Chapter 144 - Extra: Forever Luofeng
“Ao—— my new work station is a bit too great!” Liu Wei shouted with great joy while charging into the bright, clean, open office.
Behind him, a group of programmers dressed in plaid shirts swarmed in too. All of them delightfully headed off to find their own work desks.
A little over a year after the great battle at Impasse Mountain, Luofeng Management and their subsidiary company, Amazing Future, finally welcomed the day of moving offices.
And this time, they weren’t renting a location. Instead, Luofeng had bought it themselves; they had bought eight floors in total.
Originally, based on Luofeng’s finances, they had only been able to afford four floors. However, after the Impasse Mountain incident, Luofeng had received quite an impressive sum of reward money from the special department. Additionally, they had received a large quantity of orders. The developmental district’s government sector also gave their company great preferential policies and tax discounts. They had transferred some support funds to Luofeng as well.
After that, in order to express his great gratitude, the young master of the Luo Corporation – Luo Wanxiang – had passionately recommended Luofeng to his father as a collaboration partner. Luofeng received a large amount of orders and subsequent collaborations from the Luo Corporation.
Given these circumstances, Luofeng’s headquarters made some careful calculations about the investment return period and decided to directly increase their spending limit. They immediately bought ten floors.
Ten floors was the most that the entire company of Luofeng could handle at the time. This was also after mortgaging off their subsidiary company’s future assets and Shang Que’s house. The mortgage period was two years. This meant that if Luofeng was unable to successfully repay their loans within two years, Amazing Future and Shang Que’s house would both be liquidized.
In the eyes of many people, this was an extremely risky move.
Of course, this wasn’t true for Shang Que.
Yu Zhengdu reminded him, “You have to be absolutely certain. All investments face the risk of failure. There are no projects with one hundred percent success rates.”
Shang Que’s gaze was dark. “If things really get that bad, I’ll just have to……”
Yu Zhengdu: “Sell the antiques?”
“Only useless sons sell their family possessions.” Shang Que was very resolute about his own morals. He seriously stated, “I also have a mountain of gold at Luofeng Mountain.”
This had been accumulated out of the gold accessories the mortal realm had offered to the Ghost King a thousand years ago.
Yu Zhengdu: “……” Fuck!
The mortal realm had clearly burned so much useless paper money to the Underworld. In the end, that had all ended up as the Rubbish Money Mountain. Why had these offerings turned into a gold mountain in Shang Que’s case?!
Shang Que gazed at him. “Now, half the gold mountain is yours.”
Yu Zhengdu: Suddenly became wealthy!!
When Luofeng had just announced that they were going to buy floors from a building that, at the time, had been located in the middle of nowhere, the subsidiary company had been extremely against it. This was mainly because transportation to and from that location wasn’t very convenient for office workers. Moreover, the surrounding area was lacking in supporting facilities. Some employees even quit because of these reasons.
Unexpectedly, mere months later, Fu City’s relevant department revealed their plans for the next few years. There were four new subway lines planned in the developmental district, as well as a plethora of bus routes. And, one subway line was set to pass directly next to the building Luofeng had bought. There was even a subway station less than twenty meters away from the main entrance of the building.
After that, the new district also revealed their developmental plans. Luofeng’s building was going to be surrounded by large malls, supermarkets, plazas, etc.
Practically overnight, the rent and value of buildings in that area had more than doubled.
Luofeng’s headquarters carefully took note of the timing and quickly sold two floors. They earned an enormous amount in return and managed to repay their loans very rapidly. As such, the company basically earned four floors for free.
Additionally, according to Luofeng’s staff size and rate of future growth, they wouldn’t need eight floors of office buildings in the foreseeable future. Thus, they rented out four of their floors. By then, the rent had already doubled from before. Through rent alone, Luofeng was earning an impressive amount of money every month.
