Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 56: Fine Pork
At 11:00 p.m., Yin Ren knocked on Zhong Chengshuo’s door.
After knocking three times, Yin Ren didn’t speak up and was seemingly waiting for something.
At this moment, Zhong Chengshuo had just finished taking a shower and was about to fall asleep. Is this person going to the ghost market again? Zhong Chengshuo got up from bed and walked drowsily to the door.
“I want to talk to you.”
Yin Ren’s tone was solemn.
“At 1 in the morning, the location is on Wanxing Road. It’s at the factory base of those gangsters in Feng Qi’s case. Go alone and remember to turn off your positioning and leave no traces—you should have a way to turn it off, right?”
Zhong Chengshuo didn’t respond, as if he were silencing himself, lest he deliver himself to the front door.
“You can also skip this if you want.” Across the bedroom door, Yin Ren’s voice had a bit of a smile. “It’s good to maintain the current state.”
“I see.” Zhong Chengshuo didn’t give an exact answer.
Yin Ren didn’t reply again. Zhong Chengshuo only heard the door click as he left.
In the bedroom, Zhong Chengshuo’s drowsiness was completely swept away. He slowly took off his nightcap and thought about it for about ten minutes.
Why did Yin Ren suddenly ask him to meet outside? Could it be that his suspicion of Yin Ren was detected, or worse, was his identity exposed…?
He had to confirm it.
When Zhong Chengshuo moved again, his actions were like a series of arrangements—Zhong Chengshuo opened the drawer, took out his usual notebook, and wrote a message on the last page. He then picked up the kettle, poured the water on the indoor green plant, and began to unhurriedly clean up.
After this was done, the time had just reached midnight.
Zhong Chengshuo neatly put on a black sweater, equipped the Evil Fruit, and put the spare phone and cash into his pocket.
When he reached the empty factory building for the last case, the time was exactly 10 minutes before the arranged meeting time.
The factory had been swept by Shian. Though the graffiti on the walls was still there, the garbage and paint cans had been cleaned up, making it even more empty than last time. Given that this place was “haunted”, not to mention the previous gangsters, even the homeless in the neighborhood were reluctant to approach. The only living things here were cockroaches and moss growing in the corners.
It was a good night, as the moonlight shone through the rows of windows, glistening the ground as if it were frozen with a layer of frost.
Yin Ren was in front of one of the windows.
He was sitting on a huge cardboard box. His long hair was scattered, and his eyes were slightly red. There was a strong smell of blood and flesh coming from the box, which seemed to contain something unpleasant.
“You’re here.” Seeing Zhong Chengshuo pull down his hood, Yin Ren showed his usual smile.
Zhong Chengshuo maintained a safe distance without saying a word.
“Zhong Ge, I need your assistance in this case.”
Yin Ren wasn’t uncomfortable with Zhong Chengshuo’s silence. He stood up and started moving.
“Assistance? Why me?” Zhong Chengshuo stood still, but the muscles in his body were completely tense due to his wariness.
Yin Ren’s tone was brisk. “I have a good way of catching the true culprit, but it’s not in compliance, and I can’t hide it from you as my partner.”
When he spoke, Yin Ren put his hands behind his back.
Zhong Chengshuo lowered his body’s center of gravity and stared at Yin Ren’s arm.
Yin Ren didn’t seem to notice and continued, “Zhong Ge, we have been working together for a while, so I can see some things—for example, you think that human life is more important than compliance.”
“Since our purpose is to solve the case, instead of distracting and fooling you, it’s better for us to work together to save people. You can help me keep a little secret, right?”
Zhong Chengshuo maintained a vigilant posture and stared at Yin Ren for a while.
A trap? Or is it a test? How much does Yin Ren know about him?
He originally thought that their peaceful pattern of getting along could be maintained. Who would have thought that this person would give him a surprise attack. For a moment, Zhong Chengshuo was caught off guard.
However, when he thought about it, Yin Ren didn’t mention anything like “I know you are acting differently”. It was more like revealing his strength than testing him. The man’s behavior was explained as “in order to save people as quickly as possible, he chose to confess to his partner”, which seemed to make sense.
He had to choose the most natural response.
