Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 4 Book of Kan – Chapter 1 Return To The Real World
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 1 Return To The Real World
“We have arrived at Yan City University. For the passengers who wish to get off, please queue up and leave through the back door.”
The emotionless electronic female voice announced the station name. Shi Yitong, who sat next to me, yawned and pushed me.
“Wake up, we’ve arrived.”
On the other side, Su Xiaoyun lowered her head and put her things back into her backpack, preparing to get off.
I looked at them and felt quite puzzled, feeling that there was something wrong, but I couldn’t tell what.
“What’s the matter, Gu Yu?”
Shi Yitong and Su Xiaoyun already stood at the back door, while I was still sitting in my seat. Shi Yitong looked at me in confusion. “We need to get off the bus, why aren’t you getting up?”
“Oh, oh! I’m sorry, I’m coming!” I hurriedly picked up my backpack, followed the other passengers and got off the bus.
I was the last one to get off the bus. Soon, the passengers left one by one. The bus driver closed the door and slowly drove away. The station in front of me was still the one I was familiar with. Nothing had changed.
“Ah, Gu Yu. Look over there!” While I was absent-minded, Su Xiaoyun patted me on the shoulder and pointed to a man standing near the station door. “Isn’t that Wen Jiubo?”
I looked in the direction where she pointed and saw Wen Jiubo. He was wearing the same gown he wore when I first met him and his long hair swayed in the breeze. He quietly looked at us.
“Did he come here to pick you up?” Shi Yitong teased. “Your boss treats his staff really well. Go, see if Mr. Wen can treat us for lunch again.”
I stared at Wen Jiubo. There was a buzzing noise in my ear, which apparently wanted me to remember something, but I couldn’t remember anything at all.
I walked towards Wen Jiubo, and then …
Something happened at that very moment when I walked towards him.
The incense scent got stronger, the smell was so strong that it made me want to cough. The air was filled with the fragrance of lilies and for the first time, I realized what the fragrance reminded me of.
If you want to find a way to save me, you have to wake up.
I sat up abruptly, and just like a drowning man, I breathed greedily and heavily. My forehead and hands were wet with sweat.
It was Bai’s voice.
The little ferret leaped upwards onto my quilt and worriedly looked at me. “Are you alright? How do you feel? Are you in pain?”
“No, no…” I replied subconsciously, and then I realized where I was.
I looked around and found myself lying in the main room of the old residence, in familiar surroundings. The familiar mahogany floors, old antique furniture, and courtyard full of blooming flowers.
Incense. I saw an incense burner placed next to my bed with three incense sticks burning inside it. That was where the fragrance came from, and now the incense was about to burn out.
“Gu Yu.” All of a sudden, someone held my hand. I was startled and tried to shake it off, but his grip got even tighter.
“It’s okay, Gu Yu, you’re safe. Turn around and look at me.”
The voice was filled with the firmness that I was familiar with. I turned around and saw a handsome face——It was Wen Jiubo.
Wen Jiubo sat on my bed, safe and sound, with a familiar smile on his face.
“You’re safe now. I’m sorry you were scared.” Wen Jiubo pulled me into his arms and kissed me on the lips without hesitation.
I felt a wave of warmth in my heart, but right now, I didn’t need it at all.
I pushed Wen Jiubo away and harshly slapped his face.
Wen Jiubo was stunned. Obviously, he didn’t expect me to do that. He held his face with disbelief written all over his face, which made him look a little goofy.
“Do you know why I slapped you?!” I said angrily.
Wen Jiubo frowned slightly and said hesitantly, “I… should ask for your permission next time?”
I got angrier and shouted at him furiously, “Are you having fun tricking me all the time? Do you think it’s interesting to watch me make a fool out of myself? Wen Jiubo, what the fuck do you think I am, a toy?”
However, Wen Jiubo’s expression suggested that he was still very confused, he didn’t know what I was talking about.
Bai sensed the weird atmosphere in the room, and he tried to ease the situation. “Um, Gu Yu, hold on, he didn’t mean to …”
“Bai.” Wen Jiubo glanced at him to make him stop. He then looked at me with a sullen face. “Gu Yu, what did you see?”
“How dare you say that to me!” While staring at him, I just wanted to punch him on the face again. I removed the quilt, jumped out of bed and approached him.
“You died in front of me, you just disappeared! Your whole body vanished into the air like a phantom! I thought you died! Now you suddenly show up in front of me, alive! What is going on?!”
