Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 31: The Number of Murderers
The sun was setting, making the factory building dimmer. The window behind Peng Ge gradually became stained with night, making the head without any bumps look like an actor dressed up as a monster in a haunted house.
The unrealistic head looked as if it were forcibly connected to a living body.
A twisted smile showing eight teeth was painted on his head, and his moist eyeballs became even more bloodshot.
Peng Ge seemed to want to sit down or throw himself forward. He was swaying back and forth, but unfortunately his feet didn’t seem to work and he was stuck firmly to the ground. He looked like a clown in a box, springing back and forth.
This was something a living person couldn’t do.
“Haha.” He sputtered intermittently. His voice was to the point of almost wailing. “Haha…!”
Seeing this unusual scene, several policemen became nervous, but none of them backed away. They watched with bated breath as Zhong Chengshuo, the “professional,” prepared to rush up and save them if there was any trouble.
Peng Ge swayed and wobbled back and forth until he got within two meters and stopped in his tracks.
He stopped almost face-to-face in front of Zhong Chengshuo, still repeating that sentence over and over again. His voice was high but also low, hoarse, and distorted, like a broken, repeating soundtrack.
“Haha, bitch. You’re here now but want to go back? Haha…”
Zhong Chengshuo remained still. “Actually, I plan to go home after getting off work in half an hour.”
“Also, please don’t swear,” he added belatedly.
Peng Ge: “……”
He stopped raving and his body froze, as if he didn’t know how to react to this.
Yin Ren didn’t hold back and laughed out loud. “Hey, Zhong Ge, what does that person look like in your eyes?”
“In his twenties. Face is pretty bad, looks a bit dehydrated. It’s best to send him to a hospital for rehydration as soon as possible,” Zhong Chengshuo said succinctly, as if he were only speaking facts.
He didn’t seem to see the abnormality on Peng Ge’s face.
At the same time, Lu Xiaohe’s drone popped up. “The concentration of evil qi around the target is 0.24~0.28fR and it’s increasing. There are no signs of evil qi spreading. Preliminarily, it’s judged to be a non-infectious anomaly so personnel from the science post can approach normally.”
As soon as Lu Xiaohe’s voice fell, Zhong Chengshuo’s figure flashed.
Like a panther jumping on its prey, Zhong Chengshuo’s sense of oppression exploded in an instant. He completed a set of attacks within the blink of an eye. After being kicked in the knee, Peng Ge let out a sharp “ha!” sound. The unknown force failed to support his body this time—Zhong Chengshuo took him down and kneeled on both his knees.
Peng Ge squirmed, and his joints twisted and clicked. His head flopped around frantically as he struggled to escape, creating an extremely unsightly scene. Zhong Chengshuo ignored it and just held him firmly in place. Peng Ge was a little over 1.8 meters tall and looked quite strong, yet he didn’t know how Zhong Chengshuo could hold him down with so much force.
Officer Sun spoke up hesitantly. “That man’s face…”
Zhong Chengshuo: “I don’t see anything wrong. If you think something’s off, there may be hallucinogenic gas or mold nearby.”
Officer Sun suddenly reached an epiphany and gave quick instructions. “Go up and help! Listen, the environment is unsanitary, so pay careful attention.”
Two minutes later, all three gangsters were taken to the police car.
Peng Ge was restrained and taken by 120 to Haigu People’s Hospital. It seemed there were people in the hospital who were aware of Shian, as when the medical staff came to pick him up, their expression was unusually calm as they looked at the flat face.
“Send him directly to the security zone.” He ignored Peng Ge, who was frantically struggling, and made a quick decision. After saying this, he also skillfully performed a special disinfection.
When everything was wrapped up, it wasn’t even dark yet.
As Zhong Chengshuo expected, they got off work on time. Yin Ren stopped by and bought some roujiamos recommended by the local ghost. With each holding one, they found a secluded corner on the side of Wanxing Street and ate dinner face-to-face.
The bun was crispy and fragrant, and when the sauce hit the tongue, it burst into a mouthful of flavor. The roujiamo went straight to his belly, causing Yin Ren’s remaining unhappiness to dissipate with the night wind.
He really hadn’t tried this kind of life before. Now he was busy with his work, but he didn’t have to worry about food or clothing, and he even had someone he was close to.
It was quite novel. Lord Ghost King, who remembered eating but not beating, was satisfied and decided to buy two more roujiamos later as a midnight snack.
