Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 3 Book of Exchange – Chapter 48 Temple Fair
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 48 Temple Fair
Shi Yitong laughed dryly, muttering, “Well, whatever you say. But if I were you, I wouldn’t put myself in danger for a stranger.”
Shi Yitong was right. Even I didn’t know the reason why I was willing to enter this dangerous world. But it was undeniable that from the moment I met Wen Jiubo, I was completely attracted to this life.
Danger, like a flame, was so alluring that even though I knew that if I got too close to it, I would get burned or even die, and yet I couldn’t bring myself to stay away from it.
Wen Jiubo was the same, he was full of mystery and a deadly allure. When thinking about this, I knew that even though I didn’t know him at all, I would always follow his orders and enter this unknown world without hesitation.
“Speaking of which, how many days have we been here?” I suddenly asked.
“Um… three days, if we count the day on the road, it should be four days.” Shi Yitong thought for a second and replied. He began to worry. “It seems like, if we don’t count the weekend, we only have two days left on our break. Since we’re finished here, should we go back…”
It’s already been four days?
If I counted the week during which I deliberately avoided Wen Jiubo, it meant I hadn’t seen him in almost two weeks.
He didn’t contact me except for the late night call last time, which was abnormal.
I think… I’d better call him before going back.
Afterward, we chatted casually in the room and later, Shi Yitong slept on the table, snoring loudly. I browsed through Weibo (Chinese version of Twitter) aimlessly until about five o’clock in the afternoon when Su Xiaoyun came to find us.
“Hey, what are you doing?” The Queen raised her chin and knocked at the door. The loud noise instantly roused Shi Yitong.
“What? What’s going on?” Shi Yitong was startled and quickly sat up straight while drooling from a corner of his mouth. “Goddess Su! You scared me!”
“You’re so careless. Even in this kind of situation, you can still sleep like a pig. I really admire you,” Su Xiaoyun said angrily.
“What happened? Don’t you need to take care of Zhu Xuan?” I put my phone away and asked.
“That’s why I’m here.” Su Xiaoyun turned around and pointed towards the outside of the room with her chin. “He’s awake.”
We then noticed Zhu Xuan with bed hair, shyly smiling at us. His dirty clothes had been replaced by a big, white shirt provided by Shi Yitong.
“I’m sorry for making you worry about me.”
Shi Yitong and I stood up simultaneously. We all breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank God, you’re okay.”
“What about your injuries?”
“They’re fine.” Zhu Xuan showed us a soft smile. “Thank you for helping me seal the beast Chen, this is more important than anything else. The temple fair tonight can also be held as scheduled.”
“What are you talking about?” Su Xiaoyun patted Zhu Xuan’s back. “The most important thing is that we’re all still alive!”
Su Xiaoyun was indeed a special girl. Shi Yitong and I laughed loudly.
Xu Yingchen cooked us dinner. Zhu Xuan also put on some new, clean clothes. Everything had returned to normal. We chatted casually at the dinner table.
Xu Yingchen never asked us what happened, and for which I was very grateful.
“Oh right, kids, do you still want to visit the temple fair tonight?” Xu Yingchen asked all of a sudden. “It’ll start at five in the evening.”
We were all surprised by his question and stopped eating for a minute. After experiencing all of this, I was not sure if I still wanted to visit the temple fair.
Mr. Xu continued enthusiastically, “If you still want to go, I can drive you there. My cousin returned my car today, and I’m going to buy something nearby the temple. So, what do you think? Do you want to go?”
The three of us hesitantly looked at each other, but then Zhu Xuan suddenly spoke up,
“I’ll go. Why would I waste such a rare opportunity?” Zhu Xuan smiled. “I may be able to buy some novelties there.”
“What about you guys?” Mr. Xu looked at us.
“Okay.” I nodded, Shi Yitong and Su Xiaoyun also said yes.
“Yeah, such a rare opportunity,” Su Xiaoyun smiled and whispered into my ear. “I think we should see the world which we saved after so much effort.”
As we had imagined, there were not many people at the temple fair and the vendors were scarce too. The red lanterns and the exquisite dragon model were still hanging on the trees, looking a little lonely. There was a sliver of tiredness and fear hiding behind everyone’s looks. I knew the shadow of death was still haunting every person on Mt.Diecui.
