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289 Take the Residue and Refuse the Essence

In the party, the many women of various skin colors watched William drive away quickly. They had already heard snatches of conversation from the bedroom, and all of them exchanged compliments about him.

"See, Mr. William is like a dog who catches mice -- nosing into other people's business. What a hero!"

"You're wrong, Philly. This is called having a chivalrous heart and righteous soul."

"You're wrong too, Ker. In Chinese, it should be called being eager to help others in the name of chivalry."

The many beauties, watching his confident, elegant figure retreating, became fixated.

William drove himself, and just as he drove onto the flyover surrounding the city, he spotted a figure riding a sword from his bulletproof glass window. With a zooming sound, it flew from the direction of Vigilante A's farm villa, heading towards the east.

With his abilities, he could see clearly who that was. He immediately slowed down and turned back after that.

"That's truly a man eager to help others in the name of chivalry," William praised. He started whistling as he called his home with his car-phone. "I'll be back soon, sweethearts, the party goes on."

William, not ten minutes after leaving, returned to his warm bungalow.

At that moment, in the city of San Francisco, the Western coast of the United States.

His uncle, David Robert, was however shivering in the cold bitter sea breeze with several companions.

Although it was summer, the bitter sea wind, as well as the cold tide from the west, had reduced the temperature to near zero. The unprepared grassroots investigators of the SBI had low abilities, and had to stand the cold wind as they maintained the defensive front.

"Damn, Jim, your Crystal Divining Ability said that William would come and successfully summon the angels. With that, he would concentrate the minds of the Americans and reverse the situation right away. Didn't he?" David looked fixedly towards the sea as he spoke to a middle-aged black man.

Black Guy Jim revealed a set of white teeth as he smiled companionably. "That's what the crystal said."

Robert smiled bitterly. "I think your Crystal's tricking you. William won't come. That fellow would definitely stay home for his party."

Black Guy Jim, said, "No. The scene shown by the crystal did consider another factor, which is your death."

Robert stared at him, then said with a sure look, "Then your crystal must've made a mistake."

As the two spoke, they suddenly stopped and watched as movement suddenly occurred on the beach.

Masses and masses of blood-red kelp floated to the surface of the water, covering every surface as they crowded onto the beach. It was a hair-raising thing to watch.

They started rushing toward the deserted port.

"With so many Giant Kelp Sprites, the navy may send out bombers." muttered Robert.

Black Guy Jim shook his head. "Not definitely."

Within several minutes, they saw the Eastern Pathos descend from the sky. His body radiated light… No, he was brimming with sword energy. He slew all the red kelp sprites, then left lightly as though he had done something insignificant.

Robert stared at it, then said thoughtfully, "Now I know why William wasn't willing to come. He's definitely a smart businessman who knows that cooperation can lead to high effectiveness. Maybe I'm the one that's wrong."

Just as he was thinking, his companion Jim suddenly rotated his hand and stabbed his chest with a knife.

Robert looked disbelieving, holding his hand against his chest. "Jim, why'd you want to kill me? We have been working together for more than 10 years!"

Jim shook his head. "I'm sorry. I want the large wheel that symbolizes the future to return to its path. You should've died earlier, but for some reason you didn't the last two times. This place is the final place you'll die which I've seen from the future."

"F**k your future large wheel." Robert grumbled. Holding his chest, he stumbled away.

For some reason, his other SBI colleagues only watched on coldly. No one helped him, and no one stopped him either.

Robert fled the coast defended by the SBI. He felt that he'd fallen into a big whirlpool.

Was it that his private plea to the Alliance of Justice and Order to help investigate the senior American officials had been leaked?

Those old officials had bribed the SBI officers. Was it them that ordered Jim to assassinate him?

Or did Jim know more, and when he had killed him the future would move onto the right path?

If so, then there was only one reason. Could his death, like the plot in the Batman movies, stimulate William into changing?

At this, Robert, leaning against a fence by the road, paused his efforts to call an ambulance.

That stab was not fatal. Maybe it was the many years of friendship that had stayed his hand in the end. But if he did not get an ambulance in time, he might bleed to death.

He shuffled along slowly, arriving at a quiet deserted place where he could be easily found. He made an overseas call.

"William, I'm going to die…"

After it was through, he uttered this sentence straight away. He then hung up.

That was because he was lifted up, and his phone had fallen.

In his ear, a slightly familiar voice said this.

"My friend, you look like you need treatment."

More than ten minutes later, having become faint due to loss of too much blood, Robert sensed that he had come to a brightly-illuminated villa.

He then heard a voice, "Thank you for rescuing my Uncle David. Please take this check."

