Published at 26th of March 2017 08:59:36 PM

Chapter 5

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Although the several youths were also greenhorns and each and every one had a nervous expression, they still strictly stepped into position to defend the Mo residence. Inside and out of the main room they continued to stick sealing talismans.
The servant Ah’Tong was carried into the hall. With his left hand Lan Sizhui (1) grasped his wrist and took his pulse and with his right hand he cut Madame Mo’s vest. He was providing treatment to both sides at the same time under pressure. Suddenly Ah’Tong got up from the ground.

“Ah” Ah’Ding cried out: “Ah’Tong, you’re awake!”

She didn’t even have time for her face to light up. Right away she saw Ah’Tong lift up his left hand and grab his own neck.

Upon seeing this, Lan Sizhui hit several acupuncture points in succession.
Wei Wuxian knew that although the people of this family appeared refined, the strength of their arms wasn’t the least bit refined. This method of hitting would cause anyone to be immediately unable to move. Ah’Tong had no reaction. His left hand clenched tighter and tighter and his face displayed an even more painful expression.
Lan Jingyi moved over to force open his left hand. Unexpectedly it resembled trying to break open a lump of iron. The hand would not move an inch.
In just another moment there was a  “Crack”.  Ah’Tong’s head dangled down askew and his hand loosened.
However, his neck was already broken.

Under a multitude of eyes, he had broken his own neck!

Upon seeing this situation, Ah’Ding’s voice trembled as she said: “…ghost! There’s an invisible ghost and he made Ah’Tong strangle himself!”

Her mournful voice tapered away. Onlookers blood ran cold as they listened, and suddenly they believed.
In Wei Wuxian’s judgement it was quite the opposite. It was not the fault of some malicious spirit.

He had watched these youths place their talismans. All were of the spirit expelling type. The entire east hall at been wrapped up tight. If indeed a malicious spirit had entered the hall the charm would have immediately burned up with a green flame. Nothing like that had happened.

It wasn’t that this group of children had responded slowly, it was that the one involved was very savage.
For the Xuanmen, a malicious spirit or “ligui” had a strict definition. At least one person killed each month for a period of three months would be classified as a ligui.
This standard was set by Wei Wuxian and was probably still the one still in use.
Most who dealt with this sort of thing, in his opinion, would consider seven days to kill one person as the work of being haunted by a ligui.
This thing who had actually continually killed three people, moreover in such a short period of time, even a famed holy man would not be able to immediately come up with countermeasure, much less this group of green youngsters.

And just like that as if reacting to his thoughts, a flame flashed and flashed again, as a cold wind rushed in.
All across the courtyard and east hall, lanterns and candles simultaneously extinguished.

The light having been instantly put out resulted in the screeching of voices here and there. Men and women jostled as they attempted to flee.
Lan Jingyi shouted: “Stand your ground, do not aimlessly run around! Grab whomever is running about!”

This wasn’t alarmist talk. It was in the nature of evil spirits to take advantage of the chaos around them. The greater the panic and commotion, the more likely disaster would strike without knowledge.
The time spent disordered and separated was extremely dangerous.
Each and every one was frightened out of their senses. In a short period of time the east hall became still and quiet aside from small sobbing breaths.
Perhaps already several people had gone.

In the darkness, suddenly a flame brightly shone. It was Lan Sizhui igniting a talisman.

The flame of the fire talisman was not of the type that could be blown out by the evil spirit. Using this flame he relit the other candles once again, the remaining youths comforted the others in the hall.
In the light, Wei Wuxian casually looked at his wrist. Once again another wound had healed.

It was with this look that he suddenly noticed that the number of scars was wrong.

Originally his left and right wrists each had two scars respectively.
Mo Ziyuan’s death healed one. Mo Ziyuan’s father’s death another.. And the family servant Ah’Tong’s death yet another.
By this measure, there should have been three healed scars, leaving only the last. The one with the traces of the deepest wounds of hatred.

