Otherworldly Merchant - Chapter 48

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The man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt had a worried face as he said, “We’re in grave danger this time. We’ve picked up things we shouldn’t have!”
“You should let the girls seize the opportunity to leave Fengmen Village! The other party is afraid of the sunlight, so they don’t dare to come here in broad daylight. But, I’m not sure what’ll happen when night falls…”
Listening to him, my heart felt even more distress.
However, in this moment, I didn’t have the time to ask further. It was now more urgent to make sure the girls left safe and sound. If they stayed, there’d be even greater trouble.
They were all scared, and with Jing Jing’s situation, they had to go to the hospital. So, after I talked to them, they agreed to leave.
I took them to their car before returning to Fengmen Village. As I was still worried about Jing Jing, I asked the man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt, “Is Jing Jing’s life in danger?”
The man in the Kumamon t-shirt sighed. “Everything depends on her own destiny.”
We’d spent almost all day focusing on one job, which was reinforcing the hall. We used nails to fix the doors and windows.
It was because the man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt had repeatedly warned us that tonight, the owners of the machete would come to us!
And, there would be two ‘people’. With our level, we wouldn’t be a match for them.
I strongly believed this. Jing Jing had just eaten a tiny fruit, yet she’d turned half human and half zombie. It spoke to the fact how fierce the thing underground could be…
But, I was so curious. We hadn’t met the other party yet, so how could the man in the Kumamon t-shirt know that there were two of them?
The man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt resolutely threw the machete to me as he said, “Check the machete and see what’s carved on it!”
I caught the blade and examined it.
Although the man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt had scrubbed the blade clean, it still had a layer of green rust on it that looked like seaweed. It was so bad that I couldn’t see the original blade clearly.
Even so, I still sensed the vehement murderous aura from this machete!
This murderous aura was generated by the blade itself. When facing it, I felt like I was encountering a ghost.
Gently caressing the blade, my finger felt as if it was pricked by a needle. The sensation made me instantly retract my finger, but the sword now seemed to have a vague green halo.
And, on the handle, I could see two prominent words. They were ‘Meng’ and ‘Jiao’.
“What do they mean?” I curiously asked the man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt.
The man replied with a question of his own, “Have you ever watched the Beijing opera ‘Hongyang Cave’?”
“I only know about the wave splashing Hong Lake,” Li Mazi said worriedly. “Bro, don’t keep your listeners in suspense. Spit it out!”
The man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt casually said, “There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that goes: Jiao will never leave Meng. As long as you know this old story, you can guess the origins of this machete…”

Hearing this prompt from the man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt, I felt sparks firing inside my brain.
I seemed to know what the man was talking about.
Jiao will never leave Meng. It’s the story about Meng Liang and Jiao Zan. They were the two subordinates under Yang Liulang – one of the Generals of the Yang family.
These two had such a good friendship that they ate and slept together. Their brotherhood was in sync like legs and arms. Well, nowadays, people would say that they were good gay partners.
Later on, the Yang family had their blood shed on Golden Beach. Old General Yang and his four sons died for their country. Only Yang Liulang remained alive.
At that time, they all wanted to be buried in their homeland.
Yang Liulang then ordered Meng Liang to go to Hongyang Cave in the Song-Liao border to carry the Yang family members’ dead bodies home at any cost!
After Meng Liang had departed, Jiao Zan was afraid that something would happen to him and he discreetly followed.
It turned out, that as Meng Liang entered Hongyang Cave, he felt like someone had been following him stealthily. Subconsciously, he assumed that it was a Liao soldier. So, he abruptly turned around and killed the other with one strike of his knife.
After piercing the enemy, Meng Liang realized that the wounded soldier wasn’t screaming in the language of the Liao Nation. So, he pulled the other person into the light of the moon to check his identity.
At first glance, he gawked in shock.
Because, the one he’d just killed, was actually his best brother, Jiao Zan.
Meng Liang was filled with regret and sorrow. So, he pledged that he wouldn’t continue living alone, and on the spot, he killed himself.
Since this machete had the words Meng and Jiao inscribed on it, it must be the weapon that Meng Liang had used to kill Jiao Zan before taking his own life.
I told the man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt my thoughts.
He gave me a slight nod. “Correct. This blade is the one that Meng Liang used to kill Jiao Zan. It’s called the Hongyang Blade. Meng Liang’s and Jiao Zan’s souls are still lingering on the blade, and I can guess that their bodies are now wandering around the outskirts of Fengmen Village…”
Li Mazi took a deep breath. “Big brother, tell me, have Meng Liang and Jiao Zan become zombies?”
