In the early years of Tongzhi, there was a small official named Chen Hao in Guangyuan Prefecture, Sichuan. He was ordered by his superiors to go to the capital to deliver official documents. Because the official documents had a delivery deadline and could not be delayed on the road, he had to travel more than three hundred miles every day. Only in order to arrive within the specified time. It was the twelfth lunar month of winter, with short days and long nights. Every day I rode on horseback with biting wind and snow blowing in my face. Not only did I have no time for meals, but I also had no fixed place to stay at night. If there were shops, I would stay in private houses. .
On this day, he started on the road before dawn in the morning and traveled more than 300 miles until dusk. He only ate a little dry food at noon. At this time, he was exhausted, hungry and cold, and wanted to find a place to rest, but looking further It looked like this place was a wilderness, with no villages or shops, and no people around. He couldn't find a suitable place for a while. Seeing the sky getting darker, he couldn't help but feel anxious. Fortunately, after walking less than a mile, he suddenly saw an ancient house not far ahead. When he got closer, he found that it was a temple. Chen Hao couldn't help but think to himself: I don't know how far away from the town it is, and there is no place around it. As the villagers live there, it is better to stay in this temple for one night and leave early tomorrow morning.
He made up his mind and drove his horse to the front of the temple. When he dismounted, he saw that the walls of the temple were in dilapidated condition, and the red paint on the two doors was peeling off . The temple door was ajar, and there seemed to be no lights inside. He walked forward and pushed open the door to enter the temple. He found that the courtyard was full of dead leaves and decayed grass. The ground was half a foot thick, and even the original path was lost in the weeds and was difficult to distinguish.
I saw a Buddhist temple in front of the courtyard. The Buddha statue was covered with dust and cobwebs, and the Buddhist cabinet in front of the statue was broken and the incense was cut off. It seemed that it had been abandoned for a long time. There is also a side room with two wings on the left side of the Buddhist hall, which must have been the place where the monks lived in the past, but it has tilted, collapsed, and is in dire condition. There is also a side room on the right side of the Buddhist hall, with only half of the door left, which creaks when the cold wind blows. There was a creaking sound, and through the door I could see a dark coffin parked inside. I don't know how long it had been parked here.
Chen Hao didn't dare to take a closer look, so he turned to the back of the Buddhist temple and found that it was a small courtyard with several ginkgo trees planted with thick branches. It must have been several years ago. So he took the horse and tied it to a tree, and returned to the Buddhist temple to find a place to sleep.
After searching around, I suddenly found a hole under the Buddha's seat, which was just big enough for a person to lie down halfway. The hole was surrounded by wooden boards, which was probably used by monks to store things in the past. Chen Hao saw that the place was not only of a suitable size but also could keep out the wind and cold, so he put the sword he carried with him in the Buddhist niche, took a blanket and spread it in the cave, got in with dry food, sat in the cave and leaned against it. Eat dry food on the wall.
Just after eating a few mouthfuls, he suddenly heard the sound of horse hooves coming from outside the temple. From far to near, he arrived at the temple gate in an instant. Chen Hao was surprised. He didn't know who else was here so late, so he walked through the gap between the wooden boards. Look out. At this time, the light of the new moon was hazy, and I could vaguely see an old man riding a horse standing at the gate of the temple. This old man was about fifty years old and was quite strong.
The horse was followed on foot by a sturdy young man, probably only about twenty years old. The old man jumped off the horse and handed the whip to the young man. After the young man tied the horse to the tree in front of the temple, the two of them walked into the temple one after another and went straight to the main hall.
Chen Hao didn't know whether these two people were evil, and he didn't dare to come out rashly in this wilderness, so he hid in the cave with bated breath, trying to see what the two men wanted to do. The young man took out a cushion and placed it on the ground, asking the old man to sit down. He stood respectfully aside with his hands hanging down, as if his face was filled with fear.
