Quality Checker: Isalee
First Published on Chaleuria.
“Don’t be so lazy. It wouldn’t hurt to just go take a look!”
That sentence left me speechless, so as I was left without a choice I turned around and walked out of the door. Even if I were to look at it again, characters that weren’t there could not just appear out of no—
I stood completely frozen on the spot. At this moment, huge golden characters had really appeared out of nowhere on the wooden plaque which was blank five minutes ago. Written neatly on it were three words — ‘House of Exorcism’.
I blankly stared at the words that appeared on the plaque, not knowing when Mr. Wen had walked up behind me.
“The reason why you couldn’t see the words on the plaque when you came in earlier was because you had never seen me before, neither did you know what kind of place this residence was. But now after you have seen me and talked to me, of course, you would have some idea in your mind.” He raised his head up and stared at the wooden plaque.
“House of Exorcism… Who are you after all?” I thought what I had experienced in Shi Yitong’s home the last two days was unimaginable enough, but I didn’t realize I would run into something even more bizarre the next day.
“I can be anyone, or I can be none of them as well. But just as I said, anyone who comes here must be seeking help for something.” Mr. Wen smiled, “And I’m the one here to help the wanderers solve their problems.”
“You are the person that was at school that day, aren’t you?” I blurted out the question.
Mr. Wen smiled as he nodded.
“Then while I was dreaming that night—”
Mr. Wen simply smiled and made no reply. I didn’t know whether it counted as acquiescence.
His expression was very calm and relaxed, making it impossible for one to not be convinced. I even started to think that the man in front me might have solved countless similar requests already and that I was nothing but another passing traveler in this mysterious man’s life.
Nevermind, even if I were to tell him about it… I guess there was no harm in doing so.
I followed him into the room. We sat down face to face as I told him everything from beginning to end—about how I ended up in Yan City, how I met Shi Yitong, what kind of weird things happened in Shi Yitong’s home, and the strange dream I had last night as well as the coffin in that dream. Mr. Wen just sat still in the chair. He simply listened carefully, nodding or smiling from time to time, but did not even say a word.
“…That was all. After I woke up, I told Shi Yitong something was in that coffin, but he wouldn’t believe it no matter what. He even said that I was sleep-addled.” I sighed, “Now, even I can’t tell whether it was real or not.”
“It’s real.” Mr. Wen said.
“What?” I didn’t get it at first.
“The scene you saw is probably not an ordinary dream.” Mr. Wen propped his chin on his hand as he studied me, “It might be a problem of your constitution.”
“If my guess is right, Gu Yu, you should have spirit vision constitution.”
I was completely confused and could only try my best to understand what he meant. “Spirit vision… Do you mean the ‘yin-yang eye’?”
“No, that’s not right. Yin-yang eye is different from spirit vision.” Mr. Wen rejected my interpretation. “The ‘yin-yang eye’ that ordinary people talk about is a very narrow concept. It only refers to people who can see ghosts and demons. However, spirit vision is an ability in a much broader sense. If we are to divide the abilities numerically, then ‘yin-yang eye’ would be 10 while ‘spirit vision’ would score 100.”
Without me even noticing, his words had already drawn me in, “Why are they so different?”
“Then we have to start from the composition of the world we live in.” He looked at me intently. “What do you think the world we’re in is composed of?”
Why did he suddenly start lecturing? I blurted out without much hesitation, “Of course it’s matter. Everything in the world is made up of matter, or molecules. Molecules are made up of atoms, and atoms are made up of protons and neutrons. This is just the basis of physics.”
Mr. Wen smiled as he nodded. “Then let me ask you, what constitutes people’s thoughts?”
“Well…” I went blank with surprise for a second and forced myself to reply, “Thoughts are created by brain cells, and brain cells are also…”
“No, that’s wrong.” Mr. Wen interrupted my sentence, “You didn’t understand my question. The brain is a kind of matter of course, but as for thoughts, consciousness, emotions—things that are created by the brain—what constitutes them? Could it be thought molecules, thought atoms?”
“That…” I was at a loss for words.
“That’s right. The psychological field has always been the part which theories of materialism can never explain because no one can clearly tell what constitutes people’s thoughts and consciousness. They are invisible and intangible, something totally different from the material world we live in. They’re almost like the product of another world. But there is one thing you must understand.” Mr. Wen pressed his fingertips against his chin and said slowly, “In this world, all gods and demons originate from people’s hearts. No matter when, humans have always been the only creator of supernatural beings.”
“But, what does it have to do with ‘spirit vision’?” I couldn’t restrain myself from interrupting.
“Didn’t I just say? The material world and spiritual world are two completely different worlds. Or to put it in the modern language that you use, they are two different ‘dimensions’, or ‘this shore’ and ‘the other shore’ that our ancestors talked about. The two worlds coexist interdependently. They are parallel to each other but would crisscross occasionally as well. Whether it be demons or ghosts, they can only influence our world when the two worlds intersect with each other, and that is the reason why the so-called supernatural events appear. Demons and ghosts are all pure spiritual beings. Generally speaking, except under special circumstances, ordinary people cannot see them. As for people who have the so-called ‘yin-yang eyes’, they are just people whose degree of awareness of spiritual beings is a little deeper than others and thus are occasionally able to see fragments of the scenes produced by the two worlds when they intersect. But Gu Yu, you are different. You can enter that side of the world entirely.”
I became more and more confused. Pointing at my nose, I asked, “Huh? Me?”
“This is the spirit vision I was talking about.” Mr. Wen folded his hands together and drew them back into the sleeves of his long robe. “You should have felt it yourself too. You are very sensitive to the outside world, right?”
I became quiet. He was right about that. Ever since I was young, my five senses had been somewhat stronger than the people around me. Touch, smell, sound, sight…all of these sensations had been very acute. For example, I could often hear sounds from far places. If the person speaking was someone I had met before, I could even accurately tell who it was. I was also good at recognizing people. I would never forget the face of anyone whom I had met at least once. But I had never associated these kind of things to demons and supernatural events. I thought all of that was just me having a naturally good constitution.
“Spirit vision is also called the second vision. It usually refers to people having the ability to see things outside of their senses. Even though many people are believed to have the potential for spirit vision—for example someone who can see the future through a crystal ball, or someone who can see demons from the reflection in a bowl of water, but a complete spirit visioner like you is rather rare.” Mr. Wen suddenly reached out with his hand. Since I was standing very close to him in the first place, it was too late for me to dodge. He was able to touch my cheek.