Chapter 57 - The Woman

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“That’s ridiculous! What’s this nonsense about divination?! You’re just blaming your own crimes on the supernatural!” shouted the village chief angrily.

“I’m just telling a story, so you don’t have to be so angry.” Su Jin smiled faintly at the village chief, then continued, “The result of the divination brought great grief to the woman. The result must have been terrible.”

“Later on, the woman died. Her angry soul eventually turned into an evil spirit that hides in this village so that she could exact revenge. Every time a snowstorm hits this region, the woman’s evil spirit will emerge. She will take the lives of 13 people to continue the divination process in order to locate her child.”

Su Jin paused to look at the villagers in the hall. He could see the terror in everyone’s eyes, so he knew that regardless of whether this story was true, he had certainly triggered the fear buried deep in their hearts.

“The evil spirit has returned and this time, she has already taken the lives of six people. Not just my companions, but also one of yours. Village Chief Fang, are you really going to continue hiding the truth? Why don’t you tell us the truth of the matter? Then we could help you to lift the curse over the village once and for all?” Su Jin continued to dramatize his story.

The village chief glared fiercely at Su Jin and he seemed a little convinced by Su Jin. But he eventually grit his teeth and retorted, “Truth? What truth? Since you’ve got the village chronicle with you, then you can look through the records. That woman you’re talking about was chased away and she didn’t die. So how could she have become this evil spirit?”

“You’re right in saying that the chronicle has no records of the woman dying. But it doesn’t say that she’s still alive either. Every time there’s a snowstorm here, Rubble Village will face the threat of losing a number of villagers. Did you think that was really a coincidence?” Su Jin shrugged, then stared straight into the village chief’s eyes as he said, “Besides…Village Chief Fang, you would best know exactly what happened to that child back then, don’t you?”

“I…!” The village chief was taken aback and nearly said something he shouldn’t but calmed himself back down. “Why would I know anything about what happened to that child? This has nothing to do with me.”

“Is that so? After the snowstorm in 1959, you left the village and returned in 1975 with a brand new name. After that, you became the village chief of Rubble Village and changed the name to Clear Pond Village. Why did you do that? Did you do that because of the child you threw into the pond behind the hill at the back?” Su Jin sounded threatening and aggressive as he pushed the village chief into a corner. But actually, most of this was just his conjecture.

The village chief looked like he was slowly breaking down under the pressure of Su Jin’s words. His eyes bulged angrily and he growled, “You’re spouting nonsense!”

“You know very well if I’m spouting nonsense or not! I’ve already seen the baby’s evil spirit inside the pond behind the hill! Are you really going to continue being stubborn like this? Are you going to just let all the villagers pay for the sin you committed?” roared Su Jin.

“We don’t want to pay the price for your sins!”

“Village Chief, did you really do such a thing?”

“No wonder so many people die every time there’s a snowstorm. So this is why!”

The villagers were riled up by Su Jin’s words and they started shouting and clamoring at the village chief even though there was no concrete evidence to prove that he was really the one at fault.

“Enough! Shut up, you idiots!!” roared the village chief furiously. His entire body was trembling slightly as he turned back to look at Su Jin with droopy eyes and heaved a sigh. “All right then. What…how are you going to resolve this matter once and for all?”

The village chief was completely broken after he finished speaking. As he admitted to his wrongdoing, Su Jin breathed a big sigh of relief. Most of this story was guesswork and he wasn’t really that confident of the details either. He couldn’t even be sure that the village chief was really Fang Leng. He was just hoping that if the village chief did turn out to be guilty, he would eventually give in to the pressure and admit his guilt. Su Jin was glad that it actually worked.

“It’s very simple. We just have to look for the one who created all this trouble in the first place. She’s not just looking for her child, right? She’s also looking for you!” said Su Jin.

But the village chief argued, “Regardless of who she’s looking for, how do you know if she’s really dead? We only know that she left the village. That’s recorded in the village chronicle too.”

“She’s dead. I don’t know how she died, but I am very confident that she’s dead and I have a good idea about where she is right now.” Su Jin looked towards Tian Lili.

One of her eyes had been switching constantly between one and two pupils, but no matter how the pupils switched, they remained fixed in one direction. Su Jin didn’t think much of it at first, but after he noticed this, he started guessing why this was happening.

Su Jin walked over to Tian Lili, then followed her gaze all the way to a statue within the ancestral hall.

“Brother Yu, help me shift this statue aside!” Su Jin called out to Yu Guangde.

Yu Guangde nodded and got Xiang Nan and Yang Mo to help as well. They shifted the statue aside to reveal a corpse that had not fully rotted away.

