Chapter 4: “This melon looks quite good, very green.”
Of course, it was impossible for Bi Qianren to pay attention to this malicious ghost’s troublesome claims.
As a killer, he was basically an expert in chasing a target. At this moment, he fished out a guiding candle and lit it. Blue smoke rose in spirals before it began pursuing that bird’s trails and drifted away.
But this direction……the smoke was heading precisely toward the Zhu family.
Although Zhuge Qingtian wasn’t very normal, he was still a malicious ghost. His corpse body radiated an enormous amount of evil aura. This was why muscular mountain bandits would immediately die the moment they sat onto the sedan chair Zhuge Qingtian used.
Thus, if a normal bird had touched the ghost’s head, it would have immediately died because of the evil aura. The reason why this bird was completely fine was precisely because it wasn’t an actual, living animal.
Previously, Qianren had shot the bird a glance, and saw how it had been completely covered in blood-red feathers. With four wings on its back and four feet on its belly, the front legs had been short while the hind legs were long. When heard, the bird’s chirps made one feel deeply grieved.
That bird ought to be the Injured Soul Bird recorded in ancient text.
Injured Soul Birds were born from the souls of people who had died unjustly. They were harmless to the living, and only lingered around the place they died every day to wail.
Thus, the cultivators of the jianghu knew that places with this bird must have hidden injustices.
Nowadays, the Profound Sect’s limelight was flourishing. Demonic cultivators were all stuck in Mobei, clutching their tails and behaving themselves with integrity. It was reasonable to say that during this time of peace and prosperity, this kind of bird should have long gone extinct.
Bi Qianren would never have expected to catch sight of one in a place like this. He thought, Zhu family was merely an unremarkable small town in the mountains, but so many ghosts gathered here. It was no wonder his Master specifically entrusted him to come here and investigate.
Thinking of his mission, Qianren’s body silently blended into the night. Then, he used an escape skill to chase after the blue smoke.
Bi Qianren’s achievement of becoming the number one hitman was partially thanks to this skill: his ability to merge with his environment at any time, and then move a thousand miles in a single day.
Normally, as long as he used this skill, no one would be able to discover any traces of him.
However, today, Zhuge Qingtian actually managed to effortlessly chase after him, before the ghost anxiously asked by his side: “Wife, do you think that bird ate my head?”
“Injured Soul Birds are also ghosts. There is no need for it to eat or drink. Apart from wailing mournfully, it doesn’t do anything else.”
Although he answered casually, Qianren’s gaze deepened as he stared at the malicious ghost.
As a Nascent Soul cultivator, he was more or less able to estimate his opponent’s strength. Previously, he had very clearly felt an evil aura from this ghost that made him think he would be a formidable opponent.
However, the moment this guy opened his eyes, that aura had disappeared. Bi Qianren couldn’t help but wonder what was going on with this malicious ghost.
Ghosts were different from humans. The resentment generated from their deaths was what determined a ghost’s strength.
No matter how much time passed, as long as the grievances weren’t solved, a ghost’s strength wouldn’t change. And unless they were captured by a demonic cultivator and refined into a slave, their cultivation realm wouldn’t advance.
But although this was normally the case, the strength generated from their deaths still differed to some extent. Currently, cultivators grouped ghosts into three types using characteristics found in most ghosts. These classes were the wandering soul, the malicious ghost, and the ghost saint.
Wandering ghosts didn’t have much power to harm people. They were ghosts who didn’t have any living descendants to pray for them, and they only needed a cultivator to enlighten them before they could re-enter the cycle of reincarnation. Usually, when righteous cultivators encountered them, they would casually send them on the way to accumulate some virtue.
Malicious ghosts were ferocious spirits whose hearts were brimming with resentment. They were ready to take revenge at any time. These types of ghosts normally had their own unique ways to harm people. For cultivators, malicious ghosts were extremely dangerous. Sects normally warn their young disciples that they must be accompanied by an elder if they want to subdue a malicious ghost.
As for the three ghost saints in the ghost realm, Bi Qianren’s Master He Huan only said a single sentence about them—if you’re not at Nascent Soul, you’ll die immediately if you see one.
Qianren heard that in the past, there were a few demonic sects that specialized in eliminating ghosts. Once, those sects decided to fight against a ghost saint.
