Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 5 Book of Farewell – Chapter 14 Qing Yu (6)
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 14 Qing Yu (6)
“How about Wen?” Unexpectedly, Qing Yu quickly proposed a surname. This time, she was confident of her choice.
“Why?” The fox narrowed his eyes.
“Because my surname is Wen.” Qing Yu smiled. “My full name is Wen Qingyu. What do you think? Doesn’t it sound nice?”
——No, it doesn’t. The fox turned his head away.
“This is not my father’s last name, it’s actually my mother’s,” Qing Yu went on. “My mother died when I was very young. Although I didn’t have any memories of her, my father let me have my mother’s surname so I can remember her. So, I will give you this meaningful surname out of my immense kindness. Wen Jiubo, this name is really good, isn’t it?”
“No,” the fox replied dryly.
“Ah, why?” Qing Yu apparently did not expect that; she immediately pouted. “Why?”
“A surname is only useful for weak species who live in groups like human beings,” the fox answered with disdain. “A surname is nothing but a shackle.”
“Well… maybe.” Qing Yu lowered her head; her expression showed she was a little disappointed, but she quickly got excited again. “Forget it, you don’t need a surname. Jiubo is good, Jiubo!”
“Well, whatever,” the fox answered perfunctorily. It lay on the ground and pretended to take a nap.
However, though the nine-tailed fox was still as arrogant as ever, Qing Yu found that there was something quite different when she woke up the next morning.
“Hey, get up. The sun has already risen.”
Qing Yu curled up on the haystack and slowly opened her eyes. “Em… I know. Just give me five more minutes…”
However, she suddenly realized that there seemed to be something different.
That voice was not the low-pitched voice that the fox usually had. Instead, it seemed closer to the voice of a human being; it was masculine and charming.
Qing Yu instantly opened her eyes.
Standing outside the cave was not the huge fox she was familiar with, but a young man wearing red silk clothes with long, soft black hair tied at his back. However, the stiff expression on that handsome face made her think that she might have owed him a huge amount of money.
“Ah——!” Qing Yu screamed and covered her body with hay and retreated. “You, who are you?!”
The man frowned. “Is there anyone else here besides you and me?”
“What…” Qing Yu popped her head out behind the haystack and asked, “Jiubo?”
The man ——the nine-tailed fox nodded.
She breathed a sigh of relief, but quickly she became angry again. “Why did you suddenly turn into a human being! You almost scared me to death!”
“Didn’t you say that it’s inconvenient to talk to me when I’m a fox?” The fox said with disdain while walking towards Qing Yu.
“Wait, wait! Do not come over!” Qing Yu suddenly shouted, which startled the fox.
“What?” The fox was displeased.
“Um…um!” Qing Yu covered her chest and flushed. “I haven’t cleaned up yet.”
The fox was even more confused. “Ha? What are you going to clean up? ”
“I need to get dressed, wash my face… I look terrible now!”
The fox knitted his brows as he continued to walk towards her with his arms crossed. “What are you talking about? You’ve been here for so long, why would you start caring about your image now? ”
“No!” Qing Yu shouted and began to throw hay at him. “It’s different now! Get out, get out! ”
Just like that, the nine-tailed fox Jiubo was driven out of the cave. He waited outside until a girl as beautiful as a heavenly goddess came out.
In fact, Qing Yu had only washed her face with water, smoothed her hair with her hands, and dusted her clothes.
Perhaps, she had always been heavenly beautiful, just that the fox never noticed before.
However, the fox was still utterly confused.
“Why did you need to clean yourself up?”
“You!” Qing Yu poked his chest with one of her fingers. “You really don’t understand a woman’s heart!”
“A woman’s heart? It’s just a heart, what is the difference between men’s hearts and women’s hearts? ”
“Oh my goodness, you!”
As they spent more and more time with each other, there were more places where Qing Yu could go. The fox no longer kept her in that cold cave, instead, it let her go to the creek to fetch water and run freely in the forest.
His affection towards her grew as time went by.
Of course, it made sense.
Qing Yu was so beautiful and adorable, and it seemed that she had decided to stay here with him. So now she seemed as meek as a little kitten.
