Chapter 51 Playing to Death 07
Ye Youyou said, “He arrived as a doctor four years ago, assigned on the fourth floor.” She glanced away, positioning herself by the doorway. “After sundown, it’s best for ordinary people not to leave rooms with nameplates.” She gestured towards the plaque affixed to the door. “Those things are unable to infiltrate. However, if you go outside your rooms, no one can protect you. But I don’t think you’ll be afraid. The night can indeed show you the true face of Changhe Sanatorium.”
Chen Yang: “Where can the Blissful Deity be found?”
Chen Yang: “Blissful Bodhisattva.”
“I don’t know,” Ye Youyou shook her head, “I only know it might be here, but I don’t know where exactly. It has never appeared before us.”
“Alright. Can you share with us everything you know about the sanatorium?”
Ye Youyou: “What do you want to know?”
Chen Yang motioned for her to come inside. “Please, come in.” After a moment of hesitation, Ye Youyou stepped into the room, closing the door behind her. Chen Yang gestured for her to take a seat and proceeded with his questions, “You and Ye Youya became aware of the sanatorium’s existence five years ago. Your stepmother is also a patient here. Hence, you must know about the sanatorium’s past.”
A change in Ye Youyou’s expression was evident. “Have you uncovered so much already?” She soon followed with a mocking smile. “So, what else do you wish to know? Do you wish to pay a visit to my stepmother and extend your sympathy while you’re at it?”
“You are aware of our purpose for being here.” Chen Yang observed quietly, his gaze fixed upon her.
Gradually regaining her composure, Ye Youyou said, “I hate her, even the mere mention of her fills me with boundless resentment.” Inhaling deeply, she murmured an apology. Then, she continued, “The sanatorium originated as a charity house known as Changhe Charity House. It was inherently a place shrouded in gloom and darkness. However, an incident happened, leading to its closure and abandonement.”
The closure of Changhe Charity House resulted from a commotion involving the flying zombie—an event known to Chen Yang and Kou Xuanling but unbeknownst to Ye Youyou. Ye Youyou cast her eyes downward and spoke in a hushed tone, “You might presume that Changhe Sanatorium is synonymous with Changhe Charity House. However, in truth, Changhe Sanatorium did exist, but not at this present location. As for its whereabouts, I am uncertain. What I do know is that the original Changhe Sanatorium served as a facility specializing in the treatment of psychological and mental ailments. Eventually, rumors circulated about doctors engaging in torture and violence against the patients, leading to the permanent closure of Changhe Sanatorium.”
Raising her gaze, Ye Youyou’s eyes revealed depths of intensity. “Changhe Sanatorium met its demise, but those vile doctors escaped retribution. However, the tormented souls, who died under absurd reasons, continued to exist. They remembered the pain they suffered during their lives and the faces of their enemies. They yearned for the day they could inflict the same torment upon the doctors who harmed them. The Blissful Bodhisattva, upon hearing the cries of these restless souls, materialized before them, delivering the doctors one by one, enabling them to seek their long-awaited vengeance.”
Chen Yang frowned. To Ye Youyou’s perspective, the actions of the Blissful Deity were actually a means of liberating the tormented souls trapped in the sanatorium. Ye Youyou sneered, “The police were unreliable, and even the closest people to themselves didn’t believe in them. No one can save us. You think the Blissful Bodhisattva is an evil deity, but it’s the only one who saved us, the only one who extended a helping hand to us in our despair!
“The patients who were toyed with and played to death, although their minds and spirits were damaged, became even more stubborn as a result. Even after death, they vividly remember the pain they endured before dying, reliving the same scene every day. Have you celestial masters gone to save them? No, it was the Blissful Bodhisattva who brought the doctors who killed them before the tormented souls, allowing them to kill their enemies with their own hands and find release.”
Chen Yang stared at her coldly, while Kou Xuanling turned back, surprised, and curiously asked, “If you hold the Blissful Bodhisattva in such high regard, why do you want us to rescue your sister from its grasp?”
Ye Youyou: “Because my sister is addicted to killing, and it will worsen her sins. I don’t deny the Blissful Bodhisattva. Even though I hope my sister can break free from its influence, I still hold reverence for the Bodhisattva.”
