Chapter 1: The City Is Really Dangerous
Updated: May 17
Qingshan Province was the province with the largest forest coverage area in China. Because it was located in the borders of China, the mountains and jungles were predominant, the natural environment was complicated, and the roads were impassable. Coupled with the tremendous area it occupied, Qingshan Province was also the province with the largest gap between the rich and the poor in China.
In the depths of the majestic mountains, there were poor and backward villages. Inside, were many older people who have never left the mountains in their entire lives, because it was just too difficult to go out due to the rugged mountain road.
Chen Yu was the typical child of the mountains, her childhood dream was to be educated just like the village chief, studying properly, each day moving a step forward, then become admitted to a good university, finally getting out of the mountain. Although the old man who adopted her always told her that she could leave the mountain when the time comes even if she didn’t study hard, however, Chen Yu believed that these were lies made by the 'paranormal fraud' old man to entice her to give up her study sessions, and to instead learn how to catch ghosts with him.
That’s right, Chen Yu was an orphan. According to the old man who adopted her, Chen Yu was picked up by him at the foot of the mountain fifteen years ago by chance. When he found her, Chen Yu already lost two out of 3 of her souls, she almost breathed her last breath, and it was due to him performing the ritual in time to call her souls back that Chen Yu was able to live healthily until now.
[T/N: In daoism, there are three hun and seven po, in this case, Chen Yu lost two of her hun, which was the ‘soul’ / ‘energy’. The three types of hun are: neutral, yin, yang]
Towards this, Chen Yu blindly believed him before she reached seven years old, and after seven, she had no other way but to believe it even more. After all, when she opened her yin-yang eyes, she can see ghosts and spirits, furthermore, the old man believed in feudalistic superstition that was really unrealistic.
In any case, Chen Yu, who had always been determined that studying was the only way out of the village, finally received the university admission notice. At that moment, the excited Chen Yu promised to the village chief: “Village chief, it is Damu Village who brought me up, wait until I have good business later and make some money, I will definitely contribute to my hometown’s road construction project.”
The village chief’s eyes brimming with excited tears, holding Chen Yu’s hands with an almost sobbing voice as he said, “Good child, remember your home even if you’re out there ah.”
“What’s the use of studying books? If you study my skills properly and get yourself out there for a few years, you alone will be able to pay for the whole road construction.” 'Paranormal fraud' old man knocked on the dry cigarette and humphed on the side.
“If you’re so powerful, then why haven’t I see you repair the road in these years?” Every time 'Paranormal fraud' old man bragged how his ability to catch ghosts can make big money, Chen Yu will criticize him about it.
After all, if you only charge one hundred yuan every time you catch a ghost, how many years would it be before he can get rich? Even she had to get a poverty certificate to get a study loan for her tuition ah.
Chen Yu borrowed the only motorcycle in the village from village chief, huffing and puffing to get the certificate. When she returned home, she suddenly found that her courtyard was full of people.
“Guests?” Chen Yu walked into the courtyard with a smile, thinking that these rich people came because of his old man’s reputation and wanted to exorcise some spirits.
“Are you Chen Yu?” a cold young man stared at Chen Yu with a pair of scrutinizing eyes.
Chen Yu felt somewhat uncomfortable when he looked at her like that, so she stared back at him: “It’s me, what’s wrong?”
The young man’s expression instantly became dumbfounded, he was silent for a moment, and then spoke again: “My name is Chen Yang, your brother.”
Thinking about her unfortunate past history at that time, Chen Yu was in a mess. She always wanted to go to the capital for a look, so she struggled very hard for the past dozen of years to get a ticket for the train that could bring her to a whole new world, however, someone suddenly came and told her that her home was actually in the capital, what would she feel then?
Loss ah! A huge loss ah!!!
She remembered when she was in elementary school, how she woke up every day before dawn and walked through the mountains for two hours to go to school. She remembered how she would follow the old man to catch ghosts day and night every winter and summer vacation, while diligently finishing her homework. When she thought about college’s entrance examination, she took an attitude of ‘either succeed or die’, the more she thought about her past, the more grievance she felt.
Why did I bother with all of that…?
“I told you a long time ago, you’d naturally leave the village when the time comes.” When leaving Damu Village, 'Paranormal fraud' old man gave the cloth bag that he always carried to Chen Yu.
