The arrival of the day didn’t blow away the haze of last night. Once everyone gathered downstairs in the lobby, there were heavy dark circles under their eyes. Obviously, no one had slept well in this environment.
Not to mention, there was the weather. They didn’t know what was going on but just like a demon, it had been raining since morning.
The rain on Lingxi Mountain was different from the torrential heavy rain that came and went. It was dense, like a continuous line of needlework. From the windows of the hotel, it was like the greenery to the south of Yangtze River, full of misty rain.
President Hu had stayed up almost all night. He brought the rest of his company to the hotel lobby early in the morning. He wanted to find the hotel owner and ask him how to leave. However, President Hu had just left his room when he was shocked by the corpse.
The corpse that had been left on the ground seemed to have been dragged. The blood splashed from the back of the head due to the impact had a long pulling trail left on the ground.
President Hu was in a state of shock when someone stood behind him and asked, “Someone moved this body?”
President Hu turned around and happened to meet Jiang Linwen’s eyes.
The other side’s eyes were full of precautions. President Hu was afraid and he stuttered, “I don’t know. I saw this when I came out. Shouldn’t someone be asking you people?”
This was the first time President Hu and his employees were encountering ghosts. They were afraid of dying. How could they have the courage to move the body in the middle of the night?
Jiang Linwen didn’t speak. Currently, there were considerable disagreements among the reincarnators. Apart from the teammates who knew each other, almost no one was moving in a group. Forget asking about this type of thing. Even if a reincarnator knew something, they wouldn’t say it when asked.
He used to be the ‘big brother’ in the team and was used to leading reincarnators. They met in this instance and there were numerous things in his heart, but he couldn’t say who had a problem. Even President Hu and Lin Ruo couldn’t escape suspicion.
President Hu wondered, “Will you call out those people and ask?”
He didn’t believe in the statement of ghosts at first. Then after yesterday’s strange laughter and bloody handprints, he believed it 70%. Now he only felt afraid. Who would go out to the lobby in the middle of the night to move the body?
“…Okay.” Jiang Linwen replied.
It was currently daytime. According to the prompt of the task, the evil spirit would carry out the next kill at night. Therefore, he didn’t refuse and went to knock on the door of the reincarnators with President Hu.
There were some uncooperative people but as the number of people increased, they chose to go downstairs. Unfortunately, they all answered uniformly that they hadn’t come down and dragged the body.
“What would I do with that thing?”
Jiang Linwen asked, “You live near the stairs. Did you hear anyone moving downstairs in the middle of the night?”
“No, nothing moved.” The bald man who lived closest to the first floor staircase spoke. “I barely dared to sleep last night. I listened for any noises and didn’t hear anything.”
“Wei Ning, do you want to think about it again?” President Hu questioned.
The bald man defended himself. “There really was nothing. President Hu, haven’t you always believed in my memory?”
Judging from Wei Ning’s expression, his answer didn’t seem like a lie. Who would move the body? Was it the hotel owner? He didn’t show up from last night until now. The reincarnators searched the hotel but couldn’t find him or the chef.
Xiao Li crouched down next to the corpse, picked up one of its hands and lowered it again. Then he suddenly stated, “It wasn’t moved by other people.”
Jiang Linwen, who had been watching him the entire time, immediately asked, “What do you mean?”
Xiao Li stood upright. “Look at the bloodstains. If it was dragged then there should be scratch marks. However, there are gaps in the blood stains on the ground, ranging from deep to shallow. It looks more like he crawled on his own.”
President Hu was shocked. “But he is already dead. Was he not dead last night?”
“Impossible.” A dark-skinned reincarnator refuted it. “I checked it and he has been dead for a long time.”
Jiang Linwen looked at the mottled blood stains on the ground. If it was like Xiao Li’s words then the only answer…
In the middle of the night when they all left, the body killed by the evil spirit moved by itself. Now it was close to the stairs. If left to continue, perhaps it would go up the stairs on its own.
Jiang Linwen clenched his fists and turned to the reincarnators. “We can’t find the hotel owner. Let’s first shut the body up in an enclosed space? Who will come with me?”
Ye Zeqing came forward. He and Jiang Linwen locked the body in a storage room to the rear.
Once the door of the storage room was closed tightly, he looked up at the outside sky. It was grey and cloudy despite being daytime. This gave people a bad feeling. This hotel was becoming stranger as time passed. They had to speed up finding the evil spirit but they currently had no clues. They only knew it walked on tiptoes.
A person who usually walked like this should be a female. It was like a cat that didn’t cause any noise. Now all the women in the hotel were serious suspects.
What did the task prompt mean by closing their eyes? He had laid in bed last night and kept thinking with his eyes closed, but he couldn’t find a clue.