Both of them were left speechless, shocked by Ye Youyou’s viewpoint. After a while, Chen Yang finally said, “In your subconscious, you’re fundamentally denying that evil god. You realize it’s a sin, but you dare not believe or deny the Blissful Bodhisattva.”
Ye Youyou responded with a cold laugh and a disdainful snort.
Chen Yang: “The doctors who tortured and killed the patients in the sanatorium were actually instigated by the Blissful Bodhisattva, arousing their wicked thoughts. The patients trapped in the sanatorium became earthbound souls due to the obsession of being wrongfully killed. However, the best way to rescue them is through salvation rituals, such as conducting ceremonies or chanting scriptures. Do you think allowing the tormented souls to exact revenge on their enemies is saving them? In reality, it’s enticing them to become malevolent ghosts, committing sins that prevent them from being reincarnated!
“If there is injustice, seek justice, and if there is revenge, retaliate. However, one must seek permission from Fengdu, confirm the situation, and obtain special approval from the Great Emperor before returning to the mortal realm to personally avenge and seek revenge. Otherwise, if every tormented soul were to return to the mortal realm to kill their own enemies simply because they were killed, without considering the motives of the murderers or the causes of the victims’ deaths, wouldn’t chaos ensue? Then what’s the point of having police and laws? Those who commit murder and incur guilt will naturally be punished by divine justice and the Court of Great Yin. If that so-called Blissful Bodhisattva truly had the ability, why wouldn’t it personally administer punishment instead of luring tormented souls to torture and kill the doctors? It’s nothing more than a malevolent creature that doesn’t even dare to bear its own guilt. Yet you all treat it as a Bodhisattva! That malevolent creature has played all of you like puppets, using the guise of a savior. Ye Youyou, you know it in your heart, but you pretend to be ignorant because you’re too afraid to admit it!”
Seeking justice and revenge was subject to the laws of the heavenly principles. Either by altering their fate or shortening their lifespan, unless it was a grievance significant enough to disturb Fengdu, special approval was needed to return to the mortal realm for revenge Otherwise, one would become a malevolent ghost, paying the price of reincarnation and descending to the depths of hell just to be allowed to take revenge. In reality, there weren’t so many instances of easily attaining satisfaction from settling grievances. Matters of love, hatred, and vengeance must all be arranged according to rules and ironclad laws.
Chen Yang was angry because Ye Youyou knew full well that the supposed actions of the Blissful Deity to save them were merely using them as entertainment, but she was too afraid to admit the truth and continued deceiving herself.
Chen Yang stood up and looked down at Ye Youyou. “Do you truly believe that you can be saved? Even if that evil god were to perish, you still wouldn’t find liberation.”
Ye Youya had killed so many people. While some of them indeed deserved their fate, others didn’t deserve to die. Furthermore, there were completely innocent people as well. Even though Ye Youyou didn’t personally carry out the killings, she was an accomplice. Moreover, she listened to the words of that evil deity, became pregnant to manipulate Mr. Qian, and allowed two little ghosts to kill the unborn child in her womb. After the miscarriage, she showed no signs of grief and remained extremely indifferent.
She treated her own child as a tool for manipulating others, displaying a greater degree of callousness and cruelty than her sister.
Ye Youyou’s face suddenly turned ugly. She abruptly stood up, knocking over the chair. Trembling lips and wide eyes, she seemed eager to retort but ultimately didn’t say anything. She hesitated for a while before speaking softly, “I only know this much, and that’s all I can say. Don’t ask me about anything else. Go find out for yourselves. I’m leaving.”
With that, she turned around and hurriedly left, nearly tripping over the fallen chair in the process.
Kou Xuanling: “She is even more selfish and indifferent than Ye Youya.”
Due to her past experiences, Ye Youya became paranoid and twisted, stubbornly believing that she was carrying out divine justice and that most of the people she killed were scum. While Ye Youyou was protected by Ye Youya and never experienced harm, she willingly allowed her unborn child to be used as a tool by that malevolent creature, showing no remorse.
Chen Yang: “She loves Ye Youya deeply.”
Despite Ye Youyou’s selfishness and indifference, she genuinely wanted to save her sister.
Kou Xuanling: “There are still three hours until nightfall. Shall we take a walk first?”
