Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 1 Book of Thunder – Chapter 31 Bed and Telephone
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 31 Bed and Telephone
I shook my head to clear my mind of those random nonsensical thoughts. After taking off my jacket, I threw myself onto the bed. The spring mattress felt very soft and comfortable underneath me, and I could smell the faintest hint of sandalwood. It was only then that I truly felt the exhaustion in my body after today’s adventures. I yawned and started to fall asleep.
However, it was right at that moment that my blasted phone decided to start ringing.
I groped around for it a bit before picking it up, squinting at the screen. It read: Wen Jiubo.
I ran my hands through my hair, angry, but I couldn’t ignore a call from my ‘boss’. So I just sat up, the phone next to my ear.
“Oh? You picked up. I thought you might’ve slept already.” I could hear Wen Jiubo’s teasing tone through the phone. It was already pretty late, but there was still quite a bit of background noise, and what sounded like lots of people walking past as well as talking.
“If you knew, then why did you still call?!” I fumed angrily.
“Because I missed you, of course.” Wen Jiubo replied easily.
This again. He always seemed to say whatever he wanted. I could never tell how much of it was teasing and how much of it was the truth.
“Admit it, you only want to know how the case is going.”
“Correct on the first try. Obviously, this is why you’re working for me. How are things going?”
I sighed and relayed everything that happened today to Wen Jiubo.
“… It’s like this. Just from the outside, the house already looks dodgy, with a gloomy air about it. That little girl’s room is at the very end of the corridor. After today’s debacle, it’s probably going to be hard to return there next time.”
“What was that little girl’s room like? Did you get a good look at it?”
“I only saw a bit of it, didn’t manage to get a clearer look before her stepfather dragged me out. It’s very pink and very small, probably the size of the toilet at my house. The room doesn’t get any sun and there’s a small bed and also a mirror on the wall. I only saw that much.”
“A mirror…” Wen Jiubo sounded deep in thought. “If there’s a mirror without sunlight, then there’s definitely a chance of a haunting.”
“What do we do then?” I asked, a little frustrated, “You’re still not back yet. How are Bai and I supposed to get rid of the ghost? I’m not an exorcist.”
“Think of another way to investigate. If the haunting is the result of a lonely spirit, then spit or a dog’s tooth can chase them away. If it’s worse than that, then use the ready-drawn charms on my desk.” Wen Jiubo said lazily, “I can’t go back right now, I need to stay for at least another three or four days.”
I couldn’t resist my curiosity any longer, so I asked him, “Where exactly are you right now?”
“Me? I’m currently in C City helping them investigate a murder-rape case.”
C City? That infamous city with record high crime rates? I couldn’t help but say, “Murder case? I thought you were an exorcist. When did you suddenly become a private investigator?”
“About that, I didn’t have a choice. I’m old friends with Constable Yan and Dr. Yang here.” Wen Jiubo sounded like this was all par for the course. “I’m just helping out some friends.”
Constable Yan? Dr. Yang? Wen Jiubo seemed to know a lot of strange and random people.
“Then stay safe, I guess.” I sighed again, rolling over on the bed. The mattress and the comforter made a soft rustling sound against each other.
Wen Jiubo suddenly went quiet for a few seconds, then started laughing softly. He asked, his tone still full of mirth, “Gu Yu, are you currently at the old residence?”
Hearing this, I suddenly panicked, almost dropping my phone.
“Um… Yeah, that’s right.” I said, forcing the words out of myself.
Wen Jiubo’s tone turned teasing, “In my bed?”
“That’s because I forgot my dorm key today!” I started explaining loudly. “ And then my dorm mates went out and Bai suggested that we stay the night at the old residence. Yeah, that weasel was the one that suggested we come here, I didn’t have anything to do with it!”
“Why are you so panicked? I didn’t say I wouldn’t let you sleep there.”
“…Oh.” I felt a bit embarrassed.
“It’s going to get cold tonight, and it might rain as well. Remember to tuck yourself in properly.”
“Oh…” I was still so embarrassed that I didn’t know what to say at all.
“Then let’s leave it at this. If there are any developments on the case, remember to let me know. Goodnight, sleep well.”
After hanging up, I sat blankly on the bed. It was then that I noticed that my heart was racing and my palms were moist with sweat.
Ah — I really wanted to find a hole to bury myself in! Damn Wen Jiubo!!
I threw my phone to the side and buried myself in the comforter.
“Oi, Gu Yu, what are you doing?” Bai’s voice sounded from outside the comforter. He had obviously returned after finishing up his bath.
“Hey, why aren’t you talking? What are you doing?” Bai jumped up and down a few times on the bed.
“Shut up and go to sleep!” I stuck my head out angrily and slammed the light switch off.
The next day it started raining and the temperature dropped by several degrees, exactly like Wen Jiubo said. After I got up, I immediately sneezed a couple of times.
Looking at the time, it was already half past seven. There was still quite a bit of distance between the school and the old residence, so I hurriedly dressed, grabbed my jacket and started jogging towards the lecture halls.
My first class was in the science and engineering department, so I naturally ended up sitting next to Shi Yitong. However, Su Xiaoyun was nowhere in sight, even after the bell rung signaling the start of class.
“Speaking of which, I think Goddess Su is taking a day off sick today.” Shi Yitong said. “Seems she has a cold or something.”
I rubbed my nose. “Yeah, today’s so cold, even I feel like I’m going to get sick.”
“I didn’t see you at all yesterday, were you lying sick in your dorm?” Shi Yitong looked quite concerned.
I immediately waved my hand. “Nothing that serious. I wasn’t around yesterday because I had to look into a case for Wen Jiubo.”
“Wen Jiubo?” Shi Yitong took a moment before reacting. “Oh. Is it that Mr. Wen?”
“Yeah, that Mr. Wen.” That super annoying and super arrogant Mr. Wen.
“Oh really?” Shi Yitong looked interested now, leaning in close. “Another case? What sort of case this time?”
I didn’t have a choice then, so I gave Shi Yitong a rough rundown of everything that had happened. What I didn’t expect was that that guy ended up being fixated on the wrong point.
“What? Your pet weasel — it’s actually a demon!”
Shi Yitong’s voice was overly loud, several people around us looked over. I quickly shoved his head down.
“Shush! We’re still in class! What the hell are you doing?”
“Ah, sorry! I was just really surprised.” Shi Yitong stared at me. After a long while, he spoke again, “So demons really do exist in our world!”