The female ghosts did not understand the bureaucratic levels of the Nether World, they were just powerful ghosts stranded in the human world. They had only heard of things like which officials were from the underworld government, but no one had ever talked about the logistic departments of the Nether World.
She looked at this Impermanent’s eyes and felt that the other party was very sincere.
Lan He had already started his own performance, “The mask on my face is to prevent me from being sprayed by droplets, do you guys know Beijing’s Look Yuen Hotel? Before I passed away, I used to be the head cook there, we mainly made Huaiyang cuisine and stewed herbal food, and because of our boss’s interest, we had to learn how to make refreshments. I don’t usually come out, but you guys know how the underworld works. It’s not that not that these dishes need to be decorated with gold leaf, but they even ask me to pay for the gold leaf by myself. Actually, do gold leaves affect the taste of the food? Absolutely not, it only raises the value. And I’m so poor that I have to look around to see which ghost has any gold, so that I can…… well.”
When he was in school, he was always good at improvised performances. And he had really acted as a chef before, and took reference from Old Bai’s greedy appearance, so his act was very convincing.
At this moment, it didn’t matter that the audience were ghosts, the parking lot was his stage.
Little Red and Little Green looked at Lan He and felt even more strongly that he was not lying.
Perhaps his original intentions were, after smelling ghosts, he wanted to come and extort them?
They used their small amount of intellect to analyse the situation, since the other party was not here to obstruct their business, then there was no need to continue making an issue with him, even if he was just a chef, he was still a government official.
“Alright, this chef talks too much.” Little Green borrowed his neighbour’s mouth to say impatiently, “Get lost, if we do anything to you, it’ll be us who will be using our superior numbers to bully the weak.”
His neighbour had already lost his fighting power, the two of them versus Lan He who was alone, it really was this case.
Lan He spread his hands, “See you guys later, I hope that you guys can return to the Nether World quickly.”
He backed away a few steps, calmly took out a handful of paper oxen and horses and threw them out.
“The oxen and horses know the way back to the Nether capital, forever bidding the mountain caves of the Nether goodbye. It’s hard to use paper and ink to describe the path, but when the day and night provide no light, your eyes are bright.”
The paper cows and horses grew in the wind. In the blink of an eye, the cows and horses became a group, swingin their heads and tails, they came to life and separated Little Red and the neighbour who was possessed.
— The underworld and overworld had always been partially overlapping, it was just that they were invisible to each other. If ghosts needed to use the paper items, they needed someone from the other world to send (burn) it for them, and since Lan He himself had brought it over to the astral world by himself, he naturally could omit the step and could activate them by himself.
When Lan He’s right hand swung down, the chains that were wound around his wrist also fell down.
Looking at the situation, how could Little Red and Little Green not understand that they were being deceived, why would a cook have soul reaping chains on him?
Little Red was furious and the red on her body became even more vivid and bloody, but before she had time to make any movements, she heard a “moo” and a “neigh”, the group of oxen and horses raised their hooves and ran around wildly, and after knocking her down, they ran over her a few more times again.
Bullying the weak using your superior numbers? This was what it really meant.
On Lan He’s end, he threw out his soul reaping chains and looped them over his “neighbour.”
His “neighbour” got a huge shock and screamed as he fell onto the ground, fervently rolling and refusing to leave the body.
Lan He pulled the chain forward and saw the body twitch and reveal an overlapping green figure.
His “neighbour” suddenly rose up, his hands green and black, trying to strangle Lan He.
Lan He tilted his head and landed a strong punch onto the face of his “neighbour”.
He looked white and tender, even skinny, but he’s definitely not bony and he often went to the gym. After all, without a good body, how could he withstand the arduous night filming?
This punch could also be called a physical soul reaping, the nose of his “neighbour” started gushing blood and he toppled backwards. However, the green figure was still sitting in the original place and could not follow the body’s movements.
“Come!” Lan He yanked the chains forward decisively and Little Green completely separated from the neighbour’s body, being pulled forward by Lan He, and struggled while trying to attack him.
