Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 4 Book of Kan – Chapter 5 Confession
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 5 Confession
“Gu Yu.” Just at this moment, Wen Jiubo suddenly asked, “Tell me honestly, how long have you been preparing this speech for?”
I looked up, embarrassed and angry because he saw right through me. “Wen Jiubo!”
He burst into loud laughter. I could see the slyness in his fox-like eyes. I glared at him, but after a short while, I was affected by the atmosphere in the room and laughed as well.
As soon as the laughter started up, it became hard to control. As Wen Jiubo’s chortle turned into an enormous belly laugh, I also laughed so hard that my chest began to hurt.
After a while, Wen Jiubo finally stopped, leaving only a slight smile on his face. He stood up from the table and beckoned to me.
“Gu Yu, come. I need to show you something.”
“Okay?” I stood up.
Wen Jiubo turned around and left the table. I followed him, crossed the lobby and came to the porch.
Outside the door, the light of day was fading away, giving away to the velvety darkness of the night. The moon hadn’t come out, but the stars shone brightly in the gathering gloom.
Wen Jiubo raised his head and looked up at the sky. Suddenly, he lifted his hand and pointed towards the south. “Gu Yu, can you see it?”
“See what?” I lifted my head, looking in the direction where he pointed at.
“There, below the middle of the sky, can you see a constellation?” Wen Jiubo asked.
I looked again in the direction Wen Jiubo pointed. However, due to my limited knowledge of stars, I couldn’t distinguish any constellations.
I answered bitterly, “While I can see the stars, I don’t how to find the constellations…”
Wen Jiubo patiently pointed with his slender fingers at the sky. “It’s the end of December now, so you can find Aries below the middle of the sky, and Taurus is located east of Aries; further to the east, you can find Gemini.”
I narrowed my eyes and tried to find the constellations he talked about, however, instead of being able to tell them apart, I began to feel dizzy after intensely staring at the bright stars for a long time.
I shook my head, indicating that I could not recognize any of them.
Wen Jiubo glanced at me and smiled. He put down his arm and whispered, “In the eyes of the ancient Greeks, constellations were formed by various animals, and the names of twelve constellations all came from the ancient Greeks. In astronomy, the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is called ‘the ecliptic’. The ecliptic system includes the orbits of all planets as well as constellations. A celestial belt is exactly divided into twelve constellations of thirty degrees longitude, which we call ‘the twelve signs of the zodiac’. In fact, the word ‘zodiac’ in Greek means ‘zoo’, but when astrology was introduced into our country, the ancient people thought the sun was great, so the place where it rests must be a glittering golden palace, that’s why we called it the twelve palaces of the zodiac in Chinese.”
Wen Jiubo started his lecture again without any reason. His words made me confused.
“Why are you telling me this?” I asked.
Wen Jiubo shook his head and said, “No reason, it’s just… I’ve wandered in this world for thousands of years. People come and go, the only thing that remains are the stars. The stars were the same before my birth and they will remain the same after I die. Nature is the true law, it doesn’t change for anyone.”
I stared at him silently. I had a hunch telling me that he had something important to say.
“Sorry, I lied to you.” He turned his head to look at me. There was a faint smile on his face.
“I told you, I forced you to have that dream to peek at the future because I can’t travel along my own timeline. That was a lie,” Wen Jiubo whispered. “Actually, I should have done this myself, but right before I started, I got scared.”
“Scared? What were you scared of?”
“I was scared of witnessing my own death.” Wen Jiubo sat cross-legged in front of the porch. He said quietly, “You were right. Everyone fears their own death. As for me, I’m not just scared, I’m petrified.”
This sentence was exactly the same as what Wen Jiubo said in my dream.
“If you do evil things when you’re alive, you will be punished in the afterlife.” Wen Jiubo smiled bitterly. “People usually use those words to frighten little children. However, when they know their doom approaches, anyone will ask themselves if they have ever done anything bad in their life. And then they will die without regret. And for me… huh, I don’t think I need to say more than that.”
While he was talking, he looked at the horizon. “You asked if I’m scared of death? Of course, I am. But what can I do about it? I’m already a dying man, perhaps this is the best ending for me.”
I blurted out, “Wen Jiubo, do you consider this your punishment?”
Wen Jiubo looked a little surprised. He turned around and frowned.
