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    Chapter 106 - Demon King

    Aside from Xia Shouren, another innocent comrade was also astonished.

    United Righteousness stared at the interaction between his master and junior apprentice in front of him, with countless question marks probably hovering above his head at that moment.

    "Wake... up?"

    "Bedi... bed?"

    "Mas... Master, were you just sleeping with Junior Apprentice?"

    As he asked, he looked at his junior apprentice in disbelief, who was calmly holding their master. Although this guy had always been suspected of using his appearance to please others, wasn't it a bit too much to take it to the bed? He knew that there were indeed bad practices like workplace nepotism nowadays, but he never thought that even in the superstitious industry, such things couldn't be avoided?

    However, no one paid attention to his questions at the moment. The other members present were all on edge.

    After all, no one had expected Wei Xi to suddenly appear in this situation and discover their joint secret. If not for Bi Fang's mention of the passionate kiss, Xia Shouren would have been drenched in sweat by now.

    Fortunately, Wei Xi wasn't very bright, lacked professional knowledge, and instinctively trusted his disciple. Thus, he didn't immediately express suspicion.

    He instantly forgot about the faintly sensed danger that had emerged from his inexplicable appearance just now. His previously muddled thoughts, still lingering from just waking up, gradually cleared, allowing him to truly grasp the information he had just received.

    Wei Xi was momentarily perplexed. He frowned at Wei Dedao and tried hard to think. "You clearly told me I was a...?"

    Since he first gained consciousness, he had always believed himself to be a wandering spirit. After all, Wei Dedao had made it abundantly clear, and he had held this belief without any doubt.

    For so many years on the mountain, he had no physical body, existing solely through his wandering soul. Even the barrier couldn't be breached due to his spectral form – he was indeed a wandering spirit.

    Aware of Shuo Zong's sharp, icy gaze fixed upon him, Wei Dedao maintained a smile, unperturbed. "It was Master who didn't understand before, leading to the mistaken identity."

    Wei Xi stared at him suspiciously. "Really?"

    So this could be mistaken too?

    Wei Dedao explained, "Though I've lived for over five hundred years, I'm still just a mortal. How much could I possibly know?"

    Wei Xi frowned, still struggling to accept this sudden change in his identity. "But why don't I feel like a divine beast at all..."

    Not to mention, he had quite a self-awareness about him, a thought that echoed in several minds present.

    Only his disciple gently pulled him onto the sofa and calmly asked, "What do you think a blessed beast should be like?"

    Wei Xi pondered earnestly and realized he genuinely had no concept of it.

    Tong Jiyi, upstairs, caught snippets of their conversation and wore an astonished expression, his sleepiness vanishing. "Damn, Master? What does that mean? What are you guys talking about? That thing you just asked me to search for... Does that mean you're not human?"

    Realizing his choice of words might be ambiguous, he quickly clarified, "No, what I meant is, could it be that you're the Taotie?"

    Wei Xi nodded to him in distress. Seeing the attitudes of those present, it seemed to be confirmed, and he could only accept this reality, despite not fully grasping it.

    Tuanjie Yi received the answer and stood there in a daze, letting out a few "wo cao" (a Chinese expression of surprise or disbelief), with clear bewilderment flowing from his eyes: "My master is just too awesome."

    Yet, upon deeper reflection, he found it not so hard to accept. "Indeed, Master, you have such an enormous appetite and are so powerful that you knocked me down with a single punch back then. Who could be that amazing? To be honest, I used to often doubt this as well. Now that I know you're not human, it actually feels normal."

    Wei Xi: "Is that so?"

    Upon hearing it this way, it doesn't seem that hard to accept after all.

    "How could it not be," Unity Righteous said, "Moreover, a Auspicious Beast, an Auspicious Beast — the name alone auspicious, and it even brings blessings to the mortal world. Isn't that better than being human? Damn, thinking about it this way, doesn't that make our Wocao Sect a descendant of nobility! Our origins are way more impressive than those of Senior Master Kuang's with their famous historic sites and architectural wonders!"

