Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 105: The System’s Gone Crazy
As Yan Yu walked back downstairs, his footsteps faintly echoed down the stairway.
There were bugs flying around in the faint yellow glow of the lights of the stairway, and the weather was so humid, it was hard to breathe.
It did not help that there was a pungent smell spreading throughout the building from the nearby landfill either.
Leaning against the railing as he lit up a cigarette, Yan Yu stared at the broken and cracked wall in front of him.
He suddenly felt that he wasn’t living quite like a human and that this was quite good, yet he also felt that he really couldn’t live like this anymore.
The cigarette in his hand burned all the way to the last dregs and he extinguished it on the railing.
He walked back to his apartment and pushed open the door, not expecting Xun Chuan to be standing right behind the door.
Their eyes met, and it was uncertain who scared whom first.
After the initial shock, Xun Chuan moved aside to let Yan Yu in and then floated back onto the bed.
His legs swung back and forth as Yan Yu, not speaking a word, changed his shoes at the entryway before sitting down by the desk. After a long period of silence, Yan Yu pulled the fourth drawer open.
Xun Chuan stopped his movements, desperately wanting to look, but then thought that he shouldn’t be looking.
There was a fire brazier1 used to burn talismans underneath the desk.
Yan Yu pulled it out and then threw in the stack of papers he took from the fourth drawer.
An orange flame lit up, illuminating his face and bringing that much more of a tenderness to him as the flames reflected off their light.
Xun Chuan couldn’t help himself and asked,
“What are you burning?”
With his eyes reflecting the light from the fire, Yan Yu calmly said,
“Something that will cause you misfortune.”
If he had never divined this reading, then he would have never broken up with Xun Chuan.
Without breaking up, Xun Chuan would have never gone to X City for him, and perhaps he would have not died then.
Sometimes, there were things hidden beneath it all; everything belonged to fate.
Xun Chuan soundlessly floated over, and as he did so, the “yin” energy surrounding his body weakened the flames.
They shivered nonstop, as if they would be extinguished in the next second.
Yan Yu waved his hand and the fire regained its luminescence, burning even brighter, and the papers quickly turned into ash.
After the papers were all gone, Yan Yu poured a cup of water over the basin, extinguishing the last of the flames.
He asked Xun Chuan,
Originally thought to be words that would tear out his heart and soul, but now they were spoken with such calmness.
Upon hearing this, Xun Chuan knew that Su Qing must have told him something.
He uncomfortably pushed around the corner of the desk, and his eyes looked down at the fire brazier,
“No I don’t.
You could have just directly told it to my face……”
But the moment he said these words, he realized that there wasn’t much meaning to them.
If Yan Yu had honestly spoken to him about this, he himself may have never believed it.
He’d probably have felt that Yan Yu wasn’t even willing to give an acceptable excuse to break up.
As fortune telling, this kind of thing, it was too unbelievable.
Xun Chuan did not even know that when humans died, they could turn into ghosts because of their deep, deep unfulfilled desires.
Yan Yu patted his pockets, wanting to have a smoke, but then he realized he was out.
Xun Chuan pulled the lighter out of Yan Yu’s hand, threw it aside with a bang, and then sat on top of Yan Yu’s legs, sitting face to face with him.
Xun Chuan grabbed onto Yan Yu’s chin, eyes cold and frosty, bringing on an arrogant tilt to his face,
“If I had not died, perhaps you would even have it in your heart to forget about me after we break up, and you wouldn’t even feel anything.”
Because he died, Yan Yu will remember him forever, never able to forget about him for the rest of his life……
In some ways, this could count as Xun Chuan understanding Yan Yu.
Yan Yu’s personality wasn’t bad, but it was also true that he’s heartless, as otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to live until now.
Yan Yu said,
“To forget is a good thing.”
The ghost door doesn’t open every year; it could be once after three years, once after five years.
It did not follow a set algorithm.
Some shu-shis could divine it out, but ghosts cannot.
Some of them want the chance to reincarnate and they would fight tooth and nail to not give up this chance.
Tonight, Yan Yu could evidently feel the agitation from the air of resentment gathering outside.
Worried about evil ghosts storming in, he hid the golden money sword in his sleeves and rested by the headboard of the bed, only slightly relieving his tense and alert state when it became day again.
Yan Yu was used to interchanging his nights and days, and with his increasingly common nightly activities, he would now become very sleepy when it was morning.
