“This is my job! How could it be considered being nosy?!”
Editor(s): Amelea, juurensha
Feng Qianjun inspected the corpses that had been cleaved into two that were in disarray on the ground; all twenty or so corpses had been cut by Xiang Shu in an instant with just one swing of his sabre, and the cuts were all clean and neat. However, this group of living corpses were still alive. After their heads were severed from their bodies, their broken arms still twitched and spasmed, which made Feng Qianjun’s scalp tingle.
“Ai!” Feng Qianjun saw Chen Xing running into the woods to give chase and immediately shouted, “Don’t go!”
Chen Xing looked back, “I have to check on that bastard! I’m an exorcist, I’ll be alright! Wait here for me!”
Feng Qianjun swiftly withdrew his sabre and was about to chase after Chen Xing when he heard the sound of hooves striking the ground in the distance. He promptly hid within the bushes for its advantage in launching a sneak attack if something were to go awry.
However, the people who came were a group of Jin soldiers. Their leader held a torch, quickly dismounting his horse when he arrived at the center of this small battlefield.
“There are also some here……” The leader’s voice constantly trembled, “Who killed them?”
“What’s here?” Feng Qianjun’s voice travelled over from behind, and he pressed his sabre against the leader’s neck. The soldiers didn’t expect that someone else would be here! All of them shouted angrily in succession, “Who are you?!”
“Speak,” Feng Qianjun said coldly, “Did the government know about the abnormality of this place long ago?”
“These monsters……were all killed by you?” The captain gasped, “How many more did you see?”
With a subtle motion of his wrist, Feng Qianjun sliced a gash in the leader’s neck. Blood spurted out everywhere, and the leader was immediately so frightened his entire body trembled, “I’ll talk! I’ll talk! Don’t kill me!”
Feng Qianjun asked, “When did it start? Talk as you walk!” Then he said to Chen Xing’s dog, “Xiang Shu, wait here.”
“More……more than a month ago,” The leader shivered, “Two villagers……escaped from Longzhong village. They went to Mai City to report a case to the authorities,but none of the officials believed them and thought that it was just the Qin army’s plan to create a diversion and lure the soldiers away……”
Chen Xing ran in the direction of Xiang Shu's departure in quick pursuit. After entering the woods, the road wound toward the deepest part halfway up the mountain. He made a turn around the mountain slope, where a village lay below it.
Chen Xing, “???”
There’s even a village here?
He didn’t see the slightest gleam of any light. It was already the time for roosters to crow, yet a deathly silence pervaded the village. Chen Xing lit up the light of the Heart Lamp in his left hand and pushed open the door of a house with his right. There was no one, and no corpses -- it was as if the entire village had been evacuated overnight.
Where’s everyone? Where did they all go? Chen Xing closed his eyes and faced all four directions in turn. Suddenly, he sensed a flash of light.
He was now almost absolutely certain that the Heart Lamp was guiding him to where Xiang Shu was. Xiang Shu was also indeed the Protector Martial God selected by the Heart Lamp, there’s no mistake about that! More and more doubts accumulated inside Chen Xing’s heart, but only Xiang Shu could answer these doubts of his.
The light appeared in the north. There was another winding path there that led to higher ground on the north side of the village.
Chen Xing hurried over, and a cemetery appeared in front of him. The center of the cemetery had been dug out and was exposed in the open, with dozens of uncovered stone coffins laying outside. A stone platform stood in the middle, and a masked man dressed in a black robe stood in front of it, his silhouette blending seamlessly with the pitch black night.
On the stone platform, there lay a tall warrior nearly nine chi tall who was clad in black iron armour from head to toe and an iron helmet that covered his head. He was surrounded by wandering ghostly figures, which were actually standing, living corpses!
At the periphery was a group of living corpses dressed in civilian clothes, while the inner circle was made up of a dozen or so Jin army soldiers. Upon observing this, an idea emerged unbidden in Chen Xin's mind: the masked man had played some kind of mysterious trick on this place and actually managed to turn all the people in the village into “drought fiends”, while the Jin army troops who had come to investigate the incident hadn’t been able to avoid also being turned into drought fiends!
After connecting it to the drought fiends he had encountered at night, Chen Xing began to speculate that maybe the drought fiends he saw were their patrolling soldiers……but silence had already fallen on all magic, and the spiritual Qi of the heaven and earth had already been exhausted. What were the origins of this masked man? And what kind of magic was he using?
Suddenly, an idea occurred to Chen Xing. He turned to face the other side of the cemetery and saw that behind a stone tablet, Xiang Shu was currently kneeling on one knee and observing the situation. He gestured to Chen Xing repeatedly to get him to crouch down so that he wouldn’t be discovered.
Chen Xing quickly bent down, then ran to Xiang Shu under the outer wall of the cemetery, which was about the height of half an adult.
Chen Xing, “Who is he?”
Xiang Shu didn’t respond and just frowned as he observed the masked man casting a spell on the stone platform at the centre. The man was utterly motionless, and only stood there. Living corpses were swarming around in silence, and the situation was inexplicably bizarre.
“What does he intend to do?” Chen Xing lowered his voice and asked again.
“I don’t know!” Xiang Shu answered in irritation, “Shut up!”
Chen Xing’s doubts had reached their peak; he didn’t possess an ounce of self-awareness that an exorcist should have, let alone consider that he should be the one answering questions and dispelling doubts at this time.
“Then how much longer do we need to stay here to watch?” Chen Xing asked again.
Xiang Shu, “……”
Chen Xing realised that if he continued to ask questions, he was most likely going to get hit, so he had to keep quiet. However, he then noticed a row of cinnabar characters inscribed on the stone tablet they were hiding behind. He reached out to touch the sunken characters and recognised the five words carved on it -- “Great Jin Xiangyang Prince Wei”.
