Chapter 388: Dusty Affairs (2)

It was right there that the rest of the page was stained with blood.

Qin Ye silently picked up that sheet of paper and held it in front of him as though he were writing a journal entry. Then, his pupils promptly narrowed.

He could tell that the author of this journal entry had been decapitated cleanly across the jugular from behind, thereby causing the splatter of blood to land directly on the journal entry.

Qin Ye posited that the author of the bloody journal entry should have been in her room at the material time of the incident.

Completely alone, when the clock struck twelve.

Given the extent of fear she was stricken with then, she would never have opened the door for anyone. Likewise, the windows and doors would have been tightly shut and bolted. Moreover, the mounting anxiety in her heart also meant that she would have jumped at the slightest bit of sound in the middle of the night.

In other words something else had been in the room with her in the middle of the night, silently sneaking up right behind her before slitting her throat cleanly.

There was no struggle.

In fact, she probably didn’t even know how she died.

I shudder to think what it could have been like back then… Qin Ye shook his head and flipped to the next page.

“1 April, 1948.”

“The silk factory is ruined… It’s completely ruined…”

“I was sick yesterday, so I didn’t go to work, but I soon heard that a massive conflagration consumed the entire factory at night, burning more than a thousand people alive… A thousand people! All of them are dead by the fire!”

“It was impossible to work under such conditions… We’d heard rumours of people dying everyday! The Nipponese soldiers had already engaged monks and priests to cleanse the area, but nothing seemed to work. Everyone working in the factory was listless and languid, and not a single soul had any motivation to continue working there. Thus, the Nipponese actually resorted to locking up everyone in the factory to compel their submission! And it was precisely because of this that not a single worker managed to escape from the fire last night…”

“The nightmare is finally over… I’m going to pay my respects to these poor colleagues of mine. I might be the only one who survived this nightmarish ordeal… But, not long after setting off, I soon overheard rumours that the Nipponese are actually going to bury the entire silk factory! And this is notwithstanding the fact that there might still be survivors who are trapped within! I… I was so scared that I immediately turned back and locked myself at home.”

“It’s horrible… When will these days of hopelessness end?” Tonight, I stole a look at the factory from afar, only to notice that the plot of land that it sat on was already being filled in… Also, I’m not sure if I was hallucinating then, but… I heard the cry of a baby girl…”

The middle section of the page was left blank.

The next line of the journal entry appeared haphazard and twisted, “No… things aren’t over yet! She’s here! She’s here!!”

“The baby girl is looking for me!! She must be looking for me right now!!!”

“Someone has been knocking at my door all night long! And I don’t even know who it is! I peeked out from the peephole, but not a single person was there! But… when I bent over and peeked through the crack underneath the door… I could’ve sworn that… I saw a baby girl’s hands and feet right there!!”

“She’s looking for me… she’s still looking for me! Why won’t she give up!! Why?!! I didn’t do anything to her!!”

“Leave me alone… please… I don’t want to die…”

And the journal entries ended abruptly.

There were only a few other sheets left. Qin Ye flipped the page, only to realize that the next sheet of paper was completely dyed red with blood.

There was only a single line of black text on it.

It appeared crooked, almost as though it were written by a child who had just learnt to write.

“You’re here…”

Whoosh!

Qin Ye immediately jerked back from the stack of journal entries and glanced vigilant at the surroundings.

This wasn’t written by a human being!

The writing on the page was clearly filled with Hellguard-class Yin energy. It was… ghostwriting!

Furthermore, the message on this page was clearly written for his eyes!

The next sheet of paper was also entirely dyed with blood. It was completely empty. But as soon as he flipped the page over, cursive words slowly began to surface on the page.

“I…”

“Am…”

“Watching… you…”

Bzzt!!

As soon as the phrase was complete, the lights around them immediately fizzled and went out!

The antagonist has finally arrived.

This is the source of all supernatural events occurring in Valley County… Perhaps the antagonist might even be the source of the warnings from Ksitigarbha and Arthis’ Arya Sense. Qin Ye glanced around, before slowly fixing his eyes on the central pool.

The pool was still filled with cocoons right now. Incidentally, it was also where the corpse of the baby girl had first been discarded. But now… the pool appeared to be boiling vigorously, while wisps of Yin energy were emerging along the edge of the pool.

