Chapter 123: Extra—Iron Hook (Part One)
Translated by K of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
TN: There are some horror elements to this chapter. Please read at your own discretion.
The Bai* residence was so well-known around the area largely due to the White Room.
*TN: The character bai means white.
It was called the White Room, first of all, of course because it was white. When it was built, white paint was spread all over its walls before the owner prepared for decorations. Everything went smoothly in all the other parts of the residence. Only when it came to the room at the western courtyard did strange things begin to occur. The process could only be set aside for the time. Up until today, the White Room still created stark contrast against the rich ornamentation of the rest of the Bai residence, so white that it seemed ghastly.
“The one room is closed off by three locks and three door bolts. No matter how hot the summer is, cold air always surrounds it, almost as if it were made entirely of ice. According to the owner of the Bai residence, when his father was playing with a ball once, the ball rolled before it finally stopped at the entrance to the room. When he went to pick it up, he couldn’t control his curiosity, and took a single peek through the door slit.”
Straight-faced, Jin Ling continued, until he saw Wei WuXian over at the side stick his hand into the coffin, as though he was opening the corpse’s eyelids. He immediately choked.
Hearing his pause, Wei WuXian turned around, “And took a single peek through the door slit?”
The group of Lan juniors behind him also turned their eyes toward him in unison. Jin Ling hesitated before he went on, “… and took a single peek through the door slit, before he froze there like he was struck dumb, unable to walk away even after a long while. When his family found out, they dragged him away and he passed out with a high fever that left almost no memories behind. After this, he never dared approach the place again.
“Past midnight, nobody is allowed to leave their room and walk around, especially not near the White Room. This is a firm rule of the house. However, a few hours after midnight, even though nobody is inside, people can still hear the old, wooden floor creak with footsteps. There’s also this.”
Jin Ling lightly clenched his fists and made a gesture full of killing intent.
“A noise that sounds like a hemp rope slowly being tightened, to strangle something.”
A few days ago, one of the Bai residence’s servants passed the White Room on his morning cleaning duty. He discovered that a hole the size of a fingertip was poked through the thin, paper windows on the White Room’s wooden door. And on the ground before the door lay a man.
It was a stranger that none of the Bai residence had seen before. He was around forty, his face dark and lined with veins. Fingers digging into his chest, he had long since gone.
The servants were scared to death. The owner was also scared to death. After some struggle, the local officers came to a conclusion—this was an unfortunate thief who just so happened to have barged into the Bai residence’s forbidden area. He saw something that triggered a heart disease, and was literally scared to death right then and right there. As for what exactly that ‘something’ was, they tore down all of the seals and locks on the White Room, yet remained confused about it even after extensive searching.
But now that a life had been lost, the head of the Bai clan knew that he couldn’t keep making do, pretending as though nothing at all was inside of the White Room.
If this matter persisted, there would be endless repercussions. Clenching his teeth, he bravened up and climbed Koi Tower, pleading the LanlingJin Sect to conduct a night-hunt.
This was the backstory.
Holding the coffin lid, Lan JingYi complained in despair, “Senior Wei, are you ready yet… He has been dead for so many days already… Even the smell of a walking corpse would not be so…”
Lan SiZhui helped him hold it up, unsure if he should laugh, “The coffin is made of crude wood, and the coffin home is prone to erosion with nobody caring for it. It is only a matter of course, with how long it has been here. Hold out for just a little longer. We still have to take notes.”
Jin Ling snorted, “The presence of a coffin is more than good enough for a thief who steals from others. If not, should they worship him like a Buddha, then?”
After having poked at the corpse for a long while, Wei WuXian finally lifted his face from inside the coffin, taking his gloves off and tossing them to the side, “Has everyone finished looking?”
“Yes, we have!”
Wei WuXian asked, “Good. Now that you’ve finished, start talking about what the next step should be.”
Lan JingYi, “Summoning!”
Jin Ling scoffed, “No duh. I already tried that.”
Wei WuXian, “How was it?”
Jin Ling, “His desires weren’t strong, his soul was too weak, and on top of that he was scared to death. It’s already been past the first seven days of his death. His soul has dissipated entirely and there’s no way to summon him.”
