Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 4 Book of Kan - Chapter 7 An Unexpected Visitor (2)
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 7 An Unexpected Visitor (2)
Then I suddenly thought of something and asked, “Oh, Zhu Xuan. Before you left, you said you would find a place for Ye’s soul… How is that going?”
After hearing this, Zhu Xuan smiled. He rubbed the golden retriever’s head. “He’s right in front of you.”
I was astonished. I looked at Zhu Xuan, then at the golden retriever next to him and asked him doubtfully, “You mean…”
“Yeah, it’s exactly what you think.” Zhu Xuan laughed. “After we went our separate ways, I came across a stray dog that almost starved to death by the roadside. Originally I didn't want to put Ye's soul in a dog's body, but I never expected the jade would fly out of my hand towards the stray dog. And just like that, Ye’s soul entered the golden retriever’s body. Later when I thought about it, I believed it was because Ye was desperate to see me, and it is what it is now.”
After knowing the reason, I nodded and looked at the golden retriever. The dog lifted its head and delightfully barked at me. Its expression reminded me of the young boy whom Zhu Xuan missed greatly.
“So I brought the dog back and took care of it. If I can find a better vessel for him in the future, it will definitely be replaced. However, for now, I think this is quite nice,” Zhu Xuan said while looking at Ye and smiling happily.
Wen Jiubo interrupted our chat at this moment. “Stop chatting. Don't you guys have something more important to talk about right now?”
I was surprised and looked in his direction. He was frowning and his expression clearly showed his dissatisfaction. I couldn’t help but feel a little amused. Since the day I met him, this was the first time he seemed grumpy in front of me.
Zhu Xuan was also surprised, but quickly nodded.
“Well, I was about to talk about it. I discussed this issue with Gu Yu before. The beast Chen problem is nowhere near as simple as it looked. That evil beast was carefully sealed thirty years ago before it freed itself and started to hurt people,” Zhu Xuan said. “There must be someone behind this——”
“The Taoist priest Ling Xiao,” Wen Jiubo interrupted Zhu Xuan and glanced at him.
Zhu Xuan frowned. “You think it’s him?”
“Who else could it be beside him?” Wen Jiubo said casually.
“Why are you so sure, what happened to you?” Zhu Xuan immediately asked as if he had already sensed something.
I looked at Wen Jiubo, and he returned my look before I started telling Zhu Xuan everything I had dreamed about after I returned from Mt. Diecui.
“This…how could such a thing happen?” Zhu Xuan was so dumbfounded, his mouth was left agape.
“I know it sounds unbelievable, but it’s the truth,” Wen Jiubo said in a low voice. “Moreover, what we can guess from Gu Yu’s description is that the Taoist priest Ling Xiao has a way to control the beast Nian since he can easily pinpoint me. Whether I’ll die or not is not that important, the real problem is that he'll turn Yan City into a living hell.”
Unexpectedly, Zhu Xuan snorted coldly after hearing this. He crossed his arms. “Liar. You, Wen Jiubo, since when do you care about human beings? You're only looking for a way to save your own life, and yet try to pretend otherwise? However——”
Zhu Xuan suddenly changed his tone, exclaiming, “Strange things happen every year, but they are in greater numbers this year.”
Wen Jiubo stared at Zhu Xuan and asked, “How so?”
“Ah, didn’t someone just mention that I didn't come to make a request but was just here to make trouble?” Zhu Xuan joked. “Why are you asking again now?”
His words shut up Wen Jiubo up for a moment. Wen Jiubo frowned and replied, “Cut the nonsense, just tell me.”
Zhu Xuan laughed, then he stopped joking and said with a serious look, “Here’s the thing. After Ye accidentally entered the golden retriever’s body, I discovered that the dog was almost starved to death because its leg was injured and it couldn’t move. Therefore, I hastily found a veterinary clinic nearby and asked the veterinarian to do a thorough examination. At first, the clinic’s door was closed, but I definitely saw someone in the room, and I was so anxious that I kept knocking on the door. A veterinarian in a white coat walked out from the room. Although he was reluctant at first, once I stubbornly kept asking him, he ended up examining the dog. The front lobby of his shop was connected to living rooms in the back. So at that moment, I noticed that there were white silk clothes hung in the yard behind the lobby as well as some white wreaths.”
“Maybe he didn’t want to let you in because the family was having a funeral,” I put in.
“En, you’re right. I was curious, so I asked him. And then he told me that his son died.” Zhu Xuan nodded.
“How did his son die?” Asked Wen Jiubo.
“That is the weird thing about it,” Zhu Xuan said. “Since I asked, the old veterinarian immediately sighed and became depressed. According to him, his son was just 20 years old and studied in a school outside of the city, but returned home last month. The parents were extremely happy since he hadn’t come back home for a long time. However, not long after, an accident happened to him and he died in the bathroom in their own house.”
“Died in the bathroom?” I asked curiously. “Was it due to a lack of oxygen or dehydration?”
Although I was not a medical student, I had heard that people would suffocate to death due to excessive steam when bathing in an enclosed bathroom.
But Zhu Xuan shook his head. “No, it’s not like that. That’s why I said it was weird. Guess how his son died? He froze to death.”
“What?” I was stunned. Wen Jiubo also showed great interest in the story.
“Really? How could this happen?”
“Needless to say,” Zhu Xuan answered slowly, “the old veterinarian’s expression suggested he wasn’t lying, he had told me the truth. He told me that his son entered the bathroom that night and stayed there for hours. The old couple felt that something was strange, so they kicked the door open and rushed in. Surprisingly, the bathroom was as cold as an icehouse, and their son lay naked on the ground. His body was stiff and purple, he had frozen to death.”
“Interesting.” The corner of Wen Jiubo’s lips curled up.
“But how is that possible?” I was dumbfounded. “Even in the middle of the coldest winters, the lowest temperature in Yan City is five or six degrees Celsius above zero, it never falls below. How could anyone freeze to death in their bathroom?”
“That’s what I thought too.” Zhu Xuan sighed. “While the old veterinarian told me about his son's death, he was also profusely crying. However, the tragedy didn’t end there. Shortly after his son’s death, his house was haunted by spirits.”
“Haunted?” Zhu Xuan’s story completely puzzled me and I immediately asked him.