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    Asianovel

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    Chapter 100

    After a fierce competition, the task of raising the Fatigue was finally assigned to Xia Shouren.

    Having purchased an entire set of "Postpartum Care for Sows," Xia Shouren, who had endured a day of frustration, finally regained his dignity. He knew that his combat abilities were inadequate, and his performance in recent years had been mediocre, failing to convince others. Shuo Zong probably arranged this opportunity for him to participate in the boss competition out of concern. Grateful yet embarrassed, he said to Bi Fang, who looked regretful, "Don't think too much about it, Bi. This isn't just about friendship. Shuo Zong must have considered factors like age and experience. Plus, I've studied beasts extensively and even been a bestselling author. In terms of qualifications, I do have an edge over you."

    He wasn't wrong. Although he wasn't skilled in combat, he was one of the oldest divine beasts in the company. He was a blessed creature born in the ancient era and had once been incredibly popular during the medieval period, considered an early national idol. Although he was no longer in vogue, his works from his heyday were so popular that almost everyone owned a copy, with posters hanging on the doors of every household, surpassing the popularity of modern-day celebrities.

    In terms of this glorious past, neither Bi Fang nor Shuo Zong could compare.

    Bi Fang had initially felt resentful, but after hearing Xia Shouren's acceptance speech, he was left in a daze, his expression wistful. "Sigh, I really don't understand what you're so happy about. Back in ancient times when I served alongside Emperor Huang, if someone had told me that one day I would be competing fiercely to raise a bunch of Fatigues, I might have breathed fire at them."

    The corners of Xia Shouren's lips, which had curled up in a smile, gradually fell. "..."

    It was a stab to the heart.

    The two exchanged a wordless, emotionless gaze for a moment before Xia Shouren spoke, "How many followers do you have now?"

    Bi Fang replied, "A few dozen a few years ago. But with the popularity of 'Ancient Battlefield God' Season I, as an SSR, I probably have a few thousand more now."

    "Oh, in that case, I'm doing slightly better." Xia Shouren reminisced about his past abundance of offerings, which were so plentiful he couldn't consume them all. "I still have at least a hundred thousand."

    Bi Fang: "…"

    Bi Fang: "Not to mention Mr. Shuo Zong. The endorser we signed for our game – that newcomer who's only been in the industry for two years – how many followers does he have on Weibo? Ten or twenty million?"

    Xia Shouren: "…"

    Both fell silent simultaneously.

    After a while, Xia Shouren broke the awkwardness with a hopeful tone. "Forget it, what's the point of having many fans if you lack divine bones and the recognition of Heavenly Dao? In the end, they're just mortals."

    Bi Fang quickly agreed. "Yes, yes, of course we're still more impressive."

    They paused again, unable to continue the conversation, and sorrowfully averted their gazes. Indeed, how had mighty divine beasts ended up in such a sorry state under the glory of socialism?

    *********

    Wei Xi hastily bid farewell to Shuo Zong, who had brought him back, ignoring the complicated look in the other's eyes. As soon as he entered, he grabbed a disciple and asked, "Tianyi, has Que'er returned?"

    Wei Tianyi appeared to have just gotten off work, dressed in a crisp suit, his face dark as he looked at him, seemingly on the verge of losing his temper. His gaze swept over the people surrounding them who had come for tea. After a long moment, he forcibly swallowed his anger and replied resentfully, "How would I know? He's not my disciple. Go inside and see for yourself!"

    Wei Xi has always been lenient with his own people, so he didn't pursue the tone of the conversation. He hurriedly entered the house. Those acquaintances outside the room couldn't help but wonder, "Mr. Wei, do you usually communicate like this in your family?"

    Wei Tianyi: "..."

    With a teacup in hand, Shu Wanrong coughed gently, her expression easing the tension as she spoke to defuse the situation, "Yes, our family has a more egalitarian approach to upbringing. We usually address each other by our given names, don't we, Tianyi?"

    Wei Tianyi: "..."

    Shu Wanrong sighed inwardly, wondering how he could still be so oblivious. She quickly called out to her passing youngest son, "Chengshu?"