Lan JingYi, “So there is not much difference between you trying it and you not trying it, is there…”
Lan SiZhui hurried, “Then let us check out the White Room, come on. Young Master Jin, we would really appreciate it if you could lead the way.” As he spoke, he pushed Lan JingYi out the door, successfully ending a new round of meaningless conversation before it even began. The boys walked across the threshold. Quite a couple of them leaped over, their footwork nimble. Even though Jin Ling was leading the way, he ended up behind the group.
Lan SiZhui asked Jin Ling, “Has there been any unnatural deaths or unsolved incidents in the Bai residence?”
Jin Ling, “Their head swore that there definitely wasn’t any. The elderly ones who passed away here all died from old age, and there isn’t any conflicts amongst the members of the household either.”
Lan JingYi, “Oh no. I have a bad feeling about this. Usually, the more they say this, the more likely that there are indeed conflicts, except that they are trying their hardest to hide them.”
Jin Ling, “In any case, I’ve confirmed quite a few times and couldn’t get anything out of them. I didn’t find anything unusual either. You guys can try again.”
Because he did all of the preparatory research he could beforehand and inspected the White Room a couple of times as well, he didn’t go in the Bai residence this time and instead sat down at a nearby tea shop. Soon, a dark shadow swept inside.
Wei WuXian sat down in front of him, “Jin Ling.”
With two such delicate figures sitting in the small tea shop, it was a striking scene indeed. Many of the waitresses turned their heads to look.
After their parting at Guanyin Temple, this was the first time Wei WuXian met Jin Ling, not to mention that only now did he get the chance to talk to Jin Ling alone. Jin Ling paused for a second, his expression unreadable, “What is it?”
Wei WuXian, “How are you doing at Koi Tower right now?”
Jin Ling, “Just the usual.”
Speaking of it, it was quite a rough journey that the head of the Bai Clan made to Koi Tower.
If this were a few years ago, when the LanlingJin Sect was nothing short of the sun in the sky, it wouldn’t be guaranteed that he’d successfully invite a clan member of the LanlingJin Sect’s, even if he multiplied the reward tenfold. In truth, let alone pleading for a night-hunt, an ordinary merchant clan like the Bai clan, with neither money nor power, could never even think about visiting. But right now, the cultivation world wasn’t the same as it used to be. Even though the common folk didn’t know about any details, they were able to catch a few earfuls of hearsay. This was the reason why the head of the Bai clan went for a try, with the spirit of ‘what if?’
Nervously, he approached the main gate and presented a name card, introducing his intentions. The guard accepted his bribe and unwillingly went to report his arrival, yet when he came back, his attitude changed completely, stating that the sect leader declined the invitation as he got ready to chase him away. The head of the Bai clan never expected to successfully invite them in the first place, but he was irritated that the guard had such an attitude even after he accepted the bribe, and thus he asked for the money back. A few sentences into the argument, a young, handsome man dressed in the robe of Sparks Amidst Snow walked through the vermillion doors carrying an arrow in his arm. Seeing the situation, he immediately frowned and asked for the details.
This time, the guard lost most of his previous arrogance. Noticing that even though the young man was still somewhat of a child, his status was likely the opposite of low, the head of the Bai Clan immediately explained the situation. Yet, when the young man heard it, he was immediately enraged, scolding, “The sect leader told you to chase him away? How come I don’t know?!”
At once, he spun toward him, “You’re from the Bai Clan six miles west of the city? I’ll bear it in mind. Go back as of the moment. You’ll be visited in just a few days!”
The head of the Bai Clan went home just like that, somewhat befuddled. A few days later, a group of cultivators visited him indeed, although he didn’t know that one of those who came was the leader of the LanlingJin Sect.
Of course, he even more so wouldn’t know that right now, the LanlingJin Sect was in a state of absolute pandemonium.
The guard didn’t report to the real sect leader at all, but instead to another senior of the LanlingJin Sect’s. When the senior heard, he was infuriated by the fact that such an ordinary merchant would dare step on the golden stairs of the LanlingJin Sect’s, ordering him to chase the visitor out. Yet, it was interrupted by Jin Ling, who was just about to head to the hunting grounds.
