The Record of Unusual Creatures

Chapter 50: Haunted?

Chapter 50: Haunted?

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

The mysterious happenings in the castle ruins finally caught the attention of the ghostbusters encamped in the area. When the wind went howling through the cracks of the fallen pile of masonry and boulders, the camp became alive.

A whole group of funny looking 'experts' were stumbling about with their equipment. One was fiddling with an odd-looking radio device, some where lugging cameras which looked 50 years out of date, some were swinging about holding curved brass instruments and some just looked almost like jedis right out of Star Wars. The whole group of rushed in a horde towards the source of the sound in the ruins. Well, let us not talk about their actual combat abilities but it seemed like the whole lot, with their funny outfits may have spooked the ethereal residents there instead...

Of course, Hao Ren had the impulse to rush head first into the fray as well. However, as he saw the horde of ghostbusters surging towards the castle, the first thing that came to his mind was, "F*ck me, this won't be easy!"

Hao Ren was torn. On one hand, there was a chance his new tenant would be brutalized by the ghostbusters. On the other, there was also a chance of the new guy murdering everyone there. Things would not have been pretty either way and the thought of Raven 12345 crucifying him alive sent chills down his spine.

Just as he was about to rush in, Vivian pulled his collar. "Calm down, look at Nangong and that Indian monk."

Hao Ren took a good look and found that the two supposedly most excited duo (at least for Nangong, with what was in the ruins) stood still. Nangong was staring coldly at the bunch of supernatural enthusiasts blundering their way towards the ruins. He made a curt expression at the old monk about the whole bunch of amateurs while the monk's expression was that of a serene calm. Whether that was his normal air or his way of being unapproachable, he glanced at Nangong and went back to tending his incense.

Hao Ren was puzzled at the disinterest that the two had shown towards the brouhaha in the castle ruins. "What's wrong with them?"

"The spirits beneath the castle are quiet." Vivian frowned. "As for this, I'm not sure what is causing the ruckus but it certainly doesn't feel supernatural. Those two probably have their ways of identifying a real spirit. Let's not talk about that skinny, old coot of a monk. Nangong is the real deal, at least in terms of equipment. That monocle of his looks very familiar... doesn't seem like your average one."

The light within the ruins had faded by then but the howling was incessant across the highland. Along with it, was a clarion call and sounds of cantering horses, just as Angus had described. The crowd by then had already reached the boulders and were scouring about with their various ghost hunting gadgets. Those without any tools just simply sat down and started to chant prayers as well as sutras. Thankfully, no one had actually gone deep into the rock formations. Even as enthusiasts, these people probably still had the presence of mind to stay safe, especially since they believed the area to be truly haunted.

While all that was going on, Nangong and the old Indian monk had finished warming up. They started to walk slowly towards the ruins. Vivian, seeing this, tapped Hao Ren's shoulders and gestured him forward. "Lets go."

"So, have the evil spirits been awakened?" Hao Ren asked, sounding really edgy.

"Not yet, but something is definitely going on." The red glow from Vivian's eyes faded. She turned around and smacked Lily on the head. "You stupid dog, stash those ears and tail of yours. Do you want to be exposed?"

Only then did Lily realize she was in her feral form and quickly hid her otherworldly appendages. She quickly asked, "What should we do if we run into Nangong?"

"Let’s try to avoid that. We'll go around the place." Hao Ren pointed towards the other side of the ruins, where a huge crack ran through the wall. "Let’s not get entangled with the crowd. We’ll try to get to the target as sneakily as possible. If we really run into someone, just hoodwink them into thinking we’re ghost hunters like the rest. The same goes for Nangong as well. We aren’t friends or anything so, we don't have to go into the details."

Hao Ren knew what he said was a best case scenario. If Nangong or the old monk were to sniff out what was going on, things would get nasty. They seemed to have genuine abilities to detect spirits and Hao Ren was very sure that his new tenant was one of the spirits there. Running into Nangong or the monk after collecting the 'package' was nothing but trouble. So, he thought the best way to avoid all of that was to avoid everybody.

It was by a stroke of good luck that Nangong and the monk were cooped together with the horde of ghostbusters on high ground. Hao Ren and the gang then managed to sneak in from the other side through the crack. The ruins itself was a big place and even if there were people brave enough to go in, Hao Ren believed that he would not run into anyone for a while. That is, if he was careful and the other two managed to not muck up one way or another.

"Wow...this place really got messed up," Hao Ren said as he slipped through the crack on the wall. What he saw was an empty space littered with rubble. It appeared to be part of the castle's long hall but with part of the masonry collapsed and the wooden structure rotten, it was no different than an empty plaza now. The only telltale signs of its original use were the surviving structures around it.

Vivian looked around with a tinge of melancholy. "Time really does change everything. I used to dream of having a castle of my own. People those days thought that vampires really did own castles. But... I couldn't even afford a small parcel of land..."

Hao Ren patted Vivian's shoulder to comfort her. "Let’s not reminisce about your sad past. You can't even afford it now."

"... Can you not?"

Standing within the castle ruins, the howling sounded even clearer. However, it was due to the fact that there were plenty of rocks and wall structures which echoed the sound. It was pretty difficult to pinpoint the source of the howling and Lily took a good while to even get a bead on its general direction. "I think it's coming from there," Lily said as she pointed. "I'm using my human ear so, I can't hear it clearly."

Hao Ren looked towards the direction Lily was pointing at and found a rare structure that was still intact. It was rectangular in shape, almost like an independent structure by itself. Maybe because of that, it had survived the collapse of the castle.

"Seems like a small chapel," Vivian surmised. "I've seen the layout of castles like this. This stone building is definitely a chapel. A haunted chapel? This sounds just like those horror flicks."

Hao Ren thought Vivian had hinted at something else and asked, "Did you find anything?"

"Nothing of importance. Did you manage to detect the person?"

"Nope, nothing yet." Hao Ren was puzzled as well. He pulled out the MDT. "Hey, have you detected anything?"

"How would I know?" The MDT retorted defiantly. "That's your problem to solve. Lady 12345 said that if the new tenant is within a certain range from you, the sensors will trigger. If there's nothing, that means you are not at the right place. Go look around. Based on the information... hmm... it should be close by."

Hao Ren had half a mind to smash the MDT on the rocks. The other half was deathly afraid that he would have no way to fix it later. All he could do was muster a violent stare at the super, high tech device and carefully stow it back into his pouch.

At the same time, on the other side of the ruins, the group of ghostbusters had started doing their stuff. One was carrying a big radio, wired to a boatload of antennas protruding skywards with a giant spare battery pack. With his headphones clamped tightly onto his ears and his fingers carefully manipulating the dials of his improvised 'Spirit Listening Device', the man suddenly screamed. "I hear it! I can hear it! The spirit went into me through the antenna! I can feel it within me!"

Another man, dressed like an old detective with an old monochrome camera stared angrily at the man. "Please be quite. I'm trying to capture the spirit's picture... And oh, your headphone seems to be broken. I saw sparks earlier."

"Spirits! I see spirits floating above the castle!" A middle aged lady clad in purple screamed as she sat still on a rock. Her eyes turned white as she chanted. An even older witch beside her was even more outrageous with her chanting. She was foaming in her mouth...

Nangong, with his monocle on, stood amongst the delirious crowd. He only shook his head in amusement. Behind him was the Indian monk and both of them lowered their sights.

They did not seem to be staring at the ground but through it, at whatever that was hiding underneath.

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