Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 4 Book of Kan – Chapter 9 The Unknown
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 9 The Unknown
“So, you’ve never met that powerful Taoist priest before?” I asked.
“Yeah. I’m also very curious about what kind of human he is, since he could seal a nine-tailed fox such as Wen Jiubo,” Zhu Xuan leisurely said.
A nine-tailed fox such as him…? I looked at Zhu Xuan.
“Um, Zhu Xuan, can I ask you something?”
“The Wen Jiubo you know…” I hesitated. “What kind of person is he?”
Zhu Xuan turned around to look at me. He smiled mysteriously and asked, “What kind of person do you think he is?”
I didn’t expect Zhu Xuan would ask me this question. I was caught by surprise but forced myself to think about it seriously. “Well… how should I put this? When I first met him, I thought he was a mysterious and powerful person, as if there was nothing he did not know. But later, I found out that although he was an exorcist who helped people exorcize demons and spirits, he couldn’t be called a good person.”
“Oh? How so?” Zhu Xuan was curious.
I hesitated a little before replying, “Shortly after I became his assistant, I witnessed him killing a man during a case.”
“Who did he kill?”
“He wasn’t a good man, he was a rapist and a serial killer. And at that time, he almost killed me.”
“I see.” Zhu Xuan smiled. “He wasn’t a good person, so what’s wrong with that?”
I shook my head. “It wasn’t about the man he killed, but the light in his eyes when he did it. At that time, I was terrified, I saw the coldness in his eyes as if killing someone was like crushing an ant. I think if I were him, even if the person I was going to kill was a heinous criminal, I would not have stayed as cold and calm as he did.”
Zhu Xuan nodded. “It’s an expression from only people who have seen a lot of blood spilled, not to mention he is a killer, a man-eating nine-tailed fox. However, I’m very curious, if you already know that there was killer blood running through his veins, why did you still choose to stay by his side?”
“Well…” I suddenly felt a little embarrassed. I scratched my head and explained, “The situation back then was a bit complicated. At first, I tried to stay away from Wen Jiubo and return to normal college life. However, Wen Jiubo came with me to my home in Beining city and helped my family exorcize a demon called Wang Liang. Later on, I gradually felt that though sometimes he was cold, he was always warm to me.”
“En. No matter what I did or where I went, Wen Jiubo would always find me one way or another. I don’t understand why I’m so important to him. It would be easy for him to find a new assistant. Why it must be me? So out of curiosity, I…”
“Nah,” Zhu Xuan abruptly interrupted and looked at me with a serious face. “Were you really curious?”
I became diffident under his gaze. “Of…of course, I was. What else could it be…”
Zhu Xuan shook his head. “I don’t think so. Gu Yu, you’re obsessed with the warmth that fox brought to you.”
I was stunned and speechless.
“I don’t know why, but since I first met you, I’ve always thought you were a lonely person.” Zhu Xuan laughed. “Though your two friends value your friendship, you rarely talk. You always stand aside and never express your opinion.”
“Is that so…” Actually, I never paid much attention to my outward behavior. It was a little embarrassing when Zhu Xuan pointed it out.
“Your family didn’t treat you well, did they?” Zhu Xuan guessed.
I nodded since I couldn’t deny it. “My parents got divorced since I was a child, and I was raised by my mother. I’m not going to say she is a bad mother, but… she’s a little strict.”
After thinking hard for a short while, I decided to use the word ‘strict’, though in my heart I knew she was much worse than that.
“I didn’t expect you to know about my family.” I held my hands together and gave him a salute.
“I’m Bai Ze.” Zhu Xuan laughed. “I know everything under the Heavens.”
“I won’t deny my attachment to Wen Jiubo,” I replied embarrassedly. “I sometimes wonder if he sees me like a little toy to play with. A toy he’ll throw away and forget when he gets tired of it. However, sometimes I feel the other way around because occasionally he looks at me as if he sees something very important to him. Moreover, he risked his life to save me several times.”
“Is that so?” Zhu Xuan was a little surprised. He touched his chin and said, “This is something I didn’t expect. Are you really talking about the same nine-tailed fox I know?”
