Bu Tian Gang Ch76

Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 76: My mouth is cheap. I won’t speak again!

The talisman paper was dangling in front of it, so the other party had to temporarily halt its thoughts about running away and explain the situation.

The weasel calls itself Uncle Liu. Its hometown was in the northeast, and it was originally the owner of an inn, or rather, the Bao Jiaxian of He Jia’s and her great aunt’s family. During the most turbulent time in China a hundred and ten years ago, her great aunt’s family moved south and brought Uncle Liu with them. Later, after several turbulent times, the family went abroad, died of illness, and the remaining family members dwindled. The younger generation grew up under the influence of science, so they didn’t believe in feudal superstition and scoffed at the so-called Bao Jiaxian. Uncle Liu was enshrined in the room of this hotel by the great aunt. It was regularly worshipped and was asked to help guard this hotel.

A few months ago, He Jia’s aunt immigrated overseas, and this hotel was left to He Jia. Before leaving, the great aunt also consulted with Uncle Liu for advice. It told her it didn’t want to go abroad, so the great aunt told He Jia to keep this room and not allow any guests to stay in it. He Jia had vaguely heard some rumors, but she didn’t believe them, but since this was the request of her great aunt, she complied. The fruits and vegetables offered were in good condition, and no one came to disturb its peace, which made Uncle Liu quite happy.

Uncle Liu wasn’t a lazy monster who only ate and didn’t work. In addition to guarding the hotel, he also bewitched people to help attract business.

Hearing this, Dong Zhi suddenly came to a realization. “No wonder the hotel didn’t need to advertise because they kept getting an endless stream of guests. It turns out that you did all this!”

Uncle Liu was strongly dissatisfied. “What do you mean! I’m a spirit! They were originally looking for a hotel to stay in, and the environment and facilities here are good, so I just increased their favorability!”

Dong Zhi sneered, “If it’s like this, then I’m afraid you’ve used too much magic. Otherwise, why do some people who originally planned to stay for one night don’t want to leave and instead end up staying two or three nights? This also doesn’t take into account the strange things happening in the rooms. Are you the one who’s responsible for all the weird things happening in this hotel?”

The weasel muttered, “It’s just a little trick that’s not tantamount to murder and arson…”

Dong Zhi heard its guilty conscience and said, “What about that man that almost jumped off the building two days ago and that woman who had a heart attack. Was that your doing?”

The weasel said angrily, “How could I do such a thing? Do I look like that kind of wolf to you?!”

Dong Zhi: “Don’t tell me it was just an accident. I saw it with my very own eyes. At that time, something prevented the rescuer from saving that woman. Who could it be if it wasn’t you?!”

Weasel: “That’s—!”

Its voice stooped abruptly.

Dong Zhi became suspicious. “Who is it?”

The weasel whispered, “The point is, it’s not me!”

Dong Zhi: “Even if it’s not you, you must know who it is, right?”

The weasel was very cunning. Perhaps seeing that Dong Zhi had no intention of killing it, it simply titled its body and fell to the ground with all four of its feet raised to the sky, as if it would die at any moment.

The magic array was still there, so it couldn’t run even if it wanted to. Dong Zhi sat crossed-legged on the bed and grabbed the Changshou Sword in his hand.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t say it. I might as well tell you that I’m from the Special Administration Bureau. To deal with monsters like you, I have the authority to act first. I can kill you first, then charge you with attempted murder. Besides us, no one would know, and I could still make contributions and be rewarded. What do you think about this idea?”

“Not good!” The weasel jumped up in a daze and no longer pretended to play dead. “You’re just a little baby in the Special Administration Bureau! Let me tell you, I’m related to someone in the Special Administration Bureau! If you dare make a move, I—I’ll call your leader and let him chop you to pieces!”

Dong Zhi looked skeptical. “Something like you, residing in a small hotel in Lucheng, can still know people from the Special Administration Bureau.”

The weasel said proudly, “Scared to death now, huh? You’re new here, so why don’t you go and find out! He’s a capable general under Director Long of Group Two of your General Administration Bureau, Kan Chaosheng. He’s the cousin of my grandmother’s eldest brother’s wife’s cousin’s husband!”

