Thanks for the Ko-fi ✨✨✨✨K✨✨✨✨
The man saw Kou Dong in front of the door, his expression suddenly changed and he reached out to close the door.
In this second, Kou Dong pinned a leg into the door and forced the door out of a crack. The man tried several times but couldn’t close the door. He simply threw the door down and walked into the room.
Kou Dong grabbed his arm. “What are you running for?”
The man didn’t look back at him, but his voice was cold, “Go. We won’t talk to strangers.”
Hearing those words, Kou Dong smiled.
He used more force in his hand, not letting the man break free.
“Or you don’t dare?”
Qin Tong was silent and finally turned his head around. His face was fair and gentle, and now he looked like an ordinary man, different from the green-faced, fierce look he had when he took off his mask. He stared at Kou Dong, his eyes looked as if he wanted to tear him apart.
“What do you want to ask?”
Kou Dong said, “All you know.”
A child in the room ran out, picking at the door and shouted father, he looked at Kou Dong, and cowardly shrank back and whispered: “It’s Piggy ……”
Kou Dong’s Nuo mask.
When the man saw the child, his expression also instantly changed.
“Go back and play,” he urged the boy, “adults are talking, don’t interfere.”
The boy wanted to see more of Zhu Baijie, and stared reluctantly at Kou Dong. The man hit him on the back several times before it worked and coaxed the child back.
He turned his head back and found Kou Dong staring at the child’s back as he entered.
Qin Boy understood what he was asking and smiled bitterly, “Yes.”
His voice was extremely soft.
“His mother fed him. — He didn’t know and always thought that part was a dream.”
Kou Dong felt sick.
The fact that the innocent-looking child had actually eaten the flesh and blood of his own kind didn’t make it any better.
“Where to start?” Qin Tong whispered, “Come on, let’s go over there so we won’t be heard by him ……”
His pupils were dark and deep as he let out a soft sigh.
“It’s time to dig this sin out.”
He didn’t know when the first god appeared.
But from the memory of Qin Tong’s birth, there already existed such a god, kind-eyed, surrounded by auspicious clouds, sitting alone on the temple’s divine throne. The newly born child was carried to the god to ask for his blessing, and the god would stroke his hand over the child’s forehead, spreading god’s grace over all beings.
Under his blessing, for a hundred years, the village of Shanhai had always been prosperous. Incense in the temple had never been discontinued, every year, the people would hold a grand Nuo opera, singing and dancing, with tributes, common dedication to the god who blesses them with peace.
Qin Tong often went to see such Nuo opera in his childhood.
At that time, people laughed, danced and sang around the year’s harvest.
They often went before the gods to pray. Prayers for a speedy recovery, newlyweds prayed for an early birth, the family that had elderly prayed for peace and quiet, young children prayed for a smooth growth – even the most heartless people, would pray to the gods, wishing their family wealth, sending box collection of thousands of gold.
god granted their requests and gave them the good fortune they desire. Day after day, year after year, his incense grew stronger and stronger. The villagers cast new statues of him and worshipped him more and more diligently.
“Until that year,” Qin Tong whispered, his gaze sinking to a point in the air, as if in memory, “that year …… without warning, he entrusted us with a dream.”
In the dream, the earth shook, the village and town fell, the people were not living.
Shanhai village from top to bottom, no one was alive.
After waking up from the dream, the villagers all knew that it was a reminder from god, so they dared not sleep again. At the third hour, everyone ran out of their homes and gathered together in the only open space near the village.
“Is it true?”
“Who can know, but one can never go back-”
As the day dawned, the idea of going back came to some people again. The crops they planted, some of the money they saved at home, the cattle, sheep and pigs they raised …… were all still there.
The village chief, however, stopped the people and simply said, “Listen to the words of the gods.”
He was old and spoke fairly, and had great authority in the village. Those who wanted to go back were not convinced, but they didn’t dare to argue with him, and were thinking of sneaking back, when they heard a child exclaim: “Look -”
The omen in the dream came true. The land they depended on for survival opened its hideous mouth, devouring houses and livestock with abandon. The sky shook, the villagers couldn’t even stand, and their ears were filled with the rumbling sound of falling houses.
Thanks to the gods’ warning, the people of Shanhai Village survived.
They spent the day in the clearing, and when they returned, they all cried out to the sky.
The house was gone, the livestock was gone, and the valuable things were gone.
The good thing was that the people were still there, it was enough to make people happy.
Someone proposed to see the temple, the old village chief took the crowd together, but saw that in the middle of the desolation, only the temple is tall and majestic, standing. The statue of the deity still had a dignified face, one hand holding a flower, has not been half damaged.
The villagers were relieved.
But it was from then on that other thoughts came to them.
–In the midst of such a disaster, the gods did not need to take refuge and remained unharmed.
Why did they have to hide and abandon their homes and businesses?
If only they could live forever like the gods.
If only they could also live forever ……
At first, it was just one person who thought this way.
Later, more and more people had the same thought. They had prayed to god for many things; they asked for health, for love, for children, for riches ……
They were now living in peace and happiness, marrying wives and having children in the land, and had no other prayers.
— Why, then, should they not pray to the gods for eternal life?
They also want to become as powerful as god.
When Ye Yanzhi heard this, he let out an unrelenting snort. Qin Tong also laughed bitterly, shook his head, and muttered, “…… Now that I think about it, it was crazy back then.”
That scene of the fall stirred up the deepest desire of the human heart to live, and they even threw away their reason and frantically prayed to god to grant them eternal life.
god, of course, could not grant it. In fact, He himself was not incorruptible and immortal.
But the angry people didn’t listen to his explanations. They had asked god for so many years, and had never heard a refusal – and now this refusal they could never accept.
In the heat of the moment, the people overthrew the idol and extinguished their faith. Fear of death was unleashed on the idol, they punched and kicked it, and by the time they came to their senses, the idol had been cut to pieces.
At that time, the villagers thought that all they needed to do was to cast the idol again, and then nothing would happen.
After all, they were only momentarily indignant, they still needed the god to bless the party with peace.
“But no.” Qin Tong said, “He couldn’t come back …… No matter how many idols we cast, how much we kneeled him and begged him, he never came back.”
“Shanhai village without the blessing of the gods, soon began to go downhill. The original village of so many people, then there were more than a hundred left.”
“After that,” Qin Tong’s voice tightened violently, “he – then appeared.”
Kou Dong knew that this he, talking about the evil god who was now enshrined in the temple.
“He said that he had a way to help us live forever.” Qin Tong’s teeth chattered and creaked as he struggled to get each word out of his mouth, “We believed it.”
Only after the original god had disappeared did the people understand what this really meant. They had nowhere to pray, and no one to bless them with peace, no more luck, every family had bad luck, the land was barren, harvest failed year after year.
Shanhai Village needed a new god too much.
“We helped him fight the idol,” Qin Boy shivered even more, as if remembering the image, “on the day the idol was cast, he, he-”
He bit his tongue violently, and finally spat out the words with difficulty, “He abused and killed the whole village.”
The new god slaughtered the village.
The latter plot, Kou Dong already knew all about it. The new god’s so-called method of immortality was to put the death.
The villagers who had become ghosts had to enter his game, and the ghosts who had successfully eaten people in the game were able to turn into villagers again. After reincarnating as villagers, they indeed couldn’t live or die, and in this, the evil god didn’t deceive them.
“How is this called immortality!” Qin Tong buried his face violently into his hands, shaking from head to toe, “How is this called eternal life …… I remember clearly, I remember how I ate people …… I dreamed that he came to me. ”
“My child, how old is he? Came out of that game saying for a whole year he was afraid …… he’d never grow up. He also ate people, how is he going to live after that? And what am I going to say to him?”
“…… can’t live.”
“In that case, it would be better to die.”
But they couldn’t even die, day by day they were living here meticulously, not even knowing what they could actually be called.
Kou Dong was silent for a long time and asked, “So, you won’t talk to outsiders?”
“Right.” Qin Tong rubbed his face vigorously in pain, “Also because, the gods do not allow us to talk to them.”
In those Nuo masks, they didn’t know which one was the blood relative of the people in this village.
Now those blood relatives were all green-faced ghosts. They must eat innocent outsiders here in order to return to them.
This was both absurd and cruel, Qin Tong still felt like it was a nightmare.
It seemed that when they woke up, they would still see the god sitting on top of the temple, holding flowers and laughing gently.
He hung his head down completely.
Kou Dong thought for a moment and asked him a question.
“Besides the temple, did anyone else in your village light sandalwood incense?”
The Qin Tong shook his head and whispered, “That is exclusively for his use. — We are all afraid of him.
Naturally no one would use sandalwood incense in their homes.
Kou Dong looked as if he was thinking, and only after a few minutes did he say, “One more question for you.”
Qin Tong smiled bitterly, “You already know everything.”
There was nothing more he could say
“Not these,” Kou Dong said, “-when the old gods were still around, did any of you ever meet the new gods?”
This question made Ye Yanzhi also put down the arm he was holding and stared firmly into Qin Tong’s eyes.
Qin Tong was a bit lost in thought. He slowly searched his memories, hesitated for a moment, and finally shook his head.
“We – never met.”
