Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 3 Book of Exchange – Chapter 49 Farewell
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 49 Farewell
“I agree.” Zhu Xuan nodded. “We don’t know why the beast Chen suddenly broke the seal and ran out to harm humans. So it’s possible that the Taoist priest was the mastermind behind everything and secretly manipulated us.”
“Are you saying… that bastard has been watching our movements?” Shi Yitong was stunned.
“I don’t know, but there is a possibility.” Zhu Xuan frowned. “I’m… just very curious. Why did he do this? What’s the point?”
“Yeah,” Su Xiaoyun also muttered. I was not sure if it reminded her of her curse. “It doesn’t make sense. Why did he do this? Just for fun?”
“Well, even if we stand here for a whole day thinking about this situation, we wouldn’t find an answer anyway.” Shi Yitong gave up. He waved his hand and said, “He has been hiding for so long, how can we find him in just a day?”
“Me,” I suddenly said, looking at the other three. “Not us. He is coming for me.”
I didn’t know why I suddenly said this, but at that moment I believed I was right.
However, after everyone stared at me doubtfully, I suddenly felt embarrassed since I couldn’t explain why I said that.
“Um… haha, I’m just saying,” I was embarrassed and changed the subject. “Alright, let’s go around. Since we’re here for fun, we should look around. As you said, maybe we can find something interesting.”
I laughed and took the lead. “Let’s go, let’s go shopping.”
Fortunately, no one asked me further questions. There were vendors at the temple fair selling souvenirs and snacks. We walked from the entrance to the end, but none of us were interested in buying anything.
“I think this is the end.” Su Xiaoyun asked, “Shall we go back?”
“Wait, I need to visit something,” Zhu Xuan whispered.
Zhu Xuan bypassed the most crowded places by leading us through a small path. He took us all the way to a quiet place deep inside the temple. Under the bright moonlight, we saw a large linden tree in the center of the courtyard. There were countless red cloth strips, on which people’s prayers were written, hanging on the tree, so many that you could clearly see them even in the night.
“What’s the matter?” I noticed that Zhu Xuan’s expression changed and asked.
Zhu Xuan muttered, “I want to pray for Ye. Humans say that, if they pray during the annual temple fair, their wishes will be fulfilled. I don’t know if it is true, but I want to try.”
“Go on, maybe it is true,” Su Xiaoyun suggested. “But it’s late and there are no monks around… Where can we find some red cloth?”
“Hey, use this.” After quickly thinking about it, Shi Yitong rolled up one of his sleeves, untied the red cord wrapped on his wrist and held a beautiful jade on his palm.
“But, isn’t that your grandpa’s…” I hesitated.
“It isn’t the only one. My grandpa collected so many weird things in his life.” Shi Yitong didn’t think this was a problem and reassured us, “Since Zhu Xuan said this bracelet once belonged to his lover, how could I still keep it?”
Upon saying that, Shi Yitong reached out and gave the bracelet to Zhu Xuan.
But Zhu Xuan did not take it. Instead, he stared at the jade on the bracelet and raised eyebrows in doubt.
“The jade… is shining.” Zhu Xuan muttered.
“Yeah, because it’s dark now,” Shi Yitong said without thinking too much. “It shines at night, but not like some cheap luminous paint. The light is beautiful, that’s why my grandma gave it to me and asked me to wear it as an amulet. But I guess she didn’t know what it actually was…”
Zhu Xuan interrupted him. He took over the bracelet and murmured, “But it never shone before. It is just… ordinary jade, I’ve never seen it shine at night.”
“Are you sure?” Shi Yitong was dumbfounded, and stuttered, “But, but since I first saw it, it could emit light during nights.”
“No, it’s impossible.” Zhu Xuan said with certainty. He looked at the jade in his hand again. “I’m sure. This is just an ordinary jade. Ye’s grandpa bought it from the market at a very cheap price when he was very young, and it can’t emit light at night unless…”
Zhu Xuan was frozen as if he suddenly understood something, he was completely speechless.
“What’s it?” I asked, “Unless what?”
“God, why did I never think of this possibility?!” Zhu Xuan suddenly exclaimed excitedly. “That must be it!”
“What? What is it?” Shi Yitong and Su Xiaoyun were both confused and didn’t know what was going on.
