Evil As Humans Ch45

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 45: Ghost Market

On Sunday, Zhong Chengshuo went to his secret warehouse on his usual “night run”.

After wiping off the sweat, he skillfully entered the communication portal for the Nightwalkers.

If one wasn’t privy to the inside story, the website would look like a third-rate movie review site. Only by selecting the right work and typing in the correct login and password at the review page could you enter the hidden page.

Such entry procedures should be frequently changed, but the Nightwalkers were a loose organization. The movie <Interview with the Vampire> hadn’t been changed in over a year.

Zhong Chengshuo didn’t even bother looking at the overly familiar poster and went straight to the rating section, where he skillfully logged into his account “yamaglad*”.

*Clarity: Originally written in English. This is also the reason why I decided to translate the nickname the Nightwalkers gave him as King Yama.

Next to the computer, a strand of black hair floated in the glass tube, emitting a faint light. This time, the loading was slower than before. While waiting, Zhong Chengshuo picked up the glass tube and turned it around.

After half a minute, Zhong Chengshuo finally understood why the webpage was stuck—in the online chat room, there were hundreds of people chatting feverishly.

Nightwalkers, as the name implied, preferred to socialize at night. Now that so many had put their business aside for gossip, something must have happened.

The news was frantically being swiped that Zhong Chengshuo only had time to see the last paragraph clearly.

[Lao Zhang Pancake Fruit 028: The one surnamed Lu is crazy!!!]

[No Head: He dared compare himself to King Yama. He sure has guts.]

[BOOS Supreme Evil Emperor: Laughing to death. King Yama won’t bother to pay attention to him. He will become a ghost first.]

[Lao Zhang Pancake Fruit 028: No, is he an idiot? In broad daylight, under the sun, that surname Lu dares to kill people!!! He even said he murdered 7! And then he went to the police station and provoked them!!!]

Zhong Chengshuo hovered the mouse over the word “murdered” and highlighted it.

[No Head: That’s right. When did Lu Guangzu have such courage? Is this going to piss off the Lu Family?]

[My Name is Little Red Riding Hood: I’m already pissed off just from reading this.]

[Favorite Sky: Grandma’s making a big fuss. Our family hasn’t been involved in criminal cases for many years. Just as luck would have it, the heavens blessed us with a serial murder.]

[Xinxin Kennel: Tsk tsk. I didn’t see Lao Lu before. Turns out he’s a big one.]

[yamaglad: ?]

As soon as this ID appeared, the chat room suddenly fell into dead silence. The raving chatter of hundreds of people stopped abruptly. It was a bit too sudden to join the gossip directly, so Zhong Chengshuo thought for a moment and opted to greet them as usual.

[yamaglad: Accepting tricky tasks, only for evil things. Two-way choice. Don’t bother with miscellaneous matters.]

[yamaglad: Private message if interested. Deadline is one minute.]

Then Zhong Chengshuo remained silent.

Recently, it had been quite peaceful, so after a long time, no one dared to private message him. The screen moved slightly as chat records continued to cautiously spit out new messages.

[My Name is Little Red Riding Hood: King Yama, we’ll take good care of Lu Guangzu. The Lu Family has absolutely no intention of targeting you.]

[yamaglad: Oh.]

Zhong Chengshuo took out a small leather notepad and wrote down the name “Lu Guangzu” in one stroke. He also added “Child of the Lu Family?” to the note.

[yamaglad: Oh.]

[yamaglad: Getting off.]

However, he didn’t go offline immediately. After putting away his notepad, Zhong Chengshuo stared at the online chat for a while. The chat room quickly became lively again, but there was a trace of panic in the atmosphere.

[BOOS Supreme Evil Emperor: Truly worthy of King Yama. I told you he wouldn’t be interested.]

[Xingwang Repair Station (come here for all household and spiritual appliance repair): He?! What if it’s a woman?]

