To Raise a Soul - Chapter 12
Yin Yan pulled Yu Zhen out from the restaurant, stopping by a small alley beside the restaurant.
“Why did you bring me out?”
Yu Zhen pulled back his hand in puzzlement.
Too many crazy things happened in one day, leaving Yu Zhen unable to process them until that moment. The remnant soul which came from within his body appeared to be a just and honorable gentleman, but on closer inspection, his many small but improper actions could be seen.
Previously, he held Yu Zhen’s hands a few times. In the restaurant, he held Yu Zhen’s shoulders. For two strangers, these actions were overly intimate.
That’s not right. Yu Zhen frowned, vexed, and deep in thought. They could not be counted as strangers.
They used to share the same body and had obtained a marriage certificate. It could be said the remnant soul watched him grow up. In a way, he was an elder of his.
So their marriage counted as incest?
He frantically shook his head to shove the horrifying thought out of his mind. He looked to Yin Yan, who acted as if holding hands was not an issue and had let go of his hand with natural ease. The man was calm from the very beginning. Yu Zhen thought with some hesitation.
Yin Yan could have the same thoughts as him, viewing him as a junior to be watched over. Thus, allowing Yin Yan to hold his hands as naturally as if holding his own child’s hand. It was a pure concern and care.
As for the shoulder holding, the Yin family members were present, so he might have tried to make their act more convincing. After all, he needed to continue living as Yin Yan.
Yin Yan did not answer his question. Instead, he held Yu Zhen’s head and asked, “Why are you shaking your head? A headache?”
It really was an elder’s type of concern as no adult man would casually touch another man’s head.
Yu Zhen, lacking in romantic senses, came to his own conclusions. Then, his not-too-bright brain tossed the issue to the back of his mind. Shaking his head again, he replied, “It’s nothing, I just had a thought.”
Yin Yan nodded and removed his hand. He looked towards the sky, then abruptly nodded towards the other side of the alley and said, “Go over there. Your opportunity has come.”
Yu Zhen was perplexed.
“Right now, your soul is incomplete. It’s too weak, and an orthodox method of cultivation is not suitable for you. If you want to be on the path of cultivation, you must first cultivate your soul. Today is a suitable day for marriage and for ghosts to appear. In this alley, there’s a lost but virtuous ghost. Wake her up and send her onto her rebirth.”
Yu Zhen understood his words. Hearing the word ‘ghost,’ he began to tremble and stuck himself to a nearby wall. “Y-you mean, in this alley, th-there’s a ghost?”
Not expecting such a response, Yin Yan was silent for a few seconds. He then stepped forward and peeled Yu Zhen away from the wall. “Virtuous ghosts don’t harm humans. Yu Zhen, it’s difficult to obtain such opportunities. Once the right shichen passes, an emissary of the netherworld will come. You would then lose the opportunity to approach the ghost.”
Meaning, there’s a possibility of meeting an emissary from the netherworld?
The fear from when his soul was almost taken surged wildly. Yu Zhen shook his head, his face white. As he was pulled from the wall, he moved to hug a trash can that stood three steps away.
Yin Yan promptly blocked him. Scared witless, he settled for the next best thing and held onto Yin Yan. He shivered with cold and buried his head in Yin Yan’s chest, unwilling to go into the alley.
The embrace pushed Yin Yan back slightly. He faintly felt Yu Zhen’s fear. Thinking of Yu Zhen’s damaged soul, he silently sighed. He gently patted Yu Zhen’s back and looked up at the sky again. After some thought, he spoke. “Yu Zhen, only those who have done many good things in their life turn into virtuous ghosts. For example, your grandfather, Yu Rongfeng.”
Hearing those words, Yu Zhen’s fear subsided a little, and he loosened his hold on Yin Yan.
“The soul in the alley is like your grandfather, an elderly person. She’s lost, unable to find the way to rebirth. You’ll help her, right?”
His tone was calm, but his voice had turned quieter.
Yu Zhen thought of his grandfather. He thought of his soul becoming lost after his death, left without a way to the path of rebirth, left without a person to help him. Yu Zhen’s heart sank. He released his hands and stepped back.
Yin Yan let go of his hand and observed him wordlessly.
Yu Zhen wanted to say, “Then, I’ll be going.” but he felt a little scared.
Yin Yan patted his shoulder and turned him to face the alley. He gently pushed him and said, “I’ll watch you from here.”
Yu Zhen blankly moved forward and turn his head to look behind him. Knowing he couldn’t hide, and Yin Yan wanted what was best for him, he took a deep breath and walked into the alley.
One step, two steps, three steps…the distance between the two grew larger. Yin Yan watched Yu Zhen’s back as he stiffly walked forwards. It was like watching that white-robed man as he had walked into infernal flames with his wasted body. He took an unconscious step forward but then restrained himself.
I mustn’t go.
It’s Yu Zhen’s path. He needs to take the first step by himself.
As he stopped, Yu Zhen also stopped in his tracks.
