The process for Ghost Refining must include an inhumane and very cruel procedure.
It was basically, putting the Taoist Master to perform dissection on consciously living humans without any anesthetic. To refine a Ghost from a living human, the Taoist Master had to cut the person into several pieces while performing some spell at the same time.
On one hand, the Taoist Master had to catch the said human soul without fail after it got separated from the corpse, before the soul naturally went to the underworld. On the other hand, they also need to harness the feelings of resentment, agony, and all the resentful energy from the soul, and refine them according to the method until the human soul was successfully refined into a Ghost.
This kind of process was simply damaging both the practitioners’ mentality and morality, or in other words, it’s inviting evil karmic.
It’s no wonder that Lin Jiayang died young.
Lin Yuetian took off his coat and went to lie on the floor painted with some formations all over using the base of the Eight TrigramsA symbol used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts.
. He was breathing quietly as he observed Lin Tongzhao first proceeded by binding his limbs to prevent any unconscious struggle from the pain when the dissection was performed later. In contrast, the middle-aged man Taoist Master was breathing heavily, matching the perturbed expression on his face.
He looked apprehensive, as if he was ready to stop at any time if he were to suddenly have a change of mind in the middle.
“Uncle, LYT referred to him as Shi Shu or Uncle, since their ancestors—Lin Jiazheng and Lin Jiayang—are martial siblings, or peers who learned from the same teacher” Lin Yuetian suddenly called him.
“Actually, this is not the first time you do some ghost refining, right?”
Lin Tongzhao’s breath went stagnant for a moment.
In the end, he smiled bitterly. “How did you know?”
“Well, no matter how we phrase it, refining ghost means killing a person.”
Lin Yuetian unhurriedly elaborated, “In that case, Isn’t it a bit strange that you get swayed easily by those simple persuasions of mine—to commit some murder by your hands? That’s why I assumed that despite how you were so against it, in reality, you didn’t really keep yourself clean from the practice either.”
Lin Tongzhao swallowed down his saliva and replied in a low voice, “Nephew Lin, you have a good observation.”
He continued to speak, “Let me tell you something. When I was 15 years old, the situation in my family branch was worse than it is today. My father passed away early. He left nothing in the family, only debt remained. My mother worked herself to exhaustion until she collapsed and had to be treated in the hospital. Meanwhile, there was me and one younger brother who was only 5 years old in the family. I had to go to school, and we barely have relatives we could get some help from.”
“Perhaps it was karmic retribution from our Ancestor that has to be repaid by his offspring. But I really can’t help it. If the situation remained as it was, both my mother and brother would starve to death.”
“It was then that I recalled what my father said when he was alive. He told me that I have a talent for Taoism. Back then he taught me Feng Shui and passed me some Taoism methods from our predecessor that hadn’t been lost.”
“At that time, I decided to visit one of my father’s old friends. He was a businessman, my father once did him some divination when he first started his career and family. My mother was seriously ill. So I came to him hoping to borrow some money—“
“But he refused to take out a single cent…”
Lin Tongzhao was immersed in the memory of a long gone past.
His hands were still moving adeptly. He held up a bowl of raw rice, using a chopstick intended for offering in Qingming FestivalCN Tomb Sweeping day. Usually done by praying for the deceased, offering the burning of joss in both the forms of incense sticks (joss-sticks) and silver-leafed paper (joss paper), sweeping the … Continue reading and mixed some incense ash as well as a drop of blood from the tip of his tongue to it. Afterward, it was sprinkled into the section containing the characters of ‘Peace‘ and ‘Life and Death‘ in the array, each of them had copper coins and pine branches on top.
His hands skillfully moved completing the ceremony and his mouth kept moving as he continued to reminisce.
“…I said to that businessman that I was willing to refine ghosts for him. The ghosts might help him to eliminate his competitors, and that, using some ‘special method’ he would be able to increase his fortune.”