Dong Zhi: ……

Seeing the speechless face on Dong Zhi, the weasel became bolder. “How about it? Scared? Let me just say that a wolf with a background like mine is not something a little baby like you can provoke. Be sensible and quickly let me go. I can still speak good things on your behalf in front of your leaders!”

Before it could finish speaking, it squeaked and screamed, jumping three feet high. It turned out that Dong Zhi took the scabbard and smashed it towards its body, almost flattening its tail.

“You—You—don’t mess around!”

Dong Zhi picked up the phone. “What a coincidence. I also know Kan Chaosheng, so I’ll call him now. If he doesn’t know you, you’re dead meat.”

The weasel sneered, “You can’t fool me. How could you know such a big figure!”

Dong Zhi picked up the phone and pressed a number. The other party started to panic. “Why are you calling? This is just a small matter. No need to bother him!”

“I might as well tell you that I was sent by the General Administration Bureau. We all have to intern in the local area for our first year. I am a member of Group Two that you spoke of. It is exactly the same group that Kan Chaosheng is in. Our General Administration Bureau has a performance indicator this year. At least one task must be completed to pass the test, or we’ll be dismissed. You’re unlucky to have met me.” Dong Zhi spouted half-truths and lies. “If you’re willing to tell me the real culprit, I’ll let you go. Otherwise, I only need to kill you and return back to work!”

The weasel screamed, “How can you be such a scumbag!”

Dong Zhi spread his hands. “There’s no other way. Who told you not to tell me who’s the real culprit? Come here, let me stab you with my sword. Soon there will be no more pain.”

Weasel: “I didn’t do it! I can’t say it!”

Dong Zhi: “Why can’t you say it?”

The weasel refused to speak.

“Say it!” In order to scare it, Dong Zhi deliberately slapped hard, causing the other party’s fur to fluff up its little body, which made it look quite pleasant.

“I really can’t say it! I’ve been forbidden and will die if I say it. You might as well just kill me with the sword now!”

Dong Zhi asked suspiciously, “Who forbade you? Isn’t this your place?”

The weasel covered its mouth. “I can’t say it! I can’t say it!”

Dong Zhi said, “Then I’ll ask you questions. You just need to nod or shake your head.”

He took out a gray piece of paper.

“Is it related to this?”

The weasel hesitated for a moment and nodded its little head.

Dong Zhi asked again, “Is it related to the Japanese?”

The weasel turned his eyes around, first nodded, then shook his head.

“Is it or not?” Dong Zhi said angrily.

Weasel: “I really can’t say it! If I say it, I will die!”

Dong Zhi thought for a moment, and then asked, “Apart from the man who tried to jump off the building, there are also people who almost died from illness. Has anything else happened?”

The weasel subconsciously said, “No, they just came…”

Before it could finish speaking, it suddenly spat out a mouthful of blood that pooled onto the white bed sheets.

Dong Zhi was taken aback.

The weasel cried, “I told you everything! I only use magic to attract others to come in and stay for a few more days, but recently it’s made them listless and sick. I didn’t do it, but I can’t say the rest!”

Seeing that its performance was not as good as it was before, Dong Zhi couldn’t bear it and hurriedly said, “Okay, I’ll just ask two more questions! Is the other party still here now?”

The weasel shook its head.

Dong Zhi: “Then where did that person go?”

Weasel: “I don’t know.”

Dong Zhi: “What is their purpose?”

Weasel: “I don’t know… This is three questions!”

Dong Zhi rolled his eyes and began to try to deceive him. “Do you want to enter the Special Administration Bureau? Since you know Kan Chaosheng, you should know that monsters are also in the Bureau. As long as you can help me do my best this time, I’ll put in a recommendation to the Bureau later. This, plus your relationship with Kan Chaosheng, should be no problem for you to join!”

The weasel looked a little excited, but he said dejectedly, “But I haven’t been able to transform. How could the Special Administration Bureau want a monster that can’t be transformed?!”

Dong Zhi said, “Regardless of whether you can get in or not, as long as you make a contribution, I can help you apply for benefits. At that time, you can give up your quota to your children or grandchildren. As long as you provide clues, you don’t have to run errands. This couldn’t be any easier for you!”

The weasel hesitated for a while before it finally said, “I don’t know if it’s the Japanese, but I’ve seen this kind of paper in your hand. That person has arranged a lot of it in the hotel…”

As soon as it said this, it spat out another mouthful of blood.

