Up on the ground, the two agents flanked the north and the south sides of Li Jiankang’s home. Several police vehicles were already parked outside, and officers had already set up dozens of meters of tape to cordon off the area.
“Why has everything gone quiet?” One of the agents gazed into the pit and asked anxiously, “Has something happened?”
The two agents were completely unfazed by the blaring sirens in the area. The other agent pursed his lips and shook his head, “I don’t think so… the master of this hunting zone is definitely a vengeful apparition, and it can never threaten the life and limb of a Hunter-class expert. At best he might be injured… Chief!!”
Both agents promptly saluted in unison before the agent could finish speaking. The officers cordoning off the area parted ways. Four men quickly strode into the cordoned area. The leader of this group was a white-haired, bespectacled old man wearing a white lab coat.
“How’s the situation inside?” He immediately asked upon arrival.
“Reporting, Chief. The true energy fluctuations have subsided, but we’ve not gone in.”
“Well done.” The old man waved his hands as his eyes gleamed brightly, “I’ve broached the idea of classification of Yin spirits at a conference in Eastsea City earlier this year. I’d even suggested that it be introduced as a proper discipline. Unfortunately, no one thought to take me seriously. It was only because I’m old that several people paid me lip service for my suggestions.”
“But I’m quite certain that the master of this hunting zone is definitely different from the usual evil ghosts that we’ve been facing!”
“Don’t interrupt him. I’ve already read S9527’s docket. As long as he can locate the whereabouts of the Yin spirit, he’ll most definitely be able to slay it. I want firsthand information on these things.”
He turned around and addressed the men behind him, “Seal off the scene. We’ll wait here until he comes back up. Don’t interrupt him. Nobody knows how the situation down below looks like right now.”
“Wuu-wuu-wuu…. Aaarrghhhhhh!” Li Jiankang was crying his heart out. After approximately ten minutes, he finally shut his eyes and spoke up for the very first time in a long while, “I… won’t be able to leave this place alive, would I?”
Qin Ye smiled faintly, “You shouldn’t.”
“There are times when I wonder why the system of morals, values and integrity seem to be collapsing and disintegrating in modern day society. And then, I came to a conclusion.”
“That is, as long as a nub of evil goes unpunished, it will eventually grow into an uncontrollable, cancerous cell.”
“You are far more abominable than the elderly scammers who force people to commit suicide and then claim innocence later.” Qin Ye muttered soullessly, “You’re a serial killer who has sent thirty people to Hell with your own two hands…”
Yet, almost as though he had already predicted this, Li Jiankang’s expressions only turned calm and placid. And then, he suddenly smiled.
There were still streaks of tears and snot flowing down his face. His smile was incredibly ugly.
“I’d just… I’d just wanted to be with my family…”
With the backdrop of a musky, bloody room, his voice sounded incomparably mournful, “Your generation may not have the same upbringing and ideals as us… but in my generation, a man’s family is everything to him… Nothing is greater or more important than his own family…”
These words were like a key. As soon as he finished speaking, he closed his eyes once more, as though overcome with relief from his release from the shackles of life.
It was peculiar.
Most people only learn on their deathbeds what they ought to be letting go of in their lives.
His hands trembled as he reached into his belt. After some time, he pulled out a pack of cheap cigarettes and lit one up with much effort.
As the strong smell of nicotine filled the air, Li Jiankang finally looked calmer. That said, Li Jiankang looked up at the ceiling with an incomparably distant gaze in his eyes, “I married my wife Song Jiafang a long time ago, but we didn’t have a child until we were about thirty-seven. That was Li Cheng.”
“We… valued him… we loved him very, very much…” He held the cigarette between his trembling fingers. It was as though he were reminiscing their decision-making process at that time - how they had decided to both work so that they could provide their child with the best possible environment for his upbringing. Unfortunately, it was precisely because of this reason that they had missed out on their son’s formative years, and that was what led to the present state of affairs.
It was as though a sword had been plunged straight through his heart, and he was bleeding profusely. His hands trembled for some time before he took another drag of his cigarette, “Who knew… after ten years of work, when we’d finally gathered some savings… that Li’l Cheng would turn out like that…”
“Never in my wildest dreams had I ever considered things to end like this.” Tears continued to stream down his wrinkled face. He looked like an old, dying wolf that howled mournfully as it gazed at the skies, “Why… I’d only wanted to provide him with a good environment. After all that we’ve sacrificed… after all that we’ve done… how did things end up like this?!!”
“Didn’t we entrust his upbringing to the childcare center?! We’d even paid a premium for their reputable services!!”
“Everything! We’ve done everything for him… Aaarrggghhhhh!!” He began wailing once more as he hammered his fist on the wall in abject pain. But like a candle in the wind, his pain was fleeting.
Qin Ye remained silent.
He had witnessed far too many such tragedies in his lifetime, and he knew full well the influence parents’ actions have on their children.
Materialism can never fill the spiritual void in the hearts of men.
“When I discovered what he had done, I couldn’t resist the urge to kill him…” His lips opened and closed as though a man on the brink of death were gasping for air, “But… I couldn’t bring myself to do so.”
“He’s my only son… He’s the hope of my bloodline… the single remaining family I have. I just wanted my family to live together in peace… I didn’t even know that this technique was meant to raise vampires. But… but as soon as I saw them open their eyes again… haa-...”
He revealed an ecstatic smile on his face, “It was as though… nothing in the past had ever happened before.”
“It was as though everything had been a bad nightmare.”
“How could I bring myself to do it? How could I possibly bring myself to lock my beloved ones in this place?”
