Human Mold chapter 8

Fate Is Too Wonderful For Words

A long, long time ago when Lu Zhiqiu just started eating people, he liked to pick out those delicious wicked people. Straight from their live, fresh body, he would take out their hearts and devour it, before peeling off their skin and slowly ate the four limbs before reaching what’s left of the torso. He ate their still warm flesh until it turned ice cold. Clearly, when it comes to eating a full-grown adult human, he could have swallowed them clean and quick. But he liked to savor the taste bit by bit, enjoying the warm blood flowing inside his throat, the moment he chewed the sinews and fibers of their flesh.

It might be that he was never too subtle with his actions, fame quickly followed his name and many rumours were attached to it. People were terrified of his reputation, using him as a figure in their folk tales to scare their children from going out late and carelessly running around. His story was told throughout all corners of the country, along with their abridged versions, causing its meanings to deviate.

Slowly, the rumors distorted him into an evil demon that especially liked eating children. In order to ‘appease’ him, every year the villagers would pick out a pair of virgin boy and girl from various villages, and bring them to a temporary shed-altar, hoping to offer them as sacrifices to the gods for their blessings and protection.

And so these villagers were safe and sound after the sacrifice, they even prospered. This convinced them that this was the demon’s reward for the sacrifices they offered. Thus, every year the villages that participated in these types of sacrificial rituals increased in number, the villagers all expecting safety and prosperity after a pair of children was sacrificed.

Lu Zhiqiu originally knew nothing about all these, as he wasn’t even the type of person who would linger too long wherever he ate his meals. He preferred to wander in all four directions, finding and tasting a few local wicked people along the way. This was just his innately carefree demon nature.

Until one day, he was calmly perching on a tree branch as he leisurely nibbled on an arm when he heard a group of people hurrying on their journey, who coincidentally decided to take a breather in the forest en route, right below his tree. They mentioned a grand sacrificial ritual festival that was being held, only then did he know that this kind of thing happened.

Really, it had nothing to do with him, but they’ve put on a grand show of a sacrificial offering. It piqued his curiosity so he went looking for the location of the sacrifice being performed by the villagers.

By the time he found it, he saw the villagers who were on their way back from the mountain and had already finished the ritual. Every strong-looking villager in their prime carried a wooden palanquin adorned with various fresh flowers and cloth. It seemed like these palanquins were originally used to carry the virgin boys and girls up the mountain.

As this noisy crowd left, the big mountain once again returned to its original peace and quiet, and that prominent wooden sacrificial shed-altar sits desolate at its peak.

This got Lu Zhiqiu very curious, these human children that have never even been to his taste, why exactly did they disappear? For a good few years these “gifts” were obviously sacrificed to him, but he himself has no clear knowledge of it. Then why don’t these children find their way back? Was it because they were eaten by other demons who borrowed his identity?

But when he walked closer to the wooden shed, he couldn’t smell any other demon’s scent, only the smell of humans. Lu Zhiqiu decided to directly enter the shed. He pulled off the knot on the knobs sealing the wooden doors and opened the door, finding out that there was not even a single child inside.

Looking around the setup of the shed’s interior, Lu Zhiqiu noticed a wooden sculpture at the center of the shed that was blocking a tunnel entrance. Humans can be such sly beings, to be able to learn this kind of trick. They were obviously not patient enough to completely destroy the wooden sculpture to let the people at the back dig through and fully expose the hidden cavern.

Stepping over the fragments of the carved wood sculpture, Lu Zhiqiu evaluated its appearance with disdain, “That doesn’t even resemble me the slightest bit.”

From within the cavern in the wooden shed, it was a straight line extending through to the back of the foot of the mountain. A secret route that only fits one person to dig a hole and go through.

If you follow the hole out of the mountain, a wide main road would appear before you. Although the road was now deserted, it was obvious from the tire and hoof imprints left behind on the ground that many horse-drawn carriages originally parked here, and it was those carriages that carried away the children being sacrificed by the village.

For the average human, it would be extremely difficult to trace the following whereabouts of these children. But for a non-human like Lu Zhiqiu, he could follow the faint marks on the ground and the scent trail, like a thread that could only be seen by demons. He followed along this line to find out.

The road leading up to the destination was abnormally secluded and surrounded by other decrepit buildings. Lu Zhiqiu quickly mimicked the appearance of the villagers who just came out of the wooden shed doors and blended in. As both feet stepped onto the long hallway that had been abnormally wiped clean, he followed the source of the sound and smell, nearing the end of its trail and pulled open the thick, sealed, copper gate.

