Chapter 1: Female Ghost

“It hurts!” 

Ye Qing gasped in pain as his weary eyes fluttered open. He was hurting everywhere as if his body was falling apart.

“Young Ye! You’re finally awake!” exclaimed an aging voice from the side. Ye Qing tipped his head in that direction and saw a white-haired old man shambling over to his side with surprise and delight on his face. He looked to be in his sixties.

“How do you feel, young Ye? Are you alright?” the old man asked concernedly.

Ye Qing slowly pushed himself into a sitting position. He asked weakly while nursing a pounding headache with one hand, “Who am I? Where am I? What happened?”

The old man’s expression turned worried as he responded, “We’re in your house, young Ye. What’s gotten into you? Did you lose your memory or something?”

“My house?”

Still massaging his forehead, Ye Qing turned his aching neck and briefly surveyed his surroundings. It was only then he noticed that he was inside an unfamiliar room. The house was devoid of furniture save for an old table, chairs, and the bed he was lying in right now. The walls were made from mud and straw. Chilly wind was seeping through its web-like cracks and stealing his heat even though he was wrapped in a thick blanket.

This is most definitely not my house. Where on earth am I? Ye Qing thought while furrowing his brow. He was about to ask the old man more questions when surprise stole his breath away. He hadn’t noticed earlier because his perspective was skewed, but the old man was wearing an ancient long robe and a crown. His attire was straight out of a historical drama.

Ye Qing had read too many web novels not to recognize the situation he was in. This isn’t my world, is it? Have I… transmigrated?

He shook his head back and forth in dismay. Last night, I was… Did I die because I stayed up watching the World Cup for too long? You can’t be serious!

His head was filled with doubt and confusion right now, but he didn’t allow them to tumble through loose lips. After deliberating his words for a moment, he said carefully, “My… my head hurts. I can’t remember anything.”

The old man’s eyes flashed with pity as he sighed. “I see you’ve hurt your head. Don’t worry. You’ll get better after a couple of days’ rest.”


“I’ve watched over you since you’re a wee little boy, young Ye. You’re practically a grandson to me, so I’m going to give you a little advice, okay? You cannot protect your parents’ fields from Chen Zheng any more than an arm can outmuscle a leg. So what if he refuses to give you a fair price? Had you acquiesced, you wouldn’t be lying in bed with a sore body and an addled head at the least. Will you remain stubborn after everything you have suffered?”

As the old man spoke, fragments of memories that did not belong to Ye Qing slowly rose to the surface of his mind. According to these memories, the world was a dangerous place filled with strange, mysterious and deadly creatures known as Strangers. The only sanctuary for a human in this world was a village or a city, and even then it wasn’t a sure thing. Take his—or rather, his host’s—parents for example. Two months ago, a Stranger had ambushed and killed them while they were farming, leaving behind a pair of quality fields to their only child, Ye Qing. Yes, his host shared the same name as him. In a world where nearly every part of the land was occupied by Strangers, any soil safe and fertile enough to farm was precious to put it mildly. 

It was also why Ye Qing was in trouble. Not long after his parents had passed away, a martial artist named Chen Zheng had shown up on his doorstep and offered to buy the farm off his hands. The problem was that Chen Zheng did not carry himself like a proper buyer at all. Not only did he try to coerce Ye Qing into selling the farm to him, the price he offered was obscenely low. When Ye Qing had rejected his offer, he began threatening and mocking him in all sorts of ways.

Ye Qing was a young, hot-blooded male who just lost his parents. Naturally, he was ill-equipped to endure Chen Zheng’s provocations. Yesterday, when Chen Zheng sought him out and mocked him again, Ye Qing finally lost control and attacked the martial artist. However, he was just an ordinary person, and Chen Zheng a martial artist. Long story short, Chen Zheng had dished out a sound beating that left him unconscious to this day.

So, my guy tried to man up but got himself a reality check instead, thought Ye Qing while rubbing his forehead and chuckling bitterly to himself. In fact, I bet he was hurt so bad that he died. That’s why I was reincarnated in his body. What a pitiful death it was.