Jin Ling knew that these seniors of the sect were all quite full of pride, believing that they were a sect hundreds of years old. No matter what, they definitely couldn’t lower their prestige, refusing to welcome anyone who wasn’t of eminent personage. First of all, he’d always abhorred such a way of doing things; second of all, he was mad that the guard reported to somebody else directly, ignoring him completely; and third of all, he remembered that when Jin GuangYao was still here, no disciples of even guest cultivators dared to take bribery so easily. The more he thought about it, the more irritated he became. Conveniently, he arranged to night-hunt with Lan SiZhui, Lan JingYi, and the rest of them this month, which was why they paid a visit to the Bai residence.
In all honesty, he couldn’t say that he didn’t at all expect Wei WuXian to come along as well.
Even though Jin Ling wouldn’t tell anyone else his struggles, there were countless eyes staring at Koi Tower and countless mouths restless. The rumors had long since reached Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi. Wei WuXian knew that he wouldn’t be willing to display any sign of weakness, “If there’s anything you’re having trouble with, ask your uncle about it.”
Jin Ling replied coldly, “It’s not like his surname is Jin.”
Hearing this, Wei WuXian stopped before he understood what the other meant. Not knowing whether to laugh or frown at his behavior, he raised his hand to land a solid slap on the back of his side, “Watch your words!”
With a yelp, Jin Ling’s forced, rigid expression finally cracked.
Although the slap didn’t hurt at all, it was as if Jin Ling was subjected to some great shame, especially when he heard the sweet giggles of the waitresses nearby. He covered his head and roared, “Why did you hit me?!”
Wei WuXian, “I hit you so that you can think about your uncle. He’s not someone who likes to poke his nose into other people’s business. For your sake, he went around flaunting his strength in front of all those other sects, receiving so many jabbing remarks. And now you’re saying his surname isn’t Jin. If he heard this, wouldn’t he feel disappointed?”
Jin Ling paused in surprise before he fumed, “That’s not what I meant! I…”
Wei WuXian asked instead, “Then what did you mean?”
Jin Ling, “I! I…”
The first ‘I’ was full of confidence, while the second ‘I’ began to lose air. Wei WuXian, “I, I, I—I’ll say it for you. This is what you mean. Even though Jiang Cheng is your uncle, after all, he’s still an outsider to the LanlingJin Sect. In the past, he’s already helped you a couple of times, but if he messed about too much with someone else’s domain, it’d be hard for him not to be a target of attack in the future, for you not to bring him any trouble, am I right?”
Jin Ling raged, “What do you think?! So you understand, don’t you?! Then why did you hit me?!”
Wei WuXian landed another slap, “That was exactly what I meant to do! Can’t you say anything properly? Such wholesome words, and out of your mouth they sound especially gross!”
Jin Ling yelled, covering his head, “You can’t hit me like this just because Lan WangJi isn’t here!”
Wei WuXian, “If he were here, he’d help me beat you up with just a single word of mine, you believe me?”
Jin Ling didn’t believe him, “But I’m a sect leader!!!”
Wei WuXian smirked, “I’ve beaten up well over eighty sect leaders, possibly even a hundred.”
Jin Ling leaped up, ready to rush outside the tea shop, “If you hit me again, I’ll leave!”
“Come back!” Wei WuXian grabbed the back of his collar and pulled him back as if he was holding a small chick, slamming him flat on the stool, “I won’t hit you anymore. Sit properly.”
Jin Ling was still on guard. Seeing that Wei WuXian really didn’t seem like he was going to do anything else, Jin Ling finally managed to stay seated. When one of the waitresses saw that the chaos here finally ended, she came to add more water with a smile on her face. Wei WuXian took up the cup and took a sip, before he suddenly called, “A-Ling.”
Jin Ling had on a haughty tone, “What?”
Wei WuXian, however, only grinned, “This time, you seem to have grown up quite a bit.”
Jin Ling stopped.
Wei WuXian felt his own chin, “Right now, you appear to be, hm, a lot more reliable. I’m really happy, but I’m also a bit… How should I say it? Honestly, how much of an idiot you used to be was quite adorable as well.”
Jin Ling, again, found it hard to stay seated.
Out of the blue, Wei WuXian reached out and gave his shoulders a tight hug, ruffling his hair, “But no matter what, I’m more than happy that I get to see you little brat again, haha!”
Ignoring the mess that his hair was in, Jin Ling hopped up from the bench and rushed outside. Wei WuXian dragged him back with another strike, “Where are you going?”