“Okay, okay. I won’t ask you anymore!” Dong Zhi said hurriedly. He now regretted that he forgot to ask Li Ying or Zhang Song for a few injury medication before he left. After all, the Maoshan Sect and Longhu Sect were great schools of medicine and were unrivaled in terms of their effects.

Dong Zhi strung together all the clues and combed them out.

On the surface, the weasel was guarding the hotel and using its magic to attract guests. The reason why He Jia and the staff weren’t affected was because the weasel treated them as one of its own and didn’t apply his magic to them.

People with ulterior motives discovered this and set up an ambush here to create two cases of attempted murder. Judging from the weasel’s words, these traps should have just been arranged not long ago, so they hadn’t had time yet to lead to any great tragedies, and he was present to stop these two incidents.

Thinking of this, his heart moved.

“Let me ask you, did you do anything to He Jia so that she would hate coming here?”

The weasel nodded. “I didn’t use magic at first, but later I was afraid she would be in danger, so I used a little of it to drive her out.”

Dong Zhi stared at it. “You knew to protect He Jia, but aren’t the residents here also innocent?”

The weasel shrank its neck, knowing that it was wrong and did not dare make a noise.

The guests were ill.

Two cases of attempted murder.

Something similar to a shikigami.

Dong Zhi frowned and tried to connect these small clues.

The weasel peeked at him and said flatteringly, “Well, big brother, can you undo the formation first? I’m suffering here!”

Dong Zhi ignored it as he bit his fingers and thought absentmindedly.

The weasel didn’t give up. “Seeing as you know Chaosheng and we’re distant relatives, can you have the heart to see Uncle Liu suffering like this?”

Dong Zhi suddenly said, “Lao Liu, let me ask you. Does the other party want to absorb the anger or yang of these residents?”

The weasel was taken aback for a moment and said angrily, “Don’t ask me. I can’t say it. I can’t say anything about it!”

Seeing its reaction, Dong Zhi could feel that his guess wasn’t that far off from the mark. He couldn’t help but feel refreshed, thinking that this was another breakthrough.

“But there are still some questions I’m unsure of. Wouldn’t it be safer for the other party to absorb the yang quietly? Why do they want to kill someone and attract attention?” Dong Zhi immediately reached another conclusion. “Did that person know that I was here and did it on purpose?”

The weasel whispered, “I don’t know… That person hasn’t shown up for several days.”

After speaking, the weasel vomited another mouthful of blood onto the bed sheets. Although it was small in size and the blood it spat out was miniscule, it was still enough for it to suffer.

It cried, “My mouth is cheap. I won’t speak again!”

Dong Zhi twitched the corner of his mouth and continued to speculate on his own.

“That person didn’t show up for a few days and set a few shikigamis here. The intention was to take advantage of your magic and take the opportunity to absorb the yang of the guests, but for two days in a row, two people almost died… Could it be that those shikigamis absorbed too much yang, which gave them consciousness that allowed them to make their own decisions? They couldn’t wait for such a long stream of water to slowly extract yang, so they decided to collect it quickly by killing? Master said that there are similarities between shikigamis and puppets, and it’s not impossible for powerful onmyojis or puppet masters to breathe life into them and turn them into living creatures.”

Not only that, Long Shen also gave a very famous example at that time. After Nezha1 cut off his bones to return to his father and the flesh to his mother, his limbs were not saved. His master, Taiyi2 used lotus roots to reshape his body. This naturally sounded like a myth to ordinary people, but for practitioners it wasn’t fantasy. Bluntly put, if one injected a soul or yang qi into these props, they could make them into a living thing.

1Protection deity in Chinese folk religion given the name “Third Lotus Prince” when he became a deity. You can read the story on the Wikipedia link. TLDR: Nezha offended the dragon king, Ao Guang, who threatened to flood his hometown in response. He then sacrificed himself to appease Ao Guang’s anger and cut off his bones to return to his parents as repayment for giving birth to him. He later became enshrined, and his Master Taiyi eventually brought him back to life using lotus roots, and he was given his two most famous weapons, the Wind Fire Wheels and the Fire-tipped spear.
2A deity in Chinese religion and Taoism. Taiyi (lit. ’great 2nd Celestial stem’) means “primordial unity of yin and yang” and Zhenren (lit. ’true person’) is a Daoist term for “Perfected Person”. According to the opening of the classical novel Fengshen Bang, he is the reincarnation of the first emperor of the Shang dynasty, Tang of Shang.

