T/N: Happy holidays everyone!
Chapter 18: 死人了 Someone Died
The delivery guy analyzed it more closely for a while. Xiao Li also did not find anything strange, so he decided everything from yesterday evening must have been a dream.
Xiao Li saw the delivery guy continually staring at him and smiled, “Xiao Peng, how come you’ve been staring at me for so long, are there words on my face?”
The delivery guy laughed nervously and shook his head, asking Xiao Li, “Brother Xiao Li, what’s today’s date?”
Xiao Li looked at the delivery guy, puzzled, but said, “The seventh!”
“What, the seventh?” The delivery guy was astonished.
Xiao Li felt that the delivery guy was acting a little strange, “Xiao Peng, what’s up with you?”
The delivery guy shook his head and said, “Brother Xiao Li, where did I go yesterday, and when did I get back?”
Xiao Li first pointed at the bill on the desk, smiling, “That is the bill from your delivery yesterday, you take a look and you’ll know!”
Following, Xiao Li thought for a moment, then said, “Yesterday evening you returned at around seven o’clock, the moment you got back you lay down on your bed and slept, no matter how we yelled we couldn’t wake you, up until just now when I woke you up!”
“Yesterday seven o’clock?” The delivery guy thought for a while, muttering, “Wasn’t it around seven o’clock yesterday when I entered the woods?”
Xiao Li looked at the delivery guy in confusion, “Xiao Peng, what did you say?”
The delivery guy shook his head, smiling, “It’s nothing, Brother Xiao Li, you can go attend to your other matters.”
“Ok!” Xiao Li agreed before going to a side to start working.
Once Xiao Li left, the delivery guy sat by the table, quickly flipping through the delivery records from yesterday.
After some time, he found Luo Qian Qi’s name.
When he saw the three words Luo Qian Qi, his heart was filled with dread.
The delivery guy said in despair, “Could it be that I really went to Thousand Jade Hall? Then everything was real, not a dream? But then why did Xiao Li say that I came back yesterday at seven o’clock?”
Following this, the delivery guy went online to search for Thousand Jade Hall’s information, and immediately the results with the information popped up.
The delivery guy looked at Thousand Jade Hall’s description and read aloud, “Thousand Jade Hall, year founded unknown; services: subduing devils, expelling ghosts!”
“Subduing devils, expelling ghosts? Does this world really have ghosts? With this kind of slogan, wouldn’t they have been criticized when eradicating the Four Olds1?” the delivery guy mumbled aloud.
“Xiao Peng, there’s a Thousand Jade Hall delivery, you go send it!” the boss said to the delivery guy.
The boss was a fat man in a black suit; whenever he spoke, his body fat would shake about.
The delivery guy stared blankly, “Why am I the one going, I don’t even have work today!”
The boss chuckled, “That place is on a really steep slope, I saw that you went there yesterday, and should be familiar with the road, so I asked you to send it. Who knew you didn’t have work today, forget it, I’ll have Xiao Li send it!”
With that, the boss left.
After a while, the delivery guy looked for the boss. The fat boss also seemed like he had nothing to do, sitting at his office table smoking.
The delivery guy walked up to the office table and said to the boss, “Boss, let me ask you something!”
The fat boss looked at the delivery guy and smiled, “What is it, go ahead and tell me!”
The delivery guy saw that the boss agreed, and said in a low voice, “Boss, just now I searched up online, Thousand Jade Hall’s specialty is subduing devils and expelling ghosts, is this credible?”
The fat boss looked at the delivery guy and laughed, “Xiao Peng, if you don’t do any shameful deeds in your life, you don’t fear ghosts knocking at your door at midnight; as long as we do things within our conscience, there’s no need to fear such things!”
The delivery guy nodded. The fat boss took a smoke, then said, “But I have heard people say that Thousand Jade Hall really catches ghosts effectively!”
The delivery guy chuckled a bit before leaving.
By evening, the delivery guy saw that Xiao Li still hadn’t returned, so he gave him a call.
“We’re sorry, the number you’ve dialed is not in service at this time. Please wait a few moments before dialing again…”
The delivery guy continually dialed and it was always out of service, and an ominous feeling rose in his heart.