[My Name is Little Red Riding Hood: I’d better talk to my family again. King Yama has helped us with the 100-year-old ghost before.]

[My Name is Little Red Riding Hood: I can’t have ta* put this account on the Lu Family’s head.]

*Originally in English. When written in English online, it refers to addressing someone whose gender is unknown. 

[Favorite Sky: I don’t think they will. King Yama doesn’t seem to be interested in the living.]

[Sister Xu Spicy Hotpot—Number to Order 1xxxx680184: It has nothing to do with King Yama. It’s a homicide case, right? The police will deal with it, so let’s not worry about it.]

[Sister Xu Spicy Hotpot—Number to Order 1xxxx680184: And isn’t Shian intervening? I heard that their new recruits are pretty good.]

[My Name is Little Red Riding Hood: Xu Jie, don’t poke people’s scars. T_T I failed to go ashore again this year.]

[BOOS Supreme Evil Emperor: If King Yama goes to Shian, he will definitely pass on the first try.]

[Favorite Sky: ? Would King Yama even put up with the exams? Shian’s exam goes for four to five rounds.]

[Favorite Sky: ta must be the kind of big brother who’s uninhibited and indulgent. You know what I mean.]

……

Seeing that the topic had switched to crying about how difficult it was to enter Shian, Zhong Chengshuo silently turned off the computer.

Forget it. Since Shian was intervening, he wouldn’t be able to hear the slightest wind.

After this, the “uninhibited and indulgent” King Yama would go to his parents’ home to get braised pigs’ trotters and share them with his roommate, who was happily watching dramas at home. Recently, every time he opened the door after his night run, Yin Ren would stand at the door and greet him with a smile so bright that it was blinding.

Because the two elders didn’t have positive feelings and were afraid their son and his hard-earned “friend” would be at odds, the dishes they made were increasingly biased towards Yin Ren’s taste.

In fact, even if he looked at him with the most discerning eye, Zhong Chengshuo couldn’t find any problems with Yin Ren.

Yin Ren was obviously not a sophisticated character, but after they lived together, Zhong Chengshuo found that he had never seen messy clothes, takeout boxes, or delivery boxes scattered around the home. Every evening, Yin Ren would broadcast their work status to “Love Each Other Like Family” to reassure the two elders.

After thinking about it carefully, Zhong Chengshuo realized that he had never seen Yin Ren unhappy because of something. That person looked carefree every day.

Zhong Chengshuo sadly looked at the test tube in his hand.

He must observe that person harder.

……

Monday night, 8:00 p.m., inside Shian’s special car.

The car was driving fairly smoothly. Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo were huddled in the back seat, looking at an image on the same tablet.

“Lu Guangzu, 26 years old, unemployed. Five years ago, this person began to operate as a ‘Nightwalker’. Lu Guangzu is tentatively considered a ghost master, but he actually mainly did intermediary work during missions, and his reputation and ability are quite poor.”

It was rare that there wasn’t any bloody mosaic on Lu Xiaohe’s screen. In the picture, there was a young man with yellow hair rolling his eyes and showing a wicked expression.

In the video screen in the lower right corner, Lu Xiaohe herself had her hair tied up in a bun and was wearing a simple polka dot shirt. She looked like the girl next door.

She didn’t stay in Shian but took another special car with Ge Tingting.

At this moment, Lu Xiaohe was sitting in the front passenger seat, trying to hold a camera steady.

“Lu Guangzu is somewhat related to the Lu Family in Haigu, but he’s not welcomed by them. He’s been cheating and scamming and has been involved in all kinds of dirty work. He likes to provoke strong people to increase his popularity, but he has never done something like this—”

The screen was replaced with a police interrogation video. In the video, Lu Guangzu was yelling, “If this wave is successful, I’ll definitely be comparable with ‘King Yama’.”

Zhong Chengshuo: “…”

Yin Ren keenly turned his head. “What’s the matter, Zhong Ge? Do you know this Lu Guangzu?”

