Book 2 Chapter 26: Head-on confrontation, Part 2

At the same time, in the other space, Ruan Zhan and Bloody Mary were locked in combat.

Hearing Xiao Xia calling out Wan Li’s name and sensing things become calm, Ruan Zhan let out a breath. He realized Xiao Xia had passed through and managed to find the boundary’s exit with Wan Li’s help.

Luckily he had given her some basic training as well as the radiance talisman. Even luckier was that despite being muddle-headed in nature, she instead became especially sharp under heavy pressure, and had very strong resilience.

“You still have reinforcements?” Bloody Mary suddenly spoke. She was currently a skeleton that was burnt to a crisp. She was in a stalemate with Ruan Zhan, neither side able to move.

“How can I not take precautions when dealing with you?” Ruan Zhan was cold, but he rejoiced inside that it hadn’t been able to take Xiao Xia hostage.

“What of it? Are you able to keep me here?” It pointed at the fragments of the enchanted bottle of water in extreme disdain. “I never battle men in sorcery, I’m leaving. However, tell that woman to beware my vengeance.”

“You won’t be able to leave.”

“Is that so?” She took a provocative step forward. “Can you stop me, pretty boy?”

“I guess we’ll have to find out.”

Before his voice fell, Ruan Zhan took the opportunity as Bloody Mary loosened her grasp to point at the mirror. With a crack, another same bottle of enchanted water smashed onto the mirror. The mirror didn’t break but it was immediately covered in a layer of black. It no longer reflected any light.

Bloody Mary screamed, her voice filled with fury and fear.

“You….” She pointed at Ruan Zhan. “You’re the one who offered up your own life.”

Ruan Zhan didn’t respond and stood there steadily, preparing for Bloody Mary to attack at any moment.

Since he knew it was sinister, cunning and vengeful, how could he only have prepared a single countermeasure? Even if it managed to lure Xiao Xia into wasting the enchanted water on a body double, he had a second, and a third plan. Xiao Xia was only there to lure it out, not to be the vanguard. Ruan Zhan wasn’t so useless as to hide behind a woman.

Now, the mirror was truly sealed. Bloody Mary no longer had a place to hide or retreat. All that remained was to subdue it and set up a new contract.

Bloody Mary looked furiously at his preparations and suddenly hissed with laughter.

“You haven’t seen my other appearance before, right?” Its voice suddenly became sweet and it turned around.

On its back was another person. The two seemed to be stuck together by their backs. No matter how they turned, they would be facing the front. This side’s appearance was extremely beautiful, the fair body forming a weird contrast with the other side which was burnt black.

The term “two-faced” could truly be applied here.

“Don’t like my face?” It continued in a seductive voice. “Then how about a different one?”

As it spoke, its face swiftly changed between faces of teenage girls from different ethnicities. Each one had a charming smile. It slowly walked towards Ruan Zhan but suddenly came to a halt as it angrily glared at the wooden sword that pointed at it. This sword seemed crude and didn’t have absolute restrictive power over it, but the spiritual power wasn’t insignificant. It didn’t dare make a careless move.

“Honey traps are useless.” Ruan Zhan said mockingly. He knew it was casting spells at him and purposefully infuriated it. “Especially since I know your true appearance.”

Bloody Mary stopped but wasn’t enraged as he had expected. Instead, it lightly laughed. “Since you don’t like me, I’ll give you even more women.” It waved its hand and seemingly in an instant, Ruan Zhan was surrounded by people. No, by spirits.

Yin winds blew as the chattering of ghosts rang out. Their laughed and giggled weirdly as they approached Ruan Zhan. He still kept his wooden sword pointed at Bloody Mary while his other hand swiftly sketched in the air. He blew out a breath and a protective barrier rose up from his sides and behind him. The senseless spirits cried out tragically when they came into contact with it and vanished.

“Illusions are useless against me.” He watched it intently, not retreating in the slightest.

“Is that so? Try this.” It suddenly opened its mouth and spat out a clump of black mist. Within it was a bright red eye. Ruan Zhan blocked it with the mahogany sword but in the end, it wasn’t the bloodwood sword. Although it was covered in enchantments, it could still only block the red eye. The black mist assaulted his face.

He felt a wave of dizziness and saw his surroundings had become an empty void. His body seemed to be floating in the darkness without anything around him.

This sense of disorientation made him sway, almost falling over.

It’s an illusion, he told himself. He did his best to ignore his senses and desperately tried to maintain his balance. He knew that Bloody Mary was hidden somewhere. This witch of the mirror no longer had a mirror, so it could only use illusions to torment its opponent. His biggest success today was to successfully destroy its favored tool from the get go. Not only did this trap it in the room, it also destroyed its weapon and vanquished a large portion of its powers. This gave him a fighting chance.