“Old man…” Chen Yu who usually gave the old man a cold shoulder, hated to part with him at this time.
“Don’t give me that fake cry.” said the old man while putting the cloth bag in Chen Yu’s arms, “I can’t use these things anymore, you can take them ah.”
“You still want me to inherit your mantel ah.” Chen Yu said, looking at the things inside the cloth bag.
“Your dad is the mayor, how would I dare?” The old man said in a bad mood, “You already lost two souls when I first brought you back, and because the loss of the souls happened for quite a long time, it can’t be helped that there are some changes in your constitution. I let you practice metaphysics with me to enhance your physique, but I didn’t expect that your talent of catching ghosts was actually quite good that you opened your yin-yang eyes by yourself ah.”
“I first thought that it would be good as long as you can learn a few things, at least it can be a profitable trade.”
Chen Yu looked at the old man suspiciously, as if she wanted to say, you’re still lying to me at such a time.
“When did I lie to you?” the old man fumed with anger, “When I was young, if someone wanted me to exorcise ghosts, if they didn’t have at least a million yuan, even my face they wouldn’t be able to see.”
Chen Yu’s face: Since I can’t verify it myself, you can just brag as you please.
“Forget it, forget it.” The old man gave up defending himself, “Your father is the mayor, I estimate that you won’t be lacking money in the future. It’s just that, you have entered the (spiritual) door after all, the ghosts in the city are much more fierce than in the countryside, these things will give you some protection, it’s best if you don’t have to use them.”
“You’re actually willing to part with this compass ah.”Chen Yu pulled out a compass as big as her palm from the bag, she knew that the old man’s most precious thing was exactly this compass.
“Don’t drop it!” The old man took a posture of wanting to get it back.
Chen Yu immediately withdrew her hand.
The old man clicked his tongue and continued to tell: “This compass is a spiritual tool, before you can use it skillfully, it would be best if you don’t use it outside, else it’d be easy to lose it.”
“Lose it? So it can run on its own legs ah.” Chen Yu said with disregard.
“You will know by then.”
The old man still wanted to explain more things, but the girl’s brother, Chen Yang, had came over. He politely said, “I’m sorry, but if we don’t leave now, it will get dark before we can get out of the mountain.”
Damu Village was located deep in the mountains, and the mountain road that lead to the outside was meandering and complicated, moreover, it can only be traversed with motorcycle, cars just can’t come in at all. This time, Chen Yang came to the village using a motorcycle, its speed wasn’t faster than that of a car, so he’s afraid that they will be trapped in the mountains if they were delayed on the road.
The old man nodded, she looked towards Chen Yu for the last time and said, “I also put a letter inside, you should look at it when you have the time.”
“Old man…” Chen Yu hugged the old man who she had been living with for all these years.
“Alright, don’t cry ah, go on.” The old man’s face was also full of reluctance.
“I’ll come back to see you once summer vacation comes.” Chen Yu promised him.
--A day later, Chen Residence, at a certain imperial capital’s army compound--
“My name’s Chen Jianxun, your father.” Inside the man’s steadfast appearance flashed a bit of gentleness, from his rigid face, it could be seen that it’s not the expression that he often wears.
“My… my name’s Chen Yu.” Chen Yu was unaware that she was somewhat anxious.
“You should call me father.” Mayor Chen reminded her.
“...father.” Chen Yu hesitated before she squeezed out that word.
“En.” Mayor Chen nooded, and a smile finally bloomed from the stiff expression on his face, “Welcome home.”
Chen Yu shyly smiled back.
“I’m your mother.” From when Chen Yu entered the door, Mother Chen who kept on gazing at her daughter, couldn’t wait anymore to introduce herself.
“Mother.” After calling her father, calling her mother became much easier to do.
“Emh.” Mother Chen choked back a voice and her tears flowed down, holding her daughter inside her hands tightly.
Chen Yu didn’t expect that Mother Chen would cry so sadly and she immediately became flustered, not knowing how to comfort her, she could only ask for help from her brother who had been in contact with her for the longest time between them.
“Mom, sister had been sitting on the plane for a whole day, she must be tired, let her go to rest for a while.” In fact, the father and son of the Chen family somewhat couldn’t bear to see Mother Chen’s tears.
“Right, right, must be tired. Let your sister go upstairs to rest first, no, I’ll take her up.” Mother Chen immediately stopped crying and took her daughter upstairs to rest.
