16 hours ago, Meihua Community.
There was a new hot pot restaurant in the community, and it was open 24 hours. Its taste was good, the price was low, and one only had to wait for an hour or two to get a table.
Zhao Hu sat outside with a few brothers, drank some wine, cooked some beef, mutton, or duck intestines and brain, and before he knew it, it was already early morning.
The brothers were all slightly drunk, their faces and necks were flushed.
Because Zhao Hu didn’t feel satiated enough, he beckoned and called the waiter again. “Alas, the brain was very good, hiccup, serve me another plate.” The waiter responded, turned and went back to the shop.
Just as Zhao Hu was about to light a cigarette, the brother next to him suddenly said with his tongue almost lolling out, “Hu, Brother Hu, your drinking capacity today —is really not good enough.”
“You’re one to talk.” Zhao Hu slapped him with a smile, “Come on, let’s fill it up again! Whoever doesn’t finish the drink will be the grandson!”
After another round of drinking, he became even more drunk, leaning against the back of the chair and saying strange things. Zhao Hu’s drinking capacity was good, but even when he was drunk, he still remembered that the dish of brain hadn’t been served yet.
——The waiter forgot.
He cursed in a low voice, and waved vigorously. When he caught a person, he immediately scolded. “Where’s the food?! Why haven’t my brains been served yet!”
The passer-by was puzzled. “I’m not a waiter.”
Zhao Hu became even more angry. “Then why don’t you hurry up and become a waiter! If you don’t become a waiter and serve me, will brains simply fall from the sky?!”
Suddenly there was a loud noise.
Before Zhao Hu could react, he heard the screams of the people next to him!!
He had never heard such a terrible scream, and his drunken self immediately sobered up halfway. When he turned his head, the table collapsed, the hot pot was overturned, and a body was lying straight in the middle. The red and white pieces were spread out, as blood and brain were smeared on the table.
Chu Banyang put down the phone, propped his head up, and said, while holding back his drunkenness. “Something happened in the Meihua Community, I’ll be going there. Take your time.”
His gaze was still drifting on the diamond ring on the table.
Just as Lu Yingjiu was about to speak, Xiao Li skillfully took out a piece of talisman and slapped his master with it on the head.
The effect was immediate.
The blush on Chu Banyang’s face went down immediately, and he sobered up. The daze in his eyes receded, he paused for a few seconds, as if his brain was restarting. However, his ears were still red.
——That was obviously not the effect of alcohol.
“Meihua Community…” Xiao Li murmured, “I remember that there were several cases of homeless people disappearing nearby, and it was even on the news. Why are there all kinds of bad things there? How bad is the feng shui there?”
Lu Yingjiu stopped Chu Banyang and said: “Let’s go there together. This case must not be easy, since they even have to specifically notify Chu Banyang of such an incident.”
Chu Banyang looked at Lu Yingjiu, and said calmly, “Why do you want to go with me? I don’t need your help.”
Well, the usual Chu Banyang is back.
“Okay,” Lu Yingjiu said, “Then I won’t go.”
Hearing this, on Chu Banyang’s face suddenly appeared three points hesitation to speak, three points awkwardness, three points pretentious arrogance and a three points unbearable curiosity—these full twelve points of emotion made that handsome sculpture-like face look somewhat……somewhat tangled.
After a few seconds, he said arrogantly. “If you really want to go, I won’t stop you.”
He ignored Chu Banyang’s awkwardness, and asked again. “You didn’t notice something wrong with the diamond ring just now?”
Chu Banyang asked strangely. “What diamond ring?”
From the way he looked, he probably didn’t remember what nonsense he said just now.
It may not be a bad idea.
Otherwise, with his thin skin, it was estimated that he would remember it for a lifetime. The kind that would be automatically played back every night late at night.
Lu Yingjiu showed him the diamond ring again, and Chu Banyang looked at it for a while.
“Isn’t it just an ordinary diamond ring, and it has no evil spirit. Why do you still carry a diamond ring with you when you go out?”
His expression was a bit complicated. “……..Are you going to propose?”
“No. It’s hard to explain in one sentence. I’ll tell you later when I have a chance.”
Chu Banyang became hesitant to speak again. He reach out for the diamond ring, wanting to carefully inspect it if there was any problem, but just as he stretched out his hand——
A faint noise sounded, then the velvet diamond ring box was suddenly tightly closed.
