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    Chapter 256: Public Announcement

    In the evening, Wen Ying's uncles and aunts arrived at their home. It was a coincidence that none of them were out of town for work trips. Upon receiving Wen Qinxue's invitation for dinner, they hopped in their cars to head over.

    Of the four people who entered the house that night, three knew about the Wen family's demonic heritage but were unaware that Wen Ying had already awakened his own. Uncle Ou Yangcheng, Wen Ying's second uncle, was completely in the dark.

    "Busy with work tonight, huh? That's why you invited us over for dinner?" said Ou Yangcheng cheerfully as he stepped inside. "The magical ingredients you've been sending over have kept me on my toes! I heard that the purchasing channel for these ingredients has shifted from the Court of Judgment to the Demonic Realm Department Store, and there's a new person in charge. Do you need any assistance over there?"

    Wen Ying's eldest uncle chimed in, "That's right. If there's anything, call us. You can't handle all the networking and resource acquisition by yourself. We'll just sit back and wait to be fed."

    In reality, there was no need to establish connections or entertain with gifts, thought Lin Tianbao. He truly was just waiting to be fed since his son had already taken care of all the procedures and formalities. All he needed to do was sign contracts and pay the bills.

    They would find out about this matter after tonight, but it might seem too abrupt to bring it up now that they had just arrived. In a flash, various thoughts crossed Lin Tianbao's mind, and he chuckled. "We will discuss this later over dinner."

    Upon seeing Lin Tianbao's expression, which seemed to hide something significant, Wen Ying's eldest uncle, Hong Rui, furrowed his brow, his tone turning more serious. "Is there a problem with the channel?"

    Lin Tianbao shook his head. "No, the channel is still intact. There won't be any issues with our business project."

    Ou Yangcheng pressed, "Then could it be that..."

    Wen Qinxue said, "There's absolutely no problem. Don't worry, come in and sit down. Don't just stand at the door."

    "Wen Ying?" Wen Qinling scanned the room. "Did he go out to play with friends?"

    "He said he had some business to attend to."

    ...

    In Mu City's Judgment Bureau headquarters, Wen Ying was observing the suspicious individuals who had been caught by a few patrolling demons. According to the patrol demons, they had been tailing his two aunts.

    Both of them were ordinary people but private detectives. With a simple scare from Wen Ying, they spilled everything.

    "I only received a job to investigate where Wen Qinling usually goes. I had no idea about any other matters!"

    "It's the same for me. I was just supposed to track Wen Qinxue's daily activities and report back to my client."

    "What about the client's information?"

    "I... I'm not sure. He sent a letter to my office with a cash deposit inside."

    "I am as well. I have no clue whether they're male or female."

    Wen Ying was slightly disappointed. He had assumed that he would gain some insight by coming here, but it turned out they knew nothing.

    Looking at the patrolling demons who were trying to take credit, their expressions weren't pleasant either. They glared subtly at the two private investigators, who trembled under their intimidating gaze.

    Kirishino asked, "What should we do with these two humans?"

    "Let them go," Wen Ying paused and glanced at the two huddled private investigators on the ground. "Can they keep their mouths shut?"

    "Absolutely, absolutely, we promise!!!" The two nodded frantically.

    Wen Ying waved his hand and left, unenthusiastically.

    The Church was more cautious than he had imagined, or perhaps more cowardly? They were truly timid, using ordinary people to test him.

    Sending private investigators to trail his two aunts, apart from wanting to obtain their daily routines, they probably also wanted to see if they were demons as well.

    On his way home, Wen Ying noticed someone following him in the crowd. Judging from their aura and demeanor, they seemed to be another ordinary private investigator.

    The Demon Mirror and Wen Ying appeared simultaneously in two locations. The Church's people were likely now speculating about his connection with the Demon Mirror, Wen Jing, despite the name change. The radical faction of the Demon Realm was well aware that the Demon Mirror, Wen Jing, once went by the name Wen Ying.

    In due time, the Church would undoubtedly seek an opportunity to test his strength, just as Wen Dingjue did – not defending or fleeing meant death.

