Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Ignoring the misunderstanding of the boss, He Yu leaned forward, acting solemnly. “I’m here to catch an adulterer. Someone said that my wife came here to rent a room with a man. Pretty lady, can you let us check the rooms? If we don’t find anyone, we’ll leave immediately!”
The boss’ face sank. “It’s your own business if you want to catch your wife cheating. How can you expect me to open and let you search all the rooms in my business!”
This kind of inn wasn’t formal. As long as you can pay, you don’t need to register or show any documents. He Yu took 200 yuan and put it on the counter. “No need to search. Just help me identify someone.”
Seeing the money, the boss’s face improved. “Who?”
He Yu turned on Dong Zhi’s phone and pulled up the photo he had taken of Cheng Hui. “In the past few days, has this person ever entered your place?”
The boss frowned and said, “Not today. I wasn’t here two days ago.”
He Yu took out another 200 yuan and stuffed it in her hand. “Can you ask for me?”
For the sake of money, the boss called her husband. The boss looked at the photo again and then remembered. “I did see him! I remembered that he came here a few days ago but didn’t say whether he wanted to rent a room or not. After loitering around for a bit, he left. I thought it was a cop trying to confiscate porn, but he said he was looking for someone, then went to the foot spa nearby.”
He Yu: “Did he leave later?”
The boss replied, “I don’t know. I didn’t follow him!”
After leaving the inn, the two went straight to “Xinyue Foot Spa” diagonally opposite the inn. The light inside was dim, setting an ambiguous mood. From a glance, one would know that there was also a “side business” in addition to pedicures.
A charming middle-aged woman greeted them with a smile. “Are the two of you familiar with our foot therapists?”
He Yu said, “No. Can you introduce two of them?”
He lowered his voice again. “Young, beautiful, and pure.”
The middle-aged woman pretended to be displeased. “We’re all serious food therapists here!”
He Yu said impatiently, “Cut the nonsense. It’s 350 per hour!”
Seeing that he was familiar with the road, the middle-aged woman became delighted. She led them into a small room and said, with a smile, “Wait here for a minute,” then left.
Dong Zhi stared blankly at him and said, “How do you know that it was 350 an hour?”
He Yu laughed, “National prices will not differ much!”
Dong Zhi was speechless. “Are you planning to reimburse this?” As he finished speaking, he saw that He Yu was focusing on the compass and couldn’t help feeling a sinking feeling in his heart. “Is there a problem here?”
He Yu: “I sense some magic, but it’s not heavy. It should be that Xu Wan stayed here… Shh, someone’s coming!”
Dong Zhi immediately became silent. The door opened and two young women came in.
“Hello, sir. Let’s soak your feet first. Would you like sea salt or ginger juice?”
The two of them came in holding wooden barrels at the corners of their robes as one woman whispered to He Yu.
“Whatever! You are so beautiful that I’ll be comfortable with anything!” He Yu acted like an anxious lecher that had a tail that was wagging excitedly.
The two women seemed accustomed to this kind of flirty language, while Dong Zhi felt uncomfortable. Seeing as one of the women reached out her hands to help him take off his shoes and socks, he bent over and started doing it himself.
The woman pursed her lips and smiled. “Just lie down and let me handle it.”
For such an occasion, being tacit was key, and there was no need to put on airs. The therapist started massaging He Yu’s legs, slowly moving her hands up in an ambiguous movement.
He Yu quickly winced. “I have a backache. Do you have anyone here that can massage my waist!”
The woman chuckled. “It’s not convenient here, so how about we change places?”
He Yu: “Change it!”
He acted like a pervert who couldn’t wait as he quickly got up and followed the woman out.
Dong Zhi raised his voice. “Lao He!”
He Yu perfunctorily said to him, “This room belongs to you. You can do whatever you want. It’s all on me today!” After that, without waiting for Dong Zhi to respond, he hurriedly hugged the woman and left with her.
Dong Zhi: …
Suddenly, he felt pain on the sole of his feet that made him inadvertently scream, causing the woman to laugh. “You haven’t slept well in the past few days. Your meridians are a bit blocked. I’ll help massage it for you.”
