Chapter 53 Playing to Death 09
The golden light enveloping the sanatorium grew feeble, gradually succumbing to the relentless assault of the dried muntjacs. It was only a matter of time before their relentless onslaught shattered the golden barrier. Just as Chen Yang raised his hand, ready to invoke the formidable Fengdu General, the door behind him crashed open. A swarm of skeletal patients, their mouths agape and limbs flailing, lunged towards them, seeking to seize their every limb. With a swift turn, Kou Xuanling positioned himself in front of Chen Yang, their backs pressed firmly against each other. They both assumed a stance and recited incantations.
Chen Yang: “…By my command, banish the spirits and smite the gods. Let the heavens descend and cleanse this malevolence. Swiftly, as dictated by the laws of the Great Emperor of Fengdu in Northern Yin!”
Kou Xuanling: “…Against the wicked witches and vile spirits…when faced with the fire of the third and fourth elements…let the countless ghosts be vanquished, reduced to naught but dust. Urgently, as commanded by the laws!”
One invoked the summoning spell for the mighty Fengdu General, while the other chanted the potent Heavenly Thunderfire Incantation. Kou Xuanling’s peachwood sword, adorned with Five Thunders talisman, carried the essence of celestial thunder and fire. With each strike upon the restless souls, the sword unleashed torrents of thunderous flames, engulfing them entirely. Kou Xuanling swiftly imprisoned the tormented souls within his mystical artifact, hoping to guide their redemption.
Meanwhile, Zhou Qi appeared at the window, emanating the authoritative aura of a Ghost Emperor. The trapped souls within the room quivered in fear, paralyzed by his overwhelming presence. In a fluid motion, a soul-binding chain emerged from Zhou Qi’s sleeve, skillfully entangling the souls and drawing them back into the confines of his cuff. Seizing the opportunity, Kou Xuanling promptly shut the door and approached the window for a closer look. “Such a multitude of dried muntjacs? Are they the product of human intervention?”
Zhou Qi spoke, “It used to be a mining site, but tragedy struck when it collapsed, claiming numerous lives. They were all buried beneath the lakes, nurtured by the essence of the earth and the lingering metallic energy, transforming into eerie dried muntjacs. Then, the emergence of Flying Zombies added to the macabre scene. Those who were killed or died were thrown into the lakes. The famished and desolate dried muntjacs beneath the waters seized the opportunity, swarming to feast upon the fresh corpses. The taste of human flesh tainted them with malevolence. Normally, they lurk beneath the lakes, clandestinely observing anyone passing by, seizing the moment to drag them down and consume their flesh while the victims remain oblivious. The skeletal remains are left behind, buried beneath the lake’s depths, eventually becoming new dried muntjacs.”
Kou Xuanling casually slung the peachwood sword over his back and responded to Zhou Qi’s remark, “Isn’t Fengdu responsible for this? With such a significant loss of life, they should be able to detain a multitude of souls.”
Before Zhou Qi could answer, Chen Yang interjected reflexively, “They have no control over it. Once the souls are trapped within those lifeless shells, they are unable to escape. Nurtured by the essence of the earth, metallic energy, and the gentle glow of moonlight, they transform into lesser spirits, falling beyond Fengdu’s jurisdiction.”
“Indeed, it is not our concern,” Zhou Qi nodded discreetly, silently praising Chen Yang’s response. In truth, while lesser spirits were not part of Fengdu’s jurisdiction, it didn’t imply that they could not be managed. However, the previous Emperor was a distant and apathetic figure, strictly adhering to the rules. He focused on fulfilling his duties and chose to turn a blind eye to matters that didn’t require his direct involvement, even if they unfolded right under his nose. “The Great Emperor is not like the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, unwilling to meddle in affairs and shoulder unnecessary burdens.”
Chen Yang didn’t find the affairs concerning the Fengdu Emperor particularly intriguing. After nodding in agreement with Zhou Qi, he redirected the conversation and inquired about the underlying causes behind the enigmatic circumstances of this place. “With a strange mix of humans and spirits, tormented souls alongside dried muntjacs, and even sightings of Flying Zombies, why does this location bear witness to such frequent malevolence?”