However, what I did not expect was that the moment I said that, the atmosphere in the room became bizarre. In the dead silence, Bai and Wen Jiubo looked at each other in the eye. The room was dead silent as if time had stopped.
I looked at Wen Jiubo and then at Bai, feeling a little diffident.
“What’s wrong? Why did you stop talking?” I broke the silence and asked, “Could somebody explain this to me? Does everyone really enjoy hiding things from me?”
“Gu Yu, actually…” Bai hesitated. He looked back at Wen Jiubo.
Wen Jiubo looked grave, but he didn’t say anything. Instead, he approached me and lifted his hand to touch my forehead.
“You have a fever, maybe it’s the side effect of the incense. Now go back to bed, I’ll get you something to eat. You should have some rest.”
“Wen Jiubo, can you tell me how…”
“I will,” Wen Jiubo said, stressing each word. “But I won’t say anything until your fever goes down. Your health is the priority right now.”
Just like that, Wen Jiubo put a quilt on me and surprisingly, left the room. Bai glanced at me and reluctantly followed Wen Jiubo out of the room as well.
After the room became quiet again, I started to feel ill. I fell asleep with anger, and when I woke up, night had already fallen.
I blankly stared at the ceiling for a while. I couldn’t decide between staying in bed or getting up to find Wen Jiubo. Suddenly, the wooden door cracked open. Wen Jiubo stepped into the room with a bowl of porridge, and then he turned on the light in the room.
“You’re awake? Get up and have some porridge,” Wen Jiubo said softly. He put the porridge on the bedside table.
I propped myself up on one elbow. I glanced at him. I had so many things I wanted to ask, but I couldn’t be bothered to argue with him again. I stopped thinking about it. I picked up the bowl and took a few sips.
“Be careful, it’s still hot.” Wen Jiubo sat down at the edge of the bed and earnestly looked at me. “How does it taste?”
“…Not bad.” I admitted reluctantly. Wen Jiubo was really good at cooking. I didn’t know how he did that, but I really enjoyed everything he cooked.
“I killed a chicken to make this porridge for you,” Wen Jiubo said with a smile.
“You raise chickens here?” I asked doubtfully.
“No, Bai caught it. He’s a weasel, remember?” Wen Jiubo smiled.
The more casually Wen Jiubo talked, the less I wanted to drink the porridge.
I put the bowl aside, sat up straight and looked at him. I asked seriously, “What happened, can you tell me now?”
However, Wen Jiubo beckoned me to come closer.
I sighed and had to lean over.
Wen Jiubo put his hand on my forehead. After a short while, he put down his hand and nodded. “You’re getting much better.”
“I feel fine, it’s you who made such a fuss,” I complained.
“Well, our Little Gu Yu is as resilient as a cockroach. Why should I worry about you?” Wen Jiubo pinched my cheek with a smile.
I pushed his hand away. “Stop it. Can we talk seriously?”
Wen Jiubo nodded slowly. He pondered for a moment and seemed to figure out where he should begin.
Finally, he took a deep breath and said, “There is a man, a Taoist priest. He seeks to kill me.”
I immediately interrupted him, “A Taoist priest in grey robes? The one who sealed you thousands of years ago but couldn’t kill you?”
Wen Jiubo looked at me in surprise. “You already knew?”
I incredulously looked at him. “You told me yourself!”
Wen Jiubo slightly knitted his brows. “Well, then we’ll skip this part. Once upon a time, there was a beautiful country called Qingqiu——”
“Stop, stop. I also already know this.” I gestured for him to stop.
Wen Jiubo look at me suspiciously and directly asked me, “Well, in that case, tell me what exactly do you know?”
I let out a breath and shook my head. “I don’t know. Too many things are going on in my head, and I’m not sure I understand clearly…”
“I know. Just tell me whatever comes to your mind.” Wen Jiubo looked at me quietly.
As a result, I told Wen Jiubo what happened after we got off the bus, including the ghost dream we had, the abandoned school, and everything that happened after I found Mr. Cat and jumped into the gap between the world of Yin and Yang.
After I told him my story, Wen Jiubo’s face was sullen. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, so I lifted my hand and waved it in front of his eyes.
“Hey, are you okay?”
Wen Jiubo pulled his wandering mind back and shook his head. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
“So … what’s going on?” I asked. “I met you in the gap…but why does it look like you don’t know about it?”