The Haunted Chapter 98

Chapter 97◀︎Table Of ContentsChapter 99

Chapter 98 Entering The Village

Translated by Nessie


Chi Yan thought for a while and nodded in agreement.


But instead of leaving right away, he returned to the place where they parked their motorcycle, took out a lighter and lit two talismans. This talisman was called the guide talisman. Zhu Hui’s family and the two police officers were unable to return after walking on this road. He suspected that there might be some strange things on the road. With the guide talismans to lead the way, he would not be afraid of ghosts leading them in circles or other spirits tricking them, and they could find a way back.


The two rode slowly along the road, watching the conditions on both sides of the road while riding. The motorcycle ruts on the ground gradually became inconspicuous, and the path of the trail that was stepped on gradually disappeared, and in front of them was a dense mountain forest. Just as the two of them were unsure of which direction to go, and hesitated if they should return, Chi Yan saw a faint light in front of them.


He stopped his motorcycle and climbed onto a large rock next to it to look in that direction—not just a little light, but a patch, which looked like a small village.


Chi Yan climbed down from the stone, motioned Song Jin to climb up to take a look, After he climbed down, he looked up at the friend and asked, “Da Song, do you think there is a village over there? Have you heard of other villages and towns around here?”


Chi Yan followed her mother to R City when he was in high school, and had been living in the city since. Other than during vacations, he rarely travelled to nearby county towns. He knew the approximate locations and names of the eleven counties under City R, but he didn’t know what other villages and towns under those counties were. It was due to this incident that he knew that there were two towns under Ping Gu County. They were Feng Shui and Qing Yao.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

Song Jin jumped off the stone and nodded, “There is a village. I have checked the maps around Feng Shui and Qing Yao many times before, and I didn’t notice that there is such a village, but this mountain is the boundary between Ping Gu County and Hui Lin County. If we continue to walk there, we should reach Hui Lin County, so I might have overlooked it.”


There are nearly 30 villages near Feng Shui and Qing Yao. If it was not for field investigation, they would have easily ignored this village that did not belong to the jurisdiction of Ping Gu County. After all, this village was not along the normal route between these two towns.


He hesitated for a moment and asked, “Chi Zi, should we go check the situation in that village now and come back during the day tomorrow or just go and take a look?”


It was already 9:45 at night. Judging from the scale of the lights they saw just now, the village should not be small. There were probably a few tens of households.


Chi Yan realized that Song Jin might still want to continue his investigation. This village that had been neglected before could very well provide some clues about the five missing people. He estimated the distance and time needed to return and proposed, “Why not continue walking and then rest in the village?” 


It was very cold in the mountains at night, and he had worn very thin clothing. When riding his motorcycle in the wind, he couldn’t help tremble. So he was desperately looking for a warm room to warm him up and it was best to get into the blanket on the bed and take a good rest. It would have taken them about an hour to ride back to Feng Shui Town or to Qing Yao Town, but judging the distance of the lights, they just needed to ride another ten minutes to get to this town.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

Song Jin nodded, “Okay, you stop at the entrance of the village. I’ll go in first to take a look at the situation. If you don’t see me coming out after a quarter of an hour, don’t hesitate, leave quickly and go back to the town to get rescuers.” At this time, he was not afraid of demons and monsters, but worried that this village which was hidden in the mountains, actually harbored criminal gangs, as shown in some TV dramas. The Zhu Hui family and the two police officers might have discovered them and their hideout and as a result, they were kidnapped or killed. He couldn’t sit still thinking of this possibility.


Chi Yan nodded, turned over and rode on the motorcycle. The two continued riding towards the village.


Sure enough, after riding in the direction of the village for ten minutes, the mountain road gradually opened up, and the road into the village became clearly visible. Although the network signal was slow and intermittent, the mobile phone received signal.


With the telephone signal and the internet, it was much more reassuring. They opened the map on their phone and found that this village was called He Jia Village. Song Jin felt very hopeful, so he found a place outside the village with a good signal to call his supervisor to report his whereabouts and the relevant clues found. He also asked his supervisor to help check the situation of He Jia Village.


His supervisor checked on the information about He Jia Village and replied that everything was normal and this was an ordinary village. The only thing that was slightly special was that most of the villagers in this village had moved here from the south many years ago.


After hearing this answer and reporting his whereabouts, Song Jin was relieved and went straight into the village with Chi Yan. The light was still on at a small shop in the village. Song Jin stopped his motorcycle, bought a box of cigarettes and two bottles of water and inquired about the village.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

The owner of the shop pointed out to them a guest house not far away, and it was the only restaurant and accommodation in the village. Song Jin and Chi Yan decided to rest here for one night and then inquire about relevant news in the village the next day before making other plans.