If it weren’t for Chu Banyang’s quick reaction, his fingers would have been pinched. Judging by the aura of the box, it appeared to be firm and angry, and it seemed that it could even snap his finger bone.
Lu Yingjiu said, “Look, that’s why I said it’s hard to explain in one sentence.”
Ye Feng and Xiao Li next to them didn’t pay attention to this at all.
When he paid the bill and left, Xiao Li came up again and said, “Master, what brand of foreign milk powder are you talking about just now? My aunt just gave birth and is planning to buy it.”
“…foreign milk powder?” Chu Banyang, who barely managed with great effort to stray his thoughts from the diamond ring, glanced at him inexplicably. “What milk powder? How can I mention such a thing? You can listen to your Master’s speech, but you dare to be inattentive. Go back and copy books for me.”
Since Chu Banyang came by car, the said car, a black Bentley, was parked on the street.
Five minutes later, the four people stood beside the car, looking at each other.
Chu Banyang: “I’ve drank.”
Lu Yingjiu:”Me too.”
Xiao Li: “I’ve had two or three drinks…it’s probably unlikely for me to drive.”
Then the eyes of the three fell on Ye Feng.
Ye Feng: “Ah…I only had my driver’s license about two days ago, and it’s even difficult for me to park. Do you really want me to drive?”
Chu Banyang: “I won’t ask you to pay me if I get there too late. This is the cheapest car in my family. I simply bought it to hit someone.”
Xiao Li: “Brother Ye Feng, if you have a driver’s license, it means you are capable. You really don’t have to worry about it.”
He had a very bad feeling.
As they got inside the car, Ye Feng fastened his seat belt, and held the steering wheel with a guilty conscience.
He was really scared.
—Lu Yingjiu and Chu Banyang, which was considered bosses, not to mention the whole country, they at least represented half of the ghost exorcists south of the Huaihe River—
He was really afraid that he might hit someone or let them bump their heads.
Chu Banyang said in the back seat, “On the 18th. It was yesterday, someone in the community called the police saying that they heard something falling at two o’clock in the morning, and almost hit a customer at a table while eating hot pot. We need to hurry–”
Everyone instantly leaned forward, and Xiao Li’s head hit hard on the front, making him dizzy.
Looking up again, the car had already bolted across the middle of the road.
Half of the ghost exorcists really bumped their heads directly, and the bosses had even created some depressions.
Five minutes later, Ye Feng decided to stay alone and wait for the traffic police, while the other three took a taxi.
Chu Banyang briefly explained the case in the car, and Xiao Li nodded beside him, yet he hadn’t heard Lu Yingjiu saying anything for a long time. When he turned his head, he saw Lu Yingjiu with his head tilted towards the window. He could only see his beautiful jawline and slender neck from the neckline.
He hadn’t slept well, therefore he started catching up on sleep again.
Xiao Li also took a look, but suddenly heard Chu Banyang ask, “What are you looking at?”
“It’s nothing, nothing, nothing.” Xiao Li stammered, “Master, keep talking! I’m listening carefully!”
“Go back and copy the books a few more times.” Chu Banyang said lightly.
The taxi, which was carrying Xiao Li’s wail, ran along the road, speeding all the way, and finally stopped at the entrance of the Meihua Community.
The red and blue police lights kept flashing, several police cars blocked the gate of the community, and several policemen were in the community, evacuating the rest of the people. Thus a group of people had blocked the main entrance of the community. Summer was naturally hot, and when people got agitated, their heads would also be covered with fine beads of sweat. Old men in sweatshirts, aunts in flowered shirts, young men with angry faces……Looking around the vast expanse of black, it made one feel hot just by looking at it, as the smell of sweat permeated the air.
“Why did you kick me out?!”
“What the hell is going on now! I want to complain!”
“Did no fucking one explain the situation?”
“Would I be breaking the law if I go home now?”
Lu Yingjiu quickly glanced at the scene. This time the news was tightly sealed, the reporter didn’t squeeze over like a fly smelling rotten meat, otherwise it would inevitably give him a headache.
Several of them stepped forward.
Seeing them approach, the police hurriedly said, “The community is closed, and people who have nothing to do with it should not approach!”
