Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 3 Book of Exchange – Chapter 29 Sleepless
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 29 Sleepless
When I was with him, I could feel minor changes in his behavior. For example, his fingers would intently touch mine when passing me a glass of water; When we chatted, there was more physical contact than before. Although it might be an inadvertent touch or pat on the shoulder, I could feel that his behavior had a purpose.
Yes… a purpose.
Ever since I showed my feelings to him because of Chu Bai, Wen Jiubo began to show his possessiveness publicly, all the time.
For instance, the last time I visited the old residence, Wen Jiubai stared at my hoodie before saying casually,
“You had your hoodie patched.”
I blanked out for a second and didn’t understand what he meant, “Huh?”
“I said the seam on your hoodie has been stitched up. Who did it? ”
I then realized that he was talking about a small hole in my hoodie, which was made when I tripped on a chair in the classroom last month. Since it was small and inconspicuous, I left it alone until today. After I saw that there were needles and thread at the dorm manager’s place, I asked him to help me repair it.
“Ah… I asked the dorm manager to help me out.”
“Hmm…” Wen Jiubo narrowed his eyes and asked suspiciously, “Are you sure it’s the dorm manager and not a girl in your class?”
“What… Wen Jiubo, what are you thinking?!” I couldn’t believe it. “It’s not a girl in my class! Besides, I’m not popular among girls, okay?”
When I recalled this conversation afterward, I felt surprised by his acute observation, but I was also a bit scared.
Wen Jiubo… If he noticed even the smallest thing, such as a hole in my hoodie, would he notice the investigation I conducted behind his back?
I couldn’t sleep, tossing and turning on my bed, thinking about the five missed calls on my phone. Would he call again later?
I took out my phone from under the pillow. There were no new notifications about missed phone calls.
Since I couldn’t sleep, I turned on the cellphone and started playing the game, Yin-Yang Master. I hadn’t played this game for a long time, and I wasn’t sure whether the game received any updates.
As I expected, there was a new update, which added some new gods and instances. Once the app was updated, I was eager to try the new instances, but suddenly a private message appeared.
My heart skipped a beat; it was Wen Jiubo! I forgot that Wen Jiubo was one of my friends in this game!
Wen Jiubo simply sent me a question mark. That was exactly what he would do. He only used a simple question mark, but yet I could feel the intensity behind the screen.
What should I do… Should I reply? Just as I was holding my phone and wondering if I should text back, Wen Jiubo sent another message.
[Abe Qingming]: Bring a bottle of vinegar when you come over tomorrow. Bai was drunk today and knocked over the vinegar bottle in the kitchen.
I had to reply to him since he said that, however, my finger froze on the screen for a while. I got so nervous that even though this conversation couldn’t be more mundane, I kept shaking with my phone in my hand.
[Yuan Boya]: Tomorrow… I can’t go to the old residence.
After I sent this message, I held my breath and waited.
What will he think? How will he reply?
Will he be angry with me? Will he think that I’m ungrateful?
Or else, will he call me directly and ask why I have been hiding from him in the past few days?
If he asks this question, how should I answer it?
I didn’t know how long it passed. When my palm became sweaty, I finally got his reply.
[Abe Qingming]: Okay.
He didn’t say anything; he even didn’t ask where I planned to go. He just replied with a single word. I didn’t know what I had in my mind as I quickly typed a series of words in the dialog box.
[Yuan Boya]: Su Xiaoyun, Shi Yitong and I will hang out this weekend, we booked a taxi and plan to stay out of town for two days. Also, Miss Zhou gave us a lot of homework, so I may have to stay in the dorm to write the essay. Di Zizhen also said that they want to stay in the library to do their homework.
This time, Wen Jiubai replied quickly.
[Abe Qingming]: I see.
[Abe Qingming]: Then, be careful.
I stared at Wen Jiubo’s reply on the screen, suddenly feeling a wave of frustration.
I couldn’t tell what Wen Jiubo thought just from these words. Was he angry, did he feel abandoned by me? Or, did he not even care about where I was going, like always?
I was unable to guess what this man thought whenever I talked to him face to face, let alone communicating with him through the phone. And now I didn’t dare to call him back.
I turned the phone off and threw it aside. I then helplessly laid down on the bed, idly staring at the ceiling.
Wen Jiubo… What does he think about me?
“What the fuck, you fucking stood me up! I’ll beat you up next time!” Di Zizhen was cursing his teammates through his headset. I threw a pillow and hit Di Zizhen on the head.
