I Became Famous after Being Forced to Debut in a Supernatural Journey Chapter 56

Chapter 56: Rainstorm Wild Temple 18 Part 1

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When Lu Xingxing was sound asleep, he was abruptly awakened by a phone call from his friend.

“Xing’er, you’ve got to help me!”

As soon as he answered, his friend’s panicked voice burst through the phone, startling Lu Xingxing, causing him to drop his phone to the ground and activate the speakerphone unintentionally.

Instantly, the room was filled with his friend’s wailing and sobbing, almost driving the half-asleep Lu Xingxing away.

“Xing’er, do you remember the live-streamed travel variety show I told you about before? The one with the incident at the Ghost Mountain, which even alarmed several Taoists from Haiyun Temple. Well, this time, something has gone wrong with the show again!”

Lu Xingxing had a close relationship with the person on the other end of the line, to the point where they affectionately addressed him using a diminutive form of his name, “Xing.” It was clear they had been good friends for many years.

With a displeased expression on his face, Lu Xingxing, still trembling from the shock, picked up his phone from under the bed. He asked, his tone not too pleased, “So what? Did they go to Ghost Mountain again this time, or did they encounter ghosts once more? What does this have to do with me?”

“It’s not that, this time, the show went to the Wild Wolf Peak. Although we did see some ghosts, ugh… I’m not sure if a one-and-a-half-meter-tall giant rat and scarecrows count as ghosts.” After mumbling for a moment, his friend suddenly howled, “That’s not important! What’s important is… I think I’ve encountered a real ghost!”

Wild Wolf Peak?

The name instantly woke Lu Xingxing up completely. He subconsciously looked at the window, where the rain had not stopped all night, and his previously impatient expression turned serious.

Others might not be aware, but as a disciple of Haiyun Temple, Lu Xingxing knew very well that Wild Wolf Peak, especially on rainy days, was not a place an ordinary person could enter.

Even Yin-Yang Masters who were skilled at capturing ghosts and dispelling evil spirits, with real abilities, would avoid Wild Wolf Peak.

It was a place rejected by heaven and earth, where ignorance and greed had killed the guardian god of the region. From then on, that piece of land had died in another sense. All methods related to the gods of the four directions and the heavens ceased to function, like a sealed metal box that blocked all external signals.

Whether they were Taoists, shamans, or Gu masters, they all turned pale at the mention of that place.

Lu Xingxing had a senior fellow disciple surnamed Ma who, when he was young, was called to resolve issues near Wild Wolf Peak. However, he ventured perilously close to the gates of the underworld, and if it weren’t for the local shaman who saved him, he might not have returned.

Lu Xingxing still remembered the story that Senior Fellow Ma had told him back then.

When Taoist Ma was asked to go, the villagers didn’t disclose the true situation in the village. They only mumbled about unclean entities entering the village, disturbing both humans and livestock, and they wanted Taoist Ma to take a look.

The existence of the Mountain God in the vicinity of Wild Wolf Peak had been known to Haiyun Temple for hundreds of years.

Considering this, the young Taoist Ma thought, “With a Mountain God around, how unclean could things possibly get? It’s probably just a matter of the ancestors not moving on after they passed away.” 

So, the young Taoist Ma willingly went.

However, when the young Taoist Ma  entered the village, he realized something——

What a vague and all-encompassing concept! Anything, strong or weak, could be classified as “unclean” as long as it was related to cult practices. But could the “unclean” near Wild Wolf Peak be compared to other forms of impurity?

What Taoist Ma saw before him resembled a scene from the underworld.

Every single livestock in the village, whether it was a chicken, duck, cow, or sheep, had died inside their enclosures. Even near the foot of the mountain and at the edge of the forest near the village houses, there were dead wild animals like wolves and squirrels from the mountains. Due to the large number of deaths and the inability to dispose of them promptly, many livestock carcasses had started to emit a foul odor, permeating the entire village.

