host committed the crime?”

Seeing that Ming Huashang didn’t know about it yet, Jiang Ling approached mysteriously and said in a low voice, “It is said that someone brought unclean things to the villa, and the serpentine ghosts possessed people to look for a scapegoat at the banquet.
Do you know about the serpentine ghost?”

Ming Huashang shook her head.
After Jiang Ling saw Ming Huashang’s beautifully curved distinct eyes, his desire to impress flared, and he began to talk endlessly, “It is said that in the Jizhou area, where the Jiangnan1 West Road is located, there is dense gas and snakes and insects everywhere.
Many pedestrians were bitten to death by the snakes.
The people who died had resentment in their hearts and gradually became serpentine ghosts.
They were trapped in the gas and could not escape without finding a scapegoat.
Therefore, when you travel in the mountains of Jizhou, you must not speak to any beautiful woman you encounter, otherwise, once you look into her eyes, you will be bitten to death by a snake and become her scapegoat.”


As Jiang Ling spoke, he deliberately lowered his voice towards the end, trying to create a frightening atmosphere.
However, the beauty in front of him was unmoved.
She just made an “Oh” remark and asked, “You die if you look into her eyes?”

“Exactly.” Jiang Ling said, “Didn’t you see Chi Lan from yesterday, and Wei Zi from today; they both lost their eyes, right? Who knows which malefactor came from the gas and brought back the serpentine ghost, which a guest brought to Feihong Garden? The serpentine ghost got Chi Lan to be its scapegoat.
After Chi Lan’s death, it couldn’t let go of its grievances, so it found another person, Wei Zi.
After Wei Zi, who will be next?”

Ming Huashang felt that such rumors were too bizarre to be believed, and asked, “How do you know about the matters in Jizhou? It couldn’t be you who’s making this up, right?”

Being underestimated, Jiang Ling said angrily, “How could this young master lie?! Didn’t you hear about the line of bloody words under Chi Lan’s body yesterday? That was the serpentine ghost seeking another scapegoat!”

Ming Huashang wanted to doubt again, and Ming Huazhang, who hadn’t spoken for a long time, stood up and said clearly and coldly, “He didn’t lie, it was indeed a ghost from the Jiangnan West Road.”

Ming Huashang and Jiang Ling were startled, and they turned to look at Ming Huazhang together.
Ming Huazhang pointed to the corpse on the ground and said, “The thorns that bound her are blackthorns, indigenous to the Jiangnan West Road, and do not grow here.”


The crowd of onlookers heard what Ming Huazhang and the others said.
Even Ming Huazhang said it was true.
Then the crowd’s panic got even worse.
Suddenly, someone pointed at the tree trunk and said in horror, “That line of words…”

The crowd dispersed with a bang, and Ren Yao turned around, only to find that there was blood clotted on the tree trunk behind her, and on top, it wrote: 

Those who see me, die.

 

Footnotes

i.e.
south of Yangzte river

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