Pulling Together A Villain Reformation Strategy - novelonlinefull.com
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Chapter 26 – A Strange Tale
Yun Xie no longer paid any attention to the wooden puppet. His expression turned serious: “There is something under the water holding down the corpse. But how come even though it's so close, the only thing I can sense is the aura of death, without any demonic energy?”
Jiang Xunyi whispered: "Same for me."
Just at this moment, the little wooden puppet suddenly fell to the ground with a bang, and stopped moving. A mocking smirk showed on Huang Wei's face at this apparent confirmation that these two were indeed deceptive swindling Daoist priests, and he arrogantly commanded: “Okay, the two of you are coming back to the government office with me.”
Yun Xie ignored him. Looking into the water, he instead smiled: “Interesting. After all these years, this is the first time I've ever seen anyone, living or dead, dare to fight with me over something."
With a wave of his hand, the wind from his palm volleyed through the air to disturb the river surface. Huge overlapping waves rose and struck against the riverbank, their sheer momentum almost exceeding that silent whirlpool just now. Amidst the shocked exclamations of the crowd, something around the size of a washbasin suddenly emerged from the water surface. Before anyone could make it out clearly, it sprayed a column of water towards the sh.o.r.e, and then immediately sank back down.
On the side, Jiang Xunyi had finally stopped being a bystander. At the same time as Yun Xie's palm, with his sharp sight and quick hand, he had already slammed his sword hilt to make Extinguished Flower soar into the air. Jiang Xunyi promptly leapt up, flipped in mid-air, and stepped steadily on the blade to fly immediately above the river. When that thing sank back into the water, he had just caught up with it. He actually carelessly explored a hand and directly hauled it up like a fish, pulling that monster in the water right out of the river.
Without waiting for anyone to see it clearly, Jiang Xunyi's expression had already changed, and he chucked the thing back into the water.
The shocked Yun Xie quickly rushed over and asked in a flurry: “What's wrong? Were you hurt?”
The expression on Jiang Xunyi's face was one of great misfortune. After riding his sword back to the sh.o.r.e, he peered at his hand that had picked up the monster with an unusually complex look.
Yun Xie grabbed ahold of his hand and checked it over: “What exactly is it? Say something!”
“Too disgusting.” After much difficulty, Jiang Xunyi spat out a few words: “Hurry and lend me half a catty1 of bath beans2, I have to wash my hands.”
Yun Xie knew he had an obsession with cleanliness, but he now understood Jiang Xunyi had not been injured and therefore let out a sigh of relief. A very unhappy Jiang Xunyi went to the side to wash his hands. Although the others were curious what exactly he had touched, seeing the scowl on Jiang Xunyi's face, no one dared to ask. In the meantime, Yun Xie stepped forward to stare at the water surface.
When Huang Wei had seen the monster coming out of the water just now, he had long since nimbly hid in the distance. At this time, he now frowned. “After all this difficulty it was finally caught, but then you put the thing back. What should be done now?”
Without even looking back at him, Yun Xie suddenly reached backwards to grab Huang Wei's collar. With a single hand, he lifted up this man who appeared several times stockier than himself.
Deng Zhi was alarmed: “What are you doing?”
Yun Xie laughed devilishly: “The monster in the water loves to eat timid people who are afraid of death and talk too much. Excuse me for making you bait.”
As he spoke, he had already let go of Huang Wei to mercilessly hurl him into the water.
Water splashed everywhere amidst the screams, and some pitch-black thing flashed by the water surface. Huang Wei howled in terror, but just as he opened his mouth, the river water had already poured into his stomach and he instantly could no longer scream. Just as he thought his lowly life would end here, he suddenly felt his body lighten as he was kicked back onto the sh.o.r.e.
Borrowing this tiny brief opportunity granted by Huang Wei falling into the water, Yun Xie had swiftly and adeptly found the position of the monster. Learning from Jiang Xunyi's mistake before him, he did not use his hand to touch it, but instead exercised caution. After kicking Huang Wei out, he flipped back onto the sh.o.r.e while slamming his palms together three times fast in succession. A blue ray of light instantly flew out from his palm and drilled into the riverbed, forming the shape of a cage in the blink of an eye. This cage carrying the monster slowly floated up from the water.
With a hook of Yun Xie's finger, the cage fell on the open s.p.a.ce on the bank of the river.
Yun Xie did not have the time to see what it was when the onlooking villagers on the sh.o.r.e had already surrounded the cage, and then dispersed just as quickly.
Yun Xie: "……" What's this for?
He walked over without hesitation and fixed his eyes on it. Despite his extensive experience and knowledge, even he couldn't help but startle——in the middle of the cage made from his spiritual power, a washbasin-sized oval shape was entrapped. It looked like a large turtle, but even without approaching close to it, one could smell the strong stench of rotting flesh on that thing, extremely nauseating.
Yun Xie had seen no shortage of dead people, and had previously been compelled by circ.u.mstances to perform autopsies and the like. As a result, even though he almost vomited, he still managed to endure it. Using his sleeves to block his nose, he sluggishly crept over to discover: a human head was actually protruding from within the turtle sh.e.l.l!
Taken aback, he looked again more closely. The other four limbs were also human hands and feet, but the skin was broken and the flesh exposed, so decayed and putrid that their original shapes could barely be made out.
