[20] A Completely Normal Nothing-Out-Of-The-Ordinary Mid-Autumn Date
329 21 17
X
Reading Options
Font Size
A- 15px A+
Width
Reset
X
Table of Contents
Loading... please wait.

A Completely Normal

Nothing-Out-Of-The-Ordinary

Mid-Autumn Date

by bafflinghaze

 

Premise Tags: Supernatural,

Power Couple, Teasing Dynamic,

Festivals, Ghosts, Distractions, 

Secret Magic Service, Guardians.

Content Warnings: Mild Fantasy Violence.

 

 

Two black-haired men, dressed in long black coats, walked down the street. They were probably extremely handsome, but it was hard for normal people to see in the dim light, and any description of each other would be extremely biased.

Zhōu Bǎi Héng (周柏衡) held his boyfriend’s hand and tugged him along. “Look, we have a little time, don’t we? Pleaseeeee?

“We’re on duty,” Lê Văn Xuân frowned. He looked up to the sky with tight lips.

The round full moon glowed in the clear night sky. While the majority of people in the city went about their night as normal, there were small pockets of revelry as some communities organised their own mid-autumn moon festival.

Zhōu Bǎi Héng’s eyes reflected the warm lights of the particular festival in front of them, occurring at a local park. 

Loud old-fashioned Vietnamese music blasted from the makeshift stage, where older members of the community gathered to watch along with their bored children. Delicious grilled and fried food scents wafted in the air, intermingling with bright chatter and childish cheer. On the other side of the food stalls, multiple rides and attractions flashed colourful lights. Lit lanterns hung along the pathways bobbed lightly in the cool autumn breeze.

“Come on, Xuān, I’ll even treat you to some food,” Zhōu Bǎi Héng cajoled.

“It’s Xuân,” Lê Văn Xuân reached over with his free hand and flicked his boyfriend on the forehead.

“Owww!!” Zhōu Bǎi Héng shot Lê Văn Xuân a hurt look, but Lê Văn Xuân just inwardly rolled his eyes.

“Fine, you stay here and I’ll buy something. What kind of boyfriend doesn’t feed his boyfriend…” Zhōu Bǎi Héng grumbled.

“There’s movement,” Lê Văn Xuân said abruptly. “I’ll deal with it myself then.”

Zhōu Bǎi Héng pulled a face. “Damn it! If you had listened to me, we would have had time to get something earlier!”

“After waiting in those long queues?” Lê Văn Xuân drawled.

Ugh, I suppose—hey, wait up!”

Zhōu Bǎi Héng dashed after Lê Văn Xuân into the relative dark streets. His expression cooled to seriousness when he saw the first ghost emerging from a crack in the road. He sensed another emerging a few blocks away. 

Lê Văn Xuân leapt onto the fence, heading for the second ghostly emergence, while Zhōu Bǎi Héng was left to deal with the first.

Once the first one emerged, the others came spilling out from the deads’ world like greedy followers.

Who put the Mid Autumn Festival in the month after the Ghost Festival, and the month-ish before Samhain? On this full moon, time-challenged late ghosts from the Ghost Festival and early ghosts from Samhain came out to ‘play’, and beings and creatures of all kinds took the opportunity to sneak in their own brand of havoc. Not to mention that it was a full moon, so werecreatures were out and about!

It was the job of people like Zhōu Bǎi Héng and Lê Văn Xuân to ensure that no soft human got hurt.

Zhōu Bǎi Héng pulled out a talisman, activating it with a touch of qi. “You, ghost, where do you think you’re going? The state-sanctioned Ghost Amusement Park is that way.”

The ghostly man was bleeding more ghostly blood than realistic. He blinked at Zhōu Bǎi Héng. “There is no such thing as ghosts,” he mumbled.

“...You are a ghost.”

The man’s laughter was coloured with mania. “How can that be? How could she kill me, ah?” His head lowered, his voice dropping to a mumble. “Finally woke up, I’m going back to see her...hehehe—ACK!”

Zhōu Bǎi Héng slapped the talisman on the ghost’s forehead. Tch, this ghost had no spatial awareness at all, letting Zhōu Bǎi Héng hit him so easily!

“Yan Wang above, this disciple requests that you or your interns judge this man’s fate!” Bright spiritual light shot up from the ghost’s forehead into the sky.

Dong——

“Ahh, it’s time again, bah?

“Guilty!”

Zhōu Bǎi Héng took a step back as two ghostly figures appeared.

The two slightly-transparent figures were clothed in white and with a white funeral-like cloth covering their heads and faces. They grabbed the ghost man and all three turned into a pillar of light, shining up into a different dimension.

One down, many to go. Zhōu Bǎi Héng closed his eyes for the briefest moment. When they opened again, they were dark, almost black. Now, all the traces of yin from the ghosts popping up showed clearly in his sight.

Zhōu Bǎi Héng drew his peachwood sword from inside his coat and stepped forward for action.

A few blocks over, Lê Văn Xuân successfully gave the ghost a ticket to the Ghost Amusement Park.

