The Shroud Part 2: Ghost Pot

Changrong Old Green Ghost in Aoli Village is a small mountain village east of Tongguan, Shaanxi Province. It is just beside the Yellow River. Looking far to the northwest, you can see the faint shadow of the Nantongpu Railway Bridge across the Yellow River.

In the early morning, after getting up, Nizi went to the vegetable garden to pick cabbages. A few fiery red dragonflies landed on the fence wall, and a few apricot butterflies flew around the pumpkin flowers. The old elm tree outside the garden was covered with The green and white elm money, with its faint fragrance drifting in the wind, is refreshing.

Nizi held a handful of tender green cabbage in her hand and silently looked at the foggy Yellow River in the distance, feeling sad and melancholy in her heart. How long has it been since grandpa died… She seems to have forgotten that, as well as Dahei, her relatives have all left her, leaving Nizi alone in the world.

A few days ago, Youliang secretly ran back to Fengling Temple, but the place was deserted and desolate. His master was nowhere to be found, and the mountain gate was locked. After coming back, the two thought for a long time and didn't understand where the master had gone. "Don't worry, Nizi, I will take care of you." Youliang said to her.

Youliang's parents were both simple and honest farmers. They were frail and sick, and lived a very poor life. However, they were very kind to Nizi and even discussed privately that they would marry Youliang as his wife in the future.

Nizi lowered her head and stared at the brass thimble in her hand. This was given to her by her grandfather before he died. Master Yidu of Fengling Temple also told her that there was a mystery in this thimble and it was a token passed down by Guo Puliu. . Who is Guo Pu… Nizi doesn't recognize him, and what is the "Fenghou Tomb"? I am a descendant of the Guo family, what secrets did the Guo family leave behind…

"Nizi, have you finished picking the vegetables?" A good lady's voice came from inside the hut.

"Here we come." Nizi quickly grabbed a few handfuls of cabbage and ran back to the room.

For breakfast, we had some vegetable porridge, with very few rice grains and clear soup. A good lady said that spring is the time when the harvest is slow, and it is not until the autumn harvest that we can have a few full meals.

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After eating, Nizi came outside the yard, sat under the old elm tree, took out the martial arts secret book given to her by Master Yidu from her arms and continued to read.

There are very few words in the Five Postures of Bodhidharma . Most of them are simple pictures. In the pictures, there are naked men with red and blue lines all over their bodies. Nizi didn't know that those lines represented the meridians of the human body and looked like a mess. Alas, martial arts was too difficult to learn. Nizi sighed and closed the secret book.

The sound of "ding-dong-ding-dong" rattles came from the entrance of the village, and a man shouted hoarsely: "Go out, go out, go out…"

Nizi knew that this was the country salesman.

Nizi put the secrets away and ran away quickly. When a salesman came from the countryside, it was a happy event for women and children. In those days when commodities were in short supply, the salesman’s load was like a mobile store filled with goods. There are a dazzling array of things, such as needles, threads, red and green hairpins and headbands, and all kinds of candies. What the salesman brings to people is a hope of life, and for children, it is a place full of temptation.

A simple and honest middle-aged man with a foreign accent stood at the entrance of the village. He carried a bamboo pole on his broad and strong shoulders. Two special large bamboo baskets were filled with all kinds of haberdashery. The two ends of the pole were tied with red rope. Hanging are colorful hairpins that women love, and grid notebooks and pencils that children use when going to school.

Seeing that more women and children came out, the salesman shook his rattle more vigorously and kept shouting: "Hey De Long Dong… He De Long Dong…"

The girls and wives in the village all ran out laughing. Some held a handful of hair in their hands, and some held a few pairs of old plastic shoes. They shyly approached the salesman and handed them what they had in their hands. After some haggling, I exchanged needles, threads, buttons, red and green headbands, hairpins and other items of corresponding prices back into my hands, and then left with satisfaction. Some children quietly took out a few eggs from their pockets, exchanged them for a handful of candies or biscuits, and then happily hid aside to eat.

"Little girl, what do you want to change?" The salesman saw Nizi standing aside timidly, so he asked.

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Nizi shook her head, she had no money and nothing to exchange.

An eleven or twelve-year-old bald boy ran over happily and shouted: "Nizi…"

"Brother Youliang." Nizi looked at him in surprise.

Youliang held five or six brown eggs in his hand and handed them to the salesman. He happily said to Nizi, "My mother asked me to exchange some candies for Nizi to eat."