    Hearing the topic shift to his business, Wei Xi's expression indeed softened, but he was still somewhat doubtful. "I don't remember anything from the past. I always feel like I'm not really a blessed beast."

    Wei Dedao was momentarily stunned by what he heard.

    At that moment, Unity Yi rushed down the stairs with thuds. "Master, you can't say that! Have you forgotten about that little fatty from the Cultivation Teaching? Wasn't he... that Black Tortoise? I heard that Black Tortoise is also a blessed beast, one of the Four Divine Beasts, and yet he turned out so badly, even breaking the law and getting locked up in a detention center. And that Azure Dragon—oh, I don't even want to talk about it. With a face like that, he still calls himself a national symbol. Master, you're much better than them. You've got looks and brains (questionable), so why belittle yourself! Don't you agree, Junior Brother?"

    Shuo Zong: "..."

    Unity Yi did have a point. Shuo Zong nodded in an odd manner, and Unity Yi looked at his master. "See?"

    Thinking of the weepy little fatty from the Cultivation Teaching, Wei Xi's doubts faded significantly. Yes!

    From what Unity Yi said, there was indeed a possibility that he was a blessed beast. After listening to his eldest disciple, Wei Xi realized it wasn't a bad thing, so he no longer dwelled on it. Instead, he asked his second disciple, Que'er, in confusion, "You said my offerings are many, and those people in my dreams worship me. But since I've been down the mountain for so long, why haven't I come across any believers? Even the Azure Dragon and Black Tortoise have their own temples with offerings."

    Unity Yi's tone remained calm. "There are other blessed beasts besides you. Times have changed. Not all of them have believers or abundant offerings. Only a few of them do."

    Unity Yi searched his phone and was astonished. "I didn't expect there to be so many blessed beasts. What's this? Bi Fang? Oh my, the name is exactly the same as Mr. Bi's. There's actually such a divine beast? I've never even heard of it. Bai Ze? I've heard of that one, but it doesn't seem very famous. Probably not capable enough to make a name for itself. Master, compared to them, you're already quite well-known. The records say your patterns are engraved on many ancient artifacts, and your name appears in various artistic works. Many gourmet food critics on earth also use your name as their pseudonyms, which shows how popular you are."

    Bi Fang: "..."

    Xia Shouren: "..."

    Shuo Zong nodded. "Indeed."

    United Righteousness realized the magnitude of his background and was basking in the glory, only to find, after searching, that in several contemporary literary works he clicked on, the Taotie was portrayed as the villain. He angrily tapped on the screen, "This Baidu, really! What kind of absurd information is in their encyclopedia, misleading so many people? It's unacceptable and needs to be rectified. They fabricate nonsense all day, slandering people - that's one thing. But to dare to depict the auspicious symbol that protects this land in a negative light - do they have no conscience or sense of social responsibility? This is damaging people's reputation and hindering their development... What? They didn't approve my edit? Damn it! How unreasonable! I'm reporting them!"

    Suddenly, the encyclopedic entry under scrutiny: "?????"

    The crowd of informed onlookers: "..."

    United Right glared at his phone with indignation, "Stubborn and unyielding, infringing on one's reputation. You'd better wait for the legal notice from the Taicang Sect!"

    On the verge of receiving a legal notice, the encyclopedia entry reads: "?????"

    Shuo Zong pondered for a moment and also felt that this issue needed to be addressed. The wrong societal perception could trigger Wei Xi's doubts about his identity in the future. Thus, he turned his gaze towards Xia Shouren.

    Xia Shouren: "..."

    Are you serious, buddy?

    Shuo Zong's gaze remained unwavering.

    Xia Shouren could only respond in a daze, "W-We've had cooperation with them before. Ning Tian will handle the negotiation with their website regarding this issue."

    The renowned encyclopedic entry manager, about to be summoned by a prominent industry giant for an unusual discussion: "???????"

