Translator : Red
[ Before y’all read on, let me just apologise in advance for the delay I couldn’t finish the chapter on time next week, but thankfully because of the delay, c26 in progressing rather well + translation, because I couldn’t contact my editor, so this chapter isn’t edited, let’s hope she get back to me soon T_T ]
Chapter 25: Arc 2: Guess Who I Am: Chapter 1 – Bad
Wisps of sandalwood wafted in and rippled into the bed’s curtain as Huang Dan laid motionless.
The pain in his left shoulder drilled into his skull from the instant he had gained consciousness.
Last night, the original owner, Song Wang, made an appointment to meet up with his classmate, Ye Lan at the west street’s tea house. When he approached the alley not far away from the tea house, a pernicious wind suddenly blew up.
The original owner fell to the ground and sunk into a coma.
Not only that, all his valuable things on him had been stolen away by thieves. He didn’t even have an outer garment on him.
Fortunately, the Dragon Boat Festival1 was approaching, he wouldn’t freeze to death in this season.
Huang Dan frowned, wondering what sort of thing had the left shoulder of this body knocked onto. Not only was his flesh aching, but his bone had also received injury too.
He pondered, this original owner most likely must have encountered the demon.
However, the original owner wasn’t eaten, indicating that the other party’s goal wasn’t him, at most the other party was just passing by, and also very despicably, left a gale of wind.
Huang Dan was thinking about something when he heard an elderly voice laced with a pleasant surprise. “Ah Wang, you are finally awake. Do not scare Grandma like this anymore in the future!”
He took a glance at the elderly woman2 in gorgeous clothes, Song Yuanshi, the grandmother of the former owner. Her hair was almost entirely white with deep and shallow wrinkles spreading around the corners of her eyes, but her bearing remained very dignified.
And that was what a lady of an eminent family should have, she had it with her from birth and had it accompany to her deathbed.
Song Yuanshi was the eldest daughter of Yuan Family, an affluent family. She was wise, farsighted, a person suited to do business. She was much more capable than her elder brother and had been donning in men’s clothes, running around with her father to manage their business since the earliest time.
At that time, the still very young Old Master Song of the Song Family was a handsome and beautiful man. Among the Song Family’s descendants, he was regarded with the most esteem and his father had handed a tea land to him for him to manage.
When he saw Song Yuanshi for the first time, Master Song took a fancy on her. He took great pains to chase her to his hands. As their family was of equal social status, they were able to settle their marriage smoothly.
Master Song used palanquin with eight carriers, beating the gongs and playing the drums all the way along the east street to marry Song Yuanshi magnificently into the family.
But this man was liable to avaricious and was insatiable. The flowers in his family were blooming beautifully but he just wanted to touch the wildflowers.
The Song Family treated this matter unconscientiously. For the sake of the friendship between the two families, and also considering the relationship of interests, the Yuan Family consoled their daughter with earnest and well-meaning advice. They said that it was normal for a man to have more than one wife. No matter how many mistresses3 he had married, the spot of the first wife would always be you. If you give birth to one or two sons for the Song Family, no one would be able to take what belonged to you.
Song Yuanshi recognized reality and personally dug out her feelings from her heart. Since then, she was just the eldest daughter-in-law of the Song Family, the eldest mistress coming from the servants’ mouth, the mother of the child in her womb, but never the lover of Old Master Song.
Wildflowers? There were so many outsides that it dazzled the eyes. When Master Song encountered one, it became two, three, and four.
Within a few years, Master Song help Song Yuanshi obtained a few more good sisters.
The people in the city were all waiting to see the excitement.
But they never thought that Song Yuanshi would be in harmony with her sisters instead of devising every possible means in secret to ensure the second, third, and fourth mistress be damnned.
That was a big skill.
Song Yuanshi’s mind was very clear about this. Even without those few, there would be others. Instead of squandering her time and making a futile effort, she might be better off focusing on bringing up her child.
However, Song Yuanshi didn’t allow those mistresses to bear Song Family’s seeds. She did not wish for her child to be involved in any family’s stifle in the future. Whether it would be a success or failure, it wouldn’t be any beautiful experience.
So Song Yuanshi paved a smooth road for her child, but it was also a lonely road.
Men were promiscuous by nature, and they couldn’t control their lower body, so their lives went tied to the above.
Master Song died on a certain courtesan’s couch in a brothel before he was even forty years old. Song Yuanshi calmly brought her servants to collect his corpse.
At that time, this matter buzzed around the town and it was a long while before it calmed down.
With Master Song’s death, his charming harem had all became widows. One year passed, followed by another, those mistresses who had no children at their knees had nothing to do and they couldn’t bear the loneliness. One after another they requested to leave, and Song Yuanzhi also agreed one by one.
