When Yin Xinyue returned with two lunchboxes, I had finished searching for something on the Internet and was in the middle of a phone call. After I hung up the call, she asked, “Brother Zhang, who did you call?”
“The editors. I found their numbers on the Internet. I called them to ask for information about the authors.”
While talking, I finished jotting down the second author’s real name, address, and even their birthday. Then, I started to search for the contact of the third author.
Soon, I got the personal information of all four authors. I tore the note and put it into my pocket. Then, I opened the lunch box and dug in.
I searched for the latest novels of the two webnovel authors. The readers had to buy their latest chapters, so I registered an account and added a few hundred renminbi into my account. I now knew it wasn’t easy to write novels. I couldn’t just pirate them.
These two novels had a lot of readers. However, since the authors hadn’t completed the work they started, people left harsh comments in the comment section. They cursed the irresponsible authors for dropping the novels halfway. However, after they learned that the authors had passed away, their comments turned apologetic and regretful.
I guessed this was the reason why their souls couldn’t be free.
I told Yin Xinyue my idea.
She was surprised. “They made their incomplete work their fixation?”
“I think so. Although I haven’t experienced it myself, I think it must be a complicated feeling. That brush used their obsession to bind their souls,” I explained.
“Could it just be a coincidence?” asked Yin Xinyue.
“I’m afraid not. That brush deliberately did that. All of them died right before their work was completed.” I took a deep breath.
“In other words, when Meng Dongye is almost done with his script, he will die?”
“Don’t you see his current physical and mental conditions? It’s likely to happen!” I was worried. “Yin Xinyue, can you check your network and see if you can contact the publishers of the two other authors? I want to see their last manuscripts.”
There was only one method to solve the resentment of the four ghosts. We had to help them finish their work!
This could be the most difficult task I had undertaken since I had started this business, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I guessed I would have to invite someone to help me.
I planned to perform a trick tonight to subdue the brush’s magical power. If I could get it to leave Meng Dongye alone for a few days, I would have more time.
It was a few hours until nighttime.
“Yin Xinyue, if you feel bored here, you should go out for a walk. I’ll stay and watch him.”
“It’s okay. Don’t worry.”
Since I had nothing to do, I started to read the fantasy novel.
“Brother Zhang, have you ever considered writing some stories when you retire? I think many people would like to read what you’ve experienced.”
“Let me see. Every day, I would have to rush to bring our son to school, teach our daughter to write, and then change our youngest's diaper. I don’t think I will have enough time to write.”
Yin Xinyue smiled. “How greedy you are! Our country only allows two children. How many kids are you planning to have?
“Okay, two then. One son and one daughter. Perfect!” I stroked Yin Xinyue’s face.
Since our surroundings were quiet, my desire surfaced. I hugged and motioned Yin Xinyue to head to the bed. I was ready to create our first son.
She didn’t really object to it. “We’re in someone’s house. Can you mind your image a bit?”
“That’s not important. He’s sleeping like a dead pig.”
“Then, you shouldn’t be loud…”
While we were having a good time, Li Mazi returned. We immediately parted and sat orderly as if nothing had happened.
Li Mazi brought two big bags and was sweating hard. “Little Brother Zhang, I’m fast, aren’t I? I got everything within two hours!”
“You were great. You’re getting better by the day…” I had to compliment him.
After chatting for a while, it was six o’clock. The three of us took turns to go out for dinner.
The sky turned dark. I started the preparations and took the stuff out of the bags. There was wolf hide, water-ink, rooster blood, brushes, silk threads, and an oxtail.
Meng Dongye was awakened by the noise. He rubbed his eyes. “How did I fall asleep? Mr. Zhang, are we going to do it now?”
“We’re preparing the items. Just sit there and watch.”
Meng Dongye watched me with interest. I lit the oxtail and swayed it around the apartment. The oxtail was sometimes used to expel evil. Since the ox had to use its tail to shoo the flies away all the time, its tail could expel evil spirits to a certain extent. However, its power wasn’t as prominent as rooster blood or coins.
The four authors weren’t that evil, so we didn’t need to use those powerful things to deal with them. I didn’t want to hurt them.
I smoked the entire apartment except for the toilet. If I scared the four ghosts out of the brush, they would naturally run to the toilet. Once the souls started to flee, the brush would be greatly weakened.
Then, I mixed the rooster blood and the water ink, using the mixture to draw a formation in the living room. After I smeared the rooster blood on the magic brush, I tied a silk thread to it and hung it in the middle of the formation. Then, I did the same to the other brushes Li Mazi had bought and hung them according to the Eight Diagrams Formation. The threads used to hang those brushes had the same length except for the one in the North direction. I made it a little shorter.
Meng Dongye was curious and asked what I was doing every time. I was patient enough to explain things to him.
After everything was done, I unfolded the wolf skin.
“What are you going to do with it?” asked Meng Dongye.
I explained, “Usually, two kinds of materials are used to make the brush nib. The first is ‘wolf’ hair and the second is rabbit hair. However, wolf-hair brushes are actually made of weasel hair. I’ve checked the magic brush, and it’s made of rabbit hair. Since rabbits are afraid of wolves, you should wrap this piece of skin around your body. It can keep you safe for a while.”
“That makes sense!” Meng Dongye nodded. “I’ve seen Daoist priests prepare altars in the past. They created a mess by scattering papers around, so I thought that you would do the same. However, it turns out there’s a reason for everything. I’m convinced now.”
I smiled. “When you write, do you just make things up?”
“Of course not. Although the plot is fictional, every detail should be reasonable and make sense.”
“Our profession is the same. We can’t just use anything we want. There are things we should and should not use.”
I asked him to put on the wolf skin and told him to stay in his room. If I didn’t call him, he shouldn’t get out of his room.
Then, I sat down cross-legged on the floor and started to read the incantation. Soon, the suspended brushes started to shake, and the lights in the room began to flicker.
“Brother Zhang, the formation’s activated!” Yin Xinyue sounded excited.
I nodded and continued to read the incantation. The eight brushes shook harder. The magic brush in the center also reacted. However, it didn’t shake but spun around as if it was trying to break the thread.
The magic brush wasn’t a strong otherworldly item by itself, so my formation could subdue it. If everything went smoothly tonight, I planned to expel the four souls out of the brush, which would allow me to deal with it easily.
Soon, a drop of black fluid slowly dripped from the nib of the brush, forming the upper body of a man. The man grew bigger and bigger. In the end, the soul of the first author wormed out of the nib…
After he fell to the ground and shakily got up, he raised his hands and moved toward me. I was sitting outside the formation. However, he bumped into an invisible barrier. He then changed his direction and bumped here and there. Eventually, he went toward the North.
After he finally escaped the formation, he held his throat as if he couldn’t breathe. He madly ran around the house until he made his way to the toilet.
I gave Li Mazi a Ksitigarbha Talisman and asked him to adhere it to the toilet door and close the door right after. He needed to wait for my signal to open the door later.
Li Mazi nodded and went to do what I had asked. At this moment, the second soul was wiggling out of the brush’s nib. However, he wasn’t as lucky as the first one. He spent a long time inside the Eight Diagrams but couldn’t find the way out. In the end, he felt drained and was sucked into one of the ordinary brushes that hung around.
I immediately grabbed that brush and stirred it in the mixture of ink and rooster blood. At the same time, I asked Yin Xinyue to take another brush from the bag to replace the position of the previous one on the Eight Diagrams.