Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 3 Book of Exchange – Chapter 45 A Plan
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 45 A Plan
“Really?” Frustrated, I took the fan out of my pocket and lightly hit my palm with it.
“This is not a game.” Unsurprised, Zhu Xuan glanced at me. “The beast Chen is very different from those lonely ghosts you dealt with before. This is a monster that has harassed humans for thousands of years, how can it be so easily defeated?”
“There is no but,” Zhu Xuan interrupted me. His pupil suddenly shrank, making them more like a beast’s eyes. “I’ve already devised a plan. Although your ritual instrument is merely for show, if it can weaken the beast Chen for a bit, we might be able to seal it. The beast Chen has only two weaknesses: water and its heart hidden under the feathers at the neck. If I use all my energy and sacrifice myself, I have an eighty percent chance to die with it.”
“You don’t need to do this! I can call Wen Jiubo, he will find a way to defeat it!” I looked at Zhu Xuan and suddenly realized that he was serious. He really intended to sacrifice himself to kill the beast!
“I know. However, I don’t know the exorcist, and I can’t trust him,” Zhu Xuan said seriously. “Moreover, even if he really is as powerful as you said, by the time he arrives, countless innocents would have died. You know, time is equal to human lives now. As we are chatting here, the beast Chen is probably attacking innocent people out there.”
I opened my mouth and slowly said, “You’ve already made your decision, haven’t you?”
Zhu Xuan nodded. “Before you guys showed up, I had already made this decision. This is my unshirkable responsibility. I must complete this mission for Ye.”
“But why?” I asked instantly, “You’re not human, why would you sacrifice yourself for these unrelated people? You can just… run away, escape to somewhere far away. No one will blame you.”
Zhu Xuan laughed out after hearing this. He shook his head. “No, Gu Yu. It’s impossible for me to sever my connection to humanity. Because we were born from the faith of human beings, we are kept alive through your memory. The bond between monsters and humans will never be broken. Even though we possess a greater power, we are nothing but dust, compared to the billions of human beings in the world.”
I went silent for a bit before remembering that Wen Jiubo had said something similar before, but I couldn’t remember when he said that and why.
It’s already midnight, you’d better go and rest.” Zhu Xuan gave me a light smile before turning around and leaving the rooftop.
I looked at his back, and suddenly, a strange idea occurred to me.
Did I miss something?
“Wait, Zhu Xuan!” I stopped him. “What did you just say?”
Zhu Xuan turned back and perplexedly stared at me. “What did I say?”
“Yeah, what did you just say?”
“Um… I said you’d better go rest.”
“No, not this one! The sentence before this!” I asked anxiously.
“Before that… I said, compared to humans, we are just dust?” Zhu Xuan became even more confused.
“No, no, not that.” I tried very hard to recall. “When we were talking about the beast Chen, you said it has two weaknesses, its heart and something else?”
“I said… water and its heart hidden by the feathers on its neck.” Zhu Xuan was puzzled. “What’s wrong?”
“Yes! That’s it!” I shouted excitedly. “It’s water! You said water is its weakness! That’s great, we can use this to set a trap! Please tell me, why is the beast Chen scared of water?”
“Umm… it’s not scared of water,” Zhu Xuan turned around and explained it to me in detail. “Because it’s narcissistic, it cherishes its feathers so much that if these feathers get wet, it will negatively impact its judgment during a battle. At the same time, if it gets wet, it’ll also affect its agility. These are the experiences I’ve learned during our fights. But if you want to defeat it, you have to attack its heart at the neck… And it’s a very big animal, if we want to weaken its agility, we will need a huge amount of water to achieve that.”
“No, no, we don’t need to prepare water!” After seeing Zhu Xuan’s perplexed face, I excitedly point at the sky. “Look!”
“What?” Zhu Xuan looked at the sky, still confused. “What am I looking at?”
“The sky, like you just said!” I said with a smile.
Soon after, the expression on Zhu Xuan’s face turned from confusion to surprise. “Yeah, why didn’t I think about it! It’s going to rain tomorrow!”
“Shi Yitong! Shi Yitong! Wake up!”
Shi Yitong sat up on the bed, half asleep. After shouting at him a couple of times, he was finally fully awake.