Zhou Qi elaborated, “It’s a convergence of Yin energy, a gateway to the spirit realm. It was once a virtuous inn but later transformed into a psychiatric hospital. Over time, it gradually became a wellspring of Yin energy.” The term “convergence of Yin energy” referred to a structure’s proximity to a location saturated with potent Yin energy or the structure itself possessing intense Yin characteristics. The lake at the entrance and the former mortuary of the Changhe Inn, which was subsequently repurposed as a psychiatric facility, both embody this profound Yin essence. Coincidentally, the architectural design aligned the main entrance with the gate to the spirit realm, inadvertently transforming it into a wellspring of Yin energy.
This place, known as a Yin energy convergence, was quite peculiar. It was originally a collapsed burial ground caused by an accident. Later, perhaps due to efforts to suppress the Flying Zombies, the Changhe Inn was built here. The inn housed long-forgotten corpses, and when the seal was broken by the Flying Zombies, a massacre ensued, resulting in a bloodbath. With the groundwork laid by the burial ground, inn, and Flying Zombies, the Yin energy convergence quickly formed, giving rise to an abundance of tormented souls and dried muntjacs.
Chen Yang hooked his index finger around the red thread and rethreaded the ancient coins onto it. He glanced beneath the window and asked, “Why did the dried muntjacs rush into the sanatorium?” Despite knowing that touching the golden light would turn them into black water, they kept coming relentlessly. Unless there was something in the sanatorium that the dried muntjacs couldn’t resist.
Normal zombies didn’t have blood, but the Flying Zombies did. Zombie blood was incredibly sinister and malicious. Even a single drop could assimilate tens of thousands of people into the lowest-level zombies, attacking anyone they encountered. For the dried muntjacs, zombie blood was a powerful tonic, enabling them to evolve into zombies that were immune to sunlight.
“I’ll take care of the dried muntjacs below, while you deal with the tormented souls in the sanatorium and find that imposter pretending to be a bodhisattva.” Chen Yang stepped onto the windowsill, wrapped the red thread around his wrist, slung his backpack over his shoulder, and with his other hand, he gripped the upper half of a jade finger ring around his neck, pulled it off, and jumped down.
With sharp eyes, Zhou Qi caught sight of the half-piece of the jade finger ring. In shock, he leaned in for a closer look and saw Chen Yang skillfully leaping and maneuvering in the moonlight. With a few swift jumps, he landed on the ground, quickly tossing out talismans as the dried muntjacs lunged at him, and retreated into the protective golden light. Zhou Qi had good vision and could even make out the half-piece of the jade finger ring in Chen Yang’s palm from the fourth floor. “The mark of Fengdu’s Great Emperor?!”
Kou Xuanling turned his head, “What did you say?”
Zhou Qi snapped out of his daze, “Nothing.” With that, they opened the door and split up, capturing the tormented souls in their artifacts as they moved along the floors. However, when they encountered rooms with nameplates, indicating the presence of residents, they refrained from barging in and searching. They combed through the entire sanatorium but couldn’t find anything resembling the Blissful Boddhisattva.
Kou Xuanling said, “There’s no shrine dedicated to the Blissful Boddhisattva anywhere in the sanatorium.” The Blissful Boddhisattva derived power from the fervent worship of believers and should be situated where the incense offerings were most abundant. It was surprising that his shrine was nowhere to be found in this place.
“Inside, we’ll either find tormented souls, patients, or individuals with twisted minds. With insincere hearts, even with incense offerings, they won’t be of much use. Besides, hiding here is safer because it’s difficult to locate it,” Zhou Qi replied, tossing out a soul-locking chain to bind the tormented soul attempting to escape and stuffing it into his sleeve. “Have you noticed any suspicious individuals?”
After pondering for a while, Kou Xuanling changed direction and headed toward the spot where Meng Xi was hiding. Zhou Qi followed closely.
