Xiao Li turned back and handed the money to the man. The other person quickly took it and stuffed it into his pocket. Then he pointed to the tablet and said, “My brother is here and you continue to worship. Since you are so sincere, I know his spirit in Heaven will be gratified.”
Xiao Li didn’t know if this Zhang Tao would be relieved but he felt that if Zhang Tao was a ghost, the first thing he might do after coming back was to find this hapless brother.
Zhu Yiting and the others saw that the crisis had been lifted. Together with the fact that they had been discovered, they came in from the corners and the doors and pretended to bow a few times to the tablet.
Then Xiao Li looked at the younger brother and asked directly, “Did you find a black box when sorting through Mr Zhang’s things?”
The moment he said this, Tao Fei glanced nervously at the man and placed her hands in her pocket, ready to pull out an Expel Ghosts charm.
“Black box?” The man raised his eyebrows as he glanced at Xiao Li. “I haven’t seen it.”
Xiao Li had been observing his expression. Seeing that the other person showed a doubtful look without any signs of lying, he pointed to the coffin on the side. “Have you seen your brother today?”
His topic change was too fast and too direct to Tao Fei, not to mention that this man had a temper. The other person’s face changed immediately and his tone went higher. “What do you mean?”
Tao Fei saw this and tried to appease the other person, speaking softly, “He is just asking casually, don’t mind it. We have a bit of friendship with your older brother and care about him…”
“Youcan’t be like this in my brother’s mourning hall.” The more the man spoke, the angrier he became. “The point is to come and worship. Why are you being sneaky? What did you come here to do? Did the village chief ask you to come?”
Tao Fei exclaimed, “No, no, you misunderstood. We really just came to worship your big brother.”
Xiao Li was blocked behind Tao Fei and sighed silently. He very naturally held out a hand to Zhu Yiting.
Zhu Yiting, “…”
He didn’t want to admit it but he understood Sherlock’s meaning in a second. The young man took out another 300 yuan from his pocket and smacked it onto Xiao Li’s hand. He mouthed ‘I have no more money’ to indicate that the other person had to switch to another switch.
Xiao Li directly extended a hand past the defensive Tao Fei and placed the money in front of Zhang Tao’s younger brother. This person’s expression changed immediately as he took the three banknotes, his fire gone. “Well, if you have any questions, just ask. Reporters, please remember to make me look good in the report. I also want to make a recommendation. My family’s dishes are good.”
Tao Fei who had been thinking about how to appease Zhang Tao’s brother, “…”
What type of person was this? There were many people in the world who would be suffering because of the death of their loved ones. Based on the actions of Zhang Tao’s younger brother, it was obvious that he didn’t belong to the former group and instead belonged to those who only saw money.
Xiao Li asked, “Do you remember how your brother died?”
“I don’t know the specifics.” Zhang Tao’s younger brother recalled the scene at the time. “My brother and I are separated. His wife died early and I haven’t married yet. I usually see him once a week. Just yesterday, I was short of hands to collect food and wanted to ask him to help. He didn’t respond so I broke in and found him dead…”
He spoke up to here and his face finally showed a hint of a low mood. “We haven’t had such a thing happen here for many years. I went to the village chief and he said it should be a sudden death. He urged me to hurry to bury the body and to not tell others. By the way, can you not tell others about what I said?”
Xiao Li nodded and promised him. “The last question, do you have any special customs in the village?”
“Customs?” The man thought about it. “Nothing special, just go to bed at 9 o’clock at night. Does this count?”
Zhu Yiting, who was listening quietly, couldn’t help interjecting. “What type of custom is this?”
Xiao Li nodded thoughtfully and ended his questioning. Then Tao Fei asked a few simple questions before they left together.
At the same time, a residential area in the Gathering Souls Village.
A middle-aged woman was folding straw under the light of an oil lamp. There was a pile of straw at her feet and her surname was Li. Everyone called her Sister-in-law Li. The house might be dimly lit but her hands were dexterous and skilled. She quickly turned the straw into a human form.