    Wei Chengshu replied, "..."

    With a grim look, Wei Chengshu glanced at his mother's fake smile and then at his father, who was almost frozen in place. The corners of his mouth curled into a mocking curve as he said, "Yes, that's what everyone calls him, right, Tianyi?"

    Wei Tianyi: "..."

    Amidst the puzzled gazes, Wei Tianyi gritted his teeth and nodded. His eyes fell on his younger brother, who was petting Mike's head, ignoring him completely.

    Amidst the admiration from his peers, who praised his family's unique and scientific approach to relationships, they commented, "Who would have thought? Mr. Wei seems so temperamental and dictatorial in public, but he actually respects his family so much at home. I even heard a rumor that he would beat his son, but it seems one can never judge a book by its cover!"

    Unable to bear it any longer, Wei Tianyi strode towards the house. As he caught sight of the increasingly prosperous incense burner at their doorstep, his mind sank further. Before entering, he could still hear the guests' idle chatter outside:

    "Hey, did you hear? Something happened to the Xing family the other day."

    "It must be that kid, right? After his leg was broken by his father after he spent a fortune at the national guesthouse, he hasn't fully recovered. Now, he broke another leg while partying, claiming someone was talking in his ear while driving, and then he crashed into a tree. Isn't that bizarre?"

    "Well, that's nothing bizarre compared to what's happening within their family. I heard several projects they were working on suddenly fell through, and his father's health has been deteriorating rapidly. In less than a week, he was hospitalized."

    "I heard it might be an issue with their ancestral grave. It's strange, isn't it? A few years ago, I remember hearing they invited a famous feng shui master to make some changes. They were very secretive about this master, not revealing anything to anyone."

    "Probably got scammed. How many genuine, famous masters are there? Didn't Xin Nan recently catch a 'master'? The leader of the Cult of Self-Cultivation, if I'm not mistaken. According to our local police, he specialized in seducing people and destroying marriages. It's laughable that such a shameless cult could have so many followers in Xin Nan. Think about it, spending money on such 'masters' is probably less effective than lighting an incense stick at the Taicang Sect for blessings."

    "Yeah, old Mrs. Wang mentioned that the Celestial Deity the Wei family worships seems quite efficacious."

    "But where's the evidence?"

    "She won't say. She just says her illness was cured, and her friend's health improved after worshiping the deity too."

    "Wow, seriously? Come on, let's light a candle and pay our respects before leaving."

    Wei Tianyi felt his vision blur upon hearing this. He turned around to see those acquaintances indeed lighting candles, nearly causing him to choke with anger.

    Ever since he was duped by the Self-Cultivation Sect into having a ritualistic brawl at home, he had been deeply ashamed and avoided any topics related to superstition. Unfortunately, at this moment, for the sake of maintaining his facade in front of outsiders, he could only grumble inwardly about their ignorance, unable to do anything else.

    Upon entering the house, he encountered his eldest son, who seemed downcast for not finding his second disciple. Wei Tianyi was in no good mood either. Scanning the large lunch box on the dining table, he frowned and asked, "What's that?"

    Wei Xi, busy texting his second disciple, replied without looking up, "It's Fei Yi meat."

    Wei Tianyi: "Fei Yi?"

    Tianyi Yitong felt knowledgeable, "You don't know Fei Yi? It's the legendary creature that dwells at the foot of Mount Hunningxi... "

    Before he could finish, Wei Tianyi interrupted, "The two-bodied serpent monster that brings drought when it appears? I've read 'The Classic of Mountains and Seas.'"

    Tianyi Yitong: "Ah? You know about it?"

    Why didn't he seem surprised at all?

    Wei Tianyi approached the lunch box with an aloof expression and glanced at its contents. Indeed, it was filled with large chunks of snake meat, exuding a tantalizing aroma. However, he held his ground and didn't take a single bite. With a mocking glance at the two of them, he left without hesitation.

    "What a lunatic," he mused. "They call him Fei Yi, but their minds aren't functioning properly. Who knows where they caught that giant python, thinking they could fool me?"