"No thanks. I've always been eager to help others in the name of chivalry."

And then he fainted.

Around 10pm, he awoke suddenly. He found that the injury below his ribs had disappeared completely as though the stabbing had not happened.

Just when he was wondering, his nephew William, smiling, appeared in front of his bed.

"Uncle, you appear to be in a dangerous situation. When you were unconscious, I've already asked two retired investigating experts to check. The suspect's probably someone friendly, and had attacked you when you weren't on guard. If that man had been familiar with human anatomy, you may have died"

Robert did not care about anything else. He looked straight at William and asked him, "Let's not talk about this now. I just wanted to ask this -- if I had really died, what would you do?"

William wrinkled his brow, saying thoughtfully, "I hear there's a Bodhisattva of Spirit Kings in China. If good people die, he can reincarnate their souls into butterflies.

"I just want to ask your last words earlier. Uncle, what species of butterfly do you like? The Californian swallowtail, or the Floridian milkweed butterfly? I could specify one for you when I pay."

At this, Robert immediately fell.

"Uncle, uncle, do you still need treatment? But the secret methods of the Dragon Clan cost too much, and I'll just ask a local doctor to give you an IV drip…" William said frantically.

Robert lay on the bed, pretending not to hear.

There was only a thought in his mind: 'The phrase "Living in worries and dying in peace" is particularly apt.'

...

The farm villa of Vigilante A.

Fang Ning was working overtime nearly to death, concentrating on rehearsing his "Dream-Cultivation Method", poring over every word.

Sir System, meanwhile, was counting his commission from his excursion just now.

"0.3 billion Experience Points, and now there's 6.8 billion. My Mythos has increased by one point, and now it's 11 points. Income…"

At this, Sir System suddenly stopped.

Fang Ning, straining his ears to listen, said with puzzlement, "How much income?"

The System was confused. "Is there income? Where? Look at you. Even when working overtime, you're not concentrating. This is just the first day, and if your Dream-Cultivation Method doesn't see any improvement in this week, then you still have to work overtime."

Fang Ning ignored the moron, and worked hard to in overtime shifts to research.

He seriously studied the War Demon, Lei Tian's own Demonic Skill a sub-ability under the Phantasm; the Persona Partition. This secret art of splitting the soul was truly deep and wide.

He suddenly said, "Sir, can you spend some Experience and help me rehearse the modern, simple Chinese, perfect version?

The System replied, "No."

Fang Ning was speechless. "I'm doing serious business here."

The System said, "That's a demonic method which could entice people into demonization. I cannot completely rehearse the perfect version, since it's against my chivalrous values."

Fang Ning said disbelievingly, "You must be tricking me again. As I see it, this method can be operated using any kind of power. This is the same as guns. The object itself doesn't have any evil affinity. Good people can use it to do good, and evil people can use it to do evil."

The System continued, "Nie Renkuang initially thought this too…"

Fang Ning was baffled. "How did you know? Anderson's report didn't mention it."

The System then said, "Oh, it was Lei Tian himself who muttered it to himself when he was playing. Something like, Back then, if I hadn't been such a hot-blooded youth and preferred to listen to the Attack's ideas, then I wouldn't have become a demon and got trapped here. How unchallenging life is... "

Fang Ning pondered this. That was true. The Phantasm skill, Persona Partition, as a skill to split the soul, could allow the consciousness to separate into three spirit bodies -- one extreme, one neutral, and one conservative.

Lei Tian called them "Attack", "Defend", and "Flee".

The "Attack" spirit body, as its name suggested, was one that used fighting methods to solve everything. It practiced the mentality "If there's no trouble, step up to cause trouble".

Its best ability was making a small problem into a bigger one.

Something that could be solved by talking, according to it, needed a fight to be properly resolved.

Something that could be solved with a fight, according to it, needed a total massacre to be properly resolved.

When Lei Tian was Nie Renkuang, he loved fights, and was addicted to it.

After getting the book of Demonic Skills, he had thought that it did not look like evil skills, not to mention it could help resolve the problem of his drastic drop in IQ after becoming mad. And so, he had decisively cultivated it. And so, when it exploded, it could not be resolved again.

Fang Ning thought it over, and nodded. "Okay. You're right. To be honest, I don't dare attempt to cultivate this sort of soul-splitting method. At least I've some degree of early knowledge. Then, I shall take the residue and refuse the essence."

The System said confused, "I don't understand."

Fang Ning rolled his eyes. "You'll understand when it bears fruit."this is a play on the Chinese proverb "take the essence and refuse the residue", reversing the position of the nouns
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