“This village is under a curse. All the villagers are now pawns in the hands of the devil. They can only follow the devil’s orders.”
“Things will be all right if the villagers don’t realize the truth. However, if they recognize they have lost their memories, they will remember the truth. When that happens, they will no longer want to be pawns, and the devil will kill them. He doesn’t need pawns that won’t behave.
“When you asked Tie Niu things related to the Night Dragon Bait and the mist yesterday, the man slowly got his memory back. So, for the folks’ safety, we shouldn’t disclose too many things to them,” Zen Master Baimei said with a sorrowful face.
I was dumbstruck. I have pushed Tie Niu to his death?
“We know the secret of this village. Will we be killed as well?” I was anxious.
Zen Master Baimei nodded. “It’s possible.”
Li Mazi almost collapsed. “Shoot! Who is behind this? Who’s the devil standing behind the curtain controlling everything?”
Suddenly, a horde of folks rushed to the village entrance. They held sticks, hoes, and shovels. They were angry and surrounded us. “You killed Tie Niu. You have to pay for his life!”
I was frightened. Sweat fell down my forehead.
“Zen Master Baimei, has the devil brainwashed the villagers again? He wants to kill us, right?” I panicked.
Zen Master Baimei sighed. “Yeah, that seems the case.”
“What should we do now?” I was flustered. “Can we beat them?”
Chuyi said coldly, “Stay behind me.”
Then, he took out his sword and stood in front of us.
“We didn’t kill him,” I tried to explain, “You don’t have any evidence, so why do you want to blame everything on us?”
Zen Master Baimei forced a smile. “It’s useless. The devil has planted such thoughts in their minds. We can’t talk them out of it.”
“Capture them,” the leader of the group cried out. Then, all of the villagers swarmed over like a rising tide.
Chuyi took a deep breath and said, “Stay close behind me…”
Then, he thrust toward the weakest spot of the group.
Countless iron hoes and shovels hacked at him, but how could those villagers compare to Chuyi’s speed?
He grabbed the iron shovel and immobilized the leader of the group. Then, he leaped up and kicked him away. This sent all the villagers that were standing behind him to the ground.
Chuyi casually took a weapon and gave it to me. “Keep this to defend yourself.”
Slowly, Chuyi seized three or four weapons, and a gap was formed in the encirclement. He took us and stormed out of the mob of people.
The villagers chased after us, but we were much faster.
I asked Chuyi, “Where are we going? Isn’t the Wild Dog Mountain Ridge this way? Are we leaving?”
“There are many bushes in the Wild Dog Mountain Ridge. We can hide there.”
We got to the Wild Dog Mountain Ridge and found a lushly green scrub to hide in.
The villagers didn’t stop after they lost track of us. They went all the way to the Wild Dog Mountain Ridge.
However, it was strange that after they got to the Wild Dog Mountain Ridge, they didn’t scatter to search for us. They seemed to have a common goal and headed towards the peak.
This was odd.
After seeing this, Chuyi picked up a rock from the ground and threw at the group of running folks.
His strange action scared me as color left my face. Why wasn’t he wasn’t afraid of disclosing us?
The rock hit a villager on his head. However, the villagers didn’t turn to look at us but continued walking numbly toward the peak of the mountain.
Chuyi’s face darkened immediately. “The situation isn’t good…”
“What’s going on?” I was restless.
He took a deep breath then said, “It seems we are unknowingly controlled too.”
“What?” I thought I had just misheard him.
“Those folks didn’t follow us here,” he said. “The devil has controlled them to go to the Wild Dog Mountain Ridge. As we ran here, we were also affected by that devil.”
I could hear my heart beating faster and faster.
What was that devil, after all? How could it affect our minds without us even noticing?
Also, why did he guide the villagers to the Wild Dog Mountain Ridge?
I was so confused and didn’t have a clue of what had happened. Then, someone screamed from the mountain peak. “What the heck… Isn’t this my Dahuang? How did my dog die here?!”
“It’s my Xiaohua! Why is Xiaohua dead here? Who killed my dog!?”
After hearing the villagers screaming, Chuyi and Zen Master Baimei had dark expressions on their faces. They sighed as they knew something was wrong.
I turned to look at them. “What’s going on?”
The man said, “I’m afraid those folks won’t be able to descend the mountain alive…”
"What do you mean?”
"They found the missing livestock and realized the truth. This will also turn them into rebellious pawns. It seems that the devil wants to slaughter this village!”
I felt restless as if oil was poured into a flame. “Hurry, save them! We can’t just watch them die. There are so many lives at stake!”
Chuyi shook his head. “I’m afraid it’s too late…”
Although he said this, he still ran toward the mountain peak.
We followed closely behind him and dashed to the mountain peak.
At a far distance, we could already smell a thick rotten stench. When we squeezed through the bushes, we saw dead animals scattered on the ground. There were cats, dogs, pigs, and even goats.
The further we went, the larger the number of corpses. These animals looked miserable. Their eyes had been taken out, and some got their heads bitten off. Their stomachs had been torn open. However, most of the bodies had been torn apart directly. We saw blood splashes everywhere, which was frightening!
When we arrived, we saw a massive, deep pit. In the pit laid a large number of dead animals. Their corpses had almost filled the entire pit. On the surface were two big brown bulls that were decomposing. Worms wiggled on their bellies. Their red, big eyes gazed at us. I felt scared.
“This is weird. Where are the villagers?” I was flustered and checked around carefully to see if I could find any footsteps on the ground.
Blood from those poor animals had splashed everywhere, so I could clearly see the footprints of the villagers.
However, the footprints disappeared right in front of the deep pit. It looked as though they had vanished into thin air.
I was very tense and nervous. I looked at Chuyi. I didn’t know what was going on. How could all those living people disappear into thin air within several minutes?
Chuyi grimaced. With two fingers, he touched the blood on the ground. Then he brought his fingers to his nose and sniffed the blood.
Zen Master Baimei chanted, “Merciful Buddha.” He looked as though he couldn’t stand the scene. He closed his eyes and started to read the ‘Great Compassion Mantra.’
“Who’s there?!” All of a sudden, Chuyi hissed then pointed at the mountain peak.
I followed the direction he had pointed to. I was able to see a pair of eyes gazing at us from inside the forest. Motionless, like a hiding beast.
Chuyi was as fast as a lightning strike and dashed towards the person hiding in the forest. He wanted to force him out of hiding.
That person didn’t resist. After Chuyi grabbed him and pulled him out of the shade, he fell unconscious.
I immediately checked him. He was one of the folks!Previous Chapter Next Chapter