From what the police gathered, the townsfolk were all talking about the vixen hauntings, the traumatized women and the body that appeared out of nowhere. There were no further clues, and in this scenic mountain area, there were no hospitals to preserve the body or do an autopsy. They could only do a basic examination of the scene before sending the corpse to City A’s public hospital. There they could investigate further.
Therefore, Matsui Iwane, Matsui Noriko and Matsui Shigenori’s corpse were sent back to the city. They all checked into the public hospital, but one went into the luxury ward for treatment while another rested quietly in the morgue. A pretty young Japanese wife had to both take care of her father-in-law and arrange her husband’s posthumous affairs, earning the sympathetic tears of many kindhearted Chinese folk.
However, no one noticed that there was worship within her respectful attitude towards her father-in-law. Also, when no one was watching in the morgue, she put the tooth of some animal in her deceased husband’s mouth.
When midnight came around, the hospital gradually grew quiet. A nurse walked along the hallway in the emergency ward, heading straight for the bathroom at the end.
The pitter-patter of her footsteps reverberated, making the space seem even emptier. However, the nurse didn’t mind it. She was accustomed to this place. Whenever someone walked in the silence, this sort of noise would always be present. She no longer felt uneasy or frightened while working.
She kicked the bathroom door. It usually swung open easily but this time it didn’t open. She kicked a little harder but the door didn’t move at all. She hesitated, afraid of germs on the door handle. She could only use a paper towel to grab the handle and give it a hard push. However, the door remained unmoving like a wall.
Did someone lock it from the inside? Thinking of this, she knocked briefly on the door’s patterned glass. “Is someone inside?” She felt she had only lightly knocked a few times, but the crisp sound seemed to shatter the night. Her voice also seemed a little abrupt, making her feel inexplicably nervous.
“Is the door broken?” She mumbled quietly, a little annoyed. But right as she was about to leave, a blurry figure flashed by behind the patterned glass. She was about to speak and tell the person inside to open up when the figure vanished.
Were her eyes playing tricks? Or was it…
She started getting a little scared. There were always such legends in hospitals. People normally didn’t think too much of them and treated them as jokes. However, things couldn’t help bursting forth at this time.
The door suddenly creaked open. Since her hand was still on the handle, she was almost knocked over. Looking up, it turned out to be that pretty Japanese woman. She wasn’t a resident of the ward, but since she was a foreigner and also especially beautiful, the staff had some impression of her as she performed Japanese prayers for her deceased husband in the nearby morgue.
The nurse didn’t understand why a resident in the luxury ward needed to use the restroom in the emergency ward. Was it because she couldn’t bear being apart from her deceased husband, and went to visit him again? But according to Chinese customs, it wasn’t good to keep exchanging glances with the deceased. It seems she would have to give her some guidance.
She was thinking kindhearted thoughts when she finally looked up to see the Japanese woman smiling at her.
She smiled so prettily, so sweetly. Although it made her seem very likeable, it didn’t fit her current status as a new widow. Furthermore, her complexion wasn’t quite right. Perhaps it was a trick of the light, but her face was covered in layers of shadow. It looked…
“!@#&*()^*()_” The Japanese woman spoke in a gentle tenor, but the nurse couldn’t understand her. She merely responded with a puzzled “huh?”
But the Japanese women didn’t plan on explaining. She merely looked at the empty hallway behind the nurse before suddenly giving a respectful bow. Then, she gestured an invitation towards whatever was behind the nurse.
What did this mean? Was there someone behind her?!
The nurse’s confusion turned to fright, and she felt her scalp turning numb. She turned around in horror.
The hallway had previously been quiet yet clear. At this moment however, a thick layer of fog suddenly drifted in, making the surroundings dark and murky. Within the fog, something seemed to be moving, making it roil like water while a thudding sound came from within.
The sound gave off a quaking feeling that struck the heart like a hammer. The nurse was scared stiff and could only stand there staring ahead of her.
The sound was getting closer and closer. Gradually, an upright ash-colored figure with a weird posture rushed out!
It was still wrapped in a body bag which covered it like clothing, concealing its limbs. On the zipper in the middle hung a tag that identified the deceased’s identity. It swayed along with its jumping movement, as though waving at someone.
The upper part of the body bag revealed the head of the deceased. The face was pale and two heavy shadows were under the eyes. The hair and face had traces of ice and snow. A beast tooth protruded from the mouth. The corpse seemed to have been dug up from a frozen wasteland, but it was haltingly hopping over!
It was the corpse from the morgue!
This was the nurse’s first thought. Before she could react and run for it, she was violently shoved by the Japanese woman from behind and fell directly onto the zombie.
“Sorry, I don’t wish to harm you, but my husband is cold. I can only apologize!” The Japanese woman said sweetly from behind.
There was a squawk like the tragic cry of a chick prior to being killed. The zombie, which was of average height, grabbed the nurse and lifted her over. One hand grabbed her neck and the other tore her clothing open, pressing down upon her chest.
The nurse felt her warmth and stamina draining out from where the palm was placed, as though all her vitality was being pulled out like a thin thread. It was then being replaced by an indescribably cold air. She was stuck to that ghostly hand, unable to resist or cry out. She could only hope for the torment to be over quickly. This lasted until she gradually lost consciousness and sagged onto the floor like a rag.
“You didn’t have to eat it all in one go. Did it not suit your taste?” Matsui Noriko said doubtfully, like a wife asking her husband how her cooking was.
The zombie didn’t speak and merely sucked in a greedy breath. Then, its five fingers grasped the air and that nurse suddenly stood up stiffly.
She walked towards the zombie like a puppet on strings, allowing it to draw an invisible spell on her forehead. A few seconds later, her eyes flashed with a hint of red. “Master…” she mumbled to the zombie.
Seeing the situation, Matsui Noriko walked forward with interest and pulled open the nurse’s clothing. On her chest was actually a handprint in snow. There was actually a man’s handprint in a layer of snow on her chest, which should have been too warm too sustain the cold!
“That’s right. The Yuki-Onna are gone so might as well collect a few snow skeletons! There are a bunch of women here anyway!” She covered her mouth and laughed exaggeratedly before taking a step back. She watched as the nurse mechanically tidied up her clothing and hair, passed through the white fog and returned to her work station.
“However, Matsui-kun. Please recover quickly. Sensei says although Lord Ghosthound is watching that Chinese person, he probably won’t be able to keep him trapped for long. Please make your move within three days.”
The zombie still didn’t speak and merely sneered coldly. The protruding beast fang in his mouth moved malevolently.
“Of course you aren’t afraid of him.” Matsui Noriko said flatteringly. “But according to sensei, there’s a traditional saying in Chinese: a long night has many dreams. The interference of that woman surnamed Yue two days ago caught us unprepared. Sensei cannot personally make a move at this time. I must ask you to complete your mission. This is a good shikigami sapling that is hard to find within a century. It must be obtained no matter what, and we’ll deal with the Chinese person at the same time. In the future, we’ll also find the chance to settle accounts with Master Luo!”
The Zombie’s expression was wooden. He merely blinked before suddenly hopping away. However, the clump of white fog didn’t dissipate and continued swirling around him.
She stood there without moving while the zombie slunk away into the darkness. Under cover of the night and fog, along with the empty environment, he roamed the hospital for an entire night. He only returned to the morgue when it was almost dawn.
“Your complexion is much better.” Matsui Noriko examined the zombie’s lifeless face. “Cultivate for another day and night and your powers will definitely increase a lot. Relax, I won’t let you get autopsied. As your next of kin, they need my permission to do so. Alright, have a good rest Matsui-kun.” She spoke as she put her “husband” back into the storage locker before quietly vanishing.
Who knows how many more women were imprinted with the terrifying snowy handprint that night!
“Xiao Xia, what did that insider of yours say?” Wan Li asked while eating an apple.
They were still in Xiaowang Village. After the Japanese people had left, they had been asked to remain in place for three days and cooperate with the investigation. There wasn’t any abuse of their rights. The police were politely asking them to fulfill their civic duties. They had even contacted Xiao Xia and Wan Li’s HR department to request time off for them.
“We just spoke on the phone. She says everything is normal. The Japanese old man and his exaggeratedly beautiful daughter-in-law stayed inside the hospital the entire time.” Xiao Xia said lazily. Although her illness came and went quickly, she still didn’t have much stamina.
Her insider was her college classmate who was working in City A. She had stayed with her the first day she arrived at City A, and that classmate had happened to get an administrative job at the public hospital right after graduating.
The case wasn’t a secret so Xiao Xia claimed there was something suspicious about the Japanese people but there wasn’t any proof. She thus asked her old classmate to help observe them. This classmate had always been very passionate and righteous so she agreed on the spot. She volunteered for the work shift and became Xiao Xia’s insider.
