Gu Nan never believed he was the smartest person in the world.

In fact, in his previous life, it wasn’t rare for NPCs to be smarter than players—after all, NPCs' IQ could be adjusted, while people were born that way.

Players had their own methods for dealing with NPCs who were smarter than them. The easiest way was to simply kill them.

Gu Nan suddenly heard a furious roar behind him. Sixth Uncle saw Long Quan’s death and felt indescribable grief and indignation.

This was one of the Long family’s juniors with the most hope of stepping into Prodigious Realm, and he might even climb higher... But he died just like this?!

He held Long Quan's headless body and glared at Gu Nan with red eyes: "I don't care who you are. The Long family will never let you off!!"

Gu Nan smiled at him. "Don't worry. After tonight, there won’t be a Long family any longer."

……

Thunder rumbled.

Gu Xingzhu handed a stack of documents to Gu Nian and whispered, "Eldest Miss, he circled a name on here before he left."

This was the information Wang Dong collected for Gu Nan.

"Oh?" Gu Nian took off the glasses on the bridge of her nose and asked directly, "Was it Shi Miao’er?"

"Er... Yes," Gu Xingzhu replied in amazement. She looked at Gu Nian oddly. She didn't know what kind of riddle game Gu Nian and Gu Nan were playing.

"So he understood after all." Gu Nian sighed softly. "Inform our subordinates. Tonight will be a sleepless night."

"Will something happen?" A keen look flashed through Gu Xingzhu’s eyes. It seemed that she heard the implications behind Gu Nian’s words.

Gu Nian didn't answer. She just stretched out a hand and gently twisted her jade finger, covering the documents on the table.

Almost at the same time as her movements, another person hurriedly entered the room.

Gu Xingzhu's expression darkened. Just as she was about to scold the person who barged in for disregarding the rules, she became stunned when she saw the newcomer. “U-Uncle…”

"Mm." Gu Mingyuan just nodded, then immediately said, "Immediately inform all departments to encircle and annihilate the Long family. I’ve already reached an agreement with the high government officials."

"Encircle and annihilate the Long family?!" Gu Xingzhu’s eyes almost popped out of their sockets.

Even if the Long family was weak now, it was nevertheless one of the three great families. How could they be annihilated so casually?

Gu Mingyuan didn't have time to explain. He looked directly at Gu Nian and said, "Gu Nan killed Long Quan. This matter can no longer be resolved through diplomacy. I'll take care of the Long family’s side. Go and calm Gu Nan down."

At this point, he couldn't help smiling wryly. "We never took this into account... No one could’ve imagined that he had already stepped into the Infinitesimal Stage. The Long family’s Sixth Uncle couldn’t even protect his own life."

Gu Nian, on the other hand, didn’t have any expression. She calmly responded, "The stronger he is, the better it’ll be for us. No matter how much we give him, it's only going from the left hand to the right hand and will still stay within the Gu family. As long as the Long family is destroyed, anything is worth it.”

……

Gu Nan sat safely in the ruins, surrounded by broken limbs and rivers of blood.

Shi Miao'er was sitting in a kneeling position beside him, her face deathly pale. Nobody knew what she was thinking.

‘Brother Long Quan is dead, Long Yi is dead, and even the Long family's Sixth Uncle and my friends also died at this person’s hands…’ She had never seen so many dead people in her life.

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"Why didn't you kill me?" Shi Miao'er asked as she glared at Gu Nan coldly, feeling her heart turn into ashes.

"Don't worry, I'll kill you soon." Gu Nan replied earnestly, "Someone sent you to me. I just want to see why she wants you to die."

"Who?"

"Here she is." Gu Nan pointed his head to one side.

Shi Miao'er turned her head and saw a figure approaching quickly. It was precisely Gu Nian.

Gu Nian's steps seemed both slow and fast. In the blink of an eye, she had already reached Gu Nan and Shi Miao’er.

"I thought that if you guessed that I was the one manipulating everything, then you wouldn't kill them." She gave a light sigh as she stared at the corpses all over the ground.

"Isn't this precisely what you wanted to see?" Gu Nan smiled.

That’s right. From his first meeting with Shi Miao’er to the Jin family’s banquet, then to the martial arts hall recruitment and Long Yi’s plot being exposed—all of this was Gu Nian’s scheme.

When Shi Miao’er said the words "Miss Gu", the entire scheme was finally laid out in front of Gu Nan completely.

"Use Shi Miao'er to lure out Long Quan, so that I’ll appear in the Long family’s sight. That was your original purpose, wasn’t it?" Gu Nan sat on the ground and asked.

"That's right." Gu Nian replied calmly, "But I didn't expect you to have already stepped into Prodigious Realm, which is why I added the latter half of the plan."

"No wonder a busy person like you insisted on personally accompanying me to various events."

Gu Nan was puzzled about that before. Even if she wanted to build his reputation and make him a familiar face in high society, still, there was no need for Gu Nian to personally accompany him again and again, right?

Only now did he realize that she had predicted long ago that the Long family would cause trouble.

Only when she was physically present would she be able to completely control the situation and guide events in the direction she wanted.

"So were you also the one who called over the Lu sisters?" Gu Nan thought of Lu Xinyu's coincidental arrival. Although the result was different from expectation, their timing was truly opportune.

If Lu Xingyu hadn't been there, Gu Nan and Hu Wei would’ve been even more out of control.

