Chapter 167 – A Trap in the Morgue
“Seventy-five kilometers east, there’s a village called Cave town. Recently, many able-bodied men have been dying strangely. There were even people who saw corpses leaving the morgue on the side of the town in a single-file. I suspect that it’s a Qi Practitioner’s work, so investigate the matter,” Zhuo Zhibo said coldly as he tossed some files in front of Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan glanced at it and raised his head. “Walking corpses? Does this have to do with the Zombie Daoist?” When it came to refining corpses, Li Qingshan could not help but think of this criminal at the top of the list for the Hawkwolf Guard in Jiaping city. He was able to run amuck while being hunted down by the Hawkwolf Guard for such a long time, which only demonstrated his strength.
Zhuo Zhibo said, “What? You have objections? This is just an investigation…”
Li Qingshan interrupted him. “Of course, I don’t have any objections. This is just an investigation. It’s not like there’ll be any dangers. Don’t worry at all, commander Zhuo. I will do a very good job investigating the matter. Even if I run into the Zombie Daoist, I have my ways of escaping alive.” Now that an opportunity had presented itself after so much difficulty, how could he turn it down? However, he gave plenty of hints to Zhuo Zhibo. Commander Zhuo, if you don’t do it personally, you won’t be able to kill me.
Zhuo Zhibo finally found it to be rather odd. It seemed like Li Qingshan was not afraid it was a scheme from him at all. Zhou Zhibo was not an idiot. He had just always been overcome by rage. Now, he sensed that something was amiss. Did this kid really have some powerful trump card?
“The kid you brought back can’t go on the mission with you. She can remain within the Hawkwolf Guard!” He had not forgotten about the bottle of Pills of Spring Breeze and Rain. If it were exchanged for actual gold and silver, it would truly be valuable enough to buy entire cities. Pills like that could not be purchased with gold and silver.
“She won’t be separating from me. If there’s nothing else, I’ll set off right now.” Li Qingshan grew solemn and left immediately.
Seventy-five kilometers was not particularly distant for Li Qingshan. With Xiao An by his side, he had already arrived at Cave town before midnight.
Li Qingshan made his way down the empty streets until he exited the place. He arrived in front of a gloomy structure and raised his head to see the word ‘morgue’ written on the plaque above the entrance.
There would be many outsiders who would die in a foreign land due to accidents or illnesses, with no one to tend to them. The morgue was where they would be stored so that their family could come and find them and take their remains back to be buried in their homeland someday.
This was an act of pure generosity that people undertook. However, many corpses would be placed in the morgue without anyone to collect them for years. As a result, yin qi would gather and resentment would leak out, making it extremely easy for ghosts and ghouls to appear. As a result, they placed great emphasis on the environment and the fengshui, and they would often request priests to come and release these dead souls.
However, the morgue in this village was overgrown with grass, and the walls were close to collapsing. It was unkempt. Clearly, it had been abandoned for a very long time now. Probably no one tended to it anymore. If he wanted to investigate, this was the best place to start with.
In order to make Li Qingshan agree to the mission, Zhuo Zhibo had put forward quite a generous amount of contribution for this mission. It was not like it mattered how many points of contribution dead people possessed anyway. However, what Li Qingshan thought was that once he finished off Zhuo Zhibo, he could obviously use these points of contribution to exchange for pills.
Reaching the entrance of the morgue, Li Qingshan took out his Wind-entwining blade first. Then he took out his small shield, equipping it on his left hand. Afterwards, he placed over twenty talismans in a talisman pouch on his waist so that he could use them at any time.
Although he was confident in his own strength, he was not an idiot. It was very likely for this matter to be related to the sixth layer Qi Practitioner, the Zombie Daoist, and another sixth layer Qi Practitioner, Zhuo Zhibo, would probably arrive afterwards, spying on him in the darkness. As a result, he could not afford to be careless. He needed to raise his guard to a hundred and twenty percent, just in case he messed up something so simple.
Only after preparing everything did he step over the door sill and enter the morgue.
There were several dozen coffins in the morgue. Some were extremely old, but some were brand new. The ground was covered in joss paper that was blown about by the chilling breeze. The ruined, cloth curtains floated around like ghosts. It was very creepy.
This sight would leave ordinary people utterly frightened, but Li Qingshan was someone who had emerged through slaughter after all, so his own aura of murderousness was powerful.
Xiao An on his side had her eyes wide open, without any fear at all. Instead, there was some eagerness. Her feelings for corpses were probably the same as Li Qingshan’s feelings for Qi Gathering pills.
Li Qingshan made his way over to a pitch-black coffin and drew his Wind-entwining blade. He stabbed it into the crevice between the lid and coffin. With a twist of his wrist, the lid was thrown high into the air, falling to the ground. A middle-aged man laid in the coffin and was purple all over. He had been reduced to a corpse a long time ago.
As Li Qingshan walked away, he wondered just how this man had died.
He was not a diener, so he obviously had no idea how to conduct an autopsy. He had only opened the coffin out of boredom so that he could take a look. He was waiting here for Zhuo Zhibo to appear.
The morgue was located in the wilderness and was far away from the village, so it was a good place to battle it out against Zhuo Zhibo. He was even considering whether he should set up a trap or not.
As soon as Li Qingshan turned around, the man in the coffin suddenly opened his eyes, and a pair of fangs extended from his mouth. Just when he was about to attack Li Qingshan, he saw a little girl propping herself up on the side of the coffin, staring at him closely and placing her index finger on his forehead.
Li Qingshan turned around. “Don’t just eat anything you find. Who knows how long it has been there.”
