Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 46: New Employee
Old man: “I am ‘King Yama’ of the Nightwalkers.”
Zhong Chengshuo stood blankly in place. The old man’s tone was indifferent, but in his eyes, he could see the old man stick his hand into his collar to scratch, and after scratching, he sniffed his fingers; his movements were quite careless.
A liar. They didn’t need to waste time on this person.
As a result, before he could speak, Yin Ren was one step ahead.
“So you’re King Yama!” Yin Ren exclaimed.
As Yin Ren spoke, he fiddled with the incense burner curiously. The incense ash in the burner was reddish brown, exuding a faint smell of rust… It seemed to be mixed with scraps of rust, which caused Zhong Chengshuo to slightly twitch his nose.
“Yes, I can provide any information you want and find anyone you’re looking for.” The old stall owner hummed softly. “Depending on the price—”
The old man lengthened his tone meaningfully.
“I really want to find someone, so the price is negotiable.” Yin Ren’s smile was mostly obscured by the shadow. “Can you help me?”
“Yin… Fruit Knife,” Zhong Chengshuo uttered loudly. “Let’s take a look again. King Yama won’t come forward so easily.”
Yin Ren turned to look at him. “Jackie Chan Ge, how do you know if you don’t ask? Anyway, I haven’t paid yet so there’s no loss just by asking.”
He didn’t know why, but when Yin Ren said this, he clutched his phone extremely hard.
“…Okay, you can ask.” Zhong Chengshuo pinched the bridge of his nose.
Old Man: “Hehe, the young man knows his stuff. I have been in the metaphysical world for many years. How can I fool the younger generation?”
Yin Ren leaned closer. “Then I’ll ask. Is it okay to describe the characteristics verbally?”
“Go ahead.” The old man spoke confidently.
“The person is about 23 to 57 years old, of unknown gender, and is in good health and strong.”
“Your conditions are too broad.” The old man clicked his tongue. “In just Haigu alone, there’s probably a million people who meet this condition. Young man, even if I’m King Yama, I still need enough clues.”
Yin Ren’s slender fingers fiddled with the fragrant ash. His eyes turned a little red under the light of the red lantern.
“Oh, that’s true.”
There was still a smile in his voice. “Then let me add something. This person isn’t involved in our metaphysical circle, and his work involves traveling around, but it doesn’t attract a lot of attention.”
“Personality wise, this person is cautious and serious, and he’s very likely to live alone. There’s a high probability that he has received formal education and knows how to cover his tracks so even Shian can’t find him.”
“For example, to make a deal, that person will never come forward in person, let alone use payment through the internet. Let’s see. He’ll probably ask someone to put cash in a designated location, exchange it for other items, and then ‘transfer it’ under various guises.”
“And in order to reduce contact with others, that person will not take small jobs, but will only choose the ones with the greatest reward and the highest risks… Are these clues enough?”
Old man: “Young man, you…”
“Oh, I forgot to mention his most important feature.”
Yin Ren curved his eyes, pulled his fingers away from the incense ash, and blew twice in the direction of the old stall owner.
“The Nightwalkers call him ‘King Yama’, the same title as you. Well, how much will it cost to find him?”
The old man could no longer maintain that indifferent voice. In anger, two voices came out of him, one thick and one thin. “Playing with laozi? Today, I’ll show you what it means to mess with King Yama. Kids are so hard to deal with!”
Yin Ren agilely stood up and moved behind Zhong Chengshuo with a swish. “Why? You ask me for more clues. Did I not give them to you?”
Zhong Chengshuo raised his arms reflexively to guard Yin Ren. He instantly felt something was wrong, and his arms stiffened in mid-air.
Zhong Chengshuo: “……”
Zhong Chengshuo looked at the old man. “Ah, he’s just joking…?”
It could be because his tone was uncertain that the old man’s expression became angrier. The old man sneered and was about to take something out of his pocket—
“Hey, Old Dog Peng. You’re cheating youngsters again!”
