The Ghost Festival was not a big festival for Xishan City but it was not a small festival either. Early in the morning, many vendors began to display all kinds of odd ornaments and bizarre clothing. Many people were also dressed in fancy and elaborate costumes and had their faces painted with eye-catching and colorful makeup or directly wore ghost masks, pretending to be ghosts and demons as they celebrated out on the streets.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
It was said that by dressing like this, it would cause the real ghosts and demons to treat them as one of their own and thus celebrate with them rather than cause them harm. On this day, even if you really saw a ghost, you must still treat the ghost as a human being. Otherwise, once its identity was revealed, you would be haunted by ghosts forever.
As the sun rose higher, there were more and more ghosts and demons out on the street, and the atmosphere became more and more lively and enthusiastic. Vendors selling wares to customers, street shows, prayers and worship, theater plays, wrestling competitions——the streets were crowded with people.
At this time, a man wearing a mask and a red robe stopped at a miscellaneous goods vendor and seemed to be checking the merchandise.
The vendor greeted warmly: “What does this customer need? The things here are all made by hand and are absolutely exquisite.”
The man did not speak, only picking up a blood-stained bone fan.
“Twenty-five coins, thank you.” The vendor said with a beaming smile.
The man slowly took out the money from his purse and handed it over. The vendor stretched out his hand and his gaze naturally fell on the other’s hand. His smile froze for an instant. He saw that the man’s hand that was holding the money had a blue-gray tinge, and the flesh on the back of his hand was also split open, seeming to have been cut by some sharp blade. There were also still some black blood stains around the wound and overall looked particularly horrifying against the red sleeve of the man’s robe.
The vendor’s hand trembled a little while receiving the money, but he forced himself to calm down. When most people dress up as ghosts, they only pay attention to their face makeup and clothing and don’t bother with their hands and feet. The makeup also leant towards mainly thick and colorful, which looked very strange, but also had a special sense of aesthetics. But the cut on the hand of this man in front of him was just too realistic.
Could it be that he had met a real ghost? The vendor could suddenly only feel cold, and not even the liveliness and excitement around them could dissipate the coldness. His gaze slowly moved upwards, pausing for a moment on the demonic mask on the other’s face, and then he noticed that skin on his neck was also blue-gray with protruding veins and blood stains as well.
The vendor stiffened completely. The whole time the man paid the money and then turned to leave there was not a sound to be heard coming from him.
After a while, he looked down at the money in his hand, and what he saw caused his heartbeat to speed up some more. The copper coins were mixed with burnt paper ashes, and some of them were even stained with blood.
The vendor excitedly pulled at a fellow vendor next to his stall, and recounted incoherently what had just happened.
After hearing this, the fellow vendor immediately whispered: “Are you crazy, even if it was a ghost you can’t just casually announce it to the world, be careful that you don’t get haunted by him.”
The vendor paled and did not dare to say anymore.
However, what he said was spread inadvertently, and many idlers spoke conclusively on the matter, but they only dared to whisper quietly. Although the rumor became more and more exaggerated, that person’s dress and appearance became well known by many people.
The mask, the red robe, the blue-gray skin, and the coins that were stained with paper ash and blood.
Nie Bufan stopped at a steamed bun shop and silently looked at the steaming buns.
“Customer, what would you like to order? Our shop sells buns with various fillings, dumplings, and bean porridge.” The shopkeeper asked through the hazy steam.
“One meat bun,” Nie Bufan replied gloomily.
“Okay.” The shopkeeper wrapped the bun and handed it to him, “Three coins, thank you for your patronage.”
Nie Bufan took the bun but didn’t pay for it. Instead, he lifted the mask halfway, revealing a horrifyingly scarred chin and a pitch-black mouth.
The shopkeeper saw that the other hadn’t given the money, so he leaned over to take a look, and just so happened to see him taking a bite of the bun with his mouth wide open. Instantly, he was frightened pale, and only just managed to not scream out loud
After eating the meat bun, Nie Bufan said again, “Give me a vegetable bun.”
The shopkeeper tremblingly handed him the vegetable bun, which was finished in a few bites. He was silent for a while, and then said, “One more bun with sugar filling.”
