Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 2 Book of Xun – Chapter 18 Grandpa’s Journal
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 18 Grandpa’s Journal
I nodded, but suddenly I thought of the picture of the nine-tailed fox.
Should I ask Shi Yitong about this picture…? I put my hand in my pocket, touching the old paper.
“What’s wrong?” Shi Yitong looked at me curiously when I pulled my wandering mind back to the present moment.
“Err…Nothing,” I was a little startled, and spoke out subconsciously.
“Really?” Shi Yitong did not pay much attention to my reaction and said casually, “Why are we still staying in this dusty room? Let’s move!”
I nodded and left the room with Shi Yitong.
Shi Yitong came to my dormitory building the next morning. He knocked on the door while calling my name out in a loud voice.
“Gu Yu! Gu Yu! Get up, rise and shine!”
I woke up from a half-formed dream and found that the whole dorm had been woken up by Shi Yitong. The dorm head sat on his bed yawning and his messy hair looked like a birds nest. He looked at me bitterly.
“Gu Yu, I don’t care that you made weird friends, but why did they come here?”
Another roommate teased, “I think the guy outside the door must be in love with Gu Yu. Hey brother, go and ask him if he brought any betrothal presents? If he didn’t, we won’t marry off Gu Yu!”
“All right, all right, guys. Cut the nonsense.” I quickly jumped out of bed, hopping to open the door while dressing and shouted, “I’m coming! Stop yelling!”
I opened the door for Shi Yitong, my hair still in a mess. I was dragged out of the room by Shi Yitong without even having the chance to button my clothes.
“Let’s go! Are you a pig? Why do you get up so late? I called you multiple times.”
“Why are you so excited?” I yawned. “Didn’t you refuse to help me at first? Why are you more excited than me now?”
“It’s a cat demon, who doesn’t want to take a look?” Shi Yitong sounded way too eager.
I narrowed my eyes with doubt, my expression was quite clear: You told me that you did not want to get involved with demons and the like, why are you so eager to find the cat demon now?
Shi Yitong knew he could not hide it from me, he smirked gleefully at me and dragged me out of the dorm.
“Let’s go, I will tell you on the way.”
I quickly combed my hair with my fingers and wore my overcoat. The weather today was beautiful, it was sunny and cloudless. The warm sunshine made people feel extremely comfortable.
“The reason is….” Shi Yitong scratched his head while explaining to me, “After you left yesterday, I searched grandpa’s items again. In the end, I actually found a journal.”
“Yes, a journal. I never saw this journal before when grandpa was alive.” Shi Yitong nodded solemnly. “When I read the journal today, I found it was filled with a lot of information. Most of them were about the adventures grandpa had when he was young, all of which were related to demons.”
Suddenly I was interested. “Related to demons?”
Shi Yitong nodded, he looked excited as well, “I was surprised that grandpa encountered so many demons. Most demons in the journal were evil, the journal described how grandpa caught these demons and how he exorcised them.”
“So, that means your grandpa used to be an exorcist?” I asked, a little shocked.
“En…it was quite different.” Shi Yitong scratched his head and tried to explain, “My grandpa was not an exorcist or a Taoist priest specialized in exorcism. I think he was more or less a Fuling priest.”
“… Fuling Priest?” The deeper I entered this world, the more incomprehensible and strange terms I learned.
Shi Yitong nodded, “Yes, it is a local term only used in Yan city. I’m not surprised that you haven’t heard of it before. It’s an occupation of fortune-telling and blessings. Most Fuling priests are charlatans, fooling people into thinking that their randomly written charms can bring peace and health to whole families. However, my grandpa was different, he was a true Fuling priest with skills. He was not only a master of Chinese instruments, chess, calligraphy, and painting, but also proficient in Feng Shui and exorcism. In fact, he had a book called ‘Painting of a hundred demons’. My grandpa drew all the demons in the book.”
“Drawn by himself?” I thought of the book I browsed yesterday and the picture of the nine-tailed fox that I secretly kept. I admired the deceased old man from the bottom of my heart. “Your grandpa was an amazing man.”
“Of course he was.” Shi Yitong was proud of his grandpa. “Ah, we are off topic now. Where did I stop just now… Right, I said the journal recorded how my grandpa exorcised demons or cast spells to protect families. However, one page recorded something quite different.”
“How different?” I asked.
“Although what this page recorded was related to demons, it was not about how grandpa eliminated the demon,” Shi Yitong said mysteriously. “Guess what kind of demon it happened to be…”
“You mean, it was a Jinhua cat?” I was surprised.
“Instead of me describing to you, you’d better read it yourself.” Shi Yitong magically took out a book, flipped the book to a specific page and passed it to me.
I was not sure whether I should read the book and asked, “Does it not matter if I read it?”
“It doesn’t matter. If my grandpa were alive, he would hope for us to use this book to do good.” Shi Yitong grinned.
I nodded and then took it. Shi Yitong’s grandpa had beautiful handwriting, however, he wrote in traditional Chinese and therefore was not easy to read.
15th April 1961
I met her in the bamboo forest. As far as I know, she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life.
I entered the forest when I was being hunted by a monster. The monster was too strong and my exorcism skills were too weak, I failed three times to eliminate it. The monster must have been irritated by me, raging, he broke my barrier and attacked me fiercely.
Although I hid in the forest, the monster roared and hunted me down by following my smell. When I thought I was in a no-win situation and would end up as monster food, a small wild cat suddenly appeared and sat at my feet.
I did not know where it came from and why it was here. However, the cat seemed to be able to read my thoughts, it suddenly turned around to look at me and purred. Then it ran a few steps forward.
Did it want me to follow it? Given the urgent situation I was in, I followed this cat without hesitation