Thursday, 28 January 2016

Chapter 105 - Fish Monster


Death Marsh, Gigantic Tree Summit

Lu XueQi, Fa Xiang, Lin JingYu and Zeng ShuShu the four of them steadily landed on the gigantic tree that was in shambles, cracks were everywhere, numerous broken twigs and branches. Even though it had been quite some time but the two ancient gigantic beasts’ fight still made them visibly shocked.

But right now evidently, their attention was more focused on the people in front of them.

Fa Xiang frowned slightly, pondered in silence. Those people, he had seen them during the East Ocean LiuBo Hill and Qing Yun Hill battles, obviously they were Ghost King Sect Sect leader Ghost King and his two competent aides, Qing Long and YouJi, including the changed Ghost Li, it could be said their strengths exceed his side.

A pity after ascending the tree, at the bifurcation, they and Qing Yun Sect Xiao YiCai, FenXiang Valley Li Xun, YanHong and the rest separated to search, if not although they might not be able to win against these four but at least they would have the manpower to fight.

But even though their thoughts were such, Ghost King Sect did not seem to have the intention to attack immediately.

Ghost King glanced towards the four of them then indifferently asked Ghost Li, “Why don’t you suggest, how shall we deal with these people?”

Ghost Li did not answer immediately and instead looked at Ghost King. Ghost King’s expression was still amiable and seemed calm but in his eyes, a sharp gleam flashed. After a moment, he indifferently said, “Since Sect leader you have come here, naturally all matters should be decided by you.”

Qing Long who was standing by the side frowned slightly, YouJi’s black veil too seemed to sway slightly and she looked towards Ghost Li.

Ghost King’s expression did not change, a smile was still on the corner of his lips, he unhurriedly said, “That day when you set off to the death marsh, I said that all decisions here would be make by you. Qing Long, YouJi and I here, only came to capture this Yellow Bird. For these four Good Faction people, still you will have the final say! Do what you want.”

“Pei!”

Suddenly, an extremely contempt cold sneer was heard from the front.

Everyone looked ahead, it was Lin JingYu whose face was like frost, he coldly said, “Evil spirits evil ways, if you have guts, come forward to determine life and death, why behave like some married women squabbling over there, ridiculous!”

Once the words were spoken, Qing Long’s face was the first to turn dark but Ghost King instead looked at Lin JingYu from afar and was not angry, he smiled, turned and faced Ghost Li, “This person should be Lin JingYu! He is your childhood good friend?”

Ghost Li got a shock in his heart. Until today, Lin JingYu’s reputation was not that well-known but not sure how Ghost King could actually recognize him with one glance. He looked at Ghost King’s smile but felt a chill in his heart.

Ghost King looked at him, impassively said, “You shall suggest! How shall it be done?”

Ghost Li met his eyes and calmly faced him, he said, “Most of the things here are done and since these people are not the key-decision makers, we don’t have to bother with them. Sect leader at the present you should first settle the Yellow Bird, that is more important.”

Ghost King looked at him and did not say anything, the place turned quiet.

A flash of worry appeared in Qing Long’s eyes, YouJi beside him, because of her veil, her expression could not be seen but most likely she would not be at ease. YouJi’s eyes, through the black veil, looked at Ghost Li and Ghost King and then glanced out far, suddenly was shocked. Among the four Good Faction people, Lu XueQi quietly stood last at the back, her face cold but that pair of eyes, from far, were on Ghost Li.

Under that icy-frost appearance, there seemed to be hidden indistinct concern.

YouJi suddenly stretched her hand and quietly pushed Qing Long.

Qing Long was worrying and suddenly felt it, he turned back to look at YouJi, YouJi’s black veil swayed slightly and indicated towards the direction of Ghost King’s figure. He and YouJi had moved up to Ghost King Sect Four Great Holy Envoys rank at the same time and how would he not know what she was thinking, just that he had some concern right now.

After considering for a while, Qing Long eventually still walked over softly to Ghost King and quietly said behind him, “Sect leader, Ghost Li’s words are not totally irrelevant, now that the Yellow Bird had already been subdued, let’s settle it first, else with Wan Du, HeHuan these two sects in the death marsh, trouble may rise if we tardy.”

Ghost King turned his head and glanced at Qing Long, slowly nodded and said, “What you said is true.” following which a glint indistinctly flashed in his eyes, he said to Ghost Li, “Since it is so, I will leave here to you.”
Ghost Li nodded and said, “Please don’t worry.”

