Xuan Ji felt a bit familiar, and then he remembered he had seen this post on the plane, so he quickly glanced at it but couldn't find the follow-up before he had to leave.
Ping Qian had a naturally thin and gentle voice, but afraid that he wouldn't hear her, she pressed forward against the unbearable cold and trembled while reading the post aloud, saying, "Later the original poster replied once, but the post was deleted shortly after it was posted. The content of the reply was probably about how she was a failed mother, her child didn't tell her anything, and she could only sneak into his things while the child was at school. During this time, there were always a few strange symbols in her son's diary. At first, they were just doodles with a ballpoint pen. She saw them but didn't think much of it. However, recently, those symbols have become more and more dense. Yesterday, they were even drawn with blood, filling the entire book. The child's behavior has also become increasingly strange, and she even took photos of those pictures...I...hiss..."
Ping Qianru tasted blood and her nose felt hot, and when she reached up to touch it, she realised her nose was bleeding. The cold was too much for her and she collapsed to the ground, pushing the laptop hard, and the laptop slid to the smooth floor behind Xuan Ji.
Before Xuan Ji could turn around and see, Sheng Lingyuan had already spoken up.
He "recited" the sacrificial text lightly, then exclaimed, "Ah, this is interesting."
"What?" Ping Qianru didn't understand what he said, but when she heard the voice, she felt like a small animal facing its natural enemy, and instinctively shivered, "Did he, did he just speak?
Can he talk? Is he chatting or cursing me?"
"Tell Old Xiao," Xuan Ji pried open his teeth, "The demon said that the blood lettering says 'save me'."
Xiao Zheng heard the narration, and his hair stood up: "Find the boy, and let the local branch immediately take control of him, no matter what method! Quick!"
If the so-called "thousand people sacrifice" is not a rough estimate, if calculated according to "one thousand people", in a one-month cycle, more than thirty people need to be sacrificed a day, and even a slaughterhouse may not be so efficient.
The "living sacrifices" must die of non-fatal causes, and the behind-the-scenes killers are unlikely to commit crimes in one place, as this is not a small number. In a short period of time, an increase in the number of abnormal disappearances and deaths in the same area will definitely attract the attention of various security departments. Moreover, the sacrifices must die in a very concealed manner, and they must look infinitely close to normal death, or accident, suicide and other methods of dying that are not suspicious.
The most feasible way is to curse, poison or parasitize.
There are too many ways to operate, such as the killer can stay at a transportation hub, such as a railway station or international airport, randomly "dropping" the victims, and the victims will unknowingly be hung with a death countdown card, take a means of transportation to all parts of the world, and then unknowingly die in the place. Or, simply manipulate the living sacrifices by some means, so that not only can the time and manner of death of the living sacrifices be controlled, but also they can act as claws and attack more and more victims in a wider range before they die.
The drastically changed boy, the dark and gloomy incantation he had written out of control, and the blood-stained incantation seeking help... It seemed like he was being controlled, and his weak personal will was still struggling for its life!
"Call people from the Archives department, the Research Institute, the Ancient Studies department, and the Special Ability Medical Menter!" Xiao Zheng roared, "Give me a list of all the known dark arts that can control others!"
"Director Xiao, the possibility of poisoning can be basically excluded. There are toxins that can cause hallucinations and be easily suggested, but to control the victim for a long time and make them write so many unknown words, we haven't heard of it."
"Curses are probably difficult too. There are some obscure charms that can control small animals, but the nervous system of humans is too complicated. The Ancient Studies department has read all the documents and materials within two thousand years, but has not found any relevant records."
"Report, Director Xiao, the Special Operations Training Center said that the spiritual system is mainly used for auxiliary purposes in combat. To completely control others, it must be the best elite, but even the strongest spiritual system must maintain close contact with the target during the control period, and long-term or remote control is impossible, and the whole process is quite energy-consuming. It is likely that the target has not died, and the murderer has already had cerebral hemorrhage himself."
"Sir, wait a moment, the Archives department staff are looking up all the files related to 'parasitism'..."
"Locked the poster's location!"
At nine thirty-five, the Bureau of Paranormal Control locked the identity and location of the strange poster through the network. It was found that the poster was a single mother, with a son in the second grade who lived in the suburbs of Dongchuan City.
