Chapter 44: Evil Gathering Array
On Monday, Chi Yan went back to school by squeezing in the subway. It was in broad daylight, where people come and go, so he wasn’t necessarily scared. For the several times that that thing had come out and harmed people, it was at night, usually after 10 p.m.
Hu Xing and Old Yuan’s junior high school classmates also went to his classroom to take a look, however they did not find any abnormality or suspicious human, so they bid goodbye to Chi Yan and prepared to go to other places of the school to search for clues.
Yang Qing still chose to sit next to Chi Yan in their class. He looked around and joked, “Hey, how come the little beauty who always comes to crash our class with ulterior motives has not come these two times?”
This period of time, Chi Yan had been constantly haunted by ghosts. Later on, he heard that all of these were the acts of a demon. He was too busy trying to protect his life every day to even think about Gu Xixi this person. Only when he heard Yang Qing’s question that he remembered about Gu Xixi. He then casually replied, “En, she probably thinks it’s not interesting anymore.”
Yang Qing didn’t even know whether he was being hypocritical or just insensitive.
After class, Chi Yan hurriedly packed up his things and hurried to the subway station. Yang Qing asked him to have dinner together, but he refused without hesitation. “Maybe next time, my roommate made food and he’s waiting for me to come back.”
Yang Qing looked at his figure speeding away to a distance. Inwardly thinking that if he didn’t know better, he would have thought that Chi Yan’s wife was waiting for him at home with her cooked meal.
At noon, the number of people in the subway station was much less than that in the morning. Chi Yan left the subway station and hastily headed toward Ye Yingzhi’s home. However, a familiar voice called out to him, “Xiao Yan! Chi Yan! “
When he looked back, he realized that it was actually his uncle and aunt. Chi Yan then promptly greeted them, “Uncle, Aunt.” In the first place, this place was close to his uncle’s house, there was nothing strange about running into his uncle and aunt.
Aunt Biao was blaming him for not visiting them when he was nearby. Chi Yan then remembered the lie he had told before, he coughed and then explained, “One of my groupmates lives here. He took an important project information back home. Now our advisor is in a hurry to ask for this information, so he asked me to come and get it.” He always felt that ever since he started seeing ghosts, he kept telling more and more lies and nothing else. Even his ability to make up lies had gone stronger.
Uncle and Aunt looked at the clock and it was exactly lunch time. They must drag him to have lunch with him at home. Chi Yan thought of how Ye Yingzhi had already prepared a meal for two and was waiting at home, so he refused them using the urgency of retrieving the information. But Uncle and Aunt had repeatedly invited him with enthusiasm and now that they even ran into each other on the streets, it was no longer justifiable for him to reject them again. In the end, he promised that he would go visit them tomorrow at noon.
The next day, after coming out of Ye Yingzhi’s house, he went to the supermarket to buy some snacks and brought them to his uncle’s house.
Even though it had been four years since he last saw his uncle’s house, there wasn’t much changes. Chi Yan looked at the stairs leading upward, he remembered how he had slept in the bedroom and the Buddhist Hall, and an uncontrollable fear emerged in his heart. He couldn’t help recalling those caresses, hugs, and cold kisses that fell onto him, as well as the ** that flowed out when that thing pressed onto him and hugged him.
The memories that he had intentionally chose to forget surged up just as clear as if it were yesterday.
Strangely, when he thought about it again, he felt an additional sense of subtle familiarity other than fear, as if he was already familiar with those cold touches and breaths…
Like they were memories from his last life.
Chi Yan was shocked by his thoughts. He couldn’t imagine what his previous life would be like if he was also haunted by ghosts.
He put down his things and greeted his three elders in turn. His cousin was in university at some other places, so there were only three people in this house; uncle, aunt, and his grandaunt.
Grandaunt’s sight might be getting worse in the past two years, but it was evident that her mind was still clear. She held Chi Yan’s hand and looked at him for a long time before smiling. “You’ve grown again. The last time I saw you seems just like yesterday. I almost couldn’t recognise you. Children, they all grow fast.”
When Chi Yan heard this, he snickered, thinking that he was already so old, he wasn’t a 3-year-old baby, however he still smiled as a reply.
