The Celebrity - Chapter 20
Chapter 20 - Haunted House
The monk said, “What will you do?”
Qin Ge said, “Certainly gamble, a compulsive gambler if he does not gamble for one day, the whole body will all itch.”
The monk said, “The temple is not a place to gamble.”
Qin Ge said, “Since a monk can come to the gambling establishment to chant, why can’t a compulsive gambler come to the temple to gamble?”
The monk continued to stare at him before smiling and said, “There are only monks here, who will bet with you?”
Qin Ge said, “The monk.”
The monk said, “The monk does not bet.”
Qin Ge said, “Buddha Tathagata also bet, why doesn't the monk bet?”
The monk knitted his brows, “Buddha Tathagata also bet? Bet with who?”
Qin Ge said, “The heavenly great sage Sun Wukong.”
The monk said, “What did he bet on?”
Qin Ge said, “He bet that Sun Wukong would not be able to come out of his palms.”
The monk also said with a smile, “Even if what you say is true, the monk also does not have the money to gamble.”
Qin Ge said, “The monk can solicit money, how can he not have the money?”
The monk said, “Solicits money from where?”
Qin Ge said, “As far as I know these monks yesterday were all benefactors.”
The monk said, “Oh?”
Qin Ge said, “The golden beard already has become a monk, the wealth is empty, therefore his mountain of money naturally has been all granted to the monk.”
He smiled and said, “I heard that when the monk solicits money sometimes he can be much more menacing than a robber amassing money.”
The monk was staring at him, the round face suddenly became very cloudy as he coldly said, “You can amass money?”
Qin Ge said, “Cannot.”
The monk said, “You can solicit money?”
Qin Ge said, “Cannot.”
The monk said, “What do you use to bet?”
Qin Ge said, “Myself.”
The monk said, “How can a person bet with himself?”
Qin Ge said, “If I lose, I will become a monk with you. If you lose, you turn over this eon to me, also all the monks here.”
The monk said, “How do you want to bet?”
Qin Ge said, “Since you can knock heads, let us gamble on knocking heads.”
The monk said, “Knock whose heads?”
Qin Ge said, “You knock me, I knock you, who can knock the first is the winner.. “
The monk coldly said, “The head is not a drum, it can be knocked open.”
Qin Ge said, “Do you know which kind of head is the easiest to knock open?”
The monk laughed.
In his laughter, he suddenly disappeared.
The floor was made of blocks of stone. The block stone underneath the monk suddenly split open, and the monk had fallen down. Then the stone immediately closed again.
This place was originally a secret gambling establishment, that underneath the gambling establishment was a secret tunnel, that was not really a strange matter.
Only Tian SiSi was stunned and after a long time, she said, “It seems like he does not want to bet with you.”
Qin Ge said with a smile, “He also knows that it is easiest to knock open one kind of a head, the bald one.”
Tian SiSi said, “You really want to knock open his head?”
Qin Ge said, “Only knock it open a little.”
Tian SiSi said, “Why? He does not look like a bad person.”
Qin Ge said, “But he should not compel others to be monks.”
Tian SiSi said, “If all the people who opened gambling establishments in the world could become monks, wouldn’t the world be a lot more peaceful?”
Qin Ge said, “All these monks, did they all open gambling establishments?”
Tian SiSi said, “Perhaps they themselves want to ......”
She had not finished her sentence when all the monks in there had called out suddenly, “We do not want to be monks!”
“A fine and healthy person, who wants to be a monk?”
“I have my family, a wife and children, we enjoy life from day to day, why do we have to be monks?”
The golden beard called out the loudest, he had knelt down unexpectedly and said, “We are all compelled, so we can only asked Hero Qin to uphold justice for us.”
Qin Ge sighed and said, “I thought you were a real man, how come you can be compelled by this person to be monks? “
The golden beard said, “Because if we did not become monks, he wanted our lives!”
Qin Ge said, “You are 20-30 people, why do you still fear the monk?”
