Chapter 6 Ghosts?
“Ghosts?” What Zhao Lingjun really wanted to say was, a real man would not be scared of some ghost. But decided otherwise after thinking of the many Hong Kong films that featured a female ghost dressed in red, with blood flowing out of her eyes, and a hanging tongue, staring vehemently from either outside the window or in the mirror. Then when the clock strikes midnight, she would crawl out from the TV similar to how a dog crawled. Although deep inside, Zhao Lingjun was a little worried, the two words “Not afraid” had already left his mouth.
Looking at Zhao Lingjun’s reactions, Zhang Changsheng smiled and said, “Looks like you’re quite honest, but I’m also a little embarrassed to have lied to you. The reason why the developer could no longer suppress it was because the area wasn’t peaceful after they started construction.”
“Not peaceful?” Zhao Lingjun suddenly felt a gush of chilly breeze blow past him.
“Yes. After construction started, many weird things started occurring. For example, the construction workers would often hear a person speaking from outside when it turned dark. Soon after the construction started, many construction related injuries occurred. Afterwards, during the day a worker kept saying that he saw supernatural things at night like a man possessed.” Zhang Changsheng went on, “In the end when the compound was completed, the new tenants also heard ghostly noises at night. Slowly but surely word got out that this place used to be a graveyard, and from then on it spread tantamount to wildfire."
“What? The price fell? Not many people continued living here? The boss’s building can’t be sold out and was rotting away? He could only give it to us as a dormitory?” Zhao Lingjun grew more and more wary of this place. “But somehow I slept very well yesterday, and didn’t hear any strange sounds.”
“What you have said is all correct. However, under a lot of pressure, the developer had no choice but to hire a grandmaster to exorcise the area. From thereafter, not a single strange thing occurred again.” Zhang Changsheng said. “But because the reputation of it being haunted was so widespread, not many people dared to live here.”
Zhao Lingjun looked at Zhang Changsheng and wanted to cry but had no tears, who would have
expected this company’s dormitory was the boss’s unsellable haunted house.
Not far from the Church, when leaving the compound’s gate in the heavy rain, Zhao Lingjun while deep in thought, thought that the three words “Hua Jing Yuan” at the gates became “Lan Re Si”.
Once Zhao Lingjun thought of his apartment having dismembered bodies under it in the past, once he thought of the place possibly suppressing a perverted demon, Zhao Lingjun’s enthusiasm on the first day of work had dissipated. But when they reached the distant bus stop, Zhao Lingjun almost fell with a loud crash and slipped into a comatose state again.
On the platform, there were a lot of people squeezed in like sardines. This made Zhao Lingjun recall the days of standing on that old and dilapidated platform to get to school. He was stumped about how a Lan Re Si like area had so many people waiting here for the bus.
Zhang Changsheng greeted a number of people in the crowd. It appeared that many people were from the same company as them. Zhao Lingjun on the other hand was trying to look for Wu Xiaoye to no avail. It looks like during the short moment, Wu Xiaoye had already boarded another bus and left.
After taking a look at the cramped platform, Zhao Lingjun was concerned for the delicate Wu Xiaoye. It’s definitely miserable for a delicate girl like her to squeeze on the bus everyday. He decided that if he bought a car, he would drive her to work for free daily. While waiting for the bus, the first thing Zhao Lingjun thought of was still Wu Xiaoye.
After using all his strength to squeeze into the bus, Zhao Lingjun depressingly asked, “Why does this haunted place have so many people? Yesterday, when coming here with Hao Meili, there was not so many people. You even said earlier that not many people lived here.”
“It’s not that this place has many people, it’s just that few buses come here.” Zhang Changsheng went on, “Yesterday when you came back, it wasn’t rush hour yet, therefore there were fewer people.”
“It can’t be. If few buses come here, how did Wu Xiaoye disappear?” Baffled, Zhao Lingjun asked.
“Haha. You’re still thinking of Wu Xiaoye?” Zhang Changsheng laughed. “I forgot to tell you, but this bus stop has another peculiarity. Other than the buses being few, the timing of the buses are inaccurate. Sometimes two would come consecutively, other times even after waiting for half an hour, not even one bus would arrive. Therefore I don’t usually take the bus.”