Qin Ye still remained silent. He was allowing Li Jiankang a final moment of penitence. This was mercy that ought to be extended to him.
Li Jiankang didn’t speak anymore. It was as though these words had consumed the remaining vitality in his body. He leaned against the wall for support and clambered to his feet. Then, he gave a sorrowful smile with his tear-stained face, “I’m probably going to be sentenced to the Eighteen Abysses of Punishment… I plead guilty.”
Qin Ye gazed deeply into his eyes, “Since you so desire to be with your family, I’ll grant you that final wish of yours.”
With a quick flicker of his saber, the lids of both coffins collapsed at the same time. Its contents appeared to have been stimulated by something, and their rapid breaths were quickly followed by the stench of foul-blood that wafted into the surroundings like a swelling tide.
Li Jiankang was the one who had released Li Cheng earlier, and Li Cheng had returned to hide in his coffin. He didn’t possess very much spiritual awareness, and the little bit that he did told him that the coffin was his safehouse. However, the stench of fresh blood and flesh immediately incited the extreme hunger and suppressed the overwhelming fear in his heart.
Li Jiankang’s face turned pale. He understood that he was soon about to pay the price of his own sins.
“I’d originally thought to reap your soul and sentence you to a thousand years of hard labour in Hell. But…” Qin Ye glanced at the thirty over Yin spirits who continued to choke and tremble as they knelt and bowed to him, “There are over thirty other stakeholders here, and none of them would agree to that…”
ROAR!!! Just then, the vampire which Qin Ye had earlier encountered in the dark corridor sprang out from the smaller-sized coffin.
“Haa… ssss…” Greenish-white wisps of Yin energy flowed out from the sharp-protruding fangs in its mouth. Its expression was incredibly twisted. Dribbles of salivation had drenched the ragged remnants of its clothes. Its stomach growled loudly as it glanced about its surroundings. It let out a shriek of extreme terror when it saw Qin Ye, but it quickly landed its gaze on Li Jiankang’s trembling body.
After two seconds of hesitation, it began to make its way towards Li Jiankang. One could vaguely still make out Li Cheng’s features on the otherwise grotesque appearance of this vampire. The dim illumination in the room cast an ominous shadow that stretched from its physical body. Its saliva dribbled onto the ground as it opened its lips that now stretched from ear to ear. It did its best to eke a smile on its face, yet this smile only seemed more menacing and terrifying than it was pleasing, “Dad… dad…”
Li Jiankang had bitten down on his lips so hard that there were already traces of blood seeping out. The expression on his face right now was akin to a little white rabbit cowering in a corner as it watched the approach of a terrifying wolf. Li Jiankang stared at the monstrosity in front of him.
“What are you afraid of?” Qin Ye remained expressionless, “Isn’t this your son? Isn’t this your precious son that you’ve brought up at the expense of thirty over lives?”
“Dad… dad…” The vampire’s head appeared to be uninhibited by its bones. It twisted its head stiffly as it spoke with a drawl, “I… want… meat…”
Li Jiankang clenched his teeth and closed his eyes abruptly. Then, mustering all the courage he could, he bellowed back, “No!!!”
His voice was incredibly loud, and it reverberated endlessly in the cold, dank room. The vampire froze where he was.
“Dad…” Its scarlet tongue hung to the ground, and it opened its lips unimaginably wide, “Then… do you taste good…”
ROARR!!! In the next second, it clamped its massive mouth straight down onto Li Jiankang’s head!
Qin Ye closed his eyes.
Qin Ye didn’t think so.
Circumstantial sins may still be excusable. But such heinous sins cannot go unpunished.
Do you think that he’s the weak underdog now? Do you think that this is a familial tragedy? Do you think that Qin Ye’s actions are devoid of any humanity?
Then what about the thirty choking and sobbing people who are still kneeling on the ground?!
However, Qin Ye didn’t hear the grisly, crunching sound of bones that he had initially expected.
Instead, there was another voice that was accompanied by the sounds of frantic beating, “Sss… unfilial… son… unfilial son!!’
Qin Ye immediately opened his eyes in astonishment, only to see a plump figure had suppressed its fear of Qin Ye and rushed straight out from the other coffin.
Its body was similarly covered in black hair on its skin and disheveled hair on its head. That said, this vampire’s corpse was even more terrifying. Its entire body was covered in knife wounds. It was evident that it used to be a slightly plump woman while it was still alive. Currently, it had already darted right behind Li Cheng’s back, grabbing Li Cheng’s hair with its left hand and while shoving its other hand into Li Cheng’s mouth, preventing Li Cheng from biting down onto Li Jiankang’s head.
Qin Ye was stunned.
However, before he could react, Li Cheng’s furious roar caused the ground to tremble, “Let… go! Let go!!”
“I’m so hungry… I’m so hungry!! Let me eat… let me eat him!!”
“Mom… mom, don’t… don’t you love me anymore… why won’t you let me eat… let me eat him!”
It screamed at the top of its voice as it rolled on the ground. Vampires were incredibly powerful. The ground trembled, while white bones and fish carcasses were scattered everywhere as the two vampires tore at each other.
“She… is still sentient?” Qin Ye stared with incredulity at the two vampires.
“That’s not sentience. It’s instinct.” Arthis’ voice softened, “Her body instinctively remembers that the man has treated her well, and that the other vampire is none other than her son… Her death to her son must have been etched deep in her heart, and the prevention of a subsequent patricide must have become her dying obsession.”
“Not all ghosts are evil, and not all humans are humane…”Previous Chapter Next Chapter