    Back then, it took great effort to stage a performance for Lu Rongyu, convincing him to write a report verifying Wen Ying's humanity. Now, he had to start from scratch.

    Rather than be at the mercy of the Church, Wen Ying's gaze sharpened; it was better to seize the initiative. With his family and relatives already under the Church's scrutiny, he refrained from exposing his identity to protect them from becoming targets.

    After coming clean with his uncle and the others tonight, he'd consult the cunning old fox, the Demon King, for a strategy.

    Wen Ying was unsure whether the Demon King was aware of his inheritance of the angelic law fragment. On his way back home, he constantly pondered over what he should and shouldn't say when he met the Demon King, so much so that his brows and eyes drooped with irritation.

    Upon arriving home, the scent of cooked food already filled the air.

    "Wen Ying, you're back. Quickly wash your hands and come to dinner," Wen Qinling said first.

    Wen Ying acknowledged them.

    During the meal, he listened as they discussed the demon realm's culinary project while eating.

    Suddenly, Ou Yangcheng turned to Wen Ying and said, "Little Ying, you're at the age when you should be opening up to relationships, right? Are there any girls you like? You should date a few now to learn how to tell if they genuinely like you or just want your money."

    "Cough, cough, cough…" Choked by a grain of rice, Wen Ying was quickly patted on the back by Wen Qinxue.

    Ou Yangcheng chuckled. "This kid is nervous. Does he really have someone he likes?"

    Lin Tianbao's expression was a bit odd. It seemed that tonight he would not only have to mention that Wen Ying was a devil but also that Wen Ying had a devilish boyfriend.

    He hoped that Ou Yangcheng had a strong capacity for acceptance.

    Wen Qinxia said with disdain, "Little Ying isn't like those sons of foxes you hang out with. They change girlfriends every few months, or even weeks, dating all sorts of influencers and celebrities, and even cause accidents."

    "And racing cars—didn't someone from the Li family end up in the hospital last week because of it? What a mess."

    "Hongmin has a lot of sleazy friends too. They call him every day during winter and summer vacations to go out and play," Ou Yangcheng complained. "It's one thing to be their ATM and let them take advantage of him, but he even goes to those shady drinking parties."

    Hong Rui nodded in agreement. "His sleazy friends have always been many. Don't be fooled by his refined and stable appearance; it's all an act. He knows how to do everything those spoiled brats do."

    "Little Ying is still the most worry-free."

    Though Lin Tianbao attempted to be modest, his expression betrayed his pride. "Little Ying isn't as well-behaved as he appears to you all..."

    Speaking of "obedience," Lin Tianbao's elation suddenly evaporated, his mind flashing with various news reports he had seen on his phone about the Demon Mirror Devil, along with the pile of poison he had produced at the beginning of the school term...his expression gradually becoming increasingly difficult to contain.

    From the very beginning, Wen Qinxue had anticipated this. Lin Tianbao was so charmed by Wen Ying's obedient appearance that he overlooked the mischievous deeds of the Mirror Demon that Wen Ying truly was. She, however, was not fooled.

    Hearing her sister and brother-in-law's praise, her smile was somewhat forced.

    What are mere fox friends and dog companions compared to Wen Ying, who has befriended a pack of perilous demonic associates? Seeking celebrity influencers is nothing, for Wen Ying has gone as far as to win the heart of an even more dangerous hellhound as his boyfriend.

    Upon hearing from Wen Ying, they promptly delved into various sources to learn about the Cerberus race. The more they learned, the more their hearts sank. Cerberi were notoriously quick-tempered and irascible, and judging from the photo of the demon named Berial, this young one seemed to excel in that aspect.

    Wen Qinxue exchanged glances with Lin Tianbao—

    Should we bring it up now? They knew there was no avoiding the conversation, whether sooner or later.

    I don't think the time is right just yet.

    Then when would be the right time?

    Both men instinctively turned to look at Wen Ying.

    Receiving the silent signal from his parents, Wen Ying said, "Aunt, Uncle, actually, it was me who asked Mom to invite you here today." As he spoke, Wen Ying effortlessly created a soundproof barrier around the dining table.

