Chapter 38: Ankang Ancient Town (17)
According to the customs of Ankang Town, the mountain chose Hu Ayun.
But as the twin sister, Hu Ayu knew that her sister had a relationship with her lover far before the wedding.
Hu Ayun almost naively believed that such a trivial thing as being chosen by a mountain god would not happen to her, so she and her lover had long since failed to obey the town’s rules and crossed the bottom line before getting married.
The mountain god was the belief of Ankang Town that had continued for many generations, and Hu Ayun and Hu Ayu also firmly believed in it.
Yet the moment she became a sacrificial offering, Hu Ayun discovered she did not want to die.
She didn’t want to be skinned and boned into a pale white umbrella.
She was also fearful that the matron would discover that her body was no longer pure, and she was scared of angering the mountain god.
So after Hu Ayun was taken to the mountain temple, before the sacrificial ceremony, she and her lover considered secretly leaving together.
Hu Ayu was aware of the plan.
She even took the risk of secretly bribing the townspeople who had once guarded Hu Ayun at the temple to facilitate communication between her sister and her lover.
However, on the day of the sacrifice, when the time Hu Ayun and her lover agreed on arrived, she did not see the man.
Later, the result was the same.
Like the girls previously “chosen” in the town before, Hu Ayun was treated as a sacrifice, skinned and boned by the matron.
The matron used her skin and bones for an umbrella and took the body deep into the mountains.
Hu Ayun and Hu Ayu’s parents thought it was a joyful event, and they were so gleeful that they even held a banquet to celebrate Hu Ayun’s death.
The man who was supposed to be Hu Ayun’s husband… still lived in Ankang Town and was engaged to another girl within a few months.
It was unsure if the man divulged anything.
Rumors spread all over town about how Hu Ayun was not pure when she was sacrificed to the mountain god.
Rumors sprung everywhere as lights extinguished.
Apart from Hu Ayun’s death and the rumors flying all over, nothing else seemed to have changed in Ankang.
But after a few months, people in town suddenly began dying — the first to die was the man who was supposed to marry Hu Ayun.
The corpse’s death was horrific.
At night, the man’s screams penetrated the neighborhood.
Someone went to take a look and witnessed a bloody, skinless ghost pressing on the man, tearing his skin and flesh.
The person was terrified at what they saw and immediately ran away.
When the townspeople came in the morning, they found that the man had been skinned, his bones gone.
He died with blood all over the ground.
–He died the same way when offered to the mountain god.
Afterward, Hu Ayun and Hu Ayu’s parents, the man’s current wife, and other people in the town… all died in this way one after another.
Everyone thought it was because of Hu Ayun’s impurity that the mountain god was furious and brought retribution to them.
From that day on, people in the town began to be more fearful of the god.
Later events coincided with all the clues Yan Wei found in the past two days — every time the matron found a dead person, the skinless female ghost would throw the deceased’s skin and bones to the bottom of the well and allow the matron to construct an umbrella.
The matron later discovered that as long as there was a skin and bone umbrella at the door of anyone’s house, the ghost would prioritize killing those people.
She began to attract travelers to live in the mountain temple and exchanged travelers’ lives for the townspeople’s lives.
Yan Wei and the others were the latest groups of travelers.
When Hu Ayu spoke, the whole picture was displayed in front of Yan Wei.
The tower prompt also sounded.
Yan Wei won this point alone, and the tower announced the story clue to the other players.
Yan Wei and Yan Mingguang were at 4 points, reaching a tie for first place.
After the clue was broadcasted, the players returned to the same starting point again.
Yan Wei had already taken the first answer point within a few minutes, so the players in the kitchen naturally had no reason to keep fighting.
They all stopped and came over.
“You all don’t believe in the mountain god here.
It’s more like believing in a mountain ghost.” Yan Wei asked, “Is that all you know”
Hu Ayu nodded.
“Yes … so people in the town don’t like me … they think our family brought all these disasters.”
Yan Wei smiled.
It hasn’t been peaceful these days.
You should be careful.”
Since Hu Ayu herself said that there was no other information, whether she was telling the truth or lying, there were no more questions that they could ask her for points.
The other players looked at each other and left each other without hesitation — they were going somewhere else to look for points.
Yan Mingguang swung the whip in his hand, dragged Yan Wei to his side cleanly, and said with indifference, “Let’s go too.”
Yan Wei and Yan Mingguang traveled down the mountain.
The people in the town had no good feelings towards them, these foreign travelers.
At first, everyone thought that the people were against foreigners, but now they finally understand that it was because the townspeople felt that these players would die soon, and there was no need to waste their emotions.
But Yan Wei was different.
His years of experience in all walks of life played a role, and coupled with his harmless appearance, Yan Wei didn’t put any effort into it, only maintaining his amiable appearance.
The townspeople more or less liked him.
It took little time for the two to come to the cemetery in Ankang Town.
【Why aren’t you asking me why I came here first and didn’t go to the well After all, there are phalanges under the well that we haven’t collected yet.】Yan Wei tossed the whip, dragging Yan Mingguang as a practical joke.
