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Vague Memories, the Old House and the Midnight Parade

Location: Taiwan
Time: 11:00 pm

I have a very old memory. Although it seems to be mine, it also doesn’t seem to be mine.

In the memory, there was a very big old house, and a swing hanging below an old tree, creaking. The yellowish memory was like the color of some ancient photograph, it somehow seemed real yet fake at the same time as though it only existed in my mind. It was similar to a feeling of walking on the road and unintentionally seeing an advertisement clip.

Was that really my own memory?

Now let’s continue the confrontation.

“You don’t want to ascend to heaven nor go to hell. It makes it very difficult for me to finish my work.” I glanced at my watch, it’s so damn late, no wonder I felt so tired. Although I don’t usually sleep that early since I still had my games to keep me awake, but in front of me, a ghost was currently trying to drag the time, causing me to feel rather impatient.

“I can accept the proposal of ascending to heaven.” The uncle stuffed his eyeball into his crushed skull so smoothly that it seemed like his eyeball was a fake glass bead, allowing him to adjust or throw away as he like, “Tell that construction group of unscrupulous businessmen to have a three day festival worship* for me each year. But every time they skip it, I’ll make sure something bad would befall their company once. Other than that, they also need to send three hundred thousand to my wife and kids for living expenses, since they were the ones who ruined our family. What do you say?

[T/N: Three day festival worship: There are three different days one would pray or worship their dead ancestor.]

Nn, this proposal is very fair and appropriate. If this uncle became like this because of them, then asking them for compensation is considered normal. But according to the stories, would the other party agree to it?

I think if it goes according to the norm, the other party would refuse. When you jumped off this building and died, it has already caused them a very big trouble. It would be impossible for them to pray to you or send money to your family. It’s not like they’re a charity organization.

You’ve already been calling them as unscrupulous businessmen, so my question is which unscrupulous businessman would vomit out the money they’ve already swallowed? I’m sure there’s none.

“I think they probably wouldn’t agree to this.” Senior very quickly helped me conclude, “With just one look, one would know the client is not someone easy to communicate with, let alone being kind hearted enough to set up a prayer for an unknown person who suicide at their site, unless…”

“Unless what?”

I had a bad feeling senior wanting to incite someone to do something bad.

“Tomorrow I would tell the person about the terms you’ve stated, but I think they would most definitely not agree to it. If you do not get a message tomorrow, I would like to trouble you to start causing trouble in their site for the whole day until no one dares to work. Then, I would think they would be willing to compromise quickly. ”

Sure enough, it really was a bad idea.

Senior glared at me, “If you have the ability, then come up with a proposal all parties would be satisfied with.”

To be honest, I really couldn’t think of a better method. According to what the uncle said, the construction company did indeed cause him to become so miserable, so when he proposed for compensation it’s also considered as reasonable.

“But if the construction company hired someone else to drive him out, what do we do?” I remembered there were a lot of so-called Taoists and Alchemists in this world, so they probably won’t all obediently listen to us, right?

“Don’t worry; I will make sure they wouldn’t dare to do it.” Senior revealed an evil smile, the type where one would shy away and desperately shake his head to indicate he has absolutely no connection to a person with that kind of smile.

I suspected he did this not because of the uncle, but because he probably wanted to take some payment for the Beast of Scroll, and in the meanwhile, he would be able to clean up the people in the construction company. Since, that office lady did give a rather… bad impression.

“Alright, I’ll do as you say.” That ferocious ghost uncle slowly faded, slowly turning back into a ghost who committed suicide, “But if in the end what you said isn’t done, I will curse you guys to death…”

“Do whatever you want.” When senior’s finished saying this, the uncle had already disappeared without a trace.

“Would this really be ok?” I felt rather doubtful, I felt like I didn’t complete the job. So to say, I should have made sure the uncle ascended to heaven and end his grievances, and allow the place to become peaceful again, right?

“Normally, finishing the job until this point is more than enough, since we are pursuing balance, not the client’s overall victory.” Senior leisurely took out a faint yellow paper from his pocket, and on top was a rectangular print, “All that’s left depends on what the people of the construction company will do. The right to decide is not in our hands, but theirs; if you interfere too much, you should be careful about not properly handling this and causing yourself to be hated by both parties.”

That made sense.

After the yellow paper fell onto the ground, it immediately disappeared. The surrounding of the construction site brightened up a little and immediately turned back to normal.

“This will do.”

I wanted to ask what the usage of that charm was.

