Chapter 35 Part 1
The group composed of more than ten people, men and women, young and old. With unkempt appearances, they were glaring at them.
The hills and slopes of the continuous mountains were like black beasts, stealthily creeping above the earth. Underneath the pale white moonlight, these malnourished villagers were all holding onto sharp weapons and glaring at Xi Jia and Ye Jingzhi with angry looks.
They closed in on them step by step.
Behind Xi Jia were the 23 graves, and the graves were above a overhanging cliff with a drop of more than 30 meters. Xi Jia didn’t know how to speak the dialect of G Province. He looked at Ye Jingzhi and said, “Master Ye, did they misunderstand our purpose? Quickly explain it to them, okay?”
Ye Jingzhi nodded and said to these villagers, “We have no ill intent. Just that we have friends who have gone missing nearby so we want to see.”
Three children glared with their small tapered eyes and spat saliva on the ground.
Ye Jingzhi wrinkled his brows. After he moved Xi Jia behind his body to protect him, he said a few more words again. However, it didn’t take long for the villagers to brandish their hoes and sickles, aiming at them. Moonlight shined on the ice-cold metal tools, reflecting off a cold color. Ye Jingzhi grabbed Xi Jia and retreated three steps until they arrived in front of a gravestone. Behind them were the 23 graves.
These villagers seemed to have gone insane like madmen. “Barren mountains and turbulent rivers produce wicked people.”1 For the first time, Xi Jia profoundly understood this phrase through experience in this way.
They waved their weapons. With every swing, they wanted to put Xi Jia and Ye Jingzhi to death. The tools that were usually used for farm work became weapons to kill someone. The most frightening thing was actually the villagers’ expressions while brandishing the farming tools.
“Kill you, kill, ahhhhhh kill you all……”
There was a crazy look in their eyes, but the hands holding the farming tools were shaking as if afraid of something.
Xi Jia and Ye Jingzhi were retreating at first, but when a female farmworker waved her hoe, it just so happened to smash right in front of Xi Jia. Xi Jia immediately froze in shock since he was nearly hit by this hoe. Ye Jingzhi’s gaze became cold at once, coldly looking at the group of mad villagers. He flipped his hand, and Wu Xiang Qing Li appeared in his palm.
These villagers saw Ye Jingzhi’s ability to take out a magic treasure out of thin air, and they were shocked silly. Then, they chased and hacked after them even more crazily. Ye Jingzhi stamped his right foot on the ground, and Wu Xiang Qing Li started to spin in the air rapidly. After Ye Jingzhi silently read an incantation, he tapped his finger on the bronze die.
An invisible attack oscillated from the tiny bronze die, knocking all the villagers to the ground.
Ye Jingzhi grabbed Xi Jia’s waist. With a tap from his feet, he leaped back, jumping down the cliff. The two of them landed at the foot of the mountain very quickly. Wu Xiang Qing Li flew back into Ye Jingzhi’s hand. It stayed in his palm for a bit before running to rub against Xi Jia’s palm as if it was asking: Are you alright?
Xi Jia wiped the sweat off of his forehead, “I’m fine.”
Only then was Ye Jingzhi relieved.
Xi Jia stroked Wu Xiang Qing Li, and he lifted his head, looking at the jet-black mountainside. He couldn’t see what the situation was right now with the villagers at the top. But thinking about it, he knew that after getting knocked down by Wu Xiang Qing Li, these villagers might have taken them as demons or ghosts. Originally, they regarded them as enemies. Now, they should have even more hatred.
Xi Jia honestly didn’t understand. He and Master Ye had just arrived at this village and hadn’t even done anything. Why would the people in this village look at him with such animosity? When they first arrived, those villagers were genuine human beings and not ghosts or evil spirits. Who in the world would just start fighting upon first meeting? And even in such a “hate to the bone” kind of manner?
Those villagers were only ordinary humans. Xi Jia could only hit lonely souls and wild ghosts until they dispersed. His fists weren’t that effective on humans. As a ghost hunting Celestial master, Ye Jingzhi needed to catch ghosts, not humans, so he didn’t kill these villagers. It wasn’t until the villagers became too intolerable did he use Wu Xiang Qing Li to knock down the villagers.
