Since the lobby was burned down, there was no electricity. At night, we had to use candles to light up the place.
Li Mazi understood that I was about to summon the spirit. “Why didn’t you blow out the candles?”
“There’s no need as its Yin energy is very strong. It won’t be afraid of the candles.” I thought about the encounter from this afternoon and shook my head.
We hid in a corner of the kitchen and stayed still, watching the deep hole. Baldy was scared but also curious.
Time ticked by. There was no indication that the spirit would come out, so we began to feel impatient.
I thought that it wasn’t interested in bat blood and that we would have to do it again tomorrow. But right when I was about to ask the people to go home, the candles in the room suddenly flickered.
Then, a strong wind swept up from the deep hole, which brought with it drops of cold, blood-like liquid. The temperature in the room dropped sharply.
I knew it was about to come out. I turned to look at the mirror in the kitchen, trying to see what it was. Unexpectedly, the wind came quickly and left fast. Everything happened in around ten seconds. The surroundings calmed down after that.
“Little Brother Zhang, did it come out?” Li Mazi’s voice came from the corner. He was puzzled.
I shook my head. “I don’t know.” The mirror didn’t show anything.
Baldy suddenly shrieked and pointed at the hole. “Impossible!”
I followed the direction of his finger. The bat blood I had poured earlier was gone, leaving only a faint trace on the ground.
I was surprised and took a few steps forward to check. The soil inside the hole was frozen altogether!
“Isn’t this too exaggerated?” Li Mazi followed behind me and dropped his jaw when he saw the scene.
Until now, the spirit hadn’t attacked us. However, its Yin energy was enough to destroy us. Once again, it didn’t appear to be an evil spirit.
Before I could learn what it was, I knew that I shouldn’t carelessly attack it. I didn’t want to provoke this spirit.
“You should buy some offerings. We want to offer some cakes, incense, and fruits to the spirit in this hole. Since we can’t play hard, we’ll have to do it the soft way.”
Baldy bought the items I had asked for and stacked the offerings into a big pile by the hole.
I wanted to let the butchers go home as they wouldn’t be useful even if they stayed. However, Baldy insisted that they stay with us. We could feel safer with more people at the scene.
I didn’t comment. We all collected some blankets and gathered in a corner. From there, we could observe the hole. No one dared to sleep.
After midnight, everybody was tired. Gradually, they started to doze off. My mind began to blur. However, my intuition told me that the spirit would show up after midnight. I had to stay awake until it came.
In the end, my tiredness got the best of me. I couldn’t defeat it. I pulled a blanket tightly around myself and drifted into sleep.
I didn’t know how long I had slept, but I was awakened by someone’s footsteps. At first, I thought someone was going to the toilet. However, the sound didn’t stop and kept coming from all around us.
I couldn’t sleep anymore and subconsciously cursed, “What the heck are you doing? Don’t you want to let people sleep?”
After screaming, I was wide awake. I turned to check the people on my left and right. They were all sleeping. No one was walking. I immediately understood that it was the spirit!
Li Mazi and the others woke up. “What’s going on?”
“Did you hear the footsteps?” I asked.
They all shook their heads.
Were my nerves so sensitive that I had a hallucination?
I walked to the mirror to see if there were footprints on the ashes. If the footsteps were real, there should be some traces.
However, when I came to the mirror, I found that all the ashes were blown away and had now piled up at the foot of the wall.
“What’s going on?” Li Mazi was scared. Li Mazi was different from Baldy and the other butchers. He just needed to look at me to know what I was thinking.
While talking, he gently touched the mirror. As soon as his fingers touched the surface, the huge mirror shattered!
The glass had broken into countless thumb-sized pieces, scattering on the ground.
Baldy and the others heard the noise, so they came to see. At first glance, their faces paled in fright.
“Guys, you should all leave.”
I looked at the glass shards for a long time before I pulled myself together. I helplessly waved and dismissed the others. I now knew I had underestimated the problem. My actions could have been under the spirit’s control the whole time. Perhaps, to the spirit, I wasn’t different from a clown.
Baldy also recognized the seriousness of the situation. He didn’t ask the butchers to stay anymore.
Soon, all the butchers left. Only a bearded man remained. He looked at the glass shards on the ground then at me. His eyes sparkled as if he had something he wanted to tell me.
“Gao Erhu, if you need to say something, spit it out. Don’t act like a sissy!” urged Baldy.
Gao Erhu took a deep breath. “A few days ago, the mirror in my house also shattered like this.”
“What?” My pupils shrunk as I shifted my gaze to him.
“A few days ago, strange things started to happen in my house. Every night, at around midnight, my wife and I would be awakened by an inexplicable coldness. We always felt that someone was gazing at us.” Gao Erhu remembered.
Baldy wanted to say something, but I shot him a glance and signaled at him to not interrupt Gao Erhu’s story.
