The Haunted Chapter 99 Nuo Shen Temple

Chapter 98◀︎Table Of ContentsChapter 100

Chapter 99 Nuo Shen Temple

Translated by Nessie


Early next morning, Chi Yan and Song Jin got up at seven o’clock. To save time, the two decided to split their work. Song Jin went from west to east to inquire about news, while Chi Yan went from east to west to search for clues.


Chi Yan didn’t call home the whole day yesterday and he was a little worried about his grandfather. As he walked, he paid attention to the surrounding scenery while holding his mobile phone, hoping to find a place with a good signal to call his grandfather.


This road was relatively secluded. There was nobody, and there were many forked paths that could only be passed by one person, white walls and green eaves and bluestone roads. Although there were differences in architectural styles, they really felt like Hui Gan Village.


However, there was no signal along the way. Chi Yan put his phone in the pocket of his jacket in frustration. He looked up and saw a very well-built bluish grey building on the right side of the road ahead, with three words engraved directly above the door: “The Temple of Nuo” .


Chi Yan remembered the Nuo mask last night. There was a tradition of dancing the Nuo dance in He Jia Village, so it was normal to have a Nuo Shen Temple. The two black solid wood doors outside the temple were concealed. Chi Yan thought for a while, pushed the door and went in.


The temple was not big and there were no windows on three sides.  The light came in only from the doorway, so it looked extremely gloomy. A Nuo god statue was enshrined in the center of the temple. It was hard to see what material it was made of. The exterior of the statue was covered with a red costume-like splendid gown and the face of the statue had a black and gold Nuo mask. This statue did not resemble any of those statues in other temples that were tall and burly. On the contrary, the statue looked thin and short with red robes and black mask, looking at people who came in with a smile. It didn’t look anything like a god, but more like an evil spirit.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

Chi Yan jumped in horror, and it took a few seconds before he reacted. He quickly stood there, clasped his hands together and prayed to the statue briefly. He shifted his sight upwards and saw a cyan tent hung above the statue, on it was embroidered with four large golden characters “Crown Prince Nuo God”. Chi Yan realized that the Nuo God was like a boy statue, made according to a boy’s figure, so it looked thin.


He took a step back and looked to the left at the same time, he couldn’t help being surprised again. There were dozens of faces looking at him, the corners of their mouths were hooked upwards and smiling at him. Those faces were of different sizes and colors. They were masks of blue, red and yellow colours. Some of these masks had faces that looked pale or close to normal skin colour. Some had pupils, while others only had white eyes. If one were to look closely, one could find the expressions on those faces differed, but they all had the same smile with the corners of their mouths hooked upwards.


Chi Yan was frightened once by the little girl Ying Ying in the guest house last night. This time, he was able to react quickly. These were also Nuo masks, and the whole wall had Nuo masks hanging on it. But even knowing that these were fake masks, seeing so many faces in the gloomy temple was still creepy. Chi Yan could feel the goose bumps on his arms coming out one by one.


He glanced at the wall on the right. The wall was empty but it was decorated with colorful curtains. The colors of the curtains looked very new and it was obvious that they were replaced not long ago.


The villagers would dance the Nuo dance during Chinese New Year, so it was probably changed during that time.


Chi Yan didn’t stay much longer. After worshipping the statue of the Nuo god again and worshiping left and right, he turned around and left in a hurry. Before stepping out of the temple gate, he felt very uncomfortable, like there were dozens of eyes staring at him from the right side of his back.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

After walking out of the Nuo Shen Temple, Chi Yan took out his mobile phone again and found a signal. He was so happy that he quickly called home. Grandpa should have returned from morning exercises by this time.


The old man moved slowly and picked up the phone only after it rang five times. Chi Yan asked his grandpa if everything was okay, and told him that he might be going back late, not to wait for him and just go to bed at his usual time. As soon as he said two sentences, the phone automatically hung up and there was no more signal.


Chi Yan reluctantly kept his phone, turned around and planned to move on, only to see a person standing just right behind him.


It was an old lady whose height was below Chi Yan’s chest. Her hair was all white and she wore an old-fashioned black embroidered satin dress. She was leaning on a black cane and looking up at him with squinting eyes.


Having elderlies at home and having taken care of them before, Chi Yan would also take special care when he met other old people outside. He immediately bent down and asked, “Grandma, did I hit you?” He didn’t mind that the old lady was standing so close behind him and had given him a shock.


The old lady squinted her eyes, smiled and shook her head, “Is the young man calling home?” The old lady spoke with a strong Gan Nan accent. After thinking about it for a while, Chi Yan realized what the old lady was asking, so he smiled and replied, “Yes, I just called my grandfather. He is alone at home and I am not at ease.” 


The old lady nodded and waved her hand, beckoning Chi Yan to lower his head towards her.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

Chi Yan was puzzled, but he still did. Leaning closer, he could smell a decadent breath that emanated from the old woman’s body.


The old lady’s voice was low but was very light. She whispered into his ear, “Young man, listen to grandma, hurry up and leave early. Don’t let your grandpa wait for you. Grandma died due to old age and will not harm others.”


Her native accent was very heavy, her voice was light and fuzzy. Chi Yan couldn’t hear what she was talking about, or he wasn’t sure whether he heard it accurately. He only felt a chill behind him, and when he raised his head again, the old lady was already walking away with her cane, and soon disappeared at the corner of the street.


Chi Yan shook his head, comforting himself that he must have listened wrongly. If the old woman was not a human being, he would definitely be able to tell since he was so close to her and had spoken for so long. Probably she had meant Chi Yan to take her advice to keep his Grandpa company more often when he was still alive, so that he wouldn’t regret it when his Grandpa was gone. 


