Chuyi took this opportunity to explain the real story. The Cheng brothers had lost their parents when they were very young. They had gone through all kinds of hardships to fill their stomachs. Gradually, they chose to walk on the path of evil. They started their criminal lives pickpocketing and continued with murders and arson. The longer they walked on this path, the higher the severity of their crimes became.
They had committed many crimes, but they had yet to be caught. One day, a criminal policeman stopped their car, which was carrying a corpse at the time. As a defensive measure, the brothers decided to kill him. That officer was the real Liang Xiaoyue.
The younger brother was smart. He peeled Liang Xiaoyue’s facial skin and used some special potion to fix it on his own face. Since he had learned the transfiguration skill, he was also able to properly imitate the officer’s behavior. Then, he fully impersonated Liang Xiaoyue and mingled with the Criminal Police force. It was like the real-life version of ‘Infernal Affairs.’
From that day onwards, the police would always be a step behind every time the older brother committed a crime in the area that Officer Liang was in charge of. The Cheng brothers became quite rich with their sudden change of fortune. But one day, the older brother caught his younger brother and his wife having an affair. The two had a big fight and parted ways.
The younger brother had been in love with his sister-in-law for quite a long time. He planned to use his police identity to eliminate his brother.
He eventually plotted against his brother and even shot him several times. His brother had to jump into the sewage system to escape. Their grudge could no longer be solved.
The older brother knew he couldn’t deal with his younger brother with his current strength, so he decided to dig up the Courtier Drum from their ancestor’s tomb. However, the younger brother had more tricks and still managed to kill him in the end.
After listening to Chuyi, I realized that Officer Liang had shown us a fabricated document. He had tricked us into dealing with Dalong. His bestial mind was really disgusting.
Yin Xinyue pointed out her doubt, “Still, this doesn’t make sense. Brother Zhang said that Emperor Kangxi had deemed the Courtier Drum too dangerous, so he asked his men to bury the Courtier Drum in Mount Changbai. Wasn’t it so?”
Chuyi explained, “The ancestor of the Cheng family was an imperial bodyguard who had been appointed to deal with the Courtier Drum. However, his greed got the best of him. He killed all the other guards accompanying him to claim the Courtier Drum. He then made a splash and became famous, using the power of the Courtier Drum to enjoy his short but wealthy life. However, fun feasts always end sooner. The backlash from the Courtier Drum was really strong. He was tormented so much that he wanted to die. With one foot in the grave, he asked his son to bury him together with the Courtier Drum. The drum had to be left forever buried.”
“That’s retribution for you. Still, that’s a very harmful otherworldly item…” Li Mazi patted his thigh, commenting, “But how valuable could it be?”
I shot him a disdainful look.
“I can help you find the Courtier Drum, but I have one condition,” said Chuyi.
“I’m fine with it. All I want now is to catch the rascal that impersonated Officer Liang. I need to beat him up to vent my anger,” I said.
“After everything is over, you must sell the Courtier Drum to a certain person,” Chuyi said coldly.
“Your client?” I asked.
He gave me a slight nod.
“Who is your client?”
He said indifferently, “He has a deep relationship with the Courtier Drum.”
“All right, we should hurry then. I guess Cheng Xiaohu hasn’t gone far!” I said.
Chuyi sat still behind the wheel.
“Why aren’t we moving?”
“I don’t know how to drive.”
I almost vomited blood. How did he reach this remote place if he couldn’t drive?
Li Mazi rubbed his hands and volunteered to try. They exchanged seats.
After starting the engine, a ‘vroom’ came from underneath. Li Mazi smacked his tongue in admiration. “That’s a high-end car for you! The engine sounds so nice!”
He then took a pair of sunglasses out of nowhere and wore them.
I immediately scolded him, “Stop showing off. It’s nighttime, and we are in a rural area. We don’t want to die in a car accident!”
Li Mazi reluctantly took his sunglasses off and focused on driving.
