Thirty Years of Demon Slaying at the Demon-Slaying Department - Chapter 28
The Scholar’s Library had been sending new books to the Jixia Academy over the last 60 years. Most of these book were explanations of the Confucianism classics. The books however, did not sell as well as they expected.
The main reason for the failure was that the market for those types of books had a lot of competition, and it was hard to capture the buyers’ attention.
But all this changed when the Tale of Execution was sent to the academy for review.
The book caused a huge uproar almost immediately. The first thing that the professors criticized was the simple use of grammar and vocabulary.
Fortunately, Zhou Yi did make a statement at the beginning of the book, stating that it was intended for regular citizens. Since Great Qian wasn’t an empire that solely followed the teaching of Confucius, the critics grew to accept the use of a simpler language.
However, the contents of the book also caused an uproar.
In the first volume of Tale of Executioner, He Yongyan had decided to choose stories where scholars were the protagonists.
Not only that, each story had something to do with demons and the Demon Slaying Department. And in each story, both the human and the demon met with tragedy.
The stories were different from what the scholars usually read, which mainly consisted of things like meeting a beautiful fox demon or snake demon and with a happy ending. The stories in the Tale of Executioner were something they had never seen before.
Some began to question the authenticity of the Tale of Executioner, believing that the stories were just made up and that they felt like they had to boycott the book.
The person who led the boycott was someone that Zhou Yi had once met. It was Wang Bo’an, whose real name was Wang Hao.
The first thing that Wang Bo’an thought of when he read the Tale of Executioner was of Zhou Yi, someone who had insulted him in the past. His hatred towards Zhou Yi had naturally clouded his judgment and fairness when reviewing the book.
The people who brought the second uproar to an end were the deans of Buddhism Studies and Taoism Studies. They were two people with the greatest knowledge through studying the way of Buddhism and Taoism.
Since they were students of Buddhism and Taoism, they had crossed paths with cultivators more than once and knew much more about the relationship between humans and demons in Great Qian.
They understood that the reality was much harsher than the stories described in Tale of Executioner.
After reading the book, the dean of Taoism Studies gave his own review.
“From my perspective, this book can serve as an important reference to the danger of demons.”
The words “Important reference” showed how highly the dean viewed the book.
Wang Bo’an on the other hand, was simply an intern lecturer. And since he had no proof that the stories were fake, he had no choice but to pause his boycotting of the book. However, he wasn’t going to give up on that and even vowed to do more study into the book so that he could find an even bigger problem in it.
It reflected how humans had been the same since ancient times, that knowledgeable people were those the never got tired of ruining another person’s life.
These were people who could read, who understood laws and teachings and could influence government officials and even the emperor himself. They were those who knew what to say and when to say it.
Emperor Jingtai had ruled the Great Qian for 60 years. Being praised as the successor of Emperor Guangming ever since he was a child, the current emperor looked up to his predecessor even more and turned him into a person who craved greatness and success.
Now that most of the governing works were handed to the crown prince, the emperor only wanted to hear reports about the peace in his empire. In fact, he loathed reports that focused on domestic strife and foreign aggression.
That was why the government officials stopped giving reports of the bad things happening in the country to the emperor. For one, it showed that the crown prince was capable of governing the empire, but it also made the emperor happy.
Since Wang Bo’an could not find any fault in the book, he decided to use the emperor as a means to attack it instead.
Most of the stories in the Tale of Executioner focused on the poor, with only a few that told the tale of scholars and lecturers.
One of the stories involved a series of kidnappings by a bull demon. The cause of the kidnappings was the lack of food in the empire.
“Our empire is strong and rich in resources! We are in a peaceful time! How can there be poor people in the empire?” Wang Bo’an exclaimed. “The author of this book is slandering our empire! This will cause an uproar among the people and could lead to a revolt! We can’t let the people get their hands on this book!”
The intern lecturer quickly drafted a letter that was intended for the crown prince so that the latter could issue an order to ban the book.
Meanwhile, Wu Ke, the dean of Legalism Studies, had just finished reading the book and was pleased with its explanation of laws.
Other than Buddhism and a few minor schools of philosophy, most people of Great Qian were taught in either Confucianism or Legalism.
“It’s amazing how the author teaches and explains the law through these interesting horror stories,” Wu Ke said with a smile. The dean of Legalism Studies had once roamed the empire and even went deep into the slums that had been forgotten or ignored by the elites of Great Qian. It was a completely different world than the flourishing capital.
He had even wrote a book in the hope of spreading legal knowledge to the people living in poor conditions so that they couldn’t be bullied by their local officials.
However, these people had their own way of surviving, which was the complete opposite of what Wu Ke was used to. The arrogance and prejudice in his book were not taken well by these people.
