Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 30: Strange Disease
Yin Ren didn’t intend to report his findings. What a joke! He was just an innocent entry-level ghost master, and such a rookie wouldn’t be able to see such exciting information.
Before the smell of the Evil Spirit completely dissipated, Yin Ren deliberately placed the insect corpse on his phone.
His phone instantly became excited. “Woof woof woof!”
…It was no coincidence that the phone responded to him back then.
It was strange. He didn’t know how to feel after sleeping for a thousand years, and now there were Evil Spirits and detectors for them everywhere. Of the six sealed evil Evil Spirits plus Yin Ren himself, only seven had emerged in a thousand years. Could it be that an eighth would come soon?
Yin Ren decided to reserve his opinion.
Evil qi wasn’t easy to hide. As soon as he emerged from the seal, the metaphysical institutions within a radius of 800 miles were completely under martial law. This was the result of his deliberate suppression of power.
If a new Evil Spirit were born, it would be impossible for Shian to remain silent. There could be no other secrets in it.
Considering that it was time to get off work, Lord Ghost King didn’t want to think too much about it. He chewed on the milk tart as he knocked on Zhong Chengshuo’s bedroom door.
“What’s the matter?”
“Do you have scissors? I want to trim my hair,” Yin Ren said.
His hair really needed a touch-up. His bangs and sideburns were long, which was fine a thousand years ago, but now the rate of people turning heads to look at him was too high.
Yin Ren could theoretically shorten his hair on his own, but that would be a bit too suspicious. Taking a step back, Zhong Chengshuo was monitoring his spending. Not only that, if “parts” of an Evil Spirit were to land inside a barbershop, the owner and subsequent customers would suffer eight lifetimes of bad luck.
Thus, he could only do this himself.
As usual, Zhong Chengshuo didn’t let him down. “I have special scissors. I can help you cut your hair, but you have to wash it first.”
“You know how to cut hair?”
“I don’t like barber shops.” Zhong Chengshuo stood up and grabbed a small toolbox. When he opened it, there were a myriad of hair scissors, clippers, and an old-fashioned shear inside.
“Why don’t you like the barber shops?” When Yin Ren asked this, Zhong Chengshuo had already put on disposable gloves and tied a bib on Yin Ren.
“Haircuts are getting more expensive, and the hairdressers often talk a lot.” Zhong Chengshuo held a hand of Yin Ren’s long hair and said, “Do you want to cut it short? How short?”
“Not short. I just want to trim the front.”
Yin Ren liked his long hair dearly. They could ensure that even when he was lying on the sofa, the tips of his hair could reach food on the coffee table, which was quite convenient.
Zhong Chengshuo didn’t say anything else.
He adjusted his glasses and started to cut Yin Ren’s hair. The cold metal occasionally would touch Yin Ren’s face, giving a feeling of coolness that was covered by warm breath, which felt wonderful.
Yin Ren suddenly realized that this was the first time in his life that he had “cut his hair”.
At some point, Zhong Chengshuo replaced the scissors with a sharp razor. He drew the razor close to Yin Ren’s face in a smooth, clean motion. The blade scraped against the black hair, making a soft rustle. It seemed as if the razor came to life in his hands. The light of the blade was like a dense, cold rain, creating a faint chilling air that slid down the blade.
This kid is really good with knives. Yin Ren lowered his eyes.
The piece of metal brushed against Yin Ren’s long hair and lightly rubbed against his skin. Then it followed Yin Ren’s cheek all the way down to his neck. In the mirror stained with water mist, the contrast between metallic gray and pale skin was quite conspicuous.
Yin Ren didn’t seem to notice that he was staring calmly at the mirror as his body moved up and down to the rhythm of his breathing.
The delicate blade rubbed against his skin; the touch was cold and thin, like a light kiss. Finally, the sharp blade became like a steel butterfly and gently rested on Yin Ren’s neck.
That was the location closest to the artery.
In the mirror, Zhong Chengshuo’s face was hidden by the mist; only a pair of black eyes were extremely dazzling.
Both of them were motionless, and neither of them spoke.
Yin Ren narrowed his eyes. He didn’t have the slightest anxiety in his heart—even if this kid cut off his head on the spot, he could instantly grow three back. If things really came to that point, the one who would die wouldn’t be him.
More than being nervous, Yin Ren was more curious about the next development.
The small room was silent for more than twenty seconds.
“…Is it okay to have your sideburns in this position?” Zhong Chengshuo asked softly.
“Yes,” Yin Ren replied casually.
Zhong Chengshuo hummed and started to move his hand again. After a while, the razor was replaced by a hair dryer.