“Afterward, he didn’t hesitate to immediately lend me some money. Later, he found me some dead prisoners and asked me to fulfill what I had offered him. I did it for him thrice. Though, none of the 3 ghosts was able to stay for long. Sometime later, unexpectedly, he had a car accident during his business trip. His whole body was smashed.”
“Though nothing happened to me, but, not long after, my mother died of illness, and my little brother also suddenly contracted a high fever all of a sudden when he was 10 years old. He died within a few days.”
“—It was then that I realized, this practice, Ghost Refining is really accumulating evil karmic. I have persevered to stay alive by myself to this day…but perhaps, one day, the retribution for my past deeds will come to the door. To be honest, I think this time around is actually not bad. Maybe we could eliminate the Jade Ghost and put an end to the cause started by our ancestor.”
“Heh Heh Heh…I didn’t live this life in vain after all…”
Lin Yuetian didn’t utter a single word in response.
Wordlessly, he watched the other man setting up the array, watching him as he turned his back to worship the Sanqing statueSānqīng—Three Purities, are the three highest gods in the Taoist pantheon. They are regarded as pure manifestations of the Tao and the origin of all sentient beings.
3 times, and still quietly watching him as he washed a knife in clear water, before taking it out and sharpening the blade.
The System who hadn’t spoken in a long time all this while suddenly went agitated inside Lin Yuetian’s mind. [“Let’s just forget it after all!”]
“Calm down, Buddy, what’s wrong with you now? Hm?” Lin Yuetian sent the System a comforting smile inwardly.
[“I said, forget it! Really, let’s just stop here…”]
The System said urgently [“You, you really don’t have to try so hard. To tell you the truth, I haven’t told you some things, since you keep blowing my mind out with your antics, anyhow, you have to know that you have some privileges, even if you fail one Mission or two, it doesn’t —,”]
“Speak no more.” Lin Yuetian interrupted him.
The System was still anxious to the point of wanting to cry.
[“No! I said, you really don’t have to come to this point! Can’t you just, say, finish the mission in another conventional way? Efficiency be damned, you can always do your mission with no particular pace! I don’t care about my performance in guiding the Taskers and whatnot in our CompanyThe Tasker’s failure will have an impact on their System’s work performance. That’s why usually Systems in Quick transmigration will push their tasker to accomplish their task as … Continue reading. You need not be so strict about maintaining your face or your professionalism with me either. I won’t laugh at you! I swear!”]
[“That’s why, don’t be so hard on yourself just to finish a mission! Have you really thought it through?! The purpose of Ghost refining is to kill you and bring you back to life—this is a painful and horrible process, you know!”]
“I am perfectly aware.”
Lin Yuetian asked him back instead, “…But, have you also ever wondered, how do you think I could get my accomplishments in my past jobs enough for me to earn the title of some gold medalist hitman?”
The System was forever unable to guess how his brain circuit worked, and how they ended up talking about this conversation so suddenly.
[“…That is, because you did a good job on your work?”]
Lin Yuetian gave a nod of approval with satisfaction.
“Then, would you tell me again—do you know what is the most crucial reason for me to be able to finish my jobs impeccably?”
[“Will you stop talking nonsense here?!”] The System looked at Lin Tongzhao who had almost finished sharpening his knife. He felt his imaginary stomach lurch in pain.
Lin Yuetian, “The reason for it is, naturally, my intelligence.”
He felt regretful that the System was unwilling to play along with him. But he continued regardless.
“…Additionally, it’s also because of my bold personality. Back when I was in my original world, also when I was doing the missions in every other world after, I told myself that I have only one chance to complete my job. It doesn’t matter what I have to pay to accomplish it. This is my work ethic.”
“…I’m not some infallible immortal. Neither do I have some indestructible will. If you tell me specifically that even if I failed my mission nothing happen to me, while it won’t affect my thinking ability, my mentality might be changed. I will lose my determination to be brave, under the mentality of ‘Whether I succeed or fail I won’t die either way’.”