A hearty voice sounded.
Yin Ren turned his head and saw a young man with a simple and honest face approaching.
The man was wearing a rider’s helmet with the words “Eating is a Blessing” written on it and was dressed in gray and yellow clothes. The front lapel had “Are you hungry” written crookedly on it. Unlike ordinary food delivery drivers, he didn’t ride a motorbike at this moment, and there wasn’t a food delivery box on him.
A practitioner with quite good strength.
Yin Ren squinted at the stall owner—in the darkness, there was a nervous swallowing sound.
“Xiao—Xiao Wu, why are you here?”
“Why can’t I be here? After getting off work, Shian doesn’t limit side jobs.” The rider, Xiao Wu, scratched his helmet. “It’s not like you don’t know how well it pays for jobs at the ghost market. Come on, give me some face. Don’t create a ruckus.”
In the dark, the old man spat.
“Count yourself lucky,” he said unhappily.
Yin Ren went around from behind Zhong Chengshuo. “I really have something to inquire about.”
“Grandpa Yama, we want to inquire about this person named Lu Guangzu.” Yin Ren pretended not to hear.
Old stall owner: “……”
Hearing this name, Xiao Wu became instantly jubilant. “Okay, Old Dog Peng, you dare lie to a layman like this? If you’re King Yama, then I’m an Evil Spirit.”
The stall owner was obviously afraid of this food delivery driver named “Xiao Wu”. He moaned and groaned in the dark for a while.
“Forget it. I really know who Lu Guangzu is. So, 1,888 for the information.” The old stall owner lowered his voice and coughed uncomfortably.
“1,888 is too high,” Xiao Wu said. “After all, this is my junior, so I have to cover him. Can’t you make it cheaper?”
Yin Ren raised his brows a little unexpectedly—they had never seen this “Xiao Wu” before. Although he knew this person was related to Shian, he didn’t expect to be recognized.
“Then 688… It’s not like you can’t be reimbursed.”
“You can’t cheat the public through reimbursement. 600. I also know something about Lu Guangzu, so I won’t take jobs tonight and accompany you to talk about him.”
“648. Not going any lower. Since Xiao Wu is here, you can pay after we finish talking.” The old stall owner grunted unhappily and flashed out of the dark shadows.
The old man had a sharp-mouth and thinning white hair on his head. He wore a shirt fit for an old man that had started to yellow. There were two bands around his neck, each with a payment code printed on it. The incense burner and the red envelope were put away in his handbag. This person looked like a retired grandpa that one would often see on the streets.
However, at the neckline of the old man’s shirt, the thin cloth stretched out a protruding outline of a human face. The thing made a thin gurgling sound, blowing the fabric slightly.
Face sores. No wonder there were two voices just now. Yin Ren stared at the old stall owner for a while but quickly lost interest.
“This is Old Dog Peng. He has been in the ghost market for more than 10 years and likes to deceive newbies.”
Xiao Wu took off his helmet, revealing his messy hair. He had thick brows and big eyes, and his skin was red and tanned due to being exposed to the sun. In the dim light of the lantern, only two rows of conspicuous white teeth stood out on his face.
“I’m Wu Jiayi, also from Shian. I’ve hung out with the Nightwalkers before, so I’m very familiar with this place. Let’s go, brother will show you around.”
Xiao Wu casually carried his helmet and pointed to the misty streets of the ghost market. Yin Ren didn’t know if he was seeing things, but this person had the posture of an elder bringing a junior back home.
Zhong Chengshuo: “How did you recognize us?”
“Didn’t we just finish fighting in Ping’an Manor a while ago? When we prepared for the battle, we had to look at the information of all nearby friendly forces first,” Xiao Wu said sincerely. “You guys look great. Don’t use this kind of mask next time. Just wear a normal mask next time.”
Yin Ren suddenly realized why this person’s aura was so familiar.
“It’s because I didn’t think about it. Next time, I’ll prepare some in the store.” Seeing the heated conversation, Xu Fang took a few steps forward.