Silence spread in the empty factory building. Yin Ren waited patiently; his movements and smile remained unchanged. For a while, only the sound of breathing from the two people was left in the huge space.
“…Okay, I agree.”
After a long while, Zhong Chengshuo finally spoke in a neutral tone. He glanced at the box.
“As long as you’re not endangering others and limit it to this case, I can give you some information and… help.”
“Nn,” Yin Ren smiled, while his brows furrowed.
He approached step by step with his hands behind his back and stopped in front of Zhong Chengshuo. The latter held his breath and moved the calf that was hiding the Evil Fruit.
A firework of confetti exploded. Countless confetti sprayed onto the roof of the dilapidated factory. The moonlight was bright, reflecting the smooth confetti with its blinding light.
For fear of an insufficient atmosphere, Mr. Yin hid two confetti sprayers behind his back and started pulling one after the other. “Congratulations on reaching the accomplice alliance achievement—”
Zhong Chengshuo took a step back silently, avoiding the colorful snowflake-like confetti.
When all those little things fell to the ground, he slowly stretched out his hand and patted away the remaining fragments that were still stuck to him. “Do you know that these things still have to be cleaned up?”
“I’ll take care of it later.” Yin Ren waved the confetti sprayer happily. “It’s faster if two people clean it up.”
“What if I didn’t agree?”
“I’ll persuade you again and try to appeal to your feelings and reason. There’s always a solution if we have the same purpose.”
“What if I insist on reporting it to Shian?” Zhong Chengshuo felt a slight headache.
“If you insist on exposing me, then I can only run away. To tell you the truth, I’m very confident in running away.” Yin Ren snorted. “But I am more confident in my vision of reading people. If I succeed, you and I will be in the same boat…”
Zhong Chengshuo held himself back. He couldn’t retort this person’s shamelessness. At any rate, this person was a powerful person, but he seemed to have no such thing as “the dignity” that accompanied powerful people.
“This is not how complicity works.” Zhong Chengshuo wiped his face in pain.
“We’re in cahoots*.”
*(狼狈为奸) Idiom deriving from a fable that means colluding with each other to do bad things.
“Okay, we’re in cahoots.” Zhong Chengshuo felt helpless as he pointed to the cardboard box. “Business matters. What’s in the box?”
There was a trace of pride on Yin Ren’s face. “Bait.”
He slightly tore open the cardboard box and revealed the contents…
A wig, an entire pig, a set of butcher’s knives. There was even a bean bag chair in there.
Zhong Chengshuo blankly recalled the definition of “bait*” in modern language. For a moment, he regretted cooperating with this guy.
*Clarity: The word is (钓饵) which refers to fishing bait but is also a metaphor for things that are used to seduce people.
Sure enough, his bad feeling quickly came true. He saw Yin Ren lift the set of knives and enthusiastically place them in front of Zhong Chengshuo.
“The ghost market is quite good. As long as you have money, you can get everything.” Yin Ren lamented. “Come, Zhong Ge, let’s divide up this pig.”
Zhong Chengshuo looked at the complete set of butcher knives numbly. If he really liked Yin Ren, his “like” at this moment would wane a bit.
“You specifically called me here to help you divide up a pig?” Zhong Chengshuo said slowly. “That’s it?”
“What’s wrong? When we’re ready, we have to move things to the ghost market. Oh, there’s also the collusion afterwards, which is very important.” Yin Ren cracked his fingers solemnly. “Don’t underestimate dividing a pig. We have to work together and do it very neatly.”
Zhong Chengshuo took a deep breath and quickly sorted out his mood. “How do you plan to catch the true culprit?”
Yin Ren paused his knife motion. He touched his chin, and his smile became deeper.
“You’ll find out later.”
The knives gleamed in the factory. From time to time, there would be the dull sound of sharp objects piercing flesh. The skin, fresh meat, internal organs, and bones were neatly separated by the two of them. The entire pig was gradually divided and cleaned.
At the moment of completion, Yin Ren dragged over the bean bag..
Zhong Chengshuo finally couldn’t hold back. “…What, are you planning to lie down?”
No matter what Yin Ren did now, he wouldn’t find it strange. King Yama felt quite tired after a long absence.
