Evil As Humans Ch90

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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

Chapter 90: Malice

The mines to the south of Gensheng Town were the first to be closed. They had been abandoned for more than 20 years.

The terrain near the mines was dangerous, and the town government had designated the area as a no-entry zone. Even if Shian had great influence, they still had to follow the process—Qi Xin didn’t immediately take them to the vicinity of the mine but led the five of them towards the center of town.

She was wearing a pair of old-fashioned flat shoes; the soles of which crackled on the stones, and each step was like a second hand ticking.

“Make sure to eat until you’re full and buy something to take with you before you go. There’s nothing around the mines—not even drinking water,” Qi Xin explained.

On the way, everyone in Shian fully felt the “hospitality” of the locals.

It was Tuesday during working hours. The street they were on looked like a walking area of a nursing home. It was full of the elderly, with very few signs of children.

The old people walked slowly with cloudiness in their eyes as they followed the crowd.

The townspeople ignored Qi Xin, who was walking in front of them, and their eyes were fixated on the five people of Shian. If the gaze had an entity, their journey was comparable to the straw bales used in borrowing arrows with straw boats*.

*Idiom referring to being resourceful and relying on other people’s human or financial resources to achieve one’s own goal. It comes from the Battle of Chibi in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. || This sentence is not referring to the meaning of the idiom but to the metaphor in a literal sense. Basically, they are the straw bales used to gather the 100,000 arrows based on how the townspeople are looking at them. You can read the full story behind the idiom in my Kinky Thoughts to understand better. Another way of putting it is, [their gaze was so sharp it was like staring daggers at them that could poke them full of holes.]

Fortunately, Ge Tingting and Huang Jin were protected by Shian’s charms, and their special abilities were suppressed so as not to be disturbed too much.

Even a handsome man like Yin Ren couldn’t resist the unusual hostility of the townspeople. Rather, he and Zhong Chengshuo received much more malice than the other three.

The situation wasn’t normal.

…But so what?

Yin Ren didn’t worry about his reputation in Gengsheng Town. He was busy looking around the streets.

The architecture here retained many of the styles of the last century and felt like it came from the old movies.

The buildings were all low-rise styles, the surface paint was cracked and mottled, and the original bright colors were stained with dirt. The shop signs still used old-fashioned fonts, accompanied by rustic pictures of landscapes, and a few had added unknown celebrities.

Decades ago, these were still at the forefront of the trend. Now, those portraits were all mottled and faded, covered in dust, with more or less deformed evil things stuck to their edges.

In the midst of this half-dead mass of buildings, the subway loop circled around.

It divided the town into two equal circles, inside and outside, equally passing through the lifeblood of this mountain town. The fog hadn’t dissipated yet, and the shadow of the train shuttled through it, like a giant snake, bringing with it the approaching and fading rumbling sound of its operation.

It was simply the most dynamic thing in Gengsheng Town. The train broke through the mist, creating a solemn and spectacular scene with a touch of vintage style.

Yin Ren admired it attentively as he passed by an old man with a dry face.

The old man was hunched over, walking on the side of the road, and was half a step away from Yin Ren. He was slowly approaching them, but his eyes only stared at the ground.

However, at the moment when he was closest to Yin Ren, the old man suddenly let out a cry and fell straight forward on his face… Well, halfway.

Lord Ghost King backed up several steps with concern, almost creating the border between two opposing powers. “Elder, are you alright?”

His technique supported the old man’s legs, putting him in a classic 45-degree leaning posture. Bewilderment was coming through every wrinkle of the old man’s face.

“I’m fine.” The old man’s expression was uncertain as his body slowly fell to the ground vertically.

Yin Ren breathed a sigh of relief and turned his head to his companions. “This town is too strange. Everyone, be careful.”

The other four Shian employees: “……”

It was clear they were just walking on a regular street in broad daylight, but the road was as if they were wandering the underworld with a lane welcome.

Children fell down in front of them, crying loudly; several vicious dogs broke from their chains and ran towards everyone as their saliva slobbered everywhere… Ge Tingting had just taken two steps when a flower pot fell from the sky, whistling right next to her back as it crashed into the ground. She was in complete shock as she was almost scratched by the fragments of the flowerpot.

The situation was incredibly bizarre, but Xiang Jiang, their team leader, didn’t seem bothered, and even Qi Xin didn’t have any semblance of shock, as if this was all commonplace.


“Just eat here.”

After walking for about 30 minutes, the sound of footsteps as accurate as a second hand stopped and Qi Xin finally spoke.

Her voice was hoarse and wasn’t very pleasant, but to everyone in Shian, her voice was like heavenly music to their ears—ghosts were scaring them at night while people were scaring them in the daytime. This hellhole of a place really made people not want to stay for a single second longer.

Their destination was a bakery.

