Raising the Evil Spirit

Raising the Evil Spirit

Chapter 1 - Luck Bringing Charm

This summer seemed exceptionally hot, with sweat pouring down in torrents at the slightest movement. Who knew how many cicadas were hidden in the greenery of the neighborhood, their long, drawn-out calls punctuated by brief pauses, making people even more restless and irritable. Even the nights offered no respite.

The ceiling fan overhead was quite old, its worn blades wobbling as they turned, creaking incessantly. More than once, Su Kun worried that one day the fan will give out and come crashing down on his head.

But compared to dying from the heat, he'd rather be crushed.

At the moment, he was sitting cross-legged on a mat in the center of the living room, feeling the ineffective breeze from the fan above, his expression twitching as he stared at the cardboard box in front of him.

It had been open for some time now, the sealing tape completely torn off and curled up to the side. The box itself has been ripped apart along its edges, flattened out on the mat, with a pair of red-handled scissors, their tips covered in cardboard scraps, lying nearby.

"Such a brutish way of opening a package. Do you always have to make it so violent?" Geng Zimo sits on a nearby wooden chair, legs crossed, filing his split nails with a small nail file while looking disdainfully at the messy mat occupied by Su Kun.

The outwardly clean and refreshing-looking brute Su Kun slowly turned his head and stared expressionlessly at Geng Zimo. At this moment, what he most wanted to do was to stab a hole in the head of that jerk on the sofa with the scissors and see what was really inside.

"Geng - Zi - Mo -" Su Kun spat out each character from between clenched teeth.

"Go ahead." Geng Zimo waved his hand, looking insufferably smug.

"Go ahead my ass! Is your brain full of shit?!" Su Kun felt it was a miracle he hadn't been angered to death after living with this guy for two years. "What the hell did you buy this thing for?!"

"Don't call it a 'thing'," Geng Zimo said, blowing on his nicely filed nails. "Show some respect. I kindly bought it for 1,300 yuan to bring you good luck. Remember to bathe and change clothes, then hold it reverently in both hands and place it by your bedside for it to be effective."

"............" Su Kun collapsed onto the mat, half-dead. "Ancestor, I kowtow to you... You spent 1,300 yuan to buy me a coffin and want me to keep it by my bed?! You may have a screw loose but I don't."

He lies on his side, his face right next to the open box, the object inside clearly a shoebox-sized miniature coffin. From the slightly arched lid to the tapered shape, it was exquisitely crafted with straight edges and an even, glossy finish. In terms of quality, the seller deserved a thumbs up!

But no matter how good the quality, it doesn't change the fact that it's a coffin...

Su Kun struggled to his feet from the mat, his hair mussed from lying down, his eyelids drooping. Like a vengeful ghost, he crawled over to Geng Zimo, grabbed his arm and shook it vigorously in anguish, "1,300 yuan! If you have money to burn, give it to me, Rich Man Geng! So you ate instant noodles for a month just to buy this coffin?"

Geng Zimo grunted in affirmation.

"Hurry up and return this thing, get the money back so you can go see a psychiatrist, Comrade Geng." Su Kun propped himself up using the armrest and stands, intending to drag Geng Zimo to the computer to process the return.

"Let go, let go." Geng Zimo pried off Su Kun's claws and lounged on the sofa, finally mumbling, "The seller said no returns accepted."

Su Kun: "............" He originally wanted to say that this was actually an unconscionable clause that wouldn't hold up if challenged, and if they made a fuss they could still return it. But he quickly recalled a news story he saw online the other day about a Taobao seller stabbing someone over a bad review, and instantly froze up.

This kind of thing was extremely rare, and for most people there was an 80-90% chance of never encountering such an extremist. But for the perpetually unlucky Su Kun, it was different. This is precisely why Geng Zimo had the sudden whim to buy him something for good luck—

Su Kun's luck has been terrible for as long as he can remember. It's as if the heavens are deliberately toying with him. Problems big and small plague him nearly every day:

For example, one day as he was walking by the river, a beggar's straw hat was blown to his feet by the wind. He simply bent down to pick it up as a kind gesture, but was accidentally pushed into the river by some rowdy kids nearby. As misfortune would have it, he can't swim, nearly losing his life.

