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Backstory

        “It was said that a braided maiden was once sold to that village to be the wife of an old tycoon. The maiden was twenty something, but the graybeard was nearly sixty. It was quite pathetic, but who cares as long as we can get our money!” A human trafficker with a brandy nose narrated the story to his professional brethren in a mysterious tone. “That maiden tried to run away when the wagon arrived at Eastward Road, but was soon recaptured by the trafficker. She struggled hard to resist. The trafficker became so angry that he used her braid as a rope to strangle her to death.”

        “Now the maiden’s ghost haunts the Eastward Road. When she sees human traffickers, she’ll come out and take revenge by strangling everyone to death with her braid.” As he said, the brandy-nosed trafficker jokingly strangled himself while faking yells in pain; the others laughed at his vivid yet exaggerated performance.

        Among them, an old human trafficker sniffed at him, “Tsk tsk! What a bunch of crap!”

        “Hey Keung, you better believe it! Some of our brothers’ lives were indeed taken on that road. Maybe there’s really a ghost trying to rub us out. Holy!” “Brandy nose” restrained his frivolous attitude, and said to Keung in a serious tone.

        “I’ve been doing this long enough to make a living. You still think I’m afraid of a ghost’s revenge? My God is up there watching over me. All ghosts will be scared off when they see me. They can’t even lay a finger on me!” Keung strode away after uttering his bold words.

        Driving a wagon, Keung carried a few “commodities” and was ready to pass through Eastward Road to head toward a village. Eastward Road was the main road for people who left the village to go to the town; some would even walk along the road on foot. As he journeyed for a distance, he met a maiden, who had a braid that reached her waist, slowly walking on the road. The maiden had a pale face and faltering steps. As the wind blew, the hem of her white dress waved in the air, rendering her like a floating ghost. Being a self-respecting man, Keung of course would not show any signs of weakness in front of the gang; but in fact, the ghost story told by the brandy-nosed trafficker did send a chill down his spine. Keung speeded up the wagon by forcing the horses to run faster. As he passed by the maiden, he took a quick peek at her and found that she was just a sickly girl who was probably going to town to see the doctor.

        “Darn! What a ghost-like chick! A weakling doesn’t worth a penny. I don’t think I will go through the trouble of catching her, but don’t misinterpret me as being afraid. I’m not afraid of freaking ghosts, never!”

        Breaking out in a cold sweat, Keung tried to sweep away his fear and calmed his nerves by swearing loudly. The wagon went on, and another braided maiden appeared. The maiden was wearing a red dress and walking toward the village. With greed rising within him, Keung immediately stopped his wagon, took his gunnysack, and dashed forward to abduct the maiden.

        “Hehe, a chick from the village worths a lot in the town! I’m gonna ask my contact to find the most generous brothel tomorrow.” He skillfully stuffed the red-dressed maiden into the sack and threw it into the wagon while feeling smug for capturing a new “commodity”.

        The wagon resumed its journey, yet thudding sound behind Keung interrupted his satisfaction. He knew that the new “commodity” was struggling, but he did not worry. He tied up the sack tightly, there was no way for her to flee from the sack, not to mention his wagon. With the sound of gunnies rubbing against each other, the noise grew increasingly loud. It sounded like all the other “commodities” had joined in the rebellion in an attempt to run away. Keung shouted furiously, asking the “commodities” to stay quiet. However, the noise did not abate; instead, it grew more and more deafening!

        The sound of gunny sacks tearing and wood cracking came one after another. Afraid that his wagon was going to break into pieces, he turned to look back — the whole wagon was twined with a braided ponytail! Before Keung could react, his head was already caught by the braid, and his limbs wrenched in unusual angles and twisted into weird forms.

        The wagon without a driver dashed to the roadside and crashed. The braided ponytail, like tentacles of an octopus, grabbed the wreckage of the wagon and put it aside. The head to which the braid belonged was the red-dressed maiden…

        ‘Darned human trafficker…’ The maiden murmured to herself.

        “Well done.” At the roadside, a female Demon appeared out of nowhere. She collected the corpses of Keung and other “commodities”.

        ‘Venerable Samael…’

        “Keep going and bring me more guinea pigs.” As Samael finished her words, she vanished into thin air.

        The story about the braided maiden still circulates among people nowadays. She lingers at the Eastward Road, waiting to take revenge on all human traffickers.

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