Dong Zhi said, “Very well. I’ll let you go first. You are, after all, the Bao Jiaxian here, and you can’t run even if you want to. I don’t need any clues, but if that person comes again, you have to notify me as soon as possible.”

The weasel bemoaned, “But I can’t beat him…”

Dong Zhi said, “If you promise to inform me, I’ll help you and ask about the method Chaosheng used to transform.”

The weasel’s eyes lit up, but then wilted again. “He’s born as a jiao, and there’s only a thin line of difference between him and a dragon. I can’t compare with him…”

Dong Zhi: “Even if you can’t compare to a jiao, you could be at least comparable to a willow tree. I have a colleague who’s a willow and can transform, so why can’t you?”

Weasel: “Really?”

Dong Zhi: “Why would I lie to you? I don’t want you to deal with that person. As long as they show up, just tell me immediately!”

The weasel struggled for a long time and finally reluctantly agreed.

Dong Zhi left his phone with him and told it to remember to call before withdrawing the magic array. The weasel jumped away suddenly, and he didn’t know where it disappeared to.

There were a few pools of blood left on the sheets in the room, and there were holes in the wall left by his Changshou Sword. He didn’t know what he was doing in this room just now, but when he looked around, Dong Zhi realized there was a problem.

“Deal with the traces in this room yourself. Don’t let people become suspicious!”

The weasel didn’t make a sound, so he didn’t know if it had heard him.

Dong Zhi felt a headache coming as he thought about how there may be dead traps hidden everywhere in the hotel.

It was impossible for him alone to find all the shikigamis in the hotel, and if he did, he might spook the snake. After thinking about it, he decided to call Mu Duo.

“Dong Zhi, what’s up?” The phone quickly connected, and Mu Duo’s puzzled voice came from the other end.

It was hard to regurgitate everything clearly in just a few words, so Dong Zhi asked, “Mu Duo, where are you now? I have something very important to report to you. Is it convenient?”

Hearing this, Mu Duo couldn’t help but glance at Yan Nuo.

On their side, the murder and mutilation case had encountered a bottleneck.

The police had tracked down the whereabouts of Huang Wendong’s mistress. For the sake of safety, they called for Yan Nuo and the others, but the result fell short. They went to the house where the mistress was hiding from a tip, only to find the place was already empty.

Of course, the case had to continue to be investigated, and the search resumed, which left Yan Nuo and the others busy for several days, but no clues could be found, leaving them quite frustrated.

Mu Duo knew that Yan Nuo didn’t want Dong Zhi to participate because of the newcomer they had last year. As a result, not only did he fail to help, but he also made a mess of things. He was finally transferred away, but this left Yan Nuo and the others with a bad taste, so they had no affection for newcomers since then. What’s more, this time it was a newcomer with a deep background, a disciple of the Deputy Director from the General Administration. With such a rumor that Deputy Director Long had accepted such a disciple, they could only imagine how much he valued this person.

According to Yan Nuo and the others’ experience, this kind of newcomer with a background cannot be said to be incompetent but must be a newborn calf that’s not afraid of tigers. He would be impulsive and could easily stir up trouble. His arrogance would lead him to underestimating his enemies, and all he could do was scold them but couldn’t fight. The best they could do was put him aside and not let him cause trouble. If he had any self-knowledge, it would be better if he just transferred himself away.

However, Mu Duo had a good impression of Dong Zhi. She also felt that it wasn’t good to keep attacking his enthusiasm, so she gave him the address and said he should come over.

Dong Zhi soon arrived, and Yan Nuo knew that Mu Duo had taken the initiative on her own to let him know, so he couldn’t help glaring at her.

“Yan Ge, I know you’re working on something important, and I don’t want to disturb you, but something has indeed happened to me.”

He told them about the hotel and the weasel.

Xiao Qi, who had a more impatient personality, couldn’t help but say, “I’m afraid these things were done by the weasel. It’s just made an enemy out of thin air because it’s afraid you may take revenge on it!”

“I don’t think so, because I found this. It’s similar to a shikigami used by onmyojis. Moreover, according to the Bao Jiaxian, there are still many more in the hotel. It’s difficult for me to find them all by myself, and I’m afraid it might alarm the other party.” Dong Zhi handed them the pieces of paper.