She narrowed her eyes and looked at Xiao Wu for a while. “Hey, it’s me. Xiao Wu, since you’re not busy, I’ll go back first—my kid will definitely stay up late if I’m not there. Next time you come to the shop, I’ll give you a free meal.”
“Go, go!” Xiao Wu smiled and waved his hands.
As soon as Xu Jie left, the old man and three young people formed a group and walked slowly along the ghost market.
Zhong Chengshuo was questioning the old man while recording him. Yin Ren’s mind was already distracted—the stalls on both sides were full of strange things, which was extremely different from his era.
As he walked, he couldn’t help but stop in front of a stall. “What is this?”
He picked up a large cube embedded with small squares.
“It’s a Rubik’s cube that’ll be restored to its original state in the middle of the night. You can buy this for children to play with. There’s also a makeup mirror that can show you the back of your head while you look at it from the front. These sell pretty well… Hey, hey, don’t touch. That’s a fidget spinner coated with corpse oil. It’s very expensive.”
“What about this?” Yin Ren pointed to two black plastic blocks. These things had a slightly stronger evil qi.
Faced with these messy things, he suddenly had the illusion of returning to Shian’s warehouse.
Stall owner: “Hmph, these are rare goods. Have you heard of the videotape that will kill you three days after you watch it*?”
*Clarity: Loose reference to The Ring (which is 7 days instead of 3).
“But now everyone doesn’t use VCRs anymore, right? They seem to be buying discs.” Yin Ren recalled what he saw in his life. “What’s the use of buying this?”
“Collectibles! It has sentimental values, get it?” It seemed he had poked the stall’s owner as his voice became sharp. “It’s not like I don’t have discs. So, are you gonna buy or what?”
Yin Ren looked around but found no discs. “Let’s see.”
Since the disc wasn’t displayed, could it be the curse was through touch? Previously, only when one touched evil things would they be cursed. The cursed spirit weapons of this era were quite up to date.
The stall owner grunted again and handed out a black leather bag from the darkness. “These are powerful products. If you like it, take it yourself.”
Strangely, there was no feel of sealing technique on the lather bag. Yin Ren unzipped the zipper suspiciously…
<Spring Night of Love>, <Fate of Ten Worlds>… The cover of the disc was roughly printed, and the color was gaudy with bright, fleshly color.
Yin Ren: “……”
He breathlessly picked up a box, looked around, but didn’t find any curses on it.
Seeing that he was speechless, the stall owner hurriedly struck while the iron was hot. “You don’t like? I also have men’s and women’s ones, which are good quality and very cheap.”
You have quite an extensive business. Yin Ren let out a sigh. Before he could refuse, a hand stretched out in front of him and took the disc away.
Seeing the sight full of mosaics, Zhong Chengshuo said calmly, “Don’t buy this. It’s not legal.”
Yin Ren: “No, I didn’t want to…”
Zhong Chengshuo nodded expressionlessly. Yin Ren didn’t know if he wanted to express “I understand” or “You don’t have to say anything, I get it”. Lord Ghost King wiped his face, only to feel that there was a small stain on his reputation.
Wait, do evil beings even have a reputation? Yin Ren thought seriously for a moment.
Five minutes later, the stall owner was kicked out by the ghost market manager, who heard the news.
“Sorry.” Facing the three Shian employees, the city manager wiped off the sweat from his forehead. “There are always people who mix contraband from the underground and sell it in the netherworld. It gives us quite a headache. Thank you for helping us.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “…You can buy and sell contraband here?”
“Don’t take it too seriously. It’s just a saying. Just treat them as ‘special collections’.” The city manager knew he made a gaffe and quickly tried to correct himself.
“Hold onto me and be careful of getting lost.” After dealing with this episode, Zhong Chengshuo turned to Yin Ren.
