202 Ghosts

    On the flat land, a small caravan was trotting along an arduous journey.

    Based on what Yu Jian had said, the environment around the region here was harsh. Occasionally, there might be ice storms, and temperatures would drop drastically at night. Wild beasts native to the icy plains might even appear, and without the protection from the spiritual array, it would be a daunting task for them to even survive.

    The village would form the caravan on a regular basis and head towards Descending Star Country. Using large amounts of low-quality staples, they were able to trade for top quality salt, weapon, and necessities they need for their survival.

    Of course, the largest caravan would be the one escorting the contribution to the spiritual array master in Descending Star Country for him to continue to maintain the array.

    It was a pity that the most experienced and respectable person in the village was Village Head Shi. In reality, he was also rather inexperienced and could only boast about his travels and experiences in Descending Star Country when he was younger. To Fang Yuan, this was considered nothing worthy.

    "Descending Star Country is just ahead. We will reach there after 8 nightfalls!"

    Among the caravan, Yu Jian was extremely excited.

    The caravan consisted of many people, and there were many full sacks on the cart. The animal pulling the cart along was a huge black boar. It had a hump on its back and it was covered in blubber.

    Based on what Yu Jian had said, the 'Black Peak Boar' was extremely common here. It was the most widely used ride and its thick blubber allowed it to withstand the cold. It could even last a few days without food due to its fatty reserves. Furthermore, it ate anything that was given to him. Most importantly, it was a delicacy.

    As he described, the young boy swallowed his saliva; his mind was filled with the fragrant taste of roasted meat.

    Fang Yuan had a cart to himself. He was one of the few who did not have to walk on his feet. Looking at the Black Peak Boar, he was speechless.

    To serve its whole life, and to end up at a delicacy, it was a selfless animal.

    "Eh? This caravan is too quiet!"

    The well-built guard who was leading the villagers was Li Hu. He was 7-feet tall and was a proud man. He draped a tiger's hide around him and held a Hundred Casted Knife. After walking around, he commented.

    The region around Descending Star Country was not a safe place to be. As long as it was beyond the lake which surrounded the city, anything could happen here and the soldiers of the city would not care.

    Furthermore, the harsh environment produced many hardy beasts native to the region. These were the best type of animals for the caravan to hunt.

    Previously, in the many times they had escorted the goods, even with the accompany of villagers from other villages, there were always being ambushed, which caused them to lose their goods.

    However, this journey was a peaceful one; there was not even an animal in sight.

    'This is the power of a skilled martial artist!'

    Li Hu looked at Fang Yuan and his eyes were filled with admiration.

    'It's a pity that I'm too old. There is no hope for me in learning martial arts. Also, this lord has not expressed his interest in any of the girls in our village...'

    He sighed inside. Suddenly, he saw Yu Jian walking forward to talk to Fang Yuan, and gave a hopeful look.

    Perhaps, the entire village's hope was laid on this young boy.


    "Beasts native to the icy plains? Compared to normal beasts, these beasts have a little spiritual property!"

    As his magical will shook, Fang Yuan detected an icy snake laying in ambush nearby. Slowly, Fang Yuan gave off a hint of spiritual aura.

    The snake had killed many animals on its way here and was filled with a murderous vibe.

    However, just a little spiritual aura from Fang Yuan was able to strike fear in the snake, and it escaped.

    Along the way, if not for Fang Yuan who was secretly helping them, this small caravan would have encountered dangers everywhere, and it would be a miracle if anyone here could survive.

    "This region is indeed harsh!"

    Fang Yuan grabbed a handful of black rice and thought to himself.

    This was the main produce of Rock Village. It had an average taste and it felt like grains of sand; dry and tasteless. The only good thing about this rice was that it grew at an exceptional rate and was resistant to cold weather. This was enough for survival in this region.

    Furthermore, there were only a few pieces of land near Rock Village which could support the growth of this rice. It needed constant care and protection, or it would be eaten by wild animals, which would result in a reduced harvest.

    In this caravan was almost half of the entire village's stock of black rice.

    "Everyone, stay alert!"

    Li Hu exclaimed. "We are reaching Red Leaf Village ahead. We have good relations with their village head, and we can request him to let us stay over in their village for the night!"

    "It was a peaceful journey this time. If we can make it to the city, we can surely trade for a lot of top quality salt, and over 13 pounds of scrap metal..."

    Yu Jian followed the village accountant along the way and slowly learned how to calculate. His eyes were filled with joy.

    In the Descending Star Region, every child had to contribute their part to the village. In the face of survival, everyone was equal and there were no priorities given.

    "Red Leaf Village?"

    Fang Yuan sighed deeply and called for Yu Jian. "You have good relations with their village head?"

    "That's right... Red leaf Village is close to Descending Star Village. They have a huge flat and fertile land nearby and their protective array is much stronger than that of Rock Village..."