Using ability that men might not even necessarily have, she negotiated with the clan elder. At the same time, she dealt with Master Song’s several brothers and educated her child, and ultimately, became the head of the Song Family. She even received a chastity memorial arch.
Something happened later on, and it Song Yuanshi’s most regretful and intolerable memory.
Song Family’s business was huge. After getting suppressed by Song Yuanshi, those collateral branches secretly joined hands to push her down.
The original owner’s father, who was the only son of the Song Yuanshi, had trusted the wrong person because of his simple-minded nature. In the end, he and his wife lost their lives in the family disputes. They were only twenty years old.
Fortunately, he left a joss stick4 for Song Family before his death.
Song Yuanshi walked out from the grief she had experienced from losing her son, and to avenge her son, she raised her grandson with all her heart, placed all her hopes on him, and waited for him to grow up and take over the business she had been guarding her whole life.
Now, those mistresses were either sick or had been dead for a long time. Only Song Yuanshi was still alive. Her spirit was very good and had high prestige in the town. No matter who it was, the person would still show some respect to her to some degree.
Huang Dan’s train of thoughts returned to him. He gazed at this elderly woman’s feet. It was very small and he felt startled by it. Could she even walk?
Seeing her grandson’s silence and somewhat vacant eyes, she called out, “Ah Wang?”
Huang Dan opened his mouth but his voice was still fuzzy. “Grandma, I’m thirsty.”
Song Yuanshi turned her head, “Juan’er.”
The door was pushed open, and a young lady came in with downcasted eyes. She was wearing a dusty blue cotton gown, with a long braid on her back and a row of bangs in front of her forehead, creating a docile appearance.
Juan’er was mute and she couldn’t speak. She stooped down and saluted in the room.
Song Yuanshi said, “Go and pour a glass of water.”
Juan’er immediately followed her instructions.
Huang Dan looked at the young lady named Juan’er who was the personal servant girl of the original owner. Song Yuanshi had made arrangements for her to be his bedding servant5 so that he would be able to understand the matters in the room before he got married, making it highly unable for him to create any jokes on the night of his new marriage and harm Song Family’s prestige.
When the original owner came back from abroad, he had drunk a lot of foreign ink6. His ideology had bloomed and he understood a lot more things. He was dismissive of some traditional and conservative ideas. He had specifically told the elderly woman that he would be absolutely loyal to his other half and would not have any relations with other people before marriage.
Song Yuanshi had another set of ideas. She couldn’t convince her grandson, then her grandson shouldn’t think of convincing her either. So she said, let her stay around and serve you first.
The original owner disagreed with her.
The following day, Juan’er was driven out of the mansion.
The original owner ran into Juan’er on the street and saw that she was being bullied by several hooligans. Her clothes had been torn and there were injuries on her face. He asked the servants to stop the ruckus and went back to ask Song Yuanshi.
Song Yuanshi took a sip of tea and said that the mansion does not keep any idle people in the house. Since you don’t want Juan’er to serve you, there isn’t any usefulness in keeping her.
She also said that Juan’er had no father or mother, was born looking lustrous and had no power to even truss a chicken. Even if she was not sold to the brothels, she would be ruined by the local ruffians, and her life wouldn’t be any better.
The original owner couldn’t steel his heart upon hearing this and had Juan’er stayed behind.
It was a test, and the result disappointed and worried Song Yuanshi. How would she rest assured to hand over their family business to his grandson who was just as kind-hearted and relent as his father?
The original owner didn’t know the meaning behind it. What he admired was the lively and cheerful Ye Lan who had the same cultural background, and had topics to talk about, rather than the servant who only stayed in the big mansion all day serving tea and water, where her sky was only as big as a mansion and had never suffered from insomnia.
Juan’er came forward to serve the tea.
Huang Dan said, “I’ll do it myself.”
Song Yuanshi didn’t say anything.
Juan’er’s face turned white. She bit her lower lip and her hand holding onto the teacup was shaking.
Huang Dan sat up with his right hand by propping in on the bed and moved that arm.
“Grandma, look, I’m really fine.”
Song Yuanshi said, “Move the one on your left and let Grandma see it.”
Huang Dan, “…”
“Don’t try to be brave. The doctor came over and said that your left shoulder had been hurt and you’ll have to pay more attention.”
Song Yuanshi heaved a sigh. “Ah Wang, you don’t know how you almost scared Grandma to death when she saw you being carried back.”
Huang Dan could understand as this elderly woman was childless and she only had a grandson, so he was very treasured by her.
Song Yuanshi said, “Ye Lan, the youngest daughter of the Ye Family, is pretty good. She has many crafty ideas and has no rules for people and things. She is your classmate and you two came back together. You must have had contacted each other. If you really have that thought, Grandma will go to Ye House in person.”