Even before opening the door, Lu Zhiqiu was already smelling a dense, bloody scent. All of the sacrificed children were robbed of their lives, looking like butchered animals.

In fact, it can be said that even animals were treated much more humanely than them. One definite cut, and let them bleed out and suffer the least amount of pain. But these human kids, no matter the age or body type, have one similarity. They were all tortured to the very end of their lives, using various tools that Lu Zhiqiu couldn’t name. The whole courtyard looked like what the humans themselves would depict as hell’s landscape.

Lu Zhiqiu has no interest in knowing why these humans wanted to kill innocent children in such a sadistic manner, and what their goal was for slaughtering them. He only knew that these people used the legends of Child-Eater Demons to work together with many village heads and trigger panic so they would hold a sacrificial offering. The villagers offered a virgin boy and virgin girl as a sacrifice, and in turn they received money for such an act. This way, each party managed to achieve their goals in private.

Humans killing each other was a common sight for Lu Zhiqiu. What he’s seeing now was just one hair on nine oxen, one of many such massacres. But using his name to do such a thing, he wasn’t the least bit willing.

It was impossible to let go of those working on this scheme. What’s more, these are truly, truly vile people. The hearts that beat faster and panics when they would see him appeared. He could already smell, even this far away, how delicious it would be.

So Lu Zhiqiu ate up all those evil people in the house, and he ate them all up clean to their bones. Their taste was truly rich to how he imagined it to be.

It’s just Lu Zhiqiu didn’t know the host of this activity didn’t appear on that day, since he was unexpectedly delayed and couldn’t make it.

When the host found out his co-workers were completely devoured by a real demon, he was so scared he didn’t dare close his eyes for the whole night. In the end, he shouted for someone to write a public announcement on that very night. A 20,000 gold coin reward to summon anyone from any walks of life and job, to successfully exorcise a demon and ensure his complete safety.

Lured by the announced gold from the public announcement, any real or fake taoist or exorcist, it didn’t matter. They were all invited to the house of that host with the same goal of finding a countermeasure to catch Lu Zhiqiu.

Therefore, Lu Zhiqiu was suddenly incessantly trapped in many assasination attempts by people from all those walks of life. No matter the kind of magic artifact or tool, he had endured them all. Any scents he has smelled and reluctantly endured through. But in his rage, eventually he thoroughly ate all those that tried to capture him down to cleaning their bones.

Until finally he met someone with an exceptionally formidable spiritual power who managed to trap him at the JiaYuan Checkerboard Stone and there was no way for him to break free. At the very end, they even held up another powerful artifact, a dark grey monolith with a spell inscribed at it’s top to seal him, and buried him there.

Ironically that person did not take that Lord Host’s money, it was purely because too many exorcist taoists were dying lately that he could only settle the matters quickly himself. Which was why he didn’t really kill Lu Zhiqiu according to the public request, but only sealed him in the JiaYuan Checkerboard stone.

As time went by and the years elapsed, those who sealed Lu Zhiqiu weakened with age, and consequently their clan’s bloodline eventually thinned out, causing Lu Zhiqiu to finally start waking up.


Having completely cleaned off the Black Filth on Xia Lian’s finger, Lu Zhiqiu moved his hand and grabbed Xia Lian’s leg. He tore off the bandaid on the leg and saw the light grey palm imprint had darkened, and the skin surrounding the palm imprint were also starting to develop a light grey colour.

Caught off guard when his whole body was pulled upwards, his face planted flatly onto the bed sheets. With his legs suspended in midair, he subsequently felt that familiar warm and moist sensation licking his skin. He had thought his fingers were sensitive, but he never thought his calf would be even more so. One hand holding back a whimper that almost slipped out, Xia Lian shivered uncontrollably due to this stimulating position. This… is too…

“You, don’t you feel like us being in this position is too… weird- ma?” Xia Lian said hesitantly.

“Weird how?”

“That’s…” Really there was no way to use words to describe this. Xia Lian pointed to himself then pointed to Lu Zhiqiu before finally choosing to give up. “Is there really no better way to resolve this so-called Filth you talked about?”

“There is another way, but this method is the gentlest one. If you aren’t scared of pain, I could also choose to directly force them out of your body. Though there will be unstoppable bleeding. The pain… shouldn’t be so different from being burned alive.” In the end, this matter of removing the Black Filth from the host’s body, there is still a major difference between voluntarily coaxing and forcefully summoning it out.

“Erm, then you should just continue.” As he thought about it, he felt bloody and his muscles ached. Xia Lian immediately raised his hand to indicate to Lu Zhiqiu he could continue working with this gentle method.

Waiting until his leg had recovered back to its normal state, with no more grey palm imprint or prickling sensation, his head was also no longer unbearable dizzy, Xia Lian let out a long breath, “Like this, it’s settled then?”

“Not yet, I’ve only resolved the easy part.” Lu Zhiqiu’s hand pointed at the walls of the bedroom. Now that is the important part to resolve. “You’ve never seen Black Filth being removed- ba? This part is important, and it will be slightly loud~”

“Important? Loud?”

Before Xia Lian could react, he saw Lu Zhiqiu raise his hand and it was as if he was pinching something in midair. This forced the human-shaped mold attached to the wall to be ripped out.

The clump of grey was like dense thick dust being brushed off, or the strong, black emissions of car exhaust pipes. It wriggled in midair as it struggled to escape. When Lu Zhiqiu’s grip turned into a tight fist, that grey human shape let out a fierce howl, like a symphony of voices from different men, women, elderly, and young mixed together into a shrill shriek. it nearly ruptured his eardrums, and if it wasn’t for Xia Lian covering his ears in reflex, he felt like he would’ve become deaf.

Xia Lian waited until he recovered from the screech, his ears didn’t feel like his own and they were still slightly ringing. But that human-shaped mold that was suspended in mid air gradually became transparent, until it had completely disappeared, along with the shrieks.

The remaining humanoid molds were consecutively dragged out by Lu Zhiqiu with force, and one by one they disappeared. That misery-inducing blood curdling screech and anguished wailing didn’t stop until finally, the four bedroom walls that Xia Lian painstakingly covered with thick wallpaper for half a day was torn down and the humanoid mold on the wall behind the paper has completely disappeared. The walls were now completely clean of the mold, although the leftover pink wallpaper that wasn’t nearly torn off still hurt the eye.

Picking his ringing ears, Xia Lian highly suspects that only he and Lu Zhiqiu can hear this awful howling noise. If not, with a decibel this high at this late at night, his neighbours would have come up to bang on his door or shout abuse from across the street. Thus it’s clear that nobody else could hear this frightening sound. This was completely out of the line and extremely ear damaging, definitely not what Lu Zhiqiu was describing as “important”

“That’s good, all this Black Filth in your house has been resolved.” Clapping his hands together, as if dusting off non-existent mold dust, Lu Zhiqiu turned around and directly faced Xia Lian’s eyes, “How would you like to thank me?”

“Eh, I have to thank you?”

“Did you think I would help you for nothing?”

Xia Lian immediately stood up and dramatically exaggerated his gratitude. His hands grasped both of Lu Zhiqiu’s, shaking and with that attitude of a ‘sincere friendship’, he thanked him. “Then… you truly are a good demon. Thank you.”

“You’re sending me off with just two words?” Lu Zhiqiu bared his already visible fangs.

Trembling in fear, Xia Lian said, “Do you want money? But I just started working not too long ago, my wages aren’t high and I still need to pay for my utilities, transport, and grocery bills… So I don’t have much.”

“Who wants your human money!!” Lu Zhiqiu was really convinced by this human’s reactions that he was almost driven mad.

“Actually, in our current era, there are laws after the founding of the People’s Republic that we can’t become spirits. That’s why I feel it’s quite embarrassing in your case.” Swallowing his saliva, Xia Lian proceeded to boldly suggest. “In any case, you’ve been asleep for so long anyway, why don’t you think about getting some more? Wouldn’t it be better to wait until other demons and ghosts get their own freedom before you wake up again?”

“…” Lu Zhiqiu was stunned speechless as he was stopped in the middle of his speech by Xia Lian’s well-intended suggestion. He paced back and forth around the corner of the room in his frustration. Then in one fell sweep, his rage disappeared in an instant. He smiled very amicably and said to Xia Lian, “Don’t you know? I suddenly feel like I must properly observe and research this current world. After I’ve studied enough and adapted properly, I shall live with you. I think this idea isn’t so bad.”

“Eh?” Xia Lian immediately raised his eyebrows, completely at a loss and helpless in trying to come up with any way to politely reject this request.

“Yes, you might also not know, but anyone infected by the Black Filth, needs to be under observation even if it appears to have been exorcised completely. When it has attached itself to someone’s body, all the other Black Filth will feel it. So, although one part of your Black Filth has been expelled, as long as there is still Black Filth on this Earth, they will still be interested in you and slowly crawl over, looking for an opportunity to attach to your body.” Lu Zhiqiu seemed extremely patient in this moment, clearly showing how deep his obsession went with that Black Filth that was mentioned.

“So you’re telling me that those human-mold things still exist and they’ll come and find me soon?” Xia Lian asked, quickly catching on to the point of Lu Zhiqiu’s words.