Zhong Chengshuo: “No, I just think this person is a bit naïve.”

“It’s really too arrogant for a living person to compare himself with King Yama,” Yin Ren deeply agreed.

“The ‘King Yama’ he’s talking about is not King Yama in the conventional sense.”

At the other end of the video, Lu Xiaohe cleared her throat and looked solemn.

“’King Yama’ is recognized as the strongest of the Nightwalkers. This person’s gender, age, and abilities are all unknown. He began his activities seven years ago, specializing in hunting evil things. King Yama has solved cases at the level of a Class-A Investigation Team, such as ‘the underground corpse nest in the heart of Luotian City’ and ‘the 100-year-old ghost in the western suburbs of Haigu’—as far as we know, ‘King Yama’ acts alone without a partner to take care of him.”

“Shian once evaluated the strength of King Yama. In terms of efficiency in destroying evil things, this person’s ability is comparable to that of Minister Fu Xingchuan. Logically speaking, this person shouldn’t be someone Lu Guangzu would target.”

Yin Ren: “Wow…”

The name “King Yama” was interesting. It matched “Death” quite a bit.

From the corner of his eyes, he looked at Zhong Chengshuo—the lights outside the car window swept on Zhong Chengshuo’s face from time to time, but Yin Ren couldn’t see any expression on it.

“Before this incident, Lu Guangzu’s provocations were limited to speaking out.” Zhong Chengshuo flipped through the report. “And ‘King Yama’ specializes in killing evil things. He claimed to have killed seven living people and went to provoke the police and Shian. This logic is too strange… Did he provide information about the deceased?”

“That’s the problem,” Lu Xiaohe said. “He didn’t give any names. He said it’s a game of ‘hide and seek’. There are many missing people in Haigu. Officer Sun is already investigating.”

Thinking about Excel, Yin Ren felt a chill down his spine. “Should we also…”

“Don’t worry. It’s not certain that this matter has anything to do with metaphysical factors, so we don’t need to intervene immediately.” Lu Xiaohe smiled mysteriously. “Well now, let’s have a welcome meal first.”

Haigu was big, so Yin Ren didn’t expect to recognize their destination…

Sister Xu Spicy Hotpot.

In the case of Feng Qi and Ge Tingting, Sun Qinghui had brought them here. The taste of this hotpot was quite good.

The proprietress, Xu Fang, was obviously impressed by the two’s outstanding looks. Before Yin Ren entered, she greeted him warmly. “Hey, you two are here again. Where’s Lao Sun?”

“Uncle Sun isn’t here. It’s me this time~” Lu Xiaohe entered next. “Xu Jie, I’m bringing a new member to dinner. There’s stir fry tonight, right?”

Ge Tingting hid timidly behind her, holding the unopened gift in her arms. To her, the atmosphere at Sister Xu Spicy Hotpot was extremely cordial.

Returning to a familiar environment, Ge Tingting relaxed a bit.

“Yes, yes. This girl is too thin, so we have to fatten her up.” Xu Jie smiled again. “You guys can sit at the table in the back. It’s quiet there.”

Although Ge Tingting had joined Unit 9 in name, the girl had been learning to read lips during the day and hadn’t officially moved into the office yet.

According to the Shian’s psychiatrist, Ge Tingting was attacked by Wu Tao, so she still had psychological trauma towards adult men. Even if Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo were as beautiful as two flowers, it didn’t make Ge Tingting feel much better. This kind of thing had to be done slowly.

So, Lu Xiaohe, as the senior employee of Shian, skillfully organized a meal.

“Are you hungry? Sorry, it’s a bit late.” Lu Xiaohe sat next to Ge Tingting. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Lu Xiaohe. My family runs a small supermarket.”

Ge Tingting looked at her phone—Shian had installed a special translation software for her that converted the words spoken by Lu Xiaohe into text in real time.