Luofeng only started redesigning their offices after the supporting facilities in that region slowly started construction or opened. This was their own office building. Naturally, they were extremely careful when designing it. They hired a professional designer to make the designs. To ensure the health and safety of their subsidiary company’s employees, they even aired the offices out for a period of time after construction. Additionally, they performed formaldehyde removal with a photocatalyst and other procedures.
As such, the official moving day was a little more than a year later. However, this was a more suitable moving time for the employees, who still needed to work. The subway line was going to open soon; some bus routes had already opened nearby as well. The supporting facilities were slightly more complete. The employees didn’t need to suffer through too many inconveniences.
The old employees also really liked their new office environment.
For example, the office that the programmers were in had an open floor plan. The walls separating the inside from the outside had utilized an all glass design. The lighting was great. One could see very far into the distance through the floor-to-ceiling glass. Of course, currently, there were only construction sites and dust all around the building. However, in the next few years, these construction sites would become clean and fashionable malls, buildings, plazas, neighborhoods, etc.
The color of the office’s interior was fresh and vibrant. There were also large quantities of plants scattered throughout the office. Each employee’s work station was much roomier compared to what they had previously had at the technology park. The work tables and chairs had all been designed to be ergonomic. They were extremely beneficial for programmer’s backs.
Liu Wei and the group of programmers were extremely pleased with their new work environment. Their computers and work tools had already been packed in cardboard boxes with styrofoam in advance and had been transported over by a professional moving company. The boxes had been placed in accordance to the numbers on them atop the corresponding desks. This group of people started discussing their new office while unboxing their cardboard boxes and setting up their computers.
As one of the oldest members, Liu Wei received a work station next to the window. He poked his head out and looked at the construction sites outside of the glass wall. Quite satisfied, he said, “I heard that the building across from ours is going to build a garden in the sky. In the future, I’ll be able to directly see the garden from my spot.”
“I think our company has our own little garden,” someone else said.
Times were different now. Currently, Luofeng was a company that owned eight floors. There was a floor in the middle that had a rather large open terrace. As per the designer’s suggestion, this terrace had been turned into a half-outdoor garden. The other half was a glass flower room. Additionally, there were outdoor couches, water stations, etc. It was easy to predict that this was going to be a good place to go to relax.
Aside from a small garden, their new office now also included plenty of guest reception areas and break rooms. Additionally, they had their own little cafeteria and more. It could be said that Luofeng had done their best to provide all the benefits and amenities that top tier companies had within their current financial capabilities.
“I’ve decided. I’m going to work at our company until I retire,” Liu Wei passionately announced.
At the same time, at the front desk of their new office, Hu Xiaoyue was in the midst of receiving and recording the celebratory gifts given to Luofeng by their collaborators and clients. She was working with a few coworkers from the administrative department.
Most of their VIP clients had gifted luxurious flower baskets and fruit baskets. You could never go wrong by staying unremarkable. However, they still ultimately had special collaborators.
“This is from Daoist priest Mu and Daoist priest Yuan Qing of Qinglian Temple. It’s a residence protecting fengshui array?” Hu Xiaoyue’s entire foxly being froze in place after seeing the enormous sandalwood sculpture her coworkers had just brought in. This sculpture seemed like an antique and was quite heavy; it was probably very valuable. It was easy to tell that it wasn’t a normal piece. Daoist priest Mu and his apprentice had really been quite sincere. However, the problem was, this item didn’t really seem to fit in with their new office’s style.
“Put it off to the side for now. I’ll ask Boss later where we should put it,” Hu Xiaoyue said. “Bring the other stuff in first.”
Coworker: “This is a gift from Daoist priest Kou Buzhi from Danyang Temple. It’s a fengshui calabash that has been enlightened. He’s also given us the suggestion to hang it above our door.”
Hu Xiaoyue: “Put it off to the side first.”
“This is a gift from a religious master at XX Temple……”
As time passed, Luofeng’s new front desk became filled with all sorts of different gifts. Flower baskets, fruit baskets, Buddhist magical instruments, and Daoist magical instruments were all mixed together. The entire atmosphere slowly became quite strange.