Nizi happily took a handful of fruit candies wrapped in colorful paper, peeled one off and put it in her mouth. It was sweet and delicious. She looked at Youliang gratefully…

"Hey, what is this?" Youliang's eyes fell on the seller's basket. There was a piece of paper taped there, with a picture on it. An old monk was meditating with his eyes closed. His appearance was very similar to Master Yidu. Next to him There is a line written on it: The Nirvana and Transcendence Dharma Meeting of Master Yidu of Fengling Temple will be held at Foya Temple in Tongguan on the 16th day of the third lunar month. Lay people along the way are sincerely invited to attend.

"It's Master Yidu!" Youliang said in surprise.

"Child, do you recognize the old monk in the painting?" The salesman looked at Youliang and asked doubtfully.

"Uncle, what do these two words mean?" Youliang asked, pointing to the word "Nirvana".

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"Oh, 'Nirvana' means death." The salesman explained.

"Master is dead?" Youliang was stunned and murmured, "No, master can't die…"

"Children, are you from this village?" the salesman asked kindly.

"Nizi, let's go." Youliang pulled Nizi and ran away quickly.

"Well, I finally found it." The salesman looked at their backs and said to himself.

It was night, the moon was white, the wind was clear, and both sides of the Yellow River were shrouded in a light white mist. People in Aoli Village had already fallen asleep. The surroundings were lonely, except for the constant chirping of insects, adding a bit of silence.

Under the moonlight, two dark figures climbed over a hill along the peach forest and came to a simple farmhouse. These three rooms were Youliang's home.

The two men were dressed in black and wearing high-waisted yellow sneakers with soft soles. They were lying behind the old elm tree, observing quietly. One of them was the middle-aged salesman who had been to the village during the day.

The salesman nodded, indicating that it was time to start, so the two of them each took out a pair of white masks and put them on, then tiptoed forward.

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The man in black pulled out a dagger, gently inserted it into the gap between the two doors, and opened the door latch little by little. The salesman took out a small sewing machine oil can, poured lubricating oil into the two door shafts, and then quietly pushed the wooden door open.

Entering the door is the kitchen, with a room in the east and west respectively. The two of them put their ears against the door panels of the east and west rooms respectively. The snoring coming from the east wing was obviously that of adults, and there were one or two rough coughs from time to time. The man in black shook his head. This room was not for children to sleep.

There was a slight creak of the door, and the two stepped into the west wing. Through the dim moonlight coming through the window lattice, they could clearly see two children sleeping on the earthen bed.

The salesman spotted the long-haired Nizi, suddenly covered her mouth with his hand, then forcefully pulled her out of the bed, put it under his arm and turned around to go out…

Nizi suddenly woke up from her sleep and wanted to scream in fear, but her mouth was tightly covered, so she could only moan "Uh-huh…" and kick her two little feet in the air. When she left the door of the west wing, she kicked the door with both feet, making a "click, click…" sound, which was especially loud in the silent night.

"Who is it?" A man in the east room asked while coughing. At the same time, he came down to the ground to find out. He was Yu Liangna's father who suffered from lung disease.

"What are you doing!" Youliang's father said in shock when he opened the door and saw the man in black kidnapping Nizi.

The man in black glanced quickly, and the salesman nodded.

But with a flash of white light, the sharp dagger in the man's hand in black pierced Youliang's father's chest. Then he twisted his wrist and pulled out the knife. Blood spurted out and splashed all over him. With a "pop", Youliang's father was killed. Dad fell dead on the threshold.

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"Dad, what's wrong with you…" With a cry of surprise, Youliang Niang went down to the ground tremblingly and walked out with a staggering step.

The man in black kept doing nothing, stabbing the dagger straight into his body. With a "pop" sound, the sharp knife sank into Youliangniang's belly.

A shrill scream cut through the silent night sky, "Child, run quickly…" Youliangniang squeezed the man in black's knife-wielding wrist with both hands and let out her final cry.

"Mom!" Yuliang woke up in an instant, jumped to the ground, and pounced out.

The salesman flew up and kicked Youliang on the chest, kicking him into the air. The back of his head hit the door frame. With a "bang", Youliang fainted immediately.

"Light a fire and burn this house down." The salesman held Nizi under his arms and ordered hurriedly.

The man in black kicked You Liangniang away, took out a lighter from his arms, put it on the firewood pile in the kitchen and lit the hay. The flames instantly burst into flames, and thick smoke billowed.

The blood spattered by the good father flowed along the salesman's fingers and into Nizi's lips. Nizi licked it hard, it was salty, slippery, and fishy…

The warm blood finally caused the reaction of the blood fleas in Nizi's body…

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