Chen Yang agreed, and the two of them opened the door. Just as they took a couple of steps, they exchanged a glance, as if sensing something. Kou Xuanling said, “Guess how many people are watching us?”
“Among them, who knows how many are not even human?” Chen Yang surveyed the floors below and calmly said, “I can feel the dense ghostly and Yin energies, but the strongest concentration of ghostly energy is not here.”
Kou Xuanling: “Where is it, then?”
“Outside, in the large lake.”
Kou Xuanling seemed to have a realization. “Are there many sinister things hidden in that lake?”
“When we passed by, everything in the entire lake was staring at us, densely packed.” Chen Yang could sense it—layer upon layer of things piled up beneath the lake’s surface, the whole expanse of water appearing ominously dark. The more unknown entities lurked beneath, the more terrifying it felt.
Kou Xuanling: “Our room has a window overlooking the lake. If there’s any activity, we can notice it in time.”
Chen Yang paused and turned his face to look through the small window on the door. Inside was a ward, where a doctor and two nurses were attending to a patient. Upon closer inspection, something seemed off. The nurses were restraining the patient’s upper body with belts, immobilizing them, while the doctor stood in front of them, playfully toying with a tray of food. The emaciated patient, resembling a skeleton, emitted faint sounds from their mouths, their struggling movements barely noticeable.
When the patient accidentally stabbed a fork into their own forehead due to the struggle, the doctor and nurses burst into laughter, contorting in an odd and bizarre manner. The patients, skeletal and emaciated, mirrored the doctor and nurses in their appearance. The scene appeared peculiar and comical.
Kou Xuanling approached and saw this scene. “The doctors and nurses are toying with the patients, causing them to die of hunger. They become skeletons, just skin and bones, before and after death. And even in death, they seek revenge on each other, turning them into skeletal creatures as well. The cycle of endless retaliation and torment prevents their souls from finding peace and being reincarnated. Such a malevolent creature who derives pleasure from others’ suffering are actually worshipped as deity!”
It was ridiculous that true compassionate bodhisattvas were not venerated, while these creatures who play with human lives were worshipped.
Chen Yang stopped Kou Xuanling. “We can’t meddle in the grudges between them. It’s the affair of the Underworld. If you go in now, you’ll only enrage them.”
Kou Xuanling pondered for a moment and agreed with Chen Yang. “Even if I wanted to offer salvation, they wouldn’t allow it.” The enmity between the doctors, nurses, and patients ran too deep, so deep that even after death, they didn’t forget to torment each other. “Isn’t Zhou Qi a ghost official? We can have him forcibly detain the tormented souls and bring them to the Underworld for registration and judgment.”
Chen Yang replied, “I know. Shall we go downstairs?” He was concerned that Zhou Qi’s identity as a ghost official might disturb the ghosts and spirits in the sanatorium and attract the attention of the Blissful Bodhisattva. Therefore, he planned to wait until all the ghosts and spirits in the sanatorium were active at night before having Zhou Qi come over.
Kou Xuanling acknowledged and followed Chen Yang downstairs. On the third floor, Chen Yang caught a glimpse of a person who met his gaze. The person’s face remained expressionless as they turned and hurriedly walked away. After a few seconds of confusion, Chen Yang suddenly remembered the individual and quickly chased after them. “Meng Xi!”
Upon hearing Chen Yang calling out to him, Meng Xi accelerated his pace and attempted to escape. He pushed aside the patients blocking his path, obstructing Chen Yang, and swiftly vanished from sight. Observing the situation, Chen Yang untied the red string from his wrist, agilely climbed onto the balcony, and took a shortcut to intercept Meng Xi. As Meng Xi spotted Chen Yang ahead, he abruptly turned and ran in the opposite direction. Chen Yang caught a glimpse of a small stool in the corridor and threw the red string, entangling the stool’s legs, forcefully propelling it toward Meng Xi’s back.
Struck by the stool, Meng Xi fell to the ground. Chen Yang used the red string to bind him, then retrieved the ancient copper coin, placing it in his pocket. He said, “Last time, you took the opportunity to snatch my red string, didn’t you? This time, I’ll use the red string to bind you. Quite a coincidence, don’t you think?”
Meng Xi attempted to struggle but eventually decided to remain motionless. He looked up at Chen Yang and laughed, “You did find your way here after all.”