“Oh my god!” Everybody in the hall gasped in horror. This body was really strange as some parts were so decomposed that you could see the bone, but some parts still had some flesh hanging from the bones that resembled cured meat. The head was the most intact, but it also looked like it had been cured with a layer of wax.

“If…if that’s really that woman and her body hasn’t fully decomposed despite being in such a place, then…that’s truly shocking,” blurted Yang Mo.

Just then, the woman slowly raised her head to stare straight at the village chief. Freezing winds suddenly filled the air.

“Crap! Yang Mo, activate your skill!” Su Jin called out to Yang Mo. He didn’t expect this to happen after they found the woman’s body.

Yang Mo quickly activated his skill and a white glow shot out from his body to cover everyone. Meanwhile, the villagers immediately ran for it. Nobody dared to stay here any longer.

“My child…my child! Return my child to me!!!” roared the corpse of the woman as she charged towards the village chief.

The village chief was a truly formidable fighter and remained calm even in such a situation. He clasped his hands together into a formation and thrust it outwards. The woman seemed genuinely afraid of this formation and stumbled backwards.

“The Challenge isn’t coming to an end yet because there’s still something else left to settle,” mumbled Su Jin to himself. His eyes suddenly lit up as he realized what else he had to do.

“Brother Yu, help to keep this woman here, I’m going to get the last thing that will bring this Challenge to an end. Mai, come with me,” yelled Su Jin before dashing out of the hall without waiting for Yu Guangde to respond. Kano Mai quickly followed him out without asking any questions.

Yu Guangde didn’t have the time to respond to Su Jin either. The freezing winds that the woman unleashed were terrifyingly cold. Anything it touched would instantly turn to ice. The barrier that Yang Mo activated could only barely protect them from these winds, so both Yu Guangde and the village chief had to combine forces to keep the woman at bay. They couldn’t let her attack Yang Mo because he was the only one with Spirit Power besides Yu Guangde. If something happened to Yang Mo, everyone within his protective barrier was going to die instantly.

Su Jin and Kano Mai ran at top speed, covering several meters with just one step. They soon arrived at the pond behind the hill, but it looked different now. Several animal skeletons now stood outside the pond as if to guard the waters.

These skeletons looked very weird as well because they were a random combination of animal parts. A goat head could be paired with the body of a dog or a squirrel’s body had a pig’s head on it. Both the proportion of the animals and the combinations were simply absurd.

“Mai, I’m going near the pond. If you see me behaving strangely, use your Soul Whisperer to yank me back here,” Su Jin said to Kano Mai. She nodded and he walked towards the pond.

As he approached the pond, those absurd animal skeletons charged towards him as well. But these animals were of no threat to him. As long as they didn’t have the same power that baby evil spirit had, they were nothing but moving piles of bones.

Su Jin used his Boning Knife to slice through them all. These half rotten bones were no match for his super sharp blade.

He continued walking closer to the pond because he was here to search for that baby. He was very certain of the whole story now. If that story he told the villagers earlier was right, then the woman was here to look for her son.

Back then, the divination results told the woman that her son was dead, which both grieved her and infuriated her. But she couldn’t find the body of her son, so she ended up hiding behind the statue inside the ancestral hall of Rubble Village and sacrificed her own life to bring a curse upon the village. Thereafter, she would gain strength every time there was a snowstorm.

She had brought 13 goats as a thank you gift that year, but ended up killing those 13 goats in a ritual to find out what happened to her son. So now, she also used the lives of 13 people within Rubble Village to continue trying to find out what happened to her son. That was why at least 13 people would die within the village every time a snowstorm hit.

Su Jin stuffed a piece of Super Oxygenated Chewing Gum into his mouth, then sat down next to the pond as he scoured the pond. It didn’t take long for a baby with goat horns on his head to surface. He gurgled creepily at Su Jin, then sank back down again.

A second later, those horns appeared in front of Su Jin. Just like before, Su Jin felt the urge to pull those horns out of the water and he lost control of his body again. Just then, he felt something pull him backwards at high speed. Kano Mai had noticed his behavior and was using her Soul Whisperer to pull him back towards herself.

The baby evil spirit in his hands got a fright and slipped out of Su Jin’s hands to clamber back to the pond.

Su Jin panicked immediately. He knew that if he couldn’t bring the baby evil spirit with him this time, it was going to be hard to lure it out again. He didn’t have time to think of a different method either because the lives of everybody inside the ancestral hall was at stake right now.

“I can’t let you escape like that! Come back here!!” Su Jin’s body was still stiff as he yelled loudly in an attempt to make his body listen to him.

In that instant, Su Jin felt as though everything had slowed down. But his mind was still working at the same speed, so he felt like he was looking at something in slow motion. There was also a silver glow around the escaping baby evil spirit and it couldn’t move anymore.

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