Fengshen Nana’s uncle had dark skin, a wrinkled face full of cuts, and disheveled hair. I wondered when was the last time he took a bath.
Fengshen Nana turned to look at me, so I asked her, “How should I address him?”
“People usually call him Old Chef,” she answered.
I nodded and placed my palm on the crown of her uncle’s head. I clutched his head and said in a gentle voice, “Old Chef, wake up!”
If someone was startled awake while they were having a nightmare, they could get a heart attack, with their soul directly flying out of their body. As such, I covered the crown of his head and gently called his name; this would help keep his soul in place.
Although he was injected with some sedatives, Old Chef soon woke up.
The first thing he did was scream. “Let me go! Let me go! Nana?! Please help me! Take me out of here!”
Fengshen Nana was very happy that her uncle recognized her. “Uncle, is that really you? Can you recognize me?”
Old Chef blurted out, “Nana, find your aunt! They want to kill me!”
I immediately asked, “Who wants to kill you?”
Old Chef answered, “The drum—”
Before he could complete his sentence, something blocked his throat. He gulped down, and his voice began to change. His anxious expression also disappeared, replaced by a sneer. “Where are my eggs? Did you eat my eggs?”
Li Mazi, who was standing next to me, burst out laughing. I also found it hard to hold my laughter back. “What eggs? You can lay eggs?”
Old Chef glared at me and kept asking the same question, “Where are my eggs? Did you eat them?”
“Are these eggs supposed to come out of your butt?” Li Mazi scoffed. “This guy is shameless.”
“I’m talking about the eggs I laid,” Old Chef fumed. “Move away, I want to lay eggs.”
Then, he started to push, just as if he was taking a dump.
“Uncle, are you okay?” Fengshen Nana was worried. “Get a hold of yourself. Don’t scare me.”
In the next moment, I heard a loud fart, and a horrible stench spread in the room. I pinched my nose and dragged Fengshen Nana away. “Damn, he really…”
Li Mazi was likewise shocked. When he returned to his senses, he hurried to leave the room. “This old guy is really disgusting!”
Fengshen Nana sighed. “Mr. Zhang, what do we do next? Why do I feel that the thing that possessed my uncle isn’t a human but some animal that can lay eggs?”
I patted her shoulder. “Don’t overthink it. Since the other party only messed with your uncle’s head, it means that they don’t want to kill him just yet. We still have some time to investigate.”
Fengshen Nana said, “During that brief moment of clarity, my uncle said that someone wanted to kill him. I think they might harm him soon.”
“Right, when I asked him who wanted to kill him, what did your uncle say?” I asked.
“Drum?” Fengshen Nana said. “But, there’s no drum in his house.”
“We should go to his house and check,” I suggested.
We then drove to his house. It was a nice apartment located in the suburb, right on the first floor. It was clean and tidy, but the Yang energy was somewhat low. I guessed it might be because there were no young people living there.
Nana’s aunt was knitting a sweater, and she hurried to welcome us. When we mentioned Nana’s uncle, she began to cry.
Fengshen Nana tried to comfort her. “Aunty, don’t worry. I brought two experts with me this time. They are very skilled. I’m sure they can cure Uncle.”
Nana’s aunt carefully observed us, her eyes filled with doubts. “Aren’t they too young? Can they really help him?”
Fengshen Nana smiled. “Aunty, don’t worry. I’ve seen their abilities with my own eyes. Some time ago, we met a smoker and…”
Fengshen Nana recounted the story of the heavy smoker, shocking her aunt again and again. Her aunt was now so convinced that I was afraid she would start kowtowing. “Grandmaster, you must save my husband!”
I comforted her, “Don’t be impatient. I need to ask you two things, think carefully before you reply.”
Nana’s aunt nodded continuously. “Sure. If I know the answer, I will reply honestly.”
“Good.” I nodded. “We visited Old Chef earlier, and he mentioned a drum. Do you know what drum he might be talking about?”
“A drum?” Nana's aunt shook her head. “No, I don’t know. How is a drum related to all this?”
“I suspect that the drum he mentioned could be an otherworldly item.”
“An otherworldly item? What’s that?” Nana's aunt sounded confused.
I briefly explained to her what an otherworldly item was. Nana's aunt was dumbfounded. “How do I know if such an item is in my house?”
“Only antiques that are older than one hundred years can become otherworldly items.” As I said that, Nana's aunt exhaled in relief. “Thank God, we don’t have such items in our house.”