But now his wrist was empty, there were no wounds remaining.

Wei Wuxian believed that the target of Mo Xuanyu’s vengeance was assuredly Madame Mo.
The longest and deepest wound was kept for her.
But it had unexpectedly vanished.

Had Mo Xuanyu suddenly abandoned his grudge? That was impossible.
He had used his soul as an offering to call Wei Wuxian out.
His wound would not heal unless Madame Mo died.

His gaze shifted slowly, moving to land before long on the people crowded together. Among them with a deathly pale face, having recently awoken, was Madame Mo.

Unless she was already dead.

Wei Wuxian was certain, something had already attached itself to Madame Mo.
If inside her was not her own soul, then what was it?

Suddenly Ah’Ding cried out: “Hand…hand, Ah’Tong’s left hand!”

Lan Sizhui moved the fire talisman closer to Ah’Tong’s corpse.
Sure enough, his left hand had disappeared.

The left hand!

With a sparking of electric light, before Wei Wuxian’s eyes he saw slice by slice light up and fade away slowly traveling up the arm.
Suddenly a puff of laughter escaped him.
Lan Jingyi: “This fool, laughing at this kind of time!” On second thought, since he’s a fool, what was there to bother about?

Wei Wuxian grabbed his sleeve and shook his head saying: “Not, not!”

Lan Jingyi jerked his sleeve back: “Not what? Not a fool? Don’t cause trouble! Nobody has time to deal with you.”

Wei Wuxian pointed to Mo father’s and Ah’Tong’s corpses and said: “Those aren’t them.”

Lan Sizhui curbed the anger of Lan Jingyi, asking: “You say ‘Those aren’t them’, what do you mean?”

Wei Wuxian solemnly said: “This is not Mo Ziyuan’s father and that is not Ah’Tong.”

With his face full of makeup and his solemn attitude, it really gave the feeling that this guy was ill.
But hearing these words in the faint candlelight was unexpectedly creepy.
Blankly, Lan Sizhui involuntarily asked: “For what reason?”

Wei Wuxian proudly responded: “Ah, they are not left handed, they always used their right hands to hit me, that is how I know.”
At the end of his patience Lan Jingyi spat out: “What are you so proud about! Being so pleased with yourself!”

Lan Sizhui broke out into a cold sweat.
Thinking back, Ah’Tong throttled himself with his left hand.
Madame Mo’s husband had also shoved her with his left hand.

However, during the day, when Mo Xuanyu had caused a commotion in the east hall, those two men had used their right hands when trying to catch him.
It was unlikely that those two men would suddenly become left handed before dying.

Although the reason was unknown, it seemed that if you wished to narrow what was haunting the east hall, it would be best to start with this ‘left hand’.
Thinking this through, Lan Sizhui felt slightly surprised and glancing at Wei Wuxian could not help but to think: ‘Suddenly saying something like this, really …  it can’t be a coincidence.’
Laughing shamelessly, Wei Wuxian knew the hint was a little difficult, but he hadn’t any other choice.
Fortunately, Lan Sizhui did not pursue the issue, thinking: ‘Anyway, since this young master Mo seems to be trying to assist me, he most likely doesn’t harbor any malicious intentions.’
Putting the matter aside, his vision swept past the weeping Ah’Ding and fell onto Madame Mo.

His line of sight moved from her face and arrived down at her hands.
Arms hanging flat, mostly covered by her sleeves, only half a finger length exposed.
Fingers of the right hand, snow white, slender, exactly as a woman of leisure should be. No signs of any kind of manual labor.

However, the fingers of her left hand as compared to her right seemed a littler longer and thicker.
The knuckle joints evoked a feeling of strength.

This was no longer a woman’s hand — this was clearly a man’s hand!

Lan Sizhui shouted: “Hold her down!”

Several youths then turned to grasp Madame Mo. Lan Sizhui called out “Forgive my offense”, and slapped the talisman in his hand down. Madame Mo’s left hand, twisting at an inconceivable angle, reversed itself and grasped at his throat.

