Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Seeing Fangzheng smile, albeit quite helplessly, Village Chief Song took the opportunity to continue currying favor with him as he asked, “Then, Abbot Fangzheng, when can you do the rites?”
Fangzheng smiled. “There’s no rush. Let This Penniless Monk investigate the cause first. The rites can wait. Otherwise, doing a rite without any understanding would leave This Penniless Monk clueless as to what to do as well.”
Although Village Chief Song was a little disappointed, what Fangzheng said made sense. All he could do was agree helplessly.
Fangzheng asked, “By the way, Patron. On the way here, This Penniless Monk didn’t notice any chickens or ducks?”
The moment that was said, Village Chief Song’s expression instantly turned contorted. He let out a long sigh. “Abbot Fangzheng, you came late. Last night, all the ducks, chickens, geese, and dogs were killed by the demonic aura.”
“What?” Fangzheng and Wang Yougui were left stunned. The demonic aura was that odd? It killed all those animals in one night?
Village Chief Song said, “Although we didn’t see how they were killed, all of them were dead this morning when everyone woke up. The remaining animals are the few cats that remain on the walls. They refuse to get down, as though there’s something terrifying on the ground… Now, the villagers are all feeling uneasy. Many people have left to seek refuge with their relatives.”
Only then did Fangzheng remember seeing a few cats slumped on the walls when he entered the village. When he looked at them, all of them refused to come down.
The more he heard about the situation, the odder he found it.
Red Boy frowned as well. Having been a demon all these years, it wouldn’t be difficult for him to do this with his divine powers, but after coming to this village, he did not notice the scent of any demons! As for demonic or ghastly auras, there were none. Therefore, it was likely that the situation had little to do with the paranormal.
When Village Chief Song said that, everyone subconsciously felt goosebumps. They felt their backs turn cold. A few village chiefs couldn’t sit still as they went out to get some sun.
Everyone chatted for quite some time, and Fangzheng gained little regarding the situation in Snow Village. Despite all the chatter, nothing could be gleaned from it since they were all farmers who didn’t have much understanding of science. Instead, people kept hounding Fangzheng, asking if it had anything to do with the paranormal. Fangzheng naturally shook his head in denial, but none of them believed him. They secretly came to him and asked him again, thinking that Fangzheng just wasn’t telling the truth because it wasn’t appropriate to do so in public.
With regards to this, Fangzheng could only shake his head in resignation…
Finally, everyone left, feeling a little unfulfilled. It was as though they wanted Fangzheng to admit that it was a paranormal event before they could feel at ease.
Out of the village council’s door, Wang Yougui also planned on returning. Fangzheng wasn’t in a rush to leave. He had yet to figure out the root cause of the situation, so Wang Yougui left alone.
After calling Red Boy to him, Fangzheng left the village council only to hear someone say, “Are you really going to hold a rite to exorcise the evil?”
Fangzheng was taken aback. He turned his head and saw Bao Yuluo with her arms crossed across her chest. She was leaning against a wall and looking at him with a frown.
Fangzheng pressed his palms together. “Amitabha. If This Penniless Monk has the ability to resolve the matter, the rites can happen. If it’s not resolvable, This Penniless Monk will naturally not hold the rites.”
“You are smarter than I imagined. I’ve seen a case before of fake monks who specialized in exorcisms. They might have been fake, but they were very clever. When a particular place had a problem, they visited it and said that the problem could be solved, but they refused to take action. Using the reason of investigating the paranormal, they stalled for time and only when the local government hired experts to fully investigate the situation, when the issue was almost resolved already, they appeared to do the rites… Finally, the situation was resolved. Tell me, was this thanks to their rites or thanks to the experts?” As Bao Yuluo spoke, she walked toward Fangzheng, her eyes looking extremely sharp. She had an aggressive tone and although she was talking about a past case, it was apparent that she was saying: “I’ve seen through your tricks. Stop acting and leave! Don’t force me to expose you. It won’t be nice for your reputation.”
Fangzheng never expected Bao Yuluo to say such words. He pressed his palms together and smiled. “It’s naturally all thanks to the scientists. A cheat is ultimately a cheat. They can succeed once, but not their entire lives.”
“That’s right. So they were eventually imprisoned. I forgot to tell you. I was the one who handled that case!” After Bao Yuluo said that, she gave Fangzheng a deep-meaning look. “Now, do you still plan on doing the rites?”
Fangzheng looked up into the sky. “This Penniless Monk never had the intention to do the rites, but with what you said, it looks like the rites need to be done.”
“Oh? You will really go ahead with it?” Bao Yuluo narrowed her eyes, like a lion targeting her prey.
Fangzheng smiled. “If the heart and body is right, why not?”
“Oh? When do you plan on performing the rites? I’ll watch,” asked Bao Yuluo.
“They will naturally be done when the time is right. Patron, are you done with your questioning? This Penniless Monk would also like to ask a question.”
“I’m done. Go ahead.” Bao Yuluo stopped interrogating Fangzheng as she replied with a stern countenance.
“Where is Old Fifth Gao? Can This Penniless Monk see him?”
“You want to meet him?” Bao Yuluo was taken aback before she laughed. “Don’t tell me you want to do some investigating?” The moment that was said, she shook her head. A monk, doing an investigation? How was that possible?
Fangzheng said with a stern countenance, “This Penniless Monk’s rites are different from others’. This Penniless Monk likes to solve the root of the problem. Before understanding everything, how can rites be held? To fool people?”
“I’ve heard this line several times. The person you are looking for lives at the end of this road. He’s the tallest one. You… Forget it, I’ll bring you there.” Bao Yuluo shook her head and led Fangzheng over.
Following Bao Yuluo, Red Boy waved his fists at Bao Yuluo, to which Fangzheng laughed.
Fangzheng wasn’t angry at Bao Yuluo. He could tell that she abhorred evil and was filled with a sense of justice. However, she was a little extreme in her character. Such a person wasn’t bad, but they could easily mess things up despite their good intentions.
Since they were strangers, Fangzheng didn’t say much. He turned a blind eye to it and let it go.
At the village entrance, Fangzheng looked over and saw two tables which blocked the road. There was a bench behind the table, and three people stood there. All of them looked about the same height at first glance, though.
Red Boy mumbled. “They are all about the same height. Who’s Old Fifth Gao?”
“About the same? Try calling out.” Bao Yuluo only seemed to have a bone to pick with Fangzheng, but she liked Red Boy quite a lot. She was aggressive toward Fangzheng, but all smiles when she looked at Red Boy. It let Fangzheng fully experience the feeling of how women’s expressions were like the northeastern weather. They could change at a whim.
Upon hearing that, Red Boy shouted immediately. “Old Fifth Gao!”
“Yeah!?” Someone opposite them responded. As Fangzheng and Red Boy looked over, they saw a man standing there begin to grow taller and taller…