Xiao An stuck out her tongue, and the coffin was already empty by the time she withdrew the fire. She suddenly sensed something. There seemed to be the auras of living people here. She closed her eyes, and as expected, she sensed living people hiding in a few of the coffins in the surroundings.
As soon as Li Qingshan made his way to the centre, inscriptions suddenly lit up below his feet, and he felt a tremendous suction force appear from below his feet. His body now felt like it weighed several tonnes, and his true qi immediately became sluggish.
At the same time, the lids of the new coffins all suddenly burst open. Four figures leapt out; they raised their hands, targeting Li Qingshan.
Springs were set off, and crossbow bolts were launched endlessly.
Swish! Swish! Swish! Swish…
There were only four of them, but the arrows made it seem like an entire army. Countless crossbow bolts shot over from all directions and all angles, without a single crevice to dodge into.
The shield on Li Qingshan’s left hand suddenly expanded, guarding him completely. There were a series of thuds, followed by great explosions.
The moment the bolts struck the shield, they exploded with startling power. If someone had been hit by one of these bolts, they would have died for sure.
Booms rang out from behind Li Qingshan as well, but he did not look back at all. Xiao An had already drawn her hidden blade, producing a series of blurs with it and knocking down each crossbow bolt with great precision.
However, there were various, densely-packed inscriptions below their feet. Even more lit up, enveloping the two of them, and the pressure became even heavier.
The shield struck the ground loudly.
“Senior brother, we’ve got him!” A delighted cry rang out.
However, what answered the voice was the shiny edge of a blade!
After Li Qingshan had left, Zhuo Zhibo sat back in his seat with his eyes closed, resting. Ge Jian stood to one side, afraid to ask anything about it.
After quite a while, Zhuo Zhibo snapped open his eyes. “Ge Jian, go gather everyone. We have to go provide reinforcements to Li Qingshan.”
Ge Jian was delighted, but he was also puzzled. “Commander, do we really need everyone?” If they really were worried that Li Qingshan would survive, just having Zhuo Zhibo go by himself would have been enough. It would be easier for them to cover up the entire matter and distance themselves from his death as well.
“If I tell you to gather them, go gather them!” Zhuo Zhibo said in displeasure. He felt slightly uneasy. He also began to think that maybe Li Qingshan was not as easy of a target as he had imagined.
Before long, Ge Jian had returned to Zhuo Zhibo with six Black Wolf guards. Li Qingshan had basically come into contact with all of them before. These were the same people who had obstructed Li Qingshan when he wanted to exchange his contribution for spiritual artifacts and pills. The people that Zhuo Zhibo told Ge Jian to gather were obviously not regular Black Wolf guards, but his actual trusted subordinates.
Looking at these people, Zhuo Zhibo’s sliver of uneasiness gradually vanished, while his hatred towards Li Qingshan only intensified. They could no longer reconcile now. He had to kill Li Qingshan.
Zhuo Zhibo said, “Do you know why I’ve summoned you all here?”
“Is it because of Li Qingshan?”
Zhuo Zhibo said, “Exactly. That kid has gone overboard with me. If I don’t kill him, I’ll never be able to rest at ease!”
“Please excuse me for what I am about to say. Li Qingshan might have some skill, but he’s only a second layer Qi Practitioner. He doesn’t need all of us to be mobilised, right?” A balding Black Wolf guard in his sixties said.
His name was Xie Nande. He was both one of the most experienced members of the Jiaping Hawkwolf Guard, as well as the strongest among them, which was why he was bold enough to question Zhuo Zhibo’s command.
The others felt the same.
Zhuo Zhibo understood that he needed to give them a satisfying reason. “Old Xie, I’ve already told the Zombie Daoist about Li Qingshan. I said to him that I’m sending him a great gift. The body of a Body Practitioner is fantastic for refining corpses. I refuse to believe that it won’t interest him.”
A mighty Black Hawk commander of the Hawkwolf Guard was actually working with their most wanted criminal. Moreover, he wanted to betray his own subordinate and sell him to the enemy.
However, none of the Black Wolf guards present found it to be anything strange. Xie Nande said, “Then there’s even less of a need for us. The old daoist’s skill with refining and nurturing corpses is simply startling. Even regular sixth layer Qi Practitioners aren’t his opponent. Li Qingshan is dead for sure.”
Zhuo Zhibo said, “The old daoist has remained hidden in the Zombie cave the entire time, so we could never even lay a finger on him. If we can lure him out and kill him this time, it’ll be a service of great merit. The old daoist is hiding a lot of good things on him too. Killing Li Qingshan will just be secondary, simply because it’s convenient.”
Xie Nande clasped his hands. “Commander, your schemes run deep, much deeper than anything I can ever think of. I am willing to serve you to the end of my life!” The other Black Wolf guards agreed loudly as well. The Zombie Daoist’s head was worth over ten thousand points of contribution, so if everyone obtained an equal share, they would receive over a thousand points at the very least. They would be able to exchange for quite a lot of good things.
As soon as dawn broke, a total of eight Hawkwolf guards left Jiaping with Zhuo Zhibo at the lead. They pursued Li Qingshan. This was an extremely terrifying force, enough to easily trample through many small sects and clans.
A few Hawkwolf guards watched them leave as they discussed amongst one another on the square below the giant hawk.
“Tsktsk, Li Qingshan is probably done for this time.” The Hawkwolf Guard with the bulbous nose shook his head and sighed.
“Shh, be quiet. We shouldn’t talk about it,” said a Hawkwolf guard beside him in warning.
“What’re you afraid of? All of those snitches have left with commander Zhuo.” Bulbous nose was unfazed.
“What are you talking about?” A cold voice rang out from behind them.