“But this is not your punishment at all!” I felt a little ridiculous and said to him sternly. “Maybe the Taoist priest who wants your life is indeed an old enemy. Yes, but this whole thing is definitely not about you. That elusive Taoist priest gave Su Xiaoyun false information a few years ago, resulting in her body being almost possessed by the parasite spirit; he might be the one who broke into the Taoist temple and set Gudiao free. Oh, what’s more, when you were away, the three of us were attacked by the beast Chen on Mt.Diecui, I believe that he was also the one behind it!”
“Wait a minute, what happened to you while you were on Mt.Diecui?” Wen Jiubo was startled and interrupted me.
“This is not important, listen first,” I shook my head and continued. “I’m saying that this is not about you. Shi Yitong, Su Xiaoyun, and I are also involved now. This isn’t your own tribulation. The Taoist priest, his objective isn’t just to kill you. If that were the case, he wouldn’t have targeted anyone besides you, and he wouldn’t have been sneaking around doing those meaningless things.”
Wen Jiubo knitted his eyebrows.
“No matter what his purpose is, he has already hurt innocent people. Gudiao and the beast Chen, these two evil beasts killed countless innocent people. You can’t deny this, can you?” I asked.
Wen Jiubo nodded.
“So what I’m saying is that, this isn’t just your own problem.” I looked at him with a burning gaze. “Wen Jiubo, the Wen Jiubo I know is an exorcist, not an evil nine-tailed monster. As long as you admit that you are an exorcist, you have the duty to take requests from your clients, don’t you? Then, I request that you do a thorough investigation of this Taoist priest, and we must arrest him and stop him before he destroys Yan City!”
Though I was excited, Wen Jiubo’s expression didn’t change at all. Instead, he calmly looked at me. “You say so only because you never saw the real me, but if you ever saw…”
“I don’t care!” I became emotional and interrupted Wen Jiubo. I took a step forward. “I’ve already thought it over. No matter what heinous fox monster you used to be, how many human lives you took, you listen up——I don’t fucking care! You may say I’m being ignorant or blind… yeah, maybe I am deaf or dumb, but I don’t give a damn!”
Wen Jiubo looked at me in surprise. While I was so emotional, I kept on shouting, “You want to know why? Why am I behaving like this? Wen Jiubo, I’m in love with you! I don’t know when it started, and maybe I’ve gone crazy. But, I would rather see you hurt innocent people than fall down in front of me covered in blood!”
I gasped. All my repressed feelings burst out at this moment. All the sadness and pain in my heart made it hard for me to breathe. My eyes became watery, and I tried my best to stop tears from falling, but it was in vain.
“I saw you vanish in front of me, like smoke disappearing into the air. The sight lingers in my head every single day, tormenting me like some horrifying nightmare. I never want to experience such a thing ever again! And yet you? You seem to be completely indifferent to your own fate as if you don’t even want to struggle against it. Did you ever consider how I feel about this?”
Wen Jiubo looked at me, confused. However, I stood in front of him and couldn’t stop crying.
It was so embarrassing, I turned around to avoid his gaze in order to calm down. But to my surprise, Wen Jiubo suddenly grabbed my shoulders to force me to face him, and then he bent over and kissed me.
During that moment, my mind became chaotic and I couldn’t think.
Wen Jiubo’s kiss was gentle but firm, as if he was trying to tell me there was nothing to be worried about. He just softly invaded my territory.
I couldn’t even speak as his tongue invaded and swept across my mouth. At first, I struggled tentatively, but Wen Jiubo quickly held me in his arms. His kiss made me cling to him as if he was the only solid thing in a dizzy and swaying world.
“I’m sorry…” I didn’t know how long had passed, but Wen Jiubo finally let go of me and whispered in my ear, “I’m sorry, it’s my fault. I never considered your feelings, I let you down.”
I was once again on the verge of crying. I looked at him. “You’re always so selfish, you only think of yourself! I don’t care who you are, I only know that you’re a big liar who never considers other people’s feelings!”
“Yes, I am.” His eyes curved into crescent moon-like shapes as he smiled.
“Sly old fox!”
“Yes, I am.”
“Stupid … Mm!”
Before I could continue scolding him, he seized me firmly, his dishonest lips moving down my neck.
I began to panic. We were standing in front of the porch of the old residence. Who knew if the weasel would suddenly jump out from nowhere. If that weasel saw us, he would think I was getting openly molested by Wen Jiubo!
So I began to struggle. “Wen Jiubo! Enough! Stop it!”