Chapter 91: This Life is Extremely Hard, May You Recognize It Soon

Hidden away in the streets and alleyways of this city are many spirits and ghosts, including those who are full of discontent and hatred.
Just because you cannot see them does not mean that they do not exist.
If a human is weak or often sick, their “yang” energy thins out and these malicious ghosts would have the chance to come leech on to your body.

Yan Yu felt like there was a sense of “yin” energy behind his neck and it was most likely because he had used his lifeblood to draw the talisman.
So, from suffering a loss of “yang” energy, he attracted a few ghosts to himself.
He did not pay it much mind, however and instead, hurried his steps to go back home.

Quietly sitting in a corner of the room was the cardboard box full of items Yan Yu had been given, and he himself was sitting on the edge of his bed, staring at the credit card.
There must be quite a large sum left in it, he thought to himself.
If he turned it all into joss paper gold ingots, even a few vacation homes wouldn’t be enough to hold it all.

Yan Yu asked, 

“Let me save a thousand for myself to hand in my rent?”

[ Not possible dear ~ ]

Yan Yu backed up a step, 

“…… 800?”

[ ZZZ— ]

Yan Yu: “……Fine, I understand.
I’ll burn this for him tomorrow.”

[ My dear host ~ How obedient hmm ~ ]

Yan Yu walked to the bathroom and closed the door behind him with a bang,

 “Obedient your fucking mom.”

The room became quiet, and there was a long period of time without even the sound of the footsteps going up or down outside in the stairway. 

The curtains on the window were swaying along with the wind, and the bright white wall lamp out in the hall was twinkling along as well.
Yan Yu seemed to sense something though, and after he showered, he prepared to head out. 

Only, when he passed by the half body sized mirror hanging on the wall, he paused in his footsteps, and for some reason, turned back around.

The steam in the bathroom had not dissipated yet, and the mirror was still fogged up, only able to faintly see an outline and approximate facial features. 

Maybe he was just being oversensitive, but when he had dried off his body, Yan Yu felt like he saw someone else’s face reflecting back in the mirror……

He suspiciously stared at the mirror and raised his hand.
The person reflected back also seemed to follow along perfectly.
However, Yan Yu narrowed his eyes slightly and kept still in this position. 

Then he covertly used his fingertips to measure the height of their hands, and found that the person in the mirror was actually shorter than himself.
If you were not looking closely, you would almost never find out.


Following the cold air seeping into the bathroom, the fog on the mirror was slowly fading away, and the reflection was slowly getting clearer.
Just as the face in the mirror was about to reveal itself, Yan Yu suddenly turned away and left the bathroom.

This building did not have good feng shui1.
The layout was cramped, which made it very easy to attract evil spirits.
There used to be a lot more people living around here before and with that boisterous lively “human” air, this was able to be suppressed.
But as the neighbouring buildings were slowly being dismantled, what with all the ash and dust rolling together and becoming a part of the normal air quality, quite a few residents have already moved away.


There were some supernatural events that could not be avoided, but there was no real reason to look at things too closely.
Ghosts can create mirages to arouse the deepest fear inside humans, and the more you lose your mind from the fear, the easier it becomes for them to seize their chance.

Yan Yu grabbed a few talismans that had been sitting for who knows how many years from the drawers, and then hung up a golden sword made of coins2 behind the door.
It was at this time that his phone, placed on the bedside table, suddenly started to ring.
Yan Yu didn’t take a closer look, and as he pasted the talismans on the window, he accepted the call, 


“Yan Yu……” 

The other side was very noisy, bringing along a “Shi-La Shi-La” static noise, and the voice was cutting in and out.

Hearing those two words, Yan Yu’s fingers twitched, and the talismans were released, falling slowly down from the window.
The air was as quiet as death, with only the voice on the other side of the phone ringing out, sounding panicked and helpless, familiar yet so far away.
Various scenes and memories seemed to be layering over each other again and again as the words floated out of his phone.

“Yan Yu…… Yan Yu…… Come over…… Come out and see me…… I will never blow up at you again…… I’m waiting at the station for you…… I’m waiting for you…… Come over please, okay……”

Yan Yu closed his eyes, as his hands slowly tightened their grip on his phone.

“Yan Yu…… I’m just waiting here for you…… Come over…… I won’t break up with you…… I’m waiting for you…… I’m waiting for you…… I have something very important to tell you……”

Yan Yu opened his eyes, emotionless, and was about to hang up the phone, when there sounded a quiet sigh, intertwined with some freakish low laughter,

“Alright, if you aren’t coming, then I guess I can only come over myself……”

As if to make those words come true, the white light above him suddenly flashed dramatically and a wind started to pick up inside the room, growing stronger and stronger.
It began to blow all the yellow talismans into a frenzy, sending them flipping and flying all over the room.
Frosty cold air was also starting to seep in everywhere, and Yan Yu reflexively raised his hands to try and stop those flying papers.
It was only when he heard the wind die down that his hands dropped back down.