“Think about it carefully. Before he started to act strange, did Old Chef do anything out of the ordinary? For example, did he mention something bizarre or offend anybody?”
Nana's aunt said, "Now that you mention it, one day before the accident, he got into a fight with our neighbor Zhao Dafa due to the kids. I’m not sure if this counts.”
“Does Zhao Dafa have a drum in his house?” I asked.
“I don’t think so.” Nana's aunt contemplated. “Zhao Dafa sells vegetables on the street, and he has a pretty good relationship with my husband. After my husband got sick, he dropped in and gave us some supplements.”
“No, nothing else.”
“Good, do not let anyone know about this matter. I’ll find a chance to investigate Zhao Dafa. All right, let’s go to Old Chef’s room; I want to see if I can find anything.”
Nana's aunt nodded and brought us to her husband’s room.
The room was a complete mess and had a strange smell. Although someone had tried to scrub the floor clean, there was still a puddle of blood on it. “Aunty, is that the blood Old Chef spat out?”
Nana's aunt nodded. “Yes. That puddle of blood has become one with the floor. No matter how hard I tried to scrub it, it didn’t go away.”
I nodded and squatted down, touching the puddle of blood. I furrowed my brows right after. “This blood isn’t human blood. It has a strange smell and feels really cold.”
“What do you mean?” Fengshen Nana rolled her eyes at me. “It’s my uncle’s blood, how could it not be human blood? And, it’s been on the floor for half a month. Of course, it’s cold.”
I shot her a glance. “Come and see for yourself.”
Fengshen Nana skeptically touched the puddle of blood, retreating her hand in fright immediately after. “What’s happening? This blood is too cold... It’s like ice.”
I nodded. “Tell me, what animal has ice-cold blood?”
Fengshen Nana shook her head. “Just tell me. Don’t keep me in suspense.”
“Snakes have ice-cold blood,” I said. “Your uncle said that he wanted to lay eggs, and snakes also lay eggs to reproduce. I suspect that a snake is tormenting your uncle.”
“A snake monster?” Nana's aunt was startled. “My husband is afraid of snakes the most. He always steps aside when he sees them. How come a snake monster is tormenting my husband?”
“I’m not sure. I’ll need some time to investigate the matter. Aunty, give me Zhao Dafa’s address. I’m going to see him,” I asked.
Nana's aunt was worried. “Did that Zhao Dafa do something to my husband? It was just a trivial fight between kids, and the adults got a little heated. Was it really necessary to go that far?”
“It’s just a guess for now, don’t tell anybody about it. Leave this matter to us and act as if nothing has happened.”
Nana's aunt nodded reluctantly.
Li Mazi and I prepared to leave, but just as we turned around, a rustling sound echoed from under the bed.
I furrowed my brows. It felt as if something was crawling on the ground.
I halted and glanced in the direction of the bed. However, I couldn’t see what was below due to the bedsheet.
“Aunty,” I called out. “Do you have a pet snake in your house?”
Nana's aunt shook her head. “Of course not. My husband is scared of snakes the most.”
I took a deep breath. “Li Mazi, help me move the bed.”
Li Mazi forced a smile. “Little Brother Zhang, I don’t fear death, but I sure as hell fear snakes. Tell me, is there a snake underneath the bed?”
I said, “I’m not sure, but we must move the bed aside.”
Li Mazi could only brace himself and do as I said.
As soon as we moved the bed aside, a screeching sound echoed.
I got a scare and quickly threw the bed aside, carefully scanning the area.
Then, I gawked in shock. Never would I have expected to find a horde of small animals underneath the bed. There were snakes, hedgehogs, and mice. The place beneath the bed had become their nest.
There was a hole down there, and the animals lived inside it. When they saw us, they hid further into their hole, disappearing from our sight.
“Oh my God!” Nana's aunt screamed and tumbled to the ground.
I immediately lifted her up and asked Fengshen Nana to pour her a cup of water to calm her down.
When she finally got a hold of herself, she cried. “Oh God, what evil sin have we committed? Why did those filthy animals come and nest in my house? Husband, what am I supposed to do if you die?”
Nana's aunt cried so hard that she attracted the attention of the neighbors. They came and surrounded the house.
Left with no choice, I asked Fengshen Nana to calm her aunt down. Otherwise, it would be much more troublesome to solve this problem.
After we had comforted her, Nana's aunt recovered a bit.
I exhaled in relief and asked, “Were you really unaware that there were some small animals living underneath your bed? After all, they stink and must have made some noise.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter