When we returned to the house, Er Dan hadn’t slept yet. After seeing me, he hurriedly told me that his father was nowhere to be seen. When he saw the body on Li Mazi’s back, Er Dan’s face turned pale in fright. “What’s going on?”
Li Mazi briefed Er Dan of the situation while I moved the body back to its original room. Normally, a dead man couldn’t just wake up and walk around, let alone cry and eat soil. Everything that had happened was unbelievable!
When I opened the room, I caught a faint smell of perfume. I had smelled this perfume before from Er Dan’s wife. Since it was a peculiar smell, it was still new in my memory.
When I came near to the bed, a white cat sprang past me, heading towards the door. I was surprised and watched the white cat as it disappeared, frowning.
Before leaving, I had reminded Er Dan to close the door carefully. I had instructed him to not let any dog or cat enter the room. It seemed he did not follow my instructions. A cat had intruded. It explained Li Mazi’s second uncle’s behavior.
There was a high chance that the dead would rise again if it was in contact with a dog or a cat. Moreover, the uncle’s body had been affected by the otherworldly item, and the item would instinctively make him feel like he was still alive. That was why he went to the graveyard and ate soil.
However, I couldn’t understand why he had tried to strangle me when we found him. I didn’t do anything to harm him!
I suddenly remembered the copper pot. I searched the room but couldn’t find it. The pot was nowhere to be seen.
I rushed outside and asked Er Dan, “Where’s the copper pot?”
“In the bedroom.”
He took me to the bedroom, but he couldn’t find it, either. At this moment, he was also puzzled.
“Has a thief visited your house?” Li Mazi found it unbelievable. With Er Dan’s family’s condition, even if they left the door open, no one would steal things from his house.
I felt that all the spears were now pointed at Er Dan’s wife. There were only a few people in this house. Since the item was gone, she was the most likely suspect.
I told Er Dan that I wanted to talk to his wife, but Er Dan hesitated at first. After a long moment, he said, “We should talk about it tomorrow.”
Li Mazi chimed in, “It’s late at night, and you’re requesting to talk to someone’s wife. This is not appropriate, and people in the countryside care about such matters.”
That was why Er Dan didn't look pleased. The matter ended with nothing done.
The next morning, I told Li Mazi I had to go. Li Mazi became flustered and hugged my leg. “Little Brother Zhang, you can’t leave now! This matter isn’t over yet! After everything’s done, you can take the two pots altogether!”
It wasn’t about money. The problem was that if I stayed, I would bring trouble to myself, and I could even die.
But in the end, I had to give up on my thoughts about leaving. Li Mazi used his tricks on me. He cried, jumped, kicked, and even tried to hang himself.
At breakfast, Er Dan’s wife didn’t come out of the room. It was the same as last time. When Er Dan brought the meal to the room, I followed him.
A familiar aroma permeated the room. It was the same scent I had caught in the room where we had kept Li Mazi’s uncle’s corpse.
“Grandmaster, why did you follow me here?” Er Dan wasn’t pleased. From his tone, I knew that he was angry.
“I’m here to talk to your wife. Do you mind if I do so?” I asked.
At this moment, Li Mazi entered the room and asked Er Dan to leave. Er Dan didn’t want to, but he still listened to Li Mazi in the end. He left his wife, little daughter, and me in the room.
Er Dan’s wife wore a cautious face and pulled the girl behind her. She gazed at me.
“I’m not going to beat around the bush. Why did you have to harm them? They are a family of honest farmers and have been for many generations. Is it really okay for you to do this to them?” I went straight into the matter.
Er Dan’s wife kept silent for a long time. In the end, she gave me a sad smile.
“It seems you know about it. All right, I did all of this. I wanted to destroy their family to take revenge for my great grandfather!” Tears fell from her eyes. I looked at her vulnerable appearance and didn’t know what to do.
“Your great grandfather? You mean the general called Niohuru?” I remembered the words on the copper pot.