Yan Nuo frowned and said, “In this case, we can only set up an array to surround the hotel first and then catch the turtle in a jar*, but we’re not at a critical stage in our case. The police could find Huang Wendong’s mistress at any time, so we can’t really leave.”

*(瓮中捉鳖) Metaphor referring to what you want to capture is already within grasp.

Dong Zhi hurriedly said, “It’s fine. I understand your difficulties, and I can set up an array, but I can’t guarantee everything by myself, so I want to report to the South China branch and ask them to send someone to assist. Is this okay?”

The three from Yan Nuo’s office looked at each other. They didn’t expect the newcomer to be so anxious that he couldn’t wait to solve a big case within a few days.

Xiao Qi rejected his proposal. His tone was bad. “No way! When you encounter something, what is the reason for going to the top for help if you can’t solve it first? Just keep an eye on the hotel and come to us whenever you have questions!”

Dong Zhi disagreed. “The enemy is hidden in the dark and will appear at any time. I asked the Bao Jiaxian to notify me, and I’m also responsible for its life. If the opponent is really an onmyoji, he must be prepared. There could be other accomplices, so I can’t do it alone. It’ll be too late to inform you by then!”

His tone was not as aggressive as Xiao Qi’s, but he was equally firm.

Mu Duo decided to appease the situation. “How about letting me go with you and taking a look.”

Dong Zhi nodded. “Then I’ll trouble you, Mu Duo Jie. Yan Ge, this matter is strange. I still hope you take it into consideration and report it up so that we can be well prepared.”

Xiao Qi said angrily, “Are you a little baby that hasn’t been weaned? This is not your kindergarten. If you want to report, go back to your General Administration!”

Yan Nuo shouted, “Xiao Qi!”

Xiao Qi wasn’t furious at Dong Zhi for no reason.

Before Dong Zhi, Mu Duo had proposed reporting the case to the higher-ups because all the evidence pointed to Huang Wendong’s death was suspicious. It was as if there was witchcraft at play before his death. However, Xiao Qi and Yan Nuo had disagreed, because once they reported it, it would be them admitting that they were incompetent and unable to solve the matter independently. In the last case, they were criticized by the above for their incompetence. Everyone didn’t want to compromise their achievements, so they refused to ask for help from above.

There was no need for a newcomer to know about this kind of “inside scandal”. Yan Nuo eased his tone. “I know. I will consider this matter at my discretion.”

Dong Zhi: “Yan Ge…”

Yan Nuo raised his hand and motioned for him not to say any more.

“The situation is unknown now, so it’s useless to report rashly. Let’s do this. Mu Duo and you can go back to the hotel and see if there’s a situation. Then we can talk about it later.”

Dong Zhi found that the other party didn’t seem to believe his words, or that Xiao Qi felt he was too eager to make achievements and was exaggerating, so the reality wasn’t as serious as he said. Thinking about this, Dong Zhi couldn’t help feeling a bit helpless.

He finally understood why the General Administration wanted them to come to these branch offices one by one as practice. This was obviously to train their ability to deal with the outside world, because everyone has their own different opinions. With all kinds of considerations being mixed together, it was easy to screw things up.

Like now. There were four people in the Lucheng office, including him, but they couldn’t even agree on the matter. Even if they exclude the newcomers, they obviously have their own considerations about the seriousness of this matter.

Dong Zhi didn’t want to have a rigid relationship with them as soon as he came and didn’t want to wait until things got too out of hand that he’d have to take the blame for it, so he said euphemistically, “Yan Ge, I know you have more experience than me, but I have encountered the Japanese twice. Once in Changbai Mountain and again in Yinchuan. This time, something suspected of a shikigami has appeared again, so it might be related to these cases.”

Yan Nuo said solemnly, “Can you be sure that it’s a shikigami?”

Dong Zhi was taken aback, and hesitated. “It should be.”

Yan Nuo: “So, you’re actually not sure. If someone from the branch comes over and finally confirms that it was just a false alarm, can you take this responsibility?”

Dong Zhi thought for a while and said affirmatively, “I discovered the hotel. If there’s any blame, I will take responsibility for it.”

