Book 2 Chapter 16: Ridiculous yet pitiful reason

The lives and youths of four beautiful young women in exchange for Liu Tie’s affection.

Tao Xiao Chun signed a contract with the devil for such a ridiculous yet pitiful reason.

She first took advantage of Qian Li’s naivety and tricked her into believing that she and Liu Tie were going out. As long as Qian Li dared to play this game, she would withdraw. For the sake of that bit of hope, Qian Li had foolishly agreed. In reality, Bloody Mary had already been summoned and was lurking in the dark corners of the school. Qian Li was merely a victim who got framed for this calamity.

The pitiful second girl had no connection to her at all. She was purely used as a sacrifice, an offering for Bloody Mary. Tao Xiao Chun had coincidentally seen that girl showering by herself, and took the opportunity while she was brushing her hair in the mirror to lock the doors from the outside and cut off the electricity.

The third girl was the one who had better grades then her. She brought her to the classroom by pretending to ask her for help with classwork and dragged things out until late at night, when no one else was around, before leaving. After getting to the mirror on the second floor’s stairwell, she left the victim alone by pretending to have forgotten something. Then, she ran to the electrical room by the room to cause a power outage for five minutes.

As for Zhang Xue, she first pretended Ni Yang, who Zhang Xue had pursued without results the whole time, had asked her to pass on a date request. Zhang Xue, who was planning on going home, was tricked into remaining at school, which was where the evil spirit could roam. Then, knowing Ni Yang would miss the appointment, she pointed out an inexistent blemish on Zhang Xue’s nose, knowing the beauty-loving girl would examine herself in the mirror, wondering why she wasn’t beautiful enough to attract Ni Yang. She avoided the building manager’s notice and cut the power to the lights of the building, knowing she wouldn’t be seen in the darkness.

Unexpectedly, Xiao Xia had appeared. She had seen building seven’s power suddenly cut out and had thrown a huge rock at Zhang Xue’s window, shattering it. Zhang Xue happened to be sitting by the window and the rock also hit the handheld mirror, inadvertently ruining Bloody Mary’s plans. Only thus was Zhang Xue able to survive. Xiao Xia was also almost pulled into the mirror by the enraged evil spirit that night.

Pulled into the mirror? As the second target for revenge, would Tao Xiao Chun have encountered the same thing she did? She just didn’t have someone like Ruan Zhan to save her! Therefore, was her spirit trapped in the mirror? What about her body?

Xiao Xia was silent. She carefully considered the various possibilities. However, her silence was misunderstood as refusal and the old man who had been quiet this whole time couldn’t endure any longer: “Are you helping our granddaughter or not? There are too many young people in the school so it’s brimming with yang energy. Normal spirits like us aren’t able to go search by ourselves, which is why we’re asking you!”

He seemed to be ordering her and taking her agreement for granted, making her suddenly feel aversion. She said recklessly: “I’m still thinking about it. Actually, she got her just desserts. Shouldn’t such a malicious girl suffer a little?” This old fellow was truly irritating. He clearly knew he was no match for Bloody Mary which was why he was asking her, but he was still so impolite!

“What did you say?”

“Where do you think those three female ghosts outside the grove came from? They were all innocent victims.”

“Seems like we should have let the three of them throttle you!”

His words made Xiao Xia suddenly recall a classmate’s grandpa who was a retired old soldier. He was extremely strict with his children and harsh towards his old partner of many years. He also seemed to feel he was the biggest under the heavens and spoke like this one in front of her. Not only did she have a bellyful of anger, her impudent personality flared up again.

“That’s all thanks to your darling granddaughter. If it weren’t for her, the three of them would still be living happily in this world! As for them making trouble for me? Isn’t it because you guys want me to save your granddaughter!? You make it sound like I should be thanking you!”

“Impudent lass, how reckless!” The old soldier ghost’s tyrannical temper flared up as expected, looking just like her classmate’s grandfather. However, that classmate’s grandfather never scared her, but the one in front of her gave her the shivers.

His face became too twisted to look at and his complexion turned pale green. His eyeballs seemed to be about to fall out from glaring. Xiao Xia retreated step by step but he forcibly broke free of the old woman’s attempts to mollify him. He drifted over with incomprehensible speed and stretched his hand towards her neck.

Who could save her this time? Xiao Xia thought in despair.