Jiang Linwen sighed deeply.
On the other side, Xiao Li stood at the door of the hotel. He held up the purple umbrella and walked into the rain.
He had just taken the first step when Ye Zeqing came back from storing the corpse in the storage room and saw him. Ye Zeqing quickly took a few steps and followed him. Needless to see, Zheng Yi had been consciously following him long ago.
Xiao Li glanced at them and didn’t stop them. Zheng Yi’s umbrella was one taken from the drawer of the hotel’s front desk. It was different from the quaint style of the purple umbrella. They were two flowery umbrellas.
The rain on the horizon formed a line that stained the green mountains.
Zheng Yi wondered, “What are you doing out here?”
“Doing the side task.”
“There is a side task? What task?”
Xiao Li shook the Eternal Soul Umbrella in his hand. “I got this from a draw and there is a seal on it. It can be lifted in this world.”
Zheng Yi exclaimed, “F*k, this type of thing is usually an artifact. Why haven’t I seen you use it?”
Ye Zeqing also sighed. “I’m used to getting inedible bread in draws. The best one was a disposable, life-saving prop. What is your luck?”
Zheng Yi actually wanted to give Ye Zeqing a reply like, ‘This is what happens when you praise Moriarty. Who made Sherlock the emperor of luck?’ However, he didn’t want to embarrass Xiao Li and had to refrain.
Xiao Li answered Zheng Yi’s question. “…I have used it. You just haven’t seen it.
Zheng Yi was curious. “What is the function of this umbrella?”
A variety of functions filled his head. “For example, the ability to shoot bullets from the umbrella or an absolute field that can be separated from reality.”
Xiao Li glanced at him and seemed to be wondering about his question. “It protects from the rain.”
Zheng Yi, “………”
There was nothing wrong with this. The only role of the umbrella in Xiao Li’s hand was to protect from the rain.
…In addition, maybe it could cover the shower head for the little black cat? In short, it was a return to the original (waste) usage. Zheng Yi covered his arm that was completely wet from the drizzle. “So where do we go to unseal it?”
Xiao Li replied, “To the east. I don’t know the specific place but there should be a prompt when I arrive.”
Xiao Li thought about it for a moment before adding, “The weather is bad. You should go back first. I walked for a quarter of an hour yesterday and didn’t find it. It should be quite far.”
They bypassed the big rocks in front, stepped on the mud and headed east.
Zheng Yi shook his head. “I don’t want to stay in that hotel. It gives me a depressing feeling. It might be raining outside but following you is still better.”
The important thing was to feel safe.
The group continued to walk forward. As they were passing a large forest, Zheng Yi suddenly stopped and pointed to the depths of the forest in front of him. “Did you see those figures in front?”
The branches of a great tree were deeply embedded in the soil. A few black shadows went down into the depths of the earth like ghosts and disappeared a moment later.
Zheng Yi thought it was his illusion but then he heard Xiao Li say, “They are the three people living on the third floor.”
Their names were unknown.
Ye Zeqing wondered, “What are they doing here?”
Xiao Li answered, “Maybe coming out to let the wind blow. Let’s go.”
In normal times, perhaps Xiao Li would’ve followed to take a look. However, due to some type of obsessive-compulsive disorder, he wanted to complete his side task first.
After around 30 minutes, they left the forest and saw a village. The small village was surrounded by wooden fences and weeds half as high.
Xiao Li immediately thought of Lingxi Village, the dead village that Lin Ruo mentioned. At present, the grass outside the village was growing wildly but the village was peaceful and not uninhabited.
Just then, the little yellow book shook. [Side task: Complete what she wants and you can get what you want.]
Xiao Li put the little yellow book and entered the village with the umbrella. The moment he walked in, he realized something wasn’t right. There were clear signs of movement and a lot of people. Then Xiao Li saw the face of a villager and secretly took back what he said. It was because—
There were villagers with towels on their shoulders and holding umbrellas to look at crops and peasant women standing under the waves and watching the strangers with rice bowls that couldn’t be seen outside the village.
The even more frightening thing was that the flesh of the villagers’ faces was drooping and pus was flowing. Some women had hollowed out chests and some were just skeletons.
A ghost village? Xiao Li held the umbrella without changing his expression and kept looking at them.
Ye Zeqing whispered in a puzzled manner, “The people here look normal but there is a very strong ghostly energy on their bodies. They shouldn’t be alive.”
Xiao Li slowed down. “…The people you see are normal?”
“Yes, ordinary people. Are you seeing something different from us?”
“It should be the umbrella. I can see what they look like after they died.”
