Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 3 Book of Exchange – Chapter 9 Chu Bai
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 9 Chu Bai
“Hmpf, I didn’t want to possess your body, it’s you who brought me outside,” the female ghost named Chu Bai said arrogantly. “If it wasn’t for you kicking my vase, I would never have noticed you. I have been lingering in that place forever and you’re the first human to enter that place after such a long time. Of course, I would seize this opportunity to sneak out.”
“But why me?” I asked, feeling a headache coming on.
“You should ask yourself, why did you leave the world of the living and enter the gap?” She replied with a straight face.
Yes, that’s right. This whole thing is Wen Jiubo’s fault! Why did he ask me to deliver that envelope?
“So, what do you want?” I seriously looked at my face in the mirror.
“Why do I need to have a purpose?” Chu Bai obviously didn’t care about it. “I came out because I felt like it. No one wants to live in that place forever, do they?”
I was surprised. “You don’t want to reincarnate?”
“I missed the opportunity to reincarnate hundreds of years ago.”
“…do you want to become an evil ghost and harm people?”
“Why should I do something that boring? It doesn’t sound beneficial to me.”
“So, you don’t want to find a body and live in world of the living, right?”
“I have already found one, haven’t I?” Chu Bai said straight-faced. “It’s you.”
Without hesitation, I walked towards the door.
“I guess it’s time to ask Wen Jiubo to exorcize you!”
Share my body with a woman? Furthermore, one who tried to kill me not ten minutes ago, are you kidding me?
“Ahhhh, hold on, hold on!”
Before I managed to walk out of the room, my right foot tripped my left foot and made me fall flat on my face.
“That hurts!” I rubbed my forehead and said angrily, “What are you doing?”
“I’m so sorry! My mistake!” Chu Bai hurriedly apologized to me, “I promise, I won’t use your body for too long, maybe… a week! Just a week!”
“Huh?” I was puzzled.
“Let me use your body for a while, not for very long. Just a week!” I could tell from her tone that she was begging me. “Just a week! I’ll leave after a week, what do you think?”
What was wrong with her? It seemed like she had changed into a completely different person.
I sat on the ground with my legs crossed and didn’t get up.
“Do you like it inside of my body?”
The second I finished my sentence, she punched my head.
“Jerk! How could I enjoy having to stay in a man’s body?!”
I rubbed my head. “So why?”
“Isn’t it obvious? If you were me, who stayed in a place with no sense of direction for hundreds of years, you would be eager to get out of there too,” Chu Bai said as if she was angry with me. “I’m a ghost, if I don’t have a body, I’ll disappear after a few days! However, I want to see what has changed in this world!”
My hesitation and unwillingness made her anxious.
“I swear! Just a week! I swear that I will never bother you again after just a week. I’ll return to the gap or vanish in some cemetery. Anyway, you won’t need to worry about me!” She said anxiously, “And I won’t bother you during your daily life, and I won’t control your body. May I turn into a dog if I lie to you!”
After hearing this, I gave in. I couldn’t reject her… and after all, she was a girl. I had a tender heart for the fairer sex.
“That’s… fine.” I sighed and gave in.
“Em, but you should keep your promise. During this week, I have three rules for you. First, you will never show yourself in school or control my body when other people are present. Second, without my permission, you should never——”
Chu Bai interrupted me before I could finish —— or more precisely, she took control of my mouth.
“Ahh, I’m hungry! Did you not eat lunch? I’m so hungry right now!” After saying this, Chu Bai stretched her body and started to search for food in my backpack. “Is there anything to eat?”
“I just said without my permission, you’re forbidden from controlling my body!”
“But I’m hungry! I’m eating for you, you should thank me!”
“It’s me who will gain weight, not you! Don’t eat my bread, it’s for tomorrow’s breakfast!”
Though I was alone in the motel, when I laid on my bed, it felt as if I had partied with dozens of people for the whole night. When I was too tired to open my eyes, Chu Bai finally became quiet.
Before falling asleep, I thought that she probably slept long before me.
I had a dream that night.
It was my dream… but as I woke up, I realized that this dream actually belonged to someone else’s soul.
In that dream, I’m a woman. No, I was a woman.
Hundreds or even thousands of years ago, I was a woman.
Time stopped after I died, leaving only small fragments of my memory.
Prostitution, violence, rape, betrayal… what kind of person I was when I was alive, how I died, it was too vague for me to remember.
Hatred was the only thing I could remember clearly.
However, the memories of the person I resented had become vague. I thought that all the people I hated died, they might have already been reincarnated, but I still stayed in this world, holding this grudge and lingering aimlessly.
Ever since I was a child, people have told me that when a person dies, they will go to a very beautiful place. Someone would lead the way for your soul and the soup from Meng Po (Lady of forgetfulness) would make you forget the miseries of your past life before riding a wooden boat to cross the Sanzu river.
But, as if the Black and White Impermanence had forgotten me, no one ever tried to look for me since I died, and no one led the way for me to the Sanzu river. I lingered for thousands of year and forgot everything about my past life, my memories, my hatred and eventually, my name.
Later on, I found out that not all spirits were lucky enough to encounter that mysterious guide. Lingering ghosts like me were as numerous as there are leaves on a tree.