The man in the Kumamon t-shirt nodded. “I’m afraid so. However, concerning Meng Liang killing himself, the records are vague because no one ever actually witnessed it. Some of the non-official history documents say that Meng Liang didn’t commit suicide, but roamed around to find the great sages secluding themselves in the mountains to find a way to resurrect Jiao Zan. Despite this, the final result was that they all became ‘living beings with stiff bodies’.”
‘Living beings with stiff bodies’ was the ancient term for dead, but not rotten, bodies!
Li Mazi and I exchanged looks. We all felt chills traveling down our spines. The two zombies, who used to be great Generals when they were alive, could send us to our deaths within a minute, couldn’t they?
Well, plucking teeth from a zombie’s mouth wasn’t any easier than doing it from a tiger!
Being anxious and frightened, I asked the man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt, “Do you have any specific plan? How sure are you about this?”
The man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt said, “The plan is simple. Since we dug up the Hongyang Blade, the two zombies will surely know. With their senses, they’ll come here tonight! At that time, we can eliminate the souls attached to the blade. Without souls to control, the bodies will die.”
“Hold on!” I was surprised. “Zombies, they don’t have souls, do they? Why will the zombies die if we kill the souls? I can’t believe it.”
The man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt replied, “Everything in this world has a soul. Their bodies became zombies after their souls were taken out and didn’t report to Hell. Then, their souls wandered around the world, never disappearing. That’s why their bodies are neither alive nor dead.”
“There are three ways to truly kill a zombie. The first way is to destroy its body! The second method is to destroy its soul. And lastly, performing a ritual to help the soul find peace.”
“Anyway, zombies are strong and fierce, so their souls are surely powerful. We can’t perform the ritual ceremony to help them. And, once the soul gets back to the undead body, the zombie will become a spirit. At that time, I’m afraid that even my teacher couldn’t deal with it. So, no matter what happens tonight, we can’t let the zombies take the Hongyang Blade!”
Li Mazi and I were shocked to the core when we learned all this. I didn’t know that there was such knowledge about zombies.
Although I was carrying the Yin and Yang Umbrella and the Sirius Whip, I felt that they were useless here.
Pondering for a moment, I went to reinforce the windows once again.
Li Mazi said, “If they’re so strong, then why don’t we go home now?”
The man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt shook his head without a bit of hesitation. “The moment we dug up the Hongyang Blade, we didn’t have any way to back off! As long as we bring the Hongyang Blade with us, the zombies will follow. If we leave the sword here, once the souls and the undead bodies reunite, I’m afraid that a horrible disaster will occur.”
Li Mazi sighed. “If it doesn’t work, I’ll buy steel and cement to build a bunker here. I don’t think those things could raid us.”
However, it was around 2 or 3 p.m. It was definitely too late.
Li Mazi and I found everything we could to block the windows. The man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt took out coins and red strings from his bag. He then tied the coins onto the strings, each coin ten centimeters away from the last. He prepared dozens of them.
Then, he placed them in the Qian, Dui, Li, Zhen, Xun, Kan, Gen, and Kun directions.
Otherworldly merchants called these kinds of ropes ‘Corpse Tying Ropes’, as they could sense corpse energy. The man wearing the Kumamon t-shirt tied several ropes in the Li direction. He said that he’d place the Hongyang Blade in the Li direction, which wasn’t far from here. This was because the zombies would most likely attack from that direction!
Since we’d be facing the zombies tonight, I was so worried and anxious that I couldn’t eat much for dinner. After forcing down some crackers, I sat by the entrance, carefully listening to the noises outside.
The man in the Kumamon t-shirt sat by my side, gently wiping the machete with a clean, white cloth.
Slowly, the blade he was rubbing glowed brightly. With just a gentle push, it could cut a deep notch on the wooden door.
This Hongyang Blade was definitely an otherworldly item with great value.
We hadn’t found the corpse bead yet, but we’d dug this item up instead.
If we were lucky enough to get out alive, we could earn a lot from this item. However, to be honest, I wasn’t at all happy or excited. I would rather not have this commission.
Another two hours ticked by, with the sky growing darker each minute. Just the passing of these two hours felt as long as an entire year.
Through a slit in the wall, I observed the outside world that was so dark one couldn’t even see his own fingers. I could make out some dots or beams of light, but I couldn’t see the moon. Perhaps, the dark clouds had covered it.
I felt as though my mood was similarly covered by the dark clouds.
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