Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 97: The Ghost King
At the entrance of the circular research building, flames burst out.
This time, they weren’t woven into fire dragons but turned into thousands of filaments. The flame filaments were intertwined, forming a fishing net-like structure that blocked the entrance tightly. The eye of Yellow Millet had just squeezed halfway in, but shrank back due to the fire net. Its pupil dilated and shrank in dissatisfaction.
As the huge eyeball receded, the dense light spots lit up in the darkness of the door frame. Without the “plug” of Yellow Millet, thousands of evil spirits poured down like a flood, cascading frantically towards the small research hall.
For a while, the detection machinery of the two science posts made a sharp warning sound.
Li Nian inserted the green willow whip into the ground, and countless root-like structures suddenly appeared in the grip. They clung to the stone crevices and tied Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo firmly nearby.
Immediately after, he took out some sticky notes that looked like talismans, walked along the edge of the hall, and stuck a piece on each of the mummified corpses. The horrific faces of the dead bodies were covered with a brand new talisman, creating an atmosphere that was unknown as to whether it was comical or spooky.
After the last talisman was glued, the hall abruptly shook.
Countless green vines sprang out from the talismans, adding a vine net to the fire net. The vines were like jade, verdant and lush, exuding a unique fragrance of plants.
The cold evil spirits and thick mist were all blocked from the outside by the vine net. The piercing alarm sound from their detectors finally stopped.
This peace lasted for about thirty seconds.
After a brief stalemate, hundreds of small, evil creatures rushed forward. They slammed into the fire net like moths to a flame, frantically aiming in the same position, trying to use their flesh as firewood to consume a breakthrough point.
Fu Xingchuan’s fingers flew like butterflies, as if he were forming a spell seal to cover the gap. The covering emitted layers of brilliance, as if there was a small sun at the entrance.
As the saying went, beat the master to death with your fist*. No matter how powerful Fu Xingchuan’s abilities were, he couldn’t hold back hordes of evil things that weren’t afraid of death. Considering he had to save some strength to escape, the flame net gradually dimmed.
*A colloquialism that refers to not following the rules and doing things on a whim. || In this context, it refers to these evil spirits have no fear of death, so they are not “following common sense” and will eventually overwhelm Fu Xingchuan through sheer chaos.
At the same time, Li Nian cracked his shoulders and neck and calmly gave instructions. “Analyze the readings and also sort out and retrieve legends regarding the figure in red from the Gong Dynasty period and send them all to me.”
He said all this into the headset.
Another swarm of evil things rushed up. This time, they crashed into the vine net. More newborn vines shot out from the gap in the net instantly, binding the evil spirits. Unfortunately, the vines were soft. The evil things behind used those in the front as a meat shield and continued to squeeze desperately in.
In less than five minutes, they had lost half the research hall.
Yin Ren protected Zhong Chengshuo and Qi Xin—they were standing at the farthest point from the evil things. Those twisted hands, feet, and limbs were clearly reflected in his red eyes.
Zhong Chengshuo couldn’t see too many evil things, but he could see a twisted net.
Judging from the law of physics, there had to be at least 500 evil creatures in front of them.
Not far behind the door, “Yellow Millet” stared fixedly with multiple circles of eyeballs.
Without only one eyeball, Zhong Chengshuo couldn’t distinguish any emotions. All the everlasting lights around it were extinguished, and its entire body was filled with thick darkness, leaving only the dim brilliance of the eyeball itself. The doorway was too narrow for it. The huge sphere tilted toward them, and its pupils passed through the small doorway, locking onto the five people tightly.
The colorful light oscillated in circles, flickering as if it were breathing in the dark, making it seem like an ominous creature under the deep sea.
The chains of corpses near the entrance snapped and were squeezed down by the wall of evil creatures. They weren’t sure if it was because of the residual influence of evil qi, but the corpses quickly “woke up”, turned into zombies, and joined the team of evil things that were trying to squeeze into the hall.
The corpses opened their mouths wide and moved their limbs jerkily, like stiff marionettes.
Something gushed from their eyeholes and kept dripping to the ground.
