Evil As Humans Ch48

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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

Chapter 48: Human Fragrance

Perhaps it was the idea of “waiting for his grandson” that turned into “tracking down a criminal” that after Lu Tanfei signed the ghost contract, he didn’t return to the dilapidated home.

There were still a few vacant rooms in Building 4, so Hu Tao took the lead and arranged for the old man to go to one of them. However, the old man still waited stubbornly in the corner of Zhong Chengshuo’s living room. He was barely able to maintain his human form as his eyes followed Yin Ren.

The old man didn’t make a fuss, but the dismay in his eyes was truly heartbreaking.

“Grandpa Lu, it’s not that I won’t let you intervene.”

Yin Ren had lost his appetite, and the comedy he was watching didn’t seem funny anymore.

“Just because you can smell Lu Yuanyuan on Lu Guangzu doesn’t mean he’s the culprit. Lu Guangzu may be an accomplice or even a henchman. If he’s killed, Yuanyuan will be even harder to find.”

“I was too impulsive. I’m just so worried about the child…” the old man murmured. “I’m sorry, good sir. Don’t be angry. I’ll try my best to control myself in the future and work like a horse* in the afterlife.”

*(做牛做) Idiom referring to a person willingly be driven to be used by others. This expression is mostly used to express the deep sincerity of a grateful person.

The old man’s tone was humble, as if he was afraid Yin Ren would kick him out of the investigation.

“I don’t need anyone to work like a horse.” Yin Ren rolled over and laid flat on the sofa, staring at the ceiling. “The best thing is for you to eat well.”

“Okay, okay.” The old man nodded desperately.

Yin Ren glanced at the time. The time displayed changed from 22:59 to 23:00. He sorted out his clothes and knocked on Zhong Chengshuo’s door.

“I want to go to the ghost market again,” Yin Ren said.

“Didn’t you just go there yesterday?” After a few seconds of silence, Zhong Chengshuo responded from inside the room.

“We were busy yesterday investigating the case, so I didn’t get to take a serious look around. Don’t worry. I won’t buy anything. I’ll be home around 2.”

Zhong Chengshuo didn’t answer. A rustling came from inside the room. In the next moment, Zhong Chengshuo opened the bedroom door and was neatly dressed.

“I’ll go with you.”

“No, no. You can sleep. I’ll go find Xu Jie to lead the way since she formally cooperates with Shian.”

“I’ll go with you,” Zhong Chengshuo repeated. “I’m your partner, and I must ensure your safety.”

Yin Ren: “……”

Yin Ren: “This time it’s for my personal interest. I won’t reimburse my expenses.”

“Then AA,” Zhong Chengshuo replied as he stood at the door, motionless.

“For goodness sakes, it’s not like I’ll get lost.” Yin Ren vigorously wiped his face. “Zhong Ge, do you think if you start a family, you’ll follow me around like this every day? Be careful what your future wife will think.”

“I’m a non-marital person.” Zhong Chengshuo replied solemnly.

Yin Ren was speechless. He could only lower his head and start to call a taxi.

If he continued to talk about it, it would make things look suspicious. Besides, he wasn’t lying. On this trip, Yin Ren really didn’t plan to buy anything, but in a sense, it wasn’t really of personal interest either…

Something was wrong with Lu Guangzu.

While Lu Guangzu undoubtedly was breathing and had a heartbeat, showing his vitality wasn’t fake, Yin Ren saw a dead look between his eyes.

By definition, this man should already be dead.

However, the aura of death wasn’t obvious. Committing taboo on death, colliding with evil spirits, borrowing longevity against the heavens, and putting a brain into a corpse… This was too much. Yin Ren decided to check for more prominent clues first.

After all, there was more than just the “dead look” that wasn’t right.

There was a subtle, uncoordinated smell of herbal medicine on Lu Guangzu’s body. There was more than one scent of herbal medicine, all of which were not readily available at a local pharmacy. They were not commonly used in medical prescription and were more useful in the metaphysical world.