Chen Yang lifted him up, squatting in front of him. “Did you know I would come?”
“The Blissful Bodhisattva likes you. He would certainly lead you here.”
“Why do you assume it was me who was led here and not me going here on my own for investigation?”
Meng Xi’s face had scraped against the ground when he fell, causing a bloody abrasion on one side. It pained him to smile, emitting a slight hiss. “The Blissful Bodhisattva is cunning and cautious. If he hadn’t provoked you, you would have never known of its existence.”
Chen Yang pondered for a moment and realized that Meng Xi was stating a fact. It was that malevolent creature that entangled them in this situation, making them notice so many seemingly coincidental events. “You refer to that thing as a bodhisattva?”
Meng Xi laughed derisively. “Everyone else calls it a bodhisattva, don’t they?”
“You don’t respect it?”
Meng Xi sneered, “A deceitful monster toying with people’s hearts. Only a fool would continue to show reverence after knowing the truth.”
Chen Yang was surprised to find another person who understood. “But you still let that thing manipulate you, don’t you?”
“You’re mistaken.” Meng Xi raised his chin arrogantly. “We use each other. It helps me obtain what I desire, so I let it play its games. I don’t believe in it, and it doesn’t need the belief of its pawns.”
Just as Kou Xuanling approached, he overheard their conversation and was equally astonished. Meng Xi glanced at both of them, struggled with his wrist, and asked Chen Yang, “Can you untie me?”
Chen Yang smiled. “Don’t you like it?”
Meng Xi paused for a moment, then impatiently clicked his tongue. “The Blissful Bodhisattva wanted me to retrieve your red string, but when I did, it became furious. It’s useless, and it’s not like I like it.”
Chen Yang grabbed Meng Xi’s shoulder and lifted him up. “I can see that you know more than Ye Youyou. Shall we have a chat?”
Meng Xi: “Untie the string.”
Chen Yang tightened the string even more. His binding technique was peculiar, rendering Meng Xi unable to break free and causing his arm to ache as the string constricted. Soon, Meng Xi’s face turned pale. “Alright, I’ll talk. Let’s go inside my room.”
Chen Yang released the string but maintained a gentle tone. “You’re an intelligent person who enjoys collaboration. Let’s work together harmoniously.”
Meng Xi glanced at Chen Yang with a mix of confusion and disagreement. He couldn’t comprehend how the Blissful Bodhisattva could favor Chen Yang and perceive him as pure and innocent when, in reality, he was cunning and ruthless.
Chen Yang and Kou Xuanling followed Meng Xi back to his room on the third floor, which had been transformed into a typical three-bedroom apartment. Meng Xi sat on the sofa, holding his untied wrist, and addressed the two opposite him, “What do you want to ask?”
Chen Yang: “Where is the Blissful Bodhisattva?”
Meng Xi: “In the sanatorium.”
“I can’t tell you… Even if you kill me, I can’t reveal it. Otherwise, I would be killed by the Blissful Bodhisattva before you could do anything to me. At least I’ve given you a general idea, right? You just have to find it yourselves.” Meng Xi shrugged innocently, raising his hands. “That thing is very cunning and usually hides in unexpected places.”
“When you appeared in Lychee Garden, were you there to help Dong Hong divert our attention or merely plotting to steal my red string?”
“Both,” Meng Xi replied. “The Blissful Bodhisattva makes the most of every opportunity, and I happened to be quite useful to it.” Recalling something amusing, Meng Xi laughed. “Dong Hong contacted the Blissful Bodhisattva through Yang Hong, a sadistic man specialized in killing women. He had severe sadistic tendencies and hoped the Blissful Bodhisattva would help cover up his actions. Initially, the Blissful Bodhisattva thought it would be entertaining, but it turned out Dong Hong was a coward. Soon enough, the Blissful Bodhisattva found him uninteresting and wanted to kill him. However, it found amusement in making Dong Hong struggle between life, death, despair, and hope. It gave him false hope, only to plunge him into despair in an instant. Truly amusing.”
Meng Xi burst into laughter but gradually stopped when he noticed the cold indifference on the faces of Chen Yang and Kou Xuanling. He shrugged with indifference and boredom. “The Blissful Bodhisattva seemed to think the red string was your magical weapon. It got angry when it realized it wasn’t.” As he mentioned the Blissful Bodhisattva’s angry expression, he couldn’t help but wear a smile on his face.
