Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 1 Book of Thunder – Chapter 68 Return
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 68 Return
“I can only do this much.” After the light vanished, Wen Jiubo walked towards us from within the breeze. He then placed the golden bells he held into my astonished mother’s hand.
“I put a charm on Shanqiu.” Wen Jiubo said calmly. “In the future, if the wangliang in her body shows any sign of hatching, then these bells will ring.”
“T-that…” My mother couldn’t get a word out, as if wary of those bells. She looked unwilling to accept them.
“I’ve done what I needed to do, if you don’t care about your own sister’s life or death, then you can throw them away, I don’t care.” Wen Jiubo’s words were fairly cold, if I didn’t understand him, then I would definitely think that he was angry. “You were the cause of how she is now, between the blurred line of the living. In the future what you do is up to you.”
After my mother heard Wen Jiubo’s words, she got even angrier. “You! What sort of tone is that to take with your elder? What do you mean by that?!”
“I believe what I mean is very clear already.” Wen Jiubo laughed coldly, leaning close to my mother, eyes sharp like the blade of a knife. “And also, auntie I need to correct you. Before me, you are the one who’s actually more junior.”
After Wen Jiubo threw down these words, he left the monastery without a single look back, leaving my mother to fume and swear at him angrily.
“You bastard! Who do you think you are! Get back here! How dare you say that?!”
My heart raced. I looked at my mother and then looked at Wen Jiubo, already long gone. I was just about to take a step when my mother’s yell stopped me in place.
“Gu Yu! If you dare to follow him, then you needn’t ever return, do you hear me?”
I swallowed and turned around to look beseechingly at my mother. However, my mother wasn’t softening, glaring at me with fierce hatred.
“I dare you to take another step!”
I breathed in deeply, voice low, “Mom, I’m sorry.”
And then I followed Wen Jiubo’s path, moving forward with long strides.
I did my best to ignore my mother’s angry swearing from behind me as I ran in the direction that Wen Jiubo had vanished in.
“Wen Jiubo!” I yelled loudly.
Turning a corner, I almost slammed right into Wen Jiubo. He had stopped as if waiting for me to catch up.
“Let’s go. If we don’t go now then we won’t have enough time.” Wen Jiubo was still the same, speaking about strange things while he smiled sunnily, making me even madder.
“What were you doing just then?!” I hollered. “No matter what, that’s my mom. How can you talk to her like that?!”
“It was because she’s your mother that I was polite.” Wen Jiubo’s expression calmed, becoming more serious. “The ones responsible for how your second aunt is right now is no other than your family. You should understand this very well.”
I couldn’t speak for a moment, merely glaring at Wen Jiubo.
“Anyway, forcing you to dress like a girl and then using you as an outlet for her anger if the slightest thing goes wrong, I don’t think you need her.” Wen Jiubo said lightly. “If she really disowns you just because you ran off to follow me, then she should quit her position as your mother.”
“You say those things easily enough!” I was so angry I shook, forcing out the words, “You can say that because you don’t have a mother or father right! But to me, I don’t have anything if I leave my family! I can’t even return to school now, what do you want me to do? Become homeless on the streets?”
But Wen Jiubo didn’t seem even slightly angered by me. Instead, he asked calmly, “Is that so? Who says you can’t return to school?”
I froze, not understanding the meaning of those words for a moment. “About that, my mother applied for me to withdraw from school and also withdrew me from my dorm at the same time, I think.”
Wen Jiubo was silent for a moment before he pulled out a folded file, smoothing it out for me to see. “Your application for withdrawal from school? Is this it?”
My eyes widened and I snatched the file from his hands. Black ink on white paper, wasn’t this clearly my withdrawal application?
“What happened?” I raised my head to look at him.
“Your mother did indeed send the withdrawal application to the school. And your school’s administration did indeed receive it. But, how do I say this… ?” Wen Jiubo stroked his chin. “A manager from your human resources department owed me a favor, so I was able to flag down your withdrawal application.”
Following that, Wen Jiubo raised his eyebrows and ripped up that withdrawal application into tiny pieces, right in front of my eyes.
This surprise came too suddenly. I opened my mouth, barely daring to believe it. “T-then, that means… I can return to school?”
Wen Jiubo smiled. “That’s right. Not only that, I’ve already helped you to buy your train ticket. The train leaves this afternoon at three, so that’s why I said we should hurry. We don’t have much time.”
I didn’t even dare to believe my ears. By the time I could react, the corners of my mouth were already reaching for the sky.
“I can return to Yan City!!”
That day, Wen Jiubo and I packed our things and got on the train back to Yan City. It was the same boring ten plus hours, but this time I was so excited that I couldn’t even sleep.
The next day in the afternoon, we arrived back at Yan City on time. Our timing was perfect, it was October 7, the last day of the long break for National Day.
Seeing that I had too much luggage, Wen Jiubo suggested seeing me back to my school in a very gentlemanly manner. I didn’t argue and just like that, I stepped back into my familiar school grounds.
Before I had even gotten to my dorm building, I heard two very familiar voices.
