Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 3 Book of Exchange – Chapter 10 Encounter
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 10 Encounter
At that time I began to realize how lucky I was to meet him among the millions of lingering spirits.
It was a dark and drizzly night when we first met. That man suddenly showed up in front of me while I was lingering in the streets.
He was wearing a dark robe, his waist-length hair loosely tied on his back. He held an oil-paper umbrella and casually walked on the wet stone paved street. His face was so delicate and beautiful, you’d mistake it for a painting.
What a beautiful man. That was my first thought.
Besides, as I looked at his back, I noticed the loneliness seeping out from his being.
Why was he walking alone down the street this late at night? I heard the officials warned people that there was a murderous demon on the loose in the area, therefore no one stayed outside after seven in the evening. Why was this man walking around so late at night as if he didn’t care about this at all?
I didn’t know I was thinking, but I suddenly had the idea of —— going there to prank him.
Though I was a ghost, I’ve never done anything bad, like scaring passers-by or haunting a house. It’s not like I was a good ghost, those things were just boring to me.
For a long time, I wasn’t interested in anything, except for this beautiful man I accidentally ran into.
I secretly followed behind him. I cleared my throat before pranking him by uttering a weird sound. I thought it would be hilarious to see him turn around and see nothing.
But surprisingly, before I could make a sound, that man turned around and smiled at me, as if he had already noticed my childish prank.
“Young lady, it’s dangerous to hang out on the street at night.”
I was startled by him and moved a few steps back, covering my mouth in surprise. “You, you can see me?”
“I was attentive.” That man gave me a warm smile and said, “It’s impossible to hide behind me and try to scare me.”
I slowly put down my hand and looked at him, stunned.
Does that mean that…this man mistook me for a human girl? He was so calm that it didn’t seem like he just met a ghost.
“Alright, go back home,” He prompted me. “This place isn’t safe and this cold rain isn’t helping either.”
Even if it was snowing right now, it’s not like I could feel it anyway. Besides…
“I don’t have a place to go.” I matched his walking speed so we could walk side by side. “The streets are my home. But, I’m not the only one who is lingering in this place, what are you doing here?”
The man turned his head, there was a slightly distressed look in his eyes but it quickly disappeared. “I have my own thing to do.”
“Your own thing?” I caught up and asked.
Even though I knew he was reluctant to talk to me, I kept asking questions so we could stay together.
I didn’t remember how long it had been since I talked to someone and so I was eager just to communicate with another.
“Hey, where are you going? Home? To see a friend?” He didn’t reply so I asked again, “Or you are waiting for someone?”
Though he didn’t answer me, his expression told me I was probably right this time.
“But it’s late, will the one you are waiting for still come tonight?” I walked in front of him to block his way. I then got closer to him and stood under his umbrella without his permission.
Then, I paused. Probably because I now stood closer to him, I suddenly smelled blood on his clothes.
No, I’m not sure if it’s accurate to say I smelled, after all, I was a ghost. But that smell, like a print in my head, suggested something dangerous.
I didn’t know if this man noticed my reaction, but his expression remained still. “About that…it’s more like someone is waiting for me.”
Waiting for you? Wait…what do you mean by that?
Before I could understand what he meant, his expression suddenly changed.
I could see his pupil narrowing and he frowned his eyebrows. He gazed at my back with flashing eyes.
What? What’s wrong? Before I could figure it out, I felt something grab my shoulder and violently push me away.
An animal howl came from behind. I had never heard this sound before, it sounded like the cry of a human baby, but it was so loud that it shook the ground.
I looked back and almost screamed out. There was a gigantic monster with leopard fur, deer hooves, and a horn on its head standing right behind me. His mouth was wide open and I could see sharp teeth in his mouth. A mouth so big it could swallow a grown man whole.
What kind of monster is that?!
I was so scared that my knees gave out and I couldn’t speak. The pressure it gave out was so oppressive it even made a ghost like me shudder in fear. However, that man was steadily holding his umbrella and his face showed no trace of fear.
“Ah, it seems that I annoyed it. This could be a bit of a problem.”
He wasn’t frightened at all. Instead, he was grinning.
Suddenly, that monster rushed over towards him, but he easily dodged its attack by moving to the side as he threw the umbrella in the monster’s direction. The monster opened its mouth and tore the umbrella apart.
The man instantly seized this opportunity and took out a green paper fan. He unfolded the fan and began to chant a charm which I didn’t know.
“Diabolical legions, we adjure you, cease to harm human creatures, and give them the poison of eternal damnation. Begone!”
Suddenly, a golden pattern appeared on the handle of the fan, and the monster immediately fell to the ground and began to groan.
“You’re all grown up, but you can’t fight.”
The man slowly walked in front of the monster, bent his body to inspect it and smiled, “You should wait to eat more people before trying to defeat me.”
The monster groaned furiously, but he was immobilized by the spell. All it did was slightly blowing the man’s hair.
“Begone, demons and monsters.”
The man let out a few words and the gigantic monster turned into a green steam. All that was left was a small white paper man on the floor.