Chapter 411: Substitute by Subterfuge Formation

The wind at night was really strong. Li Mazi and I shivered like leaves in the wind. 

If we hadn’t asked Er Dan to prepare some clothes for us, we would have nearly frozen. 

I was impatient. “Li Mazi, when will your uncle leave the house?” 

“Around midnight.” 

It was just a few minutes until midnight, so I started to prepare myself. Li Mazi likewise hid outside the door.

A moment later, we heard the door squeak. 

Li Mazi’s uncle walked out of the house. At this moment, he looked exactly like the old man we had seen in the morning. His face was dazed, and his eyes had no focus. The way he walked was similar to a puppet’s. 

If anyone saw him late at night like this, that person would be scared to death. 

Li Mazi got up and waved his hand to check if he could wake his uncle up. However, it didn’t work as his uncle was possessed. Even if he kicked the old man, he wouldn’t wake up. 

Li Mazi and I silently followed him. Although he was walking strangely, he was rather quick. We had to run after him to catch up with him. 

I thought that Li Mazi’s uncle would go to the graveyard, but he didn’t.

Instead, he led us around the village, and the two of us were exhausted after running around. Eventually, he stopped at a dry well outside the village. He knelt and began to cry his heart out. 

However, his cries sounded strange. They sounded like sharp shrieks that echoed in a big cave. It was ear-splitting and unpleasant. 

“Shoot, what does this ghost want to do?” Li Mazi covered his ears and walked toward his second uncle. 

I pulled him back. “What are you doing?” 

“I can’t stand it. I want to go there and kick him. Don’t stop me.” Li Mazi looked annoyed. If he had to continue to listen to this noise, his brain would burst. 

But I couldn’t let him go. If we provoked the evil soul, we wouldn’t be able to get rid of it. 

After my warning, Li Mazi had to control his temper. However, he looked uncomfortable, and sweat covered his forehead. 

Afterward, I heard from Li Mazi that whenever he heard such cries, he would feel very uncomfortable. The sensation was like having thousands of ants running madly around his body.

While watching Li Mazi’s uncle, I couldn’t help but frown. 

This situation wasn’t what I had imagined. If he came here every night to cry, where was the soil that filled his stomach coming from? And, what could explain the footprints at the graveyard? 

While I was deep in thought, Li Mazi’s situation turned worse. His face paled, which made him look like a dying patient with a serious sickness. 

I didn’t know how to help him. While we were in a deadlock, his uncle stopped crying and walked away.

I didn’t dare to linger and grabbed Li Mazi, running after him.

He didn’t roam around but directly headed to the graveyard.

As I watched Li Mazi’s uncle enter the graveyard, my tense heart relaxed. It seemed my guess wasn’t wrong.

He went to the place I had found this morning, knelt in front of the tombstone, and started to dig the soil with his bare hands. Then, he shoved the soil into his mouth. The noise he made while chewing the soil was similar to someone eating wax. 

After seeing the scene, I shivered in fright. Li Mazi patted me, which woke me from my daze. 

I rubbed my nose and felt a little embarrassed. “Li Mazi, take the stuff out and get ready. As you know, this is my first time performing this technique. If it fails, don’t blame me.”

Li Mazi nodded then arranged the stuff we had brought. 

I recalled the formation in my head and arranged the herbs in a circle, placing the pot at the center. I sat down and then lifted my head to look at the sky. 

Li Mazi saw me looking upward. He was puzzled. “Little Brother Zhang, what are you doing? You should perform the technique and save the man. My uncle is eating mud again. If he finishes eating, his bowel—”

I shot him an angry look. “Listen, this technique requires the right time and the right conditions. The right time is when we can’t see the moonlight, and the moon’s bright and high right now. If we perform the technique, we’ll fail. The goal of the technique is to escape the eyes of the evil spirit and seize that chance to swap the items. That’s why we have to wait until there is no moonlight.”

It was good that it was windy tonight. Not far from us, I saw a big mass of dark clouds. I guessed we needed to wait for around fifteen minutes.

After listening to me, Li Mazi didn’t disturb me and went to stop his uncle from eating the soil. 

But as soon as he touched his uncle’s arm, he screamed and stumbled, running back to me. 

“Little Brother Zhang, that scared the crap out of me! Something’s wrong with my uncle!” screamed Li Mazi. 

When Li Mazi went to stop his uncle, he couldn’t move him at all. Li Mazi had used all of his strength to force the old man to stop, but he didn’t succeed. 

Moreover, his second uncle’s arm didn’t have any warmth. It felt like an iceberg. 

I frowned. Aren’t those the characteristics of a dead body? But his uncle is alive... Why did his body feel cold? 

Anyway, I didn’t have time to think about it since the clouds had already covered the moonlight. I knew there was no time to waste, so I instructed Li Mazi to give me the black dog blood. 

The black dog blood only filled half of a bowl, and I could smell the stench when I received it. Following my memory, I dipped my finger into the blood and drew a formation on the ground.

It took me around ten minutes to finish the drawing. Fortunately, I was able to finish before the moonlight reappeared. Otherwise, everything we had prepared would have been in vain. 

When the moonlight reappeared, the magic formation underneath me glowed a faint red light. 

When I saw this, I felt happy since the technique had worked. I remembered that only a successful formation would emit red light. 

“Hey, my second uncle isn’t eating soil now. He’s approaching us!” Li Mazi sounded terrified. 

Did something go wrong with the technique? It shouldn’t be. Everything happened as described in the book... 

To be safe, I hurried to pull Li Mazi aside. However, we soon noticed that Li Mazi’s second uncle didn’t walk toward us but toward the pot at the center of the formation. 

He picked it up and sniffed it. Then, he hugged it as if he was afraid that the pot would fly away from him. 

I nodded. It seemed our ‘place the substitute by the subterfuge’ technique had worked. 

“Little Brother Zhang, what should we do now?” Li Mazi heaved a sigh of relief. 

“Dig up that grave and bury the pot. We need your second uncle to make three kowtows at the grave. That will do,” I said. 

It had been simpler than I had expected, and I wasn’t used to this feeling. 

Unfortunately, there would be no pay this time as they had thrown the original copper pot away. I could only consider it as a charity event. 

Li Mazi’s second uncle’s family was very poor, and they were already struggling to make ends meet. I couldn’t ask them for money. 

“You really want me to dig it up?” Li Mazi gulped.

I gave him a confirming nod, so he clenched his teeth and started to work.

Li Mazi hastily dug a small hole and put the pot in it. After leveling the ground, I helped him force his uncle to do three kowtows in front of the tombstone. 

By the time everything was done, it was around four o’clock in the morning. We brought Li Mazi’s uncle back to his home. 

Previous Chapter Next Chapter