Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 4 Book of Kan – Chapter 38 The Princess Dream
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 38 The Princess Dream
When I woke up, I opened my eyes and saw the chaos.
No, no…wait, what’s this place?
A memory was gradually emerging. Shouts from many of the frightened people were the last thing I heard, “The nine-tailed fox is here!”
Right, the sacrifice ritual!
The sacrifice ritual did not proceed as planned. But it was the last thing that Qingqiu could do. If the sacrifice ritual didn’t work…that meant…
We had already…
I opened my eyes. The humid air made me quite uncomfortable. The surroundings were very dark and I could barely see anything. I groped around for anything nearby.
Hay, stone, and moist soil. I should be in the recesses of a cave.
The first thought in my mind was to escape quickly. Without hesitation, I quickly got up from the ground, however, just before I could move, I was tripped by my long gown and fell flatly on the ground.
I began to feel pain from all over my body, and then I realized that there were bruises and cuts all over me. However, there was no time to check the wounds. I stood up again, flusteredly rolling up my gown and ran towards the only bright spot in the cave. It must be the exit.
Hurry up, I need to get out of here now!
The cave was so deep and dark that I lost count of how many times I tripped and how many new injuries I got. But finally, I was getting closer to that bright spot, and then it became glaring sunlight. I felt ecstatic. I finally got out!
As long as I can get out, there will be hope!
However, just before I was about to escape, all of a sudden, a huge black shadow engulfed the sunlight coming from the exit.
“You want to escape? What a naughty little girl.” The stern voice echoed in the cave. It was the voice of a beast that would terrify everyone.
The nine-tailed fox stood right in front of me. He smiled slightly, revealing his sharp canine teeth.
I suddenly woke up from my dream and found all my clothes were soaked in sweat. The fear was like an invisible hand tightly gripping my heart, and I could hardly breathe.
I sat on the bed and adjusted my breathing in order to calm myself down. I took out my phone and found it was only half past four in the morning. My roommates were all sleeping deeply, and Zhou Lang’s snoring was especially loud. I never thought that him snoring would one day make me feel reassured.
I wiped the sweat on my forehead with a paper towel and still felt terrified when recalling that dream.
Thinking hard, I had dreamed about this girl in the sacrifice ritual several times. The feelings the previous times I dreamed about her were not this strong, which was no different from the dreams that I had through my vision before, so I did not pay much attention to it.
However, as time went by, that feeling got stronger. In the dream, that girl whose story I saw from the first perspective seemed to be the princess of a country, however, I was certain now that she was the princess of Qingqiu.
Qingqiu, a country that was told to be destroyed by Wen Jiubo according to the legends, was also the home of Taoist priest Lingxiao, the mastermind behind the scenes.
The princess in the dream was willing to become a sacrifice in order to prevent the nine-tailed fox from destroying her country. However, the nine-tailed fox obviously was not satisfied. Instead of stopping its attacks, it took the princess back to its cave.
As the story progressed, I increasingly felt connected with her. During those dreams, there were several occasions during which, I almost forgot that I was Gu Yu and deeply believed that I was that young princess who had to sacrifice herself to save her country.
This feeling was really weird. Even though I resonated with monsters during the supernatural events I encountered in the past, I knew very clearly that they were someone else’s feelings; they were not mine. But this time was different, each time, I woke up sweating and terrified.
When thinking of the black shadow of that huge nine-tailed fox, I still felt scared. Even though I knew that the nine-tailed fox was actually Wen Jiubo, who I was so familiar with by now, it could not drive my fear away. I finally understood why Zhu Xuan told me that I should not underestimate Wen Jiubo.
He was indeed the ancient evil beast.
But speaking of that girl in the dream… Who was she? I recalled that in the dream of the future, I once saw an altar in the gap of the void. There were murals and words engraved on the altar, which also mentioned the princess of Qingqiu. I did not pay much attention at the time. But now, when I thought about it, I wished I could go back to that dream again to see the murals.
Wen Jiubo said that the altar was his memory. However, in real life, Wen Jiubo never mentioned her to me, even though he told me about Lingxiao and explained how he destroyed Qingqiu. I thought he was honest enough, but now I suddenly realized that he never told me anything about her.
