All Men Deserve to Die (Except the Young Daoist)
At first, the plan was for Li Chu and a group of constables to wait for the appearance of the vengeful spirit at Xue family manor.
The constables in the magistrate office appeared to be very helpful. They all patted their chests and talked big in front of the surviving female Xues, promising to rid the evil spirits so they could return to their beautiful home.
However, when it was getting late, all those constables started to make excuses after the female Xues were checked in a nearby inn.
Some said their mothers were sick, some said their wives, even mothers, were having an affair. In short, they all did a disappearing act.
Zhou Dafu ended up angry. “D*mn it! Those buggers slipped away while I went to the latrine! Dont worry, Young Daoist Li, I will get them back one by one!”
After Chief Constable Zhou said that, he swaggered out and never came back again.
Li Chu had long known their behaviors.
He was happy to have no one around disturbing him while he drove out the evils.
Inside a bedroom of Xue family manors courtyard.
Li Chu sat on a grandmasters chair behind the room divider with a sword placed horizontally on his laps, quietly waiting for the vengeful spirit.
It was a deserted bedroom with extremely simple furnishings, a stark contrast to the gorgeous bedroom in the backyard. No wonder Xue Familys First Madam was so resentful when she was banished to this place.
There was a worn white mark on the bare beam where the madam hung herself in the house. The vengeful spirit she had transformed into was going to appear here.
The night in Yuhang Town was quiet.
Willow branches swayed gently in the evening breeze.
Since it was summer, the front and back doors and windows in the bedroom were open. It felt cool when a gust of wind blew through the house.
The cool moment turned into chills.
And the chills worsened.
Another gust of wind came and blew out the dim lamp in the house.
Li Chu rested with his eyes closed when this happened. He opened his eyes at once, as he knew something had appeared.
Quietly, in front of the room divider, a figure was seen hanging on the beam of the room.
Its neck was stretched, its tongue hanging out and swaying. He could see through the room divider the figure was dressed up to the nines. By the looks of the costume, it could be a burial robe.
When Li Chu opened his eyes and looked at her, he felt that the figure hanging upside down was also looking at him.
A faint, creepy voice rose in the room after a long while. “All men deserve to die.”
Li Chu frowned in a reflective pause. “Madam, in fact, you dont have to be like this at all. If you know that Xue Dayong has let you down, it means you have seen through him as a heartless person. Why did you take your own life out of vengeance”
The vengeful spirit had little intelligence left with it. So he did not know if this conversation was going to work. But he still felt the need to talk sense to her.
Every vengeful spirit died with grievances. It need not have to be this way, he thought.
“All men must die.” The voice came again.
This time the tone was even more ululating. The chilly wind got stronger outside, sending the doors and windows slamming shut and open violently.
“I know you have a lot of grievances, but you cant solve hatred by harming yourself. It will not end up well for you, even though you have killed Xue Dayong. What is the point”
“All men must die.” That voice was unrelenting.
The entire room became biting cold, and even mist had condensed into frost as she yelled these words the third time.
Li Chu started to have hallucinations. There was a faint joyous sound of wedding rising outside, but a woman with a broken heart in the room, hanging herself to her death in the darkness. It felt icy cold in the heat of the midsummer.
“Even if you want to retaliate as a vengeful spirit, you shouldnt shift your anger on all men.” Li Chu did not give a damn as he continued. “There should only be the good against the evil, even if there is a need for conflict in this world. You should not have pitted men against women. Are you not done yet after killing Xue Dayong Those servants of the Xue family are innocent.”
Li Chu finished what he wanted to say at last.
The figure hanging on the beam of the room started to sway, as if it was about to break free from the shackles of the long rope around its neck at any time. A shrill somehow sounded from its throat. “All men must die.”
There was nothing Li Chu could do about it. He sighed upon hearing the same sentence.
It did not work to reason with a vengeful spirit.
People are basically repeaters.
So do vengeful spirits.