Unfortunately, the herbal smell was so well blended that Yin Ren could only sniff off a few pungent flavors.

Since Lu Guangzu was a Nightwalker, these strange medicines were most likely bought at the ghost market. If he asked a few sellers some questions, it was possible he could find a recipe. At home, Yin Ren was being constantly stared at by Old Man Lu, and it made him uncomfortable. He thought it would be a good idea to go out to the ghost market for a stroll while also checking up on this.

Who would have thought that Zhong Chengshuo would be so stubborn. He clearly struggled to stay up late the night before, but today he insisted on accompanying him, sticking to him like a skin plaster.

Yin Ren simply didn’t know whether to be moved or wary.

“The taxi is here. Let’s go. Don’t blame me for your insomnia,” Yin Ren said bitterly.

Seeing the two of them visit again, Xu Jie wasn’t surprised. She smiled and said, “Young people are so curious,” then led them to the ghost market.

“Since you’re here, you guys go ahead and stroll around. I’ll go register Xiao Yin,” she said. “Xiao Yin is a ghost master and has to learn how to lead the way. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult to come here every time.”

“Just take the main road. Don’t go into the alley.” She warned them before they left.

The weather was good tonight. The sky was full of stars above the ghost market. The two wore face masks, one gold and one silver, and stood in the middle of the bustling street.

Even with this weird dress code, few passersby gave them looks.

In order to conceal their identity, people on the street wore whatever they wanted. Ordinary people would wear proper masks, while more fashionable ones replaced them with gas masks and motorcycle helmets. Some people even put brightly painted “big-headed doll” hoods on their heads that had exaggerated smiling faces, looking particularly creepy in the night.

Without Xu Jie watching them, the surrounding air instantly became sticky. Sights and whispers were like sewage crawling through the eaves of an old house, flowing over the bluestone slabs on the ground as they came from all directions.

Some of the whispers came from the crowd, while others came from unoccupied corners. Countless glances swept over the two of them, whispering to the beat of the lantern wick, as they circled around them.

The night mist spread across the wet stone road and flowed along the roots of the mottled walls. There was an indescribable fishy sweetness in the air, like rotten fruit mixed with grease.

The liveliness on the street had changed with the bustle as the living walked along like ghost soldiers passing through. Their movements were full of coldness and oppressiveness.

In this distorted atmosphere, Zhong Chengshuo, who was wearing the gold mask, extended his hand. He stood quietly with his palm facing upwards, as if he were inviting Yin Ren to dance.

Yin Ren didn’t react for a moment. “What’s wrong, Zhong Ge? Do you want to change places?”

Zhong Chengshuo: “…Your hand, to prevent you from getting lost.”

Xu Jie, the guide, didn’t even worry this much. Sometimes this person was really too serious. Yin Ren stretched out his hand helplessly—Zhong Chengshuo’s hand wasn’t warm, but fortunately, it wasn’t sweaty, and his skin felt good to touch.

While maintaining a posture of holding hands, Lord Ghost King began to search for a red lantern stall.

The ghost market looked chaotic at first glance, but upon closer inspection, Yin Ren saw a bit of mystery in it.

The old houses on either side of the street in the ghost market were either in good condition or dilapidated. Most of the things in front of the dilapidated houses were junk, while the gloomier mansions that had red lights stalls had more reasonable goods.

The red lantern stalls were roughly divided into three categories: selling completed spirit weapons, selling metaphysical information, and selling materials. Yin Ren sniffed around and quickly found a big medicine stall.

The stall was placed in front of an uninhabited mansion. It had a plaque that read “Practice Medicine to Help the World*” hanging on the gate of the dark entrance. Most likely, the owner of this stall had some background.

*(悬壶济世) A saying normally use to praise doctors for saving people from illness.

The stall owner was curled up in the darkness, breathing very lightly. There was some faint smoke floating out of the shadows now and then.

In front of the gate, eight red sandalwood medicine boxes were neatly placed on the red cloth. Based on their style, they looked quite old. Unlike the usual medicine chests, each small wood drawer was engraved with runes, and several still had yellow talismans attached to them. One of the boxes would move from time to time, as if something imprisoned inside was struggling to escape.

