Wuxiaworld > A Guest in a Ghost House > Chapter 14 Indeed, a Master

Chapter 14 Indeed, a Master

Chapter 14 Indeed, a Master
I stayed at the hospital until 9 o'clock in the evening. I couldn’t continue to bear the strange looks I was getting from the nurses, so I decided to get out of there. It was time to leave, anyway.

Using up all the money I had, a nice taxi driver drove me to Kaoshan Road even though I was missing one Yuan. I forced a smile and said goodbye to him then turned to see Wu Jian smoking on the sidewalk. There was another person next to him. He appeared to be just under 1.8 meters tall. He was strong, with a round face, but he looked young. He was also smoking.

This man must be Wu Jian’s partner. This was good news, I felt safer with more than one policeman. That got me wondering, where was the master? I looked around. It was night out. There were not many people, and they were all rushing along on their way. It seemed they weren’t related to Wu Jian in any way.

I stepped forward so that I’d be in Wu Jian’s line of sight. He threw his cigarette on the floor. “You’re here. How about we grab a bite to eat? It’s still early.”

I was really hungry, and there was no way I was going to be eating at the ghost house.

The young man by Wu Jian’s side spoke before I could say anything, “Good idea. I am hungry now. We can drink later. I haven’t had a beer in several days.”

Several days? I didn't have the nerve to to say anything out loud, I just stared at Wu Jian questioningly. Wu Jian just picked another cigarette out of his cigarette case and finally remembered to make introductions. “Oh, this is Huang Xiaolong.” Then he pointed at me, “This is Wu Rui.”

I stretched my hand hesitantly and shook hands with Huang Xiaolong. He let go of my hand and said, “Come on brother, let's have a drink.” He put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me along into the nearest cafe. Wu Jian lit his cigarette and followed suit.

Huang Xiaolong pushed me down a chair, sitting on their other side, shouting at the owner, “Boss man, some barbecue! A cold beer too!” Then he turned his head and asked me and Wu Jian, “You two want a cold one?” We nodded. Noting that the owner was busy, we found the cooler and picked out a few beers ourselves.

Then I asked Wu Jian in a low voice, “Is this your colleague? Where is the master?”

Wu Jian looked at me questioningly, “What do you mean? That’s him.”

“You mean Huang Xiaolong?” I almost yelled.

Seeing Wu Jian nod made me realize the world was out to get me. I forced a smile, “Um, why don’t we go there some other day?”

“It seems you don't trust me.” I hadn’t realized Huang Xiaolong had appeared behind my back, beer in hand.

I was a little embarrassed. I had just said something bad about Huang Xiaolong. He had a bottle in his hand and I worried the vulgar master might hit me over the head with it.

I just gave a hollow laugh, “Um...”

Huang Xiaolong waved his hands, putting a beer in front of me. “Normal people tend to believe those self-proclaimed immortal swindlers that cheat them out of their money. But no one believes the people who are actually capable because they don’t end up making any money.”

I felt like he was just trying to come up with an excuse for not being able to cheat people or make any money himself. As for him being ‘capable’, I chose to ignore it until I saw it myself.

Huang Xiaolong seemed not to mind other people’s opinion, though. In that sense, he really did carry himself like a master.

The two men became chatty after drinking a couple cups of beer. Though the topic of conversation at the table was not what I was expecting. They talked about how strong they were and the people they had beaten in fights.

I felt like they chose the wrong profession. If they had chosen to be hooligans, their careers might look promising.

Just when we had finally began talking about tonight’s plan, the second case of beer arrived. The two men were emboldened by alcohol. Fortunately, they could hold their drink. They were still acting sober, even if they were talking a bit louder than when we had first arrived.

Huang Xiaolong raised his bottle and dedicated a toast me, finishing it in one gulp. I got the hiccups trying to keep up. “Alright brother, take it easy,” Huang Xiaolong said. “It’s not a big deal. Have I told you about my father and mother?”

I shook my head. Huang Xiaolong asked another question, “Do you know Ma of north China and Mao of south China?”

I shook my head. I seemed to have remembered hearing of them somewhere, the two names sounded very familiar.

Huang Xiaolong shook his head disdainfully. “Mao of south China is the name given to a person named Mao Xiaofang who lived in the Mao Shan area. Ma of north China refers to the dragon exorcist.”

It all came back to me when he mentioned the dragon exorcist – I had hear that name in a teleplay produced many years ago. The title of the teleplay was My Date with a Vampire. I was not very familiar with the successors of the Mao family, but the surname of the dragon exorcist was Ma.

I said in a low voice, “The dragon exorcist’s last name was Ma, that’s why they call him Ma of north China. I remember her name being Ma Xiaoling.”

Huang Xiaolong gave me a disdainful look. He gave a snort, “The surname of the dragon exorcist was actually Long or ‘dragon’. Ma means ‘horse’. The reason for this name is the extensive grasslands of the North. Most of the people in the area rode horses, that’s why Ma is such a common surname there.”

I nodded silently. I had to act sincerely convinced by his strong explanation. I turned my head to Wu Jian, who was eating, “Mr. Wu, why don’t we go on another day?”

Wu Jian looked at his watch and glanced at the case of beer. “There are only three more bottles left. Let’s finish them, it should be time to head off by the time we’re done.”

Huang Xiaolong opened three bottles at once while my heart began beating a bit faster. Each man picked up a bottle “Drink up, drink up. We’ll continue drinking when we return.”

We raised the bottles and downed the beer.

“Drink it up! You’ll forget all your sorrows when you’re drunk.”

I worked up my courage to finish the beer.

After putting down his empty bottle, Huang Xiaolong grabbed my shoulder. Then he dragged me away, saying loud enough for Wu Jian to hear “Alright brother, tell me something about the ghost house.”

It was too late for me to refuse; I was already being dragged by Huang Xiaolong across the street. As soon as we made it across the street, he didn’t ask any more questions. As soon as he saw Wu Jian paying the bill, he told me the truth, “Uh, look, I’m not being cheap. I just forgot to bring any money...”

I looked back at Wu Jian’s and sighed softly. It seemed that Wu Jian had been cheated by Mr. Xiaolong. My worry turned to anger when I remembered I’d be going into the ghost house with that phony master. Why would Wu Jian make me come here?

Wu Jian paid the bill and lit his cigarette, “Let's head off. It’s almost twelve o'clock. We’re just in time.” He led the way in front of us.

Huang Xiaolong grabbed my shoulder again and moved forward. Recognizing it was too late to turn back, I asked “Um, Master Huang, will you catch the ghosts?”

Huang Xiaolong frowned and said, “Just call me by my name, brother. You are my bro, now. Don't call me ‘Master’.”

Fine, this man didn’t care about me showing respect. I rephrased and repeated my question.

“No. I just want to see what the ghosts look like.” said Huang Xiaolong with a distant look.

Suddenly, my legs trembled. Perhaps he really was a master.