Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 92: Messing Around1
His furious yell attracted the gazes of everyone nearby.
The man could feel their eyes and his face turned red.
He yelled out in a more muted tone to the woman,
“Let’s stop okay! You’ve kept asking for fortune telling these few days and I’ve let you do so.
You want to ask Buddha, so we went to the temple.
What more do you want?! I’ve already said that you cannot believe in these things! These people will just spit out nonsense!”
Yan Yu didn’t care about throwing more wrenches in their way as he watched the spectacle before him.
He was even smiling with delight as he leaned on the railing.
Tilting his head up, he slowly blew out a ring of smoke.
His sexy throat slightly moved as he used the fingers holding his cigarette to point at the man and repeated himself,
“You, will bring misfortune and kill her.”
With her anger rising from her husband’s rough handling, the woman angrily pushed his hand away and ran down the footbridge, running all the way to the bus stop.
The man glared at Yan Yu before following along.
Cars were bustling away underneath the bridge and the woman, seeing the man following behind her, quickly turned away to walk towards the road.
She reached out to wave down a taxi when suddenly a speeding white car lost control and flipped over the guard rails.
In the midst of people screaming, the out of control car flew right in the direction of the couple.
The woman couldn’t move in time, and so, following the sharp sound of wheels scraping against the ground, it crashed into her and propelled her far away with a bang.
Her body rolled a few times once it hit the ground before roughly stopping in its tracks.
As if to prove Yan Yu’s words true, a pool of blood started flowing out from under the woman’s body, so bright and sharp it was burning to the eyes.
Her husband, who had reacted just in time to escape, flapped his mouth open and close as he stared at the way his wife’s eyes were widened unnaturally, in a way that showed that she was no longer in the realm of the living.
His legs weakened and brought him to his knees.
An intertwined standoff of life and death, leading to an ending…… one dead, one living……
The sun was setting and hundreds of ghosts were starting to pop out.
On the road of this car accident, there were already a couple of headless ghosts coming to find their replacements.
Yan Yu retracted his gaze and began to pack everything up into his backpack before taking his leave.
The old fortune teller across from him slowly raised his head.
First looking at the car accident and the loss of life down under the footbridge, and then to the shrinking back of Yan Yu.
He seemed to have remembered something interesting then, and he suddenly grinned, showing off his mouth full of yellowed teeth.
Yan Yu didn’t immediately return home.
Instead he went to unlock a public bicycle by the road, rushing to reach the nearby graveyard before night arrived.
At this time of day, pretty much no one would be coming to sweep the graves and pay their respects.
Here, the streetlamps were also dim, so he turned on the flashlight on his phone and checked every grave until he reached Xun Chuan’s.
The ice cold stone gravestone was etched with his birth and death dates, a life lived that was honestly too short.
The graveyard had a rule where no one could burn joss papers at night, so Yan Yu only took a quick look at the dimming light in the sky before burying the bankcard into the ground.
Whether it would be dug up by someone or picked up, well, that was none of his business.
Yan Yu rose up as to leave, but his ears suddenly caught a faint sound that was like nails scratching along flesh from above him.
He raised his eyes and a long haired woman met his eyes.
Crouching behind the gravestone, a pair of bloodshot eyes was the only part exposing her.
In this dim moonlight, at this hour, at this place, it was enough to frighten someone to death.
……but at least Yan Yu could put a name to the face: she was Xun Chuan’s mother.
The wind was whistling and that nail scratching on flesh sound was still audibly heard when Xun Chuan’s mother walked out from behind the grave.
She was dressed in a perfectly fitted outfit, with a very mismatched dark red scarf around her neck.
When she passed by him, Yan Yu could visibly see blood and flesh clinging in between the space of her nails.
Xun Chuan’s mother did not seem to register Yan Yu.
Except for her eyes that depicted a pained, struggling and collapsing mentality, her face was entirely emotionless as she walked towards the exit of the graveyard.
She would occasionally reach up with her hand to scratch at her neck, creating that eerie and unsettling sound of flesh being scratched.
Her scarf also seemed to be drenched in a liquid like water, dripping some unknown fluid as she walked.
“Ah-Chuan……Mommy knows she’s in the wrong now……Mommy is in a lot of pain……please let me go……”
“Ah-Chuan……I’m in a lot of pain……so much pain……”
A cold breeze blew over, and without even looking, Yan Yu reached out to stop that attacking resentment from right behind him.
