Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 4 Book of Kan – Chapter 4 Waiting for Your Return
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 4 Waiting for Your Return
Just as I was blankly staring at the paper, a voice suddenly interrupted me.
I was startled and hurriedly stood up, almost dropping the textbook in my hand.
I lifted my head and saw the teacher staring at me with a frowning face. “Gu Yu, what are you thinking about right now? You missed a lot of classes recently. Now you finally come to my class, but you’re not even listening properly. Look at you, do you still expect to pass your final exams at the end of this semester?”
“I’m sorry …”
“Forget it. Sit down and pay attention.”
Su Xiaoyun nagged at me during lunch break.
“Gu Yu, you can’t act like this. This semester is about to end, but look at you, do you know how many classes you have missed so far? Even if it is okay to miss a couple of classes, you’re also being absent-minded in class lately…”
I didn’t pay attention to Su Xiaoyun’s nagging. All day long, all I could think about was when school would end. I had no interest in doing anything else at all.
The sky suddenly became gloomy after lunch. After a while, it began to rain heavily. The gloomy weather reminded me of that creepy dream. However, I was still sitting in a bright classroom, unharmed. The school was not abandoned and Wen Jiubo was still alive.
All those were like a ridiculous dream. Once woken from it, there was nothing more to be worried about.
Unfortunately, reality was not that perfect.
Just when I was being inattentive during a lecture, I suddenly heard a noise. Some classmates sitting nearby were whispering.
“Ay, look! There is a weird man standing at the gate of our school.”
Another student leaned over. “Really? Where is he?”
The first student pointed outside the window. “Right over there. Do you see him? The man with long hair wearing a long gown. He doesn’t even have an umbrella. He’s just standing still. What is he doing there?”
“Yeah, that’s weird.”
By the time I noticed, all eyes in the classroom were on me as I abruptly stood up from my seat.
“Gu Yu, you idiot!” I heard Su Xiaoyun gnashing her teeth. “What the hell are you doing?!”
“I’m sorry!” I apologized to her in a hurry before rushing out of the classroom, and I paid no attention to the teacher’s angry shouts from behind.
“Gu Yu! Where are you going? Come back!”
It was raining heavily outside, but I rushed into the rain without an umbrella. I hastily ran towards the school gate.
That must be Wen Jiubo. Why did he show up here? Was he looking for me? But how come he didn’t tell me beforehand?
Or…was he in trouble?
I ran to the school gate as fast as I could. I looked around and searched for him while panting, and then, unsurprisingly, I saw a man who had long hair and was wearing a long gown standing not far away from me. I ran over without hesitation.
“Wen Jiubo! Why are you here?”
However, instead of answering me, he walked away as if he didn’t hear me. I hastily caught up with him and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Wen Jiubo, why aren’t you answering me!”
However, that man turned around. It was a middle-aged man about forty or fifty years old. He confusedly looked at me. “Um, is there a problem?”
I was so embarrassed that I hurriedly stepped back. “Sorry! I’m sorry, I got the wrong person.”
The middle-aged man gave me a puzzled look and quickly walked away. He probably thought I was crazy.
I stood alone in the rain, my hair and clothes drenched. I squatted down, feeling a little baffled. I moved the hair on my forehead to the back of my ear.
I really have gone crazy, I thought depressedly to myself. Forget it, I should go back to class.
I smiled bitterly. I did not know how my classmates would look at me after I returned. What kind of excuse should I make…
At that moment, an umbrella suddenly appeared, shielding me from the pouring rain. Before I could react, I heard a voice sigh,
“What are you doing? Why don’t you use an umbrella? Aren’t you afraid of catching a cold?”
I looked up and almost jumped after I saw him. “Wen Jiubo!”
The man standing in front of me was Wen Jiubo. His long hair wasn’t let loose and he did not wear his long gown today. He had tied his hair well and wore a regular shirt.
“You, why are you here?” I stammered.
“I should be the one asking this question,” Wen Jiubo said helplessly. “Shouldn’t you be in class right now?”
How could I tell him that I desperately ran after a man because I thought that man was him?
“What about you? Why are you here?” I asked him. “Were you looking for me?”
Wen Jiubo said casually, “I can’t come to school if I have no business here?”
“It’s impossible you have no business here,” I muttered and got up. “Why on earth would you come to my school if you have nothing to deal with?”