Since it was a while after dinner time, Zhong Chengshuo was quite hungry and ate faster than usual, which was unusual since he didn’t like this kind of thing. Zhong Chengshuo suddenly froze as he was eating and began to pant quickly.
Lord Ghost King didn’t hold back and smiled gloatingly at him. Zhong Chengshuo glared at him reproachfully and silently turned his back to him.
Yin Ren didn’t mind. “Do you want to eat mung bean shaved ice? It’s just a few steps away, and I heard it’s very healthy.”
Miss Hu Tao sincerely recommended it. She said that she often ate it when she was trying to lose weight. Being a calorie control fanatic, Zhong Chengshuo shouldn’t resist this.
Sure enough, hearing this suggestion, Zhong Chengshuo turned back around. “Okay.”
The next day. Haigu People’s Hospital. Shian Area.
After a night of treatment, Orange Head finally regained some sanity. Seeing Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo talking at the door, he subconsciously shrank to the corner, but thankfully didn’t try to escape.
Orange Head’s name was Qian Zhicheng. He was nineteen and had just muddled through high school. He currently worked in the back kitchen of a restaurant.
According to Qian Zhicheng, he hadn’t “mixed in with society for long”, and he was still at the initial stage of feeling it was “cool” to be unemployed. He was taken in by Wu Tao and learned many bad things. Now that this kind of thing happened, Qian Zhicheng didn’t even bother to take care of his hair. He let his orange hair stick to his scalp, making him look like a drenched Pomeranian.
“The police just left,” he said timidly.
“The focus of our inquiry is different from that of the police.” Yin Ren gave him a kind smile.
Seeing that beautiful, smiling face, Qian Zhicheng froze for a moment and became a bit tongue-tied. “Ah, okay. You can ask.”
After confirming the question, Qian Zhicheng wrapped himself in a blanket and started to tell the story in a stumbling manner…
On the night of Wu Tao’s death, Qian Zhicheng was indeed in the closed area, but they didn’t act together.
At the time of the incident, Wu Tao only had Peng Ge by his side.
“Peng Ge”, whose real name was Wu Pengpeng, was related by blood. In terms of seniority, he was Wu Tao’s nephew. This pair of uncle and nephew were famous gangsters on Wangxing Street and were considered “partners” in a sense.
“Peng Ge is young, so he’s not as courageous as Tao Ge… Ahem, not as courageous as Wu Tao.” Qian Zhicheng’s face turned bitter. “That night, Wu Tao said he wanted to take Peng Ge to ‘taste some excitement and open his eyes’. He said he had been watching someone who was clean and wasn’t troublesome.”
Yin Ren: “When the two of them left, they didn’t take you?”
“No, he does that often when he goes and does his thing. Wu Tao suspected that we were too young and was afraid that if we were questioned by cops, we would spill everything.”
“What is ‘doing his thing’?”
“I already told… the police! It’s looking for women to play with, but I wasn’t there, so I’m just guessing. I don’t know anything else. I really don’t!”
Qian Zhicheng hesitated and became a little emotional. As if he remembered something, he began to tremble violently again.
“Peng Ge ran back alone in the second half of the night, looking ghastly like that. Who the hell would dare go up and ask questions?! A few of us wanted to run, but no matter where we ran, we would always return to the vicinity of the factory… Thankfully the factory had some food and drinks left, so we stayed there and as far away from him as possible until the police came.”
He scratched his hair hard as his eyes darted around. He started to mumble frantically, “I don’t know anything”, “Why aren’t you afraid” and so on.
If this guy were to see Wu Tao’s death, he might actually collapse on the spot.
“That’s good.” Zhong Chengshuo stood up and said, “Have a good rest and drink plenty of hot water.”
Qian Zhicheng: “?”
Yin Ren knew this person’s “Art of Communication” illness had struck again. He glanced at Qian Zhicheng sympathetically as he dragged Zhong Chengshuo out the ward.
Next door to Qian Zhicheng was “Peng Ge” Wu Pengpeng.
Wu Pengpeng was fixed to a special patient restraint bed. There were several IV bags hanging from the infusion rack around him. In Yin Ren’s eyes, his facial features were still flat, and this “strange disease” seemed to be spreading—Wu Pengpeng’s nails had become flat, like they were painted on his fingertips.
There was a cold-eyed nurse in the ward who had a black seal on her clothes, unlike the other nurses.
“Fifteen minutes.” She waved her hand at them. “This person shows no signs that the evil qi is weakening. He’s very weak and isn’t suitable for long-term inquiries.”