Visitors, delivery men, and people who accidentally passed by all stared at this weird setting with great surprise.
Another delivery man’s eyes widened as he stared at the front desk of this company that clearly had a youthful and fashionable interior. His expression was very odd as he asked, “What does your company do?”
Hu Xiaoyue calmly answered, “ A little bit of everything. We’re a comprehensive enterprise.”
The coworker next to her accepted the delivery man’s box. While opening it, he said, “This is a gift from Mr. Ming. It’s an ultrasonic-wave ghost expelling device.” Mr. Ming was obviously Ming Peiran from the special department. However, he worked in a unique department, so he needed to be a bit more lowkey.
The delivery man: “……”
Just as he was feeling speechless, an adrognyous person in a minidress walked into the office while holding onto a selfie stick and phone. While walking, he said to the camera, “Our company is moving offices today. Let me taste the dirt in our new office’s garden for everyone.”
Hu Xiaoyue glanced at him and yelled, “Wu Qimin, how come you’re back today?”
The person holding the selfie stick was the Wuqi citizen who had emerged out of the soil at Si Mountain Ridge. After the Si Mountain Ridge incident, because of his unique circumstances, he ultimately returned to Luofeng with Yu Zhengdu and Shang Que. However, he hadn’t been familiar with any modern work skills. In the beginning, he had only been able to do odd chores around the company. Eventually, Luofeng started their own management sector, after which he started his livestreaming career upon listening to Yu Zhengdu’s suggestion.
His livestreams were very simple too. He just ate dirt. Originally, he thought that such strange behavior probably wouldn’t be able to earn any money. Unexpectedly, modern people were extremely curious. His livestreams actually garnered quite a lot of attention. What made him even happier was that no one online treated him like a weirdo.
After living through thousands of years of being treated as an outsider and getting chased down, the Wuqi citizen could finally eat dirt proudly in front of everyone. He could even earn money by eating dirt.
When Wu Qimin’s dirt eating livestream went viral, he got even more attention. Quite a lot of people suspected that he was faking it. Or, he was eating fake dirt. But nobody could provide any convincing evidence. There were also a lot of people who tried to imitate his livestreams. Yet, nobody could eat dirt as realistically and professionally as him. And, because of all the suspicion and comparison, Wu Qimin became more and more popular.
At this time, his work everyday entailed carrying his livestream camera with him to different places and eating the dirt there. He would review the dirt qualities of different regions. Because he travelled everywhere, slowly, people started watching his livestream as a travel show too.
And, during the most amazing incident, he had taken a bite of dirt from a tourist location that had lots of greenery. With just one bite, he announced that the local dirt was heavily polluted. At first, everyone thought that he was grandstanding. Unexpectedly, when netizens looked into the matter later, they surprisingly found out that there was a chemical plant nearby that had been secretly disposing of their waste.
After enough similar incidents occurred, Wu Qimin’s dirt quality review became another type of environmental quality testing.
However, these things weren’t what caused Wu Qimin the most joy.
Hu Xiaoyue’s question wasn’t an attempt at expressing disdain for Wu Qimin. Instead, it was because even though Wu Qimin was an employee at their company, because of his work, he spent most of his time out of town. It was very hard to see him normally.
Wu Qimin turned his camera onto Hu Xiaoyue. “It’s moving day for the company today. I’m back to look around and, while I’m at it, taste the dirt in our garden to see if it’s up to standard or not.”
The camera swept past Hu Xiaoyue’s face. The comments instantly went crazy:
【Fuck, this jiejie is so pretty!】
【Is this Minmin’s coworker?】
【Streamer, give jiejie some more screen time】
“This is our receptionist. You’ll be able to see her if you’re here for an interview or collaboration.” Wu Qimin took this opportunity to advertise their company. Then, he added, “You’re not allowed to make inappropriate comments. If you do, you’ll be muted.”
He turned around and smiled at Hu Xiaoyue. “I like the modern audience. Most of them are very kind.”