A living person could not twist his arm in this fashion unless it was broken.
In an extremely rapid movement, in a moment she had caught at his throat.
At this time, Lan Jingyi cried out “Ah” and threw himself at Lan Sizhui’s front to help him block the grasp.

Meeting a flash of fire, from the hand that gripped Lan Jingyi’s shoulder emerged clusters of green flames and immediately the five fingers let go.
Lan Sizhui escaped the attack. Just as he was about to thank Lan Jingyi for the rescue, seeing the latter’s uniform already partially burned to ashes and cutting a sorry figure, the other looked back and angrily scolded: “Why are you kicking me, you lunatic, are you trying to kill me?!”

Wei Wuxian scurried away: “I didn’t kick you!”

As stated, he had kicked him.
Inside the coat of the Lan family uniform and embroidered in the same color thread were dense and numerous spells for the purpose of protecting the body of the wearer.
However, encountering such a powerful attack, after one use it becomes useless.
In a moment of desperation, he could only kick Lan Jingyi in order to use his body to protect the neck of Lan Sizhui.
While Lan Jingyi was still complaining, Madame Mo fell to the ground, the flesh on her face entirely sucked away leaving only a layer of leathery skin clinging close to a skeletal head.
The man’s arm that did not belong to her fell off, fingers unexpectedly still flexing freely, as if exercising the muscles and bones, the veins and arteries could clearly be seen pulsing.

This was precisely the evil thing that had been called by the Zhao Yin flag.

To become a divided and dismembered corpse, was a standard tragic death. It was slightly more decent than Wei Wuxian’s cause of death, but not by much.
The circumstances of being broken into pieces had a distinct effect. The dead limbs may end up contaminated with the deceased’s desire to reunify their body, their thirst to have an intact corpse. Therefore, it would do anything possible to find the rest of the body.
If found, perhaps it will then rest in peace, however it was also possible for it to become even more violent.
And if in case the parts cannot be found, then it can only settle for second best.

What was second best? Improvising with a living body.

Just like the left hand had done. Eat the left hand of a living person. Displace the owner and after the essence of flesh and blood had been sucked dry, abandon the body. Afterwards, continue to look for the next vessel until finally meeting up with the other parts of its corpse.

Once this arm comes in contact with a person, they are immediately killed by the parasite. However until the flesh and blood are drained, it can still control the rest of the body to walk around normally as if still alive.
After it was called, the first vessel was Mo Ziyuan.
The second vessel was the father of Mo Ziyuan.
Madame Mo told her husband to get out when he uncharacteristically lashed out at her. Wei Wuxian had originally believed that it was due to grief over losing his son and being tired of his wife’s arrogance.
But thinking about it now, he had not carried the appearance of someone who had just lost his son.
It had not been a stunned heart, rather, it was a deathly stillness, the silence of the dead.

The third vessel was Ah’Tong.
The fourth, Madame Mo.
During the confusion brought about by the extinguishing of the lights, the ghost hand had finally shifted to her body.
With Madame Mo killed, the last scar on Wei Wuxian’s wrist had disappeared.

The Lan family youths, seeing that their talismans didn’t work, but that the clothes did, simultaneously removed their outer clothing and covered the left hand layer upon layer folding over. Wrapping it like a thick white cocoon.
Moments later, this lump of white clothing ignited, demonic green flames rocketed up high.
Although effective for a while, before long the uniform would burn away leaving the hand to possibly emerge from the embers.
While no one was looking, Wei Wuxian made a beeline for the west courtyard.

There he met with several zoushi that the youths had captured. The walking corpses stood silent in the yard, there were more than 10 of them.
They had drawn a sealing spell on the ground. Wei Wuxian kicked a single character, destroying the entire thing, then clapped his hands twice.
The zoushi quivered, the whites of its eyes suddenly raised as if roused by a thunderclap.

Wei Wu Xian said: “Stand up. Time to work!”

