The one standing before us was none other than Li Mazi’s second uncle. He looked ‘alive,’ and his actions were the same as before.
He had a pale face and looked like a soulless, walking corpse.
He loomed over the dry well and cried for a few hours.
This time, Li Mazi had prepared a pair of earplugs. He put them in his ears to protect himself from the piercing cries.
We waited until Li Mazi’s second uncle had left before approaching the well. I craned my neck to see the bottom, my heart full of doubts.
“Hey, did you find anything?” asked Li Mazi.
I smiled at him and nodded. Then, I motioned at him to go and check the bottom of the well.
“Little Brother Zhang, is this a joke? How could I go down this well? If I go down there, will I be able to climb back up here? Are you scheming to harm a talented person for his wealth?” Li Mazi carefully watched me and took a few steps back. He looked really funny.
What does he have that I would want to scheme him for?
To know the secret of this well, we had to go down there. I shot him another fierce look.
Li Mazi thought about it then agreed nervously. I grabbed the pulley rope of the abandoned well, slowly lowering Li Mazi into the well. I almost lost my grip in the beginning because Li Mazi was too heavy. If my arms weren’t strong enough, Li Mazi would have fallen right to the bottom. After half a minute, he touched the bottom of the well.
Li Mazi took out his wolf-eye flashlight. A wolf-eye flashlight was different from an ordinary flashlight as it could gather the light much better. An ordinary flashlight could reach the range of around ten meters, but the wolf-eye flashlight could shine thirty to forty meters away. It was the best tool to use in this situation.
While Li Mazi was down there, I couldn’t ease my mind. However, if I also went to the bottom of the well, there would be no one to pull us back up. That was why I could only sit by the well and have a smoke as I waited for him.
“Little Brother Zhang, hurry! Pull me up! Hurry! I found something important! There’s a skeleton down here.” Li Mazi’s voice soon came from the well. I didn’t hesitate and pulled the pulley.
Li Mazi came up with a grin, holding items with both hands. Since it was dark, I couldn’t see the items clearly. It looked like he was holding a bone in his left hand and something in his right hand.
“How was the situation down there?”
“This well isn’t as simple as it looks; it’s here for a purpose. There’s a coffin down there. From the patterns carved on it, I guess it’s from the Qing dynasty.”
Then, Li Mazi handed me the bone and asked me to take a look.
I received the bone and carefully assessed it. It seemed to be the bone of a woman. It was small and weathered. The deceased wasn’t old when she died.
However, I cared about the item in Li Mazi’s other hand more. Li Mazi looked as though he didn’t want me to see it.
I snatched it from his hand, and it turned out to be a copper pot similar to the one Li Mazi’s uncle had unearthed. However, this one was half the size of the other. I put it under the light and carefully observed it. I hoped to find something on the pot. However, this copper pot only had some patterns. There were no words on it.
This aroused my doubt. What’s the relationship between the owners of the two graves? Were they a married couple?
If they were a married couple, they should be buried together. Why was one down at the bottom of the well while the other was in the graveyard?
Moreover, to ancient people, they needed to be safe and untouched after they were buried. Why did someone bury this woman in this well? It wasn’t much different from cursing her forever.
“Little Brother Zhang, what should we do now? Should we go to the graveyard to find my uncle? Do you think he’s still alive?” Li Mazi was worried. I didn’t answer, which made him even more restless.
Honestly, I didn’t know how to answer him. Unless we could find the right rope in the mess, we would never disentangle the whole mess.
Feeling helpless, I had to take Li Mazi to the graveyard. On the way there, the wind howled, which made us feel cold. We felt a little scared, so we started to chat to ease our frightened hearts.
Our topic drifted to Er Dan’s wife. I was curious about her. Er Dan was just a rustic farmer, and he hadn’t left his village many times. How did he marry a beautiful woman like her?
Li Mazi then told me about their family’s story.
Er Dan’s only advantage was his honesty. Except for that, he had nothing special going for him. In Huanghuai Village, his family was poor and had to rely on aid from the government. He also raised some pigs to make ends meet.
In general, Er Dan’s family’s condition couldn’t help him marry someone.
One day, Er Dan went to his field and found a woman who had fainted. Since he was a good man, he saved her.
Afterward, the woman was grateful for his favor, so she took the initiative to marry him.
However, she had a condition. She wanted to bring her daughter to live with him. Er Dan didn’t deny her request. To him, marrying a woman was already a grace from Heaven.
That little girl wasn’t Er Dan’s biological daughter. No wonder she looked so different from him.
While thinking that Er Dan’s luck wasn’t bad, we arrived at the graveyard. Li Mazi’s second uncle was kneeling on the ground, wolfing down the soil from the grave.
However, when we arrived, he stopped eating dirt. He slowly turned to us and looked at us with his empty eyes. In this dark place, he looked strangely terrifying.
Li Mazi and I felt that something was wrong as he walked toward us.
Li Mazi was scared. He jumped and hid behind me. “What should we do now?”
I was also dumbstruck. Is this man alive or dead?
I could deal with a man who was alive. But if he was dead, I didn’t know what to do! This time, I didn’t have my tools with me.
While I was bewildered, Li Mazi’s second uncle jumped forward and grabbed my neck. I couldn’t breathe as he lifted me from the ground.
Li Mazi was so scared that he slumped on the ground, screaming for help.
I wiggled hard to get rid of him, but I couldn’t gather much strength. I thought I would die here.
The moment I almost lost my senses, a white figure appeared in front of me, and I heard the sharp sound of a sword being drawn out of its sheath.
That pair of hands that was strangling me released me. I fell to the ground and opened my mouth to gasp for my breath.
I lifted my head. It was Chuyi who had just saved me.
He wore his usual cold face, his back turned to me. Under the moonlight, he looked like a lone traveler.
“You always get into trouble. You’re lucky that I didn’t return to Hong Kong immediately. Otherwise, you would have died here,” said Chuyi. Then, he turned around and left.
I wanted to thank him, but his figure had already disappeared into the darkness.
I didn’t call him and decided to return this favor at a later time.
When I turned to check on the old man, my eyes opened wide in shock. Chuyi had chopped off Li Mazi’s uncle’s arms in one slash. I didn’t know if it was due to the sword attack or something else, but at this moment, Li Mazi’s uncle was lying on the ground like a corpse, not moving in the slightest.
Although he had died once, I was cautious and first checked his breathing.
His body was completely cold, and he wasn’t breathing. Moreover, there was lividity at his neck, and only dead bodies could have lividity.
While puzzled, I helped the petrified Li Mazi get up. He was still frightened, and he couldn’t even stammer a sentence.
“Let’s go. We must bring your uncle home first…” Then, I picked up the copper pot and walked away with Li Mazi.Previous Chapter Next Chapter