Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 5 Book of Farewell – Chapter 1 Fighting Against Fate
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 1 Fighting Against Fate
After saying that, Xu Yingchen angrily, leaving behind a room soaked in blood.
The room was deadly silent. If it wasn’t for the unconscious Zhu Xuan and the lingering smell of blood in the air, nobody would imagine that a madman had gone on a murderous rampage.
I slowly got up from the ground and leaned against Liang Kaifeng’s body, gasping heavily. It took me a while to calm down. Then, I slowly propped up my body and approached Zhu Xuan to check his injuries.
I should at least be relieved that Xu Yingchen did not lie about that. Although Zhu Xuan lost a lot of blood, his breathing was still smooth and his pulse was strong. I tore a piece of fabric from my clothes and bandaged his wound.
My broken arm still hurt like hell and Zhu Xuan was still in a coma. There was no one around that could help me. I had to rely on myself if I wanted to stay alive.
I sat back down on the cold ground and took a deep breath. Then, I pressed on the injury with my left hand and clenched my jaw. With a push, I set my shoulder back into place.
The pain from that almost knocked me out for an instant. I sat there for a while before it gradually eased and then I tried to move my arm. Although the joint hurt, I could move my fingers. I thought it was quite lucky for me to be able to force my dislocated shoulder back in place.
“I’ll come back for you soon,” I turned around and whispered to Zhu Xuan, and then I held my injured arm as I slowly stood up and limped toward the door.
I promise that I will come back. But for now, I have more important things to do.
I did not return to the old residence since I already understood what happened there.
Xu Yingchen said that six years had passed since Wen Jiubo saw me for the last time, but I knew in my heart that the last time I called him was yesterday. Xu Yingchen killed Wen Jiubo and took away the Jade Ruyi. All those were linked to that dream.
The wheel of fate had started moving. Here, now, what I was experiencing was the future that I never wanted to believe happened.
Even so, I still did not believe that Wen Jiubo would die like that. In that dream, Wen Jiubo said that he would come back.
Maybe I had gone crazy, but I did not believe that Wen Jiubo would die so easily. That old fox would never let himself die for nothing. And at this moment, I happened to know where he was most likely to be.
I did not know how I went back to school with this broken body, but this was probably the longest distance I had ever walked.
It was late at night, the city was still deeply asleep and everything was immersed in the silent darkness. I did not know whether I should be glad or complain that I did not see anybody or any car on the street. But when I stood at the gate of Yan University, I understood why.
The university where I had attended classes yesterday had become ruins. As I had seen in that dream, this place had been abandoned. Of course, no one would come here.
I must hurry; my time was nearly up.
I arrived at the small alley at the end of Jinhua Road. If I was right, at this moment, the me in the past should be on my way to Yan University. Soon, I would find out that something had happened, and I would rush to the old residence where I would find the injured Bai.
“You——aren’t you the young master? Long time no see.” Mr. Cat’s voice came from above me. He seemed very surprised. “What’s the matter?”
I was very amused to hear Mr. Cat call me young master again. However, as I started to smirk, my wound began to hurt again.
“You’re badly injured.” Mr. Cat lowered his body. He put my arm around his shoulder and lifted me up and asked in surprise, “What happened?”
“That’s… a long story.” I gave him a bitter smile. “Can we go inside and talk?”
Mr. Cat nodded hurriedly. He carried me into his small restaurant and found some bandages to wrap up my wound.
“Sorry, I rarely have human guests. So, that’s the best I can offer you,” Mr. Cat murmured. “Fortunately, I like to collect human daily commodities, otherwise, I would have no idea how to treat you. Speaking of which, who did this to you? That person was really brutal… what happened outside? Or did you just fight with other people, young master?”
I choked back tears after hearing Mr. Cat’s warm words. I had this mixed feeling in my heart, but at last, all I could say was only one sentence.
“Mr. Cat… Wen Jiubo, he…” I gulped before I finally spat it out. “…he was murdered.”
Mr. Cat’s hands shook slightly and almost dropped the disinfectant as his whiskers curled up. He looked at me in surprise. “What did you say? Wen Jiubo—that Wen Jiubo?”
“Em, it’s complicated.” I nodded and explained everything to him as simply as possible.