Lu Xiaohe slowed down her speech and continued to introduce. “This long-haired brother is Yin Ren. He also encountered a very bad thing and is now recuperating in Shian… The brother who’s wearing glasses is Zhong Chengshuo. His parents are both policemen. Your gift was specially chosen by him.”

Ge Tingting pursed her lips and nodded politely at the two of them. Then she grabbed her phone tightly and typed quickly.

Shian—Small Work Group.

[Ear Person: Thank you for your gift.]

[Ear Person: ^-^]

[Final Fruit: You’re welcome.]

[Fruit Knife: ↑ This is Zhong Chengshuo. @Milky Way is Lu Xiaohe. You can always come to us if you need anything.]

[Ear Person: Okay.]

Yin Ren put down his phone and looked outside. This angle was a bit familiar. He just happened to be able to see the street shrouded in night.

“Speaking of which, Tingting, you still remember this place, right?”

Yin Ren slowed down his speech and felt the vibration on his phone. Ge Tingting stopped typing.

She blinked and had a hint of confusion on her face.

“When Zhong Ge and I were shopping earlier, you tried to get a tracking insect corpse to burrow into my shopping bag.” Yin Ren patiently continued, “At that time, I detected evil qi and avoided it. Do you still have an impression of this?”

His voice was also converted into text and was a different color than Lu Xiaohe’s voice.

[Ear Person: Yes, Feng Qi said it was a side mission. The wiseman asked us to send insect corpses to a specific location. We later failed that mission.]

“This matter goes a little further back to the time when you and Feng Qi first met. Zhong Ge and I have also been to this place. At that time, was it a Sunken Wiseman who asked you to monitor us?”

The spying at that time came from outside the store. There was no smell of people or evil things nearby, and there weren’t any evil spirits, and there wasn’t any malice in the gaze. The people from Sunken Society shouldn’t be able to do this.

Feng Qi was contaminated by the evil qi at that time, and his physical condition was abnormal, so there was still a little possibility of “observing” them from a distance away.

[Ear Person: No, the Sunken Wiseman found us the next day.]

Yin Ren: “……”

As if afraid she hadn’t made it clear, Ge Tingting started typing again.

[Ear Person: I remember very clearly. I was terribly scared that night. Feng Qi kept comforting me. After that, we were busy looking for a place to spend the night and didn’t have time to do anything else.]

[Ear Person: Is something wrong?]

Zhong Chengshuo likewise turned his face sideways and looked at Yin Ren with suspicion.

Yin Ren smiled and put his phone away. “It’s fine. I made a mistake. After all, I’m also a newcomer, so maybe I’m just being too paranoid.”

How strange.

The stir fry and barbeque were served. Ge Tingting was holding her drink as her eyes lit up when she saw the headphones. Lu Xiaohe would tease her from time to time, while the proprietress grabbed Zhong Chengshuo and asked for advice on college entrance exams.

In the noisy atmosphere, Yin Ren once again looked at the increasingly dark street. Countless vehicles passed by as people laughed and chattered, creating a lively scene on the streets.

It didn’t matter. Since someone spied on him once, they would definitely do it again.

When she was full of food and drink, Ge Tingting’s eyelids began to droop, and she started dozing off. Lu Xiaohe let her lean on her shoulder and shook the empty can of almond milk at the proprietress.

“Refill,” she said.

Xu Fang smiled and said, “How can this thing be refilled? I’ll send you another can.”

“Refill,” Lu Xiaohe repeated.

The proprietress stopped smiling. “I get it. Are you coming too?”

“No, I’m just the rear commander, and I have to send Ge Tingting back to the dorms.” Lu Xiaohe shook her head. “The two of them are going.”

Yin Ren was shocked. “Huh? Going where?”

“Since someone doesn’t like to read mission reports, I decided to give you two a little surprise.” Lu Xiaohe said in an airy voice. “Just tonight, you two will go to the ghost market of the Nightwalkers and come back after collecting information.”

