Chapter 12 - A Conjecture

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“I am God’s Hunter! Those who do not pledge their allegiance to God and disrespect God are my targets! You shall suffer my God’s wrath!” roared the monster who called himself God’s Hunter. At the same time, the longbow in Su Jin’s hands began to tremble violently, as if it was struggling to get out of Su Jin’s grip.

“What the heck? You’re missing an Adam’s apple, but you can still yell so loudly?” Su Jin wasn’t going to return that longbow to the hunter. He looked at Jiang Li, but Jiang Li didn’t need Su Jin to tell him anything. He was already prepared to attack.

Jiang Li left a green light trail behind him as he suddenly appeared again behind the hunter and used his spear to rain small droplets of light on the hunter.

The hunter knew how powerful Jiang Li could be, so he opened his mouth and let a roar that caused so many sparkles to flow out from his nose, his mouth and even the gaping hole in his throat. The sparkles immediately came together to form a large shield that blocked Jiang Li’s attack.

Su Jin was finding it more and more difficult to keep his grip on the longbow with just one hand, so he used both of his feet to step on the longbow and took the sharp boning knife out. Since he couldn’t keep it under control, he was going to hack it into pieces.

"How dare you!" The hunter roared angrily at Su Jin when he saw that Su Jin was preparing to destroy the longbow. The hunter charged at Su Jin to stop him from doing that.

But Jiang Li wasn’t going to let the hunter have his way. He held the spear horizontally and the green glow around his body reached its maximum intensity before gathering around the spear. Immediately after that, the spear, which now seemed to have a life of its own, became like a green python that shot out and took aim at the hunter’s chest.

They were confident that if the hunter didn’t dodge this attack, his entire body would explode into bits once the spear hit him. But to everyone’s surprise, the hunter didn’t dodge at all and remained focused on trying to salvage the longbow beneath Su Jin’s feet.

Bam! There was a terrible bang as Jiang Li’s spear caused the hunter’s body to explode just before he reached Su Jin. Pieces of flesh and green blood started raining from above.

Su Jin couldn’t avoid the explosion, so he could only use his one remaining arm to cover his head and allowed the disgusting mess of flesh and blood to rain down all over himself. He took off his jacket after that, but he still got some of the green liquid on his skin.

“That was terrible,” sighed Su Jin. Yang Zichen had already died but his body still had to go through such an ordeal. He quickly checked with Jiang Li, “Have you completed your mission?”

“Nope, he’s not dead yet.” Jiang Li’s brows were deeply furrowed. He had attempted to kill that hunter twice in a row but still failed to kill him completely. This mission was going to be difficult to complete.

“Hurry up and run for it! The hunter of God is immortal, so if he finds the both of you again, you’ll definitely die,” a voice suddenly called out from the front yard.

Su Jin looked up and realized that the voice belonged to the one who had allowed Chu Yi and himself to escape. But he now looked at Auntie Li with a grim expression on his face.

“Besides that hunter and Lin Yue, the rest of her family’s already dead. Would you say that we’ve upheld our end of the bargain?” asked Su Jin quietly.

Auntie Li nodded calmly. “Yes, thank you. And that’s also why I’ve come to tell you to leave quickly. Don’t let the hunter find you. The longbow in your hands is the hunter’s weapon, so you need to destroy it quickly. Otherwise, he will be able to find you no matter where you go.”

Su Jin suddenly chuckled before bowing politely at Auntie Li. “Do you seriously intend to continue this act, Auntie Li? Or should I call you… God?”

Jiang Li’s eyes widened in shock, but he quickly snapped out of it and looked warily at Auntie Li as he whispered, “Are you sure she’s the God in this challenge?”

“I’m pretty sure of it,” said Su Jin with a slight nod.

But Auntie Li shook her head expressionlessly and said, “God? If I were God, I would have been able to keep my family alive and I definitely wouldn’t have been kept here like a dog. How can there be a god who can’t even control his own fate? You’ve got to be kidding.”

“When you let us go, you specifically reminded me to search Lin Yue’s room. I was pretty puzzled by that, and after I finished reading Lin Yue’s diary, I was even more puzzled. The information I had was still too random and I couldn’t piece them together until… until the hunter appeared,” said Su Jin slowly.

Auntie Li’s previously emotionless eyes flickered a little. She looked at Su Jin and said, “Until the hunter appeared? He provided you with vital information?”

“Of course,” said Su Jin with a confident nod. “Do you wanna hear me tell a story?”

“I’m all ears.” Auntie Li nodded.

Jiang Li was getting a bit annoyed by how these two were talking in riddles, but he still quietly stood there and listened to Su Jin tell his story anyway.

“Our story starts in a place called Fengxi Town. This town is very secluded and has very little contact with the outside world. Almost everyone in this town has never gone outside its borders. But as times change, even the most secluded of places eventually come into contact with the outside world.”

“Let’s go back to 50 years ago. Fengxi Town is no longer that secluded town that nobody has ever heard of or cares about anymore. A huge number of cultures has arrived in town, pushing it into an abyss that it would eventually never recover from.”

