I went to a house in the town and gently knocked on the door.
The door opened shortly. An old man wearing protective gear looked at me and Li Mazi with surprise. “Who are you looking for?”
“Excuse me, does Liu Laogen’s family live in Taiping Town?” I asked with a smile.
The man’s face changed. “Why do you want to see Liu Laogen?”
“Ah, we are his distant relatives. He called us to visit him and help him with some stuff here,” I answered.
The other looked pensive then said, “Oh. Several days ago, Liu Laogen brought his family and left Taiping Town. They haven’t returned. You should call him!”
Then, he closed the door. He didn’t give us a chance to continue the conversation.
Liu Laogen’s family has gone missing and they haven’t returned to this town... Where could they have gone? Were they really eaten by that horrible slime?
I decided to go to his house and see.
We asked for directions and found a villa, which was typical in this countryside area. It was a high-rise building. Spring couplets were pasted on the door. In this small town, this family was rich.
However, the building was dark and gloomy, and I felt heavy pressure!
I could even feel the inexplicable amount of moisture in the air. If I placed a tissue on the ground, it would become wet within minutes.
I knew this villa was strange so I didn’t dare to go inside. Not at this moment, at least. I peered through the window to observe the inside of the house.
The chairs and tables inside were arranged neatly. It didn’t look like a suspicious place.
That’s weird. In that case, where is this strange aura coming from?
While I was puzzled, a bubbling sound arose from a well near the villa. It was as if someone had boiled a big wok of water and didn't watch over it, letting it burn until all of the water evaporated.
The gurgling sound echoed unceasingly. Water spurted up like a tide then shrank back.
We searched everywhere but couldn’t find anything. And now, we were able to get a clue without doing anything.
The origin of this strange atmosphere was the well!
I immediately walked towards the well and observed it. However, it was pit-black down there and I couldn’t see anything.
Lucky for us, Li Mazi had brought a flashlight. I took the flashlight from him and adjusted the brightness to the maximum setting. Then, I shone it right into the well.
I was shocked and almost fell into the well!
A big, swelling, ashen face was down there. It packed the entire well. Its facial features weren’t clear and it looked like a crumpled dough. Yet, I could still tell that it was looking at the light from my flashlight. It gazed at me greedily.
What the heck is that thing?
I leaned against the well’s walls and gasped for my breath. I needed to calm down.
This strange, big face was the key to this case! If we knew its origin, we could find Liu Laogen’s family. I had to think of a way to fish it up!
However, when I shone the flashlight again, the big face was gone. I guessed it had sunk back to the bottom of the well.
I discussed things with Li Mazi and we decided to find the town official for help. This well was really deep. The two of us couldn’t get that monstrous thing out by ourselves.
However, when the town official heard that there was a big, white face in Liu Laogen’s well, he was frightened to no end. He didn’t want to go there and check, let alone take the thing out of the well.
Feeling helpless, I couldn’t do anything else but tell him, “That thing could make a difference to Liu Laogen’s entire family’s lives.”
The town official didn’t have any other choice. He found some ropes and hooks then called several young men to go with us to the well.
However, when a young man was about to throw the hook into the well, a stream of water spurted and fumed right at his face. Then, we all heard an angrily growl as loud as thunder.
The strange growl that came out all of a sudden had petrified people on the spot. They exchanged looks then instantly screamed, “The monster’s coming!”
The town official didn’t have any color left on his face. Shivering, he pointed at me and said, “Boy, tell me honestly, what is in this well? Why is it still alive? You shouldn’t think about fishing that monster out. We must fill and level this well. If the monster gets out, our Taiping Town can’t live in peace…”
I got a headache and I wanted to explain my reasoning to the town official.
However, their subconsciousness had assumed that there was a monster in the well. They wouldn’t listen to me.
“This well’s an antique of Taiping Town. I’ve heard that it’s dated back to the Song Dynasty…” The town official drew a cigarette. “I’ve had my doubts about this well. It’s abnormal. A old witch had passed by and told me that this well contains a monster. However, it belongs to Liu Laogen. I couldn’t touch it. And now, as Liu Laogen’s entire family has been killed, we should fill this well to prevent future trouble!”
“If you fill the well, what will happen to Liu Laogen?” I said, “Can you just stand and watch as Liu Laogen’s family is never found?”
“Hmph! We will report Liu Laogen’s family situation to the police. You don’t need to worry about that!”
Eventually, the town official shooed me and Li Mazi out of Taiping Town. He warned us that we shouldn’t put our noses into this.
I shook my head in distress and looked at the small town. I had a feeling that those villagers knew something. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have just stood and watched an entire family die.
The villagers knew something and if they didn’t want to tell us, it wasn’t good to chase them…
But it wasn’t in my nature to ignore people. I made up my mind, and I wanted to ask the villagers what had really happened.
I told Li Mazi my thoughts about the situation. Li Mazi shook his head. “Little Brother Zhang, you shouldn’t act recklessly. Those villagers could beat us to death.”
“So, tell me, what should we do?” I sighed.
Eventually, Li Mazi decided to sneak into the town and probe around. There was nothing in this world that money couldn’t help with.
I couldn’t do anything else but entrust my hope in Li Mazi. I hoped that he could find something useful.
Of course, it wasn’t convenient to work during the day. After sunset, Li Mazi quietly entered Taiping Town. I waited in the car and unknowingly drifted into sleep.
Not long after I had slept, I was awakened by a chilly wind. I opened my sleepy eyes and found something wrong. I had locked my doors and windows. How did the wind come in?
I returned to my senses and turned around to check. Then I was shocked!
All the doors and windows were open. Gusts of chilling wind blew through, which made me shiver in the cold.
I quickly checked everything. The locks worked well and there was no trace of intruding.
What happened… Did a ghost break my doors?
I carefully observed my surroundings and found many bloody fingerprints on my windows and windshields. There were even some crooked traditional Chinese characters.
“Don’t meddle with others’ business! Get lost!”
After seeing the words, I was startled and quickly got out of the car.
However, everything around me was quiet. The only noise was the howling northern wind.
While I was puzzled and didn’t know what to do, a man was secretly approaching me from the town. When he came closer, I recognized he was Li Mazi.
Li Mazi came to me, still flustered.
“Are you okay?”
He then lifted his head while gasping for his breath. He was about to tell me the details.
However, as soon as Li Mazi lifted his head, he was dumbstruck. It was as if a lightning strike had just struck him. His eyes gazed at my fingers. He was scared and his voice trembled. “You… Who are you?”
“Have you gone mad?” I couldn’t help but scoff. “I’m Zhang Jiulin!”
“Y-Your thumb… That’s the jade thumb ring!” Li Mazi stuttered.
I stooped my head and checked. I was even more shocked.
My right index finger had a jade thumb ring on it! At first look, it seemed the heirloom of Liu Laogen’s family.
Who put this ring on my index finger?
I cursed and quickly tried to remove it.
However, the jade ring seemed to be stuck on my finger. I couldn’t take it off.
I cursed in distress then found a hammer in the trunk. I tried to break the jade ring. However, the fine-looking jade ring was really tough. No matter how hard I tried to hammer it, it wasn’t even scratched.
I rolled my eyes. This jade thumb ring was actually an otherworldly item, which was really bizarre. Since it was pestering me, would I become a foodie like that fat man?Previous Chapter Next Chapter