When I first met her, she had not acted this way. So why then in this meeting had she mistaken me for her granddaughter?
“What’s with this? She wasn’t like this before.”
The pervert slightly leaned forward and explained, “spirits who’re bound to earth usually only retain fragments of their memories. The time when she greeted you, she was probably only familiar with you. But because those memories were constantly replaying over and over again, in addition to the long duration she’d been bound to earth, her memories must have gotten distorted and turned into a clearer new picture.”
Once he was done with the explanation, I finally understood why the auntie had greeted me and even smiled at me when I was heading back.
So to say, the auntie mistook me for her granddaughter due to the fabricated memories she now had.
Unless, her granddaughter’s name was also Xiao Hua?
“Auntie, I’m not your granddaughter.”
Upon hearing what I had said, her face sunk as she mourned pitifully, “It was all grandma’s fault, I know you blame grandma.”
I could not help but gaze at the empty road. The moment just then, the auntie’s eyes were locked in that direction. Don’t tell me that her granddaughter had died around here?
The reason she could not bear to leave this place was because she died in this vicinity. But to help her pass on, figuring out the root of the reason that was preventing her from passing on was important.
“That day, it was my fault. If I had not held your hand and rushed across the road when the traffic light was still red, you wouldn’t have died. It was all my fault! It is all grandma’s fault ah.”
Just from that sentence itself, I could faintly discern what had happened.
Just right outside the entrance of the small residential area was a stretch of road. On the road was a zebra crossing for pedestrians to cross to the opposite side conveniently.
However, on the day of the accident, the old auntie held her granddaughter’s hand and rushed across the road when the lights were still red. And so it became a tragic scene where the two had died.
The Xiao Hua she mentioned must have already returned to the underworld, whereas she must’ve been bound to Earth due to her guilt and regrets.
I took a glimpse at the pervert. If we were on the right track, then the only way to break the auntie free from her shackles to this world would be to eliminate her guilt and regrets.
The pervert looked at me and raised his brow. He asked, “You wish for me to return to the underworld and bring the spirit of her granddaughter here so that the two can meet?”
My eyes lit up! He had understood what I meant!
His eyes revealed a reluctant look, and I could clearly see it. Well thinking about it, the pervert was the legendary Hades; to return to the underworld to lead a ghost back to the Human world was completely against his principles.
Then what now?
I furrowed and my hand rubbed my chin as I went deep into thought. The auntie looked at me with teary eyes; I couldn’t help but feel compassion for her. Looking at her outfit, she must’ve spent most of her time working as a street sweeper on this area of the road. After she died, her spirit continued to haunt this part of the road with the endless remorse for her granddaughter while maintaining the image of how she was when she was a street sweeper.
Suddenly, a thought came to me. Facing the auntie, I hesitated for a moment before speaking with a heart filled with emotions. “Grandma……”
The floodgates opened and the tears began trickling down the auntie’s face. Crying with glee, she responded, “Ai! My dear Xiao Hua ah! You truly are my Xiao Hua! Just then when you didn’t wish to recognize me must have been because you were still blaming me, blaming me for…”
Since the pervert could not help in this matter, I would have to rely on myself on this. Seeing the auntie’s actions, I immediately knew that my acting was a success! I had successfully played the role of her granddaughter.
I could not help but discreetly plead forgiveness to her granddaughter, but having to borrow her identity was necessary.
To let your grandmother reunite with you, that could only be done when she willingly passes on to the Underworld.
The moment I heard her, I hurriedly gestured and went closer to her. Still, my eyes would occasionally turn to look at the pervert.
He nodded to me in the shadows as he eyed my each and every move. His cautious eyes were fixed firmly on me and would jump in to protect me if he ever sensed any danger.
Carefully, I pulled the auntie’s hand and gently patted it while saying softly, “I’ve never blamed you, Grandma. Truly, I never had. The world is an unpredictable place, and since it had already happened, it was all due to fate. It never was your fault.”
Once the auntie heard my gentle words, I could somehow felt a layer of soft steam gradually dissipate as her body slowly began to fade.
“Xiao Hua, you really didn’t blame me?”
I smiled and nodded. As if a burst of energy suddenly exploded in my heart, I opened and said to the fading ghost, “You’re my grandma and I’m your granddaughter. Whatever happens, I would never blame you, so do not blame yourself.”
Her body faded more and more. In the beginning, my hands could touch and feel her, but now, it could only pass through her fading body.
“Thank you for forgiving me, Xiao Hua.” Her voice became more and more distance and soft.