He had been standing right in front of the window, and now, lights and shadows were flashing before his eyes.
The window seemed to have turned into another mirror, very clearly showing the disarray of the room, very clearly showing Yan Yu’s body and expression, and also very clearly showing…..
the person tightly hugging him from behind.

That person was a beautiful man, with elegantly long phoenix eyes and a beautiful natural upward tilt to his eyes.
And at this moment, he was smiling fakely as he looked at Yan Yu through the glass window.
When he found that the other’s expression was tight and taut, his smile turned even wider and his eyes brought a familiar challenging flavor to it.

It was Xun Chuan……

He had wrapped his arms around Yan Yu’s neck as his chin rested on his shoulder.
If you ignored the nonstop blood pouring out from his throat and that raspy, hoarse, broken breathing sound, from far away, he would be an absolute beauty.

Yan Yu didn’t move for a long while, almost as if he had turned into a statue of stone.
Slowly, Xun Chuan’s smile faded, and his sickly looking white fingers brought a frightening cold touch as he slowly, one at a time, wrapped them around Yan Yu’s throat.
He tilted his head as he asked, 

“I’ve come over.
Aren’t you happy?”

Resentment has actually solidified into an actual existence……

Yan Yu was being strangled by the throat and he couldn’t speak.
He could only feel that icy coldness behind him, and some sort of stickiness, as if blood was leaving a trail as it dripped down his body.
The smell of it was even filling up his nose and after a long while, he moved his lips, to stutter out with great difficulty–


Who knew if he was telling the truth or not.

But the moment those syllables came out, Yan Yu could feel the all-encompassing resentment that seemed to have a physical presence and was pressuring him, had receded a little, and his breathing was returning back to normal. 

All of a sudden, almost quicker than the eye could see, he squeezed out a drop of blood from his finger onto a talisman, grabbed it and then flung it out.
Following a corroding sound and a sharp screeching sound, the shadow behind him momentarily dissipated.

Taking this chance, Yan Yu flew up from his bed, and quickly slipped behind the door.
Swiftly grabbing the golden sword hanging above, he wiped the excess blood from his finger onto its surface and the sword began to shine.
Following this, the darkened atmosphere that filled the room receded a little more and it could not come close to him.


When Xun Chuan realized that he lied to him, his anger blew up to the roof.
The light fixture in the room fell and a tornado of wind started again.
Hearing only the “ping ling ping long” of things breaking and clashing, he could see the mirror starting to crack, like a spider web forming and slowly breaking.
It finally blew apart under the pressure, the sound exploded sharply into his ear.

Yan Yu held his sword, didn’t move an inch and spat out, 

“Go back to where you came from.”

A low chuckle sounded immediately from the room, and it was cold enough to make goosebumps appear.
That concentrated resentment with the appearance of a black cloud began to attack Yan Yu, and every time it would be repelled by the golden sword made of coins.
From the naked eye, one could see that cloud of resentment slowly weakening.

The two of them were frozen like this, until a sliver of light came breaking through the window with the rising dawn.
As the room started to become brighter, Yan Yu flipped his wrist and sheathed his sword.
That golden light receded, and the cloud of resentment immediately rushed over.
Yet for some reason, it stopped in front of him at a certain distance.

Yan Yu raised his eyes, facing up to those blood red eyes filled with resentment.
The hatred was so overpowering it could make anyone that looked upon its eyes freeze in fear.
They were no longer the clear, distinct black and white eyes from his memories anymore.

Yan Yu: “Aren’t you going to go? Do you want to turn into ash?”

The sun was slowly rising into the sky, and that cloud of resentment was very petulant and unwilling, swirling around the room in a few circles, before it finally dissipated away.

Seeing him leave, Yan Yu’s body swayed a few times before finally collapsing onto the floor.
The paleness of his face almost made him seem transparent, and it was also at this time, a shaking electronic voice piped up inside his head,

[ Wu wu wu that ghost-ghost just now was so scary, this system was so scared wu wu wu wu wu wu wu…… ]

Yan Yu ignored him, and leaned against the back of the door, slowly recovering his breath.
Some time later, a muffled sound sounded above his head.

“Dong…… Dong…… Dong……”

Yan Yu paused and then he heard a loud frustrated female voice, 

“Are you in there! You didn’t pay up last month’s rent! This is unacceptable! If you don’t hand it over by next week, this lady can only throw you and your belongings out the door!”