The golden beard said aggrieved, “Because that monk was really too ominous, too formidable, moreover he also had the scholar and the taoist priest to help him!”
Qin Ge said, “All of you were not their match?”
The golden beard sighed, “If not so, how could we all be monks?”
Tian SiSi could not bear asking, “If you all become monks, what is the advantage to him?”
The golden beard said, “Certainly he benefits.”
Tian SiSi said, “What advantage?”
The golden beard said painstakingly, “He said to become monks, the four elements were merely illusions, therefore when we became monks, all the family property should also be turned over to him.”
Tian SiSi sighed and said, “If that is so, everyone including myself would want to knock open his head.”
Qin Ge said, “Not just to knock it open a little, but rather knock a big hole on it.”
The golden beard rub his own head and said, “But these three people’s wugong are not weak at all, that monk, he is really too formidable.”
Qin Ge sneered, “I have seen a lot more formidable opponents.”
The golden beard’s face become clear and he said, “Certainly, as long as Hero Qin is willing to take responsibility for us, we will have the way out.”
Qin Ge stepped on the stone that split open with his foot and said, “What place is under this?”
The golden beard said, “I am not too clear.”
Qin Ge said, “You are this gambling establishment’s boss, how can you not be clear about it?”
The golden beard gave a forced smile and said, “This house was not originally mine.”
Qin Ge said, “Whose then?”
The golden beard said, “I do not know.”
Qin Ge frowned, “What do you know?”
The golden beard said, “I only know that the master of this house had died many years ago, the whole family had died with him.”
Qin Ge said, “Afterwards nobody moved in?”
The golden beard said, “Oh yes, but whoever moved in, moved out again in three days.”
Qin Ge said, “Why?”
The golden beard said, “Because this house is haunted.”
Tian SiSi blurted out, “Haunted?”
The golden beard said, “This house was originally famous for its ominous nature, so nobody dared to ask about it, therefore we had bought this place really cheaply.”
Tian SiSi said, “Did something smell really fishy here?”
The golden beard said, “Sometimes we indeed thought something is wrong with this place, but we are brave people, so we just ignore them.”
Tian SiSi said, “Something is wrong?”
The golden beard hesitatingly said, “Sometimes there were sudden strange noises heard underground, sometimes things that were obviously on the table could disappear suddenly.”
Tian SiSi looked at Qin Ge.
Qin Ge said, “Now how do you plan to manage this?”
The golden beard said, “As long as we don’t have to be monks, you can ask anything from us.”
Qin Ge thought for some time and then said, “Good, you leave first, I will clarify the matters here.”
The golden beard’s face revealed an awkward fear and said, “That monk will not let us leave.”
Qin Ge sneered, “You have no need to be afraid, I will take care of it.”
The golden beard smiled, “Then we are very relieved that Hero Qin can act on our behalf.”
He had not completed his sentence, when all the monks in this house have clambered one after another to escape from the place. Some went through the door, some jumped through the windows. In the blink of an eye, everyone had left, none had remained.
Nobody came out to pursue.
That monk, the taoist priest and scholar had not appearead at all.
Tian SiSi said with a smile, “It looks like your power and prestige was not really small, they did not dare to cross you.”
Qin Ge had not smiled.
Tian SiSi also said, “Where do you think that monk has gone to?”
Qin Ge said, “I hope he did not really get seized by the ghosts.”
He lowered his voice, “I think this is the time for you to leave quickly.”
Tian SiSi stared at him with big eyes and said, “Why do you want me to leave?”
Qin Ge smiled reluctantly, “Perhaps this place is really fishy.”
Although Tian SiSi’s complexion had somewhat changed, she shook her head and said, “I will not leave.”
Qin Ge said, “Why?”
Tian SiSi said, “Don’t forget that I am your friend.”
Qin Ge said, “But ......”
Tian SiSi did not let him speak, but continued, “Since I am your friend, I cannot abandon you to cope with the three of them here, even if you really have to go to hell, I am also with you.”