After a while, I suddenly heard the old man say slowly: "I have been wandering around the world since I was a child. Although I have made a living by hunting, I have always done it in a right way. I have never dared to act arrogantly, kill and abuse wantonly, because doing so will inevitably lead to divine punishment. . I often ask myself in the middle of the night. The reason why I have escaped from the law in the past thirty years and never failed is probably because of this. I didn’t expect that you would mess with my rules as soon as you entered my door.
In the battle the night before yesterday, if I hadn't stayed behind alone, would any of the twenty or so of you have survived? "After the young man heard this, he quickly bowed and replied: "Thanks to the master's great power, we were able to escape each other. The old man continued: "Later I heard that there was a widow in his house, and you actually entered her room at night, raped her, and killed her young son. Can you still feel at ease doing this?" Such vicious and cruel methods are really outrageous. If the emperor knew better, he would definitely not spare you. Even if you are lucky enough to slip through the net for a while, you will still be punished by death in the end.
If you are captured one day, it will definitely affect all of us. You might as well think about it for yourself, will I forgive you? "When the young man heard this, his expression changed drastically. He hurriedly knelt on the ground and kowtowed to the old man. He only said: "My disciple deserves death. Please forgive me, master. I am willing to accept the heavy responsibility!" The old man closed his eyes slightly and remained unmoved. He smiled coldly and said, "You don't need to say any more. At this point, do you still want to live?" The way of a saint is nothing more than the word forgiveness.
You also have women and children in your family. If you suffer such a strange disaster, will you be willing to do so? You still committed suicide to comfort the souls of orphans and widowed mothers in heaven! "After saying that, he took off his saber and let the young man take it. After hearing this, the young man knew that there was no way to survive. He stood up from the ground, took the old man's saber, and bowed to the old man three times. In an instant, blood spattered three feet from his body. Died by death.
The old man just sat aside and looked at him coldly without saying a word. When he saw the young man's body lying on the ground, he slowly stood up, looked at the young man's body and sighed, picked up the knife, wiped the blood off the blade, and returned it. Putting the scabbard on his body, he picked up the saddle riding whip, walked out slowly, mounted his horse and left. Chen Hao hid in the cave and did not dare to make a sound. At this moment, he heard the sound of hoofbeats outside the door getting further away, and then he took a deep breath.
Looking at the corpse on the ground, I couldn't help but feel a chill when I thought of the scene just now. However, when I thought about it, I realized that what the old man said was a bit of a thief, and I couldn't help but nod in admiration. Seeing that the third watch was approaching and the moon was shining brightly outside, Chen Hao did not dare to stay here any longer. He was about to take advantage of the moonlight to rush on his way. Just as he was about to take down the wooden planks, he suddenly heard a shrill cry from the side room on the right, like an old owl's cry at night. , Chen Hao suddenly heard such a terrifying sound in this quiet night. He couldn't help but be shocked and got goosebumps all over his body. He immediately stopped moving, not daring to make any sound, and looked around from the gaps in the wooden boards. Wait and see.
After a while, a bang was heard from the side room, like the sound of something falling to the ground, and then a monster walked out from the half-broken door. The thing was about ten feet long, with white hair all over its body. Torch eyes, blood mouth, and sharp claws. He walked to the courtyard and raised his head to look at the moon. The light in his eyes flickered like an electric switch. When Chen Hao saw this, his face turned pale with fear and cold sweat broke out on his forehead. His whole body was shaking like chaff, and his teeth were clenched, lest he make any noise and be discovered by it.