Hu Xiaoyue understood what he was talking about. She smiled too and replied, “Yes. Things are great now.”
For Wu Qimin, what made him happiest was this generation’s capacity for tolerance. Not only could he eat dirt in front of others, this gender fluid Wuqi citizen could also find his own place in these times.
In the previous years, Wuqi citizens had often suffered prejudice because of their lack of gender differentiation. Whether they presented themselves as male or female, they would still be rejected. But, in this time period, whether he wanted to be a man, woman, or loudly announce in front of the camera that he was gender fluid, there would still be people supporting and encouraging him.
Even though unpleasant voices still existed, everything was progressing in a better direction.
Wu Qimin headed towards the little garden. Hu Xiaoyue continued overworking her brain over the strange gifts.
Fortunately, Yu Zhengdu and Shang Que appeared very quickly too.
Upon seeing the two of them, Hu Xiaoyue almost turned back into a fox on the spot. However, it was the middle of the day. She ultimately managed to resist the urge to do so and asked, “Boss Shang, Boss Yu, these are all celebratory gifts sent over by the religious masters. What should we do with them?”
Yu Zhengdu glanced over and joked, “If not for the fact that we know the religious masters quite well, I might think that they were specifically targeting our employees.”
These were all magical tools that had really and truly been enlightened: they were all intended to be used to deal with demons, monsters, and ghosts. Unfortunately, Luofeng’s headquarters was full of demons, monsters, and ghosts.
Shang Que glanced at them too. “Put them in my office.” He would put them away later. Though the religious masters had good intentions and were all very generous, these items truly weren’t suited for Luofeng. His only option was probably to put them into his qiankun sleeve.
Yu Zhengdu then sought out Lu Lingxi. After confirming how the move was going, determining that work was going smoothly, and learning that their coworkers were in great moods and normal work wouldn’t be affected, he finally sighed in relief.
Just as they were speaking, Liu Wei and the programmers ran over while joking with one another. They asked, “Manager Lu, where’s Peppa? She’s moved over too, right?”
“Of course. If she didn’t, would you guys still be able to focus on work?” Lu Lingxi looked at them in a speechless manner. The programmers started laughing sheepishly.
Liu Wei: “She’s our goddess after all.”
Yu Zhengdu fell silent for a moment. “Isn’t your goddess Xiaoyue?”
“They’re different kinds of goddesses,” Liu Wei explained. “Xiaoyue is our company’s goddess. Peppa is the treasure of all programmers.”
Lu Lingxi glanced at the time and replied, “At this time, Peppa should be streaming in her room.”
Liu Wei made a noise of surprise and angrily said, “We’re moving offices today, but you guys still won’t let her take a break. You guys are exploiting geese.”
“Who dares to exploit Peppa?” Lu Lingxi criticized, “Peppa is much more hardworking than you guys. She still remembered to do her homework on such a day, okay?”
Liu Wei: “……”
Thus, a few programmers carefully tiptoed over to the doorway of a brightly colored small room.
This small room had specially been prepared in the new office for Peppa Goose.
A year ago, Peppa had achieved enough merits to successfully transform into human form. However, Peppa Goose was already Luofeng’s mascot and a goddess in the programmer’s hearts. Because of this, she still needed to return to the company in goose form to “work” from time to time as a means of comforting the programmers’ mental states and their barely-hanging-on hair.
As a hardworking and ambitious goose, she usually also needed to attend preschool and tutoring classes in human form. After school, she had homework to do. Consequently, the programmers had unintentionally discovered that their goose goddess was actually watching tutoring videos.
Short videos of the learning goose spread like fire. Later on, Peppa simply decided to start a livestream too, just like Wu Qimin. She didn’t do anything and only watched tutoring videos in front of the camera.
Her livestream was honestly very boring and static. Sometimes, her goose neck wouldn’t even move for a whole hour. She just stared at the videos.
Even so, surprisingly, there were people who watched her livestreams at the same time everyday. They were even stranger than the ones who watched others’ homework livestreams for hours.