Sure enough, after the two walked forward another thirty meters, they saw a rectangular sign with white characters on a red background. The words “Guest House” were printed in ‘Song’ typeface. The entrance was not big, and the dim and pale incandescent light shone through the door. There was an old-fashioned counter inside and a middle-aged man sitting behind the counter.


After the two entered, the man put down the game console in his hand when he heard the noise, stood up and asked, “Are you looking for accommodation?”


A lamp was hung from the roof. The lamp hadn’t been changed for a long time. The two ends were black, and the middle was greyish. The lamp gave out a buzzing sound, and the light projected was not very bright.


Chi Yan looked down at the game console. The black-and-white pixel display showed the picture of the battle of the tanks. He remembered that he also had such a game console when he was five or six years old. His mother bought one for him from outside. Before he met that person, he spent a lot of time killing his boredom by playing with that game console. Unexpectedly, there were still people playing this kind of game console. The shop owner should be playing with it to pass the time.


The two asked for a double room. After paying the bill, the owner took the key and brought them to their room. The door here was still opened with a key instead of a room card. The three of them chatted casually along the way. Chi Yan and Song Jin faked that they were traveling nearby. Since it was too late to go back and the weather was too cold, they planned to stay overnight before leaving.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

The owner told them that not many people had come to stay since the new year had just passed, so there were only two of them in the guest house. They did not employ any staff, so the daily cleaning, checkout and other work were all done by him and his wife. Other than that, they had an eight-year-old daughter.


The guest house was small and had two floors. The first floor was a counter, restaurant, and the owner’s residence. On the second floor, there were seven or eight rooms available. The owner showed them the room and left after leaving the key.


The condition of the room was not good. The white walls on all sides had turned yellowish. There were stains left by bugs or other unknown things. There was no bathroom, only a table, a chair and two beds in the room. Fortunately, the white bedsheets looked clean.


Song Jin didn’t pay much attention to it, and Chi Yan was not a spoiled person. Although his mother loved him, she never spoiled him. The only person who spoiled him was that person. After returning to his grandfather’s house with his mother, his mother’s health deteriorated day by day. His grandparents were all elderlies past their sixties. He had to be self-reliant at home. Not only could he not rely on the elders in the family, he also had to take care of these three people – his mother and his grandparents as much as possible. Under such circumstances, after being so spoiled by that person when he was young, that temperament quickly eased out when he grew into a teenager.


Therefore, Chi Yan was not fussy about the environment of the accommodation. His only grouse was that there were no heating facilities in the guest house. After being unoccupied for a long time, the room felt extremely cold. Even after staying indoors for more than two hours and wrapping himself up with a quilt, he still felt very cold.


Chi Yan took the phone and looked at it. It was already 11:30 at night. Song Jin who was on the other bed had fallen asleep long ago and was  making a slight snoring sound. The room was dark, the curtains were drawn, and the night outside could not be seen. The village was very quiet, as if all had fallen into a deep sleep.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

He got up quietly, took the room key and mobile phone, locked the door and went to the bathroom. All the rooms in the guest house did not have an attached bathroom. There was a public toilet at the end of the corridor and a small bathroom. The corridor was very dark. He didn’t know if it was because there were not many people living here and the lights were not turned on to save electricity. Chi Yan used the light from his mobile phone to lead him to the innermost bathroom.


After coming out of the bathroom, Chi Yan took out his mobile phone, turned on the flashlight and shone towards the corridor. The bright white light flickered, illuminating a small figure standing on the other side of the corridor looking at him.


That thing was not big. It was like a child, but with a big head. At that moment, Chi Yan didn’t look carefully, he only vaguely saw the upward smile on that face. There were no whites in those eyes and it stared at him motionlessly.


Chi Yan suddenly remembered the earth-bound spirit he met in the bathhouse in his third year of high school. It was also pale and thin, like the clay statue in the temple. It always had that same, upward smile and it would stare at him no matter where he went.


His heart suddenly lifted, and he shouted, “Who!” At the same time, he whipped up the flashlight from his mobile phone to shine again.


When it was swept by the light, that thing made a little girl’s giggle.


“What’s the matter?” The owner asked from the first floor, followed by the sound of walking up the stairs, and then with a “pa” sound, the lights in the corridor were turned on.


