IWOL Chapter 249: ⏹

Dong Zheng put the remaining talisman paper in his pocket. He watched as Ren Heming’s figure disappeared in the distance, then he mounted his horse and went in the opposite direction.

He didn’t trust Ren Heming.

In fact, Dong Zheng had always had a vague suspicion about man. He couldn’t explain it in concrete details, but he knew that everything he’d experienced had an unpredictable peculiarity.

Yes, peculiar.

He returned the same way and reached the place where Ren Heming first fell into the water. After carefully leading his horse across the stream to the other side, he continued along the path.

With Ren Heming gone, Dong Zheng didn’t know how he would hunt down the evil spirit. He wasn’t a real Maoshan disciple turned Jinyiwei, and he definitely did not want to go to his death.

In short, he needed to look around for clues that he could piece together.

No longer in a hurry, Dong Zheng rode slowly on horseback. The forest on both sides became denser and the sun hugged tighter to the western horizon. After an hour of traveling, Dong Zheng became a little tired and drowsy. He suddenly heard the sound of someone talking up ahead.

He immediately stopped, dismounted, and quietly approached the direction of the sound. He lifted the branches in front and saw a couple of villagers walking down the mountain not far away from him.

They seemed to be Dashi people, speaking in a language the Dong Zheng didn’t understand. Their backs were empty, and their expressions were solemn and tense.

Dong Zheng frowned. This group of people should be the villagers that the merchants had spoken of, the ones who wanted to sacrifice a little girl.

It seemed that the girl had been left on the mountain along with other sacrifices.

Something fell out of the basket behind the villager at the back of the group, but he didn’t seem to realize it.

Dong Zheng didn’t rush to follow them. Once the group was out of sight and their voices gradually faded away, he reached the place where they’d passed and found the thing that had fallen out from the basket.

It was a stone statue no more than ten centimeters high. It was unclear whether the statue was carved in a careless manner or whether it’s details had smoothed out after prolonged handling. However, he could roughly tell that the subject was standing with arms crossed and hands pressed together as if in prayers.

Holding on to the statue, Dong Zheng returned to his horse and continued his journey.

Because it got completely dark, he needed to find a place to stay overnight.

The clouds were shining in the horizon, looking as if they were on the verge of being lit aflame. Dong Zheng guided the horse, and when he realized that a fog was quietly spreading, he stopped vigilantly.

Something was wrong.

But he couldn’t tell what was wrong. Was it the silence and the windy forest? Or was it the anxiousness of the horse?

Or maybe…something was coming right at him?!

Dong Zheng whipped around the moment he realized that something was wrong. He swept his sword in front of him but only cut through air. In the next instant, an unprecedented coldness washed over his entire body, and a sinister chill burst from the bottom of his heart, bearly freezing him.

His lost consciousness.

When he woke up again, the light in front of him made him instinctively close his eyes again. He turned his head slightly and saw that Ren Heming, who the stream had washed away earlier, was beside him. The Maoshan shixiong was sitting against the wall with his face down, his silent thoughts unknown.

“Shixiong?” Dong Zheng called out to him, his voice very hoarse.

Ren Heming looked down at him and placed his hand on Dong Zheng to test his temperature. After he was sure that Dong Zheng wasn’t burning hot, he pulled his hand away and explained, “An evil spirit tried to possess your body, but I saw you on the way, cast a spell to drive it away, and brought you here. Waiting here is better than being outside during the night.”

Dong Zheng pushed himself into a sitting position. He felt that Ren Heming seemed different than before. Whether it was his expression or his tone of speech, he’d become much calmer.

He was as calm as…if he had already accepted his fate.

“Shixiong, are you okay?” Dong Zheng asked. “I couldn’t catch up with you at the time.”

“Not bad. While you were still out, I explored this place and found something interesting.” Ren Hening stood and motioned for Dong Zheng to follow him.

At the end of the passage made of blue bricks, there was a stone door with strange patterns engraved on it.

Dong Zheng stood in front of the door, and his bamboo flint illuminated the scene of a sacrifice. In the scene, a group of people had knelt down to worship. A child was placed in sacrifice on a high platform, while the ground was full of strange marks, perhaps representing the devil in the eyes of the locals.

Ren Heming asked, “Would you like to take a look?”

But he didn’t give Dong Zheng a chance to respond and directly stretched out his hand to push the door open.

The door was lighter than Dong Zheng had anticipated and Ren Heming was able to open it easily. On the other side of the door, an unknown light illuminated a huge underground cave.

Ren Heming pushed his inside and followed closely behind.

At this moment, Dong Zheng finally knew where his lingering trepidation came from.

He turned around to look at Ren Heming, who was muttering “Finally, it can be over,” and asked in a deep voice:

⏹ “Where is this?” → Go to Chapter 254.
🔼 “Who are you?” → Go to Chapter 254.
⏺ “What is your purpose?” → Go to Chapter 254.

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