Chu Banyang took out a black leather ID and showed it to them—the Green Lantern Association already had long-term cooperation with the police. In the past two years, the police had even set up a special department to make contact with ghost exorcists. When encountering a supernatural event, just say hello, and the people in the meeting could get through unimpeded.
When the policeman saw it, he breathed a sigh of relief.
“You are finally here.” He turned around and shouted, “Old Liu! He is here!”
He turned to the side and opened the iron gate of the community. Inside, an old policeman came up to meet them, and the back of his blue uniform was completely wet with sweat.
He raised his hat, took a breath, wiped his sweat again, and said, “Come with me, just call me Old Liu.”
Lu Yingjiu followed Old Liu, looking around as he walked through the neighborhood.
It was a very common community structure, with a small garden in the center, and thus far most people were evacuated out of the community. The police were still very cautious when encountering such a nasty supernatural event.
Old Liu led them all the way into a small road, passed through the gaps in between the buildings, and came to the farthest corner of the community. There was a small open space, a hot pot restaurant which looked like it had just been opened, and there were a few round tables around it.
Before approaching, Lu Yingjiu smelled a stench.
Like rotten eggs left in the middle of summer for three days, but it was more disgusting than that. Flies buzzed about. Several policemen and forensic doctors stood at the scene, and a yellow warning tape was drawn in a big circle.
Lu Yingjiu walked over, in the middle of the long grass, two corpses were laid shoulder to shoulder, covered with white cloth.
Lu Yingjiu said, “We’ll take a look at the corpses.”
Old Liu went over and uncovered the white cloth. The stench instantly rolled in the air, and it made Xiao Li retched while leaning against the wall.
Lu Yingjiu squatted down beside the corpse.
A man and a woman, wearing ordinary clothes.
It was said that the man jumped from the seventh floor of the top floor. His leg was broken, and a thick white bone protruded from the broken flesh. The female corpse, on the other hand, was very intact. She didn’t look like she experienced any trauma. She was lying on her back, her eyes were closed peacefully, her skin was delicate, her lips were ruddy, as if she had just fallen into a deep sleep.
Old Liu explained, “We received the alarm early in the morning, and when we arrived at the scene, there was only the male corpse. We first removed the smashed table, but before we could deal with the corpse next, in a blink of an eye, another corpse was lying next to him…..Looking at this situation, who would dare continue to deal with it.”
Lu Yingjiu said, “What’s the case of these two people?”
Lao Liu:”The male was Zhong Aiguo, 35 years old this year, was an employee of an insurance company and had just resigned three days ago. We contacted friends and family members, and they all said that Zhong Aiguo did not show any signs of committing suicide. The female was Ji Cai, 28 years old, a former teacher,” he hesitated for a few seconds, “she was confirmed dead a year ago.”
Lu Yingjiu glanced at the corpse and asked, “What was the cause of death? Why wasn’t her body cremated?”
“The autopsy showed no results and no cause of death was found.” Lao Liu said, “Without conclusions, no one dared to burn her, therefore she was kept in the morgue. At that time, they also suspected that it was a supernatural case, and invited a ghost exorcist to come over, however, there was still no result..” He glanced at the female corpse again and shuddered. “But then she suddenly appeared here now, it’s so fucking weird.”
Lu Yingjiu looked at the corpse carefully.
There was no Yin energy, and no abnormalities could be seen. Looking up again, the buildings around him were tall and were against the blue sky.
This was an old community, the walls of the buildings were peeling off, mottled in large pieces, and the anti-theft windows were full of reddish-brown rust. But the view from the top floor should be very good. If one watches the blue sky while falling from above, they may feel like a bird for a moment.
Lu Yingjiu looked away and asked, “Which hospital’s morgue is the female body in?”
Lao Liu replied, “The Second City Hospital.”
“Go and investigate all the suicide cases in the City in the last eight months, focusing on those who fell and died near the Second City Hospital.” Lu Yingjiu stood up, “There are too many people outside the community now, tell them all to evacuate, don’t leave one person behind. We’ll take over community monitoring.”
Several ghost exorcists from the Green Lantern Association came to the scene, and Chu Banyang arranged for them to paste runes on the scene.
Ten minutes later, Lu Yingjiu was already sitting in the monitoring room of the community, a notebook with white pages spread out on the table.
On the screen, the video recordings within three days were being played at 3x speed. The picture quality of the community surveillance was not good, and staring at it for a long time really hurts the eyes. As the scene changed, his brown pupils trembled slightly, without any emotion, like icy amber, or some kind of preying feline.