Previously when working with corpse puppets, he had never needed complicated incantations or language, only normal direct commands.
The zoushi standing in front of him shivered and struggled to move a few steps, however, once it had approached Wei Wuxian, as if it’s legs had turned soft in fear like a living person, it ended up lying on the ground.

Dumbfounded, Wei Wuxian once again clapped his hands twice, this time much softer.
This zoushi had probably been born in Mo clan village and died in the Mo clan village, having never seen the world. The instinct was to heed the orders, yet once again inexplicably towards the person giving the commands, there was a terrible dread. Falling down on all fours it cried and didn’t dare to get up.

The more savage evil creatures, Wei Wuxian was easily able to order about.
However, this zoushi had not been taught by him, it couldn’t withstand his direct control. He didn’t have the materials on hand and was unable to bring out tools to ease it with. Carelessly putting something together would not work.
Seeing the green flames from the east hall fading, Wei Wuxian suddenly had a bright idea.

The filled heavy resentment, murderous wicked dead, needed something to drive them to come out?!

There in the east hall, and not just one!

He dashed back to the east courtyard.
Lan Sizhui thoroughly calculated, and then calculated again. he pulled out one jian (2) after another and stuck them to form a fence around the ghost arm. Just at that time the arm began to knock against the fence composed of swords.
As the youths were sparing no effort to press down on the hilts of the swords to prevent an exit, they were too busy to pay attention to who was entering or exiting.
Wei Wuxian entered into the east hall. To the left and right he lifted Madame Mo together with Mo Ziyuan. In a low voice he whispered: “Return that which doesn’t awake!”

One voice called out, immediately the soul returned!

An instant later, the whites of Madame Mo and Mo Ziyuan’s eyes rolled up. From their mouths issued the sharp hiss belonging to a ligui.

One high and one low hiss sounded out. Another body trembling with fear stood up, dropping low once more again it followed after with a weak voice. It was Madame Mo’s husband.

The cry was big enough, the resentment was more than sufficient.
Wei Wuxian smiled, extremely satisfied, “Do you recognize the appearance of that hand?”

He ordered: “Tear it apart.”
The three of the Mo family, similar to three black winds, dashed out in a flash.

The left arm that had been knocking against the swords, snapped one and with the fence damaged it broke out.
But just as it came out, the three fierce corpses all who were missing left arms together immediately pounced upon it.

Besides not being able to disobey Wei Wuxian’s command, this family of three held a grudge of their own as reason to kill. This anger was unleashed onto the ghost hand.
The primary attacker was certainly Madame Mo. Female dead afterwards are often particularly brutal. Her hair was disheveled, eyes bloodshot. Her five fingernails increased in length by several times. Froth dripped from the corners of her mouth as she laughed. Her screeching voice almost brought down the roof. She was completely insane.
Mo Ziyuan followed his mother. At the same time he employed his teeth to tear at the arm as he attacked, his father soon after. Complementing one another both of the vicious dead attacked in intervals.
Originally working hard to prop up the fence the youths stood stupefied.

They had only ever heard in rumors and books that this type of fierce corpse fight could occur. For the first time they witnessed flesh and blood flying. Standing there staring, dumbfounded. They were unable to look away. Their only thought…. ‘How Marvelous!’

The three corpses fought by themselves against the evil arm when suddenly Mo Ziyuan gave a sharp hiss and dodged to the side.
He abdomen had been stabbed by the hand. Leaking out came several sections of intestines.
Madame Mo, upon seeing this, snarled even more. Pulling her son behind her to protect him, her outward appearance became even more ferocious and her broken fingernails suddenly developed the strength of steel swords.
Wei Wuxian could faintly tell, she already couldn’t sustain many more blows.

Three of the recent dead acting together, unexpectedly were unable to suppress just one arm!