Her tone instantly changed, and it was a little stern. “The world is very chaotic. You shouldn’t go out at night. Grandma is not assured and it wouldn’t be good for Ye Lan’s reputation.”
Huang Dan said, “She and I are not…”
“All right, let’s talk about these things later.” She interrupted her grandson and tucked him in, “Have a good rest.
“Juan’er, help me to my room.”
Juan’er helped Song Yuanshi to go out. She was very careful when she crossed the threshold, afraid that she might fall and let the most unfortunate occurrence happen.
Huang Dan had been lying on the bed for several days until his butt was aching. It was merely an injury on his shoulder and his legs were fine, but his body was just so weak and had no energy. His vision would turn black with two steps, and his body would just give up on him that he could only turn back and lay down.
After lying for more than half a month, Huang Dan finally got better. He could sense that the energy in his body had filled up. He walked out of the room and saw it was a tortuous and long hallway. When he looked to his left, it was a huge garden.
There was wind brushing pass, bringing the splashing sound of running water.
Huang Dan stretched his body. The white suit7 against his skin made him look very handsome. “Juan’er, has anything happened in the town recently?”
Juan’er shook her head.
Huang Dan asked again, “What about the family?”
Juan’er still shook her head.
Huang Dan said, “I forgot that you can’t speak.”
Juan’er wasn’t sad. She probably was already numbed, used to it, and had also resigned to fate.
Huang Dan said, “Nevermind, I’m just casually asking.”
Juan’er lowered her eyebrows and her eyes. Her white hands straightened out his suit and smoothed the fine creases.
Huang Dan put his hand in his pocket and walked into the hallway. “Don’t follow me. I am going to go for a stroll on the street and will become back late.”
Juan’er ran in front of Huang Dan, opened her mouth to make an “ah” sound and pointed her finger in a direction.
Huang Dan glanced and noticed that the was the elderly woman’s residence. He raised his eyebrows. “Do you mean Grandma won’t let me go out?”
Juan’er nodded, her eyes round and big, with a little innocence unique to her age, as well as timidity and fear that did not belong to her age.
Huang Dan grabbed her arm and pulled it aside with little force. “I will speak with Grandma.”
Juan’er was stunned. She touched the arm he had touched and a blush appeared on her face. She shook her head vigorously, clapped her face to calm her down and hurriedly chase after him.
Huang Dan saw the elderly woman in the front hall, as well as a little fat middle-aged man. He was Boss Zhang, one of several squires8 in the town and had opened a Chinese pharmacy.
The time the original owner had spent in the town was very little, so he knew very little about the squires and had no memory he could refer to.
As soon as Boss Zhang saw Huang Dan, he put down the cup of tea and stood up from the chair. The meat on his face was all piled up. “My dear nephew9, I just came back from outside two days ago. There are several kinds of herbs in my hand, which are the top quality products for nourishing qi and blood. I want to send them to you to recuperate your body.”
Huang Dan said, “You’re too courteous.”
Boss Zhang immediately adopted a flattered appearance, “What are you saying, dear nephew? If it wasn’t for the Old Madam’s assistance, my pharmacy would have failed long ago.”
Huang Dan, “Oh.”
Boss Zhang’s flattery was blocked by an “oh” word and he couldn’t continue. He was somewhat shocked. Unexpectedly, the grandson of this old woman had a plan to embarrass him with this method.
With the Heaven and Earth as his proof, Huang Dan really didn’t think that much.
Boss Zhang started another topic, “It’s hasn’t been peaceful recently. As soon as I come back, I already heard that people are going missing without any reason and it wasn’t just a single case. Do you think it’s strange?”
Huang Dan’s eyes flashed, “Is that so?”
Boss Zhang said, “Yes, that’s right, there’s no movement at the mayor too. I wonder what is that supposed to mean.”
He clicked his tongue. “There’s another thing, I am sure you have heard about it too, the bandit’s dent in Spider Ridge was eliminated by someone, and blood was all over the mountains and plains.”
Huang Dan was imagining how the blood had splashed all over the mountains and plains. “Boss Zhang has traveled all over the country and knows so much.”
Boss Zhang grew complacent and soon got carried away., The more he talked, the more unbelievable it was. Most of his words were just nonsense such as ghosts and demons that only little children would believe.
He said that in his early years when he went to the countryside to collect rent, he encountered something strange.
Huang Dan listened with enthusiasm and suddenly, he heard a thump. His thought was disturbed, so was Boss Zhang’s.
Song Yuanshi put the teacup on the table, her complexion was obviously not good.
“I think nephew has something important to do. I won’t disturb you anymore.”
As soon as the topic under discussion changed, Boss Zhang picked up his black hat, and put it on his head, flicking the dust that didn’t exist on the gray long shirt. “Old Madam, the Chamber of Commerce will depend on you.”