“The beast Chen has already been sealed, and yet these people don’t know. They still fear that there will be another dead man,” I said as I sighed. “Can’t we find a way to tell them that the beast is no longer a threat?”
“You can tell them if you want.” Zhu Xuan showed a smile. “But I wonder if they will believe you or not.”
“They definitely won’t believe it.” Su Xiaoyun shook his head and said with regret, “Most people still don’t want to believe there was a legendary monster that ate humans. I think they’d rather believe that this was an animal attack or homicide, or some government conspiracy.”
“How could humans be so stupid,” Shi Yitong exclaimed. “They’d rather believe political conspiracy theories other than facts that happened right in front of them. I really don’t understand.”
“Don’t badmouth your own species like that, Shi Yitong.” Zhu Xuan found Shi Yitong’s opinion quite amusing. “Humans are very vigilant creatures. They can easily detect the dangers around them and quickly alert the entire community. This is just a biological instinct, we can’t judge them.”
“But the danger no longer exists, right? Mt.Diecui is safe now, and there will be no strange monsters coming out to eat people. These people can stop worrying,” Shi Yitong said indifferently.
“This is not true,” Zhu Xuan gave us an unexpected answer. He narrowed his eyes, looking solemn. “I think the current situation is far from safe. It’s very smart to stay fearful and vigilant.”
Although Shi Yitong and Su Xiaoyun were still confused, I had already understood what he tried to tell us.
“It’s the person on the top of the mountain, right?”
Zhu Xuan looked at me in surprise. “You also noticed?”
I nodded. “But that person was too far away and I could only see a blurred figure.”
Zhu Xuan immediately said, ” It also shows that he had strong power, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to control the beast Chen from such a distance.”.
Shi Yitong was puzzled by our conversation. He interrupted us, “Wait, what are you talking about? Why can’t I understand?”
“When we fought with the beast Chen, we thought we were going to die at first, right?” I had to explain to them. “But, for some reason, the beast Chen was suddenly restrained by some kind of power and couldn’t move anymore. Do you remember?”
Shi Yitong hurriedly nodded. “Yeah, I remember. And I asked you if it was because of you.”
I shook my head. “No, it was not me. I did nothing. It was a person standing on the opposite mountain. I couldn’t see how they looked like and didn’t even it was a man or a woman, but I’m sure that a strong power came from that direction. ”
“Your eyesight is indeed incredible.” Zhu Xuan looked at me with admiration, making me feel a little embarrassed.
“So you’re saying, the reason why we could successfully seal the beast Chen was because of him?” Su Xiaoyun said in surprise. “But… who was it? I thought that we were the only people who knew about the existence of the beast Chen.”
“You asked the wrong question, goddess Su,” Shi Yitong waved his hand and said pretentiously. “The question is not who did it, but ‘why’ he did it. Why did that person help us? Also, if he was friendly and he had such strong power, why didn’t he help us stop the big monster from the beginning? Why did he only show up at the last second and then immediately disappear?”
“Yes.” Zhu Xuan nodded. Clearly, he was in favor of Shi Yitong’s point of view. “I also thought about this question. Why did this person help us seal the beast Chen but never show himself from the beginning? I can only think of a single reason.”
“What is it?” Su Xiaoyun asked.
“That is, the person who helped us today is the one behind this,” Zhu Xuan said firmly.
“You’re saying… he was the one who broke the seal and released the beast Chen to harm people?” Su Xiaoyun was surprised.
“How can that be?” Shi Yitong didn’t understand. “If he were the one behind this, why did he help us?”
“Because he realized that the beast went out of control,” I couldn’t help but interrupt. “No matter what his intention was, this person didn’t want us to die. We can’t be dead, and he won’t just watch us die, so he helped us seal the beast Chen in the end. He has such great power, so he must have the ability to control the monster. I suspect that he is the Taoist priest who sealed the beast thirty years ago.”
“That Taoist priest?” Su Xiaoyun said in surprise.
“Is he that Taoist priest you’re talking about all the time?” Shi Yitong put a finger on his chin, pondering. And then he looked at us in horror. “I don’t know why, but I think what you said sounds quite reasonable.”