The guard led Xia Hongshen and Song Jun into the temple. Instead of entering the main hall, they went directly to the side hall on the right.

       Song Jun walked and looked at the City God’s Temple, feeling that it was not much different from the Taoist temples in the mortal realm. It was just that he had never tried to go to a temple late at night, so he had never seen this dark and empty temple scene.

       Next to him, Xia Hongshen did not glance sideways.

       When they arrived at a side hall on the right, there was still a furnace with burning incense and candles on the square in front of the hall. The palace behind the square was majestic. Although it was not as impressive as the main hall, it still looked quite impressive. There was a plaque hanging on the door of the palace, with big characters of ‘Yin and Yang Division’ flying in the air.

       There was a person standing in the square. Because his back was to them, Song Jun could only see that the person had long hair hanging down his waist. He was wearing a dark coloured Zhiduo1a long straight robe usually seen in ancient settings, and was holding a lit incense stick in his hand. He was inserting his hand into the cauldron beside him.

       As if he knew someone was coming in, the man turned back and looked at Song Jun and the others.

       When Song Jun saw his face, he was startled and stopped for a moment.

       That man was not actually ugly. Not only was he not ugly, but he had delicate features and a handsome appearance. However, the person’s face was divided right down the middle, and the left and right sides were actually different colours. One side was pale, and the other side extremely dark, giving them a somewhat terrifying appearance.

       The guide, who was a general, bowed to the person and said, “Lord Magistrate, the guests have already been invited inside.”

       The man nodded, and the general took his leave first.

       Later, when Song Jun saw the man, he bowed politely and said, “The Lord Immortal Zhen2Zhenniao, often simply zhen, is a name given in many Chinese myths, annals, and poetry to poisonous birds that are said to have existed in what is now southern Chinahas graced us with his presence. I apologize for welcoming you from afar.”

       Xia Hongshen said, “Where did the term Lord Immortal come from? Don’t you mean a demon beast Zhen meeting Lord Magistrate of Yin and Yang Department?”

       His words sounded sarcastic, but his tone was calm.

       That man was the Lord Magistrate of the Yin and Yang Division, the first division under the City God. Hearing this, he bowed again and said, “The Lord Immortal must be joking. The Night Patrol God is a rude and reckless person when he is angry. So, Lord Immortal, please don’t take it to heart.”

       Xia Hongshen did not respond.

       Song Jun was embarrassed to respond coldly when others were being polite to him, and he suddenly felt that the atmosphere was a bit awkward.

       The Lord Magistrate of the Yin and Yang Division didn’t seem to care about Xia Hongshen’s attitude and said, “Is Lord Immortal here today for what happened on Ghost Festival?”

       Xia Hongshen said, “On that day, Fengliu disturbed the order of the Hundred Ghost Parade and harmed innocent spirits. I am here to compensate on his behalf.”

       “Oh?” The Lord Magistrate of the Yin and Yang Division slowly walked towards their direction.

       Xia Hongshen closed his fingers, and in his hand appeared a small porcelain bottle. He threw the porcelain vase to the Lord Magistrate of the Yin and Yang Division and said, “For stabilising the soul.”

       The Lord Magistrate of the Yin and Yang Division took it in his hand and sighed, “It’s a treasure from the Immortal realm. I’d like to thank Lord Immortal on behalf of that ghost.”

       After saying that, the Lord Magistrate of the Yin and Yang Division looked at Song Jun, and after a moment, he said strangely, “This gentleman is not a Gilded Phoenix Wing.”

       Song Jun felt a bit uneasy under his gaze and instinctively moved a bit closer in the direction of Xia Hongshen.

       Xia Hongshen said, “He is not.”

       The Lord Magistrate of the Yin and Yang Division sized at Song Jun for a moment, seemingly a little confused, and then said to Xia Hongshen, “Since Lord Immortal has already arrived, please wait for a moment. The Night Patrol God should offer you an apology for what happened that day.”

       Xia Hongshen did not respond but did not refuse.

