Translator: GodBrandy Editor: Kurisu
The fog was very strange, and it definitely wasn’t something that had formed on its own. Fluctuations of strange energy were present within the fog.
Still, the young monster hunter had no way to tell if it was monster qi, the spiritual energy of a cultivator, or the energy of a demon…
“Both the highway exit and the next rest area are a bit far. For now, slow down the vehicle and keep some distance from the other cars. Let’s travel slowly for the time being,” Joseph replied.
His daughter, Ji Shuangxue, said in puzzlement, “That’s strange… the weather was very good today. As such, why is the whole place filled with fog now?”
Right at this time, Song Shuhang used the mental connection between him and Ye Si to ask her something. [Ye Si, is it possible to disperse this fog without alarming Joseph’s family?]
[Sure, it’s not a problem. However, there is no need for us to do anything, because someone already took action.] Ye Si looked at Song Shuhang and faintly smiled.
In the sky, a sword light whizzed over from a distant place.
Standing on the sword light was a… wait, what? There was actually a huge banknote on the sword light!
Song Shuhang rubbed his eyes.
Sure enough, he wasn’t seeing things. What he saw was indeed a huge two-meter-tall and one-meter-wide banknote.
On the upper part of the banknote was written the following sentence, ‘Paper currency in use in the Heavenly City’, while below was engraved the word ‘banknote’ in a large font. Further below was inscribed a not too clear date. Then, in the middle of the banknote was another vertical writing. ‘With this banknote, you can go to XXX and withdraw 100,000 high-quality spirit stones of the Ninth Stage rank’.
XXX was very likely an address, but the handwriting was blurred, and one couldn’t tell for sure what it was.
All the characters used to write these sentences were very ancient, and were somewhat similar to the ones used to write down the ❮Writing of the Sage❯. However, there were still some subtle differences between the two.
Other than that, the words written on this banknote riding a flying sword had the ‘automatic translation’ feature. As such, Song Shuhang was able to comprehend and understand their meaning as soon as he saw the banknote.
The banknote unexpectedly opened its mouth and spoke, “Ah! I’ve finally found you! Evildoer, stop in your tracks! Your head is worth five spirit stones of the Seventh Stage. As such, surrender your life at once!”
Moreover, what it used was standard Mandarin with perfect pronunciation.
“…” Song Shuhang.
In the next moment, the banknote jumped up, and its body slightly rotated, just as if it was a fan.
A strong wind immediately rose, and the ‘fog’ covering the highway was immediately scattered.
The banknote didn’t use any magical technique. That was merely the wind it created after slightly moving its body.
“Eh? The fog suddenly disappeared? What’s happening?” Joseph’s wife was confused.
That dense fog had disappeared without a trace in just a few seconds… Just what was happening?
“Was it possible that it was just a small area covered with smog or something similar? And we just happened to get past that area now?” Joseph turned his head around and looked behind… however, even behind the car, there was no fog at all now!
Ji Shuangxue was likewise confused.
But right at this time, Song Shuhang gazed at the banknote in the sky and contacted Ye Si through their mental connection, asking, [Ye Si, which powerful senior put that cool costume on when going out of home and then forgot to take it off?]
Ye Si shook her head and, likewise using their mental connection, replied, [No, that’s not a human cultivator. From what I can see, the real body of that banknote is… precisely a banknote. Perhaps it’s some item that managed to become a spirit? In addition, its strength is around the Fifth Stage Realm, if not above.]
“…” Song Shuhang.
Flowers and plants could become spirits, rocks could also become spirits, and even monkeys coming out of rocks could become spirits. Such being the case, what was wrong with a banknote becoming a spirit?
Thinking otherwise would be racist, right?
Therefore, it was time to accept that banknotes could also become spirits.
If one accepted this fact, people would even start to find the thing rather adorable.
In addition, that banknote was far from being an ordinary one. Didn’t you see the characters written on its body? It was the paper currency used in the Heavenly City! Since ancient times, the word ‘Heavenly City’ only referred to that ancient Heavenly City that had mysteriously fallen from the sky one day. In order words, it was highly possible that this banknote was one of the banknotes used in the legendary ancient Heavenly City! The other party had very noble origin, and it definitely wasn’t something that the rocks of the mortal world could compare to.
Banknotes that were in use in the ancient Heavenly City would have come in contact with the spiritual energy of a lot of powerful cultivators. Therefore, it wasn’t too strange that one of them had developed sentience and stepped on the path of cultivation.
“F*ck, a banknote!” the young monster hunter couldn’t help but call out.
“What banknote?” Joseph asked out of curiosity.
“N-nothing. I was just seeing things.” The young monster hunter shook his head.
However, the sharp-eyed Ji Shuangxue noticed that the young monster hunter had been staring in a certain direction all along. Coincidentally, Song Shuhang, who was sitting in the row in front of hers, was also looking in that direction.
As such, she likewise turned her head and looked in that direction… but she didn’t see anything.
“Director, is that banknote a monster?” Song Shuhang asked via secret sound transmission method. Monster hunters would get the urge to kill ‘monsters’ whenever they saw them. Just one look was enough to make them go crazy.
“No, it’s not a monster. It should be a type of ‘spirit beast’, similar to your two seahorses, which are also spirit beasts,” the young monster hunter replied.
Just as they were discussing, the banknote in the sky made another move.
Its body suddenly curled up, assuming a cylindrical shape.
Was it trying to unleash some deadly skill?
[You little ones below, do you have a problem with me being a banknote? What about it? Are you perhaps looking down on this banknote?] A loud voice was transmitted from the now-cylinder-like banknote.