Seeing that Dong Zhi was stunned, she laughed. “Or do you want to have your waist massaged too?”
As she spoke, she moved her hand along his calf, causing Dong Zhi to jolt and hurriedly stop her hand. “No, no, I’m okay!”
The woman laughed again, embarrassing Dong Zhi. He felt as if he had been completely seen through.
“My name is Xiao Dong. What’s your name, sister?”
Calling a lady by sister was very useful on women as she loosened a bit. “You can call me A’Yue. Is this your first time?”
Dong Zhi nodded and whispered, “A’Yue Jie, I’m here looking for someone.”
A’Yue became wary. “Who are you looking for?”
Dong Zhi took out his phone and showed it to her. “It’s her.” It was a picture of Xu Wan’s ID photo that He Yu had sent to him.
A’Yue was startled for a moment, then quickly denied. “There’s no such person here.”
She denied it so quickly that Dong Zhi knew she was lying.
“Truth is, she is my sister.” Dong Zhi said. Seeing as how He Yu left him here alone, it indicated that A’Yue wasn’t related to demons, so he could inquire with confidence.
A’Yue let out a sigh, showing a surprised expression.
Dong Zhi continued convincingly spouting nonsense. “When my sister got married, everyone in my family opposed it, but my sister loved my brother-in-law and had to be with him. As a result, she gave birth to a daughter with autism, which caused my brother-in-law to divorce her. Since she fell out with our parents, she didn’t want to go back, and in a fit of desperation, she came here to work. I asked many people to find her, and only then did I find out that she’s here. A’Yue Jie, if you know anything, can you please tell me?”
If this was said by He Yu, it wouldn’t be effective at all, but Dong Zhi looked pure and innocent, and seeing him act so cute and miserable, she couldn’t help but soften her heart at that moment, especially when he took out 500 yuan and stuffed it into her hand and said softly. “A’Yue Jie. Please tell me, okay? I won’t tell anyone.”
A’Yue finally loosened her tongue. “She came not too long ago, and she didn’t use the name Xu Wan.”
This was the norm, though, because who would use their real name in this industry?
Overjoyed, Dong Zhi hurriedly asked, “Did she come to work today?”
A’Yue said, “She took a two-day break. I’m not familiar with her, but there’s another person who’s closer to her that may know her address. I’ll ask for it for you later.”
Dong Zhi: “Thank you, A’Yue Jie!”
Since Xu Wan was related to demons and could be one herself, she came all the way to the south but lived in seclusion as a prostitute behind some back alley. In addition to hiding herself to avoid detection, was it because she also had further ideas, thinking this was a more convenient way to kill and escape?
He didn’t dare think too carefully about it, as it only made his fears grow.
Dong Zhi left her a message on WeChat and wanted to leave, but A’Yue made him stay, saying that their business was vigilant and guests could not leave halfway, otherwise it would make people think that it’s an undercover cop trying to investigate. With no other choice, Dong Zhi stayed the full hour, where he was overwhelmed with the other party’s constant questions. After the hour was up, he quickly fled, leaving behind A’Yue with a teasing smile.
When he left the shop, he waited at the entrance for a while before He Yu came out. As he came out, he stretched lazily and yawned, giving off a look as if he was addicted to money.
“Why did you come out so quickly? Didn’t you enjoy it?”
Dong Zhi was speechless. “Do you think everyone is as hungry as you? I’m not ashamed of being a virgin!”
He Yu said, “Tsk, tsk. Comrade, you can’t be thinking along this kind of line. I’m sacrificing my image for the sake of business. Besides, how can my precious chastity be wasted in such a place? You look down on my taste too much!”
Dong Zhi: “Then at what level will it be to your taste?”
He Yu thought about it quite seriously before saying, “It will have to at least be 800 an hour.”
Dong Zhi: …
He Yu finally remembered business matters. “Is there any news from your side? Although my side knew Xu Wan, she didn’t know her address. I used a little method on her to make sure she didn’t lie. If you didn’t get anything, then we’ll just have to go talk to the procuress.”
Dong Zhi said, “I exchanged WeChat with A’Yue, and she said she would help me ask.”