She stood up with the straw person, took a small dressing box from the cupboard next to her, opened it and pulled out a brass bell and a box of rouge.
She applied rouge onto her index finger and wiped it over the heart of the straw person, whispering, “The hour has come, the soul has come, the time has come…”
However, nothing happened. Sister-in-law Li looked at her index finger and a trace of decisiveness flashed in her eyes. She bit her finger and squeezed out a drop of blood, replacing the original rouge and continuing to chant her previous words.
The room was still calm and there wasn’t the movement she expected. Her figure was fixed in place. After a long time, she sighed and put everything back, including the straw person. Then she got into bed and prepared to go to sleep.
Just moments after she lay on the bed, a clear knock was heard from the dilapidated wooden door.
“Who is it?” She sat up and asked.
“…It’s me.” A rough voice was heard. It belonged to a man of the village.
Sister-in-law recognized the voice of the man outside the door and let go of her worries to walk over and open the door. “Zhang Tao, why did you come to see me at this time?”
The man outside the door had white lips and a blue face. Under the moonlight, people might think he was dead. Zhang Tao didn’t speak. He just handed over the black box in his hand to the other person. His arm was bent with an unnatural stiffness.
Sister-in-law Li took the box incredulously. “What is this? Why do you look so ugly today? What is going on?”
Zhang Tao’s mysterious eyes shifted from the box to the face of the middle-aged woman. Then he spoke in a hoarse voice. “Open it.”
After that, he walked away.
Sister-in-law Li stood at the door and looked at the box in her hand. She decided to catch up and ask. She tried to reach Zhang Tao’s back but no matter how slowly he seemed to be walking, he was always in front of her. She couldn’t catch up and followed him all the way to the memorial hall.
Sister-in-law Li realized that something was wrong. Fear rose in her consciousness. She stared at the two white lanterns in a panic and entered step by step until she saw the photo in the middle and directly collapsed to the ground. “This… what is going on?!”
Her actions were too big. Zhang Tao’s little brother rushed out to scold her but stopped when he saw it was Sister-in-law Li. He stepped forward to help her up and asked, “Sister-in-law Li, what’s wrong? Did you come here to worship my brother?”
Sister-in-law Li didn’t know where the strength came from. She grabbed the collar of Zhang Tao’s younger brother and exclaimed, “Zhang Chang, when did your brother die?”
Zhang Chang’s temper wasn’t good and he wanted to swear. However, he saw that the other person’s face wasn’t right and suppressed his temper. “Just yesterday. I had something to ask him and went to his house to find him. I saw that he was lying on the ground dead. The village chief told me not to tell others and to bury him within seven days.”
Zhang Chang didn’t say that the village chief gave him a bit of money in order to not tell the villagers. Otherwise, his temper meant he would be asking every household for money for the funeral.
“But…I just saw him!” Sister-in-law Li pointed to the black box that had fallen to the ground. “He came to my house and gave me this”
“How is that possible? You were just dreaming.” Zhang Chang didn’t believe in ghosts. In fact, he wasn’t a native of Soul Gathering Village. It was only after he was 10 years old that his parents took him home to his older brother. He picked up the black box and directly opened it. “The foreigners who came here also mentioned a black box. I want to see what is inside…”
Sister-in-law LI’s face was pale and she didn’t know why but there was a bad feeling in her heart. She quickly reached out to stop Zhang Chang but the other person was a step ahead and was staring inside the black box. She also looked and her breathing increased.
Xiao Li’s group returned directly to the room.
Shi Ye and the others were sitting on the bed and waiting for them. Shi Ye saw someone returning and was the first to stand up, eyes sweeping over them one by one. “Did you find anything?”
Tao Fei quickly glanced at Xiao Li in order to ask for his consent but the boy was already sitting on the small table and didn’t plan to speak. Tao Fei hesitated before saying, “The person who died is called Zhang Tao and he is the one from the CG movie. We were attacked by him but fortunately, his brother appeared in time and nothing happened to us.”