Huang Dan understood now, so he came here with a request.
What a pity, he only heard the beginning of the story.
Song Yuanshi asked, “Ah Wang, what are you going to do instead of lying in the room?”
Huang Dan said his concerns.
Song Yuanshi gripped the walking stick beside her and stood up. There was no room for discussion. “You are not allowed.”
Huang Dan imitated the original owner and shouted with a spoiled tone, “Grandma.”
Song Yuanshi’s attitude was unyielding. “Go back and wait, we will talk about it next time.”
Huang Dan sat down on the chair and openly threatened, “Grandma, if you don’t let me go out, I will not eat anything.”
Song Yuanshi knocked on the crutch and said, “Nonsense!”
Huang Dan rested his chin on his palm and unhurriedly tapped his fingers on the table.
Song Yuanshi was so angered by her grandson that she had to walk with the walking stick and went to take a rest on her bed. She called the housekeeper, “Ah Wang wants to go to the street. Pick some servants to follow him.”
The housekeeper was the oldest in the mansion. The whole of his face was wrinkled. “Yes, Old Madam.”
Song Yuanshi said, “Inform the rest that if Young Master is missing even one strand of his hair, Song Family will not keep them in the house anymore.”
The housekeeper responded and left after closing the door.
Song Yuanshi leaned on the head of the bed, her sharp eyes slowly turning foggy and was covered with a layer of indistinct color.
Her mind drifted far away to who knew which year, which day, which place, whom, and what the people were doing.
Suddenly, she snapped out of her thoughts, and her eyes were full of fear that had yet to recede. She soon recovered and heaved a long, long sigh. “I hope it’s not…”
In was the Dragon Boat Festival, a handful of moxa sticks and calamus were placed on the lintels of every household in the town or hung in the hall. The smell of the bed and the realgar wine filled the streets. It was said that it could ward off evil spirits and disasters.
And people believed in that too.
Huang Dan was followed by several servants, all of whom were outstanding in martial arts and on guard. An invisible quick kill intent was spreading out from them, and pedestrians in the street hurriedly avoided to one side for fear of getting into trouble.
There was a lot of noise. Huang Dan walked very slowly. He also chose a place with a lively and conspicuous crowd. He was thinking that swaggering around might attract the demon’s attention.
After all, based on the task’s content, that demon seemed to be lonely and empty. It was so boring that it wanted someone to play with itself.
However, regardless of anything, it wasn’t right to eat people.
Huang Dan looked at the town as he walked along the street. The town was pretty big. The east street was the main road. It was wide and long. There were shops on both sides. There were all kinds of food and clothing. The scene was very lively. Carriages passed by one by one. The clattering sound of horses’ hooves disappeared only to appear again.
Huang Dan paid attention to his surroundings. The clothes of passers-by on the street were quite different. For men, some of them were wearing Mandarin coats, some of them were wearing long gowns, and few of them were wearing suits like his. Women’s hairstyle alone was enough for him to see. Straight, permed, long, short, a bun, not a bun, they all had their characteristics.
He could tell that this was an awkward era that was hanging on the tail of the ancient times, and this created information. If he wanted to observe a person, as long as he looked at the hairstyle and attire, he would be able to know the person’s background and family background.
“Mr. System, what are the characteristics of the demon? Is it different from ordinary people in terms of appearance, diet and living habits?”
System, “I think that since the demon has changed itself into a person of this town, it means that it will be just like an ordinary person.”
Huang Dan asked, “Then how can I find it?”
His eyebrows scrunched. “Mr. System, you don’t have to say that official reply. I know you are powerless.”
Huang Dan, “It’s fine. Let me think about it.”
He was worried, his vision was filled with two-legged humans walking here and there. That demon had changed itself into one of them, and without any supernatural power, he basically would not be able to find it.
In the previous world, everyone that Huang Dan saw seemed to be the murderer. Now that he was in this world, everyone he saw seemed to be the demon.
It would be better for him to walk around than standing still.
There was a yell from behind, so Huang Dan halted his footsteps and turned around to take a look. The young woman walking over had permed her hair into curls. She was charming and sensual.
She was Ye Lan, the youngest and beloved daughter of Ye Family.
A servant stopped Ye Lan.
Huang Dan said, “She is my classmate.”
The servant spoke realistically, “Young Master, Old Madam has already instructed us to must protect you well. If you ever dropped a strand of hair, we will be driven out of Song House.”
Huang Dan looked down and found two strands of hair on his suit. “See this? I’ve already dropped my hair.”
The servants, “…”
Huang Dan blew the two strands of hair away. “Don’t worry, my Grandma is not unreasonable.”
Several people inwardly thought that the Old Madam was unreasonable.