Suddenly, he felt a huge sense of weightlessness. He felt himself dropping swiftly. Although he kept telling himself it was an illusion, Bloody Mary’s abilities were beyond his imagination. The sensation was much too real, and ultimately made him sway from side to side, unable to stand steady.

He felt himself knocking into many things as he plunged downwards. Although he knew they were the lockers and benches in the changing room, he was unable to avoid them and unable to grab onto them. The abyss beneath his feet seemed without end and the speed he fell increased.

He knew he would be dead for sure if this continued. Bloody Mary would get tired of tormenting him and treat him with a landing on solid ground or a rock. He would fall to his death based on the signals transmitted by his brain due to the illusion, and it wouldn’t have used any energy at all. Furthermore, it would dispel the enchanted water’s power on the mirror before dawn and once again do whatever it pleased.

He bit the tip of his tongue, the pain clearing his mind a little. However, it wasn’t very effective in front of Bloody Mary’s powerful illusions. He knew he was unable to break such high-end magic, and could only use the spell of clarity he had hidden in his clothes in advance. It was a defensive measure he had prepared after hearing Wan Li’s information.

He only had one spell of clarity. His father had left it for him. He didn’t have the ability to create talismans of such level yet. He really wanted to banish this evil spirit with his own abilities so he didn’t want to use it. However, he had no other way of preserving his life at this moment.

His decision had been a little late. As he pressed his hand to his chest and chanted the spell, he already saw the rocky ground rushing up to meet him. The talisman stuck to his skin started burning under his urging and a huge amount of pain was transmitted to his brain. At the instant the illusion was broken, his mind sent him the signal that he had heavily fallen to the ground. He felt a huge shock throughout his body and violently spat out a mouthful of blood. He lay unmoving on the floor.

Bloody Mary had a mischievous smile on its face. It looked at the still Ruan Zhan and the scattered lockers he had bumped into while trapped in its illusion. It sensed he had stopped breathing and laughed disdainfully. “Pretty boy, this is the result of going against me. Did you think I could only use a single mirror? Aren’t there plenty of mirrors around here?”

As it spoke, it left its original spot without turning. One of its sides weirdly dragged the other along. It opened one locker but realized there was no mirror. It opened another and there still wasn’t one. The same thing happened once again.

At this time, it finally realized Ruan Zhan had been more meticulous than it thought. He had already prepared for everything, and took away all the mirrors apart from the one in the first locker. It wouldn’t be able to leave so easily, unless it broke through the enchantment on the original mirror. However, it had already spent too much energy to trap someone with an unusually strong will like Ruan Zhan.

It burned in rage at being schemed against. It rushed to Ruan Zhan’s prone form and wanted to rip his corpse into pieces. It turned to its burnt side which had stronger powers and stretched out a withered hand towards Ruan Zhan. However, it was met with a wooden sword that stabbed at its eye, forcing it to stop its movements.

“You didn’t die.” It was extremely astonished. No human has ever broken its illusions.

“There’d be no one to play with you if I died.” Ruan Zhan stood up with difficulty.

The spell of clarity had activated at the same time as Bloody Mary’s illusion. Luckily, the spell had come into effect slightly ahead of the illusion. This slight difference allowed him to avoid falling to his death, leaving him merely injured from the fall.

He endured the pain as he pointed the tip of the sword at the witch of the mirror’s eye. He fished out the tattered banner with his other hand and caused it to expand, firmly covering it over its head.

Waiting for this opportunity had been too risky, making him almost die to the illusion. Luckily he had used the spell in time. Luckily he had been gripping the sword the entire time. Luckily the mouthful of blood had been spat onto the tip of the sword. Even more luckily, Bloody Mary had lost its rationale due to anger and exposed its own weakness….its eye was right in front of him. This gave him time to wield the tattered banner. Although he was about to collapse from pain, he had obtained this vital opportunity.

“Don’t move.” He reminded his enemy who wanted to struggle. “True, this sword’s might isn’t that great. However, it’s pointed straight at your weakness, your lethal acupuncture point. Also, if you struggle you will be captured within the banner. Therefore, you are out of options.”

As he spoke, he pulled out several slips of truefire spells and lightly chanted their incantations. He pointed the spells along the sword’s tip towards Bloody Mary. A clump of flame immediately flew along the blade and trapped it screaming within a fiery prison.

For someone who had died burning at the sake, it was most afraid of this.

Outside, the rain gradually slowed.

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