Ghost King looked at him again then suddenly smiled, he turned and left. Qing Long behind him smiled at Ghost Li and then followed after.

YouJi slowly followed along, when she passed by Ghost Li, Ghost Li looked at her and lightly nodded.

YouJi’s black veil shifted slightly but she did not say anything and just walked on.

After Ghost King group left, Ghost Li unhurriedly turned and faced Fa Xiang and the rest.

Fa Xiang coughed once and stepped up, “Zhang junior brother…”

Ghost Li coldly said, “I am called Ghost Li.”

Fa Xiang paused, Lin JingYu behind him frowned and in a heavy voice said, “Xiao Fan, why must you be like this? I know your nature is kind, it was only because you were framed by treacherous people, that’s why you joined the Evil Faction…”

Fa Xiang heard that and felt it grating on the ear but he only forced a smile and did not say anything.

Lin JingYu continued, “...if you are only willing to turn back, I believe with Reverend DaoXuan’s magnanimity, he will definitely allow you to return to Qing Yun.”

Ghost Li dispassionately said, “Why must I return?”

Lin JingYu was shocked, a pair of eyes stared deeply at this once childhood good friend, he saw him standing there, with an indescribable cold demeanor and saying, “Heaven and Earth heartless, treats all living things as straw dogs! I am doing well on this path, I don’t need any of you to save me.”

Lu XueQi stood last at the back, her body seemed to tremble slightly. Zeng ShuShu stood beside her and saw her expression, he frowned slightly but did not comment.

Lin JingYu looked angry, he stepped forward and was about to say something but was stopped by Fa Xiang.

Fa Xiang looked at Lin JingYu, shook his head slightly at him, quietly said, “He has sunk too deep in the Evil, you cannot be too impatient if not it will have adverse effect!”

Lin JingYu was initially angry at Fa Xiang for stopping him but after listening to him, he knew his words were true. He turned to look at Ghost Li again, his heart softened and recalled the times when they were young and innocent and had fun together, he eventually gritted his teeth and stepped back.

Fa Xiang hesitated and said, “Ghost Li patron, whether you admit or deny, we have a history together. Now that the treasury has been demolished and it seemed like there isn’t any rare treasure so we shall part here!”

Ghost Li snorted and glanced at Fa Xiang, then at the rest, Lin JingYu, Zeng ShuShu and lastly Lu XueQi.

That distinct and cold girl stood at the last, her face like frost, her eyes like water, deep and unfathomable, what was she thinking deep inside her heart?

Ghost Li looked away and did not speak anymore, turned and left.

He had not gone far when he faintly heard someone catching up on him, Ghost Li frowned and turned to look and was stunned to see that it was Zeng ShuShu. Looking at Fa Xiang and the rest’s expressions, they too seemed to be surprised.

Zeng ShuShu ran before him, with his back facing Fa Xiang and the rest, looked at Ghost Li for a moment and then suddenly laughed, smiled and said, “You won’t kill me right?”

Ghost Li looked at him, looked at his smile, he seemed not to have change at all since the time they had met at Qing Yun Hill TongTian Peak, still that jovial. After a moment his eyes eventually slowly eased up but his voice was still flat like water and said, “What is it?”

Zeng ShuShu clicked his tongue [ze ze] twice, shrugged and said, “Anyway I still treat you as my friend, as for how you think, I have no control over it.” Speaking until here, he paused and suddenly his eyes blinked in successions and he quietly said, “Big brother, let me hug this three-eyed divine monkey alright?”

Ghost Li was taken aback, in his mind, a scene where Zeng ShuShu used to pester him to let him have Xiao Hui appeared. He felt an inexplicable warmth in his heart. Actually he had grown up in Qing Yun Hill and had deep attachments for every grass and tree in Qing Yun Hill Big Bamboo Valley, whatsmore for Zeng ShuShu, one of the few friends he had.

Zeng ShuShu saw that Ghost Li did not respond but also did not show his disdain or objection, in his heart he felt happy. He had an intelligent mind and to this friend, Ghost Li, who had joined the Evil Faction, he still valued him a lot in his heart. Just that he knew Zhang Xiao Fan’s characteristics of being stubborn and persevering and would rather die in order to honor a promise made that time, one could have imagine, for that matter, how much hurt he had received.

