Haunting Spectre Road Tetralogy 冤鬼路四部曲—Book One of Four
Chapter Two: Ghost Girl
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He Jian Fei took a few steps backwards and stopped when he reached the door. Qin Xiao Tian looked astonished as he stared at the quiet and sullen He Jian Fei, unsure as to what he’s going to do to him. But the reality was, He Jian Fei was opening The Eye of Dharma to try and view the ghost’s form. The hazy white shadow within the green mist gradually became clearer, and revealed the face of a pretty looking girl with short hair. A section of her outstretched tongue hung out of her mouth, resting limply on his chin, and she had no irises in her eyes, only the white of her eyes were visible. At the moment, she was coiled around Qin Xiao Tian’s neck like a giant anaconda. It was obvious that she was a hanged ghost. Even after taking a closer look, she was nothing but a regular haunting spectre, not only was her demonic powers weak, her hateful energy wasn’t particularly strong either. So why is she here guarding Qin Xiao Tian instead of going through reincarnation? He Jian Fei grew more and more puzzled, and decided to speak to the spirit using ghost tongue. “I am a disciple of the Mount Wutai School, right now I have questions to ask you. Who are you? What is your relationship with Qin Xiao Tian? Why are you protecting him?”
Qin Xiao Tian saw that He Jian Fei switched from staring at him attentively, to looking at him with a strange and suspicious expression. His mouth opening and closing rapidly, but Qin Xiao Tian couldn’t hear any sounds. He thought that He Jian Fei had gone insane after hearing the news, and his body went limp from fear. He leaned against the side of the table and yelled out hoarsely, “Help! Somebody help! He Jian Fei’s gone crazy!” Unfortunately, most of the people in the building went to see the scene of death, nobody was there to hear his panicked cries for help. He Jian Fei already disliked the guy, so he didn’t bother explaining it to him, he only concentrated on waiting for a reply from the ghost.
“Who am I?” After a while, the ghost finally answered him. Her voice was slow and sluggish, but didn’t sound as hazy and ethereal as other ghosts. “I don’t even know who I am. I’m already dead, what’s the point of remembering the identity I had when I was alive? Knowing that I still love him is enough for me. Although I died because of him, he’s not to blame. He only broke up with me because those despicable women seduced him. I knew that deep down, he still likes me. Yes, he still likes me. That’s why I have to stay here, I have to drive away those other women. This way, Xiao Tian is all mine. His soul, along with his body, will forever and ever be mine and mine alone.” He Jian Fei listened and a chill ran down his spine. This woman was determined to merge her soul together with Qin Xiao Tian’s soul, controlling his body together. This was a great sacrifice for a ghost that doesn’t have much power and could only ease their pain by finding a scapegoat. But at the same time, if this continues, Qin Xiao Tian will no longer be Qin Xiao Tian anymore. If love becomes deformed and reaches this state, what difference is there between love and hate?
In accordance with the rules of the magical arts circle, one should usually lend a helping hand when encountering ghostly possessions. But He Jian Fei absolutely despised the culprit that indirectly murdered Chuan Xun, and he also pitied the girl, so he wasn’t going to do anything about this possession. He Jian Fei sighed and closed The Eye of Dharma, when he regained consciousness and saw that Qin Xiao Tian was still desperately shouting for help, he walked over and said to him, “Truth be told, I wish I could gut you with a knife. But Chuan Xun was killed by the Haunting Spectre Road, and you really didn’t know the truth behind the incident. If I kill you out of my personal anger towards you, there would probably be some sort of heavenly retribution waiting for me. So today, for the time being, I will let you go. But you have to listen carefully, this doesn’t mean that I have forgiven you. I still think that you don’t deserve to live as a human, heck, you don’t even deserve to live as a dog.” He Jian Fei paused and took another look at the green mist around Qin Xiao Tian, then said to him word by word, “Those who play with fire shall burn in their own flames. Qin Xiao Tian, retribution shall come to you soon enough.” Then, he left behind the confused and stupefied Qin Xiao Tian and turned to walk away.
