Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 1 Book of Thunder – Chapter 66 Denouement
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 66 Denouement
It wasn’t long after that the ruckus at the restaurant caught the attention of local police. Faced with the authority of the police officers, Wen Jiubo seemed unfazed, as if he had faced this very same situation many times before.
“S-sorry. She’s mentally ill and we failed to keep a good watch over her, allowing her to escape. Yes, we’re very sorry and we’ll definitely repay the damages and losses to the restaurant.”
But my uncle stood to one side, yelling in agitation. “What mental illness? It was definitely not mental illness! I saw with my very own eyes, she was possessed by a demon, there was a demon!”
It wasn’t until my male cousin stomped hard on my uncle’s foot and smiled apologetically at the police officers that we avoided the trouble of being taken in to be questioned, resolving the problem.
Not long after, finishing up the things at her work, my mom also hurried over. She listened to my uncle repetitively explain the terrifying situation, while holding me in her arms and checking on me, again and again, to ascertain if I was injured or not.
— At that moment, I could understand that although my mother wasn’t perfect, although at times she was rude and stubborn and even a little abnormal, I still did not regret the fact that I had a mother like this.
My second aunt had been taken to the hospital and remained in a coma. My grandmother, who had been stabbed several times by my second aunt, was more or less fine as the wounds weren’t deep and she had been taken for treatment immediately. After the doctors checked her throat thoroughly, they determined that someone had purposefully force fed her diluted hydrochloric acid which caused her to lose her voice. From the situation, it seemed like she wouldn’t be able to speak at all in the near future.
After settling everything, everyone in the family had to take turns looking after the two patients in the hospital again. I had bottled up a lot of questions, waiting to ask Wen Jiubo.
“My second aunt will be okay, right? Will she wake up?” As soon as we stepped out of the hospital room, I was on Wen Jiubo’s heels, questioning him.
“She will.” Wen Jiubo eyed my second aunt’s hospital room, saying, “She should wake up after another two or three days.”
I breathed out a sigh of relief. I was just about to say ‘that’s great’ when Wen Jiubo coldly interrupted me all of a sudden.
“However, even if she wakes up, she won’t be the same as before.”
My heart thumped, “What do you mean?”
“Those wangliang buried themselves quite deeply, they spent years or even over a decade to bury themselves into her body. Even if I wanted to destroy them all now, that body has seemingly been gnawed hollow, not even speaking about the eggs that had been laid within.”
“Eggs? Bug eggs?” I felt a wave of nausea.
“Yes, those bug eggs.” Wen Jiubo looked at me calmly. “The wangliang used Shanqiu’s body as an ideal egg hatchery. Currently, her body is basically filled with this type of unseen wangliang eggs; if we’re not careful, they might hatch.”
“What would happen… if they hatch?”
“She will end up like your grandfather… no, I should say that she might end up dying in a more torturous way than your grandfather did.
My knees weakened and hopelessness welled up within me. “How did it turn out like this… why, why was it her? This doesn’t make any sense!”
Wen Jiubo looked at me briefly, saying, “At the start, the wangliang was definitely brought into your family by your bad-tempered grandfather. However, you saw it today as well, such a large number of wangliang is definitely abnormal.”
Wen Jiubo’s words seemingly had a deeper meaning. I frowned. “What do you mean?”
“Let me explain it to you like this.” Wen Jiubo clasped his wrists. “In this world, everything requires ‘food’, it’s the source of all energy. Humans and animals must eat food, plants require sunlight and water. Even dead things that don’t move, if they’re not looked after and maintained for a long period of time, then they will also slowly deteriorate and vanish. In the same vein of thought, demons also need some type of ‘food’ to maintain their lives and existence. Different demons have different types of food. Evil demons use humans as food, ghosts use the feeling of resentment as food, spirits use the spirit of earth and heaven as food. And for wangliangs, their food source is ‘filth’.”
I listened in confusion. “What do you mean… filth?”
“It’s a very broad idea. Filthy objects, dirt, garbage… etc, they can all be labeled as filth. Therefore, wangliang will go to a cemetery to dig up corpses to eat like a zombie. But, there are times… more often, ‘filth’ points to the darkness in a human heart.” Wen Jiubo said calmly.
“In the heart…” I mumbled. “Is that to say, my second aunt, she always…”
Wen Jiubo nodded his head. “For one person to raise all those wangliangs, even though I don’t know how much ‘filth’ they must have, but it must be a very large patch of darkness.”
“The wangliang said that she killed her own husband…” I said quietly. “Could that be true? I only heard that he had gone missing.”
“That will need to wait until the police do a more detailed investigation.” Wen Jiubo said peacefully. “Either way, after your second aunt wakes up, I’ll do another cleansing of her body. After that, if she doesn’t want to die, I’m afraid she’ll need to spend the rest of her life within the clean spiritual place of a Buddhist temple.”
I asked, surprised, “You’re saying that…. My second aunt needs to become a monk?”
Wen Jiubo nodded his head. “There’s no other way. The eggs that the wangliang laid within her body are moving, if there’s any restlessness in her inner heart then there’s a possibility that those bug eggs will hatch. She can only eke out an ignoble existence from now on.”
I quietened, my heart in disarray.
“I still don’t quite get it…” I asked in a low voice. “If, from the very start, the person who had been possessed wasn’t my grandmother but my second aunt, why did she still write you that letter requesting your help?”
“I’m afraid she didn’t even realize it herself,” Wen Jiubo replied. “The evil acts she carried out on the old lady was done after she had been possessed by the wangliang. She had completely no knowledge of what her other self did, instead she wanted desperately to save the old lady’s life. Thankfully she wrote that letter to me, it ended up saving her own life.”
“But, in this world, families like mine are countless in number. Why…” I couldn’t help the tightness in my throat. “Why did that wangliang demon specifically get involved with mine? It makes no sense!”
“You’re right… it is very strange.” Wen Jiubo shook his head, seemingly also unable to find an answer.
Just like how Wen Jiubo said, after two days, my second aunt woke from her coma. Although she regained consciousness, her entire person was like a soulless puppet, her eyes empty and her reactions slow. Sometimes, when you spoke to her, she took several minutes to understand and respond.