Therefore all these years, in order to pull this good friend from the Evil Faction, Zeng ShuShu secretly thought of many ideas alone but in the end he could only come out with one -- to go slow and not be impatient.

Right now Zeng ShuShu’s gaze landed on Xiao Hui who was lying on Ghost Li’s shoulder, immediately both of his eyes shone, he beamed and said, “Xiao Hui, it’s me! Do you still recognized me?”

Xiao Hui lay lazily on Ghost Li’s shoulder, strangely, the monkey face was flushed red and looked like someone who had drunk too much alcohol. After Zeng ShuShu called it a few times, it forced opened its monkey eyes and glanced at Zeng ShuShu, its mouth impatiently [Zi zi] called out twice and then it closed its eyes again.

But Zeng ShuShu was not angry at all, he seemed extremely fond of it, [drooling for three chi] the four words obviously were written on his forehead.

Ghost Li saw Zeng ShuShu’s expression which seemed not to have change the slightest over these ten years, suddenly sighed and said, “Forget it! It is also tired today, in the future if we have the affinity to meet up again, you can say what you want to at that time.”

Zeng ShuShu looked lingeringly at Xiao Hui, nodded and then looked at Ghost Li.

Ghost Li indifferently said, “In the future if Good and Evil clashes, you and I as enemies, you can just go ahead to attack. As for…” He raised his eyes and looked at Zeng ShuShu, after a long while, slowly said, “Your path and my path are different and must be enemies but in my heart, I still treat you as a friend.”

Zeng ShuShu was delighted, joy written across his face and he nodded vigorously, he stretched out his hand and was about to give a hard pat on Ghost Li’s shoulder but suddenly felt it was inappropriate and so he withdrew his hand. Following which his eyes shifted and he seemed to thought of something, revealed a grin and he took out something from his bosom, it was a worn-out blue cover book, there was no title on the cover, what could this book be?

Ghost Li frowned, for some reason, he found this book familiar-looking but for the moment, could not recall where he had seen it.

Zeng ShuShu quietly pushed the book into Ghost Li’s hand, smiled and whispered, “Since we are all brothers, meeting you for the first time after ten years, I am giving you a small gift.”

Ghost Li looked at Zeng ShuShu’s expression, seventy percent of his smile was delight but thirty percent showed an inexplicable risqué intention, he frowned and looked at the book in his hand, casually flipped open…

“Ah!”

Even with Ghost Li’s current remarkable equanimity, his body still shook and quickly shut the book. The book’s content, in it there were many words and pictures and the pictures were all naked men and women, it was that pornography book which during their youth, Zeng ShuShu on TongTian Peak, had tried to exchange for Xiao Hui ten years ago.

“You…” Ghost Li was speechless and unable to continue.

Zeng ShuShu glared at him and said, “If you do not wish for us to be ruin, better don’t speak too loudly.”

Ghost Li glared back at him, in his heart he felt confused, by right he should feel that this person was creating trouble but for some reason, this silly and nonsensical action instead made him felt closer to Zeng ShuShu, the past times, seemed to return.

Zeng ShuShu smiled, turned around and left. This time his impronto action instead carried a profound meaning, if he wanted to pull this friend back from the Evil Faction, first he must make Ghost Li admit him as his friend. Now that he risked ridicule from the rest to do this nonsensical thing and as expected, it really made Ghost Li speechless, most probably next time when they meet again, their relationship would definitely be much better than today.

As he pondered on it, a smiled formed on his face.

Fa Xiang waited until he returned, saw his smile on his face and said, “Zeng ShuShu, what is it that you are so happy about?”

Zeng ShuShu was in an extremely good mood, he made a cheeky face at Fa Xiang and said, “Buddha quote: Unspeakable, unspeakable!”

Fa Xiang smiled and glanced at Ghost Li, that person was standing there, holding a blue thick book in his hand, his expression seemed to be complicated, not knowing what his thoughts were. He shook his head and spoke to the rest, “The matters here have already concluded, let’s go! If there is any other matter, we will talk about it later.”

Zeng ShuShu was the first to nod, then Lin JingYu and Lu XueQi also nodded in agreement.

Four of them turned into four brilliant lights, soared into the air, made a circle in the mid-air and then flew on.

Ghost Li stood on the gigantic tree and suddenly felt empty, as if he had lost something. His gaze went back to the book on his hand and then he raised his hand up, about to throw the book away when suddenly he gave a wry laugh and eventually kept the book, putting it into his bosom.