“…I didn’t know that the hostel owned named Xu Yingchen was Wen Jiubo’s old enemy Lingxiao. But that’s normal, isn’t it? After all, Wen Jiubo never mentioned to me how Lingxiao looks like and I never saw his photo, so how could I have known he’s Lingxiao?” I complained. “And now, Wen Jiubo was killed by Lingxiao. And for some very complicated reasons, I will be erased and eliminated from this timeline. I must find Wen Jiubo before this, and I have to ask him exactly what happened. While I don’t know what he is plotting, he took the Jade Ruyi. He certainly won’t do anything good with it. But I have to try no matter what…”
Mr. Cat looked at me calmly and interrupted me.
“Wait a minute, young master. As you said, Mr. Wen is already dead,” Mr. Cat looked very serious, and he said to me, stressing each word. “Though I don’t want to discourage you, no one can come back to life after death. That is the most basic law of Nature, I believe you do know that, don’t you?”
“He is not human,” I insisted. “He is the nine-tailed fox.”
“The nine-tailed fox is no exception.” Surprisingly, Mr. Cat’s tone was still stern. He said calmly, “Demons and spirits are born from human souls. Humans are the same; they exist in the darkest part of the demon and spirit world. The law of Nature treats everything equally. No one has been an exception and no one will ever be.”
I suddenly stood up. I really didn’t care if moving would reopen my wounds. I stared at Mr. Cat’s furry face, I had made up my mind.
“I don’t believe it. I don’t believe in fate or the laws of Nature. All I know is that he said he would come back, so he must have a way to return. Nothing will change my mind even though I saw his dead body with my own eyes! And I know what’s behind your shop. There’s the gap between the world of Yin and the world of Yang, right? Every soul must pass through that gap before going to the underworld. So does Wen Jiubo’s, am I right?”
Mr. Cat was a little surprised. “You …”
“I know, because I have been here once, and back then I wasn’t able to save him. But this time, I won’t let him die!”
There were some strong feelings in my heart, but I was not sure what they were. They, like burning flames, were so strong that they even scared me. I did not know if it was hatred towards Xu Yingchen, or love towards Wen Jiubo, or maybe it was just my deep resentment against my incompetence.
Mr. Cat’s whiskers shook a little, and the smile on his face showed that he was amused by my words. “Oh, human kid. That place is not a playground for a young master like you. You’ll die if you’re careless.”
I smiled drily and pointed at my nose with my index finger. “Haven’t you noticed? The word ‘Death’ is written all over my face. Not long after, I will be completely eliminated from this timeline. So maybe death is the more favorable outcome, since I won’t have to watch all my loved ones slowly forget everything about my existence, one by one!”
Shi Yitong, Su Xiaoyun, my classmates.
My mother, my family.
And Wen Jiubo.
Eventually, Wen Jiubo would forget me. There would never be a person named Gu Yu in this world, and there would never be a person who made Wen Jiubo say those three words over the phone.
This was what terrified me the most, besides my own death.
Nothing was more important than that, but at least, I needed to see him again before I vanished from this world.
Mr. Cat narrowed his eyes after hearing this. His cat-like eyes looked particularly frightening at this moment.
“What if you’re not able to save Mr. Wen, even after sacrificing your own life?”
I looked up at him.
“Every human goes through birth, aging, sickness, and death; every demon and monster goes through birth, growth, and decay. The world is divided into Yin and Yang with death as their boundary,” Mr. Cat enunciated. “That is to say, the soul leaves the human body after their death; the spirit lingers on after a demon perishes. However, a spirit can only exist as a spirit. Humans turn into souls after they pass away, not the other way around. That is the law of Nature, the fate of all creatures that cannot be changed. Even if you find Mr. Wen’s spirit before you die, you can’t bring him back to the world of the living. Because the vessel that can host Mr. Wen’s spirit has fallen. If you take his spirit out of the gap against the rules, you will cause an imbalance between Yin and Yang. This is why you see so many irrational and crazy evil spirits in this world.”
I stared at Mr. Cat and whispered, “Thanks, Mr. Cat, for saving me and telling me about those rules. I know that you said that for my own good, and I know that you aren’t lying to me. But … I’m sorry, I never believed in fate.”