The Tale Of The Ghost Eyes - novelonlinefree.info
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I nodded in agreement. "Her body was forced into the bucket. That must be what she drowned in."
"Drowned in a p.i.s.s pot." The deep voice gave a short choppy laugh.
"What?" I asked.
"Don't you smell it? The sick, the vile death around her?" Another rumbling laugh shook through me. "No wonder she's angry. This girl died a very special death."
"Death is not something to laugh at." I told the spirit, squeezing it mentally like a warden tightening cuffs on a prisoner.
He rumbled through me, not laughing now, but making himself known. "We're all dead." He said.
Lv Bin stepped close to me. "Master, perform the rites quickly!"
The green spirit took hold of me, turning my head and scolding the man, "You don't give me orders."
Zheng Hongjun, Song Shuangmei, and Police Li came trampling up the mountain path behind Lv Bin. He shook his head at me and turned to greet them.
"Where are Da Lin and Bin Lian?" He asked.
"Sunstroke," Police Li answered, or at least that's what Da Lin says. He stayed back with her." The police officer gave an uninterested shrug. "Where's the girl?"
Lv Bin's eyes widened in surprise and he squinted around at the ground. He finally came upon her silhouette in the moonlight and pointed to the side of the road, only a meter or so behind the group. "There."
Zheng Hongjun and Song Shuangmei rushed to their daughter. A part of my mind went with them, musing that they didn't act like they cared earlier.
"She's fine." Lv Bin called after them, "Only fainted."
I watched their concerned faces through the green spirit's heightened senses. "Okay." I said aloud using my voice, "Everyone's here. Let's get to the bottom of this." I breathed a sigh and spoke with the spirit within me. I traced my hands in the Taoist tactics and pointed to the girl's parents. They returned my look with ones of great mistrust. Closing the distance between them, I bent down and lightly placed a finger between Zheng Hongjun's eyes first, and then Song Shuangmei's. "This will help you see." I told them, trying to sound soothing. "Try to remain calm."
I turned back to the shadow infant on the edge of the path. Tracing another tactic, I pulled it towards me. The shadow child didn't resist, but stumbled along towards us. She came to a halt at Zheng Hongjun's feet. He and his wife drew back a step, almost trampling their unconscious daughter.
The dark child's eyes were still closed, but its neck hinged backwards, looking up at the two. "It can see them." I thought. The green spirit rumbled in agreement within me.
"You know her." I said to Zheng Hongjun, not bothering to ask.
The man fell to his knees in front of the shadow infant. Tears welled up in his eyes and he started to plead, "It's all my fault. I shouldn't have killed her. I shouldn't have done it! It's all my fault! Please forgive me! Please!"
Behind him Song Shuangmei was also in tears. Her hands were clamped over her mouth as if holding back all the sorrow in the world. The infant before them shook its head to the left, and then to the right. The shadowy air around it pulsed darker for a moment and then lightened.
Police Li was staring at the man, but it was clear he couldn't see. The leaves must have worn off. He opened his mouth to speak, but Lv Bin raised a hand in a shus.h.i.+ng motion. "Don't speak. s.h.i.+ Yong is performing religious rites, inviting a master."
I concentrated on the shadow girl and reached out to her with my mind. Much like her sister had done, I felt her consciousness pull towards me. A blackness filled the forefront of my mind, squeezing the green spirit down into my body. The competing spirits were using me. I knew all at once, everything that was. Looking at Zheng Hongjun, I wondered, she wondered, whether he was really sorry or simply afraid. A wave of pity shook from the shadow in my mind and overwhelmed me.
She doesn't hate them. The knowledge filled me, flowed through me. She never hated them. She just misses them. She died as a child, a mere baby, and was closed inside of this p.i.s.s stained bucket, but she didn't hate them at all.
"All men are born good." Rumbled a voice in me and I knew it was true.
I channeled her thoughts as they came to me. It was like having a cloud of darkness inside my mind, whispering through changes in texture. "She went to your home because she missed her parents. She didn't want to frighten you, but your cigarette smoke hurt her eyes. She extinguished them again and again, trying to get your attention…"
Zheng Hongjun and Song Shuangmei gaped at me. The voice coming from my mouth was part mine, part the green ghosts, and part something else. The last voice was a girl who'd never spoken, a child who never had the chance.
"She was curious when she saw the girl. Your youngest. She didn't mean to hurt her sister. She meant to find her parents and be loved. She found that in your daughter. She was on her way to healing when we arrived."
Zheng Hongjun and his wife continued to sob and regard the shadow girl before them. She raised her hands towards them. Even as Song Shuangmei fell to her knees and reached out for her long dead daughter, the spirit girl began to fade. After only a moment, her visage and her presence in my mind were gone, faded into nothing.
