Chapter 5 – Entertain A Hundred Ghosts For Peace 4

“Two months ago,” the old woman replied, “That day the village chief conveyed the words of the Water Goddess, saying that we are to pick young people to perform.
It so happens that the two children of the Li family have learned the opera, so they picked some people who knew music to perform every ten days.”

“Is it useful?”

“There are no results yet,” the old woman said.

“So what exactly has this town attracted?” Lou Muge asked, staring at her.

The old woman answered, “We don’t know, the statue of the Water Goddess is in the city, so it is reasonable that no demon should dare to come.”

“When did the strange situation in the city appear?” he asked again.

However, this question rendered the old woman silent for a while, seemingly deliberating how to speak.
After a moment of deliberation, she stammered, “It’s back-back when someone suddenly went crazy…”

“How did he go crazy?” Lou Muge pursued.

This time, the old woman refused to answer, shaking her head repeatedly.
“I can not say.
If I say it, I will also be infected.
I can not say this!”

Lou Muge frowned: “Just say it, and I’ll take care of the rest for you.”

But his promise obviously held little credibility in the old woman because she still resisted, “Please just spare me.
I really can not say it.
Although I have one foot in the coffin, I still want to live a few more years.”

The impatient shadow stained Lou Muge’s beautiful eyebrows.
If the people in this city cooperated and honestly told the matter through, he could also start to solve it.
However, one or two, here and there, were avoiding them as if they were snakes and scorpions.
Asking without getting answers was really too troublesome.

Lou Muge stood up and threatened, “If you don’t tell me, I’ll send you to drink the soup of forgetfulness now.”

The old woman wailed.

“Mother!” A sharp shout echoed, and then a man came running like mad with a ferocious countenance.

Wen Changchu was originally resting his head on the ground, but after hearing this roar, his ears pricked up.
He immediately rose from the ground, issuing a low warning roar from his throat while staring at the man.

Lou Muge saw him baring his fangs, so he crouched and pinched the back of his neck to lift him up.
As the man flew in with a kick, his figure flashed like a phantom.

The man’s accumulated power was so great that he didn’t even think he would kick the air in anger.
By the time he reacted, his body had already lunged towards the ground and knocked his face on a stone.
In an instant, blood gushed out from his forehead and nose.

When he got up, he regained his senses and knew that the little girl-like person in front of him might not be an ordinary person.
Nonetheless, he still couldn’t suppress his anger, so he wailed without tears motionlessly, “How dare you bully my mother! I will fight with you!”

Lou Muge threw Wen Changchu, who was burrowing into his arms, to the ground and lazily swept a glance towards the man.
In the past, if someone had dared to attack him like this indiscriminately, he would have been rolling around with his broken leg by now, but the current situation was special.

Treating these mortals with a bad attitude and harming them were two quite different things.
He could scold them to his heart’s content as long as they weren’t hurt, and the Immortal Realm wouldn’t care about it.
But if their lives were harmed, it might lead to people from the Immortal Realm down.

It was too troublesome.

Lou Muge restrained himself from moving his hand, lest he’d send these fragile mortals to the next life and into reincarnation early.

Half of the man’s face in front of him was bleeding.
Coupled with his facial expression, he looked especially hideous.
The man stared at him, and suddenly started crying. 

Lou Muge was puzzled by the big man who was crying bitterly, tugging at his wounds and grimacing in pain, “What are you crying for? You seemed to have fallen by yourself, didn’t you?”

The man sobbed and choked, causing the old woman to cry in distress.
Next, the mother and son hugged each other as if they had suffered a great indignity.

Lou Muger was annoyed by the sound of their crying and got a headache: “Stop crying! I just asked your mother a few questions and did not do anything!”

The man sucked up a snot: “If you want to ask questions, just ask me, and I will be sure to tell you everything I know.
My mother is old, yet you even let her sit on the ground.”

Lou Muge had an urge to pick up the man and punch him a couple of times.
He pressed the idea of hitting him and said patiently, “Can you get up from the ground with your mother now? You’re so old yet you still sprawl on the ground and cry.
You’re laughable, you know?”

