Recruitment Brochure for China National Exorcism College
The China National Exorcism College is a public full-time general higher education institution with the mission of cultivating high-quality Exorcisms and equipment technicians. It has multiple majors, including Resources and Information (Exorcism Local Culture Pathway), International Resources and Information (Exorcism Non-Local Culture Pathway), Environmental Engineering (Feng Shui), Theory and Applied Materials Science (Exorcism Theory), Bioinformatics (Research), Industrial Engineering (Magic Weapon Production), Automation (Collection), Architecture (Formation and Trap Research), History (Exorcism History), Medicine (Alchemy), Electronic Communication (Electronic Exorcism), Analytical Studies (Paranormal Phenomenon Analysis), and more than 40 disciplines in total.
Admission Requirements: Chinese nationals of the human and demon race aged 16 to 24, with three generations of direct relatives who have served as registered exorcists in the Exorcism Committee, or fresh graduates who have passed the eighth national census and are registered with the ability to communicate with the Earth’s veins.
In addition, the college has a foreign student department. For details, please consult the director of the admissions office, Xuan Hezhi.
Admissions Phone: 400-521-521
On the morning of the college entrance exam results, Jiang Hong exploded into the brightest fireworks in the sky.
“I actually passed the top tier! Hahaha! I passed the top tier! Mom! Dad! I’m going to a top-tier school! Mom! Let’s go to the temple to give thanks!”
Jiang Hong could not believe that he had exceeded the admission line by 14 points! 14 full points! Jiang Hong was so excited that he ran barefoot out of his house and found his mother playing mahjong in the community center. His mother was shocked and overjoyed.
The mother and son hurriedly took a taxi. Jiang Hong’s mother first went to the temple to give thanks, and then they rushed to Jiang Hong’s father’s workplace. Upon hearing the news, he canceled the meeting, opened a bottle of champagne. The bottle cap ricocheted, making the light bulb on the ceiling burst, but they didn’t care. The family of three celebrated with joy, crying tears of happiness, and quickly informed relatives and friends to book a celebratory feast.
Jiang Hong looked at his exam results page again and again, feeling a sense of relief that he had finally completed his task.
At the age of 18, he felt a sense of immense relief at this moment, as he had reached the end of a chapter in his life and was about to open a new one.
He grew up in a loving family and was a happy child. His parents and grandparents poured a lot of care and attention on him from an early age, and he never lacked for anything in terms of food, clothing, or other necessities.
He was also obedient and adorable, and his arrival brought great progress to his father’s career, making him a successful local business owner. He had a wide range of interests from a young age, and whenever he saw something fun, he wanted to learn and try it. His parents were happy to let him taste the joys of this vast world one by one, so he learned to play musical instruments, play sports, and read books. However, he was not particularly proficient in any of these things.
But that didn’t matter, as the experience was what was important. His parents comforted themselves in this way. Jiang Hong was also optimistic and broad-minded, playing basketball every day and playing games. He graduated from primary school and, being sensible and ambitious, was admitted to a prestigious middle school. His grades were average, ranking in the middle of his class, occasionally slipping to the bottom due to his addiction to games, but his parents did not blame him too much.
Jiang Hong grew up with a healthy diet, approaching 1.8 meters tall and extremely handsome, with a sunny personality and able to get along with anyone. However, the society would not be lenient just because of his good looks. The first round of attacks came when he was 17 years old. As a playful and optimistic Aries, Jiang Hong did not think about college until his senior year of high school, when his homeroom teacher reminded him that he had to make a decision soon. However, it was too late, and with limited talent, he struggled to barely touch the admission line. Jiang Hong’s parents believed in fate and thought that everything was predetermined, so they simply let things be.
Of course, they didn’t say this in front of their son. Jiang Hong’s father explained that studying was a lifelong pursuit and that one should do their best and leave the rest to fate. He also promised that Jiang Hong could inherit the family business in the future, so he shouldn’t feel too much pressure. Jiang Hong’s father would rather see his son lead a happy life than be crushed by academic pressure.