Even Jin Ling’s neck had reddened. He spoke in a rough voice, “I’m going to check out the White Room!”
Wei WuXian, “Haven’t you already checked it out?”
Jin Ling, “I’ll! Go! Check! It! Out! Once! More!”
Wei WuXian, “Since you’ve already checked it out a couple of times, I doubt you’d make any new progress with a few more times. Why not help me investigate something else instead?”
Jin Ling was absolutely terrified that he’d continue to spout those things that made him cringe. He’d rather be slapped on the face than be bombarded with nice words accompanied by physical touch. Recalling that this person right here could go as far as to yell in front of a crowd that he wanted to sleep with HanGuang-Jun, Jin Ling realized that he was truly unable to expect what other things would come out of his mouth. He hurried, “Sure! What do you want to investigate?”
Wei WuXian, “See if such an odd figure exists around the area. Their face was sliced apart with a dozen-or-so knife incisions, and both their eyelids and lips were cut off.”
Jin Ling felt that he didn’t seem like he was feigning, “Of course I can, but why would you want me to investigate such a…”
All of a sudden, the waitress who was adding water for their tea replied, “You’re talking about the Hook Hand, aren’t you?”
Wei WuXian turned around, “The Hook Hand?”
“Yeah.” Likely because she’d been eavesdropping for fun, she interjected at the first possible opportunity, “Without lips or eyelids, he’s the only one, isn’t he? You don’t sound like you’re from around here, Young Master. How come you know such a person?”
Jin Ling, “I’m from around here. I haven’t heard of this person either.”
The waitress, “Now, you’re young, aren’t you? It’s not strange that you’ve never heard of him. But this person used to be quite famous.”
Wei WuXian, “Famous? What kind of famous?”
The waitress, “Not the good kind. I heard the story when I was young from my great aunt’s mom, which really shows what a long time ago it happened. Now onto the Hook Hand… I don’t know what he was called, but he was a young blacksmith. He was poor, but he had both the looks and the skills, as well as quite a diligent personality. He had a wife who was just the prettiest person ever. He was very kind to his wife, but his wife to him not so much. She found another man outside and didn’t want her husband anymore, so she… killed him!”
Clearly, the waitress had been scared to death by the legend while she was growing up, which was why she also did a fine job scaring others, both her tone and expression to the point. Jin Ling was quite hooked to the story, thinking to himself, The scariest is the woman’s heart! But Wei WuXian, on the other hand, had long since begun to deal with spirits and corpses. He’d heard so many of these stories that everything seemed cliche. Right now, he listened with a hand on his chin, expressionless. The waitress continued, “Worried that someone would recognize it was her husband’s corpse, she slit his eyelids off and made dozens of cuts on his face. And because she was scared he’d tell on her to the Judge* of the Underworld, when she saw the an iron hook that had just been forged lying on the counter, she used it to pull his tongue out…”
*TN: The Judge is a deity of Chinese folk mythology who resides in the Underworld, in charge of a register that controls the lives and deaths of mortals.
Suddenly, someone spoke up, “How could his wife be like this? How could she hurt her own husband in such a cruel way?!”
Jin Ling was right in the middle of the story when he felt tingles explode on his scalp due to the startle. When he turned around, he finally realized that Lan SiZhui, Lan JingYi, and the rest had already left the Bai residence. They were all huddled up behind him, listening with all ears. The previous question came from Lan SiZhui as an exclamation. The waitress continued, “Ugh, the tales of men and women all have the same root, don’t they? Whether they want money or a change of taste—others can’t possibly fathom. In any case, the blacksmith turned into that monster of a human, only half-alive, and the cruel woman secretly tossed him to the mass graves west of the city. Crows love to eat dead people and rotten meat, yet upon seeing his face, even they didn’t dare take a single piece of flesh from him…”
Lan JingYi was the type of person who easily became absorbed in a story—the perfect audience. He ranted, “… That is unacceptable… That is unacceptable! Did the person who killed him not receive any sort of retribution?”
Waitress, “She did! Of course she did. Even though such a thing happened to the blacksmith, he somehow survived, and that night he crawled out from the graves, went home, and he slit the throat of his wife who was pretending that nothing had happened,” she made a gesture, “Using the iron hook.”
