Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The house was situated on the hillside. On both sides of it were lush trees, and when the mountain wind was blowing, the branches and leaves issued a rustling sound, very crisp and breezy.
In the middle of a long line of the parapet was a large gate, which had been newly painted with an excess of red, as if it had been smeared with blood.
Looking at the door, Lu Guan shivered and said, “This is also one of the weird things. The Montana rancher had painted the door, but at that time he used a layer of black paint!”
Big Markelov crunched a sunflower seed and said, “Maybe it’s oxidation. Some of the black paints contain iron trioxide, iron tetroxide and so on. Once deoxidized, it turns into iron oxide, which is red.”
No one has lived there for months, and the yard was overgrown with weeds, some of which grew as tall as a man’s waist, and the whole looked bleak.
There were banyan trees in the courtyard. As they pushed open the iron gate, a few wild birds fluttered out. Lu Guan was shocked and shivered a little.
Young Markelov laughed, and Lu Guan became angry. “What are you laughing at? I’m allowed to be afraid of these ghosts and such things.”
“Sure, and I’m allowed to laugh.” Young Markelov was still grinning, and he pulled a saber from his waist.
Lu Guan said cautiously, “What’s the matter? Why did you take out your knife?”
When Li Du and the others went to chase Big Markelov, Lu Guan and Driver were the ones who watched after Young Markelov, and ever since, Lu Guan has been worried about him taking revenge because they beat him up once.
Of course, Young Markelov would not give up the opportunity.
Pulling out the saber and turning it in his palm, Young Markelov grasped it and thrust it at Lu Guan.
Lu Guan knew that he was trying to scare him, but still couldn’t help but panic and retreated with a pale face. “F**k you! Look what he’s doing, Boss!”
Li Du turned and said, “Okay, stop that now. What if you make the ghosts come out?”
Young Markelov grinned. “I was just playing.”
He handed the knife to Lu Guan and said, “Here, keep it for yourself. It has killed men and is very fierce. If there is a ghost, it should be afraid of this.”
Lu Guan grinned and said, “Thank you.”
When he reached for the knife, Young Markov flicked his wrist and made a small nick on his hand.
Not waiting for Lu Guan to get angry, he explained quickly, “This is called the blood bond. The knife has intelligence, and once it becomes familiar with your blood, it will be able to deal with ghosts more effectively!”
Lu Guan grumbled, “You just want to scare me.”
Although he said so, he took the saber and kept it.
Firecracker looked at the scene and asked, “Is that your saber? It looks good. Did you kill people with it?”
Young Markelov said, looking unconcerned, “We weren’t playing when we were on missions. Is there no blood on your hands?”
Firecracker shrugged and said, “Yes, but it’s the blood of criminals.”
Li Du said, “All right, why are you discussing killing in such a place? Don’t you think it’s damn spooky? Come on, come in with me.”
He also hired a cleaning company, which was reluctant to take the job after hearing they are supposed to clean up the haunted house.
However, Li Du offered a high price, and they had worked on the farm before, so the cleaning company did not want to lose a big client and sent a few unlucky people.
The cleaning company car followed, with six employees who looked unwilling to get off.
Assuming their work ethic would improve with a suitable reward, Li Du took out two thousand dollars, placed them on the front window of the car, and said, “Clean up good today, and this will be your tip.”
The cleaners were immediately in spirit. They made the sign of the cross, sprayed holy water around, took up a Bible, and went inside the cottage like they were going to war.
As described earlier, the house was called a cottage but was actually quite a high-end villa.
Li Du looked around. The cottage had a neighboring house, the building style of which was similar. It seemed to be inhabited and there was a Toyota Prado parked outside.
He wanted to visit his neighbors, but the dogs in the yard saw him and rushed to the door, barking.
Seeing this, he could only retreat, Ah Meow, Ah Ow and the others were prepared for a fight, but Li Du stopped them, Americans paid much attention to privacy, and people often kept fierce dogs to protect it. He didn’t want to go looking for trouble.
The cottage looked messy, but it would not be troublesome to tidy it up. The courtyard outside was overgrown with weeds, and there was some dirt in the outbuildings. The decor was brand-new, and the furniture and appliances were all there.
Not counting the courtyard, the house itself was very big, around 300 square meters spread over three floors. It was decorated in a luxuriant, ostentatious manner. The first floor had a high ceiling, and the sitting room had a fireplace and bar. The second floor was comprised mainly of guest rooms, while on the top floor there was the master bedroom and study, complete with a fireplace and a built-in wardrobe.
The renovation was completed less than a year ago at the expense of the rancher, who spruced up the entire interior of the house, with a gym, twin bathrooms, large separate balconies, sunroom and so on.
Li Du entered the rooms one by one. Standing on the balcony, he looked forward, leaning into the view of the Pacific Ocean. The sunroom was spacious and comfortable, and he thought it would be beautiful if they could drink coffee during the spring and winter watching the sun.
After looking at the house he moved on to the yard. It had been reorganized and the front yard had an outdoor pool, but there was no water at this time, just an accumulated heap of dry leaves. If they cleaned it up and filled it with water, they would be able to enjoy the Pacific coast breeze and sunset there.
The backyard provided perfect seclusion and privacy, with a small playhouse, a basketball court, and a tea room. When Li Du saw a weird-looking chair, he was confused. “What is this?”
The others approached and laughed. Young Markelov pushed Lu Guan onto the chair, which automatically stretched out vice-like stripes to bind Lu Guan’s arms and legs.
“F**k!” Lu Guan was enraged.
Li Du shook his head and said with a smile, “Take away this rubbish.”
As they were joking, Ah Ow’s howl suddenly sounded from the front yard. “Owww!”
Then the cleaner’s voice was heard, “Oh god, what’s going on?!”
Li Du took some people to the door, and then he saw Ah Ow hesitantly standing in the doorway. She evidently meant to go in, but after taking two steps she quickly backed out, her fur standing on end.
Ah Meow stared into the doorway and shrieked, “Meowwwww!”
The other little ones stayed out. They looked through the door and peered into the living room, but did not go in.
The house cleaner noticed this and said in horror, “What’s wrong with them? Did they see something?”
The little ones did not look right. Li Du called them back with a whistle and laughed. “No, they are only playing. Don’t worry.”
The two cleaners stared at each other, both looking horrified. “Come on, come on, no money is worth being in such a spooky house. Let’s call the boss…”
“I’ll give each worker $200 as a tip,” said Li Du simply.
The cleaner shook his head. “No, it’s not about the money. I’m sorry, Sir. This place… this place is too scary! Your pets must have found something!”