Chen Yang entered the sanatorium, hooking his pinky finger around the red thread and fastening it to the door frame. He swiftly manipulated the red thread with all ten fingers, forming a formation. From his backpack, he took out cinnabar, white liquor, yellow talismans, and a brush. Mixing the cinnabar with the liquor, he dipped the brush into the cinnabar and quickly drew intricate patterns on the yellow talismans. He affixed the talismans in their designated positions, some by sticking them, others by burying them. Finally, he buried the ancient coins threaded on the red thread into the soil, within the talisman’s designated spot.
After some consideration, Chen Yang dug up one of the talismans, imprinted it with cinnabar using half a jade finger ring, and rewrapped it before burying it again. Standing up, he pressed a seal on each talisman in their respective positions. As he finished sealing the last talisman, Chen Yang used his index finger to touch the seal on the yellow talisman. “Fengdu—”
Suddenly, a loud noise came from outside. Looking up, Chen Yang saw that the dried muntjacs had broken through the sanatorium’s main gate and rushed inside. They seemed to have sensed the presence of humans and became even more excited as they lunged forward. As they stepped into the formation set up by Chen Yang, a golden light appeared on the ground. Oblivious, the dried muntjacs continued to charge into the formation. Chen Yang retreated into the formation marked by the red thread, concealing his own aura.
The dried muntjacs had only two black holes for eyes and couldn’t see people but could only smell their presence. There were still living individuals within the sanatorium, and this group of dried muntjacs followed the scent of humans as they made their way upstairs. Meanwhile, the golden light grew brighter, and each spot where a talisman was affixed with a seal emitted a single point of light. These points of light connected with each other, forming a constellation pattern throughout the entire sanatorium.
This formation was called the Yin-Locking Formation, used to restrain evil spirits and malevolent entities. During the day, there was sunlight and Yang energy, while at night, there was darkness and Yin energy. Malevolent entities belonged to the Yin category, while copper coins represented Yang energy. The Yin-Locking Formation was traditionally formed using twenty-eight copper coins to represent the twenty-eight constellations. However, since there were no copper coins available at the moment, he could only draw Qi-converging symbols on the spot as a substitute. It was nighttime now, and they were in the outskirts, so the Yang energy was definitely not as strong as during the day.
Fortunately, the surrounding area was surrounded by tall mountains that, although associated with Yin energy, were purely Yang in nature. He could still gather a fair amount of Yang energy, but the requirements for the spiritual talismans were extremely high. If even a stroke was drawn incorrectly, instead of gathering the Yang energy of the mountains, he would end up gathering the Yin energy absorbed by the mountains.
Chen Yang carefully observed the formation of the golden light and finally breathed a sigh of relief when he discovered the formation of the twenty-eight constellations. The dried muntjacs proceeded upstairs, their bodies stiff and their movements slow. When one group of dried muntjacs reached the second floor, they encountered several tormented souls, and a fight broke out between the two sides. The dried muntjacs were torn apart and turned into black water, which emitted a corrupting miasma that affected the tormented souls.
Just as Chen Yang was quietly watching the spectacle, a room upstairs opened, and a young girl walked out, rubbing her eyes. A chilling breeze blew, causing her to shiver, and when she looked up, she came face to face with the battling dried muntjacs and tormented souls, prompting her to let out a scream.
This scream caught the attention of the dried muntjacs and tormented souls, causing them to pause briefly before lunging menacingly toward the girl. Chen Yang loudly shouted, “Go back!” But the girl was frozen in place, too terrified to move, and couldn’t hear his warning at all.
Helpless, Chen Yang had no choice but to dismantle the formation marked by the red thread and reveal his own presence. The normally slow-moving dried muntjacs suddenly became agitated upon sensing human aura, and their speed increased dramatically. Chen Yang narrowly evaded their attack, swiftly climbing up by using the red thread looped around a pillar upstairs. As he jumped off the railing to land on the ground, a dried muntjac pounced fiercely at the spot where he had just been standing.