The juniors all had on complicated expressions, both frightened and wanting to let out a breath of relief. However, the waitress continued, “After he killed his wife, he cut his face too and pulled his tongue out, but his resentful energy didn’t perish. From then on, he killed every beautiful woman he saw!”
Lan JingYi was shocked speechless, “Now that is not right. Revenge would be fine, but what had the other women ever done to him?”
The waitress, “That’s right. But he didn’t care about that. With how he face looked, he thought of his wife whenever he saw a beautiful woman. What could he do? Anyways, a long time afterwards, young girls wouldn’t dare walk alone the moment the sky darkened the slightest bit. Even if they didn’t go outside, they wouldn’t dare sleep without their fathers, brothers, or husbands staying at home with them. Because once in a while, a female corpse without a tongue would be tossed out onto the streets…”
Jin Ling, “Can’t anyone catch him?”
The waitress, “They can’t, though. The blacksmith also disappeared after he killed his wife, leaving his original house. He also came and went with so much prowess that it almost seemed as if he was possessed by a ghost. How could an ordinary person catch him? Well I heard that he wasn’t stopped until a couple of years later, anyways. Only after the matter was completely suppressed were the folks finally able to have some good nights’ sleep! Amitabha*, bless the Heavens.”
*TN: Amitabha is the principle buddha of the East Asian practice of Buddhism. The phrase ‘Amitabha’ has turned into a mantra that many people say as a prayer, similar to the phrase ‘Hallelujah’.
After they left the tea shop and returned to the coffin home, Lan SiZhui asked, “Senior Wei, the Hook Hand you suddenly wanted to investigate is related to the spirit of the Bai residence, is it not?”
Wei WuXian, “Of course it is.”
Jin Ling had also somewhat guessed it, but he still had to ask, “How are the two related?”
Wei WuXian opened the coffin lid again, “On the body of the thief’s corpse.”
The group covered their noses again. Jin Ling, “I’ve looked at the thief’s corpse a bunch of times.”
Wei WuXian grabbed him and pulled him over, “But you didn’t look carefully enough.”
He patted Jin Ling’s shoulder and suddenly pressed it down. At once, Jin Ling was face to face with the dark-faced, wide-eyed corpse. The stench effused. Wei WuXian spoke, “Look at his eyes.”
Squinting, Jin Ling scrutinized the corpse’s lifeless eyes. With only one glance, his body was cold from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. Lan SiZhui knew that something was wrong. Immediately, he went over and bent down.
He saw that the figure reflected against the corpse’s black pupils wasn’t his own.
It was an unfamiliar face that took up almost the entire pupil, with uneven skin that was covered in scars and no eyelids or lips.
In the back, Lan JingYi hopped a couple of times, appearing as though he wanted to look but didn’t have the guts to do so, “SiZhui, what… what did you see?”
Lan SiZhui waved his hand without turning around, “You should not come near.”
Lan JingYi hurried, “Oh!” And immediately took a few large steps back.
Lan SiZhui looked up, “Speaking of it, I have indeed heard of these folklore. Sometimes, the eye would ‘record’ what the person sees before they die. What a surprise that it is true.”
Wei WuXian, “This is only the rare case. Because the thief was scared to death, no matter what he saw, it must’ve made quite an irremovable impression on him, which is why this works. In another situation, most likely nothing would be recorded, and in a few days, when the corpse deteriorates completely, we’d likely never see this again.”
Jin Ling still had some doubt, “If it’s folklore, let alone how unreliable it is, should we really trust it?”
Wei WuXian, “Whether we trust it or not, let’s first investigate further and try things out. It’s better than doing nothing, after all.”
No matter what, they finally made progress. Lan SiZhui decided to go search in the graves of city west, while Wei WuXian said that he was going to accompany him. The rest of the people went to investigate the Hook Hand. After all, they couldn’t base anything on hearsay. The more information they had, the better.
First of all, Jin Ling had some mild spurn for Lan JingYi, and second of all, he felt that where Wei WuXian was going had to be better for the purpose of gaining experience. However, he remembered that the others weren’t familiar with the Lanling area, which meant they might encounter some difficulties without him leading. And thus, he agreed without further complaint, and the group arranged to gather at the Bai residence. After some investigation, the information they obtained was not much different from what was described by the waitress in the day, likely because the versions floating around were mostly the same. And thus, Jin Ling and the rest went ahead and returned to the Bai residence.