Yu Zhen turned to look back. With a forced smile, he asked, “You’ll stay here and not leave?”
It was dark in the alley. After walking a short distance in the alley, Yin Yan’s expression became unclear, but his nodding movement was unmistakable.
“Then, I’ll be going.”
Yu Zhen looked ahead again, no longer focusing on the silhouette of Yin Yan. With a deep breath, he sped up and rushed out of the alley. In his hurry, he bumped into a white-haired woman.
“Aiyo, my apple.”
The old woman appeared good-natured and had a portly figure. She only dropped her apple in the collision, but Yu Zhen, who stood more than a head taller than her, was knocked over.
“Sorry, sorry. Grandma, are you alright?”
Yu Zhen quickly climbed up and apologized, then bent over to pick up her apple. The sweeping motion of his hand passed through the apple. He froze.
“What could happen to me? Child, are you alright? Are you hurt anywhere? It’s this old woman’s fault for rushing and not paying attention. Do you have any injuries? ”
The old woman did not pick up her apple but helped Yu Zhen up instead. As if looking at her own grandson, she held onto his arm and looked him over with a face full of worry.
Yu Zhen felt a human warmth from her hand and saw her rosy face. A quick glance showed there was no shadow beneath her feet. He clenched his hands together, pressing down his fear, before moving to help hold up the old woman. “Grandmother, why are you alone in this remote alley? Where is your family? ”
The old woman was confused for a moment, then touched her forehead. She bent over to pick up the apple. Vexed, she said, “Look at my bad memory, my child is ill, I have to go see him. Is there a hospital near here? How strange, why am I here?”
Yu Zhen recalled the address of several large hospitals in Dawu City and asked, “Is it First People’s Hospital?”
“Yes, that’s the one. My child is waiting for me to bring his meal. Young man, thank you. I have to go.”
Yu Zhen hurriedly stopped the grandmother. Thinking of Yin Yan, and the emissary who could arrive at any moment, he hesitated before deciding to call a taxi. “Walking to First People’s Hospital takes too long. I can help you get there. Wait a minute, the taxi will be here soon.”
The old woman felt like an inconvenience and hurried to refuse his offer, but Yu Zhen insisted. In the end, the old woman was unable to refuse.
Walking required over ten minutes, but it only took a few minutes in the taxi.
When they stopped at the hospital, Yu Zhen paid the fare. As he stepped out of the taxi, he noticed an area on the opposite side of the road was cordoned off by the police. There was a car crash. On the road, there were a few apples. Worried, Yu Zhen blocked the old woman’s view and helped her into the hospital. As the driver looked on, he saw Yu Zhen as a deranged man.
“Kind fellow, thank you. Take this apple. It’s from my family’s garden.”
Once the old woman had stuffed the apple into Yu Zhen’s hand, she repeatedly thanked him before walking into the hospital. After a few seconds, the ringing sound he had once heard faintly drifted over. The further the old woman walked, the fainter she became. Gradually, she faded away.
Yu Zhen hid behind a pillar. He pinched the apple which suddenly gained physical form. His nose tingled with an indescribable feeling. He shook away the feeling and strode out of the hospital.
Yu Zhen returned in a taxi. Yin Yan stood at the same place with the same posture as before. He showed no signs of impatience for Yu Zhen’s return. He calmly asked, “She’s been sent away?”
Yu Zhen nodded. He gestured to the apple in his hand and said, “She gave me this and said it’s very sweet.”
There was a feeling of sadness in his heart, but he tried to look strong and unaffected. Yin Yan noticed his action and covered the apple in Yu Zhen’s hand.
“Yu Zhen, you don’t have to be this kind.”
Feeling uneasy under Yin Yan’s gaze, Yu Zhen withdrew the hand holding the apple. He was unsure why Yin Yan remained silent.
Yin Yan only noticed at that moment, he did not say his words out loud. He shook his head to express there was no problem. His hand covering the apple moved slightly. In a flash, the apple changed into a rising ball of whirling golden light. It divided into two strands then entered the two people’s bodies.
Without the apple as a barrier, their hands were gently stacked on top of each other’s. The moment they made skin contact, there was a glimmer of light from their rings’ which, too, disappeared swiftly.
Yu Zhen was shocked by the unscientific event. He looked on, stupified, as the golden light entered his body. His heart was warmed, some fragmented scenes appeared before his eyes, and quickly dissipated. Immediately, he felt more relaxed.
Public: [quiet criticism] Your wife would rather hold the trash can than you.
Yin Yan: In the end, the one he held was me.
Public: In the eyes of your wife, the trash can is the first choice, you’re second.
Yin Yan: …
Public: [loud criticism] To summarize, you are not as good as the trash can.
Yin Yan: ………
Ooooo~ We now have a confirmed tragic backstory. The poor kids, I wonder what happened to them? The final scene gave me strong Natsume Yuujinchou vibes (⺣◡⺣)♡