Chapter 186 – The Skinless Face
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
“Uuuhh!” Ruan Ya’er’s eyes widened from fear. Her fingers spread out wide into a fan shape, her joints stretching tensely. She was using all her strength to free herself from the rope that kept her restrained against the wooden plank. She kept groaning and emitting unintelligible sounds, making people feel the urgency of the situation.
Suddenly, a sound quite like a fingernail scratching a blackboard was heard. In front of her, a tall person stood. is entire face hidden under a fabric hat, which made it hard to clearly determine that person’s appearance. A sharp butcher’s knife was held in that person’s hand. The skin of the hand was wrinkled. The shape of the hand was surprisingly slender and the veins under the skin were dilated and visible. It was a hand that belonged to a woman.
“Don’t be afraid. Soon, everything will be fine.” The voice was deep and detached.
The voice made people’s hearts feel constricted and bursts of cold shivers. Slowly, the person raised the knife. The fear in Ruan Ya’er turned into despair. Yet, she continued to struggle. The sharp edge of the knife glinted ominously and was about to hack down.
Noises were heard coming from the ceiling! The butcher’ knife’s descent ceased midway. The noises rekindled Ruan Ya’er’s will to live. She turned her head towards the ceiling where a thread of light entered from a newly created hole.
“Uuuh- Save…” Ruan Ya’er exhausted all her strength to utter a word. The woman next to her laughed sinisterly, and put down the butcher’s knife. She wasn’t the slightest bit nervous. On the contrary, she carefreely detoured the plank and sat on a chair, waiting for the people above to come down.
Jing Rong had already torn off a plank that revealed the entrance to the basement. As light poured in, a layer of dust was kicked up and was seen lightly shimmering. He lead the way down, closely followed by Ji Yunshu. He used a firestarter to light his way. The light from the fire illuminated the smelly and disorderly basement. Then, he shifted the firestarter, and its light illuminated the tied up Miss Ruan on a wooden plank and a woman sitting on a chair.
“You finally came!” The woman spoke.
Jing Rong walked to a nearby oil lamp, lit it and picked it up. Then, he coldly ordered, “Release her!”
“Does this kind of woman deserve to be saved?”
“Then, what do you gain from killing these people?”
“They deserve to die!” The woman shouted hysterically.
Jing Rong closed in step by step. “Whether or not those girls deserve to die is not for you to decide. You have no right to commit these atrocities.”
“I do!” She snarled.
She stood up fiercely and swung the butcher’s knife towards Ruan Ya’er’s neck. However, she didn’t actually chop down. Her action was only meant to scare the young miss, who subsequently fainted from fear. The woman began to chuckle. Her concealed dark eyes reflecting the orange light from the lamp. Her gaze moves past Jing Rong, only to fall on Ji Yunshu. She pointed her finger at Ji Yunshu and said, “If it wasn’t for you, everything would’ve been perfectly fine.”
Ji Yunshu looked at her cooly. She took a small step forward, but she was pulled back by Jing Rong. “It will be fine.”
Jing Rong slowly released her hand.
Ji Yunshu advanced, and as she gradually approached, the light scent of cosmetics began to tickle her nose.
The woman carefully observed Ji Yunshu and ferociously said, “You are the one who killed my Xiang’er and Zhi’er.”
“Their deaths had nothing to do with me. They died because of you!”
“Because of me?” The woman grinned. She seemed very deranged.
Ji Yunshu appeared calm and continued to speak. “Your son and daughter died for you. They used their lives to pay for your crimes! Don’t you have a shred of conscience left in you?”
‘Son? Daughter? Is this woman Mei Xiang’er’s mother? Wasn’t she already dead?’
The woman sneered again. “How did you know I was here?”
“You don’t need to know how I discovered it. I have my own methods.”
“Was it Xiang’er?” The woman spoke in a trembling voice.
The rays of light shining from the hole in the ceiling fell on the butcher’s knife. Ji Yunshu took another step towards the woman, whilst saying, “You have committed crimes, but your daughter was the one who shouldered them for you. Her greatest wish before her death was probably for you to stop killing. However, she was wrong. Even if she protected you, your cruel nature will never change.”
“In the end, what do you want to say?”
Ji Yunshu took Mei Xiang’er’s letter from her sleeve and threw it at the figure being partially obscured by the darkness.
In no time, the rustling of paper was heard after the pale and dried hand promptly caught the letter. The woman quickly unfolded it and read its content.
Ji Yunshu couldn’t see her expression. However, she could clearly see her fingers tightly clenching, then slowly, the woman crumbled the paper into a ball. “That letter was written before she died and placed within my sleeve. Perhaps, when Heaven gave me a chance to survive, it also gave her the possibility to fulfill her wish by letting me give you this letter. She hoped that you would stop harming others after reading this letter because, in this world, no one else but her would protect you. She didn’t want to die with grievances nor did she want to see her mother sink into the abyss and be tormented by her crimes.”
Ji Yunshu planned to convince the woman, so she continued to talk. “Now Mei Xiang’er is dead, but until her last breath, she had never blamed you, even if your hands are covered in blood or even when you peeled off her skin. She didn’t hate you. On the contrary, she wanted to protect you and she would rather use her own and your son’s death to cover up the truth. She did so without the slightest hesitation.”
The crumbled paper shook slightly. Whilst Ji Yunshu spoke, the woman’s hand slid down to Ruan Ya’er. For a moment, all her movements stopped. Then, she moved the knife away from the young miss’ neck.
Clang! The knife fell on the wooden plank.
Then, she turned around and took out a firestarter from her waistband. She blew on it and used it to ignite another oil lamp.
She turned back once more whilst raising her hand, only to pull down her hat. Under the light, a head of grizzled hair with a pair of dead and bloodshot eyes were clearly seen. However, nothing could prepare them for the horrific sight that was her skinless face. A face that was covered in crimson from the dried up flesh and blood vessels. It was incredibly sickening to the sight!
“Are you afraid?” The woman asked Ji Yunshu.
Ji Yunshu shook her head. Sympathy could be seen in her eyes. “I think that Miss Mei didn’t mention everything when she told her story.”
“It would be for the best if finished her story. The year you gave birth to your son, who happened to have a rare illness, everyone in the village said that he wasn’t a human. Therefore, they drove both of you out of the village at some point. Not long after that, you heard someone say that your son can be cured if you can find a skin to exchange with his. As a result, you peeled off your daughter’s skin, then you peeled off your own face and gave it to your son. However, it was useless. You already gave up after that attempt. That was until two months ago. You happened to see someone humiliate Mei Xiang’er because of the scar on her neck. Impulsively, you gave that person a lethal blow, but you were accidentally seen by Gan Chouliang. In order to conceal your crime, Mei Xiang’er begged him to help dispose of the corpse. Thus, you continued to kill again and again with impunity.”
“If I’ve guessed correctly, you don’t simply want to peel off their skin for your son. You also let your son sully them in hope of him causing impregnation, giving your son a descendant!”
The woman listened to Ji Yunshu’s explanation calmly. She didn’t refute Ji Yunshu’s words, implicitly agreeing to it instead with her silence.
Grenn’s Rants Corner
._. Gosh! I can’t hate the mom, but this is so wrong! You can’t kill off others’ daughters because they wronged your kids.
So, Mei Xiang’er lied about her mom’s death to protect her.