“Unless what? What do you mean?” I anxiously asked.
“Unless… Ye’s soul is living inside the stone!” Zhu Xuan shouted excitedly.
“What?” Shi Yitong stuttered, “But, but, how is it possible?”
“It has to be the reason!” Zhu Xuan was thrilled. “Thirty years ago, before I passed out, I used my remaining strength to save Ye’s soul. If his soul found a vessel, he would live. Do you remember what I said?”
His words dawned on us.
“What was the closest vessel next to him at that time? It was this jade!” Zhu Xuan shook bracelet in his hand. He was just exhilarated. “Jade stones have psychic power, and Ye’s soul has slept inside of it for 30 years.”
Zhu Xuan turned around to look at Shi Yitong, “Now I understand why I mistook you for Ye at first, because Ye’s soul is sleeping inside the stone, and I detected his aura on you.”
Shi Yitong looked at Zhu Xuan, stunned. He stuttered, “So, what are you going to do? Find another person and put Ye’s soul into his body?”
“No. That is immoral, I would never do such a thing,” Zhu Xuan pondered. “But I need enough time to come up with the right method.
After saying that, Zhu Xuan gripped the jade in his hand, turned around and walked into the dark.
I suddenly had a bad feeling and stopped him.
“Zhu Xuan, where are you going?”
Zhu Xuan turned back and grinned. “The place where I came from, where I’m going, and where we will all return.”
“You’re leaving, aren’t you?” Su Xiaoyun pointed out.
“Don’t worry about the beast Chen. This time I’ll take it with me and guard it.” Zhu Xuan smiled. “I don’t want to fight with it again.”
“But, but…” Shi Yitong seemingly didn’t understand the situation here, “Are you leaving just like that? What about us?”
Zhu Xuan found his question quite amusing. “You? You have your own lives. Fate brought us together this time. But when it’s time to leave, we should just say goodbye.”
“How come you speak through riddles now?” Shi Yitong muttered. “You sound exactly like Wen Jiubo.”
When Shi Yitong brought up Wen Jiubo, my heart sunk a little. Also, he reminded me of something.
“Wait! Zhu Xuan, can you tell me something before you leave?”
“What is it?” Zhu Xuan looked at me with a smile.
“Wen Jiubo, you said you had guessed his identity.” I asked, “Is that true?”
“Why would I lie to you?” Zhu Xuan laughed.
“Then can you tell me, even if it’s just a guess?” I asked earnestly, “I’ve been troubled by his identity for a long time.”
Zhu Xuan looked at me, he seemed a little reluctant. He remained silent for a short while and sighed, “No, I can’t.”
“Why?” Su Xiaoyun and Shi Yitong both also asked to help me.
“In this world, there are many things that you have to discover by yourself,” Zhu Xuan said sternly. “This is a complicated world, and every human, demon, or monster has their own fate. If the thin line of fate linking Wen Jiubo to you, isn’t solved by yourself, then you will never understand the true meaning behind it.”
Zhu Xuan’s words made me confused, but I understood that he was not going to tell me. I was a little disappointed and looked down.
“But if you really want to know, I can give you some hints,” Zhu Xuan added.
“What hints?” I suddenly became excited, waiting earnestly.
Zhu Xuan glanced at me and then enunciated, “A nine-tailed white fox is looking for his mate; the great Yu married the daughter of the Tushan family, we will be forever wealthy and prosperous.”
“What are you saying?” Shi Yitong looked at Zhu Xuan, perplexed. He then turned back to ask Su Xiaoyun, “Do you understand what he said?”
Su Xiaoyun also looked confused. Since Zhu Xuan recited an ancient poem, nobody was able to understand it.
However, Zhu Xuan didn’t give us the opportunity to ask any questions. While we were still pondering the poem, he turned around and disappeared into the dark.
“Hey!” Shi Yitong raised his hand in the air and wanted to stop him, but I pulled him back.
“Don’t,” I whispered. “Let him go.”
“But, he hasn’t told us who Wen Jiubo is.” Shi Yitong didn’t want to give up.
“He must have his reasons.” I shook my head. “Let him be.”
Just like that, we watched as Zhu Xuan stepped out of our sight and disappear into the night as if he had never existed in the first place.