right there, is something weird happening?’ After hearing that eerie voice, Fang Ning curled into a ball with fear. He looked around the System Space and immediately ran towards the blacksmith’s forge. The Celestial Weapon the System was currently forging was in it, and its majestic air provided Fang Ning with a semblance of security.
Lord knew how afraid he was of ghosts and the like. When he had watched the movie about Sadako during high school, he couldn’t sleep properly for a whole month and was afraid of even picking up phone calls. He was the joke of his peers for a whole year.
After he was properly hidden, Fang Ning accessed the System’s view to look at the situation outside.
That was when Fang Ning noticed how dark it was outside. It was daytime, but instead of the morning light, their surroundings were replaced by green glimmers, akin to wolves’ eyes, but which resembled will-o-wisps even more.
“Hey System, is it possible we’re being haunted?” Fang Ning was trembling as he asked.
“No.” The System answered, tone nonchalant.
“That’s good,” breathed Fang Ning in a sigh of relief.
“There’s no ‘possible’ here, we are being haunted,” corrected the System.
“Ah! Ahhh!” Fang Ning immediately hid in the forge.
“What are you scared of? What’s so scary about these ghosts and spirits? The roaming spirit can only cause confusion to a human being, nothing else. There’s no point in us attacking it really.” The System was quite confused at the behavior his host was exhibiting. Why would the host be afraid of a ghost? This ghost would be so much easier to defeat than the rabbit from before too…
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