He Yu patted him on the shoulder and said with satisfaction, “I was right about you. Your appearance is the most evocative of a woman’s motherhood.”
Black lines appeared as Dong Zhi said, “I’m also a handsome guy with long legs! You’re insulting my dignity as a man!”
The two of them walked out of the alley while bickering when Dong Zhi received a WeChat notification. When he opened it, it was from A’Yue, who had sent him the address. The place was not far from here.
He Yu said, “In the future, we’ll send you on seductive tasks. This is the trust the organization places on you.”
Dong Zhi: “How thoughtful of the organization. Is it just us two going into the tiger’s den? Shouldn’t we wait for reinforcements to come?”
“I have already asked Lin Jun to notify them, but I don’t know who’s coming. Since the Special Administrative Bureau expanded, we have had many people like Lin Jun that’s half a bucket of water*. With Xu Wan’s cunningness, she would soon know that we’ve been to the place where she works and would move to another place that’s even harder to find.”
*(半桶水) Cantonese dialect that originally was half a bucket of shit but being too vulgar was changed to water. It refers to someone who’s not smart or good at learning.
He Yu patted his chest with confidence and said, “Don’t worry. You have this brother, so you’ll be safe and sound.”
Dong Zhi: …The more you assure me, the more uneasy I get.
Xu Wan’s residence was easy to find. It was just after 8, so there were occasional people coming in and out of the downstairs. He Yu and Dong Zhi blended in and followed them in, saving them a lot of effort. Each floor of the building held two families. According to the address given by A’Yue, Xu Wan lives in room 302. They went up to the third floor and rang the doorbell, but no one answered.
‘No one’s there?’ Dong Zhi mouthed to He Yu.
He Yu shook his head and looked at the compass in his hand. Since entering the building, the magnetic needle on the compass had been spinning frantically. Seeing this, He Yu didn’t hesitate any longer and used a shady method to quickly open the door. The room was quiet and pitch black, a sign that the owner was not at home.
He Yu turned on the lights in the living room. The home had two bedrooms and a living room, and the layout was simple. Looking around, Dong Zhi didn’t find anything related to children in the living room, nor were there any feminine furnishings. This was not normal for a supposedly single mother who loves her child very much.
“There’s a lot of demonic energy here. I’ll go to the rooms to have a look. Wait for me here and get the talismans ready,” He Yu said.
Although Dong Zhi didn’t sense any magical aura, he also felt a gloomy, dreary atmosphere here, which made him feel a bit breathless. There was no need for feng shui analysis. Intuition was often the most accurate. He recalled a time when he was about to rent a house. As soon as he walked into it, he felt a sense of unease and uncomfortableness. The agent who showed it to him had insisted there was no problem with it. It was only later that he found out from a neighbor that a murder had taken place in that house before. Now, this home gave him the same familiar vibe as back then.
As he was looking away from the last year’s calendar on the wall, he suddenly found a dark shadow at the door of the second bedroom, causing his heart to jump. When he looked at it more closely, he saw that it was a familiar figure.
“Tongtong?” Although Dong Zhi knew that Xu Wan was a major suspect, he still sympathized with this sick and innocent little girl. She didn’t even know that her mother had been in contact with demons.
The little girl looked at him motionlessly, as before. Dong Zhi couldn’t bear it and he lowered his voice more. “Tongtong, we didn’t mean to break into your house. Something happened to your mother, so we had to take a look. Do you know where your mother is?”
“Mom…” The little girl seemed to be touched, and suddenly raised her hand and motioned for him to come over.
Dong Zhi suppressed the strange feeling in his heart and slowly walked over. When he was about to walk to the door of the second bedroom, the corners of Tongtong’s mouth suddenly raised in a weird arc, and her pale little hands grabbed him.
Dong Zhi was already mentally prepared. Though he was still shocked, he hurriedly stepped back and quickly put the talisman he had been holding in his hand on her head. As soon as the talisman came into contact with the little girl’s skin, it immediately ignited spontaneously. The girl screamed, and blue veins appeared all over her face.
This scene made him think of Yao Bin, who was possessed by the Sneaky Yaksha on Changbai Mountain. All his hairs stood up as the talisman quickly burned out and the little girl’s expression became more hideous as her face became pale and blue and she rushed over!