“What’s wrong?” I looked up.
“Nah, it’s just when I met him… he really was a murderous, cold and heartless monster,” Zhu Xuan said. “Although I won’t deny that both monsters and humans will change as time goes on, I can hardly imagine that this nine-tailed fox would change so dramatically. It’s very strange. Did that Taoist priest seal his power as well as his demonic energy? But that sounds impossible.”
I looked at him and was puzzled. From his words, I heard of a Wen Jiubo I never heard before. Was the Wen Jiubo from a hundred years ago really the kind of person Zhu Xuan was talking about?
“Let’s put it this way.” Zhu Xuan looked at me. “The nine-tailed fox I know is the most decent, as well as the most unrespectable person I have ever seen.”
“He is charming and virtuous. If you meet him without knowing his true identity, you may think he is a gentleman. And then,” Zhu Xuan said with a wry smile, “one day before you notice, he will peel your skin, break your bones and devour you. On one occasion, I saw him sitting on a wooden bed. He was almost naked, wearing only thin silk clothes, and he was licking and sucking the blood on his fingers.”
My stomach sunk a little. “What happened?”
“I found out later that he had devoured the woman he had sex with.” Zhu Xuan shook his head. “It was said that the woman was the daughter of a prime minister and was divinely beautiful. She met him by accident and since then, she fell in love with him. She loved him so deeply that she climbed over the wall to meet him every night. However, that was how she ended up.”
I stopped walking and looked at Zhu Xuan in silence. I opened my mouth after a few minutes, “Zhu Xuan, what are you trying to tell me?”
Zhu Xuan stopped. He looked at me and said, “Nothing. I just want to tell you, as far as I know, anyone who has ever stayed with him, be it men or women, has fallen for him. Because he is the evil nine-tailed fox who has cultivated his powers for thousands of years, if he wants to, even fairies will fall in love with him. So this is not your fault.”
I sensed something wrong after hearing him. ” What do you mean? Are you saying Wen Jiubo intentionally lured me into falling in love with him? But this doesn’t make any sense at all! I’m not the daughter of the prime minister, I have no money and I have no value to be used. What’s the point?”
“Don’t be angry.” After he saw my expression, Zhu Xuan tried to reassure me. “I’m not saying that he is using you. However…”
Zhu Xuan was reluctant. I prompted him, “However what?”
“However, if he can brutally kill a woman who deeply loved him, do you think Wen Jiubo is able to love someone?” Zhu Xuan sharply pointed it out.
Hearing his words, I became silent.
Frankly, I couldn’t imagine the sight of him sitting on the bed naked and licking the blood of a young woman on his fingers as Zhu Xuan had described. Never had I seen this scene before or could imagine it in my mind.
However, I was willing to trust Zhu Xuan. Because I more or less knew what kind of person Wen Jiubo was.
Take the Jinhua cat, Moxue, for instance. I believed that she knew Wen Jiubo’s true identity, judging by her attitude towards him before she left.
Was what Zhu Xuan said true? Was it true that Wen Jiubo never fell for me? Were all those sweet words he said just a trick to fool me?
But, even if it was true, why would he bother himself so much with this?
Wasn’t it better for him to find some beautiful young girls instead of an ordinary college student like me?
Thinking about this, my heart sank deeper. After seeing my expression, Zhu Xuan let out a sigh.
“Perhaps… I’m overthinking,” he said. “Perhaps there is something else between you and Wen Jiubo that I don’t know about. Or perhaps Wen Jiubo really changed and wants to be a good person. I just want to remind you that you must be careful when you’re with him.”
I nodded and smiled at Zhu Xuan. “Sure, I get it. Actually, from the moment I met him, I knew he was not an ordinary person. I have been very careful ever since. Don’t worry, how can a smart person like me be easily fooled by an old fox?”
Zhu Xuan laughed. “Well, Gu Yu, I may understand why Wen Jiubo likes you so much now. You’re really adorable sometimes.”
After he said that, the golden retriever next to him barked unhappily.
“I’m joking, Ye!” Zhu Xuan squatted down to pat the dog’s head. “You are the only one I love.”
Seeing this, I couldn’t help but smile.