However, the heavens were truly kind to her. A timely crack rang out and a spark of light jolted the old ghost back behind the old woman. He shot into the ground and only reemerged wretchedly after a long while.

“Are you ok?” Ruan Zhan asked, having arrived in the nick of time again. He looked Xiao Xia over and saw that she seemed to have been overly frightened. However, there didn’t seem to be any major issues. He let out the breath he had been holding the entire way.

“I’m fine. Seeing almost a hundred ghosts in one night was just too spectacular of a scene.” Xiao Xia mocked herself but her unnatural voice revealed her terror at being continuously tormented.

“No need to act brave.”

“Then can I have a moment of weakness?”

“Yes.” Ruan Zhan’s voice had just fallen when Xiao Xia pounced into his arms and hugged tightly onto his waist.

She didn’t cry and merely shivered continuously. She let her tension from the night finally drain out. Perhaps she could put on a steady front, but she had no idea what she was up against. Only with Ruan Zhan here would things be different.

“It’s fine now, it’s fine now.” He comforted her.

“Why did you only come just now?” She buried her head in his chest and complained.

“Lady, this is the suburbs. My car was almost scrapped from my driving but you’re still complaining.”

“You could use your magic.”

“I’m not skilled to the extent of knowing translocation spells.” Ruan Zhan was helpless against Xiao Xia’s pestering. “Can you let go yet? I’m about to suffocate from your grip.”

Xiao Xia was a little embarrassed at her loss of control and hurriedly let him go despite instinctively feeling safer when leaning against him. After seeing him, her firmness had immediately collapsed. She exemplified the spirit of being independent on her own but relying on a backer when one was available. However, despite having let him go, her legs were still shaky. Ruan Zhan could only give her a hand.

He hooked one arm around Xiao Xia’s arm and pointed towards the old soldier ghost with his other: “I won’t pursue this matter on account of your age and the fact you didn’t manage to harm her. However, you should remember that bullying the weak is the most shameful thing to do for both human and ghost. You’re letting down your uniform.”

“You’re quite violent, kid.”

“Wanna try me?”

Before the old man could respond, the old woman who noticed Ruan Zhan seemed about to unleash some extraordinary ability hurriedly asked for forgiveness: “Apologies, we don’t have ill intentions. We just want to ask Miss Yue for help.”

Ruan Zhan frowned. He turned and asked Xiao Xia: “What trouble did you provoke this time?”

“I didn’t provoke anything. It’s Bloody Mary’s case. They are Tao Xiao Chun’s grandparents.”

“So she still died in the end?”

“Yes. They said she vanished on the way to give Liu Tie something. She must have fallen into Bloody Mary’s hands. I’m guessing we’ll find some answers at the school.”

“Did you agree to help?”

Xiao Xia didn’t speak but looked anxiously at Ruan Zhan.

Ruan Zhan was familiar with that expression. It signified that her compassion had been stirred but she was also helpless, which meant she had to trouble him. His heart had been softened by her and he had no choice but to get involved in this matter. However, compared to banishing Bloody Mary, saving someone required a frontal assault, making him let out a sigh of resignation. He didn’t understand how casually becoming friends allowed her to successfully cling onto him.

Was there any order in this world?

When he picked up the phone earlier, he knew right away she had provoked something again. By the time he arrived, he saw a group of spirits surrounding three female ghosts. He could tell those spirits had died of natural causes while those three female ghosts were dangerous. Based on Xiao Xia’s current case and their mutilated faces, he roughly guessed what was going on. Therefore, he had driven them away. The other spirits had also dispersed in confusion after seeing his formidable powers. However, he didn’t expect that she was kidnapped because someone, some ghost, wanted her help.

“I beg you to help our granddaughter. Although she made mistakes, she has also died already. If more punishment is required, let them fall upon me instead. Please, help her. At the least, don’t let her soul remain trapped and die without a proper burial. I beg you, please have mercy.” The old woman knelt and begged, wailing and crying. Although ghosts couldn’t shed tears, her sincerity made it hard for Xiao Xia to endure.

“Ruan Zhan, what say you?” She asked.

“You’re willing to follow my decision?”

“Willing, willing!”

“Don’t help!”

“Ruan Zhan!”

“You aren’t willing at all!” How embarrassing. He had given in to her once again.

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2 years ago

Was kind of hoping for her misfortune. Much like how you wish ill upon the generic protagonist in an anime.