Couldn’t you order it all at once? The shopkeeper was both afraid and irritable but didn’t dare to complain. He could only suffer silently and to send away this great god as quickly as possible.
At this time, another customer came over to buy steamed buns, and the shopkeeper hurriedly went to greet him. But unexpectedly, after seeing Nie Bufan, the other person immediately fled away.
The same thing happened repeatedly, and in the end no one dared to get close to Nie Bufan. The steamed bun shop was practically occupied by him alone, and the shopkeeper wanted to cry but he was without tears.
After eating three buns, Nie Bufan felt full, so he fumbled his pockets and handed the money over.
The shopkeeper had on a crying face, almost imploring as he said: “No need, I’ll treat you, just please go well.”
Nie Bufan felt that it was unethical not to pay for the food, so he handed over the bronze mirror engraved with demons that he had bought earlier, and then floated away.
The shopkeeper looked at this bronze mirror that seemed to reflect a vague ghostly image, and even his heart began crying——please don’t come again!
Wang Shichan, who had been following Nie Bufan not far away, shook his head. This guy was really too evil. He actually put makeup on all the skin on his body that might be exposed. And more importantly, the makeup was also so lifelike. If one didn’t look carefully, one might not even realize that it was actually fake. If it was at night, it could definitely scare people to death.
He watched him wander the streets and pass through the crowds, scaring others to death from time to time. But even as those people received spirit money and nearly fainted from fright, they didn’t dare to say anything. Witnessing all of this, Wang Shichan didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
The marketplace in Xishan City was not big. After one morning, rumors about this “real” ghost gradually became widely known. So that later, any person in red was given special attention.
Li Yi, Zhang Junshi and the others were also walking in the marketplace, looking for a certain someone who had run away from home. On a day with such lively excitement, with Nie Bufan’s character, it was impossible for him to not come out and scare people. It was just that most people had on makeup or masks, which undoubtedly increased the difficulty of finding him.
On the other side, Wei Di had gone to visit Chicken Nest Village and met Si Chenyu. He was quite lucky. When he went, most of the chickens were away from the village, so he didn’t suffer any difficulty from them.
After discussing some things, he had also planned to see the village head of Chicken Nest Village. But unfortunately the other was not there, so he could only temporarily return to Xishan City.
“Have you found Duan Yu?” Wei Di asked as soon as he returned to his residence.
An attendant bowed and replied: “Not yet.”
Before Wei Di could get angry, he immediately added: “However, we caught Duan Yu’s chicken.”
Wei Di looked around and saw another attendant carrying a brown hen in his hand. The hen had a fierce look in its eyes and was indeed the chicken named “Langya”.
He frowned: “So what if you caught this chicken?”
The attendant said: “We can take it out on the street. If it is seen by Duan Yu gongzi, he will definitely try and find a way to steal the chicken back.”
Wei Di pondered for a moment before agreeing.
The attendant took out a string, looped it around Langya’s neck, and then pulled at the other end, forcibly pulling it outside.
Wei Di put on a mask handed over by a maid, and followed a little ways behind.
After they left, Lady Flower and Gold walked out from the dark, their eyes sharp and murderous. They glanced at each other, and then at the same time turned and disappeared into the alley.
In the afternoon, Nie Bufan was finally tired from strolling around, so he found a place to sit down and rest. Wang Shichan leaned on a tree not far away.
As soon as he sat down, everyone nearby moved away without a trace, and soon a vacuum zone was isolated around him.
Nie Bufan didn’t mind at all, holding up a flat cake and lifting it up.
“Flat cake, do you want some?”
So Nie Bufan ate it by himself, and even accidentally swallowed some of the makeup around his mouth. The makeup became smeared and distorted, looking even more strange than before.
Generally, rouge was poisonous. The reason why Nie Bufan still ate with the makeup on was because the makeup around his mouth was actually made from the juice of various vegetables and fruits and some half-cooked meat, so there was no need to worry about ingesting something harmful to the body.
In order to increase the effect of his costume, he would secretly take a few mouthfuls of sesame paste and red sugar water prepared in advance from time to time. When eating the flat cake, one could actually see red liquid dripping out of the corner of his mouth…..
At this moment, there was a commotion in the distance, screams, cursing, and sounds of collisions coming one after another like a tidal wave, from far to near.