Due to such a large scale incident taking place on campus, the school was forced to cancel all its classes. He Jian Fei didn’t want to go and see the scene of death and make himself feel sad, but staying in the dorm room wasn’t any better either. Because he didn’t really have anywhere to go, he headed off to the audio-visual education building to search for Crimson Hilltop road, since he couldn’t find it the other night. Because of the dim moonlight last time, he didn’t get a clear look at things. But the sun was blazing outside today, so he saw almost immediately a winding white path to the left of the audio-visual education building. Lush green weeds on either side of the road grew to his waist level, god knows when it was last trimmed. Some of the grass near the exit lies flat on the ground, slightly parting to the sides. It seems that someone had passed by there not long ago, and left behind a trace. After parting the weeds and walking into the entrance to the road, He Jian Fei realized that he can’t quite call it a small road. Although trees and grasses grew heavily on either side of the road, and everywhere was sprawling with foliage, it still wasn’t enough to hide how wide the road actually was. At the centre of the road remains the faded markings that clearly defined the road boundaries. One could still faintly see its former glory as the main campus road, and the lively bustling scene that it once housed. But now, it’s a scene of absolute desolation, everywhere was broken and dilapidated. To the right of the road entrance stood a short and crooked metal sign, brushing off the rust stains revealed the words “Crimson Hilltop”. The sign was scrawled in large, messy writing, the word “Crimson” was written slightly larger than the other, and a lot messier as well, it’s quite obvious that it had once been altered. All of this pointed to the legend of the Haunting Spectre Road. Fear gradually rippled throughout the quiet, abandoned road.
To others, this was merely an ordinary road, but to He Jian Fei, a member of the magical arts circle, even looking at it was torture. The instant he brushed aside the grass and walked in from the road entrance, He Jian Fei’s body shivered involuntarily, a chill crawled up from the bottom of his feet, all the way up to the top of his head. His skin started becoming numb, and soon, the contents of his stomach became restless as well. Dizziness, chills, nausea, the body’s natural reaction to hateful energy after practicing magical arts were all present on this road. The depth of hateful energy accumulated at Crimson Hilltop has reached an alarming proportion. He Jian Fei had overly underestimated the powers of the Haunting Spectre Road, aside from a few yellow paper talismans he did not bring any protective magical instruments. And now, he can no longer keep it up and observe further. So all he could do was to hurriedly pluck a blade of grass from the roadside to test the intensity of the hateful energy, then quickly fleeing from the road.
He Jian Fei returned to the dorm and saw that the others have still yet to return, but He Jian Fei still sealed shut the door and windows quite cautiously, leaving only a small crack in the balcony window for air. He pulled over the table and set the blade of grass down on top, then took off the Buddhist prayer beads from his wrist and set the grass down in the middle. After doing so, he took out a lighter and lit the blade of grass on fire. The grass was burned to a charred powder, a small “squeaky” noise sounded particularly clear in the still silence. A burning smell started to emanate, spreading to each and every corner of the room. He Jian Fei’s eyeswere fixed on the blade of grass, when suddenly, a strange sight occurred. At first the prayer beads slowly expanded outwards, each bead was stimulated by the hateful energy and collided with each other vigorously, but He Jian Fei has yet to see any scarlet sinister energy appearing out of the grass. He Jian Fei’s heart sank. If the sinister energy could not be detected, yet the prayer beads had such a strong reaction, then there were only two possibilities. One would mean that the ghost was of benevolent nature and has no intentions of harming anyone, therefore, the lack of sinister energy. While the other meant that whatever was there had such extremely high levels of hateful energy, the beads were unable to bless it. And by the looks of things right now, he’s almost certain that Haunting Spectre Road was the latter case.
