Thousand Years Lamp’s wick?

       All the legends about the Thousand Years Lamp Song Jun heard were from Xia Hongshen. He had no idea what the Thousand Years Lamp really was, and, in truth, he didn’t have much desire to find out either.

       What he was a little afraid of was whether Xia Hongshen would leave the mortal world and return to heaven after finding all the Thousand Years Lamp, and then he would be left alone.

       It was neither too early nor too late at this time, so Xia Hongshen said it would be better to take a nap first and wait until tomorrow.

       Song Jun lay back on the bed, feeling a little uneasy.

       Unexpectedly, Xia Hongshen lay beside him and suddenly put his arms around him.

       Long Xing returned to the bed beside the bed and had no intention of returning to the bed to sleep. Feng Junyuan’s body was pressed against the wall motionless, but he must not have fallen asleep that quickly.

       Xia Hongshen held his shoulders, let him rest his head on his chest, and stroked his hair.

       Song Jun wanted to push him away, but it was too quiet around him, and he didn’t have the nerve to make too much noise. Moreover, he was indeed frightened, but now, leaning on Xia Hongshen made him feel at ease.

       Just like that, Song Jun fell asleep as soon as he closed his eyes. When he woke up again, it was already dawn.

       Xia Hongshen was still lying next to him, hugging his shoulders, and Feng Junyuan slept like a child, with his head on his back.

       Song Jun sat up, waking Feng Junyuan, who opened his eyes with a bewildered expression. Xia Hongshen, on the other hand, seemed to have been awake all along. After Song Jun sat up, he also got up.

       They brushed their teeth and washed their face. The water on the mountain was made from snow-melted streams, which was bone-chillingly cold.

       For breakfast, each person had one steamed bun, and they weren’t even provided with pickled vegetables. Song Jun squatted in the courtyard, nibbling on the steamed bun, and pondered that the village secretary probably couldn’t wait to send them away.

       After breakfast, Long Xing called Lü Hai and the others and said that a car had been sent up the mountain. Two cars and a trailer had arrived at about noon to take them down the mountain together.

       Since there was nothing else to do in the morning, Xia Hongshen told Secretary Wang that they would go out for a walk.

       Of course Secretary Wang agreed and even offered to let his eldest son accompany them for a walk in the village.

       Xia Hongshen didn’t refuse, so Secretary Wang called his eldest son out.

       His eldest son was 17 or 18 years old, and his name was Wang Dong. For mountain people, he was already considered an adult, and he said that he might get married next year. Even though he was not old enough to obtain a marriage certificate, they would first celebrate with a banquet.

       Wang Dong took them around the village. The villagers he met along the way looked at them warily, and their defensive posture was very obvious.

       Song Jun looked at the villagers and recalled the nightmare last night. Suddenly, he had an idea that made him shudder. He wondered if, including Wan Jingsheng, many young people had died in this village. And whether these deaths were somehow connected to the people in the village.

       Actually, Song Jun didn’t notice what the village looked like when rushing back and forth yesterday. However, after walking around today, he found that the village was no different from what he had seen in his dream. He even saw the two-story building he witnessed last night, where a young man was pushed from the second floor, resulting in a bloody and violent fall.

       Song Jun looked at the small building in a daze. However, the small building was very quiet then, and no one could be seen through the windows on the second floor.

       Noticing that he was distracted, Wang Dong asked, “What’s wrong?”

       Song Jun came to his senses, shook his head and said, “It’s nothing.”

       Until they reached the hillside to the north of the village, Song Jun stood still and looked around. He was now very sure that this hillside was the hillside he had visited in his dream. He saw many funeral processions walking up from the path below the hill and proceeding towards the top where the wooden house stood.

       The wooden house—Song Jun looked up and saw that building standing alone on the top of the hill.

       “What’s with that house?” Song Jun suddenly pointed in that direction and asked Wang Dongdao, “Does anyone live in such a remote place?”

       Wang Dong raised his head and looked, “Oh, there, huh? That’s the village’s ancestral hall, which has a history of hundreds of years.”

       “Ancestral hall?”

       “Well,” Wang Dong said, “a place where ancestors’ tablets are enshrined.”

