The cold wind didn’t last long. After the three of us entered the hall, the wind ceased.
We used our flashlight to search around the ancestral hall for quite a long time. Eventually, Baldy found something strange!
He found a piece of tile that was a different color from the others. It was just a bit lighter and, without close examination, the difference wouldn’t be recognizable.
I walked to that tile and got on my knees, giving it a few good knocks. The sounds echoed lightly. It appeared that there was a space underneath.
I couldn’t hide my happiness. Excitedly, I rushed back to the car to fetch the big wrench used in case of a flat tire. I stabbed it into the slit between the tiles and pried. I was soon able to pry up a flat blue stone slab.
Li Mazi and Baldy hurried to hold the stone slab, exerting themselves to lift it and put it aside. A pit-black entrance appeared in our sights. At the same time, a cold wind howled through the hole.
I hurried to pull the other two aside. After the wind completely disappeared, I took the lead, going down the hole.
There was a small ladder connected to the entrance, and after around ten steps, we got to the bottom. At the same time, I was hit with the strong, pungent odor of a decomposing corpse. It seemed there was a dead body around this entrance.
Despite Li Mazi’s attempts to brighten the area with his flashlight, the Yin energy was so thick that the column of light from the flashlight couldn’t go far enough.
“Be careful!” I reminded my companions one more time.
Slowly and carefully, I edged forward, afraid that I could accidentally touch any gears which would trigger some hidden mechanism.
After walking for dozens of meters, an old square table appeared in front of us. Our eyes had finally adjusted to the darkness, so I vaguely saw a few red trays on the table, which held some withered, dried fruits, and other offerings.
The table was covered with a thick layer of dust, appearing as if no one had come here to clean the place for years. Behind the table stood a shelf that held a row of black jars. Each of the black jars had a portrait of a person on the back.
Those were probably the Hou family’s ancestors. I gave them a respectful bow, muttering, “Please don’t blame or punish us as we accidentally disturb your rest!”
Then, I moved around the table, heading toward the area exuding the rotten corpse smell.
It seemed it was the first time Baldy had come to such a place. He had a layer of sweat on his face, and he pinched his nose, not daring to breathe while following me.
I reached the place where the pungent odor of a decomposing body was emanating. I then saw a big, dark blue iron chest.
“Perhaps it’s the family heirloom the woman told us about, but why does it smell so bad?” Li Mazi observed the iron chest. However, even after searching for a long time, he couldn’t understand how to open it.
It seems we couldn't open this chest!
Baldy took out his pistol. “How about using a pistol to open it?”
I thought for a moment and concluded that it was the only option we had. I moved aside, giving Baldy room. He shot the iron chest twice, and we all went over to check, finding a crack in the middle of the chest.
This chest was made by a master. Once it was closed, the gears inside would come together. It seemed one of the bullets had shaken the gears and dislocated them, resulting in this crack.
I rushed to the chest and tried to open it. I didn’t mind the terrible smell, craning my neck to see what was inside.
We thought that it would be their family’s treasure. Shockingly, it was Hou San’er’s head inside the chest!
Baldy had followed me to take a look. Seeing the head, he couldn’t help but jerk backward. He landed on his butt and vomited.
My stomach also twitched. A few hours ago, we saw this man fighting Gao Erhu in the yard. How come someone cut off his head and put it here?
“Little Brother Zhang, let’s get out of here! That woman has tricked us!”
Li Mazi sounded very calm at this moment. He pulled Baldy up, and together, we ran outside. I suddenly figured it out. The problem was with Hou San’er’s wife!
She proactively gave us the key to this ancestral hall and deliberately told me that the family heirloom was hidden in this iron chest. What was her goal in this?
Isn’t she afraid that I would go back and deal with her after I saw the head? Or does she believe that I won’t be able to escape this place?
Suddenly, I had a bad premonition. I screamed, feeling panicked, “Hurry! Get out of here!”
Unfortunately, we were too late! As soon as I finished speaking, I heard a low thud above our heads. The stone slab we had lifted was put back in its place.
At the same time, a shadow appeared in front of us, slowly condensing and becoming more discernible. From its thin, weak figure, we guessed it was Hou San’er’s ghost.