Seeing that Ye Qing was looking down and keeping silent, the old man continued, “Young Ye, people like us cannot hope to go against the likes of Chen Zheng, so quit being stubborn and save yourself some trouble. It’s not like he offered you a poor price, unfair it may be.”

Ye Qing wasn’t in the mood to think about this right now, so he pleaded, “I’ll think about it, Grandpa, but can we talk about this later? I’ve just awoken, and I’m still a little dizzy.”

Although Ye Qing had addressed the old man as Grandpa, he wasn’t actually his grandfather. He was a neighbor and a friend of the family, Cheng Hui. They shared a good relationship because his parents had taken good care of the old man when they were still alive.

Realization dawned as Cheng Hui cuffed himself on the head. “My age must be getting to me. You’re right. You’ve just awoken, and you need a good rest. The food is in the kitchen. Feel free to warm it up and eat it when you’re hungry. I shan’t disturb you any longer.”

Ye Qing nodded and said, “Thanks, Grandpa.”

Cheng Hui gave him a wave before grabbing his walking stick and hobbling out of the entrance. He looked especially hunchbacked and frail in the dying rays of the sunset.

Ye Qing’s head began to throb again after Cheng Hui was gone, so he lay back down on the bed and was out like a light. The next time he came to, it was to the painful grip and sound of his own hunger.

“Is it midnight already?”

He opened his eyes to a pitch black room. Not even the weak moonlight seeping through the door sill and the windows was strong enough to chase away the oppressive darkness. Worse, Ye Qing had this feeling that a vicious beast was hiding somewhere in the darkness. It was cold, stifling and frightful.

“Where’s my flame stick?”

Ye Qing sat up and groped around for the flame stick he was pretty sure was on the headboard based on his host’s memories. When he found it, he blew at it and saw an orange flame flaring from the tip. Unfortunately, it did not even last a second before a cold wind appeared out of seemingly nowhere and extinguished it instantly.

“Cough! Cough! Cough…”

The cold wind hadn’t just blown out the flame, it had washed over Ye Qing and chilled him to the core. It was so cold he couldn’t stop coughing for a while.

“Hooo… hooo…” 

Ye Qing blew at the flame stick a couple more times in an attempt to ignite it fully, but for some reason it kept resisting his efforts. Furthermore, the chilly, almost unnaturally freezing air seemed to have entrenched itself around him. It made the dark room even scarier and oppressive than it already was.

Ye Qing surveyed his surroundings suspiciously as he shivered uncontrollably. Maybe it was just a figment of his imagination, but for some reason, he couldn’t shake this feeling that someone was watching him from the dark.

Ye Qing swallowed and forced himself to calm down. Then, while covering the tip of the flame stick with his left hand, he sucked in a deep breath and blew with everything he got. This time, the fire starter did not fail him. A strong flame spilled out of the tube and chased away the darkness in a rush.

“Finally,” Ye Qing sighed out in relief, the gentle flame chasing away some of the fear he had been stricken with until now. Unfortunately, it would not last. When he looked up from the flame, he was greeted by the bloodless face of a woman. Not only was she a mere inch away from his face, she was also staring at him with dead, lifeless eyes.

It wasn’t just a feeling after all.


Ye Qing screamed in horror as he recoiled from the woman. He slammed into a corner of the bed so hard that his whole body flared up in pain. Ye Qing was beyond caring, however. It wasn’t just because he was just dealt the fright of his life, but also because he noticed that the woman did not have a lower body. She was literally floating in the air with a blank expression and glassy eyes. The air rolling off her incorporeal body was colder than he could possibly imagine.

“A ghost! A ghost!”

Ye Qing screamed again when realization struck him, his scalp tingling with abject fear. It was the wrong move. As if Ye Qing’s scream had snapped her out of her thoughtless state, the female ghost abruptly lurched toward him.