More and more, and denser and denser! Within a minute, the entire area surrounding the pool was now filled with a layer of dense Yin energy that was almost material. Yet, the central pool continued to bubble dangerously, almost as though it were the mouth of an active volcano that was ready to erupt.

Advanced Hellguard-class entity… one that is merely a step away from becoming an Infernal Judge at that. Wild ghosts weren’t taught any techniques to control their Yin energy, so Qin Ye could easily tell the extent of their cultivation at an instant. That said, there were also questions that arose at the same time.

How could evil ghosts under the level of Infernal Judges possibly threaten me?

Fwoosh… Just then, Qin Ye heard the sound of a behemoth emerging from the central pool, and the Yin energy that flooded the area instantly became far more terrifying than before. Qin Ye drew a deep breath and immediately dashed over to the central pool to take a closer look.

Unexpectedly… there was nothing.

What was even more surprising was the fact that the central pool was so clear that he could see the bottom of it. And there was nothing inside. Yet, copious amounts of blackish-green Yin energy continued to pour out of its edges.

Something’s amiss… His intuition told him that there must be something still hidden within. But… could it really be something that I can’t perceive with my infernal eyes?

He thought for a few seconds, before making a quick grasping motion, causing all of the mirrors hanging along the sides to fly over towards the central pool, forming a massive mirror comparable to the size of the massive pool.

Legend has it that the mirror was the gateway between the Yin and the Yang.

Many things that were hidden to the naked eye could only be perceived when viewed through the reflection from a mirror. This was also why it was often said that one should never comb their hair at midnight, nor look at your own reflection in the mirror.

This was because… you never know what else you might see in the reflection behind you.

Qin Ye immediately saw the truth of the central pool as soon as the panel of mirrors was formed.

Skeletons…

Skeletons dressed in Nipponese uniforms were lying all around the base of the pool! To think that this was actually a skeletal pool!

There were also a great number of heads that were bobbing and floating on the surface of the boiling pool. They were… heads of the deceased people!

All of them were men, some old, and some young. Their faces were red and flushed from being cooked in the boiling water. In fact, their heads were so bloated that they were three times larger than the average human head. Their hair was even scattered about the surface of the waters.

Qin Ye finally understood where the horrendous stench came from.

It was the stench of… cooking dead people!

Chen Nian had earlier mentioned that there were two investigators who had entered the pit for investigations who never came back. There was also the old Taoist who had been found bleeding from his seven apertures. And then, ther were the construction workers who had earlier been skewered by the collapsing scaffolding. Each and every single person was here right now.

But that wasn’t the most important thing.

What was most striking was the fact that there was a woman dressed in white clothes that was floating right in the middle of the pool.

It was a headless corpse. The only reason he could tell that it was a woman was because her flesh was still intact, and her body and build was clearly like that of a woman. Furthermore… he could tell that she was holding in her bosom… a baby’s head that was purplish in colour and covered with spots of liver mortis! And the baby was currently staring directly at Qin Ye!

Sss!!! The baby unleashed a terrifying hiss as black hair erupted from the top of her head, extending well over two meters in length and spreading across most of the surface of the pool! Within moments, her expression had changed completely. Her face was now green, and long canines extended two inches right out of her lips like the fangs of a wild beast!

Jiangshi!

Qin Ye sighed softly. This was the best place for the cultivation of a corpse. It was naturally no surprise that something like that would emerge after decades of nurturing. Incidentally, it had to be mentioned that real-life jiangshis were not the same as the ones that were depicted on television - stiff, immobile and lacking in spiritual intelligence.

Although he hadn’t completely internalized the information recorded in the old Hell’s legacy, he still knew enough to distinguish between various grades of evil ghosts. Jiangshis… might be known as stiff corpses, but the truth of the matter was that they moved quickly as lightning, and possessed incredible strength. They were definitely among the aristocrats of evil ghosts around!

Any zone which sees the emergence of jiangshis should never be underestimated.

“Advanced Hellguard-class jiangshis… You’re only a step away from becoming an Infernal Judge. It’s just your luck that you’ve crossed paths with me today.” Qin Ye muttered softly, “You’ve really let yourself loose upon death, and killed a number of people along the way. Now, be good, and I’ll send you on your way.”

Whoosh… The Judgment Pen appeared in his hand. But just as he was about to tap in their air at the jiangshi, Qin Ye suddenly paused.

