Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 2 Book of Xun – Chapter 7 The Forest of Terror
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 7 The Forest of Terror
I nodded, not fully understanding. Shi Yitong and Su Xiaoyun were both even more perplexed.
“Then what you’re saying is that this forest is a natural barrier?” I asked.
Bai nodded his head. “Very likely. Even though we still don’t know the reason why, but there’s definitely another outside power that is protecting the inside of the forest.”
“I didn’t expect you to understand so many things,” I said in surprise.
“Don’t look down on me.” Bai showed an arrogant expression. “Just because I look like this, I’m still a demon that’s lived for hundreds of years.”
“I’m starting to feel more and more uneasy.” Su Xiaoyun furrowed her brows, obviously slightly scared. “There wouldn’t really be any wolves right?”
“If it’s only wolves, then that’ll be considered good.” Shi Yitong muttered.
It was then that all of us heard a blood-curdling scream.
“Ah—!! Don’t come any closer! Go away! Help!”
This voice couldn’t be more familiar to us, it was the normally loud and annoying Liang Kaifeng.
“Quickly!” Bai urged and then started running. We immediately also sped up our steps.
Not long afterward, we saw Liang Kaifeng. He was sitting quite depressed on the floor, his multi-thousand dollar branded clothes covered in mud. However, he didn’t seem to have any time to worry about that as he was yelling and scuttling backward at the same time. He didn’t seem to have any recognition of the cliff only a couple of centimeters behind himself. As expected, his hand slipped and he was just about to fall backward.
“Careful!” I lunged forward, grabbing Liang Kaifeng’s elbow with great precision. Half his body was suspended in the middle of the air, while he was shrieking loudly as if he was a pig being slaughtered.
“Don’t! No! Ah —! I’m still young, I don’t want to die yet! I don’t want to die!”
“You’re not going to die, as long as you — don’t let go!” I forced this sentence out from between clenched teeth. Honestly speaking, Liang Kaifeng wasn’t that light to start with. Adding on his intense struggling, I could barely hold him. “Shi Yitong!”
With my shout, Shi Yitong immediately reacted, coming over to help with Su Xiaoyun. The three of us working together finally hauled the pitiful Liang Kaifeng back up with great effort.
Liang Kaifeng’s expression was of deep shock, only reacting after a long moment. “W-what are you all doing here?”
“That’s what we should be asking you, I think?” I said, shaking out my wrist and feeling some pain in my temple. “Why are you here? Why were you shouting loudly just before this?”
Hearing this, Liang Kaifeng’s face immediately turned pale, his usual arrogance completely gone. “T-there’s something wrong with this forest! Once I entered, I couldn’t leave!” he said while stuttering.
“You hostile little scaredy cat! Now you’re getting a taste of karma, aren’t you?” Bai said, taking pleasure in misfortune. However, a talking ferret obviously would give Liang Kaifeng a scare as well.
“I-it’s a talking weasel!” Liang Kaifeng shouted out loud, hiding behind me. “It’s even white!”
“You impolite human child!” Bai said, baring his teeth. “You dare to call me a weasel? You sure have a high opinion of yourself!”
“Alright, stop scaring him,” I said impatiently, turning my head back towards Liang Kaifeng. The main issue at hand was much more important. “We already know that there’s a problem with this forest. But just before, you were yelling quite loudly, was there something wrong?”
Liang Kaifeng immediately showed a terrified expression. “There was a shadow. I saw it just before, there was a strange shadow behind the tree.”
Listening to his words, all of us looked confused. “A shadow…?”
“Oi, you dumbass. Are you sure you didn’t mistake these flowers and shit as a monster just because it was dark?” Shi Yitong said carelessly.
“That’s not possible! My eyes are fine!” Liang Kaifeng started getting angry at Shi Yitong. “You think everyone’s like you?”
“What did you just say? We came into this forest to save you with only the best of intentions and this is your attitude towards us?” Shi Yitong also started getting mad.
I had thought that they were about to start another world war, but Su Xiaoyun stepped in and cut them both off unexpectedly.
“Shush! Both of you stop talking!” Su Xiaoyun said, frowning. “Honestly though, I think I actually did see something just then.”
At this, both of them immediately shut up, looking towards Su Xiaoyun worriedly. Su Xiaoyun didn’t say anything, merely pointing towards a tree that was very close to us.
Even though the sky was fully dark by now and it was hard to see the surrounding trees and flowers, borrowing the light from the moon, it was still possible to see some silhouettes. It was quite clear that there was something definitely strange about the silhouette near where Su Xiayoun was pointing.
Apart from the shadows cast by the trees, there really did seem to be another dark shadow!
I swallowed and unconsciously took a step back. The others weren’t that much better off, everyone looked worried and stared at the shadow intensely.
The shadow started moving soon afterward. It was too far from us, so we couldn’t tell what it was. The only thing we were able to determine was that the shadow was very slowly moving towards us.
“W-what on earth is that?!” Liang Kaifeng was almost in tears.
“Don’t know, but if it’s something unfriendly, then we’re in for some trouble.” Bai’s back arched, his fangs showing, his entire body was on alert to attack. “Don’t think that just because I look like this; I’m still confident enough to take on some pawns!”
In this tense sort of atmosphere, that black shadow suddenly spoke.
“Help me, please. Can you… help me?”
I froze because this voice belonged to a little girl.
“It’s a young girl!” Shi Yitong said.
Following this, the owner of the voice slowly stepped out from the shadows, standing in a place where the moon could shed its light on her. It was a young girl. She wore a blue dress and was currently wiping away her tears with her hands, crying very sadly non-stop.
“A human girl?” Bai said, shocked. “How…”
“Could it be someone who got lost in this forest like us?” Su Xiaoyun was also surprised. She walked over without a second thought, patting the girl’s back and said softly. “Hey, don’t cry, it’ll be okay. There are big brothers and sisters here. What happened to you?”
I let out a sigh of relief and also walked up. Shi Yitong took the opportunity to take a jab at Liang Kaifeng. “Didn’t I just say? You’ve got the daring of a mouse! You’re even scared of young girls!”
Liang Kaifeng was both angry and frustrated, but didn’t have a rebuttal. He could only stamp his foot before he followed us.
The young girl seemed to have had a rough time of it. The hem of her dress was filthy, covered in mud. On a closer look, there was also a patch of dark red staining the material.
Was that… blood?
“I’m begging you, please help me!” The little girl was crying so hard she could barely breathe. “No matter what I do, I can’t get out of this forest. I’m so scared, please help me!”
“Don’t worry, tell us slowly.” Su Xiaoyun said, trying to comfort her. “What’s your name? Where are your parents? Why are you here all alone?”
“There’s no one else, I’m the only one left!” The young girl started crying even harder. She hiccupped and said, “My mother and father, they were both eaten by monsters!”