Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 3 Book of Exchange – Chapter 16 Lovesick
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 16 Lovesick
Ever since the dreadful monster disappeared, the capital regained its peace. There were pedestrians walking on the streets, and the night market was once again and teeming. Only that man, who like the mist, vanished into thin air and I never saw him again.
…at least that was what I believed.
“Have you heard about that powerful exorcist?”
One afternoon, the soldiers who guarded the city gate were chatting.
“What exorcist? When did you start to care about these kinds of things?”
“It’s the latest trending news in town, you don’t know about him?” Another soldier was surprised.
“What? What exorcist?”
“Oh, that, I did seem to hear something about it,” said another soldier, after touching his chin and thinking for a minute. “A man-eating monster was sealed by that exorcist.”
“Man-eating monster? Didn’t the king say that it was just a natural disaster and had nothing to do with monsters?”
“Do you actually believe that? The king said so because he doesn’t want people to panic,” The soldier who brought up this topic whispered to others with an excited face. “There really is a monster in Beijing.”
“How could you know?” Another soldier said with disdain.
“I saw the exorcist with my own eyes!” He spoke in a low voice, trying to create a mysterious atmosphere.
“Of course! That man wore a black robe and a pair of beautiful shoes, and he is extremely handsome. I saw him carrying a small cloth bag and entering the Forbidden City!”
“The Forbidden City?” Another soldier exclaimed, “Did the king invite him…”
Black robe and beautiful shoes… I quietly came near them and paid close attention to their conversation.
As I expected, the exorcist these soldiers were talking about was the one who saved my life!
“Where is this powerful exorcist now?” A soldier asked. “Are there any monsters left in the city?”
“You’re right, I’m really worried.”
“I don’t know. But I know a maid in the Forbidden City, and she told me that the exorcist left the imperial palace this morning, but she didn’t know where he went. She heard that the surname of this exorcist was Wen, and he is extremely mysterious, even the king couldn’t figure what was on his mind. He performs exorcism spontaneously. Sometimes, he wouldn’t exorcize some monsters even when the client offered him tens of thousands of gold, while other times he would do it for free.”
“The thoughts of saints aren’t something the likes of us can understand.”
“You’re right, let’s not bother with it anymore. ”
A moment later, these soldiers changed the topic and began to chat about something else. I was disappointed as I left.
It turned out his surname was Wen.
So… I think I should call him Mr. Wen.
At that moment, I decided that I would find this Mr. Wen and thank him in person for saving me.
Suddenly, I felt I had something meaningful to do after hundreds of years of wandering aimlessly on the streets. That’s right, unlike humans, I had all eternity to find him.
Later on, I didn’t know how long had passed. Intruders broke into the city and destroyed the capital. After the overthrowing of the emperor, different uprisings, rebellions, and protests happened successively. People came forward and tried to save their dying country.
However, this had nothing to do with me. The only goal that made me stay in this world was to find Mr. Wen.
Finally, during a warm dusk, I arrived at a small city in the south, surrounded by quiet villages and ever-expanding mountains.
It was a tranquil city. And the moment I saw it, I was sure that Mr. Wen was there.
I felt as if my non-existent heart had begun to beat again.
That’s right, I was going to meet him. I had finally found him.
Shoot. After such a long time, had I changed?
Did he change? What if I couldn’t recognize him anymore? No, no, what if he couldn’t recognize me anymore?
Would he still be the same as before？Was he as handsome as before?
Would he think that I’m ugly? No, he wouldn’t. After all, he saved me from that monster last time we met.
He must have a warm and caring heart even though he looked cold.
In the evening, I found an old residence in the city. The old residence had heavy wooden doors and a thick ash tree in the courtyard. I could smell the woody fragrance from outside.
I snuck up the wall and peeked through the tree leaves. I was so nervous that the expression on my face became unnatural. If my heart could beat, it would go crazy inside my chest right now.
I saw him! It was him!
That man —— Mr. Wen, stood in the yard, reading a thread-bound book under the ash tree.
He didn’t change at all since I last saw him!
His black eyes, slightly curled-up red lips, milky white, handsome face and even the way his hair moved when the breeze blew through —— remained the same.
He was still that gentleman with unmatched beauty.
Even though I practiced our meeting thousands of times in my head, the moment I saw him I didn’t dare to show myself and hid behind a tree, unable to say a single word.
Oh right, even his expression remained the same.
He stood there like a beautiful painting, but he looked so…lonely.
Even though there was no trace of sadness or misery on his calm face, I felt heartbroken when I saw him.
Who was he waiting for? A thought suddenly occurred to me.
Was he was waiting for someone since the last we met?
“It’s a sunny day, isn’t it?”
Suddenly, he opened his mouth and spoke! I was startled and almost fell from the tree. However, thinking hard about it, he might just be talking to himself.
“I’m not talking to myself.” Mr. Wen grinned softly. He put down the book and looked in my direction. “What do you think of the weather today?”
I was totally astonished.
He was talking to me! Wait, when did he notice me?
Uh, right… Last time, I tried to scare him but he noticed me before I could even try.
“I…I…em…I don’t know.”