Something’s not right!

It’s only a single Hellguard, so how did it actually conceal its presence from my infernal eyes?

It’s not a mutated Yin spirit, and not even the highest-ranking classifications of Yin spirits possess the ability to mask their presence from the infernal eyes. So how could a Hellguard-class jiangshi that hasn’t even reached full maturity yet possibly do such a thing?

This was a situation that had earlier also appeared at Valley County train station. But back then… the entity that he had encountered was the sinner of the Confucian Family that had been exiled and banished to Limbo. On the other hand, the ruler of this pool was clearly either Yu Lishan or her dead infant daughter. Their identities didn’t add up!

There’s still one other possibility…

Qin Ye gasped in horror, before turning back without any hesitation and rushing straight back to the iron door behind him.

The other possibility was… that the jiangshi was working with someone else to deal with Qin Ye right now!

Just then, the iron door shifted on its own. The chains and talismans binding it immediately rattled and flared up, and it was only then that Qin Ye discovered that the talismans had been drawn up entirely out of human blood. Furthermore… they were written using a script that had only been seen in the old Hell!

“Shit!!” Qin Ye cursed aloud. He’d fallen for the trap. The unseen opponent had never once let Qin Ye out of his sights at all!

Why?!

Unfortunately, now was not the time to consider these questions. A split second later… Boom, boom, boom!!! Several explosions erupted, and seven figures rushed out from the pool and immediately launched vicious attacks that were aimed directly at Qin Ye’s vitals!

“By Hell’s Dictum, all rabble shall disperse!!”

Just then, the hair that was scattered about limply in the pool suddenly tensed up and rushed towards Qin Ye like a menacing tide!

The lights in the room suddenly fizzled and went out. They were now fighting in pitch-black darkness. Fortunately, Qin Ye was already clothed in his Hell’s Emissary state, and his vision wasn’t inhibited in the slightest bit.

Therefore, he saw everything clearly.

He was now squaring off against seven additional corpses, all of whom were dressed in black. And the only reason he knew why they were corpses… was because the intense wave of corpse stench emanating from their bodies wasn’t something that could be concealed or covered up.

They were dressed in ancient black garbs replete with a conical bamboo hat, almost like the other assassins in traditional wuxia novels. But even though they were corpses, their movements were as soft and nimble as a poisonous snake. Within moments, their blades were already thrusting straight towards Qin Ye’s vitals!

By Hell’s Dictum, all rabble shall disperse!

These words were all too familiar to Qin Ye, yet hearing it spoken by someone else for the very first time made him somewhat discombobulated. That said, he quickly snapped back to his senses. After all, if his opponents were indeed sinners from the Confucian Family, then it only made sense that they would be familiar with this ubiquitous phrase of the old Hell!

In fact, everything only made sense when he considered the talismans situated around the room right now! This was the first time he had seen talismans drawn up by Yin spirits. Something like this wasn’t possible unless his opponent were an entity that had been a part of the old Hell!

Unfortunately, his opponents made full use of that moment of disorientation. Their blades were now no more than three meters away. Qin Ye could even feel the trajectory of the weapons that were imbued with dense Yin energy. That said, he didn’t panic. The seven corpses appeared only to be no stronger than Soul Hunters, so none of them could possibly breach the protection of the Prestige of the Luminary, much less hurt him. But, just then!

The seven corpses abruptly spun in mid-air, tearing apart their black garments, revealing… the exquisite armor that they were wearing beneath their cloaks!

Time seemed to pause at this very moment. Within moments, copious amounts of Yin energy burst out from each of their armor, enveloping their wearer’s body and causing their level of Yin energy to surge qualitatively! Things immediately got heated up!

Crack!! The air was suddenly filled with the sounds of sonic booms, while alarm bells instantly blared in Qin Ye’s mind.

These are… sonic booms that only Hellguard-class entities are able to generate!

Then, before he could even react to the situation, he heard a shrill whistle, and seven hoarse voices promptly roared in unison, “Slay him!!!”

The daggers in their hands had disappeared.

Instead, what appeared in their places were meter-long sawtooth edged blades that cleaved straight towards Qin Ye’s head like a bolt of lightning! Qin Ye had immediately been forced to eat his own words!

They’re really Hellguards…

Seven Hellguards!!

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