“Zhong Ge, I do have some special abilities. It’s not convenient to tell you the details, but I assure you that I have absolutely no malice towards Shian or you—”
This time, Yin Ren didn’t evade Zhong Chengshuo as he muttered obscure incantations under his breath.
Zhong Chengshuo saw the bones soften and squirm as if they were alive. They gradually merged into the fabric of the bean bag and turned into a neat, thin support. The fabric and the bones were inseparable, but not as completely integrated as the “human chair”.
Yin Ren was imitating the real culprit’s technique.
This was followed by the internal organs, fresh meat, skin, and the wig. As if molded in clay, they wrapped around the fabric one by one and integrated into the interior of the sofa. The original soft, cloth-like bean bag took shape, and the outline became clearer.
Time passed, and eventually a beautiful and bizarre “bean bag” was completely finished.
It was embedded with countless exquisite “bones” and the backrest and corners were decorated with a low-key and beautiful visceral pattern. The place where it came into contact with people had a standard skin texture, and it felt soft like flesh. The sutures were jet black, like hair, blending everything just right with a touch of eerie elegance.
“As expected of a wig made of real human hair.” Yin Ren touched the bald hairnet. “It really worked.”
Zhong Chengshuo’s expression turned serious. He tentatively patted the cold bean bag.
“This will do?”
“No, this thing still needs to be stained with evil qi.”
This was just a regular pig from a slaughterhouse. There was even a quarantine stamp on it. The pig’s death method was standard, so there wasn’t much resentment. Even if the appearance passed the test, a knowledgeable person could discern the problems.
Yin Ren took out his phone and opened Coffin Nails.
In the next moment, Hu Tao and Lu Tanfei appeared in front of him.
“Wow, this is amazing.” Hu Tao looked at the bean bag with interest. “Did you do it? You ran here in the middle of the night to make a bean bag?”
Lu Tanfei was silent. The old man looked worried, as if he wasn’t interested in anything.
“Come on, both of you.” Yin Ren turned his back to Zhong Chengshuo and said, “Please sit on this sofa for an hour and inject more ghostly presence into it.”
Hu Tao: “What?”
Yin Ren: “And Elder Lu, I’ll teach you a set of techniques for penetrating flesh and objects. You must learn it as soon as possible. It may be useful in the future.”
“Hehe, so it’s true. I’m just here to help you carry the pot in the future.” Hu Tao was obviously thinking about how she had been cheated on learning how to fly before. “But since Zhong Chengshuo is here, it must be business.”
“It is business, I promise.” Yin Ren spoke seriously. “We want to use it to catch the culprit.”
Hearing these words, Lu Tanfei finally reacted. He immediately turned into a human spider and hugged the bean bag tightly in his arms.
“I see.” He opened his six eyes wide and replied in a hoarse voice, “I’ll do my best.”
Zhong Chengshuo waited quietly for Yin Ren to communicate with the air. Only when Yin Ren turned around did he ask questions.
“I probably know what you’re going to do—you’re going to send this imitation work to the ghost pawnshop and ask the boss to send out a message. The Nightwalkers will spread the news since they’re good at it. Still, I have two questions.”
“Hm?” Yin Ren was putting the rest of the meat into the bean bag.
“First, how can you guarantee that the true culprit will definitely respond to you?”
“The real culprit has a love for showing off. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have specially displayed that human chair through the auction—the more obvious thing to do would be to destroy it, leaving Shian with fewer clues. If this were to be publicized, the culprit will likely respond.”
Zhong Chengshuo wasn’t satisfied with this answer. “Then there’s also a possibility of failure.”
“If this was changed to something else, it may fail.” Yin Ren cocked the corner of his mouth. “But with this ‘bean bag’… As long as we provoke properly, he will react.”
Zhong Chengshuo narrowed his eyes and stared at Yin Ren for a while.
“Second question. What are you going to do with the meat? Imitate body parts? Making traces similar to the culprit?” He pointed at the bag of meat in Yin Ren’s hand.
“What are you thinking?!” Yin Ren was shocked. “This is good-quality meat and pork belly. I can’t let it go to waste. I’m taking it home.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “……”
That night, the ghost pawnshop received a secret auction item that looked like a work of art. It was an extraordinarily delicate and beautiful bean bag, with a complete person fused inside that exuded a strong ghostly presence.