       Xia Hongshen said, “Can I go and have a look?”

       Wang Dong laughed twice and said, “Probably not. The old rules in the village are that no one from outside is allowed in. They say it is blasphemy against the spirits of the ancestors.”

       Hearing this, Xia Hongshen said softly, “I understand.”

       Wang Dong ruffled his head and said, “I’m sorry, Teacher Xia.”

       Xia Hongshen said, “It’s alright, it’s me who was rude.”

       However, before noon, Long Xing received a call from Lü Hai, saying that they might not be able to go up today because they encountered a landslide on the way up the mountain, and the road was blocked.

       Although it had rained here two days ago, it was a bit strange that they would encounter a landslide in the middle of nowhere. Even after the emergency rescue cleared the mountain road, it would be at least tomorrow before the car could drive up.

       Upon hearing the news, Secretary Wang’s expression changed.

       Long Xing said to him, “If it’s inconvenient, let’s go to the village chief’s house and spend the night today.”

       Upon hearing this, Secretary Wang quickly said, “It doesn’t matter, there’s no need, just stay one more night.”

       In the afternoon, Xi Anling also came to Song Jun’s room and complained, “Why can’t we leave yet?”

       Song Jun didn’t know what to say; it was just like how they couldn’t get down the mountain the day before. It seemed just like what Xia Hongshen said; someone deliberately wanted to keep them here and was unwilling to let them leave until the purpose was achieved. Who was it? What’s the purpose?

       But Xia Hongshen said casually, “We’re not leaving. We have things to do tonight.”

       Xi Anling froze for a moment and asked somewhat nervously, “What is it?”

       Xia Hongshen did not answer him.

       Song Jun sat on the edge of the bed, observing the people inside the room. There was always a strange feeling as if they were forcibly brought together with no apparent connection, yet he didn’t find it too out of place.

       Long Xing was sitting on the doorstep, playing his game with his head down.

       Feng Junyuan was beside him, holding his face with his hands, his eyes falling on the screen of Long Xing’s mobile phone, saying nothing.

       Song Jun felt a little awkward listening to Xi Anling and Xia Hongshen talking here, so he walked to Feng Junyuan and wanted to sit beside him. Three people couldn’t fit on the doorstep. Long Xing, trying to sit down, lost balance and fell backwards, and Feng Junyuan quickly grabbed his wrist and pulled him back up.

       “Thank you,” Long Xing stood up, patted his butt and sat on the edge of the bed.

       Song Jun sat down next to Feng Junyuan and asked him, “Don’t you want to go back?”

       He was actually very curious about Feng Junyuan because he knew that Feng Junyuan didn’t like Xia Hongshen.

       Unexpectedly, Feng Junyuan said, “It doesn’t matter.”

       Song Jun was stunned for a moment, and then Feng Junyuan asked him, “Are you afraid?”

       Initially, he wanted to say he was afraid, but after a little hesitation, Song Jun still said, “No, it’s nothing.”

       After it got dark, Xia Hongshen stood in the small courtyard of Secretary Wang’s house and raised his hands, and then said to Song Jun and others, “You can come out now.”

       Song Jun followed Feng Junyuan and Long Xing out of the room. He saw Xi Anling opening the door and slipping out of the next room.

       The entire Wang family was asleep, and no one would notice their whereabouts.

       Song Jun felt a little cold, so he tightened his clothes and followed them out of the courtyard gate. In fact, he was very nervous. He knew where Xia Hongshen was going and had a premonition that he might see something terrible. He didn’t want to go but didn’t dare to stay alone.

       Obviously, everything had nothing to do with him, but Song Jun felt that maybe he was too unlucky.

       The place Xia Hongshen wanted to go was the ancestral hall of Wanjia Village on the top of the hillside. It was said to be an old ancestral hall with a history of more than 100 years. It was unknown how many ancestors of the villagers were enshrined in the ancestral hall.

       Song Jun was originally walking at the end. When he saw Xi Anling walking with difficulty wearing a pair of high heels, he subconsciously reached out to pull her.

       As a result, Xia Hongshen’s eyes immediately swept over and said, “Long Xing, go help Anling, and Song Jun, come here.”