       Soon, the Night Patrol God came to the side hall carrying his long blade. It was obvious that he had learned his lesson before. Although he had a dark face at this time, he still respectfully bowed to Xia Hongshen and said, “Lord Immortal, there were many misunderstandings before, and I have offended you.”

       Xia Hongshen originally didn’t care about the Night Patrol God’s attitude toward him. The reason why he came to the City God’s Temple was not only because Feng Junyuan got into trouble that day but also because he wanted to continue to stay in this place.

       He hadn’t found all his things yet, and he couldn’t leave the city yet. In the past, the more friction he had with the City God’s men, the more inconvenient it would be. Since the people here now show their intention of backing down, he, of course, took the opportunity to make his intentions known.

       Xia Hongshen said to Night Patrol God, “Now that the misunderstanding from before has been clarified let bygones be bygones. In the future, our actions need not concern each other.”

       The Night Patrol God was about to get angry when he heard this but was restrained by the Lord Magistrate of the Yin and Yang Division’s hand on his arm.

       Xia Hongshen continued, “I came to the mortal realm in search of the immortal treasure, the Thousand-Year Lamp, as per the decree of the Jade Emperor. While in the mortal realm, I will conduct myself with restraint and will not disrupt the order of the mortal world. Lord City God can rest assured.”

       The Lord Magistrate of the Yin and Yang Division smiled slightly and said, “Since the Immortal said this, I naturally believe that as long as we do not disrupt the order of the Yin and Yang realms, we will never interfere with the Immortal’s actions.”

       Xia Hongshen nodded, “Farewell.”

       The Yin and Yang Division said, “Lord Immortal, please take care on your journey.”

       Xia Hongshen took Song Jun away. From beginning to end, Song Jun didn’t say a word. He just listened to their conversation silently, but he was not as shocked as he was at first.

       Now, he could be sure that Xia Hongshen was indeed not a human being. According to the Lord Magistrate of the Yin and Yang Division, Xia Hongshen was a heavenly immortal. Song Jun glanced at Xia Hongshen secretly and felt that this was probably true. How could a mortal in the world be like this?

       When they left, no one escorted them out. However, since it was a place filled with immortals and supernatural beings, Song Jun thought that there must be someone secretly observing them. Therefore, he didn’t dare to move around recklessly.

       When walking out of the side hall, Song Jun suddenly heard the sound of a bell ringing in the temple. He raised his head and looked in the direction of the sound and found that behind the back hall, there was a pagoda towering into the clouds.

       Song Jun stopped unconsciously.

       Xia Hongshen beside him also stopped, followed his gaze towards the pagoda, and suddenly said, “That is the Soul Suppressing Pagoda of the City God’s Temple.”

       “Soul Suppressing Pagoda?” Song Jun muttered and repeated.

       Xia Hongshen said, “The Soul Suppressing Pagoda can suppress all kinds of ghosts. Once thrown into the tower, they cannot come out. Heibai Wuchang3Heibai Wuchang: two deities, one dressed in black and the other in white, responsible for escorting the spirits of the dead to the underworld retrieve souls from the mortal realm. Those meant for reincarnation go to the underworld, and those destined for hell are taken to the eighteen layers of hell. The remaining ones are confined in this tower, never to see the light of day.”

       Song Jun was stunned and asked, “They can’t transcend?”

       Xia Hongshen shook his head, “Saving the souls of the dead has always been the responsibility of humans, not the underworld.”

       When Song Jun heard this, he felt a little emotional for a moment.

       He used to think that there were no ghosts in this world, that when people died, their souls were destroyed, and everything returned to nothingness. But now his state of mind had undergone earth-shaking changes. Setting aside the harm caused by malevolent spirits, after meeting his grandma, Song Jun discovered the souls of the departed were still there. This realisation holds significant meaning for the living. He knew that his grandma was still there. She had been doing good things throughout her life, but she died. At this time, she was probably preparing to be reincarnated in the underworld. Song Jun hoped that in the next life, she would be born into a wealthy and happy family, experiencing a life of prosperity. Such thoughts allowed him to cope with the grief of his grandma’s passing. He felt that he might be able to see his reincarnated grandma again one day. Even if they didn’t recognise each other, knowing that she was happy would be enough.