And then curses and swears rang out before she left.
Yan Yu didn’t pay it any mind, however and instead, he reached over and grabbed a cigarette stick from his bedside drawer, with his heart flying away with some other thought.


Those who died an unjustified death would come back on the seventh day3, and their resentment would grow and solidify into a malicious being that would take lives away and be unwilling to leave this human plane. 

The longer they stayed, the more their personalities would devolve and, whether they were strong or weak, they would go around harming humans, or be taken care of by Shu-Shis4 and basically…… basically never have any sort of a good ending……

Xun Chuan died unjustifiably not too long ago, and so Yan Yu could still forcefully stop him.
But it was unknown what would happen in the future.

Cars were flying by on the road, and pedestrians were moving hastily back and forth.
Faint souls were wandering aimlessly and on the footbridge, there were many peddlers facing the cold wind and unenthusiastically calling out.
There were those who sold candy, those who sold silverware, those who told fortunes, and there was also one fortune telling Yan Yu.

In front of him was a faded yellow yin-yang cloth and he was lazily sitting on a small stool.
His overly handsome face was turning heads, but it did not bring him any business.

“Fortune-telling for your life, fortune telling for your marriage, fortune telling for the weather.
One hundred bucks for one reading.
If it’s not true, I’ll take no money–“

Yan Yu yelled out for half an hour, but not a single customer came through.
Occasionally there would be a few old grannies or grandpas, but they would rather choose to visit the gauntly looking old man across from him.

Are they blind? Could that old man be more handsome than him?

Yan Yu coldly laughed and flipped up his black collar, zipping it all the way up and covering most of his face.
Only revealing a pair of deep eyes, he continued to yell out with a not very enthusiastic yell, 

“Fortune-telling for your life, fortune telling for your marriage, fortune telling for the weather.
50 bucks for one reading.
If it’s not true, I’ll take no money–“

And still no one came……

“Fortune-telling for your life, fortune telling for your marriage, fortune telling for the weather.
10 bucks for one reading.
If it’s not true, I’ll take no money–“

Still no one……

“Fortune-telling for your life, fortune telling for your marriage, fortune telling for the weather.
5 bucks for one reading.
If it’s not true, I’ll take no money–“


And no one was going to come.

With a blink of an eye, it was already sunset.
Yan Yu wiggled his numb legs and then drew a “five ghosts’ money and luck”5 array using half of a small bottle filled with chicken blood with a calligraphy brush, before continuing to wait for business.

Three minutes later, a young looking girl in a beige trench coat passed by Yan Yu’s stall and a coin rolled out from her bag.
After a long journey, it pitifully stopped at Yan Yu’s feet.

50 cents.

Yan Yu thought to himself that his skills were possibly deteriorating.
In the past, he could at least get 10 yuan or more.
He was too lazy to pick it up, so he just rested along the railing and closed his eyes to rest. 

But even that wasn’t possible as the racket across from him could be heard quite clearly.

“Old man, only nonsense is spilling out of your mouth.
I haven’t even been married to my husband for half a year and misfortune has befallen us one after another.
If it’s not a broken leg or a visit to the hospital, it’s experiencing a miscarriage during my pregnancy.
What family fortune and luck did you say we have?!”

It was a woman who was speaking, and her voice was hoarse and weak.
As she talked and talked, she began crying.
Another haggard male voice comforted her, 

“It’s alright, it’s alright.
Asking for a fortune was to hope for a comfort in our hearts, how could it really be accurate.”

Yan Yu didn’t care and continued to nap.

Yet not long after, there was a shadow over him.
He opened his eyes and was greeted with the sight of a young couple.
They don’t look over twenty or so years old, and yet a dark and negative air encompassed them, aging them more than ten years with their lowered spirits.

The man seemed to want to pull the woman away, yet the woman was unwilling.
She sat down in front of Yan Yu’s stall and asked, 

“Mister, asking for a reading for marriage.”

Yan Yu straightened out his feet, 

“500 bucks.”

The man widened his eyes, 

“I just heard you yell out 5 for a reading!”

Yan Yu smiled, 

“I was just yelling out a thousand bucks for a reading.
Do you want one or not? If not, take your leave.”

The woman widened her bloodshot eyes, 

“Yes, as long as your reading is accurate, I will give even a thousand yuan.”

Yan Yu immediately tore a piece of paper out of the book beside his feet and circled on it with the pencil in his hands, 

“Your birth dates and name.”

The woman said a string of numbers with familiarity, and by the looks of it, this was not her first rodeo.


Yan Yu lowered his eyes, and scribbled on the paper.
He calculated one part at a time, and not long after, a six pointed star shaped like diagram appeared on the paper.
His pencil hovered for a bit as if there was a slight hesitancy, but then he continued calculating.
After a complicated and complex diagram was drawn, he reached a conclusion.

