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Chapter 108 The Spirit's Tongue
The trio awkwardly exchanged glances. Yang Yunfei commented, “What kind of ghost story is this? It’s not scary at all.”
Ye Shaoyang said, “This is not a story, but a true event. This matter actually bothers me.”
Lin Cheng laughed, as he said, “Stop it, brother. There’s no such thing as spirits. I won’t believe you.”
Song Xiaoqian followed up, “Even if there’s such a thing, your story is obviously made up.”
He had reached a good entry point to elaborate on. As such, Ye Shaoyang asked, as he looked at her, “Let’s just say it is real. Tell me, what should I do?”
Song Xiaoqian thought with her head tilted, “That’s easy. Show them proof. If you can show them evidence, there’s no way that they don’t believe you.”
“But what if they cannot accept the fact?”
Song Xiaoqian shook her hand, “If that’s the truth, what is there not to accept? They are already dead and are now spirits anyway. They still exist, so they should just head for their next life.”
Ye Shaoyang grinned in satisfaction after he heard this answer, “That’s what I want to hear. Guys, fear not, life and death are part of the circle of life. It’s the law of the universe. I’m a Daoist, a Heavenly Master from Maoshan Sect. Let me transcend you to the Netherworld Council.”
They looked at each other with faces full of confusion. Lin Cheng frowned and unhappily said, “Dude, this is not right. You are just telling a story. You don’t need to drag us in. This is cursing us to die!”
Ye Shaoyang smiled and pointed at Song Xiaoqian, “If someone suddenly told me that I’m dead and am a spirit now, I would never believe it. But this girl made a good point just now. If someone can show me proof, I’ll have to accept it, right?”
Yang Yunfei sarcastically laughed, “This is ridiculous. Go on, show us proof then. Where are our bodies?”
“Well, I can’t show you your bodies because you passed away two years ago. Your bodies have already been cremated. But I can show you something else, but you have to prepare yourselves for it. Ok?”
Song Xiaoqian started to feel scared. She tightly hung onto her boyfriend’s arm. On the other hand, the two guys were not intimidated. Lin Cheng pursed his lips to signal for Ye Shaoyang to proceed with the proof. Ye Shaoyang requested for them to stand in a line. He went over to their backs and tapped each of them. He tapped three times at exactly three inches below their napes. One could hear faint noises each time he tapped them. Then, Ye Shaoyang told them, “Now, I have released the hateful Qi in your bodies. You now look exactly as you did when you died. You can look at each other now.”
“Oh God!” Zhou Jingru covered her mouth and took a few steps back. She did not dare to look at them anymore.
The trio doubtfully glanced at each other. Suddenly, they saw something that horrified them. They were stunned. They stared at their friends. Then, they stared down at their own bodies, over and over again. Their clothes were all torn, littered with holes. They could see visible bruises all over their bodies. Yang Yunfei’s head was severely damaged and brain fluid covered his face. Lin Cheng’s face was disfigured, one of his shoulders were badly dislocated, which revealed his blood and flesh. Song Xiaoqian’s left eye had popped out and a tree branch had penetrated it. The trio took quite an extended moment to regain their composure. They nervously caressed their own wounds, but they could not feel any pain.
Song Xiaoqian was the first to accept her fate. Once a spirit accepted their fate, they would finally remember everything. She fell to the floor and wept in despair.
“Are we…really dead?” Lin Cheng stumbled as his feet grew weak. He could barely stand.
Yang Yunfei cried out loud, “I remember it now! I climbed up the cliff to take pictures! I accidentally stepped onto a pool of ice and fell! You tried to pull me up, but the whole place tumbled! We fell to our deaths! Xiaoqian’s eyes…were penetrated by a tree branch in the process!”
Lin Cheng fell to his knees. He could vividly remember it now after Yang Yunfei reminded him. Lin Cheng mumbled weakly, “So, we are spirits now…. Why didn’t any spirit commissioner approach us?”
