Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 1 Book of Thunder – Chapter 52 Beginning the Investigation (2)
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 52 Beginning the Investigation (2)
“But why would someone go mad without any reason? I couldn’t help but ask.
“That’s the problem, isn’t it?” My second aunt said, frowning unhappily. “We also only found out afterwards what the old man said before he passed. Gu Yu, do you still remember how your grandfather was before he died?”
I nodded with fear still lingering in my heart. I could forget everything, but I couldn’t forget the way my grandfather was before he died.
When my grandfather was alive, he already had a bad temper and was an extremely stubborn old man who didn’t like small children. From a young age, I kept a polite distance away from him. He was not just stubborn, he was also petty, and when I was younger, even if I hadn’t done anything to annoy him, he would always have something to hold over me. When I was young, he would pull my plaits and often would pull off entire tufts of hair, making me cry from the pain. Otherwise, he would pull at my skirt and watch me cry. Only if I cried, he would show a satisfied expression. But when I told my mom this, she ended up hitting me again. Because of this, as I was growing up, my grandfather’s existence was a shadow in my heart.
Afterward, my grandfather got a strange illness. He went to the hospital many times in crippling pain, but they couldn’t find a cause. In the end, both his legs were disabled and he had to use a wheelchair. From then onwards, he became extremely strange, often yelling loudly for no reason, or both laughing and crying while mumbling something. He would also often beckon you over with a mysterious smile, but when you went over, he would suddenly bite you on the arm, or hand, or ear. There was once when I was bitten so hard by him I started bleeding.
When my grandfather passed away, I was busy studying for my senior year exams, so I didn’t visit often. I had heard that a week before he died, his body had already started to decompose, the entire room would be filled with an unspeakable stench. Even though his eyes were open and he still breathed, but there was no life left in his eyes; there was nothing to tell him apart from a dead corpse. But just before he died, there was that one brief moment when he suddenly came back to himself, muttering to himself, running around the room. Afterward, he yelled, “One year! Within one year, I’m going to drag that old hag down to hell with me! To hell!”
… That’s right, my second aunt also addressed those circumstances in her letter.
My second aunt sighed and said, “That’s right, so that’s why we immediately thought that my mother had been affected by something unclean, maybe my father’s soul or something. Before he died, my father was also like this, mentally unstable, and no one knew what to do. Afterward, we invited some Daoists and priests of good repute, but after they saw the situation, they could only shrug and say that they had no way of helping. I’m at the end of my rope, which is why I requested your help. However, now that you’re here, I’m relieved. I believe in you, no matter if it’s demons or ghosts, you’ll definitely have a way to exorcise it.”
As she spoke, my second aunt stood up and bowed towards Wen Jiubo, her eyes were slightly red.
“Since I accepted this case, then there’s no reason that I can’t see it through.” Wen Jiubo smiled. “Listening to your situation, there’s definitely something strange lurking around your home. I think I’ve got a handle on it now.”
“Really?” My second aunt asked, pleasantly surprised. “Then what sort of demon or spirit is it? Is there any way to be rid of it?”
Wen Jiubo smiled and waved his hand. “If I speak of it now, then my spell won’t be effective. Don’t worry, rushing things never got anywhere.”
I saw that my second aunt wanted to say something else, but at the same time, her phone started ringing. She stood hurriedly, exiting the room to answer the call.
“Mhm. Mhm. Okay, that’s fine. Then come on over.”
I heard her respond with a couple of sentences before she hung up and returned.
“What’s happening?” I asked.
“Oh, your mother said that she had finished with work for the moment, and she’ll be here shortly to see what had been happening.” My second aunt said, smiling.
What!? My mom was on her way? I almost choked on my own saliva, unable to control my breathing.
“Um. T-then… I’m going to…” I stuttered, not even finishing my sentence before Wen Jiubo stepped in.
“Shangqiu, Gu Yu and I have some other engagement. Since we’ve been able to work out most of the situation here, we’ll take our leave first.”
“What?” This time, it was my second aunt’s turn to hesitate. “You’re leaving now?”
Wen Jiubo nodded, smiling. “It’s only temporary. We really do have an urgent appointment that we can’t put off. After I deal with that, I’ll be back tomorrow to disturb you.”
“I-is that so…” My second aunt’s expression seemed to be unusually hesitant for him to leave. “You’ll be back tomorrow?”
“Naturally. I’ve said already since I’ve accepted this case, then I’ll definitely solve your problems for you.” Wen Jiubo said smiling, his tone formal.
“Jiubo, wait!” What was startling was that my second aunt suddenly reached out her hand and grabbed Wen Jiubo’s wrist. Upon closer look, there were tears in the corner of her eyes, surprising me.
“You came so casually and now you’re also leaving just as casually?” My second aunt asked, emotionally. “It’s the same as back then! In your heart… is there no place for me at all?”
However, Wen Jiubo only looked at her calmly, seeming completely unmoved, silently removing her hand. His voice was soft as he said. “When did I casually come and casually go? You requested for me to come and investigate your mother’s problem, so I came. Once the investigation is done, of course, I’ll leave. Is there anything untoward about that?”
My second aunt seemed to be struck by Wen Jiubo’s cool gaze, lowering her head slowly, and then shaking it. “No. I’m sorry.”
Wen Jiubo nodded at my second aunt and at the rest of the people in the living room and then promptly left, heading down the stairs. Even though I was mystified by everything, I quickly caught up with him, walking out of my second aunt’s house.
“We should hurry, otherwise we’ll end up running into your devil of a mother.” Wen Jiubo said, turning to hurry me when he saw me moving slowly.
“Oh… okay.” I hurried my steps to catch up to Wen Jiubo. “Just before, with my second aunt, what was…” I asked curiously.
“What was what?” Wen Jiubo asked, not paying much attention.
“What what? I meant the way she addressed you.”
“Many people address me like that.” Wen Jiubo said, still as casual as you please. “Why? Do you also want to address me like that?”
I realized that I had been played again and I got angry. “Who wants to address you like that?!”
Wen Jiubo didn’t say anything else, he just smiled as he flagged down a passing taxi, giving the driver the name of our hotel.
“This time the situation was out of the norm and I was unable to question the people in the living room before we left. We don’t actually have that much information.”
“But at my second aunt’s place, didn’t you say you already knew what sort of demon was preying on their household?” I asked curiously.