Nie Bufan stood up, and saw dust flying everywhere in the distance. Quite a lot of people were also rushing towards this side in a panic. In the chaos he seemed to also hear the sound of chicken clucks.
Nie Bufan hurriedly climbed onto a beast-shaped stone statue next to him and looked into the distance. And indeed, he saw many chickens running and jumping in the crowd. He recognized at a glance that they were chickens from his Chicken Nest Village. After all, it was impossible for an ordinary chicken to fly over walls and move as fast as lightning!
They moved in unison and were about thirty or forty in number, seemingly chasing some people.
Among those who were chased, one was holding a chicken in his arms. Looking at their dressing, they should be Wei Di’s people.
Nie Bufan was a little startled. Wei Di had actually caught his chicken in order to find him.
This person had high martial arts skills, and generally fighter chickens were not his opponents, which was why Lady Flower and Gold called over a group of chicken friends from Chicken Nest Village to help out.
It was also the bad luck of that group of attendants, after all who told them to catch Langya out of all of the chickens. As Langya’s husband, although Lady Flower possessed some rooster machismo, it was also very protective. Except for Nie Bufan, no one could bully its hen!
Lady Flower was the first mutant chicken in Chicken Nest Village and was extremely clever. Its prestige in Chicken Nest Village was second only to village head Nie. In addition, this group of chickens were masters of chaos, so naturally they joined the rescue operation without hesitation.
Less than an hour after Wei Di and the others began to stroll on the street, they saw a group of chickens charging at them aggressively.
Then came the scene Nie Bufan saw. The whole street market was swept over by chickens, flying dust and dancing chicken feathers. It was utter and complete chaos.
Wei Di’s attendants fled in sorry states, claw marks on their cuffs and hems.
Seeing them getting closer, Nie Bufan pulled off his mask and shouted, “Put down that chicken!”
Everyone followed the source of the sound and saw one man standing on a fierce beast statue hair wild, face blue-gray and snarling, eyes glaring and widened, mouth with blood oozing from the corners, hand holding a blood-stained bone fan, and body donned in a bright red robe that fluttered in the wind. Under the orange light of the sunset, he was like a demon come to life.
Everyone fell silent in an instant, looking up at him with bated breath.
The red robed demon pointed at the crowd and shouted, “Come here now!”
Everyone thought he was calling them, and they all dared not move.
But unexpectedly, the flocks of chickens that had been rioting came out of the crowd one by one, and walked obediently to the side of the red robed demon.
Everyone watched this scene in a daze.
The red robed demon pointed at the few people in the front again, angrily: “Let go of that chicken now!”
In his daze, the attendant forgot to respond. Instantly, the flock of chickens became restless, spreading their wings and screeching in unison at the man in a terrifying manner.
The attendant was startled back to his senses and hurriedly let go of Langya. Langya ran into the flock with arrogance, but not without giving him a good kick.
Under the startled gaze of everyone, the red robed demon stood upright, the hems of his robe fluttering in the wind. At this time, the sun had just set and the sky had gradually dimmed. Combined with the gusts of gloomy wind passing by the surrounding deadly silent area, it all added a bit of ghostly atmosphere.
He spoke sinisterly: “If you let me see you catch chickens again, I will feed you to the chickens!”
The attendants shuddered involuntarily.
The red robed demon waved his sleeves, “Be gone!”
The chickens obeyed the order, jumping and flying as they scattered off. Soon, they all disappeared from sight.
The red robed demon put on his mask again, jumped off the stone statue, and returned to keeping a low profile.
When all the dust had settled, someone spoke in a trembling low voice: “Did you see? He can actually direct chickens.”
“So, he…..he is really a ghost?”
“Heavens, I sold him that fan.”
“He even ate my buns?”
“What should we do? Should we pretend that we haven’t seen anything?”
“I didn’t see anything, I didn’t see anything!”
“That’s right, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go quickly.”
“Ai, I will never eat chicken again…..”
The crowd dispersed, but before leaving, they would subtly peer out of the corner of their eyes at the red figure standing still beside the stone statue from time to time.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
Thus, from this day forth, a legend about the Chicken God spread in Xishan City. Whenever it was the day of the Ghost Festival, everyone would abstain from killing or eating chickens.
TN: bonus chapter coming up!
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