The man helped his mother up, wiped his nose, tears, and the blood on his sleeves, patted the dust on his mother’s body, and said, “Mother, go home first.
I’ll return later.”

“Son——” The old woman grabbed him in fear.

“Do I eat people or what? I just want to ask a few questions.” When Lou Muge saw that the man’s forehead and nose were still bleeding, he couldn’t bear to look at it, so he activated a water spell on his fingertips, which spun out a trickle of water that flew around the man’s face, and the wound healed, leaving only a drop of blood behind.

He sighed, and suddenly remembered that there was once a man who was an unattainable god in the eyes of outsiders, but in front of him, he would pout, and his eyes would swim in tears.
Lou Muge couldn’t stand people crying the most.

After treating the man’s wounds, the man’s attitude eased, and seeing that his mother really didn’t suffer any injuries, he quickly swallowed his earlier anger and said to Lou Muge, “What do you want to ask? Just say it.”  

“Don’t say anything!” The old woman tugged on his hand.
“Son, don’t say anything! Understand?”

The man did not seem to understand what his mother was referring to.
He looked confused, but Lou Muge thought she was too much of a nuisance, so he turned to leave: “Follow me.”

The man said goodbye to his mother and followed.
The old woman chased after him, repeating the same phrase.
In the end, she couldn’t keep up with her son’s pace and was left behind, shouting at the top of her voice.

The people on the street avoided Lou Muge.
Everywhere the man and a wolf passed, the place would be empty.
Lou Muge was only too glad for it and felt at ease.
He picked a restaurant that looked quite grand and walked in.

As soon as he entered, the restaurant owner greeted him with trepidation, “What can I do for you, honorable guests?”

“Of course we are here to eat, first serve a table.” Lou Muge had a trenchant look, when in fact, he didn’t have a single coin on his body.

“There’s a private room upstairs.
Honorable guests, please,” The restaurant owner beckoned a waiter to lead them up.

The man strained his neck and said, “I’m not eating, so hurry up and ask.
I’ll be leaving after.”

“You better follow up.
Otherwise, I will send you to meet your grandpa in the underworld,” Lou Muge warned him calmly, “I’m tired, and I just said I want to eat.”

They should find a quiet place for a good conversation.

“My grandfather is still alive!” the man gasped.

“I’m not talking about your grandfather, but your Great Grandpa Hades,” Lou Muge walked upstairs as he spoke.
Wen Changchu, who was following him closely, looked back at the man from time to time.

The restaurant served their food quickly.
The waiter served the dishes and dashed out, not daring to stay a second longer.
When Lou Muge saw the table of good quality dishes, his emotions eased, and without wasting any time, he gripped his and ate till he was full.

Wen Changchu honestly laid on the side.

The man was also stunned.
Seeing Lou Muge eat, he also ate.
Evidently, he had never eaten such extravagant meals in ordinary days.
He ate much faster than Lou Muge and failed to notice that the person next to him had stopped.

Seeing him eating happily, Lou Muge calmly asked, “What’s your name?”

“Chang Anning,” the man said incoherently, as his mouth was stuffed full. 

“Chang Anning,” Lou Muge said in a deep voice, “Listen carefully, your Shan’an City is in danger now.
We were all sent down from heaven to save you.
Only when you cooperate with me obediently can you save everyone in your city.”

Honestly, Chang Anning looked delicate and pretty.
Although he was not handsome, he had fair skin and resembled a refined scholar.
It was a pity that he always looked dazed, probably because he was stupid.
He fixed his eyes on Lou Muge, but revealed nothing about how much he believed.
“I’ll cooperate.
Tell me.
I have long felt that something’s not right in our village.”

“Why is your village conducting a feast for a hundred ghosts?”

“In July this year, someone in the village contracted a strange disease.
People in perfectly good condition have begun to have blurred vision, and were rendered completely blind within three days.
After which, they would go crazy and beat their left leg with a knife or a stick, until the leg was completely cut off, and then kill themselves,” Chang Anning said.

After hearing this, Lou Muge immediately thought of Tao Ming and wondered, “People who have this strange disease will eventually die?”

