The Creatures That We Are - C.445: Interlude


As someone who had started out as a regular member in one organization and later climbed to the managerial role of an Elder in another organization, Gao Yang had rich experience both in the workplace and on battlefields, and he knew that he should go in a little later and pretend he had heard nothing.

Judging by how Qilin was acting, things...would probably end very quickly.

But I’m so curious! Are they really doing it?!

Life is precious, but gossip even more so!

Clenching his teeth, Gao Yang quickly pushed the ajar door open and strode in, pretending to be in a rush.

The air seemed to freeze.

Gao Yang immediately saw Qilin, dressed in a loose gray crew-neck sweater with his hair disheveled and his expression a mix of awkwardness, nervousness, and fear, lying down on a sofa, his limbs splayed. He was holding onto his black-rimmed glasses with his left hand and holding onto a pillow with his right hand.

Dressed in a cardigan the color of pale dogwood and a longer beige jumper dress, Vermilion Bird stepped on the sofa between Qilin’s splayed legs with her stockinged right foot, the high-heel taken off.

She was leaning into Qilin’s space, her left hand pressing against Qilin’s forehead to force him to look at her, stopping him from moving around.

On the long middle finger on her right hand was something small and clear.

In that suggestive posture, they turned to look at the door when they heard it open, their faces going still as they shouted at the same time.

“Let me explain...”

“No need!” Gao Yang raised a hand and stopped them. “Guildmaster Qilin, you have always wanted to try contact lenses, but every time, you got too scared to actually put them on. Having had enough of it, Elder Vermilion Bird swore to put them on for you with her pride on the line tonight, but things aren’t going great, it seems.”

“You aren’t right, but exactly right!” Vermilion Bird smiled, pleased. She jutted her chin at Gao Yang. “What are you waiting for? Come help! Pin Guildmaster’s hands down for me. I’m doing this tonight one way or another!”


Gao Yang rolled up his sleeves and went up to them.

“Relax,” Qilin uttered.

Instantly, Gao Yang felt his body go lax, and his brain became muddled. He felt too lazy to do or think anything, so he followed the urge to sit down on the sofa next to him, staring into space.

Gao Yang could sense himself getting manipulated. While he could try to resist, it would take too much willpower and attention, so he didn’t. He allowed the power to take over.

Vermilion Bird climbed down from on top of Qilin, too. With a flip, she plopped herself down on the sofa, her expression blank and numb like nothing in the world interested her.

Qilin let out a sigh of relief and righted his posture.

He wiped the beads of sweat on his forehead, putting his glasses back on and sorting the slight curls of his hair. Then he grabbed his cane before finally snapping his fingers.

Gao Yang and Vermilion Bird immediately recovered.

Vermilion Bird jumped up from the sofa, hollering, “Guildmaster! You disappointed me!”

Qilin smiled wryly. “I give up. I can’t do it.”

Sitting on the sofa, Gao Yang changed sides. “Guildmaster doesn’t want to put them on. You shouldn’t force him, Sister Xia.”

Qilin’s eyes were key to activating Eidos, which would make them more important to him than his heart. That’s why his body feels an instinctual aversion—even fear—to anything approaching his eyes. Of course it’ll be hard to overcome the resistance.

“But don’t you think Guildmaster will look hotter without glasses?” Vermilion Bird insisted. “I think Guildmaster should change his image! Now, he looks like a gentlemanly per...I mean, he looks too gentlemanly to be imposing. He doesn’t look like a leader!”

“Enough already.” Qilin knocked on the floor with his cane, recovering his authority as the guildmaster. “Let’s forget this little interlude and get back to business.”

Vermilion Bird still felt a little vexed. She put the contact lens on her middle finger back into the case, grumbling, “A pair costs 230 yuan. Remember to pay me back.”

“It’ll be reimbursed, and I’ll buy you milk tea for a week as compensation.” Qilin gave her a composed smile, standing up. “I’ll make you coffee. A moment.”

A few minutes later, the three of them started the session while drinking coffee.

Gao Yang spent twenty minutes going into details about the work Team Heavenbreaker had done and their progress, including what happened in the West Nation and the existence of Tails.

Qilin gave everything a quick thought and nodded slightly. “Azure Dragon called me. No more clues were found at No.7 Winery. Hyena cleaned everything up thoroughly.”

“As for the remains of the white phoenix, meaning the bones of the life monster, they are entirely lifeless with no vital energy at all. Although the bones are incredibly hardy, they can’t be forged, and they won’t make good weapons since they don’t resonate with Talents like Black Gold. Still, Azure Dragon will try to bring back some for archiving purposes.”

Gao Yang nodded. He had expected as much.

Vermilion Bird briefed them on their investigation into Sir Jiang. They got no concrete clues and made little progress.

“Guildmaster.” Gao Yang hesitated before posing the question he had been thinking about. “Elder Vermilion Bird told me that there is indirect evidence proving the existence of life monsters and death monsters.”

“Yes.” Qilin nodded.

“What’s the evidence?” Gao Yang asked openly. He believed he was now entitled to the knowledge.

Qilin glanced at Gao Yang and admitted, “I’ve seen a record about life monsters and death monsters, in a manner of speaking.”

That was as good as nothing.

Gao Yang pressed, “Does the record fit the life monster we encountered?”

“Truthfully, no.” Qilin smiled wryly.

“No?” Vermilion Bird was surprised, but then something occurred to her. “Life monsters may have more than one form though. Some monsters have both a human form and a monster form, for example.”

“I agree,” Gao Yang said.

Qilin didn’t comment on that. After a bemused moment, he stood up and said, “I suppose it’s time to show you.”

“Really?” Vermilion Bird’s eyes lit up. She had heard Qilin talk about it, but never saw it.

“Show us what?” Gao Yang paused before quickly coming to a guess. “Are you talking about the Gates of Closure?”

Qilin nodded with a soft smile. “But I can’t show you the actual thing now. Let’s go for a reenactment for the moment.”

Gao Yang caught on immediately.

“Look at my eyes and don’t fight it.” Qilin lowered his head slightly, looking at Vermilion Bird and Gao Yang.

Gao Yang met his eyes, feeling like a cool fluid energy was flowing into his head and pooling and settling down in the back of his head.

The sensation was slight and natural, almost imperceptible.

Compared to before, though, Gao Yang could at least sense the invasion of Qilin’s Willpower this time—the hundreds of Luck points he put into his Charisma hadn’t been in vain.

It would still be too tall a task for him to fight Qilin’s Eidos, but at least he had made progress.

He was told that Lilia had woken up two seconds after falling into Qilin’s illusion, which showed that her Willpower and Charisma were much higher than Gao Yang’s.

Gao Yang’s thoughts strayed. Qilin was already at the door to the storage room. He opened it and walked in. “Follow me.”

Sitting on the sofa, Gao Yang and Vermilion Bird exchanged a look before quickly getting to their feet and following him.

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