Chapter 143: The Two Hell Banknotes

“I’m delivering rice to the dead,” that person answered with a cold voice.

After hearing him talk, I exhaled in relief. The undead didn’t talk. I concluded the other person was a living human being.

When we reached the foothill, I wasn’t in a hurry to leave. I found a place to hide.

This was because I doubted the other person was a tomb-raider. Who would come to the mountain to deliver rice in the middle of the night?

We watched the person walk directly into Qingshan Village. He pushed a door open and entered a house.

I was relieved. It seemed I was just overthinking. The person had really gone up to deliver some rice. Perhaps it was some strange custom of this village that we outsiders weren’t aware of.

Li Mazi and I started to return to the hotel.

When we returned, it was almost dawn. Since we were worn out, we fell asleep not long after we reached the bed.

When we woke up in the morning, Yin Xinyue had already bought breakfast. She bought Sichuan’s specialty, sticky rice cakes. We finished the simple breakfast then prepared to go to the village one more time. Out of the blue, Chu Chu asked, “Where did you guys go yesterday?”

"Oh, to the village,” Li Mazi answered.

“Did you provoke anybody?” Chu Chu had a serious face.

“No.” I asked, “What’s wrong?”

“Yesterday… I think I spotted someone following you two,” Chu Chu answered. “And you had something adhered to your back. I didn’t tell you because I was afraid that you wouldn’t be able to rest well last night.”

My brows arched. “Someone was watching us... and something was stuck on our backs? What was it?”

“It could have fallen on the bed. You should check for yourself.”

I ran toward the bed and lifted the bedsheet.

Indeed, I found two hell banknotes on the bed!

Big, red words were written on the papers. It read, ‘Hell Banknote.’ [1]

I widened my eyes. I almost tripped and had to reach the wall to support myself.

Damn, we were being followed yesterday. That person had stuck the hell banknotes on our backs but we didn’t even notice! My heart started to race.

Who was following us?

I suddenly remembered the guy who was delivering rice. Did he doubt us and follow us to our hotel?

But even if he did follow us, why would he want to stick the hell banknotes on our backs? What did he mean by this? 

Thump! Thump!

However, right at this moment, someone knocked on our door. My nerves immediately went tense. I was now panicking and was prepared to view anyone as my enemy.

I walked to the door and looked through the peephole. I saw a hotel attendant standing outside. However, he looked a little suspicious.

I opened the door. “Hello, is there anything you need?”

The attendant waved his hand. “Sorry, there was a guest checking out. I was here to check if this was the room.”

Then, he prepared to leave. His face looked frightened.

From his facial expression, I knew something was wrong. I stopped him and pulled him into our room. “Boy, I’ll give you one minute. Be honest and tell me the truth!”

Li Mazi saw my strange behavior and cooperated with me tacitly. “Boss, what if he doesn’t tell us the truth?”

“Our normal rule. We take his leg,” I said.

The young attendant gave in to our gangster tactics immediately. He quickly begged us and said, “Boss, forgive me! I coincidently found a streak of blood on the peephole of your room. That’s why I was a little curious. I thought a guest had carelessly smeared ketchup on it.”

What?

I frowned and ran to check my door.

Indeed, there was a red streak at my door’s peephole. There was also some dabs of unknown, brown-yellow liquid substance that had blended with the blood.

My heart raced frantically. I knew this blood streak was left by the person who had followed us last night.

I recalled the odd man who was watching us. My heart shivered!

I picked up a bit of the substance, rubbed it, and put it under my nose. It was stinky; it had the stench of a corpse. The yellowish substance was like the purge fluid that had oozed from a decomposing corpse.

Carefully, I asked Li Mazi to check it. After he checked it, he turned to me with a pale face. “Shoot, it’s the purge fluid!”

I immediately regretted bringing Yin Xinyue and Chu Chu here. Since our whereabouts had been disclosed, Yin Xinyue and Chu Chu couldn’t stay any longer…

I suddenly realized that the man that was delivering rice yesterday couldn’t possibly have been a human. He was a corpse.

Otherwise, why did he speak so strangely?

And why would the wind carry the stench of corpse?

My body chilled from top to toe. I was puzzled. Why did that thing stalk us? 

“Yin Xinyue, Chu Chu, how about you girls leave this place first? There’s a possibility that danger is everywhere. If you stay here, there could be more trouble,” I suggested.

Yin Xinyue and Chu Chu didn’t want to leave. I knew they were worried about us.

I didn’t have any other plan, so we had to find a new accommodation. Li Mazi and I then prepared to go to the village one more time to see the graveyard. We had to learn about the odd things that were there.

After yesterday’s experience, we didn’t walk to the village. Instead, we rented two motorcycles to take us there. The round trip didn’t cost more than fifty renminbi.

I tipped them another fifty renminbi and asked about Liu Fuguo.

However, as soon as the motorcycle driver heard the name Liu Fuguo, he looked at me with his questioning eyes. “What do you want to do here?”

“We are Liu Fuguo’s distant relatives. He hasn’t contacted us for a long time. Now, we have come here to see him.”

The man bought our story. However, he still gave us some advice. “You’d better not get close to that jinx. Otherwise, you’ll be unlucky…”

Then, the two riders left.

I was even more surprised. What has Liu Fuguo done and why doesn’t anybody want to get close to him? 

I looked back at the drivers but didn’t call them back. Li Mazi and I directly entered the village.

As soon as we got to the village, we saw a group of people gather at the entrance of a house. They were whispering and discussing something.

I carefully looked around and learned it was the house of the man who had come to the mountain to deliver rice from last night. Did something happen to his family?

Li Mazi and I rushed toward the crowd. I asked a villager, “What happened in this house?”

The folk then studied us. “Who are you? Why have you come to Qingshan Village?”

After learning from the previous experience, I didn’t dare to mention the name Liu Fuguo. “We’re traveling but I think we’ve lost our way.”

The man frowned. “I remember there were two sneaky strangers that came to our town yesterday. Weren’t they the two of you?”

Li Mazi waved his hand in denial. “No, no, you’ve got the wrong guys.”

The villager then showed us the way. “Oh. Follow this road straight to the East. Go along the mountain trail. Then you’ll get to the town.”

Oh, they are sending us away, are they? Should we leave or not? If not, what excuse could we use to stay that wouldn’t make them doubt us?

However, all of a sudden, the folk ignored us and called over our shoulders. “Damn, the jinx is back. Guys, leave. Hurry!”

Jinx? What does he mean?

I followed his eyes and saw a young and weak boy. He wore ragged clothes and carried a shoulder pole. His eyes were listless.

After seeing him, all the folks instantly dismissed it. It was as if they were afraid that something very unlucky would follow them.

I also realized that these villagers were here to watch the corpse inside the house!

The corpse laid flat on the ground and wore burial clothes. His limbs were all stiff. Waves of discomposing stench exuded from him.

I found this corpse familiar.

Then, I had a sudden flash and felt frightened. This corpse could be the person that was following us last night!

While I was contemplating this, the young man with the shoulder pole knelt in front of the corpse and started to whine.


1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell_money

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