Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 4 Book of Kan – Chapter 43 Zhu Xuan’s Plan Begins
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 43 Zhu Xuan’s Plan Begins
Hearing that, I couldn’t help questioning, “Although I agree with you…your theory is only suited for humans, isn’t it? The human brain is easy to fool, and I agree with that. However, this time it’s a monster that we need to deal with, and that monster could be the Jade Ruyi, which you said is very dangerous.”
Zhu Xuan smiled. “No matter what they are, humans or monsters, they’re all the same. Didn’t Wen Jiubo tell you about that? In this world, every monster comes from the darkness of the human mind. Demons are no exception.”
Though this theory seemed very strange to me, the only thing I could do right now was to trust him. So I nodded.
“The best proof is that I can also get lost in this magic barrier,” Zhu Xuan said with his hands outstretched. “Like, which floor we are at now?”
I was dumbfounded for a moment. Zhu Xuan suddenly burst into laughter.
“I’m just teasing you, you’re really naive.”
I helplessly looked at him. Both Zhu Xuan and Wen Jiubo, these two old monsters who had lived for hundreds of years, sometimes they just behaved so childishly.
“Well, that’s perfect.” Zhu Xuan moved two steps back. He looked up, staring at something invisible as if he was watching one of his favorite works. “The next thing we need to do is to guard this barrier and wait for the demon to come—”
“What are you going to do after that?” I asked.
“What?” Zhu Xuan suddenly interrupted me. He looked at me, confused.
“I’m saying if the demon who made the contract with Liang Kaifeng’s father is really the Jade Ruyi, what are you going to do?” I asked.
Zhu Xuan’s expression became a little sullen for a moment. He stopped smiling and looked at me sternly. “What do you mean by that?”
“Nothing,” I replied dryly. “Just curious. You said that you wanted to find this Jade Ruyi, and you’re even using your power to help Liang Kaifeng even though you dislike him, but you never mentioned what you’re gonna do after you catch that thing.”
“Isn’t it obvious? Of course, I’ll destroy it,” Zhu Xuan said firmly.
“Des…destroy it?” I was a little surprised.
“Mmm.” Zhu Xuan nodded. “The last time I found it, I just hid it, and as you know, somehow it managed to escape and caused harm to many people. So if I catch it again this time, I’ll show no mercy and destroy it.”
“But why didn’t you destroy it the first time?” I asked. “When you first mentioned this thing to me, you said it was very, very dangerous.”
Zhu Xuan became silent. He looked at me and sighed as if he was ashamed of it. “…I know, that is my fault. However, if you were in my situation, perhaps you also wouldn’t destroy it without hesitation since it is a legendary treasure. After all, everyone has a wish they want to realize.”
“Do you have one?” I blurted out.
Zhu Xuan didn’t answer my question. Instead, he gave me a meaningful glance and asked crossly, “Don’t you?”
Before I could think about how to answer that question, Zhu Xuan turned around and went downstairs. I shrugged, thinking that perhaps my question had offended him.
However, he was usually not that petty.
Soon, it was time for the monster to show up, according to Liang Kaifeng.
In various ghost stories, ghosts and monsters would usually appear around midnight. According to Wen Jiubo, at midnight Yin energy was at its peak while Yang energy was at its lowest. In other words, it marked the end of an old day and the beginning of a new one. Generally speaking, demons and spirits became stronger at that time.
After Zhu Xuan set up the barrier, he gave tasks for each of us. Liang Kaifeng and I would stay in his father’s room; Xu Yingchen would be positioned near the corridor on the first floor and would send a signal as soon as anything appeared; Zhu Xuan would stand guard near the barrier, in case anything went wrong in the middle.
“Listen up, everyone. Mr. Xu, please closely monitor the entrance of the villa and report to me immediately as soon as you notice something.” Zhu Xuan then looked at Liang Kaifeng and me. “Gu Yu and you.”
Judging from his tone, he was still unhappy about Liang Kaifeng’s behavior.
“The two of you stay in Liang Youhua’s room; you’d better find a place to hide, especially you, Gu Yu. You are the last defense in our plan. Never leave the room. In case, and I said just in case, my barrier fails to stop the Jade Ruyi, you have to do everything you can to stop it.”
“Umm, hold on, me?” I stammered and pointed to myself. “But how can I stop that monster? You’re overestimating me!”
“Don’t you have that fan?” Zhu Xuan looked me up and down.”You just have to find a way to keep him away from the door until I arrive. But, trust me, I won’t let you anything happen to you.”
Although I did not know how Zhu Xuan knew about my fan since he said so I had no choice but to nod.
“No matter what happens, you must not leave the room,” Zhu Xuan warned as he stressed each word.
“Okay, okay, I got it.” I gestured with my hand. “I’m not deaf. You don’t need to repeat it again.”
It seemed like Zhu Xuan wanted to say something else, but perhaps he saw the impatience on my face, so he stopped. “That’s all. Get to your positions.”
“I just hope that everything will be fine.”
At 11:40 PM, Liang Kaifeng became increasingly uneasy. We hid behind a screen in the bedroom together. It was cramped, and he kept moving his body and almost pushed me out of the screen.
“You don’t need to be nervous.” Although I found Liang Kaifeng extremely annoying, right now I had to reassure him. “I tested Zhu Xuan’s magic barrier; it’s good. Everything’s going to be fine. We’re hiding here just in case something happens. Maybe after midnight, Zhu Xuan will come here to tell us that he caught the monster.”
Liang Kaifeng nodded, but his brow was still tightly knitted. He was obviously worried.
All of a sudden, Liang Kaifeng said, “…Sometimes I think that maybe he is better off dead.”
I looked at him in surprise. He glanced at me and continued, “He’s the reason why our family is in shambles. He nearly killed my mother when he was angry. However, because of the feelings she still held for him, she didn’t sue him. I think if I were her, I would have found a chance to slice his throat open with a kitchen knife and wouldn’t let him stay alive.”
“Er…” I did not know how to comfort him in this situation. I said dryly, “But, at least your family became very rich, and we all envy that…”
Liang Kaifeng snorted coldly. “Money? Forget that, I never wanted the money. Perhaps you can say that’s easy for me to say, but even when my family was poor, I never felt as terrible as right now. Back then I still had a family. What about now?”
I looked at Liang Kaifeng, speechless.
Family was also a luxury for me. For that reason, I could understand him right now.
“I know you don’t like me,” Liang Kaifeng suddenly grunted. “You think I’m an arrogant rich kid, a complete idiot with no brain that only knows how to show off.”
“Umm…” I laughed dryly, attempting to explain. “No, I’m not——”
“You don’t need to explain. I know what kind of person I am. I know I’m a pain in the ass,” Liang Kaifeng interrupted. “Because I decided to be like this. I want to be a nuisance, I don’t want to be nice to anyone. Why should I be nice to others? Life has been very unfair to me, so why shouldn’t I make others taste some of its bitterness? So I tried my best to show off. Anyway, all I have is money. Since you’re all so jealous of rich people, then be jealous. Even though you’re crazily jealous of me, you just can’t get what you desire! Just like me, I can’t have my family back no matter how hard I try!”
“But you still came to me,” I said softly. “Even though you’re acted smug and arrogant, you still came to me and begged me to save your father’s life, didn’t you?”
“I didn’t beg you!” Liang Kaifeng immediately retorted.
“Alright, alright, you still came to ask me,” I phrased it differently. “So, doesn’t that mean that you’re still concerned about your father?”
“I don’t know,” Liang Kaifeng murmured. “It’s just that, even though he has wronged me so many times, in the end, he’s the only family I have now. It won’t bring me any satisfaction to see him die in front of me, just a lot more sadness.”
Hearing Liang Kaifeng’s words, I actually felt a little relieved. No matter how annoying he was, he knew what was the right thing to do, and he chose to save his father instead of ignoring him.
“Everything will be alright,” I patted Liang Kaifeng on the shoulder and said. “After Zhu Xuan catches that culprit, you can have a proper conversation with your father, like face-to-face. Maybe you can persuade him to change. Your situation is not hopeless, okay?”
Liang Kaifeng nodded. I saw his eyes turn red, with tears threatening to flow.
“Gu Yu, can you … go out for a minute?” Liang Kaifeng wiped his eyes with the back of his hand and said in a sincere tone he had never used before. “We still have some time before twelve o’clock, and I want to be alone with him.”
I remembered what Zhu Xuan warned me and was reluctant. “But Zhu Xuan said that I should stay in the room.”