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The station announcement echoed through the train coach, and the train came to a complete stop by the station.
Both of them gathered their belongings and stepped out from the train, following the crowd as they moved towards the exit, where they found someone waiting to pick them up. 

 

A black Audi sped steadily through the bustling city centre and went up north, passing miles of beautiful countryside.
Soon after, huge estates with historical architecture could be seen on both sides of the road, though this wasn’t a tourist hotspot, as there were little to no pedestrians around the area.

 

After a three-hour car ride, they finally arrived at the old Chen family estate in Fen City. 

 

“Here we are.
Be careful.” Wang Li helped Tang Tian out of the car, while the driver went to unload her luggage from the back of the car.

 

The sky had turned completely dark.
The historical estate that stood in front of Tang Tian resembled the architectural style of the late Ming and early Qing dynasties4 estates from the late Ming and early Qing dynasties can still be seen in certain old towns in Shanxi Province, China.
The Qing dynasty came after the Ming dynasty, which then led to the Republic of China.. By the entrance, two tall pillars stood on both sides, with interlocking wooden brackets joining them to the roof.
Two large white lanterns hanging by the front of the pillars danced along to the occasional gentle gusts of wind. 

 


It looked just like something out of a period drama on television. 

 

For a moment, Tang Tian felt as if she had travelled back to ancient times. 

 

As Wang Li had paid a few visits previously, she noticed Tang Tian still gaping at the towering walls and informed her in a low voice, “The estates around this area are all private residential property, never open to the public.

 

“The surrounding area is either privately owned land or plantations. Barely anyone comes throughout the year.
But the Chen family is different.
This is their ancestral estate—ever since their ancestors became wealthy during the Song dynasty, this estate has been faithfully passed on from generation to generation.”

 

“Impressive.” Tang Tian barely had any understanding of the Chen family; she only knew they were rich, but she did not expect them to be that rich.
To own such an estate as their family home wasn’t something an ordinary affluent businessman could easily achieve. 

 

Come to think of it, she was rather pleased to be able to marry into a rich family. To marry a rich man was her lifelong dream, now half-fulfilled.
She had gotten the “rich” part, a pity that the “man” had passed away. 

 

Then again, what was pitiful about it? She was going to die soon, anyway.
It was a perfect match. 

 

The corners of Tang Tian’s lips curled up into a smirk.

 

Wang Li stepped forward and gently rapped the copper door knocker against the large wooden door.
“Uncle Chen, are you there?”


 

She knocked a few more times before she heard faint, weary footsteps coming towards the entrance, followed by a loud creak.
The large entrance door opened slightly, revealing the face of an old man. 

 

“Who is it?”

 

The voice was deep but hoarse.
In his hands was a white paper lantern with a big “奠” written in black ink in the centre.5 dim yellow light from the lantern shone on a face lined with countless wrinkles.
His dazed, greyish eyes stared directly at Tang Tian. 

 

 

 

1 2

The name Quartered Ghost, or Che’lie Ghost (车裂鬼) actually refers to a form of death penalty in ancient times where the person receiving the penalty would have each of their four limbs and their neck tied to separate horse carts.
Then, as the horses pull away, the person would be ripped into four pieces, or quarters.. Hence, the term “quartered” came to be, later on.

3

Jin City (晋地) is a city within Shanxi Province.

4

Boss Chen refers to the current head of the Chen family, which was the father of the deceased male lead.

5

Historical estates from the late Ming and early Qing dynasties can still be seen in certain old towns in Shanxi Province, China.
The Qing dynasty came after the Ming dynasty, which then led to the Republic of China.

6

奠(Dian) is a symbolical word commonly displayed during funerals before the burial stage.
It literally means to provide offerings to the dead, referring in general to acts of mourning for the dead.

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