The shop itself wasn’t large, and the signboard was so smoky that the characters couldn’t be seen clearly. It seemed like it hadn’t been cleaned for at least a decade, but at least the shop was clean. There were no stains on the tables or chairs. The sound of boiling oil was heard from the back kitchen, and there were pancakes neatly packed on display. Their skin was slightly golden, with an appealing oily fragrance.

Next to the stainless-steel plate containing the pancakes were two deformed, hungry ghosts lying on their stomachs. They swung their skeleton-like bodies, passing their hands through the pancakes again and again. The hungry ghosts’ protruding bellies rubbed against the white porcelain tiles, making a creaking sound.

It seemed that the pancakes here were really good, Yin Ren commented impartially in his heart.

Qin Xin: “Ten beef pancakes, served with clear soup, eaten now. Twenty pork pancakes to go, which we’ll choose ourselves.”

The shopkeepers were a father and daughter. Compared to the expressionless old father, the daughter still had a better look for them.

Before the daughter could speak, the old man spat on the ground in front of everyone. “You’re only going to pick and choose things that are cheap. I’m not selling!”

“We’re picking it ourselves,” Qi Xin repeated indifferently.

“Not selling! I don’t know where these wild animals came from, yet I have to serve them?”

“Stop it dad…” The daughter tugged at the corner of her mouth. “It’s fine. Just pick.”

Qi Xin glanced at the old man. “They’re guests of Mayor Ren.”

Hearing this, a sneer came from the corner of the shop. “Guest? Is Ren Jiying the only one we have to give face to? If it weren’t for the consideration of her parents, she would’ve been killed a long time ago.”

“Bringing dubious people in from outside. I don’t know what she’s thinking…”

“Every day they’re up to something. Even that surnamed Ren wants to move the loop…”

The sneer was like a stone splashing into the water, causing countless ripples.

The old people in the shop began to chatter in low voices. The dialect was soft, whispering like drizzle, but they were full of hostility, making the drizzle feel like steel needles.

“I heard from my daughter that these people are going to the mines.”

“Mines? Are they going there to feed themselves to ghosts?”

“Did Ren Jiying finally come to her senses?”

The townspeople didn’t shy away from their talks despite Unit 9’s presence, thinking they wouldn’t understand what they were saying. Everyone’s views were surprisingly consistent, and there was no trace of debate at all.

The ease on Yin Ren’s face gradually disappeared.

In the buzzing whispers, an inexplicable sense of familiarity grabbed him. The colors in front of him were blurred, and the sound in his ears suddenly disappeared. In a trance, he seemed to smell the scent of corpses and black smoke from thousands of years ago.

The sense of familiarity didn’t come from immediate malice but from something deeper, more essential.

It floated in the air, attached itself to evil things everywhere, and flowed in the eyes and words of the townspeople… If he had to put it into words, it was like the breath of “this mountain town”.

Suddenly, a bamboo basket containing pancakes was put on the table.

The beef pancakes exuded a rich aroma. Yin Ren shook his head, and his attention fell back to the ground from the sky. He seemed to have noticed another serious problem…

“There’s only nine pancakes,” beside Yin Ren, Zhong Chengshuo stated matter-of-factly.

“My dad dropped one when he was packing them,” the daughter explained. “Our beef pancakes are all sold out, so he’s cooking more now.”

Qi Xin seemed to want to say something, but in the end, she lowered her eyes and remained silent.

Soon, the old man holding a freshly fried pancake with steel tongs walked over. He threw the pancake into the basket without any care, almost splashing hot oil onto Zhong Chengshuo’s face.

Since the freshly fried pancake was placed in front of Zhong Chengshuo, he naturally went for it. However, as his chopsticks reached halfway, they were suddenly pressed down by Yin Ren’s chopsticks.

“Give me this,” Yin Ren said with a smile.

Without any explanation, he took away the steaming, fresh pancake.

In the eyes of Lord Ghost King, this pancake was far less attractive than its appearance. The pancake was covered with the smell of malice, which almost overpowered its aroma.

Yin Ren took a bite of the cake. In the corner of his eyes, the old shopkeeper grinned, not concealing the anticipation on his face.


The beef pancake was fragrant and crispy, but after a few bites, Yin Ren chewed on something hard and foreign. The foreign object was thin and smooth and exuded a metallic taste.

It was a sewing needle, and there was more than just one.

…As expected, the town’s xenophobia had reached the point of “mental abnormality”.

Yin Ren sighed. He chewed up the few needles and swallowed them with the pancake.

He ate quickly, keeping his eyes on the old shopkeeper as he chewed.

The smile on the latter’s face gradually disappeared. He stared at Yin Ren as if he had seen a ghost, then ran back to the kitchen after a long while to break apart the uncooked pancakes one by one.

Zhong Chengshuo reacted instantly. He immediately turned to Yin Ren and showed a jerky worriedness between his brows. Yin Ren quietly stretched out a strand of hair and wrapped it around Zhong Chengshuo’s ankle soothingly.