A few policemen and security guards were behind him, all of them held their breaths. Old Liu was on the phone outside, making an official request for the data of suicide cases—in fact, not everyone could command these people so easily.
After all, ghost exorcists were merely just collaborators, and there would inevitably be people with ulterior motives, smuggled goods, and sinister smugglers…..Therefore, many confidential documents would not be leaked to them at will and would need to pass an inspection first. It’s not something that could be easily obtained with just lip service.
This time Lu Yingjiu was brought in by Chu Banyang, and they all tacitly agreed that he was also from the Green Lantern Association—in fact, just a few days ago, he was indeed, and even at a level of a boss…..
Moreover, even if Lu Yingjiu simply stood there casually, the sharpness between his brows couldn’t be hidden, like a knife that had just been unsheathed, with a glint of snow.
That kind of confidence was engraved in the bone.
No one would dare question it.
Xiao Li had just finished vomiting, and his face was frighteningly pale.
He leaned against the wall in the corner, and said weakly, “Brother Lu, has he always been this powerful……”
“Hm.” Chu Banyang replied, “Since the time I knew him, but he is still a bit worse than me.”
Mhm, mhmm, Master, what you said is correct.
Chu Banyang gouged him out.
Xiao Li: “Master, you are right!!”
The surveillance video was over.
Lu Yingjiu wrote [9:15] in his notebook, drew a circle, and asked: “Does Zhong Aiguo have obsessive-compulsive disorder? For example, he must complete a certain thing at a certain point in time.”
The policeman replied, “His relatives and friends have not mentioned any.”
The community security also shook his head and said, “I don’t think so.”
Lu Yingjiu clicked on the pages of the book with the tip of his pen. “In the past three days, Zhong Aiguo has arrived at the gate of the community at 9:15, started walking his dog at 9:45, and then appeared again at 10:10 to take out the trash. The deviation does not exceed half a minute. If we only talk about this, it may be explained as a habit, but his previous behavior, such as going to work or returning home at noon, was irregular. Look at this action..”
He changed the surveillance screen to Zong Aiguo at the entrance of a Unit.
The angle of the camera was just enough to capture the main entrance of Unit 3. It was the night of two days ago, at 9:30, Zhong Aiguo stood downstairs at home and made a phone call. Holding the phone in his left hand, he suddenly raised his right hand, trying to wipe something next to his head with his right hand, but there was nothing, then put it down again.
He was on his phone for ten minutes, and this action was repeated three or four times.
The policeman said, “What does he want to touch?” He felt his hands and feet become cold, “It can’t be that something was lying on his shoulder, right?”
“No.” Lu Yingjiu shook his head, “Most ghosts will be captured by the camera. Besides, his action was more like a habit.”
“Habit of what?”
“Flipping hair.” Lu Yingjiu said, “A long hair.”
“Zhong Aiguo took a new ID photo half a month ago, with short hair, and his entry photo six months ago also had short hair.”
“It’s not that Aiguo has long hair before, but this was not ‘him’. That kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder-like routine was not ‘him’ either.” Lu Yingjiu put down his pen, “At that time, he was already possessed by a ghost every night. “
As soon as these words came out, the temperature seemed to drop a bit.
Several people in the room looked at each other, feeling cold.
Lu Yingjiu folded his fingers loosely, leaned back on the chair, and said, “Has the data on the suicide case been pulled out? I want to see if there is any contact between the two victims.”
“Old Liu is still talking outside.” The policeman immediately said, “I’ll go out and ask.”
He was about to push the door open when it slammed open, almost hitting his nose.
Old Liu rushed in and said in a panic, “They sent me a photo!”
He turned his phone screen towards the crowd.
The photo was sent by a colleague who had stayed behind in the scene, and it was a little blurry, as if it was taken in a panic.
The two bodies were photographed.
Ji Cai’s appearance was different from before. She had her eyes opened, turned her head sideways, and stared at the camera with dark eyes.
“Fuck—” The policeman took half a step back suddenly, his scalp was numb, “This is really—”
Lu Yingjiu said, “Give me your phone, I’ll go there.”
He took Old Liu’s mobile phone and quickly walked out of the monitoring room, followed by the sound of Chu Banyang and Xiao Li’s footsteps.