Dong Zhi took advantage of the situation and grabbed her wrist, thinking that he could control her strength. Surprisingly, the little girl’s strength was even greater than He Yu’s, so she immediately slapped Dong Zhi with her backhand, gripped his thigh with one hand, and plunged her five fingers into Dong Zhi’s flesh!
Before he could scream, He Yu had run out of the master bedroom and choked the back of Tongtong’s neck.
Hearing He Yu’s roar, Dong Zhi ignored the pain in his thigh and hurriedly took out the cinnabar box from He Yu’s backpack and opened it.
He Yu formed a sword finger* with one hand and slammed it into the cinnabar box.
*[Jian Jue] (剑指) This is a gesture used in Taoism when casting spells. The finger shape also represents a sword in martial arts.
“The four great enlightenments, heaven and earth are eternal, water and fire extinguished each other, gold and water cut each other. Those who see demons and beasts will be destroyed from top to bottom, as hastily as I decree, break!”
As he used his index finger to paint the runes on top of the girl’s head, Tongtong screamed wildly. He Yu completed it in one go, and as the mantra was recited, he grabbed it with five fingers in the air! Dong Zhi saw black mist being pulled out of Tongtong’s body as it coagulated in He Yu’s hand. He tried his best to hold them in, and he struggled frantically.
“Sunlight Talisman!” He Yu roared.
Dong Zhi reacted quickly. As soon as He Yu spoke, he had already attached the sunlight talisman to the black mist. He Yu quickly let go as the black mist roared and wailed, and together with the sunlight talisman, it suddenly turned to ashes, leaving no residue behind.
Dong Zhi panted and caught the little girl who had fallen softly.
“Lao He, now…”
“Let go!” He Yu screamed at him.
Dong Zhi was startled and subconsciously let go of her hand, only to see the little girl suddenly open her eyes with a hideous smile on her face. When He Yu was about to make a move, the little girl bent backwards in a posture that no human could do and stood upright not far from them.
“I didn’t expect you to come so fast…”
The little girl giggled, her voice hoarse and low, definitely not the tone that she had ever spoken before.
Dong Zhi was incredulous. “Xu Wan?!”
The little girl gave him an eerie smile. “I should have eaten you a long time ago…”
This was completely different from the well-behaved Tongtong that he had met on the train. Dong Zhi inadvertently shuddered.
He Yu said solemnly, “I don’t care what collusion you have with demons. The remnant soul you captured is my junior brother. If you are willing to hand over his remnant soul, I can let you go! Or do you want to be hunted down by the Special Administration Bureau and the Hezao Sect forever!”
Hearing this, the little girl was not only not afraid, but she even laughed louder. “Long Shen is almost here and you dare rabble this kind of nonsense!”
Hearing her mention the boss, He Yu’s face sank more. This showed that the demon was familiar with them.
“If you want that remnant soul, take the stone tablet and come to me on the rooftop of Tianyuan Building!”
He Yu said angrily, “The stone tablet is now in Beijing. We won’t be able to get it for a while!”
She smiled gloomily and said, “Tomorrow before sunrise. Don’t be late!”
Before she even finished, He Yu had acted. Holding a seal in one hand and a talisman in the other, he rushed towards the monster. The latter didn’t have time to react before her neck was already squeezed by him and the talisman carrying the fire of wind and thunder was imprinted on her heart!
Dong Zhi heard a loud roar as thunder and fire suddenly erupted, causing the little girl to wail and fall softly to the ground. He didn’t know what was going on, so he hurriedly stepped forward but was pushed back by He Yu. Unprepared, he almost fell over.
At this time, the little girl’s body started shriveling at a pace visible to the naked eye. Countless densely packed maggots crawled out of the place where the small hole was made in her heart. Seeing the sight, all his hair stood up, and Dong Zhi cried out, “What are these?!”
He Yu threw another talisman that fluttered in the air, falling onto the little girl, but it immediately ignited, and the fire quickly spread all over the girl’s entire body. The light from the fire was extremely dazzling, but there was no billowing smoke as it was controlled by an invisible circle. In just ten minutes, the little girl’s body was engulfed by fire and burnt out. Dong Zhi looked at the empty ground that didn’t even have ashes remaining.