The ghost, who had been a big strong man when he was alive, held the ticket and trembled. “T-thank you, I’ll go—”

“Wait. Where are the friends who came with you? Call them here immediately.”

“Y-yes, sir!” The ghost sobbed in his heart. He flinched when the human summoned spiritual fire in his hands and quickly called over the others who had come with him to play. “Hey, fellas...yes, there is a great human here for us…” QAQ

A few minutes later, a line of slightly singed ghosts tearfully accepted tickets to the Ghost Amusement Park and promised on their souls to head there immediately.

Under Lê Văn Xuân’s watchful, intimidating eye, the ghosts activated their tickets and condensed into little specks of light that flew to where the Ghost Amusement Park was set up, floating above the largest cemetery in the city.

Some down, many to go.

It wasn’t just ghosts that Lê Văn Xuân had to deal with. Along his patrols, Lê Văn Xuân blasted out a line of spiritual fire, taking an opportunistic vampire by surprise. In a few heartbeats, Lê Văn Xuân reached the vampire’s side and pulled the being off its drunk-almost-meal.

“Hey!!! She promised I could bite a little,” the vampire whined, his sharp teeth glinting in his mouth.

“Oh? Then where is the signed form?”

“I, um, that is—” The vampire shook with fear when heat started to collect at the back of his neck, where the human’s hand started to burn with spiritual fire. “—I forgot, okay?!!” the vampire confessed tearfully. “Let go of me, I’m sensitive to heat!!”

Lê Văn Xuân slapped a penalty ticket on the vampire first before letting him go. “Don’t do it again, understood?”

The vampire stared at the penalty ticket stuck on his chest. While he could lift it up, he couldn’t drop it on the ground, as it would fly back to him. Regret filled his mouth. The only way to get rid of this penalty ticket was to retake the Vampire Association’s Learner’s test again, only passing if 100% of answers were correct!

The vampire slumped, melting into the shadows as he grudgingly made his way to the Vampire Association. If his friends saw his penalty ticket, they’ll laugh at him!

Lê Văn Xuân took out the drunken woman’s phone. After using a bit of magic to unlock it, he called the top number in her phone address.

“Hello, the owner of this phone is currently drunk, please come pick them up…”

Not long after the young woman’s friend came, Lê Văn Xuân received a communication from Headquarters.

Once the communication ended, he inwardly sighed. It wasn’t the Ghost Festival, and it wasn’t Samhain, why would such a ghost come out today?

But duties must. Lê Văn Xuân headed swiftly to the location he was told: a certain road intersection, where multiple car crashes had happened before. Other operatives on the scene had already started to close down traffic on all sides, and just on time too, as a dark pool emerged at one of the mangled road-railings.

This dark pool grew larger and grew up, forming into a 200 year old malicious ghost—a ghost that had eaten other ghosts. It was grotesque with twisted limbs and burning red eyes and a large mouth split with jagged teeth. A putrid smell wafted from its rotting ghostly flesh.

Quickly, smaller pools appeared, and its ghostly followers emerged.

Across the street, Zhōu Bǎi Héng’s eyes brightened as he caught sight of a familiar figure. Ignoring the yin-heavy ghosts, Zhōu Bǎi Héng waved to his boyfriend.

“Boyfriend! I’m hungry, I want to eat after this!”

His boyfriend, Lê Văn Xuân: “...” Can’t you see we’re in the middle of work?

Lê Văn Xuân sighed in exasperation. It looked like he needed to get this done as soon as possible then. He pressed his hands together. When he pulled them apart again, a thick, hungrily flicking rope of spiritual fire appeared between his palms. One end detached from his palm and snaked through the air. The rope split multiple times, jagged like lightning, and grew longer and longer. 

The blazing spiritual fire encircled around the malevolent ghosts. These ghosts were not vegetarian: they immediately dodged, flying into the air towards Lê Văn Xuân with open mouths filled with teeth.

Zhōu Bǎi Héng drew his peachwood sword and slashed. With qi, the effective length of the sword doubled, tripled, quadrupled. With audible whack! thump! bam!, the sword slapped the fleeing ghosts down into the spiritual fire cage waiting for them.

Lê Văn Xuân’s other hand wasn’t idle. While growing the cage with one hand, his other hand blasted out fire balls, corralling errant ghosts back.

With the ghosts effectively contained, Zhōu Bǎi Héng lunged forward, whacked the big malicious ghost with his sword to stun it, and slapped an extra large talisman on its forehead. A beat later, a rope of spiritual fire wrapped around his waist and tugged him away from the grabby hands of the hench-ghosts.

Zhōu Bǎi Héng was very well-trained though. As he was being tugged back, he called out, “Yan Wang above, this disciple requests that you or your interns judge these ghosts’ fate!”

A moment later, bright spiritual light shot up from the malicious ghost’s forehead into the sky.

Dong——

“Hey, it’s your turn to judge!”

“Aiya, aiya, so ugly!

“So ugly, it’s definitely guilty!”

