Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 3 Book of Exchange – Chapter 5 A Bizarre Dream
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 5 A Bizarre Dream
“Well…” I was tongue-tied and couldn’t refute him.
“However, it’s understandable. His noodles are indeed very delicious.” Wen Jiubo smiled and said, “He gave you a warm welcome, didn’t he?”
I hesitantly nodded. “Yes, but at first I was terrified. What…is the owner?”
Hearing this, Wen Jiubo smiled. “Oh, he is an old acquaintance, a two-tailed cat.”
“A two-tailed cat?” I had never heard of it.
“You don’t know?” Wen Jiubo then explained to me, “It’s a subspecies of cat demons. According to ancient Chinese folktales, cats have nine lives. Every nine years, it grows a new tail, when the second tail is fully grown, it becomes a two-tailed cat. Two-tailed cats were first recorded by the Japanese and were called ‘Mao You’. The book ‘Japan supernatural recordings’ first recorded the story of a cat as it was dying, gave birth to a baby cat which later grew into a human. Cat demons are aged cats, usually in the image of an old woman. Their body is twice as big as a human one, a big cat demon can be as large as a small cow. Of course, these are just stories made up by humans. A true cat demon is as not as mysterious as they thought. However, by absorbing the essence of nature, they are able to mimic humans, including gaining sentience.”
I nodded, half-understanding. “He seems like a powerful demon, why did he choose to sell noodles in that alley?”
“Humans enjoy different works and interests, so do demons,” said Wen Jiubo. “ Speaking of which, did you give him the letter?”
I nodded. “Yes, and Mr. Cat said something strange to me, something about fate or the like…”
“Good, well done.” Wen Jiubo smiled.
“However, what did the letter say?” I asked curiously.
“Well,” Wen Jiubo turned his head, glanced at the small fish tank on the table, and said, “I had to thank him after receiving his gift.”
It suddenly dawned on me. The goldfish was a gift from Mr. Cat.
“Besides, I want him to pay attention to ‘the other side’. Maybe it’s just me worrying too much, but I want to be prepared in case something happens,” said Wen Jiubo.
I nodded, though I didn’t quite understand what he meant. The relationship between demons was really mysterious, something which couldn’t be easily understood by humans. Since Wen Jiubo didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t ask any questions.
I began to feel sleepy as soon as I could finally relax. I was rubbing my eyes and couldn’t stop yawning.
“Don’t forget you owe me a pot of chicken stew. It’s too late now, and I have to go back to school, I can’t keep them waiting for me.” I waved my hand at him to say goodbye. “Chicken stew tomorrow, don’t forget.”
“Alright.” Wen Jiubo sighed. “I won’t forget, unlike someone, I’m aware of the time.”
I pulled a funny face at Wen Jiubo and turned around. However, before I left the room, Wen Jiubo suddenly stopped me.
“Gu Yu, wait.”
I turned around, confused. “What?”
Wen Jiubo frowned slightly. After looking at me from tip to toe, his eyes stopped on a spot somewhere on my back.
“Did you touch something when you came back?”
“Huh?” I was puzzled. “What thing?”
Wen Jiubo didn’t answer, he narrowed his eyes and gazed at me for a moment before shaking his head. “No… I’m probably imagining things.”
He’s so weird, I shrugged my shoulders and left the old residence.
I didn’t know why I was feeling extremely sleepy today. It was only three in the afternoon, however, I kept yawning and my eyelids were really heavy. As soon as I arrived at my dorm room, I tumbled into my bed and fell asleep.
I had a bizarre dream while I slept. I couldn’t remember anything other than a voice. This voice kept calling someone in my dream, making it hard to forget.
It was a young woman’s voice, which kept echoing around me. She was seemingly calling someone’s name.
I couldn’t clearly hear the name, but she sounded desperate and anxious.
“…I miss you.”
“…I want to see you.”
“Where are you?”
“What’s wrong with you… you can go and find him if you want to see him, why do you keep whispering in my ears?” I wondered and covered my ears before going back to sleep.
I didn’t know how much time had passed, but when I woke up, the first thought I had was the extremely painful headache I was having. It felt as if someone punched the back of my head.
…What’s going on? I rubbed my head and sat up, but to my surprise, I found myself sitting on the floor of the classroom. Everyone in the class, including the teacher, were staring at me.
“Gu Yu? Are you okay?” Su Xiaoyun, who sat next to me, shouted. My roommates also worriedly looked at me.
“Yes, I’m fine.” I struggled to stand up and sat back. Apparently, I fell from the seat and banged my head.
However, I clearly remembered that I went to sleep in the dorm room… Why am I here in the classroom? I rubbed my temples and wondered, did I sleep too much?
“Gu Yu.” Su Xiaoyun looked at me, whispering, “Are you okay?”
“Uh?” I shook my head. “Fine, I’m fine, except for the pain on the back of my head…”
Su Xiaoyun’s face told me that she was skeptical, but instead of asking any questions, she began to focus on the lecture.
After the class, while I was gathering all my notes on my desk, Di Zizhen, Zhou Lang and Qi Bojian came to me, looking concerned.
“Gu Yu, are you all right?”
“Are you okay?”
I looked at him, confused. “Huh? What’s wrong, are you going to eat me?”
“We wouldn’t dare, we’re already afraid that you’re going to eat us.” Qi Bojian muttered. Di Zizhen poked him with his elbow to stop him.
“He doesn’t mean that,” put in Di Zizhen. “You’re behaving really… weirdly today.”
“Uh?” I was baffled. “Weird? How?”