When he went out from a dim environment, his eyes couldn’t adapt to the strong light for a while, and the surrounding area looked like it was shimmering in white. Lu Yingjiu subconsciously narrowed his eyes.
When his sight was fully restored, he had already walked into the alley.
There were tall buildings on both sides, and the alley was extremely narrow and cramped, as if it would squashed the person in between in the next second.
Before he knew it, the footsteps behind him disappeared.
Or rather, everything became too quiet.
Except for the rustling of leaves overhead, the footsteps disappeared, the bird calls disappeared, and even the noise outside the community was completely blocked. There was nothing.
It was like in this whole world, he was left alone.
Lu Yingjiu lowered his eyes.
In the photo on the phone, Ji Cai’s dark eyes were looking at him.
Then she slowly raised the corners of her mouth.
She smiled at Lu Yingjiu.
A gust of wind blew by, and the shadows of trees danced wildly on the ground—then came a rustling sound, like the syllables squeezed out by a dying person—dry, hoarse, and intermittent.
Yin energy suddenly surged.
There was a group of little ghosts behind him.
Resentful spirits came earlier than he expected.
Lu Yingjiu looked away.
The sun’s light and the shadows of the tall buildings slanted down on his body, half bright and half gloomy. The some kind of strange color flashed through his beautiful eyebrows—
It was not fear, or impatience.
But instead a kind of veiled, heartfelt excitement.
Some spells require blood to be used and Lu Yingjiu brought a small blade with him. At this moment, he tossed the blade, the blade danced nimbly around between his fingers. He then clenched the handle with his backhand, and with a light swipe, he slashed open the tip of his index finger.
Bright red blood beads emerged from the wound.
But before he could take out a talisman, his eyes suddenly flashed.
He heard a chuckle.
There seems to be a……fragrance in the air?
Extremely shallow and very light, cold fragrance.
It was difficult to describe in words.
It’s as if when one was looking for plums, yet they suddenly bump into a crescent moon, and the misty fragrance of flowers was flowing into the moonlight.
When he came back to his senses again, he heard the sound of footsteps again, the sound of wind, and the sound of people rushing over, and crashing into him. The world went back to running as if nothing had happened.
The ghosts are also gone.
Lu Yingjiu was stunned.
Looking down, the wound on his index finger had also healed, and it was so clean that there was no trace left.
Xiao Li, who caught up panting, said, “You, why did you stop here?”
Lu Yingjiu: “……”
Lu Yingjiu: “Because I encountered some…interesting things.”
He didn’t continue forward, he turned around to the way he came, and searched all the way back.
It was calm and he didn’t find any clue.
Lu Yingjiu stood in the middle of the alley, thought for a moment, and walked again. This time he didn’t pay attention to Yin energy, his eyes swept over the wall, the ground and the green vegetation in the corner…..
Almost towards the end, something reflected light in the corner, and it was somewhat shining.
Lu Yingjiu squatted down next to it, pulled out a piece of talisman paper, and flicked the talisman paper lightly, and it burned. With this light, he saw a little black-red liquid.
This is blood.
Lu Yingjiu narrowed his eyes.
The ground was already broken, therefore he only kicked it lightly, kicking away a few broken bricks.
Black-red blood gushed out from the ground, instantly staining the ground red. It was only then that Lu Yingjiu saw clearly what was underneath.
Broken bones, severed limbs and heads.
Squeezed and flattened together in the soil, and was completely unrecognizable.
This was not a human being, but the ghosts who were following him.
Lu Yingjiu remembered that he had seen a hydraulic press crushing things, and he was moved by its force at that time, but now, that scene seemed to appear before his eyes again– white bones were broken, skulls were crushed, and what was left was almost as thin as paper.
The moment they wanted to rush up to him, there must have been some kind of weird and terrifying force pressing them under the ground, crushing them.
Xiao Li suddenly exclaimed, “Ah! What’s that in your hand!”
In Lu Yingjiu’s hands, another bright red flower appeared out of thin air.
With layered petals, still looking delicate and charming.
Suddenly, a cool breeze blew his hair a little, and he felt a subtle touch on his forehead.
It was almost—almost like a kiss.
Hubby was definitely unhappy that ring was even considered by others to not be a mark of possession from him! Still, full protective mode is definitely on!
Thanks for your hard work translating!