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    Chapter 117: Earthquake

    When Wei Xi woke up, it was already daylight. His disciple was leaning against the head of the bed, intently staring at his phone with one hand while the other playfully twirled his hair.

    As soon as Wei Xi opened his eyes, his disciple noticed and swiftly turned his gaze towards him. He gently scratched Wei Xi's pillow-imprinted face with his finger, asking, "You're awake?"

    Wei Xi responded with a soft "Mm," then asked, "What are you looking at?"

    Recalling how he had been kicking in his sleep the previous night, Shuo Zong discreetly closed the 'How to Soothe Your Partner After Intimacy' page from Baidu. He slid back into bed calmly, smoothing Wei Xi's hair as he answered, "Nothing."

    Wei Xi subtly sensed a change in their relationship. His disciple still spoke to him with the same gaze and tone, but Wei Xi felt that the disciple's aura had become gentler, even his yang energy seemed more appetizing.

    Taking advantage of the situation, Wei Xi buried his face in his disciple's palm and took a deep breath. From above, he heard his disciple cautiously inquire, "Are you uncomfortable?"

    "No," Wei Xi replied, reminiscing about the previous night's events without any embarrassment. He straightforwardly suggested, "Que'er, I think that method worked well. Let's continue doing it like that, alright?"

    Shuo Zong couldn't help but laugh quietly while hugging Wei Xi. How could he be so adorable?

    *******

    In the Wei family hall, Wei Tianyi frowned as he read the news on his phone. The latest issue of an energy trade publication had him feeling both pleased and annoyed. He was delighted that the nation's soaring energy reserves were driving its rival countries into a frenzy, yet they were powerless to retaliate. On the other hand, he was infuriated by their continuous use of underhanded tactics, such as that foreign wizard who spouted nonsense – lately, the wizard had been making frequent appearances in various media outlets, predicting doomsday.

    Wei Tianyi slammed his fist on the table. "Madman! Now they're not saying we're dealing with the devil; they're claiming it's the end of the world! The government should arrest all these troublemakers spreading false information! Outrageous!"

    Shu Wanrong, sitting nearby, glanced over and realized that the overseas wizard, who previously accused their country of dealing with the devil, had started promoting his apocalyptic theories across different media platforms.

    This wizard seemed to have quite a following, and many people believed him. Consequently, the international community was gripped by fear and chaos. Even the media reporting the news seemed to hold a somewhat ambiguous stance, presenting several arguments that seemingly supported the wizard's predictions.

    mentions of tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and the like were enough to send chills down one's spine.

    Shu Wanrong, not usually paying much attention to global affairs, felt alarmed. "My God, is it really so unstable abroad this year? I thought it was just our country facing problems."

    Upon reflection, she realized that her own country had indeed experienced a tumultuous year, with earthquakes, floods, and heavy rains along the Yellow River followed by months of drought. She murmured, "Why do I feel... rather frightened?"

    Wei Tianyi ridiculed her. "How can I put it? Women have long hair but short sight. You believe such a fraudster's words. Back in 2012 when people claimed it was the end of the world, you joined in the rush to buy salt, and you still haven't finished the five thousand yuan worth you bought. It irritates me just thinking about it."

    Feeling embarrassed by his taunt, Shu Wanrong looked away and ignored him, focusing on her own phone. As she scrolled through, she came across some peculiar content.

    Wei Xi, freshly cleaned up, descended the stairs and noticed her frightened expression. He asked with concern, "Wanrong, are you feeling unwell?"

    Wei Tianyi's face darkened, but Shu Wanrong was already accustomed to such remarks and promptly responded, "Look! A local forum user posted that they live in the suburbs and while sleeping last night, they suddenly felt like there was thunder outside. Upon waking up and listening carefully, they realized that the sound was more like a monster's roar. They were so scared that they hid behind the window and looked up at the sky, only to spot a massive black shadow flying across the sky! They even took a photo!"

    Wei Xi was startled and immediately went to check. Indeed, he found a photo. Unfortunately, it was blurry, and with the darkness of the night, they could only vaguely make out a large black mass in the image. It was impossible to discern what the black object actually was.

    "Foolishness!" Wei Tianyi huffed. "That's clearly just a cloud and thunder! What monster can fly in the sky and howl people awake in the middle of the night? They must be crazy!"

    Shuo Zong: "…"

    Wei Xi ignored him and turned to his disciple. "Que'er, can you tell what this is?"

    After a moment of silence, Shuo Zong replied, "…A cloud."

    Wei Tianyi snorted. "See? Only you guys believe in such supernatural nonsense."

    How could such things possibly exist in the world?

    *****

    No sooner had he finished speaking than he felt a sudden jolt beneath him.