The old lady still wanted to take him upstairs to study scriptures with her. When he heard the word “Buddhist Hall”, his heart clenched immediately. Fortunately, aunt dissuaded her in time, “Mom, its rare for Xiao Yan to come. Sit down and talk to Xiao Yan for the time being, the meal will be ready soon.”
Only then did the old lady put down her intention and pulled Chi Yan to sit down in the living room.
The four of them conversed during the meal. His uncle, Du Lin, suddenly asked, “Xiao Yan, yesterday you mentioned that you were heading to your schoolmate’s house to get the project information. Does your schoolmate lives here too?”
Chi Yan nodded. “Yes, he lives at the bigger house on top of this area.”
Du Lin’s hand that was taking the food suddenly stopped. He looked at him and asked in surprise, “Is it the one with the red wall and white window at the top? The one that looks westernized from the outside? Nearly twice the size of our house?”
Chi Yan pondered and thought that what his uncle described coincided with Ye Yingzhi’s house, he then nodded again. “That’s right.”
Du Lin put down his chopsticks and turned to grandaunt. “That’s weird. Mom, isn’t that the house of dad’s friend? Didn’t their girls go abroad long ago? The house should be empty.”
Chi Yan added, “My classmate said that it isn’t his own house but the owner actually rented it to him. He also said that his family was abroad. Maybe his family knew the original owner. “
“That’s even worse,” murmured Du Lin. “It’s impossible to lend such a house like that to a friend’s child… After all, their family made a big scene. At that time, I have just started working but I still remember the scene when their girls knelt and kowtowed outside the house with their uncle and the rest of their relatives, before finally locking the door.”
“Yes, I also remember,” Aunt added. “At that time, your uncle and I just knew each other. It was the first time I came to his house. I didn’t expect us to see this kind of thing when we first came, so it left a deep impression on us. I still remember that time when I finished eating, he said he would take me out for a walk nearby, and we both walked up for half an hour before we got to the place which were surrounded by many people. At that time, we were young and curious, so we crowded to the front to see. We saw the girls leading the people behind them to kneel on the ground and kowtow to the inside of the house. Only after kowtowing for nine times in a row did they dare to stand up. At that time, I was still thinking to myself of how your uncle had said that the family’s girls are very knowledgeable and literate. Why did they still believe in this sort of feudal superstition?”
Uncle then continued, “Believing and being literate are two different things.”
Chi Yan also thought that this was true. The teacher who taught him also paid attention to geomancy. The east gate of their school and the east gate of the university next were on the same side of the street, both were also facing the road. But outside the east gate of their school, there was a big stone with the school motto engraved on it. There was nothing outside the east gate of the school next door. There were times when accidents happened frequently in the next door university and turned up in the newspaper. There was a rumor that the stone at the front of their school blocked bad influences, so there was little disturbance.
But after listening to his uncle and aunt, he still felt scared. After all, he lived there every day. He turned his head and asked cautiously, “Uncle, aunt, what happened then? Are there… ghosts? “
Uncle shook his head. “That’s not true. I can’t remember it very well. It was also a rumor that I heard later on. It seems that their family was in a complicated situation at that time… So in the end, the girls and their uncle went abroad straight away. “
Grandaunt who had not spoken for a long time, opened her mouth at this time. “That’s all because of the evil doings of their son.”
Humans always love to talk about the past when they were old, but they just couldn’t seem to remember about the present. The longer ago it was, the more they remembered about it. Not only they did remember the past clearly, but they also loved to tell others about it. His grandaunt was no exception to this. The old lady could still remember clearly about these things that happened more than 20 years ago.
So it turned out that that family’s old man and his own granduncle had some relations because of their work, so grandaunt also heard some inside story through her husband at that time. That old man’s wife had died of illness but they had a son and daughter who were around the same age as granduncle. They were actually a little older than uncle and had all married. The daughter and her husband lived elsewhere, while the son and daughter-in-law lived in the house above with the old man.
Later that year, his son’s wife got pregnant. He couldn’t bear the loneliness so he found another lover outside secretly. That lover were in the same work unit as the son, and she wasn’t a good person, she even used her identify as a colleague to go to their home with several other colleagues, taking that opportunity to put a piece of red paper with a drawing of the Evil Gathering Array under the mattress that she often slept on because she was a little jealous.
