Chapter 799: It's Him!

Qin Ye didn't immediately depart. Instead, he began to review that third piece of footage in his mind.

Among the three pieces of footage, the first two had told him the identity of the culprit, while the third was telling him exactly who the culprit was!

The culprit was living nearby. Furthermore, he had been involved in the demolition and relocation process. Qin Ye didn't know why the relocation wasn't completed in the end, but he was already able to pinpoint the set of conditions that the culprit had to fulfill.

Firstly, the culprit had to have very deep ties with the local government. In fact, there was a very good chance that they were from this area. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been granted such a big project. Furthermore, this project corresponded with his objective of constantly keeping an eye on the Huang Clan's earthen building. 

Secondly, the culprit spoke in the utmost bureaucratic manner [This is the closest translation I was able to find for this term, but it's still a little lackluster, so I'll explain what's meant here. This is referring to a manner of speech typical of politicians, ie. always bringing up the government and the greater good, keeping up a refined facade regardless of the nature of the situation, etc.]. 

The final point was that when Qin Ye had examined the county records on the first night, he hadn't discovered any records of forced relocation!

In other words, someone had swept this event under the rug.

Someone capable of sweeping such a horrific event under the rug had to be a very important and high-ranking figure in the county government!

Of course, he could learn the culprit's name from the registration logs, but previously, he didn't know where the culprit was. However, the third piece of footage was the final puzzle piece clicking into place, allowing him to track down the culprit.

All of the leads have been connected... Qin Ye closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Several seconds later, he reopened his eyes and immediately strode out of the room without any hesitation.

The truth had been hidden for over 1,000 years, but on this day, it was time to uncover it!

In the instant that Qin Ye turned around, he discovered that at some point, countless people had gathered behind him.

No, those weren't people... Those were souls! They were the souls of all of the residents of the Huang Clan's village!

They were seated on the ground in a tightly packed formation, and they didn't allow Qin Ye through, but they didn't attack him, either. All they did was stare intently at Qin Ye with netherfire flashing in their eyes.

Qin Ye was silent for a moment before cupping his fist in a solemn manner. "I understand everything now."

The souls didn't respond.

"Rest assured, this is the day of retribution for him!" he declared in a serious voice. "I will put an end to all of your hatred and resentment. The Great Dao is looking down at all of us from the heavens above, and I will give you the justice all of you deserve!"

The souls finally moved.

All of them got up from their seated positions before kneeling down on the ground. There were over 100 souls present, and they occupied the entire circular corridor. After that, they kowtowed toward Qin Ye in an extremely earnest manner.

Their heads made no sound against the ground, but their actions were laden with the weight of their emotions.

As soon as their heads came into contact with the ground, the entire fourth floor began to sway slightly, and the swaying quickly became more and more pronounced until the entire world around Qin Ye transformed into a blur. He involuntarily closed his eyes, and three seconds later, the swaying and warping ceased.

He opened his eyes, and he discovered that he was standing back at the gap between the third and fourth floors.

Huang Jiansen's evil ghost was situated no more than a meter in front of him, and the deathly pale hands attached to its body were close enough to reach out and touch him.

However, the evil ghost remained completely still.

A speck of soulfire was ignited on his glabella, and it began to burn more and more fiercely. In the end, all of the muscles on his face began to spasm, and the red threads snapped one by one as he appraised Qin Ye with quivering lips.

He was extremely hideous to behold, but Qin Ye harbored no disgust or killing intent toward him.

Here was a man very much worthy of his sympathy...

Not only was his story one of tragedy, the same applied to his wife, his son, Chu Renmei, and everyone in this entire village. This place had been a den of nightmares for the past 1,000 years!

"You tried to stop me because you want to avenge yourselves with your own hands, right?" Qin Ye slowly reached out and gently laid a hand onto the evil ghost's nose. Huang Jiansen's massive body immediately collapsed to the ground, and all of the hideous deathly hands attached to his body draped down as he lowered his head to Qin Ye.

Qin Ye's voice was full of complex emotions as he continued, "I suddenly understand everything now. I understand why you tried to stop me over and over again even though we share the same goal. In my haste to find out the truth, I forgot one thing..."

He cast his gaze toward the surrounding world of inky-black Yin energy as he sighed, "I forgot that this was a forsaken land... General Zhao told me that every forsaken land has its own laws. These laws are determined by the Heavenly Dao of the forsaken land, and perhaps from the very beginning, these laws dictated that you can't tell me the truth, right?"