Until they left, the old shopkeeper was still breaking apart his pancakes to check.


At three in the afternoon, they came to the foot of the mines with bags full of oily pancakes.

More than 20 years later, the mountain was still bare, mottled like a burned scalp. Compared with the “human eating mine” they had imagined before, the small entrance seemed ordinary.

The target mine was embedded in the rocks, and most of the fixed wooden strips at the entrance were decayed. The entrance of the mine was covered with a rough wooden door that wasn’t locked, and there was only a circle of faded red cloth that was pulled around on the outside.

There was an extremely intense evil qi that overflowed the mouth of the cave, as ominous as the breath of wild beasts. Those red cloth strips remained still and looked more like a ritualistic prop than a cordon line.

Xiang Jiang stopped outside the red cloth circle. His cloudy eyes looked at the gap in the wooden board, and his gaze penetrated into the depths of the mine.

“Ms. Qi, wait here. We’ll clean up a little inside and then come out.”

He played with a spirit weapon made of wood chips in his hand and spoke to the tips of his shoes.

“There is a high risk that evil things will rise when it sinks. While I hold it steady, you try to collect as much data as possible, and Shian will study it later.”

Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo looked at each other.

Their execution mission had finally started.

Kinky Thoughts:

The story about borrowing arrows from straw boats comes from Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Zhou Yu was jealous of Zhuge Liang. During a discussion of military affairs, he asked Zhuge Liang to make 100,000 arrows in order to fight against Cao Cao’s army that was approaching. Zhuge Liang replied that rather than 10 days, he could make it in 3 days and promise he could come up with them within the time limit or he will face punishment. Hearing this, Zhou Yu was very happy, knowing Zhuge Liang wouldn’t be able to do such a feat.

Unconvinced, Lu Su asked Zhou Yu if Zhuge Liang was serious, to which Zhou Yu said that it was Zhuge Liang himself who said it of his own volition. He then asked Lu Su to investigate Zhuge Liang to see what he was planning and to report back.

When Lu Su met with Zhuge Liang, Zhuge Liang asked him for his help. Lu Su was confused as to what he could do in order to help Zhuge Liang produce 100,000 arrows. Zhuge Liang asked Lu Su to lend him 20 boats, and each boat needed more than 30 soldiers. Cover the boats with green cloth curtains, and arrange straw bales on both sides of the boats. Then he would have his own means to handle the rest, but Lu Su must not let Zhou Yu know about his plan.

Lu Su agreed. He didn’t know what purpose Zhuge Liang had for borrowing these boats, but when he came back to report to Zhou Yu, he didn’t mention it and only said that Zhuge Liang wasn’t using bamboo, feathers, or glue. Zhou Yu became puzzled and said he’ll wait until the third day and see what Zhuge Liang can do.

Lu Su then privately dispatched 20 boats filled with 30 soldiers each, according to Zhuge Liang’s instructions. On the first two days, there were no movements, but on the third, Zhuge Liang invited Lu Su with him to go procure the arrows together. Here was where he witnessed Zhuge Liang’s means.

Zhuge Liang connected the 20 boats together by rope and set off to the north banks. At this time, the sky was foggy and vision of the river was clouded. As the boats approached Cao Cao’s army, Zhuge Liang ordered them to spread out and have the soldiers beat war drums and shout at the same time. Lu Su was surprised by this as it would attract Cao Cao’s soldiers, to which Zhuge Liang replied that Cao Cao wouldn’t send his troops into the thick fog.

As predicted, when Cao Cao learned of the movements in the river, he was overly cautious, afraid that his troops would be ambushed in the thick fog. Rather than having his troops move in, he ordered his crossbowmen to shoot into the river. He sent people to Hanzhai to transfer 6,000 crossbowmen to the riverside to support the navy. More than 10,000 crossbowmen started shooting into the river, and the arrows seemed like rain. As they hit the boats set up by Zhuge Liang, the arrows got lodged in the straw bales.

When the fog cleared, Zhuge Liang ordered for them to return and have the soldiers shout back, “Thank you Minister Cao for the arrows” in unison. Cao Cao knew he had been tricked by Zhuge Liang’s boats, which were too fast and had already sailed away.

When the boats docked, Zhou Yu sent 500 soldiers to dislodge all the arrows. Each boat had more than 500 arrows lodged in it, and with 20, the 100,000 arrows were easily made. When Lu Su met with Zhou Yu and told him how Zhuge Liang managed to procure these arrows, Zhou Yu was taken aback and sighed, “Zhuge Liang is so clever. I really can’t compare to him!”

So when the author was using the metaphor, she’s referring to the straw bales used to gather the arrows of Cao Cao, not actually referring to the meaning metaphor, but rather referencing the metaphor itself.

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