       Song Jun was a kind-hearted person by nature. People always said that society was complicated and people were indifferent. He believed that there was nothing wrong with protecting oneself wisely. While others might choose not to do good, he urged them not to mock those who still had a compassionate heart. Otherwise, in the future, there might truly be nothing left but indifference.

       Xia Hongshen put his arm around Song Jun’s shoulders and said, “Let’s go.”

       Song Jun nodded and was about to turn around and leave when he suddenly felt a palpitation in his heart. The reaction was so strong that he even fell to his knees in an instant.

       Xia Hongshen grabbed him.

       Song Jun stretched out his hand to hold his chest. He almost thought he was having a heart attack, and his heart was beating faster and faster.

       Xia Hongshen asked, “What?”

       He shook his head and looked at the Soul-Suppressing Pagoda again. He always felt as if something was holding him back. He felt empty and uneasy in his heart.

       Xia Hongshen asked again, “Is everything alright?”

       Song Jun slowed down his heart palpitations, and Xia Hongshen helped him stand up. “It’s okay,” he said, “Let’s go.”

       Xia Hongshen held his hand and took a look at the Soul Suppressing Pagoda. He didn’t notice anything strange, so he said, “Let’s go.”

       After leaving the City God Temple, they boarded the awning boat by the river.

       While the boatman was rowing, Song Jun and Xia Hongshen stood on the side of the boat, looking at the reflections of street lights on both sides of the river.

       Song Jun originally had a question he wanted to ask, but upon seeing the boatman behind them, he hesitated and chose not to voice it. He waited until the two of them landed on the shore, and suddenly, the lively scene around them reverted to the bustling atmosphere they had initially encountered. Song Jun turned around to look, only to find no trace of the City God Temple on the opposite bank of the river. Instead, all he could see were tall and imposing modern buildings.

       The two of them walked towards the school, and Song Jun finally asked, “Are you a heavenly deity coming to earth to find something?”

       This was the only thing Song Jun heard from the content of their conversation.

       Xia Hongshen answered seemingly indifferently, saying, “Yeah.”

       Song Jun asked quickly, “What kind of deity are you?”

       Xia Hongshen glanced at him and said casually, “The Jade Emperor.”

       Song Jun was stunned and soon realised that Xia Hongshen was just talking nonsense, and suddenly felt a little sullen. He originally had many questions to ask, but when he realised that Xia Hongshen probably wouldn’t answer him directly, he lost interest for a while.

       But after a while, Song Jun couldn’t help but ask, “Have you found your stuff? Is it Feng Junyuan?”

       Xia Hongshen said to him this time, “Not entirely.”

       “Thousand-Years Lamp?” Song Jun asked again tentatively. This was what he had heard the man in the City God Temple say before, even though he had no idea what the Thousand-Years Lamp was.

       Xia Hongshen stopped and looked at him, “You’ll know eventually.”

       Song Jun didn’t understand why he would know or whether it was because the time hadn’t come yet and Xia Hongshen would tell him one day. But looking at Xia Hongshen’s current attitude, he felt that it was unnecessary for him to ask further.

       However, he wasn’t entirely happy, and he said, “Then what did you mean when you took me there tonight?”

       Xia Hongshen said to him, “Take you for a walk.”

       Song Jun fell silent for a moment. He had taken him for a walk, and it unexpectedly led them to the underworld.

       Xia Hongshen reached out and touched the top of his head, “Don’t be upset.”

       Song Jun looked up and saw Xia Hongshen saying such comforting words in his usual indifferent voice without expression, and suddenly felt that he had no reason to continue to be upset.

       Forget it, he smiled and said, “Senior brother, let’s go back.”

       Xia Hongshen nodded, “Want to eat something?”

       Song Jun said quickly, “No dried small fish!”


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