Meng Xi: “Mao Xiaoli runs really fast. I thought if it weren’t for her last time, you wouldn’t have been able to catch me. But it seems today you run faster than me.” Meng Xi was in high spirits. “Do you want to race with me? I run very fast.”
Chen Yang: “Didn’t you have a car accident?”
Meng Xi’s expression stiffened. “I’m fine now.”
“Then how come you couldn’t outrun Mao Xiaoli or me?” Chen Yang continued questioning.
Meng Xi pounded the table forcefully. “I’m fine! My legs have been fine for a long time, and I can run fast! Mao Xiaoli has always been a fast runner. If it weren’t for my car accident, she wouldn’t have been able to surpass me—”
Chen Yang: “So, your legs were indeed injured, weren’t they?!”
“No!” Meng Xi suddenly stood up, pacing around like a trapped animal, muttering words of denial. Then he abruptly rushed into a room, and soon thumping sounds could be heard from inside.
Kou Xuanling was close to the room and, upon hearing the thumping sounds, quickly approached and opened the door slightly to take a look. As he witnessed the scene inside, his pupils contracted, and then he kicked the door wide open, allowing Chen Yang to see the sight as well.
Inside, Meng Xi was frantically kicking and hitting two people on the floor. Both of them had dog chains around their necks, with the chains embedded in the headboard of the bed, leaving them no escape from the relentless assault. They were dressed in oversized clothes, so dirty and disheveled that their human forms were hardly recognizable.
Chen Yang and Kou Xuanling acted simultaneously. One restrained Meng Xi and kicked him out, while the other went to examine the two individuals who were locked up. To his horror, he discovered that all four limbs of the victims had been severed, and their tongues had been cut off. As he was about to investigate further, he inadvertently touched their noses and realized there was no breath left. Chen Yang paused briefly, then reached out and felt the back of their heads, finding a zipper. Opening it revealed batteries and a recording device, which, when played, emitted the muffled sounds of ‘whimpers’ he had heard earlier.
Chen Yang’s face turned grave as he stepped out of the bedroom and described the situation to Kou Xuanling, informing him that the two figures were made from the bodies of dead people. Kou Xuanling kicked Meng Xi to the ground and demanded to know who the people in the room were.
Meng Xi: “They’re my parents.”
Both of them stared at him with incredulous eyes. Meng Xi said, “They are my family. Only like this can they be with me forever.”
Chen Yang fell into silence for a moment and asked him, “Was it your idea or the work of the Blissful Bodhisattva to turn your parents into puppets?”
“It was me.” Meng Xi’s expression took on a sinister twist. “Only like this can they be with me forever, love me, and praise me. The two people who were alive before were not my parents.”
“When you turned them into puppets, were they still alive?”
It was only at this moment that they realized just how abnormal Meng Xi truly was, and words like deranged and twisted could hardly capture the extent of it. When Chen Yang asked him why he did such a thing, Meng Xi impatiently replied that only puppet parents could truly love him.
Meng Xi: “Why do you think I collaborated with the Blissful Bodhisattva? It’s because I had a car accident and can no longer run or participate in races to win prizes. They stopped loving me, and it made me sad.”
As he spoke, sadness filled his eyes. Meng Xi’s family was complicated, with his parents favoring his sister greatly and showing a clear preference for girls over boys. His sister was raised like a princess and received double the love and affection from their parents. Meng Xi, on the other hand, was neglected from a young age, only receiving a smile when he handed over the prize money he won from running races. But his parents would then take that money and use it to take his sister out, buying her the things she loved.
Meng Xi had never experienced physical violence from his family. He was simply ignored completely. It was the complete disregard and the constant reminder of his parents’ favoritism towards his sister that slowly and subtly twisted and distorted him, making him become insecure and neurotic.
After Meng Xi’s car accident, he couldn’t win the prize money from long-distance running anymore, and once again, his parents ignored him. That was when the Blissful Bodhisattva appeared, and he decided to create his ideal parents himself.
“When my younger sister is unhappy, she can hit our parents, and they won’t get angry. They even console her. Now, when I hit my parents, they don’t get angry either,” Meng Xi said with delight.
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