    He had used such barriers so frequently lately that it had become muscle memory; his body moved without needing his mind to prompt it.

    The group was perplexed, but seeing Wen Ying's serious expression, the three who were aware of the Wen family's demonic heritage knew that what he was about to say would relate to that topic.

    The only one in the dark, Ou Yangcheng, seeing Wen Ying's serious demeanor, laughed in relief and said, "Are you going to introduce your girlfriend to us?"

    Wen Ying scratched his cheek. "Sort of."

    Ou Yangcheng immediately grew curious. "Which family's girl? Inside or outside the circle? Let me tell you, Uncle isn't being rigid – it's just that you need to be cautious with those outside the circle. I almost fell for a scam back then."

    The other three felt odd about why he would mention a girlfriend in such a formal tone.

    Wen Ying averted his eyes, feeling a bit embarrassed. "She's from outside the circle."

    Ou Yangcheng replied, "Actually, that's fine too, but you'll need to observe..."

    Wen Ying interrupted bashfully, "She's not my girlfriend."

    At first, Ou Yangcheng didn't catch on, but soon he realized the implications of Wen Ying's words, and was instantly stunned. He looked at Wen Qinxue and Lin Tianbao, whose expressions betrayed no surprise.

    "Both of you... already knew?"

    Lin Tianbao and Wen Qinxue nodded, remaining silent.

    Wen Qinling was taken aback. "Does Wen Ying like boys?"

    They nodded again, still not speaking.

    Hong Rui spoke calmly, "There's no need to take this so seriously. In this day and age, it's actually quite common."

    Lin Tianbao and Wen Qinxue had odd expressions as they heard Wen Ying continue bashfully, "Not a boy, though."

    Ou Yangcheng immediately interjected in shock, "A hermaphrodite?!"

    Lin Tianbao couldn't help but say, "A male demon."

    Thunder cracked overhead, as if a bolt had struck the four of them, leaving their minds reeling.

    Ou Yangcheng seemed to be lost in thought as he asked, "What did you just say?"

    Wen Ying assessed their expressions and spoke in one breath, "Actually, the Demon Mirror in the Exorcist Academy was me, and my boyfriend is Cerberus, the three-headed hound from Hell."

    Silence fell around the dining table, so quiet that even their breathing could be heard.

    Wen Ying looked bashfully at the four elders, who appeared to have been struck dumb by a lightning bolt.

    Lin Tianbao intervened, "We already knew."

    The four of them opened their mouths but were momentarily speechless. The most shocked was Ou Yangcheng, who truly had no clue. The other three at least had the prior knowledge about the bloodline issue to cushion the blow, whereas Ou Yangcheng was hit with a truck straight on.

    "Dem… demon?" Ou Yangcheng stared at Wen Ying in disbelief, pacing around him for a closer look. "You look completely human, Little Ying. You must be joking, right? Although you do resemble the Demon Mirror, his hair is white…"

    As Ou Yangcheng spoke, Wen Ying transformed his short black hair into long silver locks right before Ou Yangcheng's eyes.

    With silver-white tresses, translucent horns, silver eyes, and silver-white bat-like wings unfurled behind him, Wen Ying embodied the traits of a Mirror Demon. Ou Yangcheng watched the transformed Wen Ying, his hands hanging limply by his sides, trembling in disbelief, leaving him utterly speechless.

    In his human form, Wen Ying was vastly different from his demonic one. Their auras were distinct, with those silver eyes holding an enigmatic depth that concealed their true depths.

    During the Spring Festival, he had sensed a change in Wen Ying's demeanor, assuming it was due to improved health and newfound confidence. Now, he realized it wasn't mere confidence but rather an arrogance rooted in a different kind of strength.

    Wen Ying had been disciplined and obedient under the care of the Lin couple, and due to his frail health, he appeared weak and unassuming. However, now, he seemed like an authoritative figure, akin to a shrewd businessman, exuding an aura that was just as strong, if not more stable, than theirs.