Without looking back, Chen Yang swung the red thread and reduced it to ashes. His red thread possessed the utmost Yang energy, capable of turning dried muntjacs into mere ashes. After landing, Chen Yang grabbed the girl and swiftly took cover in a nearby room, closing the door behind them.
The girl turned out to be Meng Xi’s sister, Meng Yao, who also had mental issues. She believed that everyone in the sanatorium was normal, repeating the search for her parents who had already been turned into dolls, yet never opening the bedroom door to find them. She harbored a strong aversion toward Meng Xi, living in her own world, choosing to ignore anyone she disliked or didn’t want to acknowledge.
Meng Yao snapped back to reality and saw Chen Yang. Her expression turned grim, and she screamed, “Get out! Leave my room!” She screamed while rushing towards the door and opened it. The tormented souls and dried muntjacs outside rushed in, grabbing her arms and tearing at her, causing Meng Yao to scream in pain.
Chen Yang quickly approached and ignited the Five Thunders talisman attached to the tormented souls and dried muntjacs. He pulled Meng Yao, who had managed to break free, behind him and recited, “Divine soldiers, thunder soldiers, act swiftly as commanded.”
An empty space cleared up at the doorway, but there were still one or two tormented souls and dozens of dried muntjacs climbing up the pillars or stairs. Chen Yang reached out to close the door when an unexpected force pushed him out. He turned around and saw Meng Yao’s smug smile and her hands that couldn’t retract in time. She had pushed him out and even attempted to snatch the half piece of jade finger ring, but Chen Yang reacted quickly and protected the ring, though he was pushed out of the room.
With a loud “bang,” the door closed shut. One dried muntjac grabbed Chen Yang’s ankle, but he squeezed a talisman between his fingers, ignited it, and attached it to the dried muntjac. He then took out the red thread and whipped the dried muntjac that had hindered him until it turned to ashes. The tormented souls, relatively more conscious than the dried muntjacs, retreated in fear.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Chen Yang jumped down the stairs and reached the position of the birth gate. He activated the Yin-Locking Formation, trapping all the dried muntjacs and tormented souls that stepped into the formation. The golden light gradually contracted, securely imprisoning hundreds of dried muntjacs and a dozen tormented souls within the palm-sized formation, rendering them immobile.
Chen Yang breathed a sigh of relief and looked around the sanatorium. At this moment, the demonic entities within the sanatorium had been completely captured, and silence prevailed. He wrapped the red thread around his wrist, set foot on the stairs, and went in search of Blissful Deity. On the third floor, he encountered Zhou Qi and Kou Xuanling, the latter in a furious state. Near their feet were Ye Youyou and… Ye Youya?
It was rare for Chen Yang to see Kou Xuanling in such a furious state, so he asked Zhou Qi, “What’s going on?” Kou Xuanling glared angrily at Ye Youya, while the latter had a vacant expression. Ye Youyou’s eyes were filled with anger and hatred.
Zhou Qi explained, “We were ambushed, and Kou Xuanling was nearly stabbed in the chest. The Ancestral Master appeared and saved him, but Ye Youya emerged and attracted tormented souls to cling onto her. Kou Xuanling rescued her, but the portrait of the Ancestral Master was snatched away during the commotion. It took advantage of the opportunity to launch another attack. The Ancestral Master appeared once again and saved Kou Xuanling, but the portrait was burned to ashes. That’s why Kou Xuanling is in a rage.”
Chen Yang was surprised yet somehow expected it. “He is very devout to Ancestral Master.” He changed the subject and asked, “How did they end up here?”
Zhou Qi looked at the Ye sisters and explained, “Ye Youya was hiding in the sanatorium and came out to ambush Kou Xuanling, causing the portrait of Ancestral Master to be burned. Kou Xuanling, in a fit of rage, caught her and almost threw her into the tormented souls to be torn apart. Ye Youyou ran out and offered to give up her room, pleading with us to spare Ye Youya.”
“You refused?” The Ye sisters seemed deeply affected, especially Ye Youya, who appeared utterly hopeless. “Who provoked them?”