The result was that the entire sect was wiped out, with not a single person surviving. The ferocity of ghost saints can be clearly seen from this example.
Thus, Bi Qianren didn’t believe the rumour that the Zhu family had a ghost saint. He merely felt that these villagers were truly fearless and ignorant, to even use a ghost saint’s name without permission.
The strength displayed by a ghost completely depended on their negative state of mind. With Zhuge Qingtian’s personality, Bi Qianren reckoned that he could at most threaten a man’s chastity. This malicious ghost didn’t have much prospects for taking the initiative to harm others.
Thus, as the very man being threatened right now, Bi Qianren sporadically felt the intense urge to eliminate this annoying ghost.
As if he was confirming Qianren’s thoughts, Zhuge Qingtian’s evaluation of the Injured Soul Bird was only this: “If I was as ugly as that bird, I’ll be crying every day too. Wife, you have succeeded in comforting me. Even if I have no head, I’ll still look better than that bird.”
No, there was absolutely no one comforting you. Don’t inexplicably warp someone’s words into something deep without permission.
Squinting at this bewilderingly optimistic ghost, Bi Qianren couldn’t help but ask with suspicion, “Were you really a candidate in the imperial provincial examination? Nowadays, the imperial court no longer pays attention to quality?”
He had just been asking casually. However, who would have expected that Zhuge Qingtian, who had been gently smiling and pretending like he hadn’t heard any of his insults the entire way here, suddenly became unhappy.
The ghost yelled, “Wife, you can doubt my integrity, but you can’t doubt my academic talent! I’ll recite to you the Saint’s poetic teachings right now!”
Not expecting his reaction to be this big, Bi Qianren naturally had no interest in discussing the ancient books from saints. He said, “Forget it. I get headaches just listening to the Profound Sect’s teachings.”
Twenty years ago, the Profound Sect was established as a state religion. The teachings passed out were also essential ancient books that were to be tested for the exam. While Zhuge Qingtian wasn’t familiar with matters related to cultivators, he still somewhat recognized the Profound Sect.
Since he finally found a topic both people knew, how would Zhuge Qingtian be willing to abandon it? He immediately said, “Wife, you look like a martial man who only knows how to wield a blade or handle a sword. So it turns out that you also know the saint’s indoctrination?”
“My Master likes these things. Ever since I was a child, he would read them to me.”
Bi Qianren felt a severe headache the moment he mentioned that Master of his, who was clearly a demonic cultivator but still insisted on ideals like saving the world and dying for a just cause.
Unfortunately, despite his Master teaching him the saint’s indoctrination ever since he was young, Qianren still tenaciously chose the Killing Path for cultivation. He perfectly avoided developing a noble, moral character, and then matured into a very proper demonic cultivator.
As Bi Qianren began sighing with feeling that sure enough, he was a natural demonic cultivator, Zhuge Qingtian began sizing him up.
The ghost thought, if he had a disciple who was taught the Saint’s indoctrinations every day, but ended up like this after growing up, he was afraid he’d be vomiting blood.
Immediately, Zhuge Qingtian couldn’t help but sigh, “Then you’re truly a rebellious disciple.”
Bi Qianren had been raised by his Master since he was a child. He had long regarded that man as his actual father, so he immediately felt unhappy when he heard these words.
However, he thought that arguing just because of this matter wasn’t very magnanimous of him. Instead, he immediately stopped walking, and then casually grabbed a watermelon that was beside him before placing it onto the ghost’s neck.
Smiling coldly, Qianren said, “I think that without a head, you look too conspicuous while walking on the road. Use this watermelon to pretend you still have a head.”
Even if Zhuge Qingtian’s line of thought was very different compared to normal people, he still knew that a headless ghost wouldn’t blend into a crowd just because he had a melon on his head. His wife was absolutely venting his anger on him, although he wasn’t really sure exactly when he had angered the man.
Zhuge Qingtian couldn’t help but sigh, “Wife, can you use a more normal way to banter flirtatiously? I can’t use a melon as inspiration to compose poetry in reply to you ah!”
In response, Mister Hitman who didn’t know what bantering flirtatiously meant, and never had a partner to banter flirtatiously with in the first place, only clenched his hand and said, “If you say any more nonsense, I’ll explode your melon with a single fist.”