“I’m also in a lot of pain……”
Xun Chuan’s familiar voice rang out from behind his head, as if to sigh, and as if to blame.
He hugged around Yan Yu from the back and just like many times before, rested his chin on his shoulder.
He stared at his mother’s shrinking back, and his face looked quite different from the darkness in his voice as he faintly said out loud,
“Yan Yu, you are squeezing me and it hurts so much……”
Yan Yu didn’t respond and his hands loosened, releasing his hold.
And yet that cloud of resentment immediately formed into a shape and quickly flew towards his throat.
Its aggressiveness was obvious, but Yan Yu only blinked before flipping his wrist to stop it in its movements again.
This time he caught Xun Chuan’s palm, turning their postures to look as if they were holding each other.
Xun Chuan didn’t struggle and his ice cold lips slowly came closer to Yan Yu’s ear.
He smiled as he asked,
“Did you see……”
He was talking about his mother.
“The next one will be you.”
Yan Yu didn’t respond to this either and loosened up his grasp on that skinny and ice cold hand.
That cloud of resentment immediately dissipated, but this time, it did not attack him and instead swirled around him.
Graveyards are havens to “yin” energy, and following the descent of the night, many ghosts would begin to appear, and they would not be the good kind.
If it was not necessary, Yan Yu would have never stepped foot here.
He had been using too much of his lifeblood lately, and thus, had caused quite a bit of damage to his “human” energy.
It was all too easy to attract ghosts with their desires to take over his body, and so, without any further hesitation, he quickly rode the bicycle back home.
As time passed, an itchy feeling began to pop up on his neck — a feeling so itchy the urge to scratch was almost uncontrollable.
It was as if there were thousands and thousands of insects biting at his neck nonstop.
Yan Yu stared at himself through the broken mirror in his bathroom and found a red line appearing on his neck, right on his throat’s weakest point.
There was no doubt who caused it, as it could only be Xun Chuan.
If he really reached out to scratch that mark on his neck, a circle of flesh would be gone, falling away with his fingers.
Yan Yu only slightly touched the area with his fingers and then two more lines appeared on his neck.
He didn’t reach up to scratch at them and instead, went to shower as per normal, before heading to sit on his bed and trim his nails.
He trimmed and trimmed, but not only did his nails not break, they were growing longer and longer.
Yan Yu raised his eyebrow as he looked at his nails and then threw the nail clipper aside.
He grabbed a talisman, burned it into ashes, added water and then downed the entire mixture,
That ticklish feeling seemed to stop momentarily, but then it came surging back like a tsunami.
Surging deeper and deeper, all the way to his heart, tickling until it was almost painful, as if to make someone……make someone want to just chop through it all with a knife!
Yan Yu’s body swayed from side to side, and he reached out to steady himself with the table.
Glimpsing through his phone screen, he silently watched his own shadow.
He froze with suspicion and then started to scratch at his neck.
Just once, and blood and flesh followed with his fingers as they departed from his neck.
A pool of blood appeared in the center of his palm, but there seemed to be some relief from that ticklish feeling.
Yan Yu crouched on the ground and tightly grabbed onto his own throat.
Lowering his head and with an unclear expression, his body language looked like he was in a lot of pain.
The lights in his room flashed once and Xun Chuan appeared in his view.
He was sitting on the bed and looking down at Yan Yu.
Watching him breathe in pain, watching him struggle with his throat.
“Does it hurt?”
He tilted his body, looking at Yan Yu at eye level.
He faintly sighed, as if he could not hold it in.
Yan Yu was dripping with cold sweat and his hair was a violent mess.
Half crouched as he held up his body, his handsome face was completely pale.
His eyes were full of pain and his voice held a broken raspiness,
He grabbed onto Xun Chuan’s hand, fingers ice cold.
It would be hard to tell whose hands were colder at this point.
Seeing this, Xun Chuan laughed out loud.
Laughed and laughed until he couldn’t.
He reached out to hold onto the back of Yan Yu’s head with both of his eyes blood red.
Ghosts did not have tears, so he couldn’t cry.
Xun Chuan seemed to ask Yan Yu, yet also seemed to be asking himself,
“I save you.
Then who will come to save me?”
Even so, the dark cloud of negative energy swirling around Yan Yu’s neck followed his fingers, flowing back and away.
The bloody atmosphere was dissipating, leaving only a faint scar behind.