At close to dawn, Jin Ling had already walked a few circles in the Bai residence’s main hall and argued a few times with Lan JingYi, but Wei WuXian and Lan SiZhui still hadn’t come back yet. Just as they prepared to search for them west of the city, somebody suddenly crashed through the door with a bang.
The one who barged in first was Lan SiZhui. He seemed as if he was holding some smoldering object in his hand. The moment he came in, it fell out of his hand and onto the ground.
The object was the size of a palm, covered in layers and layers of yellow talisman paper and oozing something wet and red. The talismans were smeared with blood. Following him, Wei WuXian sauntered across the threshold. Seeing how everyone had crowded beside it like a pool of water, he immediately drove them away, “Shoo, shoo! Watch out!”
And so everyone parted again like a pool of water. Perhaps because it was corrosive, the layer of talisman melted away to reveal what was inside.
It was a rusting iron hook!
It was not only rusting, but the vibrancy of the blood also made it seem as if it had just been extracted from human flesh. Jin Ling asked, “The hook of the Hook Hand?”
Burnt marks and blood can be seen on Lan SiZhui’s uniform. He was panting slightly, his cheeks vaguely pink, “Yes! Something has possessed it. You must not touch it with your hands!”
Suddenly, the iron hook began to tremble fiercely. Lan SiZhui, “Shut the door! Do not let it get out! I might not be able to catch it again if it gets away once more!”
Lan JingYi hurried to be the first one there. With a bam, he slammed the door shut, pressing his back tightly against the door as he yelled, “Talismans! Use your talismans on it, everyone!”
At once, hundreds of talismans crashed down on it. If not because everyone of the Bai residence had already been notified by Jin Ling and hidden at the eastern courtyard, they would’ve been truly shocked by the shooting lights and thundering sounds. Soon, the talismans were used up. Before anyone could even let out a breath, blood seeped from the hook again.
They couldn’t stop even for a single moment!
Lan SiZhui couldn’t find anymore talismans on him. Suddenly, he heard Lan JingYi yell, “The kitchen! Go to the kitchen! Salt salt salt! Get the salt!”
With his reminder, the boys dashed into the kitchen and grabbed the jar of salt. With a flick of the hand, snowy white crumbs of salt sprinkled onto the hook. This was a bold move. Almost as if it were being simmered in a pot of oil. Steam and white foam dripped from the rusting iron.
An odor that smelled like rotting flesh being charred wafted through the main hall, while the blood on the hook was slowly being absorbed by the white salt. One of the boys cried, “The salt is also about to be gone! What should we do now?”
Seeing that the hook was about to bleed again, Lan JingYi knew that this couldn’t go on, “If all else fails, we can just melt it!”
Jin Ling, “You can’t melt it!”
Lan SiZhui, “Yes, we will melt it!”
Immediately, he took off his outer robe and flung it over the hook. Wrapping the item, he dashed to the kitchen before hurling it into the hearth. Watching the scene unfold, Jin Ling seethed with flaming eyes, “Lan SiZhui! It’s no surprise that Lan JingYi is such an idiot, but why are you being idiot too!? You want to melt it with just this much fire?”
Lan JingYi raged, “Who are you calling an idiot?? What do you mean it is no surprise that I am an idiot!?”
Lan SiZhui, “If the fire is too small, we can lend it some help!”
He quickly made a hand sign, and the flame immediately burst with a whirlwind of hot air!
The others understood at once, imitating him one by one. Jin Ling and Lan JingYi couldn’t keep on arguing either, focusing on the maintenance of the hand sign. The flame at the bottom of the hearth grew so rapid that it lit the room a fierce scarlet, reflecting the red onto their cheeks as well.
For a long time they waited, prepared for anything. Finally, the iron hook disappeared into the burning firelight. With not a single incident having happened, Lan JingYi spoke nervously, “Is it finished? Is it finished?”
Lan SiZhui let out a breath. A moment later, he went forth to examine the situation before turning around, “The hook is gone.”
If the hook was gone, then, naturally, the resentful energy should be gone as well.