Wen Jiubo was still smiling. “How do you know that it’s rare for me to come here? And by the way, I don’t think you ever rushed out of the classroom like you did today.”
I looked at Wen Jiubo in surprise. “What? No, no, no, it’s impossible, you’re definitely lying to me!”
“Am I lying to you? Who knows?” Wen Jiubo’s smile got brighter.
Wen Jiubo’s laughter echoed with the sound of raindrops. For an instant, everything seemed to return to the way it was used to be, giving me an illusion that nothing had ever changed.
I take a deep breath and looked at Wen Jiubo. Finally, I plucked up the courage to ask him, “Wen Jiubo…”
“Hmm?” He looked at me softly.
“I’m a little hungry. Do you have anything to eat?” I asked.
He laughed, and then he straightened up his body and raised his umbrella. “Of course I have. Bai caught a pheasant yesterday.”
“What about Bai?”
“Him? He probably went out to steal alcohol again.”
Just like that, Wen Jiubo and I shared an umbrella and went back to the old residence. We had a big dinner and Wen Jiubo’s expression remained soft and calm throughout. It seemed that he didn’t worry about his fate at all.
But when the dinner was almost over, I lost my patience.
“Have some soup.” Wen Jiubo handed me a bowl of soup. “Drink it while it’s still warm.”
I took the bowl but was not sure if I should drink it or not. At last, I put the bowl aside and hesitantly said,
“Wen Jiubo… I think we need to talk.”
Wen Jiubo looked at me and sighed softly. “I know. What are you trying to say? Tell me.”
I studied his face. “You don’t look scared at all.”
“Why should I be scared?” He asked calmly.
“Because you are going to die, I saw your future.” I raised my voice. “But you haven’t made any preparations or countermeasures. You don’t even want to talk about this, why?”
“Because——as I told you, it is an established future, and I cannot alter it,” Wen Jiubo said calmly.
“Then, are you willing to die? Are you just gonna wait for your own death?” I asked.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m willing to die or not. This is a fact, and no one can change it. In other words, I’m already a dead person, but the Angel of Death is still on its way.” Wen Jiubo’s attitude became tougher.
“Yeah, you’re right, it really doesn’t matter.” I forced a smile. “The problem is, everyone is scared of death. Aren’t you scared?”
Wen Jiubo looked at me in silence. I held my gaze, wondering what he tried to see through my eyes. After a while, he slowly opened his mouth.
“Gu Yu, I’m not a human.”
Wen Jiubo’s sudden reply made me even angrier. Not only anger, but also another, stranger emotion spread inside me. That emotion was amusement.
“Is this your way of fighting back? Really, Wen Jiubo? I know, the fox of Qingqiu, the nine-tailed monster, of course, I know who you are! But, are you going to use this as an excuse to avoid my question? You’re not human, so nothing can scare you?”
Wen Jiubo looked at me in surprise. I took a deep breath and continued, “In my dream… your future self asked me a question. He asked me, ‘Gu Yu, tell me, do you think I’m a good person?'”
I noticed that Wen Jiubo’s expression slightly changed. He asked, “What was your answer?”
“I shook my head. Because you asked me to answer this question unhesitatingly and honestly.”
I looked at Wen Jiubo. There were some twinkles in his eyes before he closed his eyes. His expression revealed his pain.
“However, there were some things I wasn’t able to tell him in time,” I continued. “You asked me if you were a good person or not, my answer was negative. Because if what you did was true, then you’re definitely not a good person, or I should say, you’re a sinful beast. I wasn’t lying. But at the same time, I don’t think you’re a wicked person.”
Wen Jiubo suddenly opened his eyes. He stared at me with a gleam in his eyes.
“Because a wicked person would never ask this question,” I whispered. “Because a wicked person would not be willing to sacrifice his life to save me, or open a small pharmacy at the foothills to cure and save people, and he would definitely not exorcize ghosts and demons. I think that… maybe you are not a good person, but you have tried very hard to be a good one.”
After giving such a long speech, I closely looked at his expression. I thought I had succeeded. God knows how long I prepared that speech to scare him. During those several minutes of dead silence, my palms were soaked with sweat.
“Gu Yu.” Just at this moment, Wen Jiubo suddenly asked, “Tell me honestly, how long have you been preparing this speech for?”