After celebrating with a big meal, the family began to prepare for Jiang Hong’s college application. Based on the recommendation of an old monk from the temple and the results of a fortune telling, they chose the Mechanical and Electronic Engineering program at Northwestern University of Technology, as it was in line with the family’s business. Jiang Hong didn’t object much to the choice of major, as he had always been interested in vehicles and mechanical toys. He had planned to repeat a year of high school but unexpectedly passed the exam.
That night, Jiang Hong couldn’t sleep as he thought about his unexpected success. He had always been a mediocre student, but he had scored fourteen points higher than the minimum score for admission to a first-tier university!
He was already looking forward to his college life. Jiang Hong’s father asked him how his desk mate did on the exam before going to bed. Jiang Hong replied with a smile, “Oh, he got into Peking University.”
Realizing that there will always be someone better than oneself, the father and son were silent for a few seconds, but quickly regained their smiles.
Jiang Hong was satisfied with himself, having done his best. Jiang remembered that his father had promised to buy him a car if he got into a first-tier university, so he could drive around and explore. Thinking about his upcoming college life, he couldn’t help but feel excited and unable to sleep.
Two months of summer vacation flew by in the blink of an eye, and Jiang Hong received the admission notice from Northwestern University of Technology as he had wished. His parents gave him some money to purchase necessities for his new life. Jiang Hong dressed in trendy jeans, dragged his suitcase, and was sent to the airport by his father.
Unfortunately, the admission notice strongly advised that parents should not accompany their children to school during their first year.
“I can handle it,” said Jiang Hong. Although he grew up in a well-off family, he was still capable of being independent. He could do laundry and move into a dormitory on his own.
“When you get there, make sure to establish good relationships with your roommates,” Jiang father and mother reminded him repeatedly. “The school is not home, and teachers are not parents who will pamper you.”
“I know.” Jiang Hong kissed his mother and hugged his father. He waved goodbye to his parents, passee through security, boarded the plane, and flew to his destination – Xi’an.
Jiang Hong looked out of the airplane window and thought about his 18-year life, feeling a mixture of nervousness and excitement about his upcoming future. Upon landing, a minibus with the words “Welcome to Northwestern University of Technology” was parked outside the airport.
“Are you a new student?” The driver was an elderly lady who was dressed in a suit and appeared energetic.
“Yes, that’s right.” Jiang Hong put down his luggage, and the lady asked, “Can I see your admission notice?”
Jiang Hong checked his admission notice with her. He had filled out a detailed application form on the website before coming, including options such as whether he needed airport pick-up, dormitory requirements and roommate preferences, dietary restrictions, and more. This university was too considerate, making new students feel like they were in paradise.
“You can sit anywhere on the bus,” the lady said casually.
Jiang Hong had just boarded the bus, but the door suddenly closed, and the minibus drove away.
“Huh? Am I the only one?” Jiang Hong asked.
“Yes.” The lady smiled and said, “You’re the only one I need to pick up today.”
Jiang Hong thought she was working too hard. She could have waited for a few more flights to arrive so she could pick up more students.
“How many people are in this year’s intake?”
“More than two hundred people?” The lady said, “I don’t remember.”
“Only two hundred people?” Jiang Hong thought he misheard.
“You should ask the faculty,” the lady said with a big smile, and Jiang Hong leaned against the window.
“Oh my,” Jiang Hong wanted to say “slow down,” but after seeing how the lady drove, speeding and racing all the way, he thought safety was more important and quickly fastened his seatbelt.
Quality was more important than quantity for students, Jiang Hong consoled himself, but two hundred people were still too few, not even enough for one department in a key undergraduate school.
But soon, Jiang Hong’s attention was drawn to the breathtaking scenery of the Qinling Mountains in early autumn. The minibus drove onto the highway towards Lintong, passed through rolling hills, and turned off at the highway exit to enter a winding mountain road. A ribbon-like indigo river meandered through the valley, while golden, light red, and green colors mixed with the pine and cypress trees and maple forests that covered the mountainsides. The sky was a washed-out blue, and the river seemed to flow from the ground towards the horizon at the end of the valley.