“Could it be that Xiao Li also got into that kind of situation?” the delivery guy murmured.
Thinking till here the delivery guy prepared to go find Xiao Li, but the moment he thought of yesterday’s horrifying experience, he immediately stopped and turned back.
“What to do? What to do?” the delivery guy continually paced about the room.
Suddenly, he felt very sleepy, and he lay against the table, slowly and dazedly falling asleep.
Asleep, the delivery guy had a dream; he dreamt that he saw Xiao Li running away from a flying head chasing after him.
Xiao Li did not have the delivery guy’s luck; he ran for a while before the head caught up. In the end the delivery guy saw his family’s Xiao Li killed by the female ghost.
The female ghost put Xiao Li’s corpse in the delivery truck. The delivery guy felt like that delivery truck was very familiar, and when he took a closer look, he realized, wasn’t that his very own truck?
The delivery guy saw that delivery truck and was confused, “Why would my truck be driven off by Xiao Li?”
After the female ghost put Xiao Li’s corpse into the trunk, that little delivery truck drove itself back to the delivery company, even parking on the delivery guy’s parking spot.
Following this the delivery guy saw that there was someone standing next to the truck, when he looked closely he found that that person was actually his fat boss.
And that fat boss was just like yesterday’s Xiao Li, the flesh on his face beginning to rot, large chunks of rotten flesh falling onto the ground.
The delivery guy was scared awake. He lifted his head and realized that it was light outside already.
The delivery guy asked around the office, and found that Xiao Li still had not returned.
At this time the fat boss walked in, “Xiao Li still hasn’t returned?”
Everyone nodded. At this time, from outside came running in a colleague, he said to the fat boss, “Boss, Xiao Li’s truck is outside, but there’s no sight of him himself!”
“Have you called him?” the fat boss asked.
The colleague that had run in said, “I called, but it isn’t in service!”
The fat boss paced a bit, “Then where could he have gone?”
The delivery guy, who had been silent this entire time, suddenly spoke up, “Maybe I know where he is!”
Everyone looked at the delivery guy in doubt, the fat boss said, “Quickly, bring us there!”
The delivery guy nodded, then promptly brought the fat boss and the rest of his colleagues to the garage and stopped at his parking spot.
The fat boss looked at the delivery guy and said, “Xiao Peng, what time is this, how can you still joke with everyone?”
The delivery guy let out an embarrassed laugh, he pointed toward his delivery truck’s trunk and said, “I”m not joking, if I’m not wrong, Brother Xiao Li should be in this truck’s trunk!”
Everyone froze, the fat boss said to the delivery guy, “How do you know Xiao Li is in the trunk!”
The delivery guy laughed mischievously, “A dream, last night I had a dream!”
The colleague that had run in laughed disdainfully, “Just relying on a dream and you claim that Xiao Li is in the trunk, now isn’t that funny?”
The delivery guy shook his head, “Or it might not have been a dream, and was an actual, personal experience, just that evening when I was coming back after I delivered to Thousand Jade Hall!”
Everyone froze, the fat boss said, “What are you standing around just guessing for, just open the trunk and look and we’ll know!”
The fat boss said to the delivery guy, “Xiao Peng, you go and open it!”
The delivery guy shook his head. The colleague that had just ran in walked up to Xiao Li’s trunk and said, “Isn’t it just opening a trunk, what is there to be afraid of!”
Saying this he reached his hand out and opened the trunk. The moment he opened the trunk, the delivery guy and everyone had a whiff of a pungent stench.
The one opening the trunk let out a sharp screech and landed on the floor his bottom. He pointed to the trunk and stuttered out, “Dead-dead man, there’s a dead man inside!”
The delivery guy and the fat boss walked closer, realizing that sure enough, the trunk had a corpse, and looking from its clothes it was Xiao Li.
Twenty minutes later the police arrived at the scene. The forensic investigator inspected the corpse and said, “This corpse should have been dead for three days by now, cause of death a dug-out heart!”
“That can’t be, yesterday Xiao Li went out to make a delivery!” the fat boss refuted the forensic inspector’s words.
The forensic inspector stared blankly, not knowing how to explain this. They had also looked at the company’s security tapes, Xiao Li really did go to make a delivery yesterday.