    Tuan Jiyi watched him stride away, perplexed. After a moment of contemplation, he felt a twinge of guilt. "Master, Mr. Wei is clearly no ordinary person. When I first learned about Fei Yi, I was startled. Yet, despite his age, Mr. Wei has a much stronger tolerance than I do. I promise not to make a fuss and embarrass you anymore."

    Wei Xi patted his shoulder reassuringly. Suddenly, he sensed something and turned around. Indeed, his second disciple, with an aura of icy detachment, had entered through the door after several days of absence.

    The slender figure stood against the light, yet the room seemed to brighten twice over in that instant.

    Their eyes met, and to Wei Xi's surprise, he could hear his own pounding heartbeat. Without thinking, he called out, "Que'er!"

    However, the second disciple stood by the entrance, not approaching immediately. He simply replied calmly, "Mm."

    Tuan Jiyi, who had always been somewhat intimidated by this junior, couldn't help shrinking back and speculating, "Master, does our junior seem upset?"

    Wei Xi wasn't as perceptive as Tuan Jiyi, and he barely registered his words as he quickly strode towards his disciple. Standing close, he examined the young man from head to toe before reaching out to touch his face. "Que'er, where have you been these past few days?"

    His disciple leaned in for the touch, but his expression remained serious. "What do you think?"

    Wei Xi naturally had no idea. Touching his disciple's warm face and finding no signs of injury, he immediately felt relieved. Recalling something, he retracted his hand to touch the collar of his robe.

    Under his disciple's gaze, he took out the newly acquired purple-golden necklace: "Master just got something nice."

    The disciple glanced at the necklace without showing much interest. His voice remained calm: "Is that so? How does it taste?"

    Confused, Wei Xi removed the necklace from himself and put it around his disciple's neck, running his fingers over the smooth, translucent pendant: "What do you mean by 'how does it taste'? This has spiritual energy – I've never encountered anything like this since leaving the mountains. It'll be beneficial for your health if you keep it close."

    His disciple seemed to pause, his eyes softening as he looked down at him. Eventually, he sighed with a hint of resignation: "Truly..."

    Seeing his reaction, Wei Xi assumed that his disciple didn't like it. Just as he was about to persuade him, the disciple straightened up, swiftly tucking the necklace into his collar. He then pinched Wei Xi's ear: "I understand."

    Their gazes locked, until Tuan Jie Yi's astonished voice interrupted: "...Mas-Master, did you ask Mr. Shuo Zong for that necklace to give to Junior Apprentice Brother?"

    Wei Xi replied matter-of-factly: "Ah."

    Tuan Jie Yi stared at him eagerly, hoping for more, but almost burst into tears when there was no further explanation. Then, he heard his junior apprentice brother sigh, addressing him kindly: "Alright, come here and take care of this properly. I'll halve your charm assignment for this week."

    Lately, his junior apprentice brother had become stricter with homework, so Tuan Jie Yi felt comforted upon hearing this. Approaching, he froze in surprise: "Junior Apprentice Brother, what did you bring back?"

    Junior apprentice brother casually tossed the creature into his arms – it resembled a carp but had a pair of fleshy wings on its back. Unity Yi caught it, only to realize that the strange fish had been cleaned and its feathered wings had been completely removed.

    At this moment, Shu Wanrong and Wei Chengshu entered the house. Hearing the conversation, they both paused in their tracks, staring at the fish in surprise. "What is this? It looks so bizarre!"

    Unity Yi heard his junior apprentice brother's calm response, "Ying Fish."

    Today was the first time he had flipped through the Shan Hai Jing for Fei Yi, and his knowledge of species was limited. He was somewhat perplexed by the name, but a deep voice behind him came to his rescue. "The Ying Fish is a monster from the West Fourth Section of the Shan Hai Jing, with a fish body and bird wings. It emits a sound like a mandarin duck, and wherever it appears, a flood will follow. You lot don't even know this? Your education must have gone to the dogs."

    Unity Yi turned to look and saw Wei Tianyi, dressed in casual wear, descending the stairs with a dark expression, his gaze directly on Unity Yi.