His neighbour was still lying on the floor, unconscious.
On the other side, the trampling was still fierce and Little Red had almost been flattened by the stampede, struggling to get up while screaming.
The lights in the parking lot flickered several times with the sound of howling. Her nails elongated and she crazily scratched at the oxen and horses, after all, they were made of paper, and there were a few that had been damaged by her scratching. They whined a few times and walked to the side to lie down and die, turning into paper confetti.
Lan He threw out the remaining paper cows and horses. In fact, he could have chosen to use the soul reaping chains at this time, but this was the first time he saw his own paper origami turn into reality, so it was wondrous to him, and he wanted to see it again.
Little Red saw that Lan He had already sealed Little Green and became even more enraged and anxious, frantically tearing everything in front of her apart.
The soul reaping chains were a direct counter against Nether ghosts, even though they were a fake compared to the ones in Hei and Bai Wuchang’s hands, it was enough to stop these ghosts.
Little green felt that the situation was not good for them and begged Lan He, “My lord, I have gold leaves, they were burned for me by people who I had harmed, and there are a handful of them. I’ll give them all to you, so please retrieve your oxen and horses, she can’t survive anymore.”
The conditions were not exceptional, and there was a serious corruption problem within the Nether World government, but all the ghosts that received money had the same issue, after taking away the unusable money, they were not left with much.
She felt that even though Lan He was not a chef, it wouldn’t be that he would say no to gold.
Lan He had not said anything when a chain flew by and wrapped around Little Red tightly.
When Lan He turned his head to look, it was an underworld official wearing the same uniform as him, his hand also holding a lantern that wrote “Nether World Government”, and his high hat had “World Peace” written on it.
This underworld official also had a greenish grey face of a dead person, long and slender eyes, and he smiled at Lan He saying, “Your humble servant is called Yan Three, the letter you sent to Old Bai was received but he was busy with other matters and gave half of the golden mountain to me for me to come and help you.”
Little Green: “......”
Little Red said angrily, “So you’re not a chef!”
Yan Three glanced at them and laughed ominously, “Since when did the Nether officials have this system, you guys even believed that there was a chef job?”
He had seen the miserable appearance of Little Red. Those paper cows and horses were well made, even exquisite, and the fierceness of their posture surpassed almost all of the paper figures that he had seen. It’s no wonder that he could fold ingots of such high quality.
Little Red and Little Green were silent for a while, and then scolded Lan He heavily.
Lan He said reasonably, “I’m engaged in logistics, specialising in providing money and equipment, the type of work is similar!”
Little Green spat angrily, it was too different!
Lan He only felt that the resentful feelings were transmitted over to him by the chain, but apart from the different emotions that it contained, it did not feel like it was such a huge surge like before.
This was an unexpected benefit. Lan He had wanted Old Bai to take to see some powerful evil spirits to gain some references for acting, but now he had managed to experience Little Green’s emotions personally.
Lan He: “Hey, can you be more vicious?”
Little Green: “......”
Little Green was so angry that the whites of her eyes nearly showed, this was the first time she met someone who said that she, who was a powerful evil ghost, was not vicious enough!! He was looking down on her, if she was not vicious then how would that person be lying down on the ground over there?
Who is this stinky rascal!
Being incited by Lan He, not only resentment, but even hatred, surged through.
Blood flowed out through both of Little Green’s eyes as she stared at Lan He viciously. Meanwhile, Lan He was sampling the emotions, hate, resentment, and even a sinister kind of torment……
Yan Three murmured, “What kind of hobby……”
Old Bai had even said that his new recruit’s heart was particularly soft and was very easy to talk to, it was just that he was a little black-bellied. Looking at it now, what is advertised doesn’t match the real deal after all.
Lan He pulled away from her emotions and said sincerely to Little Green, “Thank you.”
Little Green: “Bah.”
Yan Three pulled the spirit into his hands, “By the way, it seems like your ghost age should be less than three years. At the minimum, you have to be three years before gaining the possession ability, how did you guys secretly learn the trick to possession? Quickly tell me the whole story in detail!”
