Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 1 Book of Thunder – Chapter 53 Birthplace
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 53 Birthplace
“I don’t really know. It’s merely a guess.” Wen Jiubo smiled slightly, changing the subject without pause. “Though, your family’s attitude towards outsiders isn’t very friendly at all.”
I sighed. “I’m already used to it. My family’s always been like this. They look very agreeable on the outside, but they’re always using dirty tactics, trying to one-up each other.”
“I see,” Wen Jiubo said softly. “Humans are so much trouble.”
“You said that as if you’re not human,” I mocked.
Wen Jiubo showed a smile. “And I’ve never said I was.”
I paused at his words, suddenly remembering something. “Wen Jiubo, speaking of which, I think I remember you mentioning something about it previously?”
“What?” he answered casually.
I straightened up. “The first time we met, didn’t you tell me that demons were born from a human’s heart, therefore they were rare in big cities?”
Wen Jiubo thought about it for a moment, opening his mouth to say,” That’s correct.”
“Then why did something so strange happen to my family?” I asked, worriedly.
“I said ‘rare’, not impossible.” Wen Jiubo crossed his arms and looked at me. “To be honest, demons, spirits and the like, they’ve always been walking amongst us. The only difference is whether anyone notices or whether anyone is willing to believe.”
I frowned. “What does that mean…”
“To give you a very simple example,” Wen Jiubo lowered his hands, saying faintly. “Say there’s a young girl, and when she’s sleeping in the middle of the night, she would often feel afraid, feeling like there’s something in the dark staring at her which is why she can’t sleep. At this time, what would you say to her?”
“Hmm…” I thought about it. “I think I would tell her to not be afraid, that there’s nothing in the room and then switch on the light so that she can see for herself.”
Wen Jiubo nodded. “That’s right. Then, if every time the young girl would feel afraid, you tell her that, then gradually she’ll believe that monsters don’t exist and the monster in the room would be exorcised like that. But, on the other hand, if whenever the girl was afraid, you tell her, ‘there’s a monster under your bed, if you don’t behave, then it’ll eat you’, then what will happen?”
“Then… she’ll get more and more scared.”
“Not only that, her fear will feed the monster under her bed and slowly give that monster form to turn into a real demon.” Wen Jiubo said, “And if you let this fear continue onwards, then the result would be devastating.”
“But, there are so many children who fear the dark in the world. Why have I never heard of any monster actually crawling out from under their bed?” I asked, confused.
“What a terrified young girl sees and what you see isn’t the same.” Wen Jiubo looked at me meaningfully. “Before Wang Zhong died, didn’t you see him turn into a monster? Do you think other people would’ve seen the same thing?”
I paused, Wen Jiubo’s words triggering bad memories for me. As soon as I thought about that scene, I would feel my stomach roll.
“One man’s honey is another man’s poison. What everyone fears, likes, and is saddened by, is different. These so-called monsters are created in the gaps between.” Wen Jiubo looked towards me. “For example, if I were to say, in this car we’re in right now, there’s an evil spirit hidden and it’s currently lying across your back with a bloody face —”
Goosebumps prickled across my body and I immediately looked behind myself. There was nothing there.
Wen Jiubo started laughing. “Don’t be scared, I was just kidding. But despite my lie, you would still feel uneasy, and that sliver of uneasiness is a warm bed for growing monsters.”
I was a little disappointed. “Even though you’ve said so much, I understood none of it.”
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand. As long as you know that wherever monsters appear, then there must be a person with a haunted heart. And if you want to be rid of the monster, you will need to destroy the warm bed where it was grown first.” After saying this, Wen Jiubo turned his face towards the window, closed his eyes and stopped speaking.
Not long after, we arrived back at the hotel. After tidying things up briefly, I went into the bathroom to take a shower. As I stood under the spray, I kept thinking about everything that happened today as well as where I was going to go after this.
I wanted to return to Yan City. My wish had never been as strong as it was today.
I had only left Yan City for less than two days and I was already starting to miss Shi Yitong and Su Xiaoyun as well as my fellow dorm mates and even the classmates I had only seen once or twice. Did they all know about my withdrawal from school? Would they be worried about me?
Or…. were they out having fun, not having ever paid any attention to me?
After thinking it over, I decided that the only way to go back to Yan City University was to admit my wrongdoings to my mother.
Even if I was to go out and get a job, I wouldn’t be able to save up enough money for tuition by working and studying part-time, but I might be able to live day to day. If I chose that path, then by pushing away my family, I probably would never even see Wen Jiubo again…
In the future, I wouldn’t see Wen Jiubo again?
My heart tightened and before I even realized it, my mind had already rejected this.
No way, that was impossible, I couldn’t not see him.
This thought process scared even me. Didn’t I not like him? He was a cold-blooded and dangerous person. If I got close to him again, then in the future I would probably come across even more dangerous things…
Even though I thought about it like that, my mind was still unwilling.
No matter how stubborn, or how strange his temper, or how dangerous he was, I could never forget how he blocked that knife stab for me without hesitation or the handkerchief he passed to me after a nightmare, or how he had done his best to help me out of a bad spot on the train…
I selfishly wanted to grasp all the warmth that this man could give me.
That was something that I had never wished for as long as I’ve lived.
Even though I didn’t even know the reason he had for doing what he did, even though he was someone that no one could understand, but…
It was then that I heard my mobile ringtone from outside the bathroom. That was followed by Wen Jiubo yelling at me, “Gu Xiaoyu, your phone!”
“Ah, I’m coming!” I hurriedly dried myself off, slipping into a bathrobe.
“Should I pick it up for you?” Wen Jiubo was still yelling.
“No need! Don’t pick it up!” I hurried out of the bathroom at a run, not even having time to dry my hair. I was afraid that Wen Jiubo might say something strange. “Who’s calling?”
“Let me see…” Wen Jiubo hesitated. “Ah. It’s your mom.”