Ye Zeqing stared at the villagers around him with horror. So many ghosts…
He saw Xiao Li’s calm expression and couldn’t help lamenting the other person’s strong psychological qualities. This was worthy of Moriarty/Hercule!
Xiao Li walked into the village and analyzed it while walking, “It seems that most of the villagers were… eaten? Most of them are only skeletons. Wow, this family is so miserable. They’re completely eaten up.”
Xie Zeqing, “……”
It caused discomfort.
Xiao Li turned to a farmhouse. A white-haired old lady crossed through the door and grabbed Xiao Li’s wrist. “Jin Jin, why are you standing with strangers? If your husband sees it then you will be beaten again.”
Xiao Li, “???”
Just then, he felt the little yellow book in his pocket shaking. He blindly put his hands in his pocket and looked at the old lady. “Jin Jin?”
One of the old lady’s eyes had fallen out and she didn’t see Xiao Li’s anomaly. She continued talking to him, “Go back. Here, I have half a steamed bun for you. You must be hungry. Look at how thin you are. Hey, I think you are also pitiful. How did you come to this family?”
Xiao Li grabbed her wrist. “Wait, this old lady. Who am I?”
Xiao Li put down his hand. “Sorry, I—”
He hadn’t finished his sentence when from the farmer’s house on the right, a man walked out fiercely. He looked the most vicious and in a complete state out of all the villagers. It was just that his tongue was very long and hanging out, like a hanged ghost.
The strange man grabbed Xiao Li and spoke impatiently, “I said, where did you go? Why didn’t you cook? If you don’t cook when I tell you then don’t eat at night!”
Xiao Li quietly shook off the hand and tentatively called out to him. “…Hus…”
He couldn’t finish saying ‘band.’
The little yellow book turned on vibration mode.
The man frowned and looked very disgusted. He ignored Xiao Li and turned to Ye Zeqing and the others. Then he sneered. “These are your friends from the city? They’re all pretty boys. Bah.”
Zheng Yi, “……”
Xie Zeqing, “……”
Xiao Li made a gesture to them. He had a few guesses in his heart and followed along with the other side’s words. “Yes, they are my friends.”
The man didn’t care and rolled his eyes. “Have them leave quickly. Why are your friends coming to find you? Do you regret getting married? Xu Jin, you are the one who voluntarily married me. Now hurry up and cook food. Do you want me to starve to death?”
Xiao Li, “…”
He wanted to beat someone up.
The man walked back into the brick house and shouted to Xiao Li in the distance, “Hurry up!”
The old lady behind him sighed. “Jin Jin, you should do what he says. This way, you will be beaten less.”
She returned to the house on her crutches.
Zheng Yi pointed to the house. “What’s the situation?”
“The umbrella triggered the side task.” Xiao Li tried to guess. “The owner of the umbrella should be Jin Jin. I am holding her umbrella so they treat me as Jin Jin. They don’t know that they are dead…”
Then he muttered, “Eternal Soul Umbrella. Does this mean the souls of the villagers will always be trapped here?”
Zheng Yi stated, “Based on the conversation just now, this Jin Jin is very unhappy.”
It wasn’t just being unhappy. She had no status and was like a cooking machine. According to the information disclosed by Xu Jin’s husband, Xu Jin should be a girl from a privileged family in the city. Perhaps she was blinded by love but she ended up marrying this man. After marrying him, her status was low and she had to endure his ridicule.
If this was the case, the owner of the Eternal Soul Umbrella, Xu Jin wanted him to see this scene. What did she want him to do? Get revenge for her?
Xiao Li told them, “You wait here for a while. I’ll go in and take a look.”
He walked into Xu Jin’s house and found that it was a rather rudimentary farmhouse with brick furniture and a layer of straw for the bed, nothing else. In sharp contrast, the bedroom was like another house. There was a bed with a thick quilt. It was obvious that Xu Jin’s husband lived here.
Once Xiao Li came in, the man was sitting on a rattan chair with his feet up. “Aren’t you cooking yet?”
Xiao Li held the umbrella even in the house. He looked at the other person and slowly declared, “I think it is better for you to cook.”
The man’s movements stopped like the pause button was pressed and his face showed an incredulous expression. “What did you say?”
Xiao Li repeated with an expressionless face. “If you want to eat then do it on your own.”
It took a few five seconds for the man to react. He jumped up directly from his chair. “Xu Jin, what did you f*king say? I knew that you, Miss Qian Jin, can’t stand suffering, right? In the beginning, you wore that you would only love me and serve me all your life. However, you can’t stand it now?”
Xiao Li stood in the same place. “…What did I tell you at the beginning?”
The man sneered. “It was something like ‘I love you, I want to take care of you forever. No matter what your home looks like, I am willing to come.’ Yet now you want to go back? There are two men at the door. Why don’t you follow them?”