It could be said that they were driven out by the villagers.
Xi Jia had a belly full of suspicions and resentment, but he didn’t have a way to vent. He couldn’t beat those villagers to death and treat them like lonely souls and wild ghosts. He thought for a bit and asked, “Master Ye, this village is so strange, and so many people have died. The attitudes of the villagers towards us is also too abnormal. Could it be that Pei Yu’s disappearance is related to this village? Did they kidnap Pei Yu?”
Ye Jingzhi’s gaze swept over the surroundings. He looked at Xi Jia, “Fellow Daoist Pei is Shuangji Sect’s eldest disciple and 7th on the Modou Rankings. Among the younger generation, he has outstanding strength. And with Fellow Daoist Pei’s strength, although he can’t hurt human life, there should be no problem if he wanted to escape from the hands of those villagers.”
Xi Jia’s expression was heavy as he carefully thought for a very long time.
Pei Yu’s presence disappeared between these large mountains. The biggest possibility right now was that he was still somewhere between these mountains. However, these mountains spread far and wide, linking into a loop and encircling a valley. Wanting to find a person would be very challenging.
The small village in the mountainside was too strange. Whether it was a village that had 23 death in two months or the villagers being hostile for no reason at all, both reminded Xi Jia: This village definitely has problems.
Xi Jia deeply thought for a long time when he suddenly thought of something, “Master Ye, 23 people have died in two months. If this village has a problem, then those 23 people should’ve been killed by a malicious ghost. If this is the case……I have a suggestion.”
Ye Jingzhi earnestly looked at Xi Jia.
Xi Jia hesitated for a long time. Finally, he sighed and said, “I want……to dig up a grave.”
There was an ancient saying: Don’t pass judgement on a person’s life until you’ve seen the end, buried and laid to rest.
Currently, Huaxia had implemented a cremation policy. After a person’s death, they were directly sent to a funeral parlor and cremated, turning into ash. One, it would save land. Two, it could protect the environment. However, the cremation policy had been put into effect for several decades, but it was only a common practice in the big cities. Many of the remote mountain villages still hadn’t implemented this policy. The villagers still believed that the deceased was the most important, and they wouldn’t let the dead be burned. They must let the deceased depart completely intact with a burial.
Xi Jia didn’t think that the people of this village would cremate the deceased. In such a isolated village, even compulsory education wasn’t necessarily normalized, let alone the expensive price of cremations.
Xi Jia said, “As long as we dig up a grave and check the corpse, we will be able to know if the villagers had been killed by evil spirits. Master Ye, right now we simply can’t get any truths out from the villagers’ mouths, we can only……” He paused for a moment before he seriously looked up, “We can only dig up a grave.”
This was currently the only method. The two of them no longer hesitated and went back to the mountain village.
When Xi Jia and Ye Jingzhi had entered the mountain village before, they didn’t have their guards up. This time when they went back again, Master Ye found two talismans in his Qiankun bag, sticking them to his chest and Xi Jia’s chest. After the charm was pasted, they entered the village once more. The villagers who stood at the entrance holding weapons couldn’t see them at all.
They walked all the way to the 23 graves. Xi Jia bent over and wiped the top of one of the gravestones.
With the soil cleanly wiped away, the words on top were exposed clearly.
This charm could confuse the villagers’ eyes, making them unable to see the two of them. However, it couldn’t hide their sounds. Xi Jia lowered his voice and looked at Ye Jingzhi, “I heard the village head mention before that this village is called Yuanjia Village. The person in this grave is called Yuan Laojiu, someone from their village.”
Ye Jingzhi lightly nodded, and he took out a wine cup and three sticks of incense from his Qiankun bag.
Xi Jia quietly walked to the side. Ye Jingzhi mouthed incantations and lightly tapped on the wine cup with his finger. Immediately, the white jade wine cup was filled with a cup of clear wine.
