Going to release two extra chapters today to thank AnneLouie for her incredibly generous donation. Enjoy!
It was daytime when I woke up. I ran to find my wife and wanted to leave immediately, but she completely ignored me. No one in the family listened to me. I couldn’t leave them and run off by myself, and could only endure fearfully. It didn’t appear again. However, I felt that the people around me weren’t quite right. My family was acting strange. Not only were they more excessive than normal, my wife was even exchanging glances with the innkeeper. That innkeeper was also abnormally gloomy. It made me feel they were different people. I wasn’t sure if this was it messing around, and decided to bear with it. This lasted until our vacation was over and we could finally leave.
But I didn’t expect it to have followed me back.
By the time I realized this, my fear and despair had reached a breaking point. When I opened the fridge, it would turn into a watermelon and laugh at me. When I entered the bedroom, it would turn into the pillow and laugh at me. When I went to the toilet, it laughed at me in the mirror. When I went to the kitchen, it turned into various foods and laughed at me. Even though I used a knife to cut it up several times, it would still twist around and laugh at me. It seemed to be laughing at the huge joke that was my life. I was no longer able to endure and sought help from the heavens, and from many who claimed to be able to banish ghosts. However, it was all useless. When I told my family, they said I was crazy. In reality, I felt they were the crazy ones. They were still as weird as they were back at the historical village. They would often get into fierce disagreements with me. Afterwards, something happened that made me come to a realization.
That time, I had just had a fierce argument with my wife in the bedroom and went to get a breather on the balcony. I ended up seeing my wife downstairs talking to our neighbor. The other “wife” was still cursing loudly behind me. Only then did I realize it had turned into other people to trick me. The weird family members were all it!
With this realization, I decided to get rid of it. For the sake of protecting this family who didn’t need me, I had to get rid of it. But since it was a ghost, how was I supposed to do so? Right as I was stuck, I heard about a peasant woman in the suburbs who had divine powers that were especially effective. The talismans she drew were able to eradicate ghosts and demons. Therefore, I meticulously prepared a Cuban machete and hurried over from afar. I used the money I got from selling blood as well as some that was stolen from my wife to ask her to draw a ghost exterminating talisman on the blade. I didn’t know if it would work, but I had to try as long as there was a trace of hope.
I endured as it turned into all sorts of shapes to torment me, waiting for the right opportunity. Finally, my wife found out that I had taken her money and we had another huge argument. Then, she took her family out to eat, leaving me alone at home and only coming back late at night. However, I knew that wasn’t her, but rather it in the shape of her. This was because she wasn’t dry and warm like normal people, but cold and clammy. I wanted to wait until she was asleep to kill it, but I was too nervous and startled it awake. It still wanted to trick me using my wife’s appearance. I pounced over and hacked at her. It might have been frightened of the charmed blade, and turned into my in-laws and my son to try and grab it. I thus killed them all.
But when I was hacking at my son, I suddenly wasn’t able to finish the job. Perhaps it was due to the bond between father and son. As I was hesitating, he jumped from the balcony to survive. I quivered and my heart twisted. I got the chills, and didn’t dare consider that I had mistakenly killed my family. That was when the TV suddenly turned on by itself and it spoke to me from inside. It said that ghosts give off dark smoke when their heads were cut off, and suggested I try it. My mind was a mess and I was compelled to start cutting their heads off. However, none of them gave off dark smoke, not a single one. I had killed my family. I had personally killed my family. It had been deceiving me this entire time. It was all part of its trick. It wanted me to commit this heinous crime!
It was very pleased. It laughed loudly until the police arrived. But why did it deceive me!? Why did it harm me? Why didn’t it just kill us, why did it have to deceive me! It deceived me! It deceived me! It deceived me!”
Li Jing Ming’s long recollection came to an end and he suddenly started getting worked up. Ruan Zhan swiftly stood up and tapped the center of his brows with a finger, making him calm down a little.
“Hurry, I’m no longer able to keep that ghost sealed.”
“I was just saying stuff randomly before. Are you really unable to keep it sealed for long?” Xiao Xia was shocked. She checked to see if the officer had been startled. “Did I jinx it?”
“Don’t forget, I’m just a priest you invited over. Also, my RPG level is very low.”
“Lives are at stake here, don’t mess around. I apologize, alright?”
“Really!? Then what do we do?” Ruan Zhan didn’t seem to be joking and Xiao Xia suffered quite the blow.
“Ask whatever other questions you have. We’ll figure something out after leaving.”
“I guess that’s all we can do.” Xiao Xia looked at Li Jing Ming in defeat. “Are you still able to answer questions?”
“Yes.” Li Jing Ming endured the pain in his chest as he spoke.
“You realized you killed your family. Was this why you tried to commit suicide?”
“But why did you keep silent afterwards? And why did you calmly accept when they declared you were mentally sound?”
“Because it turns out it had never left me, even while I was imprisoned. It said unless I got the death penalty, it would kill my son. I knew Shu Lun was still alive. I had to protect him.”
“Then why did you ask me for help the last time I came? That was you, right? Or was that it messing around?”
“That was me. At least, at first that was me. Afterwards, I don’t really remember much. It had probably come out to hurt people. For some reason, after it’s been inside me for a while, I’ve been able to hear some of its thoughts even though I don’t know when it comes out and when it’s controlling me. Therefore, I realized it was still lying to me. It isn’t willing to let any of my blood remain in this world. What’s scarier is that it wants to occupy Shu Lun’s body. I was desperate and you were my only lifeline. Therefore, I’m sorry. I must have terrified you and also brought you trouble. However, I really have no one else to turn to. Actually, I do want to die. That way, I’ll also become a ghost and will be able to reach it. I’ll at least be able to protect Shu Lun and prevent it from harming him.”
“You wouldn’t be able to help anyone either if you die.” Ruan Zhan said callously, completely disregarding the other person’s emotions. “It isn’t an ordinary spirit. You won’t be able to overcome it.”
“Then what should I do? What should I do? Priest? What should I do?” Ruan Zhan’s words almost made Li Jing Ming despair.
“Lawyer Yue will help you.” Ruan Zhan pointed at Xiao Xia. “Listen to everything she says. You just have to follow her instructions. Don’t worry about the rest, we’ll come up with something.”
“Lawyer Yue?” Li Jing Ming looked at Xiao Xia, his eyes filled with hope.
Xiao Xia swallowed. She felt there was a large weight on her shoulders and was also at wits end.