He went one round but didn’t achieve much and his phone still had no signal. He somewhat understood why the boss of the guest house was still playing with that old-fashioned game console. He couldn’t get in touch with Song Jin. Seeing that it was almost eleven o’clock, he decided to go back to the guest house and wait for him.


When he went back and passed by the village entrance, he saw Song Jin and the shop owner smoking together and inquiring about some information. He met the shop owner the day before when they first arrived at the village. Chi Yan walked over and Song Jin shook his head lightly, meaning that he didn’t manage to get any information.


Chi Yan said a few words and then asked the owner, “Boss, I think there is a Nuo Shen Temple over there. It’s quite interesting. How do you dance Nuo here?”

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

The owner of the shop was a businessman so he was obviously very good at talking. When he heard the question, he gushed out, “I know there is no such custom in R City. You are all interested in this when you come to our village. The main reason to dance Nuo is to exorcise ghosts and fight the epidemic. Starting from the first lunar month, we will dance every morning until night. Nuo dancers will wear Nuo masks to symbolize ghosts and gods. Before and after the ceremony, they must go to the temple to worship the Crown Prince Nuo God. Finally, there is a hunt for Nuo ceremony. The Nuo dancers will hold a lamp each and visit every household to hunt for Nuo, to expel evil spirits and epidemics.” 


Song Jin thought of his and Tao Juan Juan’s experience of encountering evil spirits. He couldn’t help but asked curiously, “This can really expel ghosts ?” 


The shop owner was silent when he heard the words. He took a deep sip of the cigarette in his hand, and slowly breathed out the smoke. After pressing the cigarette butt in the soil under his feet, he raised his head and looked around. Finally, he looked at Song Jin and said in a low voice, “Really, it can. It was during Chinese New Year this year that we found evil ghosts.”


Song Jin was shocked when he heard the words. When he saw the boss’s appearance, he was scared and felt chill on his back. He asked cautiously in a low voice, “What about the evil spirits that were found? Can they be driven away? Where were they driven to?”


“There is the Nuo mask. The evil spirits were made into the Nuo masks, so that they would be sealed and couldn’t get out.”


Song Jin’s eyes widened, and he couldn’t help looking at Chi Yan, “Is there such a way?”


Chi Yan shook his head, indicating that he was not sure.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

The shop owner thought Song Jin was asking himself, so he smiled and said, “To be honest, I was not from He Jia Village. I was from Shi Fang Village. I married my wife and we settled in He Jia Village. Subsequently, we slowly understood this. I have watched a few ceremonies before and didn’t really know that much.”


Song Jin knew that he couldn’t ask anything more. After buying another pack of cigarettes, he said goodbye to the boss and walked back to the guest house for lunch with Chi Yan.


The villagers were not fussy people. Chi Yan and Song Jin ate at one table in the restaurant of the guest house, and the owner and his family ate at another table. It was the first time that Chi Yan and Song Jin saw the owner’s wife, a middle-aged woman who looked a little pale and thin. Her brows had been frowning, as if there was something unresolved.


The little girl Ying Ying simply ate some food and started playing alone. After the woman finished her meal, she pulled her reluctant daughter with her and left. The little girl pouted, and finally followed her mother. She turned her head before she left, smiled and waved at Chi Yan.


The owner cleaned the table alone as Song Jin took the opportunity to talk to the other party, “The child’s mom didn’t seem to be in good spirits?”


“Yeah.” The owner raised his head, looked at them and smiled bitterly, “Dr. Wang, the village doctor, came to see her. He said that there is nothing wrong with her body, it is just some sickness with the heart.”


He wiped the table and said, “I also don’t know what’s going on. Since the New Year, my wife has been in a trance, saying that she always feels that other than Ying Ying, we should also have another pair of children. How can there be mothers who can’t remember their own children? I’m thinking about asking my neighbor to look after the store and Ying Ying one of these days when I’m not busy. I will take her mother to the town’s hospital to see a doctor.

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

“If it doesn’t work, go directly to the city to have a look. It is not going to be easy to treat mental illness.” Song Jin continued.


“I also think, but it’s too far, and the road is not easy to walk. It has been so many years, and the roads in and out of the village are still not well repaired.” The guest house owner grumbled and said nothing.


“I think there are not many people staying in the store these days, we are also leaving in the afternoon.” Song Jin took the opportunity to ask, “Boss, did many people stay in the store during the past few days? Was there anyone else besides us?”


There was only one guest house in the village. If the Zhu Hui family or the two police officers had been to He Jia Village, they must have also lived here.


The owner was silent for a moment, and looked at the two of them, not knowing what he was thinking, or just remembering if there were any customers who had been to the store those past few days. After a while, he took away their dinner plates on the table and shook his head, “No, no one has lived here. No one has been here since the Chinese New Year.”


The news was the same as what Song Jin had heard from elsewhere in the morning. He couldn’t help being disappointed and called Chi Yan twice.


Chi Yan’s mind had been wandering off, as if his soul was not with him until Song Jin patted him on the shoulder. He turned to look at his friend and solemnly said, “Da Song, we have to go quickly, we can’t stay in this village any longer.”


Song Jin was baffled and asked, “What’s wrong? What did you find or what have you just thought of?”


Chi Yan looked at him straight into his eyes, his throat trembled. He lowered his voice and said word by word, “There are ghosts in this village. The point is, I can’t even tell which one is a ghost here.”

Translated by The Red Oak Tree

Chapter 98◀︎Table Of ContentsChapter 100


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