HC Chapter 36: Flayed Skin
“Brother Su, the weather is pretty bad. Why did you come here?” Mu Yi asked while standing on a big stone. Su Jinlun caught his breath.
“I feel ashamed, but my grandfather asked me to come and pick you up,” Su Jinlun said. He looked embarrassed. After all, it was snowing a lot, making it difficult to walk on the road. Luckily, Jinlun knew the road, so he had managed to avoid danger.
“Mister Su wants to see me? Is there a problem?” Mu Yi asked while frowning.
If there was a problem, Mu Yi wouldn’t mind going. After all, they were really kind to him and supported him, and he wanted to help those who supported him.
“Not in the clan but in the village. Many people are asking my grandfather for help, and they are very anxious. However, my grandfather can’t help, so he needs your help. Of course, he also said that it didn’t matter if you had no time,” Su Jinlun said.
“Oh, what is the problem in the village?” Mu Yi asked curiously. He wasn’t selfish, so even if what had happened didn’t have much to do with the Su Clan, he would still help because he had lived in the village before. Because of this, what happened in the village still concerned him a little, and he also had to give Su Chongshan face.
He had spent two months at the top of the mountain, so going down to the village would do him some good too.
“Yesterday morning, someone found his son-in-law dead in a room, and the most terrifying thing was that his skin was flayed. He didn’t have any skin,” Su Jinlun said after taking a deep breath.
“What? His skin was flayed?” Mu Yi’s heart started pounding. How terrifying and cruel. What was going on in the village?
And why did Su Chongshan think Mu Yi could help? Did he think that the murderer wasn’t a human being?
“Indeed. I also went and had a look, and it was terrifying. When the woman woke up, she found her husband dead next to her with his skin flayed. She almost went insane,” Su Jinlun said.
He then sighed and said, “And someone also noticed that the person’s muscles were extremely tense, which could indicate that the person’s skin was flayed while he was alive and that he was only killed afterward.”
“His wife was sleeping next to him, and she didn’t realize that his skin was being flayed?” Mu Yi said while frowning. If that was the case, he understood why Su Chongshan wanted him to help.
An ordinary killer wouldn’t have done such a thing. Mu Yi couldn’t help but think about Xugui. Of course, maybe Xugui wasn’t the murderer. However, Mu Yi had read about people who raised ferocious ghosts in the book: The more violent and painful the death was, the better it was. Maybe that was the murderer’s goal.
But no matter what, Mu Yi had to go and see.
He had studied the book a lot these past two months. He even understood the ghost controlling technique a lot better, but he hadn’t started practicing it because he had nobody to practice it on. Nian Nuer was almost like his sister now, so he wouldn’t use it on her.
However, he had also started to understand how the Ghost King Banner worked. He could use the strength of his mind to activate it and had started establishing a connection with it. He had slowly managed to reactivate it.
That way, Mu Yi would have one more way to protect himself when traveling.
“Indeed, the woman said that,” Su Jinlun said while nodding. If the circumstances of the murder hadn’t been that abominable, they wouldn’t have called Mu Yi. Mu Yi was a guest of honor of the Su Clan, but they couldn’t request him to do too many things.
“Alright, I’ll come with you,” Mu Yi said without hesitating. Su Jinlun waited inside the Mountain God Temple for a while while Mu Yi went behind the temple to the bamboo forest to talk to Nian Nuer. He wasn’t sure if he’d be able to come back by evening.
Nian Nuer wanted to follow him, but she couldn’t go too far from the bamboo forest. Also, he couldn’t put her in the Ghost King Banner because he hadn’t finished fixing it or knew how to use it properly. Mu Yi wanted to know how to use it perfectly before trying to make her go inside. He preferred to be thorough.
Because of this, Nian Nuer could only stay in the bamboo forest for the time being. Mu Yi promised her that he would come back as soon as possible.
He took a traveling bag and followed Su Jinlun down the mountain.
There was a lot of snow, but because Su Jinlun had come up the mountain alone, it was easier to get down; all they had to do was follow Su Jinlun’s footprints. When they arrived at the foot of the mountain, they got onto a wagon and went to that person’s house.
At the door, Mu Yi glanced around and asked, “They haven’t been married for a long time, right?”
“Indeed, they got married when… hm… when the Taoist priest came to my clan?” Su Jinlun said. He was surprised while talking.
“I see. Indeed,” Mu Yi said while nodding. He looked pensive. He remembered seeing a wedding procession when we had gone to the Su Clan. How strange. He hadn’t thought that the husband would be killed and have his skin flayed two months later. Did it have anything to do with what had happened back then?
Mu Yi wasn’t sure, and he hadn’t see the person yet anyway.
When Mu Yi entered the house, Su Chongshan was there and greeted him. Su Chongshan had invited him to come, so Mu Yi had to come.
There was an old man next to him, and he looked rich and anxious.
“Taoist priest, sorry for disturbing you, especially when the weather is so bad. Please forgive me,” Su Chongshan said apologetically.
“No problem. You’re too polite,” Mu Yi replied. Su Chongshan really respected Mu Yi.
“Taoist priest, this is Counselor Peng,” Su Chongshan said.
Actually, Su Jinlun had already told Mu Yi the details of the story. The person who looked extremely rich and noble was Peng Songlai, and he came from a family that owned a lot of property. He also had two beautiful daughters. One of them was married to the County Magistrate, and the younger daughter was still at home. Peng Songlai’s younger son-in-law lived in his house and managed internal affairs, while the older son-in-law managed external affairs.
The happy event had happened two months before, yet they now had to make funeral arrangements. This was horrible for the younger daughter, especially because she was pregnant. This was a very difficult situation for her.
Counselor Peng was furious and scared.
He had sent a letter to his older son-in-law, and the older son-in-law had then sent an investigator and a coroner. The coroner carried out an autopsy on the corpse and came to the conclusion that the person had been flayed and then killed.
The investigator had looked for clues inside and outside, but he had found nothing.
For that reason, Counselor Peng had asked Su Chongshan for help because everybody in the village knew what had happened in the Su Clan.
Su Chongshan had probably accepted to help Counselor Peng because Counselor Peng’s daughter was married to the County Magistrate.
“Hello, Taoist priest. I am Peng Songlai.”