“Stop, halt, what do you want to do?” The blonde beauty on the back of the burnt skeleton cried out mournfully as it writhed and dodged within the flames. It was indescribably grotesque.
Ruan Zhan stretched out two fingers to control the fire’s intensity. “I want to enter a contract with you.” He knew these summoned spirits treated lives like grass, but would absolutely comply with a contract.
Ruan Zhan dropped his fingers and the flames surged fiercely once again.
Bloody Mary struggled painfully within the fire, stubbornly refusing to agree. However, Ruan Zhan was firmly unsympathetic and even added another bundle of fire. In the end, it finally capitulated.
“I agree, I agree!”
“I want you to leave this place, never to return.” Ruan Zhan suppressed the fire once again but didn’t extinguish it. He knew Bloody Mary was a lot more powerful than he was. He had taken the initiative with his planning and then bet his life to seize an opportunity due to her negligence. He couldn’t relax in the slightest or everything would be in vain.
Fortune would not smile upon him a second time.
“I swear, in the name of Satan.” Bloody Mary glared at him with bone-deep hatred. “You’d better hope you won’t go anywhere else. You’d better hope no one summons me close to where you live. You’d better hope your soul doesn’t linger after your death. Otherwise, you will suffer the cruelest vengeance. This, I swear.”
“Since I dare enter a contract with you, would I be afraid?” Ruan Zhan smiled coldly. He placed a talisman on the mirror, allowing it to recover its shine. He opened a path through the flames.
Bloody Mary escaped her prison but realized the banner’s power was still suppressing her. She hesitated a long while before finally returning to the mirror. Ruan Zhan didn’t hesitate to seal the flames upon it, waiting for Bloody Mary to gradually vanish.
“You are very cautious.” It changed to the blonde beauty and said in an alluring voice.
“You promised to leave, but didn’t say you wouldn’t kill me. I have no choice but to be cautious.” Once it returned to the mirror, it couldn’t come out anymore. Only then was he relatively safe.
“Don’t you want Tao Xiao Chun’s soul?”
“I’ll take it myself.” Ruan Zhan aimed the tattered banner at the mirror as he spoke, and burnt a slip of paper with Tao Xiao Chun’s birthdate written upon it, throwing it into the air. Before long, the mirror on the locker door started shaking. Even Bloody Mary couldn’t stop it. Finally, a streak of gray shadow burrowed out from the mirror into the banner.
Everything was over.
Ruan Zhan put the tattered banner away. A sudden bout of dizziness as he relaxed almost made him fall.
“I don’t wish to part with you, pretty boy.” The person in the mirror said. “I beg you to give me a glance.”
Ruan Zhan, who was about to collapse, subconsciously turned his head…in the mirror, Xiao Xia was smiling like a flower at him.
His wounded body weakened his willpower. As he was astonished, he immediately felt his surroundings start to change.
Muffled laughter rang out from the person in the mirror. “As long as I haven’t officially left, I can still control you even if I’m in the mirror. I told you I didn’t want to part with you. I want you to take Tao Xiao Chun’s place and stay by my side for eternity.”
The image in the mirror changed once again.
Ruan Zhan stared at the scene within…they were filled with the past he tried to bury. Being abandoned at a young age, trudging along in the dark, his special benefactor, his adopted father and also master, his isolation, his college lover’s betrayal, and the time he came to the rescue too late.
He didn’t know how Bloody Mary knew about all of this. He only felt despite his desperate resistance, he became more and more powerless. Wan Li had been right. It was very good at using people’s weaknesses. He felt powerless and helpless. He wanted to give up, to escape, to leave everything behind and hide within the deepest ocean, never to return.
“What is the point of living in this world? Come with me!”
That’s right. Where was the joy in life, and where was the suffering in death? What was the point of living? Where was it written? It was right!
“Come! Come!” Like a siren luring a sailor, the voice was irresistible.
Subconsciously, he started walking towards the mirror.
While Ruan Zhan battled the witch of the mirror, Xiao Xia and Wan Li stood back to back in the basketball building’s hallway. They waited uneasily within the darkness.
She tried to hear the slightest sound but there was nothing. “Could something have gone wrong? Why isn’t there any movement?” She asked Wan Li in a low voice. Despite this, she felt her voice was jarring in the darkness of the hallway.
“Neither of them want outsiders to intervene in their fight. They probably erected an isolation barrier.”
“How about we go inside and take a look.” This loneliness was truly hard for her to endure.