Their five elements6 were repelling each other, creating an interlocked cycle of life and death, repressing and inhibiting each other into an intertwined standoff and ending of life and death……

Yan Yu scrunched the paper up into a ball and then looked at the man, 



Twirling his pencil, he faced the lady and said, 

“bring misfortune to her.”7

Both of their faces immediately changed but Yan Yu didn’t care.
He lit up a cigarette and brought his leg over the other knee, 


The man tugged at the woman, wanting to leave, 

“Nonsense! We’re leaving!”

The woman didn’t move however and quickly counted a thousand yuan to pass over to Yan Yu.
Her mentality was in a state of falling apart, 

“Can you solve it? Is there a way to solve this??”

Yan Yu put the money in his pocket and then switched his sitting posture.
The wind blew a breeze over and a pile of ash fell down, 

“Don’t know.”

The woman was about to say something, when the man turned in frustration and forcefully pulled her up from the ground, 

“Are you done being crazy!”




*1 Feng Shui is an interesting concept and there are many different branches of “feng shui” but the word itself takes on the word of “wind” and “water”, where the wind represents the energy and water is the flow or change.
There are a few meanings when people refer to this, but it’s mostly known for something like geomancy?


It can encompass how the layout of a certain place is- the optimal way of the items or things placed inside a certain room or what kind of place your house is built on and what it has around it can affect it.
It can also be for what kind of day is good for certain things like marriage, for the containment/mitigation of bad, malicious events or things.
Here, it’s kind of leaning to the first type of meaning I listed as an example, how the building is laid out or just where the building is situated (rather than just within a certain room).

*2 The “golden sword made of coins” as seen below is really a sword made up of copper coins (based on old/ancient currency) which is said to be able to repel evil.
It is usually made up of 108 coins and laced with red thread as in the picture Plum had added.
(and according to some mythology, swords have some sort of “murderous” energy, so it’s not great for the people who live in the home to always hang this up, and there’s no use unless there is some malicious spirit hanging about or coming to haunt you, etc.) As like with feng shui, this usually requires certain “readings” to determine where the best place to put this is, as to not hurt or harm anyone.


*3 seventh day: So there is a tradition with death, not just with unjustified death-ers, where every 7 days after the individual passed, there is an event (goes up to 49 days).
The first 7 days that pass since the individual died are called “first 7” (where the “first” is used with the character that usually means “head”), and on this day, the individual who passed away would come back to visit home (or to visit the family members like through dreams).

There’re many traditions and customs around this.
Some believe that they need to prepare a meal for the individual who passed away and then avoid making contact at all, so basically try and sleep early or hide away under blankets.
Because if the individual who passed away sees the family, it could make them remember their relationships in life and take on “human emotions” which could affect reincarnation.


Some believe that they need to burn a “ladder” so that the individual who passed away can use it to go to “heaven” (of sorts).
Or that the soul/spirit of the individual is roaming around after they die, not knowing that they died, so a special spirit will come after the sixth day to tell the soul that they died and they will lead them back to their family before being judged.


*4 Shu-Shi: A vocation that is related to astrology, fortune telling, and spans a great deal of the supernatural.
In this case, it’s mostly those who can take care of malicious ghosts, protect homes using rituals, etc.


*5 five ghosts’ money and luck: Once again a lot of variation, but there’s two major beliefs of which five ghosts this references, but basically as the literal translation I did there, it calls on 5 particular ghosts that can bring a lot of luck relating to money or wealth, sometimes believed to use other people’s innate “luckness” or the person who is calling upon the ghosts and using his “life luck” assigned to the person at birth (from his ba-zi).

*6 five elements: They are said to be what the world is made of: “gold”, “wood”, “water”, “fire” and “ground/dirt”.
Quotations there as they are not the elements described as what they mean, but rather “gathering/accumulation”, “growth”, “permeation”, “death/ending”, “merging/convergence/come together”, and it is with their interactions and relationship with each other that the world is made.


There’s a cycle of what is good together like Wood > Fire > Ground > Gold > Water (kind of like how wood can make fire bigger, what is destroyed in fire can have the ground absorb, etc.) and what is bad together like Gold > Wood > Ground > Water > Fire (like how tools can destroy trees, trees can uproot the dirt, etc.).
Something you may have heard of that’s similar is the Chinese zodiac which have their own groups of what goes together and not.

*7 bringing misfortune: It’s a bit hard to explain, but the bit longer version is that he doesn’t match well with her, subduing/restraining her (whether that be luck, life, etc.), kind of like blocking her or be mismatched to the point where he is like an archenemy? Just being with her means she will always have bad luck, etc.

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