Everyone was relieved, especially Lan JingYi, who turned out to be the happiest, “I knew you could melt it! It clearly worked, hahahaha…”
He was happy, while on the other hand, Jin Ling was quite miserable. Somehow, he wasn’t of much help throughout this night-hunt, let alone gained any experience. He quietly regretted his decision. During the day, he should’ve insisted on searching for the iron hook along with Wei WuXian and the others. He definitely wouldn’t do any of the backstage work again, next time.
Yet, Wei WuXian spoke up, “Your resolution is the absolute opposite of cautious. How can anything be determined at this point in time? Won’t you have to validate things?”
Hearing this, Jin Ling perked up, “How should we go about it?”
Wei WuXian, “Spend a night inside, someone.”
Wei WuXian, “Only after you spend a night inside and find that nothing bad happens, can you truly say with confidence that everything’s finished, right?”
Lan JingYi, “Who would do such a thing, though…”
Jin Ling immediately volunteered, “I’ll go!”
Wei WuXian knew what he was thinking even without looking at him. He patted his head and smiled, “Put up a good show, if you happen to come across the opportunity.”
Jin Ling complained, “Don’t touch my head. You can’t touch a man’s head, don’t you know?”
Wei WuXian, “It’s definitely your uncle who said it anyways, so there’s no point in knowing.”
“Hey!” Jin Ling was shocked, “Who was the one that told me to ask him if I’m having trouble with anything?”
The Bai residence had arranged for everyone’s accommodations, and thus that night the group settled down at the eastern courtyard. Jin Ling went to the western courtyard alone.
As usual, the GusuLan Sect strictly obeyed their schedule, waking up early next morning. Before he went out, Lan SiZhui was reminded by Lan WangJi to make sure he dragged Wei WuXian up in time for breakfast. For this, he spent almost an hour and did everything he could before he finally hauled Wei WuXian downstairs. When he arrived at the main hall, Lan JingYi was in the middle of helping the Bai residence’s servants distribute the congee. Lan SiZhui was just about to go and help when he saw Jin Ling walk over with heavy eye bags.
The entire circle of people stared at him in silence. Jin Ling sat down at the left-hand side of Wei WuXian, who greeted, “Morning.”
Jin Ling forced calmness onto his face, nodding, “Morning.”
The others nodded as well, “Morning.”
Soon, seeing that Jin Ling didn’t seem like he was going to say anything, Wei WuXian pointed to his own eyes, “Those are…”
After having made sure that he looked just barely unruffled, Jin Ling finally opened hi mouth.
He began, “As expected, it wasn’t cleaned up properly.”
The crowd grew nervous.
Last night, after Jin Ling went in the white room, he looked around his surroundings.
The furnishing of the room was extremely simple. There was almost no furniture, with only a single bed. The bed was next to the wall, covered in dust.
After only one stroke was Jin Ling unable to take it any longer. No servants dared to approach this place, and he himself definitely couldn’t lie on top of such a thing either. Left without a choice, he could only fetch the water himself and clean the place up. Finally, he was able to sleep.
With his face to the wall, his back to the room.
And a mirror hidden in his palm.
Turning the mirror, he could have a rough view of the room.
Jin Ling waited for more than half the night, yet all that appeared in the mirror was a dark gloom, which was why he began to turn the mirror around in his hand. Just as he was about to feel some fun from performing the act, a harsh white suddenly swept across the mirror’s surface.
Immediately, icy water doused his heart. Composing himself, he slowly turned the mirror around.
Something finally appeared in the mirror’s reflection.
At this point of the story, Lan JingYi spoke up with a trembling voice, “What did the mirror reflect—the hook hand…?”
Jin Ling, “No. It was a chair.”
Lan JingYi was just about to ease up when, thinking about it some more, he felt his hair rise.
Why on Earth would he ease up? Jin Ling clearly said that the room was ‘extremely simple. There was almost no furniture, with only a single bed.’ If this was the case…
Then where did the chair come from!?
Exiled Crew Note:
Check out this awesome artist and some of her works featuring GDC!
As we are getting closer and closer to the officially end of our translation of GDC, we would love for everyone to send in their fan-art so we can post all of it with the very last chapter (127). Please send in your fabulous art to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can celebrate the last English chapter of GDC in 4 weeks time. All entries will need to be submitted by August 21st, 2019.