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Afterlife Department

Chapter 4 - Life Matters

Chapter 4 - Life Matters

"As you have guessed, one reason why an Abnormal Soul was made is because of their untimely death." Yi Bing said as he walked around Huo Ling's corpse like a forensic officer. "You're one of the examples of an Abnormal Soul who had an untimely death." He told Huo Ling.

"How do you know it's too early for us to die?" Huo Ling asked.

"It can also be the other way around – " Yi Bing said. " – you lived past your death day." He said. "We have a calendar in the Afterlife Department." He answered to Huo Ling's question.

"…" Huo Ling was speechless. "It can't be the calendar that the pharmacies give you for free?" he asked.. When he didn't hear Yi Bing answered, his lips pursed. "Hey! You're not lying again, are you?" he asked.

"Our calendar is, indeed, not from those pharmacies." Yi Bing said. "Our calendar is from God." He answered.

Huo Ling was about to say, "Wow. You're too conceited.", but he remembered that the man in front of him is a grim reaper. It's not that he is naive to immediately believe a stranger introducing himself as a grim reaper. But…

He glanced at Yi Bing's feet and see no shadow even though it's the middle of the day. Yi Bing also can see him as a soul. Even though there are people who have supernatural talent that can see a soul, but, Yi Bing…

Huo Ling suddenly felt cold and he shivered. He can still remember that death sickle made of ice. It's crystalline, and it was very pretty. But, even though Huo Ling is far from it, he can feel his soul already freezing. "So, you can see on the dates the name of the people who will die that day?" he asked.

Yi Bing nodded and remembered the gigantic calendar that every date appears on the walls for the grim reapers to copy the names of the soul they'll be fetching on earth. They looked like college students, except that the subject they will take is the name, along the other information, of the souls they're assigned to. The grim reaper also had to remember the soul's appearance, otherwise if they would mistake the soul to other souls, a disaster will ensue.

"Yi Bing? Yi Bing!" Huo Ling called when he saw Yi Bing was in a daze. Huo Ling didn't dare touch the grim reaper again. "What's wrong with you? Did you find something related to my death?" he asked.

Yi Bing blinked and turned to Huo Ling. "Let's 'ask' someone." He said.

Huo Ling paused. "Wouldn't it be weird if they'll see you walking around even though there's a corpse on the ground?" he asked.

"No." Yi Bing answered. "We've been here since earlier, yet no one saw us." He said.

Huo Ling also found it odd. It's the middle of the day, and should be the busiest, yet no one came out of their door. "This community is odd." He muttered.

"That's why I told you to be wary of strangers." Yi Bing told him.

"My mother had been telling me that ever since I was born." Huo Ling said and floated towards the woman's door. "… I can pass through the walls, right?" he asked and looked at Yi Bing. His hand already raised.

"That is, if there's no ward on the door and the walls." Yi Bing spoke.

Huo Ling immediately retracted his paw. "Hey!" he called. "Can't you warn me first?" he asked. He is aware of the exorcist stuff. And now that he died and became a soul, he became even more aware.

"You can pass through. There's no ward." Yi Bing told him.

Huo Ling stared at him. "Do your eyes have an x-ray?" he asked. "You go first." He told him.

"I can't." Yi Bing answered.

Huo Ling's eyes widened as he immediately suspected Yi Bing again. "See! You're lying again! There's a ward – " he said.

"I am in my mortal body right now. Thus, I cannot pass." Yi Bing blankly looked at Huo Ling. "You overthink too much. Ah – " he said and covered his mouth with his hand. " – right. You're just a soul now. You shouldn't have a brain – " he told him and he looked at him. His gaze is mocking.

Huo Ling's lips pulled into a frown. He turned and immediately passed through the wall in anger. However, just as he opened his eyes, he was greeted by the sight of a pair of bloodshot eyes and a bloodied face covered by long, black hairs.

"AAAAAAAH!!!" he screamed as he immediately passed through the wall again and went back outside. He immediately hid behind Yi Bing. His soul is trembling in fear. "Yi Bing! There's… there's a dead body inside! She's staring at me!" he told him as if a child reporting to his mother after he was bullied and his voice sounds like he was wronged. "Yi Bing…. QAQ" he cried.

Yi Bing turned to him. "Haven't you already expected the woman dead?" he asked.

"It's different from experiencing it!" Huo Ling answered.

Yi Bing's eyes are blank. "You're already a soul. Shouldn't you not be scared of dead people?" he asked again. i𝘯𝓷𝚛𝐞𝓪𝐝. 𝓬𝐨𝚖

Huo Ling stared at him in shock. He looked offended. "How dare you! Don't lump me in with you grim reapers who are veterans in dealing with death matters!" he told him, frowning. "I was a normal person before I died, okay?" he told him.

Yi Bing stared at him for a long time before he sighed. "Then, let's wait for someone to open the door for us." He said as he leaned on the wall, looking cool.

Huo Ling looked at him with a complicated look on his face. He didn't expect for Yi Bing to be considerate of him. Even if he has a fiery temper, yet he is actually timid when it comes to serious matters. "Thanks." He muttered.


"Nothing." Huo Ling looked away. "Hey. You said you're in a mortal body. Can't you call for help?" he asked.

Yi Bing turned to him. "… oh." He said. "There's also an anonymous call." He took out his phone and dialed the emergency number.

Any warmth he felt earlier disappeared. A vein popped in his forehead. "Hey." He called. "It can't be that I could have been saved if you've called for help earlier?" he said. When Yi Bing ignored him, Huo Ling felt he's going to explode.

Yi Bing finally finished the call and turned to see a fireball before him. "Even if I am in a mortal body, yet I am still a grim reaper. We cannot intervene in the matters of life and death. We only fetch the soul and send them to their next life." He explained.

"Isn't this already interfering with life and death?" Huo Ling asked.

"Reincarnation is out of the scope of life and death." Yi Bing answered.

"How is it so?"

"Because in reincarnation, there're only the before, present and after. There's never the beginning nor the end." Yi Bing explained.

Huo Ling fell silent. Now he fully understood. "How about you – grim reapers, then?" he asked. After his voice fell, he realized what he asked is out of the line. He raised his gaze and saw Yi Bing's emotionless eyes.

Even if it is so, Yi Bing nonetheless answered. "We can never reincarnate." He said.

"Why?" Huo Ling asked, even though he felt like his voice is cannot be heard.

"Because we deal with the life and death of the others, our own life and death… it will never be realized." Yi Bing answered.

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