Quality Checker: Isalee
First Published on Chaleuria.
I was caught between laughter and tears. “Aren’t you exaggerating too much? You only just met her today!”
“What? Gu Yu, are you even a man?” To my surprise, Shi Yitong grumbled. “I can’t believe you don’t feel anything with such a cute girl at your side!”
Even if I feel anything, I wouldn’t react like you. I silently cursed deep down.
“The cat she has is also extremely adorable. I heard that girls who know how to raise their pets are exceptionally compassionate!”
I instantly rebutted, “I won’t deny that Su Xiaoyun is cute, but how is that little bastard adorable?”
“Hahahaha! Seems like you’ve seriously been tormented dreadfully by her cat!”
Just like that, both Shi Yitong and I jested and laughed as we entered the village. Shi Yitong pushed open the main gates of the yard and yelled, “I’m home!” However, this time was different from the last, we waited quite long before someone responded. Soon after, I caught sight of Shi Yitong’s grandma coming out from the house, her expression riddled with anxiety.
Surprised, Shi Yitong hurriedly rushed forward and asked, “Grandma, what’s wrong?”
The old woman took a glance at Shi Yitong before shifting her gaze to me. With anxiety written all over her face, she sighed, “Tong’er, your grandfather… has fallen sick.”
Shi Yitong’s countenance instantly changed. Without even stopping to put down his bag, he instantly charged into the house. After I recovered from the news, I also hurriedly took after him.
Sure enough, Shi Yitong’s grandfather was lying down in his bedroom, his face deathly pale, weak and barely breathing. Shi Yitong reached out his hand to touch his grandfather’s forehead before jerking back all of a sudden, murmuring, “He’s burning up pretty badly…”
A basin filled with cold water was placed in the room along with a towel. In all likelihood, Shi Yitong’s grandmother must have brought those to take care of him.
I then took another glance at the old man on the bed. Although he was having a fever, there was no trace of redness on his face that a normally feverish patient should have. Instead, he was ghastly pale, the top of his nose bridge was dark.
I couldn’t hold myself back from interfering and burst out, “He’s already this sick, he should be brought to a doctor at once!”
However, Shi Yitong’s grandmother shook her head. “I already called a doctor. He said it’s just a cold and prescribed a pile of anti-fever medication. After feeding my old man that medicine, it didn’t have any effect. Sigh, moreover, old man’s current state doesn’t seem like he has caught a common sickness…”
I turned to stare at Shi Yitong, his darkened expression had a look of dismay. Even his eyebrows were drooping, looking as though he was going to burst into tears at any moment.
“My grandpa very rarely goes to the hospital. For all these years, he has never had a problem with his health.” Shi Yitong uttered in a low voice as he reached out his hand to grasp his grandfather’s. The words he managed to force out were laced with choked sobs. “How did he suddenly become like this?”
Right at this moment, the old man lying on the bed suddenly burst into a coughing fit, waking up in an instant. He struggled hard to open his eyes, squeaks leaving his throat as though he wanted to say something.
Shi Yitong stooped down as fast as he could, pressing his ears close to his grandpa’s mouth. “Grandpa, I’m here. What do you want to say?”
I could only see the old man trying his hardest to talk, sputtering a few words out with great difficulty. “As leaf raced the wind…the f-fight has been sold…”
“What?” Seemed like I wasn’t the only one who didn’t catch it. Shi Yitong was also puzzled. Yet the old man didn’t have the energy to continue. He shut his eyes and drifted off to sleep.
That night, I helped Shi Yitong and his family take care of the ill old man together, busy bustling about until we even completely forgot to eat dinner. From start to end, the old man’s condition hadn’t improved in the least, causing all of us to feel dismayed.
“Gu Yu, I’m starting to believe what you said.”
After finally having our dinner, Shi Yitong and I stood before the large willow tree in the yard, lost in our thoughts. I was surprised by his abrupt words and didn’t react momentarily.
“What did I say?”
“Didn’t you tell me that morning? You said you heard the knocking on the coffin and you even saw something inside it.” I didn’t know whether it was my imagination, but Shi Yitong seemed to be gnashing his teeth as he spoke while fuming with rage. “Now I believe you. It must be that thing inside the coffin. There must be something wrong with that coffin, I’m sure of it! I’m sure that the spirit inside the coffin is attached to my grandpa, causing him to turn out like this! It must be because of that coffin! I don’t give a crap if it’s Chinese cedar or whatever, I’m going to destroy it now!”
“Hey! Hey! Don’t!” I hurriedly stopped him. “Isn’t that coffin very expensive? Also didn’t you say that your grandpa put his heart and soul into making each of those coffins? Are you seriously going to destroy it just like that?”
Shi Yitong, all flustered, looked at me in exasperation. “But there’s no other option now! Do you have anything better in mind?”
“Actually, I do.” Without hesitating too long, I decided to reveal everything about the old residence and the exorcist to Shi Yitong. I explained everything in detail from the moment I encountered Su Xiaoyun this afternoon to how I helped her search for her cat. I also covered how I discovered the mysterious old manor while I was in the middle of looking for her cat.
When I mentioned Mr. Wen, a skeptical expression appeared on Shi Yitong’s face but he didn’t interrupt me.
“…So, that’s how things went.” After I revealed everything, I spread out my arms. “I know. Such an inconceivable thing can also happen to me and I’m also rather astonished by it. At first, I was actually hesitant to tell you. But since it has now come to this… it’s better than nothing.”
“The old residence behind the uni… I was wondering why you asked about this on the way back. I never expected the story to turn out like this.” Puzzled, Shi Yitong asked, “Can that guy in that place really be trusted? Are you sure he’s not some swindler?”
I shook my head. “He shouldn’t be.”
“Why are you so certain?”
When I heard his question, I hesitated for a split second. Truth be told, I didn’t have any proof to believe in Mr. Wen. But from that man’s manner and words, I found it hard to believe that someone would use this kind of tactic to scam others.
Although Mr. Wen was mysterious, he really did gave me an indescribable peace of mind.
Upon seeing that I didn’t respond, Shi Yitong scratched his head and dropped the matter. “But you’re right… a plan is still better than no plan at all. Let’s try your method tomorrow.”
The next day, Shi Yitong and I applied for leave respectively from our school. We stayed here, intending to use Mr. Wen’s method to exorcise the evil spirit from the coffin. After the day passed, Shi Yitong’s grandpa’s condition was still not getting any better. After Shi Yitong changed a wet towel for his grandpa one more time, he called me to the yard.
“There’s no time to lose! Let’s do it! Carry the coffin out first!”
The coffin that the knocking sounds came from was made of Chinese cedar which was heavy. Both Shi Yitong and I could only raise it a little off the ground with much difficulty. In the end, we basically just dragged it out.
“Why is this coffin so heavy?” I grumbled, wiping sweat from my face. We finally managed to follow Mr. Wen’s instructions and dragged the coffin to a place where it could bask in the sunlight.
Shi Yitong was also gasping for air. But since he had grown up in the village since young, he was more capable of bearing hardship than me. It didn’t take long for his breathing to become normal again. He pointed at the Chinese cedar coffin and said, “Can’t you tell? This isn’t an ordinary coffin, it’s a nested coffin.”