Li Mazi didn’t care about Old Gang’s protest. He found the switch and turned on the lights before abruptly closing the door. “What the heck are you babbling about? Just do what Little Brother Zhang asks you to do! He’s a first-class expert. If you don’t want to die, behave yourself!”
Old Gang was angry, but after he heard Li Mazi’s words, he calmed down. Li Mazi was familiar with Old Gang’s house. He ran to the kitchen and fetched two beers from the fridge. “Little Brother Zhang, take a sip before getting down to business.”
I shook my head and signaled at him to drink by himself. I looked around and carefully assessed the geomancy of Old Gang’s house.
Rising wind, rising water, and auspicious energy from the East. This set up would help bring good luck and avoid calamities.
It seemed Old Gang’s villa was built with the help of a master. Li Mazi went over to Old Gang and asked, “Where’s the nanny?”
Old Gang lowered his head and answered in a glum voice, “Fired.”
“Why?” Li Mazi didn’t get it.
“Since that damn clock was brought to my house, strange things haven’t stopped happening. I was afraid that she would get involved in this and that she would go around spreading rumors. If that happened, my peers would make fun of me…”
As he spoke, Old Gang kept his head low. He moved his eyes quickly as if he was panicking or assessing something.
“I didn’t know that you still have a bit of conscience.” Li Mazi smiled. Old Gang became tense, lowering his head further.
I shot Li Mazi a glance and motioned him not to ask so many questions. Li Mazi was smart and understood what I meant. He sat and drank his beer, no longer asking questions.
A moment later, we heard the doorbell ring.
“Oh? Who’s that?” Li Mazi placed his empty beer on the coffee table. He stood up and was about to open the door.
“Express delivery,” said Old Gang in a trembling voice, his whole body shaking.
“Really? How do you know that?” Li Mazi halted halfway as he approached the door.
Old Gang rubbed his hands anxiously. “It happens every day at 3:15 PM. The delivery guy comes at this time every day.”
“How could there be such a coincidence?” Li Mazi didn’t believe it. He went to open the door. A dark-skinned, sweaty delivery guy stood at the gate. He held a carton and asked politely, “Excuse me, is this Chen Fugang’s house?”
That was Old Gang’s real name.
Li Mazi nodded.
The delivery guy gave him the box and pointed at the receiver’s signature position. “Please sign here. Just your name is fine.” He also took out a pen from his pocket.
I looked at Old Gang, who was holding his head low and mumbling something. I went closer to him so that I could hear what he was saying.
After Li Mazi gave his signature, the delivery guy tore the receipt and smiled. “If you need quick delivery, just call me. I’m in charge of delivering parcels in this neighborhood.”
As he was talking, Old Gang was muttering the same words as the delivery man. When the delivery guy turned around to leave, Old Gang suddenly lifted his head, opened his desperate eyes, and looked at me. “Totally the same! Totally the same! He hasn’t changed even a word. It’s exactly like yesterday and the day before yesterday. It’s been like this for days…”
As his voice faded, Li Mazi raised his. “I don’t believe in your nonsense.”
Then, he directly stormed outside and chased after the delivery guy. He grabbed the man’s shirt. “Who do you work for? Why do you come and play pranks here? You inquired who was living here beforehand, right?”
The delivery guy was shocked. He shook off Li Mazi’s hand. “What are you doing? Did you watch the video where they bullied the delivery guy and want to do the same?” Since he was anxious, he spoke in his countryside accent.
Li Mazi thundered, “Who’s freaking bullying you? I just wanted to ask you who sent you. Why do you come here every day to deliver a freaking package?”
When the delivery guy heard that, he pulled himself together. “Are you sick or what? You ordered a parcel, and I came to deliver your parcel. It’s my job. It’s so hot today, and I’m not that crazy to run around under such heat for nothing!”
He shot Li Mazi a fierce glance then drove away in his electric bike.
Li Mazi brought the carton box back to the villa and gave me a puzzled look. “What’s going on here?”
I didn’t understand it, either.
Old Gang raised his hand and pointed at a corner. Li Mazi and I followed his finger to see what he was pointing at. What we saw made us bewildered.
The corner by the window had a pile of neatly-stacked carton boxes. There were twenty or thirty of them, all of similar size and packaging. Even the tape on the boxes was the same as the one in Li Mazi’s hands.
Li Mazi shrieked as if he was holding a hot potato in his hand, throwing the box away. The box landed on the ground with a loud bang.
Li Mazi was worried and ran to me. “Little Brother Zhang, this is too much. We haven’t encountered anything like this before. How about…”
I knew what he wanted to say. ‘How about we run away?’
To be honest, this otherworldly item was indeed bizarre. I felt worried and wasn’t sure if I could deal with it.
When Old Gang heard Li Mazi, he lifted his head to say something. However, he just mouthed the words and didn’t make a sound. He lowered his head again.
I gave Li Mazi a disdainful glance. “Who was babbling about justice and righteousness earlier? Is this the justice you mentioned? You know what, if the word justice (义) lacks a small dash, it’s just an X!”
Li Mazi explained embarrassedly, “It’s because things are really strange this time. I don’t want to risk my life for this small amount of money. It’s not worth it! Little Brother Zhang, you know I have a son. If something fatal happens to me, how could my poor son live?”
I slapped his shoulder. “Stop talking nonsense. I’m about to throw up now.”
Li Mazi flinched in pain. “Little Brother Zhang, we’re all civilized people. We can use language to solve the problem. There’s no need to use force!”
While I was thinking of kicking him, Li Mazi swiftly moved aside.
I then stood up, stretched my body, and prepared to work.
“Old Gang, show me the otherworldly item.”
Old Gang was bewildered. “Otherworldly item? What’s that?”
It turned out he didn’t know that the clock he got was an otherworldly item.
Li Mazi chimed in, “It’s the treasure that has turned you into this.”
Old Gang reacted, “Otherworldly item, you mean… Do you mean that clock is an otherworldly item? It’s an item of the dead?”
“I’m not sure if it’s an item of the dead. In our business, we call the items that can harm people with that term.” Old Gang looked pitiful, so I gently tried to explain things to him.
Li Mazi pouted his lips when he saw how differently I was treating Old Gang.
I pretended not to see that.
Old Gang mechanically nodded. His face was full of loss, regret, worry, and fear.
I patted his shoulder and tried to comfort him. “Don’t worry. There will be a solution.”
However, when I touched his shoulder, it felt like I had touched a sponge that had absorbed a lot of water. He felt too soft, and there was no vitality…
I checked Old Gang’s shadow and couldn’t help but frown.
Old Gang’s condition wasn’t good.Previous Chapter Next Chapter