Vol.1 – Chapter 18 – The Mysterious Case of the Academy

Night, the moon was dark and the wind was high.

The Nanshan Academy was built outside the Yanjiao City, named after its location on the southern mountain. There was a small lake on the back mountain of the academy, quiet and secluded. In the past, many young men and women used to play here on summer nights. But recently, no one dared to approach this area.

Because someone died here not long ago.

But tonight, two scholars came here.

As soon as they approached the lake, a chilling wind pierced through their clothes, making them shiver uncontrollably.

“Brother Shaoan, why did you bring me here… isn’t this… isn’t this the place where Situ Yan committed suicide…”

The thin and weak scholar behind him trembled and refused to take another step forward.

The scholar in front of him was slightly stronger and taller, with a deep and thick voice. “If we want to completely end this matter, we can only come here.”

The wind blew through the surrounding woods, rustling, as if someone was passing by behind them. The thin and weak scholar turned around in panic, but found no one there, and finally breathed a sigh of relief.

He continued to talk incessantly, seemingly trying to relieve his fear. “Yeah, I didn’t do anything… When you guys bullied Situ Yan, I didn’t participate much… At most, I called her an ugly freak… Now that she’s dead, what else can we do?”

“You didn’t do anything…” The scholar in front of him had a sinister voice.

“Hey, don’t beat around the bush!” The thin and weak scholar urged.

“Then…” The tall scholar turned his face, and his half-face under the moonlight was extremely cold. “Do you still recognize me?”

“Wu Shaoan!” The thin and weak scholar seemed to be frightened by his tone, and became a little angry. “What do you want to do? If there’s nothing else, I won’t stay here with you in this haunted place! I’ll move my family away from Yanjiao City tomorrow, so I don’t have to live in fear.”

“Zhang Cong, do you really not recognize me?” The tall scholar asked again, suddenly turning around and revealing his whole face.

The right half of his face was a normal face, but the left half had a dense scar, as if it had been burned terribly, even the eye sockets were deformed, it was terrifying.

And… it looked a bit like a woman!

“Ah!” The thin and weak scholar screamed and took two steps back, then his legs went weak and he fell to the ground.

Then, the intact skin on the tall scholar’s face began to peel off like dry wall, revealing a pale and bloodless female face underneath.

“Situ Yan… spare me… spare me…” The thin and weak scholar retreated, muttering, then turned around and ran towards the woods outside!

While running, he shouted, “Help! There’s a ghost!”

He finally stopped when he ran out of the small woods, feeling out of breath. When he looked back, no one seemed to be chasing him…”Uh…”

Just as he was about to breathe a sigh of relief, suddenly, his hands grabbed his own neck, and his pupils began to bulge. The left side of his face started to dry up and fall off, revealing thick burn scars…

“Spare me… please, spare me…”

“Please, I beg you… ah…”

“Why did they invite us to the Nanshan Academy ghost incident?”

On the bustling streets of Yanjiao City, Chu Liang asked Lin Bei.

Earlier, Lin Bei hurriedly brought him to sign the mission to leave the mountain because he said the reward was extremely high, so he didn’t ask much at the time. It was only now that he began to understand the specific situation.

This place is not far from Shu Mountain, and most disciples of Shu Mountain are somewhat familiar with Yanjiao City. If there is a strange case, it is generally handled by disciples of Shu Mountain.

But there are always exceptions.

For example, if there is a problem in a temple, it should be handled by Buddhist cultivators; if there is a problem in a school, it should be handled by Confucian cultivators.

Cultivators of the three religions will not cross the line without special circumstances. It is not only troublesome for themselves, but also a provocation to other families.

“Hey hey…” Lin Bei smiled, “The matter in the academy naturally belongs to the Confucian cultivators to solve. We are only responsible for protecting a student.”

As he spoke, he pointed to the large mansion guarded by stone lions in front of them, with the plaque “Li Mansion” hanging high above.

“Lord Li is a well-known wealthy man in Yanjiao City, and his only son Li Jue is studying at the Nanshan Academy. Recently, there have been ghosts haunting the Nanshan Academy, and two students have already died.”

“He is worried about his own son, so he asked our Shu Mountain to send people to protect his son for a period of time. As long as this strange case is resolved, our mission will be completed.”

“Paid by the day.”

At the last sentence, Chu Liang was relieved.

Lord Li gave Shu Mountain real gold and silver, while Shu Mountain gave them sword coins. He just wanted to save money to buy a flying sword during this time, and he needed this high-paying task.

It’s like falling asleep and finding a pillow.

“Ah, Shu Mountain’s two young heroes, you finally came.” Lord Li personally greeted them with his whole family, and the courtesy was still quite sufficient.

This is also a benefit of cultivators. Even if they are wealthy and powerful mortals, they still have to show respect when they see you.

“No need to be so polite, we are just young disciples of Shu Mountain.” Lin Bei also enthusiastically said, “My name is Lin Bei, and this is my fellow disciple Chu Liang. I see that you are a few years younger than my father, so I will call you Uncle Li. My brother and I will treat you and your son as brothers.”

As he spoke, he also turned to Chu Liang and said, “Don’t be too restrained, it’s like coming to your own home.”

Chu Liang smiled slightly.

With this terrifying social ability, he can save a lot of trouble in socializing with others.

He noticed that behind Lord Li was a silent and introverted teenager, wearing casual home clothes and looking about sixteen or seventeen years old. He had a fair complexion, but his eye sockets were black and his appearance was haggard.

He should be Li Jue, Lord Li’s only son, who seemed to have a lot on his mind.As they entered the large courtyard, Lin Bei was already arm-in-arm with Lord Li.

“Uncle Li, don’t worry. My little brother has me watching his back. I guarantee his safety. From today on, we’ll stick to him like glue for every moment of the day. From Shu Mountain to wherever he goes, just ask around about Lin Bei…”

“Nephew, there’s actually an additional request…” Lord Li chuckled, twirling his mustache, “Although I’m asking you to protect my son Li Jue, could you…not let others find out?”

“Not let others find out? What do you mean?” Lin Bei and Chu Liang were both puzzled.

“Meaning…tomorrow I’ll arrange for you to enroll in South Mountain Academy and attend classes with him. You’ll keep an eye on Li Jue at all times, and come back to my home after school. But in the meantime, don’t let anyone see that you’re specifically protecting him, alright?” Lord Li pleaded as he rubbed his hands together.

“Uncle Li, we’ll do as you ask, but may I ask…why?” Lin Bei asked.

“That’s not easy to explain.” Lord Li smiled, but his words were evasive.

Have someone protect him…but not let others find out?

Chu Liang glanced at the silent Li Jue and the fidgety Lord Li beside him.

What were they hiding?

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