The woman nodded. “He was my great grandfather. My great grandfather died tragically because of the Li family! When I found out that they were their descendants, I had to make them pay the price!”
At this moment, I seemed to understand many things.
That bronze pot didn’t appear in the field by chance. This woman had deliberately buried it at the place Li Mazi’s uncle had often worked, which led to the unfortunate events that ensued.
“What did you gain by doing so? Do you know that you killed an innocent man?” I thundered. I hated this sort of person the most.
“They deserved to die! Only death can repay their debts!” The woman’s eyes sparked with anger. She had only thought about taking revenge. She didn’t consider that she had killed someone.
The door sprang open. Li Mazi and Er Dan stormed in.
Er Dan had tears in his eyes. His hands shakily pointed at the woman but couldn’t utter a word.
Never would he have thought that his loving wife was a murderer. He shakily walked toward her.
“If you hated us that much, why didn’t you kill me? You could have just killed me. Why did you harm my father? Why…” Er Dan raised his hand as if he was about to hit the woman. However, he dropped his hand right afterward. He couldn’t do it. After all, they were married and they seemed to love each other.
Li Mazi and I thought that it wasn’t proper for us to stay here. We sneaked out as it was their family’s matter. We couldn’t and shouldn’t join the quarrel. That was why I wanted to leave early.
After thinking it through the whole night, I had more or less guessed the situation.
That woman was indeed touched by Er Dan’s kindness, and she wished to continue living with him.
However, she couldn’t violate the family vow. That was why she decided to kill Er Dan’s father.
I didn’t want to get involved in the matter because of this reason. I initially thought that if the death of one person could be exchanged for the couple’s future happiness, it could be worth it. However, after thinking about it carefully, the lie would be exposed one day or another. A short pain was better than a long agony. It was better to let them solve their family’s issues immediately!
I asked Li Mazi to pack up. I told him that we should leave, but he didn’t understand my meaning and stopped me. “We can't go now. We haven’t even taken the copper pots yet.”
Because we had decided to stay, we witnessed a tragedy afterward. It was really tragic to Li Mazi. Er Dan committed suicide with his wife. The two hugged each other and killed themselves. They had died for this so-called ‘revenge.’
Li Mazi had to stay to hold a funeral for them, so I went home alone.
Every detail of this story was dramatic, which made me understand life much better.
When I came home, I posted an advertisement for a pair of copper pots in the Circle. I soon got a buyer.
In the end, I sold the pair of bronze artifacts for the price of one million. Before I sold the items, I told the buyer the story behind them.
During the Guangxu period of the Qing dynasty (1875-1908), there was a man called Niohuru. He had won the martial championship at the palace. Although he had aimed high, he didn’t bribe the judge with gifts. This resulted in the judge giving him a low score in front of the Emperor. The judge was surnamed Li.
In the end, Niohuru became a low general in the Eight Banners Army. He had to guard a small city at the border.
However, that courtier Li had laid his eyes on Niohuru’s wife. He had schemed a lot to get the woman. However, Niohuru’s wife would have rather killed herself than to follow him. In the end, she was raped and killed, and her body was thrown into the well.
Feeling heartbroken, Niohuru buried his wife right at that spot. He wrote more than one hundred letters with his blood to the Emperor, asking for justice. However, courtier Li intercepted all the letters. He even deprived Niohuru of his title and confiscated his properties, making him an ordinary fellow.
Niohuru died of hunger and coldness. Before he died, he asked his daughter to vow that she would eradicate the Li family’s descendants in retaliation…
The fathers planted the trees, the sons picked the fruits, and the sins of fathers were eventually placed upon the sons.
If courtier Li had seen Niohuru’s will to repay the country’s favor… If Niohuru could have imagined the consequences before he died… Would Er Dan and his wife have lived happily ever after?
However, I would never be able to see that future.Previous Chapter Next Chapter