“The hair of the dead—the sand at the bottom of a coffin—the age is quite good. The goods are sold at the same price as any store—”

The stall owner stretched out a pipe from the darkness and knocked it on the slate floor, accompanied by strange chanting.

What fell out of the pipe wasn’t soot but something that looked like a blood scab. They jumped and bounced on the ground. Suddenly, a weird aroma enveloped the two of them.

Yin Ren glanced at Zhong Chengshuo, then turned around and asked, “What are these things you have here that have no labels?”

The stall owner retracted their pipe, snorted, and ignored him.

Yin Ren had no choice but to continue, “Do you sell prepared medicine packs here? Something similar to that of malva nuts, the kind that you can make tea with…”

With Zhong Chengshuo on the side staring at him, he had to rack his brain to pick a topic.

The heaviest smell on Lu Guangzu’s body was rat eye goji berries. This thing only grew on the corpse of flesh-eating rats. The fruit was black and white, similar to that of a rat’s eye.

After this thing was dried, it could be used to make tea to dispel filth. It had a rotten smell after heating, so few people would drink it. As far as Yin Ren knew, it would only be used in some extremely unorthodox prescriptions.

“I’ve come across a lot of dirty things recently, and I don’t feel well. I heard there are many elixirs in the ghost market, so I came here specifically to ask an expert… I don’t know much of this stuff. Please don’t take it personally if I have inadvertently offended you.”

Yin Ren squatted in front of the stall, sounding pitiful.

“Your side is the best stall I’ve ever seen. I hope this master will give me some pointers…”

The breathing in the dark stopped, and a gaze swept at Yin Ren from head to toe.

“Rat eye goji berries, 3,600 a tael*, artificially cultivated.” The cold voice belonged to an old lady. “Buy a tael. Soak them in water every morning and evening and take ten capsules. After drinking, you should be good.”

*About .083 lbs.

“Has anyone bought this stuff recently? Please help me out. The consulting fees of intermediaries are too high. I want to ask about people in similar circumstances,” Yin Ren said earnestly. “Do you recall? I’ll pay 7,200 for a tael, okay?”

“Yes, there was one. I’m afraid that what you want to cure and what he wants is different. His isn’t a disease.” The old lady chuckled. “I don’t need the extra money I didn’t earn.”

“You can tell just by looking at the medicine?”

“The man also bought plum roots and living teeth. Those things can’t be soaked in water.” The old lady knocked on her pipe again. “3,600 a tael, no haggling.”

Seeing Yin Ren take out his phone, Zhong Chengshuo said, “Didn’t you say you wouldn’t buy anything?”

The old lady paused for an instant when she knocked on her pipe. “?”

Yin Ren laughed dryly. “I wouldn’t need to if you didn’t come, but here you are. Miss, please help me pack tael.”

Zhong Chengshuo: “If you’re not feeling well, you can go to the doctor—”

“One tael, thanks.” Yin Ren raised his voice and grabbed Zhong Chengshuo’s hand violently.

Zhong Chengshuo said sincerely, “Your grip is hurting me.”

The old lady revealed a QR code on her pipe and took something that looked like dried eyes from a medicine box. She leaned out into the darkness after receiving payment and quickly wrapped a small paper bag.

“Listen to my advice. If you’re looking for a good friend, you should find someone who’s clever, not a wooden one.” She picked up the paper bag with her pipe and stretched it out in front of Yin Ren as she spoke in a smiling tone.

Zhong Chengshuo planned to continue asking, but he was dragged away from the stall by Yin Ren.

“You’d better go to the hospital first to get checked out.” When the two walked far away enough from the crowd, Zhong Chengshuo spoke with some aggrievance. “The origins of these things are unknown, and their hygiene can’t be guaranteed. Don’t use them.”

And it was frighteningly expensive, even more than good-quality tea.

