r perhaps the plane's vibrations were helping him sleep, but as soon as he closed his eyes, he fell asleep.
And he had another dream.

Xuan Ji had a dream that he was in an antique small building, with a wooden beam structure, possibly a post station or something similar.
The room was not big, and he could vaguely hear the noisy crowd downstairs.
A person with their back to him was leaning against the window, gazing outside.
The person was tall and straight, wearing black clothing like crow feathers.
Xuan Ji had dreamed of this figure many times before.
Since he could remember, this figure would occasionally appear in his dreams at midnight.
Xuan Ji didn't know who he was, and had never seen his face.
Whenever he approached the figure within a meter in his dream, he would wake up immediately.
It was as if the other person was a forbidden object that he could not touch.

“Are you here to experience the private jet too?” Xuan Ji talked to the dream guest like an old friend because he had dreamed of this figure so frequently.
He maintained a safe distance of one meter, and chatted with the figure.
“How is it? My new job has style, right?”

The figure didn't answer, as usual, remaining silent like an exquisite sculpture.
In this dream, everything except for Xuan Ji was a prop.
He could rant or roll around, but it was a monologue.

“Although it might be a troublesome position with some status,” Xuan Ji retreated two steps and sat on the wooden table beside him, constantly muttering to his “old friend”, “The former Director retired for no apparent reason, and Xiao Zheng was acting sneaky.
It shouldn't be just an economic problem.
Ordinary corruption wouldn't even leak within the department, and why would Lao Xiao go around in circles to find me? Also, what's going on with Chiyuan? How could they suddenly start a rebellion? And I didn't even sense anything…”

As he was speaking, he suddenly stopped and widened his eyes – a gust of wind blew through the window, lifting the figure's clothing at the window.
The motion caused the statue-like man to seem to come to life suddenly.
Xuan Ji's heart trembled suddenly, as if he had stepped into another dimension.
This had never happened in his dreams before!

Then, the person with his back to him sighed, and slowly turned around –


Xuan Ji trembled, jumping up from his seat, nearly being blinded by Luo Cuicui's shiny lip gloss.

Luo Cuicuiwas shouting into his ear amidst the noise of the airplane, “Wake up, we're about to land!”

When they landed near Chiyuan, it was already dark outside.
The sub-bureau was busy encircling the mutated trees all over the mountains and was too preoccupied to attend to the logistics team.
They sent an intern named Li to pick them up.

Several illegal tourists were warded at the first hospital in Chiyuan.
The hospital was located at a high ground in the parking lot and provided a panoramic view of the mountains of Chiyuan.
At the moment, the sky was overcast, and the mist was hazy.
Even though the car's air conditioning was on, their clothes were still damp and sticky.

Ping Qianru's hair turned into a ball of steel wire.
As soon as she got out of the car, she began to brush it continuously.
Suddenly, a gust of wind blew, and Qianru stopped brushing her hair and asked with confusion, “Sister Bi, did you smell anything?”

Xuan Ji had very sensitive hearing and turned his head, several steps away.
“What smell?” he asked.

Ping Qianru was startled by his sudden question and instinctively stood at attention as if a teacher had just called her name in class.
“The smell of incense and candles from the temple,” she explained.
She paused and glanced at Xuan Ji's expression, then continued, “The wind brought a hint of something fishy along with it.”

The wind blew from the direction of the Grand Canyon in Chiyuan.
Xuan Ji followed the little girl's gaze and looked back.
The distant mountains suddenly turned black in his vision, as if a circle of eerie shadows had appeared.
Xuan Ji was secretly surprised, and his footsteps faltered.
He pinched his eyebrows and took another look.
The green hills were still there, shrouded in mist, as if nothing had happened.
It was as if he had just seen things.

The intern driver, Xiao Li, asked, “Leader, is something wrong?”

Xuan Ji shook his head, took back his gaze, and signaled him to lead the way.
He was thinking that after finishing their work, he wanted to go and take a look at the Grand Canyon.

Their mission this time was to deal with several trapped tourists who were injured to varying degrees.
They looked pale and exhausted, and after being discharged from the hospital, they would be taken away by the Public Security Bureau for administrative punishment.
Their ID cards and phones were confiscated, and they were inspected by Ping Qianru to prevent them from taking any inappropriate pictures.

Bi Chunsheng took the initiative to take on the task of talking to them.
As a newcomer, Xuan Ji did not dare to interfere with his colleague's work.
He quietly observed her work process for a while and found Bi Chunsheng's conversation with the targets quite interesting.

Xuan Ji's previous job was dealing with people, and though he was not very ambitious, he had some basic communication skills.
In his opinion, Bi Chunsheng was not particularly skilled in speaking.
Although her attitude was enthusiastic, she was a bit too familiar and her body language exceeded social boundaries, making her appear lacking in discretion.
If someone else said the same thing, it would easily arouse the targets' alertness and anxiety.
However, it was strange that the people she talked to behaved like they were drugged, naturally divulging their secrets.

One girl with a broken leg recalled, “It seemed like a giant python was chasing us at the time.
The snake was very strange, with an earthy color and looked like it was covered in tree bark.
It scared me to death!”