Xiao Qi said angrily, “You’re going to bear the responsibility? What kind of burden can a newcomer bear! We don’t want to take your share of the blame!”

After all, the other party was a disciple of Long Shen, so Yan Nuo didn’t want to embarrass him too much, so he said, “Well, I’ll explain the situation to the branch as soon as possible. As for whether they’ll send someone, that’ll be up to them to decide. Mu Duo will go to the hotel with you first.”

Dong Zhi couldn’t reason with them anymore, so he could only nod his head. “Then I’ll trouble you, Mu Duo Jie.”

As soon as he left with Mu Duo, Xiao Qi couldn’t help but curl his lips. “The kid wants credits, so he’s acting reckless. He just wants to get things done as quickly as possible!”

Yan Nuo said, “Don’t say this. He is a disciple of Long Shen. If what you say gets back to Long Shen, you’ll get more than what you bargained for*.”

*(吃不了兜着走) Metaphor referring to causing trouble and having to bear the consequences oneself.

Xiao Qi coldly snorted, “I don’t understand why the leader assigned him to us. Shouldn’t a disciple of a Director go to a branch office? Do they want to bully us three with no background?”

Yan Nuo knew that he had been brooding about sharing the blame the year before due to the newcomer, so he changed topics. “All right, all right. He’s still obedient now and doesn’t make his own decisions, and we have Mu Duo looking after him! Do you have any clues about Huang Wendong’s case?”

Xiao Qi scratched his hair irritably. “If his mistress is really a proficient witch, it’s possible that she could have done this unconsciously, but in this way, it’s difficult for us to catch her. Why don’t we have someone check the current Southeast Asian immigrants?”

Yan Nuo: “I already told Zhou Dui, but it’s not easy to check. In some cases, there could be fake documents, or they may have gone to a neighboring province or city…”

The phone suddenly rang.

He didn’t know what was said on the other end of the phone, but Xiao Qi saw Yan Nuo’s face suddenly change, and his heart was filled with anxiety.

Yan Nuo hung up the phone and said to him, “The whereabouts of that mistress has been found.”

Xiao Qi felt overjoyed and thought that every cloud had a silver lining.

“Are we going there now?”

Yan Nuo sighed. “That woman is dead.”

Xiao Qi was dumfounded. “No! How did she die?!”

Huang Wendong’s mistress was found dead in a house in a high-end residential area. According to the investigation, the head of that household was Bai Xiangmei, who was Huang Wendong’s mistress.

When Yan Nuo and Xiao Qi arrived at the scene of the crime, the forensic doctor had already performed a quick autopsy. The body hadn’t been removed yet in order to wait for Yan Nuo’s and Xiao Qi’s arrival.

“It’s preliminarily judged that she most likely died of some sudden illness. She was sleeping when she died. She had lost her breath before she could take her medication. Other than that, there were no signs of trauma.” Zhou Dui of the police introduced them to the scene.

Yan Nuo and Xiao Qi looked at the corpse for a while, then looked at each other and shook their heads, indicating that they couldn’t find anything amiss.

But Zhou Dui found many problems.

“We couldn’t find her medical records or medicine for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases in this house, but we found traces of another man in this house.”

Yan Nuo: “Huang Wendong?”

Zhou Dui shook his head. “According to the feedback from the residents of the community, they have all seen a young man who’s been in and out with the deceased several times. Judging from the description of his appearance, it shouldn’t be Huang Wendong. We have collected all the male items here and are ready to go back to examine them for fingerprints.”

Yan Nuo thought quickly. “Where are Bai Xiangmei’s belongings? Check to see if there are any missing!”

Zhou Dui said. “I have checked it. There are several cards and more than 100,000 in cash. At present, I don’t know what the relationship is between that person and Bai Xiangmei, and whether that money is there for her to escape.”

All this was too coincidental.

Something happened to Huang Wendong’s family, which led them to find out about a mistress, and now something had happened to said mistress.

Yan Nuo, Xiao Qi, and Zhou Dui didn’t believe these things could be so coincidental, but all the chaotic and trivial clues made them irritable.

This kind of murder and mutilation of corpses had a bad impact. Now that the internet was well-developed, many people had started talking about the case online. The case had a deadline that it needed to be solved by, which only gave Zhou Dui a major headache.