    Wen Ying still retained, or perhaps was accustomed to, the compliant demeanor instilled by his elders. This contrasted with his demonic side's audaciousness, creating an unusual and striking impression. Moreover, Mirror Demons had a unique appearance, visually impactful compared to ordinary demons.

    The Lin couple also felt a jolt, sensing that there was something different about this demonic manifestation of Wen Ying, even though they could discern no tangible changes upon closer inspection.

    Ou Yangcheng slumped back into his seat, his worldview shattered as he muttered, "Why is Little Ying a demon..." As he spoke, he turned to Lin Tianbao with a horrified gaze, could it be...

    Lin Tianbao shook his head, and Ou Yangcheng grew even more alarmed. If it wasn't Lin Tianbao, then it must be Wen Qinxue. Did that mean his wife was...

    Ou Yangcheng looked at Wen Qinxia, but she appeared just as clueless and astonished as everyone else.

    Wen Qinling, having recovered from the collapse of her understanding, asked, "What on earth is going on? When did Little Ying become a demon?"

    Hong Rui inquired sharply, "Why did you choose today to tell us? Has something happened?"

    Wen Ying nodded. "Indeed, there's an issue."

    Ou Yangcheng looked at the other three with doubt. Compared to them, his ability to handle shocks seemed incredibly weak. His wife, Wen Qinxia, feeling awkward, interjected, "We've known about our demonic heritage since we were kids—me, Qinxue, and Qinling. Hong Rui and the others found out when Xin Xin started attending the Exorcist Academy. We had to inform them so they wouldn't raise suspicion among the exorcists. We didn't tell you because we wanted you to be the one communicating with them, as someone completely unaware would be least likely to give us away."

    Ou Yangcheng: "..." Recalling how they feigned congratulations when he excitedly shared that his hotel had signed a resort contract with the Disaster Department, it was no wonder they hadn't been genuinely happy. They had shown great restraint by not cursing him out on the spot.

    Taking a deep breath, Ou Yangcheng pressed further, "Are all of the Wens demons?"

    Wen Qinxue promptly replied, "Of course not! Little Ying only turned into a demon last year. Otherwise, our family would only have my grandfather as a demon."

    Wen Qinling held up three fingers. "Up until our generation, no demons appeared. It's only Little Ying... I found out today that he became a demon."

    Upon hearing Wen Qinling's words, Ou Yangcheng felt much better.

    Hong Rui turned to Wen Ying. "Little Ying, perhaps you should transform back into your human form before giving us a detailed explanation." Watching Wen Ying with his demonic mirror skin, Hong Rui's heart raced nervously, making it hard for him to speak freely.

    The others seemed to agree with Hong Rui's suggestion. Wen Ying hesitated for a moment before transforming back, feeling both amused and frustrated.

    Others' tension dissipated.

    Lin Tianbao took the opportunity to say helplessly, "That's why I said earlier that there's no need for socializing, because Little Ying usually takes care of that."

    "Wen Ying continued, "Actually, I didn't plan on telling you about being a demon so soon. I didn't want to burden you with it. But the situation is different now. When my great-grandfather passed through Asfar, he was ambushed by extremist demons."

    "Ah?!"

    "How is Grandfather now? Is he safe?"

    "He's perfectly safe and on his way back home. There are some complicated matters involved that I can't explain right now," Wen Ying paused. "The current situation is that the church knows he's a demon, so they're targeting us. When you all arrived just now, two private investigators were tailing you. I've already taken care of them."

    Ou Yangcheng was stunned by Wen Ying's mature and composed demeanor, which was entirely unlike that of a child. It was as if the villain in a TV drama had just spoken.

    Curiously, Ou Yangcheng asked, "By 'taken care of them,' do you mean...?"

    Wen Ying chuckled. "I roughed them up a bit and let them go. They don't know who their employer is, but it's most likely the church."

    Ou Yangcheng and the others heaved a sigh of relief. Thankfully, Wen Ying hadn't gone too far.

    Seeing their reaction, Wen Ying emphasized, "I've never targeted ordinary people."

