While the main door was opening, the trio anxiously faced it. Bai Xiaochun was panicking, pulling out protective seals and sticking them on his body one after the other.
The figure that appeared held a lantern in its hand, blocking the entrance. It seemed to merge with the darkness, gazing at the trio in front.
“To what does the Luo Household owe this visit?”
Under the light of the lantern, the trio saw a youth with a pale face and calm eyes, clothed in a long cyan robe.
Seeing that it was just a human, Feng Yan and Du Lingfei let out a sigh of relief, the previous anxiety gradually subsiding.
“Fellow cultivator, we three are sect disciples of the Spirit River Sect. We came to ask some questions…” Feng Yan began talking.
When Du Lingfei noticed a layer of protective light covering Bai Xiaochun, her brows furrowed.
Not paying attention to Du Lingfei, Bai Xiaochun felt intense danger from the mansion and the youth.
“Ah, friends from the Spirit River Sect… Come in.” The youth spoke softly as the lantern swayed, the glow it was emitting occasionally lit up his face as he took a few steps back, and turned to leave.
The main door was opened, as if welcoming the trio.
Feng Yan hesitated shortly before going in first with Du Lingfei following behind him. Bai Xiaochun, on the other hand, surveyed the surroundings, gnashing his teeth as he vigilantly followed the two into the mansion.
The door closed shut as soon as they entered, the two lanterns on the wall rocked even more violently. Underneath the lanterns were the two lion statues, their eyes rolled as it turned blood-red.
Inside the mansion, a jadestone path was surrounded by vegetation and breakstone. The suroundings were dark and concealed even under the moonlight. Their only guide was the youth with the lantern in front of them, swaying with each and every step.
Feeling isolated from everything else, the four followed the path engulfed by silence.
On the right were fruit trees, swaying their red fruits despite the absence of wind.
Du Lingfei and Feng Yan warily looked about, staring at the rustling trees in particular, the eeriness they exuded was unsettling. Bai Xiaochun was walking behind them.
Slowly, a faint scent of blood reached his nose.
Surprised, Bai Xiaochun was just about to open his mouth.
Suddenly, the fruits on the trees started dropping down one after the other, rolling toward them after landing on the ground. On each of the fruits, there were faces of smiling children, as though drawn onto them. They started laughing as they made their way to the four of them.
“Lalala, Good evening.”
The fruits started growing arms and legs, and held their hands together while running towards the trio, surrounding the pale-faced Bai Xiaochun, Du Lingfei, and Feng Yan as they laughed merrily.
“Aunty said to be good kids! We can’t cry, we can’t wail, smiling fruits are most swell!” The fruits skipped around them in circles, their voices carrying a creepy laughter.
As they neared, a sweet fragrance spread in the air. This smell, however, was so unpleasant to the nose that one would feel like vomiting out their organs.
Some of the fruits even ran up to the youth who seemed oblivious to their laughter and songs as he stepped on them, crushing them in the process. However, the fruit pieces quickly reformed themselves with their smiles and song uninterrupted.
“What the hell?” Feng Yan’s eyes were wide as he swept his sleeve, a gust formed and blew away the fruits, crushing them upon impact with the ground. However, they reformed once again, their laughter constantly lingering in the air.
Bai Xiaochun was covered in goosebumps. His exterior defensive light barriers were all activated.
Du Lingfei was even paler, staring at the dancing fruits with sheer terror, she held down her vomit as she clenched her teeth. Just as she was about to gesticulate with her fingers for an attack, the fruits put on terrified faces.
“Aunty is coming!” They sprinted back to the fruit trees and jumped back up to their former positions, their smiling faces disappeared as they turned into normal fruits again.
“These are spirit fruits that my ancestors brought back from the deep parts of the mountain. They never stop singing. Did you three like it?” The youth in front of them did not turn his head and continued his advance towards the source of the voice.
After briefly hesitating, Du Lingfei and Feng Yan sighed before following the youth again.
Bai Xiaochun felt a chill ran down his spine as he proceeded following them again. As they walked, Bai Xiaochun noticed that there were an extra set of footsteps...
Before they knew it, the footsteps no longer belonged to four, but five people!
Perhaps it had been this way ever since they entered the mansion, but the fruits had distracted them. The following silence would make the fifth set of footsteps much more audible.