Little Red and Little Green were silent.
Lan He did not know about this rule. He was purely just a human trying to help his neighbour, and took this ability as something that was up to individual skills.
He only had a minor understanding from his neighbour’s words that Little Red and Little Green should have been haunting a person, and this person went to his neighbour to request for help, the whole process was extremely simple. He did not expect that Little Green and Little Red had violated regulations.
Little Red and Little Green did not speak, so Yan Three only laughed coldly, “Forget it, during this festival period, all the strange supernatural beasts are coming out……”
What kind of festival, the Qing Ming Festival? Lan He thought that Yan Three was talking about this, “What should we do now, do we bring them back to the Dongyue Government for judgement?”
“Hahaha, this kind of powerful ghosts, they can’t go to the Nether Government casually, and they even broke regulations, even if there was someone powerful who would help them be free of their grievances, and was waiting…… Moreover, even if I can bring them in, I can’t bring them to the Dongyue Government.” Yan Three motioned to Lan He to look at his lantern, it said Nether World Government.
“The Nether World government…… isn’t there just one?” Lan He asked confusedly, he had seen the words on the lantern previously, but he had thought that it was the same place using a different slogan.
“Of course there’s only one Nether World government, but there are quite a few bosses. Although you and I can be regarded as colleagues, I can’t go to your boss to report for my job.” Yan Three said leisurely. “I’ll put it simply, God depends on the human spirit! In the past, whoever the Dongyue Government believes in the most, will become the lord of the underworld. After that, people who believed in the Yama King increased, so he was given more power and a title, amongst the ten kings of hell, “Taishan King”. While everyone are capable of doing everything, they have areas that they’re better at, some are better at judgement, some are in charge of the prison.”
Lan He had not understood the underworld system fully at first, but hearing him say this, he thought that the underworld and overworld were really inseparable, they even experienced power changes.
And he also understood what Yan Three did not verbalise, Yama is a concept of buddhism, whereas the Taishan King came from the Taoist deity system. There were more people who believed in Yama, because Buddhism was introduced to China, and the two religions had been integrated thus far, finally forming this current situation.
“Many thanks. I don’t know how to remove resentment, so how should we deal with them?” Lan He felt that it wouldn’t be easy to deal with them. After all, they couldn’t let them go, no one could guarantee that they would not do anything evil in the future.
“This is nothing, just send them to others to deal with. This is the capital city, the place with the most scammers, and the place with the highest concentration of powerful people.” Yan Three said nonchalantly.
Lan He: “......”
He was speechless, but when he thought about it, it was right. After all, it was the capital, even if a powerful person did not go to the capital, they could still be invited.
Yan Three narrowed his eyes and counted, “Monks, Taoists, Feng Shui masters, immortals…… If you average it, every community contains people who do business with the Nether World. There are always people who have good hearts and know how to complete Impermanent purification.”
“It seems that you have experience with this, so where should we send them?” Lan He thought about his neighbour, wasn’t he a Gu master?
“This kind of thing, Impermanents usually aren’t in charge of it, but since we’re colleagues and you requested…” Yan Three stopped while he talked.
“One mountain of gold.” Lan He was also experienced. It seemed that the unfilial son’s underachieving friend came to his house to play.
As expected, Yan Three immediately said, “Then let’s go to the Juehui Temple, the monks there love to deal with things like this!”
Lan He had also heard of the Juehui Temple. It was very famous and had a history that spanned hundreds of years, it used to be where the royal family prayed for good fortune. Within the temple, there was also a huge buddha bell, it was a cultural relic of the Ming Dynasty and had a weight of dozens of tons, nicknamed the King of Bells. It was said that the incense here was efficacious and it was famous within the capital. There were also several famous celebrities that loved to go to Juehui Temple.
“We can’t die, let’s go!”
Before leaving, Lan He had still wanted to check on his neighbour’s injuries, but he heard Yan Three urging him to be quick. He was wondering how he would explain it if he used his human body to help his neighbour, whereas Yan Three wanted him to abandon his neighbour.
If it was another person saying this, he would definitely think that the other party was too cold, but with Yan Three’s words…… it was the truth, the other party really had not reached the end of his life, so it didn’t matter if he helped.
They walked on the Nether path. Along the way, they met a few spirits, a few of them had not gone to the Yellow Springs (Hell) yet while some of them had no way of reaching the Yellow Springs.
Yan Three held his lantern and when the solitary ghosts saw it from a distance, they took the initiative to avoid it.
There was only one exception, when they reached a crossroad, they saw a male sitting on a large rock by the roadside, and he did not dodge away from them even when he saw them approaching. His short hair was grown to his ears and the ends curled. Wearing a black shirt, his eyes were as deep and inky black as black jade, and he had a handsomeness that contained a hint of haughtiness.
A lightly coloured wooden rosary could be seen at his neck, it was revealed when he was chanting his prayers. A golden lotus-shaped pendant hung on the end of the long silk ribbon and was wrapped by his large robes. It was particularly resplendent.
Lan He couldn’t help but stare at it for a few more times, wondering why the other party did not run. He also did not detect the smell of paper burning……
Yan Three interrupted his thoughts, “Well, we’ll arrive at Juehui temple in a while. When we reach, we’ll leave them at the door, knock on the door, hide and then wait for a monk to come out……”
Lan He: “......” It sounds weird.
Little Red and Little Green cursed at them when they heard the plan. They didn’t have any opinion about where they had to go, they simply wanted to scold Lan He.
“Impermanent d*ck, b*stard!”
“Don’t ever let us see you again!”
“Scoundrel, shameless, lied to us about being a cook!”
Looking back, the only thing they were angry about was because they were cheated by an Impermanent about being a “chef”.
Their voices were sharp and piercing and even the unmoving male by the roadside glanced over.
Lan He scolded them in return as well, “You guys broke the law and harmed people, you’re the real scoundrels, so shameless!”
The soul reaping chains should improve in their features, disallowing the bound ghosts from being able to speak.
Lan He and Yan Three placed them at the doors of the Juehui Temple, according to Yan Three’s words, Lan He placed a message on the back of their necks, knocked on the door and then hid himself. Even if the monk could not see the ghost, he would be able to see the message slip. Like this, they saw the female ghosts being collected by the monks.
“This way, after freeing themselves from the resentment and being purified, there will be someone from the Capital God’s side who will take over.” Yan Three said, “Our part is over, here, Little Lai, can you return by yourself?”
Who was Little Lai? Lan He thought about it before realising that it was from what he wrote on his own hat, “Since I’m Already Here”, “Lai Dou Lai Le”......
Because Lan He did not reveal his name, although Lao Bai was not filial, his mouth was sealed when he received money and did not even tell his colleagues, so Yan Three had to address him blindly like this.
“Yes, thank you senior, I’ve troubled you today.” Lan He thanked him. Little Lai, that was alright.
“Haha, small matter, small matter.” He had received monetary benefits as well, so Yan Three waved his hand and walked away carrying the lantern.
Lan He returned to the original road and when he was walking by the crossroad, he saw the male in the black shirt still sitting in his original spot. He was curious as well, since he was a ghost, why did he not have a scent? The ghosts that passed away on land had the scent of burning joss paper, the ghosts that drowned carried a fishy smell, the powerful ghosts had an added scent of blood…… but the man in black did not even have a hint of any smell.
Lan He stopped and stared at him for a bit, and even felt that this person was a little familiar. He wasn’t sure if it was an illusion, or if beautiful people always had similarities with each other.
He couldn’t help but ask, “My friend, how did you die?”
Song Futan lifted his eyes to look at this Nether official. The official only revealed two eyes, his eyelids were thin, his pupils a warm brown colour and did not have the normal Impermanent’s aura of death or maliciousness. On his head, a tall hat had “Since I’m Already Here” written on it, and it was something he had never seen before. Previously, he had even argued with ghosts, it was rare to see Nether officials with so much energy.
Song Futan usually did not like to deal with ghosts — you could say that he was not even happy to deal with humans, but facing the Nether official in front of him who took the initiative to start a conversation with him, he felt inexplicably willing to comply.
“I’m not dead.”
So he was a living spirit? Lan He had thought that he was a ghost, mainly because when ordinary people left their bodies, it was impossible for them to be so calm, usually they were more like Cheng Haidong.
“You do business with the Nether world?” Lan He asked.
“You’re a chef for the Nether World?” Song Futan replied with a question, he had heard Little Red and Little Green talk about Lan He being a chef.
Lan He: “I don’t cook.”
Song Futan: “I don’t do business with the Nether World as well.”
The two of them conversed smoothly, and they fell silent for a bit.
After a while, Lan He laughed and felt that his brain waves matched with the other, they had such a tacit understanding.
Song Futan also had a hint of a smile in his eyes.
He paused for a moment and even explained, “I accidentally left my body and my spirit is lost now, so I’m stopping at this place, waiting for my family members to call my soul and lead me back.”
Lan He was shocked, so there was really a person who could stay calm like this? He had left his body and even knew to wait at the crossroad to wait for his family members to call his soul, and was even unafraid of Nether World officials?
Then he might be the same as him, even though his calmness was more because of a long-term influence than his innate nature……
Lan He felt around in his clothes and pulled out his last piece of paper, throwing it onto the ground. He was not particularly good at his technique and did not know how far the other’s body was, so he chose a mode of transport diligently.
Only to see that when that piece of paper became bigger, it became a little donkey.
Song Futan fell into contemplation, did he have to whip the donkey to make it faster?
“Sigh, only a donkey is left.” Lan He patted the donkey’s head, “No matter, it’s still the same, get on?”
Song Futan did not move.
Seeing that he was motionless, the donkey even used his head to nose at him.
Song Futan revealed a look of disgust and dodged to the side.
“Look, it’s so cute, just make do for a bit!” Lan He said as he looked at Song Futan, he was shorter than Song Futan by a little and he had to look up slightly.
Song Futan’s eyes flickered, it really convinced him and he got on the little donkey, the donkey immediately shook his head vigorously.
Song Futan: “You—”
While Song Futan was hesitating, Lan He had already taken out his fan. Opening it, he waved it powerfully towards the donkey, “No need for thanks, go back now!!”
The donkey cried twice and lifted its hooves to run away quickly.
Its speed was quick, as if there was wind beneath its hooves, but its body shook up and down and the ride was extremely bumpy. Song Futan lowered his head to take a look and saw that one of its back hooves was injured, this was a crippled donkey!
Song Futan: ??????
Lan He had also seen the way the donkey ran, even the guy on its back was being shaken so badly that he turned his head to glare at him.
He was stunned for a moment before remembering that when he folded this donkey, its hind legs had gotten wet.
The donkey had already staggered far away at this time, even though it was crippled, it was quick. Lan He raised his voice and yelled loudly, “Brother, you’re already on it, just bear with it—”
“Futan? You’re awake?”
Song Futan regained consciousness gradually and saw his mother’s concerned face. He sat up on the bed while supporting himself.
Mother Song said worriedly, “How do you feel? I just called your dad, he’s still at a night shoot, he’ll rush back in the morning.”
Song Futan shook his head, “No need, I’m alright.”
“......Ai, alright.” Mother Song sighed, her son was already used to it, but she still had some questions, “This time, we haven’t called your spirit yet, how did you return?”
The memory of being returned was still a little blurry in his mind, Song Futan was stunned for a bit before remembering that covered face, the Nether World official that only revealed his pair of brown eyes…… Also because he was shaken the whole way back, it seemed that he was particularly dizzy when he regained consciousness.
Song Futan’s fingers moved and he noticed that there was something in his hand. He spread his hand open.
Mother Song felt that it was strange and asked, “What’s this? Where did it come from?”
Only to see that there was a little donkey folded with yellow joss paper in Song Futan’s hand, its right hind leg slightly torn off.