After which, he breathed deeply and made a long sigh, pulled himself up and said, “Xiao Hui, let’s get out!”

Xiao Hui this time, did not even open its eyes, mumbled out twice, [Zi zi, zi zi], not knowing if it’s considered a reply.

Ghost Li smiled, waved his right hand, wielded his Soul-Absorbing stick and turned into a black-green light, like a lightning, flew off, leaving this gigantic tree.

Ghost Li sped along high up in the death marsh atmosphere, like a mystical being that rode the clouds and mounted the mist, traversing through the miasma. He came out from the inner marsh, after stopping slightly to confirm the direction, he then flew off towards where Ghost King Sect’s base was located in the outer marsh.

Naturally his flying speed was extremely fast but the death marsh was so extensive that after flying for an hour, the surroundings were still the vast grass and seas, endless greens. Although an unknown number of death traps existed below but looking down from mid-air, the scenery was like a painting and boosted one’s spirit up.

Just that when he was nearing Ghost King Sect’s base, he suddenly frowned, there seemed to be a familiar smell of blood in the air, drifting over with the wind.

Ghost Li’s countenance changed, a light whistle, immediately the light below his feet surged and he dashed down from the sky.

The sharp black-green light descended from the sky, creating a fierce gust, flying across the dark-green underbrush pond. The invisible winds pushed the pond water apart to two sides, creating waves of ripples on the water surfaces.

Very soon, Ghost Li sighted the Ghost King Sect base, most of the troops were still there so it seemed at least the majority was still alright, he could then be at least half relieved.

By this time, the Ghost King Sect disciples also discovered Ghost Li’s descension and started to get up.

Ghost Li landed, stood on the ground but his first reaction was to frown even deeper. The blood stench was extremely thick and it seemed like the bloody smell in the mid-air dispersed from here.

The Ghost King disciples standing by the side bowed and stood at attention. Although for the past few years Ghost Li did not kill indiscriminately but he practised the Evil way, his personality changed dramatically and his body frequently involuntarily emitted a cold-blooded aura. Other than the Sect leader Ghost King, in Ghost King Sect, the rest of the disciples’ most revered person was instead this rising star.

Someone walked out from the crowd, it was a young man, his eyebrows straight, eyes bright and piercing, rather handsome, it was YanHui.

He walked up, bowed to Ghost Li and said, “Vice leader, you are back.”

Ghost Li nodded and said, “What is it with here?”

YanHui wanted to speak but stopped, he used his eyes to signal Ghost Li, Ghost Li understood and walked forward. YanHui looked around and loudly said, “Vice leader is back, everyone back to your post, there is no need to be alarmed.”

The crowd agreed in unison and scattered.

YanHui with quick steps caught up with Ghost Li, in a low voice said, “Please follow me.”

After speaking, he strided right to a rather remote area. After they had walked for a while, they arrived at a spot where the underbrush was exuberant, the wild grass was almost half the height of a human and even though there were nobody around, the stench of blood effused even stronger.

Ghost Li looked at YanHui, YanHui appeared to be slightly pale, he said in a low voice, “Take a look yourself!”, he walked to before that patch of thick growth of grass and spread open it.

Ghost Li unhurriedly walked forward and looked into the grass, immediately his expression changed greatly. This grass patch did not look any different from the surroundings but in the middle, it was dyed a large area of red human blood, the smell of blood assualted the nose, made one nauseous upon breathing it. Under the thick grass, thirteen bodies were piled up, the sight of their death were too horrible to look at, almost each of the bodies were mutilated into quite a number of pieces.

Even though these few years Ghost Li in the Evil Sect had long been used to gory details but this degree of cruel method, it was the first time.

He closed his eyes, calmed himself down, following which his face regained the calmness, he slowly walked forward and looked carefully at the bodies.

YanHui followed behind him and whispered, “These disciples were assigned here yesterday to keep a lookout and were the furthest from our main force, it was the furthest watchout of our scouts, these people were also rather skilled. Unexpectedly within a night, our men were all slaughtered without a sound.”

Ghost Li’s face was sombre, his eyes gradually turned cold, he slowly said, “Who is the killer? Do you already have any inkling?”

YanHui did not answer immediately, instead he said, “Vice leader, come over here and look.”

Ghost Li glanced at him, YanHui stepped over those mutilated bodies and walked further into the grasses. In the deeper part of the grasses, there was still one more body but this person’s body instead was quite whole, except for a missing left hand.

