Guangzhou’s famous haunted place
Editor(s): Jane, jelly
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Xiang Cheng took Chi Xiaoduo with him on his bicycle. After thinking about it, he then said, "Qi Wei... He has a grudge against me. If it’s too much trouble for you, I’ll let him issue me a one-person certificate."
"Ah? It’s alright, it’s no trouble. " Chi Xiaoduo said, "Wang Ren is a very good friend of mine, but I felt like Qiqi was very good towards you...what grudge does he have?"
Xiang Cheng replied, "Something that happened in the previous generation."
Chi Xiaoduo immediately knew that he shouldn’t ask any more, so he nodded.
China Plaza was the most crowded place in the region. From the shopping mall on the second floor all the way to the top floor, it was Guangzhou’s most prosperous business district. In the evening, there were even more lights and people, and the crowds were heaving. The two of them went to the third floor. Xiang Cheng checked the address of the card in his hand, and saw one of the shops. The front was just getting renovated, and it was wrapped with a cartoon-patterned tarp on the outside. It seemed that the renovations were nearly done, and they just had to pick a day to open.
Xiang Cheng waited until the people around weren’t paying attention and lifted up the tarp. He crouched down and slipped inside, while Chi Xiaoduo kept watch outside.
A moment later, Chi Xiaoduo opened the tarp and saw half of Xiang Cheng’s body hanging down from the ceiling, his upper half tunneling into the ventilation shaft.
"Go." Xiang Cheng jumped down with a roll of white paper in his hand.
They left the garage and went into the subway.
It was nine o'clock at night. Xiang Cheng stood and looked at the station map. In order to go from the Guangzhou Martyrs’ Park station to the Gongyuanqian station, they had to take Line 1 towards the Changshou Lu station. It was crowded, and Xiang Cheng protected Chi Xiaoduo in front of him, carefully tucking the scroll into his pocket and saying, "Don't worry, it's nothing much."
"What's this for?" Chi Xiaoduo asked.
Xiang Cheng whispered in his ear, "When constructing buildings, some of them will have exorcism charms sealed in the concrete to ensure a safe construction process so the workers won’t have any accidental deaths."
Chi Xiaoduo didn't remember seeing it before, and he asked, "Does every building have it?"
Xiang Cheng shook his head and replied, "Some do, some don't. Some Hong Kong developers who believe in these things will seal peace charms inside, and they will also seal charms inside to bless the prosperity of business and the easy sale of real estate. If there are yaoguai living nearby for a long time, the charm will absorb yao qi. "
"What yao is this?" Chi Xiaoduo asked.
"The qi is very weak, so it's a very common yao." Xiang Cheng replied, "We’re going to go find it now. Don't be afraid, ordinary yao are not my opponents."
Chi Xiaoduo nodded, and the two of them got off at the Changshou Lu station. At nine o'clock, there were already few people left on the Changshou West Road.
Chi Xiaoduo: “................”
Xiang Cheng: "?”
"Liwan Plaza ah." A chill made all the hairs on Chi Xiaoduo’s back stand on end.
"Liwan Plaza, en, what about it?" Xiang Cheng looked up. Outside the first floor of the commercial center, a small white dot flashed slightly; that was Xiang Cheng's white phoenix.
Chi Xiaoduo asked, "Will there be yaoguai hiding here?"
"It's possible," Xiang Cheng said. "Are you afraid?"
Liwan Plaza was the most terrifying haunted place in Guangzhou lore. If Chi Xiaoduo was on his own, even if he was to be beaten to death, he wouldn’t take half a step inside. He would never go there, let alone at night, even at noon.
"I’m not afraid." Chi Xiaoduo hid behind Xiang Cheng and peeked out at the door. Xiang Cheng looked back at him and Chi Xiaoduo trembled as he said, "I'm really not afraid, en, I'm actually only afraid of ghosts. Yaoguai are a natural phenomena, so there's nothing to be afraid of."
Xiang Cheng said, "How about I go in and have a look around, and you drink a cup of coffee and wait for me outside."
"I would really be afraid that way, okay!" Chi Xiaoduo said, shrinking by Xiang Cheng's side while trembling. "If you still don’t come out by ten and all the roadside shops close for the night, then what?"
Xiang Cheng laughed and said, "Follow behind me."