Forget it. Although it was only a watermelon, it was still something his wife helped him attach to his neck. Right now, his wife was even planning on helping him snatch back his head.
Compared to that woman who had collected all of Zhuge Qingtian’s money as a betrothal gift but still swindled him into going to a bandit’s camp to throw away his life, his wife was already a hundred thousand times better.
Besides, this watermelon was so green, it had to be quite eye-catching right? When he walks around the burial mounds from now on, he’ll definitely be the focus of everyone.
Nobody would be able to ignore his existence ever again.
Relying on his strong heart, Zhuge Qingtian only used a mere moment to become cheerful again.
However, before he tried his best to compose poetry about this melon so his wife could experience his academic talent, a familiar town appeared before his eyes.
When Zhuge Qingtian saw the wooden plate at the entrance that had the words “Zhu family” carved onto it, he couldn’t help but stop walking. Feeling somewhat unwilling, Zhuge Qingtian said, “Wife, this place isn’t very good. Let’s not enter.”
When he heard this, Bi Qianren knew this ghost had a relationship with the Zhu family. However, he came here precisely to investigate this, so he naturally wouldn’t retreat.
Qianren only asked, “You no longer want to find your head?”
“You personally gifted me this watermelon. I’ve decided that from now on, I’ll use it as my head so I can always feel your tender feelings. Getting back my head is no longer important.”
Malicious ghosts were actually just bodiless souls. Only because they just couldn’t bear to part with the bodies they used while alive, would they attach themselves to their corpses. Being headless wouldn’t affect him at all.
However, after all was said and done, dying without an intact body wasn’t something good. In addition, Zhuge Qingtian had originally cared about his head so much. To say these words right after seeing the Zhu family, it was obvious he had some misgivings.
When he thought of this, Bi Qianren felt that things were getting stranger. Taking the initiative to walk in, he said, “Then go back into the ground with your melon. I want to see exactly what kind of a god or saint this Zhu family is hiding.”
When he saw Bi Qianren rush instantly into the town’s alley, Zhuge Qingtian didn’t immediately chase after him. He only frowned as he looked into the street, appearing rather apprehensive.
But before the ghost had the time to hesitate any longer, a blood-curdling scream echoed out of the alley. This voice sounded extremely mournful, immediately startling Zhuge Qingtian.
He immediately floated in, yelling loudly, “Don’t be afraid, wife! I’ll definitely protect you!”
And then, what he saw next was precisely the scene of a future violent crime: a certain hitman was using his foot to pin a patrolling soldier to the wall, playing with a dagger as he pondered exactly where he should start hacking.
After casually glancing at the ghost, Bi Qianren didn’t care that there was someone watching. He only pointed his dagger at the soldier’s nose, before coldly asking, “Talk. Why do people here offer sacrifices to ghost saints? In addition, who are the people offering sacrifices? If you say a single thing that dissatisfies me, I’ll peel off your skin.”
Inquiries? Collecting evidence? Sorry, that was the way righteous heroes conducted investigations.
For demonic cultivators, they were best at grabbing someone and extorting confessions one by one.
As for Bi Qianren, he was coincidentally a very proper demonic cultivator. He was indifferent to the righteousness of the jianghu and was extremely skilled at extorting confessions.
Thus, as he silently stared at the soldier who had been frightened till his calves were shaking, Zhuge Qingtian held the melon on top of his neck and immediately felt at ease.
Yeah, perhaps in comparison to his fierce and violent wife, the villagers here were the ones who needed his protection……
However, Zhuge Qingtian seemed to have forgotten to consider just how terrifying he looked, with his blood-red robes and a melon as his head.
Although Bi Qianren was fierce, he at least still looked like a person. Since he didn’t recognize what demonic cultivators looked like, the soldier could still maintain his consciousness.
But then Zhuge Qingtian suddenly popped out. The soldier immediately couldn’t keep calm anymore and screamed, “A melon……melon……melon became a spirit ah!”
While watching the soldier he captured faint from fright, eyes rolling back into his head, Bi Qianren finally verified a very frightening fact—
His horoscope1 must clash with this ghost’s! They definitely must clash!