After Cheng Xiaohu fled, Chuyi took out a paper crane and threw it in the air.
The paper crane flapped its wings and surfed in the night wind; it quickly left. I guessed he was borrowing the power of the spirits in this place.
The girl was stunned. “Who are you guys?”
Instead of answering her question, Yin Xinyue asked, “Little girl, why are you here this late at night? Did that man threaten you?”
The girl bit her lower lip. “I don’t need you to care about me.”
She prepared to escape, but Li Mazi grabbed her collar from behind.
The girl kicked and wiggled in resistance. Li Mazi had to struggle hard to keep her in check.
Since he wasn’t listening, I had to play hard. I went to her and made a grumpy face. “Little girl, you’d better tell us the truth. This is a remote forest, and no one will help you if we do something to you.”
“Are you threatening me, uncle?” The girl didn’t look worried and said as she patted her bag, “I’m here to kill myself, and I’ve even prepared sleeping pills. What do you think you can do to me?”
I noticed that her clothes and accessories didn’t match. It seemed as though she had just put on anything she could find. All of her belongings exuded heavy corpse energy.
I guessed this little girl wasn’t here to commit suicide. She roamed this place and took the corpse’s items to use or sell for money. She was pretty bold.
I pried, “Are you really here to kill yourself? Your clothes, gloves, and even your bags... you took them from the dead, isn’t that right?”
The girl lowered her head and said nothing.
“You’re really brave. If I had to spend one night here, I would lose my mind. Do you want me to introduce you to a job at the funeral home? You can put on makeup for the deceased. I’m sure you’ll like it.”
“Uncle, you don’t need to care about me! I’m having a good time here!”
She kept calling me uncle, which irritated me a lot. I wasn’t that old… right?
“Do you know that man?” I asked.
“I do.” The girl pressed her lips. “I met him several minutes ago. He told me that if I helped him deal with you guys, he would let me borrow his drum to kill my step-dad.”
We were surprised. We had finally obtained a clue.
“Your step-dad doesn’t treat you well?” I asked.
“Have you ever been abused, hit, and locked in a dark room? And the one that did those things to you acts like he is a good father in front of others? Whenever I see him, I want to vomit. But my stupid mother protects him. She blames everything on me. I wish that they would both die in a car accident.” The girl’s eyes brimmed with tears.
We all remained silent.
“Why don’t you talk now, uncle?!” said the girl.
“That man fooled you. He won’t give you the Courtier Drum,” said Chuyi.
“He said he would help me as long as I helped him get rid of you guys. He made an oath,” said the girl.
Chuyi shook his head. “He’s a nasty criminal. Even if he had succeeded, he would have killed you right after to prevent you from revealing his identity. Anyway, as for what he has promised you, we can help you with that…”
“Are you telling the truth?” The girl was thrilled.
Chuyi nodded. I turned to glance at him, and I wondered if he was serious or if he was just fooling this girl.
The girl didn’t behave nicely to anybody except Chuyi. I guessed it was because he was too handsome. Even Song Joong-ki with makeup was not Chuyi’s match.
At this moment, a paper crane returned from the forest; Chuyi let it perch on his finger. The paper crane nodded as if it was talking to him.
“This way!” Chuyi pointed his finger.
We followed him into the forest, and the Yin energy grew stronger as we advanced.
I was worried that something unexpected would happen, so I asked Li Mazi, Yin Xinyue, and the girl to walk in the middle. Chuyi led the way with his sword in hand while I walked at the end of the line. I held the Sirius Whip while reciting the sacred text of Daoism.
The girl twittered and asked many questions along the way. Although she was a little annoying, the atmosphere was less heavy with her talking.
The drumbeats came from the forest. I immediately tensed up.
The dried leaves underneath our feet suddenly rattled. Then, a group of rotten corpses suddenly got up and slowly walked toward us. Most of them had decayed and some were headless.
The corpses limped toward us while howling, their stiff bodies wiggling and twisting.
I wielded the Sirius Whip and coiled it around the rotten corpse nearest to me. I pulled slightly, making it collapse into pieces.
Chuyi dashed right between them. The long sword was drawn out of its sheath, and blue light flashed as he quickly finished off two corpses.
“So handsome!” shouted the girl as she clapped her hands.
Those decomposed bodies were much easier to deal with than the walking corpses Cheng Dalong had refined. However, there were a lot of them.
Chuyi and I gradually cleared a path, urging the others to move while we stayed to back them up.
Chuyi suddenly screamed, “Dodge!”
I felt something fall above my head and instantly took a step back. A decayed corpse had tried to attack me from above but missed. Chuyi stomped on his back, and his sword pierced through the corpse’s throat.
The tree canopies above rattled. I noticed that the horde of corpses had switched to a midair attack. They moved agilely between the tree branches and encircled us.
Of course, these rotten corpses didn’t have flexible bodies. When they jumped, some of them collapsed. However, they still besieged us with their large numbers. It was a little tough this time. “Chuyi, do you have any tricks?”
“Use your grandfather’s South Dipper Sirius Spell,” said Chuyi.
“What? Not the Big Dipper Sirius Spell?” I was surprised.
“The Sirius Whip Spell includes the Big Dipper and the South Dipper. The South Dipper is used to deal with zombies, while the Big Dipper deals with monsters. Read after me. Dragon storms out of the nine-layered heaven, using ten thousand roars!” Chuyi read fast.
My left hand made a hand seal as I read after Chuyi to apply the South Dipper Sirius Spell to my whip. Immediately, I felt the whip vibrate; it then moved like a slithering snake.
I followed the feeling and wielded my whip. The whip made some crackling noises as it created a swirling torrent of energy and smashed the corpses.
Pieces of bones and decomposed flesh showered down.
I was satisfied to finish off the horde of corpses in just an instant. I retrieved the Sirius Whip.
The girl screamed in awe again.
“Little girl, who do you think is fiercer?” I asked.
She pointed at Chuyi.
I asked, “Why is that?”
“Because it’s always like this in manga. The stronger person doesn't talk much! You talk too much, uncle!”
Her childish behavior amused Chuyi. However, the corners of his mouth were only slightly raised before going down again. Still, seeing him smile was very rare.
After we adjusted our breathing, we heard the sound of the Courtier Drum again. This time, it was near.
“Let’s put an end to this and finish Cheng Xiaohu!” I suggested.
“Yeah!” Chuyi nodded.
Chuyi and I moved ahead to clear the path. The drumbeats sounded faster. When I parted a bush to make way, I saw Cheng Xiaohu beating the drum hard. The decayed corpses in this area had been all mobilized. He was now so restless that he was sweating nonstop.
“Stop!” I screamed.
Cheng Xiaohu gritted his teeth and entered the forest. He kept hitting the drum as he ran. The drumbeats echoed unceasingly.
This rascal wants to run all night. Would we have to chase after him all night long?!
While I was still thinking, the drumbeat stopped, and a scary, heart-rending screech came from the other side of the forest. Chuyi and I exchanged looks and rushed toward that area.
When we arrived at the scene, we saw the rotten corpses congregating together. They were crazily tearing and biting Cheng Xiaohu. The pungent smell of blood permeated the air, and the man’s limbs convulsed for a while before stopping.
It seemed he couldn’t control the Courtier Drum properly as Ao Bai’s soul was attached to it. He had overused the drum’s power and was punished for it.
Chuyi read a spell then threw his sword into the air. The sword stabbed into the ground and released a cold, blue light in front of Cheng Xiaohu. The horde of rotten corpses that was nibbling and tearing his body was scared. They halted then silently crawled back into the dark forest...Previous Chapter Next Chapter