The sun was setting and the night was creeping in .
The residential area was arranged into your standard layout, with multi-storeys in the front and villas at the back . There weren't many villas, though, only about seven to eight in total .
However, it was strange that apart from the one behind him, no lights could be seen in any other buildings, as if they were all vacant . The paved paths and green space were also deserted . The area almost felt haunted .
" . . . "
Gu Yu realized what was going on after a brief looking-around .
He then set his eyes upon the three fellows circling around him . They were two men and a woman, and all had a strange complexion—their ashen faces looked almost greenish . Not a single muscle was moving on their faces either . They were as motionless as consciousless corpses .
"Mr . Gu, I do hope you would join us . I'd rather we don't ruin this friendship . "
Looking back, Gu Yu saw Zhang Wei at the doorway, with Wang Qian at his side .
"Where should I begin to point out the flaws in your reasoning…"
Gu Yu found the whole thing an utter nonsense . 'You were the one to provoke me first and now you're acting as if you have been wronged . ' He had nothing more to say to the man . Stepping hard against the floor, he charged at Zhang Wei . 'Dispatch the leader and the gang will collapse . '
Squinting, Zhang Wei did not panic—the man had come prepared . Wang Qian reached out and slapped at something . Whoosh! A transparent gate made of unknown material fell down and blocked the way .
Gu Yu's fingertips knocked into it and made a crisp sound as if he had ran into something metallic . He frowned slightly and was about to try again when a noise approached from behind him .
With the bestial snarl, a gust of wind blew at him .
He casually swept his hand backwards, which was met by a palm . Gu Yu stood steadily where he was, while the other one stumbled back with stomping steps .
Somehow, the force of the impact surprised Gu Yu . He spun around abruptly and dodged sideways, distancing himself from the attacker by a good several meters . Looking up, he saw one of the men standing in front of him . The fellow was rather tall and broad, with a strange black line on his neck .
The first punch seemed to have been a cue . The other man, who was short and skinny, fumbled out a gruesome bone plate, smacked it onto his palm, and started chanting . Immediately, an invisible fluctuation spurted out and wheeled in the air with a howling sound .
Meanwhile, the woman also took out a strange transparent small bottle, in which were two eerie baby puppets . She pulled out the plug and blew into the bottle .
"Woo… hoo… woo…"
An odd noise suddenly filled the night air, reminding one of a whimpering wind or the crying of babies, giving one goosebumps . Instantly, a sinister wind swept strongly across the clearing in front of the villa . Airstreams seemed to be gathering around in the empty air, which then turned into three streaks of black smoke .
The two pointed with their fingers in unison and the black smoke dashed right at Gu Yu with a shrilling, violent scream .
'Is that an undead insect?'
The idea came to Gu Yu, but he instantly rejected it . 'It isn't!' That Golden Silkworm of Xiao Qiu might look weird, but it was still a creation of heaven and earth, a product of nature itself .
This, on the other hand, looked like the forced result of some sinister, secret refining method, which was filled with malice and grudge . One could smell the evil in it from a mile away!
The black smoke reached him in no time and pounced at him from three directions .
Gu Yu shifted sideways and stepped aside, bringing his body forward from an impossible angle . With that maneuver, he swerved around and just happened to miss the two streaks coming from his left and right .
He wanted to examine the substance . As a streak came at him headlong, he spread his fingers and grabbed at it .
As if cold water had dropped into boiling oil or a strong acid was eating at the floor board, the black air sizzled, rolled, and seethed as soon as it made contact with his palm . It was gnawing at everything desperately at the same time, trying to devour every bit of his blood and flesh .
'That was remarkable!'
Gu Yu was taken by surprise . Activating his spiritual essence at full blast, he closed his hand into a fist . However, the black smoke dispersed instantly, escaped from between his fingers, and reassembled in the air .
While he was secretly amazed, he had no idea that his attackers were petrified . They had tried to predict Gu Yu's capability as best as they could, but as it turned out, they had still underestimated him!
The man and the woman exchanged a look and bit the tip of their tongues simultaneously . They then spat their blood essence onto the bone plate and into the bottle respectively and pointed again .
With the reinforcement from the blood essence, the black smoke became all the more frantic and began to take shape in midair, revealing three ghostly baby faces . One was slightly bigger, while the other two were a boy and a girl who seemed like twins . All three had blood-red eyes and wide mouth, their faces hideous and terrifying .
"Get him!" the woman yelled .
Hearing that, the sturdy man brandished his fists and charged forward at Gu Yu, trying to pin him down at close quarters . The three ghostly faces dived down once more and momentarily, Gu Yu was trapped on all sides .
Four vs one!
His face serious, Gu Yu dared not take the battle lightly . It was probably the toughest fight he ever encountered since he became a cultivator .
Gu Yu moved swiftly and dodged a ghostly face . The man jumped at him with open arms, trying to strap them tightly around him . Thrusting the tip of his foot against the ground, Gu Yu leapt into the air and surmounted the man in a whoosh .
Before he hit the ground, however, he felt an ill wind at his back again . Gu Yu reacted before he could think . Grabbing the man by his back, Gu Yu tossed him behind with all his effort .
The man was caught by the gnawing black smoke and let out a scream . His skin, blood, and flesh shrivelled and withered at an unbelievable speed . Then, with a thud, a dried-up corpse crumpled to the ground .
The woman was delighted . She immediately commanded the ghostly faces to pounce at Gu Yu—he had just landed and not yet found his balance . There was no way he could dodge this one!