“Brother San, don’t worry. I will take revenge for you!” Baldy was scared, shivering.
“Take revenge?” Hou San’er laughed, the sound coarse and low.
Then, he gazed at Baldy. “You’re the one that deserves to die the most! If you hadn’t awakened Lu Bu, I wouldn’t have been killed!”
He didn’t even look at us, flying straight toward Baldy. I opened the Yin and Yang Umbrella, creating a shield in front of the man.
The Yin and Yang Umbrella emitted black and white lights of Yin and Yang energy. Hou San’er’s ghost shrieked in pain, and he hurriedly retreated before shooting me a malicious glance. “Who are you?”
“It’s not important who I am. The important thing is finding out why you want to take revenge on him. Lu Bu is your enemy, not him.” I spoke up coldly.
Hou San’er’s ghostly face turned extremely ferocious. “If it weren’t for him, Lu Bu’s ghost would have never awoken!”
Hou San’er was strangely angry. He didn’t sound as though he was lying. Anyway, this also connected to the question prominent in my mind this whole time. Why did Lu Bu wake up? I decided to discreetly ask Hou San’er for the entire story.
Even though Hou San’er hated Baldy to the bones, he was scared of my Yin and Yang Umbrella. After hesitating for a while, he decided to tell me the truth.
To attract more customers to his hotel, Baldy chose the name ‘Moon Overshadowing Beauty.’ Every night, he would hold a grand party where he invited a bunch of attractive call girls. Plus, to ensure that the hotel fits its name, he spent a huge sum of money to ask some famous artists to paint several pictures of Diao Chan, which he hung on the highest floor.
To describe these paintings simply, the beauty was drawn without clothes. She was completely exposed to the extent that even modern people would blush while looking at her drawings. Let alone an ancient man from two thousand years ago!
Lu Bu and Diao Chan were deeply in love. When Lu Bu was killed at White Gate Tower, Diao Chan had a chance to survive, but her love and loyalty to Lu Bu were too great. Ultimately, they both died.
Naturally, Lu Bu’s ghost was extremely enraged when he saw the woman he loved humiliated like that. That was why the big fire had happened during the hotel’s grand opening.
Being the God of War in the era of the Three Kingdoms, Lu Bu had been arrogant, rebellious, and unwilling to be subdued by anybody. In spite of this, he had knelt in front of Diao Chan. This was also the reason behind his tragic death.
People would remember the image of Lu Bu alone with his Sky Piercer standing imposingly in front of Hulao Pass before the fierce battle against Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei. However, that invincible man couldn’t protect his lover, and he later became a notorious servant.
That was why Lu Bu had three fixations in his heart. One was Diao Chan, another was his reputation, and the last was to take revenge on his subordinates who had betrayed him!
The official’s son, who was the first to die, was Wei Xu’s descendant. The man happened to come to the hotel on its grand opening day, and Lu Bu thought that Wei Xu wanted to harm him again. That was why he killed that poor young man.
However, Lu Bu’s wrath had not been abated with only one death. He planned to find Song Xian’s and Hou Cheng’s descendants and kill them all. Later, Baldy accidentally invited Hou San’er to the grand opening. Lu Bu didn’t know how to find his targets, but they had delivered themselves to his door!
Lu Bu then possessed Gao Erhu’s body. At midnight, he sharpened his knife and went to kill Hou San’er. However, his plan had not considered that Hou Cheng’s soul hadn’t vanished yet. When the master and the servant met again after two thousand years, they couldn’t help but have a fierce fight!
Although Lu Bu had been seriously injured, Hou Cheng was not able to stand as his equal. In the end, he was scared and ended up fleeing. That was why Hou San’er was killed.
After listening to the whole story, I couldn’t hold back a sigh. Karma was too real. Something that had taken place two thousand years ago was causing trouble today.
Li Mazi smacked his tongue. “Isn’t it too melodramatic? I think it’s even better than television dramas.”
After listening to his story, Baldy looked as if he was about to crack. I patted his shoulder. “You don’t need to blame yourself. If not you, someone else would have woken up Lu Bu one day.”
When Lu Bu was killed, the seed of karma had been planted. No one could stop what was happening!
