[HGEG] Chapter 37: Clearance


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Translator: Zucci

Editor: xTechon


‘Water!’

Thinking of the water that Wu XueHua handed them before, remembering back then, just when they entered the village, while he was waiting for the other teammates and Wu XuaHua handed him a tea pot, Xin Meng was frightened.

‘If I had drunk the cup back then, would I have died right at the beginning?’

‘Who would have thought that those young men and women who treated me so warmly and friendly were killers hiding behind smiles!’

‘When they were chatting with me, were they wondering about the taste of my flesh, how delicious I was?’

The village chief talked with a strange dialect when he used the horn to broadcast, did he say, “Food is coming, get ready to start cooking when you find them”?

The meat during their dinner was all human meat, and the woman they talked about… W-Was it…

All the clues were connected. Xin Meng’s discomfort when he saw the coffin was because the coffin was too new. If the wooden coffin was buried for a year, it would be dirty and yellowish when dug out. The people in the village were deceiving them. The woman didn’t drown last year, but died shortly before they came, and because the flesh was eaten clean, there was no skin or remnants inside the coffin. Then everything lined up, and so was Qi XiaoKui’s state and the drowning woman’s description…

He’s sure that woman was Qi XiaoKui/

‘As for whether she drowned or…’

Xin Meng didn’t dare think about it anymore, the truth was too terrible, and he wasn’t ready to accept such cruelty.

In the end, he finally understood the pain inside Qi XiaoKui’s eyes.

He finally realized that the tooth marks in the dead Dong Xiu and Li Yougen were important clues that he ignored, even Xiong JiaBao’s legs and You Yi’s arms and all the bitten marks on the ghosts before they disappeared. The game gave hints over and over, even told him to [pay attention to details] but he was ignorant, thinking that he had noticed enough details, he didn’t expect the truth was much crueler.

Those evil spirits released by them retaliated against the villagers and killed those who ate their flesh, but they didn’t kill the ones who had never eaten meat. It was all revenge.

‘Thinking about these ‘simple’ villagers, they helped get rid of the revengeful ghosts, but in the end the spirits were the true victims, even if they slaughtered Xiong JiaBao mercilessly. They had lost their humanity. Not only the evil spirits, the methods of harming people in this instance are endless, no one can be safe!’

The first time he escaped because the cup was too dirty, so later Wu XuaHua handed them clean cups. If he hadn’t thought about the reservoir before drinking, he probably wouldn’t be here anymore. If You Yi drank with him, then they would really become pigs lying in slaughterhouses waiting to be eaten in their sleep.

The traps are set one by one. He thought he was trying to escape cannibal ghosts, but he barely escaped the cannibal humans.

‘No, these people can’t be called humans anymore. They are demons!’

Xin Meng’s whole body was trembling. When he was about to clear the task, he was already dizzy and dazzled by the terrible truth. Once the beautiful simplicity was uncovered, it showed all the blood and rotten stench underneath.

Xiu Se village… Xiu Se…

Why didn’t he remember before? On the internet, those who loved human flesh are sometimes called ‘Xiu Se’*.

‘What beautiful scenery and spring colors?! This was just a cannibal village!’

This was probably the other route. If they didn’t push down the stone, it would trigger the cannibal village plot. It wouldn’t be cannibal ghosts, but they would have had to face much scarier monsters in human skin and become their meal, just like the dismembered Xiong JiaBao…

Those two routes were terrible, but thinking about it, Xin Meng thought the current one was better. Although the ghosts killed four teammates, for Xin Meng and You Yi who didn’t eat meat, it was better than the other route. They also were able to get help from Qi XiaoKui, which was better than if the villagers killed the six of them.

Although Xiong JiaBao reckless act failed to save himself, he accidentally allowed Xin Meng and You Yi to avoid many dangers and increased the possibility of clearing the mission. Not that it seemed good or bad.

The villagers ate too many people, even the dogs in the village didn’t react to the blood smell, he was afraid they were used to it.

Players get too attached to the superficial appearance and ignore the obvious hints around them, but reality will always give them a slap in the face and make them pay with their lives.