    Yu Jian's eyes were filled with envy. "Our village head had once saved the life of the village head of Red Leaf Village, which laid the foundation for their relationship!"

    After these few days, Fang Yuan had a rough understanding of the happenings in this region.

    In the Descending Star Region, the land nearer to Descending Star City would be more fertile, and the villages who could occupy these lands were stronger.

    Yu Jian's village was only at the fringe of the region and was considered the poorer villages. On the other hand, Red Leaf Village was considered average. However, there were still in a similar situation whereby they were still taken advantage of by Descending Star City.

    Red Leaf Village had gotten its name from the red maple leaf that it produces. This maple leaf was valuable as it was an ingredient to many medical concoctions. Since there was a demand for this leaf in Descending Star City, the villagers would harvest some leaves while they hunt, which helped them become slightly wealthier.

    Although they only stayed here for a while, Yu Jian was already full of admiration for Red Leaf Village.

    "Lord, look over there! That's the Red Leaf Forest!"

    After walking for a distance, Yu Jian pointed to a red forest not far from them and exclaimed with envy.

    As Fang Yuan looked over, his expression was weird.

    "Wait a moment!"

    Li Hu's face started to appear serious as well. "We'll stop here temporarily. Follow me, and we'll check it out!"

    "What happened?"

    Yu Jian let out a curious look on his face.

    "I'm afraid Red Leaf Village has run into some trouble..."

    Fang Yuan shook his head. "Look... There's no one attending to the surrounding farms and this Red Leaf Forest... Don't you think it's too peaceful?

    "You're right!"

    Yu Jian nodded his head and was stunned. "What... what about the villagers? Where have they gone to?"

    "Let's take a look for ourselves and we'll know the answer!"

    Fang Yuan walked up and looked at Li Hu. "Let's go!"


    Li Hu nodded his head and was excited.

    Although it was mysterious and felt ominous, the fact that this mysterious and highly skilled lord was willing to go with him reassured him.

    He called for to other villagers, both of which were martial artists who had obtained inner force, and ordered them to follow Fang Yuan as they walked towards Red Leaf Village.

    "Lord, wait for me!"

    Yu Jian clenched his teeth and followed them as well.


    "This is..."

    As they approached Red Leaf Village, Li Hu gave an unpleasant look.

    Red Leaf Village was originally filled with energy and life, but now, all they could see was blood! There were huge patches of blood everywhere! A rotting stench filled the air and Yu Jian immediately became pale and turned over; he did not dare to look at the mess.

    "Human blood?"

    Lu Hu bent over and smeared some blood on his finger. There was fear in his voice.

    This scene was too horrendous.

    "Furthermore... This would mean that there are a lot of people who died. Where are their corpses? Where did their corpses go?"

    Quickly, he arrived at the boundary of the village.

    The stone walls were covered in moss and there were a few spiritual inscriptions glowing; it was obvious that it had been here for over a year. There was nothing wrong with the protective array.

    However, there was no one behind the village!

    "I'm Li Hu from Rock Village! Is the village head here?"

    Looking at the village which was partially covered with a thin layer of fog, Li Hu clenched his teeth and exclaimed forcefully, but there was no response.

    Seeing this, he remained silent. Clenching his teeth, he turned around and left.

    "Let's go, don't look back!"

    He instructed Yu Jian and the other two villagers as he headed back to where they came from. "Let's continue our journey without any more breaks!"

    As he returned to the caravan, Li Hu quickly chased the Black Peak Boar as though it was a crazy dog and they journeyed on.

    "What happened?"

    Fang Yuan only caught a glimpse of the village and was unsure of many things. The most crucial thing was that there were no signs or clues of murder.

    Li Hu's face stoned. After a long while, he finally spoke, and his voice was hoarse. "Death without a corpse, and coupled with the fact that the protective array is still intact, I'm afraid that they have encountered ghosts!"


    Fang Yuan was astonished.

    Even though his cultivation had already reached an extreme level, and that he had seen many things before, it was the first time he had heard of the existence of ghosts.

    "Lord, you're unaware?"

    Li Hu was utterly shocked. "The place which you come from! Are there are no ghosts? That's not possible... Almost every year, there would be a village that would experience such a thing..."

    "I've heard of it before but I'm not too sure about it. Tell me more..."

    Fang Yuan rubbed his nose and his eyes were filled with curiosity.


    Li Hu was confused and did not bother to press Fang Yuan any further. Instead, he obediently explained it to Fang Yuan. "Ghosts leave no trace as they come and go, and they do not have a physical body. There is a type of... curse!"

    "We don't know where it comes from, or where it wants to go. We only know that every time it appears, many people would disappear and it would leave behind many weird things..."

    "No matter how strong the martial artists were, or even spiritual array masters, everyone was defenceless against it. However, the weird thing is that it had never happened to Descending Star City before. That is the only place we can take shelter..."
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