Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 1 Book of Thunder – Chapter 44 A Letter of Request
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 44 A Letter of Request
I wasn’t able to sleep all night. Instead, I spent the time sitting on my bed and staring blankly out of the window until the sun slowly came up
As soon as it became morning, I called the school to verify my mother’s claims. She had indeed withdrawn me from school, using the rubbish excuse of us not being able to afford the school fees. She had also withdrawn me from my dorm as well. After this break, I wouldn’t even have the right to sleep on my own bunk any longer.
At that moment, everything in my life had come to a head. There was nothing left to do except to accept my fate and progress along that neatly laid out plan.
Both Shi Yitong and Su Xiaoyun had both long since left the school. I could only send them both a short text as notice. As I packed my belongings, I thought that the only regret I would have is not being able to say sorry to my two good friends in person.
I walked out of the school gate, dragging my luggage, feeling a bit in a daze.
Was I really going to just… leave this city like this?
It was too rushed, too sudden. It was as if I was being awoken rudely from a beautiful dream, and I was still in the midst of rubbing the sleep from my eyes, unable to accept reality quite yet.
Preparing to leave, I turned my head to look at my school once more with something heavy in my heart. I stopped.
A couple of meters behind me stood a person. I definitely couldn’t mistake that long hair paired with that long shirt and slender body. It was Wen Jiubo.
My mind told me that I shouldn’t be looking at him at this time. I was going to be leaving soon anyway, therefore, I should leave silently, not leaving any entanglements. However, I couldn’t make myself move. I just stood in place awkwardly until Wen Jiubo was standing before me.
His expression was still as blank as ever. His unreadable gaze swept me from head to toe once and then he picked up my luggage matter of factly. “Let’s go,” was all he said, stepping forward.
— Let’s go? What’s wrong with this guy!
Wen Jiubo’s long strides ate up the ground, I was forced to break into a slow jog to catch up.
“Hey! Explain yourself, where are you going?!”
“To the station of course,” Wen Jiubo turned to look at me and said matter of factly. “Isn’t your train at 2 pm this afternoon?”
Hearing this, I started getting angry. I didn’t know how on earth he had found out about my movements. Not only that, but he had come here without a heads up. It definitely wasn’t proper farewell etiquette at all!
“Whatever!” I glared at him, dragging my luggage back forcibly. “I didn’t ask you to come to see me off! What are you even doing here? Laughing at my misery?”
“It’s more of, what are you saying?” Wen Jiubo stopped to look at me. “Did I ever say I was here to see you off?”
“What?” I felt even more confused now. “Then, are you on a day trip to the train station or something?”
My words were both harsh and sarcastic and I didn’t even know why. It was as if as soon as I crossed paths with this guy, he would inevitably make me mad.
“I also need to go to Bei Ning,” Wen Jiubo said calmly. “My train is also at 2 pm this afternoon.”
His words and attitude were both so casual and so matter of factly that I couldn’t help the anger that welled up.
“That’s enough, Wen Jiubo! I don’t have the patience for your jokes right now. This isn’t a joking matter. I’m leaving and I probably will never come back to this place, did you know?”
“I know.” Wen Jiubo didn’t seem bothered, merely reaching out to take my luggage from me again. I struggled against his grip for a moment, but he was much stronger than I was.
“I’m here because I know. By the way, I never lied to you. Not once.”
Wen Jiubo was completely serious. So serious that I subconsciously started to consider his words.
From the start with the coffin, then with Bai, and even Wang Zhong’s case… he really did tell me the truth, every single time.
Instead of lying, he was actually terrifyingly truthful. Maybe this person was very cunning, maybe he was extremely hard to understand. But always telling the truth, that was likely to be a fact. I only noticed now that Wen Jiubo was carrying a medium sized bag across his shoulder, probably having packed for this trip.
Seeing me quiet down, Wen Jiubo gave me a helpless glance, then continued forward with my luggage in tow.
Was he also coincidentally going to Bei Ning? How was that possible? That was quite a coincidence.
“It’s the truth.” Wen Jiubo seemingly read my thoughts. He pulled out a letter from beneath his outer jacket, passing it to me. “I received a case,” he said quietly.
“A case?” I took the letter, suspicious. “… A case in Bei Ning?”
“That’s right. The details are in the letter. You can have a look.”
The envelope was the cheapest type of envelope and the sender’s address had ‘Bei Ning’ two words written clearly. The sender’s name was written quite sloppily, I could only barely make out that their surname was Zhang.
I unfolded the letter, which was quite long, and started reading as I walked.
To Mr. Wen:
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other, so I hope this letter finds you well. I hope Yan City is treating you well and you’re hale and healthy.
Unfortunately, I’m not just writing this letter to you to renew our acquaintance, but rather, I have a request to make. I have heard that you’ve retired from your trade, but because of the situation, you’re our only remaining hope.
Everything all started a year ago when my father passed away. My father had been quite ill for a long time, semi-disabled for over eleven years, suffering from epilepsy and chronic pain. He was released from his suffering last year, leaving us for the heavens. His mental state was never good and before he died, he had said with clenched teeth, “Before the year’s out, I will drag that old hag with me to hell!”
The person my father spoke of is my mother. My father and mother’s relationship has always been stilted. Their relationship worsened a lot after my father got extremely ill. But at the time, when he said this, we just thought he was speaking nonsense and none of us paid it any heed.
Now, my father has been gone for a year, and just as everyone started to think that our lives would go back to normal, something happened to my mother.
My mother’s health cannot be considered good either, so in September, I brought my mother to live with us. That’s when strange things started happening.
Approximately three days after she started living with us, my mother suddenly woke up in the middle of the night and started moving around. At the time, I thought she needed to relieve herself and couldn’t find the bathroom, but afterward, I discovered it wasn’t so. She was only moving aimlessly around her room, her expression quite distressed. Then it devolved into her lying in a corner, turning the light switch on and off repeatedly. It was quite weird, but I didn’t give it much thought. I made sure she was tucked in for the night and then left for my own bed.