       Long Xing walked over and helped hold Xi Anling’s hand. Xi Anling turned her head and curled her lips.

       Song Jun walked to Xia Hongshen, and Xia Hongshen took one of his hands and put it in his jacket pocket, feeling soft and warm.

       Wanjia Ancestral Hall—that was the words written on the plaque hanging outside the ancestral hall.

       The ancestral hall might have been renovated in recent years. The colour of the paint still looked very bright. It seemed to be cleaned frequently. There was not a lot of dust on the high beams.

       Long Xing held a flashlight in his hand, slowly shining it through the door of the ancestral hall, and then suddenly turned off the flashlight light.

       Even though a door separated them, they could still find light inside. Then, Long Xing reached out and pushed open the door of Wanjia Ancestral Hall.

       Inside the ancestral hall, there was a tall and wide offering table with many spiritual tablets densely placed on it, and there was indeed an oil lamp burning on the desk.

       Xia Hongshen stepped over the knee-high threshold and walked in. Song Jun’s hand was still held by him, so he had no choice but to follow him in. He raised his head and looked around inside the ancestral hall. The light of the oil lamp was not bright, and it flickered. The shadows left by the tablets on the wall seemed constantly jumping.

       Feng Junyuan, who was following closely behind them, paused and said, “Such a heavy Yin energy.”

       Song Jun shivered slightly. He couldn’t feel the so-called yin energy, but he could also feel the gloomy atmosphere here.

       Xia Hongshen walked towards the altar table in front. Song Jun pulled him hard to express that he did not want to go there.

       Unexpectedly, Xia Hongshen turned around and looked at him, a little confused, but walked to the altar table one step at a time, staring at the oil lamp.

       Song Jun avoided the spiritual tablets and followed Xia Hongshen to look at the oil lamp. He suddenly said, “Huh,” and asked curiously, “Why is the lamp oil yellow?”

       Xia Hongshen said, “Because human fat is yellow.”

       Song Jun was stunned for a moment, then realised the meaning of his words, and his eyes widened suddenly. He felt as if the air was filled with a greasy smell of burning human fat, and he couldn’t help but feel sick.

       “Wow,” Long Xing also came over and looked at the oil lamp, “Sucking people’s fat to make lamp oil? Isn’t this too crazy?”

       Xi Anling stopped when he heard this and was not willing to get close at all.

       He didn’t know when, but a layer of fog seemed to begin to fill the air outside. Xi Anling was the first to discover it. She was closest to the gate of the ancestral hall. She walked to the door and said, “It seems to be fogging up.”

       As soon as she spoke, the fog became thicker, and in an instant, all that was left in front of her eyes was a fog amidst the pitch blackness, and she couldn’t see anything clearly anymore.

       “It’s such a heavy fog,” Xi Anling also began to have a bad feeling.

       She wanted to step out of the ancestral hall door and see what was going on outside. Suddenly, she saw a hand reaching out from the thick fog as if it wanted to catch her.

       Xi Anling screamed in surprise, closed the door of the ancestral hall with her backhand, and then gasped for air and said, “There is someone outside!”

       Maybe it was not a human being; maybe it was a ghost.

       Xia Hongshen had reached out to take the wick from the oil lamp, but he retracted his hand after hearing Xi Anling’s scream.

       Song Jun stood close to Xia Hongshen and couldn’t help but look around.

       In the silence, he suddenly heard someone knocking on the window several times.

       It was a window on the left side of the ancestral hall. The sound of knocking on the window sounded leisurely, but it seemed particularly strange in the silent night.

       Song Jun immediately became alert when he saw Feng Junyuan, while Long Xing walked towards the window and even reached out to open the window.

       Song Jun immediately wanted to stop him, but before he spoke, Xia Hongshen said first, “Don’t open.”

       Long Xing withdrew his hand and turned to look at Xia Hongshen.

       Xia Hongshen said, “Don’t move, just calm down first.”

       Song Jun swallowed silently. He felt a layer of cold sweat on his palms, not knowing what he would encounter next.

The author has something to say:
Fat, lamp oil, etc., already guessed it…

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