However, Xiao Xia had already warned her a thousand times that these Japanese people had wicked sorcery. She told her friend to be careful and not to get too close, in case she got discovered.
“What about you, Ah Zhan?”
“Sis Wang also says there haven’t been any movements near the house.” Ruan Zhan fiddled with the chopsticks as he stared out the window.
“Focus a little, we’re having a meeting!” Ruan Zhan’s mind seemed to be wandering so Wan Li drew his attention. “You promised to help Sis Wang move back to the village with her family. Wouldn’t she get in trouble for exceeding the birth quota? Did you use your spirit summoning spell to threaten that old lady?”
“I won’t use spells against good people.” Ruan Zhan said earnestly. “I merely showed her some illusions, did some fortunetelling and Elder Yan spoke up in support as well. You should know that his words have a lot of weight in the village.”
“Helping Sis Wang is the right thing to do.” Wan Li continued eating. The organic food in the mountain village suited his tastes well. “You actually didn’t need to use such an exchange of benefits. Just give her some money to watch the house for you. Now you have to figure out how to help her return without getting punished.”
“She also hates that evil spirit a lot. Although she’s timid, she really wants to get revenge for Lazy Three. He wasn’t a successful person, but he was a kind and lenient boss.” Speaking of this, Ruan Zhan recalled Sis Wang being frightened the ghost would track her down, but still agreed to the task after some hesitation. Of course she also didn’t forget to ask for compensation. He couldn’t help but smile.
Xiao Xia snuck a glance at him from the side, and hurriedly turned away at the sight.
Buddy! Was there a need to display his lady-killer techniques this early in the morning?!
She almost started drooling. Who would have thought Yue Xiao Xia was a lecher.
“Speaking of which, you are pretty lazy. You’re unwilling to cultivate. Otherwise, if we had Yang Mu You’s little flying crane surveillance system, we just need to give that old Matsui fellow a prick, fold a few cranes and let them do all the work. Xiao Xia wouldn’t have to worry about her insider classmate being in danger. You also wouldn’t have to scurry around the suburbs and city.” Wan Li smiled as he spoke. He was just as charming as Ruan Zhan but he had a different air. “As for the pricking part, we’ll just leave that to good old Yue Xiao Xia. Did you see how ruthless she was when drawing her own blood? She might send that old fellow to see the king of hell with a cut! Haha!”
Xiao Xia was successfully angered, but her heavily bandaged arm was still hurting and she didn’t have the energy to bicker with Wan Li. She just rolled her eyes at him. “You can piss me off all you want, I won’t bicker with you. But you best not make it a habit. Otherwise, when my wound’s healed up, I’ll beat you until you tremble when you see me. Stinking man!”
“See, Xiao Xia seems to have become more and more violent! You’ve led her astray.” Wan Li said to Ruan Zhan.
Ruan Zhan didn’t speak. He didn’t even dare glance at Xiao Xia. He was deeply afraid the sloppy-looking yet astute Wan Li might discover his inner secret.
Xiao Xia however was worried Ruan Zhan had heard her yelling at the two Yuki-Onna “I had my eye on this man first!” This made it hard for her to act naturally around him, affecting her plans.
Having hung out together for many days engraved him deeper into her heart. She had planned on inconspicuously taking this man down and bringing him home to use. She had even figured out her strategy and lines. This is called farming villages surrounding the city. However, she realized she was a dog that barked, but couldn’t bite. Especially when faced with a man with nowhere to sink her teeth in.
“What’s wrong with pinhole cameras?” Ruan Zhan responded.
Yesterday he had secretly avoided surveillance and returned to the city. He spent the afternoon videotaping and also soothing Sis Wang. He also had to pose as a small peddler and rent out the basement in the western building next door as his warehouse. This made it easy for Sis Wang to go in and observe.
The love motel’s basement was definitely the root of this matter. Therefore, that filthy window was the best place to observe.
“Careful not to get discovered by that hidden thing watching us.” Xiao Xia spoke up.
Seeing Ruan Zhan running around made her worry!
“Relax. That stupid thing doesn’t know about Ah Zhan’s various carapace shedding methods. It’s still crouching outside, stupidly waiting!”
“Aren’t we also just waiting?” Xiao Xia’s impetuous nature made her unable to remain calm.
“We’ll let them do all the work. We can just act as the oriole.” Ruan Zhan said comfortingly.
After a day of testing, he was now completely at ease. They could leave whenever they wanted and return the same way without alerting anyone.