Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 5 Book of Farewell – Chapter 24 Reincarnation
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 24 Reincarnation
I pushed Wen Jiubo’s hand away and glared at him. “Stop lying to me!”
“Fine.” Wen Jiubo stood up and dusted his clothes. “I wanted you to stay here because I need your power. I can’t break such a large barrier on my own right now. I need you to stay here to help me.”
“Why?” I asked.
Wen Jiubo seemed a little surprised. He turned around to look at me. “What?”
“Why?” I came closer to him. “I don’t have any powers besides being able to sometimes see strange things and having weird dreams. I don’t know how to use spells nor do I have magic. What can I do to help you? ”
Wen Jiubo laughed. He held out his hand to me. “Don’t look down on yourself. You don’t need to do anything, just give me your hand.”
However, I didn’t plan to give in, so I did not grab his hand.
“No. A long time ago, you did the exact same thing back when we were in my hometown of Beining City. You suddenly asked me if I had anything on me, and then you used my pen to drive the spirit out of my aunt’s body. Why?”
“Why what?” Wen Jiubo remained calm.
“Why did you want to use my things?” I asked, stressing each word. “Wen Jiubo, I’m asking you, are you hiding anything from me?”
Wen Jiubo’s expression did not change much. He turned his head and looked at me. “What about you? Do you have anything to tell me? ”
Both of us refused to give in. We stood silently in the dark, staring at each other as if the first one to talk would lose. Yet, in the end, Wen Jiubo sighed and broke the silence first.
“What do you already know?”
“Qingqiu country, princess Qing Yu, and the nine-tailed fox,” I said. “It was not the Taoist priest Lingxiao who sealed you and it had nothing to do with the Jade Ruyi! It was Qing Yu who sealed you, but you never ever told me about her existence! Who was she? Why did you never tell me about her? And why did I dream about her? Did you lie to me again? ”
Wen Jiubo tried to interrupt me, “Gu Yu, you have to listen to me——”
However, knowing him so well, how could I give him any room to make excuses?
“Did you lie to me?” I asked, stressing each word.
“…Sometimes I have no choice——”
“This is not my problem,” I said firmly.
Wen Jiubo sighed deeply and looked at me in the eye.
“Yes,” He said.
“Why?” I asked.
“This is a long story.” Wen Jiubo sighed.
“Then you better explain it quickly!” I did not give in. “You said that you would never lie to me. What is it now? Are you going to lie your way out of another lie? Tell me who the girl is——no, tell me who am I?” I glared at him.
Wen Jiubo paused before opening his mouth again.
“Gu Yu, do you remember the day when you met me for the first time?”
I was dumbfounded for a moment. I didn’t expect Wen Jiubo to ask me such a question. I muttered, “I certainly do. You definitely left a very deep first impression on me.”
Wen Jiubo smiled and then asked, “So what do you remember?”
“Su Xiaoyun’s cat ran away, and I walked across the wild grassland in the mountain at the back of the school to find the cat, and then I found your old residence.” I tried to recall that day. “I later dropped one of your teacups, and then you said——”
“What did I say?” Wen Jiubo asked.
For a moment, I was stunned as I remembered his words, which I began to realize that it was actually one of the missing links in a series of events that happened afterward.
I looked up at him. “You said, ‘you are still so careless,’ as if you had known me for a while.”
Wen Jiubo slightly nodded.
“But that’s impossible!” I resolutely denied. “I swear that I have never seen you in my life before I accidentally entered your old residence, and I swear that I have never suffered from amnesia during my nineteen years of life, so don’t you dare tell me that I somehow lost my memory!”
“No, I don’t plan to say that.” Wen Jiubo smiled, but I felt that there was a bit of bitterness in his smile. “You’re right, you’ve never met me before. But I did… meet you.”
What? I was stunned. What is he talking about?
“But, I didn’t actually meet you, ‘Gu Yu’,” Wen Jiubo said with a helpless and bitter smile. “I met the reincarnations of ‘Wen Qingyu’.”
This time I was completely stunned, and I had this bad feeling in my heart, but I remained as calm as I could.
“What do you mean? What are the reincarnations of ‘Wen Qingyu’?”
Wen Jiubo closed his eyes for a moment, and then he slowly opened his eyes again. He stared at the ground to avoid meeting my eyes. He looked tired.
“A long time ago, when I was still very young and inexperienced, she saved me. She taught me the kindness and love within human beings. But at the same time, she sealed my power by sacrificing herself.”
I already knew that.
In that dream, I saw everything.
“Back then, she sealed my power, but there was no vessel that could hold all of my strength. No, there is no object in this world that is strong enough to hold all my power,” Wen Jiubo said slowly. “So… Qing Yu used her own soul as the vessel to hold my power.”
“With… her soul?” I was speechless. “How…”
“After sealing me, Qing Yu entered the samsara cycle because she carried too much power. She kept her promise and became my caretaker, so every time she reincarnated, she would meet me in a different way. However, because all my power was sealed in her soul, she had a short lifespan. Therefore, no matter how many times she reincarnated, her lifespan will never exceed——” Wen Jiubo paused before whispering, “——twenty years.”
I felt like I was struck by lightning. In that instant, all those doubts and questions I had since I met Wen Jiubo were clear.
Everything began to make sense.
“So… I’m the reincarnation of Wen Qingyu, right?” I gulped a few times and tried to keep my voice steady.
Wen Jiubo nodded and closed his eyes.
All those old memories were coming back to me.
I recalled the incomprehensible couplet he wrote in front of the old residence: I have reincarnated hundreds or even thousands of times; but you left before you could know my name.
—— “Still so careless.”
—— “You’re always like this. Every time…”
—— “I‘m just wondering how you would look like if you grew your hair.”
—— “It’s just, you remind me of an old friend.”
It wasn’t until Wen Jiubo called me that I realized that I had been staring at the ground for a few minutes.