Zhang Ai didn’t sound happy. “Uncle, this is not okay. This is your job. How can you leave it to an outsider?”
Uncle Liu fumed, “Officer Zhang, it’s easy for you to talk. Why don’t you stay here for a few days and see for yourself?”
“If one of the corpses is stolen, it will be your responsibility. You don’t want to get charged, do you?”
When Zhang Ai said that, Senior Shu was amused. “Little girl, I’ve been alive for quite a long time, and I have never heard of anybody stealing a corpse.”
He then glanced at Zhang Ai, signaling at her to shut up.
Although Zhang Ai felt reluctant, she had no choice. She could only agree.
Uncle Liu left in high spirits. Before leaving, he repeatedly told us that if we heard someone compose poems in the morgue at midnight, we should never go inside and watch as curiosity would kill us. He was also curious, so he went inside for a peak. What he saw was…
Uncle Liu noticed that he’d said too much. He gave a sheepish smile and turned around to leave.
Senior Shu stopped him and gave him a talisman. “You shouldn’t go out these days. Your glabella has turned dark, and your vitality is really weak. Your luck will be terrible, and if you have an accident, the consequences might be very serious for you.”
Uncle Liu nodded and kept thanking us. He received the talisman then left in a hurry.
We waited until Uncle Liu was finally gone to check on the three joss sticks he had lit.
What we saw was unexpected. It had been just a few seconds, but more than half of the joss sticks’ body was gone. It almost felt as if someone was blowing on them as the flame kept getting brighter or dimmer. Shortly after, they were all burned down.
“Burning joss sticks and praying in the morgue… That’s no different than seeking death,” said Li Mazi.
Li Mazi was right. Burning joss sticks in a morgue was no different than courting death as such places were full of evil spirits. It was like throwing fresh, blood-dripping meat into a tiger den while a tiger was sleeping. The beast would wake up and devour whoever was there.
Senior Shu said, “The evil energy in this morgue is really strong. Moreover, that thing dares to snatch the food of the God of Death. I have to admit that it’s really bold.”
Zhang Ai asked, “Does the God of Death really exist?”
Senior Shu nodded. “After all, where do souls go after death? I don’t really believe in the existence of Hell, but I’ve heard people say that there’s a place called ‘Spirit Realm’ where souls gather after death. The one who manages the Spirit Realm is called ‘God of Death.’ All the morgues in this world are under his control. All the joss sticks burned in the morgues are supposed to be offerings to the God of Death. However, the God of Death would not bring you good luck; it would instead take bits of your Yang energy and bring you misfortune. Disastrous events will happen to you, but it won’t take your life directly.”
“I just gave Uncle Liu a protective talisman. It’s a type of charm that can drive away evil spirits and protect him from disasters. I bought it for dozens of thousands of renminbi, and I just gave it away for free…”
I smiled and said to him, “You’re really rich. Why are you upset about this little amount of money?”
Senior Shu scolded me. “You know nothing. I don’t care about the money, but I do care about the talisman. It’s really hard to buy something that good. Where will I be able to get a nice one like that again?”
I was a little surprised as I didn’t expect Senior Shu to be this kind.
Zhang Ai eyed Senior Shu oddly. Her face read, “You really like bragging, don’t you?”
We moved the offerings and the incense burner out of the morgue. Senior Shu asked us to lock the place. We would come back tonight to keep an eye on the morgue.
Next, Zhang Ai took us to see the Wordless Heavenly Book.
The staff member in charge of the evidence room was a young man. When we visited the department, he was playing League of Legends. As soon as he saw us, he turned off his computer and complained to Zhang Ai. “I’ve been very anxious these days. I couldn’t find any good way to relax…”
Zhang Ai told him, “It’s okay. I won’t report that you have been playing video games during working hours.”
The staff member sounded anxious. “Sister Zhang, don’t brush off my words like that. When will you take that Wordless Heavenly Book away? I’ve been on the edge these days, and I haven’t even been able to sleep. Do you want to kill me?”
Zhang Ai was enraged, so she decided to lecture the poor man. “We’re people who believe in materialism and members of the Communist Party. How could you say something like that? It seems you didn’t learn much in school. Do you miss the life in the police academy already?”
The young man also got angry. “Sister Zhang, it’s easy for you to talk! You don’t know how hard it was for me to survive these past days. How about I give you my wage and you stay here to help me for a few days? I hear those damn cries and screams every night… If not for the respect I have for you, I would have quit already.”
Zhang Ai frowned; she believed what the young man had said. “Take us to see that Wordless Heavenly Book first.”