He was busy interviewing Old Dog Peng just now, and when he looked up, his partner had disappeared from his sight. This time, it was Zhong Chengshuo who took the initiative to stretch out his hand and hold onto Yin Ren’s wrist.
Yin Ren knew he was in the wrong, so he didn’t try to break free.
After looking around, Lord Ghost King didn’t wander around and look at the odd products anymore and instead decided to behave well and listen carefully to the two of them talk about Lu Guangzu.
The fog on the side of the street was heavy, and in the dim night, the faces of pedestrians were blurred.
A few people walked slowly; the lanterns at their feet glowed green and red. There were only soft whispers on the entire street, revealing an eerie sense of tranquility, which made quite a good atmosphere for storytelling.
Lu Guangzu, according to Old Dog Peng, was even worse than what Lu Xiaohe had told them.
Lu Guangzu was a standard low-level Nightwalker—he had a bit more power than an ordinary person, but he had no other abilities. This person was a bully and was lazy. He couldn’t catch ghosts and didn’t bother trying to make a decent living, instead sticking to the black intermediary* business.
*(黑中介) Term refers to behavior of defrauding large amount of public and private property for the purpose of illegal possession, using fictitious facts, or concealing the truth. || Basically fraudsters. Usually, how it works is they make some kind of pie-in-the-sky promise, charge an intermediary fee (along with other fees) after the contract is signed, then keep the fees without ever fulfilling their promise or push off the work to someone else while paying for a lot less (which is where the ‘intermediary’ comes from).
“Black intermediaries” weren’t uncommon among Nightwalkers.
They would first find unsuspecting customers, defraud them by charging them exorbitant prices with their sweet words, and then take 70-80% of the “intermediary fee” and subcontract the work to other ordinary Nightwalkers.
But these people had the conventional “three pits”. One was to not deceive minors or the elderly. Two, was not to deceive public-related business. And three, was not to deceive the working class at the bottom of society.
Lu Guangzu broke all the rules, and he especially liked to brag about it, which made many black intermediaries look down on him.
A few years ago, he suddenly kept a low profile. For a while, everyone thought he had reformed his ways. Who would have thought this name would appear again and that it was actually tied to a serial murder case?
“As far as I know that kid doesn’t look like the kind of person who dares kill people.” Old Dog Peng hissed. “He’s bad, but also a coward. Let alone killing people, his legs would go soft just seeing chickens slaughtered.”
“But he provoked King Yama. Is this some kind of trap for King Yama? Doesn’t seem right. He also named Shian as well.” Xiao Wu sighed. “Haa, my partner is better at these things.”
“Speaking of finding corpses… Lu Guangzu did mention the ‘disappearance case’.”
Old Dog Peng held his payment card and pretended to be profound.
“Listen, this is the most valuable information. Just a few months ago, I went drinking with Lu Pi… We happened to run into Lu Guangzu, who suddenly started talking to me about the disappearance on Bianzhu Street. He hadn’t mentioned these things before.”
Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo looked at each other. Seeing Zhong Chengshuo’s drowsy face, Lord Ghost King consciously picked up the conversation, asking, “Didn’t he mention these things before?”
This person was so sleepy that his hands were becoming soft, and he could barely hold onto Yin Ren. Yin Ren smoothly changed his grip and clenched the man’s hand tightly.
Zhong Chengshuo shuddered a little, and his face became more sober.
“Yes, Lu Guangzu didn’t care about cases like this, so I found it quite strange that he would mention it. Uh, you guys know about the disappearance case on Bianzhu Street, right?”
The three of them nodded silently.
As long as people lived in Haigu, they would more or less hear about it. Even Yin Ren, who had just woken up, had brushed many short videos on it…
The missing person in the disappearance case on Bianzhu Street was a 9-year-old boy named Lu Yuanyuan.
The case itself was ordinary. The boy, who went out to buy ointment for his grandfather, ran into a dead end and then disappeared from the world.
The explosive point in this situation was Lu Yuanyuan himself.