Wu Pengpeng turned his head with difficulty as he tried to move his fingers. “…Ha…”
Zhong Chengshuo: “His literacy?”
“Not normal. Right now, he can’t understand words or drawings, let alone be actively writing.”
The nurse frowned slightly.
“He responds to sounds but will only answer in the same sentence. Be careful, you guys. The patient is emotionally unstable and can’t be stimulated too much.”
She skillfully changed the IV bags and took away the empty bags. Her right ear had a Shian headset, which Yin Ren could hear the call inside: [1103, 1103. Ward 4 Guo Laifu self-harming behavior suddenly appeared. Please deal with it immediately…]
“I’ll leave for a while and come back in fifteen minutes.” The nurse’s eyes were still cold as she pushed away her medical trolley. She left quickly, leaving only the sound of the bedside machine beeping softly. The smell of medicine in the ward had faded a bit.
“I have a few questions I want to ask you. Can you understand what I’m saying?” Zhong Chengshuo opened the notepad app on his phone.
Wu Pengpeng cranked his neck, looking as if he was about to nod, but that movement only turned into a weird twitch in the end. He tried to blink again, but unfortunately, his “flat eyelids” didn’t listen.
“…Ha…Ha…Bitch…” Wu Pengpeng’s voice was full of despair.
Zhong Chengshuo was unmoved by the tragic image. He continued calmly, “It seems that you can still make noise, so one ‘ha’ means yes, and two ‘ha’ means no. Let me ask again, can you understand me?”
Wu Pengpeng: “……”
Wu Pengpeng: “Ha.”
“Are you twelve years old this year?”
“Very good.” Zhong Chengshuo nodded. “In the early morning of July 13th, did you walk around in the closed area with Wu Tao?”
“Were you planning to attack women? As far as we understand, Wu Tao claimed to have been watching someone who was ‘clean and not troublesome’.” Zhong Chengshuo was direct. “Wu Pengpeng, you’d better not lie. Between the ‘status quo’ and ‘going to jail’ you should know which one is worse.”
Wu Pengpeng’s lips trembled. “Ha…”
“Did you act with Wu Tao the entire time?”
“Did you come into contact with Wu Tao’s goal?”
“There are no other traces at the scene. Wu Tao’s attack should have been unsuccessful. Let me change the question. Did you witness Wu Tao’s death—”
“Wait, don’t—” Yin Ren didn’t have time to cover Zhong Chengshuo’s mouth.
Hearing the words “Wu Tao’s death”, Wu Pengpeng convulsed and started struggling frantically. He trembled as he tugged on the restraints, moving so fast that he even left afterimages. There were gurgling sounds coming from his throat at exact intervals, as if he had been wound up by someone. The heavy hospital bed started to shake, knocking on the floor loudly.
“Hahahahaha!” His grin became wider and wider as he cackled madly at the ceiling. “Hahahahaha, bitch!”
The evil qi around Wu Pengpeng became disordered.
“Alright, there’s no need to ask.” Yin Ren sighed. “Didn’t the nurse say he couldn’t be stimulated?”
Zhong Chengshuo blinked in confusion. “But I didn’t stimulate him.”
Yin Ren faintly glanced at him with eyes full of regret. He shook his head and walked to the hospital bed.
Something being torn sounded as Wu Pengpeng’s hospital gown was ripped open by Yin Ren.
Zhong Chengshuo was stunned. “What—?!”
Even Wu Pengpeng, who was going crazy, was also dumbfounded by this act. He froze naked on the hospital bed, as if a pause button had been pressed.
Yin Ren didn’t care. He loosened the shackles on Wu Pengpeng’s side, lowered his body, and carefully observed Wu Pengpeng’s back.
“I’ll hold him down. Go and take a picture of what’s on his back.” Yin Ren gestured to Zhong Chengshuo.
Zhong Chengshuo: “…How do you know there’s something there?”
Yin Ren: “By observing the flow of evil qi. Chapter one of the Book of Exorcism. While this man was in a frenzy, there was something collecting behind his waist. Move quickly. We can’t let this thing disappear.”
Zhong Chengshuo hurriedly acted and took dozens of photos in a row.
Yin Ren’s judgment was correct.
There was a weird palm-sized mark on Wu Pengpeng’s back. As Wu Pengpeng calmed down, it rapidly faded.
While one was holding down Wu Pengpeng, the other was frantically taking pictures. At this terrible juncture, the cold-eyed nurse opened the door.
Nurse: “…” This seemed to be different from the “inquiry” she imagined.