I turned around and found, to my surprise, both Shi Yitong and Su Xiaoyun were running towards me.
“What are you two doing back here!”
“We’re here because… we knew you were coming back!” Shi Yitong was out of breath from the run, his tanned face showing a smile. He waved the bag in his hand proudly in front of me, filled with snacks and drinks. “Look, to celebrate you returning here alive, Goddess and I went out especially to buy a bunch of delicious things for you!”
“That was really rude, Gu Yu! Going home is fine, but you didn’t even say a word! Why didn’t you tell us when you got into trouble? Otherwise, what are friends for?!” Su Xiaoyun said, looking extremely unhappy. “If it wasn’t for Mr. Wen calling us especially to update us, then we really would’ve thought you might’ve tripped and fallen into some ditch and died!”
I lowered my head, embarrassed. I hadn’t expected Wen Jiubo to have actually called my friends to update them.
“That was because I didn’t want you to worry, so I…”
“You dummy!” Su Xiaoyuan slapped my head with force, her regal overbearing attitude making her seem like a queen. “You clearly made us worry even more the way you were.”
I smiled a little, embarrassed. Shi Yitong also laughed along with me, standing to one side.
Wen Jiubo put down my luggage, saying lightly, “Then, you should go back first. I need to return to the old residence to see how Bai is doing.”
Oh, speaking of which, how was Bai? His personality was fairly careless, hopefully he hadn’t gotten into any trouble these few days by himself.
“Wait for me! I’ll come with you!” I hurriedly picked up my luggage. “Wait for me, I just need to put these things back and I’ll come!”
No long after, Wen Jiubo and I arrived back at the old residence. That old wooden door was still the same, surface uneven after being worn down by rain and dirt.
When Wen Jiubo walked up, the wooden door of the old residence automatically opened, making a creaking noise. Straight afterward, a miraculous scene occurred. As Wen Jiubo stepped into the yard, the flowers and vegetation that had been suddenly dormant, regained their liveliness with his arrival, all the beautiful flowers blooming and even the vegetation looked more healthy in an instant.
“Bai —!” Wen Jiubo drew out the word, yelling loudly, stepping over the arched doorway. “Bai weasel! Stop hiding, I can already feel your essence!”
Following this, a loud angry screech sounded from within the room. “Dammit, who’s a weasel?! I’ve already said I’m a ferret! A ferret!”
I started laughing out loud. As expected, as we stepped inside the house, we immediately saw a white colored weasel-like animal charging out with a face full of anger. He also smelled strongly of liquor.
Bai was still holding an alcohol bottle lid, expression fully drunk and slurred, “You two…. Stupid Gu Yu and stupid Wen Jiubo! Leaving me here to languish alone for so long, do you have any shame?! I was just one person… no, one ferret, sitting in this too-large yard, admiring the moonlight! Hmph!”
“Oh.” Wen Jiubo picked up Bai entirely, looking like he had a headache. “Looks like leaving my excellent aged vintage here was the wrong choice.”
I couldn’t help my laughter, teasing Bai with Wen Jiubo’s lead. Bai, under the influence of alcohol, retaliated with all his strength.
This large space did not just have me anymore, the emptiness in my chest had, at some point, been unknowingly filled.
Yan City, I have returned!
However, what I didn’t know was, after I left the old residence, Wen Jiubo and Bai sat down opposite each other, expressions serious.
Wen Jiubo’s collar had been loosened, his shirt half-off, showing his pale, smooth chest. And right in the middle of his chest, there was an obvious black scar about the size of the opening of a bottle. That scar seemed to be a burn mark but wasn’t exactly like one, and the surface of it was wafting wisps of white smoke. However, even faced with such a serious injury, Wen Jiubo’s brow did not even furrow a little.
“You clearly had to use ‘her’ power, right?!” Bai was the complete opposite of the zen-like Wen Jiubo, he was very angry, angry enough that his little canines started to show.
“Special circumstances, couldn’t help it.” Wen Jiubo said quietly.
“What special circumstances?! We’ve known each other for over two hundred years and every time, you always use special circumstances as an excuse!” Bai leaped over, jumping directly in front of Wen Jiubo to take a closer look at the injury. After a while, he let out a sigh of relief. “It seems to be okay this time… the injury is small, you should be able to recover fully in a month.”
Wen Jiubo was still calm, putting his clothes back on. “Like I told you already, it’s fine.”
Hearing this, Bai couldn’t help but bare his canines again. “What do you mean by fine! Every time you use her power there’s always backlash for you. Over time you’ll end up losing your soul! Damn it, her power was clearly stolen from you!”
“Alright, shut it!” Wen Jiubo said harshly, so Bai could only shut his mouth.
“What happened between her and me has already bound and entangled us for over a thousand years.” Wen Jiubo smoothed out his collar, standing up and walking to the doorstep. He looked up at the curve of the crescent moon. “It doesn’t matter what cost I must pay, it’s what I deserve and I’ll pay it willingly.”
【First Book – Book of Thunder End】