Her body completely disappeared, leaving only me and the pervert in front of the eight copper horse statues.
“Hua’er, it was truly fortunate that you’ve found her in time and send her to the underworld. Otherwise, if she had stayed here any longer, she would’ve turned into an evil spirit.”
The pervert praised me and walked closer before hugging my waist. He boasted, “Nothing less from the woman I fancy.”
When he said it, I could see a tiny flash zip past his eyes. From the looks, he was definitely hiding something from me for that expression stayed for a moment before disappearing once and for all from my sight.
I had even doubted myself about whether my mind was just playing tricks on me.
I could not help but recall the moment I approached the auntie, I could see that she was shrouded in a layer of grayish aura. That must have been the representation of when a bound spirit would turn into an evil spirit.
So… when the aura turns into black, she’ll become an evil spirit?
I could not help but take in a deep breath. A sense of pride and joy formed deep within my heart.
To have helped the soul of an old lady pass on and reunite with her granddaughter, I’m sure her Xiao Hua won’t blame her for her wrong.
“Many have a heavy prejudice against the definition of the underworld.”
The pervert held my hand and was ready to return me home. This was because he had sensed a negative energy coming from the small residential area behind the eight copper horse statues. Though the negative energy was faint, it was sinistrous.
“In actuality, the place of the Yang, known as the Human world is for people to live in. And as for the place of the Yin, also known as the Underworld or Hell, is the place where spirits live. It isn’t as horrible as many think it is.”
As I listened, I nodded. Having done a good deed, I was feeling gleeful, but could not help but feel sorry and lament for them to have suffered such an accident.
Still, that girl with a similar name as mine must’ve been around my age. For someone so young to have met with an accident truly was a pity!
Just right outside the doorstep of my house, I could somehow hear some sounds coming from inside the house. Immediately, I was taken aback!
Father and Mother were back!
I hastily pushed the man away and said softly, “My parents are home; go away quickly!”
The pervert chuckled and lifted me with one hand before landing a kiss on my forehead. Gently, he said, “Then I’ll go off first. Rest early and remember what I said not too long ago. Also, I won’t be able to be by your side for the next few days, but remember to think about me.”
It’ll be great if you don’t come! Save me from being taken advantage of. Recalling the indecent acts we had done on the bed together, my face began to heat up.
But before I knocked on the door, a thought suddenly came to me. My hand hung in the air and my body stiffened.
Why are Mother and Father back right before daybreak? It was now around two in the morning; to be home at such an hour…
Although I was a college student, I was still a lady. The curfew as to when I should be home remained, so arriving home at such an hour would mean finding trouble with my parents!
However, I’m now right in front of the door. I couldn’t simply just leave and rent a room outside, right?
The pervert had already left. A lady running into an accident outside at such a time wasn’t fresh news. Thus, for the sake of the demon in my belly and my own safety, I worked my brain to come up with a few decent excuses. Once I had come with a resonable one, I took out the key and opened the door.
When my parents saw that I had come back home, my mother immediately flew towards me and hugged me tightly. Anxiously, she questioned, “Where have you been! We were so worried about you! We hurried back home because we were afraid something bad might happen to you…”
The excuses that I had came up with immediately vanished from the corner of my mind. I returned the hug and comforted her, “I’m alright. I was outside with An Ning and got home a little late, but rest assure, They left when they saw me home safely.”
My father was squatting on the floor as he slowly took out the contents from inside the luggage. Also as his back muscles had suddenly relaxed, I could sense that his focus was definitely on me.
“Never again. This time is just too late.”
His voice was stern and I could feel that he was furious as he spoke.
I stuck out my tongue cheekily and discreetly grimaced before swearing. “Ok, ok. Never again. Next time, I won’t return home at such a late hour.”
My parents seemed to have something they wanted to discuss with me, but they gestured me away. “Hurry up and go to bed. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
I washed up and went straight to my room before laying comfortably on my bed.
The hands on the clock pointed at half past three in the morning. In another half an hour, the sky would begin to brighten.
Having exhausted myself, I gradually fell asleep with the image of the auntie’s relieved smile swimming in my head.
Vaguely, I could feel the rays of the morning sun touch my face gently. Beside my ears, I could hear the soft hum of the air-conditioner as it operated. But as for my tummy, I somehow felt a movement or two.
Because the movement was really too unnoticeable, I wondered if he had truly moved or if it was just my mind playing one of its tricks on me.
When I woke up, my parents had already left early for work.