She had not finished her sentence when Qin Ge himself had really fallen down.
“Thud”, the opened stone had shut again.
Tian SiSi was really startled as she tried to kick open the stone.
No matter how hard she kick, nothing seemed to move.
The stone was very thick, the blocks fit each other perfectly without any seams, no one could see where the secret mechanisms.
The rainstorm had not come, the strong winds were blowing through the window.
There were noises from the windows, and from the door.
Tian SiSi could not bear calling out in alarm and said, “Qin Ge, where are you? Do you hear me?” No response.
Tian SiSi was nipping her lips, suddenly she turned around to run outside.
Outside a very big wind blew in.
Tian SiSi just ran out the door when a strong wind crashed in, bringing the silky little things everywhere. Suddenly a great amount of hairs curled around her, in her face, surrounding her neck. Gently, softly, coldly, like a clammy ghost that touched around her face and blocked her throat.
She nearly stopped breathing, immediately she jumped backward through the door. “Bang” she closed the door and held it close with her body. Only after a very long time, she could breath a sigh of relief.
The wind blew hard outside.
She was the only person in the empty house.
She discovered suddenly that this house was very big.
The house was so big that she felt very tiny and lonely.
Her palms were already clammy with cold sweat as she made an effort to tear off the hairs from her body, her face and her neck.
The hairs actually stuck in her hands, covering her hands with gentleness, softness, calmness.
She wanted to get rid of them but she could not.
“Crack”, the window pane was struck by the wind, the sound of a thunderclap, and continuous clatters of raindrops hitting on every part of the house.
She could not help but shiver as she put up her courage and said loudly, “Anybody in this house? Are all the people here dead already?”
She shuddered again.
“Is everyone in this house dead, have they all changed into ghosts?”
But how about that taoist priest and the scholar?
The opposite site of the room also featured a big leafed door, the door was closed. Could they hid inside there?
Tian SiSi clenched her teeth and ran over there as quickly as possible, as if there was something fishy pursuing her from behind.
Luckily, that leafed door was not barred from inside.
Tian SiSi had rushed in.
Inside was a very elegant small living room which would make one feel warm and comfortable.
Tian SiSi just relaxed, when suddenly “crack”, the door had closed behind her.
She was startled and turned around to push the door open, but she could not push it open.
This leafed door had been barred from outside!
Who barred the door?
There was obviously no one outside a moment ago.
Tian SiSi only sensed crawling goosebumps as the cold sweat had soaked her clothes.
She stepped backward one by one, retreated to a table, only then she discovered that the table held three cups of tea, a book, a string of buddha beads, and a whisk.
The book was the one that the scholar read.
The tea was warm.
Before Tian SiSi came with Qin Ge, that monk, the taoist priest, and the scholar were obviously drinking tea here.
Where were they now?
Tian SiSi sneered and said, “I know where you are, you should just give up any idea of frightening me!”
Actually she did not know anything, she just wanted to raise her own courage.
When she said that, she had been frightened.
The sky was filled with dark cloud, and it was even darker inside the room. In the room nothing looked very clear.
Tian SiSi stood there looking at all direction while seizing up the room. This room was actually arranged very elegantly, moreover there was another leafed door which was covered by a mottled bamboo curtain. The bamboo curtain was let down.
At the opposite wall of this leafed door, a very big landscape painting hung on it depicting a very hazy misty rain scenery, the quality was very excellent, obviously made by a famous painter. At both sides of this picture, there were two lines of couplets.
Tian SiSi had not read clearly what these couplets were saying when she suddenly heard a very strange sound behind, as if the bamboo curtain was rolled up and pushed aside. She turned around in surprise as she could not help letting out a small scream.
The bamboo curtain which was let down, now had suddenly curled up, and the door behind it was now ajar. Nobody could be seen by the door, as if an invisible ghost had slowly curled up the bamboo curtain.
