After Worshipping the Gods - Chapter 13.1
Jian Shu’s ability to adapt was very strong.
He was able to quickly adapt to burning incense and chanting sutras for seven days in a row in Yucheng. He was able to adapt to the lack of phones in the inner mansion, and naturally, he was able to adapt to the fact that a ghost had appeared beside him after a short period of fear.
What’s more, this ghost wasn’t annoying.
Pei Ce ran off somewhere most of the time, and when he occasionally appeared, it was peaceful and quiet. He was a little bit different from the appearance he saw in the dream – the difference here was not in terms of looks but in terms of the feeling he brought to people.
The bloodstained severity in those eyes had been polished by the long years and turned into a calm lake. Every time Jian Shu looked into his eyes, it was as if he saw the vicissitudes of the world in his eyes.
And he, both before and now, looked at the earth quietly like this.
“Pei Ce.” Jian Shu would call out to him like this when he wanted to find him, “Pei Ce, Pei Ce, where are you ah?”
It wouldn’t take long, perhaps under the long corridor in the light rain, perhaps in front of the curling smoke of the shrine, that white figure would leisurely appear, silently looking at him.
Jian Shu sat on the threshold after calling out to him and saw Pei Ce walk over through the long corridor, his long sleeves radiating glittering light.
So good that Jian Shu would forget that he was a ghost.
Jian Shu subconsciously reached out to tug on his sleeve but tugged on a ball of air.
Fingers clasped awkwardly in the air, Jian Shu silently withdrew his hand and asked, “Where did you just go?”
Pei Ce, who hadn’t yet condensed into a solid body and needed to return to the ground from time to time to sink into sleep, “Sleeping.”
“You also need to sleep?” Like opening the door to a new world, Jian Shu curiously asked, “Then, the last time I slept and dreamt that I saw you, was it because you were also sleeping?”
That was the evil spirit’s emotions infesting the young man’s dreams, and that’s why he saw him in his dreams.
But, all this was too much trouble to explain. Even he himself couldn’t tell what his existence was, so how was he going to explain it to Jian Shu?
So, he nodded gently as a default.
Jian Shu propped both hands on his chin and tilted his head to look at him, “When you guys sleep, do you also dream?”
Pei Ce nodded at first, then shook his head.
“Can’t see clearly.” He didn’t know if that was called dreaming or not. It’s just that every time he returned to that dark world, along with the constant flow of power coming at him, there would be some broken, not-so-good images.
Maybe the real thing happened to him, or maybe it was witnessing those from the long years. Anyway, not something worth remembering.
“Can’t see it? Then there is?” Jian Shu was suddenly interested.
Admittedly, he didn’t have to gossip, but, idleness was idleness, and it was good to have a ghost to keep him company.
“What did you see?”
“A man or a woman?”
“Is it someone you used to like?”
At the end of the question, Jian Shu felt that the other party would be annoyed with him.
But Pei Ce didn’t.
He was like a tolerant and compassionate elder, quietly listening to his question before his voice rippled without a ripple as he replied to his question.
This answer was the most Jian Shu had heard today. Other than that, it was “I don’t know”.
How could anyone be completely clueless about where they came from before?
Jian Shu felt that Pei Ce’s body was full of mysteries, wanting to know the answer, but realized that he did not know anything about himself.
He stopped pursuing about Pei Ce and asked another question.
“Do you know if this ancient mansion, besides the main door, has any …… exits, secret passages, secret doors, and such places?” After all, in TV dramas it was always shown that in an ancient mansion like this one that was very old, it was not strange to see some strange hidden passages.
Then, he saw Pei Ce think very seriously and nodded hesitantly.
“What?!” Jian Shu almost couldn’t believe his eyes. He stood up from the threshold abruptly and tilted his head to look at Pei Ce, “Is there really one? Where is it?”
Jian Shu was quite a bit shorter than Pei Ce. But bouncing up, the distance between the two became much closer.
Even though he knew that there was no way for the youth to touch him, the evil spirit who ultimately felt that it was not very decent silently took a step backward, and his transparent figure walked in the direction of the side door.
Jian Shu did not notice Pei Ce’s small movements. He was smashed by this sudden ecstasy and picked up the black umbrella on the shelf to follow.
Then, saw a hidden, extremely small dog hole in the grass.
Jian Shu: “……”
Jian Shu: “Don’t tell me the exit you’re talking about is here.”
The other party gave a soft “hmm”.
Jian Shu instantly became a puffer fish, “Do you think I can drill my way out?!”
He shouldn’t have trusted this amnesiac ghost! This hole was so small that even a dog would be furious! At the very least, a cat could get in, right?
“You asked me if there could be another exit.” Pei Ce replied in a warm voice, his tone very patient.
There was absolutely no shame in bringing someone else to a dog hole.
“…… Right, it’s me who didn’t ask clearly. I’ll ask again, how can I, such a big person, go out of the exit.” Jian Shu breathlessly pointed to himself.
Pei Ce surprisingly sized up the youth’s figure. Probably from his perspective, the young man was always frail and thin, and could not be described as “such a big person”.
Afterward, he solemnly said, “Wait for me for a few days.”
“Hmm?” Jian Shu blinked, not sure what he meant, “Wait a couple of days before you help me blow up this dog hole?”
“Wait for me for a few days.” Pei Ce made a promise, “I’ll take you out.”
This was his first promise in a thousand years.
The humans of Yucheng had not hesitated to spend sixty years and twelve whole sacrifices to gain the opportunity to pray together. And the youth who heard this promise of his went from a puffed-up puffer fish to a fluttering flower branch.
Jian Shu laughed so hard that he could barely straighten his back.