“This living one has a wish, and will be disturbing you. The deceased is important, take this wine as an apology.”
Ye Jingzhi tipped the wine cup, spilling the fine liquor to the ground in front of Yuan Laojiu’s gravestone.
The dark night concealed all the secrets. Most of the villagers stood at the village entrance. No one noticed that a cup of wine was poured in front of Yuan Lao Jiu’s grave.
Ye Jingzhi’s head was lowered as he watched, and Xi Jia also watched the wine soak into the ground. All of a sudden, he saw the wine stain on the ground starting to dry up. It was as if there really was a person drinking this cup of wine, and the long wine stain disappeared bit by bit into the air. After waiting for the ghost in the netherworld to finish drinking this cup of wine, Ye Jingzhi lit the three sticks of incense and gently inserted them into the soil in front of Yuan Laojiu’s gravestone.
A woman not far away suddenly yelled in a dialect, “Somebody come! Somebody come! There are ghosts again!”
All of the villagers were immediately drawn over by the woman’s yells. They turned around to take a look, only to see that there were suddenly three incense sticks in front of Yuan Laojiu’s grave. The villagers were greatly shocked and tightened their grips on their farming tools. Ye Jingzhi didn’t give them any chance to react. Master Ye moved his palm, suddenly slapping it toward the sky.
Yuan Lao Jiu’s grave exploded open.
The earth splattered everywhere, and the coffin was opened. The villagers who had rushed over here were all stunned in their places. Every one of them looked on in fright, not daring to take another step forward.
Xi Jia took a step forward and wanted to look over Yuan Laojiu’s corpse, but Ye Jingzhi stopped him. Xi Jia looked at him in confusion. Master Ye’s gaze was heavy. Underneath Xi Jia’s nose, he drew a stroke by drawing his thumb across from left to right and said, “This person has already been dead for more than ten days. I’ll look.”
Next, Xi Jia heard many of the villagers retching, and he suddenly realized.
This Yuan Laojiu had died for so many days so the corpse had already rotted, emitting a foul odor. Looking at it was very terrifying, and the putrid odor was also very strong. Master Ye didn’t let him look at the corpse out of kindness, and he seemed to have used some method to seal his sense of smell so he couldn’t smell the rotten stench.
Xi Jia watched Ye Jingzhi’s back, his eyes following him as he walked to the coffin and looked down to examine.
Xi Jia also wanted to know the situation inside the coffin. Certainly, it was a terrifying, rotting corpse that had changed beyond recognition. Over ten meters away, there were already some villagers who had fainted from the smell of the rotting corpse that had assailed their noses. The white haired old man actually walked over step by step with the help of his son.
Xi Jia didn’t feel scared as he calmly watched the father and son walk closer. Right when the father and son arrived at the grave, Ye Jingzhi came out from the hole in the ground. He went to Xi Jia and said the unsurprisingly answer with a steady voice, “Killed by a malicious ghost.”
Since the answer had been obtained, Xi Jia and Ye Jingzhi took off the charm on their bodies. Their figures suddenly appeared in front of the grave, and many villagers turned around and fled in fright. The middle-aged man raised his sickle and ruthlessly hacked toward their bodies. Wu Xiang Qing Li quickly flew out of Xi Jia’s hand and knocked into the man, sending him flying.
“Wu Xiang Qing Li!” Ye Jingzhi called.
After the exquisite bronze die knocked the man away, it was still so angry that it wanted to hit him again. Suddenly hearing its master calling for it, Wu Xiang Qing Li hovered in the air and hesitated for a long time. Finally, it reluctantly flew back. It wasn’t even willing to fall into Ye Jingzhi’s palm, and flew straight into Xi Jia’s pocket.
——Why don’t you want to kill this person? He wanted to chop a person just now!
Five Boxes of Green Pears: Why won’t you let me attacc! ٩(๑`^´๑)۶
1 穷山恶水出刁民 Barren mountains and turbulent rivers produce wicked people – Basically, bad environment produces bad people. Quote is said to be from Emperor Qianlong of Qing after he went to Jiangnan. ↵