“The bad news is that it seems many people and ghosts are interested in the Night Dragon Bait. It’s hard to compete for,” said Chuyi.
We needed to compete against those ghosts… Could the four of us do it?
Chuyi took out two talismans from his pocket and gave them to Li Mazi and I. “Stick these talismans on your foreheads. We’re going to the village to check.”
Then, Chuyi and Zen Master Baimei also stuck the talismans onto their foreheads. The scene looked really funny.
“What does this talisman do?” I asked.
“This talisman, together with the ‘Yu Footwork’, can make the wearer invisible to people and ghosts.”
I was surprised. Was this the legendary talisman that could make people invisible?
Zen Master Baimei told me that the talisman could suppress the positive energy in our bodies, which would become lower than the limit the ghosts could detect. As for the Yu Footwork, it was a set of steps created from the eight divinatory trigrams of the Book of Changes. It could make use of the obstacles in the surrounding area to allow the user to hide. Under this hazy mist, it would be very useful. The other party wouldn’t be able to detect us.
I was a little disappointed, though. I expected something better.
We followed closely behind Chuyi. We walked in a very strange way, which required us to hop around.
When we were close to the villagers, I heard them talk. “The weather’s so strange. Why is it foggy all of a sudden? I can’t work in my field.”
“Right, it’s also getting colder…”
“Oh, by the way, I haven’t seen Uncle Zhong in several days. Ever since he dug that treasure, he has been idle in his home. He doesn’t even come out.”
“Let’s go. I’m going to Uncle Zhong’s to see what a dragon horn looks like.”
My heart sank as I recognized that the dragon horn they had just mentioned was the Night Dragon Bait.
Chuyi whispered, “Move, follow them!”
I suddenly noticed that we were not the only ones following the two folks. The moment the folks mentioned the dragon horn, many shadows started to congregate.
After the villagers started to head toward Uncle Zhong’s, the shadows also started to follow them.
I was terrified. I was pretty sure the shadows were ghosts because when I faced them, I couldn’t see their facial features. From their bodies, I could feel a strange chill.
Shivering, I turned to look at Chuyi. I didn’t know what to do.
Chuyi looked at me and comforted me. “Don’t panic. Just follow the villagers.”
Nervously, I followed him.
Obviously, those shadows saw us. They studied us with strange eyes but they didn’t really mind us. I guessed they thought we were their kind. Without giving us another glance, they continued to move forward.
It was less than five minutes of walking until I saw the two folks enter a brick house.
The moment the door opened, all the shadows flooded in.
Chuyi took a quick glance at the house then pulled me aside. We hid behind a big tree.
Feeling impatient, I asked, “Did you see the Night Dragon Bait?”
He shook his head and said, “The situation is beyond my expectations. I didn’t expect that the Ghost Market had already started…”
“Already started?” I was surprised. “Why didn't I see any transactions?”
“All the people and ghosts doing transactions are inside that brick house,” said Chuyi. “The two villagers who just entered the house, I’m afraid they won’t ever be able to get out of there…”
My heart throbbed. Is the Ghost Market that dangerous?
“When will we go in there for the Night Dragon Bait?” Li Mazi was excited.
After all, Chu Chu was in great danger. The medicine we had spent such a long time to find was right in front of us. How could Li Mazi not be excited?
Chuyi looked at Li Mazi and said with some difficulty, “Don’t act rashly. All the shadows in the village are here just to watch the fun. The real powerhouses are all in the brick house. We can’t do anything today. Just keep quiet and watch what happens.”
Li Mazi sighed. He was somewhat unwilling.
I thought that if Chuyi didn’t stop him, he would just charge into the house and rob the Night Dragon Bait. Although he looked like a coward who was afraid of death, he actually treasured his family members more than his own life.
We could only wait behind the big tree. After quite a long time, we didn’t notice any commotion from the brick house.
Out of boredom, I started to study the brick house.
The house was ordinary and shabby, but the fog was much thicker here than anywhere else. The door was closed, so we couldn’t see what was going on inside. Sometimes, two or three folks would pass by the gate. They looked at the house in puzzlement, mumbled something then left.
I was astonished. I had never thought that humans and ghosts could live harmoniously in a village.
We had been staying idle behind the big tree for two or three hours. No one had left the house yet. Eventually, Li Mazi’s patience was drained. No matter how hard we tried to persuade him, he wanted to charge into the brick house to see what was happening.
Zen Master Baimei was helpless. He chanted, “Merciful Buddha,” then asked Li Mazi to stop there. He would go inside to see what was happening.
Not long after Zen Master Baimei entered the house, the door was pushed open. Instantly, a flood of shadows rushed outside. It was as if they had just seen something very scary. They scattered quickly.
Zen Master Baimei was one of the last to leave the house. As soon as he walked out, he urged us to leave quickly.
My heart started to beat frantically. From Zen Master Baimei’s expression, I knew something bad had happened. I immediately held onto Li Mazi and ran after Zen Master Baimei like crazy.
We rushed all the way to the wheat field outside the village, then stopped. Zen Master Baimei sat on a haystack. He wiped off his sweat with his sleeve.
Li Mazi couldn’t wait anymore. “Zen Master, what happened there?”
Zen Master Baimei’s kind face was now dark. “The Night Dragon Bait was stolen…”
Chuyi was bewildered. “Stolen? Who has such guts to steal things in the Ghost Market?”
Zen Master Baimei shook his head. “I’m not sure. In the blink of an eye, it was gone. I’m afraid big chaos would follow.”
“Disappeared?” Li Mazi fumed. “Who dared to steal my Night Dragon Bait? Shoot, I’m going to wrangle him to death!”
I hurried to pull him back. This man was becoming crazy about the Night Dragon Bait. Since when did the item become his?
“Zen Master Baimei, what will happen if the Night Dragon Bait disappears?”
Zen Master Baimei forced a smile. “I’m not really certain because ever since the Ghost Market was established, nothing had ever been stolen. I guess the villagers in the entire Wild Dog Mountain Ridge will face a calamity. If they can’t find the Night Dragon Bait, they will vent out their anger on those innocent villagers!”
I took a deep breath. “Would they slaughter the entire village?”
Zen Master Baimei, “It’s possible.”
“What?” I shivered. Slaughter an entire village? What year was it? Could people actually do that?
Chuyi said coldly, “I don’t think so. I saw that many of those who had come to join the Ghost Market had left. They all looked pissed off but they still left. It seems they’re afraid of something. They wouldn’t dare to attack this village.”
I nodded and thought, it’s better this way.
We stayed in the haystack and watched the situation in the village. Then, we drifted into sleep.
When I opened my eyes, a sunbeam shone above my head and directly hit my face. So dazzling that I couldn’t open my eyes.
Feeling puzzled, I looked around. I was surprised to see that the thick fog was now gone. The sun was high in the sky. It emitted strong sunlight that shone over the quiet village.
The villagers were working in their fields and took in the fresh air. A few old men were playing cards. Everything looked so calm and peaceful.
I gawked in astonishment. What’s going on? Was yesterday just a dream of mine?
Where were those weird shadows? Where is the white mist that couldn’t be blown away? Even the icy coldness is gone…
While I watched the peaceful village, I was speechless.
Li Mazi also gawked. “Chuyi, what happened here?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter