Chapter 52: Mystic Arts Temple (7)
As he was mounting the horse, another problem arose.
The Lady Boss had a wheat-colored luster to her skin, and gave the impression of a relatively toned woman, yet it was as if her body could be easily blown away by the wind—she couldn’t even get on the horse after lifting her leg and trying to climb up several times.
Miao Yi could not continue looking on, and had reached out to give her a hand, but she inadvertently shied away. Clenching her lips, she demurely said, “Men and women should not be so intimate.”
“I……” Miao Yi almost fainted. You are going to be riding on the same horse with me, and yet you are still playing coy.
The Lady Boss held the reins for support and once again tried to climb, but to no avail. Miao Yi was going to faint soon, what time did she think it was already.
Unable to hold back a moment of fury, Miao Yi sent a heavy slap straight to her perky butt, smacking it with a crisp ‘pa’.
The Lady Boss was shocked, she covered her butt and turned around, her eyes widened as she glared at him.
The laymen that were carrying the palanquin, the confucian scholar, and the cook were all wide-eyed, their eyeballs almost popping out of their sockets, and their mouths were gaping so wide one could stuff an egg inside.
Miao Yi didn’t think too much about it, he was simply annoyed by this troublesome woman. Were it not for him being indebted to this bunch of people for sending him that warning, allowing him to avoid misfortune, he really wished to wash his hands of them.
As though he still had yet to realize what he’d done, he picked up the dazed Lady Boss off the ground, and hoisted her up the horse.
Just as he was about to get on top of the horse himself...
“Danglang… dang… dang…”
The stifling chime of a lute resounded from the dead silence of the temple, shocking Miao Yi to a standstill. He then hastily pulled down the Lady Boss, who was still staring at him cautiously, to his back and guarded her with his body, his transcendence vision quickly surveying his surroundings.
Yet he was the only person who was nervous, the others were still looking at him dazedly, clearly still in shock from his previous display of slapping the Lady Boss’ butt.
After the storm, under the cool refreshing moonlight, the weed-infested courtyard was empty and quiet; there was no trace of a person, yet the rings of the lute continuously resounded throughout the entire courtyard. It was not known from where it came, and though it was quite melodious alongside the trickling sounds of water from the eaves, no one would care if it was melodious or not under these circumstances.
Miao Yi could not deduce where the lute sounds originated, the Lady Boss and her crew slowly came to a realization and inadvertently glanced at the well in the courtyard, then quickly displayed expressions of terror; they planned to see how Miao Yi would handle this situation.
The “dang dang” sounds reverberated incessantly, it carried a lonely and eerie tune, as though it were filled with a frustration that had no place to vent.
Miao Yi lifted up the silver spear in his hand, pointed at his surroundings and shouted, “Who is this demonspawn impersonating as ghosts!”
From the ghostly lute sounds, the soft sigh of a girl echoed forth, as the strumming sounds continued, the girl’s voice eerily resounded throughout the courtyard, “A friend that comes from a distant place is a joyous occurrence, since you are already here why so anxious to leave? You might as well listen to a song of mine.”
The lute sounds paused, Miao Yi suddenly stared at the well in the courtyard, readying the spear in his hand.
Only to see a foggy, blood-red Yin breeze creeping up from inside the well. Within the Yin breeze, a greyish-white pearl the size of a quail egg flashed outwards, carrying the blood mist with it as it floated to the center of the courtyard.
The blood mist quickly solidified, eventually turning into a meek and beautiful girl with a hairpin tying up her luscious hair.
The girl was wearing a red bridal robe, and the bone white lute in her arms slowly descended onto the ground. She tucked her knees and sat on a tuft of grass, gently hugging the lute and playing it by herself—the depressing chimes of the lute resounded once more.
When this girl showed up, the three horses instinctively started neighing , as though they were in a state of extreme fear. They stomped their hooves as they tried to circle around the red-clothed girl, and then dashed towards the exit.
The red-clothed girl playing the lute had an indifferent look on her face, and softly sighed, “Some play the lute to the bull, and here I am playing it to the horse, aye! An animal that does not know my sentiments, what is the use of keeping it.”
As she finished saying this, the three horses had just passed by two ponds that were next to the temple gates. Suddenly, from out of the pond a few ferociously large hands shot out, grabbing their hooves, and in seconds had pulled them into the water.
The horses struggled in the pond, continuously neighing in distress, flailing about with loud splashes, but they were promptly repressed by the large hands, and blood soon rose to the surface of the pond.
The Lady Boss and crew revealed expressions of shock and fear—they were all trembling from terror.
Miao Yi swept a glance at the two ponds, he hadn’t expected that the other party would still have quite a few helpers; it seems it will be hard to end on peaceful terms today.
But with his temperament, and after being trained by Lao Bai for so many years, he was not someone to waver from fear. He pointed his spear and shouted angrily, “You are a ghost cultivator! We just came to this desolate temple for shelter from the rain. We have no grievances with you, so why did you kill my steed?”
The red-clothed girl paid no heed to his complaints. She lifted her elegant face, a look of sadness in her eyes as she gazed at him.
The slender fingers continued to strum the lute, and harmonising with the anguishing tones of the lute, she grumbled despondently, “A new daughter-in-law to a certain farmer’s house, visits Buddha in hopes of a seed, but the temple sheltered beasts unforeseen, humiliating and tainting the girl, casting her to the water temple…. Henceforth,under the ancient pagoda trees, the strumming of the lute, the wafting of a dissipating fragrance, filled with a desolate sorrow, they carry emotions of over a thousand days—who will know the tears behind the red song….”
Miao Yi was taken aback, but luckily he learned a bit of poetry with Lao Bai, so he could roughly understand the meaning.
The female ghost seemed to be saying that she was originally the new daughter-in-law to a farmer’s household, but when she came to the temple to pray for a child, she was soiled by the Buddhist disciples, and died in the well….
Thinking to this point, Miao Yi couldn't help wanting to vomit—he’d actually eaten food that was cooked with water drawn from the well.
The Lady Boss and crew’s expressions also began to change. They had also eaten food that was cooked with the well’s water, and were starting to feel a bit nauseous.
Everyone was disgusted, but compared to the female ghost’s tragic past, they barely managed to accept that fact.
“You want us to help avenge you?” Miao Yi asked cautiously.
Amidst the resounding of the lute, the red-clothed girl shook her head, and sighed, “I have already taken revenge. I simply wish for a kindred spirit to hear my grievances.”
Miao Yi’s expression relaxed, he looked up at the sky, and said calmly, “Very well! Tonight we shall stay here and listen to your grievances, and then leave in the morning.”
He had never fought a ghost cultivator before, so he was prepared to take the safer course of action for now.
The Lady Boss hid behind him, muttering something to his back. What she was saying couldn't be heard, but it felt like she was asking about Miao Yi’s mother.
“Since you are already here, then stay. Why were you in such a rush to leave when you just came? I am quite lonely here, so won’t you spend some more time with me?” the red-clothed girl complained as she looked at Miao Yi.
Miao Yi knitted his brows, and asked, “How long do you want us to stay with you?”
The red-clothed girl grumbled, “Naturally it would be best if you could all stay with me forever, listening to my rants every night.”
“Forever?” Miao Yi deadpanned.
“What? You are unwilling?” The red-clothed girl had a sad look on her face again, along with the depressing lute sounds, it was even more pitiful.
Miao Yi turned around to look at the people behind him, looked at the female ghost and smiled, “That is fine and all, but they still have pressing matters to attend to. What say you let them leave first, and I will stay here with you, how does that sound?”