My Ghost-Hunting Career - Chapter 1
Not many people know of that one odd year, the year that comes every other twenty years, the year where the people in this country make mistakes.
There should have been a quote only for this year, that says, “Give in to your lies, and repent it for a thousand lives.”
A year, no one ever heard of. A lone year which had 367 days in it. Yes, 367 days! There was no mistake, this particular year had an immense history throughout the times which stretched through the Three Emperors and the Five Kings, and this time, it was this year.
The wheel of dharma had to end before it can have it’s new beginning. This was the birth of a new era, with a new year.
And on the last day of this inauspicious year, I was born on the 367th day. Listening to my father about how I was born, he used to say, the heavens thundered, the sky shattered and so the new era started to wheel itself for new dawn.
In those times, there were no hospitals in the rural area, and so midwives had to be invited to their homes for the delivery. I was told that when the midwife took me out of my mother’s womb, I smiled at her.
But the smile was the least of all problems, though I was completely healthy,when the midwife saw me, she fainted. She said that I was an ominous child, someone who will bring bad luck to anyone and everyone. She continued by saying that when I reincarnated, I was not given Grandma Meng’s Soup, so I couldn’t wash away my sins or any of my memories of the previous lives, I have lived. And so I was called to be an impure child.
People living in the rural regions were much more superstitious, and even a small rumour spreads like a wildfire in the neighbourhood. As I was the ‘inauspicious child’, so my birth was soon known by all the villagers. My father couldn’t resist the pressure from them and invited a taoist, to perform a few rituals.
The gentleman took a glance at me before biting his middle finger and let a drop of blood splash on my forehead. Then he mixed few pieces realgar and cinnabar with water and let my fingers rub my two eyelids with the mixture.
He said that this would seal my pupils.
Due to my fate and destiny, the gate toward the spiritual world was wide open, and so my eyes could identify some unclean things that no living being should see.
At the end of the ritual, he gave me a divination. When my father told him the time and date of when I was born, the taoist was completely frightened. He has never seen a child with such a destiny, there was no way to figure out my fortune, nor could he see my future. But the only thing he could see was that my future was surrounded by a lot of disturbance and chaos.
“The child that is born, maybe he will become someone great in the future. This is a child with a lot of uncertainties in his future, I can see nothing but possibilities. All I can say that he will an extraordinary child.”
The Taoist left after saying those words, and the matter was left to rest, long forgotten.
Time was flowing like a river, and soon I was five years old.
In the countryside, five year old children didn’t know anything, neither did they have any toys to play with. The only fun they knew was to open their pants and show-off their crotch and measure who’s were bigger or maybe sometimes sit on the ground and play with chicken feces.
I had my grandpa.
“Shao Jie, come here, come to Grandpa, I have a few good things here, like a toy.” Grandpa lied to me and gave me a brush in my hand.
I was that man’s only grandson, the only person he could dote on, so my grandpa liked me very much, and he was very fond of me. In his opinion, his little trick, could only be inherited by the grandson.
What was the trick? Well, it wasn’t a trick but grandpa’s talent.
And that was calligraphy. Grandpa had always liked calligraphy especially ‘Shan Hai Jing’. He was very much fond of the calligraphy of Zhong Kui (鍾馗). If it was about Zhong Rong alone (the characters), he would have been on the list with the top calligraphy masters in China.
(TL/N: Zhong Kui or 鍾馗, is a deity in Chinese mythology. Traditionally regarded as a vanquisher of ghosts and evil beings, and reputedly able to command 80,000 demons, his image is often painted on household gates as a guardian spirit, as well as in places of business where high-value goods are involved.)
Grandpa used to say that he was very talented, and as long as I followed him carefully, I wouldn’t have to worry about my livelihood when I grow up. I knew that this old man was speaking big words and was bragging about himself.
However, it wasn’t until I grew up that I realized that all the time when I used to learn, to draw Zhong Kui with my grandfather. The great god Zhong Kui himself, rescued me in my times of need.
That summer, widow Zhang died in the village.
The people in that village were kind and simple. If someone had a happy occasion, everyone would go to help and they would help each other in their sad times. My father too went there, to give a hand. He took me and many of his friends to help.
As we were children at that time, we were playing hide-and-seek at the house, and after we got tired, we all went to sleep in the nearby bed.
I was sleeping with a child who was touching my head without realising it. I turned around, ignored him and went back to sleep. Immediately after few minutes, my head was touched again, when I opened my eyes, I saw nothing. I thought it was Da Zhuang and his lackey were the one who was irritating me and so I ignored them.
After another ten minutes, I accidently touched my head when I was asleep. At this time, I felt another pair of hands patting me, when i felt those hands, I could feel the tenderness and smoothness like a pair of women’s hands.
I was too familiar with those hands–
“Grandma Zhang, why are you here? Did you bring something delicious to me again? Shao Jie loves cookies made by you.” I smiled and brought myself closer into Grandma Zhang’s arms, and was tightly embraced by her.
(TL/N: he was calling himself in 3rd person)
I was young, so I didn’t understand what was happening.
Grandma Zhang smiled at me, a little surprised, “Shao Jie, can you see me? Impossible! No one could see me, but how did you? Oh, right! You have those eyes.”
I didn’t understand what she was talking about, all I knew was that Grandma Zhang brought me food. Holding her hand while pestering her constantly, we finally sat down and talked while sitting on the bed.
Grandma Zhang said “Shao Jie, don’t you like this grandma? I have a wish, my only wish. Why don’t you become this old woman’s son.”
“Okay!” I nodded without giving much thought.
Back then when Grandma Zhang was alive, she used to bring me delicious food, and would ask the same question. And as a child I never thought much about it, as long as there was food, I would agree to any given condition.
That time too, was no exception
Suddenly, I didn’t know what was wrong, and so looked up and asked “Grandma Zhang, they said you were dead, is it true?”
“Yes, and that’s why I am asking you to be my son. This is my only wish in this lifetime. And I was hoping if you could do me this favor.”
“What are you doing? As long as I can, Shao Jie will help you.”
“Hehe …” Grandma Zhang smiled, and looked at me with lovingness in her eyes.
Grandma Zhang took my hand and patted me and then she left. I suddenly felt a bit dizzy, fell into the bed and passed out. When I returned home, my mother had already prepared dinner.
The table was full of dishes that I liked to eat. My mother put a piece of meat in my bowl and looked at me with distress “I don’t know what happened. Why did you pass out during the day?”
I glanced at my father and said, “Dad, what does it mean to die?”
The father said, “Being dead, means they will never appear in front of you again from now on. You can miss this person silently from your heart.”
I asked again, “Grandma Zhang is dead, does it mean that she will never show up again? So she won’t bring me delicious food anymore.”
“Yes, my son is so smart!”
My mother laughed, in order to encourage me to she again put a piece of meat in my bowl.
I chewed the meat and said vaguely “Impossible. Dad, you are lying, you are lying…. You said Grandma Zhang was dead and she would never appeared again, but I saw her during the day. Both of us were playing in the bed for a long time. “
The rice bowl in the mother’s hand fell into the ground and was shattered into pieces. Of course, my father didn’t drop his bowl, but I saw his hand shake nervously. Moreover, beads of sweat started to form on their foreheads.
“Shao Jie, you really see her, was it really Grandma Zhang?”
“Yes!” I nodded. “Zhang Ye plays with me every day, I can’t be wrong. She also asked me to be her son, and said that it was her only wish, before she vanished.”
This time it was my parent’s hearts that were shattered like glass and broke into a million pieces.
(TL/N: And this is how our boi started his journey to be a genius forensic doctor. Lol, jk.)
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