Lightning crashed down from the clear sky. The malicious ghost’s soul dissipated in the sharp smell of ozone: there was no hope for reincarnation.

“Guilty, guilty!”

“Hm, not so guilty, lucky ghost.”

With an oof, Zhōu Bǎi Héng fell into Lê Văn Xuân’s arms. 

As the ghostly figures covered in white appeared, Zhōu Bǎi Héng couldn’t care less about the evil ghosts. He tilted his head back onto Lê Văn Xuân’s shoulder. “Hey there, boyfriend.”

“We’re here!”

“Ey? I heard there was a big ghost—”

Ignoring the loud voices, Zhōu Bǎi Héng wriggled out of Lê Văn Xuân’s hold, only to climb onto Lê Văn Xuân, this time facing him. “You were so awesome!” he said coquettishly. “Your expressionless face, coupled with the hot fire ah, makes me wonder how hot you are inside~muah~”

Lê Văn Xuân, who was still maintaining the spiritual fire cage with one hand: “...”

The newcomers were a group of operatives just starting their night shift. They had been immediately called here, only to see pillars of light as the ghosts were being dealt with by Yan Wang and co. The spiritual fire cage attracted their gazes: following the rope of fire led to two figures making out.

Operatives: “...” Not only were they not thinking about poor single people, but can they be a little more serious in front of the ghostly remains and creepy ghosts?!

“Damn it, you two! Just go already, your shift is over!” one operative called out, pained inside. “I’ll take over the spiritual cage.”

“Sweet!” Zhōu Bǎi Héng jumped off of Lê Văn Xuân. He waited impatiently as Lê Văn Xuân handed over the spiritual fire cage to the other operative.

The management was humane on this night: with many different operatives scheduled on shift, each of them only had to spend two or three hours working. As such, Zhōu Bǎi Héng dragged Lê Văn Xuân back to the Mid-Autumn Festival, which was still running.

With its later time, the old-timey Vietnamese music on stage had been replaced with modern Vietnamese pop and English songs, and the demographic changed from families to young people. There were also some ghosts walking around, but as long as they didn’t bother anyone, Zhōu Bǎi Héng had no intention of bothering them.

Zhōu Bǎi Héng tucked his hand inside Lê Văn Xuân’s coat pocket, where it was nice and cozy. As a fire user, Lê Văn Xuân also ran warmer than normal people. In the night’s chill, he was the best moving heater.

“Xuàn, buy me that!”

Lê Văn Xuân pinched Zhōu Bǎi Héng’s arm. “If you can’t say the Viet pronunciation, then I’d prefer you go with the English version.”

“Oh? Spring? Spring, buy me that! And ohh, that too!”

Lê Văn Xuân’s face was filled with black lines. With a deep sigh of exasperation, he stopped replying to his mischievous boyfriend and instead tugged him to line up for the food.

Zhōu Bǎi Héng’s face softened as he watched his boyfriend seriously order a selection of food. When he received his cheap paper plate with food, he rubbed against Lê Văn Xuân’s arm and said, “Thank you, husband.”

“Don’t think you’ve gotten away with anything,” Lê Văn Xuân shot back. “Now eat.”

Zhōu Bǎi Héng picked up the skewer of bò la lốt (grilled beef wrapped in betel leaf). After biting off a piece, he held it up to Lê Văn Xuân’s mouth.

“Not bad,” Zhōu Bǎi Héng declared, “But your mum’s is better.”

Lê Văn Xuân: “...That should be my line.”

“Rounding up, your mum is my mum,” Zhōu Bǎi Héng said seriously. “—Hey, don’t flick me on the forehead again, or our mum will punish you!”

Lê Văn Xuân seriously did not know what he saw in this guy. “...I’m going to get some bubble tea. You find somewhere to sit and eat.”

“Hey, no, wait up! I can walk and eat!” Using all his skills from being an operative, Zhōu Bǎi Héng expertly balanced his plate while running to catch up with Lê Văn Xuân.

After Zhōu Bǎi Héng successfully coaxed Lê Văn Xuân, he hooked his arm with Lê Văn Xuân’s, and balanced his plate at the same time with that hand. Despite the chilly autumn breeze, Zhōu Bǎi Héng was warm on the outside (see: human heater Lê Văn Xuân) and warm on the inside (see: hot food).

Together, as Zhōu Bǎi Héng ate and stole sips from Lê Văn Xuân’s bubble tea, they examined the mid-Autumn-themed wares on sale, donated to the local Vietnamese temple, helped some good ghosts to buy and burn offerings.

All in all, it was a completely normal, nothing-out-of-the-ordinary date.

 

 

🎇👻🎇

 

 

Author's Account:

bafflinghaze (SH).

I hope you enjoyed the CRACK!! It was meant to be more...ghostly gorey but the story veered a different direction HAHA.

The more serious elements were inspired by Ghosts Know What I Experienced and The Black Saint Is My Stalker. The more cracky elements were inspired by My Vampire Faints At Blood, and oh, Avatar the Last Airbender too~

Also, a big thanks to val for reading over this for me!

 

17