Yin Ren had to admit that Comrade Zhong Chengshuo’s skills were quite good. Though he still had long hair up to his waist, as long as it was tied up in a ponytail, the heterogeneous feeling of being out of time disappeared instantly. Now, with his bangs and sideburns cut just right, he looked light and sprightly.
“Done. Personally, I suggest you take a shower and wash away all the hair debris.” Zhong Chengshuo nodded and took off his disposable gloves. “I’ll clean the place. Remember to take out the trash tonight.”
“Nn.” Yin Ren tied up his long hair with satisfaction, ruffling through the freshly trimmed strands.
There was no need to take out the trash. The excess hair would decompose into evil spirits and be recycled by him. After all, the garbage men were innocent, and these hairs were still dangerous goods…
And much more.
Yin Ren picked up a pinch of wet, broken hair.
Perhaps because of the separation from his body, the evil qi in the broken hair was extremely weak, and the degree of vitality had also decreased.
Yin Ren was actively suppressing it at the moment. The evil qi in the broken hair hadn’t been exposed. This subtle difference in “freshness” could only be vaguely noticed by Yin Ren, the owner.
If Yin Ren didn’t control it, the evil qi in the broken hair would spread unscrupulously, contaminating everything it encountered.
For example, a small insect corpse.
Yin Ren let go of the hair causing it to fall back to the floor.
It seemed like it may be the birth of a new friend. He felt that there was something off with the smell on the insect corpse, and now it seemed that the evil qi wasn’t fresh and strong.
Most likely, the source wasn’t “original goods”.
Depending on the degree of change in the odor, the insect corpse could have come into contact with two kinds of things—either a small fragment of the Evil Spirit’s body or objects that were seriously contaminated by the Evil Spirit.
According to Shian’s information, there were six Evil Spirits still under seal. It was impossible for anyone to obtain fragments of their body, but if it was an object that was affected by an Evil Spirit, it could give off their smell… It was hard to say.
Unfortunately, after he became an Evil Spirit, he didn’t have time to smell his six predecessors, so he couldn’t tell which of them lost something in the garbage dump.
‘How unfortunate.’ Yin Ren couldn’t help but feel a bit sad.
What about the promise that a newcomer’s work was similar to <Approaching Science>? First the gap, now a part of an Evil Spirit. It was more like “Approaching Hell” instead.
Facts proved that the overtime the police put in was more intense than that of Shian. The next day, a lot of information appeared on Lu Xiaohe’s display.
“Officer Sun has made some progress. On the night of the crime, Wu Tao deliberately avoided all the cameras and stayed at the edge of their blind spots in the closed area.”
Lu Xiaohe had changed into a t-shirt with “Hair comes back after it’s gone” printed on it. Her tone was full of energy.
“Wu Tao recently got very close to a few gangsters on Wanxing Road. According to the investigation, they often move around the closed area, so most likely they are doing something shady.”
After all, except for a few small numbers of homeless people, no one lived in the closed area.
“The preliminary analysis of the trace inspection has come out. There are traces of a fight scene that were fresh, but it didn’t look intense, and they were not able to find biological samples of another person.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “Are there any new discoveries from forensics?”
“New discoveries? In order to figure out Wu Tao’s circumstances, forensics had to call in all their pathologists in the middle of the night. I have a few friends in that circle who were complaining about blood and tears, saying that their blood pressure will rise whenever they see minced meat now.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “…” So that means there are no new clues.
“But Xiao Yin’s point yesterday was very good. I have made some metaphysical discoveries.”
Lu Xiaohe bent down and took out a large book from her backpack by the table.
The book looked older than everyone present combined. The pages were conspicuously yellow, as if they had been soaked in tea, and it was thick enough to be used as a murder weapon. The book cover was made of a dark yellow material, and on it was printed <The Book of Exorcism> by “Zhong Yi”.
Zhong Chengshuo: “This is?”
“A No. 1 must-read for senior cultivators.” Lu Xiaohe put the book on her lap and flipped through it. “For fear of missing details or miscommunication, there’s no vernacular book for this thing, so it’s not easy for me to check it.”
Zhong Chengshuo’s gaze stopped for a while on the word “Zhong Yi”.
“I have never heard of this author,” he said.
“I don’t know about other places, but the non-science posts in Shian call him the ‘Great Heavenly Master’. They say he’s a super fierce man who was able to seal six Evil Spirits alone. It’s said that many cultivators worship him at home, similar to merchants worshiping the god of wealth.”
Lu Xiaohe tapped on her keyboard, and an ancient painting filled the screen.