Huang Jiansen was sobbing and howling incessantly as he kowtowed onto the ground over and over again with all his might.

It was an extremely vulnerable display, and he was pleading to Qin Ye with every fiber of his being.

Breaking the laws stipulated by the Heavenly Dao would incur punishment by divine lightning. They wanted to avenge themselves, to kill the heinous monster that had done this to them, but they were completely powerless.

He was praying that Qin Ye would be able to help them put an end to this nightmare!

Despite his Prefect-level power, he was completely powerless in the face of his demonic father.

"The Heavenly Dao here has infinitely strengthened the boundaries between the underworld and the mortal realm." Qin Ye cast his gaze up toward the heavens as he sighed, "Only the residents of this village can provide leads, but they can only do so after certain conditions have been fulfilled, and the leads they provide can only be extremely vague ones. This must be the root cause behind the enduring mystery of the Huang Clan's earthen building, which has remained unsolved for over 1,000 years. If I hadn't consumed the Taisui fungus myself, there's no way I would've been able to crack this mystery. The most important piece of information to glean from the Huang Clan's earthen building is that all of its residents are zombies. However, Granny Meng said that there are only six people in the entire world who have eaten the Taisui fungus, and now there are three of them gathered here in this county: Lee Jung-sook, Bu Wantian, and myself. Fate really does have a cruel sense of humor. This mystery arises from the Taisui fungus, and it's also due to the Taisui fungus that it'll be resolved..."

He gently patted Huang Jiansen's face as he declared, "I will uphold justice for you."

A dull wail that was filled with relief and countless other emotions rang out from Huang Jiansen's lowered head, and reddish-black blood began to flow out of all of his orifices.

He knew that there were still some things that Qin Ye didn't know, such as the laws of the Heavenly Dao, and that he would only be able to understand the entire truth surrounding the Huang Clan's earthen building if he had seen everything that the residents of the village had tried to show him through those three pieces of footage.

Otherwise, there was no way that those Yin spirits would've allowed him to come back down!

However, he returned, and in the instant that he did so, Huang Jiansen could sense that the Heavenly Dao shackles binding them this entire time had been broken! He was the person that the Huang Clan's earthen building had been waiting for for over a millennium!

He was the one who was going to end this nightmare...

Qin Ye didn't say anything further as he turned to depart, and Huang Jiansen hovered silently behind him. He made his way over to the railing and cast his gaze out onto the courtyard. At some point, Chu Renmei had already ceased attacking the pair of preachers, and her hands were clasped over her own face as she knelt in the center of the courtyard.

Her hair pooled down onto the ground around her, giving her the appearance of a blue lotus flower under a black waterfall. Ghosts were incapable of crying, but in that instant, she was overcome by sobs that had been repressed for over 1,000 years.

Her shoulders began to tremble more and more violently as she wept into her hands, and all of a sudden, she tore her hands away from her own face and let loose a heart-wrenching screech directly up toward the heavens!

Her hideous face was completely twisted, but over 1,000 years of brewing hatred and resentment allowed her to utter one fluent sentence.

"Retribution will come to all those who deserve it! The heavens do have eyes! The heavens do have eyes after all!!! ARRRRGH!!!"

Her voice was like a spark that ignited all of the emotions in the hearts of the earthen building's residents, and in the next instant, countless voices laden with fury, grief, and hatred rang out to echo hers.

"Bu Wantian! You don't deserve to live!!"

"You're a heartless piece of scum!! If we hadn't taken pity on you and accepted you into our village, you would've starved to death long ago!"

"See you in the 18th level of the abyss, you heartless monster!!"

Within the darkness, one pair of bright red eyes closed after another.

They were finally able to rest in contentment. [1]

"I'll give you a choice," Qin Ye declared. "Join my Dusk Legionnaire and serve me. In return, I promise to capture him and take him to this locust tree, where you'll be able to exact your own revenge."

Before he even had a chance to finish, Chu Renmei and Huang Jiansen had already knelt down in unison.

As long as he dies! As long as he dies, we're willing to do anything! Only after he dies will we be able to step out of this shadow and serve you with all our hearts. 