Even if Lao Jiang was used to seeing the world, he couldn’t help but lament. The recent auction items were becoming so horrifying that even a corpse like himself found it difficult to bear.
For the living chair, Shian came to question him several times, so he wasn’t able to hold an auction recently. Unfortunately, the Nightwalkers were on equal footing with Shian, and they had their own reasons as well—the ghost pawnshop had stood for 300 years, and its secrecy had been tested against time.
To make such a comeback, this could be considered having earned enough face, so Lao Jiang was very satisfied.
That said, the auctioneer found a strange message attached.
[Your work is beautiful, but mine’s not bad either. I know you want this. Do you want to play hide and seek together?]
[Looking forward to your response, your friend.]
The next day, near the old town.
“That’s a lot of money,” Yin Ren said in shock while reading the report.
“Yes, a lot of money,” Zhong Chengshuo repeated without any emotion.
It could be said that the sale went well. Their bean bag sold for a high price of 120,000, which was 20,000 higher than the human chair. The sucker’s surname was Ming’an—since the human chair was discovered, another investigation team had been going to the ghost pawnshop every night, so naturally they wouldn’t miss this opportunity.
“Unfortunately, this is all going to Lao Jiang.” Yin Ren turned off the investigation report in pain. If he and Zhong Chengshuo dared to touch the money, it would alert Shian, who would come to their door within minutes.
What a pity. It was a handmade souvenir of their first cooperation.
As for the follow-up inspection, the two weren’t worried. The bean bag could fool Lao Jiang, but not the DNA testing device from the Foreign Object Identification Department. Shian would soon discover the truth that the meat was simply pork.
But as far as Shian was concerned, naturally, this result wouldn’t be publicized. This was the bait that was sent to the door, so everyone was anxious for the true culprit to take it.
“There will be results tonight. Wait a bit longer.” Yin Ren leaned over Zhong Chengshuo and whispered in his ears. “How’s it going, Zhong Ge? Does it feel good to be an accomplice?”
“It’s limited to just this case,” Zhong Chengshuo silently replied.
“Yes, I understand. Then let’s exchange some information. Why did you check Huang Jin first?” Is it because you’re afraid of spooking the snake? For “King Yama” of the Nightwalkers, this reason was flimsy.
So Yin Ren added pitifully, “You have dirt on me, so don’t worry. Maybe I can help.”
Zhong Chengshuo’s brows twitch. The feeling of helplessness from last night came up again—this person was clearly testing him, but he couldn’t refuse.
Because Yin Ren might really be able to help, which was something Zhong Chengshuo wasn’t accustomed to thinking.
“Lu Guangzu is most likely Huang Jin in disguise.”
After a long moment of silence, Zhong Chengshuo lowered his head and tried his best to answer in an airy voice.
“Ding Lizi most likely is one of the victims, and Huang Jin has a very close relationship with her. However, Huang Jin chose Lu Guangzu as a disguise, indicating that he and Lu Guangzu also crossed paths, and Lu Guangzu is also involved with Sunken Society—Huang Jin is the intersection of the victim and the suspect. The authorities are lost. Perhaps he has more clues on him.”
“You got this much information just by shaking him?” Yin Ren was speechless.
“I’m better at reading people.”
“Zhong Ge, your confidence is quite strong.” Yin Ren’s facial features instantly wrinkled as if they were writing “as if I believe you” on it.
Zhong Chengshuo slowly looked away. “…I am good at reading people.”
“But if you’re right, I have a good idea. It may be unethical. Do you want to hear it?”
“Remove the ‘may’ first,” Zhong Chengshuo said in a serious tone.
‘This experience was really fresh,’ Zhong Chengshuo thought to himself. Before, he preferred to be alone in the basement, working silently on the evidence board. Now it felt good to have a conversation with a living person… Although he still didn’t know if the other party was actually alive.
“The real Lu Guangzu probably met misfortune,” Yin Ren said. “I recognize that kind of disguise. You need to use human skin…”
“Hey, you two are almost glued together!” Officer Sun waved his hand from the front. “Hurry up. Don’t you want to investigate Huang Jin?”