He was carrying a one shoulder duffle bag and let Chi Xiaoduo wear it across his body, saying, "If you're afraid, just grab whatever you can find in there and throw it."
Chi Xiaoduo didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as he followed Xiang Cheng in.
Liwan Plaza was completely empty. Many shops had already put down their security gates and closed early. There was no one on the first floor, and the two of them got on the escalator.
"Has that shop moved here?" Chi Xiaoduo looked around everywhere and asked carefully.
"Maybe." Xiang Cheng replied, "Or maybe the main shop is right here. Do you know about what happened in Liwan Plaza?"
"I've heard about it before." Chi Xiaoduo was absent-minded as he glanced everywhere, holding onto Xiang Cheng's sleeve. Xiang Cheng turned his hand and grasped his palm. Their fingers rubbed against each other before all ten fingers crossed and intertwined with each other, just like lovers going shopping.
Chi Xiaoduo: “....”
“Are you still afraid now ?” Xiang Cheng asked.
Chi Xiaoduo answered "not afraid," while secretly adjusting his belt, thinking, I’m not afraid, but I’m hard... Damn, this action is too ambiguous, but it feels so nice. He was already this old, but this was the first time that he had intertwined his fingers with a man he liked. Sure enough, as soon as they held hands, he had certain impulses.
Chi Xiaoduo changed the topic and asked, "I thought only Guangzhou people knew about it. It’s actually already so famous?"
Xiang Cheng replied, "We have an internal journal in the exorcism department; it’s a monthly called Exorcism Business, and it’s used by local organizations to communicate with each other. One issue mentioned the Liwan Plaza incident."
Chi Xiaoduo's gossipy heart was immediately roused, and he hurriedly asked, "So why is it haunted?"
"Because of an evil thing," Xiang Cheng replied.
The escalator suddenly stopped. Chi Xiaoduo almost cried out, but Xiang Cheng led him up and said as they walked up, "I also read about it in the monthly journal. I don't know the details, but during the Qing Dynasty, the Thirteen Factories nailed a dragon here to clear out the area. They forced the dragon into the earth vein here, which made the people who did business on top of the dragon’s body become rich."
Chi Xiaoduo’s mouth opened slightly, and they went up to the third floor. Not far away, the clerk of a crystal shop closed the door and came out.
"The body of the dragon," Xiang Cheng said, "goes from the place where we first got on the subway, all the way to here. Including several pedestrian streets you guys often go to, business all-around is very prosperous, which is due to the earth vein. And in the ground below here, is the mouth of the dragon."
Chi Xiaoduo and Xiang Cheng looked towards the hall together. The hall was completely empty, and there was a kind of still and strange atmosphere. The lights on the ceiling flickered and then went out. Chi Xiaoduo held Xiang Cheng's hand tightly. Chi Xiaoduo asked, "Because of the mouth of the dragon, it’s haunted?"
"The mouth of the dragon is the place with the most hostility. After that dragon died, it was nailed here for hundreds of years, with a whole mouthful of wrath that couldn’t be expelled, which was concentrated here." Xiang Cheng said, "I heard that when foundations were laid down, coffins were dug up?"
"Yes, yes." Chi Xiaoduo held Xiang Cheng's duffle bag tightly and said with his hair standing on end, "Old Guangzhou people often say, especially those who live near here, that eight coffins were dug up here, right under the lobby."
"Those were used to hang on the dragon’s teeth to suppress its wrath." Xiang Cheng said, "The corpses inside were for the evil dragon to eat. Later, they were destroyed by the construction workers, and the evil dragon had no food anymore so naturally, it started causing trouble."
Chi Xiaoduo was very nervous, but having Xiang Cheng by his side, he felt that it wasn’t as terrifying and said, "So the rumor that eight people die here every year...is true?"
Xiang Cheng shook his head. Chi Xiaoduo said, "What can be done to break it?"
"Demolish everything and build a temple on top of it." Xiang Cheng and Chi Xiaoduo walked quietly along the third floor corridor, and Xiang Cheng continued, "Otherwise, they can only sell crystal and jade, which can all ward off evil spirits."
The sound of footsteps sounded out, and Xiang Cheng and Chi Xiaoduo sprinted towards the exit and closed the door.
