Could The World Get Any Worse Than This
It was a stormy night half a year ago.
Wang Longqi went to a brothel in Hangzhou to attend a gathering with his unsavory friends. After partying the entire night, he rode home on horseback at midnight. There was a sudden storm on his way back, and there was a building up ahead. So he took shelter in it.
A beautiful young girl was living alone in that building, to his surprise.
That girl was beautiful and full of passion. Not only did she invite him into the house to bathe and get changed, but she had also served him desserts.
Wang Longqi had had a good time in the brothel earlier. He did not have any evil thoughts in his mind, just like a saint.
But as soon as he entered the girls bedroom, he seemed to have lost his soul and slept with the girl.
When he woke up again, he found himself sleeping beside a grave.
He paled with fright as he clearly remembered the girl told him to marry her at this hour tomorrow.
There was a rumor of a ghost bride appearing in Yuhang Town those few days. The ghost bride would bewitch young men to go to her grave and had sex, after which they must marry her. Otherwise, she would come to their homes and kill everyone in their families.
But how could a living person marry a dead one
The living must die since the dead could not be resurrected.
Two or three middle-aged men had died bizarrely since then. The magistrate office was on the cases now. Wang Longqi thought he must have run into a ghost bride, so he quickly looked for Zhou Dafu.
Zhou Dafu brought him to see Li Chu.
The following night, Li Chu went to the grave of the ghost bride with him.
Sure enough, the ghost bride appeared, wearing a phoenix crown and a ritual shawl, riding in a rat-drawn carriage, dressed as a bride as she drifted over.
She looked at Wang Longqi, then at Li Chu the moment she landed.
“You have finally come to marry me,” she said to Li Chu.
Wang Longqi did not know whether this was good news for him.
The story ended with Li Chu ruthlessly drawing his sword.
Wang Longqi and Li Chu had been friends ever since.
He did not see Li Chu very often, but he treated Li Chu as his lifelong friend as Li Chu had saved his life.
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Wang Longqi to Li Chu was also his best friend since Wang Longqi had donated a large sum of money to the Deyun Monastery.
Now this best friend of his had come to the monastery on a rainy day in such a hurry.
Wang Longqi knew Li Chu well. So he skipped the nonsense and went straight to the point.
“I came to you this time because I have fallen in love with a girl recently.”
“Is she a human or a ghost”
“She is a human, of course!” Wang Longqi got bent out of shape. “I am into female humans all this while. That ghost was an accident!”
Realizing that he had overreacted, Wang Longqi let out an embarrassed smile. He then sat back down with a hurtful face. “Do you know what I have gone through for the past six months”
Li Chu felt he really could not blame him for being so sensitive. After he had slept with the ghost bride last time, it took him months to recuperate his yang energy.
At first, he thought he had finally regained his life.
But when he went out again, he realized that news of his ghost bride encounter had spread far and wide.
People were talking behind his back whenever he went out.
His unsavory friends made fun of him with nicknames like Life and Death Relationship, Wraith Knight, and so on. But it was okay.
It was those girls in the brothel despising him that devastated him the most.
For this reason, he had even eavesdropped on the chatter of a top prostitute and an old procuress in the House of Blossoming Spring.
“That guy got laid by a ghost. Isnt it ominous”
“You bet! Sleeping with a man who has gotten laid by a ghost will be the same as eating the offering for the dead at the grave. How could it be any better”
“Eww! Stop talking about it. I have goosebumps all over my skin now. Whoever wants his business, let her have it. I wont accept his business.”
“It is a pity that a ghost ruined such a good young man. Alas, who would dare to touch this unclean man from now on”
“Hmph, it takes two to tango. He must have been garishly overdressed in the middle of the night; only then would the female ghost target him.”
Wang Longqi was trembling with anger upon hearing those words. Cold sweat was all over his body, and his hands and feet were cold, with tears flowing out of his eyes uncontrollably.
“Do you think this world will get any better” His eyes could not help but well up as he recalled what had happened many days ago.
He felt so hurt.
Li Chu nodded and looked at him calmly as Wang Longqi whined.
“Are you not sympathetic to me I havent touched a woman for half a year!” His eyes were wet with emotions.
Li Chu nodded and then continued to look at him calmly.
Wang Longqi had more to say, but his grief and anger disappeared when he looked at Li Chus handsome face.
“Look at you. If I looked like you, those brothel girls would not have despised me.” Wang Longqi muttered, paused for a second, then continued. “Probably they would not bat an eyelid even if they had to share a bed with me and the female ghost.”
“Now can you tell me whats your purpose for coming” asked Li Chu with a deadpan face.
“Oh, I almost forgot.” Wang Longqi got too excited when confiding his problems to him.
He came to his senses. “In a sense, I am forced to stop fooling around now. But, thinking about it carefully, I have had enough fun all these years. Maybe it is time for me to find a decent girl to get married.
“But it is easier to fool around than getting married. My family is one of the most prominent clans in Yuhang Town. So my future wife should be from a scholarly family. Moreover, she must be virtuous, loyal, and filial—all of which are indispensable.
“So I searched and searched and finally found one the day before yesterday.”
His eyes lit up as he spoke of this.
“She blew my mind at first sight. Her background, appearance, conversation, and temperament are all perfect, something that I have never seen before. At that time, I decided I would marry no one but her.
“But that bugger—Zhao Liangcai—is such a spoiler. He is into this girl, too.
“He should have looked at himself in the mirror. Who is he to compete with me
“He used to do this thing since the time in the House of Blossoming Spring. I let him be in Hangzhou City. That time…”
The more Wang Longqi talked, the angrier he became.
Zhao Liangcai was none other than the young master of the Zhao family, one of the most prominent clans in Yuhang Town.
The reason Wang Longqi said earlier that the Wang family was “one of” not “the most” prominent clans was because of the existence of the Zhao family.
The Wang family was a major rival of the Zhao family.
He digressed again and went on talking about the grudges between the two families.
Feeling bored, Li Chu stuck his hands into his sleeves.
Wang Longqi quickly sat upright and came back to the topic at hand upon seeing Li Chus expression. “In the morning, I ran into him. He mentioned the case of me being bewitched by a ghost again. He should have behaved more politely so as not to embarrass me in front of my face. That guy is a real jerk. I would have punched him in the face, and his family would be holding a funeral for him by now if it wasnt for someone stopping me. Back then…”
Li Chu frowned impatiently.
“We both made a wager out of anger.” Wang Longqi was quickly back to the topic at hand.
“There is a haunted building at the Lius residence archway. His family leased that piece of land but dared not do anything about that haunted building. He made a bet with me as to which of us can come unscathed out of the building after spending a night there.
“The one who first backs out or runs away will lose the bet and may not compete for the same girls again. Not only that, the loser will have to take a detour as and when he bumps into the winner.
“But it turned out that he backed out first. So we have added another condition: both of us may bring a company. So the first person I thought of was you.
“Are we friends, Li Chu” Wang Longqi grabbed Li Chus sleeves. “You are the only person who can help me now.”
Li Chu pulled his sleeves back with no emotions on his face.
The haunted house of the Liu family, eh
As a Yuhang Towns resident, he had certainly heard of this infamous place. He just could not believe that these two rich kids wanted to mess around in that place.
Things were a little tricky.
Wang Longqi saw his hesitation. “You help me this time, and I will pay for the renovation of the entire Deyun Monastery. To top it all off, I will expand the monastery twice its current size.”
Li Chu looked at him. “It is not all about money. We are friends, arent we”