Otherworldly Merchant - Chapter 5

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There was no particular entertainment in the village. Therefore, the place turned quiet very early. It was so quiet that even the sound of a pin dropping to the ground could be heard.
Li Mazi was truly scared at this time. After squatting in a corner for not even half an hour, he was sweating, red in the face, and his hands were trembling.
Little Brother Zhang, we arent in danger, right? How sure are you that you can take care of that thing? Tell me in detail, or I wont be at ease!
Actually, I was even more anxious than Li Mazi. If this method didnt work, I’d exhausted all the tricks up my sleeve. As if that wasnt enough, the embroidered shoe would very likely target me as well.
However, I had to keep my calm in front of Li Mazi. Therefore, I said calmly, I have a 90% assurance I can deal with it.
The old, broken clock in the living room emitted a ticking sound as the seconds passed by. Hearing this sound gave me a sense of weakness.
Time was passing by too slowly! Only one hour had passed until now, and I’d already shivered three times due to fear.
As if that wasnt enough, the village was incredibly dark. There were no street lights, and even the moon was half-covered by the dark clouds in the sky. After recalling that only this wall was separating us from that fearsome embroidered shoe, my heart couldn’t help but beat wildly.
The courtyard next door was extremely quiet, and if one thought about it, it didnt make much sense!
It made no sense that a dilapidated house in the countryside wasnt infested with mice or snakes.
After thinking about it for a while, I concluded that it was very likely due to that shoe.
After all, the embroidered shoe was too fearsome, and nocturnal creatures such as mice and snakes were extremely good at sensing danger...
Just as the sound of the midnight bell echoed, my whole body tensed up. If everything went according to the plan, the embroidered shoe on the other side should now take action.
Sure enough, something indeed happened on the other side.
A light burst of wind blew in the neighboring courtyard, accompanied by the sound of piled up wooden stools falling.
Li Mazi tumbled down on my body and started twitching, and I couldnt help but curse him inwardly.
The light wind soon stopped, but the dust in the courtyard was now flying about haphazardly. Even our bodies had been covered, which made us inhale kettle soot with each breath. It was absolutely disgusting.
I tried my best to stop myself from sneezing.
Thump, thump, thump!
The sound of footsteps gradually echoed in the courtyard.
The sound was initially unclear, but as the footsteps approached, we could hear it distinctly.
It felt as though a cripple was walking back and forth in the courtyard.
I tried not to indulge in flights of fancy... but the picture of a woman in white clothes, hair disheveled, looking everywhere in the courtyard for a shoe still resurfaced in my mind.