Shi Ye asked, “How did he die? Is it related to the black box?”
Tao Fei shook her head. “We don’t know this. His brother said he never saw the black box and only knew his brother was dead after finding the body. The village chief told him not to tell anyone.”
“The village chief…” Shi Ye walked back and forth in the house. “He must be a key person. Let’s ask him!”
Shi Ye was blowing hot air but Zhu Yiting was abnormally quiet. The young man pulled his two friends into a corner while still paying attention to Xiao Li. He whispered, “I remember that Sherlock. Do you remember?”
Yong Chun and the third person, Fan Ren shook their heads.
Zhu Yiting continued, “On the forum, there was the post about a thigh-hugging teammate and Xie Lingshi spoke up. That’s why the name was familiar to me!”
Yong Chun changed his angle and looked at the dark-haired boy staring at the task book next to the oil lamp. He felt that the other person looked very harmless and quiet. He recalled the post describing Sherlock and couldn’t help asking, “Is it him?”
Fan Ren thought about the key words that described Sherlock in the post: strange, powerful, makes you stare at him like a foolish dog and always keeping his thoughts to himself while everyone else questions him.
“It is him.” Fan Ren stated firmly.
Zhu Yiting sadly searched through his pockets. “He made me lost 600 yuan today. Grandpa Mao, RMB!”
“It isn’t bad to buy information with money.” Yong Chun comforted him. “Besides, he said he will pay you back. Remember to ask for his information later. You will get money and his WeChat. It isn’t a bad deal.”
Zhu Yiting suddenly wasn’t angry anymore. “Yes, I will have his WeChat and infuriate you to death.”
Meanwhile, the focus of their discussion, Xiao Li was having a serious confrontation with the little yellow book at the table.
The little yellow book had been quiet for a while and now he resolutely made a request. 【 Do you really want to sleep in a store? Baby, I know you won’t be able to sleep well so don’t force yourself. I have other places for you to sleep. 】
Xiao Li wrote with a black pen. “I’ll sleep here.”
Based on the little yellow book’s description, this room was more full of danger than the ghost world. 【 It is dangerous here. 】
Xiao Li: ?
【 There are other men here and it is dangerous. 】 The little yellow book was firm. 【 Women also aren’t possible. They are dangerous. 】
In the little yellow book’s world, it might only be safe beside him. However, Xiao Li’s view was the opposite. If he agreed to sleep in the little yellow book’s space then he was likely to face the dilemma of ‘worrying about his body’…
This was scarier than a ghost!
Xiao Li smoothly wrote, “Other people aren’t beasts. What is the danger? No one in this place would be in the mood for that type of thing.”
He silently continued in his heart, ‘Only you.’
Little yellow book: 【 Even if they don’t show it, they are thinking so in their hearts. I can’t stand it. 】
【 It is because I like you and want to kiss you. When you fall asleep, I can’t hold it. I can describe a bunch of actions I want to do to you but I have been patient. This is originally the thing I was least good at but now because of you, it is something I am doing all the time. 】
Xiao Li’s pen tip was on the pale yellow paper and because his power suddenly went out of control, a black scratch appeared on it. The black-haired boy stared at the handwriting and his heart was filled with an inexpressible ellipsis.
After a long time, he wrote, “…Why is it me? I know you are a ghost and I haven’t encountered any ghosts before entering this world.”
The little yellow book paused for a long time and seemed to be thinking. It was like he had many things he wanted to say but he eventually wrote on the paper: 【 It is because you are the cutest. 】
Xiao Li who originally had some expectations, “………”
He was still too naive to feel some hope for the little yellow book’s answer!
The author has something to say:
Little yellow book: I thought I would get a kiss in the first world, a hug in the second world and go further in the third world. What happened? How can I still not get a kiss? What went wrong?