The local branch's outposts moved in droves.
"Director Xiao, there are a total of thirteen dangerous species known to have parasitic abilities, most of which are mutated plants, but these plants usually do not have thinking ability, and after parasitism, they will quickly absorb the host, and then look for the next target after the host's death. The only species of parasites that basically conform to your description is a butterfly... "
"I've got it!" At the same time, Ping Qianru, who was the first technical geek in the Aftermath Department, showed her powerful search ability with a tablet computer, and used the intranet account to turn the Bureau of Paranormal Control's archives upside down first.
It is a type of butterfly, scientifically known as "Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly", and its eggs look like sesame seeds. If someone accidentally ingests them, the eggs can enter the human body and mature within 24 hours. After parasitizing, the butterfly secretes a special substance to control the human nervous system.
"Once the butterfly is successfully parasitized, it will be completely invisible and cannot be detected by technical means. But if an fMRI scan is performed on the infected person's brain, it will be found that the activity of the amygdala is significantly enhanced, and other evidence also shows that the infected person's brain still has its own consciousness, but the generated neural impulses can no longer be transmitted to the relevant effector organs.
Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly has no wisdom of its own, but it has a high imitation ability and is good at using people around the infected person as templates to control the body to do 'normal things'. After the infected person's brain dies, the butterfly completely replaces the infected person's brain and can survive and reproduce for a long time in this identity, and even be unnoticed by the people around for decades - then... Does this mean that you can watch your own body being controlled by something else?”
Those who were parasitized knew everything, as if they were imprisoned in their own body, forced to watch but unable to do anything.
What was even more desperate than this helpless chronic death was that no one around, even those close friends and family members who were around them day and night, noticed anything wrong with the flesh husk. They chat mindlessly with the rebellious butterfly and come and go with no thought.
If it was really this butterfly, then in the one thousand sacrifices, only one mother had a suspicious feeling—and she was a pathological mother with a strong sense of control over her son!
At ten o'clock. In Dongchuan City, more than a dozen low-key black off-road vehicles surrounded an ordinary residential building, and the members of the task force rushed upstairs in several batches.
In an ordinary family home upstairs, the anxious mother was sitting in the living room with a laptop, desperately searching the Internet for the contact information of some so-called "masters". Her online shopping cart was full of items with the words "enlightenment" and "warding off evil spirits". Her hair-raising son was in his bedroom and the door was not tightly closed. Through the crack of the door, his back was seen—he was wearing headphones and playing mobile phones while doing his homework, no different from a "normal" teenager.
The mother clenched her hands tightly, her shoulders tightened. Everyone said that her son had recently been "normal" and sensible, but she was still uneasy. That indescribable fear was only understood by a mad mother who had for part of her life parasitized on her child...
At this moment, the doorbell of her house rang. The mother trembled: "Who, who is it?"
"Hello, we are here to check your water meter, as the property notified yesterday."
"Oh... it's here."
The woman murmured in her heart. She hadn't seen the notice, but it might have been overlooked because of her heavy thoughts recently. She got up to open the door, but there was more than one person. The woman was stunned by the gray uniform. She subconsciously wanted to close the door. A gray uniform person quickly blocked the door frame and the other pressed her throat with his hand, making a gesture of "shush" to her. The woman only felt that the fingers pressing her throat were icy cold. She was terrified and stepped back, covering her neck. She found that she couldn't make a sound!
The gray uniform people sneaked into the house like cats, with no sound under their feet. However, the "boy" wearing headphones seemed to have a pair of ears behind his head. When they broke in, he didn't even turn his head and ran away as soon as he jumped up.
"The target is jumping out of the window!"
The woman screamed–this was the eighth floor!
In a flash, the "boy" had leaped out of the window, and something flashed behind him--it was like a pair of huge butterfly wings, translucent and flashing phosphorescently, flying off into the night sky.
The next moment, a whirlwind suddenly appeared out of nowhere, sweeping over the large "butterfly", and three gray-uniformed men on the roof leapt down, pulling out a big net from the air and firmly trapping him in the middle!