The police said that they would take the delivery guy to the police station, because Xiao Li’s corpse had appeared in his trunk.
The delivery guy did not resist, he asked the police officer, “Comrade [T/N: not sure of a better equivalent] police officer, may I speak with my boss for a moment?”
The police officer nodded, “Make it quick!”
The delivery guy said his thanks, then walked over to the fat boss.
The fat boss hurriedly asked the delivery guy, “Xiao Peng, what exactly is going on here?”
The delivery guy did not answer the boss’s question, and instead said, “Boss, right now don’t question anything, before nightfall you must find someone from Thousand Jade Hall to help you, or else the corpse in the trunk tomorrow will be you!”
The fat boss was about to ask what was going on when the delivery guy emphasized, “Boss, trust in me!”
Saying this, the delivery guy was escorted away by the police.
The fat boss stared blankly for a moment, then quickly drove over to Thousand Jade Hall.
“For what purpose have you come to Thousand Jade Hall?” Li Shi looked at the fat boss and said.
The fat boss smiled and said, “Great master, I think I’ve gotten tangled with a ghost, can you help me take a look?”
Li Shi looked at the fat boss and smiled, “From what I see, you have a red yintang point2, a face of good fortune, not at all like someone who has gotten tangled with a ghost!”
The fat boss thought of Xiao Li’s miserable condition in the trunk, and said anxiously, “But someone’s already died!”
Li Shi froze, saying, “Someone’s already died?”
The fat boss nodded. Li Shi laughed, “If there’s a death you should find the police, not find our Thousand Jade Hall!”
The fat boss said sullenly, “But the problem is that person died in a very strange way!”
Li Shi laughed, “Say it, what strange way!”
The fat boss nodded, “The person who died is one of my employees called Xiao Li. Yesterday he even came here to make a delivery, but this morning we found that he was dead in a colleague’s trunk, so clearly he had died yesterday, but the forensic inspector said he had already been dead for three days, you tell me if it’s strange or not!”
From what Li Shi heard, the important part was not when Xiao Li died, but that Xiao Li came to Thousand Jade Hall to make a delivery.
Li Shi asked the fat boss, “You said that your employee Xiao Li came to Thousand Jade Hall to make a delivery?”
The fat boss nodded, Li Shi then asked, “Whose delivery was it?”
The fat boss froze, “This I don’t know, but I can call and ask!”
Li Shi nodded, then the fat boss took out his phone and prepared to make a call back to the company.
“No need to call, it was my delivery!” Luo Qian Qi walked into the large hall and said.
I walked by Luo Qian Qi’s side, but Li Shi and the other(s) didn’t see me.
Li Shi stood up from his chair and greeted Luo Qian Qi, “Hall Master!”
Luo Qian Qi nodded, then walked up to the chair and sat down, while Li Shi went to stand off to the side.
Li Shi asked Luo Qian Qi probingly, “Hall Master, is Shopkeeper Xiao Qi here?”
I said to Luo Qian Qi, “Not here!”
“Not here, she returned to the inn,” Luo Qian Qi said to Li Shi.
Li Shi “oh”-ed, and Luo Qian Qi looked at the fat old boss, “Is there anything you need help with?”
The fat old boss glanced at Li Shi, then said to Luo Qian Qi, smiling, “Yesterday the one that came to send your delivery, Xiao Li, died, and the way he died was very strange, he should have died yesterday, but the forensic inspector said he had already been dead for three days. I’m afraid that there are some foul things that are making mischief, so I wanted to ask you guy to help me take a look!”
1. The Four Olds (si jiu 四旧): this phrase specifically refers to China’s Cultural Revolution, in which Chairman Mao Zedong of the Chinese Communist Party promoted eradicating the Four Olds, which refer to “Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas.” Essentially, Mao Zedong strove to pull China out of its economic backwardness and towards industrialization and westernization. Here, to “criticize” (批斗) Thousand Jade Hall really is my shortening of “to drag before a public meeting to denounce, humiliate and physically abuse them (esp. during the Cultural Revolution)” (as taken from mdbg.net).↩
2. red yintang spot: yin tang (印堂) is an acupuncture point, and I think if it is red it means that you are healthy. I think.↩