“The body will be taken back for a more thorough autopsy and fingerprints will be taken. The identities of those who have been in contact with Bai Xiangmei will be investigated. These results may not come out until at least two or three days at the earliest.”

Yan Nuo asked Zhou Dui, “Do you have any inferences about this case now?”

Zhou Dui didn’t hide it from him. “Bai Xiangmei was unemployed and relied on Huang Wendong’s for financial assistance, but recently we found out that she opened a new bank account and transferred a lot of money into it. Coupled with the strange young man the neighbors spoke of, we can almost preliminarily infer that she likely had a boyfriend outside and wanted to get rid of Huang Wendong. More importantly, before you came just now, we also found a new clue in the room.”

He beckoned to his subordinate, who took out a transparent plastic bag.

Yan Nuo: “Sleeping pills?”

Zhou Dui nodded. “It’s the same kind of sleeping pill that Huang Wendong’s wife and children have inside their bodies.”

Yan Nuo was taken aback and looked at Xiao Qi.

Bai Xiangmei really had something to do with the death of Huang Wendong’s family! But she was already dead, and it was a sudden death as well. The clues they had were now being disrupted again.

Although a thorough autopsy hadn’t been done yet, Yan Nuo had a hunch that Bai Xiangmei’s cause of death was likely to be inconclusive, and that the mysterious man was also likely to disappear without a trace.

In this way, the case would go cold. Yan Nuo’s anxiety became more intense as he thought of this.

He glanced at Zhou Dui and the other party also had an expression similar to his. Obviously, if Yan Nuo had thought of it, then Zhou Dui would likely be on the same page as well.

Xiao Qi was a person who refused to give up easily. He said, “The body should be sent for a thorough autopsy soon. Why don’t we follow along and see if we can find anything on her?”

This was the only way. Yan Nuo nodded and agreed.

Zhou Dui said, “Regarding the mysterious man, we’re already stepping up the search, but at present, the surveillance has found nothing. We can only ask the residents of the community and get their oral statements, so the results won’t come out today.”

The body and some items were transported to the forensic lab. Zhou Dui invited Yan Huo and Xiao Qi to dinner, but no one had an appetite. They hurriedly took a few bites before wanting to go back to continue the follow up. Yan Nuo and Xiao Qi received a call from Mu Duo.

For the time being, Mu Duo said that they had not found any other shikigami in the hotel. Dong Zhi helped her book a room at the hotel, and she would stay there to rest for the night. Yan Nuo exchanged information with her regarding the situation here.

Although Xiao Qi wasn’t privy to what Mu Duo was saying, he could likely guess based on hearing Yan Nuo’s words. When Yan Nuo hung up the phone, he couldn’t help but say, “Let me just say that newcomers are truly unreliable! Listening to what he said, it seems like there was nothing at all!”

Yan Nuo was irritable and didn’t want to say anything, so Xiao Qi shut his mouth when he saw this.

At 8 PM, they went to forensics.

The forensic examiner and his assistant were ready. Just after shaving the victim’s hair, Yan Nuo suddenly said, “Wait!”

He walked to the autopsy table, bent down and looked carefully for a few seconds. “Xiao Qi, come and have a look.”

Xiao Qi didn’t know why, so he also leaned in and copied Yan Nuo’s posture to look at the corpse’s head.

Yan Nuo said, “Baihui point*.”

*(百会穴) Located at the intersection of the midline of the top of the head and the line connecting the tips of the two ears.

There was a bleeding point there, which was a little smaller than a grain of rice. If one didn’t take a closer look, they wouldn’t be able to find it at all. It was just that the location was at the baihui point.

Yan Nuo asked the forensic examiner to slow down the autopsy and said they would observe the body again tonight. The Special Administration Bureau had the same right to participate in decision-making in these cases, so naturally the examiner had no objection and went out first with his assistant.

With this bleeding point as a primer, the two of them checked the body again. Without clothes and hair, the traces of the wounds on the naked victim’s body became clear.

Yan Nuo and Xiao Qi quickly discovered that exactly the same bleeding spots appeared on the soles of the victim’s left and right feet, as well as the left and right palms.

If they didn’t look closely, it was easy to think it was just a blood mole, but the blood moles on the victim’s body were in exactly the same position, which meant it was impossible for this to be a coincidence.

“Are there any killing techniques like this?” Xiao Qi frowned.