“We all have our roles. Don’t act blindly.” Wan Li said in a low voice. Actually, according to the original plan, they had intended on bringing Xiao Xia home the moment she came out before Wan Li went back to help Ruan Zhan. The female ghosts couldn’t break through the barrier in a short time anyway even if they wanted to interfere. However, Xiao Xia insisted on only leaving when they did. This was why they were now waiting together. “We’ll only get in the way if we go. Relax. Ruan Zhan will deal with it. When you encountered Bloody Mary’s restriction earlier, didn’t we manage to deal with it too?”
Xiao Xia jabbed him with her elbow, blaming him for bringing up such horrifying memories. However, his words did help her relax a little. Wasn’t that the case? If she had been able to overcome it, then Ruan Zhan should have no problems at all.
Definitely, it definitely wouldn’t be a problem. But why was she so nervous?
“We can relax now. The three female ghosts haven’t showed up yet.” Wan Li spoke again. Actually, he was also very anxious, but this sort of negative emotion would only make things worse if transmitted to Xiao Xia. There would be no benefits.
“Perhaps they saw the light.”
“Perhaps it’s because of the weather. The heavens are helping us. There was essentially a thunderstorm out there earlier.”
That’s right. It’s said that fox spirits are afraid of thunder. Ghosts are probably also the same way, right?
“But, the rain is about to stop now….” Xiao Xia looked around. In the darkness, there was a lot of space that she wasn’t able to see through. She suddenly felt like they were sitting ducks in the middle of the area.
Suddenly, the sound of a woman’s sobs came from a corner…
Xiao Xia raised the mahogany sword in her hand and stuck tighter to Wan Li’s back. “Speak of the devil.” She tried to be as relaxed as Wan Li but realized her voice was shaking. It wasn’t so easy to maintain an optimistic attitude.
“That’s right. We really couldn’t help but mention them.” Wan Li also heard the noise. He was facing the door, and even managed to see the black shadow floating over. “Forget it. Let’s not trouble the heavens further. We’ll take care of this by ourselves.”
Within the hall, a gust of cold wind blew from somewhere. The moist air contained a faint putrid smell. Then came a rustling sound as though countless insects were crawling over withered leaves. Several black shadows slowly appeared.
“Ruan Zhan gave faulty information. There isn’t just three of them.” Facing the approaching shadows, Wan Li spoke. If the spirits had wanted to ambush them, Wan Li and Xiao Xia shouldn’t have been able to see them. Luckily Ruan Zhan had temporarily opened their heavenly vision, or else they would have a hard time. Xiao Xia had been right. Things that couldn’t be seen were even more frightening.
Xiao Xia didn’t speak as she nervously held the sword’s hilt. Apart from her back which was guarded by Wan Li, nebulous bodies appeared on all sides.
“Be careful.” She warned Wan Li who was still joking around as death was approaching.
“Got it.” Wan Li said seriously. He reached back and patted Xiao Xia’s head. “Stick close to me. Don’t be afraid.” As he spoke, he swung the bloodwood sword. The red light it automatically released when encountering evil abruptly expanded, clearing out a space in front of him.
The shadows surrounding them shivered and didn’t dare move. They gradually headed towards Xiao Xia instead.
“Take the bloodwood sword.”
“No. It’ll be more useful in your hands. We’d be done for if I used it.”
It’s said that a timid person wouldn’t be able to exhibit the might of a spirit treasure sword. She knew herself well. Despite having experienced something even more frightening earlier, she still couldn’t help but feel afraid. But Wan Li was different. He was someone who could joke around even if the heavens collapsed. Therefore, the bloodwood sword would be more effective in his hands. Furthermore, she still had protective charms from both the east and west on her body.
“Fine. But even if we can’t switch weapons, we can switch positions. Rotate with me.” Wan Li instructed Xiao Xia to change positions with him. Although the two remained back to back, they had turned half a circle.
However, the ghostly shadows switched positions along with them. They were like a graceless chess player who kept moving the same piece back and forth when faced with checkmate. This made Wan Li burst out laughing despite the terrifying scene.
“Can you be a bit more serious?” Xiao Xia said. Actually, she also thought it was very amusing. Her earlier fear had vanished. Wan Li was probably the first one to turn a battle against ghosts from horror to comedy. He might as well start his own sect.
“I’m very serious, but turning back and forth like this is very strange.” Wan Li said. “How about we all talk things out?” He was a psychologist and conversations were his specialty. Furthermore, he was rather experienced in interacting with ghosts despite not having the innate ability. Therefore, he gradually realized the shadows around them were just illusions. In reality, there were only three spirits.
This was the worst case scenario according to Ruan Zhan. None of the three female ghosts resolved their resentment. However, they had to resolve it. Otherwise, there would be no choice but to exterminate them and prevent them from harming others.