Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 4 Book of Kan – Chapter 19 The Actual Culprit
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 19 The Actual Culprit
“Please stop making fun of me right now, okay?” I said grumpily. “What are you going to do?”
“Of course, we need to lure him out.” Zhu Xuan smiled. “The odds are in our favor now, thanks to the mysterious person who trapped us in this loop. We now know much more than the mastermind.”
I nodded. Zhu Xuan and I laid out a secret plan.
“Mr. Yang,” I stopped the old man from behind and handed over a prescription. “This is Zhu Xuan’s prescription. You should go to the pharmacy and come back with the medicine. It should improve her condition.”
“Alright.” The old man took the prescription and carefully put it in his pocket. “I’ll go right away.”
After the old man left, Zhu Xuan came out.
“Did you give it to him?”
I nodded. “Yeah.”
“Good,” Zhu Xuan said, “let’s start then.”
Soon after, Mr. Yang came back with the medicine. Like the previous two times, I asked Mr. Yang to prepare the medicine.
“…Zhu Xuan and I will cook dinner.”
“How, how could…” Mr. Yang was reluctant as we expected. I did not want to listen to what he was going to say, so I put my hand on his shoulder and pushed him out of the room.
“Don’t worry, leave it to us. The only thing you need to do right now is to prepare the medicine!”
“If anything happens, just shout for us. Zhu Xuan and I will be in the kitchen and we will come out instantly!”
Mr. Yang sighed. He shook his head and walked into another room.
The room where the old woman was lying in was very dark. Because there was no ventilation inside the room, it was also stifling hot. The badly-drawn fake charms were pasted on the walls. Mr. Yang came in, looked at the charms and snorted with laughter.
“What kind of charm is that? Just childish graffiti. Calling himself a master exorcist, ridiculous!”
Mr. Yang slowly walked into the room with the medicine bowl in his hand. He did not forget to turn back and close the door.
The old woman was lying on the bed, a quilt covering her. She had difficulty breathing and her face was drenched with sweat.
Mr. Yang slowly approached and then sat on the edge of the bed. He put down the bowl, bent down, and began to greedily sniff the old woman’s face. An eerie growl came from his throat, it sounded like several animal groans at the same time.
“What a pity.”
“Poor woman, poor family.”
“What do you mean unfortunate, being targeted by us——”
“It’s her honor!”
Mr. Yang moved his neck with displeasure. He shouted in a low voice, “Stop arguing. Why can’t you just calm down and get the job done first? So annoying!”
All the voices disappeared immediately, leaving Mr. Yang alone.
A red and purple tongue came out of Mr. Yang’s mouth and then stretched to lick the medicine bowl. In an instant, the room was filled with a strong stinking smell from the bowl.
“Alright, alright. My dear, drink this bowl of medicine, and you will soon get better.” Mr. Yang cackled and brought the bowl near the old woman’s lips. “I’m lying to you.”
However, at this moment, the old woman suddenly opened her eyes. One of her hands instantly grabbed Mr. Yang’s wrist, which was holding the bowl.
Mr. Yang was startled and dropped the bowl. The medicine spilled on the ground. With a hissing sound, the ground immediately started to melt and emitted smoke with a rotten smell.
“It’s you. Is that how you killed this family?” The old woman said in a teenager’s voice.
At that moment, I rushed out from behind the door where I had been hiding.
The ‘old woman’ on the bed sneered. With a white flash, the old woman transformed into Zhu Xuan.
Mr. Yang obviously panicked. He shook off Zhu Xuan’s hand and stepped back.
“You, what are you talking about? I don’t understand. Didn’t you ask me to prepare the medicine and bring it to her? I just did what you asked…”
“Did you? Still playing dumb.” Zhu Xuan uncovered the quilt and stood up. He snorted. “Do you want me to remind you again? Or have you forgotten who you are?”
Mr. Yang was still trying to play dumb. “I don’t understand.”
“Is that so?” Zhu Xuan bent down, he picked up the bowl on the ground and showed the bottom of the bowl to Mr. Yang. “I’m afraid that you added something inside the medicine to kill the old woman. I almost forgot this is what you’re good at, ghost Wuqi. Unfortunately, Mr. Yang’s wife has now been moved to another room, and you can’t hurt her anymore. As for you, you’re not Mr. Yang. I’m afraid the real Mr. Yang has been murdered by you.”
Last night, I found the medicine bowl which had been discarded in the courtyard. The liquid flowing out of the bowl had this rancid smell that I was very familiar with. Zhu Xuan, however, only wrote the prescription, while Mr. Yang prepared and fed the medicine to Mrs. Yang, neither Zhu Xuan nor I intervened in the process.
That was the reason why I began to suspect Mr. Yang. But I was still surprised when Zhu Xuan said his name.
“Even if you administer a large dose, it takes time for the effluvium to take effect. Initially, it only makes people dizzy and fall unconscious. That’s why after the old woman took the medicine, her condition improved.” Zhu Xuan put the bowl aside and glared at Mr. Yang. “I was confused as for why a monster would poison someone as if they were a human being. But later on, I understood the reason. You wanted to conceal your identity even if it meant you had to pretend to be a human and even mimic how they poison people. You wanted to secretly kill me and Gu Yu! You wanted to test us because you were not sure of what we were capable of since we introduced ourselves as Taoist priests.”
Zhu Xuan asked harshly, “I’m asking you, where is the real Mr. Yang?”
Mr. Yang——No, the Wuqi ghost smiled. That smile on his face was not something a human being could make. The corners of his mouth were raised abnormally high, his lips rolled back, exposing his tongue. And you could hear several different voices coming from him at the same time.
“What a clever Taoist priest.”
“He’s asking us.”
“Where is the old man?”
“He’s right here!”
Then, Mr. Yang’s face began to change. I was astonished to see that all of the skin on his face, starting from his mouth, began to peel off. And what came out of it was a weird creature I had never seen before.
No, it was not one creature… it was more like five different creatures.