331 Give the Child a Future
No one knew for sure how many ghosts were hiding inside Coffin Village. Chen Ge was reminded of what Ah Qing had said—Coffin Village had ten percent dead people, ten percent living people, and eight percent ghosts. Based on that percentage, we've only seen a small part.
Chen Ge's situation was not that optimistic. The three sets of dirty clothes floated toward them, the two kids with red paint on their faces bounced happily toward them, the door of the old house next to them creaked open, and something that looked like a human face poked out from underneath the pillow. All the roads were blocked off. They could only move forward, but what waited ahead seemed to be creepy bright lights.
Using his Yin Yang Vision, Chen Ge could see these were swaying human skulls. He charged ahead with the hammer. He did not plan to slow down. Rushing ahead meant he needed to deal with some of the ghosts, but if they stayed, they would be surrounded by all the ghosts.
"Chen Ge, slow down! It was so dark earlier; the sudden appearance of lights has to be a trick. Those are probably the Skull Lanterns that Master Bai mentioned earlier!" Ol' Wei was not consumed by fear, and he tried to warn Chen Ge.
"Don't worry, I got a good look. Those are just normal lights. Charge ahead! Don't be afraid!" Chen Ge's footsteps did not slow down. The three ran with all their might. The baby in Master Bai's arms started to wail, which drew more monsters to them. With the light from the Skull Lantern, the surrounding darkness was banished, and they could clearly see the advancing shadows.
Weird footsteps echoed down the street. Chen Ge raised his head to look. A dark coffin was moving through the alley. The coffin was carried on all four sides by villagers who had their heads lowered. They looked like normal villagers, but their expressions were extremely scary. Their lips cracked open with creepy smiles like they were not carrying a coffin but food.
"The Pallbearers‽ Xiao Chen! Stop! Chen Ge! Don't go any closer!" Master Bai hugged the bamboo basket and used his arm to shield the baby. He could not stop Chen Ge.
Running at the front, Chen Ge saw the four weird men carrying the coffin, but he could not stop himself anymore.
The four Pallbearers walked out of the alley, and the coffin blocked Chen Ge's way. It looked like a coincidence, but it could have been premeditated too. Chen Ge was not one to underestimate his enemy, even if they were ghosts. Since they were unwilling to let them past, he had to find a way to push through. Only by disrupting the opponent's plan could they be safe.
"Don't mess with the Pallbearers!" Master Bai yelled, but his warning fell on deaf ears. "We'll talk later!"
The hammer fell right on the coffin. Splinters flew, and all the ghosts stopped.
"Quick!" Ol' Wei grabbed the baby from Master Bai and hopped over the coffin. He had been a police officer for about twenty years, and this was the first time he had met someone as rash as Chen Ge. The four Pallbearers slowly raised their heads. The smiles froze on their faces as they looked at the shattered coffin lid. Green surfaced on their pale faces!
Shrill screams echoed down the narrow street, and the four Pallbearers chased after Chen Ge. The lingering spirits escaped from the coffin. They bowed toward Chen Ge before disappearing. Chen Ge had no idea what he had done. At the time, he only wanted to smash the coffin; he did not even turn to look at the aftermath.
The three raced down the road. They got close to the lights. Ol' Wei, who carried the baby, realized that something was wrong. Behind the bright lights, there appeared to be something circular like a ball.
"Chen Ge, are you sure those are normal lights?" The baby in his arms cried, and a cluster of ghosts chased behind them. Ol' Wei did not dare slow down.
"I'm sure!" Chen Ge dragged Master Bai to follow Ol' Wei. The lights swayed. They moved for another few meters, and even Master Bai, with his poor eyesight, could see the pale faces behind the lights. "Chen Ge, stop! Those are Skull Lantern!"
Master Bai pulled for Chen Ge to stop, but the man's speed did not decrease. If anything, he dragged Master Bai forward. "Skull Lanterns are still lanterns, right?"
The hammer waved, and the first Skull Lantern that floated toward them was sent flying before it even managed to attack!
The candle fell to the ground and extinguished next to Chen Ge's feet. "Follow me!"
The three raced through the group of human heads, and there was suddenly the sound of a marching band. They turned to look. Inside the street that Ah Qing had marked with a red cross on a map was a group of people. They were blowing sad music on the trumps, and people were wearing mourning clothes. They wailed and wailed, but there were no tears. Paper money fluttered in the wind, and the death flag waved. They held paper dolls that were bright red as they headed for Chen Ge's group.
"This is bad!" Master Bai's heart was racing. His fists tightened, and he was so nervous that he could not finish a normal sentence.
"These are different from normal ghosts?" Chen Ge also realized something. When the funeral procession appeared, the Skull Lanterns floated off immediately—the Sedan Kids and Mummy Wraps also stopped. Only those four Pallbearers became more insane.
"Of course, this is the Death Funeral, the dead holding a funeral for the dead! The Pallbearers are part of the Death Funeral. If the coffin is not delivered, the Death Funeral procession cannot end," Master Bai explained.
"Then, we'd better get a move on."
The Skull Lanterns had been scared off by the Death Funeral, so the three made use of this opening to charge ahead. There was a split in the road. The left was an empty road, and the right led to the Death Funeral.
"Go ahead, I'll stay back to buy us some time." Chen Ge shoved the map into Master Bai's hands. He had memorized the map. The ghosts that were at the front of the Death Funeral had already caught up with the Pallbearers. When they saw the coffin that Chen Ge had shattered, their expression was amusing.
"Go on, I have a feeling I'm being targeted." Chen Ge felt the gazes of the ghosts on him. He stood in the middle of the road, holding the hammer, like he was telling them he was the culprit. Chen Ge was made uncomfortable by the hatred that collected on him. "Quick! I'll delay them! Just leave me be!"
He slid the comic in his chest. Chen Ge did not want them around because it might affect the real power of his workers. However, his words had a different effect on Master Bai and Ol' Wei.
"Don't be stupid! We'll go together!" Ol' Wei grabbed Chen Ge's arm, and he sounded urgent.
"I'll catch up in a bit, go!" Chen Ge was calling Xu Yin and Zhang Ya's name internally, and Xu Yin seemed to respond.
"No!" Ol' Wei and Master Bai said at the same time. They did not think Chen Ge would make such a choice; they could not handle the pressure.
"We don't have time to argue." Chen Ge pushed Ol' Wei's hands away as he said seriously, "Do this for the sake of the baby. He was born in the darkness and hasn't had the chance to see the sun. You have to get him out of this place!"
Then Chen Ge charged into the fray. He was like a moth flying toward the flame. Seeing the young man submerged in the sea of monsters, Master Bai and Ol' Wei's eyes were red. In this starless light, his figure was like the only brightness.
"Chen Ge…" Ol' Wei and Master Bai could not speak. There was really such an honorable person who would sacrifice their lives to save others. Ol' Wei hugged the baby tightly. "Looks like I've misunderstood him. We were mistaken!"
Chen Ge rushed at the Death Funeral and immediately ran down the other direction. There was a whole group of ghosts chasing after him. Of course, he did not dare to turn around. As he called Xu Yin's name, he flipped through the comic. "Uncle! Are you there? Help me!"