“Of course, we couldn’t agree,” Zhou Qi sighed. “That vile creature took the opportunity when we weren’t paying attention and handed Ye Youya a newspaper. After she read it, she turned into this.” He pointed to the newspaper on the floor.
Chen Yang picked it up and read a small section of the newspaper. It detailed the life of a man who had been falsely accused of molesting children but had actually rescued a poor young girl. A few days ago, he had been brutally killed by Ye Youya.
The Blissful Deity indeed hadn’t spared Ye Youya, and she had reached her breaking point upon learning the truth. Ye Youyou held her sister tightly, filled with both fear and hatred. “Sis, it deceived us. It was always deceiving us, don’t you realize? It enjoys playing games and knows best how to manipulate humans. Sis, don’t trust it, don’t trust that vile creature. It wants to play you to death…”
Ye Youya gently pried Ye Youyou’s hands apart and looked at her, smiling through tears. “I know it played me, wanted to play me to death. I know, so it didn’t deceive me.” Because she understood how that vile creature of the Blissful Deity could manipulate people’s hearts and toy with them, she knew it hadn’t deceived her.
“I’m sorry, Youyou. I’m sorry for involving you,” Ye Youya looked up at Chen Yang and the others, giving a slight smile. “The Blissful Deity, I don’t know where it is. But it is skilled at manipulating people’s hearts and cunning, so it is quite arrogant. I guess it has already appeared before you, but you didn’t suspect it. That thing…” Ye Youya sneered, “It’s a cowardly creature that hides and shows its face. It doesn’t have the ability. Something that plays with people’s lives can never gain devout belief.”
A strange glimmer appeared in Ye Youya’s eyes, and her expression became eerie. “Playing recklessly with the lives of others will ultimately lead to being played to death,” she said. After speaking those words, she suddenly broke free from Ye Youyou’s embrace and jumped off the building.
Chen Yang tried to grab her, but he was a step too late. Falling from the third floor wouldn’t kill a person, but Ye Youya had the intention to die. She landed on her head, breaking her neck and leaving her lifeless.
Ye Youyou also wanted to jump off the building but was stopped by Chen Yang and Kou Xuanling. Coincidentally, they saw Meng Yao’s figure appearing downstairs. She looked up and locked eyes with the four of them. After revealing a sinister smile, she crouched down and began digging into the ground.
Kou Xuanling asked, “What is she trying to do?”
Chen Yang replied, “I’ve set up a Yin-Locking Formation, and that’s the core formation. She wants to destroy the core formation.” With those words, he decisively jumped from the third floor, hoping to stop Meng Yao. Kou Xuanling, filled with anger and nowhere to vent it, followed suit and jumped off the building. As for Zhou Qi, he blinked and appeared downstairs.
Seeing this, Meng Yao quickly dug through the soil until she reached a spiritual symbol. Opening it, she found ancient bronze coins inside, but beneath the coins was a familiar seal. She leaned in to take a closer look and, upon realizing what it was, screamed in terror, “The Seal of the Great Emperor of Fengdu?!” Suddenly, the seal descended like Mount Tai, revealing the true form of the vile creature possessing Meng Yao.
It was a green-eyed fox. The fox stubbornly clung to Meng Yao, throwing aside the spiritual symbol and coins while shrieking and hiding to the side. When it raised its head again, its cheeks transformed into a pointed fox snout, and its eyes dangled, giving it an especially eerie appearance.
Chen Yang picked up the ancient bronze coins and threaded them onto a red string, while Zhou Qi collected the bound muntjacs and tormented souls trapped within the Yin-Locking Formation and stored them in his sleeves. Perhaps because his sleeves were filled with too many tormented souls, Zhou Qi had to change back into his attire as an official of the Fengdu Underworld.
Meng Yao retreated a few steps in fear. “The Central Ghost Emperor?!” It paced back and forth, its voice alternating between masculine and feminine tones. “What are you doing in the area under my jurisdiction? You capture fierce ghosts, and I guide lost souls. Are you here to disturb the Bodhisattva’s practice?”