He opened his eyes, and seeing that Xun Chuan was still lying beside him, he yawned before snuggling right up to him, falling asleep not long after.
Without making a sound, Xun Chuan turned himself over and faced towards Yan Yu.
He reached out quietly with his hand, as if wanting to pinch Yan Yu’s nose, but he didn’t want to wake him up.
In the end, he retracted his hand back.
It was the hottest time of the year, when all the grass and trees were yellowing from the sun and the heat.
Xun Chuan took a glimpse through the curtains outside, but he had to back away from the burning hot rays of the sun and quietly wait until the sun descended.
In the meanwhile, Yan Yu slept through it all.
Besides occasionally rolling over or shifting his body, he did not wake up.
Finally seeing the sunset start to illuminate the room in its faint yellow glow, Xun Chuan walked towards the front door.
His body momentarily dissipated in the air, but then in the next second, he was bounced back by some unexpected force.
He retreated back a few steps, and then reappeared with his body gathered back together.
The expression on his face slightly changed, only realizing now that some time ago someone had set up a spell array around the room, and there was no way to get out.
Yan Yu seemed to sense something then and quietly opened his eyes.
“You won’t be able to leave.”
When Yan Yu rose up from the bed, there was not a single look of tiredness on him.
He looked at Xun Chuan and said,
“……Didn’t you promise me you’d go to reincarnate?”
Xun Chuan’s expression changed again, looking extremely sour upon hearing that he couldn’t leave.
There was an unexpected expression of ashy defeat to his face, and he mockingly laughed,
“When have you been so easily deceived, that you will believe whatever I say?”
When he said those words out loud, he realized they were not quite right.
If Yan Yu believed him, why would he place down this array here to hold him back.
Anger immediately rose up in him, and he kicked over a chair, unable to believe that he couldn’t get out of this array.
Bullheaded, he ran at the door, but his body was quickly repelled back.
Watching him do this from the side, Yan Yu thought in his heart, what an incredibly stubborn guy with an attitude that just won’t turn back from heading down a wrong path.
Since the array couldn’t really hurt him, Yan Yu covered himself with the blanket — seeing nothing with his eyes means there’s nothing to worry about.
Xun Chuan was going crazy from anger and, in a rage, he ran over to pull down Yan Yu’s blanket.
His tone dark and moody,
“Go, open that door for me—-“
Yan Yu cushioned the back of his head with his hands and looked at him curiously, his voice calm compared to the other,
“Why aren’t you willing to go?”
He meant to go for reincarnation.
Xun Chuan’s fingers trembled from his anger and he grabbed onto Yan Yu’s collar with eyes so red a few drops of blood dripped out.
Yet when he spoke, he was instead asking himself in a very frosty tone,
“Why? Why am I not willing? You don’t understand anything at all, what do you understand……?”
What he wanted was only the person in front of him.
Who he liked was only the person in front of him.
It was not to listen to some random words from random people and wait for a meaningless new life.
It was not the same.
It was not the same.
Even if it was the same soul, it would not have this life etched into his bones.
It would never have this life’s memory, but all this, Yan Yu wouldn’t even be able to understand and Xun Chuan didn’t even know how to tell him.
He’s dead, and after his death, he even turned into a ghost to come find Yan Yu.
If a soul went for reincarnation, then there would really be nothing left behind.
With what is he going to come find him then?
Xun Chuan couldn’t really do anything to Yan Yu for making him unable to leave the apartment, but he was unable to calm the rage inside him.
So, the only thing he could do was to break things.
Yan Yu didn’t stop him, letting him break whatever he wanted as there was nothing worth of value in this apartment anyway.
Sounds in the apartment did not stop for a moment, as shattering and breaking sounds followed each other in quick succession.
Unfortunately, Yan Yu was a poor man so there weren’t a lot of things to be broken.
As if to prove his point, the sounds stopped not long after, and only the closet and the desk were left intact.
Xun Chuan sat on the floor, his shoulders shaking from perhaps his anger, or perhaps from his exhaustion.
He slammed his foot against the end of the bed and yelled at Yan Yu,
“Let me out!”
Yan Yu stood up from the bed,
“Calm down first.
Actually, we can negotiate.
Yet he was unable to finish his words, when a woman’s terrified scream split through the air.
The petrifying scream came from upstairs, and it immediately made Yan Yu’s face change.
He only realized now that there was an extremely strong sense of resentment in the building that had appeared sometime ago.