The sound of footsteps was getting closer and closer, and suddenly, all the lights on this floor went out. Chi Xiaoduo almost cried out, but Xiang Cheng waved his hand to point to him to look outside.
They looked out through the transparent window on the exit door and saw a security guard with a flashlight turning off the lights on the floor.
As soon as the lights were turned off, it was completely pitch black, and Chi Xiaoduo started to get a little afraid. Xiang Cheng turned on his cellphone for light and the two of them went up to the fourth floor, feeling along the escalator.
Chi Xiaoduo nervously pointed to an upper corner.
In the southeast corner of the fifth floor, there was a faint light and a very subtle sound coming from a shop. The two of them went up quickly, and Chi Xiaoduo looked in through the security gate.
It was a crystal shop. The counter in the shop was shaped like the door character with the opening facing the entrance to the shop. There were long counters on both sides.
Crystals were displayed in the glass counters, and behind the counters hung many red peace charms, and on top of the counters were strange statues. There was a sign outside, and with some light, they could see that it said Honghao Crystal and Jade Specialty Store.
There was a small TV hanging in the shop, and it was currently playing a black-and-white Cantonese film. The volume wasn’t loud, and there was no one inside. The moving light from the TV shone on both their faces, and this scene truly was very strange.
Xiang Cheng took a step back, and Chi Xiaoduo followed his gaze, looking up at the bar on the top of the door. There was nothing there. Xiang Cheng took a few steps to the side, and without needing him to say anything, Chi Xiaoduo also figured it out.
Almost all the shops in the plaza had a dirty-looking bagua mirror hanging at their entrance, and only this one didn’t.
Xiang Cheng took out the Demon-Subduing Staff and Yao-Binding rope from Chi Xiaoduo's bag, stood by the door, and hid right outside the entrance.
Chi Xiaoduo: “....”
Xiang Cheng motioned him to knock on the door, and to rest assured since he was here. Chi Xiaoduo nodded, adjusted the strap of the duffle bag, and slapped the door a few times.
"Anybody there?" Chi Xiaoduo asked.
No one said anything from inside. Chi Xiaoduo then shook the security gate a bit, but Xiang Cheng made a “shhh” gesture, indicating that they couldn’t be too loud, so as not to disturb the security guard in the lobby.
"Anybody there?" Chi Xiaoduo said again, "Boss, I want to buy something!"
Xiang Cheng held his forehead with one hand. Chi Xiaoduo felt that his questions were a bit silly, and just as he wanted to step back, a hand reached out from the counter closest to him. A head then poked out, followed by a person standing up, staring fixedly at him.
Chi Xiaoduo almost exploded, and it took him a lot of energy just to control himself and not shout out. His scalp had already gone entirely numb.
It was a young man with a mouth that stuck out, an ape-like chin, and red eyes due to staying up late.
"I want to buy...things." Chi Xiaoduo didn't know what he should say and chaotically made up an excuse.
The young man reached out and pressed a button. The security gate opened, and Chi Xiaoduo crouched down as he went in.
Outside, Xiang Cheng turned around, crouched down, and tunneled out through the air vent. He opened the iron grille outside the building and gently set it aside.
The sky was covered with dark clouds and no moon, and he was up about six stories. Xiang Cheng looked down and saw Si Gui flying over. He pulled out the bundle of Yao-Binding rope, handed one end to Si Gui’s beak, and Si Gui took over the red rope and flew around in a circle outside. Xiang Cheng climbed out of the vent and carefully stepped onto the gutter outside; the gutter was flimsy and didn’t provide much support.
He walked along the gutter and slowly moved to the back of the crystal shop, and upon seeing a small window, his fingers twitched. He stuck his whole arm into the small window, and he felt around for the TV’s power cord and pulled it out.
Then, he crawled back to the escape corridor and came back outside the door, covered in dust.
Chi Xiaoduo pretended to look at the crystals in the counter; they were all over 10,000 yuan.
"What are these crystals for?" Chi Xiaoduo asked.
The shop assistant looked up, glanced at Chi Xiaoduo, then lowered his head again. He explained very seriously, and then in seeming earnestness, took out a black crystal. Under the dark blue UV light of the entire shop, the atmosphere became quite terrifying.
