This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, Masadeer, and Yeenie.
I knew I had slept for a long time.
I knew this because as I slept, I felt people walking around and it was also rather noisy. I could hear them constantly talking, but I couldn’t make out even the tiniest bit of what was being said.
And then it quieted down.
When I woke up again, I was lying inside a room that felt rather similar to my room, but it was not my room.
I heard the sound of someone talking, just beside my bed.
“That person sent a message to you, he was very concerned about the matter regarding the Ghost King tomb.”
A voice I’ve never heard before said very softly, “Fortunately the Ghost King scarcely revived and didn’t have much power, otherwise it wouldn’t have been something a few of us could handle.”
“I know, nn… he’s awake.”
I opened my sore eyes, however, there was no light inside the room, instead there was an indescribable natural light, glowing in silver.
There were three people inside the room, one was Senior, Restua, and the last one was someone I didn’t know. He was wearing a purple robe and a white mask. On the mask’s forehead, there was a red exotic totem that looked like it was going to start burning at any moment, and I remembered I seemed to have seen this mask before.
“Young student, do you still feel uncomfortable anywhere?” Restua sat at the bedside, and then he stretched out his hands to help me sit up on the bed, leaning on the pillow.
It was only then that I got a good look of the room.
There was nothing inside the room, there was only one bed, one table, a few chairs, a wooden cupboard embedded in the wall, and lastly, the floor curtain rolling around while being blown by the wind and the empty balcony outside.
An extremely barren room.
“I’m so sorry that my room is very barren.” Senior came over from the side of the window, narrowing his eyes, and smiled coldly, “You must really have felt really aggrieved.”
I completely came awake in a second, “No, no, your room is really huge.” Completely different from my cluttered-with-rubbish room, “By the way, why am I here?” The last thing I remember was being inside the teleportation charm, which should have sent me to the school.
“Just as you guys were leaving, the Ghost King let out a huge amount of poisonous gas. You inhaled some of it, and had fainted for a few hours, but Tyre already came to dispel the poison.” Senior grabbed one chair and sat down, “Don’t worry, there won’t be any side effects.”
He listened to my mind’s voice again.
I noticed that outside the balcony, the sky was completely black, it should already be night-time.
“Looks like he is almost fully recovered, then I’ll head back first to settle the report regarding this matter.” The man wearing the mask leaned closer to senior said, and he headed towards the windowsill. In the next second, the purple figure disappeared outside.
So there was another method of leaving and entering by jumping out of the window!? I had to rush up and down the haunted house daily, while there was actually this type of short-cut that I’ve never thought of before.
“That’s because he is a purple robe so he can move around this way, if you were to jump out from the balcony, it’s estimated that before you are halfway through, you would have been cut into half by the “…” around the house.”
What was that “…”!?
Sometimes I felt the things senior didn’t want to mention were scarier compared to the things he mentioned.
“Do drink this first.” Restua, who was sitting beside my bed, took out a mug, and inside was some unidentified silverish liquid with a hint of fragrance, “This is an Elfin drink, it’s very effective in the recovery of one’s spirit.”
I took the cup and finished it within a few gulps. To be truthful, it tasted like milk, but when I drank it, there was a very strong fragrance similar to some kind of maple syrup, doesn’t feel very thick but felt very refreshing instead. After drinking it, my whole throat was filled with the savory taste, making me feel much more comfortable.
“Very nice to drink…”
“That’s great.” Restua curved up a gentle smile, “I brought a lot of it with me, if you still want to drink more, you can slowly drink that.” I followed his sight and looked across, I wasn’t sure when a silver container that looked like a kettle appeared on top of the only table inside the room, shining and glittering, and at the side of the kettle was carvings of some patterns, it takes one glance to know it was a high-grade product.
Then I saw the faintly glowing Elf standing up and walking towards senior. Both of them were talking about something, and I couldn’t understand what they were saying; very soft voices, sounded rather like singing, but they were actually talking.
After they finished their conversation, Restua slightly nodded at me and then he left the room.
Maybe he was the same as the purple person from just now, coming here to take note of my condition? But I don’t understand, why?
* * *
Senior pulled his chair over and sat down, crossing his legs.
He didn’t utter a word, so I was constantly stared at by a pair of red eyes, until I started to feel my scalp tingling.
“Uhh… where are Chifuyu and Miao Miao?” I think it would be better to break the silence.
“Chifuyu was wounded by Ghost King Yelu, and is currently recuperating with the medical team. Miao Miao is a member of the medical team so she is there on standby. Since after dealing with the Ghost King, regardless of whether it was the black robes or purple robes, there would still be injuries, so the medical team is required as support.” Senior finished his words at one go.
“Oh, so it was like that.” Feeling embarrassed, I can’t think of what to say next.
In fact, I wanted to ask about the reason the why Ghost King suddenly resurrected and the like. But then I also felt like I wasn’t supposed to ask.