The long rope snapped at once and the hanging figure plunged. Instead of falling on its head, the figure landed on its legs and stood firmly in place. The next second, it came through the room divider.
Li Chu could now see the true face of the First Madam.
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She was wearing a thick white burial robe, her face in terrifying pale. She could no longer be recognized by her facial features before her death. The most striking thing about her was her dangling red tongue.
She came in front of Li Chu, opened her arms and lunged forward, nails suddenly extending out of her fingers. “All men must—”
Li Chus eyes were focused with his right hand clenching the sheath.
Drawing the sword and killing the vengeful spirit were all done in the blink of an eye.
The madams voice and her movement instantly froze in place.
Her long neck suddenly stiffened, her body arching. Instead of pouncing at him, the woman staggered two steps backward.
Because her hands were held high in an attack posture, they now looked as if a gesture of surrender.
“Man... man...” A whimper came from her throat. “What a handsome man.”
It mystified Li Chu.
What was going on with this sudden compliment He had been getting this type of flattery many times a day, but having it under such circumstance was a novel experience.
“Men... Men are...” The scarlet bloodshot eyes of the woman faded, as if she was having a painful internal struggle.
Instead of taking this opportunity to make his move, Li Chu allowed her to wrestle with herself in her mind.
Her body shook stiffly for a long while before the deep black in her eyes got the upper hand.
The chilly wind around him halted.
“Had Xue Dayong been so handsome, I might not have hated him.” Her voice softened, no longer ululated.
Although it felt weird, she was no longer as resentful as before.
“Madam, have you let go of your hatred” Li Chu held the hilt of his sword, hesitating for a while whether to strike.
“Not so easy.” The woman sneered, her red long tongue tossing back and forth as she shook her head.
It was a simple action, but it looked terrifying on her.
Li Chu wanted to draw his sword upon hearing what she said.
As his strength was gathering in his wrist, he suddenly saw the woman looking up at him with a scary face.
“I could probably let go if you will give me a hug.”
Li Chu was struck dumb.
Probably he had not seen enough of the world. He did not know that this was a part of exorcism.
“I have never hugged such a handsome man in my life,” the woman said again.
Her tone of voice seemed to show that she was blushing.
Li Chu was taken aback, staring at the womans face, which was anything but pleasing.
Besides, letting a vengeful spirit come closer was a dangerous thing to do.
But if this helped resolve her grievances...
Li Chu loosened his grip on the sheath, his face expressionless as he opened his arms.
A smile seemed to break out on the womans face. She lunged forward but did not strike out her claws. What she said was genuine.
In fact, she could not hug Li Chu.
Spirits are incorporeal and humans are entities. The two may attack each other by spiritual power, but they cannot touch each other.
The womans body started to fade as she flew toward Li Chu.
Pieces of memory came to mind.
There were handsome young men proposing marriage to her when she was young. Although not as half handsome as this young Daoist, those guys were well-known young men from the nearby regions.
But she preferred Xue Dayong, because she thought ugly men were more faithful.
Because of this, she harbored resentment towards Xue Dayong in the days that followed.
She thought since she had given up on handsome guys for an unlovely face like Xue Dayong, he should treat her better.
Such a mentality could break the most loving couples.
The taking of a concubine by Xue Dayong was the last straw that broke the camels back.
She did not expect that a coward like Xue Dayong would defile her protest to taking in a concubine. Not only that, he banished her to the side courtyard just because of that second wife.
Just when her resentment was going through the roof, that person appeared.
The woman opened her eyes suddenly as she had something to tell this Young Daoist.
But she could no longer say a word. When a vengeful spirit lost its last grievance, it would vanish right away.
Li Chu blinked and breathed a sigh of relief as the woman vanished while flying towards him.
He put his hand to his face.
He often heard people around him say he was handsome, but he had never thought so.
Instead, he thought he only had an unassuming face.
It was because all humans looked alike to him.