Chang Anning nodded: “There is only one exception.”

“Who?”

“He’s Aunt Li’s oldest grandson, Tao Ming,” Chang Anning continued, “He was the first person to contract this strange disease.
However, after breaking his leg, he was fine, but then everyone who got this disease died.
They couldn’t be stopped.”

“Why did Tao Ming alone end up being okay?”

“We also do not know,” Chang Anning said, “Later, the Water Goddess appeared in the village chief’s dream and made a request.
Having found this method, there was no more news about anyone falling ill for almost half a month.”

“It’s useless,” Lou Muge concluded.

“I know,” Chang Anning seconded, “Our neighbor, Uncle Zhao, has started having trouble seeing with his eyes.”

“So far, how many people have had this disease?”

“There have been less than ten,” Chang Anning replied, “But everyone in the city says it’s a curse, that we will all succumb to this disease sooner or later.”

Lou Muge fell into deep thought, suddenly confused.

If there was indeed some kind of demon ghost staring at the people of this city, the method he employed was too slow, wasn’t it? Less than ten people have died since July.
Was this slowness due to insufficient cultivation? Or was the Water Goddess in the middle of the city, sheltering the people behind her?

Or was it a kind of morbidity, nothing more?

Lou Muge left after asking.
Chang Anning devoured the rest of the food.
When they left, the restaurant owner didn’t dare to ask for payment.
Instead, he bowed and sent Lou Muge out.
He was very enthusiastic, but didn’t dare to say “Come again next time”. 

When Lou Muge returned home, he ran into Tao Zhai.
He and Tao Ming were twin brothers, looking almost identical, with dark and beautiful eyes.

Tao Zhai was standing by the door, watching Lou Muge approach with eyes cold and detached.
He said, “Do you want to save the people in the village?”

Lou Muge looked at him sideways and replied, “What?”

“You can’t save them,” after saying something inexplicable, Tao Zhai went to the house indifferently.

It just so happened that he saw Tao Ming walking out with his blind cane.
He hurriedly went forward to assist him: “Brother, just call me if you need something.”

“Xiao Zhai, quickly go and pack.
We have to go to the cemetery tonight, so as not to miss the hour,” Tao Ming said.

Tao Zhai answered and helped Tao Ming back to his room.

Luo Muge thought to himself, Don’t they perform every ten days? He found Aunt Li, asked for the cause, only to learn that it was because he spoke last night during the opera performance.
The villagers considered last night’s performance null and void, so they had to make up for it today, and Lou Muge would also have to accompany them.

Aunt Li was too lazy to go, so she handed him the job of stuffing steamed buns to stop people to prevent them from talking.
She also repeatedly admonished, “Young Daoist Immortal, don’t spoil things this time.”  

Lou Muge answered somewhat perfunctorily.
When he picked up the basket, he found that Aunt Li’s fingernails were particularly dirty, and the nail crevices looked like they had been pierced by needles.
There were dark traces of blood and a very faint bloody smell.

Lou Muge thought they were left behind from her work and didn’t pay much attention to it.

When nightfall arrived, the team of opera singers moved out.
They loaded a few boxes of food and went to the city gates mightily.

Upon arriving at the city gates, they found a crowd, sticking their heads out to look and talking non-stop.

“Who is it again?”

“Why is there another one? Is it not over yet?”

“It’s another kid.
What the hell is going on?”

When Lou Muge heard that another person had come, the first thing he thought was that he had been transported from the Immortal Realm.
In a way, the person was a partner, so he pushed through the crowd and walked outside.
When the people recognized him, they all voluntarily gave way.

Thus, a spacious road was paved.
Lou Muge raised his eyes and found a half-grown boy standing outside the city gate in the vast white snow.
He was wrapped in a black warm golden fox-fur cloak, with quite an exquisite appearance.

When he met Lou Muge’s gaze, a sweet smile emerged from his eyes.
It was as if snow crumbled in his smile, clean and fresh.

 

Note:

Wen Zhangchu seems to be Wen Changchu in Fox Demon Cultivation Manual, so I’ll be changing the name to Wen Changchu…

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