“Li Mazi…” I squatted and tried to wake Li Mazi up. However, his body had no strength left. His listless eyes met mine. Then, his eyelids shut as he laid still.
Zen Master Baimei came over and placed Li Mazi flat on the ground. He lifted his eyelids to check then sighed reluctantly. “Carry him to the bed first! Use a rope that’s soaked in black dog blood and tie him with it.”
I worriedly asked, “What happened to Li Mazi?”
Zen Master Baimei said, “I’m afraid his soul was damaged. We have to use black dog blood to restrain him. We don’t want his soul to vanish.”
I sighed and carried Li Mazi to the bed. After I had soaked the rope into black dog blood, I tied him up. “Zen Master, what should we do next?”
“The Night Dragon Bait was a treasure of the imperial family. I’m afraid that it’ll be hard to deal with the evil spirit living inside it,” said Zen Master Baimei.
I shivered. “What will happen if we aren’t able to deal with it?”
“In the best case, Li Mazi will lose his mind. In the worst case, he’ll die,” Zen Master Baimei answered.
I felt depressed; Li Mazi had been very unlucky.
“Brother-in-law, brother-in-law, open the door!”
While I had a headache watching Li Mazi, Ru Xue’s voice came from outside.
My heart twitched. If Ru Xue sees him like this, she’ll be devastated...
However, it wasn’t something I could conceal. I absent-mindedly went to open the door. When Ru Xue saw me, she threw a bag at me.
“Brother-in-law, this is a gift for you. Where’s Li Mazi? I heard from my sister that he came to your shop.”
“Ru Xue, listen to me. Something happened to Li Mazi, but I assure you that he’ll be alright. I will save him.”
“What?” Ru Xue became scared and shivered. “What happened to Li Mazi? Quick, let me see him!”
Without hesitation, she stormed into my shop.
When Ru Xue saw Li Mazi, she started to panic. She rushed toward him and patted his face twice. “Li Mazi, are you okay? Wake up!”
Li Mazi’s soul was damaged, so he couldn’t hear Ru Xue at all. He laid still on the bed and didn’t answer.
Zen Master Baimei comforted her. “Merciful Buddha. Please, don’t disturb Benefactor Li while he’s resting. If you affect his soul, the situation will worsen.”
Ru Xue started crying. “Brother-in-law, who is this old monk? Is he telling the truth?”
I was worried that Ru Xue’s loud crying would affect Li Mazi’s soul, so I asked her to go outside with me. Zen Master Baimei followed us.
“Ru Xue, although Li Mazi’s situation isn’t that serious right now, if we don’t take good care of him, his soul could vanish. So, you must not disturb him. Just let him rest here,” I said.
Ru Xue nodded and said, “Brother-in-law, you know how to save him, right?”
I could only nod to prevent her from worrying further. “Zen Master Baimei, what should we do to save Li Mazi?”
Zen Master Baimei took a deep breath and said, “Follow me. We need to find something.”
I nodded, “Ru Xue, I’m afraid you’ll have to take care of Li Mazi for the time being.”
Ru Xue quickly answered, “Leave it to me. You guys should just go. I’ll watch Li Mazi.”
I nodded. Before leaving, Zen Master Baimei gave Ru Xue his prayer beads. If Li Mazi tried to struggle out of the bind, she was to tie the prayer beads around his neck. This would keep his soul inside his body. If the string of beads was broken, she had to shove the beads into his mouth or even his anus. If Li Mazi’s soul got out of his body, not even Zen Master Baimei would be able to save him.
Ru Xue nodded and told us not to worry. However, she didn’t reach her hand out to receive the prayer beads and kept looking at Li Mazi. I could see tears in her eyes. Zen Master Baimei had to put the prayer beads on the table.
Zen Master Baimei sighed. “Those who have a lover are really unlucky at times.” Then, he left with me.
As we left, I still felt that something was wrong. Although Ru Xue had some feelings for Li Mazi, they hadn’t crossed the last barrier yet. Ru Xue shouldn’t treat Li Mazi that well, right? Yet, she acted like he was already her husband…
Moreover, when Ru Xue arrived, I saw that she was wearing strange clothing. I had never seen her wear that style before. Her clothes looked old-fashioned as if they were from the previous century!
This doubt kept me on my nerves. Eventually, I stopped Zen Master Baimei. “Zen Master, did you feel anything wrong about Ru Xue?”