“I have no idea, but this usually doesn’t happen.” Ye Shaoyang continued, “I will investigate this occurrence. But now, you should report to the Netherworld Council.”
Song Xiaoqian looked at Yang Yunfei with dissatisfaction, “Will we still be together in the next life?”
“That depends on your fate.” Ye Shaoyang explained, “Reincarnation is something beyond our control. But it’s hard enough for the two of you to meet and love each other in this life. I have prepared a Pleading Talisman Paper for you. I’ve attached on it information regarding what you went through. Take it, they will spare you from the punishment for lingering more than you should after they read it.”
After they accepted their fates, the spirit trio had naturally understood the laws of the universe. They immediately recognized Ye Shaoyang’s identity as an Arbiter. They bowed down to him in respect, “Master, thank you for helping us.”
Ye Shaoyang finished preparing a Pleading Talisman Paper and said, “Don’t leave just yet. I need a favor from you guys. I need a piece of spirit’s tongue to save someone’s life. It’s going to give you merits too if you help me. Anyone of you will do. Any volunteers?”
Lin Cheng waved his hand dismissively, “We can’t go for reincarnation without a complete spirit body. I can’t help you with this.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ve already included this information. The judge will not scrutinize you over this.”
These words relieved the trio. In fact, they started to argue on who should gain the privilege of giving out their tongue. This was enough to give Ye Shaoyang a hard time. In the end, they agreed to divide this chance equally. The three spirits all agreed to each give him a small chunk of their tongues.
“It’s time now. Be safe on the road.” Ye Shaoyang released the Soul Guiding Talisman Paper. It floated in the air toward the north, against the wind. The trio went hand in hand, as they silently wept. At the last minute, Song Xiaoqian suddenly turned back, “Master, I just recalled something. When we continuously walked, I always saw a girl in red on the opposite hill. She seemed to be stuck in her own Illusion of Death. Every night, at three quarters past Zi Shi, she appears there. Then, she will repeat the moment when she died. It usually takes around fifteen minutes for the whole process. Master, please help her too.”
[TL note: Zi Shi - 11p.m. -1 a.m. in the system of two-hour subdivisions used in ancient China]
“Thanks for the information. I’ll check it out later. Goodbye for now.” Ye Shaoyang waved his hands.
The trio eventually disappeared into a stream of white smoke and attached themselves to the talisman paper. Then, they sailed away.
Ye Shaoyang sighed out loud and sat down on a rock.
Zhou Jingru sat down beside him and smiled, “Another good deed.”
“They have only died for three years each. That only add up to nine years worth of merit. That’s insignificant.”
“Let me see what a spirit’s tongue looks like.”
Ye Shaoyang opened up his palm. Three chunks of white flesh laid on his hand. It looked a little translucent and seemed incorporeal. Zhou Jingru curiously poked at it with her finger. Her finger directly passed through it, and she could not even feel it. She said in disappointment, “This is not real. How can it be used?”
“I have my ways to make it real.” Ye Shaoyang took out a blank talisman paper and carefully wrapped up the spirit’ tongue. Then, he kept it in his pocket.
Zhou Jingru asked, “What do we do next?”
Ye Shaoyang smiled at her and teased, “You have asked me this same question more than three times today already.”
Zhou Jingru innocently shrugged, “What can I do? You are in charge here. I’m just following your orders.”
“All right.” Ye Shaoyang turned toward the opposite peak, “That hill should be the place that Song Xiaoqian mentioned. We should go and check it out. We will wait for the girl spirit to appear and save her too. Let’s go.”
Twenty minutes later, the duo neared the peak of the other hill. It looked rather peculiar. Green plants covered the hill up to its midsection, but the top of the hill was bald. There was only one tree on it. Ye Shaoyang looked up and down the tree. It was a huge pagoda tree, at least twice the size of a normal one. Below the tree sat a wide and flat rock. Zhou Jingru walked up to the rock, “Let’s wait here. This rock seems to be a good place to sit on.”
Ye Shaoyang immediately stopped her, “Are you out of your mind?”
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