Huang Dan looked at Ye Lan who was waving at him non-stop. “I want to talk to my classmates now. You can follow me.”
Several servants exchanged glances and retreated to one side.
There was a long and thin river in the town. It was said that a beggar thought it looked like an earthworm, so he called it the Earthworm River. It was then circulated and everyone just called it as so.
The river had now become a scenic spot in Yueshan Town and was well-known all over.
When outsiders came over, they would all walk along the river.
Huang Dan and Ye Lan stood by the riverside by side, and streams of hot wind pounced on their faces, making their heads a little faint.
To start with, Huang Dan was really unlucky. He was afraid of heat and disliked summer the most. When he transmigrated to the first world, it was a summer season, and it was still a summer season in his second world.
What was even more dreadful was there, although there was no air conditioner or electric fan in the first world, the clothes he wore were few, he could show his bare arms and walk around barefoot. The second world…
Huang Dan took a look at himself. Sigh.
The servants weren’t following him very closely. They mustn’t listen to their Master’s words because if they had heard them, it would only be a torment. Because, in this world, the most difficult thing was to seal your mouth.
Ye Lan was wearing a light purple embroidered cheongsam. The split wasn’t high nor low, and two fair and slender legs were displayed inside the skirt. She just ran out of a banquet because she felt that it was a bore. “Song Wang, do you yearn for love?”
Huang Dan said, “I yearn.”
Ye Lan was a little stumped for words before she chuckled. “I’ve never seen you being so blunt before. When I asked you last time, you even pulled out bombastic talk. The current you is the best.”
Huang Dan rummaged through the original owner’s memory regarded to Ye Lan.
The original owner was in unrequited love. Ye Lan already had someone she liked in her heart, to be exact, she actually didn’t know who the person was because it was just a back view. She said that during that time, she was playing under the arcade when the building suddenly collapsed. Someone saved her and she only saw a back view. Her obsession was planted at that moment.
Ye Lan had always been asking around, even after she had returned from overseas, she was still looking for the person.
“Song Wang, the era has changed and will continue to change, but Yueshan Town is still the same as before, inflexible, ignorant, uneducated, feudalistic, obstinate.”
There were gushes of melancholy surging in her eyes. “The atmosphere here is repression. I really don’t want to come back here.”
Huang Dan was silent.
Ye Lan opened a small packet, took out a black cigarette case and held a cigarette on her lips. “What happened to you that night?”
Huang Dan said, “I don’t know.”
Ye Lan went to look for a lighter, with a crackling sound, her red lips opened slightly, puffing out a smoke ring. Her movements were skillful. “I waited for a while in the teahouse when I heard the servant reporting before I knew that you had an accident.”
Huang Dan smelled the smoke and remembered a brand called Qixi.
“I went to your house the next day. You were unconscious and the Old Madame wasn’t in the mood to see me.” Ye Lan smiled. “It’s good that you’re fine, otherwise I will feel very apologetic. If I didn’t make an appointment with you, you wouldn’t have come out.”
Huang Dan said, “I heard it’s a bit chaotic recently.”
Ye Lan smoked, “En, my parents specifically told me not to go out alone. Song Wang, did you hear any rumors?”
Huang Dan casually said, “It seems that someone is missing.”
Ye Lan heard the speech, and turned her head in surprise, “Is that true? How come I don’t see any constable around?”
Huang Dan shrugged. “Who knows.”
Ye Lan asked, “Would you like one? I’m trying out a new brand.”
Huang Dan didn’t smoke nor drink. At that moment, he suddenly wanted to give it a try. He took the cigarette from Ye Lan and took a sip after the cigarette was lit. He frowned in disdain.
Ye Lan shook her head. “You are very selective, Young Master.”
She took the box of cigarettes and said, “This small box is worth half a year’s income for many people.”
Huang Dan broke off his cigarette, it was much worse than Qixi.
Ye Lan’s left hand was supporting onto her right elbow, while her thin fingers were holding onto a cigarette, making her red nails particularly dazzling. “There is a tailor shop in the south street. The teacher in the shop has good craftsmanship. Want to go for a walk with me?”
Huang Dan looked at the servants behind him.
Ye Lan said with a smile, “If you get married early and let Old Madam hold her great-grandson, she won’t watch you like that.”
Huang Dan said, “It’s hard to find a good fit.”
Ye Lan took a few puffs and suddenly said, “How about me? What do you think of me?”
Huang Dan looked down and glanced away.
Ye Lan made an exaggerated expression. “Why, because I don’t deserve you?”
Huang Dan moved his eyes away. “Love talks about mutual consent. You are not interested in me.”
“So you could tell.” Ye Lan said, “I am thinking that if your family has to arrange a marriage for you and there’s no way out, it will be better for us to make do with each other.”
