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    Asianovel

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    Chapter 80

    The traffic on the elevated highway was at a standstill, causing drivers to grumble. Some, out of boredom, rolled down their windows to watch the commotion. Spotting the group of Daoists walking on the highway, they jeered, "Oh, look at that! So many Daoist priests?!"

    "I have no idea. Maybe their vehicles were stuck too. Sigh, what a terrible traffic situation on this third ring road. I wish I could get out and walk like them."

    The Daoist priests: "...."

    Aside from Little Fatty's sobs, the driver's curses could also be heard. "Officer, these people are outrageous! They just jumped out of their cars when they saw the traffic jam, and wouldn't listen to my calls to return. Fortunately, this little fatty is plump and couldn't run fast, so I caught him. You must make him pay me for the fare."

    As the police questioned him, Little Fatty had to fend off the driver's accusations with a pitiful tone. "My senior brother ordered the ride using his phone. I really don't have any money on me."

    Upon hearing this, the driver nearly fumed to death. Standing there, he launched into an expletive-laden tirade. The other drivers, seeing the handcuffs on Little Fatty's wrist, were also astonished. "Wow! Is it that serious to commit a fare evasion these days?"

    The Daoist priests continued in silence: "..............."

    The police officer guiding them was also speechless as he explained, "It's like this. These cult members hailed a ride to leave the city, but they encountered the traffic jam on the highway. Perhaps afraid of being caught by us, they decided to abandon their cars and flee. The driver chasing after them caught up with the slowest one halfway through the highway. Our nearest arrest team, upon receiving the news, rushed over and immediately recognized him as one of the suspects we were looking for."

    Unity Yi muttered to himself, "...How could they get caught like this? Are these people fools?"

    Priest Quan fell silent for a moment, seemingly trying to restore someone's dignity. "…Maybe the outsider isn't familiar with Beijing's traffic."

    Wei Xi frowned, staring at the dense stream of vehicles on the bridge, once again sensing some indescribable dangers of the world beyond the mountains.

    When Little Fatty was escorted over, tears streamed down his face, and there were wounds from the ride-hailing driver. Seeing Wei Xi, he trembled even more.

    Kuang Zhiming grabbed him. "Where have you taken my wife's soul?!"

    Little Fatty allowed himself to be shaken, ashamed. "No, it's not with me, it's with my senior brother. They don't trust me, so they won't let me help retrieve it."

    Kuang Zhiming's eyes reddened as he glared fiercely at him. Little Fatty also felt wronged. "We didn't think we'd succeed either. My senior brother is so inexperienced that he couldn't even summon the Underworld Messengers. We just didn't want to leave without causing trouble, so we summoned a bunch of wild ghosts before leaving. Most of them were sent to the Taicang Sect, while only three were assigned to you. Who knew Daoist Xu would actually come?"

    He glanced at the ride-hailing driver, who was still staring at him menacingly despite the police's attempts to dissuade him. He asked pitifully, "Can any of you Daoists lend me some money? I really don't have any on me. My senior brother is busy running away, and I don't know if he'll remember to pay the fare."

    No one responded to his request for money, but instead immediately focused on the previous statement. "Fellow Daoist Wei, do you feel unwell?"

    After recalling, Wei Xi was confused. He hadn't seen a single ghost today except for the few civil servants from the Land Department. He called home to inquire if anyone in the sect had an issue. The butler, Zhou, answered the call and was puzzled by the question. "Sir went out for a meeting. Madam is having tea with a friend in the courtyard. Young Master Two just left after cleaning the stone tablet, saying he had a party to attend. Mike is eating cookies… Why do you ask about them, Young Master?"

    Wei Xi hung up and asked Little Fatty, "Did you really summon spirits to the Taicang Sect?"

    "It's definitely not possible to go to your temple. My senior brother said your temple is quite peculiar, so if we're going to cause trouble, it should be with your temple's assets. Didn't I see on your temple's Wikipedia page that you have several subsidiaries?" Little Fatty's tone turned admiring as he continued, "I didn't know until I looked into it. The scope of your operations is astonishing, Guardian Wei. I didn't expect that your temple, despite being recently established, would have such a wide range of business ventures. You're even better at amassing wealth than us cultists."

    In the scene, a Taoist priest immediately took out his mobile phone to search, and was also left speechless by the information he found on Baidu Baike, such as detective companies, haunted house chains, and so on. However, the current situation was urgent, and it was not a good time to be left speechless. Everyone quickly analyzed the situation: "The detective agency's business is unclear, the health center is located in Wei Daoyou's temple, the talent agency has a complex staff, and the most likely place for the ghost to be dispatched to is Wei Daoyou's haunted house!"

