Chapter 194: Walking on the Snow Path, Multiple Murders in Chang’an (Part Three)
“Of course. I heard that the emperor at the time said that a life for a life. The merchant who poisoned this family also got executed alongside dozens of his family members. The others were all turned into military slaves,” the owner sighed and added, “Later, this house was bought by someone else, but accidents kept on happening. Either servants drowned in the water well, or people died of illnesses. This place got more bizarre. It was heard that the big official who got expelled was angry and poisoned his own family before coming back to Chang’an and hanging himself in a side room in that house. His corpse was found much later. People said that too much negative energy and ghost energy surrounded this place, and everyone who lives there would have bad luck. Soon, that house was abandoned, and this road decayed along with it as people stopped coming here. As this place went downhill, East 23rd Street got the chance to prosper.”
Fang Jie nodded and looked back at that house. He didn’t believe in ghosts. Those accidents seemed coincidental, but someone must have caused all that on purpose.
As to why no one else bought this place, perhaps they were all scared by the rumors and ghost stories.
“Who has the deed of this place?” Fang Jie asked.
“I don’t know,” the owner shook his head and said, “It is probably in the Magistrate Office of Chang’an.”
Fang Jie nodded and finished the tea in his cup before looking toward that house. He said, “If someone buys that land and rebuilds a residence, everything should be fine, right? After so many years, even those ghosts should have disappeared.”
“Not necessarily!” the owner said, “Playful kids always go in there to play hide and seek. This morning, a few children cried and screamed soon after they got in, saying that there were ghosts inside. I asked around since I was bored, and it turned out a wild dog that lived inside got killed, and its head was bitten off. There are no beasts around, and what else could bite a wild dog to death in silence? It must be ghosts!”
To prove what he said, the owner pointed at the wild cat beside the wall that was shivering in the cold and said, “Look, that wild cat doesn’t even dare to enter that house to hide from the snow.”
Fang Jie looked in that direction and frowned.
It was indeed strange that this wild cat would rather lay beside the wall and take on the cold instead of seeking shelter in that abandoned house.
Perhaps there was something strange going on.
Fang Jie smiled and ditched the idea of doing something with that land.
He was only curious, and he got to listen to an interesting story after buying a pot of tea. His afternoon seemed well-spent.
Fang Jie got up and paid before walking out of the tea house.
Soon, that owner chased after him and gave him an oil-paper umbrella.
“Gongzi, you can take this. It will block some wind and snow for you.” The owner stuffed the umbrella into Fang Jie’s hand and left in satisfaction after Fang Jie thanked him.
It had been a long time since someone was willing to listen to this owner’s stories; this young man was a great listener.
While walking back with the oil-paper umbrella, Fang Jie couldn’t help but look back at that wild cat.
For some reason, Fang Jie felt like the wild cat had complex emotions in its eyes.
Fang Jie quickly smiled and thought, “It feels like I’m starting to believe in ghosts after listening to a story.”
The young man walked alone on the windy and snowy road.
When Fang Jie disappeared from East 18th Road, it felt like a dark cloud quickly fell from the sky and landed in that abandoned residence.
The wild cat screamed and fled, and the owner of the tea house pursed his lips and thought, “You can’t scare me anymore.”
He watched Fang Jie leaving, and he didn’t notice that a pair of gloomy eyes looked out of an opening on the wall of the abandoned residence.
The owner thought, “That young man gave me 20 more cash coins, more than enough to buy a new oil-paper umbrella. I bought a favor by giving him that umbrella, and perhaps I got myself a frequent customer.”
He was proud and felt like he was a business genius.
That wild cat fled to somewhere, and that young man disappeared as well.
On this day, three more murder cases appeared in Chang’an.
The three victims were all students of the Martial Arts Academy.