Chapter 783: Human Centipede?
No one could've imagined that this would be the scene that greeted them at 4 AM on the second floor.
How could one even begin to consider the possibility of a monster that was over two meters tall, bouncing a human head around like a ball?
"I can't go down." The monster's child-like voice was very unbefitting of its intimidating frame. "Can you come up, Big Brother?"
"Sure." Qin Ye was smiling on the surface, but he was gripping tightly onto his Abyssal Prefect's token. Thus, he continued to make his way up the staircase, and upon arriving at the top, he immediately began to inspect the second floor.
The structure of the second floor was no different from that of the first floor. However, in contrast, the second floor was a lot more dilapidated.
It seemed to have been countless years since someone had last come up here. All of the windows and doors were boarded shut, and the boards were inscribed with blood text, presenting a terrifying sight to behold. The dust on the floor was so thick that visible clouds of dust could be swept up by the Yin winds blowing through the area.
There were no other evil ghosts around. It seemed that this monster was the only creature on this entire floor. "What do you want to play? Before you reply, let me make this clear: if you want extra services, then you'll have to pay extra."
The monster: "???"
What the hell is this guy talking about?
The monster was rooted to the spot for a full five seconds before finally speaking again. "How about we kick this ball around? There's no one here to play with me..."
Qin Ye cast a disdainful glance at the human head and immediately replied, "I don't like that. Let's play something else."
The monster: "..."
Hold on, aren't you supposed to be in a complete panic right now? How are you still so calm and collected?!
"How about you take me on a tour?" The monster's IQ was clearly rather lacking, and Qin Ye smiled as he said, "It's almost 5 AM. I'm sure you won't be able to come out after the Devil Encounter Hour, right? Help me get to know this place better so I can come and find you next time."
The monster was silent for a full 10 seconds on this occasion before finally replying, "Alright. You're the first person to have made it to the second floor, so make sure to come back and play with Tongtong lots and lots."
The monster glided away, and Qin Ye followed along in an unhurried manner. He appraised the twisted blood messages on the boarded doors and windows while keeping up a nonchalant facade as he asked, "So your name is Tongtong? Are you the only one living up here?"
This name is far too much of a mismatch with his appearance, it makes me think of Bodybuilder Barbie... 
"That's right," Tongtong replied with a smile. "Occasionally, a big sister who wears a long blue robe would come and visit me, but she hasn't been here for a very long time."
Is Chu Renmei the big sister being referred to here?
Qin Ye gently stroked a hand over the railing as he asked, "Why don't you go down to the first floor?"
"I can't..." Tongtong replied with a pout, "There are rules here that forbid me from going to other areas. Otherwise, there will be thunder and lightning, and I'm really scared of thunder..."
"Those are just stories made up by adults to scare you."
"They're not!!" Tongtong's voice abruptly sprang up a few octaves as his head swung around 180 degrees to face Qin Ye. His breathing had also accelerated slightly, seemingly from fear, and he insisted, "There really will be lightning and thunder! I've already seen it many times. Anyone who tries to leave will get struck by lightning! Ah... we've arrived at my home."
Up ahead was a series of rooms that were connected together.
The windows were all boarded shut, but the door was open and the room was completely pitch-black inside. Such a large room was clearly not a room for lodging purposes. Instead, it seemed more like a conference hall.
Qin Ye followed the monster into the room. The darkness did nothing to affect his vision and as he looked around, he saw tipped-over tables and chairs all over the place, many of which were damaged. The windows were very small relative to the size of the walls, and there were many messages inscribed onto the walls, as well as... were those drawings?
He casually made his way over the wall and gently stroked a hand over the inscribed words, upon which his brows immediately furrowed slightly.
These words hadn't been written onto the wall. They had been carved onto the wall instead!
Furthermore, every single stroke was extremely neat and even. Right as he was about to take a closer look, Tongtong's voice rang out from behind him. "I'm going to change now, Big Brother. Make sure you don't peek..."
Qin Ye gave a casual nod in response. Right at this moment, the door was gently shut in a completely silent manner as if it had been closed by a gentle breeze. If it weren't for his perfect night vision, there was no way he would've been able to notice this.