"This one goes with this." The shop assistant took a talisman bag from the wall behind him and said, "Black quartz crystals stand for the evening and night, and it can ward off evil spirits for you. Also, if you go in and out of hospitals, nightclubs, or places like that, it’s easy to get sick. Take this back, put your own blood on it, and it can help you get rid of illness by transferring it onto another person’s body. What do you do? What aspect do you want to buy something for? "
The shop assistant's attitude was very mild, which relieved some tension. Chi Xiaoduo asked, "Is there a kind that would make someone like me?"
"Yes." The shop assistant replied, "This kind of crystal, do you want to steal someone away or date someone? Does your loved one have a partner? "
Chi Xiaoduo thought to himself, you, a yaoguai, are way too serious about doing business, even asking this many questions. He replied, "Probably...not."
The shop assistant was obviously used to meeting customers who were vague in speech, and replied, "This one is the hibiscus rose quartz crystal nine tailed fox, also called Fox Eyes. If you are not sure whether or not the other party has a lover, you should take this one. Put the hair of you and your loved one in the brocade bag, and put the crystal in as well. Take it with you every time you go out with the other party, but under no circumstance can you let the other party see this.
"This one is the Peach Blossom Fairy." The shop assistant said, "It goes with star rose quartz, and it's used for dates to help you find a suitable partner. It’s suitable if you don’t have someone you like, and it will let the peach blossom luck come quickly to you. This is an ice-type crystal, it goes with the snake god, but the other party can't already have a lover.”
Chi Xiaoduo thought anxiously, how has Xiang Cheng still not come in yet, and said casually, "Does it have any side-effects?"
"What?" The shop assistant thought about it, blinked wearily, and said, "There are no side effects. You need to give us your eight birth characters, name, and the information on the person you like, if there is one. There are no other side effects."
"Let’s forget it." Chi Xiaoduo said, "I didn't bring enough money."
Right at this time, Xiang Cheng came in, and the shop assistant’s expression changed immediately. He stretched out a hand and slapped it down. Chi Xiaoduo however had been prepared for a long time now, and when the shop assistant’s hand slammed down, Chi Xiaoduo immediately drew back. He caught a glimpse of the shop assistant’s hand turning into a hairy hand, and with a pa, it splintered the glass counter into pieces.
"Tell your boss to come out." Xiang Cheng said, "We need to talk about something."
The shop assistant’s face suddenly changed. That face turned into a monkey’s face, and it roared at Xiang Cheng. Chi Xiaoduo hid behind Xiang Cheng, and Xiang Cheng flicked his hand, and the Demon Subduing Staff extended!
In an instant, the shop assistant fled the store, but Xiang Cheng was faster, stepping onto the counter and kicking it into shattered pieces. Using both its hands and feet, the shop assistant climbed onto the counter and jumped towards the TV up top. Under Chi Xiaoduo's gaze, he rushed into the TV! The program on TV ended in a flash, a white light flashing, and then it went dark.
Xiang Cheng followed on his heels, but didn’t even turn his head to look as he threw out the Demon Subduing Staff, and the Demon Subduing Staff pierced the TV. The TV screen sank in and started humming. The Demon Subduing Staff couldn't stop trembling, and a golden light shone all around.
An electric current ran quickly along the TV cord, passing through the wall, shooting into the small room behind the store, and then flew out of the cord that Xiang Cheng had pulled out.
In a split second, Xiang Cheng pulled back his hand, and a piercing hiss sounded from inside the cord. The Yao Binding rope that had been lying inside in ambush now turned into an all-encompassing net, falling on layer after layer, binding that black smoke and revealing a putrefying monster. Xiang Cheng tugged Chi Xiaoduo along and chased after it with big strides.
"Tell your boss to come out." Xiang Cheng pulled up two chairs and left one for Chi Xiaoduo to sit down on. He lit a cigarette and said this to the monkey yao.
The monkey yao's whole face was rotting away, and it had two terrifyingly big, butterfly-like ears. It roared at them angrily, showing the entirety of its gums, which really frightened Chi Xiaoduo.
Xiang Cheng took out a stack of yellow talismans from Chi Xiaoduo's bag and placed three at his fingertips.
"I’ll talk!” The monkey yao’s two hands suddenly covered its head, and then a red appeared in the gap between its arms, and it ferociously said, "After I finish talking, you let me go."