After that, three or four months passed, the wife suddenly felt that she was about to give birth, because she didn’t expect this at all, she could only hurriedly call someone to come over. When delivering the baby, she could feel that something was coming out of her belly, the wife’s belly also became smaller— but no one could see the “baby”.
This situation was so weird and when the wife knew about it she was scared and frightened. The rest of the family was also scared and speechless. She asked several people who came to help deliver the baby not to spread this news. Later, the old man asked his daughter to help him invite a master to come over. It was said that the master had survived the political governance disturbance many years ago. He was in his 70s. He really held some skills. After entering the bedroom, he found the Evil Gathering Array under the mattress.
Because they recovered this clue, after further investigation, the son was unable to withstand the pressure after such horrendous events in his family, and thus his infidelity was exposed. His lover also admitted that the evil gathering array was bought by her from some blind magician who set up a stall on the street, but now she couldn’t find the magician. She argued that she was only jealous, and wasn’t sure whether the paper would be effective when she put it under the mattress. She hadn’t expect such consequences.
After all, it was sensational and distinctive, so rumors started to brew. The old man had always cherished his face. Upon hearing his son’s actions, he was so angry that he suddenly fell ill and stayed in the hospital. His wife was also furious and afraid at the same time. She immediately divorced her husband and moved back to her home. Who knew if it were the retribution for harming people. A few days after the divorce, the son and his lover had a car accident after they were exposed, and died on the spot.
This was really a broken family. Only the daughter was left to take care of the old man in the hospital, occasionally she would go back to the house to clean up.
She had to work, take care of her own family, and also go to the hospital to take care of her father. She could only go back to the house once every ten days or so to pick up some daily things for her father. It was strange that every time she came back, she felt that the house looked like someone was living in it. She didn’t feel it the first one or twice she came. After a long time, she realized that something was wrong.
The daughter requested for the master to come over and look at the house again. The master looked around after entering the house. He didn’t dare to make any disturbance. He quietly pulled the daughter out of the door and told her the actual story. Because of the effect of the evil gathering array, the fetus couldn’t live at all. It was a stillborn. But something similar to an evil spirit borrowed the moment when her sister-in-law was giving birth and reincarnated itself. Now it probably had no place to go so it stayed in that house.
However, the several times she came here, nothing happened to her, which showed that it did not have any intention to harm anyone. Besides, considering how it was the people of this house that called it here, it would not be easy to drive it away by force. He himself did not dare to do anything to the one residing in that room, and he couldn’t imagine who else in the world who would be able to do it. It’s better to do a ceremony and respectfully lend this house to it, then seal the house to prevent people from entering. It would naturally leave after it had done what it wanted to do.
The daughter followed the advice and sealed up the house. The elderly, who was already old and gotten sick because of this incident also passed away soon. The daughter and her husband left the country soon after she finished taking care of her father’s affairs, no one had heard of them coming back after so many years, so according to this, the house should still be sealed.
Chi Yan listened to this with some uneasiness, but he and Ye Yingzhi had lived in the house for so long, he had never noticed any signs of the existence of the third “person”. He wondered if was like what his grandaunt had said, that that thing had finished what it wanted to do and left.
He thought of how Ye Yingzhi had comforted himself by saying “There are no ghosts in the world”. He thought that even if the landlord had told him about these things, he probably would not believe it. It was not surprising for him to live in that house.
His uncle and aunt also advised, “Xiao Yan, you and your classmate should talk about this. We are not superstitious, but it’s about being reassured. After all, it’s a house that has been lent to the supernatural. It’s better to move out.”
“He doesn’t believe that.” Chi Yan smiled and shook his head, pretending to be curious, he asked, “Uncle, aunt, have you ever encountered any strange occurrences at home?”
Uncle waved his hand. “Cough, our family are upright in life and work. We don’t engage in this kind of stuff neither would we attract that kind of thing.”
Chi Yan nodded, and hurriedly praised his uncle and aunt with a few sentences, and thought that the thing he met here that summer night was only playing tricks on himself.