“I set up an absolute neutralizing array.” Senior glanced at me and pointed at the ground with his foot, “Before I dispel the incantation, every incantation would be completely ineffective. Even if a high-leveled Taoist came, nothing would happen. Neutralizing arrays are Elven arrays, so there are currently no ordinary humans with powers who can deflect it. But for this kind of level, Purple Robes should be able to dispel it. But Purple Robes would know to distinguish that this is an incantation left by a robed level, so they wouldn’t dispel it.”

In conclusion, your array is invincible here and no one would dare dispel it, right?

I suddenly felt sad for the future of the office lady. They would definitely be miserably played with by the ghost if they don’t listen to senior’s recommendation to obediently comply with the conditions, I’m very sure they will definitely come back crying for help.

Without knowing it, the storm seemed to have eased up, but due to being inside the barrier and not being in direct contact with the storm, I couldn’t say for sure.

“That’s right, just now what’s with the thing you were thinking about?”

Senior turned around and asked; it looks like he had no intention of going back just yet.

“Which thing?” I thought of a lot of things just now. You suddenly asked me that, but how am I supposed to answer you…

But having said that, what I was thinking earlier was mostly nonsense.

“Just now I clearly felt… there was an old house or something like that; it was a rather clear picture.” Senior inexplicably looked at me, “Chu, normally I could only hear sounds, and wouldn’t be able to see the images of your thoughts.” He added a little explanation.

Oh, so it was actually about that, “Actually, I’m not very sure myself, but I have the impression of living there before. It seems like I lived there when I was very young, but the exact location, even my mother and the others don’t remember it. It was probably during the time we just left our old home and temporary found a place, but I don’t know any more than this.” I shrugged. In my memory, I was still very young then, but who could clearly remember stuff from when they were very young?

But that house gave me a very deep impression.

“Let’s hear it.” Senior walked back to the reinforced metal. He was clearly very curious about that house.

I looked around, and finally found a huge metal bucket, used it as a chair and sat on it. If you must know, after standing the whole night, my legs hurt.

Speaking of that old house…

In my memories, there was only the impression of the outside view of the house, and on the old tree, was a vine swing swaying with the wind.

I actually had no memory of how the interior of the house looked like. How long ago was this memory from?

Logically speaking, if it was such a special house, I should be able to remember more or less of how the inside of the house looked like. It was unusual for me not to have the slightest memory of the decorations, “I remembered that someone committed suicide in front of the house, but I don’t remember who.” Normally this kind of memories should be clearly remembered, but I actually barely remembered this, and other memories about that house weren’t even there at all, “Don’t quite remember which relative it was, but one day, when I was alone playing outside the house, he was beside me and said something. After a while, I stood up and found he had already hung himself and died.”

Senior narrowed his eyes, “And then?”

And then? I don’t remember. That’s right, what happened after that? Such a huge matter and I actually don’t know what happened after that?

“Looks like some powerful person lived in that old house.” Before I finished thinking, senior suddenly laughed coldly. Looking at him in the middle of the night really caused me to have goose bumps.

“What kind of person?” According to my impression, it should be some relative’s house? I wasn’t really sure, so I’ll ask my mom when I go home.

“You think I would know how the owner looks like based on the appearance of the house?” He said coldly.

Uh, I guess that’s probably not possible.

“But speculating from what you’ve said, I guess there was a special person who lived in that house, that’s why you can’t remember much from what happened there.” Senior folded his arms and said me, “Generally, this kind of situation only has one explanation — deliberately distorting memories.”

Distorting memories?

We have such magical relatives? It can’t be aliens, right? I’d heard aliens specialize in brainwashing.

Ah, it can’t be that the relative actually didn’t exist, and that place was the alien’s stronghold, and he made us think he was our relative so it would be easier for him to conceal his identity and do various human experiments.

“That’s definitely not possible.” Senior interrupted my delusion.

Hahaha… I was trying to dispel the tensed atmosphere, “If it’s like this, is it possible to recover the distorted memories?” Getting back to the topic, I don’t know why, but after senior said that, I actually became mindful about this matter.

Who was actually living in that house? Why do I suddenly remember parts of these memories?

Very mindful.

“This kind of matter is not the area of my expertise. I suggest you go and look for the medical team, and your chances of retrieving those memories would be higher. But since the other party left you some impression, it would mean he hoped that the next time if you have any needs, you could follow the clues in your memories and go back to look for him. Speculating from this, it’s probably not difficult for you to recover your memories.” While weighing the possibilities, senior analyzed and concluded.

Speaking about the medical team, the first one I thought of was Miao Miao; I wondered if she had any solution. Compared to looking for the assistant, I personally felt entrusting my life to Miao Miao would make me feel relatively more at ease.

