Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 2 Book of Xun – Chapter 16 Searching for the Jinhua Cat
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 16 Searching for the Jinhua Cat
“A kindhearted young man like you is rare nowadays.” The old lady patted my head gently. “You remind me of my son, he is like you, always kind to people. But…what a pity.”
“Don’t worry, ma’am. I will do my best to help you.” I smiled and said with a little embarrassment, “Though I’m not as experienced compared to Mr. Wen, I care for your son and I’m willing to try my best.”
“That Mr. Wen, so what if he is more experienced?” The old man was a little angry, “Such a cold-blooded person! I can’t believe he is an exorcist, he has no sympathy!”
I forced a laugh, “He sometimes is… but he is just weird, I think he has no bad intentions.”
The old man sniffed, “Huh, I don’t believe he has no bad intentions.”
I felt a little embarrassed and so I changed the topic. “But, sir and ma’am, I’m indeed not as erudite as Mr.Wen. If I want to save your son, I’m afraid I’ll first have to spend two days searching for the method…”
The old lady interrupted me before I finished my sentence, “Child, there’s no need to spend too much effort in finding the method. Whoever started the trouble should end it. The Taoist priest has already told us that if we want to save Yingcai, we have to find the cat.”
“Find the Jinhua cat?” I asked.
The old lady nodded and replied, “Yes. If you want to help us, please find the evil cat demon first. Once we find it, we will have the cure.”
What the old lady said was reasonable. After all, from their perspective, the couple must immensely hate the cat demon who hurt their son. I thought about Wen Jiubo’s comment on whether or not demons were evil. Admittedly, the rules of evil and good were defined by the humankind. However, if there were conflicts between humans and demons, I would not hesitate to stand by the side of humans. Honestly, given the EQ I had, I was not able to understand things from the demons’ point of view.
That cat demon… Why did it harm others and itself? Did it merely follow it’s demonic instinct?
“Well, what does this cat demon look like?” I asked.
“It’s a beautiful woman,” The old man said, it seemed hard to describe because he frowned. “Oval face, thin eyebrows, red lips… En, overall a very seductive woman.”
“That’s right,” The old lady chimed in with her husband. “It’s too pretty to the point that it seemed to have an evil aura!”
“You mean you don’t have any photos?” I asked.
The old couple looked at each other and shook their heads.
No photo… I sighed secretly. This job was challenging, it would be another clueless search again.
“A Jinhua cat?”
I nodded and asked. “Have you heard of it before?”
Shi Yitong lowered his head and thought for a second. “En… I seemed to have heard of it before. Maybe grandpa used to talk about it; this cat can turn into a demon. Why? Why are you suddenly asking about it?”
“This, it’s actually…” I thought it over and decided to tell Shi Yitong everything, including how the old couple persistently knocked at the door and how Wen Jiubo coldly declined their request.
“Well, that’s the reason.” I sighed. “The old couple wants to find the cat demon, but they don’t have any photos. How can I find the cat by myself? So I came to ask for your help.”
As I expected, Shi Yitong was sullen after hearing what I said. “I won’t help, why you accept this request? Why you are so kind to clear up a messy situation for Wen Jiubo?”
“You’re wrong,” I mumbled. “I didn’t do it for him. The fact is if I didn’t accept their request, they would have no one, right?”
“Gu Yu, you are a typical Aries, so incisive.” Shi Yitong scratched his head, showing he was clueless. “Jinhua cat…I know this kind of cat can turn into a demon, and after they turn into a demon, they can take human shape to seduce humans. However, it is only a vague rumor, I need to go home and search the belongings of my grandpa if you want more detailed information.”
“I’ll come with you,” I said immediately.
It had been a long time since last time I visited. When I was here the last time, Wen Jiubo hosted the solemn funeral for Shi Yitong’s grandfather. The whole family was distraught. However, this small remote village had regained its peaceful air now.
“Since grandpa passed away, grandma reorganized the house,” Shi Yitong said while leading the way. “Our family has closed down the funeral business now. Grandma is raising a cage of pigeons, feeding them every day and living a leisurely life.”
“That’s sound good.” I smiled.
“But occasionally, grandma sits in the yard staring blankly, and she looks very lonely,” Shi Yitong sighed. “Grandpa’s death was so sudden that he took away many things in this family, leaving nothing behind. But sometimes I can feel my grandpa is still alive because everything in the house has the smell of him.”
I looked at Shi Yitong and did not know how to comfort him. I clapped him on the shoulder and said, “Your grandfather is an amazing man. He will look after you from heaven, don’t worry.”
Shi Yitong nodded and gave me that familiar bright smile.
Hearing I would come, Shi Yitong’s grandmother prepared a sumptuous supper in advance. Even though I declined many times, she still hospitably and eagerly put food onto my plate, she didn’t stop until I was too full to eat any more.
“Grandma, did you put the belongings of grandpa in the room on the north side?” Shi Yitong asked with his mouth full.
“Yes, I put all his stuff there.” Grandmother asked, “Are you looking for something?”
Shi Yitong nodded. He quickly finished the food in his bowl, put down the bowl and stood up. “I’m full! Gu Yu, let’s go!”
“Slow down and chew your food thoroughly, Yitong!”
“It doesn’t matter, let’s go!”
“Uh…” I was dragged away by Shi Yitong before I noticed.