    Unity Yi quickly searched on his phone and found out that what he said was indeed true. Holding the Ying Fish, he couldn't help but show some admiration. "Impressive, truly deserving of your title as CEO Wei. Your vast knowledge extends even to this."

    Wei Tianyi sneered with a grim face.

    Shu Wanrong, however, looked blank. "What's the Shan Hai Jing? What are you talking about?"

    Wei Chengshu also frowned. "A monster that causes floods? How can such a thing exist?"

    Yes, that was the appropriate response of a normal person. Unity Yi couldn't help but think back to their earlier reaction to the two boxes of Fei Yi. After his admiration, he felt puzzled and asked, "...CEO Wei, aren't you at all surprised to see a Ying Fish?"

    Not to mention him, everyone present, excluding the clueless Wei Xi, even Shuo Zong looked at him with a hint of surprise in his eyes.

    Wei Tianyi merely chuckled.

    United Righteousness: "What does 'hehe' mean?"

    Wei Tianyi had already approached, casting a glance at the fish in his embrace before suddenly reaching out to give him a hard pat on the head.

    United Righteousness: "?"

    Shuo Zong: "?"

    Wei Xi: "?"

    After his confusion, Wei Xi immediately became upset. "Why did you hit my disciple!"

    While it was his own sect member, attacking someone from another sect carried a different weight. Sect internal conflicts were not something to be taken lightly.

    But when confronted by Wei Xi's accusation, Wei Tianyi showed no guilt and instead roared with an air of justification, "What's wrong with me hitting him? Not only will I hit him, I'll beat you up too!"

    Wei Xi: "?"

    However, under the abyssal gaze of his second disciple behind him, Wei Tianyi didn't dare to let his raised arm fall and eventually withdrew it, snorting coldly with great force.

    "Disgraceful! Not only do you fill the house with smoke and fire, but you also spend your days pretending to be mysterious. You deceived me with those braised pythons as if I was a fool, pretending they were Fei Yi. Now you bring up this Yingyu. I think you're more like one yourself!"

    Shuo Zong: "…."

    Tianyi Unity: "…."

    Tianyi Unity felt a bit wronged by the scolding and showed off the fish's wings. "Who deceived you? Can anything other than Yingyu grow these?"

    "What's growing? Wings?" Seeing the pair of fleshy wings, Wei Tianyi became even angrier. "Is it rare for something to have wings? Those weird chickens from that XX fast-food brand can grow three pairs of wings with hormones. Why don't you catch one and eat it as a phoenix?!"

    Tianyi Unity: "…."

    Shuo Zong: "…."

    Shu Wanrong, on the other hand, heaved a sigh of relief and quickly believed her husband's theory. "I see, that's why it looks so strange. It must be the effect of hormones."

    Wei Chengshu's somber expression was on the verge of crumbling, a profound sense of confusion flickering in his eyes. Could it be true? Weren't those rumors about XX brand chickens with bizarrely grown wings fake? Was there actually a hormone that could make animals sprout wings?

    **********

    However, the Wei couple, especially Wei Tianyi, refused to believe the debunking article's scientific explanations.

    As an ardent advocate of materialism and a highly successful modern individual with extensive knowledge, he had already fallen victim to a con artist once – a misfortune that taught him a valuable lesson. How could he possibly believe in the existence of a Yingyu, when it clearly had to be a result of hormonal manipulation?

    Despite the irresistible aroma emanating from the prepared fish, he stubbornly refrained from taking a bite. Eventually, Shu Wanrong, unable to withstand the fragrance, disregarded the potential hormone risks and cautiously tasted it. She was immediately astounded by the delicate flesh that surpassed even that of a garoupa. The succulent, tender fish meat was exquisitely sweet and velvety, bursting with freshness that seemed to explode on her taste buds. Even steamed simply, it carried no trace of fishiness.

    She, a wealthy lady with no shortage of luxurious experiences, had indulged in countless exquisite delicacies over the years. Yet, this extraordinary ingredient was a first in her culinary journey. Her eyes shimmered with amazement as she inwardly marveled – how miraculous these hormones must be!