The villagers had become numb to this and explained to Taoist Ma that when the chickens and ducks died on the first day, they had assumed it was the work of the neighboring village. Without much thought, they had taken the chickens and ducks back home to eat. 

However, not only did those who consumed the poultry fall victim to possession, but the next day, several neighboring villages also discovered dead chickens and ducks.

The villagers in those villages, unwilling to waste the meat, had also eaten them. As a result, from children to adults, everyone who partook in poultry consumption became possessed. These people hunched their bodies, curled up on their chairs, and incessantly gnawed on their nails and fingers. They gnawed until their flesh was a bloody mess, yet they did not stop. Their mouths mumbled incomprehensible words, and their eyes darted around. Anyone who tried to approach them would be immediately scratched and left with bloody wounds by their claw-like hands.

“It was originally the village’s shaman who lived up in the mountains that we hired to exorcise the evil spirits. But unexpectedly, many people were burned to charred corpses, and their appearance…”

As the village chief mentioned this, he seemed to recall the scene from back then and appeared somewhat horrified. “We initially wanted to retrieve the bodies of those young people, but we never expected those charred corpses, those charred corpses… they came back to life and fled!”

“Since that day, people in the village have been saying that they encounter those charred corpses when they go out at night. Many have disappeared without a trace, and no one has seen them again.”

The village chief sighed, shaking his head and pointing to the carcasses of livestock in front of and behind the houses. He said to Taoist Ma, “Since then, the livestock in every household have died in a pitiful state. But we dare not eat them, fearing that we would be cursed as well, so we just pick them up and bury them in pits up in the mountains. And now, even the animals up in the mountains have been affected. You see, their bodies are scattered everywhere. We don’t know what to do; we can only leave them be.”

“Taoist Ma, you’re a great benefactor from Haiyun Temple, a young talent. You must help us…”

Whatever the village chief said afterward, Taoist Ma couldn’t hear it at all.

He stared at the village chief’s face, suddenly feeling that the village chief’s appearance was not human-like at all. It looked more like the face of some kind of rodent, with his eyebrows, eyes, and nose all tangled together in an uncanny and animalistic way. Furthermore, despite being in his prime, the village chief’s face was already covered in wrinkles. His temples were deeply sunken, the skin on his forehead was dark, and his complexion was ashen. When he had shaken hands with the village chief just now, the chief’s skin had felt as cold as ice.

This… he was clearly a dead person!

The young Taoist Ma trembled as he swallowed hard. He tried to use divination to figure out what was happening, but to his horror, he found that his divination abilities had completely failed!

Even though his divination skills were notoriously bad and had often earned him a beating from his senior Taoist, they should still work to some extent. What on earth was happening?

“Taoist, Taoist? What’s wrong with you? Are you hot?” The village chief looked at Taoist Ma strangely and said, “It’s quite odd. Even though the TV weather forecast says it’s not hot now, I feel uncomfortably hot, and so do my family members. Could it be that thing they talked about on TV, about that global warming?”

As he spoke, the village chief casually wiped his forehead with his hand. However, instead of sweat, a piece of skin came off.

Revealing the black and red muscles and the eerie white bones underneath.

“Ah!” Taoist Ma’s eyes widened in shock.

The village chief glanced at Taoist Ma inexplicably but showed no signs of pain. He simply said, “You also feel hot, Taoist? Then come to my house and take a rest.”

After the village chief effortlessly scraped off his own skin, Taoist Ma had originally reached into his robe to retrieve the talismans that were prepared and stored there. He intended to take them out and use them on the village chief to determine what this entity really was. How could someone with the appearance and physical characteristics of a dead person walk naturally under the sun?

However, to his surprise, Taoist Ma found that all he touched was a handful of ashes.

At some point, all the talismans had turned to ashes

This meant that they had encountered malevolent entities and an attack on their way into the village, which had caused the talismans to self-ignite.