I saw that senior wasn’t wearing his black robe, and so I could see under his short sleeves that his left wrist was wrapped with bandages — looks like he was also injured.
Noticing my eyesight, senior lifted his left hand, “All the muscles on my hand were torn, same for the bones, but it should probably be fully recovered by tomorrow. Injuries from Ghost King’s direct attacks are poisonous so it takes longer to recover.”
Sounds really painful.
“Looks like it was necessary for the Elves of the past to create a seal there, the thing called as a Ghost King has always been really hard to die off. After we had defeated him, we recreated the seal, and now the Ghost King tomb has been included into the fifth level of the prohibited areas.”
“From first to tenth, the lower the number, the more dangerous the area.”
“Oh.” Such a simple and straightforward way to differentiate them.
The room was extremely quiet.
Based on my past suspicion, I glanced around for a bit, but I couldn’t see any kind of strange model in senior’s room either. Could it be that in the whole dorm, only my bathroom have that kind of thing?
This can’t be, right!?
“That’s right, who was the person wearing purple earlier?” I saw that he seemed to be rather familiar with senior, but I’ve never seen the person before.
“He’s my partner.” Senior really is good at picking the questions that he wanted to answer, “Yakushiji of the purple robe, currently also a second-year student.”
A very familiar name. Ah, that’s right, I’ve seen it in a Japanese manga before, “He is Chifuyu’s older brother.” I’ve always thought Chifuyu was an only child because he never mentioned about having a brother in his family, he only mentioned about his family’s elders and whatnot. Instead I felt Ryan was relatively more like his brother, “Ah… seems like it’s not, their surnames are different…” Chifuyu’s surname was Yukino.
But bringing the topic back, why was it that I heard him suspiciously saying the word “older brother”?
Or maybe he had in fact uttered another word, and then the space distorted causing pronunciation to be distorted as well, so I might have heard wrongly.
“Yakushiji Gasai, he is indeed Chifuyu’s older brother. You can ask Chifuyu for the rest of the story yourself.” It’s very obvious senior didn’t want to clarify the matters regarding someone else’s family.
“Oh.” I gently touched my nose, and as I understand my own position, I didn’t continue asking.
After asking one a round of questions, I only have one last question. Why did the Ghost King suddenly come alive and appeared in front of us?
Senior glanced at me again.
I felt like he would prefer to explain the matter regarding Chifuyu’s family compared to explaining the matter regarding the sudden resurrection of the corpse of the Ghost King. It was clearly written on his expression.
It was very embarrassing.
“Oh, that’s right, the other day the five-colored… No, I mean Ziray caught a black insect and gave it to me, I think it should also be similar to the small black insect collecting information.” I continued to change the topic, because if it becomes too embarrassing, I’ll feel out of sorts.
“Trample it to death, or else clean it.” Senior said straightforwardly.
I still understand trample it to death, but what does it mean by clean it? Pick up the insect and wash it? And also help to rinse it at the same time? Don’t joke round!
“Can you stand up?” Senior suddenly stood up, “Bring it here, I’ll clean it for you to see.”
Very good, he’d rather clean the insect than explain why the Ghost King resurrected. But I still obediently climbed out of bed and got ready to run back to my room to get the insect. After all, the evil forces were still more terrible compared to my curiosity.
* * *
When I’d brought back the glass bottle with the insect from my room to senior’s room, senior was already sitting on the chair in the living room, holding onto something that looked like a notebook while writing. As soon as he saw me, he closed the notebook.
“This is also a familiar.” Taking the glass bottle, senior shook it twice, “This insect is generally used to gather intelligence. In our school, there are many people who know how to use this thing, but due to it being too ugly, it’s currently out of fashion.”
I looked at the black insect, and was speechless.
“The more information it collected, the darker it becomes, and to make it throw out the information, you’ll need to do this.” Senior removed the cover of the glass bottle, took out the insect, he then held and pressed the insect on top of a white piece of paper torn from the notebook.
I followed suit by opening my eyes wide.
The insect pressed on the paper, twitched twice, and then some blackish thing started flowing out from its stomach.
It couldn’t be that senior held it too tightly, causing its intestines to squirt out, right…
Just when I was thinking the insect was very pitiful, the blackish thing that was squirted out started to move, and then I saw the blackish thing spreading out on the piece of paper, turning into words I couldn’t read one by one word, arranged very neatly, and can almost be compared to a typewriter.
Senior picked up the insect, and coincidentally the piece of paper was completely filled with words. However, I don’t know if I was mistaken, the color of the insect seemed to have faded, and wasn’t as dark as it was before, but it still continued struggling.
“This is an intelligence familiar, it really collected a lot of things.” Senior clicked his tongue twice, and then he picked up the insect and headed towards the bathroom, “But most of it is rubbish, such a waste of paper.”
Honestly I couldn’t read the words, thus I don’t know how it was wasting paper. I could only follow senior into the bathroom while helping to pray for the unfortunate insect.