Zhou Qi laughed twice. “What kind of self-proclaimed Bodhisattva are you? Shameless!”
Meng Yao’s face contorted in anger. “You have spent too long in Fengdu without seeing the world! Do you think I’m not a Bodhisattva? Have you ever seen a Bodhisattva? You judge my nature based on my fox appearance and assume I am wicked. But do you know that foxes possess great Buddha-nature? Since I gained consciousness, I have followed the path of Mahayana Buddhism in my spiritual cultivation. I guide and transform people, fulfilling their wishes. Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva shows great compassion in relieving suffering and difficulties, and I also relieve suffering and difficulties. Just because my deeds are minor, do you deny that I am a practicing Bodhisattva?”
This creature was cunning and eloquent, skilled at distorting the truth. Chen Yang, with a cold expression, lashed at it with a red string. “Enough with the nonsense, let’s just kill it. If there are grievances, go petition in Fengdu!”
Without giving Meng Yao any chance to defend itself or even bothering to argue, Chen Yang directly whipped Meng Yao until it could no longer resist. This creature indeed lacked strength. Although it relied on the devotion of its followers to enhance its power, its lack of righteousness and manipulation of others had resulted in insincere devotion.
However, as it possessed Meng Yao’s physical body, the damage caused would remain in the flesh unless it was driven away. But if it were driven away without knowing its true form, it might return even stronger. Chen Yang bound Meng Yao and the three of them gathered around to discuss how to deal with the situation.
Kou Xuanling suggested, “Take it back to the Daoist Association, conduct a ritual ceremony, and forcefully separate it from Meng Yao’s physical body.”
The vile creature, using Meng Yao’s body, giggled and said, “It’s impossible to separate us. Even conducting a ritual ceremony won’t work. I am a Bodhisattva, and my powers rely on the devotion of people. Can you destroy temples? Can you prevent the offering of incense from devotees? Can you deny the existence of gods and buddhas? Without temples and the offering of incense, there won’t be any divine existence. The reverence you show to the Three Pure Ones and Daoist deities is sustained by faith. You cannot destroy faith.”
Chen Yang and Kou Xuanling looked at it with a dumbfounded expression. “Idiotic!”
The vile creature, filled with self-importance, refused to acknowledge their denial.
Kou Xuanling disdainfully remarked, “First came the gods, then came the temples. People’s beliefs are based on preexisting gods, and it is because these gods already exist that they receive offerings. We worship and offer devotion to our ancestral deities, hoping for their blessings and a smooth journey in life. We seek them. They do not seek us. If even our ancestral deities require offerings to maintain their so-called powers, do we really need to seek them? We can simply have faith in ourselves. Only wicked spirits, ghosts, and those who follow deviant paths rely on absorbing offerings from believers to enhance their powers. Depending solely on external forces without a solid foundation is simply foolish and easily defeated.”
The vile creature relied on the offerings of incense from devotees to accumulate power and manipulate others. However, without those offerings, its power would weaken. It foolishly believed that by hiding in a secluded place without offerings, it could avoid detection by Chen Yang and the others. But it failed to realize that once discovered, its weak strength would leave it at their mercy.
Among those present, no one was more qualified to discuss the topic of offering incense than Kou Xuanling, who faithfully worshipped his Ancestral Master every day.
Kou Xuanling continuously refuted its viewpoints, leaving the vile creature infuriated. He affixed the Five Thunders talisman onto Meng Yao’s body. “Come out! If you truly claim to be a Bodhisattva, stop occupying this young girl’s body. Return to your true form.”
The vile creature’s expression turned dark. “You dare to disrespect a Bodhisattva? Retribution will befall you.”
Chen Yang pondered for a moment. “Let me try another method and see if I can expel it using Daoist techniques.”
Despite being associated with Daoism and deriving power from incense, the vile creature couldn’t be driven away or slain with Daoist methods. Chen Yang furrowed his brow. “We need to find its true form.”
The vile creature smirked with arrogance. “You will never find it.”