"You're already dead." Xiang Cheng said, "You’re not like ordinary yao, I can't let you go."
"I didn't, I didn't die--" the monkey demon said in an anguished voice.
"Alright, I'll let you go. Where's your boss?" Xiang Cheng took out his cellphone and said, "Give me his cellphone number."
"I don't know!" The monkey yao replied, "I haven't seen its human form! He has no human form!”
Xiang Cheng: "Where does he live?"
The monkey yao said, "I don't know! I don't know! "
Xiang Cheng and Chi Xiaoduo looked at each other. In Chi Xiaoduo’s heart, the heavens and earth had practically been overturned, and he couldn't even speak. He felt like he had been sucked into a supernatural movie with extremely realistic special effects, and he hadn’t even been this shocked when he had seen the guiche in the video before. Now personally experiencing this, he couldn’t help a wave of nausea and dizziness overtaking him.
"When does he come to the store?" Xiang Cheng said.
Chi Xiaoduo was trembling with anxiety, feeling both very scared but also very much pitying the monkey yao. Its face had already rotted to the point where bone was showing, and he had no idea how that had happened.
"Does it hurt?" Chi Xiaoduo asked.
The monkey yao couldn't stop panting, and its eyes kept flicking around.
Chi Xiaoduo took out a bottle of mineral water from his bag and said, "Your face has already festered."
Xiang Cheng motioned for him to let the monkey yao wash up, so Chi Xiaoduo poured the mineral water carefully on the monkey yao's face. The monkey yao raised its head and couldn't help drinking the water. It was obviously thirsty.
"When did you first see the boss?" Xiang Cheng asked.
The monkey yao's throat moved violently. After drinking water solidly for more than ten seconds, it gasped.
"Below." The monkey yao said with difficulty, "At night, when it was totally dark."
Chi Xiaoduo was confused and turned his head to look at Xiang Cheng. Xiang Cheng asked, "Is the boss’ smell the same as the smell on him? You look carefully and confirm everything clearly."
Xiang Cheng put a hand on Chi Xiaoduo's shoulder. At that moment, Chi Xiaoduo felt something coming out of his body, because the monkey yao couldn't keep sniffing in the air, as if it was smelling his smell.
The monkey yao nodded.
Xiang Cheng replied, "Does your boss have a name?"
The monkey yao shook its head and pointed to the ground.
Chi Xiaoduo felt that this monkey yao was really too pitiful, with its skin in tatters, and asked. "Can you cure it?"
Xiang Cheng narrowed his eyes, shook his head, put the Yao-Binding rope away, got up, and said, "Let’s go ba.”
Chi Xiaoduo left and looked back at the monkey yao. It sat alone in the room behind the crystal shop, wiping its tears sadly.
"What exactly is going on?" Chi Xiaoduo asked.
"It's not an ordinary yao." Xiang Cheng said, "It has been corrupted by evil qi, and there's no way to cure it."
"What about its outside wounds? Can't we send it to a pet hospital to get its wounds washed out? " Chi Xiaoduo said, "Maybe the outside wounds will get a bit better."
Xiang Cheng said, "I'll ask the organization tomorrow."
"What did it mean by ‘below’?" Chi Xiaoduo asked, "Is the boss in the underground garage?"
"Maybe even deeper." Xiang Cheng stopped.
Under a round sky and rectangular earth, the whole Liwan Plaza seemed to be continuously spinning in the quiet night. The underground of the lobby was like a dark abyss under the ground.
Xiang Cheng and Chi Xiaoduo avoided the security guard who was dozing at the door. The smoke rings from Xiang Cheng’s cigarette flew towards the cameras, and Chi Xiaoduo stealthily reached in from the window outside the security guard's room and quietly lifted the flashlight standing on the desk.
"You have to carry some kind of light with you in the future." Xiang Cheng walked in front with a flashlight and started walking underground with Chi Xiaoduo. When Xiang Cheng brought up Chi Xiaoduo's hood, Si Gui hid within Chi Xiaoduo’s hood.
"A-Huang, you protect Xiaoduo." Xiang Cheng said to Si Gui in the hood.
Si Gui stuck out its bird head and looked around everywhere.
"You guys don’t prepare lights before going out at night on missions?" Chi Xiaoduo asked curiously.