I took a deep breath and s.h.i.+vered. The void she left in me was cold and dark, though not painful. I felt the green spirit expand and begin to fill the s.p.a.ce, timidly at first, and then much faster. He swelled inside of my mind and soon all of the cold was gone. I was filled with his strength and felt sure of myself once again. Heaving another sigh, I looked at the despairing parents. "Your daughter's heart is ten thousand times cleaner than yours."
Zheng Hongjun and Song Shuangmei looked at me. Both of their faces were tear stained and wrinkled with sorrow.
I continued, "Unbury her body from this horrendous tomb and build her a real coffin. Give her s.p.a.ce with your family plot and pay her respects. She deserves that at least." I filled with a level of loathing that I didn't know existed. How could they treat their own blood so poorly?
Zheng Hongjun nodded and then scrambled to the edge of the path. Using only his bare hands, he began to dig out the bucket. He wrenched it out of the soil, revealing a mostly decomposed body. He took the makes.h.i.+ft coffin in his arms and began walking home. The rest of us followed. Lv Bin walked with the grieving parents. His hands darted in religious rites that would lead the girl's spirit.
The next morning Police Li left before the rest of us awoke. He returned a few hours later with a larger police cruiser, one with enough s.p.a.ce for all of us. I bid farewell to the Zhengs and allowed them three days to give their daughter the burial she deserved. "On the fourth day, you come find me. We still have business to conclude." I told them.
Bi Lian woke up the following day feeling fine. Lv Bin looked her up and down and a.s.sured her that she wasn't prey to anything supernatural. When everyone was ready and moving, we piled into Police Li's new vehicle. He drove us back to my village in abject silence. I turned to Lv Bin in the rear seat and asked, "How long will you stay in my village?"
"Until you send away the girl in the stean. She was our responsibility remember? We can't abandon it just yet."
When we arrived home I gave my parents the short version of everything that'd happened and warned them of Zheng Hongjun's arrival. "They should be here in four days."
"They're not going to take Xiao Wen back are they?" She asked, holding my younger sister tightly to her hip.
I frowned. The thought hadn't even crossed my mind. "They can't. Xiao Wen is part of our family, not theirs. I'll tell them to stay at the police station while they're here. They don't even have to see her." Mom gave me a wan smile.
"When did you get so grown up?" She asked me.
Lv Bin came to the house three days later inquiring about the stean. "Has she tried to get out? Is she safe?" He asked in hushed whispers.
"She's fine." I told him. "Hasn't made a sound. Here," I handed him the stean, "You can feel her energy inside of it, can't you?" He nodded.
Shortly after he left something else happened. I was in my room, studying the book on amulets when the green spirit forced his way into me. The unheeded amount of supernatural air fell on me like a ton of bricks and I was knocked to the floor. I felt his weight push down into my head and squeeze into my chest. Gasping for air and fighting for mental control, I did everything I could to stand my ground. It didn't work. Green light flooded my vision and a burst of light brighter than the sun took over my mind. "What are you doing?" I shouted inside my head.
His voice rumbled through me louder than every before. I felt like my bones were shaking together. A flood of bright white pain danced through every fiber of my being. "I will go." He said.
"Where?" I managed, fighting off a wave of nausea and pain. "Why?"
"I must change." The word he used was change, but images of training, meditating, and fighting flashed through my mind. He was using my knowledge to speak with me. "That is not the word." He rumbled again, "Practice."
A moment of silence followed. I didn't know what to do, I could barely think. "You will not be able to call on me for some time." He finally rumbled.
"Wait until we send away Xiao Yi!" I yelled inside my head, forcing an image of the small red girl into the front of my mind.
His presence shook through me in a tremendous shock. "I do not wait for mortals!" I felt the weight grow and press down on me again. I was sure that his weight would force me through the floorboards.
"If you're just going to up and leave why don't you just end our contract!" I yelled, suddenly sad and angry.
"No." He rumbled, quietly this time. "Then I will lose you." Silence followed. I was still, waiting for him to continue for what felt like hours. "Another will take my place if the contract is ended, but I must grow…change." Silence.
"What do I do if there's trouble?" I asked, trying not to sound small. "What do I do if there's danger?"
"Don't die." He roared. A thick chuckle rippled through my mind, sharper than usual. "My power is not yours," He continued, "When you are stronger I will return. Train your Taoism. When I have changed, I hope you too will change."
With that he was gone. The power, the weight, the light, all of it flooded out of me and disappeared. "Spirit?" I asked out loud. My voice was small and insignificant. He didn't answer and I felt tears sting my eyes.
"Master Liu, the green spirit, everyone always leaves one by one." I told the empty room, trying to fight back the lump in my throat. "I'm going to grow too!" I shouted at the ceiling. "I'll be strong enough that I won't even need you!"
I crawled into my bed. Every muscle in my body was screaming with pain from his bold entrance and exit. I curled around my pillow and whispered into it, "I'll get stronger than all of you." I cried. I cried until it didn't hurt as much, and then I slept.