She was cold. Even before she got close, the unnatural chill was already invading every pore on his body and turning his blood into ice. He was shaking like he was stranded in Antarctica.

“Get away from me!” Ye Qing yelled while holding the flame stick with one hand and grabbing his bed accessories with the other. His pillow, his blanket, he threw it all at the female ghost in hopes of delaying her for even a second longer. However, the bed accessories merely passed through the female ghost as if she was made of air. Not only that, she reached Ye Qing just a second later and gripped his neck with both hands. She began squeezing. 

As her grip tightened, hand-shaped, bluish black bruises started to appear around Ye Qing’s neck. At the same time, unending coldness enveloped him like it would freeze him from the inside out.

“A-ack… g-ghk…”

Ye Qing struggled with everything he got, but it was useless. His body grew colder and colder as he lost strength. Slowly but surely, the darkness was consuming him.

Am I going to die again? Ye Qing thought disbelievingly to himself. No, no, it’s not over yet. I remember there’s something hidden in the cracks of the wall behind me. It might just be what I need to save my life!

A sudden intuition flashed through his head as death marched ever closer. His host was dead, but it would appear that his body wasn’t quite ready to follow him to the beyond.

Ye Qing mustered whatever strength he had left and flung the flame stick he had been holding at the female ghost. It worked. Seemingly afraid of the fire, she let out a scream and relinquished her death grip on Ye Qing’s throat, floating backward to avoid the flaming object. As soon as he was free, Ye Qing sucked in a few greedy breaths before turning around and punching the wall behind his bed with all his might. 

There was a loud bang, followed by the sound of dust hitting the floor and a soft crack from his wrist. He knew immediately from the sharp pain that he had cracked a bone, but there was no time. Gritting his teeth, he snatched a random shirt from nearby, wrapped it around his fist, and resumed his last-ditch effort.

Meanwhile, the female ghost was floating toward him again after avoiding the flame stick. Eyes bloodshot and ugly veins bulging on his arm, Ye Qing struck the wall again and again while hissing, “C’mon! C’mon!”

Suddenly, an entire section of the wall collapsed, exposing a hidden compartment about the size of a human head. Inside the compartment lay a black wooden box that looked like it hadn’t been used for a very long time.

“Finally!” Ye Qing’s eyes lit up as he threw away the shirt and grabbed the box with one hand. However, the female ghost suddenly appeared before his eyes and reached out for his neck again. 

“Die!” Ye Qing threw himself backward to dodge the female ghost’s grip and extract the wooden box at the same time. Then, he opened the wooden box, grabbed the object it bore, and threw it straight at the female ghost. At that moment, his movements were as swift as lightning.


A ball of white light abruptly exploded in the middle of the room, glaring and hot. Like the sun hanging high in the Ninth Heaven, it lit up the room as bright as the day.


The female ghost let out a painful scream as soon the light made contact with her body. For the first time, terror flashed across her face as she tried to turn around and escape. It was futile. The heat easily caught up to her and turned her into ashes in an instant.

The blazing light lasted around ten breaths before fading completely, revealing a tattered yellow talisman at the core. It slowly crumbled into ash as it floated toward the ground.

“Oh thank heavens… thank heavens it’s finally over!” 

Ye Qing stared at the space where the ghost and talisman were a moment ago before collapsing onto his bed. He was breathing hard and sweating all over like he had just run a marathon.

It was only now he realized that his entire body was screaming like he was being stabbed by a thousand needles. At the same time, extreme exhaustion and fatigue washed over him.

“I’m so glad the talisman actually worked.” 

According to his host’s memories, his parents had spent a huge sum of money to acquire the single talisman from a wandering Daoist priest. It was said to be capable of repelling Strangers and blessing the household. His parents had cherished it like a treasure and hid it in their house for when they truly needed it. They had never used it, and they never would.

His host had believed that the Daoist priest was a charlatan, and that the yellow talisman they bought was nothing more but a sham. Ye Qing was extremely glad that he was wrong, because he would have died otherwise.


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