    So he had targeted demons or exorcists then? Lin Tianbao felt another tremor of fear.

    "It's not the time to focus on that," Wen Qinling changed the subject dryly. "Why would the extremist demons know and the Church too? If anyone is targeting us, it should be the extremist demons, right?"

    Wen Ying pondered for a moment. "Aunt and Uncle, you must have received some veiled secrets. There are exorcists in the Church collaborating with the extremists. It involves a lot of intrigue, which I can't explain fully now."

    "I called you here tonight to discuss this matter. The exorcists in the Church who are working with the extremists have set their sights on our family. They'll likely convey their intentions through various means soon, threatening you to do something or else they'll expose us."

    Wen Ying spoke calmly, "They only know that our family has demonic bloodlines, that our great-grandfather was a demon. But they don't know that I'm one too, although they'll eventually find out."

    Hong Rui asked, "What do you want us to do?"

    " Ignore them."

    Wen Qinxia's brows furrowed with worry. "But won't they expose us then?"

    Ou Yangcheng patted his wife's hand. "I'll hire a few more bodyguards."

    Wen Qinxia felt a little touched, but not overly so. "…It might not be enough to fend off the people the Church sends."

    This wasn't the age of personal firearms anymore; it was an era of magic. The Church represented a colossal force in this time, more enigmatic than conglomerates and with greater military power.

    A powerful exorcist was indeed more terrifying than an army.

    "Wen Ying," said Wen Ying, "I've arranged for demons to protect you. There's no need to hire bodyguards."

    Hong Rui was puzzled. "But wouldn't the demons you send know about your relationship with us?"

    Wen Qinxue cleared his throat and mentioned Wen Ying's solution, one that could damage their reputation and hurt the feelings of the demons involved.

    Hong Rui: "Little Ying, that plan… is quite good."

    Wen Qinling dryly echoed, "Yes, it is."

    They had never expected such a strategy, but it did indeed alleviate much of their concerns.

    Wen Ying continued, "So if you receive any threats from them, just ignore them and tell me. I'll take care of it. Also, I hope that you all won't leave Mu City for the time being. It's safer to stay here."

    Compared to other demonic legions, Wen Ying placed more trust in the squad loyal to the Hellhounds. They would take care of any extremist demons in Mu City who seemed suspicious.

    Wen Qinxia fretted, "What if they expose this? Xin Xin is still in the Exorcist Academy. It wouldn't be too bad if she were expelled, but I'm afraid she'll be looked at with prejudice."

    Wen Ying's voice was icy cold, "They won't get that chance."

    Wen Qinxia startled and sat upright, "Don't do anything reckless!"

    "Uh... what?" Wen Ying was confused.

    Wen Qinxia continued, "That's the Church we're talking about! Even if you are a demon, you can't just confront them head-on."

    Wen Ying chuckled dryly, "Aunt, that's not what I meant."

    "Good," Wen Qinxia slumped back into her seat, releasing a long sigh. She had received far too many shocks today.

    Ou Yangcheng asked, "Should we tell Xin Xin about this?"

    "Yes, I'll speak to my cousin myself. You and your husbands can inform the two uncles," Wen Ying replied.

    Hong Rui tapped his finger on the table. "So you're saying that you won't let them have a chance to expose this?"

    Wen Ying replied slowly, "I plan to reveal it at the right time."

    "That still..."

    Wen Ying interrupted, "There are complicated matters involved, some of which I can't disclose. But rest assured, everyone will be fine. Just focus on maintaining your position as the top demon cuisine restaurant and find a good public relations team."

    Looking at the calm and composed Wen Ying, Hong Rui was filled with countless emotions. It felt as if a child had grown up overnight. Not just him, but everyone else shared this sentiment.

    Of course, this sense of awe was more like a shock – a terrifying one! Especially for Ou Yangcheng, who regretted his excitement when his hotel signed a contract with the Exorcist Department, resulting in frequent visits from exorcists. He wished he could slap himself back then.

    He wouldn't be able to face exorcists with ease anymore. It was like a thief encountering a police officer – a bolt from the blue.