He turned his head back to look at Xun Chuan, pausing for a moment, before quickly opening the door to rush up to the fourth floor.
The lights had not been turned on in Su Qing’s apartment and everywhere was covered in darkness.
The closet and the desk had all fallen onto the floor, with its items all scattered on the floor, making the apartment look more chaotic than a battlefield.
Yan Yu had just heard Su Qing’s terrified scream, but when he arrived, it was all quiet, as if everything had just been his imagination.
Yan Yu called out to her, but no one responded.
A cold breeze blew by and scattered all the talismans on the floor.
Just then, a sound came from the closet door.
Yan Yu lifted his eyes, walking over slowly and cautiously.
He testingly reached out to pull open the closet door, and as he crossed the window, the pale moonlight shone down on him and elongated his shadow.
At the same time, a hammer was raised up higher and higher behind him, about to smash down onto Yan Yu’s head—–
A sudden corroding sound was heard and that hammer stopped in mid air.
A clown pretending to be sly looked down in surprise, finding that his stomach had somehow been stabbed with a golden money sword.
His body began emitting a greenish hued smoke, and he let out a weird yell before plucking that sword out and throwing it far away.
Then, without hesitation, he viciously and ruthlessly hammered down towards Yan Yu.
Yan Yu had been prepared however, and he quickly dodged the incoming blow.
He quickly took the chance to pull open the closet door and drag the unconscious body of Su Qing out.
“Jie Jie Jie Jie…… You are actually a spirited body……that is too perfect…..then I don’t have to repress myself to use that woman’s body……”
The clown immediately reverted back to a happy expression, and he hopped left and right with his hammer resting on his shoulder as he headed towards Yan Yu.
His hands began to reach out longer and longer, as if to reach out to strangle his neck.
Unfortunately for Yan Yu, he had rushed over too quickly and he had not brought any other tools with him.
Suddenly noticing a fallen red thread on the ground, he pushed Su Qing aside and quickly tied up a complicated ghost-lock knot.
Just as the sharp nails of the clown were about to touch him, he quickly looped the knot onto the clown’s wrist, and then pulled both ends, hard, and immediately corroded the area with wisps of greenish smoke.
Being pushed and falling had Su Qing waking up in pain, and she stumbled up in confusion as she held onto her head from the pain.
Immediately taking note of the situation before her, her face changed drastically and she quickly rummaged out a peach wood sword.
Taking advantage of the fact that the clown was focused on Yan, she drilled the sword viciously into the clown’s back.
She yelled harshly at Yan Yu,
“Leave! He is an aggressive ghost! Don’t let him into your body, or you’ll be done for!”
Yan Yu and Su Qing were naturally born spirited bodies, and this kind of body was the easiest to attract ghosts.
Their “spirited” energy was strong and “ghostly” auras weak; once a ghost entered their bodies, they could forever inhabit and use it as their own.
The most important factor, however, was that they could even keep the powers they had as a ghost; it was no wonder the clown was so happy.
The clown originally had his eye on Su Qing, but now that he had an even more suitable male body, he immediately focused all his attacks towards Yan Yu, focusing his attention on stealing his body.
Aggressive ghosts were much stronger than malicious ghosts.2 In a match with Xun Chuan, Yan Yu could barely draw a tie.
For him to face up with an aggressive ghost, it was entirely impossible.
At this time, he could only feel his entire body become frozen by the clown’s resentment, unable to move even a single twitch.
“Jie Jie Jie Jie……”
When the clown was near him, his hands were like flowing liquid.
Following the red thread attached to him, he slowly invaded into Yan Yu’s body.
Seeing this happen right before her eyes, Su Qing became frantic and wanted to try and do something, but she had no way to help.
It was at this time, a sudden thick black cloud of resentment appeared and tightly wrapped around the clown’s neck.
It forcibly pulled the clown back, forcing him to leave Yan Yu.
The clown’s body immediately turned into a pool of swirling liquid in response and in a quick moment escaped out of the resentment’s hold.
At the same time, its sharp nails pinched onto that cloud as he bit down ruthlessly, chewing loudly and swallowing up that resentment into its body.
A human shape started to form behind him, a shadow that looked to be of Xun Chuan.
He grabbed the golden money sword dropped by Yan Yu through the air and without caring about his quickly corroding hands, he aimed at the head of the clown and viciously stabbed down—–
A loud corroding sound rang out and the clown paused.