The comments were very bewildering too:
【Even a goose is diligently learning. What reasons do I have for slacking off?】
【I’m here. Time to do homework with Peppa】
【Every time I watch Peppa’s livestreams, I feel very calm inside】
【Crazy. This is a fake goose, right?】
So far, Luofeng’s management sector had four contracted employees: the two members of Sagittarius Band, streamer Wu Qimin, and a goose.
“Ah, Peppa is really livestreaming.” Liu Wei stupidly stared at Peppa through the glass door of Peppa’s small room.
“She’s watching English videos today,” another programmer said.
“I didn’t see Peppa yesterday, so I kind of miss her.” Someone couldn’t resist and opened the door. They softly yelled, “Peppa, stop streaming. Come play with us.”
The goose, who had originally been entirely focused on her video, turned around and noticed the heads squeezed together by the door. Her long goose neck tilted slightly. Then, she reached out a goose foot and pressed the pause button on the keyboard. After that, she waddled out of the camera’s line of sight……
【????? This goose moved? It’s a real goose?】
【I sputtered. Peppa pressed the pause button? She can really tell the difference?】
【I always thought that Peppa Goose was only attracted by the sounds and moving images……】
【Isn’t that the case? You guys don’t really think that it can actually understand the videos?】
As soon as Peppa was out of the livestream camera’s view, she immediately revealed her true colors. She viciously quacked, then spread her wings and charged at the programmers to start bullying them.
“Ey ey, be more gentle. Don’t peck our ankles ah,” Liu Wei cried while running away.
All their group members were solely relying on courage to pet the goose.
After bullying them, Peppa finally waddled back over next to Yu Zhengdu and Shang Que. She flapped her wings. “Ga——” Dad!
“Good girl.” Yu Zhengdu stroked the goose’s head and said with a smile, “Did you finish your homework? We’re going to Luofeng Mountain later.”
Goose: “Ga——” I finished.
“Then let’s leave now.” While saying this, Shang Que held onto Yu Zhengdu’s hand. He tilted his head at the goose. All three of them headed towards his office.
The Underworld had been reconstructed for a little over a year. After the initial period of chaos, new order had very quickly been established.
The Life and Death Accounts system’s servers had been taken over by Luofeng Mountain. The reincarnation of Underworld spirits was now completely handled by Luofeng Mountain too. The reincarnation points that had previously been scattered throughout the mortal realm were now entrances into Luofeng Mountain.
These days, when people died, their spirits would receive Luofeng’s notification text. They could locate where the reincarnation points had previously been by following the path provided by the Life Management app. There, Luofeng’s employees would direct them into the real Underworld——Luofeng Mountain. Reincarnation happened there.
Naturally, there was an entrance at Luofeng’s headquarters too.
“Time to go home.” Shang Que had his arm around Yu Zhengdu’s waist. The goose transformed into a little girl and held onto a corner of Yu Zhengdu’s shirt.
Shang Que used his finger to faintly tap the air. It seemed like he had activated a certain switch.
The scene before their eyes instantly transformed, as if swept away by waves. A majestic and modernized entryway appeared in front of them.
This was an enormous arrival lobby. They were standing in the passageway of one of the entrances. An electronic screen atop of the passageway read: Fu City Headquarters Entrance.
A long row of entrances whose end couldn’t be seen was next to them. Each entrance’s screen displayed something different: Minan Entrance, Chuandong Entrance, Diyang Entrance, Si Mountain Ridge Entrance, etc.
These passageways were the entrances at the reincarnation points all over the nation. Underworld spirits from everywhere could travel between the Underworld and mortal realm through them.
At the end of each passageway, a worker inspected the Underworld spirits entering and exiting. Conversations unique to the Underworld could be heard throughout the area:
“Your luggage has exceeded Underworld energy standards. You cannot bring it to the mortal realm. We don’t offer storage services. You can throw it away or mail it home. You can choose to pay the delivery fees with gold or mortal currency. We accept wireless payments……”
“The system indicates in its records that in the past year, you’ve broken the rules and sent a dream message to your relatives in the mortal realm. You have been restricted from leaving. Please return to Luofeng Mountain.”