He Jian Fei sat limply on the chair and began to concentrate on thinking the whole incident through. Judging by the legend of the Haunting Spectre Road, it started killing people after the death of the girl that was raped and killed, so the ghostly killer had to be either the first girl who hung herself, or the male student that later died. Since then, a few people die each year, and the combined power of these ghosts that come together gave Haunting Spectre Road its power, finally developing into its state today. But did the people who died later join the ranks of murderers? If so, breaking them down one by one would easily solve the problem of the Haunting Spectre Road. “You didn’t go? If you are still harbouring resentment, then let it all out now.” The crazy upperclassmen’s words flashed across his mind, He Jian Fei jumped up excitedly. That’s right! Why doesn’t he go find that upperclassmen and find out the whole truth about Haunting Spectre Road?
“What?!” The upperclassmen stared at him with alarmed suspicion, “You … you are saying that you know magic?” He Jian Fei sat across from him, sipping away at his tea leisurely. “That’s right. In other words, I have the ability to call out your girlfriend’s ghost to come and meet you. But of course, my hands are tied if you don’t believe me. Although I do have to remind you, if you miss out on certain things, you will regret it for the rest of your life.” The upperclassmen missed his girlfriend to the point of madness, upon hearing that He Jian Fei has a way to let him see her again, his eyes reddened and tears streamed down his face. He didn’t even hear clearly the last two sentences that He Jian Fei had said, he simply grabbed hold of He Jian Fei’s arm while nodding vigorously, “I’ll help I’ll help! Take me to her quickly!” His eyes were filled with both anxiousness and eagerness. He Jian Fei looked at the man before him, dumbstruck by this person that’s tortured by his own longing desires, finally recovering after a good long while, pried the upperclassmen off of his arm and said, “Then tonight at 11 PM sharp, I’ll wait for you at the corner of the campus road. Remember to be careful, don’t let anyone see you. Otherwise, our plans for tonight will be ruined.” The upperclassmen grinned and said, “Don’t worry. Even if someone did see me leave, they won’t ask me anything, because to them, I’ve already gone crazy.”
After he finished dealing with everyone that came to see him, He Jian Fei headed off to attend Zhang Chuan Xun’s memorial service. After turning down sympathetic consoling and condolences from school authorities and fellow students, He Jian Fei looked to see that it was already 10:45 PM. He opened his desk drawer and took out a sandalwood box, upon opening the box, revealed a peculiar looking necklace laying quietly inside. The necklace was made up of translucent pale yellow pine resin beads, hanging in the middle was a larger colourless bead, the size of a quail egg. When the light hits its surface, splendid colours refracted from it, creating a gorgeous scene. At the same time, something faintly visible was flowing about the inside of the bead. This was one of Mount Wutai’s five major magical instruments, the Sarira necklace. It has the strongest defensive abilities in the magical arts circle, regular ghosts will perish if they come into contact with it, even the stronger ones will succumb to its powers. This protective magical instrument was given to him by his master when He Jian Fei was still a boy. Since he accepted the magical instrument he has yet to use it once. It’s hard to imagine that the first time he’ll be using it would be on school grounds. Haunting Spectre Road was like a newly discovered creature, full of mystery. No one knows how intense its hateful energy levels were, and there was no way of telling how strong its magic will be. Since he’s bringing an extra person with him today, He Jian Fei had to bring something that would be able to guarantee their safety. He did not want any accidents to happen on his watch.
He Jian Fei walked out of the dorm, when he came around the corner, he saw that the upperclassmen was already there. He Jian Fei smiled and waved, the both of them headed straight for the audio-visual education building. Despite being protected by the Sarira necklace, He Jian Fei still didn’t dare to go in rashly. They only stood far off from the road, facing the entrance.
The upperclassmen said in a panicked voice, “Where’s my girlfriend? Why don’t I see her?” ”
“What is your girlfriend’s name?” He Jian Fei asked.”
He Jian Fei glanced over at him and said, “I’m asking for her full name, not what you call her.”
“Zhang Qing Fang.”