    Ordinary netizens, about to search and open the entry, only to find a completely new and contrasting explanation of the Taotie: "???????"

    **********

    Afterward, Xia Shouren pulled Shuo Zong outside, disbelief etched on his face as he asked, "What's going on with you, old beast?"

    Shuo Zong stood in the Wei family garden, his eyes gazing into the distance at the entrance. Wei Xi was sitting on the sofa, his brows knitted together as he struggled to comprehend the new information he had just received.

    In response to Xia Shouren's astonishment, he didn't even raise an eyebrow. "What do you mean, what's going on?"

    Xia Shouren: "Don't pretend! You and Wei Xi—how come he's sleeping in the same bed as you?"

    Shuo Zong looked at him calmly. "What do you think? If he doesn't sleep with me, who would he sleep with? You?"

    Xia Shouren: "..."

    Shuo Zong's gaze turned ominous. Wei Xi seemed to have mentioned something about Xia Shouren's strong yang energy before.

    Xia Shouren: "Are you insane? I'm asking what the hell is going on between the two of you!"

    Shuo Zong: "What do you think?"

    Xia Shouren took a startled step back. "How could that be possible?"

    Shuo Zong: "Nothing is impossible."

    Xia Shouren: "Did you forget how he plundered your cave mansion of treasures that had accumulated for over five thousand years when you were away?"

    Shuo Zong looked at him calmly. "Who told you I wasn't there?"

    Xia Shouren exchanged a look with his friend for a moment and suddenly realized something. "???"

    Then, he stammered, "...Do you remember how you treated me when I picked two Jianmu fruits from your mountain back then?"

    Shuo Zong: "Hmpf."

    How could they be the same?

    Xia Shouren: "..."

    Xia Shouren fell silent for a moment. "So you two were together back then?"

    Shuo Zong: "No."

    Xia Shouren: "But when I fought with him and got my tail bitten off, I asked you to help me beat him up, and you said you were in seclusion!"

    Upon hearing this, Shuo Zong finally turned his gaze away slowly.

    Xia Shouren's mental state was on the verge of collapse. "So there was no seclusion at all, right?!"

    Shuo Zong: "..."

    Didn't this person's perception weaken after the collapse of Heavenly Dao? Why was it suddenly so sharp now? It was really unsettling.

    After Bi Fang emerged, he discovered that their usually confident and carefree manager, Xia Shouren, was crouching on the ground in a daze, muttering to himself, "It's fake, all of it's fake. Friendship is worthless..."

    Wei Xi glanced at Xia Shouren and asked his second disciple, who calmly replied, "He's not quite all there."

    Wei Xi hummed in response. Xia Shouren had always seemed normal to him, with a strong yang energy. It was surprising to learn that he had some mental issues. What a pity.

    Bi Fang hesitated for a moment, his gaze roaming over his leader before landing back on Wei Xi. An indescribable sense of awe stirred within him.

    They were already sleeping together; this person could very well be his future boss who would sign his paychecks...

    He was already afraid of Shuo Zong, so upon realizing this possibility, he promptly offered his flattery to Wei Xi. "Director Wei, we should keep in touch more often in the future."

    Wei Xi knew that Bi Fang belonged to Ning Tian. In recent days, his eldest disciple had educated him about Ning Tian's astonishing business ventures in the secular world, its extensive influence, and how many leaders they secretly knew. Thus, considering the development of his own sect, despite the mental turmoil from his sudden change in status, he managed to shift into a business mindset and nodded. "Of course, when your company staff come to Taicang Sect to get membership cards, I'll give them a 95% discount."

    A 95% discount was unprecedented in the Taicang Sect's history, but Bi Fang fell silent, seemingly not too impressed.

    Recalling his eldest disciple's words about Ning Tian's thriving private businesses that surpassed their own, Wei Xi couldn't help feeling regretful as he observed Bi Fang's reaction. "Our sect is too small; does your company really have no need for us?"

    Bi Fang was afraid of displeasing him. "...How could that be!"