“I found it.” Everyone turned to look as Ye Youyou emerged, cradling a statuein her arms. She stopped beside the lifeless body of Ye Youya and revealed the statue to Meng Yao, asking it with a smile, “Isn’t this it?”
The Blissful Deity remained silent, staring directly at Ye Youyou. Its expression conveyed to everyone that the statue was indeed its true form. The Blissful Deity was one type of deity depicted in the statue, and when invited as a household deity, it allowed wicked spirits to inhabit the statue. Over time, the statue transformed into its true form and cultivated power by absorbing the offerings of incense.
Ye Youyou’s smile faded away as she said, “I used to be grateful to you for saving my sister, but now I hate you. Why didn’t you spare my sister? Why did you torment her until she collapsed and took her own life?” She held up a pair of scissors, her smile becoming sinister. “Do you know that those who manipulate others will ultimately be destroyed themselves?”
Blood splattered as the Blissful Deity transitioned from a composed stillness to madness. It stared at the exposed wound in its chest, blood gushing onto Ye Youyou and the statue. With a piercing scream, it longed to pounce forward and kill Ye Youyou.
“How do you know?! Who told you?!”
Chen Yang restrained the Blissful Deity, noticing that the red string almost repelled the deity when it touched Meng Yao’s physical body. He turned around, surprised, and glanced at Ye Youyou, realizing that the blood had disrupted the deity’s power derived from incense offerings. He performed a spell to expel the Blissful Deity from Meng Yao’s body and quickly wove the red string into a net to capture the fleeing blue-eyed fox.
The fox let out a shrill cry, attempting to bite Chen Yang’s hand and escape even as it fell to the ground. Zhou Qi’s Soul-Restraining Chain smashed down on the fox’s head, instantly killing it. The net made of red string fell to the ground, and the fox vanished, coinciding with the shattering of the statue.
“So many people were played to death, and the mastermind was this Five Directional Gods statue.” Kou Xuanling glanced at the deceased Ye sisters, Mr. Qian’s family, and many others. They appeared to have been played to death by the the Blissful Deity of the Five Directional Gods, but in reality, they were played to death by their own actions. Even this fox demon was played to death by its own actions. “The Blissful Deity of the Five Directional Gods was originally just a household deity worshipped for prosperity, with a fickle and vengeful nature but not much power.”
Yet it was astonishing that it could cause the deaths of so many people.
Chen Yang stared at the shattered statue of the Five Thunders, deep in thought. Suddenly, he shouted, “Zhou Qi, one of the Ghost Emperors under the rule of the Great Emperor of Fengdu!”
“Here,” Zhou Qi responded, puzzled. “What is it, Elder Sister-in-law?”
Chen Yang gazed steadily at Zhou Qi, then smiled warmly and said, “It’s nothing.”
Zhou Qi looked at Kou Xuanling with confusion, while Kou Xuanling’s face revealed shock. Unable to find an answer to his confusion, Zhou Qi returned to Fengdu to report. Chen Yang and Kou Xuanling contacted the police, and they left only after the police arrived. The journey back was filled with silence.
Chen Yang asked, “By the way, have you seen Meng Xi?”
Kou Xuanling replied, “No.”
“Oh,” Chen Yang responded, then fell silent.
On a distant hilltop, Meng Xi played with a small vial in his hand. The vial contained the most sinister and malevolent zombie blood. He laughed and said, “Do you know what Chen Yang is wearing around his neck? The Seal of the Great Emperor of Fengdu.” He found it quite amusing and laughed for a while. “I’m starting to like him more and more.”
Standing beside Meng Xi was a woman in white, her expression cold. She cradled a black cat in her arms. She tilted her head slightly and looked in the direction of the sanatorium. “Meng Yao isn’t dead.”
“Oh,” Meng Xi said with delight, “Let her live.”
The woman replied, “She will expose your whereabouts.”
“It doesn’t matter. Since I like Chen Yang, it’s fine if he knows,” Meng Xi said with joy and interest, as if he had found a fascinating game.
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