I turned to Hou San’er, asking, “What happened to your head?”
“My ancestor Hou Cheng put it there. He told me that I was killed because of what he had done in the past. He wanted me to be there with him to enjoy the later generations’ worship.”
Hou San’er’s voice lowered. “However, I’m dead already. What good is worship?”
When he finished speaking, everything was clear. Hou San’er’s wife had deceived us, making us come here to compensate for her husband’s life with ours. She sure was ruthless, but after thinking about her life as a widow and her children, I pitied her.
If we continued to attack each other, more grudges would be created. If this continued, when would this vicious cycle end?
I decided to solve the dispute between them. I turned and gave a deep bow to the iron chest, respectfully calling, “General, please show yourself! Will you agree to come and talk to me?”
The iron chest didn’t react. I was skeptical and puzzled, turning to look at Hou San’er. He pointed at the Yin and Yang Umbrella in my hand.
I understood what he meant. The Yin and Yang Umbrella was a top treasure that had both Yin and Yang energy. Even Lu Bu was scared of it, let alone Hou Cheng!
I closed the Yin and Yang Umbrella, putting it away. Then, I sincerely asked Hou San’er’s ghost, “Brother Hou, please invite your ancestor here to see us! If we don’t solve the grudge between your ancestor and Lu Bu, your Hou family will have more deaths in the future!”
The ghost hesitated for a while. Eventually, he got on his knees, kowtowing twice to the iron chest.
A gust of cold energy swirled up from the chest, blowing toward us.
A vague figure appeared midair, wearing heavy armor and a helmet. He even had a thick beard.
It was Hou Cheng, Lu Bu’s subordinate!
After showing up, Hou Cheng coldly glared at me from his elevated position. “Kid, what do you want to see me for?”
I gave a dry cough, cupping my fists. “Do you plan to hide in this ancestral hall forever, sir? Do you want to see Lu Bu uproot your Hou family?”
“Nonsense! Although I, Hou Cheng, was no hero, I won’t harm or get my descendants involved in this. It was not my will to return to this ancestral hall to take shelter. After I’ve recovered my energy, I will show Lu Bu my strength!” Hou Cheng somewhat blushed, thundering in response to my instigation.
I disdained him inwardly. However, I continued, “Putting aside the fact that you’re fighting him alone, even if Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei joined hands, do you think they could defeat Lu Bu?”
Hou Cheng was silent, and a cold wind blew through the room. It seemed he understood the matter well.
After a while, Hou Cheng asked sheepishly, “Kid, what do you think? What should I do?”
This was a good sign. It seemed he also wanted to put aside the grudge with Lu Bu. As such, it would be much more convenient for me to solve this case.
I put on a respectful and admiring face, saying, “General Hou Cheng, for the people in Xu Province, you reluctantly submitted Lu Bu to Cao Cao. And now, for the sake of your descendants, you’ve decided to end your grudge against Lu Bu. I have to admire your generous deeds, sir!”
After saying these disgusting words, I hated myself.
Hou Cheng lifted his head, squinting as if he was enjoying my praise. A moment later, he said indifferently. “Just tell me what to do!”
After he said this, his figure flashed, disappearing into the iron chest.
“Brother Hou, what do you want to do now?” I asked Hou San’er’s ghost.
He sounded a little embarrassed. “I was blinded by my grudge and hatred, to the point where I almost made a big mistake. If my ancestor decides to end the grudge against Lu Bu, I have no comment. However, please bring my head back to my body. I want to be buried with a complete body.”
I knew he was ready to go, so I nodded to him. “Brother Hou, don’t worry! I will help your wife hold a proper funeral for you.”
“Thank you, brother!” Hou San’er told me, laughing and disappearing.
“Where did he go?”
Baldy didn’t understand the situation.
“He saw through his hatred and grudge. He understood the benefit of letting go of his desires. Without this fixation, of course, he will leave and reincarnate.”
Then, I went to the iron chest to take Hou San’er’s head, putting it into a plastic bag. Carefully, I closed the iron chest. After everything was done, we left the ancestral hall.
On the way back, Li Mazi asked me, “Little Brother Zhang, who lifted the stone slab for us?”
I was stunned!Previous Chapter Next Chapter