【Always silent, like a stuffy dead person, a dead ice cube.】
Yan Mingguang was not moved by him, walking steadily ahead, and said cooperatively: 【Hm, why】
Yan Wei: “…” For some reason, there was no sense of accomplishment.
【Because we’re the only ones who know about the phalanges.
The others will only think that there’s no clue at the bottom of the well, and the only other person who may know is Ning Yi — she has a way on how to deal with the umbrellas and the skinless girls, and the clue in her hand is most likely related to the phalanges.
But she came to the kitchen the first thing this morning.
She wouldn’t waste time coming to the kitchen but would go down the well at dawn if she knew about the phalanges.
So, I think that even if she has a clue related to phalanges, it doesn’t directly mention the finger bones.】
【We don’t have to worry.
Only we know about the phalanges.】Yan Wei curled his lip.
【Now, I want to have a look at who died at the hands of skinless female ghosts, what was their order of death, and my debuff. I don’t believe it fell on my head by chance.】
Yan Wei even doubted Hu Ayu a bit.
After all, the name of the debuff was “The young girl’s love,” and Hu Ayu had the highest affection for him among the players.
However, Hu Ayu was 28-years-old.
The tower shouldn’t have defined a 28-year-old as a young girl.
He also had the skeleton eye prop, which could detect danger in the instance.
He could wait until there was no one and use the skeleton eye on Hu Ayu.
So Yan Wei chose to come to the cemetery of Ankang Town first to confirm the identities of the townspeople killed by the ghosts in the past ten years and the order of these people’s deaths.
Since the first person to die was the man who betrayed Hu Ayun, the identities and order of the deceased couldn’t be random.
He couldn’t let go of any possible clues because there were still no clues with clear directions to the staircase.
He and Yan Mingguang made this clear, and the two of them had already entered the cemetery.
Ankang Town, which was isolated from the outside world, still maintained the ancient funeral customs, and the cemetery was at the foot of the mountain.
Graves piled with dirt and monuments were built everywhere, obviously dug where there was space.
But only one place was crowded and tidy, apparently constructed in the near time.
–The graves of the skinned deceased, as the townspeople said.
“Creepy…” Yan Wei muttered.
These graves were in the most remote corners as if they were afraid of bad luck.
On each gravestone, there was a stone-carved umbrella with the names of the people, their birth, and death.
This crowded cemetery was overgrown with weeds and deserted, and no trace of worship could be seen.
It was enough to show that the townspeople were secretive about these deaths.
The breeze blew, the tall weeds swayed gently, and Yan Wei felt his neck was a little cold.
If no one took care of the cemetery, but someone died and was buried in it immediately… the innermost person should be the one who died first.
He crossed the graves one by one and walked inside, pulled apart the weeds in front of him, and read the name on the gravestone out loud.
“Hu Ayun’s original fiance,” Yan Mingguang said.
“That seems to be him…” Yan Wei forcibly plucked the weeds in front of him, leaned slightly to the gravestone, and planned to take a closer look at the information on the stone.
“Then he really died early, but why are these gravestones so dirty and old The mounds don’t look solid at all–“
Yan Wei’s voice came to a sudden stop.
In front of him, on the old and desolate grave, the slightly raised burial mound seemed to sway slightly.
A bloody head slowly protruded out of the mound, and his skinless face met Yan Wei.
Those eyes covered in mud and thick blood stared at him lifeless.
The skinless head moved slightly…
—Beaming a sinister smile at him.
Yan Wei’s expression froze.
His eyes did not blink, and he also showed a standard smile at this skinless ghost.
Then, the weeds the young man had just plucked were violently flung.
He turned around and ran to Yan Mingguang’s side, shouting, “Fuck!! It’s **ing haunted!! Teacher Yan, help!!!”
After the death of Jiang Xiu and Zheng Mao, there was only Ning Yi left in Yuemang, who kept the projection off from start to finish.
The people in Yuemang didn’t look good, and most of them left.
Other players quarreled.
“Jiang Xiu is dead.
No matter who wins the best player, it’ll be a surprise.
Isn’t it most likely that Yan himself killed Jiang Xiu”
“Don’t forget, it was the right time and place for Yan to pit Jiang Xiu.
If he didn’t go down the well and have the help of Lin Zhen and Yu Feizhou, how could he control the points in the whole game Yan Mingguang, Lin Zhen, and Yu Feizhou took the three points together, okay”
“Actually, I think it was four people, right The player next to Yan Mingguang, Yan Wei, doesn’t seem as useless as everyone says.
Although he didn’t contribute before, he didn’t lag behind.
He even got a first answer point today — although he relied on the NPC’s favor, he also contributed.”
“Don’t forget that you guys don’t know who got the first two points.
Yan Wei may have never opened his perspective.
Now I’m not afraid to slap my face when I talk big.
What if he’s a hidden boss”
The conversation stopped abruptly.
In Yan Mingguang’s live broadcast, Yan Wei, whom everyone thought might have potential, was followed by a skinless ghost crawling out of the soil.
He quickly rushed to Yan Mingguang’s side, shouting, “Teacher Yan, help!!”
“I think you’re all right,” a player sighed, “Running so fast, he truly is a hidden boss with potential.”
The other players: “…”