    ******

    Not long after, loyal followers of the Taicang Sect arrived in groups. The two grandmothers, Elder Wang and Elder Liu, who had been the first to invite the Divine Venerated Statue back, returned this time to fulfill their vows. After lighting their gratitude incense, they tearfully thanked Wei Xi. "Little Xi, your temple's Divine Venerated is truly miraculous. I just brought the statue home, and my athlete's foot was cured. My friend's constipation has also recovered. I really don't know how to thank you."

    Before Wei Xi could respond, Wei Tianyi, who had just returned from work and was taking off his coat at the door, spoke up. He found it absurd that people would pray to deities for cures to such ailments. What was wrong with believing in science when one was ill? "Aunt Wang, how is praying to a deity going to cure your foot odor? You should buy medicine for it!"

    Elder Wang replied, "I already did. I bought it a long time ago."

    Wei Tianyi felt even more helpless. "It was the medicine that cured you, not some enlightened divine venerated. What does that have to do with anything?"

    Looking at him disapprovingly, Elder Wang said, "If not for the enlightened divine venerated, how could that medicine have worked?"

    Who didn't know better than her? This stubborn foot odor had plagued her for over ten years. She had no idea why or how to cure it despite trying every medication available. Desperate, she had turned to unconventional methods. To her surprise, after inviting the enlightened divine venerated into her home, her ailment disappeared without a trace. It was as if the same medicine suddenly became effective.

    At first, her family members had criticized her for worshiping the enlightened divine venerated. But seeing the tangible results, they eventually fell silent. After Elder Wang's condition improved, she began to pray for the health of her family members as well.

    Coincidentally or not, her granddaughter, who had been born weak and prone to illness, had always fallen sick during winter. But this year, she was full of energy, not even catching a cold.

    Now, her family was completely convinced, and they burned incense more frequently than Elder Wang herself. Every day, they offered freshly cooked braised pork as an offering, hoping that the divine venerated would continue to protect their peace and prosperity.

    However, Wei Tianyi was unaware of these circumstances. Upon hearing Elder Wang's response, he could only express his mixed emotions with a long silence.

    Indeed, he had not been mistaken. Those who believed Wei Xi's nonsense were indeed mentally deranged, and here was one in the flesh.

    Wei Tianyi was still brooding over the hormone-fueled Yu fish incident from a few days ago. Seeing this, his anger flared up. "There's no saving them, none at all."

    How could these fools believe in such baseless things? All those supernatural nonsense made him feel terrible. It wasn't until he scrolled through his social media feed and saw a friend sharing the latest episode of "Believe in Science" that his mood improved.

    The headline of the new episode was attention-grabbing—"Shocking! Floods suddenly hit cities east of the Yellow River! Typhoon strikes an inland city in winter! Citizens along the river capture mysterious dragon shadows! Is it the collapse of science or a distortion of the camera lens? The 'Believe in Science' team risks their lives to uncover the truth!"

    At first, Wei Tianyi was startled. A dragon?! How could that be? But as he read the comments below, his agitation subsided. The top-rated comments were all complaints—

    "I solemnly curse this program! Damn it, I took off my pants for this?!"

    "One-star review! The first 45 minutes were just buildup. They hyped it up so much, making it sound so mysterious. They even gave us a half-hour lecture on how strange typhoons and enigmatic dragon shadows are, and talked about the significance of a real dragon to the nation and ethnicity. I was even ready to worship it, but in the last five minutes, they tell me it was just a water snake?!"

    "LOL, it's truly 'Believe in Science's' consistent style. I was too naive to have any expectations."

    "A veteran viewer who has been disappointed 101 times swears never to believe the program's nonsense again."

    Wei Tianyi scoffed. What unrealistic fantasies did these ignorant people have?

    His mindset was entirely different from that of the spectators. He was like a pure, unsullied white lotus amidst a field of alluring and disdainful characters. At this thought, he promptly gave the production team a grand thumbs up with righteousness exuding from his action, and concurrently replied –

    "Absolutely right! Kudos to the production team for their hard work and for upholding the truth in defense of science! After all, it only takes a moment's thought to realize that creatures like dragons couldn't possibly exist in our world! Pay no heed to those foolish voices. Our vast nation, though not yet fully enlightened, stands to benefit greatly from your educational endeavors. Indeed, the task of enlightening the masses is arduous and unending; please persevere in your noble efforts!"

