IWOL Chapter 246: ⏹

“Let’s quickly get out of here.”

Dong Zheng’s anxiety got worse as he stared at the distant village. With his vision enhanced, he clearly saw the blood stains on the village’s stone entrance.

It was still unclear what kind of plague-like epidemic the village encountered. Was it typhoid fever, influenza, malaria, tuberculosis, smallpox, or the plague that has ravaged Europe two hundred years ago? But these weren’t important anymore. Looking at it now, the village didn’t look like it had any living people left.

Ren Heming nodded, and they increased their pace, circling far away from the village as they got closer. The stench of rotting corpses passed into their nose, causing Dong Zheng to cover his mouth and nose. Most airborne diseases were usually transmitted by droplets in the air. If they avoided getting close to it, they should be fine.

As they hurried past the village, Dong Zheng looked inside and saw many details, such as the empty road, the corpse of a bird under a tree, and a strange statue that was no more than ten centimeters high resting by the wall at the village entrance.

“Oh, there seems to be something over there.” Dong Zheng pointed to the statue. There was a voice whispering in his ear, telling him to go and get the statue.

But Dong Zheng didn’t act rashly. For a brain developer of his level, he could resist this kind of entrancement. After all, due to extensive practice, he could already persist under Fu Zhe’s illusions and hypnosis.

But this didn’t mean that Ren Heming was the same.

Ren Heming paused and then walked straight to the statue. Dong Zheng stretched out his hand to called him back, but it was as if he didn’t hear at all; he went straight to the wall of the village entrance and picked up the statue.

A plot requirement?

Dong Zheng didn’t say anything. Since the plot required that they get a stone statue, it would be useless for him to resist.

This could be considered as a blessing in disguise. The stone statue was probably an important prop.

Ren Heming ran back with the statue, which was no more than ten centimeters high. It was made out of stone, and it was unclear whether it was carved carelessly or if its details had been blunted due to excess handling. All he could see was that the statue appeared to be in a standing position with arms folded across its chest, its hands pressed together as if in prayers.

Dong Zheng didn’t stop to study the stone statue carefully; he couldn’t delay in such a dangerous place. He said in a low voice, “Let’s go.”

They quickly left the village on one horse and didn’t slow down until there was at least a mile distance between them and the village.

Dong Zheng said, “Why did Shixiong take this just now?”

With a dazed expression, Ren Heming stared down at the stone statue in his hand, and said, “I don’t know, I just wanted to get this thing.”

Dong Zheng didn’t say much about it. He only said, “It’s okay. Let’s go. Now that the moon is up and we haven’t even seen a shadow of the evil spirit, we really need to speed up.”

They traveled on. After about ten more steps. Ren Heming suddenly said, “What is this?”

Dong Zheng followed his gaze and saw many strange marks on the dirt road. It was as if some large, multi-legged animals with claws had crawled along the dirt road. It looked like something a crab might have done, but if this was done by a crab, this crab might be larger than a human.

The thin marks led into the forest. Ren Heming squatted down to study the marks and quickly said, “Lao Qi, light it up.”

Dong Zheng lit the talisman paper they’d been using to trace the evil spirit. When the ashes fell, it pointed in the direction of the marks.

“This is it.” Ren Heming jumped up. He exhaled heavily and said, “After chasing it for so long, I finally found it again.”

These were marks left behind by the evil spirit they were hunting down? Dong Zheng felt a little strange. He didn’t know why, but he thought that the evil spirit would have no tangible form.

Looking at these scratches, the evil spirit must look very strange.

Ren Heming quickly chased after the trail, and Dong Zheng followed him. The trail led them through the forest and finally stopped in front of a fallen stone slab.

The stone slab was engraved with incomprehensible words and patterns. Behind it was a pitch-black tunnel entrance. Just like the first one they’d encountered, the steps slanted down, leading into an unknown darkness. However, it had no fishy, cloying scent.

The ashes from the burnt talisman paper told them that the thing went down into that place.

Ren Heming squatted at the entrance of the tunnel and looked back at Dong Zheng. From the look in his eyes, Dong Zheng knew that Ren Heming intended to go down and catch the evil spirit regardless.

After all, this was precisely the reason why he travelled all the way from the imperial city to this strange country.

But Dong Zheng sensed that something was off.

The area was too quiet. There were no sounds of birds or insects, and the horse had its head lowered, as if it had no more energy. The sun had sunk below the horizon, leaving only a very dim light. After a few minutes, they must light a fire to illuminate their surroundings.

Dong Zheng took a deep breath, made a decision, and told Ren Heming:

🔼 “Shixiong, let’s not go in yet.” → Go to Chapter 251.
⏺ “Let’s go in and grab it.” → Go to Chapter 253.

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