Yun Xie was genuinely distressed for Jiang Xunyi——ordinary people would not be able to comfortably look at this sort of thing, let alone someone with extreme fastidiousness.
Jiang Xunyi had finally washed his hands clean, but upon walking over and seeing that thing, his tragic memory just now was re-evoked. His tone was extremely unhappy: “What the h.e.l.l is this! Who's so wicked as to stuff a person into a turtle sh.e.l.l!"
Hearing the second sentence, Yun Xie laughed. Upon being glared at by Jiang Xunyi, he tried to hold his smile back: “I don't know, why don't we ask around?”
Jiang Xunyi spoke with underlying meaning: "Who would be best to ask?" Though his question was directed at Yun Xie, his gaze roamed through the crowd. The villagers clearly didn't know anything, but when contacting those sharp eyes, they involuntarily felt a p.r.i.c.k of guilty conscience. Finally, Jiang Xunyi fixed his gaze at a certain place. A corner of his mouth curled upwards, in an imitation of a smile.
Xu Da only thought that Jiang Xunyi seemed to be looking at himself. Under this immense terror, he stuttered out: “Br-Brother Du, I… I… I…”
Jiang Xunyi waved him off, still facing in that same direction: "Village Chief w.a.n.g, given your venerable age and eminent virtue, how about giving us an explanation?”
Stunned, Xu Da turned back to meet the shocked gaze of the gray-haired old man behind him.
This old man, named w.a.n.g Xi, was the chief of this village. In his early years, he was once a teacher in a private school, and thus considered himself a cultured person compared to the ordinary villagers. He originally did not attach much importance to these two youngsters Yun Xie and Jiang Xunyi. Now seeing Jiang Xunyi actually turning to him for answers, though he was momentarily shocked, he quickly recovered his calm and frowned slightly: “What does young master Du mean? Forgive this old man for not quite understanding.”
Jiang Xunyi said: “You don't understand? You don't understand who reported this matter to the officials? Come now, the two constable sirs are already here, we could know everything just by asking them. It'd be truly boring if you continue faking that confusion.”
w.a.n.g Xi involuntarily looked over at the two "sirs" currently as drenched as drowned rats3, and said: “I…”
Jiang Xunyi did not want to listen to his explanations, so he cut him off and took over the conversation: “As the chief of the village, according to reason you should be very worried about this kind of matter, and should have thought of a way to invite someone to solve this problem. But yesterday night when Xu Da found Yun… Sect Master Yun and I, you didn't show your face. This clearly expressed that solving the matter was not your intent. When you met us on the second day, your direct words and indirect hints have incessantly emphasized how powerful that thing is, wanting to persuade us to leave. When we insisted on coming here, those two constables rushed over immediately afterwards. Judging from both their words and actions, they also understood this matter very well. If it weren't for you having them called over, ordinary villagers probably wouldn't be able to invite these two… So, overconfident and arrogant official, why are you so unwilling to have someone catch this monster?”
His rapid-fire chain of words possessed a.s.surance and composure, without any room for any interruptions or interjections. w.a.n.g Xi opened his mouth a few times but had nothing to say, and felt extremely suffocated. Then when Jiang Xunyi finished speaking, Xu Da on the side had already called out: “Village Chief, why?”
“…” w.a.n.g Xi grew irritated, and angrily said: “A kid you've only known for less than two days, and you're believing anything he says?”
With these words, the already somewhat doubtful villagers on the side also froze. Upon further consideration, Jiang Xunyi was indeed only giving his own speculations. But this person's aura was really too strong; no matter what words came out of his mouth, others felt the need to trust in it for no reason.
Since they did not believe it, Jiang Xunyi did not continue speaking, and Yun Xie smiled: “Since that's how it is, then forget it. We were originally trying to catch this thing, not investigating any case. It's not good to overstep our place and meddle in others' affairs4, so we'll kill it and then leave straight away.”
As he spoke, he waved his hand and threw his dagger out at the turtle man in the cage. The dagger flew with fierce momentum. Just as the sharp blade was clearly about to touch that thing's neck, w.a.n.g Xi shouted: “Wait! Don't!"
Yun Xie snapped his fingers and the dagger stopped in mid-air. His face still showed that same old gentle and elegant smile as he patiently asked: “Is Village Chief w.a.n.g telling me not to kill him?”
In w.a.n.g Xi's eyes, Yun Xie's smile was even more terrifying than Jiang Xunyi's cold face. He had read countless people after living so many years. With his experience, he could naturally see that although Yun Xie appeared to be amiable, he was actually a vicious and merciless character, decisive in his murderousness. w.a.n.g Xi did not dare to delay any further, and hurriedly said: “Yes, yes, don't… don't kill him…” He hesitated for a moment, and finally finished the rest of his words with difficulty: “He… he is not a demon or monster, this is my… son……”
1. 斤 = catty = a unit of measurement around 500 to 600 grams.
2. 澡豆 lit. "bath beans" are a type of powder pellets used by the ancient Chinese in place of soap, made with flour and added medicines.
3. The original phrase in Chinese is "落汤鸡" which basically means something like "chickens that had fallen into a soup pot". I just picked an equivalent idiom in English.
4. 越俎代庖 lit. "go beyond the sacrificial altar and take over the kitchen"