“There’s only one day left until your reincarnation. If you’re certain about going to the mortal realm, please remember to return on time. Otherwise, points will be deducted from your Good and Evil Score.”
“You’re the friend of a recently escaped ghost convict. Please return with us to cooperate in our investigation.”
After the Underworld had been reconstructed, ghosts who weren’t due for reincarnation yet could choose to live in their graves or cinerary urns in the mortal realm like before, or could choose to move to Luofeng Mountain.
If they stayed in the mortal realm, the environment was more familiar. However, due to rules and restrictions, Underworld spirits had a very limited range of activity. If they moved to Luofeng Mountain, the environment would be less familiar, but this was the true Underworld. They didn’t need to hide their tracks; there was a lot more freedom.
Many Underworld spirits were still getting accustomed to the new Underworld. As such, the passageways were very busy too. Ghosts entered and exited daily, traveling between both realms.
“Seems like things are going quite smoothly,” Yu Zhengdu said with a grin.
“Un.” Shang Que held onto his hand. The two of them walked out of the passageway together. As the owner of Luofeng Mountain, he had a private passageway. No workers dared to search him either.
Upon leaving the passageway, the enormous electronic screen hanging from the wall of the arrivals area could be seen. On it, Luofeng Mountain’s map and other information was displayed. There was also a special sign nearby: Reincarnation Hall this way→
The new Reincarnation Hall was responsible for the entire country’s reincarnations. It was much larger than the local reincarnation points from before. Each day, Underworld spirits from all over gathered at Luofeng Mountain’s Reincarnation Hall, then travelled to other locations.
However, Yu Zhengdu and Shang Que’s family wasn’t going to the Reincarnation Hall today. They left the arrivals area through a different direction. Upon leaving the doors, Luofeng Mountain’s towering peaks and endless ridges came into view.
Above the clouds, spirit lanterns seemed like stars in the night sky. The strange Ghost City of Fengdu flickered in and out of sight among the fog.
And, aside from the Ghost City, there were lots of skyscrapers. All areas were under development. The buildings in the midst of construction were plastered with ads in large fonts: Seeking merchants, call 444-*******; Selling building, call 444-*******
A winding road up the mountain had already been built, but cars weren’t allowed on it yet.
A taxi stopped in front of them. An ox head poked out from the car window. “Hi, look at my ox head. I’m an experienced local driver. Are you guys heading to Fengdu or the new district? Five RMB, not charged by meter.”
A speedy ghost charged over from nearby. He pointed at his own back. “Ride me there. I’m speedy and will get there with a ‘whoosh’. I’m only charging two RMB.”
Shang Que expressionlessly stared at them. Two horns popped out of his head. “I’m the Ghost King.”
The ox head and speedy ghost disappeared together with a “whoosh”.
Yu Zhengdu said with a smile, “The commuting industry has developed too.”
These were new times. Underworld spirits were all the ghosts of humans who had gotten used to a modern lifestyle. Naturally, they needed to create a new Underworld that was suitable for everyone to live in.
He gazed at the steadfast Ghost City of Fengdu and the surrounding construction sites, then joked, “It feels like the capital. That’s the old district and this is the new city in the third and fourth ring roads.”
“That’s true.” Shang Que gazed in the direction where the spirit lanterns were floating. He lamented as well, “New things are endlessly being developed, but history has been preserved forever too.”
Peppa blinked. “This is Dad’s mountain.”
“Yes, it’s mine.” Shang Que smiled and turned to look at Yu Zhengdu. “But it’s also yours.”
“Let’s go. To Fengdu.” Yu Zhengdu’s left hand was intertwined with Shang Que’s hand. He held onto Peppa with his right hand. All three of them walked up the mountain path.
This is our era, but it’s also a new era for everyone.