As if he had heard the world’s funniest joke, he held his stomach and laughed for a long time, his eyebrows arched and even his tears were about to come out of his eyes. Finally, having laughed enough, he said with both self-deprecation and exclamation, “To be honest, waiting for a few more days, I may also become a ghost to accompany you.”
Obviously not taking Pei Ce’s promise seriously.
The evil ghost that hadn’t yet condensed into a solid body couldn’t leave the cage that imprisoned him.
Pei Ce didn’t say anything else, just quietly accompanied the youth from the overgrown backyard back to the vibrant front yard, watched a light rain at dusk, and enjoyed the sea of flowers on the white wall for a while before returning to the darkness once more.
He could feel that his current state of awakening was different from every other time in the past. But again, weaker than ever.
It would take him longer to slowly draw from the world the strength that had replaced the offerings of flesh and blood –
It was night.
It has only been lightly raining in Yucheng in recent days. Five or six people slowly walked up to the vermillion-red inner mansion gate and stopped at the entrance.
“…… Brother Wu, I, I’m a bit scared ……” A gray-clothed man lowered his voice and whispered to the leading man.
“What are you afraid of! Uncle Chu said, if that kid is still alive, the gods haven’t awakened! It was just an accident last time, as long as he’s still in the inner mansion, can we still let him escape?”
“Besides, either he dies or we die! Think about it!” When he said these words, Ah Wu even held the thought of killing Jian Lin.
He had witnessed his partner being devoured by the bizarre butterflies, and even an existence like Uncle Chu had lost a lower arm. And the culprit was that kid who escaped into the ancient mansion.
Everyone was flesh/body, why was he favored by the gods, while they had to endure Uncle Chu’s endless anger after failing?
Ah Wu’s heart was full of resentment. When he thought about how unsatisfactory his life had been lately, he immediately took out a bunch of keys from his waist and felt out one to aim at the lock hole.
The three ghosts hiding in the inner mansion were startled.
“Aiyaaaa, what’s this for?” The fat ghost heard the crisp sound of the chains clashing and asked nervously, “That group of people from Yucheng wouldn’t be trying to get in, would they?!”
“No, it can’t be!” The big-headed ghost was a bit scared, but when he thought that there was a bit of a more terrifying existence in the inner mansion, he countered with more peace of mind, “That, that one, is still there.”
The tall thin ghostly figure slowly floated upwards, looking from high in the air at the group of people who were about to unlock the door and enter.
“Go wake him up!” He said to the fat ghost closest to the shrine, “They’re coming in soon!”
Although the fat ghost was usually a mouthful, he was the one who had been dead for the shortest time out of the three of them.
The longer the soul is trapped here, the weaker it gets. Therefore, the fat ghost was still the one with the strongest soul power among them, and it was not a problem to push over cups and plates.
“Okay!” The fat ghost answered and floated towards the room where the shrine was enshrined.
He didn’t dare to approach the place where that one was, so he had to float to the roof and move the tiles.
“You hurry up!” The thin ghost shouted, “They’ll be in soon!”
The sleeping Jian Shu didn’t expect that after he casually said in the afternoon that he would turn into a ghost to accompany Pei Ce, something happened inside the ancient mansion at night.
At first, he had heard the sound of a tile falling.
This ancient mansion was in disrepair and the roof tiles were covered in weeds and moss. Birds always liked to hop around on the roof, and with the year-round rain, he actually didn’t come to his senses for a while.
Hearing no movement in the house, the fat ghost was so anxious that he moved another tile, shattering it.
Jian Shu woke up with a jolt.
He thought it was a wild storm tonight, who would have expected that when he sat up, he vaguely heard a series of footsteps.
It was dark all around.
Fearing that he had misheard, Jian Shu crept up and put his ear to the door.
“…… Brother Wu, let’s just kill the person after capturing him, why do we have to bring him back alive ah ……” The sound of the rain was interspersed with a voice that was lowered.
The footsteps of the people coming are very light, and it can vaguely be heard that there are five or six of them.
“Do you think I want to catch him alive? Just do what Uncle Chu tells you.”
Jian Shu held his breath.
He recognized the voice of the person who had just spoken.
It was one of the men who carried the sedan chair and later pressed him against that weird rune.
How did they get in?
The last time they had such a good chance they didn’t even want to catch up to him. Instead, they even closed the door of the inner mansion. Jian Shu thought that they only wanted to let him stay in the ancient mansion to perish on his own, waiting for him to starve to death inside and then sweeping him out. But he didn’t expect them to send someone in once again.
Listening to the tone, they wanted to kill him, but because of Uncle Chu’s order, they could not do so for the time being.
“You guys, go to the left. You, follow me over there. You, guard the gate.” Ah Wu instructed his men to spread out and then led them straight into the two empty rooms next to the shrine.
Jian Shu crouched down and slowly moved himself back.
He didn’t know where he should hide.
The room was small, and there wasn’t much room to hide someone inside. The only place where one could barely hide was, I’m afraid, under the offering table in front of the shrine.
The thinly built youth pulled a blanket over the table and burrowed himself in. He knew that he was hiding too much, but those people were right outside the door, so maybe when they pushed the door open later, seeing the shrine would scare them a little bit.
Jian Shu curled himself into a tiny ball.
He was shaking all over, his heart pounding wildly.
The sound of rummaging kept coming from the two rooms next to him.
“Brother Wu, there’s no one!” The team that went to the left searched in vain and reported to Ah Wu.
Ah Wu led the men to the room where Jian Shu had once stayed.
There were still traces of the youth’s life inside, a change of dirty clothes, an empty wooden box and plate left on the table, a book clasped on the table, and even the quilt was messy and scattered.
But apart from these, there was no one in sight.
“I can’t find it here either!” One of the men went to the backyard and lined up in the weeds and trees, and also came back with a flashlight to join the group.
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