    The tremor struck abruptly, causing everyone present to freeze for two seconds before realizing what was happening.

    Dishes and glasses on the dining table clattered and leaped, while other objects in the living room began to rattle. The statue of the Celestial Venerated Daoist in the corner swayed back and forth, and the tassels of the crystal chandelier on the ceiling collided with each other. Muffled screams echoed from afar. Wei Tianyi jumped up and rushed towards the door. He saw Wei Chengshu, who should have been cleaning the sect's entrance, burst into the house with a damp cloth in hand, his face ashen as he grabbed Shu Wanrong's arm and yelled at Wei Xi, "Don't you feel the earthquake?! Run!!"

    With that, he dragged Shu Wanrong outside.

    Wei Xi was momentarily stunned. Earthquake? He didn't quite grasp how perilous it could be, but seeing Wei Chengshu's alarmed state, he instinctively took his disciple's hand and bolted out of the house.

    Ignored entirely, Wei Tianyi stood by the door, "..."

    When Zhou Butler and the others ran outside, they saw him there and were horrified. "Mr. Wei! Why are you still in the house?!"

    Wei Tianyi emerged with a dark expression as if someone owed him five million dollars, but unfortunately, no one paid him any attention.

    Shu Wanrong scolded Wei Chengshu, "You child! You could have just shouted from outside. How dangerous it was to rush inside!"

    Wei Xi searched his second disciple from head to toe. "Que'er, are you scared?"

    Zhou Butler bent down to lead the shivering Mike out of his doghouse. "Oh dear, you must be terrified..."

    Mike nestled his head against Wei Xi's calf: "Woof, woof, woof!"

    Is everything alright, boss?

    Wei Tianyi: "..."

    He harrumphed loudly, turning his face away with a greenish complexion.

    Almost all the residents in the neighborhood rushed out of their homes. In the face of this disaster, the composure of these usually successful individuals had vanished. Clad in their pajamas and braving the cold wind, they were all in a state of panic—

    "What's going on?! Why is there an earthquake all of a sudden?!"

    "I've lived in the capital for so many years, and I've never experienced an earthquake before! This is terrifying!"

    Somehow, Shu Wanrong recalled the news she had just seen, and her face paled. "N-No, I hope it's not what I think it is."

    Wei Xi's phone pinged. He took it out and saw that it was a rapid message from the Seismological Bureau, assuring the residents in the capital not to panic too much. It was just a minor earthquake that wouldn't cause significant damage to the city or its inhabitants.

    Some of the neighbors who were talking also took out their phones and, after reading the message, their panic visibly subsided.

    "Ahh! Thankfully, thankfully!"

    "It was just a minor earthquake."

    "I was so scared. After seeing the news about that overseas wizard this morning, and then the earthquake just now, I thought doomsday was truly upon us."

    Shuo Zong draped the coat he had hastily grabbed on his way out over Wei Xi amidst the sighs of relief, but his face darkened slightly. He had also received a text message, but it wasn't from the seismology bureau.

    The situation was evidently urgent, leaving no room for Xia Shouren's usual mischief. The entire message consisted of only two brief words:

    "Come quickly."

    *********

    An earthquake in the capital was a major event.

    Major news portals had already begun their coverage promptly.

    Though the earthquake wasn't severe, its unexpected arrival caused significant trouble for the residents of the bustling metropolis. This city, which had always been orderly amid its rapid development, was home to people living fast-paced lives who never imagined they would one day face a natural disaster. It being rush hour for work and school, even a slight tremor was enough to plunge the entire city into chaos. Schools, high-rise buildings, densely populated neighborhoods, and even elevated highways congested with morning traffic saw numerous accidents.

    Amidst the earthquake's chaos, numerous stampedes occurred as people desperately sought safety. The injured were numerous and scattered across various cities, filling the internet with cries for help. It was challenging for rescue teams to promptly reach the scenes amid the paralyzed transportation network.

    A myriad of photographs were simply horrifying to behold.

    With Que'er preoccupied and gone, Wei Xi glanced at the photographs, inwardly reasoning that the chaos in the city was none of his concern. Satisfied that the house seemed safe, he promptly felt justified in retreating to rest.

    Despite there being no signal in the Demon World, Unity Rites somehow managed to learn about the earthquake and abruptly tore open a rift, sticking his head out. "Master! I heard! There's been an earthquake in the Capital!"

    Wei Xi: "..."

    United Righteousness: "Are you and Junior Apprentice Brother unharmed?"

    Wei Xi: "...No."

    "Thank goodness." United Righteousness looked at him with admiration. "Otherwise, Master would have had to participate in the rescue mission with injuries, how tiring that would be."

    Wei Xi: "..."

    Silently, Wei Xi zipped up the coat he had previously started to remove.

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