"Alright, it's time to end this." Qin Ye made his way toward the gate, and the elderly woman stationed beside the entrance had already risen to her feet. "Let me see exactly what his name is."

………………………………………………….

There was a heavy storm outside. Everything was drenched by the torrential downpour, and lightning flashed in the sky as if the heavens were trying to eradicate all evil in this world.

No one would go out on a night like this, and the same applied to Huang Baokun. There was a bowl of porridge sitting on the table in front of him along with several intricate side dishes, but there were three sets of bowls and chopsticks on the table in total.

There was also a photograph of a family of three placed on the table. Looking at his gentle wife and adorable daughter in the photograph, he heaved a long sigh before joining his palms together and saying a prayer before picking up his spoon.

In the instant that he did so, the sound of door-knocking suddenly rang out. His brows furrowed slightly as he opened the door, but his slightly vexed expression then immediately gave way to a wide smile. "Madam Lee! To what do I owe this honor? If you have something to tell me, you can just do so via telephone; there's no need for you to visit me in person. Our county government is committed to cooperating fully with your work."

Lee Jung-sook gave a faint smile in response, and there was a bodyguard trailing behind her. She asked, "Can we come in?"

"O... Of course!" Huang Baokun immediately opened the door wide to grant the duo entry. "Please come in. Have you had dinner yet?"

"I have," Lee Jung-sook replied with a smile as she sat down onto the couch. "This is a very late time to be having dinner, you must be working hard, Director Huang."

"Well, there's a lot of work to do in a county with such a large population, and I only just got home from work." Huang Baokun immediately poured a cup of tea and offered it to Lee Jung-sook while taking a longing glance at the bowl of porridge on the table. "May I ask the reason for your visit, Madam Lee?"

"Yes, we have something to discuss with you," the bodyguard behind Lee Jung-sook replied. Huang Baokun took a glance at the bodyguard and discovered that he had seen this man once before. On the previous occasion, he had seemed to be someone on equal footing with Lee Jung-sook, but it turned out... that he was only a bodyguard?

Qin Ye was wearing a crisp suit as he sat down onto the couch with a smile. "Director Huang, I've heard that you've served many terms in your position. Have you been working here for quite a long time?"

"That's right... It's been over 10 years, now that I think about it..." Huang Baokun replied with a wry smile, "I'm counting on Madam Lee to help propel me further up the ranks."

Qin Ye nodded in response. "During our investigation of the Huang Clan's earthen building in the past few days, we made some discoveries."

"Oh? What did you find? If it's something our county government can help you with, we'll be sure to lend you our unreserved assistance," Huang Baokun replied while respectfully pouring a refill of tea for Lee Jung-sook. A massive cash cow like her was someone that any government had to treat with respect, let alone the director of a county's ministry of land and resources.

Qin Ye looked deep into his eyes and continued, "Firstly, we heard that there was an extremely violent forced relocation that took place in the Huang Clan's village around 1995. Is that true?"

Huang Baokun faltered slightly while pouring the refill for Lee Jung-sook, but his expression remained completely unchanged as he replied, "I'm afraid I haven't heard of such a thing. Could it be that you're mistaken, Mr. Qin?"

"Mr. Huang... No..." Qin Ye looked straight into his eyes as he said in a slow and deliberate manner, "Bu Wantian. You're not the only one to have eaten the Taisui fungus and survived. Truth be told, you're looking at two other survivors right now. In fact, she..." 

He pointed at Lee Jung-sook before continuing, "Is from the same dynasty as you, and she's lived all the way until today."

A slightly awkward smile appeared on Huang Baokun's face. "I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you're saying. I'm just an ordinary person, could it be that there's been some kind of misunderstanding?"

Qin Ye gave a slow nod before approaching Huang Baokun until their faces were no more than 10 centimeters apart, and he said, "Chu Renmei and Huang Jiansen asked me to pass on a message to you. Have you been well these past 1,000 years? Are you ever tormented by guilt and unable to sleep when you think of your heinous deeds? Do you feel any fear or unease when you look at your own bloodstained hands?"

[1] [Not sure if this is the case in western culture, but in Chinese culture, it's quite significant whether someone has died with their eyes open or closed. It's said that those who refused to close their eyes even in their dying moments didn't die in peace and have unfinished business in the world, whereas someone dying with their eyes closed is at peace and content to pass.]

Previous Chapter Next Chapter