In the ancient painting, there was a black-faced man with big arms and a round waist. He was dressed in gold and jade battle armor, with a long beard, a fierce face, and muscles so swollen they were about to burst out. The painting portrayed him stepping on a headless ghost, holding a long-handled broadsword, as he glared angrily outside the painting.
Yin Ren exclaimed, “Wow.”
The glaring was so intense that it seemed as if his eyes were about to fall out.
“In the historical records, Zhong Yi hated evil with vengeance. He killed all the demons and ghosts in the world, leaving behind numerous records of evil beings for later generations. This person was loyal to the imperial court at the beginning and had the backing of the Huaji Division—you can regard them as the predecessor for Shian.”
Lu Xiaohe sighed.
Zhong Chengshuo: “Are we public* now?”
*Clarity: As in a part of the government that serves the public.
“Not exactly. The group has its own business. For example, a classmate of mine is engaged in technology in the department next door. They developed a new AR technology that’s selling pretty well this year. She’s also a neuroscientist and is a red seal here and has brought a lot of data on evil beings in the past.”
The same kind of neuroscientist, Ms. Lu, spoke full of admiration.
Zhong Chengshuo, Yin Ren: “……” It appears that using the experience of fighting ghosts to improve the realism of AR produced satisfactory results.
“Forget it. We’re getting off topic.” Lu Xiaohe patted the book. “Anyway, this book has been revised several times as many cultivators have added their own insights and experiences. You can think of it as an encyclopedia of the metaphysical world.”
She closed the imposing ancient painting and replaced it with a scanned page from the book filled with text.
The words in the article were extremely obscure. Being a top student, Zhong Chengshuo could handle it, but Yin Ren felt dizzy after reading it. God forbid, his literacy and reading skills were extremely limited, and he had never read any serious books before.
Lu Xiaohe thoughtfully translated it. “In the middle of the Gong Dynasty, Linzhou—now near Lincheng in Province V—had records of a rogue corpse servant. The person was a peasant woman who lived in the village. Her husband died young, leaving her with a blind sister and a son and daughter.”
“There was a drought in Linzhou in the past year. Seeing her situation, a kind neighbor came to deliver food, feeling pity for her young children, but discovered a faint smell coming from the house. When he went to check, he saw the woman eating at the same table with three mummified corpses.”
“The three corpses were shriveled and rotting, but they moved as flexibly as if they were living. Two of the corpses were children that clung to the woman silently, as if they were acting coquettishly. The woman looked as thin as a twig, but she left the food to the corpse children around her arms. The neighbor was so frightened that he dropped the bowl of food. When the woman noticed the guest, she hurriedly greeted him, but what she said was incomprehensible… Basically, the original text said ‘talking crazily in some ghost language that wasn’t human speech’.”
“What happened afterwards?” Yin Ren propped up his chin and listened with relish.
The version he heard was just “people went crazy”, and as far as how crazy, he didn’t know the details.
“Later, the people in the village were so scared that they beat the woman to death and burned all four bodies along with the house.”
Yin Ren: “…Isn’t that going a bit too far?”
“Who’s to say?” Lu Xiaohe shrugged. “Coupled with Qin Ge’s case, it’s very likely there has been a huge change around a rogue corpse servant, such as the death of a relative. This can be regarded as a direction for your investigation.”
“What about the dicing technique of the living?” Yin Ren was still brooding about this matter.
“No clue.” Lu Xiaohe laughed dryly.
“First, follow the clues we have. Today, you two don’t have to go out in the field. Let’s go dig through the deaths in Haigu in the past six months. I have divided it equally and sent it to your emails.”
Although he was mentally prepared for this kind of carpet investigation, Yin Ren became more shriveled as more time passed on his investigation. He wasn’t allowed to eat in the office area, which made him agitated that he had to maintain this human form.
“What a long table.” Yin Ren dragged his mouse painfully as he titled his head to lie on the table.
When his seal broke, he had imagined many possible opponents but didn’t think there would be one named “Excel“. He and Zhong Chengshuo sat for most of the day but didn’t even go through half the list. They saw all kinds of modern diseases and methods of death.
After lunch, even the tender lamb and fatty roasted goat failed to dispel the numbness in Yin Ren’s eyes.
Was this the legendary “easy civilian job”? Fortunately, he didn’t insist on choosing the civilian job. Yin Ren even thanked the stars that he managed to narrowly avoid a catastrophe.
Time passed, and with each minute, Lord Ghost King felt an imminent collapse. Just when Yin Ren was about to slide under the table, Zhong Chengshuo spoke up, seemingly unable to ignore his state any longer.