"Not really. They really did have something to discuss..." Gu Nian seemed willing to reveal everything, but at this time, she had a faint smile. "I just had her inadvertently discover a few things."

Gu Nan shook his head. He wasn’t interested in the particulars of Gu Nian’s plan.

Now that his questions were answered...

Gu Nan suddenly opened his eyes and threw a punch at Gu Nian’s head with incredible speed. He didn't hold anything back with this punch and even used the power of shadows. The speed of his fist even broke through the sound barrier.

But Gu Nian remained motionless and imposing, as though she was already prepared beforehand. The space in front of her rippled.

Gu Nan's punch landed, and the waves of ripples suddenly expanded, resembling a water surface after impact and shaking quickly. However, Gu Nian herself was safe and sound.

But Gu Nan's punch wasn’t a simple punch either. Endless shadows flowed out from his hands and directly soaked into the ripples.

Gu Nian's expression gradually became grave. She knew that she was about to face a Gu Nan who would be using his full power.

The only factor she miscalculated in her entire plan was Gu Nan's own strength.

"Infinitesimal Stage? Then let me see what's so remarkable about your power of shadows..." There were no fluctuations in Gu Nian’s heart. Her entire person resembled a machine as she calmly raised her hand.

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Endless shadows poured in, but there seemed to be an invisible barrier in front of Gu Nian. All forces dissipated immediately after entering this plane, until...

Crack.

The sound of something breaking rang through the air. Gu Nian’s face was slightly pale, but her expression gradually calmed, and she pushed her outstretched hand forward.

Endless shadows rushed out in an instant. Gu Nan's face changed slightly. In a flash, his figure reappeared 100 meters away, while Shi Miao’er was submerged in an instant.

"I didn’t expect your power to be this type." Gu Nan couldn’t help looking at Gu Nian with a strange gaze.

He increasingly felt that although this world seemed like it had nothing to do with his previous life’s game, the power system was still the same as the game’s.

Otherwise, a civilization that cultivated "martial arts" couldn’t possibly have such a strange law appear.

The law of "duality [1]" was once jokingly referred to by players as "every action has an equal and opposite reaction." If one cultivated this law to the later stages, it even had the strange effect of "turning black into white."

‘To think that this kind of power actually appeared on an NPC… Oh, this NPC is a little different. She’s a smart NPC.’

T/N:

[ 1 ] Duality: The actual term used here is “projection” (the geometry definition: https://www.britannica.com/science/projection-geometry), but duality fits better with later chapters and is probably more understandable

MC's Status Information

Name: Gu Nan

Current Location: Gu Family's residence, Ruby Fish Star

Current Soul Location: N/A

Status: ⟪ Evil God ⟫

Advancement Direction: Agility Type

Current Evil God Rank: Tier 3

Equivalent/Current Martial Art: Prodigious Realm

Comprehension of Innate ability: Infinitesimal Stage

Chosen Core Skill: The Law of Shadow

Current Evil God Temple Quest:

Main Mission Objective/s:

-— Evil Event: Ruby Fish Star’s Martial Arts Competition. - Evil God Temple Issued

Status: On Going

Side Quest Objective:

-— None. - N/A

Status: N/A

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Current Evil Points: 1500

Overall Evil Points: 3775, Overall Evil Value: 97

Core Skill Acquired

Shadow. 「Also known precisely as 'The law of Shadow' - its one of the highest-ranked laws in the game. Skill 'Power of Shadows' LVL +1」

Normal Skills Acquired:

Locked 「N/A」

Locked 「N/A」

Locked 「N/A」

Exclusive Skills Acquired:

Deceitful Steps. [ Passive Ability ] 「Movement Speed increased by 30%. Attack Speed increased by 50%」

Power of Shadows. [ LVL 2 ] 「Allows the players to activate the skill “Hidden Shadows” at LVL 1 and unlocks the skill "Shadow Form" at LVL 2..」

Hidden Shadows. 「The power to manipulate shadows to a fine degree.」

Shadow Form. 「An incomparable handy skill that allows the player to manipulate shadows to create things, like weapons and armor. At the highest level of mastery, it could even create a humanoid clone.」

Equipment being worn

Armor

-— Dawn Sage’s Robe. 「Basic level defense. If you are not attacked within 3 seconds, you will receive the “Praise of Dawn” effect.」

Weapon

-— Four Element Crossbow. 「A Tier 2 crossbow weapon that can generate four types of elemental arrows—earth, water, wind, and fire—based on the user’s needs and does not need to load arrows.」

Accessories - Facial Accessories, Necklace, Earrings

-— Observer Eyepiece. 「An eyepiece that have a fixed Tier 2 magic 'Insight' inscribe in it.」

-— Dragon Heart Pendant. 「Allows players to activate the skill “Dragon Power”. This skill cannot be upgraded」

-— Shadow Earrings. 「Skill 'Power of Shadows' LVL +1」

Equipment Skills Acquired:

-— Insight. [ Passive Ability ] 「Ability to obtain high-precision data analysis when looking at people or objects.」

-— Dragon Power. 「Greatly enhances the player’s strength and physique. Duration: 5 seconds. Cooldown: 5 minutes」

-— Praise of Dawn. [ Passive Ability ] 「Increases self-healing ability by 300%」

Item/s owned:

→ None.

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