"Report, Director Xiao, we have controlled the target! The boy is fourteen years old, and after examination it is confirmed that he is infected with a Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly. Please instruct on the next step to be taken!"
Before Director Xiao could speak, a worker suddenly ran in anxiously, and attached to his ear said: "Director Xiao, there is an emergency situation that needs to be reported to you."
"Well, just now when we were viewing the relevant information on Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly in the archives, we found that the number and inventory of Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly pupae in the 'Dangerous Goods Archive Center' on the twelfth floor of the underground did not match up...there was one less vat."
Director Xiao lifted his head incredulously: "Say it again?"
"The twelfth floor underground has a great magical array for protection, there is no abnormality, and no traces of intrusion. The archives also cannot explain why there is one less vat..."
"The Dangerous Goods Archive Center stores first-level dangerous goods, and according to regulations, it must be counted and checked every day. What is the Archives department doing? This is dereliction of duty!"
Director Xiao's face was really too ugly to look at, and the worker swallowed his saliva, not daring to make a sound.
"Isolate all the relevant personnel from the archives. Go through them one by one and investigate this!"
There was no time for calculations, and Director Xiao squeezed out a word from between his teeth, barely suppressing his anger. "Have the scene cleanup team sent over."
"Leader," at the Chiyuan Hospital, Ping Qianru asked Xuan Ji while holding the phone,
"Director Xiao contacted us, asking if you know how to crack the Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly?"
"Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly..." Xuan Ji repeated the word in Mandarin, imitating the tone of a little girl, and then glanced at the picture on Ping Qianru's laptop. He then smiled with a mixture of misfortune and pleasure, "Oh, it's the 'Human-faced Butterfly', not good, the Human-faced Butterfly is not easy to deal with."
Xuan Ji glanced at the image of the Mirror Flower Water Moon Butterfly. This time, the "Thousand Demon Bestiary" responded in time, prompting: Once the Human-faced Butterfly detects external invasion, it will perish with its host. This butterfly is not cold-resistant and will hibernate in cold temperatures.
Xuan Ji: "Low temperature!"
"You don’t say!" Xiao Zheng's voice flew out from the mobile phone, "Low temperature treatment will make the butterfly lose its activeness, and this process takes at least one day. Look at what time it is now, where can I go to steal you a day?"
"There is a way. Let me teach you a trick," Sheng Lingyuan may have understood a few sentences, and he spoke casually, maybe because the ritual was about to be completed. A little blood appeared in his pale eye corners and lip cracks, but this blood did not add any life to him, but it was like a layer of red ocher on white paper, which was shocking and even more terrifying. "The last sacrifice must die at the stroke of midnight. If the death time is wrong, the caster will be in trouble. Since the sacrifice has fallen into your hands, you can't save people, so why not kill him before the stroke of midnight?"
Xiao Zheng: "Who is talking? Is that demon summoned by the Yin Sacrifice ritual? What did he say?"
"He said," Xuan Ji lifted his eyelids, and his beautiful phoenix eyes were soaked in moisture, but there seemed to be firelight in the pupils, "As long as you catch the caster before the stroke of midnight."
"Director Xiao, the boy who was parasitized by the butterfly started to draw the ritual sixteen days ago. If we push back one day, it should be the time of infection. That day, he was in the Internet cafe and mixed up for a day. We just got the monitoring record of the Internet cafe and found this person!"
Xiao Zheng quickly walked to the video, only to see the blurred screenshot of the video, which showed a person with a small mustache holding a cigarette: "This person is..."
"Yes, it's one of the people we just rescued from Chiyuan, and he's also the leader!"
Ping Qianru heard this from the phone, suddenly covering her mouth: "They have been transferred to the county hospital... It's over, Big Sister Bi! Big Sister Bi is with them!"
Sheng Lingyuan looked at Qianru inexplicably, then turned his head to look at the thick fog outside the window, curling up the corners of his eyes: "There is still a moment, Little Demon, remind you again, after a moment, no matter how much I like you, I won't be merciful."
Xuan Ji was stunned, thinking that it was not more than ten o'clock, how could it be... He suddenly became agitated–no, the "stroke of midnight" is the concept of midnight at twelve o'clock, which was influenced by the modern Western calendar. The "Midnight" in ancient times started at eleven o'clock!
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