I saw this thing clasping its paws together, bowing to the moon several times, then turning around and walking to the hall, looking at the corpse of the young man underground, kicking it twice, and suddenly clapped its claws and howled wildly, the sound was like ripping silk cloth. , then he leaned over and picked up the body, tore off the head and threw it on the ground. He put his mouth to the neck cavity and sucked it. When the blood in the cavity was drained, he took off the clothes of the body and opened the blood basin. He started chewing the bones and chewing the meat like a cat eating a mouse. In less than two hours, he had eaten all the skin and meat, leaving only bones scattered all over the ground. After eating, he was still not satisfied with this thing, so he picked up the head from the ground, held it in his hand and looked at it again and again. Suddenly he turned left and right and was so happy that he actually started dancing. After dancing for a long time, he suddenly heard the faint sound of cock crow outside. The thing just looked around, with its head still aside, then came to the courtyard, folded its paws and worshiped wildly at the moon. After worshiping, it slowly returned to the wing on the right, entered the coffin and closed the lid. Then there was silence.
Chen Hao's hair stood on end in the cave at this time, and the cold sweat on his body had soaked several layers of clothes. Seeing the monster return to the coffin in the side room, he gently took off the wooden board and climbed out of the cave quietly, picked up his luggage and put it on his back, tiptoed to the backyard, took off the reins, jumped on the horse, and walked directly from the Buddhist hall to the Rush out the door.
As soon as he got out of the temple gate, he felt a little relieved. He immediately galloped for more than five miles. He didn't see any villages or towns on the roadside. Instead, the sounds of birds and beasts could be heard from the dense forests on both sides. Chen Hao was afraid of this in the forest. There were wild beasts coming out, so I reached out to get the saber. Unexpectedly, when I touched my waist, it was empty. Then I remembered that the saber was still in the Buddhist niche in the temple hall. I was in such a hurry when I left that I forgot to take it. I immediately complained secretly in my heart. I originally thought about not giving up this sword and buying another one at the market in front, but then I thought about how the dead man in the temple just now was eaten by monsters, leaving only clothes and a head. If anyone sees this situation in the future, they must report it to the official. , thinking that he was harmed by a strongman.
And his name was engraved on the knife, and he was the only one who saw what happened that night. Even if the truth was told, no one might believe it. So what should we do if we then accuse him of seeking wealth and murder? So I must retrieve the saber no matter what to avoid going to jail in the future. With this thought in mind, he pulled the horse's reins tightly with both hands and stopped abruptly, turned the horse's head and galloped back towards the ancient temple.
When he returned to the gate of the temple, it was still dark. Chen Hao tied his horse to the tree in front of the door and was about to enter. Suddenly he thought that the monster in the wing was very scary. If it suddenly came out again, I might not be its opponent. , although it was almost dawn at this time, it was best for him to go in quietly and take out the saber without disturbing it. So he put his baggage on the horse and tiptoed into the temple, lest he make any noise and disturb the monster.
The situation in the temple was the same as when he left. The young man's head was still in the courtyard with his face covered with blood and flesh, and his clothes were still scattered around. It seemed that no one had been there. Chen Hao breathed a sigh of relief, bowed and quietly walked into the Buddhist hall. While gently reaching for his sword in the Buddhist niche, he raised his ears to listen for any movement in the side room on the right. At this time, everything was silent. You could even hear the sound of a needle falling to the ground. Chen Hao had just gotten it with his right hand. He was about to take out his saber when he suddenly heard the sound of horse hoofbeats coming from outside the door. Hearing the sound getting closer and closer, it seemed that he was about to reach the temple gate. He couldn't help but be shocked. If someone came in at this time and saw the situation in the temple, Even if he was full of words, he probably wouldn't be able to explain clearly. In panic, his right hand shook uncontrollably, and the knife in his hand fell to the ground with a clang. Chen Hao's heart skipped a beat. Just as he was about to bend down to pick up the knife, he suddenly heard someone shouting from the side room on his right. There was a creaking sound, which seemed to be that the coffin lid was moving. He shouted in his heart that it was bad, and he felt regretful for a moment. Unexpectedly, he had alarmed the monster in the end. He was about to run out of the Buddhist temple when he heard the coffin lid slamming. When he landed, the monster rushed out of the side room and was in front of him in an instant. It stared at him with piercing eyes and hissed white air from its mouth. Chen Hao saw the monster standing in front of him, his face as white as a sheet of paper, and he was extremely frightened. He wanted to run away, but his feet were as heavy as lead, making it difficult to take a step. He watched helplessly as the monster walked in front of him, and with his hands Zhang Bian wanted to twist his neck, and at the same time opened his huge mouth and bit him in one bite.
