Thirty Years of Demon Slaying at the Demon-Slaying Department - Chapter 10
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The temple of the City god.
Located in the liveliest and most prosperous North City, covering an area of several acres, it was considered a vast land in this capital city where every inch of land was as valuable as gold.
At the moment, a rain calling ritual was being held where hundreds of thousands of people were gathered at the temple of the City god. Under the leadership of a temple attendant, the people were offering incense and saying their prayers.
Since March, there had been a few gloomy days, but in the end, not a single drop of rain fell.
As the most authoritative and competent gods in Luojing, both the temples of the City god and Earth God were always flourishing with incense offered by their wide base of worshippers. Up till now, there were already several rounds of rain calling rituals held at their temples to pray for rain.
Beneath the main hall of the temple of the City god, in a place that was inaccessible to mortals, there was another temple of the City god that did not seem any different from those found on land.
This was the residence of the capital’s City god. It was a place that was perpetually pervaded by eerie gusts of winds. In here, the sounds of ghosts howling, and gods wailing were constantly heard.
At the moment, the City god was at his seat with two magistrates on each side of him. There were 24 other divisional officials gathered in front of him and they were all watching the ongoing rain calling ritual with worried looks.
In the entire Great Qian, the temple of the City god was second to none. It was headed by the City god, officially recognized as a first-grade god, who had been in charge of the capital’s Underworld for hundreds of years.
The four magistrates on his left and right were ranked second grade according to the standards of the Way of God, while the other 30 or more officials were ranked as an upper-third grade. But the City god treated all as equals regardless of what rank they were, even the Great Qian Dynasty that wielded the authority to canonize ghosts and gods was no exception.
The Chief Official of the Induction Department, a genteel scholar, was calculating something with his fingers and his face was filled with anxiety.
“My Lord, compared to the ritual 10 days ago, the number of worshippers offering incense has further decreased by 30%. If this goes on, the prestige that you have spent hundreds of years to accumulate will all be in vain!”
The City god frowned. With his transcendent divine powers, how could he possibly not be aware of the difference?
On March 22, the first rain calling ritual to pray for rain gathered more than 10,000 worshippers. As such, a tremendous amount of incense was collected.
The number of worshippers for the second rain calling ritual was halved, and this number was further reduced at the third. The many attempts to pray for rain were ineffective, so now, only a thousand or so devout worshippers were left.
If there was still no rain, the turnout at the next rain calling ritual might not even be one thousand people. But there was a more serious and pressing issue at hand. Gathering worshippers was difficult, but it was even more difficult to recover their faith once that was lost.
“What can I do?”
The City god sighed and said, “There is no Yellow Decree to order for rainfall. Bringing rain without permission is a capital offense, then by hundreds of years of cultivation would all come to naught.”
“What are the court officials doing? In the face of such a severe drought, they are actually prohibiting rainfall!”
“Humph! There must be some treacherous officials up to no good. If I was still the person I was back in those years, I would behead a few of them before doing anything else.”
“The crown prince governing the state is still too young.”
“Lord Li, be careful with what you say. All that happens in court, do you think you can hide any of them from the emperor?”
“Be careful, be careful!”
Many of the Shinto officials who were City gods were officials when they were alive. Because they had accumulated many meritorious contributions, they became officials of the temple of the City god after death.
When they were alive, they experienced life in officialdom. Upon death, they underwent the extremities of the Underworld. All of them were wise and knowledgeable, so there was no way any strange situation in court could escape their discerning eye.
Things like discord between a ruler and his subjects, father and son fighting for power, factional struggles, taking advantage of disasters to rid the world of demons…
It did not take them long to conjure dozens of dramatic scenarios in their minds.
The court could have a thousand and one reasons not to grant rain, and even ten times more reasons to ignore the lives and deaths of the people.
“All right. Tonight, I will go find an old friend in the south of the city to see if he has any news to share.”
The City god waved his hand to put a stop to all discussions. If he allowed them to go on rambling, God knew what court taboo they might accidentally violate.
The City god of the capital city was powerful and not inferior to the great celestial beings in terms of strength, but he was not keen on inviting unnecessary trouble.
In terms of years of cultivation, the Earth God of the temple in the eastern part of the city was a far cry from the City god. But when he was alive, this Earth God was quite a distinguished figure and was very closely related to the Great Qian.
And after spending more than two hundred years accumulating incense power, his strength was already comparable to that of the city god.
The chief official of the Records Department said, “The Earth God was King Huai when he was alive. He must have known something.”
There was a variety of expressions on the faces of the other officials of the Underworld division. The temple of the City God and the temple of this Earth God were at two extreme ends from each other, so on normal days, they would not have to cross paths with each other.
The Earth God was a member of the royal family of the Great Qian dynasty. He was also just and impartial, if not, he would not have been conferred the title of a divine god. However, there were many matters where he would find himself in an ambiguous position and compelled to take the court’s side. This was the reason why some monks of the Way of God disliked him.
A clap of thunder rang out, followed by the bellowing of a winding horn.
These sounds came from the part of the sky right above the capital city. Naturally, the temple of the City god that was in charge of managing the capital city’s Underworld could hear it clearly.
