The steward steadily led the group to the end of the corridor. They stopped in front of the tall building where the eaves disappeared. Due to the high structure, the corridor couldn’t be built directly to the stairs of the building. Therefore, they had to go through an open-air path before they could enter the building.
Usually, Xiao Li could use the little yellow book to summon the Eternal Soul Umbrella but unfortunately, the Eternal Soul Umbrella had been taken away by Shen Chenzhi. Perhaps if the rain was lighter, they could walk right through the rain. Now in this type of heavy rain, they would be drenched if there was no shelter. Or simply… just go back?
Xiao Li watched the steward head straight into the rain and was full of thoughts.
“Steward Sun, don’t you have an umbrella for us?” Luo Shan raised her tone and called out to the steward ahead of them in the rain.
The housekeeper stood in the rain and his voice mixed in with the rain. “I’ll get you umbrellas.”
Wang Huai sighed. “No need, I have them here.”
He took out three umbrellas from his task book. The colours of the umbrellas were red, orange and yellow and they weren’t big. It was like they were configured for kindergarten children.
“It can only be used for 10 minutes at most or the souls of the triplets will recover.” Wang Huai warned everyone seriously. “Squeeze in and run over.”
Ye Zeqing held a small red umbrella and walked toward Xiao Li. Xiao Li didn’t move. Ye Zeqing asked him, “Are you going?”
Xiao Li suddenly turned his head. “Do you hear a sound?”
Ye Zeqing wouldn’t have any fluctuations if someone else showed such an expression but it was Moriarty doing this. Therefore, he followed and listened carefully to the surrounding movements. Finally, he answered, “No, the rain is too heavy. I can’t hear it at all. Is it crying?”
“No,” Xiao Li stated. “It is another sound like coughing.”
He added, “It is similar to an old man with sputum in his lungs.”
Xiao Li pulled Ye Zeqing to where he was standing and pointed to the pond opposite the building. Perhaps it was the psychological effect of hearing Xiao Li’s words but Ye Zeqing seemed to hear the sound. Cough, cough, cough.
It was just that this sound was washed away by the rain. Only the last echo was left, making everyone unsure. Wang Huai suggested, “Since this sound is as irregular as the crying, we should go first and see why Sun Yaoming asked for us.”
He and Ye Lingshi huddled under a small yellow umbrella and ran over quickly. Xiao Li was about to step into the rain when a purple umbrella filled his vision. Shen Chenzhi held the umbrella steadily, his knuckles clean and powerful against the dark purple handle. It looked very nice.
Before Xiao Li could react, the young man smiled from under the umbrella. “You don’t like the dinner here. I brought you some food but you can’t eat too much.”
Xiao Li walked under the purple umbrella. Unsurprisingly, the broad umbrella surface tilted in his direction. Ye Zeqing was left alone. He hesitated to speak and eventually raised the red umbrella, enjoying it alone.
Everyone arrived in the separate building. The head of the Sun family had been waiting for a long time. Sun Qilin and three other middle-aged men were also there. They were wearing dark green Tang suits (traditional Chinese jacket) with simple patterns embroidered on them. Tang Huaqing was sitting next to a man with a low nose and they were chatting happily while drinking.
“Hey.” Wang Huai whispered in a voice that only they could hear. “The old ghosts of the Sun family have encountered something.”
Ye Zeqing wondered, “How do you know?”
Wang Huai explained, “There were originally only six chairs here. The chairs for us were moved here temporarily. The legs of the chairs are wet from the rain. They obviously didn’t intend to invite us to eat together but temporarily changed their minds. It should be that the situation at home is getting out of control and it has become very serious. For these stubborn old ghosts who have never entered an instance, the rise or fall of the family is greater than actual survival.”
“We have been temporarily invited here and their attitude isn’t hot or cold. This indicates that the Judges have given them a solution but Sun Yaoming doesn’t want to pick a team so early. He hasn’t decided whether to let us intervene or to choose the Judges directly.”
Wang Huai had just finished speaking when an old man of the Sun family saw him and knocked on the wooden chair with a finger that contained a jade ring. “Wang Huai, I haven’t seen you for some days. You have really grown up.”
“Uncle Sun is flattering me.”
The two of them complimented each other. Meanwhile, Xiao Li sat at the end and stared at the food on the table.
No wonder why Shen Chenzhi said that he didn’t like eating. The dish closest to him was a deep-fried grasshopper. It was too close to Xiao Li and he could even see the fine hair on the grasshopper’s legs…
Apart from the fried grasshoppers, the other dishes smelled and looked great but Xiao Li had lost his appetite. He would eat his boyfriend’s lovingly prepared food.
Xiao Li fell silent and only gave a few symbolic greetings when Wang Huai introduced him. He was drinking the alcohol until Shen Chenzhi pressed down the cup, poured the remaining drink into his own cup and changed to warm tea for him.
Their actions in private didn’t attract the attention of others. Wang Huai was chatting with Sun Yaoming and had successfully brought the topic to the ‘weird’ sounds in the Sun house that had happened in recent days.
Wang Huai didn’t use crying to describe it. Instead, he used ‘strange sounds’ to imply that the other person had already grasped some information.