The banknote had used the AOE secret sound transmission when saying these words. Therefore, Song Shuhang, Ye Si, the three disobedient children, and the young monster hunter all heard it.
The sound was ear-splitting.
The young monster hunter forced a smiled and picked his ears.
It was his first time seeing a banknote with such a personality.
[Senior Banknote, it’s just that it’s our first time seeing a banknote with a personality like yours. Therefore, we couldn’t help but be surprised. We had no bad intentions. Anyway, we don’t wish to bother Senior as you are hunting monsters and vanquishing demons,] the young monster hunter replied via secret sound transmission.
[Hmph.] In the sky, the banknote was pleased, but still coldly snorted.
Afterward, its body unfurled.
In the next moment, one of the ancient characters inscribed on its body suddenly lit up. It was the character ‘现’ (reveal) in the word ‘兑现’ (withdraw).
“Evildoer, reveal yourself!” the banknote shouted in a grave tone.
The character ‘现’ flashed.
Below… in the soil adjacent to the highway, a mouse came out of the ground.
The mouse was more or less the same as an ordinary one, just several times bigger. In addition, its body was strangely muscular.
In addition, the eyes of the mouse weren’t small and protruding like they should be. They were brown instead of black, and looked similar to the eyes of an eagle.
Other than that, indistinct black energy was entwining the body of the mouse.
Song Shuhang’s pupils shrank.
The condition of the mouse was basically the same as that of the middle-aged man they’d met yesterday and that vehicle-overturning big fellow that True Monarch Yellow Mountain had captured.
Was this also the doing of the wicked energy of the Netherworld Realm?
The evil energy of the Netherworld Realm could unexpectedly influence not only ordinary human beings, but ordinary animals as well?
The whole situation gave off an apocalyptic vibe.
Men and animals started to mutate under the effects of a strange type of energy. Afterward, the mutated animals and men spread the disease everywhere, causing the end of the world!
Ugh, everything is well, everything is well! This world is very different from the world depicted in movies. Since cultivators exist, there is no way the world would end so easily, Song Shuhang thought to himself.
“Squeak, squeak, squeak~” the huge and muscular mouse angrily cried out after it was forced to reveal itself.
But right at that time, sword light flashed, chopping toward the mouse.
The head of the muscular mouse flew in the sky, but no blood flowed out of the wound… The sword had swiftly swept over without leaving any trace. The sword qi had cicatrized the wound as it flashed by, causing not a single drop of blood to flow out.
Joseph’s wife was driving the van and gradually got farther and farther away from that spot.
Song Shuhang could faintly see the banknote ‘curling’ up the head of the muscular mouse and getting on its flying sword again, disappearing on the horizon. The body of the mouse, which was left behind, slowly started to disperse under the strength of the sword qi, transforming into small fragments that mixed with the soil.
Right at this time, the young monster hunter gently sighed, and said via secret sound transmission, [What a shame! That mouse just now seemed to have only the strength of the Second Stage, and it was still worth five spirit stones of the Seventh Stage! Had I gotten my hands on it, I would have become rich!]
Five spirit stones of the Seventh Stage… before borrowing those spirit stones from Senior White, Song Shuhang’s whole capital was only about 400 spirit stones of the Fifth Stage, which would amount to four spirit stones of the Seventh Stage if converted!
It was indeed a large sum of money.
Song Shuhang quietly reorganized his thoughts. The banknote had attacked and killed that mouse contaminated with the foul energy of the Netherworld Realm on its own initiative in order to collect some reward. Such being the case, was it possible that the world of cultivators had already started to take action and get rid of all the creatures that had been contaminated with the energy of the Netherworld Realm?
Had other powerful seniors in the world of cultivators also encountered creatures in condition similar to that of the middle-aged man and vehicle-overturning big fellow that he and True Monarch Yellow Mountain had met before, getting compelled to take action as a result?
Song Shuhang pondered for a bit and took out his mobile phone, opening the Nine Provinces Number One Group. Afterward, he sent a message in the group where he described everything he saw just now.
When he finished sending the message, the first person to reply was True Monarch Yellow Mountain. “Eh? Someone has already started to take care of these organisms that are giving signs of transforming into demons? From the looks of it, this matter is more troublesome than what we’ve thought initially. This energy of the Netherworld Realm can not only strengthen and transform human beings, but can affect animals as well.”
Usually, the first one to reply would be the ‘always online holy warrior of the group’, Senior Northern River… but recently, he hadn’t gotten online at all. He was probably busy preparing for that battle that would take place at the beginning of the next month.
Speaking of the duel, Immortal Master Copper Trigram had first proposed to hold a battle on the summit of the forbidden city during a night of full moon.
However, Northern River’s Loose Cultivator said that he wasn’t free during the night of full moon. Therefore, both parties decided to set the date for the battle three months later on the summit of the forbidden city, which ended up being in early September.
Although it lacked the charm of a night with a full moon, the two parties were unable to hold back by now and simply couldn’t wait for the next full moon.
“Senior Yellow Mountain, were you able to deduce the plan of the person pulling the strings from behind the scenes after examining the bodies of those two guys that were giving signs of transforming into demons?” Song Shuhang asked.
“Cough. Actually, I’m still in the middle of catching that Cloudy Mist guy at the moment, and I really haven’t examined those two guys yet,” True Monarch Yellow Mountain said, somewhat embarrassed. “Later, I will ask a few fellow daoists to take a look and see if we can find any new information.”