    Little Fatty said, "Why are you all so surprised? This haunted house is the only one with a specific address, after all."

    The Taoist masters: "..."

    Little Fatty said, "Moreover, my senior brother mentioned that creating a sensation with this haunted house would have a greater impact. Since its business is already thriving, if ghost sightings become a widespread rumor, it won't be able to continue operating. It'll serve as a way for us to vent our anger."

    With a proud glint in his eye, he glanced at the crowd from the Taicang Sect, only to be taken aback. "Huh? Why do you all look like that?"

    United Righteousness: "..."

    Wei Xi: "..."

    Shuo Zong: "..."

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    Many Daoist priests had solemn expressions. "Fellow Daoist Wei, we must set off immediately for your haunted house!"

    Wei Xi replied, "Is that really necessary?"

    Seeing Wei Xi's casual attitude, Daoist Priest Quan grew anxious. "Fellow Daoist Wei! Your haunted house is open to the public, and visitors are ordinary people. If the Cultivation Sect sends ghosts to invade, what will happen if something goes wrong?"

    Wei Xi truly didn't think it was that serious, but no one seemed to be listening to him. After a brief chaos, everyone decided independently to head to the outskirts. Due to the urgency of the situation, the Daoist priests requested police support, and several police cars accompanied them.

    The haunted house in the suburbs still stood quietly in the distance. Even before they arrived, the Daoist priests' eyes widened in shock, and they began discussing in hushed tones—

    "A very strong ghostly aura!"

    "It's even more gloomy than an abandoned graveyard!"

    Wei Xi peered out and found that it wasn't so bad. It looked normal, didn't it? The ghostly energy was a bit heavier, but considering the recent expansion of the haunted house and the addition of more staff, it was understandable.

    The Daoist priests stared intently at the building, quickly flipping through their spiritual artifacts. After getting out of the cars, they hastily rushed towards the haunted house. Midway, they suddenly heard piercing screams echoing through the sky.

    The screams came in waves, filled with fear and agony. Immediately after, several visitors, their hair disheveled, dashed out of the haunted house exit, their faces pale with terror and their steps unsteady.

    "Not good!"

    The Taoist priests quickened their pace, dashing forward urgently!

    However, before they could reach the tourists, those who had rushed out changed their expressions, bursting into laughter with their friends. All signs of fear vanished from their faces.

    Running Taoist priests: "?????"

    The group began to tease one another:

    "Wow, you were really screaming your lungs out just now!"

    "You're the one who screamed loudly! You almost deafened this old lady!"

    "Holy cow, that was so much fun! This haunted house is worth its fame as an internet sensation. How about we go in again later?!"

    Amidst the laughter and joy, the Taoist priests gradually slowed down, their expressions turning puzzled.

    So... So those were just screams during the amusement? Could it be that the spirits summoned by the Self-Cultivation Teaching hadn't entered this haunted house at all?

    Hesitant, the exit of the haunted house creaked open once more, and this time, a short and thin man with a pale, ashen face emerged. He walked at a leisurely pace, his face frozen in an awkward smile as he approached the group of visitors.

    The previously hesitant Taoist priests' expressions turned grave once again – "Something's wrong!"

    This man's muscles were stiff, his eyes dull. Though he was walking, his feet didn't seem to touch the ground, and a chill, deathly aura radiated from him despite his attempts to conceal it!

    Experienced as they were, the Taoists immediately identified him – this was a genuine drowning ghost!

    Their slowed footsteps quickened once more. With the drowning ghost approaching the tourists, there must be sinister intentions afoot!

    However, the subsequent turn of events seemed off. The laughing visitors, upon seeing the drowning ghost, didn't show any fear. Instead, they smiled and initiated conversation, "Manager, the online recommendations were no exaggeration! Your haunted house is truly top-notch!"

    Upon hearing this, the drowning ghost's smile widened into an even more terrifying grin. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a folded piece of paper and offered it to them, "Is that so? Customer satisfaction is our top priority. This is the best compliment we could receive. Would any of you be interested in filling out our feedback form? Suggestions on improving the haunted house facilities and game scenarios are welcome. If adopted, you'll receive a 10% discount on an annual pass."

    The Taoist priests: "????"

    Confused, they stood rooted to the spot, holding their magical artifacts, unsure of what was happening.

    In the midst of this, Wei Xi, at the back of the group, caught up slowly. Passing by the stunned crowd, he strode directly towards the drowning ghost.

    The drowned ghost saw Wei Xi and blurted out, "Boss, why are you here?"

    The Taoist priests: "..."

    The little fatty who was escorted along: "..."

    Kuang Zhiming, who vaguely recognized the drowned ghost's appearance: "..."