“What…It’s only 5:30 in the morning, what’s the matter with you?” Shi Yitong complained while holding the quilt and lying back on the bed. “Don’t wake me up, I need to sleep…”
“Wake up, get out of your bed right now!” I uncovered the quilt on Shi Yitong and found out that his pants were almost off. “We’re going to seal the beast Chen! Su Xiaoyun and Zhu Xuan are waiting for you outside!”
“We, what?” Shi Yitong abruptly jumped out of bed. “Seal the beast? Didn’t we agree yesterday that there was nothing we could do? And why are we going to fight it today, are you sure you’re not going to get us killed?!”
“Today is a game changer because it’s going to rain!” I answered excitedly.
That’s right. Outside the window, the sky above was full of tumultuous and dark clouds. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning tore across the sky and a peal of thunder followed. Then, a curtain of rain fell from the sky. Heavy rain came as we expected.
“Zhu Xuan said it’s a thunderstorm. It’s heavy, but it won’t last for long. So we must seize this opportunity!” I grabbed Shi Yitong’s arm and pulled him out of the bed.
“Hey, wait! Shouldn’t you at least explain it to me? What opportunity?”
“We don’t have much time! You must hurry up now!”
Just like that, after a short while, we left the small hostel and rushed into the rain.
Outside the door, the wind was howling and thrashing the treetops, which was so strong that we could hardly open our umbrellas. And after some struggle, everyone gave up and walked in the rain without umbrellas.
“If the method you talked about doesn’t work, I swear I’ll kill you, Gu Yu!” Su Xiaoyun tried to press down her long hair that was blown up in the air by the strong winds while shouting at me.
“Count me in!” Shi Yitong, walking in front of Su Xiaoyun, shouted as well. “It will be interesting if we die because of the lightning instead of being eaten by the beast Chen!”
I ignored their complaints and walked in front of them, right next to Zhu Xuan. I put my hand on my forehead to prevent raindrops from blurring my vision. I turned aside to ask Zhu Xuan,
“Zhu Xuan! Where is the beast Chen?”
“With such heavy rain, it’s likely to hide in its cave on the mountain. We have to find it!” Zhu Xuan yelled.
“Do you know where its cave is?” I asked.
“I only know a vague direction, but I think we can find it!” Zhu Xuan answered firmly.
I nodded and turned around to wave at Su Xiaoyun and Shi Yitong, who were following behind. “Come here! I need to tell you about my plan!”
The beast Chen was huddled in its cave to hide from the downpour outside; its huge body almost occupied eighty percent of the cave. It stared at the thunderstorm outside with its big red eyes, seemingly thinking about something.
At this time, its pupil abruptly shrank. The beast gazed at the front and slowly stood up with all its feathers erect. Its huge beak opened, revealing its bloody fangs. It was on alert.
Because Zhu Xuan had suddenly appeared in front of it.
Zhu Xuan, in his human form, stood in front of the beast Chen like a child standing in front of a mountain. However, Zhu Xuan’s face showed no fear at all, instead, he glared at the beast Chen.
“Yes, it’s me,” Zhu Xuan said calmly. “I know what you are thinking. You must be wondering why I dare come here to see you, right? But I’m here, standing right in front of you.”
The beast Chen stood upright, raised its head and snarled, and then, a low voice echoed in Zhu Xuan’s head,
“No, you’re wrong,” said that low voice, full of anger and hatred. “What I’m thinking right now is how to completely destroy you, kill you, eat you, and crush you!”
“Yeah, of course you are. Just what I expected from you.” Zhu Xuan was not angry. Instead, he showed a beautiful smile. “You’re talking like you’re some villain from a TV series. Tell me, Chen, why do you hate me so much?”
The giant beast roared,
“I don’t need a reason to hate you!”
“No, we all need a reason to hate someone. Whether it’s love, jealousy, interest, or vanity. But I believe all those reasons fit you, don’t they?” Zhu Xuan looked up at the giant beast. He brushed away some wet hair from his forehead while stepping back naturally. When he was completely exposed in the storm, he said, “You want to kill me because I have things that you will never own. And it’s because you’re so jealous of me, that you’ll never understand why I’ve always been better than you.”
The beast Chen roared angrily. It approached Zhu Xuan, step by step, and soon his head was exposed to the pouring rain.
“I’ve never been jealous of you! You are weak and I’m the strongest between us! You don’t even dare to show your true form. The only thing you can do is to hide in your human form. You’re such a coward! I can easily kill you with only one claw. I’m ten times stronger than you!” The beast Chen roared.