    He then forced a laugh and said, "A-and, how can the Taicang Sect be small? With Sect Leader Wei's capabilities, it's more than enough to not only collaborate on membership cards but also become our business partner directly!

    Wei Xi: "There's such a good thing?"

    Bifang looked at the two leaders in front. Xia Shouren struggled to recover from his shock, his expression seemingly asking, "Do you still have any shame?"

    Bifang replied with a look, "For a living, I have no choice, buddy."

    Sure enough, the senior leader approved of his suggestion. "Yes, your proposal is excellent. Ning Tian and the Taicang Sect should consider cooperation."

    Tuanjie Yi, standing behind his master, was dumbfounded. The image of his company partnering with the legendary industry giant, Ning Tian, and the huge benefits that would follow flashed before his eyes. He was so delighted that he almost sneezed from the joy, but a cold gust of wind brought him back to reality. He chuckled and said, "I agree too. Too bad, Junior Brother, you don't get to make the decision, hahaha."

    Shuo Zong, in Lu Que's state: "...."

    Bifang shivered and said energetically, "Why wouldn't my opinion count? I think it's very necessary too! I'll report to our leaders when I return! They won't hesitate, and if the Taicang Sect could cooperate with Ning Tian, it would be an immense honor for us, a great glory!"

    Tuanjie Yi: "??????"

    Wasn't this person from the big company acting a bit strange?

    Despite Wei Xi's usual arrogance, he couldn't help but feel that this person was being excessively respectful towards him. Thus, even though he knew collaborating with Ning Tian was undeniably beneficial, a sense of caution still arose in his heart.

    His second disciple approached him as usual, "Don't overthink it. As a blessed beast, you were always Ning Tian's primary target for cooperation."

    Wei Xi was taken aback by this revelation, while Unity Right, standing behind him, immediately picked up on the hidden meaning in his junior's words, "… Originally? Could it be that there are other blessed beasts in Ning Tian?"

    Shuo Zong replied, "Otherwise, who do you think has been secretly working with the state?"

    Unity Right was speechless.

    Suddenly, Unity Right realized something and looked up at Bi Fang.

    Bi Fang offered a wry smile, "… It's not your fault. I'm indeed less well-known in modern times."

    Unity Right remembered his careless comment during his research earlier, "… My apologies for that."

    Then, he silently turned to Xia Shouren.

    Xia Shouren had been infuriated by his friend earlier, and now, facing the senior disciple of his arch-nemesis, he wasn't in a good mood either, "I don't have any remarkable skills, so I'm not much to show off. I apologize for that."

    Unity Right: "..."

    Bi Fang glanced at Xia Shouren, who was squatting on the ground with a dark expression, and hurriedly tried to comfort his second master's eldest disciple, "You're not wrong. Does he seem like someone who could hold their own?"

    Xia Shouren: "…"

    Are you that eager for a promotion?

    Bi Fang: Isn't that obvious?

    ********

    Wei Xi watched the two uninvited guests leave, diverting his gaze from Bi Fang, who had waved goodbye several times even after they had walked far away.

    He let out a sigh, feeling a sense of uncertainty about the unpredictable times, which manifested in a renewed urge to sleep after the tension had passed.

    Excitement still coursing through him, Unity Right eagerly took out his phone to ask his master, "Master, what does your original form look like? Can you transform and show it to me?"

    Wei Xi shook his head, instinctively feeling unable to change. His second disciple nearby explained, "You're trapped in a mortal body now, so naturally, you can't revert to your original form."

    United Righteousness was startled upon hearing this. "…Fan Qu?"

    He suddenly recalled some information he had overlooked earlier. "Oh right, Master, aren't you the biological son of Boss Wei? How can you not be human?"

    He had initially thought that Wei Tianyi didn't look impressive, but who knew he could give birth to a Qilin? Indeed, one couldn't judge a book by its cover.

    Wei Xi had no intention of hiding his origins from his disciple. Upon hearing United Righteousness's question, he answered straightforwardly, "This body isn't my original one."