Bai Xiaochun listened carefully, realizing that the footsteps were right behind him. The hair on his body stood up as he felt a breath on his neck.
“You guys, maybe… have you guys been hearing some extra footsteps, other than ours…” Bai Xiaochun looked pale as Feng Yan’s eyes widened once more. He now heard them as well.
Du Lingfei’s pupils constricted, her breathing immediately quickened.
The three stopped in their tracks, the fifth set of footsteps disappearing along with theirs.
Bai Xiaochun was panicking. He clenched his teeth and turned around, coming face to face with a woman clad in red.
Her red clothes were swaying, and her face ashened. Smiling mischievously, the corners of her lips moved. She was saying something...
“Need more fire. Help me.”
The scene made Bai Xiaochun jump, screaming his lungs out. At the same instant, the red clothed woman dissipated into a red light, vanishing into the darkness.
Pale, Bai Xiaochun stared at the emptiness in front of him, his scream echoing throughout the mansion.
Du Lingfei and Feng Yan were terrified and shocked as well, their eyes darting around the courtyard. They hadn’t noticed the figure, but they also sensed something that made their hearts racing.
A voice of a woman singing eerily spread in the darkness, the song was a lullaby, one that could make even men shiver in this silent mansion.
“My dear child, go to rest, may the winds blow and the flames flow, don’t you sway, don’t you yell…”
“This mansion is haunted!” Panicked, Feng Yan summoned a sword, swinging it in a circle as he scanned the area.
At the same time, the youth, with the lantern in his hand, turned around slowly. His figure as well as the lantern’s light gradually blurred.
“Why did we stop? Come, come.” The youth smiled. It was not a kind smile.
“Maybe we shouldn’t be going in. We’re just here to investigate someone who went missing, perhaps you remember someone like us entering this courtyard about five months ago?” Feng Yan breathed heavily, his eyes stern as he asked the question.
Du Lingfei had already armed herself, focused and prepared.
“Nope.” The youth had a light voice that seemed to merge with the woman’s voice.
“Where are the members of your household?” Du Lingfei asked.
“They had some things to attend to outside. Have you finished asking?” The youth had a weird smile on his face, the corners of his lips stretched further, it was very unnatural.
“We’re done. Farewell.” Feng Yan backed off at the same time he spoke his words, with Du Lingfei behind him. Bai Xiaochun had already taken a few steps back long before them.
“Since you refuse to come in, then why don’t you stay? Just stay here… stay here with us…” The youth laughed, his mouth splitting into a gaping maw.
The lantern in his hand shook, becoming dimmer and dimmer, and soon, the mansion turned even darker. The youth’s words flowed out of his mouth as his head twisted backwards and he charged at Feng Yan.
With a pale face, Feng Yan shot out his sword at the youth who didn’t even bother to evade it. The sword went straight through the smiling attacker who continued his charge.
Breathing heavily, Feng Yan backed off frantically, gritting his teeth as he pulled out a black elixir and threw it on the ground. It exploded upon contact.
Caught in the explosion, the youth had his body partially destroyed, but it seemed like he was completely unaffected. With a wide grin on his face, he made a turn in the air just like a kite, continuing his descent straight toward the trio.
Multiple crossing lines were left where the elixir exploded. These lines began combining and forming a pattern, seemingly reforming itself.
“There’s a spell here! It’s a dark spell!” Feng Yan cried out as he recognized the patterns.
At the same time, the jade plates beneath Du Lingfei’s feet started moving, pairs of eyes appearing along with arms as thin as branches. Other worm-like creatures were burrowed between the cracks of the jade plates.
“You’re stepping on us, it hurts…”
Come on, stay here with us, get in…” The jade plates grinded against each other, making screeching sounds.
Du Lingfei was white with fear. Gesturing with her fingers, she took out a small flagpole, forming two mist beasts that swirled protectively. A blade shot out, flashing, as it cut off the thin arm that was holding onto her leg.
Bai Xiaochun, on the other hand, was confronted with a loud screaming voice from the red-clad woman who sang the lullaby.
“Don’t you sway, don’t you yell…”
3/10 guaranteed chapter of the week. Thank you for reading!
Translated by: Marcus
Edited by: Arch, Crimsonguard