After a brief introduction, Chen Yu, who was finally alone in the room, sighed in relief, but she didn’t feel sleepy at all. She knew that the three people downstairs must be sitting together to discuss about her, but in fact, her head was also in a mess: Chen Yu didn’t know how to get along with her three relatives that appeared so suddenly in her life.
Chen Yu thought for a while, she remembered the letter mentioned by the old man, so she took the bag. Chen Yu placed the compass, cinnabar, and a pile of yellow paper from the bag on top of the table, and then saw the envelope mixed within yellow papers. When she was about to open it, the compass suddenly flashed.
“Huh?” Chen Yu put the envelope in her hand and picked up the compass to check it, “Didn’t it flash just a while ago?”
As if responding to Chen Yu, the compass flashed again as a burst of thin divine light spilled out from inside.
“Did you find something unclean?” Chen Yu didn’t feel any bad aura around her, nor seeing any ghosts floating about. Not only that, the feng shui in this compound was also very good, there’s a touch of spiritual energy in the air.
[T/L: Feng Shui is often related to the environment, placements of things, example: where to build a tomb, a house, a temple etc to get the most auspicious energy.]
The compass suddenly shook and the pointer turned to point north. Chen Yu’s eyes flickered, she immediately followed the direction of the pointer, walked to the window and looked straight outside.
“There’s nothing ah, what did you find?” Chen Yu looked for a while but still found nothing.
The compass in her hand shook uncontrollably, and because of a moment of carelessness, the compass left her hand and flew out the window.
“Oh, dang…it really can run.” Chen Yu looked at the direction where the compass flew to, she hesitated by the window for ten seconds, and then jumped out to chase it.
Chen Yu followed the aura of the compass all the way to the northernmost corner of the army compound. Noticing that the building was full of dense supernatural aura, Chen Yu knew why the compass ran to here. It turned out that instead of discovering bad things, the compass saw good things and ran to steal the aura.
Chen Yu hesitated, then walked in front of the door before knocking it gently. Soon, the courtyard door opened, and a man in a western suit and leather jacket stood in front of her.
It was the first time that Chen Yu had seen such a heavy evil energy inside a person’ body and she frowned unconsciously.
“Who are you looking for?” The man asked.
“That, I’m sorry ah, I dropped something in your yard, can I go in and pick it up?” Chen Yu asked with a smile.
“There’s nothing here that’s yours.” The man shut the door with a clatter.
“...” Chen Yu continued to knock on the door.
The one who opened the door was still the man just now. When he saw Chen Yu, he frowned and asked, “What is it?”
“I really dropped something here, a compass, about this big, it fell in just now, please let me come in to find it. If you’re worried, you can just follow me. “Chen Yu explained again.
“Please leave!” The man said impatiently and closed the door again.
Chen Yu looked at the time, and found out that it was soon the time for dinner. She had to rush back before dinner, she couldn’t just disappear on her first day meeting her family ah.
Chen Yu circled around the yard, found a place without anyone around, and mouthed a mantra silently. She just had no alternative ah. She rolled up her sleeves, and with a turn of her body, she climbed the wall and entered the yard. Inside, following the smell of the compass, she quickly found it lying behind a stone while absorbing the supernatural aura around. After picking it up, she wanted to walk away so she turned around only to face two revolvers right in front of her.
Chen Yu very consciously raised her two hands up.
Her heart thought that what the old man said was right, the city was very dangerous.
Inside the living room across the wall, Lou Ming glanced outside the door and asked, “What happened outside?”
“Someone climbed the wall and entered in.” Lou Ming’s assistant, He Qi, reported.
Lou Ming was somewhat surprised as he asked, “Which side’s person?”
“It’s Mayor Chen’s daughter who had just been retrieved, Chen Yu.” He Qi answered.
TL NOTE: Heyoo, this is a new Grumpy Crab novel that I'm gonna co-translate with Novi! o(^^o)
If you don't know yet, me and Novi had translated Crab's other novel called My Husband With Scholar Syndrome that tells about the marriage life with an autistic person. It's a hearwarming novel, with no heavy plot, but will surely gives your heart a squeeze. Check it out if you're interested. (ㆁᴗㆁ✿) Accompany me in this new adventure, will ya? (*ゝω・)ﾉ