Chapter 329 Communication and Doubt
While cleaning the house, Zhang Heng took some time off to check on the curse. He went on Baidu, researching the meaning of the simple strokes and foreseeing the future. However, he might have inputted the wrong keywords might because the search results mainly returned with horror and science fiction movies. Advertisements for art training classes popped up on the internet browser too.
As he logged out of Baidu, he realized he had to start with Tian Tian if he wanted to find a breakthrough in this matter.
Although Tian Tian was reluctant to speak now, the Disney stationery set that Zhang Heng gave her indicated that there was some form of communication between her and the outside world. And like any other child her age, she was still tempted by these things. Earlier, Zhang Heng failed to communicate with her effectively, but he wasn’t about to give up on trying. He decided to use other methods to talk to her.
After that, Zhang Heng told his grandfather that he wanted to bring Tian Tian out.
Grandpa hesitated a little.
“It’s good to help her relax, but make sure you look after her.”
Zhang Heng nodded, “nothing will happen when she’s with me.”
Of course, he was more than qualified to say something like this. Squatting down, he asked Tian Tian, “Would you like to have McDonald’s?”
Although the child was a little scared, children her age showed almost no resistance to when it came to McDonald’s. She finally nodded.
“Okay, we’ll go to McDonald’s then.”
They both boarded a cab and headed to a large shopping mall, going straight to the McDonald’s outlet on the second floor. Zhang Heng ordered Tian Tian a kid’s meal that came with a toy. As for himself, he ordered a glass of Coke.
After getting the order, the two found a place to sit down. Zhang Heng then pushed the set meal to Tian Tian. She glanced at him, seeing that he had no intention to stop her. So she reached out and grabbed a nugget.
He waited patiently for her to finish her chicken McNuggets and the cheeseburger. The abundant food finally allowed the girl to relax a little.
“I know that you understand what people around you say. I also know that many have told you the same thing. They said that they could help solve your problems, but in the end, they all failed to live up to your expectations. I can guarantee you this time; it’s different.”
Zhang Heng paused. “Whether you believe it or not, I actually understand what you’re going through right now. They are the closest people to you in this world, and you don’t want to hurt them, right? I can see in your eyes. Guilt and self-blame… you just don’t know how to stop, stop all of this. I can help you, but only if you tell me what happened first.”
Zhang Heng looked into Tian Tian’s eyes, “Did you meet any strange person… or a strange thing before this?”.
Tian Tian suddenly stopped and looked at Zhang Heng. After a long while, she shook her head. Zhang Heng frowned and decided to change the method he asked questions.
“Who’s asking you to draw on your workbook?”
This time, Tian Tian lowered her head after she heard Zhang Heng’s question. She obviously did not want to answer any more questions like this. So she silently gnawed on the cheeseburger in her hand.
The communication between them was basically over. Zhang Heng’s knuckles tapping the table, clearly displeased by the outcome. He could feel that their conversation must have affected her in a certain way. Tian Tian’s eyes were hopeful, and with her shaking her head, it was the best proof that she finally responded to external stimuli.
However, when Zhang Heng moved the topic to the drawings in the book, Tian Tian’s guard immediately came up. His hope was dimmed, as her defensive mechanism effectively cut off all communications that had been established.
Why did that happen?
If something was working in the dark and caused one accident after another at home, everyone close to her must have sustained some sort of injury. Why would she cover-up for that thing? Zhang Heng knew he was missing something important. The second half of the meal was finished in silence. Zhang Heng knew that he could no longer make Tian Tian talk to him, and he didn’t push her any further. The two returned home after that.
That afternoon, Tian Tian was completing her homework, and Zhang Heng continued helping his grandfather with spring cleaning. Progress was slow because of the previous delay, but in the end, he finally managed to finish all the cleaning up before sunset.
The house now looked spanking clean and brand new, which put grandpa in a good mood,
“Not bad at all. You are much better than your mother. When she was a little girl, she wouldn’t even clean up a small area of the house during the Chinese New Year. However, when it came to collecting the New Year’s money, she ran faster than anyone.”
Zhang Heng washed the last piece of rag in his hand and put it back in place.
“I’m glad that you are satisfied.”
“All we need to do tomorrow is to stick the Spring Festival couplets on the wall. After that, we can celebrate the New Year with your parents once they come back.”
“Isn’t it too early to post the Spring Festival couplets? I thought we had to do it at the right time? Aren’t we supposed to stick them on the 28th or 29th of the lunar calendar?”
Zhang Heng wiped the water off his hands.
“It’s just a formality,” grandpa replied. “The most important thing is to stick the Spring Festival couplets together to make it livelier. This is the true meaning of Chinese New Year. It doesn’t matter when we stick it on the wall. It makes no difference to me.”
Zhang Heng’s grandpa used to be a scientist, which why he did not believe in anything mystical or mythical. After that, grandpa proceeded to practice writing with a brush. As Zhang Heng took the trash out, he took a quick glance at Tian Tian’s apartment unit. The room facing the area with a lot of green plants was her room, and although the curtains were drawn, he saw light spilling out.
He stood by the trash can for a while. Just when he turned to leave, the curtains were drawn slightly, and a small gap could be seen. A pair of eyes watched Zhang Heng quietly.
On the other hand, he had no intention to give up on the investigation. The afternoon’s attempt in communication seemed ineffective, prompting him to take a more direct approach. He decided to go over to her house. If the culprit was around, it was most likely in Tian Tian’s house now. Clearly, all the accidents had happened to Tian Tian’s family members.
Of course, it would be inappropriate to knock on the door right now and ask to enter her room. There was an 80% chance that her parents would send him directly to the police station. Having these things in mind, Zhang Heng waited until the hour hand pointed at twelve. When time came to a standstill, Zhang Heng left his grandpa’s house wearing sports attire.
On the first floor, the front door of Tian Tian’s house was secured by a Class-B lock cylinder, and the windows were also equipped with anti-theft nets. Evidently, using the public transport card wouldn’t unlock the door. It was time for him to use the item called Evil Wall.
(Name: Evil Wall]
(Function: Reconstructing a wall particle. Can be switched between solid and liquid. Usage limit: 3]
Zhang Heng approached the wall and took out a toe from his pocket. He thought that this broken toe would rot, but it didn’t look much different from when it was just cut off. It felt weird in hand. Zhang Heng then pressed the toe against the wall and wrote a few Slavic letters with the remaining black blood from the toe. A few moments later, the wall began to boil and melt.