Yan Yu’s frozen limbs could finally move and he pushed himself up from the ground.
His fingers slightly moved and a peach wood sword appeared in his hand2.
When Xun Chuan dropped his guard, he immediately stabbed forward, pushing the sword right up against his throat.
And at the exact same time, he reached up with his other hand to stop Xun Chuan’s retaliating right hand.
Xun Chuan couldn’t believe that he fell into Yan Yu’s trap again and his receding bloodshot eyes turned violently angry.
The resentment around him grew exponentially and he looked about ready to take Yan Yu down with him.
Yan Yu scolded and moved his sword downwards, leaving Xun Chuan’s throat.
There lay an injury, that could never be removed.
Ghosts stayed on the human plane because of their hatred and thirst for revenge, but they also stayed because of their regret and obsession to finish an unfulfilled desire.
When they get their revenge, when their obsession or regret gets solved, they would leave for reincarnation.
Yan Yu silently stared at the side of Xun Chuan’s face before finally saying,
“I know you hate me.
Just wait until I die.
The day I die, I’ll go down to pay for my sins against you.
That text message that day, asking you to wait, that wasn’t from me.”
When he said those words, it was to hopefully resolve his obsession, letting him go to reincarnate sooner.
Xun Chuan’s eyes that were filled with darkness looked at him,
“Why should I believe you?”
Yan Yu retracted his hand that was holding a talisman,
“When I say I won’t go, I won’t go.
There was no need to send a message to deceive you into waiting for me.”
This was cold hearted, where each word was sharper than a knife.
An explanation where it would have been better to not have been said at all.
Xun Chuan’s fingers couldn’t control their slight shakiness.
His pair of eyes had turned so red that blood could start to drip from them.
The resentment in his body felt even stronger than yesterday’s, and it seemed to be getting stronger by the second as it gathered even more darkness and moodiness into itself.
Xun Chuan seemed to be smiling, but the expression on his face was very twisted and crooked,
“You wouldn’t even lie to me……”
Yan Yu lowered his eyes,
“……were you not deceived enough when you were alive?”
And then he flipped his wrist, retracting the peach wood sword that was held against Xun Chuan’s throat,
If there is a next time, I will not stay my hand.”
Xun Chuan didn’t move.
The light above them suddenly flashed twice, and the cups on the table shook uncontrollably, rattling against each other as the curtains on the window started flying.
Then following a low thunderous sound, the room was drenched into darkness.
Xun Chuan had left.
Yan Yu seemed to sense something and he paused.
Then, using the wall to push himself up into a sitting position, he took out a box of cigarettes from his pocket.
The lighter was almost out of fuel and he had to flick it twice before it would light up.
With its tiny flame, the corner of the room was lit up for a brief moment before fading away.
Yan Yu lowered his eyes and blew out a long ring of smoke, almost as if he was blowing out a sigh.
His handsome face was a bit mysterious in the darkness.
But he had always been like this, never quite clearly letting anyone see what he was thinking about.
The day was starting again and sunlight was pouring in through the windows, shining across the pile of cigarette butts on the floor.
Yan Yu had sat on the floor for an entire night, his expression lazy.
His eyes were bloodshot from the smoke of his cigarettes, and with the paleness of his face that was so unreal compared to a normal human, he was quite like a poster child of a vampire.
When the older aged landlady came to knock on his door, she was freaked out by the state of him,
“Oh my goodness, what did you do, looking so much like you are dead? You couldn’t have gone messing around with the wrong people have you? A young man like you……”
The renters in this building were a mixed bag.
Right above Yan Yu was a woman said to be working in the porn industry.
Spending days in and nights out, leaving only when it was dark and dressing herself up in a million ways to present herself.
*1 Messing around: the words used here mean to live in a mess or like terribly, without aspirations and living aimlessly/without need/fulfillment, sneakily/lawlessly, hanging out with not good members of society or in a way not accepted by normal society.
Kind of like an idiom as the words are actually “ghost” and “mix/intertwine” so if the author had the intention (very likely) it could be seen as wordplay that he’s been fooling around with ghosts.
*2 peach wood sword: it’s very well known/believed that a peach wood sword has the powers to repel evil, attract good luck, hold down the fort, etc.
桃木劍 (peach wood sword)
Most of you probably have already guessed who the “shou”/bottom is…
(descriptions have been updated!)
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