……

The two stayed in the store for a few more hours.

After midnight, Xu Fang went back into her home and took out three old-fashioned flashlights.

The flashlight was in the style of the last century. It had a thin silver shell on the outside and had AA batteries installed. Xu Fang stuffed one if each of their hands and then took off her apron and solemnly hung it up.

Zhong Chengshuo fiddled with the flashlight for a while. “Miss Xu, are you a Nightwalker?”

“Yes.” Xu Fang waved her hand. Zhong Chengshuo stiffened a little when he said “Miss Xu”. “I don’t have any great skills. I’m just usually the guide for people.”

Seeing Zhong Chengshuo stiffen, she grinned. “Don’t be afraid. We’re in formal cooperation with Shian. The ghost market sounds scary, but it’s actually a serious place—there are rules in place, so no one is allowed to make trouble.”

“Nn.” Zhong Chengshuo clutched his flashlight.

While the two were talking, Yin Ren was fiddling with his flashlight.

It was completely dark. When the flashlight turned on, a blueish-white oval was cast in front of him.

He was about to shine it in the distance to take a look when Xu Fang gave him a slap on the hand. “Don’t shine the light indiscriminately! Be careful not to illuminate things that shouldn’t be illuminated, or you may not be able to sleep at night.”

Lord Ghost King: “…Thank you Fang Jie.”

He carefully moved the light away so that it wouldn’t shine on the tip of his shoes.

“You two are fine. I’ll take you now.” Xu Fang took a deep breath. “Come on, take a few deep breaths. Don’t be panting later—if we get separated on the road, we won’t have a chance to go in again tonight.”

Yin Ren thought she would guide them to a certain entrance, but Xu Fang just led them to a nearby old apartment and took them to the highest point of the fire escape.

The fire escape had no cover, so the wind was blowing in all directions, giving them goosebumps.

“Take the flashlight and shine it as you walk down the steps while holding your breath.” Xu Fang urged, “It’s best to hold hands and walk in the place where the light has illuminated. Don’t get off course.”

Yin Ren: “Is it okay for Zhong Ge? He doesn’t believe in this.”

Xu Fang was apparently used to this question. “It’s fine. This technique isn’t applied on the person. I have brought science posts before, and they can enter.”

“Follow my steps, hold your breath, and make sure you two hold hands.” After she spoke, she quickly repeated this a few times.

Yin Ren turned around and generously stretched out his hand. “Zhong Ge?”

Zhong Ge hesitated for a few seconds before grabbing it. Who would have thought that rather than simply grabbing his hand, Yin Ren clasped his five fingers around his.

“Hurry up.” Yin Ren seemed as if he were possessed by the proprietress for a moment. He quickly added, “Don’t get lost. What a great opportunity to go shopping.”

Zhong Chengshuo: “……”

He wanted to change his grip, but Xu Jie had already started to descend the steps, so he had to give up the thought.

The green light swayed in front of them. As they walked down, the surrounding scenery slowly rose. They didn’t know when it started, but a layer of gray mist had gathered.

It ate away at everything around them. Except for the lone fire escape, the surroundings became impenetrable darkness. Even the footsteps of the three of them were swallowed up.

The slight coolness of the night breeze turned into a chill that climbed up the ankle like gangrene.

In contrast, Yin Ren’s hands were dry and warm. Zhong Chengshuo relaxed his arm and began to focus on the road in front of him.

For about a minute, their feet hit the ground. Zhong Chengshuo was pretty sure the stairs just now were definitely longer than the distance they traveled.

The three of them seemed to be standing at a dead end. The fire escape behind them had turned into a wall, and there were swaying red and green lights outside the alley.

Xu Jie let out a long exhale. “That was suffocating. Good, you both made it—now you don’t need your flashlight.”