“Later on, while my wife was taking a shower, she touched the mirror of the washstand. The mirror cracked and shattered. At first, I thought the mirror was old so it broke by itself. But now, it seems my house is also haunted!” Gao Erhu was sweating. He had to wipe his forehead after he finished talking.
I thought the spirit that had haunted Gao Erhu’s house could be somehow related to the spirit that had wreaked havoc in this hotel. Anyway, since I had no clues, I decided to go to Gao Erhu’s house to see if I could help him.
Baldy was anxious after I said that. “Mr. Zhang, you can’t just leave me like this!”
He thought that I wanted to take this excuse to dodge his case. I smiled and patted his shoulder. “Don’t worry! If I’ve accepted this case, I will take care of it to the end.” He heaved a sigh of relief and left with us.
That night, the three of us followed Gao Erhu to his house. Although his house was in the countryside, it wasn’t far from the hotel. Due to the unbalance of the economy, his house was just a cottage. That was why he had tried his best to sell pork in hopes of moving to the city later.
When we entered Gao Erhu’s house, I saw a massive cauldron in the yard.
“It’s used to boil asphalt. We use asphalt to pluck the pigs’ hairs.”
As it was around two or three o’clock in the morning, the moonlight was bright and the sky was clear. A cold wind blew through the air and rattled the iron hooks that were used to hold the meat. The noises they made weren’t pleasant to the ears at all.
Li Mazi gulped and whispered, “Erhu, it feels really cold and dark in your place. Aren’t you scared of living here?”
“How could I not be scared?” Gao Erhu looked even more panicked than Li Mazi.
“Shh!” Baldy suddenly signaled us to stop talking. Then, he moved to me and carefully said, “Mr. Zhang, I feel that the thing that has messed up my hotel is here!”
“How do you know that?” Baldy wouldn’t lie to me. If he said that, he must have found something.
“It’s my intuition!” Baldy gritted his teeth. “I have stayed in the office on the sixth floor of the hotel since we started decorating the rooms. In the beginning, everything was normal. But a few days before the grand opening, the entire floor felt so cold every night. I thought I was just exhausted, so I bought a lot of ginseng to eat. However, I couldn’t resist the coldness. That’s why I think that the spirit I’ve encountered and the one Gao Erhu has encountered are the same! When I walked into this yard, I immediately felt that cold aura. It’s the same as the coldness in my hotel.”
After talking, Baldy rubbed his head. “I didn’t do anything bad. Why does it pester me?”
However, to me, it wasn’t some random event. The spirit didn’t decide to pester Gao Erhu and Baldy randomly.
I carefully assessed the house. Immediately, I spotted something wrong with the room on the right of the house.
I closed my eyes and read the sacred text of Daoism. I tried to calm down to better pinpoint the location. Indeed, that place exuded strong Yin energy.
The problem started there. I opened my eyes and asked Gao Erhu, “After the mirror in your house shattered, did anything else happen?”
He searched through his memory then shook his head.
“You didn’t even feel the coldness at midnight?” I found it unbelievable. The strong Yin energy was streaming unceasingly from that room, and his house was still calm. It wasn’t logical.
Gao Erhu sounded unhappy. “No? Do you hope that something happens to my family?”
“Hey, do you want our help or not?” Li Mazi fumed. He pulled me and started to leave.
I then recognized that my question wasn’t worded properly. I calmed Li Mazi then told the others about my doubts.
Gao Erhu paled and stammered, “That’s the toilet in my house! Master, you have to help me! Otherwise, I can’t live here anymore!”
“Don’t be scared. We should take a look then.”
I asked Gao Erhu to open the door. Li Mazi grabbed me and worriedly asked, “Little Brother Zhang, are we going in there without any tools?”
When Li Mazi asked me, I suddenly remembered the time we had dealt with the weapons list. We were almost killed because we were careless.
“You have a point. Go with Baldy to the car to fetch my Sirius Whip. You can also pick other items that you think might be useful,” I said to Li Mazi and Baldy.
I listened to Li Mazi’s suggestion just to be safe. Li Mazi nodded and walked with Baldy out of the yard.
The distance was just dozens of meters, so I didn’t wait for him. After Erhu had opened the door for us, I followed him into the house.
He turned on the lights and asked me to have a seat on the sofa. Then, he went to his bedroom to wake up his wife so that she could greet us, too.
I smiled. I didn’t expect that this burly, rough-looking man to have manners. However, not long after he was gone, he rushed out with a panic-stricken face. Tears filled his eyes. “Master, please save my wife! She’s… She’s dying!”
I dropped the cup of tea and dashed to his bedroom. His wife was on the bed, sleeping. There was a thick layer of frost on her face, which gave her the appearance of a frozen corpse you would see in a morgue.Previous Chapter Next Chapter