Sima Wei? The one buried in this cemetery was the royal Sima clan’s Prince of Chu who died in the War of the Eight Princes?!
Chen Xing immediately shifted his gaze to the center of the stone platform to look at the armor clad corpse that lay flat on its back. With such an opulent black iron armour, the one adorning it definitely wouldn’t be a civilian -- that must be Sima Wei’s body!
But he has been dead for nearly a hundred years! His corpse hasn’t decayed yet?
He saw the sorcerer’s hands rise slightly, and Sima Wei’s heavy body was lifted to stand in mid air. At this moment, an invisible and powerful gale immediately stirred up in the surroundings that caused Chen Xing to shiver -- it was a “gust of Yin wind” as mentioned in an old saying. Only an exorcist like him would know that it was the effect of the resentment that flowed within the world. Ordinary people who experience this cold and insidious wind are unaware of its origins and would only describe it as a “Yin wind”.
The Yin wind was becoming stronger and stronger -- it was the resentment that lingered in the human world from soldiers who had died in battle and all the commoners who lost their lives in the war within a hundred-mile radius!
Chen Xing immediately had a vague perception of the caster’s true intention: it was not the spiritual Qi of heaven and earth that he manipulated, but the abundant resentment of the dead after the huge war in Xiangyang City. He wanted to imbue the body of Sima Wei with it in order to revive the corpse.
Although he was uncertain regarding this masked man’s true motives, Chen Xing knew that he had to act immediately, because the spell had reached a critical juncture……
“Protector,” Chen Xing whispered, “We have to go out now to stop him!”
The moment he uttered this, Chen Xing’s neck was seized by Xiang Shu as if he were a little chick being restrained by the neck.
“If you want to go, then go yourself.” Xiang Shu whispered, “Don’t expose my position, and I’m not a so-called Protector either.”
Chen Xing gritted his teeth. He couldn’t speak, but his gaze was bitter and indignant. Chen Xing vehemently gestured to emphasise to Xiang Shu that the situation before them was already quite grave. He thought, if you aren’t here to stop this real sorcerer from bringing forth disaster upon the human world, what did you run all the way here for?!
At that moment, a large group of Jin troops arrived with Feng Qianjun following behind, who wielded knives in both hands. Feng Qianjun ran to the edge of the cemetery, while the Jin soldiers held up torches one after another. Nearly fifty people rushed to the cemetery’s periphery with great momentum.
Xiang Shu immediately relinquished his hold on Chen Xing. Both of them gestured in unison to the people who had arrived, but it was too late. The leader of the Jin troops trembled with fear as he shouted, instantly drawing the attention of the masked man.
“Sorcerer, where are you from!” It was apparent that the leader couldn't speak with confidence, and he cried out with trepidation, “Quick-quickly surrender to your arrest!”
The Jin army leader didn’t see Xiang Shu and Chen Xing’s warning, but Feng Qianjun did. He immediately turned and hid behind the outer wall of the cemetery, and motioned, what do we do now?
Xiang Shu immediately waved his hand and grabbed Chen Xing, who was about to run out. All they heard was a sneer from the “sorcerer” who stood in front of the stone platform in the middle of the cemetery. He then spoke in a calm voice. Chen Xing hadn’t even heard it clearly when nearly a hundred living corpse villagers that had been turned into drought fiends lunged at the Jin troops!
“Charge!” The leader shouted and led his men to charge on foot. They swung their knives and swiftly severed the heads of the living corpses, rotten blood spilling everywhere. Chen Xing glanced at Feng Qianjun, who wasn’t far away. Feng Qianjun hid behind the wall and pointed at himself, then nodded at Chen Xing to mean, ‘yes, I taught them’.
Chen Xing recalled the living corpses that had their brains smashed into mush at the foot of the cliff, so he stopped moving. He hurried to tell Xiang Shu, “Cut off their heads.”
After he spoke, Chen Xing appeared from behind the stone tablet and shouted, “Monsters! Die!” It was only after running a few steps that he realised he was unarmed. He quickly turned around and ran towards the leader. He shouted, “Lend me a sword!”
Feng Qianjun chased after him while wielding a sabre and shouted, “Hurry and get back! Don’t cause trouble!”
Chen Xing suddenly noticed a shovel used for digging in the cemetery and thought, that’s great! He followed behind the soldiers, swung the iron shovel, and smacked it onto the head of a living corpse.
Xiang Shu's gaze on the masked man was unwavering; it was as if he was completely indifferent to the living corpses. In the next moment, when the man standing in front of the stone platform raised his hand, Xiang Shu flew out instantly; he stepped onto a stone coffin first, spun, landed beside Chen Xing, kicked Feng Qianjun who was on his other side, then lifted up the lid of a stone coffin that weighed nearly two hundred jins with one hand, and pressed against it while it was in front of him and Chen Xing.
Feng Qianjun had just turned around when he was kicked flying to one side, while Chen Xing’s face was filled with doubt. He looked up to see the masked man dressed in a black robe raise his hand to press against the air. Like ripples stirred up on water, a black flame flickered in his hand, and hundreds of black meteors shot out that scattered indiscriminately upon both the Jin guards and living corpses that were engaged in battle. As soon as the black flames came into contact with their bodies, the soldiers would howl in pain and roll frantically around on the ground.
The stone coffin lid was hit and smashed into pieces; Xiang Shu endured the quake of the tremendous force, leaned down slightly, drew his sword, and turned into a shadow as he sped directly onto the altar in the middle of the stone platform with a whoosh!
Too fast! He’s so fast! Chen Xing was still gripping his shovel and within the blink of an eye, only he, Xiang Shu, and Feng Qianjun remained standing in the cemetery. Everyone else had already fallen to the ground one after another.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Caro.