Evil things with entities were particularly difficult to deal with. Just after the zombies joined, the green vines were suddenly stretched half thin and gaps started forming as the vines were pulled and deformed. The withered fingers of the corpses frantically tore at the vines, and there was a strange noise coming from their mouths.
Zhong Chengshuo could imagine that in the vine net gaps, there were all kinds of strange limbs stretching out from there, constantly scratching.
The ground was trembling as evil spirits continued to rush in. They were trapped in a deep underground ruin, surrounded by evil things that were eyeing them. The two ministers looked calm, and there was no panic in their movements, as if everything was under control.
However, Zhong Chengshuo knew that they couldn’t possibly know more about the current situation than he did.
In other words, they were all confused.
Zhong Chengshuo looked at Yin Ren again.
Yin Ren was standing in front of a mural. He wore his favorite black shirt, and his hair was tied up into a neat ponytail. He stood still, as if he were part of the darkness.
…As if he would merge into the mural and disappear at any moment.
Zhong Chengshuo thought for a few seconds, then moved his hand that was resting on the sample box and used it to hold Yin Ren’s hand. The presence of the willow branches was especially noticeable when skin to skin contact was made.
The firelight hit the shadow of the vine on Yin Ren’s face. The soft lines of his face remained the same, but there was a subtle sense of vicissitudes between his brows, compared to Yin Ren’s previous heartless appearance.
The frontline was tense, but Yin Ren quietly turned his head and examined the mural from the corner of his eyes.
His expression was focused. The content of the mural was similar to the previous rooms—while the style changed with each dynasty change, the content underwent no substantial changes.
Zhong Chengshuo: “You’re not looking at the entrance?’
Yin Ren stared at the red dots all over the walls. “Whether I see them or not, they’ll still be there.”
A glance at the scene beyond the entrance was enough for him.
The evil things in Gengsheng Town seemed to be gathering here. With Yellow Millet as the core, their aura was extremely vivid. Adding a touch of red on the outside, it was like a reproduction of the mural scene.
The aura was aggressive, and the hostility was deep.
…and it was extremely familiar.
Yin Ren could hear the clicking footsteps of zombies among the evil creatures as well as hoarse whispers coming from their throats. They must have carried countless pains and despairs in their lifetime. Their bones were soaked in evil qi, so they all turned into evil things without exception.
It turned out that Sunken Society was several times more annoying than he imagined.
“The number of evil things near you has reached more than 600, and it keeps increasing.” Lu Xiaohe’s voice spoke quickly in their headset.
“The situation isn’t right. There’s an internal food chain among evil things. There aren’t so many evil things that value territory… Except for fleeing or being driven away, it’s impossible for them to act in such a unified manner.”
“But…” She stopped talking and swallowed her words.
Yin Ren could guess the content behind the “but”.
No one could drive evil beings like this. Even a ghost master could only use a single classification of “spirits”.
As far as Yin Ren knew, there was indeed no “person” who could do it. A skilled cultivator might be able to tame one or two evil creatures, but they wouldn’t be able to reach such a large number.
A dozen steps away, Li Nian didn’t get any effective feedback.
Hao Wenzhe quickly sent back the news that there was no information about the “figure in red” on the murals.
During the Gong Dynasty, there were no records of the “figure in red”. Whether it was <The Book of Exorcism> or the remaining official records, whether it was the unofficial history or information seized from Sunken Society, everything was clean without any trace.
The murals that had increased year by year in this Ant Nest seemed to be just a huge dream.
“It’s impossible, Lao Li. Under such a situation, this pile of cultural relics can’t be preserved.” Fu Xingchuan grimaced. “Human life is more important than preserving clues.”
Li Nian took a deep breath.
Murals, corpses, empty altars.
And the source of corruption that seemed to be everywhere but was nowhere to be found.
The characters on the murals gave no clues, the corpses needed time to be tested, there was nothing left on the altars, and the location of the source of corruption was a mystery.
Sunken Society had taken away all the key documents and items. If they relied on these things to guess what research was being conducted for the last thousand years, it wasn’t much different than just making up stories on the spot.
But if they only defend without attacking, their front line wouldn’t last. Not to mention there was Qi Xin, who had no combat power, that they had to protect. Faced with such a situation, Fu Xingchuan couldn’t spare enough energy to care about other things.