Xiao Li whispered, “…I don’t know why Xu Jin would look at you.”
“What did you say?”
He obviously heard t but he couldn’t understand the meaning of Xiao Li’s words. He only thought that Xu Jin was insulting him. Thus, he rolled up his sleeve, picked up the rolling pin by his side and came toward Xiao Li to hit him.
Xiao Li didn’t move as the doll’s hair stretched out infinitely from his pocket, firmly tying up this man and blocking his mouth as well. There was a sound as the rolling pin fell to the ground.
The man was tied up on the spot and his eyes revealed an indescribable panic. “Um, umm?”
The doll crawled out and turned into a girl wearing a thick coat. Her eyes stared at the other person and she tightened her grip on the man. The man struggled but this behaviour just caused the hair to become more tightly wrapped around his flesh.
Xiao Li picked up the rolling pin on his ground and weighed it in his hand. Then with little effort, he hit the man. He didn’t use much force but the moment the rolling pin hit the man, the scene in front of Xiao Li rippled.
The next second, the interior of the brick house changed. It was still Xu Jin’s husband. He was standing beside a table with a broken bowl on the ground.
“You say you love me but what is the result? You can’t even cook a dish. Are you still a woman?” The man spat out.
Now Xiao Li had a guess about the side task. Was it to make up for Xu Jin’s choices. This time, he didn’t fight back directly. He kept holding the umbrella while stepping back to avoid the man’s saliva.
The man vented his emotions. “You even asked me for money to buy a mirror. What mirror do you want? I thought your family was rich. In the end, your parents broke it off with you and you couldn’t get a single thing. It is a loss. At least others have a dowry!”
Xiao Li remained silent until the man’s mouth dried up. Then he kicked a broken piece of porcelain and went back to his room to sleep.
Based on the bedroom, Xu Jin should sleep in a straw pile. Xiao Li turned the umbrella handle in his hand. He came outside the house and looked up at the moonlight above his head. Xiao Li spoke to the umbrella, “I think it is faster if you directly divorce him. Why?”
Behind him, Zhou Ying stood in the bedroom of Xu Jin’s husband. The pale boy leaned over in the moonlight and stared closely at the man sleeping on the bed. Xu Jin’s husband was sleeping when he felt his nose become itchy. It seemed that something had fallen on it.
He rubbed his nose several times but it was useless. In the end, he could only sleepily open his eyes to see if a mosquito had landed on his nose. However, once he opened his eyes, he abruptly woke up as he was met with a pair of grey eyes.
It was a child. His white face and blue lips revealed his identity. He wasn’t a person but a ghost. This ghost child had been standing by his bed, watching him and waiting for him to wake up!
The ghost child turned his head and smiled at the man. “Come with me… to play a game?”
Xu Jin’s husband screamed. “Ahhhhh—”
He bounced wildly, rolling down from the end of the bed. “Go away, go away!”
Xu Jin’s husband wanted to rush out the door but a strand of long hair hung from the roof, blocking the door and cutting off his escape.
The little boy approached him. “If you lose this game then you will die.”
Screams cut through the silence.
Once again, the illusion was broken and Xiao Li returned to reality. In reality, there was a circle of straw rope hanging from the beam of the brick house’s roof. A person was hanging from the rope.
Based on his facial features, he was Xu Jin’s husband. Only now he was no longer a living person. He had returned to what he was when he died. His pale face hung from the rope. He had become a hanged ghost. This was what the entire village really looked like.
As Xiao Li looked up at him, the hanged ghost on the beam suddenly moved without any wind. His legs swung back and forth regularly and then his entire body sank down. It seemed that he wanted to directly grab onto Xiao Li’s head.
There was a hint of resentment in the hanged ghost’s eyes, mixed with the joy of imagining the man in front of him being killed.
The next second, Xiao Li bent down and walked flexibly to avoid the hanged ghost’s feet. Not only that. There was a figure in his original position. It was tall and covered with a layer of black mucus. It had two heads but due to Bloody Mary, there was only one head left. It was the back ghost.
The hanged ghost’s feet just happened to catch the back of one of the ghost’s head.
The hanged ghost, “……….??”
Wait, why did it seem that the width of this object was different from what he thought? The back ghost’s eyes with no pupils flashed and it looked coldly above it. Then it grasped the feet of the hanged ghost and pulled down fiercely, dragging the hanged ghost off the beam.
Then the back ghost turned his head 180 degrees to look at Xiao Li.
Xiao Li waved at it. “I’ll give you this reserve food. Eat it cleanly and don’t thank me.”
The back ghost, “………”
It didn’t want to say thank you?