It began to struggle for its life, but Xun Chuan would not let go.
Holding that sword in place in a deathly grip, both of his hands began to rot all the way to the bone.
He was suddenly blasted away by the golden light of the sword and the clown began to melt into the air, like a snowman on a sunny day.
Its liquid pooled on the floor and quickly gathered up and flew towards Yan Yu.
Su Qing was rummaging on the floor for anything that could ward off ghosts.
Yet Yan Yu’s face had already turned black and green.
He half kneeled on the ground, breathing with great difficulty as he strangled his own throat, as his mouth let out the clown’s crackling gleeful freaky laugh,
“Jie Jie Jie Jie…… kill me hmm…..
come and kill me……”
The majority of Xun Chuan’s face had already corroded through.
He was weaker than a weakened, low level spirit, and his body was fading in and out.
He couldn’t move, but both of his eyes were staring at Yan Yu, his eyes red to the point where blood dripped out and angered to the point of almost being able to shoot lasers out of his eyes.
Su Qing didn’t think that Yan Yu’s soul was that weak and she was panicking to the point of frustration.
She tried talisman after talisman, but they did nothing at all.
She could only watch, taking in the sight of the clown’s soul slowly invading Yan Yu’s body, and her face paled drastically as her heart turned into ash.
Yan Yu spoke out with great difficulty,
He looked at Xun Chuan as he said to Su Qing,
“Su Qing……use the sword…..kill me……”
When the clown’s soul has taken over his body, it would already be too late.
Su Qing picked up the golden sword made of money, her tears dropping down softly.
Her cries made her unable to breathe, and she was held back by the last bit of power Xun Chuan had in him, so for now, she couldn’t do anything at all.
Yan Yu himself could only feel his body breaking into two and his limbs were starting to fall out of his control.
He looked at Xun Chuan and moved his lips without any sound coming out.
He was saying something, but only he himself would be able to hear those words.
Just as the last of his consciousness was being swallowed up, cries rang out in his head.
[ WU WU WU WU WU WU WHAT ARE YOU!! LEAVE LEAVE! AH AH AH AH AH AH! I * YOUR MOTHER * YOUR MOTHER! LEAVE!!!! WU WU WU WU WU MOMMY! I’M SCARED! I’M SCARED OF GHOSTS! I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE WU WU WU WU! ]
Yan Yu’s body froze, feeling as if something in his brain was flailing as it cried and fought against the clown’s spirit.
[ WU WU WU YOU UGLY THING GET AWAY FROM ME! LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE! I * YOUR MOTHER TOLD YOU GET AWAY FROM ME ARE YOU LISTENING! WU WU WU WU WHY AREN’T YOU LEAVING! I’M GOING TO HIT YOU TO DEATH! I’M GOING TO HIT YOU TO DEATH! ]
Click here to bypass all the footnotes!
*1 fire brazier: used for a lot of things and has many implications/historical aspects, but in the case of spiritual things, it’s used for things like joss paper burning, for people to step over as a way to get rid of back luck/air (apparently originating from the tradition of marriage with the woman doing so, so that she only brings good luck to her “new” family), or just to bolster spirits and ward off spirits, etc.
Luck in this case is less of a by chance and instead more of a “badness”/”negativity” someone or something could give you, kind of like if someone encounters bad things all day, their “bad luck” may transfer to you or like if you went to a graveyard and a lot of death news were passed your way, you might have leeched onto some “bad energy”
*2 aggressive vs malicious ghosts: it’s a bit hard to come up names on my own as you may have seen my very literal translations here haha, but the difference between what I’m labelling as “malicious” and “aggressive” ghosts is that “malicious” ghosts are those with resentment and hatred towards the world or a deep burning unfulfilled desire to do something (like get revenge) and so they have some power to do evil, but that is based on their level of resentment which causes them to be unable to reincarnate unless it’s been “pacified”, if you will – although debatable at some characteristics.
“Aggressive” ghosts on the other hand can be considered as literally just the evilest of evil.
They are of those “malicious” ghosts that have much much stronger power and are usually unable to reincarnate at all because their level of resentment is too much and sometimes to the point where they don’t care about their unfulfilled desires like they are not bound by them as regular “malicious” ghosts are, and instead limited just by their “spirit” body and their level of power which they then try to do more evil or swallow up more ghosts/humans to grow in power to keep doing even more.
Hopefully this makes a bit of a distinction there.
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