“What!? You have already bought a car?” Zhao Lingjun at this moment suddenly recalled Hao Meili telling him that the company paid very well, and some colleagues could even buy a car in just two years. He immediately felt eager.
“Yup.” Zhang Changsheng replied.
“Then why are you not driving today?” Zhao Lingjun curiously asked.
“How would I drive? The rain is so heavy.” Zhang Changsheng said. “If I were to drive to the office, wouldn’t I get drenched to death?”
“Drenched to death?” Zhao Lingjun only then felt that something was not quite right. “What kind of car do you drive?”
“I drive an electric car.” Zhang Changsheng looked strangely at Zhao Lingjun like he was stupid or something and said, “What other kind of car could I have?”
*Splash* Zhao Lingjun rolled his eyes and nearly fainted. “It couldn’t be that the electric car driving in I saw from the balcony yesterday is yours?”
“It’s highly likely.” Zhang Changsheng replied. “Other people generally take the bus to work, other than Baoya Zhen and Fatty Zhang. In our company, other than the boss, only the two of them bought cars. Also the boss doesn’t live here.”
“What? What did you say?” Shocked, Zhao Lingjun questioned. “Only those few people bought a car? Then why did Hao Meili tell me that some employees bought a car in just two years?”
“Haha.” Zhang Changsheng laughed until tears nearly fell. “You can even believe Baoya Zhen’s words? Isn’t the person who bought a car in two years me?”
“Electric car?” Zhao Lingjun almost fainted again.
??* * *
After suffering two blows in succession, Zhao Lingjun sensed that everything was just like a dream. Holding onto his last hope, he asked, “Then how well does the company pay? Do you get bonuses each month?”
“Pay? Each person’s pay is different. How much did she quote you?” Zhang Changsheng replied with a question of his own.
“2,000.” Zhao Lingjun replied.
“Is that before or after tax? Was it after deducting social security payments or before?”
“This… I’m not too sure.” Zhao Lingjun looked at Zhang Changsheng and asked, “Is there any difference?”
“Of course there’s a difference!” Zhang Changsheng looked pitifully at Zhao Lingjun and said, “If the contract for 2,000 is after tax and social security payments, then I congratulate you. Your pay in comparison with last year’s new employees is considered high. However if it is before tax and social security payments, then I pity you.”
“...” Zhao Lingjun felt his whole body turn cold. “Then what is the difference between these two scenarios? How much is it?”
“If you deduct taxes and social security payments from the 2,000, the take home pay of 1,500 would already be considered on the high side. No matter what, it would be different by about 400 to 500.”
“...” Zhao Lingjun was completely stunned and could not speak a word. However he desperately held on onto his last bit of hope. “Then how about the bonuses? Is it true that there would be monthly bonuses?”
“Bonus?” Zhang Changsheng laughed hysterically and almost fell on his butt.
“Now what?” Zhao Lingjun asked dispiritedly. “Is there no bonus?”
“There is, there is, why wouldn’t there be.” Zhang Changsheng laughed.
“Then why are you laughing so hysterically.” Puzzled, Zhao Lingjun asked. “You’re laughing in a really frightening manner.”
“How would you feel if I told you that the monthly bonus did not exceed 100, and can go as low as 50 on bad months.” Zhang Changsheng said.
“I…” Zhao Lingjun could only feel his head exploding. All his hopes and dreams were crushed, just like the child blowing bubbles. It seemed like a person popped up in his conciousness and laughed maniacally, “Hahahaha, your money, your beauties, your future, are all mine, mine, mine!”
Zhao Lingjun quickly held the handrail tightly, steadied himself, managing to prevent himself from falling to the ground.
 Lan Re Si - Is a reference to a ghost temple the film A Chinese Ghost Story. Click here to find out more.
 Fatty Zhang - Referring to Zhang Zhong, Manager Zhang. It’s just a nickname for him.
 Social Security - It’s used in mainland China as the most basic form of welfare for workers. Of course the workers have to pay a sum each month. Click here to find out more. I couldn’t obtain an English link for it but it’s pretty understandable with google translate.
Khuja: In the States we have required taxes, social security is one of them, it’s used as a form of income once you retire/hit a certain age usually like 65. But it’s not very much. Example: Hubby’s checks are usually about 2k, bring home is 1200. But we have many taxes and insurances.
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