“Don’t bend your waist. Be careful that you might slip a disc and get a hernia.”
Despite it being almost the end of the day, Zhong Chengshuo’s sitting posture remained the same.
Yin Ren ignored him and wilted his head. “Just in time. Let me ask, I can understand drunk driving, but what’s drug driving? Can people still drive after eating poison*?”
*Clarity: The term used here is drug/poison (毒). This is why Yin Ren is confused, as the modern usage refers to something much different than in the past.
There were too many strange diseases and terms, and Yin Ren was too lazy to look them up one by one. He gave up the manual search and instead used his partner as a voice-activated search engine instead. Anyway, their mouths were idle, and Zhong Chengshuo didn’t mind answering his questions.
Unfortunately, Lord Ghost King had to wait for his answer as Zhong Chengshuo’s cellphone rang.
“Hello, Uncle Sun? ……I see. Let’s go now.”
Yin Ren groaned. “Spare me. There’s only half an hour left before work—”
“Emergency field work.”
“What kind of work?” Lu Xiaohe and Yin Ren asked at the same time, the former’s tone being curious while the latter’s was lifeless.
“Uncle Sun is trying to track down the few gangsters who are familiar with Wu Tao. So far, they’ve managed to track them to the closed area, but there’s something wrong with the police dogs—they seem to all go on collective strike and are unwilling to approach the closed area.”
Zhong Chengshuo adjusted his glasses and straightened the folds on his clothes.
“The detectors have also failed and can’t be used properly. If they were to solely rely on manual investigation, the workload would be too large. Uncle Sun hopes that Shian can provide technical support.”
Yin Ren: “…What’s the hurry? You’re a science post. It’s not like you can help much even if you go.”
“I’m your partner, and I must act with you. Aren’t you going to go?” Zhong Chengshuo said it with surprise.
Yin Ren: “……”
Yin Ren’s facial expression twisted. “I’ll go.”
While muttering, he quietly opened Coffin Nails: [@Hu Tao, Is there anything delicious near Wanxing Road? Urgently need 😫]
He even ding* her mercilessly.
*Basically, a reminder notification you send.
Fortunately, things weren’t as troublesome as Yin Ren had imagined.
Shian was experienced in dealing with such matters and had a complete set of existing plans. The group’s work roles were quickly assigned to everyone.
Yin Ren could detect the path of the evil qi, Zhong Chengshuo was frighteningly good with directions, and Lu Xiaohe’s drone had a strong anti-interference function. One checked for evil qi, one created a route, and the last scanned the premises. It could be that they didn’t want to work overtime, so all three of them cooperated very smoothly.
In less than two hours, the group found the gangsters.
Compared to the middle-aged and elderly homeless people who were usually alone, the four young men stood out conspicuously in the scan results.
The lookout had dyed orange hair, pimples on his face, and metal piercings on his ears, nose, and lip. He looked around with bloodshot eyes and an air of unruliness.
Looking at Officer Sun’s complicated expression, this was probably someone who regarded the detention center as his main home.
However, this time, seeing Sun Qinghui’s police badge, he didn’t show any resistance. As if meeting an old friend from thousands of miles away, Orange Head’s nose turned red, and tears gushed down his face.
Orange Head scrambled over and knelt down, clinging to Sun Qinghui’s legs, refusing to let go.
“Help, comrade policemen—!”
Seeing the gangster cooperate so enthusiastically for the first time, several police officers looked at each other in puzzlement.
“We’ve been trapped here for two days!” Orange Head was sobbing, with tears and snot flowing everywhere. “Our phones have no signal! I can’t walk out. No matter where I go in this shitty place, it’s like ghosts hitting the wall*. Wuwuwu… Peng Ge also has a strange illness. He’s so sick that it’s fucking scary. Wahhhhhhh—”
*(鬼打墙) Idiom referring to one’s self-perception getting blurred, so you don’t know where you’re going and end up walking in circles. When you tell someone about this experience, it’s difficult for them to understand, so it ends up being “ghost hitting the wall” (as in, a ghost is supposed to pass through a wall, but somehow ends up hitting it instead).
Sun Qinghui: “…You, get up first. Don’t panic and speak properly.”
Officer Sun took out the thermos cup he was carrying and poured a cup of tea for Orange Head. Orange Head was obviously thirsty. He swallowed the tea in three gulps and even licked the bottom of Sun Qinghui’s cup lid.
Sun Qinghui sighed and handed over the rest of the thermos. “Drink.”