“—Regardless of big or small of an impact it would be, but once I go slacking once, I will become more and more reluctant to finish things efficiently in the future. And the more I neglect my professionalism, the more I will fail.”
“I hate failure, I am not used to failure—and I don’t want to be used to failure.”
Lin Yuetian concluded it with, “Don’t let yourself be lulled of having a way back, and don’t allow yourself be used to failure. This is my creed as a gold medal assassin.”
The System was left speechless.
Finally, the knife had been sharpened well.
Lin Tongzhao began to walk approaching Lin Yuetian with a conflicted expression on his face. From his angle, Lin Yuetian could see the cold metallic gleam flashing from the blade in his hand.
“You know that it’ll be too late if you regret it later?”
Even now, Lin Tongzhao still felt some reluctance and pity, and decided to warn him one more time.
“You only live once…perhaps there may be other ways, even if right now we seem to have no other choice, but maybe…maybe you’ll find one in the future…”
“Proceed.” —to which Lin Yuetian replied him with.
“You have only one life. Between being alive as a human, and existing as a Ghost, is completely different.” Lin Tongzhao gritted his teeth. “The Jade Ghost is such a vicious Ghost, yet even for him, he still wanted to return as a living person. Are you sure you don’t want to think it over once more?”
There was no ripple in Lin Yuetian’s smile as he once again replied, this time in a gentler tone, “Do it. Now.”
Lin Tongzhao sighed.
He held the knife and recited some Taoist Scriptures aloud. First, paying homage to the Sanqing. Secondly, paying homage to Heaven and Earth. and Lastly, to the Evil Spirits gathered in the 4 directions.
Every time he finished reciting a line, his figure was also vaguely shrouded in a dark fog.
In fact, since the first time Lin Yuetian and the System put their sight upon him, they could see that this person might be dying soon. Naturally, Lin Tongzhao himself was probably aware of this. However, perhaps for him, death is terrible, but living was tedious.
Lin Tongzhao eventually finished reciting his scriptures and with a shout, he threw a dozen of yellow talismans. The talismans with runes written on them burned spontaneously when they fell on the array.
Lin Yuetian could vaguely hear the voice of a ghostly cry, but he continued to keep his eyes open. His gaze was unwavering, and even seemed to be cold as he watched Lin Tongzhao raise the knife—he kept staring straight at the flashing blade——
Until the blade fell right on his chest.
At times like this, The System usually would be busy chanting some Buddhist Scriptures or play any kind of BGM to lighten up the atmosphere.
However, right now he did none of the above.
He knew since a long time ago that Lin Yuetian was abnormal. But only until this time had he just truly realized, just what kind of monster, or what kind of madman had he been assigned with.
This man not only had zero shreds of empathy toward others, but first and foremost, he was especially ruthless toward himself!
But of course, if he were to know, Lin Yuetian would beg to differ with his System’s opinion about him.
It’s not like he didn’t care about his own well-being. Even for someone like him, he’d also felt pain, even so, if it’s for the perfection of his job, then this pain was a fair trade.
Lin Yuetian never stops thinking that both he and his choices are completely normal.
|↑1||A symbol used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts.
|↑2||LYT referred to him as Shi Shu or Uncle, since their ancestors—Lin Jiazheng and Lin Jiayang—are martial siblings, or peers who learned from the same teacher|
|↑3||CN Tomb Sweeping day. Usually done by praying for the deceased, offering the burning of joss in both the forms of incense sticks (joss-sticks) and silver-leafed paper (joss paper), sweeping the tombs, and offering food, tea, wine, chopsticks, and/or libations in memory of the ancestors.|
|↑4||Sānqīng—Three Purities, are the three highest gods in the Taoist pantheon. They are regarded as pure manifestations of the Tao and the origin of all sentient beings.
|↑5||The Tasker’s failure will have an impact on their System’s work performance. That’s why usually Systems in Quick transmigration will push their tasker to accomplish their task as much as, or as best as possible.|