However, Taoist Ma had not sensed any of this, and he couldn’t even use his various magical techniques.

Taoist Ma broke out in a sweat and his eyes filled with suspicion. However, he was powerless to do anything at the moment, so he could only nod his head and agree with the village chief. He would wait and see what happened.

As they walked to the village chief’s house, Taoist Ma noticed that all the villagers he passed, whether they were at home, walking down the street, or even children, had a deathly pallor on their faces.

Some were worse off than others.

Some had completely lost their skin, and their joints were popping and cracking as they walked. The ground they walked on was covered in black and red blood and flesh, mixed with dirt and dust, giving off a foul stench of decay.

Others were little more than a bloody mess. Their eyes had rotted away, their blood vessels were wrapped around the eyeballs, which were half-hanging out of their sockets, leaving black holes in their eye sockets.

When one of these villagers noticed Taoist Ma staring at him, he glared back and said, “Haven’t you seen a villager before? What’s wrong with you?” Then he continued walking as if nothing had happened.

The other villagers seemed to be used to this sight. They greeted each other as if it were perfectly normal, asking each other how much money their neighbors had made that year or how many cars and houses they had built.

If it weren’t for their rotting flesh, this would have been a normal day in the village.

But Taoist Ma felt a chill run down his spine as he watched.

“Tapist, we’re here. This is my house. Please have a seat. I’ll go to the well and get you a nice, cold watermelon,” the village chief said eagerly. He turned and went into his yard to get the watermelon, which had been cooling in the well water since the morning.

Taoist Ma was still shaken by what he had seen, and he wasn’t really hungry. He glanced over at the village chief when he heard his words.

But then he froze.

When the village chief pulled the watermelon out of the well, he also pulled up a charred arm!

The arm was completely carbonized and twisted, with its five fingers shriveled and fused together. It was wrapped in the rope that was tied to the watermelon, it came up with the watermelon. When it was pulled up, something else must have been attached to it, but it was torn off by the force and fell back into the well with a “thud,” as if it had fallen back into the water in mid-air.

The village chief casually picked off the charred corpse arm that was wrapped around the watermelon and threw it back down the well, muttering, “How did it get a bug?” Then he turned around with the watermelon in his arms and enthusiastically invited Taoist Ma into the house to cut the watermelon and eat it.

Taoist Ma absentmindedly responded and claimed he wanted to feel the cool breeze, then stood alone in the courtyard. After the village chief went into the kitchen, he quickly took a few steps to the well and peered inside, wanting to see what was down there.

Then he gasped and felt a sense of unease wash over him.

Immersed in the well water was a completely charred corpse, nearly blending with the black surroundings when standing at the bottom of the well. Only the faint glimmer of light reflected by the well water allowed him to barely discern what it was.

Moreover, the charred corpse’s mouth was actually chewing on something. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a human thigh.

—The village chief had mentioned earlier that many villagers had encountered charred corpses waiting outside their doors or in the fields at night. These charred corpses, due to their all-black appearance, blended in with the night, catching the villagers off guard, and many people disappeared after these encounters.

Taoist Ma couldn’t help but retch, and he quickly covered his mouth, suppressing the nausea that threatened to make him vomit. However, the partially digested food and acidic water surged up his throat, leaving a nauseating taste in his mouth, making Taoist Ma extremely uncomfortable.

As if sensing the warmth and vitality of a living person approaching, the charred corpse’s neck made a “click” sound as it stiffly lifted its head to look toward the well’s opening.

Taoist Ma hastily withdrew his body from the exposed part of the well opening, retreating several steps backward. But before he could steady himself, he felt that he had bumped into something small, child-sized.

He instinctively bent down and reached out to support whatever he had bumped into, afraid that he might have knocked the child over. Then he looked into a pair of dark, empty eye sockets.

Taoist Ma: “!!!”