The room fell completely silently with the exception of the rustling of clothes. One hour before the Devil Encounter Hour, a human and an evil ghost were staying in the same room... The horrifying nature of the situation alone was enough to send chills running down Qin Ye's spine.
He gripped tightly onto his Abyssal Prefect's token with one hand as he slowly read the text on the wall.
"Reign of Shunzhi, Year 15, Governor Li Xifeng inspected the Fortune Temple... [Quick reminder that Fortune Temple is an alternate name for the Huang Clan's village]" After taking only a few glances, Qin Ye had already figured out what this was.
This was a conference hall, and also the county records, the records from before the founding of the republic.
Among the records that Huang Baokun had brought with him, there were none from before the founding of the republic. For some reason, the local records of this county prior to the founding of the republic seemed to have disappeared at some point in history, and Qin Ye was quite surprised to see it here.
However, these were only the records from the Qing Dynasty. The content wasn't very extensive, and he quickly finished reading it. However, just because it was short didn't mean it was simple.
Li Xifeng... Qin Ye lowered his head as he fell into deep thought. He had some recollection of this person. Li Xifeng was the Governor-General of Guangdong and Guangxi, the first-ever person to fill this dual role in the history of Cathay!
However, that wasn't all.
"He came here to find the legendary medicine of immortality..." Qin Ye murmured to himself as he gently stroked the words carved onto the wall, "The fact that the governor-general of two provinces came here in person indicates that the source of this rumor is reliable and not just some unfounded legend. In fact, it's most likely been circulating for a very long time. This is most likely the harrowing truth hidden in the Huang Clan's earthen building."
Even though this lead had nothing to do with the irredeemably heinous soul that he was looking for, the more he searched, the more he developed the feeling that the Huang Clan's earthen building was a complete entity. The forsaken lands hadn't been formed as a result of coincidences. If he wanted to find this soul, then he would most likely have to crack all of the mysteries here first!
He had to gather all of these sporadic leads and string them together into a cohesive and complete story.
Not far away from the wall was a pillar, and a mirror was nailed to the pillar.
Obviously, there weren't any words carved onto the mirror, yet just as he was about to pass the mirror and continue inspecting the text on the wall, he suddenly drew to an abrupt halt.
The mirror was very clean, and his night vision was exceptional, so he was able to clearly see Tongtong, who was "changing" behind him.
Tongtong currently had his back facing Qin Ye, and at this moment, layer upon layer of human skin was slowly falling off his body, much like a snake shedding its skin. Furthermore, his body was composed of three interconnected bodies!
The three bodies all belonged to children, each of which was less than a meter tall, and they had been sewn together using stitches! Below the caudal vertebrae of one child was a clump of messy and chaotic threads, and connected to the bottom of that clump of threads was the scapula of the child below the first child!
It was like a standing human centipede! Tongtong's six arms were gently tearing off his human skin, and at the very bottom was a pair of children's legs.
This was truly a horrifying sight, and even Qin Ye was struck by a sense of discomfort at the sight of this horrific creation. Right at this moment, Tongtong's head abruptly turned around 180 degrees to stare directly at Qin Ye.
His head was none other than the ball he had been bouncing before!
"You saw me..." His voice was no longer tender and childlike. Instead, it had become a ghastly gender-neutral voice. His eyes were completely black with no white parts at all, and he was staring intently at Qin Ye. "You saw me... You lied to me... I told you not to look..."
"So?" Qin Ye asked in a calm voice, and he had already injected his Yin energy into his Abyssal Prefect's token.
Slam! As soon as his voice trailed off, a loud bang suddenly rang out from the window, which had been almost entirely boarded shut. Immediately thereafter, a bloodshot eye that was also completely black peered into the room through the tiny gaps between the boards nailed to the window.
That was only the beginning. What came next was a string of bangs, and it seemed that countless ghastly creatures had all gathered outside the windows and were banging on the wooden boards with all their might!
Slam slam slam, slam slam slam! The commotion was so loud and disruptive that it was enough to drive one insane! Tongtong slowly raised his head, and his long body distorted into unnatural angles as he said, "Big Brother... I want to play a game with you... A game of survival..."
As soon as his voice trailed off, he pounced directly toward Qin Ye with a sharp screech. His Yin energy erupted forth, and only then did Qin Ye discover that Tongtong was already an advanced Infernal Judge, which meant that he was only a sliver away from reaching the Abyssal Prefect level.