Then, everything changed on that day.
It was just an ordinary cloudy day. The sun was covered by clouds, but it did not rain yet, so the weather was quite cool.
The nine-tailed fox, who was in his human form, sat against a tree trunk, looking at the distant sky. Qing Yu leaned on his knees with her eyes closed.
A long-time later, when the fox recalled this moment, he thought that this might be one of the very few happy moments that ever happened in his long life. However, at that time, the fox was so insensitive that he did not even detect the approaching danger, let alone the happiness that he neglected.
Qing Yu suddenly raised her head.
“The sunset is really beautiful.”
The fox squinted and looked at the horizon, but he did not see a sunset other than thick black clouds.
“You can’t see it from here,” Qing Yu, a bit upset, said. “We’re in the mountains, so we’re too high. There are always clouds in the sky. If we were in Qingqiu——”
The fox narrowed his eyes, but Qing Yu went on, “If we were in Qingqiu, you would definitely see the sunset. A very, very beautiful sunset.”
As she said that, Qing Yu sat up straight and looked at the fox with a slice of sadness in her eyes.
“When I was in Qingqiu, I could only stay in my room, but I could see the sunset every day; I really miss it. There was a big tree outside my window, and a small nightingale lived on that tree. Every day when the sun went down, it would start to sing.” Qing Yu smiled. “I sometimes went to the kitchen to steal some steamed buns to feed it…”
The sound of her voice was getting lower and lower until you couldn’t hear her anymore. The fox looked back at her.
“Jiubo, I want to go home,” Qing Yu closed her eyes and murmured.
For some reason, her words made Jiubo uncomfortable. At that time, he was too young to understand his mood; what he could feel was a wave of anger and annoyance in his heart.
If he was in his animal form, he probably would have violently swung its tail to express his dissatisfaction. But now the only thing he could do was remain expressionless and interrupt her rudely.
“Didn’t I tell you before? Even if you went back, you would only find ruins.”
Qing Yu suddenly looked away. And for a moment, hatred filled her heart as tears filled her eyes.
The fox became more angry and annoyed.
“They’re all dead,” the fox said coldly. He stared at Qing Yu with a sharp glint in his eyes, as if to deliberately prove his overwhelming strength. “Their bodies are probably rotting at the foot of the city gate.”
The tears slipped down her cheeks like raindrops. Surprisingly, the fox felt a strange sense of conquest.
“I want to go home,” Qing Yu said firmly.
“Your home is no more!”
“But——!” Qing Yu shouted. “I still…I still want to go back. Please, I really want to go back, just for a day.”
The fox narrowed his eyes. “Why? Why do you want to go back? I told you, there is nothing left there. And even if you go back, there is nothing you can do.”
“I know.” Qing Yu lowered her head. “You won’t understand. Even though all the people are gone, there has to be something left. I don’t want to let the place I once called home to become a deserted place. Those dead people, they need to be buried…”
“I do not understand,” the fox said coldly. “Your family mistreated you, and you still want to——”
“Please! I beg you, I really just want to go back for just one day.” She looked very sincere. “I swear, I will come back to you as soon as possible and I will never leave you again.”
The fox hesitated.
“Please.” Qing Yu wrapped her arms around him and buried her face in his chest. “I just want to have a look, and then I will never leave you. Really, I swear.”
In the end, the fox agreed. Qing Yu’s promise of ‘I will never leave you’ sounded so tempting to a lonely beast.
She was as beautiful as a blue hummingbird, and from then on, she would be a bird in a cage and would only belong to him.
He wanted to own her.
For the first time in his life, the fox had such a strong desire.
That day was no different from any other ordinary day. The sky was gloomy and the clouds covered the sunset, and the air in the forest was moist and hot.
Qing Yu rode on his back. With only one leap, the fox crossed almost half of the forest.
Soon, they arrived at Qingqiu——the only small plains within a few hundred miles.
It used to be a prosperous place where humans lived, but now, it was only ruins.
Both the villages and the palace were gone. The air was filled with a strange scent. The trees and crops were all rotting on the ground. The country looked like a ghost town in the dim light.
It was what Qing Yu saw when she got off his back.