"A-Huang used to light stuff up for me." Xiang Cheng replied, "But it's easy to disturb yaoguai that way, and the Bright Pearl was broken by yaoguai last time we went to Chengdu."
"How many years have you been in this business?"
They walked down the safety tunnel.
"I started learning how to capture yao from my dad when I was seven." Xiang Cheng's voice said in front, "It’s been twenty-one years now."
"Do you often have to run around everywhere?" Chi Xiaoduo asked again, "I thought that people in this business were very rich."
"I don't like to help the bosses deal with things." Xiang Cheng led the way and replied, "I’m like a fish out of water when dealing with rich people. In their eyes, it’s all right and proper for them to give you money, and you go deal with the problem. I don't like to capture yao as a transaction, not to mention that many rich people are cruel."
Chi Xiaoduo didn’t quite understand Xiang Cheng's words. They went down to the underground’s first floor, and there weren’t any more passageways heading down. Xiang Cheng pushed the door open, and the first floor of the underground emitted a bleak white light. A convenience store was still open, and a worker was stocking the shelves.
"There’s no path forward anymore." Chi Xiaoduo said.
Xiang Cheng walked into the convenience store, and the clerk looked back at Xiang Cheng.
"I want to buy a pack of Hongmei." Xiang Cheng said.
"Don’t have any,” The clerk replied, "You can take a look yourself to see what we have on this shelf."
"Smoke some better cigarettes ba." Chi Xiaoduo knew that Hongmei was five yuan a pack and said, "Get a pack of Marlboro."
The clerk came over to open up the cash register. Chi Xiaoduo paid the bill and looked at Xiang Cheng. Xiang Cheng indicated that he could relax, this wasn’t a yaoguai.
"How do we get out of here?" Xiang Cheng asked.
"Go up ah." The clerk said, "The elevator is on over there."
Xiang Cheng asked, "Is there a back door?"
The clerk looked for change while replying, "Don't go there."
Chi Xiaoduo looked to the side and saw a closed door.
"Where's your boss?" Xiang Cheng asked.
The clerk shrugged and said, "The boss has gone abroad. Our boss said that if we go through the back door, we will bear the consequences ourselves."
"Does anyone usually go through that door?" Xiang Cheng asked again.
"There were some people before. I've heard that guests who take things and don’t pay all go through the back door." The clerk said.
Xiang Cheng took the cigarettes, walked over to the back door with Chi Xiaoduo, pushed the door open and shone the flashlight inside, where there was a staircase going down.
"I suspect that the clerk knows something." Chi Xiaoduo said.
"They’re an ordinary person." Xiang Cheng said, "They don’t know anything, but their boss certainly knows."
"Besides people like me," Chi Xiaoduo asked, "does anyone else know anything about the supernatural?"
"There's a lot more." Xiang Cheng said, "Usually there’s some people who will come into contact with them, and those who can hypnotize will try their best to hypnotize them. Some people who get involved in events that are too deep and have overly complex backgrounds will occasionally think of something, but they can’t describe it clearly. However, most of the time they won't say anything to others."
Down the stairs at the very end was an empty concrete room. Xiang Cheng shone the flashlight everywhere, but there was nothing there. There was a hole in the middle of the room, and they walked over the hole and looked down. It was very deep.
At the bottom of the hole, there was a drop of black liquid.
"Get on my back." Xiang Cheng said.
Chi Xiaoduo’s whole body hung from Xiang Cheng's back, and Xiang Cheng quickly and agilely went down the ladder to the bottom of the hole.
There was a long passage in the hole, and they were already at the third level of Liwan Plaza’s underground. Xiang Cheng led Chi Xiaoduo by his hand, and they walked in the quiet, pitch-black darkness towards the end of the passage. Chi Xiaoduo began to be a little afraid, and he couldn't help but imagine that this was just like the horror movie Alien, and that something would suddenly leap at them from above their heads.
"Listen to some music and relax a bit." Xiang Cheng said, "Are there songs on my cellphone?"
Chi Xiaoduo laughed, took out Xiang Cheng's cellphone, chose a song, put on earbuds, and gave one to Xiang Cheng.
This time, Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ was playing, and a low-pitched husky voice sang, "Gaga--ooh, lalala," and it seemed to reverberate through the tunnel.