She was expressionless and said nothing as she cracked her knuckles.
The next moment, Zhong Chengshuo and Yin Ren felt something tight wrapped around their necks and then saw their vision spinning as they were dragged out of the ward by their collars. They both fell to the ground, and before they could speak, the door to the ward was slammed shut.
Yin Ren gazed at the ceiling and slowly spread out his arms. “Not bad for a Black Seal of Shian. They certainly have a few tricks up their sleeves.”
Zhong Chengshuo was trying to get up. “We have to send the image to Lu Xiaohe.”
“No rush.” Lord Ghost King slowly and methodically got up. “Let’s check something else and submit it together before the end of the day. Right, I have a favor to ask of you.”
Five minutes later, in an empty ward.
Zhong Chengshuo assumed a standard stand-up pose. When he spoke, his voice was cramped. “…Help with what?”
In front of Zhong Chengshuo, Yin Ren was sitting in a hospital bed. He had already untied his shirt and had his back turned to Zhong Chengshuo.
After the Gao Mengyu incident, Yin Ren fell in love with loose black shirts. The way he was undressing was a bit different from the norm—right now, Yin Ren didn’t take off his shirt completely, but only took off one sleeve, leaving the sleeve to hang loosely slanted across his skin.
A large part of his back was exposed, allowing the shimmering sunlight to bask his white skin. Yin Ren had beautiful back lines that fit his muscles perfectly; delicate and smooth like a swimming fish.
To make sure his back was exposed, Yin Ren lifted his long hair and pulled it to the front of his shoulders, faintly revealing the slender back of his neck.
The faint fragrance that made people slightly drunk reappeared, but it was more obvious than last time.
Zhong Chengshuo held his breath as he asked again, “…What do you want me to do?”
“I need you to poke at the location of the mark just now,” Yin Ren said casually. “It’s one thing to see it, but it’s different to feel it.”
“…Why do you need to feel it?”
“To study the flow of evil qi when he goes berserk,” Yin Ren answered sincerely. “Since we were driven out, I can only analyze it using myself.”
Wu Pengpeng had poor proportions. He was tall but short-legged. Yin Ren couldn’t figure out the exact location of the mark because of this. Given that he was currently surrounded by people of Shian, it wasn’t convenient for him to use one of his extra-long arms to poke himself.
Lord Ghost King didn’t want to take his work home, and it wouldn’t be a loss to ask his partner for help.
Zhong Chengshuo pursed his lips and walked over slowly. He stretched out his index finger, hesitated for a few seconds, and gently tapped Yin Ren somewhere in the back of his waist.
“Wu Pengpeng’s mark is here.”
Yin Ren’s skin was cool and smooth to the touch, but Zhong Chengshuo felt as if his fingertip had contracted a fever. A wave of numbness rippled through him.
“Sure enough, it’s really a bit off.” Yin Ren hummed in response and started to calculate the flow of evil qi in his head. “Draw to the lower left a little bit. Move slowly and try to follow the muscles.”
“……Okay.” Zhong Chengshuo moved his fingers imperceptibly.
His fingertip movements were slow, like a drop of warm water sliding on skin.
The room was quiet. Yin Ren had missed a few strands of hair that were still hanging around his back, which shook slightly with his movements.
“Actually, we’ve asked a lot of things already,” Zhong Chengshuo suddenly said.
Yin Ren divided his attention from his calculations and responded, “What?”
“The murderer’s behavior is somewhat inconsistent,” Zhong Chengshuo whispered. “Wu Tao was choked to death by insect corpses. This was due to the hand of a corpse servant, but looking at Wu Tao’s death, his murder seems ritualistic, and his corpse was handled very delicately.”
“Assuming that the clues provided by Wu Pengpeng are correct, Wu Tao attacked a woman that night, but the police had checked surveillance records and found nothing.”
“If she was a simple victim, there’s no need to avoid surveillance… The possibility of her being killed by the murderer is also very low. After all, Wu Pengpeng is still alive as a witness.”
“I understand what you want to say.” Yin Ren let out a low laugh. “If she’s a corpse servant, this matter doesn’t make sense.”
Zhong Chengshuo’s eyes flashed. “Yes.”
“Let’s see. If she was really attacked suddenly, it’s understandable that she would fight back with the insect corpses. Her first reaction should be to flee rather than remain in that location and cut up human flesh.”
Yin Ren adjusted his sitting posture, and his tone became more relaxed.