I once again thought of Zhu Xuan’s warning.
——You have to know that not everything Wen Jiubo told you is true.
The next day was sunny. For a typical southern small town like Yan City, continuous sunny days were a rare sight.
“I need to find Liang Kaifeng,” I said firmly.
“Wait… Wen Jiubo.” Su Xiaoyun looked at me in surprise. “Is he back?”
I shook my head. “No. He’s still out there and he’s in trouble. I didn’t tell him about Liang Kaifeng.”
“So how you gonna…”
“I want to take this case for him. Wen Jiubo said before he left that I can temporarily investigate any cases on his behalf while he is away. I want to find out what happened to Liang Kaifeng’s family.”
“Really? Are you sure about that?” Shi Yitong looked at me with disapproval. “I think that even if we help him out of kindness, that Liang Kaifeng, won’t appreciate it. Besides, Wen Jiubo is not here now, even if we find out what happened to his father, we’re not able to deal with it, right? And the worst thing is… we may get involved.”
“I know, but sorry,” I apologized to my best friends. “It’s not ‘we’.”
“What?” Shi Yitong did not understand.
“It’s not ‘we’, Shi Yitong. It’s only me.” I sighed and carefully chose the words I was going to say, “I…I have no intention of letting you two come with me.”
“What?” Su Xiaoyun and Shi Yitong asked simultaneously.
“What do you mean?” Su Xiaoyun asked. “Do you want to investigate Liang Kaifeng’s case by yourself? How is that possible, you can’t do it alone!”
“Yes, it’s too dangerous for you to go alone. You don’t even know what kind of demon his dad messed with!”
“I get it, I get it!” I had to raise my voice to stop their fierce objection and make them listen to me. “But I have made up my mind, and I refuse to get the two of you involved this time. Frankly, what happened in Liang Kaifeng’s family may be associated with Wen Jiubo, so this time I want to investigate it alone. Don’t worry about me, I can still contact Wen Jiubo, and I’m not the weak college student you guys think I am. I’m a smart man, and I don’t need you to protect me all the time. And I don’t want either of you to be in danger because of me.”
“Don’t be stupid, do you think we can just watch you get yourself in dangerous situations without doing anything?” Su Xiaoyun sounded decisive. “Impossible. If you want to help Liang Kaifeng, we can find ways to contact other experts in this area, instead of…”
“But I’ve made up my mind,” I said helplessly. “I’m not discussing this with you right now; I’m here to inform you. I know that both of you are concerned about me, but can you believe in me this time? Trust me, I have a way, and I won’t let myself die so easily.”
“What are you talking about!” Shi Yitong was angry. “You’re Gu Yu, how can you die?”
“Right?” I laughed and went on, “Look, you said it yourself. Then, that’s it, you two won’t come with me, or else I will be angry at you.”
“Hey, Gu Yu!”
I skipped the afternoon class and asked the teacher for Liang Kaifeng’s address. Unsurprisingly, Liang Kaifeng did not show up in the classroom. However, after I took a taxi and arrived at Liang Kaifeng’s exceptional large villa, I found another uninvited guest standing at his door.
Zhu Xuan was startled. I never saw him startled before, and I laughed.
“Gu Yu! What are you doing here?” Zhu Xuan stared at me unbelievingly with his big eyes.
“Me? Isn’t that a question I should ask?” I deliberately rebuked him. “I remembered that someone said firmly that he was not interested in this matter and he didn’t want to get involved.”
“Can’t I just change my mind?” Zhu Xuan frowned and looked at me. “What about you? I remember that you also said, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you’. What is it now, is Wen Jiubo back?”
“No, actually it’s the opposite.” I hesitated for a moment before telling him. “Wen Jiubo won’t be able to come back for a while, he had a little problem in the suburb; he is trapped in a cave.”
Zhu Xuan’s eyebrows were knitted. “What? Why are you telling me this? I can save him, or——”
“I don’t think this is a good idea,” I sighed and interrupted him. “Wen Jiubo obviously doesn’t trust you, and he doesn’t want to owe you anything. The most important thing is, Wen Jiubo believes that the Jade Ruyi is somewhere near my school. He thinks that Lingxiao may take this opportunity to do something, so he asked me not to leave school.”