He Jian Fei stuck a few yellow paper talismans on the upperclassmen’s back and pushed him aside with a warning.“You stay back.” Then He Jian Fei took off the Buddhist prayer beads from his wrist and put his palms together with the beads encircling them. He turned to face the entrance to Haunting Spectre Road and chanted, “Disciple He Jian Fei of the Mount Wutai school has information to notify the agents of The Underworld, Buddha’s compassion liberates all beings, and has given us special orders to shield and sustain all earthly beings, Haunting Spectre Road has taken the lives of numerous people, others were plunged into an abyss of misery, incurring great indignation from gods and men, by right it should be terminated. I beg of the agents to open the gateways, allowing Zhang Qing Fang’s spirit to appear, aiding Buddha in his means to expiate the sins of the deceased.” As soon as he finished speaking, the prayer beads emitted a faint white light, pointing towards the entrance to Haunting Spectre Road.
A transparent silhouette began to gather and form. The upperclassmen almost immediately recognized the person that it had formed to be the familiar figure that he longed to see day and night. “Xiao Fang!” The upperclassmen shouted, “I’ve missed you so much!” Then immediately rushed over to hug her, giving He Jian Fei, who was standing next to him, quite a scare. However, what happened next shocked him even more. The ghost girl saw the upperclassmen running over towards her, but remained motionless. He Jian Fei noticed as she lifted her drooping right arm ever so slightly, green mist flowed out of her fingertips, and he shouted, “NO! Get away from her!” He Jian Fei ran up to the upperclassmen and suddenly pushed him over onto the ground. At the same time, waving his hand and creating a barrier with seven yellow paper talismans. The green mist hit the barrier and ricocheted off onto the grass beside them, a heavy gust of foul rotting smell immediately followed. Toxic hateful energy? The upperclassmen was taken aback at first, but suddenly tried to rush to her side again, it’s a good thing that He Jian Fei stopped him dead in his tracks. Lying inside the barrier, the upperclassmen cried out in overwhelming sorrow, “Xiao Fang, it’s me! Don’t you recognize me?” The ghost’s eyes gleamed with red light, and said in an ominous tone, “Comply and live, resist and perish.”
He Jian Fei stood on the side, puzzled by the string of unexpected events. He knew that if a ghost has yet to drink the Five Flavoured Tea of Forgetfulness at The Bridge of Helplessness, then they will retain their memories from their past life. Since Zhang Qing Fang was a haunting spectre died suffering injustice, it’s only natural that she would be refused entrance to The Bridge of Helplessness. So why is it that not only does she not recognize the upperclassmen, she seems to be full of hatred for him? He Jian Fei looked at the upperclassmen as he lies crying on the ground, he thought for a moment, then picked up a piece of willow leaf, stained it with the upperclassmen’s tears and shouted, “Buddha’s light illuminates!” Then flicked it towards the ghost’s back. The air seems to have been ripped open with a clatter, several dozen red strings of various thickness suddenly appeared, tied around the ghost girl’s neck and limbs. Sure enough, it’s just as he had expected! The ghost girl didn’t recognize her boyfriend because she was under someone else’s control. The person behind all of this took advantage of a cloaking technique from the ghost realm, and tried to kill them with a “borrowed knife”.
After He Jian Fei severed the red strings controlling the ghost girl, she gasped and slowly came to. The upperclassmenwas ecstatic, hurrying to rush to her side, hugging her and shouting, “Xiao Fang, it’s me! Do you recognize me now?” He said as tears streamed down his face. Because of the yellow paper talismans on his back, the ghost’s Yin energy was unable to harm him. He Jian Fei smiled quietly as he watched the touching scene before him, two lovers reunited despite being separated by life and death. The ghost girl opened her eyes and initially looked at the upperclassmen in disbelief, but when she turned and saw that the red strings were severed, her face immediately changed to a panicked expression, “Why are the red strings severed?” He Jian Fei was just about to explain that he was the one who severed them, when she started shouting at them, “Why aren’t you two running? This is a disaster!” A giant gust of hateful energy quietly closed in on them. The ghost girl saw that it was too late for them to run, so she dove and rolled over to shield the upperclassmen with her body, taking the hit for him. While He Jian Fei’s Sarira necklace all of a sudden shot out a thousand golden rays, and surrounded his entire body like halos. The hateful energy dissipated upon contact with the golden light, scattering and flying away.