Chen Hao's mind went blank. He closed his eyes and thought to himself: I didn't expect that I would die here! At this moment, he suddenly saw a flash of white light, and the monster screamed and staggered back. Chen Hao opened his eyes, only to find a sharp claw on the ground. The monster's right arm was shot with black blood, which showed that it had been cut off by a sharp weapon. got a paw. Chen Hao turned around and saw a man standing in the temple courtyard, holding a sword in his hand and looking at the monster intently. This man was none other than the old man with a beard from last night.
At this time, the monster also saw the old man, and knew that he had been hurt by him. He was furious in his heart, roared to the sky, and jumped towards him, as if he wanted to tear the old man into pieces. When the old man saw the monster approaching fiercely, he shouted loudly, then jumped up onto the wall. At the same time, the sword in his hand suddenly flew up, and with a flash of white light, he cut off the monster's head and rolled it four feet away. The white light flashed again, and the sword was back in his hand. The monster had no head, but its legs were still running, stumbling towards the opposite wall. There was only a roar, and the wall was broken into pieces by it. The monster Then his body fell down, black blood burst out from his neck, and his legs twitched for a while before becoming motionless. [/Ghost Story Collection]
Chen Hao stood there in shock. Seeing this flash of lightning, the monster was killed by the old man. He himself also narrowly escaped death and talked about the outcome . The thrills and twists in his heart were hard to describe, and only the look of panic on his face remained. The old man jumped down from the wall and said to himself: "What kind of monster is this? It can survive for so long before it dies after being cut off by my demon knife."
It turned out that the old man wanted to leave last night, but halfway through he thought about how his disciple's corpse had been exposed. After Haosheng was buried, he didn't expect to see a horse tied to a tree as soon as he arrived in front of the temple. It seemed that someone else was already in the temple. He was afraid that others would hurt him after seeing the body, so he was about to turn around and leave. Suddenly Hearing the buzzing sound of the sword he was wearing, he couldn't help but be very surprised, because the name of his sword was the Demon Sword. It was taught by a stranger when he was wandering around the world in his early years. When he encountered monsters or monsters, or had evil intentions, People will automatically make sounds. At this moment, the sword suddenly rang, indicating that there must be a monster in the temple, so he quietly walked into the temple to check. Unexpectedly, as soon as he entered the courtyard, he saw that Chen Hao was about to die at the hands of the monster. In his mind Before he could think about it carefully, the sword flew out from his hand and saved Chen Hao's life. This was also a coincidence and Chen Hao's life should not have been cut off. At this time, the old man walked up to Chen Hao, looked him up and down, and asked: "I wonder who the guest officer is?" Chen Hao finally came to his senses at this time, thinking that this old man is really powerful, if he knew last night I am also here, and I might be killed, so I replied: "I am a small official in Guangyuan. I am going to the capital to deliver documents. I was passing by here and wanted to come in to rest. I didn't expect to see the head on the ground as soon as I came in." , I was extremely panicked, and when I was about to report to the official, I didn’t expect that this monster suddenly rushed out of the coffin. If you hadn’t saved me at the critical moment, I would have been killed by it long ago.”
After hearing this, the old man felt relieved, so he said to him: "I also passed by this place occasionally and wanted to come in to rest, and it happened that I rescued you." Chen Hao discussed with the old man to burn the head, clothes and the monster's body together. , so as not to cause any more trouble. When the old man heard that it was just what he wanted, the two of them gathered firewood and burned the monster's body and the human remains together. After everything was cleaned up, the two separated and went on their way.
From then on, Chen Hao went to the capital, and he never encountered anything strange on the way. However, he never knew who this old man was, and he never heard anything about him again.