But if this place were destroyed, all clues would completely disappear into the darkness.
He had to quickly figure out a better way.
After all, this was a clue that Sunken Society owned, but Shian had no other clues…
In the direction of the mural, a voice interrupted Professor Li’s thoughts.
Yin Ren grabbed Zhong Chengshuo with one hand and pressed on his headset with the other. There was just the right amount of trepidation in his voice. “The mist started as soon as we came here, and now it’s still chasing us, as well as evil things that are attacking us in droves. Could it be ‘someone’ is commanding them?”
However, there was no response for Lu Xiaohe.
“She may be answering a call from Xiang Jiang.” Fu Xingchuan responded on behalf of Lu Xiaohe as he kept casting defensive spells. “It’s impossible for anyone to command so many evil things. Not even if it’s a group of people. If we can really do this, there won’t be much difference between ‘man’ and ‘god’.”
Yin Ren raised his hand and tucked a strand of hair behind his ear.
“What about an evil thing?”
Zhong Chengshuo suddenly gave Yin Ren a sideways glance—Yin Ren was asking solemnly and purely, as if he didn’t have a clue.
“Can there be evil things that control other evil things?”
Yin Ren’s voice echoed in the wide research hall.
“I’ve always wanted to ask before… Since Evil Spirits don’t have the ability to think and are monsters that only know how to destroy, why is there a title of “Ghost King” in our information?”
This was recorded in black and white in <The Book of Exorcism>.
Professor Li wanted to respond but felt his answer wasn’t convincing enough.
In regard to evidence, this was different from the “figure in red”. There were many records in official and unofficial history…
The Great Celestial Master Zhong Yi sealed the six Evil Spirits, but no one had seen the battle. They only knew the Evil Spirits were going crazy and that thousands of evil beings had gathered. The evil things around the battlefield were so overwhelming that they forced all living things to retreat, leaving only a scene of hell.
…Just like the murals.
Thinking of this, Li Nian subconsciously looked at Fu Xingchuan, who was also looking back with a frown.
That red figure—could it be that it’s an Evil Spirit in human form?
But as they all knew, mortals couldn’t look at an Evil Spirit directly with their naked eye. In those times, “Science Posts” were rare, and Sunken Society was more of a cult in the style of “ascension to immortality”. It was difficult to attract non-believers, and it was even more unlikely that they would leave such thorough records that lasted thousands of years.
What was more, Evil Spirits were tantamount to natural disasters that walk on earth. Once born, they couldn’t hide from people’s eyes and ears. All metaphysical disasters in history had corresponding Evil Spirits. Six Evil Spirits were sealed one by one, without any mistakes or omissions.
“The Evil Spirits were attacked, so ten thousand ghosts came to their rescue.” Professor Li squeezed his brows hard and answered Yin Ren’s question in a low voice. “Ten thousand ghosts came…”
Yin Ren let go of Zhong Chengshuo’s hand.
He turned his back to the mural, and his eyes showed a hint of red in the shadows, which complemented the red brush strokes behind him.
“One person against a giant Evil Spirit, plus ten thousand evil things? Isn’t that Celestial Master too ridiculously strong?”
In the corner, where the two ministers had no time to pay attention, a pair of red eyes were slightly bent.
“It’s more reasonable to gather thousands of evil spirits to deal with an Evil Spirit together.”
“I’m a bit confused. Which side is the ‘Ghost King’ who summons evil spirits really on?”
The first vine net snapped.
The author has something to say:
Yesterday, I saw people leaving a lot of speculations! In fact, some are quite close to the truth~ Why do I feel like your brains are bigger than mine (?
As for any contradictions, even in the writing (?) All will be explained later!
I have my own speculations, given this chapter, but to avoid any potential spoilers, I’ll say them when the mystery is revealed. You’re welcome to join my Discord server to discuss.
But here’s a potential clue: The Zhong in Zhong Yi and Zhong Chengshuo are the same character. (But keep in mind that Zhong Chengshuo is adopted and took on his adopted father’s last name, Zhong Youde).
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One thought on “Evil As Humans Ch97”
zhong chengshuo is either zhong yi descendent or his reincarnation i guess? 🧐