    After posting this comment, he ignored the inevitable backlash from other netizens and swiftly closed the public account. He turned his attention to his eldest son, who was still dragging the country down, and coldly reprimanded, "Disgraceful."

    Wei Xi had no time to entertain his resentment, for after many days of separation, Mr. Gu finally called him.

    On the other end of the line, Mr. Gu's voice sounded weak, as if he hadn't had a good night's sleep for several days. Yet, the news he brought was undoubtedly delightful.

    Wei Xi hung up the call, a rare smile gracing his face. The curious elderly believer, Elder Wang, sitting beside him couldn't help but ask, "Little Wei, what's going on?"

    Wei Tianyi heard Wei Xi reply to her, "Nothing much. It's just that I shot a commercial previously, and it's finally going to air."

    **********

    Wei Tianyi was taken aback, having momentarily forgotten the information he had received before the physical examination. "A commercial?"

    Elder Wang, upon hearing this, was also pleasantly surprised. "Indeed, that's wonderful news. With such strict censorship nowadays, getting a commercial approved isn't an easy feat."

    Wei Xi thought to himself, that's right, it was quite an effort. He immediately grabbed the remote to turn on the TV and waved at Unity Yi, "Hurry, hurry, notify the Taoist colleagues from the Taoist Association and our company employees."

    Unity Yi swiftly took his orders and not only informed the Taoist colleagues and employees but also seized the moment to post an excited update on his phone, sharing the milestone of Taicang Sect with their fans. Wei Xi switched the TV to the general channel and started timing based on the information provided by Mr. Gu. The moment Grandma Wang saw the channel logo, she exclaimed, "Impressive, Little Wei. It's an official channel. Is this considered prime time? It's not easy to secure advertising spots during this slot."

    Wei Xi nodded, indicating that Mr. Gu's superior had indeed taken this matter seriously.

    Grandma Wang then asked, "By the way, Little Wei, what kind of advertisement did you shoot?"

    Wei Xi pondered for a moment before summarizing, "It's about some businesses within the sect. The content is rather complex, but mainly focuses on recruitment."

    Grandma Wang seemed to grasp the concept vaguely. Recruitment? What kind of work does Taicang Sect need? Wei Tianyi, on the other hand, understood quicker. He was aware of his son's various odd ventures, such as haunted houses. Using television to boost visibility and recruit was a sensible approach.

    Coincidentally, the program currently airing on TV was the latest, much-maligned episode of "Believe in Science." The most intense part had passed, and the show was nearing its conclusion, revealing the truth behind the mysterious dragon shadow captured in the lower reaches of the Yellow River. Grandma Wang watched in amazement, "I never would have expected this. Never in my wildest dreams."

    "What's there to not expect? I already guessed this truth. Only those who don't understand would let their imaginations run wild," Wei Tianyi felt like he alone was awake among the drunkards, criticizing the feudal old lady while reminding his son, "See, you foolish thing? I advise you to know your limits. Watch more programs like this, learn scientific knowledge, understand the message the country wants to convey, and close down your messy sect sooner rather than later."

    Grandma Wang's eyes widened, "Don't talk nonsense! Taicang Sect is far from messy. The Heavenly Venerated One is clearly efficacious."

    Wei Tianyi's expression soured, "Efficacious? More like stubbornly ignorant. Just watch, if this propagation of feudal superstition continues, I'll one day report him out of a sense of justice and duty."

    Pointing at a particular department listed under the "Believe in Science" closing credits, he said, "See that? That department, this TV show, this channel – they're specifically here to deal with people like you!"

    As his words faded, the screen flickered, and the "Believe in Science" program finally concluded, transitioning into an advertisement break.

    Granny Wang pulled out her phone to snap a photo. "Here it comes! Here it comes!"

    Wei Tianyi stood authoritatively beside the sofa, his gaze scrutinizing. He had been thoroughly frustrated just now, but his mood had slightly improved.

