Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
A young girl riding an electric bike and delivering take-out food approached the counter, made a deep bow, and said, "Ling-san, your beef donburi!"
Ling PingAn, who was deeply involved in his game at the moment, didn't even raise his head. He replied, "Just put it over there."
"Please enjoy your meal. Remember to give us a five-star rating." The young girl bowed again.
"I will." Ling PingAn extended his hand, making an "okay" gesture.
However, the young girl didn't leave immediately. She stood there in front of the counter.
When Ling PingAn had finished his game, he lifted his head, suddenly realizing that the young girl was still standing before the counter..
"What's going on?" Ling PingAn inquired. "What can I do for you, Miss Chiba?"
The young girl was holding a beautifully printed pamphlet. She passed it to Ling PingAn and made a deep bow. "Onegaishimasu, Ling-san!"
"I have a special favor for you. Please take a moment to look at this pamphlet."
Ling PingAn took it and discovered that it was a brochure.
On the cover was a beautiful young girl in a traditional Fusang kimono and the phrase "Your vote is vital for Fusang's entry into Xia!' written in standard script.
Opening the brochure, LIng PingAn could see that the contents were full of exquisite pictures and meticulously written text in an ornate style.
There were pictures of the beautiful cherry blossoms on Mount Fuji, the ancient gardens of Kyoto, and the annual festivals in Akihabara.
There were also pictures of famous figures from Fusang's history.
Master Jianzhen's picture was in a central position.
The brochure also contained highlights of the 300 years of friendship between the people of Fusang and those of the Federal Empire.
And, of course, there were various dishes of exquisite Fusang cuisine.
At the end of the brochure was printed the most famous sentence in the history of Fusang: "Although hills 'n' rills set us apart, the moon and wind share our kind heart."
The young girl watched nervously as Ling PingAn finished flipping through the brochure. Then she once again bowed deeply and requested with a pitiful look, "Ling-san, in the September election this year, can you vote for the Datong Party, which supports Fusang's entry into Xia?"
Ling PingAn stared at the pathetic-looking belle in front of him and thought about Fusang's cuisine and beautiful scenery. Then he nodded, "All right. You have my word."
"Thank you! Thank you!" The young girl gratefully bowed again and again.
However, in Ling PingAn's heart, he was shaking his head.
Even if the Datong Party were to triumph in this year's election and gain the authority to form a cabinet, the Fusang Kingdom's wish to join and become one of the Federal Empire's big family was not going to be that easy.
The Silla Kingdom, which was right next door, had been working hard to join the Federal Empire for 100 years.
However, every time they tried, they would be turned down when they were only an inch away from succeeding.
In the end, they could only acquire observer status in the Federal Empire.
Because these matters required a referendum of all the citizens across the Federal Empire.
The approval of more than half of the citizens participating in the referendum was required to initiate the legal process of any body's entry into the Federal Empire.
Natives of the federation occupied 60 percent of the Federal Empire's population and had the absolute advantage in terms of numbers.
And the natives had very little incentive to vote on such matters.
It was considered impressive if 20 percent of the population was willing to partake in these polls.
Two years ago, the Silla Kingdom had deployed all of its celebrities in the field of entertainment with influence in the federation, going all-out in promoting their campaign.
Fifty-five enormous Silla-Hua Charity Concerts were held consecutively in 17 cities within the federal territory.
One after another, super-celebrities bowed and pleaded while facing their tens of thousands of fans.
TV stations and news portals broadcast documentaries and advertisements about Silla as well.
In the end, the turnout rate didn't exceed 35 percent.
Therefore, the referendum proposal was rejected by the Nanzhou Kingdom and the Beizhou Kingdom, which had more than a 70 percent and 80 percent turnout rate, respectively.
This was the reason why Ling PingAn felt that all these things were no more than show.
The Fusang Kingdom and the Silla Kingdom had to do this every time they changed their cabinets as a sop to their people.
Perhaps even people in Silla and Fusang weren't that enthusiastic about this matter.
Only the expatriates living in the Federal Empire would feel so zealous about it.
Now that he'd finally lifted his head, Ling PingAn could see that this young girl was of Fusang ethnicity. She was standing still, not leaving and looking at him dazedly.
"What's wrong?" He felt something peculiar was going on.
"Nothing…" She bowed and said, "It's just that you're not wearing your glasses today, Ling-san."
Ling PingAn reached out to touch his face. He smiled, "You're right, I forgot my glasses today…"
He picked up his glasses from the counter and put them on.
However, then Ling PingAn realized that after he put on his glasses, he couldn't see things clearly.
Under the copper pot, the firewood was burning strongly.
Gudugudugudu. The boiling Sacred Water began to evaporate.
The ravings near her ears became more and more intense.
As if she had been bewitched by something, Han Li was sitting with a blank expression.
Inside the bag, the three harpy's hearts were still beating and struggling desperately.
The Death Grass collected from the Human-faced Spider's nest was soaked in thick sulfur water.
Han Li was holding a military dagger that she had picked up from an unknown place as she cut off the roots of these Death Grasses bit by bit.
Sap as red as blood oozed out from them.
Ahead, in a corner that was illuminated by the fire, several gargoyles that had had their wings and limbs cut off were struggling and wailing feebly.