After going out from Qin Tong’s house, Kou Dong was out of his mind for a while.
Ye Yanzhi said, “This is actually good news.”
Indeed, now that they knew exactly where the ghosts came from, it wouldn’t be hard for them to guess how many ghosts were in the group. Just check the population of the village, and then correspond with the number on that lamp, those who hadn’t been able to transform into villagers were naturally the ghosts in this game.
Kou Dong: “Yes. But I always feel that we can not just leave.”
Ye Yanzhi said, “Not go?”
He held up his arms again, looking unhappy, and said coldly, “Is it difficult to save them? They asked for it.”
He didn’t like these villagers at all, and became more disgusted when he learned about the past. “He has no conscience.”
Kou Dong hesitated a little. After a few minutes, he replied, “Yes. But god is also wrong.”
The scene he had seen in the temple suddenly appeared before his eyes again. Ten thousand people worshipped, many believers.
Ye Yanzhi looked like he could get angry right away.
“What’s wrong with him? –He’s not at all wrong!”
Kou Dong stopped talking and just held him in his hands, looking at him with a smile. The little man was gradually made uncomfortable by such a gaze from him, and the youth’s eyes seemed to penetrate Nuo mask’s face, looking at him almost melting.
He said in a jarring voice: “What for?”
“My cub will comfort dad,” Kou Dong said gratefully, “I’m so touched.”
Ye Yanzhi: “……”
I regret that I spoke.
“It’s all right,” Kou Dong stroked his head, “I won’t be sad. Didn’t you say that, it’s the story automatically created by the game, not something I experienced.”
Ye Yanzhi didn’t speak for a long time, and then said in a dull voice, “That’s not good.”
Whether it was virtual or real, seeing Kou Dong experience such made him extremely uncomfortable. He didn’t want to care about these so-called villagers at all. He wished they would be trapped in this ghost village forever.
Kou Dong taught him: “Don’t be too extreme, son. Don’t you think your mind is a bit like NPC now?”
Ye Yanzhi knew he said this mindlessly, but still couldn’t help but tense up his nerves and ask: “How about if it’s like?”
Kou Dong fiercely cupped him up and gave him a big kiss. The little man was too small at this moment, so he kissed his whole face, after the kiss Ye Yanzhi was dumbfounded, he didn’t know where to put his two hands.
Father Kou couldn’t help being proud. “Alas, my son loves me…”
Ye Yanzhi didn’t respond. He was immersed in the sudden kiss. His legs became weak, and he was dizzy and fell into Kou Dong’s palm.
Although it was more like a tough mask hitting his face——
He put his hand on his lips, his heart beating like a mad rabbit.
It was still a kiss!
The little man in Ye Yanzhi’s heart began to run in crazy circles.
Kou Dong was unaware of his overly intense mental activity, the cub stood still for a while, he didn’t know that his legs were weak because of excessive excitement. He held the little man well and touched Ye Yanzhi’s cheek, “Be careful, don’t fall down.”
Ye Yanzhi’s fingers were still pressing his lips, and his eyes were full of warmth. If he was an adult at this time, the youth definitely wouldn’t escape.
Kou Dong looked at him and suddenly said: “You are my milk tea.”
Immersed in the kiss, Ye Yanzhi blankly raised his head up: “??”
He didn’t understand.
Kou Dong: “So I can hold you in the palm of my hand.”
After saying that, he laughed and touched the little man’s head again, “So, I can carry you around …… hahahahahahaha!”
The pink bubble was suddenly smashed: “……”
He lowered his head expressionlessly and thought to himself that he was simply an idiot for being heartbroken.
Obviously, Kou Dong wasn’t in need of his this pity.
——Direct work was the most convenient and effective way to treat him.
Until he called him father.
He gradually began to imagine.
After laughing, Kou Dong pulled back the topic with difficulty, “Seriously, god is not particularly innocent. He was always granting their requests and spoiled them rotten.”
This was like when a bear child made a big mistake, of course the child was at fault, but so were the parents right?
Kou Dong knew that he was not this god in the game. In fact, this god may not even exist before the specific image, it was after he entered that the game automatically replaced the important plot NPC with his face, in order to make the NPC good sense become more reasonable, but also more acceptable to the rules.
But perhaps because he had seen that scene with his own eyes in the temple, he actually felt the same way.
He had to do something.
He picked up the clay again from the corner. The little man frowned and asked him, “What are you doing again? I don’t want it.”
Mature men don’t need mud men.
Kou Dong said, “It’s not for you.”
He rolled the clay ball in his hand, pinched it and tied it to a rope. The rope wrapped around a long, thin wooden stick, he made a fishing rod.