The horrible ghosts were actually the victims killed who had their blood and flesh swallowed, and the villagers who looked innocent were the killers filled with malice. At that moment, Xin Meng finally understood that card: [Those poor people must be so hateful.]

As he remembered, he felt pitiful from beginning to end. Those villagers who died one by one were friendly, and the card told him vaguely that those poor-looking people must be hateful. But it was too late for him now – Xiong JiaBao was already dead.

‘To be honest, I had a chance to escape. If we were willing to go down the path with them at that time, maybe they would’ve already cleared the task together…’

He’s not resentful about it, and Xin Meng feels no guilt, he just sighs.

‘The priority is that we need to leave soon!’

He grasped You Yi’s arm forcefully. You Yi didn’t need to ask at all, he understood his intention and pulled him out of the window quietly, but it was too dark outside, no moonlight, no streetlights, and he couldn’t see his feet at all. When Xin Meng walked forwards, he didn’t see the dry branch on the ground. He stepped on it with one foot and a crisp sound echoed.

“Who is there?!” The three people inside were startled and immediately dropped the kitchen knife and rushed to the window, just to see the two of them fleeing.

Wu DeLi and Wu XueHua immediately rushed out of the house to catch them, but Xin Meng was being carried on You Yi’s back, who quickly ran towards the mountain road. A broadcast by horn was heard behind them. This time the village chief didn’t bother using the dialect. Xin Meng heard his voice echoing in the valley, “Our food is escaping! They are escaping! Chase them! Chase them!”

The valley, which was originally dark, was suddenly lit with candlelights, the households no longer hiding lit their candles as the villagers ran out of their houses shirtless, torches in hand. Xin Meng was on You Yi’s back and couldn’t help peeking backwards. Those villagers who once showed a kind smile now had distorted expressions on their faces, they didn’t look human to him anymore. Although their appearance didn’t change, their portrait had changed in Xin Meng’s heart…

You Yi ran very fast, but the villagers’ speed wasn’t slow. People born in the mountain run around everyday and have excellent physical fitness. In addition, they are more familiar with the mountain road than those who have been around for just a few days, so they are not far behind.

Seeing them near, the villagers raised their knifes and threw them towards Xin Meng’s back!

“Careful!” Xin Meng exclaimed, his arms instinctively tightened around You Yi’s neck, but You Yi seemed to have eyes on his back. His ears moved slightly as he accurately avoided the two kitchen knives by their sound in the wind. He bent forwards, avoiding a boning knife flying over the top of his head, then stepped firmly on the ground and jumped two meters forwards.

He landed on just one foot, the ground under his feet moved and the dead leaves on the surface flew around, revealing the trapping net below, instantly they were wrapped and hung in the air.

‘A trap was hidden there?!’

He never heard anyone mentioning a trap, those villagers were hiding so much!

Xin Meng panicked. When it came to physical strength, he could only drag You Yi down. Looking at the hundreds of villagers who quickly caught up and gathered under the trapping net, he quickly made up his mind. ‘I’ll use myself as a sacrifice to let You Yi clear the mission!’

Before he could propose it, You Yi seemed to already know what he was thinking and turned around, whispering in his ear, “We will go together, it will just take some time.”

Xin Meng was infected by his calmness and slowly calmed down from the turmoil. Thinking of You Yi’s strength, he felt confident. After all, no matter how dangerous, they are made from flesh and blood, much easier to kill than ghosts.

He clenched the knife on his hands, thinking that ‘If anything happens, I won’t hold back, I could kill them one by one, they can’t be called people anymore.’

You Yi moved as adjusted his hands. Even if the situation somehow changed, the saber in his hands was steady, which showed how good his mental stability was. His saber was sharper than the one given to Xin Meng, as he was afraid of Xin Meng hurting himself. The knife given to him was as sharp as an ordinary knife, meanwhile the saber on his hands was, without exaggeration, able to cut the air. It would be easy to cut the simple trapping net, but the trouble was protecting Xin Meng from being hurt when they fell to the ground.

Brown eyes quietly observed the crowd below and outlined the best plan in his minds. He raised his hands to cut the rope above, but noticed the crown became quiet suddenly and separated itself like a passage. The village chief was still wearing an apron stained with blood, and holding the kitchen knife, he walked slowly.