“Is she dead?”
“She is not a human being.” He Yu sat on the ground and said wearily, “You also saw it just now. Her body had long been invaded by those insects, and Xu Wan had been controlling her body.”
Dong Zhi was in disbelief. When he saw Tongtong on the train, she was no longer a living person.
“Is it a demon that controls Xu Wan and her daughter? Or…”
He Yu interrupted him, “The most important thing now is not to let it escape. I have to report to the higher ups immediately and rush to Tianyuan Building!”
When Dong Zhi heard him say “I” instead of “we”, he immediately said, “I’ll go too!”
He Yu smiled bitterly. “Little baby Dongdong, I have some confidence in you due to past events, and you’re capable of becoming a disciple. However, this time there’s no retreat, and I may not be able to protect you…”
Dong Zhi said without hesitation, “The demon was prepared a long time ago, and you’ve been injured again. Having an extra person will be better!”
“I need you to go to the Guangzhou office,” He Yu said solemnly. “Cheng Hui’s remnant soul is still in the hands of the demon. I can’t help but go, but I can’t do it alone. I remember that there is a magic weapon made of five-baht coins* in the office. Go and get it for me and find a few helpers. Come with as many people as possible!”
*Copper currency in ancient China. Most likely, the item is a sword-like weapon made entirely of five-baht coins stuck together.
Hearing this, Dong Zhi quickly agreed. He Yu took his phone and called Long Shen, mainly to explain the seriousness of the matter. Dong Zhi didn’t know what was said on the other end. Eventually, He Yu said a few ums and hung up.
“The boss said that there happened to be someone from the East China Branch in Xiamen. In the afternoon, he asked the other party to rush over to help, but I don’t know if he’ll make it in time. Anyways, I’ll go there first. Remember to bring me the magic weapon!”
Seeing Dong Zhi’s serious face, He Yu patted his shoulder and joked, “If I die, remember to tell the boss and ask him to burn a few more beauties for me every year. I don’t want to go down there and still be a single dog!”
Dong Zhi didn’t have his sense of humor. He smiled reluctantly and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll definitely burn a few more handsome guys for you!”
The two parted at the intersection. Dong Zhi took a taxi to the Guangzhou office. The location was in another district that spans almost half of Yangcheng. Even if he went by car, it’d still take nearly two hours to reach his destination.
At first, the driver was chatty as he drove. When they were about to arrive, he became more restless and stopped talking. He would frequently look at Dong Zhi from the rearview mirror, and his expression became more serious, and he finally couldn’t help but ask, “Are you sure the address is correct?”
The scenery outside the car was becoming more remote. After moving away from the bustling urban areas, the scene changed to small villages and towns. Without the setting of thousands of streetlights, the sparse streetlights on the road appeared lonely and cold.
Dong Zhi had never been here before. He felt his heart sinking into a bottomless pit and said, “That’s right. Just drive according to the address.”
If this incident wasn’t dire, he would have thought that He Yu was playing a prank on him. After all, who would set up an office next to a cemetery? But then he remembered that the original site of the General Administration Bureau was in a famous haunted house, so it’s not too surprising that there would be an office here.
The car finally stopped at its destination, which was a factory building near a cemetery. There were wastelands all around, and occasionally a few trees grew, exuding a desolated aura. A few abandoned factories were scattered across the highway. From the looks of things, even during the day, no one would deliberately stop at a place like this.
Dong Zhi took out his wallet and wanted to give the driver money.
The driver said, as he trembled with fear, “No cash. I only accept Alipay or WeChat.”
Dong Zhi: …
He knew what the driver was worried about, and he might even have cracked a joke to scare him, telling him some nonsense urban myth, but he currently wasn’t in the mood. After paying, Dong Zhi asked the driver to wait on the side of the road for a while, then he walked towards a factory where no one would reside in.
A few chapters ago, I thought that Tongtong was the real mastermind and Xu Wan was being controlled by her, but I guess I was wrong. I didn’t put it in my Kinky thoughts because I was afraid that it might be a spoiler.