Unfortunately for him, that sliver of difference was comparable to the disparity between heaven and earth! Qin Ye set down his Abyssal Prefect's token before sweeping a sleeve through the air with a cold smile on his face. "Looks like they're unable to sense my Yin energy, either..."
A resounding boom akin to the sound of a thunderclap abruptly rang out in mid-air, and Tongtong's twisted body crashed heavily into the corner amid an agonized howl. However, he then rapidly crawled onto the ceiling like a true centipede.
"Ow... It hurts... It hurts so much!!" Black blood was gushing out of all seven of his orifices, and the wounds all over his body had all split open as he screeched with agony, "Why is this happening? Why is this happening again? Waaah! I don't want to die... I don't want to die!"
A giant rift suddenly opened up on his body, and countless strands of hair surged forth like a crashing wave, but before they even had a chance to reach Qin Ye, they had all been incinerated into nothingness by a boundless sea of fire.
Tongtong screeched as he rapidly crawled around the ceiling, attempting to find an angle to attack Qin Ye from, but Qin Ye was completely surrounded by white netherflames that were blooming layer upon layer like six-petaled lotus flowers, forming an airtight defensive barrier around him.
So powerful... So terrifying... He's just as powerful as Big Sister Chu... No human this powerful has ever come here before!
Even evil ghosts had instincts, and after crawling around the ceiling for three or four laps, Tongtong suddenly rushed toward the entrance, but his efforts to escape were met with nothing but a disdainful sneer from Qin Ye.
There was no way that an Infernal Judge would be able to escape from an Abyssal Prefect!
Whoosh! Countless metal chains shot out of the darkness like striking vipers, instantly binding themselves around Tongtong like a giant cobweb.
Tongtong screamed and thrashed with all his might, but he was still quickly dragged over to Qin Ye. The Abyssal Prefect's token had transformed into an oil paper umbrella above his head, and Qin Ye interrogated in a cold voice, "I have a question for you: where is Huang Jiansen? He's the one who signed this edition of the county records. Does that mean he lived from the 15th year of Emperor Shunzhi's reign all the way until 1995? That's a span of 340 years! How did he live for so long? Why did he suddenly disappear after 1995? Is he the person Chu Renmei is searching for?"
Tongtong's face was completely twisted at this point, and he cackled in a raspy voice, "I'm not telling you anything!"
Qin Ye grabbed onto his cheeks as he said in a cold voice, "You can resist all you want, but I think I've already figured out some things for myself."
He leaned over to Tongtong's ear before whispering something to him, and Tongtong's entire body immediately began to tremble violently as he stared at Qin Ye in an incredulous manner. "No... How... How did you know that?!"
Qin Ye offered no response. However, the Yin energy around him was becoming denser and denser, to the point that it had virtually completely engulfed him. "So that's why these top-secret divisions like the Stick Rod Division and the Imperial City Division came to search this place over and over again. This is why all of the residents here are so strange, isn't that right? This is the true secret to long life in the Huang Clan's village, isn't it?"
Tongtong was still trembling violently, and all of a sudden, he opened his mouth as wide as it would go, seemingly in an attempt to let loose an almighty scream, but as soon as he opened his mouth, the tip of Qin Ye's umbrella had already pierced through his throat.
Tongtong's pupils abruptly contracted, and immediately thereafter, he disintegrated into a Yin energy vortex that revolved rapidly in the room. Qin Ye reached out with one hand, and a bright blue soul fell into his grasp.
His expression was a little twisted as he spat through gritted teeth, "I know even better than all of you do just how terrifying that thing is... If it isn't for the fact that I've seen it before, I wouldn't have figured out all of this. It doesn't matter whether you confess or not, you don't have Chu Renmei's power, and your soul can't lie."
 [Generally speaking, when a name is two of the same character in Chinese, it's a pet name. The most prominent one I can think of off the top of my head is the Chinese female table tennis player, Sun Yingsha, who is affectionately referred to as Shasha by her fans. It's a pet name that's basically just the last "sha" character of her name repeated twice. Naturally, it's very unbefitting for a hulking ghost monster thing to have a pet name, hence the mismatch.]Previous Chapter Next Chapter