The child’s parents were both migrant workers. They passed away in an accident a year ago. The only living relative was his grandfather, who was in poor health. In the absence of volunteers, Lu Yuanyuan took on a lot of the chores and took great care of the old man. Despite the hardship, the boy always had a smile with deep dimples on his face.
That smile was very contagious, which spurred the neighborhood community to film a video in order to organize a donation. Who would have thought the video would garner such momentous attention? Everything seemed to be moving in a good direction.
Then, on a sunny spring day, Lu Yuanyuan disappeared.
His grandfather sat on a wooden stool and waited at the door frantically, asking everyone about his grandson’s whereabouts. Volunteers came to deliver food every day, but the old man refused, saying he would eat at his neighbor’s home.
The police searched vigorously but found nothing. The boy wasn’t involved in an accident, so most likely he was either kidnapped or killed. The criminal was extremely cunning, as there were no clues left behind. Shian had assisted in the investigation but was unable to proceed due to insufficient clues.
The boy was like a drop of rain that merged into the sea, disappearing silently into the corner of the city.
And his grandfather just waited quietly, looking in the direction of the street. One night, two weeks later, he collapsed in front of his home.
After Lu Yuanyuan disappeared, the old man hardly ate, and his body weakened quickly.
After that day, the news of “The internet celebrity grandson disappeared and the seriously ill old man starved to death” made headlines, causing an uproar on various websites that took two months to calm down.
“Could it be that Lu Yuanyuan is one of the seven victims?” Zhong Chengshuo asked while frowning, trying to hold back a yawn.
Old Dog Peng dangled the payment code in front of the two of them. “I only know that Lu Guangzu mentioned this. He said the boy wasn’t easy—I have no idea what that means. He just said that. As for other things, I don’t really know.”
Yin Ren scanned the code to pay. “Thank you, Master Peng.”
“Ah, you’re welcome.”
Being thanked by Yin Ren made Old Dog Peng a little uncomfortable. He shrank his head and pondered for a bit while his facial sore poked out of his chest.
The big bulge-like pancake thing twisted and said in a low voice, “I will give you another piece of information… Lu Yunayuan’s grandfather became a powerful ghost and is still staying in the old place. You can stop by and question him. As long as Wu Jiayi accompanies you, he can’t hurt you.”
Wu Jiayi: “Fucking great. Why didn’t I expect this?”
“It’s too late now. We can’t trouble you. Bianzhu Street is in Jintang District.” Yin Ren shook his head quickly. “Wu Ge, how about this. When we go to work tomorrow, we’ll formally apply with Shian…”
Zhong Chengshuo was a person who went to bed early and got up early. At this moment, his face was full of pain from his biological clock being disrupted, so Yin Ren couldn’t bear to look at him closely.
Wu Jiayi: “Hey, it’s no trouble. If you want to question a ghost, it’s not so easy during the day.”
The ghost market was an interesting place. The exit was at the end of the street that led straight into darkness. Wu Jiayi waved goodbye to Old Dog Peng and took the two of them straight to the exit.
After holding their breath and following the way, the darkness cleared, and they were standing at the intersection of Bianzhu Street.
“The exit is here?” Zhong Chengshuo’s drowsiness completely dissipated. This was too coincidental, wasn’t it?
“It’s the same as how you enter. The guide chooses it.” Wu Jiayi patted his food delivery clothes and buttoned on his helmet again. “Otherwise, everyone will go in and out like a market every night, and they will be noticed.”
It was already 2 a.m. at this point, so Bianzhu Street was empty.
This street connected to the old town and had old shops and houses on either side, along with sparse trees. The entire street was like a dead man’s arm—cold and stiff, exuding a decaying smell.
Wu Jiayi: “Forget Xiao Zhong. Xiao Yin, be careful. Lu Yuanyuan’s grandfather is very powerful.”
“How powerful?” Lord Ghost King humbly asked.