“Yes, not only that, there are still a lot of them. Really, choosing to move houses is also now useless. Even if the most recent Black Filth originated from this house, no matter where you move away is useless now. They will follow you until you belong to them.

“…” After a moment of silence, Xia Lian suddenly grabbed Lu Zhiqiu’s sleeve, who was getting ready to leave. “Where are you going?”

“Seeing your reaction, it does not seem like you welcome me living together with you.” Lu Zhiqiu casted down his eyes in deep thought, as if he was really mulling things over. “So I was thinking if I should follow your suggestion and look for a place to sleep for a few more hundred years.”

“NO! No, no, you’re very welcome to stay here.”

“Truly?”

“Really! I’ve always wanted to have a roommate, but I’ve always been a loner. But you’ve just saved my life, and you’re leaving so soon, how can I deal with this guilt in my heart? Stay a little while, I could definitely teach you about the current world we’re in, and it’ll be my thanks to you.” Xia Lian, whose safety was suddenly diminished, was trying with all his might to try to prevent Lu Zhiqiu from leaving.

“Seeing how honest you are, trying to keep me from leaving,” Lu Zhiqiu let go of his fake demeanor, no longer appearing to contemplate anything, and looked straight at Xia Lian whose face was turning white and expression was panicked. Xia Lian didn’t know what other excuse he could find to convince Lu Zhiqiu to stay. Slowly he replied, “Very well, I will stay.”

“That’s really good.”

Truly, it really is good.

Looking at Xia Lian who breathed a sigh of relief but was trying hard to control himself from showing the joy in his heart, Lu Zhiqiu’s mind also thought similarly.


 

“Old man~ I’m home~” The old grandma who finished selling everything she brought out and having picked up the scraps and junk she found along the way, opened the door with a face brimming with joy and shouted inside.

“Ai~ my wife, what? I see you look so happy today?” The grandma’s husband, who had just finished cooking the last plate of dishes and arranged it in the middle of the table, asked her as he untied his apron.

“Of course! Today I earned quite a bit. I met this young man today, coincidentally he was in a bit of trouble, so I sold him a box of incense, earning quite a few hundred yuan ne~” the grandma very happily sat at the nearest chair. From her duffel bag she took out her wares one by one and arranged them/laid them out. Among them there were 4 or 5 boxes of incense. Looking at these incense, the grandma randomly opened the lid on one of them. The instant she saw the contents her face suddenly changed.

“Old man, that time when you helped me sort out the incense, did you put these different incense into the same box??”

“Ah? Have I?” the husband heard what she said, and quickly raised his head to look at the incense box that the grandma just opened, not remembering this kind of thing in the slightest bit.

“This box is the one for exorcism, why is there incense for fate-decreed marriages inside?” Opening all of the remaining boxes, the grandma only realised there were a few boxes with marriage incense, and a few with actual exorcism incense, so she was unsure which exactly she sold to the kid.

“Is there a difference?” The husband pushed up his near-sighted glasses, picking up the two boxes of incense to compare carefully.

“Of course! Exorcism incense is brown-colored, it’s used to ward off evil ghosts. Marriage incense is vermillion red, you use it to pray to meet your soulmate, to find your companion.”

“Then, then, when you sold your incense did you give him the wrong one?”

“It… shouldn’t be?” The old grandma wasn’t completely sure herself, because she never opened the box of incense to make sure what’s inside whenever she sold them.

“Ai, my wife, let’s just eat first. You just said it shouldn’t be the wrong one. When it comes to business, your skills are much better than mine, I am just an old man.”

“Hm, I hope that kid is alright, he seemed like a good youngster too.” The grandma tried hard to recall, but she couldn’t exactly confirm whether or not she actually gave him the wrong one. In the end she gave up and decided to toss this issue at the back of her mind. It’s just that she also quietly wished that the kid would be safe and sound.

END


Human Mold

Human Mold

人形霉斑
Score 7.8
Status: Completed Type: Author: , Released: 2020 Native Language: Chinese
Mold… Spreads from the darkest part of the house.As flecks of little grey spots, it spreads and expands quietly. Gradually, from a corner of the bathroom it grows slowly with patience during the scorching hot weather that turns people sweaty and irritable.In the suffocating dampness, the mold appears much more terrifying. Murky corners bloom out grey and black mold spots all over, giving off a damp and musty smell. However much it’s cleaned or scrubbed out, it’s impossible to stop the Mold from forming a humanoid shape.Xia Lan, an ordinary tenant living in a property costing way more than his budget, seems to be revered by the Mold. Will there be a way out of this farce? Perhaps.

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