“Either that, or she has long been eyeing Wu Tao and wanted to use his corpse as a background, but then she didn’t need to use insect corpses and leave clues behind to reveal her identity.” They had all entered a new era. Wasn’t a stun gun just as good?
“You sound like you have your own guess,” Zhong Chengshuo stopped his movements.
“Probably the same as yours.”
Yin Ren turned his head. His eyes were glowing faintly red in the sun. He curved them as he smiled slyly.
“…There may be two murderers. At least when Wu Tao was killed, there were at least two people at the scene, excluding Wu Pengpeng.”
“Nn.” Zhong Chengshuo began to slide his fingertips again. “The woman who was attacked was most likely an unregistered corpse servant. When she was attacked by Wu Tao, those insect corpses were her self-defense in a moment of panic.”
“When Wu Tao was struggling, another person intervened and divided his body up by some means. It’s very likely that Wu Pengpeng witnessed all this and was affected by it, showing mental abnormalities.”
“In this way, that inexplicable sense of division made sense. The problem is, what’s the intention of the corpse splitter… It’s not clear to me why the death scene was set up like that. I can’t draw any conclusions from it.”
“It’s only been two days. Don’t worry.” Yin Ren became a bit drowsy from the sun and yawned. “Hey, hey. Stop. Where you were just now, remember to take a picture for me.
“What? Oh, this—”
Before Zhong Chengshuo could finish, the door to the ward was opened. The cold-eyed nurse was staring at the two of them expressionlessly.
Yin Ren glanced at himself, who was exposed, and quickly laughed. “Uh, I can explain…”
This time, the two of them were thrown directly into the elevator.
“…Zhong Ge, now we can submit our work report.” Yin Ren casually pulled on his shirt and checked the time on his phone.
Zhong Chengshuo continued to struggle to get up, finally showing a trace of grievance on his face.
That night. Room 601, Building 4, Ping’an Manor, Zhong Chenghuo’s home.
“Night run?” Yin Ren was holding a large bucket of rum ice cream with a spoon in his mouth.
“Yes. I run at least three times a week.” Zhong Chengshuo replied while changing into his running shoes. “I’ll be home before eleven. My dad made braised knuckles with rock sugar, so I’ll bring some back when I return.”
“Thank uncle for me.” Yin Ren’s tone was extremely sincere.
“Do you want to go for a run together?”
“No.” Lord Ghost King climbed back to the sofa and continued hugging his ice cream bucket. “Leave me and let me gain weight alone.”
He was really too lazy to move but had to put on a show for it. In fact, even if Yin Ren ate all the people of Haigu, he wouldn’t even gain a single pound.
Zhong Chengshuo didn’t try to persuade him and went out by himself.
It was just that his night run deviated a little bit from the normal route.
More than an hour later, Zhong Chengshuo was standing in front of the warehouse again. He wiped his sweat and entered the basement. He rummaged through a box at the top of the shelf, picked up a glass tube carved with runes, and took out a case of sample protectant.
After finishing his preparations, he took out a small bag from his pocket.
The bag was similar to the glass tube and was also painted in dazzling runes. It wasn’t until Zhong Chengshuo opened the bag that the contents inside were revealed.
It was a handful of dark hair.
Zhong Chengshuo sealed them up, pulled out a pen, and quickly wrote a line on the label.
[Yin Ren (?), July 13, 20xx]
The broken hair lay quietly in the sample protectant, as black as the bottom of the abyss.
Zhong Chengshuo carefully examined it for a moment, then put it in the sample basket on a certain level of the shelf. Under the pale light, countless strange specimens floated and sank in glass tubes.
A trace of minced meat, a tooth, a piece of strange-colored skin… Roughly speaking, the contents weren’t the same.
However, at the moment he was about to leave, Zhong Chengshuo hesitated.
After a few seconds of stagnation, he turned back to the shelf and picked out the hair sample again.
He stared at it quietly.
After a long time, Zhong Chengshuo let out a soft sigh. He removed it from the computer desk and placed it in the most conspicuous position.
With a click, the lights went out.
Everything sank back into darkness.
The author has something to say:
Nurse 1103, at this moment, surpassed Fu Xingchuan and became the strongest combat power in Haigu (×
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5 thoughts on “Evil As Humans Ch31”
Thanks for the update!
Thank you for the update ❤️💯
woooow seriously what is up with our ml?! that’s a little creepy for now but i like it 👀
Thanks for the chapter 😮
Omg Xiao Zhong what’s going on👀 Thank you for the chapter!