She flicked the ashes. “My lover is not a pretty boy like you. He is a man with an indomitable spirit, stands taller and stronger than you, and can lift me with one hand.”
Huang Dan looked at Ye Lan. Although she was thin, she was only shorter than him by half a head. When she wore high heels, she would be taller than him. Can one hand really lift her?
If that person could lift Ye Lan, then it also wouldn’t be a problem for that person to lift him.
Huang Dan’s eyelids twitched, only a demon could do it, right? “Ye Lan, how big were you when you had the accident?”
Ye Lan said, “Eleven years old.”
Huang Dan said, “You are twenty-five now.”
Ye Lan corrected, “Twenty four, thank you.”
Huang Dan, “…”
Ye Lan, “Tomorrow is my 25th birthday.”
Huang Dan was speechless. What’s the difference? “Well, so to say, 14 years have passed, the person you are looking for is already old.”
The smoke between Ye Lan’s fingers quivered, her eyes were firm and full of tenderness. “It’s fine if the person is old or disabled… as long as he is still alive.”
Huang Dan couldn’t understand, “Even if you stand face to face with him, you won’t be able to recognize him.”
Ye Lan was not discouraged at all. “I will know through telepathy.”
Huang Dan’s mouth curled. Then he would believe it too, maybe he had telepathy with the demon.
After Ye Lan had finished smoking, she asked, “Do you want to go to the south street?”
Huang Dan shook his head. “No, I can’t go back too late.”
Ye Lan buttoned her bag. “Okay, you go back earlier. Don’t roam around the street. I’ll go back myself.”
Huang Dan looked at the back of the woman leaving. “She’s pretty.
Charming, isn’t she, Mr. System?”
Huang Dan walked along the Earthworm River. According to the normal routine, the demon should be around him. Even if it wasn’t at first, it would still come to him in the later part because of certain actions and certain people.
Whom would it be?
There were already a huge amount of people just within his house. It would take a lot of work to check the accountants, housekeepers and kitchen staff.
In the first world, he ruled out suspects through death, but that was not possible for the time being.
Huang Dan didn’t even have a suspect.
In the evening, when Ye Family came to his house, Huang Dan knew that Ye Lan had gone missing.
Master Ye didn’t even take a sip of tea, and hurriedly asked as soon as he saw Huang Dan coming out, “Dear Nephew, were you with my family’s Lan Lan this afternoon?”
Huang Dan was honest and spoke the truth.
When Master Fu heard this, he immediately went to the tailoring shop in the south street.
Song Yuanshi asked his grandson, “Ah Wang, did Ye Lan tell you anything else?”
Huang Dan said, “No.”
A twinkle of sharpness flickered in her eyes. “You are lying to Grandma.”
Huang Dan’s mouth twitched. This elderly woman was hard to deal with. “Ye Lan said she didn’t want to come back. Her family had arranged a marriage for her and she didn’t like it.”
The sharp light in her eyes disappeared. “Are there so many likes when you are living in the world?”
Huang Dan didn’t understand, if there was no fondness, how could people live together? As soon as he was about to speak, he heard the elderly woman asked, “Is it because Ye Lan is against that marriage so she ran away from home?”
Huang Dan said, “Ye Lan is not someone who will run away.”
Maybe something had happened.
At the tailor’s shop, the servant shouted, “Open the door! Open the door right now!”
There was a voice with impatience laced in it. The tailor put on his coat and drew back the bolt. “Who is it? it’s so late. Do you even people to… You… What do you want to do? “
The tailor shop owner was pushed to the ground and cried out in fear upon seeing the group of people.
The servant stepped back and stood by the carriage respectfully. He was not arrogant at all. “Master.”
When the curtain of the car was lifted, Master Fu stepped on the back of the man and looked down at the tailor’s shop boss. “Let me ask you something and you shall answer honestly. If there is any concealment, you don’t have to even think about this shop anymore.”
The tailor’s shop owner was scared as he nodded, saying that he would tell the truth.
Master Ye asked if he had seen his daughter in the daytime.
The tailor shop owner’s forehead dripped a drop of cold sweat and could already guess what was going on. He was really unlucky. He finally met a distinguished guest like Young Mistress Ye. He thought he could make a lot of money and do not have to worry about food and clothing in the second half of the year. As a result, the other party didn’t buy anything and he even got into trouble.
Master Ye motioned, and the servant came forward, grabbed the tailor’s shop owner’s collar, and lifted him.
The tailor’s shop owner was tongue-tied. “She went off very soon!”
Master Ye asked, “In which direction she did go?”
“I don’t know.”
The tailor’s shop owner shook his head into a rattle and thought about it.