“Mikayla’s main task is healing wounds, so it would be better for you to look for people from the analysis department.” Senior glanced at me, destroying my tiny hope.

There’re different departments inside the medical team?

I’m sorry I couldn’t see how the small building could fit so many people… They actually have different departments… it can’t be that underneath the main floor there’s Basement 1, Basement 2, all the way up until Basement 50 with different kind of secret rooms?

“Our school’s medical team is not exclusively just the school’s doctor, but a whole Association of medical groups, and with Tyre as the leader of a few people who is in charge of staying in school. The entire medical team is a huge group similar to Black Robes and Purple Robes, with their own Association’s recognized level. During the Ghost King Tomb, you should have seen the blue robed medical team. The Health Care Center you saw the other day was just a small corner. That place is opened just for the school’s students, but their main active building is not there but at the Association’s medical team’s exclusive area. When there’s time I’ll bring you there to pay a visit.”

Sounds like the medical team is very powerful…

But I also found out one matter, everything in our school seemed to have foreign cooperation, making it look very famous.

“Because the school’s founders have very good connections…” Senior mumbled, but I felt like he was talking to himself instead of talking to me.

Because of this, I realized I still didn’t know the name of the school’s founder. Adding to this, I didn’t even know who the principal was… I also didn’t know of the school’s departments. I only knew Restua was in charge of the dorms, and Andy and Zachary were administrative staff members.

I’m really such a bad student, “Who is the founder of the school?” Since this topic was already raised, it shouldn’t be too much if I continue asking about it, right? I am, indeed, very interested in the person who founded this damn school.

If he’s not a Martian then he’s a Plutonian.

Senior looked at me, snorted twice, “There are three people who founded Atlantis. They are currently hiding behind the scenes, wouldn’t interfere with the school’s operation, and would only get involved when major decisions are to be determined. As for the president and vice-president, they don’t exist. The whole management of the school is handled by the school’s administrative center operation, and under them would be subdivided into accounting department, business department, personnel department, and etcetera, are considered as part of the hundred ways of management methods.”

Sounds more like an organization and not a school, but then again I guess there are schools which has this kind of management?

Because in the past we weren’t like this, so I wasn’t very sure myself.

“The three founders are still alive?”

I thought that since the school had such a long history, those founders should have already died with only a handful of bones left.

“No one knows of the founders’ age, but I can tell you this: the school is at least hundreds of years old, and before it was established, those three people are very famous.

… Our school is actually founded by thousand year old fairies! No wonder the school is as abnormal as the people who founded it.

“Senior, I feel you’re pretty knowledgeable about the founders.” He gave me a feeling he was very familiar with the founders, and so he very skilfully avoided telling me the main points.

“Hmph… familiar?” Senior started to laugh coldly.

I’m definitely sure they were very familiar, because senior’s cold laugh was extremely strange. And also I found out that I probably asked something I shouldn’t have asked.

“I do have some relationship with them, but not the way you imagined it.” Glaring at me, senior stood up, “Alright, time to end the chat. We should go back and sleep.” He opened his palms facing the ground, and in an instant, the teleportation array was shining on the ground.

Can I interpret his behavior as avoiding the question?

Just as I was about to step into the array, I smelt something, a smell causing me to have goose bumps and nightmarish kind of bad odour.

The teleportation charm immediately disappeared from the ground.

“Chu, hurry and come.” Senior grabbed my arm, quickly dragged me, and ran towards the second floor of the construction site. At the same time we started running, the barrier was completely dispelled. The great sound of the storm and the things blown off could immediately be heard. The crazy rain sprayed all over me, getting me wet, and senior who was beside me wasn’t in a better condition. His silver hair was thoroughly wet, sticking on his head and face, and water droplets rolled down his cheeks, down towards his chin.

I should have brought raincoats.

I followed senior and hid at the bottom of a hole, a window on the second floor, and peeped at the movements outside the window.

A miraculous sound resounded far away.

“Give me the talisman.” Senior stretched out his hand towards me. I immediately took out the mutated red talisman and gave it to him, only to see him attaching the talisman on the ground. Then, he drew a few shapes I didn’t recognize. The eye on the talisman turned around twice, immediately quieted down, and became completely motionless.

“Don’t make any sound.” Senior put his index finger on his lips, and said to me very softly.

I quickly nodded.

The fishy smell became more and more concentrated, so concentrated that it made me remember the past. Before I entered the school, there was a day where a group of dead fish-eyed zombies came to look for me, and were blasted to smithereens together with the park by a big bomb. They smell the same, the same smelly odor.