“Coming!” Yin Ren quickly returned to his normal voice and didn’t continue.
Huang Jin’s residence was close to the old town.
The building was an old-fashioned five-story building with a basement on the ground floor. There wasn’t much domestic garbage in the corridor, but there was still a layer of grayness floating on the cement steps. The tone was full of the sense of the last century.
Huang Jin lived on the fifth floor. It was a residence that wasn’t rented and had been empty.
“Single-parent family. Huang Jin has been living here alone since his mother passed away five years ago.”
Officer Sun opened the home.
The room inside was extremely ordinary. It was full of the aesthetics of the elderly, looking a bit lifeless and dim. The air conditioner and refrigerator were covered with beige knitted sleeves, and a mess of gifts and sundries were stuffed inside the old cabinets. At the corner of one of the brown cabinets was a cobweb-like crack.
Even Zhong Chengshuo’s parents’ home was livelier than here.
The only thing that could show the age of the owner was probably the guitar on the sofa—it was so new that it looked out of place with the surroundings, making it particularly conspicuous.
Officer Sun touched the guitar and sighed. “This Huang Jin’s life is quite difficult. Around the time when he was in elementary or middle school, his mother lost her sight due to illness. He had been taking care of her while studying, so he had debts out through his ass for her medical treatment.”
Based on his experience, Huang Jin didn’t seem like the type who could “strip people’s skin”.
According to the neighbors, Huang Jin had lived here since he was a child. He had always been taciturn, but his temper was good. Unfortunately, his grades weren’t good. He only lasted until middle school. He was recently laid off by his company last year, which showed how difficult his life was.
“How did he pay his debts?” Zhong Chengshuo said as he looked through the information. “He just paid off his debt a few months ago.”
“Making small handicrafts and selling them to young people.” Officer Sun pointed to the balcony—it had been turned into a workbench by Huang Jin. There were still many unfinished small wood carvings on it, all of which looked cute and lovely.
Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo looked at each other.
They both knew that what they were looking for wasn’t this.
Huang Jin’s residence was ordinary. The police had searched it many times without finding anything suspicious. When it was discovered, the door of the residence was even locked in a regular manner, and there were no traces of anything shady in the home.
On the surface, this was just a young man who left home one day and never came back.
Zhong Chengshuo: “We want to see the basement.”
“We checked the basement. It’s full of debris that hasn’t been moved for months.” Another young police officer leaned over. “Huang Jin disappeared two weeks ago, so it’s better to look here.”
“We’re just following the process.” Yin Ren answered with a smile. “We’ll just take a quick look.”
The basement in Huang Jin’s residence was indeed full of miscellaneous things.
Relics that belonged to the elderly, old furniture and tools, useless books, rusty bicycles—all kinds of things of little value were piled up in a small space, full of dust.
Yin Ren glanced around and strode to an abandoned bookcase. The basement was a bit damp. Deep in the bookcase, rows of old books exuded a damp and decadent smell.
One of them smelled wrong.
Yin Ren carefully took out the <Huang Thaumatology>—the pages of the book were so worn that they couldn’t be read, and they would fall apart with a hard touch. Looking at the flipping traces, the first half of the book was flipped more frequently. Inside were some introductory techniques for spirit smiths, as well as the production of basic spirit weapons that could affect luck and prosperity.
The book was old, but the skills explained inside were ordinary, so it wasn’t a rare secret book.
Yin Ren gently turned over to the back. Sure enough, he found the recipe for making “human fragrance” and “demon painted skin”. On the page of “demon painted skin”, the corner of the book had more sesame seed-sized, dark brown traces, like old blood.
Yin Ren leaned his nose close to the stain and sniffed carefully.
“I want to take this away.” Yin Ren stuffed the book into the evidence bag and handed it to the police officer. “Please register.”
“There’s blood?” Zhong Chengshuo asked.
“Well, dead blood.”
Zhong Chengshuo paused for a moment, then jerkily said, “Yin Ren, are you interested in being unethical together?”
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2 thoughts on “Evil As Humans Ch56”
Yin ren can be goofy sometimes 😂😅
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for the chapter!