“I, ahem, I was outside looking to see if there was anyone around, hoping to find someone to ask for help.” After he drank the entire thermos, Orange Head finally had the strength to speak. “There are three brothers inside, one of whom is very sick… Let me tell you, it’s really scary, but we dare not send Peng Ge out for fear that he will die, so we’ve been staying here…”
He spoke incoherently, and his eyes were full of fear.
Sun Qinghui frowned and turned to two young policemen. “Xiao Ai, Xiao Zhang, you two contact 120. The rest of you follow me. Young man, lead the way.”
Orange Head frantically nodded. He wiped the tears and snot from his face, shivered, then looked around for a while before he suddenly jumped.
“Can’t you guys see him?” He pointed to Yin Ren and screamed, “There someone there! That one! ……No, that long-haired enchantress*!”
*(妖精) Depending on context, it can be translated in different ways, but the overall meaning is a gorgeous supernatural being that’s very alluring.
Sun Qinghui: “……”
Sun Qinghui: “…Don’t be nervous. We can see him. He’s a third-party appraiser comrade who cooperates with us.”
It seemed that Orange Head’s spirit was on the verge of collapse. His eyes darted wildly as he kept nervously looking at Yin Ren from time to time. Yin Ren snorted and adjusted his work ID in the most conspicuous position.
After making sure that the people around him could indeed interact with Yin Ren, Orange Head was finally willing to lead the way.
These gangsters had found an empty factory building and established it as their base.
The factory building was spacious. The ground was full of ruins mixed in with crushed beer cans and to-go containers, which attracted dozens of flies that were buzzing around. The walls were painted with unsightly graffiti, and there were spray cans piled up in the corners.
The other two gangsters hid among the paint cans, where they nearly buried themselves in them. Even seeing that someone was coming in, the two didn’t dare to come out and just continued to stare in a certain direction…
It was near a window.
Below the window, a few camping mattresses were laid out in a mess. The mattresses were covered with suspicious stains, and there were a few dirty condoms lying around.
In the center of the pile of mattresses, a young man was lying upright.
The man was quiet. He faced the window with his back to the group, as if he were admiring the sunlight. Sun Qinghui shouted “hey” a few times, but the man remained motionless.
“Don’t go over there.” Seeing Officer Sun about to step forward, Orange Head hurriedly grabbed him. “Don’t. Don’t go over. There’s something seriously wrong with Peng Ge. None of us dared approach him… You, be careful!”
Zhong Chengshuo decisively gestured to Officer Sun. Before he could speak, Zhong Chengshuo had already taken the lead and stepped forward.
At first, the person lying down didn’t react at all, but when Zhong Chengshuo stepped within two meters of the man, the man’s body shook and he suddenly sat up, like a zombie.
He turned his head and looked at Zhong Chengshuo.
When Yin Ren saw the young man’s face clearly, he felt dizzy for a moment. It’s over. It’s impossible to get off work on time today.
The young man’s eyebrows, nose, and mouth were all “printed” on his face.
They were fine and vivid, but they lacked bumps, as if they were all on the same plane, like a ball wrapped around a poster of a human’s face. When the man blinked, Yin Ren saw the changes in the line without any undulation in his eyelids, giving him a sense of incongruity like a valley of terror.
Yin Ren felt that this feeling was a bit familiar. Thousands of years ago, craftsmen made puppets for children. Their facial features were carefully painted on the wooden balls used for their heads, which bore an uncanny resemblance to what he was seeing now.
“Peng Ge” turned to Zhong Chengshuo stiffly and took the initiative to speak. His voice was hoarse, and there was almost a desperate cry in his laugh.
Zhong Chengshuo subconsciously became vigilant and lowered his center of gravity. “What?”
“…Haha, bitch. You’re here now but want to go back?”
Peng Ge’s eyes were bloodshot as he moved forward, crying and laughing.
“Haha, bitch. You’re here now but want to go back?”
“Haha, bitch. You’re here now but want to go back?”
“…You’re here now but want to go back?”
The author has something to say:
Xiao Zhong: ? I’m getting scolded again.
Xiao Yin: Damn it, I have to work overtime again.
Wait until Yin Ren finds out about “PowerPoint”.
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7 thoughts on “Evil As Humans Ch30”
It’s okay, powerpoint is better than excel.
Thanks for the chapter :3
LikeLiked by 1 person
the struggle of an evil spirit in a modern world 😂😂
LikeLiked by 2 people
Thanks for the chap
Thanks for the update!
Thank you for the update ❤️💯
I’m with Yin Ren with the excel😂 Powerpoint is bearable that looking through rows tables and columns lol
Thank you for the chapter!