Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 2 Book of Xun – Chapter 52 Su Xiaoyun’s Story (2)
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 52 Su Xiaoyun’s Story (2)
Su Xiaoyun turned and glanced at Wen Jiubo as she said, “Until now, I still remember that hermit, with the surname Wen, is a handsome man wearing a black robe.”
I looked at Wen Jiubo, surprised. He sat on the other side in silence, acting like he was just a bystander.
“Wen Jiubo? Does this mean you’ve known Su Xiaoyun for a long time?”
“I never said I didn’t know her.” Wen Jiubo crossed his arms, slipping his hands inside his long sleeves as he said casually, “That was four years ago, I lived in a remote valley and didn’t publicly receive clients like I do now. Your father kept knocking on my door for three days and three nights, begging me to break his daughter’s curse.”
“So, was the curse broken?” I looked at Wen Jiubo, and then at Su Xiaoyun.
“It’s a curse which can’t be broken easily. The evil spirit her father messed with wasn’t ordinary.” Wen Jiubo glanced at Su Xiaoyun and then turned to me. “Parasite spirit, have you ever heard of it?”
I shook my head.
“Ah, my assistant is so ‘erudite’,” Wen Jiubo joked as he narrowed his eyes.
“You shut up!” I was angry, we were facing a dangerous situation and Wen Jiubo was still in the mood to joke around!
“Listen, a parasite spirit is a type of human spirit, they used to be human but turned into an evil spirit after their death. Because their sins were so severe, they cannot be reincarnated. As a result, they are trapped inside the gap. They can’t go to Heaven nor can they stay in the world of the living,” said Wen Jiubo. “They feed on anger. The more anger a man has, the stronger it gets. The parasite spirit that cursed Su Xiaoyun must have lingered in the gap for so long that it possessed a very powerful cultivation. But the problem is, her father promised the parasite spirit that he would do anything. Therefore, the curse became unbreakable.”
“Unbreakable?” I couldn’t believe what I heard.
“Correct.” Wen Jiubo nodded. “Unlike humans, demons and spirits never lie. They will never break any promises that they make. If you promise something to a demon or a spirit, you must fulfill your promise. Because the moment you give your word, a contract is formed, an unbreakable ‘curse’ is created between human and demon. For example, you walk on a mountain at night, if someone calls your name from behind, you should never answer. That is because if it’s a demon, the moment you answer it, a contract is formed and the demon can take advantage of you.”
Wen Jiubo paused for a few seconds and continued, “However, it’s also used by humans. Japanese masters of Yin and Yang sometimes take advantage of this promise and subdue the demons for their use.”
I nodded, half-understanding, “Really… so the curse on Su Xiaoyun will never be broken?”
“You can’t say that,” Wen Jiubo said. “A contract is established between two parties, which means if one party dies, the contract will be terminated immediately. The curse will be broken if the parasite spirit or her father dies.”
“Bu…but, we can’t wait for her father to die. Su Xiaoyun will already be dead by then,” I blurted out.
“You’re right. When her father came to me, I chose a compromise solution to mitigate the impact of the curse.” Wen Jiubo looked at Su Xiaoyun. “A bowl of rice, some blood from a living rooster and my charm of Tian Peng, helped to hide her positive human energy and made it impossible for the evil spirit to find her for a while. However, this method has a flaw, the body will become weaker because of the weakening positive energy, so other demons and spirits will try to possess the body during this time. The solution to this is to bring a smart black cat with her to compensate for the negative impact. In this way, no one will notice the difference, though the curse still exists.”
A black cat? My jaw dropped. ” So, that cat, Coo, is your…”
Wen Jiubo stared at me like l was a fool. “Didn’t you ever think about why the cat always came to my house?”
I was at a loss for words. His words reminded me that the cat led me to this old residence twice, but I always thought it was a coincidence. Why did I never doubt the relationship between the cat and Wen Jiubo?
“But…Isn’t a black cat a symbol of bad luck?” I asked doubtfully. “Old people always say that seeing a black cat is a sign of bad luck.”
“No, you modern people greatly misunderstand the black cat.” Wen Jiubo smiled. “The black cat is a spiritual creature that can exorcise evil spirits since ancient times. An old book recorded, ‘If you raise a black cat, you can keep it at the south entrance of the house, it will bless all generations of the family.’ Because a black cat can exorcise evil spirits, they often wander in places where disaster happens. That’s why modern people misunderstand the black cat. Actually, in traditional Chinese culture, a black cat symbolizes good luck. Our ancestors believed that a black cat could repel demons and spirits and bring good luck to the family, thus many wealthy families had the custom of raising a black cat or placing black cat accessories in the house. Even if they make a cat sculpture with gold, they will paint it black.”
I nodded, muttering, “Now I know Coo is protecting Su Xiaoyun. No wonder she’s always holding that cat.”
“If I don’t bring Coo with me, everyone around me will suffer,” Su Xiaoyun said. “During the school trip last time, pets weren’t allowed during the trip, so I had to leave Coo at home and you know the rest of the story.”
I became silent. She was right. During that time, the four of us encountered something dangerous, but I never thought Su Xiaoyun was the cause.
“Besides, when we got out of the grove, you almost fell into the water pit. If it wasn’t for me, you would be covered by mud.” Su Xiaoyun calmly stated these facts.