Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 1 Book of Thunder – Chapter 61 Restoring Justice
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 61 Restoring Justice
“After this issue with my family is sorted, you should leave,” I said stiffly, in this ridiculously strange atmosphere.
“That’s a given. Otherwise, did you expect me to settle down in Bei Ning? I can’t leave the old residence and Bai to their own devices.”
Wen Jiubo used a very matter-of-fact attitude to speak. But, after careful thought, it was a pretty obvious conclusion. From the very start, Wen Jiubo and I were not the same type of person at all and meeting him was merely a fortuitous occurrence from when I attended school in an unfamiliar place. Now, this fortune was about to run out.
Yet, I didn’t expect for Wen Jiubo to continue quickly, “Of course, when that time comes, you will need to return with me.”
“How would that be possible? Don’t be daft.” I said disapprovingly. “My mom has already done the paperwork and withdrawn me from my school, she definitely won’t let me go back.”
“With the way things are now, I wouldn’t be so sure of that.” Wen Jiubo showed a slight smile. “Anyway, we’re still not sure how long it’ll take to sort out the current problem in your family.”
At Wen Jiubo’s words, I couldn’t help but start worrying about my grandmother again, who was still suffering from a strange illness. I asked quietly, “That monster called ‘wangliang’, is it that hard to exorcise?”
“No, it’s originally just an insignificant lowly demon.” Wen Jiubo, surprisingly, rebutted me. “They are the same type of demon as those you meet when walking in the middle of the night, the ones that call your name but you cannot turn around. I’ve had a few cases related to wangliangs, and none of them posed any difficulties.”
“Then why is it this time —” I asked impatiently but was interrupted with one glance from Wen Jiubo.
“This time, the situation is a little more complicated.” Wen Jiubo spread his hands. “No matter how weak the demon, you still need to find out where it’s parasitic roots are. Except at the moment since we don’t even know who it’s using as a host, then no matter how good the exorcist, we will still not be able to exorcise it.”
“If you don’t know, then you should go do your best to find out! This kind of thing —” I got halfway through my sentence before suddenly freezing.
Wait a moment, what did Wen Jiubo just say?
My mind was in a bit of a mess and I blamed it on Wen Jiubo always saying some strange things that I could never understand the meaning of. However, I felt as if there was something not quite right. That there was something not quite right with this entire case, from the very start.
“Wait a minute, what did you just say? Can you repeat it?” I turned around abruptly to look at Wen Jiubo. Even though he looked confused, he still repeated his words.
“… no matter how good the exorcist, we will still not be able to exorcise it.” Wen Jiubo said.
“No, not that, the sentence before that.” I waved my hands wildly.
“That was ‘at the moment since we don’t even know who it’s using as a host’?”
“Right! That sentence!” I yelled, looking at him intently. “Why did you say that?”
Wen Jiubo frowned, crossing his arms. “Didn’t I tell you this from the start? Demons come from human hearts, if you want to exorcise the demon, then you would need to firstly…”
“You’ll need to start investigating from the human heart, I know.” I asked in a rush, “But the one hosting the Wangliang is not my grandmother?”
Wen Jiubo’s frown grew deeper. He shook his head, “No, from the very start, I never said that your grandmother was the Wangliang host. Even though she currently looks like she’s a little mad, but it’s likely that she’s been affected by the demon spirit or some other physical reason. She’s not mad because she’s been possessed by the Wangliang, if she had been, then I would have already exorcised that demon at the earliest opportunity.”
I stared at him blankly, it was as if a bomb had exploded in my mind.
It wasn’t my grandmother.
The one possessed by the Wangliang wasn’t my grandmother.
But Wen Jiubo had said, there was a Wangliang that had entrenched itself in my home, unwilling to leave.
Then if it was like that, was there someone else who had been possessed by the Wangliang?
Many faces flashed through my mind in an instant: my mother, my uncle, my second aunt, my second female cousin, my male cousin… was it possible that one of them had been possessed?
No, that couldn’t be right. If my grandmother hadn’t been possessed by a demon, then why did she become so insane, unlike her usual self?
Just as I was puzzling over this, Wen Jiubo sudden spoke.
“When your grandmother came into the hospital, did the doctors check her throat?”
I paused, then nodded. “That’s right, the doctor said it then as well, that there seemed to be a problem with my grandmother’s vocal cords…”
“Then did she have this problem previously with her throat?” Wen Jiubo asked sharply.
“I-I don’t know…” I answered hesitantly. “I didn’t often visit my grandmother, but in my memories, I don’t think so…”
“Okay, final question,” Wen Jiubo looked at me sternly, speaking word by word. “That problem with her vocal cords, would it cause your grandmother to not be able to speak normally?”
A sound went off in my mind, as if I had thought of something, but was unable to admit the truth of it. “What do you mean?”
“You still don’t understand?” Wen Jiubo said lowly. “If your grandmother isn’t the one being possessed, then she is the victim. The person who is actually possessed is ruining her throat, making her unable to make a sound, so that’s why she would do so many crazy seeming actions to get your attention. I noticed before the injury to her forehead was definitely not like an injury she caused by knocking herself against the wall, it’s more likely caused by someone grabbing her by the hair and slamming her against the wall.”
I was so surprised that I couldn’t speak. “W-why would… that person do that?”
“At the start, it was probably so that she wouldn’t say anything unnecessary. But now..” Wen Jiubo said quietly, “She has made too big of a fuss, that person is likely to change their mind and never let that poor old lady speak again.”
Wen Jiubo and I raced towards the hospital, thankfully we weren’t far from there. We huffed and puffed our way up each floor and headed straight to my grandmother’s hospital room.
It was dawn and it was the quietest time in the hospital. Barring some trembling patients and the quiet attending physicians, there weren’t many people about the building.
Because of this, the loud clang of things falling and hoarse yelling was even more piercing.
In my mind, there was an uneasy feeling and I opened the hospital door before Wen Jiubo.
Then, the image inside caused me to completely freeze in place.
The first thing I saw was my second aunt Zhang Shanqiu. She had one foot on the floor and the other foot was on the bed, the white coat that I had thought was pretty was currently completely covered in fresh blood, painting both her clothes and face red. In her hand, she had a little knife, shining under the light, lifted high in the air. There was still blood dripping from the blade, reflecting the grisly smile her face was twisted into.
My grandmother was lying on the floor, writhing in pain, as if having escaped from the hospital bed with great effort. You could see that on her leg and body, there were already several stab wounds from that small knife.
My grandmother raised her head and looked towards me, her eyes showing fear, anger, pain and a plea for help.
Wen Jiubo was right, that… was definitely not the expression of a madwoman.