Yan Nuo racked his brains, and in the end, he could only shake his head.

“Could it be… bloodletting to attract souls? I heard my master say that there seemed to be such a devious way in the past, but now I haven’t heard of it for a long time.”

Yan Nuo was born into the Danfeng Sect. This was an obscure small sect with very few members. He could be regarded as the most outstanding disciple in the sect. Likewise, Xiao Qi and Mu Duo didn’t have any big-school origins. Because of their similar backgrounds, the three of them often saw things eye to eye, so their cooperation was quite tacit.

Therefore, for newcomers who didn’t have a similar growth background like Dong Zhi, they would have a sense of rejection, but it wasn’t enough to say that they would be excluded and suppressed.

The two discussed for a long time and put forward many possibilities, but in the end, there were no results.

Xiao Qi sneered, “Maybe in the end, it’s really as the kid said, and we have to ask the top to send someone to assist.”

Yan Nuo didn’t want to get such a result because that would only prove that they were truly incompetent.

What’s the point of having an office that is completely useless?

Many practitioners couldn’t stand the rules of the Special Administration Bureau, but some enjoyed them. Yan Nuo loves the excitement of rolling around in the secular world. He didn’t deny that he has the utilitarian heart to climb the ladder, but recently several things have not been going well, and he has started to doubt his own abilities.

“I’m going down to buy a pack of cigarettes. Do you want anything?”

Xiao Qi waved his hand. “No, I’ll see what else I can find on the body. Go ahead!”

After Yan Nuo left, Xiao Qi paced back and forth in the anatomy room. The people outside had already gotten off work. Except for him, there were only corpses in the anatomy room. The bright lights didn’t give people a warm feeling. On the contrary, it was even more bleak and empty, as if it was like those strange urban stories that could draw out nightmares that were enough to scare children.

However, Xiao Qi didn’t feel anything. After all, he was a practitioner. If he didn’t even dare to stay in such a place, people would laugh to death if they found out.

He was just as irritable as Yan Nuo. His gaze wandered around unconsciously when he suddenly saw some items that were taken for evidence on the table next to him.

The clothes were taken for testing, and the plastic bags contained some daily necessities as well as some small objects that were indistinguishable.

Xiao Qi picked them up one by one, carelessly, still thinking about the bloodletting technique in his mind when his gaze suddenly stayed on the plastic bag in his hand.

There was a small bell in it. It was a very ordinary bronze bell, half the size of a palm. The workmanship was not rough but couldn’t be called ingenious either. It should be something that you could buy from a craft shop.

Xiao Qi remembered. Zhou Dui said that this bell was something Bai Xiangmei was holding in her hand before she died.

What was she doing holding a bell before she died? Could it be that the bell was hung somewhere, and she tore it off?

Xiao Qi was puzzled just looking at it through the bag.

Suddenly, he heard a rush.

Ding ding—

Xiao Qi bowed his head involuntarily. The bell was lying quietly in the palm of his hand. When did it make this sound?

Ding ding—

The crisp bells reverberated far away, just like camel bells on an ancient road that sounded as they moved. However, Xiao Qi didn’t have such literati reveries. Instead, he just felt cold, and all his hair stood up.

In the middle of the night, with no one outside, where did this bell sound came from?

Outside the glass door, the lights in the aisle flickered and went out, as if someone had quietly arrived.

“Who!”


Kinky Thoughts:

Nezha

Protection deity in Chinese folk religion given the name “Third Lotus Prince” when he became a deity.

You can read the story on the Wikipedia link. TLDR: Nezha offended the dragon king, Ao Guang, who threatened to flood his hometown in response. He then sacrificed himself to appease Ao Guang’s anger and cut off his bones to return to his parents as repayment for giving birth to him. He later became enshrined, and his Master Taiyi eventually brought him back to life using lotus roots, and he was given his two most famous weapons, the Wind Fire Wheels and the Fire-tipped spear.

Taiyi Zhenren

A deity in Chinese religion and Taoism. Taiyi (lit. ’great 2nd Celestial stem’) means “primordial unity of yin and yang” and Zhenren (lit. ’true person’) is a Daoist term for “Perfected Person”. According to the opening of the classical novel Fengshen Bang, he is the reincarnation of the first emperor of the Shang dynasty, Tang of Shang.


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