Then, just as the sound of footsteps was gradually approaching, it stopped. Li Mazi started to get restless again, and my heart and thoughts were also running wild.
Had we been discovered?
Li Mazi subconsciously raised his head and looked at the top of the wall, which made me feel anxious as well. I began to imagine a long-haired woman climbing up the wall and then gazing down at us.
Just as my imagination was running wild, a bubbling sound was emitted from the ancient well, just like the sound of boiling water.
The sound was very loud, and it was especially resounding in the quiet night.
Moreover, I could faintly hear the desperate cry of a woman coming from the bottom of the well.
The sound of footsteps echoed again. This time, the footsteps quickly headed toward the edge of well.
Afterward, a huge splash was heard, and the seething water of the well also calmed down. The entire world became silent again.
Even though half an hour had passed, there was still no sound.
I wiped the sweat off my forehead and said, Success.
Li Mazi was so scared that his whole body was convulsing. After hearing my words, he heaved a long sigh of relief. Little Brother Zhang, help me rub my legs. They’re spasming nonstop...
I lent Li Mazi my shoulder and brought him back into the room. We’d managed to get through a difficult night.
The sky started to brighten, and we rushed into the nearby courtyard.
As we opened the door, Li Mazi and I got goosebumps.
The willow tree branches were still fine, but the kettle soot had been blown away, and two footprints of kettle soot, one large and one small, filled the whole courtyard.
The embroidered shoe I had placed at the entrance yesterday had also moved to the edge of the well.
I knew that the other embroidered shoe was definitely inside the well.
But, how would we get it out?
Luckily, Li Mazi was an experienced man, and he found someone in the village who specialized in dealing with wells. The man used an iron hook to randomly grab at the things in the well.
At first, he grabbed out miscellaneous stuff, waterweeds, garbage, and so on.
But, before long, the iron hook finally hooked onto something heavy. The specialist used all his strength, yet he was still unable to pull it up.
Only when Li Mazi and I also stepped forward to help him were we able to slowly pull that thing up.
When we pulled that thing up, everyone was dumbfounded.
It was unexpectedly a broken cupboard!
The style of the cupboard looked ancient, and the red paint on the surface had already rotted away.
Its doors were tightly shut. As such, I looked for a steel bar to pry them open.
After the doors were open, the steel bar in my hands fell to the ground with a bang. The nearby Li Mazi also screamed in horror and stumbled away.
A snow-white skeleton was stuffed into the cupboard. The coarse clothing on its body hadnt completely rotted yet, and one could make out that it was a set of clothes from the Qing Dynasty.
Moreover, a blood-red embroidered shoe was worn on the foot of the skeleton.
Although the rest of the clothes had deteriorated, this blood-red embroidered shoe was the same as new.
I carefully observed the abdominal region of the skeleton and noticed that there was another small skeleton in its abdomen.
Needless to say, this woman was pregnant when she’d died.
All these signs pointed to the Mother-Child Flesh Mark.
The next-door uncle sighed and squatted on one side. Then, he lit a cigarette and started to smoke.
I understood that the uncle knew something about this embroidered shoe. Therefore, I squatted beside him and asked him to tell me about it.
The uncle didnt seem too willing to talk about this matter. So, he kept it short. A wealthy family lived here during the Qing Dynasty. The young master of the family was a womanizer, and he ended up getting one of the maidservants pregnant. The maidservant was unwilling to have an induced abortion. As such, the young master stuffed her into the cupboard and threw her to the bottom of the well. Those embroidered shoes were the only thing that the young master had ever given to the maidservant, and she really liked them...
After saying this much, the uncle stood up and said, Ill talk with the village head. Tomorrow, well collect some money from everyone in the village and buy her a coffin so that we can bury her.
Then, while no one was watching, I quietly took the embroidered shoe off the foot of the skeleton.
According to my original agreement with Li Mazi, both the shoes would be returned to me.
Li Mazi was good at handling people, and some time after we got back, he came over to my place and brought several gifts to thank me.
He passed the evening at my place and drank quite a lot. Then, he asked casually, Brother, why do you accept these items that others consider unlucky? How much can you even sell that pair of broken shoes for?
I said, Not much, but if you meet someone that knows the business, even several hundred thousand renminbi.
Li Mazi immediately spurted out the wine he was drinking. I felt that even his intestines had turned green from regret.
However, he didnt ask me for a percentage of the profit. Apparently, he still wanted to keep some dignity.
Instead, he asked if we could divide the money 50-50 if he managed to find me another otherworldly item.
Otherworldly items were very difficult to find. Therefore, I immediately agreed.
Later, I spread in the circle the news related to the ‘Mother-Child Flesh Mark’.
After a few days, a man with a beer-belly that talked like a bureaucrat came to my shop. After exchanging simple greetings, he asked if I could show him the Mother-Child Flesh Mark.
Although the Mother-Child Flesh Mark was an unlucky item, it could allow one to have a very successful career if placed in the house in pairs.
The other party was someone from the government, so I tried to be as polite as possible as I showed him the Mother-Child Flesh Mark.
That man with the beer-belly was rather easy-going, and he only asked if there were any side effects.
After I assured him that there would be none, he used 800,000 renminbi to buy the Mother-Child Flesh Mark.
People working in the antique business might not do business for three years, and then suddenly make enough money to last for three years.
Then, as for people like me who were in the otherworldly item business, we might not do business for ten years, and then suddenly make enough money to last for ten years!
1. Around 112,000 USD.

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