    Upon hearing this, Shuo Zong immediately fixed his gaze on United Righteousness.

    However, United Righteousness's reaction caught him off guard. It seemed like a casual inquiry, and despite receiving such an astonishing answer, he didn't show any sign of panic or astonishment.

    He seemed to have accepted it easily, as if such behavior was commonplace in his worldview. After nodding, his first words were, "What a pity. I thought I could witness the true form of an ancient auspicious beast with my own eyes. It would make for a great advertisement. And since Master can't transform into your original form, doesn't that mean you can't apply for animal protection? Even Azure Dragons are protected, so why should we be overlooked?"

    Wei Xi was taken aback.

    Yes, why hadn't he thought of that just now?

    Shuo Zong: "…"

    Shuo Zong frowned deeply as he stared at Tuanyi.

    Tuanyi noticed his senior brother's gaze and even looked up, asking, "Senior Brother, why are you looking at me?"

    Shuo Zong fell silent for a moment in response, then shook his head.

    At this moment, Wei Xi leaned against him with weariness, yawning. "Que'er, let's go back to sleep."

    Shuo Zong didn't answer immediately. As he waited, the always composed Tuanyi finally revealed a terrified expression, staring fixedly at him. "Oh my god!!"

    Shuo Zong's expression darkened.

    Tuanyi started shouting frenziedly as if he had seen a ghost. "I actually forgot about this earlier because of the interruption!! Master! Junior Brother! Why are you two sleeping on the same bed?!! Did you just kiss Master, Junior Brother?! Don't even think about denying it! My eyesight is 5.0, and my memory is impeccable!"

    Shuo Zong: "…"

    Wei Xi brought his head close to sniff at his second disciple's neck, standing there lazily without any concern. "Is there something wrong?"

    Tuanyi seemed to be a reed swaying in the wind. "…My worldview…"

    Wei Xi: "?"

    Shuo Zong: "..."

    Shuo Zong found Unity and Righteousness's worldview somewhat peculiar. Why were they so steadfast in the face of something clearly more terrifying, yet now they crumbled at a trivial incident that paled in comparison to life and death?

    However, considering Wei Xi was extremely tired at the moment, Shuo Zong didn't have the time to dwell on it. He could only frown and leave the dazed man in the chilly wind to regain his composure.

    *****

    In the dark room, Wei Xi was incredibly sleepy, but his mind was strangely filled with thoughts, preventing him from dozing off.

    As usual, his second disciple's arm rested on his blanket, gently patting him. Wei Xi squinted at the black ceiling, then softly spoke after a long while, "Que'er."

    In the darkness, the disciple replied softly, "Hmm?"

    Wei Xi: "You asked me just now what a blessed beast should be like."

    The disciple's patting suddenly ceased.

    Wei Xi murmured, "Jieyi showed me his phone, which said that the blessed beast protects the heavens and earth, embodying good fortune. It brings luck wherever it goes."

    The room remained silent.

    Wei Xi was puzzled by his own reaction. When discussing these attributes of being favored by heaven and earth, he didn't feel pride as one would expect, but rather a subtle envy and an indescribable sense of shrinking inward.

    His mood was unusually downcast. "Do you really think I'm a blessed beast?"

    There was a moment of silence, then his disciple's arm on the blanket suddenly withdrew. The rustling of fabric followed, as the familiar yang energy drew near and enveloped him tightly.

    Wei Xi felt himself being hugged securely within the covers, with his head gently rubbed by his disciple's chin.

    His face pressed against the disciple's neck, he could sense the distinct movement of the other's Adam's apple sliding up and down.

    In a low, resolute voice, his disciple spoke, "If I say you are, then you definitely are."

    *****

    In the Wei family garden, United Righteousness leaned sorrowfully against the gate. Braving the cold wind, he desolately pondered if his junior brother, who had risen to power through his beauty, would still have a place in the sect now.

    As the rightful and respected first disciple of the Grand Taicang Sect, how could he reclaim his master's affection that had been cunningly stolen by his junior brother?