When we got on the highway, Li Mazi no longer knew where to go. Chuyi gave him directions; perhaps he had installed something to keep track of Cheng Xiaohu. I wasn’t really surprised by his tricks anymore.
Half an hour later, while Yin Xinyue slept on my chest, we finally caught up with Cheng Xiaohu’s car.
“What is he planning? Is he going to return to the police station?” asked Li Mazi.
“That’s impossible. Captain Liang’s body is still in that house. The police will immediately see the body when they get there. Going back to the police station is no different from getting caught. He has to make a run for it,” I said.
The two cars maintained a twenty-meter distance between them. Then, Cheng Xiaohu made a sharp turn. Perhaps he had spotted us.
Li Mazi followed him and decided to pass him around ten minutes later, but a traffic police motorbike suddenly came from behind.
“Not good, this fellow called the traffic police!”
Li Mazi asked Chuyi, “Do you have any methods to force the traffic police to leave?”
Chuyi shook his head. Although Chuyi was powerful and resourceful, none of his tricks was good to deal with living people.
It wasn’t a movie, and we couldn’t start a race with the traffic police on the road. We eventually had to pull over. The traffic officer checked Li Mazi’s driving license and ID, asking where we were going.
“We’re going to attend a classmate’s wedding,” answered Li Mazi.
The officer didn’t believe us. He looked into the car and asked if we were in the same class.
“Yeah, we’re all classmates. But I dropped out for a few years, that’s why I look older than them. You can ask them if you don’t believe me.” Li Mazi smiled brightly.
The traffic police let us go after some questions, but we lost Cheng Xiaohu’s traces after this delay.
“It’s okay. We can catch him even if he runs to the edge of the world,” said Chuyi.
I wasn’t worried about going to the edge of the world. I was worried that Cheng Xiaohu would go to that place…
The surroundings were pitch-black and dead silent; there was only our car on the road.
Yin Xinyue woke up. She rubbed her eyes and looked out the window. “The atmosphere’s really strange in this forest.”
“It’s the suicide forest!” I replied.
“What?!” Li Mazi and Yin Xinyue were startled.
Long before, I had heard about the existence of a strange forest, right at the border dividing Wuhan and Huanggang. No one knew when the trend had started, but people with a broken heart often went there to end their lives. Gradually, more and more odd stories started to spread.
Shortly after, Cheng Xiaohu’s car appeared ahead of us. He was going to the suicide forest.
Li Mazi stopped the car and asked me with a shaky voice, “Little Brother Zhang, do we have to go to this forest? Come to think of it, this drum would be sold for around two hundred thousand renminbi at most. I don’t have the guts to compete for it. I don’t want that money.”
“This is my first time seeing you this sensible.” I smiled.
“We shouldn’t waste our time on trivial matters. We should know when to give up. Right, Chuyi…?”
When Li Mazi turned to look his way, Chuyi had already gotten out of the car; Yin Xinyue and I had also walked out.
Li Mazi said that he wanted to stay to watch the car. No matter what, it was a luxurious car worth more than one million renminbi. It wasn’t good to leave it unattended; for that reason, he was unwilling to leave it.
Chuyi pinched some soil and smelled it. “The Yin energy in this forest is really strong.”
The tree branches in this dead silent forest were deeply interwoven; they didn’t even allow a single beam of light through. It felt as if we were standing on the edge of the abyss, looking down at the bottom. From time to time, I spotted strange movements in the forest, which scared me to death.
To be honest, I was reluctant to enter such a place, especially in the middle of the night. Yin Xinyue clutched my arm tight. She looked scared, but I also caught a glimpse of excitement on her face. According to her, she would be safe as long as I was there.
“Should we go there right now?” I asked Chuyi.
“Yeah, the faster the better. He still can’t control the Courtier Drum as well as his brother. We won’t stand a chance once he understands how to use it…”
Then, Chuyi stepped on the dried leaves on the ground, heading deep into the forest.Previous Chapter Next Chapter