“There were several people in the shop at that time. I was busy taking care of the business, but I didn’t see much. I only remember that Young Mistress Ye was in a hurry and ran out in a hurry. It seemed that she wanted to catch up with someone and didn’t even take her bag.”
Master Ye’s eyebrows were scrunched.
He raised his hand and the tailor’s shop owner was put down. He went to the counter and took out a black bag. “That’s it.”
Master Ye took it from his servant and opened the packet to have a look. There were cigarette boxes, lighters and lipstick brought back from abroad, and his face became more and more solemn.
His daughter had a stable temperament since she was a child. She was not fickle or impetuous. What did she saw that would even make her so flustered that she would even drop the bag she always carried around?
The atmosphere in Ye Family’s hall was heavy.
Master Ye sat at the front, and the second mistress, Bai Ying, was at the side.
Bai Ying covered her lips with the handkerchief and spoke with a tender voice, “My Lord, if I have to say, Lan Lan is very sensible. She must have something that delayed her outside.”
Master Ye patted the table. “What matter could she have that she still hasn’t returned home at this late timing?”
Bai Ying swung her handkerchief, okay, she might as well as not say anything.
She didn’t manage to give birth to her son and daughter she had in her earlier years. Now her current son was only three years old, which was the age of being playful. He didn’t know anything and couldn’t stay still, so he made a fuss to want to play ride the horse.
Usually, Bai Ying would have a servant to kneel on the ground and let her precious son sat on the servant. Now that something had happened at home, she dared not create any annoyance for the master at this time, so she hugged her son and coaxed him quietly.
The child did not listen and he wailed. “No, I want to ride horse.”
Master Ye smashed the teacup. “Be quiet!”
Bai Ying was startled.
The child’s face grew white, and he started crying in fright with tears coming out.
As soon as Master Fu glared, Bai Ying began to sob spasmodically. “My lord, Lan Lan is your Ye Family’s child, but isn’t my son your child too? He is so small, why did you scare him? How am I going to live if something happens to him?”
Master Ye waved his hands impatiently and asked the housekeeper to forcibly “invite” the mother and the son away.
It was late at night. His people went door-to-door to find Lan Lan and returned batch by batch without any news. They were also bewildered, would a human being still grow wings and fly?
Master Ye sat in the hall and sighed incessantly.
When his wife was giving birth to Lan Lan, her vitality was greatly harmed and she left him later on. He was busy with the family’s business and had to manage every aspect. Later on, he encountered a prostitute at a feast and got her pregnant, so he married her into the house.
Lan Lan quarreled with him, saying that she would not stay at home and want to go abroad, so he had no choice but to make the arrangements.
Their relationship only became more estranged over the years.
Ye Lan hadn’t returned home since last night.
Master Ye took some banknotes to see the mayor.
In the morning, the head constable appeared in the town with several constables. They were all dressed in black and had a sword in their hand. When people saw them, they all whispered. Something major had happened.
Huang Dan ate some pastries in the garden in boredom. Fortunately, from time to time, Points Bags were falling in his mind. He grabbed three of them and quickly saved them.
Ever since he had gone through the experience of dying from pain, Huang Dan understood that goodness of a chrysanthemum essence. He needed to get more points if he wanted to buy that item.
Juan’er fanned him from behind.
Huang Dan had eaten the plate of pastries on the table until there was only one small piece left. He could hear faint sounds echoing through the wall and it sounded like disordered footsteps.
Huang Dan asked subconsciously, “What happened?”
Juan’er shook her head.
Huang Dan wiped his hands with a handkerchief, walked quickly through the hallway, the hall, and appeared outside the door.
There was an uncle running in front of him so he stopped him, “Uncle, did something happen?”
The uncle took a breath. “Yes, yes, something happened.”
“It’s so terrifying.” His whole face showed panic, and he was trembling as he talked. “Young Master Song, I am really not making things up, there’s nothing left, that hand, that leg, everything is gone, there’s only a little left.”
Huang Dan, “…So what is it? “
The uncle was extremely slow before he could say anything, a passer-by had already shouted, “Someone’s dead—”
Huang Dan’s eyebrows moved, and he followed them without saying a word.
It wasn’t Ye Lan who died. It was a peddler who usually traded small goods in the streets that had gone missing a few days ago. He didn’t have people left in his home, so even if he disappeared, it probably wouldn’t cause much commotion.
It was a woodcutter that had discovered the body. He often took his family’s dog with him when he went up the mountain to cut firewood.
Today, the dog was behaving very weirdly. It kept wanting to go in a certain direction.
The woodcutter couldn’t make it move even if he kicked around it. He unintentionally glanced at the side and noticed the remains in the grass. It was some ragged clothes and some unknown meat bones. They were black and emitted a foul smell.
The dog sniffed at the meat and bones before gnawing at them.
The woodcutter screamed in terror. He had to wave his hatchet several times before his dog stopped.