    Seeing their worried expressions, Wen Ying said casually, "Don't worry, everything's under control. I've planned it all out. If you're still not reassured, my boyfriend is Cerberus, the three-headed dog from Hell."

    Confused by their even more anxious looks, Wen Ying scratched his head. "Doesn't Cerberus give you a sense of security? He's one of the three major powers in the Demon Realm, incredibly influential." He usually didn't pay attention to such things, but today, he thought it appropriate to bring it up to reassure his family.

    Ou Yangcheng whispered, "Little Ying, don't blame Uncle for being shallow or speaking harshly. I don't think that Cerberus seems like a decent demon."

    "How do I put this?"

    Wen Qinxia nudged her husband with her elbow, laughing awkwardly. "Uncle is worried that you might be bullied by him. After all, he's such a big guy, and both his strength and family background are impressive."

    Lin Tianbao suddenly had a thought and said with concern, "Little Ying, does it seem like he doesn't really like you? Could it be that he looks down on you for not having a notable background?"

    Faced with everyone's chatter, Wen Ying was speechless.

    The unexpected turn of events was that their main concern tonight wasn't the revelation of their family's secret bloodline but rather his boyfriend issue.

    To sum up: Bellerophon didn't seem to like him much, found him lacking in background, might beat him up during arguments, and he would likely be the weaker party in their relationship.

    Wen Ying's head ached. He thought about simply bringing Bellerophon over one day to discuss these issues face-to-face, but considering Bellerophon's intimidating aura and the pressure of being an idol, if he really came, it would probably only increase everyone's worries about him.

    Wen Ying tried to explain to everyone that they liked each other equally, that he wasn't weak at all, and that in a fight, it would be mutual combat rather than him being beaten up.

    Everyone was skeptical, but Wen Ying insisted on his stance, so they reluctantly let the matter rest for now.

    Back at the Academy of Exorcists, the projection clone suddenly spoke to Bellerophon, "Bellerophon, it seems my family has some misunderstandings about you and me."

    Boros: "What misunderstanding?"

    Wen Ying pinched Boros's face, causing a fierce glint to flash in his red eyes.

    "This is it," Wen Ying said, "You look too menacing."

    The coldness in Boros's eyes dissipated, and his expression turned odd. "Am I supposed to make them accept me?" They were weak humans, but they were also Wen Ying's family...

    He was suddenly caught in a dilemma at the thought of having to consider the feelings of these weak humans.

    Wen Ying chuckled. "They seem to think that if you're unhappy, you'll hit me. I told them it's called mutual combat, not one-sided beating."

    "In human society, violence is very sensitive, especially between partners," Wen Ying continued. "I also super dislike those who use violence. It's tasteless and they only bully at home."

    Boros felt his eyelids twitching, and he felt a bit nervous.

    Seeing Boros's subtle expressions, Wen Ying laughed even louder. "What are you afraid of? The societal situation is different. Human rules don't apply to the Demon Realm. Normal sparring is considered exercise."

    The Demon Realm had a rough culture, with everyone full of martial spirit. Mainly, demons had tough bodies, so a bit of roughhousing wouldn't harm them, and they'd bounce back the next day. That's why demons didn't impose strict regulations on ordinary fights.

    There was also the innate nature of demons, which was vastly different from human perspectives, akin to the gap between a German Shepherd and a Husky.

    Although the demons in the Demon Realm had become more civilized now, some smaller regions still held primitive customs.

    At first, Wen Ying found it hard to adapt, but now he had assimilated into their martial nature, except for his fear of pain.

    Wen Ying still feared pain, and he couldn't comprehend why demons had such an extraordinary tolerance for it.

    Demons' tolerance for pain was superhumanly high.

    Perseus felt relieved knowing that Wen Ying was applying his human mindset, causing him to be cautious now.

    Yawning, Wen Ying said, "Let's sleep first. I'll be making a trip back to the Demon Realm tomorrow. Help me cover my tracks so that others think I'm still here."

    Before bed, Wen Ying called Wen Dingjue, who was safe and had already left Asefa. He would return soon.

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