“Wind and thunder converge, water vapor condenses. This is the method of inducing rainfall!”
“Who dares allow rainfall without permission? Has the Earth God gotten hold of the Yellow Decree for rainfall?”
“Impossible. No matter how biased the court is, it will not give such differential treatment.”
“Who can say for sure? For the last hundred years, there has been no lack of such occasions, hasn’t it?”
The City god’s fingers were moving non-stop as he calculated, but still, he could not work out where the source of the method of inducing rainfall was. He could only vaguely sense that this person was in the capital.
“There is no aura of divine power here. The source of the spell is not the south of the city. Wind, thunder, and condensed water vapor are all bright and spiritual. This is the authentic method of inducing rainfall of the Taoist Sect!”
All the officials of the Underworld Division could not help looking at one another upon hearing this. In the world of today, how could there be such a bold Taoist priest?
The imperial dynasty of the Great Qian was fearful of the power of the heavens, and Buddhism, Taoism, and Shintoism were all under its jurisdiction, among which the Taoist sect had the hardest time surviving.
Taoist monks advocated inaction and freedom. Many of their ideas were incompatible with the laws of the imperial dynasty, so they had always been subjected to suppression by the imperial court. Generally, even without doing anything at all, the court would still be suppressing them. Now that some Taoist monks were caught inducing rain without permission, there was no imagining what great upheaval would arise.
The City god sighed as though he could already see the one who brought rainfall being banished to the Demon Slaying Department.
“What a pity….”
The seventh day of June.
There was another rain-calling ritual at the temple of the City god.
There was a heavy downpour in places that were a hundred miles around Luojing, and rivers were quickly filling to the brim. The severe impact of the drought was largely alleviated.
Immediately after, dozens of immortal masters from the Big Four Celestial Departments, ghost messengers, and Gods of the Underworld under the command of the City god and Earth God, were deployed to comb through every nook and cranny of the whole Luojing. The search lasted for several days.
In the end, it was a fruitless search for the Taoist priest who induced rainfall without permission, but the search party managed to catch a group of demons secretly lurking in the dark to appease Emperor Jingtai.
Demon Slaying Department.
After he was done casting the spell of Summoning the Wind and Rain, Zhou Yi’s body was almost drained of internal magic power.
“It’s a pity that I am stuck underground. I really wonder what the effect of this spell is. With my five thousand years of Taoism attainment, I should at least be able to bring about a thunderstorm, right?”
Zhou Yi hauled the remains of the snake demon over his shoulders and slowly walked towards the Demon Refining grotto.
With the increase in his Taoism attainment, Zhou Yi was able to see more and more every time he cast the Aura-observing technique.
The evil air within the Demon Refining grotto was much denser than the time when he just crossed over. Perhaps it would have condensed into something tangible if given a few more decades.
“When an evil air takes form to become a substance, it will either become some heavenly material, earthly treasure, or it will simply become a peerless demon. Among the people living in the capital, who would have known that they have been stepping on a timebomb all this time?”
But, Zhou Yi was not interested in this at all. The Demon Slaying Department had existed for hundreds of years. It was established by Emperor Guangming in the midst of the Great Qian Dynasty, and during this time, there was never a problem. There had to be a solution to the issue with the evil aura.
“Let ‘s set a small goal first, 10,000 years of Taoism attainment!”
A few days later.
Zhou Yi received his task as usual. Today, everyone was each assigned two demons.
According to the captain, the court was dissatisfied with the level of security of the capital city. After an extensive raid, many demons were found lurking in the dark, and all of them were captured and sent to the Demon Slaying Department.
His Majesty was furious to learn about the demons and ordered that trial was not necessary. All the demons would be dealt capital punishment with immediate effect.
Prison cell number B7.
Zhou Yi entered and found that it was a young and beautiful girl wearing a red shirt.
Spirit Eye Technique!
Spiritual light flashed in his eyes, and then, he saw through the illusion spell that the girl had cast, learning that she was a fox that was more than four feet long.
The girl’s beauty did not affect Zhou Yi at all. He had killed at least 20 or 30 fox spirits and had his fair share of seeing such pretty women and handsome men.
He slashed the neck of the fox demon with his torture instrument, then both flesh and soul were sliced apart at the same time. The only valuable thing found on the fox demon’s body was its pair of eyes.
Fox demons were good at illusion spells. Both their eyes could be refined into elixirs for improving eyesight or special magic weapons.
“No reaction from the Catalogue of Demons and Monsters?”
Zhou Yi frowned slightly. He had killed thousands of demons before, but this was the first time he was encountering such a situation.
He set his magic power into operation and swung his arm to catch hold of the fast-disappearing demon soul. As the demon had been slain with a special torture instrument, even if Zhou Yi used magic to preserve the soul, it would not take long before the soul eventually dissipated into thin air.
The demon’s soul was sluggish and illusory. Obviously, interrogating it would not be productive at all.
Time for the Soul Searching Technique!
After launching this technique, scene after scene of memories began to unfold before Zhou Yi’s eyes.