    Exactly, business should be conducted properly, following rules and principles. Whatever one does, they must adhere to the core socialist values to gain mainstream acceptance. The recently concluded "Believe in Science" was the perfect example of what the mainstream approved of.

    Lowering his eyes in thought, he suddenly felt something was amiss. What was that sound coming from the television?

    Wei Tianyi instantly regained his focus, scanning the screen. Then, he fell silent for a long moment.

    On the large screen, a group of robed figures resembling Taoist priests were wielding mystical artifacts while chanting incantations. A bizarre song blared in the background, as the priests busily engaged in combat with a group of apparent villains.

    The villains seemed ethereal, shrouded in black aura, with grotesque faces. They floated around, not resembling human beings at all.

    The battle was intense, yet the priests held the upper hand. They were strikingly handsome, their movements graceful and swift. With each sword stroke, they pierced through the oncoming ghosts.

    The scene was disjointed, leaving viewers utterly bewildered, almost mistaking it for a trailer of some new drama series. Suddenly, the camera shifted to a handsome Taoist priest who turned to face the lens, his seductive, husky voice asking, "What should one do if they're afraid of ghosts?"

    The shot panned to the next handsome, dark-skinned Taoist, who lazily inquired, "And if one is afraid of demons?"

    Behind him, a dainty young Taoist with an amiable smile asked, "What if one's feng shui at home is poor?"

    The camera widened to capture both sides battling while they chorused in unison, "OF! COURSE! SEEK! TAI! CANG! ZONG!"

    Narrator: "Tai Cang Sect! A thousand-year-old sect! Rich in history! Renowned brand! Sixty-two generations of inheritance! Trustworthy!"

    The Taoist priests: "What if there's nowhere to go on weekends?"

    "What if the dating spots aren't novel enough?"

    "What if one has already experienced all the thrills?"

    Again, amidst their battle, they shouted in unison, "OF! COURSE! SEEK! TAI! CANG! ZONG!"

    Narrator: "Tai Cang Sect! Advanced haunted house! Strong investment! Varied themes! Excellent staff! Top-notch service!"

    Monks: "What to do when there's no evidence of your partner cheating?"

    "Engaged in business cooperation, but worried about being swindled?"

    "Fighting against fraud, but don't know where to start?!"

    In unison, they cry out: "OF COURSE, SEEK OUT TAI CANG ZONG!"

    Narrator: "Tai Cang Zong! Legally pays taxes! Conducts lawful investigations! Operates in public spaces! Guarantees transparency under the sun! Never breaches privacy!"

    Blah, blah, blah.

    After a series of chants, the opponents of the Taoist priests were finally defeated, collapsing to the ground, clutching their chests and gasping for breath. As the camera zoomed in on their twisted faces, it was evident that they were indeed ghosts.

    The lead ghost, exuding an eerie aura, gazed into the camera with a perplexed expression on its terrifying face, "Is the Taicang Sect really that powerful?!"

    A teammate crawled over to its side and said, "Of course, I've heard about it too. Such a great place – since we're currently unemployed, Your Highness, why don't we check it out?"

    In the blink of an eye, the once- ragged villain had transformed into a dapper figure in a suit and tie, still ominous but now carrying the air of a successful individual surrounded by his loyal minions. He warmly befriended the Taoist priests, shaking their hands, "Thank you for finding such a wonderful job opportunity for me."

    Both parties turn towards the camera simultaneously, their faces adorned with gentle smiles.

    "Great Granary Sect! A renowned brand! Guaranteed quality and quantity! Lucrative rewards! Trustworthy!"

    The scene before the camera was a joyous ocean of revelry. As for what lay beyond the lens —

    Wei Tianyi: "..."

    The Daoist masters from the Daoist Association, who had received the joyful news and turned on their TVs to watch this advertisement, were speechless.

    All the innocent viewers in front of their TVs: "......."

    Under Taicang Sect's Weibo post, a sea of confused fans or believers, who had just been informed about the advertisement: "......."

    The Cultural Affairs Bureau officials, dazed and staring blankly at the TV while smoking: "?????"

    What on earth are they broadcasting?!

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