The ghostly faces shrieked with excitement . They were almost there to swallow him whole when Gu Yu waved his hand and a green light flew out of him, crackling through the air .
The green light flickered and pierced right through the faces . Before the woman had time to react, another streak arrived . "Pop!"
The twin ghostly babies were pierced through and halted abruptly, as if they were overwhelmed by an excruciating pain . The form they took also weakened, which began to flicker in and out of sight .
The man and the woman were terrified . A coldness was creeping up their spines and exploding in their heads . Half of that confidence they had in the beginning was instantly evaporated .
Presently, the green and the black clashed and entangled in the air, flying all over the place and making a dazzling scene .
Controlling the two green jade needles, Gu Yu felt his spiritual essence being used up at a dangerous speed . The ghostly faces had thinned down, but they outnumbered Gu Yu by one and still had power enough to fight back .
Gu Yu's thoughts spun and an idea came to him suddenly .
In the air, the two streaks of green light met the ghostly faces head-on again . Just before they clashed, however, the green light shifted to the side a little and flew straight at the manipulators in the back .
Those two were scared out of their wits . 'Damn it, that's not how we're supposed to fight!"
Gu Yu was counting on the tremendous speed of the needles . As expected, before the ghostly faces reached him, Gu Yu heard the sound as those two watched with terrified eyes .
The man and the woman's heads were drilled through at the temples . They collapsed to the ground before they could make a sound .
With their masters gone, the ghostly faces circled around in confusion for a moment before they became even more ferocious . Turning around, they jumped onto their masters and started to devour the corpses frantically .
The ghostly faces were the product of an extremely malicious arcane skill, made mostly from corpses of infants . They would even go as far as digging babies out of the bellies of women who died at childbirth . It was an utter offense against nature itself .
As a result, the ghostly faces held great grudge against their masters . Should the masters be weakened in any way and lost control of a ghostly face, the latter was sure to turn on them!
Seeing that those things were feasting on the dead bodies, Gu Yu dared not relax just yet . Sending out two streaks of energy and with some crackling sound, he smashed the bone plate and the bottle .
As soon as the two objects were broken, rancid black blood gushed out . The three ghostly faces paused and turned into three lumps of black smoke again, which tumbled violently in the air, as if they were struggling with all their effort .
Before long, with their unreconciled and bitter shrieks, they dissolved into nothingness in the night sky .
Only then did Gu Yu let out a breath of relief . He mumbled to himself, "It's good to have a straight-A student as a girlfriend . "
As soon as the black smoke turned into baby faces, he had a vague idea what to do next, for Xiaozhai had mentioned something similar . He took this chance to try out his method and just happened to hit the right button .
He was about to move closer to examine it when his face changed abruptly . 'Shit!'
Gu Yu spun around and jumped back inside through a window . As expected, not a soul was in the villa . The back door was wide open—Zhang Wei and Wang Qian had long snuck away .
"F**k!" he cursed aloud . 'What the hell did they get me into? I was just an innocent passer-by! What am I supposed to do with this goddamn mess?'
Even with his mild temperament, it took Gu Yu quite a while to get rid of the vexation . Shaking his head wryly, Gu Yu went back to examine the bodies .
He checked the sturdy man first, who was nothing but a mummy now . Poking around the corpse covering his nose, Gu Yu did not find a single clue .
He then moved onto the man and woman operating together . Their skin was of a strange color, as if they had been living inside a cave and stayed away from sunlight all the year round . He then frisked the two bodies . Both had a black mark on their chest, which did not look like any tattoo, but more like birthmarks .
The woman seemed to be of a higher status and there was a small bead buried between her breasts . Yup, you heard it right . It was buried in her flesh all right .
After a moment of hesitation, Gu Yu dug the bead out and stashed it away in his clothes .
Xiaozhai had mentioned before that Lower Mao Mountain had a Spirit-raising Technique, which did not sound like anything as vicious as this . The skill this pair had inherited seemed to have come from a much more ancient period—one might be able to trace it all the way to the remote ages, when such skills were called "witchcraft" .
"Jinx! That man is jinx itself!"
The city of Urumqi . Inside an office in the sub-bureau of the BIMAUP, that Director Tong was shouting while banging on the desk . "Everything was fine when he was not here . The moment he arrived, all hell broke loose! Three people! Three people are dead! How am I supposed to write the report?"
" . . . "
The subordinates kept their silence, all trying to steer clear of the boss's ill temper .
One almost felt sorry for them, really . The last time the duo was here, the body count came to six; this time Gu Yu visited alone and three dead bodies were left behind… why, there was even a regular pattern .
Of all the thirty-six sub-bureaus in the country, the one in Urumqi attracted the most attention . For one, it was right next to the node in Tianshan and was responsible for the surveillance . For another, the negotiation between the duo and the government took place here, which marked a new chapter in modern history .
Director Tong was quite content with being in the limelight in the beginning . As it turned out, as soon as something went wrong, he was useless and helpless .
The tongue-lashing continued for quite a while before the director finally calmed down a little . He asked, "Any results from the investigation?"
"Not really . The identities of the three deceased came back rather unusual . There was no record on any of them . The residential area was developed by a local businessman of Huo Zhou, who has kept a low profile before this . "
"Where is the man now?"
"He has committed suicide . "
Director Tong was speechless . Moments later, he said with indignation, "Go talk to him again… no, I'll go myself . I'll ask him exactly what is it he wants . "
"Well, director…" His subordinate gave him a quick glance and pointed towards the ceiling . "He's not talking to us . He has gone directly to the HQ . "