Her hair had become a bit messy. She took out two weird masks from her pocket. “Go on, put them on. Shian people aren’t very popular here. Don’t mind.”

When they walked out of the alley, they came to a long, old street.

This was obviously not far from the city center, but there was no shadow of any buildings nearby. There were only dilapidated houses on either side of the street, with their windows and doors all open. The inside was full of bottomless darkness, as if they were the eye sockets of a skeleton.

There were lanterns on the thresholds of the old houses. The lanterns were attached to the stone brick floors and roughly divided into two types: blue lanterns and red lanterns. They were all placed crookedly, with a miserable aura of decay. On the side of the lanterns, there were either red cloth wrappings of goods or nothing but a pair of cloth shoes with their heels pointed upside down.

The stall owners were hiding in the darkness of the old houses. The ones who were most open only showed an arm or two legs. From time to time, customers squatted in front of the stalls, bargaining against the darkness.

“Red lights barter; green lights dispel evil spirits.”

Xu Jie led the two of them along the street and whispered to them as they walked. “The ones with a single incense burner on the red cloth are information stalls.”

Yin Ren looked around with novelty. He still hadn’t let go of Zhong Chengshuo’s hand. “Zhong Ge, what’s it like in your eyes?”

Zhong Chengshuo: “…A group of people sitting in front of a store stall that has paper lanterns placed in front of it.”

“Don’t say this to them.” Xu Jie laughed dryly. “Everyone still cares about face, which is why Shian’s science posts are especially unpopular.”

“How do we trade?” Yin Ren asked curiously. “Luck? Lifespan? Or body parts?”

Xu Jie stared at him in shock for a while and pointed to the nearest information stall. The stall owner reached out from the darkness and handed out two cards: one blue, one green; each with a QR code printed on it.

Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo: “……”

Xu Jie: “You’ll be reimbursed for this kind of thing. Don’t be afraid.”

Yin Ren took a deep breath, took out Dog Thing, and dragged Zhong Chengshuo all the way to the stall. He looked curiously at the incense burner on the stall for a while. “Zhong Ge, I’ll just pay later.”

Xu Jie: “Xiao Yin, you…”

“I understand. I’ll be careful.”

“…You can let go of Xiao Zhong,” Xu Jie said helplessly. “I’m watching you guys from behind, so you won’t get lost.”

Yin Ren: “Oops.”

He let go of his partner and squatted down at the information stall. Zhong Chengshuo looked at the sky for a while before he lowered his head with a complicated expression that hadn’t had time to dissipate.

A chuckle came from the darkness behind the stall. “Hehe.”

In Zhong Chengshuo’s eyes, he saw a thin, old man look up.

“You guys are lucky today,” he said lightly. “I rarely show up.”

Yin Ren stood in awe. “Are you…?”

“I am ‘King Yama’ of the Nightwalkers.”


The author has something to say:

Xiao Yin: Happy shopping

Xiao Zhong: ? Fighting counterfeits

By the way, I know it’s BOSS, not BOOS. BOOS is actually a spelling that raises my blood PRESSURE… Sharing high blood pressure online!

——————

After this chapter was finished, I gave it to my gay friend.

Gay Friend: ? I have a question. Why did Minister Fu get the information on Friday, but Xiao Zhong didn’t know about the case until Monday.

Me: ? That was at the end of the day on Friday!

Me: Are you a ghost? It’s not urgent work. Why do you have to work overtime on Saturday and Sunday?

Gay Friend: .

Me: .

Me: Are you a ghost? (repeat)


Kinky Thoughts:

For those who forgot, two members of the Lu Family tested with Yin Ren in arc 1 (Lu Hui and Lu Nana). Given the comments made by My name is Little Red Riding Hood, most likely they are one of the two (I’m guessing Lu Nana since she was referred to as “Red Fedora”).

Seems like Xu Fang is Sister Xu Spicy Hotpot.

…Look at me, doxing all these people.


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