“Where are you going in the middle of the night?” The village chief asked with a smile. The smile wasn’t different from the usual smile, but in the bloody and dark background, there was an atmosphere of horror and treacherous.

“…” You Yi stopped and looked at him.

“We are not from here, naturally we should go back home.” Xin Meng answered. “Four of us stayed here, isn’t it enough?”

“No~ Of course it’s not,” the villagers sneered. Touching his beard, he didn’t care about staining his face with the blood on his hands. “Young man, you may not know it, but anyone who comes to our village can’t come out. Recently, the visitors decreased, so only the villagers can go out and return with a person or two. Nowadays it’s hard to trick people, it’s hard to get a good meal. Then your group finally arrived. Your meat seems tender and fat, and the fragrance is very appealing, how can we let you leave like that? Of course, it isn’t enough!”

“You-!” Xin Meng was furious and was about to curse, but suddenly a familiar sound echoed in the sky.

‘Was that… A ghost cry?’

Xin Meng felt that the power of this ghost cry was smaller than before, at least he didn’t faint this time, but the villagers were affected the same as before. They screamed and covered their ears while blood flowed down their eyes, nose and ears, rolling in the ground in pain. Even the village chief who was smiling a moment ago had not been spared. He fell to the ground and couldn’t get up, even his groans were weak.

Behind the villagers, Xin Meng looked at where the sound came from and saw Qi XiaoKui who had disappeared before.

Behind Qi XiaoKui were the ghosts with black eyes and a ripped smiled. They saw the villagers rolling on the ground and their eyes glimmered with hate. Screaming, they rushed like tigers, taking bites and splattering blood around!

The villagers screamed, those demons who often ate others, now experienced being eaten alive.

‘The so called good versus evil!’

Xin Meng raised his eyes, just staring at Qi XiaoKui. Qi XiaoKui pointed a finger but didn’t move.

He had a bitter taste on his mouth. In a sense, Qi XiaoKui is dead, even if she’s a ghost, she can’t leave with them.

You Yi’s movements were fast, the blade flashed, then the trapping net broke in two. He jumped down first, then helped Xin Meng down.

They passed by the villagers and the evil spirits. Some villagers tried to grab their ankles, but before they could reach out to them, they were bitten by the spirits, so the two walked smoothly. At the end of the mountain road, before leaving, Xin Meng looked back.

Qi XiaoKui didn’t participate in the revenge of the evil spirits, nor did she follow Xin Meng. She was standing still, watching everything around her in silence, and feeling Xin Meng’s eyes, she looked up and waved at him.

He didn’t know why, but he felt Qi XiaoKui appeared happier than before…

It wasn’t time to think about it, he was already dragged by You Yi into the darkness and lost consciousness.

……

In the white space, one figure is standing and the other is sitting.

“Is there anything that needs improvement in the game?”

“The difficulty.”

“Well… Then next time, I’ll lower the difficulty.”

“En.”


Translator and Editor Notes:

I didn’t knew about that slang to cannibalism, honestly. Like, damn, it would make my job so much easier in the start, ugh. Anyways, I went and searched this on google and ended up in a necrophilia forum. After a few traumas, I found out an actually nice text about cannibalism about ancient China (though I would avoid remembering) and a description about XiuSe, a netizen said:
“The origin of Xiu Se is ‘a feast for the the eyes’ (秀色可餐/ xiù sè kě cān), and are people who want to be eaten by others or eat others.
Bing Liang (冰恋) refers to necrophilia, while Mu Can (慕残) is a preference for disabled bodies.”
Anyways, that’s why I, at the beginning, thought the name was something like ‘Beautiful village’ and thought it was a ridiculous name. Sorry for all my sins, author, you outsmarted me. Also included the Bing Liang/Mu Can part because I thought it was two interesting words to keep myself away from. -Zucci

Editor:
I see, so the twist was that the village outright spelled ‘cannibal village’ and it made so the reader thought something else. That’s a pretty nice artifact of something lost in translation that actually made the story slightly better.

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