152 Nan Tang Village from the Pas

    Chapter 152: Nan Tang Village from the Past

    "Meeping... Gibbering... Meeping..."

    Inside the silent morgue, Gu Jun's hands pressed heavily against the edge of the autopsy table. A low and strange whispering kept channeling into his mind. It was unclear where it came from, but it was getting louder, like phantoms sharing their conspiracies with him.

    "Leave him." Wu Siyu stopped everyone from approaching Gu Jun. She knew the signs. The illusion was coming. "He needs to do this. Don't worry, I'll keep a close eye on him."

    This language... appeared to be made up of only two strange words. Like how zero and one could construct anything in coding, the different intonation and combination of these two terms could signify different meanings as well. Gu Jun's brain was splitting, but he allowed himself to be carried along by the lullaby of the zombie language. If not for the rejuvenation provided by the autopsy earlier, he might not have been able to support this illusion. Tuning into the voices, the illusions were slowly coming into focus as they threatened to drown him.

    A dark, oppressive sky and bone-chilling wind. Gu Jun felt himself transported into another person's mind. He looked around and realized he was crouching on top of a large old tree... The moonlight was hazy, casting a weak light on his surroundings. Gu Jun could not tell for sure, but he seemed to notice sporadic squat mud houses down the distance. In any case, there was no building over three stories tall, and there was no concrete building. The houses were constructed from primitive materials. The roofs were made up of either black roof tiles or dry straw. He was definitely not within the vicinity of urbanization. The roads were equally unkempt, obstructed by overgrown grass and trees. There were no asphalt paths, only muddy tracks. There was no trace of anything modern like electricity poles. The mountain range around him seemed to close in on him.

    As much as things had changed, Gu Jun still managed to identify this place from its geographical features. He was at... Nan Tang Village! Or at least Nan Tang Village several decades ago...

    'Wait, this perspective of mine...' Something came to him. 'Am I inside Chen Shu's mind?'

    Eighty years ago, Chen Shu was about the age of a teenager. He was hiding in a tree when he spotted a strange ritual being performed at Ol' Uncle Dog's family yard...

    Soon, the village roads were filled with many moving figures. They were the villagers. They walked out of their homes expressionlessly. They appeared to be sleep-walking as they followed Chen Defa and the other three. Everyone-be it the young, the old, the male, the female-was marching in unison, although plodding would be a more suitable term considering their weak and slow gait...

    The strange voices turned up like they were summoning something. The village of several hundred people soon gathered around Ol' Uncle Dog's home. They knelt on the ground, and strange moaning came out of their mouths, but Gu Jun was sure it was not the zombie language. It sounded more like the hoarse braying of the beasts. Chen Defa and the other three walked into the yard. So, it turned out every single villager in Nan Tang Village had participated in this ritual. They just did not realize it. They had been swindled by illusions. That begged the question, what actually was the venison that they had feasted on?

    Seeing all this, Gu Jun's headache worsened. It got so serious that the illusions had started to waver. It was also then that he sniffed a certain stench in the air. It was the smell of putrefaction, specifically coming from bloated corpses. But last he checked, there was no sign of those, not in the yard, not in the village.

    "Meeping... Gibbering..." Chen Defa's group joined Ol' Uncle Dog's family and started to chant that strange language. Their wrinkled faces had shed their usual senility. Instead, it was replaced by a kind of frenetic madness. They appeared even more fanatic than Ol' Uncle Dog's family. The chanting in the yard rose louder and faster until they suddenly stopped all at once. The walking dead of the villagers suddenly whipped their heads around to look at the big tree. Their eyes were glassy and lifeless.

    "You have arrived." They began to speak. The voices of several hundred people mixed into a simple affirmation. It was the same statement that Ol' Uncle Dog had told him when he found himself on the nightmarish island. 'You have arrived...'

    Suddenly, a jolt of pain gripped Chen Ge's heart. The illusion before his eyes shattered. He groaned in pain and almost collapsed onto the table. Uncle Dan and Cai Zixuan immediately rushed over to catch him. Wang Ruoxiang asked with concern, "Are you alright?"

    "Ah." Wu Siyu sighed in relief. She appeared to be unfazed by the way Gu Jun had reacted. "He's fine, don't worry about him."

    Then she went back to her couch and planted herself back down.

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    "Just give me some rest, and I'll be fine..." Gu Jun allowed them to carry him to a tall stool while he tried to dissect the illusion that he had seen. While he was catching his breath, a call came into Uncle Dan's communicator. He answered it, and then his face darkened. He turned to Gu Jun. "Ah Jun, the elder from Nan Tang Village, Chen Shu, has just passed away."
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