Chi Yan saw what that thing was. It was a little girl about seven or eight years old wearing a big white mask that looked like a New Year doll. The corners of the mouth on the mask were raised, with beaming thin eyebrows and large white eyes with no pupils.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

The shop owner pulled the little girl into his arms and whispered, “Ying Ying, why did you run out and not sleep? Where is your mother?” 


The little girl took off her mask, and pouted to her father, “Mom is asleep. I can’t sleep.” 


The guest house owner chided her, snatched the mask and chased her to sleep. He watched her daughter walk downstairs before turning to face Chi Yan, and said with a little embarrassment, “I’m so sorry. My daughter is rather naughty. Because there hadn’t been any guests for some time, I didn’t think about leaving the lights on. Did she scare you?”


“No, it’s okay.” Chi Yan smiled and looked at the mask in the owner’s hand, “What is this? “


“It’s a Nuo mask. It’s used for the Nuo dance. Almost every household in our village keeps one, and I don’t know how she took this out.” The owner explained, “Our village will dance the Nuo dance during Chinese New Year. It is a kind of ritual.”


“I know. Cui Cui and Nuo Song (characters of “Border Town” novel).” Chi Yan nodded, and stepped forward to take a closer look at the mask.


Nuo was more of a traditional sacrificial activity. The history can be traced back to the Zhou Dynasty. When dancing the Nuo Mask dance, the dancers would wear this Nuo mask. This word was mentioned in “Border Town“, saying that the meaning of Nuo Song‘s name was “sent by the god of Nuo.” However, this tradition and this kind of god worship were mostly prevalent in Sichuan and Jiangxi. R City was located in the north, and Chi Yan had never heard of similar rituals. He remembered that Song Jin’s supervisor told them that most of the people in He Jia Village had migrated from the south many years ago, so it was understandable that they had brought this custom here. There were many reasons for population migration. In the past, it was mostly due to natural and man-made disasters, such as droughts, floods or wars. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, it was mostly dominated by policy factors. But they didn’t need to investigate why the villagers of He Jia Village moved here. This had nothing to do with the whereabouts of Zhu Hui’s family and the two police officers.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

The owner didn’t realize what Chi Yan was talking about, so he just smiled at Chi Yan and left with the mask.


As soon as Chi Yan walked into his room, locked the door, and was about to go back to bed to sleep, he heard a soft knock on the door. There were three knocks on the door, but seeing that there was no response, the person outside knocked three times again.


That sound sounded a little strange, it was not because of the knocking that sounded strange, but the place where it made the sound was strange. Most people knock on the middle of the door and the sound comes from there, but this time the sound came from the bottom of the door, as if someone was lying on the ground and peeping through the gap between the door and the floor, and with the other hand stretched upwards to knock the door.


Chi Yan frowned.


From the moment he entered this village, he felt an indescribable weirdness. But he just couldn’t tell what was wrong.


He thought for a while, pinched a ghost-expelling charm in his hand, unscrewed the lock, and opened the door.


This time the corridor was lit up and he saw a small figure outside the door, that little girl Ying Ying whom he met just now.


She was short, no wonder the position where she knocked the door was low.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

The little girl was holding two dolls in her hands. Seeing Chi Yan opened the door, she looked up at him and said timidly, “Was uncle scared by me just now? Then I let my younger brother and sister stay with you, okay?” With that, she handed the two dolls in her arms.


The dolls were a pair of average size. It could be seen that they were a boy and a girl, the size of an adult man’s forearm. The dolls were not well-stitched, they looked like they were stitched by a child. Maybe this little girl had sewn them herself.


Chi Yan didn’t know how to deal with it for a while. He bent down and said in a soft voice, “Thank you, uncle don’t need them, uncle was not scared just now.”


His refusal did not work, and the little girl still insisted on handing him the two dolls.


It was so late at night, Chi Yan had no choice but to accept the two dolls and asked the little girl to go to bed.


Ying Ying smiled happily when she saw him take the dolls, and hopped downstairs.


The owner should still be guarding at the counter. He really didn’t know how this child sneaked upstairs, bypassing her father’s sight.


Chi Yan shook his head, locked the door, and placed the two dolls on the empty table in the room. After they check out the next day, the owner would definitely take them away anyway.


He didn’t know if it was his illusion or it was just that he was too cold. The moment he took the two dolls from the little girl, he actually felt the warm touch of human skin. The feeling was fleeting. He held the dolls in his hand and placed these two rough and crude rag dolls on the table.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

Chapter 97◀︎Table Of ContentsChapter 99


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