Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 2 Book of Xun – Chapter 23 The Last Day
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 23 The Last Day
“Uh, I’m sorry…” I spoke hesitantly, “We’re trying our best, but we haven’t found anything yet. Afterall, it’s a cat demon that knows how to be stealthy.”
After hearing that, a look of disappointment showed on their faces.
“Child, I want to ask you, do you really want to help us?” The old man slightly raised his voice, and his voice was filled with anger, “Do you understand how precious our time is? Yingcai is getting worse and worse. He has a persistent fever and can’t eat anything. If you can’t find that demon, our Yingcai will die!”
“Stop it, old man. It isn’t his fault.” The old lady glared at her husband, showing her dissatisfaction with his attitude, and then she looked back at me. “But we indeed do not have enough time. If you can’t help, we’re afraid we need to find another priest…”
“Hold on, Ma’am!” I said hurriedly, “Is it okay if you give me one more day? I really want to help.”
“But…” The old lady appeared to be in a quandary.
“I swear, just one day!” I said firmly, “I only need one more day. If I can’t solve this problem, you can find another priest!”
The old couple seemed to be persuaded by my attitude, they looked at each other and nodded. They agreed to give me one last day.
I was relieved and chatted with them for a few minutes before politely sending them off.
It was at this time that when I looked back, I found that Moxue was hiding not far away from me, secretly peeping at me.
What was she doing? I was puzzled, but before I could call her name, she ran away like a frightened rabbit.
Moxue had disappeared from my sight before I could even catch up with her.
I had not seen this clingy girl for the rest of the day. When I asked Shi Yitong, he shook his head and did not know where she went.
However, the old couple only gave me one more day to solve the problem. Shi Yitong and I did not have time to worry about Moxue. We needed to find every piece of information on the Jinhua cat.
However, the heavens were not so kind. We searched every available lead we had until the evening but found nothing useful.
“I think it’s impossible to complete this job just between the two of us,” I said in frustration as I sat helplessly on the floor.
Shi Yitong seemed to be just as frustrated as I was. We had spent an entire day searching almost the whole city but found neither hide nor hair of the Jinhua cat.
“Fine. Although I don’t like that exorcist,” Shi Yitong said while gasping. “I agree with one thing he said.”
“You always cause trouble to yourself!” Shi Yitong looked at me with resentment.
At this moment, I agreed with Shi Yitong. In this circumstance, I was starting to fear I had no option but to apologize to the old couple tomorrow.
But instead of the sense of failure, I felt deep guilt and remorse. Indeed, I was self-conceited. I always thought I was capable of doing everything, but I failed after I accepted their request.
How was the old couple’s son now? Had really he gotten worse day by day? Would he die slowly because of the cat demon as the old couple said?
While I was lost in my thoughts, I heard a voice from behind.
“Oi, good man!”
Since she had labeled me as a ‘good man’ the last time, Moxue now liked to call me that. As expected, when I looked back, I saw her standing right behind me.
However, she looked different today. Unlike the energetic girl she used to be, she lowered her head, her hands rigid at her sides. She looked like someone had bullied her.
I was startled and thought something bad might have happened. I went over hastily. “Moxue? What’s wrong?”
I raised my hand to touch her forehead to see if she had a fever. Surprisingly, she coldly pushed my hand away.
“Well, actually today I know how to exorcise the Jinhua cat’s curse!” She looked up and suddenly resumed the vivid and bright smile I was familiar with, making me feel her grim facial expression was only an illusion.
“The method to dispel the curse?” On hearing this, Shi Yitong’s ears pricked up and he looked at her with surprise. “Really?”
“Of course.” Moxue smiled. She jumped to the front of us, “Why would I lie to you? It’s already the last day…”
“What’s the method?” I asked.
“Mm… it’s a secret,” Moxue said mischievously.
“Aiyo… my dearest lady,” Shi Yitong said anxiously, “It’s urgent. Please don’t keep us guessing.”
“I’m not trying to keep you guessing. My method won’t work if I tell you right now,” Moxue pouted and replied to us in a mocking tone, “Anyway, you don’t know how to do it and today is your last day. So, I am your last hope. It is better to trust methan to unwillingly apologize to them, right?”
“Fine, fine.” Moxue was such a whimsical girl. But what she said appeared to be slightly rational. I had no choice but to reluctantly agree with what she suggested. “What’s your plan?”
“I can’t tell you. What you need to do is bring me with you when you meet the old couple tomorrow.” Moxue folded her arms in front of her chest.
“That’s it?” Shi Yitong asked doubtfully.
“What? You don’t believe me?” Moxue said dispiritedly.
“Fine, fine, I believe you,” Shi Yitong hurriedly said, but muttered, “What a spoiled child.”
I smiled at her and was about to leave, but she stopped me.
I looked back and saw Moxue smiling sweetly.
“See you tomorrow,” she said. “And it’s been nice to have met you!”
At that time, I only just vaguely heard what she said to me. I did not give too much thought about what she tried to tell me or what she meant. History has proven that we do not know what we have until we lose it. In other words, we knew what we had, we just never thought that we could lose it one day. We only cherish what we have as precious memories only after we lose it.
The next day, we went to meet the old couple with Moxue without thinking too much. On the way, Shi Yitong couldn’t contain his curiosity and questioned Moxue.
“Well, can you tell us the method now? It’s already the second day.”
“Mm… I can tell you now.” Moxue folded her arms and said, “The method is simple. The man who was cursed by the Jinhua cat will be fully recovered if he eats the flesh of the Jinhua cat. The male human needs to eat the flesh of the female cat and vice versa. If there is any mistake, they will die.”
“It’s that simple?” Shi Yitong asked doubtfully.