"Is the singer male or female?" Xiang Cheng asked.
Chi Xiaoduo: "You can think of her as a girl ba.“
Xiang Cheng and Chi Xiaoduo walked along the passageway, holding hands, and Lady Gaga's strong rhythmic song reverberated in the tunnel. Both of them felt a bit like automatically moving their heads to the beat.
"What’s she singing, I don’t understand."
"As long as it sounds good."
"It’s not bad." Xiang Cheng went along with the melody, his head bobbing to the beat, and said, "It’s suitable to listen to when exorcising devils."
They walked out of the tunnel and came to an even stranger place. This was an open room with an irregular shape; half of it was a rough concrete room made of reinforced concrete, and the other half was made of messy clay walls. It was like someone had started to build a basement here, but had run away abruptly after it was halfway built, leaving behind a half concrete and half natural space.
On the open side was a slope, and it was even supported by stakes all around it.
Xiang Cheng took out his earbud and said, "This is where the eight coffins were placed."
"What?" Chi Xiaoduo's face was completely at a loss. Xiang Cheng waved his hand and motioned for him to stand in the middle and open up his arms.
Xiang Cheng was still immersed in the melody and rhythm of the song, shaking out the Demon-Subduing Staff, bowing down, running, and drawing a circle around Chi Xiaoduo. He then leaned sideways and dragged his weapon around the opposite way in the same circle. Chi Xiaoduo looked down curiously; it was as if Xiang Cheng had drawn a magical array on the ground.
After that, Chi Xiaoduo stood still. Xiang Cheng raised his hand towards Chi Xiaoduo and pressed it down slightly.
With a loud hum, the traces painted on the ground started to glow. He felt that something had changed with Xiang Cheng; it was as though a mystical beast had emerged from Xiang Cheng’s body. His eyes didn’t move, and it wasn’t Xiang Cheng, but the mystical beast looking at Chi Xiaoduo. This kind of tension couldn’t help but start to frighten Chi Xiaoduo, however, it was just a moment, and then it felt as if there was some kind of force that was compelled to release itself from him.
Chi Xiaoduo looked down at his hands. His arms were emitting a faint black smoke, which floated to the depths of the clay passage.
"We're close to the devil now." Xiang Cheng said, "Give me the bag, and after that, hide behind me."
"Is there any difference between devils and yaos?" Chi Xiaoduo asked.
"They’re very different." Xiang Cheng walked in front, took over Chi Xiaoduo's bag, and said, "Yaos are living creatures, while devils are a kind of resentment."
"Do devils not have physical forms?" Chi Xiaoduo asked.
Xiang Cheng said, "Devils gathering together is usually a natural process. They will gather into an evil force, and after this evil force takes shape, it will send forth its power, choosing some suitable animals and plants to turn them into yao.
"The real devil will become a parasite on the strongest creature it can find." Xiang Cheng said.
"Then how do you kill it?" Chi Xiaoduo asked, "Will a devil reincarnate when it dies?"
Xiang Cheng made a "release" motion and explained, "Exorcism means to subdue it and to use your own strength to dispel it. We disperse it, we don’t drive it away."
"Oh--" Chi Xiaoduo now understood everything.
"So your real job is exorcism." Chi Xiaoduo said.
"We find the power that turned a yao into a yao, and then disperse it." Xiang Cheng said, "Defusing human disasters is an exorcist's job. Capturing yaoguai is just a process, and the ultimate goal is to find the source of the devil. "
"What causes devils?" Chi Xiaoduo thought he really had too many questions, but that was fine; anyway, he would be wiped of all these memories, so he should satisfy his curiosity first and then deal with things.
"Pain." Xiang Cheng said, "The pain of the heavens and the earth, the pain of living beings, and the pain of human beings."
“The heavens and earth also have pains?" Chi Xiaoduo asked.
Xiang Cheng nodded and said, "I also have a lot of things I don't understand."
Chi Xiaoduo stepped on something, and the conversation stopped abruptly. It was sticky underneath his shoes, and when he lifted his feet, he saw something like asphalt. Xiang Cheng shone the flashlight on it, and the asphalt went all the way to the end of the corridor.
The two men came out of the hole and entered a huge tunnel. There was even still water surging in the tunnel.
