Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 3 Book of Exchange – Chapter 58 The Truth About the Past
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 58 The Truth About the Past
“Who did this to you? Was it that group of grey-robed Taoist priests?” I anxiously asked. “Why did they attack you? And what happened to the city?”
Wen Jiubo stared at me with a meaningful look. “Nothing. It’s just that… my time is up.”
“My time is up.” Wen Jiubo sighed. He suddenly smiled. “Everything in the world has its end. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. And I’m just a speck of dust in this world.”
“Enough, stop talking nonsense!”
I could see that Wen Jiubo’s mental and physical condition were in a terrible state, so even if I asked, he probably wouldn’t give me any reasonable answers.
I put one of my arms around his shoulders and grasped his waist to help him up. “Okay, stop talking. Let’s find a way to get out of here, all right?”
I wanted to help him stand up, but Wen Jiubo shook his head and refused.
“Gu Yu, don’t bother. How long have you been here? Have you seen anything leave?”
I was dumbfounded, but still, I insisted, “How would you know without trying? Come on, let me carry you.”
Wen Jiubo looked at me helplessly. Even in this kind of situation, I could see his ‘I really don’t know what to do with you’ expression.
But you’re dying!
I asked Wen Jiubo to hold the torch. I squatted down and carried him on my back. Strangely, although he was much taller than me, his body weighted as much as a girl. Therefore, I could easily carry him on my back despite the fact that I was not very physically strong. Was it because he was light, or was it because he had lost too much blood?
“Gu Yu,” he whispered my name next to my ear, “you’re a really nice person.”
“Yeah,” I rolled my eye and said impatiently. “I’m definitely dozens of times nicer than a heartless man like you.”
“Sometimes, you’re so kind that you make me want to marry into your family,” Wen Jiubo whispered.
“Huh.” I laughed out dryly and kept walking forward. “I think I should marry into your family, not the other way around. If you marry into my family, my mom will probably force you to wear women’s clothing.”
Wen Jiubo cracked into a smile. “That sounds interesting.”
“You’re the only one who thinks that.”
Afterward, we stayed silent for a long time. The only sounds echoing in the long corridor were our breathing and the sound of splashing water as I walked.
I didn’t know how long I walked. The walls surrounding us went on and it seemed like it would never end. After I turned a corner, I suddenly found that the way forward disappeared, and we stood in front of a cold hard wall.
“We walked into a dead end,” I said with dismay. “The path ends here.”
“Gu Yu, put me down,” Wen Jiubo said from behind.
However, I refused to give up. I turned my head after lifting Wen Jiubo a little higher on my back. “It’s no big deal, we can try other ways.”
“Gu Yu.” This time, his tone was stern, but he was still too weak to speak for too long. “Put me down.”
I had no choice but to follow his order. I slowly squatted down and let Wen Jiubo sit down against the wall. He was panting, and his face looked paler.
“You take a break, I will see if there is any other way.” Upon saying that, I stood up and was about to check if there was another junction on the way we had passed.
However, Wen Jiubo grabbed the edge of my clothes and stopped me.
“Gu Yu.” Wen Jiubo’s voice was hoarse. “Don’t go.”
It was hard to see his expression in the dim light, but I could feel from his tone that he was begging me in a way that I had never seen before.
As a result, I slowly sat down next to him. I brought the torch closer so that I could see his face.
He was still the man I knew, with no sign of weakness or pleading showing on his face. However, in his eyes, I saw his longing. I lifted my hand and touched his cheek, but tears suddenly fell down mine.
“When are you going to tell me?” I stared at him and asked as I wiped my tears with my sleeves.
“I’m really sorry, Gu Yu,” Wen Jiubo muttered. “I didn’t want to conceal my identity from you, it’s just…”
“I’m not talking about that,” I interrupted him with anger. “When did you plan to tell me that you’re in danger?”
Wen Jiubo glanced at me in surprise and he smiled. “I’m sorry about that.”
“You never trust me and you always treat me like a child. Even if I were a child, I still would get hurt!” I said indignantly.
“Sorry.” Wen Jiubo looked at me gently. “But I always believed in you. It’s just not the right time, and our fate hasn’t arrived yet. As I said, when the moment arrives, you’ll know.”
“So, is it the right time now?” I threatened, “If you dare to say ‘no’, I swear I’ll turn around and leave you here to die alone.”
Wen Jiubo laughed, he pointed next to himself, beckoning me to sit down.
“I know you must have tons of questions to ask, but can I ask you a question first?”
I sat down beside him and looked at him with a little anger. Even in a moment like this, Wen Jiubo still wanted to be in a dominant position and lead the conversation.
However, how could I refuse him? I nodded. “Sure.”
He asked, “Gu Yu, can you answer me straightforwardly and objectively?”
I nodded hesitantly as I looked at him. His expression had changed under the flickering torch flame, but I was sure that I had never seen that expression before. His eyes, his pursed lips, clearly showed that…
“You are scared,” I whispered. “What’s wrong?”
Wen Jiubo exhaled briefly and smiled. “No, I’m not scared. I am terrified.”
“Why? What are you scared of?”
“I’m scared by the answer that I’m about to hear.” Wen Jiubo turned his head and met my gaze. Even though his hair was messy and he was covered in blood and dust, he still looked as handsome and attractive as always.
“Gu Yu, do you think I am a good person?”
From his tone, I sensed his deep despair and pain. He had no expectation at all since he had already known the answer the moment he asked.
I was speechless. I opened my mouth and then closed it. I hesitantly glanced at him and met his eyes, the light in which showed he was commanding me to answer his question.
I had promised him, so I had to comply. So, I shook my head so slightly that my movement could hardly be seen.
After getting his answer, Wen Jiubo let out a sigh of relief and smiled. “I know, you also saw it, right?”
“I don’t understand, my answer is not important at all!” I said sternly. “The most pressing issue right now is to find a way to get out of this shitty place…”
“Gu Yu,” Wen Jiubo interrupted me. He said softly, “It matters. Because I know what you want to ask. You want to know if I’m the evil nine-tailed fox you saw in those paintings.”
“I…” I subconsciously wanted to refute him, but I had to reluctantly admit that he was right.
“Yes, I am,” Wen Jiubo said calmly. “I’m going to tell you whatever you want to know today, so go ahead and ask me.”
How did we end up like this? I irritatedly scratched my head. There were countless questions in my mind now.