However, the old ghost of the Sun family was as steady as a rock. His face always maintained his smiling expression and he left some leeway. He only said that he didn’t need the help of the reincarnators for the time being. They could handle their own affairs but if necessary, the reincarnators could explore the house.
Wang Huai hinted a few times but never succeeded.
It rained harder outside the building.
The dinner ended. This time, Steward Sun didn’t lead the way back. He stayed and directed his subordinates to clean up the mess.
There were lights on in most of the main corridors but there were some corners where the lights were broken or not installed at all. Therefore, people didn’t walk quickly but it felt like they were still walking under the eaves.
The lights here weren’t the incandescent lights hanging from the ceiling but romantic night lights. Some were installed under lotus leaves and some on tree trunks. They usually looked very elegant but it wasn’t beautiful during a rainy day and looked like it was likely to be haunted.
This type of night light wasn’t very bright and made more things seem hidden in the darkness. Every time the wind blew, it brought out a bit of dark shadows that pierced each other. It was frightening.
Wang Huai was at the forefront, discussing external affairs with Gong Mingming and liaising with foreign reincarnators. Xiao Li stood next to Shen Chenzhi at the end. He didn’t speak at first. He wanted to ask Shen Chenzhi on what food he had brought but before he could ask, he suddenly stared at a corner.
“What’s wrong?” Shen Chenzhi asked.
Xiao Li watched the corner hesitantly before finally saying, “I seem to have seen a dark shadow.”
He used the word ‘seem’ which was a real surprise for him. However, the feeling just now was too mysterious. It was like a shadow had quickly walked past in his retina. It might be an illusion caused by the lights so he wasn’t certain.
Shen Chenzhi glanced over there again. “There is nothing.”
Xiao Li retracted his gaze and continued forward. They still had a long way to go in order to get back to their guest room.
Outside the corridor, the sound of the rain continued and the water level of the pond in the Sun house was rising. If this continued, it would probably be flooded. Just as everyone was walking along to the sound of the rain, there was some type of noise mixed in that gradually approached them.
Rustle, cough, rustle, cough…
The sound was very inconspicuous since it was covered by the rain. It was only heard by everyone once its volume increased to a certain level. Wang Huai stepped back, leaned against the wall and spoke warily, “The cough is getting closer.”
Cough cough, rustle, cough cough, rustle…
Previously, it was rain mixed with the sound of coughing but now it was coughing mixed with the sound of rain. Everyone was able to hear the source of the cough.
It was obviously a man. He had a thick voice. It wasn’t dry. Rather, it was a wet cough full of phlegm. He sounded like he was coughing up his heart and lungs, like he would suffocate the next moment. However, every time it reached a peak, the owner would always slow down the coughing speed and it would ease.
“It is approaching us,” Ye Zeqing quickly took out a stack of yellow paper from his coat pocket and held it. “It is getting closer, closer—”
The cough sounded in his ears. This time, in addition to the uncomfortable coughs, there was a long sigh. It was like a patient knowing he would die soon and uttering his last sigh. He couldn’t help coughing. “Sigh… cough, cough, cough… sigh…”
At the last sigh, Luo Shan had goose bumps all over because it seemed to be in her ears! It was like this sick man was coughing in her ears!
At this time, the yellow paper in Ye Zeqing’s hand folded and pointed to the corner ahead. Under the shining night lights, a hunchbacked shadow slowly came over.
It was an old man bent over. His entire face was wrinkled and his back was hunched. He covered his mouth with one hand and coughed continuously as he walked towards the reincarnators. He talked to himself. “Cough, my illness is becoming more serious. Tell me, why am I the only one who has this disease?”
At first, it was just intermittent complaints. Then he raised his head and his eyes changed.
“If you could get it, that would be fine, cough cough cough…”
At his approach, there was a strong smell of medicine and decay that rushed toward the reincarnators. Just as the sick ghost was about to reach out to grab the person in front of him, a cold voice interrupted his words. “How long have you been sick?”
The sick ghost was stunned for a moment and withdrew his hand. Perhaps he wanted to tease the person in front of him before acting. He still replied, “Cough, I thought about it. It hasn’t been long, just a few months. The disease comes quickly and you will die quickly, cough, cough, cough.”
Xiao Li continued asking, “A doctor didn’t treat you?”
“Yes, they can only watch me, cough cough, die.” The sick ghost showed a piercing look. “Isn’t it really unfair?”
“Yes.” Xiao Li smoothly took out a business card like a medical salesperson. “If you don’t mind, I know a doctor who is very successful in the area of medical achievements. You can ask him to help and take a look at you.”
Before the sick ghost could answer, a white light flashed from the business card and an atypical doctor wearing a beaked mask actively came to them. He turned and greeted Xiao Li in a friendly manner. “Patient Sherlock, we meet again. What type of illness do you want me to treat—”
He was halfway through his words when he noticed the sick ghost who couldn’t help coughing. His eyes lit up, the tone of his voice rose and he rubbed his hands together excitedly. “Ohhh, a new case. It is a type that I have never seen before! A new challenge!”
Dr J was very happy.