After leaving the valley, his phone completely lost its signal. The electric compass that Chen Ge downloaded beforehand malfunctioned as well. Something told him that the world inside and outside the valley were different. Perhaps because he had met plenty of ghosts, he was sensitive to these things. He tipped his head back and glanced through the canopy. There was no moon or stars in the sky. The night was like a cloth smothering them no matter where they went.
"Be careful, we've almost reached the place." After another ten minutes of walking, Chen Ge's group finally left the jungle. They looked down the horizon, and what they saw confused and shocked them.
"Those are... lanterns?" Ol' Wei touched Master Bai's shoulder, but this was also the first time Master Bai had come to Coffin Village at night.
"I have no clue." He took out a piece of jade and wore it around his neck. "I'll scout ahead. Stay close to me; don't wander off."
The three of them walked toward the village, and the shapes of the buildings became clearer and clearer. No one would have expected a village to be hidden in such a desolate place. All the building were built in a style from decades ago; they looked old and abandoned, but the most curious point was every family had a white lantern hanging before the door.
The lanterns were like white eyeballs, hanging by the side of the road, staring at the three newcomers.
There were people inside the village!
This village that was supposedly abandoned decades ago due to an epidemic still had people living there.
"Master Bai, are you going to enter just like this?" Ol' Wei moved to stand beside Chen Ge. He still remembered Captain Yan's order. His mission that night was to protect Chen Ge.
"Let me think about this." Master Bai looked at the empty village and the white lanterns that lined the road, and his palms were covered with cold sweat. "In the past, my father always came in the morning, so I had no idea this is how Coffin Village looks at night."
With the bitter smile on his face, Master Bai's meaning was clear; he did not want to enter the village. Of the three of them, he was the only one who had entered Coffin Village before. He understood the creepiness of the village, and if morning was already so scary, night did not bear thinking about.
"Don't panic, we don't need to enter directly." Ol' Wei then patted Chen Ge on his shoulder. "How about we take a look around the village first?"
Chen Ge did not answer, and he stood at the back of the party alone. His expression was unreadable.
"What's wrong with you?" Ol' Wei was worried about Chen Ge. Even though he admitted Chen Ge could be a bit rash, he had to admit that facing the entrance to this ghost village, standing beside Chen Ge gave him the most security.
"I'm thinking about something." Chen Ge shrugged and lowered his head to look at the black phone. When they neared the village, Chen Ge's black phone had vibrated, and he had received a new message.
"Congratulations, Specter's Favored! You've found Coffin Village deep inside the mountain. Do you wish to accept the Trial Mission for the three-star scenario, Coffin Village?"
"What's on your mind, why don't you share it with us?" Ol' Wei and Master Bai walked close to him.
"Thanks, but I've already made up my mind." Chen Ge clicked on the accept key.
"Coffin Village (three-star scenario): Survive until morning inside Coffin Village, and the new scenario will be unlocked.
"Mission Hint: That day, other than me, they all came."
Memorizing the mission hint, Chen Ge pocketed the black phone and turned to look at Coffin Village, shrouded in darkness. "Let's go, we'll go take a look."
"Are you sure?" Ol' Wei grabbed Chen Ge's arm and gave Master Bai a look, hoping that the old man would help him convince Chen Ge. However, the night was too dark for Master Bai to see it.
"I've already made up my mind." Chen Ge's consideration was different from Ol' Wei's.
"Stop arguing. It should be fine for us to enter the village. Even though the villagers look strange, they're quite kind." Master Bai had interacted with Coffin Village's people before, so he had the most right to speak.
"Master Bai, are you sure these kind villagers would light white lanterns at night?" Of the three, Ol' Wei was the most rational.
Master Bai touched the jade around his neck like he was remembering something from long ago, "My father once told me, a bunch of poor people are living inside the village. He said that when I master medicine, I should go help them."
When Chen Ge's Yin Yang Vision caught sight of Master Jade's Jade Necklace, he felt pain in his eye. However, that pain only lasted for a second. If he was not sensitive enough, he would not have noticed it.
"Master Bai, your father left you the necklace?"
"Yes, he would wear it whenever he went out to help people. After we came out from Coffin Village for the last time, he gave it to me and then soon after he fell ill."
There's more to this necklace than meets the eye. Chen Ge wanted to study it. He had run into ghosts and monsters many times already and had been trying to find something that could affect them. He had been searching for weeks, but he had only found a butcher's cleaver.
"My father said that others cannot touch the jade or it'll lose it powers." Master Bai seemed to be telling the truth. "I cannot give you the necklace, so you'd better stay close to me tonight."
"Master Bai, can you remember other things that your father told you?" Ol' Wei asked. "We're entering the village, so you need to tell us everything."
"That's all I believe. He told me, no matter where I go, I have to face my conscience and those with a clean conscience will be protected by both humans and ghosts." When he said so, Chen Ge understood why the old man was so focused on helping Jiang Ling and her sister; Master Bai's family was good-hearted people.
Chen Ge had his own philosophy and had been following his own conscience. He has a point, but ghosts are like people; there are good ghosts and evil ghosts.
The three walked around the outer perimeter of Coffin Village. The village was very big. To get an overall view of the village, they needed to climb up to the adjacent hill.
"There are probably more than a hundred families living inside the village. Be careful not to get into an altercation with them." Master Bai was mainly talking to Chen Ge. "We'll go in through the entrance; there's no need to hide."
Thus, the three entered Coffin Village. The road was overgrown with grass, and the houses on both sides were closed. Weirdly enough, the doors were not pasted with the common pictures of door guardians but white paper with the character '' (good fortune) turned upside down. It looked scary.
"The culture here seems to be the total opposite of the outside world." Chen Ge stopped before one of the doors. "Shall we go in?"
"It's rude to barge in like that." Ol' Wei moved his hand to the gun in his holster. This place gave him plenty of pressure.
"We're here to look for the children. Eventually we need to interact with the villagers. We will need Master Bai's help to liaise with them." Chen Ge raised his arm, and when his hand almost reached the door, the white lantern hanging above the door suddenly went out.