The first source of the odor appeared outside the window, just outside the fence of the construction site. Although it was completely dark, for some reason, the thing seemed to have a clear view. A gray-eyed person using a very strange posture to walk, as though his hands and legs had no strength, he dragged his body, and his four limbs were moving about.

Then, gradually, more and more of them appeared, one by one, never endingly.

The strange thing was, it’s obviously a typhoon day, but the odor was still extremely clear, as if no matter how strong the storm was, that odor wouldn’t be washed away.

That thing kept coming in huge groups, just like a parade, neatly lined up and walked past. I didn’t exactly know their numbers, but it should be approximately a hundred.

Senior frowned. He had a weird expression, and then pulled me nearer towards his side.

Slowly, tiny sounds could be heard from the typhoon, they sound like those cheap 10 yuan (~$2 USD) bells, and the sound they made weren’t all that pleasant. The sounds were very disorderly, enough to give one a headache.

A little behind, another group of gray eyed zombies appeared. However, this time, they were carrying something. It looked like some kind of sedan chair or one of those Japanese Palanquin. It was rather big with dozens of people carrying it. The sedan was covered with black cloth, and while being under the rain, it wasn’t wet at all. It looked so elegant that it makes one feel it’s very glaring.

With just one look, one would know it was a parade of something bad.

But something even worse happened. The strange group stopped right in front of the construction site, and I saw a bunch of gray eyes starting to scan the construction site, as if they were trying to see what was inside.

It can’t be that they were looking for us, right?

“Within the mysterious shadow, unless authorized by me, keep them outside this area, quick dispatch.” Senior moved closer towards me, held out his left hand, pressed his hand on the eye on the talisman, and said softly. His hand was still pressed on the talisman, but I seemed to have seen some vibration coming from below the talisman. After a while, the talisman emitted a faint red light and stopped.

After a few seconds, the large group of gray eyes suddenly started a great uproar.

I saw a gray-eyed person running to the front of the sedan chair, opened his mouth, and said something. However, I couldn’t understand what he had said, not even one word. But I saw he was desperately shaking his head, as if he was saying no.

Then, the sedan chair was lifted, slowly headed towards the other side of the construction site, and left.

After some time, probably about ten minutes or so, senior slowly removed his hand. I saw the talisman below had its eye closed, and turning around, I saw senior’s face actually covered in cold sweat.

“We’ll temporary allow them to leave.” Passing the talisman back to me, senior wiped the sweat off his face, “Fortunately, they didn’t find out we were here.” He took out his cell phone and very quickly sent out a short message.

“That is…?” I kept feeling there was something inside the sedan chair. Because I was too tense earlier, I didn’t realize it. It was only now that I found myself also covered in cold sweat. Now that I’ve loosen up, only then did I feel rather lethargic.

Senior turned around, and used his red eyes to look at me, “That is the First Master of Ghost King Bishen. He had never appeared in the human world before, so I think he came here because of… something. If we were found, we probably wouldn’t be able to escape.” Senior stood up, and very quickly formed a teleportation array, “I’ve already contacted the Association about this matter, and they will immediately do something to deal with it. Before that, we better go back first. If we continue to stay here and they turn around, it would be dangerous.”

I guess that’s true, and it’s not only dangerous but extremely dangerous.

A droplet of blood-red water dripped from senior’s left palm, dripping onto the teleportation array, and a faint light appeared.

“Senior, you’re hurt?” I immediately pulled at his hand and flipped it over. On his hand was a laceration, blood and flesh mixed together looking very horrifying. But wasn’t this the hand controlling the talisman?

“Minor injury, we’ll discuss this after we go back.” He pulled back his hand, and dragged me into the teleportation array.

The surrounding brightened up, and I knew I would reach home very soon.

But I don’t understand, why were the Evil Ghost King’s men always running around in our world? The last time they even got me and my classmate frightened. What the hell?

“Ghost King Bishen has already started moving. I guess it’s better to be careful from now onwards.” Folding his arms, senior went into thinking mode, and his serious face was completely grim.

I was embarrassed to bother him, telling him we have already arrived at my home.

I suddenly also felt rather curious about the Ghost King’s appearance.

Although I’d already seen it once before in the tomb, a corpse that revived and a real living one should have some differences, I guess. But if I saw one live, I most probably would be so scared that my heart would become paralyzed, and the story would have just ENDED.

So just looking at pictures would be safer. I guess, maybe, I could find some books with reference at the library.

Looking at the clock on the table, the pointer was just a little over twelve. Tonight really was a long night.

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