    Stunned, Kuang Zhiming stared at the drowned ghost, "Why... why is it you?"

    They had met when Tan Fu was being escorted, and later again at the Hong Kong Building. The drowned ghost had recognized him and was rather delighted, "Taoist Kuang, how come you're here? It's been ages!"

    Kuang Zhiming asked foolishly, "Why... why are you here?"

    "How else would I be?" the drowned ghost replied, "I work here, Boss has promoted me to be the customer service manager of the haunted house!"

    Customer service manager...

    Kuang Zhiming's lips trembled as he looked at Wei Xi in disbelief, "Wei... Fellow Daoist Wei, is this true?!"

    Wei Xi nodded. "It's diligent and performed well during employee training. It studied hotel management before it died, so its promotion was decided by a collective vote of the sect's staff."

    Kuang Zhiming: "…That's not what I'm asking!!"

    He knew that Wei Xi had over seven hundred ghosts under his command, and he had even witnessed their on-site recruitment process. He knew that the treatment they offered to ghosts was formal and generous. However, before this, he hadn't taken it too seriously. After all, it wasn't uncommon in the Taoist world to use ghosts for one's own purposes. He had often heard rumors about extraordinary individuals who kept hundreds or even thousands of ghosts at their disposal.

    But these ghosts were called Yin Soldiers precisely because they were used as fighters! Fighters!!

    They were meant to be utilized by Taoists during battles and magical contests!

    Just like how they were summoned to fight with the original ghosts in the abandoned Hong Kong Building incident. Although the scene back then had been absurd, their usage was appropriate!

    He thought that the so-called Gold Medal Mediator Ghosts, who assisted Taoists in their rituals, were already the limit. But why was this Yin Soldier from Taicang Sect working as a customer service manager in a haunted house for ordinary people?! And it just casually promoted annual passes to customers and invited them to fill out suggestion forms??

    Wei Xi didn't understand Kuang Zhiming's astonishment, so he simply ignored it and asked the drowned ghost, "Did anything happen in the haunted house today?"

    The drowned ghost was taken aback but immediately admired, "How do you always have such insider information, Boss? We launched a new theme today, so we had quite a few visitors. In the afternoon, our on-site staff was overwhelmed, but somehow a group of wild ghosts showed up and offered to help. They did an excellent job, immediately jumping into action in front of the customers. Manager Shen has already taken them upstairs for training after this wave."

    Kuang Zhiming: "…"

    Other fellow Daoists gathered around, confusion etched on their faces as they asked, "Fellow Daoist Kuang, what’s going on here?"

    Kuang Zhiming muttered to himself, "Don't ask me, don't ask me. I know nothing. Ask Taicang Sect if you must."

    Just then, another group of customers screamed as they dashed out of the haunted house. Like the previous batch, the drowned ghost promptly greeted them and handed over suggestion forms for them to fill. The clients expressed their satisfaction, with two even expressing interest in getting annual passes. The drowned ghost's stiff smile grew more ingratiating as he immediately led a colleague, whose face was splattered with blood, out of the house. "This is our Sales Department Manager. He'll assist you with the card application."

    It's also a ghost!!! Don't think we won't recognize you just because your face is covered in blood, making it impossible to see your facial features! We know you died from jumping off a building!!!

    The Daoists present were inwardly roaring in shock, but the ghosts and humans ahead seemed to be getting along harmoniously. The two young men who had expressed interest in the annual passes even joked, "Your haunted house really pays attention to details. Even the managers of the customer service and sales departments have to wear such eerie makeup."

    The leaping ghost let out a sinister chuckle, "It's all for the sake of our esteemed clients' experience."

    The customer immediately praised, "I can tell! You're so sincere! That Customer Service Manager's smile must have been specially trained too, right? Ordinary people can't smile that stiffly! It was like a real ghost! And the projection equipment inside, it's so sophisticated that it can interact with customers! When that ghost head landed at my feet, it even blinked, as if it was really staring at me. I'll definitely give you guys a glowing review on Weibo when I get back! It's not often you see such an ethical company nowadays!"

    Amidst the scene, compliments flowed generously between humans and ghosts, creating an atmosphere of joyous revelry like a vast ocean of merriment!

    Priests: "..."

    At this moment, everyone suddenly understood that this was... the position offered by the Taicang Sect... for the laborers of the Underworld Bureau.

    Despite being clueless about the situation, Little Fatty was, after all, somewhat of a fellow practitioner. He was astonished by the series of unconventional actions unfolding before his eyes. With his hands cuffed behind his back, he hid among the Taoist priests and couldn't help but voice his admiration:

    "The Grand Granary Sect is too awesome! They're even more like a cult than we are!"

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