And then, I was dumbfounded. The legendary process of “clean the insect”… really meant cleaning the insect…
Senior threw the insect into the sink filled with water, squeezed some detergent in, and started scrubbing.
He really was cleaning the insect…
“The insect type of familiar would keep the collected information in its stomach and convert it to ink, as I showed you earlier. If you don’t want it, you just have to rub it and wash off the ink.” Senior opened the tap and cleanly washed the thing inside, took it out and gave it to me.
The black insect turned into a white insect.
…The hell! What kind of rotten and disgusting thing is this!
“This type of old insect familiar is very rotten. Even if you threw it on the roadside now, there probably won’t be anyone who would want it, so trampling it to death would be even more convenient.” Senior threw the now white insect back into the glass bottle and returned it to me, “After cleaning it, you just have to put it in your room for three days. It would defect and become yours.”
And it would even defect…
I probably understand why no one wanted it, because the cost is high, and if it wasn’t trampled to death, it would be taken by someone else to be used, thus wasting their own money.
“But it also allows us to know that the people who released these insects to gather information are probably from some rotten school. Only the school in the countryside would use these country-like things.” Senior curved up a strange sneer, and then he took a towel to rub his hands. More than half of his bandage was soaked, but it only took a while for it to dry.
Honestly, I used to think this school was a super cheap country school. Red eyes glared at me for a moment and then turned away.
“Then what’s the current popular familiar?” I looked at the white insect in the glass bottle, when it was black it still looked alright. But why was it that after washing it white, it became rather disgusting…
“The current trend is to do it yourself.” Senior told me simply.
Oh… DIY, I understand, everyone is currently doing the same thing. I didn’t think it was the same over here as well.
After walking out of the living room, I realized the sky outside was still dark, I wonder what the time was now.
“It’s past two in the morning.” Senior quickly gave me an answer, “If you still want to sleep, it’s your choice to go back to your room and sleep or continue to sleep here.” Looks like he had no intention of going to bed.
In fact I really wanted to sleep over here. Because of the situation with the Ghost King today and whatnot, now that I think of it, I still felt rather scared.
Especially the row of muddy yellow eyeballs under the half-rotten black gold eye — it made me remember the park’s toilet ghost from the past, covering my whole body with goosebumps.
The Ghost King… Makes me feel very uncomfortable.
* * *
“No one would feel comfortable with a Ghost King.”
Senior was sitting on the window sill in the living room. Outside was completely dark without a single light. I suddenly felt this was the first time I was awake in the middle of the night since I entered the Black Dorm.
Because last time, I kept hearing weird sounds of something walking on the walls, so when it was still early, I held my blanket over my head and went to bed while pretending not to know anything.
“A ghost is something distorted, and Evil Ghost Kings are even more so. Their bodies are full of twisted evil and poisonous gas an ordinary person wouldn’t even be able to get close to.” He just looked outside the balcony, as if he was talking to himself, but it was also for me to listen, “Let’s use humans as an example. After a human dies, he would turn into a soul, and will be cast off as a spirit. But those who still have desires will be subjected to becoming a ghost, even if it was only a tiny bit.”
“And then they will become some type of Ghost King?”
I don’t quite understand, after humans die, they should turn into the same thing, but the way senior put it felt more accurate. When most of the people talked about the soul and ghost of a person, they would indeed be separated as two different things, but it wasn’t really clear.
“That is the most extreme of the many other examples, just like what I’ve told you before, the ghost in every region has such a leader.” Senior turned his sights back towards me, “Sometimes the ghosts did not willingly become a ghost. A living thing or an external force could turn a spirit into a ghost, to put it simply… For example, everyday you would pray and ask for a fortune and the like from your ancestor rather than working hard for it, and it becomes worse when your ancestor’s spirit actually responds to you, allowing you to get your big fortune, meaning he has already turned into a ghost.”
Uhh… this argument is somewhat abstract.
“The souls that had already departed should be resting in peace and should not come back to this place.” Speaking very softly, senior’s face was expressionless, and I couldn’t describe his mood, “Ghost King Yelu was originally one of the Gods, he was a small God of Blessing in some area. Originally he just had to attend to his small piece of land, but due to his desire for even more tributes, more impure music, more followers, a type of dark hand covered his sight. He wasn’t able to see the things he was supposed to do. He caused the fate of many people to be twisted, and in the end he caused himself to become twisted. Ultimately, he could no longer be satisfied with his small piece of land, and so he left the worshipping shrine, picked up the sacrificial knife, and became the king of Evil Ghosts. What happened afterwards was as I’d mentioned before.”
I felt senior was talking about some kind of folk-tales that could be found all around the world, because the similar stories about God revolting was everywhere, not limited to a certain place.
“Why did Ghost King Yelu resurrect? Because he responded. After the Elfin barrier was weakened he thought he should respond, and he resurrected, it’s just that it’s not the kind of world he once had.”
I didn’t understand, if he responded, what on earth was the Evil Ghost King responding to?