A lot of people in the town went to see it. After seeing it, they couldn’t endure the sight and vomited. It was too disgusting.
They only managed to identify the peddler because several of his neighbors recognized his clothes.
A great majority of the people said that there was a tiger on the mountain when the peddler went up the mountain, he was eaten by the tiger, leaving only remnants of a few big bones and minced flesh.
There were some people with different opinions. Why did the peddler go up the mountain? Was he selling his merchandise to the flowers and trees? What’s more, many peasant households were residing in the vicinity of that mountain and there were also many woodcutters going up the mountain every day, how come they didn’t hear any news of something happening to someone?
The teahouse on the west street was a place with a mixture of good people and scumbags. If anyone wanted to find out something but didn’t get anything there, then that would be all they could get.
Huang Dan sat by a table and ordered a pot of Longjing tea.
The people in the teahouse were talking about the peddler, and saliva flew everywhere.
“What tiger? It’s ridiculous, alright. I, my father, and grandfather are all woodcutters. I can walk up the mountain from the foot of the mountain and then come down the mountain from the summit with my eyes closed.”
A huge man with a black face said in a hoarse voice, “Don’t talk about me, even my grandfather has never seen a tiger. There are only rabbits, pheasants and wild boars in the mountain, there’s no beast that eats people.”
“I think it’s not possible.” A scholar injected, and his pitched dropped a lot in his following sentence, “I heard from my teacher that there are demons in the world, could it be an act of a demon?”
Everyone else laughed when they heard his words. “Demon? It’s not even as credible as a tiger appearing yet!”
But the scholar was very serious, he didn’t hold even the smallest bit of joking intention and said, “Shhh, don’t shout. If there is a demon and we attract it, we will certainly be done for.”
Some people wanted their faces and arrogantly said, “Look at how frightened you are. What’s the big deal about a mere demon? There are so many people in our town, do you still think we will be afraid of it?”
“My teacher has said that a demon can transform itself into a human form. Once it donned on clothes and mixed itself in the crowd, we won’t be able to tell it apart—” The scholar pointed to everyone, “—maybe it has already mingled among us, it can be you, you, or you.”
The atmosphere was weird and everyone was flustered.
“Youngster, I think your teacher is fooling you! How is it possible that there are still demons these days? Stop your damn nonsense!”
“That’s right. We should just talk about the peddler.”
“There’s nothing much to say when the peddler died in that sort of manner, if you want to talk, you should talk about Ye Family’s Young Mistress, Ye Lan. Have you heard about it?”
“Who hasn’t heard about it? Yesterday, Master Ye dispositioned such a big force to knock on every household, it was so noisy that I couldn’t sleep.”
“In my opinion, it’s likely that that Ye Lan has met mishaps.”
“It’s Constable Liu here this time. With him around, he can definitely let the truth comes to light.”
“Yes, whatever demons and ghosts that landed themselves on Constable Liu’s hands will end up revealing their true form.”
Huang Dan looked at the scholar and recognized that he was from the collateral branch.
Song Family also had their private school and those who attended were members of the Song Family. The teacher mentioned by the other party was an old man.
Huang Dan pondered about it and thought of finding a time to talk to him.
There was also the unfinished story of Boss Zhang from the Chinese pharmacy.
The death of the peddler was just a seam of fearfulness that emerged in people’s heart briefly, it was soon covered by noises from everywhere.
When Master Ye heard about the tragic death of the peddler, he was even more restless. He was almost pleading with the constable, “My daughter’s matter will be in your hands. Please help me to tell Constable Liu that if my little girl can come back safely, I will reward generously.”
The constable said, “Master Ye, our boss will do his best.”
In the afternoon, a group of people appeared in Song Family’s mansion, even the clan elder was here.
With this bearing, those that didn’t know may even think that Ye Family’s Young Mistress’s matter was related to Song Family.
Huang Dan took a nap in the room but the weather was stifling hot and he couldn’t fall asleep no matter what, so he simply removed his coat, lifted his upper garment, and took a book to fan himself.
The housekeeper’s voice rang from outside, he came to report to him about the arrival of the clan elder as well as a constable.
Huang Dan became stupefied. There was any news of Ye Lan since yesterday, and he had become the suspect.
After thorough consideration, Huang Dan put on his suit’s coat but felt hot, so he took off and changed into a cyan long gown. He set forth to open the door and went all the way to the anteroom.
He wasn’t near them but he could hear their conversation.
The housekeeper introduced, “Young Master, this is Liu Chu, Constable Liu.”
Huang Dan turned his gaze toward him. The man who talked with the clan head was tall and mighty, and there was a certain aura of ruffian and unruliness between his brows. He looked up, and a spurious smile was on his face, making him looked like a bad boy10.