Wei Wuxian with rapt attention to the fight, rolled the tip of his tongue to the middle of his lip and pressed down preparing to let out a high pitched whistle. Should he or shouldn’t he?
His whistle would arouse more ferocity. It may be able to turn the tide. But there is no guarantee that he would not be discovered as the source.
In the blink of an eye, the hand moved like lightning to grab the neck of Madame Mo and break it.

Seeing the Mo family of three retreat step by step in defeat, Wei Wuxian was just about to press his tongue down in order to let the whistle, however just at that time, from the outside came the metallic sound of two notes.

These two sounds resembled a person casually plucking a string. They had a very ethereal clarity and carried with them a cool and refreshing wind.
The group of demons and ghosts trying to kill each other in the middle of the courtyard all froze solid.

The Gu Su Lan youths suddenly went radiant just like they had been reborn.
Lan Sizhui lifted his hand to wipe the blood on his face. Quickly he raised his head and joyfully said: “Han Guangjun!”

Hearing the sound of these tones coming from the outside qin (3), Wei Wu Xian turned away.

Once again a single tone from a string echoed, this next note was slightly higher, like clear sky breaking through the clouds, the area harshly divided in two .
The three corpses repeatedly flinched back, at the same time raising their right hand to cover their ear.
However, how could they so easily block the sound of the Gu Su Lan. Retreating a few more steps, soon afterwards from their heads came a slight sound of something bursting.

The left arm as well, having fought hard, also after hearing the sound from the string, suddenly fell to the ground.
Although the fingers still twitched, the rest of the arm had already stopped moving.

After a brief silence, the youths couldn’t help but to stand up and cheer loudly.
These cheers were full of the ecstasy of survivors of a calamity, shaken to the core having survived the night. At last the long wait for support from the clan. Even if later their “breech of etiquette disgraced family tradition” was ground for firm punishment, they couldn’t help themselves.

Rushing forward and raising his hands as he waived, Lan Sizhui suddenly noticed someone was missing.
He pulled at Lan Jingyi and asked: “That man?”

Lan Jingyi cheerfully preoccupied responded: “Who? Which?”

Lan Sizhui said: “That young master Mo.”

Lan Jingyi: “Ah? Why are you doing looking for that lunatic? God knows where he’s gone off to, perhaps he’s gone off to play, he ran off somewhere.”
“…” Lan Sizhui knew Lan Jingyi was a careless ass. Never thinking carefully, nor doubting. Nevertheless Han Guanjun had come. At a later time he would inform him of the matter of this person.

Mo clan village was sleeping peacefully, but it wasn’t clear whether this was a true sleep or a false one.
Even with the Mo family fighting the dead in the east and west courtyards with frothy blood flying everywhere, other people from late night to early morning would not get up to look.
Spectators were also in demand.
Commotion and incessant screams were not seen as a good thing.

Wei Wuxian at two or three notches below top speed raced to Mo Xuanyu’s room in order to destroy the traces of the previous summoning ceremony.

Good timing for the situation but too bad for the Lan family person who showed up. If he wanted to die, then he should meet the arrived Lan Wangji! (4)

It was exactly this guy, one of the ones he previously had both played with and fought with, that made it so that he must quickly leave.
Hunting for a horse, he passed a yard where there lay a large millstone with a donkey chewing a mouth full of flowers. Seeing him rush over it seemed surprised, almost resembling a normal person giving him a sideways look.
Wei Wuxian looking at it face to face promptly seemed to see a look of disdain.

He came forward and grabbed the rope to drag it out. The donkey complained with a loud voice.
Repeatedly coaxing, Wei Wuxian dragged it out. Doing his best to persuade it he then swung one leg up and got on. Continuously moving until the grey dawn, he clip clopped up the road.

(1) I’ve read translations with names separated and with the names pushed together. Personally I prefer them together so I’m testing it out to see how the chapter flows.

(2) Double edged straight sword

(3) Guqin, also known as a chinese zither. Same instrument as used in that nifty Kung Fu Hustle fight.

(4) I’m guessing this new guy has two names?

Please report us if you find any errors so we can fix it asap!