“It’s about the same level as the ghost in Ping’an Manor.” Wu Jiayi’s expression became solemn. “Lu Tanfei—Lu Yuanyuan’s grandfather—has registered with Shian. We were barely able to restore some of his sanity, but he’s a new ghost and would get confused from time to time, which makes things quite dangerous.”
Yin Ren thought for a bit about Hu Tao in his work group. “I should be fine.”
“Alright, watch yourself.” Wu Jiayi nodded.
With Lu Yuanyuan’s disappearance and Lu Tanfei turning into an evil being, their home was left uninhabited to this day.
It was on the first floor of a red-brick apartment building. The door was green with a mottled blessing on it. The couplet was also on the same red paper, with strong and powerful calligraphy. From a glance, it looked like it was written by hand.
The windows were rusted with poor-quality security bars. The glass was covered with dust, and the inside was dark.
Yin Ren subconsciously let go of Zhong Chengshuo’s hand and got closer. However, before he could take a few steps forward, he saw six brownish-red spots in the murky darkness.
Those bright spots wavered and would extinguish from time to time. Yin Ren was just about to take a closer look when he saw them approaching quickly, pressing tightly against the window.
Those were six crisscrossed human eyes.
They were crookedly embedded in an old man’s head, covering his entire face, replacing the facial features that should’ve been there. Among the wrinkles, they blinked from time to time as they stared outside.
Yin Ren stared back for a while.
Yin Ren: “How wonderful. Wu Ge, the old man is at home.”
Xiao Wu responded with an “oh” and opened the iron gate. “I’ll go in first. You two follow me.”
The moment the door rang, the strange face on the other side of the window disappeared.
The musty smell unique to unoccupied rooms came from the door. Xiao Wu fumbled for a while before he managed to find the cord for the electric light.
Dim lights filled the small room.
Yin Ren didn’t look around at first and instead naturally raised his head…
An evil thing in the shape of a spider was hanging from the ceiling.
It looked more like a twisted human body than a real spider.
Six eyes were randomly embedded in its wrinkled head, and its thin neck was almost retracted into its chest cavity. Near the chest and abdomen, the old man had two pairs of thin, bony legs and feet. This “person” was thin, looking quite out of shape, but his abdomen looked like it had ascites and was raised high.
“Where’s Yuanyuan?” The evil thing had no mouth, but it could call out in a hoarse voice. “Did you find Yuanyuan? Is Yuanyuan back?”
“It’s usually like this,” Xiao Wu whispered. “Ghosts can’t leave their place of death. Hurry up and ask your questions while he’s still lucid…”
Yin Ren didn’t say anything. He looked at the evil being up and down, as if he were evaluating something.
Ten seconds later, he took two steps forward. The evil thing in the form of an old man climbed down the wall silently, stretched out his neck, and put all six of his eyes close to Yin Ren’s face.
“Here’s the deal.”
Yin Ren cleared his throat.
“Comrade Lu Tanfei, we have found a clue about your grandson. Please come with us… Give me your birthdate first, and I’ll help you with the rest of the formalities.”
The author has something to say:
Human facial sores* is a well-known (?) legend. You can look it up if you’re interested.
*Disease passed down in ancient times. It’s basically a sore that develops into a face that can eat and drink. With the rise of modern medicine, it’s now defined as a kind of parasitic fetus, which should be removed by surgery. || In a sense, similar to conjoined twins but not badly to that extent.
Xiao Wu is a member of Unit 6. His partners are Li Xiaozhen and Li Xiaoli. The two girls shouldn’t be discharged from the hospital yet, so he’s relatively free.
Hu Tao: Great, I am no longer the only part-time worker!
Xiao Zhong: Yin… Fruit Knife
Xiao Yin: ? Something wrong, Jackie Chan Ge?
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3 thoughts on “Evil As Humans Ch46”
Thank you for the update ❤️💯
A sleepy Zhong Chengshuo is too cute 😍
LikeLiked by 1 person
LMAO JACKIE CHANNNN GEEE
Thank you for the chapter!