Zen Master Baimei shook his head and said, “No.”
“I feel that there is something wrong about her. I need to call her to confirm things.”
Then, I took my phone out and hit Ru Xue’s number.
The call got through shortly after. Ru Xue’s voice from the other end of the line sounded frantic. “Brother-in-law, I was just about to call you. How is Li Mazi? Did you check up on him?”
I felt my mink shake. Without hesitating, I asked, “Ru Xue, where are you now?”
Ru Xue answered, “I’m in the car. I’m going home and will arrive soon.”
I took a deep breath and tried to calm my nerves. I had to remain calm. “Oh, I see. When you go home, you should visit Yin Xinyue first. I’m going to fetch Li Mazi and we’ll meet at Yin Xinyue’s place.”
Then, I hung up. I turned to Zen Master Baimei and asked worriedly, “Zen Master Baimei, the Ru Xue in the shop wasn’t the real one. Could the Nukekubi be disguised as her?”
Zen Master Baimei furrowed his brows. “That’s bad. Nukekubis are indeed good at using illusory magic. It’s possible that we’ve been bewitched by her.”
As expected! Just a few days ago, Li Mazi and I were hypnotized. We stayed at home for three days straight without eating or sleeping, almost losing our lives...
I felt a headache and hurried to return to the shop. Only God knew what the Nukekubi could do to Li Mazi while they were alone. If something bad happened to him, how could I explain things to Ru Xue?
We rushed back to my antique shop.
I directly kicked the door open, but the shop was empty. ‘Ru Xue’ was nowhere to be seen, while Li Mazi laid unconscious on the bed.
“Li Mazi! Li Mazi!” I immediately checked Li Mazi’s body. I wanted to know what the Nukekubi had done to him.
However, I didn’t find anything strange. Li Mazi didn’t look much different from the time we left.
Zen Master Baimei walked forward. His face tensed as he forced Li Mazi to open his mouth. As he asked me to shine a flashlight into Li Mazi’s mouth, his face paled in shock.
“What happened, Zen Master?”
Zen Master Baimei said, “It’s the Soul Devouring Worm... She’s fed Li Mazi the Soul Devouring Worm!”
“What’s the Soul Devouring Worm?” Although I didn’t know what the Soul Devouring Worm was, I was sure it wasn’t anything good.
Zen Master Baimei said, “As the name suggests, the Soul Devouring Worm can devour Li Mazi’s soul. Once his soul is eaten up, the evil spirit from the Night Dragon Bait will take his place. When that happens, Li Mazi will die.”
I felt my mind shake. “What should we do now? Can we use some insecticide to kill the worm?”
Zen Master Baimei shook his head. “Of course not. Hurry, come with me. We need to find the Soul Luring Worm!”
“What’s the Soul Luring Worm?” I asked as I lifted Li Mazi up.
Since Li Mazi had turned into this, I couldn’t leave him in my shop. We had to carry him with us.
Zen Master Baimei said, “Everything in this world has a nemesis. If there’s a worm that can devour the soul, there will also be a worm that can lure the soul out.”
Zen Master Baimei held the Night Dragon Bait in his hand and gently turned it around. While admiring it, he said, “This Night Dragon Bait is really troublesome.”
Since we had no time to waste, we left in a hurry.
After leaving the shop, Zen Master Baimei bought a big chunk of fatty meat from a nearby butcher shop. He burned it for a while to melt the lard. Then, he asked me to keep it.
Then, he brought me to a spooky forest.
The forest wasn’t far from our neighborhood. A big hospital was situated here. However, since it was in a remote corner, not many people came to visit it.
The government had attempted to exploit the area. However, whenever they did something, a lot of strange things happened. Left with no choice, they had to stop the work.
I had even heard rumors that the forest was where the hospital buried dead infants and discarded some specimens.
The forest was dark and quiet. The light from our flashlight couldn’t pierce through the endless darkness.
The ground was covered in rotten leaves and medical waste. If we were careless, we would possibly step on some needles.
Moreover, many dead cats and dogs were hung on the trees here. Some had their skin peeled and torn. Blood dripped from their bodies, and the whole scene was horrible.
I couldn’t understand why some young people liked to torture small animals for excitement. Weren’t they afraid of retribution?Previous Chapter Next Chapter