The scenery was so beautiful, just like a computer desktop background! Jiang Hong couldn’t help but exclaim.
Wait, why is the scenery a bit blurred?
Jiang Hong thought he might have blurred vision, but suddenly realized that the old lady had driven the minibus through a motion blur…
“Auntie!” Jiang Hong held onto the seatback and yelled, “You’re speeding!”
“No, no,” the old lady said casually. “This is a normal phenomenon. It happens every time we enter the mountains.”
Jiang Hong: “???”
Suddenly, the blurred scenery outside the car window reverted back to the lush Qinling forest, and the blurring disappeared in an instant.
Jiang Hong was bewildered, and saw their car turn onto a fork in the road, just like in the animated film Spirited Away. The road leading to a secret realm was flanked by a row of neatly arranged stone lions, followed by dragon, phoenix, qilin, and strange animal sculptures.
“Wow, what is this?” Jiang Hong muttered to himself.
The sunset shone on the forest, dyeing everything in shades of purple and red. Jiang Hong looked around, and suddenly felt his eyes blur again. It seemed that the elm trees on both sides of the road were moving aside?
He shook his head, and the forest seemed to revert to its original state.
They were the only car on the road, and as the sky darkened, the atmosphere became indescribably eerie.
“This, this, this…” Jiang Hong held onto the seatback, feeling a little scared. “Auntie, are we not there yet?”
“Almost there, almost there!” the old lady said.
As it got darker, the minibus turned on its headlights, and two white beams shone out.
Jiang Hong’s spine instantly broke out in cold sweat. It felt as if he had entered a horror movie!
He opened his phone and found that he had no signal.
Then, the minibus drifted suddenly, and the old lady jerked the steering wheel and opened the door.
“We’re here! Have a pleasant first year!” the old lady said.
Jiang Hong: “…”
He almost got thrown out of the car and was standing in front of a massive stone tablet with “China Sky University” inscribed on it. In tiny, barely visible letters beside it, “Northwestern University of Technology” was also written crookedly.
Looking around, he saw a road leading to a distant iron gate.
“Wait!” Jiang Hong was about to turn around, but the car that brought him here had already left.
The last rays of the sun were crimson, shining on the stone tablet, and the golden letters shone brightly. Strange Chinese parasol trees crowded around him on all sides, and the path seemed to be leading to the dark unknown. In that darkness, countless twisted ghosts were lurking, glaring at him with bared teeth and claws.
In just a short half-day, Jiang Hong went through a rollercoaster of emotions from excitement to nervousness, worry, panic, and finally fear.
Three seconds later, Jiang Hong shouted, “Is anyone there?! What kind of place is this?!”
The sun had completely set, and the shadows of the mountains covered the forest at the foot of Qinling Mountains, leaving only a faint light in the sky. There were no streetlights on the road.
Jiang Hong was about to explode, shouting a few times, but no one responded. Standing on the roadside was not a solution. He dragged his luggage and walked towards the only small path.
“Is anyone there?!” Jiang Hong began to regret applying to this university. He wanted to take pictures, but when he turned on the flash, the surroundings became even scarier. He walked forward cautiously, looking around, and his phone not only had no signal but was also running out of battery.
He heard the sound of a door slamming in the distance. Someone’s there!
Jiang Hong rushed forward as if he had been saved, shouting, “There’s someone here, there’s someone here!”
As he got closer, he saw that there was no one there. It was just the mountain wind blowing branches and occasionally hitting a metal gate, which made the scene even more eerie.
Jiang Hong gathered his courage and pushed the metal gate. The gate made a rusty “creak” sound, and it seemed like something was scurrying around behind it.
Not far away, the sound of dripping water, “drip, drip,” had been ringing for some time. Jiang Hong walked in and saw a row of dilapidated factories.
Jiang Hong: “…”
Jiang Hong felt like he had entered the set of a horror movie in a mountain village. He tightly gripped his phone.
“Is anyone there…” Jiang Hong’s voice involuntarily lowered, tinged with fear.
He turned to the side wall, and in front of him was an empty playground, with several houses hidden in the darkness, without any lights. The temperature difference between day and night in the mountains was extreme, and as soon as the sun set, it became cold, making Jiang Hong shiver.
What was that? Jiang Hong approached and realized that there were rows of tombstones on the playground. He was too scared to get any closer. What kind of place was this?
He couldn’t take it anymore. “Is anyone there? I want to go home!”
He turned on the flashlight mode on his phone and heard the sound of the wind in the distance, and faintly, there was singing, Fei Yuqing’s “I Want to Sing for You.” However, the combination of the phonograph-like singing and Fei Yuqing’s voice made it all the more chilling.
“…if I lose you…like a rose in the wind and rain…”
There should be someone there, right?
When Jiang Hong walked out of the field along the small path, he felt as if someone was touching the back of his neck.
“Ah!” Jiang Hong immediately turned around and found someone standing behind him.
Jiang Hong screamed in terror. His phone battery died at this very moment.
Dragging his luggage, Jiang Hong started to run frantically, but suddenly collided with someone, who immediately grabbed his wrist and pulled him into his arms.
Jiang Hong was terrified and shocked to be hugged by a stranger.
“Who are you?!”
“What are you doing?!”
Jiang Hong screamed in panic.
“Stop! Calm down! It’s me!” The person was a male and shouted at Jiang Hong.
Jiang Hong turned around to run away, but the man suddenly grabbed his arm. His palm was warm and it made Jiang Hong less afraid.
“It’s you,” the man whispered. Seeing that Jiang Hong stopped running, he let go of his hand.
Breathless and panting, Jiang Hong waved his hand and asked, “Where is this place? Is this really a school? Why is there a graveyard?”
The man remained silent.
He looked at Jiang Hong and motioned for him to follow him to a place where there was light.
The moon had risen and was shining brightly in the sky, and the field had taken on a different appearance under its light.
Jiang Hong saw the male’s face clearly. He had good skin, slightly curly hair, delicate features, thick eyebrows, and a high nose. He exuded a cold yet approachable aura.
“Are you talking about this?” The male motioned for Jiang Hong to look.
“Ah…” Jiang Hong turned his head towards the field, and now he saw it clearly. In the center of the field was a divided flower bed, each bed planted with blue and white flowers. Next to it were wooden signs with class names written on them, although they were hard to read.
Tonight was a full moon night, and under the moonlight, the flowers were glowing like fireflies. It was truly beautiful!
“Oh, it’s a flower bed,” Jiang Hong said. “You scared me…”
Jiang Hong felt a bit embarrassed and smiled at the man.
“You’re Jiang Hong,” the man said.
“How do you know?” Jiang Hong was surprised that a stranger knew his name.
“I’m Lu Xiu. Remember my name. Lu Xiu. I’m your senior and I’m here to pick you up.”
“Turns out I didn’t come to the wrong place,” Jiang Hong said with lingering fear, then laughed a few times cheerfully. But Lu Xiu didn’t laugh. His eyes gazed at him with helplessness.
Jiang Hong wanted to shake hands with him, but it felt too formal. A hug would be even weirder, so he finally patted his arm.
After the moonlight shone down, the school seemed to have changed its appearance. The factory buildings, the playground, the vast flower garden, and even the forest all seemed to be emitting a gentle glow. The wind blew gently as they stood at the end of the flower field. Lu Xiu lightly flicked his hair off of his forehead with his finger, then looked at Jiang Hong and found him still staring at him. Their eyes met for a moment, and Jiang Hong quickly averted his gaze, turning his head to look at the flower field.
“The moonlight is very beautiful tonight,” Lu Xiu said.
Jiang Hong couldn’t help but say, “The wind is also blowing very comfortably.”