CHAPTER 12 (REMIX / THE TEMPLE OF THE SOUL STEALER)
In the foul depths of the city, the Soul Stealer’s plan was manifesting. Mr. Lo, Tony Jai, and three body guards had been directed to Lin Shantou’s temple by way of an abandoned storage facility in Chinatown.
The men entered the location with a certain level of uncertainty. The Soul Stealer had provided instructions to his location, and although they had already met, Mr. Lo did not trust him or his nature.
The storage facility was dark and a mildew odor lingered as if dead bodies had been forgotten here years ago. The dry place which was illuminated by their flashlights turned into a damp and foul place as they neared a staircase in the back of the facility.
It was there as Lin had told them. After several levels, they reach an underground tunnel, which had access to the city’s sewer system.A repugnant stench loomed in the air, it was a mixture of human waste multiplied by the foulest odor you could ever imagine.
The men shined their flashlights in both directions of the tunnel, unsure of which way to proceed.
“Which way do we go?” asked Tony.
A reply came from the darkness of the tunnel. There were several high pitched screams of agony muffled by a high-pitched laugh. The men were alarmed, but Mr. Lo remembered hearing this same eerie laugh in Tony’s office. He said nothing and proceeded ahead.
Mr. Lo wasn’t sure what to expect, but if the myth of the Neverending Master was true, he knew that he would need more than bullets.
The men walked along the damp and musty tunnel the stench and sounds continued to grow with intensity. Tony and the three bodyguards covered their mouths with their hands and frequently cough while walking.
Mr. Lo was not phased by the odor. He knew the stench of death. As he advanced, he developed an for the foulness — the smell, the sounds and the darkness. He knew that the Soul Stealer had great power.
The small tunnel ended in a large underground facility room. Mr. Lo inspected the location and he imagined that this had been some sort of location used for burning waste. He recognized a large an incinerator which looked as though it was still in use.
The Soul Stealer had transformed the room into a temple of wickedness. The entrance was guarded by two great gargoyles. Several skeletons, with chunks of flesh, hang from the ceiling above.
Mr. Lo gasped at the sight but continued further into the room. There, he noticed a recognizable statue. He stepped forward and inspected the statue. The demonic face, fangs, and claws — it was the the God of Death, Yanluo!
“Yanlou” mumbled Mr. Lo with his hand on the statue’s head, his mind at a time in the past when he and others prayed to the evil god, asking for assistance with evil deeds.
“Yeessss Mr. Looooo” hissed Lin Shantou.
Lin emerged from a column in the room. Tony and his bodyguards were repulsed, while Mr. Lo did not seem phased by the sight of Lin’s ghoulish face.
“You have shown true faith and courage Mr. Lo!” said Lin, looking down on the men before him with contempt and disdain.
“We’re here as you requested sorcerer. You agreed to help beat this master. Now what must we do?” asked Mr. Lo.
Sensing desperation in Mr. Lo’s voice, Tony made another plea “Look, Mr. Lo, we don’t need him!”
“Your methods have all failed. This is the only option I think we have” replied Mr. Lo.
Lin pointed his ghastly deformed finger at Tony.
“You fool. You will soon pay for your insolence!” barked Lin. His voice echoed in the chamber.
The Soul Stealer then turned towards Mr. Lo.
“What do you know of this so called master?” asked Lin.
“Only what I’ve heard from a storyteller who lived in my village. I never believed until…” replied Mr. Lo.
As his mind drifts off, he thought of when he first saw a Neverending Master.
“Until what?” barked Lin.
“Until I saw someone in Shanghai a few years ago” replied Mr. Lo.
Mr. Lo thought back to years ago in Shanghai. At that time, he was a young man, new to the crime family.
He sat at a table, with a group of older Chinese men. There was a thick cloud of cigarette smoke which hung over them. The men dressed in black suits and had their guns drawn.
A man stood in front of them. He wore a straw hat and black cape.
This Neverending Master, He avoided the bullets…
“I remember a man. He moved using stealth, avoiding bullets. I never saw his face, but the way he moved…” said Mr. Lo.
Lin knew exactly who he spoke of, and he was certain that Mr. Lo would be the tool he needed in dispatching Masternever.
“The person you saw was indeed the Neverending Master. However, a new master has been appointed!” said Lin.
Mr. Lo realized why this made sense. The man who he saw in the restaurant was not the same person he saw years ago. Yet, he had the same movement.
“Over the past two years, I’ve studied the events, and rumors about him. Like yourself, I realized that a new master had been appointed. To destroy him, we will need to make you powerful. I must anoint you and your men” said Lin.
“How much will this cost us sorcerer,” asked Mr. Lo.
“The only thing that I require is the dead body of this master once you have killed him!” said Lin.
Considering this to be a small price for the defeat of his new adversary, Mr. Lo promptly responds “Agreed!”
Feeling that his plan was near completion, the Soul Stealer could hardly contain himself.
“Excellent. Now let us begin.”