Bi Chunsheng smiled and said, “The so-called 'snake' you saw should be the vine that was originally wrapped around the big tree.
The earthquake shook the tree down, and the vines were swinging around, which looked like they were moving.
It couldn't be a real snake.
Where would a giant python come from in the scenic area?”

“No,” the corrected girl was a bit confused and tried to argue, but her tone of voice weakened noticeably, as if suddenly unsure, “I think it shouldn't be the swinging vines.
It was running very fast, chasing us, and…”

Bi Chunsheng stared into her eyes and calmly repeated, “No, that was the vine.”

Xuan Ji felt that Bi Chunsheng was almost being pedantic and could easily get into an argument with someone with a bad temper.
But the girl's expression became increasingly hesitant, and her tone of voice grew weaker.
They went back and forth like this two or three times, and the girl suddenly seemed brainwashed, completely accepting Bi Chunsheng's explanation.
Even when someone else asked her, she no longer mentioned anything about “earth-colored pythons” or being “chased,” as if she had amnesia.

Xuan Ji was a bit surprised and asked Luo Cuicui next to her, “Is Sister Bi particularly powerful? What was that…
how do you guys categorize yourselves?”

“Yes, she's a special ability user in the 'power and spiritual' category, with a bias towards the 'spiritual' side,” Luo Cuicui proudly puffed out her chest, “There aren't many special ability users in our logistics department, but she's one of them.”

Xuan Ji couldn't help but look at her and said, “Oh, sorry for my disrespect.
Does that mean you're also one?”

“I can't compare to her at all.
My special ability is not very practical,” Luo Cuicui humbly said, “I'm in the 'plant' type of the six major categories, and my limbs can turn into plants.
My fingers and toes have plant characteristics.”

Xuan Ji continued to ask humbly, “What do you mean by plant characteristics?”

“Ah, it means they keep growing.
If you don't trim them in time, they can wear out many pairs of shoes in a year!”

Xuan Ji: “…”

Brother Luo should really go to the hospital to treat his special ability.

The leading intern, Xiao Li, couldn't help but laugh, but then realized it might not be polite and quickly coughed to change the topic, saying to Xuan Ji, “The sixth rescued person wasn't injured, so we temporarily placed them in the family waiting room ahead.”

Xuan Ji had just followed his finger and looked up when the lights in the hallway flickered and suddenly went out.
At the same time, his finger felt cold and a ring appeared on his right index finger.
The ring face was a chicken-blood red stone, the size of a grain of rice, with no impurities.

Xuan Ji's heart skipped a beat.
When no one was paying attention, he hid his right hand in his coat pocket.
This ring was like the “Thousand Demon Bestiary,” brought with him from birth and had always been firmly on his finger, unable to be taken off.
It was even more mysterious than the “Thousand Demon Bestiary,” never showing any spiritual energy or demonic activity.
It was like extra hair or nails, neither hurting nor itching, and he didn't know what it was for.

Except for its somewhat old-fashioned style, Xuan Ji didn't have any objections to it.
Because this ring could be invisible during normal times, it could not be called out and could be treated as non-existent.

The Chiyuan trees suddenly erupted into chaos for no reason, and the man in his dream suddenly turned around.
The invisible ring appeared without his permission…

Xuan Ji's heart sank slightly.
There were too many anomalies happening on this day.

“The light bulb went out,” the leading intern muttered, unaware, as he walked forward and said, “This person…
seems a bit strange.
You'll see later.”

The hospital had already been quarantined by the Bureau of Paranormal Control, and there was only one person in the family waiting room.

A man was sitting on a plastic chair with his back facing the half-closed door, fully focused on watching the advertisement on the TV on the wall.
His back was straight, but not tense, as if he had received specialized body posture training.
His back view was pleasing to the eye.
The most striking thing about him was his long hair that reached his waist, which was unusually thick and lush, tied with a hair tie at the back of his neck, as thick as a child's arm.

When Xuan Ji saw the man, his vision suddenly blurred.
After the ring, “Thousand Demon Bestiary” also automatically popped up, as if it had something to say.
However, Xuan Ji waited for a while, but the pages of the book were all blank.

“This is the ID he provided.” Xiao Li took out an ID card from a file bag, “He said he lost his phone and didn't have one.”

Luo Cuicui's gaze lingered on the man's hair for a moment, and she affectionately touched his own “barcode” on her head, muttering, “Now even young men are wearing wigs, it must be because of air pollution – Leader, can I talk to him for a few minutes?”

“Wait.” Xuan Ji raised his hand to stop him, and the ID in his hand turned into a withered leaf, then suddenly burned up with a “whoosh”.
The sudden flame startled both Xiao Li and Luo Cuicui.

At this moment, the door of the family rest area, which was only slightly open, made a creaking sound and opened around the silent and long-sighing door hinge.
The cold and musty smell rushed out from inside, making people inexplicably think of coffins and decayed wood embracing bones.
The TV on the wall suddenly went black, reflecting a pair of eyes through the mirror-like black screen, meeting Xuan Ji's guarded gaze…

A mischievous smile appeared in those ghostly eyes.

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