The corner of Ghost Li’s eye twitched, he knew this person, his name was Xu ChongHai, he was his subordinate, who was rather highly skilled, unexpectedly he died here too.

YanHui walked over to Xu ChongHai’s side and said, “Look here.”

Ghost Li walked nearer and looked down, beside Xu ChongHai’s head, his remaining right hand had drawn out two words in the mud:

Fish -- Monster.

The ‘Fish” word was still clearly written but the second word was already slightly untidy, it seemed like Xu ChongHai had reached the end of his strength.

“Fish Monster?” Ghost Li frowned.

YanHui nodded and said, “I also do not know what it meant, could it be that there are fish monster evildoers around here? But after we had discovered them today, I did an immediate search around here but there were no traces at all of the so-called fish monster.”

Ghost Li unhurriedly turned and walked out of that patch of grasses, YanHui also followed out. The pungent smell in the air was still very strong but compared to the air inside that patch of grass, it was much fresher.

Ghost Li took a deep breath and suddenly asked, “Where is Kill-the-living Monk! Why is he not here?”

YanHui hesitated for a while and said, “When he saw this scene in the morning, he flew into a rage and then from Xu ChongHai’s writings, somehow he could tell that those mysterious fish monsters were heading towards the south and then went off alone to pursue, I tried to persuade him but he refused to listen. And…”

Speaking halfway, he suddenly stopped.

Ghost Li glanced at him and said, “What is it?”

Bitterness flashed across YanHui’s face, he said, “At first, because vice leader you had issued strict orders that we cannot have confrontations with HeHuan Sect and Wan Du Clan before you return, but because of the murder incident this morning, I was afraid it was Wan Du Clan or HeHuan Sect’s evil scheme and so secretly brought men to where they were residing and intended to spy. If it was really done by them then naturally we have to seek revenge.”

Ghost Li indifferently said, “The things happened so suddenly, you are not wrong. So what was your findings?”

YanHui hesitated for a while and said, “This, was really out of my expectations. Wan Du Clan’s forces, for some unknown reason, had already all withdrew from the death marsh yesterday and for HeHuan Sect…” He looked at Ghost Li and whispered, “Seemed like they encountered the same incident as us, twenty over men were killed.”

Ghost Li’s countenance changed slightly, said, “There is such thing?”

YanHui said, “That’s right, I personally did a thorough investigation before coming back.”

Ghost Li remained silent and stood there, he seemed to be in deep thoughts.

YanHui did not dare to interrupt but after a long time, Ghost Li still did not speak, he could not help it and softly said , “Vice leader, what shall we do now?”

Ghost Li did not directly reply YanHui’s question and instead seemed to recall something suddenly, he turned his head around and asked, “Before my arrival, did Ghost King sect leader come here?”

YanHui’s expression changed, he nodded and said, “Yes.”

A faint gleam flashed in Ghost Li’s eyes and he said, “What did he say?”

YanHui replied, “Sect leader came together with the two Holy Envoys, Qing Long and Scarlet Bird. His elderly saw the situation here and looked very grim but eventually he only said one sentence, ‘All of the matters here will be handled by vice leader’ and then left with the two Holy Envoys.”

Ghost Li was expressionless and remained silent for another period. YanHui naturally did not know that the relationship between Ghost King and Ghost Li had became quite delicate and only watched attentively at him from the side.

After a while, Ghost Li nodded and said, “You have handled this matter well. Since we are done with the matters in the death marsh, starting from now, you will immediately lead our men out and return to Majestic Fox Mountain.”

YanHui nodded and said, “How about you vice leader?”

Ghost Li turned and gazed at the vast clouds in the horizon, over there it looked pure white and flawless, who would have expected that underneath it, the number of bloody incidents that would happen?

He indifferently said, “Although Kill-the-living Monk was impulsive but he has an unique ability in the art of pursuing. The origins of these fish monsters are unclear, besides they killed my men, naturally I have to continue investigating.”

YanHui nodded slightly behind him and said, “Yes.”

Ghost Li nodded and said, “You can go!”

After speaking, his gaze slowly turned towards south and saw only the vast water grasses, the wind blew over the death marsh, nobody knew what secrets it hid.

Unexpectedly, suddenly in his mind a scene emerged, several days ago, Jin PingEr, Qin WuYan and him while rendezvousing in secret, that mysterious fish-head-strange-human which ambushed Xiao Huan...

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