Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 1 Book of Thunder – Chapter 38 Epilogue
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 38 Epilogue
“No way, how could I leave you in this dangerous place by yourself?!” I blurted out. I could also see, despite the darkness, that the injury on Wen Jiubo’s chest was starting to bleed through the fabric.
Wen Jiubo sighed helplessly, then said something completely unexpected. “Alright, then you stay here. It’ll be over… in the blink of an eye anyway.”
Before I could decipher what Wen Jiubo meant, the man opposite us suddenly glared at me, mumbling to himself.
“You, of course, it’s you. Of course, you want to ruin my fun. You evil human, I’m going to eat you right here, right now!”
As he said that, he actually leaped towards me, the dagger in his hands stabbing towards me. My heart seized, but before I could even retreat back, Wen Jiubo was already in front of me. He grabbed the other man’s hand tightly, eyes dark.
“The one who ruined your plans wasn’t him, it was me. Get a hold of yourself, you evil demon! You’re the one who should’ve been eaten.”
Wang snarled angrily, immediately changing targets and charging at Wen Jiubo instead. Wen Jiubo turned sideways just in time, and the blade only cut through his sleeve.
So impressive! I thought as I watched this. Even injured, Wen Jiubo’s movements were still nimble. I couldn’t see any sluggishness.
“The so-called demon is pale-faced and red-eyed. With the mouth of a bloody beast, feasting upon human flesh, a creature who rapes and murders without care for the consequences.” Wen Jiubo said, his voice loud as he moved to avoid the attack. “The one who terrorized C City with the serial murder-rape of seven is you, Wang Zhong!” You raped those girls, then cut their bodies up, eating them piece by piece. This is why the police never found an entire corpse. I never thought that after being targeted by the police force, you would come to my territory. You pretended to be human and remarried. It would be one thing if you had seen the error of your ways, but you only wanted to destroy your wife and daughter!”
— Blood, flesh, hair, bone.
— Soft, delicate little bodies, so cute, so pretty.
— That’s right, that’s right. No matter how many times, I want to cut them up with my own hands. Fill my belly with them, piece by piece.
— What? It’s a perversion? No, it’s not! Isn’t it a normal desire? Otherwise, why do children kill bugs, why do men and women have sex?
— I’m not the one in the wrong! I’m not the one who is perverted! The ones who are, are those fake and hypocritical humans!
In the dim light of the moon, Wang Zhong’s face seemed to distort. His eyes bulged out like a monster, then his entire face twisted like something out of a horror film. His pained cries were accompanied by the swelling of his forehead, as a large part of the skin ballooned out, as if something was moving slowly beneath.
I almost cried out in shock, but hurriedly clapped a hand across my mouth. A nasty smell of rot wafted into the room and I saw a pair of black horns push out from beneath the skin of Wang Zhong’s forehead. He roared, and I could see terrifying rows of teeth inside his gaping mouth.
My stomach flipped, I crouched close to the ground, forcing down my instinctive need to throw up.
That… clearly was a demon.
The demon roared, charging straight towards Wen Jiubo. I couldn’t even get a ‘careful’ out.
It was then…
“Bang!” The clean sound of a gunshot broke through the air. When I opened my eyes, it seemed that Wen Jiubo had pulled out a gun at some point and calmly pointed it at Wang Zhong’s chest, pulling the trigger. Wen Jiubo’s eyes were so serene that it shocked me. It was as if was only killing a small bug. No, not even that. It was more expressionless than if he was killing a bug. It was as if he was just wiping up an annoying patch of dust on a table.
Wang Zhong lowered his head to look at the bullet wound on his body before he started roaring like crazy. Before he could do anything else, three consecutive gunshots rang out loudly, hitting him directly in the heart. He opened and closed his mouth a couple of times and then fell to the ground.
The barrel of the gun in Wen Jiubo’s hand was still smoking even as Wang Zhong lay dead and unmoving on the ground, blood seeping across the floor. The corpse’s face was pale but it was definitely human. The smell in the air and the horns on his head had both vanished as if just a figment of my imagination.
Still, in the end, it was the sound of Xiaoying crying that brought me back to reality. The poor girl was huddled in bed, crying loudly. There was a bloody cut on the back of her hand from where Wang Zhong had cut her, but apart from that, she seemed to be unscathed.
Not long after, the police arrived. They were dressed in the uniform of C City’s police department. It looked like Wen Jiubo had planned this in advance.
“You, you’re always causing me trouble!” A young, handsome police officer eyed the body first, then headed towards Wen Jiubo with a frown.
Wen Jiubo had his usual smile on his face, passing the gun to that young officer. “Don’t be like that, Jun Li. It’s all because of the gun you lent me that I’m still alive now.
“Hmph, I find it hard to believe that you couldn’t have handled it without a gun.” The officer called Jun Li didn’t waver, his expression like a stone. “I’m not protecting either you. Both you and that young man next to you are both coming with me to the police station to give statements.”
Just like that, Wen Jiubo and I both ended up at the police station after midnight to give our statements. As it was clearly self-defense, neither of us were at the station for too long before they released us. We were told that we would be contacted again if there were any other questions. I didn’t speak much at all, Wen Jiubo was the one who described the case from start to finish, including the suspect’s motives and actions. He was as calm as a millpond, with that slight smile on his face. The only one who seemed affected by the death and blood was me.
“How’s your injury?”
On the way back, I asked.
“Hm?” Wen Jiubo seemed to deliberately flex his hand. He smiled. “It’s not a big injury. I’ll be fine after resting tonight.”
Liar. Back in the room, I clearly saw that Wen Jiubo’s entire chest had been slashed open. The strange thing was, without any sort of treatment, the wound had already stopped bleeding.
“Risk yourself to save me.”
“Oh, that.” Wen Jiubo smiled. “If at the time, it was you who took the knife to the chest, you would be dead right now.”
— so what? I managed to force those words back down my throat, but I couldn’t force my emotions to calm.
From the day I met him until now, only mere weeks had passed. Did he really have any sort of reason to risk himself to save me? Or, should I say, is he really the type to risk himself to save anyone?