The child, with a pale and bloodless complexion, raised its head and looked at Taoist Ma with those eye sockets devoid of eyeballs. It curiously asked in a cold and stiff voice, “Big brother, did you come to play with the big brother in the well too? Why are your eyes still there?”

Taoist Ma forced a smile and said, “Little one, you mean your eyes are in the well….t-then the brother that played wit you didn’t have them?” 

The child nodded, “One day, I woke up from a nap late in the afternoon, and it was already dark outside. I was alone at home, and when I opened my eyes, the brother from the well was standing right above me. He said he was hungry, so he took my eyes and ate them.”

Taoost Ma was taken aback by this unexpected revelation. After a moment of stunned silence, he hurriedly asked, “What about your parents? Didn’t they take care of you?”

The child shook his head and replied maturely, “My dad seems to owe something to someone, so he had to go to the fields to watch over the rice. He didn’t want the birds to eat it or someone else to steal it. Once the harvest is enough, Dad will pay off the debt and come back home. Mom said Dad had gone crazy and wanted to take me with him to the city. But before leaving, she went to the Mountain God Temple, and she never came back.”

“Grandpa said Mom spoke disrespectfully to the god, so the god was displeased and made her stay behind to do some extra work. Maybe when Mom finishes her work, she can come back and take me with her.”

The child seemed somewhat sad, “But it seems I can’t leave anymore. Before, when I and my friends went to play in the mountains and wanted to go to the neighboring mountain, we couldn’t find our way out no matter what. Da Hei said it was because I didn’t have eyes, he didn’t have hands, and Er Ya lost her head. We’re all incomplete, so we can’t leave.”

The child’s words still carried the innocence of youth, but his voice, which used to sound clear and pure, now seemed lifeless and chilling as he recounted the story.

Taoist Ma felt as if a bucket of cold water had been poured over his head, and he shivered uncontrollably.

Just then, the village chief in the kitchen warmly invited him to eat some watermelon, Taoist Ma walked over in a daze.

While receiving a plate of watermelon from the village chief, Taoist Ma suddenly sensed a burnt smell in the kitchen.

He found an excuse to stay in the kitchen and began to inspect everything. When he lifted the lid of the rice bin, he was horrified to discover small black fragments scattered among the rice grains. 

They were irregular in size and shape, resembling the broken pieces of pine cones.

However, Taoist Ma immediately thought of the charred corpses in the well.

Opening a container of leftover rice that had been set aside, he found the same black fragments mixed into the food.

The villagers had been unknowingly consuming fragments of burnt corpses for who knows how long.

Taoist Ma’s blood ran cold.

He tried pinching his fingers again, but it was still futile. He couldn’t help but feel a sense of despair. Could he really resolve the issues in a place where the whole village was abnormal? No, the question should be, could he safely leave this place?

The young Taoist Ma knew that this was beyond his ability to solve, so he planned to find a way to leave and then ask the more senior Taoist masters at Haiyun Temple for help.

He hurriedly bid farewell to the village chief, telling him he wanted to survey the surroundings. Then he quickly left the village and headed toward the outskirts.

Along the way, Taoist Ma encountered many villagers who, like the village chief, had undergone animal-like transformations or were highly decomposed. Every household was filled with various foul odors, a nauseating blend of the smell of bodies left to rot in the sun and the musty odor of flesh soaked in water. Yet the villagers lived with this stench as if it were normal.

In front of the houses in the village, there were piles of livestock carcasses, their throats bitten through in a gruesome manner, left unattended and exposed by the roadside. Occasionally, there were also the bodies of wild animals that had run down from the mountains, their cloudy eyes staring lifelessly, stiffened, and emitting a foul odor.

After becoming more vigilant, Taoist Ma noticed that in the shadows around those houses, several charred corpses lay quietly against the walls, seemingly waiting for the arrival of night to rise again.

This village was beyond salvation.

Taoist Ma thought in despair.

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