The living and breathing clay man was the bait.
Ye Yanzhi still didn’t understand. What was he doing?
“Still don’t see it?”
Kou Dong said fervently, lifting the fishing rod up, “- I am going to fish for children.”
Not that he said it, but the youth, with this stance, really looked like a kidnapper ……
Kou Dong began to go around from house to house.
Hearing a child moving inside, he threw the bait over the wall and slowly dragged it towards the door. The children in the village had fewer toys, and didn’t see strangers, day after day, year after year was the same scene, they had long felt bored.
Besides, they weren’t human now, and their parents didn’t care too much. After a while, a child really got hooked and opened the door to explore.
As soon as the door opened, the strange uncle stood in front of it and waved at them.
“Come on,” he said softly, “come, brother will take you out to play ……”
Ye Yanzhi: “……”
He wanted to call the police.
The child hesitated for a few minutes, looked at the clay man in Kou Dong’s hand, and then looked at Kou Dong. Today Kou Dong’s Nuo mask was piggy, the village children knew it; plus the good sense buff, even if they didn’t want to like him, the couldn’t.
So after hesitating again and again, he actually really took a step and whispered: “You’ll take me out?”
Kou Dong took his hand, “Yes, brother will take you to play hide-and-seek.”
Everyone liked to play hide-and-seek. When the child heard this, he couldn’t help but leap a little.
Kou Dong suddenly let go of his hand, looking a little deflated. The child was busy pulling his hand tight, he tilted his face and asked, “What’s wrong?”
What a great actor, Ye Yanzhi thought to himself, this NPC actually still cared about the abductor.
Kou Dong didn’t say anything, he just shook his head. The child asked again and again before he said, “There are too few people.”
This was quite a reasonable statement. There were so few people, how could they play hide-and-seek?
The child understood a little and eagerly comforted him: “It’s okay, I’ll find you a few more!”
It was easier for him to call the children than for Kou Dong to call them. In a short while, Kou Dong was surrounded by a group of children, yelling to play hide-and-seek.
Kou Dong saw that it was almost time, so he took them to the corner and said, “You hide…”
All the children eagerly looked at him.
“I will catch you first,” Kou Dong said, and then smiled. “Later, there will be new partners to participate in the game. I will reward the clay figure to the child who finds it first.”
His voice was meaningful.
“-Everyone, be good at finding it.”
In the middle of the night, the street was silent. Only a blood-colored moon hanging high in the sky, spilling out from above, was a hazy and strange light.
After a few rounds of games, there was movement on the street corner. Kou Dong saw the two ghosts who had successfully identified tonight had come out to enjoy the food, they were still wearing Nuo masks, and walked straight in one direction.
Although the mask changed every morning, the room didn’t change. To avoid players guessing the identity of other players by where they live, the address of each Nuo mask couldn’t be seen by others.
Only ghosts that foraged for food at night could walk the right way.
Kou Dong was behind the wall, watching them walk towards that one spot in the darkness. He suddenly reached out and patted the child beside him, whispering, “Here it comes.”
The child also poked his head out and tried to see what it was.
They saw two Nuo masks.
“Are those two uncles?”
“Yes.” Kou Dong whispered, “Now, they’re hiding-”
“Good boys, go and find them.”
Obeying his words, the children rushed happily to that spot. They were not Nuo masks and not controlled by this rule, and easily followed the ghost into the room.
Things had developed to this point, Ye Yanzhi also understood Kou Dong, “The two of them should thank you.”
The ghost would never eat people in front of their own children. The two players who should have disappeared tonight were considered to have saved their lives.
Kou Dong, however, shook his head and whispered, “Just one.”
Ye Yanichi froze, and then it also dawned on him – of course only one could be saved.
The villagers who turned into ghosts would be concerned about their children, but the fish spirit who was killed by the laughing monk would not be concerned. He was a player who came in from the outside and was killed in the game by the laughing monk, so why would he give up his revenge just because an NPC broke in?
Thinking through this, he looked at Kou Dong again.
He pointed out two doors to the group of children. Behind one door, was the villager who would stop; behind the other door, was the actual scene of the bloodshed.
–the scene that would remind the children of those nightmares.
Seeing it with their own eyes, they would know that it wasn’t a dream.
It was the truth.
Kou Dong tore the facade that the villagers had carefully maintained in front of the children.
In the distance, there was a sudden scream, and the cries of the children followed, completely tearing up the quiet.
Kou Dong leaned slightly against the wall, he stretched out two legs, and then put his palms over Ye Yanzhi’s ears.
“Good boy, don’t listen–”
Under this moonlight, the side of his face was calm and almost cruel.
“–they have to pay something for this sin.”
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