Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 1 Book of Thunder – Chapter 54 Conflict Resolved
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 54 Conflict Resolved
I rushed over and picked up my phone. Glancing at my screen, it really was my mother calling.
In that one moment, I panicked so hard that I couldn’t even hold my phone. “W-w-what do I do! Why is she calling me again?”
Wen Jiubo seemed overly relaxed about it. “If you don’t want to pick up then don’t.”
“I can’t do that!” I said. I was still trying to find an opportunity to reconcile with my mother.
“Then pick it up, it’s been ringing for a while already.” Wen Jiubo said lazily. “If you’re afraid, then put it on speaker.”
I gulped and listened to Wen Jiubo’s suggestion, putting the call on speaker.
The voice from the other side of the phone was unexpectedly gentle.
“Hello, Xiaoyu. Have you eaten dinner yet?”
“Oh…” I glanced at Wen Jiubo apprehensively. “I’ve eaten.”
“What did you eat?”
“It was… fried noodles.”
“Is that so.” My mother’s words paused. After a while, she said, “Xiaoyu, I’m sorry about what happened earlier today. I embarrassed you in front of all those people.”
I never thought that my mother would ever apologize to me first, I was pleasantly surprised. “No, that’s ok…”
“I let my temper get the best of me, can you forgive me?”
“No, that’s okay. I was also in the wrong…” I said hurriedly.
“Then, are you currently together with that handsome, long-haired boy?” My mother asked suddenly.
“Oh. Y-yeah.” There was no way for me to lie at this point.
My mother’s tone suddenly changed to one of interest as she asked, “Is he really your boyfriend?” My face immediately flushed.
“Ah, I don’t mean to blame you, don’t be shy. The way I see it, that young man seemed nice and he was good looking. He protected you at the train station as well. Does he treat you right?”
“T-that…” I immediately picked up the phone, preparing to turn off speakerphone. However, I didn’t expect Wen Jiubo to be faster, snatching the phone from me.
“Don’t worry auntie, I don’t even have time to spoil him, how would I not treat him right? You can safely leave your son to me,” he said lazily.
“Wen Jiubo!” I yelled, super mad.
“Oh, you’re there too.” My mother almost sounded embarrassed. “When I went home today, I heard my sister mention you. She said you’re an exorcist she hired from a distant place who’s come especially to help with Gu Yu’s grandmother’s problem?”
“Ah, you’re so young and already have such great skills. My sister sang your praises from head to toe. She also said you’re also an eastern medicine practitioner. When you have time, maybe you can come help me take a look at this old lady’s hips.”
Wen Jiubo smiled slightly. “You’re too kind, auntie. If there’s an opportunity, I’ll definitely be willing to have a look for you.”
My mother started laughing, as if very happy. “That’s good, that’s good. Gu Yu’s lucky to have such a good man like you to be his boyfriend.”
“You exaggerate, auntie. Being able to know Gu Yu is my fortune.” Wen Jiubo’s lips curled upwards.
“Alright, can you pass the phone to Gu Yu, I want to speak with him again.”
Wen Jiubo answered in the affirmative and passed the phone to me.
“Hello, mom,” I said weakly.
“Gu Yu, you need to treasure the person in front of you, do you hear? Such a good man, don’t let him escape.”
“I know already…” I mumbled.
“And also, since you have a dependable man by your side, then I can stop worrying so much. I won’t force you about your hair and clothes either. But you have to promise, you’ll be good and don’t cause any trouble again. Do you hear me?”
“Okay, no problem!” I repeated, loudly this time.
“That’s the way. Oh, right. Come back to your second aunt’s place tomorrow again. Bring Wen what’s his name, that boyfriend of yours. This problem is best solved sooner than later. It’s better to have one less thing to worry about rather than one extra.
“Okay, I understand.” I nodded.
“Then you two should go to bed early. I’m going to sleep now too.”
“Ok, goodnight mom.”
After saying goodnight, my mother hung up the phone and I gave a sigh of relief.
Wen Jiubo was sprawled on the bed, supporting his chin with one hand. His eyes were smiling as he spoke. “Looks like your mom doesn’t treat you that badly.”
“My mom, she… always treats me well in her own way. That I’m very clear about.” I put my phone to the side and sighed. “Her life was always very hard, which is why she’s put all her hopes and dreams on me. I don’t blame her at all. If I can fulfill her requests so that she can be happier, then that’s fine by me.”
Wen Jiubo looked at me steadily, saying, “Gu Yu, you’re such a kind person.”
It was then that I felt fingers touching my hair. I turned around to find Wen Jiubo reaching out, holding a lock of my hair, seemingly lost in thought.
“Oi, what are you doing?” I asked, bemused.
“I was just thinking, what you looked like when you had long hair.” Wen Jiubo didn’t let go, as if distracted.
I slapped his hand away, slightly angry. “Long hair is long hair, there’s nothing special about it.”
“No, if you had long hair, then you would be especially beautiful.” Wen Jiubo smiled.
“Of course not. Don’t mock me.” I rolled my eyes. “What brought on this sudden madness?”
“It’s just that your appearance made me remember someone I used to know.” Wen Jiubo’s lips curved. “Her hair fell to her shoulder. With red lips and white teeth, when she smiled she looked so lovely.”
“Someone you used to know or a lover?” I asked disdainfully. “I’m not interested in your old flames.”
Wen Jiubo merely smiled, changing the topic. “Your mom is so insistent on you finding a boyfriend. Then do you really like men?”
I hesitated, unable to answer.
“To be honest, I don’t actually know.” I could only answer like that.
“You don’t know? In twenty years of living, you’ve never liked anyone else?” Wen Jiubo asked curiously.
I shook my head. “Nope.”
“Not men, not women either?”
I frowned. “No means no.”
I didn’t even have anyone who resembled a friend growing up, let alone a boyfriend or girlfriend. Due to the way I was dressed and my personality, from primary school to high school, no one ever really approached me. I would sometimes hear the people around me talk about me, using terms like ‘weirdo’ and ‘sissy boy’ to address me. After all these years, I was already used to it.
Wen Jiubo didn’t continue this line of questioning, he merely smiled and sat up. “It’s late and we have to go out tomorrow. You should sleep.”
I yawned, nodded, and crawled into bed.
The clean blankets of the hotel lulled me into sleep quickly, and I forgot to ask why Wen Jiubo was so protective of me.