“Xiao Fang, are you alright? Xiao Fang, open your eyes and look at me!” He Jian Fei heard the shouting and knew that something was wrong. When he rushed over to see what was the matter, Zhang Qing Fang was already on the verge of perishing due to her injuries. The upperclassmen held her longingly in his arms as he sobbed uncontrollably, a bleak expression on his face. He Jian Fei regretted not looking around first and ended up letting her get hurt, so he stood to the side, not knowing how to bring up the topic of Haunting Spectre Road’s origins. However, Zhang Qing Fang smiled bitterly and said, “I don’t know that much about Haunting Spectre Road, I just know that it originated in 1949, the complicated details it involves are beyond your imagination.” She paused and inhaled sharply, then continued, “Give up now, no one’s able to fight it. People will surely continue to die. That woman wants to kill everyone at school!” Finally, she looked at the upperclassmen with tender affection, reaching out her increasingly transparent hand to touch his face, and said softly, “Forget about me, don’t live in the shadows of my death, that’ll be my salvation.” A wisp of green smoke ascended from within the upperclassmen’s embrace, his most beloved disappearing forever under the holy moonlight, without a trace.
“Xiao Fang—” His last shrill cry echoed above the audio-visual education building, shattering the silence of the night.
This has been sitting in my computer with only 1% yet to be translated. I am ashamed to admit that I have left it there for that long. This chapter reminds me of certain Xianxia stories where they have cool magical items. Anyway, this chapter isn’t very scary, slightly sad towards the end. Hopefully, this will appeal to people that enjoys reading horror, mystery, and fantasy novels. 😀
As always, please like, comment, and follow if you’ve enjoyed reading!~ Ciao! ❤
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1 法眼, opening this eye allows one to see the truth and what lies beneath the surface.↩
2 缢死鬼/吊死鬼, a ghost that died by hanging. A popular method for people of ancient China to kill oneself, thus it is a commonly seen type of ghost in stories. They typically have red bulging eyes and long hanging tongues, their necks are also crooked due to the way in which they died.↩
3 妖力, a type of energy that ghosts and demons have, the stronger it is, they stronger they are.↩
4 冤气, the feeling of having suffer injustice or being wronged is transformed into this energy. An accumulation of this energy makes a ghost more powerful.↩
5 鬼语, it’s like parseltongue, but you speak the language of ghosts instead of snakes.↩
6 替身, certain types of unnatural deaths such as violent deaths, drowning, and suicide renders the spirit incapable of reincarnating until they have found someone to take their place, a scapegoat.↩
7 煞气, in terms of supersticion, it’s a type of bad energy that accompanies impending unfortunate events. Certain people can sense this and avoid said events.↩
8 舍利, comes from the Sanskrit work for body, and is the pearl or crystal-like bead-shaped objects that are purportedly found among the cremated ashes of Buddhist spiritual masters.↩
9 超度, is a Buddhist term that roughly means to help the deceased leave the bitterness and suffering they were in and be released into the land of the pure.↩
10 孟婆汤, when the spirit of a dead person is headed for reincarnation through The Bridge of Helplessness, an old lady named Meng Po hands them a bowl of Five Flavoured Tea of Forgetfulness for them to drink and forget their previous life, so they can start anew. Some believe that people who somehow didn’t drink the tea is reborn into the next life having memories of their previous life.↩
11 阴气, Yin refers to the Yin in Yin and Yang. The Yin is of the dark and deceased, and Yang is of the light and living. Ghosts possess Yin energy, and absorbs the Yang energy of the living, thus it is harmful for the living to be near the dead.↩