    With teary eyes, he suddenly sensed something buzzing near his ear. Looking up at the sky, he noticed a flock of strangely shaped birds fluttering overhead.

    These birds were entirely black and incredibly ugly. Compared to them, even crows would appear as elegant beauties. Each one had beady eyes, constantly darting around as they flew.

    Without any apparent reason, the lead bird suddenly fixated on Wei Family's courtyard. It flapped its wings and dove straight towards where Unity and Righteousness was, its eyes shimmering with an eerie excitement.

    Startled by their ugliness, Unity and Righteousness, who was already in a foul mood and had no liking for unattractive creatures, immediately snapped. He grabbed a broom and started yelling at them, "Scram, scram, scram!! How dare you come into our sect's courtyard looking like that and stealing food!"

    He only intended to scare the birds away, but to his surprise, the moment he swung at them, they vanished instantly.

    Unity and Righteousness: "?!??!"

    Ugly as they were, their disappearance was equally bizarre! They vanished in the blink of an eye? Were they flying too fast?

    **********

    In an unknown space, someone suddenly exclaimed with excitement, "Demon King! I sense the aura of the Demon King!!"

    The figure's cry immediately caused chaos in the crowd: "What did you say, Distress Demon?"

    Distress Demon swiped his cloak, his grotesque face glowing with excitement as he leaped down from his demonic throne. Removing his cloak, he saw countless devilish faces closing in.

    The scene was akin to a vision of hell itself.

    Yet, Distress Demon remained calm. After all, they were in the Demon World, where villains looked as they pleased, and ugliness was nothing. Demons with seven or eight heads and a dozen hands were commonplace.

    With gleaming eyes, he declared, "I said, the Asura Bird sensed the presence of the Devil King on Earth!"

    Screams erupted throughout the Devil Palace: "Where is the Devil King?"

    Just as Distress Demon was about to mention the royal capital of the mortal realm, his expression suddenly went blank.

    The demons asked, "What's wrong?"

    Distress Demon, stunned, replied, "For some reason, all the Asura Birds in my consciousness have vanished, as if they were scattered by someone. And it happened abruptly."

    All the demons present were alarmed. "How could that be? Your cultivation ranks among the best in the Demon World, and the Asura Birds you conjure bear your essence and the aura of the Demon Realm. Apart from yourself and His Majesty the Devil King, they can evade any creature on Earth. Who could possibly shatter them so effortlessly?"

    The Distress Demon wore a cautious expression. "I have no idea."

    "Ancient One, who cares who he is!" A demon with six spikes on his head raised his hands in the crowd and shouted, "Our top priority now is to find the Devil King! Then follow His Majesty the Devil King and unify the world!!"

    A chorus of fierce roars echoed, and those excited, terrifying faces, paired with the dark crimson hue of the Demon World, only served to instill more fear.

    At the Wei family villa.

    United Justice returned to his room for a nap but suddenly woke up halfway through. The image of the ugly birds he had chased away lingered in his mind.

    Their cunning and tiny bird eyes were the last thing he saw before he fell asleep.

    Damn, they were really ugly. No wonder they left such a deep impression on him.

    United Justice shuddered, feeling nauseous just like when he saw his injured employees with their heads bleeding.

    Perhaps it was because he had been traumatized by the sight of his master eating long-haired Fengyangxian's hair and sharing it with him. He found it particularly hard to tolerate anything that looked abnormal. Even at work, he tried his best to only interact with Uncle Shen, who, despite his long hair, had the most normal appearance.

    Now that he had spent so much time in Taicang Sect, even a handsome Husky like Mike seemed ordinary to him, making him even less tolerant of ugliness.

    How could those ugly birds, with their appearance, have the audacity to fly in flocks?

    Unity Ide couldn't comprehend it.

    But to be frightened to such an extent and merely swatting them away with a broom was too lenient for those birds.

    Next time he encounters them, he'll definitely switch to using a plunger.

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