Tian SiSi gathered her courage again and said in a terrified voice, “Who is it? Come out quickly!”
Nobody came out. Not even a shadow.
Tian SiSi clenched her fists, clenched her teeth and walked forward step by step.
At the same time, she could feel cold sweat continuously flowing down.
She walked very slowly because her legs seemed to give way under her, but she had finally reached and entered this leafed door.
Behind the door was a secret room which did not have any window so it was darker.
In the pitch black room, there was nothing but a person sitting cross-legged at the place.
This monk had a round face with hanging eyebrows, and a drum suspended in front of him. He was unexpectedly the same chanting monk that fell downward a moment ago.
Tian SiSi gave a long sigh, in any event, she felt some relief at the sight.
But since the monk was here, how about Qin Ge?
Tian SiSi could not bear saying, “Hey, how did you get here? How about Qin Ge?”
The monk did not say anything and did not move.
Tian SiSi said loudly, “Hey, why don't you speak?”
The monk kept silent, not even opening his eyes, as if he suddenly turned deaf.
Tian SiSi sneeringly said, “You do not need to feign ignorance, if you still do not open your mouth, I will knock open your head.”
The monk still feigned ignorance.
Tian SiSi angrily said, “You think I do not dare?”
As soon as Lady Tian's temperament flared up, there was nothing in the world that she would not dare to do. She rushed forward and knocked on this monk’s bald head.
The monk body swayed slowly.
Tian SiSi could not help but put out a hand to hold up his clothes and said loudly, “What are you doing, do you want to pretend to be dead?”
The monk could not pretend that he was dead.
The monk had really died!
The monk's face that was originally shiny red had already turned into dead gray•
On the dead gray face, a wisp of blood flowed slowly down. It flowed down from his broad forehead, along the face and the nose, down to the corner of his mouth.
Immediately Tian SiSi’s body seemed to shiver continuously, her hands and feet became ice-cold, as she could not help stepping back slowly.
When she drew back, the monk’s body slumped forward and his face fell to the floor.
Tian SiSi discovered that the top of his head had a small hole, the blood was flowing from this hole.
“Is this hole caused by my knock?”
She did not knock that heavily, moreover this monk’s whole body was stiff as the wood, he must have died for a while.
Who had killed this monk?
Was it Qin Ge? But where was he?
Tian SiSi stood there motionless.
It was as if since the moment she entered this gambling establishment, she had fallen into a sequence of nightmare. From the start it had become more and more mysterious. Where else could you find so many strange things, except in nightmares?
Could she wake up from this nightmare?
Tian SiSi clenched her teeth and resolved to abandon everything and left this haunted house. Maybe she could determine better then what to do.
She could not leave.
There was only the leafed door in this room, but it had been locked from outside.
No matter how hard she had tried to push it open or kick it open.
This leafed door was not an iron door, but this preposterous wood was actually harder than the iron, she held a knife in her hand, but with her family’s chopping moves, she could not even make a crack on it.
The wall surrounding her was even thicker.
She felt like a wild animal who got trapped by a hunter, not only was she angry and afraid, but she also felt indescribably sorrowful. The biggest sorrow was that nobody had seen the hunter who had set this trap. Like this nightmare would never ever ended. Tian SiSi wished she could cry and wail loudly, but bitterly she could not.
The blood had gradually congealed on the shaved head.
Perhaps only he knew all these secrets, or perhaps he did not.
Tian SiSi gritted her teeth, as long as she had not known how the matter stood, she was not willing to die!
This place was almost like a grave, a grave that would bury her.
So it would bury that monk too?
In any event, she was now in this grave with the monk.
She could have never expected to share this same big grave with a monk.
Now she felt she would not be afraid of any ghosts, she would even welcome them. Thinking of ghosts, she was reminded of that big-headed ghost.
“Where is he? Is he secretly observing me?”
“Did he cover me with that blanket?”
“Does he know now that he will not be able to see me ever again?”
“Would he be sad if he knew?”