"It's almost time!" Han Li said.
She grabbed a heart, put it in a stone mortar, and sprinkled a handful of salt that had been diluted with Sacred Water.
The heart began thumping violently amid the salt and Sacred Water.
Ignoring all of this, Han Li walked toward the corner expressionlessly, grabbed a gargoyle with one hand, and dragged it to the stone mortar.
Spirit Power erupted in her hands, finishing off the gargoyle neatly.
Amid the green fumes emitted by the gargoyle, she grabbed the ashes he'd left behind and threw them into the stone mortar.
"For anything, fresh is the best!" she exclaimed.
She swung the dagger, forcefully plunging it into the heart in the stone mortar, stirring vigorously.
At night, the business of the bookstore continued as usual.
Nothing was transacted that was going to pay for today's water and electric bills yet again.
Ling PingAn sighed. If this continued, the bookstore would be going down.
He was afraid that he would have to go back home and continue to work on his novels.
Thinking of his novels, he seemed to have found some inspiration just now...
He turned on the computer and started typing.
As he finally finished a chapter, he uploaded it.
After half an hour, Ling PingAn opened the author's page to read the comments on this chapter.
There were three comments.
The first comment said, "First."
The second comment said, "Second."
The third comment finally said something relevant. "You haven't dumped the book yet, Mr. Author? I've read novels for many years and have seen my fair share of terrible ones, but this is the first time I'm seeing a terrible one that isn't updated constantly."
Ling PingAn was so pissed off that he wanted to crawl along the network cable to that user and beat him up.
After some thought, Ling PingAn felt that he'd be better off letting it go.
Writing novels was his interest.
But gaming was his true hobby.
Hence, he decided to play a few more games.
Through the twists and turns of fate, he opened the page to his own novel. Then his eyes lit up. Someone had awarded him 100 coins.
"Has someone finally recognized me at last?" Ling PingAn was overjoyed.
Having looked at the user's ID, Ling PingAn decisively navigated back to the author's page, got to the third comment about the chapter, and starred it without hesitation.
If readers were God, those who awarded him would be the Creator.
Gotta present him with some offerings!
In the copper pot, the boiling Sacred Water was rumbling.
The harpy heart and gargoyle ashes that had been sprinkled inside were struggling.
A shadow, seemingly belonging to a vengeful spirit, was wailing inside the boiling Sacred Water.
Han Li's eyes were fixed on the copper pot.
Beside her ears, the ravings were getting more and more intense.
The Death Grass in her hands had already been cleaned.
The rhizome had been removed and the stems cut off.
Now, only one last procedure remained.
Waiting for the Sacred Water to thicken.
At the corner, the few gargoyles who never knew fear shuddered in terror.
For the first time, these monsters who have never been scared of humans felt the emotion of fear.
It was as if the one before them wasn't a human girl 17 years of age.
But a Demon Lord who ruled over everything in the Abysmal Maw.
At last, the Sacred Water within the copper pot evaporated, leaving behind a last glob of foam.
Han Li decisively threw in the Death Grass she was holding in her hand.
As soon as the Death Grass went into the copper pot, billowing green smoke arose.
Miserable shrieks from within the copper pot struck her ears.
However, Han Li laughed.
This young 17-year-old girl looked very beautiful when she smiled.
She leaned down, revealing her swan-like long neck.
In the copper pot, the remaining fumes dissipated. A pill, pure white in color, was swirling within.
This was the Spirit-oust Elixir!
Han Li grabbed the pill from the scalding copper pot unhesitatingly and swallowed it as soon as she raised her head.
The pill entered her stomach. Her body abruptly began heating up.
Her skin felt like it was cracking apart.
All of this reaction had distorted her beautiful face. Within her body, there seemed to be a shadow with goat horns and a pair of wings trying to break free.
"You will not!" Han Li guffawed. Despite being in great pain, she knew that she had succeeded.
This monster who had been sealed in her body would eventually become her source of nourishment.
She would be the first demon hunter that mankind had produced who could freely control and decide her own destiny.
The ravings by her ears continued.
Compelled by the ravings, Han Li raised the military dagger in her hand and forcefully stabbed it into her heart.
In excruciating pain, the demon hunter smiled.
Because she knew she had been set free.
Was she really free?
The ravings by her ears had put her into a trance.
"No matter what…" Han Li gazed at the dagger that had been stabbed into her heart and pulled it out.
Amid her miserable wailings, Han Li stood up.
The wound in her chest quickly healed.
She waved her hands, and a scarlet whip emerged in her grip.
"Superclass: Abyssus, Class: Diabolus, Order: Succubus, Dual-horn Succubus…"
She learned from the ravings that this was the name of the monster that was sealed in her body, or, one could say, temporarily parasitized in her body.
A Class A monster as rated by the United Nations Security Council.
A demon recorded in the Lower Abyss Research Report.
Now, it had been completely annihilated.
Destroyed by a human demon hunter within her own body.
Deprived of all its power!
The price to pay had been just hearing some ravings and the possible surfacing of some of the succubus's characteristics in her body in the future. A very good trade!
Within the flames, Han Li turned her head.
In the corner, the gargoyles didn't have the nerve to even budge.