“The people might not have the money to buy this book and might not understand it even if they did, but the stories can easily be spread, and people will soon learn about it one way or another,” Wu Ke said to himself. “I should promote this book as well, not only for the people but for myself as well. Only the higher classes can purchase or understand the New School Five Classics, but the stories in this book can be spread to every corner of the empire.”
Wu Ke immediately had someone contact the Scholar’s Library to relay his intention of writing a prologue for the book.
The moment the owner of Scholar’s Library heard the news, he quickly gave out the order to make more prints of the book.
A book that had its prologue written by a professor of Jixia Academy could be considered as one of the best, so one could only imagine the quality of a book that had a prologue written by the dean himself.
Once he factored in the review by the dean of Taoism Studies, He Yongyan could tell that the book would be a huge hit.
The things that were happening in Jixia Academy did not concern Zhou Yi at all.
Every day was the same for him. He would work his shift, slay demons, and transcribe scriptures. Leading a normal and quiet life was what he really wanted.
Whenever he would complete a copy of the scripture, his understanding of the teachings of his predecessors increased a little more.
If he could gain a full understanding of the teachings of Taoism, his mastery over the Taoism Arts would increase as well. Not only that, but he could also make money with the copies that he had transcribed.
The only unfortunate thing was that he still could not reach the level where the Yin-God was.
He Yongyan had invited a few calligraphy masters to appraise Zhou Yi’s art, which further increased the price of his works several times. Since only one copy was available each day, people usually had to wait several months before they could get their hands on one.
It was then Zhou Yi began to look for a suitable house in the capital.
The growth of his Taoism attainment had finally reached a limit. Perhaps because his magic was starting to change after reaching ten thousand years attainment, he couldn’t gain a single year of attainment from killing a small demon in B Cell and had to kill at least a dozen to achieve that.
Fortunately, the reduction of experience gained from slaying a large demon in B Cell wasn’t big. His growth would not stall as long as he remained diligent.
Zhou Yi had just killed a demonic follower that morning.
The follower pretended to be a Taoist priest but was, in fact, a spy for the Red Body Sect. His job was to roam around the empire to gather information.
He began his journey from the northern most region of the empire, Feiyunzhou, and arrived at the capital from there. The moment he arrived, he ran into Xu Ye, the son of the Dragon General.
The spy pretended to be a priest and offered his fortune-telling services to Xu Ye. He claimed that that under all his luxurious clothes, he was a man with great ambition and would become successful in the future.
However, Xu Ye took it as an insult and, together with his friends, beat the spy up. He then accused the spy of being a demonic follower and they planned to take him to the prison.
The spy had no choice but to use his power and expose himself. Despite heavily injuring Xu Ye, he was ultimately apprehended by the elites that were sent out by the Dragon General.
The spy was thrown into the dungeon without any prior investigation. In the end, the spy died in hatred, angered at the fact that he failed by the hands of a few spoiled rich kids.
After slaying the spy, the Demon Handbook awarded Zhou Yi with a transformation skill, the Art of Morphing.
Most basic transformation magics relied on altering the face itself, something a cultivator could easily see-through. The most advanced transformation magic was when one could alter everything in their own body, down to the aura of their soul. Those who had mastered it could even fool the Gods themselves.
The Art of Morphing was a middle-tier transformation skill where the user could freely alter not only their skin but also their height and weight. The transformation was indistinguishable unless a cultivator tried to identify the aura of the soul since the skill wasn’t an illusion.
There were a lot of methods that could break an illusion, some examples being the Spirit Eye Technique or even with the help of magical items.
There were a few cultivators who would constantly activate their Spirit Eye Technique just to be on the safe side.
“This skill is amazing! I don’t have to worry about running into any immortal masters anymore!” Zhou Yi exclaimed.
He returned to the inn happily. Since Bai Yutang had something to do with his wife and the owner of the inn was still in Yuzhou, Zhou Yi had to take on the role of the temporary owner of the inn.
They was a sign outside the inn, saying that there were no vacancies, and that only a few customers would come by every day. There wasn’t much for Zhou Yi to do.
“Mr. Zhou! The deep-fried chicken you mentioned? I’ve done it! It only took me a dozen tries,” said the inn’s chef as he came running out excitedly. Like Zhou Yi, the chef’s last name was Zhou as well. Since it was a rare last name in the capital, the chef treated Zhou Yi as his own family.
“That was fast! Let me try it!”
Zhou Yi had been yearning for fried chicken and beer that he always had in his past life. He didn’t know the method to make the latter, but it wasn’t hard to imagine how to fry a chicken.
All they had to do was drench the chicken in flour and deep fry it.
It was so simple that it only took a person who had never heard of such a cooking method to succeed in a dozen attempts.
However, the chef rubbed his thumb and index finger together and said, “So, umm… Can I get the money for the chickens first?”