“What affected the town the most? Economics? Culture? Perhaps it was a mix of both. But one thing that made a big impact on the town was religion. Christianity, Daoism and Buddhism wanted a slice of the Fengxi Town pie, so they sent their evangelists to this small town, which resulted in churches, Daoist temples and Buddhist temples to be built here.”

“But actually, the people of Fengxi Town had their own belief. But then again, how powerful could the god of a tiny, secluded town be? These three major world religions were religions with centuries of history. The influence they had on their believers was something that surpassed anything a small town religion could possibly attain.”

“And so… the people of Fengxi Town decided to betray the god they used to worship and turned to the three major religions instead. But that poor god they turned their backs on was still a god after all. He wanted to take revenge on these believers who had abandoned their faith.”

“This revenge plan started with the first one to actually leave Fengxi Town. That was a woman whose surname was Li. She left the town a few decades ago to make a living in the capital city. The god took her life and took over her identity, then returned to Fengxi Town. First, he killed a few people to warn his believers, but his believers didn’t pick up the hint.”

“The angered god decided not to hold back anymore. He turned all those who still believe in him into his hunters. And on that fateful night 50 years ago, they went on a massacre to kill every believer who had turned their backs on this god.”

After Su Jin finished saying these things, he turned to look at Auntie Li, but she shook her head and said, “This is all just your conjecture, right? If that god really wanted to destroy Fengxi Town, why leave a few of them alive?”

“The war isn’t over yet, so you still need soldiers to fight!” Su Jin used his right index finger to tap on his nose and said, “The three major religions are your real enemies. Before you took revenge, they were your enemies. And after you had taken revenge, they still are.”

“Back then, the three religions had discovered your existence, but they were only ordinary humans. How could ordinary humans fight a god? They had to come together and combine their powers from where their places of worship are built, in order to keep you under control.”

“That night replays itself once every ten years in Fengxi Town, and that’s your only chance. You kept Lin Yue and her family alive because you’ve been waiting for a chance to finally break free from the control of the three religions. Am I right in saying that?”

Auntie Li looked at Su Jin quietly and seemed a little interested now. “Your story is very exciting, but this is nothing but your own imagination, isn’t it?”

“Of course, of course. But none of that is important. All we need to do now is to wait for the bells to ring again and everything will come to an end. You might still stand a chance ten years later, but that will have nothing to do with us,” said Su Jin with a smile. His story might be accurate, but that didn’t matter. The challenge didn’t require him to solve any mystery.

“What an interesting human you are. That’s exactly why I was so fascinated by these tiny things called humans. Tell me… even though these are just your guesses, I’m sure you already have the most fundamental information on hand already, right?” Auntie Li’s expression grew serious.

Jiang Li suddenly felt a terrifying aura fill the air. He grabbed his spear tightly and stared warily at the woman in the front yard. Only a wooden fence separated them, after all.

But Su Jin didn’t seem affected at all. “Actually, it wasn’t very hard to guess all this. Most of the information came from Lin Yue and her brother’s diaries, while some actually came from you.”

“Oh? When did I provide you with any information?” Auntie Li was surprised.

“You did. You said that you were a dog to Lin Yue’s family.” Su Jin took a while to sort his thoughts out before continuing, “When the hunter first took over Zhang Jing’s body, I saw him swallow an evil soul, which means that the hunter is the archenemy of wayward souls. As for the hunting you talked about, if my guess is right, you’re referring to how once every ten years, the hunters will help you to get past the forces that hold you back and hunt down any wayward souls in the town.”

Auntie Li didn’t say anything and quietly waited for Su Jin to continue.

“After the bells rang for the third time, the hunters tried to hunt me down too. When I think about the situation then, it seemed like Lin Yue and her family were even more like hunting dogs than you were. They suit that metaphor a lot better than you do.”

“I mean, have you ever seen a hunter go out to hunt and leave his hunting dog to rest at home? Of course, this wasn’t enough to help me piece together the story I told just now, until… until the hunter blocked us twice as we made our way to this place. Let’s make a guess. Why did he decide to stop hunting and wait here for us instead?” said Su Jin slowly.

Auntie Li suddenly started smiling as she nodded at Su Jin and said, “You’re just making guesses, but you actually got this far! Not bad! But… who says my hunter has given up hunting?”

Su Jin froze for a moment before his eyes darted around and he started tapping his index finger on his nose even faster than before. Then he laughed and said, “Oh, I get it. You’re referring to… that other corpse, right?”

“That’s right. So instead of saying that he blocked your way two times in a row and ended up revealing my real identity, it’s more accurate to say that he purposely lured you two here so that I could trap you two here and make his work easier!” said Auntie Li with a smile as a beam of sparkles shot out from her eyes and engulfed Su Jin and Jiang Li.

“With that body, my hunter can appear at the temple directly and the bells you’ve been hoping to hear… will never ring again! HAHA! HAHAHAHA!”

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