"These are the underground sewage pipes of Guangzhou City." Chi Xiaoduo said, and the sound echoed throughout the area.
The asphalt-like traces had disappeared, and after walking through the tunnel, confusing and complex paths filled the area in front of them. They stood there for a bit, and Xiang Cheng looked up and saw that there were black traces of a solidified asphalt-like substance at the top of the tunnel.
"This way." Chi Xiaoduo said.
"You know?" Xiang Cheng said.
"I think it’s hiding in the discharge adduct." Chi Xiaoduo said, "You can see that the top of this tunnel also has those traces, so this yaoguai...this devil shouldn’t have ADHD, with it climbing up and then climbing down again. Maybe it’s too big, so it rubbed against it.”
"That makes sense." Xiang Cheng said, “ADHD is a very vivid metaphor. Do you know where there is an open space?"
"Of course." Chi Xiaoduo said, "My expertise is in water supply and drainage. In a bit, are you going to exorcise something?"
Xiang Cheng considered it and replied, “Let’s see after we see it.”
Chi Xiaoduo led Xiang Cheng to wind their way through the labyrinth of underground channels. The smell grew worse and worse, and in the end, Chi Xiaoduo almost fainted. Xiang Cheng covered Chi Xiaoduo's mouth with his left hand and sped up his pace. The two people stopped suddenly, their steps freezing at the adduct.
This was a wide open space. During a rainstorm, the drainage of the entire city of Guangzhou converged here. There was a huge opening, and one of the main pipes in the tunnel led to the Pearl River.
Inside was a sound like a waterfall and a stench, as well as a deafening roaring sound. It looked like a magnificent machine rumbling away, emitting a green light from inside.
Chi Xiaoduo held his breath, hugged Xiang Cheng, and they looked down together.
It was a monster three meters tall, crawling around at the bottom of the pit. It was facing the main drainage pipe, panting heavily. After a moment, it shook violently, and a jet of black mud erupted from it. A green light, just like a headlamp, grew on its body and illuminated the huge pit.
"I'll go down and have a look." Xiang Cheng was basically pressed against Chi Xiaoduo's ear and said, "That’s definitely it. Don’t get close to it."
Chi Xiaoduo said in a low voice, "If I get close to it, will it notice me?"
"It's possible." Xiang Cheng turned around and climbed extremely quietly down a straight ladder.
The monster roared deafeningly and again spewed a stream of asphalt mud all over the ground.
Chi Xiaoduo understood, it was coughing!
But how exactly did such a big thing get in here?
The black foul-smelling mud drifted away with the dirty water and may flow into the Pearl River.
Chi Xiaoduo gestured to Xiang Cheng, and Xiang Cheng indicated for him to not worry. When he had climbed halfway, the monster flipped over and roared in pain. The sound quaked so much through the tunnel that Chi Xiaoduo nearly fell over, hurriedly bending over at the entrance to the tunnel.
Xiang Cheng was given a fierce shake, and he stabilized his body.
Just in that second, as he was holding onto the ladder in an inclined position, forming an angle with his body, with that angle, the cellphone in his sportswear pocket slowly slid out.
Chi Xiaoduo whispered anxiously, "Cellphone!"
Between one of the monster’s breaths, it seemed to have gotten sludge stuck in its throat, and there was a brief silence.
The Iphone 6+ slid out of Xiang Cheng's pocket with the earphone cable. Xiang Cheng grabbed the straight ladder with his left hand, and quickly reached out with his right hand, firmly grabbing the earphone cable.
The earphone cable was connected to the iPhone, which was suspended in the air and rotated slowly.
Chi Xiaoduo breathed a sigh of relief. Xiang Cheng pulled the earphone cable upward. Just when he wanted to swing the cellphone up--Chi Xiaoduo almost cried out.
The earphone and the cellphone snapped apart.
The phone in that second switched to its speakers-- and Lady Gaga's loud voice reverberated in the tunnel.
“Rara——ahahahah，GaGa O LaLaLaLa——”
Chi Xiaoduo: “.....”
Xiang Cheng: “.....”
Juurensha: Poor Xiang Cheng! Still yaaaaay for a Lady Gaga Bad Romance soundtrack to this battle?
moon: THE IPHONE THE IPHONE OH MY GOD
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), juurensha.