The young man nodded and glanced at us. “Sister Zhang, we can’t continue like this. Tell me, are you three exorcists? If yes, you have to do your best! If you can solve this case, I will ask my father to give you all an honorary residence certificate.”
I just smiled and said nothing as if tacitly agreeing.
The young man took us to the evidence room while complaining without end. “You guys have no idea how strange it was. Dozens of people were screaming and whining, and their voices were loud enough to blow off the roof. However, when I asked the staff member in the next room, he said he didn’t hear anything. Isn’t that super weird? Sigh, I even entered the evidence room to check, but the noise was gone; there wasn’t anything strange. I feel like I’m going mad…”
Since the souls in the Wordless Heavenly Book were awakened, why didn’t they harm the young man? This point was worth considering.
We saw the Wordless Heavenly Book displayed in a glass cabinet in the evidence room.
The book was placed there carefully and neatly. The cover was brownish, and the pages inside were really thin and crumbled up. It looked as though a little force could break the book.
Senior Shu carefully lifted the book, holding it in his hands. The young man immediately warned him, “Sir, please hold it gently. This piece of evidence is really fragile. If we are careless, it will break.
Senior Shu nodded. He placed the book on the table then gently flipped the cover.
The first page had been ripped. Needless to say, the missing page had ended up in Zhang Ai’s leather shoe.
We skimmed through the book. Every page looked almost the same. The pages had a brownish color and were incredibly thin. My heart skipped a beat when I thought about how these pages were made of human skin.
Every page was clean, and there was nothing written on them. While I was thinking that we should use the leeches to check if we could lure the souls out of the pages, Senior Shu shuddered. His face looked surprised. “…What’s the meaning of this?”
Senior Shu’s voice cut my train of thought. “Senior Shu, what happened?”
Senior Shu pointed at the last page of the book; half of it was missing. The cut was neat and smooth, just as if it was made by a pair of scissors.
The young man looked a little irritated when he saw Senior Shu making a fuss over something so trivial. His admiration toward Senior Shu was gone. His voice grew impatient. “Why are you so anxious? People from the laboratory took that part to do some tests. It’s not a big deal.”
Senior Shu didn’t look relaxed. He took a deep breath and said, “When did they take it?”
Senior Shu sighed. “You should call the person in charge of the laboratory. I think they’re in trouble.”
The young man was amused. “Uncle, how can you be so sure? The people from the Laboratory Department are like immortal cockroaches. How could they—”
Zhang Ai was annoyed. “Stop talking nonsense. Just make this call.”
The young man felt a little reluctant but still nodded and took out his phone to call the man.
However, the call didn’t go through.
The young man went from unconcerned to puzzled and then to frightened. “Uncle, no one picked up the call. Maybe Old Huang is sleeping... That would explain why he didn’t pick up. Everybody knows that when he sleeps, he’s no different from a dead man.”
Old Huang was the policeman in charge of the laboratory.
Senior Shu snorted. “Keep lying to yourself.”
Zhang Ai snatched his phone when the young man was about to call Old Huang one more time. “There’s no need to call him again. A man’s life is at stake. We should go to his place to check up on him!”
Then, Zhang Ai led us out of the department. The young man also wanted to go, but Zhang Ai stopped him as he had to stay for his shift.
The young man almost cried. “Sister, I don’t dare to stay here alone. How about you stay here and I take them to see Old Huang?”
Zhang Ai didn’t agree no matter how hard the young man tried. Eventually, she blushed and said, “I’m also scared.”
Left with no choice, Senior Shu made several hand seals above the Wordless Heavenly Book. Then, he told the young man that he had sealed the book and that there would be no problems for the next twenty-four hours. The young man finally agreed to stay behind.
After we left, Zhang Ai asked Senior Shu, “Can your hand seals really suppress the book for twenty-four hours? What if the souls inside manage to break the seal?”
Senior Shu said, “There’s no need to worry about that, because the hand seals were fake. I did that just to deceive the boy.”
Zhang Ai was dumbstruck and looked at Senior Shu in disbelief. She hadn’t gotten used to Senior Shu’s working style yet.
We soon arrived at Old Huang’s house. He was staying in one of the buildings of the Public Security Bureau.
On the way there, Zhang Ai told us a bit about Old Huang. Old Huang was an old policeman that had been working in this department for more than ten years. Several years ago, he divorced his wife, and his son went to live with his wife. Old Huang now lived alone in the police dormitory.
Senior Shu and I became even more worried. If someone was living with him, perhaps that person would notice his strange behavior and save him. But since Old Huang lived alone, things didn’t look too good!Previous Chapter Next Chapter