Yin Ren knew that, in the eyes of this person, he was probably suckered. He cleared his throat. “Look at that grandmother’s stall. She must have some background. We’re not familiar with the ghost market, so it’s best to make friends. That opens more options for us.”

Zhong Chengshuo thought for a moment, then nodded reluctantly.

Yin Ren breathed a sigh of relief and began to quickly recall it in his heart.

Rat eye goji berries, plum roots, living teeth…

The rat eye goji berries were added to a flesh primer to remove filth, then it was grounded and mixed with plum roots to form a base. Then it was soaked in various materials to mask the odor, and finally mashed in a pestle with living teeth to shape it. Finally, they added lamb fat as a deodorizer to add a “human fragrance”.

For the living, human smell had no smell at all, but for evil beings, human smell could overwhelm the user’s smell, making evil beings mistake them as the owner of the “flesh primer”.

…It may not be Lu Guangzu who was stained with Yuanyuan’s aura.

It was possible that someone smeared the real culprit’s smell onto Lu Guangzu, then told him to go to the police station to “surrender himself”. Thinking about it, “blending human fragrance” was a job that could be done by a master spirit smith. Lu Guangzu was just a low-level ghost master and wouldn’t possess such a skill.

Yin Ren turned around abruptly and walked quickly towards the road.

Unfortunately, he was a few steps too late. They had only been gone for seven or eight minutes, but the old lady had already closed her stall and disappeared to who knew where.

“Do you want to return it?” Zhong Chengshuo asked in confusion.

“No, it’s fine.” Yin Ren scratched his head in frustration. “I forgot to ask her whether to soak in cold or hot water.”

Following the trail, he might be able to find the spirit smith. It was a pity that time couldn’t be delayed too much. It was better to come back to visit the old lady another day.

“My advice is not to drink it.” Zhong Chengshuo spoke while yawning. “At least first go to…”

“I know, the hospital.” Yin Ren interrupted the other’s repetitive nagging, raised his clenched hand, and released his fingers.

Zhong Chengshuo: “?”

“Someone was moaning that he was in pain. We need to check to see if you need to go to the hospital.” Yin Ren fiddled with the marks on the back of Zhong Chengshuo’s hand. “…Well, seems fine. No problems. Zhong Ge, you’re not young anymore, so I won’t blow on it for you.”

Sure enough, Zhong Chengshuo’s focus was immediately deflected. He froze in place, trying to understand the logic between the two topics.

Yin Ren said in amusement, “What? You really want me to blow on it?”

Before Zhong Chengshuo had time to deny it, he saw Yin Ren lower his head and slightly lift the corner of his mask.


A cool breath brushed the back of his hand as if the softest silk had slid across his skin. It seemed as if a cat caught Zhong Chengshuo’s tongue as he speechlessly withdrew his hand. This time, he was a step slower. Despite pulling back, the touch still climbed up his nerves and made his scalp numb for a moment.

He didn’t know if it was because of the irregularity in his work, but Zhong Chengshuo had suddenly started experiencing heart palpitations.

Beside him, Yin Ren had already straightened up and didn’t care about Zhong Chengshuo’s electrocution-like reaction. “Let’s go find Xu Jie—it’s almost 2. You’d better go back to bed.”


In the morning, a few hours later, Yin Ren sat numbly in Haigu’s municipal hospital.

Wasn’t this a bit much for Zhong Chengshuo to stay up two nights in a row?

In the morning, he watched Comrade Xiao Zhong crawl out of bed on time and called Lu Xiaohe directly to ask for leave.

“Going to a doctor” was the reason he succinctly provided. “I applied for Yin Ren to come along to help him recall the process of seeing a doctor in a hospital so his side can be recorded as normal attendance.”

Then Yin Ren was abducted by his partner to go to Haigu’s municipal hospital. He accompanied Zhong Chengshuo in a daze as he registered.

Zhong Chengshuo had registered with the cardiovascular department. Yin Ren felt that these words were a bit familiar.

Before he could respond, the number [1013—Zhong Chengshuo] jumped on the screen in the waiting area, and a loud announcement: “1013 Zhong Chengshuo, please go to the No. 2 consultation room” exploded in his ears.

Ten seconds later, Sun Qi’an, Yin Ren, and Zhong Chengshuo were looking at each other in the clinic.

Sun Qi’an was relatively at ease. She quickly accepted the medical records and insurance card. “Weren’t you fine just a few days ago? What happened? Uncomfortable because you stayed up all night?”

Yin Ren: “…” The divine doctor really hit the nail on the head.

Zhong Chengshuo shook his head. “I began to feel unwell in the early morning of July 24. The symptoms include arrhythmia and occasional palpitations. In severe cases, my body temperature would rise, accompanied by slight hand numbness and dizziness.”

While Zhong Chengshuo was talking, Yin Ren searched for the symptoms on his phone. Before Sun Qi’an could speak, Lord Ghost King’s face changed. “It’s over. Doesn’t this look serious? Should Zhong Chengshuo be hospitalized?”

Sun Qi’an laughed as she looked at Yin Ren tenderly, and Yin Ren slowly put down his phone under the coercion of that “tender” gaze.

“Don’t be too nervous. First we’ll check your blood and electrocardiogram, and then we’ll look at the results.” After making sure that Yin Ren was no longer indiscriminately investigating, Sun Qi’an turned her gaze back to Zhong Chengshuo.

An hour passed.

“Myocardial enzymes are normal, and there’s no problem with your ECG… You feel uncomfortable. It may be that you are under too much stress or lack of rest. Pay attention to your sleep and don’t get too tired.”

Sun Qi’an gazed at the results.

“Hand numbness and dizziness may also be caused by cervical and spinal problems. Is you’re really unsure, we can check on these two things.”

Zhong Chengshuo stared at the test results in silence, as if waiting for the numbers to explain themselves.

“He’s fine?” Yin Ren asked.

“Healthier than most people.”

“That’s good.” Yin Ren nodded. It was simply unreasonable if Zhong Chengshuo wasn’t healthy based on his bad habits.

“Too much stress…” Zhong Chengshuo didn’t join the conversation. He frowned and mumbled, “Am I under too much stress…?”

“Yes, you have been investigating many cases recently. It’s natural for you to be stressed.” Sun Qi’an comforted him. “Thinking about it, is there a common trigger in your situation?”

For example, facing corpses, tracking suspects, and the like. Considering that there were other patients outside, she didn’t want to say these things too bluntly.

Zhong Chengshuo slowly turned his head and glanced at Yin Ren. “Yes.”

‘For example, a few special contacts with someone,’ he thought.

“Well, it may just be caused by psychological factors such as tension,” Sun Qi’an said. “I won’t prescribe you medicine yet. If you still have this symptom after resting, you can come visit again, and we’ll have an ECG monitor you for 24 hours.”

Zhong Chengshuo nodded solemnly.

Yin Ren was waiting drowsily. When he saw that the diagnosis was over, he suddenly became energetic. “Zhong Ge, the doctor told you to sleep well, so tonight I’ll go by myself—eh, why are you grabbing me?”

“Too much stress.” Zhong Chengshuo muttered solemnly, as if he couldn’t wait to send Yin Ren into a hospital lab.

In the evening, the two of them each carried a bunch of examination results and left the hospital in disgrace.

“How great. We’re both so healthy.” Yin Ren squeezed the words out of his teeth. “Ah, I remember how to go see a doctor now. I completely remember. Thank you, Zhong Ge. I’m really thankful.”

When Zhong Chengshuo grabbed him to drag him around the andrology department, Yin Ren was absolutely terrified.

“I’m going to practice the technique of entering the ghost market tonight and I might take a little stroll along the way,” Yin Ren continued to gritted teeth. “Are you going to stay with me for a third night?”

“I see. You can go by yourself tonight,” Zhong Chengshuo replied while hanging his head in a daze.

He thought that, under a sudden attack, the hospital could find out the truth. The result was that Yin Ren was healthy in all aspects, and even his initial malnutrition was gone. It seemed that the pressure of “pondering over Yin Ren” would continue, which was quite a headache for him.

Yin Ren gave him a sideways glance but wasn’t annoyed with him. “It’s so late. Let’s eat out. Why don’t we have a bowl of mutton soup?”


“Your treat?”


“Do you know ‘King Yama’ of the Nightwalkers?”

“I don’t.”


It was almost early in the morning. Yin Ren followed Xu Fang’s tutorial and stood on the stairwell of Building 4.

Their home was on the sixth floor, so there were enough stairs.

Yin Ren took out something to illuminate. He held his breath, recalled the technique, and went down the dark corridor step by step. Sure enough, a minute later, he returned to the familiar street of the ghost market.

Yin Ren buckled back his facemask and stepped into the night fog.

Without Zhong Chengshuo watching him, Yin Ren didn’t do useless work this time. He rushed straight to Old Dog Peng’s stall. Seeing this man rush over aggressively, Old Dog Peng’s hand shook, and he almost knocked over the incense burner.

“So it’s you. What are you doing here again?” After confirming Yin Ren’s identity, the old man stretched out his head and looked around.

“Information.” Yin Ren got straight to the point. “Do you know the old lady who sells things under the plaque, ‘Practice Medicine to Help the World’?”

“68.” Old Dog Peng made a gesture but wasn’t intentionally trying to make it tantalizing. “I do know Xiao Mengpo who sells medicine. She’s quite a powerful person. She also comes here to deal with leftover defective products, which she usually disdains.”

“How do I find her?” Yin Ren transferred 68 yuan on the spot.

“1,888.” Old Dog Peng grinned, revealing not many teeth left. His face floated in the darkness, and the corner of his mouth was hanging high, looking like crumpled human skin.

“648.” Yin Ren still remembered the results of bargaining. “I’m not investigating a case, so I can’t be reimbursed.”

“This information can only be sold at 1,888.” Old Dog Peng snorted, causing the sore on his chest to squirm. “If you had come yesterday or tomorrow, I would’ve sold it to you for 648, but not today.”


“Xiao Mengpo is photographing things in the ghost pawnshop. If I tell you how to find her, you’ll earn a way to enter the ghost pawnshop for nothing, causing me to lose out.”

Yin Ren clicked his tongue and transferred the money again.

“Take me to that damn pawnshop, right now.”

Seeing the money arrive, Old Dog Peng narrowed his eyes and smiled. He quickly put away his stall and stood tremblingly beside Yin Ren.

“You’re too brave for a youngling.” He hummed an odd tune that sounded like a song. “You have to go by yourself. I’m not responsible for anything that happens afterwards… Don’t blame me if you get cheated. A ghost master is nothing without his ghosts.”

Yin Ren turned the phone in his hands and smiled slightly.

“Alright, lead the way.”

The author has something to say:

Everyone should remember Xiao Zhong’s repeated nagging. If you are uncomfortable, you must go to the [regular top three hospitals] to see a doctor. Take it seriously. Don’t blindly believe in home remedies—you must go to a good doctor.

Xiao Yin: This person quietly took away my hair, has a hidden identity related to metaphysics, and monitors me from time to time. He must be suspicious of me.

Xiao Yin: Let’s do some friendly provocation.

Xiao Zhong: (Walking to the Department of Cardiology in silence)


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

2 thoughts on “Evil As Humans Ch48

  1. ((Zhong Chengshuo shook his head. “I began to feel unwell in the early morning of July 24. The symptoms include arrhythmia and occasional palpitations. In severe cases, my body temperature would rise, accompanied by slight hand numbness and dizziness.”))

    NO WAY… NO WAY……. watching zhong chengshuo embarrassing himself in real time is KILLING me. i am caught between wanting desperately to cackle, and wanting to put my head in my hands. your translations are honestly so powerful, theyre really great to read. thank you for the hardwork in allowing the rest of us to experience comrade zhong chengshuo’s slow descent into having a crush ✊

    Liked by 4 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s