Another time, while walking along minding his own business, a flowerpot from some upstairs residence was knocked off by the wind, crashing down on him. Luckily it was raining that day and he had an umbrella up, which cushioned the blow somewhat, but he still ended up with a gash on his head.

And then there was the time after he graduated, despite his average education but good character and abilities, when he worked for a year at a fairly well-known company in the city. Just as he was getting the hang of things, the company went under. He could only take that year of work experience and apply elsewhere, landing a job at a small but promising company, where he stayed for a year and a half before that company also went bankrupt.

After that, his job search became fraught with difficulties. If he listed his previous work experience on his resume, he could forget about getting any responses. No company would unquestioningly hire an employee who "caused companies to fail wherever he went". If he didn't list any work experience, still there were no responses.

These days it's not easy even for fresh graduates to find jobs, let alone someone who's been out of work for over two years. And even if he did get hired, once the company got his records, they'd know his previous work history.

Now, he no longer had any hopes for reputable companies or enterprises. As long as he could find a place to stay put, earn enough for living expenses and rent, he'd be satisfied.

Su Kun didn't really complain when these things happened. After all, you might beat your chest and sigh at the heavens if you have bad luck once or twice, but after over twenty years of misfortune, you get used to it whether you like it or not.

It's just that in the past two years, his bad luck seems to have rubbed off on his roommate Geng Zimo as well. This fellow, with his impressive academic record but worrisome IQ and EQ, hadn't had it easy since graduating either, which is why in a moment of recklessness, he gritted his teeth and bought this thing.

Su Kun looked at Geng Zimo, who was blinking up at him from the sofa, and sighs, "Forget it, I'll get the money and give it to you later. Let's just say I bought it myself. Good luck charms only work if you buy them yourself anyway." Even though this thing is clearly a scam.

Geng Zimo naturally knew Su Kun's personality. Since he had said those words, it was impossible to persuade him not to take out the money. He scratched his head and said, "Um, how about this, we both need to get rid of the bad luck, so let's split it in half. Don't argue with me, or you'll be blocking my path to wealth!"

Su Kun: "............" As if this crappy coffin could really make people get promoted and rich.

"Then this thing—" He thought for a moment and opened his mouth again.

"This thing should still be kept at your bedside, after all, the root cause is with you." Geng Zimo interrupted him before he could finish, looking at him with a slanted eye and a chuckle.

Su Kun: "............I will absolutely never compromise, you can give up on that idea right now!"

Three hours later, Su Kun, who would never compromise even if he died, was lying in his unlit bedroom, his eyes wide open like a dog's, staring at the mini coffin placed neatly on the bedside table, not daring to blink.

Although Geng Zimo repeatedly assured him that it was just an exterior shape, and it couldn't actually be opened, and there was nothing weird inside, so there was no need to worry. And Su Kun himself had tried to pry open the lid and found that it was indeed tightly sealed to the bottom of the coffin, and should be glued shut.

But in the middle of the night, having it by the bedside still made him extremely cautious no matter how he looked at it. The night wind finally brought a hint of coolness, blowing through the gauze window into the room. Even though the temperature was just right, it made all the hair on his body stand up.

However, despite being scared, after staring for a long time, even if he tried to stay alert, he couldn't resist the waves of sleepiness that kept coming. Su Kun only felt his thoughts becoming more and more ethereal, his mind turning more and more into mush, and even the incessant chirping of the cicadas outside all night long became distant...

Just as Su Kun put the coffin matter out of his mind and was about to completely fall into a deep sleep, a "click" sound suddenly came from not far from his head.


Hi, I'm Nightowl. I thrive in the quiet hours of the night, where my translations come to life. You’ll often find me with a cup of tea, surrounded by my collection of vinyl records, sharing stories that keep us all up a little too late.

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