“Stop playing, look at what time it is already! We have classes tomorrow morning! ”
The next day after school, when I walked out of the classroom with Su Xiaoyun, Shi Yitong was already waiting at the door.
“Shi Yitong?” I was surprised to see him.”Why did you come so early?”
“Oh, I was just walking by.” Shi Yitong glanced at Su Xiaoyun and scratched his head. “I didn’t wait long. I just arrived.”
“Alright. I won’t compliment you even if you’ve been waiting at the door for an hour.” Su Xiaoyun patted his back. “Okay, let’s go. The driver is waiting at the school gate.”
The trip to Mt.Diecui wasn’t boring at all. Shi Yitong and Su Xiaoyun excitedly talked to each other, covering topics going from the assignment we needed to submit next week to the recently released movies. As for me, I wasn’t in the mood to join their conversation since all I could think right now was the legend about Bai Ze and Wen Jiubo’s messages last night.
“Oi, Gu Yu, have you seen that movie?” Shi Yitong suddenly patted my shoulder and said. “It’s super funny, even a broke student like me wants to watch it again!”
“Huh?” I didn’t understand. “What movie?”
“Gu Yu, are you okay?” Shi Yitong waved his hand in front of my eyes. “You haven’t talked much since we got in the car. Do you feel okay?”
I hurriedly shook my head and smiled. “Uh, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. I haven’t seen that movie anyway. ”
“Gu Yu, there are dark circles under your eyes.” Su Xiaoyun stared at my face and pointed out mercilessly. “Did you have trouble sleeping last night?”
“Urm, this…” I was a little embarrassed, so I avoided eye contact with Su Xiaoyun.
“You’ve always been an overthinker.” Su Xiaoyun patted my shoulder. “If there is something that bothers you, it’s better for you to talk about it. Shi Yitong and I care about you; otherwise, we wouldn’t be here sitting in a car with you.”
“I’m wondering…” I hesitated to open my mouth. “Is Wen Jiubo the beast Bai Ze?”
“Probably,” Shi Yitong shrugged and said. “No one knows what is going on, and we can’t jump to the conclusion based on what we know. That’s why we are trying to figure it out.”
“No, with a personality like his, I don’t think it’s possible for Wen Jiubo to be the auspicious beast Bai Ze.” I smiled and ran my hand through my hair.
“You don’t know what kind of personality Bai Ze has though,” Su Xiaoyun’s retort made me speechless.
“I think there is a high probability for Wen Jiubo to be Bai Ze,” said Shi Yitong. “You said that Wen Jiubo was a big monster, and I agree. Besides, did you know that according to the legend, when Bai Ze met the emperor, it was described as a being that ‘knew the names of all ghosts under heaven.’ Does that ring a bell?”
I didn’t know if it was a psychological effect, but somehow I was convinced by Shi Yitong. I sighed.
“I know, but whoever he is, we still need to investigate first.”
However, what should I do if Wen Jiubo is indeed Bai Ze that we are looking for? How will I interact with him if I find out who he is?
Su Xiaoyun noticed my frowning face. “Gu Yu, stop overthinking. I believe that Mr. Wen has his reasons. If you trust him, stop worrying so much. After all, we are investigating this together, and in the end, we will know the truth.”
I knew that Su Xiaoyun and Shi Yitong were doing their best to console me; therefore, I couldn’t make them worry about me any longer. Thus, I took a deep breath and gave them a bright smile.
“Don’t worry, I’m not a little girl. Are there any places on Mt.Diecui worth visiting? Since we are here, let’s have some fun.”
“Of course.” Shi Yitong became excited and gave us an introduction to the place. “I visited Mt.Diecui twice. There is a mandarin farm, and the mandarins there are really sweet. Also, there are scenic mountains and springs. Anyway, we can have a lot of fun there! ”
“Really? I haven’t been there before! ” Su Xiaoyun was also looking forward to it.
“Has anyone booked a hotel?” I suddenly thought of this matter and asked them.
After hearing my question, they looked at each other and remained silent.
“Ay, Shi Yitong, did you book a hotel?” Su Xiaoyun asked.
“What? Gu Yu, didn’t you book a hotel?” Shi Yitong immediately pointed his finger at me.
“Why should I be the one to book a hotel, I’m not a local here. Since you’re both from here, shouldn’t you be the ones who are responsible for that?” I righteously answered.